Friday, November 04, 2016

Truth

Let me preface this by saying this is the most political post I've made in quite a while.  I'm sure some of it is affected by my own bias and I am very open to opposing views that can be discussed in a rational and logical manner.  If you want to change my view, provide me with proof, reliable sources, valid viewpoints I may not see.  Please try not to take offense.  Persuade me with Truth.

I just read a post that irritated me enough to respond regarding Trump...  I'll go through it section by section, as it was meant to be motivational to Trump supporters.

"Last night a friend claimed that Donald Trump wouldn't make a good president; he is brash, he is racist, he is a loudmouth; you know the normal things people learn to recite after being programmed by television news. The one I loved was that, 'Trump is arrogant.'
My friend questioned if one man could make 'that much difference in the world today.' To my friend's credit, she was respectful enough to let me respond when she asked, 'really, what has Trump done?'"
Some of those things aren't terrible, some are, but don't truly characterize Trump (though some of his supporters - a different story).  A little brashness, not being afraid to speak your mind, or a little arrogance are not bad traits for a president.  Those aren't really what I have a problem with in Trump.  My biggest issue is his aversion to truth and his use of fear to motivate.  More on that as we go forward.

"I said, 'In June of last year, Trump entered the race for president. In just a little over a year, Trump has single handedly defeated the Republican party. He did so thoroughly. In fact, he did so in such a resounding way that the Republican Party now suffers from an identity crisis. He literally dismantled the party. Trump even dismantled and dismissed the brand and value of the Bush family.'"
Trump has not defeated or dismantled the Republican party.  There were too many candidates in the primaries for main stream Republicans to get behind one.  Trump represented a faction of the party that is fed up with the establishment.  Trump didn't tear the party apart, he exposed deep fissures in the party that have been growing for years.  It wasn't his doing it was already there.  Had it been between him and one or two other candidates all along, he wouldn't be the nominee.  He didn't get the majority vote, he got the largest single percentage of many - there's a huge difference.

"Trump has Obama petrified that Trump will dismiss programs that weren't properly installed using proper law."
Not sure what they're going for here, but as for the ACA - Obama nor I are afraid of him dismantling it.  If (big if) he gets elected, sure, he'll make changes, but dismantling it or repealing most aspects of it simply won't happen.

"Trump has single handedly debunked and disemboweled any value of news media as we knew it—news now suffering from an all-time level of distrust and disrespect."
This only applies to those that support him, as they have to dismiss any legitimate news source as a farce to continue believing what comes out of his mouth.  They have all turned to alt-right "news" sources that don't check sources, spew whatever their readers or Trump want to hear, and have no credibility what so ever.  I only say this because I have spent way too many hours source checking and fact checking these sites to see if there is any truth to their claims.

"Trump has leaders from all over the world talking about him, whether good or bad. Trust me, powerful men who have been president before weren’t liked by the global community. I doubt Mikhail Gorbachev liked Reagan when Reagan said, 'Tear down that wall.'"
"Liked" is the wrong word here.  "Respect" would be the key here.  No world leader respects him.  Putin may say he does, as Trump is who he wants in office, but there is no resprect there.  And why are we putting any value on what Putin thinks?  Really?  World stability and peace is built on respect.  Our world relations would suffer immensely if Trump is elected.

"Trump has expressly disclosed the fraud perpetrated on the American public by Hillary Clinton. He has, quite literally, brought Hillary to her knees if you believe that nervous tension and disorders offer physical side effects and damage."
Clinton's witch hunt started loooonnnnngggg before Trump ran for office.  Has he fueled the fire - sure.  Is there some truth to aspects of the investigation, sure.  Has he made many false statements regarding what has been found, what has transpired, etc, definitely.  Her "nervous tension and disorders" are nothing more that dealing with the flu, not as a result of anything he has caused.

