September 18, 2003

Stupid Conservative Myth #3

Time, boys and girls, for yet another myth that stupid conservatives believe:

Liberals believe that guns, in the hands of law-abiding Americans, are more of a threat than U.S. nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Chinese communists.

Not sure what the main point of this one is. There's another stupid myth later about guns and the NRA, so I'll save the gun talk for then. So let's talk about how liberals are apparently in favor of putting nuclear weapons technology into the hands of Chinese communists. The root of this story goes back to a failed missile launch in 1996. At the time, a US company (Loral) had been granted a "waiver" to put a "black box" guidance system on Chinese rockets (for reasons why we would do this, see below). It was one of many routine waivers.

But the rocket crashed and, presumably, the Chinese military were able to then get their hands on the black box and learn something about guidance systems from it (although later reports by various agencies greatly downplayed the significance of this, saying it would have at best a marginal impact, if any, on Chinese technological research). After the crash, trying to help the Chinese troubleshoot the cause, someone from Loral faxed the Chinese some documents which may or may not have contained sensitive information. Note that this was done without the knowledge of *anyone* in the government. The Security Council didn't even find out about the incident until 1998, when Loral was requesting another waiver and the justice department tipped them off that they had been looking into it.

Nutball conservatives are convinced that because Clinton received some campaign contributions from Loral's president, Clinton sold out his principles to allow Loral to consult and/or "sell" technology to the Chinese. Of course, any transfer of sensitive documents that took place did so without Clinton's knowledge or approval, and there was never any "sale" involved. At least, no such accusation was ever formally entered into the record, even by the blowjob-obsessed idiots in the House of Representatives, who were damned well looking for ANYTHING to pin on Clinton. Their actual investigation exhonorated him but criticized the waiver policy in general, but of course the waiver policy was a product of the Reagan and Bush administrations. Oops!

A very brief internet search reveals a bunch of loonies who think Clinton is the devil and wanted the Chinese to kill us all as long as he could get some campaign cash out of the deal, but also a treasure trove of informative articles archived by the Washington post dealing with key events in this story. Here is some important perspective from one of those:

A reconstruction of the administration's handling of the 1998 launch permission technically a "waiver" of prohibitions against some high-technology dealings with China reveals a complicated, and in many ways mundane, picture of a bureaucratic process propelled by a policy forged in the Reagan and Bush administrations.

For the past 10 years, the U.S. government has permitted even encouraged U.S companies to launch commercial satellites atop Chinese rockets. Not only are the Chinese launches cheaper than those of other countries a boost to U.S. industry in a highly competitive business they are seen as facilitating future U.S. commercial entree into other lucrative Chinese markets and, most important for policymakers, as enticing China into a more cooperative relationship on such sensitive issues as nuclear proliferation. [...]

The initial policy decision to allow U.S. satellite makers to launch their products atop Chinese rockets had its roots in the shutdown of the space shuttle program after the 1986 Challenger crash, and the failures of several satellite launches using U.S. rockets. On Sept. 9, 1988, the Reagan administration announced it would reverse policy and allow China to launch American-made commercial satellites within a year.

Before the new policy could be implemented, however, Tiananmen Square happened. After the bloody, June 4, 1989, Chinese crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, the Bush administration followed by Congress imposed sanctions prohibiting exports to China of weapons as well as hardware and technology that could be used for military purposes. Although the sanctions also prohibited the Chinese launch of U.S.-made commercial satellites, a provision was included for case-by-case waivers if the president determined a launch to be in the national interest.

Bush signed three waivers covering nine separate launches of satellites manufactured by U.S. companies including the Loral-made satellite destroyed in the 1996 crash. Clinton has signed eight waivers covering 11 launches. The waiver process is fairly routine, with negotiations between satellite firms and government agencies often beginning years before a proposed launch.

