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Via Atrios, I saw that Congressman Dave Weldon (R-FL) wrote a letter to the newspaper Florida Today, taking issue with some statements the paper had made in an editorial on the Schiavo matter. What did Weldon have to say?

Did the editors interview registered nurse Carla Iyer, who personally treated Terri for a year and a half?

She said in a sworn court affidavit that Terri "was alert and oriented. Terri spoke on a regular basis saying things like 'mommy' and 'help me" and 'hi' when I came into her room."

Iyer says Terri would sit up in the nurse's station from time to time and laugh at stories they told. She felt pain and would indicate so. Carla fed her by mouth and not by tube. Does this sound like a woman in persistent vegetative state for the past 15 years? (Emphasis added.)

I was pretty dumbfounded to read this. I mean, I know that Republican mendacity knows no bounds, but this - like Tom DeLay's absurd lie that Terri Schiavo "laughs and talks" - just really has my head spinning.

Florida judge George Greer, one of the main judges in the Schiavo matter, called Iyer's affidavit "incredible," elaborating as follows:

Ms. Iyer details what amounts to a 15-month cover-up which would include the staff of Palm Garden of Lago Convalescent Center, the Guardian of the Person, the Guardian ad Litem, the medical professionals, the police and, believe it or not, Mr. and Mrs. Schindler. Her affidavit clearly states that she would "call them (Mr. and Mrs. Schindler) anyway because I thought they should know about their daughter." ... It is impossible to believe that Mr. and Mrs. Schindler would not have subpoenaed Ms. Iyer for the January 2000 evidentiary hearing had she contacted them as her affidavit alleges. (Emphasis added.)

While we here in the reality-based community sadly shake our heads at Iyer's obvious fictions, fools like Weldon (and conservatarian bloggers - just Google "Carla Iyer" and you'll see what I mean) parrot her lies. It's only the latest - but to me, most glaring - example of the right wing living in a truly alternate universe.

So my question (aimed especially at students of human psychology, but of course open to all) is this: What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality? What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear? Perhaps these walls will never come crashing down, but I believe they will, some day. So again I ask, what happens then?

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:21 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  It's time to start hammering home the point... (4.00)
    that the Bushies (W & Jeb) and the American Taliban that are driving the Republican machine cannot be trusted to represent the Constitution.  What they have demonstrated over and over again is that they have neither the ability to recognize the principles enshired in the Constitution nor the will to protect them.  
    •  Too sadly true. (3.66)
      The Constitution is a sacrilege to them because it does not enshrine their god as the ultimate authority (or even mention it).

      The problem with the question:

      What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality?

      Is this: Fantasy holds a much more seductive sway over people than reality. While it appears that most people agree with us on this issue, I would not get complacent. Platitudes repeated a billion times combined with fantasies of a longed-for world can do much to change public opinion. The right has shown that they will use this strategy in the most dishonest and effective ways.

      I think an important question that should be asked is, "What do we do when Terri dies?" There will be those who try to paint us as rejoicing in her death. That slander must not be allowed to take hold.

      The Media Is Dead. Long Live

      by KingOneEye on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:48:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Have already heard (none)
        Freepers using the term "deathocrats."

        Can money pay for all the days I lived awake/ But half asleep?

        by milton333 on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:31:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I strongly disagree with this: (4.00)
        The Constitution is a sacrilege to them because it does not enshrine their god as the ultimate authority (or even mention it).

        The Bushes and people like them all over the world have but one god: money.

        They worship money and the power it brings, and their actions prove it time and again. There is nothing they will not sacrifice for money.

        There is but one ruling party in this nation as in all others: the wealthy. And I don't mean ordinary wealth, I mean big wealth. Money makes a network between other people who have money. It's a class, a nation, a religion unto itself.

        They use their "Christian" religion as window dressing. They could give a damn about the teachings of Jesus Christ. They use their religion as bait to bring in the votes and $ of stupidass fundamentalists. The votes and $ from the goobers enhance the position of the Bushes to get and keep more and more money and power.

        It is important to absolutely separate Bush & Co in your mind from people who have real religious or spiritual convictions. They probably have something they feel as 'faith' but it's only a surface veneer. Their social conditioning, their expectations, their lust is just about one thing: money.

        •  amen to that! (none)
          Wco. sees religion as a means to an end.  In fact, I would put Falwell and all those other conspicuously wealthy religious leaders in this group, too.  When it has become clear that someone is manipulating religious texts and sentiment to further economic and political aims, the blame lies with the person, not the faith.
        •  Amen to that. In the not to distant future (none)
          I see a nation where the poor people run things.  The people that can't feed themselves are put in position of responsibility for feeding everyone else.  Where the CEO's sweep the floors and the janitors sit in the boardroom.  Where nurses operate and doctors change bedpans.  Where the pay is the same for NFL as it is for the AFL-CIO.

          I can't wait til anyone with a highschool education can teach in the universities and everyone will have a low mileage, high performance, ecologically friendly preowned car of their choosing.  Jesus will be put back on the cross where he belongs and there are to be only 2 commandments, maybe 3 at most. We will finally get the god damned dollar off our backs and everyone will be free to vote as often as they wish and every vote will count.

          She was a working girl
          North of England way
          Now she's hit the bigtime
          in the USA

      •  A.D. (none)
        The Constitution is a sacrilege to them because it does not enshrine their god as the ultimate authority (or even mention it).

        Nerd trivia: God is mentioned in the constitution - the date is listed as "A.D."

    •  I saw that Carla the nurse on Fox ... (none)
      she is clearly a fruit loop!

      Susan in Port Angeles (my cat)

      by SusanHu on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:36:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seems she had terrible credit problems (none)
        Her husband declared bankruptcy in 2002 and their house was on foreclosure.

        In 2003, by a miracle, all their credit problems dissapeared...

        When did she start telling her Terri tales on TeeVee ?

        In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
        The truth? Complacency was easier

        by lawnorder on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 06:02:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Koo koo for coco puffs (none)
        OK, I need to 'fess up - I've been lurking/posting at a mom 'n pop wingnut blog, and came across this 'affadavit' which got huge play there.

        I'm embarassed to say which blog - it's not one anyone would know about unless they stumbled on it; their gods are Rush, Ann/Man, etc.; and anything FratBoy says, to them, is as good as gold. You know the type.

        And I won't get into my twisted reasons for even going and posting there - that's between me and my shrink and her cattle prod.

        But here's my 2 cents, FWIW:

        Folks like this - this wacky nurse, the folks at the blog, the religionatics etc. who're harping on this issue in ways that miss the real scope and nature of the real tragedy, simply cannot let go of their delusions - the alternative is too painful.

        Instead, they hang on to their conviction that 'one more test' from 'a real unbiased and authoritative source,' or one judge who's not an 'activist' will prove them right; and when it doesn't pan out, well it's because the test, source, judge etc. was simply wrong.

        It's not much different from an alcoholic who needs just `one more' drink before finally sobering up, or from any other irrational behavior.

        These are unhealthy and ineffective forms of several different coping and defense mechanisms, like denial and reaction formation.

        Defense mechanisms work for a reason, and in the short term they can keep the brain from exploding while the rest of the person gets it together; or allows a person to function in the face of danger - think of firefighters running into a burning building while everyone else is running out.

        But hang on to those defenses too long, even embrace them, and you cross over into a different world, and the longer you live there, the more difficult and painful it is to come back.

        I felt both anger and pity when I read that ridiculous nurse's affidavit - anger because this woman's words and actions degrades and humiliates our profession; pity because she's just obviously so far gone as to be grasping at straws like this.

        I've also worked with enough nutcases like her to know too well that they're toxic - to themselves, and to everyone around them. There's no discussion, no reasoning, no chance for any kind of `normal' exchange with such a person.

        Their only hope is professional help, including medications, to break through the delusions.

        I promise not to go back to that blog - well, I won't go back after I go back one more time.

        Can you see how insidious this whole delusion can be?

        "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

        by RubDMC on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 07:56:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm strongly against letting her die (none)
        But the nurse came off as.. well flat out whacko.

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

        by cdreid on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:37:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I've posted the debunking material on my blog (4.00)
    In addition, I posted links to the AMA's ethical-standards people. Let's see if we can get Weldon's and Frist's licenses pulled. Check it out.
    •  Sweet! (none)
      Will check it out!

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:27:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who is Michael Schiavo? (none)
        Some facts on him

        Incredible what this man has gone through, huh?  His wife dies a slow 15-year death & he has gets slandered for abuse, greed, & moving on with his life.

        He married someone else & moved on with his life. Wow.  what a crime.

        How many of the Republican politicians would wait years before deciding to move on with their lives?  

        Gingrich gave his wife divorce papers while she was in the hospital (& very alive).  Katherine Harris doesn't even hide her affairs although she already is married.

        •  Correction. (4.00)
          He is still legally married to Terri.  

          He lives with Jodi Centonze of Clearwater Florida and has fathered 2 children with her. The Schindlers criticize Schiavo for this, saying it proves that he doesn't care about Terri.

          If he didn't care about her, he could have divorced Terri and walked away, to let her be her parents little pet vegetable. Instead he's stuck by what he believes are Terri's stated wishes in this, and fought for her.

          Back not long after the brain damage occurred, he took Terri to California for experimental treatment, and tried everything he could for years to bring her back. He reached the conclusion that Terri was truly 'gone' and that her body's continued existence was in contradiction with her stated wishes.

          Of course the "Christian" media is saying that he fits the profile of a wife-abuser, comparing him to OJ Simpson and Scott Peterson:

          •  The guy's a mensch (none)
            I have some (minor) experience with the situation, having a loved one in a long-term and ongoing medical crisis.  

            I've had nurses remark how unusual it is for a husband/lover to stand by rather than turn tail and run.  One nurse herself had her husband not only abandon her during a hospitalization, but use the opportunity to attempt a custody grab.

            Then, there's Newt Gingrich.

            For Michael Schiavo to stay through all the manure that his wife's family has shoveled his way is, by my way of thinking, prima facie evidence of his love for his wife.

            Rubus Eradicandus Est.

            by Randomfactor on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:20:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  In today's Detroit Free Press,... (none)
            there was an article/interviews of family and friends of Michael Schiavo.  (Can't find it on-line or I'd link to it--it was orig. printed in some Philadelphia paper.  Knight-Ridder, probably.)

            I'm paraphrasing but, all said that Michael was acting out of loyalty to his wife re:  this litigation.  And he did his damnedest to care for her, and search out possible rehabiltation treatments.  But, he was 26 when Ms. Schiavo's traumatic brain injury occurred.

            Now come on.  Twenty-six!  No offense intended to anyone, what the hell do you know at age 26?  (Not what you do when you're 41, that's for sure.)  

            The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

            by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:26:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ahem (none)
              I know many teens who "get it", and many stupid fortysomethings.  And vice versa.

              It's a diverse world, Street Kid.

              "[Re: ANWR and] 'addiction to oil,' I think the nation just reached the point where we sold our wedding ring for one night's fix."
              -The Onion

              by Dragonchild on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:03:25 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Clarification: (none)
                You are correct and I apologize if I unintentionally offended anyone.  I was paraphrasing the article in the Freep and did not do a good job.

                (Sounds like we bot know many people w/the same intellects.)

                The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

                by Street Kid on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 08:43:31 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  correct (none)
            he's still married -- my mistake on that one.  that's even more impressive.

            looks like the media is finally waking up & realizing there are 2 sides to this story...


            i'm not sure but if you go looking thru anyone's life, i'm betting you can find imperfections in it.

            i'll stand by the facts on michael:

            1.  turned down millions to walk away from this.

            2.  used the $1 million from their lawsuit to treat Terri & to fight her parents ($40,000 only is left).


            i don't know if he's perfect, but he has acted with a lot of class & dignity.

            a shame more people haven't.

            & isn't that what this whole thing is about?  Dignity?  the dignity of Terri Shiavo?  

        •  He married someone else & (none)
          moved on with his life. Wow.  what a crime.

          Technically it is a crime if he is still married to Terri.  But if he isn't  married to Terri...


          •  He didn't marry someone else (none)
            He remains married to Terri... he's has a new "girlfriend".  They are living together and have children together.  Can you even imagine how draining this must all be on her and their relationship?  Mercifully, as far as I know, the media has left her and their kids alone.  (Is that true? I don't watch much tv.)

            In light of this situation, a MI lawmaker has introduced legislation banning a person from withdrawing food/water from their ill spouse, if the person is having an affair.  Can you imagine trying to enforce that one?  

            All I can imagine is families that have opinion differences about whether to withdraw life support suddenly out trying to dredge up allegations of infidelity so that they can apply this law.  Crazy.

        •  (Shudder...Shake...) (none)
          Katherine Harris.....affairs?!?!

          "Tickle me right here while you "purge the rolls" - ooh, ooh..."

          I'm going insane!

          Good men through the ages, tryin' to find the sun, still I wonder, still I wonder, who'll stop the rain? -J. Fogarty

          by RichRandal on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:49:18 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Careful who you idolise (none)
          Political blogs and politically active people become very quick to jump on the bandwagon of anyone they see as "on their side". It's always a pretty huge mistake to blindly idolise those you know nothing about.. other than carefully prepared puff pieces.

          The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed)

          by cdreid on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:40:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not to Mention (4.00)
      This nurse (if she really is a nurse and not a nursing assistant). One thing that needs to start happening to delusional wingnuts c is that any professional licences they hold get pulled.

      Welcome back to reality, congresspeople! How was Pluto?

      "A working class person who votes Republican is like a chicken who votes for Colonel Sanders."
      --T. M., working class Democrat

      by bramish on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:42:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One version is she's an LPN, not an RN n/t (none)

        Let's get some Democracy for America

        by murphy on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:58:38 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LPN became RN (none)
          with some additional schooling and a new license exam

          "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

          by RubDMC on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 07:55:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  RN usually mean 3- 4 years of training (none)
            LPN has approximately a 1 year training program.

            Nurses nowadays usually have a bachelor's degree, although some programs are intensive 2 years of training.

            Let's get some Democracy for America

            by murphy on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:33:28 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sure (none)
              Step 1: Get LPN training/license

              Step 1.5: Decide you really want to be an RN (better money, more prestige, sexier shoes)

              Step 2: Get pre-reqs out of the way (AD or BSN program)

              Step 3: Apply to test out/bypass some 1st semester (or year) intro nursing courses (or not, depending on school, etc)

              Step 4: Complete ADN or BSN program

              Step 5: Buy/wear sexier shoes

              I'm an old diploma grad (1976), myself; followed by BSN (1981 - no credit from diploma allowed, but tested out of lots of stuff) and now doing graduate work. My wife's been faculty all her career - first diploma, then BSN, now AD programs.

              Big push now is RN (diploma or AD) straight through to MSN, like this program.

              But, yeah, this nurse who's come forward is a freaking nut job...sad.

              "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

              by RubDMC on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:24:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Nurse (none)
        If this is the same lady that has been interviewed on cable news shows, it has been reported that she was fired for providing poor care.
        •  Or Fired b/c (none)
          of a dispute w/ Michael Schiavo - depends on who you ask.
        •  That's Different (none)
          Than having her license pulled. Without a license, she can't work as a nurse anywhere. It would save other patients and family members the stress of having to deal with a delusional nurse.

          "A working class person who votes Republican is like a chicken who votes for Colonel Sanders."
          --T. M., working class Democrat

          by bramish on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:15:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think she is a RN or LPN (none)
          from what she said and how she said it...she may be a nurses aid, and for them to introduce her as a nurse, shows poor reporting. If she is a nurse,  I am embarassed for my profession. You notice how the actual folks who work with Terri are respectful of her privacy and are not appearing on TV saying anything. What class! Frist could learn a little ethics from them.
          •  I couldn't find her on the Florida (none)
            state health care providers website.

            Let's get some Democracy for America

            by murphy on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:34:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely right (none)
            "You notice how the actual folks who work with Terri are respectful of her privacy and are not appearing on TV saying anything."

            Because they only have one 'agenda' - patient care. The others? They're hawking a whole lot of self-righteous bullshit that's got nothing to do with patient care.

            I, too, am embarrased for our profession (but then again, we've always had nutjobs among us - just not so overt).

            OT - did you catch this great nursing diary here a little while ago? That'll make you proud ;^)

            "...psychopaths have little difficulty infiltrating the domains of...politics, law enforcement, (and) government." Dr. Robert Hare

            by RubDMC on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:30:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Wonder how much uneaten food (4.00)
        this "nurse" has shoved under Terri's mattress? With Florida's humidity and heat, there may be a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner under there just waiting to be discovered!
      •  Nurse Iyer (none)
        Wasn't she last seen fleeing the Branch Davidian?

        "I'm not going to be your monkey"

        by gabie on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:50:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  They got Clinton's law license pulled (none)
      Tit for tat, motherfucker.
  •  You obviously haven't been 'saved,' David (none)
    Get with tbe program, my friend.

    Everyone's doing it...

  •  Umm.... (4.00)
    So again I ask, what happens then?

    More tax cuts?

  •  I don't know what happens (4.00)
    But if you sense it coming, I'm certain it'll involve lots of Gleemonex (Duoroflouriximinimum 602).

    Proud member of the Social Security google-bomb project.
    Be proud. YOU'RE A LIBERAL.

    by changingamerica on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:23:01 PM PST

    •  I think *it* happens one brick at a time... (none)
      you know, like un-building "the wall" :)

      Is that snark?

      Hey hey, ho ho, irresponsible corporatism and social intolerance have got to go! Hey hey, ho ho!

      by kfractal on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:35:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It is psychology, and also demography (4.00)
      The most ardent supporters will never change their long held beliefs. However, you can chip away at their support on the fringes of their movement by pointing out exactly the kind of lies and inconsistencies that are now being seen.  Also, their next generation of recruits can be cut off from them by the same means.  

      Thus, demography becomes an issue.  The more ardent supporters will never change their mind, but they will eventually die out, or a quicker process is to drive them out of public life (Thomas Kuhn, the author of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, said similar.  Kuhn made famous the idea of paradigm shifts).  

