Tired of the Hate-filled Rhetoric

I have grown weary of the current rhetoric: me good, them bad.  I’m disgusted with the media as a whole, and after reading this article in Politico, I’m doubly upset.  I think most of us know that the media does not necessarily represent the Average American.  To the contrary, media outlets cater to a particular audience, and that audience thinks like the media.  So, for example, the New Yorker, obviously, has an East Coast philosophy that does not translate well to the West Coast sensibilities.  The Times are each biased by location, and those locations are all large cities (Dallas, Houston, Chicago, Miami, etc.). The rest of the country, apparently, does not really matter.

Some may think that that is just fine. “I live on the West/East Coast, so I’m content,” seems to be the feeling.  The media bubble mentioned in the above article makes complete sense when taken in context with the demise of actual paper news, loss of newspapers. It’s a money game (always follow the money).  Paper publishing costs a lot; paper, ink, printing, journalists, distribution.  The advent of the internet certainly changed all that. Hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost, and with that, coverage of more localized news has nearly vanished.

What does that mean? It means the media is biased to their location and staff, not the people they purport to represent.  We end up with the nonsense of rhetoric, and by virtue of 24 hour news channels, we get sucked up into believing it.  And what is rhetoric? By definition it is: “language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.”   Lack of meaningful content.

We need to start thinking for ourselves, and not let the media play to our fears and biases. Bias/prejudice mean a strong inclination of the mind or a preconceived opinion about something or someone. A bias may be in favor of or against an idea or person or people. Prejudice implies preformed judgment even more unreasonable than bias, and usually implies an unfavorable opinion: prejudice against people of another religion or race. 

Everyone has bias in some form or degree.  It’s only human to base one’s beliefs and morals on one’s own personal experience. However, this leads to prejudice against ideas outside of our personal experience, reality and world. Prejudice that is not easy to shake. Only way to remedy this is to open one’s mind to the infinite possible points of view. The media helped us do that once upon a time. Now it is up to each individual to learn how to open their minds to ideas they might normally be opposed to.  Wouldn’t you like it if the Republicans and Democrats cared more for the country than party?  Personally, I see no reason to have political parties.  I’m a registered Independent for the last 25 years or so, but I still have preconceived ideas and a deep dislike to changing my mind. I also have a deep desire (now) to open my mind more, and possibly even change it.

This is where Free Thinking and/or Critical Thinking comes in.  It helps to take the emotion out of the equation, which where we all go wrong. It’s our emotions that get in the way of critical thinking. Think like a scientist; take a theory and set about to disprove it.

I don’t think using critical thinking will make me change my mind about the fact that Trump doesn’t belong in the White House, but it may help me understand how he came into power, and why the media did not accurately report on what All Americans wanted, just what the Average American wanted.  Not the same thing at all. The average American makes $65,000. I make half that with my and my husband’s income combined. Nothing average here.

So. No more rhetoric for me or from me (I may slip now and then, but I am trying).  Ted Nugent promised that he would no longer engage in such talk. If he can, certainly I can. It hasn’t been a month yet, and since his announcement came only after a Republican senator was shot and nearly killed, I’m having trouble buying it. I checked his FB page and website and don’t see anything hurtful or hateful. But neither do I see his denunciation of hateful rhetoric.  I’d never gone to those sites before so it may be he never posted the rhetoric there. For now I’ll give him benefit of the doubt. I want you to believe the same of me.

I know advice is worth it’s price, but my advice? Stop talking only with the people who already agree with you. Stop using only media sources that favor your preconceived ideas. Expand your media horizons and you may find out some very surprising things. What I’m trying to say is, try to keep an open mind and think for yourself–don’t let the media do it for you.

I’m Getting Angry, Then Sad

I am angry, sad, confused, and just plain put out.  Common sense has disappeared from Congress.  Our protests gain a lot of press time and piss off Dump and Pres. Bannon, and yet, they seem to be ineffectual.  How do you keep up the heat?  I have only been actively involved a short time, and yet I already feel utterly defeated.

Here is a link to an article about how senators have voted on each Dump cabinet pick.  This list did not make me happy.

 

Sure, we should hang in there, wait until 2018 with the mid-term votes.  But both my reps seem to vote (mostly) how I want.  But I can’t vote for other states’ reps.  I can’t make the people in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. see it my way.

We can keep up the heat on declaring Dump incompetent due to mental illness, but we’re still stuck with all the other swamp creatures!  How do we clean up that mess?

Yes, I know, one step at a time.  But patience and persistence are not going to be enough.  I can’t sit here and hope the people in Blue States start calling their senators.

I feel like Dorothy, caught in a black & white tornado, and suddenly dumped (pun intended) in the middle of a bright orange swamp!

 

 

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Warning!

