How Right Wing Propaganda Causes Cognitive Dissonance in the Conservative Brain

fox-and-friendsFor me, running a political Facebook page often has the consequence of getting into long drawn out debates with people. I feel obligated to stand behind what I personally post on Politically Preposterous, to interact and debate with fans (time permitting), and to make corrections if I get something factually wrong. I know this may be hard for some of you to believe in this world of internet disinformation and partisan divide, but some of us actually have integrity. Don’t just take my word for it though, check the proof.

Back in May, I wrote an article in which I wrongly stated that illegal wiretapping of phones  had occurred. Subsequently, a fan pointed out that my assertion was incorrect because the issue was not about wiretapping (which implies physically listening in on calls) but rather about the collection of records. After this was pointed out to me I immediately contacted my editor and requested that we change both the text and the title of the article, and that we post a correction at the bottom of the article. That, my friends, is called journalistic integrity. It also means that when I make an assertion of fact I check it and double check it to make sure I got it right. Further, if I make a mistake and get something wrong, I immediately take steps to correct the error.

On the other hand, as Rachel Maddow once said, “I will not apologize if I do not get something wrong,” and like Rachel, neither will I. Some people just have a hard time believing the facts, and honestly I just can’t help those that choose to live in the delusional bubble.  However, I should also note that although I will correct an assertion I made if I got the facts wrong, I will not “correct” my opinion just because someone disagrees with it; albeit if they make a good enough argument they may be able to persuade me to change or at least question my opinion. Though this is exceedingly rare, it does happen on occasion.

Moving on…

I apologize for the lengthy preface but it provided the context for what I am going to say next, since my feelings on this matter stem directly from my debates with people who have a cognitive dissonance towards the facts. This is what happens when people choose to live in their rhetorical right wing bubble for so long. They refuse to digest the facts on a certain situation or issue, choosing instead to feed off of the propaganda that’s been carefully readied for the airwaves on Fox News or AM radio.

I just feel bad for those that see the trees, but don’t seem to see the forest. Though truth be told, I feel worse for those who I try to show the forest to, but who are too closed minded and therefore refuse to see past the trees.

By way of example:

Middle or lower class people who vote for the Republican party because they claim to be the party of less taxes, when really the only tax breaks they give are to the rich and wealthy and to large corporations. People who would rather see all welfare recipients be drug tested when only 2% of people on welfare use drugs. People who bitch about those collecting welfare being unemployed when the majority of those collecting welfare have jobs (often at places like Wal-Mart that engage in wage theft practices and force the taxpayers to fund their bottom line). People who complain about welfare when most of the welfare given out is to large corporations through subsidies and tax breaks. People who claim to be for Constitutional rights but think we should implement unconstitutional policies like 20 week abortion bans, drug testing for welfare and voter ID laws. For the record, the reason all of the things I mentioned previously are hyper-linked, is so you can go look for yourself that I am asserting facts — not making up falsities like is often the norm online, and unfortunately sometimes the norm for certain mainstream media outlets as well. Remember how Fox News was “certain” Mitt Romney was going to win the election last year? We all know how that turned out – and how “shocked” they were afterward.

Continuing on, people who claim that the government shouldn’t “tread on them” while advocating for intrusive government policies. People who claim to be pro-life (rather than calling themselves anti-abortion) but who favor the death penalty. People who consistently vote against their own economic interests. People who go off on welfare recipients needing the government, but then complain about not getting their student aid. People who insist climate change isn’t real or wasn’t cause by human activity, despite the fact that 97% of scientists agree that it is real and was caused by humans. People who are pro-life, but who will openly advocate getting rid of programs like WIC that keep children from starving to death after they are born. People who say they support our deployed troops but then vote for politicians whose goal is to defund food stamps even though $100 million dollars worth of SNAP (food stamp) benefits go to military members every year.

The point is, the people who believe the facts I listed above are false, who claim that these are just “liberal excuses,” and/or who think that the numbers couldn’t possibly be right because of what they personally observe in their neighborhood(s), are merely seeing the trees. In fact, sometimes I think they only see the leaves and fail to see the trees or the forest. But, worse, are the people who you try to show the forest to, in an attempt to bring them up to speed, but who would rather kick and scream and call you a liar then being open minded about what you have to say. For the record, this goes for those to the left on the political spectrum as well. While I find that most of the people on the right these days have been deluded and lied to so much by the right wing media that they can’t discern the truth from the lies, every once in a while I come across what I would call an “Eisenhower conservative” who makes some good points. On that note, I think it’s important that progressives be open minded to reasonable and factually based conservative arguments – in order to prevent the left and center-left from falling into the same cycle as our right wing counterparts – even if in the end we still disagree.

Also, since I just mentioned that progressives need to be open minded as well, I know it is now inevitable that someone in the comments is going to say something like, “but what about you liberals who don’t understand the words “shall not be infringed?” Thus, I figure I will just tackle this one briefly. The examples I cited before of unconstitutional policies are unconstitutional because a court has ruled them unconstitutional, not just because I said they were. On the other hand, the Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller, explicitly stated that certain restrictions on the 2nd Amendment are permissible when they stated,

“Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited. From Blackstone through the 19th-century cases, commentators and courts routinely explained that the right was not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. For example, the majority of the 19th-century courts to consider the question held that prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons were lawful under the Second Amendment or state analogues.

Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.”

So to be frank, if you write something in the comments regarding this issue you just prove that either (a) you don’t know how to read, (b) you know how to read but not how to comprehend, or (c) you are suffering from the same cognitive dissonance illness that many on the right are suffering from. My advice to you, either open your mind up a little and see the truth, or move along, since I am not going to waste my time and energy trying to get you to understand.

In closing, people on both sides of the political coin need to keep an open mind to reasonable and factually based arguments and need to do a better job of seeing the entire forest, rather than just the trees. But, all too often it appears that only seeing the trees (and only wanting to see the trees) is the conservative way.

Ilyssa Fuchs

Ilyssa Fuchs is an attorney, freelance writer, and activist from New York City, who holds both a juris doctor and a political science degree. She is the founder of the popular Facebook page Politically Preposterous and a blog of the same name. Follow Ilyssa on Twitter @IlyssaFuchs, and be sure to check out her archives on Forward Progressives as well!


Facebook comments

  • southside mike

    The right should take whatever material their bubble is made of and sell it to the gov for use as body armor; as conservatives have proved over and over again NOTHING (especially facts) gets through their bubble

    • Dane

      When they start attacking,or they to make the conversation about you, is when you know you have proven they are in a bubble.

      • Peter Rocca

        It has been my observation that conservatives are amazing projectionists. Whatever it is they are accusing liberals of, you may be sure that they themselves are doubly guilty of!

  • David A Deal

    Dead on great article but just to be anal you used the word THEN instead of the proper word THAN in the middle of the article!

    • Ilyssa

      Thank you for your feedback on the substance! Are you referring to this sentence: “People who go off on welfare recipients needing the government, but then complain about not getting their student aid.” ?? Then is the correct usage for the sentence. Than is for comparisons of two things, as in she was taller than him. Or was it a different sentence? If I missed one my apologies!

      • Leydog

        I believe he meant this passage: ” But, worse, are the people who you try to show the forest to… but who would rather kick and scream and call you a liar then being open minded about what you have to say.”

      • David A Deal

        In fact, sometimes I think they only see the leaves and fail to see the trees or the forest. But, worse, are the people who you try to show the forest to, in an attempt to bring them up to speed, but who would rather kick and scream and call you a liar then being open minded about what you have to say. INDEED I did!

      • David A Deal

        THEN has been the MOST misused word I have seen as I read Facebook or other forums. As Peter Griffin would say, “It grinds my gears”!

      • Paula Alderson Beard

        David, speaking of grinds my gears, my biggest pet peeve is people using loose instead of lose.

      • if MOST misused, I submit usage may well change to fit (if it hasn’t already).
        Language is a living thing, parts grow and die, for better or worse.
        Since this specific issue seldom confuses one’s point, than I could care less either way.

      • Charles

        It does confuse.

      • David A Deal

        Well then why don’t we just throw out all the rules of grammar and converse like uneducated backwoods hillbillies? Sure I can decode poor writing most of the time but I’m not impressed with people who make consistent errors that they should have learned to master in 8th grade. The points people try to make show more credibility when the writer at least appears to be educated. We all make errors, sometimes when we are just in a hurry but that does not excuse regular sloppiness and failure to learn. IRREGARDLESS is another NON-word that irks me! It is not only the wrong word but the IR negates the meaning and bastardizes the original word REGARDLESS! I’ve heard people try to justify it by saying that it should be ok to use because so many people have come to use it. As far as I’m concerned that is no different from saying that because 20%-30% of the population is racist that it should be acceptable.