      What psychological tactics can be used chip away at the fringes of their support?  You can get fancy with sophisticated theories about framing or cognitive dissonance, but what most of these theories neglect is that you have to get people to actually pay attention to the inconsistencies and frames.  Everyone encounters inconsistencies with what they believe to be true, but it is usually possible for us to just ignore the facts and move on to another topic.  Because more people, politicians, and the media have short attention spans, it is really easy to do this.  

      However!!! when you have an issue like Terri Schiavo and people's attention is fixated on it, there is a really good chance for peoples' minds' to change about the Republican party.  When inconsistencies, lies, and hypocrisy are thrown in their face day after day on the same topic on TV, and people talk about it over and over again around the water cooler, then we may seen some of their supporter at the periphery of their movement leave them.  

      You see . . . most people really are fairly smart.  There is a habit to refer to the masses as stupid, but they are not.  They are just too busy to pay attention, and have too short of attention spans to think issues all the way threw.  When they take the time to think and discuss things with others, many people reach some very reasonable conclusions.

      This is why Schiavo is a potential devastating issue for the far right.  Their lies and hypocrisy on the issue are no worse than on many other issues.  However, it is an issue to which people can relate and the media is fixated.  Also, the Schiavo issue is one that most people fundamentally disagree with the far right--and the far right is, thus, going into this with a large disadvantage.  However, it still comes down to this . . . People are thinking, and when people think, Republicans loose.

      Bryan E. Burke

      •  A 4 and a tip of the hat (none)
        ...for the Kuhn reference.  And a very sound argument for why we shouldn't put too much stock in cognitive dissonance as a tool for helping slow down this winger train.  Cognitive psychology is on THEIR side at the moment, I fear.  

        (I take no points off for resurrecting the memory of my, uh, odd philosophy of science teacher and the peculiar way he used to pronounce "paradigm".)

        "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

        by rocketito on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:40:26 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Very cogent argument by Burke (none)
        Excellent post Mr. Sociologist

        Cognitive dissonance will actually help dissuade the potential republican voters.  This whole intervention in the Sciavo case doesn't feel right to most people.  This is why this whole case helps convince people that the wingers are a bunch of lunatics.  Would you want them to determine your future if you were incapacitated?  Not hardly!  

        •  No, I disagree (none)
          Cognitive dissonance would lead, if anything, to them changing their view of the Schiavo case, not their view of repugs.  

          Your view is that of reason and logic.  Cognitive dissonance theory explains why people change their views in avoidance of reason and logic.

          I'm not convinced that cognitive dissonance will occur here for two reasons: first, it's a theory that tends to be overused widely and doesn't always end up being supported by the data under conditions similar to those that led to its original proposing, and second, because I doubt repug voters are really taking in enough information about the Schiavo case and the wingers' exploitation of it to really HAVE cognitive dissonance.  Too bad, though; it would be awesome if it really did dissuade more than a few repug voters.  

          "Why, Tom, we're the people that live. They ain't gonna wipe us out. Why, we're the people--we go on." Ma Joad, The Grapes of Wrath

          by rocketito on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 09:28:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  15 muinutes of fame (none)
    This is about this creep wanting her face on TV.  End of Story... truth does not figure into her motivation.
  •  How Jeb Bush could get Terry Schiavo (4.00)
     he should just have drugs planted on her and then have her arrested..take her into custody that way. I'm sure he could get Rush to drop by and slip her some Oxys....or hey maybe Noelles free.

    "Calmer than you are Dude....calmer than you"

    by sula on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:23:52 PM PST

  •  Right (none)
    Cool Aid transmutation to Bottle of snake oil
  •  It's been awhile (4.00)
    since my psychology days, but I believe that the brain simply does NOT want to believe it.  I think they will do whatever it takes to come up with more and outlandish claims in order to reconcile the disonance-to the point where other people just shake their heads.  I think it is especially too much to bear for these people that are part of the religious right because that is ALL THEY KNOW. Not only would they be questioning their politics, they're going to be questioning their entire lives.  That's not comfortable for anyone, though it needs to be done.

    There's no point for democracy when ignorance is celebrated...insensitivity is standard and faith is being fancied over reason.-NoFx

    by SairaLV on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:24:12 PM PST

    •  Example (none)
      I think they will do whatever it takes to come up with more and outlandish claims in order to reconcile the disonance

      The one relevant example I recall from the one psych class I ever took was that of cults. Eventually, the cult leader's prophecy fails to come true (eg, the aliens don't rescue everyone). At that point, most cults fall apart, I imagine due to a severe enough level of disillusionment which breaks through the increasingly jarring cognitive dissonance.

      •  Several reactions to cognitive dissonance (4.00)
        simply becoming too severe: 1st: psychotic denial; 2d: cognitive meltdown, i.e., batshit crazy; 3d: a V-8 moment,such as "man, I really must have been drinking some reallybad cool-aid; I gotta use my brain more often".
        •  So what you're saying (4.00)
          What you're trying to communicate is that we might actually be able to win these people over?  The ones that actually think. The ones that just change the flavor of koolaid they drink, they are beyond our reach.

          Sounds good to me!

          I'm going to go enjoy family time this weekend. The Schiavo controversy is declared off limits by my mother.  I'm with her.

      •  When cults were called cults. (4.00)
        It used to be that the general population believed that the Moonies were members of a cult. Many don't realize that the Unification church is the same cult and it is generally presented in the press as a christian church today.

        What is the name of the "christian denomination" whose members meet in motels on Saturdays, the one that was in the news a week or so ago when a member shot his fellow worshipers? The press identified them as a christian church. Twenty years ago they would have been labled a cult. It becomes more difficult to help these people face the truth when they have been termed legitimate christian denominations.

        Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

        by BMarshall on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:59:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Speaking as a grad student in social psychology... (4.00)
        ...the thing about cognitive dissonance is that it's strongest when you've done something unpleasant for no good reason whatsoever.

        Believe it or not, in many cases the cult not only doesn't fall apart when the predictions don't come true, their collective resolve actually grows stronger.  

        I think this is a whole different set of behaviors. Iyer sounds downright paranoid, and DeLay is just engaging in a little bit of social engineering: Repeat something often enough, and people will come to believe it, even if it's been conclusively proven a lie.

        There's plenty of experimental evidence for this, and this administration has this principle on Page 1 of their playbook. Hell, they manage to sell people on "Iraq was about liberation" and "Kerry knows nothing about war", why not go for "Terri Schiavo just has a cold"?

      •  Actually, when cult predictions fail (4.00)
        to manifest, more often than not the cult member's adherence to the dogma get's stronger. This phenomenon happens as the result of 2 main reasons. One is that, when in a state of "cognitive dissonance", our psychological autonomy is destabilized in a way that makes us extremely susceptible to suggestion, (to adopting outlandish and totally irrational points of view). And since cult leaders and most other types of swindlers know this, they have adopted the practice of deliberately instilling "cognitive dissonance" in their followers and/victims in order to more easily assert their power over them.

        Second, we tend to believe what we want to believe, and generally believe we are invulnerable to being duped too easily. Of course we are able to be tricked pretty easily into believing in a beneficial aspect to all sorts of things that defy reality, (i.e. most religious doctrine, Bush regime foreign policy, environmental policy, economic policy, and so on). Also, as any bunco squad fraud investigator will tell you, the single greatest obstacle they face in bringing con-men to justice is that so many people are just too embarrassed to admit they've been had, so they just don't come forward. Swindlers know this too, and count on it as one more mechanism to exploit in order to get away with their crimes against the psyche.

        Whether it's the fundamentalist Christian mullahs in congress or the screaming propagandists of the cult-like self-proclaimed "right to life" organizations, their evangelical fascism requires no reality or truth. It is rooted only in the belief structure they themselves have created and perpetrated on their hapless followers.
        they want us to believe they are "faith-based", but the very fact  that they're so militantly aggressive is symptomatic of the fact that their own faith is not so secure. If they had strong faith, they would be able to allow the God of that faith to sit in judgment and to direct events, rather than assuming those tasks upon themselves. They are "belief-based" creatures, and when belief is used to describe truth rather than truth being what informs belief, catastrophe is usually the result.

        For myself, I prefer democracy, but it's getting harder to find a place where it is practiced.

        •  When Prophecy Fails (4.00)
          I'm sorry I do not have a link to this, but before the Schiavo pandemic hit us, a friend asked me to send him a title of a book I had read that sounded like something he would like to read.  I found this on-line and sent it to him.  

          This is of obvious relevance to the topic under discussion, but also as an interesting side note, his participation in this study is supposedly what made Festinger come up with the full theory of cognitive dissonance.

          When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group That Predicted the Destruction of the World
          by Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, Stanley Schachter. 251 pgs., 1956

          "His theory arose from his observations of a Wisconsin-based flying saucer cult of the 1950s whose prophecy of universal destruction failed to come true. The cult prophesied a vast flood would soon kill everyone on Earth except for the members of the cult, who would be carried away by flying saucers. Before the predicted flood, the cult was very secretive and very reluctant to speak to the media or make converts. After the predicted flood, they stopped being secretive and spoke very eagerly to the media.

          Festinger explained this transformation as occurring because the prediction failed: there was no global flood and no flying saucers arrived to carry the cult to salvation. The cult was ridiculed, and though they had an explanation for the failure of their prophecy -- on the night in question their prayers "had spread so much light that God saved the world from destruction" -- nobody took it seriously. This is why Festinger suggested that the cult became fervently evangelistic. The only way for them to reverse their humiliation was to convert other people to their beliefs. If everyone believed, no one would laugh. However, this did not work: after such a spectacular failure, the cult predictably failed to convert anyone."

          •  Yes. Festinger opened up a whole new (none)
            area for investigation and discovery into the dynamics of our psyches and how said psyches can be so easily manipulated and exploited. I am working on a diary about this subject which I hope to be able to post in the next day or so.

            Whether it's religious extremist groups, political think tank extremism, or the contradictory nature of Bush regime poicies and rhetoric, the whole subject of cognitive dissonance is at the heart of beginning to understand not only how otherwise rational human beings can be tricked into believing such absurdities, but also how to develop our own strategies for cognitive self-defense against those who would seek to undermine our psychological autonomy for the purposes of advancing their own agenda.

    •  I think that... (4.00)
      When you lie to yourself and others over and over that sooner or later you can actually start to believe it.
    •  neither am I a psychologist (4.00)
      but logic states that when the brain/psyche is forced to accept reality instead of the fantasy that it has constructed that is cracks wide open. All that reality rushing in can lead to either destruction of self or destruction of others, and we certainly have sufficient glaring examples of that scenario in the past month to go by - court shootings, church stootings and school shootings.
      •  'tain't how it works, I'm afraid (none)
        especially not with KKKrazy KKKristians. I had to work with a whole office-full of fanatical fundies (believed that dinosaur bones were planted by satan to mislead man that the earth was more than 6,000 years old; believe in the rapture; believed literally that the Big G really did that "pillar of salt" parlor trick on Lot's Wife - shit, man, David fuckin' Copperfield can do better than that.) Their answer to EVERYTHING was that logic itself could be (and was) "infected" by satan, and that the only true "knowing" was what was known through "faith," regardless of the external stimuli... meaning that even if I, as the Prince of Darkness, zapped all of them down into hell and they felt the flames licking at their feet, they wouldn't need to even pay attention, because they "knew" through "faith" that Jeebus was a-comin' for 'em...

        fucking wackjobs. wastes of oxygen and food.

        "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

        by RabidNation on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:36:25 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  whack jobs indeed (none)
          "amen" brother.  the true fundies are just that, fundies.  when you belong to a cult, nothing but perhaps deprogramming will dissuade you.  that is what this fucking culture of life shit is, a cult.  it drives me nuts.
    •  Yeppers. (4.00)
      There's basically two choices the brain has: Confront the delusion or seek out cognitive memes to justify the delusion. This will often take the form of merely discounting the source. Witness Jeb's call for "impartial" doctors. As if the original doctors somehow had a stake in proclaiming her vegetative state. Or the automatic branding of all judges who make rulings they disagree with as "activist" though nothing could be further from the truth.

      Delusions are more powerful. They cannot be treated, only suppressed with medication.

      There's a reason why ideological and religious "areas" of the brain are located near where schizophrenia occurs. And there's a reason why schizophrenics are prone to religious and paranoid delusions.

      I used to think Julian Jaynes was a nutball. Now I think "The Origins of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" was merely way before its time.


      "The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians." - H.L Mencken

      by herooftheday on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:35:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Is there a name for that when it's a syndrome? (none)
        I've got a friend of a friend who spent the better part of ten years insisting that he was an ace fighter pilot, complete with top level security clearances and all sorts of completed black ops.  Roughly a year ago, the friend found out that this guy had actually been living with his parents and earning about $9.00/hour doing temporary work since he graduated from college roughly a decade earlier.  He was evidently so ashamed by his perceived failures that he concoted an action-movie-esque fantasy existence for himself.

        It seemed similar to the awkward kid in high school who talks about his "girlfriend in Canada whom he met at band camp", except that in that case, the deception is primarily about self preservation and avoiding ostracism.

        Is this technically a personality disorder?  If it is, is there a name for it and can it be treated?

        The Devil crept into Heaven, God slept on the 7th, the New World Order was born on September 11th - IT<

        by tomaxxamot on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:57:29 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think that's called (none)
          wanted to get laid.  
          •  Funny, very funny. (none)
            You really want another Columbine to happen, don't you?

            "[Re: ANWR and] 'addiction to oil,' I think the nation just reached the point where we sold our wedding ring for one night's fix."
            -The Onion

            by Dragonchild on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:13:29 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Well (none)
          It would be unethical of me to diagnose anyone without having met them.

          What I will say is this:

          If such a person were to say such things in absolute seriousness and to say so  and believe so fervently, it COULD be an indication of delusional thinking, which, as you described, could be an indication of manic or schizophrenic states.

          But, there would have to be a history of this, and there are other indications as well. It's always possible that he's a sad, lonely guy with low self-esteem. That's not pathological.

          Were such a pathology diagnosed, the symptoms are treatable with medication, but at this point in time, personality disorders such as schizophrenia are uncurable.


          "The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians." - H.L Mencken

          by herooftheday on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:43:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually... (none)
            Just so you know, schizophrenia is not a personality disorder, it's a psychotic disorder. You must be thinking of schizotypal personality disorder or schizoid personality disorder. And, in the described situation, the person would not have either of those personality disorders. I'd be more likely to say that it's a dissociative disorder or a mildly psychotic disorder; I don't think it would meet the DSM criteria for a personality disorder.
          •  Thanks (none)
            My understanding is that he caved when he was confronted on it so I'd assume that'd rule out delusion.

            It struck me as a possible personality disorder  because of just how fantastic the false existence was - creating an identity that's wholly imaginary is a deception that's an order of magnitude beyond the run of the mill lies that "normal" people make (calling in sick to work when one really just wants the day off, for instance.)  It's also likely to eventually be exposed and as such I'd think there would be some inherently self destructive impulse in its creation.  

            Munchausen's struck me as being fairly similar when I first heard about the whole situation, but my understanding is that derives from a desire for sympathy and always involves a feigned illness, whereas this seemed to come out of a desire to impress other people and a feeling of being inadequate.

            The Devil crept into Heaven, God slept on the 7th, the New World Order was born on September 11th - IT<

            by tomaxxamot on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:34:17 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Isn't there a recent book (none)
          That calls it bullshit?
      •  All hail the Prozac Nation n/t (4.00)

        Most Americans are a lot dumber than we give them credit for- George Carlin 2004

        by maggiemae on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:02:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Social construction of 'reality' (4.00)
        To further this philisophical debate:

        A quick working definition of cognitive dissonance: "the holding of two ideas by one individual that are mutually exclusive."
        As Jim points out above, the person afflicted with this dissonance chooses between one or the other of these ideas.  However, it's not always the 'rational' one.
        I argue that what one considers 'rational' and 'reality' are not objective, but are in fact products of the human mind as much as the 'irrational.'  'Reality' is what a group of people agree is real, nothing more.  
        So, while we may use cognative dissonance as a kind of ironic term for what is happening with people who seem to be 'out of touch,' the probability is that there is NO cognitive dissonance.  These people simply have a different definition of reality than we do, and use a different logical system to justify actions and ideas.
        At first this may seem an academic argument, but this dichotomy of perception is increasingly a problem in our political system.  Personally, I believe that it is in one's interest to seek to understand an opponent's system of thought in order to 1) better understand the debate and 2)more effectivly counter the opponent in said debate.
        I think this is something to keep in mind as one goes forward as a politically active individual.  I see my own friends and family become polarized on one side of an issue or another, and it infuriates me.  There can be know moving forward if one does not seek to understand the other perspective.

        •  Bingo. (none)
          Good answer.


          "The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians." - H.L Mencken

          by herooftheday on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:50:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  cognitive dissonance (none)
            I would get cognitive dissonance trying to hold in my mind both the idea of a "reality-based community" and the following: "I argue that what one considers 'rational' and 'reality' are not objective, but are in fact products of the human mind as much as the 'irrational.'  'Reality' is what a group of people agree is real, nothing more."

          It's not necessary to believe the second assertion though. I just finished reading John Searle's "Mind, Language, and Society: philosophy in the real world."  Basically, one doesn't have to be a philosophical idiot to believe in an external reality that can be known to some extent. And belief in a "real" reality seems like a better basis for politics than extreme relativity.

          naive realist and proud of it

      •  For the Jaynes reference (none)
        A 4 to you!  I'm going to have to go back and read that book again.  
      •  as a former child victim of evangelical xtianity (none)
        that really resonates with me.  Especially this:

        There's a reason why ideological and religious "areas" of the brain are located near where schizophrenia occurs. And there's a reason why schizophrenics are prone to religious and paranoid delusions.

        As a child I was raised in evangelical churches complete with the tongues, casting out 'demons', floating out of your clothes into the sky...everything but the snakes I guess.  At one point my father kindly warned that there was a Demon of Masturbation out there that could really gitcha, so watch out.  


