Natural Disasters

Everyone's a Winner!

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Jim Henley summarizes the post-Katrina commentary:

From what I can tell in the last couple days' reading, Katrina has chiefly served to confirm people in their previously held views. Liberals proclaim it proof of the need for a robust federal government (shades of Bill Moyers in September 2001), conservatives find themselves confirmed in their belief in the overriding importance of social order vigorously enforced, and libertarians regard the disaster and its aftermath as an exemplary failure of government….Environmentalists amaze themselves with the realization that Katrina proves we need cars with better gas mileage and religious nuts of all persuasions discern the hand of God smiting their—and, need it be said, his own—enemies.

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  1. I think it’s fairly obvious that Katrina only validates my opinion and nobody elses!

  2. So Katrina was sort of like a big Rorschach blot?

  3. This is a large part of the reason why I often think discussing politics is futile and a waste of time. Usually I only bother participating if I think a persuasive argument can be made on a particular topic, or to clear a misunderstanding of a viewpoint. (Or otherwise I am probably just airing another conspiracy theory of mine).

  4. Jesse, you mean ‘His own’. Or would it be His Own.
    Or maybe you were right the first time. Couldn’t help myself.

  5. Conform the facts to your beliefs. Situation normal.

  6. So Katrina was sort of like a big Rorschach blot?

    No. Everyone knows that the flooded area looked exactly like a baby in the second trimester.

    duh.

  7. I know I don’t post here much, but I am from the new Orleans area and have managed to lose everything I own as a result of the hurricane, and have not been here in weeks. However, I am moving to Austin with only the clothes on my back where I will have internet access. I look forward to being here again as well as reading through the archives I have missed in the past week. By any chance did Gunnels start posting again when I was gone? It would make everything so much better.

  8. “This is a large part of the reason why I often think”…I should only talk to people who think like me. Otherwise, what passes for communication is just wishful thinking.

    Next! Use smacky’s opening to start your comment.

  9. Comment? I meant snark.

  10. Dave B–

    I’m very sorry to hear of your predicament.

    Gary Gunnels is dead, but was reincarnated as Hakluyt.

  11. I’m being completely serious when I suggest that at the Manhattan meetup we take up a collection and send dave b a gift certificate to a department store of his choosing, to help him start on establishing his new life.

    My attendance probability is 75% right now, but even if I can’t join you guys I’ll chip in.

    We can’t help everybody, but we can help somebody.

  12. saw-whet,

    Don’t go putting words in my mouth now. I guess you do make a good point about communication. Still, my core values (and everyone else’s) are pretty much going to stay the same, that’s all I’m saying. It’s true. I’m not going to wake up a communist tomorrow because I wasted many hours of my life reading arguments pro-commie. There are some instances in which a person’s viewpoints are unchanging, usually in the broader spectrum. I was simply making the point that smaller issues might actually produce changed opinions, whereas you aren’t going to turn a lifelong liberal into a conservative or vice versa.

  13. Thoreau–

    That sounds like a great idea. I hope you CAN make it. Heck, you and Mr. Nice Guy can come together to save on carfare!

  14. I think it’s terribly inaccurate to lump the libertarian “this proves the failure of government” arguments in with, say, the “this is proof that jebus hates fags” crowd. There are mountains of verifiable proof that of the government’s massive ineptness and failure. Meanwhile, all the “this is proof of global warming fucking us over” crowd can muster is anecdotal bullshit and their own perceptions, without much proof of anything. I saw an article in the Boston Globe, wherein the author simply blamed every single out-of-the-ordinary weather disturbance on global warming, without a shred of evidence. She just kept listing bad weather occurances, then capped the sentence with “it was caused by global warming”.

    Meanwhile, take a shuffle on over to Radley Balko’s The Agitator. Check out his coverage of government ineptness, as well as the private sector’s ability/willingness to fill in the vast gaps.

    It’s simply irresponsible to lump that kind of verifiable argument in with the other loonies listed. I get Henley’s overriding point, of course, that it’s just a way for people to confirm their prior viewpoints. However, there MUST be a distinction made between those arguments that are very valid and entirely verifiable, and those that are based on anecdote, superstition, and belief.

  15. Evan Williams,

    Testify! I agree.

  16. There are mountains of verifiable proof that of the government’s massive ineptness and failure.

    But to play devil’s advocate, Evan, the fact that the government disaster agencies we have failed completely doesn’t necessarily mean that government disaster agencies themselves are an inherently bad idea.