"Trump has unified the silent majority in a way that should be patently frightening to 'liberals.' As the press accuses Trump of being a house of cards, Trump has proven the press is the real house of cards. He has whipped up the entire establishment into pure panic. Trump has exposed them for who they are and worse, what they are. George Clooney was right when he said Trump draws live news coverage of his podium that he’’s not yet approached. Thanks, George, you were perfectly correct.
What we see as headline news today are actually the last bubbles from the ship that is now sunk—, meaning the standard news media, as a propaganda machine, has been exposed. They have no more value."
See my statement about the news/media above.  As for any "silent majority", Trump's supporters certainly are vocal, but a majority of people I interact with personally and online are definitely not Trump supporters.  And lest you say that I surround myself with those of my own ilk, you would be wrong.  I live in the heartland of conservative values, the reddest state in the nation.  Granted, I live in an urban area, and Trump will definitely take the state, but there certainly isn't a national "silent majority" that is unified behind Trump.  The only establishment that is in pure panic is the Republican establishment, as their party is fractured and divided, and likely will be for some time.

"In the same way Trump asked the African-American community this question, I asked my friend, 'At this point, what do you have to lose?' We have mass cop shootings, riots in our streets, ambushed cops, double digit inflation, bombs blowing up in our cities, targeted police, #BLM, a skyrocketing jobless rate, no economic growth, privately owned land being seized by the federal government, the worst racial tension in my lifetime, no God in schools, more abortions than ever, illegal aliens pouring into our country, sick veterans receiving no care, and a debt that doubled in seven years to $19 trillion. Are you really happy with the condition of the current system?"
This statement goes straight to what I mentioned above - neglect of truth and use of fear.  I'll have to break this section into sections, just to address all the problems and lies in it:
Mass cop shootings: I'm not sure what this is supposed to mean.  "Mass shooting" is typically defined as 4 or more people indiscriminately shot by a perpetrator.  Since the mid-1970s, the number of officers killed in the line of duty has steadily declined, while the number of officers in service has steadily increased - meaning the ratio of deaths per officer is definitely declining.  We just hear about it more now than ever.
Riots in our streets: There have been several riots / protests in recent years, but they are far from prevalent. Ask countries in Europe what "riots in the streets" are or those that remember the race riots in the 1960s. The civil unrest we are seeing now does bring up some points about issues we face, but they are far from any doomsday scenario.
Ambushed cops: See above.
Double digit inflation: This is laughable, it's so false.  I don't know where this stat came from, but the current inflation rate is historically low at 1.5% and has been historically low the entire time of Obama's presidency (even negative several months).
Bombs blowing up in our cities: I can find no direct statistics for bombs, but there have been bombing / attempted bombing incidents in recent years in Boston, New York, and New Jersey among other cities.  But what I can find are statistics of terrorism (both foreign and domestic) incidents in the US and those show record low deaths since 2004.  This is likely the result of heightened security measures put in place since 9/11, as many studies have shown.
Targeted police: Again, see above.
BLM: I won't delve much into this, as it could be an entire paper in itself.  There is a point to the movement, there is a disparity in how African Americans are often treated.  I don't agree with any of the violence or true rioting in the name of BLM - it accomplishes nothing positive.
A skyrocketing jobless rate: The jobless rate that is down to 5% from a high of 10% in 10/2009.  The rate that has been in steady DECLINE since that high?
No economic growth: By what standard?  The GDP that has increased from 14.58 trillion in 2008 to 16.58 trillion projected this year with steady growth in between?  The Dow Jones Industrial average that has increased from 6547 on 5/9/2009 to it's current 17,930 value today (steady average growth since it's low - a little flat lately)?  The job and inflation rates mentioned above? The shrinking budget deficit since 2009?  To be frank, I am having trouble finding any economic indicators that show a poor or stagnant economy.
Privately held land being seized by government: Since 2000 the federal government has given up about 23 million acres.  It's given up 5.5 million since 2010.  (http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42346.pdf)  All "news" sites that report federal land grabs provide no information sources for those statements, just links to the laws and acts that allow the federal government to do so.
The worst racial tension in my lifetime: I'm not sure who wrote the opinion piece, but if it's the source that's posted, they're about my age.  I'll agree that racial tensions are about as strong as they've ever been, but those that make racial statements seem to fall mostly on one side of the aisle, just sayin...  If you go just a decade earlier, none of this compares to the race issues faced in the 60's.
No God in schools: Student lead prayer / groups are allowed in schools.  Kids are free to believe as they wish.  God is not being taken out of schools.  For those select incidents where teachers or administrators overstep their authority in that regard, I wholeheartedly support the students' right to those activities.  What isn't ok is school, administrator, or teacher lead prayer or indoctrination.  A cross on a teacher's desk is fine.  Nothing has changed with this other than kid's and parents challenging violations, which is much more often then the other end of the spectrum.
More abortions than ever: The rate of abortions has steadily declined in the last decade (and longer), both according to the CDC (which is incomplete http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/) and private pro-life sources that take into account private lists (http://www.cdc.gov/reproductivehealth/data_stats/).
Illegal aliens pouring into the country: At worst it has held steady since 2009, up and down since then, but before that the population steadily increased year by year.  Obama has deported more illegal immigrants than any other president, earning the nickname "Deporter in Chief".  So no, there's no increase in that population and they're definitely not "pouring in".
Sick veterans receiving no care: The gist of this statement is true.  The VA department sucks in the area of veteran health care.  No arguments from me here.
A debt that doubled in seven years to $19 trillion: A bit exaggerated (doubled since 2008, so 8 years), but essentially correct.  However an independent analysis from the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget shows Trumps tax and spending plans would increase that debt to 105% of GDP in a decade compared to Clinton's 86%.  So in that arena what do we have to lose? Around $5 trillion extra dollars, that's what.  (http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/09/26/donald-trump-would-boost-debt-more-than-hillary-clinton-report-says/)
Where do you think his supporters pull these "facts" from?  They are simply regurgitating what he is saying, which is mostly false.

