Well, we can agree to disagree. I see bnlatant lies, misinformation and propaganda at the democrats weapons of choices, more so because they have the press behind them.
I think that you’re being somewhat coy about this press business, Mike. You may not have noticed that The New York Times makes a point of hiring and publishing writers who hold a Conservative point of view.
This particular think piece seemed to be fairly straightforward. I didn’t think It was pro-Obama by any means, but it tried to be pretty objective and fair. It seemed conservative from my point of view, but a lot of it made good if painful sense. If The New York Times was the newspaper you take it to be, this editorial should never have appeared there; and yet it did. The Times, like many liberal papers believes that the press should present many different points of view.
There are newspapers and publications that are interested in representing primarily a single point of view, on the left or on the right.
Some do this with substantive care for the facts, some are more interested in representing the politics and put less effort into the facts. The best publications tend to get the facts nailed down over a period of time after making errors along the way. The New York Times is such a paper in the United States. It makes errors, but it tends to correct the errors over time. The Times of London seems to be another; at least I hope that remains the case. One is run by a somewhat liberal organization, the other by a very right-wing organization that has tried to keep its politics out of this particular paper.
This kind of stuff can be done.
It is very difficult to do.
The author of this particular piece is a psychologist who has published a fascinating and to the point psychological study of political reasoning. I urge the Wiki blurb to your attention, below:
Political bias study
In January 2006 a group of scientists led by Westen announced at the annual Society for Personality and Social Psychology conference in Palm Springs, California the results of a study in which functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) showed that self-described Democrats and Republicans responded to negative remarks about their political candidate of choice in systematically biased ways.
Specifically, when Republican test subjects were shown self-contradictory quotes by George W. Bush and when Democratic test subjects were shown self-contradictory quotes by John Kerry, both groups tended to explain away the apparent contradictions in a manner biased to favor their candidate of choice. Similarly, areas of the brain responsible for reasoning (presumably the prefrontal cortex) did not respond during these conclusions while areas of the brain controlling emotions (presumably the amygdala and/or cingulate gyrus) showed increased activity as compared to the subject's responses to politically neutral statements associated with politically neutral people (such as Tom Hanks).
Subjects were then presented with information that exonerated their candidate of choice. When this occurred, areas of the brain involved in reward processing (presumably the orbitofrontal cortex and/or striatum / nucleus accumbens) showed increased activity.
Dr. Westen said,
None of the circuits involved in conscious reasoning were particularly engaged... Essentially, it appears as if partisans twirl the cognitive kaleidoscope until they get the conclusions they want... Everyone... may reason to emotionally biased judgments when they have a vested interest in how to interpret 'the facts.'
The study was published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 18:11, pp. 1947–58, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
Even before being peer-reviewed and published, Michael Shermer used the presentation by Dr. Westen as the basis for his July 2006 Skeptic column in the magazine Scientific American.
I believe this blurb has a lot to offer on a frequent issue of contention in these pages, and is worth some thought.
Those of us who were bewitched by his eloquence on the campaign trail chose to ignore some disquieting aspects of his biography: that he had accomplished very little before he ran for president, having never run a business or a state; that he had a singularly unremarkable career as a law professor, publishing nothing in 12 years at the University of Chicago other than an autobiography; and that, before joining the United States Senate, he had voted "present" (instead of "yea" or "nay") 130 times, sometimes dodging difficult issues.
The man was not my ideal candidate, it’s true. I was fairly fond of Senator Clinton, though I believe she might well have been further to the right than Senator Obama, and I had reservations about that. She would perhaps have been a better choice. Certainly she demonstrated more backbone.
But the choice I was offered was between President Obama and President McCain, and I would still go with the choice I made between the choices I was offered. Some Republicans I know said that they’d rather sit the election out than vote for Senator McCain at one time or another. I respected his time as a captive in North Vietnam and at least his first stance on torture; the stance he had on torture before it became inconvenient.
The choice that the editorial presents is between Senator Obama and some Generic decent Republican. Nobody wasn’t on the ballot, and neither was a decent generic Republican. In fact, I haven’t seen a decent generic Republican in a very long time.
The author was correct. He was simply not complete in his description of the alternatives.
Perhaps this is simply my way of shutting off my thinking on the subject. The author of the article might say so. Perhaps it is not. Not having my head stuck in a PET scanner while considering the question, there doesn’t seem a good way to tell.
Forget the "there are no jobs out there" defense. There ARE jobs,
I think if you look at the available data Mike the "there are no jobs out there" defence seems to be perfectly reasonable.
Having seen this exchange, I was curious for a response from Mike that takes into account the data that Uncas offers. It seems to me that the response is based on factual data, and it confronts what appears to be a firmly held belief on Mike’s part that he should be able to support with data as solid as that supplied by Uncas if we are to take his assertions seriously. I have heard this sort of thing from the right wing before, certainly from The occasional talk show host such as Rush Limbaugh, but I don’t recall any hard data to back it up.
