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In an op-ed published today by the New York Times, David Brooks defends the military coup in Egypt by using a crescendo of bigoted statements that climaxes with an unspeakably unfortunate utterance.

He begins badly enough by arguing that "Islamists" don't have the "mental equipment" to properly govern:

Islamists might be determined enough to run effective opposition movements and committed enough to provide street-level social services. But they lack the mental equipment to govern.
He continues along this line of argumentation, defending the military coup by attacking the mental capacity and "DNA" of "Islamists" and their core beliefs.

It isn't until the end of his op-ed, however, that Brooks reveals the depth of his bigoted perspective when he says this of the whole of Egypt:

It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
Brooks makes this sweeping statement while hiding behind the context of his article, which is purportedly about radical Islamists.

However, the line above, his final line, reveals Brooks' true bigotry, casting all of Egypt -- an entire people -- as lacking the mental capacity for democracy.

It's not that Egypt doesn't have a recipe for democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.

The line smacks of eugenics at worst, and bigoted ignorance at best. Either way, such a mind should not be employed by the Times.

It is time for Brooks' platform to be yanked from beneath his feet. For good.

For the good of everyone.



Author's Note:

David Sirota at Salon has just posted a piece very similar in tone to mine titled "David Brooks' bigoted rant."

If he borrowed his title from here, I'll be flattered.

Originally posted to David Harris-Gershon (The Troubadour) on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:14 AM PDT.

Also republished by Writing by David Harris Gershon.

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  •  Tip Jar (301+ / 0-)
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    "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

    by David Harris Gershon on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:14:27 AM PDT

  •  I Don't Think We Can Expect the Paper of Miller (20+ / 0-)

    to have much understanding of this general topic.

    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 Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:20:38 AM PDT

  •  Brooks is a clown (17+ / 0-)

    but he is a "useful" clown. It is not just people on what we traditionally describe as the right who are singing the praises of what is a clear outright military coup. It is no different from those that used to occur in Latin America with regularity. If they turned out the commies, Americans applauded it as striking a blow for freedom.

    Right here, right now there are lots of people on Daily Kos trying to parse the situation in Egypt as a blow for democracy. The statements coming from the Obama administration are generally an effort to put lipstick on a pig.

    This is a time when things don't fit the usual board game of American politics.

    •  I am sorry but I have no great love for Morsi (6+ / 0-)

      because he was seeking to impose a theocracy on Egypt.  

      I don't claim to know what the right way forward is for Egypt but I do know that leaders like Morsi are not the answer.

      •  Neither do I--I don't think diarist (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        is publishing a pro-Morsi screed--just that he is saying that the pundits supporting the revolution are being bigoted against Egyptians, and against Islamists, in a way that he's uncomfortable with. I don't like Morsi or his party, and I am waiting for someone to actually report on what the Egyptians' problems with him were/are--Rachel Maddow sure didn't. Instead, the party line seems to be: gee, Egyptians are throwing out the government again; should we decide that they just aren't capable of democracy, or not?

        Which is a kind of offensive thing to say.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:34:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bigoted against Islamacists? (0+ / 0-)

          Sorry, but I believe that one can object to the interjection of religion into governance without being a bigot or an Islamaphobe.

          •  I think diarist is talking about Brooks' (0+ / 0-)

            comments that they are incapable of governance.

            That's not the way to go about talking about separation of church and state. It's not that people are incapable of governance, it's that it's not desirable to have a theocracy.

            That's not a bigoted thing to say, it's just an opinion about politics.

            Saying Egyptians are incapable of governance is a little insulting.

            Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

            by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:58:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I suggest you read the diary up today... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, KJG52

      ...which discusses the high-handed, authoritarian and murderous actions taken by Morsi before you bemoan the "some here" meme...

      Morsi has claimed that he's unaccountable to the courts, and people have been "disappeared" under his government's rule.

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:17:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So what is the difference (0+ / 0-)

        between that position and David Brooks?

        •  Brooks says the Egyptian people are mentally... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Eddie L, Rick Aucoin

          ...deficient.

          The diary I mentioned does not say anything of the sort.

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:10:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I won't defend Brooks (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ferg

          Democracy in European and US history, however, evolved over a period of centuries, and was not at all a linear process.  I would not say that going from 1300 to 1600 in England was "progress" in that sense:  the late Plantagenet system of government was likely far freer and more limited than the sort of dictatorship the Tudors set up.

          There's been the assumption that you spread democracy by establishing democratic institutions.  But in the absence of a long tradition of respect for minority rights,  majoritarianism and democracy are only superfically alike.  A monarchy like that of Jordan where there's an evolving norm of consultation by the monarch can be much closer to the spirit of early English popular rule than a state that is fully republican like that of Syria.

          I see no reason why either Arab society or Islam (a religious tradition with a much deeper respect for minority rights than traditional Christianity) would not be able to evolve forms of government built on majority rule with minority rights.  Brooks is deluded to suggest otherwise.

          But simply translating democratic forms to Egyptian soil won't make that happen.  Morsi was democratically elected, but did not have any deep commitment to limiting his government to protect the rights of his opposition.  A lot of Egyptians saw this as a tyrrany.  We'll see if the army keeps its word and lets genuine democracy develop (as ultimately happened in Turkey).  But the coup may ultimately serve a positive role not so different from other examples from both Turkish and English history.

          Quote of the week: "They call themselves bipartisan because they're able to buy members of both parties," (R. Eskow, Campaign for America's Future.)

          by mbayrob on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:36:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It is a movement forward for the people (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan

      of Egypt. They got around a third of the country to turn out to protest in favor of overthrowing Morsi and now he's gone. It's far from perfect, but it's moving forward.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:10:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yep. Typical Brooks column. (7+ / 0-)

      This column is a Brooks two-fer.  Silly reasoning and his standard false equivalence.

      His silly 'reasoning' this week goes:
      1. Islamists aren't ready for democracy.
      2. Egypt has an Islamist party.
      3. Therefore, Egypt is unready for democracy.

      The false equivalence is obvious.

      Classic Brooks.

      Next up,  Tom Friedman will tell us the next 6 months are crucial.

  •  Who would be outraged here (26+ / 0-)

    If someone said that hardcore American Christian conservatives lack the mental equipment to govern?

    •  This Jew has a hand raised. (14+ / 0-)

      "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

      by David Harris Gershon on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:27:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  besides the fact that it is true, (18+ / 0-)

      I cannot imagine anyone saying that.

      Except me. Anytime a bloc of people set aside rational thought, science, logic, and replace it with a zany idea that all the truths that humanity needs to know is contained in a two volume fairy tale, well, I DO argue that they lack the mental equipment to govern.

      Lettuce Prey.

      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

      by agnostic on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:28:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So your position (0+ / 0-)

        is that most governing bodies throughout human history were failures at governing because they lacked the mental equipment?

        •  I can't speak for the commenter (7+ / 0-)

          But you have to judge given the state of knowledge of the times. If a candidate is a biblical literalist and thinks the earth is 6000 years old, yes, absolutely that is a disqualification for higher office. It is impossible to responsibly govern in today's world if one rejects or simply doesn't understand science. Would you have a biblical literalist in charge if a new epidemic appeared? Or to respond to climate change, the defining issue of our time?

          No... It's not prejudice to say that fundamentalist religious belief is contradictory to good governance.

          “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

          by ivorybill on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:17:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Personally I don't want a biblical literalist (6+ / 0-)

            in charge of me or my country.

            But that's not because I think they lack the intelligence or the capacity to govern.  It's because I think too many of their choices in governing will be terrible ones, regardless of whether or not they're competent at it.

            •  Certainly their choices would be terrible (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Fishtroller01

              And understand, I am not criticizing religious belief in general, of the sort held by most people.

              But fundamentalist belief of the sort that substitutes rigid adherence to a text for rational response to observable facts - well, that really does compromise capacity to govern and certainly calls into question "intelligence" - although intelligence is difficult to measure.  

              I'll grant you this:  There is a difference between a person has the capacity for abstract reasoning, but refuses to engage, and a person who lacks the capacity to begin with.  My problem is that the practical result is the same.

              “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

              by ivorybill on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:00:42 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It certainly does seem true (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch, KJG52, agnostic

                that fundamentalism of any stripe, since it relies on adherence to received wisdom and calcified tradition rather than rational response to observable facts, ought to be incompatible with capacity to govern -- which requires a minimum of mental flexibility, an understanding of cause and effect, and a certain basic pragmatism.

                However.  To conclude from this that a fundamentalist can't possibly be a competent ruler is to discount two things:

                1) People have an astonishing capacity to compartmentalize.  One can be utterly immovable on certain key matters of faith and yet capable of rational, logical thought on every other issue.

                2) People can be base hypocrites.  Which is to say: one can be a leader of fundamentalists and pay lip service to their utter inflexible devotion to their beliefs without actually sharing that devotion, or that inflexibility.

                Again, I'm not saying that people like this would be rulers I would want in charge of anything.  But my objection is to their goals, not their competence.

                •  Perhaps. but how do you explain (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fishtroller01

                  the TeaBuggers in office?

                  What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                  by agnostic on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:15:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Explain how they're in office, you mean? (0+ / 0-)
                    •  Sorry, I was less than clear (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OneCharmingBastard

                      1. ability to compartmentalize.

                      The ONLY thing that zealots like King, Bachmann, and others of their ilk compartmentalize is their ability to think rationally. They put it in a lock box, weld it shut, and throw it to the bottom of the ocean.

                      2. Base hippo-cricy.

                      Not in their case. I am convinced they really and truly believe that their 2 part fairy tale is the actual, accurate, inerrant, and pure word of Dog.  (Dog Damn this latent dyslexia!) Their single-minded fixation on turning us into a bible based, christian nation is amusing from a distance, but once they hold office, it is a shock. I imagine that many Egyptians feel the same way about the Brotherhood.

                      What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                      by agnostic on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:35:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  and yet (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT

            It

            is impossible to responsibly govern in today's world if one rejects or simply doesn't understand science.
            and yet- we have a House of Representatives and Senate full of people who meet this description exactly.

            ( I believe that most of them actually believe the science, but reject it for crass corporatist reasons.)  They are immoral douchbags.  The ones who don't believe the science are simply idiots.

            As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

            by BPARTR on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:10:58 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Most governing bodies throughout history (6+ / 0-)

          were monarchies, often won with the sharp edge of a sword, a lance, or later, an arrow. The only thing worse than monarchies was control by some church, any church.

          There were brief glimpses of humanity's potential, scattered around, but ignorance, christianity, (but, I repeat myself), war, disease, and greed eventually destroyed them. Kings fighting kings was bad enough. But when the Church got involved, all bets were off.

          The Dark Ages were aptly named, not because of the black plague, but because for 500 years, christianity demanded that the yoke of ignorance be placed on all within its reach. The deliberate destruction of knowledge was amazing, eventually forcing humanity to relearn much of what it had learned hundreds of years ago. But retracing those steps was a bloody, hard, ans slow process.

          Look at the treatment of Galileo, admittedly a bit of a horse's ass, and not the nicest person around. Compare how the Vatican reacted to his revelations with how JPII and Ratzinger reacted to accounts of massive child abuse globally.

          In both cases, truth went out the window. Honesty? nowhere to be found. Ethics? Bah.

          Want other examples? Aztecs, Maya, indigenous tribes on the northern and southern continents. Who burned mountains of literature, scientific studies, astronomical data, and historical documents? The church. Who deliberately infected locals with STDs and smallpox, in order to exterminate them, if they refused to convert?

          What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

          by agnostic on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:30:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I think you're conflating (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch, Kane in CA

            the notion of cruel and tyrannical governing with the notion of incapacity to govern.

            If the Church leaders in the Middle Ages had lacked the mental capacity to govern, the Church would have collapsed and fragmented, and they wouldn't have been able to tyrannize Europe as they did.

            •  Last time I checked, the church has collapsed and (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              leftykook, Fishtroller01, Icicle68

              fragmented. No more witchcraft trials, no more burning at the stake, no more excommunication that would lead to death, and luckily, no more killing for apostasy.

              The less input we have from any religious entity or religious leader, the saner and more effective our governments are.  

              What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

              by agnostic on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:02:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  After how many centuries? (3+ / 0-)

                It wasn't because of their cruelty or their tyranny that they collapsed.  It may have been because of their inflexibility ... or maybe just that they chose the wrong things to be inflexible about.

