Polls are great things to give one little lifts… if the polls affirm your opinion. That’s about all they are good for.
In the 50s, I believe, but don’t quote me on the time frame, there was a poll taken among consumers about whether they preferred butter over margarine. The poll indicated that consumers overwhelmingly preferred butter over margarine. However, the researchers took it a step further and conducted a taste test. The results of the taste test were the almost exact opposite of the poll: Consumers preferred the taste of margarine to that of butter. Why? Margarine was what they were used to being an inexpensive replacement for the much more expensive butter.
Â Often,Â polls reflect wishful thinking rather than the practical. They can also be heavily slanted to project what the researcher wants simply by the way the questions are asked.
For all practical purposes, polls are useless when dealing with complex human thought and opinions, yet, the press continues to conduct them. In addition to conducting the polls, they pick and choose what results they wish to display which are typically those that are the most vague in nature, such as presidential job approval. The president’s job encompasses many different tasks. Not only is he dealing with war, but he’s also addressing immigration issues, foreign policy, national security,Â and a congressional “witch hunt” to name only a few. Any one of those factors could cause someone to view the president negatively depending on what the person’s main concern happens to be. Or it could simply be because he’s not answering back with the same fire he had in his first term. Or it could be none of those things and something else entirely. Oh, and did I mention that most presidents have had the same results over time regardless of party affiliation? Even the much touted Bill Clinton, who in my personal opinion was nothing but a philandering gasbag, who did little to advance this country except leave a mess for the next president to clean up.
We simply cannot infer anything from polls, except as I mentioned in the first paragraph, a temporary boost or affirmation that your opinion means something. Eventually, we have to look at the practical side and what they really mean, which is absolutely nothing. Conversely, there are politicians who make critical decisions based on poll results. Politicians who use polls to determine the course of this country are playing with fire and will eventually get burned. I believe Clinton was one who used polls to determine how he governed. There have been others and quite likely there will be more.Â I would point out Congressional members who do the same but considering they pick and choose which polls they follow, it would be a useless endeavor.
Another point about polls is the sampling. Stating that a poll was conducted nationwide doesn’t really say much, either. For instance, there are regional differences in political views. You won’t find the same view in southern states, as you would in northern state, northern states will differ significantly from midwestern states, midwestern states will differ significantly from southwestern states, and so on. Unless all regional differences are taken into account, with similar representative samples from each, the poll is slanted. One of the largest numbers I’ve seen of a poll sample was just over 1400… as representing over 1/4 billion people. When you think in those terms, the sampling isn’t very large and easy to see it is not equally distributed.
There are some statistical formulasÂ that can be ran about the relationship between biased and unbiased press poll results but finding enough unbiased press that conducts pollsÂ these days is near impossible. Nor do I have the statistical software to run the formulas. I could do them by hand but that would take longer than I care to spend on the subject.
There is a lot more I can say on this subject but I hope my short lesson helps somewhat.
As Chicken-licken was going one day to the wood, whack! an acorn fell from a tree on to his head.“Gracious goodness me!” said Chicken-licken, “the sky must have fallen; I must go and tell the King.”So Chicken-licken turned back, and met Hen-len.”Well, Hen-len, where are you going?” said he.
“I’m going to the wood,” said she.
“Oh, Hen-len, don’t go!” said he, “for as I was going the sky fell on to my head, and I’m going to tell the King.”
So Hen-len turned back with Chicken-licken, and met Cock-lock. “I’m going to the wood,” said he.
Then Hen-len said: “Oh, Cock-lock, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.”
So Cock-lock turned back, and they met Duck-luck.
“Well, Duck-luck, where are you going?”
And Duck-luck said: “I’m going to the wood.”
Then Cock-lock said: “Oh! Duck-luck, don’t go, for I was going and I met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-liken, and Chicken-liken had been at the wood and the sky had fallen on his head, and we are going to tell the King.”
So Duck-luck turned back, and met Drake-lake.
“Well, Drake-lake, where are you going?”
And Drake-lake said: “I’m going to the wood.”
Then Duck-luck said: “Oh! Drake-lake, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Cock-lock, and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.”
