Recently in Feelings, Not Facts Category
The latest bit of wackiness from the watermelon environmentalists in New York are their claims that fracking - the hydraulic fracturing of oil or natural gas bearing rock - will cause an increase in syphilis. And that's not all. Their reasoning? Try this:
They argue that a drilling boom would draw an influx of male workers from other states who would engage in activities of a kind that would spread sexually transmitted diseases.Yeah. Right.
They also contend that a boom would trigger a housing crunch, adding to homelessness and the health ailments that go along with it.
And that increased truck traffic would not only lead to more road fatalities, but would also -- again, no kidding -- discourage people from getting the outdoor exercise they need to stay fit.
It sounds like these folks are related to the West Coast wackos who have been claiming the decrease in population (and businesses) in California is a good thing because "it gives the municipalities and the state the opportunity to plan and build for future population and business growth." They don't seem to understand that there will be no money available to do those things because most of the people who would supply that money through the taxes they pay no longer work or live there. (And we musn't forget the multi-billions of taxpayer dollars that will be spent building a high speed rail system to nowhere, again with money they won't have, for people who don't want it or need it.)
All of this sounds like it came right out of Atlas Shrugged. (One wag commenting on a WSJ opinion piece about California's accelerating economic decline suggested banning businesses from moving out of state, reminiscent of Directive 10-289. At first I thought it was sarcasm, but it wasn't. How sad.)
So, economic growth and the jobs that go with it are a Bad Thing™? I'm not sure how they came to this conclusion, but obviously some deluded soul has sold them on the idea that anything that helps the economy must automatically be bad because....because...umm...it's just bad!!
Next, it's "Government is the only thing we all belong to."
It's merely another part of the Democrat mind-set, being that we owe everything to the government and that we are owned part and parcel by that same government. In other words, they are trying to tell us that we are slaves of the State and that we should be grateful for our indentured status.
What's worse is that at there are a lot of people who look forward to becoming vassals as if that will somehow relieve them of some great burden. It will. They will be relieved of their freedom to choose for themselves. They will become nothing but a disposable cog in the machine that is the State.
Is there anything we as Americans can do to prevent this from happening? Sure.
Vote them out of office. Ridicule them at every opportunity. Show the rest of the people that what these folks are advocating is not a solution, but a trap. There are plenty of examples to prove the point.
One of the biggest in more recent American history was LBJ's Great Society, a social welfare program that trapped millions in poverty and kept them dependent on the government, generation after generation. Minorities that had been making great strides to lift themselves out of poverty after World War II were again made second class citizens, having sold their freedom for a regular check from the government coffers. What's worse is that very folks who pulled this off painted their efforts to re-enslave them as a means to reach some kind of never-to-be-reached 'equality'. They were sold a lie, one too many still continue to believe.
If they need other examples there are plenty to choose from - the Bolshevik Revolution, Nazi Germany, Cuba, Nicaragua under the Sandinistas, Chavez's Venezuela, and a whole host of other nations that tried what the Democrats have been attempting to do (and failed miserably). It's a system that is always doomed to fail. Some have failed in spectacular fashion while others have been slowly fading away. But all of them have had one common element - surrendering individual freedoms to the State.
Stated the first, Steve Korn:
We have a choice between government that works and government that doesn't.To which Gregg Sanderson replied:
Thomas Sowell had the best answer I've seen:And so it has been in our nation and others of the West. It has become less about logic and using the lessons from the past, showing us what works and what doesn't, and more about already dis-proven means of doing things that are implemented anyways because of how it makes someone (or a group of someones) feel.
"Much of the social history of the Western world, over the past three decades, has been a history of replacing what worked with what sounded good."
As history has shown again and again, and particularly over the past few decades, making choices based upon or heavily influenced by feelings is almost always the wrong thing to do. The unintended consequences almost always outweigh any perceived benefits and end up doing more harm than doing nothing while providing little good.
