Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Constant Volume

Our nation has an information problem. We turn our backs on truth and follow rumor and innuendo. Intellect and reason are too easily dismissed for emotion. And too many people tune in to the national telenovela we call the 24 hour news cycle. A lot of folks ignore what goes on down their block so they can better focus on some issue far away.

Need proof? The oil hasn't really "vanished." There isn't really a mosque at "Ground Zero." Our troops are still in Iraq, and still haven't found the Weapons of Mass Destruction. Our President is not a Muslim, and he was not born in Kenya or Indonesia. Yet there are so many people who will believe every one of those things, while their local schools fall to pieces.

And, no, I couldn't care less where Michelle Obama goes on vacation or where John Kerry parks his yacht. I still don't think you can advertise oil off the beach; you have to actually send people and machines to do that. I still don't think we can round up and deport every illegal immigrant; they will keep coming here as long as we keep ignoring the people who pay them to do so. If you want marriage to come with specific government-sponsored perks, you can't keep other consenting adults from recieving those same perks because they are homosexuals. Hell, I'm single - where the F are my government sponsored perks?

In such an atmosphere of disinformation, fabrication and pettiness - especially where patently ludicrous ideas are entertained in the interest of "balance" - you will pardon those of us who constantly remind you of the facts you do not want to hear. Especially around this time of the year, when a lot of journalists who live in New York, Washington and Los Angeles like to tell some Disneyfied version of what happened five years ago.

Fifty-One Percent of New Orleans is Above Sea Level. New Orleans did not flood from torrential rains. Hurricane Katrina damaged but did not "hit" New Orleans. Storm damage and flooding was magnified by man-made factors affecting both the environment that limits flooding from storm surges and the engineering designed specifically to protect this city from flooding.

The response to the emergency was heroic on a personal level and disasterous on a government level. There is no one easy explanation; there is no one official to blame. It is a complex story that is constantly oversimplified and presented incorrectly to an American public too willing to believe the media pundits they claim not to trust.

So, yes, every time someone get it wrong, they will and should be loudly corrected in the most public of ways. Please do not expect those of us who have the facts to apologize for this behavior, or to tone it down.

(HT: Jeffrey's FB links.)

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