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It won't come as a surprise to anyone here that the party of climate-change denialists on the grounds that God told Noah that He wouldn't destroy the world again isn't big on science.

It won't come as a surprise to anyone here that the party that opposes stem-cell research extracting stem cells from lab-grown specimens that will be destroyed anyway isn't big on science.

But I have to say that even I, a frequent user of the phrase anti-science is pro-stupid, have found myself surprised at just how stark the situation is. Science is, apparently, not something the Republicans get.

From Slate:

A Pew Research Center Poll from July 2009 showed that only around 6 percent of U.S. scientists are Republicans; 55 percent are Democrats, 32 percent are independent, and the rest "don't know" their affiliation.

This immense imbalance has political consequences. When President Obama appears Wednesday on Discovery Channel's Mythbusters (9 p.m. ET), he will be there not just to encourage youngsters to do their science homework but also to reinforce the idea that Democrats are the party of science and rationality. And why not? Most scientists are already on his side. Imagine if George W. Bush had tried such a stunt—every major newspaper in the country would have run an op-ed piece by some Nobel Prize winner asking how the guy who prohibited stem-cell research and denied climate change could have the gall to appear on a program that extols the power of scientific thinking.

If your jaw just slapped against your desk, I understand why. Six percent?!

We really are the members of the reality-based community, aren't we?

I can't get over this bit of wisdom from Sherri Shepherd, of The View:

I keep thinking of Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe, a stubbornly fact-resistant man who thinks Global Climate Change is some sort of hoax cooked up by liberal scientists.

And Rush Limburger Limbaugh, who has claimed for years that the hole in the ozone layer was some sort of liberal NASA science hoax.

A big shout-out to KingOneEye, whose diary on a poll showing just how misinformed Fox News viewers are is a related must-read.

All in all, I find it frightening, frankly; how does this scale of just-plain-stupid fester and grow to this point? And why are we giving people like Shepherd and Inhofe platforms from which to spread the stupid?


Originally posted to Professor Jonathan (Cenobyte) on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:13 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    The overwhelming consensus of 2,000+ scientific experts from the IPCC& 18 US scientific assns: climate change is happening and is a growing threat to our wo

    by Cenobyte on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:13:02 AM PST

    •  Looks like "Republican Scientist" is going (4+ / 0-)

      to be as much of an oxymoron as "Military Intelligence."

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:04:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not at all (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        There are plenty of scientists that vote Republican because (a) they think they'll keep their taxes down, and scientists tend to be well-paid, and (b) many scientistws are intellectual elitists, who buy into the Republican view of a world made up of life's "winners and losers" with gusto.  They really don't care about Republican "science policy" to the degree that such a thing exists.  They do believe, probably correctly, that corporate influence will keep all necessary government gravy trains running on time for those programs like bomb-making and such that employ the largest number of scientists.

        American business is about maximizing shareholder value. You basically don't want workers. ~Allen Sinai

        by ActivistGuy on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 08:20:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The comment was a snark. I may disagree (0+ / 0-)

          with someone's politics, but there is nothing wrong in voting for one's best interests.

          What's sad is the people who vote against their best interests because their preacher(s) tell them the government is run by Democratic godless securalists that should be voted out of office.

          HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

          by HylasBrook on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 10:23:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Republican scientist= oxymoron. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nulwee, artmartin, mamak
  •  republican positions tend to be faith-based and (11+ / 0-)

    ideology-based, not based on fact or arrived at through a process of methodical argument.

    Why would scientists be attracted to that? They wouldn't be.

  •  The GOP (11+ / 0-)

    has moved so far right that it has left science. The empirical method cannot be squared with their 'philosophy' of deciding what conclusion is desirable then inventing facts to fit and kneecapping anyone who puts up an alternate point of view.

    As for null and alternate hypothesis - they wouldn't know what those were if there critical analysis free lives depended on it.

    Sanctimonious, Self Satisfied, Liberal and Proud.

    by stevej on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:19:16 AM PST

  •  When facts do not conform to theory the (6+ / 0-)

    facts must be disposed of.

    People who keep discovering new facts are twice as dangerous because they keep you busy disposing of those facts.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:20:06 AM PST

  •  the republican scientists are using (4+ / 0-)

    their scientific knowledge to build a Creationist Amusement Park......for some reason I just don't know if I trust their roller coasters to be engineered correctly.

