Why I Love Hannity and Beck

Editor’s Note: One of our readers wrote in recently and said that she loves a variety of conservative talk show hosts. I asked her what she finds nourishing about them, and this was her reply. The ideas in this article are opinion only; meaning, they have not been fact-checked and are not intended to be taken as verified. Still, for reasons that may be obvious, I consider this a significant piece of writing. We can talk about why in the comments area, and a little later in the conversation I will add my thoughts. Thank you Kathi for sharing your writing with us. –efc

THE ANSWER TO your question is a long one. You may not want to talk to me once I answer it, although I hope that won’t be the case, because I certainly don’t claim to know everything. I’m not a “know-it-all”-type person and don’t feel that I am right and everyone else is wrong. I have an open mind and have a great interest in learning. That is why I take such an interest in reading what you have to say. I stay open to many different opinions and — unless they affect me directly (like those of our President do) or they pull at my heart strings somehow, I try not to respond with judgment (but I also don’t claim to be perfect either).

Sean Hannity, in action.
Sean Hannity, in action.

Let me start off by saying that some years ago, I was a registered Republican. I voted for George W. Bush at his first election and then was on his campaign committee here at the local Republican building in Johnstown, at the second (which was no big deal — it just required making phone calls and soliciting votes — except when you ran across anti Bush people; THEN it became a big deal, more like a pain in the neck! But staying patient always worked and seemed to calm them down. Politics and the war always struck a nerve with people!)

Then, Bush came to the Johnstown War Memorial. I let my daughter take a day off from school and she and I went to see him. Since I was on the election committee, I got tickets right away and was fortunate enough to get right up front and had the chance to shake his hand and speak with him for just a few moments. I have pictures of the whole event. I consider that day to be one of the most memorable events of my life. Hopefully my daughter (who is now 19) does also.

Do I agree with all of Bush’s decisions? ABSOLUTELY NOT. He lost my support toward the end of his second term. But, when he FIRST took office, I think he was the right man at the right time for the job. He was tough on terrorism, he wasn’t out to make “friends” with terroristic nations who hate us, he knew that diplomacy wasn’t enough to get the job done with these terrorists, and terrorist-funding nations. I think toward the end he just lost wisdom and made a lot of foolish, arrogant decisions as far as our economy, as far as the war, etc.

Now, how does Hannity, Beck nourish me? I would have to answer that by saying they keep me abreast of all the details about the things that are going on behind the scenes in Congress and with President Obama and the health care reform issue and Fort Hood, and all the speeches President Obama gives around the globe and the meetings he has with heads of other nations, etc. They tell me things that other newscasters are almost afraid to report on. It’s like these other stations are under some sort of censorship or something. NBC, CBS, ABC NEVER report on anything too anti-Obama. Fox news is the only station (and these guys) are the only ones who give you the fair and balanced truth. It’s NOT that they are anti-Obama. They are just stating the facts. Obama actually went on an attack campaign, actually assigning a woman to the job of going up against Beck, Hannity and O’Reilly to dispute everything they had been saying about the Obama administration. I have NEVER seen a president do that before.

Glenn Beck, hands down.
Glenn Beck, hands down.

I am not anti-Obama myself. I just do not trust him or his administration. He has over 20 (hand-picked) csars in his cabinet. One of which was an admitted Communist. He was only recently let go because of all the pressure because of his background, etc. A lot of his csars have very shady backgrounds.

Obama is using diplomacy with terrorist nations who hate us and the freedom we stand for. He goes to these nations and makes speeches and tries to make “friends” and actually apologizes for the United States to these barbaric animals who kill thousands of people in acts of terrorism and have no remorse! I’ve heard clips of these speeches on Hannity AND Beck.

Our president is going to have Guantanamo Bay closed by what, January? For a while he was talking about bringing certain officials (our own officials who were following orders) up on charges for “waterboarding” those terrorist detainees. Well, it came out later that the waterboarding actually prevented a terrorist attack somewhere later. I forget where; probably shouldn’t have brought that up since I can’t remember the rest of the details on it, but when I do, I’ll tell you if you’re still communicating with me (which I hope you are).

Then there is the health care issue. Most of the making of the health care reform proposal was done behind closed doors. Certain Republican senators wanted to go public with it. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid were against it. They didn’t want the American people seeing it. According to Beck, the American people are going to be paying for abortions whether we want to or not. Has anyone read the proposal yet in its entirety? Obama has said that if you like your own insurance you can keep it. Do you really trust that? Are you aware of what Beck refers to as the “Death Panel” in it? (Having to do with the senior citizens?) Do you know what the health reform bill is going to mean for Medicare?

Then, there was Obama’s United Nation’s speech, which I watched. Do you know he is the first U.S. president in history to turn his back on Israel? He basically told Israel to share their land with the Palestinians. Palestine has been pushing and pushing for more and more land. They would like to push Israel right off the map until it is no longer a state. Now the fight is over the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Obama, in his U.N. speech, called for Israel to divide its land (including the holy city of Jerusalem) with the Palestinians for a peace plan. First of all, that is NOT their land to take. They already have stolen land that they had no right to. There are Biblical references to this, which I won’t get into since I am no longer a religious person. But I do still know my Bible very well, and I DO know that from a scriptural standpoint the Palestinians are not entitled to land given to Abraham by God, and there are specific boundaries to that land not to be divided. Now, who is Obama to step in and make demands on a state which is governed by Netanyahu? Am I a religious person? No. But I do have a heart for people who are being treated unjustly. I’ll say it again.

Am I religious? NO I’M NOT, but the Israelites ARE. And they should be allowed to believe in the boundaries of the state that God appointed to them without some terrorist people trying to come in and steal it from them. I think if our president can’t support Israel in their quest to keep what is rightfully theirs, then he should stay out of it completely, not send Clinton and Schwarzenegger to further voice the U.S. lack of support for Israel and support for a Palestinian state amid the talk of Iran.

President Obama refuses to even SAY the word terrorism. I have NEVER heard him use the word. According to Beck, he doesn’t allow anyone on his staff to use the word. I believe he is soft on it.

In his speech to the mourners of the Fort Hood victims, 95% of his speech was focused on the victims, 5% on Malik Hasan. Obama is acting as if the events at Fort Hood are an act of violence, instead of an act of terror brought on by a Muslim terrorist who was emailing Jihad and interested in Al-Qaeda. Maybe because he would have to acknowledge that it was the first act of terrorism since 9/11 under his presidency.

You asked me a question and I gave you a VERY lengthy answer. Probably one that will make you not want to get to know me any further. I hope that’s not the case. I know just from reading your articles that you have opposite political views. Please don’t get the wrong impression of me. I’m not a “know everything”-type of person. I acknowledge that I could — and very well MAY BE — dead wrong on a lot of these issues. THAT’S WHY I like to try to keep learning. I’m an open-minded person. I’m not judgmental. I don’t hate Muslims. And I hope I didn’t come off “sounding” a certain way. It’s so hard when you don’t actually KNOW someone.

A few years back, I worked with a wonderful Muslim doctor (of oncology) by the name of Dr. Rashid Awan and HE was GREAT! (He was a peaceful Muslim.) I only hate those who kill other people. I had a cousin, who I was close to, that was murdered and that is a pain that never goes away. So I have an idea of what it feels like to have someone you love taken away from you so needlessly and in a violent way. The person or persons who did it should not be able to spend their life (lives) in a nice, little cell being able to watch TV, eat for free, and lift weights every day. That’s just my opinion. I just don’t think we should be a nation known for being soft on terrorism. I think Bush had the right idea as far as THAT goes.

