Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wilful Ignorance or Know-Nothings?

I didn't realize that 'wilful ignorance' (wilful blindness) is a legal term.
a term used in law to describe a situation in which an individual seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally putting himself in a position where he will be unaware of facts which would render him liable
So let's look at how the urban dictionary defines the term:
Knowingly ignoring something for no good reason
Well, that's not how I think of the term. I like this definition from rational Wiki.
Wilful ignorance is the state and practice of ignoring any evidence that appears to contradict one's preconceived notions

Some examples: President Obama is a muslim or President Obama is not a citizen or climate change theory is a big conspiracy or evolution is only a theory.

People holding these views are wilfully ignorant in my opinion. There is a nice opinion commentary on this phenomenon in todays NYT called "Building a Nation of Know-Nothings" by Timothy Egan. One paragraph that deserves some thought:
The Democrats may deserve to lose in November. They have been terrible at trying to explain who they stand for and the larger goal of their governance. But if they lose, it should be because their policies are unpopular or ill-conceived — not because millions of people believe a lie.

It does appear that the TEA Party is especially adept at choosing know-nothing candidates. Sharon Angle, Rand Paul, Joe Miller, and our own local TEA partier Doug Hoffman. At least in the case of the first three individuals, it seems to say alot about the people who support these candidates.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Follow the Money

Who is actually funding the NYC "ground zero mosque" which is not at ground zero and not a mosque. We need to investigate whether muslim terrorists are investing money in this mosque.

Leave it to FOX news to find the possible source of some of this money. The Kingdom Foundation has funded Imam Rauf in the past, tried to give Rudy Giuliani 10 million dollars after the 9/11 attacks (which he refused) and supposedly funds radical madrassas all over the world. This is outrageous.

His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud is the chairman of this foundation. Where else does the foundation invest money? Well, Citigroup, Inc.; The Plaza Hotel (NYC); PepsiCo Inc.; The Walt Disney Company; Apple, HP, Eastman Kodak, Ebay, Motorola and surprise, surprise, The News Corp., parent company of FOX News.

What does Jon Stewart of the Daily Show have say about this?
"This is the proposed 'terror mosque.' We know that it's a terror mosque, because the money may be coming from a bad guy, who definitely owns part of Fox News. Now we know that he's a bad guy, because we just heard it on Fox News. And by hearing it on Fox News, watching Fox News, I'm increasing their viewership, and their advertising rates go up. Now part of that money goes to the bad guy we learned about on Fox, because he's their part-owner, Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, allowing him then to 'make it rain,' so to speak, on the terror mosque.

"My point is this. If we want to cut off funding to the terror mosque, we must, together as a nation, STOP WATCHING FOX! It's the only way! Using their reasoning, it's the only way to cut off the revenue stream to these 'bad dudes.'"

Watch the whole thing


Monday, August 23, 2010

The Bush Tax Cuts

Remember the Bush tax cuts? No, I don't really either. At my income level, the tax cut was near invisible. Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy, and they were for the wealthy, are soon set to expire. Conservatives want you to think President Obama wants the tax cuts to end for everyone, but he doesn't. Ninety-eight percent of us get to keep the new tax brackets and the other 2% keep paying. At least, that's the plan.

Paul Krugman has a must read opinion piece in today's NYT's. Krugman reminds us that Republicans wrote the tax cut law so it would expire soon. Why did they do that? Two reasons, first to hide the cost of the tax cuts and second, so they could pass the law using reconciliation (the procedure Democrats aren't supposed to use to pass laws).

Making all the tax cuts permanent would cost 680 billion dollars over ten years. Conservatives want to spend that much money without making spending cuts. After all, tax cuts pay for themselves in conservative-world.

Right now, I'm guessing the Conservatives win on this issue. The tax cuts will be extended for all because Democrats are spineless and because it's what the rich want. And, the rich give the money to elect the politicians.

I fear for our economic future. I'm actually starting to believe I need to get what money I have and put it someplace my mattress.