                (Personally I agree with you that religion and government shouldn't mix; whenever they do, it's detrimental to both.  Religions are also saner and more effective when they're separate from any civil ruling body.)

                •  Interesting questions. I may have to delve (0+ / 0-)

                  back into Wil and Ariel's great books. Talk about a fantastic read.

                  What we call god is merely a living creature with superior technology & understanding. If their fragile egos demand prayer, they lose that superiority.

                  by agnostic on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:36:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Failing to offer a credible prescription for (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT

                  salvation, then insisting that those who lost their faith continue to obey it anyway-- that's how the Church lost its mental grip over Europe. You can attribute it to inflexibility, or you can attribute it to cruelty; I think one can't be separated from the other.

                  •  Except isn't that also (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    AoT

                    how the Church gained its grip over Europe?

                    To be honest I have not made a study of the decline of Church power in Europe, so I can't really say what the cause of it was ... but it doesn't seem reasonable to attribute their eventual failure to things they were doing with continuing success all through their centuries of rule.

                    •  In the Middle Ages the Church (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Icicle68

                      began sending a confusing mixed message about salvation (it's about faith! No, it's about good conduct! No, it's about partaking of the sacraments and purchasing indulgences! No, it's about predestination!).

                      This threw religiously earnest thinking people like Luther into spiritual panic and their heads exploded. They rejected the Church's authority and even came to see the Pope as Antichrist, the Great Deceiver.

                      Then the Church tried to reassert control through force and discipline (the Counter-reformation) rather than sorting out its teaching on salvation.

                      Meanwhile Protestants failed to find a credible doctrine on salvation when they tried to combine justification by faith (sola fide) with justification by predestination (sola gratia).

                      With neither the Catholic nor the Protestant churches able to communicate clearly about salvation--the question of supreme importance to most to believers-- Christianity lost its grip over the European mind. It no longer had anything to offer. The Enlightenment dealt it its coup de grace.

                      •  That's actually very illuminating. Thanks! (0+ / 0-)

                        And I think it supports my point:  that it was not the fundamentalist religious mindset that made them lose the capacity to rule.

                        If what you've said here is accurate, it was their failure within said religious mindset: loss of clarity and loss of adherence to a consistent message.

                        •  What I'm arguing is that (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          agnostic

                          stable fundamentalist theocracies are an impossibility, because they require ongoing faith from the people to legitimate themselves, and faith eventually erodes and dies.

                          For example: Islamists long for the reunification of the umma and the restoration of the Caliphate, but this ignores the fact that the umma divided and the Caliphate degenerated into a mere empire (mulk) within just forty years of Muhammad's passing.

      •  the problem is not their religion. (0+ / 0-)

        the problem is their attitude toward government, and governance. Like, they don't believe in it.

        Therefore, they are mentally incapable of governing.

        Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:37:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I would find it totally appropriate (8+ / 0-)

      nothing outrageous about it.   It is true.

    •  Who's making that judgment? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Texknight, JesseCW

      http://www.buonoforgovernor.com/

      by Paleo on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:36:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  brooks seems to be talking muslims generally, not (7+ / 0-)

      just about fundamentalists

      This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

      by certainot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:38:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the word he uses is "islamists", not "muslims" (9+ / 0-)

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:43:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but he also says egyptians (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gramofsam1, nellgwen, YucatanMan
          It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:00:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  By the way, anyone who says Egyptians (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan, certainot

            never understood or aspired to democracy is historically illiterate and needs to read up on the Arab Awakening.

             Egyptian democratization was finally defeated by British imperialism and then the crisis of the Western democracies between the World Wars. But there's a foundation there upon which Egyptians can rebuild.

            •  we don't even have a functioning democracy (0+ / 0-)

              the idea that they could get out of the post colonial/mubarak/US serfdom autocracy in a year or two is idiocy, but guys like brooks get 'big' audiences among the 'inteligencia' to spout their absolutism and certitudinous anyway.

              thing is, while the PBS newswatching US intellectuals watch those guys, guys like limbaugh and hannity rule the masses.

              This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

              by certainot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:19:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  What's the difference? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          Is it one of those "All "Islamists" are Muslims, but not every Muslim is an "Islamist"" things?

          You may think that. I couldn't possibly comment.-- Francis Urqhart

          by Johnny Q on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:16:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Islamism is a political trend (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            UntimelyRippd, buddabelly, certainot

            that can be compared to the radical christian right in our country, as opposed to Islam which is a much more varied group of people and political dispositions, from socialism to Islamism to Muslim anarchists. You can find the same breadth of political stances in Christianity.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:31:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Sharp Point. I know a lot of smart flexible-minded (7+ / 0-)

        Christians. But the ones who take every word of the bible literally, even though it makes no sense when read that way (e.g. Genesis tells the creation story twice), just don't like to think.

        "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

        by Brecht on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:45:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no he doesn't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher

        honestly I don't get this thread at all.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:16:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The diarist also misquotes Brooks (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Be Skeptical, onanthebarbarian, jgnyc

          Here's what Brooks said:

          because incompetence is built into the intellectual DNA of radical Islam.
          But the diarist conveniently leaves out the word radical when talking about this quote.

          I also counted around 10 descriptions in Brooks column where he clearly was trying to differentiate Islam from radical Islam.

          I disagree with most of what Brooks believes in, but this diary is a hatchet job on him.  

          I've been shaking my head a lot at some of the stuff that's being said around here lately.

          •  but how does that go with (0+ / 0-)
            It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.

            This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

            by certainot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:22:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  as pointed out this could apply to the US (0+ / 0-)

              the only interesting Brooks bash lately was him either willfully ignoring, or in my guess annoyed by but making a tactical decision to not work in, the resemblance between the crazy fundies over there and over here. Mind you our crazy fundies are significantly more civilized - don't bother poutraging me if you disagree I'm way sick of the idiot left - but they don't have the DNA, or in some cases the IQ, to work within a democratic (small d) system.

              If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

              by jgnyc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:27:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  i agree completely there is a mental problem and (0+ / 0-)

                have identified a possible explanation as to how DNA may effect resistance to sex energy influencing the wrong side of the brain-

                here's the short explanation of extremism in all religions - and why we have organized repressive religions as well as kings and dictators

                http://youtu.be/...

                This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                by certainot on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 03:36:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that's an interesting tangent (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  certainot

                  I meant DNA in the way Brooks, IIRC, was saying it's just not in their nature. I suspect that religion, like fascism etc was a cultural survival trait for a long time and we've only been in the nuclear age since '52 and those traits are still there.

                  I'd be wary of going the genetics route if only because it can easily veer into racism.

                  If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

                  by jgnyc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 06:21:48 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  there are a lot of other factors but, for instance (0+ / 0-)

                    if a society/race/civilization figured it out and discovered they could end a lot of problems and advance more quickly after they started the sex education to switch hands they'd probably be wiped out by frightened right handed neighbors before they got too advanced.

                    i see religion as starting as a way to pass on environmental and survival lessons. as populations grew and civilizations realized they had to limit population the age of reproduction had to be delayed and that's when sex on the wrong brain  power dynamic really got going. the need for certainty = need to avoid uncertainty - a trait commonly identified for conservatives (http://faculty.virginia.edu/...)-  which increases fear that can be relieved with certitude from the leader. whether by design to create a warrior class and perpetuate that power dynamic, where certainty is more important than truth, or just naturally, religions have evolved to help repress sex and encourage masturbation and the discussion of which hand to use.

                    the koran even says it: "man can only have sex with his wife and that which the right hand possesses".

                    in a world where right handed sex is default representative democracy is probably the only thing keeping the planet from perpetual warring due to the irrational need for certitude in a natural world where there is none.

                    the US has regressed because we let the 1%'s think tanks coordinate the messaging from 1200 radio stations to short circuit the feedback mechanisms democracies depend on.

                    the talk radio model, where the speakers don't have to look the listener in the eye and have call screeners to protect them from challenge is perfect for blasting a huge segment of the population with the royal certitude the frightened right handed masses want- same as any dictator/king. as they bathe in comforting certitude they get lies and more fear. limbaugh, hannity, savage, etc. have the royal certitude and huge thrones to deliver the 1%'s messaging and turn a small part of the population into an army of disinformed twits ready to follow their lead and fall into whatever constituency they need to enable their corrupt politicians and policies.

                    and the 1% have been able to limit the ability of democracy to counter sex on the wrong brain and stop democracy because the left ignores the right's best weapon.

                    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                    by certainot on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 09:17:37 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  slow year - set poutrage to overload (0+ / 0-)

            My guess is when next year gets in gear the "reality" part will start to predominate in the "community". Right now I guess the perma posters just feel like staying mad even if, in this case, they have to make something up. (scare quotes on community as it's a big blog site and I'm wary of virtual community as a definition but that's some net-wide meta right there on my part)

            If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

            by jgnyc on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 07:24:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  as i responded above the other quote suggests it (0+ / 0-)
          It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
          and while the comment below suggests i should have read the whole column this quote would take some explaining.

          This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

          by certainot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:37:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I have to agree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, cryonaut

      I see nothing offensive about Brooks's statement.  He's right.  

    •  Having the mental equipment =/= using it well. (4+ / 0-)

      Just because one doesn't think they'd do the right thing does not mean they are mentally deficient.

      So, yeah, I'd be outraged.  I'd call it bigotry.

    •  I thought that was axiomatic. (n/t) (0+ / 0-)

      "Federal law limits me to 3 shells when duck hunting, but no law limiting assault magazines. We have more protections for ducks than people." - Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5)

      by radabush on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:25:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I wouldn't. (0+ / 0-)

      Because "hardcore Christian conservative" isn't a race, a nation, a gender. It's not even a religion, because the words "hardcore conservative" are attached.

      hardcore conservatives, Christian or otherwise, do lack the mental equipment to govern, because they don't believe in government.

      Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:36:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let's Compare US, Israel, and Egypt (0+ / 0-)

      How many Christians in the U.S. demonstrated against political Christianity, aka Dominionism? Almost none. How many Jews in Israel demonstrated against political Judaism, aka Zionism? Even fewer. How many Muslims demonstrated against political Islam in Egypt? Just the biggest fucking demonstration in human history. If there is an argument about lacking the mental capacity for democracy it should be lodged against the US and Israel.

  •  David Brooks has long since proved that he lacks (26+ / 0-)

    the mental equipment.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:24:03 AM PDT

  •  wow. i already didn't like him. (9+ / 0-)

    he's really being flagrant now. I can't believe how awful he is.

    I avoid him. thanks for this diary- I wouldn't have known if you didn't write it.

    "...i also also want a legally binding apology." -George Rockwell

    by thankgodforairamerica on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:24:03 AM PDT

  •  At the Same Time (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, quill

    Egypt has some of the same cultural barriers between itself and modernity -- described in many ways -- that other successor states to the Ottoman Empire have.

    I'm including in that number Turkey, Serbia, Greece, etc.

    The Turkish empire kept its people in a very primitive state of development when it came to education, cultural development and economics. This was to a great degree on purpose, because it could not effectively keep all those Arabs, Greeks and Slavs subjugated if they were advancing along these lines.

    Then, after WWI, there was a break -- and suddenly Turkey and its former imperial domains were yanked into the industrial age.

    But these countries never had the same cultural revolutions that Europe experienced between Medievalism and the Modern period. The Englightenment never reached the Ottoman Empire.

    I don't think it's bigotry to observe that many of these countries went from the 15th century to the 20th in the blink of an eye and that the cultural and institutional foundations that stand below Western-style democracy are still not in place.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:25:08 AM PDT

  •  I am so looking forward to (5+ / 0-)

    Brooks being torn apart by Charles Pierce and Driftglass over this.

  •  he could accurately be describing republicans (4+ / 0-)

    except for this part:

    committed enough to provide street-level social services

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:31:26 AM PDT

  •  Substitute core GOP beliefs (11+ / 0-)
    Democracy, the argument goes, will eventually calm extremism. Members of the Tea Party GOP Muslim Brotherhood may come into office with radical beliefs, but then they have to fix potholes and worry about credit ratings and popular opinion. Governing will make them more moderate.
    Looking at Texas, North Carolina, Kansas with huge Tea Party GOP majorities, we see tax cuts for the wealthy, tax increase, for the working poor, and devastating cuts to essential governmental services. The GOP "seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients" for ruling.

