Sunday, November 13, 2016

Pinning Down THE Truth is a Slippery Notion . . .



Akin to holding onto a greased pig while applying lipstick

It's a messy, sloppy operation that's seldom successful.  Facts now, provable facts, those are not quite so hard to come by in this age of technological advance, recordings of both audio and video on nearly every phone, and a phone on nearly every person.

Which is why I'm musing, as I have been for several years, about facts being so hard to come by while white lies, half-truths, outright lies, exaggerations and fantasies flood the media (and I mean that in the widest sense of the word) in such total abundance.

A lie gets halfway around the world 
before the truth has a chance
to get its pants on.  
                      -- Winston Churchill

 


Has the world turned upside down, or have we just reverted to long held human stock-in-trades like rumor and whisperings?  Something's wrong when you can't post satire on FB without a flood of "likes" and "dislikes" from people who seem to have no clue that they are reading satire, unless you tell them so at the top (and even then, some folks don't read carefully enough to catch the disclaimer at the top).

I find I am not alone  in wondering about these things, but what is in short supply is a call from the heartland for fact-checking and truthfulness in journalism, news people and even a modicum of the same from bloggers and outliers in the new industry.  I won't ask why we shouldn't have it in the fake-news/clickbait industry   http://nymag.com/selectall/2016/11/can-facebook-solve-its-macedonian-fake-news-problem.html   (it's their livelihood, as slimy as it may be), and I won't ask why w shouldn't have it from the partisan liars who spend their time trying to control the rest of us with their spider web spin.

According to Nicholas Kristoff
You may not realize that our Kenyan-born Muslim president was plotting to serve a third term as our illegitimate president, by allowing Hillary Clinton to win and then indicting her; Pope Francis’ endorsement of Donald Trump helped avert the election-rigging.

You perhaps didn’t know that Clinton is a Satan worshiper at the center of “an international child enslavement and sex ring.” Or that Chelsea Clinton isn’t Bill Clinton’s daughter, but a love child of Hillary’s by another man — or that Bill has his own love child with a black prostitute.

Oh, the scoops we miss here at The Times!

I hope no one missed the fact that Kristoff was pointing out the fabrications, not promoting these views - if you did, stop reading right now - you're a hopeless idiot.

I just want to know where the fact checkers are among the main stream media, and more than that, among the people as a whole (who consume the click-bait and listen to the spinmeisters as though they spoke the words of God). 

I'm about to say something a wee bit partisan but factual, in my own observations (that I could prove if pushed to waste a fair amount of time). The big lies are easily more numerous and virulent on one side than the other, in spite of being on both sides and also with those whose only interest is in their own self-enrichment.

I understand that Facebook  is grappling with a "fake-news"  sickness onsite, but I don't expect to see a cure, or even much of a symptom treatment from such a bastion of self-enrichment.  The green stuff will win, in the end, IMO.

I have tried to address this in my own small way by fact checking some of the more outrageous posts my friends and family put up. I even confronted people on  my side  of the political spectrum.  I had some success with the latter, but absolutely none with the former.  They didn't care if it conformed with the facts or not, they didn't even care when I was able to show them that the facts were entirely different. (The Pope endorced Donald Trump for President?  Really now, you can't be that dumb or naive.)

Thus, this became time-consuming and mostly fruitless work and I finally gave it up in despair.  One caveat, I do admit to posting at least twice during this election season without being sure of my source or facts.  I was called on them by a fellow progressive in one instance, and a conservative friend in another.  In both I did a mea culpa.  However, afterwards, I checked into the item my conservative friend called me on and found that it was, in fact, quite accurate, other than a slightly misleading headline.  Oh, well.  She was impressed by the mea culpa, not so much with the post script I used to follow up. 

Another friend grandly informed me on FB that I KNEW certain things (that he was saying were true).  I refrained from replying, because I couldn't find a reply that was not angry and/or insulting, and I do like the man.  Social media can be hell sometimes, when a person you like and respect in many ways shows their hidden arrogance. Being unable to accept that another person has a sincere belief that differs with you own is the giveaway.  I am sometimes stunned when other people of my acquaintance vocalize wild taless accepted without a handful of salty scepticism, never mind grains of salt, but I do try to respect their honesty and sincerity, unless I know them to be liars or nutballs.I can't quite wrap my mind around that level of disrespect to me from a person I respect and like, in spite of our diametrically opposed views.