As many intelligent people, I have been scared shitless that the idiot commonly known as Trump would actually win the election.  Now that it has come to pass I’m even more terrified.  Just watching the people he is putting into key positions, and heading every major department.  I’m fucking horrified.  Every day is worse!

Supreme Court Nominee

National Security Advisor

Attorney General

 

Here is what you can do that might make you feel a tiny bit better.

Call the House Oversight Committee :  Call to demand that Donald Trumps financials be released and investigate any conflicts of interest.  We must make this call NOW!  We only have a few days left to make an impact.

 

Or if you prefer, donate to one of these charities in the name of your favorite asshole. They will receive a thank-you letter for each donation.

Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ rights)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

American Civil Liberties Union

Protect the Environment

Anti-Bullying (which will need more support as adults and children learn to bully by watching our “President”.

I am scared and angry and worried for the future.  I’ve started a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LSJRevolution/ where I will post on ways to help ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of the US.  I hope to put up information on when, where and how to protest.  Join me in fighting against Trump, his growing circle of incompetents, his followers, and other haters.  Please!

We Are Our Parents

moonIt strikes me more every day how much life doesn’t change.  You can try all you want, but you eventually realize you have become your parents.  It’s inevitable.  Always has been, always will be.  I could follow my family tree for eons, and find the same thing; we start out young and stupid, yet think we know it all.  Then in our mid to late 20s we realize we don’t know it all, and make an effort to learn everything.  We read, we watch, we study.  We raise a family and tell ourselves we won’t make the same mistakes our parents did.  Unfortunately we still make mistakes, just not the same ones.  Yet we think we do a good job.  We become successful in our business or work.  We work hard to prove ourselves worthy.  We muddle along, just like our parents, and their parents, and their parents.  Arguing about politics with our neighbor.  Discussing the news, debating the current war, whether it was a world war, or a tribal war. There has always been war of one kind or another.  We gathered food, then grew food, then we bought food.  But our need for food has obviously never changed.

Amanda and RuthieWe lament the current state of the world and are convinced it was better ‘in the olden days.’  Whether that was 30 or 40 or 100 years ago, it was always better ‘back then.’  We watch as our idols die.  In my mother’s time it was Frank Sinatra.  Grandma remembered when Rudy Valentino died.  (I’m sure there are some of you who don’t know Valentino was the heart-throb movie star of the early silent movies.)  I remember when John Lennon was shot, r any kaWe learn that we don’t know everything but we run out of energy to keep learning new things.  Our brains become full.  We become convinced that we are right.  We know it all, have seen it all.  Just like our parents.  And some of us stop growing.  Become stagnant in our beliefs.  Some of us choose to keep believing what our grandma used to tell us about how salt was good for you, or you needed cod liver oil every day, or that Blacks, or Hispanics (or women, or gays) should know their place and stay there.   Preferably out of sight and not next door to us.John Lennon

Once I realized all this was inevitable I was finally at peace with turning 50.  It took me nearly three years, but I got there.  I hate it.  I hate that nothing has really changed.  Sure we had the Industrial Revolution, the invention of the printing press, emancipation (for Blacks, for women, and now for LBGTQ).  We’ve always polluted our surroundings.  Don’t believe me?  Look at London in the Middle Ages, or Paris, or Amsterdam.  We dumped our waste in the streets, there was no trash pick up.  The streets were dirty and full of animal manure, and when it rained, the manure and waste would be washed into the lakes and rivers which we drank from.

davincis manThere have always been those less fortunate, the poor, the disabled, and unwanted.  Whether illegitimate children, those starving in drought stricken areas, so has it always been and always will be.

We have always loved our family and friends and hated our enemies.  It seems we cannot change our black and white vision of our world.  Us against them.  Us being the religious, them being the Atheists.  Those people–being anyone different from ourselves.  When I was growing up long hair on men was not acceptable.  And by long I mean 1964 Beatles long.   Bald men were seen as less virile and less attractive.  Now most men I see shave their heads.  I can’t understand it.  There is also the current trend of being completely hairless.  Which I totally do not understand.  I like a man with hair.  Long, bearded, and with at least some hair on their chest.   Where I come from good girls wore modest pastel dresses to church, bad girls wore bright red short-shorts.

Everything changes, and yet everything stays the same.  All is cyclical.  The phases of the moon, the tides, taxes, what is considered ‘good’ or attractive.  And yet we like to think ourselves so much better than previous generations.  We’re smarter because we know DNA sequencing, understand chromosomes and viruses, and own tiny computers.  Imagine if you dropped Leonardo DaVinci into a evolutionBest Buy.  How would Thomas Jefferson react to riding in a car.  What would Cro-Magnon Man think of today’s cities?  Culture shock for sure.  Culture changes.  The people, not so much.

So much of life inevitable, and impermanent.  There will never be an end to religion, for religion has always been with us, from our pagan days to Christianity, to Scientology.  People have a need to believe in something beyond this world.   Even Buddhists with all their understanding of the cycles of life and the impermanence of everything believe they come back to the world to try to be better the next time around.

