Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Image

Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More 961

SharpFang writes "In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that misinformed people, particularly political partisans, rarely changed their minds when exposed to corrected facts in news stories. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Given Truth, the Misinformed Believe Lies More

Comments Filter:
  • No surprise... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Pig Hogger (10379) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .reggoh.gip.> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:36AM (#32899224) Journal
    This explains the popularity of right-wingers, ordinary people who would have nothing to gain for voting for right-wing parties, yet who keep doing so.
  • Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cmiller173 (641510) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:38AM (#32899250)

    ... when exposed to corrected facts in news stories.

    Perhaps because we have learned to distrust the news providers?

  • by staryc (852301) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <NMilegeovassilem>> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:38AM (#32899252)
    This is why George W. Bush served two terms.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:38AM (#32899260)

    In some circle, they call that a leap of faith

  • by omar.sahal (687649) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:41AM (#32899294) Homepage Journal
    Well people (and by people I mean you and me as well) believe a whole lot of things just because that's the way we were brought up. We have never really dug into our beliefs thoroughly.
    When it comes to politics it really is some sort of emotional connection, not fact based, facts can't change our minds when this is the case. Politicians like to play on our innate sense of belonging, our fears, not however our minds.
  • by EdZ (755139) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:41AM (#32899298)
    -1 troll? I'm guessing somebody needs to replace the batteries in their sarcasm detector.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:41AM (#32899310)

    No wonder people are insistent they have "faith" in the absence of facts.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by qortra (591818) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:42AM (#32899332)
    Hah, you sir are truly delusional. *Every* political party has its share of disinformation and lies. To single out a specific party as being the culprit of misinformation only serves to show just how ignorant and naive you are.
  • Re:Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:46AM (#32899388) Homepage Journal

    The saddest part of this story for us, nerds, is that our strongest weapon - our knowledge, superior understanding of facts, digging deeper into matters than cheap news stories, is in fact totally inefficient against "joe average". The more you argue your case the worse your chance to -really- win the argument, convince the other side. More often they will admit defeat to get you off their neck and keep believing their falsehood even stronger.

  • Re:Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by divisionbyzero (300681) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:48AM (#32899436)

    ... when exposed to corrected facts in news stories.

    Perhaps because we have learned to distrust the news providers?

    Agreed. One of the greatest coups of big business is the co-opting of journalism. Now, nobody believes in objectivity. Everything is just politics.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:49AM (#32899462)

    I'm a liberal but I have studied the climate science controversy and no longer believe that CO2 causes catastrophic global warming. I have been following the skeptical web sites. It's real lonely for liberals over there. In fact, the prevalent opinion on those blogs seems to be that global warming is a plot to let the UN take over and make the whole world communist!

    Never mind just the public, it seems to me that even scientists will not change their minds in the face of evidence contrary to what they believe.

  • by LeepII (946831) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:50AM (#32899482)
    People tend to want to hear information that agrees with their particular world view. This is why even though all main stream media has a slant to a story there are different "flavors". AP actually puts out 7 different versions of every story depending on which propaganda machine is quoting them. Today's media presents very few facts but presents lots of opinions. Every "expert" speaker is just a person presenting his opinion. While it is easy to bash Faux news you can just as easily catch the same thing going on at NPR, BBC, CNN, etc if you are observant. All of them have money behind them determining how a story is presented, or if it is even presented at all. If your smart enough to read slashdot you should be smart enough to research things for yourself.
  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:51AM (#32899498)

    *Every* political party has its share of disinformation and lies.

    I'll go one further and say that *every* political party actively engages in pastisanship, fearmongering, and disinformation - with the explicit intent of making the electorate less rational and less able to make clear choices. The study in TFA (correctly) paints this phenomenon as a bad thing, but for political hucksters it's not a bad thing; it's a good thing - a great thing - when you can turn people into mindless partisan zombies just by throwing a few lies around.

  • Us vs Them (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ghislain_leblanc (450723) <ghisleb AT me DOT com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:52AM (#32899528)
    This is a problem with pretty much every political issue there is. You have to pick a side eventually. Very few people are truly neutral as far as political spectrum goes. You are leaning either to the right or to the left. The problem is that when you finally pick your side (early twenties, typically) it becomes natural to stick to it no matter what new information comes your way and you end up in a "us versus them" kind of position. You see everything that doesn't make your side look good as propaganda or media bias. I think politics can be compared to professional sports in many ways in the sense that science, data and morality have basically nothing to do with who you are rooting for.
  • by Aceticon (140883) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:52AM (#32899534)

    For most people, Politics, like Sports and Religion is all about having an emotional attachment to something - they're for/with/believe a group/ideology because they feel like "one of the group" and one cannot be against oneself.

    A high level of intelectual abilities (i.e. IQ) is no defense against it: just look at all the religious-like flamewars around things like editors and operating systems.

    In order to do trully informed judgements one must first be aware of one's inner-self, one's drives and fears and be capable of analysing one's motives. One must be capable of separating the "logic" from the "feelings" and the "habits" in the way things are perceived, interpreted and reasoned about.

    Unfortunatly this requires a level of inner maturity that seems to be far above that of most people ...

  • by Anonymous Meoward (665631) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:52AM (#32899538)

    I just read this [newyorker.com] a while back. There are larger ramifications than political sniping, and beyond politics altogether.

    It's a perfect illustration of why this phenomenon matters to all of us.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @09:58AM (#32899640) Journal

    The saddest part of this story for us, nerds, is that our strongest weapon - our knowledge, superior understanding of facts, digging deeper into matters than cheap news stories, is in fact totally inefficient against "joe average". The more you argue your case the worse your chance to -really- win the argument, convince the other side. More often they will admit defeat to get you off their neck and keep believing their falsehood even stronger.

    That is why John Hodgeman's punch line "Glen Beck makes a lot of sense if you think about it. If you don't think about it, he makes even more sense" makes me quite sad.

  • by pavon (30274) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:00AM (#32899676)

    This is one of the reasons that I dislike discussing/arguing issues in person. They will bring up some information I hadn't heard before, but I have no idea whether it is reliable or not. I try not to be set in my beliefs, but 90% of the "facts" that people spout usually had some foundation in truth originally but have become so misinterpreted by the time they heard it that it is almost complete crap. I like to look into things before I accept them, but that isn't an option in person. If you can't immediately refute any random thing they bring up and won't just accept what they say as gospel truth then you are pegged as a ignorant stubborn idiot. Furthermore, when I am pressed like that I do feel a strong desire to dig in and defend myself, when otherwise I would just take in the information and have one more thing to mull over while I continue to read about the issue.

  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:02AM (#32899708) Journal
    Why is this flamebait? Religions provide no objective evidence that they are true, yet require belief. When the facts contradict the dogma, they claim that the facts are just there to test your faith and that a true believer will see through them to the real underlying truth. Sounds like exactly the mindset that TFA is describing.
  • Re:Because... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Xamusk (702162) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:02AM (#32899716)

    The more you argue your case the worse your chance to -really- win the argument, convince the other side. More often they will admit defeat to get you off their neck and keep believing their falsehood even stronger.

    Sounds to me like religion.

