The Bearer of the Bad News & Ugly Realities

gnbnI am almost there with adjusting to and settling in a new town. It’s been a nonstop process: a new city, a new house, a new car and driver license, new neighbors, a new bank, new insurance and doctors … well, a whole bunch of new things. As part of starting all these new things I had to meet with a new accountant to learn the new requirements dealing with new taxes in my new state. Nothing extraordinary about all this, but it is the intro for the following thoughts and state of mind I’ve been in since. So please bear with me…

Now that we have a site based on a subscription-donation model, I had to address all those pesky tax ramifications, and as part of that, I had to answer the following question:

 ‘So what does this website deal with?’

The short answer would be ‘information and news.’ And I gave the short answer, which only aroused further curiosity and a follow up question:

 ‘What sort of information and news?’

I listed a few: ‘Oh, all the assaults on our civil liberties, the speedy rise of the police state, our perpetual wars, hypocrisy-ridden foreign policy, corruption, government criminal conduct … you get the picture, right?’

I tell you what: his face told me more than any verbal answer. You know … the kind of face we make when we face or hear about unpleasant stuff. And that my friends, started this whole nonstop thought process for me. It’s been a downer; really. I’ve been feeling like those cancer specialists-where people go with a dire dread, knowing they most likely will be getting dire news. I’ve been feeling like dentists- who are sometimes needed and always dreaded. I’ve been feeling like funeral-home directors, mailmen delivering bad news …Basically, I feel like the proprietor of a site that gives reality in high-dosages on the most unpleasant and painful topics. So should I be surprised at the minute percentage of people who regularly visit and read this website-ready to receive their dosage of ugly realities on the ground?

Since yesterday I’ve been comparing our website to a very few non-political websites I’ve been visiting daily. And doing that has been even a bigger downer. I know how religions and specialists warn people against this thing called ‘envy.’ I am not sure if mine would be considered ‘real envy’, but even if it isn’t it belongs to that family. Let me give you an example:

There is this incredible lady who started her highly successful and popular website on cooking/recipes and related topics as a simple blog only 4 or 5 years ago, and has gathered hundreds of thousands of loyal followers since. The website is called Pioneer Woman, and I’ve been visiting it since 2010. The lady photographs every step of her cooking-extremely well done photography, and provides simple wholesome recipes written with humor and lovely simplicity; very personable. Do I find some of the stuff in there completely corny? Yes; of course I do-it can’t be helped. On the other hand, in this case, being utterly corny hasn’t stopped me from regular visits. There are tens of thousands of people who visit and spend time on her website. There are thousands who post comments every hour. And the number of visitors and commenters has been increasing exponentially. Why wouldn’t it?

There are sites like PW where people visit, spend time, and feel GOOD. Feel GOOD. The mouth-watering and gorgeous food pictures make everyone feel GOOD. Delicious sounding recipes and the joy of eating make everybody feel good. And that includes me. It is about food, creating food, the art of creating and picturing food, the joy of eating good-looking delicious food. It is FUN. It is LIGHT. It is a bit AIRY. It is … well, it is a site offering goodies.

Now, immediately switch hats, and think about our site: Realities- the constant assault on our liberties, the constant many-fronted wars and daily death-destruction, the declining economy, government waste-fraud-abuse. That’s right. That’s what we are offering. The truth. The ugly truth. Hearing ad reading about it makes us feel BAD (as it should, of course). It makes us DEPRESSED. It makes some of us ANGRY. It is tough on the eyes and brain. It is hard to read. It is tough to stomach when we try to digest. It is a DOWNER. It makes sensible people want to AVOID it. It is like the dentist or oncologist offices we try to avoid-even if they are needed and necessary for us.

Yes. That’s our site. Do I regret starting it? Hell, no. Do I regret operating it and keeping it alive? Of course not. Is it sometimes a downer to realize how much of a downer the realities we present here are? You bet. Do I have momentary (okay, in this latest case one full day) envy attacks-envying sites that present the good and beautiful? Sure. Is it frustrating to realize the necessity of an ugly-realities site, yet, seeing that even if it is needed it is dreaded and avoided by many? Most definitely.

