Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid...Or Fight Back Against Fear-Mongering!

by: cassandracarolina

Thu Jan 31, 2013 at 15:12:20 PM EST



Have you been feeling fearful these days, as though the world has become a much more dangerous place, almost overnight? You're not alone. Keeping populations in a state of heightened fear and dread is big business these days, and everyone wants a piece of the action.

Corporations who live and die by short-term financial metrics, want to find ways to grind out more profit per employee.  In a challenging economy, continuing layoffs and cuts to hours and benefits and ambiguous corporate communications keep employees from seeking raises or better assignments. Nobody wants to speak up about dangerous or illegal working conditions or crushing demands. Everyone's just trying to "stay below the radar" and avoid being the next casualty.

Congress, where elected officials pledge their loyalty to the NRA, Grover Norquist, political caucuses, and the corporations that funded their election and re-election, is another bastion of fear-mongering. Truth in advertising suggests that instead of business suits, Congress-critters be forced to wear NASCAR-like jumpsuits with patches denoting each of their sponsors. But... I digress.  Congress likes to focus on vague fears like The Deficit That Will Force Your Grandkids into Economic Slavery, while the obvious, in-your-face fears like Climate Change Which Spawned the Superstorm That Washed Away Part of the Country go largely unremarked upon.  When Americans can be frightened by the looming perils of complicated issues, it's so much easier to strip them of their freedoms and rob them blind.

Advertisers, always early adopters of any new revenue streams, have launched campaigns suggesting that "you may be eligible for [insert worthless scam here]", drawing you in to learn about dreadful things that might happen.  Your car might break down. Your identity might be stolen. You might lose out on all life's possibilities due to low testosterone. If you act now, and part with your hard-earned dollars, you might be able to forestall these apocalyptic outcomes... but only if you're among our first 25 callers.  

cassandracarolina :: Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid...Or Fight Back Against Fear-Mongering!
The pharmaceutical industry is doing quite well in FearWorld, and not just in selling more and better anti-anxiety drugs. If you watch television or read magazines, you'll quickly learn that you're beset with medical conditions that have been proliferating out of control. From erectile dysfunction to Restless Leg Syndrome, depression, chronic pain, and every other ailment you (or Madison Avenue) can imagine, there's a cure. Just ask your doctor about Panacea. Sure, it's got some side effects, like thoughts of suicide, shortness of breath, diarrhea, vomiting, loss of consciousness, and death, but do you want to get better or not?

The media, willing to throw your peace of mind under the bus in their quest for ratings, loves nothing better than fear.  Your local ABC, CBS, or NCB affiliate will post little announcements like, "Do you know what deadly danger lurks in your child's lunchbox?!" and unhelpfully notes that "Dozens of kids have been sent to local hospitals. On Monday's 10:00 nightly news, we'll tell you why".  Home invasions, child abductions, pit bull attacks, criminals on the loose, toxic clouds... it' WAY too dangerous to go out of your house. Just grab your Snuggie, grab another bowl of chips, and sit back down on the couch and stay glued to the TV.

At the national level, Fox News has elevated fear-mongering to an art form, maintaining millions of perhaps-once-independent thinkers in a state of perpetual dread through their hyperventilating commentary. With the advent of e-mail forwarding, Fox's army of People Aggrieved That Obama Is Governing While Black can keep their remaining friends and relatives informed of the latest outrage - real or imagined - that threatens their very way of life. Advertisers can easily prey on these folks, particularly since their sane relatives have long since given up trying to reason with them.

Can't spend your day glued to the television? No worries, talk radio will keep your blood pressure elevated. Between the verbal assaults on women, gays, brown people, public servants, Liberals, foreigners, and anyone other than that handful of Aging and Increasingly Irrelevant Angry White Guys, and the insipid ads exhorting you to stash away gold coins before the coming Crapocalypse, you'll be maxed out on your med and your credit cards. Hey, keeping fear at bay ain't cheap.

The NRA is just one of the many organizations who have been able to cash in, big time, on fear in America.  Join with us; we'll take care of you. Whatever fear resonates with you - immigrants taking over the country, chaos in the streets, nuclear attack, economic meltdown, natural disaster - you'll be way better off if you're armed with the latest weapons to protect yourself, your family, your property, and your freedom.  Even though many of their members are willing to work for reasonable reforms, their leader is reloading, ratcheting up the rhetoric. Maybe he's the one feeling the fear of coming irrelevance.

