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Guess I’m a Political Junkie now!

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I got a book in the mail yesterday. Check it out. A lot of great information. The Political Junkie Handbook covers the A to Z of politics from both sides of every issue. I’m finding myself laughing at some of the information and doing the old Johnny Carson, “I did not know that” line in my head with other stuff.

Towards the back of the book there are several lists that are most definately amusing. One list defines the difference between the left and the right. One of the differences that made me laugh was the left says “stop global warming” and the right says “stop global whining”. When you think about it, that kind of says it all. Another is the left says 2+2=whatever, the right says 2+2=4. Goes along the lines of how the left views grading systems in schools. Another is group rights, individual rights. Simple easy ways to see the differences on stances. How about humanity and individuality or mass transit and automobile.

There’s a list of 250 reasons conservatives hated Clinton and another 250 why liberals hated Reagan.

I found a list of quotes and I think the best one was a Churchill quote, “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it.” And there are a bunch more quotes from all through history all through the book.

I would say Michael Crane has done an excellent job compiling a lot of useful data. Definately a good read.

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About Andy Marsh

  • Based upon a few of the comparisons, it sounds as though Crane is at least somewhat biased toward the right (or am I wrong?).

    Thanks for this review, Andy.

  • No, I think you’re wrong. Which comparisons would you say were inaccurate?

  • Or biased?

  • One of the differences that made me laugh was the left says “stop global warming” and the right says “stop global whining”. When you think about it, that kind of says it all. Another is the left says 2+2=whatever, the right says 2+2=4.

    Those two examples are mild shots at the left.

  • no they’re not…the left constantly hollers about global warming and the right constant tells them to stop whining…no shot…that’s the way the headlines read. I’ve had discussions here at BC with people on the left talking about grading not necessarily being a good thing. I’ve never heard someone from the right say that. No grading is the same thing as saying 2+2=whatever. It’s the way the discussions go every day. You wanna call them shots because they’re the truth? Isn’t global warming an issue with the left? Doesn’t the right say shut up already?

  • The way it’s set up is to make the left look like whiny lunatics and the right to look like level-headed rationalists.

    I don’t particularly care one way or the other, but that’s my take on it.

  • the left saying stop global warming makes them look like whiny lunatics? Or the positions they take on issues make them look like whiny lunatics? Maybe you’re just too sensitive about something you don’t need to be so sensitive about?

    Or maybe because it’s a book I’m reading you’re just going to automatically assume it’s a biased book?

  • Not at all. In the first example, we see the left “whining” about global warming, and the right calling them on it. In the second, we see the left in love with fuzzy standards (“whatever”) in education, while the right smugly states for all to see: 2 + 2 = 4.

    Where’s the left “sticking it” to the right with smug, mildly effective jabs in an effort for parity? I just didn’t see it, and thus the charge of bias.

  • so that’s what it is…because one or two of the comparisons that I listed has what you call a “mildly” effective jab in it!

    I agree that “stop Global Warming” is whining. You have to agree that it is a stance of the left. What makes that partisan? It’s demonstrating differences in just a couple of words. It’s exactly how a lot of feel about this issue. That doesn’t make it biased!

    just because the right side of stop global warming is stop global whining, doesn’t mean that calling for a stop to blobal warming is whining! even though it is.

    I suppose these are biased too…

    the left says the death penalty is uncivilized the right, high crime rates are uncivilized or idealism and commonsense. How about Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas. It’s a list, with the left on one side and the right on the other. Showing different arguments in a couple of words. IRA or NRA. things like that.

    This one fits you…and I only say that because earlier you said you didn’t care, Aggrieved for others, the right, personally aggrieved.

    Maybe your just not as left as you want to think you are???

  • Here’s a whole bunch more for you to pick apart.

