Mr. Newsman, I Don’t Believe You

It’s a shame that the state of media and politicians are so sad that they have created an equal amount of brainwashed citizens as they have completely apathetic and mistrustful ones. The journalists are supposed to hold all politicians equally accountable for their terribleness, not vary accountability based on whatever channel you watch. Who’s being held accountable for anything if everyone only cares about their own bottom lines? The pundits, the politicians and the so-called journalists are all guilty parties to this.
I constantly talk about this here because it’s true. We should not have to read 6 different articles to figure out one news story. One channel calls Obama the greatest, another says he’s the devil and should be in jail. How about he’s just an incredibly misguided guy that surrounds himself with corrupt fools who then corrupted him. He’s not a devil. He might be a crappy president, but he’s not a terrible human being. And I’m not naïve enough to believe a politician is going to be honest with us. They just want to get elected and sell their beliefs to the highest bidder. Unfortunately for us, we’re not the highest bidder. We’re just the idiots that put them there. Except me, none of the people I’ve ever elected was put in office so I guess I have a clear conscience. Though I usually vote for people based on my agreement on their views, rather than party and my green party candidate didn’t stand a chance. And no, it wasn’t a wasted vote because since this isn’t a true democracy and I live in Massachusetts, the vote would’ve gone to the Democratic party anyways since no Republican president has ever won Massachusetts.
My case in point: Politicians, ignoring the constitution and lying to the American people since 1788. You shouldn’t be shocked by their lying, you should be appalled that no one cares and they get reelected. You should care that the news organizations fight for their own agendas and pockets instead of us, the ones responsible for a portion of their paychecks. Our bosses would fire us for not doing our jobs, why should they get overpaid for theirs?
And for the record, do not confuse this Bergdahl trade as being the biggest controversy with it being the most recent. The NSA thing is more important. The Benghazi thing is more important. This Bergdahl thing is probably the least of my worries in the grand scheme of royal screws ups in recent times. This was just something that was supposed to make people forget the whole VA screw up that blew up in their faces or worked exactly as intended.
Let’s close by admitting our own fault in this. Sitting back and watching awful thing happen is just as guilty as those doing it. Everyone thinks that their political party will be the next coming of Christ to save us and fix all our problems. I’ll let you in on a secret: they’re not. We should vote for people that we believe can do it, even if that means crossing party lines. They are, in general, all the same. Even as a registered Democrat, I cannot think of one Democrat I would want as president. Then again, I can only also think of one Republican I would consider a good candidate and he’s probably too smart to run. The other parties often have decent candidates, but they’d never stand a chance in the general elections. So I plead with you, be the change. Let’s take out putting letters next to the candidate’s name on the ballot box so you force people to make educated decisions. Let’s make sure we are able to pick the right candidate, not the party. We can start our own revolution and fixing our country if the politicians don’t want to.

Here’s a Ballot, Now What?

Originally today’s blog was going to be a random rant of whatever happened to be on my mind. Just like any other time a writer starts, they change their direction entirely. I became so passionate about one of my rants, that I decided to dedicate today to that instead.

Tomorrow is election day. I’m not going to give a speech about “people died for us to have this right”. I don’t believe in guilting people into voting. I don’t even believe in it myself. People didn’t die for the right for politicians to lie to us and make us overpay them. I’d like politicians to make minimum wage and not getting paid when they aren’t working like the rest of us. I’d also love them to be stuck with the same crappy choices for healthcare that the American people get. Maybe if we take away the riches and benefits, we’d get people in office that actually care about the people they’re sent to represent. I’d also like it if every law they pass also affected them. Then maybe they’d consider what they are passing before they decide to take the bribes to pass it. Also, I’d like to make it that people had to pass a general current event and civics test before they get to vote. It may be unconstitutional, but at least people who will vote have a general idea of what they are voting for and not race, party affiliation and good looks. I’m also offended that the old guy from Face the Nation (he doesn’t deserve a name, don’t bother telling me) for his commentary. Thankfully you can get access to transcripts online so I don’t misquote him:

“And here’s a confession. Sometimes voting against someone I don’t like is more fun than voting for someone I do like.And here’s the best thing of all. You can vote for or against someone for the best of reasons, the wrong reasons, or no reason at all. It is your vote, and you can do with it as you choose. In fact, you can waste it if you like.”

