Facts: I don’t care what you think, They’re Important

Pile of BooksAlright, I have reached the point to write the post that I swore to myself I would not write. Why? Because people do not seem to remember what facts are. Here are the two reasons why I loathed to pen this:

  • It’s politics and people are so blind even though they claim to be open.
  • Facts don’t matter to the modern American. Just what someone is saying.

So, why am I? Mostly to get it out of my system but also because it needs to be said, even though the majority is going to skim this.

The World As We know it

If anything, the President of the United States is the epitome of our present problem. A hyperbolic liar with no hesitation to bend or disregard facts that don’t suit him and his narrative. Everyone else has done it but not so obviously.

The United States has lost what the meaning of facts are and have confused the idea of fact with opinion.

From the beginning of the American election and just even today, it seems the majority of the populace prefer to believe what they are being told instead of looking at the facts. Why avoid the facts? Because they are pain incarnate. Our entire world view is built on this and a fact can destroy it irrevocably.

Do you believe vaccines cause autism? Well, there are actually hundreds of studies to prove that there is no evidence to support vaccines are linked to autism. If you just began to formulate a response to disprove it,  you just disregarded a fact.



I’m not going to go into a debate about Dr. Andrew Wakefield and his fraud, follow the link. I just wanted to show you that people do it all the time and accepting that something you believe was actually incorrect is extremely difficult and painful. It’s a fact of life for being human.

Everybody now is a self-expressed expert in everything. Why listen to a doctor when Web MD told you the truth? Why listen to a pediatrician about your kids cause of people’s “experiences” on Tumblr or Pintrest? We have gone to the herd mentality of if everyone says the same thing, so it must be right.

Why Facts are important

Just look at our history. Everybody believed that sun went around the Earth hundreds of years ago. As we know now, it was not true. But everybody believed it so by that herd mentality, it was right.

The Dictionary describes a fact as a: “a truth known by actual experience or observation; something known to be true”

Facts are what keep us grounded and able to function in the world. Facts are analyzed through logic and deduction. Not the unsubstantiated opinion of a person or organization. It’s pretty much, you ask yourself “Does A + B really equal C?”

Facts: Is Donald Trump Sexist?

Here’s an example of a common fact/opinion crap going around online.

Statement: Donald Trump is not sexist because he “respects women.”

Fact: Trump has claimed to respect women(1), Trump has been recorded to have sexually assaulted a woman(2),Trump has made sexually harassing comments(3)

Conclusion: The facts both past and present do not support Trump’s claim that he is not sexist. Conclusion is that Trump is sexist.

Will he like to know that? Of course not! People who support him will like that? Of course not!

So instead of looking at these facts, they do everything in their power to obfuscate or deflect the facts by lying (also called alternative facts by the way) and trying to place blame on others. Just like a three-year old covered in chocolate saying that his younger brother ate the candy. The fact is the candy is right there on the face. We are just turning a blind eye.

What does that Mean for Us?

Actually, I really don’t care what you think of this or the arguments you are formulating right now. What it means is that we are in a lot shittier place when we accept facts.

The United States is being run by people who are lying, stealing, cheats who use patriotic words and expert deflection to keep the fact that they don’t care about us but only themselves.

The midterm elections are coming and I really wish I could tell you that you can make a difference, the problem is that anybody running for those seats are equally, if not worse than who is sitting there now.

Your only option is to approach the polls with the idea of “I know these are the problems but can this person help in the end? Does the evidence support it?”

If not, this stupid cycle will keep going on and on.

The Presidency is Not What you Think

Yep, sorry. Just a bit more politics for this year for those who are interested. One of the things that I am amazed with in this election is the lack of understanding when it comes to the political system or the rules of the government. In recent months I have listened to Mister Trump discuss how the delegate system used by the Republic National Convention is rigged (Whitesides, 2016) or how unfair delegate distribution is in the super PACs for Mrs. Clinton (Norton, 2016). Either way, the first thing that comes to mind is both parties are complaining about rules they knew existed before entering the contest. I mean, that’s the equivalent of playing checkers and then complaining how unfair it is to allow a king piece to go backwards while all the other pieces who are not king-ed cannot. It’s the rules of your party, deal with it or get them changed before you run. Of course, I could go in to a long dissertation on this, but that’s not my intent for this blog post.

