Thursday, October 28, 2004

Not that the Truth Matters to Anyone but...

As was heartily recommended to me by Gary from "What's Happening to my America?" I have been using to see what shenanigans the candidates have been pulling during the campaign. Gary offered this site as a resource for making sure we make well-informed decisions.

It turns out the latest update from exposes quite a doosey from the Kerry campaign. A new Kerry add claims the same thing that Fahrenheit 9/11 does: that Bush allowed Bin Laden relatives special treatment and safe passage out of the country before air space was reopened after 9/11. Factcheck calls this "one of the worst distortions we've seen."

Now my point is not to say, "Neener, neener, neener" to Kerry supporters. To be sure, on Factcheck there are just as many (if not more) distortions from the Bush camp--though none have been made into a major motion picture that spawned legions of lie-fueled Bush-haters.

I mention this because it causes me to wonder why people insist on spouting these blatant untruths as a basis for their pending presidential choice. Why does each side insist on pointing out the others' lies as a defense for their vote when their side does the same thing? As a dog (see photo) it seems a bit like me insisting that my doo-doo stinks less than yours!

Being truly informed doesn't mean collecting a pile of dirt on the candidate that you wouldn't vote for in the first place! It is disingenuous for a member of either party who believes in the historical tenets of that party to claim support of his candidate based on the supposed misdeeds of his competitor.

Bottom line: Most Kerry supporters will somehow find a way to discredit Factcheck as a source, but even if they choose to acknowledge its accuracy, their vote will not change and was in fact never in danger.

So why do they (both sides) bother making this doo-doo up?

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A Crass Commercial Interruption

I can already see a great increase in the traffic to my site in the mere hours since I have joined Blog Explosion . You can help the world see more of me and help them see more of you if you join too. Click on the link or on one of the pretty flashing rectangles on my sidebar. If your not interested, read my last post as I think it is good one.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Another Reason to Pass IQ Test Before Voting

A lot of folks are saying in public what political correctness once banished to backyard barbecue gripe sessions among friends: stupid people should not be allowed to vote.

Really, I feel no shame in saying this given some of the amazing reasons people have for supporting their candidate. I just saw an "Entertainment Tonight" poll that said 46 percent of people would take the advice of their idols in the entertainment world to help them decide who to choose for president. Yikes!

And speaking of entertainment, it also seems that many people take their voting cues from the film "Fahrenheit 911" based on how adept they are at parroting some of the movie's claims. One such person, a blogger who goes by Bitchfire, even provided a link for lurkers on her site to do the responsible thing and "verify" the claims made by Michael Moore.

Boy was I eager to see these "facts" and all that "verification" I clicked. No sooner could you say "fair and balanced" and I was taken directly to the...Michael Moore web page?!

That's right, in order to verify that Michael Moore is not lying to me, this blogger sent me directly to the source. Do you think maybe we should just ask Scot Peterson if he killed his wife and save some time? Did anybody just ask O.J. if he committed double murder? He never took the stand did he?

We could cut out a lot of wrangling about what is true and what isn't if we just do the sensible thing and take peoples' word at face value. Now I don't even have to watch "Fahrenheit 911" with this cool web site telling me all I need to know!

All I have to do now is figure out who to believe if "FahrenHYPE 911" turns out to have a fact verification web page. Maybe I'm wrong. Everybody should vote, MTV says so, right?

Friday, October 15, 2004

Let's Stop Pretending it Matters!

Enough already! I am so tired of people using their pat lists of grievances to explain their support for one candidate or another. You know what I mean, you can't go anywhere without someone telling you that Bush has to go because:

*He lied about WMDs
*He wanted to get revenge for his father
*It's all about the oil
*It's all about Haliburton
*He skipped out on National Guard Duty
*Etc., etc., etc.

And if it is not about Bush, it's about Kerry and his supposed faults:

*Threw away his(?) medals
*Bogus purple hearts
*Wife donates to the commies
*"I have no SUV--oh, that's my family's"
*Flip Flopper
*Etc., etc., etc.

