Everyone is entitled to one and some are full of shit.
Yesterday I ran an experiment preparing for this post today, I ran a poll to prove a point.
The poll question was simple: "Is America a Democracy?"
As of right now, April 5, 2007 at 12:20 pm (Arizona, Mountain time), 13% got the answer wrong, 86% got the answer right and 1% didn't know.
For the record, America is a Constitutional Republic, not a Democracy. (The differences in the two are on the page I linked to above)
My points are coupled together here. One: Opinion polls are asked of people, results are used as some sort of guide, and depending on the subject, quite often the respondents haven't a clue and no basis for their opinion....it is just that...opinion.
(We will get to the second point below.)
Which is why our Founding Fathers set up this country as a Constitutional Republic in the first place. The "will" of the American people is shown through elections, and that is where their "will" stops deciding the issues facing our country until the next election where they can show pleasure at how their representatives behaved or displeasure by voting differently the next time around.
After the "people speak" during elections, their collective wills or wishes are no longer an issue when making laws, dealing with foreign policies or running a war.
As I said yesterday:
our founding fathers understood that the "majority" is not always right and could and often does allow their passions to overcome their common sense, so they built in protections with the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
The constitution clearly separates the Powers of the President from the powers of Congress and the Senate as well as the judicial powers.
Now, back to opinions and assholes.
Lets find a basis that everyone can agree upon.
Having never attending medical school, would my "opinion" on where a surgeon should start cutting a patient during surgery be as valid or have the same "authority" as a surgeon that has attended medical school and obtained his license?
Am I entitled to my opinion? Sure thing.
Should it be taken seriously or treated like the uneducated, uninformed crap that it would be? I think that is one answer everyone can agree upon, is it not?
This can be applied to almost everything in life.
Back to the poll, do those 13% that answered the poll incorrectly have the right to form political opinion that requires a basic knowledge of the differences between a Democracy and a Constitutional Republic?
Sure they do.
Should they have the right to expect anyone to take those opinions seriously, given their ignorance of the premise behind the questions?
Not in my opinion.
To use an example from my own comment section here (Sorry Greg, but I DID tell you that you make quite a few of my points for me)
We have a consistent commenter, I do not consider him a troll, I see no malice in his disagreements and he appears to be educated.
He is a veteran of the Vietnam era, but never fought in Vietnam.
He consistently insists that his "opinion" about how things were on the ground in Vietnam should be given equal authority and consideration as those that were on the ground IN Vietnam, fought and in some cases were held as prisoners for years.
Also, he contends often in the comments that other Vietnam War Veterans that disagree is doing so because of some sort of political agenda.
Refusing to acknowledge, to date, that those on the ground are speaking to what they were firsthand witnesses to and therefore should be taken more seriously about the realities of Vietnam, and that the opposite of his assertions is the actual truth: HIS is the political driven opinion while the Veterans that were on the ground are the informed opinions.
How can a person who is not witness to the actualities on the ground think they could have equal authority when speaking to those same realities on the ground?
In my opinion, they cannot.
Which brings me to a couple of items in todays news.
I am going to start with what I consider the most important issue today, Iraq.
Polls given throughout America as to how the Iraqi's feel. Should these polls and the respondents answers be given the same moral authority as polls given to the Iraqis about their own feelings?
Being that Americans, unless regularly in contact with Iraqi's IN Iraq, are getting their "opinions" from whatever news station they watch or whatever source of news they find online and the Iraq people are speaking from experience, from within......
That question SHOULD be a no brainer.
This Washington Times piece is what I am referring to above:
Ask most Americans if they were aware that Iraqis, by almost a 2-to-1 margin, believe that life today is better than it was under Saddam Hussein, and you'd most likely elicit incredulousness, blank stares or outright laughter. Not because it isn't true, though. It is.
The mainstream media just forgot to mention it.
In the past month, two surveys that involved face-to-face interviews with thousands of ordinary Iraqis have been released. While each contained significantly different results, both provided substantial evidence that Iraqis are not nearly as gloomy as Americans have been told to believe.
To the extent the mainstream media covered the surveys, far more attention was given to the one with more negative results, which was sponsored by ABC News, USA Today, BBC and a German TV network. Most Americans would not have even known about the poll conducted by British market research firm Opinion Research Business, which self-funded its survey of face-to-face interviews with 5,019 Iraqis, were it not for the Drudge Report.
Only because of Drudge, which linked to the Sunday Times of London coverage of the poll, did Americans have a chance to learn that Iraqis believe life today is better than under Saddam, by 49 percent to 26 percent. Coverage of this important fact was almost non-existent in the mainstream media, found in fewer than five straight-ahead news stories in the entire Nexis database.
