Monday, December 13, 2010

Proof that liberals are sheep

My heading above is mainly spin. I put it up to counter the Leftist spin that has been put on the findings below. Several interpretations are possible but by far the safest conclusion is that it needs much more research before we do ANY generalizing from the admittedly rather striking set of findings below. There is a considerable history of perceptual findings such as those below not generalizing at all, the research on perceptual "rigidity", for instance

It goes without saying that conservatives and liberals don't see the world in the same way. Now, research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln suggests that is exactly, and quite literally, the case.

In a new study, UNL researchers measured both liberals' and conservatives' reaction to "gaze cues" -- a person's tendency to shift attention in a direction consistent with another person's eye movements, even if it's irrelevant to their current task -- and found big differences between the two groups.

Liberals responded strongly to the prompts, consistently moving their attention in the direction suggested to them by a face on a computer screen. Conservatives, on the other hand, did not.

Why? Researchers suggested that conservatives' value on personal autonomy might make them less likely to be influenced by others, and therefore less responsive to the visual prompts.

"We thought that political temperament may moderate the magnitude of gaze-cuing effects, but we did not expect conservatives to be completely immune to these cues," said Michael Dodd, a UNL assistant professor of psychology and the lead author of the study.

Liberals may have followed the "gaze cues," meanwhile, because they tend to be more responsive to others, the study suggests.

"This study basically provides one more piece of evidence that liberals and conservatives perceive the world, and process information taken in from that world, in different ways," said Kevin Smith, UNL professor of political science and one of the study's authors.

"Understanding exactly why people have such different political perspectives and where those differences come from may help us better understand the roots of a lot of political conflict."

The study involved 72 people who sat in front of a white computer screen and were told to fixate on a small black cross in its center. The cross then disappeared and was replaced by a drawing of a face, but with eyes missing their pupils. Then, pupils appeared in the eyes, looking either left or right. Finally, a small, round target would appear either on the left or right side of the face drawing.

Dodd said the participants were told that the gaze cues in the study did not predict where the target would appear, so there was no reason for participants to attend to them. "But the nature of social interaction tends to make it very difficult to ignore the cues, even when they're meaningless," he said.



Obama nominee says: "We are coming for the media and that’s not all"

Blatant totalitarian thinking from Van Jones. Commentary on it below. Video at link below

Tell me something I don’t know. The big take-away that people are getting from this is how they want to take over the media. We already know that Al Not-So-Sharpton is meeting with the FCC soon to put pressure on them to create new ways of regulating talk radio for the explicit purpose of taking down Rush Limbaugh. It’s all about baby steps, and this is one of them. Once the new regulation is in place, then they will use it against those whoever they want to shut down, like Rush, Hannity, Levin, Beck, and so on. And part of that process will be figuring out a way to regulate cable, i.e. Fox News, so they can do the same with that.

Look, anyone who doesn’t think they are serious about this is foolish. But this is about much more than the media.

Honestly, the part that I thought was most important from this wasn’t about the media, but what he says about the next two years. They are gaming, and gaming hard to win the hearts and minds of the public. Think about it. Every time they mention Republicans behind a microphone they are demonizing them as racists, terrorists, hostage-takers, selfish white men, slurpee-drinking incompetent boobs, etc. And for the next 2 years, who will they say is governing? We all know that Republicans can’t pass major legislation because they don’t have the Senate or the Executive, but the Democrats will do their damnedest to make it look like the Republicans are so extreme that they can’t get anything done. They will work even harder to paint Republicans as extremists and will say they can’t work with them because they are outside the mainstream.

Mark Levin is so dead on the money with this that it’s pathetic. The radical message is being set up to be the moderate mainstream message, which will leave the conservative message looking extreme, especially to those who aren’t paying attention. This is why we need the Republicans to stop behaving passively like gentlemen opening the door for a nice lady, and to put on the camo and arm themselves with message cannons. The only way the public will resist this radical message is if Republicans give them a choice and start calling these people out for who they are, and with a very loud voice.