  • Re: Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by EXTomar (78739) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:02AM (#32899722)

    A cultural norm my European cousins have noticed about Americans is that we seem to be taught to believe what "friends tell us" more than "stranger tell us" even when that relationship seems irrelevant. They observe that seems to make Americans rather listen to people we know instead of "experts tell us" and sometimes outright hostility to "authority tells us". Anyone with a little bit of collegic philosophy or logic study should realize that it isn't that our friends are purposely misleading but that they can be just as wrong.

  • Re:Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The Mighty Buzzard (878441) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:06AM (#32899790)

    We would have gone out and dug up our own information. And our beliefs wouldn't be based on incorrect information in the first place.

    Be nice to think so but it's been my experience that people, including supposedly intelligent people, will just go find misinformation that suits what they want to believe and truth be damned. I offer the entirety of slashdot comments as evidence.

  • by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:08AM (#32899828)

    That is why John Hodgeman's punch line "Glen Beck makes a lot of sense if you think about it. If you don't think about it, he makes even more sense" makes me quite sad.

    No .. what makes me sad is "Third most listened to talk show in the US".

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:08AM (#32899830) Homepage Journal

    Funny stuff.

    --

    For Obama to try something like 'commie healthcare', he has to be a liberal first, and he is not, he is a politician of the kind, who do not care about ideology.

    I am a libertarian, I care about ideology and thus I will never be in government. Ron Paul or Peter Schiff (who is trying to become a Senator right now) are very exceptional people, in that they care enough to try and fix the system based on their ideology and not so that they can personally make money or get more power.

  • Re:Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OG (15008) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:09AM (#32899852)
    Or perhaps we shouldn't just rely on reciting a litany of facts in hope of winning an argument. Rather, engage in a debate using questions that guide the other person into applying their own logic to the dicussion so that they reach their own reasonably sound conclusion. Don't try to win an argument, let the other person win your argument for you.
  • Be that as it may (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:10AM (#32899870)

    This highlights a fundamental weakness of democratic systems of government.

    "The people" are, on the whole, intellectually unfit to govern themselves.

    It remains true that those governed should have authority over the policies of government, and that the governors should be held accountable to those they govern. These must be true in order to avoid rampant corruption and crimes against humanity. But it is also true that the majority of people are too incapable of critical thinking, of self-education, and of consistency in the application of their principles to be effective in discriminating good policies from bad.

    People who claim to love freedom will happily deprive their neighbor of very important freedoms, and see no problem with this (this is true on both sides of the political perspective....freedom-loving Americans want to stop their neighbors from marrying the same gender, or owning guns, or terminating unwanted pregnancies, or using drugs for pleasure, or having access to sexually explicit material online, or having access to shared public facilities while being of a different race, and so on). That is just one example, but others abound.

  • by The Mighty Buzzard (878441) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:12AM (#32899888)
    This is why every politician in history was elected rather than shot, stabbed, hung, drawn and quartered, and then set on fire. Singling any particular one out marks you as one of the foolish masses who're going to believe what they want and truth be damned.
  • Re:No surprise... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by openfrog (897716) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:18AM (#32900014)

    I have just run out of mod points...

    Grandparent:

    This explains the popularity of right-wingers, ordinary people who would have nothing to gain for voting for right-wing parties, yet who keep doing so.

    Your answer:

    Hah, you sir are truly delusional. *Every* political party has its share of disinformation and lies. To single out a specific party as being the culprit of misinformation only serves to show just how ignorant and naive you are.

    As I write, the grandparent is modded -1 troll and you +4 Insightful. Unfair. The grandparent has a valid point. While it is true that no party can claim to be free of disinformation, right-wing parties can indeed be singled out for practicing it on an industrial scale. Just think of Fox, O'Reilly and Beck: no contest.

    To accuse the grandparent of ignorance and naivete smells much more of trolling than the actual actually quite moderate tone of the grandparent.

  • Re:Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:19AM (#32900020) Homepage Journal

    There is a difference between diversity and ignorance. Diversity would be people's views on abortion or whether there should be prayer in schools.

    Ignorance is claiming Obama isn't an American because he's never shows his birth certificate even though Hawaii has repeatedly indicated they do not give out copies of such. They only give Certificates of Live Birth, similar to what other states do.

    Yet, we have people like Senator Vitter (R, LA) continuing to trot the misinformation about Obama's citizenship despite evidence to the contrary.

    P.S. Once again Slashdot has me typing this in a 2"x3" box.

  • by mbone (558574) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:19AM (#32900024)

    The experience of the last century shows that fanatics can remain hermetically sealed from the truth until the fabric of their society collapses around them, and there is literally rubble in the streets.

    I think that education is the only hope to fix this, but that means that this will be a problem for the rest of our lives, if not a lot longer.

  • by Hylandr (813770) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:20AM (#32900038) Homepage
    I was about to jump on the Beck-Flame then had to remind myself he's just an entertainer like any other news or talk media figure.

    - Dan.
  • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:22AM (#32900096)

    To be fair:

    Poe's Law - Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humour, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won't mistake for the real thing.

  • Dumbasses (Score:2, Insightful)

    by w00tsauce (1482311) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:22AM (#32900100)
    So this study proves that dumbasses will continue to remain dumbasses.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:27AM (#32900188)

    1) People believe what they want to believe, most often they believe that which
          conforms to their ( pre-existing ) worldview.

    2) By definition, 50% of the population has an IQ of 100 or less. What this doesn't tell
            you is that most people, EVEN IF their IQ is above 100, do not ever engage in
            critical thinking. And if they aren't engaging in critical thinking, they aren't going to
            get results which are any better than the imbeciles, because intelligence is useless
            unless it is USED.

    3) The bigger the lie, the more likely the above idiots are likely to believe the bs, hook, line,
            and sinker. You know, lies like "Iraq has WMDs" or "We must defeat Al Quaeda and the
            way to do that is to engage in war in Afghanistan ( where the real reason for this war is
            maintaining access to petro-chemical reserves ).

    I am American. Most Americans are such gullible fools it makes me want to puke, and this is
    independent of their IQ. There was recent proof of this on Slashdot in the way most of those
    who posted embraced all-electric cars despite the fact that there are practical and significant reasons
    why all-electric cars are not going to be successful in the mass market yet. The difference between
    Billy Bob Dumbass and the Slashdot audience is that the Slashdot audience allows itself to be blinded
    by its fetish for what they assume is "advanced tech". The sad truth is that most of the people who post
    on Slashdot don't know shit about the subject they are commenting on, and they are simply engaging in
    mental masturbation because their lonely pathetic lives lack any other form of fullfilment.

    And now if you will excuse me I have real work to do, and it has nothing to do with a website or a computer.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:29AM (#32900224) Journal

    Funny, I was just going to say the same thing about the Holy Religion of Anthropogenic Global Warming, because His Eminence Pope Gore told me so.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:30AM (#32900250)
    You, sir, are very delusional if you don't think the Republicans far outpace the Democrats when it comes to outright lying to their constituents. How many Fox News viewers think Saddam was responsible for 9/11? No, both parties manipulate the truth to their benefit but one party takes it to a whole new and exciting level.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:31AM (#32900260)

    Nobody would go to the cinema if the film didn't have a flow to it, a beginning, a middle and an end.