      • Why5ks

        @David, do we then get to criticize your run-on sentence in the middle of this rant?

      • mojobone

        Well, us hoosiers generally only like to use “irregardless” to irritate suckers from Illinois, though since you brought it up, I’d tend to agree, but I’d add that certain words can often betray a desire to appear educated, as well. Maybe a bit off-topic, but MY pet language peeve is when hoosiers pronounce the “T” in ‘often’. Sometimes I catch myself doing it.

      • Dawn Hilton Oliveira

        Lose and loose is another one. I see that one all of the time,lol

      • Ilyssa

        I did miss one huh? My apologies! 🙂

      • Sharon Mills

        “Hopefully” is an overused word, and almost never used correctly. It makes my teeth itch. Not that it appears in this excellent piece, jus sayin.

      • MadameDelphi


      • NYC visitor

        while you’re at it (corrections), may as well point out your reference to Mitt Romney’s “re-election”. It was his first (only?) run for the presidency. 🙂

      • Dianna Woodsum

        Mitt Romney ran for President twice. It was a re-election campaign. Although maybe it should have been called a re-lose campaign.

    • Amy

      The misusage of proved/proven is what gets me every time. So many people use the word “proved” with the words have, had, has, could, and would. Unfortunately, this is very common.

    • lucybeckettmartinez

      Are you serious? Did you consider the possibility that it was merely a typing error? I am fairly well versed in grammar, and there is much that hurts my ears, but in an otherwise outstanding article, I certainly made that assumption, and you should have, too. Who made you the grammar police? Now Amy, who replied first to your comment, used a word that did capture my attention. She said, ‘misusage,’ when she should have said, ‘misuse.’ Yes, David, you are anal, and Amy might have been trying just a little too hard to appear erudite.

      • David A Deal

        My WHOLE point was to test the message of the article about correcting errors when they are pointed out. It was a simple test and you took it way too serious! And yes I make typing errors as I rush through sometimes, which is why I proofread. But I do work at a newspaper so yes I guess I am a bit anal!

      • Anon

        I think you meant to say, “…,and you took it way too seriously!”

      • Anon

        Just to point out 1 error. I don’t have time to edit your entire copy.

      • Lorelei Lee87

        I gave up letter writing because I would have to rewrite and proofread it as much as five times before it went out. Just today there was an article posted and the comment that sparked debate and received over 9000 comments was complaining about people using the wrong form of their/there/they’re.

      • mojobone

        Dyslexic proofreaders, UNTIE! Sorry if I’ve given offense to any, but my favorite teachers were English teachers; they had a tough job.

      • Mike Williams

        misusage~ (myss yu sage) From Bushglish. Adverjectivenoun.

        a type of a spice used in a steak rub, great on the grill,

        can be used to describify the em-proper usefication of a word.

        Remember this every time you think of all the education the gop defunded in July.

      • mojobone

        My least favorite ‘misusage’ is when people say they “felt badly” when they mean that they felt bad. If you felt badly, there may be something wrong with your nervous system, even though you can still empathize. And, yes; I am anal, as well.

    • Tracy Garrison

      Irony personified. Instead of debating the facts of an “outstanding article”, we are having a grammar class.

      • mojobone

        Personally, I welcome any and all help with grammar, spelling punctuation and diction; I wouldn’t blog if I didn’t want to convey my views as clearly as possible in standard English. What’s ironic is that David seems to be missing either a comma or a conjunction. 😉

    • MadameDelphi

      My biggest peeve is should of, would of, could of.

  • Phil

    It’s kind of funny that you refer to pro life advocates as “anti abortion”. Does this mean pro choice advocates are “pro abortion”?

    • Bruce Israel

      Actually it’s not a symmetric situation. The pro-life/anti-abortion people are arguing that no pregnant women should have abortions, so categorizing them as being against abortion is valid. The other side is not arguing that every pregnant woman SHOULD have an abortion but that they should have the opportunity to make their own choice, so calling it pro-choice is a valid characterization. There are many (maybe most) who think that having an abortion is an undesirable situation (like undergoing chemotherapy is an undesirable situation) since no one wants an undesired pregnancy, but may be the most appropriate solution at times (like chemotherapy). It’s a nuanced distinction between being desired and being allowable.

      • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

        “So sweet” to see the discussion sensibly put.

  • Charles Vincent

    Two things Ilyssa.
    1) what exactly is wrong with the voter ID law it prevents voter fraud. I get ID checked when I go to vote at the local poll because they want to be sure I am a resident in that particular district and of my state. They do this so people can’t come from either other states or other congressional districts and vote more than once or vote in a district or state where they aren’t a legal resident.

    2) You’re really vouching the heller decision and you’re only posting the parts that support your political/moral/ethical ideology. The pertinent and relevant portion, at least with regards to the current gun control being proposed is the section detailing common use firearms/accessories which nullifies a the magazine ban and the assault weapons ban because all of those items are common use. The universal background checks have zero efficacy due to the firearms owners protection act, primarily because this act federally prohibits firearms registration by any government entity or private institution, this is the key that UBC’s need in order to function and be enforceable by law enforcement agency’s according to a report from the DOJ to the Obama administration stating that the only way UBC’s will work is if there is a national firearms registry.

    • Charles Vincent

      Couching* not vouching damn auto correct.

      • suzannahstan

        Charles 13!! Thats enough for ypu to say ‘well who cares then if whole groups of people can’t vote?

      • Charles Vincent

        How is it that requiring a state issued ID at a poll prevents people from or whole groups from voting? I know plenty of so called minorities that vote an they don’t seem to have any problem handing over a drivers license or state issued picture ID. I also fail to see the legitimacy of this argument since polls already ask for the ID when you go to the polling place to vote. Also you might want to look at voter turn out it gives a better picture of who actually wants to vote in a given election.

      • Informer

        Funny thing about voting in my area, when I get to the polling place they already have a list of ALL eligible voters for that district. They merely ask my name and my current address, look up to see if I’m a valid voter of that district and then I’m allowed to vote. I’m never asked to show an ID, of course if they told me I had already voted then I’d pull my ID out and show them I am who I say I am and I had not voted.

      • Charles Vincent

        Lucky you, they ask for ID where I vote and I see nothing wrong with that your point is still moot and I see nothing suppressive about asking everyone for ID before they cast their vote.

    • RINOVirus

      The problem with the voter fraud problem is that there isn’t widespread voter fraud going on. There are enough safeguards in the system to detect it. It’s just an excuse to keep certain groups of people from voting. Gotta love the Right, they don’t believe in freedom, they believe in deciding on what rights they think you should have.

      • Charles Vincent

        Please enlighten us with the statistics on how minute of a problem voter fraud is. What groups of people are being kept from voting? Non citizens and people who are here on work visa from another country who shouldn’t be voting in elections in our country just like we shouldn’t be voting on politics in their respective countries.

        “Gotta love the Right, they don’t believe in freedom, they believe in deciding on what rights they think you should have.”
        The hypocrisy of the above statement of yours is so thick I could cut it with a proverbial knife.

      • Charles Vincent

        MelanieMariner Charles Vincent • an hour ago −
        Between 200 and 2010 there were 649 million votes cast in general elections and 13 cases of in-person voter impersonation.

        Voter ID laws make it harder for black people, poor people, students and the elderly to vote (they are less likely to have a valid form of state issued ID).
        12% of voteing-age US citizens don’t have a valid form of state ID. In order to obtain a “free ID” they would need a certified copy of a birth certificate costs from $10 to $45 depending on the state, a passport costs $85, and certified naturalization papers cost $19.95……

        They don’t allow links so I am reporting for tou Melanie.
        I am aware of that site it’s not the only one and none seem to have solid numbers.
        As to the part about costs we all have to get those things to get ID why should it be any different for anyone else. For instance I have a state issued birth certificate for me and all three of me children I had to pay~$30 for each birth certificate. Everyone needs that birth certificate to get a state issued ID, which is what they check at the polling place during elections, where I live.

      • Bob

        I think the real problem Charles is not the ID as much as it is the restrictions that have been placed on early voting, polling places and now in some states, poll watchers. The last harkins back to the Jim Crowe days. All or nearly all of the states that want to implement voter ID also want to shut down early voting on Sundays. A day that they know is when Churchs load up their poor and elderly on buses after the sermon and bring them to the polls. This is called Souls to the Polls, so even if they had voter IDs now it is much more difficult to vote.
        Pennsylvania State Rep.Mike Turzai said last year and I quote “Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania: Done.” You can google Mike Turzai and voter ID to confirm this. He said this to his constiuants on camera. This is the true nature of Voter ID Fraud. Keep in mind this law is not about someone voting 20 times it is about having ID so that you can not pretend to be voting for someone else. You would have to know that persons name, address and the correct polling place to be able to commit fraud that the Voter ID is purporting to stop. I think it is North Carolina where they are implementing the stricts laws yet, that had TWO alleged cases of voter fraud in like the last ten years. This is not a problem and even if it is, than why are the shortening early voting, closing polls in democratic areas and not allowing polling on Sunday.

        I will tell you as a veteran who raised his right hand and took the enlistment oath that this infuriates me. We should make it easier for Americans to vote, even if they have to have voter ID cards not harder. Just because we may not like their choices at the polling places, we shouldn’t try to supress the vote, which in my mind is WAY worse than any voter fraud.

      • Charles Vincent

        This makes sense in that we shouldn’t cut poll times back and that laws like Jim Crowe are doe away with. That being said if voter ID such as a drivers license is required at the poll to determine if one is eligible to vote in that district and state I see no discrimination as that’s what everyone should do to keep voter fraud to a minimum.
        I would also like to extend my thanks for your sacrifice to protect the freedoms I enjoy.

      • Is it because you have a drivers license, and you use a drivers license, and can afford a drivers license, and have the documentation required to get it, that you can’t see it’s not fair?

        All by themselves those who do not have the documentation required, or cannot manage to produce such even with competent assistance far outnumber even the most wildly overblown estimates of how many fraudulently vote.

        I’m talking about know individual cases here – house fires, faulty records, missing records, court house fires, really really old people et cetera.

        We can require drivers license legally when we can fix this somehow – I don’t think it’s worth it to the states to stop 2-3 illegal voters per decade.

        Besides, when felons or immigrants vote illegally they are removed from access to polling machines, whereas those who have connections with power get to go on as normal.You are so afraid of everyone who is not like you it is not even possible to see that it is only people like you who actually commit this crime.

        Trees, forest, that’s what this article is about.

        You proof the pudding.

        What if you had to have a car as well?
        How about if only insured drivers could vote? shouldn’t every driver have to be responsibly insured before they get to vote.
        Hey! I got an idea, we are both white too.
        Let’s go back to only men of property being able to vote.

      • Charles Vincent

        There are rules for a reason and yes I paid for my state issued birth certificate so I could get my state issued drivers license and I have done the same for my children so when they need to get their drivers license they have what they need to get one. Furthermore if I didn’t have the money I would have done what ever I needed to do and work however I was required i order to get the money to pay for the things needed to acquire that state issued ID so I could exercise my voting power.

        “What if you had to have a car as well?
        How about if only insured drivers could vote? shouldn’t every driver have to be responsibly insured before they get to vote.
        Hey! I got an idea, we are both white too.
        Let’s go back to only men of property being able to vote.”
        These assertions are absurd and have no impact on whether a person is legally eligible to vote in a district or state or municipality as a legal resident of said places.

        I am not afraid of anyone. I do however have concern about people who use government to force their beliefs and morals on others.

      • The real problem is there are so many being paid to do his job that it is impossible to know if we are wasting our time trying to convince him otherwise rather than convince him to be less mercenary.
        I go by how lame it is, but I also think that may be exactly what may pay best.

        Is it done to make us think? I think not.

        When Fox tells you today that they did not say what they said yesterday, are they misinforming or just winnowing the catch?

      • Charles Vincent

        Wait I could get paid to do research and debate people on the web? Where do I sign up?

      • not the research part, they might give script
        depends on whether it’s defense contract or private
        seriously, you didn’t know your side is supposed to get paid?

      • ID may just be tip of iceberg but it’s victims far outnumber voter fraud.
        If we were paying attention to the article above we would be discussing mass automated election fraud.

      • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

        This is what the Republicans are counting on.

      • Charles Vincent

        Not sure what the point you’re making is. Are you saying republicans do this because those people would vote democrat?

      • poor rural people always vote Republican, everyone knows that. 😉

      • Charles Vincent

        I thought that poor people voted democrat for the welfare hand out and Obama phones… 😉

      • Informer

        Geez Charles, I thought everyone knew by now that Reagan/Bush started up those phones, Obama just kept it going because those phones were to be issued to the elderly and poor who couldn’t afford phones so they could call for help in case of an emergency.

      • Charles Vincent

        You missed the sarcasm in that comment.

      • “we all have to get those things to get ID”

        simply bolstering the point, we all have to get those things to get ID, but some can’t get those things.
        Some were born b4 birth certificates were used in their county, others live where those records have burned, bad enough they can’t drive, u want them to not vote?

      • Charles Vincent

        I am not implying that I am saying they can get them and in the case of a fire or other natural disaster I am quite sure they can reacquire the necessary documents. I am not saying they cannot vote or that i do not want them to vote just to be clear.

      • Debengr

        Whoa, my mom is still with us, born in 1926. She no longer has a driver’s license nor any other photo id. Does that mean she’s lost her right to vote as she has done for 60 years or so?

      • Charles Vincent

        Nope it means she needs to get one this process is simple go get an ID. Its your choice get one and vote or don’t either way its your choice absolutely nothing prevents you or her or anyone else from getting the said ID. On a side note glad to hear she is still actively voting.

      • Peter Schneider

        charles, fact check the extent of fraud. YOU are who this article addresses. There cannot be a problem with voter fraud simply based on the belief you think there should be. Voter fraud is virtually non-existent. Illegals don’t vote, they don’t wish to vote, they are scared to vote, and it’s simply not happening. But take a look at the article again. You’re still not getting it. You are the poster child of this article.

      • You obviously know all the numbers, let’s see your answers to these questions.
        How many fraudulent votes in x number of elections?
        How many people having issues with IDs?

        Asking for numbers, and decrying who should not vote does not substitute for citing facts or motives.
        Would you vote if it could get you deported or jailed?

        For that matter, why do we have almost half the world’s prisoners from 5% of the population?

        You must think being a criminal is pretty cherry in this exceptionally locked down panopticon…

        Yeah, I know at least 50 Mexicans who came over just to cancel your vote, but I’m not telling you about it (oops).

        Fact is the Republicans have already won 2 elections by eliminating people of color whose names somewhat resemble felons behind bars in another state, and the DB behind it functioned so well we made Mexico use it.

        Fact is, lately, we get 2 or 3 busted white Republicans every presidential election proving that it IS possible to get busted for doing it.

        Go ahead, my numbers are as fuzzy as my memory.
        I showed you mine, now let’s see yours.

        If not, I hope you’re getting paid for your weak efforts, because no one else is gonna benefit.

      • Fact is, if you want an electronic polling machine with a paper receipt?
        You gotta buy it from Venezuela!

      • Charles Vincent

        I prefer the paper ballot not the electronic one.

      • why not have both?

      • Charles Vincent

        Well I watched cspan coverage of a congressional hearing on how electronic voting machines could be rigged to flip the vote and the only way anyone could tell the vote had been tampered with was IMF there were paper print outs of every vote cast in a particular election.

      • that’s a fact

      • Charles Vincent

        “You obviously know all the numbers, let’s see your answers to these questions.
        How many fraudulent votes in x number of elections?
        How many people having issues with IDs?”
        The assumption that I claimed or implied I know those numbers is a patent fallacy.
        I have to produce a state issued ID when I show up at the polls to vote and I expect that every one else at that poll has to as well.

        “For that matter, why do we have almost half the world’s prisoners from 5% of the population?”
        There are plenty of studies on this topic google it and you will get a million hits. The studies I have browsed seem to indicate that the war on drugs is a large contributed to the problem.

        “You must think being a criminal is pretty cherry in this exceptionally locked down panopticon…

        Yeah, I know at least 50 Mexicans who came over just to cancel your vote, but I’m not telling you about it (oops).”
        This is irrelevant and adds nothing to the discussion.

        I would like to see the data on the republicans you purport to have won elections due to your assertion.

        You only showed one real number in your post and that’s the one on incarceration here in the US.

      • yes, guess I should have come up to speed on all the latest numbers before reminding you that you post zero.
        This is actually my point, and again you proof the pudding for us all.
        I don’t need numbers to show you post no numbers.
        One to zero may not be glorious victory, but 0 is still FAIL.

