July 28, 2004

POLLSTER

I read that stuff about 40% of Canadian teens saying the US is a "force for evil". Whatever. But I was interested in this part of the article:

“What they’re reacting to is a sense that the U.S. is belligerent,” said the pollster who conducted the phone survey, Greg Lyle. “The U.S. is sort of bellicose, warmongering [and has] this sort of cowboy diplomacy.”

But former Canadian diplomat Martin Collacot says the teens are responding to cues from their government, the media and their teachers.

How about they're responding to cues from the pollster? I hope this quote was taken out of context, because when the pollster himself thinks Americans are warmongers, it might have an effect on the way he words his questions or interprets his data. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe 40% of Canadian kids really are that ignorant without any cues at all.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:53 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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July 26, 2004

RESPONSIBILITY

Normally I avoid reading things I have to register for, but I was so intrigued by this NYTimes title that I had to go through the rigamarole: Is The New York Times a Liberal Newspaper?. I really recommend it; it's an honest admission that the NYTimes is "of course" liberal.

However, I did notice one thing that always makes me prickle, something that I also noticed when Atrios' gang descended on me a few months ago: the Left often uses religion as the only line in the sand. The Right doesn't like the NYTimes because of the risque fashion models, articles on gay marriage, and evolutionary theory in the science section. Sarah doesn't like this poll because she's an "evangelical Christian" who refuses to listen to reason. In fact, in discussing evolution in the science section, the author says:

Newspapers have the right to decide what's important and what's not. But their editors must also expect that some readers will think: "This does not represent me or my interests. In fact, it represents my enemy." So is it any wonder that the offended or befuddled reader might consider everything else in the paper - including, say, campaign coverage - suspicious as well? [emphasis added]

So people on the Right think that those who support evolution are "the enemy", and therefore we shouldn't listen to anything else they have to say? Please.

What about all the people I've met on the Right who are atheists? They don't fall into the stereotype that the NYTimes just laid out: either you're happy that the "articles containing the word 'postmodern' have appeared in The Times an average of four times a week this year" or you're a close-minded fuddy-duddy evangelical Christian who wants the Ten Commandments in every courthouse and a cap in every black ass. Ridiculous.

What about all the people I've met on the Right who are libertarians? They don't fit the stereotype either. Some don't like gay marriage, or do believe in "one nation under God", but they still don't think the government has any business poking a nose in. They believe in personal responsibility instead of the "my way is right and you're the enemy" dichotomy the NYTimes set up.

In fact, I'd say a lot of us belong on the Right not because of our religious views but because of our views on Responsibility. (If you've never read Bill Whittle's essay, now's a good time...)

One of the things that makes the current political debate so rancorous is that we do a lot of talking past each other, because the old labels no longer seem to apply. Rachel Lucas is a gun-toting, idiot-intolerant, pro-gay, pro-choice conservative. My Liege Lord and Master, Emperor Misha I, the Hammer of Idiotarians, is a deeply religious, formidably armed firebrand who smashes with righteous fury any homophobic or racist morons who darken his cyberdoor. And Kim Du Toit, the rootin’-est, tootin’-est bad-ass hombre who ever lived, a veritable poster boy for the idea of an assault rifle in every crib, is a former South African who marched in the streets against racism and took huge risks fighting for the equality of all of his fellow citizens before he came home to America.

They, like me, call themselves conservatives, but we are indeed a new breed: pro-choice, pro-gay, vigorous defenders of equality of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. We’re big on freedom and big on responsibility.

The left hates us. We are harder to attack than the racist, homophobic, misogynists that they formerly could comfortably lambaste as right-wingers. (And they deserved to be lambasted, by the way – and I’m not even sure what lambasting is, but it does sound nasty and severe.)

The point is this: labels don’t really work. As one of my readers brilliantly pointed out in my comments section, it’s not like the vast sensible middle of the nation is divided into Red and Blue camps, Republicans vs. Democrats, Liberals vs. Conservatives, Left vs. Right. Today’s politics are more like a Rubik’s cube, where someone you may stand shoulder-to-shoulder with on one subject, can become, with a simple twist of the issues, a bitter opponent in some other fight.

This is where Whittle’s Theory of Political Reduction comes in handy. (If that’s too wordy we can call it Bill’s Electric Razor.)

I contend that there is a single litmus that does indeed separate the nation and the world into two opposing camps, and that when you examine where people will fall on the countless issues that affect our society, this alone is the indicator that will tell you how they will respond.

The indicator is Responsibility.

I appreciate that Daniel Okrent of the NYTimes can at least see that his paper doesn't exactly represent the views of a large chunk of America, but I wish he wouldn't naively herd us all into the "intolerant right-wing nutjob Christian" group that the Left thinks we all belong in. There are a plethora of reasons that the NYTimes disgusts me, and virtually none of them have anything to do with religion.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:25 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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July 24, 2004

FLIGHT 93

If there are any faceless people I love as much as our servicemembers, they are the people of Flight 93. I didn't know a single one of them, yet their bravery has always made me so proud. If I ever heard anyone put down these heroic passengers, I'd kick him in the teeth, which is why this horrific headline makes me nauseous. I know they finally fixed it, but who on earth greenlighted that asinine headline in the first place? (And what's the deal with mismatched headlines popping up all over the place? Do journalists put their stories into a Headline Generator and pull out the worst title they can find?)


Posted by: Sarah at 06:14 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 21, 2004

DIG

Here's an interesting little dig I found in the MSN movie review for Day After Tomorrow:

The Story: A paleoclimatogist (Dennis Quaid) races to save the world and his Manhattan-trapped son (Jake Gyllenhaal) from an impending Ice Age brought on by the effects of global warming (or, as the gun-shy Fox marketers call it, "global climate change"), which causes cataclysmic hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, hail, heat and a colossal tidal wave. Not for the weatherphobic.

Couldn't resist getting that dig against Fox in there, could you? Even though the cause of global warming could possibly be the sun and not humans, and the whole scare could be a bunch of b.s., let's find a way to blame the biased Fox News for it...

Sheesh.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:32 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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July 16, 2004

MEDIA

Sander asks an interesting question...

Posted by: Sarah at 02:01 AM | No Comments | Add Comment
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July 15, 2004

POLL

I hesitate to even say the p-word here on my blog again, in light of what happened last time, but Joshua Sharf has an interesting post about the new WaPo poll.

(By the way, if you're not reading Oh, That Liberal Media every day, you're missing out on some shocking stuff.)

Posted by: Sarah at 08:15 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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GASP

Surprise, surprise. Someone at the NYTimes is donating money to Kerry. Gasp.

(via Iraq Now)

Posted by: Sarah at 04:34 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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NAZI

Tim found a good article by John Leo about the power of blogging.

Plus I read another Leo article and found this line, about googling Bush=Hitler, hysterical:

The odd thing is that I typed in the names of every Nazi I ever heard of, excluding only Hitler himself, and the group total was still less than George Bush gets alone. This might indicate that either that George Bush is by far the second most important Nazi of all time, or that the Democrats and the left now require some sedation.

Posted by: Sarah at 04:26 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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