January 07, 2005

For Entertainment Purposes Only

It's generally a bad idea to cobble together a political theory that explains much of anything based solely on an idiotic comment thread found somewhere in the bowels of the Internet. Still. These things can be great fun to read.

On that note...the most asinine conversation in all of cyberspace is happening here.

The sad thing about it is that these people live in my city.

(Hat tip: Belgravia Dispatch.)

Posted by Michael J. Totten at January 7, 2005 07:20 PM
Comments

I'm shocked that a number of people on an Indymedia site said something stupid.

Posted by: Drew at January 7, 2005 08:01 PM

Michael, I don't think you are taking this seriously...hey, what are those black helicopters doing outside,ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh * zap*

Posted by: spc67 at January 7, 2005 11:15 PM

Maybe that missing P-Wave had something to do with half my blog bookmarks going kerfluffle earlier this evening.

Just how much coffee does Starbucks sell in Portland?

Posted by: TmjUtah at January 7, 2005 11:17 PM

These are the same people complaining about stolen votes in Ohio. When did they move to Portland? I think that the Democratic Party might be able to find its next national chairman among this group of people. Michael Moore can produce the film.

Posted by: David Thomson at January 8, 2005 03:53 AM

Is it even worth setting these stickmen up to knock down?

No one of any intellectual repute follows indymedia.

Posted by: Epitome at January 8, 2005 04:06 AM

An island roughly the size of California moved about 100 feet. The energy necessary to accomplish this task is on a par with all the energy, from muscle power to nuclear explosions, ever expended by homo sapiens. The idiots on Portland Indymedia are postulating that not only do we have the capacity to generate this event, but that we can control it sufficiently to accomplish discrete political events of tangential significance to our nation.

Who taught these idiots math?

Posted by: Patrick Lasswell at January 8, 2005 04:14 AM

HAARP Boils The Upper Atmosphere
HAARP will zap the upper atmosphere with a focused and steerable electromagnetic beam. It is an advanced model of an "ionospheric heater". (The ionosphere is the electrically-charged sphere surrounding Earth's upper atmosphere. It ranges between about 40- to 600 miles above Earth's surface.)

Put simply, the apparatus for HAARP is a reversal of a radio telescope; antennas send out signals instead of receiving. HAARP is the test run for a super-powerful radiowave-beaming technology that lifts areas of the ionosphere by focusing a beam and heating those areas. Electromagnetic waves then bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything -- living and dead.
*************************************************
Who taught these idiots math?

Posted by Patrick Lasswell at January 8, 2005 04:14 AM
*************************************************
I don't think they have ever been "taught" anything to do with math or science. ;-)

Hmm wonder if they have ever considered the DENSITY of the ionisphere?
The amount of matter which will be "heated" the inverse square law of EM propagation oh yes and the fact that NATURAL Electromagnetic waves bounce back onto earth and penetrate everything -- living and dead.

All the time and with much more powerful sources than we can create?

I don't know which to do laugh or cry.

Posted by: Daniel Kauffman at January 8, 2005 04:44 AM

There is oil, a lot of it, in Indonesia.

To a Lefty, that's all he needs to know. If there's oil, that's a trigger. He can start blaming America.

Posted by: David at January 8, 2005 05:19 AM

My favorite bit:

"I know, isn't it terrible we live in a world where we're so jaded and our gov't has lied to us so many other times that we wouldn't be surprised if they created this horrifying destruction?"

Isn't it terrible that our village is so infested with witches that we wouldn't be surprised to learn that old Goody Procter magicked our barn into falling down on all those people?

Posted by: 2dave at January 8, 2005 06:00 AM

I first became aware of this mad theory at Jeremy's site ( Who Knew),and he posted this :

The best commentary on this story was a response I read in the context of a newsgroup discussion. It ran precisely thus:
Apparently the Australians were engaging in heavy under-sea blasting 500 > miles from the epicentre of the earthquake, looking for oil, thus triggering > the quake, but do not want this widely known.
Can anyone comment on this?

