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Guide for the Deductive Reasoning Challenged

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Ok... it says Media Guide for the Journalistically Challenged... but my title fits too...


H/T to IOwnTheWorld via Larwyn.


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Comments (29)

The educated media elite st... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

The educated media elite still think otherwise. There ALWAYS has to be a DEEPER MEANING.

Those who want to use a cri... (Below threshold)
Grace:

Those who want to use a crisis to advance their own agenda will not promote such a sane view of any tragedy - I would be surprised to see this political cartoon on any mainstream media newspaper or other outlet.

You can lead a horse to wat... (Below threshold)
jim m:

You can lead a horse to water...

You can lead a lib to the truth but you can't make him think.

Just remember, according to... (Below threshold)
Don L:

Just remember, according to the left, guns don't kill people - keyboards do!

"Guide for the Deductive Re... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

"Guide for the Deductive Reasoning Challenged" -- you talk like Loughner.

Surprise, surprise.

Look who's off his meds aga... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Look who's off his meds again.

A couple of points.<p... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

A couple of points.

1. I tend to agree with James H, who wrote on the thread before this that most of this (Palin, Obama, the sheriff in AZ) is political theater. Plenty of people are chiming in to garner attention and make their own points, but what really matters is the recovery of the victims, empathy for those who have lost family, and prosecution of the shooter who did this.

2. If this guy was some kind of rabid fan of Palin, then the arguments about causal connections from some folks would make more sense. But, this guy appears to be more of a paranoid, rather confused, anti-government type with some serious logical gaps in his reasoning. I think it's fair to say that trying to cite any specific causal factor in his case is going to be pretty difficult.

3. Yes, people are responsible for their actions. And I think this is a good discussion to have, especially considering some of the ways in which folks on all sides of the political spectrum are willing to attribute blame based upon the actions of a few. This issue ABSOLUTELY cuts both ways.

4. At the same time, it political rhetoric DOES matter. Political leaders do have to pay attention to what they say, and how they say it. There is a certain responsibility that comes with prestige, power, and notoriety. This doesn't mean that we can or should automatically assign blame when person X acts based upon what politician Y proclaims--it means that politicians (and pundits, journalists, etc) need to be held accountable for their rhetoric and ideas. Again, this one applies to all sides.

5. We already have the Westboro Baptist Idiots trying to get media attention from this--the last thing we need is more Republican or Democratic politicians doing basically the same thing. Seriously.

Just prior to the Civil War... (Below threshold)
Ellie Light:

Just prior to the Civil War Rep. Summers gave an insulting speech about a Southern Senator. A relative who was a representative beat Summers to a pulp in the Congress. This lack of accountability today for your actions, the loss of honor or self respect is the reason the Left engages in such vile actions.

We can see concrete examples of this by the Left's mocking of Christian beliefs. Ever seen them do anything but abase themselves to Muslims?

Wonder why.

"it means that politicians ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"it means that politicians (and pundits, journalists, etc) need to be held accountable for their rhetoric and ideas."

Oh, I get it. Now is it the time for moderation only after the left has realized it has beclowned itself by not having a single shred of evidence that this murderer in Arizona held no political ideology let alone a conservative/ tea party one like the left tried to fabricate. I wish idiots like you would stop suggesting that if we just spoke pleasantly to these nutjobs they would be free of their demons.

The whole thing is very str... (Below threshold)
LiberalNitemare:

The whole thing is very strange, all the pot smoking Satan worshipers 'round here vote democrat.

I'm just sayin ...

I think the problem at this... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I think the problem at this point is that you have imbeciles like Sheriff dumbass and Paul Krugman who, rather than shutting up or acknowledging their error, are doubling down on stupid. We are still seeing the fringe elements claiming some political connection and even Hillary could not keep kerself from stepping in it today when she stated that Loughner was a sort of political extremist.

