Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Romney, Ryan, TSA, Reality, PBS

This is going to be brief (edit: should have been brief), I have to leave for class pretty much immediately.

I ran across this article on Gawker while eating breakfast (well, if ramen noodles and coffee counts as breakfast). The takeaway is that the TSA did some bad things to a woman dying of cancer. Specifically, they treated her poorly, punctured a saline bag, and generally were as invasive as possible while completely ignoring the idea of privacy or dignity. Then the A TSA spokesperson sent out an email that said:

"We work to make our screening procedures as minimally invasive as possible while still proving the level of security that the American people want and deserve,"

And it's a glaring ballsy example of completely ignoring reality and just saying what you want people to think is real. It feels like they skipped the traditional step of trying to persuade people of something (e.g., adding something like "out of X million passengers we only have Y complaints" or "we have extensive training for handling how to deal with cancer patients, if it was mishandled then the fault is of the local supervisor and we will deal with it appropriately" or whatever). Instead, they've skipped right to the "X happened? Nope, X doesn't happen" stage. They've gone past trying to convince people of something and instead just straight up skipped to flatly denying the obvious truth which prompted the whole thing in the first place.

It seems like that's happening more and more. And people seem to be accepting of it as if it were normal. As if the idea of honesty, or more precisely the idea that reality is non-subjective, is unnecessary. A great current example is Mitt Romney. For example, here is a link to an article showing 27 lies Romney said during the latest Presidential debate. And yet Romney "won" the debate. Again, it seems like the idea that reality is non-subjective has gone out the window.

That might not bother me so much if so many people weren't stupid, but more accurately weren't just wrong. Because if we accept the idea that truth is relative, that one can simply boldly lie and that's accepted because the truth aspect of words are superfluous, then we lose something valuable. Another example: there was a poll taken about what Americans think the share of the federal budget that CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) receives.

Forty percent of those polled believe funding the CPB receives takes up 1 to 5 percent of the budget, 30 percent believe public broadcasting takes up 5 percent or more of the budget and 7 percent of respondents believe the non-profit receives 50 percent or more of the federal budget.

And you know Romney is aware of that. Around 22 million people think that CPB receives half or more of the federal budget. That's mind-bogglingly stupid! The number is around .00014 of the budget. And we have the Presidential candidate for the Republican party capitalizing on that stupidity, ignorance, and an unbelievable level of apathy, by telling bold faced lies and "winning" the debate as a result. There's something wrong when that happens.

Or when Paul Ryan spends years trying to redefine rape as "forcible rape". He's on the record, it wasn't some sort of mistake, he spent years advocating for that change. It's not hard to figure out why: it's insinuation that non-forcible (whatever that's supposed to mean) rape isn't "real" rape. It's a pretty shitty stance to take. But recently he flatly denies precisely what he's spent years advocating! He doesn't deny it in the sense that "I was wrong; my views have evolved" rather he simply changes the subject and says "rape is rape, that's the end of the story". This isn't a unique example. Rather, it's indicative of a trend particularly among Romney and Ryan and the Republican party as a whole, it's frustrating when vast amounts of people manipulate or allow themselves to be duped into thinking their reality is something entirely different from how it is.

It's incredibly obvious that both Romney and Ryan, and increasingly society as a whole (see TSA), have made a strategic choice to ignore one reality and substitute their own. That's frustrating because A) it's so obviously wrong, and B) so many people appear to think that's a good idea. It's baffling - and I'm now late for class.


  1. "have made a strategic choice to ignore one reality and substitute their own. That's frustrating because A) it's so obviously wrong, and B) so many people appear to think that's a good idea. It's baffling"

    Obama has been doing this for years and is doing his best to down grade America to the same level as third world countries, but you're more concerned about Romeny messing up the percentage of money that PBS gets. That's what baffles me.

    1. Well, my reply is around 2200 words. That far exceeds the limit: "Your HTML cannot be accepted: Must be at most 4,096 characters".

      So, I'm going to have make my reply in the form of a post. You can find it at