48 thoughts on “Why I Love Hannity and Beck”

  1. Hi Kathi,

    I admire your courage at engaging a group of self-identified progressives! You do not seem like you are trying to attack, as is sometimes the case with blog comments. I very rarely comment so I hope that my words reach you.

    There has been a lot of discussion about facts, and researching facts, and while none of us have the whole picture perfect, there are many places online to do research to get a picture that can be accurate enough to begin to form Your own personal take on the events surrounding and including us. I like to start by looking at information on sites that have a long standing reputation as thorough fact checkers after reading/hearing opinion pieces that stimulate me to verify if the story I have been given and to which i am reacting is likely to be accurate.

    And then, after reading several sources, and my emotions settle, I can form an opinion of my own, or acknowledge I don’t know, don’t have enough facts, whatever. For me, the key thing is letting my emotions settle before deciding. I’m not sure why, but there is a funny part of me that wants the scary stuff to be true sometimes. That is not to say that there isn’t true stuff that is scary, but the part of my emotional self that feels threatened and riled up rejoices in having a reason for itself!

    There isn’t a better antidote that I have found for myself when I start getting upset over things I can’t “see” (or can only see on tv) except for compassion. I have to remind myself many times a day that it is ok that I am confused or frightened- and there doesn’t have to be a reason for it.

    It doesn’t have to be terrorism or communism or health care or hell or any other thing someone has told me might hurt me…it is simply fear.

    We tend to need beliefs, especially when dealing with unpleasant emotions, they give us the illusion of control, prevention, safety in numbers…but beliefs chosen in emotional moments are not the same things as researching dry facts and putting them together to create a larger picture, a belief system or world view that serves us. My personal feeling in regards to Beck- he frightens and then offers a solution. It reminds me of a hell-fire and brimstone preacher condemning us to hell, then offering salvation if you walk the aisle and say and do as he says you must in order not to burn. When i was growing up that was a daily occurrence in my home. I now term that method abusive as it instills in us the opposite of freedom. While we may have some remarkable rights (freedoms) in this country such as a freedom of speech, to say literally anything, that does not mean that what we say is freedom based.

    While we could discuss lots of policy issues, I will address only one underlying theme that you touched upon. The idea that we have a communist government. There used to be in the public discourse the idea of the public good as a patriotic stance, that is, what protects the functioning of the country and serves its people is a matter of ethics, is important, and that laws and regulations should function to this end.

    Somewhere along the way, desiring the health of the whole United States as far as it is possible to achieve became equated with communism which people identified with repression and Soviets. So the idea of the common good began to be defined as evil as in evil empire.

    We are great individualists here, but we, all of us, need each other. I’d like to get back to that as public policy. I’m starting with myself, to deal my fear of, judgement of myself…to be less divided against myself. To have compassion for myself about all I don’t know (which is much much more than i do know)…and to accept that that is true of us all (including Beck).

  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My6BF8GZM2g

    I humbly submit the woman I see in the mirror finds compassion to be the answer as a companion to reason…Pain has Panic, Reason must have Compassion, and Compassion must have Reason that Hope may never be abandoned.


    I stake my claim to Love, and compassion for myself, and for Kathi. What’s beautiful to me about all of this discussion is the opportunity each of us has for growth.
    Perhaps it is that none of us is “right,” and we must abandon our attachment to the label of “right,” to the extent that it limits our ability to experience and share compassion with ourselves, and others.

    Kathi and I do not know one another, and yet we are the same woman-wanting for many of the same things even as we disagree.

    Compassion. Reason. Fair & Balanced Living as opposed to fair and balanced reporting…every one has a mortgage, every one wants to eat, drink, and be merry.

    I stake my claim to living in now, understanding that history made and makes us who we were then…now is where we make ourselves and each other’s tomorrow.

    Rodney King once asked “can’t we all just get-along?”

    I say, sure we can…if only we have fearless compassion and hopeful reason as our playmates in this experience we call living.

    thank you to each of you bright souls for your contribution to the enrichment and evolution of my experience. what a joyful place this is to understand all things anew.
    Perhaps the great message of the age of Pisces is to Love one another, what will the message of the age of A_uarius be? I submit…”wherever two or more or gathered…miracles may be born”

    Each of us hopefully might visit with our internal Jerry Maguire and become our own Ambassadors of Kwan.

  3. Wow – what a discussion. This is great.

    I used to think I was conservative and I voted that way then. This was about 30-35 years ago when the conservatives really had no media voice as they do today. I learned to think because I read National Review. I know, I know… but I did really learn to think politically from W F Buckley and gang. They were witty, thoughtful, pointed – a voice crying in the wilderness. Their humor engaged me – they went after everyone and had a good time. I loved it. I started to notice a dissonance, as Morgana mentioned also, after awhile, a dissonance brought about because I was thinking my own thoughts. Once you learn to think in any discipline or interest you begin to travel across open country and stop sticking to the map. Maybe Kathi is going through this process {not even aware of it}- why else would she be here and reading Planet Waves.

    I can no longer stick to any one type of thinking or party. But, the conservative cause has changed completely in the 30 years since I first noticed it. The christian right or religious right has taken over and there is no longer room for the wit and humor, conversation has become impossible. Buckley’s Firing Line was a great TV show with actual conversation, points being made on both sides, give and take. I learned so much about politics from these people. What I learn today isn’t much. There isn’t much discussed anymore. Shouting in many forms became popular, talking over each other began, civility disappeared. Even Reagan and Tip O’Neill managed to talk – they may not have liked each other – but they didn’t let that stop them from getting on with it.

    Thirty or forty years ago the left was the righteous group – so sure of their cause, looking down on the small group of conservative dunces and wondering what rock they may have crawled out from under. There was a lot of name calling – policemen were pigs and the military came home from Vietnam and was spit on. The left never claimed god, as such, not the way the christians do, but a lot of meanness came in the name of love. The right today feels in the ascendant or feels they should be in the ascendant. The religious have taken over the political – not a good thing and one of the reasons for the separation of church and state. Kathi may not see herself as religious, but any rigid belief system that gives no room to the validity of another view is religious. She has come to Planet Waves where I think there is a lack of religion but a wealth of kindness and spirituality. I don’t want to be pompous and hope she may learn to think her own thoughts here, but she must have started down that road already.

    In the time which has passed I think the left has become more thoughtful and less knee-jerk. The people who weren’t really progressive went on to make their fortunes in the marketplace and the liberal thinkers moved to a different level with the younger set of the 80’s and 90’s. This is what I hope for Planet Waves, this different level of thinking about ourselves, about the earth, above rigid group-think. beyond systems of belief that hold the believers in thrall.

    Dear Kathi – please really, really think about what you have said. There are so many contradictions in what you have written – look into your own heart and don’t listen to the voices out there shouting for their market-share. Keep in silence for a few days, try to see that the others are people, too, and think about them that way. You will find amazing freedom in your own mind – let your heart lead and your thoughts will be your own. I did it after a childhood of conformity and smothering and many others have before you, the safety of the group is illusory when it comes to belief – it separates instead of bringing together. We need to stop with the walls we build – Berlin is the greatest example in recent years of tearing down the walls. It hasn’t been easy, but the Germans have begun to progress and grow together after a real wall was built to separate them because of political belief and the fear of difference.

