Thursday, February 10, 2022

The Free Press or Fake News?


Yellow journalism is a tried and true method of ensuring devotion of the readers, viewers and listeners.  

There is nothing more tantalizing than the sensational and shocking news that is printed or distributed to the masses.  With half truths, hyperbolized facts, deviated interviews and some outright lies, a simple story can become the next Headline or News Scoop.  Here are a few to consider:

Dolphin Grows Human Arms

Man Gives Birth to a Healthy Baby Boy

Abraham Lincoln was a Woman

Jesus Action Figure Heals the Sick

Man Makes $60,000 a Year as Human Lawn Jockey

Nazi UFOs to Attack US

Snake with Human Head Found in Arkansas

News Reporter Eaten Alive by 80-Ft Dinosaur

Man's Head Explodes in Barber's Chair

Is Your Cat from Mars?

Many of the above and there are thousands more, come from the Tabloids.  You know those headlines in the supermarket check out lane?  You read them and shake your head in disgust and then you wonder, was Abraham Lincoln a woman, did that Jesus Action Figure really heal someone?  

Here are a few more:

Titanic Survivors Found Onboard

Severed Leg Hops to Hospital

Hubby's Bad Breath Kills His Wife

Vampires Attack US Troops

Half-Man Half-Dog Baffles Doctors

Alien Bible Found, They Worship Oprah

Man's 174 mph Sneeze Blows Wife's Hair Off

Teen's Hair Changes Color … With her Mood!

Chain-smoker Kicks 30-year Habit … Then Chokes to Death on Wad of Nicotine Gum!

As you can easily tell, I am simply trying to fill up space, create an interesting read by just listing the weird and sensational news headlines.  Not exactly.  

In 1938 the world was listening to the Radio and at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 30, Halloween night, Orson Welles started the broadcast with an adaptation of H. G. Wells’s Novel, the War of the Worlds, written in 1898.

The public that heard the broadcast were shocked and mystified by the events being “reported” and some panicked, some were scared and many were left questioning.  

Let’s go back to John Adams, you know, the second President of the United States, the one right after George Washington, the General who helped win our independence from England…The Revolutionary War? 

Writing in the section where the French philosopher predicted that a free press would advance knowledge and create a more informed public, Adams scoffed. “There has been more new error propagated by the press in the last ten years than in an hundred years before 1798,” he wrote at the time.  Smithsonian

Historian Katlyn Carter drew attention to Adams’ private note at the American Historical Association’s annual meeting during a panel concerning Early America and fake news.

“A lot of things we talk about today we talk about as unprecedented,” says Carter. “It’s important to look back and see how these same concerns and issues have been raised at many points throughout history.”

The problem with the press, or media today is that they are no different than they have always been.  They are first, a for-profit enterprise, they want to make money.  Some care about the truth, some will die for that truth, but most only want to make a name for themselves.  

The publishers and Editors have an agenda.  That agenda is great, when you agree with it, but if you don’t agree then you are less likely to subscribe to the views of that paper, media-group or politician.   

As we look at the “news”, when we look at the stories that are told to us, should we not consider the motivations of those reporting and then try our best to think critically about what it is we are being told to believe?

I know I have a bias.  I like to think that my filters are aligned with a more truthful view of what is right and what is wrong and that helps me to mitigate that bias along the lines of what I think the truth is or should be.  We are all the same in this regard.

If we want to follow truth, then we need to start looking at what we read, what we listen to and what we expect from those that report to us; they will not be concerned about the “truth”.

Truth is not a variable.  Truth does not change because you want it too.  One thing that we know for sure; Truth from our media is suspect, marginalized and often overtly untrue, ok, I’ll say it, FALSE.  

Read and listen Carefully, our lives depend on it.

Friday, February 4, 2022

Got a Gripe?

This is a gripe, not that important, especially within the Grand Scheme of Things, but…I get so perturbed when these Big Box Stores, Home Depot, Etc...,not only raise their prices, but the products are almost unusable.

Here it is:  I’m building an overhang for a patio.  This is not an especially difficult project but it has become extremely frustrating when the wood I purchased, and paid a premium for, is almost (I say almost because I was able to salvage most of it) unusable, except for someone like me that has the skills to mitigate the crap wood I had delivered.

The delivery?  That’s another gripe but I’m sure it’s related to the same mindset that has infected the management of, not only Home Depot, but probably every other large BOX Retailer in today's consumer marketplace.

I’m really trying hard to fill a full page of words here, so bear with me.   

After seeing the price of ½ ply cdx, around $42 a sheet, I opted for 1x 6x 12 shiplap and then after seeing the shitlap in the store I choose to have it delivered and requested that it be completely bound and tied and stacked to prevent the boards from warping.   Great idea, poor execution on their part.

I paid $75 for the delivery on Tuesday, got a text late Tuesday saying Wednesday, it would be delivered.  I had waited all day, from 8-4 as instructed but around 3:30 I was informed that tomorrow would be better for them to make the delivery, COVID or some excuse was offered in my text….

