I tried to do commish notes. I got lost on a tangent after becoming incensed at human stupidity. It started with two stories about fan violence and devolved from there. I will continue working on the matchups tomorrow. For now here is the non football part of what started out as commish notes.
Sorry for the absence last week, but I am back. So this week I am adding in a few non-football nuggets. I felt compelled to add them because of two incidents the past couple of weeks. The first being the horrific throat slashing of a Bears fan in a Jacksonville bar when the Bears were playing there a couple of weeks ago. The second is a stabbing at the 49ers game last week. Fans are awful. Fans are awful because people are awful. There is a whole psychology to why people attach themselves to a sports team, sub culture (like rock vs rap, emos, skaters, etc.), and especially political affiliations. People attach themselves to an ideology, not because they think it is right, but because safety in numbers allows them to dominate their opinions, thus dominating you. The theory is called Argumentative Theory of Reasoning. Essentially, humans are not programmed to seek truth, they are programmed to win. Our ancestors gained an advantage by getting people to side with them. Popularity and dominance led to those people passing on their genes. Our brain did not develop an instinct to argue with logic or facts. It only needed to win, not make sense. We need to be taught how to think and argue with facts/logic. It takes a poorly functioning head with poor logic skills to think he was justified in cutting throats because a team he does not play for or profit from was losing to the Bears. Only a retarded person would think that a Cowboys fan needed to die because the 49ers and Cowboys had a few compelling matchups in the 90’s. While it is consequences are horrific, the theory at least explains the behavior. Speaking of retards and hypocrisy, let’s take at a subject that has a larger impact on society. It that includes a guy whose ideologue is Ayn Rand and he somehow claims to be Catholic. (Perhaps catholic should be in quotations. I am no Ayn Rand expert, but from what I understand, her main principles involve selfishness and anti-establishment. This means anti-charity, anti-big-government, and anti-church. She is pretty clear concerning her views on god/religion being ridiculous. So is Paul Ryan religious and he does not understand the concepts in Rand’s works? Or is he being disingenuous and claiming to be religious just to curry favor among right wing neo-cons. I am going with the latter.) So how else are political parties hypocritical and retarded? Below is an excerpt from a Tuesday Morning Quarterback article written by Gregg Easterbrook over at ESPN:
Preach What You Practice: One of the ironies of American politics is that is politically conservative states like Texas tend to have high rates of crime, divorce and teen pregnancy, while the liberal states like Massachusetts and New York tend to have low crime rates and higher percentages of stable marriages. So do people become conservative because they look around and observe lawlessness and absence of traditional values, or does conservatism cause these things? Do people become liberal because they look around and observe stability and affluence, or because liberalism causes these things?
New York City was liberal in the 1980s when it was a homicide capital and is liberal now as one of the safest cities in the world to stroll after dark, making it hard to separate cause and effect.
Love him or hate him, on this subject you’ve got to read Charles Murray’s new book “Coming Apart.” His big point is that well-off liberals should “preach what they practice” — that denizens of the high-income zip codes in blue states themselves have two-parent households with conventional marriages, strict work ethics and high educational achievement, yet contend no one should be judgmental about out-of-wedlock birth, bad public schools or welfare. Murray presents overwhelming evidence that although it’s assumed anything goes in the sinful liberal cities while tradition rules in the Bible Belt, in the last generation it’s been the other way around — red states are plagued by divorce and teen pregnancy, blue states have conventional family values.
Coming from a radioactive conservative, this analysis is unsettling. Liberals, Murray charges, are harming the underclass by asserting that all lifestyles are equally valid — when they know from their own experience that conventional behavior leads to the best economic and educational outcomes.
So you are telling me that conservative states have higher divorce rates, crime, and teen pregnancy despite all of the talk about Jesus and Families? Shocker. (and I do mean that sarcastically) Democrats employ the same proletariat crushing tactics that Republicans use to win elections. And they chastise Republicans for doing it? Amazing. One of my favorite examples of political hypocrisy comes from former senator Larry Craig. In 1989 Larry Craig pushed for more severe punishment of representative Barney Frank for his involvement in a gay prostitution scandal. He was also one of the senators that pushed for impeachment when Clinton left presidential man chowder on a dress. Craig claimed to be a big “family values” kind of guy. Later, in 2007 he was arrested in a Minnesota airport after attempting to solicit gay sex in the men’s bathroom.