    Nance – the quote from Rumi was inspired – may we all meet in that field.
    Thanks all – Nelda

  4. “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
    there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

    When the soul lies down in that grass,
    the world is too full to talk about.
    Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
    doesn’t make any sense.” – Rumi

    May Kathi’s Guides gently show her the truth when she is ready for it.

    May Kathi learn, like I did, to hold the President and Vice President in her heart as if they are new babies, and shower them with her loving kindness. For me, it was the only path to peace I could find during the Bush years.

  5. Morgana, the monastic movement that has spanned several religious traditions, is a very good example of the problems of pietism within ‘spirituality’. The most difficult thing for the ‘purist’ to do is to remain engaged in the world when this is perceived as, at worst a pollutant and, at best, a distraction.

    Really, we can miss out on so much experience if we sit on a cloud. We figure out a sense of responsibility – we aren’t born with it. If your progress was too ‘rapid’ and you left humanity behind, this would hardly be of deep merit.

    So I say, honour your process and how it puts you in touch. Where you are departing from continually is less important than where you are heading. One of the great things about Planet Waves is that we can see ourselves as growing together – this really should not be underestimated. Moreover, and in like vein, your current groundedness among older ‘conservative’ associates constitutes a fabulous opportunity to bring transformational impact to bear. May it overflow, abundantly.

    Thanks for your candor.

  6. Morgana writes: “So if anything, I guess I’d want to make sure conservatives keep on bringing the crazy–indeed, get them to step it up a few more notches.”



  7. I’m working my way to a point where on some levels, I can see that conservative vs. liberal is starting to become rather meaningless. That said, I obviously still have buttons that can be pushed.

    I coven (verb) with several conservatives, and there are a few issues we agree on. In several instances, I’ve seen that how we frame a particular issue has helped us find common ground.

    It’s hard to talk through issues like terrorism, economy, Obama, etc., when you believe the listener doesn’t really care to learn. That was part of my anger at the initial post–my BS detector went off. People who want *to learn* go into a discussion *asking questions*–not proffering (ill-informed) opinions, which is what Kathi’s email pretty much entailed.

    I know… my boil needs lancing, too.

  8. And when it is with one person, the question is, what exactly do we do with this general viewpoint? How do we handle it? I’ve been puzzling that over for a while.

    My own exodus out of conservatism didn’t come at the hands of any liberal messaging or indoctrination. I wasn’t exposed to any. I reached a critical mass of cognitive dissonance with the conflicting messages *my fellow conservatives themselves* were putting out there. (I’ve shared about this previously.)

    So if anything, I guess I’d want to make sure conservatives keep on bringing the crazy–indeed, get them to step it up a few more notches. I envision it like lancing a boil. Put a nice hot compress on it, and then at the right moment, jab it with a needle. Then keep it clean while it heals.

    But the thing won’t heal until you get the pus outta there.

  9. Here’s the Practice, my finehearts:


    Listen as if your life depends on it. Listen with the same currency and energy and flow as speaking itself. Listen *in* and then listen some more.

    It is not passive, it is not merely ‘spiritual,’ it is creating a whole hearing for that pain to be spoken. Once laid There, in the space of your deep listening, it will begin to unravel, dissolve, lose the small coherency it believed it had. Why? Because there comes a moment to trade it for a deeper coherency: it is your respect, your presence and ultimately your love.

    Once again I defer to the Master and his XIII:

    from An Ordinary Evening in New Haven

    Canto XIII.

    The ephebe is solitary in his walk.
    He skips the journalism of subjects, seeks out
    The perquisites of sanctity, enjoys

    A strong mind in a weak neighborhood and is
    A serious man without the serious,
    Inactive in his singular respect.

    He is neither priest or proctor at low eve,
    Under the birds, among the perilous owls,
    In the big X of the returning primitive.

    It is a fresh spiritual that he defines,
    A coldness in a long, too-constant warmth,
    A thing on the side of a house, not deep in a cloud,

    A difficulty that we predicate:
    The difficulty of the visible
    To the nations of the clear invisible,

    The actual landscape with its actual horns
    Of baker and butcher blowing, as if to hear,
    Hear hard, gets at an essential integrity.

    ~Wallace Stevens

  10. In my first response on this thread it seemed important to describe the tensions around a possible dichotomy between personal mastery and social responsibility – and that ancient traditions need the balance of a robust social ethics in the contemporary situation. Either polarity, in extremis, constitutes reductionism.

    My second response sought to develop this question of how we hold the tension in practice, without being decoyed. It is just as much the relentless debaters of ethical issues as the observant, detached ‘masters’ who may easily fall into the trap of failure to impact as a broker of situational change.

    In the case of SUNY, if we were to ground the issue to a scenario, that may help foster clarity.

    If you could have dinner with a key mover and shaker who could shift policy decision and bring about effective change would the optimal model of action be

    i) Confront this person’s fixed and established position head on? – Akin to “my strawberry is superior to your butterscotch” OR

    ii) Proceed on the basis that you both share a love of ice cream and begin to work for common ground – such that your activism works differently – making a strategy of appealing to the broader humanity we can all relate to as something we share?

    These are different modes of activism. The first is more focused upon direct political action and seeking to quickly motivate political will (how often does that prove effective? But maybe it soothes our conscience?)

    The second is a longer term project of using our own personal construct to influence others, toward excavating altered modus operandi for being human – therefore hopefully catalyzing a shift in how people actually inhabit political processes, rather than simply harboring a focus/action with regard to how they wield/leverage them.

    BOTH are action strategies – they just proceed differently; the latter flowing more from ontology, prior to action. The second approach is not ‘high theory’ (except from the perspective of radical activism), rather it is a commitment to a slower path of transformation, one that is more faithful to what we know about how human psychology outworks in practice. Neither is it Zen! But it just might have a part to play.. 😉

  11. okay….I’m going to be honest here and throw out that I just had to look on the US government website to see who the two senators were in this state, I am stating this because I know if I were to go out into the street and ask around the neighborhood the answers would be the same. There was a time in my life when I watched the news, took a stance, got angry. Alot of my viewpoints were that of my then husband who listened to a.m. radio (who I thought for sure must know all the issues). Isn’t that how it is for alot of folk. You listen to the closest person in your life that you think is informed yet are they really? With the news today and their reporting techniques (Adam Lambert kissed a man on the VMA ‘s last night……who gives a shit!!!) How can anyone make an informed decision about what is actual truth. It’s not just Hannity and Beck, its Good Morning America, its Oprah, your local channel 4, so my earlier statements of losing faith….well its heartfelt. However, where does that get me? I’ll tell you were it got me….here on planet waves looking for honest answers, I actually get fired up WANTING to do something!!! It starts in this venue to see that there ARE loving people that really want this world to be a better place!!! It is great to be able to read all the comments….my viewpoints HAVE changed with the knowledge and seeing the astrology that backs it up. I feel extremely inept at times in comparison to the obvious intelligence that envelops the writings and responses, (It really took alot to admit my ignorance) however this blog got my ass moving to at least be better informed. I had an overwhelming urge to yell out to the crossing guard and ask him if he knew who our senators were(since good ol’ Ted passed away who the hell is the guy that took his place?) Well anyway, I always feel the love in this place, I laugh, get mad, scoff, and more so now, I am becoming involved.

