Monday, January 22, 2007

The Blogger's Disease

Maybe it's the makeup of bloggers in general. Maybe it's the relative anonymity of blogging that causes it. I'm not really sure, but what I do know is that I am often flabbergasted at what I read on blogs.

For instance, just last week I navigated over to an Idaho left-leaning blog that appears to be pretty widely read in blogger circles: Red State Rebels. It's generally well written, and the author seems sincere. It also has proven to be a good source of Idaho political information. However, even RSR doesn't seem immune from the blogger's disease. Last week she posted about a dairy being proposed in my home county of Jerome. Naturally I was interested. Apparently this dairy is huge, and huge dairy equals huge stink. What makes this an even bigger controversy is that if approved, the dairy will sit too close for comfort from the newly (in 2001) minted Minidoka Internment National Monument. For obvious reasons, alot of groups oppose the dairy. What struck me though from RSR's post was this line,

The group also is protesting that Jerome County Commissioners do not plan to take testimony or even read emails from opponents of the proposed feedlot when they meet February 6 for a long-delayed decision on the application.

That's outrageous, right? Indeed it is. However, it turns out that the source of the opposition's frustration is a county ordinance which stipulates that only comments from those living within a mile of a proposed CAFO (that's code for HUGE dairy) can be heard by county commissioners. Art Brown, the subject of much of RSR and others' ire, is quoted in the Times News,

"I've never had input from outside the one mile before," said Art Brown, administrator for the planning and zoning board. "I've never dealt with this before."

The Times also reported that,

Brown has created two files for the case: one for comments from residents within the one-mile radius and another envelope for comments from parties outside the radius.

The file containing letters from outside the radius will remain sealed at the hearing, essentially muting those parties.

However, the commission will be presented with an index of the comments in the sealed envelope and can choose to examine individual comments if the majority of commissioners chose to do so.

It is clear that parties outside the one-mile radius will not be allowed to testify in person at the hearing, per the ordinance.

Commissioner Diana Obenauer said that's unfair and suggested changing the ordinance to include testimony from anyone willing to offer it - much the same way testimony is heard in neighboring Gooding County.

It doesn't appear that any deep rooted conspiracy is in place, or that the Jerome County Commissioners hate democracy, or any other such nonsense. This is just the way the law was set up and no one has ever complained before. Now that it's an issue, the rule is being looked at.

Also last week I found what to me was an even greater source of blogger disease. We have failed our duty as citizens is based just up the road in Gooding and written by an apparently very vocal and vehement critic of the Iraq War. She posted an argument against the war that included this absurdity,

Who was in charge before the Americans took their country from them? If they hated Sad-Damn so much, why were there never any car bombs, IEDs, suicide bombers, etc., trying to put him out of power?

Year after year, US TV showed his birthday party. He stood on the balcony, waving to the crowd. Vast numbers of men and women stood below, firing automatic rifles in the air, in a Mideastern-style celebration. If they hated him so much, how's come no bullet ever went toward him?

Yep, apparently everything was just peachy keen under Saddam Hussein and the Iraqi people just loved him. Well, except for maybe the ones that he tortured and killed. But if they were really all that upset about the torture, why didn't they do anything about it? I mean, they just let it happen without so much as a single automatic rifle shot his way. Well, if they can't run even one suicide bomber at him, they surely don't deserve our help.

Just stupid.


Anonymous said...

Regarding the situation in Iraq, I would compare it to the situation with Germany and Hitler. Also, with abused wives and their husbands.

Did most Germans hate the jews? Not originally. Did they think it right to kill them? No. Did they? Yes. Does an abusive wife want to be beat? No. Does she feel she has a choice? No.

Hitler, mean husbands and Hussein are all bullys. If their subjects don't meet their standards, their subjects die. If their subjects don't pretend to agree with them, they die. Would you throw Hitler a birthday party and cheer him on if it meant saving your life?

Come on, this is a no brainer.

Cameron said...

Yeah, I was pretty outraged by the Saddam Hussein post. I think it was mostly partisan hyberbole, but I don't think it's too much to ask people to think a little before they write stuff like that.

Just Callin' It Like I See It said...

