Saturday, June 07, 2014

Facts, Shmacks

Many, it seems, mostly Republicans, have apparently attained an entirely new and surreal level of ontological existence, a level where “facts” have become irrelevant or may not even exist at all.

Marco Rubio, one of the many Republican village idiots with Presidential delusions, has given us what is perhaps the best example of this new state of being, by announcing publicly that he does not care what 97% of scientists say, he does not believe them. In other words, he does not believe in scientific facts, or at least considers his opinions to be on the same or even higher order of validity. He is thus entitled to his own facts even though they are based on opinion rather than scientific method. I guess his rationale for this, if pressed, would be that scientific facts are merely the opinions of scientists and thus one opinion is as good as another. Unhappily, Rubio (who I confess I can only think of as “Junior”) is not the only one who refuses to believe in science. Global warming deniers are trying to get us all killed, but don’t knock short-term profits.

Facts, if they truly exist, are almost completely irrelevant to the MSM and the internet. Facts are not needed  when the media is onto a potentially hot topic. Take the case of Sergeant Bergdahl, for example. Within hours of the announcement of his release by the Taliban he was already found guilty of desertion and cowardice, and there were suggestions that he should be shot by a firing squad, hung, or even left to the Taliban, hoping they would do the dirty work for us. His father was slandered as a Muslim, or at least a sympathizer,  because he had a long beard and spoke a few words of Pashtun, the language of those who were holding him captive. President Obama was immediately attacked for trading five dangerous captives for him, there were calls for his impeachment, claims he had broken the law, and, of course, the usual claims that he is himself a Muslim or Muslim sympathizer. Fox (non)News apparently went out of their way to find some of Berdahl’s fellow soldiers that accused him of cowardice and desertion, and even went so far as to claim some soldiers were killed as a result of having to search for him. Many politicians and others that had immediately tweeted congratulations for his safe return,  to immediately deleted them when the first signs of possible wrongdoing were suggestions. Bergdahl’s home town of Hailey, Idaho, had planned a hero’s return for him, canceled the event. His family has received death threats.

My point here is not that Berdahl is not guilty, or is guilty, the important thing to bear in mind is that all these accusations and suggestions were made BEFORE ANY FACTS AT ALL WERE KNOWN ABOUT THE SITUATION! This is standard operating procedure for the MSM. Whenever a story breaks they immediately cover it even while admitting none of the facts are known, but they promise to bring them to us when they do become available. Of course by the time the facts become known, if they do at all, the damage has already been done, the various speculations, rumors, and innuendoes remain in the minds of many who may or may not even hear the corrections.

The absolutely shameful news coverage of the Ukraine situation is another case in point. No one seems to care about the facts of the matter, Putin and Russia are guilty, are “bad” and solely responsible for the crisis in direct contradiction to the real facts of the matter. The same thing is true of the so-called Iranian crisis, now known to be a completely falsified claim of Iranian wrongdoing.

Facts, I am sorry to say, are no longer useful in this strange new and surreal world we are currently living in. If the facts contradict what it is we want to believe we just reject them, science is under fire for insisting on telling us things we do not want to hear. Congresspersons are assigned to the science committee in spite of their being anti-science, the potential damage to our nation, and even human life itself, is dangerous and unknown. The war between science and theology should have been over a hundred years ago, unfortunately it  lingers almost exclusively in the U.S. As the late great Jimmy Durante concluded his show, “Goodnight Miss Calabash, wherever you are.”

“The strong belief can make things out of imagination.
But that can also make facts as if they were fairy tales.”
 Toba Beta, Master of Stupidity

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