Tuesday, March 9, 2010

FFRF's Dan Barker on The Daily Show

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March 8, 2010 on The Daily Show (U.S. Only)
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  1. Dan Barker reminds me of Peter Atkins, the Cambridge professor, UK.  Both are extremely smart men. They know their stuff, and...that's it. They are the most  miserable public speakers the internet has ever known.
    Dickless, <span> </span>gutless <span> </span>and yet very polite and gentle creatures in the cruel world, where selling your stuff is as much important as knowing your stuff.
    Writing the books - yes.
    Speaking alone to the camera - yes.
    Debating and arguing - a big NOOOOOOOO !

  2. I think the Daily Show can make just about anyone looks stupid. But Barker could have said some of those things better...

  3. That was fantastic! One of the funniest bits they've done in a long time. And really people, it's just an optionally purchasable collector's stamp. Not everything has to be a battle.

  4. Teresa really was not the humanitarian she made herself out to be but wow he shouldn't have used the word conspiracy... As others have mentioned Barker is not the best speaker and seems like he was not completely thinking about everything he said. Nevertheless I think the postage stamp thing is not that big of a deal and atheists, agnostics, humanists have a lot more to fight for and don't need anymore bad PR.

  5. <p>Oliver Stone's JFK, Loose Change, Zeitgeist, and other garbage have convinced many people that every mention of the word "conspiracy" indicates a lunatic.</p>
    <p>But a few years ago, Bin Laden, a number of Saudia Arabians, and a few other muslims conspired to attack the WTC and Pentagon. No, there's no evidence Bush was connected to it, and Al Qadea never had much power, but it was nonetheless a conspiracy. Nixon's CRP is another example of a real conspiracy, and they did enable Nixon to win the 1972 election by an enormous margin - see All The President's Men. But they didn't manage to keep the secret long enough for Nixon to finish his 2nd term in office. They had enough power to prevent significant punishment of nearly all of the people involved, but many lost most of their political power and had their reputations damaged. Conspiracies do happen in real life, but they're almost always far simpler than anything depicted in most novels, they seldom stay secret as long as the conspirators intend, and they often break up due to differing aims of the conspirators. And although some have had widespread (but not necessarily strong) influence, there's no evidence of one that has had influence everywhere.</p>
    <p>The RCC does have a lot of power - but most  of that power is out in the open. And it does have a lot of influence on the US government, but most of it is indirect and imprecise; they don't call shots directly, but they do play a big role in keeping gay marriage illegal, and restricting abortion. I doubt any RCC official made a direct suggestion to the USPS. Rather, it's more likely that the RCC's aggressive, long-running PR campaign for Mother Teresa led ordinary US citizens to independently suggest the stamp to the USPS, or to USPS people making the decision. That's actually how the vast majority of influence works - not through secret channels, but through the opposite - through messages we are all so heavily bombarded with that we can't possibly ignore the message.</p>
    <p>I doubt Dan Barker is the conspiracy theorist this funny, but obviously cherry-picked joke depicts him as. More likely, he was trying to explain that the RCC's influence on the US government exceeds most people's estimation, and he was quoted out of context. I'd like to see the full interview.</p>

  6. Mother Teresa is a muderous cunt. But none of that matters. She's managed to get herself a reputation for purity and selfless virtue, so that's all anyone thinks about when they hear her name. "He that has the name to be an early riser may sleep till noon." -James Howell.

  7. Are we sure that Dan wasn't just playing along with the comedy theme of the Daily Show when he started talking about a conspiracy?

  8. Sadly, not available in the UK

  9. It is perhaps worth noting that the segment featured material from a 2.5 hr long interview where a lot of contructive arguments and information was provided by Barker...

  10. Umm... yes it is.  I watch it on more 4 all the time.  It's how I saw this episode.

  11. Oh ignor me.  I just realised you where talking about THIS websites version :S

  12. Dan Barker's right. I read up on M Teresa. Clearly a propaganda machine, who questioned her own belief. See Hitchens explain it.