"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

Cognitive Disconnect

>> Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I am a prolific reader. There are periods in my life where I can single-handedly keep the Half Price Bookstore supplied. During the election, I switched from books to blogs, trying to keep up with election and war coverage. In August, Jody and I started this blog to add our voices to the chorus of punditry. I’ve recently started reading books again and it’s good to get back into the habit, but I’m still reading many, many editorials and blog essays. Thank God for wireless networks, Jody lets me geek out in the living room.

History is one of my “hot topics.” That’s a warning in case you’re cornered by me and my glass of wine in a social setting; don’t bring up history, the Army or computer programming. Minutes can go by without refreshing your drink and that seriously impedes a good buzz.

Let’s continue with places where the disconnect between facts and rhetoric jumped out at me.


Steven Malanga responds to Thomas Frank’s book with his article also titled What's the Matter With Kansas?. Generally, the article is about how Steve fails to take any economic facts into account and relies on rhetoric like Kansas is "burning on a free-market pyre," as the central point of his thesis. That’s some pretty high standards as Kansas has lower than average unemployment, a good school system, an above average growth rate and a low cost of living (mainly because of a lower tax rate). The kicker is that he sees his hometown of Shawnee as a desolate wasteland. As you can see from the map, it’s sandwiched between some of the wealthiest towns in Kansas, Overland Park, Lenexa, and Bonner Springs.

Forget the dot-com/Y2K bubble, the economy hasn’t done this well since 1960. The only place you can’t see it is in the editorial pages of major newspapers. How many times have you heard about the job loss under President Bush? That simply is not true.

Gitmo and Abu Ghraib:

Two words – “Come on!” How does anyone in the world equate panty-headed prisoners in lewd poses with beatings, beheadings, rapes, and real torture? However, you only have to hear an NPR broadcast or read the Des Moines Register or New York Times to see that supposedly intelligent people do equate the two.

Did a handful of soldiers act inappropriately? Yes, but the difference between us is that we don't do that as a matter of policy, we Court Martial the offenders.

Election Coverage and Results:

Via Best of the Web, we see that Some people still don’t understand the concept of a representative democracy. Read the quotes from the “patients”. Every single one is funnier than the last. It’s as if the only source of news for these people is Al Franken, NPR or CBS.

Blue staters bemone the fact that the "Solid South" is has transitioned from Democrat bastion to a Republican one. It started when Democrats went down the road towards socialism and dictatorship of thought and was greatly accelerated by the likes of Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi and Al-Gore since losing in 2000.

If Democrats hope to be a national party, then they need to come up with ideas that help America and Americans, not just redistribute wealth back and forth between various interest groups.

“Debacle” in Iraq/WMD’s in Iraq:

Raise your hand if you think that the War in Iraq is a debacle or a fiasco. If you have your hand up, do you feel silly? You should. Americans have a long history of overcoming obstacles and making thinks work in our favor. Iraq is no different. Sure, setbacks get a lot of coverage, but our achievements vastly outweigh them. Chrenkoff is up to #16 in his Good News from Iraq series. Be sure to read them all if you haven’t, then compare the dates with what the media reported at the same time. The media seems to be rather biased in their coverage.

Why is it that US soldiers are labeled as 'war criminals' for doing their job while the terrorists leaving hundreds of dead civilians in their wake generally get a pass?

Was the pre-war intelligence flawed? We've found WMD's and the precursors to WMD's but the media still pretends otherwise (see 'No ties between Saddam and terrorists').

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