        As the years progressed my father's behavior became more and more erratic.  He became more and more paranoid and accusatory.  Colors, numbers, mafia and..... RELIGION!  All manner of schizofrenic symptoms [mixed delusions] although he was never diagnosed with schizofrenia or anything else.  [My unprofessional opinion is some sort of organic delusional disorder.]

        As his condition progressed he ended his marriage, left behind his family, career, and basically ended all association with his life.  The only thing that didnt change was his religion.  In fact his religious delusions seamlessly integrated with the rest of his delusions.  Last I heard he's travelling the country in a van trolling for converts.

        god, I hope he doesnt find any.

    •  O/T: anyone ever read... (4.00)
      Julian Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" ?

      Not sure what to make of that but the topic matter is at least relevant, somehow :)

      Hey hey, ho ho, irresponsible corporatism and social intolerance have got to go! Hey hey, ho ho!

      by kfractal on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:38:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Violence. (none)
    The only question is who gets hurt in the process.

    "Nothing is as difficult as not deceiving oneself" - Ludwing Wittgenstein

    by Palamedes on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:24:26 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately everyone does. (none)
      Do you actually believe they care?  Hell, no!  They just want to win, at any costs!

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:33:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I sure think (none)
      that's a possibility, given that violence is said to be the flip side of sentimentality. And their pathological sentimentality over one woman is being fed by the media who probably are probably encouraging them to think of themselves as heroes.
    •  Violence, then forgetting ... (none)
      Remember, the embarrassment of the Bakker & Swaggart scandals led a lot of secularists to feel the charismatic balloon of the Evangelicals was about to go flat.  This did not happen, & I doubt Mrs. Schiavo's first name will even be remembered a year from now (by most).

      Violence, both real or ritualized -- as on the floor of Congress -- seems pretty likely to me, followed by a quick moving on to the next cause or victim & as always somebody else will have to clean up the personal/legal/moral shitpile.

      I do remember getting through chapter 1 of "Bicameral Mind" & like Hero I thought it was a bit out there: the ancients actually did hear voices of the gods, but our mental evolution now renders such things so rare as to be evidence of madness -- admittedly that's a gross reduction of the Dr's thesis.

      But in this case I'm thinking more about a book by professor Jodi Dean titled "Aliens in America."  She introduced me to the concept of Fugitive Truth, which argues that in an age awash in media-borne "information" available to all, you can construct most any truth you want of whatever bits & pieces you choose.  Since a commonly-understood bullshit detector, like, say, science or evidence, can now be questioned in our all-subjective, all-the-time environment, you can just discard that & stick to your constructed belief.  

      Debate, consensus, proof?  How quaint.

      According to Prof. Dean, all that's left is fighting.  Either that or the idealogical equivalent of the old Mexican Stand-Off: both sides armed & immobile.  'Course that's my subjective take on her idea.

      Interesting how amnesia & information overload seem to go together these days ...

    •  Counter culture (none)
      Maybe we should be countering their "Culture of Life" claim by accusing them of supporting a "Culture of Violence." The evidence is there: support of the death penalty, war, and torture, for starters.

      Look out honey, 'cause I'm using technology! Ain't got time to make no apology

      by patop on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:58:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Iyers is a garden-variety sociopathic liar (4.00)
    there need never be any acknowledgement of anybody else's reality--a search for or recognition of some real truth is not going to matter to someone like that.

    ...the White House will be adorned by a downright moron...H.L. Mencken

    by bibble on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:25:43 PM PST

    •  asdf (4.00)
      Could this be seen as a variation on Maunchausen by proxy?

      "I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing Light of your own Being." --Hafiz

      by mskate on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:33:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe (4.00)
        But I'd be more inclined to diagnose Narcissistic D/O.

        If it was Munchausen, more likely she'd be taking an active role to be seen as a hero or tragically oppressed figure. Or she would do things to Terri to get attention drawn to her. She'd have been WAY more vocal and drastic. Or maybe she has been? Can our Florida friends shed some light?


        "The trouble with Communism is the Communists, just as the trouble with Christianity is the Christians." - H.L Mencken

        by herooftheday on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:39:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  as a psychologist (4.00)
          I know it's impossible to make a diagnosis from a distance, though, doubtless, Bill Frist would feel qualified.

          We are not "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

          by Pachacutec on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:42:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  What happens? (4.00)
    Nothing.  They will believe what ever fits into their framework of reality.  As long as someone tells them what to believe, they will believe it.

    "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

    by RichM on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:26:31 PM PST

    •  Oh, I forgot... (4.00)
      History has shown us that whenever the fanatical come smack against reality, there is never self-reflection.  Witch hunts always ensue.  Always.

      "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

      by RichM on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:28:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  asdf (none)
        Hope to hell I misunderstood your implication!

        The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

        by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:36:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yep, RichM (none)
        "Violence" was the word that floated through my mind in response to DavidNYC's question.  When zealots are presented with things contrary to their beliefs, and can't escape confronting their dissonance, violence ensues.  Scary.

        "Whatever they want the answer is no. Now is not the time to fold, now is the time to up the ante." -- Charles Pierce

        by baba durag on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:45:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  What happens? (none)
      They will blame the liberal elites.  And they will carry that hatred with them -- and in the meantime, they will worship bush and cheney and frist and whomever else.  That is what will happen.  And they will seethe and fester until they rise again -- all the while as I said worshiping his chimpness.

      It sure the hell is heavy, father -- it's my grandchildren's share of the birth tax

      by xanthe on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:38:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  See my response... (none)
        To my own comment.  You are right.

        "[A] 'Sharecropper's Society' [is] precisely where our trade policies, supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, are taking us." - Warren Buffet

        by RichM on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:11:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  their heads explode (4.00)
    since they can't keep more than one thing in there at a time, and they don't have any flexibility.
    •  not ex-plode (4.00)
      ass-plode -- from all the bullshit that's been piling up in there.

      "Honey this Schiavo thing has me REAAALLLY confused.  Sanctity of marriage.  State's rights.  uurk . . .  smaller government . . . nnnnnggghh . . . personal responsibility . . . activism is liberal . . . ooh oooooh uuuuuuuuuh . . . religious fundamentalism is bad . . . OH SWEET JESUS MY HEAD, MY FUCKING HEAD, MAKE IT STOP, MAKE IT . . . "



    •  think "Mars Attacks." notext (none)
  •  Let'm stew (4.00)
    They created this mess, it's wildly unpopular with traditional conservatives and most of America by a ten to one margin. I say let them bake in their own juices. Most Americans don't give a hoot about evolution, or the Ten C's in a Courthouse, or prayer in schools. But most citizens of every party and viewpoint despise the idea of a Christian Taliban along the lines of Jim Jones or David Koresh, in America. Let the Taliban keep running with this as long as they have the breath. They're only hurting themselves, and those who pander to them at this point.
  •  I think what happens is... (4.00)
    the hardcore types just continue to believe the big lie, and blame everything on "them" -- the ones who framed everything up.

    Then, they just move on to another subject, without too much critical thought.

    If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.

    There must be some good books on conspiracy theory psychology, which would be akin, I'm sure.

  •  She'll die and... (4.00)
    she'll become a martyr.  We will see her sad face quite a bit on T-shirts, signs, and fundraising literature.  Lots of cash will be collected from the loonily faithful thanks to St. Terri.

    They are impervious to reality.  They are faith-based.  No cognitive dissonance here.

    No cognition either, I guess.

    W: "I think carve-out is the way to go"

    by aleand on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:28:53 PM PST

  •  possibilities.... (4.00)
    What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality?

    I vote for catatonia.  The brain, having done it's level best to avoid and/or deny information that it cannot process, simply gives up and shuts down.

    Then we elect a Democratic goverment, pass all the legislation we've been screaming for (including voting reform in case they ever wake up), create a closer-to-utopian society and throw the mother of all parties!

    disclaimer  Although I did study psychology all the way through grad school, I do not practice now.  Oddly enough, chronically mentally ill people don't seem to have a lot of money and/or insurance with which to pay for my valuable services.

    "I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing Light of your own Being." --Hafiz

    by mskate on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:29:25 PM PST

  •  what makes you think (none)
    their "utterly false world" will ever crash with reality?

    "And if you ever do a survey, you'll find that people prefer illusion to reality, ten to one. Twenty, even."                        
    Judith Guest (1936 - __) US novelist

    •  Maybe (none)
      Maybe it won't. I certainly don't have any "evidence" as such to prove that it will. It's just my suspicion. But maybe it will continue forever. I pray not.
      •  Lord, I wish the crash would come . . . (4.00)
        But I'm not hopeful. I mean, "reality" would have to intrude via some medium . . . you know, someone would have to start pointing out that people like Iyer (and DeLay and Frist) are lying their asses off. I don't know, some like . . . the media! But as long as the media continue to play handmaiden to the liars on the right, I just don't see reality intruding on these folks' fantasies any time soon.
    •  Acknowledgement of Reality (3.20)
      is bad for business. Literally.

      So, business will do everything in its power to create and sustain a world in which makes the ultimate goal in life to be a consumer of goods and services.

      I guess at some point reality (perhaps in the form of weather disasters from global climate change) acts in a way that business cannot prevent, then it intrudes forcefully into the false world.

    •  Agree - (4.00)
      Remember WMD's?  Lie.  And the liar was re-elected.  
  •  Eco-cons (4.00)
    I don't know exactly what happens when cognitive dissonance reaches its breaking point, but if we could figure out how to harness the energy that would undoubtedly be released, we could power the entire world!  As there will never be a shortage of deluded conservative fools, I would consider this a very renewable resource . . .

    They're talkin' about nuclear war
    It's a motherfucker, don't you know
    If they push that button, your ass gotta go
    -- Sun Ra

    by Jason Bergman on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:29:46 PM PST

  •  Not a student of human psychology (4.00)
    But I am a student of politics, and I worry about what happens when people like this nurse are given a platform to spread her lies. She's been on CNN and on Fox News, and I'm sure it won't be long before she's on MSNBC.  Nobody has challenged her credibility on those cable shows.  Sadly, I think what happens is that these false testimonies become truths in the minds of a lot of the people who are watching and who do not know they have been discredited.  I think this is frightening, but these lies are not just being propagated in wingnut blogs and talk radio.  They are now accepted in the MSM as well. It wouldn't surprise me if the poll numbers begin to change as more and more of these people are allowed to spread their lies on the cable news shows.
  •  What happens... (4.00)
    Depends on the person who's experiencing the dissonance, and the reason behind their congnitive distortion. For example: if you are believing the lies because you need to stayed allied with your family/spouse/church/whatever who believe the lies, then acknowledging the dissonance will be very emotionally and psychologically terrifying. So some will not "go there". If they can't handle the dissonance they will just dismiss the issue. They won't think about it anymore.

    Those that DO "go there" are taking the chance that their relationship with their family/spouse/church/whatever will be changed (or ruined) by their acknowledgment of the dissonance. They are risking having to re-examine OTHER cognitive distortions, they are risking changing their world-view. This can take a lot of psychological strength and self-esteem - it usually helps to find others who have gone through this process. It's why gay and lesbians in the USA are so good at creating "new" families.

    Some people will make small cognitive adjustments, some will "go for broke". It's been my privilege to help people make some of these cognitive changes, and then behavioral changes in their lives - it's an amazing thing to watch happen.

    •  Examples (none)
      Some people will make small cognitive adjustments, some will "go for broke". It's been my privilege to help people make some of these cognitive changes, and then behavioral changes in their lives - it's an amazing thing to watch happen.

      Thanks very much for your response. I think it's very helpful in understanding what's going on here. Can you elaborate a little bit more about this? (Obviously within the bounds of whatever level of confidentiality is appropriate.) I am very curious to know what some of your experiences have been like - how they've come about & what the results have been.

      •  Sure... let's see... (4.00)
        At some point for some people, the cognitive dissonance becomes too difficult to ignore - they just can no longer justify their world view. They become increasingly unhappy/isolated but often are not completely aware of what is making them so dissatisfied. They get depressed, maybe they use substances, alcohol, or other less problematic hobbies. Often they are really judgemental about people who are different from them or think differently - because those people represent their own unconcious conflicts.

        A specific example from my work: Someone has an eating disorder or a substance addiction. I work with them to understand WHY they are using the substance, or their bodies, to manage their emotions. The substance or the compulsive behavior is benefitting them in some way. Perhaps the alcohol allows them to escape the pressure they feel to conform to Dad's plans for them. I try to help them give themselves permission to feel that pressure on a consious level. I try to help them feel their anger/shame/rage/etc... on a concious level and to accept those feelings as perfectly appropriate.

        As we continue our work, the person begins to learn that their original world view/belief structure is NOT THE ONLY OPTION. As they learn new ways to manage their feelings - instead of using alcohol - they relate this to the rest of their life and their judgemental attitude towards others decreases as their acceptance of themselves as an individuated person increases. They start to strengthen and develop what is called an "observing ego" - which is the ability to observe your own behavior and understand that you view and interact in the world through your own experiences - as other do through THIER own experiences. Ultimately, they learn to accept themselves and all their miriad feelings and ideas, and we work together on helping them make peace with how their family reacts to all their changes (because their family members get to react and have their own feelings, too. And the only person you can really change is yourself, you know?)

        Does this give you the answer you were looking for?

    •  RIGHT TO LI(f)E (4.00)
      Many of these people  do not have to believe the lies they tell.  In fact, I do not think they believe their lies.  They believ that the right to life = the right to lie.

      This ranges from doctors and nurses that would tell Munchausen tales about seeing Terri stand up, sing God Bless America, and pray to St. Bush for her salvation to researchers that want to claim that abortions cause breast cancer, ingrown toenails, and any other weird thing they might think of. They believe that Any and All Lies are justified in service of their noble cause.

      So when they have to confront reality, they do just what they are doing now:  Tell more and bigger lies.

    •  very thoughtful (none)
      It sounds much like belonging to a cult.  you are isolated from anyone who has a different view, and those in "your group" enforce a certain world view, so you have to agree to belong.  Breaking free takes work ("its hard work") and you have to take the risk that the cult members will reject you.  Fuck the cult members.
  •  What happens? (4.00)
    What happens when you wake a sleepwalker?
  •  In addition (4.00)
    The presiding judge found Ms. Lyer's pants to be in a state of rapid conflagration which was in direct contempt of the court.  A bailiff was instructed to suspend said garment from a nearby telecommunications conduit.

    (I'm really sorry about this.)

  •  Denial can last indefinitely (4.00)
    You just refuse to talk about it.  Into the memory hole!!  New facts to look at!!!  Why bring your world crashing down around you?

    Your fallacy is that these people have any particular devotion to truth.  They dont care about that at all so proof that they arent in touch with it matters not one bit.  The only thing that matters to them is to win.  Period.

    •  Two (4.00)
      I should have distinguished between the people who know they are peddling falsehoods (out of a desire to win power all costs, as you point out) versus those who are on the receiving end of those lies (ie, the ordinary citizens who are the first group's political supporters).

      The former obviously wants to steer clear of the truth to whatever extent possible. But sometimes, events happen which force the truth upon some members of the latter group, despite the wishes of the former group.

      •  Maybe some, but the "faithful" (none)
        are plenty immune to facts if they want to be.  Look at the surveys on how many people believe in creationism.  Faith to them means you deny facts that conflict with whatever your creed says.  Facts alone will never get us where we want to be.
  •  Your questions, my answers (4.00)
    What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality?

    Reality is ignored - not even perceived on a conscious level.

    What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear?

    Cognitive dissonance requires cognition, defined as "the psychological result of perception and learning and reasoning".

    These people own the revealed truth. There is no more to learn, no need to reason, and perception (at least that which disagrees with their revealed truth) is either lies or hallucinations.

    Perhaps these walls will never come crashing down, but I believe they will, some day. So again I ask, what happens then?

    They'll simply remain angry/enraged, as bumping up against reality is a daily occurrance for them. However, when they're allowed to put their policies into practice (Bush, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Greenspan, Delay, etc) the results are predictably catastrophic. They believe they create their own reality, but reality begs to differ.

    The most potent weapon of the opressor is the mind of the opressed - Steve Biko

    by badger on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:32:43 PM PST

  •  I don't know for sure the answer (4.00)
    ..but I'm pretty sure it coincides with the end of the universe.  In a debate elsewhere with some right-wing nutjobs, i've been called "pure evil" and "a murderer" because of my, and a majority of american's, stance on this issue.  Look, what's happening here isn't that they come from an alternate reality, it's that they create one.  It's like the bumper sticker "I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it." They hear what they want and drown out the rest in mindless spin.  You try to point out that Terri's sister also testified that she wanted to die, and that point is swiftly ignored.  The same with Greer throwing out Iyers case(though I made the mistake of pointing to a MMfA article to back myself up on that one).  What the Left(intentional capitalization... we're now our own entity, IMO) has been trying to do is argue facts.  That's where we fall flat on our faces, because in this day and age of Faux News(and I don't just mean the station with the similar spelling) facts are debatable.  If you don't like it, it's a lie.  What we have to do is find a way to get it through to the right in a way that their short attention spans can grasp that facts are facts, and they point to us being right.

    Also, I suggest we all keep a close eye on the Bush administration for the time being.  This whole scenario seems very Rovian, and I can't help but be suspicious that they're trying to slide something through right under our noses.

    •  Crucified Ego is very insightful (none)
      Unfortunately I can't read the previous post while I'm writing this so I'm depending on my hopeless short-term memory.  Anyway, Crucifed is so right, whatever he/she said.

      Its a cult thing.

  •  What happened to Germans (none)
    when their world of illusions came crashing down in 1945?
    •  Question (none)
      This is a good question & I would love to know the answer to it.
      •  Post-war German Nazis (4.00)
        As a matter of fact, my late mother-in-law remained a Nazi until the day she died. Reality mattered not at all to her and a number of her little old lady friends. They would sit over their cups of coffee in her gemutlich kitchen and solemnly agree that things were much better under "the Great Man," and there was no mistaking who the Great Man was.
        It was right out of "The Producers": "The Fuhrer was a better dancer than Churchill, he was a better painter than Churchill, he could paint a whole apartment in one afternoon, two coats!..."
    •  answer to ? (none)
      Some made it to South America.  Those who didn't were tried and convicted.  Germany was re-built--oh crap!