  17. Smacky,

    Maybe not a lifelong liberal, but, hell, it was these kinds of discussions that rescued me from my mother’s leftist viewpoints that I was raised on. Don’t discount them, because I am living proof that what you discount is possible. I’d venture that a great many other people have changed their viewpoints over time. No, this particular argument might to change someone instantly, but the aggregate is an entirely different story.

  18. Smacky, I can’t believe you are taking me seriously. Stern warning – Never take me seriously. Have I ever been serious on this forum before? No.

    So you see I have a proven, solid, unblemished record. Kind of like dhex and ruthless except less frequent.

  19. dave b. – sorry to hear about your loss.

    thoreau: you’re going to be at the nyc meet? fucking a!

  20. Liberals proclaim it proof of the need for a robust federal government…

    “Government failed! What we need is more government!”

    What’s the old saw about repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results?

  21. the fact that the government disaster agencies we have failed completely doesn’t necessarily mean that government disaster agencies themselves are an inherently bad idea.

    Not necessarily—there can be no situational evidence that will INHERENTLY prove that. It must be done in conjunction with both principled explanations of why, along with shining examples of alternatives. I think, personally, Balko does that quite well.

    At the same time, there is also the secondary argument to be made: that our distractions elsewhere, and the drains on resources that they are, are responsible as well. Pointing out, for example, that the Army Corps of Engineer’s budget was cut in part because of Iraq, is an excellent ancillary argument against the war, at least in pragmatic terms. It doesn’t necessarily mean the war was a bad idea, but in conjunction with other arguments, provides another piece for the mountain of evidence.

  22. “This is a large part of the reason…” I only talk politics here. And sometimes I wonder about that!

  23. Jennifer:

    You guys probably discussed this already, but I think it would be fun if people at your gathering only identify themselves by their real names, and through the evening participants can guess who is who.

    You, of course, would be at a disadvatage, unless you can bring other 110 pound shotgun-wielding girls with you. In fact, I encourage it 🙂

  24. Dave_b: sorry to hear that, but welcome to Texas. Austin’s a pretty good town, got a lot going on. I’m not sure what your job situation is, but I know my employer (at which I’m merely an entry-level cog, and thusly can’t really be of much more help than this), is always looking for folks. Careers website here.

  25. Mr. Nice Guy–

    I don’t have a shotgun yet. I wish I’d though tto want one when I still lived in Virginia–there were NO shortage of places there where a petite woman could go and say “Hey, y’all, anybody care to teach me the fundamentals of shootin’?” It’s different up here in Yankee country.

    As for your idea, since I was the Mistress of the E-mails, I have an advantage in that I at least know the e-mail addresses of the intended attendees.

    I don’t think there’s going to be more than four women, total, so as the only redhead I’ll be pretty easy to pick out. You and Thoreau should come on up.

  26. Yeah, I’ll add my voice to the chorus of “this is why I don’t like talking politics”. At first I was afraid I was just becoming a knee-jerk set in my ways and unopen to differing viewpoints, but then I ran into a guy who somehow managed to hold vastly differing views, argue them passionately, and still come off as respecting me even when we disagreed. Then I realized what I couldn’t stand is people unopen to alternate points of view (and when I say unopen, I don’t just mean someone saying “I’m not listening”, but also the people who listen long enough to find rhetorical barbs on which to impale their opponents. Sitting around “listening” to someone’s argument while looking for ways to make him appear foolish or evil is not being open to alternate views). And then I realized what I sought for were people earnestly trying to find the proper perspective, understanding their legacy is not a development of a morally correct position but the fixing of mistakes of thought. I realized that I enjoyed arguments a lot more when both sides were interested in testing their knowledge and learning new things, not staking a claim to the moral high ground and defending it to the death.

  27. I’ve learned that I’ve been underestimating the bias and dramatization of news coverage, and I hadn’t before realized that almost nobody knows much about which they report.

    I had a low opinion before, mind you. But, holy crap, some people don’t know east from west.

    But then, what does an “on the scene” reporter do? Blow in to some place that they may have never visited before, and attempt to explain a complex situation in simple terms, parroting whatever resonates with their own pre-conceived Rorschach interpretation. Then, the next week, the same drill in a new place.

    And so many of us base our lives on the misinterpretations of these vagabonds.

