Tuesday, August 09, 2005

New Poll Data

Now, I don't think polls are that accurate, per se. But I do find them interesting. Here's a new one that suggests that more Americans feel the same way I do about the "War" on terror. 56% of Americans beleive that the war on terror has made the country less safe from terror attacks, while only 34% are still under the delusion that the war on terror has made us safer.

I mean, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand how attacking a soverign nation in the middle of an already unstable region, occupying it indefinitely and causing the sorts of abuses that we are, would cause people to want to fight back against us.

And it's almost shocking that the number of people who have put 2 and 2 together is as low as 56%. It's shocking that the number of people who still believe in George Bush's skewed, unrealistic view of the situtation is as high as 36%. We need an informed electorate. I think the first thing to do to inform people is get rid of 24 hour news networks except for C-span and make people read 3 newspapers a day, each from a different country. Then they should listen to NPR. Maybe that's a little time-consuming. But people should go out of their way and spend time getting informed. I know a lot of people who are apathetic to anything that happens on a scale larger than their own front yard and it's disheartening. But spend time. Get informed and inform others.

I think people I know find me annoying because I start so many conversations with, "Did you hear what happened..." And then I'll finish the sentence with something I read in the news, heard on NPR or watched on C-span. (and I have to admit I'm a C-span junkie. When the senate is in session that is what I watch and listen to while I work. It's good times.)

11 comments:

poopeedoo said...

I agree that we need a more educated electorate, and I agreed with you on how to educate them up until NPR. Now really, I trust NPRs spin on things as much as Fox News "We report you decide". NPR is better at using educated op ed pieces to sway people, and Fox is better at using rude conservatives, but both push their agenda.

Bryan said...

Really, to be honest, I don't see a slant in NPR. I think NPR is as middle of the road as it gets. I mean, Diane Rehm had Rick Santorum on yesterday and the interview was run exactly the same way as she would have interviewed Ted Kennedy. I just don't buy "liberal bias" on NPR. I listen to NPR alot. Probably 10 or 15+ hours a week. Sometimes more, I'd doubt less. And sometimes there are things on that just annoy the piss out of me becuase I think they get a guest on that does add too conservative or liberal a slant. But that's in the guest. But I think that NPR is more fair on these people because they give them a much longer and in depth platform to speak from. And NPR is WAY more civil than pundits on television. It seems more calm.

I mean, what is NPR's agenda? It seems to me it's to inform people. I mean, what's Car Talk's agenda? Or Fresh Air's agenda? I think NPR serves as a way to inform people on way more than politics, it offers insight to lots of things. And alot of it is straight news. From the BBC no less, which I find way more reliable than the American media. What was NPR's agenda behind making the Star Wars radio dramatizations?

I don't think people look at the whole picture of what NPR does. How is science Friday with Ira Flato "biased?" I've never heard Neal Conan berate a guest on talk of the Nation and he often invites people he doesn't seem to agree with.

I truly don't believe there is any concerted bias at NPR.

Elias said...

As an avid NPR listener, i also have a hard time detecting this "Liberal bias" that so many people talk about. I listen to it because of their constant and relevant news and their utter lack of matress commercials. I think it is of the utmost importance that news does not rely on corprate sponsorship in order to keep afloat. That is where bias comes into the equasion. You can't get something for nothing, right? I could be wrong, but I would theorize that the reason that so many conservatives feel that there is so much bias at NPR is because they are more in depth than your average network news cast, and so much of their neo conservative platforrm and ideology simply crumbles under close scrutiny. Again, that is just a theory, I'd love to hear any others.

Bryan said...

Yes. I have to agree with Elias on the mattress commercial business. NPR and C-Span have cured me of commercial television and radio. I can't stand listening to anything approaching a commercial anymore. I love how NPR's commercial breaks (aside from the sponsor plugs) is just the news.

Fuck commericals.

poopeedoo said...

Now seriously, are you going to ask me where the bias is with the click and clack brothers. Obviously I wasn't talking about the specialty shows you were talking about, but of course I assumed you wanted people to listen to NPR so they could learn more about the world, and the news happening in it, not why John from Vermont is having a problem with his 1984 volvo sedan. I admit, I am not as avid a listener as yourself, I probably only listen about 5-8 hours a week and usually only to morning edition or all things considered. I enjoy their reporting, and really it doesn't annoy me nearly as much as Fox news, but it totally has a liberal slant to it. I consider myself an independent, far too conservative for your taste on some issues and far too liberal for my fathers taste on others. Let me give you an example of a week of broadcasting on NPR that I thought showed a bias. Two years ago after the massachusettes supreme court made the ruling on same sex marraiges, NPR ran op-ed pieces every morning on morning edition from a different person involved in the debate, but all of these op-ed pieces came from mem having sex with men or women having sex with women (thats the PC way to say homosexual in the medical field). One morning they did have a hard hitting interview of some "defend marriage" group after one of these op-ed pieces I guess to try and balance things out, but really it was a week devoted to educating the american people as to why they should all want same sex marriages to be nationally accepted. One reason NPR probably doesn't bother you at all is because you two personally are much more liberal than the slant they put on things, so to you it doesn't appear liberal at all, but it is. It is just like my super conservative buddy, who told me that Fox news was the only station reporting the truth about the issues during the election, I tried to convince him that they were pushing an agenda, but he told me they were as middle of the road as they come. But of course, I'm dumb, so no worries here.