    [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

    by MoDem on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:31:34 AM PDT

    •  Look even at Ohio where the Tea Party (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nellgwen, Nailbanger, Eddie L

      is a tiny minority that has the scant-majority Republicans' nuts in a vise and where as a result where have just seen a budget passed with "tax cuts for the wealthy, tax increases for the working poor, and devastating cuts to essential governmental services." Plus new, onerous restrictions on abortion, some of which were introduced at the last minute with no hearings and no debate — in the BUDGET bill.

      Ohio's GOP completely "lacks the mental ingredients" for democracy.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:54:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  `and people give Az crap, we balanced the budget (0+ / 0-)

        added to the rainy day fund restored a lot of the lost education funding and passed the Obamacare increase to 133%opl  plus reinsured the prop 202 population that we had voted for 3 damn times...took 4 for medical mj but we finally got it done....and that's with passing it 3 of the 4 times......

        Yeah we have problems, some of them quite serious....we also have a future that I see and honestly, it's a bright one....

        Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
        I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
        Emiliano Zapata

        by buddabelly on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:39:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  No ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... they lack the necessary empathy to rule well.

      There's a difference.

      •  I believe, in the context of MoDem's (0+ / 0-)

        comment, 'govern' = 'govern well.'

        I don't think anyone, even Brooks, is arguing that fundamentalists in general, or Islamists in particular, are unable to govern poorly.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:05:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I need some more specific adjectives. (0+ / 0-)

          There's "govern well" as in "govern competently," and there's "govern well" as in "govern beneficiently."

          I don't think failing at the latter necessarily constitutes failing at the former.  In the case of the GOP, however, I have to concede that they're doing both.

    •  Republicans don't confuse ruling with governing. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      schumann, Icicle68, MoDem

      They're ruthlessly committed to ruling, completely uninterested in governing.

  •  that's not just racist...it's supremicist (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, happymisanthropy, mightymouse

    and arrogant beyond belief. The notion that an entire group of people (any group of people...no matter how you define them) are somehow inferior to others, intellectually or otherwise, reeks of the arrogance, supremecism and arrogance of people like Adolph Hitler.

    This guy Brooks has no business writing anything for anyone, least of all the New York Times.

  •  No he should not. (7+ / 0-)

    You are over-interpreting what he wrote.   I just read his article, and when taken in context, it is not bigoted.   JMO.

    •  So make that argument. Quote a paragraph or three, (0+ / 0-)

      or summarize what you think he really means, to back your point up.

      Otherwise you're just saying "No it's not!"

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:48:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  In context, nearly all of it is about Islamists (7+ / 0-)

      and the Muslim Brotherhood, not Muslims or Egyptians in a general sense.   Instead of "mental equipment" he should have written "mental flexibility" or "intellectual tolerance" or even "common sense and decency."  

      The last sentence, in which he states:

      It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
        sounds pretty awful, but I suppose you need to read the  previous sentences to get the full context.
      there are large populations across the Middle East who feel intense rage and comprehensive dissatisfaction with the status quo but who have no practical idea how to make things better. The modern thinkers who might be able to tell them have been put in jail or forced into exile. The most important thing outsiders can do is promote those people and defend those people, decade after decade.
      In that sense I believe he was talking about the lack of modern thinkers with a democratic view who could help lead the country as the essential missing "mental ingredient," not a defect in neurodevelopment.

      But it's awkwardly done, and does lead me to believe his prejudices are not only with those who would like to turn Egypt into an extreme Islamicist state.

        •  His article hides behind context. (5+ / 0-)

          It's the final line that reveals the true bigotry, casting all of Egypt -- an entire people -- as lacking the mental capacity for democracy.

          It's not that Egypt doesn't have a recipe for democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
          This could not be clearer.

          "If the Jew who struggles for justice for Palestine is considered anti-Semitic, & if Palestinians seeking self-determination are so accused...then no oppositional move can take place w/o risking the accusation." - Judith Butler

          by David Harris Gershon on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:01:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is absolutely true though (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Fishtroller01, grapes, LynChi

            I think the difference is because you interpret "mental" in this context in a different way than I do.  

            You interpret it as "intelligence" while I interpret it as "mentality".   I am convinced he meant it as "mentality".

          •  This has been a core belief of U.S. establishment (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            shmuelman, happymisanthropy

            Perhaps THE core belief.  Our government always seems to be backing one dictator or another.

            Outside of two or three dozen wealthy countries, the U.S. has backed authoritarian governments in most times and places since WWII.  

          •  Isn't that just language? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Batya the Toon, Be Skeptical

            We say that 'China' exploits slave labor and 'Russia' empowers members of a corrupt oligarchy, or whatever. Is he not just saying 'It's not that the political system in Egypt doesn't have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.'

            I mean, his point is stupid. Even if he's right, there was a time not very long ago when nobody had the basic mental ingredients for modern democratic transitions, and yet they happened.

            Would you agree that Brooks is basically saying, quite condescendingly, 'The state of political consciousness in Egypt re. democracy is backwards compared to ours?'

            He's a jackass and an elitist and a smug, condescending prick. I'm not sure that makes him a bigot--in this case--of the fireable type.

            "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

            by GussieFN on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:18:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In all those cases we're talking about (0+ / 0-)

              the government of said countries or are mostly wrong.

              'The state of political consciousness in Egypt re. democracy is backwards compared to ours?'
              They got around 30 million people out into the streets to protest against the continuing erosion of rights they had won two years ago. I think that's a good start for figuring out how to have a democracy. Possibly better than ours. We can barely get that large a fraction of our country to vote.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:06:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That's fine. (0+ / 0-)

                You're saying, 'The state of political consciousness in Egypt re. democracy is possibly better than ours.'

                Okay. If that's your argument, sure. You disagree with Brooks. That's not to say that he's a bigot. (This time.)

                You seem to agree with him, in fact, that there are some polities in which the state of political consciousness re. democracy is better, and some in which it's worse.

                "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                by GussieFN on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:22:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  "hides behind context" ? (0+ / 0-)

            I think I know what you mean (see the conclusion of my comment above), but it is an unusual phrase.  How would you explain what you mean by it (at least in this context)?

      •  Gee, that sounds like America: (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        schumann

        "large populations who feel intense rage and comprehensive dissatisfaction with the status quo but who have no practical idea how to make things better."

        So does this:
        "the lack of modern thinkers with a democratic view who could help lead the country."

  •  I thought neocons were big on promoting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, KJG52

    democracy in the middle east.  Guess not.

    http://www.buonoforgovernor.com/

    by Paleo on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:34:45 AM PDT

    •  Democracy, yes (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT, Icicle68

      but by "democracy," they mean the choice between one World Bank-acceptable autocrat or another.

      They emphatically do not mean millions of people marching in the streets and getting what they want.  They mean a managed democracy like we have in the United States.

      I want to see Snowden get a fair trial, an impartial jury, and the same sentence James Clapper gets for lying to Congress.

      by happymisanthropy on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:55:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Islamists = Christofasists (15+ / 0-)

    Brooks could as well be writing about the Morsi clone Governors in TX, OH, FL, etc who push an unabashed religious agenda, instead of addressing more pressing issues.
    I dont think a rant about sharia is that misplaced.

  •  I give Brooks the benefit of the doubt here (4+ / 0-)

    Why?  Because “basic mental ingredients” is a form of thinking. And thinking is a result of culture.  Their culture is behind ours in many ways.

    Don’t forget that in Europe they went through the Reformation and the Enlightenment before new thinking, new ideas formed.  Thomas Jefferson and our founding fathers are a testament to those new ideas.

    The Middle East has not yet had the experiences we are legacy to. They are years behind us in their culture and their thinking. That doesn’t mean they are not capable of new thinking, but is does not happen overnight.

    Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. Eric Hoffer

    by LynChi on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:36:01 AM PDT

  •  I really am somewhat shocked that he goes so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Paleo

    far so directly.  So now we're going to hype up the hate that was only barely contained and kept below the surface the last time that we saw the nationalist propaganda with Afghanistan and Iraq, which are now successful recovering democracies because of the billions of dollars we fueled into infrastructure, education, medical facilities, etc. Yeah right.

    This is war talk against Islam.  But equally important is what it implies about bigotry and austerity here and backdoor approaches like the voting rights decision.

  •  Do they have editors at the NYTimes anymore? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    salmo, KJG52

    Or do they just run any old condescending, racist, provocative crap as long as they perceive that it won't offend their dwindling core readership?

    Disgusting. Needless to say, such vile comments only reflect on Brooks' lack of basic mental--and moral--ingredients.

    Ho'oponopono. To make things right; restore harmony; heal.

    by earicicle on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:37:43 AM PDT

  •  It's a poor turn of phrase, (7+ / 0-)

    but the next sentence, "Once in office, they are always going to centralize power and undermine the democracy that elevated them," puts the emphasis of the thought on "to govern," not "mental equipment."  If you are familiar with the oeuvre of David Brooks, he likes thinking of ideas as "technologies," or equipment, and so is basically saying little more than Islamists are ineffective at governing because they don't have an the "tools" of understanding governing as solving pragmatic questions of the population's needs and goals.  Hence, qualifying DNA with "intellectual."  Not for nothing, the generals and the new Justice/President are Arabs, too.  

    I disagree with his overall take because the problem wasn't that Mosri was an Islamist full stop, it's how he was one.  Brooks is extrapolating from incomplete data.  Secondly, he doesn't really offer a way to mediate between his two extremes of chaotic repressive "democracy" and authoritarian repressive military rule.  He mentions something about "level of ideas" without really saying what they were.  But if Brooks' own hypothesis is right, it would have a bit more to do with solving food shortages and unemployment.

    To that, who really gives a shit what David Brooks thinks of the coup/uprising/whatever.  It was a rational response to perceived self-interest, and Brooks' opinion matters to that only in a parody of the "butterfly flaps its wings" iteration of chaos theory.

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:39:51 AM PDT

    •  And how is this different (4+ / 0-)

      from a governor who won election with 49% of the vote centralizing power and undermining the democracy that elevated him by radically overhauling district lines to give the minority party absolute control over the legislature, and then passing and signing repressive, authoritarian and patriarchal laws opposed by the majority of citizens.

      I am talking about Ohio.

      Ed FitzGerald for governor Of Ohio. Women's lives depend on it. http://www.edfitzgeraldforohio.com/

      by anastasia p on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:58:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope that Nathan Brown responds to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, KJG52

    Brooksie's decontextualized quotation of his work. Brown is one of the few astute Western commenters on the Egyptian political scene, and Brooksie's selective reading of Brown's piece is lamentable, though not unexpected.

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

    by angry marmot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:42:24 AM PDT

  •  I agree with many comments to his editorial (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gramofsam1, Fishtroller01

    which assert substituting the word "Islamists" in his editorial with "Republicans" and you can derive at the same conclusion.

    Fundamentalists of any stripe are enemies of Democracy. And, they have been born with the requisite "mental equipment" to govern, but it's been calcified by religious dogma and literalism.

    May the Conservative Supremes share Paula Deen's heart-stopping culinary tastes as much as they share her cultural ones.

    by pajoly on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:04:12 AM PDT

  •  I'm happy about the coup and MB crackdown (0+ / 0-)

    Cracking down on the MB is never a bad thing.  They need to be suppressed, as they had been for many decades.  

  •  this is the same Brooks... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Code Monkey, KJG52, happymisanthropy

    ...that since contended that criticism of neoliberals was tantamount to antisemitism. He's been a stain on the NYT for years.

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:23:37 AM PDT

  •  Didn't they say the same about Spain (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Publius2008, happymisanthropy

    as recently as mid-20th century?

    Code Monkey like freedom / Code Monkey like peace and justice too
    Code Monkey very nerdy man / With big warm fuzzy bleeding heart
    Code Monkey like you!

    Formerly known as Jyrinx.

    by Code Monkey on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:24:59 AM PDT

  •  He's absolutely right (6+ / 0-)

    Religious fanatics, christian or muslim, can't govern.

    His last point, in context was:

    The modern thinkers who might be able to tell them have been put in jail or forced into exile. The most important thing outsiders can do is promote those people and defend those people, decade after decade.

    It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.

