Saturday, November 21, 2009

Truth and Illusion

An optimist might have hoped that the explosion of information technology would lead to a period of truth and enlightenment as the ability to confront lies and distortions increased. Sadly, the ability to proliferate total fiction has outpaced that of the truth. Naturally, we see this displayed most starkly in politics. The depth and breadth of fictions virtually cemented as fact for large numbers of people is breathtaking.

Fiction: Ronald Reagan reduced taxes and the scope of government.

Fact: Reagan reduced taxes ONCE and then raised them, again and again, every year afterward. During his administration the federal deficit mushroomed fourfold and the government expanded dramatically. Bush I continued the expansion and debt, leading 1992 presidential candidate Ross Perot to declare, "I don't have any experience running up a $4 trillion debt."

Who actually did reduce government, actually achieving a surplus? Bill Clinton. Then Bush II tossed the country off a cliff with the greatest expansion of government in history, VP Dick Cheney smiling, "Reagan showed us that deficits don't matter."

Telling this to a conservative is like telling a fish about water.

Fiction: Sarah Palin's Going Rogue is shattering all best seller book debuts.
Fact: Nonfiction sales cannot touch the figures for wildly popular fictional titles (Harry Potter). In the nonfiction category (despite its content) Sarah Palin's book had initial sales to the tune of 300,000, far short of the 400,000 initial sales of Bill Clinton's My Life (2004). Hillary Clinton's Living History (2004) and Obama's Audacity of Hope (2006) had initial sales of about 200,000.

Clinton's earlier It Takes A Village (1996) and Obama's Dreams from My Father (2004) spent many weeks on the NYC best seller list. The Clinton and Obama books went on to sell millions and still sell well.

The phenomenal attention Palin receives in the media and her massive book tour insured high initial sales, and the increased use of pre-ordering online favors more recently published titles. Time will tell.

Prediction: Palin's book will quickly sell a million copies, but come January it will be available used for less than five bucks. The 2.5 million units produced will prove sufficient, and within months the book will be a farce compared to the other titles above.

Let's skip the fact vs. fiction regarding the health care bill, especially the ruckus about abortion. Word from on high is that God gave a retching Christ some dopamine and a strong joint.

Fiction: Guantanamo inmates are too dangerous for federal prison.
Fact: Federal prisons successfully hold or have held extremely dangerous, skilled serial killers (BTK, Bundy, Son of Sam, Dahmer, Gacy, Ridgeway, Gein) as well as deeply networked and well financed organized crime bosses with resources to attempt escape. They don't. The small number of Gitmo detainees have more to fear than the US population if they are moved to federal prisons.

Fiction: Trying the 911 terrorists in a real trial gives them dangerous advantages and makes conviction less likely.
Fact: Federal courts have successfully tried over 100 terrorists since 911. We convicted Moussaui. We convicted Padilla. We convicted shoe bomber Reid, "Blind Sheik" Abdel-Rahman, and the 1993 WTC bombers Abouhalima, Ajaj, Ayyad, Yousef, Ismoil. All are in federal prison. Not one has not escaped, kidnapped the Mayor's daughter, or used the court to forward their agenda.
Prediction: KSM and Co. will be tried, convicted, and executed.

By the way, I'd heard but then forgotten that Carrie Prejean has a book. Is "Joe the Plumber" next? I wonder if Christ has any dopamine left.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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11/21/2009 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great post, but how did you get a figure for Palin's book? Those figures are hard to get. I think 300,000 is probably close, but I can't find it anywhere.

Palin's book is a flash in the pan of no substance to keep sales going. The Cliff notes will only need a page and a half.

The people who buy Prejean's book are the same ones that buy the mags in the grocery line, "Dog bites out infected owner's appendix, licks wound clean."

11/21/2009 8:17 PM  
Anonymous Palin's dildo said...

Sarah doesn't have time for me anymore, sigh...

11/22/2009 3:21 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

It is amazing what people think about Reagan. What they don't realize is that after Reagan went completely out of it due to Alzheimer's, Republicans started re-writing history about who he was and what he did.

There's a ton of false information about him.

The marketing blitz on Palin's book has to be an orchestrated effort by design. Her book is at grocery stores, convenience stores, supermarkets, and always at deep discounts. They are also giving the book away free with the purchase of a wide variety of items.

She cannot win the presidency. Her negatives will always exceed her positives, no matter how fervent her supporters. Also, there is nothing in sight to suggest she will stop making bizarre statements that cause the informed to shake their heads.

Did you hear her remarks about Israeli construction on Palestinians? Build, baby build, because "lots and lots of Jews are going to be moving to Israel."

The woman is a kook.

11/22/2009 12:21 PM  
Anonymous Observer said...

Freudian slip (and a pretty nasty one).

I meant "construction on Palestinian land."

11/22/2009 12:24 PM  

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