Thursday, June 16, 2005

Willful Ignorance is Not a Virtue

I really don't want to keep putting stuff out here about the Terri Schiavo mess, as it appears clear that the autopsy results make clear what most folks already knew (and even bloggers on the right are acknowledging the results and moving on). However, Ms. Schiavo's parents have indicated that they do not accept the findings. Their basis, beyond grief over the extended vegetative state and eventual death of their daughter, is unclear. However, unless it is some unknown medical doctrine, they lose. (I think it is safe to presume that if the autopsy had proven what the parents thought, they would not dispute its medical accuracy.)

What I find funny is that the same people who are questioning the results of the autopsy are the same types of people who are accepting, without question, the crap put forth by the Bush Administration on a regular basis. Bush said that global warming needed more research before he could come to a conclusion on it. Well, the study from last week that (again) showed the existence of global warming has been ignored by Bush -- it is the equivalent of a child closing his eyes in the hopes that whatever she wishes to see will miraculously disappear. In the case of global warming -- just change the data altogether!

Another example would be the failure to find WMD in Iraq. The main reason (I'll even call it "one of the main reasons" to be as generous as possible) for going to war was proven wrong. Wrong. Not almost, not nearly -- wrong. Hell, the Duelfer report told us that before the damned election, and folks like the Chicago Tribune editorial board chose to cherry-pick out the facts they liked. Over 1700 dead U.S. soldiers and unknown amounts of dead Iraqis. Yes, they have purple fingers (I know these folks noticed that!) but as ink dye fades from skin, so are the hopes that this war will be one resolved in the foreseeable future. On May 30, VP Cheney told us that the insurgency was "in its last throes" -- the next day, Iraqi officials reported that Iraqi civilian deaths were up one third from April to May. In addition, May 2005 was the deadliest month for reservist US forces. Whatever stuff these folks don't like is ignored or refuted (just ask Newsweek).

A related example is the lazy jingoism so rampant in our country these days. This is best shown by those ubiquitous yellow "Support our Troops" ribbons on cars (which, as 100 Monkeys Typing notes, is a directive, not a declarative like "I support our troops"). How many of these folks are actually willing to become one of those troops? I am all for supporting our troops (particularly because of my brother-in-law in the Navy), and I think the best way to support them would be to ensure their judicious deployment.

I'm not saying that folks on the left don't employ the same type of willful ignorance, but the right has certainly cornered the market as of late. Whatever the eventual political persuasions of my children, I certainly hope that they will take in all of the data before making their conclusions. If not, their conclusions (as of those noted above) will be suspect.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

CNB NewsBlurbs -- CNB once again reads the news so you don't have to

  1. The autopsy of Terri Schiavo has shown that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage, which is the same conclusion put forth by the court-appointed guardian ad litem here (the autopsy actually showed she was blind also, which seems to undermine the theory about the balloons and how that supposedly showed consciousness). No word if Tom DeLay, Randall Terry, or the other members of the Jackass Brigade will issue retractions for all their prior statements. CNB is particularly interested in Sen. Bill Frist, M.D., who saw fit to diagnose -- incorrectly -- Ms. Schiavo based upon a heavily edited snippet of video (and he did so on the floor of the Senate, no less! Who does that??). The Blogs for Terri have refused to admit error, so don't hold your breath on the rest of them. I guess that is just following the example of their President.
  2. Adult film star Mary Carey attended the Flag Day fundraising dinner at the White House yesterday. Although Rev. Wildmon (surprise, surprise) is mad, there are some right-wing folks who are downplaying this (nothing is ever a big deal to these people, unless a "liberal" does it). I really don't care about this story, but I can't help but wonder -- if Clinton did this, would these same folks have been so nonchalant? Not on your life -- "President of Porn" would have become his new name.
  3. Ashley Smith, who was held hostage after the Atlanta courthouse killings in March 2005, has signed a book deal. For seven hours of her life. Seven. CNB certainly does not want to minimize the harrowing experience Ms. Smith must have suffered, but a book based on seven hours of your life? I thought the Amber Frey crap was bad, but this beats it.