Thursday, August 13, 2009

Calling Deputy Downer

I'm not known for being a doomsday theorist. I tend to mock people who prematurely believe the latest international skirmish is the slippery slope that leads to the so-far-nonexistent Third World War. Yes, I do call every disease in existence "swine flu" in the present-day sensationalistic media climate.

What concerns me most about this world is what we don't immediately see or classify, yet we know is there. Just under the surface, waiting for some event, or "spark", to ignite a conflagration of panic, anarchy, and inevitable macabre that sets us back years, decades, and -- in the worst of scenarios -- centuries.

What I see going on in America presently is people supplying the fuel for the destined match that drops onto it. history has shown us...that fuel is propaganda, purposeful misinformation, and a growing sense of acceptance for fringe groupthink.

I had a few comments during my "birther spiel" a couple of weeks ago saying I was overreacting. "The birthers are a small number of stubborn idiots who don't really affect the mainstream." "They should be ignored, and that is how they will go away." It is enticing to just ignore them, certainly, and in many respects, this tactic works. I wholeheartedly believe that a good attack against dangerous media "P1s", as they are called, is to stop listening to them. The problem, obviously, is that the media P1s attract the audience P1s, and there is no way of stopping them from listening and acting upon their words/actions.

If we review the shenanigans pulled by the media P1s Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck in recent days, we would see two people who have recklessly called people racists, who have desecrated the American flag to "prove a point", who have dreamed up the murder of Congress members, and who have completely fabricated elements of legislation that are clearly not in existence. Lou Dobbs continues to believe that Barack Obama has not shown an official birth certificate since the reemergence of the birther movement, even though he has done so ad nauseum. And besides indirectly abetting the eventual murder of Dr. George Tiller by abusing the freedom to speak, Bill O'Reilly has "reported" a company's involvement in enemy attacks when there is absolutely no evidence to support such a claim.

I believe in freedom of speech, but there is a line in the sand...and somehow, this line has been drawn such that this idiocy and, in fact, very dangerous speech is allowed in the media today. O'Reilly's claims about General Electric actually do qualify as slander. There is no question. Even with the disclaimer that the information was not confirmed, it violates any version of journalist integrity and obviously results in the negative image of a business (GE) and a product (MSNBC). And who reported this? No identification was provided. With no factual basis for such a claim, the reporting of GE's involvement with selling roadside bombs is, as GE has indicated, "maliciously false".

But, what I am seeing in town halls is a growing number of P1s (Making them P whats, exactly? P5s? P10s?). With the health care debate, it has become an issue of "death panels", or the clearly obvious tactic of labeling the government as "all-controlling, all-Communist, all-the-time". It is fear-mongering in perhaps one of the most evil ways. It is scaring the elderly into believing the government will kill them. And, because it is fear-mongering, it is working. Because people who don't know all of the details behind health care in this country are going to believe what the "experts" believe. And the "experts" are saying things like "you should be fearful".

In these town hall meetings, it is the elderly who are standing up and yelling and accusing the government of being able to pull the plug, literally, on their lives. These aren't P1s yelling and screaming. These are serious people, with serious medical issues, who seriously believe the lies being spread by the actual P1s.

A casual scan of the "news" the past couple of days has allowed me to see those with "death lists", those who truly believe the birthers "have a point", those who believe that America has been "taken over"...

This has got to stop. Something bad ... WILL ... happen if such "speech" is allowed to continue. If high-profile, actually-intelligent, purposely misinforming people/politicians/members
of the media continue to feed the P1 groupthink and continue to scare the P99s, in a climate of economic turmoil, bad things will happen. Very bad. Violent. And potentially irreparable.

Ignoring P1s? It's not an option anymore.

Finally, there's this...

In the video, which details several "issues of the day" yesterday...the North Carolina poll is particularly shattering and eye-opening. A staggering 12% of North Carolina conservatives (plus or minus) don't believe Hawaii is a part of the US?

And saying Stephen Hawking wouldn't have survived British (i.e., universal) health care? Yikes.