Tagged: Social Media

My recent Facebook Status

I’ve tried to stay off facebook, and I’ll keep trying. Let’s face it, sometimes it’s inflammatory for people you disagree with, sometimes it’s an echo-chamber for people you agree with and the rest of the time it’s an inane time waster at best and a vast wasteland (like TV) at worst.

I just want to let my family & friends know, that I don’t want to be obnoxiously inflammatory, and my political positions are not arbitrary or deliberately intended to offend you- they’re informed, reasoned and motivated by a life long love of country and passionate concern for democracy. I may have biases, but I’ve studied history, I try to read as much as I can and critically analyse facts and information.

Please keep all this in mind. Even when we disagree, please don’t just write me off with contempt. Even if I’m wrong, I’m not your enemy and I’m not stupid. I will try to offer you personally the same dignity and respect, even if I ridicule national figures and officials whom you defend.

It’s not a matter of conservative vs. liberal, libertarian vs. socialist, or old-fashioned vs. progressive. The current administration may not be as fascist as many on the left warn- but it is autocratic, hypocritical, and irresponsible. They are leaning toward authoritarianism and/or kakistocracy, not the centrist, democratic-republic we’ve enjoyed for 240 years. This isn’t just abnormal, this isn’t just change or the swing of the pendulum.

I will try to be speak out less often and with less vitriol (like I have for the last week or so), but please don’t expect me to remain silent as the Constitution, constitutional processes, constitutional principles and constitutional rights are eroded, ignored, and violated.

If things I share or comment on annoy, offend or disturb you, please consider un-following me. If I upset you that much, unfriend or even block me. I won’t be offended. Or, try what I’m going to try- moderate your engagement on Facebook. Who know, maybe some of us (myself included) could stand to give it up for Lent!


For Love of Country

This is a non-stop aching in the gut.

I can’t avoid the news forever, I apparently need to avoid Facebook and Twitter for at least a while.

Trump voters are offended by (and perhaps afraid of) the protests and flags being burned and the president-elect being disparaged.

Some of us who didn’t vote for Trump are frightened that civil rights and civil liberties will be stripped away. We are afraid that democracy as we knew it will be suspended, violated, tortured and dismembered.

Really? Wearing a damn safety-pin is unpatriotic?

Really? We’re persecuting you with words like “deplorable” or accusations of racism, sexism, & xenophobia? We’re the bullies? Not the Klansmen waving confederate flags at Veteran’s day parades? Not those writing Jew, and Nigger, and Faggot on peoples’ homes and cars?

Is it alarmist or reactionary or irrational to wonder if you should flee to Canada? Was it alarmist or reactionary or irrational for Austrians and Belgians and Czechs and Poles to flee Europe in the 1930’s?

I’m a coward. I will sit down and shut up and do my best not to rock the boat. It’s more important to me to get a long with neighbors and family and friends. I live in a homogeneous, rural area, what minorities or LGBT people do I have to stand up for?

But my hero, the mad I empathize for and admire right now is Captain Georg von Trapp, the Austrian naval officer who refused to support or accept an enlistment from NAZI Germany.

MY country was conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that ALL men are created equal. But it seems that our nation has been annexed by a power that believes in mocking the disabled, assaulting women, profiling Blacks, deporting Hispanics, “converting” homosexuals and torturing suspects. This new regime came to power on the fury of uneducated disadvantaged working class whites, but its intended policies will outrageously benefit the wealthiest of the wealthy.

Is this how Langston Hughes felt all his life? That the promises of equality and liberty and justice are all hollow, or at least that they are only for a privileged, privileged  few?

God, give me the courage to stand in the conviction of our principles. Grant me the wisdom and self-control and gentleness and the magnanimity to demonstrate and teach and persuade the angry, self-righteous, defensive masses those principles. But if the day ever comes, Lord, grant me the protection and opportunity to spirit my family to safety, like von Trapp did his across the Alps to Switzerland.

My country, ‘ tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing;

Our fathers’ God, to thee,
Author of liberty, to thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright
With freedom’s holy light;
Protect us by thy might, great God, our King.


Please Think; It Wont Kill You

Once upon a time newspaper and network television news editors required that their reporters confirm stories with three independent sources and had research departments and archives check facts. Today satellite TV “news” networks and the internet make information available to all of us 24 hours a day but it’s up to us to filter, prioritize and scrutinize all that information.

Alas, too many of us prefer not to take the time, effort and research (not to mention critical thinking skills) to vet much of the information which comes across our screens.

  • There’s the relative that shares how they’re outlawing the national anthem at pro sporting events. No, not so much. The Pentagon just got told they can’t spend so on PR spectacles meant to boost recruitment.
  • There’s the neighbor who wants you to re-post a picture of actors dressed as Vietnam soldiers- mistakenly thinking it’s a real shot from the late 60’s rather than a studio promo from a action-comedy a few years ago. Someone was testing to see how many rubes they could trick. Hate to tell ya this but…
  • Students who say that another teacher told them that the President is making it illegal to recite the pledge of allegiance in school, but it turns out it was a fake-news article from a satirical news site. If you’d read the whole thing, you might’ve noticed those quotes attributed to dolphins with lewd names.
  • Or the friend who posts that the Vice President says that the economy is bad because women are lazy. Seriously? Um… turns out no.

Forget about whether anyone is a secret Muslim, raising our taxes, or coming to take away our guns. All of these stories have been debunked. All of these stories fuel groundless speculation and incite division, resentment and prejudice.

Here’s thing thing folks, as New York Senator and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.”

So believe what you want. Vote your conscience. Belong and associate with which whatever party or organizations that you will. Support whichever candidates you think are most likely to represent your principles or interests, but please, for the love of Pete- PLEASE check things out before you share them. Don’t perpetuate tripe or propaganda. Look things up.

Here are a few websites that can help you do it: