The War on Reputations

There’s a new Civil War in progress and nobody’s winning. This Civil War is all about destroying the reputations of political partys, politicians, news media, government institutions, and ordinary people who have found themselves in extraordinary situations.

This is a many-sided war with battles being fought over the reputations of participants. In politics, it’s about Republicans vs Democrats and who will bend the government to their will while it loots USA national treasure for its party.

Outside of national politics, it’s about the reputations of celebrities, businesses and their leaders, and the burgeoning growth of internet personalities. The destroyers attack the reputations of famous people, the reputations of historical events, and the reputations of religion, morality, and financial institutions. And they especially attack the reputations of hard work, civility, deferred gratification, and common decency.

The weaponization of social media is the suitcase bomb of the 90s. The tools of social media allow everyone to become a potential bomb maker and everyone else a potential bomb thrower. In the hands of irresponsible people, the innocent-and-imperfect are attacked with weapons in which there is no defense. There is no defense from the lies that are told or the misrepresentations of the truth. It is scorched earth warfare.

The War on Reputations is an ugly war. It is anarchy on the internet. A “hater” chooses a target and launches his/her hate bomb. Others pick up the same material and fashion it for their own purpose. When government or businesses attempt to stop the bombmakers, other haters attack those same governments and those same businesses and accuse them of denying free speech or being fascist, communist, anti-this, or a sympathizer for that.

The only way to win this war is either not to play the game (a la War Games) or become totalitarian and control the content. For humankind, it appears that controlling the content is the only viable option. Self-control is preferred but “from the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.”

Just as newspapers and magazines controlled the content of their publications, the ISPs may be required to control the content in their e-publications.

Accusations and mudslinging will need an outside force to control them. And that is exactly what many fear.

The legislation that controls the content of the US internet will be foreboding at best; but to live with a free market of smearing, sneering, and fleering seems impossible. To give every person access to social media bomblets and permit the desecration of the innocent-and-imperfect seems too permissive. Not everyone is an adult and not everyone is equal. We should recognize that.

The War on Reputations could use a few Rules of Social Media Warfare and violations of those rules should likely become Social Media War Crimes with attendant consequences. Perhaps a new Geneva Convention is needed to craft those rules.

Any takers?

Participatory Democracy

Well, you are about to see the conclusion of six weeks of effort to impeach a President.

What did you do to participate in YOUR democracy? If you did nothing, then it’s not your democracy, is it?

If you read the memes and watched the news, you did the same thing that every person in the world did. You became an informed and silent citizen whose opinion was never counted…whose voice was never heard.

This is a participatory democracy. You get what you put into it. If you put nothing in, then you get whatever comes out from other people’s participation.

Perhaps you will remember four years from now that the Democrats exaggerate everything and the Republicans do nothing. Doesn’t matter whether its a pandemic or a budget or voter ID or whatever. If you don’t participate, you get the dregs of every democracy in the world: the worst candidates, the worst policies for people, the worst outcomes, and the worst legislatures, judges, and executives.

Every policy and every law and every outcome is because someone with a voice speaks for it or against it. When your voice is not heard, nobody cares about you. Why should they if you don’t speak up in a participatory democracy?

You can write your Congressman, you can send letters to the editor. You can inform others. You can comment on this blog. You can go to Washington. You can march in the street. Heck, you can even storm the Capitol.

I hope you choose to participate in the future. If you want a world for your children, and your grandchildren, that keeps them safe and allows them to succeed, you need to do something about it.

Participate. With Respect. With Honor. With American principles in mind.

Lend your voice. Be gracious when you lose. Be grateful when you win. This is the best American most of us can ever be.

ROFL: 1st Amendment Rights?

In a brief filed on the eve of the impeachment tria l, lawyers for the former president leveled a wide-ranging attack on the case, foreshadowing the claims they intend to present when arguments begin Tuesday on the same Senate floor that was invaded by rioters on Jan. 6.

They suggest that Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights when he disputed the election results and argue that he explicitly encouraged his supporters to have a peaceful protest and therefore cannot be responsible for the actions of the rioters. They say the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office, an argument contested by even some conservative legal scholars, and they deny that the goal of the case is justice.