Bryan said...

To be honest, I think that's a good thing. Why not talk to the people who are actually affected by legislation, as opposed to the people that are merely enflamed by it? Also, I don't feel like I'm that "liberal." I feel independent. But I feel like NPR doesn't go out of it's way to belittle people or their opinions (with the exception of Terry Gross, that one time, with Bill O'Reilly) and that although they don't exactly give equal time to every issue, they are balanced.

Take for example: Global warming. If you were to put on one scientist that beleived in it and another that didn't, that would seem balanced to a lot of people. But that would be way over-representing how much of the scientific community believes that global warming is poppycock. For actual balance you'd need 9 scientists to outweigh the one. So, balance is also in the eye of the beholder.

But my original point extended far beyond just news and politics. I think that NPR goes out of it's way to encourage programming that enriches us culturally as well. I've learned alot of things about a lot of different cultures thanks to NPR and I think it makes me a more understanding individual.

Also, what's wrong with nationalized Civil Unions? Sounds like a good thing to me.

Bryan said...

Also, I don't think you're dumb. I admire the fact that you would come here and argue with us.

poopeedoo said...

Since, you haven't posted anything else for me to disagree with, I guess I will just repost on this one. I thought it a little funny that you only think the homosexual community would be affected by civil unions. I know we have loads of extra tax money to throw around, but if you just look at the cost of lost taxes that would occur due to giving civil unions the same stature as civil marriages, you can kiss any form of socialized health care goodby. Now, I'm sure you're saying "yes, lets worry about tax money instead of worry about the rights of a discriminated minority"(sarcasm included). But that's not what I am saying. Here is my deal with marriage. The only reason the state has a vested interest in marriage is the ability of heterosexual couples to reproduce and thus have people to run the state in subsequent generations. You can argue with this point if you want, but really why are european countries with low birth rates giving incentives to couples to have babies, because, without a next generation who works and pays for my social security or medicare. Now, I know people will say that not all marriages have children, but most heterosexual marriages have the potential to have children. I know it would be totally pc and really kind to tell same sex couples that the state is willing to give them the same protections and priveleges as heterosexual couples at the expense of the state, but we shouldn't make political decisions on what makes our hearts swell like the grinches at the end of Dr. Seuses story.

Bryan said...

I can actually understand your argument against same-sex marriages. I don't agree with it, but it's one step above most arguments against it I hear. I think the thing it promotes is stability and fairness. Most of the rights granted aren't merely tax shelters or credits or incentives. What about power of attorney, medical decisions, inheritance, child custody, general happiness etc. All of these issues seem just as important, nee more important, than tax issues. It's not like there are so many tax paying homosexuals that would suddenly stop paying taxes if they recieved a modest tax incentive for marriage. And if that's your problem, advocate those rights, to make your heart swell like the grinch, but demand that they don't get the tax incentives. At least you'll be mostly for that happy feeling.

I mean, there are studies, although I can't site them off the top of my head and I might be wrong, that explain why allowing them civil unions and marriage incentives would actually be a boon to the economy. I'll have to look for those...

poopeedoo said...

Well as far as power of attorney, medical decisions, inheritance, child custody, general happiness etc. Same sex couples can accomplish having all of those(besides general happines, which is really a personal decision anyways) with the use of an attorney and some paper work, no need for any type of civil union, just some extra time and money. The most important rights same sex couples are seeking they can have right now with an attorneys help. No need to ruffle half the countries feathers, just accept, that inherently same sex couples can't reproduce, and the state shouldn't regulate their relationships, and use an attorney to work out the details between the partners.

But of course that is not what the movement for same sex unions is all about. It is a discriminated minority that is tired of being pushed around, and now that they are more powerful, they want the rest of the nation to give them "rights" and for some reason they have decided that it is worth fighting over this one. I personally don't agree with their stance, but of course I am a heterosexual white male, who has never been discriminated against, so who I am I to tell them which battles to pick. They can fight all they want, its their right.

Bryan said...

I just think a citizen of this country has the right to pick who they want to marry, as long as that person is a consenting adult. Two men have the right to get married, but only if those two men marry a woman? Why not each other? Who cares.

There are studies out there that prove that giving homosexuals the right to civil unions would be a boon to the economy. Maybe I said that before, I don't remember. We've been on this topic for a long time...