      • oh, and the numbers on prisoners are climbing so fast all I know is it’s about half, the 5% is also probably dated but does not accelerate in changing so quickly, so it is actually a somewhat real number.

        5% refers to portion of world pop., not prisoners.

        You can’t even cite the numbers I cite here, but expect others to do the heavy lifting so you can argue against whatever reality is?

      • Charles Vincent

        On January 1, 2008 more than 1 in 100 adults in the United States were in prison or jail.[15][16]
        In 2008 approximately one in every 31 adults (7.3 million) in the United States was behind bars, or being monitored (probation and parole). In 2008 the breakdown for adults under correctional control was as follows: one out of 18 men, one in 89 women, one in 11 African-Americans (9.2 percent), one in 27 Latinos (3.7 percent), and one in 45 Caucasians (2.2 percent). Crime rates have declined by about 25 percent from 1988-2008.[17] In recent decades the U.S. has experienced a surge in its prison population, quadrupling since 1980, partially as a result of mandatory sentencing that came about during the “war on drugs.” Violent crime and property crime have declined since the early 1990s.[18]
        In addition, there were 86,927 held in juvenile facilities as of the 2007 Census of Juveniles in Residential Placement (CJRP), conducted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.[12][19]
        America’s foster youth represent a large number of the incarcerated. In California, ‘70% of prisoners spent time in foster care system’. America’s Most Unwanted a foster youth film , a film by former foster youth. As of 2009, the three states with the lowest ratios of imprisoned people per 100,000 population are Maine (150 per 100,000), Minnesota (189 per 100,000), and New Hampshire (206 per 100,000). The three states with the highest ratio are Louisiana (881 per 100,000), Mississippi (702 per 100,000) and Oklahoma (657 per 100,000).[20]
        In 2009, 92.9% of prisoners (not jail inmates) were male.[20]
        There are some long term numbers for you. The real spike in the rise of prison population started circa 1980.

      • so, what happened circa 1980?
        now we’re cooking with numbers
        not that these have anything to do with this discussion so far.

      • Charles Vincent

        Well most articles point to the escalation of the war on drugs, ala nancy Reagan and the just say no campaign. Also the big government push to crack down on drug use and sales of illicit drugs.

        This is a solid article on the different types of voter fraud and what types of fraud are more or less prevelant.

        http://www dot minnpost dot com/politics-policy/2012/08/cases-voter-id-election-fraud-found-virtually-non-existent

      • I think I actually read that one.
        Can’t tell, the link doesn’t work.
        So, which side am I arguing here?
        Did you read the title? i thought you were taking the counter point.

      • Charles Vincent

        Really the only point I am arguing is having to present an ID at the polling place when one goes in to place his/her ballot. Unless of course you wish to engage me on gun control.

      • let’s do that someday
        somewhere else

        my stance? no concealed handguns unless I get to have a mind control micro-drone swarm.

      • Informer

        What about all the military personnel, people who work overseas or people who may be in the hospital that vote with an absentee ballot? By your reasoning they shouldn’t be allowed to vote, they aren’t there showing their ID’s, for that matter there shouldn’t be an absentee ballot at all according to you!

      • Charles Vincent

        Wrong I am not talking about absentee ballots. 1) they all have Valid IDs and 2) the military already has a system in place to allow for them to participate if they so choose.

      • Informer

        So then you discount any other US citizens who may work overseas for their company, people in the hospital, how about people who are disabled and have no way to make it to a polling place? Add to that people who live in nursing homes or assisted living places that have no way to make it to the polling places as well.

      • Charles Vincent

        Have you not heard of mail in ballots? I get them they come directly to my house via the USPS.

        ” people in the hospital, how about people who are disabled and have no way to make it to a polling place? Add to that people who live in nursing homes or assisted living places that have no way to make it to the polling places as well.”

        I beg to differ those people have means to either get mail in ballots or have transport to the polling place. Here where I live there are several Assisted living places and they have the means to get to the polls to vote via any number of methods. And not all people want to vote, and your assertion that they are not voting because of voter ID is frankly absurd. If they truly want to vote they will figure out a way to facilitate that want. humans are remarkable at conceptualizing a means to an end and then carrying that plan out. Sorry that you think people are so intellectually retarded.

      • Informer

        I was talking about absentee ballots, that would be the same thing and since you brought it up there is no one looking at an ID when one votes absentee or mail-in however you want to call it. With the economy being what it is now and a lot of services cut to those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities those trips to the polls that might have otherwise taken place are now considered a luxury. Way to go with the name calling or inferring I am doing as such when I am doing no such thing. You were the one saying that the military already have their ID checked, true enough, but how about those military families that move while one partner is overseas and that military person doesn’t have a chance to get their license changed as such, now the ID doesn’t match up to the address that the family is actually living at now, guess what? That means that they CANNOT vote now because those things no longer match up and that my friend is BS.

      • Charles Vincent

        “I was talking about absentee ballots, that would be the same thing and since you brought it up there is no one looking at an ID when one votes absentee or mail-in however you want to call it.”

        I send a copy of my ID in with my mail in ballot simple as that. not sure how its done elsewhere.

        “With the economy being what it is now and a lot of services cut to those in nursing homes or assisted living facilities those trips to the polls that might have otherwise taken place are now considered a luxury.”

        So you’re Suggesting that the people in these places don’t get mail and therefore cant receive mail in ballots?

        “Way to go with the name calling or inferring I am doing as such when I am doing no such thing.”

        Where exactly did I call you or anyone else names?

        “but how about those military families that move while one partner is overseas and that military person doesn’t have a chance to get their license changed as such, now the ID doesn’t match up to the address that the family is actually living at now, guess what?”

        This happens to anyone that moves and people still run to the DMV and get that information corrected on the state ID.
        Here are a list of accetable ID’s and solutions to your proposed problem;
        1) Valid State drivers licence
        2) a valid ID card Issued by the department of revenue
        3) A valid US pass port
        4) A valid employee ID card W/ Photograph issued by any government employer
        5) A valid pilots Licence
        6) A valid Military ID W/ photograph
        a copy of current utility bill, bank statement,government check, paycheck,or other government document showing the name and address of elector
        8)A valid medicare or Medicaid card Issued by the centers for medicare or medicaid services
        9)A certified copy of a US birth certificate
        10) Certified documentation of naturalization
        11) A valid student ID card W/ photograph by an institute of higher education
        12)A valid veteran ID card Issued by federal Government
        13)A valid ID card issued by a federally recognized tribal Government certifying tribal membership
        14) Verification that the person is committed to the DHS but is still eligible to vote

      • Informer

        You are missing my point Charles in regards to military personnel or people who’s work takes them overseas and their family moves while they are over there. They can’t get their license changed while they are over there unless it’s a state that allows them to do it online, not all states do. There was just a recent example of a female Judge who went to vote in Texas recently, she had two forms of ID’s but the name didn’t match on them or match the voter registration even tho they knew who she was and KNEW that she lived in that district. This is what the voter id law does, if it doesn’t match exactly, you don’t get to vote! Those military people who’s family may have moved, now his address on his license (which doesn’t mean a hill of beans if he mailed a copy of it) and the address he now lives at does NOT match, therefore he doesn’t get to vote! What’s so hard to understand about that?? And yes, there is someone looking when absentee/mail-in ballots come in to be counted, lol, you don’t remember all the b/s about how some of them are fraudulent, how would they know that if no one is looking at them? They most certainly do to make sure you are voting in the proper district! You don’t remember the election in 2004, Bush and Gore, all the mess about the Florida absentee ballots and how they would be slow in counting them because they had to verify all the information and make sure they were valid!

        And this comment you insinuate I’m trying to imply something about people when I was not, that was YOUR implication, not mine! “Sorry that you think people are so intellectually retarded.” Furthermore, that isn’t a kind thing to say about anyone, retarded is not a word that you or I should be using since it’s rarely used anymore since it’s offensive to some people.

      • Charles Vincent

        I listed 14 ways one can prove who they are at a polling place your argument about ID and changing information is invalid. You’re the one that implied that people are too stupid to problem solve the issue of finding ID too show at a poll and further more people working over seas have to have a passport with correct information on it and a pass port is in that list. As for my use of retarded it has more than the meaning you ascribed to it. You don’t like it tough.