So Drake-lake turned back, and met Goose-loose.
“Well, Goose-loose, where are you going?”
And Goose-loose said: “I’m going to the wood.”
Then Drake-lake said: “Oh, Goose-loose, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Duck-luck, and Duck-luck met Cock-lock, and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.”
So Goose-loose turned back, and met Gander-lander.
“Well, Gander-lander, where are you going?”
And Gander-lander said: “I’m going to the wood.”
Then Goose-loose said: “Oh! Gander-lander, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Drake-lake, and Drake-lake met Duck-luck, and Duck-luck met Cock-lock and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood, and the sky had fallen on his head, and we are going to tell the King.”
So Gander-lander turned back, and met Turkey-lurkey.
“Well, Turkey-lurkey, where are you going?”
And Turkey-lurkey said: “I’m going to the wood.”
Then Gander-lander said: “Oh! Turkey-lurkey, don’t go, for I was going, and I met Goose-loose, and Goose-loose met Drake-lake, and Drake-lake met Duck-luck, and Duck-luck met Cock-lock, and Cock-lock met Hen-len, and Hen-len met Chicken-licken, and Chicken-licken had been at the wood and the sky had fallen on this head, and we are going to tell the King.”
So Turkey-lurkey turned back and walked with Gander-lander, Goose-loose, Drake-lake, Duck-luck, Cock-lock, Hen-len and Chicken-licken. And as they were going along, they met Fox-lox. And Fox-lox said: “Where are you going?”
And they said: “Chicken-licken went to the wood, and the sky fell on to his head, and we are going to tell the King.”
And Fox-lox said: “Come along with me, and I will show you the way.”
But Fox-lox took them into the fox’s hole and he and his young ones soon ate up poor Chicken-licken, Hen-len, Cock-lock, Duck-luck, Drake-lake, Goose-loose, Gander-lander, and Turkey-lurkey; and they never saw the King to tell him that the sky had fallen.
This is a pre-politically correct version of the old fairy tale. A more current version tells of the group being rescued by a dog who chased the fox away and rescued them.
Now, why did I include such a story as this on a political blog? Because Chicken Little reminds me quite a bit of Al Gore (a nonexpert in climatology) preaching the sky is falling due to Global Warming, while ignoring the immediate threat of the fox (radical Islamists) who wants to eat us (swallow us whole into their religion through cunning and force).
Update: The Anchoress has a simple solution to the whole Global Warming Crisis. Add the theatres showing the next blockbuster movies to that, why we might add even more timeÂ before the earth’s demise.
Dr. SanityÂ has some interesting news on the polls front.Â Polls that clearly show what liars Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer, Joe Biden, et al. are:
THE POLL RESULTS THAT DON’T MAKE THE HEADLINES
Cliff May at The Corner has some recent poll results that are extremely interesting:
- According to a recent USA Today/Gallup poll, 61% of Americans oppose â€œdenying the funding needed to send any additional U.S. troops to Iraq,â€ and opposition is up from 58% in February. (3/23-25, 2007).
- A Bloomberg poll reveals 61% of Americans believe withholding funding for the war is a bad idea, while only 28% believe it is a good idea (3/3-11, 2007).
- A recent Public Opinion Strategies (POS) poll found that 56% of registered voters favor fully funding the war in Iraq, with more voters strongly favoring funding (40%) than totally opposing it (38%); (3/25-27, 2007).
- POS found also that a majority of voters (54%) oppose the Democrats imposing a reduction in troops below the level military commanders requested (3/25-27, 2007).
- A separate POS poll finds 57% of voters support staying in Iraq until the job is finished and â€œthe Iraqi government can maintain control and provide security for its people.â€ And 59% of voters say pulling out of Iraq immediately would do more to harm Americaâ€™s reputation in the world than staying until order is restored (35%); (2/5-7, 2007).
- A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll show 69% of American voters trust military commanders more than members of Congress (18%) to decide when United States troops should leave Iraq. This includes 52% of Democrats, 69% of Independents and 88% of Republicans (3/27-28, 2007).
