Words (should) mean things

Fact-checking can’t do much when people’s “dueling facts” are driven by values instead of knowledge. David Barker And Morgan Marietta – “Perhaps the most disappointing finding from our studies — at least from our point of view — is that there are no known fixes to this problem.” This is cognitive dissonance on display with the Mueller dossier as the stimulant. Barker and Marietta provide an illustration of the nature of the problem they try to explain. It is not in the evidence nor in the facts but rather in the psyche and a matter of false witness even unto one’s self.

“In other words, people do not end up with the same answers because they do not begin with the same questions.

Fact-checking tends to fall flat. The voters who need to hear corrections rarely read fact-checks. And for those who might stumble across them, reports from distant and distrusted experts are no match for closely held values and defining identities.

In our data, those with higher levels of education are more, not less, divided. And the higher the level of training, the more tightly values and perceptions intertwine.

Based on this evidence, we conclude that dueling fact perceptions (or what some have labeled “alternative facts”) are probably here to stay, and worsen.

Our conclusions are much more definitive than Mueller’s: We see clear evidence of collusion and obstruction. Collusion between values and facts. Obstruction of the capacity to observe and accept legitimate evidence.

Words mean things. Perceptions and facts are two different things. Opinions and values need careful clarification. Collusion and obstruction have distinct meanings, especially in law. If higher levels of education are “more, not less, divided” it means that education is failing (unless you think the goal of education is indoctrination rather than enlightenment). They say they see ‘clear evidence’ and judge others on that basis without any consideration of why others many not see the evidence they do. They don’t debate, they argue. They make no effort to clarify perceptions, allow for bias and error, identify the ‘evidence’ they see or explain the rationale and logic behind their conclusions. This is not scholarly behavior – or at least at as scholarly used to be. For comparison and contrast, read VDH:

Progressives Face a Bleak Post-Mueller Landscape. Victor Davis Hanson – “Both the Mueller report and Barr’s summation can be found on the internet. Anyone can read them to see whether Barr misrepresented Mueller’s conclusions.”

“The besmirching of Barr’s conduct is surreal. He certainly has not done anything even remotely approximating the conduct of former President Obama’s two attorneys general.

Has Barr dubbed himself the president’s “wingman” or called America a “nation of cowards,” as did former Attorney General Eric Holder?

Has Barr’s Department of Justice monitored reporters’ communications or ordered surveillance of a television journalist? Has Barr used a government jet to take his family to the Belmont Stakes horse race, as did Holder?

The Mueller report ignored the likely illegal origins of the Christopher Steele dossier, the insertion of an FBI informant into the Trump campaign, the unlawful leaking of documents, and the conflicted testimonies of former high-level intelligence officials.

All of those things were potential felonies. All in some way yielded information that Mueller drew on in his investigation. Yet Mueller never recommended a single indictment of any of the Obama-era officials who likely broke laws.

Excellent and clear summation of the central problem with the Mueller report. Neo – “To me, this “outrageous shifting of the burden of proof” should actually outrage all Americans, because it really is “a violation of our entire system of law.” But it obviously has not outraged all Americans, or perhaps even most.

“And this is not the least bit surprising to anyone who has watched the decline of thought, knowledge, and discourse in this country. How many people even know how our system of justice works in the first place, or just why the system is set up so that a person does not have to prove his or her innocence, and how it is that it ultimately protects each individual, Democrats or Republican or anyone else?

And how many people who actually do understand those principles are still willing to suspend them if they can be weaponized against an enemy?

The malevolent vengeance of the Democrats and man’s inhumanity to man. Patricia McCarthy – “Watching and enduring the Democrats’ venomous drive to destroy President Trump brings the phrase to mind.

“The Democrats in Congress now realize that the jig may be up, that the hoax is about to be revealed to all. I.G. Horowitz and A.G. Barr are on the case. But their two-year, multi-million-dollar attempt to unseat a president has done irreparable damage to the nation, to the numerous people they bankrupted and charged with process crimes, to the presidency, and to the Trump family. They should be ashamed, but they are not. They are doubling down on stupid.

Let us hope the nation can recover from this long national nightmare the Democrats have visited upon us. In the end, “Man’s inhumanity to man Makes countless thousands mourn.” Indeed, it does.

“Traitors, searchers after novelty, and those who err out of light mindedness” Paul Mirengoff – A history lesson from a 1740 Hasburg Empress.

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