My mother compelled me to write this. Over the last week, the students from Stoneman Douglas High demanded that, for once, constructive action be taken about gun violence. As I heard the same, tired, useless arguments hurled back at them, I found myself weeping and crushed. It took me until today to realize why I feel so badly this time. My mom, the teacher. I am writing for her, because she can’t do it for herself.
Oh heck no. Today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders assured reporters that, regardless of whether Jared Kushner can get a permanent security clearance or not, he will continue to do the work he has been doing all along for the White House. Which means that if Chief of Staff John Kelly’s Friday night memo is enacted, Kushner would be operating without any security clearance. And that’s A-Okay with the White House.
We’ve had another mass shooting in America. Another school shooting. I’ve written about this and guns previously. I’ve never gotten much of a reaction to what I wrote, so I guess it barked up the wrong tree. This time, I thought I’d just express some thoughts bouncing off the walls in my head about guns and Prohibition, with no definitive conclusions. Continue reading
Our current technology and society have converged to provide more ways than ever to assault the truth and persuade people to accept alternate realty as fact. I also believe they provide us with more means than ever to push back against that assault. However, today I encountered one more assault. A subtle variation on Holocaust denial, that doesn’t deny the Holocaust. And my heart hurts.
Warning: This post contains some graphic, or disturbing photos.
Remember Festivus, a holiday for the rest of us, from Seinfeld? Well, this year provides a unique opportunity to start up some new traditions out of old holidays. And this time, the celebrations can be for all of us. Continue reading
The release of the Nunes memo brought into clear focus for me some very big concerns about the state of this republic. The memo certainly does not entirely undermine our government. But it shows just how far things eroded in one year. And that should concern all of us.
Imaginary problems. When you don’t look through a lens of reality, it’s hard to see what’s really going on. It’s easy to end up chasing after pink Pookas instead of tackling the real problems. And that means the fixes you create don’t solve real problems either. Trying to trap a Pooka won’t net you anything real, but you can create real problems for yourself in the process. That’s what this is all about.
I found something I wrote a little over a year ago, before I started this blog. President Trump’s first “Muslim Ban” executive order sparked some thoughts that I think remain valid. So, I decided to dust off this relic from the memory box, touch it up a bit, and present it to you all.
Here we go.
The media has faults, but having flaws does not make something valueless. Imperfections do not require casting something aside. If they did, we’d all be in trouble. Because none of us are perfect.
Welcome to the second part of my two-part blog on the media. In part 1, I made the case for the media always having been faulty. Its flaws of today do not differ much from those of the past.
Which naturally raises some important questions. If it has always been so bad, then what good is the media? And how do we deal with the bad?
In what follows I am going to dig into the ways media helps us. I will also point out various safeguards the public has against the media’s flaws. Here’s a hint. The biggest safeguards are ourselves and how we choose to handle the information we take in. I’ll even give out some tips in that regard.
Let’s dive in, shall we?
I saw a funny thing happening as two branches of the U.S. tromped their way toward either funding the government or triggering a shutdown. The alarming progression from republic to oligarchy to dictatorship in microcosm.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not declaring American democracy dead. What I saw was alarming, but not necessarily a full realization. Not yet. But it was disturbing and fascinating to see the transition happen in micro-view while still have everything remain technically within the normal confines of American governance and legislative wheeling and dealing.
Notice I did not say “Love the Media.”
In the face of distrust of and attacks on the “media” and the “press”, I wanted to make a few observations. It took me a while, so I broke it into two parts. First, I set out to demonstrate that the media has always been flawed. People have always complained about it. Today’s faults don’t differ that much from those of the past. Second, I set out to demonstrate that, flawed as the media is and has always been, it still has value in our society. Question it? Sure. Demand it do better? Sure. But don’t throw it away simply because you suddenly realized it’s an imperfect beast.
Also, something is not “fake” or “false” simply because you don’t agree with it.
I leave to you to decide whether I succeeded in my goals.