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:43:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  They rolled up their sleeves (4.00)
      Cleared the rubble, built a new Germany and went into denial about the old until their sons and daughters started to remind them.
    •  A lot of Germans (none)
      illusions were shattered in 1944 when the bombs started dropping, because much of the belief in Hitler was based on his supposed invincibility.  D-Day played a big role too.  Reports from the USSR had been piling up for a while too.

      There was a lot of distancing of the difference between the "Nazis" and the "Germans."  Most Germans put themselves in the second camp of innocent bystanders (or even victims) and that the crimes had been committed by the nefarious "Nazis."  The Soviets helped this along, by saying the crimes had been committed by the "Bourgeoisie."  The US initially worked on "re-education" and trying to educate the German people as to what they had done wrong, but dropped that when the Cold War approached and the US actively tried to woo German support.

      I guess to make a long answer short, they just convinced themselves that they never believed in Hitler in the first place.  Obviously there was a wide range of reactions and different people had different reactions and the reaction in the new DDR was markedly different from that in the BRD.  But mostly it was a denial that anyone had ever supported Hitler in the first place.

      We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .

      by LeftCoastTimm on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:24:33 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My dad (none)
        was a diplomat and when he was posted to Germany in 1951 he asked some of his German acquaintances about Hitler and why and how he had come to power. In other words, he asked, "why did you vote for him?" He still chuckles when he tells people that as far as he could find out, all the people who voted for Hitler were killed in the war. This is very amusing since the last plebiscite polled a 99% vote for Hitler. I wonder how many people you will find in the US who will admit voting for Bush when the country goes bankrupt, the war goes on forever, only the rich can get health care and our jobs have all gone overseas.
        •  To be fair, in Berlin in 1938 (none)
          I doubt that there was even another candidate in the election!

          99% of the vote with a +/- of 2% moe.

        •  To be fair (none)
          in the last reasonably free and fair (the SA and other paramilitary groups were out intimidating people) in November of 1932, the National Socialists only got 33.1 percent of the vote.  (They had gotten 37.4 percent in July)  So not even 40 percent of Germany ever voted for Hitler in a free election.

          The problem was, in the heart of the depression in '32, more than 50% of the seats in the Reichstag went to either the Nazis or the Communists--both of who had vowed to destroy the government if they ever got into power.  The Reichstag was in gridlock as no political party could make a majority coalition without taking one of these two parties into the government.  Hindenburg was pretty much running the country as a dictatorship in the absence of an elected chancellor.

          Of course, most know what eventually happened, which is that the conservative parties that supported Hindenburg cut a deal with Hitler to form a majority government, thinking that they could "control" him, since for them, Hitler was the lesser of two evils.  But it is true that only about one-third of Germany voted for Hitler in November of 1932 in the last reasonably fair election.

          We hold these truths to be self-evident . . .

          by LeftCoastTimm on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 03:40:09 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  What happened to the Germans? (none)
      They got the Marshall Plan.  
  •  Collision Repair (4.00)
    My best guess?

    Hmm, well I can only think of cult deprogramming, but I don't know of an instance where you had a mass deprogramming of a population. Usually, you have one person pulled away from the pack and then re-broken to yank out the dogma of the cult.

    Since a lot of this alternate universe rests at the feet of the right-wing media, I can only figure that decades of intensive counter-programming will erase the layers of bullflop that have settled on the gray matter of the American public. Imagine TV channels solely dedicated to re-educating the population and giving the masses a refresher course on history, science, and culture.

    In some cases, I imagine some are too far gone, a la that moment in The Matrix where Morpheous confides in Neo that at a certain point there are some people who aren't woken up because the trauma would be too much.

    •  Its a cult (none)
      Oh, you are so right.  This is very much cult-like behavior.  The "culture of life" is a cult.  These people have no ability to think for themselves.  Well, they have the ability but they don't use it.  I think this situation, based on the polls, shows that the vast majority of Americans, INCLUDING Fundies, are actually getting scared and may be starting to see the light that these crazies could end up controlling their very personal lives and folks don't like it.  Yeah!
  •  They don't have to face reality. (4.00)
    That's the great thing about this case for those on the "keep Terri breathing" side of the fence.  If, as expected, she dies in the next few days, they can live the rest of their lives certain that she would have one day woken up, if only the activist judges and her hateful husband hadn't ordered her to a painful death.

    There are so many inaccuracies in that last paragraph that it would take ten more to describe them all. The faith-based community will never have to confront any of them.

    Jesus wept.

  •  Saner souls will peel off (4.00)
    back to the reality-based world, as a good many conservatives are already doing this week (let's hope the blinders stay off for good). Those that are left will probably shift gears into out-and-out paranoia and panic, with the resultant violence and chaos. It ain't gonna be pretty, but the media's gonna luvvv it. "Wailing church ladies shaking with rage? Red-faced middle-aged guys yelling incoherently? Little kids holding up crosses? We are so there!"

    Unfortunately, the agit-prop squad right-wing media whores will likely get off scot-free, as usual. Still, I dream of a day, not so long from now, when we can explicitly link Sean Hannity with Father Coughlin, and all shake our heads in disgust.

  •  Weldon said "Nobel Prize nominated" also (4.00)
    The claim that William Hammesfahr is a "Nobel Prize nominated neurologist" is not as wacky as the stuff in the Iyer affidavit, but it's equally false, equally debunked, and yet still out there in wingnut land and in Weldon's letter.

    Hammesfahr got his congressman to write a letter to the Nobel committee saying his constituent should be considered for a Nobel Prize. This is not a "Nobel Prize nomination", as nominations come only from the nomination committee. He's as much a Nobel Prize nominee as I am, or as (much as he deserves it, he hasn't yet gotten the nod) Kos is.

    It's as legitimate as one of you writing to the Motion Picture Academy on my behalf, so I could then claim to be an "Academy Award Nominee".

    If one of you wants to do that for me, I'll return the favor.

  •  Carla Iyer... (4.00)
    Isn't she a Nobel Nominee?

    I don't leave marks... only impressions. - J.D. Guckert

    by hndrcks on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:34:45 PM PST

  •  Gilliard talks about this (4.00)
    And he sees the potential for violence.

    The more emotional this gets, the more liklihood there is of violence. What's to stop someone from shooting their way into the hospice in a misguided attempt to rescue Terri Schiavo? The radical right has created an evirnoment where violence could explode at any moment. People so reckless that they will let their kids get arrested.

    Even the GOP is mervous about how this plays out and they should be. The rage of the ultras may be turned against the GOP pols in a violent way.

    By raising expectations of some kind of relief against any legal reality, they are creating this fantasy world. And by siding with the Schindlers against the husband, there is the expectation that Jeb can perform some miracle which he cannot.

    I can certainly see this happening. I don't think they necessarily foresaw the crazies taking this case on. Appealing to the evangelical community is one thing, there are a majority of evangelicals who might be pro-life, but are still pretty darned reasonable. But the heightened rhetoric of DeLay, Frist, and the Bushies drew the craziest of the crazies to this party. They're beyond control.

    •  The potential is certainly there, but (4.00)
      it's unlikely given who's involved and what their background is.  

      Groups like Operation Rescue/Operation Save America have been around for a couple decades, have plenty of experience toeing the line of legal conduct at health care clinics and doctor's homes all over the country, and seem to have plenty of expensive legal advice and training on how to be a big nuisance without getting arrested (unless they want to be).  

      When they were at my son's high school two weeks ago "protesting" abortion, homosexuality, and Islam, no one was really worried that they would get violent.  But we did worry that any counterprotestors (especially the students, young and green) would get provoked into lashing out.  (They didn't, but not for lack of provocation.)  

      The really scary thing is when the fringes of the fringes get involved -- that's how a lot of gynecologists, for example, ended up dead a few years back.  

      •  The potential is definitely there (none)
        Two doctors and an escort were killed outside of abortion clinics 10 years ago in Fla.  Groups like Operation Rescue get people worked up in a frenzy. They convince people that it is their righteous duty to take action.  
        •  RANDALL TERRY IS BACK (none)
          That creepy Randall Terry is inciting violence as far as I'm concerned.  The shit he spews on tv is outrageous.  Its good for the sheep to hear this because maybe it will finally get thru to them that these crazy American Taliban mean business, and it aint' the business we all want.  
    •  Unfortunately, you are right. (none)
      Look at all the violence outside of abortion clinics! God!

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:45:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  maybe time will be the buffer (none)
        I would think the potential for violence diminishes with the time it will take for Terri to die. That is a callous thought.

        The other thought is what DAY she dies, if she should die on Good Friday or on Easter itself, that will feed into the fervor.

        Proverb: War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

        by kfred on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:41:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  RANDALL TERRY (none)
      Let's not forget that the man leading this sick crusade for zombie rights is the same man who called for assasinations of abortion doctors.

      This is going to get ugly. Randall Terry is calling on Jeb Bush to "be the hero" and send in the Florida National Guard. These people are playing tiddlywinks with the fire of burning partisan righteous rage, and if you thought Osama bin Laden was a sicko fundamentalist, wait till you see what happens next.

      I don't mean to go all "doom and gloom" on you all, but I can't see this leading anywhere but down. These people have been soaking up things like "the blood of millions of babies cries out for vengeance," and when the legitimacy of the office of the unfucking Congress and President of the United States is lent on interest to armies of true believing Christian Soldiers ON THE WEEKEND BEFORE EASTER SUNDAY, payback is gonna be Hell.


      •  Now you got me wondering: (none)
        Considering the length of the coma, and the years of litigation, could it possible that a court docket may have somehow been manipulated so that litigation will be held this week?  

        Q.  What did Pilate do before Christ was sentenced to be crucified?

        A.  Washed his hands in absolution.  (Symbolism--absolution of guilt.)

        If jeb pulls that crap, the wackos will eat that up!

        The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

        by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:57:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Has there been any mention (none)
      of Jeb getting some wing-nut prosecutor to file murder charges against the husband when she dies?

      If not, it wouldn't surprise me if it's in the workings. Though it could play out like the Scopes trial and pit wing-nuttery against science once again.

      Man, do I feel sorry for that guy.

      •  Jeb is running from this (none)
        Jeb was sweating on tv talking about how he will not exceed his governmental powers to oppose this court decision. I guess he read the polls, because he sure as shit didn't control his egomania the last time this got to his desk.  Hey, he ain't no dummy (unlike his bro) and he ain't bitin' this time.
  •  Not sure what happens, but... (none)
    ...I imagine its something like when, on American Idol, Simon tells someone they are horrible and can't sing, they will vehemently disagree and "shoot the messenger."
  •  Same as with reactionary Germans in the 1930s (4.00)
    They'll start killing people, the most rational ones first.

    Republican prayer - Please, God. Let us keep Teri Schiavo's soul trapped in her decayed body for as long as possible. Amen.

    by cskendrick on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:36:20 PM PST

    •  1918 -> 1945 (4.00)
      After the First World War, many Germans blamed their defeat on "traitors" behind the lines; especially communists and Jews.  They never confronted reality,  instead, they nursed their grievances for 15 years, until the Depression broke the back of the Wiemar republic, and they could take control.  

      Likewise, in our country there are people who think that FDR had warning about Pearl Harbor, or the media caused us to lose in Vietnam, or that gays caused 9/11.  The crazies will never grasp reality - they will cling to their paranoia forever, and if they ever gain power then look out.

      •  It's crazy to think FDR had warning (none)
        of Pearl Harbor?  I certainly do not agree with you there.  I wouldn't say that it's been proved, it may in fact not be true, but I would say that it is at least a reasonable suspicion, whether or not it is true.

        (The recent article in Der Spiegel said that it has neither been proved that FDR had foreknowledge, nor that he did not.  I think that's a reasonable statement.)

        Just as it is reasonable to suspect that the Warren Commission Report is at best not the whole truth.

      •  if they ever gain power then look out. (none)
        Doesn't this whole horror show indicate that they have?
  •  from what I've seen (4.00)
    colliding worlds just push the fundamentalist wingnut further into the alternative reality.  God's plan and Satan's sabotage explain everything for them.  Nothing important is open to interpretation.  Any doubts or troubling questions are to be labelled as sin, and one should pray fervently for their cessation, not for their answers.  

    My only question is what divides this from paranoia or a host of other mental illnesses.  

  •  Grossed out! (4.00)
    Something more is at play than trying to over-rule Terri's husband...can you say Republican Backlash!

    The Republicans can try to decide whom should marry whom, take away reproductive rights, dictate christianity, go to war over the crazy idea there were WMD, but they can't get away with Docs making a diagnosis by watching a video tape or climbing into our death beds with us. Now that's personal.

    Terri's parents have focused upon their loss of parental rights, not their daughter. I sense this about anger toward Terri's husband and an inability to face that fact.

    •  WMDs (4.00)
      Wasn't there a poll during the election that found there are still some Americans who believe that WMDs were found in Iraq and other fallacies about the Iraq war, not just that they exist somewhere hidden but they were actually found? People get something in their head and then there is just no denying it, they will grasp at anything that supports their belief and claim it as proof.

      I'm wondering if it is possible that these extremists might turn on Gov. Bush and accuse him of not doing everything he could.

      •  yes (none)
        I don't have the time to google for it, but I do remember those poll results.  If I recall correctly, they also showed that people who got most or all of their news from cable news were much more likely to believe WMDs had been found than people who got their news from the net or from newspapers.

        The shock over that poll was where "Reality Based Community" got started as a progressive meme.

        The Devil crept into Heaven, God slept on the 7th, the New World Order was born on September 11th - IT<

        by tomaxxamot on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:47:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ms. Schiavo has gotten lost. (4.00)
      Mr. Schiavo is the only one who appears to remember her.

      The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

      by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:47:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Parents' Possible Motivations St. Terri of Tampa (none)
      On Tweety,the Schindlers or their representative (I forget which) said that if Teri dies from having her feeding tube removed, she will go to Hell.

      This indicates they know darn well that she did not want to be sustained in a PVS state.  Because the only way she could be judged to have committed suicide is if she formed the intent..which she could have only done before her heart attack.  I bet that creepy priest/monk/whatever he is that is attending the Schindlers have told her so.

      Meanwhile the pope believes, and said 10 years ago, that suffering is valuable and a good thing.
      So St. Terri will suffer and in 100 years or so will become St. Terri of Tampa.

      This is very sad.

      I also suspect they are by nature controlling people.

      •  That is bullshit!! (none)
        If she has been given last rights a/o annointed (annointing of the sick), both of which are traditional rituals/Sacraments within the Catholic Church, Ms. Schiavo is absolved of any and all sin.  And, as she is free from sin, she will go to Heaven.

        (I'm Roman Catholic.)

        The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

        by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:04:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Then they were lying again (none)
          Not a terrible surprise there.
        •  Does this work for Tom DeLay? (none)
          Or Kissinger?

          Slaughter people by the thousands, have someone perform a ritual on your dying, comatose body -- voi la!  No more sin, eternal paradise?

          Hm.  And my twin sister, a Red Cross worker and mental health counselor-to-be, will go to Hell after a lifetime of working for the poor and desperate -- because she doesn't believe in God.

          Not bad.  I'd rather spend eternity in Hell with my family than in Paradise with Tom DeLay.  Besides, us burning in a fire pit and him eating bon-bons on a cloudtop isn't that different from the way things are right now.

          "[Re: ANWR and] 'addiction to oil,' I think the nation just reached the point where we sold our wedding ring for one night's fix."
          -The Onion

          by Dragonchild on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:28:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, Dragonchild: (none)
            All I meant was that the Schlinders are full of it!  And, they have the gall to use their daughter's tragedy for political purposes, and expect sympathy!   Please!  

            I'm actually suprised that no one has called them on that misirepresentation of Catholic teaching! I'm even more suprised at the stance of the Catholic church (as printed in the Det. papers) re:  Ms. Schiavo.

            Also, I did not meant to imply anything about another person's beliefs.  

            The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

            by Street Kid on Sat Mar 26, 2005 at 09:20:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Guilt probably has more to do (none)
        with the Schindlers' wanting to "save" Terri than anything else. She was bulimic, and as a child and teen obese. The general consensus on bulimia is that it's caused by parental attitude towards the child's appearance or accomplishments. It's a lack of self-esteem disease. Her heart attack was caused by lack of potassium due to bulimia, and I am sure her mother is aware of why she was MOM. I think they want to keep her alive so they don't have to face the fact that their attitude toward her and her weight led to her bulimia and subsequent heart attack. It must be hard to have to face that the way you treated her killed your child.
  •  Jail happens (4.00)
    After all, if Iyer lied in a sworn affidavit, she committed perjury. And she should go to jail for it. Then she can join the ministry of former Watergate felon Chuck Colson, and she can be saved.

    In loving memory: Sophie, June 1, 1993-January 17, 2005. My huckleberry friend.

    by Paul in Berkeley on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:39:10 PM PST

  •  QWERTY (none)
    What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality? What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear? Perhaps these walls will never come crashing down, but I believe they will, some day. So again I ask, what happens then?

    They come "out."

    Either that or they crumple in a hideous blithering mass of screaming insanity and venomous spittle.

    Really, it's a 50/50 shot.

  •  Mass hallucination (4.00)
    IMHO, there are some people who can clearly self-hypnotise when they need to. When their false world collides with reality, they just see a different reality. It's like all the folks who stand around swearing that they can see the Virgin Mary in some tree moss. They really can see it, and really do believe. It's mass delusion, impossible to counteract.
  •  They never do (4.00)
    They are completely delusional. Please understand that I am speaking here ONLY of those people who are extremists, and are violating the law. Everything they do - lying, cheating, killing - everything is A-OK, because they do it all for GOD.  They are no different in that respect than the Islamic extremists.  

    They completely subvert the very religious beliefs they claim to uphold.  They are completely immune  to reality.  They never see the insanity of killing a doctor who performs abortions.  They think they have the right to kill Judge Greer.  They think they have the right to lie in an affidavit because, in their minds, it achieves a "greater good".  It's what God wants, right?