    Peace and love


  12. Half, I am asking my dioxin example question as an actual matter of public policy, or public responsibility for [for example] a journalist. I am not asking in high theory, what is the sound of one dioxin contaminated dormitory clapping.

    I am using SUNY New Paltz as an example because it’s relatively simple: 1,300 students living in toxic buildings. The “public policy” response is to say they are not toxic enough and the messengers(s) are the ones with the problem. I think that New Paltz is an excellent metaphor for many other issues that our society faces.

    We are not zen masters or ascended masters; we are humans who must confront day to day ethical situations. Yes, some can take the luxury of kicking back and observing the world, but I don’t think most are doing it with any mastery. I would propose that most who take no action are not even observing.

  13. And when it is with one person, the question is, what exactly do we do with this general viewpoint? How do we handle it? I’ve been puzzling that over for a while.
    It’s a similar question to, what do you say to the parents who are leaving their kid in one of SUNY’s dioxin dorms?

    How does the conversation go?
    To hark back to my earlier comment in answering this, is to make central the assessment of constructs. Now, if we see them like sauces, such as chocolate, butterscotch or strawberry that might help.

    It really does not matter too much whether one sauce can be proven more nutritionally beneficial than the other, or that one sauce be linked to increased cancer rates in mice after a 10 year study – most people will choose the sauce they like best on any given day.

    When dealing with diversity, grounded in a lifetime of accretions of experience into a construct of ego/personality etc it is obviously a poor strategy to defend any one particular sauce, which after all to most people would seem to be a matter of preference (or choice).

    Yet, all these diverse sauces are drizzled onto the one (shall we say) large vanilla scoop in a long-necked glass.

    Our common humanity is much more, in terms of substance, noticeably present in that vanilla scoop, so to speak. The way we take anyone with us is not to debate difference in a futile way – which only serves to replicate entrenched and bigoted responses rather than open minded and open hearted ones – but to explore and share our experiences through the grounded, lived reality of our common foundations.

    Our role is surely to show our humanity by being passionately alive human beings who are thriving and contributing some of our life force. We share common experiences in that vanilla scoop. An effective strategy starts by perceiving our approach to engagement in the wider world (outside our construct) as a local embodied one, rather than an abstract intellectual one.

    Remember, although your president has more power than you, by a long way, his personal construct of existence is no lesser nor greater than yours (it is a single unit).

    Believe in your sauce and offer others the chance to enjoy its flavorsome taste bud sensation, but don’t forget that the ice cream is what is advertised on the menu. That’s our core business.

  14. ‘reason(ed arguement) isn’t going to work’

    of course not, we live in an insane society that prides itself and even keeps records of its planned, continuing, systemic destruction of its home

    and people (most of us) have bought into this ‘civilization’

    so what are we going to do about it?

    money and the authority it buys is the number one thing powering this process … the people/corporations who control money, resources, people, gov’t, media, etc etc would rather people don’t see what it is really going on, and however that gets accomplished it doesn’t really matter … have some people buying into terrorism and the threat of socialism, have others buying into ineffectual new agey stuff, have others buying into entertainment in whatever forms, etc etc

    and i don’t think anger is really going to get us that far, i could be getting mad at a hell of a lot of stuff but it’d just mess me up a lot more than being the catalyst to really make change happen

    if reason is used to analyze and strategize i think we’ve got a chance

  15. The question of what to do about irrationality and un-reason in politics is a very difficult one, and in some ways represents one of the core challenges to liberal democratic theory. Liberalism (and democracy) are built upon the premises that empirical evidence, reasoned argument, and considered judgment will ultimately win the day. Yet we can see with our very own eyes that this is so far from being the case that it’s almost laughable that our founders thought it was true. The problem for liberalism is that if we ditch reason as the primary workable framework for government, we’re left with very little foundation. And so most progressives are stuck in conversations like the ones taking place here in this forum, where we try to argue a point using evidence with people whose entire framework for reality is organized to resist points of view they don’t already agree with, that aren’t already part of their underlying psychological make up. Eric once described this phenomenon as like being in parallel worlds: a liberal and a conservative may receive the same external input but are processing that input in ways so alien to one another that they may as well be living on separate planets. So for ease of communication, I’m going to refer to the dilemma Eric has raised here as the parallel worlds problem.

    One thing that we all need to understand is that the parallel worlds problem is not a problem that can be fixed at the individual level. I can’t sit down and talk with Kathi and expect that I’m going to be able to bring her around to my point of view. None of us has the ability do this. The problem we’re facing is a collective one. And even if I could somehow get through to Kathi, there are 100,000 more just like her. This is a collective problem, so dealing with it is going to require collective solutions. It would also be easy to say that the answer to this problem is that we build institutions, processes, and communities that positively reinforce an empirical, reason-based version of reality which at the same time weaken, undermine, and marginalize the fear and anger based reality constructed by conservatism. That’s what our liberal impulses tell us to do, but that isn’t going to work. Conservatives have already knocked down and torn to shreds the democracy that was rooted in enlightenment values. We can’t go back to that, and even if we could, a new generation of conservatives would just tear it down all over again. The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I think the beginning of a solution to the parallel worlds problem rests with the following idea:


    This isn’t an easy idea to grasp when we’re talking about an entire society, but it should be simple enough to understand what it means for an individual. Just try reasoning with Kathi and see how far it gets you. Now try doing it with 100,000 Kathi-s or a million or 10 million. When you think of it this way, it’s incredibly obvious that it’s not going to work. If it’s an ineffective way for dealing with Kathi, then it’s going to be an ineffective way for dealing with the entire conservative movement. The idea that reason is useless in dealing with the parallel worlds problem goes against every fiber of my being as a liberal, so if you’re finding this difficult to swallow, you aren’t alone. But I think we have to acknowledge this before we can make any progress finding a REAL solution to this parallel worlds problem. Reason is not going to work. Fear and anger, when constantly stoked and continually reinforced, are too powerful emotions to be overcome by logic, evidence, and dispassionate persuasion. To pretend otherwise would be to continue using 18th Century tools to overcome a high-tech, corporate-backed, Beltway-enabled, 21st Century fear-machine.

  16. What I’m trying to understand, and maybe this is partly the point of this exercise in free speech, is *how* and *why* a regular reader of Planet Waves can get anything from this site and still remain incurious and uncritical about the political commentary/news (“liberal” or “conservative”) we’re sold each day.

    What it says to me is this: maybe we think we’re getting our acts together, have our personal development and self-actualization (whatever we call it) growth plan going –we’re cool– and yet we’re so not cool. Maybe we think we’re open minded, but actually we’re not. We do not ask enough questions, or the right questions; we do not think for ourselves.

    I’m convinced most Americans don’t even know HOW to ask good questions. And I put this down to mass education formulas that do not teach or reward well open-ended inquiry. It’s simply not feasible to churn 140 students through a classroom each day and perform well at inculcating good, logical thinking skills and a love of wonder. Too many influences (commercial/hormonal/other) are fighting for a student’s attention. I think young people always want to ask questions, want to look at every side of a concern, but from what I’ve seen, few teachers are capable of suspending their own assumptions to allow the inquiry to evolve. I’ve been one of those teachers. I will admit this. And let’s not the forget the pressure of administrators/legislators: efficiency and economy in mass education rewards sure knowledge, not open-ended discussion and certainly not much independent inquiry. We get gold stars when we can effectively parrot our teachers and follow the schedule. There’s not much time for anything else.