    Scholars, theorists and bloggers are great for discussions and arguments about what they have learned and come to believe. They serve points along the long tail. Journalists dance up and down the whole bell curve, claiming to offer truth, but it seems they specialize in not knowing anything too deeply.

  28. dave_b,

    I live in Austin. Email me if you need support.

  29. “As for your idea, since I was the Mistress of the E-mails, I have an advantage in that I at least know the e-mail addresses of the intended attendees.”

    i don’t really see how that helps, unless we’re going to be writing them on our arms or whatever. which is fine, i mean…i guess that’s how they do stuff in other parts of ‘merica.

    battlestar smacktastica: never discount the possibility of communicating with someone on some level. it’s the only thing that makes life bearable.

  30. Evan,
    Do you really need me to go out and find verifiable proof that a lot of drinking and other sins went down in the Big Easy prior to the hurricane?
    It should be that hard.
    What is hard is making the leap from those sins to God did this. Just like for you it is not clear that George W. Bush Administration effed up, therefore, all governments everywhere will always eff up.
    Frankly, the leaps are almost exactly the same, except one has different preconceived assumptions about the word.

  31. sorry…
    “It should be that hard.”
    should be
    “It should not be that hard.”

    and it should end with assumptions about the world.

  32. Dynamist,

    Newscasters are the rhetoricians and poets of the modern age. They practice “speaking well”, something Socrates criticized endlessly. They speak well (sometimes), but always with little to no content.

    Evan Williams,

    You make a good point. I guess that’s why I sometimes have political conversations with one of my close friends. She is (or was) indoctrinated into Bush’s cult of personality for quite a while. Sometimes I think having political conversations with her may slowly be chipping away at her staunchly Republican exterior and may possibly reach the spongy Libertarian core someday that I hope is there. I hope. But typically, I don’t talk politics to heavily on this site. Usually by the time I reach the thread, most astute observations have already been made by someone else, or otherwise the obvious ones have been. Plus, with the exceptions of posters like joe, it’s usually just preaching to the converted.

    saw-whet,

    Sorry I took you seriously. I wasn’t sure if you were joking, so I erred on the side of caution. I promise not to do it again. ^_^

  33. Sorry, I meant “too heavily”.

    Jennifer,

    You have another advantage at the guessing game, at least in identifying me.

  34. Well, to be honest, it’s not a real leap to claim this as the Hand of God. After all, He’s made his bread and butter on stunts like this. But seeing as no man can know His mind, determining His reason for the disaster is another matter entirely. You say it’s because He hates homosexuals or former slave-owners, I say it’s because the Hurricane is a stupid drink that was just asking for trouble. That and He really wants a football team in LA.

  35. smacky, I like your comparison to rhetoricians. To be clear, it is not just the talking heads, but also the writing fingers that spout emptiness. If you give me the text of a Times-Picayune story about Katrina, I can tell you if it was a staff report or something picked up from AP.

  36. Smacky–

    You didn’t identify yourself in those photos.

  37. dave-b,

    Sorry to hear about your wipe-out. I hope your family is OK.

    Welcome to Austin. Please contact me by email. I’ll buy you lunch and advise you on how to navigate the city. Perhaps we can have a Reasonoid get together with Timothy, Shannon Love, and M1EK (and others?)

  38. Oh. I figured you’d guess who I was by process of elimination.

  39. Jennifer,

    Not that’s it’s neccessarily consequential. I might not even be able to make the Manhattan gathering. I’m a poor Clevelander. From what I hear, NY parking would probably consume my entire budget. Plus, there are other things besides the cost that are prohibitive to my plans.

  40. Distance, for one.
    The distance/gas prices equation being another.

  41. Maybe God just doesn’t like jazz. Makes as much sense as anything else I’ve heard…

  42. Jim Walsh–

    My theory is that it was Satan who destroyed New Orleans. After all, the only part of the city to make it through relatively unscathed was the super-debauched French Quarter, which clearly demonstrates that Satan wanted to wipe out the parts of the city where virtue might possibly flourish, leaving behind nothing but a beautifully corrupt seed of evil waiting to sprout into a strong new plant of decadence.

  43. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that what we all see in the same event depends on pre-existing political beliefs.

    People’s political beliefs do not depend on the specifics of any particular problem but instead arise from complex models of causality that they use to describe the entire world. These causality models are often assumed quite unconsciously but they provide the backdrop for everything we think. That is why the same people line up on the same side of political debates time after time. People with the same causality models come to the same conclusions when they plug the same problem into the model.

