Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Archive for June 30th, 2008

Do the media *want* the economy to go to hell?

Posted by sanityinjection on June 30, 2008

If not, why do they keep posting inflammatory stories like CNBC’s latest news video, “Worst June Since 1930”? Yes, I’m sure there is some economic indicator that is worse than any time since June 1930, but the fact is that technically the US is not even in a recession yet, much less a depression. In fact, economists continue to express suprise that the economy has been relatively stable despite the very serious pressures on it.

Do these dimwits not understand that the economy is very susceptible to speculation? The more they sensationalize the extent of the economic problem, the worse they will make it, because people will believe they are right and act accordingly.

How about more stories like this one from Reuters posted today – “The U.S. economy continues to bump along at a slow level of growth but has probably not fallen into recession…the United States is managing to stay in the positive growth column.”

I am not for one moment suggesting that anyone engage in inaccurate reporting or trivialize the seriousness of the economic situation. It is entirely possible that we may go into recession given the inflationary pressure of oil prices. (It’s actually amazing that we haven’t seen widespread inflation yet – maybe because companies know only too well what will happen to the economy if they try to pass along all the extra costs to consumers and are doing their best to absorb the oil shocks for as long as they can. See if they ever get credit for that bit of enlightened self-interest.)

And yet, the media act as if a recession is the harbinger of Armageddon itself. We have had a few recessions in the last 60 years or so. None have done permanent damage to the economy, and after each we came back stronger than ever.

So ladies and gentlemen of the Fourth Estate, it is time to do what you hate most of all: accept some responsibility for the role you play in affecting the course of events, and stop spinning every economic indicator as if it means the sky is falling. You are not going to get any medals for being prophets if we do end up in recession, so stop trying to predict it over and over again, lest your predictions come true, and just report what is actually happening, whether good or ill.

Posted in Domestic News | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Quote of the day

Posted by sanityinjection on June 30, 2008

In a piece on the continuing assault on freedom of speech in Canada, David Warren of the Ottawa Citizen concludes with this beauty:

“The very notion that “your freedom ends when I begin to feel offended” must be shown for what it is: totalitarian flotsam in the foetid swamp of “politically correct thought.””

To quote the “Men on Film” sketch from the 1980s TV comedy “In Living Color”: I give it a “Zorro snap” in Z formation.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/keep_fighting.html

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Don’t be fooled by the idiotic title of this column.

Posted by sanityinjection on June 30, 2008

“Who was more important? Lincoln or Darwin?”

No doubt some moronic Newsweek editor’s attempt to hoodwink his or her more pedestrian audience members into reading what is really an essay on the comparative writing of two major historical figures by making it sound like an ESPN SportsNation poll question. (I’ll spoil it for you: Lincoln wins.)

Stupid hypothetical competitions between dead people aside, the article is full of fascinating tidbits and insights about these two men, born on the same day (February 12, 1809) who have had such a huge influence not only in their own century but in the one that followed as well. Here are just a few:

  • Providing hope for underachievers everywhere, neither man showed any signs of their future greatness as a young adult.
  • Darwin probably could not have succeeded in today’s scientific world (which ironically adulates a modified form of his theory with something like religious fervor) because his ideas were so revolutionary that they would never have attracted grant money or survived the peer review process. Fortunately, he was from a wealthy family.
  • In Lincoln’s second inaugural speech in 1865, he explains to a war-weary nation that as much as we would all like the war to end,  sometimes it is more important to pursue what is right even when that pursuit comes at great cost. (Please don’t make me explain how this is relevant to current events.)

Full article is here: http://www.newsweek.com/id/143742/page/1

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Conservativism, civil rights, and racial policy

Posted by sanityinjection on June 30, 2008

Your Sanity Injection returns from hiatus with a true gem of a column.  It can be very hard for those of us born after 1960 to understand how mainstream conservatives could have so strongly opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which nowadays is viewed by all but the most radical fringe as one of the great achievements in the history of American public policy.

The author of this brilliant piece, William Voegeli, uses the writings and thought of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley as a vehicle to examine the attitude of conservativism as a whole to civil rights and racial policy in America.  Voegeli’s criticism of the conservative movement stings  because, unlike political partisans, he takes the time to aim it precisely: Conservatives were on the wrong side of history not because their concerns about Federal power trampling states’ rights were a mask for underlying racism, as liberals then and now have accused, but because they utterly failed to offer an alternative solution that would have secured the civil rights of black Americans, and were, in the final analysis, content to do nothing about a problem that was far more important in the daily lives of millions than constitutional questions of government jurisdiction.

However, Voegeli goes on to show how this failure destroyed the credibility of conservatives on racial policy issues going forward, pointing out that conservative criticisms of forced busing and affirmative action went unheeded for this reason, to the detriment of the country as a whole.

Be forewarned, this is a long essay and clearly written for the intellectual reader. It is, however, extremely well written, strikingly insightful, and eminently worth taking the time to read. I commend it both to liberals who truly believe that conservatives are racists as well as to conservatives who cannot understand why they think so:

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/civil_rights_the_conservative.html

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »