Well, HELL! Let’s Not Just Give Up, Let’s Help Pull It All Down!

Another fisk, this time of a whiny Leftist from an op-ed in the (People’s Republic of) Austin Chronicle.

Welcome to the Situation


The administrations of George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush, as well as the candidacies of John Kerry and Ralph Nader, all relate to what may be called the Situation – a Situation that they have not and will never discuss frankly. Which is not entirely their fault. Whatever mix of ambition, self-deception, and fear that each must struggle with – for they are merely human and we all struggle with such weaknesses – they also know that Americans of the left as well as the right are an immature people hell-bent on remaining immature.

With the glaring exception of the mature, intelligent, thoughtful Left who know what’s best for us and want to make sure we get it – good and hard. I love writers who condescend to their audience. (Psst! You know that, because you’re reading this, you’re not an immature boob! You’re one of us! The ELITE!)

The mass media market immaturity so successfully because Americans crave immaturity on a mass scale. Most of our entertainment and fashion, as well as the presentation of most news, and virtually all our phenomenally effective advertising, assumes that one must not treat Americans as adults – and America eats up such condescension manically, if not happily.

And who is it that runs the “entertainment and fashion” industry? Not to mention the overwhelming majority of newsrooms? The Left, is it not?

No one can hope to lead by confronting the Situation honestly and directly. So each concocts his own brand of gibberishy cant, shaded to his constituency, and hopes his rap will give him enough cover to deal with the Situation as he sees fit. And the Situation is this:

The great days of the United States of America are over. Nothing will bring those days back. It’s too late. The damage has been done. There is no possible political, military, or economic solution. The general prosperity of the Fifties and Sixties (as opposed to the one-sided prosperity of the Nineties) is irretrievable. The capacity of the U.S. to lead the world has been drained.

Thank you Jimmah Carter. You can leave now. What? You have more to say? Oh well…

The only question is how America will decline – gracefully, clumsily, or tragically? Will we decline with our Constitution intact? Will our decline make us more tolerant and interesting, or meaner and more dulled? Britain declined drastically between 1914 and 1950, yet still produced great literature and a leader of the caliber of Winston Churchill. France declined just as badly, yet still had the cultural power to produce influential art and philosophy.

Our Constitution has been under constant assault – primarily from the Left – since the beginning of the 20th Century. The Bill of Rights is in tatters from that and from the Right’s War on (some) Drugs™. Don’t make me laugh at your contention that the Constitution is important to someone who expresses ideas like this.

Britain started going to hell as soon as they started destroying the personal liberties of their subjects with socialism. France suffered greatly from that as well. Note, also, that France can’t build a functional aircraft carrier. But hey, check out that haute couture! France as a role model? To hell with that!

Europe as a whole declined during the 20th century, but retained the intellectual vitality to reinvent itself for the 21st and become another kind of power.

Europe depended on the U.S.A. to defend them, and then spent the money they’d otherwise have needed for defense on socialist programs to keep their people fat, dumb, and happy. And they “declined” while doing so. Their birthrates went to hell, and they’re now being overrun by immigrants willing to do work their natives find beneath them. We’re suffering from a bit of that ourselves, I admit, but not to the same extent. Their unions won concessions their economies can no longer support. USA, ditto. Europe isn’t close to bottoming out, but just wait until France is predominately Muslim. Want to bet they’ll still “produce influential art and philosophy”? “Another kind of power?” What kind of power is Europe? It’s predominately corrupt and weak. They have essentially no power at all, and want only to hamstring America because we are no longer opposed by the Soviet Bear. Their power is in flapping their gums and wringing their hands, for the most part.

How will America decline? At this moment in history, that is the important question: How will America decline?

Only if you’re a Leftist.

Look briefly at some specifics of the Situation:

China has become a manufacturing colossus while our factories are gone or going, for keeps.