    We like our facts to fit the same pattern and where they don't we twist them around in our head until they do.

    What we also do is look for stories which fit our circumstances. If we are poor, we believe in evil rich oppressors and Robin Hood style heroes. If we are rich we believe in the feckless, unworthy poor, and our own natural superiority.

    Don't imagine that it is someone else who is prone to this and not you. If affects us all. It's just that people don't tend to recognise it in themselves - because that sort of fact doesn't appeal.

  • Re:Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shish (588640) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:32AM (#32900300) Homepage

    Why should I care about it?

    Because sometimes people act on their beliefs, and even if your philosophy is "live and let live", that won't stop *them* from going out of their way to affect you

  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:33AM (#32900310) Homepage

    The Republican party depends on a group of deeply delusional voters known as Evangelicals. That's why, in the 21st Century, there are elected officials pretending to be concerned about gay couples, pretending that evolution is a lie that shouldn't be taught as fact, and pretending that a woman's body is the property of the Federal Government.

    And if you don't believe me, just look at how pathetic McCain was when he had to prostrate himself in front of these idiots: http://thinkprogress.org/mccain-flip-flops/ [thinkprogress.org]

    The Democratic party has it's fair share of hypocrites, but only one party demands delusion as part of their party platform. They are still demanding God be put back in Government, and pretending the founding fathers wanted the same thing. Their next sentence could be about the dangers of muslim theocracies, but their delusion is thought-proof. They know God chose America to fight Evil, just like their old hero President said himself: he answers to a higher father, even if the father he has in reality fought the same war against the same army only a decade earlier.

  • by jpcarter (1098791) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:34AM (#32900316)
    That's fine. The scary part is that most of the people who watch him don't realize that.
  • Re:No surprise... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy.gmail@com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:39AM (#32900396) Journal

    The thing that irritates me the most about the GOP is their attitude toward their OWN people. God forbid you don't do EXACTLY what everyone else does. People mock the dems for not being completely unified, but I think that's a good thing. I think the damn legislators ought to be out there using what brains they have, representing THEIR people.

    The state where I live, it's absolutely the worst. The gop at the state level is extremely intolerant of other voices within the party, so if you have an opinion that differs from the majority, you hide it, or the state party will actively campaign against you in the primaries.

    My local US rep is a dem...probably the most conservative dem in the entire house...and the republicans have run multi-million dollar campaigns against him for the last 3 election cycles. They can't even effectively campaign against him because he's a morally conservative, anti-tax hawk, so they have to field these whackjob wingnuts...It's ugly. They get crushed every election. And they're gearing up to fight him again, because he has a D after his name, and it drives them fucking MAD.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:46AM (#32900528) Journal

    right-wing parties can indeed be singled out for practicing it on an industrial scale. Just think of Fox, O'Reilly and Beck: no contest.

    As opposed to MSNBC and Olbermann?

  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:46AM (#32900546) Homepage

    and not so that they can personally make money or get more power.

    I would caution anyone voting for Peter Schiff, who's ultimate goal is to crash the dollar since he has been predicting that for about a decade. Solipsism can do just as much damage as greed or a lust for power.

    I agree with Ron Paul on many things, but as long as he stays within the Republican Party, they'll never let him be more than a sideshow.

  • Re:Because... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scrameustache (459504) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:47AM (#32900564) Homepage Journal

    The saddest part of this story for us, nerds, is that our strongest weapon - our knowledge, superior understanding of facts, digging deeper into matters than cheap news stories, is in fact totally inefficient against "joe average".

    Us nerds here? Can't tell you how many times I've corrected people here, providing them with links to sources demonstrating the validity of my correction, just to have them not only defend their ignorance rabidly, but have moderators take their side. People who self-identify as nerds don't have a better track record in self-delusion as Joe Sixpack, even though they want to believe that they do.

    Still, I believe that stating the truth and seeing it ignored is better than letting the lie go unchallenged :(

  • Re:Because... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Damek (515688) <adamNO@SPAMdamek.org> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:48AM (#32900584) Homepage

    I've heard just as much dreck from nerds believing they have a superior understanding of facts as from those who don't so self-identify.

    Economists, for example.

    As a side note, it really would be nice if we didn't believe we lived in a world that was a war of ideas requiring "winning arguments" and "convincing others." Consensus and, as USA's founders used to use a lot, compromise, are the hallmarks of good decision-making and discourse.

  • by Nadaka (224565) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:49AM (#32900592)

    Notice how all of the fascist, unconstitutional and Anti-American policies that Bush and Cheney implemented (and should have legitimately resulted in impeachment and at least life sentences in prison ) are still in effect?

    Nothing has changed, therefore conservative.

    Obama is a conservative, not a liberal.

    We have a far right wing fascist party and a moderate right wing fascist party.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:49AM (#32900604) Homepage Journal

    No, Obama is not a liberal at all. Even before election it was clear to me that no liberal can become a president of US so he could not have been one and it was a correct assessment.

    Obama has no liberal principles, and I do not mean libertarian principles, I mean liberal.

    Were Obama a liberal he would not have tried so hard to make all of the republican/conservative moves. You would have to search hard to find something, where Obama is showing any liberal/progressive leanings, specifically where it concerns the important stuff: economy/military/constitution.

    Things like gay rights are important of-course, but they are of no consequence, they are always just a distraction, a useful construct, like 'child porn'. Something to make a clear distinction of 'us versus them'.

    Obama is not a progressive or a liberal or a commie or a Marxist. He is definitely a statist/corporatist/opportunist.

    This can be seen in every policy, in every so-called 'reform', non of which is a real reform based on any ideology. Instead all of his 'reforms' are checkmarks he can put on his resume, so that later he can point and say - see, I did pass a Bill! Rejoice!

    Too bad none of what's passed matters at all, instead those Bills make things worse. For a second imagine that the so called financial reform was in place before the year 1980 and was in place for all of that time, do you believe that US wouldn't have the credit crisis that hit during the dot/com and then during the house bubble and soon enough during a yet-to-come t-bills/bonds/debt-refinancing bubble? Of-course not.

    Do you think that the 'health care reform' is actually a reform? It certainly made things worse - like increased the patenting time for drugs from 7 to 12 years, it will cause higher premiums for everybody obviously and many people still will not be covered.

    No no, a real commie/liberal bastard would have come there and stuffed a single-payer system down everybody's throat, the kind that I hated in Canada (remember, I am not a liberal, my leanings are all practical, I despise governments for distorting the market.)

    Bush was good at stuffing shit he wanted down people's throats, no matter how much they didn't like it, he did it anyway. Obama also is good at it, but he is no liberal, thus when he stuffs shit down people's throats, it's shit similar to W's shit, like making sure that no law passes that allows actual competition in the drug market with companies importing cheaper drugs from other countries, like from Canada.

    No no, I meant what I said.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:55AM (#32900704) Journal

    The Democrats, as it were, just can't help but shoot themselves in the foot with the gun control issue.

    It's more the urban base of the Democratic party that can't help themselves. Rural Democrats tend to be staunchly pro-gun, moreso than their GOP counterparts in many cases. The most out-outspokenly pro-gun US Senators are both Democrats -- Baucus and Tester from Montana.

