June 22, 2008

I want you to look at this picture and DESPAIR!...

This AP article, Everything Seemingly is Spinning Out of Control, is really too stupid to waste time on, but it's a sleepy afternoon. What really bugs me is what whores journalists are. If the editor asked this person he would write a similar piece on how hopeful and improving things are, and how confidence is strong. (And he will, once a Dem gets in the White House.)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Is everything spinning out of control? Midwestern levees are bursting. [Happened before, will happen again. Each time with more problems because more people build in flood-plains.] Polar bears are adrift. [And Antarctic ice is at a record maximum] Gas prices are skyrocketing. Home values are abysmal. [Actually they are still high compared with just a few years ago] Air fares, college tuition and health care border on unaffordable. [Yet we seem to afford them] Wars without end rage in Iraq, [What a moron. We are clearly winning in Iraq] and Afghanistan and against terrorism. [All wars are "without end"...until they end.

Horatio Alger, twist in your grave. [Stupid remark. Alger's stories were about triumphing over adversity, not enjoying lotus-land. So how is alleged adversity going to make him spin?]

The can-do, bootstrap approach embedded in the American psyche is under assault. Eroding it is a dour powerlessness that is chipping away at the country's sturdy conviction that destiny can be commanded with sheer courage and perseverance. [If this is the "thesis" of this essay, where's the evidence? The fact that we have problems is NOT evidence that we feel "powerlessness."]

The sense of helplessness is even reflected in this year's presidential election. Each contender offers a sense of order -- and hope. Republican John McCain promises an experienced hand in a frightening time. Democrat Barack Obama promises bright and shiny change, and his large crowds believe his exhortation, ''Yes, we can.'' [This is completely illogical. A message of change and "Yes we can" is the opposite of a sense of hopelessness.]

Even so, a battered public seems discouraged by the onslaught of dispiriting things. An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says a barrel-scraping 17 percent of people surveyed believe the country is moving in the right direction. That is the lowest reading since the survey began in 2003... [Actually I believe current polls show a majority of Americans happy about their own personal prospects.]

An ABC News-Washington Post survey put that figure at 14 percent, tying the low in more than three decades of taking soundings on the national mood.

..."It is pretty scary,'' said Charles Truxal, 64, a retired corporate manager in Rochester, Minn. "People are thinking things are going to get better, and they haven't been. And then you go hide in your basement because tornadoes are coming through. If you think about things, you have very little power to make it change.'' [This is evidence of.....of....what? Midwest Derangement Syndrome? Is "things are going to get better" supposed to mean no more tornados?]

Recent natural disasters around the world dwarf anything afflicting the U.S. Consider that more than 69,000 people died in the China earthquake, and that 78,000 were killed and 56,000 missing from the Myanmar cyclone. [So? What's the point? You think earthquakes in China are a new thing?]

Americans need do no more than check the weather, look in their wallets or turn on the news for their daily reality check on a world gone haywire. [A "world gone haywire" measured from what baseline? What is the normal non-haywire steady-state? When did it happen?]

Floods engulf Midwestern river towns. Is it global warming, the gradual degradation of a planet's weather that man seems powerless to stop or just a freakish late-spring deluge? [It's something that happens every few decades, clot-brain. You can look it up.]

This is too silly to keep on with. Let me just provide some actual evidence against the idea that floods in the Midwest are shocking novelties, and mean that our world is coming apart at the seams. This picture was taken May 11, when we were visiting our son Rob in Grand Forks, ND, for his graduation. He and I are standing level with the town around us, and least 20 feet above the level of the Red River, which you can see behind us. (For that 1997 flood I blame Clinton!)

Grand Forks Floods monument

Flood monument in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Posted by John Weidner at June 22, 2008 7:14 PM
Weblog by John Weidner