Countries aren't in business. The purpose of countries is not to turn a profit and to pay money to investors and to minimize the liability of those investors.
I contend that companies are in a business to remain solvent. When countries go bankrupt, they realize they should have used more business sense. You do not want a president that does not realize that of have that as a top priority. Unfortunately we have one now. Obama is running the country with the same philosophy he used at teaching ACORN workers. Get the mob together, picket the banker's house, threaten his family, storm the banks with signs, sit-ins and intimidation, cause as much chaos as possible until you force them to give out unsecured housing loans that they will not be able to repay, ultimately losing their houses in the long run. He's doing the same thing now....go after the rich, villify them, send their money to the poor and downtrodden, the 54% that pay no taxes at all, extend their unemployment welfare checks and foodstamps and then complain that the rich still aren't doing enough and companies aren't hiring.
Countries ARE in business, Bob. Their business is to keep the country going. They handle billions of dollars. They set up retirement programs. They run Wall Street. They collect money and redistribute it. That's all business. There is nothing that is not business, Bob, with the exception of death. Your family is business...the income you bring in, the budget you live by, the paying of the necessities you need to survive....that's all business. The family cannot survive without it. Neither can the country.
Mike, I contend this is fuzzy thinking. I don’t say that it isn’t a good try at making sense, because it is; but it is an attempt at making sense by joining two different sorts of thinking and theory into one, creating an artificial Siamese Twin.
Economic theory is classically divided into two branches. It is divided into two branches because the two domains which they regulate don’t apparently function in the same way. Being an expert in one does not make you an expert in the other. These two branches are called macroeconomics and microeconomics. Microeconomics is the economics that govern businesses and individuals. Macroeconomics is the economics that govern countries and international markets and that involve things like tariffs and taxes and trade.
Here is a reference to a brief definition:
Parties, both left and right, have been known to try and fuddle the differences between the two. Being a businessman and meeting a payroll is indeed a heavy responsibility, as is having to run the economics of a family. It is, however, not the sort of thing that transfers; because you can run a company doesn’t make you any good at all at running a state or a country. The rules are different.
You and I, Mike, know enough about economics to make us seriously dangerous in any attempt to transfer our knowledge from individual finance to government finance. We would be juggling jugs of nitro; and the idiots who would be urging us on would most likely make a profit from the ashes that were left over.
Micro, macro — these are not the same thing.
I believe that President Obama's time in the Senate was very much affected by the likelihood of his running in the 2008 election. Had he spent time before that in the senate, I don't know what his record would have looked like.
Bull....not even a worthy attempt at justification of a mediocre record.
Asserting animal by-product does not a sack of fertilizer make. I do appreciate you trying to say so and hoping that the statement would go by unchallenged. Alas! Calling something unworthy and explaining why it is unworthy are two different things. Either explain yourself reasonably, or consider your assertion successfully challenged. No ad hominem munchy crunchy snack attacks need apply.
for the suggestion that President Obama didn't do essentially anything before his election to the Presidency, I think we can dismiss that.
No, what you are saying is that YOU can dismiss it. I don't, millions of Americans who see Obama for what he is don't, and the writer of that article, who seems to be a very fair-minded, unbiased, present both sides, qualified professor doesn't, either. That should tell you something.
I'll admit that you put out a wonderful effort trying to defend the indefensible, Bob. It just ain't gonna fly. The American public bought a lemon, and regardless of how hard you try to paint is as a Ferrari, it still is what it is and, like the president himself, it only picks up speed when going downhill.
Once again, you’re attempting to put words in my mouth.
I do wish you’d understand that I will mention it every time I see you do so. If I wanted to try to paint President Obama as a Ferrari, I’d do so. By now you ought to remember that I think him a slightly to the right of center guy who has trouble standing up when I think he needs to. He’s made some errors that I find quite upsetting.
Seriously, how many times have I said that to you?
Seriously, how many times have I said that to you?
Seriously, how many times have I said that to you?
According to much computer language and Lewis Carroll, “What I tell you three times is true.” You should at least make some sort of attempt to remember it.
I’ve said that I agreed with most of the article in a previous posting. It is only after you specifically asked me where I disagreed that I reluctantly got into those issues. I mentioned above in this posting where I disagreed with the article and why, and did so more specifically than in the previous posting. Perhaps you would care to show me at what point I tried to paint the President like a Ferrari?
Would you please get your teeth out of my ankle and talk about the issues you’re trying to raise.
You may have missed why I said that we should dismiss the notion that President did nothing before his election. At the risk of repeating myself, it is roughly this :
The Republicans are now and have been as long as President Obama was running or was in any way involved in politics furious and enormously critical about his civil rights activities and about his activities in community organizing. The Republicans feel this was not only something, but something that was and remains a very big honking deal indeed. You yourself have difficulty not talking about it; and how evil, terrible and nasty it is. Many of us do not characterize it that way.
Even those of you who do acknowledge by the very tenacity of your rancor, rage and revulsion that it is something very large indeed.
QED, Mike. You may not like it, but there it is. The evidence is from your own utterances.