    But yeah, the urban liberals can't help themselves when it comes to guns. They literally work themselves up into a hysteria. It's pretty amusing to watch. Every single time there's an expansion of gun rights they predict that blood will flow in the streets. The fact that it hasn't happened yet does not prevent them from repeating the claim that it will. They also spend an inordinate amount of time worrying about what the law-abiding gun owners are doing -- witness Mayor Daley's new gun law after SCOTUS struck down his old one. He's going to limit law-abiding gun owners to a SINGLE handgun that they aren't even allowed to take INTO THEIR GARAGE. Want to clean your gun on the workbench in your garage instead of stinking up your house with the smell of solvent? Sorry but the City of Chicago has deemed that your 2nd amendment rights do not apply in your garage.

    I'm sure this new law will deter the criminal element too. Murder is one thing but carrying a gun outside the home or owning more than one? What self-respecting criminal would cross that line?

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:56AM (#32900738)

    This line of thinking is pretty typical of elitist leftists that feel they know what is better for the rest of society.

    At least they try. If I want to know X, who am I going to ask, people who study X? Or a plumber who doesn't even do any plumbing?

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:57AM (#32900770)
    This might also be in part because of... ah, a shattering of expectations. A lot of liberals had hoped that getting their party back into power would mean that they could get things fixed (and I count myself as one of them). Putting this administration into power has made a lot of us realize that there's a lot wrong with Congress that can't be fixed by putting any one particular party in power.
  • by couchslug (175151) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @10:58AM (#32900780)

    There is no reason for a Christian to object to abortion, because it kills the same folks Christians don't miss if they die in another manner once ex-utero.

  • by dave420 (699308) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:01AM (#32900848)
    It's tragic that news is, or at least perceived to be, entertainment (in the US at least - it's not like that everywhere thank fuck). It's also tragic that people aren't up in arms over that, dragging network executives down the streets by their hair. What the fuck? Factual, accurate news broadcasts are important to the well-being of a country. They are the cornerstone of democracy.
  • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:04AM (#32900908)
    We are a culture that values strength over intelligence. A man who is unflexible, unyielding, who cannot be changed is strong. A man who is open to change, who compromises appears to have a weak heart. When we argue and discuss, our goal is not to learn something, is not to find the right answer - our goal is to win the argument
  • Re:Right (Score:4, Insightful)

    by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:08AM (#32901004)
    You mean to tell me they can't make an exception for the president? It would really put all of the questioning to rest if he showed it. It just seems strange to me that he won't.

    TFA is all about the fact that, no, it wouldn't. Conspiracy theorists always believe that there's a deeper layer. They demanded to see Obama's birth certificate. So they released the certificate offered by the state of Hawaii. In the minds of the birthers, this only PROVED that he wasn't born in America, because that's not the real birth certificate. He's obviously hiding the truth! He's lying!

    That's exactly what the article is pointing out - people who strongly believe something are likely to see evidence against them as a part of the conspiracy, that people are lying to trick them out of their beliefs. Show the birthers the "real" certificate, and they'll probably believe it was a forgery.
  • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:12AM (#32901066) Homepage

    Two points here. First, that's a pretty broad brush you paint "religion" with there. It may be an accurate description of typical midwestern Protestant religion (who probably you encounter most often pushing the latest in Creationism) but many modern religions have a more sophisticated view on integrating with Reality than that. Even among Christianity, the Catholics are generally quite willing to consider evolution and the Big Bang - heck, Lemaitre was a Catholic priest! I won't even go into the eastern religions. A more nuanced perspective is in order.

    Second, I think that the reason a lot of people react like that is, to take an example, the Guy With The Truth is typically perceived to be not just a guy trying to inform for the sake of Truth, but a guy who's got some ideological agenda to push including a whole suite of objectionable ideas, not just the one, so it's easy to dismiss his statements wholesale. He's probably not just interested in saying "the universe began this way and here's why; interesting, eh?" but he oh so often goes on to make snide remarks about religion and politics and possibly underlying cultural value systems. Just read typical Slashdot comments here and you'll find plenty of examples. Wrap the truth in a turd often enough, and people will think it's smelly.

  • by tibit (1762298) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:14AM (#32901098)

    I'd say that you're overestimating how good the spouted "facts" are. My expectation is that the "facts" will be 100% crap, not 90% crap, and when talking to certain people I usually blindly assume that they are wrong on everything they say, and check myself after the fact. I can always recant stuff in a follow-up discussion. This works quite well in general, and with certain people it's a slam dunk -- it never fails. They always spew crap, and while I may not be able to pin-point immediately why they are wrong, the assumption that they are wrong turns out always to be right.

    I agree with you on everything else. It's hard to discuss in things in person without sitting in front of a web browser, ideally while being logged in to a university's VPN or library proxy so that you can access source material.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TyFoN (12980) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:17AM (#32901148)

    "How many Fox News viewers think Saddam was responsible for 9/11? No, both parties manipulate the truth to their benefit but one party takes it to a whole new and exciting level."

    Not many. How many people think that global warming is man-made, even though there is evidence to prove otherwise? How many people believe that bush started the war to make himself rich?

    As you can see here [atlanticreview.org] about 1/3 of the american population believe that saddam was directly responsible for 9/11. I'd say that is pretty significant (and you can bet that the majority of this 1/3 is watching fox)

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:17AM (#32901152)

    Let's keep it simple: anyone who wants to increase government power is a progressive.

    Without agreeing or disagreeing with your thesis: do you realize (and would you agree) that this would make GW Bush a very, very progressive president when you consider the Department of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act?

  • by sconeu (64226) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:17AM (#32901156) Homepage Journal

    However, there isn't really a way for anyone to prove or disprove the existence of a higher power creating humans.

    Which by definition removes the concept of a "higher power creating humans" from the realm of science.

  • Re:Right (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:18AM (#32901168) Journal

    Or forbid you from marrying the one you love because it's "unnatural"

    Get the Government out of marriage and this wouldn't be an issue. When you strip away the romantic and religious aspect what is a marriage other than a legal agreement between two people? What other legal agreement do you enter into where you need the permission of the government before you can proceed?

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:22AM (#32901250)
    Are you seriously that delusional?

    The media slams Bush for a deficit of 400 Billion. While a very bad thing, Obama gets to defecit to 1200 Billion, and there is not a peep about it, and quote the opposite, story after story telling us how that is a GOOD thing that they spent all that money (that we don't have).

    So explain to me where this disinformation campaign is located again?
  • by assertation (1255714) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:27AM (#32901320)

    These findings are not a surprise to me.

    Thanks to the innovation of the internet I've had probably thousands of arguments with people committed to a particular viewpoint.

    The usual mentality is not curiosity, listening and interest in discovering truth.

    It is a verbal boxing match with both sides flinging opinions and links until someone gets tired and stops

  • by Machtyn (759119) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:29AM (#32901352) Homepage Journal
    Who said Bush was a conservative? Republican, yes, but conservative? No
  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:30AM (#32901362) Homepage

    The only difference between what I said and what you said is that you believe Schiff has good intentions. But the fact remains: Schiff is personally invested right now in the failure of the US dollar. He has staked his reputation on it. If presented with an option to freeze spending and deny social services on a massive scale that would certainly destroy the American economy, Schiff would support it, because he has said many times before that such a collapse is the cure our economy needs for the disease of cheap interest.

