Fareed Zakaria has reached the terribly obvious and long overdue conclusion that the right wing in the US is a fantasy-based denier of reality.

Whoopee.

After years of globally embarrassing foolishness, a cowed and cowardly media is belatedly showing signs of speaking Truth to Power.

For his observation that the earth is round, serious people are showering Zakaria with effusive praise. While the reality based observations are long overdue, it is embarrassing that we feel so compelled to applaud it. People seem to be forgetting: This is what media is supposed to do. The role of the press is to point out the absurdities of the powerful, afflict the comfortable, reveal what those in Power want to keep hidden.

Of course, that has taken a back seat to much more important events, such as Anthony Weiner’s junk shot, Michael Jackson’s untimely death, and an especially close American Idol final.

Bread & Circuses, anyone?

What does it say about our damaged US democracy and its wounded 4th Estate (aka corporate media) that merely making an obvious assertion is news? Is it an event when an essential element of a functional democracy actually has the bravado to tell a significant political movement that “No, the earth is not flat.”

The right wing has long embraced magical thinking. You can see it across a spectrum of thought: It is a short hop from believing that  Supply Side Tax Cuts are self funding to all other manner of nonsense. From denying Evolution to managing Health Care costs to Global Warming, it is a continuum. Making no-plan invasions of other countries is the natural progression of such magical thinking. If your beliefs are righteousness enough, then the outcome is assured by a munificent deity.

As a personal belief system, that may be fine, but as government philosophy, it makes for horrific policy decisions.

The Retreat from Empiricism has been detailed over the years, but not by the mainstream media. It has been the alternative press — websites, blogs, critics outside of the mainstream — who have stated the obvious for many, many years. Somehow, the Media missed nearly all of it. It wasn’t until after the Katrina disaster that the scales fell from Press’ eyes. Suddenly, in the middle of George W. Bush’ second term, the Press found their voice. Years after 9/11, after the national terror alert was manipulated for political purposes, long after the Nation was lied into a war of choice through dishonest and deceptive means at great cost in blood and treasure, did the Media found its voice.

Heckuva job there, Press corps . . .

>

Previously:
Attack of the Dumb Journalists (October 29th, 2005)

Journalists, Heal Thyselves (December 26th, 2006)

Seeking the Truth — Or Obscuring It? (August 20th, 2010)

Marion Maneker on Zakaria’s Truth Telling (June 16th, 2011)

Sources:
How Today’s Conservatism Lost Touch with Reality
Fareed Zakaria
Newsweek June 16, 2011
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2077943,00.html

Retreat from Empiricism
Jay Rosen
Press Think, December 18, 2006
http://archive.pressthink.org/2006/12/18/suskind_empiricism.html

Category: Financial Press, UnScience

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

105 Responses to “News Flash: The Emperor Has No Clothes”

  1. postman says:

    A balanced critique of the press might note how favorable to and easy on the left they are–as are most college campuses. Imagine if Bush had gone into Libya what we would have heard. Do we hear much about the ridiculous light rail construction in California? How about Holder’s Justice Dept. being much tougher on CIA operatives than on terrorisits, Black Panthers harassing voters in Philly, etc. And then the selective quoting among the minority of observers who believe that sleep-depriving ,etc. yielded no info at Guantanamo. With a little research, one could collect many more examples.

    But we’re here to bash the right at any opportunity and go easy on th left, while proclaiming how balanced we are. Watch the commentors join in. Have a nice day, all.

  2. Postman

    This is not supposed to be a balanced critique of the Press — its a critique that a specific segment of the poltiical firmament that lives in the land of Make Believe.

    If you want to right THAT piece about Left vs Right, feel free — but your politcial bias has blinded you to this subject matter

  3. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    We’ve engaged in decades of global criminality and violence . . .

    Hey, look! Weiner whipped his Johnson out! (BTW: tomorrow it will be Johnson whipping his weiner out, or some other dumb-ass distraction).

    The press corps might have cooked and presented our meals for the past couple of decades, but we sat at the table and eagerly gorged ourselves on it.

    And to think, we were born of the Enlightenment.

  4. normal1 says:

    Blowing off some steam? Your exasperation is evident in this post, which, by the way, I agree with. But, to play devil’s advocate, let’s remember that all the journalists who turned their heads are people with mortgages and other bills, just like you and me, presumably. There are no leaders anymore, just spokesmen, and dissent doesn’t pay (the bills.)

    I think the best we can hope for is a fight from the inside, if you will. Maybe this Time article will open the doors for it to become more acceptable to go against the conventional wisdom (something I’ve been screaming about for ages.) Maybe more articles will be written causing the public to seriously question the following slogans: liberal media, Democrats are Socialists, Republicans are Capitalists, and private sectors are always superior to public sectors.

    I’d hoped the libertarians, boosted by underdog Ron Paul, would bring on a sea change to expose the great lie that drives a confused, overwhelmed voter to fall back on the known knowns, that is: when in doubt, vote for the capitalist aka, Republican. But, quick thinking Republicans lumped them in with the more extreme anti-government groups, and voila, here’s your Tea Party.

    The one thing I try to remind myself is that, at one time, CW said that Democrats represented the working man or middle class, and Republicans were for the rich robber barons. So, the labels can be switched again, but when or how, who knows?

  5. ToNYC says:

    This is yet another example of the baby boomers paradigm of exceptionalism and expectation that the news or truth is free. In fact, our brains crave the quickest fantasy with a happy ending. Sold to you.

  6. Lukey says:

    While I agree that a focus on cutting tax rates is a rather simplistic and mis-guided [spending = taxes (current + deferred)] notion, I simply cannot buy the idea that “all we need is a little more big government and we’ll be able to afford all this big government.” That seems like the rough (opposite) equivalent of “tax cuts pay for themselves.” And pointing to what worked in the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s seems equally ill conceived. The US economy is in an entirely different place now and remedies based on what worked then are likely to just end up as wasted as the Obama “stimulus” was. We need the US economy to be more competitive in a very competitive world economy and I just don’t see how higher taxes and more debt financed government spending on infrastructure gets us there in that it only depresses (organic) economic growth and drives us even closer to national insolvency. I’d seriously like to better understand the logic behind the idea that more big government is the answer.

  7. lunartop says:

    You live in a country where it’s OK for someone running for president to put their hand up when asked “who doesn’t believe in evolution” – what did you expect?

    ~~~

    BR: *Sigh*

    Damned embarrassing . . .

  8. middyfeek says:

    When you financial/economic “experts” wander off the reservation into the land of general knowledge you reveal your own limitations. The idea that the media has a rightward bias is preposterous.