Last but by no means least, there's the Internet. Whether you're Googling your symptoms when you're home alone with a fever and finding that all paths lead to "Terminal Brain Tumor", or reading your favorite blog (or checking out the opposition's crazed rantings), you can work yourself up into a full-blown panic attack. No time to surf the Web looking for things that will fan the flames of fear? Have fear come to you, with Tweets, updates, and alerts. Every time one of your gadgets beeps or buzzes, Something Dreadful Might Be Happening.

So: what's a person to do in a world full of fear?  Ask yourself: who benefits from my fear? Is it a person or organization that wants to intimidate me into certain behavior? Someone who wants to prey on my fear to sell me some product or service? Someone who is themselves fearful, and acting on the premise that the best defense is a good offense?

Chances are, you can figure it out, and once you do, you can help your spouse, your parents or grandparents, your kids, your friends, your coworkers, or your neighbors see what's behind that curtain. Together, we're powerful, and our critical thinking and our faith in the general goodness of our fellow beings ensure that we can face the real perils in the world, and keep the imagined ones at bay.

Remember:

Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.

--Bertrand Russell, Unpopular Essays, "Outline of Intellectual Rubbish"

Poll
What's your current fear level?
It's all good. No worries for me.
My fears are very specific and rational.
I'm worried, but not panicking.
I'm pretty freaked out. Things look grim.
Having a panic attack; gotta run!

Results

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Love this diary! (2.00 / 15)
My husband and I, after seeing a commercial, newscast or anything else designed to drum up fear just look at each other and say "fear!"
It makes us feel better.  
Great diary.  Thanks.

And don't get me started on the cialis commercials. n/t (1.92 / 12)


[ Parent ]
I'm 64 rapidly approaching 65 (2.00 / 14)
My new term of endearment for my wife is cialis.  She didn't get it first :)

" In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. "

[ Parent ]
Well, jsfox, nothing conquers fear better than love... (2.00 / 12)
...so whatever you're doing to keep love alive willnkeepnthe fear-mongers at bay. It's a two-fer!!

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
Those two bathtubs don't scare me (2.00 / 7)
they confuse me.

[ Parent ]
Wonder why those cialis commercials seem to turn up mostly (2.00 / 8)
during 5-6 pm, dinner hour.  I still can't figure out the two bath tub thingy.

"I base most of my fashion sense on whether or not it itches"  -- Gilda Radner

[ Parent ]
Try watching a golf tournament... n/t (2.00 / 7)


[ Parent ]
Two demographic reasons: (2.00 / 7)
Boomers are the biggest market, and Millenials don't watch a lot of TV.

Wait for the next five years. The waning TV population will keep aging and the ads will be more walkers and orthopedic girdles than you can shake a cane at.

:~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Thanks, Jk2003! I can see that you and your husband (2.00 / 9)
have figured this out! I hope that people apply their critical thinking skills and faith in humanity to see through this stuff and realize it's the Grift That Keeps On Giving.

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
I have so much more to say about this (2.00 / 10)
But I am on my iPad due to the comment glitch with IE.  I find typing on this tedious.  As a parent of two young children I see my fellow moms falling prey to all sorts of fear... I heard moms at my daughters ballet class talking about day long kindergarten.  They think that they should definitely send their 5 year olds away all day so they won't be behind in first grade.  These are stay at home moms.  They are so worried about doing the right thing they forget to parent each individual child.  I have two kids - they couldn't be more different.  To think that there is a right way of doing it for any group of kids just drives me insane and I sometimes think it is more laziness than fear.  But the way these moms were talking I was reminded that it was fear.  And a complete lack of confidence in their own parenting skills.  

Jk2003... first of all - an IE hint to help you type comments (2.00 / 7)
as I am dealing with this same irritating glitch

When you want to reply to a comment, just click on the Date/Time stamp next to the poster's name. This will open a new window, and you can then click "Reply" and it will open a "Post a comment" box and you will be back in business.

Your comment is spot on. I think that the stay-at-home person, be they a mom, dad, Fox News viewer, or someone with ailments that may keep them housebound is THE target audience for the fearmongers. Lacking the support system that can be found in a workplace, or even on a blog, they may hear something from a supposed "authority figure" and be convinced that it must be true and that action (or inaction) is required, pronto.