You may be thinking right now that they have the media and how can we overcome that? Well I would say just look at Chris Christie and tell me that his message hasn’t gotten out there in New Jersey. A lot of people nowadays are wanting to beat up on him because he continues to use his loud voice to tell the truth. Just look at the media, as they are trying to paint him as a bully. But the man knows what he is doing and is not going to let them control the debate. He will continue to hammer his message, that the Unions are corrupt and are stealing money from the citizens of New Jersey, and that a more fiscal, smaller government is the only way to get out of this mess. And that’s what we need in DC.

Look, we’ve done a great job so far over the last 2 years with the Tea Parties, but if we relax now because we have a Republican House, then we risk losing everything we’ve worked for. The next 2 years are the most crucial if we want to get our country back and we MUST carry the torch for freedom even higher. We must force the Republicans to use every available chance to hammer home the message that the radicals are in DC and they are trying to steal our liberty, our country. And we must fight them off. That means calling the President out for who he is to, because he is one of them.



America must not follow the British example

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, picked the wrong moment to drive down Regent Street in London en route to a Royal Variety performance the other night. Several hundred protestors attacked their car and cries of “off with their heads” and “Tory scum” were heard. Scary stuff. The images coming in from across the pond—images of violent protests in London—are disturbing to most Americans. But if some are tempted to find comfort in the idea that what is going on over there could never happen here, they should think again.

At issue in the United Kingdom is the announced policy change, more than a year under discussion and review, to subsidize less of the college tuition of students. In the recent past, the top amount (calculated here in dollars) a student would pay for a year’s tuition is $4,800. The proposed new cap is $14,500. Bear in mind that this is a system that subsidizes tuition at both public and private colleges, though our cousins have their “private” and “public” labels reversed, much like their driving lanes.

That’s right, the idea is that to go to “Oxbridge” (Oxford or Cambridge—think Harvard or Yale) will now cost a maximum of $14,500—a great deal by American standards. Though admittedly it was an even better deal at $4,800. Of course, the rest of the real cost was being paid by the taxpayer.

As a reference point, the current average cost of a year’s tuition at a private college in the United States is $27,293—nearly twice as much as the new British cap.

The current turbulence in Great Britain is a case study about what happens when a society tries to take from people something they have grown to see as part of what they are owed: an entitlement. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the protestors are young people accents this point. This is a generation that has no reason to see it any other way. They are already a generation removed from that era of electoral and cultural sanity in the realm known as the age of the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.

Though she is in the twilight of her days, her very funeral plans being a national discussion, she must be aghast at what she is viewing on the “Telly.” But something she said long ago is very much at play right now in her nation, across the continent of Europe, and wherever the seeds of entitlement-driven protest are sown, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Indeed.

One of the saddest recent reports I’ve seen is one about a student urinating on the Winston Churchill statue in Parliament Square. The statue has also been defaced with graffiti calling the great man various names, most too ugly to print. This is what happens when self-absorption reaches cultural critical mass. The lessons of the past are forgotten, and the keys to a good future are forsaken, all in a cult of “me-ism.”

Never mind that these bums (to use a Nixon term that just seems to fit) wouldn’t have a park to piss in if not for people like Mr. Churchill. He rallied a nation, including those college age at the time, to save the world. But back then, the people he worked with had been through the fiery trial of Great Depression-driven deprivation and likely had little of the sense of entitlement of subsequent generations. He once said: "The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery." Welcome to misery 101.

Writing in the U.K.’s Guardian, Gary Younge (a writer based in the U.S.) has suggested that current and recent student revolts around the world are a good thing. He wants that “their energy, enthusiasm, militancy, rage and raucousness might burn in us all.”

Younge sees the protests as nothing surprising because, “More than one in five people under the age of 25 in the EU is unemployed. In Spain the figure is 43%; in Greece 30%; in Italy 26%. Meanwhile the principle that education is a public good, to which all are entitled, all contribute, and all benefit through a more competitive economy, is in its death throes.” Did you catch that? The issue is that education is a basic good or right “to which all are entitled.”