    The progressives, who made the word “liberal” so odious that they had to re-label themselves, also like to refer to themselves as the reality based community. Their core problem is that they try to live in a world of make-believe.

    ~~~

    BR: Again, this has nothing to do with Media bias and everything to do with Media competency.

    Take off your own blinders blinkers and see the world as it is.

  9. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    postman:

    I’ll chime in on your idiocy (thanks for the invite):

    If you think there’s a political “left” in the US, you’re not dealing with a full deck. We are ruled by corporatist interests, and are well on our way to Fascism.

    Obama is a right wing wolf in sheep’s clothing. He has continued Bushco’s policies without missing a step (from taxation/deficit spending, to kowtowing to the wealthy parasites made all the more so by crony capitalism and socialism for their cahoot, to the Unitary Executive theory, to looking the other way as crimes are committed). At least he didn’t lie us into Libya (not that bankrupting global militarism is a good thing under any President).

    With all of that, I can’t see why you don’t support him fully. Although there is one reason that springs to mind.

    Who needs light rail when you have cars, highways, and an inexhaustible supply of oil? Goddamned liberals (keep in mind, there is a corporatist fuck who will profit handsomely from this, and he ain’t a liberal).

    The CIA was created with legal checks on its powers, for a reason. You have bought the boogeyman under the bed that is the threat of terrorism, lock, stock, and barrel. Only a fool would fear terrorism but accept the tyranny of Secret Police spying on citizens of an ostensibly free country.

    You know who I’m pissed that Holder hasn’t prosecuted? The banks. The companies and corporations who hire illegal aliens while offshoring both our jobs and their profits. The telecoms who blatantly continue to violate the law — favoring fascist government over the citizen. Our current and immediate-past Presidents and their henchmen (you honestly think Cheney didn’t commit treason when he outed one of our own CIA operatives?).

    Black Panthers? Harassing voters? Really? Have any comments regarding voter disenfranchisement and/or gerrymandering by the Republicans? What about the SCOTUS appointing a President? Where is your outrage?

    If you can’t understand that torture results in bad information (despite the opinions of those involved, first hand, or your Clintonian rhetorical dishonesty to define “torture”), you lack the insight it takes to make such assertions. Give me 5 minutes and immunity from prosecution, and I’ll have you confessing, in all sincerity, to Osama bin Laden’s crimes. Truth be damned.

    I’m glad you posted and ran away.

  10. scottinnj says:

    Since when has anyone interested in objective news commentary read any MSM publication as a source of primary news coverage? Most of the best coverage of what is going on in the market today is on the blogosphere. To be sure there is dreck amongst the gold.But if you want to read about housing, would you really look at Time magazine over, say, Calculated Risk? If you wanted to learn about mortgage lending would you listen to Larry Kudlow or reread Tanta?

  11. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    It’s a well known FoxFact that all media is owned by avowed Leftists and operated on behalf of the great Left Wing conspiracy, bent on the destabilization and destruction of our society by disenfranchising the top 1% (who were obviously chosen by God, to do his good work), in favor of the undeserving 99%, who are both dragging us down and are card-carrying communist servants of Satan (excepting those in the underclasses who properly exult God’s chosen ones — they’ll be raptured when god comes to clean out the riff-raff. Promise.).

    To think Rupert Murdoch and his ilk (as well as ALL of the pundits presented by the MSM), are not flaming liberals is far beyond preposterous: it is denial of reality to the point of insanity. Goddamned leftists can’t see reality when it’s right in front of them.

  12. manhattanguy says:

    Great post Barry..best I’ve seen in a while.

  13. beaufou says:

    With 45 million people on food stamps, you would think real men would turn off Fox News and face reality.

  14. FS says:

    Way too much coffee this morning.

    From claiming that bombing the crap out of cities in Libya isn’t hostilities, to the left wing economic debacles producing those towers of power California, Michigan, Oregon to the continuing assault on the middle class by
    growing government, reducing freedom and the ability to succeed without government “assistance”
    the left has done as much damage as the right ever thought of.

    Ranting is not productive, and this was not worthy of your efforts.

  15. Chief Tomahawk says:

    Wow, I would’ve thought it Monday with that rant. Instead its Friday??? And before the market close… What gives?! That’s a formula to spur the Martians into action and launch invasion Earth before they have to endure (our transmission signals spam the universe) another election cycle, the concommitant 4th estate coverage, etc.

  16. And for those of you who believe I don’t point to magical thinking on the LEFT, I suggest you read these:

    The 14 Most Strident Critics of Obama http://bit.ly/iID5VY

    &

    Why politics and investing don’t mix http://wapo.st/frYinx

  17. FS says:

    apology for the double post. trading, reading BR and monitoring the us open proved too much for my level of education.

  18. beaufou says:

    Criticizing the right isn’t supporting the left; there is no such thing as a political divide anymore, only corporate interests.

  19. Chad says:

    @lunartop
    So embarrasing. Again, it’s belief over facts. Belief is killing us.

  20. middyfeek says:

    @BR They’re called blinkers, not blinders. Sorry to nitpick but it’s a personal pet peeve.

    ~~~

    BR: Fixed!

  21. Paul says:

    Hey, better late than never on the Zakaria thing, right? But he still didn’t hit the bulls-eye. Conservatism didn’t “lose its way,” like some band of fluffly white sheep. The movement was bought wholesale by a bunch of greedy narcissists using Ayn Rand as pseudo-intellectual cover for an outright, multi-decade power and money grab.

    Now, there are still some people who don’t get this, right? But I’ll tell you, the next crash, the next financial meltdown, which is coming as sure as the sun rising in the east, will be the final nail in the coffin of the neocons. How they survived the Panic of ’08 is a study in itself

    -Paul

  22. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Lukey Says:

    “ The US economy is in an entirely different place now and remedies based on what worked then are likely to just end up as wasted as the Obama “stimulus” was.”
    ____________

    It is precisely because our economy is in a different place that we are screwed. We did not end up here by meandering — we were LED here. Bad policy put us where we are (trickle down, massive deficits, low taxation and the accompanying redistribution of wealth to the top, crony capitalism, collapse of the rule of law, corporations as natural people, etc.). Good policy can get us out. Not that I think we’ll do what’s right.

    FS:

    take away assistance from the government, and many, if not most, stocks would tank. We do not currently have a “left wing” (not a politically functional one, anyway). The assault on the middle class is by corporatist government (certainly right wing). It has been referred to as “Socialism for the rich.”

    The left — that is to say, the REAL left — created the middle class and yanked us into the 20th century. The REAL right is hell bent on dragging us back. If you are being disenfranchised, it isn’t by your middle class peers.

