Alarming News: I like Morgan Freeberg. A lot.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: We were following a trackback and thinking "hmmm... this is a bloody excellent post!", and then we realized that it was just part III of, well, three...Damn. I wish I'd written those.
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler: ...I just remembered that I found a new blog a short while ago, House of Eratosthenes, that I really like. I like his common sense approach and his curiosity when it comes to why people believe what they believe rather than just what they believe.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is an intriguing guy...[he] asks great questions and answers others with style, flair, reason and wit. On the blogroll he goes. Make him a part of your regular blogospheric reading. I certainly will.
Brutally Honest: Morgan Freeberg is brilliant.
Common Sense Junction: Misha @ Anti-Idiotarian never ceases to amaze me. He keeps finding other good blogs. I went over to A.I. this morning for my daily Misha fix and he had found this guy named Morgan Freeberg in Fair Oaks, California, that has a blog, House of Eratosthenes. Freeberg says its "The Blog That Nobody Reads" but it may now become the blog that everybody reads.
Jaded Haven: Good God, Morgan, you cover a topic from front to back with a screwy thoroughness I find mind boggling. I'm in awe of your thought proccesses, my friend, you're an exceptional talent. You start by throwing in the kitchen sink, tie in someone's syphilitic uncle, bend around a rip tide of brilliance and bring it all home in a neat, diamond dripping package of an exceptionally readable moment of damn fine wordsmithing. I love reading you.
Mein Blogovault: Make "the Blog that No One Reads" one of your daily reads.
Philmon: When Morgan meanders, stick with him - he's got a point and it'll be worth it in the end. He's not a hit-and-run snarky quip kind of guy. The pieces all fall into place like tumblers in a lock and bang! He's opened a cognative door for you.
Rightlinx: Morgan at House of Eratosthenes is one of the best writers out there. I read him nearly every day because he manages to provide an interesting perspective, even though I don't always agree.
Poetic Justice: Cletus! Ah gots a laiv one fer yew...
The Village Voice lied. They told a big fat fib.
I say that with a wink and a nod; I don’t really mean it. The story begins with a guy named Rudy Giuliani, who is running for President of the United States right now. He’s been saying a lot of stuff the Village Voice doesn’t like: He has a competitive level of experience dealing with terrorism; New York City was better prepared for the 9/11 attacks than any other place in the country; putting the command center in World Trade #7 was not my fault; Democrats don’t understand the nature of the terrorist threat; and, every effort was made by Mayor Giuliani and his staff to ensure the safety of rescue workers at ground zero.
Now, the Village Voice has come into some evidence that raises problems with all five of these. And so they chose to — I dunno why, maybe someone made a hasty judgment, didn’t get enough sleep, got in a fight with their wife that morning — anyway, they chose to publish their problematic facts & factoids about these statements under the headline…
Rudy Giuliani’s Five Big Lies About 9/11
On the stump, Rudy can’t help spreading smoke and ashes about his lousy record
by Wayne Barrett
with special research assistance by Alexandra Kahan
August 7th, 2007 9:44 PM
Why are these things lies? Well it turns out, the five things Giuliani said — are opinions. They are subjective. They are communicative of personal sentiments, which are not directly substantiated by concrete facts, nor are they directly refuted by concrete facts. They’re simply doctrines of belief.
And without descending into Socratean dissections of philosophical classifications of things, I thought I’d scribble down a few of my thoughts. I think I did a reasonably articulate job of it — unlike some people — so I’ll just let those words stand as they were written originally.
I had to save this article from The Village Voice because it’s a source of perpetual amusement to me how the liberal mind defines the word “lie.” If they like chocolate chip mint ice cream, and I say plain vanilla is better, that qualifies. At an even six feet, if I make the statement that I am not a tall man, and they can rustle up someone to showcase who’s 5′10″, that qualifies too.
I think just about everyone would agree if I borrow a dollar from you, and promise to pay you back tomorrow with absolutely no intention of doing so, that would be a lie. But they always want to go further.
Further, as in saying: No, you don’t need to engage in intent to deceive, in order to lie. You’re a liar when we say you’re a liar.
Chocolate chip mint ice cream, versus vanilla, is a matter of personal preference. Six feet tall being tall, is a matter of relativity. That is the meaning of subjective: Conditional on the viewpoints of an observer. Not necessarily measurable. Sure you’ve got tape measures that say “Six Feet Zero,” but that’s an absolute measurement, not a relative one. When you define someone as being a “liar” based on six feet being tall or not being tall, the issue under consideration becomes relative. These are elusive matters to a simple mind, especially to a simple mind that has already settled on the mindset desired, and therefore has little practical reason to take more complex things into account.