"One man has done all of this in one year—, one guy, and on his own dime. And with everything I’'ve written above, you believe Trump hasn't done anything? You claim that you are afraid of Donald Trump? No wonder we're in trouble. You can say that Trump is a lousy presidential candidate. That's your right. Just don't ever say he's not effective."
On his own dime...  Not really.  He has by far contributed the most to his own campaign, over $66 million to date, but he has accepted both small and large donations from others, over time equaling about a third of his campaign funds.  But really, that just goes to show the people's lack of support compared to other candidates who raise more money.  So how is that effective?  Oh, right, we're talking about the above listed "accomplishments."  Mm-hmm.

"That Megan Kelly, FOX News, CNN, MSNBC, Washington Post, Rachel Maddow, the Huffington Post, the New York Times, Raleigh’s News and Observer, the AP, Don Lemon, Jake Tapper, and many more, failed to implement their collectively orchestrated lie on the American people against Trump, is actually a massive testament to Trump. The press colluded pure propaganda to accomplish his demise …and they have collectively failed and miserably."
Right, the conservative and liberal media are joining together as part of the "establishment" to orchestrate a "lie" on the American people against Trump.  They're doing this by reporting the facts that they provide sources for, by reporting on his own statements, which often contradict himself, and by continuing to report on Clinton's woes and issues.  Yup, sounds like a valid point to me.  And no, they haven't failed, as most people can hear what he has said, from his own mouth, and judge for themselves.  Now the conservative media has done a fine job villainizing Clinton, other media have reported on her mistakes, and she does a miserable job explaining or trying to conceal the facts for whatever reason, so her popularity is terrible.  This leads many to "vote against her" as they are willing to look the other way or agree with the alt-right sources dismissing Trump's miserable character.

"Here's just one example of how badly America is injured right now. There are high school football players on their knees during the national anthem simply because the press used as propaganda to program those kids to do that very thing. But, these kids are mimicking NFL stars the same way the same kids choose which brand of football shoe to purchase, —they're overtly brain-washed to do that very thing."
And Trump would fix this how?  What does this even have to do with Trump?  I may not agree with what they do, but it's their first amendment right to do so and face whatever punishment their coaches decide to inflict upon them.

