Saturday, September 19, 2020

The Voice of Saruman III

I wrote about Joe Biden in 2006, when I heard him on "Imus In The Morning." For context, we have not had a TV since 1979, and even to this day the only video I have seen of most political and other popular figures has been linked from other sites.  Even those I tend not to click, because I believe strongly in the ability of those who seek to be leaders to hack into our sentiments and tell us what we want to hear. When I blogged years ago about Watshisname who talks about "game" and how to hack into female responses so guys can have sex with them I recall thinking "that isn't the half of it. That is doubly true of entertainers and talking heads and triply of politicians, especially among the supposed elites." I assume their ability to fool is at least as good as my ability to see through them, so I try to rely solely on the written word.

At the time, I was impressed with how sharp and persuasive Biden was, and that I believed him while listening to him.  I thought he was deceptive and dishonest and criticised him on those grounds but acknowledged his persuasiveness.  Two years later I wrote about him again, also entitling it "The Voice of Saruman." At that time also I noted that he lied like a rug (as fisked by honest liberal Mickey Kaus), but mentioned that in the context of this guy sounds really sincere and intelligent, but beware, it is not so.

There is debate even among Biden's detractors that he has always been this way, making inaccurate statements and ridiculous gaffes.  Others say there is something new here, he was not ever thus. Defenders and semi-defenders claim that these statements are okay if you are generous about looking at his intent and getting it correct based on something that is true at two removes.  Before exiting from that discussion, I will note that this is exactly what I have been saying about Trump for five years.  Most of what people are "just sure" they know to be true about what Trump has said doesn't seem so bad if one applies that Biden standard that we have been applying for at least 32 years years to Joe (second link).  That bar is so low, and I felt it was inadequate enough for a president that I did not vote for Trump in 2016, instead squandering it on Egg McMuffin, who has turned out to be a crazy person.  Yet I have to say, that if your objection to Trump is that you have to squint and throw up your hands and make excuses because what he says is only cousin to the truth, that Biden's statements are second-cousin-to-the-truth, at best.  Denethor (or perhaps from the emotional side, Theoden?) is ultimately not Saruman, however infuriating you may find him to be.

But back to the main point, which is whether Biden is as sharp as he used to be. I am not a student of the man, and it may be that he has always made gaffes.  But with plagiarims so strong in his history, I suggest that bullshit is more the issue with Joe, and I am supplying pretty emphatic data points from 1988, 2006, and 2008 to support my claim. He used to be a persuasive, well-spoken liar. He can't even do that anymore. Ann Althouse notes that he is as good as ever at being evasive. As confabulation can persist well into dementia, I am not impressed.  Which is not to say that Biden has dementia.  I have not watched him nor listened to him nor followed the links trying to show how much he has lost it. I am agnostic on the subject.  I note that professionals in geriatric medicine are not weighing in at the moment, which is proper.  But I have caught the back-and-forth arguments defending him against the charge, and those do not pass muster. His defenders may be correct about him, but their arguments are bad.


Sam L. said...

For me, the main thing about Joe is, he's a Democrat, and I don't trust any of them. And then there's all the riots and looting in Democrat-run cities.

PenGun said...

"Even those I tend not to click, because I believe strongly in the ability of those who seek to be leaders to hack into our sentiments and tell us what we want to hear."

I'm confused. You hide from evidence because it might be what you want to hear, and thus take over your mind somehow?

That can't be right. It would explain a few things though.

james said...

Did you miss the bit about "videos?" I don't watch the videos either; if I'm interested I go for transcripts. Intake is a lot faster, and if I doubt something in the transcript I can review the video.

WRT the "gotcha" videos: Sometimes it's obvious from the transcript that the speaker had fumble-tongue ("57 states"), sometimes the speaker didn't know the material, sometimes the speaker got carried away with rhetoric.

PenGun said...

No. I'm just surprised that they might be too influential. I watch all kinds of videos, as they are part of the news for me. I like written stuff, but what I'm looking for is clues to what's happening, and where it might go, and its often only in video form. I'm not sure why a transcript, which are rare, would be better.

As well there are very informative vids out there. I like Stanford U as there is so much online. The various institutes have a lot of great science vids, and I have learned a great deal from them.

I can only guess its lack of confidence in your ability to see through the lies.

Christopher B said...

He did it again today. After resting for a day and half (shut down at 8:30am yesterday, spoke for 15 minutes around noon today, took no questions) he claimed that 200 million people would die from COVID-19 during his talk.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Pen Gun - so your politics, as repeatedly declared, are every liberal cliche, repeated in the face of contrary evidence. Yet you are sure that you are not fooled by the most powerful reality-imitating technology mankind has created, which is now controlled by mostly-liberal outlets.

You have this backwards, but it's everyone else who is wrong.

PenGun said...

LOL. You have no idea at all.

I drink from a firehose. All over the world there are people who are discussing the world. In newspapers, various forums, actual news on both TV and radio, and as part of their blog. ;)

I look at everything I find even slightly relevant, and weigh that against everything else. I find out things from even people like you, with very narrow views, who have a distrust of any media not controlled by their forces.

I am Rikki Tikki Tavi and I must run and find out. ;) I have no fear at all, and deeply enjoy the vast variety of human experience.

I am interested in what liberal cliches you are talking about? You may find you have just ascribed things to me, that I have never actually said anything about.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

You have claimed that about yourself before. And yet whatever is brought up, here or at Chicago Boyz, you reliably produce the current liberal thought. It's an amazing coincidence, I suppose.

If you have not even suspected that such a thing might be true by age 74, then no evidence is going to convince you. You must first admit the possibility. Until then, nothing need be said.

PenGun said...

Pray tell, what is the current liberal thought? I am baffled.

Chicago Boyz was the home of Stephan Den Beste, another disciple of the 'great' Milton Friedman. He was dangerous, as so many thought he was a really smart person. He now does anime porn, and is harmless.

That's why I watch the boyz. I like to keep up on everyone's progress as time goes by, and as I suspect its Milton's philosophy that will bring the US to a more normal state, given a few more years. ;)

The point I sorta made is that you drink from a straw. You admitted as much, with what I thought was a very strange thing to say.

"Even those I tend not to click, because I believe strongly in the ability of those who seek to be leaders to hack into our sentiments and tell us what we want to hear."

Do you really not have enough confidence in your own understanding to look at disparate views? That I find strange, and a bit disturbing.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

You continue to give evidence for my point. I said nothing about disparate views. I was referring to videos specifically. Reading comprehension is considered essential for understanding, and accurate reflection of uncomfortable material is essential to discussion.

And you repeatedly just can't manage it. I'm happy to have you out there, making me look good, but it gets self-serving after a while.

PenGun said...

LOL. Its just videos then. I am old and slow its true, but you make no point. If you are afraid of having your mind changed by watching a video, I don't know what to say. You are malleable by admission.

The point of my firehose etc was to point out that I do not have your problem. The lies are obvious to me.

I'll have to guess, as you will not say, that my dislike of guns and my liking universal health care is my liberal bias. Apparently Trump does not like guns much either.