Not Very Worried (2017Dec02)


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Saturday, December 02, 2017                                           2:05 PM

Not Very Worried   (2017Dec02)

We need to get back to a practical attitude about truth. Yes, truth can be debated—but it can be debated beyond the point of meaning, as well. We can debate whether a dawn with snow on the ground is proof of an overnight snowfall—but when the debate is over, someone still needs to plow the driveway.

Likewise, we don’t really know much about the nature of electromagnetism—nevertheless, an electrician can tell you, with absolute precision, whether a certain circuit-diagram will power your new home—or burn it to the ground. Doubt-mongers can honestly say that humanity knows very little about the full nature of electricity—while they sit in a house with a generous supply of safe, handy three-prong outlets, charging multiple devices while making toast.

I’d prefer not to get sidetracked just now, talking about the dramatic back-and-forths of politics and media. The most important thing about the truth isn’t ‘fake news’—it is in how we perceive our world, ourselves, and our place in it. After all, it is ‘We, the people’. Neither politicians nor talking heads can brainwash any of us, unless we let them, plopping ourselves down in front of a screen and swallowing every word we hear. If nothing else, we should be given pause—and more than pause, by the fact that some news outlets tell different stories.

That creates an environment where some outlet or outlets indeed must be selling psy-prop fake-news BS—and because of Freedom of Speech, the government can’t decide for us which media outlets are at fault. We have to use our personal judgement now—more than ever before. We must be leery—we must be suspicious—we know now that there are groups out there, working at the new profession of cultural corrosion by misinformation.

And when we look for an enemy, we shouldn’t allow Russia alone to fill our binoculars. In many ways, modern Russia is just a subset of the super-wealthy of Capitalism—Putin and all those oligarchs are just the foreign version of our own fat cats, Trump included. America is the Capitalist’s target because its riches only have one drawback—those pesky peasants, still thinking they have freedom—no matter how much they’re overworked in their cubicles or starved in unemployment.

So Trump helps Putin, just like all fat pigs help each other, all around the world—not very worried that the rest of us might wake up some day. He attacks our rights and freedoms, because those are obstacles to commerce and control. He stands for commerce and control because he is jealous of Putin, Duterte, and Assad. He whines, “Why can’t I shoot someone in the middle of 5th Avenue? They can!”

I don’t care about the legalities anymore—I am long past caring who said what to whom. All I know, for an absolute fact, is that Trump is an enemy of the United States of America, as much as an enemy of the Truth—yet it is against the law for me to suggest what I’d like to see happen to him.

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What Happened? I’ll Tell You What Happened (2017Sep12)


New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton

Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks to the reporters at United Nations headquarters, Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Clinton conceded that she should have used a government email to conduct business as secretary of state, saying her decision was simply a matter of “convenience.” (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017                                          11:07 AM

What Happened? I’ll Tell You What Happened   (2017Sep12)

Hillary Clinton’s new book, “What Happened”, has been getting a multitude of similar reviews—all of which summarize her reasoning and smugly find it lacking, for a bunch of self-assured reasons. It makes me crazy to see this reek of misogyny continuing on, as if the election were still in progress.

We all know exactly ‘What Happened’. Hillary Clinton offered the country an intelligent, reasonable choice—and we, in our collective wisdom (or lack of) chose Donald Trump—an idiot we would be hard pressed to find the equal of. It is not Hillary who has to explain herself. ‘We have met the enemy—and he is us.’

The GOP blamed Obama for eight years of struggle to recover our employment rate—forgetting that Bush made the crater Obama then crawled out of. Did Hillary fail to recognize the spasms of rage and resentment being stoked by Republicans, Alt-righters, and Russians? Did she keep her head in an environment where quiet common sense had gone out of fashion? Yes. Does her being a minority of one mean that she should have acted like a carnival barker—that she was the one making mistake after mistake? Sadly, no—that was us.

The media, especially social media, whipped us all into paroxysms of hysteria over the 2016 presidential race—and only in such a fact-free, reason-free, top-of-your-voice environment could we have been turned around enough to have voted in a TV con-man with his hand out, groping for pussy. But hey—that’s What Happened.

