Friday links! Just sayin’ stuff edition

Billionaire grandpa Foster Friess, wearing his Santorum for President sweater vest

Every schoolchild knows the fundamental lesson of George Orwell’s novel 1984: language is a tool for convincing people or whatever. Since reasoning is conducted via language,* it therefore follows that reasoning is also a tool for convincing people or whatever. And since reason is a matter of opinion,** language is clearly a tool for doing whatever with whatever. It’s the great American tradition of Just Sayin’ Stuff, which as near as I can tell began in 1968. Regardless, it has reached its apotheosis in the present day. We all know what we think about everything now, so the use of language as a means to disseminate and preserve true propositions is kind of old-fashioned. This week’s link roundup is full of people who use words for something other than that. They’re Just Sayin’ Stuff, and don’t worry—they’re all billionaires or congressmen or law enforcement officials. Plus some jerkoff who likes books.

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My god, I hope this isn’t real

It's time to wrest polits away from the politians and return it to the American people, 16% of whom appear to be utter morons.

While I was languishing in the airport yesterday, beacon of vigilance Ben Fowlkes sent me the most recent Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll of registered Republicans. It is disturbing. It starts off okay, with a healthy number of respondents expressing their intention to vote in the 2010 congressional election and their reluctance to settle on a candidate for president in 2012. It’s disappointing to see Sarah Palin in the lead—and terrifying to see Dick Cheney in third—but three years ahead of the actual election, name recognition is pretty much all there is. Things start to get a little crazy with question three, in which 39% of Republicans opine that President Obama should be impeached. Exactly what crime he has committed goes unspecified, but perhaps respondents were rushing to get to the next question, in which nearly two-thirds of those polled agree that the president is a socialist. Thus begins a series of money shots, in a barrage of insanity that leaves the reader crouched numbly on the floor like a Japanese girl on the internet. If this poll is to be believed, 73% of Republicans think homosexuals shouldn’t be allowed to be schoolteachers. Seventy-seven percent want the Biblical account of creation from Genesis to be taught in public schools. Thirty-one percent want to outlaw contraception. And fully 23% of Republicans believe that their state should secede from the United States of America.

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