One man’s…

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Perspective, or point of view, makes a big difference in how you or others view something. When it really comes down to it, no one perspective is correct because everyone sees things just a little bit differently. Two people can experience the exact same thing, yet have different views about what happened, how it happened, who it happened to, and what happened afterwards.

One man’s patriot is another man’s terrorist.

When I was teaching my history classes and specifically a class on modern terrorism I used to challenge my students’ thought by giving them the phrase above. It is based on the statement, “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” I have researched who may have first uttered these words, but I can’t find anything that definitively gives attribution, so I can’t give you that info. But, that isn’t really the point.

Who defines a patriot and a terrorist really comes down to perspective or interpretation. There is no one definition that can truly encompass what the words actually mean. As such, it almost always comes down to who has the power to define the people, the actions, and the result. As Michael Bhatia of Brown University puts it, “…it’s about power, authority, and legitimacy.”

Now, he is talking specifically about international terrorism in general, but I think we can apply the situation and phrase to many different historical events because there are always two sides to take a look at.

  • The leaders in Britain saw the colonists as insurrectionists, terrorists, etc. as the colonists fought to create the United States. But the colonists saw their own people as freedom fighters, patriots, etc. because they were standing up to the tyranny of England.
  • The American military saw Iraqis in Iraq as terrorists when they blew up convoys, attacked bases and outposts, and killed Americans whether they were in the military or not. But the Iraqis saw the American military as an invading occupier and those who fought against the occupier were freedom fighters and patriots.
  • The leadership in South Africa saw the South Africans fighting for their rights and freedoms as insurrectionists and terrorists, but Nelson Mandela and his followers saw themselves as a freedom fighters and patriots.
  • Fidel Castro and his followers viewed themselves as patriots and freedom fighters who liberated their island from the right wing government and imperialist international interests while the government and international community viewed him as an insurrectionist and terrorist.

These are but a few examples. The point is, those in power have the ability to define anything and anyone as they see fit. We can’t let them define situations and people so easily without a little common sense and critical thinking.

What happened at the capitol last week can be viewed in much the same way. Are we going to let the media and those in power dictate who is a patriot and who is a terrorist? The use of either word has strong connotations behind them and if not used carefully, as in just throwing them around to fit a political agenda, it could harm people and ideas, and most importantly freedoms. It could keep people from standing up and fighting for their rights when there is legitimate cause to do so.

We must be careful when defining who is a patriot and who is a terrorist, because if we aren’t then the terms can too easily be manipulated for political purposes, which in turn allows us to be manipulated for political gain.

Idiocy

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I hate to say it, but America (the land that I love and still think is better than anywhere else in the world) has become the land of idiocy. Yesterday, as well as the events of the last…well, pick a time frame…either way, this stupidity has been going on for a long while. A LONG while. Yesterday, and many events over the last year, are just coming to a head of ultimate stupidity.

Let’s be clear, the events of yesterday and storming the Capitol building are unacceptable. It should have never happened and I hope that it never happens again.

History has shown us (our own history) that displeasure with the government isn’t all that unusual and leads people to do things they would not normally do. Our Founding Fathers led a rebellion against a king and a government they found to be unjust. Those who supported the king and did extreme things in their support of the king likely found some actions despicable when the “other side” did them. Those who supported the colonies and eventually a free nation likely found the “other side” despicable when they did some of the same extreme things. Heck, even during our Civil War, both sides did despicable things to each other. Vietnam era protests? Yep, still some ugly things happening even then.

The difference between now and then?

Increased, instantaneous communication. It exists now, it didn’t at any time in the past.

How does that play a part in all this? Well, it literally takes no time for a rumor, opinion, or thought to spread far and wide. In an instant “information” can be disseminated to any number of people at one time. That’s a problem. It could be a good thing, but for the most part I think we see more problems with it than we see positives for it. Why?

It eliminates the possibility for someone to evaluate information and immediately creates an emotional response. There is little time for an individual to consider the information, process it, and then evaluate a response. Instead, people have devolved into an instantaneous, emotional response. They don’t think. They let their idiocy take over.

Instead of thoughtfully considering a response, or thinking clearly about their actions, they just respond. No forethought. No consideration. No evaluation. No wait. No weighing of consequences. No evidence. No proof. No nothing. Just response.

That, folks, is a terrible thing.

Social media has killed our ability to thoughtfully consider, to evaluate response, and restrict our own actions. Instead, we feed our need of immediacy, our need of instant gratification, with regrettable words and actions. We don’t wait for facts. We don’t consider another’s point of view. We don’t tolerate those who are different from us, think different from us, or believe different than us. We just don’t. We are not better off because of this.

We are actually becoming unrecognizable.