The trouble is, with "authority figures" like Phyllis "I got mine/screw you" Schlafly, Glen "buy gold! The world is going to end!!!!!!!" Beck, and the vapid talking heads at Faux News, bad advice is proliferating like kudzu.

Meanwhile, critical thinking skills, once learned in the course of a decent education, public or private, seem to be eroding rapidly. It's the perfect storm, sadly.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
We think the big has been traced to (2.00 / 9)
The Linked in share code. Now this has been removed it should go away  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Bug not big (2.00 / 9)
I'm on my IPad too - because it's late an I'm in bed

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Home computer worls now on IE9 (2.00 / 9)
and this comment is proof.

Thanks!

(Oh and I am not scared of Microsoft either!)


[ Parent ]
thanks for the help (2.00 / 5)
i am writing this through IE now, so your advice worked.
as for the stay at home moms - in this town there is also some "keeping up with the joneses"  going on.  kids are pushed by their parents so that the parents can feel like they have an advanced kid.  i am a much more natural type parent.  i think the best place a child can be is with a parent that wants to spend time with them.  kids seem to be so overscheduled these days that they don't get to use their imaginations to busy themselves.  everything is laid out for them.  as a parent, i reject this for my kids.  i purposely do not schedule things for us as i want them to learn to play independently and make up games, read, find ways to entertain themselves.  i am not kidding when i say that this seems to be a lost art.  
fear that ones child will be bored or fall behind drives this overscheduling.  i think a little "boredom" can be the jumping off point for little imaginations.  i am not interested in planning my childrens days, i want them to explore not the world i want them to explore but their world - as they find it.  i think these moms are afraid to allow their children the autonomy to do just that.

[ Parent ]
And of course the scary blogging (2.00 / 9)
irrational fear, doom and gloom gets hits no matter how unreal it may be.

Not here, obviously, other places.

This post made me think of that cute little Nasonex bee for some reason. The way he is just fluttering about while the narrator whispers, in sing-song fashion, all of the horrible things that can happen to you if you actually use their product.



Very true, bill d - the blogosphere is becoming more dangerous (2.00 / 8)
to those who lack critical thinking skills, or to those who HAVE critical thinking skills, and can't bear to subject themselves to the viciousness that seems to be growing. Not here, mercifully, but in, as you say, "other places".  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
I try to reject the fear-mongering. (2.00 / 11)
But sometimes it gets to feeling a bit lonely. Thanks for making me feel less so!

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

I hear ya, slksfca! (2.00 / 11)
The fearmongers count on our isolation and heightened sensitivities to control us with their negative messaging. What's helped me is (1) removing myself from venues - real and cyber - where fearmongers congregate, and (2) saying "Hey, wait a minute...!" to any claims that seem just too far-out to be plausible.

If we stick together here in Moose-a-topia, we can overcome these purveyors of dread. We'll have better options than just these two:

Doom + Gloom Sign

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
::nod:: (2.00 / 9)
It has been my experience that the Chicken Littles (of all persuasions) tend to cluck very loudly, while more thoughtful types are generally quieter. Unfortunately, in our culture noise sometimes equals (perceived) power.

"Silence = Death" can have many meanings. :-)

There are, in every age, new errors to be rectified, and new prejudices to be opposed. ~Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)


[ Parent ]
You are right in my swing zone! (2.00 / 11)
There isn't anything more fundamental in my view of the world.

We live - to be clear - in the most extraordinarily safe time and place in human history.

You are not going to be (eaten by a shark/tiger/llama/hacker).

You are not going to die horribly at an early age from some terrible disease.

The world isn't going to end, either from god or man or incoming meteor.

On Dec 17 I wrote an article about exactly this: Finding Freedom From The Terrible Price of Fear

We need more than better access to mental health care, though I believe we need that. We need more than fewer guns, though I believe we would be better off without them. What we need most is to stop feeding our fears, stop withdrawing, stop thinking the worst of ourselves and others.

The world is not getting worse, it is getting better in almost every way. The people we see around us are not intrinsically evil, they are intrinsically good.

This is the truth. This is what I see around myself. The human race is worthy and wonderful. The future of our species is more full of joy than sorrow. You can trust both those you know and those you do not.