I am glad to see that the newspaper in AZ is saying that the Sheriff should shut up and people are starting to demand a recall. The sooner we punish bad behavior by removing these morons from office the better. I have no problem with placing blame where it might reasonably reside but these people made accusations before they could even know the facts and they derserve to feel the consequences for their irrational action. As bad as some may feel that political rhetoric has become none of that is as bad as irrational and unsupported accusations that are patently false.

As for the Westboro morons, I think they are attracked to controversy like flies to S#!^. The dems stirred this up and they floated to the top.

NOW YOU KNOW WHY GEORGE BUS... (Below threshold)
kathie:

NOW YOU KNOW WHY GEORGE BUSH NEVER ANSWERED THE MEDIA. THEY ARE CRAZY........REALLY CRAZY............REALLY, REALLY CRAZY.

"Ellie Light" has the gist ... (Below threshold)

"Ellie Light" has the gist of the story, but let me flesh it out:

Representative Charles Sumner (R-MA) was a fierce abolitionist. During one speech, he insulted Senator Andrew Butler (D-SC). Two days later, Sumner was writing at his desk on the House floor. Butler's nephew, Preston Brooks (D-SC), approached him, said he was avenging his uncle, and started beating Sumner before Brooks could even stand up. The beating was so severe, Brooks broke his 1" thick cane and Sumner spent three years recovering before he could return to the Senate.

Brooks' constituents expressed their opinion of the assault by sending him fresh canes to replace the one he broke.

Further, Brooksville, Florida and Brooks County, Georgia, are named for him.

Thanks for the reminder, "Ellie." It seems kind of pertinent now.

J.

DaveD:"Oh, I get i... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

DaveD:

"Oh, I get it. Now is it the time for moderation only after the left has realized it has beclowned itself by not having a single shred of evidence that this murderer in Arizona held no political ideology let alone a conservative/ tea party one like the left tried to fabricate."

Dave, go read through my comments on this site for the last several years and get back to me. This isn't some argument that I just started making yesterday, fyi.

"I wish idiots like you would stop suggesting that if we just spoke pleasantly to these nutjobs they would be free of their demons."

Hmmm. When did I suggest that? "Speaking pleasantly" isn't what I am talking about--I am talking about rethinking some of the political discourse and how/why people use it. This goes for folks on the left and right. To me, that makes sense. Do you have a problem with that, Dave?

jim m,I agree with... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim m,

I agree with a lot of what you are saying, definitely. In cases like this, people are often all too willing to jump to conclusions and start making accusations. I'm not really surprised.

"We are still seeing the fringe elements claiming some political connection and even Hillary could not keep herself from stepping in it today when she stated that Loughner was a sort of political extremist."

Well, it appears that he was SOME SORT of political extremist (at least in his head)--but trying to pawn him off on the left or the right is kind of stupid. The guy was completely unstable, period. Trying to attribute blame to the Dems or the Repubs, as I already said, seems pretty pointless.

"As bad as some may feel that political rhetoric has become none of that is as bad as irrational and unsupported accusations that are patently false."

Well, I would count these kinds of accusations AS political rhetoric. It's all part of the whole circus. BOTH sides are definitely willing to capitalize on these kinds of events, and we all know it.

As James H said: it's all political theater.

I am talking about... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
I am talking about rethinking some of the political discourse and how/why people use it. This goes for folks on the left and right. To me, that makes sense.

Sure that makes sense in the abstract, but not in this instance.

Both sides didn't try to use the AZ shooting to gain political traction--only the left. And the left didn't speak in terms of the general "political discourse." They spoke in very specific terms, attacking Palin and Limbaugh and encouraging Obama to use this tragedy to gain in popularity, just like Clinton did.

And, when Palin responded, they attacked her with some made up BS.

It's offensive and disgusting, and shows the type of lowlife people inhabiting the left. The left's political discourse is not improving, it's getting worse and worse. And it won't get any better in the near future.