Yes - Fuck off


-------------------------------------------------
Pretty much says it all.I firmly believe that these 'people'should be compelled to wear loud bells,so that upon their approach,eveyone in hearing distance already knows that a fool is in the area,and does not have to wait until they actually say anything.
On a related front,Jeremy appears to have been a little 'down' lately,so dropping in to say HI,might be a nice thing to do.Just saying.

Posted by: dougf at January 8, 2005 07:27 AM

Michael,
Just because they live in our city does not mean that they are really here. These people are out of touch with reality, just hope they do not vote. Oh sorry, they are the cause of the high quality of leaders elected by all of us. They are the "swing" vote.

Just having fun with my thoughts, please keep up the good you do, your thoughts and comments are a positive light in the darkness.

Gene

Posted by: Gene at January 8, 2005 09:17 AM

OMG - I knew the loons had landed, I just didn't realize that they brought flocks (note the plural) of moonbats with them. Keep 'em coming Michael, it inspires me to keep filling out applications in hopes that someone, somewhere, will hire me and I can get out of this insane asylum that I use to call home (Oregon - especially Portland).

Posted by: mike from oregon at January 8, 2005 10:43 AM

Epitome: Is it even worth setting these stickmen up to knock down?

Ah, come on. Re-read my title. "For Entertainment Purposes Only."

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2005 10:50 AM

As on so many other occasions the phrase 'completley beyond parody' leaps to mind.

Posted by: Dom at January 8, 2005 11:00 AM

These people give paranoia a bad name.

Posted by: VinoVeritas at January 8, 2005 11:08 AM

It's an old story. Something dreadful happens. A group of homicidal maniacs get together and do it or one acts alone or Murphy's law about Mother Nature being a b!tch comes to play.

Then the mentally crippled all get together and decide to blame it on

1) someone they don't like (BushHitler in this case)

2) someone who won't crash airliners, send an ICBM their way, or give them the Air Galtieri memorial over-the-ocean helicpopter tour (or equivalent).

It's so much easier then coming to terms with what really happened that way.

Posted by: Bill at January 8, 2005 11:44 AM

The funny thing is, Muslim scholars are saying the exact same thing. From American Thinker (via Ace)

"The January 4, 2005 NBC Nightly News showed clips from alArabiya television, which is popular all over the Arab world, where many commentators seriously "proved" that the Big Satan (the US) and the Little Satan (Israel) set off underground nuclear explosions which resulted in the earthquake and subsequent tsunami."

"Hate TV continues as Moslem scholars discuss the perverted life in these two countries, even warning against contributing to relief efforts as infidels and non believers may be helped...

Posted by: mary at January 8, 2005 11:46 AM

Thanks, Dougf - I appreciate the moral support. I'm not doing so badly now, just a bit slow and dull. I'm going to try to get my ass in gear.

This was indeed an entertaining conversation. It reminded me of those two movie reviewers in 'Hollywood Shuffle' discussing whether or not Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid could really have survived that jump off the cliff at the end of the movie:

"I believe this movie. A dude could jump off a mountain and not hurt himself, cause he did brace himself. And knew something about the levels of gravitivity and polarity."

Except those two guys were likeable.

Posted by: Jeremy Brown at January 8, 2005 12:35 PM

"I know, isn't it terrible we live in a world where we're so jaded and our gov't has lied to us so many other times that we wouldn't be surprised if they created this horrifying destruction?"

Without a doubt some of those comments are extremely similar to the delusions of paranoid schizophrenia. It's one thing for Muslims raised on a diet of hate for the infidels to believe such crap but alot of lefties are very well educated people. This isn't an idle question because its precisely this sort of paranoia about the US that causes the alignment of the left with Islamofascism.

HOW did this happen to the left? When did this start? Was it Vietnam plus Watergate? Or has this sort of paranoia always been a feature of the American political landscape?

(This isn't an idle question for me. One of my siblings is a radical lefty living in Portland. Communication between us has become virtually impossible.)

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2005 03:23 PM

It's one thing for Muslims raised on a diet of hate for the infidels to believe such crap but alot of lefties are very well educated people.