Manufacturing is driven by labor costs. Unions and our general level of prosperity dictate that our labor cost will be higher than underdeveloped nations. Japan is losing manufacturing jobs too, for the same reason. Prosperity means higher wages. Globalization means exporting jobs that can be done inexpensively elsewhere.

It’s simple economics. Why do people have such a hard time understanding that?

Our agriculture is on welfare: 18% of U.S. farm income comes from government subsidies; what happens to U.S. agriculture when we’re too broke to sustain such subsidies?

Jesus! Agriculture is the “third rail” of government and has been since time immemorial. Nobody on the Left or the Right has the ability to defeat each year’s multi-billion dollar “Farm Bill” that rightly should go out the window. And if they did, the Left would be screaming about how we’d be destroying the “family farm.” You don’t get it both ways.

China invests vast sums a year in its infrastructure, on all levels, from cultural and educational institutions to grand construction projects;

That’s because China has relatively little in the way of such infrastructure. It’s a COMMUNIST DICTATORSHIP. They’re starting from zero.

we’re spending comparable sums futilely in Iraq while our infrastructure, on all levels, crumbles.

To paraphrase: “Liberating 50 million people and initiating democratic government in the Middle East is TOO EXPENSIVE!”

Goddamit, it’s NOT FUTILE.

We’re fighting for oil in the Middle East; China is in negotiation with Russia to have oil piped through its backdoor – while, through its front door, it has a sweet deal with Australia for natural gas (while we spend millions “defending” Australia against – China!).

Right. We’re fighting for oil. I haven’t notice the price at the pump coming down, have you?

In a third-degree-removed way, yes, we’re in the Middle East because that’s where the oil is – the oil our economy and way of life depends on. We’d buy it from others (and will, when they develop it), but we’re in the Middle East now because Radical Islam has spawned people who want to kill us and have demonstrated some capability of it. Oil is secondary at best.

We’ve allowed our corporations to become non-national entities. Not only are they financing the rise of China, moving our manufacturing to China or to its sphere of influence, but through off-shore tax havens and the like these so-called American businesses contribute next to nothing to the only entity empowered to ensure our domestic tranquility: the federal government.

Wait a minute – weren’t you just praising China’s massive investment in its infrastructure? And this is being paid for by evil corporations? Well, whaddaya know! They’re actually good for something! See what happens when you try taxing them into submission? They move offshore and do business in other countries! Imagine that! And whose idea was it to punitively tax big corporations to fund the Federal Government? The Left, was it not? We’ve “allowed our corporations to become non-national entities”? As opposed to what? Regulating them to death?

As to our heavily indebted federal government, its solvency is now supported mostly by Asians buying our bonds. Why do they buy our bonds? Because the American consumer is still the engine of world prosperity. How is this possible? Because of credit cards and the like. Without the American way of credit, we’d be in a depression.

And without the American way of credit, our economy would never have become the powerhouse it is. Everything’s a tradeoff.

The paramount fact: The United States (as opposed to its nominally American corporations, which demonstrate no allegiance) is now important economically only because of its citizens’ consumption.

You’re forgetting our overly-subsidized agriculture. Turn that off and see how important we are.

That consumption is fated to decline while in the near future – maybe five years, maybe 10 – China will prosper enough for its 1.3 billion citizens to become significant consumers.

And their wages will go up, and Durkadurkastan will start getting an influx of manufacturing plants there to take advantage of cheap labor. And Chinese workers will bitch about “outsourcing.”

There are so many of them that they don’t have to consume as much as we do to become the world’s economic engine; if, individually, they consume merely one-fifth of what we do, they will surpass us in buying power. When that happens, China and Southern Asia can support their own growth and will have no more use for us. Then they need not defeat us militarily. They have merely to stop buying our bonds. Or even to threaten to stop buying our bonds. America will have the choice of being either severely destitute or following China’s lead – perhaps both! That is the Situation.

Quite possibly. If we stop inventing – the one thing America does better than anywhere else.