If you are conservative, do not believe that liberals are evil, they are not. If you are liberal do not believe that conservatives are evil, they are not. Do not believe that mankind is a cancer on the earth, it is not. Do not believe that mankind is doomed, we are not. Do not believe that we cannot solve every single challenge we face, we can. Do not believe you have to fear the world, you do not have to.

These beliefs we hold and repeat - across and within political boundaries - are lies. They are untrue. They lead to despair, they lead to violence, and they are false.

The fears we hold are the result of Perception Biases, where we perceive things that are remote and scary as near and threatening, among other flaws.

You, by any definition of "you", live in a world that is outrageously, unprecedentedly, irrefutable safe and wonderful

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


Chris Blask, you are so right about this! (2.00 / 10)
We live in a world of amazing technology, we've averted all manner of international crises, we've found cures or treatments for ailments that were once fatal, we've harnessed the power of the wind/sun/tides, we can communicate and collaborate with people all around the world in real time, and we've only scratched the surface of what can be achieved.

My belief is that the fearmongers are primarily people who fear and resent change, hence this whole focus on stripping rights, repealing Progressive reforms, and otherwise taking our country "back" to some darker time.

America was built by optimists, by people willing to risk everything to come here for work, for education, and for love, often at great peril. We are a nation of innovators and problem solvers, good neighbors, diligent workers, and folks with brains and moxie.

There's no place in our daily dealings for despair. Anger? You bet, but that's often the fuel we need to persevere against the idiocy that runs rampant.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
There are certainly those who take advantage and stir up fears, (2.00 / 9)
but I think we mostly do it to ourselves.

The lack of real risk is in part the problem. We are hard-wired to detect a glint around the fire that might come and eat us and ignore the other 99.999999% of the background information. Survival has honed us to detect risks and have accordingly drastic responses.

But there are so few in a normal life now - even dramatically less than a generation or two ago and infinitely less than 3-4+ ago - that we are caught spinning our stress wheels without finding anything real to dig into.

Like the Sandra Bullock character in Crash, we cannot get happy even when we have every reason to be.

We simply are not going to be able to get out of it except by our own hands, one by one. Read about the things we fear, look at the actual odds. Do some math, compare those to other things.

The reality is that you are more likely to be killed by a red car on a Wednesday than most things you fear. And as compared to your historical likelihood of making it to a given age (like past 35, which was not likely until the late 1800s), being hit by a red car at the age of 40 is a blessing our ancestors would have begged for.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Well said (2.00 / 9)
And a thing to be truely scared of, climate change, doesn't register on a lot of people's radar because it isn't the red car that is going to kill anyone in their lifetime.

(in their view, we know better)


[ Parent ]
Distant, hard to understand risk. (2.00 / 7)
So it must be nothing to worry about.

Our ancestors did not have much to statistically worry about when the volcano rumbled. Much more likely to be eaten by a hyena, genetics and memetics didn't tend to select for running off the side of the mountain.

Climate change is a bitch, and it concerns me deeply. But I'm not freaked out by it. As long as there is no Hollywood tipping-point moment (what was that awful film where the world freezes on a Wednesday?) I think we will have time to change our ways and possibly even engineer ways to reverse the problem. There are already ideas on drawing boards to do so within conceivably affordably means.

But it is going to screw things up something fierce, I'm afraid.

The timing is everything. Calorie production this century will, I believe, change dramatically from the old methods of randomly jamming seeds in dirt and cutting up animals. Plenty of conceivable ways to make more (and healthier, tastier) food with much less space and resource. But it takes time to develop and mature these, and lots of intermediary steps to avoid calamity along the way.

One interesting little development is a gadget that Berkley and others have been perfecting for years. Basically a couple bicycle tires, a solar panel, water tank and some sensors. Wanders up and down rows of plants and sprits waters on very specific areas of roots of individual plants.

Cheap, incredibly water efficient.

We shall overcome.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
We are indeed "wired" for anomalies, Chris (2.00 / 9)
and now we inhabit a world where anomalies (shiny objects) pop up unbidden everywhere, all the time, it was only a matter of time before studies showed that multitasking was a joke, that trying to do everything at once (or HAVE everything at once) was a pointless exercise.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
::claps:: (2.00 / 10)
Yes. A thousand times, yes!