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To Fight For The Simple Truth (2017Jan31)


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Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        3:11 PM

If people of a different gender, race, religion, or birthplace engender feelings of superiority and of fear—you should own that as your personal weakness, rather than try to legitimize it as public policy. It’s okay, you know—people don’t control their feelings, their feelings control them. Finding kindred spirits who collude in your rationalizations only encourages you to hug them more closely. The fear and ego remain clearly visible to the rest of us—hard as you may work to blind yourself to such ignorance.

Don’t work towards making your weakness into a part of our public discourse—work instead towards understanding yourself and these illogical feelings. And just because your daddy or your priest tells you something’s so, that’s just ignorance become a legacy of tradition—that doesn’t alter its incorrectness.

Stop looking around for enemies to blame—the torture inside you is your own. No one is going to find your happiness and make a gift of it to you—you have to find your own—and the answer is inside your head, not out there. Gripping tightly onto every external excuse, you strengthen your hate, increasing the distance between yourself and any hope of happiness.

The smile on a poor kid’s face isn’t due to he or she having all the things they want—it is there simply for lack of the bitterness and venom that experience is waiting to lay upon them. If we can gain experience without accepting the temptation of blame, we can retain some of that happiness, even into old age. People are not the groups they belong to—it’s pretty simple.

Human nature causes conflict. Individuals often conflict with each other. Trouble has many origins—categorizing people for the purpose of blaming groups only helps to camouflage the true causes of conflict. So when we seek to blame a group for a problem, we not only trumpet our weakness to the world—we actually strengthen the causes of our unhappiness, by masking them with ignorance.

The people who gain power and grow fat off of the status quo watch with glee, as all their neglect, posturing, and corruption get a pass—overlooked by the rest of us, as we foolishly fight amongst ourselves.

Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        5:43 PM

FB Comment:

Surely the humor of your argument doesn’t entirely escape you? We men eschew murder in theory, but will fight for our ‘rights’ or our ‘honor’, thousands opposing thousands, upon battlefields bathed in blood—it is justified. But a woman, about to lose her hopes, dreams, and plans for her future, due to an unplanned, unwanted insemination—oh no, there’s no justification for women to remove those potent cells before they become viable. Her fight for freedom is ‘murder’, simply because those cells have the potential to become a person. But all men’s actual murders—the heaps of corpses produced by war and whatever other nonsense we get up to—each dead body a waste of his mother’s nine months of travail, not even counting her raising to adulthood every one of the corpses—that’s all necessary, honorable, explainable. Men are justified—but not women. Funny, right? Try to be reasonable. I fear the theocracy you appear to dream of would be a little too ‘good’—for men.

Sunday, January 29, 2017                                        7:49 PM

What am I doing? I’m not teaching. Teaching requires a willing student—these people assume they know as much as I do, which may be true in a general sense, but not necessarily true of a specific subject. But that’s a fine point that goes by the boards—and with thinking that sloppy (and that’s the average, give or take) it’s no wonder that these back-and-forths on Facebook are such an exercise in futility.

The key is that word ‘social’, in ‘social media’. People type things onto social media in the same way that they converse—mostly for the pleasure of hearing their own voice. I, as a writer (of sorts) mistake all this typing for writing. I may be thinking very hard about what I’m writing, but nobody else is—they’re socializing, they’re having fun, they’re spending time.

No wonder they think nothing of saying the most horrifically ignorant things, but burst a blood vessel when I allow myself to be, shall we say, brusque. ‘You’re so rude! I don’t allow name-calling on my posts.’ You can be as big a monster as Trump, as long as you remember to be courteous at all times. But calling stupid by its proper name is beyond the pale.

I don’t think I have the patience for this. I got onto the Internet because people had begun to give me a pain in the neck, and interacting with other nerds as disembodied entities was fun. But now, everyone’s on the Internet, with pictures and videos and ‘brief biographies’—I might as well be hanging out in a bar, as far as the social thing goes. It’s worse, really, because in a bar you can walk away from the assholes. I’m one of the few people still doing this at a computer terminal—most people are doing this stuff by phone—so we don’t even have that in common any more.