To cope with the Situation, each of the five men mentioned in the first sentence of this column has had, beneath his pointless rhetoric, a plan.

George H.W. Bush tried to proclaim a “new world order.” The U.S. still had enough credibility, manufacturing clout, and consumer strength to lead and control the big changes that were afoot – or so Bush the First hoped. He temporarily secured both our oil dominance and our world leadership. But he couldn’t be honest with our childish voters about the Situation, so he was accused of not having the “vision thing,” though in fact he did. He lost his moment and his momentum, and America lost its last chance at dominance. (Do not take this to mean that I approved his policies. He sold out the American worker in order to retain American world clout. I’d rather we not be dominant. I’d rather we grow up.)

“I’d rather we not be dominant.” No, you’d rather we be France. Thanks for making that even more clear.

Bill Clinton knew the score. He opted for a relatively soft landing. His plan: Let the corporations have whatever they want – given the makeup of Congress and the immaturity of the American voter, they’d get it anyway (so his thinking went); serve big business, but keep the American way of life more or less viable. Thus his priority was to balance the budget. I hate the way he balanced it; for instance, with a double-digit lead in the polls in ’96 he cut school lunches for impoverished children to appease the right. Clinton knew that our middle class is small-of-heart and run by fear, and that they care nothing for the suffering of others as long as they’re taken care of. He balanced their budget. But say this for him: His goal was that America decline gracefully, retaining most freedoms and some privileges. With a balanced budget America wouldn’t be beholden to creditors, and would retain its agriculture and much of its powerful consumer value. China would dominate the 21st century, but would still need the U.S. as a junior partner, as the U.S. needed Western Europe in the last half of the 20th century. With their combined power, China and America could stabilize the world. So Clinton hoped. Not an entirely ignoble plan.

From an entirely ignoble man? What a backhanded compliment! No wonder I disliked Clinton so much! He wanted us to decline gracefully! How good of him! He was doing a helluva job at it.

George W. Bush sees things differently: America may be lost, but the American elite must still call the shots on the world stage. Screw the middle class as well as the poor, bankrupt the government long-term for power short-term. His goal: a military solution. A missile shield would allow us to dictate to China and Europe; even a fake missile shield might be a playing card. Find any excuse to root the American military in the Middle East. Its oil would be under our command, while a poorer America would swell the ranks of our “volunteer” forces. Gut the Constitution’s checks and balances, for belief in raw power admits no checks and balances. Iraq is a mess? Inconvenient, but ultimately it doesn’t matter as long as the American military is committed to the Mideast. That keeps everybody off balance. With everything so crazy, China will hesitate, Europe will hesitate, and the American elite will have enough time to move entirely off-shore, and then – screw America too, who needs it? How will America decline in the Bush plan? Precipitously, but the elite will still be the elite. That’s all Bush cares about.

Ok, now wipe the foam from your lips and back away from the word processor.

Try to understand this: George W. Bush is an optimist. Like Reagan before him, he doesn’t see America as a defeated, decaying nation, but one in the midst of change – one from which we will emerge, as we tend to do when lead by people of optimism, stronger. Jimmy Carter told us all the crap you’re telling us. Reagan told us different. Reagan was right. Bush is too.

Ralph Nader says to the Situation: “End corporate welfare!” His stance was barely viable in ’96, when I voted for him, but now it’s ’04 and the damage has been done. Corporations don’t need us anymore, yea or nay. Their profits are ultimately Chinese. Nader can’t fix that. His plan is politically unfeasible and economically outdated.

So, you voted for Nadir? That explains a lot. All that “corporate” money goes somewhere. And those corporations have a lot of American employees, too. Why must the Left see economics as a zero-sum game? “Ending corporate welfare” results in those corporations moving offshore – the thing you spent the first part of this screed decrying. What you’re asking the Big Evil Corporations to do is stand perfectly still while you kill them for being productive.

