Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Joy of Being Uninformed

Mark Twain generally gets credit for, "If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed, if you do read the newspaper you are misinformed." Predating that piece of century-plus old wisdom by another century or so, we have Thomas Jefferson's observation that, "The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

This got me thinking about the joy of living the uninformed life.

My wife followed the twists and turns of our recent, lamented, and lamentable electoral process with a devotion and passion not seen since the days of Joan of Arc. She had electoral maps, polls, and pundits galore queued up on her computer, IPad, IPhone, and DVR. She and I read everything we could about the election, debated everybody we knew, and screamed advice for Romney at the TV set. All to no avail. The result was the result. As my rather blunt-speaking Spanish wife noted, "The morons got what they wanted."

Temporarily in California, I run into Obama voters galore, and occasionally ask them, especially the wealthy ones, why they voted for Obama. The answers prove very mixed. They don't really know why, except, well, he is black, and against the "war on women," etc. They have no remedies for the imploding economy or the collapsing federal government. They only vaguely know of Benghazi, and most haven't heard of "Fast and Furious." They already complain about high taxes--and the election saw yet another state income tax raise passed by voters here--but don't seem very aware of what's bearing down on them in the next few months.

They, in other words, live like H.G. Wells' Eloi, wealthy, happy, healthy, and blissfully unaware of the Morlocks about to eat them. Maybe, however, that's the way to go: Driving your Lexus to the Morlocks' slaughterhouse with a smile on your face.

Down with information! Down with thinking! Down with worry!

P.S. I will probably change my mind tomorrow.


24 comments:

  1. "The morons got what they wanted."

    That is exactly what I said! The problem is that now we, non-morons, are going to have to pay for it...

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  2. It's like moronic murder suicide. Californians are good at that it would appear .

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  3. Sorry to have to post this, this way. I looked for an email. Jake Tapper just posted this and I wanted to get your take on it.

    http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/11/11/did_petraeus_mistress_reveal_new_benghazi_details

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    1. Thanks. I don't have an email address posted as I have had bad experiences with that

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  4. A lot of this you can directly attribute to the Media. They had a vested, biased, stake in the outcome of this election for their own personal reasons. If that means keeping Fast and Furious, Benghazi, Iran's nuclear program, FEMAs failure with Sandy, Rezko and Ayer's ties to Obama, and the truye nature of the Nations Economy...well, so be it.
    The Media has decided winning is more important than the truth. That their electoral ambitions take precedent over the responsibility of the position they hold as the gatekeepers of information.

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  5. You and Mrs. Mad sound exactly like our household during the months leading up to the election. I'm surprised our televisions survived.
    I find a lot of Californians especially are clueless to what is actually going to happen. I even had one guy berate me for being "gullible and so far indoctrinated with right wing/fascist sentiments that I'm no longer able to distinguish between right and wrong". No matter how I presented facts, he didn't believe it.
    I got my information from research and not the newspapers.
    Thank you for your writings, Mr. Mad. They are truly appreciated.

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    1. I, too, am from California and I would add this observation. The mindless liberals here are almost all transplants from other states and countries. The conservatives tend to be from multi-generational California families.
      I had a typical conversation with one of the "educated hoi polloi" from Berkeley yesterday (a transplant from New York). She told me that the economy was improving. I asked her on what basis she made this determination. She responded that she can "just feel" it getting better. At this point, I went on a diatribe about the effects of $1.2 Trillion (+) deficit spending year after year, ZIRP, massive leverage in the banking system and the effect of EPA and other regulations on growth in industry (and thus job production). After I got done with my lecture, she looked at me blankly and said, "I am not that into numbers and what is deficit spending?"
      And finally, thank you Mr. Mad. You have become my "go to" blogger for intelligent discourse in this crazy world. You have a great group of commentators to boot!
      sb

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    2. Yes, I love the commentators. They have some great ideas and observations that I steal without regard!

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  6. Of course I realize I'll be getting skewerwed here (at least at this point) but whenever "media" is mentioned the greater portion of us, I suspect, consider we all have in mind, the usual suspects.

    But I'm of late, just generally, unsure whether the usual suspects fill the bill. (I think ya'll know what I'm typing although I'm not so eloquent or so vociferous as many of Diplo's commentors are - regardless I plod on - me, being from Arkansas, if any ya'll judge me 'ignurn't out of hand' I suppose that's acceptable 'cause after-all, I've just admitted I'm from Arkansas.)

    I was uniform-wearing Navy back late 70s but then wore civvies pretty much all my time heloing between Karachi to Amman back and forth during the 80s. My mainest point I'm attempting to get across, is that in general, "media" (whatever, whoever the flavor) didn't have a clue viz the real purpose as to the "why" we were travelling so.