I wasn't at all surprised to see this little exchange on Indemedia because only a few days ago a Lefty buddy of mine sent me an email about how our government is experimenting with HAARP for the purposes of creating earthquakes. He said it was plausible that our government had a hand in the tsunami. I'm so tired of him I didn't even respond, and I deleted the email. And for the record, he's very educated. He has a post graduate degree from Univ. of Texas. He's quirky, but not too quirky that he couldn't show up at a standard Lefty cocktail party to bash Bush and be made to feel quite at home.

Posted by: David at January 8, 2005 03:30 PM

See, this is the true power of the internet. Before the internet, these people were still around, but they didn't have access to all the information, and more importantly, to each other, in the ease and fashion that they do now.

Think of it as a negative feedback loop. There has always been a lot of paranoid people out there. Now they can all connect with one another in a way never before seen in history.

I can't even imagine what the ultimate effects of this will be.

Posted by: Eric Blair at January 8, 2005 05:11 PM

Was it Vietnam plus Watergate?

Well, that plus the Bush Administration.

Posted by: Kimmitt at January 8, 2005 05:12 PM

Someone should take advantage of that crowd: Sell them fanciful hats made of aluminum foil.

Posted by: James C. Hess at January 8, 2005 05:13 PM

What strikes me as a very interesting feature of paranoid schizophrenia is the similarity in CONTENT of the delusions. In the pre-technological era these delusions often centered around religious themes – e.g. possession by the devil. In the technological world, the contents of these delusions have tended to be technologically related - phone bugging, subliminal TV messages and so on. Then there are the political-type delusions (think Jerry – in the movie Conspiracy Theory). I am not an expert on schizophrenia but the fact that a biological illness displays a consistent pattern in its manifest contents strikes me as odd. Why wouldn't the delusions caused by a biological illness be more random than that?

Of course I do not mean to suggest that extreme lefties are literally suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. But at times the surface analogy is not that far-fetched.

From “A schizophrenic’s tale” : http://www.mentalhealth.com/story/p52-sc03.html

“You find it easier to withdraw than cope with a reality that is incongruent with your fantasy world”

“You cannot distinguish what is real from what is unreal”

“I didn't trust anyone.”

“Even though the Controller spent most of the time yelling his demands, I think I felt blessed in some strange way. I felt above normal.”

“I blamed myself. I was sure it was my fault because I just knew I was wicked..”

The themes I see here are: idealism, deficient reality-testing, pathological mistrust, egoism, and guilt.

Hmmmmmmm…..

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2005 05:29 PM

I would have to go back and review what I learned about (post-Freudian) object-relations theory but methinks what we are dealing with here relates to a pathology of the SUPEREGO. If there is one psychological factor that can explain lefty-think - it is GUILT. I think anyone who personally knows lefties could give testimony to that central feature of their character - really, everything else follows from that. The feeling that people can read your mind is a fundamental feature of an overly punitive superego. I don't think we should ridicule it actually - rather we we need to figure out how to heal the basic pathology. The sad fact is that we are going to need all the allies we can muster in the WOT.

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2005 06:00 PM

If there is one psychological factor that can explain lefty-think - it is GUILT.

No question about that. My brother, a Lib extraordinaire, is a hard working vice principal at a middle school in Texas. He's a family man and he's done well for himself all things considering; but being the Lib he is, he's prone to feel guilty about his prosperity (and he's only middle class). He thinks his comfortable lifestyle was built on the backs of the third world countries we've raped and pillaged. I told him he was a fool and that not one single dollar in his bank account has touched Dick Cheney's greedy little fingers. Lefties live with a lot of guilt. They're basically self-loathing.

Posted by: David at January 8, 2005 06:07 PM

At the risk of thinking that perhaps any traffic is good traffic for Michael - I will continue my lonely Saturday night cyberspace thoughts (banish me please if I offend...)

There is a major and potentially dangerous disconnect between the psychologies of post-enlightenment westerners and Islamists. Westerners raised in the Judeo-Christian tradition are undoubtedly afflicted with GUILT. We have extremely punitive superegos. Show me where that is the case in the "Muslim" world. The basic psychodynamic there appears to be humiliation/shame vs rage. There is a fundamental psychodynamic schism here, which is that shame/rage has a fundamental advantage over guilt. I am amused when I see conservatives make comments to the effect that they are the "adults" because actually there is quite a bit of truth in that. Adults should give no quarter to either "guilt" or "shame/rage" because both are fundamentally infantile (read up on your object-relations theory if you doubt that). The bottom line is that the "adults" are going to have to literally adopt a "tough-love" stance to deal with this reality...

