For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been mostly focused on coming up with a way for people to help heal this country. One idea is to have people fact checking and debunking fake news.

A couple of days ago, I thought that I would be able to unveil my plan by tonight. I’ve had to take a pause. There’s been a major hiccup. As is the case with all plans to take over the universe, it’s become more complex.

The WaPo article, Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say caused a stir. It has a lot of very good information, but as I read further, checking what they were promoting, I became very uncomfortable. So I checked further.

Many thanks to Glen Greenwald and crew at the Intercept for picking up on my thoughts. I’ll let their article explain because they do a better job that I could. Washington Post Disgracefully Promotes a McCarthyite Blacklist From a New, Hidden, and Very Shady Group

I still firmly believe that becoming active in debunking false posts is important. It’s just gotten a bit more complicated. Who do you believe anymore? Has the Washington Post become part of Russia’s propaganda arm? Talk about wanting to disrupt trust in our institutions. Shame on you WaPo.

How Do We Heal From Election 2016?

It’s going to take a lot of people working hard. It won’t be quick. It won’t be easy. It is necessary.

Through all the gut wrenching turmoil that’s been happening, and likely to continue, I see a great deal of potential for growth for this nation, and a great potential for individual growth.

Steps I recommend to bring that growth about:

  1. Breathe.
  2. Look in the mirror. Are you truly being the person you think you want to be? This is a tough one, especially now. Tensions are high and you may feel like lashing out. Is that how you truly want to project yourself? It might be better to enter your thoughts into a document first and let what you have written sink in a bit before you send it off for everyone to see.
  3. Fact Check. One way to help counter all the untruths and fake stories is by replying with legitimate facts. There are a lot of fake news sites and stories being shared and retweeted. Check threads for them and respond with the truth. Don’t make it a nasty reply, no matter how much you want to scream. Go back to step 1, and then recheck. It can take some effort and time, but make sure your replies are the truth, and not just what matches your beliefs. Become a truth teller. That’s especially true for your own posts. BE TRUTHFUL.
  4. Truth WILL set you free. It will have an impact. Not only on those ‘others’ that have listened to half-truths and outright lies, but on those of ‘us’ that have also been listening to an incomplete truth. Many of us might begin to realize that we have also not always been telling the truth in its entirety. Some may find that they have been just regurgitating what the society around us has taught us to believe. It may be a slow process. It’s not always easy to question our beliefs. It is rewarding to do so.
  5. Many people won’t even consider facts as possibly having validity if those facts oppose their beliefs. Have compassion for them, not animosity. Many people don’t even realize that something they believe is, in actuality, just a belief and might not really be true. It just is. It’s how it’s always been. It requires that a person actually search for their beliefs before they have an opportunity to question whether it is true or not. Giving them facts that counter their belief can help knock a chink out of the wall that defends that belief.
  6. Results won’t always be quick.
  7. Search for YOUR hidden beliefs and then question them to make sure they are valid. Question them again later to make sure that belief is still valid.
  8. Understand that you may also be responsible for people regurgitating, but differently from above. This is a physical response. It’s something that happens when people purge, when they realize that something they believed in so strongly isn’t actually true. It might be unpleasant for a bit, but they will be better for it, even if they don’t thank you for bringing it to their attention. If you happen to find yourself in a purge, relish it. You’ve just made a breakthrough in knowing yourself better.
  9. Always give praise, especially to yourself, when good is accomplished.
  10. Be an example.

I’ve seen a lot of untruths being spouted from both sides. Along with a lot of hateful things. Intimidating things. Trump appears to have unleashed the mindset that the loudest, strongest, best weaponized will prevail.

I’ve been paying attention. Watching the live video of protests in Portland. Watching the stream of posts. A large majority of the comments that I’ve seen about the anti-Trump protests comes from those that support violent suppression of the protesters. It’s very likely that, in their minds, the results of Trump being elected gives justification to their thoughts and actions.

The voices of those of us that are more peaceful in our thoughts and the way we choose to live are being drowned out with untruths and calls to violence. It’s our nature to not want to participate in that sort of ugliness.

By being truth-tellers, we have a way to counter. But it will require standing up to that ugliness. It may also require therapy. It’s not going to be easy for sensitive people. But WE MUST DO IT.

Support each other. Make it a party and have fun with it. Make it a game. The person with the best response gets a prize. Collaborate. WE CAN DO THIS.

