Issues, Policy, and Politics – Parts 11 & 12

The following was originally posted on Facebook.

Since some of you don’t follow FB, I thought I would repeat this series here.

Part 11
Actions vs Consequences

To be brutally honest with ourselves, we must admit that the election of Barrack Obama to the presidency divided the country in a way we had not seen before and that we did not expect. It galvanized a portion of the country into blind opposition from the day he took office. They were livid that we could elect that N*****. They questioned his legitimacy, they called his wife names, and they refused to cooperate with anything he proposed. This is all hard to hear; it is hard to say. It is, however, true. Continue reading

Issues, Policy, and Politics – Parts 9 & 10

The following was originally posted on Facebook.

Since some of you don’t follow FB, I thought I would repeat this series here

Part 9

Where is My Roy Cohn?

Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were accused spies. They were tried in the early 1950s for giving secrets about the American atom bomb to Russia, convicted, and executed. The only real evidence against them was the testimony of David Greenglass, Julius Rosenberg’s brother-in-law, who admitted to passing the information, and the fact that the Rosenberg’s, who always maintained their innocence, were members of the Communist Party. Many on the left at the time were convinced the only reason they were convicted was that they were communists. The judgement of more recent historians is that they were guilty. Continue reading

Issues, Policies, and Politics – Parts 7 & 8

The following was originally posted on Facebook.

Since some of you don’t follow FB, I thought I would repeat this series here.

Part 7 – History and Reality

History, we are told, is the best teacher.

Those who ignore history, we are told, are doomed to repeat it.

But we don’t experience history. We READ about history, and here are many, many history books. Just because something is written in a history book doesn’t make it what actually happened. With history, like with media and the press, you have to be careful about the source, and it is useful to compare sources. Continue reading

Issues, Policy, and Politics – Parts 5 & 6

The following was originally posted on FaceBook.

Since some of you don’t follow FB, I thought I would repeat this series here.

Issues, Policy, and Politics – Part 5
PARADIGM CHANGE OR REVOLUTION

 If the government we have is not the government we need to solve the big problems that arise, what do we do?

We obviously need to change the government we have. Continue reading

Issues, Policy, and Politics – Parts 3 & 4

The following was originally posted on FaceBook.

Since some of you don’t follow FB, I thought I would repeat this series here.

Part 3

So, power and money.

Despite what you may think, there is nothing intrinsically bad about either of these things. It depends on how they are used, and that depends on the people using them. All of our problems and all of our solutions depend on people. Continue reading

Tribes and Sects – One Nation, Under Siege

When the Stories We Tell Ourselves get so long and involved, embellished, enshrined in ritual, and removed from the very people doing the telling that it takes longer to understand them than it does to get drunk on Bud Lite, things usually begin to change.

Sometimes they change strictly for reasons of expediency. Continue reading

Stories We Tell Ourselves

Stories are at the heart of human culture.  Stories are the basis for entire industries.  Stories are the foundation of all fiction writing.  Stories are what we tell our kids, what we tell each other, and most importantly, what we tell ourselves.  We never seem to run out and we never tire of telling the best ones over and over.

When a group of people tell each other the same stories over and over, they grow closer.  They find they have commonality.  There is plenty of grease for the wheels of their society.  When they tell each other lots of conflicting stories, tensions rise; divisions occur.  When they tell themselves one story and tell others a conflicting one, they are generally criminals, liars, or hypocrites. Continue reading

Patriot Games

Consider this:  The word “patriotism” has never been well-defined.  Or perhaps it has never been defined well.

The dictionary says patriotism is “the quality of being patriotic.”  Well, that’s about as helpful as a pet pig in a manure wallow.  It continues, “Vigorous support for one’s country.” Continue reading

Pretenders

I remember playing cowboys and Indians when I was a kid.  That’s not politically correct any longer, but I grew up in the days of the western, when you couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing cowboys and Indians shooting at each other, and Roy Rogers and Gene Autry were still playing in the local theater on a Saturday morning.

There was a good deal of land around where I lived and my brother and I and the one neighbor kid would run around pretending to be either a cowboy in a white hat or Crazy Horse.

Forget the insensitivity to the previous genocide of the Native Americans for a minute.  We were six or ten; we knew nothing of that; no one had told us (no one did tell us until I was in college, actually), and we had a great deal of fun running around, dropping, unsuspected, out of trees on our enemies, shouting “gotcha” and “Bang, you’re dead.”

A favorite ploy, if you were playing on the Indian side was to cover yourself in grass and weeds and then pop up when the cowboys rode by (think Monty Python’s King Arthur) shooting them with suction cup tipped miniature arrows from a tiny bow you could buy at Woolworth’s Five and Dime.

We knew we weren’t cowboys or Indians.  We were “pretending.”  And it was magical. Continue reading

Hal 9000: Good Morning, Dave.

The term fake news isn’t new.  But it wasn’t a term you heard very often until the past election.  Suddenly it was everywhere.  It was originally intended to describe social media and internet posts and stories that were either outright lies or grossly misleading.  During the election, new sites were constantly emerging on the internet devoted solely or in part to these types of stories.

There were a number of reasons these sites became prolific.  Some were purely partisan political sites that went beyond “slanted” stories or “spin” to promote a candidate or disparage an opponent.  Many were run by current or past members of the Republican elite.  These were not a well-coordinated force, but they were some of the first.

Others were simply profit making endeavors, preying on the public’s fascination with outlandish stories and their need to see people in high places brought low – especially if those people had different political views than they do.  The lure of profit simply by having someone click on a web site link was irresistible to many.  Kids in Macedonia financed their record collections.  Marketing experts in the US got richer.

And then there was the Russian government sponsored campaign. Continue reading