- According to a recent Pew Research survey, only 17% of Americans want an immediate withdrawal of troops (4/18-22, 2007). That same poll found a plurality of adults (45%) believe a terrorist attack against the United States is more likely if we withdraw our troops from Iraq while the â€œcountry remains unstableâ€
- Should a date for withdrawal be set, 70% of American believe it is likely that â€œinsurgents will increase their attacks in Iraqâ€ starting on that day. This is supported by 85% of Republicans, 71% of Independents and 60% of Democrats. (FOX News/Opinion Dynamics, 4/17-18, 2007).
- An LA Times/Bloomberg polls reveals that 50% of Americans say setting a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq â€œhurtsâ€ the troops, while only 27% believe it â€œhelpsâ€ the troops (4/5-9, 2007).
Read all of it here: http://drsanity.blogspot.com/
Now we return to our regularly scheduled program, :).
On another blog: http://commonsenseamerica.net/blog1/?p=1334#commentsÂ there is a discussion going on about how the Democrats in Congress refused to listen to Petraeus.
One of the posts ended with this:
… I want to hear a definitive â€œwe canâ€™t afford this anymoreâ€ timeframe. 20-40 or 40+ whatâ€™s to long? We cannot afford to have an open ended war here. We are screaming about the cost of illegal aliens but we will keeps spending our childrens childrens money on Iraq? Makes little sense to me.
To which I replied:
rob I was with you until your last statements:
â€œWe are screaming about the cost of illegal aliens but we will keeps spending our childrens childrens money on Iraq? Makes little sense to me.â€
We spend more on illegals than we do on the war and they kill more U.S. people per day than die in the war.
As for the rest, I donâ€™t think weâ€™ll be over there 20-40 years. However, there are some things, nonmilitary, that need to happen.
When you look at the Iraqi people, you hear they want freedom and democracy, but they donâ€™t really know what they are because theyâ€™ve never experienced them. They have had no examples to show them what it really means or how to achieve it. And there are others who donâ€™t want them to have that freedom out of fearâ€¦ fear that freedom and democracy might become a concept that their own peoples may desire, which is a threat to their totalitarian regimes and dreams of Global Domination.
So, there is fightingâ€¦ a lot of itâ€¦ cowardly fighting from the shadows and by trickery.
Our soldiers are their best examples of what it means to live in a democratic society and have choices other than those dictated by the powerful. We canâ€™t very well send in civilians when there are shadowy cowards willing to use children as human shields to kill others off, now can we?
When General Petraeus talks about how the war cannot be won militarily, these are some of the things he is talking about.
And yes, it will be a long hard slog because in some ways it has the flavor of a revolution much like our own that won our independence. However, Iraq doesnâ€™t come from a place of knowing what those concepts mean in reality so itâ€™s going to take longer for them to achieve.
Iâ€™ve said, many times, in various places, that the Democratic Party of today is not the Democractic Party of old. The party was hijacked by the extreme left and the socialists in America. They donâ€™t want freedom and democracy in Iraq anymore than the totalitarians who are fighting against them. Freedom and democracy donâ€™t fit in with their One World Government. To them, freedom and democracy in Iraq is a step backwardsâ€¦ many steps backwards.
Itâ€™s funny, just a couple of days ago I heard the term hijacked used on a news station and have read it used in other blogs. Iâ€™ve been using it for months now. Does that mean people are actually reading what I write?
This is how I see the Democratic Party of today, funded by socialist/communist backers pulling the strings from the shadows. While they mouth platitudes and thoughts of equality, women’s rights, and other laudable sentiments, their actions say just the opposite of what they speak. Now, growing upÂ I learned, and through experience I know actions speak louder than words. Why can’t everyone else know that, too? How do we bring them to a place of understanding that?
On another blog, I talked about this concept from another perspective and talked about how the liberal crowd are like the ball in the pinball machine in the hands of a master player, foreverÂ being bouncedÂ off oneÂ object or another never settling to any one thing until the master ends the game.
…Â As I told my friend, I donâ€™t think all liberals are bad people, but I canâ€™t say as much about their stand on the issues.
For instance, the liberal position is to nullify the Second Amendment, making it impossible for honest citizens to own guns.
Liberals have made a religion out of the junk science revolving around Global Warming, and made a god out of Al Gore, a man who just happens to own an alternative energy company.
Liberals believe in encouraging Americaâ€™s enemies by announcing timetables for withdrawal from war zones.Â They also believe in extending Geneva Convention protections to terrorists and Constitutional rights to illegal aliens.
Liberals argue in favor of bilingual education in spite of the fact that studies show that Latinos, so educated, rarely catch up to other foreign-born students who arenâ€™t similarly patronized.
Liberals promote open borders, higher taxes and an end to capital punishment.
Liberals favor affirmative action while simultaneously insisting that they, unlike conservatives, are racially color-blind.Â But, then, they are also the folks who see nothing wrong with U.S. members of Congress forming a Black Caucus.
Liberals believe that activist Supreme Court judges should be encouraged to ignore the original intentions of the nationâ€™s forefathers so long as the judges are advancing a left-wing agenda.
Liberals see nothing wrong with academic tyranny so long as itâ€™s their professors who are ruling the ivy-covered roost.
Liberals have stretched the First Amendment beyond all recognition.Â What it says in regards to the so-called separation of church and state is this: â€œCongress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.â€Â It then goes on to proclaim freedom of the press and speech, and to acknowledge the right of the people to peaceably assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.Â Only certifiably crazy people could interpret that to preclude schools from announcing Christmas vacation or a community from placing a 30-foot Christmas tree on the roof of its city hall.
Liberals believe that freedom of the press extends only to those newspapers, TV networks and radio stations, in lockstep with their beliefs.Â But let Internet websites, talk radio or Fox News, offer a viable alternative, and liberals start looking for ways to shut down the opposition. Apparently, itâ€™s only pornography they hate to see censored.
Liberals insist theyâ€™re for religious tolerance, womenâ€™s rights, democracy and intellectual freedom, but more often than not they side with the Arabs, who are for none of those things, and against Israel.
Liberals favor gay marriage, but refuse to say, if homosexuals are allowed to tie the knot, on what basis, if any, the state can deny the same right to consenting adults who just happen to be siblings, father and daughter, mother and son, or Pamela Sue Anderson and the Oakland Raiders.
Liberals want the U.N., not the U.S., to be the worldâ€™s peacekeeper.Â But one only has to look at Darfur to see what a fine job the U.N. does of it.Â And how is it that the same liberals who canâ€™t bear the thought of American soldiers risking their lives in Iraq are so anxious to have them sent off to the Sudan?
Liberals are terribly concerned with respecting the rites and traditions of Muslims both here and in Guantanamo, but every holiday season happily attack the rites and traditions of American Christians.
Liberals have double standards where politicial scandals are concerned.Â Whereas Republicans lop the heads off their own (Tom DeLay, Mark Foley, Dan Crane, Trent Lott, Scooter Libby), even sometimes when the charges hardly warrant it, liberals have no problem giving leadership positions to such scoundrels as Ted Kennedy, William Jefferson, Robert Byrd, John Murtha, Gerry Studds and Barney Frank; or, for that matter, paying homage to the likes of Michael Moore and Jimmy Carter.
But perhaps thereâ€™s no area in which their hypocrisy is on such blatant display as when it comes to abortions.Â Aside from the fact that the Supreme Court should never have heard Roe v. Wade in the first place — abortion not being a Constitutional right — liberals are simply loopy when it comes to this issue.Â Whether itâ€™s fighting for a womanâ€™s right to have a partial-birth abortion or abortions on demand for young teens, you can count on liberals being just plain wrong.Â Itâ€™s sort of funny in a way because the same yahoos who insist that 18 and 19 year old men and women are too immature to enlist in the military seem to think 13-year-olds are up to having abortions without parental consultation. …
Fear is a survival mechanism which activates a “flight or fight” response. Sometimes, flight isn’t possible and you are stuck with one response, fight. The Democrats on the Hill want us to run from Iraq. To effect this end, they create a fear of fear.
Fear can motivate one to do something about the situation that created the fear or can immobilize one into inaction. I believe those who fear fear are the ones who would become immobilized by it, but are ashamed of their cowardice. Now, no one wants to be thought a coward so they rationalize or excuse their shortcomings by ridiculing those of us who are motivated to confront our fears and fight back.