A quick search of Bob Somerby's Daily Howler archives reveals the incredibly dishonest and rotten way that the right-wing media took hold of this story. Since that's all most of the wingnuts listen to, it is no surprise that they think Clinton is some kind of traitor. Kind of like how the mainstream media is the only thing most Moron Americans listen to, so it is no surprise they think Iraq and Al Qaeda are linked.

And so at the end of the day, it turns out that the claim that Clinton somehow sold nuclear missile technology to the Chinese is completely full of crap. It has been extensively documented, and the accusation thoroughly refuted, both by the bipartisan report of the congressional investigation and by other organizations like the non-partisan Federation of American Scientists, which routinely advises the government about science and technology issues, regardless of which party is in power.

So why do conservatives still accept it as gospel? This takes us to item #4 that you must believe in order to be a good conservative:

Every single negative accusation made about Bill and/or Hillary Clinton or anyone associated with that administration is absolutely, positively true. No amount of evidence to the contrary can change that FACT.

Corollary: If any Republican is guilty of any similar accusation (i.e. "lying to the American people", "adultery", "favorable treatment of campaign donors", "too much polling", etc), you must COMPLETELY ignore it and focus ONLY on Clinton. It may help to cover your ears and go: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA...

Posted by Observer at September 18, 2003 07:02 AM

Comments on entries can only be made in pop-up windows while those entries are still on the main index page. Sorry for the inconvenience this causes, but this blocks about 99.99% of the spam the blog receives.

No, that's not true. You're making this up as you go. Number four is as follows:
4. You have to believe that there was no art before
Federal funding.
If you're going to quote me, at least be honest enough to quote me instead of lying and saying I said things that I never said.

Posted by: Doc on September 18, 2003 10:26 AM

This post was titled myth #3, and that myth was quoted at the beginning of the post, basically verbatim from the list you originally posted. Even though we've covered 3 stupid conservative myths, we have already concluded four things good conservatives believe (the first conservative myth was so stupid, it generated two candidates for good conservative beliefs). I'm slowly replacing your list of 20 with a list of my own. You see how that works now?

The one that you say is #4, about art and federal funding, will be dealt with in a post entitled "Stupid Conservative Myth #4". And it will end with something good conservatives are supposed to believe, item #5 on that list. It's already written, but I'm trying to go slow for ya.

I know conservatives are really bad at math and stuff, but do try to keep up.

Posted by: Observer on September 18, 2003 10:43 AM

My word, thank the lord for Doc and his ilk. I had no idea what I was missing.

Go, Doc, go. Tell us more. Share your opinions yet more widely! Please do. We love you. Tell us about Feminism, maybe? I'd love to hear your thought(s) on that. Or maybe your opinion of modern literature? What do you think about those nasty Iraqis? About horrible liberal countries like, er, the rest of the world? Do you like classic poetry? What about African music?

Don't be shy. Stand up to be counted. Tell us what you think.

Posted by: The Pope on September 18, 2003 02:26 PM

I've thought about it and decided that I can combine a couple of things and officially renumber so harebrained conservatives don't get confused. So here's the updated list of things good conservatives believe:

1. The gummint should never try to educate people about AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. If somebody is stupid enough to get AIDS, we should let them die.

Corollary: The appropriate penalty for homosexual behavior is death. AIDS is God's way of acting where we as a society have failed.

2. The gummint has no business trying to teach our kids anything at all about sex unless it is to dictate abstinence (but it is preferable not to talk about it at all). Only parents should talk about sex with kids. If the parents aren't there or won't do it, tough luck for the kids. Think of it as a form of natural selection.

Corollary: The legal line between decent and indecent sex between consenting adults should be drawn such that it includes everything you are personally comfortable with and absolutely nothing else. Anyone who discusses their sexual habits openly, however, is a pervert. Selective Bible quoting is strongly encouraged.

3. Every single negative accusation made about Bill and/or Hillary Clinton or anyone associated with that administration is absolutely, positively true. No amount of evidence to the contrary can change that FACT.