    Now imagine the country as one big high school, like al suggested, but this time we’re grown ups –still looking to be rewarded for, in fact only comfortable with, sure knowledge. The better we can parrot our favorite teachers, the less likely we fear we’ll fail The Test. To hell with letting honest inquiry evolve. We got a budget to balance and a war to fight. (Death and taxes, they’ll always be with us.)

    And now I’ll drop my broad brush back into my water bucket.

    People react differently when their favorite assumptions are challenged. I can imagine that Kathi (and others who hold similar views) are feeling challenged and probably a little (or a lot) defensive right now. But you don’t have to be a conservative to warrant this discomfort. We all get too sure of our positions once in a while, and it’s good when someone calls bullshit on our biases and bad logic.

  17. Eric Francis wrote:

    “Ladies, gents — remember, this is not about Kathi.

    It’s about a very, very commonly held world view.”

    At this point, then, I’d like to reframe the discussion in terms of the underlying world view rather than the specific political viewpoints.

    The particular world view I see demonstrated in the piece entitled “Why I Love Hannity and Beck” is not unique to Fox-viewers, political conservatives or religious fundamentalists. To varying degrees, we’ve all got bits and pieces of that world view in our own psyches. However, from what I’ve observed with my own relatives and acquaintances who are in those categories, there do seem to be characteristics that many of them have in common. (What a wonderful mirror for me to look at. ;))

    A big part of this is an ongoing feeling of being aggrieved; no, it’s more than that. There seems to be an emotional need to feel aggrieved and resentful, to feel put upon, picked on, bullied, used, misunderstood, and treated unfairly. Metaphysics calls this sort of thing “victim consciousness”.

    A concommitant characteristic is, then, to act defensively. “They’re not going to get me. I’m going to stand up for my rights, goddamn it. No one is going to push me around.” The amount of destructiveness, even violence, that results from people acting defensively … I remember a therapist once telling me, “you can’t do anything with people while they’re defensive”; meaning, don’t try to communicate with them, reason with them, or get them to understand.

    You know, for a short while right after 9/11, there was a feeling of oneness among people, wherein the ordinary “ego” boundaries that separate us had diminished. We had an opportunity to challenge ourselves to respond in a different and higher way. Instead, I recall Bush’s speech a few days after 9/11: “Why do they hate us? They hate us for our freedoms.”

    I remember hearing that and feeling my heart sink. Instead of encouraging us to find that higher way, our political leaders were playing on our feelings of separateness, encouraging us to view ourselves as righteous victims. Us against them.

    In the piece that Kathi wrote, she used the word “hate” several times and twice made reference to “terrorist nations who hate us”. I am presuming that’s because Hannity, Beck et al. talk about those things a lot. Why is that? And why do people so readily grab onto it and repeat it (and, as far as I can tell, internalize it into their individual world views)?

    Yes, there are people in the world who have feelings of hatred towards the US and take action based on that hatred. People do all sorts of unpleasant things to their fellow human beings. But this seems almost an obsession with being hated and victimized. It’s like a wound that can’t heal because we keep picking at it, re-opening the wound and aggravating it, all the while complaining vociferously about “those people, the others, those horrible terrorists” who are doing it to us.

    This is what A Course in Miracles refers to as “attack thoughts.” To quote from Lesson 23 in the Workbook:

    “The world you see is a vengeful world, and everything in it is a symbol of vengeance. Each of your perceptions of ‘external reality’ is a pictorial representation of your own attack thoughts. One can well ask if this can be called seeing. Is not fantasy a better word for such a process, and hallucination a more appropriate term for the result?
    In the practice periods, be sure to include both your thoughts of attacking and of being attacked. Their effects are exactly the same because they are exactly the same. You do not recognize this as yet, and you are asked at this time only to treat them as the same in today’s practice periods. We are still at the stage of identifying the cause of the world you see. When you finally learn that thoughts of attack and of being attacked are not different, you will be ready to let the cause go.”

    My most favorite of all the lessons in ACIM is Lesson No. 153: “In my defenselessness my safety lies.”

    A final quote, from No. 153, which seems apropos of our discussion:

    “The world gives rise but to defensiveness. For threat brings anger, anger makes attack seem reasonable, honestly provoked, and righteous in the name of self-defense. Yet is defensiveness a double threat. For it attests to weakness, and sets up a system of defense that cannot work. Now are the weak still further undermined, for there is treachery without and still a greater treachery within. The mind is now confused, and knows not where to turn to find escape from its imaginings.

    It is as if a circle held it fast, wherein another circle bound it and another one in that, until escape no longer can be hoped for nor obtained. Attack, defense; defense, attack, become the circles of the hours and the days that bind the mind in heavy bands of steel with iron overlaid, returning but to start again. There seems to be no break nor ending in the ever-tightening grip of the imprisonment upon the mind.”

  18. Morgana:

    For Kathi to have written and connected with a progressive community, which is what I believe this is, takes some guts, and for that I admire her.


    When the dialogue stops being democrat versus republican and progressive versus conservative, and instead goes to democrat versus violence, what will re-boot a normal conversation?

    One can be angry all you want, but that is more anger in an already smoke-filled room.

  19. it’s true, fox news does say stuff that other networks are afraid to
    and that can make it look like they are less censored than other news networks

    ‘fair and balanced’ is an interesting way to describe fox

    in order to make that judgement, ideally you have a good understanding of what they are reporting on (ie having lots of different perspectives) from which you can ‘judge’ their reporting

    i don’t watch fox, so i only know stuff i’ve read about them … and if you like fox and read this stuff, either you’re going to get really defensive and shut out what’s being stated, or you’re going to be really shocked that you were able to think that fox was in fact a good news source

    one tidbit – i’ve seen a video where beck puts stuff in his eyes so he can cry on cue for a photoshoot – makes you wonder how much of what he does is a ‘performance’ to meet the needs/desires of his targetted audience

    and i think that it’s true that these ‘news’ networks deliberately play to what the audiences ‘want’ and where they are at in terms of worldview, etc … of course it’s whatever is going to sell advertising, that’s the real name of the game. and fox is doing pretty well at that from what i understand

  20. I think that a lot of what Kathi has written is true. I agree that having a large number of people in another country that really do hate us…I mean they really believe that the Average American family sits around the dinner table talking about how we hate Muslims. It’s what they’re taught and it’s sad. It’s their very own form of sociopolitical brain washing.

    I think it is important to remember that all media outlets are out for one thing and that’s money/power. Media all over the world is the same and they will use their people as pawns to gain power. Glenn Beck has said repeatedly in interviews that he is in it for the money, I might add. I do think that the media is way one sided sometimes especially in the US but sometimes it obscures everything so wildly that we could never possibly see what is going on. THAT is what is scary. The media is controlled by people with money in this country…I mean the WEALTHY….on BOTH sides of the political fence. We see what they want us to whether it’s true or not. Everything is taken out of context. We must keep in mind that the Media, the Military and the Government are three separate entities that make decisions independently of one another (or that is how the system is supposed to operate). When you think about it that way the blurred boundaries become clear.

