Reading the morning paper here in Seattle, I was struck by the mood of what appeared to me to be propaganda. I didn’t begin ranting, foaming at the mouth or spraying my yogurt across the hotel dining room.
At It Again
A front-page photo/graphic in today’s NY Times shows what is rumored to be an Iranian nuclear facility of some sort. Maybe it’s just the graphic style of these things, but it looks exactly like the various photo-graphics we were inundated with before the invasion of Iraq. Pictures of buildings where WMDs were being stored, hidden or manufactured…all of which were proven to be merely rumors spread to lead and lure us into the morass we are in now. Folks fell for it then, and given everyone’s short memories they might go for it a second time.
Now I’m not saying this is definitely NOT a nuclear facility — only pointing out that the manner of presentation of alleged facts is the same.
On the same front page we are told that socialism is collapsing in Europe because a number of countries have elected center-right politicians. I beg to differ. As the article says, the center-right accepts as a given “generous welfare benefits, nationalized health care, [and] sharp restrictions on carbon emissions.” Those three ideas would place them on the left in the USA, though the writer says, maybe correctly, that in Europe the left traditionally goes further. That those givens are still not generally accepted in the US, and are currently the yelling, screaming indications that politicians are “socialist” (and therefore un-American), puts this supposed “collapse” in perspective.
Another front-page article brings the good news that the economy is rebounding and getting bullish again. While in some ways that might not be surprising (no serious regulation has been put into place to prevent a recurrence of the meltdown, or to restrain the hubris and greed of the bankers), it seems sort of like good news just for the sake of good news — feel-good stuff. The economy has been out of whack for so long that to cheer its “return” and resurgence to what is essentially a misguided and broken system is maybe not the best idea right now. That much of the country is living unsustainably means that while Goldman Sachs and some others might be raking it in — profiting from the downturn, some have claimed — that isn’t the real world.