You can see where the biased-feed problem comes in—I’d be glad to only interact with the people I like—but by creating a way for that to happen, Facebook has also created a dark space, where the ignorant and hateful can find each other, unify, and congratulate each other on how well they all agree. And that peer-reinforcement makes any kind of idiocy into a mighty cause.

FB Comment:

My resolve to confront Trump-supporters whenever and wherever has prompted many of them to decide they can’t stand the heat, and have blocked me. I know this because I see a lot of my friend’s threads, where they are debating someone who isn’t ‘there’. Apparently, these cowards only want to argue with friends who won’t be brutally honest about their ignorance. Well, if they support BLOTUS, I shouldn’t be surprised if they prefer their ‘truths’ censored and managed.

FB Comment:

I love these memes falsely claiming that Obama or Clinton did something equally criminal to Trump’s recent fuckups—the funniest part is, they seem to think that these false equivalences settle the debate. I guess they never heard of that ‘two wrongs’ thing….

Tuesday, January 31, 2017                                                3:38 PM

This whole social media thing is like a National Park that’s been overrun with so many tourists, discarding so much of their trash to the point where the beauty is hidden behind a lot of human garbage. The Religious Right started all this crap with their ‘teach the controversy’ BS—the PR version of covering your ears and shouting “La-la-la-la-la-la….” They, of all people, should know what happens when you start to deal with the devil. And if cutting yourself loose from science and reason is not making a deal with the devil, I don’t know what else could be.

Large numbers of people earnestly latching on to friendly-seeming misinformation being spread by a small group of hypocritical thugs—it’s not really PR anymore—it’s a lot more like Psy-Ops—as the Russians have apparently noticed, and jumped on board with.

Americans are used to fighting for liberty, freedom, and human rights—who knew we’d ever have to fight for the simple truth? And introducing such toxic mind-fucks into the seemingly harmless playground of social media—evil genius! Those of us who’ve spent a lifetime taking honesty for granted had better get our acts together.

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One Fine Day (2016Sep24)


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Saturday, September 24, 2016                                          12:43 PM

It’s a fine day. I just finished hearing Obama’s dedication address at the opening of the Smithsonian Museum of African-American History and Culture on C-SPAN. Stirring, inspiring, as always—isn’t that strange? Our president’s default setting is ‘stirring, inspiring’—I don’t think he can give a speech without sending a thrill through his listeners. Very strange. The combination of ‘president’ and ‘cool’ is almost overwhelming.

And Stevie Wonder sang and Patti LaBell sang—it was an eye-tearing, joyous celebration. When President Obama finished speaking, he introduced a family of four generations—a 99-year-old woman, daughter of a slave, her son, his son, and that man’s little daughter—and they rang a bell from the first African-American church, in Virginia, which was echoed by bells all across the country—a further echo of the bells rung all across the nation to celebrate Emancipation, a century and a half ago.

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I love it when I can spend a day being proud and loving this country, for what it has done, for what it is, and for what it will become. And the sun is shining. And a gentle breeze is blowing. Life is too good.

The New York Times came out with an endorsement of Hillary Clinton today. I was pleased to read it—it said much of what I’ve tried to say in my blog posts (but better, because, let’s face it, it’s the Times). And I started to think about how the conservatives rail against the media as a bunch of lying propagandists. It’s not true. I’ve never been lied to by the New York Times—they may not always be perfect, but they do not have an agenda, per se, beyond journalism itself. Neither do many of our media staples.

The social media, guerilla journalism, and cable news—those people are new to journalism as an idea—they have it confused with show business, with capitalism, or with political gamesmanship. You can indulge in that stuff, if you don’t mind having to fact-check everything they tell you. But the Gray Lady, the Washington Post, and other traditional sources are no more biased than they were in the days before Tweeting. Anyone dismissing their reporting as ‘spin’ is trying to hide from the truth, not reveal it.

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In the same way, the authorities in Charlotte, NC have claimed that the video from body-cams and dash-cams is inconclusive, yet still feel the need to hide the video from the public, even after the family of the murdered man requested its release. This is not transparency—when you hide something, it says you have something to hide—it’s as simple as that. The Charlotte community marches night after night, demanding this evidence be made public—yet still the authoritarians hide the evidence. Release the videos.