Really? Not that anyone probably takes his show anymore seriously than they do Fox & Friends, but he has the power of the masses. And he uses it for that? He could inspire people to make a change in the political times! He could tell the viewers, “listen, we need to vote on the issues not the person” or “you need to vote for someone who shares your same view of the country and how you want it to grow”. No, he says “waste your vote if you’d like, just do it”. He could’ve easily had said in one sentence “vote for Batman for president because Superman is from another planet and isn’t technically eligible for presidency”. This actually disgusted me. This disgusted me almost as much as most politicians do.

Growing up, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I was also smart enough to realize that writers are starving artists and you needed a job to fund the dream. For a long time, I decided journalism would be the way to go. I started writing for my middle school newspaper and I hit a moment of realization: I was far to opinionated to be a real journalist. I could be an Op-Ed columnist, and did well with that. The teacher was proud of me when I went to her and said “it would be against journalistic integrity for me to write news, I can’t do it without being biased”. Shortly after, I decided journalism probably wasn’t the right place for me because it went against my morals. Watching news today makes me wonder what makes me different from every other person that decides to actually go ahead with that career path but instead of reporting news, they report their own version of the news. It really does sicken me. There should be a political party named “The Cynic Party”, I would jump the Democrat label for that.

The point is that these people (Fox News, Face the Nation, etc.) all are able to reach people and inspire them for good. They could tell people that issues are more important than white dry erase boards and half facts. They could actually give the viewers a full story, the true full honest story, so when we go into that poll booth we can make informed decisions that suit us and our visions for our ideal country. Instead, they tell us “this guy’s a Kenyan Muslim” and “this guy is a corrupt Mormon business man” or “does it really matter, just close your eyes and make your pencil mark anywhere”. Now we get to go blind into an election and pray we come out in one piece. I’m not sure who’s more to blame for this, the politicians or our “newscasters”.

Why We Don’t (Or Shouldn’t) Trust the News

I’ll start this post with a simple note: I’m not saying that one news organization is worse than any other news organization. As a general rule, I don’t trust any of them. They are a business more than an informative source that appeals solely to the audience that watches them rather than educating the viewers of what is actually going on. By keeping their own angles and biases, they keep their audiences which allow for them to make more money. It’s no different from watching anything else on television. Personally, I feel that any American should be appalled that we need to read ten different articles and watch 3 different stories on the television on the same topic to get a feel for some sort of truth. We the viewers are not well-informed, and we should be angered that these organizations allow us to follow brainlessly. Democrat or Republican or the people who are too ill-informed to decide what they are should figure out a better solution, because the businesses won’t.

With that entirely separate rant completed, I hope the point gets across what I’m about to write isn’t there to “pick on” Fox News, it’s just the news that is watched in my household and watched in awe that I saw incorrect “facts” said aloud and passed off as correct. Nothing seems to infuriate me more than watching people who are looked to for information spout out information that isn’t quite true, or even in one case is viewed as ignorant and hateful. I don’t know what’s worse, the idea the governmental organizations reciting propaganda on both sides so we trust neither or a person on a news organization people trust saying something that could easily be construed as hate propaganda.

The first issue I had occurred last week, when a guest stated that it was unfair for Catholics to pay into insurance companies that practice against their beliefs and especially the abortion pill. My first issue with this statement was he was referring to the Plan B pill, which isn’t an abortion pill, as last I checked abortion occurred after conception where the Plan B is used before conception to prevent it. I suppose that’s a minor mistake, but one that could matter when inciting the masses. The other issue was more minor, when he was saying how Catholics shouldn’t have to be forced to pay into insurance plans that offer services that they are morally opposed. I’m pretty sure Catholics help pay into my health plan, and I get all those services they are offended by. I fail to see the difference, but I suppose you could just say I’m a blind, uneducated liberal.

That wasn’t what I took the greatest offense in. Last night, I saw a member on a panel say that Islam and the Qur’an doesn’t promote peace in their religion. The quote was something along the lines of “The Qur’an doesn’t mention peace”. My religion professor at my Catholic College would be proud of my listening in anger at this. I had a flashback to his classes on Islam, and now regret not talking the field trip to the mosque, because I would’ve been able to instantly say with certainty that this was a false statement. Luckily I’m a dork that kept all my college text books, including my books on religion. These books are The World’s Religions by Huston Smith and The Major Religions by T. Patrick Burke. In reading those texts and browsing the internet (Homeland Security, I’m not a terrorist, I just wanted to be informed.), I discovered that I was right. There are several mentions of not only peace, but tolerance of others who believe in different religions. This commentator’s flaw was not only did she lack information before spreading them to the masses, she allowed herself to fall victim to stereotyping a religion based on extremists. Someone of her standing, who has a power to influence others, should have thought before saying something that I, an American who grew up Catholic, even found in poor taste and hateful. I grew up with a strong belief that I instill in my son: people shouldn’t be judged based on their differences, whether it be religious or lifestyle or race. To classify a whole religion as violent terrorist organization is what is ruining American ideals. If a Muslim had said the same about the Christians, this wouldn’t have been allowed to be said and there would be a tremendous outrage.