We are no longer a bastion of freedom, tolerance, and opportunity.

We have divided ourselves into camps of this or that. We have let ourselves be divided into those camps. We are not what our Founding Fathers believed we could become. And the direction we are currently headed won’t get us there either.

This idiocy can’t continue. We are in trouble if we continue to let it happen.

Doorknob

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WTF? Who is this doorknob and who the hell let him pray? An utter embarrassment to himself, to those who listen to him, to those he represents, and to all people of faith in general.

Leave it to the Democrats to make a circus out of something so basic.

Amen and awoman“? You gotta see it to even believe it.

I am stumbling all over myself at the stupidity of this. It’s hard to even put into words how uneducated and unnecessary something like this is. It doesn’t take much research to know that “amen” means “so be it”. It has nothing to do with gender.

But this doorknob has to make an issue out of a word he clearly doesn’t know the meaning of. Actually, I believe there were quite a few words in his “prayer” that he didn’t know the meaning of. Not because he is ignorant (actually, he might be), but more because his speech writer likely used a thesaurus to write the speech. It sounded a lot like the essays I would get from my high school students who were trying to fill space by using words that made them sound smarter than they were and sometimes didn’t even fit in the sentence correctly. Whatever is going on there, it was a piss poor display of speech writing and intelligence.

Please, sir, never pray again. You obviously don’t actually know what it means, understand how it is done, or have a concept of where a prayer comes from – the heart. It isn’t a political tool, or stunt.

Mind reader

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I provide customer support to school district for their SIS. I have clients all the time that apparently think we are mind readers because they give us no details in order to investigate an issue.

Today’s email:

Hello, one of my teachers has posted his grades but some still show as not posted. Can you tell me why this is so so I can pass it along?

What am I supposed to do with this? There is nothing in this email that gives me any clue what to investigate other than it is a teacher and has something to do with his gradebook.

This should be proof about customer service people and why they are already irritated before you even start talking to them. If you are going to be a smart customer/client, you have to provide the people that help you with detailed information not just “it’s broke and I don’t know what to do.”

Now, I have to call this client and ask questions before I can even begin to investigate the issue. This is a waste of my time and a waste of theirs as well. It could be easily fixed, but I won’t know this on the initial call because I will have to get more info first.

*shakes head in disgust*

Come on people, work with us here. We aren’t mind readers.

Precedent

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The war on your rights, freedoms, and beliefs is about to get worse. Thankfully, there have been some changes in the Supreme Court that will (hopefully) change the trend of erosion that has been taking place. That, however, won’t stop those on the left from waging a war on the Bill of Rights.

A prime example of such would be the attach on student rights. The indoctrination of students has been going on for years and will continue as, unfortunately, there are not enough people in education that come from the conservative side of the aisle. Everywhere you look, from K-16, there are liberals dominating the arena of education and they are bent on destroying anything that smells of traditional, conservative values.

Last week, a 3rd grader felt the wrath of such an attack. All because a face mask had a message that the principal apparently found offensive. Double standard? Of course. There have been other messages on face masks that didn’t offend, though it may have been to some. But, this little girl gets called out for her message – one that was only directed to herself.

“Jesus love me.”

Not “Jesus loves you.”

The former is a personal message, meant for the person. The second is a message of projection, meant and directed at others.

I have a feeling the school district and the principal will be issuing apologies fairly soon. They are totally in the wrong and the Supreme Court has already addressed and established precedent with related to student speech, including symbolic speech. So, there should be a reversal fairly shortly.

Should schools protect students from some messages? Of course. The courts have established this too, when it comes to messages and images that would be inappropriate for the age group as well as something that would be deemed a disruption to the educational process. So, anything that promotes illegal drugs, illegal actions, offensive language, sex, etc. The definition of “offensive language” has changed over the years and seems to be subject to the whims of whomever is in charge. There has been an obvious double standard here when it comes to liberal and conservative values. So, that seems to waver, even though the established “offensive language” is really based on the seven words that supposedly can’t be broadcast (even this has changed).

Anyway, I am glad that someone has challenged the principal and district, though the district (as far as I can tell) hasn’t come out in support of the principal. Students, when at school, should be able to see and hear both sides of an issue and make a determination for themselves, not be indoctrinated one way or another.

Last minute

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Nothing like starting the day off at work thinking you are going to be doing one thing, only to find out that that plan is totally out and you will be doing something completely different and something you haven’t prepared for at all.

I got thrown into a training today, on a piece of the software that I am somewhat familiar with but by no means an expert on. Someone else has been prepping for this training for weeks and they were ill so they couldn’t do the training this morning. Luckily they had written a script for the training and I had an outline to work from. Otherwise there would have been a lot more fumbling around than there was.