    Peter Schiff understands perfectly the concept of classical economics. It's unfortunate that it has nothing to do with the modern world. He can't model the relationships between China and America and Europe because he simply doesn't believe in economic theory based on math. That's why he's been wrong on the dollar versus the Euro, and why he's been wrong on gold, but since he sticks to the same line year after year, sometimes he seems right.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:32AM (#32901398)

    It's hard to blame them though. They feel that this issue is very important, and that the Democrats' stance on this basic right is merely a sign of a deeper disregard for personal rights in general

    I've always felt that gun control was more a rural/urban divide than anything else.

    If you live in the country, guns are how you hunt and keep the occasional mountain lion from eating your children. (And probably, in the event that someone does break into your house, having a gun is the only way to stop them in any kind of reasonable time -- the police station is probably not less than a mile away.)

    If you live in the city, guns are how people in your neighborhood get killed. (And, sure, if somehow guns magically go away people would be killed by knives etc. instead, but try doing a drive-by and accidentally getting the wrong person with a knife.)

    Speaking in broad terms that clearly don't account for every person in either situation, rural people don't want to give up an important tool, and urban people want the freedom to not be shot more than they want the freedom to own a gun.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:32AM (#32901402)

    Frankly, if things were to be that bland, why not just elect that other guy (the Republican)?

    When Bush was elected, 50% of Americans were saying "sorry, we didn't vote for him"; with Obama, it's: "oh, he needs to govern for all, including those who didn't vote for him"!

    How come Republicans always win? Is this a hidden rule?

    (a concerned foreigner)

  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:32AM (#32901406) Homepage

    Let me rephrase to destroy your argument again:

    Republicans believe that a woman's body is property of the Government.

    There you go.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by e2d2 (115622) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:33AM (#32901416)

    I joined the Republican Party because I thought there were too many people spreading their "RINO" nonsense. I'm a moderate, but up to this year I was always independent. I want to bring moderation back to the party, as I believe the party was at one time more moderate and aligned to the middle. I also think that Christian right wingers (and i'm a Christian myself) are hijacking the party and turning it into a Jesus-fest. Again, I'm a believer. But that doesn't mean I want a "Holy Priest of the US" for President. The US was founded to escape religious oppression and I follow those tenants to a fault, regardless of my faith.

    Barry Goldwater would be rolling in his grave if he knew of how the modern Republican party has been twisted.

  • by macraig (621737) <mark.a.craig@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:35AM (#32901446)

    Ummm... guys, it's called dogmatism.

    Did we really need peer-reviewed research to confirm that it exists? Where have you been living? Why do you think there are STILL people refusing to take vaccines, even after Andrew Wakefield has been utterly discredited? Why do you suppose there were still people who thought Piltdown Man was real, even after the hoax was exposed? Why do you suppose it is that so many people mindlessly "vote the party line" in direct opposition to observable reality?

    Dogmatism and its kid brother groupthink are huge threats to meaningful progress in just about every facet of human civilization.

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:35AM (#32901448)

    So right now, the federal government IS telling you what you can do with your body... thanks to RvW.

    Because it forces abortions on you whether you want one or not?

    Sorry, that statement is logically indefensible.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:41AM (#32901544) Journal

    This is where American politics gets weird. The party that proports to be populist is on the wrong side of public opinion for almost all the one-issue voters:

    Just so you know, the reason we have elected representatives instead of a direct democracy is because public opinion is a shitty way of making public policy.

  • As non-usa'ian, I have to agree that your Republicans are extremely right wing, and your Democrats are only very right wing. Compared to most of the rest of the "western" world politics in the USA are extremely right wing. Obama does not qualify as a "liberal" in any western country except the USA.

    If all people allowed facts to easily sway their judgment there would be no creationists, no global warming deniers, no birthers, and no war on drugs.

  • by IgnoramusMaximus (692000) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:01PM (#32901936)

    No no, a real commie/liberal bastard would have come there and stuffed a single-payer system down everybody's throat, the kind that I hated in Canada (remember, I am not a liberal, my leanings are all practical, I despise governments for distorting the market.)

    While I agree with the rest of your rant, I must point out that healthcare lacks the necessary pre-conditions for a market activity and as such cannot be left to the tender mercies of the capitalist "free market". One of the fundamental problems is the lack of any possibility whatsoever of consumer making an "informed purchase" from competing vendors, particularly while unconscious in an ambulance or in excruciating pain. And it just goes downhill from here.

    Therefore it logically follows that healthcare has to be dealt with in a completely different framework, very much the same way as other essential societal infrastructure, like the justice system or roads.

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:02PM (#32901960)
    Are we pre-preemptively invading nations?
    Are we declaring war without congress?
    Are we giving tax breaks to the rich?
    Are we legitimizing young earth creationists?
    Are we performing illegal wholesale wiretaps on everyone? Oh wait, yeah, we're still doing that one. You got me there. But the rest? Naw. So he's way better in that regard. He's no second coming, but he's really not that bad. It'd be nice if he brought the troops home, and stopped being a dick with the wiretaps, but most of the rage people direct at the guy is just generated out of nothing at foxnews. Their biggest complaint seems to be that he's a Nazi socialist, which is just silly.
  • by Machtyn (759119) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:03PM (#32901974) Homepage Journal
    Let's follow this...

    The Democrat party depends on a group of deeply delusional voters known as the Poor. That's why, in the 21st Century, there are elected officials pretending to be concerned about the inner-city degradation, pretending that illegal immigration is a pathway to citizenship, and pretending that an unborn child is not living and does not deserve the right to live.

    And if you don't believe me, just look at how pathetic Detroit is. In Detroit, the Democrats and their liberal policies have driven that once great city into the ground. http://www.newsrealblog.com/2010/01/03/49-years-of-leftist-policies-detroit-in-ruins/ [newsrealblog.com]

    The Republican party has it's fair share of hypocrites, but only on party demands delusion as party of their party platform. They are still demanding that wealth must be redistributed by force (IRS and tax code). Their next sentence could be about the great rich nation we live in and that it is a shame that a person who does not work should receive the same benefits as someone who does work.
  • by BobMcD (601576) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:05PM (#32902010)

    It makes for a really neat Catch-22. Because the press is 'free', it is also for sale. There's no way to prevent the corporate/wealthy interests from gaining control over the media without allowing the government to control it instead.

    So, pick your evil -

    A) Government-run media

    B) Greed-run media

    There isn't any 'C'. At least not within the reasonable confines of established western civilization.

    Humans are neat!

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AragornSonOfArathorn (454526) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:06PM (#32902040)

    This is me trying very hard:

    Daily Show?!?!

    hah! The Daily Show is NOT a news program. It's shown on COMEDY CENTRAL. Epic fail.

  • Re:Because... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by operagost (62405) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:07PM (#32902042) Homepage Journal
    It's a good thing that the USA is a republic and not a democracy, or else the uninformed Joe Averages would be much more a concern. Now you see why most politicians talk about increasing democracy, not freedom.
  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:15PM (#32902180) Homepage

    How many people think that global warming is man-made, even though there is evidence to prove otherwise?