With all that said, despite all its down and depressing moments, I am still as determined as I’ve ever been to continue and run this website for the irate minority. And I certainly hope despite its downer-sobering effects presenting ugly truths and realities you continue your visits and support of this website. Because avoiding ugly realities won’t get rid of them; just the opposite-it will make it easier for them to accelerate their ferocious ugliness. Not seeing or reading about them will not prevent the ugly realities from infesting every aspect of our life. Seeing and facing the ugly truth is the first step taken towards challenging it.

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Sibel Edmonds is the Publisher & Editor of Boiling Frogs Post, Founder of National Security Whistleblowers Coalition and the author of the Memoir Classified Woman: The Sibel Edmonds Story. She is the recipient of the 2006 PEN Newman’s Own First Amendment Award for her “commitment to preserving the free flow of information in the United States in a time of growing international isolation and increasing government secrecy” Ms. Edmonds has a MA in Public Policy and International Commerce from George Mason University, a BA in Criminal Justice and Psychology from George Washington University.


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Comments

  1. Don’t be too discouraged, Sibel. The hard truth is a bitter pill, that apparently has to be swallowed at the point of a gun, or worse. You are doing the best job possible under the circumstances and I admire you for sticking to it. You can count on me to help make the website better as we grow.

  2. Yeah, I think that too about what type of videos people click on on youtube, or the fact that people show up by the droves to football games or action movies, but can’t be bothered with the inconvenience of learning about the way their tax dollars are used to slaughter innocent people. The fact that what you’re doing doesn’t get the same traffic as a cooking website indicates that you’re work is all the more needed. The reason change isn’t occurring is because people don’t appear to want to have to get involved and in so doing are apparently content to contribute to the downfall of everyone. I do believe that the kind of change we need will only be possible when it is on the tips of people’s tongues everywhere we go. How to get there is the question, because we can’t force people to want to do something, but if we wait until economic or environmental meltdown, or war with Iran, or all out martial law, it’s going to be a pretty rough ride.

    Seems like generating the right kind of momentum that creates a sense of urgency, community participation, and real achievement would be good for the spirit. I would think the 2012 NDAA is one thing that could serve as lightening rod of action for uniting the Left, Right, and Independents, and create momentum for your site. It’s probably worth doing some brainstorming, think multi media, maybe working with other groups, individuals, sites on a specific project/publicity campaign that would address critical issues and generate needed energy. As an artist, I hope to be doing a radical/political art contest for my blog in the near future. I’m thinking youtube videos with some strong, well crafted words and emotive music can be good attention getters as well. Royalty free music can be purchased fairly inexpensively to score your video w/out running into copyright issues.

  3. I just recently created a facebook page, and noticed that you can pay for an ad and then target specific interests. I’m not sure how successful those campaigns are, but I wonder if it would make sense to target something like Police State as an interest and then create a link in your ad to a compelling youtube trailer for your police state video. I will probably be making use of the Facebook ad function myself, but having never used it before, I’m not sure how well it works.

  4. Facebook has been accused of lying about the ad statistics, and many are saying they use bots to create false numbers. Then there is the notion that everybody is ignoring the ads anyway. Save you money, or give it to Sibel instead.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/eliseackerman/2012/05/14/truth-lies-facebook-advertising/

    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/diane-francis/facebook-stock_b_1797482.html

  5. Thanks ford

  6. The Truth……….priceless!

  7. You Rock! Sibel. I am right onboard with everything you say… I haven’t found anything you ever said that I don’t agree with!

    I will send you a couple a bucks tommoree.. I want you to be there… to read cause, I would be really lost with out you there… You are stupendous… I have a problem finding authentic truth tellers… and in these times…

    Well we better start thinking… thinking about… what is the… ??????? What is the info.

  8. well stupidly I didn’t make a copy, and stupidly I say this fact.

    I sent you another one, and it is mysteriously gone…

    But however, that shows don’t it? I said a bunch of crap, and it is not there!