  23. Chad says:

    @beaufou
    So, true. The idea that everything falls neatly into left and right just shows a lack of critical thinking.

  24. Bruman says:

    Great to see some sanity out there (though not in all of the comments).

    I’ve often pondered how the press would cover the assertion that 1+1 = 2. Surely there would be about 40% of the article discussing how it’s long been known that 1+1=2, but then there’d be another 40% of the article on “other viewpoints” just to be fair and balanced. Then there is the last 20% that says, “it’s a debate that will go on for a long time, and we’ll be here to bring it to you, along with some advertisements.”

    There is a problem with being essentially liberal, and that is that liberals value tolerance. The quest to improve conditions for african-americans, women, gay men and women, disabled people, etc. – all of this required embracing tolerance for things that our traditional culture told us to not tolerate (though often it told us subtly, through the propagation of unjust stereotypes, etc.). All of this required suspending disbelief when our immediate reflex may have been to say “no, that’s wrong.”

    Many liberals may have gone to the extreme that we no longer let facts and data points really be key to our arguments, because the same facts – from a different perspective – can be used to argue the opposite. We liberals are often afraid that to assert our own point of view is to be intolerant, which is intolerable for liberals.

    The far right seems to have no worry about this. Tolerance is not one of their core values. Whatever argument gets my [short-term] interests served – is their modus operandi – whether or not it is a correct argument simply is not important. To the extent that there is an underlying philosophy, it is the blind faith that the unflinching and narrowminded pursuit of individual self interest with whatever tools are available will ultimately be best for everyone, even if what interests you a plague, so that you can sell plague pills.

    There used to be people on the right, like Pat Buchannan or the late William F. Buckley, or even George H W Bush, who I might disagree with on values or priorities, but at who least believe in using logic to construct policy.

  25. Peter.NL says:

    Doesn’t your piece and most comments here just show whats going on in the States; the right-wing, left-wing thing is slowly paralyzing the nation? Looks like that for the more neutral distant audience anyway.
    Disfunctional (traditional) media just contribute to that. Are there still media claiming neutrality succesfully? We tend to listen to those who take the most extreme positions and scream the loudest.
    Isn’t there a clear parallel between politics, media and vanishing middle class? Being in the middle is’n't considered a cool place. You’re either a winner or a loser, left or right, black or white .. not gray.
    Not a typical US problem by the way.. It’s probably a zeitgeist thing.

    And very interesting how a vanishing middle class could ever be caused by a growing government.

    ~~~

    BR: Yes.

  26. I believe you are right Chad

  27. machinehead says:

    ‘The right wing has long embraced magical thinking … Making no-plan invasions of other countries is the natural progression of such magical thinking.’

    You mean like O’Bomber’s pounding of Tripoli, endorsed today by the supposedly ‘liberal’NYT?

    Sorry, the tired old left-right paradigm has exceeded its sell-by date. Yawn!

  28. frodo1314 says:

    Barry I think the point some people are making in their comments challenging you is:
    “Where was your criticism of Media competency when they were incompetent in regards to Dems & Leftist views and ideas?” I think lacking that we end up seeing where perhaps your biases are? I’m just sayin’….

  29. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    The only magical thinking I’m aware of is the idea that Obama is somehow connected to left wing policies or ideology.

  30. Chad says:

    We allow too many people to get away with, “I believe….” Take a look at the definition.

    Definition of Belief: confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof

    Anyone who uses “belief” in a sentence talking about something that can be proven or at the very least rigoursly examined with facts should immediately be shouted down. It is embarrasing. Having “belief” is not an admirable quality.

  31. ZenRazor says:

    I’m of the opinion that there are as many fantasy-based deniers of reality on the left wing as on the right, though I do find the output of the belief system of the far right more odious than that of their leftist counterparts.

    What I find myself increasingly wondering is whether they believe this stuff or whether it is just expedient lying? Years back I spent a considerable amount of time in close proximity to both a Senator on the left end of the spectrum and one of the current GOP presidential candidates. I thought of both of them as very bright, reasonable people. But now I routinely see them quoted saying things I think are absurd. Do they actually believe the things they are saying or is distancing yourself from reality one of the costs of being electable/financeable with the respective party true-believers?

    I think the “leadership” of both parties has gotten lost in intellectual sinkholes of their own creation.

  32. Arequipa01 says:

    Manicheanism: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09591a.htm

    The left-right dyadic mode in politics is no ‘paso doble’:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA4nQn4V9Uw&feature=related

  33. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    frodo1314:

    What leftist views and ideas?

    The MSM reports incessantly on the validity of Obama’s birth certificate, for Christ’s sake. They ramp up public furor over illegal immigrants, but they don’t expose who is hiring these folks. BTW, have you ever heard a leftist encourage illegal immigration, or is your assumption based on something else? (Do not confuse this question with what to do with those already here). The MSM is pivotal and essential to labeling anyone in disagreement with our immoral and bankrupting wars as unpatriotic. Hardly left wing. They jumped on Weiner for his sexual proclivities, but ignored the John Ensign (born-again Christian and member of the Pentecostal International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, and active in the Promise Keepers, an evangelical group), fuck fest as well as the involvement of his co-conspirator in the laundering and payment of hush money (bonus: criminality and world-class hypocrisy), Tom Coburn.

    Give an example of incompetency by the MSM when it comes to left wing ideology.

  34. advsys says:

    CNBC take note. Joe Kernan. Hello

  35. ndmaster says:

    Barry- I am a part of what you would call the ‘Religious Right’, however, the press does not capture my beliefs when they talk about the ‘Religious Right’. I believe in evolution, just micro evolution, not macro evolution (dogs become other kinds of dogs, but apes to man, no). I believe that we do have global warming, but that it is partially caused by man, partially caused by naturally occurring phenomenon. And, if anyone had a good solution, I’d be up for it. (We recycle just about everything we can, try to conserve gas/energy, etc. People forget that the root of conservative is ‘conserve’). I think we should bring our troops home, and Bush should have done it as soon as they didn’t find anything. And, your words on a deity are just plain wrong. Our works mean nothing, they are an exhibit of our desire to serve, other and our God. Works based righteousness is just plain wrong. Corporations provide a service or good that generally benefits society and provide jobs, and we should be thankful for that in our system. Finally, the church. I cannot think of a single group of people that help others more than people associated with churches, or religious organizations. Can you? Sure, the church has problems, it is made up of people (who are fallen), but our leaders are held to a higher standard, as they should be, and they step up to lead us to help others, especially in time of need.

