Allison Kilkenny: Unreported

Shameless Democratic-Socialist Propaganda

Posted in atheism, Democrats, media, politics by allisonkilkenny on April 8, 2009

YM001405Typical. The Times is at it again. The liberal rag published another thinly-veiled, socialist rant in Tuesday’s edition. Though, this time, the diatribe came from an unlikely source: David Brooks, the Canadian-American columnist, who has served as senior editor to the Weekly Standard, contributes his thoughtful analyses to the Atlantic Monthly, and identifies himself as a “moderate conservative.”

Of course, David is completely unaware that he makes a perfect plea of his readers to join the Democratic-Socialist cause. His column explores the roots of morality, and rattles off scientific theories about where our morality comes from, and how it benefits us as a society to have “morals.” It’s actually pretty interesting, though the best part comes when David steps back and analyzes “morality” i.e. communal spirit:

Like bees, humans have long lived or died based on their ability to divide labor, help each other and stand together in the face of common threats. Many of our moral emotions and intuitions reflect that history. We don’t just care about our individual rights, or even the rights of other individuals. We also care about loyalty, respect, traditions, religions. We are all the descendents of successful cooperators. 

But David, what of that “rugged individualism” that Conservatives so cherish and praise? Are you saying that gallivanting around a dude ranch, refusing to pay taxes and/or care for our fellow humans, is not only the behavior of a selfish, childish asshole, but also detrimental to society itself?

The first nice thing about this evolutionary approach to morality is that it emphasizes the social nature of moral intuition. People are not discrete units coolly formulating moral arguments. They link themselves together into communities and networks of mutual influence.

Like unions, perhaps? But those are the things your Conservative brethren are fighting tooth and nail to suffocate! They’ll be the reason the Employee Free Choice Act fails in Congress. You should really share with them your revelations about all of this “help thy neighbor” stuff, and how it’s so great for our society.

And don’t let Rush hear you talk like that. On the other hand, you may be safe. He’s too busy packing (thank you, Jesus) his things, and moving out of New York. 

The second nice thing is that it entails a warmer view of human nature. Evolution is always about competition, but for humans, as Darwin speculated, competition among groups has turned us into pretty cooperative, empathetic and altruistic creatures — at least within our families, groups and sometimes nations.

Tell your Wall Street buddies that, David. Drop some knowledge onto their finally coifed ‘dos, and let them know competition isn’t everything, that human beings are more than stocks, portfolios, credit default swaps, and speculative mortgages. Ask those financial firm CEOs if jumping out of the burning building with $23 million in severance is an altruistic act, or the act of a pirate.

I’m sorry. That’s not fair. Pirates were actually very democratic creatures that allowed voting and egalitarian debate. They also didn’t profit from suckering poor people into bad loans. Of course, they raped a lot, which is definitely a tick in the “Bad” column.

But I digress. As if he knew I would be reading him today, David throws this curveball at the last possible moment:

[The rise and now dominance of this emotional approach to morality] challenges the new atheists, who see themselves involved in a war of reason against faith and who have an unwarranted faith in the power of pure reason and in the purity of their own reasoning.

…What? Did David Brooks just cite a scientific theory at length, and then in the last paragraph of his column, thumb his nose at atheists who believe in — wait for it — science and reason?

On behalf of the human species, I apologize to the trees that gave their lives for David Brooks’ pointless musings to be published in otherwise highly usable column space.

What an embarrassment.

David Brooks: Protecting Us From Poor People

Posted in class divide, Economy, politics by allisonkilkenny on February 20, 2009
ts-brooks-190

David Brooks: Dreaming of Killing Poor People

At 7:14 AM this morning, I learned that the recession is being caused by dumb, poor people. David Brooks, one of many elite and clueless New York Times’s writers, injected some crazy into his normally awful column:

Our moral and economic system is based on individual responsibility.

BAM! Right out the gate, I got slapped across the face with Brooks’s giant, wet fish of a declarative statement.  Here I’ve been, assuming the American tax system unfairly favors large corporations and the upper echelons of our society, but apparently we’ve been operating on a level playing field this WHOLE time! I can’t believe I’ve been so silly, assuming the minimum wage is slave labor, and it reenforces a de facto caste system where the poor are forever poor, and the rich elite hoard all wealth, prosperity, and power among their tiny tribes forever, and ever, and ever..

Thanks, David! These stupid poor people just need to take some darn responsibility for all of those shady mortgages sold to them with the ludicrous interest rates from subprime bandits working on commission. 

Keep reading…

(more…)

Is David Brooks Insane?

Posted in politics by allisonkilkenny on December 12, 2008
Crazy? Or just bitchy?

Crazy, or just bitchy?

In today’s New York Times, David Brooks disguised himself in the persona of a conservative ambassador (a long stretch from his actual form, a conservative columnist,) and addressed a fictitious foreign king about the state of the United States. This kind of theoretical, farcical gallivanting is always a disaster when manipulated by skilled, funny people, but left in the incapable hands of unfunny man David Brooks, the disaster quickly mutated into a fiery train wreck.

Your Excellency, 

Your humble ambassador requests the honor of your time so that he may apprise you of the mood and conditions in Washington. Seeking nothing for himself, but only seeking to serve your most Serene Majesty, your ambassador has been working tirelessly to understand the spirit of the American capital.

Uh-huh. This is like when you walk into the room of a senile grandparent and they’re dancing around with underwear on their head, saying something about being late for tea with the Queen of England. Sure, Grandpa David. Whatever you say.

I guess this is supposed to be whimsical farce, or other euphemisms for intellectuals trying (and failing) to be funny. David uses the persona of upscale tour guide to regurgitate the Conservative position that the auto bailout couldn’t go through because — ya’ know — that would lead to FISCAL INSANITY!!!!111

Once a $100 billion stimulus package was large, but now the stimulus proposals have passed through $300 billion to $500 billion on their way to infinity. Some Americans believe the automakers should be bailed out even without the reforms proposed by Senator Bob Corker. But without those reforms, which were shot down in the Senate Thursday night, the bailouts would go on and on into infinity.

It’s a fair question: where would the cap be if the Senate had given the auto industry $30 billion? Of course, the government just hurled over $700 billion at a handful of shifty-eyed Wall Street gargoyles, but that’s besides the point. Our right-wing compatriots are suddenly and inexplicably conservative with the nation’s wallet, and they want answers, damnit! Well, maybe not answers, but they at least want to blame the unions for everything.

My only explanation for David’s behavior is that he is so appalled by his own ideologies that he has regressed into a child-like state, and he’s playing a game of Make Believe. That, or he’s completely off his rocker, and he’s killed Paul Krugman (who suspiciously has a “day off” today,) skinned him, and he’s currently wearing his skin as he speaks in a shrill, effeminate voice: “I’m Paul Krugman. I believe in a fair tax system and investing aggressively in the nation’s infrastructure.”