And John Kerry – he’s like one of those damaged but functioning Mars landers. Clinton’s soft landing is no longer possible, but bumpy is better than a crash. Given the Situation, make things as bearable as possible. That’s Kerry’s real policy: Salvage what’s salvageable. His goal is straight from Mars: a damaged but functional landing. It won’t be pretty but it might work, and when all is said and done we might yet have a functioning Constitution. With that, we can pick up the pieces of what’s left of America. Which is still something worth fighting and voting for.

There you go: Vote for Kerry! He’ll make us as relevant as France!

I don’t fucking think so. We’ve got our problems (and Leftists are a great big one), but we’re not finished yet. The Left has not yet destroyed us, try as they might.

And if there’s any justice in the world, on November 3 the Left will find that out. In spades.

“Ungovernable by Christmas” ???

Francis Porretto also reads one of my daily stops, Ravenwood’s Universe. Well, today Ravenwood wrote something that disturbed Francis.

While a Kerry victory on Tuesday scares the hell out of me, I cannot wait for this whole thing to be over. I realize that neither a Kerry victory nor Bush victory will end the polarization. But I still just want to get back to living a normal life, where I’m not ostracized by those I care most about, for my ‘wacky’ political beliefs.

(Read the whole post, though.) Francis commented:

As was said in these pages once before, politics is an acceptable substitute for bloodshed only if the contending parties can accept its verdict and return to amity, regardless of who “wins” and who “loses.” But this appears not to be the case now. Recently, ace political reporter John Fund quoted an unnamed Democratic consultant as saying:

Democrats will protest and fight so strongly that Bush won’t have a win even if he wins. We will obstruct so much that this country will be ungovernable by Christmas.

Oh. Joy.

I thought we’d pretty much beat this discussion into the ground a couple of months back in that grand three-way discussion between myself, Ironbear, and Jed Baer. However, none of us actually bothered to ask any Democrat consultants. Apparently we forgot that reason and logic don’t have much to do with this.

So, maybe I was wrong. I don’t think so, because I don’t think there’s enough of the moonbat wing of the Democrat party to carry it off, but I might be in error. Perhaps there is enough division and hatred out there to instigate a civil war.

Francis advises “keep your powder dry.”

Let me be more blunt: Fuck ’em. We’re the ones with the guns.

More on Self-Defense in England

The argument that, like abortion, never stops. I had a multi-month argument discussion with Australian blogger Tim Lambert over self-defense (more accurately, justifiable violence), and just last week I linked to a London Sunday Telegraph op-ed that advocated changing the law to “to give householders the right to use whatever force is necessary against intruders.” Well, Samizdata has an interesting post up on the topic, and I strongly recommend that you read through the comments, too.

“England can do it, Australia can do it, WE CAN TOO!” – chanted at the original (nowhere near) Million Mom March.

Not hardly, ladies. Not hardly.

Stealing Shamelessly…

Perusing Serenity’s Journal tonight I found a poem she’d been sent, and as that poem reflects a recurring theme in this blog – the difference between violent and predatory vs. violent but protective – I’m going to steal it and reproduce it here.

(BTW, I’ve met the young lady and had an interesting person-to-person conversation with her at the du Toit’s 9/11 get together. Very enjoyable encounter!)

Thanks, Serenity!

The Sheepdogs

Most humans truly are like sheep

Wanting nothing more than peace to keep

To graze, grow fat and raise their young,

Sweet taste of clover on the tongue.

Their lives serene upon Life’s farm,

They sense no threat nor fear no harm.

On verdant meadows, they forage free

With naught to fear, with naught to flee.

They pay their sheepdogs little heed

For there is no threat; there is no need.

To the flock, sheepdog’s are mysteries,

Roaming watchful round the peripheries.

These fang-toothed creatures bark, they roar

With the fetid reek of the carnivore,

Too like the wolf of legends told,

To be amongst our docile fold.

Who needs sheepdogs? What good are they?

They have no use, not in this day.

Lock them away, out of our sight

We have no need of their fierce might.