    I voted for Obama and since his election I get constant spam email asking for money! It’s big advertising! The Government and the Media are blurring into one. Propaganda! THAT is scary. I never heard of anybody getting emails from George W Bush, though I’m not a supporter of him EITHER so maybe a Bush supporter can tell me if they received emails from his campaign?

    I agree with Kathi that there is some super shady stuff is going on in the current white house, but it’s all stuff that wasn’t set in motion by any particular president. Not Obama, not Bush, not Clinton, not Bush Sr. could have done this by their lonesome. A president comes into office with the most complex web sociopolitical crap that has been building for the last couple hundred years, technicalities that NO ONE could possibly fathom. To break down what’s happening right now into such simplistic and naive terms is not doing this issue justice. It’s all the same shit, just a different smelling pile.

    In my opinion, things have become so convoluted that the whole thing could fall apart and we’d miss it! End of life “as we know it”? 2012 anyone? Who knows…my point is….having worked in a bureaucracy for as long as I have…it’s NEVER as simple as it seems…..and it can all come crashing down with the slightest mistake. The fact that such sweeping change is kept behind closed doors, the fact that foreign policy speeches are wielded so carelessly (and have been for a long time) just spells disaster on so many levels. I hope to goddess that we as a people will be able to handle it when it comes, because it inevitably will whether it be in 10 years or 100. Something big is coming.


  21. Well, I think we’re not angry enough — overall. Anger is the missing element. I posted this article because I believe it’s evidence of something, that we need to address on a much larger scale than any one person.

    And when it is with one person, the question is, what exactly do we do with this general viewpoint? How do we handle it? I’ve been puzzling that over for a while.

    [My first reply to Kathi was: Have you ever heard of the Aug. 6 PDB?]

    It’s a similar question to, what do you say to the parents who are leaving their kid in one of SUNY’s dioxin dorms?

    How does the conversation go?

    That is, when the facts don’t quite exactly matter?

    What is underneath that little thing about “not having the facts”? And as a communicator, what’s a girl to do?

  22. Oh, one more thing… there are some papers at the Harry Truman Presidential Library online that talk about the creation of Israel. You should look those up, too.

  23. OK, stepped away from the ‘puter for a few minutes and took some deep breaths. Tried to figure out why I’m so angry about your post, Kathi. Among other things, it’s because it reads like a bunch of regurgitated talking points. No reference to history, or personal responsibility (which conservatives are always harping on the rest of us about taking).

    Take your comments re. terrorism, for example.

    What do you know about the Marshall Plan?

    Do you know who Mohammed Mossadegh is, and why you should care about the arc of his political career?

    In the 1980’s, what was the nature of the relationship between Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Saddam Hussein?

    Who has been trying for 20 years to build an oil pipeline in Afghanistan, and why?

    Who trained the mujahedeen that our soldiers are now having to fight in Afghanistan?

    I could go on, but that’s plenty to start with.

    The problem with your politically correct position on terrorism is that it ignores history, and ignores the West’s own role in creating the conditions that exist today. The mean old Muslims didn’t just decide to pick on American one day. They don’t hate our freedom as much as they hate our meddling. No, Americans didn’t fly the planes on 9/11–the CIA/U.S. government (and in the case of the Marshall Plan, other Western powers as well) “merely” created the conditions that made 9/11, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, possible–and even defensible from a Muslim POV.

    History, Kathi. History. The significant things going on in the Middle East today *didn’t happen in a vacuum.* Our leaders made our bed for us. Now we all have to lie in it.

    Speaking of which, I’m going to bed now.

  24. First of all, thank you, all of you, for this dialogue. Regarding being “soft on terrorism,” it seems to me that terrorism is so much more complicated. Yes, there are people who hate. but WHY?

    If we don’t know why, then we’re just fighting symptoms, not root causes.

    If people in other countries believe that the U.S. has hurt them, then it needs to be addressed. If you look at people like “Three Cups of Tea” author Greg Mortenson, who say that a significant number of Al Queda or Taliban are merely poor people who are less interested in ideology than in simply feeding their families, it begins to make sense that if they had certain basic needs met, like schools, then maybe they’d be less tempted to join ideological forces.

    There are a lot of ways to solve problems. I’d rather see root causes addressed than cause more pain and resentment through violence at attempts to control symptoms.

  25. Well, Eric, I certainly hope you don’t want to get to know her any further. She lost me as soon as she wrote: “Politics and the war always struck a nerve with people!” and then she completely lost me when she wrote “Fox news is the only station (and these guys) are the only ones who give you the fair and balanced truth.”
    There is enough insanity without engaging someone so immurred in the lie too directly. Reading her words literally hurt my brain: with all her homey stylings and masked inhumanity she felt like a demonic construct.

  26. I guess I missed your point. I don’t see the “reaching out” in this piece (Fe), and I feel you are saying it’s not okay for me to be angry (Eric).

  27. I don’t feel threatened by Kathy’s piece or this dialogue. I think even as we agree to disagree, there is some room left to ponder the chasm or the gap between us. And I admire Kathy for her attempt to write and reach out. To me, that feels safer than staying isolated and convinced of me being “right”.

    I think more than being right, maybe we just want to get heard and that goes for everyone on either side of this argument.

  28. Well, Kathi, I grew up as a Christian conservative in the South. Which cured me of being a conservative and a Christian. I really have no sympathy at all for your viewpoints. I used to believe those sorts of things, too. Not that I believe too much that the Dems say these days, either.

    As this is an astrology site, I’ll offer an astrological tidbit for you to ponder. The Age of Pisces is drawing to a close. This is at the root of the anxiety you all are feeling.

    Your “Muslim doctor” anecdote reminds me of how white southerners talk about black people down here. You’ll find plenty of other white folks down here who are very pleased to share how they work with “wonderful, peaceful” black people, too. You know. The ones who aren’t uppity. The ones who aren’t the President. The ones who aren’t “welfare queens” or “thugs.” Wait, that eliminated quite a few black people there!

    Planet Waves feels less like safe space to me today. And yes, I’m angry about it.

  29. This just reminds me that I have to continue reading George Lakoff’s “The Political Mind. Why You Can’t Understand 21st-Century American Politics with an 18th Century Brain.”

    Anti-democratic forces appear to have the upper hand as far as the political narrative in this country is concerned.

    We progressives must learn how to take it back from them.

  30. I have a tendency to address the thoughts and stories of others by furnishing some of my own–when I don’t do it succintly, this tendency can be an unfortunate one.

    I was fairly conservative in high school–my parents liked Reagan, Reagan liked God, and there seemed to be a lot of rich people around, both in my neighborhood and in the world in general (though we were anything but), which seemed fine enough for me. Conventional wisdom is that “rich” means you’re good, and you’re doing something better than those who are not. Also, I was into tv soap operas, and high school drama & gossip, on which my closest friendship at the time was based.

    (By the way Kathi, Reagan had “czars”–that is just a term.)

    I received a scholarship to a university in a major city about 20 minutes from my house, which I attended because my parents had neither the funding nor the leniency to send me away. I attended the business campus downtown, primarily commuter and lacking all social structure. This experience of moving from a safe established status quo (no matter my position within it), repeating narratives, a very local consciousness to seeing and starting to comprehend the wide open world actually depressed me deeply. My freshman year I got straight A’s but would often go by the chapel and local cathedrals to kneel and pray for hours, just to alleviate what felt at the time like desolation.