I apologize for a post longer and more serious than my others. I lack any patience with people in a strong position of influence to use it for their own agendas. I reiterate my point that this wasn’t an attack on Fox News as I’m sure if I watched any of the other news channels, I would find similarly false and biased agendas. Maybe I should, to prove a point that journalists need to go back to the days when journalistic integrity mattered, not how many people can we get to shovel money at us. I will admit, part of me takes the most offense of this coming from a channel that touts a “Fair and Balanced” agenda. This saddens me, since once I used to want to be a journalist. I learned quickly that I’m too opinionated to give a fair opinion on a topic, so I felt that it was against the morals of journalism to go into with a biased point of view. Maybe we need more people like me that realized if I couldn’t be fair; to find something that suits us more.

Things I Learned Reading U.S.A. Today.

I learned that civil rights may have changed the world, however that doesn’t beat the iPod. While I love my iPod, I like equality more. I like that as a result of the Civil Rights movement, at least in the words of the law, we’re all equal. I like that I can marry my cliched soul mate now, which I wouldn’t have really been able to because he’s a different race. Though I would be in accurate to state we currently live in a world of true equality, at least we’re headed there soon. Hopefully.
Granted I say this, while away from my computer on my beloved smart-phone which probably wouldn’t exist without Jobs. But I love my Android more than I will ever love an iPhone, I love my iPod only because it’s better than the others, and I hate Pixar movies. I do appreciate Jobs art of not really creating anything new, but just making things a little bit better.
I didn’t mean this out of disrespect to someone who is a legend in his field, I meant this in awe of how we view importance in America. Personally I am more impressed by changes in our society that moves at a slower pace, than an impact on a field of technology that is in a constant state of change.
Today, reading the U.S.A Today I learned that the Tea Party and anything else political really makes me question ideals. Not just a little either, I really sit there wondering where people come up with some of this stuff.
Where do I even begin? It seems the Tea Party feels the government has too much control. They say the government over stepped its boundaries by mandating everyone has health insurance. As someone from Massachusetts, who has definitely felt the downside of this policy and doesn’t fully support it, I completely understand this. Then I’m stunned to learn most are Pro-life and seem to want to ban abortion. So, I try to talk myself through this. “The government can’t tell me to get health insurance, but abortion is a bad thing the government needs to ban”. Saying it aloud doesn’t make sense of it to me. So then I read most are against gay marriage. With that said, I can’t be told whether or not I have insurance but I can be told what to do if I’m pregnant and I can’t marry for love. Yup, I am sufficiently baffled.
Then I really read something that contorted my face into such a twist: there was a Tea Partier that felt we need to return back to the ideals of the constitution. Yes, I agree with you. Finally I found someone who made sense and they change my idea.of the tea party. Only then I read to a quote stating “no where does it say in the constitution that we need to separate church and state”. Really, no where?
I can forgive general hypocrisy of controlling citizens’ bodies. I can even forgive that they want to lessen government control and let states control their own education, but force schools to learn creationism alongside evolution. I can’t seem to ignore how the constitution doesn’t cause a separation between church and state. Unless I missed something in high school civics class, though I doubt I could even screw that up.
Something else I learned today: Being an American citizen that supports al-Qaeda is different from being a foreign grown one. In reading the Op-Ed section, one close to my heart because that and humorous columns were among my dream “to-do” list, I saw a reader comment on the American drone bombing of one of our own. He was angry that we decided to kill him without due process. He was an American, one of us. He deserved better. He deserves better than the other terrorists we stuff in camps to torture without due process? I remember people in an uproar when we started to try terrorists. I don’t understand the logic, at all.
The most important lesson I learned reading my complimentary copy of U.S.A today is why I avoid newspapers: Why I never read newspapers. I don’t think I learned anything of true value, except an incredible urge to become more cynical. That’s really what I needed, more reasons to feel cynical.