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2005 06:26 PM

At the risk of thinking that perhaps any traffic is good traffic for Michael - I will continue my lonely Saturday night cyberspace thoughts (banish me please if I offend...)--Caroline

You could never offend.Always a pleasure to read your comments.We are all lucky you have chosen to contribute.

Posted by: dougf at January 8, 2005 06:31 PM

Dougf - you're a sweetheart :) . Its nice to know I'm not alone. Cyberspace is a wonderful thing...

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2005 06:39 PM

Caroline,

Relax. You're nowhere near my to-be banned list. In fact, I don't have anyone on any to-be banned list at the moment. I like it that way. Please keep the comments coming. Thanks.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 8, 2005 06:48 PM

Check out HAARP'S web page. There is some very intersting and valuable scientific research being performed at HAARP and at HIPAS. Great people at both places.

http://www.haarp.alaska.edu/

And HIPAS

http://www.hipas.alaska.edu/hipasweb/hipas.htm

Posted by: PM at January 8, 2005 06:52 PM

Thanks Michael - It should be obvious that I love your blog - or is it that I Think you have a great blog? See - there's the difference between F and T. Maybe what I like is that your blog accomodates both ... :)

Posted by: Caroline at January 8, 2005 07:04 PM

"I don't have anyone on any to-be banned list at the moment."

Can I be put on it? I know I've only posted two or three times and none should have been that radical but I've never been on one of those lists and it might be fun :)

Anywho, back to semi topic. It think the person above who talked about having a "feedback loop" hit the nail on the head. Our current society (especially in well wired larger cities) offer someone who wants to experience as many different culture/thoughts an oppertunity like never before. Unfortunatly it also gives those who want like minded people the ability to isolate like never before.

10 years ago I don't think these people would be this nuts - they would only have a person or two to play off and when they told someone else the phrase "That's stupid" would have something of a chance to sink in. As is now, they can get all the re-inforcement necessary to keep with thier beliefes regardless of how out of touch with reality they are. Websites like the DU allow them to reinforce each other.

There are quite a few classic conspiracy theories that are hard to say "Nope, can't happen". You can say "Nope, highly improbable" but from time to time the conspiracy theorist were correct. It is hard not to find one today that isn't of the insane variety - and I mean conspiracy theories in general.

I don't why this is much more common on the left, mainstream democrat (which isn't all of the left) is about on the level of what would be classic conspiracy theories of 10 years ago. Of course it isn't confined to the democrats or the left, just mainstream democrats seem to support much of it (and is one of the root causes of quite a few of the neocons - assuming the accurate definition). Eventually I think the party will either clean house (the Republicans had too) or the party will split.

Posted by: strcpy at January 8, 2005 07:35 PM

"I can't even imagine what the ultimate effects of this will be."

Buncha people talking crap on the internet.

"In the pre-technological era these delusions often centered around religious themes – e.g. possession by the devil. In the technological world, the contents of these delusions have tended to be technologically related - phone bugging, subliminal TV messages and so on. ... I am not an expert on schizophrenia but the fact that a biological illness displays a consistent pattern in its manifest contents strikes me as odd. Why wouldn't the delusions caused by a biological illness be more random than that?"

Because the delusions are a way of reconciling the outside world with the false information being generated inside their brains. In a sense, their delusions are perfectly rational, because they explain the sensations and perceptions they have.

Posted by: 2dave at January 8, 2005 07:40 PM

“It's one thing for Muslims raised on a diet of hate for the infidels to believe such crap but alot of lefties are very well educated people.”

Amen. The academic degrees of these people are usually ignored. My guess is that 80% of Michael Moore’s fans, 25 years old and over, possess at least a bachelors degree. The same holds true for Noam Chomsky who writes pure drivel. His political arguments are so weak that they don’t pass the laugh test. I can (like so many others) peruse a typical piece by Chomsky, and within a few minutes demolish it with ease. And yet, both of these nut cases are constantly invited to major universities and applauded by the so-called intellectual elite. Are these degrees fraudulent? Are many of our major universities mere diploma mills?

