Excursion 8, Part 6 (Justice for Jake and Ella)

In which our intrepid hero discovers a mysterious death…

There was a poll conducted not long before I write this (in late August 2013, three months after this excursion), in which the pollsters gleefully revealed that a substantial percentage of Louisiana Republicans blamed Obama for the failure of the federal government in dealing with Hurricane Katrina.  The point, of course, is that Obama was not even president at the time, but rather a freshman senator from Illinois who had nothing to do with Katrina, good or bad.  What I think this speaks to more generally is how flexible people can be—flexible in terms of things ranging from memory to burdens of proof—when something they want to be true (or not true) is on the line.  Think of conspiracy theorists, for example.  Pick a conspiracy theory:  UFOs, the Kennedy assassination, the New World Order, 9/11, you name it.  Conspiracy theorists generally impose an impossible burden of proof to accept contentions by non-conspiracists while simultaneously lowing all barriers of critical thinking when it comes to accepting contentions or evidence from like-minded people.  This is true for more than simply conspiracy theories or political beliefs; it actually happens quite a bit in ordinary life as well.

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