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...
…if you have the, er, audacity to notice and say something about the inimical attitude the President has against small businesses. Three Pinnochios is the verdict:
Romney immediately began jabbing Obama on the campaign trail and the Romney campaign rushed out an attack ad focused on Obama’s words — though, as we shall see, it sliced and diced the president’s quote to make it seem much worse.
The president, during a campaign speech in Roanoke, tried to make the case that wealthy people need to have higher taxes in order to help serve the public good. Here is what he said, with the words used in the ad in bold type:
“There are a lot of wealthy, successful Americans who agree with me — because they want to give something back. They know they didn’t — look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. You didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.
“If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet. The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
The biggest problem with Romney’s ad is that it leaves out just enough chunks of Obama’s words — such as a reference to “roads and bridges”— so that it sounds like Obama is attacking individual initiative. The ad deceivingly cuts away from Obama speaking in order to make it seem as if the sentences follow one another, when in fact eight sentences are snipped away.
How awful of Mitt Romney. Here is President Obama trying to play down the credit that should be given to the businesses and their owners for their success, and Romney makes it look like Obama’s playing down the credit that should be given to the businesses and their owners for their success.
Let’s inspect this: In spite of the fanfare we’ve heard over and over again about President Obama’s oratorical skills, there is open question about the “that” in “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.” Perhaps that means the business, which would mean Romney’s summary if dead-on accurate, and the Washington Post Fact Checker has been taken for a ride. Or, perhaps that means roads and bridges, and Romney’s ad does take the quote out of context…because the point, as we’ve been reminded repeatedly, is that “when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together.”
How to figure out which one it is?
The Fact Checker’s solution is pretty simple. Wait a couple weeks for President Obama to figure out how damaging this is to His campaign, by way of the media flap that followed as well as by way of Romney’s attack ad; and then, y’know, find out from Him what He meant to say.
Oh, miracle of miracles. He was really talking about roads and bridges! The whole point of His speech was to let the small business owners He has their backs, or something…by…reminding them not to get too big for their britches. You didn’t do that on your own. “You didn’t build that.” Oh, but Let Me Be Clear…roads…bridges.
As Boortz said: “‘roads and bridges’ aren’t a ‘that.’ They’re a ‘those.’ If Obama was directing his comments to the roads and bridges he would have said ‘you didn’t build those.’ Obama is, they say, the smartest man ever to hold the office, so certainly he can handle simple grammar.”
I’m not sure how people miss that clear and obvious point; there is singular, there is plural. That, and those.
We do have a gadfly who’s seen fit to paste and re-paste the thing about “the point is…blah blah blah do things together” ten times or thereabouts. This doesn’t address the singular versus plural issue, which proves that the sentence is functionally stand-alone. “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that.”
President Obama wasn’t letting the businesses know He was standing behind them and ready to help them. He was delivering a beatdown. Opening up a can. You didn’t do it on your own!
Boortz again, on Fact Checker’s three Pinnochios:
Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler is apparently so good at his job, that he was actually able to climb into the mind of Barack Obama and determine exactly what he meant by his comments. Amazing! Who knew that Glenn Kessler was capable of reading Obama’s mind and interpreting his thoughts as facts? This guy should be getting paid the big bucks.
Boortz also has a link to Weasel Zippers, where there is a hilarious mash-up of the media coming out and slipping on their shit to get the wagons properly circled…
At 0:17 Chris Matthews claims to have heard this the first time essentially the way Obama now wants it to be heard, punctuating this now-popular narrative with “the reference is clear” — eh, no Chris, that’s a fail there pal. We may disagree on what Obama meant by “that,” and we may disagree with legitimate points made on both sides…and that is being exceedingly charitable toward your point-of-view, you should accept that intellectual compromise…but, that there is any ambiguity at all, is proof that the reference is not clear.
In fact, I will go further on that. The reference is not clear — and, the cloudy grammar is only part of the reason that the reference is not clear. There are other reasons why the reference is not clear. Primarily that, when Obama gave His speech, He was not using words to communicate clear thoughts. If there was a “point” to His speech at all, the point was discontentment. It was the same ol’ Marxist drivel…lots of rumbling, lots of “Yeah!” and “Right!” — watch the videos, this stuff doesn’t make the transcript. Lots of peevish resentment from the proles. Those darn businesses! They didn’t make it without us!
They owe us! That was the real “point.” Those business have been making use of things we built, for which they have not compensated us.
And that’s what makes this kind of rhetoric so inherently dishonest. The point to it is that there is remuneration that has not been done, and therefore, it has to get done, because it’s due. But, on the way there, these other points are conveniently brushed aside, that the businesses do pay for the things they use. And that includes the use of the roads, bridges, et al. Businesses pay taxes. Arguably, more than their “fair share” of taxes, depending on how you want to define that…so the point is, there is no point.
Could the whole discussion be somewhat more productive if we take the President’s words at face-value, that “when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together”? Well, you tell me. Let’s do that thought experiment. We succeed because we do things together — and, everyone involved in this business, has been fairly compensated. So, what? What’s the point of this?
There must be one. The crowd surrounding President Obama seems pretty enthusiastic!
And peeved. Like a Marxist marching mob, demanding “social justice” or some such. So, how were you planning to channel all that…uh…energy, Mr. President? I see by this video your campaign put together that you’re really all about helping the small businesses…eighteen tax cuts (1:03) or some such.
Was that the point of the speech You were making? More tax cuts for small businesses…because they need to be reminded they didn’t build roads and bridges? Huh, funny, that really doesn’t come across in the video, or in any of the transcripts, no matter which ones I read, or what they choose to leave in or throw out. In none of those versions does it appear, even remotely, like you’re championing the cause of small businesses, or trying to lower their taxes. Not even close.
You’re supposed to be some kind of great orator, huh?
Context, my left nut.
And The Washington Post owes the country an apology.
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