For several days, we have been caught up in a series of misfortunes. An automobile noise led to a transmission expert known to go to heroic lengths to keep expenses down for customers, and who has treated us well in the past. He gave us news of major repairs. We planned around the unexpected financial burden, then discovered that our basement was flooding. That night with two sons who struggled nobly with an old metalic snake, we cleared out whatever it was in the drain. I told the one I love I was beginning to feel like Job without the boils. "Lord. I know I'm a sinner, but this is getting silly."
Then came the floods. I had just picked up for church an elderly friend, my contribution to the public safety. The rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ike was exceptionally heavy, but traffic on Lindbergh Boulevard was clear. That was one reason I failed to perceive the depth of the water a few blocks later. The car just ahead of us stopped at almost the same time as the rental car I was driving. A friendly public safety worker pushed us out of the flood, to higher ground, and we waited for help. But the waters kept rising. The transmission shorted out, stuck in park, and workers could not move us. It appeared we would need some serious rescuing. The water rose inside the car. Fortunately, the gear momentarily freed itself and we were pushed to higher ground. Workers from a Quik Trip Gas distributor just south of Washington Street rushed out through the deluge and jumped into the water to help push us to safety. The weekend adventures are the main reason the contents of this site have remained undisturbed.
Later, Ophelia from Shakespeare's Hamlet came to my mind: Hamlet's lover, lost in madness, drowning without knowing she was in any trouble, "as one incapable of her own distress." While thinking of the waters that had rushed about my elderly friend and me, I came to a study by some Yale researchers about the ability of people to believe untrue things.
After careful experimentation, it turns out that many liberals are unpersuaded by evidence that goes against what they want to think. When presented with such evidence, the number of liberals believing something that is untrue remains about the same. Conservatives, on the other hand, are willing to change their minds when confronted with clear evidence that some belief is false, but in a way that surprises. Conservatives, when shown the proof, are MORE likely to believe something that is clearly false. I'm not making this up.
We have often elected leaders who, like Ophelia, are incapable of knowing that their constituents are in distress. When necessary, some of us who vote are quite willing to choose drier ground when national waters are raging.
For my conservative friends, I offer a reminder. Ophelia was insane.
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But what I have noticed about most conservatives is their intolerance for ambiguity. They've got to have it one way, or the other. You're either for us, or against us. Hero, or villain. And any facts be damned. A few years ago, I had to just cut off dialogue with a fundamentalist Republican, a nice man on a personal level, because he kept trying to proselytize me years after I had given up on him. While trying hard to be nice, I kept hitting him with facts, and devastating rebuttals, over and over, to no effect. He was a great admirer of journalist David Horowitz (The Front Page). I went on DH's site and mopped up the floor with him -- no boasting here. Then I printed out the results and sent this to my friend. Never got a response on that particular exchange.
When you deal with people who are that impervious to facts, it's best not to argue with fools, lest ye be mistaken for one.
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