I could’ve gone further. “That Bob in the cubicle next to mine, is a crook and he should be fired.” That is two subjective statements, each of which may seem to be objective in nature, if and only if you are a raging simpleton. One is an inference; the other one is a proposal for a course of action. Both may be “correct,” but both are almost certain to be opposed to other proposals that may be equally valid. If you think you caught Bob stealing something, maybe what happened was the stockroom had a different inventory of pencils and sticky-notes than what you thought. As to whether he should be fired, well, even if he did lift a pack of erasers and take them home, perhaps the case can be made that he should be kept on anyway. Maybe Bob makes a lot of money for the company.
The point is, when a subjective statement goes masquerading as an objective one, it’s always good to do a little extra investigation. Taking someone’s word for it? Eh…I wouldn’t do that. Odds are, the person telling you what to think, wouldn’t do it either.
Well anyway, I guess VV picked up a significant amount of traffic and referrals from this hatchet job on Giuliani, so on Friday they took an extra lap around the track to accept their kisses and rah-rahs and applause…and then they did something rather bizarre.
Hate Us or Love Us
posted: 6:38 PM, August 17, 2007 by Michael Clancy
“Hate Us or Love Us” is a weekly look at the hate and the love that people show the Voice. Bonnie Ruberg served up a two-week double-shot of the love, and, of course, the hate. Look for it every Friday.
The New Republic and CBS—along with political blogs and bloggers alike—hailed Wayne Barrett’s “Rudy Giuliani’s Five Big Lies About 9/11.” TNR said the story “absolutely devastates Rudy Giuliani’s claims about fighting terrorism.”
Meanwhile, Republican voices grumble something about lies and chocolate chip ice cream. [emphasis mine]
This subtle commandment to the Village Voice readership about what it is they are supposed to fail to comprehend, is almost a divinely-ordered manifestation of the truism of one of the more wretchedly worded Things I Know, namely #14.
The brain is not the only part of you that has a tough time absorbing arguments you don’t like. When you read such things the words seem blurry. When you hear them the syllables run together.
I was thinking someday I should re-word that altogether. Something with an almost Shakespearean lilt to it, about how quickly your attention span shrivels up when you sense something isn’t going to appeal to your prejudices. No matter how the wording is improved later, I think the sentiment is clear. Many among us, make conscious or all-but-conscious decisions to plead intellectual fatigue, when exposed to new ideas we don’t think we’re gonna like — such as, in this case, maybe what Giuliani told weren’t really “lies,” but simply articulations of belief with which some self-important pundit or commentator, somewhere, has a problem.
To the mindset that has already judged Giuliani to be a shameless liar and staked some kind of political capital on it, there is no simple way to word this. You can plunge deep into “Dick and Jane” levels of juvenile sentence constructs…it won’t be simple enough for them. It will be contrary to the prejudices. So the eyes will tear up, and the auditory canals will swell shut.
Suddenly, as if on queue, the Village Voice which did all this digging about Giuliani’s statements, and unearthed all this documentation about where the emergency headquarters in New York City should go, and who said so, and when…suddenly, they have the attention span of a flashbulb. Something about chocolate chip ice cream…indeed. Heh.
Meanwhile, I’m just flabbergasted at the notion that I have a role to play in representing a demographic of grumbling, ice-cream-eating “Republicans.” Memo to Village Voice, Giuliani isn’t even my guy. Really, it doesn’t get any more complicated than what I said:
How the liberal mind defines the word “lie,” is a source of amusement to me. Perpetually. It never ceases to make me chuckle — somewhat sadly, but you have to giggle a little bit if you don’t want to cry. You pick out some interior paint with the wife, you like ivory white and she likes eggshell…does she then get to call you a “liar” whenever you say ivory has a nice look to it? Reasonable minds would have trouble signing on to that. From where I’m sitting, it seems Giuliani’s “lies” fall into the same category. He thinks democrats fail to comprehend the terrorist threat; you would like it if people showed resistance to this. Candidates you like, would suffer if the electorate agreed with Rudy on this point, and candidates you dislike, would probably prosper.
Nevertheless, there are reasons for people to come to the same conclusion as Mr. Giuliani. As I commented in my original write-up, the democrats have been working awfully hard to get people all worked up about non-terrorism-related issues. It could be reasonably asserted they’ve placed more energy into this effort, than into any other. In 2007 they’ve become kind of the “Don’t Worry Be Happy” party when it comes to international terrorism.
So can you call this one of Rudy’s big lies? Really? I suppose you could, if you expand the definition of “lie” extravagantly enough, expanding that bulls-eye to “Rosie-O’Donnell’s Ass” dimensions, so that anyone with opinions different from yours is telling “lies.”
But would that be honest? Really?
Well, I’d better stop here. Wouldn’t want to prattle on longer than you can pay attention.
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