Michele Bachmann – A Special Kinda Moron

It’s been suggested that Sarah Palin gets too much attention, and maybe we should all be ignoring her a bit more. I (reluctantly) agree. But nobody said anything about Michele Bachmann, a congress member for Minnesota and Tea Party spokesperson, who makes Palin look like a smart, rational human being. Bachmann came to my attention this morning after giving the Tea Party’s response to Obama’s State Of The Union address – which was well received, except by right-wing crazies.

In her response, she did a good job of trying to appear sane and informed – at least compared to previous appearances. She had a chart with red and blue bars and stuff, showing how the national debt leapt up moments after Obama took office. She forgot to mention the part about the financial system collapsing just before he took office, which was possibly dishonest, or maybe she really didn’t know (after all, it was over two years ago, and who can remember things that happened even last week?)

Anyway, I don’t want to quibble about such minor oversights. Below are a few quotes and (for real Bachmann fans) a couple of informative and stimulating video clips.

  • “I wish the American media would take a great look at the views of the people in Congress and find out: Are they pro-America or anti-America?”
  • “During the last 100 days we have seen an orgy. It would make any local smorgasbord embarrassed … The government spent its wad by April 26.”
  • “Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” (See video below)
  • “There are hundreds and hundreds of scientists, many of them holding Nobel Prizes, who believe in intelligent design.”
  • “I don’t know where they’re going to get all this money because we’re running out of rich people in this country.”

You’re still here? You’re obviously a committed Bachmann fan. Some cute video clips for you…

Here, Michele points out that carbon dioxide is good for plants. This of course, is true. She doesn’t say what happens if atmospheric CO2 suddenly increases by 50% – but that’s probably not important anyway.

And here, Bachmann (who is clearly a worldly and well-travelled individual) talks about the riots of ethnic minorities in France. I thought this was about police violence towards non-whites and high youth unemployment, but apparently it’s because their welfare benefits need to increase. Oh, and she mentions that “Not all cultures are equal” – again, a reasoned, well thought-out argument.

(Not-scary-at-all Michele Bachmann photo taken from her Wikileaks page)

9/11 Tweetathon

9/11 is one of the most significant events to affect America in the past few decades; and yet so few Americans seem to understand why it happened, or know anything about the events leading up to it. On September 11 last year, I posted one tweet per hour throughout the day on the subjects of 9/11, terrorism, the so-called “war on terror”, and world events in the preceding decades that played a part in building up global anger towards America.

I’d like to thank @dbudlov, a twitter user who has collated my 24 tweets into one block, and regularly reposted them to Twitter; here’s the whole set of tweets, with extra notes added in italics.

1) In memory of the almost-3,000 innocents, killed in New York by morons 9 years ago

2) 16 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis. None were Afghan or Iraqi
(It’s amazing that Bush/Rumsfeld ignored this point, and most commentators still do. The attackers weren’t a mix of “Muslims” or “Arabs” – they were almost all Saudis, as is Osama bin Laden).
3) Most of the hijackers were Saudis. In 2001, the US had 10,000 troops in Saudi Arabia (fighting which war?)
(Let’s ask again: more than a decade after the end of the Cold War, what legitimate reason did America have for a military occupation of Saudi Arabia? Wouldn’t Saudis be a little… well, pissed off, to be under foreign occupation?)

4) Al Qaeda originated in Saudi Arabia, the world’s #1 oil producer, friend of America, and creator of fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam
(So… blame Afghanistan, right?)

5) On Sep 11 1973, the elected Chilean govt was overthrown by the army with help from the CIA. Around 3,000 people were later killed
(Coincidentally, America took part in an illegal attack against a democratic government on September 11, 28 years earlier. You couldn’t make this stuff up…)

6) The Taliban were never involved in the 9/11 attacks, although this was never made clear by the Bush admin.
(By blurring different groups with distinct ideas and aims, the neo-cons created the illusion of a powerful enemy, intent on attacking America. Mixing up Al Qaeda, a Saudi terror group, with the Taliban, a fundamentalist Afghan group, was part of this propaganda exercise.)