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It’s a fine day for me—but not for everyone. There is still work to be done.

Daylight Is Their Greatest Enemy (2016Mar12)


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Saturday, March 12, 2016                                        12:42 PM

In the present political climate I often wonder how the world I grew up in became so surreally chaotic. But then I realize that the staid and stuffy aspects of society that bothered me as a youngster have all been, to varying degrees, knocked into rubble—silence is no longer the answer to an ugly problem. And we have found many ugly problems had been caused by the suppression of beautiful people—real people, not just the idealized Dicks and Janes of the 1950s. That people, in all their variety, can no longer be publicly shamed for being different, in whatever way, is a great step forward—but institutionalized biases persist—and individual families’ lore makes bigotry an eternal legacy—so true equality and acceptance continue to elude America.

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We have today a clash that was impossible in the 1950s—Plurality has won many Supreme Court battles, from Thurgood Marshall’s historic vindications to the recent acceptance of gay marriage—thus the laws that made equality a joke have all been deemed unconstitutional—but the personal hatred and fear still persists. The cancer of Capitalism confuses the issue enormously—especially because lots of old, bigoted, homophobic, evangelical white men have most of the money. The opium of Religion confuses the issue, too, by supporting ancient codes of morality that predate both science and medicine, i.e. they were written by ignorant people—and by making up ‘teams’, each religion vying for supremacy, as god intended—their god, anyway.

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In the 1960s, the growing liberal population was relegated to the ‘sub-culture’—equality and free speech used to be something of an underground movement, vulnerable to police brutality and legislative bans. Criminalizing drugs, particularly weed, was targeted at the subculture. Lenny Bruce, the stand-up comic, when he wasn’t being arrested for talking openly about sex or using profane language, was being arrested for possession. Schools banned long hair on boys and pants on girls. Looking back we are tempted to say, how trivial, how silly—but this was the level of blind conformism that those in power presumed upon themselves.

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Thus ‘the establishment’ made themselves easy targets for lampoon and ridicule—and liberality became more mainstream—there was a backlash of ‘what’s the big deal with long hair and dirty words—especially while our kids are being sent into a meat-grinder in South East Asia?’ And ever since, it has been more and more the case that the establishment is now the underground movement –and the trouble is that evil thrives in secrecy—especially wealthy evil. The worst disaster to befall the Republican party in the last election was when some journalist smuggled out a tape of a meeting where they spoke plainly among themselves. When we heard Romney’s ‘47%’ comment, he lost the race. Daylight is their greatest enemy.

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The sixties were an era of great conflict—even riots in the streets—and that was when truth and justice were ‘the underground’. Now that greed and evil are the new ‘underground’ movement, we can just sit back and wait for the end of civilization as we know it—the bastards. Like all poorly-shaped minds, they search the new liberality, cherry-picking those freedoms that allow for dirtier tricks than ever before, while ignoring the ideals behind those freedoms.

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Their idea of ‘fighting fire with fire’ is to lie and twist the truth and engender fear and loathing of one group for another, while pretending to be good businesspeople, good family people, and good Americans. I hate a bald-faced, shameless liar—and so I don’t much care for Republican politicians. At least the Democrats accept Science—I mean, really.

In a way, Trump, by presenting the GOP as the naked fascism it is, is a breath of fresh air—finally, a blatantly stupid, hateful pig who doesn’t try to pretend he’s just as intelligent and sensitive as a Democrat.

Children   (2015Dec28)


Monday, December 28, 2015                                           12:01 PM

I saw two thought-provoking items in the New York Times Art Section today. One was about laser-scanning ancient historical sites under threat from ISIL vandalizing—and the other was about Jennifer Jason Leigh’s return to movies after the birth of her son.

I love the laser-scanning—once completed, a good laser-scan allows us to buy up some real estate down in Anaheim (next door to you-know-who) and recreate an entire site—right down to the texture of the stones—suitable for family visits or archaeological study. Indeed, we live in a world where, before long, even the reconstruction will be unnecessary—virtual-reality headgear will allow us to visit the site without leaving our homes. Meanwhile, science-denying thugs wandering the deserts of the Middle East can crack all the stones they want—was there ever such a display of ignorance?—destroying the remains of our past out of fundamentalist superstition. What children. Our only remaining threat would be Chinese-ISIL—people who could hack our digital heritage sites.