    Abortion: My Body, My Choice / It’s a Child! ! Not a Choice
    Animal Rights: “A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy” / Man is the Pinnacle of Creation
    Child Raising: It Takes a Village / It Takes a Loving Mother and a Devoted Father
    Crime: Crime is an Economic Problem / Crime is a Moral Problem
    Education Policy: Outcome-Based Education / Back to the Basics
    Favorite Celebrity Spokesman: Alec Baldwin / Charlton Heston
    Favorite Motivating Factor: Power / Liberty
    Favorite President: Franklin Delano Roosevelt / Ronald Reagan
    Favorite Term for People Who Illegally Enter Our Country: Undocumented
    Workers / Illegal Aliens
    Central Goal: Pursuit of Equality / Pursuit of Excellence
    How They View Each Other: Believe Conservatives
    Reactionary / Think Liberals Utopian
    Individual Modality: Self-_Expression / Self-Control
    Achieving Peace: Visualize Peace / Peace Through Strength
    Politics: The Personal is Political / The Political is Personal
    Popular Saying: Do Your Own Thing / Do Good and Avoid Evil
    Public Policy: All Social Problems Have Solutions / All Policy Involves Trade-Offs
    Rights: Group Rights / Individual Rights
    Societal Motivator: Cooperation / Competition
    Human Nature: Human Nature Can be Modified by Public Policy / Human Nature
    is Unchangeable
    The Constitution is: A Living Document / An Inviolable Pact of and for the People
    The Military: The Military is a Vehicle for Social Change / The Military Objective is Simply to Defend and Protect this Country
    The Three R’s: Racism, Reproduction and Recycling / Reading, Writing and ‘rithmatic
    Wages: Government Should Assure a Fair and Living Wage / Wages Must be
    Based on Productivity
    Wealth: Wealth Must be Redistributed / Wealth Must be Created
    Which Side on the Reading War?: Whole Language / Phonics

  • bhw

    I’ve had discussions here at BC with people on the left talking about grading not necessarily being a good thing. I’ve never heard someone from the right say that. No grading is the same thing as saying 2+2=whatever.

    I thought I heard someone calling me.

    No, Andy, saying that giving students grades is unnecessary is not the same thing as saying 2+2=whatever.

  • I been waiting for you lady! No, but it IS the way the right looks at it.

  • Or should I say, people on the right side of this particular issu.

  • bhw

    Which is why the others were correct in saying that there’s a bias in the book, at least in some of the examples.

  • The majority of the information in the book is in the form of tables and is more informative than the list of differences that I used as an example. I found them entertaining and that’s why I used them. I’ll find you some biases in the other direction just to make everyone happy.

    Honestly though. In the major sections of the book, there are arguments for both sides of every issue. For example, in the section titled Death Penalty there are quotes from the ACLU and The Innocence Project on one side and Thomas Sowell and Dudley Sharp(prodeathpenalty.com) on the other side of the issue. This along with 9 or 10 table and graphs showing totals by state and ethnicity really does show both sides of the issue. On Education I find Quotes like this, Local voucher programs divert public resources from reform and, ironically, divert students to the only schools exempt from the new accountabiltiy regime (Democratic Leadership Council) And this statement, which kinda validates that 2+2=whatever thing, Schools must increase students self-esteem, which, in turn, enhances learning. Thus, failing grades are to be avoided, the curriculum made more relevant tothe student and a students opinion (whether right or wrong should be taken seriously. In other words, 2+2=whatever!

    Same topic from the other side, statements like, The reason for the New New Math, as for many other curriculum reforms, is that teachers, school administrators and their unions are tired of being blamed for statistical declines and poor student performances. (WSJ)

    On another note, I’d point out that in the list of politically active celebrities, Streisand, Lange and Stallone are all listed as moderate, as well as Tom Selleck, Arnold and Ron Silver. Robbins and Sarandon and Ono as progressive. I always thought you could pretty much lump all Celebs with the exceptions of a few in the liberal category.

  • Maybe your just not as left as you want to think you are???

    I never claimed to be “left.” I never claimed to be anything, really. I generally support the Democratic Party and I generally differ with most of the policies of the current administration, but I have my own mind.

    The ability to paint people in one word allows for easy stereotypes, demonization, etc.

    Anyway, Andy, I believe that you believe there’s no bias in those examples or in the book. Fine — I’m cool leaving it at that if you are.

    Are we simpatico now?

  • We’re good Eric. Hey, I’m an easy guy to get along with!