The New York Times never so much as mentioned the 2005 poll, and The Post spent one paragraph on it — albeit depicting the results as decidedly mixed — 600 words into a 1,000 word story on an unrelated Iraq topic on page A19. True, the poll was commissioned by other news organizations, but that same fact didn't stop the behemoth newspapers from reporting the bad news contained in the recent ABC News/USA Today poll.
In what appears to be a compulsion to attack any good news coming out of Iraq — assuming it bothers to report the information in the first place — The Post offered the caveat that the Opinion Research Business poll had found more positive results, but then made a strange assertion, referring to the ABC poll as "more comprehensive." Given that opinion Research Business interviewed more than 5,000 Iraqis — more than double the other poll's sample size — The Post must be "arguing some odd definition of 'comprehensive' that does not include breadth and volume," quips Kellyanne Conway, president of the polling company.
Read the rest of the article.
By picking and choosing which news to report on and which news to ignore, the media is trying to advance whichever particular agenda that organization agrees with by influencing what their audience sees, they are also influencing how their audience forms their opinions.
This is why when I speak to anything to do with Iraq, I interview the soldiers who are THERE or have been and I quote from blogs based IN Iraq so often.
Otherwise I also would have to rely on Americas "news" reporting to form opinions, and I do not trust ANY of them enough to do that.
It takes me days and, on some occasions, weeks of research for certain posts, so that I can weed through opinion of those that are not "in the know" from informed opinions that do know.
This also applies to the situation that Nancy Pelosi has just found herself in.
Congress and the Senate are legislators, not diplomats.
Their opinions on laws and legislation is what they were elected for and will either be elected again because of, or lose their next elections because of.
Like it or not, because we are a Constitutional Republic, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights assure us that when it comes to foreign policy it is the Presidents sole obligation and responsibility, therefore "power" to make the critical decisions and to determine the course of action in a time of war.
Congress can defund and that is where their influence should end.
Because the President has the advantage, given to him within the Constitution, of being the one person in the United States of America with "all available knowledge" to make those decisions.
Therefore, again, whether you like it or not, HIS is the authorative opinion on foreign policy and how the war on terror is conducted and Congress and the Senates are just opinions from those with LESS knowledge.
They are entitled to their opinions, but we are also entitled to treat them as opinions from ignorant assholes if we choose to.
Which is why Nancy Pelosi should have never tried shuttle diplomacy, that is the secretary of states job, not the speaker of the house.
Which is why Congress and the Senate can defund the war on terror (if they had the votes) but have no Constitutional leg to stand on to try to control it, or command it, OR change the direction.
They claim the "people" gave them a mandate in Novemebers elections... they are wrong.
The people gave them their seats in the houses, because of promises they do not have enough of a majority to keep ,but because we are a Constitutional Republic, that is where the peoples voice ends and they must work within the framework of our Constitution to try to keep the promises they made the people that got them elected.
That is why before the elections we encouraged those people that the politicians made promises to, to ask the one question that would have brought about the truth....
How do you propose to keep your promises?
They never asked it so the far far left, the anti-war activists and code pink members, deserve all they are getting and their claims of being lied to are bogus.
They were not lied to, they never asked the important questions that would have allowed them to make an informed decision.
About Nancy Pelosi's statement that there is a new congress in town, let me show you a line from a different blog (Thanks to commenter mia for the link), then please go read the full article there.
There may be a new Congress in town, but there is not a new President.
Please read the full piece because they also show you some important numbers to remember.
If Pelosi and the rest of Congress as well as the members of the Senate would spend half the time doing their jobs as they do trying to usurp and do the Presidents , or the secretary of states job, they might actually get some stuff done for a change.
There is a new congress in town and they were put there to do a job, and one of the clear mandates that they were elected for was to end corruption in congress which they are failing miserably in, considering their latest pork barrel bribery to buy the votes they need to send a "message" that they already knew would be vetoed.
Talk about a huge waste of time, taxpayers money and corruption.
They managed to hit the trifecta with that one political game.
SCSU Scholars also has a few more historical facts and figures for you to take a look at.
All in all, opinions are like assholes and every one is entitled to them, but uneducated, unresearched opinions are nothing more than a pile of crap.
Some Opinions/ Assholes are full of shit.
[UPDATES] Some additional reading for those interested.
Wizbang with "Washington Post Slaps Down Pelosi's Attempted Foreign Policy Coup"
Syrian President Blows Off Nancy Pelosi.......for SOCCER...lololol.
Poison Pelosi: Terrorist Tool Dangerous Fool from Atlas Shrugs
Petraeus Cites Areas of Improvement in Baghdad from Online NewsHour.