    This diary is so ridiculous, what is next, we can't insult the Taliban-ruled Pashto areas and its horribly sexist and violent ways, or else we're "bigoted" somehow against all Pashto's everywhere?
    •  NO. We can't say they are mentally deficient. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Batya the Toon

      If you can't see the difference, well.....

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:35:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are mentally deficient as well (0+ / 0-)

        Muslims and Christian fanatics, both of them are mentally deficient

        Go live under the Muslim Brotherhood or Taliban for a few days and you'll agree, or go spend a few days with the millions of Tony Perkin-style christians

      •  "mental ingredients" = intelligence? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Be Skeptical

        That seems to be the crux of this diary. If Brooks meant this, then I agree with the diarist. If he mean't something else, the diary may be over the top.

        What other things might he have meant?

        "mental ingredients" = shared values
        "mental ingredients" = open mindedness and rationality
        "mental ingredients" = attitude and priorities
        or some mix of those and more ....

        I strongly dislike David Brooks, but I think his article was too vague and confused to merit an incensed response.

        Maturity: Doing what you know is right - even though you were told to do it

        by grapes on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:03:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  If I look at the tea party caucus, I would say (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kane in CA

    the same thing as Brooks. They are lunatics who don't have the mental capacity to rule. This site is at least partially dedicated to ridiculing their logic.  What could be worse than having Islamists take over your country? You can't even negotiate with the Republicans in Congress here in the US, and I would say the MB is quite a bit more extreme.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:49:48 AM PDT

  •  Yikes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, KJG52, happymisanthropy

    ...too much chardonnay, Mr. Brooks, you're drunk-punditing again.

    He'll be off to the Applebee's salad bar soon enough.

    Yes, he should be fired, suspended, something. At the very least the NYT ombudsman should weigh in on this weird racist claptrap.

    it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

    by Addison on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:52:16 AM PDT

  •  Nope (6+ / 0-)

    Islamist / Islam. The bigotry is in assuming it does.

    I actually agree that religious fundamentalists of every stripe, particularly those who believe they are governing on behalf of God, not the people, are completely unequipped to run a government.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 08:56:25 AM PDT

    •  Our Christian Taliban don't have the mental (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fishtroller01, happymisanthropy

      capacity to lead either see:The legislatures of OH,NC,TX,WI,PA etc

      or The US House

      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:13:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And yet (0+ / 0-)

      people who believed they were governing for (or as) one god or another have successfully governed countless countries in human history.

      I'll grant that they may be ill-suited to participate in democracy, but it's ludicrous to suggest that they lack the capacity to run a government.

    •  Well then, Brooks shouldn't have said (0+ / 0-)
      It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
      That's about Egypt, not about Islamists.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:26:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know about the specific phrasing.. (4+ / 0-)

    ..but I could easily get behind the sentiment that anyone who uses religion as a basis for government does not have the mental capacity to equitably lead others.

    When extra-terrestrial beings make their first appearance on our planet, and ask for representatives of our species to best exemplify humanity, I'm sending a nurse, a librarian, and a firefighter.

    by Wayward Son on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:00:14 AM PDT

  •  More drivel posing as a thoughful post. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kane in CA

    More "outrage" to gain popularity among the masses.

    Looking for bigotry around every corner.

    Many here should look at their own bigotry, if they really seek improvement, and lose the false outrage that has become pervasive.

    •  Speaking of "drivel".... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      The diarist objects to asserting that the Egyptian people are mentally deficient.

      You seem to disagree; apparent YOU think the Egyptian people are mentally deficient.

      Do YOU think the Egyptian people are mentally deficient?

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:38:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I said ONLY that the post itself was... (3+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        schumann, Kane in CA, PubliusPublicola
        Hidden by:
        AoT

        so please refrain from putting words in my mouth.

        I will not play this silly semantical games.

        I think your framing changes the subject. I do not think that this was about Egyptians, but those who profess political Islam.

        As to Egyptians, I do not accept your premise either. Looking at their history and behavior, however, it seems they are not capable to rule themselves with any degree of success when it comes to improving the quality of life of the inhabitants.

        •  Evidently you didn't read the diary OR Brooks (3+ / 0-)

          Because that's EXACTLY what Brooks wrote, that's EXACTLY what David wrote about, and YOU say it's "drivel"

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:49:06 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  First off, you don't know... (0+ / 0-)

            do you? Secondly, I do not see what your point is, except to engage in the fatuous game people play here all too often.

            I differ in your depiction because the diarist ALSO wrote that Brooks was a bigot!

            You don't like my opinion, fine! But I am entitled to it. And I say that this post is drivel and illustrates false outrage.

            •  (sigh) (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, happymisanthropy

              Brooks says the Egyptian people are mentally deficient, David says that's bigoted, and you say David's post is drivel.

              OK fine. Whatever.

              "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

              by leftykook on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:07:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your logic is off. (0+ / 0-)

                Drivel comes from the false outrage over the alleged bigotry.

                Why must I say it over and over?

                When people are inclined to misinterpret and misstate, then there will be misinterpretation and misstatements.

                Egypt's deficiencies are apparent, whatever one calls it.

        •  13 years. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          happymisanthropy
          As to Egyptians, I do not accept your premise either. Looking at their history and behavior, however, it seems they are not capable to rule themselves with any degree of success when it comes to improving the quality of life of the inhabitants.
          It took 13 years between the Declaration of Independence and the ratification of the US Constitution. In between there was mass bloodshed in a war that only 30% really supported fully (30% being neutral, 30% against), post-war revolts brutally put down by the government, severly constricted rights to free expression, and it ended with the near unanimous election of the head general of the Army.

          it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

          by Addison on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:02:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The comparison is silly. (0+ / 0-)

            The diarist compared Snowden to the Founding Fathers the other day. This need to make these weak analogies I do not understand.

            If you want to believe that Egypt has a democratic tradition or is like the USA under the Confederation, by all means.

            What is the literacy rate in Egypt? I would venture that it was higher among the colonists in the late 18th century.

            •  The literacy rate is shamefully low (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy, Addison

              particularly among rural Egyptians. In my experiences, however, those "illiterate" Egyptians are extremely well-informed of the issues facing their country. I've talked the pros-and-cons of IMF funding with a butcher who signs his name with his thumbprint; I've talked about divergent influences within the contemporary Ikhwan with a cafe-owner whose assistant has to write the receipts... what's your point?

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

              by angry marmot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:18:07 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They may be informed... (0+ / 0-)

                as you say, but to compare them to those that created the new American state is a huge stretch. That was my point.

                Are you saying that a butcher is the norm, and that the rural population is similarly situated in terms of knowledge?

                Indeed, what is YOUR point?

                •  Have you ever lived in the rural Islamic world? (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, angry marmot, Batya the Toon

                  I also have (speaking the local language), and it was definitely the norm. They knew -- via radio, TV, and word of mouth -- as much as any modern American about domestic and international issues. The laws, policies, and context. It was surprising, to me,  and I had to overcome an initial bias like yours that assumed incorrect things about the requirements for an informed population.

                  it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                  by Addison on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:37:18 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  As informed as some may be,... (0+ / 0-)

                    though anecdotal evidence is not persuasive, it does not translate into building societies that serve the people well, or that practice equality.

                    I don't think I have assumed anything incorrect. Even if America is no more an "informed" population, we have been able to make a society that, warts and all, operates (perhaps until now) in a manner where people can lead a good life.

                  •  Do they know enough to know that electing (0+ / 0-)

                    an Islamist government will lead to exceedingly poor results because mixing fundamentalist religion and governance of a country has historically proven to be ill fated?

                    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                    by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:57:11 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Comparison. (0+ / 0-)
              If you want to believe that Egypt has a democratic tradition or is like the USA under the Confederation, by all means.
              You may have missed my point. It took the USA 13 years even with relative advantages of the English common law and governance system. That was the purpose of the "analogy", which was not an analogy at all but a comparison. Some people here are excusing and outright cheering an illegal military coup because Egypt didn't get democracy right in one year. Others resort to new social phrenology. The comparison is instructive.

              People want instant Ramen Democracy in the Middle East, or at least push a narrative of systemic/cultural failure and inadequacy after a year because they don't like who got elected.

              What is the literacy rate in Egypt? I would venture that it was higher among the colonists in the late 18th century.
              And? Women in Egypt have a similar literacy rate to Colonial American women -- so should they be protected from illegal military coups, but not Egyptian men, because they aren't relatively less well-read than people 250 years ago?

              it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

              by Addison on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:34:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did not say it was an analogy. (0+ / 0-)

                I said it was a silly comparison. The people and their orientations are so different as to defy a realistic comparison in my view.

                Nasser is not Washington.

                Sorry, but comparing Egyptian women to Colonial women is another exercise in absurdity. Even so, here in the present Egyptian  women suffer from blatant discrimination ans sexual harassment.

                On June 8th, FRANCE 24 broadcast a special programme on sexual harassment in Egypt, entitled: Sexual harassment, an Egyptian disease

                http://www.france24.com/...

                More bigotry I suppose?
                   

                •  You called it both... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Batya the Toon

                  ...you were right to note it was a comparison, you were wrong to call it a "weak analogy" when it was not an analogy.

                  Yes, that title is more bigotry. I didn't see the actual program so I can't speak to its contents. But the title of it is clear inflammatory bigotry.

                  it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                  by Addison on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:19:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The analogy referred to the one... (0+ / 0-)

                    the diarist made between Snowden and the Founding Fathers.

                    Is it bigotry if it is documented as fact?

                    99.3% of Egyptian Women, Girls Have Been Sexually Harassed

                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

                    This was offered by Engy Abdelkader, a human rights attorney. Just another bigot?

                    •  No, that is a statistic... (0+ / 0-)

                      ...now if it's a statistic that's been taken out of context, or fabricated in some way, then that interpretation/fabrication would be bigoted. But no, that's a quantitative number rather than a sweeping statement that "Egyptians" lack "mental ingredients", or that sexual harassment is a "Egyptian disease". I fail to see how you fail to see the distinction.

                      it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses

                      by Addison on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:30:52 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  A statistic like that... (0+ / 0-)

                        establishes fact, so far as I am concerned. Why do you see fit to ignore what many Egyptian and other women say about what is endemic in its society? Do you dispute the statistic?

                        This penchant to quibble is ridiculous.

                        And why are you so bent to take what I have said and twist it? I never said that they did not have "mental" anything. I am more straightforward. The Egyptian past and present essentially shows that it is not unreasonable to consider if they have the capacity to create a society that is not rife with discrimination, repression and inequality.

                        Lastly, having capacity is not a statement that they will never have the capacity, except to those who want to misrepresent for their own need. I see this as a deliberate attempt, consistent with the false outrage I mentioned initially, to wrongly paint something or someone that one does not agree with. This malady of Daily Kos is one of its worst characteristics.  

        •  HRed for more bigoted bullshit. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

          by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:20:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I said nothing of bigoted nature whatsoever. (0+ / 0-)

            More FALSE outrage! Par for the course.

            Perhaps you can describe the successes of the Egyptians to govern themselves and improve their overall quality of life.

            •  Right, because saying Egyptians can't rule (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              burlydee, Batya the Toon

              themselves is not bigoted at all. It's just truth, right. That means it's just an opinion so I just disagree with you and you aren't being bigoted. I know this line of bullshit.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:54:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did not say that, and of course... (0+ / 0-)

                you let your false outrage kick in.

                I said:

                Looking at their history and behavior, however, it seems they are not capable to rule themselves with any degree of success when it comes to improving the quality of life of the inhabitants.
                In my opinion, only one obsessed with finding alleged bigotry under every crack could interpret what I said that way.

                Care to show their success in governance and improving the quality of life of the people that live there, based on their history and the way they have acted?

                •  Literacy rates are up by 20 percentage points (0+ / 0-)

                  in the last 20 years. To give one example of how Egypt has improved its quality of life. To give one example. What was your example to the opposite?

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:22:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nasser, Mubarak, Morsi... (0+ / 0-)

                    etc. Copts being persecuted. Hunger and poverty on the rise.

                    Literacy was just one area, but there are many others that respect quality of life.

                    40 percent of adults in Egypt are stunted. This represents more than 20 million people of working age who are not able to achieve their potential, as a consequence of child undernutrition. In rural Egypt, where most people are engaged in manual activities, it is estimated that in 2009 alone, a value of 10.7 billion EGP of economic productivity was lost due to lower physical capacity by those who were stunted as children.
                    http://www.wfp.org/...
                    About 17% of the population, 13.7 million people, suffer from hunger. This is an increase from 14% in 2009. These findings are from a study released by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), Egypt's government and the International Food Policy research Institute (IFPRI).