    To lump anyone that is religious into the categories you have detailed (as does our press), is wrong, and most religious people, I believe, would agree with me.

    Common ground is what is needed in this country and divisiveness only makes things worse. Thanks.

  36. Chad says:

    @Zenrazor
    It’s not that the Democrats don’t have beliefs or their own fantasy worlds. It’s that those with these views are so weak at this point in history we don’t need to parade them through the street to show the populace how foolish they are. While, we definitely need to parade the Republican beliefs/fantasy worlds through the streets, because a good portion of the populace actually believes these lies. This will probably have to be reversed at some point.

  37. Chad says:

    Evolution does not require belief.

  38. the pearl says:

    Why do some of you feel the necessity to post in every single thread, sometimes multiple times, repeating the same comments over and over, and generally creating blog pollution? Some of you are really convinced you know everything. The arrogance is quite astonishing.

    Mr. Wheatstraw, could you please take a couple of days off? For everybody’s sanity.

  39. Arequipa01 says:

    http://www.theoryofknowledge.info/
    [quote]
    “What is knowledge?

    The first problem encountered in epistemology is that of defining knowledge. Philosophers use the tripartite theory of knowledge, which analyses knowledge as justified true belief, as a working model much of the time. The tripartite theory has, however, been refuted; Gettier cases show that some justified true beliefs do not constitute knowledge. Rival analyses of knowledge have been proposed, but there is as yet no consensus on what knowledge is. This fundamental question of epistemology remains unsolved. [editor- 'Nelson Munz says- Hah! Hah!']

    Though philosophers are unable to provide a generally accepted analysis of knowledge, we all understand roughly what we are talking about when we use words such as “knowledge”. Thankfully, this means that it is possible to get on with epistemology, leaving unsolved the fundamental question as to what knowledge is.”[quote]

  40. frodo1314 says:

    Petey Wheatstraw:

    Wow. Really? You’re serious?

  41. beaufou says:

    “I think we should bring our troops home, and Bush should have done it as soon as they didn’t find anything.”

    I respectfully disagree with your beliefs but this is plain bullshit.
    How on earth can you claim to be religious and support murder, because invading countries for no good reason and killing people is murder.
    Didn’t find anything…oh well, nevermind.

  42. ndmaster says:

    Ok, beaufou, I’ll bite. First, does our military serve any purpose to you? Were you in the roughly 5% of people that did not support Bush’s going in to Iraq to get Saddam? The goal was to get the terrorists and Saddam, because it was thought that he was supporting them. Ever heard of an eye for an eye? Or, simply trying to defend your people? Can you spit on the thousands of innocent killed Americans on 9/11 any more?

    BTW, there was no respect in your response.

  43. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    the pearl:

    this IS my day off.

    I reread my comments in this thread, and I have stayed OT and/or responded to the opinions of others. Are my comments or facts in error? If so, please rebut them. Are my opinions open to ridicule? If so, then have at them. So I write a lot. Big F’n deal. No skin off your nose.

  44. JerseyCynic says:

    “The role of the press is to point out the absurdities of the powerful, afflict the comfortable, reveal what those in Power want to keep hidden.”

    I’d say that Ratigan, O’Donnell, Maddow, Cenk, Bashir are all doing their “jobs”. I did notice that all of their segments yesterday reflected the same “news” that the blog-o-sphere had already posted and commented on.

    I can’t help but wonder what GE is up to though.

    http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/jeff-poor/2009/04/23/oreilly-claims-corruption-ge-using-cnbc-msnbc-promote-cap-trade-financial

    I try to watch ALL MSM coverage whenever possible. After a few days of watching the MSNBC line-up I feel as though it’s just preaching to the choir. Confirmation Bias?….probably.

    For the record, I’m a tree hugging, bleeding heart, ULTRA conservative, libertarian socialist.

    No wonder why my head feels like exploding all of the time

  45. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    frodo1314:

    Yes, I’m serious. If you believe that the left wing has been given a pass by the MSM, you should be able to find some good examples.

  46. Lariat1 says:

    Wow, I find it hard to believe that it was just 5% who didn’t buy the bullshit of WMDs in Iraq. I remember screaming at my TV ( foolish really) in frustration that there was NO ONE from the MSM investigating all these claims coming out of the Pentagon and the White House. Oh that’s right, if you questioned any of that, you were tar and feathered as a TRAITOR, and UNAMERICAN. As a matter of fact if I remember, the only person who lost his job was Bill Mahar. What a joke, except that it has been ten years and too many soldiers deaths. For what?

  47. SteveC says:

    You’re singing to the choir, Barry. The problem is that all FOX News conservatives I know don’t read or watch anything that doesn’t support their already cemented views, even if they’re detached from reality. This even applies to many members of my own family. They keep their TV stuck on Fox Noise and their radio tuned to Rush or Sean. In their view, this makes life simpler.. no need to think critically or analyze various issues or viewpoints. They do love to dig into a good conspiracy theory, though. The ones where their guns will be taken away, or that the Fed is a secret Jewish organization, or that schools are quietly implanting liberal chips into children’s brains. They can ruminate for days over that stuff.

  48. beaufou says:

    It wasn’t 5%, it was 25% and yes I was.
    “It was thought” no it wasn’t thought out, it was a cold calculation for oil and anybody with half a brain could research Iraq and find out that after years of blockade, Saddam could not build an arsenal of weapons and nuclear facilities were just risible.

    As some people pointed out after WWII, intelligence wins wars, I guess ignorance starts them.

    An eye for an eye or Talian law?
    here’s some of your own medicine:
    You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”. But I say to you, do not resist an evildoer. If anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38–39, NRSV)

  49. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    the pearl:

    With your permission, I’m going to comment on ndmaster’s reply to beaufou. If you don’t want to read it, stop here.

    It doesn’t matter how large the dissenting population (I seem to remember world-wide protests, as well as many religious leaders condemning our actions, at the time), because, in the end, the dissenters were right. Except for the corporate interests who profited from it, we have gained nothing and lost much in Iraq.

    “The goal was to get the terrorists and Saddam, because it was thought that he was supporting them.”

    That’s what the MSM helped the government market to the American people. If our intelligence was so far off regarding Iraq’s involvement (and despite dissent and counter-documentation from within the intelligence corps), why are we even paying or listening to them? The MSM also amplified the buffoonery that the war would pay for itself. Too bad the facts were different.

    “Ever heard of an eye for an eye?”

    I believe Jesus vetoed this particular Mosaic law, and replaced it with “turn the other cheek.”

    beaufou did respond respectfully. You take offense where there clearly was none intended.

