Inspection- And Just WHY Would You Think THAT Could Convince Me?

Before you read the Facebook post below… remind me, again, which teabag portion of which party insisted on austerity, budget cuts and going into sequestration rather than compromise? Want to bet I can cherry pick Bush pictures too?

Just one of many examples, left and right, of unconvincing arguments posted on Facebook.

Just one of many examples, left and right, of totally unconvincing arguments posted on Facebook.

by Ken Carman

  I love BS Facebook posts, for they display so well the lack of in-depth intellectual thought of clueless partisans who designed them. I don’t blame those who post them on their page. Though I try to avoid reposting such things because I feel Facebook is not great for debate, I am not guiltless by any means. And I too have “shared” only to find out it’s some easily Snopes-ed claim, like having the wrong date in the DeLorean from Back to the Future, and then claiming today is the day Marty arrived. For a moment I have looked upon some argument, hit share, and moved on… only to find later it made less sense than I thought it did. Yes, indeed, it is, oh, so easy to click “share” and move on.
 But the folks who design these things? I have no sympathy for them. They have to put some effort forth to frame an argument, when obviously the frame they intentionally chose couldn’t hold a thing. If some of these “frames” were used for paintings at a museum every single Van Gogh, Piccaso or Hopper would wind up damaged: on the floor… for these frames disintegrate upon a mere second, more thoughtful, glance.
  So much effort.
  Some posts are so laughable I do wonder “why” anyone who would design such would think it would convince anyone. For example…
  Really? You cherry pick two eras: one where Christianity was not in power, then 294203_290312391104377_1125994192_nwhen it came to power but had yet to head into the Inquisition, witch trials, or the excesses of the Crusades. Then, for the other, you choose a time when Islam was at war with itself (much like the Inquisition in some ways) and, yes, other faiths suffered from this war?
  If the creator of this junk argument wishes to argue Islam has been more violent over history, well have at it. But insinuating Christianity’s roots were perfectly peaceful, and the other purely violent, ignores a major contradiction. Over all these years the numbers of peaceful members of both faiths are vastly larger than the numbers of those who claim to be of that faith who commit violence: “violence” committed in the name of Jesus, Allah, God, or Mohammed. It’s those who think themselves the most pure, who think they know their Creator’s true demands for the moment: without question, who are the problem.
  Honestly? What we really have had is a radical fundamentalist problem with both faiths: when disagreeing, or varying with a fundamentalist’s take on that faith, is not to be tolerated. Like when a military base run by “infidels” is on “holy ground,” or when not agreeing with those who enforce religious purity means being burned at the stake, like one of my very great grandfathers was burned.
 It really hasn’t been just an Islam, or a Christianity, problem. And I do find it utterly obvious that probably many of those who push these memes’ are also the ones who often might be most interested in more violence, more war and more hate. If allowed, they too would return to dunking, burning or tormenting those who aren’t pure enough, or compliant.
 For every act of “defending” ourselves against the “infidels,” only begets more violence, and then more. For revenge is a dish most easily served by those who insist the other side is the one responsible for almost all, is not all, of the violence. If we only defeat them, everything will be better.
  How about…
251193_510596292327874_1726756267_n  Oh, good grief. You do understand that roads back then really sucked, there were no interstates?
  Yes, we had schools: mostly for the rich. Many of the less fortunate worked the fields instead, or worked in factories: child labor, for pitiful wages, under horrid: dangerous, conditions and far more than the eight hours we consider proper these days.
  And the kind of education folks got was all over the place, something we have come closer to shadowing with private schools these days. Schools where ignorance is taught, using a Texas textbook example, like claiming scientists know nothing about gravity. We had far more of that of that kind of education back then, except in schools the richest of society could afford.
  Subways? Not many, and the cost, the reliability, and safety was questionable at best.
 Trains? Sure. We also had privateers building these rail-based gateways with throw away labor. Many died due to horrendous conditions, slave master-like bosses who simply tossed em’ in a hole near where they died and then move on. And a lot of that labor was, essentially, slave labor. “Essentially:” and, in the South, literally: former slaves arrested by their former masters under bogus laws they convinced their buddies to write. These same “buddies” gave these prison managers the ability to arrest and drag to court their former slaves.
  Elsewhere the railroads were built, in large part, by illegal immigrants, so if you want to use that as an example, if you want that type of a society, my guess would be you’re an “open the borders and let them flood in” type of guy, right?
  Except… I pretty much guarantee… not.
  And back then there were taxes: they just focused more on the poor.
  Lincoln started the income tax. Want to take a whack at him?
  “Extorted?” Oh, you mean you ride on our streets, use our legal system to protect yourself from having the fruits of your labor, or intellectual property, stolen, and you want something for free? You want the “right” to have recourse, without spending a dime, if someone walk into your house and kills your family? Your house, or business, catches fire, there’s a fire department to help?
 You must be one of those dang socialist, liberal “entitlement” pushing… oh, wait, you’re not?
  These are services you pay for, in case you have to use them. If you wish to change the “contract,” that’s something we can argue about. But you call it “extortion” to pay for these services that exist, right now?
  Fine. The trash man will just leave your trash next time but you’ll still pay for collection. If you’re a business person don’t complain when your customer refuses to pay his bill. Or, when you pay for food at Wally World just let the manager confiscate it at the door.
  What, don’t like any of that? You into that kind of “extortion?”
  I don’t claim the left always frames their arguments well. Indeed, while I have noticed quite a few of these kinds of posts from my rightward friend’s side of the aisle, I certainly have seen some from the left.
943067_603391776360763_1123443257_n  I always love it when claims like this are made. Jesus was a liberal. MLK would have been a Conservative. Republicans are the true liberators of Blacks while Democrats the oppressors. Godzilla was a fictional beast and was so popular in Japan, in part, because of all the Japanese angst from having had two nuclear bombs dropped on them.
  That last one was true.
 That example… bombed.
  By definition time changes society. While the issues of the time may seem similar: they were discussed during a different time, under different conditions. These arguments always strike me as apples to oranges comparisons. They may be interesting, but usually they don’t translate so well into our times. Those we might try to call liberals, or conservative back then, were not exactly what we think of as liberals and conservatives today. And the issues they faced not all that comparable to issues that may seem the same now.
 They say history repeats itself, but most often history is at best but a mere reflection: and usually a very, very poor one.
god-crazy-people Here’s a real easy one from the more religious, leftward, perspective. Knock it out of the theistic park in a second. Who says it was God who appointed all these people to speak for him? Isn’t it more likely, if you want to go all traditional; Satan, or from my perspective: they appointed themselves, and some of them may be, oh just maybe, con artists, delusional, or both?
 Or are you accepting their claim to be speaking for God… on faith?
 To quote the movie icon philosopher, Yoda, “Far too naive, might we be?”
 There will probably never be a lack of inane arguments from any one side of the political equation.
  Let’s look at it this way: if you can shove a few claims into a box and then post it on Facebook, like bumper stickers, what now appears on the page is probably an over generalization: at best.
  Or just total BS.


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.

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Ken Carman and Cartenual Productions
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