From the fountains in the mountains
Comes the water running cool and clear and blue
And it flows down from the hills
And it goes down to the towns and passes through
When it gets down to the cities
Then the water turns into a dirty gray
It’s poisoned and polluted
By the people as it goes along its way
Don’t go near the water children
See the fish all dead upon the shore
Don’t go near the water
Water isn’t water anymore
Language & Liberty
This is how you maintain beliefs that cannot withstand scrutiny.
Most people evade any information that shows that their views don’t hold up under scrutiny.
If mine can’t — I don’t want them to
I’d rather feel like a fool for 5 minutes than remain one for a lifetime.
I don’t go into a discussion seeking a binary outcome — where I’m right, you’re wrong. I’m more interested in what I might be missing.
I could still be right and be missing something — and I wanna know what that is. Though our initial exchange below was bit contentious, this guy’s grace opened the door for real conversation.
In one Tweet alone, he showed me more courtesy than all conservatives combined (on the WMD front for 17 years).
Same goes for the liberals in lockstep on Trayvon.
This gentleman may feel as they do, but he has the integrity and wisdom to recognize something different when he sees it.
And so do I
So in the spirit of what my efforts are all about (and welcoming a challenge to grow) — I gladly bought this book.
I think of conversation as a journey — where even the tiniest kernel of truth can alter your course. No matter how much I disagree with another’s view, I’ll look for anything that’s true and work backwards from there.
What I find might not change anything or it might change everything, but it’s a worthy endeavor regardless. As I wrote 16 years ago:
There’s nothing more edifying than taking a trip to another point of view
Rather than endlessly debate catch phrases, monuments, and movements — I’m far more interested in considering the underlying merit in a point of view.
While everyone else spins their wheels on who’s right, I define what I see by factoring for what’s true (isolating and correlating along the way).
“Isolating and correlating along the way.”
What does that mean? It means that “armed only with Skittles” and “everybody believed Iraq had WMD” do not exist in a vacuum.
Apologists argue their views by invariably ending where they began — without an atom of concern for compelling argument along the way.
The only movement that takes place is the further hardening of their I-beam steel stubbornness.
They start at the outside and stay there
I start with the most clear-cut truth available (beginning from the inside and working my way out). If the material, dimensions, and quantity of something are essential to the story, I’m gonna consider that information.
I’m old-fashioned that way.
What is “working my way out” mean?
It means that if there’s no way that a 3mm wall can maintain 90,000 RPM to make highly enriched uranium — somebody’s lying.
Now you just connect the dots and identify the picture that takes shape.
In this industry — the difference between a wall thickness of 1mm and 3mm, might as well be 10. Can you put politics aside long enough to ask yourself:
Why would anyone infer a 2.8mm wall for Zippe rotors that were never more than 1mm?
The following 2-minute scene from FAIR GAME accurately depicts Turner’s attitude:
The rotor wall thickness for the Beams centrifuge has also been specified as 6.35 mm
Notice how WINPAC/Turner tossed that into the NIE (referenced in Senate Intelligence Report).
Never mind THIS
The Zippe unclassified report discusses several centrifuge rotor designs but does not explicitly state the wall thickness of any of the rotors. Based on the limited documentation, we can infer that Zippe used rotors with wall thicknesses that range from I mm to approximately 2.8 mm.
“Based on the limited documentation”? . . .
Why not just pick up the phone and find out from the father of the modern uranium centrifuge himself?
The report below is from the consulting that Zippe did during the late 50s at the University of Virginia — which science historian Alex Wellerstein addresses in his excellent article on Zippe and the evolution of centrifuge technology.
Dr. Wood and the late Dr. Zippe talking tubes. If you were following the facts — seems like you’d take the trail to the most obvious place it would go:
To see what two of the foremost experts on the planet had to say:
At the Energy Department, those examining the tubes included scientists who had spent decades designing and working on centrifuges, and intelligence officers steeped in the tricky business of tracking the nuclear ambitions of America’s enemies. On questions about nuclear centrifuges, this was unambiguously the A-Team of the intelligence community.