So let me get this straight, the President wasn’t undermining the Federal government process when he said Mike Pence should throw out the certified elections of 50 states? He was exercising his 1st Amendment right?

When the President called the Georgia Governor and wanted him to “find” 47,000 votes, the President was exercising his 1st Amendment rights? When the President conspired in a three-hour meeting in late December to weaken the police presence, whip his followers into a frenzy, and launch them towards the Capitol to disrupt the Electoral College on January 6th, the President was exercising his 1st Amendment rights?

Give me a break.

Who thinks this stuff up? Do they think everyone is an idiot?

I believe black people now

I was a skeptic for the longest time. I never believed that white men over 40 were THE problem in America. Now I am inclined to believe it.

I wasn’t a problem. I did not hate nor was I racially prejudiced. I was careful not to offend. I tried to treat people with respect. If I failed, no one ever told me.

I was a mediocre white guy who was focused on making something of my life. I got lucky along the way and here I am now.

Do you know the name Jack Weinberg? He is the originator of the phrase, “Don’t trust anyone over thirty.” His life should be made into a movie. Look him up.

I want to change his phrase to say “Don’t trust white men over forty in politics.”

I believe black people who say old white men are the problem. I believe women who say old white men are the problem. I believe the millennials who say old white men are the problem.

President Donald Trump and the Grand Old Party of Republicans have convinced me. Mitch McConnell has convinced me, COVID has convinced me, and every black person beaten by a police man has convinced me.

When the President of the United States tries to overthrow the vote count in the US by saying some cloudy group of somebodies has rigged the election in America, he’s an old white man trying to invalidate the votes of Democrats so he can win office. When his supporters tell lie after lie about the vote count, they are all old white men who are trying to save the Republican President for a second term.

When the Republican Party thinks that laissez-faire public health policy is the best way to go, they are mistaken even in the face of data that says otherwise. They are old white men who want other people to suffer instead of thriving. They want big box stores to thrive and hometown business to go away.

When the riots of 2020 for police brutality and police violence are EXACTLY like they were in the 1960s, I believe white men over 40 have not changed since the 1960s.

When the old white men of the Republican Party implement voter suppression, I want to gag. They don’t support the America I want in my grandchildren’s future.

Shall we talk about the old white men in the Democrat Party? Chuck Schumer? Joe Biden? Tom Perez and Stony Heyer? Maybe a better class of people but their collective intelligence is not all that great. This is the group that forced upon us $5 light bulbs and said we couldn’t sell old babycribs. This is the group that continues to give things to crybabies and even talks about paying people today for the social crimes of a century ago. Reparations, my butt. This is the group that has one solution for everyone AND insists that Equality is FAIR. One size does not fit everyone. They are incredibly racial but not racist. If they had their way they would have representation in Congress by race and gender, and not by political boundaries with state sovereignty.

The only thing renewable supported by old white men in politics is their gerrymandered districts. Sheesh. Renewable election results.

Sustainable re-elections. Generational wealth and generational seats in politics.

The ignorance of white men over 40 and the lust to control the power of their positions is beyond comprehension.

I don’t know if women will be different. I don’t know if blacks will be different. But I want to find out.

I believe black people now.

President Trump’s Rushmore Speech

If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s a great speech and except for one swipe at Democrat mayors, it reflects the American character of exceptionalism.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-south-dakotas-2020-mount-rushmore-fireworks-celebration-keystone-south-dakota/

I am thankful I did not see him deliver the speech. It would have ruined it for me. I would have focused on his hubris and his poor character as a human being. He will never measure up to the presidential legacies of those who were carved into the rock behind him. But he did have this one great speech.

After President Trump’s praise of our Founding Fathers, he went on to say:

“Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children.

Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our Founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they are doing this, but some know exactly what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive. But no, the American people are strong and proud, and they will not allow our country, and all of its values, history, and culture, to be taken from them.

The President goes on to say:

“One of their political weapons is “Cancel Culture” — driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees.  This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and our values, and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.  (Applause.)  This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty, must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly.  We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children, end this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life.  (Applause.)

In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.  If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished.  It’s not going to happen to us.  (Applause.)