I guess I am just moaning and whining, for lack of any concrete ideas for a cure for this sickness, and I do think it is sickness.  All I can do is complain and confront (when not too weary of the fruitless arguments and sad disrespect) and pray for guidance and strength.  Hope y'all out there are stronger and better equipped than I, or better prayers than I.  Peace.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Trump has won me over . . . to Hillary

Hillary, OMG. I have disliked Hillary nearly forever. At least since Bill was running the first time, when I first became aware of her. I've never made a secret of it, but didn't talk about it much until she ran against Obama. 

I find it strange that I am now so committed to voting for her, but even stranger, I find a lot of sympathy for her as Trump tries to bully her, lies about her (even to her face), calls her ugly names and just generally acts like the little boy in the 3rd grade who loved to throw sand in everyone's face.

He's the little rich kid who bragged to everyone about what he had that they didn't, who tore up and threw away the things he had that others would have cherished and cared for, who cheated at games and then bragged about winning so often. I've known people like that, and he just seems to be on a slightly grander scale, but not one whit better, just richer. 

This started out being about Hillary, but now it's about Donald. I have also disliked him since I first became aware of him, and I find that I dislike him more and more the longer I have to listen to him. I even hate the little finger "tics" that he has - all the little waggling, zero-ing, pointing, raising his forefinger, his fingers are everywhere.  They say the Italians speak with their hands; Trump speaks with his tiny little fingers, to help his tiny little mouth, all of which look undersized, probably because the man who regularly calls women pigs and slobs, and other disparagingly things is . . . uh . . . rather large.  I might not think much about his weight and looks if he didn't call women on their weight and looks ALL THE TIME.

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQC1kEItvD6oe0LQsbUAzzhopzk6TXwesQu_rWi7F5MyL05kqLleQHillary looks wonderful when compared to the great Donald. She looked great last night and left the Donald sniffling - he really needed a tissue (make that a box of tissues). Nothing like repeating over and over that another person has no stamina, sniff, sniff, really, no stamina, sniff, snort, sniff. I'd be sorry to make fun of someone for having a cold or allergies if he hadn't spent so much time ranting about Hillary's health. Serves him right.
Last night she was in control and he was just low-energy. Last night and every day and night, he makes her look so good, I'm beginning to see a paragon of virtue! I remember why I disliked her (the Iraq war, the Patriot Act), but then I listen to the Donald's word salad and invective, weigh it out and there's no doubt in my mind.
  
And to those people who are going off about how "smug" she looked at the first debate - you are so blinded by your prejudice against her that you can't see it for what it is.  If someone lied about you to your face, made fun of you, insulted you and called you ugly names, would you slap or punch them, have a hissy fit or laugh it off?  Your reaction would say something about you and your character, and I liked what her reaction said about Hillary's character last night.

If you hate what I said and hate Hillary, try to stop and get past the visceral joy you have at getting back at the establishment, and make sure you're not hurting yourself instead of the establishment you hate. I  understand that joy, in a way, but I'm trying to give up self-destructive fun. 

Unfortunately, this reminds me of my son who was failing 4th grade for not doing his assignments. When I went to the school for a meeting with his teacher, we talked and then she took me to his desk to look at what was in the storage space. Lo and behold, there was all his work, done but not turned in.  We were both shocked - this is not what she thought she was going to show me.  When I questioned him, he told me how bad the teacher was, how mean, and how much he disliked her.  He seemed to think he was getting at her (and in a self-defeating way, he was), but all the real harm he was doing was to himself.  She was annoyed, he was failing.

Be careful that your dislike of someone's personality doesn't persuade you to harm not only yourself, but also your country.  Vote your conscience, and if your conscience is telling you the opposite of what mine is telling me, then so be it, just don't sit on your butt and let it happen around you. 

Lastly, if he wins and you have buyer's regret, I'll probably be here to say "I told you so."  I'm not too big a person for it. 

Get out there and vote (and own it if you screw it up)!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Tea Party Discharges Weapon Into Own Foot

AP
And the weapon was....the Chris McDaniels campaign.

Is is just me, or does last night's squeaker appear to have been tipped just enough to go over the edge by all the loud complaining and railing by the Tea Party camp about "watching" for Democrats crossing over to vote for Cochran, and their threatening (and yes, that was the tone) to send Poll Watchers to cut off any Democrats they could "see"?


