Fact-Free Ideology (Part Two): Election 2018 Edition

Fact-Free Ideology (Part Two): Election 2018 Edition

On June 2, 2016, I wrote Part One of this post.

Yeah, so I’m still here. I did all the checking before the election and the path out no longer exists for someone my age, without marriage and/or migration to another country as an ex-pat with the clothes on my back, and that’s so far from impractical it’s not even worth discussing. So I’m here. And I’m pissed.

Wasting my time with fact-free members of the “Let’s Pretend” Party or the “Screw You, I Got Mine” Party isn’t going to move us forward. The bold fact is that there are NO Third Party candidates strong enough to garner more than a hundred votes to every thousand in any House district, and the two Independents in the Senate vote with Democrats because there are ONLY two of them.

The only Independent in the whole House lives on the Northern Mariana Islands and he can’t vote because it’s a territory, not a state.

This rich fantasy life, brought to you by Ralph Nader and Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, is the most vile congregation of uneducated idealists I have ever connected with and that’s saying something, given my 46-year history as an aware citizen of the US.

Blind assumption that if we just push a little harder, everything will collapse and we will somehow reach the new day of the Green forgets that Gary Johnson (a Libertarian who is only one step removed from the GOP, and that step is to the RIGHT) was the guy who came in Third in the 2016 election. Stein was a distant fourth in all but two of the races, in which case she was FIFTH or even SIXTH.

As for the rest of us, who understand pragmatism and the U.S. Constitution, we have our work cut out for us. We are at eight months, two weeks, give or take a day, to THIS YEAR’s election. If we want to see change, we’d better start stepping up that game.

Leave the Greens to their delusional fantasy world and step around them. Do not engage. It’s not worth your time or energy to try and convince them that they are complicit in where we are today. Stop wasting your breath trying to convince them that they bought all the propaganda the GOP have sold them, and then some. They refuse to hear that they are complicit in this, that Russia took advantage of naive wishful thinking precisely because they could.

THIS is the reality we’re dealing with. Either we wipe the GOP out, completely, or the Russians win. And if you think their interference was restricted just to Trump supporters, pay attention to this nugget at the bottom of this article from CNN.com: The unwitting: The Trump supporters used by Russia:

Trump supporters were not the only people duped by the Internet Research Agency. As CNN has previously reported, Black Lives Matter activists and Muslim groups were also targeted.

Micah White, a co-founder of the Occupy Wall Street movement, also fell victim to the Internet Research Agency. In June 2016, he gave a telephone interview to the website Black Matters US, which was run by the group.

He told CNN last fall that Russia’s ability to successfully mimic American grassroot movements was concerning.

“If it is true that a Russian-based activist group is indistinguishable from an American-created activist group, that will have negative impacts on our ability to create social movements that are positive, that actually benefit ourselves and not some sort of foreign power.”

Think I’m kidding? This came out in September of LAST YEAR:

Russian-funded Facebook ads backed Stein, Sanders and Trump”

At least one touted Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, who Clinton says “may well have thrown the election to Trump.

Just stop. It’s like playing Pigeon Chess. Save your energy for the fight that’s coming!

If you want to push the Democratic Party to the left, by all means, do it. That’s what the Primaries are for. That is, if you’re registered in the Party. If not, you get no right to complain. That’s how Party politics works, whether you like it or not.

At the end of the day, if you don’t want a Republican in office, vote for the Democrat. You don’t get any other choices here.

A Tale of Two Rapes… *Trigger warning*

A Tale of Two Rapes… *Trigger warning*

CNN and the rest of our media are taking a lot of well-deserved flack for their report on the Stubenville, OH, rape verdict handed down Sunday.

There is also this report from CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2013/03/17/justice/ohio-steubenville-case/index.html 

I recognize that reporters are far less objective than they once were, but CNN (and the rest of our media sources) should take the public backlash as a clue to re-evaluate their reporters’ investigative standards. They need to understand that they promote this reprehensible custom: Sympathizing with criminals while leaving victims out to hang. Jezebel says Here’s What CNN Should’ve Said About the Steubenville Rape Case

CNN isn’t alone in letting this unadulterated crap slip through. Too many members of our society encourage this sort of thinking.

NBC News and Fox fared just about as well, though neither source came out and said it was a shame what happened to those boys. Yahoo (of all places) gets much closer to the truth of the situation Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel for calling it what it is.

Throughout this trial, the two defendants and a parade of friends who wound up mostly testifying against the defendants, expressed little understanding of rape – let alone common decency or respect for women. Despite the conviction, the defendants likely don’t view themselves as rapists, at least not the classic sense of a man hiding in the shadows.

We live in a culture of rape, patronizing subordination and violence. We glorify gun ownership and alcohol and we look for ways to excuse bad behavior because they’re young and don’t know better. But who taught them about behaving this way in the first place?

We encourage our kids to dress in ways that enhance their attractiveness to each other, but too often we fail to teach them anything about what should happen when they are together, about taking responsibility for one another, or what abuse means. The emphasis on the victim’s level of intoxication should lead us to wonder how she had access to so much alcohol, how she came to be in that condition when they abused her.