    None of the foregoing however has much to do with the point I'm trying to get across. And that point is, as narrow as I can make it, focus on the strategic goal, tactics work pretty good so long as the goal is narrowly defined. We can blame whoever for whatever (as if it matters) tactically - but in the strategic sense, none of our recriminations/blame-the-whoevers will be worth a fart in a tornado, as would be a fart in an elevator.

    And that's the thing - there's gonna be some few who'll visit this blog, more who'll pay loyal attention to Mr. Rove, some few more who'll remain loyal to "our" media - as much good as all this has done us ... but the main thing is remain true to principles, explain why these principles define us (and are attractive) and differentiate the strategic.

    Just to make it palatable I'll make it personal. My tactics led me to lose this recent battle. My strategy makes the whole of these skirmishes' inevitable.

    And that in a nutshell is the thing - it's the ending score - it doesn't make a damned bit of difference who is leading at the end of the third period.

    Arkie

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    1. Bingo. You nailed it, Arkie, by proposing that "my tactics led me to lose this recent battle"... and with your insight to "focus on the strategic goal, tactics work pretty good so long as the goal is narrowly defined."

      Two presidential election are lost now. The upscale gender voters in historic numbers flocked to Obama this time and put him over the top in spite of the economy and it looks like the uncompromising religious zealots within the single issue conservative crowd stayed home.

      So, what part of the past two election cycles are blowhard conservatives not getting at this point? Considering that the possible endgame with our insidious lefty Thug Regime is totalitarian in nature I'll be more than happy to change tactics on gender issues to win any election as the strategic goal.

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    2. Just from a simplistic viewpoint Penny, your willingness to "change tactics on gender issues" would seem to be a pretty good (and likely very effective) tactical change.

      Clears the minefields so to speak, thus robbing the Dems of one of their more effective means for obfuscation. "Hopefully" whatever our guys in DC choose as a course of action viz [under the general rubric of] immigration - should together with changing the discussion on social issues, narrow the scope of what our opponents availability of options by which to demonize.

      That "demonize" incidentally (again in a nutshell) was seemingly the ... or one of the more effective weapons the Dems had in their arsenal to divide us. Take out their means to divide - the and conquer should nullify our tendency to get bogged down by having to act as a reaction force.

      Being more or less constantly on the defensive doesn't work so well when there's a war to be won.

      Arkie

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  7. DiploMad?

    I am a fan of Mr. Clemens. Alas, I'm too a fan of Mr. Mencken - then again I'm getting kinda old...

    "Civilization, in fact, grows more and more maudlin and hysterical; especially under democracy it tends to degenerate into a mere combat of crazes; the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."

    Of course DiploMad, you could (if you so chose) differentiate me utilizing another of HL's quotes [implicating me as a "troll" if that would serve a purpose ... but at this point, I think ... not] I am, as they say, "fit for purpose" and as the Brits say, I shouldn't, frighten the horses.

    Regardless, it's a handy quote, "We must respect the other fellow's religion, but only in the sense and to the extent that we respect his theory that his wife is beautiful and his children smart."

    Arkie

    Arkie

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  8. Come on Diplomad cheer up. For one thing we have the start of the Hillary Magical Mystery Tour, flitting around the world to avoid nasty old congressional committees and administration contremps, desperating seeking to be the first Woman President.

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    1. You want some cheer? OK, let me give it to you: Texas, in spite of all the left wing predictors who said we would be turning blue in the near future, became redder. Obama lost two Texas counties he won in 2008. Harris County (Houston) became almost split, with Romney losing by 1/2 of 1% compared to Obama 54% victory in 2008. Travis County (Austin - the San Francisco of the Southwest) was a shocker; Obama lost 24,000 votes over 2008, and Romney got 3,000 more votes than McCain did in 2008.

      All the predictions that Texas would go blue have proven dead wrong. We are red, and getting redder. Same with Missouri, although they reelected that crook, Claire McCaskill, again (St. Louis pulled that off for her just like it did last time, with lots of ACORN help).

      Republicans now control 60% of all governor offices, totaling 30. Wisconsin's state government got redder.

      I read a really stupid article that said California, which is getting bluer due to the Hispanic vote, is the wave of the future. Sorry, California, but you're not. Texas is providing the nation with Hispanic Republicans (go, Ted Cruz) and when they really get rolling, you are going to see other educated, successful Hispanics decide to join the party of these good men and women; Ted Cruz, Bill Flores, Marco Rubio, Suzanna Martinez. They, not the peon class of California, are the wave of the Hispanic future.

