Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

It must be exhausting to hate someone. I’m just basing this on what I have observed over the years because I don’t believe I have ever really hated anyone. While there are a few people on this planet I probably have legitimate reasons to hate, I’ll leave that up to karma to take care of things.  I don’t have the energy.

It seems to me that hating Donald Trump must take even more effort. Not only do you have to fuel your actually hate; you have to alienate some of your friends, call people you don’t know racists, misogynists, and homophobes. Add to that now you have to properly boycott any business that has ever done anything related to Donald Trump or his family.

If you want to know how you too can properly distribute your hate...don’t worry, there’s an app for that. It’s called Boycott Trump and here’s the description:

“Created by the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, Boycott Trump is the first app of its kind, allowing users to hit Trump where it hurts most - his wallet. Search through over 250 companies and people to see they're directly connected to Trump. Make Trump and his allies pay, literally, for their hateful rhetoric and regressive policies. Use consumer action to take a stand for what's right! “

There’s also the hashtag #GrabYourWallet which has it’s own website. They only have about 60 companies on their list. At the bottom of this list is a section called “Entities not being boycotted at this time”. I take it that these companies “better watch themselves”. One of the businesses on that list is Facebook. Basically they say that Facebook should be boycotted:

“Given its massive international user base and high levels of daily engagement, the ways in which Facebook contributed to the distribution of propaganda / fake news during the election is of serious concern in our democracy and in the world.”

Yet they are not, because in part:

“it's a vital tool for self-organizing, particularly Pantsuit Nation & its local chapters”

I see, you should boycott unless it’s inconvenient for a cause you believe in.

The business on the “not right now” boycott list I find the most humorous is The Washington Post; a news organization that misses no opportunity to say something negative about the President.  Even though they say to boycott Amazon.com. For those of you that may not know, they are both owned by Jeff Bezos who has been in a long running feud with Trump. Their reasoning:

“Amazon is on the #GrabYourWallet boycott list and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos also owns the Washington Post, however the Post is an institution and David Fahrenthold did some of the most important investigative reporting of the election. When polled 58% of #GrabYourWallet participants said WaPo should not be added to the list. We do encourage people to subscribe directly versus via the Amazon site."

So boycott Amazon.com but not The Washington Post even though they are both owned by the same person. Yet boycott LL Bean because someone on the board supported Trump … huh?

They have also decided (for now) not to boycott any of “Companies reflected by Donald's cabinet picks” which was a wise decision on their part. After all, aren’t all those people billionaires? Between them wouldn’t they have investments in just about every major company and industry on the planet?

In order to boycott all those companies you’d have to be living like a militia survivalist in Idaho.

I don’t have time to live my life by rules based on hate. I prefer to use my time for more important things, like writing about how silly boycotting a company just because they sell a product from the daughter of a President that doesn’t even have an interest in the company anymore is.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Look Both Ways

I recently saw a video that’s circulating social media showing numerous instances of protesters being hit by cars.

If it wasn’t so tragic it would be like watching an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. After all, who in their right mind would go out in the middle of a street and assume that someone is going to stop their car or even attempt to avoid hitting you.

I wouldn’t do it … not now and not 30 years ago. When it comes right down to it, people in our society have become so self absorbed that they live in a bubble. There is only room in that bubble for one person, themselves.

The indicators of selfishness have been there for years. Divorce rates are up and marriage rates are down, with more people than ever deciding to live together. Commitment doesn’t mean much these days; taking care of yourself is the most important thing.

So when the Black Lives Matter, Trump Is Not My President or “insert your cause here” protesters decide to stop traffic on a busy street (or Interstate) by standing in it; they have made a terrible choice. These days people are just not going to stop. Not only are they not looking for something like that, they are very busy talking on the phone, texting or updating their Facebook status. I’m not saying they shouldn’t stop, but I’m going to be the devil’s advocate here and say in the abstract, I don’t blame them.

Over the past several years this growing narcissism in our society has generated a surprising number of people who are convinced that they are the center of the universe. They have been told that no matter what they think or how stupid it is that their opinion is valid. The violent protests we are seeing is a manifestation of their anger. People are not listening and acquiescing to their view of the world, they are not being heard. They must up their game, they MUST be heard. After all, they are right and what they believe is righteous. If you don’t agree with them you must not be listening or you’re just too stupid to understand.