    Shared causality models explain why a person’s stance on say, Gay Marriage is a strong predictor of their stance on the Iraq war even though the two issues have little superficial commonality. The details of each issue do not matter. Instead, people make decisions based on their assessment of the worth of traditional roles and institutions. People with little respect for tradition support gay marriage and oppose the war whereas people who respect traditions do the opposite.

    Real world events rarely shake peoples adherence to their models because the models are integral and logically consistent with their own axioms. The models are so complex that they can explain virtually every event that occurs. Sudden changes of models seldom results from an intellectual process driven by new information but instead usually comes from an intense emotional event such as close proximity to an act of violence.

    Real political debate means getting people to address their often unconscious assumptions about causality. Until you do that its just a sport.

  44. Dave b,

    Sorry to hear about your predicament. Still, Austin is a great town, but I’m sure you know that already.

    Heck, you should have moved here to DC. There are a ton of DHS positions coming open and they pay great!

    *ducks*

  45. Shannon, you mean like the unconscious assumption that the only reason someone might support gay marriage is because they have “little respect for tradition?” That kind of unconscious assumption?

  46. When is the gathering again? Not much of a chance I’ll make it, but I was planning on going to the DC area for Christmas.

    Hear, hear, Evan.

    And giving god credit/blame for Katrina presupposes that such a being exists, which is a leap of faith right off the bat, so I can’t really even go there.

    Maybe an actual meteorologist can give a scientific answer (knowing full well that there are things even they aren’t sure of).

  47. People with little respect for tradition support gay marriage and oppose the war whereas people who respect traditions do the opposite.

    People with little respect for tradition support abolition whereas people who respect traditions do the opposite.
    —Great-Great-Great Grandma Love, circa 1850

    People with little respect for tradition support the suffrage of women whereas people who respect traditions do the opposite
    —Great-Grandma Love, circa 1918

  48. Grandma Love, a.k.a. : Grandma Gunnels….

    …. a.k.a. : …..Grandma gaius?

  49. Smacky–

    I never bought into the “Shannon-is-Gunnels” meme. But the idea of a Shannon-Gaius combo–ye gods and little fishes.

  50. Crushinator: I’m down for a reasonoid gathering in Austin, it’s not like San Antonio is so very far away, plus Austin is better.

  51. From what I hear, NY parking would probably consume my entire budget.

    Parking is free on many residential side streets and not too terribly difficult to find. When my friends from Buffalo drive in, they park in Queens and take the subway from there.

  52. Thanks for the info, Rhywun. Still, all costs aside, there are many other issues that may keep me from attending the NY gathering. Regardless, I won’t get into them here. I hope I can make it.

  53. Gee, Smacky, I hope you do. Right now, it looks like the only women there will be me (definitely), a female Reason staffer (possibly), and perhaps some lurkers. You maybe not going, Thoreau maybe not going–my one fear is that I show up and there won’t be a soul there I know, except for Jeff.

  54. I’m 99.9999% certain that Shannon and gaius are not one and the same.

    Shannon does have one good point, however: Why is it that if I know a person’s stance on gay marriage I can predict with much better than 50% accuracy where that person stands on Iraq? I can think of lots of different explanations, but I’m not sure any of them are right. Shannon’s guess is as good as anybody’s.

    If somebody in Austin meets Shannon in person, please say something nasty about France. The response or lack of response will answer one way or another the GG = SL hypothesis.

  55. Why is it that if I know a person’s stance on gay marriage I can predict with much better than 50% accuracy where that person stands on Iraq? I can think of lots of different explanations, but I’m not sure any of them are right.

    I think Shannon’s “tradition” argument was pretty close to the mark, but not in the flattering way she meant it. If you say “I support this because it is tradition,” then chances are you can’t think of any other reasons to support it. Basically you’re supporting something BECAUSE it is the status quo, and not considering the possibility that maybe–just maybe–the status quo isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and might be worthy of changing.

  56. Jennifer,

    That’s precisely why I sometimes talk politics with that Republican friend of mine that I mentioned. I have a strong conviction (and her arguments support this) that she takes certain positions because they are status quo, and status quo is good enough for her, apparently. Every time her favored party or its members screw up, I think her little glass fantasy bubble cracks a little. I just wonder how badly people’s rights and trust need to be violated before people start listening to rational concerns as opposed to party agitprop.

