Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bachanon

Media Ignorance, Public Perceptions

Recommended Posts

A Poverty of Thought

By George F. Will

Tuesday, September 13, 2005; Page A27

It took exactly one month -- until the president's prime-time news conference of Oct. 11, 2001 -- to refute the notion that Sept. 11 "changed everything." When a reporter said, "You haven't called for any sacrifices from the American people," he replied, "Well, you know, I think the American people are sacrificing now. I think they're waiting in airport lines longer than they've ever had before." And that was before the sacrificing became really hellacious with the requirement that passengers remove their shoes at security checkpoints.

The idea that Hurricane Katrina would change the only thing that matters -- thinking -- perished even more quickly, at about the time Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, a suitable symbol of congressional narcissism, dramatized the severity of the tragedy by taking a television interviewer on a helicopter flight over her destroyed beach house. "Washington rolled the dice and Louisiana lost," she said in a speech on the Senate floor that moved some senators to tears. You can no more embarrass a senator than you can a sofa, so the tears were not accompanied by blushing about having just passed a transportation bill whose 6,371 pork projects cost $24 billion, about 10 times more than the price of the levee New Orleans needed. Louisiana's congressional delegation larded the bill with $540,580,200 worth of earmarks, one-fifth the price of a capable levee.

complete article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those who (like me) find George F. Will's pompous-ass writing style nearly unreadable, let me sum up the article: The people of New Orleans are largely poor due to their immorality, and therefore got exactly what they deserve. The government has more important things to do.

While Mr. Will feels as comfortable about drowning illegitimate babies as he would a litter of unwanted kittens, he still staunchly opposes abortion. Go figure.

Mr. Will also believes that the only sacrifices that Americans made after 9/11 consist of longer waits at airport security due to the indignity of removing our shoes. He lightly tosses aside - nay, doesn't even mention - that a great deal of our resources are going towards a war fought in the name of eliminating terrorism. He doesn't mention that people are no longer allowed to take photos on NYC subways, or the questionable Patriot Act, which gives the government unprecedented powers over the individual. Even in Houston, our light rail message signs periodically flash warnings to report unattended packages and to report 'suspicious activity'. Do you think that would be the case if 9/11 had never happened?

Instead, he tosses in some irrelevent data about the pork-filled transportation bill (passed by a majority Republican congress - but Mr. Will conveniently doesn't mention that little fact). No. The blame must be assigned to liberals. That's the rule.

I do agree with Mr. Will that the epidemic of teenage births is a tragedy, unacceptable, and the source of many current and future problems. It's disheartening to hear about some single mother (age 19), her six children and two grandchildren camping out at the AstroDome (not a real case, but close). However that's a seperate issue.

Mr. Will is using a national tragedy to promote his own agenda. It would be a poverty of thought to not recognize this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

dbigtex:

A fine disection of another predictable waste of paper by Will.

I always wondered why he writes for the Washington Post and does ABC on Sunday mornings. I think he would be more comfortable with the Washington [Rev. Moon] Times and FOX News.

Will will always be a pompous whiner. He's the kid in school no one wanted on their team-too high maintenance for his worth. Far be it he would ever miss an opportunity to kick a cripple just to feed his inferiority complex.

B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

name calling generally comes from those who are threatened by a thing rather than those who are objective readers.

"....George F. Will's pompous-ass writing style..."

"While Mr. Will feels as comfortable about drowning illegitimate babies as he would a litter of unwanted kittens...."

"Will will always be a pompous whiner. He's the kid in school no one wanted on their team-too high maintenance for his worth."

the relevence of pork barrel projects (republican or democrat) IS significant when discussing why new orleans and the state of louisiana have not lobbied for something so important (preserving new orleans) when they have lobbied for far less urgently needed items.

the issue of poverty cannot be resolved by only reducing unwed mothers or boys with out positive male figures, but it does make a difference (imho). consequently, the system of welfare (wic, medicaid, ss, etc) makes funds available, more so, to single mothers rather than to whole families in need. i believe there is evidence to support this.

to reduce george will to a sad sack school boy or simply a pompous ass is unfortunate and makes it difficult to objectively discuss issues from different political perspectives.

sorry the article offended you so much. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rarely am I ever offended by anything Will writes. This time is no exception. He is as predictable, biased and mundane as usual. That is why I suggested he might be more comfortable at the Times and FOX. His piece was just another tiered and typical screed against liberals. He offers no solutions-just statistics and frustration. Perhaps he would be more credible if he asked the people in this country who hold the power to make things happen: "Mr. President? Mr. Speaker? What do you and your fellow conservatives suggest can be done regarding the pregnancy rate of unmarried African American women in this country?"

