You may only read this site if you've purchased Our Kampf from Amazon or Powell's or me
• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show

"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket

"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming

April 22, 2008

More Evidence In The Eternal "Liars Or Stupid?" Debate

There's an article in the May/June issue of Mother Jones by Laura Rozen (not online) about James Woolsey's interest in clean energy. (Woolsey, head of the CIA under Clinton, is a prominent neoconservative who was sent to England by the Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks to find evidence Saddam was involved.)

I particularly enjoyed this:

Being a green neoconservative is becoming less lonely, Woolsey says, especially as more hawks come to see energy as a security issue. He tells a story about an argument with a friend who is a global warming skeptic. When Woolsey explained how improvements to the electrical infrastructure could make it safer from terrorists, his friend replied, "Oh, well, that's fine then—we can do all that as long as it's not because of this fictional global warming."

In other words, if this friend of Woolsey's publicly said he didn't believe in global warming, he wouldn't be lying. In many cases, these people truly believe the insane stuff they say.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at April 22, 2008 11:07 AM

Once there's no oil, how can you fight a "war for oil"? Those guys are thinking ahead. I'm sure we'll have to invade some country soon because their production of solar panels is part of our "vital national interests."

PS: You, lucky Long Islanders, I'll be on WUSB 90.1FM today at 1-2pm. See you there.

Posted by: Bernard Chazelle at April 22, 2008 12:27 PM

The assignment from Bush did, however, inspire Woolsey to pen his most memorable quote (so far):
"The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence." (In TNR, 2001)
Neither La Rochefoucauld nor Berra is Woolsey. But then, we live in the age of the Clintons and the Bushs.

Posted by: donescobar at April 22, 2008 01:21 PM

I think they say what they believe everytime. (not necessarally the truth just what they believe)

Posted by: Mike Meyer at April 22, 2008 04:48 PM

I was just pointing out that JS gave us an either/or but concluded with a sentence that characterized believing insane statements. I think the debate usually turns on motivation -- why they say the things they say -- do they believe it and act with ideological integrity, or do they knowingly use it to gain personal advantage in a disposable sense?

They are the worst. They are legion and they are not liars, not truth-tellers, and not insane.

Isn't narcissism a form of insanity -- not that I really know what insanity is, but I'm going with flouting social norms and a hazard to self and others?

It's interesting that On Bullshit is a philosophy book according to Wikipedia.

Posted by: angryman@24:10 at April 23, 2008 08:28 AM