It’s like looking in a mirror . . .

I came across these videos, and I was impressed . . . mostly because it’s like looking in a mirror.  Like hearing an echo  . . .

Well . . . except this guy is not letting his anger show through.

First, a short intro (2:00 minutes) . . .

Honest, I feared I was the only one with a broad spectrum view.  In the past, I was a concurrent member of both the ACLU and the NRA (I let my memberships lapse for both).  I consider myself a patriot.  I read the works of the framers of the constitution, explaining not just the words, but what they believed in, and what motivated them.  Do I agree with everything?

No.  There are details one can debate.  But, the fundamentals . . . I have a strong antipathy for anyone who would challenge individual rights, for any reason.  I have a strong antipathy for anyone maintaining we have, as humans, fundamentally changed our drives and desires since those fundamentals were codified by our evolutionary progression.  I can read the writings of people who lived a thousand years ago, and they are indistinguishable from those of modern writers when it comes to what is important to a human being.

Second, a video about words and language and labels (6:30 minutes) . . .

I love words.  I know how they can be misused, and am not ashamed to say I use words for effect.  I use words for humor, but I also use words to control tone and pace a discussion.  I use words to lead people to desired conclusions.  Some have said I’m pretty good.

I am an amateur.  Listen to this video, and then think about all the labels you come across every day.  Labels to characterize people, things, or ideas.  I first became aware of this  nearly 30 years ago . . . pro-choice, pro-life.  Those two labels pull us by appealing to the very core of who we are . . . we want choices; to not want our freedom curtailed.  We certainly support life.   I could sit here, and to this day, 30 years after I came across the initial arguments, I could argue intelligently for either position.  Probably better than most.

Ultimately, as a voter, as a citizen, as a human, I can’t vacillate . . . I have to choose one position or the other.  The fact that I label myself “pro-choice” does not make me “anti-life”.  The decision is a difficult one, but it takes into account many different aspects of the debate, all of them well beyond the simplicity of the labels.

But, as the guy says in the video, labels are designed to divide us.  To separate people into overly-simplistic positions.  To make enemies of each other.   Labels have worked amazingly well.  Often, well enough to ensure no debate can take place.

Not just on the abortion issue, but in every issue, Americans are divided as never before.  We no longer have a discourse . . . we have enemies.  We use labels to marginalize and dehumanize people of opposing views, and to do so in such a manner that eventually we consider them not as fellow citizens, but as enemies.

That is where we are today.  If you do not believe it, go read/listen to either a liberal or conservative blog/podcast/radio-program/pundit/etc.  There is no need for anyone to explain what labels mean . . . say conservative or liberal, and you immediately have formulated a simplistic characterization of the person in question.

Except the odds are that you are wrong.  You are being played, you see . . . and the prize is your non-thinking brain.  Because non-thinking brains are best; they do not question.

And I admit I fail in that respect as well.  I like to think it’s because those labels are self-fulfilling, but I should know better.  And yet . . . it’s sad to see so many people who want to fit within those labels . . .

. . . maybe I’m just old and tired.

Finally, a video about numbers (6:36 seconds) . . .

Remember my last post?  I mentioned data.  He happens to mention the same sources I go to when I want to find out stuff for myself.  There are others, from different departments, and they sort the data in different ways.  For most instances, you can, for instance, find out why people were killed, who their assailant was, and what motivated or prompted the attack.

If you really dive into it, it paints a picture of crime that is very different than what is used to argue for this or that law.  But why do that, right?  Better we play with our iPhones, and let politicians tell us “how things are”, and consequently, “how we should live”.

I should note . . . I am not a conspiracy advocate.  I don’t have to be.  I fall back on good ole human nature and know that without oversight, every politician, every person given even a smidgen of power will use their position to further their own interests, even if those interests go against the common good. (Check the financial of prominent elected officials against their pay . . . weird, huh?  How can they amass such large fortunes on a government’s salary?)

Do they just do bad?  No, of course not!

There is a lot of good that is done . . . when people pay attention.

So, pay attention.


Please, if you are considering bestowing me some recognition beyond commenting below, refrain from doing so.  I will decline nominations whereby one blogger bestows an award onto another blogger, or group of bloggers.   I appreciate the intent behind it, but I would much prefer a comment thanking me for turning you away from a life of crime, religion, or making you a better person in some other way.  That would actually mean something to me.

Should you still nominate me, I will strongly suspect you pulled my name at random, and that you are not, in fact, a reader of my blog.  If you wish to know more, please read below.

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. . .  my FP ward  . . . chieken shit.