I wanted to blog tonite about sean hannity, the fox news guy. And i knew what the basic premise of my posting would be (i think he's a dick), but i couldn't really think of anything else to say about it. Which is good, i think, because i quickly remembered that i'd much rather focus on positive things.
The other day, i posted a CNN link on my facebook page about the recent threats made on democrats. Bricks thrown through windows and whatnot. I was so furious about it, but, in less than two hours, my attitude was completely turned around. i felt really good about things, in fact. Nothing groundbreaking happened, not much in the world had changed. Just a conversation, really. Comments made on the bottom of my fb link. Here's a sample of what was said (very, very much edited, because we are incredibly long-winded. Especially me.)... (oh, and names have been changed to protect whatever...)
"KAMI: hmmm. That is disappointing. While I am totally against the [health care] Bill and the people who voted it into law, violence is not acceptable. That being said, I guess it's pretty clear that people are VERY riled up over this, which should raise the question of whether or not our reps voted in line with the majority of the American people. I don't think it should ever come to the idea of enough is enough, we should all continue to debate this, however, violence should not be an option. These folks do not represent me even if we agree on the issue. You're always going to see extremes and it would do us all well to remember that this is not representative of all the people opposed to the bill. Thanks for posting the article, I had heard some rumors here and there so it was good to read about it!
ME: hey, kami, i'm glad you wrote that, because i should clarify what i meant by "enough's enough." I think EVERYONE has the right to express their opinions on this matter. If you think the bill is wrong, by all means, shout it from the mountaintops.
But, there are far too many people who are doing a lot more than shouting. I'm including in this, obviously the brick throwers and the vandals, and the people who make cowardly, threatening phonecalls in the middle of the night. But i also include the people who incite such things. The chucklehead who blogs about throwing bricks "before the next step (gunfire) is taken". Sarah Palin, with the target signs on her website. The republicans holding up the "dont tread on me" flag out the window, showing support for... who exactly? who did they think they were encouraging?
i dunno... BUT, anyway, thank you for being one of the level headed people! LOL! i know you're one of many! but the freaks seem to be, if nothing else, loud. that's probably the main problem, huh?
KAMI: I think it has a lot to do with the media coverage of the extreme people out there. I actually like the Don't Tread on Me flag.:) Really people need to stay on point whatever the view is. I think it's a shame that these people even get coverage, not because I'm afraid of the association they have with the Tea Party, which I'm a great fan of, but because these crappy folks whether they are libs,conservatives,Dems/republicans shouldn't get the coverage. They only have as much power as we give them. Tea Partiers should dismiss these folks completely. So should everyone else, they don't deserve the attention. Now, if these people were practicing civil disobedience or something like that, I could see it. But they're not. I've been to lots of Tea Party websites and all of the ones I have seen promote civil disobedience and NOT violence, which I think is fine and acceptable.
BEN: So, wait, do the people who support the bill have to scream and throw bricks and threaten legislators and their families and promise to keep their guns loaded to express their pleasure that it has passed? Just because a majority of the people shouting are against something doesn't mean that the majority of the people are against it.
I guess I could have blogged or marched to help represent the "pro" side of this, but I don't get time off work for rallies.
(Also, the irony that the anti-government "bricks through windows" guy lives off social security just blows my mind. What is he supposed to be? A socialist libertarian?)
KAMI: lol @ Ben. Truly funny! It's tough to support something you believe in. I hopped on a train to the city after working a very long day to go to the protest, and believe me I was exhausted. I guess we all do what we can, in an economy like this one right now, it is VERY difficult to do anything more than blog or FB about it.
I do have to pick at one thing you said though...if the guy is living off of his social security I don't know that its an issue. The bigger question is whether or not he worked all of his life paying into that fund. Just a thought.
And just to clarify my reference to the majority of the American people, I was basing that on a recent poll showing disapproval of the methods used to pass the bill, that being said, another poll shows 55% of the americans polled on the bill apposed it. (not sure if that's what you were responding to but figured I would throw it out there) I suppose November will tell the real story, no?
