Thursday, December 15, 2016

Why should we listen to your lies and half truths?

Good morning,
As I sit here working on tasks I need to complete today I found myself a bit outraged.
Part of my day is spent reading through certain forums I am a member of and responding to posts in which  I feel I can add value to the conversation, or at least a little humour.

Earlier today someone posted a YouTube video that was published by Unite for America. Even the name of the organization is a joke since they just seem to be creating more division in this country.

Here is a link to the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi7MGM_xFC8

In this video a number of actors and actresses appeal to the representatives to the Electoral College to not vote for Donald Trump. This is the last ditch effort of a defeated group of people who feel that their thoughts and beliefs are more important than the votes of millions of Americans. They even state in the video, "I am not telling you to vote for Hillary Clinton". No, but you are all on camera as saying, in this same video, "Don't vote for Trump." What other choice do they have if not Trump?!?

Dear God, have we as a people really sunk to the point that these self absorbed liars, for that is actually what an actor is, a liar, people feel that they are so important that they can go on camera and tell the nation that the results of the election should be changed because it didn't go their way.

Let me break down a few things I saw in this video.

  1. They claimed that the representatives to the Electoral College (I am going to start calling it the EC for sake of my poor fingers) have a Constitutional right to vote the way they want. Actually... they don't. Although some states do not require the designated representitves to the EC to vote a particular way, many states do have laws in place that state that the representative MUST vote the same as the state voted so this is completely untrue.
  2. The EC is the last defense against an unqualified candidate being put into office. Kinda true, but only in that it doesn't tell the whole truth. No surprise there, standard operating procedure for politicians. In truth, the President was originally designed to be elected by Congress but as discussions went along people began to realize that this really gave a LOT of power to a very few men so it was decided that the EC would be created so the people would elect the President not a small cabal of men who decided to control the country. Remember, these were the same people who had just fought against a tyrannical King and wanted to insure that their descendants stayed free rather than return to servitude to a government that controlled their lives. The EC is there also to give the smaller population states, like Nebraska, Wyoming, or Montana a way to be represented and not let the likes of New York and California run the whole show. Of course with the entertainment industry being based in both those states they tend to feel they do anyway. But that is a whole different blog.
  3. The EC was created to ensure that the office of the President went to someone where was "to an eminent degree, endowed with the requisite qualifications." and Donald Trump is not that person. Hillary Clinton is that person, at least that is what they are saying, but not saying as they don't tell the EC rep to vote for Hillary not Donald. Apparently, they, the entertainers in this video, are far more qualified to determine who is more qualified to be President than the 62 MILLION voters who selected Donald Trump as their candidate of choice. The thing to keep in mind is that although Clinton won the popular vote, the EC systems states that just because you win the biggest states, the ones with the most population, it doesn't mean you represent the majority of the country. Go back to point 2 for more on that topic. ;)  Either way, who are these people that they feel qualified to determine which candidate is "to an eminent degree, endowed with the requisite qualifications"? Just because you played a role in West Wing, M*A*S*H, or The Librarians does not mean you are the best judge of whole is qualified. The millions of people who voted are the ones who make that determination... with their votes. Sounds like the qualifications were reviewed and accepted.

Ultimately, this little outburst on my blog is really not going to make a big difference, but hopefully you, my few readers, will take the time to realize that we need to stop letting others determine our opinions and instead think for ourselves. Do we really want the voice of an actor to determine whether we should be able to defend ourselves when attacked; have the ability to eat meat whenever we want; drive cars using fossil fuels; or live in a country that is energy self-sufficient? Or instead should we let the voices of a few hundred people who have the money to buy air time decide that we should be defenseless when our homes are invaded by thugs; have to eat soy proteins because farming is a violence against the cows; and drive cars that can only go and average of less 100 miles before needing hours of charging again. Yeah, that's going to work out there in the Sand Hills of Nebraska where there is a charging station around every corner. Yup.

File:Nebraska Sandhills NE97 Hooker County 3.JPG - Wikipedia, the free ...

I guess what I really want to say to these actors who stood up to ask for people to break the law and change the course of an election (something they chastised the Republicans for doing to a lesser degree not that long ago I might add). I am sorry. I am finding more and more that I don't really want much to do with your entertainment because you just can't seem to keep your opinion to yourself. Although I respect your acting ability, more and more I just can't respect you.

Shut up and act.

For a review of how the votes actually went last November take a look at this page: http://cookpolitical.com/story/10174

Thanks for listening.

- TT

Monday, October 3, 2016

Thoughts on Bullying - part 2

In part 1 of this 2 part series I talked about how I was impacted as a child and my thoughts on how to get handle on being bullied. In this episode I want to talk about bullying in the modern era.

Let's see what the Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary says the definition of bullying is:

bully verb  bul·ly
Simple Definition of bully
: to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person) : to act like a bully toward (someone)
: to cause (someone) to do something by making threats or insults or by using force
Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

These days there is still plenty of bullying and there are lots of people calling it out. But there is this new type I am seeing where people are more actively becoming a bully to silence others who do not agree with their beliefs regardless of the presence of logic.

 A recent Facebook post by Ian Soliterman featured a video that shows how this works. In the video we see a young man wearing a hat with the words "Make America Great Again" which happens to be the slogan for Donald Trump's Presidential campaign. Regardless of your affiliation or beliefs, it is rather hard to belief that this phrase can be interpreted as hate speech in anyway since it is really just saying that America isn't as good as it was in the past and the speaker/wearer believe that we should work to make America better than it is. It says nothing about race or political/sexual preference. And yet a young lady begins to demand that he remove his hat on the grounds that it is hate speech.
She has the right to tell him this, whether she is right or wrong, but he also has the right to wear the hat. If it had an obscene image or phrase then there would be grounds to remove the hat, but alas, it is all about a 4 word statement. However, that isn't the part that makes her a bully. That comes when she begins to tells him that if he doesn't remove the hat she will go to the president of the school, because she has a meeting with him already, and the president will punish this young man for not removing his hat. The bullying is even more amazing in that this is a person who tells everyone they have to practice tolerance and yet obviously has none.

Sadly the video ends with someone actually being all happy that they ran over and stole his hat. The victorious look on their face for just stealing a hat is sad in so many ways. It honestly looks like teh punchline in a Saturday Night Live skit.

Just because you believe something doesn't give you the write to coerce others into doing what you want and to observe your beliefs. Bullying happens when people don't know how to communicate and also don't know how to negotiate. If they can't handle not getting their way then they resort to the aggressive mode and start forcing others to do what they want by physical or mental force.

The right way to handle the solution? Discuss the difference. Many times the real problem is that you don't agree with them and one of you is operating under the misconception that you are the only correct. Sometimes you are both right... to a degree. Sometimes you are wrong and they are right. Sometime they are right and you are wrong. Figure it out and come to an understanding.

Once it reaches the point that this video shows, then the right thing to do is either walk away and get assistance or stand up for yourself. Many times they only bully because they feel empowered when you don't resist. The young man in this video would be best served to take the video and show it to school authorities. Although in this day and age that may actually do nothing for him.

But how should you, dear reader, behave?
- Treat others with respect and don't push your views on others.
- If others don't agree with you, discuss it.
- If others result to violence either escape or stand. The situation will have to determine the choice you make, but you have the right to defend yourself.
- Don't allow yourself to me made the victim... stand up for yourself and others.

- TT