    The entire point of the article is that people do not take facts into account when holding onto their opinions. Global warming is an excellent example, as you've proven. The facts show that it is man-made, without a doubt, but some people such as yourself refuse to believe it.

    It's pretty obvious that the entire point of the "study" at UofM is to somehow prove that "misinformed" (or people on the right) people are believing lies more than the truth. This line of thinking is pretty typical of elitist leftists that feel they know what is better for the rest of society.

    The study is showing that people are not believing in facts. You know -- facts? Unassailable truths arrived at by rigorous logic from concrete data?

    This isn't a left or right thing, except that the right disagrees with more facts than the left does at this moment in history. In twenty years it'll be the other way around. But no matter who is doing it, I think we should all agree that people who cannot handle the facts are not being helpful to their society, especially when they involve themselves in setting public policy.

  • by funwithBSD (245349) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:15PM (#32902202)

    I noticed you focused on the negative aspects of that article. How about the later paragraph:

    The researchers--John Jost of NYU, Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland, and Jack Glaser and Frank Sulloway of Berkeley--found that conservatives have a greater desire to reach a decision quickly and stick to it, and are higher on conscientiousness, which includes neatness, orderliness, duty, and rule-following. Liberals are higher on openness, which includes intellectual curiosity, excitement-seeking, novelty, creativity for its own sake, and a craving for stimulation like travel, color, art, music, and literature.

    I guess you could make a value judgment on those attributes, but they have equal value in a person.

  • Re: Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yyxx (1812612) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:20PM (#32902280)

    They observe that seems to make Americans rather listen to people we know instead of "experts tell us" and sometimes outright hostility to "authority tells us".

    Yes, and that's a good thing. Fascism, anti-semitism, and communism were all so readily embraced by Europeans because Europeans believed their "experts".

    It is disturbing how readily many Europeans accept liberal positions on hotbutton issues like global warming and gay marriage when some intellectual elite tells them what to think. It's disturbing not because the liberal positions might be wrong (I think they are right), but because Europeans simply don't even engage in the debates necessary to reach an informed decision; many Europeans just line up in lock-step behind their governments and their experts and feel a smug sense of superiority about it.

    Anyone with a little bit of collegic philosophy or logic study should realize that it isn't that our friends are purposely misleading but that they can be just as wrong.

    Yes, but your friends are much less likely to have an agenda than a government expert or other public figure, and if they do have an agenda, you have better ways of figuring out what it is.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Shakrai (717556) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:31PM (#32902472) Journal

    have you EVER seen a negative comment about bush on fox ? or a positive about obama on fox ?

    Yes and yes. Various Fox personalities ripped Bush when he nominated Harriet Miers to SCOTUS. I also saw some favorable coverage of Obama's handling of the General McChrystal mess and subsequent nomination of General Petraeus.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by zzsmirkzz (974536) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:34PM (#32902540)
    The problem is because of an inherent distrust of the source of the facts when they contradict information someone already believes to be true. Trust and knowing who to believe are big problems for people especially as they become more-and-more bombarded by bullshit day-in and day-out. Who do you trust?

    After the trust hurdle comes the self/ego-preservation-instinct of people not being able to admit they are wrong or were ever wrong, despite evidence to the contrary. Think "LA, LA, LA, LA, I can't hear you". It reminds me of the Matrix a little; "We have a rule...We never free a mind after it reaches a certain age. It is dangerous, the mind has trouble letting go. I've seen it before and I'm sorry".
  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:37PM (#32902614) Journal

    People just make up crap most of the time. Your idea of a follow-up doesn't work if you won't meet them again. It might make you look petty too if the issue is a minor one. This is why I don't bother getting into arguements over emotional topics, people will never change their minds. To admit the slightest mistake is to risk admitting a flaw in your worldview (and thus your selfimage) and they won't risk it.

    Even if you have access to the facts too how they are interpreted can be just as hazy. Just look at the economy with people pulling facts out to support more spending vs people pulling facts out to call for deficit reduction.

  • Re:Because... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AndersOSU (873247) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:38PM (#32902624)

    Is there such a thing as a liberal media bias? In some cases, sure. The NY times and MSNBC have a liberal slant, but really, conservatives have a bit of history crying wolf on this front. Tom Brokaw might have been a liberal, but that doesn't mean the NBC nightly news was.

    I also think that Fox news is the most slanted major media outlet (this opinion is undeniably influenced by my bias), from the Acorn nonsense to the Fox News organized tea parties if they're not the worst, they at least have the most influence.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:40PM (#32902670) Homepage Journal

    Oh, I am sorry about your door being too tight.

    Every single thing is a subject to the rules of the marketplace and when people interfere with this fundamental truth, some balance is lost and the incoming crash is going to be just that much more severe. Nothing at all exists in this world that is not subject to the simple rules of thermodynamics, and economics is fundamentally the same thing.

  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:47PM (#32902764) Homepage Journal

    Nazi is not an economic label, for example it does not mean a 'fascist' - which means ruling by corporations really.

    Now to your core questions:

    Are we pre-preemptively invading nations? - why, do you have to invade nations every year and a half, was that actually happening under any republican government, I mean aren't the current wars enough for now to satisfy the need for blood by the military industrial complex? Did you leave Iraq? How about Afghanistan? You think you are leaving any time soon? You think the Afghanistan mission has anything to do with actual terrorism? curious.

    Are we declaring war without congress? - why, did any democrat declare a war with congress? Did Bill Clinton declare a war with congress before bombing former Yugoslavia?

    I just copied this from a wiki page for you:

    In a remarkable vote against the war in Yugoslavia, the House of Representatives, by a vote of 213 to 213, failed to give the President the constitutionally required authorization he needed to carry on the air war against Yugoslavia.

    Are we giving tax breaks to the rich? - :) do you think that bailing out largest corporations is somehow dissimilar to giving them tax breaks? Is City or GS etc. suffering much in terms of bonus payouts for example? Just asking.

    Are we legitimizing young earth creationists? - I really don't know.

  • by Martin Blank (154261) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:53PM (#32902870) Homepage Journal

    I find it more than a little distressing that Jon Stewart provided one of the best and most informative interviews about the economy when he grilled Jim Cramer last year. Stewart himself may not be the most fair interviewer in general, but he was asking questions that a lot of professional journalists were not asking, and Cramer's discomfort at being put on the spotlight was obvious. Unfortunately, the questions that get asked by the pros are usually either softball questions or loaded questions because they're afraid of losing access, and no real information comes out.

    During the presidential election, I didn't expect Obama to be able to lay out a complete, 500-page plan on how he planned to turn around the economy. I didn't expect McCain to provide an exact, to-the-day timetable of addressing energy concerns. But in both cases, they repeatedly got away with vague suggestions of how they would handle things.

    The press should be asking tough questions, questions that keep the politicians on their toes. The American people will listen to real information if it's presented to them; Ross Perot showed us that. (He could have won the election, given that about 20% of the voters said that they didn't vote for him, but would have if they would have thought that he had a chance, giving him about 40% of the vote and leaving Clinton and Bush with about 30% each.) Instead, we get spoon-fed claptrap, major parties run by fundamentalists, and a growing alienation of the moderate in this country.

  • by toadlife (301863) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:56PM (#32902916) Journal

    What exactly is Glenn Beck informed about? Pretty much all of his rants illustrate his misunderstanding of both current and past affairs.

    For example, two of Glenn Beck's purported heroes are Thomas Paine and Martin Luther King Jr. Both of those men were hard-core socialists, and advocated radical (for their time) socialist agendas, of which Beck spends 99% of his time railing against.

  • by qortra (591818) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:05PM (#32903054)
    I don't know how all the purveyors of flamebait keep getting modded up today, but it's quite disturbing.

    because it kills the same folks Christians don't miss if they die in another manner once ex-utero

    I'm a Christian, and I run in a few Christian circles. I'm not sure where you get your information, but most of Christians I know care deeply about every kind of person. Many of them are involved in helping people in prisons, others take their vacations in places like New Orleans, Haiti, and Costa-Rica so they can help people who are suffering. They also contribute to the local community as much as they can, and when somebody dies in their sphere of awareness, they are deeply moved. They have political orientations from hardcore-conservative to ultra-liberal and everything in between, but none of them take others' lives lightly.

    As far as abortion goes, it is a little odd that Christians do tend to come out on one side of the issue. It is an interesting issue to say the least, and in my mind, rests on the person-hood of the fetus. This distinction is something about which the Bible doesn't say too much.

    I don't fault you for your viewpoint (though it is absolutely flamebait). People get a lot of their information and experience with Christians from the worst of us (bigoted televangelists, lying politicians, etc). Just don't generalize about a social group until you've really bothered to understand them at a personal level.

  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:07PM (#32903088) Homepage

    The only thing your argument lacks is clarity and at least a passing acquaintance with reality.

    My favorite paragraph from the link is this: "Largely as a result of federal regulations and union policies, Detroit now has the lowest graduation rates in the country and the highest unemployment and crime rates in the nation. In essence, Detroit is a microcosm of what happens to the golden goose when the federal government takes over."

    Then it proceeds -- without any data whatsoever -- to explain how Detroit was destroyed by "left" policies. It doesn't even mention a single specific policy, most probably because this is all just someone's imagination.

    Germany has much stronger union membership than the United States, and it's unemployment rate is currently lower, it's people generally happier, healthier, and it has less poverty, despite just having absorbed East Germany and all of it's problems. So, we can't blame unions or left-leaning policies, since they seem to work in other places. You could blame American unions specifically, or perhaps the short sighted decisions about moving the poor out of middle class neighborhoods in the 60s, but that would require a rational argument that you have not yet provided. (I will be happy to provide sources about the German economy if you are incapable of finding them yourself.)

    Progressive taxes work. Adam Smith knew it, every economist who believes in math knows it, and as evidence by the stunning success of every western nation that has them, the world knows it as well. Furthermore, the rich have tripled their income since 1980 and seen their tax rates reduced. Meanwhile, the bottom four quintiles of Americans have seen only marginal gains that have barely kept pace with inflation. So perhaps the problem is that we are now suffering not only from paranoid militarism, but also a failure of the progressive tax code to provide infrastructure for the economy at large.

    At any rate, both parties are owned by the same people who own Fox News, and MSNBC, and every other corporation. The Democrats do depend on votes from the lower middle class, so they are more likely to allow some policies that actually help to slip through. The Republicans depend on Evangelicals, so they pander to their constitutents in the same way. The difference is being poor and wanting to better yourself is a hell of a lot more rational than thinking that America was chosen by God to fight Evil, or that evolution isn't real, or that Christianity is non-violent.

  • by fiannaFailMan (702447) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:16PM (#32903246) Journal

    Two points here. First, that's a pretty broad brush you paint "religion" with there. It may be an accurate description of typical midwestern Protestant religion (who probably you encounter most often pushing the latest in Creationism) but many modern religions have a more sophisticated view on integrating with Reality than that. Even among Christianity, the Catholics are generally quite willing to consider evolution and the Big Bang - heck, Lemaitre was a Catholic priest! I won't even go into the eastern religions.
      A more nuanced perspective is in order.

    Second, I think that the reason a lot of people react like that is, to take an example, the Guy With The Truth is typically perceived to be not just a guy trying to inform for the sake of Truth, but a guy who's got some ideological agenda to push including a whole suite of objectionable ideas, not just the one, so it's easy to dismiss his statements wholesale. He's probably not just interested in saying "the universe began this way and here's why; interesting, eh?" but he oh so often goes on to make snide remarks about religion and politics and possibly underlying cultural value systems. Just read typical Slashdot comments here and you'll find plenty of examples. Wrap the truth in a turd often enough, and people will think it's smelly.

    Sorry, but the vast majority of religious people base their belief system on an unbelievably over-rated principle called 'faith'. Faith is wishful thinking, wrapped in circular reasoning, inside ignorance, and it is the cornerstone of religion which is inherently hostile to the facts. Catholicism may be a bit more flexible than most and is willing to beat a retreat rather than argue the facts, but the remainder of its belief system still relies on faith. The Catholic 'mysteries' are a prime example, little logical fallacies that are blatant contradictions but the flock are still required to accept them because "it's their faith."

  • You seem like the pedantic type so I wanted to correct a mistake in your post. The issue isn't whether or not Barack Obama is merely a citizen of the United States. In order to be President, one has to be a natural-born citizen. The question is whether or not being born in a foreign country (to US citizens) is enough to make you a natural-born citizen. Don't forget that John McCain was born in Panama so there was an issue there as well.

  • by toadlife (301863) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:42PM (#32903690) Journal

    Nothing at all exists in this world that is not subject to the simple rules of thermodynamics, and economics is fundamentally the same thing.

    That's just stupid. The only time in which your analogy could be even close to accurate is in a situation where there absolutely zero interference in the marketplace by the government. This would mean no official paper currency, no bank regulations, no consumer protections, no anti-trust laws, no zoning laws, etc.

    In the modern world, our economic systems are artificial constructs, which are designed by people; not by nature. If we are going to enjoy the benefits of having a modern marketplace, then we need to take responsibility for fixing the problems that exist with it. Your belief that ignoring problems in a modern marketplace will lead the marketplace fixing itself is akin to believing that ignoring problems in a house will lead to the house fixing itself. In the case of both house and economic system, negligence will only lead to deterioration and eventually collapse.

  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:43PM (#32903704)

    I don't see how this statement can be logically defended:

    There is absolutely no way you will ever, ever, EVER keep a criminal who wants one from obtaining a gun. You might as well attempt to regular the air in the hope that they'll suffocate.

    Let's illustrate with an extreme example. Certainly, if a government were to decide (and be able to enforce without a revolution, which is true in some countries but probably not others) that anyone caught with a gun in their possession was going to be publically tortured to death immediately, the number of criminals with guns would drop drastically. Make it something even more outrageously draconian (maybe you also seize all their property and kill their immediate family) and the number of criminals with guns will drop further.

    I don't think these are good ideas; I'm not even actually for gun control. But it's very obviously untrue to say that there's nothing that could possibly be done. Along the same lines, I generally view the random gun violence deaths that do occur a price we pay for the freedom to bear arms, and I think that's a price worth paying -- but it's disingenuous to try to claim that either there is no such cost or that nothing can be done about it.

