- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Media diagnosis

“Depressed people don’t have to dig into the history of their self-critical thoughts. Rather, they just need to gently guide their thoughts into saner and less self-destructive directions. Psychiatrists have long helped depressed people learn to spot their excessively self-critical thoughts, and to ‘argue’ against them in the inner monologue.

“We have a depressogenic media. Diagnosis is a useful step toward a cure. For better national mental health we need a balanced or even an optimistic media, in exactly the same way individuals thrive with an optimistic or at least a balanced attitude to themselves. News consumers are finally figuring out the media’s sadistic ‘flagellate-America’ style. … We need a New Media for improved national mental health. The media could start by taking a long course in saner thinking themselves.”

James Lewis, writing on “Our Depressogenic Media,” Monday at AmericanThinker .com

Boomer ‘vengeance’

“Beggaring government is the least of the damage that we baby boomers intend to inflict over the next 30 or 40 years. What we’re really up to is something more diabolical. Our generation is going to do what our generation has always done best. We’re going to shape the American social fabric to our will and make the entire nation conform to our ideals, judgments, and tastes. It will be like the Clinton administration but much, much worse. …

“Traffic jams are everywhere, but it’s not because of too many cars or too few highway lanes. It’s just slow driving in the famous old-age mode and with on-board navigation systems to provide someone to have a grumpy argument with even when you’re alone.

“What else do oldsters do besides drive slowly? They watch TV. Flip through the cable channels and compare what you see to what was seen 50 years ago: ‘I Love Lucy,’ ‘The Honeymooners,’ Burns and Allen. When it comes to fuddled, is not the whole entertainment industry drooling in its second childhood?

“We baby boomers are growing old — but growing old with a vengeance. Our hands may be palsied and arthritic, but we hold America’s fate in them.”

P.J. O’Rourke, writing on “Generation Vex,” in the Nov. 5 issue of the Weekly Standard

Global ignorance

“Blame California’s mega-fires on global warming. Or at least that’s what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid [Nevada Democrat] said last week. …

“Global warming affords endless opportunities to test glib hypotheses by politicians who have no training whatsoever in fields of which they claim pontifical knowledge. …

“By the end of each and every summer, Southern California is drier than the world’s best martini. …

California’s big wildfires are, ironically, caused by excessive winter rains. … Owing to the fact that just about every day after the rainy season is warm and sunny, it’s only a matter of a month or two before the surface dries out to the point that there’s not enough water to support additional plant growth. The more it rains in the winter, the more vegetation grows, and the more there is to burn in the summer, which is invariably hot and dry.”

Patrick J. Michaels, writing on “The Fires This Time,” Monday in the American Spectator Online at www. spectator.org

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