The training went fine (I think) with only a few little spots where I needed a little help from my co-host, but the software was demonstrated and is now at least familiar to those who might be using it.

I may not get the best training ratings though. As someone who has sat through plenty of trainings, you can always tell when the trainer isn’t as familiar with the subject matter as they would like to be. That was me this morning. So, I imagine the reviews won’t be all the great.

Oh well. Good thing my paycheck doesn’t depend on it at this point.

Journalism is dead

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Or at least it is nearly dead. There are still people out there who are doing their best to write and publish from a neutral perspective and this is EXTREMELY rare these days.

Glenn Greenwald isn’t the poster child for complete neutrality, but at least he comes close. While he may be a left-leaning journalist, he hasn’t pulled his punches when it comes to criticizing the left. He has pursued the truth and has exposed some very dark corners in American politics and government. But, that obviously can only go so far. Up to now, he hasn’t seen much in the way of censorship (or at least that is the way he describes it).

But, that has changed. Balanced and honest journalism requires that you see things from both sides and attack both sides when necessary. Yes, that is a little like biting the hand that feeds you, but a true journalist can’t ignore one side of every story. If they choose to do so, the sully the profession (as I am sure you are fully aware that most Americans don’t trust the media any longer).

Greenwald has resigned from the media outlet he helped co-found. Because they wanted to censor an article he wrote on Hunter and Joe Biden, one that was critical of the Democratic darling and the media cover-up of revelations related to business dealings in foreign countries. He is justified in asking questions and form an analysis, apparently that other journalists are even unwilling to think about, because others are not asking the questions and are not willing to be critical.

We have known journalism is dead for a long time. Thus, the distrust of the American media. But this, this is a whole different level of censorship and verges on conspiracy by the left to support a political candidate purely because he is the alternative to a candidate they have tried repeatedly to destroy over the last six years. Their mantra has been and continues to be, “Anyone but HIM!” So much so that they even eat their own when people don’t fall into line with their narrative.

I hope you take a look at the information provided by Greenwald. It is fascinating and eye opening. It is enlightening, but also confirms what many already know. Only now, we know it without a shadow of a doubt.

Please don’t vote…

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…if you take advice from celebrities or athletes on who you should vote for.

…if you only get your news from one source or one perspective.

…if you only follow the party line all the time.

…if your only research is memes about who not to vote for.

…if you don’t do your own research.

…if you only take advice from your family.

…if you can only see “the issues” in regards to yourself.

…if you can’t see or won’t accept an “issue” from more than one perspective.

…if you can’t acknowledge or understand the concerns from an different perspective than your own.

…if your vote is out of spite regarding someone else’s vote.

…if you get your information from any social media platform.

…if your vote is based on information from tv commercials.

…if you you take an “endorsement” from a media outlet as legitimate.

…if you aren’t a citizen or have a legal right to vote.

…if you haven’t payed attention at all but received a ballot in the mail.

…if you didn’t pay attention in school and don’t know how the process works.

…if you don’t value your right enough to get educated about the issues and candidates.

…if you’re too stupid to vote with some intelligence.

Anything you would add to the list?

Abyss

If you need help deciding who to vote for this year, maybe this can help. I came across this video the other day and while I don’t normally stop to watch something from the source, I was intrigued. The pillars mentioned here are powerful and can’t be ignored when it comes to making a choice for your ballot.

Are the choices we have perfect? Hell no! I would prefer that it was neither of them. But, when it comes to the things that are most important, there is a clear choice. History has proven time and again where Socialism and Communism leads, and we don’t want to head down that road.

If you have 26 minutes to listen, I think you will find this informative, powerful, and impactful.

Let it burn

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The West is on fire.

We should let it burn.

The exception to that, of course, would be to protect life and property as much as possible.

The West is on fire not from climate change, but from poor natural resource management.

Fire is natural. Fire is useful. Fire is not always bad.

Why are the fires so bad now? Because people think that fire should always be stopped, all the time. Forests have been left to grow out of control with no management. As such, there is a lot of undergrowth that has gotten out of hand. This provides fuel to a fire that eventually gets so big that it gets into the canopy and then spreads easily, creating it’s own wind (from consuming the air around the fire) and causing it to spread uncontrollably.

Forest management and use of fire isn’t a new concept and it still gets used, but not to the extent that is should be. What is new is that groups of activists who have no desire to manage forest lands so much as to stop all activity in forests. This is an issue of environmentalist being out of control and locking down good, demonstrated practice.

If you wanna stop fires so bad, how about we send them environmentalists out there to fight them? Let’s see if they can stop what they have set in motion with their emotions instead of science and management.