Lately I’ve noticed that more and more people are saying things and then contradicting themselves (or acting like they didn’t say whatever it was they just said). While this is not exactly new, what is new is that they issue the contradiction immediately following, sometimes even in the same sentence.

I’m not sure what to make of this. Do they think people’s attention spans are so short that they can get away with it? Are they relying on the likelihood that nobody can think critically anymore — or do they lack that ability themselves?

Here’s an example:

A woman sued a middle school principal because he held a toy gun to her son’s neck to teach him a lesson.

Ryles claims the act has left the boy, 13 years old at the time of the incident, with nightmares and emotionally scarred.

We’ll ignore for a moment how retarded this lawsuit is, and the fact that the kid is a pussy if he really is emotionally traumatized by this. The interesting bit is this:

In police interviews, Samore, 49, said he wasn’t was trying to frighten the student but wanted to “illustrate to him that even toy guns scare people.”

Ok…so…the principal wasn’t trying to scare the kid. He was just trying to scare the kid.

Um, what?

All right, another example, this time from someone much more interesting (Congressman Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) in regards to another much more interesting person (Secretary of State Colin Powell):

Brown: “…The president may have been a — may have been AWOL…”

Powell: “First of all, Mr. Brown, I won’t dignify your comments about the president because you don’t know what you are talking about.”

Brown: “I’m sorry I don’t know what you mean, Mr. Secretary.”

Powell [sharply]: “You made reference to the president.”

Now for one of our all-time favorites: John Pilger, in an interview conducted by Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporter Tony Jones:

TONY JONES: Can you approve in that context the killing of American, British or Australian troops who are in the occupying forces?

JOHN PILGER: Well yes, they’re legitimate targets. They’re illegally occupying a country. And I would have thought from an Iraqi’s point of view they are legitimate targets, they’d have to be, sure.

TONY JONES: So Australian troops you would regard in Iraq as legitimate targets?

JOHN PILGER: Excuse me but, really, that’s an unbecoming question.

What’s wrong with this picture? I did not edit the above quote. That is exactly the sequence of dialogue, with no gaps or omissions. Pilger makes a statement, the reporter repeats it, and suddenly it’s “unbecoming”. What, is it rude or something to call attention to the arrogant, repulsive stuff that people like Pilger spew?

What’s going on here? Is this some kind of larger phenomenon? Is it new or have we just never noticed before? Or perhaps we never used to give airtime to such asinine remarks. That may be true in Pilger’s case. In the case of Congressman Brown, I’d have to blame his constituents for voting his stupid ass into office.

This sort of thing reminds me a bit of the following incident, which appears to be typical of dumb crooks:

Proving that they don’t call it crack for nothing, a 22-year-old man had, in the presence of officers, pushed a bag containing 18 rocks of crack cocaine into his rectum. A pat-down moments earlier had detected the bag in the back of his pants.

“I didn’t want to get caught with that dope,” the affidavit quotes him saying. “I got 18 rocks.”

Then – this is classic – he says, “You would’ve done the same thing.”

I don’t think anyone would argue that this guy isn’t a dumbass, and is exhibiting a truly stupendous level of cluelessness. That people like Brown and Pilger (and clueless school principals) also exhibit this sort of idiocy means we need to take a hard look at the sorts of people whose opinions and judgement we pay attention to.

Then again, I don’t pay much attention to John Pilger, or idiot Democratic Congressmen, so there you go.

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