Dear Cameron,
You neglected to mention in your post that the "argument against the war" that I posted was written by a World War Two Orphan who was also a Viet-Nam Era Veteran as well as a father of a Desert Storm Era Veteran.

By suggesting that opinion was mine (a female civilian from Gooding, Idaho) and neglecting to inform your readers that this man has had his life impacted more than the majority of Americans could possibly dream of (or have nightmares about) minimizes the value of his opinion. He is not Jane Fonda and he has EARNED the right to judge the war and those who created it.
It is not "just stupid".

What is "just stupid" are the individuals who:

(a) recognized the need to address terrorism after 9/11.

then (b)supported the deployment of troops to seek out bin Laden et al after 9/11.

then (c) allowed themselves to get sucked into the Iraq=9/11 fairy tale

then (d) continued to ignore the facts which disproved that fairy tale

then (e) continue to allow the majority of our human and financial resources get sucked into a war that has nothing to do with 9/11

while (f) ignoring and forgetting the need for our resources to be directed at REAL efforts to combat terrorism -- al Queda, bin Laden, border sercurity, etc.

and (g) continuing to elect politicians who also play the game of "pretend".


Just Callin' It Like I See It said...

One more thing...

Since your current argument validating the war in Iraq is because Saddam was so evil and Iraqis needed our help so badly and so on, please tell me which country we will be liberating next from the horrible leadership of THEIR dictators?

Will it be Sudan, North Korea, Burma, China, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Zimbabwe, or Equatorial Guinea? They are all considered among the "worst dictators in the world".

Oh, just an FYI... in 2003, Saddam was only #3 on the list -- there were two dictators WORSE than he was... why didn't we go after them? #1 was North Korea, and #2 was SAUDI ARABIA.

You remember that country? The same one who provided us with 9/11 TERRORISTS.

So YOUR argument justifying the deaths of over 3,200 Americans in Iraq is JUST STUPID. Unless of course you are planning on enlisting YOURSELF so you can go to those other countries and help them out as well? Let me know when you deploy, I'll include you in my list of Marines and soldiers who I send cards and care packages to, while they risk their lives to validate the ego of those who sent them there. (Why aren't you enlisted, by the way?)

... oh, and when you finally figure out the the Iraqi people do NOT want us there anymore, will you start helping us bring our troops home? Or will you continue to fall back on your need to fix their problems for them whether they want you to or not?

{I'm sorry for being so pissy with you, I know you really don't deserve it. You are usually pretty respectful and decent in your posts. However, as you may have noticed, this is a very hot button with me and I'm just getting SO tired of hearing the same ol' line of hogwash trying to justify the war in Iraq.}

Cameron said...


Thanks for commenting. You're right, I usually am pretty decent and I try very hard to be respectful, so I don't deserve your "pissy"-ness. :-)

When I first discovered your blog I wandered through many of your old posts, so I recognize and understand why this topic may be a sore one for you, just as it obviously is for the veteran who's argument you posted on your blog.

I still think the argument he (and you?) used is a stupid one.

The fact that he is a veteran does bring gravity to his words, but certainly does not excuse him from criticism. My most recent post is from Mark Daily, a fallen solder who was very adament and eloquent in his support for the war. Does that status make his arguments trump yours? Does the fact that the majority of the armed forces, including the military leadership planning and carrying out the current (successful) strategy, mean that we should all fall in line and refrain from criticism?

I wonder at times about the argument re: "there's other bad dictators too." Mark Daily called that reasoning "ironic." I find it inconsistent that people want the UN to handle things, for instance Iraq, but then condemn the US for not intervening in numerous places all over the world. For instance, what are France and Russia and the rest of the UN doing for Turkmenistan? Pretty much the same thing they did for Rwanda. When Spain pulled its troops out of Iraq because terrorists bombed their trains, why didn't they then send those troops to Sudan? Perhaps the fact that al Queda was responsible for the train bombings, al Queda used the bombings to influence Spain to leave Iraq, and al Queda is very much involved in the Sudanese genocide- perhaps these facts could explain Spain's absence in Sudan. But then again, those facts don't line up very well with your "the 9/11 hijackers were Saudi so we should attack Saudi Arabia" argument either.

I thank you again for your comments, and hope you will continue to share your opinions and criticisms here.

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