Sunday, November 06, 2005

Curbing My Enthusiasm for the Council Winners

Watcher's CouncilFirst place in the Council entries this week went to Stratasphere for his post on the possible Wilson-CIA cover-up. This is a thorough exploration of a complicated and disturbing story:
     Let me try and remember again who was establishing a business of trade in Africa, specifically Niger? Ah, yes - Joe Wilson. And who was in Niger in early 2002? Joe Wilson. And all of a sudden this report comes into the CIA about uranium in a warehouse for Saddam, but the CIA never follows up. We are going to war, the VP is at the CIA asking questions – and a load of uranium in a warehouse is ‘misplaced’.
Thanks, Stratasphere; great research. But now I’m really creeped out.

Doc Sanity and Gates tied for second place. Especially read the good doctor’s take on the droning “Henny Penny” news claque, the ones who can’t wait to tell you the sky is falling:
    The American public is hearing voices. And like auditory hallucinations experienced by psychiatric patients, these voices whisper continual doom and gloom. They tell the American consumer that prices are too high. That the economy is tanking; that poverty is on the rise; and that everything is bad bad bad.
These voices are persistant and continual. They are unrelenting. They are often frightening. And like the command hallucinations that torment many of my patients, they are completely and totally untrue. You are bad. Life isn't worth living. They are trying to hurt you. Don't try, it's not worth it.

It is very rare for such voices to say anything at all positive. They have a specific goal--and that goal is the distortion of reality

Most of us have a personal history with this kind of Chinese water torture form of news reporting. It’s not just Vietnam or the Iraq war — it’s everything: all the bad news, all the time, on everything, be it the economy, culture, religion, foreign policy, health care, the future, etc.

That’s why we at Gates got rid of TV, NPR (National Palestinian Radio, including “Morning Sedition” and “All Things We Care to Consider” — names provided by my observant second son more than twenty years ago), and WaPo. I remember the first time Wally Ballou, one of our commenters, showed us The Washington Times. It seemed like a foreign and exotic object.

Diagnosis for accumulated attention to MSM: Hallucinations. Treatment: Excise the MSM from your life. In our view at Gates, if this condition is left untreated, you begin to believe that oil is running out, the economy is on the skids, famine is coming (remember that one?) the situation in Iraq is just Vietnam writ small, and America is bad, bad, bad and ought to turn herself into the United Nations for therapy. You wouldn’t live with asbestos in your house or lead paint. So get rid of the other toxic materials, too. Start with TV news.

Go, Doc!

In the non Council area, Cathy Siepp won for her post, “And Another Thing.” At the behest of a friend, Ms. Siepp has undertaken to reveal that she has lung cancer. My favorite part of the post (which I’d read previously ) was the section that related to my own experience with cancer — only she is able to articulate precisely what I could only glimpse at the time:
     Cancer does have a couple of upsides. One is that you can put the fear of God into people with hardly any effort at all, and occasionally, I have to admit, I do this when they start waving their illusions around in front of me. “But…but…you never smoked? Not at all? So then…you lived with a smoker, right? You worked in a bar?” Etc. Mostly I just smile and answer the usual series of “no”s. But sometimes I say, “I know you’re looking for a reason why you’ll never get this, even though I did -- sorry, can’t help you.”
I’ve also heard, repeated back to me secondhand, theories that, well, it was stress – she got cancer because she wrote all those articles criticizing those wonderful people at the L.A. Times. Again, it doesn’t work that way. (And none of that ever caused me stress, just for the record.)
The other advantage is people reveal themselves to you as they really are – it’s almost like a solution for invisible ink. I found that most people were just as good as I’d expected, which in the case of my friends and family is very good. Some have been even better. And a couple, but only a couple, were big disappointments. (I’d still rather be me with cancer than them without it, although obviously a better scenario would be they’d have cancer and I wouldn’t, but you can’t have everything.)
See if you’re brave enough to read it.

Second place was disturbing in a different way. Winds of Change gives the full text of an article from the German political magazine, Cicero, published last Spring, and excerpts from a second essay in the same mag. The information contained in the essays so concerned the German government that they raided the offices of Cicero — definitely a sign you’re doing something right. Dan Darling doesn’t think the articles have had much exposure in English. The first, entitled “The World’s Most Dangerous Man,” gives an in-depth and graphic description of a Muslim butcher:
     Supported by Iran, gone underground in Iraq, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi has been pulling the strings of Islamist terrorism, becoming Usama Bin Ladin's new crown prince and an unscrupulous Holy War fighter.
Notice all those connections: Iran, Iraq, and Osama. Meanwhile, the Left here at home screams when you make those connections. Interesting reactive denial, don’t you think?

Warning: parts of the article are graphic. If you suffer from PTSD, don’t go there.

But do go to see all the other posts at the Watcher’s site. Amazing stuff.

Some blogger, whose name I’ve fortunately blocked, described my enthusiasm for a recent Watcher post by Right Wing Nuthouse as “drooling” — because, of course, he didn’t agree with Rick Moran’s essay. I must ask Doc Sanity to fisk that little mental tic. Meanwhile, I shall continue drooling on the winners. Sorry, folks. Bring paper towels.


Thomas von der Trave said...

Doc Sanity's take on the hallucinatory effects of too much exposure to the Bad News Bears (MSM) reminds me of an interview I heard recently with the egregious Barbara Ehrenreich. Her new book is out and she's making the NPR rounds. Can't remember the title and it's not worth looking up, but the subtitle is the most telling anyway: "The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream."

Aside from the obviously fiskable irony that she is making a very respectable living by telling the rest of us no-hopers to give up, we're doomed, don't even try, the "bosses" have it all locked up, the truly stunning thing is the way the "bad news" (lathspell) is lapped up by adoring interviewers who worship her for having the "courage" to tell the truth. Er, "truth."


Dr. Sanity said...

You can drool over my posts any time you like! :)

Thomas von der Trave said...

Why, thank you! Send me a bill for paper towels if it gets too bad...

Dymphna said...

Hey, here's a good team: Barbara Ehrenreich and Paul Ehrlich. They can resurrect The Club of Rome and Carter can be the President of the Board of Directors...hey, cool idea for a post!

Thanks for making me laugh, guys. Our puddy cat got killed by a dog sometime during the night and the Baron had the task of burying him before breakfast.

Now he has to travel to the Boy's dorm and let him know in person -- it was his favorite and beloved pet. As the Baron said, sadly, it is one more disconnect from home as his son makes his way into the world...

So thanks for the laugh.

And, yeah, this is a safe place to leave this. College boys don't go reading their mothers' Council posts.

Thomas von der Trave said...

Laughs are always freely given and received with me, Lady D.

Sorry to hear about your quadrupedal bereavement. I lost my nine-year-old Siberian Husky to the stupidest accident ever. That was two years ago and I still think of her every day.