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Relatedly: Weblog, 2004-03-20, Saturn's Day:

Finally replied to an interesting email from Jerry Bass, the poet, who had responded to my emailing of this essay "Across a Great Divide," NYT, March 13, 2004 by Peter Scheider.

Schneider is definitely on to something. It is a fundamental axiom of right-wing radio talk shows and tracts that contemporary European culture and values are at radical variance with that of the U.S. There is a strong reiteration of American exceptionalism, our unique position of a defender of civilized values against so-called Islamofascists and effete Europeans [emphasis added]. Europe's great strides in providing health and social security for all its citizenry, for example, is taken as a negative against the hardworking capitalism of the U.S. Perhaps we can generalize Adler's hypothesis that on the individual level a superiority complex actually covers strong feelings of inferiority. In genral, I'm struck at the belligerent know-nothingness and ignorance of current public discourse. Maybe I better stop listening to so much right-wing radio talk shows; still, they are often entertaining if infuriating. -- Jerry

That is the ultimate big lie, the big bang of lies [emphasis added]- that the NeoCons and fundies are defenders of civilization. They are in fact what they charge the Islamists with being, and their protestations are (I think conscious) diversions - magic tricks, sleight of hand to draw our attention from what they are really doing to civilization.

I think, Jerry, that this has to be confronted directly, and in so many words, at every occasion that presents itself. These people are enemies of civilization, anti-Enlightenment neo medievalists who are in the process of dragging us into a nightmare morass of religious superstition, feudal corporatism, and manorial serfdom.

And the "felon radio" personalities may not see clearly where they have us headed, but they know full well that they are the ones who really hate our freedoms, right along with the Salafist Wahhabis who were on those airplanes. -- Jim

I threw in the article by Alan Jacobs for balance. However, it raises this question: Granted that Bush may not be choosing specific actions from a coherently articulated body of doctrine, to what extent may those around him be doing so within their own bailiwicks, considering that Bush probably isn't much in control and his people are probably pursuing their own agendas? That question would be worth addressing. Mutternich 12:33, 7 Apr 2004 (EDT)