  57. Or, to be more succinct, those who “support tradition” are less likely to question the powers-that-be.

  58. Smacky–

    Because this server is sucking ass again, the post I tried to make before yours hasn’t gone through yet. But I basically summed up my previous post by pointing out that those who “respect tradition” are FAR less likely to ask questions of the powers-that-be. So in this case, it’s natural that a lot of those who support what we define as traditional marriage would also be less likely to question the need to go to war to get rid of Saddam’s dangerous WMDs that could have destroyed our country at any minute.

  59. The problem is that “status quo” can change. It’s not like people with a certain take on gay marriage were against going to war with Iraq before an invasion was the status quo. It’s not like people with a different take on gay marriage wanted to invade Iraq until that became status quo.

    And it’s not about trusting The Powers That Be. Those who trust the current Powers That Be (or at least the ones in charge at the federal level) weren’t all that trusting of the previous Powers That Were back in the 1990’s. Those who liked the previous Powers That Were in the 1990’s (I say “were” because they never worked out the proper usage of “is”…) aren’t fans of the current Powers That Be.

    Maybe part of it is that many people pick a tribe and then we trust the leaders of that tribe no matter what. We all have different reasons for picking that tribe, but once we pick it most people stick with it. Hence you can predict with amazing accuracy (not perfect, but still pretty good) how a person stands on Iraq based on that person’s views of gay marriage.

    Then again, I’m not convinced that my theory is right. It makes more sense than Shannon’s ideas about tradition, or Jennifer’s explanation about status quo and The Powers That Be, but that doesn’t mean it’s right.

    I have no clue why people fall into two camps so neatly. I’ve heard all the arguments linking the positions to different world-views, but (1) the rationales work for some issues, but beyond the selected issues used to devise the rationales they become thin, and (2) are there really only 2 ways of thinking?

  60. Maybe we should take up a second collection to buy Reason a new server.

  61. Yeah, seriously, I second the call for a new server.

    But, you know, I’m not the only same-sex marriage and Iraq-war supportin’ guy I know. Maybe I just know weirdos.

  62. i see the idea that there are only two ways of thinking as quite simply a self-fulfilling prophecy (to put it very nicely). people believe there are only two ways of thinking because it’s shoved down their throats every day that there are only two ways of thinking.

    just hearing about which states are “red” and “blue” makes me want to find the nearest person and slap them. there’s a lesson in all this madness for libertarians, but i’m not sure what it is. is it that we need to avoid the pitfall of becoming a dumbed-down populist yellow? or that we need to embrace that if we want real change to happen?

  63. I think it is a combination of what Thoreau and Jennifer have said. Same reason that people stick with a particular faith, even when they see the fallicies and inaccuracies of said faith. Whether that faith be in a specific religion, a political ideal, or even a diet fad the fact remains that faith quite often overcomes reason. People raised in a particular church will quite often follow the line of the church without question. Now whether that is because of “tradition”, “status-quo” or “trust” born of time is up in the air, but it happens. When people begin to question their personal beliefs, motives and life long teachings, then, and only then, can they as human beings grow.

    As for those who don’t like to discuss politics with others who might not side with you, what can I say? I used to be a relatively staunch Liberal. I am still an eco-centric person, but I see the truth in wrestling lands away from the government and placing them in the hands of the civilian population. I have almost completely reversed my ideas about the role of the government in citizens lives. I feel that both the Democratic and Republican parties are now fundimentally flawed. The more I read and discuss politics with others, the more I have to base my political theories upon. I don’t think I will ever be fully satisfied with any political ideal, but it can’t hurt to learn all you can. I am happy that people are willing to discuss thier political ideas with me, in a true discussion but not prostylization. I am glad that my eyes have been opened by those not afraid to talk.

    Last but not least, I will support that server collection fund.

  64. dave b-

    If you’re still reading this thread, get in touch with either me (by removing “nospam” from the email address at the bottom of this post) or Jennifer (go to one of her posts). Let us know how we can get a gift certificate to you, and which store would be most convenient, and we’ll take up a collection to get you a gift certificate to help with your new situation.

  65. My theory is that it was Satan who destroyed New Orleans. After all, the only part of the city to make it through relatively unscathed was the super-debauched French Quarter, which clearly demonstrates that Satan wanted to wipe out the parts of the city where virtue might possibly flourish, leaving behind nothing but a beautifully corrupt seed of evil waiting to sprout into a strong new plant of decadence.