      • Informer

        All 14 ways you listed didn’t address the issue I just detailed above. I never implied such a thing, you were the one that made the comment. I’ve said the same thing over and over about certain types of people who may not be able to change their ID, get to the polls or what have you due to circumstances beyond their control. All you keep harping on is how they can get an ID without addressing what happens when that can’t be done. I was in the military, I know precisely what forms and crap you have to go thru and how agonizing slow the military can run at times, ie, mail overseas. You don’t get it, the id they have overseas has the address on it at the time they went there, the family moves while said person is still over there and unable to get his id changed, mails in his absentee ballot with the new address listed and there ya go, they don’t match when said ballot is tabulated and vote doesn’t count. If you don’t think this happens then think again. As far as your use of the word, tough, you’re just showing people how insensitive you are, no skin off my back. Good night, been nice talking to you even if you can’t see past the end of your nose on this issue.

      • Charles Vincent

        “I never implied such a thing, you were the one that made the comment. ”

        “So then you discount any other US citizens who may work overseas for their company, people in the hospital, how about people who are disabled and have no way to make it to a polling place? Add to that people who live in nursing homes or assisted living places that have no way to make it to the polling places as well.”
        This whole post of yours implies that people lack the intellectual power to problem solve and find ways to acquire their ID or to do what is necessary to change addresses on said ID’s. If a soldiers family move it seems to me that the soldier would be aware of that.

        I don’t know about you but elections are basically the same time every year so essentially you have all year to make sure you have multiple ways to prove who you are. Lastly I am not here to blow sunshine up your dress or be your personal yes man. If you can’t look at those 14 items and figure out how to get it to work for you you have bigger problems than voting.

        Sorry you feel like I am insensitive but the truth is life isn’t always nice and the truth is rarely nice either.
        Thanks for you service to our country and good evening

      • Found it, didn’t catch your modifications, sorry.

      • This is a very good source for my argument, I have read it before (live in WI). As for numbers:

        “Analysis of the resulting comprehensive News21 election fraud database turned up 10 cases of voter impersonation. With 146 million registered voters in the United States during that time, those 10 cases represent one out of about every 15 million prospective voters.

        In Minnesota, there have been 10 total cases of reported fraud and no cases of voter impersonation reported since 2000.”

        “In-person voter-impersonation fraud is rare. The database shows 207 cases of other types of fraud for every case of voter impersonation.
        “The fraud that matters is the fraud that is organized. That’s why voter impersonation is practically non-existent because it is difficult to do and it is difficult to pull people into conspiracies to do it,” said Lorraine Minnite, professor of public policy and administration at Rutgers University.

        There is more fraud in absentee ballots and voter registration than any other categories. The analysis shows 491 cases of absentee ballot fraud and 400 cases of registration fraud. A required photo ID at the polls would not have prevented these cases.
        “The one issue I think is potentially important, though more or less ignored, is the overuse of absentee balloting, which provides far more opportunity for fraud and intimidation than on-site voter fraud,” said Daniel Lowenstein, a UCLA School of Law professor.

        Of reported election-fraud allegations in which a resolution could be determined, 46 percent resulted in acquittals, dropped charges or decisions not to bring charges.”

        My numbers were close off top of head to your source, that is my point here.

        Additionally Republicans only seem to care about absentee ballots when they come bundled from overseas military bases (no, I will not source the fact that we know these votes are mostly democratic, but will invite you to demonstrate otherwise).

      • Charles Vincent

        Fundamentally my query is what is wrong with having to show ID. I do think that things like Jim Crowe laws are repugnant but they are wholly different than havin to show ID at the polling place. And you didn’t mention that the article cite absentee ballots and a bigger problem than in person voter fraud. Well off to work will reply to your posts when I am home again.

      • We live in the USA, where, to date, it has been considered criminal to have to show your papers to obtain basic rights.
        Additionally, many more have trouble obtaining official state ID, have no means to pay for it, have no records to back it up, or just have no other reason to have a state ID, such that it presents a serious barrier to voting, as demonstrated repeatedly, as compared to demonstrated rates of voter fraud (like more than the 1 in 15 million, I believe your source cited?).
        If you seriously think that more than 1 in 15 million having hardship to ID is so far off, then I need to point out that we have come full circle again.
        Even if I quote your numbers, as soon as a modicum of logic need apply, you’re lost?
        Well I think I’m done proving the point of this article as it regards you.

      • oops, lied, one more data set:
        fr googling “difficulties obtaining voter ID”
        random first hit:
        http://www dot lawyerscommittee dot org/page?id=0046

        “Notre Dame University student Angela Hiss was barred from voting in Indiana because her Illinois driver’s license was not accepted as proof of identification. Thousands of students like Angela will have difficulty voting in the next election because of repressive voter ID laws. Read more”

        random first of 40+ people who didn’t get to vote because you’re afraid of the 67 people who might have gotten away with it last decade

        try reading this and then tell me about the hypocrisy of concerning oneself with the rights of others who’s issues one can’t seem to consider actually real.

      • actually, i did

      • Charles Vincent

        Again you’re the one claiming to have the numbers and yet you failed to present anything substantial when you posted.

      • no, I’m claiming to have fuzzy recollection of dated data up to half a decade old, and still knowing enough to see that you have produced no numbers at all.
        What case am I arguing?
        You tell me which numbers, I go look them up, how about that.

      • Charles Vincent

        If you’re going to argue numbers should you not be up to date on them before you post and should you not include those numbers in your post? See the numbers I posted on incarceration in the post below this one.

      • If you’re going to argue numbers shouldn’t the numbers you cite have something to do with your argument?

      • Charles Vincent

        It’s hard to argue numbers when the original post contained none to start with which is why I asked in the first place.

      • this is about thinking, you brought up numbers
        this article is about metacognition, thinking about thinking, not the numbers one ignores when failing to concern themselves with walking in others’ shoes.

      • Exactly what I’m saying, what numbers are you asking for?
        I can’t counter an argument bases on your perceptions.

      • Charles Vincent

        They were not your numbers it was addressed to another poster I was just relating that he didn’t post numbers yet he talked about them sorry for the mis communication. My original post never contained any sort of statistics.

      • If you actually wanted to see that data you would not need to ask me to dig up ancient history

      • Charles Vincent

        It was your claim that you provided numbers when in truth you only provided one instance in a whole post.

      • additionally the provable fact is that most fraudulent votes were made by republicans, winners and losers of offices much less so.
        It’s possible I’m wrong on that point, I wish I could remember who did the math, but this guy did calculate the odds that every deviation from exit polls that made a difference would go to Republicans late in the day for the entire first decade of the century.
        The odds were 1 to a number that I can only remember as being many zeros beyond the number of molecules in the observable universe.
        To me a number significantly above 98.5% is proof that a theory may be true, in your world such astronomical+ odds are probably just a matter of opinion, just like human caused global warming.
        Hoping I’m wrong though.

      • Charles Vincent

        I am un aware of the numbers on voter fraud you are talking about. I read an article about global warming and if you look at history the earth has cycles of hot and cold which have little to do with humans. I think the article stated that the animal population creates more green house gas than the human population.

      • “read an article about global warming”
        And I have read every scientific finding on the subject since it was called the Venus effect (circa 1975), so what?

      • Charles Vincent

        Just a point of reference. I really don’t think there is a real problem , however I do think we as people need to be responsible stewards of our planet.

      • P.S. Cows kept by humans are the single biggest source.

      • Wild animals tend to live in balance in this regard. I.e. forests and natural grazing result in net zero production per acre or nearly so. Human feedlots and such, not so much.

      • Charles Vincent

        I would tend to agree with this.

      • Clue, when the Republican surge comes near closing when most Republican voters are sleeping, ….

      • Charles Vincent

        How do you know when republican or democratic voters sleep? Are you big brother and have GPS on them?

      • I don’t know, but statisticians worth their salt most certainly do. Besides, are you going to tell me it is only common sense that Democrats tend to vote early in the morning and Republicans mostly vote after work?
        If you actually cared for the numbers you request others produce you would know some of these things.

      • Charles Vincent

        It’s simple if I reply to a post where some one is claiming that the numbers say x and they haven’t listed them I will ask them to post those numbers or statistics. This has nothing to do with me being lazy, as they are the ones claiming that the numbers support their argument, I simply want to see the numbers they are eluding in their post.
        Also where are the numbers supporting your assertion that dems vote in the morning and republicans vote in the evening?

      • Wanna see all the numbers that every came to bear on global warming too? I’ve got them right here in my wallet, right next to every voter roll and exit poll of the last 500 years.

