Comments about ‘Letters: Pattern in emotional reaction’

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Published: Tuesday, July 23 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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joe5
South Jordan, UT

This is a common pattern in sports. The talking media heads interpret the same information differently to support what they already believe. "Miami will win the NBA championship because they can play small-ball." "San Antonio will win the title because they can control the paint." Exactly the same evidence but two completely different interpretations. Sports pundits seem to understand they will look foolish most of the time.

However, it's more serious on social and political issues. When people decide first and then gather data later, they tend to selectively listen to supporting evidence and reject all other information. We end up with intractable camps willing to "die on the hill" they have taken rather than hear anything that might change their view. As contradictory evidence emerges, instead of listening and considering another point of view, there is a tendency to move to an even more extreme position.

Almost anybody who feels strongly enough about an issue to post on these message boards is guilty, including me. We are the problem; our government is merely a reflection of us. If we want government to work, we'd better learn how to effectively communicate among ourselves.

Edgar
Samaria, ID

Excellent letter Kendall. Just as important as asking if there is something I don't know might be to consider that what I think I know might not be accurate. Depending on the source of the information, if we are honest with ourselvesw, we might consider that the evidence that has been published might be biased, exaggerated or just plain false. In the case of Trayvon Martin's death we have to assume that our justice system worked the way it was set up to work. Before George Zimmerman was charged there was an outcry because it seemed the police were accepting, without question, George Zimmerman's story that he acted in self defense. Some believe that the county prosecutor was pressured into filing the charges and if that is true, it is truly unfortunate. But in the end, charges were filed, a trial was held and a jury decided. Many disagree with the verdict but what other process would we use to determine guilt. Is there a better system?

Of course there shouold be checks and balances to ensure the process was not tainted, but until there is any such evidence, we should accept the veridict of the people.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Everything that goes into the mind will pass into the emotional part of the brain first. so if you see a picture of a 8 year old child, it strikes a note that blocks that it was an 18 year old adult. the image is stuck. The information doesn't get to the logical part of the brain.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

The burden of proof is on the State. A citizen is innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution had an opportunity to prove that Zimmerman was guilty, but they had no evidence.

Because they had no evidence, Eric Holder and Barack Obama have resorted to emotion. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have resorted to emotion. Community organizers all across this nation have resorted to emotion. They can't use facts, because the facts don't support the desired outcome.

That fact alone shows us the character of those who are drumming up racial tensions. When the highest law enforcement officer in the nation and the President, whose primary duty is to encourage citizens to rise above their base emotions, lead the parade against a jury who listened to the evidence presented and concluded that Zimmerman was not guilty of the charges the State brought against him, then we have a much more serious problem; we have people using political power to incite racial tension.

What is their desired outcome?

FreedomFighter41
Orem, UT

Does this apply to politics as well? Like when suggesting that the president has a deep-seated hatred for white culture or that he was born in Kenya or is a communist Nazi? Because for the past 5 years I've seen and heard nonstop assumption and speculation based on zero or near zero evidence. If we can agree that speculation without evidence is unhealthy, why then would anyone watch foxnews and Bro. Beck?

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

I don't recall the original letter, so I can't comment on it specifically, but many of the things that Ayres finds fault with in it I see as positives. Qualifiers such as "it seems to me" strike me as an honest attempt to differentiate between "facts" and personal opinions (interpretation of facts). I see lots of commingling of the two in these forums, as well as broad-brush categorical statements and assumptions presented as givens. I welcome qualifying statements that acknowledge a degree of uncertainty. It's refreshing alternative to the local radio talk show host who claims to be "100% right 100% of the time" (he's not, of course) or the nationally syndicated host who ties half his brain behind his back ("just to keep it fair"). In the battle of intellectual hubris versus humility, I'll side with humility.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:MikeRichards
"When the highest law enforcement officer in the nation and the President, whose primary duty is to encourage citizens to rise above their base emotions, lead the parade against a jury"

??????
Here's what Obama said:

"The judge conducted the trial in a professional manner. The prosecution and the defense made their arguments. The juries were properly instructed that in a case such as this reasonable doubt was relevant, and they rendered a verdict. And once the jury has spoken, that's how our system works."

Suggestion,
Turn off the radio/TV/blogs and read the text of what Obama said.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@ Truthseeker, this is what Obama said: "When Trayvon Martin was first shot, I said that this could have been my son. And another way of saying that is Trayvon Martin could have been me, 35 years ago,"

That was after the trial. That was after the jury had reached its verdict. That was after the State had failed to make its case. That was after all facts that the prosecution wished to present had been presented.