Posted by: David Thomson at January 8, 2005 07:44 PM

Diploma mills. Yup. Sad to say, but true. Actually, I'll qualify that. The less technical the subject, the more likely its just part of a diploma mill.

Posted by: Eric Blair at January 8, 2005 08:29 PM

"Our current society (especially in well wired larger cities) offer someone who wants to experience as many different culture/thoughts an oppertunity like never before. Unfortunatly it also gives those who want like minded people the ability to isolate like never before." (strcpy)

And the horrible fact is that the internet has afforded the jihadists a really serious mechanism to organize! Re the ability of the internet to bring like minded people together - what if the power of hate trumps the power of reason? What do we do then?

I am beginning to think that the anti-jihadist forces (um - that's us right?), instead of preaching to the choir, may need to start visiting pro-islamist sites in order to argue with them directly. What form would such arguments take? How about the hard facts about the life of Muhammed. If those facts are true - let the chips fall where they may. Of course there's that little "fatwa" problem. Geez - are we in the middle of some bizarre Star trek episode? Please wake me when its over...

Posted by: Cammie at January 8, 2005 09:00 PM

Lefties live with a lot of guilt. They're basically self-loathing.

Spoken like a true denizen of a barcolounger in front of Fox News. If you right wing freaks had any lower IQ's, you'd be chugging down Miracle Gro.

Posted by: George M at January 8, 2005 09:10 PM

My aunt married one of the heirs to the Miracle Gro fortune. Lives in a nice place on Mercer Island right on the water. Strictly right-wingers both of them.

Posted by: David at January 8, 2005 11:04 PM

"If you right wing freaks had any lower IQ's, you'd be chugging down Miracle Gro."

Looks like the folks at Portland Independent Media Center beat us to it.

Posted by: Caroline at January 9, 2005 01:37 AM

I agree with comments above, especially Caroline's, minus the predictable trolls. The discussions of paranoia and paranoid schizophrenia are (IMHO) very close to if not hitting the nail on the head. I was a psych major (took me decades to recover from that brainwashing), and my habit is to muse on mental states when I hear or read the dogma of the left. Definitely the far right is unhinged, but the far left is much more numerous and is infecting the mainstream left, as we have seen. As a former lifelong lefty I certainly mouthed every lunacy, but I experienced a fair amount of cognitive dissonance. What I said and what I saw did not match up at all. For leftists, their paranoia allows them to match beliefs with reality (creating their parallel reality that we cannot fathom). I am no psych Ph.D. but I firmly believe at least 20% of the general worldwide population is measurably mentally ill, some more so than others, and in this country I think mental illness aligns with political extremism quite handily. Paranoia, guilt, self-loathing, BDS, PEST, all seem manifestations to a greater or lesser degree of mental illness. It's as good an explanation as any. And yes, these people now can find each other and enter their echo chambers effortlessly.

One might wonder how 20% (or even 10% or less) of the population could infect the entire civil discussion. Have you ever worked in a group of people in which 1 person was a constant disruption? It destroys the entire group's effectiveness unless that person is removed. Everyone else adapts to the psychosis of that person and not in a good way. There are some serious psychoses in this world (and, as in "GhostBusters," all seem to be converging together) and all the rest of us are adapting to them. Not so long ago, the psychoses of others did not affect us much (Hitler being an exception). Now with the internet and 24/7 cable news, it's impossible to ignore; it's taking over.

For the wackjobs, they get endless affirmation and confirmation from the MSM, academia, the U.N., etc. There are endless "experts" ready to lend credence to the most absurd theories. It's getting harder and harder to maintain sanity.

I have one more thought slightly off from or in conjunction to my mental illness theory. That is that all of the left, much of the Dem party as well as most of the leadership, most of the MSM, and virtually all of Eurabia is suffering from some weird type of Stockholm Syndrome. They now identify more with the enemy than they do with the freedom and democracy loving West.

Michael, I don't always agree with you (I'm with Belmont Club and Power Line when it comes to torture), but you are always a sea of sanity and reassurance that there is still hope for us.