      • Charles Vincent

        Well at least you have a sense of humor. It’s good to see a bit of facetious humor in play here

      • humor, critical to thinking

      • Only a hypocrite like you would point out the hypocrisy in pointing out hypocrisy without naming it in any way.
        So’s yer mama!
        Is NOT!!
        is 2

      • Charles Vincent

        “Gotta love the Right, they don’t believe in freedom, they believe in deciding on what rights they think you should have.”
        This is hypocrisy and saying so does not make me or anyone else a hypocrite. It’s hypocrisy because it isn’t only the right that does these things it also includes the left.

      • freedom is deciding what freedom is (for others?)!!!

      • K-Ann

        How do you know? from articles I’ve seen there has been considerable fraud – I can’t fathom why anyone would object to showing ID – heck I have to show ID at the doctor’s office now – explain that to me?

      • Sharon Mills

        I worked in a medical office. Insurance fraud is a growing problem. If your wallet is stolen, it is for your insurance cards these days. That is why.

    • suzannahstan

      Voter ID laws a) keep minorities from voting & b) voter ‘fraud’ is so unreal (less than 1/10th of a %) that makes it make no sense. Those are facts!

    • Faith Abdel-Rahman

      Did I understand you correctly when you said magazines and assault weapons are “common use”. That is a little bit scary to me. What activities could warrant assault weapons and magazine use on a regular or common use basis?

      • Charles Vincent

        OK let me break it down for you. there are ~50 million 30 round standard capacity magazines in use by the public currently, that makes them in common use. There are an estimated 100 million firearms in the hands of private owners a good portion of those are likely semi-automatic rifles that’s common use as well. Quite frankly ma’am I don’t care if it scares you, and with all due respect gun owners don’t need to provide you with a reason they need to own a firearm, any more than you need to give someone a reason for choosing to have an abortion.

        As for me here is what a firearm provides to me my family and in dire cases the people around me. We as individuals are solely responsible for our own health and safety, a fire arm provides these things for me. It promotes my health and safety in a few ways, it provides for keeping me safe from physical assault by criminals and by extension the people around me, and when it does this it promotes my health and safety, it also provides food which also keeps me safe and healthy and again by extension those around me in the same manner it provides for me these things.

    • Dianna Woodsum

      My problem with your comments Charles are your lack of understanding of what it is like to be poor. In a different comment you asserted that if you couldn’t pay for a state issued Id you would get whatever job and earn whatever money in order to exercise your right to vote not realizing how ignorant that sounds to people who are actually poor or have been poor. When you’re poor you don’t use money for things that aren’t absolutely necessary because you do not have that luxury. Your bills are all behind and you’re in insane debt and owe everyone you know money. You pay bills based on how many shut off notices you’ve gotten from each company. You buy the necessities and whatever your children need. You, go without. Buying an id to vote is laughable to poor people. It’s a luxury not a necessity. Every night u go to bed with thoughts about how u will get through and guilt for your children. You have shame because of the ignorant comments made daily by people like yourself and right wing conservatives. No one can live on a Mcdonalds salary or a walmart salary. There’s not enough hours in the day to make money. You have to forgo all your bills every Christmas in irder for your children to get gifts and you’ll be damned if your children will go without gifts. Then you spend six months trying to just get back to poor. If not for earned income credit many people would be on the streets because it’s used to pay back bills from Christmas. Things most people take for granted are luxuries for poor people. Forget hair cuts, new clothes, a coffee at Dunkin donuts, going out to dinner ever, the movies, cars, etc. the poor I’m referring to are the majority. They’re living next to you or down the street. They have a home and they work. They’re normal to the untrained eye. Sir, you are just ignorant and when one is ignorant they should keep their mouths shut about such things.

      • Dianna Woodsum

        I apologize for the spelling and grammatical errors but when I tried to fix those things my comment kept deleting.

      • Charles Vincent

        “My problem with your comments Charles are your lack of understanding of what it is like to be poor.”

        Stopped right there. You dont know me you dont know if I am poor or rich nice to see your arrogance on full throttle.

        “When you’re poor you don’t use money for things that aren’t absolutely necessary because you do not have that luxury.”

        Voting isn’t a luxury it’s a civic duty.

        “You pay bills based on how many shut off notices you’ve gotten from each company. You buy the necessities and whatever your children need. You, go without. Buying an id to vote is laughable to poor people. It’s a luxury not a necessity.”

        Apparently you missed the list of items one can use to prove they are who they say they are by federal law. Secondly people need the ID to get a job or drive a car.

        “You have shame because of the ignorant comments made daily by people like yourself and right wing conservatives.”

        Again your arrogance is on full tilt you dont know me and you dont know my political affiliation and have in your condescending nature assumed to much.

        “Sir, you are just ignorant and when one is ignorant they should keep their mouths shut about such things.”

        Take a look in the mirror and look at your own ignorance. And when you want to know about me maybe you should ask next time instead of just making so many ignorant assumptions about someone you dont know.

  • s s

    Everyone needs to be aware, awake, and informed. Thank you you make some wonderful points. A human with a mind is a treasure to behold.

  • I’ve been getting really sick of how few people cite references online, esp. with how few cite more than the one source they want to discuss, which too often turns out to be sparser then their commentary upon it.

    I haven’t finished reading this piece yet, nor have I actually visited, or even hovered over, your links. Nonetheless I already have to thank you for the attempt to help establish a norm I intend emulate. This includes an appreciation for inspiration by your general tone of uncut logic reason and conformity to changing facts as they present themselves, even if you prove to fail at being as you say.

    These messages are today more important than real content, albeit real content is now such as humans are not constructed nor trained to understand the full gravity of, even when adept at discarding cultural baggage, training minds, and paying attention, to details and the big picture.

    Again, I could be wrong about whether it proves true or not, you have my thanks and my allegiance beyond such possibilities, for I emulate your intent, and need to see it publicly stated, despite either of our abilities to achieve it. Many thanks, whatever your name is it will be remembered by one who too seldom leaves room in brain for names.

    • Idiot! you obviously haven’t read the entire article!

    • Doug Barr

      Allow me to be the first to congratulate you on the balanced structure, adroit transitions and mellifluous dependent clauses of your utter word salad. I bow my head in awed admiration, discerning no slightest meaning I might respond to.

      • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

        Monte, my dear, you are unnecessarily prolix while saying absolutely nothing. I am a fool for antecedents, so it might help if you use one.

      • I’m just paying compliments for style to the author here.|
        No need for anyone else to concern themselves with my point.

      • too bad / oop

  • I think it’s a problem of thinking one sees the forest by having a map of reality that is based on something other than actual observation and consideration of reality.
    Not believing trees even have leaves, not seeing their connection to air and soil and water that sustains them, taking the energy and sustenance that sustains them for granted they have no reasonable map, or model, of the tree in their brains.
    One needs an actual functioning model of what one is looking at before they can see it.
    Many seem to arrive in this place thinking they only need to look at the tree that is themselves, and or take for granted what others say they see, so the forest they see is just a clone of the self they see (often plus some “other”, frequent defined as evil, by definition).
    Not seeing the leaves, they do not actually see trees.
    How then can one see the forest? or even other trees? much less explain the forest to one such?

    I find it important that you request those inclined to support your positions in a similar knee jerk (thoughtless) fashion do more of their own heavy lifting as well.

    I’m way far to the left in the way I see the forest, and in my mind this means what the majority think and want to do is my main concern – my favorite quote of myself applies here:

    Democracy consists of making the mistake the most people will learn from.

    • Guest

      I believe that that the problem is NOT abaouat thinking, but that it is about NOT

    • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

      I believe that the problem is not about thinking but is more about NOT thinking.

      • memorization is learning
        repetition is thinking
        economics is knowledge
        insanity is wisdom

        Lao Tzu:
        Wisdom knows naught

      • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

        I am finally insane at 88.

  • nineinchbride

    “The root of our ills needs thoughtful digging, and there is no time in the day for such self-examination. We are belabored to keep at maximum activity and minimum reflection. Can one heal one’s humanity back in the night, over the weekend, within vacation time?”

    “People vote like idiots.”

    “Indeed today they vote against themselves; I confess I despair of humankind to hear a working woman declare herself for the Republican party. My thought is for tomorrow.”

    She wondered aloud whether such a working woman was suffering from a kind of political Stockholm Syndrome, a primitive gratitude and fealty for being allowed to live, in supporting a party against both ethos and interests. Or was it perhaps, a bond of loyalty in exchange for continued patronage, like the attachment strategy of newborn babes toward the powerful adult?