This “they’re OUR kids, hands OFF” approach to sex education leaves kids with a basic understanding of biology and no understanding of ethics. Add alcohol into the mix, reduce remaining inhibitions, and you have a mess on your hands. Assuming the family or church will handle it absolves our society of dealing with the real problem: Education our kids with empathy, understanding consequences and recognizing right from wrong.

But that’s not what CNN reported.

Is it social media that’s to blame? No. In fact, without access to the electronic connection, the victim’s abuse would have gone unreported and she would have had no recourse. Nobody would have believed her because “she lied” and must have “asked for it” by being at the party and drinking. At least, that’s the gist of the reports coming out of this trial.

So when her rapists are found guilty and punished, we hear sympathy for them and what they’ll go through now that they’ve been found guilty.

Really?

The only way we’re going to change our society is to acknowledge that these crimes deserve punishment and that victims are NOT to blame for being in the wrong place at the wrong time or for provoking the actions of their abusers.

In fact, there should be NO WRONG PLACE.

The real story here is how hard it was for victim to seek and receive justice, not how the verdict destroyed the lives of two boys because the victim sought justice.

How we address these issues speaks volumes about who we are as a society. For all the good we can do, there’s this, also from CNN:

6 men arrested in gang rape of Swiss tourist in India

Contrast? You bet. Sadly, it happens here, like this, all the time.

Nobody told those boys they were doing anything wrong until they got caught and punished.

Seems to me they regret getting caught as much or more than the acts they committed, as horrific as those acts were.

That is the biggest crime of all.

Insert witty title here…

Insert witty title here…

CNN. Gotta love them. Better than the Enquirer any day…

The good… [No longer CNN but NY Times, because this is the Memory Hole.]

Florida Court Strikes Down School Voucher Program

Gov. Bush vows to find ways to continue nation’s first program

TALLAHASSEE, Florida — The Florida Supreme Court struck down a statewide voucher system Thursday that allowed children to attend private schools at taxpayer expense — a program Gov. Jeb Bush considered one of his proudest achievements.

The bad… [No longer CNN but Media Matters. See above.]

Robertson suggests God smote Sharon

Evangelist links Israeli leader’s stroke to ‘dividing God’s land’

(CNN) — Television evangelist Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine retribution for the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, which Robertson opposed.

[Robertson later apologized here, because he was threatened with fund withdrawal: Robertson apologizes to Sharon’s son]

And finally, the ugly… [This one IS CNN.]

Wal-Mart ‘heartsick’ over DVD grouping

Reports: No. 1 retailer apologizes for racial links on Web site, spoofs poor holiday sales in song.

I don’t have an icon to reflect the proper sense of mixed disgust and relief. Must try to do something about that…

Noting the passing of a milestone…

Noting the passing of a milestone…

I was on my way out last night, heading for the first of two events (the latter being at my house) and I hit the airwaves just as this commentary from Benjamin Barber started on Marketplace. [The Wayback Machine’s link is here, but the actual recording is gone. Sorry about that. -CT]

The Last Full Measure

I find his take on the subject enlightening in a different way than you might expect. Seeing the big picture is what I seem to be about these days.

I was at the gym earlier in the day when I noted the 1999 on the daily CNN scroll tally, and had actively wondered when 2000 would be reached. It honestly didn’t take long. Not even 12 hours. I had intended to write something meaningful and profound concerning the milestone. How we are so focused on the storms and their aftermath, or on gas prices, or on the new threat to our very existence (Asian Bird Flu). Focused on everything except the daily toll being paid in lives lost. And how are we paying for it? In immeasurable ways.

I recognize that there are people out there who firmly and honestly believe we are doing the right thing in Iraq. We made the mess, and we should clean it up. Yeah. I’ve heard that rhetoric before. And I am certainly old enough to recall the divisive nature of the Vietnam War and its effect on the population. Just look at the pop culture from the time, and you’ll understand. And then go have a look in any store right now and you will discover another disturbing parallel. We’re dressing the same way we did then. We’ve got a leader who’s in just as much trouble as our leader was then. His Vice President is about to be hung out to dry (if we’re lucky) because it appears the leak came from the tippy top of the current administration. Corruption was then and is now just as rampant.

See CNN for more information on the subject: CIA leak probe has Washington waiting

My friend Mark has drawn some other conclusions that are telling. I especially like his comments here: The Onion, Channeling Nostradamus? and here: The Shoe Droppeth

And I believe my friend Jeff has the right of it, too. It isn’t that 2000 is a milestone. And it isn’t the number itself that is bothering me so much (although, believe me, it does bother me), but that the media is so focused on the US casualties (and boy, do I despise that word). I would be ever so much happier if they’d report with equal accuracy and frequency the total number of people who have died over this abortion of political planning. I don’t care where they’re from. I care that they’re people, and they are being killed because of the whole ideological mess we have caused over there.

Stupidest thing is, there is no elegant way to simply pull out. If we’re tossed out (like we’ve just been in Uzbekistan), then we’ll have no choice but to leave. It’s Saigon all over again, folks. Just 35 years later.

No wonder this time around the hippies are hip and it’s the vampires that have taken over the subculture. This whole situation sucks.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.