So when all these mini universes get together in a group it’s creating a super-nova of anger, because these people are further validated by being a group of the like minded. Then add to that the the recent images of rioting, cars being burned and people being dragged out of their cars and beaten, you have a toxic atmosphere.

So when people driving their car approach a crowd of people blocking the street, yelling and screaming - their reaction is a simple one, self preservation. They do what you expect someone to do, keep their foot on the gas. I can’t blame them; they’re afraid. I’m sure those images they’ve seen are flashing through their head at the time and it creates a fear. A fear that they could become the next “victim”. Their reaction is completely understandable, as misguided as it may be.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, it’s going to get worse. Yelling, breaking other people's stuff, and insulting people is not going to work. Most certainly, inconveniencing people by holding up traffic is not a good way to convince someone you are right. You could line up a group of pregnant women across the road and I don’t believe people would stop. It would just end up looking like automobile bowling …

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Art of Hyperbole

“A hyperbole is an extreme exaggeration used to make a point.”

For those of you who are screaming at the top of your lungs about (now) President Donald J. Trump, I doubt that you will believe any of what I’m about to write. You’ll write me off as a Trump apologist. That is not true, I am Anti-Hyperbole; I don’t care who the person is or what the subject is. I hate to see people whipped up into a fervor based on half truths.

I say half truths because great hyperbole (like a great joke) is based on a truth. So hear my words because I know what I am writing about. I do so not to change your mind, I do so to encourage you to think for yourself for your own well-being. People use these half-truths to inflame you; don’t fall for it. It’s OK to be against someone or something, but do so based on the TRUTH.

Here comes the disclaimer …

I'm not saying Trump was the right or wrong choice; that's up to you to decide. What I am writing about is a great example of blatant hyperbole and it shouldn't be a part of the argument. Yet people use this like an ABSOLUTE fact to bolster their argument. It makes them look like mindless followers. The following serves as a great example of how people are being hoodwinked.

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, so she should have won the election.

The truth - Neither candidate was campaigning for the “popular” vote. They were campaigning for the “Electoral College” vote.

For those that may not know, here is the description of the Electoral College.

“The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the President. Your state’s entitled allotment of electors equals the number of members in its Congressional delegation: one for each member in the House of Representatives plus two for your Senators.”

With two exceptions (Maine and Nebraska) it’s “winner take all”, win the state and you win the votes for that state.  The bigger the population, the more votes. California earns you 55 votes; Wyoming, 3. So the strategy of winning a Presidential election is based on that model.

In 2008 Barrack Obama annihilated  John McCain by winning 365 (68%) votes to McCain’s 173 (32%). Based on that you would assume Obama won a clear majority of the states. In fact, he won 28 (56%)  of the states. The popular vote (for the two candidates) that year was 129,391,711. Obama received 69,498,516 (53%) and McCain 59,948,323 (46%). A difference of 36 points in the Electoral College vote vs 8 points for the popular vote.

in 2016 Donald Trump had a significant Electoral College victory over Hillary Clinton. Trump won 306 (56%) votes to Clinton's 232 (43%). Trump won 33 (66%) states. As we all know the popular vote of 132,824,833 went 65,844,954 (48.2%) for Clinton and 62,979,879 (46.1%) for Trump. A difference of 2 points of the popular vote in favor of Clinton compared to 32 points in favor of Trump in the Electoral College vote.

My point (and why I forced you through the mind numbing numbers) is that the difference in the gaps of the results (Electoral College vs Popular) show there is an obvious focus towards the Electoral College. If this was not true, the gaps between them would be similar.

Saying because a candidate won the popular vote means they should be President it like saying that a losing football team should have actually won because they gained more yards. In a football game the only thing that is counted are the points scored. In a Presidential Election, the only thing that is counted is who won the state.

Before you say that it’s just these elections, I went back and compared elections back to 1960 (current history) and the results are similar. Wide margins for Electoral College vs small margins for the popular vote.

My only point here is not to allow some partial truth to be a part of your decision making process. Don’t let someone else tell you what to think. Do your own research, base your opinion on truth …