7) Iran’s last elected govt. was overthrown in 1953 by a UK/US-backed coup. Which kinda explains why Iranians don’t trust America
(Iran has never attacked another state in modern history. On the other hand, America has been repeatedly involved in destabilising Iran, and creating propaganda about Iran being a “threat”. Iran also has the 4th biggest oil reserves; these facts are probably related.)

8 ) The only chemical weapons used in the Iraq war were deployed by US forces in the city of Fallujah http://bit.ly/cC3Dsb
(Ironic huh? Given that “Saddam’s WMDs” were the reason given for attacking Iraq… click the link above to read about the aftermath of using chemical weapons in a city of 300,000 people.)

9) Around half of Americans wrongly believed Saddam was involved in 9/11. The Iraq war claimed at least 97,000 civilian lives
(If you’re going to support a war, shouldn’t you understand why the war is happening first?)

10) Like Iraq, the Vietnam War was started by a lie. An estimated 4m civilians died
(You’d assume the US would have learned something from Vietnam, wouldn’t you?)

11) In the 1980s, Reagan backed terrorist groups throughout Central America, resulting in around 200,000 civilian deaths
(3,000 deaths in New York bad. 200,000 deaths in Central America best-not-to-mention.)

12) In 1988, US missiles took down Iran Air Flight 655, killing 290 civilians inc. 66 children http://bit.ly/cx5DQw
(Terrorism is bad, m’kay? Except where it’s our terrorism.)

13) 1976: terrorist Orlando Bosch and 3 others with CIA support blew up Cubana Flight 455, killing 73 civilians. He lives in Miami
(Terrorists are assholes m’kay? Except for our terrorists.)

14) 1979 Iranian revolution removed The Shah, America’s torturer, from power. US still seeking an excuse for revenge
(How dare a Middle Eastern country refuse to be ruled from Washington?)

15) The terrorist IRA killed over 3,000 civilians in Britain and Ireland from the 70s to the 90s, with money from American supporters
(NORAID raised money for the Provisional IRA in the US, while the IRA were blowing up civilians in Britain and Ireland. Apparently some terrorism is worse than others.)

16) Both Saddam and bin Laden were American agents who went astray – pick your friends more wisely?
(The US helped bring the Ba’ath Party to power in Iraq via a 1963 coup, and later encouraged and supported Saddam Hussein in his illegal war against Iran. When Saddam gassed Kurdish civilians in 1988, the US response was muted and support for Saddam continued until Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990. The Arab and Afghan mujahideen that became Al Qaeda and the Taliban was supported and trained by the US, partly in Pakistani “madrassas” during the 1980s. The results of US cold war policy in the region are clear today.)

17) Occupations always create terrorists. The US has over 1,000 military bases on foreign soil
(…in over 150 countries. People don’t like foreign troops on their soil – no doubt Americans would also object if it happened to them.)


18) Half a million Iraqi children died under US-led sanctions in the 90s, usually through shortages of medicine
(A total of around a million Iraqis died under the sanctions regime. In hindsight, this was done to weaken Iraq enough to attack it with minimal military resistance. This helps explain why Iraqis were less enthusiastic about the US invasion than expected.)


19) 1,271 Afghan civilians were killed in 1st 6 months of 2010 alone
(3,000 deaths in New York changed the world. Thousands of deaths elsewhere can be ignored.)

20) It’s not about Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia or Yemen. The terrorist problems emanate from Saudi Arabia and Israel
(The neo-cons turned America’s post-9/11 fear and loathing against convenient targets, avoiding the 2 sources of most anger and discontent in the region. The Saudi regime is among the world’s most tyrannical, but sits on massive oil reserves. Democracy in Saudi Arabia is a pre-requisite for Middle Eastern peace, and also a threat to US oil interests. Israel is America’s most reliable regional ally, and hence gets away with murder – literally.)

21) The “Saudi royal family” was a creation of the British Empire and later adopted by the US. Oil beats democracy
(As the British Empire collapsed, it appointed puppets to continue maintaining British interests. With the rise of the US Empire, these switched from being UK clients to US clients. If Saudi Arabia had no oil, America would call for democracy there, as it does for Syria and Yemen.)