Jennifer Rubin covered Ann's speech, stating:
She showed a determination and soberness that was appropriate to a still doubting public. No one speech is going to turn an election. But Ann Romney delivered as promised. Romney and his team should consider themselves lucky to have a candidate's wife who can look her fellow Americans in the eye and sound both sincere and ebullient. She is indeed his greatest asset.But to read the comments to Jennifer's post, you'd think Ann was something that crawled out of a sewer, becoming someone even more reviled than Palin. But what do you expect from readers of the Washington Post who are "true believers" in the cause of Progressive Socialism, (thought they don't call it that...assuming they even know what it is.)
All kinds of accusation were leveled at her, all kinds of claims about her background made, and attacks made against her sons. But every single one of those supposedly enlightened bits of information were so easily debunked with just a little bit of search time on Google or Bing. But the facts don't fit with the narrative and therefore must be discarded.
What it comes down to is the folks posting those kinds of comments ceased thinking for themselves years ago and are capable only of regurgitating what they've been told by their leaders/friends of a friend/etc. If what they hear backs up their 'beliefs', then it must be true, right? After all, the Democrats and the Left never lie about anything, do they?
I expect that the closer we get to the election the worst the attacks against Mitt, and particularly Ann will become, harking us back to the days of the character assassination of Sarah Palin and her family. And like the last election, I expect the Obama campaign to go after the Romney kids and grandkids. But I also expect to hear a hew and cry if anyone were to make cracks about Michelle or the Obama girls. After all, the rules only apply to the GOP and not the Democrats, right?
And considering some of the other activities seen by the Left and their lapdog media, I expect the racist looting hypocrites to pull every dirty trick in their book to keep the Narcissist-in-Chief in office, including making sure all of the dead, the non-citizens, and other ineligible people 'vote' for their guy as many times as they can. After all, aren't the Democrats, and particularly the Chicago machine, the party of voter fraud? (See, I can make accusations, too. But at least I can prove mine.)
For the most part I have been trying to avoid many of the campaign ads running on TV. But they are so pervasive that it is almost impossible to do so unless I'm watching something recorded on the DVR so I can skip right past them.
But I have noticed the tone and I have to say I'm not liking what I'm seeing.
It isn't that many of the ads are negative. That's pretty much par for the course. It is the focus of the ads and some of the outright falsehoods and very creative editing being put forward as the "Truth".
Before I go any farther let me give you this warning - I am not non-partisan. I am not going to pretend I'm non-partisan and I'm going to admit right up front that I am biased.
The upcoming elections in November are driving a great big wedge between those who believe the big issue for this election is the economy and those who think it's about anything but the economy. The first group is right and the second is wrong.
As I have said time and time again to many of the anti-Tea party folks (most who seem to believe the Tea party wants to impose some kind of Christian theocracy), the social issues don't matter worth a damn if the nation is bankrupt. If the economy collapses things like abortion rights, same-sex marriage, drug laws, ObamaCare, Social Security, and a whole host of other social issues will become marginalized because everyone will be too busy just trying to survive. None of that crap will matter to anyone. As Democrat consultant James Carville famously said, "It's the economy, stupid!"
The GOP ticket is focusing on the right issues, specifically the economy, jobs, and overreaching government regulations that have only hurt the economy. The Democrats want to focus on anything but the economy, and that's understandable. It's a losing issue for them. So they'll focus on all kinds of social issues that most Americans could care less about. They'll put forth ads and whispering campaigns about how Romney wants to take us back to the Middle Ages, ban all contraception, put women back in the kitchen, and steal lollipops from the mouths of children. (The last is more likely to happen, but it will be Mike Bloomberg doing that, not the Romney.)
Accusations of tax fraud, FEC and SEC violations, and wrongful death have been flung at Romney, yet every one of them has been found to be without merit. But that doesn't mean the Dems won't keep throwing those kind of accusations his way.