Posted by: Peg C. at January 9, 2005 09:06 AM

One might wonder how 20% (or even 10% or less) of the population could infect the entire civil discussion. Have you ever worked in a group of people in which 1 person was a constant disruption? It destroys the entire group's effectiveness unless that person is removed--PegC

Well,this raises an interesting point.If a 'group'is in essence destroyed by a malignant member, and therefore has only the choices of removing that member or ceasing to function,what does that say about 'societies'?
Does it mean that 'societies,in extremis, have the right,in fact perhaps the duty,to act against the internal dysfunctions in their midst in order to prevent collapse?
Just asking.

Posted by: dougf at January 9, 2005 10:18 AM

After reading this nonsense I realized that some of us could become quite wealthy. How do we proceed to corner the market on aluminum foil (the kind these twerps make their hats from)?

Posted by: John B at January 9, 2005 10:33 AM
I don't know why this is much more common on the left, mainstream democrat (which isn't all of the left) is about on the level of what would be classic conspiracy theories of 10 years ago.

I wouldn't go that far. There are two factors, 1) the alleged media bias favoring the left and 2) the steady growth of the internet to where it was as Clinton started to where it was when Bush v2.0 started (not to mention the 2.1 upgrade after 9/11 where rationality on the left really went to hell).

I seem to remember the bubbles in the right wing conspiracy pot during the Clinton years about Mena, Ft Marcy Park, etc. I think the difference is that the alleged "left" media bias that may or may not exist brings left wing Tin Foil Hat fashions to the mainstream more easily than G. Gordon Liddy Show (however, the king of right wing radio, Rush, stayed away from it).

Additionally, the Internet is much more prevalent now than it was during at least the first Clinton Term. Thus the whacko literature is easier to get to to both read with serious intent, and to Fisk and MSTy like a bad 50's high school health movie.

Plus I need to qualify my left vs rightwing conspiracy theory exposure since I work in an academic setting where left wing tinfoil hats are much more fashonable than right wing ones. So even when I'm not online, I am hearing it from "Authentic" Thinking People.

Posted by: Bill at January 9, 2005 10:50 AM

As I stated at that asinine thread, maybe Karl Rove and the squid-people of Altaren-4 are starting their plan for world domination by killing poor fishermen, thereby driving fish prices up! How insidious!

Posted by: Woellner at January 9, 2005 11:15 AM

Those crazy liberals. The right wing has already released the official cause. God is mad because of something about gays and christmas trees.

Highly scientific QED like that really leaves no room for dissent.

Posted by: Kelso at January 9, 2005 11:20 AM

Gee Mike, imagine that, an unemployed rightie in Bushes Milk and Honey economy. Try a few of the rightwing's beloved Wal-Marts. They can always use another minimum wage greeter in Boise.

Posted by: Kelso at January 9, 2005 11:23 AM

dougf,

Societies do "remove" the more disruptive members, via prison, mental institutions, meds, etc. Healthy societies do this in a humane fashion following rules and laws; unhealthy ones use oppression (and not just for the unhinged), torture, murder, etc. I certainly am not advocating extermination. My group metaphor was for comparison only because it is something we should all be able to relate to.

On another subject, I have to clarify that I do not in any way support the U.S. using the types of torture Michael is damning. I also think torture robs the torturers of humanity, even though I find torture to be a particularly human activity. However, as Steven den Beste so expertly explained it, you do not hand your enemies so powerful a weapon as to tell them what you will not do during war. Nothing should be off the table, at least theoretically. The WOT is such a war.

Posted by: Peg C. at January 9, 2005 11:28 AM

Gee Mike, imagine that, an unemployed rightie in Bushes Milk and Honey economy. Try a few of the rightwing's beloved Wal-Marts. They can always use another minimum wage greeter in Boise.

Gee Kelso,

I'm not so sure what makes Walmart "rightwing." Your moonbat buddies at indymedia don't seem to think so:

http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/08/269120.shtml

and

Hillary Rodham Clinton served on Wal-Mart's board.

http://www.hamline.edu/apakabar/basisdata/1996/10/23/0114.html

Time to choose another bumpersticker Kelso.