  9. Well, like I said: you rock…

  10. Sibel,

    I know it seems that, at times you are the lone voice crying in the wilderness. I also know how dispair can catch up to youas you think you’re not making any difference. That said, things ARE happening. For every enemy a hero is fashioned.Last year we all observed how OWS was targeted and primed for elimination and irrelevance by the police state and their corporate masters at the banks. They failed, OWS is still going strong and is now forging links with the First Nations people of Idle No More here:

    http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/Idlenomore.official/

    INM was began a little over two months ago by Canada’s aboriginal people in response to Canadian Prime Minister Harpers attempt to end their treaty rights and open up Native lands for exploitation for petrochemical and mineral mining, particularly tar sands. Since then, it has spread across Canada into native communities in the US, Mexico, South America, Australia and New Zealand like a prairie fire despite all governmental and corporate media attempts to ignore or denigrate them. Check out the facebook page for more info. Tomorrow, 01/11/13, there will be a Global Day of Action with 130 events occurring across the globe. Idle No More.

  11. Reality is not what they show the world on TV and Hollywood. I follow several alternate media sites… some for many years with large followings.. Among them are Firedoglake began by two females, Jane Hamsher and Christy Hardin Smith who was a prosecutor and how moved on from FDL. They have numerous all articles and critiques through more aimed at the main and less aimed as your site is about the national security state. FDL’s Kevin Gosztola has done terrific reporting on Bradly Manning. FDL has supported OWS with drives for equipment for protestors, and has some top reporters such as Marcy Wheeler on the Valerie Plame affir. FDL worked for Ned Lamont to try to defeat Joe Liberman. And this site has incredible comments from brilliant people. I’ve attended meet ups and it is not a somber depressing affair with complaining people. I’ve listened to Amy Goodman for decades since she was a reporter on WBAI. Now she runs DemocracyNow! (accused of being a gatekeeper). Her broadcasts cover all manner of problems in the world, injustices and *downer* realities. She travels the country and the world speaking and meeting with listeners. There is also Glenn Greenwald, Chris Hedges…Matt Taibi

    BF has some excellent information about the abuses of the National Security State (NSS) and the fraud/abuse which has been going on forever.

    None of those who analyze and critique have managed to map out how the fix the mess… and most who point it out are locked out from the MSM.

    We DO need to read this bad news and we do need people digging it up. That’s clearly part of consciousness raising. But we will need some action plans and some vision of the future. Self sufficiency is part of it, but we are too many to live as self sufficient islands. We need a new paradigm… this one has failed… that’s obvious to most people… But most people don’t want to face this, to give up on “America” and have a clue on what to do it about it. So they distract themselves with pop culture and electronic devices.

  12. I like this site and regularly visit it because I prefer not to be in the dark. I support it with money equivalent to my income rather than buy a newspaper or watch T.V. Truth is discouraging and our efforts to effect change seem pointless, especially if we are effective. Some of this is to protect us. Our egos being what they are, the less I know how effective I am, the more I can accomplish. How does someone maintain a balance with this information? I spend time in the swamp with the wild critters. I work in community projects that implement real change with diverse demographics. Perhaps the best insight I have had recently will help. Our incubator group of entrepreneurs and scientists come up with many ideas. Usually those that get accomplished are the ones that benefit the larger community through a principle called open source. This does not discount IP (intellectual property), but that becomes secondary to the energy gained from inclusive efforts. When I observe crossover as I did the other day that confirms to me which efforts are really working. I met with an IT engineer and entrepreneur regarding our website. The following day our seed exchange met to create criteria we wanted in our public database and privacy restrictions. A software engineer and website administrator were both in attendance because they want to protect the genetic diversity of our seeds. Also, we used local, homegrown music and a potluck to start the event. Bottomline, is you got to stay happy to get things accomplished. This is more than just feelings, because we all get down. Hope this helps.