                    The study also shows that infant malnutrition is escalating. When malnutrition strikes children at an early age, it causes lasting physical and mental damage. A generation can become stunted in growth and mind.

                    WFP Egypt Country Director GianPietro Bordignon says, "This increase in food insecurity, malnutrition and poverty rates has not happened overnight, during this year or even during the past year.

                    http://allafrica.com/...

                    Even with increased literacy, there has not been an ability to create a society that cares well for all its people.

                    Not to mention the political climate that hinders widespread development.

                    •  To prove your point you need to (0+ / 0-)

                      show how things have been through time, not just that things are not good. You said that they had never improved the quality of life, I showed different, you said that things were bad.

                      And in regards to the food insecurity, that was a result largely of international food price increases driven by energy and food speculation. There were food riots in tens of countries in 2008 and 2009 because of the increase in food instability. I mean, clearly the US is getting worse, but because we managed to improve the quality of life once we are magically able to do so? We have had a huge increase in food instability here too, as well as increased malnutrition. Why are we special?

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:07:53 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You have not provided a single source... (0+ / 0-)

                        and I am not intending to "prove my point." That is a malady here, where one may not offer opinion without "proof." At least I provide sourcing rather than pontification, as you do.

                        •  You said they haven't improved the quality of life (0+ / 0-)

                          so prove it. Other than a global increase in food scarcity you offer nothing except platitude about how inept the Egyptian people are based on shitty material conditions. So go show me how conditions are worse now than they were when Nassar founded modern Egypt. You're the one making bigoted statements based on ignorance and assumptions.

                          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                          by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:35:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  Except for the millenia (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Batya the Toon

          that they had the most dominant civilization, right?

          •  Oh, when they had slaves... (0+ / 0-)

            and the like? What that has to do with present Egypt is beyond me. Is this a serious comment from you?

            •  Like the US was built on slaves. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Batya the Toon

              Come on. Now they don't have slaves. Obviously an improvement. You're claiming, with no support, that the Egyptians can't improve their material conditions because of some national deficiency. That's bullshit.

              If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

              by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:37:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I was not saying that ancient Egypt... (0+ / 0-)

                was a paragon, as the commenter was, only responding, perhaps facetiously. As I indicated, the comparison was not really a serious one.

                But how typical that you, in predictable DKos fashion, would then need to drag in America. Yes, American is despicable, too. Feel better?

                I think I have provided enough. I am not here to satisfy your double standard. I will note, however, that in ALL your comments, so far as I can see, you have not provided ANY source for what your claims. Not one!

                •  When someone in the US is accusing (0+ / 0-)

                  Egypt of being backwards and unable to run their country then it certainly to the point to note that the country they are from could have the same thing said about it, even though they chose to not talk abut that.

                  But how typical that you, in predictable DKos fashion, would then need to drag in America. Yes, American is despicable, too. Feel better?
                  So much better. Good to know you have no interest in discussing anything in good faith. Should have known already. You just scoot on and tell everybody how backwards those Egyptians are.

                  If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                  by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:49:15 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I see little good faith from you. (0+ / 0-)

                    After all, you started out by implying I was a bigot.

                    Your remark that because an American comments about something elsewhere therefore makes the American situation relevant is laughable. So many cannot look at one thing or another, and you have joined that club.

                    You are also in the club of misrepresentation and applying double standards. I frankly do not recognize what you say because of your twisted interpretations.

                    •  I didn't imply you were a bigot (0+ / 0-)

                      I said that you made a bigoted comment.

                      I frankly do not recognize what you say because of your twisted interpretations.
                      Right, I'm sure.

                      You tell us how Egyptians are too backward to rule themselves and improve their quality of life with no support for that claim and I'm twisting things.

                      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                      by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:16:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You did say... (0+ / 0-)
                        HRed for more bigoted bullshit. n/t
                        Nah, you were not implying anything.

                        Each time you characterize what I have said you have twisted.

                        I know you will dispute that I know more about what is in my mind than you do, however.

                        •  The commented was a bigoted comment (0+ / 0-)

                          You can take that to mean that you're a horrible bigoted person or that you made a bigoted comment. I meant it as the latter.

                          And you've said again and again that Egyptians don't seem capable of ruling themselves in a way that improves their situation. I think that's bullshit and wrong.

                          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                          by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:35:28 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  They don't. (0+ / 0-)

                            That does not mean they will never be capable, unless you want to twist it and imply someone is a bigot, yet cover yourself.

                            I based my statement on their history and behavior, but of course, you are the bigot police here so I understand your motivation to save us all from ourselves.

                      •  On the other hand... (0+ / 0-)

                        I question if you even understand what constitutes bigotry.

                        Or is it just the throwaway when you do not like the content offered.

                        It seems like people here overuse the word as part of their false outrage, such that almost anything can be twisted within its framework.

                        That said, your statement that you were only talking about the words makes me question if you are being candid.

                        •  Do you understand that making blanket (0+ / 0-)

                          statements about an entire people and their capacity to govern themselves might be a bit bigoted?

                          If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                          by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:44:21 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  We all make blanket statements about... (0+ / 0-)

                            peoples, states and societies. Get real.

                            You have repeatedly twisted and misinterpreted my words. So what is your excuse for doing so?

                          •  The Christianist right wing Republicans (0+ / 0-)

                            lack the mental tools to adequately govern the country.  I do not have a qualm stating that.  Do you disagree?  I haven't looked up the definition of bigoted but, based on common usage, I would doubt my comment would be bigoted.

                            And I'll throw you a free life line....if you make the argument that Christianist right wing Republicans are a subset of Americans, well, that is true but their numbers are rather large and Brooks also makes the distinction, albeit subtlely, between Egyptians and Islamists.

                            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                            by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:51:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Read the damn article (0+ / 0-)

                            He says that Egypt lacks the mental tools, not just the islamists. He singles out the islamists at the beginning and then expands it to the entire population in that last line.

                            Whether islamists lack the ability to participate in a democratic system is an issue that is pretty reasonable to discuss given their history in power in various places, but Brooks applies this to all Egyptions.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 07:06:02 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I read the damn article and don't have a problem (0+ / 0-)

                            with it.  Egypt just elected Islamists by a majority vote and that is where Brooks lays the blame.

                            Brooks then goes on to say that the modern thinkers could have lead Egypt out of the mess but they were imprisoned by the MB.  Which rather negates your point about Brooks referring to all Egyptians.

                            Since you so desperately wanted me to read an article that I already read, perhaps you should try to comprehend the article.

                            PS  What percentage of Egyptians want to have the constitution conform with Sharia law?  And does that strengthen or weaken Brooks argument?

                            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                            by theotherside on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:27:50 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  So you think Egyptians are probably (0+ / 0-)

                            unfit for democracy. Great. That's all I needed to know.

                            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                            by AoT on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 11:59:40 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Hey, I work with people with disabilities for (0+ / 0-)

                            a living and so I see some really amazing stuff, some cool stuff, and some silly stuff.  From my point of view you apparently are on the silly side of things because you can't understand what Brooks said, and then you can't remotely decipher what I said on the topic.

                            So I'll type this real slowly so that maybe you can understand it (that's an oldie but a goodie).   Anyway, I am hopeful about democracy finally taking bloom in the Middle East (besides Israel).  I don't expect it to be a western type democracy but a government consistent with the cultural values of that specific country.  With that said, I think, by and large countries need to divorce religion from politics and the people of Egypt disappointed me last time with their majority support of a Islamist government.  I would love to think that they learned their lesson but I am skeptical of that claim.

                            Will they figure it out?  I sure hope so.  But let's face it.  Egypt was an oil exporter and now they are an oil importer due to floundering production and increased consumption.  They will be attempting to establish a democracy in the midst of the localized effects of Peak Oil.   On top of that they  just adopted a constitution a short time ago and now are willing to work completely outside of that framework.  That doesn't bode well for democracy, although, there is a chance that it was the best possible alternative given Morsi's action once in office.

                            Anyway, you seem like a bright chap/dudette and we got off on the wrong foot.   Nothing personal.  May we agree on other things down the road.

                            We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                            by theotherside on Sun Jul 07, 2013 at 01:13:20 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

    •  "False outrage"? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AoT

      On what basis do you consider it false, rather than just incorrect?  Or by false do you mean incorrect?

      •  False because I do not believe... (0+ / 0-)

        the outrage is real, but manufactured along predictable lines and applied according to a double standard that is selective.

        It's part of the political landscape these days and operates according to the dictates of venue involved.

        •  Let me try that again: (0+ / 0-)

          On what basis do you consider it false?  As opposed to thinking that the diarist is genuinely angry about something that you don't consider true and/or worth outrage?

          •  Feigned may be a better descriptor. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theotherside

            If it was genuine, it would not only happen when it involves a conservative.

            Usually, it is done to raise the ire of partisans.

            It is false because it was not a "rant" of bigotry. The diarist should listen to al-Qaradawi, among others, if he cannot discern what a rant of bigotry is.

            It is based on a false premise that mischaracterizes what Brooks said as if his intent was to incite hatred, when all he was doing was saying that without ijtihad, then it cannot be expected that Islamist societies can liberalize.

            Interestingly, all the diarist did was trash Brooks, and did not offer much of substance to refute the points Brooks was making.

            Rather than an attempt to discuss an issue, this approach attempts to dictate silence.

             

            •  Exactly (0+ / 0-)

              Well said, ERichards.

              The article was a poorly constructed and misleading ad hominem attack on Brooks.  There was no attempt to make the argument that a society that just freely elected an Islamist government, has, to borrow a phrase, the mental ability/desire, to divorce religion from government.

              Several commenters have attempted to argue on the lines of, well, over 5,000 years ago the people that lived in the land that we now call Egypt built pyramids and so therefore modern Egyptians, raised from birth to follow the dictates of modern Islam, have the complete mental framework and world view to produce a semi-secular, successful governing coalition.

              Needless to say, those comments shouldn't be taken particularly seriously for rather obvious reasons.

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:42:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  "if it was genuine ... (0+ / 0-)

              ... it would not only happen when it involves a conservative"?

              That's an argument for it being biased, not for it being feigned.

              To suggest that someone who expresses anger is not genuinely angry but only feigning anger is a truly foul insult, and you've presented no remotely plausible support for that claim.

              •  Only if you play word games... (0+ / 0-)

                which you apparently wish to do.

                It is biased as well as feigned.

                Who made you the judge of what is a valid claim anyway?

                Seems to me you only wish to muddy waters.

                •  How is it "playing word games" (0+ / 0-)

                  or "muddying waters" to draw a distinction between bias and falsehood, which are two entirely unrelated things?

                  And of the two of us, I am not the one judging.  I'm taking the implied anger at face value, which is the only decent thing to do when one has no basis for accusing the person expressing anger of feigning it.

                  Do you seriously not see what a low thing that is to do?

                  •  Totally unrelated? (0+ / 0-)

                    Who makes you the judge of "low?" Of course you judge. That you pretend you don't is what I consider low. Spare me the lecture.  

                    It is not my fault that in your sanctimonious pursuit that you cannot see that bias and falsehood overlap in this case.

                    You are so needy to create some foolish argument there that you look past the fact that it was not just the diarist that I was speaking about, even as his characterization of Brooks's "rant" was false. The diarist enable people to express feigned outrage.

                    And here you are feigning outrage yourself.

  •  He's really talking about minorities (3+ / 0-)

    everywhere and why they need imperialists or "strongmen" to run their countries.  He may as well be an Englishman talking about India in the early part of last century.  It is the neo-con way.

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:09:32 AM PDT

  •  he probably didn't borrow your title (0+ / 0-)

    more than one person noticed it was a bigoted comment

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:12:26 AM PDT

  •  Seems a little light to me. Your reaching a little (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgnyc
  •  Well, we see that here all the time about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    Republicans.

    And -- if you have done much looking and were to be honest, you would find statements from various corners of the middle east decrying efforts to shove western-style democracy down their throats.

    If that's the kind of thing he means by 'mental ingredients', I don't see much of a problem beyond him being Just Plain Wrong.