And yet the A-Team was toppled by Turner
What are your instincts telling you?
That a 3rd grader could grasp this is not an insult to your intelligence — you’re insulting it all by yourself.
A kid wouldn’t know that they’re supposed to protect president & party at all costs.
And a lot of kids wouldn’t have a chip on their shoulder — if so many people didn’t go out of their way to put it there.
The Profile Principle
I think what’s amazing . . . to give you a sense of the lack of danger here — is that the kid weighs 140 lbs . . .
Lemme tell you what’s amazing, Cenk — you guys making 2 key factual errors in 33 seconds:
I’m embarrassed to admit that I was fan of TYT a few years ago. All I can say is that I was looking for something else, and they seemed to fit the bill at the time.
I wised up
I can forgive the mistakes — but not the flagrant failure to fix them.
Where did they get that information about him being 140 lbs.? And how about that “iced tea”? Once again, a mistake is one thing — purposely not correcting it is something else entirely.
I doubt you could find a single reference of anyone on the Left correcting those mistakes.
If you do — lemme know.
Is their motive to hide the watermelon because of the stereotype and/or the Lean connection? Likely both, but either way — it’s a watermelon drink and it’s dishonest to say otherwise.
And don’t even get me started on their behavior (especially Cenk in his bluster of sickening certitude).
A few years ago, I looked into the origin of the stereotype and wrote a bit about it. You can find it on Way of the Watermelon.
As asked on The Yellow Brick Road:
- Does the Democratic Party have a history of manipulating racially-charged incidents?
- Has the left-leaning side of the cable clans increasingly accommodated Democrats over the years?
- Can you conclude what happened to Trayvon and Michael Brown with the same certainty as the death of George Floyd?
Yes, Yes, and No — and that cannot be denied with rational argument.
By recognizing that reality — you’ve got a problem on your hands: Once you acknowledge the truths of #1 and #2, you have to consider how much of a factor they’ve been in shaping what you see.
And on #3 — how long did it take you to make up your mind?
Same principle of evasion applies in the profile principle below. “It may or may not” is a refusal to give any ground — and such disingenuous behavior harms the very thing you’re trying to serve.
Even if it helps in helps in the short-term — it’s toxic in the long-term.
I despise Hannity — but that doesn’t change the fact that he asked a valid question.
Trayvon apologists wanna remain glued to conclusions that start and end with “armed only with Skittles and a can of iced tea.”
This is life — and things go wrong. Any fair-minded person is going to consider what transpired in the situation — not simply frame who’s guilty because of their role in creating the conditions.
How we react to being unfairly treated is critical to the outcome. And trust me — I know this better than most! I’ll touch on that a tad in Part 8.
Back to the profile principle:
Even if Zimmerman had gunned him down as the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, the only logical answer to Hannity’s question would still be “No!”
You can say, “No, but . . .” — that’s legitimate. And by doing that alone, you’ve done your part by answering with integrity. Then you can proceed to make your argument (without poisoning the debate in the process).
“It may or may not” is against the rules . . .
Like instantly slinging some tortured talking points about chemical weapons my way — after I threw down the gauntlet with my documentary that exhaustively details the biggest and most costly lie in modern history.
That chemical claim deflects the principal question by design.
And it doesn’t get any bigger than this one:
To argue in good faith, you must answer within the confines of the question — then you get your turn.
And you don’t just wait for your turn while pretending to listen — you account for the information to ascertain its meaning.
As I wrote in Part 4:
Of all those in that crowd that I’ve challenged on WMD — their knowledge combined could fit into a thimble with space to spare.
I address his comment about 1619 at the end. Speaking of Sowell and the “Follow the Facts” parade:
How fitting that’s it’s 180
It’s maddening that America has become this fail-safe fantasyland where “It’s not a lie if I believe it’s true.”
