Saturday, June 28, 2008

Support for Torture Growing

Hot Air links to a report titled World Public Opinion on Torture. The report tells us, inter alia, that:

While Americans oppose the use of torture on the whole, the majority endorsing an unequivocal rule against torture is more modest than in other countries and has declined since 2006.

A modest majority (53%) feels that torture should unequivocally not be allowed, while forty-four percent favor an exception for terrorists. Thirteen say torture should be allowed in general.

Support for making exceptions for torture in the case of terrorists has grown among Americans since 2006 (44%, up from 36%), while the majority opposing the use of torture in all cases has fallen slightly (53%, down from 58%).

The arguments for or against an absolute prohibition on torture aside, there's an interesting irony in the above statistics. We live in a country where a majority of people believe that nothing is wrong absolutely and yet a majority also holds that torture is absolutely wrong. It's amusing to listen to secularists, whose position entails that there is no such thing as an objective moral wrong, go apoplectic when confronted with evidence that the Bush administration has employed "harsh measures" in their interrogation of terrorists.


Loser Letter #6

Mary Eberstadt concludes that until atheists understand the transcendent love that families engender they won't ever be able to persuade Dulls to come over to the Dark si..., I mean the Brights' side. Read her amusing analysis in her sixth Loser Letter at National Review Online.


Pretzel Logic

Howard Kurtz who is the media reporter at the Washington Post (i.e. he reports on the news media) takes the liberal MSM to task for completely ignoring Senator Obama's "pretzel logic" on the D.C gun ban issue:

Here's how the Illinois senator handled the issue with the Chicago Tribune just last November:

"The campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama said that he ' . . . believes that we can recognize and respect the rights of law-abiding gun owners and the right of local communities to enact common sense laws to combat violence and save lives. Obama believes the D.C. handgun law is constitutional.' "

Kind of a flat statement.

And here's what ABC reported yesterday: " 'That statement was obviously an inartful attempt to explain the Senator's consistent position,' Obama spokesman Bill Burton tells ABC News."

Inartful indeed.

But even though the earlier Obama quote and the "inartful" comment have been bouncing around the Net for 24 hours, I'm not seeing any reference to them in the morning papers. Most do what the New York Times did: "Mr. Obama, who like Mr. McCain has been on record as supporting the individual-rights view, said the ruling would 'provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country.' "

Supporting the individual-rights view? Not in November.

Even the Tribune--the very paper that the Obama camp told he supported the gun ban--makes no reference to the November interview. Instead: "Democrat Barack Obama offered a guarded response Thursday to the Supreme Court ruling striking down the District of Columbia's prohibition on handguns and sidestepped providing a view on the 32-year-old local gun ban. Republican rival John McCain's campaign accused him of an 'incredible flip-flop' on gun control."

So McCain accuses Obama of a flip-flop, and the Trib can't check the clips to tell readers whether there's some basis in fact for the charge?

USA Today takes the same tack:

"In a conference call put together by McCain's campaign, Republican Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas said . . . that Obama has been changing his position on the gun issue and said the Democratic senator has done some 'incredible flip-flopping' on key issue."

And? And? That's all we get? He said/he said journalism?

Even if you wanted to maintain that it wasn't really a flip-flop, what about giving the readers the facts?

Facts? Facts?? Since when did the media feel constrained to supply us with facts unless those facts reflect poorly on Republicans or conservatives? The media is not about facts, they're all about creating an image and reinforcing impressions, and the public impression of Obama they want to reinforce is that he's a new kind of politician. if facts get in the way then the facts just get ignored.