    I honestly do believe it’s a good book. A lot of useful info, at least for me anyway. Makes it easier to understand how some people can take the stances they take.

  • Word up and likewise, Andy. I’m glad the book works for you.

  • I thank Andy’s praise & defense of my book, The Political Junkie Handbook, and would like to add a few comments about the preceeding arguments.
    First, I made every effort to present a fair, bipartisan book — I balanced the debate points with liberal and conservative quotes, when I added a list titled “Why Conservatives Hated Clinton,” I included a list called “250 Reasons why Liberals Hated Reagan.” About half of the book contains raw statistics, mostly taken from unbiased government sources.
    The problem I have found and the illusion of bias perceived by many on the Left results from the use of statistics by the Left and the Right. The activists on the Left tend to attach an entire campaign to a single, often flawed statistic. Examples abound, but I will give one. Feminists claim that 25% of women are sexually assaulted during their years in college; they initiated a huge campaign called “Take Back the Night” based on that single number. Well, the number is a gross exaggeration — the FBI reports that about 1,000 people are sexually assaulted on campuses each year, this includes homosexual assaults, with about 8 million female college students you do the math. The Left generally does not have a good reputation with statistics. Hence the perception of bias about my book.
    The Right, on the other hand, has used statistics effectively and generally honestly. The prominence of conservative think tanks during the last decade gives evidence to my opinion.

    Michael Crane
    The Political Junkie Handbook

  • Crane, that was a crappy “defense” of non-bias.

    I haven’t read the book so I won’t say either way (and I’d probably be highly entertained). But your rebuttal was terrible. It amounted to “My book is not biased to the right but if it were he’re some good examples as to why it could be. Oh and the left doesn’t have a good history with statistics.” ???

    A terrible defense.

  • The list in comment 10 must be from the ‘Right’ side of the book. I’m on the Left and some of those descriptions of my side are just laughable, but they are the definitions that have been given to us by the Right.

    The Left believes in bringing about peace by ‘visualizing it’? WTF? Who on the Left?

    Favorite motivating factor? Power vs. Liberty? Yeah, right.

    And in that list, you say the Left is the one that believes the Military is a vehicle for social change?

    I haven’t read the book, but that list in comment 10 is more off base than on.

  • Actually, Steve, I think it’s pretty accurate if the writer does most of his research by reading peoples’ bumper stickers, which is pretty much what it looks like.

  • this technique has been absolutely perfected by a huge chunk of the right. coopt the language and you win the ‘debate’.

    repeat things over and over again (“stay on message!!!”) until those things become accepted as facts.

    it’s scary.

  • Steve S. asks “Who on the left visualizes peace?” Bumper stickers are only part of the “visualize peace” phenomenon of the left (although it seems nearly every car in progressive and university towns has one and I doubt you’ll ever find one on a car in a VFW parking lot ). A Google search found 14,200 pages visualizing peace, mostly leftwing blogs. Check out the Peace Center ( http://www.salsa.net/peace/visualize.html ). I doubt that they are fans of Ronald Reagan!

    Steve S. also doubts my Power vs. Liberty comparison. Obviously, he has not read any feminist literature of the last 40 years. And what is that all about? Achieving Power! Steve W. also missed the Black Power movement which still maintains considerable influence in the African-American community. He didn’t read Hillary Clinton’s famous speech at Wellesley. And what was that all about? Any change can only be had through political power. And who is the ultimate guru of the left? Saul Alinsky. Saul Alinsky lays out in his books about how the Have-Nots in this world can take power away from the haves. I could write a book about the Left’s affection for Power.

    Conservatives, on the other hand, consider Adam Smith, Ayn Rand, Edmund Burke and David Hume central to their philisophical backbone, each a solid proponent of individual libery.

    Who can doubt, with issues like “gays in the military” and “women in combat,” that Liberals don’t view the military as a vehicle for social change? What do you think the Clintons were doing in 1993 with their executive order forcing the military to accept gays into their ranks?

    I would like to reply to Temple Stark’s comment, but I can’t figure out what he said. I did notice, however, that he completely ignored my example.


    Michael Crane
    The Political Junkie Handbook

  • What do you think the Clintons were doing in 1993 with their executive order forcing the military to accept gays into their ranks?