  50. hankest says:

    ndmaster:

    “Were you in the roughly 5% of people that did not support Bush’s going in to Iraq to get Saddam? ”

    Sure, Bush/Cheney put out a full propaganda campain in an attempt to conflate 9/11 with their desire to invade Iraq, you got duped. Lots of people got duped, it wasn’t it 95%, nowhere near that amount.

    Regardless, i think BR’s point is that if the media were doing their job, perhaps fewer people would have been chumped and the war could have been avoided.

  51. BDW says:

    frodo1314 Says:
    June 17th, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Petey Wheatstraw:

    Wow. Really? You’re serious?”

    You can’t actually offer up a legitimate example, hence the snark response, can you?

    FWIW, ACORN was exonerated by the GAO yesterday. Explain to me (anyone) who the MSM members were that clearly stated that the attack against them was bullshit….*crickets*

  52. HEHEHE says:

    BR knows how to generate some internet traffic:)

  53. [...] News Flash: The Emperor Has No Clothes | The Big Picture. [...]

  54. Uchicagoman says:

    O please, it’s all a farce. No one can claim moral superiority.

    Look, I love Obama. Symbolically he is fantastic for the USA. He certainly classes things up a great deal. We can all pat ourselves on the back. he is an inspiration and an important transition for American history.

    However, the truth is how much of a difference does this administration make from the previous one in practical terms, in fatalist terms?

    Without bush would there have been and Obama? Ying and the yang of America. We can blame bush and the right for certain transgressions that in truth we all know we desired (obliterating Arab nationstates/dictatorships following 9/11). Fuck it, I am glad Cheney was vice president after 9/11. Better than al gore being in office.

    How much of a difference does the left vs. Right crap make? People believe what they believe. People are pigs, both the loser selfish ceos and the dumbass person who has triple morgage and credit card debtspending beyond their means and then pointing at others.

    I’m a pig too, I’m on vacation in Mexico!

  55. Vergennes - VT says:

    Great post.

    I would like to add that (love it or hate it) ‘Democracy Now’ is one of the best news programs out there.

  56. Uchicagoman says:

    Btw, what the hell do you think is happening in Libya?

    I think it is safe to say it is essentially an air war of NATO vs. another Arab state.

    And you know what, bush was right about the damn axis of evil. Think how much better the world would be without the current Iranian gov. And the north korean gov.

  57. VRWC says:

    Glad to see that Mr. Ritholtz acknowledges that both sides engage in magical thinking, but he is still fundamentally miscaracterizing what most conservatives believe. Although a small minority can always be found that believes almost anything, on both sides of the aisle, what Mr. Ritholtz writes is not an accurate depiction of mainstream conservatism.

    To say that we “deny” global warming is incorrect. We understand the basics of how warming gases heat the earth, and we understand that man has contributed to an increase…. but we believe the idea of a scientific “consensus’ has been way overstated and we deny that your side has in any way proved that it is a crisis that requires massive cutbacks in fossil fuel use….. or even that those cutbacks are a better solution than efforts at carbon sequestration.

    And even if it was a crisis, you have yet to come up with a solution involving China and India that suggests an actual solution…. so far, the only solution your side had offered is that Western nations impoverish themselves and “magically” hope that others are guilted into following our lead.

    you also miscaracterize what supply siders believe…. we do not believe that all tax cuts are equal, but that the relationship of tax rates to tax revenue is not exact…. SOME cuts cost less than others and SOME hikes are worse than others….

    It is liberals who still insist upon scoring tax legislation with the assumption that a 10% rate hike always equals a 10% revenue gain, despite all historical evidence to the contrary.

    and yes, though the devil is in the details, in general we believe that introducing market forces is a better solution to health care costs than increasing the role of government. Call us crazy….

    yes, some fundies deny evolution, but they are pretty marginalized at the national level and really only cause problems with science curriculums in local schools.

    so, much as I appreciate the rest of your blog, your efforts to misrepresent conservative thought is an effiort in magical thinking itself…. much easier to dismiss us as magical thinkers than deal with our actual ideas….

  58. Darmah says:

    Very nice post. And after reading it I was struck by how much the press is like Dug:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxoWHeoYU3g

    Squirrel!

  59. Uchicagoman says:

    And for fucks sake, it’s pathetic to blame “journalist” for the idiocy of the electorate. It’s just like the media circus surrounding wall St. People like entertainment, especially the Bourgeoisie.

    Does anyone not see the irony here, we are complaining we were not told what we think we should believe now?

    Maybe we should teach each other to think independently and critically and work at delayed gratification. But that is usually too much to ask.

  60. Mandos says:

    From an European point of view, there is, on the contrary, a real leaning towards big government in America, and such a desire for socialism from a supposedly libertarian-leaning website, and more generally in the country as Internet let us perceive, is somewhat startling, and worrying to us. I fully agree with the assertion that government must not be starved. But…

    Think you want a big government? Come here, to France. Believe me, you don’t want a big government. You don’t want to get rid of the banksters only by creating a bigger governmonster. You want a balanced, effective government which is able enforce the law instead of protecting lobbies rather than citizens, and that’s all. France has applied this “big government” theory from decades. Now this beautiful country is a place everyone wants to escape from as soon as one has some fruitful idea to implement. But these incantations about the so underrated and threatened poor old government are nothing more that a statist demand for control, generally coming from people who have nothing to lose from the flowering of a gaggle of finicky regulations, applied by an army of narrow-minded civil servants. The only people who have a real interest in big government are people with already high, or at least comfortable positions. Not the average citizen. You might want to say here: government helps poor people! Once again, I invite you to have a look at the reality here in France. Our so praised social security, that you seem to envy here, has become an unbearable burden for the whole middle-class. I know so much people here that can’t afford the medical care they need, despite the official propaganda about “the best health system in the world”. There is no centralized magic trick. People don’t control anything; more and more, what is not explicitly authorized is forbidden. And poor people are maintained in dependence because of the paralysis of an over-centralized economy and the accumulation of conflicting regulations.

    As it is my first intervention here and as I don’t want to make some free government-bashing, because I really appreciate this blog, let me also thank you Mr. Ritholtz and all the team for the great interesting work you all do here. I’m also aware of your need of a government strong enough to make the law applied and deal with the overpowered banking system and its abuses. But I promise you: beware of this temptation. I know what I’m talking about. And what makes people like me following American blogs like yours is nothing else than the hope that on the other side of the ocean, people are not completely hypnotized by the sirens of government-mom who’s supposed to resolve all problems, making people free from being responsible. Should your wish be fulfilled, you may find yourself bitterly regretting it.