BEN: Points taken. (Odd how this can work with nobody shouting epithets or throwing rocks.) And I freely admit that both sides have more than their share of wingnuts distorting the issue. Unfortunately, that's what makes good TV, where the boundary between "news" and "entertainment" has all but disappeared.
I'll stipulate that "brick window man" may have paid into Social Security, but I have to wonder where his principles and threat of armed rebellion were during those years when he was working. Perhaps he went on a decades-long window-breaking spree. In any event, he seems totally cool with this sliver of socialism now. It's impressive that he's dedicated enough to advocate escalating violence -- so long as his checks keep coming.
As for polls, it's funny how both sides always manage to produce polls to back their position. Of course, we usually just get a boiled down number that doesn't take into account qualifying factors, like: How were the questions worded? How were they asked? What was the sample size? From what area(s)? What age group(s)? What economic bracket(s)? What group was PAID to run the poll? Do they have a conflict of interest?
Case in point (from a "pro-health care" poll, just to show how the spin cuts both ways): USA TODAY/Gallup says more citizens now approve of the bill. But "more" meaning a plurality, not a majority (49% pro vs. 40% con). And many of those polled just called it a "good first step." So they approve of the "idea" of the bill more than the bill itself. And the sample size (1,005 adults???) can't possibly represent a fair cross section of a nation with a population of 308 million or so. (Though, we may never know the exact population thanks to those who are protesting "socialism" by boycotting the census. Hopefully those neighborhoods won't need money for public schools or police or fire departments for another ten years.)
But you're right -- the nation will speak in November. Hopefully with ballots rather than bricks. :-)
KAMI: Very good and valid points about the polls. And I am always amazed at people for what they consider is the news. I'm a journalist and sadly much of the media today can be chalked up to a form of "infotainement". lol @ the brick throwing spree comment! And you are right, hopefully its with ballots not bricks!
ME: whenever i hear Ben argue a point, i totally feel like casey affleck in 'good will hunting' -- "my boy's wicked smart!" except, i have to tell you... once, back in high school, Ben and i were talking about star wars, and i said chewbaca was more bad ass than boba fett, and he threw a brick at me.
KAMI: LOL! Listen I just wanted to add a thank you to you guys. Even though we disagree on the topic it's nice to discuss it without people getting all crappy and insulting! I have a friend who is very far to the left and when I post things he will comment, which I don't mind but it always seems to turn into this big argument that gets as far away from a debate as humanly possible. I am all for people posting stuff on my page if they see something they feel they need to comment on, this however was refreshing and doesn't make my brain melt. So Thanks!!!!! And I'm sorry, but Chewy is def. more of a badass! I'm taping up my windows now. :D
BEN: Sheesh...awkward... Anyhow, perhaps I should point out that while Fett was the embodiment of capitalism in its purest form, Chewie was a left-leaning tree-hugging anti-government socialist. So go ahead and back Chewie. If you hate America."
Can you imagine? People with different opinions coming together for an actual level-headed conversation. And i know nobody changed the world, that's not what i'm saying. But it felt good to get all that anger off my shoulders. I slept well that night.
the five things i fell in love with today...
1) BRAND NEW iMAC!!!!!!!!! i am so completely digging this!!! Makes me feel like Tom Cruise in 'minority report'. Will probably never go back to pc again.
2) Finished book number FIVE today!!! Donald Miller's "A million miles in a thousand days". Absolutely brilliant. i really loved it.
3) Inspired by said book, i think i'm going to take a little road trip soon!!! pretty excited about that!!!
4) Maybe sean's not a dick. Maybe he just plays one on tv...?
5) Conversations with good people.
song of the night...
"break the circle" by fleming and john
movie of the night...
"greenberg" ...i saw this over the weekend, and really loved it. Best thing i've seen all year.