Friday, April 16, 2010

I Just Can't Keep Quiet.

OK I know I should be working on the next post about psych. and social movements.
I couldn't let a couple of things go by.
First is this: Krugman. The hook, first sentence and the following paragraph are great. You know how I love sarcasm.

Then there was the NYTimes/CBS poll this week. Whole poll.

I read the Times article, the synopsis, and listened to a few news broadcasts concerning the poll. I have not heard any one mention much about a couple of things that stuck out to me.

These people fear and just don't like Pres. Obama. I think the man could hand out 10,000 cash to them and cut the deficit by 1/2 and they still would disapprove of him.

Now look at questions 95 and 96 on page 35. Hello world.

No more to say.


  1. Kanna: I think questions 34 and 36 stand out.

    On question 34, in the Tea Party 10% admire Newt Gingrich while 3% of the rest of America admire him. And in the Tea Party only 2% admire Obama while 16% of the rest of the country admire him.

    On question 36, in the Tea Party 57% view George Bush favourably while only 27% of the rest of the country are favourable. And in the Tea Party 27% view Bush unfavourably, while 58% of the rest of the country are unfavourable. In short: the Tea Party and the rest of the country are mirror images of each other!

    So the Tea Party is definitely out of step with the rest of the country and is more radically right wing than the rest of the country.

    The Tea Party people are the screwy right wingers who demand a stop to "socialism" and government taxes, but then scream at meetings with politicians to "keep your hands off my Social Security and Medicare". What? Those are government programs paid for by tax dollars. But since Tea Party members are largely older folks, they are against any government spending except those programs that put money in their pockets.

    With wacky reasoning like that, you want to keep these people as far away from political power as possible, especially the nuclear trigger. I would hate to have one of these guys "rationalize" that nuking North Korea, or Iran, or Russia, or Somolia, or any other country is a quick way to "clean up the mess".

  2. RY,
    Thanks for your comments.
    I saw that "stuff" in the poll.
    My post was really just to note the lack of "real coverage" by mainstream media.
    All I heard from the 3 networks on "regular" TV was how white,wealthy, and educated these people are.
    Maybe the Sunday shows will cover the poll more in depth. Probably not.
    I am seeing more coverage of the Koch brothers on the internet but again where is mainstream TV news? Rachel Maddow has covered them quite a bit but who else.
    Of course, I haven't done my usual news reading lately as I have been spending more time reading books and scientific papers.

  3. Kanna,

    I find it difficult to understand all of the data that these polls have in them.. I applaud you and anyone who can go through this poll and come away with information and site pages or points of data. I do appreciate that you have pointed this out and I did find some of the questions and responses interesting. I don't understand how these people can believe the things that they seem to hold onto. Are they just locked up in fear and superstition? Racial hatred? I just don't get them.

    The news seems to be good at covering the Tea Party's little gatherings and showing us pictures of their absurdities and extremism. I am sure you watched Jon Stewart's little segment that made fun of how the news follows these things..

  4. Kanna: I like Rachel Maddow. I think she's one of the few opinion leaders with a show that doesn't do theatrics and isn't trying to push a viewpoint. She has her views, she's willing to marshall facts. But she doesn't beat you over the head or imply that you are an idiot if you don't agree with everything she says. She believes in debate. She is willing to look at facts.

    Thomas: I like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, but they are selling comedy, not politics. They'll make fun of anybody, right or left. It just so happens the Right is usually more ridiculous, so they get more attention from these two. But these guys really aren't trying to start a debate. They are purely entertainment. (But they can make kids think because they do point up inconsistencies.)

    What the US needs is less "news as entertainment" and more "just the facts" and more viewpoints where hosts demonstrate how it is possible to hold differing political points of views given one set of facts, i.e. there is room for real debate. When you do that, you start exposing principles and you get into territory where real and useful debate is possible.

    And, remember, there is no rule carved in stone that everybody must subscribe to the same principles. In a mature civilization, we agree on a set of ground rules to permit a civil society while we respect the right of different groups to have different viewpoints, that's called "multiculturalism". It actually makes life more interesting. And just as ecological diversity gives you a more resilient environment, a civil society with diversity give you a healthier, stronger, more civil society.

  5. Hello again guys,
    There are some really good Internet news sources but mainstream media is pretty much about giving people what they want and quickly.
    I think they call it all about money.
    As for Jon Stewart and Colbert, they say they are entertainment. And entertaining they are. I enjoy both when they point to hypocrisy and make light of it. Recently another set of "entertainment" broadcasters, rather their CEO, said they were all about the news.
    That is another reason I found the poll worrisome-their viewers believe them, they are news shows.