Monday, October 31, 2005

Submit your parable here

One day a Pharisee returned home to find his chariot in the middle of the road. The front of his chariot was damaged. He observed that the back of the neighbor's new chariot was likewise damaged. The neighbor's chariot was legally parked in her driveway in the same place it had been when the Pharisee left that morning.

As the Pharisee was comtemplating these things, the neighbor came to the Pharisee. "I believe one of your children has damaged my new chariot. My chariot has not left my driveway all day. I was inside my dwelling when I heard a loud noise and hastened outside. Though I could not clearly see who was in the chariot, it did appear to be several of your offspring. They then did escape inside your dwelling where they ran inside and now will not answer my knocking. I have waited for you to arrive so I could ask you to ask your children what happened and who is responsible. You must also know that your children became enraged the other day when I admonished them to live a holy life."

The Pharisee frowned and then said to his neighbor, "This will be a very difficult crime to solve, if indeed it is a crime. You know that I am the Father of many children. Though few knew where the spare set of keys to my chariot were, who knows who could have taken them while I was away? But I tell you, I shall enter my house and ask my children what they know."

So the Pharisee entered his abode, but did not return. The neighbor heard nothing from the Pharisee nor from his children. When the neighbor again knocked upon his door, the Pharisee merely sent his servant to the door who took great offense at her. "What have we to do with you, Woman? The Pharisee has given you his answer! He will not discuss it further!"

In anger, the neighbor sent for the Magistrate. The Pharisee continued to refuse to answer all questions, even when asked by the Magistrate. When his children were asked, they replied with one voice, "We don't remember!" The Pharisee then turned to the Magistrate, "There, you have your answer! My children are busy. I am busy. We are all very busy. You cannot expect us to remember every little detail of our busy, important lives! Now, be gone. I am through with you!"

"That is not an acceptable answer!" said the Magistrate. "Hypocrite! I have a prison cell ready for you and your children where there will be much weeping and nashing of teeth!" And so, Magistrate Fitzgerald locked them all up where they had many hours and days and years to fight amongst themselves and decide who amongst them was the biggest dunce!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It's either one way or the other!

Today I was realizing that there must be two types of people in the world. Those who think it's a Black-and-White World and those who think of the World in terms of a bell curve. I will leave it to you to decide what world you think the Non-Liberal Bloggers (NLBs) think they live in versus the Liberal Bloggers.
So I decided, if I must, I will set forth my list of one way or the other!
If I have to choose...
1. I will choose truth over lies.
2. I will choose fact over opinion.
3. I will choose education over ignorance.
4. I will choose science over "sincerely held beliefs".
5. I will choose curiousity over sloth.
6. I will choose experts over loyalists.
7. I will choose a leader who governs from the "A" column rather than the "B" column.
8. And if forced to choose between two imperfect leaders, I will choose the leader who will do the most of amount of good and the least amount of damage. To determine that, I will honestly ask myself: "Of the imperfections I know about, how many people's lives did this directly affect?" And yes, I am thinking of Bill Clinton who committed adultery and lied about it (directly affecting under 10 people's lives) opposed to George W. Bush who lied about the reason for going to war with Iraq (directly affecting over 17,000 American soldiers' lives and probably 10 times that in Iraqi lives).
And no, Bill Clinton's affair did not directly affect you. Before it was splashed all over the (liberal) media, there was not a day or time that a shiver went down your spine and you said, "My life will never be the same! I just got my arm blown off! My child is dead! Bill Clinton must be cheating on his wife." Compare that to the dead and wounded American soldiers. 2000 soldiers have paid with their lives. Wounded soldiers will pay for Bush's lies for the rest of their lives. Sorry, but there is no comparison.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Blogging for the Truth

I’ve been conducting an unofficial study over the last several months. When visiting (mostly liberal) blogging sites, I mentally note the type of comments posted most frequently by non-liberals. I have engaged in conversations with non-liberals and have received emails from non-liberals. Most of the conversations and emails are from friends, acquaintances, and colleagues. Most of these people are college-educated and work in professional jobs that require some level of analysis of data (read facts) in decision-making processes.