Keep repeating the mantra: We Are All In This Together. Don’t let those in control Divide and Conquer. That’s been going on for way past its expiration date.

Find a way to bring as many people as you can to a place where we can appreciate what we share in common. It will make dialogue much easier.

It’s important to walk through streets carrying banners to let your voice be heard. I was just out there today for 4 or 5 hours. But that’s relatively easy. You’re around people who think the same way you do.

All the while, there are people who don’t think the same, belittling you and the many thousands with you. Voices of people who do attempt to counter the vitriol are being drowned out.

Participate in ending the spread of untruths. There’s more of us than there are of them. Only around 25% of eligible voters pulled that lever. Unfortunately, a lot of people were not given a choice they felt good about voting for.

There’s been an increase of violent actions against women, people of color and of different beliefs. The ugliness displayed by some is painful to see. Don’t let the actions of a few cause you to think that a majority of people on the other side are like that. Just as you don’t want others thinking that the actions of the few that are breaking shit means that a majority of you are the same.

Watching the feeds from various sources, I see this happening on both sides. I know plenty of people on both sides. All are very good people, and want the same things. The few that are violent are a very small number, but they get the most news. It’s what brings the most eyes/revenue.

Let’s do what we can to put an end to this madness.

We Are All In This Together.

The Donald Is So Easy to Manipulate

That’s the thing that scares me the most about him being so close to having so much power.

He’s being manipulated now. Control of his twitter account was just taken away from him. Would a person in control, especially someone who thinks that being in control is most important, give up such an important part of his being if he was still in control?

He’s easily manipulated. Stroke his ego. Send in young women. He doesn’t even need to grab their genitals. They can be persuaded to gladly rub them on his.

“Donald, you want a new one regularly? Okay, here’s how to make that happen.” “You want to get revenge on insert name here for calling you a pig? Here’s how to make that happen.”

Feed his ego. That’s all that is necessary, and he’s in your control.

You think Putin doesn’t understand this?

Update: How appropriate for this fitting NYT article to appear. Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand: An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance

And I do apologize for my crudeness.

If Bernie Had Won the Primary

What a difference we would have seen these past few weeks. Not all of it good, mind you. But likely a lot less stressful.

Much of what would have been left out is the knowledge that some of us have gained about gender bias.

I’ve always considered myself fairly aware of women’s issues. Back in the early 70’s, I was engaged with the Women’s Liberation Movement. I do have to admit, though, that I really preferred that it be a “People’s Liberation Movement.”

Men needed to be liberated as much as women did. Liberated from the beliefs that they were of more value than women. That women were there to serve their wishes. To be compliant. Accept what they were given and be thankful for that.

Remembering those days makes we want to throw up.

I’m a privileged white male. One privilege, that I’m very thankful for, was being born into a family dominated by a chauvinistic man. It taught me how I didn’t want to be. I thank my father for that. Very sincerely.

It was what he knew. How he had been socialized.

He also taught me some very wonderful things as well. That family is important, as is integrity, honesty, hard work and playing hard. Many things that I also thank him for teaching me.

I just looked up at the title I gave this post and wonder what caused me to go off on such a tangent. Give me a minute or three and I’ll figure that out. Or not.

Gender Bias. That’s what tripped the switch that sent my train careening down a different track. Such an important issue. Bias of all sorts is important, and that has a lot to do with the acrimonious state we find ourselves in.

I’m going to direct my imagination to a scenario that was possible a few weeks ago. What would it be like if Bernie had won the primary?

What label would The Donald give Bernie? There would be lots to choose from. Old, decrepit Jew? Not going to go there. You can come up with your own.

The labels that won’t fit: dishonest, flip flopping, inauthentic, low energy, for the war in Iraq, for free trade agreements, for regime change, war hawk, or that women are voting for a candidate because she’s a woman.

And a lot of, mostly white, males wouldn’t feel threatened by giving a woman so much power.

The stress level that I feel, and imagine being there for many others, would be much lower because the outcome of the race would not be as doubtful.

I’m not a Hillary supporter. I’ll be voting Green Party. I don’t trust Hillary to follow through on her promises.

But, because Hillary is there, this contest has given us the opportunity to look at our biases. Especially so when it comes to equality of men and women.

We still have a ways to go.