I just wish the people who mimic these campaign ads day after day would stop and be honest. They have no intention of voting for the opponent whether he did anything wrong or not. Michael Moore is not a supporter of Bush with or without the information he put in his movie; Rush Limbaugh is not a fan of Kerry whether he lied about Vietnam or not. So why bring it up!

I mean, if you could magically prove beyond any doubt that all the charges against Bush and Kerry were wrong, the people who gleefully parrot them would still not vote for the guy. I think they have to make this stuff up because they know no other way to justify their political choices.

The next time that someone starts bashing a candidate based on any of this type of balony, I am going to ask them, "If I could convince you that his faults are purely a tool of his opponents to defeat him and nothing more, would you vote for him?"

We all know what the answer to that question would be. People have their minds made up and somehow need to paint the opponent as the bogeyman to justify their vote.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Media Always Takes Sides

When it comes to war and rumors of war why is the media consistently on the wrong side? This question just hit me today as I was doing a bit of research on the war in Bosnia (remember that one, I think we still have troops there).

Because of connections I have throughout the former Yugoslavia, I had always suspected that the U.N. case against Serbia was flimsy at best and totally off base at worse. Now I read that my ideas may have been correct and that the real bad guys in that conflict were the Muslim terrorists in Kosovo.

Now the general public would probably think that assertion preposterous for the simple reason that our media bombarded us with reports of Serbian atrocities for years and those attrocities have become the "truth" by virtue of repetition and selective film and sound bites.

But this is not the only time the media has decided which side we should be on. They wield immense power to shape which view of any conflict the majority of America and the world embraces. I am wondering what common thread exists between the following disputes and the side the media generally supports:

Israel versus Palestine. The media constantly portrays Israel as the bad guys when it seems to me that they are just defending themselves against horrific terrorist attacks. They don't even like that Israel wants to build a wall to keep out the homicide bombers. Heck, back in the day they used to call Arafat a terrorist, but next thing you know he meets with Clinton and wins the Nobel Peace Prize. I don't get it.

The current war in Iraq While not exactly taking the side of Saddam Hussein, our press sure seems to go out of the way to paint America as bad guys here. There is plenty of opinion to the contrary of the gloom and doom they are reporting, but they persist in painting every situation in the worst possible light.

Vietnam. The first conflict in which the media played a major role. Many feel that the American media won that war for the communists and I think they are proud of that. It didn't turn out too well for the Vietnamese, but Walter Cronkite got his way.

There are more instances I am sure. Maybe folks could add to this list and even connect the dots to explain how it is that the media decides these things.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Human Nature and my Loyal Union Buddies

People are naturally selfish. We have a natural bent to look out for our own self interest. Some try to mask that inclination to look out for number one at all costs, but some don't. This is not to say that people don't do good things--it is just not natural for them to do so.

Which brings me to labor unions. As a member of the Retail Clerks Union in the early 80s, I took full advantage of all the wonderful benefits my union secured for me. Those benefits included being paid nearly 14 bucks an hour for what was basically manual labor, the best healthcare benefits I have ever seen, and assorted other rights and privileges. Though not a gung-ho union guy, I did my best to balance my union responsibilities with commitments to management.

So you think that if I--the philosophically-opposed-to-unions person--could be a good union member, then the real union stalwarts surely must be better. WROOONG! Remember my premise about human nature and how we have to fight our inclination to do unselfish things? Well, listen to this.

Our union was about to go on strike against the grocery chain for which we worked. So there was me and my very pro-union work buddies looking at missing a few paychecks. Imagine my shock when all of the guys on our night crew were going to blow off their loyalty to the union to work as scabs for big bucks!

I was the butt of jokes for weeks as I was the only one who was going to support the union in this issue. Silly me, I figured it was somehow wrong to take all the good things the union had to offer, then stab them in the back when it was no longer convenient for me!

I will never forget how quickly and easily these wonderful union supporters turned their backs when their natural instincts for self-over-all took over. For me it was one of many lessons in human nature that I have learned over the years.