Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Rush Today

I made a trip over to my brother-in-law's place today to do some Yankee trading with him. I had an old brush-cutting saw (an overgrown string trimmer type of thing) and he had a new overhead garage door with rails. We made it an even trade. On the way over there I caught most of the last hour of Rush Limbaugh's reality for today talk radio show. Mind you now I just caught a piece of it but in that brief period I discovered that there is now scientific proof that global warming is not happening. That's great news for SUV owners who have been victimized by liberals in the liberal media. Rush's vehicle, he didn't mention what he drives, gets eight to ten miles per gallon on the highway, he boasted. The scientific evidence is in the form of a presentation given by some Canadian scientist who, if I heard it right, has a computer model that predicts that every 50 or so years there is a shift in the ice sheet up north caused by the winds. The ice up there has repositioned itself, not melted, according to this scientist's predictions. If Rush mentioned any actual field experiments to support this computer model, I didn't catch it. But for Rush Limbaugh conservatives, I guess that wouldn't really be needed. All one needs to do is change the consensus.
It certainly must be nice to live in a world where anything that challenges your preferred perception of reality can be whisked away in minutes by your favorite radio talk show host. It doesn't matter what it is either. If it challenges the conservative consensus of today's reality, Rush can simply brush it right off the canvas with one wide brush stroke. That probably isn't a good analogy, though, since Rush seems to despise the liberal art appreciating types.
Oh and then there was the report on philanthropy that puts the blue states near the bottom of the list despite the fact that blue states are home to the wealthiest Americans. It seems that many of the southern states are at the top of that list, states like Mississippi and Louisiana, Arkansas, Tennessee... Bible belt states. I wonder if tithing is considered philanthropy in this survey. Is tithing philanthropic?
I listened to a little bit of Howie Carr on the way back home. Howie is out of Boston, a red in a blue state. He seems to find no end to red callers from these blue northeastern states too.
After I had changed the station over to Steven King's classic rock station in Bangor, an interesting thought came to me. I've had quite a few discussions recently with conservative-minded people. One thing seems to be nearly universal with those discussions. I think we all know that any one of us could go into a home for the mentally challenged and strike up a conversation about the current state of affairs in the world. We might even be able to win an argument and convince one of these people that our own vision of reality is more likely than theirs. But what is the point? Even if we did manage to do that, how long would that reality last for them? That's what it's like talking with conservatives.
Conservative reality is based on the conservative consensus. It has very little to do with objective reasoning. It is a reality of the moment based on what is most convenient at that moment. If, God forbid, it becomes necessary to change that consensus, to change reality, it is done in quantum leaps so the change is almost unseen, unexperienced. The reality of Iraq prior to March 2003 was hugely different from the reality of Iraq in February 2003 as we now see it. Prior to the war, Saddam had huge stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons and was on the verge of producing nuclear weapons which he could share with terrorists. That was our reality based on the Bush/Cheney administration's assertions. But now the reality is that there were no such stockpiles. However, there didn't need to be any. The danger was that Saddam would have had the money and the freedom to create them if he had been allowed to stay in power. That is a major reality shift and there are many Americans left of Bush/Cheney who realized it. But the conservatives made that shift without losing stride. Conservatives made a quantum shift from pre-2003 reality to post-2003 reality without ever even looking back. It's almost as though pre-2003 never even existed. It's Orwellian. It's nuts! But it happens every day in conservative consensus driven American reality.
It happened several times over with the controversy over the missing 380 tons of explosives in Iraq. It happened with Bush's military records. It happened with Kerry's Vietnam service. It happened on 9/11. It happened with Abu Ghurayb, Zarqawi, bin Laden, Valerie Plame... It happened with the Pentagon colonel who was caught by the FBI transferring Iraq War plans to the Israelis. Where is the outrage over that? Where is the outrage over any of these scandals? In every case, conservatives shifted their consensus to create a new reality in which none of these were scandalous. Did you catch what I just said? Conservatives changed the reality that we live in and almost nobody took notice.
The funniest part of all of this is that it is the people who do notice the change who are seen as the crazy ones. 1984 anyone?


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