It is fitting that the season of Santa Claus would be a time for Jennifer Jason Leigh to start wishing for a role in a film her five-year-old could see. We parents are careful to keep our children from growth-stunting stuff like caffeine, alcohol, or cigarettes—and we do the same with perceptions. We feel (correctly, I think) that children’s minds cannot mature properly if certain memes are presented too early—vice, violence, betrayal, and despair can overtax a growing mind, killing its spirit before it has a chance to grow strong enough to handle adult issues.

Thus we raise our children in a fantasy world of happy endings, magic, and limited evil—we lie to them about Santa Claus for their own good—even though we must be revealed as liars, in time. Movie stars like Jennifer Jason Leigh act in challenging roles that suit their young ambitions—but when they become parents, they invariably start to think about roles in family-friendly fare—they become Santa Claus actors. Are they surprised, I wonder, when they discover that it is just as difficult to act out fantasy as reality? Ask a children’s-book author—it is as hard to write an engaging children’s story with limited vocabulary, devoid of adult issues, as it is to write adult literature full of big words and complex problems.

And if it is truly necessary to raise our children in a bubble of innocence, why have we never addressed this scientifically? Scientists might be able to determine the exact age at which children are best told that Santa Claus is a fiction—instead of having those uncomfortable confrontations between kids whose parents let the cat out of the bag—and kids whose parents want to hang onto innocence awhile longer. It is one of those ‘givens’ that we recognize, but never study outright. Doctors and nutritionists give careful study to which foods are appropriate for growing infants—when to start on solid foods, etc.—but we leave the decision about emotional maturity to the MPAA, which determines how old you have to be to watch each film being released—and the MPAA, trust me, is not a scientific institution with our children’s mental health as their primary concern.

Of course, even if we studied this issue, there would be parents who would take exception for their kids—as some of them do now, with polio shots and other school-mandated vaccines. Ignorance is an important part of childhood—and we parents sometimes want to prolong their ignorance—yet no parent would admit that they want their children to grow up to be ignorant adults. Even though reproduction is the cardinal activity of living beings, we still have debates over whether we should enlighten our children with sex education classes. That attitude seems more for the parents than for the kids—wishful thinking that our kids won’t have sex. Some school systems even have so-called sex-ed classes that supply misinformation and focus on abstention, rather than giving kids the information they need to avoid early pregnancy or STDs.

We even lie to teenagers—take any class in business administration and show me the chapter that deals with bribes, protection, or corruption—unavoidable factors in real-world business that we nevertheless overlook when we study the subject. Criminality is like an unrecognized sovereignty—it doesn’t officially exist, but any real-world activity must take it into account. This accounts for the phenomenon of college-graduates who don’t know a damned thing about real life—for all the debt being incurred, that seems kind of wasteful.

Eventually, we must admit that the lying never ends—even adults can be grouped into levels of greater or lesser reality-facing. There’s a group that believes in the efficacy of group prayer. There’s a group that believes America is great because it is rich and powerful—and never asks how it got that way, or how it stays that way. People can be categorized by how much childhood innocence and ignorance they retain, and how much, and what kinds, of reality they embrace. We live in a world where, no matter how true something is, there’s a group of people that don’t believe it—and, conversely, no matter how silly something is, there’s a group of people that do believe it.

As T. S. Eliot once wrote, “Humankind cannot bear very much reality.” We have difficulty living in the present. We have difficulty accepting hard truths. Outside of the infinity of truths even a scientist cannot know, there is a further infinity of truths we refuse to acknowledge—it is troubling for me, a seeker of truths, to accept that for many people the avoidance of truth is a valid pursuit. Long ago, in my youth, I used to see religion as the prime avoidance technique—but now that mass media has come into its own, I see that misinformation has no limits. Some people are so insistent on falsehood that they can contradict themselves without embarrassment—or deny that they said something, moments after they said it.

It is fitting, I suppose, in this age when knowledge is exploding in every direction, that misinformation should explode as well—but that doesn’t make it any less tragic.

