Friday, March 24, 2006 assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein' tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.

There are a lot of things I'm grateful to my father for teaching me as a child but perhaps the the greatest thing he instilled in me was an understanding that I can be wrong.

Dad valued objective logic above everything and I think he understood that the greatest obstacle to the application of objective logic was the difficulty of overcoming one's own prejudices towards a preconceived notion of what is "true." He saw deductive logic as a road with many junctions and turnoffs in which the destination (truth) had to remain unknown by definition.

He had a big problem with Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism. Rand's exultation to "always check one's premise" drove him crazy. Rand was basically saying that if the application of logic doesn't bring you to the correct "truth" then you need to back up and find a path that will get you there. This inductive logic is nothing more than intellectual self-justification writ large.

I've been thinking about that a lot lately when pondering the state of politics in America. We spend a lot of time talking about the differences between red and blue America, the differences between conservatives and liberals, moonbats and wingnuts but the REAL difference that most dramatically separates Americans is the difference between those that celebrate and utilize objective reasoning and those that utilize subjective reasoning in the application of their personal politics.

Digby has an excellent post up on the media entitled Media Contortionism in which he takes the media to task once again for the false equivalency and balance which the regular media is killing itself.

The country is in the middle of several "wars" in both the literal and metaphorical sense. If it was ever called for, the time to "exercise a certain caution, a prudent restraint, in pressing a claim for a plenary indulgence to be in all places at all times the agent of the sovereign public" is long past. The public isn't crying out for "balance," particularly when those who claim to provide it have no earthly idea even how to define it. They are looking for truth. Plain, simple truth.

Perhaps it's just an error of clarification but I simply can't agree that "the public" is crying out for truth. A good portion of the public aren't looking to have their beliefs challenged but, rather, to have their beliefs reinforced or, as Ayn Rand might say: "to help them to remember their premise." They want to have THEIR truth justified, not THE truth.

Digby hopes that if we can get the media to recognize that by ceasing to play to the personal truths of a segment of the population those individuals will either come to painfully accept objective reality or to be marginalized and eventually lose political power. When considering some of the highlights of the political fights of the last few years, from the 2000 election fiasco to the Swiftboaters for Truth nonsense, I don't see those vested in outcome of those events walking away quietly and allowing themselves to be marginalized.

A loss of political power just doesn't fit into their premise. And don't even begin to try and tell them the parrot is bleedin' demised.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

If they'd rather die, they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.

Via Steve Gilliard we find out that the Washington Post's new bloginator Ben Domenech that I mentioned below seems to have a wee bit of a problem with the poor. Specifically: he doesn't much like them, especially if they happen to be black.

Gilliard replicates a long quote from neoconservative Richard Neuhaus that Domenech had posted without comment to Redstate:

People who are poor and black are a drag on society. We would all be better off if there were fewer of them. Since we have, with little success, spent trillions of dollars over the past several decades trying to make poor blacks non-poor, it is time we recognize that there are more efficient means of eliminating the drag.

These are the views of a paid writer of one of the nation's premiere newspapers, a paper that broke the Watergate story. Simply amazing.

Purple rain, purple rain.

A good portion of the net has spent this week beating the hell out of the Washington Post for hiring Ben Domenech of Redstate to write a blog for them entitled "Red America." I'm not going to rehash all the reasons why this was stupid move by the Post but I do want to bring up one little thing that I think the plethora of bloggers who've addressed this issue have failed to cover: what kind of dork names their blog "Red America?" This whole red state/ blue state thing is SO two years ago. Polls show the majority of Americans think the Iraq war is a bad idea and Bush's approval rating hangs in the mid-30s. America isn't red and blue, it's purple.

How better to illustrate that point than with a couple of good 'ol shitkickin' country songs? Okay, maybe the first isn't so shitkickin' since it's Not Ready to Make Nice by the Dixie Chicks. This song is another one of those things that it seems everybody is writing about but I just like the thing so damn much I thought I'd just add to the heap of praise towards the chicks. I've been wondering what's been happening with them since the dust-up over them mentioning they were embarrassed that Bush was from Texas a couple of years ago. Apparently they've been channeling all the anger at the reaction into their music:

I made my bed and I sleep like a baby

With no regrets and I don't mind sayin'

It's a sad sad story when a mother will teach her

Daughter that she ought to hate a perfect stranger

And how in the world can the words that I said

Send somebody so over the edge

That they'd write me a letter

Sayin' that I better shut up and sing

Or my life will be over.

The other song I'd like to leave you with is an older (pre-2004 election) song by The Honky Tonkers for Truth. Takin my Country Back is an upbeat tune in the tradition of Woodie Guthrie and Hank Williams. This is one of those songs that always makes me feel there's a little hope for the country every time I hear it.

Please join me in a moment of silence in remembrance of Mr. RedNBlueState Paradigm. He died a quick, ignoble death at the hands of natural causes attributed to common sense. Let's put a special prayer in for the Washington Post and other survivors of Mr. Paradigm who remain in the denial stage of grief.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Don't confuse defending yourself with using a weapon.

God bless our own little Warrior Princess Helen Thomas. Yesterday she reminded Bush why he's been afraid to call on her at White House Pressers for the last four years. She set the President back on his heels:

Q: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --

Q Everything --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

Q -- everything I've heard --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

Q They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

Q I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Q -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

So the President easily confuses Afganistan and Iraq. That explains a hell of a lot.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Geeks, sportos, motorheads, dweebs, dorks, sluts, buttheads...they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude.

A new study finds that cool kids grow up to be liberals.

Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.

At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.

I know what you're thinking: why do they need a study to determine it's whiny kids that grow up to be conservatives?

Monday, March 20, 2006

That's right! Ice... man. I am dangerous.

You wouldn't count me as one of the biggest fans of "South Park's" Trey Parker and Matt Stone (I'm not fond of faux-libertarianism i.e. "I'm an independent who likes George W. Bush") but this statement aimed at Tom Cruise for supposedly keeping the scientology episode from being rerun is pretty darn funny:

So, Scientology, you may have won THIS battle, but the million-year war for earth has just begun!" the "South Park" creators said in a statement Friday in Daily Variety. "Temporarily anozinizing our episode will NOT stop us from keeping Thetans forever trapped in your pitiful man-bodies... You have obsructed us for now, but your feeble bid to save humanity will fail!"

Via Americablog

These are not the droids you're looking for.

I see the White House spinners are up to their old Jedi mind tricks:

The president continues yet another series of speeches on Iraq — there have been several similar blitzes in the last year — Monday at the City Club of Cleveland. He planned to take questions about his war policy and other topics from the audience in the heavily Democratic city.

See he's confronting the war the war critics by going to a heavily Democratic city to give the speech. Sort of a "Bring it on Cindy Sheehan!"

Great. Will he be meeting with said critics while in Cleveland?

Well, no.

Well, then will he be meeting with an audience that isn't his usual group of hand-picked Republican sycophants?

Not really, no.

Will he at least see the protestors outside of the event?

Are you kidding? They'll be cordoned off in a "free-speech" zone about 20 miles from the speech.

But at least we found out that the AP Reporter takes great stenography. I hope Scott McClellan gave him a doggy biscuit for rolling over and sitting like a good boy.