Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scoring Cheap Points With Liberal Friends

So I'm perusing facebook, and I see Morgan made a comment on one of his friends' statuses.  And I read the status.  It says:
”The only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them.” ~ Rush Limbaugh
I know from past experience that this particular friend of Morgan's is no Limbaugh fan by any stretch of the imagination.  And I also know from past experience that this friend is no ideological liberal progressive.  All I can figure is he gets a kick out of political quick hits that make him appear even-handed (and therefore by false corollary even-headed) to his liberal friends.

Now, in the past ... I kept seeing quotes like this from Rush.  And every time I checked them out (his full transcripts are always available online, for free) I found they were taken out of context.   So finally, for a couple of months I subscribed to Rush's premium service.  Listened a lot.  Got  a good feel for what Rush was about.

What I found was a guy who uses lots of hyperbolic sarcasm in somewhat entertaining ways to make his points.  I decided in the end that Rush is not my thing..... but he's not a bad guy.  And I don't believe for a second that Rush believes the only way to reduce the number of nuclear weapons is to use them, nor is he itching to use them.

But then I saw another status post, this time from Glenn Beck.
”When I see a 9/11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh shut up’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining.” ~ Glenn Beck
Glenn also uses a healthy dose of sarcasm in his shows, and I think with much better success than Rush. Glenn's definitely more "my thing", except when he gets too sappy. Even then I don't typically disagree with his sentiment. I just think it's too sappy. At any rate, anyone who has spent any time actually listening to Glenn Beck knows that this is not how Glenn feels about 9/11 victims families. Matter of fact, I vaguely remember that show. There was much more to the discussion than that. It's way out of context.

There were several from Jerry Fallwell.  I'm not a Fallwell fan, but some of them shouldn't be to shocking.  Such as:
”Grown men should not be having sex with prostitutes unless they are married to them.” ~ Jerry Falwell
I assume this is being presented as dumb, but Jerry's a Christian minister, at least that's what I've been led to believe, and Christian Ministers (and lots of other Christians and non-Christians), regardless of how many of them fail to live up to the standard, believe that prostitution is wrong and soliciting prostitution is wrong and the only legitimate place sex has is within the confines of a marriage.  It's not "dumb", it's just his moral belief.   And to listen to the left, we're supposed to be tolerant of moral beliefs.

Then a similar one from Ann Coulter which we see trotted out all the time.  She said:
”We just want Jews to be perfected, as they say.” ~ Ann Coulter
Once again, duh.  If Ann's a Christian, and by her account she is, she believes it is the correct path.  As Christianity was born from Judaism and is considered by Christians a continuation of that historical religious path -- a continuation with which Jews do not concur ... then one necessarily believes that the Jews have missed a big step. This is obvious to anyone who understands religious conviction.   But in our mamby pamby world, religion is viewed as a quaint cultural artifact, not something that anybody actually really believes.  Of course, in that context, it would sound absurd.   But again, tolerance would demand that she gets to actually believe in what she, you know -- actually believes, and since the left abhors ridicule based on religion ... unless, of course, that religion is a Christian one.... ...  ...
”The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.” ~ Pat Robertson
Of course, we all know that all feminism is about is equal rights for women, because that's what feminists tell the media all the time.   And there may have been a time that this was actually true.  But the movement, like so many other movements that started out as good things, has been hijacked, and alas, I think it would be pretty hard to argue with Pat here after hanging out on a few feminist blogs and message boards these days. Those who think what he said is far out clearly haven't.
”Trees cause more pollution than automobiles.” ~ Ronald Reagan
Apparently talking about smog.  He is taken to task in a Wiki article over this, which states, in part: 
"During hot weather many tree species release volatile organic compounds into the atmosphere, notably terpenes and isoprenes[4] (pine pitch is a terpene). Other VOCs that contribute to GLOP include gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinner and other industrial solvents. 
Reagan's statement was disingenuous because volatile organic compounds produced by trees do not cause pollution any more than the sun causes pollution. Reagan might as well have said, "the sun causes more pollution than automobiles do". Photochemical ozone pollution is created when automobile and power plant pollution is broken down by strong sunlight in the presence of any number of volatile organic compounds."
So what they're saying here is things that occur in nature can't cause pollution, and it's ridiculous to say that they do.   But then we see this:
”Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.” ~ Rep. Michelle Bachmann
Well you know, you can't have it both ways.  Either things that occur in nature are or aren't pollution.   Here, again, trees (decomposing ones) actually do release lots of CO2 (and methane) into the atmosphere.  Far more than we do.

When this was pointed out to our intrepid friend, he responded:
the simple point is that too much c02 isnt good. lol
Oh.  lol.  "Hey, it was just a joke, don't take it so seriously." [But do take Limbaugh and Beck's sarcasm seriously.  Clearly, they're evil.  And I'm awesome for pointing it out!]   And I guess Reagan and Bachmann aren't afforded the luxury of making their simple points.
the simple point is that too much c02 isnt good.
Well, you know.... neither is too much oxygen.  Or water.   Or beer.

Michelle's simple point is that carbon dioxide is a necessary atmospheric nutrient to plant life, contributes to the greenhouse effect that makes life as we know it possible at all on our planet, and occurs at a rate of less than four ten-thousandths of one percent in our atmosphere, having increased by a little over one ten-thousandths of one percent in the last 150 years or so.
Good Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions.” ~ Jerry Falwell
Ok, again, not really a Jerry fan here.  The ask no questions part I get.  The first half of the simile, on the other hand, is a lousy one through and through.   Score one for the friend.
”I’ll be long gone before some smart person ever figures out what happened inside this Oval Office.” ~ George W. Bush
One of the big charges from the Left on George Bush was that he is arrogant.  One of Bush's better qualities is that he is not.  He was often self-deprecating.   He had respect for the office he held, and for his duties while holding it, but he did not transfer that respect to his person to elevate his ego.  For an example of that, see the current White House occupant.

There were more ... but, you get my point.   If you completely remove context from things people have uttered, you can make it sound like they believe what they do not.

If I see a quote by somebody, I pretty much always go out and get the context to make sure that that's what the person probably actually meant before I take them sternly to task over it.

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