    No group of people, it seems, is ever ready for Democracy in the eyes of those who already have it.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:20:21 AM PDT

  •  Well, David, looks like you managed to establish (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rich in PA

    that, based on the comments to this thread, the bigotry to which you refer, if that's really what it is, id not limited to Brooks.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:22:54 AM PDT

    •  "if that's really what it is" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, GussieFN

      That's the question!  The view that democracy is obviously the ideal of everyone, or at least of a majority everywhere, has gotten us into at least as much trouble (and caused at least as much trouble for others) as soft or hard bigotry of saying that not everyone is ready for democracy.

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:33:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fanatic religionists lack critical thinking... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical

    ...and the independence of thought required to govern and that doesn't seem to be bigotry IMO. Certainly no one has the "mental equipment" to govern in the US and uphold the oath of office if they submit totally to another rule of law like Sharia or their own peculiar interpretation of Biblical law. Why would any other democracy be different? I agree with the following:

    As Adam Garfinkle, the editor of The American Interest, put it in an essay recently, for this sort of person “there is no need for causality, since that would imply a diminution of God’s power.” This sort of person “does not accept the existence of an objective fact separate from how he feels about it.”

    Islamists [or Christianists, or fanatics of any stripe] might be determined enough to run effective opposition movements and committed enough to provide street-level social services. But they lack the mental equipment to govern. Once in office, they are always going to centralize power and undermine the democracy that elevated them.

  •  Brooks is an idiot but I don't see that he's wrong (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgnyc, sandbox, theotherside

    There is no evidence that Egypt has a majority or even plurality with the minimal commitment to what we would consider democratic values.  For some people it's because they have no familiarity with those values, while for others--and that would be Islamists--it's because they explicitly reject them.  They're certainly not unique in world history in wanting free and fair elections precisely once, to get themselves into power.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:32:22 AM PDT

  •  If one wants to better understand, read about... (0+ / 0-)

    the concept of Ijtihad and its rejection under Islam.

    Although from a source that many here would disparage, I commend the reader to this:

    Can Muslims Reopen the Gates of Ijtihad?

    http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/...

  •  If you substitute republican for Islamist ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theotherside

    you would find something quite similar to many diaries on Kos. Brooks is right and so are the Kos diaries. The same mindset that makes a person completely non pragmatic makes them mentally incapable of governing. How can there be democracy in a world that is controlled by one true God?

  •  I, for one, would love to see what Sam Harris (0+ / 0-)

    would say about Brooks' column.

    I would also offer that any government that allows religious thought, theology, mythologies etc. to guide policies whether internal policies or foreign policy operates under a pair of mental blinders. And I would go so far to say (now waiting for the rocks to be thrown) that Israel would qualify for this category.

    But wait, hold the rocks... I would include the US in that category too, but more in the sense of a thousand little cuts than in the broad picture of Israel's stances, both internally and of course in its dealings with the Palestinians and others in the middle east.

    That being said, I've always found Brooks a little goofy and somewhat sloppy with his expressions.

  •  I don't want Brooksie fired (0+ / 0-)

    any more than I want Friedman's pseudoprophetic moustache fired. They are outstanding examples of the persistently shallow and ill-informed sputum that passes for "intelligent discourse" on MENA in our legacy media.

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

    by angry marmot on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 09:54:42 AM PDT

  •  i'd say that most ideologues lack the flexibility (7+ / 0-)

    to govern.

    It's easy to run a communist insurgency, it's hard to run a modern economy.

    It's easy to be a Randian, it's hard to run a city as a randian.

    It's easy to be a Evangelical Christian, it's hard to run a legislature by the bible.

    When you are trying to figure out how to layout a road system, tunnels and a bridge, system, none of it's in the bible, The fountainhead or Das Kapital.

    •  Nice post. nt (0+ / 0-)

      I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

      by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:00:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Have you read Marx's Capital? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KJG52, happymisanthropy

      It's not like "The Fountainhead" or the Bible at all.

      I say this because a lot of people say a lot of things about Marx without having read his stuff, to the point where the so-called "intelligentsia" take glibness about Marx to be normal and natural.

      http://www.marxists.org/...

      "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

      by Cassiodorus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:26:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  just some chunks. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cassiodorus

        i was working and doing undergrad.

        •  The problem is this -- (0+ / 0-)

          "The Fountainhead" is about the sanctity of a privileged class -- the entrepreneurs.  The Bible is about a lot of different things, but its Old Testament text is about a "chosen people" and (even thought the Apostles were stoutly communist) the New Testament is a story about Jesus/ Iesos/ Y'Shua, with a lot of different interpretations, some of them universalist and some of them elitist.  Marx's work, on the other hand, is about how social classes came about, and about hopes that they will at some point no longer be the basis for world-society.  

          There is, then, in Marx no discussion of the sanctity of a privileged class.

          "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

          by Cassiodorus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:54:01 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  trying to manage via a dictatorship of the prole,, (0+ / 0-)

            proletariat

            isn't much easier.

            •  Even his followers -- (0+ / 0-)

              didn't read Marx.  The "dictatorship of the proletariat" was intended for the proletariat, and not for a political party.  It was supposed to be a temporary expedient while the global revolution was to be fought, and definitely not something for Stalin's formulation of "socialism in one country."

              The revolutions in Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968 were intended to place "Communism" on a correct footing w/ respect to Marx, before they were crushed by Soviet tanks.

              "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

              by Cassiodorus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:22:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  do you think marxism would have worked? (0+ / 0-)

                THat's the core question.

                •  The description of capitalism in CAPITAL (0+ / 0-)

                  has worked for quite some time, although Marx only covers some part of what capitalism is.

                  Marx's theory of capitalism is, however, a rather different entity than his changing life-understandings of what communist revolution was going to look like.  As far as revolution is concerned, Marx's biggest problem was his description of capitalism's future in the "Communist Manifesto," a propaganda pamphlet which he wrote with Engels just before the 1848 revolutions in Europe.  Here's the troublesome passage (scroll down to bottom):

                  The advance of industry, whose involuntary promoter is the bourgeoisie, replaces the isolation of the labourers, due to competition, by the revolutionary combination, due to association. The development of Modern Industry, therefore, cuts from under its feet the very foundation on which the bourgeoisie produces and appropriates products. What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers. Its fall and the victory of the proletariat are equally inevitable.
                  Um, no.  The bourgeoisie does not produce its own grave-diggers.  The working class will have to figure out how to be revolutionary first, which will not, in any sense, be an "inevitable" development.  

                  But it could still happen!  So the answer to your question is: yes, "marxism" can still work today, even in the revolutionary sense.

                  (as a footnote, I think Marx later changed his mind about the passage cited above in the Manifesto -- in 1872, IIRC, he and Engels convinced the First International to move its headquarters to New York City, which pretty much put an end to the First International.  There must have been a sense of failure, of "we're not ready for the revolution yet," in Marx's making such a decision.)

                  "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

                  by Cassiodorus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:59:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Yeah, right, Davey-boy, the Egyptians . . . (5+ / 0-)

    who built the pyramids when your ancestors lived in tents or mud huts . . . haven't got the mental ingredients . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:01:14 AM PDT

    •  I think you will find that as the growth (0+ / 0-)

      of Islam overtook the civilization areas of Egypt and Persia, the clock of progress started ticking backwards.

    •  Sad to see this comment get uprated (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      There was a time in the history of Islam when Islamic states weren't fundamentalist and backwards.  But we shouldn't confuse most modern Islamist states with the best eras of Islam in the past.

      Then you take it a step further and realize that ancient Egyptians weren't under the anti-intellectual grasp of modern Islam and you realize that the argument is a rather poor one.

      (For the record, while I'm not a fan of what Israel has been doing in Gaza and the West Bank, since you are slamming Jewish people and praising Egyptians, perhaps it would be more appropriate to compare Brooks' modern brethren with modern day Egyptians.  It makes your argument seem even worse, no?)

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:28:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Possibly bigoted, but no more than anti-Xtian (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jgnyc

    commentary or articles, to which I would agree can be the case in the US as well. Lots of context to it too, which is missing from the quotes in the diary.

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:01:33 AM PDT

  •  The look on his face (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    when he makes this type of utterance always makes me think of a little boy undergoing potty training: Mommy, see what I did!

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:22:51 AM PDT

  •  Same thing going on over at the WSJ editorial: (5+ / 0-)

    See Charles Pierce over at Esq. today:

    "Anyway,as to the former, and as we have just passed the celebration of the anniversary of a declaration of inalienable human rights, it's time to the editors of the Wall Street Journal to wax nostalgic -- and sociopathic -- for the good ol' days overseas.

    Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.  
    There are great reporters doing great journalism at the WSJ. Then, there are the authoritarian whackadoos on its editorial page, pining for the blood-dimmed days in which 3000 Chileans died "midwifing a transition to" democracy, just as the followers of Charles Manson once "midwifed a transition" to thoracic surgery. The operation of the newspaper is altogether like finding an artist colony thriving in the upper floors of Bedlam."

    http://www.esquire.com/...

    He who would trade liberty for security deserves great customer service.

    by Publius2008 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:24:22 AM PDT

  •  Meanwhile... (7+ / 0-)

    The Wall Street Journal voices nostalgia for the good old days, when the US helped the natives to install "good" dictators such as Augusto Pinochet:

    http://online.wsj.com/...

    Egyptians would be lucky if their new ruling generals turn out to be in the mold of Chile's Augusto Pinochet, who took power amid chaos but hired free-market reformers and midwifed a transition to democracy.

    "It's not my fault reality is marxist." - Che Guevara

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:28:37 AM PDT

  •  MB declares new Egypt president a "secret Jew" (5+ / 0-)

    So who's the bigot: Brooks or the Muslim Brotherhood?

    I think Brooks' article is idiotic, but I think it's true that fundamentalists of any stripe are incompatible with truly democratic processes.  

  •  Brooks is a smug, sanctimonious dick (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Shockwave

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:37:55 AM PDT

  •  personally, I think that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, dclawyer06

    David Brooks should be fired for any number of reasons, not least of which is that he can't write his way out of a paper bag.

    But even by the sorely declined standards of the Grey Lady's op-ed page, this latest screed is truly, really, awfully, terribly bad.

    There is no question that there is an unseen world. The problem is, how far is it from Midtown and how late is it open? -- Woody Allen

    by Mnemosyne on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:40:26 AM PDT

    •  It seems... (0+ / 0-)

      like it was written with the intent to offend. It's one thing to argue Egypt lacks the institutions and history of democracy that it might need to weather this tumult, but he is using language that suggests the problem is genetic.

      That's wildly offensive.

  •  I think he's somewaht right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theotherside

    If he implies that being an Islamist is being a fanatical Muslim.

    I think that any religious fanatic, Muslim, Christian, Jewish or Hindu for that matter, has "mental equipment" issues to deal with before they are qualified to govern a country.

    Then again not all Muslims, Christians or others are "fanatical". The vast majority of Egyptians are not fanatics.

    Then again the increasingly stupid (if that is possible) Brooks goes on to insult all Egyptians as if he knew anything about them.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:54:01 AM PDT

  •  And all this time, I'd thought that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KJG52, Batya the Toon

    civilization had its beginnings in Mesopotamia and Egypt.

    Silly me.


    I'm not an athiest. How can you not believe in something that doesn't exist? That's way too convoluted for me. - A. Whitney Brown

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:58:11 AM PDT

    •  It did.. until monotheistic religions took root. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Draxinum
      •  If you think that Islam ended civilization (0+ / 0-)

        in Mesopotamia then you need to read some more history.

        If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

        by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:38:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course it's more complicated than that.. (0+ / 0-)

          but would you say that the advent of the Abrahamic religions caused an improvement in human enlightenment and progress in that area of the world ( include the Roman empire in this) , or mostly slowed it or reversed it?

          •  It varies greatly from place to place. (0+ / 0-)

            In some places it was an improvement in some way, in others it generally made things worse off. Certainly Christianity has a pretty poor record, but Islam has had a much better influence throughout history. The increase in literacy that accompanied Islam was one important thing.

            Certainly, I wouldn't want to live a thousand years ago in the Islamic world, even in somewhere like Baghdad that was enlightened. But in many places Islam represented a step forward.

            Also, outlawing usury as an economic policy.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 01:01:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps Mr. Brooks should have read this (0+ / 0-)

    As a more thoughtful analysis. Albeit this is Turkey, and not Egypt, but many of the arguments are the same.