Info Wars


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Bacchus (c. 1596)
-by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio [September 28th, 1571–July 18th, 1610]

An informed electorate is necessary to a functioning democracy. The freedoms of assembly, of speech, and of the press are included in our rights because we must have debate and a free exchange of ideas before we can make an informed choice of one candidate over all the others. And we need to know not only about the candidates but also about the conditions of our own nation, state, county and community.

We must be kept informed. When years ago the tobacco industry fought court battles over their liability for smoking victims—and against anti-smoking legislation, they hid internal memos and reports from the courts that had a bearing on all those cases. Once that information was made available to the public by tobacco industry whistle-blowers, the industry continued to fight for the suppression of that information. But information has power—the tobacco industry’s efforts to sequester that now-public information was short and sweet—where their original secret-keeping strategy stymied health and safety advocates for years, even decades.

Even more troubling is the issue of ‘Big-Pharma’ cherry-picking which drug studies are kept confidential and which are made public—there have even been instances where some studies’ key data were kept confidential while the otherwise positive study-results were made public! And we should remember that the same sort of hard-working chemists who invented children’s aspirin also invented the gas-canisters for Nazi death chambers—that is, just because they make medicines, that doesn’t make their corporations good for our health.

Car manufacturers have had scandals which publicly exposed their manipulation of data to obscure bad car parts and design flaws that would otherwise force them to issue very expensive recalls on well-respected car brands. And it is a fact that these corporations shamelessly make calculations based on the cost of liability lawsuits compared to the cost of the recall—and when car-buyers being injured or killed is the less expensive of the two, that is the course they will follow.

I hesitate to bring up HMOs and shoddy health insurance ethics—their depraved indifference to their customers has been fodder for many a thriller’s plotline, to the point where we are numb to their disgraceful lack of ethical conscience. However, in all such instances, keeping some data secret (or falsely representing data) plays a large role in allowing these corporate pirates to continue unimpeded and unpunished.

The Catholic Church is also guilty of keeping horrible secrets with regard to their nuns’ and priests’ behavior in their diocese. At times in our more recent history we have found the Office of the Executive also being less than forthcoming.

We hear of banks foreclosing on solvent mortgages in good standing—and, in a twist, we find that this is a problem due to their inability (or lack of interest) in going over the mountains of data represented by their thousands upon thousands of mortgage loans. No one could be bothered to read it all—the vast majority of them were bad credit (just the way they had sold them) so they just foreclosed on all of them, ignoring the lone few who had actually made an honest go of their home investment, and made their payments on time.

Equally mind-numbing tsunamis of printed data confront everyone who wishes to be kept informed of our legislative process—bill-proposals with page-counts requiring hand-trucks (that’s plural) to deliver a single copy are the norm. Even the legislators can’t make time to re-read their own ‘product’—they get synopses from legal aides who spend days poring over the verbiage, trying to whittle down these paper mountains into digestible spoonfuls.

Now we are told that NRA lobbyists have successfully blocked the CDC from including ‘gun violence data’ in their reports on health and safety. This is a new low—the lobbyists for the arms industry are actively legislating against free speech—shamelessly advocating the suppression of the truth from the electorate.

4:11 PM

I took a break and watched some TV. The entertainment industry is the worst when it comes to dishonesty—and I guess it is their stock-in-trade, after all. I have watched a documentary that Cablevision has listed as a documentary released in 2012. I come back here to say a few words about it and—what do-you-know!—iMDB says the documentary was actually released in 2008. I’ve also had this problem with printed fiction (novels, that is) when they slap a new cover on something 15 years old and sell it to me as if for the first time—until I start reading it, and then feeling a little too familiar with the story, and then checking my two-car library to see the same damn book, bought in 1995! But with science fiction, fifteen years is old (with a capital O)—and by the same token, a film documentary should have the correct date label, as if they were newspaper editions. What’s a documentary for if it isn’t giving us new information?

So anyway, I’ve just seen this 2008 documentary, “Kiran Bedi : Yes Madam, Sir” which chronicles the career of Kiran Bedi, who became India’s very first female Police Officer in 1972. She (and they have ‘stills’ of this) faced down a sword-wielding Delhi mob (from which the rest of her fellow officers were retreating) alone, with a police baton in her hand. As she continued to serve she ran into an unethical system. But she didn’t just refuse to participate in the endemic, well-entrenched corruption—she wouldn’t acquiesce to it, either.

