Thursday, September 15, 2005

Who Do You Believe?

I have some knowledge of the way people react, especially to testimony or presented evidence. I also know that a good lawyer has the ability to structure questions in such a way as to elicit only that response which will aid his/her cause rather than some open ended question which might bring about the whole truth. That having been said I would make an attempt to unravel the thinking behind some of the reported “facts” as have been reported in the past week or so regarding the relief efforts along the Gulf coast.

I read Maureen Dowd’s piece (of trash) in the Houston Chronicle. It sounded more like a drug induced rant than an editorial; but what can you expect from Ms Dowd? It was interesting how she started off with a colorful description about the elderly who died in a New Orleans nursing home as a means of taking a swipe at President Bush. I was wondering, “How is this going to make the President of the United States look bad? Those who died from an “alleged” negligent act on the part of the owners and operators of that particular nursing home were not under the direct, or even indirect, line of authority springing from the White House.”

“You’re already vulnerable and alone when suddenly you’re beset by nature and betrayed by your government.”

I am not making this up as I go along, honestly, that’s the next line in Ms Dowd’s article. What kind of giant leap of logic, if logic can be applied, is required for the reader to get from, “34 in St. Rita’s nursing home”, to “betrayed by your government”? Go read the article and check to see if I accurately transferred the thought. She painted a picture of bloated corpses draped over wheel chairs waiting at the front door, waiting for help that never arrived. (waiting for George Bush to get off vacation while all those poor old people lay suffocating in putrid waters waiting to die a slow death all because he was too stupid or too lazy to do anything)

There’s a paragraph dedicated to the fact that the State of Louisiana has charged St. Regis owners with multiple counts of negligent homicide with a statement by Attorney General Charles Foti, “I think that their inactions resulted in the death of these people”. (emphasis added on inactions throughout)

In the very next breath Ms Dowd couples the inactions of a specific homicide with, “President Bush continued to try to spin his own inaction…” I now see how she has managed to manipulate words in such a way as to entangle one thought with another, one having nothing at all to do with the other unless you consider that; yes, there was a hurricane, people died and President Bush was in office all at the same time. With logic jumps like these, maybe we should just take George out back and knock the crap out of him. I mean; the heck with facts and stuff like that, my gut feeling is that his inactions must have had something to do with it so let’s just whoop the crap out of him.

I then read William Buckley’s article in which he highlighted several similar assaults on President Bush that were made by our European “friends” of the press there. I like the one by Howard Jacobson in the London Independent.

“No light of humanity in the eyes. No gravitas on the face.”
It sounded like a line from the Democratic Party’s campaign to get what’s his name, Al Gore, elected into the White House. I actually had to ask my wife for his name as I searched my memory, that’s how forgettable Al Gore must be. I remember hearing the experts from the Beltway crowd going on and on about “gravitas” and how George W. Bush didn’t have it, any, enough or whatever the proper proportion of gravitas is to “BS” as required to perform the duties of President of the United States.

Mr. Buckley did find the answers to some of my questions later in his article. He brought up some of the basic issues facing our nation, a nation that has some serious problems with communication.

“The beginning of wisdom in accosting that question is: Do you believe it? Do you believe that a helicopter looking for men and women in desperation would give preferred treatment to someone whose hands flailed for help because those hands were white, not black? No doubt that consanguinity (what a great word and one I expect he didn’t have to look up. For the rest of you dummies too lazy to pick up a dictionary; it means to be of the same origin or blood) plays a role in human affinities (that’s why Ebony magazine features black models), but it is blasphemous to suppose that organized official aid discriminated in New Orleans against blacks.”
As surreal as that may sound I have heard far too many of my fellow citizens espouse that very thought, that George W. Bush, a Republican, intentionally ignored the black community because they, the black people voted for Democrats. Other than being patently offensive to my sense of humanity in general, I found such statements sorely lacking in fact as I observed the countless gestures of relief bestowed on ALL the citizens of that area in abundance and without regard for the color of anyone’s skin or without looking at anyone’s voter registration card.. I did see quite a few horse’s asses doing the reporting and so that may have something to do with why the information was slanted.

In the rest of Mr. Buckley’s article he went back to the OJ Simpson trial and the focus was placed squarely on the race card issue. The logic he used to explain the mistrust between white citizens and black citizens might also be used to explain the hedge between Liberals and Conservatives, or Democrats and Republicans; though the two should not be confused.

“Either we share a common language and a common rational apparatus or we do not. It is a very, very scary thing when three-quarters of one ethnic group flatly disagree with three-quarters of another ethnic group about the structure of rational arguments.”
I find it something of a miracle that we have not gotten down in the streets with guns and knives to settle it all. The expressed thoughts of a few journalistic reporters who claim to represent our society and who would portray the depravity necessary for gross negligence by a sitting President to exclude the safety and well being of any portion of citizenry are inflammatory and seditious. Maybe we should take them out back and whoop the crap out of them for their out right contempt of logic, the truth and rule of law. Their actions, over an extended period of time, right up to the relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina have placed us at the edge of anarchy. How are we to survive as a nation if we cannot agree to portray reality with the same language; taking into consideration that it would be ever so helpful to have facts reported truthfully and without some hidden agenda? So, who do you believe?

This is also my entry for this weeks Carnival of Liberty ( linked via title bar ) Go check out some of the great articles that have been written.

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