Friday, August 28, 2009

Fact vs. opinion

Water is wet. That is a fact. There is no arguing about this fact, it simply is.

Getting wet with water is good. This is an opinion. It's an opinion I agree with when I take a shower in the morning. It's an opinion my cats vehemently disagree with, to the point where attempting to get them into the shower enclosure in order to clean them up makes for a blood-curdling (and blood-letting) experience.

In short, reasonable men, women, and kittehs can have different opinions about whether a fact about reality is good or bad. But reality simply is, it isn't a matter of opinion. Water is wet regardless of whether you or I like that reality.

One of the things I liked about Barry Goldwater was that he didn't try to just make shit up. He didn't try to say that water was dry or that the sky was purple at mid-day on a sunny summer day. He was, in short, in touch with reality.

Today's Republicans, however, will argue with a straight face that water is not, in fact, wet, and that the sky at mid-day on a sunny summer day is a fine color of grass-green. It's as if they do not live in the same reality as the rest of us. A discussion with someone who states with a straight face that water is dry, and who refuses to believe the fact that water is wet even when you splash his face with a glass of water, is akin to having a discussion with a kitchen table. It is futile.

So it goes with HR3200. Sensible people can have differing opinions about whether particular provisions of the bill are good or bad, but the actual content of the bill is presented in clear legal language about which there can be no factual argument. The nonsense about "death panels", "tax money to illegals", "tax subsidies for public option", blah blah blah is like discussing whether water is wet -- it has absolutely no connection to reality. The clear legal text of the bill explicitly disallows any of those to happen -- the Medicare end-of-life counseling would be done by private doctors employed by patients, not by the federal government, the law explicitly disallows illegals from receiving subsidies to buy health insurance, and the law explicitly disallows using tax money to subsidize the public option. Arguing with people who insist that these three things are real even after you point out the parts of the law that says they're not real is like arguing with people who insist that the sky is green and water is dry. The only argument that should be involved is how quickly such people could be committed to an insane asylum as delusional schizophrenics with no conception of reality. Yet sadly, this is to what we've come: Arguments about whether water is wet. GAH! The crazy! It burns, it burns!

-- Badtux the "Arguing w/a table is futile" Penguin


  1. Water is wet? Who'd thought that was even possible. After listening to any of the RethugCos one would have to conclude that Alice in Wornderland was non fiction, that white really is black, up is down and bullshit is really a food group.
    Nice post, too bad it had to be said.

  2. Maybe we should just refer to them as "Flat Earthers" and be done with it . The tag includes so many of their "ideas" , it's hard not to lump them all together .
    There really needs to be some kind of qualifications for home schooling tho . These people breed and then de-educate their kids .

  3. BT -

    Are you channeling Barney Frank or purpose, or is this a coincidence?

    A couple of weeks ago when we were at the lake, it rained one day. Afterwards, when I told my granddaughter to watch out, since the lake would be really wet, she just shook her head and jumped off the dock.

    So -
    1) 8-Yr-olds are more intellectually sophisticated than Republicans, and 2) you might have been channeling her, as well.

    Re: Goldwater - I was a big fan of his back in the day. Recently, I re read "The Conscience of a Conservative" and had to conclude he was absofuckinglutely wrong about everything.

    But, you're right. He didn't make shit up.

    JzB the long-since-recovered-conservative trombonist

    WV - Cytic - relating to a skeptic enclosed in membrane

  4. JB, yeppers, channeling Barney Frank on purpose.

    And yes, I didn't agree with Barry Goldwater on a lot of things either. But in the end, he was an honorable man. He didn't just make sh*t up and lie and crap like that. Today's Republicans use Richard Nixon as their model -- i.e., lie, cheat, steal, whatever it takes to "win". It's despicable.

    - Badtux the Unsnarky Penguin

  5. I think TBogg said it best when he referred to the loons who show up to yell insane gibberish at health care town halls as "The Crazy Shouty People."

  6. It's the fact so many believe the lies that bothers me. I don't give a shit it's more than propaganda it's brainwashing particuarly when you are able to get people to act these falsehoods.

    Today and tomorrow in this small city major repug players including M.Bachmann are here.

    We'll see how the local fishwrapper covers these hateful bastards.

  7. The thing that bothers me are the people you lick that s*** up and call it chocolate.

    I was in the hospital for a procedure, and I got discussing the healtcare reform bill with my nurse. She, a medical professional, actually believed that end of life counseling was MANDATORY. She said she read it in the actual bill. (I've read that section too, and so has Jon Stewart. No mandatory end of life counseling anyplace in it. Water is not dry.)

    If the professionals in the field lick up that sssss..., er, chocolate, can this country ever hope to have an actual debate of substance? Not a f***in' chance.

  8. Lately, I'm of the opinion that there aren't enough functioning brain cells in the entire Repub lickin' Party to add up to a halfwit.

  9. Sometimes water is also hot, or cold. But the degrees vary depending on the critter experiencing that hot or cold. I like a shower at over a 100, but a beer at about 35. Hey, beer is mostly water.

    Not sure what HR3200 is, not sure there is any reason why I should give a crap.

  10. Republicans have catered to the religious right, conspiracy theorists and hate groups for more than 20 years. The party has become unhinged because all the sane people said "Holy shit" and have exited stage left. All that's left are the lunatics.

    Unfortunately, the Democrats don't seem to possess a spine or they would use this opportunity to expose the Republican Party for what it is and refuse to compromise with these crazies.

    *shakes head*

  11. Goldwater actually became pro gay rights late in life. I think he had come to see the error of his ways.

    And he hated Fucking Nixon. So much so, he refused to go to his funeral.

    Has BBC ever made a coherent comment here? Other than about beer, I mean.

    JzB the cold one appreciating trombonist

  12. "Today's Republicans use Richard Nixon as their model -- i.e., lie, cheat, steal, whatever it takes to "win". It's despicable."

    I think today's republicans are more like a Nixon / McCarthy love child. Lie, cheat, steal, and have a witch hunt when that does not work.


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