#1 knocked this out of the park today, and it dovetailed so well with a rant I verbalized in my car yesterday about the lack of an investigative, critical mindset in so many Americans. Let's take that first!
My rant was brought on by Reason Mag saying this:
Now, I instantly pondered how I could gently, instructively communicate my thoughts about this to my liberal, Democrat, and/or progressive friends and acquaintances. I can't.
Here's what I want to say: be like me. Be slightly cynical toward your government (at all levels). Be skeptical. Be critical, as I have been trained to be as an English major, like we criticize literature and media. I think the Founders would support me in this. I am not (like those at Reason) Libertarian, I'm a founding principles kind of guy. Representative Republic, you know, not Democracy.
I expect this type of behavior, do you? I don't trust my elected officials or yours. Republicans, Democrats, especially Independents or Socialist Bernie Sanders. None of them. I know a few, and like a few, but I don't trust them. My local radio guy pointed out that as contentious as it seems in DC, that he was told, from a Congressman's very mouth, they all are all buddy-buddy behind closed doors, like a country club. You know the line about making laws and making sausage? You don't want to see either getting made.
So, when a list like the Reason list shows up, or gay friends tout Clinton's words, I want to shout "doofus, you can't take the politics out of politics!" All of them consider the political ramifications of what they are saying and voting on first and foremost. Everything else is a distant second or third. Everything.
The Dems that voted for DOMA did so because it was politically expedient at the time. They gauged the fallout on both sides and voted for it because it was the most beneficial to them at that time. Pres. Clinton could have refused to sign it if he was so against it and dared them to override the veto, as they had a veto-proof majority on the vote (thanks to all the Dems that voted for it with the Republicans), but he chose to do the politically expedient thing and sign it. Why? Probably because he didn't want the issue used against him or his fellow Dems in elections or fund raising, etc.
Here's the thing: I know this about our Congress and therefore I don't trust them to be honest with me about anything. I treat everything they all say as "pending verification."
There are fact check organizations out there, but guess what? None of them are "independent" or "non-partisan" as far as I can tell. So, I don't trust them either. I believe Newsbusters more than FactCheck because I generally agree with their stance, but I still take it with a grain of salt because I am aware of both my bias and theirs.
Now, to Rush's elucidation today.
He reported a buzz in the ad and tech world about how poor the reactions have been to Apple's ad about the feel of the products "designed by Apple in California." (unlike that link, which loves it), and after a conversation with a friend that bought into that narrative, Rush explained that he was missing one crucial point: all the polling data and verbiage about the negative reaction being quoted in the ad and tech mags came from Samsung's Agency.
Therefore, it was nothing but marketing spin aimed at damaging Apple and not actual data. Good luck to Samsung in this spin, I have no allegiance to Apple, but the thing that sticks is that media outlets are reporting the marketing spin as independent data and people are believing it.
This is instructive, especially in light of the DOMA story above. The Dem reactions to the Supreme Court DOMA decision are a bunch of crap, and any decent media outlet would know this, they would, if they weren't in total agreement with the Dems and therefore always find them credible (like I do with News Busters) and don't find it necessary to "verify" anything they say. You remember my comments about Weiner, and Piers Morgan's admission. Citizens should have the same reaction, but so few remember anything political that they don't know that if not for the Dems voting for it, DOMA would not have passed with a Veto-proof majority.
Now, this has larger implications. If the same groups sending out polling data about any Republican are allied ideologically, philosophically, or even financially, to liberal, Democrat, progressive, or socialist organizations, why is there such wide acceptance of what they say? Why is there no skepticism? Why do people believe that one political party is Racist? There is precious little evidence of that. The NAACP is uniformly Democrat, yet the Republicans are racist? The reaction to the Supremes decision about the voting rights acts is laughable, it's as though our nation will accept denying people the right to vote because of the color of their skin or their ideology. Oh wait, didn't the IRS just help that happen? Didn't Eric Holder refuse to consider charging Black Panthers that were armed outside a polling location?
I just want people to be like me. Be skeptical, critical, intelligent about all the media you encounter. Don't worship an ideology, political party, or any human, engage your brain! (On a lighter note, have you seen the Despicable Me characters' "no cell phone" PSA in the movie theaters? Be Like Dave!)
On a related note, in my inbasket was an email from a local channel with these two links consecutively in a list:
Target, Home Depot drop Paula Deen
Another day, another rant from Alec Baldwin
strange, that Deen said one word years ago, has apologized profusely, and is being treated like a pariah yet Baldwin is treated just a little differently even after multiple outbursts of true toxic bile. Hmm.