Inspection-A Smart Person’s Guide to a Few of the Latest Idiotic Talking Points

Coal and Carbon

by Ken Carman

 The talk show topic: the new EPA rules, carbon and coal.
 The talking point: “Well it won’t make a difference. The Chinese will just buy the coal and the pollution will be just as bad.”
 OK, there’s an element of truth here for sure. China is certainly not the best neighbor on the globe, and pollutants do travel on distant winds. But let’s take the specifics out of the mix for the moment…
 Why does this remind me of some kid saying to his parents, “But my friend Dean doesn’t have to eat his spinach!”
 Maybe Dean should be eating his spinach, but that’s beside the point. If eating spinach is good for junior, then he should be eating it. How permissive Dean’s parents are is beside the point.
 And if cutting down on carbon is good, no matter what China is doing, we should be doing that.

At the Point of a Rhetorically Empty Gun

 Don’t like Social Security, welfare: and social services?
 ”Ready, aim…”
 ”Forced to pay at the point of a gun!”
 Look, if you’re going to use this idiotic talking point: insist on claiming if you don’t pay what you owe eventually it might come to having guns pointed at you, at least admit that the same is true of paying taxes for the military, paying more taxes because the rich pay less than they can, or should, and paying for special exemptions/grants/eminent domain for mega corporations: all these would also be “at the point of a gun.” You know, like the very services you seem to hate some much are bloated because mega-corporations intentionally pay low wages so their employees have to use those?
 No matter what government does, or even doesn’t do, “at the point of a gun” comes into play.”
 To use a more sensible rightward talking point, “Nothing is free.”
 ”But funding the military is an enumerated power!”
 Yes, just like “general welfare” is.
 Our forefathers never intended for us to have a standing army anymore than the extensive safety net we have now. But frankly going back to no standing army makes about as much sense to me as no safety net. How much and for what are different discussions.
 Besides, you have no problem with “the point of a gun” when it comes to Stand Your Ground, even when it results in the death of a teen who was standing his ground against an unidentified stranger who appeared to be stalking him, or a racist at a gas station who hated rap and claimed he thought he saw a gun: not a hard claim to make at all, really. No problem with “at the point of a gun” when gun obsessed folks march into businesses with firearms: businesses who have asked them not to do that. Or even crazy people, terrorists and homicidal maniacs being able to use “the point of a gun,” instead of having sane laws that might keep at least a few from getting them, displaying them, marching around, or into, our schools as security guards… poorly vetted by some company hired to do security. No problem with pointing guns when someone refuses to pay a modest fee for use of public lands: a fee ranchers have been paying for a long time. You don’t even have a problem with the government pointing guns as long as it’s at protestors you don’t like.
 No, you have no problem with “at the point of a gun” at all.
 This has nothing to do with “pointing guns.”
 It has everything to do with a talking point not unlike what might drop out of the south end of a moose headed north.

Clean Coal?

 Governor of Kentucky on Sirius going on and on about “clean coal,” how it’s “new technology” we need to invest in.
 Governor of Kentucky on Sirius going on and on about “clean coal,” how it’s “new technology” we need to invest in.
 Well, I keep hearing “clean coal” is as real as the Tooth Fairy, but I don’t know for sure. They’re always working on something. But I’m guessing if I brought up solar it would be framed as some “way in the future,” which as I explained in a previous column is untrue. I have solar at my place in the Adirondacks. Is it perfect? No. Does it need improvement? Hell, yes.
 But if there is “clean coal” tech that needs improvement, then improving solar is at least as valid an idea.

Voters are Turning Against Obama this Year

 You’re kidding right? Voters hardly know there’s an election. “Hardly know” probably because if there were that much noise Republicans might risk losing big. The outraged by FOX and the faithful will vote, for sure. Guaranteed.
 But that’s not your fault. Maybe the supposed “left wing media.” But not really that much.
 You know whose fault this is?
 The leaders of the Democratic Party.
 Silence enables the opposition.

Guns (Again)

 Please, please, please stop with the “Obama’s going to take your guns” and claiming every situation would be solved by more guns. Balderdash. A dark theater filled with frightened people all having guns with some gun wearing bulletproof gear would be a recipe for more death. Teachers having guns is an invite to kids getting a hold of them and bad teachers doing bad things. Look: for years now you’ve been pushing bad memes about teachers, now suddenly you support them?
 Once again: balderdash.
 I’ve been a gun owner all my life. I lived in hunting country. Most folks are fair shots at best, panic easily and have poor judgement.
 Look, here’s my point: want to prevent gun regulation? Stop using these idiotic talking points. You’re wearing down those who might marginally be on your side. “Wearing them down” so they won’t be.

Taliban and the “Deserter” #1

 You know I don’t know this guy’s guilt, or innocence, or: if as some on the left claim, this might be some kind of organized false flag campaign where there are fake, untrue, claims being orchestrated by the right because they will do anything to get rid of Obama.
 I make no claims whatsoever in either regard.
 But one thing I do know: as in all cases this is an innocent until proven society. That was true of Zimmerman and Dunn too. Innocent until proven guilty. Period. We may talk, but we don’t convict people by accusation or rumors. We certainly don’t leave soldiers behind who are ill due to accusation or rumors.
 Was the trade unfair?
 Yup.
 They often are: and certainly not just under Obama, or a Democratic administration.

Taliban and the “Deserter” #2

 Once again with this talking point I hear from callers, “You on the left are calling Bergdahl a hero!” You do know we know you’re lying and making up such shisen, right?
 I go nuts when talkers on the left respond don’t call shenanigans on this by demanding they produce one quote where any talker on radio, or TV, on the left call him just a “hero:” [u]no caveats.[/u] And I call it an outright manipulative lie when anyone turns an administration comment that Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s volunteering to serve his country was honorable into “what he did was honorable.”
 Yup: you’re lying.

“Facts”

 Last I heard this was in regards to Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, but to be honest I hear many advocates doing this. When arguing with someone who disagrees with you, or making any point. please check your “facts” before claiming something is a “fact.” Allegations are not “facts.” And watch calling some talk show with claims that “no one is talking about” the allegations, especially while they’re talking about them.

 And, finally, remember that hyperbole is no rational talking point. Used and framed properly hyperbole can help you make a point as long as it’s made clear you know you’re using hyperbole just to make a point. But using it as some cheap tactic without context makes you look like a liar and an idiot, and sometimes reinforce the impression you’re a thug and a bully.
 Which pretty much defines some who so frequently use these tactics and idiotic talking points these days.

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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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