Romney's life is pretty much an open book, unlike our present President who is one of the most secretive persons to ever sit in the Oval Office. We know nothing about him other than what he wants us to know, and that's not much. But to hear it you'd think Romney was hiding all kinds of secrets. It's the standard Democrat tactic of accusing others of doing what they themselves are doing.
I've seen my share of presidential campaigns, but I have to say that this one is probably one of the most divisive and nasty ones I've ever seen. I also expect it to get worse, particularly if the Dems and their 'supporters' (the unions) decide to use their proxies (anarchists, OWS, etc) to up the ante and start with physical threats, voter intimidation, and outright acts of violence. Of course I also expect that if such a thing happens they'll get a pass from AG Jeffrey Holder, much as they did during the 2010 elections.
But once that kind of claim is made in the MSM, it becomes fact, at least for many of the evidence deficient Left. And as of yet there has been no apology for smearing Tea party member Holmes' name other than a brief editor's note on the ABC News website. Too many folks believing the "yet another mad dog Tea party member has been shooting up Colorado" meme will never see that note. Better that ABC News made the apology on the air.
And the hits keep on coming, even from left-leaning blogs, and rightfully so.
OK then! There's some guy on the internet with the same name. That is literally all Ross had--no other connection, not one reason to even remotely suspect that it's the same Holmes. Just that there is a guy with that name, on the internet.But the media in general has to take some of the blame, particularly television. Their obsessive need to be "first with the story", the ongoing 24-hour news cycle, and the search for ratings has been behind a lot of the problems. With these kinds motivations is it any wonder why Matt Welch has dubbed them as "half-assed media"?
That astonishingly stupid speculation led the geniuses at Breitbart to rebut the calumny with their own guy-named-James-Holmes, this one a registered Democrat. So there! "There are certainly more facts in our documents than in ABC News' irresponsible speculations," Joel Pollak wrote, hilariously and maddeningly.
Point being: Never, ever listen to anything Ross reports unless and until it has been confirmed by another, better, reporter.
Undeterred by how wrong they got the Columbine shootings 13 years ago, or how disgustingly politicized they turned Jared Loughner's 2011 rampage, the humans who work for and talk with journalistic outlets are again rushing to speculative judgment about Jim Holmes, the suspected Batman murderer in Aurora, Colorado.It's the old "If it bleeds, it ledes" mentality magnified. Take a tragedy, sensationalize the hell out of it, skip fact checking (or minimalize it at best), fling out all kinds of unsubstantiated theories and speculation, and then move on to other stories before the facts of the tragedy come out. They leave it to others to pick up the pieces of the truth they so blithely shattered in their need to get the story out before their competition. It doesn't matter to them that they may have damaged or destroyed the reputations of people unconnected to the tragedy.
We see this again and again and it's always the same. Too often the news operations try to make the news rather than just reporting the news. Along with that many reports resemble editorials rather than actual reports, with reporters and news anchors offering opinion as if it were fact. (I actually remember when the local TV stations here in New England aired editorials by their news directors and editors, labeling them as editorials. There was no confusion about them. That practice has all but disappeared, and with it, the viewing public's trust.)
And the MSM wonders why an increasing number of people have little trust or faith in them to report the news?
The first question is whether the home is a gun-free home, along the lines of is it a smoke-free home. Then, failing that question, they want to know if the guns are locked up at all times.
Seemingly fair enough.
Yet, not so fast.
But then I came across this over at Maggie's Farm and it struck such a chord in me I had to watch it again and again. And every time I watched it I became both angrier and sadder at the same time.
While this video did not come from a real debate (it's from a new HBO series The Newsroom), the fact that this character spoke his mind rather than act like a gladhanding politician by giving a 'safe' answer in order to at least not lose ground to his competitors shows that at least in some screenwriter's mind, someone recognizes the problem we have with this nation. (I am not a fan of HBO, particularly after the hatchet job they did on Sarah Palin.)