22) The top Middle Eastern oil reserves and US control: 1) Saudi (check) 2) Iran (in progress) 3) Iraq (check) 4) Kuwait (check)
(The list of oil reserves by country reads like a checklist of America’s foreign policy priorities.)
23) In 2001 Rumsfeld said Al Qaeda had 100,000 followers. In reality, less than 1,000. The lie of the decade?
(The end of the cold war by 1990 threatened the power of the US military, intelligence community and arms industry. A new enemy had to found, whether real or fabricated. 9/11 gave the pretext: a small terrorist group took advantage of lax airline security to carry out a massive terrorist attack. Rumsfeld’s big lie laid the basis for the “global war on terror”. Acceptance that Al Qaeda numbered no more than a few hundred activists would have precluded a military response. The Al Qaeda brand was largely created by the US response to 9/11 – had YOU heard of it beforehand?)

24) The war machine sucks up tax dollars that could create the world’s best health and education systems. Just Say NO
(The “cold war”, the “war on drugs” and the “war on terror” were all chosen as pretexts to allow an endless American war. In 1942, hundreds of thousands of US troops were deployed to fight Japan and Germany, but the end of WW2 was a strategic turning point. Rather than bring the troops home, they were kept overseas, and remain to this day: 369,000 US troops are based in over 150 countries, maintaining the biggest empire the world has seen. While the empire drains America’s pockets, it creates trillions of dollars of wealth for America’s richest; the Global American War can be viewed as a massive redistribution of American wealth, from poor to rich. It can happen because Americans allow themselves to be frightened by a never-ending list of new enemies. As European empires collapsed, Europe was able to invest in health, education, transport and housing while America fell behind. Now it’s America’s turn.)

Looking Ahead: Morons in 2011

At this time in a new year, you can expect political pundits, economists and “futurologists” to give their predictions for the next 12 months. As the world’s leading Moronologist (self-appointed), I’ve decided to share my predictions for the coming 12 months. Where will be the hotspots of moron activity? Who are the morons to watch? What will morons be doing and saying in 2011?

Prediction 1: Winter will be colder than summer

OK – that’s obvious. However, this simple fact takes morons by surprise every year, and provides their small minds with “evidence” that man-made global warming is a myth. Meanwhile, the oil, coal, gas, motor, road and aviation industries will continue to fund denialist organisations in order to keep millions of morons confused.

Morons to watch: in the absence of any actual scientists who deny climate change, the serial climate liar Christopher Monckton is likely to again be wheeled out by deniers. It doesn’t matter that he’s been repeatedly discredited; morons don’t check facts anyway.

Probability: 100%

Prediction 2: The Tea Party will become increasingly confused

Given the extreme levels of confusion already existing within these moronic groups, this is a braver prediction. The Tea Party is a loose-knit collection of assorted morons, who believe they are part of an “anti-elite” movement, but who in fact are funded and nurtured by some fairly “elite” types. As activists realise they’ve been primarily used as a tool to win lower taxes and looser regulation for the super rich and big business, many will drift away, disillusioned.

Morons to watch: this may be a make-or-break year for Sarah Palin, the Moron Queen of Morondom. Her chances of becoming 2012 presidential candidate seem to be slipping, and she’s likely to end 2011 by drifting further from politics towards lucrative celebrity deals.

Probability: 75%

Prediction 3: Islamaphobia to rise in Europe/Israel, peak in US/UK

This is a complex one; since 9/11, morons have been inciting even dumber morons to believe that Islam poses a threat to life, the universe and everything. Islamaphobia has helped fuel the growth of neo-fascist movements across Europe, that were already in recovery as collective memories of the Holocaust faded away. Xenophobia is at the core of European identity, though Europe plays well at being “tolerant” in between the odd genocide. Neo-fascists have been making electoral gains for some time in places like France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and across the old Soviet bloc. Israel has also seen a long rise of neo-fascists being elected – something that has deeply disturbed Holocaust survivors.

Meanwhile in Britain, which has always been less fertile ground for fascism than most of Europe, the BNP (British National Party) appears to be heading for collapse amidst electoral failure and financial meltdown. The EDL (English Defence League), perhaps Britain’s dumbest organisation, has gained somewhat as a result, but I predict that they too will splinter and decline during 2011, largely because they don’t seem to have any member who can read or write.

And in America, where mainstream politics are further to the right, the far-right have always found a home within the Republican Party, which ironically seems to rein in their more extreme elements.