Now THAT is an editorial I would love to read.

B)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bigtex, thank you for summarizing Mr. Will's column. I read it two times and never got the point. I kept looking for "page two".

Mr. Will got off to a great start mentioning Sen. Landrieu's poor beach house, but forgot Mr. Bush's lament about ONE of Sen. Lott's houses. He pointed to Louisiana's $540 million in pork, but then left out Alaska's $240 million bridge to nowhere. He conveniently forgot to mention which party controls BOTH houses of Congress that passed the pork bill.

bachanon, name callers may do so because they feel threatened by a "thing", but reading Mr. Will's column, one cannot discern what that "thing" that threatens us is. Perhaps, since you suggest that you are an objective reader, you might enlighten us as to what "thing" threatens us...other than aimless prose in search of an idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the "thing" is (imho) a world view contrary to one's own. the world view that produces george will's ideology is the thing, conservative thinking if you will. i agree with george will's perception of things. yet, i see his hand wringing no different than the people pointing fingers at the current administration and fema. solutions to follow on "the second page" would be refreshing indeed.

your posts, redscare and (your second one) nmainguy provide a tone easier to discuss the subjects mr. will brings up (for me, anyway). "He offers no solutions-just statistics and frustration." is an objective statement. This makes me question my immediate agreement with his op-ed. "Mr. Will got off to a great start mentioning Sen. Landrieu's poor beach house, but forgot Mr. Bush's lament about ONE of Sen. Lott's houses. He pointed to Louisiana's $540 million in pork, but then left out Alaska's $240 million bridge to nowhere. He conveniently forgot to mention which party controls BOTH houses of Congress that passed the pork bill." provides additional information (again, for me personally) worth considering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

bachanon:

A refreshing and thoughtful reply-and I have no problem with thoughtful conservative analysis even if I am a liberal [as if you hadn't guessed]. My problem is with people of all political stripes just ranting and raving in an attempt to make their point "Hillary is a LIBERAL [as if she had horns growing out of her head] instead of contrasting her policy stances with those of a conservative. Or, Bush is just EVIL instead of debating his competence on the issues. Screaming "LIBERAL" or "EVIL" just leaves a person shaking their head. Nothing in life is ever one sided. My problem with Will and people like him on the right and left is they are lazy thinkers. Any 9th grade civics class student can look up stats and blame one side or the other for whatever is negative in them. I don't take back what I said about Will. He does come off as pompous and he is that kid from school [bless his heart]. I can't pretend otherwise.

B)

BTW, your spelling and grammer are impeccable [a real sticking point with me ;) ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the compliment. B)

i feel that george will is a great thinker (imo). it is difficult for him to consolidate his thoughts in a few paragraphs. i do chuckle at the thought of him being pompous and being chosen last in class (as was i), perhaps because i wish i was as smart as he is and hope i don't come across that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those who (like me) find George F. Will's pompous-ass writing style nearly unreadable, let me sum up the article: The people of New Orleans are largely poor due to their immorality, and therefore got exactly what they deserve. The government has more important things to do.

What are you talking about? I enjoy his style. I think it speaks volumes of truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The issue that gets to Mr. Will and many conservatives is that you have a city that shows the eptitome of over 30-years of social programs yet no progress had been made to reduce poverty. Other cities in the south moved so far ahead in the past couple of decades and yet New Orleans is still stuck. It's economy hasn't grown much as neighboring parishes and the capital of the state. The biggest influx of jobs has been the casino, yet other cities in the state have been moving forward.

I think many of the problems we see in New Orleans should be indictment of the social programs of the sixties. The programs shouldn't be scrapped, yet looked over and retooled to provide people more incentives to move up socio-economically than to be stuck in poverty.

Hopefully the rebuild of New Orleans will flush this city of some of its old ways and allow for new concepts for growth.

As for as spending for the rebuilding, I think the previous passed Highway bill should be plundered heavily of it's pork projects (interjected by Republican and Democratice Senators) to pay for New Orleans recovery.

Luckily much of the city's infrastructure was unharmed through the floods. The rebuilding of two gateways to the city (I-10 on the east side and portions of the Causeway) can be achieved in several months. The city is moving forward quicker than anyone had expected already, let's just hope some level headed thinking can finish the job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to like George...especially during my college years. But then I started noticing a trend in his articles--he would use verbosity and irrelevant stories as a means to confuse the issues and advance the side of the conservative movement. To his credit, however, he always appeared to be consistent in his beliefs (once you could wade through his writings to figure out what exactly they were, that is).