What I want to cover today is the seeming belief that the presidency is going to be the silver bullet that is going to fix everything that is wrong with our country. Zealots on both sides of the aisle are backing their political white knight with this crazed idea that if they are elected they will either secure our borders and economy or finally make jobs perfect and fair all around (among other things). I am sorry to disappoint you, but that is not how the presidency works.

The job of the president is to act as a negotiator between the congress and the courts by his use of the veto and approval of laws. The president is also to engage the people of the congress to try and get them to work together to pass the laws that he believes is best for the country. The president is not supposed to be using executive orders to do all this and make unilateral decisions from his seat in the White House. Do not get me wrong, I understand how much frustration President Obama has been experiencing with a rather annoying congress, but I have to wonder if he has really tried to work with the congress? I see him give rather pointed speeches and then just walk away then when the congress does not do it, he writes an executive order. Even now, these executive orders are being challenged and being over turned as unconstitutional (Slattery, 2014) with his largest executive order on immigration coming up for review by the Supreme Court (Wofford, 2016). There is a good chance that the Supreme Court in June may say that executive orders have no basis in domestic policy and should only be used with foreign policy. If Senator Sanders, Mister Trump, or Missus Clinton plan to use that ability, they could find it severely curtailed by the time they get in.

Now, this next part is personal opinion, but I feel that citizens of our country are trying to fix it the wrong way, by finding the perfect person to sit as president. The problem is that trying to get the president to change the laws is the equivalent of trying to have an football coach teach baseball. The congress is the governing body that makes all the laws we love and hate and if we want to see changes in the bills put forward, we need to start changing who represents our states. If we replace the politicians who are preferring to fight the president instead of taking care of the country with politicians who want to help, if the next president is willing to work with those who opinions differ, we might finally start seeing some improvement overall. No one person’s opinion is paramount over another and that is what everybody needs to start realizing.

If this does not change, I do not see any hope for anyone who takes office as he will simply inherit the mess that President Obama has been fighting and in case of some who are hated by the congress, they’ll find themselves facing even harder odds to do anything effective in their term. Our Republic and democratic process is not the place for single minded, unilateral decisions of personality, but what is best for our country. If people do not start getting that, things are only going to get worse.

References

Norton, B. (2016, April 12). This system is so rigged: Outrage as undemocratic superdelegate system gives clinton unfair edge over sanders | salon.com. Retrieved from http://www.salon.com/2016/04/12/this_system_is_so_rigged_outrage_as_superdelegate_system_undermines_democracy_giving_clinton_unfair_edge_over_sanders/

Slattery, E. (2014, June 26). Supreme Court Rules Obama’s Recess Appointments Violated the Constitution. Retrieved from http://dailysignal.com/2014/06/26/supreme-court-rules-obamas-recess-appointments-violated-constitution/

Whitesides, J. (2016, April 12). Trump blasts ‘rigged’ rules on picking republican delegates| Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSKCN0X81HE

Wofford, T. (2016, January 19). Obama’s immigration executive orders to receive supreme court review. Retrieved from http://www.newsweek.com/obama-executive-orders-immigration-scotus-417386

What is the Flavor of this Election? Anger and Hatred

Honestly, I was going to make some comment about how I usually do not write about political things on my blog. Going through my old stuff I find that  election years always got quite a few posts. So why fight it, right?

Since my first election where I paid attention to the candidates that I was going to vote for (that would be President George W. Bush’s first term. Yeah, I know I’m old). Since then I have seen the elections become steadily worse, going from political discussions of belief to what we have now. I firmly believe that the U.S. government is no longer interested in politics, but only in rhetoric. I am not just saying those who are presently in office and part of the establishment, I am saying everybody.

That being said, people should understand what this election is really about. This election is about changing the status quo. Thanks to the continued deadlock for over twelve years starting in President Bush’s second term, the American people have grown tired of the ineffective nature of the leadership (Steinhauser, 2014). This is the reason why Mister Trump, Senator Cruz, and Senator Sanders are doing so well. They both are seen as outside of the government and so have garnered this folk hero like persona. This is also why both Senator Rubio and Mrs. Clinton are having trouble. They are perceived as establishment and a threat to change.

The people of our country have become afraid of the world around them and they feel that the government has not protected them like they should have. Americans are being killed on our own soil now and all the government does is focus on policies that (in their perception) will not fix the problem. It is almost like the house is burning down and the government is arguing over what flavor of water to use to put it out.