    A perfect example is the guy who let his children get arrested in front of the hospice.  He didn't think twice about the trauma to the kids (I'm sure the police did, but they did what they had to do).  It's all for what GOD WANTS. So, reality will never intrude on that world.

    We do not rent rooms to Republicans.

    by Mary Julia on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:39:51 PM PST

    •  Speaking of the arrested children... (none)
      Where's the Florida DFC when you need them?  If I did something to encourage my children to break a law - no matter how 'right' I thought it was - wouldn't you think that a system would be in place to automatically question my ability to parent?
  •  a psychologist reponds (4.00)
    What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality? What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear?


    Either of two things, or actually both, even within one individual:  depression and/or aggression.  In fact, the fantasy world is entirely constructed to stave off either of these terrifying alternatives.  But when the facade falls, there is a real trouble.

    Some people cling to an alternate truth, like holocaust deniers or those who still take the other side in the "War of Northern Aggression."  Others quietly figure out how to move on, even if they never apologize or admit full error (which few ever do).

    The problem for many of these people is that their entire identity is built around the illusion, and when the illusion crashes, so do they.  And that ain't pretty.

    I went through it, in my own way, years ago, when I gave up the ghost of the notion that I was really a nice, Catholic, straight man who wasn't much attracted to women, never mind what else went through my mind.  Suffice it to say my crash was neither pretty nor pleasant, but I had a lot going for me to help me be able to pick up and rebuild, and learn from it all.  But most of these people - the most vulnerable of them - lack the supports or resources to rebuld their selves and lives.

    I don't know where all this will leave them, but there will be an open, theocratic, separatist movement emerging for a while, I would expect, just as the KKK saw itself as the remaining bastion of the old Southern order for decades.

    We are not "compassionate conservatives." We are "fighting liberals." And we'll kick your ass.

    by Pachacutec on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:40:22 PM PST

    •  Somebody has to say it (none)
      when I gave up the ghost of the notion that I was really a nice, Catholic, straight man who wasn't much attracted to women

      So, what you're saying is... you aren't nice?

      Sorry. You left that, er, straight line just lying there where anybody could trip over it.

    •  Yep, I've seen this scenario before. (4.00)
      The Jehovah's Witnesses predicted 1975 as the year that Armageddon would start.  My mother had been a hard core believer for well over a decade and had converted most of her family with the exception of me.  I was still in high school.  As the year drew to an end and no Armageddon appeared, she sank into a depression.  Stayed in her bedroom and wouldn't come out.  
      I left home shortly thereafter to live with my grandparents so I could attend college.  That's something JW's were not supposed to plan for but I was lucky because I never believed it in the first place.  
      Eventually, she snapped out of it and wondered what she ever saw in it in the first place but that was not the end of the story. Because I think certain personalities are drawn to this kind of religious point of view.  Someone mentioned "The Origin of Conciousness and the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind" and I think there is something to this.  Maybe these people "hear" the right brain more clearly than we do.  With my mother there is more to it than that.  I would say the most characteristic thing about her belief system is fear of the world, fear of uncertainty, hatred of imperfection in people.  She sees all humans as evil and ugly.  Everybody.  There are no exceptions. No one is good.  She longs for utopia.  
      She stayed 'sane' for about a decade and then became born again.  As you may have guessed by now, she is a die hard Fox news addict, LOVES everything about Bush and is fervently praying everyday for the Rapture.  She has converted my brother and my sister.  Once again, I am the heathen.  We don't talk.  Someday, I hope they snap out of it but I will never trust them again.  When your own mother literally accuses you of being just like Jeffrey Dahmer, well, that's something you never forget. (I have no craving for human flesh, BTW)
      What will it take to snap them out?  I think if Fox ever stops catering to them and the world doesn't end in the next couple of years, they may  start coming out of it.  While they are still being fed, they will want more and more.  
    •  Exactly! (none)
      Right on! You said everything exactly right. I do research on just this topic and it correlates exactly with your experience. Actually, I had pretty much the same experience as you did eg. telling myself I liked women etc. I think this is a common type of incongruence with us gays.
  •  It will (none)
    be a very funny thing to watch.  
    Funny to watch a few people I know that stand behind all this right-wing propaganda.  They have fallen for every little lie and trick the GOP and bozo have put out.  
    Funny it will be to just see their red faces before the sick feeling that will overcome them.  
    Funny to hear them cry about it, (and then  ultimately blam free thinkers anyway)

    Funny funny funny.  

    And then, with all of that happiness and fun and good feeling I will have, a private moment will be necessary.

    What really will happen?  Self destruction.  Spontaneous combustion.   And still it will be funny.

    I still don't understand what is so wrong with the term "liberal".

    by Ring Freedom on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:41:38 PM PST

  •  Urban Legends (4.00)
    The technique Weldon uses is similar to the way urban legends are "set" in the mind of listener.  The name of the source is given, but after that the specific details that mattear are cloaked in ambiguity.  When exactly did these things happen?  Which affidavit was this "sworn" testimony in?  Sworn to whom?   Why are the things that Schiavo said in "quotes"?  Does that mean she actually said them or that the nurse believes she said them?  Why would Shiavo only say these things to this nurse and not when anyone else was around?   Etc., etc., etc.  The urban legend can never be traced to its original source with any verifiability, hence it's power.  It is merely launched into the press and moves from one source to another.  Weldon isn't so much lying in this case, but he has used information that is clearly not transparent or verifiable.  Otherwise, he would have been specific enough.  And if anyone had evidence that could show the things stated in the Weldon letter, well, the courts would have used them as a basis for putting the feed tube back.  Which didn't happen.
    •  Wingnut logic (4.00)
      Reading some of the wacko stuff around, their logic is that this nurse is right and the judge is conspiring to murder poor Terri.  I came across a blog today which accused the husband, all the judges, Congress and both Bushes of murder by allowing this to happen.  You will never be able to reason with people like this, however much you debunk the sources they are quoting.
      •  What the hell is next? (none)
        Don't answer that!

        The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

        by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:00:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I tend to agree (none)
        Some of these folks are really deep inside this "murder" argument.  It makes me nervous because you know--it's just a matter of time--before someone gets murdered for their role in the "murder" of Terri Schiavo.  

        I was just responding to the Weldon letter in the original post, but it does seem that it's that video of Shiavo that's had the most impact on just about everyone who supports the reinsertion of the feed tube.  They are all convinced--convinced--that they "see" her smiling and laughing and interacting.  

        •  Totally (4.00)
          THere was a good explanation on NPR last night or the night before which really clarified (for me) a number of issues about persistent vegatative state.  Unfortunately, having MDs like Frist making frivolous diagnoses based on watching the video doesn't exactly help things.
    •  Heard why it's not verifiable? (4.00)
      Iyer claims that her frequent copious notes about Terri Schiavo's verbalizing, etc., were always removed from Ms. Schiavo's clinical chart. She does not explain why she did not protest or initiate an investigation of this unethical, illegal activity when she found it taking place.
  •  It will never "come crashing down" (4.00)
    I think a large part of this is tied into the cult of celebrity.  

    We are used to recieving vast quantities of detailed but innacurate information about the lives of people in the news, whether it is Julia Roberts or George Bush, so much so that we feel we know them personally.

    "Do you feel that you have a personal connection to Terri Schiavo?"

    "Do you relate to her situation as if it were a member of your own family?"

    I bet if you asked these questions to most of the fundies "advocating" on her behalf, you would hear a resounding "yes".

    We all are encouraged to think we "know" the people in the news.  All the opinion polls, all the pundits, all the politicians who have watched the videotape.  They "know" Michael Schiavo was a bad husband.  They "know" Terri's parents are good people. They "know" that Terri laughs at jokes.

    Even us here at dkos.  We "know" that she would have wanted the tube pulled.  We "know" that she can't feel any pain.  We "know" that the parents are just having trouble saying goodbye.

    How many of us personalize the Schiavos?

    If someone told you your sister was stealing money from her work, would you still "know" she must have had a good reason, that she is a good person?  Even if the facts were that she was guilty and just using the money to buy shoes?

    We don't know.  But as long as the media keeps talking about strangers like they are our family, neither we nor the opposition will be able to consider "the facts" with impartiality.  

    Thanks god for decent judges, who have listened to the facts without trying to be someone's best friend.

    In the midst of winter I discovered there was in me an invincible summer - Camus

    by super ju on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:41:46 PM PST

  •  North Korea (none)
    This is THE major problem with Kim Jong Il in North Korea.  He's treated like a god, in his world he's the vanguard of the proletarian revolution and in Superman like fashion keeping the forces of imperialism and evil at bay.  There will come a time when either he, or more likely a few of his generals, realize that North Korea is a sad backwater and a throwback to an extinct form of government and the China cares more about it's relationship with the South than the North.  This is where the violence ensues.

    Some day, this large swath of the population, many at the pinnacles of power in the US, are going to realize that the only Armageddon we face is man made, and that the Earth revolves around the sun, and we have many many many more nukes than North Korea.

  •  I hope Florida Today responds to the letter (none)
    using exactly the quotes in this diary.

    The public wants what the public gets, but I don't get what this society wants -- Paul Weller

    by jamfan on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:42:53 PM PST

  •  well, norman bates had nice long talks (4.00)
    with his mom. didn't he?
    ree ree ree ree

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:42:55 PM PST

  •  As to what happens next,... (4.00)
    ...prophecy is the best place to look for that type of thing, except everybody gets the pertenent T.S.Elliot quote wrong ("This is the way the world ends...Not with a bang but a whimper"): I think it means they're near the wimpering stage - of the ending of their world.  

    At least I hope he's right about that; they have a lot of banging equipment and that possibility is incontemplatable.

    Ignorance is the art of ignoring (Bruce F. Cole)

    by nailbender on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:42:56 PM PST

  •  it has already begun (4.00)
    Democrats are being blamed for everything for everything that's wrong with the world.  I don't know if they will go as far as to start rounding us up and putting us in work camps, but that certainly doesn't sound as far fetched as it sounded, oh say 5 years ago.

    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!

    by MarkinNC on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:43:35 PM PST

  •  Supreme Court weighs in (4.00)
    Oh my gawwd, the Supreme Court judges have become ACTIVIST judges with their refusal to take Terri's case. What's a Bushie to do? Tra la.
    •  They just don't want to open a can of worms (4.00)
      If they do, Terri will live on for a while and sooner or later the SCOTUS will have to rule whether this midnight law is unconstitutional or not.

      They rather prefer to let the law die along with Terri.

  •  Change the frame (4.00)

    Good overview at Wikipedia

    Basically you reframe the new "facts" in a way that allows your original view to remain consistent. You can also avoid any sources of information that might challenge your views.
    The article includes some nice stuff on how this plays out in conspiracy theories.

    In the current example, you rustle up all the possible "experts" such as a nurse who directly cared for the patient, a Nobel Prize winning neurologist, etc. who can bolster your "factual" viewpoint. You don't read or listen to  what the husband, the GAL, or numerous court decisions have to say. If, despite your avoidance, you get your nose rubbed in the alternate facts you cook up an explanation - left leaning activist judiciary, baby killing liberals, etc.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:44:02 PM PST

  •  What happens? (4.00)
    The alternate reality theory has some  interesting aspects, and certainly for many of the rabid right wingers I am sure that they are in fact living in an unreal world. In the case of this woman, however, I think it is simply a matter of being willing to lie like a trooper to get what she thinks is right. What she thinks is right may be part of an unreal world, but I think she knows perfectly well that she is lying and believes that the end justifies the means. The end never justifies the means, but that is a moral concept that is beyond her. I just hope this mightmare for the Shiavos (Terri and her husband)is finally over.
  •  It starts becoming reality (4.00)
    This is the new world we live in here in America.  There are no facts.  You can make your own these days.  The media has completely left the building as far as informing America.

    So her story becomes the truth to many people who want to believe, even when confronted by mountains of evidence to the contrary.

    They're casting doubt on evolution -- anything is possible.

  •  For the love of Pete... (3.80)
    Can we PLEASE get this rube and the judge on a talk show somewhere?

    I'd love to hear him explain why the Schindlers never used this 'expert' testimony.

  •  The brain is actually very good (4.00)
    at believing two contradictory things at the same time.  After all, it is not a product of Intelligent Design. There may be an evolutionary advantage to being able to live with cognitive dissonance.  

    Funnily enough, the left hemisphere (the supposedly "logical" half) is even better at this than the right.  It tries to see patterns, even when they aren't there.  There is a famous experiment where you present people with random stimuli that are 80% one thing and 20% the other, say 80% red and 20% blue.  You have to guess which one is coming next.  The logical strategy is to guess red all the time, and you score 80%.  If stimuli are presented to the hemisphere, that is what you do.  But if you present them to the left hemisphere, your brain keeps trying to guess, to see the pattern.  But there isn't one, so it gets a lower score.

    Sadly, I think Terri's parents have managed to see a pattern in Terri's random responses that isn't there.  Maybe the nurse did too, and with hindsight is elaborating and interpreting.  Memory is also largely constructed.

    Or maybe it is just lies.

  •  Carla Iyer.... (4.00)
    I saw this crazy woman on TV spreading her lies and slander again Terri and Michael Schiavo...If indeed Terri was chatting up a storm and laughing and talking...My one question is....Why didn't these people who claim that Terri was talking and laughing ask her if she wanted to stay alive or die? Why didn't they have her tell them her wishes if they didn't trust what her husband was telling them? This woman is a crackpot and just furthers our cause that all of these people (Bush Brothers, Delay, Frist et al) are not living in a reality based world. I hope Michael seeks damages.

    *We live in a Nation of LAWS* 11th Circuit

    by Chamonix on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:47:37 PM PST

  •  Here's the question I would love to hear (4.00)
    asked of Bush, or Frist, or any of 'em..

    Do you think that Michael Schiavo's malpractice lawsuit on behalf of Terri which has paid for her medical care all these years was a frivolous one?  

    Is it the kind of lawsuit you would like to see banned or capped in your malpractice reform legistlation?

    I'm mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take this anymore!

    by MarkinNC on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:48:15 PM PST

    •  Very Good Point (4.00)
      And now the Republicans have actually passed into law something which would likely have casued Terri's feeding tube be removed even before Michael had accepted her condition.

      But the Freaks don't care.  They don't even care that Frist knowing allowed "Terri's Law" to be passed without any guarantee that her life support would be re-enstated, as the 11th circuit pointed out.  But they don't care - they insist that First and Delay are doing "everything possible" to save Terri - it's just those damn activist judges and the damn democrats, and all those gays and abortionists.

      You know, if it wasn't for all the people that disagree with me, the world woud be perfect.  

      When all else fails...panic

      by David in Burbank on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:17:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Follow-up question (none) a great opener.  If the wingnut caves, you've won--they've just admitted the hollowness of their arguments about "frivolous lawsuits" and medical malpractice "reform."

      If they value enriching insurance companies and demonizing lawyers above recognizing that there is a place for redress of deficient or reckless medical care in society, ask them this:

      "Do you favor cutting the budget for Medicaid, which pays for some of Terri Schiavo's medical treatment?"

  •  What happens? Look at the civil rights movement.. (none)
    when Southerners, for the most part, eventually accepted what they'd known, but denied all along -- that black people had feelings, families, culture, and intelligence.  Giving blacks "rights" didn't mean the end of the world as they knew it. Race relations are probably better today in Louisiana than in Indiana.  

    Of course, this didn't apply to everyone -- there is still a tiny minority of adamant white racists, but their views are considered far from the mainstream.  


  •  What they believe IS REAL (4.00)
    regardless of its reality to us.  

    There was a "russian" mystic by the name of Georges Ivanovitch Gurdjieff who taught that humans are "theory" manufactures, they construct a theory about something - life, meaning, people, events - and the diligently seek out all that support their theories while not noticing or rejecting those that contradict the theories they have created.

    A book my PD Ouspensky which provides details on Gurdjieff's teaching can be found here -  The Fourth Way

    There is also a web site regarding Gurdjieff's teaching but I don't have the link.

    •  You get a 4 (none)
      For mentioning Gurdjieff, but for anyone seriously seeking an answer to the question posed by DavidNYC, a better book from Ouspensky would be Tertium Organum, and a more accessible source for Gurdjieff's ideas would either be something by John Bennett or else Maurice Nicoll's Psycological Commentaries.

      Gurdjieff classified undeveloped humans into four types, the tramp, the lunatic, and the householder, with the former two being the unbalanced types. There is a fourth type, the hassnamuss. Readers of this blog would best understand the hassnamuss by being told that George W. Bush is a classic Hassnamuss.

      The people clamoring for the re-insertion of the feeding tube would be "lunatics" in Gurdjieff's original parlance, but I think it is Nicoll who adopts the term "stupid saint."

      In any event, anyone reading this thread would not be able to digest Gurdjieff's body of work in the time it would take for this situation to unfold, but it is highly worthwhile reading.

      And BTW, Gurdjieff was Greek / Armenian. Ouspensky was Russian.

  •  This shrink's 2 cents. (4.00)
    My answer would be that Denial shields people from facing the pain and anguish. It can mask true feelings and tends to ignore reality.
    Just like people mask their feelings with drugs and alcohol to avoid feeling pain and sadness, so do people steeped in denial. As once that denial is gone, they will have to deal with tough, strong, feelings of sadness, grief, and anguish. They will have to go through the grieving process. As painful as it is, people have to let go and face feelings head on instead of running from them.

    It is always easier to repress and deny feelings than to face them. After all, no one wants to feel pain and sadness. But they are feelings we will all experience and emotionally healthy people know good and bad feelings are part of life and do not avoid or proscrastinate facing them.

    Some of my patients seldom cried or experienced emotional sadness and pain while in denial or addiction. When they begin to face their feelings, it is truly devastating. But then there is remarkable progress made after that.