  • by jahudabudy (714731) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:46PM (#32903760)
    You don't give any citations, so I have to guess a bit at your time-line. I picked 1970. The average income for the entire decade was about $7500/year, so probably below that for the year 1970. Your deductible of $500 suddenly looks incredibly high, putting health care out of the reach of the poor. Which is exactly why the government got involved. Did it increase demand? Of course; suddenly people were receiving care that before couldn't afford it. That was the point. Obviously, if we just stopped providing health services to people that can't afford them, costs will reduce. Or if we figure out a way to take the billions in dollars insurance companies make in profit every year and put that into an actual productive part of the system, costs will reduce. When the choice is between peoples' lives and corporations' profits, one strikes me as more like an actual right that should be protected by government.
  • by mmarlett (520340) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:46PM (#32903766)

    No, you're exactly wrong. He has never said this. He did destroy CNN's Crossfire by http://politicalhumor.about.com/library/bljonstewartcrossfire.htm [about.com]blasting them for partisan hackery and shrugging off any bias he may have with, "You're on CNN. The show that leads into me is puppets making crank phone calls."

    He is sometimes taken as a serious journalist because he asks questions that others are afraid to ask. He doesn't care about getting these people back; they think they can go in and handle the clown. He is whip smart. But he never, ever says, "I'm just being objective here." Unless, of course, he is being clearly biased and mocking someone else who is being clearly biased and lying about facts. Is he partisan? I think he'd say he is, a bit, but he doesn't let liberals off scott free. It's just that the conservative hate machine has an entire network devoted to bullshit and the liberals have "mainstream media," which can't do a story about the Earth being a globe without digging up a flat-earther somewhere. (Two sides to every story is a double-edged sword.) So that gives Stewart and crew a lot to work with.

  • Re:Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yurtinus (1590157) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:02PM (#32904020)
    Provided you do it right... I see folks try this all the time but they have the most patronizing tone of voice imaginable. Makes me uncomfortable just listening to them.
  • by roman_mir (125474) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:43PM (#32904526) Homepage Journal

    I don't understand libertarians in anyway. I have never seen a market correct it's self.

    - you just don't understand when you see it happening right in front of your eyes.

    Do you remember the dot-com bubble? Do you remember the housing bubble?

    The incoming t-bills/bonds/government short term refinancing bubble?

    That's market trying to correct itself and people interfering with the correction.

    Currently market is completely off balance by the actions of those, who do not want to accept the consequences of idiocy that has passed for economics since the Fed started printing cash and Keynes came to town.

    I am not going to say anything about you being a troll, because I see you as somebody who is simply confused, and I don't mean it in any derogatory fashion, it's just that they don't want anybody to understand what economics is, even though it's really very simple.

    You may want to find out, I suggest starting by observing people [google.com] who understand it and reading [amazon.com] something about it.

  • Re:Because... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by The_mad_linguist (1019680) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:50PM (#32904610)

    A man convinced against his will
    retains his old opinion still

  • by pnewhook (788591) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:20PM (#32905048)

    It's increasingly clear to me that Americans who are adamantly against socialism have no idea what socialism means.

  • As a actual conservative, let me assure you Bill Clinton was no conservative. The most recent conservative president was Calvin Coolidge. The most recent Democratic Party conservative president was Grover Cleveland.

    Ronald Reagan was not conservative either. Rush Limbaugh is not. Ron Paul might be (of course, his influence is essentially nil).

    Repeat after me, I am a conservative, I believe and can support it up by the facts that ...

    Obama should be impeached, George W Bush should have been impeached. Bill Clinton was impeached. George H.W. Bush should have been impeached. Ronald Reagan should have been impeached. Jimmy Carter should have been impeached. Gerald Ford should have been impeached. Richard Nixon would have been impeached had he not resigned. LBJ, JFK, DDE, HST, FDR and Hoover should all have been impeached. Of course, these all should have been convicted (removed from office), not just impeached by the house

    I suspect I could say the same about virtually every member of Congress, The Supreme Court, or other Federal Judges if I had.to research their breach of trust while in office.

    I would also repeal amendments 16, 17, 19, 22, 23, and 26 of the U.S. Constitution and can justify each on by clear factual based logic.

    BTW, these all of these should have been convicted as well resulting in their removal from office. Wash rinse and repeat until you start getting actual conservatives in office.

    Short of agreeing with me, you are not a fact-based conservative, though you may well believe that you are. You may think I am a nutjob (and most people do), but I have truth, justice, and the American way on my side.

  • by Mongoose Disciple (722373) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:33PM (#32905226)

    Sorry, I don't know anybody who believes that a woman's body is the property of the Federal Government. However, I do know a lot of people who believe that you shouldn't be able to kill someone just because they can't speak for themselves and are inconvenient for you unlike most Democrats.

    It's a little more complicated of an issue than that, whether you'd like it to be or not.

    Unless I'm entitled to have the government take any of your blood or organs I need to live, even if it will kill you. And if I am, is it really your body or the government's?

  • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:42PM (#32905334)
    Government owned is not government run. Like the BBC is not a spokesnetwork for the government and does do some things the government doesn't necessarily like. Many countries have governmental funding of the media, not unlike the US funds art, even offensive art the government doesn't like.
  • Re:No surprise... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:51PM (#32905492) Journal

    Just so you know, the reason we have elected representatives instead of a direct democracy is because public opinion is a shitty way of making public policy.

    No, the reason why you have elected representatives is because the people who have originally created your political system were mostly of the wealthy landowner class, and didn't want to share power with rabble. So they arranged it so that the rabble elects them as their representatives, and then they rule in their name, ostensibly backed by popular mandate - but not truly beholden to popular opinion, and free to do anything in the name of "greater good".

    There is a minor inconvenience of being voted out every now and then when the rabble get too unhappy about things being done differently from what they want, but does it really matter if your son, brother, nephew or other relative is going to get his seat in power not long after, anyway?

  • by VJ42 (860241) * on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @04:57PM (#32906370)

    There isn't any 'C'.

    Yes there is, it comes after "BB"
    for all it's faults the BBC the BBC is neither government run, nor greed run, it sits somewhere in the middle and IMO is one of the best broadcasters in the world.

    In the USA, you've also got a "C" - PBS is also neither government nor greed run; back here in the UK, channel 4 is publicly owned, but privately (advert) funded. I'm sure there are many more funding models for public service broadcasting. It's not as black and white as you make out.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @05:30PM (#32906826)

            I was engaged in political debate in the press for several years. One of the things one learns early on is that the goal of the debate is not to convince the opponent who, as the study in TFA found out will never yield. The goal is to convince the audience, who hasn't yet formed an opinion of where the facts are. The audience at large will usually side with the person with the most solid arguments (give or take a bit due to clarity and style of presentation, etc).

  • by pnewhook (788591) on Thursday July 15, 2010 @10:44AM (#32913650)

    So the US military are socialists? As far as I can tell they are government run. How about the court system? All paid for by tax dollars and run by the government.

To iterate is human, to recurse, divine. -- Robert Heller

Working...