Morons to watch: Publicity-seeking Pamela Geller will keep ranting to ever-smaller crowds before vanishing from public view. BNP Leader and British eyesore Nick Griffin may well be ousted as BNP leader. Creepy-looking Dutch MP and inciter of hatred Geert Wilders will continue to be the rallying point for Nazis across Europe.

Probability: 50% – very much depends on whether Islamist terrorist morons (or people pretending to be Islamist terrorist morons) succeed in any major attacks in the West during this year. Also depends on unemployment levels across Europe.

Prediction 4: US economy will gain strength as UK weakens

2011 will provide the results of the big test: stimulus spending (as tried by the Obama administration and by the outgoing Labour government in the UK until May) and government spending cuts (as favoured by the UK’s new Conservative leaders). UK consumers are already reacting badly to VAT rises and government jobs cuts… which is likely to lead to lower tax revenues, and the need for even more cuts (as already demonstrated in Ireland).

Morons to watch: the new Republican speaker John “Crybaby” Boehner needs to help derail the recovery if the Republicans are to have a good chance of winning the 2012 presidential elections. UK Prime Minister David “Rich Boy” Cameron will announce that the recovery is weaker than expected (without taking the blame) and “regretfully” announce further spending cuts.

Probability: 60% – depends on many factors including Prediction 5…

Prediction 5: Oil price rises, morons draw wrong conclusions

Upwards pressure on oil prices continues for simple reasons: the easiest-to-reach supplies are dwindling, pushing oil companies to exploit more expensive sources like oil sands and deep-sea wells. America uses in excess of a quarter of the world’s oil supplies, but developing countries are growing much faster than the West, and use more oil each day.

If your friend was addicted to a substance that is becoming increasingly expensive and hard to come by, which of the following advice would you give them?

  1. Try to use less of it, or
  2. Keep using more, and spend more time and money looking for new supplies.

The oil industry runs the Republican Party, and the Republican Party now runs the House of Representatives, so America will try 2) the moron approach. Being chronically addicted to oil, the moron approach is to spend huge amounts of money to find more oil, and deepen the addiction in the process, leading to an even deeper crash when global oil supplies finally peak. At the time of writing, the oil price is $89 per barrel, and will probably be significantly higher at the end of 2011.

Being so deeply in the grip of oil morons, America’s choices are a painful adjustment now, or an even more painful adjustment later. “Kicking the can down the road” is the moronic choice, and no doubt the approach America will take. Meanwhile China, apparently less in awe of everything the oil industry says, is investing heavily in green energy alternatives.

Morons to watch: The newly-empowered Republicans will stall attempts to invest in green energy, and try to kill rail investment (which would cut transport energy usage). The oil industry will continue to claim that there are centuries of oil supplies left, despite all the evidence. Morons will complain that the price of gas keeps rising, but keep on driving their SUVs anyway.

Probability: 80%

And finally… Predictions 6 and 7: Jesus won’t return and the world won’t end

And now for some morons we can all laugh at (well, almost all of us anyway).

A group calling itself We Can Know ran posters last year in Nashville, Tennessee to advertise their web site. They claim that Jesus will return on May 21 2011, and the world will end on October 21 2011. Their campaign was reported in The Tennessean, but the story was later removed (original link). Meanwhile, many other groups have settled on December 21 2012 as the true date.

For those who believe in the Rapture, and are worried about their pets’ wellbeing after they float up to heaven, a kindly group of atheists have set up a pet care service.

Morons to watch: look out for religious nuts acting even angrier than usual when they wake up on May 22 and find they shouldn’t have sold all their worldly belongings on eBay for a dollar.

Probability: 100% (actually, make that 99%… just in case)

Top Ten Morons Of 2010

Hi Moron Watchers,

As most of you will know, MoronWatch was born on Twitter some months ago, and has proved to be more popular than I expected. Twitter is a great place, but some things just can’t be done in 140 characters, so I bring you… (fanfare)… the MoronWatch blog!

This first post is dedicated to identifying the top ten morons of 2010. This has been an impossible task – 2010 has been a good year for stupidity, and as a result I can only pick a few people and groups to represent world moronkind. I apologise to those who didn’t make the cut, and wish you better luck in 2011. The winners come both from Twitter, and from the “real” world beyond.