You know what???? I really like this diary. (2.00 / 9)
Thanks for putting this out there.

There is a wave of fear rising in this country and it is insidious. Even I have issues with it, though like you, I realize it is merely a way to sell things to people.  

Thanks for being a voice of reason here.

BTW, what really scared me was that I was reading "Cloud Atlas" (a great book) and the vision of Nea So Corpros (South Korea in a Corporate owned world) was easily envisioned. That really is my fear.  

Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true!


It's an honor sharing the page with you, volleyboy1 (2.00 / 10)
Your diary was awesome. It's so nice to see light shed on the subject of gun ownership, rather than the heat of frenzied voices clamoring wildly.

Part of the fearmongerig "playbook" seems to be distracting us with Progressive-on-Progressive bickering so we won't notice that someone is robbing us blind and messing with our world. We need to guard against that distraction and work on the causes that matter to us,  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
Your signature reminds me of a line from Dorothy Parker (2.00 / 9)
When with the literate I am
Debating on an epigram
I never seek to take the credit:
We all assume that Oscar said it.


"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
plf515, your signature line is terrific (2.00 / 9)
can you tell us something about the author?

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
I wrote an article about the quote and the author (2.00 / 9)
it is called Souls and bellies: Why I am a progressive


"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

[ Parent ]
That's a great article, plf515 - thanks for providing (2.00 / 9)
the link. Progressive values are not that complicated. Broken down like this, one would almost think that everyone would find them utterly logical.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
Nah... the honor is all mine. And really I am liking the Moose community (2.00 / 5)
a Lot... Really a good group of people around here. Much nicer than dealing with some of the issues of random posters at other sites around the Intertoobz.

I agree on the "Progressive on Progressive" bickering as well. You know, I wonder about this...  I see a lot of conservative / libertarian (LaRouchies, Paulbots, and straight up Teahadists) types floating around and sort of hijacking arguments pretending to be progressives and/or liberals. Is that me being paranoid or does anyone else see that?

Vote for me and all of your wildest dreams will come true!


[ Parent ]
I don't think you're paranoid, volleyboy1, but it seems (2.00 / 5)
as though some supposed Progressives over on those

other sites around the Intertoobz

don't need an agent provocateur to cause trouble. They can bring it on themselves by chomping on their own species. Maybe that's some sort of on-line Darwinism, but to me it just seems like bad behavior. The fittest aren't those with the sharpest teeth or claws; they're the ones who use their highly-evolved brains to explore alternative habitats. ;-)  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
You're not paranoid (2.00 / 6)
The coalition between left and right libertarians (FDL anyone?) and the ability for racism to disguise itself in those groups, is one of the things that makes US politics so fascinating to me, and often disorientating.

I love American individualism but... the great moments in US society have always been, to my eyes, ones where the individual joins in a collective purpose, whether it's independence, the fight for the Union, the New Deal, Civil Rights or the Great Society.

The one thing that really distresses me about the US left, and I've said this often, is a distrust of solidarity and loyalty, which is dismissed as groupthink or even 'royalism'.

Most the nasty conversations on other blogs have been motivated by personal animus, framed by personal attacks, and predicated on the notion that individualism triumphs all.

This to me is strangely pre Hobbesian - as if the discovery of the role of government and law had not yet happened on sections of the libertarian fringe.

You made an astute observation there, Volleyboy1

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Way back when (2.00 / 9)
Allan Sherman wrote a song "Aspirin commercials give me headaches" the final line is

Last night I swallowed the best cure yet
I ate my TV set.

I don't watch TV hardly at all. Maybe 20 hours a year.  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter


This helps (2.00 / 7)
I've stopped watching TV for the last 10 years - in other words I don't turn it one except for a special event (election/football final), and the levels of anxiety and fear dropped considerably

TV is a lens which brings the worst of the world into your living room. It can give you the impression that there's war and crime and violence everywhere, increasing with the increasing 24 hour news coverage, while all indications are that crime and war have dropped massively in the last 30 years, worldwide.

So TV is the tablet of fear, the paranoia inducing prism, no doubt.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Yer good with the word arrangement, uh, thing (2.00 / 6)
So TV is the tablet of fear, the paranoia inducing prism, no doubt.