  •  they are just greedy bastards. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  I don't see anything surprising here (5+ / 0-)

    Democrats are underrepresented in business, Republicans are underrepresented in science and social services including education.  This reflects our respective priorities.

    "George Washington said I was beautiful"--Sarah Palin on Barbara Bush, as imagined by Mark Sumner

    by Rich in PA on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:24:47 AM PST

    •  that is true...but when dems are in office (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      business is still good for a lot of people...when gop is gets the shaft.

    •  But 6% is lower than I expected, by quite a bit. (0+ / 0-)

      If someone had asked me before I read this diary, I might have guessed that only 25% of scientists were Republican.

      A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

      by bushondrugs on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Identity v. votes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bushondrugs, HylasBrook, angry marmot

        I work on a biomedical campus. I hardly ever meet faculty or scientific professional staff (meaning the higher paid folks) who ID as Republican. But I run across a fair number who vote Republican some or even most of the time.

        They don't want to pay taxes, but then they whine about research budget cuts or faith-based policy making (e.g. on stem cell research). Hell-o! Those are tax dollars funding your effort. When we take in fewer of them ... .

        And it's not as if they lied about their positions on "social issues." Yes, you could've known.  But you thought only of your pocketbook.

        Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

        by susanala on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:39:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Gross and Simmons study (2007) is (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          useful for documenting both political self-identification (liberal, moderate, conservative) and voting-behavior (Dem, Ind, Rep) among professors, and the data are broken-out by discipline.

          Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

          by angry marmot on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 08:05:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Is the world flat? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cenobyte, daliscar, mos1133, artmartin

    Was this child left behind?

    A Wall Street "bonus" should not be more than what my house is currently worth.

    by bushondrugs on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:25:05 AM PST

  •  Tragically We Are Party of Two Realities Warring (0+ / 0-)

    The party of Democratic Political Reality is at war against the party of Real World Reality.

    And the party of Real World Reality is suffering some epic losses at the hands of the party of Democratic Political Reality.

    Just not as many as from the Republicans.

    There is no chance the party of Democratic Political Reality will address the most important issues of the party of Realworld Reality adequately at any foreseeable time.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:27:04 AM PST

  •  This was a long time ago, but (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mos1133, artmartin, HylasBrook

    I don't think that Werner Von Braun registered as a Democrat when he got his citizenship.

  •  In denial? (4+ / 0-)

    I have a physicist friend who is among the most conservative folks I know, a staunch supply-sider, a true believer in bootstraps and merit and everything else Republicany.  He still calls himself a Democrat, despite being philosophically opposed to pretty much the entire Dem party platform.

    •  I don't find that all that suprising . . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      since to get a PhD one has to learn more and more about less and less until one knows everything about nothing.

      So, why a scientist would be expected to be particularly knowledgeable about things outside of his or her field is something that is not readily apparent to me.

      Of course, many scientists *are* naturally curious people and have broad knowledge (but the same can be said of Professional Bowlers . . . .).

      •  Why do you characterize the degree that way? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        angry marmot

        It's pretty inaccurate, no offense.

        "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:52:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmm, very well then, I see you (0+ / 0-)

          didn't like that.

          So how about this explanation of the academic ladder of degrees:

          B.S. (self explanatory)
          M.S.  More of the Same
          Ph.D. Piled Higher and Deeper

          •  I have to disagree. A terminal degree in no way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mahakali overdrive

            lessens one's understanding of issues outside one's field.

            Why the hostility toward education?

            The overwhelming consensus of 2,000+ scientific experts from the IPCC& 18 US scientific assns: climate change is happening and is a growing threat to our wo

            by Cenobyte on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 09:17:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Some stats: (0+ / 0-)

              The following percentage of people with each level of education find the above-cited descriptions that offend you to be "moderately" or "mildy" humorous:

              Some high school: 19.3%
              Finished high school: 23.4%
              Some college: 27.9%
              College (bachelor's level) graduate: 33.3%
              Some graduate level education: 29.9%
              Master's degree: 17.3%
              Ph.D. 11.1%

              So yeah, I suppose based on those numbers, it's not really something I should be trying to make jokes about.  *nobody* likes them!  (except, oddly, for graduates of Glenn Beck University - where 55.5% of respondents found the decriptions to be "freakin' hilarious" (the rest didn't fill in the ovals properly with the requested #2 pencil, so they weren't counted).

            •  I don't follow the poster here (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              and it does read like an anger, or miscomprehension, of the higher educational process.