The watchwords for this election is anger and hatred and the front runners of both parties reflect the version of their constituents. Those who back Mister Trump are loud and full of explosive anger, the Cruz follows much more controlled in their display of it. The followers of Senator Sanders’ have a much more subtle more seething rage that shows in the way he forms his speeches. Presently Americans have only a measly 45% faith in the government when it comes to international issues and even worse 38% when it comes to domestic issues (Gallup, Inc., n.d.). Nobody trusts the government anymore and those who support them are going to fail in this election.

There is a revolution coming. The question is, whose revolution is it going to be?

References

Gallup, Inc. (n.d.). Trust in Government | Gallup Historical Trends. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/5392/trust-government.aspx

Steinhauser, P. (2014, August 8). CNN Poll: Trust in government at all-time low – CNN Political Ticker – CNN.com Blogs. Retrieved March 9, 2016, from http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/08/08/cnn-poll-trust-in-government-at-all-time-low-2/

I have some Questions about the Syrian Refugee Situation.

Politics. Boy, has this become much more of a mess and polarized than when I first started covering it so many years ago (like President George W. Bush’s first term. A LONG time ago.) In a way, it seems that our representatives in both the house and the senate, plus our legislative branch have begun a war of worlds about what “they” want than following, what I would assume, is common sense. I wanted to focus on the whole immigration question that seems to have been filling facebook and the rest of the Internet.

The war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria also known as ISIS or ISIL, the L being for Levant.  Originally a splinter group from al Qaeda (Yearout, 2014) that has become a much larger, well-known organization including its recent attack on Paris. (Callimachi, 2015, para.1)

Why do I bring this up? Well, I want you to understand one of the reaons behind the United States not wanting to accept Syrian refugees coming in to the country (Kingsley, 2015) and that even though it seems cruel and unjustifiable, there is a solid reason behind it (even if you do not like it).

Though the majority of politicians are using this as a political campaign, which also does not help the present situation, there is a legitimate threat that ISIS and their members might be using the refugee move from the Syrian civil war to cross in to other nations. (Lester, 2015, para. 16)

Yes, the U.S. government has a very strong vetting process being put in to place (Altman, 2015), but how do you run background checks of citizens of a country when the FBI has stated that it would be near impossible to do a thorough one? (Poole, 2015, para. 1)

Even with all this, President Obama decides to berate those people with concerns (AP, 2015) and I wonder if both sides are just choosing sides to irritate the other? Why have we not focused on trying to find a better way to bring them in?

Another issue, why are we bringing in refugees when there are other islamic countries, closer to their beliefs? Saudia Arabia has a complete empty camp ready for refugees and they stand empty!(McHugh, 2015) Europe is already collapsing because they cannot handle the onslaught of those looking for safety (Kingsley, 2015) and these countries, who by the Qoran calls them brothers, will not help. (Abdel, 2004, p. 439)(Kinninmont, 2015, para. 4) I’m not saying that we should block them on their religious beliefs, but I know many people who are far more comfortable around those who believe the same way.

Let’s try to focus on the important parts, getting the true victims of this war in to our country and taking the necessary steps to protect us from those who would do us harm.

All my political posts have comments disabled because I refuse to allow trolls and others to start a political storm here just because they want to. If you want to discuss this, take the link and go to a forum that discusses politics. 

Works Cited

Abdel, H. M. “Common Kindnesses (Al-Maun).” The Qurʼan. 1st ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. 439. Adobe PDF.

Altman, A. “Syrian Refugees: Here’s How the Screening Process Works.” N.p., 17 Nov. 2015. Web. <http://time.com/4116619/syrian-refugees-screening-process/?xid=fbshare>.

AP. “Obama berates GOP over Syrian refugees – CBS News.” N.p., 18 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obama-berates-gop-over-syrian-refugees/>.

Callimachi, R. “ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks are First of the Storm – The New York Times.” N.p., 14 Nov. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/15/world/europe/isis-claims-responsibility-for-paris-attacks-calling-them-miracles.html>.

Kingsley, P. “10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis | UK news | The Guardian.” N.p., 10 Aug. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/aug/10/10-truths-about-europes-refugee-crisis>.

Kinninmont, J. “Why Aren’t Gulf Countries Taking in Syrian Refugees? | Newsweek.” N.p., 9 Sept. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.newsweek.com/why-arent-gulf-countries-taking-syrian-refugees-370189>.

