We have a real surplus of news. And that is a good thing. I was able to stay "in touch" yesterday with a wide variety of news resources and the flow of information is nothing short of impressive! As usual, the very best resource seems to be National Public Radio, with amazing, in depth stories, coming from the middle east.
Most impressive is a story on NPR's Day to Day with Alex Chadwick and photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair complete with some of Sinclair's photographs. I strongly urge all Wizard readers to listen to the story and view the photographs. Link: CLICK HERE
We also have a real surplus of opinions. And I have to believe that is a good thing, too.
I read a few dozen blogs yesterday, but there are tens of thousands by most estimates. To be certain not all are politically oriented, but many have opinions of the current Israeli ~ Palestinian conflict.
And the news media is "Chock Full 'o Nuts" loaded with a lot more opinions than actual news reports. The cable news channels are especially guilty of this. Fox, MSNBC and CNN have apparently discovered it's a lot cheaper to hire retired generals and political hacks than real reporters who gather real news.
Isn't it amazing that each network can, every single hour of the day, locate two different military retires with absolutely opposing opinions on any subject. It makes you wonder how the military ever actually gets anything done.
I hate it when any columnist/blogger/commentator reaches the "tipping point" in their political view and is no longer able to be objective or even rational.
You know what I mean. The "tipping point" is when a commentator becomes so obsessed with his or her opinion that he/she can longer be rational or objective about a particular subject. This can happen in any arena from global warming to stem cell research, but it usually involves either the President (and conservatives in general) or the Democrats (and liberals in general).
Occasionally, going over the "tipping point" can be a good thing. Ann Coulter is a great example. She is so far over the tipping point, she has turned it into an art form. In fact, it's that completely biased view of the world that allows her to be one of the funniest, brightest and most insightful satirists writing today. It's a fine line between irrationality and brilliance.
Notice I didn't say Ann Coulter was always right in her opinions. By definition, by being over the tipping point, she is actually incapable of being objective. She is often wrong, occasionally downright crazy. But she is always funny, often right on target and always worth reading. If you haven't read her column this week, CLICK HERE
Don't tell me you haven't thought exactly what Ann says this week, "Most Americans have been glued to their TV sets, transfixed by Israel's show of power, wondering, 'Gee, why can't we do that?' "
President Bush is certainly most polarizing of all modern politicians. Bush has pushed (or pulled) many commentators and bloggers over the tipping point. I personally have been most disappointed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC, who I believe is one of the brightest and most insightful political commentators around today. But watching Chris yesterday it became obvious his hatred (dislike? distrust?) of President Bush taints his observations and makes them significantly less valid.
I apologize that I don't have a link to prove my point. His blog (CLICK HERE) doesn't reflect his strong (practically irrational) bias. In fact his blog is so boring it doesn't even reflect his personality. If his show was as deadly dull as his blog, no one would ever watch (and the ratings indicate very few watch now).
Chris, if you're going to be as biased as Ann Coulter, you need to be a heck of a lot funnier!
But it is the sum total of all the bloggers and commentators from Coulter to Matthews that leads me to believe Israel has made a huge and tragic mistake in it's current war with Hezbollah and Hamas. Almost every commentator believes the key to Israel's future and to peace in the middle east seems to be a strong, viable democratic Lebanon.
Israel, in its effort to defeat Hezbollah, has destroyed entirely too much of Lebanon's infrastructure. The democratically elected government will have great difficulty governing or supplying minimal physical or social services.
Nature abhors a vacuum. But it's a vacuum that Israel has created. And Hezbollah, far from being damaged, is actually strengthened by the current war. Sure, Israel can wipe out all the missiles, blow up the roads and destroy the electrical plants, but each bomb dropped by Israel converts one more heart or mind to the Hezbollah cause.
When the democratically elected government can't provide services or protect the people, they will turn to Hezbollah. Israel risks winning the battle and losing the war. All bloggers and commentors seem to agree on that, even those over the "tipping point."