    “A man or woman who can barely stand their own existence is turned into a drone of slogans for their keepers. Is it madness? Or masochism?” she asked.

    “Everybody is scared of something,” I ventured. “Nobody wants to lose what they have, whatever it is. It seems to me people are happy with their prejudices too,” I added, sitting up, my arms around my knees. “Isn’t all that effort to have a dialog with mule heads a waste of time?”

    “I’d call it basic research in political consciousness…”

    Excerpted from ~Conundrum~ book one in the Nine Inch Bride series.

  • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

    It’s obvious that you are rightfully angry and upset about this because your usual carefully constructed sentences and ideas are a little amiss We all do this at times and I send you no blame. Don’t mess with the so-called conservative bubble group because they will insulate themselves from every truth and try to use it against you. I think the best we can do is to note what they say and do and be on the alert to try to prevent their nutty ideas from taking over. There is no (NO) way to change their spouting into thinking. so let us see it and we will try to watch for signs of it in our own communities. It starts in the school boards and at the bottom of the political totem pole. We must be on the alert. Truth will be appreciated although in many minds fear will prevail.

    • Not just “them”. Nutty ideas already took over.
      Kneejerk party loyalty to bipartisans who work for same owners problem on “both” sides.
      gp dot org

      • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

        I’m stumped.  How does this get changed..or is it too late”

      • Why5ks

        @Lyola, unfortunately it doesn’t change. Many humans have no intention or desire to become educated about issues. The urge to question authority does not exist in them, we frequently refer to these people as sheep. They, through lack of will or ability, can not comprehend issues beyond basic facts. If you look closely at the GOP/Karl Rove/ALEC game plans they pose every issue as though a single factoid illustrates the entire issue. This plays into the laziness of many in society. An example of this deals with individual welfare and its drastic increase since Obama took office. If you look at the singular fact that the number of people on welfare more than doubled since Obama took office it is easy to make the frivolous claim that he is a welfare President. If you objectively look at the contributory facts on this issue you find a much different picture. The second largest recession in US history started in the final 3 months of the Bush Presidency and the unemployment spike from that recession didn’t occur until 6 months after Obama took office. The way the right wing has framed the argument is to but the entire blame on Obama, and if you refute their assertions with facts you will here the standard reply, “sure like everything else blame it on Bush.” Historically, when a political ideology has wandered too far astray centrists in society reassert dominance via the ballot box. This will start a swing in the opposite direction, but that doesn’t mean the ideology dies away. In the end all political ideologies are nothing more than power hungry persons and groups determined to assert their dominance. They merely change their packaging and presentations in how they get the sheep to follow.

      • Lyola M Roeske Shafer

        So we agree that it was too late before they even started their 2000 AD edition. Remembering what I could and did read in 1932. Same old same old, but we dare not give up.

  • Scott Swenson

    Fantastic piece. I am reminded of a quote by Bill Maher a couple months ago (Paraphrasing)” It used to be that the argument was over when someone presented a fact or facts. This is not the case anymore” It’s true, we have reached a point where many on the right are screaming that entities such as the CBO or reputable fact checking sites are “The liberal media”. You are also correct about progressives needing to stay vigilant with their own behavior, lest they fall victim to cognitive dissonance.

  • K_Ann

    Ms Fuchs, sorry but you are disingenuous, you are asserting your “opinions” as fact; there is no constitutional right to welfare – in fact it violates the constitution – forcing one person to work to support a third party violates every principle upon which the constitution was founded

    97% of scientists believe in global warming – suggests all scientists but in reality those surveys are sent to climatologists – aside from the fact that computer programs are no more reliable than the programmer – is it difficult to imagine people who spend four years getting a degree in using computer models to predict climate change believe in it? No? nor is it persuasive.

    The fact that corporate welfare is wrong doesn’t change the fact our current social welfare is also wrong. AND this is my biggest concern – the money spent is insignificant to the fact we (our government) has endorsed and institutionalized single parent families. Every statistic you look at confirms these children are born at a disadvantage, they will be more likely to drop out of school, become delinquents and many eventually end up in prison. the future we offer those children so we can feel good about how generous we are is an outrage. This isn’t a problem that can be fixed with more money; we need to understand – not assume – why these girls get pregnant – who is at fault and teach them there are alternatives. The day I see a Liberal stand up for families is the day I’ll believe Liberals care anything about this country.

    • Ilyssa

      I never asserted a constitutional right to welfare and every fact I posted was a statistical fact not my opinion. Come back when you learn how to read. Also, I disagree with your policy positions and while I will gladly listen to them you won’t be changing my mind now or ever

      • Ilyssa

        Also, your comment goes tangentially off topic. This article has nothing whatsoever do to do with whether or not certain things are good or bad policy. It is about fact v fiction. Fact only 2% of those on welfare use drugs. Fact more welfare is given to corps than to people. Fact, every stat I listed is a fact. The efficacy of these programs is not at issue in this article.

      • Ilyssa

        Finally you claim “every statistic shows this” but give no stats or links to them. How disingenuous is that?

      • Scott

        Your opinions came through very clearly in your article and almost none based on facts. It would be hard, I believe impossible to call anything listed above as fact. Unless of course you are arguing that someone wrote it or said it, that would be pretty slimy, but would be a fact. If you saying that the statements you listed above and in the article are facts, that would be false, some at the very least misleading but most not true. But stay with it, your audience could really care less if it’s
        fact or not, as long as it goes along with their opinion, but I guess you already knew that.

    • tigerlily78

      Additionally, there is pretty sound evidence that it is not single parent household necessarily that result in all the terrible outcomes you described…. “these children are born at a disadvantage, they will be more likely to drop out of school, become delinquents and many eventually end up in prison.” The common component in these outcomes is more often POVERTY. Children living in two parent homes at or below the poverty line have similar risk levels for these negative outcomes.

      So is the problem REALLY that people don’t get married anymore and stay together forever raising their kids under the same roof? Or is it perhaps that the socio-economic slide that has occurred in the USA over the past 3 decades or so has left many families without the luxury of having one parent stay home with the toddlers, or one parent have a job where they can be off work when the kids get home from school? Why isn’t a single full-time job enough for so many single working mothers to support their families without government aid? I think the issue is just as much a result of the marginalization of workers and the stagnation of wages and benefits against inflation for 30 years that has left individuals and families in a worse off position to have the time and energy to be effective parental role models.

      I can remember in the 80’s that even then most of my friends had a stay at home mom, or mom worked at the school or part time someplace so she could be home in the afternoon with the kids. We were not wealthy families, but our fathers did have employment that allowed them to keep a family above the poverty line. Our dads did construction work, worked in the hardware store, drove a delivery van… these are not conventionally thought of as “high skilled” positions, and yet the wages were sufficient that they could keep a family of 4 above the poverty line. Now the person working at the hardware store qualifies for food stamps, the delivery guy might too… they certainly don’t make enough to meet the needs of a family on one income alone, and forget about putting aside money for retirement or for college tuition for the kids.

  • Hang em high

    If it is on the internet it must be true. Be careful what you call facts….

  • kris

    I have noticed the boggling rise in the number of people who treat proven facts (i.e. majority of people on welfare have jobs) like opinions and then debate accordingly. Helpful to read this article and not only get validation, but good food for thought! thank you!

    • Scott

      The problem with your statement is this is not proven fact, and if you did a little research on your own, you would at the very least have to question you so called fact. Just a thought…..

      • Mike Williams

        Actually, it is proven. A simple internet search for the facts at a government sites like the census bureau will yield the numbers your looking for. I however will not give them to you as you will not look at them. You will most likely say “yes but that’s the man’s website and obummer is a liar.” Besides it builds character and experience when you do something for yourself.

        Avoid the blogs….

  • Bogart Jones

    I grew up in the heart of the South in the 60s, 70s & 80s as a son of an upper-middle class, established white family. Politics weren’t discussed much in our home. If they were, I didn’t pick up on it. I had no political political views, per se. Given my heritage, the fact that I felt a need to serve in the military (which I did: Army, 3 years, honorably discharged) and that my father and mother were staunch Nixon and Reagan Republicans, it could be argued that at some point along that line of thinking, my beliefs would be at least nudged somewhat to the right.

    It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve discovered in myself a political bent. In fact, I’ve never once felt the ideological need to vote one way or the other until the most two recent presidential elections, in which I’ve voted Democrat. It’s only because the majority of the message coming from the majority of the white southerner now is so opposite from what I believe, that it has forced me to one side. Still, I don’t go all the way to the left; I’m mostly middle of the road. Yet the ignorance, hatred and fear that the white conservative exudes; their banner news organization, Fox News, actually having the audacity to add “news” to their name; the inexorable backward motion of the conservative cause — all of this simply insults my intelligence, and I can’t stand on its side.

    So my “heritage”, if you will, and those of my generation who have followed through on its ideological path, has not so much attracted me in one direction, but away from conservatism. It is well-thought-through articles like this and the logic that it follows that are pulling me in an opposite direction. In a way, the conservative ideal can thank itself for losing a home-bred voter.

  • TL5005

    Hi Ilyssa,

    About facts… You misunderstand the term cognitive dissonance. The descriptor you need is hypocrisy.

    Wikipedia: In psychology, COGNITIVE DISSONANCE is the DISCOMFORT experienced when simultaneously holding two or more conflicting cognitions:
    ideas, beliefs, values or emotional reactions. In a state of
    dissonance, people may sometimes feel “disequilibrium”: frustration,
    hunger, dread, guilt, anger, embarrassment, anxiety, etc.

    • TL5005

      That said, I think your headline should be revised to read: “How Right Wing Propaganda PREVENTS Cognitive Dissonance in the Conservative Brain.”

  • Scott

    I am one of those face book people who are compelled to find out if what people are posting is true. When I get a post or hear something on news, I start my research to figure out how factual it is. The Internet the way it is, I have found it very difficult because of all the agenda driven articles that are written based on partial truths and inaccurate information. This is how I cam across your article, “How Right Wing Propaganda Causes Cognitive Dissonance in the Conservative Brain.

    I could start off with your self-serving almost laughable lengthy preface. What I will say, people who write fact based article or even opinion article based on fact don’t need to spend time convincing their readers of their integrity, they let the article do this. But after reading this article I understand why you did.

    It does not take long to find Mrs. Integrities first non-factual statement, in fact it’s in the first sentence, “By way of example” part of her article. “The only tax breaks they give are to the rich and wealthy and to large corporation.” A few examples would be Earned income tax credit, Retirement savings credit, dependent and childcare deductions, education, the list goes on, the fact is only one of these deduction makes this statement untrue.

    Lets see how long it takes to find the next non-factual statement. Oh goodness the next sentence. “Only 2% of people on welfare use drugs. Although I do not believe we should be drug testing welfare recipients for many reasons, it does not change the fact that this statement is not a fact. Substance abuse policy research program reports the number at 20 percent. This 2% Mrs. Integrity is talking about is from Tallahassee using only 4086 people and by no means represents the 12.8 million of actual welfare recipients.

    Next, “the majority of those collecting welfare have jobs.” I don’t have a problem with the concept of welfare, I do have a problem with the implementation but this does not change the fact that this statement is simply untrue. In New York for example, 27.6 percent of adult welfare recipients are working in unsubsidized jobs another 13% in job training and other non-paying programs. Some of these non-working recipients earned as much as $38,000 a year. Just thought I would throw that in. You do the math. The math comes far short of the majority.

    Wal-Mart engages in wage theft practices and forces the taxpayers to fund their bottom line. Wal-Mart employs millions of people. Without this company, millions of American would not have a job. If in fact they are doing something illegal they need to held accountable, but stating these as fact is just untrue.

    “Most of the welfare given out is to large corporations through subsidies and tax breaks.” I find it a little interesting that Mrs. Integrity brings this up because subsidies support many of the lefts agenda causes, ex. Green energy. This does not change the fact that the government puts out around 80 billion in corporate subsidies and around 132 billion into welfare. The math is pretty simple and again an untrue statement.

    Not sure were the Constitution mentions 20 week abortions, drug testing and ID laws, and I have my own opinions that could go 1000’s of word but this response has nothing to do with my opinion only your so called facts. So I will skip this part.

    “People who claim to be pro-life (rather than calling themselves anti-abortion) but favor the death penalty.” I can-not say enough how absurd this statement is. This should go without saying but Pro-Life is a title not a description. Not unlike how the left has retagged theirs as Women’s Health or Reproductive Health. Most abortion are done out of convenience not for health reasons. Pro-Life is specifically referring to the unborn child. As for the death penalty this has nothing to do with either. Nice try though.

    “97% of scientists agree that is real and was caused by humans.” This statement is a complete fabrication. This number really has nothing to do with scientist’s, it was a survey of peer-reviewed papers. So the truth is 97% of the peer-reviewed papers may have supported that the writers believed that climate change is real and caused by man based on keyword searches not actually reading of the papers themselves.

    “People who are pro-life but advocate getting rid of programs like WIC that keep children from starving to death after they are born.” Pro-Life, protecting the unborn child, enough said. In no way is there any proof that without the WIC, children would be starving to death, I know fear mongering is what the left does best and by no mean am I advocating getting rid of the WIC, but since integrity is so important to you let’s just see a little of it.

    People who say they support our deployed troops but then vote for politicians whose goal is to defund food stamps even though $100 million dollars worth of SNAP benefits go to military members every year. Mrs. Integrity came really close to fact on this one but fell a little short with her adding of words. It’s not every year, it may not even be this year. The article says they are on track to $100 million which may or may not happen. Supporting our troops and food stamps have nothing to do with each other. Our troops and their family should be taken care of no matter what and not just during deployment, they should be taken care of for life, just thought I would throw in my opinion on that one.

    Mrs. Integrity, there is no question you are intelligent, and a very good writer. The only problem is either your delusional or dishonest. Either of these things makes it irresponsible for you writing any article on any subject, especially articles on issues that affect our Country. Take a look in the mirror, if you switch right wing with left and liberal with conservative this article would describe you.

    P.S. Adding a link to your statement does not make it fact. Especially when the article you linked to does not even back up your statement.

  • artisanr

    I am just convinced that these past two election cycles are bringing out the closet racists. Usually if people refuse to see facts and only repeat Fox “News” talking points, it’s a clear and present sign of sheer racism, wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.

    I’ve had one individual flat out tell me they cannot vote for a black man when this person’s talking points were logically confronted. It is absolutely NOTHING but racism.

    • Billy Howell

      I abhor the race card. I really do, and I tried to make excuses for people especially since many of my fb friends are from Alabama just like me. However, I realized that this president has only one (maybe two) things about him that are unprecedented. The only certainly unprecedented thing about him is his race. Juxtapose that fact and comparisons of the vitriol that has been shown in response to anything he says and does and you end up lost on what else it could be. It is terribly unfortunate that it really does come down to that for so many in our nation.

  • Mike Williams

    In many cases where concealed carry is prohibited, open carry is permitted. Laws differ from town to town, country to county, and state to state. It is the responsibility of the individual to know the laws where they go so as to be in compliance at all times.

    What I want to know is. Why all the bans on swords?

  • Joe

    Great stuff. The only issue I have is in regard the sentence: “But, worse, are the people who you try to show the forest to, in an
    attempt to bring them up to speed, but who would rather kick and scream
    and call you a liar then being open minded about what you have to say.” The ones I encounter don’t call me a liar, but the dreaded “SOCIALIST!” This, rather than how many see ourselves RESPONSIBLE capitalists like FDR, Eisenhower. Unbridled, trickle down, deregulated capitalism nearly caused the system to break, but as you said, the cognitive dissonance about that reality is dense.

  • Kinjiro0101

    Would not the bigger grammatical issue be in him stating that Romney lost the re-election?

    not making up falsities like is often the norm online, and unfortunately sometimes the norm for certain mainstream media outlets as well. Remember how Fox News was “certain” Mitt Romney was going to win reelection last year? We all know how that turned out – and how “shocked” they were afterward.

  • Rick Tuialuuluu

    Thank you Ilyssa!!!!!!! Spot on!

  • fdbrian

    I always find it funny that a person who believes we shouldn’t outlaw assault weapons, thinks it’s a good idea that the general population can’t get it’s hands on a grenade launcher.

    • Charles Vincent

      What exactly is wrong with having a grenade launcher?

  • soonerheis

    You misstated about Romney. He was not running for “reelection”. He was never elected.

  • Benet Garcia

    Ilyssa Fuchs …that is funny your first paragraph is my world as well. But it has really sharpened my understanding of the issues as well. I think it is that reflection from the indoctrinated which has caused me to really refine my discourse.

  • mds

    Or D: I do not believe that the Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller made a correct, constitutional decision.
    They call court rulings Opinions. That does not make them un-arugably correct.