Peace Like A River

It was a wide river, mistakable for a lake or even an ocean unless you'd been wading and knew its current. Somehow I'd crossed it... Now I saw the stream regrouped below, flowing on through what might've been vineyards, pastures, orhards... It flowed between and alongside the rivers of people; from here it was no more than a silver wire winding toward the city. - Leif Enger, Peace Like A River

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Context or Cnntext?

Do you know why AM and FM radio signals sound so different? Why FM sounds so much richer than AM? Aside from with one the amplitude is modulated, and with the other, the frequency is modulted, the key to the sound difference is how much bandwidth is used around the carrier signal. For an AM channel, the bandwidth used can be as low as 5 kHz. With FM, a channel can typically use 20 kHz around the carrier signal? Why is this important? Because the human ear has a range of about 20 kHz. Therefore, FM reproduces close to all the sounds a human ear can hear, and so has a much richer sound. We hear all those low bass notes, and shrill high notes. Since AM has a lower bandwidth, it doesn't reproduce the lower and higher sounds that make up a rich sound, the sound of the world we live in, which is why AM has that certain sound.

Have you ever noticed in cast photos in a theater review in a newspaper, where the cast is close together, how goofy the people often look? They have exaggerated expressions, they are contorted in odd positions. It does not look the least bit natural. Yet, when we go see the play in person, the cast doesn't seem at all odd. This is because the photo is not showing us everything. We don't see the entire theater, we don't see the cast in relation to the theater. The cast seems so much smaller when in the theater, and so their expressions and movements are appropriate to that scale, whereas in these kinds of photos, they are all we see, and things are magnified beyond their intended context.

At this point, you're wondering why I am talking about any of this. You're wondering because you have no context in which to set this discussion. Let me give you the context, and this will make much more sense.

On Friday, Power Line had a terrific article that perfectly summed up the problems we conservatives often have with the mainstream media (MSM). Take a look at the article.

It takes a different view of the media circus that surrounded Cindy Sheehan down in Texas, a view you have not seen in the MSM. The article shows supporters of President Bush, people who do not agree with what Sheehan was doing near Crawford, Texas.

The reason the MSM never showed you any of this is because they had an agenda. This was the anti-war Left's dream come true. A mother who had lost a son in war. As Maureen Dowd wrote, who could have more moral authority than that? Or so thought the anti-war groups that glommed on to Sheehan. What a perfect stick with which to beat Bush, and his Iraq policy.

And since the MSM largely agrees with these groups, they aren't going to show you anything that takes away from the message that Bush is wrong and the world's biggest terrorist. (Warning: this link has some foul language.)

The problem is this, the media is not giving us the entire context. Like with AM signals, or cast photos in theater reviews, important details are chopped off on all sides, and without them, it is impossible for us to fully understand the great matters before us.

Instead of using a mother's grief, why not take a look at what we're accomplishing in Iraq, how things might have different had the US not invaded, what things might be like with a democracy in Iraq. Look at why it is important to stay in Iraq, and not cut and run, as Sheehan wants us to do.

Yesterday I received an email from someone I know in Iraq who had just heard about the Sheehan mess. He was upset that some are suggesting we should just abandon Iraq and bring everyone home now, with the job still undone. Here are a few excerpts:

What I do have a very personal interest in this debate is thus: Premature drawdown/evacuation/withdrawl/cut and run of US troops that have already been committed to battle and war. I am extremely incensed that, as a volunteer, i ASKED for this job and so did all the rest in some fashion or another. the risk of combat was there before they raised their right hand and swore to defend our country and constitution and obey orders of our leaders) I am expected to be willing to hang my butt out in the cool iraqi breeze to get blown off in combat but then to have to face the possibility [we might] cut and run before finishing a stated task to accomplish, well, that just fires me up like you would not or can not ever know unless you have been in similar circumstances. How galling! All I, and most others, ask is for support and to have our sacrifice count for something.
In conclusion, America, don't send me to war or allow it to happen as a voter if you are just going to get cold feet a year or two or three into a hard and difficult circumstances. I want to know my risks might pay off for someone else someday.

Have you heard that sentiment expressed from anyone interviewed around the Sheehan camp? No, the MSM refuses to put everything in context. Good things are being accomplished in Iraq. Why doesn't the MSM present this side as well? Why does the MSM keep chopping off bits and pieces of the stories we see and hear?

Sachi, posting at Captain's Quarters, wonders who Sheehan speaks for.
Dr. Sanity examines some of the attitudes on the Left towards soldiers.
Vox Taciturn reminds of something else we don't hear much about.
Betsy Newmark has another reminder that the anti-war Left, the ones who supposedly "support our troops", don't really think about what their message says to our soldiers.


  • At Sat Aug 20, 10:51:00 PM, johngrif said…


    A subject here that troubles everyone.

    Perhaps we should ask WHY the MSM are not telling the whole Iraq story?

    What motives could they have?

  • At Sun Aug 21, 08:32:00 AM, johngrif said…

    Dafydd at Captain's Quarters observes:

    "But all of these surviving parents agree that the first thing, the very first thing they must do to make some peace with a grief that will be eternal is to honor the very ideals for which their children willingly risked death: honor, duty, justice, and above all else, freedom -- the freedom that America, more than any other nation, has represented for over two hundred years.

    There really are things worth fighting for; and some ideas and ideals are even worth dying for. Anyone who does not understand this, whether through grief-induced amnesia or because he never knew it in the first place, has lost far more than a child."

    Ronald R. Griffin tells us more.

    Dafydd links to this posting,one that helps us all:

  • At Sun Aug 21, 01:14:00 PM, Jeff said…

    Yes, good quote from CQ. I've stayed away from the Sheehan story mostly because others have covered it much better, such as the things you've passed along. One of the goals of my blog is to look at things from a different perspective, to find something most others aren't discussing. This post was my attempt to do that with this story.

    I do think one reason the MSM doesn't adequately cover things is out of plain laziness, especially TV news. They have so much air time to fill, it is easier for them to just go for the cheap blurb, the visually arresting images (like a distraught mother_.


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