The left's hysterics is all... (Below threshold)
sam:

The left's hysterics is all to distract from the $3.25/gal gas and 9.5% unemployment.

iwog:"Sure that ma... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

iwog:

"Sure that makes sense in the abstract, but not in this instance."

I am not making an abstract argument--to me this definitely applies in this case as well.

"Both sides didn't try to use the AZ shooting to gain political traction--only the left."

I definitely agree that there are folks on the left who are trying to gain political ground with this. Yep. But, if you think that Palin and folks on the right are just making altruistic statements on the matter, well, I think you're off the mark. People on the right are just as willing to capitalize on this sort of thing, and IMO Palin is doing just that with her recent speech.

"It's offensive and disgusting, and shows the type of lowlife people inhabiting the left. The left's political discourse is not improving, it's getting worse and worse. And it won't get any better in the near future."

I agree with your point about some folks on the left--and I think that the same exact argument applies to some people on the right as well. As I see it, it's definitely a two-way street (at least). So now what?

Ryan,He is no extr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Ryan,

He is no extremist of any sort. He's mentally ill. An extremist takes a position that is to the extreme of the norm. This guy takes a position outside the boundaries of normal.

I would draw a distinction between political rhetoric that uses martial metaphors to make the point and blatant falsehoods that are being used to damage and destroy another person without regard to whether or not it is justified.

This is the same issue with the JournoList. Jonathan Alter's urging to "Pick someone, anyone, and call them a racist" without regard to it being true (or better put: regardless of the fact that it was patently false). There are people, most ercogniazbly on the left currently, that are willing to deliberately create falsehoods in order to destroy other people and to further their own political ambitions. THAT is far wore than any rhetoric.

jim m,"He is no ex... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim m,

"He is no extremist of any sort. He's mentally ill."

Granted, the guy is clearly mentally ill. He is also parroting certain elements of extremist political rhetoric. I would call someone like the Unabomber both mentally ill (ie a sociopath) AND a political extremist. Call it what you will...I am not looking to make some massive debate about this point. I am not quite sure where to put this guy, and I am also pretty sure that I am in no position to make a clinical diagnosis of his motives.

"There are people, most ercogniazbly on the left currently, that are willing to deliberately create falsehoods in order to destroy other people and to further their own political ambitions."

Come on jim, you're only making half the argument--and you have to know it. There are plenty of people on the "right" who are more than willing to create falsehoods about the current president in order to further their political agendas. I understand the fact that you have staked out your political territory, but you can't seriously make your claim without considering the inverse. As I see it--both sides are MORE than willing to resort to this sort of BS. I mean, they ARE politicians after all.

ryan a, I've made my disgus... (Below threshold)

ryan a, I've made my disgust with the Birthers abundantly clear on numerous occasions. But are you REALLY equating "Obama isn't Constitutionally qualified to be president" with calling people murderers? Are you really going there?

J.

Come on jim, you're only... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Come on jim, you're only making half the argument--and you have to know it. There are plenty of people on the "right" who are more than willing to create falsehoods about the current president in order to further their political agendas.

I don't doubt that such is possible, however I don't hear you naming names and providing specific instances. The left has been benificent in providing multiple examples of their willingness to lie in order to ruin someone's life for political gain.

There are plenty o... (Below threshold)
iwogisdead:
There are plenty of people on the "right" who are more than willing to create falsehoods about the current president in order to further their political agendas.

There's no comparison. The left is trying to use the death of a little girl and five others to make political gains and to harm political opponents. And, some of them are encouraging Obama to use this tragedy politically. The right has done nothing even close to this.

Jay Tea:"But are y... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Jay Tea:

"But are you REALLY equating "Obama isn't Constitutionally qualified to be president" with calling people murderers? Are you really going there?"

Nice attempt at painting my argument into an easily dismissed corner, Jay. People on the right make all sorts of claims about Obama, from the birther BS to equating him with Nazis, Hitler, and Stalin (e.g. Limbaugh, Beck, Gingrich). Even passing comparisons to Nazi Germany are both stupid and wrong, IMO.