Let’s think about this. If someone tries to take, say, your freedom of speech or worship away, would you fight for it? Yes. These are rights—rights that imply responsibilities. If someone tries to take your car away, would you resist that? Sure. It’s your property. It’s the natural response to something unfair and unjust. So it is logical that those protesting see what is being taken from them in the same way. Not saying they’re right—just conceding that they have no reason to think or feel otherwise. In a sense, they are entitled to their sense of entitlement. And that’s the root problem.

This is the long-term damage socialism does. It gets under the cultural skin and in its DNA and becomes part of the mix of life itself. Which is why Americans should be vigilant at this hour to make sure the recent turn away from this path to decadence becomes a significant directional cue for our immediate and long-term future. Because we, too, are at least a generation removed from the last time socialism was successfully stigmatized and marginalized in the age of Reagan.

Long before Ronald Reagan became our 40th President, while he served as Governor of California, he had his own encounter with student protestors at the University of California at Berkeley. Were he around today, he’d likely reprise what he said back then for the benefit of college students in the U.K and everywhere else: “Higher education is a privilege and not a right so these hoodlums should be thrown out. They are spoiled brats who do not deserve to be at a great state university.”

Now, that’d be a cool sound bite.




More Democrat corruption: "The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today reacted with disgust to reports regarding a surreptitious move by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to legalize online gambling for just poker. The attempt is an abuse of the legislative process to benefit one of Sen. Reid’s largest campaign contributors, Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc., in Las Vegas... Both Politico and The Wall Street Journal have reported on Reid’s attempts to attach language to the tax bill that would legalize only online poker, which would benefit casinos in the state of Nevada disproportionately, and Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. in particular, since the company owns the World Series of Poker."

SSI: Another do-gooder program with unintended side effects: "A Globe investigation has found that this Supplemental Security Income program — created by Congress primarily to aid indigent children with severe physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and blindness — now largely serves children with relatively common mental, learning, and behavioral disorders such as ADHD. It has also created, for many needy parents, a financial motive to seek prescriptions for powerful drugs for their children. And once a family gets on SSI, it can be very hard to let go. The attraction of up to $700 a month in payments, and the near-automatic Medicaid coverage that comes with SSI approval, leads some families to count on a child’s remaining classified as disabled, even as his or her condition may be improving.”

Bureaucracy makes new drugs difficult to develop: "Make no mistake about it: we had more potential products than the company could put on the market. Development programs took over a decade, involved people from all over the company, and doctors from all over the world. Development was very, very expensive. Upjohn could only have about 20 compounds in development at any one time, and we were probably over-extended with that number.”

The Fed vastly expands moral hazard: "When the government bails out banks with shaky loans, it’s providing insurance after the fact. The banks expected it. They expect it in the future. The moral hazard persists and grows larger. They respond by maintaining and making more risky loans. The government promises all sorts of payoffs and wealth transfers that insure various groups. These all encourage greater risk-taking, which is the effect of the moral hazard.”

Six companies that haven’t wussed out of working with WikiLeaks: "Giants like PayPal,, Visa and MasterCard almost instantly crumbled under government (and p.r.) pressure to drop WikiLeaks, depriving the site of vital funding sources and online platforms. But other companies, some of them small, independent start-ups, have decided to risk the wrath of Joe Lieberman, the State Department, and their European counterparts and help keep WikiLeaks afloat by providing funding sources (yeah, you can now donate to WikiLeaks even if you only have Visa or MasterCard) and hosting the site. Here’s a list of companies that have stood by WikiLeaks …”

“F” as in Fed: "The Federal Reserve, America’s fatally conceited monetary central planner, is not terribly popular these days — which is cause for hope — and now we have a report card on the entire Fed era that strongly supports the view that we’d be better off without it. At the very least, as the authors suggest, the burden of proof is squarely on those who would retain the central bank.”

There is a new lot of postings by Chris Brand just up -- on his usual vastly "incorrect" themes of race, genes, IQ etc.


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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


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