              "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

              by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 03:45:45 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  NASCAR drivers are pretty much the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    mirror image of this - should we be concerned that more aren't Dems?

    Or should we just accept (and maybe even celebrate?) that this country has a niche for everyone.  No matter how batshit crazy they might be.

  •  Where are the Republican scientists? (2+ / 0-)

    In church.

    When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it? Eleanor Roosevelt

    by IndyRobin on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:46:33 AM PST

  •  Self imposed pyschosis? (5+ / 0-)

    I was reading Hawking's new book and I realized something.  I am a layman who is interested in physics but would hardly claim to be an expert.  I have read a lot of "for the lay public" books about it, but to read what Hawking had to say, I had to trust.  Trust not only that Hawking and his co-author knew what they were talking about but also that the entire physics community would help me out by reading his book and pointing out any errors.  And I had to trust the journalistic community to publicize any errors pointed out by the physics community.  That's three levels of trust to read one book.

    The same is true if I read something about economics, or politics or virtually anything else.  I have to trust in a system, be it science, or economics or pyschology or engineering.  Anything I read about a subject in which I am not an expert, I rely on a system of experts to protect me from false beliefs.  And I have to select who to trust.

    So what happens if I feel I can't trust a system?  What if I distrust scientists or engineers or economists?  I am left adrift, to be sucked in by any belief system that I can understand and seems logical even if it totally unconnected to reality.  

    This is what the conservatives tried to do after the 1964 election.  They told their followers to distrust the press, academia, and psychology and science in general.  The result?  Conservatives became disconnected from reality and entered a conservative echo chamber.  Grounding your beliefs in the bible is acceptable ... in science? Not so much.  

    Has the right wing become psychotic?  Maybe.

  •  6% are mostly industry scientists at that... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    madmsf, Cenobyte, mahakali overdrive my experience.

    And be careful, many of the people being counted may in fact be engineers who see nature as a thing to bring to heel by virtue of technology.

    In my field, the few openly regressive coworkers I have are basically Libertarians high on the notion of their own superiority and gumption.

    At my Agency, a few are even as absurd as to rant about the costs of government regulation while performing regulatory tasks.

    The point I'm trying to make is that even though these Republicans are scientists there are frequently substantial flaws and inconsistancies in their constructed idealogy, usually outside their fields and where they diverge from reality.

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:51:44 AM PST

    •  Don't count engineers? (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, if you exclude engineers from scientists, you've excluded the vast majority of people who actually do scientific research.

      Most science is applied science.

      •  There is a sharp cultural distinction to be made (0+ / 0-)

        between scientists and engineers. Granted that relative to the rest of society they are far more alike than not, but my anecdotal experience indicates engineers are a culturally distinct subset.

        You should also know that there is a general distinction made between scienific research and engineering research, with the former generally being thought of as discovery and the latter utilization and optimization.

        This is not to say that one can't do the other, only that there are broad, generally accurate, stereotypical categories which in my experience demark differences in political thinking.

        Having said all that, I'd rather deal with an Engineer than an idealogue.

        (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

        by Enterik on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:30:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It would be useful to know more about the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ray Radlein, madmsf

    "scientists" in the Pew poll: academic or corporate jobs? If academic, teaching or research positions? If corporate, in what industries? et cetera...

    Certainly, among academic scientists the "liberal bias" (as the RWers see it) is well-documented. But 6% does seem low, given the results of Gross' and Simmons' 2007 analysis of the politics of American professors which found:

    among professors in physical and biological sciences, 7.8% identified as conservative and 14.3% identified as Republican

    among professors in computer science and engineering, 11.3% identified as conservative and 23.3% identified as Republican

    among professors in health sciences, 20.5% identified as conservative and 22.9% identified as Republican

    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

    by angry marmot on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 06:56:14 AM PST

  •  I've got your Republican scientists.... (0+ / 0-)

    ...right here!!!

  •  Just a little story about a rightwing (6+ / 0-)

    scientist that I know.  So I work as a researcher at the U. Wisconsin.  We collaborate with a super hard-core conservative virologist.  The cognitive dissonance that this guy displays on an almost daily basis is pretty phenomenal.  He decries government subsidized ANYTHING, and yet he receives funding from the NIH.  He's also received money from either the defense department or department of energy (I can't recall which one it was).  He's twice divorced, and his daughter from his 1st marriage (who has several kids BTW) is constantly on public assistance because her out of work boyfriend can't hold a steady job.  