There is a lot of truth in these statements… And a bit of irony that the President fires everyone perceived as disloyal to him while embracing the concept of tolerance for opposing viewpoints.

“Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country, and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes, but that were villains.  The radical view of American history is a web of lies — all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted, and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition.”

The President goes on to remind everyone about our national heroes.

In all of the bad things we can say about this President, there is this one good speech about America; there is the calling out of a new fascism that seeks to tear the American Dream into shreds and replace it with an American Nightmare. An American Nightmare to scare the innocent, frighten the ignorant, and horrify the rational and reasonable citizens of America.

We are not now and never have been anything but exceptional.

Our country has abandoned its racist past and its misogynist culture.

It has defeated Nazis, Communists, and a variety of totalitarian dictators.

While the embers of these firestorms still glow, the fires have been extinguished. We must continue to be vigilant so they do not re-kindle into a conflagration once again.

While my disdain for President Trump remains high, he will be replaced one day and America will move forward once again to remove the yoke of misery off the shoulders of its citizens and off the world.

It is our legacy and our future as a nation.

Believe in America’s history, believe in its future.

Equal Opportunity vs Equal Outcome

Now that the races, the sexes, the genders, the aged, and the religious have equal opportunity in America. We are being told that equal opportunity is simply not enough. We must have equal outcome.

Regardless of your DNA, your parental upbringing, your geography, your DISC assessment, your whatever, it is racism if you do not have an equal outcome in life as other people. You should be compensated in some way for the “disparity” in your life versus the life you perceive others have.

Maybe we should call it Outcome Envy. Outcome Envy is the “need” you have to be like all the others not of your kind. You already know your kind, of course, but this is about you being equal to those who are not like you.

( Speaking of “needs”, does it bother you that nobody asks respectfully for anything? Instead of “May I have a light?” It’s “I need a light.” Instead of “Could you please do this for me?”, it is now ” I need you to do this for me.” I hate that.)

Equal outcome. Why in the world should people with more talent than others have more success? Why should people with more ability have more benefits?

We are all the same aren’t we?

Now, really, doesn’t that phrase conflict with “you are unique”? Or “you are special”? Of course it does.

The socialists in the world still wish to dominate who you are inside. The real you, the eternal you, the you with a soul. They try to convince you that you are not unique and do not have special talents. If everyone is the same, then you should have what everyone else has.

Equal opportunity means you are not burdened by laws and access to fulfill your dreams. You can make your life a success with the natural elements around you. Equal Opportunity is the opportunity to compete ; it is not a guarantee of success.

Equal outcome is like a Participation Award. Regardless of your effort, your DNA, or your abilities, you fit some generic idea of a human being who lived and you should be awarded a prize for being alive. Equal outcome is a horse race in which every horse wins regardless of which is first, second, or last. Like an adoring mother and father, the STATE will reward you with kisses and love for participating. It is the way parents treat children and it is demeaning to treat an adult that way. At least, it ought to be.

Systemic Racism? Sheesh

Per wikipedia: Institutional racism (also known as systemic racism) is a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions. It is reflected in disparities regarding wealth, income, criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other factors.

The difference between being rich and being poor is now defined as racism.

The only discrimination permitted under law nowadays is the ability to afford your desires. Money is the only way to discriminate in society today. There is no systemic age, gender, sex, race, and religious discrimination. Those systems have been broken.

At one time, money was known as motivation.Now it is racist.

If you can’t afford your desires and the quality of life you pursue, then it is now officially known as racism.

After 50 years of removing barriers to black-white integration in the societal systems of education, sports, finances, criminal justice, healthcare, politics, employment and another hundred aspects, it is no longer enough for a young black person to have equal opportunity with a young white person. It is now important that the collective black person because of his/her race be made equal BY LAW, not BY OPPORTUNITY, to something others now define as disparity.

This is a socialist idea masquerading as racial inequity. The socialists are hijacking race in the name of socialism.

Quoting DRWORKS: “We cannot dismantle racism in a system that exploits people for private profit. If we want to dismantle racism, then we must build a movement for economic justice.”