    I would say ensuring equality. If either side wants to make influences socially, they do so in the social arena.

    You equate equality with power in your feminist and Black Power examples. American History has shown us that equality does not come to you, if you are a leaf blowing in the wind.

    Certainly Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, any of the foundations or think tanks from Scaife, et. al. ad nauseum enjoy the power they wield. They surely do not wield Liberty for all.

  • I guess your lack of powers of understanding and observation continue here then.

    I’m sorry you’re playing stupid.

  • You misunderstand the political dynamic. Equality may be a goal of the Left ( I include it in my comparisons– The Left: Pursuit of Equality, The Right: Pursuit of Excellence) but, according to leftist strategy, it can only be acquired with political power.

    Regarding Heritage Foundation, Focus on the Family, any of the foundations or think tanks from Scaife, et. al. ad nauseum: I have read thousands of pages of their literature, attended many debates and lectures and personally know many of the scholars employed by these groups and never have any of them promoted a public policy that would give liberty to one group and deny liberty to other groups.

    I offer you a challenge. Please find a passage, quote or citation of any mainstream conservative organization ( I don’t consider the American Nazi Party or the John Birch Society mainstream) that promotes or would actively deny basic liberties to any group.

    I eagerly await your response.


  • To Temple Stark:

    No, it’s your syntax.

    I see that you continue to ignore my example, but you did add the left’s favorite weapon to your comment: the ad hominem attack.


  • 4Q2

    Michael Crane-Thank you for clearing up the confusion about any bias in your book. I personally take you at your word. You must remember that this ‘blog’ site is frequented by a small number of rather bitter liberals. They personally have never written a book or accomplished any on par with your accomplishments. Bitterness is their trademark.

    Congradulations on your book and best of luck.

  • Are you a serious person? And was mine really an unprovoked response since you addressed nothing I wrote, instead claiming you really couldn’t understand it?

    I never said anything about your example. I didn’t realize you wanted my approval. It’s a good example. But … but … it really has nothing to do with a defense of the alleged bias in your book. That’s what I was saying, your defense wasn’t very good. That was pretty clear.

    And, despite your protestations, you are coming off as more and more intentially biased with each comment here (I don’t mean the one’s directed at me).

    Again, I said I’d likely be highly entertained by the book – are compliments completely ignored around here?

    – Temple Stark

  • Temple – I don’t think they’re intentionally ignored, but they can be rare at times!

  • trolls don’t take well to compliments.

  • bhw

    ( I include it in my comparisons– The Left: Pursuit of Equality, The Right: Pursuit of Excellence)

    Yet another example of bias, as if equality and excellence were not only incompatible ideas, but oppositional forces. It’s a biased comparison, designed to make the Left look like it doesn’t pursue excellence.

    The Left pursues excellence, just as the Right does. But does the Right pursue equality?

  • 4Q2

    Steve S- Mr Crane issued you a challenge in post #27…what say you? Did you just make that stuff up or do you have an example to show us?

  • make the ‘group’ Americans, and then you’ve got all those right wing propaganda machines that endorse the Patriot Act.

  • and the patriot act has affected you, Steve, how?

  • Andy, we have all lost some civil liberties due to the Patriot Act.

    As for me, how they have affected me the most is this way:

    When we win marriage in the court system, like we did in Hawaii, Alaska and Mass., the courts ruled that everybody has the right to the Pursuit of Happiness.

    The courts then rule that history has shown us that a Separate But Equal society leads to a societal stigmatization that deprives groups of their right to the Pursuit of Happiness.

    In other words, denying equality infringes on the Right to Pursue Happiness. The rulings are much more in depth and elaborate of course, but that is the premise.

    These organizations (Heritage, FotF, etc.) while maybe not coming out and putting on paper the exact verbage of ‘deny gays and lesbians their liberties’, the ideology they do put forth has been proven to deny basic liberties.

  • 4Q2

    Steve S-Kansas just joined the ranks of states unwilling to grant homosexual couples the same rights as married couples. Perhaps there is more to your argument than ‘equality’. I mean are suggesting that 13 states have got it all wrong?