    The desolation of what? The desolation losing automatic identity, importance–living a narrative in which you were automatically somehow relevant to others, and they to you, just because you “belonged” to this local community which made you cool. In order to maintain this, you had to push for status quo as a group, keep out outsiders who did not already fit in with the established narratives. (I think of this now as “local cool”–I observe it in people and try hard to stay away from it.)

    I transformed completely in college and the years after–but growth is hard. I have cousins who preferred to map their lives and decisions around relevance within their initial communities–and they have not stretched their minds or emotions for decades….and I think they are incapable of it anymore. I think how hard it’s been for me (I’ve left many communities, the rest voluntarily because they held back my growth, and it is never easy), and I think–they’re so weak, if they tried it might just kill them. All they have left is to keep reconstructing repeating narratives like interminably recycled soap operas, and keep preening in their sense of cool, and their proud, small identities.

    Hannity and Beck are the leaders in the nationwide movement of people who are angry that they are not as “cool” as they remembered when they were young….but they have taken it to such a level that it has the effect of administering large doses of drugs to the population.

    They do not tell the facts–just as a Soap Opera might use real-time events to craft a narrative in which the usual characters are devastatingly *something*, they use current events to lull you into a world where you have to fight to protect how cool you are, or you might lose it tomorrow. Anyone who remembers high school must remember how consuming an obsession this can be.

    They invent lies and present them as truth, because they can. Because almost none of their audience is concerned about or knows how to fact-check. I am hoping that another reader has the patience to correct the facts listed in the piece above, with links. I don’t have the time to both note my thoughts and provide corrections, so I’m going with the thoughts.

    So yes, they are comforting and nurturing, because they’re leaders of little cliques who are going to make sure the new kid in school is put in his place and the status quo isn’t threatened. And, whether you are “anti-Obama” or not–this feels very comforting to you, and fact-checking (something incredibly easy to do with the internet) becomes unimportant. Because everyone knows their narrative.

    That is what Fox News is about. They know–after being in television for decades–that much of the American public just wants to live in a soap opera where they are the cool guys. Republican leaders know it, and craft their daily narratives accordingly–often in clear opposition to facts they know their voters will never read, hear or digest. And, Fox News and the other corporations are just fine with that, because you can just be as cool as hell as long as you keep forking over all of your discretionary income to this economy that is structured around capturing all of it.

    And I’ll veer off here and ask a question in this forum that I ask myself at times: Growth is hard. Even if it were easy many people wouldn’t choose it. But it is not easy, it can be wrenchingly difficult. So, with so much of our nation brandishing their right to pursue happiness by refusing to grow (and we know this is impossible–you’re either growing or dying; if you’re growing you’re happy, if you’re dying you’re not), what do we do?

    I was hoping the Chiron conjunction in Aquarius this past year signaled the start of some mass/community emotional healing, but I haven’t seen any signs of it.


  31. Re-reading this thread, I’m smiling about my error in calling Kathi “Kathy”. What a great illustration of the fact that we humans tend to see what we are pre-disposed to see, what we expect to see, rather than what is actually there.

  32. Kathi (my apologies as well for mis-spelling) —

    I have to second the question re: your statement “They are just stating the facts.”

    Who said? Whose “facts”? Where else have you researched this? Why are they right and the “others” wrong?

    That is, why do you consider the points of view of these people more factual to you than the statements of those who viewpoints you oppose?

    I also give to you this – please notice the open minds to which you have presented your thoughts. This is your community (PW) – and blessed be for coming to a place of open discussion – something not available in the minds and lives of those you are supporting.

    Is open discussion and acceptance of differing points of view important to you?

    I would ask that you keep this question in mind as you ingest the words of those whose point of view you FEEL you support.


  33. Thanks to Kathy for writing this and to Eric for publishing it. I’ve enjoyed reading the comments. I think this kind of discussion gets to the heart of much of what we (the human race) are facing right now … that old Chiron/Jupiter/Neptune business about illusion and reality that we’ve been experiencing for some months now, as well as some of the Saturn/Pluto/Uranus issues around control and rebelliousness.

    To Kathy, one thing you said stood out for me, and it is this:

    “Fox news is the only station (and these guys) are the only ones who give you the fair and balanced truth. It’s NOT that they are anti-Obama. They are just stating the facts.”

    How do you know that it is the “truth”? How do you know that what you are being told is the “just the facts”?

    (I am asking that as a sincere, thoughtful question, not in an attempt to be sarcastic or confrontational.)

    To add to those questions, looking a little deeper at this train of thought, I’d also ask, what does it mean for the truth to be fair and balanced? Is being fair and balanced a bona fide attribute of “truth”?

    (That’s more of a question for us all to ponder, not addressed specifically to Kathy.)

  34. .. There’s this point, we’ve all felt it.. for the most part.. you can’t get away from it.. It’s right there in your face, reality. Again, I say sobering,.. but it doesn’t begin to paint the picture.

    (I’ll explain some other day). (When my head’s a bit clearer).

    Have Fun with the conundrum! (It’s always a Good trip!)

    Again,.. Love, Peace, Freedom, Beauty, .. Kindness..


  35. Dear Kathi,

    I thank you for taking the time to write this piece. I do not know you and you do not know me. But from what you have said in this piece, you have learned an extraordinary number of things that are simply untrue — things that with just a tiny bit of effort and independent inquiry can be easily proved false. I do not have the time to pick apart your entire essay, so I will focus in on one point specifically. Here’s what you said:

    “President Obama refuses to even SAY the word terrorism. I have NEVER heard him use the word. According to Beck, he doesn’t allow anyone on his staff to use the word. I believe he is soft on it.”

    Below is a link to a transcript of an Obama speech on terrorism and Guantanamo Bay. As you will see by using a simple text search (Control+F), Obama uses the word terrorism many times.


    And if you do a google search using the words “Obama” “speech” and “terrorism” I’m sure you will be able to find on your own many other instances where Obama has talked about terrorism. You can also find actual video clips of him talking about terrorism on youtube. Did it ever occur to you to look into this question yourself rather than take someone else’s word for it?

    Now you might still believe that Obama is soft on terrorism for reasons unrelated to this, and you are entitled to that opinion. But if you got it wrong about Obama never mentioning the word terrorism, is it possible that you got some other basic things wrong as well?

    The sad truth is that I and others who read Planet Waves could spend an eternity debunking things you believe which are false, but that wouldn’t change your mind about anything. Most people’s fundamental beliefs are motivated by feelings and innate predispositions. You, for example, seem very concerned about national security issues, terrorism, as well as people and processes that are complex and outside your realm of experience. You probably won’t admit this to yourself, but your worldview is largely motivated primarily by fear. It sounds like the folks over at Fox have figured out how to convince you that your fears are not only justified but that you should be even more afraid.

    Let me end my asking you several questions and I don’t expect you to answer them publicly.

    Do you remember a time when you were not worried about terrorism? What was your biggest concern then and why?

    When did terrorism become your biggest concern? Why then and why not before?

    Now imagine if the threat of terrorism disappeared tomorrow. What would your biggest concern become and why?

    Who are you looking to for your cues about what matters politically? Why is it not your own self?

  36. What a stimulating, and often uncomfortable, debate to read. It’s interesting meeting with all these viewpoints. It’s interesting feeling my own reactions – the sense of futility of approaching this in terms of one opinion pitted against another – ultimately they’re all the same.