But sudden in their midst a beast

Has come to kill, has come to feast

The wolves attack; they give no warning

Upon that calm September morning

They slash and kill with frenzied glee

Their passive helpless enemy

Who had no clue the wolves were there

Far roaming from their Eastern lair.

Then from the carnage, from the rout,

Comes the cry, “Turn the sheepdogs out!”

Thus is our nature but too our plight

To keep our dogs on leashes tight

And live a life of illusive bliss

Hearing not the beast, his growl, his hiss.

Until he has us by the throat,

We pay no heed; we take no note.

Not until he strikes us at our core

Will we unleash the Dogs of War

Only having felt the wolf pack’s wrath

Do we loose the sheepdogs on its path.

And the wolves will learn what we’ve shown before;

We love our sheep, we Dogs of War.

Russ Vaughn

2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment

101st Airborne Division

Vietnam 65-66

It’s All Over but the Lawsuits

I voted today. Arizona has early voting through Friday, 10/29. There’s a real chance that I might be sent out of town on election day on a service call, and I missed the deadline for an absentee ballot (I was out of town, on a service call, when that deadline expired). However, I found out about the early voting option, and there’s a polling place just a stone’s throw (err… bad metaphor) from where I live. So, bright and early this morning (an hour after I’m normally in my office) I lined up in front of the polling place, and at 8:05AM I presented my voter registration card, got my ballot, and voted.

Now on Tuesday I don’t have to stand in line with a bunch of Kerry supporters.

Whoopee. Can’t wait for Wednesday.

“You can never do only one thing”

Francis Porretto has written another of his excellent essays, this time illustrating the (small “L”) libertarian position on the War on (some) Drugs™. Entitled Consensus And Constitutional Order, Part Six: Look To Your Margins! it’s worth your time. And while you’re at it, read my own take on the topic, It is Not the Business of Government from almost precisely a year ago.

Pardon the light blogging, but like I said earlier, I’ve been busy. And besides, I’m trying to catch up on my reading.

John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine’s Resident Luddite

Hat tip to Michelle for the link, since I stopped reading PC Magazine a long time ago.

Apparently PC Magazine contributor and opinion columnist John C. Dvorak has an ongoing problem with blogs and bloggers. As they say, those who forget history are destined to be run over by it.

Let us fisk:

The Zeros vs. the Ones

By John C. Dvorak

After witnessing the latest Presidential election process, it’s apparent to me that the Internet is turning into a bad dream. Nobody wants to admit it, but the Web’s natural ability to remove normal interpersonal structures that prevent society from falling into chaos is not a benefit to anyone. Information revolution notwithstanding, the Internet will prove to be the undoing of society and civilization as we know it. It may not happen today, but it will happen sooner than we think.

I believe similar pronouncements were made after the invention of the printing press, the radio, and the television. Each has undoubtedly caused massive change, but hardly resulted in “falling into chaos,” John.

It is the change I think you fear, because the voices of the hoi polloi now have a place to be heard, and the Anointed, such as yourself, can be called to task without filtration through the editoral process. Our “letters to the editor” no longer have to pass your scrutiny.

Just look at politics. Thanks to the Net and the so-called New Media, the entire political scene has become one massive virtual Hyde Park corner filled with kvetching, squabbling bores.

Newsflash: We’ve been there long before there was any electronic media. Blogs haven’t changed that, just made it a bit louder.

In the process, the dichotomous nature of binary communication has imposed itself on the public, forming two collectives with opposing and very rigid viewpoints. Call them the Ones and the Zeros: the conservatives and the liberals. Because of the Internet, these two crowds—or mobs—are each growing in size and becoming increasingly intolerant of the other. Since none of the purely liberal or conservative political parties are taken seriously in the U.S., these mobs have latched on to the major parties and hijacked them.

Right. We’ve never been this divided, this polarized before.

Remember the Civil War?

