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02/27/2010

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Random Musings

[this is good]

Jenn F.

Wow, interesting. I wouldn't have immediately thought so, but there has been a whole lot of both. Thanks for the link. And would that it were so on the denial of funds. Might you be referring to South Dakota? Who knew all those South Dakota folk were into astrology. 

DoctorD42

[this is good] Jenn, OMG, I didn't know that about South Dakota!  Actually, probably "global warming" doesn't apply there--too cold!  ;)

Why is it that we are succeeding in electing so many morons to public office, and in giving them TV shows and other kinds of important responsibilities and stature?  I'm not sure.  I do always think of Sen. Joe McCarthy in the 1950s, but how much longer back does this go?

Originally, there was a fear of too much direct popular involvement in the election process, as well as a disdain for political parties (or "factions.")  Under the Constitution, members of the Senate (which represents states equally) were chosen by state legislators, not by the people.  But now the fruitcakes and wing nuts have taken over so broadly.  Partly, that seems to me a sad side-effect of TV and the internet.

Every time there has been a major change in the media of communication, there has been significant political change as well.  When newsreels (film) and radio came along; Franklin Roosevelt made good use of the latter, but so did various European dictators.  The rise of television first elevated John F. Kennedy over Richard Nixon.  But look at the tawdry people who are riding on the TV wave now!

Jenn F.

[this is good] It's funny, my husband was basically saying the same thing last night. (Actually, he was grumbling about how the media is ruining the country). Which I think it is, but I think there are other things that are problematic as well. Most people don't seem to be very good at collecting all that data that is now readily available and forming actual conclusions about it that haven't been handed to them by the Glenn Becks or whatever of the world. Fact checking is possible, but people don't do it. Laziness? I think on a couple of levels. Both in the too lazy to look up part, but also with things like climate change-- if they admitted that they are destroying the planet, they might have to make changes in their own lives, behavior, etc., and they don't want to do anything to inconvenience themselves. So they ignore it and magically think.

And the South Dakota thing is pretty out there. Obviously based on the same attempts made by various states and municipalities in reference to evolution. But I thought the fact that the people writing the bill were too dumb to know the difference between astrology and astronomy was pretty telling. I mean, what do they know from scientific theory? All that stuff of empiricism. They'll go with Aquarius instead.

DoctorD42

[this is good] Yes, Jenn, simply mouthing a few sentences overheard from Glenn Beck is not the same thing as "having an opinion."

I'm not sure why people who are willing to believe that the world will come to an end in 2012, according to the Mayan calendar, or that the second coming of Christ will do the same thing, are at the same time reluctant to recognize that we have climate change problems.  I just don't get it!  A puzzlement to me.

Fact checking is hard work, and often sort of impossible.  The media certainly make it tougher, the manner in which they treat issues on a he said/she said basis.  

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