I got the wood late on Thursday, but I was not happy.  The wood was wrapped in two straps and I could already see that some of the boards were warped, but dealing with shiplap, some warpage is expected.  What was not expected was the 1x6x12 T&G that was intermixed with my order.  

You get the picture.   After fuming for a few minutes I decided to take the order and deal with the poor quality wood the best I could, and I must say, I’ve done an excellent job straightening the warps and bends, the bows that make dealing with shiplap difficult.

The whole point of this fiasco is simple.  When we allow liberal policies to infect our markets, our supplies and our minds, like the shitlap I had to deal with, we all become warped, bent and in some cases unusable.  

Those at the top, the rich and powerful, the connected, never have to deal with shitlap, they can afford perfectly milled wood, dried and straight, while we, who are less connected, hard working and not so “important” are forced to make due with what is left over, and again, let me emphasis how well we do despite what those at the top or trying to feed us, make us buy, inject us with or even poison our minds.  We are the MIDDLE CLASS, we are the WORKERS and we are the ones with the GUNS.

The Truckers in Canada and across this country are protesting the insanity of it all.  What will you do, what can we do together to show our solidarity and our CLASS as those without class are engaged in a fight to control us, dominate us and fill our minds with the SHITLAP of crap that they themselves do not believe?

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Bliss or pain?

There is a profound sadness to life.  We are surrounded by tragedy and the ever present dread that is our lives.  Pain and suffering, disappointments and loss seem to weave through every path, every choice and every decision, leading us toward uncertainty or opportunity.  Even privileged lives share in this story, leaving no one untouched by the inevitable hand that we call life.   

For eons and generations our fathers and mothers have suffered, we all suffer, but for most, we rise above those inevitable and obligatory lessons and begin to understand the true meaning of life.  The simple words of “No pain, no gain” help us to comprehend why we need to suffer, why we demand the adversity and challenges that once endured provide clarity and perspective to our once limited and myopic view.

“Ignorance is bliss” but it does not teach, does not enlighten, nor does it help us to grow.  Ignorance, simply stated, is being content within our darkness, helpless in our servitude and being satisfied with not knowing, not caring and having no desire to expand, explore or move beyond our selfish and limited view of how we want our lives to be.

We are entering a time of personal atrophy.  Life has no meaning, others lives mean even less.  Personal wants and feelings take precedence over the lives and feelings of others.  The level of selfishness is expanding and with it our traditions that bind  our society, maintain our humanity and cement our families together.

Women and men are at odds with each other.  We are encouraged to think tribally, adopting group thought, supplanting individual rights.  Political discourse has been replaced with an all out war for power, with the end goal of total annihilation of one over the other.  

Pain and suffering is a natural consequence of life, but the current state of life, as we see it today, is filled with  discord, graft and corruption.  There is an evil that transcends the natural process that allows us to learn and grow with a blackness that kills the light of progress, and destroys the ability of man to choose to grow from those tragedies.  There is no growth when evil is allowed to flourish.  There is only pain and suffering or worse, wholesale ignorance.  

When we extinguish the light within we forsake all hope of progress derived from and inspired by the trials that life so abundantly provides.  We are left alone, powerless to move beyond the pain and suffering and unable to endure or learn, spiraling forever downward into the abyss of an unknown eternity.  

I was asked the other day, “Do you believe in God?” My first thought was, of course I do, but then I started to think and as I thought I was reminded of a video clip from Jordan Peterson regarding the same question.  

He was asked if he believed in God, and he started to consider his answers but eventually came to the conclusion that regardless of his answer, he needed to act like he believed first.  Then the question was irrelevant.  

He went on to explain that it’s too easy to simply say we believe and move on.  That statement however,  means nothing if we fail to act like we profess.  Letting our words carry the load without the reality of doing what we say.  

It is so easy to “Do as I say, not as I do.”  I am guilty, I admit it, and I plan to do better at acting as I believe.  

Regardless of the level of pain we endure in life, the suffering we experience or the trials we live through, we all need to believe in something greater than ourselves.  There is only one way to fight against the malaise of darkness and ignorance.  We need to believe, we need to act as if we believe and then be consistent with those actions and commitments.

Religion is a very good way to focus energy; it’s not the only way, but a “good” Religion provides the basis for that belief and a structural plan to follow.  

Unfortunately, most religions today are in a freefall.  Memberships are down, commitments and covenants are not seen as important.  Choose a belief and then follow it, commit to it and defend it.  The leaders of those religions are not perfect but the idea of God is hardwired into our psyche.  The need to believe is much more than a passing wonder.  We believe because we have always believed.  From the first man and women we have believed that there was much more to life than the hardships of everyday living.  

Believing makes life worth living, it gives purpose to our existence and it elevates our temporal thoughts into the celestial realm where inspiration gives us the hope and understanding that life is worth living.