    We choose hope over despair; possibilities over problems, optimism over cynicism.-John Edwards

    by wishingwell on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 01:50:38 PM PST

  •  A better question is (4.00)
    What happens next?  We progressives must start planning for how we want to rebuild the wreck of a country the Christo-fascists leave behind.  If we think this through now, we'll be in a position to act swiftly and effectively to reconstruct a just and decent America when the time comes.
  •  asdf (4.00)
    "So my question (aimed especially at students of human psychology, but of course open to all) is this: What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality? What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear? Perhaps these walls will never come crashing down, but I believe they will, some day. So again I ask, what happens then?

    Good question.  However, more fully, I've got a friend who is a politically active psychiatrist (and on-line gamer).  We've talked about these things from a general (non-patient) perspective a few times.  

    His experience is when the dissonance between the belief and reality becomes great enough, all hell breaks loose.  Many of them commit suicide because they loose all certainty in their world.  Others have psychotic breaks with reality in order to create a delusional place of certainty.  

    Others completely and utterly loose thier religious faith and frequently start engaging in self-destructive behaviors.  Others end up in cults to further insulate themselves from this dissonance.

    Many of them end up in therapy and it takes them years and years to get better.  And my friend, of course, makes a lot of money prescribing medications and seeing them for meds follow-ups and/or therapy.

    In any case, it is NOT a pretty picture from a psychological standpoint.

  •  Ahh, Brevard County... (none)
    I went to high school there, and my parents still live there.  A veritable bastion-o-wingnuttery!
  •  Ultimate Truth (4.00)
    I'm no psych major, but I've witnessed in individuals the psychosis that pervades the right-wing as a group.  For this exercise, we'll refer to them as "the subject".

    The subject starts with grasping for what it wants, with disregard for the consequences.

    If things get in the way of the subject obtaining what it wants, it blames/condemns/damns those things for denying it what it says is its due based upon an inward belief that it is entitled to what it wants by its mere existence. (See Manifest Destiny)

    Upon obtaining what it wants, the subject evokes the name of God or some other divine/quasi-divine providence as providing it with what it sought.

    When things start to fall apart, the subject first calls for more time, even if the subject moved hastily to obtain what it wanted in the first place.

    As matters continue to crumble, the subject lashes out at those who would point out the obvious, calling them greedy, saboteurs, or accusing them of not understanding the subject's real motivation in doing what it did.  The subject's "rationale" will mutate as needed.

    The subject sets up a me vs. them (or will evoke the name of near-invisible "allies" to add legitimacy through an us vs. them) situation, wherein the subject is the ultimate arbiter because subject, as was mentioned above, is divinely blessed.

    When the situation becomes untenable, the subject will seek to withdraw, either by foisting the responsibility for the situation upon the object which it first sought to possess, or by blaming the "naysayers" for undermining the subject's efforts and/or pinning the "naysayers" with the very terms and actions which the subject used and took to cause the problem in the first place.


    Now, I don't think this psychois is possessed by ALL of the right-wing.  There are those right-wingers who are motivated simply by greed, and who are good at manipulating the rest of their bretheren by first giving them the above psychosis and then manipulating it.

    As many have noted, the Schiavo case has been a smokescreen to distract from Delay's ethics problems.  I submit that MOST of the right-wing's most visible causes, including the pro-life movement and the fundamentalist movement, are a smokescreen.  The manipulators of the right-wing have manipulated the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party into the limelight.  Those who REALLY control the Republican Party don't care about abortion or about undermining gun control laws or about Janet Jackson's boob.

    The real power-holders in the right-wing care only about themselves, and getting more power and money.  The Republican Party's real motivation is creating a paradise for the wealthiest citizens of this country, at the expense of everyone else, including the other members of its party.

    Unfortunately, that story's not as sexy as the story that the Republicans want to create a moral, theocratic state.

    So, really, in the end, you have a good portion of the right-wing movement who really AREN'T existing in reality.  Their reality is actually a scenario created for them by the Republican Party's true powers-that-be.

  •  What The Thinker Thinks ... (4.00)
    ... The Prover Proves.

    That's how Robert Anton Wilson described the two sides of the brain.

    I believe everyone has a distinct "reality tunnel" .... no two are exactly alike.  

    Fundamentalist christian for example, particularly the extreme taliban like ones, have been indoctrinated to believe that they must try and convert every non-believer they come across.  It is what they are "taught" by their "preacher".

    To not do this would go against "Jesus" and that is simply not an option for these people, because they "know" that on judgement day, all non-believers will be evicerated, scalped, decapitaded, etc., etc. by the "Lord."

    Thank you Jesus!

    So, if a "reality based" human bumps up against one of those "faith based" fanatical automotons, I recommend you say the following to the non-thinker ... also courtesy of Robert Anton Wilson

    "Convictions cause convicts ... because you are a prisoner of your own beliefs.

    rok for dean


    •  A 4 for you! (none)
      For the Robert Anton Wilson mention.  
      That man is a genius.
      I wish the Guns n' Dope party would have gotten more press during the California recall.
      He would have made a great Governor.
  •  Enough (none)
    Why are we still talking about this? As long as we putting all our time and energy and outrage into this instead of, for example, why so many Americans can't get decent health care at all - never mind a feeding tube - then the noise machine is winning.
    •  It is their Waterloo (none)
      And the beginning of the end for the wingnuts - it is in our and the country's interest to keep this discussion and a reasoned analysis of what is going on to keep talking about it.

      Would I like other lies and deceptions to be the issue? Of course. But one must deal with the hand that is dealt. Once progressives start understanding that, we are on the way to winning the overall argument.

    •  Fanatics don't fade away (4.00)
      We can't ignore the religious fanatics in our midst. We have to expose them for what they are ...

      opposed to an open society
      opposed to government of, by and for the people
      opposed to choice
      opposed to diversity
      opposed to science (unless it helps build better nukes)
      opposed to evolution

      We can't ignore the religious fanatics because they multiply quickly and they vote.

      We Ignore them at our own peril.

      For me, I think we should treat them like the aliens treated the"unconverted" earthlings in the remake of Invasion of the Body Snathchers ...

      Point them out where ever they are and scream our bloody heads off!

      rok for dean  

  •  What happens next? (4.00)
    What is that book they all claim to read, and mis-quote, and quote out of context, and study in groups, and is contradictory, and weirdly translated, and found in motel rooms, and contains teachings of the President's favorite political philosopher?

    The one upon whose myriad covers hands of liars have paused while promising to remain true to the idea that all persons should be treated equally under law and custom.

    Isn't the answer in the back of that book, after the part outlining the intellegent design of the Constitution, but before the chapter on recipes for apple pie and other desserts?

  •  Tina And Glen (none)
    When Worlds Collide, I'll see you again.
    When Worlds Collide, Tina and Glen

         -- Thin White Rope

  •  Be well armed and alert (4.00)
    We also must be forgiving of the less poisoned of the kool aid kollective.  We must re-frame the minds of those who seek redemption.
  •  Just curious: (4.00)
    Am I the only person who feels that Ms. Schivao's feeding tube would have been removed w/o all of this nonsense, had she lived in another state?

    Is anyone else wondering??

    The only second term dubya deserves is 20 to life!

    by Street Kid on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:02:48 PM PST

  •  To answer your question... (4.00)
    "What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality?"

    I'm not a psychologist...but I'll tell you what I think based on what I see...

    They sensory overload and start abortion clinics, doctors, judges...whoever the perceived oppressor is.

  •  What happens? (none)
    How could you forget:


    "....a relative newbie (user ID in the 18,000 range).. "

    by Miss Devore on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:04:10 PM PST

  •  Dry drunks (4.00)
    Alcoholics who quit drinking but continue destructive behavior are called dry drunks. There was a thread about a year ago on Bush as a dry drunk. There is a psychological need for delusion. I'm not a Psychologist but I'm sure they have explanations of the need to block out unpleasant truths and replace them with pleasing delusions.

    How nice to believe God chose you to save America. How nice to believe everyone we don't like will soon be defeated for eternity. How nice to believe we can be ignorant of science but Jesus will choose the obedient over the educated. How nice to believe the answer to every problem can be looked up in the Bible.

    Truth may set you free but truth is often frightening and harsh. Escaping truth is a chronic human weakness. People escape truth with alcohol, heroin, and mental illness. People also escape the truth with ideology and religious zealotry.

    When Bush was young he escaped truth with alcohol and cocaine and it made him a wastrel. Now he escapes truth in a way that resonates with all the zealots and he's ruling the world.

    What happens when truth intrudes on your delusion? Simply find a new delusion.

  •  You're more hopeful than me (4.00)
    I despair that the walls will ever come down - it seems to me that modern technology increasingly enables us to gravitate toward the people who believe what we believe, and to block out others who don't.  So the people who think that Terri Schiavo is just mildly brain damaged can just keep watching Fox, keep reading right-wing blogs, watching Joe Scarborough but flipping off Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

    They think they know reality and we think we know reality and we rarely meet anymore to agree on anything.  

    It really frightens me...this ability to create out own reality and organize ourselves around it.  Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion in my mind because it seems so acute because of Terri Schiavo...but I despair for common ground.  As a former public school teacher, I used to think that at least schools were where we could all come together, but as the public school system gets dismantled in favor of "choice", vouchers, subsidies for private schools and homeschooling, and our school systems are choked for funding and maligned by a testing system that is set up for failure, I think even that last version of the "commons" will soon be gone.

    Ugh.  I think I need to step away from the computer -- this is too depressing!

    •  I totally agree. (4.00)
      With narrow casting and the ability of this zealous minority to weed out what they consider to be anti-moral or scientific teachings from poplular culture, museums, primary, secondary eduation and university settings, there will be less opportunity for "reality" to be disseminated.  If you include their ability to shut down pure research, the ability to sue, stifle freedom of information inquiries, and co-opt most media, they never have to  suffer from coginitive dissonance.  It gets easier all the time for them to accuse us of being in denial.
  •  Leon Festinger's WHEN PROPHECY FAILS (4.00)
    is the classic book that answers your question.  (An earlier comment alluded to it, though not by title or author.)  It tells the story of a flying-saucer cult whose leader predicted the end of the world on a particular date.  The group gathered on a hill to be taken into the heavens by the saucers before the apocalypse struck.  Of course, nothing happened.  What Festinger then found (having infiltrated the group in order to study them) is that, while some members left the group, the belief of others in the prophecy BECAME ALL THE STRONGER.  They made up various reasons why the world hadn't ended, chief among them that their own prayers and devotion had averted the cataclysm. . . which meant it was even more important for them to continue to be faithful in the future.

    Moral: Don't hold your breath waiting for these people to recognize the error of their ways.

    by KWeberLit on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:05:44 PM PST

  •  You have too much faith in cognitive dissonance (4.00)
    People can stay in denial for the duration of their lives. Lives aren't that long.

    --- Physicians for a National Health Program

    by tiggers thotful spot on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:10:31 PM PST

  •  I think they will turn on, tune in, and drop out (4.00)
    But too bad they likely won't end up travelling around the country rather harmlessly like this (Ken Kesey's Acid tests), holding harmless 'right-wing hippy' country rock festivals

    I think that it's more likely that they will likely end up like this

    Reality is just... a point of view - Philip K. Dick; Beautiful thing, the destruction of words. (from Orwell's 1984)

    by LionelEHutz on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:11:19 PM PST

    •  yup (4.00)
      1. reachable rational republicans will be shocked into awareness that their party has been hijacked by whackjobs, and will either bail on the party or take it back. potential for R losses in 2006.

      2. unreachable will see satanic conspiracy in all facts/legal judgements/less-than-glowing media coverage/political losses, and will start resorting to force, quite possibly lethal.

      this has the potential to get very, very ugly.
  •  wouldn't Iyer's statement be pretty easy to (none)
    disprove? Just ask the Schindler's if they knew about this. Or ask the other nurses. There had to be other witnesses if this really happened.

    This "nurse" should be prosecuted for perjury.

    •  I've seen this on LiveJournal.... (none)
      This person claims to have been the Director of Food Services and has met Terri Schivao.

      His opinion when he met her:

      she is about as aware as the average zucchini.

      No independant motor function, not even the focusing of eyes. She can breathe and her heart beats on its own. That is it. She doesn't respond to stimulus. She doesn't look at lights, she doesn't blink, she doesn't flinch, she doesn't talk, she doesn't move ANY part of her body with any sort of obvious voluntary motion, and doesn't respond to pain stimulus. She does occasionally make random grunting sounds at random times, which her parents delusionally regard as attempts to communicate.

      I probably believe this guy more than Iyer.

      Amateurs talk strategery, professionals talk logistics

      by Young Freud on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 04:51:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  wwjd? (3.75)

    "I am way too busy to miracle Terri's brain back into her head, so I order all my worshippers to attack Michael Schiavo and all the doctors and judges who agree with him."

    --- Reality-based since 1965

    by grytpype on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:14:41 PM PST

  •  Another example of alternate reality... (4.00)
    How Quickly They Turn

    Claiming that Schiavo is responsive and such one minute, and then calling Jeb "as brain-dead as Terri" the next for refusing to save her? (Click on the link and see the pic)

    What did I say a couple of days ago about watching Bizarro-World?

    Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die. - Pierre Trudeau

    by tribe34 on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:15:29 PM PST

  •  Meme time (none)
    First thing that popped into my head (and it may have been repeated by one of the 125+ responders herein I haven't read yet)was:

    "Out of touch with reality"

    I was just thinking that that phrase not only applies here, but would make one harken back to Propagannon as well.  A sort of twofer.

    Proverb: War does not determine who is right, war determines who is left.

    by kfred on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:18:14 PM PST

  •  Is there anyone in America (none)
    who is too insane, too idiotic to be elected to the House of Representitives?

    Strengthen what remains

    by litero on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:19:08 PM PST

  •  what will happen (4.00)
    let see it will just be added to the list

    1. Bill and Hillary Clinton were behind Whitewater corruption.
    2. Bill and Hillary Clinton may have murder Vince Foster.
    3. Bill Clinton was liar but GWB is man of faith and integrity.
    4. Al Gore wouldn't have won Florida even if they counted all the votes
    5. John Kerry really didn't deserve medals.
    6. Dan Rather tried to swing election for Kerry by promoting story with false memos.

    shall i go on?? the point is that in faith based world - believing these lies prove that.. . The media has liberal bias.

    the point is

  •  corrections (4.00)
    The conspiracy to withhold the truth is even more sinister.  The judge is quoted as saying "15 months" but in fact it's been going on for 15 years!  Look for the whole incredible story at your checkout stand.  This being America you can choose which "truth" to believe: the one in the National Enquirer, or the one in the World Week Review.  

    In the meantime, join in the campaign to petition the Florida legislature to adopt as the official motto: Florida: the Persistent Vegetative State.

    Katherine Harris has been meeting with Karl Rove in the White House.  Will the payoffs never end?  Don't be surprised if she's on a feeding tube by sundown.    

  •  bury (none)
    Once the goopers get wind of how disastrous the Schiavo-rama has been to their cause, they will make valiant attempts to bury this Schiavo-futbol...more likely, ... attempt to bury the Schiavo-hatchet into the Democrats back!

    No more gooper LITE!

    by krwada on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:23:23 PM PST

  •  15 muinutes of fame (none)
    This is about this creep wanting her face on TV.  End of Story... truth does not figure into her motivation.
  •  Simple solution: (none)
    just leave a couple of slices of pizza and an ice cold Fresca on her nightstand. If she's hungry she can have a gnosh. Seriuosly though, this nurse is not the first liar that this administration and it's bobble-headed followers have utilized. And it won't be the last. BTW, I was just noticing how chipper my house-plant is today!

    Why does everybody think I'm paranoid?

  •  Your final question (none)
    "So again I ask, what happens then? "

    Well, hopefully their heads explode in slow motion, like in "SCANNERS." And I get the whole thing on home video.

    "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

    by RabidNation on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:26:49 PM PST

  •  Christianity is the ultimate practice... (none)
    To be a Christian is to believe that a dead man is not only not a dead man... he is more alive than a mere human being ever was alive.

    To be a Christian is to live in a social world that reinforces this rational impossibility.

    To be a Christian is to be so practiced in the art of believing the rationally impossible that a little detail like the absence of evidence can simply not trouble your mind.... particularly when the evidence involves the very issues at the center of the foundation of your faith.... is he alive or is he dead?

    For Christians the Schiavo events play into the central drama of their faith... so the ruts of self deception are worn particularly deep.... that which appears to be dead is not dead is a deep trope of their inner lives.

    Of course Monty Python may have gotten to the heart of the matter better in their famous Parrot skit, "He's not dead, he's just sleeping"

    Customer: Now that's what I call a dead parrot.
    Owner: No, no.....No, 'e's stunned!
    Customer: STUNNED?!?
    Owner: Yeah! You stunned him, just as he was wakin' up! Norwegian Blues
    stun easily, major.
    Customer: look, mate, I've definitely 'ad enough of this.
    That parrot is definitely deceased, and when I purchased it not 'alf an hour
    ago, you assured me that its total lack of movement was due to it bein'
    tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk.
    Owner: Well, he's...he's, ah...probably pining for the fjords.
    Customer: PININ' for the FJORDS?!?!?!? What kind of talk is that?, look, why
    did he fall flat on his back the moment I got 'im home?
    Owner: The Norwegian Blue prefers kippin' on it's back! Remarkable bird, id'nit,
    squire? Lovely plumage!
    Customer: Look, I took the liberty of examining that parrot when I got it home,
    and I discovered the only reason that it had been sitting on its perch in
    the first place was that it had been NAILED there.


    Owner: Well, o'course it was nailed there! If I hadn't nailed that bird down,
    it would have nuzzled up to those bars, bent 'em apart with its beak, and
    VOOM! Feeweeweewee!
    Customer: "VOOM"?!? Mate, this bird wouldn't "voom" if you put four million volts
    through it! 'E's bleedin' demised!
    Owner: No no! 'E's pining!
    Customer: 'E's not pinin'! 'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased
    to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft
    of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be
    pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off
    the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run
    down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!!


    Not to make light of Terry Shiavo, but certainly to make light of the moral terrorists who are in power in the United States and their friends pleading to keep a human shell alive when the human being herself is no more.

    •  Stop associating the Christian religious right... (none)
      ...with all other Christians and what they believe.. there are some very rational Christians out there (I like to include myself in that group) who think the Christian Religious Right's views on Christianity are to be frank.. nuts.