  • 4Q2, back when the courts ruled for desegregation and there was military escorting teens to high school, I would imagine then if Separate But Equal was put to a vote then, at least 13 states would have got it wrong then too.

  • 4Q2

    Stop all the ‘imagining’ steve. Accept the fact the 13 states (soon to be 50) with all of their legislators and judges and voters got it right and you sir and your befuddling ilk have it wrong.

    I think it is disingenous for you to compare same sex marriage to desegregation. There are specific reasons why homosexual couples are not entitled to the same rights grant to married couples. It has more to do with cost than equality.

  • Its nice to see that good old dollars come ahead of equality and human rights. That’s why America is more righteous … no, scratch that … more profitable than the rest of the world.

  • Steve – you complete lost me on that one. The Patriot Act is denying you your right to marry? There’s a statement in the Patriot Act against gay marriage?

  • No Andy. The first sentence was talking about the Patriot Act. The second sentence starts in with how they have most affected me, it’s a change in the Patriot Act.

    To answer your question solely about the Patriot Act, we have lost some liberties in the Patriot Act, but I have not had those liberties infringed upon yet, to my knowledge, however that does not mean their loss is acceptable.

  • I mean it’s a change from the Patriot Act.

  • Joe

    Which ones?

  • This is old shit folks.

    The Sixth Amendment guarantees all citizens the right to a speedy and public trial decided by an impartial jury.

    the Patriot Act allows the government to jail Americans indefinitely without a trial

    The act also allows the government to monitor religious and political groups without suspecting criminal activity, jail citizens without charging them with a crime and take library records without telling people. In fact, if a librarian does tell you Big Brother Ashcroft took your records, the government can prosecute the librarian, which is a direct infringement on the freedom of speech.

  • Joe

    So the handful of times that those exceptions have been executed constitute a loss of civil liberties for all? Ok, I guess so, in a hypothetical sense. But really, how many times have they actually used those powers?

  • ClubhouseCancer

    Maybe the assumption that your book is from the right comes from the fact that SPI Books is famous for publishing right-wing nutjobs’ spewage. They’re the source of some of the Clinton cocaine stuff, if I remember correctly.

    But it’s always fun to pretend you have no bias.

  • Joe, I am not a championing of defeating the Patriot Act. I mean it’s not my primary focus. I’m against most elements of it, but I am for some sort of Act and there are large elements in it that are beneficial.

    The question was asked about right wing groups and their negative effect on liberties. I’m telling you my perspective. The perspective of many, I don’t know and I don’t care if it’s the perspective of the majority. It should be of a concern to all.

    They also collectively endorse ideologies that infringe on a woman’s right to control her own body, they believe a right to practice a religion overrides a right to be free from oppression by it (by wanting to put religious symbols in courthouses, etc), the list goes on.

    It’s my perspective and the perspective of millions, as I said, that these groups work towards violating liberties. It is also the perspective of millions, such as yourself, that they do not. Therein lies the culture war, right?

  • ClubhouseCancer

    And by the way, 4Q2, watch that back door.
    …like a trollin’ stone….

  • Joe

    Ah, no. I took your comment to mean that supporting the Patriot Act was equivalent to an attack on civil liberties. I’m more or less agnostic on it in that I recognize there is room for abuse but have yet to actually see it and the fact that persons that have been held under the Act have had recourse through the courts leads me to believe that over time the bugs will get worked out.

  • no, no. The conversation comes from the concept he put forward that the motivating factor for the right is Liberty. The Right does not always support Liberty is what I SEE.

  • 4Q2

    Thanks Clubhouse Cancer for the warning. I would like to return the favor….Watch out for contaminated butts, you just might come down with some sort of cancer.

    4Q2 (very much)

  • Hey, what happened to that big long rant that was in here?

  • Eric Olsen

    where was it and by whom? I don’t believe I have done anything to this thread

  • My mistake, it was a different post! and it’s still there.

  • Those who defend the Patriot Act argue that it’s not abusive because it hasn’t been used abusively. Those who are against it argue that it’s abusive because it could be used abusively in the future.

    I tend to side with the latter group because no one wants to be the first one on the receiving end of the abuses that are possible under the act.