WEEK 39 2004
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Saturday 25 September 2004
Friday 24 September
Thursday 23 September 2004
Wednesday 22 September 2004
"I have noted a generalized paranoid and conspiratorial tone on the part of the Left in many areas. It's gotten so bad that I think that even Kerry gives off this creepy Nixon vibe.
Where does this paranoia come from?
I think this paranoia springs from the Left's statist world view. If
you believe that the world is easily ordered and centrally controlled
and you are losing a competition badly, your immediate assumption will
be that you have been out-organized and out-controlled. Since they
can't see the levers of control that their model says must be there,
the levers must be hidden and therefore part of a conspiracy. It's very
logical given their statist axioms."
I would make a case for a little more generalized model here - I think perhaps many people have an worldview expectation of a fair cause winning. Right makes might! God is on our side! If they believe that they are acting correctly this doctrine of fairness demands that their view win out. And if it doesn't they can either confront the dark fact of (a) being in the wrong, (b) the fairness worldview being wrong,
or (c) evil forces acting against them. In a healthy society options
(a) and (b) predominate. In an unhealthy society it is the option (c),
paranoia, that wins out.
The paranoia - on both Left and Right - is something I've noticed
myself. It's worrisome - if a large group of people in our society
simply can't cope with the fact that they lost
(this time), what does that suggest for the future of a participatory
democracy? Every election someone wins and someone loses, that's basic.
And no-one likes to lose, that's basic. But if you assume that you can only
lose because the other guy cheats - well, that's pretty much a setup
for "anything goes" tactics in return and civil war (or at least civil
unrest), sooner or later.
We already have various pundits immediately claiming the forged memo's from Memogate/Rathergate/Danron were done by Karl Rove. The head of the DNC has suggested it already, publicly. It's amazing, there isn't a shred of evidence of any such thing and yet it's immediately suggested. And of course the belief that the Swift Boat's group is funded and run from the White House
is widespread on the left despite the fact that it would be political
suicide for the Republican Party. Going back a bit we have the 'stolen'
election in 2002 and Hillary's perceived victimhood at the hands of the
VRWC (Vast Right Wing Conspiracy) of a bit earlier.
Of course, it's not one-sided - many on the right are convinced that the Liberal Media Bias against the conservatives in this country is very real, with memogate just a sampling (due to incompetence) of what's really going on. There's also the MoveOn.orgs connections to the Democratic Party. And of course, there's that whole Vince Foster thing during the Clinton terms in office. Historically a fear of secret communist cells was a staple of the right during the 1950's, with nefarious plots ( Fluoridation, anyone? ) seen everywhere.
On a somewhat smaller scale, a some pundits have suggested that the Clinton's are deliberately sabotaging Kerry's campaign
to clear the way for a 2008 run by Hillary. ( Parties run the incumbent
in elections, where possible, so a Kerry victory in 2004 means that he
would probably run again in 2008, and she'd have to wait until 2012 to
run, by which time she'd be in her mid sixties and a lot of the
currently extant Clinton organization and viability would have been
lost. Time is her enemy. ) Competing conspiracies alert!
Politics is hardball, that's understood. Unfortunately, in the heat of battle both parties are aiding and abetting this conspiracy meme. Democratic pols are sponsoring a (unpassable) bill for reinstating the draft and Kerry is going around telling people the president wants to draft their kid. The spokesman for the White House (and Pat Buchanan) say that Dan Rather conspired with the DNC to bring down the current president with known forgeries.
My point is: it's damaging
to our society. And I think that once a person or culture goes down the
road of believing in secret conspiracies it is really hard to turn back.
On the other hand, that kid down the street that plays his music so loud - I just know that it's to annoy me. But that's different.
Monday 20 September 2004
Sunday 19 September
Sunday - out of town.
We accomplished the move, fairly easily. It helped that Tim is a very
organized individual and had everything pretty much boxed and ready to
go. We started at around 8 a.m. and had everything loaded and unloaded
by 2 p.m. Excellent. The new place is nice - a yard for the little one,
a swimming pool and park nearby, and the scent of rose bushes wafting
in through the windows.
It was cold coming back to the valley. As I dropped down into the AV from the east I looked at the thermometer and it said 62F. I opened the window, yep, cold out. There was a large cloud sitting directly over the center of the valley, with the sun shining down in pillars through silver edged rents. Perhaps a remnant of a hurricane off Baja? A dramatic sight from the eastern heights, but I didn't bring my 'good' camera and my 'car camera' failed last year - no pictures for you, dear reader.