    Today, the bigger the government, the larger the opportunities for businesses and corporate interests to get a grab on it. People who want to rule others claim for government. People who want to live honestly claim for justice. What you need is justice, not government.

  61. baldski says:

    I have a sticker on my van that reads “Turn Off Fox News, It’s Bad for America” . Some right wingnut saw it and followed me into a Home Depot store and read me the riot act about my sticker. He thinks Fox news is great and everybody else should also think that way. Propaganda is Great! It’s worked since god was a little boy!

    It used to be that the Democrats cared about workers and their lot. Labor unions were a source of money for elections, but with the demise of unions, Bill Clinton sought other sources and now we have both parties bought and paid for by the same corporate people and you wonder why nothing gets done. The country is not exceptional. It is corrupt from the SCOTUS to the POTUS to the Congress! But that’s the way of all empires, they rot from within.

    P.S. Kudos to Petey Wheatstraw! I love your responses.

  62. Francois says:

    @middyfeek:
    “The idea that the media has a rightward bias is preposterous.”

    If you want to compare our media to the Guatemala of Somoza or the Paraguay of Stroessner or the France under Jean-Marie LePen, you’ll have a point.

    But it is an odious and extraordinarily dishonest comparison to make in the first place.

    What is truly preposterous is your blind obstinacy to cling to a 19th century paradigm. We are in the 21th century, the century of Chaos Theory, Ubiquity, non-linear systems, advanced robotics, Blink!, The Tipping Point.

  63. Francois says:

    frodo1314 at 10:56 am

    “Petey Wheatstraw:

    Wow. Really? You’re serious?”

    Isn’t it obvious that he is? Is post refer to facts.

    The question is: Are you serious? Or just incapable of being so?

  64. baldski says:

    VRWC:

    I believe the London School of Medicine’s research on the brains of liberals and conservatives found huge differences in the structure of the amygdala of conservatives. It probably explains their limbic thinking.

  65. VRWC says:

    baldski,

    I see…. so Fox News is biased but NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, NPR and the NY Times are all straight up down the middle, unbiased journalism….

    Nope…. no magical thinking there….

  66. Arequipa01 says:

    “what Mr. Ritholtz writes accurate depiction of mainstream conservatism”

    I agree. For a more accurate depiction please review the information at: http://armchairsubversive.blogspot.com/

    And kudos to VeryRepublicanWhiteChristian (did I get that right?) for the use of the royal ‘we’, although do be careful of the resonance with the Nicene Creed in your litany of ‘we believes’…the fisheaters are not quite kosher among the christened and dunked lefthanders (and that’s a wink fer ya).

  67. Arequipa01 says:

    “No one can claim moral superiority. ” I disagree.

    These guys weren’t on aboard with your idol, dick cheney.

    http://home.nps.gov/applications/digest/headline.cfm?type=Announcements&id=5963

    “We got more information out of a German general with a game of chess or Ping-Pong than they do today, with their torture,” said Henry Kolm, 90, an MIT physicist who had been assigned to play chess in Germany with Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/05/AR2007100502492.html

  68. socaljoe says:

    Bread and Circuses?

    I can see no better example of circuses than the continuous squabbling between “liberal” and “conservative” politics… as constantly played out in these comments.

    It’s a national pastime… more popular than dancing with the stars or Wiener weener tweets.

    You’d think we actually have a choice… hahaha.

  69. Irwin Fletcher says:

    Nice Post and good articles.
    For sure the press does a pretty lousy job in telling the “truth”.

    Examples:

    The Neocons have highjacked the republicans. The media throws all conservatives into one basket and is too lazy to know the difference. Real conservative were against the Iraq war, and certainly against nation building, or exporting democracy which GWB was all about. GWB = Neocon.

    Crony capitalism and corporatism is not differentiated from real capitalism. The media is too lazy or stupid to know the difference so they blame capitalism for things. Corporatism is killing the golden goose of capitalism.

    Political correctness rules the media as well. How many times do we have to see Muslim fundamentalists attempt violence before someone just calls it for what it is? If Islam can’t clean up their own crowd then they deserve to be called out and labeled for what it is. But if you say that you are Islamophobic, as if Islam were a race or something. It’s a freakin’ religion, not a race of people. Geez!

    Interesting topic and good debate today. Thanks for the post.

  70. Lesly says:

    The only magical thinking I’m aware of is the idea that Obama is somehow connected to left wing policies or ideology.

    He is strangely left-wing enough for people who believe American exceptionalism is practically a divine mandate. Strangely because the “left-wing media” stays mum on the continuation/expansion of Bush foreign/domestic policies. The “left-wing media” should always criticize Democratic presidents, even, I assume, if they would bother wrapping their right-wing policies in right-wing rhetoric.

    For some reason I can’t understand, Americans are comfortable with members of their own party acting contrary to party platforms. Nixon, EPA. Reagan deficits. Clinton, welfare reform. Obama, expanding the GWoT by military and domestic spying means. Etc. It’s bull. Just like the comments demanding a fair and balanced criticism of the mainstream press — as if recycled doctrinal differences between the parties changes the direction we’re headed for.

  71. [...] = {"data_track_clickback":true,"ui_cobrand":"Politics in the Zeros"};Paul Kedrosky My friend Barry calls out the right for magical thinking about … everything, a position with which I agree. Their embrace of [...]

  72. FNG says:

    Are you fucking with us while you are stuck in the LIRR? Do you even ride the LIRR anymore, if ever? I feel like I’m watching some two dimensional Pavlovian experiment. Have a great weekend… I’ll read you Monday morning.

  73. WFTA says:

    VRWC Says:
    and yes, though the devil is in the details, in general we believe that introducing market forces is a better solution to health care costs than increasing the role of government. Call us crazy….

    You’re crazy.

    VRWC Says:
    yes, some fundies deny evolution, but they are pretty marginalized at the national level and really only cause problems with science curriculums in local schools.

    When Texas places the text book order, your state will take delivery.

  74. mote says:

    Whenever I hear the mind numbing phrase “truth to power,” a distinct sickly feeling prevails. Must have something to do with Pilate’s “What is truth?”

    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

    In a nation in dire need of instinctual Totos, I’m still struggling with whether our current ideological morass is really a product of historical continuity or merely an artificial ruse formed to deceive and confuse the masses.

    The Age of Reason’s philosophers referred to the common people as “vulgar.” If global warming does come to pass with a last ditch save the world crisis, the resultant governing procedures would likely be autocratic in nature, with such concepts as individuality, liberty and democracy jettisoned in favor of communal survival. So perhaps all those tenants we have formerly held dear were merely illusionary to the evolution of humankind. In the end, the enlightened philosopher (or scientist) will rule with dictatorial splendor. Rousseau’s man of nature survives simply because we never should have left those campfires in the rain forests:

    “Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”

    Yet I suspect that us homo sapiens are too precocious for campfire songs.