    "Oh if a man tried To take his time on Earth And prove before he died What one man's life could be worth I wonder what would happen to this world" - Harry Chapin

    by macleme on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 10:58:42 AM PDT

  •  as usual this diarist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01, sandbox

    makes a mountain out of nothing. Speaking of Islamists, it's not a stretch to say that they lack the mental capacity for anything related to governance.

    Those religious fanatics do not need this politically correct respect. Next thing you know, this diarist will be crying over the lack of respect given to Iranian mullahs, Hezbollah, Hamas, etc. I wouldn't be surprised.

    •  We will see if The Troubador comes to the defense (0+ / 0-)

      of Tea Baggers when people here call them idiots, half-wits, or otherwise lacking mental capacity.  To be consistent, he should, loudly and proudly defend them.

      I personally have no problem noting that certain groups of people have a problem with separating church/mosque and state.  I also don't have a problem calling it a mental weakness or wondering if "those" people lack the mental tools to understand why most succesful societies in the last 100 years separate the two to a fair degree.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:15:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  disagree - it was about the Islamists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cryonaut, Fishtroller01, theotherside

    Read the column and a Muslim friend had just described what was going on in Egypt as "the 30 year war without literacy".

    Brooks was obviously referring to the Islamists. Your assertion has no basis in newsprint and is, frankly, either just weird or blogfodder or both.

    Claim no special knowledge but to me this may be one of Brooks' stopped clock moments which he does have.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:15:32 AM PDT

  •  This is digusting bigotry. (0+ / 0-)

    Although what I am more concerned about is the constant pushing of the idea that Egypt isn't capable of governing itself--whether the writer in question supports this regime change or opposes it. Both sides on this question--in the American media, anyway-- seem to be undermining the idea that Egypt ought to be self-determining and self-governing.

    I am adopting a wait and see attitude, myself; if the military wanted to run the country, they have had ample opportunity to do so as a straight-up military dictatorship, and they chose not to do so last time. And I don't believe that 33 million people were driven out into the streets by the Egyptian military. So, I guess, put me tentatively on the "supporting the coup" side, but I am waiting to see what the Egyptian people--and the Egyptian military--decide to do.

    I wish we had more direct reports from the Egyptians themselves on what they think.

    Ou sont les neigedens d'antan?

    by SouthernLiberalinMD on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:26:34 AM PDT

  •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

    such a mind is exactly what it seems the Times seeks to harbor and celebrate.  Just a bit more open than the usual persiflage is all.

    "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel" ~Dr. Samuel Johnson

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 11:26:36 AM PDT

  •  It's not just Brooks (0+ / 0-)

    The Post and the Times have become old-folks homes for people who haven't had an original idea in decades. Charles Krauthammer, Howard Kurtz, George Will, Bob Woodward, Maureen Dowd, and an endless list of Special Guest Windbags.

  •  He won't budge (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StevenJoseph

    from his pundit sinecure. He's serious.

  •  Brooks is supposed to represent balance (0+ / 0-)

    among the Time's columnists. Maybe he's not as consistent as his predecessor, William Saffire, but he does play his assigned role. A bigger problem are journalists like Judith Miller ( who helped Cheney with his plan to expose Valerie Plame) who are not so transparent about for whom they really work.

  •  Wow, I knew I disagreed with Brooks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StevenJoseph

    but I thought he was sane, after all, Canadian, Jewish...

  •  so, the most glorious civilization (0+ / 0-)

    ...of the ancient world was built by a bunch of half-wits.

    what does that say about the po-dunk Republican parts of the USA?

    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

    by humanistique on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:08:35 PM PDT

    •  What does it say about the DKOS community (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Be Skeptical, Kane in CA

      that somebody argues that the non-Islamist Eqyptians of 5 millenia ago have much, if anything, in common with the people of Egypt today that freely elected an Islamist government?

      In answer to your question and mine, I would say "not much".

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:07:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  um, they're the same people (0+ / 0-)

        ...genetically. what does religion have to do with genetic lineage, again? why don't you enlighten me? of course they have a lot in common considering they are the same people.

        so you agree with David Brooks that they're stupid because of their religious affiliation. got it. dick.

        "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

        by humanistique on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 09:31:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No, I wouldn't say that at all (0+ / 0-)

          But I would say that your comment holds great clues as to your level of intelligence and emotional maturity.

          We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

          by theotherside on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 08:19:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and your original comment... (0+ / 0-)

            ...highlights your condescending prickishness and lack of reading comprehension. you targeted and insulted me for no reason, so fuck you.

            of course you didn't answer my question about how a 1,500 year old religion magically erased the intelligence of the lineage of people who created the glories of ancient Egypt. my original point is pretty logical, actually, but you chose to demean my viewpoint. dick.

            "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

            by humanistique on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 11:37:15 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A free word of advice to you (0+ / 0-)

              If you can't have discussions on the internet without resorting to childish name calling, then perhaps you should find better things to do with your time.   And, to be sure, I could probably find better things to do with my time than to respond to somebody that resorts to name calling so quickly but, I'm bored, and I've got a few minutes.

              Look, I probably shouldn't have responded to your initial post but several other people made similar comments regarding ancient Egypt building the pyramids and they are equally wrong as you.  It's pretty silly to compare ancient Egypt with modern Egypt as the society's are structured far differently.  And to compound the original flaw,  you decided to introduce genetics into the equation, which is not a particularly effective argument.  Look, broadly speaking, humans from 100,000 years ago are pretty much identical to modern humans.  They were intelligent enough back then to learn how to farm, to learn how to build the pyramids and to learn how to go to the moon.    But for a variety of reasons, largely cultural, they (we) weren't able to progress beyond simple hunter gatherers for millenia.  

              On top of that, the Ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids were also very genetically close to the people that existed there a 1,000 years before the pyramids were built.  Which rather negates your argument about genetics being important and would tend to support my argument that the culture, which religion can heavily influence, is far more of a predictor of the "mental equipment" a society has than their genetics.  Another great example of this is that Europe, genetically speaking, was largely the same during the Middle  Ages as they were during the Enlightenment.  But there were large cultural, governmental, climatic and religious changes that occurred that produced far different results amongst nearly genetically identical populations.

              Pointing all this out is not an attack on you.  An attack on you would be calling you a "dick" for thinking the way you do.  But I didn't do that (but you quickly resorted to that, didn't you?).  If you want to enjoy your time here either make better arguments or grow a thicker skin as some of your dumber comments may get challenged.  (Lord knows we've all made them and we will all continue to make them)

              We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

              by theotherside on Mon Jul 08, 2013 at 02:12:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  whatever (0+ / 0-)

                ...i don't want your advice. here's some free advice for you: don't be a pretentious dick, which i guess is the height of maturity in your arrogant, hypocritical view.

                you agree with my basic point, which is that the intelligence of a population doesn't disappear with a religion, and David Brooks comment was stupid. 5,000 years is just the blink of an eye in evolutionary terms and today's Egyptians are basically the same people. Large cultural, governmental, climatic and religious changes are completely irrelevant regarding intelligence.

                don't write back.

                "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

                by humanistique on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 05:58:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm curious how old you are (0+ / 0-)

                  I would venture a guess but that may be insulting to you.

                  As to your last point....LOL.  You still don't get it.  Maybe that's due to your age?

                  Be well.

                  We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                  by theotherside on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 09:30:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  no, you don't get it (0+ / 0-)

                    ...at least i don't believe that cultural, governmental, climatic and religious changes change the intelligence level of modern humans, which was my initial point, EINSTEIN. I'm curious why you're such a pretentious snot with no reading comprehension. LOL? Really? Mmmkay then.

                    "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

                    by humanistique on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 06:28:36 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'll try to explain without condescension (0+ / 0-)

                      or vitriol.  So please take this coming with a completely different tone than our conversation has had thus far.

                      In your original post that kicked off our spat you said:

                      so the most glorious civiliazation of the ancient world was built by a bunch of half-wits.

                      what does that say about the po-dunk Republican parts of the USA?

                      I answered that it doesn't mean much and this little fight was on.  In your last post you clarify that what you meant in your first post was that the intelligence level from ancient Egypt to now hasn't changed (due to either cultural, governmental, climatic an religious changes).  On that we agree and which is partly why I responded to your first post.

                      Look, most liberals don't think that genetics across different "races" impacts intelligence.  I happen to think that it just may and that there might be tiny differences in the intelligence amongst different races due to genetic factors.  But I think that the results on IQ test scores across the globe are far more influenced by culture, nutrition and other sociological factors than by genetics.  And I would go further and say that I would be perfectly happy if genetics plays absolutely no role in intelligence and that all "races" are perfectly, exactly the same in regards to intelligence.

                      So how does that relate to your post and my response?  Well, whether you take the typical "liberal" view of intelligence or you take a more open approach to whether genetics has anything to do with intelligence, what you come to understand is that whether you are talking about humans from 100,000 years ago or the Chinese from 7000 years ago or the Egyptians from 5000 years ago or modern Americans or modern Egyptians they all essentially have the same intelligence level.  Sure the knowledge base is dramatically different amongst the different groups but the intelligence level is virtually the same for all groups because we are all modern humans and are genetically relatively the same.

                      With that as a basic framework for understanding general human intelligence you can then look at your argument about the intelligence of ancient Egyptians vs modern Egyptians.   Yes, of course they have the same relative intelligence levels because, as stated, removing all cultural, sociological, climatic, health factors, etc. basically all human subgroups are essentially the same except for perhaps very small genetic differences that may (or may not) have some impact on intelligence.  So your pointing out that modern Egyptians have the same intelligence levels as the Egyptians that built the pyramids isn't very persuasive in my view.  Instead of raw intelligence I think it is much more important what sociological factors are present that will shape the output of that society's intelligence and that is where Brooks comments come in.

                      So when Brooks referred to "mental tools" or "mental equipment"  he isn't referring to intelligence.  He is wondering as to whether the modern Egyptian culture, that is heavily influenced by Islam and, except recently, has never had any experience with democracy is capable of forming a pluralistic, democratic government that respects the rights of minorities (political, religious, ethnic, etc) in such a way as to build a cohesive country via political negotiations and compromise.  IOW, how likely is it that an extremely religious country that is used to dictatorships has the tools necessary for a democracy?

                      I'm hopeful that they can pull this off but the first go around was a spectacular disaster (as was ours under the Articles of Confederation (well, disaster may be too strong for our failure)).  

                      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

                      by theotherside on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 09:57:01 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  you will never convince me (0+ / 0-)

                        ...that my original -- though clearly snarky -- point was stupid or that you were not being a condescending bully, so just move on with your life. i'm not interested in circular semantic arguments about the word "intelligence" or defenses of Brooks' eugenic suggesions. have a nice day.

                        "An inglorious peace is better than a dishonorable war." -Mark Twain

                        by humanistique on Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 11:16:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

  •  Neocons are just mad that Egypt up and threw out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, Shockwave

    Mubarak without their aid, or their permission, or a chance to get their shock and awe on.

    And they're probably mad that the military stepped in without their say-so too, because freedom.

  •  y'know... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, angry marmot

    I bet if the esteemed mr. brooks would just take those Islamic leaders to an Applebee's salad bar, he could improve their mental acuity to a point where they could govern themselves.  mr. brooks, after all, is the only person in existence who knows where that magic Applebee's salad bar is!

    A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

    by dougymi on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:22:50 PM PDT

  •  Speaking as someone who supports the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, sandbox

    military coup d'etat, I have only this to say to Mr. Brooks:

    Please stop being on my side, sir. Your approval fills me with shame.

    I believe that the military intervention was a good thing, but not due to some bullshite about the Egyptian people being unfit for democracy: I believe that the coup was a good thing because Morsi, in seeking power as a democrat but then attempting to govern by decree, had lost all legitimacy. 14 million Egyptians were in the streets, demanding his resignation - that's a number that makes the Tea Party rallies of 2009 look like a casual afternoon picnic.

    Any country in which a full sixth of the population is willing to take to the streets to insist on democracy is damned good and ready for it, I say - they know what they want, and they're not willing to settle for the "everything's the same except the face on the banknotes" routine. And I hope that the Egyptian military listens, and doesn't overstep its role.

