I’m back from Vancouver, thoroughly exhausted, and unable right now to pull together my notes and thoughts from OOPSLA, which I hope to get to, soon. In the meantime, some random postings:
## This report (from the Program on International Policy Attitudes of the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland) on the relative perceptions of Bush and Kerry supporters (courtesy Metafilter) is, I suppose, not surprising, but still unbelievable:
Even after the final report of Charles Duelfer to Congress saying that Iraq did not have a significant WMD program, 72% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq had actual WMD (47%) or a major program for developing them (25%). Fifty-six percent assume that most experts believe Iraq had actual WMD and 57% also assume, incorrectly, that Duelfer concluded Iraq had at least a major WMD program. Kerry supporters hold opposite beliefs on all these points.
Similarly, 75% of Bush supporters continue to believe that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda, and 63% believe that clear evidence of this support has been found. Sixty percent of Bush supporters assume that this is also the conclusion of most experts, and 55% assume, incorrectly, that this was the conclusion of the 9/11 Commission. Here again, large majorities of Kerry supporters have exactly opposite perceptions.
The report delicately refers to this overall phenomenon as a “tendency of Bush supporters to ignore dissonant information.” I’d say that’s a very polite way of putting it. A blunter description would be, “heads in the sand.”
## Meanwhile, over in Slate Chris Suellentrop has a report on the “Bush Pledge” that takes these final days of the election beyond the surreal and into the proto-fascist:
|“I want you to stand, raise your right hands,” and recite “the Bush Pledge,” said Florida state Sen. Ken Pruitt. The assembled mass of about 2,000 in this Treasure Coast town about an hour north of West Palm Beach dutifully rose, arms aloft, and repeated after Pruitt: “I care about freedom and liberty. I care about my family. I care about my country. Because I care, I promise to work hard to re-elect, re-elect George W. Bush as president of the United States.”|
They’re also pledging, I bet, to continue to “ignore dissonant information.”
## Finally, RIP John Peel. During the months I spent in England in the early ’80s, I fell in love with his broadcasts, and more recently I’ve enjoyed the bonanza of CD reissues of “Peel Sessions” by bands I love.