Before I introduce the winners, I’d like to thank you for following and interacting with MoronWatch on Twitter for the past few months, and wish you a moron-free Christmas and New Year. And now, on with the show…

  • In 10th place is the creationist genius Joe Cienkowski, a popular tweeter who is fighting a lonely battle to prove that Creationism is a valid science, while Evolution is a crazy religion based on faith. Joe deserves his award for the amount of effort he puts in to this task, including making videos. His arguments are many and complex, but his core argument is that evolution is too slow to be witnessed, so therefore can’t be true. He also has mathematical proof that the world is 6,000 years old, and artfully dismisses the existence of fossils as a scam. A typical entertaining (if confusing) tweet is “If evolution is true (impossible) then when we do our ancestry family tree, one of our ancestors was actually swinging from that tree”. We love you Joe!
  • Our 9th place goes to Realbrother0003, another lone maverick, fighting the good fight against racism online. Though this is of course to be applauded (and indeed I’d like to support him), Real Brother ends up doing more harm than good for the cause. Most people who disagree with him are labelled White Racists – sadly, this category seems to include a number of black and Asian people. Where he accepts that an opponent is black, they are then labelled either a “self-hating black”, or most entertainingly, a “black man hating black lesbian”. He also has a wide array of “Afro-centric facts” at his disposal, such as that Christianity and Islam both originate in Africa, and that a child’s race is inherited only from its father. I’ve pointed out that Bob Marley would be white under these rules, in response to which I was called a white racist. To make it harder to follow him, Real Brother refuses to keep to the 140 Twitter limit, instead posting mini-essays via Twitlonger.
  • 8th place is a group award to the many American conservatives who seem to all take the same stories from Fox News and repeat them endlessly as if they were true. There are many of these specimens, and they live in a fantasy world apart from the rest of us. They believe in the craziest myths, many of them directed at Barack Obama being foreign/a Muslim/a Socialist/a Communist. While there are many easily-led right wingers here in the UK and elsewhere, the “American Patriot” is alone in believing almost anything he/she is told, however divergent from the truth. Examples from the past few hours alone include the Socialist-hating osPatriot who has Einstein for his avatar. When I kindly pointed out that Einstein was a Socialist, he blocked me. Also typical is KurtSchlichter, who insists that the 2008 crash was caused by the government; like so many conservatives, he can see no instance where the free market can screw up, even where it blatantly has done. The American conservative is alone in the world in insisting that the government gives tax breaks to the rich. He believes that this will help the economy, and he believes that because rich people told him so.
  • In 7th place we go to Africa, where homophobia is gripping much of the continent. The Kenyan tweeter YESUMob specialises in posting random, and usually irrelevant Bible verses, with the occasional bit of gay hatred thrown in. Other special moron mentions include the Malawi government who imprisoned a gay couple for 14 years for having a marriage ceremony; The Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga who recently called for gays to be rounded up; and David Bahati, a Ugandan MP who is introducing a bill to parliament to execute gays. Also included in this category are some Western liberals who hesitate to criticise African attitudes for fear of being accused of racism; or even worse, those liberals who think that Africans were “taught” homophobia by the white man, and so have no responsibility for their own attitudes.
  • 6th place is dedicated to those people who think that cutting government will help the economy. Special mention must go to the Irish government, which cut deeply in order to reduce the deficit. The cuts damaged the economy, reducing tax revenues, and forcing the deficit up rather than down. Having cut and failed once, the Irish are determined to cut even more deeply, under pressure from the IMF. Irish people are reported to be leaving the country in their thousands, and the house market has collapsed. Also a special mention goes to the British government, which is determined to follow the Irish path by doing the same thing. Having seen the banks force the economy into recession, these British geniuses have wreaked their revenge… by cutting benefits to the poor and massively increasing the cost of university education.