Humanists are a little different.  They are like Buddhists in that they understand everyone has the right to happiness and to be treated with respect, but they don’t believe in an afterlife, or reincarnation.poppies

I like to think we are not reincarnated or live in heaven, but our essence, or soul, or atoms are returned to the world via our bones and ashes.  We become part of the world we left.  We are in the worms and dirt.  We are the grass and flowers and sun.  Everything is one and we each play a part in the construction of the world.  Leonardo DaVinci is still with us.  He falls on my flowers as rain.  John Lennon is still here as sand in the ocean.  I will always be here, though you won’t see me, and I won’t see you.

MS and Moving Stuff

I haven’t had much problem with my MS since I retired.  I am able to sleep the 10 hours a night and nap for 2 hours during the day, but have energy in between.  But for a long while there I didn’t always need a nap, but lately I have no choice.  About 2 hours after I take my morning meds I am so sleepy if I don’t lay down I’ll fall asleep where I am.  Again, I am lucky enough to usually get that much needed nap.  I mentioned it to my neuro at my last appointment, and she replied that all the meds I take have a “may cause drowsiness” warning.

I finally told myImage neuro that I stopped taking the Copaxone injections.  I didn’t tell her I quit it last year.  When she asked me why, I told her because I was having trouble finding injection sites that still had fat.  The Copaxone destroys fat cells at injection sites, like liposuction.  I also said I didn’t know if it was doing anything, since I hadn’t had a relapse in over five years.  My neuro mentioned that perhaps I hadn’t had a relapse because the Copaxone was working.  I told her that if I had a bad relapse I would try one of the new oral drugs.

I have been noticing more symptoms lately.  The fatigue, heaviness in my legs and arms, pain behind my eyes, increased trigeminal pain.  The problem with my thumbs and ankles was really bad during the last little heat wave.  It was about 95 for 3-4 days.   I wonder if it’s because I haven’t been taking the injections, but now that I’m on medicare I’m not sure what disease modifying drugs are covered.  So once I get set up with a new neurologist in Long Beach I may revisit the subject.  Which reminds me, I have to find all new docs down there and should start calling those in the area to see if they are taking new patients.  Then make arrangements to have my records sent.  Neuro, GP, psychiatrist, and therapist, but I’ll take it one at a time and it will all get done.  If I worry about everything that we still have to do, I’d be overwhelmed.

We are very close to signing a lease on a beautiful little apartment.  It looks to have been built in the 20s above a garage.  It has old wood floors, a cute little kitchen with a little eating nook.  The bathroom still has the original tile and ceramic fixtures, though there arbedroome chips and cracks, I love the look. It even has a period mirror.  There are two nice sized bedrooms, each with floor to ceiling windows and little balconies where we could put a flower pot or two.  There is a dirt patch in the back that they call a yard, but Husband could take many of his favorite plants if they don’t mind us doing the landscaping and maintenance, but I will try to remember to ask at the signing.  The landlord did say we were at the top of his list of applicants.  We should know for sure tomorrow when he goes over all the paperwork.  Fingers crossed, we really fell in love with the place.

We started packing up some items, mostly books and nic nacs, and gone through closets for donation clothes and other items.  I’d already donated all my work clothes to a service for poor and homeless women to help them dress properly for jobs.  But we still have jeans and shirts that no longer fit. So we are starting to live in disarray, trying to keep the boxes straight and not put something we want or need to keep in the donation box.

All in all even with the increase in my symptoms, my health is very good.  My mood is still high and we are looking forward to this move.  There is still so much to do I’ll need to make a list: power, water, gas turned on and off, getting our DirectTV moved, setting up the computer, printer and wifi , new furniture to buy (this one sounds like fun) and I know I will do almost all of that.  It bothers Imageme a little less now than it used to because I realize Husband doesn’t like to do all that, he lets it overwhelm him and he gets confused.  I will make him take care of the simple things like calling to turn off power, etc.  And he does 90% of the grocery shopping, which I hate to do, so I’m willing to handle the more complex things like getting medical records moved and handle the computer stuff.  He’ll handle 95% of the physical move, so it seems pretty even. Once we get ourselves settled we will get Son into his own place and he can start looking for a job.

I like having Husband retired, and I love the idea of being just the two of us again after ten years.  Just like being newlyweds again!

The USA is turning Orwellian, 1984 was a warning

I can’t believe I’m reblogging this, I usually disagree with Shaun that things are as bad as made out to be. I’ve been convinced that, though we certainly see Orwellian situations here. I do agree though that not enough people are concerned. I believe the threat of deeper Orwellian images will happen long before America turns into a Muslim country. That’s when people will really fight. I agree to a point as to the 2nd Amend. But only to a point. I’m just as afraid of these gun toters as my government and don’t trust either to do right by me.