Swift Boat Liars Debunked Again

Even though the claims of the Swift Boat Liars have been repeatedly disputed, conservatives continue to claim their is some validity to their politically motivated lies. Their claims were contradicted by official records, the testimony of those who actually witnessed the events, and even by previous claims made by some of the Swift Boat Liars. Eric Boehlert noted that Power Line recently claimed that “Most of what the Vets said in their ads has never been disputed, let alone discredited.” Boehlert reviewed the accusations made by the Swift Boat Liars and disputed them. There isn’t anything new here, but it is worth pointing out for those who want yet one more reference.

More on the Swift Boat Liars

Archie Bunker Logic and the Right Wing Reaction to the Shootings at Virginia Tech

More information is coming out on Monday’s shootings at Virginia Tech, and more opinions are being posted beyond the strange views from the right I reviewed earlier. The latest is a report that the killer spent the time between the shootings sending his views to NBC News. It’s also been found that the killer was ruled to be mentally ill and potentially dangerous in 2005.

The idea that the tragedy could have been prevented, and the world would be safer, if students carried concealed weapons has spread from the right wing blogosphere to the New York Daily News as they posted an op-ed from Glenn Reynolds. Michelle Malkin also calls for a “culture of self-defense” at Real Clear Politics. At least most people realized it was a joke when Archie Bunker presented his solution to airline hijackings: “All you gotta do is arm all your passengers.”


As with Michael J.W. Strickings at The Reaction, I see little point in pointing out what is wrong with the various beliefs spread by the right. My bet is that the vast majority of people will realize how crazy these views are, and those who don’t are not going to be convinced by anything we write. These are generally the same people that believe that Saddam had WMD, creationism is a valid alternative to evolution, and that it is inconsequential that the consensus of scientists in the field agrees that human action presents a meaningful threat to the climate. Seeing these views move from the right wing blogosphere to the news media will only help demonstrate what we have known for quite some time. The right wing blogosphere is dominated by people out of touch with reality who possess ideas which just go beyond the bounds of rational thought. Such views have infiltrated into the Republican Party to a degree sufficient to prevent them from governing effectively.

My previous post showed an example of someone from the religious right blaming the shootings on teaching science and a secular society. Today Dinesh D’Souza uses the tragedy to launch an attack on atheists which is debunked by PZ Myers.

Among all the bizarre ideas being posted, there is some information on line which does provide meaningful insights beyond what is being covered by the news media. A student at Virginia Tech has posted his reflections at Gnosos.

Blaming Foreigners, Unarmed Students, Video Games, and Evolution for the Shootings at Virginia Tech

The shootings at Virginia Tech have been used by many to justify their prior agenda. While all the details are not in yet, most likely this was an isolated tragedy which, by itself, does not provide justification for any policy or viewpoint. That won’t stop many people from trying.

Debbie Schlussel has a long series of posts in which she uses this to justify her xenophobia. In one post, she writes, “Remember that the next time you hear President Bush and Condi Clueless waxing lyrical about how we need more foreign students in America. We do not.” Opponents of restrictions on guns argue that the problem was an isolated nut, and his actions should not be extrapolated to responsible gun owners. Similarly the actions of this one foreigner should not be extrapolated to other foreigners. Of course those who look at everything from the viewpoint of the Muslim threat will not see things this way. Schlussel even initially predicted that the killer must be a Muslim:

So who is the shooter? What is the shooter’s nationality? What is the shooter’s religion? Waiting to find out. And wondering why the police and media are referring to the shooter as “Asian” and not by specific nationality.

If I were Asian, I’d be legitimately upset with this broad generalization of the mass murderer’s identity.

Why am I speculating that the “Asian” gunman is a Pakistani Muslim? Because law enforcement and the media strangely won’t tell us more specifically who the gunman is. Why?

Finding that this was not the case just provided another opportunity to attack Muslims:

And remember: Just because this attacker was not Muslim, doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of potential and hopeful ones among the thousands Muslim nations are sending here to “study” under Saudi King Abdullah’s scholarships.

Debbie Schussel also thinks that the solution would be to have more people running around with concealed guns, as do other conservatives such as at The American Spectator.

The Carpetbagger Report points out an even more absurd argument from The National Review as John Derbyshire blames the victims:

As NRO’s designated chickenhawk, let me be the one to ask: Where was the spirit of self-defense here? Setting aside the ludicrous campus ban on licensed conceals, why didn’t anyone rush the guy? It’s not like this was Rambo, hosing the place down with automatic weapons. He had two handguns for goodness’ sake—one of them reportedly a .22.At the very least, count the shots and jump him reloading or changing hands. Better yet, just jump him. Handguns aren’t very accurate, even at close range. I shoot mine all the time at the range, and I still can’t hit squat. I doubt this guy was any better than I am. And even if hit, a .22 needs to find something important to do real damage—your chances aren’t bad.

Some find yet others to blame, such as Dr. Phil who blames video games. After the Columbine shootings, Ken Ham blamed the shootings on the teaching of evolution. Ham has similar views on Virginia Tech:

We live in an era when public high schools and colleges have all but banned God from science classes. In these classrooms, students are taught that the whole universe, including plants and animals—and humans—arose by natural processes. Naturalism (in essence, atheism) has become the religion of the day and has become the foundation of the education system (and Western culture as a whole). The more such a philosophy permeates the culture, the more we would expect to see a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness that pervades people’s thinking. In fact, the more a culture allows the killing of the unborn, the more we will see people treating life in general as “cheap.”

I’m not at all saying that the person who committed these murders at Virginia Tech was driven by a belief in millions of years or evolution. I don’t know why this person did what he did, except the obvious: that it was a result of sin. However, when we see such death and violence, it is a reminder to us that without God’s Word (and the literal history in Genesis 1–11), people will not understand why such things happen.

Update: Archie Bunker Logic and the Right Wing Reaction to the Shootings at Virginia Tech