Corollary: If any Republican is guilty of any similar accusation (i.e. "lying to the American people", "adultery", "favorable treatment of campaign donors", "too much polling", etc), you must COMPLETELY ignore it and focus ONLY on Clinton. It may help to cover your ears and go: LA LA LA LA LA LA LA...

Posted by: Observer on September 18, 2003 03:30 PM

Thank you. I'm sure The Observer's students are suitably impressed by his/her/it/shit's bullshit too.

Posted by: Doc on September 18, 2003 07:00 PM

I've notice that you get a pretty limited number of comments on your blog. Hmmm, wonder why that would be? Isn't it required reading for your students?
Are people just bored with your political rants? Does your employer know that you spend 67% of your work day posting bullshit instead of teaching?
Just thinking out loud.

Posted by: Doc on September 18, 2003 07:02 PM

Not that there's anything WRONG with that.

Posted by: Doc on September 18, 2003 07:04 PM

Fuck off or find another web site.
I'll get your ass tossed.

Posted by: Doc on September 18, 2003 07:19 PM

And the Pope sucks too.
Go Pope go.
Could you be a little more general?

Posted by: Doc on September 18, 2003 07:20 PM

I don't advertise my blog, and I don't seek out readers. I just do this as my hobby. Those interested in a high-comment-volume, high quality political blog should check out my sidebar links. My very few readers are of exceptionally high quality (including you, for the entertainment value), and I'm happy with that.

You seem to want to talk about everything except the thorough refutation I just posted of another paranoid conservative myth. Hmmm, wonder why? Aren't you going to overwhelm and inundate me with substance (besides bullshit)?

Posted by: Observer on September 18, 2003 07:22 PM

What do you mean "I'll get your ass tossed"? Are you talking about banning a commenter or deleting my blog? I guess your comment is too vague, but it does sounds like Mr. Fair Fight has really come out to play!

If the content of my blog ever becomes a problem for Chuck (or whomever is kind enough to host it), I'll be content to move. (shrug)

Posted by: Observer on September 18, 2003 07:55 PM

Ah, the good Doc calls for censorship now?

how american of you.

Posted by: on September 19, 2003 05:35 AM

oops.. sign me..

An American

Posted by: Just Mary on September 19, 2003 05:36 AM

Oh my. I'm sure Doc feels so much more smug and smart knowing he's torn us all to shreds with his incredible wit and knowledge. Oh wait. I'm sorry, I confused table-pounding (thanks for that image, Ob.) with wit and knowledge.

Just adding another comment because I don't want Observer to feel inferior. I mean, the number of comments on a blog are surely a measure of a blog's (and its author's) worth. Surely.

Posted by: Perkusi on September 19, 2003 04:48 PM

You're the disease. I'm the cure.

Posted by: Doc on September 19, 2003 06:24 PM

Is your insurance payment up to date?

Posted by: Doc on September 19, 2003 06:26 PM


Posted by: Perkusi on September 19, 2003 09:53 PM

I just realized that people are finding this archived post by looking for information on the computer game "Myth 3". This post comes up as the 4th thing in a Google search, if you can believe it.

If you are new to this blog, and the above comments are confusing, here is a brief explanation. This blog was once hosted by a friend of "Doc", the nutball who made one of many death threats (yeah, they got worse and more explicit ... long story short: I'm still alive and he's banned) you see above. I eventually moved so that this friend wouldn't have to put up with Doc's nonsense, and I now own my own domain.

Doc continues to have his own blog and believe in his own nutty little worldview, and I encourage him to keep up the good work. He speaks his mind and makes the liberal case very convincingly, albeit unintentionally. He once posted a list of "20 things liberals believe", so I used it to launch a series of stupid conservative myths. You can see links to all 20 from the home page of this blog.

If you read this far, you have way too much spare time, you know. You should get outdoors. Get some sun.

Posted by: Observer on June 22, 2004 11:16 PM