Land of the Free and Home of the Brave
- You can “agree can disagree” about subject matter you know absolutely nothing about
- You can have a “line of thinking” — without doing any thinking (“I’M OK, YOU’RE OK”)
- You can act like a child and want respect as an adult
- You can be hailed as a hero for “following the facts” — never mind that the trail always seems to lead in the direction you desire
- You can cite the word of the opposition as gospel — then get right back to assailing them as the liars you love to hate
- “All opinions are equal” — whenever it’s your baseless beliefs on the line
Letter to Abigail — 26th April 1777:
The United States is now a country obsessed with the worship of its own ignorance. . . . we’re proud of not knowing things. Americans have reached a point where ignorance, especially of anything related to public policy, is an actual virtue. To reject the advice of experts is to assert autonomy, a way for Americans to insulate their increasingly fragile egos from ever being told they’re wrong about anything.
It is a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.
We no longer have those principled and informed arguments. The foundational knowledge of the average American is now so low that it has crashed through the floor of “uninformed,” passed “misinformed” on the way down, and is now plummeting to “aggressively wrong.” People don’t just believe dumb things; they actively resist further learning rather than let go of those beliefs.
I was not alive in the Middle Ages, so I cannot say it is unprecedented, but within my living memory I’ve never seen anything like it.
And here we have another Old Faithful in the arsenal of the asinine: The tactic of two things cannot be true at the same time — whenever it’s convenient, of course.
How can we possibly discuss an issue when you refuse to recognize that finding one thing — that has nothing to do with the other, does not magically make your convictions come true.
But that’s how you roll: Paying lip service to “facts over feelings” — as your feelings run our nation into the ground . . .
Not to mention the damage they’ve done all over the world.
Moving the Goalposts
The Man Who Knew
Now observe the difference in demeanor between that guy and this guy:
“Some people took one view — some people took another”
As mentioned in Part 5: I love how people immersed in politics — conveniently come down with a case of collective amnesia in knowing how it works.
Considering Glenn Greenwald’s gold-standard summation of Democrats below, does the word of these people strike you as reliable?
Here we have a perfect expression of the most self-destructive Democratic disease which they seem unable to cure. More than anything — they fear looking weak. To avoid this, they cave, surrender, capitulate — and stand for nothing.
Flagrantly failing to factor for motive in “said so and so” in the environment above — is as insulting to your intelligence as it gets.
Never mind that it’s all meaningless in the context of the tubes anyway.
Sowell is seen as some kind of folk hero for “following the facts” — but that simply doesn’t square with the record when it comes to applying the same scrutiny to conservatives.
That’s not opinion — that’s fact.
truth verifiable from experience or observation
I’m hanging onto a sliver of hope that you find the courage to openly admit that you were wrong — as wrong as anyone could possibly be (considering that the lie could not be more obvious and the consequences more serious).
If you weren’t so preoccupied with pouncing on people for not following the facts — as you shamelessly ignore them yourself:
Who knows what difference you might have made.
Was it worth it?
You’re 90 years old — and after all your efforts on race-related issues for decades, look where we are.
And you’re partly responsible for this mess — by perpetuating a lie that poisons public discourse.
I don’t care how right you may be about the Left — you have no credibility in my eyes.
So what do you think you have in theirs?
“Facts over feelings” is just a brand for Ben Shapiro and the likes of Larry Elder — but I’m hoping you’re better than that.
In trying to help others find their way, you lost yours.
You can turn it all around by simply following your own standard. If you wanna have the moral high ground, try earning it:
The moral high ground, in ethical or political parlance, refers to the status of being respected for remaining moral, and adhering to and upholding a universally recognized standard of justice or goodness.
Show the other side what it means to practice what you preach — and hound your own until they do the same.
Do that — and you just might turn the tide.
And that would be one helluva legacy to leave behind.
But there was a time
There was a time the air was clean
And you could see forever ‘cross the plains
The wind was sweet as honey
And no one had ever heard of acid rain
We’re torturin’ the earth
And pourin’ every kind of evil in the sea
We violated nature
And our children have to pay the penalty
Climb the Earth’s tallest mountain
To where it reaches the sky
Take a gun fire a bullet
Straight up out of sight
Where it stops in the heavens
Well that ain’t half as high
As the distance between you and me