Life in bigly Pieces

I asked a friend of mine why he voted for Trump and he had two answers. First, he hated the other candidate and second he wanted an “outsider” that will clean up Washington and make the country great again. I thought to myself, all noble reasons to vote for the candidate but wait a minute, what if the candidate was a walking bag of contradictions, with all the red flags laid out in plain sight that even a moron could figure it out.

Nothing about the last election cycle was subtle. While both candidates were seriously flawed, as demonstrated by their likeability polls, there was clearly one that was just plain wrong.

There is an old Hindu saying from the Bhagawad Gita – “Everyone gets what they deserve and not what they desire”. This is one time I disagree with that saying! we really don’t deserve this and certainly did not desire this.

For the past few years, I have been lamenting that our collective intelligence as a country has been dropping at an alarming rate. I am specifically referencing to our ability to confront, absorb and act on facts that are presented to us. Topics that the rest of the civilized world takes for granted as facts  – evolution; climate change etc. are still hotly debated in our country as if they are still opinions. We are starting to live in a fact free world.

Typically there are two telltale signs to this dumbing down:

  • the rush to “normalize” shocking and egregious behavior
  • the complete and utter refusal to acknowledge facts and evidence

I realize that our current President did not win the popular vote but he still was quite close and my point is this should not have even been a contest. If any candidate said/did 25% of the things he did, there is no way he/she is getting elected. 

So, my personal belief is that this we are living in one giant CONFIRMATION BIAS bubble. The right says there is fake news from the left and the left says there is fake news from the right. However, there are facts and facts don’t care what opinion you have. The atmosphere doesn’t give a flying crap if you don’t believe in climate change and that carbon levels have been increasing.

Take this election, everyone saw their version of the facts and cast their vote for this President. This was an election of ‘vote for the pieces‘ but not for the WHOLE!

  • The Evangelical groups wanted their Supreme Court appointee. So three marriages and dodgy morals – not a problem.
  • The old guard wanted their personal and corporate tax cuts and someone that can run the country as a successful business.  So three bankruptcies and multiple businesses that hoodwinked and swindled people – not a problem
  • The hawks wanted their defense spending – So cozy relationship with Russia –not a problem
  • The Alt-Right that wanted their ‘white America’ and no minorities and other religions – So someone who has a Jewish son in law, has deep real estate and financial interests in Muslim countries – not a problem
  • The ” suburban women” wanted a man who could speak his mind and who wasn’t a Washington insider – So someone who is a documented misogynist and (still) wears the badge with honor – not a problem
  • The “forgotten blue-collar voters” wanted someone that could change the status quo, bring  jobs back and drain the swamp – So someone who has no idea of the nuances of policy and government, can rattle countries and relationships with inane early morning tweets and has deep ties to the traditional Washington lobbies –not a problem
  • And finally, the folks that went – ” I can’t vote for her so I will vote for him” – how is that working out?

Everybody look at a piece and ignored the whole! And now we have the ass-whole. Two months into this administration and we are longing for the blundering days of Dubya. Even he is on the talk circuit saying, “Y’all need to give me a break”.

Let me state this, the other candidate was no picnic either. I am sure a similar list can be put together. But the critical point as P.J. O’Rourke (LINK) points out:

“I’m votin’ for Hillary.

“I am endorsing Hillary. And all her lies and all her empty promises. I am endorsing Hillary. The second worst thing that could happen to this country. But she’s way behind in second place, you know? She’s wrong about absolutely everything – – but she’s wrong within normal parameters.”

Alternate Facts – Is this the ‘new normal’. I sincerely hope not as I fear for my children and the next generation. I really don’t want our country to follow the plot of the movie – Idiocracy.

Cause remember the following gem from our new Secretary of Education –  “I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”

I shudder in fear for our next generation. At this point, our only choices are – get active, resist and execute the indivisible.com playbook and pray pray that there is minimum collateral damage.

That is my hope….BIGLY!

 

 

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Faux News

What is happening to the Fourth Estate? I thought our founding fathers were astute in putting checks and balances and ensuring that a free press actually challenged the other branches of the government. There was no way to foresee this huckster that is now the leader of the free world. Take the most recent sequence of events:

  • A judge provides an opinion in Fox News stating that a British Secret Service Agency colluded with the previous President to “wire tap(p)” the existing President when he was a candidate
  • The White House picks up this story and provides it was a “tongue in cheek” evidence that their allegations had momentum
  • When confronted by the press the President very glibly deflected the whole matter stating that we should check with Fox News, as they were culpable for generating this in the first place. 
  • Both Fox News and the British Intelligence vehemently stated that this entire narrative had no grounds in reality and was simply false
  • Finally, in the Congressional hearing, both heads of the NSA and FBI also stated that there was no proof that there was any hacking by the former President

There have been a lot of articles and reviews in the recent past that (rightfully) call the Press to question on how much free publicity they provided the current President during the election cycle. The President, in turn, loves to chastise the press as ‘Fake News” at every opportunity.

However, there are a few problems with this:

  1. The President and his team are very selective. Any outlet that questions or challenges his policies or statements is deemed as “Fake News”. Alt-Right websites, news outlets that have a sycophantic relationship with the administration are “Real News”. The evidence is clear based on how many interviews have been granted to Fox News and Breitbart in comparison to the other news outlets
  2. The word Fake News itself seems so vague. The President uses this as a suitcase term to rally the base. The right wing media obviously has embraced this term as a convenient passive aggressive response to anyone or any organization that directs any criticism at this administration.
  3. Finally, where is the indignation? where is the anger? for years we have heard the right say that the media has a liberal bias and then that turned into “fake news” but now when fake news is turning into “news that is fake” where are all the people of conscience, from the right? Remember the birther arguments, does that sound familiar,or is that “real news”?

Which brings me to my main point. We all now know where the fake news is coming from. It is not the main networks or any outlet that is rightfully questioning the accountability of this administration, it is coming from the White House.

THE FAKE NEWS GENISIS (Source – myself):

(I realize I missed the Facebook channel in the steps above)

I remember a quote from one of the reporters, “in the absence of facts, both our opinions are accurate”. Even though we are now living in a fact free country, I am encouraged in the fact that the press has been hitting back and calling for accountability and we are hopeful that this will reduce the level of egregiousness.

At the end of the day, the blame lies squarely on us, the people. We allowed ourselves to get hoodwinked, sucker punched and bamboozled into this.

My faith in the intelligence of our plebiscite is at an all time low. Maybe common sense is not so common after all!