Learning from Blogs

It doesn’t take too many smarts to create a blog. There are thousands, tens of thousands of blogs.  Well, actually 152 million  (as tracked by BlogPulse). Lots of people posting their favorite stuff.  My favorite stuff, as frequent readers of this blog already know, is politics, religion and education. Actually, I trend towards political education. “Searching the muck for buried information.” Buried by those who do not wish it to see the light of day.

Recent guest of Bill Moyers, Bruce Bartlett said of the American electorate,

” We just seem to live in a zone in which people no longer really seem to care about facts or analysis. And we talk in sound bites. And the media of course contribute to this. The decline of the major media. People don’t want to read magazines. They don’t even want to read a newspaper article if it’s more than a couple of inches. Clearly people don’t seem to know as much. And they don’t seem to care that they don’t know as much…”

Enter the shyster, the propagandist, the politician with a hidden agenda. The masses are asleep and/or distracted and they become perfect targets.

Or, in the case of the carnivorous right-winger, eager to hear something that harmonizes with his thought pattern. Cerebrum optional.

Am I being too harsh? Maybe. Bishop John Shelby Spong said of true-believing Christians, “When people get to the point where they do not really believe what they are saying, they still seem to believe in believing what they are saying! They do not even realize the difference.”

That’s a tricky statement, but terribly true.  Take for example this comment made today on a familiar right-wing blog. It was in reference to a derogatory comment made by another right-winger who called Rahm Emmanuel ‘the golden Jew.’  The blogger asked:

Is he an American? Or is he like his buddy Barak, a foreign born immigrant?

Perfect, isn’t it? They still seem to believe in believing what they are saying.

We will not be able to rehabilitate people like that; they are for all purposes hopelessly lost in the sludge of propaganda. Rather, we need to expose the false statements, the highly propagandized rhetoric, so that people can enter a political conversation loaded with the facts in order to refute the lies and the spin that might arise.

Take this highly repeated statement: ‘Now is not the time to raise taxes on the job-creators.’

What would you say after hearing this?

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19 thoughts on “Learning from Blogs

  1. Amen to that M_R, i.e., “We will not be able to rehabilitate people like that; they are for all purposes hopelessly lost in the sludge of propaganda.” And, for the sake of argument say that is 40% of the voting public. Forget them, let spontaneous combustion come upton them, lol. It’s the 20% in the middle that need re-enforcing, the
    Independents, especially those that have moved from the traditional
    Republican Party to the Independent roles. Find those blogs, and forget about Sepp or commonsense or the most religious commentator or whoever else comes in here. And, I think, use Bartlett’s comment on what the REACTIKONARY wing of the GOP realy is about. It seems to me that the “fight” has to be taken to the 20 percenters and not the lost 40 percenter REACTIONARY group.

    Moreover, it seems to me that we have to look at where these 40
    percent reside. In presidential elections if it’s the South forget about
    those states. I am no quantative political scientists, let them tell
    us what States these are. But, Florida, North Carolina, and Virginia
    are important swing States. With the hispanic vote on the rise Texas,
    New Mexico, and Arizona are coming into play. Then in the Mountain West there is Colorado and Montana. In the Mid-West there is Iowa,
    Indiana, and Wisconsin to retain. These are all possible States to join the Northeast Coast and the West Coast. And, these same States are
    as important for the make-up of the House and the Senate. If these States are educated to the benefits of progressivism the super
    majority vote in the Senate will be surpassed.

  2. ‘Now is not the time to raise taxes on the job-creators.’?
    I would ask, who are the job creators? What percentage of the entities the question asker are actually paying their fair share of taxers in the forst place? How many of the entities referred to are actually job destroyers, or tax sheltered funds?

    Regarding the sport of blogging: I find it is a social and intellectual sporting activity. I have stopped blogging with the expectation of counting “hits” or even expecting comments. It’s a personal form of expression. I try to be as factual as I can when I write of factual things, but so much of what I do is opinion and observations and obsessional. I realize that if I expected people to like me for my taste in music, I would probably have hardly any friends. I have a very personal esthetic and I seem to tell jokes that only I get. I can only please myself and I seem to meet a lot of interesting people in the process. I enjoy the interaction I have with people all over the planet. Perhaps I cannot change the way some one thinks, but I can exert a certain sometimes not so subtle, conceptual influence. I would like to have the legend “We Aren’t Quite Sure As To What He Actually Did But He Seems To Have Gotten Away With It” written on my grave.