      Painting the rest of the Christian religion as being the same as them is creating a stereotype not accurate

      Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die. - Pierre Trudeau

      by tribe34 on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:46:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why? (none)
        Why don't you "real Christians" insist that the media start portraying the religious right as the false pretenders they are? Where are the large Christian protests in favor of abortion rights (which Jesus would certainly favor - he wasn't for multiplying the misery of the poor or anyone else)? Where are the loud denunciations of every misuse of Jesus' name? Where are the frank appraisals of the right wing preachers as evil, as walking with Satan? Damn it, tribe, if you'd defend your faith, go bear witness against those who are completely debasing it. That you can't bring yourselves to point directly at evil and Satan and name it plainly, even when, as in a certain presidential debate, a certain candidate's face is visibly overcome by demons ... where is that? Did Christ fear to call out demons by name?
        •  Cdn Christians have nil influence in US politics (none)
          ...We do our best up here though to keep our own nutters at bay. :)

          Quite frankly.. its not up to us up here to rail against the US religious right... all we can do is make sure they dont get a foothold up here.

          Our hopes are high. Our faith in the people is great. Our courage is strong. And our dreams for this beautiful country will never die. - Pierre Trudeau

          by tribe34 on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:48:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  dead parrot sketch meets Schiavo... (none)
      ...there's a Sundance winner in there somewhere.

      "They are not in heaven because they fuck the wives of Ely."

      by RabidNation on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:49:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Again I am blown away ... (4.00)
    ... by the naivete I see here in the blogspace I love so much.

    When are some people going to get it?  Facts and truth do not matter to these new centurians.  The only thing that matters to them is outcomes.  Ends justify means.  

    It's not a war of ideas.  Not a war of information.  Not a war even of opinions or ideologies.  It's a war of outcomes.  Whatever it takes.  The end will justify the means.  Always, one hundred percent of the time.  Iraq, Schiavo, Social Security, energy policy, global warming ... the actual issue does not even matter.

    No point in wringing hands over facts and "mendacity". This is a pure power struggle, not a contest of ideas.  Ideas and facts are of no concern.  Call something black today, and white tomorrow.  If that gets the job done, then nobody will care in the end.

    Until the true nature of this battle is understood, those who do not understand it are at a deep and long-lasting disadvantage.

    I don't always know what I don't know, but at least I know that I don't always know it.

    by ppgooding on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:27:58 PM PST

    •  point of motivations (none)
      I think you're simplifying the matter. No one wants just an outcome, for the sake of outcomes. No one is motivated to do something just for the sake of winning. There has to be a purpose for the struggle. It's a matter of understanding the desires behind the intention of winning: some people want fame, or fortune, or power. And for the pathological religious extremists, it's something about conversion and racking up points for their entry into Heaven, or something like that.

      Some of these extremists want personal validation for their lunacy. Extremists like the Bushs and Delay and Frist want power, or fortune, or fame. The don't feel validated until they feel successful in attaining one of these sorts of goals. And for some, having attained a level of success in one of these areas, is only a step toward gaining even more power, or fame, or fortune, or points toward entry in Heaven.

      The worst part of the pathological nature of these government figures is that no matter how many successes they can attain, at whatever cost to the rest of society, it's never going to be enough. They will never feel truly validated within themselves, at least not while their voracious appetites continue to be fed. Unfortunately, the religious extremists feed off of the successes of Bush and Co, and vice versa. It's a bad codependent kind of situation, and I don't think it can be fixed unless the metaphorical blood supply is cut off to one or both sides, and the other dies of attrition.

      •  Well ... it's a power struggle (none)
        "I think you're simplifying the matter. No one wants just an outcome, for the sake of outcomes. No one is motivated to do something just for the sake of winning. There has to be a purpose for the struggle."

        I present to you Karl Rove.  To him, to the Bushes, winning and power (and, as somebody mentioned in this thread, money) are the objectives.  The means are just the exigencies one must deal with to get there.

        The ends-justify-means mindset trickles down to the power base.  I saw a pic yesterday of a woman holding a sign outside the Schiavo hospice.  "Save Terri" or some such nonsense.  What made the pic interesting:  The woman was grinning like she had just won the shopping spree at Safeway.  These people don't care about anything except getting their way.  They certainly don't care about the Schiavos, or Terri, with smiles like that.  Which means they don't give a flying you know what about life, either.  It's about winning.  

        Lies?  Spin?  Fabrications?  Minor details.  Nobody will remember the details, they'll only remember how the game turned out.  

        The only thing the "reality based" approach gets is the admiration of people who are in touch with reality.  If winning trumps reality, then facts and logic are also trumped.  The Roves of the world know this, which is why they can glibly manufacture bullshit and keep a straight face.

        Do you think Tom DeLay worries about the facts of this case?  That Rush Limbaugh does?  Why not?  because those things don't matter.

        I don't always know what I don't know, but at least I know that I don't always know it.

        by ppgooding on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 07:33:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (none)
      When are some people going to get it?  Facts and truth do not matter to these new centurians.  The only thing that matters to them is outcomes.  Ends justify means.

      Of course I understand and know this. As I mentioned in a comment buried way upthread, I should have been more careful to divide between two groups: Those who use any means necessary (including, of course, lies) to propagate their power, and the ordinary citizens who support them.

      The former group lies and knows it. The latter group believes the lies because they are told it is truth. But sometimes, the latter group is forcibly exposed to truths which the former group cannot prevent them from being exposed to.

      What happens in that scenario - not to the lying power-brokers, but to the lie-receiving citizens - is what I'm curious about.

  •  This woman (none)
    is a disgrace to the nursing profession, male and female, does she have the disposition and integrity to be nursing the sick, probably not.
    PS - Check her bank account for any recent deposits, maybe thats the origin of her story.
  •  They believe what they want and ignore the rest (none)
    When this story first broke - before I was barraged by a constant, convoluted and torturous media stream -  I was curious about how this poor women came to be in this state.  It took a bit of searching and as the chaos ensues, I become more and more amazed at how everyone seems to dance around the facts explaining HOW Terri ended up in this situation? If it is true that:

    Schiavo collapsed in her home in St. Petersburg, resulting in irreversible brain damage from a lack of oxygen. According to her discharge summary from Humana Hospital,Schiavo suffered cardiac arrest and anoxic brain damage, accompanied by hypokalemia (an abnormally low blood level of potassium), seizures, respiratory failure, and an injured knee from the fall. The cause of her cardiac arrest was undetermined, but the low potassium was suspected.

    At a medical malpractice trial in 1992, a jury concluded that Schiavo suffered from bulimia, which caused her chemical imbalance and subsequent cardiac arrest. Florida's Second District Court upheld the finding that Schiavo suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of a potassium imbalance.

    then, why is this history not considered when trying to ascertain what TS would have wanted for herself?  These crazy people believe all sorts of bizarre and impossible information and conveniently ignore the rest.  This is such a BUSH tactic, all the hand waving, outright lying and sweeping of the unsavory under the carpet.  

    If Ms. Shiavo did in fact tragically cause her own horrendous state, why aren't there more questions about Terri's self-image and the part it played in her Bulimia? Assuming she had the typically skewed view of "self" associated with Bulimics; I would suspect she'd be appalled to be maintained in this current state and paraded for everyone else's shameful purposes. While I'm not saying this is a correct or healthy self image - it doesn't seem too far fetched to believe that she expressed the wishes her husband maintains she shared with him. It seems ironic to me that her self imposed starvation caused this situation and now others refuse to do what she willingly did to herself.

    Also, why aren't the dangers of bulimia being illustrated through this case?  

    •  IT's sad to see so many people (none)
      going nuts really is.

      why hasn't anyone here mentioned the Texas euthenasia law that W. signed back in '99?

      Someone may have but I can't find it.

  •  Excellent point MarkinNC!!!!!!!!!! (none)
    MarkinNC made a great point...let's ask Bush this:

    "Do you think that Michael Schiavo's malpractice lawsuit on behalf of Terri which has paid for her medical care all these years was a frivolous one?  

    Is it the kind of lawsuit you would like to see banned or capped in your malpractice reform legistlation?

    by MarkinNC "

    the hypocrisy should be so easy to expose...

  •  More good stuff from Atrios (none)
    From the mouth of Bill Frist:
    "I find it opportunistic to use the death of someone like Christopher Reeve -- I think it is shameful -- in order to mislead the American people," Frist said. "We should be offering people hope, but neither physicians, scientists, public servants or trial lawyers like John Edwards should be offering hype.

    "It is cruel to people who have disabilities and chronic diseases, and, on top of that, it's dishonest. It's giving false hope to people, and I can tell you as a physician who's treated scores of thousands of patients that you don't give them false hope."

    How do you get a URL for an Atrios article?

  •  Reality (none)
    Reality is what refuses to go away when you stop believing in it.
  •  What happens? (none)



    IOW, lots and lots of deaths.

    Rubus Eradicandus Est.

    by Randomfactor on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:48:15 PM PST

  •  My home town (none)
    Here in Vermont, in a town and village I shouldn't name (cough, Rockingham, Bellows Falls) there's a nucleous of a paranoid, delusional crew that has taken control of the village trustees, and which is currently fairly successful in gaining converts to their view that the town selectboard is out to get the village, on some agenda much hinted at by the village paranoid crew but never logically explicated. (The village is an incorporated entity within the town.)

    What's fascinating to me, from an amateur standpoint in social psychology, and with some slight background in participant-observer anthropological techniques, is how similar in techniques and tone this small-yet-growing paranoid nucleus is to the National Socialist or, em, I meant to say National Republican modus. And I don't even know that the village paranoids are Republicans (certainly aren't socialists of any variety).

    I've been trying to find ways to break the delusion of a few of them - they aren't entirely bad nor stupid people - but anything I can do in that regards seems to mostly feed it. Agreement feeds it; disagreement feeds it. What to do? Ignore it and it festers too, once folks like this have in hand any levers of power.

    •  my own rough interpretation (none)
      of what one of my teachers said on this - in extreme cases, nothing will break through, they'll fall apart when the delusional world is challenged. moderately healthy individuals, however, begin to question their framework when they experience suffering -  we know and hear of  people who see things differently after the loss of a loved one, new financial hardships, etc [the mother of the soldier in Fahrenheit 9/11].. well that's my thought. and unfortunately for those who want to avoid the reality based community,  avoiding it doesn't make the problems go away. if they're not responding to rational argument, try to connect in another way

      hope is on the way!

      by Errol on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:01:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's their way out (none)
    Almost 200 comments, but nobody seems to point out what seems obvious to me --- when/if the facts come clear about the case, this gives them ample room to backpedal:
    "Our congressional actions was based on the information that she may not have been in a persistent vegetative state.  We acted only to prevent the possibility of a terrible error.  

    So, nevermind everybody about all those negative opinions of our meddling.  If we had only known for sure that she was really anencephalic, we would never have gotten involved.  We were misled by the intelligence."

    It's apparently working for WMDs (1500+ dead, $300 billion later; it's the CIA's fault, they misled us!), and gay male escorts in the press pool (he fooled us, we didn't know!), why not for one more stupid political grandstanding event.

    Bush has pushed a culture of anti-intellectualism from the moment he took office -- "we're just a bunch of idiots running the country, you can't hold us accountable for anything" -- and he's been reaping the benefits ever since.

  •  The recognition of cognitive dissonance (none) the personality presupposes the sudden onset of ability to distinguish equally between reality and fantasy.  The mind in question must actually recognize an opposing fact that conflicts with a previously held view of reality as having validity.  If the fact in conflict with the existing world view is not recognized as such, cognitive dissonance cannot occur.

    The ability for the mind to simultaneously accomodate two seemingly opposing facts is well known.  When presented with physical evidence of the atrocities that occurred in the Auschwitz concentration camp, many of the townspeople of the surrounding area were still able to categorically deny their existence, even after being forced by Allied troops to view prisoner remains.

    The conclusion one can draw from this is that if a belief system is adhered to with sufficient commitment, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it is quite possible for the mind to "gloss over" facts that do not mesh with that belief.  Given that the degree of severity of the factual dissonance we are considering is much less appalling than that presented to the people of Germany in WWII, it is doubtful that any dedicated wingnut is likely to allow said facts to impinge on their tiny, tiny liitle brains.

    In other words, don't hold your breath.

  •  The recognition of cognitive dissonance (none) the personality presupposes the sudden onset of ability to distinguish equally between reality and fantasy.  The mind in question must actually recognize an opposing fact, that conflicts with a previously held view of reality, as having validity.  If the fact in conflict with the existing world view is not recognized as such, cognitive dissonance cannot occur.

    The ability for the mind to simultaneously accomodate two seemingly opposing facts is well known.  When presented with physical evidence of the atrocities that occurred in the Auschwitz concentration camp, many of the townspeople of the surrounding area were still able to categorically deny their existence, even after being forced by Allied troops to view prisoner remains.

    The conclusion one can draw from this is that if a belief system is adhered to with sufficient commitment, even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, it is quite possible for the mind to "gloss over" facts that do not mesh with that belief.  Given that the degree of severity of the factual dissonance we are considering is much less appalling than that presented to the people of Germany in WWII, it is doubtful that any dedicated wingnut is likely to allow said facts to impinge on their tiny, tiny liitle brains.

    In other words, don't hold your breath.

  •  Carla Sauer Iyer's (none)
    statement is acknowledged, not sworn to, and is therefore not an affidavit.

    She is licensed in FLA under her maiden name as an RN.

    "The face of evil is the face of total need." - Wm. Burroughs

    by oblomov on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 02:58:33 PM PST

  •  Fools and Liars... (none)
    Your basic question is an important one, but the way you approach it is, IMHO, part of the problem for the Democratic Party.  Believing "lies" is precisely what "fools" (as you call them) do in response to cognitive dissonance.

    When reality--objective facts--contradict our actions/beliefs, we can either integrate the facts and change our actions/beliefs or rationalize the facts away.  Now, what if the belief-system being challenged is not based on objectivite reality? By definition faith is subjective, so "facts" and "lies" are irrelevant. Consider the creationists who believe fossil evidence of evolution is a ploy by Satan to deceive us.  What "facts" will ever convince such a person?

    So are these people fools and liars?  Maybe.  But calling them names is counter-productive (although it may help us feel superior).  I believe that it's more productive to begin challenging the belief system itself. In other words, what if we help the more moderate believers begin to reconcile their beliefs with the "reality" as we (Democrats) see it.  

    I believe there are many arguments that can help reconcile the "facts" (Yes, they exist!) with Christian belief-systems.  For the hardcore believer, "facts" will never change their thinking.  Helping the moderate Christian re-interpret their basic beliefs along Democratic Party lines is a winning strategy.

  •  It's not that clearcut, David (none)
    Does Iyer believe what she says? Who knows. There's not such a clear line between believing and lying. All those many years ago, did I believe that the cat REALLY ate all the coffee cake? Kinda. At least in a more just universe. Know what I mean?

    Maybe it's easier to identify with if we look at our own side of things. There are folks who opposed the Iraq invasion, and yet go on the attack like mad dogs if anybody asks about the sense of "supporting the troops" in an evil war.

    There are parents, children, lovers of undoubted criminals who at some level know that their claims of innocence are lies as well as truth on some other level.

    I think we make a mistake with the psychologizing. We would be on better strategic ground and more true to our own beliefs if we took people like Iyer at their word and held them to the standard of reason. Iyer made a number of checkable statements when she was under oath, I believe. We should be pressing relentlessly for evidence or a perjury charge. By simply making assumptions about her sincerity and sanity we end up letting her and her supporters off the hook.

  •  asdf (none)
    You could also ask, "what happens when Western Civilization's (with America as it's most volitile manifestation) carefully constructed but utterly false world collides with reality?"    Remeber that your reality-based community defines it's own reality. It's not a total reality.  Until we have a framework of reality that incorporates the totality of world views that exist in this world, reality is a subjective construction depenedent on the environment in which it exists. As educated, intellectual and eloquent as people are on this site, the fact remains that we experience reality within the petri-dish called America.  All this nonsense that's having free reign in our society just didn't pop out by chance. What we're witnessing is the foundations of this experiment cracking against the natural pressures of the world.  

    You don't need to be a psy major to know what's going on, you just have to have a certain amount of street smarts.

  •  Answer here (none)
    So my question (aimed especially at students of human psychology, but of course open to all) is this: What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality? What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear? Perhaps these walls will never come crashing down, but I believe they will, some day. So again I ask, what happens then?

    Then, they blame it on liberals. Got any tough questions?

  •  It's just a set-up for the nuclear option (none)
    Over the next several weeks, judicial nominations will move front and center.  If the dems. try and block even one of them, the Cheney and company will re-write the rules.

    It will be known as the "Schiavo Rule".

    Then the gloves will be off and American will se once and for all what the "ownership society" is all about.

    Here comes the judge(s)!

    rok for dean

  •  Psychopathology! (none)
    The answer to your question is that psychopathology eventually results, if the stressor of incongruency is constant and tough. Let me first say that I'm a 2nd year medical student who does research on child depression and this type of incongruency is the main aspect of the etiology of depression at which I look. What happens is that the allostatic load (which is the burden of stress on a person) expands to such a level as to promote allostatic overload. Once allostatic overload is acheived, psychopathology results. It's a lot more complex than this but too much to put into this small space. The incongruency between what one thinks and what one sees as true (a kind of cognitive dissonance) eventually can promotes a kind of disaster of the mind--the mind can't understand the world around it and eventually goes haywire. It's a real phenomenon.
    •  40 million evangelicals (none)
      can't be wrong!  If there were only one or two of the delsional buggers, there might be some hope for cognitive dissonance, but with 40 million supporters and a total rejection of birth control (not to mention science) I think they aren't going away soon.

      rok for dean

      •  Re: 40 million evangelicals (none)
        Oh, this isn't just about cognitive dissonance. And just because the paradigm I sited does occur, doesn't mean it occurs in everyone. You have to be open enough to experience to endulge the possibility that your world view is wharped in order for this to happen. Otherwise denial rules and you could live like this for life.
    •  allostatic overload (none)

      I thought yours was an interesting angle. Allostatic overload, eh? I've got a friend who works in the mental health field, and I'm going to look into this phenomena a bit.