    The concept is called American global theory, and it postulates that our country can no longer afford a middle class, no longer afford programs like health care, Medicare and Social Security, and no longer live above its competitive means.

    Assuming such a theoretical presumption, then the Fourth Estate would be first among the usual suspects as the practitioner who could weave such a complex web as to make the targeted food chain freely abdicate their own best interests.

  75. Thor says:

    Had to jump in here before I got the end of the comments of this thread -

    Mr. Wheatstraw, could you please take a couple of days off? For everybody’s sanity.

    Petey don’t you ever slow down or stop what you are doing!! You’re one of the few folks around here calling out the bullshit as you see it. Never ever ever stop, it’s about the last bastion we have left for getting the facts out there – people swatting down the propagandist. We need MORE of this in the comment sections of these kinds of blogs, not LESS

  76. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    Thanks, Thor.

  77. DeDude says:

    The right wing always have started with the conclusion (give more money to the rich, give more to ME, less to others, and demand less of ME, more of others), and then simply distorted or ignored reality in order to fit it into an argument for these foregone conclusions. That is very old news. But with the creation of Fox we got a media outlet that refused to call out denial of reality and actually rather than challenging it decided to spew out complete falsehoods as if they were God given facts. The rest of the media got scared of the success of Fox and decided to stop real journalism in an attempt to retain market share. I think the news is that someone decided to go back to old-fashioned journalism and they should be praised for that, rather than scolded for past negligence.

  78. jswap says:

    This is a major story solely because the left is so well-founded in reality.

  79. ToNYC says:

    @Vergennes – VT

    Amy Goodman of Democracy Now for Nobel Peace Prize.

  80. wunsacon says:

    @ Wheatstraw @ 8:57 am, 10:38 am

    All good points, Petey…

  81. cyaker says:

    Apropos of the Zakaria piece. We met a young mother on the bike trail in Crested Butte,CO today got into a conversation and she told us that her husband was teaching in the local school and after seven years he earns $2300 a month the max he can earn as a teacher is$40,000 a year. Do we hate our children and grandchildren that much or are we just gullible

  82. Agoowa says:

    “This is what the media is supposed to do”

    Nowadays, it does not serve the interests of broadcasters and those they advertise to keep us informed and be transparent. We live in an age where you have to challenge yourself to not only seek information on your own, but also try to think for yourself. Shit like Fox News is killing us softly.

  83. jcmcn5 says:

    cyaker- Yes, you are that gullible if you believed that sob story about public school teachers maxing out at 40K.

  84. formerlawyer says:

    @cyaker and jcmnc5

    Some links of interest:

    “Colorado teacher salaries averaged $49,505 during the 2009-2010 year, according to the National Education Association,..” from:
    http://www.teacher-world.com/statespages/Colorado.html

    Denver starts at: $37,551 for a first year teacher. from:
    http://hr.dpsk12.org/dcta_salary_schedule

    Colorado was below average in national salaries, at least in 2002-2003, these somewhat dated reports give insight into a complex topic:

    http://aqt.civicore.com/Modules/Resources/Resources/18.pdf
    http://www.centerfortaxpolicy.org/reports/02-teachers_salaries.pdf

    It may be possible that the “new hires” referenced in the academic reports above may be limited to earning $2,300 per month if they are not certified, in a rural school district or in a private school (you would be amazed at how poorly some private schools pay their teachers). It is possible but I would suggest unlikely.

    BTW – this was the result of 10 minutes googling on the internet – not an intolerable measure to ensure that there is at least some factual basis for argument.

  85. basquebob says:

    VRWC Says:

    “in general we believe that introducing market forces is a better solution to health care costs than increasing the role of government. Call us crazy….”

    So why do we spend almost twice as much as every other country in the world and have worst outcomes? I don’t want to call you crazy but you need to come up with some credible proof not beliefs. After all that is what this whole post of BR is about.

    The bottom line is that the countries that do best in medical care are those that have a mix of government provided and private healthcare at every age not just for the elderly. The largest single threat to the U.S. economy and our competitiveness is the cost of medicine in the U.S. and the utter lack of a coherent healthcare policy. That is just a fact not a liberal or conservative position. Even Adam Smith talked about the function and necessity of government in those matters that are of public interest. And if we believe in market forces why is Medicare not allowed to negotiate with drug companies or U.S. citizens allowed to buy their drugs overseas? Remember, these were self professed conservatives that passed and unfunded program, Medicare part B, and they wrote into law that Medicare could not negotiate drug prices. That’s just one example why the current conservatives are not credible, they are not defending true capitalism and market forces but they’re peddling crony-capitalism. And last but not least a lot of Democrats fit into that label of conservatism along with most Republicans. The facts speak for themselves the rest is pure propaganda.

  86. basquebob says:

    I meant to say a …U.S. citizens not allowed to buy their drugs overseas?

  87. DeDude says:

    @WRWC

    “in general we believe that introducing market forces is a better solution to health care costs than increasing the role of government”

    Classic right wing. No arguments as to why market forces would be better. No pointing to examples or scientific fact-based studies that support the “belief”. No rational analysis of what market forces are and in what situations they are working best (or worst). Just god old “gut-feeling”. Sometimes that thing you are feeling in you gut is a load of sh!t. So I advice people to take a critical look at it before they spread it around.

    Personally I am convinced that market forces (greed and selfishness) work excellent in commerce, provided that both parties have the same information and nobody is under time-pressure to make a hasty decision. But that opinion comes from a little higher up than my gut, so lets not waste time on that unless you are ready to make the effort and reach that high.

  88. dss says:

    Petey,

    When the peanut gallery tells you to shut up and go away, you know you have won. Don’t shut up and don’t go away.

    It is obvious that many of our fellow commentators have been propagandized to the point of no return. The left-right stereotypes are almost too much to bear. Liberals only want big government! A worker’s paradise! Republican’s want small government, slash government spending, pay down debts, lower taxes, a strong military, personal responsibility for all, no freeloading children, elderly, disabled veterans!

    Under Bush, the size of government exploded, the debt and deficits exploded, keeping our military strong came in handy when we invaded other countries, taxes were lowered, corporations were the winners not matter what happened. Under Obama Republicans conjured up death panels to frighten senior citizens, all the while planning to throw Granny off Medicare and slash her Social Security at the first opportunity. Why bother with death panels, just throw Granny right into the grave; look how much money we’ll save.