There are 50 years of progress in removing racist programs and practices that were once embedded in the fabric of American society. Programs and practices had their foot on the neck of black people long before George Floyd was born. Those programs and practices were dismantled in the past 50 years.

Today, every person graduates high school with an equal opportunity to create their future. Whether you are white or black or something in between, your future is in your hands. If you make something of yourself, you will lead a life you have fashioned with your two hands, with your intellect, with all your abilities, and sometimes with a little luck.

If you fail at life today, this is not society’s fault. If you take drugs, if you have poor work habits, if you pursue vices in your life, if you have a negative attitude, if you are not mindful of your actions, you will not make a successful life for yourself. If you fail, it is all on you. Just like athletes must train to be a better athlete, you must train to have a better life or you will fail when life makes the game really hard on you.

Let’s use an analogy to make another point about life. The California Gold Rush. Some people sold their possessions in Missouri and headed for California to pursue the wealth imagined available for everyone. Some people began their journey from Ohio. Others began from New York City, and there were even people from Europe who made the journey to California gold fields. Each had the same goal. The farther one was from California, the longer and more difficult the journey. MANY people did not make it to California. They stopped along the way and said “this is as far as I am willing to go”. Of those who made it to California, some never found the gold they sought.

Today, everyone in the US begins from St Louis in life. (Everyone but the rich, of course,… money has its advantages.) We all begin as high school graduates, no money of our own, uncertain about what we are going to do, and where we will end up. We all journey to California and goldmines.

The idea that disparity is racism is a racist pronouncement itself. It says to people that they do not have the ability to better themselves because of their race. It says they cannot overcome the travails of life even when the playing field is level.

And most egregiously, systemic racism says those who have something only have something because of racism, from some injustice they perform upon others.

How sick is that thinking?

Sheesh.

Black Lives Matter

For a fledgling organization, BLM is racking up some impressive results. Perhaps they are benefiting from the times, or perhaps its the leadership, or perhaps the deployment of technology, or perhaps it is simply the sharp focus of the mission, or perhaps all of it.

Largest civil rights gatherings in history…It has become a movement.

I was at the website to learn more.

https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

The group is focused exclusively on the “state-sanctioned violence and anti-Black racism”.

The “state-sanctioned violence” (SSV) and the “anti-Black racism” (ABR) are two things we can all wrap our heads around regardless of our race or ethnicity.

The training of police forces must move away from the “one-size-fits-all” arrest and detain methodology. Handcuffing crying children is outrageous. So too, the beating of suspects into submission.

Alternative arrest methodologies should be developed and promoted in police departments everywhere.

It is better that a hundred suspects escape detention and arrest than it is for an innocent man OR woman to be beaten or killed. You don’t have to be Black to understand that.

And yet, we ask our police force to address lawlessness and brutality everyday. We ask our police forces to be the line of defense between gang violence and middle-class America. We also ask our police forces to confront violent behaviors and make the home and the street safe for the non-violent among us.

Black Lives Matter because every one of us should be safe from racism, anarchy, violence, and brutality, regardless of origin but especially from our governments.

One image, many interpretations

The President sees the looting and mob actions.

The Media see the abuse of the innocent by the Authorities.

The Democrats see the outcome of rich versus poor politics.

The Republicans see the outcome of poor choices made by individuals.

The Communists see an opportunity to de-stabilize Americans from their government.

The Fascists see an opportunity to demonstrate the Force of Law.

The Antifa see an opportunity to rebel against Authority.

Law Enforcement sees civil disobedience.

The emotionally sensitive see the pain of others.

The emotionally insensitive see the weakness of others.

And what about you? What do you see?

Yikes!

“Trump spoke to governors on a video teleconference with law enforcement and national security officials, telling the local leaders they “have to get much tougher” amid nationwide protests and criticizing their responses.

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

***

So says the man who went into the bunker this past weekend because of protesters at the White House.

So says the man who praised the professional response of his Secret Service men on the White House lawn who arrested six people and yet the protests continue at the White House.

So says the bully to the rational and reasonable among us.

So says the man who is consistently wrong on everything.

Perhaps his message should be a bit more specific? Like protect the innocent, protect property, arrest rioters and looters?

Nah, just be tougher…on everyone…