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26 May 2010

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Paul in NC

"Thus we float along in a sea of suffocating flotsam while all around us looms the menace of un-met challenges."

I wholeheartedly agree, but what do we do about it?

frank durkee

AMEN

VietnamVet

Mr. Sale,

Deep down, I don’t think Americans are stupid. All of us have our own histories and schemes to make through to the next day. But, we do not readily admit that American history and news are being massaged to meet corporate needs. For example, there is no discussion of need to raise taxes. Instead, Northern Virginia is proliferating corporate Lexus Lanes rather than raising the gas tax. Nor, is it mentioned that deregulation caused the biggest oil spill ever and the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Enron is the model for deregulated American corporations. Except, in the Obama Administration all of the Wall Street executives were given a get out of jail card. Instead of the truth, America is portrayed as the Best of All Possible Worlds.

Increasing male unemployment leads to revolt. The question is if the last 30 years can be reversed peacefully. This becomes more unlikely the longer male unemployment becomes entrenched and the corruption of never ending wars eats away at the soul and treasure of America.

Fred

VV,

Speaking of taxes, the article referenced at the blog below links to the Bloomberg piece on Ernst & Young's tax avoidance advice. E&Y were competitors to Aurthur Anderson, the one firm that (rightly or wrongly) went belly up due to the Enron fraud.

http://crookedtimber.org/2010/05/24/the-double-irish/

Stormcrow

I cannot argue with Sale's piece because I agree with it.

But as long as the government, at all levels, continues to bleed legitimacy, while the press openly peddles itself to the highest bidder, and the corporations are predators to our prey, we can only expect more and more of the same.

We can also expect charlatans like Andrew Wakefield to become popular heroes, and corrupt ignoramuses like Sarah Palin to become media celebrities and figureheads about which powerful political movements are built.

What we're seeing is an entire country dying. Ours. From the brains down. It isn't pretty.

William R. Cumming

Great post. An argument can and could be made and I do that the notion that an educated electorate would make the wisest decisions is now completely undone by the fact that seldom is truth, candor, or other than spin conveyed to the American people by its MSM or politicians.Why? Money has captured the truth!

dan bradburd

As Sale suggests, the assumptionthat there are no facts, just views is pernicious at multiple levels. It affects far more than our views of our past.

One offshoot--strategically deployed--of this denial of facts is the trope that 'we still don't know the facts' and need further study to clarify them, delaying action while implausible counterfactuals (cigarettes won't harm you) have to be 'proven.'

The media, by reflexively presenting two sided talking heads on most issues, supports the view that in any dispute there are always at least two legitimate and equal views--even if one is that the earth is flat. This may be good for market demographics but it is epistemolgically bankrupt.

John Howley

We are wired to prefer the short-term psychological benefits of hearing our preconceptions repeated and reinforced. Listening to contrary opinions is stressful and unpleasant so most of us avoid it.

Any pollster will support this: The Typical American spends about five minutes per week on politics and policy, i.e., The Serious Matters That So Concern Readers Of This Blog. Rightly or wrongly, they are busy with Other Stuff.

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