    The fact that Zakaria finally looked around and just noticed that the Republican party is not the party of Eisenhower is astonishing. I think he just wants to sell more books. No one can be that stupid.

  89. jcmcn5 says:

    formerlawyer — the operative phrase I responded to was “maxing out at $40K” Nothing in the links you provide disputes my assertion, in fact, they merely reinforce it. $40K represents an average, NOT the max as cyaker’s friend moaned. Maybe he had no degree. Maybe he was an asst. gym teacher. Maybe he was just a bad teacher. In these cases, I’d say at $40k he was overpaid. Context is everything.

    Additionally, I never mentioned private schools. I specifically referenced public school. Do not attribute words to me I never wrote.

    And finally, if it’s a complicated subject, who’s fault is that? You want someone to blame, blame the teachers’ union. And while you’re at it, ask them how much of their dues are spent on political advertising and what THEIR salaries are if you want to see a real injustice.

  90. jcmcn5 says:

    And since you like google searches so much, i found this in 30 seconds, from the Colorado Teachers Portal.

    “Teaching has traditionally been seen as a career that is not financially lucrative. When you look at the facts about teacher pay, however, you will see that teachers around the country are making a good living doing something they love. Add in great state benefits and teacher pensions and you have a secure career with a secure retirement that is not dependent on social security.”

    There’s a chart as well that indicates after 10 years, avg salary is $48k. Average – not max. After 20 years, $56k. Average.

    And Colorado cost of living ain’t NJ. In fact, the Crested Butte median income is 47K http://www.city-data.com/city/Crested-Butte-Colorado.html. So a teacher in Crested Butte after 10 years makes more $ than half his neighbors. Is Cyaker’s friend angry that he’s not living in the lap of luxury? Now, of course, I’m just talking salary. Add in summers off, a pension and lifetime benefits for the teacher and his entire family, and I’m sorry, but I just can’t muster up the energy to have sympathy for cyakers unhappy friend

    And yes, cyaker is still a gullible fool for falling for his sob story.

  91. JerseyCynic says:

    Here is Newsbusters’ ( “exposing and combating liberal media bias” ) reaction to Zakaria’s article

    http://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/matt-hadro/2011/06/17/fareed-zakaria-rips-conservative-movement-time-magazine-piece

    This subject certainly brings out the nasty in so many of us.

    Wow…what passion!

  92. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    I know some teachers. Pretty hard working and dedicated bunch. Lots of educational debt, lots of uncompensated overtime, lots of out-of-pocket expenses, lots of care for kids (who could tolerate being locked in a room with 28-35 freekin’ brats whose parents don’t take the time to begin educating them in the first place?). 3 months off? So what. They earn it — it’s part of the deal, and always has been. They make a big and beneficial difference to society. Plus, $40K ain’t exactly rakin’ it in, in the US. I will never understand petty jealousy over someone having a reasonable pension.

    Anyone who wants to begrudge teachers over their compensation should look in the mirror. WTF do YOU do that makes you valuable to society, especially at your pay grade?

  93. contrabandista13 says:

    We only need to bear in mind, that we are consumers…. That a progressive or conservative message resonates in us, is only because our operating system has been programed with the software to process these high fidelity messages, that on most occasions are transmitted as “Trojan Horses”, containing clusters within clusters of virus…. It works like this…..

    We are a freedom loving people…. We support our troops…… We love our children…. We are against abortion….. We hate Gays….. We hate Muslims….

    Zakaria is a fool… he just doesn’t know it yet……

    Best regards,

    Econolicious

  94. jcmcn5 says:

    Hey Pete. do you always jump into a discussion with a profane assault? You’re as ill mannered as the “freakin brats” to which you referred. You might actually read what was written, instead of just jumping in with an ignorant statement like “$40k ain’t …rakin it in in the US.” Who wrote that?? We were talking about Crested Butte CO. Or do you just like introducing inflammatory assertions in an effort to change the discussion so that you can take the righteous one side of a straw man argument?

    You know some teachers. So what? I know lots of teachers too. Some are good, sure. Some however write at a 12th grade level. Some of them don’t know the difference between a past participle and a split infinitive. Most couldn’t name five battles from the Civil War. They make a big difference to society? So what. So do garbagemen. It’s not rocket science. I’d wager I can pick 100 names out of the phone book, replace 100 teachers at random, give them three months training and no one would know the difference.

    But again, so what? My original point, if you were paying attention, is that this is not about begrudging them a pension, or even their salary. This is about calling bullshit to the sob story that teachers are this poor oppressed minority who are sacrificing “for the children.” It’s not about the children, and it hasn’t been for 25 years. It’s about the accumulation of political power for the union, and the union’s subsequent ability to sway elections and extort the legislature with that power. Anyone who denies that has not been paying attention, is incredibly gullible, or is just plain willfully ignorant.

  95. formerlawyer says:

    @jcmcn5

    You do realize I was supporting your position don’t you?

  96. jcmcn5 says:

    My apologies formerlawyer. It was your last sentence that threw me. It read like a criticism of me for not providing links. I must admit I couldn’t understand why you pointed me to those links. I guess I’m just conditioned my the responses of 95% of the respondents here. My apologies again

  97. mote says:

    I came across this item:

    http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2011/06/16/book-liberal-media-distorts-news-bias

    Now cue that well worn phrase of ideological debate:

    “Your study is flawed.”

  98. [...] Barry Ritholtz has additional thoughts about this column. He’s less charitable toward Zakaria than am I. [...]

  99. Petey Wheatstraw says:

    jcmcn5:

    I see nothing profane or aggressive in my comment, and nothing directed specifically at you, nor was my comment addressed to you, specifically. Why would you think I was addressing you?

    BTW: I read your comments. No, I don’t just jump in willy-nilly with a straw man. You seem genuinely and generally pissed at teachers. For example:

    “I’d wager I can pick 100 names out of the phone book, replace 100 teachers at random, give them three months training and no one would know the difference.”

    I think you’re full of shit, and that this specific comment is what you’re all about.

    It might not be rocket science, but it’s not unskilled labor, either. They sure are put upon, lately.

    “It’s not about the children, and it hasn’t been for 25 years. It’s about the accumulation of political power for the union, and the union’s subsequent ability to sway elections and extort the legislature with that power. ”

    So, if I read you correctly, you’re saying that recent graduates and career teachers with degrees in Education went into the profession so that they could join the union and advance it’s political goals (as it’s obviously not a path to riches).

    That’s absurd.

    “This is about calling bullshit to the sob story that teachers are this poor oppressed minority who are sacrificing “for the children.””

    Do you have a link to that story?