Lester, D. “FBI: Impossible to Do Background Checks On All Syrian Refugees – SamePageNation.” N.p., 23 Oct. 2015. 
Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://samepagenation.com/2015/10/done-fbi-not-possible-background-checks-syrian-refugees/>.

McHugh, J. “Refugee Crisis 2015: Saudi Arabia Criticized For 100,000 Air Conditioned Tents Not In Use.” N.p., 14 Sept. 2015. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.ibtimes.com/refugee-crisis-2015-saudi-arabia-criticized-100000-air-conditioned-tents-not-use-2095403>.

Poole, P. “Homeland Security, FBI Can’t Get Story Straight on Screening Syrian Refugees : U.S. Congressman Louie Gohmert.” N.p., 28 Oct. 2015. Web. <http://gohmert.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=398267>.

Yearout, K. “ISIS vs ISIL – what’s the difference?” N.p., 11 Sept. 2014. Web. 18 Nov. 2015. <http://www.wcsh6.com/story/news/local/2014/09/10/isis-vs-isil-islamic-state-iraq-syria/15403133/>.

Donald Trump – You Got to Be Kidding?

Alright, I kept telling myself that I was not really going to get in to politics this election because, honestly, the sheer amount of stupidity in this country has really made me re-think speaking up since the gut reaction of our present culture is to immediately troll or respond in a way that does not help the conversation or even prove their side. Most responses I have seen are the same kind of zealotry that would make terrorists go, “Whoa, a bit much, bro.” I mean, that’s not a good way to see it, but all those idiots out there make me tired.

So, what brought me out of this resolution? It should not surprise you, the stupidity of people! I keep hearing over and over again how Donald Trump is going to be the next, great President of the United States and I hope and pray that this is not the case. Why? Well, I’m going to tell you and it is your choice if you accept it or not.

The thing I want to address first is his immigration policy of no automatic citizenship for those born in the United States of illegal immigrants.  Though his website is vague, from his speeches, the idea is that if you are the child of an illegal immigrant and was born in the United States, you do not get automatic citizenship.(“Immigration Reform”) I wonder if people understand that supporting this violates the 14th amendment of the constitution, the constitution that people think he seems to support. He finally comes out with a statement of exactly what he wants to do as policy AND it violates the constitution. Good start to the race!

To quote, “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”(“14th Amendment”)

One of the things that makes me really chuckle is that fact that people have gotten upset at President Barack Obama because he “lies” to the public. President Obama, granted, only has 21% true and 26% mostly true on the Political fact checking website, (“Brarack Obama’s file”) but the republican hopeful has 0% true and 5% mostly true.(“Donald Trump’s file”)

Now, the thing that also upsets me and really makes me write this post is the fact on how his campaign is being run. Americans are frustrated at a lot of the things in the government and I’m honestly worried that people are looking in Mister Trump’s direction because he is pretty much saying everything that we’ve been thinking. Do you really want a President who chooses to attack and bully people who do not agree with him? Do you really think the rest of the Congress is going to just stand up and welcome him? Mister Trump is a much worse choice than President Obama. Our President is idealistic and he was inexperienced when he first started out as a President. I do not agree with a lot of what he did, but he tried. Donald Trump is a troll who is trying to get to the presidency to implement his own personal agenda in a way that is reminiscent of a shotgun being pointed in the general direction of the problem and not caring who gets hurt. Yes, he does have some ideas that would help our country, but I fear how he would implement it if his view of our Constitution is that it is something to get around or ignore completely. The constitution has been ignored enough, we need a candidate who is going to try to get best of both worlds and is willing to work with both sides of the congress, not just follow the ideals of just his party. We need compromise and discussion in our government again. Without it, we are going to get people like Trump which will simply be yet another nail in our country’s coffin.

P.S. All my political posts have comments disabled because I refuse to allow trolls and others to start a political storm here just because they want to. If you want to discuss this, take the link and go to a forum that discusses politics. 

References

“14th Amendment.” 14th Amendment. Web. 28 Aug. 2015. <https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxiv>.

“Barack Obama’s File.” Barack Obama’s File. Web. 28 Aug. 2015. <http://www.politifact.com/personalities/barack-obama/>.

“Donald Trump’s File.” Donald Trump’s File. Web. 28 Aug. 2015. <http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/>.

“Immigration Reform.” Immigration Reform. Web. 28 Aug. 2015. <https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/immigration-reform>.