Posted by: David at January 9, 2005 11:38 AM

Gee, David, repeat after me "do you want lids on these"? There, you're all trained for one of the jobs of the Bush economic boom.

As to Neo-Right Wing Moonbats - the thing that I notice is that there is no ideological debate. One is demanded to be a certain kind of Protestant. The second-hand, oil dripping clunker rules, chain stores are the order of the day, and the food is universally bad. As for arts, they are almost non-existant.

Those are the fruits of Puritan Moonbats.

And don't try any kind of lower-class snark about presumptions about my job classification. I've got a dream job. In fact I have YOUR dream job. So go waddle around Wal-Mart buying glazed hams and discount underwear while I take a spin in the company Jag.

Posted by: Kelso at January 9, 2005 04:17 PM

For Kelso...troll troll troll. Is that why your comments do not fit the thread.

Posted by: Gene at January 9, 2005 04:30 PM

That's great Kelso. Talk to Hilary about it.

Oh, and the term "moonbat" is reserved for you and your ilk (to avoid any confusion).

Posted by: David at January 9, 2005 04:39 PM

Kelso is banned for trolling.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at January 9, 2005 04:40 PM

Yes, the alignment between (mild) mental illness and political extremism deserves further exploration. It is a factor, I think, in the development of conspiracy theories and of affluent, perpetually alienated subcultures -- along with narcissism, ignorance, and widely available leisure time.

Posted by: David W at January 10, 2005 09:33 AM

David W you know Arab newspapers are full of stupid conspiracy theories. What made me think of this the that it's damn hard to tell the raving of the Arab press from the ravings of a lunatic.

That occured to me one day when I read a crazy conspiracy theory in the Jerusalem post and just assumed that it was an Arab journalist, the style seemed normal for Arab journalism... But it turned out to be a crazy Jewish Israeli journalist. That's when it occured to me that what sounds crazy from an Israeli sounds normal from an Arab...

Can a culture make it's people mentally ill? Where does paranoia come from, you know?

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at January 10, 2005 04:58 PM

He thinks his comfortable lifestyle was built on the backs of the third world countries we've raped and pillaged. I told him he was a fool and that not one single dollar in his bank account has touched Dick Cheney's greedy little fingers

Since he's right and you're wrong, sounds like he's doing a pretty good job of trying to deal with the world as it is. Yes, liberals tend to carry around a lot of guilt. It's because of our decency.

Posted by: Kimmitt at January 10, 2005 11:48 PM

Kimmit, only in an ideal world are liberals 'America's conscience'. More often than not it seems to degenerate into parochialism. elitist smugness, and self-loathing, not to mention a caricatured view of history and a pseudo-religious manichaeism. You describe liberals at their best, and God knows that in a unipolar world it is important that the major power retains its humanitarian values. But you give yourself too much credit and ignore the patholigies of the left -- pathologies which in my view increasingly define it.

Posted by: David at January 11, 2005 09:55 AM

Since he's right and you're wrong,

Kimmit,

the problem with your conclusion is that he's not right. Am I going to tell the blue collar contractor that opened his own business after saving up for years, or after taking a high interest loan that the prosperity of his business will depend on the sweat of some third-worlder 5,000 miles away, and that he should feel guilty? You go ahead and do that and he'll look at you like you're insane. And he'd be right. Some guy with rough hands and leathered brow who worked hard and did well for himself in small town America is doing well because America is "exploiting" little brown people in Africa? That's nonsense. If you think feeling guilty for no reason whatsoever makes you decent, then that only confirms what we know about Liberalism-- you do it to feel good about yourself, not because it's rational. You also crave approval from others. That's Liberalism. But it's simply wrong.

Posted by: David at January 12, 2005 01:12 PM

"The academic degrees of these people are usually ignored. My guess is that 80% of Michael Moore’s fans, 25 years old and over, possess at least a bachelors degree. The same holds true for Noam Chomsky who writes pure drivel."

I'm missing the point. Obtaining a college degree makes you a leftie? People on the right are uneducated? Can you clarify, please?

Chomsky is a highly-respected linguist; you can hate his politics (and many do), but his work in linguistics is a separate matter.

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