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!

Atheism and War

I’ve been reading a lot of both religious and atheistic blogs and tweets lately.  I follow the Progressive Secular Humanist Facebook page, and subscribe to the American Humanist Association.  Both Atheistic based sites.  The American Humanist group hopes for peace and a belief that all people are equal, and that not all people need religion, and the religion is responsible for many of the worlds ill.  The Progressive Secular group is very similar, but a bit more radical in its approach toward religion.  From what I can tell the Progressives want to ensure a separation between church and state, and slowly make people realize what a drug religion can be.

I don’t hate Christians, any more than I hate Jews or Muslims.  They are all equal (in my eyes) in the state of ignorance they choose to live their lives.  But that’s ok with me.  You can be a Mormon for all I care, I have no preference.  Yet, these are the groups that spawn racial hatred, paint “the other guys” with a much different brush.  Jews are different than Christians, the Christians scream.  The Jews say, they’re right, but we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and making a good living at it.

The Muslims have taken a bad rap lately.  Unfairly, I think.  More hatred, fear, and distrust seems to be spread about this religion than any other.  Just because a group of radicals took down the World Trade Center, there has been hatred of the Muslim people growing.  Because of a radical sect!   Jonestown was a radical sect.  Look what happened to them.  Not all Muslims are bad, just like not all Christians are bad, the same as not all people are bad.  The entire population should not be judged on the actions of so few.  That’s all I’m saying here.  Even if President Obama was Muslim (which he says he is not) he is obviously not of the Al Qaeda mindset.

And look at the related gospels of each of the major religions.  They all teach us that it is wrong to steal, or commit murder, or covet thy neighbor’s goods.  They teach us to honor our parents and to avoid temptation.  They extoll us to live a good life, doing the right thing.  The central teaching (as I understand) of Jesus Christ was one of tolerance and forgiveness.  The Christian Right isn’t tolerant, or forgiving.  They are holding entire populations at fault for the acts of just a few.  Americans are sent to die when they are sent off to kill the “insurgents” and “terrorists.”  Innocent people are killed, injured and homeless, hospitals destroyed, freeways and roads decimated.  All done in the name of Patriotism when it was really about greed and oil and profiteering.  Religion allowed us to do this.  Not science.  Would we have any wars if everyone believed in science.  The Al Qeada felt the US was too powerful and so decided they had a statement to make.  Should we invade a country to help them throw out their trash?  Let Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine kill their own people with their chaos, distrust, and hatred.  Outside of humanitarian help, we should not send our soldiers to free other countries from their own tyrants.

I’m sick of people telling me the men and women over in Afghanistan and Iraq are/were fighting for my freedom.  They are not fighting for me or my freedom.  Our soldiers are over there fighting for the freedom of the Iraqi and Afghan people–and that’s not a bad thing.  In fact that is more noble to fight for someone else’s freedom.  But I want it clear, Soldiers fighting in foreign places are not fighting to keep me free, but to free another country from a tyrant.

If we want world peace we need to get rid of religion. We can’t force someone to give up their religion, so I guess we will have to live with war always in our future.

I Hate the Media

All of the media, from CNN to commercials.  The commercials I hate most are the ones that run in loops on screens in the grocery store and at the gas station.  We are bombarded constantly by ads telling us our teeth are yellow, our hair is gray and that we are fat.  These are portrayed as negatives and we don’t want to have yellow teeth, so we buy the latest product.  We don’t want to look old, so we buy hair coloring.  We don’t want to carry around that extra weight, so we’ll buy into the pill that allows you to lose weight eating whatever you want, without that bothersome exercise.

I think advertising is fine, but we have to be conscious of the tricks the advertiser play.  They way they make  us feel inferior for not owning a Mercedes, or not buying a Cadillac for your wife for Christmas.  Ads play to our basest desires: to have what the Joneses have.  To have more than the Smiths.  Just to have more or better or bigger.

I don’t understand this.  I mean I understand how marketing works.  It works amazingly well as our retail outlets can attest.  But what about the rough times.  When money is tight do the adverts about buying a car as a Christmas gift make you feel somehow a failure?  That’s what its supposed to do!  They use sex to sell everything from linens to  sugarless gum, and we buy into it.

Buy this expensive car- you will be successful

Buy your wife diamonds-she’ll love you forever

Buy this toy for your kid-he’ll play with it for 5 minutes

Why do we buy into the hype and the garbage?

I had a discussion once with a friend about how I didn’t feel influenced by ads.  She disagreed, she insisted there was no way I wasn’t influenced by at least some advertisements.  I told her the biggest influence over my buying practices was price.  I might try a new product if it were cheaper than my usual brand, but I’m likely to try the other product only once.  So do ads keep me going to the same preferred products?  No, I buy them because they are a reasonable price and do the job I need them for.

What about you, are you influenced by advertisements?  Will you buy something just because you saw an ad for it?  You have a great phone you bought two years ago.  You know everything about it, and can use every feature.  It’s completely paid for.  Then they come out with a new phone, it has better picture quality and a 30 second video capability, and it does everything you need a phone to do.  It costs $500.  Do you buy it?  What if it was only $100? CNN

CNN was the first 24 hour news source.  They spoon fed us the Gulf War in the 90s and we fell in love.  News all day long.  Except it’s all the same news all day long.  They just repeat it every hour.  Sure they have all the talking heads with their own shows.  All worthless.  Before CNN we were able to make a decision or understand a concept without having to listen to a bunch of so-called experts.  Do we really need experts to tell us how to solve the problem in the Middle East?  We are intelligent, thinking people (at least most of us are), why do we need experts to tell us how to think?  There has been fighting every few years since the state of Israel was created.  What is to understand the hate of that place.  No arguments I have heard on the subject have ever convinced me of a reason to go to war, and yet we listen to experts.  We let the experts tell us how the world operates, while it’s really only one person’s (educated) opinion, nothing more.

The bottom line is there has always been fighting in that part of the world, and until  people stop explaining all the intricate ins and outs and realize the truth:  Israel and Palestine will never be friends until they have two generations of peace.  We could use the media to create peace, just as they sell a car.  We’ll pay $500 for the latest cell phone, why can’t we bombard people with messages of peace.  Especially in the Mid East.  Why not use television screens for something positive?

Can of Worms

I’ll probably be sorry for opening this can of worms, but why can’t Palestine and Israel get along?  They’ve been at war virtually my entire life.  Why?  Because Palestine doesn’t like Israel and vice versa.  Well, of course they don’t like each other, they keep bombing the shit out of each other.  Do mothers and fathers indoctrinate their children into hating each other?  Do they read books about hating each other?  Is that all they have is hate?  Can’t their countries produce something beautiful, like togetherness?

I don’t really  want a lesson in history as to who did what to whom first.  I admit I know very little about the whys of Israel and Palestine.  I don’t think I need to know those things.  People are people and all they want is to live in peace in their little place in the world.  If we all just let each other do that it would be a better world.

The bottom line is war can end.  It is possible to stop hating.  Is that really so hard?  People quit smoking every day.  Plenty of people give up drinking.  All of these people have one thing in common: they know their world will be better without the addiction.  I think people get addicted to hate, they have somewhere to aim all of their anger and frustration: complete strangers.

People can change if they want to.  Do the people really want peace?  I truly wonder.