    "Violence never requires translation, but it often causes deafness." - Bareesh the Hutt.

    by Australian2 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 12:29:45 PM PDT

  •  Very simplistic analysis from self-appointed (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot

    "intellectual" David Brooks.

    It's possible to dislike conservative Islamic governments without jumping to the conclusion that they are all doomed to fail.

    Did he miss the part where Iran has survived for 30 years with a theocratic, Islamic form of democracy?

    Morsi's anti-democratic actions didn't help, but isn't the real source of the discontent in Egypt over economic issues?

  •  How much of the Brotherhood got its education (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sandbox, theotherside

    in a madrassa, learning only a religious-based curriculum, focusing on the Quran and Islamic texts?   Brooks statement was not about the Egyptian people.  It was about the Islamist members of the Brotherhood who dominated the Morsi government.

    If it's a large percentage, he might be more correct that he is being given credit for, if "mental equipment" means the ability to understand how to govern in a pluralistic society, as opposed to a theocracy.  

    The patellar reflex is a deep tendon reflex which allows one to keep one's balance with little effort or conscious thought.

    by SpamNunn on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:15:47 PM PDT

    •  For the record (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone in Egypt got their education in a madrassa, that's what they call a school in Arabic. But you're point about religious education is true.

      He did in fact make a statement about the Egyptian people.

      It’s not that Egypt doesn’t have a recipe for a democratic transition. It seems to lack even the basic mental ingredients.
      That's pretty explicitly about all of Egypt, not just one part of the populace.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 05:11:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You missed his point (0+ / 0-)
        But elections are not a good thing when they lead to the elevation of people whose substantive beliefs fall outside the democratic orbit. It’s necessary to investigate the core of a party’s beliefs, not just accept anybody who happens to emerge from a democratic process.
        The people of Egypt don't have enough experience with democracy - yet - to avoid making this mistake.

        They appear to have recognized the mistake this week, and are seeking a "do over".

        The patellar reflex is a deep tendon reflex which allows one to keep one's balance with little effort or conscious thought.

        by SpamNunn on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 02:36:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read the piece far different than you, David (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher

    If somebody wrote an article stating that the Christianist Republicans don't have the mental capacity to govern, I would tend to agree with them.  They are rigid, reactionary, dogmatic, fundamentalist and ill equipped to make compromises that are so very vital to a function democracy.  You might even say that this is baked into their DNA due to their basic world view.

    Relating it back to Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Islamist party, won the majority of votes in the election after Mubarak.  That tells me the majority of Egypt is willing to elect a rigid, reactionary, dogmatic, fundamentalist party that was clearly ill equipped to make compromises to move Egypt forward.  Eqypt has models to follow but they failed miserably in their first attempt (as did "we" some 230 odd years ago).

    To call this "eugenics at worst" is way, way over the top (according to my reading) and it's not even bigoted IMO.  I would love to see a free, open, semi-secular Middle East democracy emerge but I'm not so sure that many of the people in these countries see this as a possibility in the near future.  If the majority in those countries can't envision that type of society why should we be so hard on an American op-ed writer to not think they are capable of envisioning it?

    We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

    by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 02:35:41 PM PDT

    •  Yep, way over the top and innacurate (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kane in CA

      The diarist takes quotes out of context and puts them together to mean something very different than what Brooks intended.  I counted about 10 different ways where Brooks tried to distinguish radical Islam from mainstream Islam.

      We apparently are learning all to well from the Republican hacks.

  •  The reason elected Radical Islamists (0+ / 0-)

    don't care about good government is not because they're stupid, it's because they care more about imposing sharia law and re-establishing the Caliphate. I know this because the radical islamists say it all the time. All you have to do is listen to them.

    David Brooks, and many others, can't accept that religious fanatics are "fanatics". Giving them civics lessons won't make any difference.  It's actually quite scary--read Sam Harris on this.

    •  I would say that you are far more in agreement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sandbox

      with Brooks than with David "I'm not The Troubador" Gershon.  I could be wrong but I think Brooks is saying that the MB, the Islamists, and (since they voted them in power) the Egyptians are showing (thus far) that they are too prone to infuse politics and religion and the results, as Harris rightfully predicts, are and will be poor.

      I'm with you and Harris (and Brooks).  Unless the citizens of the greater Middle East develop the mental tools (to borrow a phrase) to give religion it's rightful place and to give the governing authorities their rightful place, I don't see much hope, especially as the wealth of the region inevitably declines.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:57:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  He should have been fired years ago. Icing this is (0+ / 0-)

    Brooks' columns are so full of twisted logic that one almost feels stupider after the painful even of reading one. Please let him be fired.  

    Brooks should be put in prison for years of inflicting torture on his readers.

    The GOP: Fearing things that have never existed while ignoring things that have always existed, i.e. gun registration/starvation.

    by StevenJoseph on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:01:06 PM PDT

  •  This post is a misfire, in my opinion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Be Skeptical, fatbeagle

    Yes, the piece is bigoted, but it is because Brooks is (admittedly with pathetically clumsy phrasing) saying that (Political)Islamists are culturally and perhaps temperamentally unsuited to democracy, not that they're not intelligent enough to make it work. It is certainly strange that in his statement towards the end he broadens the accusation to include all Egyptians, but it again is culturally based. I base this on the fact that also near the end he refers to "modern thinkers" who are certainly Middle Eastern as well, who could help correct their problems if only they had not been jailed or forced into exile. It seems to me that Egyptians have given the thumbs down to both authoritarian and Political-Islam based governments. They want visible improvements in their day-to-day lives. This seems to me to demolish Brook's thesis. So yes, Brooks as usual is adrift at sea - but not for the reason you state.

    "The only thing we have to fear - is fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by orrg1 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 03:39:19 PM PDT

    •  I would tend to disagree with you (0+ / 0-)

      In the post Mubarak era there was one election and the Islamists won.  On top of that, the recent polls show that the majority of Egyptians want a government based on Sharia law.

      Thus, at this point, I would say that they want a fusion of politics and religion but, at the same time, they realize that the MB and Morsi failed.  I would like to believe that the Egyptians learned (or will learn) the "right" lessons about fusing the two but I'm skeptical at best.

      We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

      by theotherside on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:50:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sharia law = Ten Commandments-based law (0+ / 0-)

        Westerners are so ignorant of Islamic culture and government they seem to  assume it's some kind of anti-Christian monstrosity. The only difference between a Christian-based government (USA, Britain) and an Islamic-based government is the modifier. Both kinds implement tolerance and goodwill in their governing based on the tolerance and goodwill of their religions, qualities which both Islam and Christianity practice. There are hateful, violent Christian groups just as there are Muslim ones, but the Westboro Baptist Church is not the face of US Christianity to the whole world.
        All in all, I'd say at this point the Egyptians want less of a "fusion of politics and religion" than is being put into US law right now in various states and some federal jurisdictions by RW religious conservatives.

        Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizzam!

        by fourthcornerman on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:17:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Brooks is the only writer... (0+ / 0-)

    ....out there, good or bad, where I start to get a little sleepy before I finish.  I don't think I've ever finished one of his columns.  

    Warren/3-D Print of Warren in 2016!

    by dov12348 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:07:55 PM PDT

  •  No doubt there's no Appleby's in Cairo (0+ / 0-)

    Especially the ones with salad bars.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 04:48:08 PM PDT

  •  This is exactly the type of attitude that those (0+ / 0-)

    who want to whip up hatred for the US dream for.

    Well done Brooks, you have helped our enemies.

  •  Na Ga Ha Pen (0+ / 0-)

    His bosses share his views, yes?

  •  There is a ton of ignorance in this diary (0+ / 0-)

    Do most Americans even understand that the only two choices Egyptians even had to vote for were the MB and the military junta? Mubarak and Sadat made sure that no other political parties had the power to organize as much as the MB, which had touted itself as the "opposition party" for decades.

    As for David Brooks? Seriously? Are we just now having a conversation about what an asshat he is? He's been writing froggy shit for years. I remember he once wrote an article in which he said that rich parents worked harder than poor parents because they had to miss meetings with their kids' teachers due to business meetings. Why do people still read this guy?

    Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

    by moviemeister76 on Fri Jul 05, 2013 at 06:37:30 PM PDT

  •  Brooks' statement about Egyptians is (0+ / 0-)

    pure bigotry but what about his statement about Islamists?

    I would argue yes for several reasons.  First, the phrase "mental equipment" can just as easily mean lack of intelligence as it can mean lack of a prerequisite system of beliefs.  If he meant that they simply lack the right concepts his choice of phrase is poor.  If he instead meant to imply both this and a lack of intelligence it is an excellent phrase.  Second, the statement is false.  Islamists can and do govern.  This is fact not opinion.  If he as said they couldn't govern effectively, that would be opinion.  But even this I would take issue with since they can govern effectively given the right government type.  I don't see any reason to believe that Islamists couldn't run and effective theocracy or monarchy.  What they cannot do is effectively lead a democracy.

    If Brooks had said something on the order of, "but they lack the concepts and ideals to effectively lead a democracy", I would not disagree at all.  What he actually said though has enough other possible interpretations that I find it hard to believe he didn't mean to imply multiple ideas and some of those ideas are bigoted.

    "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

    by Quanta on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 12:29:25 AM PDT

  •  Born Agains Should Be Included For Same Reason (0+ / 0-)

    People with Fundamentalism (any religion), are very sick people.

  •  why does this guy have a newspaper column? (0+ / 0-)

    what amazes me is why this fool has a column in the newspaper.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Rianne Eisler

    by noofsh on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:28:33 AM PDT

  •  Brooks only the worst example.. (0+ / 0-)

    ...there are far too many people, both left and right, bending themselves into logical and moral pretzels, to defend the indefensible.

    This was a military coup.  It will be understandable now if Morsi and his supporters give up on voting and turn to guns.

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 04:46:41 AM PDT

  •  Far be it from me to defend Mr. Brooks, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fatbeagle

    I don't think his phrases mean what the diarist assumes.  I, at least could say the same things of many Egyptian Islamists (though I would probably be more precise in my formulation).  And, as anastasia p says above, the same criticism could be made of many of our own homegrown Christian fundamentalists:  They lack the "mental ingredients" or "mental equipment" to govern or maintain a democracy.

    If I were to say those things, I would not be making the (obviously stupid as well as bigoted) claim that Islamists are less intelligent than other people, but rather that they have failed to set up their thinking in the categories that produce effective democratic government.  The "mental equipment" needed for that task includes internalized concepts like: "Wise government requires cooperation with people who disagree with me."  "The tasks of secular government and religious beliefs are not identical." ... Etc.  So long as people's thinking is structured by beliefs, concepts, "mental ingredients" that are puerile and inadequate, their participation in constructive democracy will be (at best) severely limited.

    I would say of virtually all our current Republican politicians that they lack the necessary "mental equipment" to contribute constructively to our democratic governance.  

    I'm an educator, so that's what I make of "mental equipment."  Maybe Brooks has ceased to be merely insipid and has graduated to undisguised bigot, but I doubt it.

  •  Islamists don't have the mental equipment to gover (0+ / 0-)

    n is the stark truth.

  •  Islamists like Nazis (0+ / 0-)

    Hitler rose to power in a democratic process.  A coup to remove him might have spared the world WW2.

    Islamists are no different from Nazis.  But their political ideology has a religious cover, and that confuses some people who feel it would be religious bigotry to criticize it.

  •  Wow, what a bigoted asshole (0+ / 0-)

    Wake-up, NYT.

    As an online subscriber using a VPN to access it, I will use some of my precious time to write to the editor.

    400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

    by koNko on Sat Jul 06, 2013 at 08:52:15 AM PDT

  •  I totally agree Brooks clearly lost his mind (0+ / 0-)

    and needs a rest cure away from his lap top.

    It doesn't help anything when people who have the mic or the pen say things that are so bigoted and insulting.

    He just gave the America haters more fuel to stoke their hate.

    Dumb and highly unprofessional.

  •  Those countries with majority Moslems are trying (0+ / 0-)

    to enter the modern world via democratic institutions.  Time, energy, persistence and blood are the price to be paid.  The world is in need of going forward but it can not as long as women are treated like property or have forced ultrasounds administered to them.  

  •  Has Brooks seen th quality of the people WE elect? (0+ / 0-)

    Rick Perry, George W. Bush, Michele Bachman, Sarah Palin, Louie Gohmert and the people who vote for them year after year don't have the mental equipment to govern.

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