Sure, the same kind of idiocy exists on the political left--people were more than willing to call GW Bush a Nazi during his term. It's all pretty ridiculous--and I am surprised that you can't even admit that it might be a two-way street. Idiocy knows no political boundaries. So this means that we all need to be wary of extremist positions and ideologies.

My point is simple: I am not surprised when people try to politicize events like this. Why? Because politicians, pundits, and plenty of others do this all the time. And yes, this includes people on the left and the right. Don't be so incredulous.

jim m,"I don't dou... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

jim m,

"I don't doubt that such is possible, however I don't hear you naming names and providing specific instances. The left has been benificent in providing multiple examples of their willingness to lie in order to ruin someone's life for political gain."

Well, at least you admit the possibility. That's a start. Just a reminder, jim, I am by no means some leftist ideologue. Keep that in mind.

Look jim, I am not looking to get into a pissing match over this--I am making a basic point, based upon what I have seen, read, and experienced. I don't think that either side is completely altruistic, free of political motives, or innocent. At the same time, I think there are plenty of good people to be found on all sides of the aisle. And that's probably a good thing to keep in mind, despite all of the politics we experience day in and day out.

iwogisdead:"There'... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

iwogisdead:

"There's no comparison."

Well, we can agree to disagree, iwo. From what I have experienced, there are absolutely people on the right who are willing to do whatever it takes to score a political victory. I have seen plenty of examples of ideological nonsense from people on the left AND the right, so I tend to shy away from making sweeping claims for or against either "side." In short, the whole left/right dichotomy is pretty useless when it comes to the politics that we're dealing with. But that's just my view of the matter. You, apparently, see things differently...and while I disagree I can certainly respect your position.

"In short, the whole lef... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"In short, the whole left/right dichotomy is pretty useless when it comes to the politics that we're dealing with."

Amen on that, Ryan A. I think there's folks out there who would gladly sell the long-term good of the country off for a brief bit of fame garnered from political pandering. (Heck, all you've got to do is look at California for that - you've got politicians who've buggered that state for the Green movement - and who still can't figure out just why the state's in such a financial mess.)

Are there some on the right? Certainly - but I think the quantity (and the harm they can do) is much less than on the left. I also think that the 24-7 news cycle, aligned with their political slant, is exacerbating the problem... There's literally no respite from it when any pol says something boneheaded that the media agrees with, whether it be true or not.

(And then you've got to figure out what the criteria 'long-term good of the country' might mean. The water restrictions in the central California farmlands are certainly good for the delta smelt - but it's really bad for the farmers... and who's going to be paying more taxes or putting food on tables? 'Tis a puzzlement, what counts more?)

Most pols, I think, don't look beyond the next election.

Whoops - to finish that...<... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Whoops - to finish that...

Most pols, I think, don't look beyond the next election. They'll make promises they've no intention of keeping, they'll make claims they don't worry about backing up - because they know there's a certain percentage of voters voting for them that will totally forget everything they hear, and another percentage that wouldn't bother checking anything in the first place but just take it all at face value.

Then you've got folks who actually remember what they say, and hold them to it. Usually they're disillusioned by both sides...

"Then you've got folks who ... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

"Then you've got folks who actually remember what they say, and hold them to it. Usually they're disillusioned by both sides..."

Amen to THAT, Mr Lawson.

As usual, when everything breaks down into people arguing and blaming the left and the right, I appreciate your insights and opinions on the ironic futility of the whole affair.

While so many people buy books and sop up the words of pundits that tell them that ideology X is the REAL source of the problem, numerous cross-cutting social and political problems continue to flourish. Seriously, our political system has some severe issues and resorting to old arguments ain't gonna fix it.

As usual, I am supposed to be doing something else right now. So I better get back to it.

Thanks, as usual, for the reasoned response.




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