    The only way I can sit with the paradox of so many polarised thoughts *is* to go back to the teachings of ACIM and belief systems of its ilk: words are but symbols of symbols. They are a mark of separation. By keeping the argument on the level of words, I believe that resolution is impossible. I really don’t think it can be done.

    So I think I’ll just shut up now … Ahhhhh, much better! 🙂

  37. The fact that the writer reads planetwaves hopefully means that she is trying
    to understand other view points.

    One segment stood out for me

    “In his speech to the mourners of the Fort Hood victims, 95% of his speech was focused on the victims, 5% on Malik Hasan. Obama is acting as if the events at Fort Hood are an act of violence, instead of an act of terror brought on by a Muslim terrorist who was emailing Jihad and interested in Al-Qaeda. Maybe because he would have to acknowledge that it was the first act of terrorism since 9/11 under his presidency.”

    A eulogy service is intended to focus on the departed, whether one dies naturally or
    is murdered as at Fort Hood. Such a service is to provide comfort for the families.

    Also she forgets to not that Malik Hasan served for 8 yes 8 years under the Bush
    Presidency… and there were warning signals that were not taken seriously – so may
    I ask who really is responsible ?

    I hope she keeps her mind open and reads more

  38. The most outstanding issue I noticed about the author of this piece is that she’s coming from a viewpoint of “feeling” or “reacting.” There is very little of what she writes that has anything to do with truth or facts. This is a big problem and feeds in directly with what right-wing, conservative propaganda promotes. How do things make you feel? Are you afraid? Do you feel helpless? Do you suspect there’s “something going on” that you’re not privy to and may very well impact you negatively? If so, here’s some info that will feed into that, confirm your suspicions and make you feel empowered…

    (One of the reasons that Palin is so incredibly popular WITH HER BASE is that she celebrates her ignorance, paranoia and vindictiveness. She speaks to those who believe they’re being shafted in favor of “the other.”)

    After everything the author of this piece says, in the end, she states that she’s not judgmental. And she truly doesn’t believe that she is judgmental – just right.

    People such as this have made up their minds. There is NOTHING that liberals/progressives could say or do to persuade them. To them, issues are as clear as day. They’re views are the right ones.

  39. Kathi- I believe every single president in history has “hand picked” his cabinet. That’s what a president gets to do– select people for his cabinet that he knows and trusts and wants to work with. Nothing devious about that.

  40. For me, what is most instructive here is that we notice something important if we scrutinise closely enough:

    The only world we live in, is the one we construct – which is to say that everyone’s world is a construct. It’s our constructs that overlap and we play out this overlapping upon terra firma. This is no insignificant observation. For my reality is not your reality, nor anyone else’s.

    This article raises profound issues for the culture of this site around questions of “how do we work for consensus within our values?” One of the things which Planet Waves avowedly seeks to bring about is the personal=political intersection. This is a crucial datum to offer most folk (who often fail to see the importance in terms of how individual units can take responsibility for much other than themselves). However, there is a danger of becoming too bogged down (or invested if you like) in political analysis.

    The awareness spiritualities of Buddhism and Taoism are by now very old, and require some revision. They share a view that attempting to change the world is fruitless and that one should, in essence, transform the self. “Do you want to improve the world? I don’t think it can be done… The Master sees things as they are, without trying to control them. She lets them go their own way, and resides at the centre of the circle” The Book of the Way, Teaching 29. We should not lose sight of such insights.

    Still, in modern times, there really does not need to be a radical dichotomy between self-transformation and social programmes for transformation. However, awareness should be a broad spectrum phenomenon, if it is to remain healthy. If you look too closely for too long at certain aspects of a whole, then you inevitably suffer impoverishment of awareness of other, important, balancing factors.

    This brings me back to my starting point about worlds as constructs. This is surely where we can locate a healthy middle axiom. The ‘truth’ is a convenient fiction – there is no such thing (apart from in the hands of manipulative power). There is no definitive or foundational truth that makes all other positions false.

    So, just as it is not ‘my construct or your construct’ or ‘my world or your world’ it cannot be viable to build consensuality out of conflict around interpretations of ‘truth’. What we have is overlapping constructs that, in aggregation, create ‘our world’ on this spinning piece of rock. How we handle, and work with, those whose views are diametrically opposed to our own, or that we may even consider dangerous, is a pressing matter with a degree of difficulty.

    Bringing this article to the forum was a very useful thing to do. For it begs the question of “How shall my personal construct become sufficiently refined to work constructively with worldviews I find myself unable to enter into? How may I commune with other planetary members who share such views, constructively – and acquire results?”

    Challenging and productive questions indeed, to wrestle with..

  41. Kathy,

    Thank you for sharing; Eric, thank you for sharing Kathy with us.

    From me with love, Kathy – I do hope that you find room to do some second thinking about much of what you are expressing – as I find it to be regurgitation of much of the kool-aid we’re being fed — something all too commonplace.

    And I would beg you – all my other thoughts aside — to give some more thought to this statement in your closing paragraph:

    “I only hate those who kill other people.”

    With love,

  42. Musicman,… damned good to have you back. It’s about freakin’ time!

    There’s a lot of good shit goin’ down in this chick right now.

    She needs folks too be cool. Too Love her for who she is.

    Too allow her to work out the best deal she can from the Universe. (It’s a beautiful process, when you get to watch it happen!)

    There’s nothing inherently wrong with the ‘BECK BOYS’, they’re just jaded in certain capacities. Welcome to Human Life. But, We, on the other hand, have the capacity to allow people their foibles, and still Love their asses no matter what!

    (To you I wish Peace and Love! Straight up!)

    Your bro., Jere

  43. I am not sorry to say I have lost faith in our government all together. The more I know, the more I really know its about the mighty buck and special interest. I believe the news that I don’t watch as much as I believe a republican would agree with a democrat even if he knew he was right. It’s bullshit and poppycock to try to convince anyone of anything unless he steps outside the proverbial box. Does anybody really know what time it is?…..Does anybody really care?

  44. Now there ……is an honest reflection…..lots of Libra ……….and a fight for justice………Israeli lands and Muslim doctors……!!

    No hidden agenda…..just making sense of stuff that really ….does not make any sense….!!

    Bravo girl….!!

    However…..each of our perceptions is really based on the state of our antennae…..!!

    A New York state of mind….?

    An Empire state of mind….?

    A Political…and very murky…. state of mind….?

    (Did you cop for Obama’s face after he left his first pre-inaugauration security briefing…?)

    Like he just found out that he was gonna have to fuck Iran….seduce Palestine….and confuse the Mossad listening post….ho…ho….and dont forget the payola from the Saudis…..you cant turn that down……!!

    He really nearly did turn white….!

    So we really are back to Socrates and the Fool…..Who has the vision….? Who has the monoply on vision….? Who says….” My vision is more visionary than yours…..?”

    At least in these revisionist times…..the last casa blanca gateman was a fuckwit…..no pretence….just a completely moronic fuckwit….totally predictable……and with no hope of success……or popularity…..or a future……!!

    So let us remember that…… while we seek to nourish the healthy cells….there is still an overwhelming amount of cancerous stuff that needs to die …all by itself….!!

    To confuse the two……..and herald this act as visionary…..is simply high treason…in a spiritual realm……!!

    Pluto in Capricorn would seem to have arrived….right on time….!!

    Bravo girl…!!

    Musicman 1

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