It all comes down to this, as expressed by one commenter on the original YouTube page:
We WERE the greatest country in the world until socialism, lawyers, unions, and television lulled us into mediocrity. They convinced us to give up our lofty pursuits for the security of never failing.While the sentiment is a little simplistic, it does get to the heart of the matter. Over the last 5 decades we have been told by our supposed 'betters' that by merely being American that we are somehow inherently evil, that we must pay for the crimes of our long-dead forebears and that we must apply late 20th/early 21st century 'sensibilities' to 18th, 19th, and early 20th century actions, laws, and morality. How incredibly stupid is that?
But we've seen this kind of stupidity multiplying over the years and the fact that it no longer surprises me brought me up short. When did I get so jaded that I no longer point out such stupidity?
It's been a while since I've pointed it out and ended up looking through the Weekend Pundit archives and came across something I posted a little over three years ago. It illustrates just how much damage we have allowed to be done to this once great nation, how we've been fooled into becoming nothing but a mediocre nation more concerned with feelings and not about facts.
Unless we change that this nation will go out with a whimper, and woe to us if that is the case.
It's a hard sell for them when emissions have been falling at a more rapid pace than they demanded.
Much to the surprise (and, one suspects, the chagrin) of the deranged doomsaying wing of the environmental movement, new forecasts of US CO2 emission are out and they point to an even steeper drop than the last set of predictions.There are a couple of reasons for the drop, the two biggest being the replacement of less efficient vehicles, industrial/commercial/residential equipment, and older power generation systems with new and more energy efficient ones; and a drop in economic activity which usually decreases the demand for energy and in turn decreases carbon dioxide emissions.
No cap and trade, no huge new taxes on oil, no draconian driver restrictions, no air conditioning bans, no rationing -- and the US is on track to cut its CO2 emissions 17 percent below the 2005 levels by 2020 -- and to keep cutting our emissions levels beyond that.
I doubt very much the choice to replace old equipment was made purely in order to reduce CO2 emissions. Instead it was likely made due to economics, as newer equipment tends to be more efficient and requires less maintenance than old equipment which in turn lowers operating costs. The lower emissions are a byproduct of this efficiency.
I know in the recent past the US was decreasing its carbon dioxide emissions at a faster rate than those countries who signed on to the Kyoto treaty and I think we'll probably find that is still the case. But what this is telling us is that Kyoto was not the means of reducing CO2 output. In fact, some signatories have seen their CO2 emissions continue to rise.
In any case, the United States of America is living proof that there are more ways to address environmental concerns than the green movement as a whole is willing to admit.Indeed.
The truth is that if CO2 emissions are going to come down, it's going to happen the American way rather than the Greenpeace way. Instead of flinging muck and howling curses at the most successful carbon cutting large economy in the world, maybe a few more greens here and there will start thinking about how to spread the magic around.
Take a close look, kiddies. This is what happens when you let feelings overrule your logic, something that happens to those on Left all too often.
In light of the Supreme Court's ruling on ObamaCare, my only response is "We're screwed!"
It seems it took the majority, including Chief Justice Roberts, all kinds of elaborate and painfully twisted reasoning to justify the continuing existence of this godawful law.
While all hope is not lost, meaning it will take Congress to kill this law, repealing the ACA will probably have to wait until after the November elections, assuming Obama is kicked out of office bag and baggage and Harry Reid ends up as the Senate Minority leader. Otherwise we're stuck with a law that will seriously cripple a sixth of the American economy with draconian regulations and taxes. (One has to remember that the ACA requires 10 years of tax revenues to fund 6 years of benefits which is why the major part (and most expensive) doesn't go into effect until 2014. But what happens after those 6 years pass? Tax hikes, that's what.)
So once again the will of the American people is overridden by our supposed "betters" and we're still going to get stuck with the bill for their 'party'.
One of the first signs is the claims by low-level Obama supporters that "Romney became rich by making other people poor!" Call it an offshoot of the ever-discredited "Zero Sum Fallacy" constantly being sold by the economically clueless Left.
