Saturday, November 07, 2015

Ben Carson Lunacy and Lying on Display

Ben Carson: granaries built by a fictional person
Thankfully, Ben Carson seems to be getting some much needed scrutiny that (i) shows that the man is crazy in my view, and (ii) very challenged when it comes to truth and veracity.  The latter, of course, should be no surprise given Carson's religiosity and purported conservative Christian faith since in my experience, literally no one lies more than the "godly folk."  Between Carson's belief that Egypt's pyramids were built as granaries by Joseph, a mythical figure in the Bible, to his lie that he was offered a scholarship to West Point,  Carson clearly lives in an alternate reality - which may be why he is so popular with the equally delusional Teabagistan crowd.  First, the Washington Post looks at Carson's beliefs about the pyramids:
On Wednesday, a 17-year-old video surfaced of Ben Carson claiming that the Old Testament figure Joseph built the Egyptian pyramids to store food.

“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said in a 1998 commencement speech at Andrews University, unearthed by BuzzFeed. “Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big — when you stop and think about it, and I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time — to store that much grain.”

Social media quickly overflowed with scorn. Critics — and not just archaeologists — pointed to well-documented evidence that the structures were built as tombs, not granaries. Photos of pyramid burial vaults circulated on Twitter. Soon, Carson’s comments had become a meme with references to the food pyramid and “Stargate.”

He has made a string of incendiary comments in recent years. . . . . But to claim that the pyramids, which American kids learn about in grade school, were not tombs for pharaohs but grain silos built by a biblical hero appeared to rise to another level. To some critics, it was akin to Dan Quayle’s infamous “potatoe” gaffe. And when Carson confirmed to CBS Wednesday night that he still believes Joseph built the pyramids as granaries, the video began to assume Mitt Romney “47 percent” proportions as the moment when Carson’s flaws as a candidate suddenly crystallized into a single quote.

“It’s amazing how one can be a neurosurgeon and a dimwit at the same time,” one person tweeted, echoing a common refrain.

Not surprisingly, most scholars and Egyptologist say that there is no historical proof that Joseph ever existed - just like the fictional Adam and Eve.  Indeed, the Joseph story in Genesis is noted as:
The reworked legends and folklore were probably inserted into the developing textual tradition of the Bible between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE. Most scholars place its composition in a genre that flourished in the Persian period of the Exile. 
Do we really want the president of the nation to be someone who bases his beliefs on legends and folklore?   But it gets worse.  Carson seems to have a documented history of lying to embellish his storyline.  True, much of the GOP base is too stupid to question tales that play to their own beliefs and prejudices, but did Carson expect the media to blindly believe his tall tales?  Vanity Fair looks at the West Point lie.  Here are excerpts:

Friday, November 6 might well be remembered as the end of Ben Carson mania. That’s because several key points in his inspirational, rags-to-riches life story were revealed to have been exaggerated, if not fabricated outright.

The collapse actually began on Thursday, when CNN published evidence they believe refutes his claim that he was an angry child: in his best-selling memoir, Gifted Hands, Carson, who had an impoverished childhood in Detroit, claimed that he had a “pathological temper” that led to several stunning incidents, such as attacking his mother with a hammer and attempting to stab a friend when he was in the ninth grade.

[D]uring press conferences and an appearance on The Kelly File later that day, he adamantly refused to admit that he fabricated his personal history, blaming the media for trying to take him down: “Do you think I’m a pathological liar like CNN does? Or do you think I’m an honest person?”

The day after he raised the question, Politico charged that he had lied about having dinner with the famous general William Westmoreland after a Memorial Day parade in 1969, and also erroneously recounted having received an offer of admission and full scholarship to West Point shortly afterwards. He would later claim that he didn't want to go into the military, preferring a life in medicine instead.

The prestigious military academy told Politico that they did not find any records of Carson, who was an R.O.T.C. student, having been admitted. The academy didn’t even find anything indicating that he’d applied or began the application process. As for the full scholarship? All West Point students receive full rides.

It is also highly unlikely that he’d even met Westmoreland in the manner Carson had implied. Per Politico: “The general did not visit Detroit around Memorial Day in 1969 or have dinner with Carson. In fact, the general’s records suggest he was in Washington that day and played tennis at 6:45 P.M.”

New Republic associate editor Adam Peck found that Carson had repeated the West Point claim on Facebook as recently as August 13. . . . 

My Republican ancestors must be spinning in their graves if they can see what a insane asylum the GOP has become.  Once upon a time, no one as unhinged would get to be a serious candidate in the Party much less a front runner.  

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