The best example of this is the recent sniping over the fabled George Bush memos in which he was told to take a military physical in 1972. It seemed as if the letter could not have been written on a 1972 typewriter but was some sort of hoax. The two political beehives swarmed over this, making all sorts of accusations against anyone who even suggested that their side might be wrong. The untenable Democratic position (which was the weaker) managed to save face by accusing Karl Rove of setting them up. As I was reading all this, I thought to myself, “So he was asked to take a physical. Who cares?” There were other documents, of course, but it was an eye roller to everyone except the Zeros and Ones, whose ranks continue to grow.

But you weren’t thinking “A major news outlet was willing to use obvious forgeries in an attempt to influence the election?” We certainly were. You weren’t the least bit affected by the fact that CBS was shameless enough to defend those forgeries as “fake but accurate”?

Methinks you (deliberately) missed the crucial issue. And the power of the blogs to illuminate it and bring it to a much, much wider audience. No, you’re carping because Memogate illustrated, with great fireworks, that the “journalists” are no longer the gatekeepers of information.

Rather than benefit from intelligent debate, the public is subjected to a lot of bickering fanned by the Internet. I used to think that everyone was entitled to his opinion, but no longer.

And you, of course, are one of the Annointed who has the inherent power to decide who is and who is not entitled to have, much less express an opinion, right? That’s implicit in that statement, John. You see it as your job to give an opinion to those not so entitled. Those YOU select as being unworthy.

Most opinions are worthless. As a culture, we are trained never to believe or say that opinions are worthless. For some reason, opinions are supposed to be revered because, uh, well, it’s free speech! (No letters, please.)

Too late. I’m blogging my response.

Go ahead and hate me. I don’t give a damn about your worthless opinion.

I’m not suggesting that because most opinions stink they should be censored in order for us all to think a certain way.

No? Sure sounds that way.

Rather, thanks to the Internet, we are confronted with too many opinions from too many people—a large number of whom are seriously disturbed or feebleminded. Before the Internet, these opinions would have been handed out in leaflet form to just a few people unlucky enough to bump into their purveyors. But now they’re on the Net, accompanied by miles of commentary written by people who are frustrated pamphleteers themselves.

So, you’re saying that the internet forces people to be exposed to stinky opinions? What, you don’t have a “Back” button on your browser? Some mechanism binds you immobile to your chair and forces your eyelids open, “A Clockwork Orange” style, so that you cannot look away?

You could throw the leaflets away, John. You can click on through those sites that express stinky opinions with even greater ease.

So some bloggers are “frustrated paphleteers,” so what? If they write well and cogently, they draw an audience. If they don’t, they won’t. It’s called the free market of ideas.

And you object to it because everybody has access to it now, not just the Elite Journalists.

Don’t like it that some of us amateurs do for fun what you do for a living, and often do it better? Don’t like it that we now know that what you do for a living doesn’t require anything more than a knowledge of the subject and an ability to write? Don’t like it that we can fact-check and criticize and be heard?

That’s sour grapes, John. You’re just another member of the Holy Church of Journalism objecting to the peasants getting their hands on Bibles printed in the vernacular. Your power is diminishing due to the Information Revolution. We’ve been there and done that in history before. It’s just your turn now.

Almost everyone on the Net is anonymous.

Oh horseshit. Anonymity is damned near impossible. Because of the Information Revolution, anonymity is one of the hardest things to maintain, and if you’re an influential blogger, it’s almost assured you’ll be exposed. A LOT of bloggers use our own names, and give out more personal information that YOU do, John. (If that’s your real name.)

When you see someone on the street handing out a flyer, it is usually not hard to determine whether he or she is a lunatic. Not so with the haughty blogger who, by hiding behind a good online template, is actually taken seriously. A blogger who stays hidden long enough may even become famous. I know, not every blogger is a whack job—but that’s the point. How can you tell?

You read their words. You read their links. You read other people’s responses and comments. And you make up your own mind.