  • In 5th place is the state of Israel, and its moronic global supporters. Israel continues with its slow-motion genocide against the Palestinian people. It pretends to pay heed to “peace processes” while continuing to grab Palestinian land, strangle the economy in Gaza and carry out daily acts of terror and humiliation against the Palestinian population. In May, nine Turkish peace campaigners were shot dead on a boat bringing aid to Gaza. Gazan children who collect gravel for building work are used for target practise by the Israeli Defence Force. This prize goes jointly to those who watch the genocide but do or say nothing, particularly to the American government who act as a defensive wall around the genocide. Israel has made particularly clever use of Twitter, with paid tweeters combating anti-Israeli sentiment online.
  • 4th Prize goes to the Muslim-baiters of Europe, North America and Israel, who continuously spread lies and fear about Muslims and Islam. Bizarrely, the methods being used to stoke up fear against Muslims are taken straight from Nazi methodology against Jews. Some of the most moronic people around the world have been persuaded that a tiny minority in Western countries poses a threat to society, in a sinister echo of the 1930s Jew-hate that brought Hitler to power. The Muslim-hate has created a bizarre alliance of European/American fascists with pro-Israel supporters; the very political movements that decimated Europe’s Jewish population in the 1940s now claim to be firm supporters of the Jewish state. Special mentions go to: The blogger, Muslim-hater and serial liar Pamela Geller, who makes up stories, and then writes new stories referencing her own previous lies as sources; the moronic majority of Oklahomans who voted to ban Sharia law, despite the fact that Oklahoma’s tiny Muslim minority had never called for it; the people of Switzerland who voted to ban the building of minarets, echoing Nazi-era rules about synagogue building; and moron/Pastor Terry Jones of Florida who managed to get global publicity from a moronic media, after threatening a Quran-burning ceremony on September 11 – before changing his mind. By repeatedly posting about “Muslim atrocities” while ignoring the majority of atrocities carried out by non-Muslims (in particular this year’s Sri Lankan massacre of Hindu Tamils by the Buddhist Sinhalese majority), these morons create a compelling picture of a “Muslim Problem”.
  • In 3rd place come the English Defence League, a neo-fascist movement that supposedly exists to combat “Islamic extremism”. However, the highly stupid and semi-literate followers of the EDL keep forgetting to stick to the script, and so have been guilty of racist rants against Jews and Asians, along with physical attacks on Sikh and Hindu temples. The EDL are best known online for their inability to write in even basic English, which kind-of makes a mockery of their name. On demonstrations, their illiterate placards are legendary, particularly a recent one saying “SPORT ARE TROOP’S”. In following the EDL’s activities, I often make use of the valuable work done by ExposingTweets, who follows and records their insane ramblings on Facebook.
  • 2nd place is devoted to big oil, which has continued to make such a mess of the world in 2010, along with its supporters in the Republican Party. It seems painfully obvious that America needs to heavily cut its oil consumption or face economic extinction, but the oil industry has ensured that Americans are kept oblivious of this truth, and that America’s leaders leave the industry alone to continue making billions of profit each month. Special mentions go to: BP, which was responsible for the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and has since invested much time and money into telling us how the spill had minimal environmental impact; Koch Oil, who have invested millions into front organisations denying climate change; Fox News, without whom the American public would wake up to the unfolding disaster of oil addiction, and demand action; and last but not least, the great American moron, who believes he has the right to drive his SUV as far as he wants, despite the fact that this drives up the cost of oil and food for the world’s poor 50%
  • And finally… despite huge competition, the undisputed moron heavyweight champions of the world are… the Teaparty! Millions of “American Patriots” have correctly come to the conclusion that SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE. But have then been persuaded that the change that’s needed is to push even more power to the corporations who have made such a mess of America in recent decades. This “revolutionary movement” is suspiciously white in its make-up, but of course this has nothing to do with a feeling of revulsion among America’s large racist minority at seeing a black man in the White House. Special mentions go to the movement’s “leaders” and instigators, particuarly the gruesome moronic duo of conspiracy-inventor extraordinaire, Glenn Beck, along with the Queen of of Morondom, Sarah Palin, who most recently entertained the world by allying herself with North Korea. Let’s also remember those Teaparty morons who we may not be hearing from in future: the super-crazies Sharron Angle who lost her electoral battle in Nevada, and Christine “Don’t Masturbate” O’Donnell who failed in her run for Delaware.

And that’s it folks! Look out for more tweets and blog posts in 2011, along with audio podcasts and more! Thanks for listening – I’m out of here till next year.

MW x