If memory serves, I recall reading one claim on one of the WSJ forums about Bain Capital buying a distressed business, closing it, and selling off its assets.
First, Bain's raison d'étrè was to invest in failing businesses, turn them around, and make money for the investors. For the most part, they succeeded. But sometimes they couldn't and the companies failed, were closed, and the assets sold off to offset their losses. There are times when no matter what, a failing business can't be saved.
Second, the action in question took place in 2002. There's only one problem with the claim made by the poster in the forum: Romney wasn't with Bain at the time. He'd left in 1998, four years before this supposedly took place.
So how could Romney be held responsible for something that took place well after he left unless it's one of the side effects of RDP? After all, the Left blames George Bush for all kinds of things, including things done by a Democrat majority Congress. Some blame him for things that have taken place long after he left office. Why shouldn't we expect the indoctrinated Left to do the same thing to Romney. All I'm waiting for now is some kind of "fake but accurate" incident analogous to RatherGate to smear Romney. I figure it's only a matter of time.
Reading some of the Letters to the Editor in one of the local papers here in New Hampshire, I am already seeing elements of the coming smear campaign. The local Leftist parrots are already repeating their carefully programmed claims, condemning Romney and praising their messiah, regardless of the fact that Romney has created more jobs while working in the private sector than Obama has since he was nothing more than a community organizer in Chicago. Claims of 4.25 millions jobs created by Obama must be taken with a huge grain of salt, just as many of us doubt his "3 million jobs created or saved by the $878 billion stimulus" claim. Certainly the unemployment numbers never reflected that claim, either the officially reported number (meaning those collecting unemployment) and the officially ignored number (meaning those also unemployed who were no longer collecting unemployment or who were underemployed) which boosted the unemployment rate a good 6 or 7 percentage points higher than the official numbers. (At one point the unemployment rate was above 11%, meaning the actual unemployment rate was closer to 17 percent.)
So far the "evil Bain" approach and hyped jobs claims hasn't worked and it's backfired on the Democrats. Too many folks out there know the real story because they're living it and claims made by the Obama campaign to the contrary don't match their reality. With today's unemployment numbers showing the unemployment rate has gone up, job creation fell far short of projections, and the Dow Jones Average falling almost 300 points today, reality has just slapped the Democrats in the face.
But I don't expect that to stop the spread of baseless, fact-deficient, and ignorant distortions of Romney's record of accomplishments.
I respond to that tactic with a statement to the effect that energetic conversation doesn't have to imply conflict. Further, that an expresser of opinion has a moral obligation to gracefully receive a rebuttal or keep your opinions to yourself.It has always been my belief that conversation does not mean those conversing must agree with each other. On the contrary, some of the best conversations I've ever had have been with people with whom I disagree, whether on a subject trivial or profound. But it seems quite a few on the left believe the only worthwhile conversation is with those with whom they agree. Call it preaching to the choir or speaking in an echo gallery. But if they limit themselves to such conversations, then new and interesting ideas will never be broached and they might as well be talking to themselves.
It never fails me and usually embarrasses the conversation squelcher.
And yet again I have to bring up that many 'conversations' I've had with true blue liberals follow the same pattern, with references to "everybody knows such-and-such" or "I feel that..."
As to the first, one of my favorite philosophers, Robert Heinlein, opined: "If 'everyone knows' such-and-such, then it ain't so by ten thousand to one."
As to the second, I have always found those three words to be extremely annoying. I don't care what someone feels about a particular subject. I want to know what they think about it. I've found that opinions based upon feelings and not upon logic and facts are almost always wrong, sometimes disastrously so. The same is also true about decisions based upon feelings. It might make the person making the decision feel better about themselves, but it doesn't help those who will be affected by that decision. In many cases it makes things worse because the person who made the decision ignored the facts and the possible consequences of that decision. As long as they felt good about the decision it was the right one as far as they were concerned. Of course they're the ones who rarely have to suffer the consequences of their decision.