Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I Lean to the Left
But most of us fall predominantly on one side or the other. I have taken several tests to determine the dominant side of my brain and usually I fall somewhat balanced but always leaning to the left. I revere logic and science more than art and feeling good. I accept this and I am happy being this way. It makes sense to me.
I believe that critical, logical thinking is more important to myself and to the world than what I feel emotionally. It baffles me when people make decisions based on a feeling or a whim. I would never invest in a stock based upon how I "feel" about it or the company. I need to know hard "facts" about the business and, no matter what that business might be, I need to know that they have a reasonable business model that is able to make money and make a profit in that endeavor. Buying a lottery ticket because I feel lucky is never in my plan.
I also like to have government make decisions based on a sound, rational basis, grounded in fact and history rather than decisions based upon what we feel we should be doing and what we think might happen. I make my decisions that way and I expect no less from government.
But this is not what we usually see in politics. Most politics involves determining what most people want and then doing whatever it takes to give that to us. Often without a true venting or reveal of hidden dangers or unintended consequences. Pandering to voters will keep a politician in office and in power which to them is their bottom line.
Whenever I have a conversation with someone of liberal persuasion, it doesn't take long to hear the emotional arguments come to the forefront. I shun emotional sides of a debate and always look for the facts of the matter. My feelings about a subject derive from the facts surrounding it. Liberals tend to allow their feelings on a subject to determine their position not the facts on the ground. How sad it must be to live one's life this way.
I find it a little bit ironic that the left side of the brain is the logical side while those on the left side of politics are far from logical. And it is also interesting to me that the left side of the brain in regards to motor skills controls the right side of the body and vice-versa. I think this tells us that in order to function at our very best we need to have a certain amount of harmony between the left and the right sides. It is in our best interest to try to achieve some sort of balance.
I believe this applies to political left and right as well. There has been such a huge divide between the left and right political sides that harmony is unachievable. I have written about stubborn Libertarians, but the same thing applies, perhaps even more so, with Democrats and Republicans. Each side has entrenched themselves in their separate ideologies and never the twain shall meet. This doesn't bode well for the future of America.
One can hear many emotional arguments about what our country should be doing to help the poor or to reduce gas prices or to provide national health care for everyone. Most all of these kinds of arguments rely upon one's feelings about the subject. If you feel that it is government's responsibility to help someone who has not taken his own responsibilities seriously, you can only support that argument with feelings; feelings for the unfortunate circumstances that led to the misery in question.
There is no logical reason for demanding that the government help anyone based upon the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Nowhere in those documents does it state that government is responsible for the complete well-being of its citizens. Its only duty is provide a level playing field for everyone to live and compete in. Once government power is used beyond that scope, the only thing that can happen is for the situation in question to get worse.
For once this power is unleashed to better a particular group there is no longer any argument about who the government should be offering extra help to as opposed to any other group. This is not the way our Founding Fathers envisioned the role of our government. Help one group and you have to help them all. Anything else is preferential treatment and as such, unfair to all of us.
So I spend a whole lot of my life puzzled by the constant demands made upon our governments that have nothing to do with governing. Handouts, specially protected rights, ie; disabled, veterans, females, senior citizens, babies, teenagers, people of color, illegals and now transgendered people. It never ends.
And I believe this is a direct result of enacting laws and using the powers of government to appease our feelings and make us feels good about ourselves instead of using logic and reason to reject bad ideas out of hand and focus only on what government is supposed to be doing. Social work is best left to private parties and organizations for whom that is their primary purpose. Governments need to practice tough love.
Feelings about Global Warming are starting to force our government leaders to make some very costly and long-lasting mistakes. We should let science sort this issue out and tell us if it truly is a problem, and whether it is man-made and if there is anything we can actually do to change it. I suspect the answer is no on all accounts but I don't think all of the research and facts are in yet to really be able to answer those questions. Why should we run willy-nilly into major lifestyle changes, -ethanol, no nuclear plants, no coal burning, no drilling for oil in our country, no new refineries, without being 100% positive that any of it will have the intended, positive outcomes. just because Al Gore says so?
Making these types of decisions without all the facts drives a left-brained person crazy. And that's where I find myself frequently these days.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Meet the Press
I was taught that the purpose of the Press is to objectively report on all the facts going on with whatever is in the national interest. They are the folks who probe the inner workings of government, who ferret out the facts from the misinformation and present what is really going on with this issue or that issue or that politician or whatever.
This is a noble cause and they have done a pretty good job overall throughout the history of this country.
But something has changed during my lifetime and what I observe now is that the press has shifted from their objective reporting to biased reporting with little regard for the facts and more attention given to the emotions and feelings surrounding the issues. This is not a favorable turn of events for the common people who rely upon this reporting to base our own opinions upon.
After all, if we are receiving slanted information, or not all of the relevant information or even incorrect factual information then we have no true basis for making any informed decisions at all.
Thank God for the Internet, Talk Radio and other sources of information retrieval. One can do his own research on the web these days and with enough time and determination, find out the facts of just about anything. But it is not an easy task and most people will not put forth the effort required to check out details and facts and do the proper crosschecking to insure that their information is correct. The Mainstream Media is still the primary means of disseminating information to the masses.
And this is exactly why the Press exists, to inform us truthfully and without bias and allow us to know the difference between the facts and opinions so we are able to decide. We can no longer trust the Press to do this for us. Which is why I thank God for the Internet, but it shouldn't be this way.
When did this attitude of the Press change to reflect their own agenda as opposed to the facts? I have my theory that this, too, is a bi-product of my generation. The dreaming hippie revolution, anti-government, Woodward and Bernstein bringing down Nixon, stopping the Vietnam War, lowering the voting age and then moving into the environment.
There was complicity in the Press for my generation to do these things. Hell, we became the Press to enable these things to be done. My generation set a different agenda and trashed the old traditions along the way. And one of those trashed traditions included an objective Press. We turned that into a subjective Press so that we could get our agenda done. I use "we" loosely here, I NEVER subscribed to this philosophy!
Be careful what you wish for because once the main issues were dealt with, not all hippies moved on with their life and ideals as most adults do. Some hippies migrated to the environmental movement and took their own agenda to a new level. Ever heard the term "watermelon" applied to radical environmentalists? Green on the outside, denoting ecology, and red on the inside, denoting communism/socialism perhaps fascism. I don't trust any environmentalist on the surface.
In my younger years, an approaching ice age was all the scare and early environmental supporters were very scared of this concept. Now the issue has morphed into global warming and the required radical measures necessary to stop this madness. Even as the years seem to become not as warm as the fanatics predicted it has become necessary to their cause to switch the term again to be climate change. This is perfect because now they can use the same term regardless of the impending doom approaching with the weather. How convenient.
And sickening. Even normally sane conservatives are bending to the climate change crowd and are beginning us on the path to destroying our capitalistic economy in favor of protecting our planet. What hogwash!
With the Press advocating drastic changes/taxes/whatever to save us from ourselves, they are able to constantly harass everyone, including children, with their whining about greenhouse gases. What a megaphone for them to pursue their agenda and bring the United States down to the level of the socialistic countries of Europe! Such thorough abuse of the power of the Press.
And that's all I got to say about that!