      Did you ever read "Life Against Death" by Norman O Brown? The author was a psycologist and Stanford professor in the 50's and '60's who basically took a Freudian analysis of repressed, deeply neurotic and subconciously self-destructive behaviour that psychiatrists would  find in certain individuals and applies it to western civilization as a whole.      

      •  Very interesting! (none)
        Thanks for the tip on the article man! The person to read on Allostatic Load is Bruce McEwan, he's a prof at Rockefeller University or something. It's his baby...although the psychiatric angle is my baby:-)
  •  When Worlds Collide... (none)
    Good song by Powerman5000 for all you industrial fans out there ;) Definitely give you a good kick in the ass before you need to do something.
  •  Bulls&%t (none)
    There's a new book out called "Bulls&*t" and the author has been making the rounds. Funny professor from an Ivy League joint. The premise: these folks are not lying, they are bulls&%ting and there is a difference. They will say anything that forwards their goal without a thought about the truth. It is the ultimate dissassociation and personal delusion but it matters not.
    They truely feel that, now in power, they can create an alternative reality and eventually it will stick. The comment above about the public simply not having the time to sort it out is right on. We must get MSM coverage back to some degree. Only 15% read a newspaper regularly so as long as corporations control the tube/radio it's tough.
    We must deluge the MSM with mail to get stories told. The tiny sliver of far right fanatic fundamentalists are managing to control the stage.
    the interest of freedom is a virgin, that everyone seeks to deflower; if it is not properly protected (so great is the lust after dominion), there follows a rape upon the first opportunity. Marchamont Nedham; Excellence of a Free State (1656), Richard Baron's 1767 ed.

    Stand up before its too late.

    by pnchad on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 03:25:02 PM PST

    •  It takes $$ (none)
      MSM needs competition to pull them back into responsible reporting. It would not take a whole lot of money to start an ad campaign in their biggest markets offering alternatives, like
      "Tired of Newslite? Check out *.com"

      Angry viewer backlash, such as e-mails to CNN and network news orgs might be effective if enough people do it.  I sent CNN a goodbye e-mail a while ago, and never looked back.  If they get enough flak and realize the audience is dwindling, perhaps they might reform. Organized boycotts of advertisers might shake it up a little, too.

  •  This is what we have come to (none)
    This promo for tonight's Entertainment Tonight:

    Terry Schiavo revealed - all the details tonight at 7:30!!!

    Revolting - though this is the sort of debasement that the GOP ploy has led to

  •  I saw Carla Iyer on Fox and Friends, (none)
    Before the idiots who have called me a troll get started, I was in a waiting room, drinking a half gallon of this horrible lemonade in preparation for a CT Scan, so I had no choice what was on.  That show is an absolute  disgrace.  If that Eedie whateverhernameis, could be further up Bush's ass, she'd have to pass Condi.

    Anyway, Iyer seemed as credible to me as the woman who claimed Clinton raped her, Juanita Broaddrick.  She was pretty disgusting and the things she said about Michael Shiavo would have come out in one of the courts or uncovered by the guardian appointed for Terri if they were true.  She said Michael refered to Terri as a bitch, and lots of other things that were just downright disgusting.

    These people are disgusting!  Jay Sekulow, who is on TV now, talking about this new action, went to my High School but he moved before he graduated.

    The problem is we never punnish these people for being such hypocritical pricks.  DeLay, Frist, Sekulow, Hannity, Limbaugh, Bush who came back for that hole in Texas to sigh the Terri Bill but never moved his ass one inch when our country was threatened with spectacular attacks.

    We need to expose these disgusting people for the pricks they are.  They are THAT bad.  That's why they are Republicans because they are THAT bad and they fit in noplace else.

  •  Terry Schiavo for President! (none)
    I've heard she's lucid and responsive.  She's got to be an improvement.
  •  how ironic ! Iyer = lyer (none)
    interesting that her name Iyer looks just like lyer if you use the right font

    isn't "lyer" how the highly educated wingnuts spell "liar" ?

  •  What happens? (none)

    Pakistan is an example of what happens when an entire  nation has cognitive dissonance.  In this case, the dissonance is that a nation founded on the slogan "Islam is in danger" was meant by its founder Jinnah to be secular! that Pakistanis by language, culture, and by ancestral stock  are the same as Indians, but the national history is that they are Arabs, Persians, Central Asians, etc.

    Margaret Bourke-White was prescient:

  •  I saw a documentary, "A Boy's Life," (none)
    about a 7-year-old boy in a poor, white, rural Southern family, who was quite literally being driven mad by his grandmother's emotional manipulation and abuse. Fortunately through the intervention of a dedicated teacher, child services and a psychologist, the problem was  recognized and eventually the child was returned to his mother, who while young and not without troubles, was not destructive.

    What is relevant here: The grandmother appeared really to believe that she was acting out of love, and that her grandson was mentally ill, perhaps evil. When school personnel tried to tell her how wonderfully the boy was doing in school, she would say he was good only because he was afraid of them, and that she knew the real Robert. When her daughter was receiving treatment for thyroid disease from a caring nurse-practitioner, the woman told her that she was being used as a "guinea pig" and attempted a faith healing. She never once allowed that she could be wrong or contributing to any of Robert's, or her daughter's, problems. She saw herself as on a righteous crusade and the more opposition she met from others, the more adamantly she held to it.

    When the boy was finally returned to his mother, and the grandmother was marginalized and no longer in control, she fell apart. She sunk into depression, crying about how coldly she was being treated, and plotting to take the boy back one way or another. The better her family was doing, the unhappier she became, because her worldview was being destroyed.

    Sometimes people just won't give up their beliefs, no matter how twisted and how much contradicted by reality. And when circumstances remove the power from them, they can crack and become extremely destructive. I think that's what right-wing and racist hate groups are about. I would expect to see some of these people hanging on to their creed come hell or high water, and joining or leading some fringe group in order to maintain some sense of justification and meaning in their lives.

  •  What happens? They get promoted! (none)
    Witness Gonzales, Rice and now Wolfowitz.

    But seriously, I'm more worried about what happens when at least 100 million Americans collide with the reality that they're part of a country that is making the world a worse place for all humankind. Based on their apathetic, wtf-cares? response to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and our other war crimes, I have a feeling they'll just clamor for more of the same.

  •  Denial (none)
    I am a psychoanalystic psychotherapist...the defense against reality is called denial, a defense which is so well-known that lay people understand and use this psychological term quite a lot.

    Denial is a very powerful defense.  Even in a therapy, it is very difficult for this defense to melt away, or to crack.  So I would say there is a small likelihood that the defense ever gives way to reality. We just have to make sure that these people don't rule OUR lives.

  •  In Dubya's case, it depends.... (none)
    can he grab the nuclear "football" with the all of launch codes or not.

    If he can grab the "football" when the bright sunshine of reality hits his vampire of delusion...

    Well, how to put this delicately?


    Otherwise the people around him will just have to wrestle him to the floor, slap a straitjacket on him and shove his sorry ass into the rubber room.

  •  Democratic (In)Action a Positive? (none)
    I think we may be selling the congressional Democrats' actions during this farce short by conceiving of them, at best, as having strategically removed themselves from the debate while the Republican party went nuts.  If the Senate Democrats hadn't forced a legislative compromise:

    1. The wingnuts likely would have passed a poorly thought-out law of general applicability, rather than one limited to Ms. Schiavo.  As gruesome as this soap opera has become, it would be orders of magnitude worse if Congress had conferred federal jurisdiciton on all cases where there was a family dispute concerning the right to die, creating the potential for thousands of Schiavo-type cases in the federal courts.

    2. The bill enacted likely would have mandated that the federal district court issue a TRO before assessing the merits of the case, needlessly prolonging Ms. Schiavo's suffering and further spitting on the separation of powers.  The Frist-Levin exchange was one of the bases for the 3-panel circuit court's upholding of the initial district court decision.

    As a result, I believe that the Democrats may be able to craft a counter-narrative in which they can highlight their proactivity on this case, rather than conceding passivity while the Republicans staked out a firm moral position.  The Democrats can argue that while some members of the party had doubts about the case and chose to err on the side of Ms. Schiavo's parents, they would not consent to a greater intrusion on states' rights or the separation of powers than was warranted by the facts of this case, and insisted that right-to-life issues remain exclusively private family decisions barring extraordinary circumstances.    
  •  Let's flood em (none)
    I think that everone should e-mail Delay and Co. explaining thier wishes as to what they want to happen if they wind up in a Sciavo like situation, and telling them to stay the fuck out of it.

    Could ya see thier faces after getting 7000 e-mails with the subject line "F.Y.I. my last wishes"?

  •  Dissonance in action (none)
    I just returned from visiting my family. My father's waaaay out on the right. He started in that direction after his father's death in 1986 by now is far gone. While I was visiting, the Schiavo case was mentioned on TV (imagine that) and he reacted in wild anger, spouting about how "there's money involved" and saying that "you know, they say he did it."

    That was the first & only time I've heard someone say that the great "they" thought Mrs. Schiavo was in her current state because Mr. S tried to kill her. Somehow, I would think I would have heard this unless it was just so freakish and outlandish that only those who were reaching hard for a justification would repeat it.

    Anyway, I've watched my father's descent over the years. I've watched him take any Clinton conspiracy theory as gospel, while refusing to believe any Republican could do any wrong. He does not get confronted with reality because, frankly, nobody in the family wants to work through the angry lash-back we'd get if we tried to discuss any of the dear-to-his-heart tales of the evil forces arrayed against good christians/republicans.

    So my answer to the "what happens then" is this: I can't conceive of it. The factors that drove him into his faith & conspiracy-based reality are deep and psychological. He might stop caring about them if he dealt with being the adult child of alcoholic parents (severe, in his mother's case), an adoptee (purchased out of a baby ring, no less; TN Children's home, 1945), son of a judgmental father he worshipped & can't (in his head) live up to, stroke survivor with reduced functioning on many levels, and lord knows what else. If he dealt with those core issues (and how can he at this point?) I think he'd have that V-8 moment someone described in an earlier post. He's a good man, but that's a great pile of stuff & he's in his sixties.

    Take my take on my father's particular scenario, multiply it times the number of folks who are far-gone in the far-right, raise it to the power of the crazy unknowable psychological and physiological factors, past experiences, and biological factors that make each of these individuals go far-right, then multiply that times the tendency to seek those who agree with you (personally and in the media)... and it's hard for me to imagine a grand collective, "What the hell were we thinking."

    I can hope, though.

    "My fellow merkins." - G.W. Bush

    by dji on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:00:39 PM PST

  •  when worlds collide (none)
    Kos' question as to what happens when false worlds make contact with reality is getting down to the existential nub.

    Some of these false worlds are simply delusional and/or based on a severely skewed or narrow world view, (eg: what happens when US troops aren't strewn with flowers by Iraqi citizens? What happens when "creationism" is taught in high school science class? What's the consequence when potential solutions to a given problem are dismissed out of hand because they can't guarantee a short term fiancial profit for some small but influential group?)

    Other of these false worlds are in fact known to be false by their perpetrators, yet are newvertheless carefully and cynically presented as true so as  to achieve (or attempt to achieve) some desired outcome, eg : "we know where the weapons of mass destruction are located";  "there's a direct link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida"; "Social Security is in a crisis which requires privatization"; etc.

    This variety of untruth, deceit and misrepresentation, BTW, is described and deconstructed in Noam Chomsky's "Manufacturing Consent")

    In any case, the short answer as to what happens is: people get hurt. Unforeseen outcomes blowback and cause unintended and usually painful outcomes. Children's futures are limited by poor education.   Soldiers die a meaningless death thousands of miles from home.

    If and when there will be any accountability for those who build such a house of cards is an interesting question, but it pales in importance when we consider that we all, to some degree or other, live inside the house of cards as well.

    What's at stake for the world as a whole when decisions made on our behalf are done so with little or no regard for Big Picture reality? After all, whether or not a given paid consultant or policy maker believes (or cares) there's such a thing as global warming, nearly all scientists in that field agree that it's real, and there will be consequences.


    •  when worlds collide (none)
      lewisclark raises good points. To be sure, the effects of the CONservatives' warped sense of reality has inflicted insufferable pain.

      Regarding the effect that a collaspe of one's  worl view has on the true believers, I would like to add that fanatical believers typically find ways to keep thier distorted world view in balance. For examle, there are plenty of instances of doomsayers whose cult continued to exist even after the dealine of doom had passed.

      We should forget about the mental health of CONservatives who struggle to find ways to keep themselves cognitively balanced. However, for those of us who approach a sound, empirically-based reality, I suggest we continue to point out to others the lethal and devasting efects of their hypocrisy.

  •  I wonder how long it will be... (none)
    ...before someone tries to kill Michael Schiavo?
  •  Nurse Carla Iyer saved from foreclosure ? (none)
    Hillsborough County Clerk's Court Progress Dockets

    Name:     IYER, CARLA
    UCN:     292001CA009001D002TA    
    Case Number:     01-CA-009001     Case Created:     10/17/2001
    Case Status:     Closed - 07/30/2003
    Case Type Description:     MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE     Court Type:     CIRCUIT CIVIL    

    On 2001 her home was put for Foreclosure, since she and her husband RAMANATHAN IYER owned around $110,000 to the plaintiff.

    On 2002 they declared bankruptcy but still were in the house.

    On 7/30/2003 the case was dismissed. Carla and her husband kept the house

    On 8/10/2003 the IRS put a lien on the house since  RAMANATHAN owned them some $15,000 worth of 1998-99 taxes.

    I wonder were did they get the money to pay the $110 grand and keep the house...

    Isn't it curious how it was just around the time she was telling her "Terri Schiavo story" on TV ?

    All the records found searching by name here

    In the future people will wonder why most didn't challenge Bush's excesses
    The truth? Complacency was easier

    by lawnorder on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:12:03 PM PST

  •  Delusions abound (none)
    Iyer's comments remind me of that recent story on the CBS evening news where they talked to two CA women who each lost a son in the Iraq war.  The one woman had turned into a peace activist, the other was adamant that her son had died for a good cause, that the US was defending itself against a terrible enemy, and that if Bush hadn't started the war she would be wearing a burkha [sp?] now.

    I remember watching that second woman and feeling the air go out of me, like I'd been punched hard.  It was wrenching just watching the interview and seeing how much delusion and grief had taken her over.

    I've talked to people in person who were delusional, although not as extreme as Iyer or the woman in the CBS piece.  I wish there were a way for a lay person like myself to reach them.

  •  What happens .... (none)
    "We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."   --  George Orwell

    In this case a courtroom ... and with any luck in 06 and 08, the ballot box

  •  If Terri could blink twice (none)
    or give any sign what so ever, then why don't they ask her what she wants?

    The nurse is mentally ill. Reality will not set in.

    People vote for sunshine, not for gloom and doom!

    by missliberties on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 05:58:39 PM PST

  •  What happens? (none)
    Dissemblance, my friends, dissemblance.  That's what happens.

    And with that, traditional allies of the Right, like self-loathing Libertarians will start leaving in droves.

    I can hope, can't I?

  •  I think the answer to cognitive dissonance is (none)
    that some people simply never escape it.  In a book called When Prophecy Fails, there is a discussion of  just this.

    People just construct a thicker tinfoil hat, and then when the going gets too tough, just refuse to think about it at all.

    "Optimism is not for sissies." (an elderly man at the Progressive Dem Conference)

    by Percheronwoman on Thu Mar 24, 2005 at 10:40:48 PM PST

  •  you destroy the reality that conflicts with yours (none)
    and its very, very sad

    then ends do not justify the means, rather, the means dictate and determine the out come.

    by chinkoPelinke on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 12:51:28 AM PST

  •  Re: What happens? (none)
    What happens to these people when their carefully-constructed yet utterly false world collides with reality? What happens when the cognitive dissonance - the gap between what you believe and what is real - becomes simply too great to bear? Perhaps these walls will never come crashing down, but I believe they will, some day. So again I ask, what happens then?

    • Oxycotin

    • Serial marriages

    • Gambling addiction

    • Alcoholism

    • Drunk driving (multiple times)

    • Infidelity

    • Sexual harassment of underlings

    • Cocaine use and subsequent weasel-word-non-denial-denial of its use

    • Shirking of obligations, military and otherwise

    • Sexual promiscuity

    • Out-of-control behavior by one's children

    • Violent outbursts ("Shut Up!")

    • Habitual lying about age, party affiliation, past statements, resume, etc.

    • Dry-drunk behavior

    • Homophobia

    • Prostitution and solicitation of same

    • Cat killing

    Need I continue?
  •  The sad truth (none)
    The cognitive dissonance never becomes too great to bear because it's couched more and more often as a test of faith.  The factual evidence supported by data isn't real in the world of faith, and those of strongest faith must constantly stand in the face of the barrage and continue to talk about what they believe.

    Seriously, there comes a point when the most faithful meander off into insanity.  Then, there's no hope reasoning with them at all.

    •  An important point (none)
      Impugning faith isn't very PC, given the current desire to recruit 'moderate Christians' (a group that includes my parents), but the entire religion does seem to be designed from the ground up as mental armor against cognitive dissonance.  At the very least, anyone who ignores the distinction between mythos and logos and applies Christian dogma to the physical universe has surely rejected reason and empiricism, since these are predicated on falsifiability.  The 'soft' manifestation of this is selective deafness to inconvenient facts and a quaint desire to "let some mysteries remain"; the more severe form is what you see when you turn on your TV today.

      As the realm addressed by science and technology expands, it becomes correspondingly more difficult for Christians to avoid such fundamentalism entirely, as what were once unanswerable existential questions and unknowable mysteries of life gradually succumb to the cold, bright eye of the microscope lens.  

      Let me state emphatically that we in the Bush administration do NOT condone torture. We sidle up to it, wink at it, and climb into bed with it.

      by turbonium on Fri Mar 25, 2005 at 01:02:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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