Pity these people but don’t let them break your own resolve. We face fear every day of our lives in one manner or another. Some threats are larger and more deadlier than others but still only part of the fears we face every day. We live with those fears and work to end them only to have them replaced by new fears. That’s humanity, folks. That’s survival. Refusing to face your fears or trying to make them go away through appeasement only gets you dead.
It looks like a disaster no matter how you spin it, because of the death toll, not of our troops but of the citizens of the country in which the war is being fought. There is a lot to be desired. I can understand that. I can even understand why lily livers on Capitol Hill want to cut and run.
What I can’t understand is how theyÂ want to force us to do it when the results of running will be much more disastrous than staying and fighting. They offer no plan except retreat. They make of us a nation of cowards to further embolden the enemy. Why not just sign over the country now and avoid the bloodshed that will be our inheritance from their gutless actions? Oh, wait, that may be their plan and I just don’t know it, yet. It will be interesting to see what happens after Congress forces a precipitous withdrawal.
Â I just had a lovely thought. Bush still has almost two years left in office. If Congress forces a withdrawal by veto override, the president should take the leash off Israel. He does still determine foreign policyÂ and Israel certainly falls under that category.Â Now wouldn’t that throw a monkey wrench in the plans for the Democrats’ “New World Order?”
In Politics During Wartime, Michael Delong has this to say:
The initial reports from the field regarding Private Lynch stated that she had gone down fighting, had emptied her weapon and that her actions were heroic. Based on these reports, politicians from her home state, West Virginia, wanted the military to award her the Medal of Honor. Their request rose up the ladder until finally it reached me.
But initial combat reports are often wrong(emphasis added).Â Time must always be taken to thoroughly investigate all claims. In the case of Private Lynch, additional time was needed, since she was suffering from combat shock and loss of memory; facts, therefore, had to be gathered from other sources. The military simply didnâ€™t know at that point whether her actions merited a medal.
I knew this having been a military wife. The article further goes on to say the politicians knew this, too, and they weren’t happy. Now, WV is a blue state… I don’t think you can get much bluer, although I wonder why quite often.Â Yet, now they see fit to drag Pvt. Lynch to Capitol Hill to state the Army lied along with Mr. Tillerman’s complaint that he didn’t find out how his brother truly died until 5 weeks after amid other allegations to create yet another circus in Washington, D.C. with taxpayer money.
Mr. Tillerman, be thankful you found out factual information as soon as 5 weeks. There’s a young man who died duringÂ theÂ Gulf War. While we knew almost instantly how he died because it was shrapnel from a land mine,Â his name still needs to be corrected on a plaque in Frankfurt Germany. A new headstone was bought for his funeral by his wife and the four small children he left behind.Â
To those of you who have lost loved ones in war, please, don’t let your tragedies become potential circuses for the politicians wrangling on Capitol Hill. Your future mental health is just not worth it.
As I was moving through the house getting ready to do some house cleaning, I heard a short clip about about a family holed up in their home threatening violence… as a protest to paying taxes for things they don’t support. Now, while it might be considered by some as an admirable stand, I believe if they get away with this, I want the same option. There are lots of things I don’t support but I STILL HAVE TO PAY MY TAXES.
I don’t support the welfare system which takes 20% or better of the federal budget. I don’t want to pay for the $824 billion dollar amnesty program sponsored by Ted Kennedy. I don’t want to pay for socialized medicine, or federally funded abortions, or spinach and peanut farmers, and I especially don’t want to finance Congress’ strategy for creating scandals to “investigate”. They waste my money for political maneuvering which is just plain wrong. And that’s just for starters.
Â Now, if they want to come out with a taxation that allows people to opt out of the things they don’t support, that would be all well and good. However, they’ll never do that because they’d go broke before the first fiscal quarter and they know it.Â
Addendum: I forgot one of my biggest beefs: I don’t want to give to nonprofit organizations that preach anti-Americanism, support terrorist organizations overseas, and try to institute a socialist or communist government in this country. However, they get lumped in with charities I do and will support so I don’t have much choice there, do I?