    1. “We Aren’t Quite Sure As To What He Actually Did But He Seems To Have Gotten Away With It” written on my grave.

      Perfect!

    1. Sadly, yes. But he’s going to have a battle on his hands this year because he has a much stronger opponent plus he has a hunk of Dems that were snipped off of Marcy’s district.

    1. …and Laci, it seems clear that the current pirates holding the GOP hostage don’t give a damn about job creation because Obama would get the credit. Wait a minute– aren’t these the Patriots, the REAL Americans, the flag-wavers, the ‘God Bless America’ group??

      1. “the current pirates ”

        How do you figure that the GOP is controlled by “pirates”. Surely,
        you remember, Sen. Taft of Ohio who was known as Mr.Republican.
        Hasn’t the reactionary segment of the GOP have a long history?

        1. My friend, Robert Taft would have been expelled from the current Republican Party and labeled a RINO by these pirates.

  3. Hello Muddy,
    I agree, our mission on our blogs are to enlighten and educate but as the old adage goes, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink,”…..especially when they prefer Kool-Aid.

    1. True, Engineer, but those on the far-right of your once-Grand Old Party have poisoned themselves on too much Kool-Aid. RAther, the focus must be on the independents and the moderate Republicans who might be open to ideas like those Bruce Bartlett spoke of with Bill Moyers.

  4. I want to add one more thing about learning from blogs…writing and putting thoughts together and having to back them up with facts is how I learn. It is as much as a self education process as much as trying to express my ideas to others. The act of writing is the most important link in the chain of understanding for me. It’s one thing to assimilate, to learn by osmosis, but the true test of learning is to be able to synthesize, to take the ideas a go further….as I said earlier, I don’t expect to change the way someone thinks, but I can exert a conceptual influence….I can plant thought time bombs…

  5. Hello Microdot,
    To write a piece using “Logical Argumentation” tools, employing “Critical Thinking” arguments to support your thoughts and viewpoints, not only arms yourself, but by doing so you are enlightening others with the talking points and counterpoints to those whom may interact with a rhetoric spewing, programmed person who is only repeating what some paid radio or TV personality has told them how they should think.

    Special Interest Groups are very good at the latter, that is why it is so important that blog sites, like this one and our own sites, need to have a voice so others may learn and then educate, paying it forward. The positive effects do become exponential.

  6. I freely admit to have learned and changed my opinion, a lot of that based on reading blogs. I read something I “think” is wrong, but I research it anyway and am sometimes surprised. I’ve gone from only voting for a Democrat for President once in my life* (Clinton 1996) to supporting another Clinton in 2008 (although I did vote for McCain), and now supporting another Democrat. In 2000 I, and MANY other Republicans, knew Bush was bad news, but the Democrats could not come up with any good opposition candidates.

    I didn’t vote for Obama in 2008 because he was basically an unknown to me and I feared his inexperience. For the same reasons, I have supported the Latta’s (not Gilmore) and will continue. You’ll be able to tell my house by the Obama sign next to the Latta sign.

    * In 1972 I was head of the Re-elect the President group in college. And I still think Nixon was one of the best Presidents we’ve ever had. Of course I think Reagan was probably the worst even though I voted for him twice.

  7. Delbert Latta 1958 – 1984 and his son Bob since Gillmor’s death in 2007. And because I am not a single issue voter and have personal knowledge of the the Latta’s integrity, I support them. Even during times when I either wasn’t old enough to vote or didn’t live in the 5th District, I still supported the Latta’s. I suppose this couldn’t be too much to tell, I’ve lived in Wood, Lucas, Erie, Defiance and Fulton Counties (Definitely a Northwest Ohio Native). Although I have lived in several counties in other states for shorter periods.

    (Obviously there’s more to the story, but because this is an Internet where the freaks roam I must maintain some privacy.)

  8. I follow your blog with great interest ,it’s well written, and yes, I’m educated on american politics.Here in Denmark we both laugh and cry when watching the presidential candidates ,but many people are very scared of these candidates,and rightly so.

    1. Thank you, Pjevs, for your compliment. We here in the U.S. are equally scared of the people running for office because so many of them act not in the interest of The People of our nation, but rather in the interest of some corporate entity or some personal belief-system which, in fact, may be contrary to the flow of democracy.

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