A Few Questions


Pic of the day:  Alphonse Mucha; Spring (1896)

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I believe that almost all politicians are honest. For every bribed alderman there are hundreds of politicians, low paid or not paid at all, doing their level best without thanks or glory to make our system work. If this were not true, we would never have gotten past the thirteen colonies.

Robert A. Heinlein, This I Believe (1952)

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True enough back then, but is it true now?

Wait, this man was a fiction writer…  Was it really true then, or was Mr. Heinlein just flexing his prodigious writing muscle for all to see when he wrote the above 60 years ago?

I have a picture in my head that politics, as sordid and ugly as it is now, is not worse than it was 60 or even 200 years ago, and may have even gotten more civilized.  I’ve been reading “Up, Simba” an Essay about the McCain 2000 campaign, a book from 12 years ago that sounds at home in today’s news.    No different than today.  But then again in terms of politics it the 2000 campaign only happened a little while ago.

I’ve read stories about the John Adams campaign for President back in 1796 that make today’s political back and forth look like kids playing in a sandbox.  And if you read your history books, most of history is the history of politics, and it is usually pretty bloody, violent and generally evil.  We have things pretty easy now, and the microscope that the internet is helps keep people honest, though usually that happens through beating the slow chimps, like American Crossroads (read below), about the head and neck with their own stupidity until they figure out that we aren’t stupid.  They are.

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Why do political organizations lie? This one’s simple, because it helps them tell the stories they want to tell, to get you to feel the way they want about a particular subject.  Because they want you to think like them, and they think that the lie is the best way to reach them.

Example:  American Crossroads has an ad about how 85% of all college graduates move back home, and that this is the Presidents fault.

But the people who did the study that claimed that 85% number are: 1) an organization that no one has ever heard of,  2) using methodology that no one can get to,  3) was supposedly done a great many years ago,  4) one member the organization claims as an employee never worked there, and two others seem to be completely fake, and 5) Pew research says those numbers are pure bullshit, and the number is closer to 40%, and for graduates 30-34, that number is 10%.

I’m loathe to even call it a poll, but that’s what it passes itself off as, So… why did crossroads use this clearly flawed “poll”?  Their use of it gets people to talk about things in a light they want things seen in, even if that light is wrong to the point of incredulity.

That and they’re a bunch of assholes who hate truth… and think right wing Americans are stupid enough to pass bullshit like that off on.  And with the fact that people are talking about it in conservative circles like it’s true, they’re pretty much right.

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Is life something we really hold sacred, or are we all just covering our own asses in mutual agreement making sure that we all make it as far as we can in one piece?  Is that what the basis of all “Social contracts” we live with and by are really about?

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That’s it from here, America.  G’night.

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