No other President but Obama has ever used race to incite citizens all across this nation after a verdict has been rendered. What other President in our lifetime has ever allowed his Attorney General to "diss" a verdict? What other President has ever allowed anger to overshadow a verdict? He and Holder have insulted the women on that jury and every citizen in this country. There was no proof of guilt. That jury did not disregard the facts, but Obama and Holder did. They could care less about truth, justice and the American way.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:MikeRichards

FYI I don't disagree with the verdict. But it is still a tragedy.

Have you read Obama's speech?

Only if you ignore, and warp what he said about the trial-"professional" and "properly instructed," "beyond a reasonable doubt"--can you come to the conclusion he was "dissing" the verdict.

It is no more inappropriate for Obama to talk about being black than for JFK to talk about being Catholic or a woman president to talk about being a woman.

Obama also said;

"African American young men are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system; that they're disproportionately both victims and perpetrators of violence."

"I think the African American community is also not naïve in understanding that, statistically, somebody like Trayvon Martin was statistically more likely to be shot by a peer than he was by somebody else."

"I think it's understandable that there have been demonstrations and vigils and protests, and some of that stuff is just going to have to work its way through, as long as it remains nonviolent. If I see any violence, then I will remind folks that that dishonors what happened to Trayvon Martin and his family."

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

If we're allowed to "cherry-pick" the press releases after the verdict, we'll have a distorted view of who said what.

No one is "picking" on President Obama. He said what he said. Perhaps the press was much more interested in the fact that Obama saw himself as a victim or that Obama, a man who was given every advantage ever offered to a youth by his grandparents, chose to see himself as a victim. Nothing could be further from the truth. Doors were opened to him all through his life, no matter how he portrays himself. He did not live in the slums of Chicago as a youth. He did not hear the sounds of gunfire all around him during the nights of his childhood. He has no more in common with Trayvon Martin than you or I have.

What do you think he would be saying if it was not Zimmerman who had been acquited, but his wife, his daughters, Eric Holder or Bill Ayers? What if one of them had used deadly force against someone who was pounding their head against the cement? What would his words be?

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

re:JThompson/MikeRichards

You don't get it.

I know, as a parent to 3 sons, I never ever had to tell them they will be followed in stores so don't put your hands in your pockets, don't wear a hoodie, expect to have your car searched if you are pulled over by police, put your hands outside the car immediately if you are pulled over by police etc.

Obama was blessed to have a mother and grandparents who put his education first and sacrificed to make that happen. But once he was given those opportunities, Obama had to prove himself, which he did. After graduating from Columbia rather than taking some swanky job, he chose to work in Chicago among the poor. After graduating from Harvard instead of becoming a rich corporate lawyer, he chose to work for a civil rights firm.

Do you think racism is confined just to the black poor?

Even prominent, successful black people are victims of racism/profiling.

Once when Obama was a state senator he was invited to a function attended by prominent people. One of the attendees mistook Obama for the help and asked Obama to get him a drink.

Truthseeker2
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA

re:JThompson/MikeRichards
"If we're allowed to "cherry-pick" the press releases"

Right. As I suggested, go to the source, the actual text of Obama's remarks.

What was the motivation behind the prolonged "birther" and other conspiracies that dogged Obama long after he was elected and after he had released his birth certificate certified by the State of Hawaii?

Nothing but pure racism.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

re: Truthseeker/Truthseeker2,

Read the history, not the press releases. Obama among the "poor"? Does living in a mansion partially purchased with money from Antoin Rezko (who is serving a 10 yr. sentence) have anything to do with the "poor"? Doesd having a wife's salary of $350,000 a year ever qualify anyone as being "poor"? Does a net worth of more than $6,000,000 give someone the "experience" of being with the poor?

That's just another of Obama's many lapses of judgement when he puts on the "victim" so that we'll feel sorry of his poor performance as CEO of America. That man has never even operated a lemonade stand. He doesn't have a clue what it means to work for a living, to go to bed hungry, to not have family wipe away every tear, to not have someone "explain" what he really meant to say.

Even his statement about the birth certificate lacks truth. Hawaii state registrar Alvin Onaka, certified that the White House image is a forgery.

Everywhere Obama goes, lies and mistatements follow. No one has ever caught him in a "truth".

abtrumpet
Provo, UT

The article simply suggests that there are things that few people know. Were you there the night that it happened? I can already hear you saying, "No, but..." OK. Stop right there. So you DON'T know who is guilty, so turn off that emotional response switch and think logically about it. Zimmerman may be guilty, he may not be but we have to trust our system of jury by peers to decide and not "popular vote." That's not how the judicial system works, and I am grateful for that.

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