    No, it was definately God. As someone on another forum explained it to me, God destroyed the rest of New Orleans as a warning to the debauched, sinful lust-bunnies of the French Quarter.

    I swear, I’m not making this up.

  66. Media Geek,

    “As someone on another forum explained …”

    Heretic! Thou shalt have no other fora before Hit and Run.

  67. What’s this about a Manhattan get-together? There are more of us DC Reason-ers, you know.

  68. One of my post got eaten but I should point out that respect or lack of respect for tradition is just one of many attributes that define the rough Left/Right divide. It actually has little to do with any particular issue and had nothing to do with whether going with tradition is better in any particular case. I merely picked it as an example. It doesn’t explain everything by a long shot.

    (Nor is it a perfect guide. I myself support both gay-marriage and the war but I have a rare causality model/)

    This idea is not mine. Popper, E.O.Wilson and Thomas Sowell have all touched on it. Two of Sowell’s books “A conflict of visions” and “Reason and Knowledge” deal with the phenomenon.

    The best quick and dirty summation of the models that define the Left/Right spectrum would be that Leftist think that knowledge is relatively cheap i.e. knowing the solution to a particular problem is relatively easy whereas Rightist tend to think knowledge is relatively expensive. Leftist think that correct answers to complex problems rain from the heavens whereas Rightist tend to think of them a hidden treasures.

    Leftist are comfortable with having the government manage the economy because they think it is easy to get enough information to do so. Rightist are comfortable having the government enforce culture because they believe cultural standards are thoroughly time tested. Leftist don’t want the government enforcing culture because they want to change it and think they have the knowledge necessary to do so. Rightist don’t want the government to manage the economy because they don’t believe it has the information necessary to do so.

    Libertarians usually think that nobody has the knowledge necessary to politically manage either the economy or culture.

    It is interesting how one person’s stance on one issue predicts their stance on others. This has long been true going back at least two hundred years when modern political boundaries began to form. A difference in fundamental models explains this.

  69. The best quick and dirty summation of the models that define the Left/Right spectrum would be that Leftist think that knowledge is relatively cheap i.e. knowing the solution to a particular problem is relatively easy whereas Rightist tend to think knowledge is relatively expensive.

    I guess this is why the President famously said, “In Texas, we don’t do ‘nuance’,” and why the Right has spent the last five years mocking the Left for making everything so complicated and trying to see multiple sides of everything.

  70. Shannon,

    I would like to agree with you. Your model does indeed fit with some observations, including that of the Reason writer who said last year that one party wants to run your life in the name of God, and another party wants to run your life in the name of “4 out of 5 experts agree.” (Wish I could remember which person said it. It was brilliant.)

    There are 2 problems with your model, like every other model:

    1) There are significant issues and cases where your model is, shall we say, a rather awkward fit.

    2) Why only 2 major models? Why isn’t the libertarian model (in a nutshell, “Don’t be telling me what to do!”) more common? Why not a 4th or 5th model as well?

    Interestingly, the Catholic Church comes close to offering a 4th model: Socially traditional/authoritarian, economic redistribution, and on foreign policy fairly pacifist but a big fan of humanitarian and anti-Communist involvements. I hasten to add that not all Catholics adhere rigidly to Catholic teachings on politics (myself included, obviously), and I’m somewhat over-simplifying the teachings of the church. But there’s no denying that Catholicism offers a 4th model.

    Hmm, this would explain why Catholics are frequently considered swing voters. Yet even many Catholics seem to fall in one camp or another. At some point we decide how to describe the 2 major parties, and once we do that it’s fairly easy: Seen in one light, it’s obvious that we must support the party that will defend unborn children and traditional marriage. Seen in another light, it’s obvious that we must support the party that will serve the poor and promote world peace.

    Personally, I lean more toward a model espoused by a number of people, particularly Jason Ligon: People pick one side or the other for any number of reasons. But once they pick a side most people remain loyal to the tribe.

    The problem is that I’m not sure I’m right.

  71. Heretic! Thou shalt have no other fora before Hit and Run.

    Dude, you have no idea…

  72. Maybe we should take up a second collection to buy Reason a new server.

    Why, is there a problem with the server?

  73. Maybe we should take up a second collection to buy Reason a new server.

    Why, is there a problem with the server?

    Hmm…

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