    But the GOD-DAMNED government should stay out of our private lives and the gays shouldn't be allowed to marry and welfare is horrible! (according to this guy).

  •  It's gotten worse since Reagan. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My late grandfather was an esteemed soil physicist, with at least two honorary Ph.D.'s to his credit. In the late 70s and 80s, I can remember him slipping me copies of "The Freeman," the publication of some arch-conservative think tank or other. He was totally into "free markets" and "limited government," he was totally a promoter of science and the scientific method, and there seemed to be no contradiction at all between the two. How times have changed. Increasingly, RW believers are being asked to buy into a whole ideology that includes the denial of science as a tool for explaining the world, and the embrace of "faith."

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:00:38 AM PST

    •  This is an interesting point - if we think of the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      pioneering scients of the 18th and 19th century, many of them came from the middle and upper classes.  This gave them a first rate education and the independents means to spend time researching subjects.

      Some brilliant, but poor scientists were provided with funds to allow them to do research by the Royal Society, perhaps an Oxbridge university, or a wealthy family willing to underwrite scientific endeavor.

      But today, ground breaking science isn't done on an individual basis.  It's industrialized, and needs funding from the government, the military arm of the government, a large research school (MIT, Caltect, U Michigan, etc.) and industry.

      Generally when industry is financing scientific work, it's not for pure discovery, but to prove something will work or find a better way of doing it.

      HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

      by HylasBrook on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:36:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Anti-intellectualism has been a staple of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cenobyte, karmsy, artmartin

    authoritarian-compliant sheep throughout history.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:01:08 AM PST

  •  My 7th grade science teacher denied (6+ / 0-)

    that tadpoles became frogs. She taught us that they were two separate animals and one had nothing to do with the other because no animal could just lose its tail unless another animal bit it off.

  •  Serious polling fail. (5+ / 0-)

    The poll is of members of the AAAS, which doesn't include most engineers or other practitioners of applied science.  Their membership is only around 129k, the number of practicing engineers in the United States is around 2 million.

    The organization is also probably a bad choice of sample for another reason, primarily that AAAS is an outspoken advocate of AGW science, which probably precludes many conservatives from joining.

    I mean, I guess you could argue the engineers and other practitioners of applied science aren't real scientists, but that would give you such a narrow definition of "scientist" as to be almost meaningless.

    •  Good catch. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time. (Terry Pratchett)

      by angry marmot on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:18:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  engineers are not scientists. they perform (3+ / 0-)

      invaluable services but they do not do basic research.
      This is not a failure in polling except to the extent in relies on the members of one organization.

      •  It's like the difference between pure science (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mahakali overdrive

        and applied science.

        HylasBrook @62 - fiesty, fiery, and fierce

        by HylasBrook on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:37:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Don't do basic research? (0+ / 0-)

        At the risk of pulling out a "Argument from Authority" fallacy, I can assure you that engineers are very frequently researchers, I personally used to do some research for the Department of Energy, and the research staff was almost all engineers or some other form of applied science degree.

        Many of the recent advances in science are the result of research conducted by either Biomedical Engineers or Materials Engineers.

      •  I beg to differ and so will the genral population (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Engineers do engage in basic research as much as scientists engage in engineering.

        The demarcation line between scientists and engineers no longer exist in our current modern world.

    •  Thanks. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      angry marmot

      I work in public health. Technically, most PH is applied science. What I actually do is ... neither fish nor fowl.

      Our lab works more on observational studies identifying predictors and evaluating variables most people consider a nuisance (such as natural recovery and compliance). The straight-up randomized clinical trial people don't think too much of us, in other words, nor do the community implementation folks.

      Incidentally ... I don't know too many people in environmental health science, health behavior or epidemiology who are Republicans. Unfortunately, they do crop up pretty frequently in health care organization and policy ... right where it hurts us the most. I also run across the occasional winger biostatistician.

      Just because you're not a drummer doesn't mean that you don't have to keep time. -- T. Monk

      by susanala on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:45:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This sounds like most PHd's in the Humanities (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as well. Out of hundreds, I'm not sure I know any who are a Republican.
    Academics are awesome! :)

    "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:48:49 AM PST

  •  "Republican scientist." (0+ / 0-)

    Sounds almost otherworldly.  I've never even seen those two words together before.

    Happy Fucking Monday. -- irony from Colorado is the Shiznit, after a long rant.

    by dov12348 on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 07:51:05 AM PST

  •  I know scientists who've registered as Republican (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because where they teach is so red that the Republican primary is the "real" election, but I can't immediately think of any scientist I've met with Republican views. Engineers and MDs, sure, but they're different.

    Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

    by belinda ridgewood on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 08:01:04 AM PST

  •  William Burroughs - The Sender Political Party (0+ / 0-)

    Liquefactionists in general know what the score is. The Senders, on the
    other hand, are notorious for their ignorance of the nature and terminal
    state of sending, for barbarous and self-righteous manners, and for rabid
    fear of FACT-. It was only the intervention of the Factualists that prevented
    the Senders from putting Einstein in an institution and destroying his
    theory. It may be said that only a very few Senders know what they are doing
    and these top Senders are the most evil and dangerous men in the world. .
    . .
    Techniques of Sending were crude at first. Fadeout to the National Electronic
    Conference in Chicago.

     The Conferents are putting on their overcoats....The speaker talks in a
    flat shopgirl voice:

    "In closing, I want to sound a word of warning. . . .The logical extension
    of encephalographic research is biocontol; that is control of physical
    movement, mental processes, emotional reactions and APPARENT sensory
    impressions by means of bioelectric signals injected into the nervous system
    of the subject."

    "Louder and funnier!" The conferents are trouping out in clouds of dust.

    "Shortly after the birth a surgeon could install connections in the brain. A
    miniature radio receiver could be plugged in and the subject controlled from
    State-controlled transmitters."

    Dust settles through the windless air of a vast empty hall - smell of hot
    iron and steam; a radiator sings in the distance....The Speaker shuffles his
    notes and blows dust off them....

    "The biocontrol apparatus is prototype of one-way telepathic control. The
    subject could be rendered susceptible to the transmitter by drugs or other
    processing without installing any apparatus.  Ultimately the Senders will use
    telepathic transmitting exclusively. . . .  Ever dig the Mayan codices? I
    figure it like this: the priests-about one per cent of population-made with
    one-way telepathic broadcasts instructing the workers what to feel and
    when....A telepathic sender has to send all the time. He can never receive,
    because if he receives that means someone else has feelings of his own could
    louse up his continuity. The sender has to send all the time, but he can't
    ever recharge himself by contact. Sooner or later he's got no feelings to
    send. You can't have feelings alone. Not alone like the Sender is alone - and
    you dig there can only be one Sender at one place-time....Finally the screen
    goes dead....The Sender has turned into a huge centipede....So the workers
    come in on the beam and burn the centipede and elect a new Sender by
    consensus of the general will....The Mayans were limited by isolation....Now
    one Sender could control the planet.... You see control can never be a means
    to any practical end....It can never be a means to anything other but more
    control...Like junk..

  •  It's Changing As Nepotism Is Becoming Important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Getting that nonprofit job often depends on having a parent who is a federal program officer, getting through grad school depends on having a parent who might review your advisers articles. The hedge fund managers kid will always have a biotech job because the owners hope daddy will throw their company a bone.

    At each step, there are the people who will skate through, and the other people are just there to keep the seat warm until someone better connected comes along.

  •  Anecdote Datum (0+ / 0-)

    Well, there's my sister. Degree in Meteorology, Masters in Oceanography, ABD long ago in Hydrology; flown into hurricanes with the National Hurricane Center and the National Guard; worked with the Severe Storms Laboratory in Norman, Oklahoma; worked with the development and national deployment of NEXRAD; currently in charge of the Alaska Pacific River Forecast Station for the National Weather Service. At least as Republican as I am Democrat.

    In fact, to tell the truth, she's sufficiently Republican that I am afraid to bring up the subject of AGW with her, just so I can continue to believe that she fully believes in it. God knows she's had to produce river level forecasts based on its results often enough.

    "I play a street-wise pimp" — Al Gore

    by Ray Radlein on Tue Dec 14, 2010 at 08:32:52 AM PST

  •  One thing about being pretty smart... (0+ / 0-)

    By definition, if I think I'm pretty smart, then I should find most other people to be relatively not-that-smart. (Note: I'm too delicate and refined to use words like dumb or stupid, two common synonyms for this condition.)

    If I take pride in how relatively smart I am, it doesn't make much sense for me to be shocked or outraged that most other people are relatively less smart. Their stupidity (oops, I wasn't going to use that word!) is necessary for my smartness to be valuable, or even to exist. In fact, I should thank and praise the less-smart ones, for their intellectual limitations make possible my own relative excellence.

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