      California will continue to commit suicide by driving business and businesses out of the state to less tax oppressive states, like Texas. U-Haul rates don't lie. And as those businesses flee New York and California because they are governed by idiots, people who do flee will learn the benefits of less government intrusion on their lives.

      If you look at the stats, at the end of Obama's second term, Democrats will have controlled the Oval Officer for 56 out of the last 100 years. The nation is in for a seimic shift as the pendulum, the farther it swings one way, the farther it eventually swings the other.

      Take heart, my fellow conservatives; we have lost a battle but not the war. Now is time for us to hone our war skills and regain what has been taken from us. And to dump the RINOs secure in the knowledge that no liberal lite will ever win against a far left liberal and we must change the kind of person we offer to the nation. We must learn that we will never win if we don't offer the nation a true, core conservative candidate, one who is NOT the heir apparent because he lost the previous primary.

      Zane

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  9. I am happily becoming one of the uninformed. When I retired after 21 years in the Foreign Service, I immediately stopped reading the local newspapers in the country I stayed in. Same with tv national news. It used to be my responsibility to know what was going on and try to do something about it. Now I have no position or authority beyond enjoying living in a great place.
    I followed the US election (to the extent that I could stand it) via cable news and the internet. I am so disgusted with the election results, apoplectic about the Benghazi scandal, and the coming-soon train wreck in the economy and USG budget that I have now stopped watching US news and greatly reduced my monitoring of the blogosphere. Seeing by chance the news of Petraeus' resignation reinforced my decision to go Galt, and I will NOT return to the US when my daughter graduates high school next June.
    I don't trust the media, the USG, or the American people to tell the truth or do the right thing. So I will live my life in blissful ignorance, using my time to get in shape, spend time with my friends, read all the books filling my shelves, doing the crafts I love, but have not had the time for, and travel, spending my money in countries I approve of.
    "So long and thanks for all the fish..." Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy.

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  10. "All the predictions that Texas would go blue have proven dead wrong."

    I never saw one poll or pundit that thought Texas would go blue? Got a link to that?

    And, just pointing this out, Ted Cruz is Cuban by origin. My Cuban son-in-law would take issue if you described him as Hispanic. I wouldn't get too optimistic that conservative Hispanics are becoming a major force in Texas or NM.

    You comments have don't fill me with comfort.

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    1. "I never saw one poll or pundit that thought Texas would go blue?"

      And that is my problem why?

      "Got a link to that?"

      Have you not yet mastered the art of using a search engine, Penny?

      In spite of your son-in-laws own personal issues, Ted Cruz is considered Hispanic because his heritage lead back to a Spanish speaking nation like Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, El Salvadore, Honduras, Costa Rica and CUBA.

      Now, since I am sure you are an expert on Texas politics and the political temperature of Texans, you would be happy to provide me, a TEXAN, with a better picture than I presented. I am all ears (eyes) waiting with baited breath on your expertise. Since I have been following the voting patterns in Texas for decades, I am sure you will give me insight that I had not gained from those studies.

      As to not filling you with comfort. Fine, wallow in your dispair, if that is your choice.

      Zane

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    2. Zane, YOU need to do some homework on the common usage of Hispanic vs Latino ethnic identification in this country. I'm not an expert on Texas culture for sure as New Mexico is my roots. So, please, spare me your blather about Hispanics.

      I'm still waitng on your links to all of those pundits and polls that projected Texas to go blue? You don't seem to have mastered the art of embedding links.

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    3. Penny, well golly gee, you've caught me. I admit I do not know how to "cut and paste." Hire a lawyer.

      Now, you may want to separate terms Hispanic/Latino, but alas, they are synonymous in political terms. So you are technically correct, political wrong. Latino designates those from countries where the root of the language is Latin, including the Spanish speaking nations but which would also include Italy, parts of Sweden and Portugal. None of them speak Spanish. Take your dispute up with the federal government.

      So, here we are. I am not willing to do your research for you and you are too lazy to use a search engine to prove me wrong. I guess we can call that a Mexican standoff.

      Here is a hint: go to the Texas Secretary of State website and compare recent election results to 2008 results. We are turning redder. Doing your own research is always a benefit.

      Zane

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  11. You know, now I've got that damn don't worry, be happy song going through my head on an endless loop. I hate when that happens

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    1. Since watching the election results, I've had "It's Oh So Quiet" by Bjork (a Betty Hutton cover) running through my head...

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  12. In all fairness, most of the lukewarm conservatives I speak with tend to woefully ignorant as well. Libertarians seems to be a bit more informed but on the whole the entire electorate seems to be ignorant. Of course my personal experiences are merely anecdotal.

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