From where I sit, it looked a lot like the Tea Party played Pogo and said "We have met the enemy... and he is us". After the massive amounts of money spent by filthy-rich industrialist elitists (most born with that silver spoon in their mouths and intent on keeping it there) and the influx of populist outside rabble-rousers (bankrolled by the above-mentioned filthy rich) like Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum and even the pitiful Chuck Woolery (of long-past Gong Show infamy), they still couldn't pull if off because the face behind the mask began to show through at the end.

Black folks were pretty easy to spot at the polls, and for some reason resented having someone watch for them and threaten to confront them as they tried to vote.  I don't think the significance of this year being the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer has escaped anyone's attention, except maybe the Tea Party faithful, and there could be a reason for that.  I'll leave you to decide.
Wikimedia

Cochran supporters got a little complacent last time, but even the numbers of Thad's supporters who didn't turn out last time were not enough to help him over the TP enthusiasm hump or the he's-too-old-and-too-DC hump, and he made the smart move and called for reinforcements. I wonder if the establishment Republican party has the sense to pay heed and actually invite and welcome minorities into their party (and not just make polite but weak noises in that direction)? Looks like they might have a little gratitude for the people who saved their bacon in the primary, if not the general election (which is still well in the clouds, aka in the air).

Ah, the joys of a Mississippi summer (during election season)!

Update June 26, 2014:  Signs of paying heed from the GOP.  At last, a reasoned and reasonable response.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Stonekettle Station: Absolutely Nothing

Awesome blog, awesome blogger.  Better said than I could have done, with a background of experiences I've never had. the most SOMETHING in a blog entitled "Absolutely Nothing"

I have a simple question, (his version of the same question is better and much more nuanced), but mine is simply - if Brits are all over Tony Blair, why are Americans not all over Bush/Cheney et al? Every bit of the profanity he put in this blog post is well-placed and well-deserved; I probably would have thought some of it and kept it to myself, but I'm glad he didn't.

Stonekettle Station: Absolutely Nothing: Tragically, all we’ve fought for in Iraq, all that 4,500 American lives were shed to gain, is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing. - Mit...

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Poem Honoring Chokwe Lumumba

“Free the Land Man (For Chokwe Lumumba)”
by C. Liegh McInnis


Just like a river that knows where it’s going,
your feet have kept you like the Wise Men
headed for the North star.
There was no fat cat with pockets full enough.
There was no pot hole deep enough.
There was no curve, bend, or speed bump in the road
to keep you from arriving at your destination.
You are a steamroller grinding angry asphalt into smooth street,
making rough roads ready for revolution to ride to town.
You are the cement foundation upon which we build our freedom house.
You are the forest of fruit from which we may find
nourishment from the fangs of poverty.
You are the fortified fortress that protects us from the vandals of industry.
You are the ocean of hope in which we swim to safety.
A Detroit demolition man destroying the dragons of self-hate so
that self-determination can fertilize the community into a bouquet of spring flowers.

Better than Superman,
you be Free-the-Land Man.
Able to leap skyscrapers of injustice in a single bound
and slam dunk the lies about us through the hoop of truth.
Able to slay slimy Judges with a lightning rod of litigation
Faster than a speeding bullet,
you erased the “t” from can’t, making us a city of can.
And stronger than a locomotive,
you broke through the barriers
that have kept us herded like cattle,
unshackling our dreams from the dungeon of Dixicrats
A liberation lawyer willing to lumberjack the liars
who attempt to lay waste to the lives of rainbow children.
More than a mouthpiece for a moment,
You welded words into stainless steel
to slash the noose of oppression from the wretched of the earth.
Even when bad times became storm clouds blocking the sun,
you were a lighthouse leading people to the land of liberty.
Whether it’s planting proper seeds into your sons
so that they can sprout into life-giving trees,
or being an architect for your daughter
giving her the blueprint of properly engineered manhood,
you are a brick wall that protects all families
from the wolves, thieves, and pimps
that lurk like fungus in the pit of the night.

One of the Chief Captains of the Justice League of Super Negroes—
more amazing than Spiderman, you be Anansi the word weaver
spinning webs to stop the wicked from stampeding our sanity,
more fantastic than the four,
our shining Dark Knight of Democracy
freeing the land from monstrous mercantile Magnetos.
When my mild mannered mayor removed his suit there was
MXG on his chest and instead of a Batsignal
when we needed him we simply shined NAPO in the sky
but the feet-washer that he was kept him Assembled among the People
our own Afro-American Robin Hood
who was more Daring than those Mississippi Devils
Now that your spirit finally became too big for your body,
you are a pulsar that will forever illuminate our path to justice.