John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
You're not so bad yourself, young Jedi (2.00 / 6)


The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
We shall overcome. 4th verse (2.00 / 10)
We are not afraid.
We are not afraid.
We are not afraid, some day.  

"Most people worry about their own bellies and other people's souls when we all ought to worry about our own souls and others' bellies" Israel Salanter

We seemed to have become (2.00 / 7)
a nation of cowardly defeatists.

We can't go after the guns...they're 300 million...just too many.

Can't do anything about climate change...we're done...

So many are so afraid of what they believe is happening, they miss the important things that are actually happening.


Actually, Hedwig, I think most of us (2.00 / 7)
are quite courageous. Someone is working hard to suppress our Progressive tendencies, perhaps because they are making a real difference. Now is not the time to succumb to the manufactured fear.

In the mean time, the problems grow more daunting.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
Ah yes, it is for the most part (2.00 / 4)
But there is still a vocal group that has behaved quite cowardly in the last decade or so. And they are still a strong voice in keeping us from accomplishing a great deal that needs to be done.

I was mainly speaking of the GOP. For example, the gun idea is from Bill O'Reilly. I watched the beginning of his show recently because he had one of my Senators on and I wanted to hear his (Rubio) opinion on gun control. You know...we can't do anything...gun laws didn't work with the assault weapons ban...gun violence in DC, Chicago...so why do anything...

The other was when CNN canned Erickson and he claimed that since Climate Change was too big for us mere Merikans...that we should just give up and let the planet die in 100 years or so...we won't be around so who cares! I got mine!!!

So yeah, there are quite a few still fightly bravely for the present and the future. But my comment was to point out two actual defeatist, fear-mongerers and how the nation as a whole can be seen to move (Iraq, Patriot Act, Torture, Massacre Guns, etc...) in directions that are based on fear.


[ Parent ]
See? This is what I get for not following the media more. (2.00 / 2)
CNN canned Erickson

I hadn't noticed. I'm sure if I looked there would be some self-righteous rant by Mr. E out there in the aftermath, but I've heard enough from him already so I won't bother.

You're right about the impact of fear. There are those who use fear to manipulate - both those who believe the fears and those who cynically employ them. And we have a serious problem across the population of free-floating fear looking for something to precipitate on.

My strongest belief is that there is little that is more valuable than in pushing back on that free-floating fear at every corner. It is not based in reality, it happens for easily-understood reasons, and the cure spreads as effectively or better than the fear itself.

Everyone who has an understanding of why (the gummit isn't coming to get us; the world is not getting more violent/hungry/unfair/...;etc) needs to take every opportunity to share that knowledge with others.

Knowledge based comfort is as viral as ignorance based fear.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Nope. (2.00 / 6)
It only seems that way if you look at it that way.

While not every issue is progressed in every quantum of time, all are over a long enough term.

A great deal is being done about climate change. Industrial systems are getting cleaner every day, not just here but around the world. I follow all types of infrastructure for a living, and there isn't a systems manufacturer in operation or a trade journal published that is not filled with green technology development.

It only looks bad on blogs and cable news. In the real world environmental impact has become not just a driving force but a requirement for doing business.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Right you are, Chris... (2.00 / 6)
Mr. Carolina and I have spent our entire careers - a combined 87(!) years - in environmental work, and I can assure folks that industries, utilities, and governments have made significant progress in addressing past contamination and curtailing future emissions, reducing their water and energy use, and designing for the environment. They have not always required a "prod" from a government agency to make these improvements; it's often as a result of economic benefits, supply-chain drivers, and investor pressures.  

I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
Here, read this, (2.00 / 6)
http://www.waste-management-wo...

or this

http://www.awwa.org/publicatio...

There are "green" manufacturing, transportation etc publications, but the real measure is that every publication and every article has environmental considerations in them. It isn't just a fringe fad, it is embedded in every part of modern society.

So, no, this nation is not a nation of cowards in any fashion at all.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
As my Mom used to say (2.00 / 5)
"Sometimes you just got to do it scared "
And then, I discovered, you aren't scared anymore.

" Intolerance betrays want of faith in one's cause. Mohandas Gandhi "

So very true, onceasgt (2.00 / 6)
I am reminded of the quote by Robert Louis Stevenson:

Keep your fears to yourself, but share your courage with others.


I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read in the train.


-- Oscar Wilde


[ Parent ]
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