I will from now on generically refer to these people as non-liberal bloggers (NLBs). I am purposefully not referring to them as conservatives because they are not conservative. I am not calling them Republicans because it’s possible they may consider themselves Libertarians or any other number of labels. I choose to label them NLBs.

What I have observed has been pretty disheartening, but here goes….
I have observed little interest by NLBs in ferreting out fact from fiction. And facts provided to them appear to have little effect on an NLB. Rarely do I observe the NLB attempt to impartially and critically analyze a fact and make any rational conclusion regarding that fact. No matter how many facts prove the liberal case and disprove the NLB case, the NLB insists in perceiving the fact as completely isolated and totally un-indicative of any forest. In fact, the NLB appears amazingly disinterested in discovering whether or not certain “facts” are true. Many times, after receiving an email from an NLB with some “fact” in it, I will google the phrase or quote. To date, I believe I can correctly state that every “fact” the NLBs have so proudly spammed me with have been blatantly untrue, or a gross misrepresentation of that fact. Quotes, by liberals, used to support their point of view or to show the world how incredibly dumb liberals are, have unilaterally been taken out-of-context. When another blogger or I give the quote context or correct some fact, the NLB will simply drop the “conversation” –and then they will begin a new topic. However, the NLB never seems to be shamed into performing any fact-checking before posting their next rant, emailing, or conversing (if you can call it that).

A second observation is that NLBs do not readily commit themselves to a veriafiable point of view. The NLB is much more comfortable declaring some very vague or meaningless platitude. One of my favorite blogging “conversations” was with an NLB who was defending Bush’s “Noble Cause”, but refused to define what that Noble Cause was. We were admonished by the NLB simply to ask the “…soldiers because they knew what the Noble Cause was”. When I replied that the one soldier I knew thought Bush was a “cowboy” and did not believe the US should be in Iraq, I was told I needed to talk to all the other soldiers. I then posted some of Paul Rieckhoff’s ( views on the Iraq war, provided the website, and encouraged the NLB to visit the website. I volunteered to visit any non-political website posted by a Soldier or Soldier’s family that the NLB could recommend. That was the end of that discussion thread.

A third observation is that, although in some cases, the NLB may even admit that he/she does not follow “that issue” very much, it wouldn’t matter anyway because we all know we have a very liberal media that doesn’t print/speak/blog the truth anyhow, so following the issue in the press wouldn’t give them any real information anyway. But, be that as it may, the NLB is offended when someone else will intimate that the NLB is not well-informed. And damnit, their opinion should count as much as anyone else’s.

Fourthly, for the religious right NLB, all the “facts” in the world do not add up to “The Truth”. Unless you are a (non-Jimmy Carter type) born-again Christian, ANYTHING you say–by definition—can never be “The Truth”. “The Truth” is only known to that select group and facts have absolutely nothing to do with “The Truth”. The very fact that you (a non-believer or a “lukewarm” or “deceived” Christian) are in support of an idea or truth makes that idea/truth suspect.

If a “true believer” espouses a “fact” or a “Truth” that later proves false, there is no negative consequence for that person. The only fall from grace that person can have is to be caught in some “deviant” sexual behavior. And the fall from grace is far from guaranteed. I continue to receive emails, read blog comments, etc. from people who continue to quote Oliver North. I have seen no fall from grace for Arnold, no matter what kind of crap has come out about his deviant sexual behavior. I have seen no fallout from the Jeff Gannon/Guckertt debacle from the Christian right. The only fallout from that occurred because the WH was forced to ax White House privileges to JG/G when the liberals “outed” him.

One of the craziest items I was emailed was a paper written by a friend of mine (who has a degree in theology) criticizing the idea of world population control. My friend had used as a source someone who had actually written a paper about how there was no shortage of water in the world and that; therefore, it was a false argument that there was a shortage of water for the world’s population. (So who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?)

I could go on and on, but I think you get the idea. The problem is not that we do not support our opinions with facts when we debate the NLBs in this world. It is that your basic NLB is not interested in facts. Were we just fans discussing who we thought had the “best” NFL team, this wouldn’t be a problem, it would be fun. But we are talking about real issues with real daily life-and-death consequences. I am disappointed that they demand so little of themselves.