"Now, we have a generation of children who hate America."
What America do you live in?  Literally EVERY child I know across the political spectrum (often their parents' spectrum) respect and love America.  I have 3 children who have many friends and are involved in many activities, so I come into contact with many children.  There are those out there that don't (I've only seen through internet or news media), but they by far don't represent the generation they belong to.  Quit making broad generalizations to make a point that isn't valid.

"America’s problem isn't that little children are on their knee in collective disrespect of America. Our problem is that America is on her knee from collective disrespect by Americans."
Not sure if I should just say I have lots of friends across a broad spectrum and my above statement applies to adults too, or make a separate statement about how some issues require us to take pause and ask why some feel the need to be "disrespectful" by taking a knee to point out an injustice.  Bah, that's another post for another date.

"You can disrespect America all you want. But, it’s high-time you respect the silent majority. Because they're not simply the 'silent majority' as you've been trained to believe when Hillary calls them 'deplorables.' The fact is, they are simply the majority. And now they're no longer silent either. Donald Trump changed all of that, single-handedly and within one year.' From Be Forbes.'"
I have no disrespect for America, but I'm not a part of your "silent but no longer silent majority".  I've earned my respect from all the people I know through my actions and words.  By having character I can be proud of, by treating others with respect and being truthful and honest.  I don't mean to disrespect anyone who does support Trump, but I have to call most of these statements for what they are.  The majority that the author speaks of doesn't exist.  Trump has less support than any recent GOP candidate in my lifetime and probably further back.  The Democrats and liberals are solid in their opposition against him.  Even Bernie's supporters have begrudgingly offered their support of Clinton.  However I can't count the news stories of Republicans, conservative, and evangelical figures and organizations that have renounced Trump.  He barely has a majority support of his own party and that is only due to the "oppose Hillary" movement.  I won't call his supporters "deplorables", as I don't believe they are and I'm not prone to making gross exaggerations to make the point that some supporters have made "deplorable" statements.

"Bebe Coe Bertino
9/29/2016 , this is a copy and paste, and needs to be read and spread!!"
Hans Schroeder
11/4/2016 - Feel free to copy and spread, as the real facts need to get out.

Thursday, November 03, 2016

Friends

   What was originally going to be a post about how no matter how you vote or what you post, you can count on me not unfriending you gradually morphed into much more thought over the last week - longer now, as this post has been in the works for a while. I understand the temptation to block or unfriend someone when they post something that infuriates you or you seriously disagree with, but what does that accomplish (besides lowering your blood pressure)? It isolates you with people who think like you do, agree with what you think, and make you complacent. Without reading anything that goes outside your worldview, you don't grow, you don't expand you horizons, and no offense to some, but you brain rots. So that's my view on those that post that "of you don't agree, feel free to unfriend me."
   After I thought on those sentiments for a while, I engaged in some back and forth Facebook comments regarding a friend's posts that I took issue with.  Kudos to Steve Miller (TX), as he and I can always have civilized discussions regarding the facts as we see them and generally can come to agreement in what is actually fact and what may be speculation.  It helped me realize again that if two people often on the opposite sides of the spectrum can civilly discuss politics and open each others eyes in ways that we probably wouldn't view on our own, that just reinforces my thoughts above.  Those comments calm my irritation and frustration at what he and others post. That could also be accomplished by eliminating them from my feed, but I would lose valuable input that expands my view.
   Which brings me to my final point.  I have been hesitant to post much involving politics for fear of insulting or offending my conservative friends.  That also does them a disservice.  Some may get offended, some may get angry, some may even cut ties, but that isn't on me.  If they can't engage in the conversation, make and backup their points, or have a thick enough skin to take what I have to say with a grain of salt but also think about it, that's their loss.  Civil discussions and discourse is a civic duty of us all.  Being an informed voter is your responsibility.  If you only get information from friends and news sources that affirm your beliefs and ignore those that don't, YOU are part of the problem.  Go to the sources of info, do your research, and engage others on their views; that's all I ask.
   For those that took my earlier post on Facebook as me switching parties or political views, sorry to disappoint.  ;)