Her superiors felt (and still felt comfortable, as of the documentary’s making in 2008, to repeat their unfounded allegations) that she was rocking the boat, and she was sent to be Inspector General of the Tihar Jail, a notorious pit of a prison, at that time, in which she was expected to fail completely. Bedi instantly implemented prison reforms that included mass meditations with no guards present. She started a daycare/school for the prisoners’ children, who lived in the prison with them until age six. She transformed a prison system into an Ashram, but she is hounded from the post, re-assigned as IG to a more rural region. After being dishonestly besmirched by her political and civil enemies, she is sent to run an infamous police training academy, which produced virtually untrained fodder for the existing chain of corruption—and which she also transforms into an Ashram.

Her well-trained, spiritually enlightened recruits began to cause friction with the ‘status quo’ police forces they joined upon graduation. Her enemies were determined to ruin her reputation and drove her from the training academy. Then she is awarded the Magsaysay Award, Asia’s ‘Nobel Peace Prize’ for idealism and integrity in public service, in 1994. She was chosen by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan as UN Civilian Police Advisor in 2003. Since then she has seen her critics forced to withdraw all their false allegations and her government has officially recognized her humanitarian programs and reforms.

What a gal, as they used to say. What an incredible champion for truth and justice!

I saw another documentary a few days ago—“Pink Saris” (2010)—this Indian woman, Sampat Pal Devi, goes to the homes of mistreated girls and young women trapped in prostitution and publicly admonishes the men who are abusing these girls—whether their fathers or their husbands or their uncles—insisting that they be decent human beings in their treating with the females of either the family or the brothel; that they let their daughters go to school, that they stop practicing domestic sexual abuse against the women, which the police turn a blind eye to—and then this incredible lady excoriates the policemen who are standing around doing nothing, telling them they should arrest this husband or father or pimp.

She blatantly shames these losers—and the camera catches the truth in their faces—that they know they are doing wrong. The women she wrests away from the pimps are all given pink saris to wear– Sampat Pal Devi makes them all members of the Gulabi (‘Pink’) Gang.

But my most favorite is a Pakistani girl, Malala Yousafzai, from the Swat valley. Responding to the recently-empowered Taliban’s forbidding education for girls in 2009, this little eleven-year-old, at the wish of her father, Ziauddin, became a public speaker for women’s literacy and an activist advocating women’s education. Her speaking out for women’s rights brought attention throughout her country, not only in the issue, but in her, personally. In October of 2012, Taliban would-be assassins hijacked her school bus, where one of them climbed aboard, looked for her, and shot her twice, in the head and neck. They ran off immediately and she was very close to a hospital at the time—a main reason for her survival—and she has since been flown to Great Britain for surgery. She is almost fully physically recovered now (one photo showed her sitting up in her hospital bed and reading) and I take great pleasure at the thought of the humiliation those Taliban bastards must feel.

And so, we see that we are in a global information war—but we aren’t just fighting for access or openness, we are fighting for the truth and we are fighting against the lies. We are fighting over the legends for the pie chart graphs, for the test results the drug company was very unhappy about, for the safety of our food, our medicine, our homes, cars, children—ourselves. And some people are employed by corporations—and their job is to front for the lies and spin the truth.

We see that our schools are the assembly line of our future, deserving of at least as much funding as our military—for without a future for America, what is it our military is defending? We see that lobbyists, business leaders, and politicians are often more interested in being left to their own devices, to generate revenue, than in being a positive part of our future. We learn that enough money can turn the truth to a lie and lies into facts. We understand that power-seekers are the worst possible candidates for positions of authority. And we stand in wonder at these fearless women—each one a self-contained fighting machine for truth and justice; a white tornado of change that no amoral power-machine can withstand.

Anyway, what I started out to say was that the gun lobby’s suppression of CDC data gathering is a public monstrosity—and a far more important factor of this issue than whatever Ted Nugent has on his beer-soaked mind.