Below is map of how the sates voted in the last Presidential election. The states colored in red have some of the worst education systems in the country. There are exceptions and I am not trying to say that Democrats are smarter than Republicans. However, if you go from Texas all the way east (in red states), they pretty much make up the top ten list of worst education systems in the country. New Mexico is an exception that voted Blue and has a terrible public education system. So if I am not saying that Republicans are dumb, what am I saying? Republicans changed their marketing scheme about half a century ago to try and pull in “religious voters” or southerners (amongst a few other reasons; if you only click on one link in these ramblings, make this one the link). You need a poor education system to believe in a Zeus like god hanging out in the clouds, smiting non-believers, and taking faithful followers to Valhalla when they die. It is 2012 and religions have held on to concepts that became outdated when Galileo proved the Earth revolves around the sun.
Well, they may not have the family values that educated states have, but at least the Red States are not a financial burden to the country like those leaching Blue Democrat Devils right? I mean everyone knows that democrats are welfare sucking Lewinsky’s right? Well hold your horses. (Or fat women. Whichever is your preference.) This little nugget is from Ezra Klien of the Washington Post:
The red state ripoff
Over at the Fourth Branch, they’ve got a nice map showing the states that receive more than a dollar back for every dollar they pay in taxes (which they’ve coded red), and the states that receive less than a dollar back for every dollar they pay in taxes (which they’ve coded blue). Just to repeat: Red states are getting a good deal, and blue states a bad one. Here’s the map:
Remind you of anything?
Fourth Branch comments:
There is a very strong correlation, then, between a state voting for Republicans and receiving more in federal spending than its residents pay to the federal government in taxes (the rust belt and Texas being notable exceptions). In essence, those in blue states are subsidizing those in red states. Both red and blue states appear to be acting politically in opposition to their economic interests. Blue states are voting for candidates who are likely to continue the policies of red state subsidization while red states are voting for candidates who profess a desire to reduce federal spending (and presumably red state subsidization).
So states with money and education vote Democrat and states that rely on Federal Aid and lack education vote Republican? This seems counterintuitive. The states with money should be voting for Republicans, who claim that they offer lower tax rates and smaller government. States where the populace relies on federal aid (welfare programs) should be voting for democrats. I will put this link in here again because it is that interesting, but they did vote like that 50 years ago. So what happened? Marketing. The whole system is bullshit. Every politician is Republican from the standpoint of supporting big business. They do not give a shit about your stupid beliefs. Democrats or Republicans will say anything to get reelected. Why would people with money support an ideologue that advocates higher taxes? Why would poor people support an ideologue that would cut their welfare? It is because of the Argumentative Theory of Reasoning. Just like sports teams, or middle east conflicts, or who is in the BCS championship, it is not about what is right, it is only about suppressing the other side. Take for instance the Republican mantle of “smaller government and fiscal responsibility.” Since Regan, the National debt has increased under each Republican administration and decreased under Clinton. (Regan was by far the worst in ballooning the deficit. Data is not complete on Obama’s administration yet. It also does not help his numbers when the economy collapsed just as he took the office from G.W.B.; You can check on this here and here.) While there is only one full term Democrat president in a 30 year period, I believe it offers a window into policy making. Republicans do lower taxes, but they refuse to cut federal assistance because it would be politically unpopular. In Regan’s case, he actually increased the size of government when he started an expanded arms race with Russia that was very costly. (The economy was also shifting from a manufacturing based economy to a service based economy. I don’t know how much influence Regan or the previous administrations had over that. Maybe none at all, but it was during the 80’s that large manufacturing cites lost a lot of industry. That is not going to help your bottom line). Clinton and Democrats tend to raise taxes while keeping the same programs and policies they lambast Republicans for. This includes tax cuts and loop holes for the rich and military spending. The only difference between the two parties is the tax rates. The deficit went down during the Clinton/Democrat administration because they taxed people. Not because of magic or voodoo, which Paul Ryan seems to be relying on. Nobody gives a shit about your stupid belief system. They only care about holding power. They exploit our inability to instinctually view an argument with logic. That is why politicians can say crazy things that are factually inaccurate and people don’t hold them accountable. If you are on their side you don’t care. If you are not on their side, you care, but you were already against them. If you are undecided, you probably have stupid things to say like “I want a family values candidate” or “religious guy” or a “president I feel like I can have a beer with.” None of those statements mean anything when it comes to policy making, but people win and lose every election cycle based on non-specific criteria like that. Now the political spectrum has devolved into arguing about gay people and keeping women in the kitchen. Nobody really cares what an ideology means or what impact it will have. They only care about being on the winning side.
Next time you are in an argument with someone over Steelers/Ravens, Red/Blue, Hatfield/McCoys, or Team Jacob/Team Edward, just remember that in one part of the country stupid people vote to have their welfare taken away and in other parts stupid people vote to have their big salaries taxed at a higher rate. When it all comes together we are all voting for the same greedy politicians to steal our money. If that doesn’t bring us together then what… wait that was ridiculous. That will never bring us together. The only thing that will ever change the system is to create term limits for congressmen. How do you get a group of people to vote for firing themselves though? Steal away politicos.