  13. Hey, don’t feel bad – you’re doing a good thing!

  14. avatar jschoneboom says:

    Hopefully the fact that I don’t find this site a downer at all doesn’t mean I’m some sort of psychopath! I look forward to reading it, I feel psyched while I’m reading it, and the overall effect is Happiness Enhancement. Why on earth would that happen? Because I LOVE this opportunity to inform myself and not be a sucker for the mainstream nonsense. I call my ongoing personal research project What On Earth Is Going On Around Here, and the more I can fill in the picture — bleak as it may be — I still feel better because I’d rather know than not know.

    I guess I’m a sucker for the Blue Pill (or was it the Red Pill, I can never keep that Matrix stuff straight…)

    Also: there’s a nice human feeling going on at this site. A sense of community, and Sibel’s way of writing…it’s just nice.

    And hey, once a week we’ve got Jamiol’s music to chill things out, right? And you could do more of that kind of thing, Sibel, don’t feel constrained by your own themes. There’s no rules other than the ones you make, so if you want to, once a week or so, post a recipe or a photo or a story about something that made you smile. A regular injection of the joyful side of life. Why not?

  15. Sibel, I’ve watched our Supreme Court with angst and anger from the early 1970s when they caved in the Fourth Amendment for the DEA. It’s been down hill ever since. The 5-4 ruling on the Second Amendment, DC v. Heller, pretty much was proof of how corrupt our System has become. I’ve read your book and I’d like to thank you profusely for the labor you’ve expended both in writing it and living through the experience that formed the basis for it. I would like to share some thoughts from a book I read years ago by Walter Prescott Webb. “The Texas Rangers” The Forward was written by Lyndon B. Johnson, then President of the United States. I’m going to quote directly from the Forward. “One of the stories Dr. Webb related to me which I have repeated most often through the years stems from a figure in this volume, Captain L.H. McNelly. Captain McNelly was one of the most effective of the Texas Rangers, yet he was thin as a bed slat,weighing hardly 135 pounds, consumptive, in many ways the opposite of the prototype of a Ranger. But Captain McNelly repeatedly told his men that “courage is a man who keeps on coming on.” As Dr. Webb would explain to me, “you can slow a man like that, but you can’t defeat him– The man who keeps on coming on is either going to get there himself or make it possible for a later man to reach the goal.” In the challenging and perilous time of this century, free men every where might possibly consider that motto. We cannot be sure that in our own time we will reach and fulfill the goals of our society or the ideals on which our system stands. But we can, by dedication and commitment, be the kind of people who “keep on coming on.” Lydon B. Johnson May,1965. The pictures of hundreds of men taken in Poland in 1939 swinging from their necks are the pictures of men who most likely were engaged in their next cooking show or football game of the time. You are with no doubt the woman that Captain McNelly and President Johnson were looking for. A Sincere Thankyou

  16. I look forward to my daily (or nightly) dose of depression as I find myself “boiling” in the pot (or internally). It is an education I can rarely find elsewhere, though there are other sites which supplement the pain and suffering. One must be informed with truthful narratives (as well as the false ones constantly being fed to the public) if one is to have any hope of correcting the situation and one’s circumstance. So, Sibel, keep it coming- keep it coming non-stop.

  17. There used to be a radio show that dealt with heavy political truths.
    They had a comedy bit they played fairly regularly.
    It was something like “cooking tips in prison camps with Bella…. filet le shoe leather … Rat dejone… how to season gruel with available spices…”
    stuff like that.
    kinda dark but. uhhh
    probably won’t get the page count up here though.

    probably have to stick with the irate minority.

    But i have to say that frankly that since since 2002 I’ve found that fewer and fewer people dismiss out of hand the information i relay in person as just conspiracy theory. and i find more support than i used to when address an internet forum of rank and file Rs or Ds. many do see a real problem however they still often fall back on the idea that it’s the other parties fault, mostly. and just a good D or R congress/president will “swing the pendulum back” .
    Some have stopped saying that , they are just silent. almost paralyzed or but quietly talking about food storage and guns.

    but i do believe many more are starting to feel the water boiling and are ready to jump, they are not sure where.

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