Rather than, say, reading the New York Times and accepting every word as gospel because, well, it’s “the paper of record.” Or watching 60 Minutes II and believing the memo “evidence” must be real, because Dan Rather said so!.

Hard to tell just who’s a lunatic these days? On the contrary. It’s easier and easier every day, because of the Information Revolution. Wake up and smell the coffee, John.

Saying from behind a false identity what one otherwise wouldn’t dare say is a practice that began long ago, and blogging has just made it worse. I first noticed it with alter egos cropping up in e-mail, newsgroups, and especially online chat rooms, where true dweebs are suddenly transformed into Don Juans. The persona thing sometimes goes into new dimensions as boys are turned into men, men pretend to be women, and women turn into sex fiends. Just keep the lights turned off.

You’re talking about email, newsgroups and chat rooms now, John. I thought this column was about BLOGS. Blogs can be journalism. Email, newsgroups and chatrooms are not, or are at least far more difficult to use as sources. Blogs provide for review, fact-checking, and comment. With email, newsgroups and chatrooms it is far more difficult. Apples and oranges.

Blogs are now the easiest way to remake oneself, as the tools for their creation are fantastic and easy to use. They have emboldened a lot of otherwise shy people. This is the New Media at work, creating false personas that are pumped up by other phonies. Under the right circumstances, virtual lynch mobs emerge like swarms of locusts—individual bugs may be easy to squish, but a swarm is dangerous. I think these online mobs, where one or two troublemakers rile up the frustrated, are just as dangerous.

This, I admit, is a possibility. It’s one of those unexpected consequences of any new technology. I don’t think anybody considered the ramifications of publishing the Bible in lay language, either. But the question here is “do you or don’t you trust the people.” I do. You apparently don’t. After all, the majority of their opinions stink, in your opinion.

It is good to know where you stand.

If it were up to me, I’d shut down the Net tomorrow and make people get out of the house and mingle.

Like I said, good to know where you stand. I’m glad you’re not running for Emperor. We might have to form a virtual lynch mob.

By the time the liberal and conservative extremes, incensed by blog-driven blather, leave the house, it will be as two swarms of locusts hell-bent on revolution—or on battling each other: The Zeros versus the Ones.

Actually, we’ve already discussed the probablility of that happening here on the blogs.

Our opinion is: It won’t happen. Some rioting, some domestic terrorism, that’s all. The extremes just aren’t that numerous.

You overestimate the power of the blogs, and underestimate the intelligence of their audience.

But then, that’s why you’re one of the Anointed, and believe you know what’s best for us peons. And I, for one, am glad your influence is waning.

This is What Propaganda Is

The New York Times, by “reporting” the “disappearance” of 380 tons of high-explosives from Qa Qaa has thrown up a new “talking point.” Never mind that there were already over 600,000 tons of munitions scattered in ammo dumps throughout the country. Never mind that the IEDs used by the insurgents terrorists are mostly made from artillery shells and land mines. No, this story is about one thing and one thing only: unseating George W. Bush. And the lackeys in the editorial cartoon department hop unthinkingly on the bandwagon, as usual:

Duane Powell, Raleigh’s News & Observer

Signe Wilkinson, Philadelphia Daily News

Rex Babin, The Sacramento Bee

The normally thoughtful Robert Arial, of South Carolina’s The State

Kevin Siers of the Charlotte Observer

Don Wright of the Palm Beach (FL) Post

Bill Schorr, of United Media

And, finally

Sandy Huffaker, currently freelance.

Sandy obviously doesn’t read anything other than the mainstream media, or he’d know that “ALL BAD!” is an outright lie. He obviously doesn’t know anyone with family stationed in Iraq, o he’d know “ALL BAD!” is an outright lie.

But that’s what propaganda is.

And this is why it works.

And this is why the internet and the blogosphere is so crucial. Something, finally, must counterbalance the media’s ability to spin, twist, fold, distort, mutilate and spindle the news.