Or, he was until things started going badly in Iraq. When it became clear to all but the most isolated and/or deaf that the general public was growing restless and disenchanted with the war, George quickly did a 180, and started critizing Bush and questioning his conservative advisors......never mentioning, of course, that he himself was always one of the biggest champions of military intervention in the region.

Once he started going wobbly (in the words of Thatcher), and changed his views (at least on paper) to fit his audience, I've lost all respect for the guy, because it became clear that he isn't a consistent conservative thinker. Instead, he is merely a consistent fraudulent thinker.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'm disappointed to hear that will "changed" his views. i'm wondering if there weren't some transitional articles as things have unfolded. i doubt he did a 180 without some serious thought.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've been quiet on this thread to see what turned up. Here are the highlights:

bachanon:

BTW, your spelling and grammer are impeccable [a real sticking point with me ;) ]

No, his spelling and grammar is not impeccable. Bachanon - this is in no way an insult to you. I do find all your posts to be highly informative, well thought, and well versed. Impeccable in content? Yes. Impeccable in regards to spelling and grammar? No.

The issue that gets to Mr. Will and many conservatives is that you have a city that shows the eptitome of over 30-years of social programs yet no progress had been made to reduce poverty.  Other cities in the south moved so far ahead in the past couple of decades and yet New Orleans is still stuck.  It's economy hasn't grown much as neighboring parishes and the capital of the state.  The biggest influx of jobs has been the casino, yet other cities in the state have been moving forward.

This is the truth in George Will's writing. This is what he was trying to convey in his editorial of rant intertwined with statistic.

Bachanon - I've enjoyed your replies to the various posts in this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
name calling generally comes from those who are threatened by a thing rather than those who are objective readers.

"....George F. Will's pompous-ass writing style..."

Please notice that I pointedly did not engage in name-calling. My criticism was of Mr. Will's writing style, not of the man himself. For all I know he might personally be a humble, thoughtful person, and not at all like the pompous ass he portrays himself to be.

If, for example, I was to observe "Your sister dresses like a slut", that's not the same thing as saying "Your sister is a slut". Big difference. :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Perhaps he would be more credible if he asked the people in this country who hold the power to make things happen: "Mr. President? Mr. Speaker? What do you and your fellow conservatives suggest can be done regarding the pregnancy rate of unmarried African American women in this country?"

Now THAT is an editorial I would love to read.

B)

What is government going to do about the pregnancy rate of unmarried African-American women in this country? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Unmarried African-American women need to do something about the pregnancy rate of unmarried African-American women in this country. Has our concept of morality fallen so much that every time somebody makes a stupid and immoral choice, it's up to the government to come in and correct them? Is individual morality now a communal responsibility?

Here is a simple thought experiment. Imagine two societies. One (Society A) believes that a person's decisions are his or her own responsibility. The other (Society B believes that a person's decisions are not his or her responsibility, but the responsibility of the society around him, and that if he or she makes a bad choice, it is not his or her fault, but society's. Set these two societies up on two identical islands, with all the resources they need to live, but isolated from the rest of the world, and then leave. In fifty years come back.

Here is what I think will happen in fifty years. Society A has grown and flourished. They have harvested the island's resources, built towns, grown greatly in population and at the same time found ways of peacefully sustaining that population. The place is clean and well-kept, and the people are happy and optimistic about the future. Society B has torn itself apart in a series of horrible wars, so terrible that those who survived did so by fleeing to remote and isolated parts of the island, where they currently live huddled miserably in caves. No improvements in habitation have been made, and the island looks dirty and horrible, much worse than before it was founded. Where there are people, they live surrounded by filth and squalor, and waste away their lives in indolence and fornication, abandoning the children they conceive. It will only be a short time before a combination of natural disasters and wild animals wipes out the few remaining survivors.

When Alexis de Tocqueville wrote Democracy in America after touring America in the 1830's, he said that the thing that distinguishes America more than anything else from other countries in the world is the incredible sense of individual responsibility. He contrasted it with France, where everybody expects the government to do things for them, and as a result, things take forever to get done. He said that, more than anything else, the high level of mores (a legacy of the Puritans) was the reason for the great success of the United States as opposed to the horrible stagnation of South American countries, where physical resources were more plentiful. He said that although America was still an insignificant power today, in a hundred years it would be one of the two greatest powers in the world - the other one being Russia (for different reasons).

I wonder what he would think were he to tour America today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...