Thursday, November 13, 2014

Republicans Take a Look at Day and Night—and don’t like what they see

Today, Republicans in the halls of Congress have taken a stance on the controversial issue of day and night. Early this morning, shortly after daybreak, Republican leaders convened behind closed doors before emerging moments later to speak to reporters.
“We don’t like the day,” said one.
“We used to like it; the way it used to be; but we don’t like it anymore.”
“Too light,” added another.
“Too bright,” said a fourth, grabbing the mike and staring straight into the camera.
The chorus continued.
“Why can’t we go back to the way it was?”
“You mean go back to” a reporter began but was cut short.
“I mean go back to last night.”
“Well, it will be night soon, if you could just wait—”
“I don’t want to wait. I want to go back to the dark days of last night, right now.”
“I think you mean the dark night of yester day, Senator. Not the dark days.”
That’s the way it went all day long as Democrats tried to convince Republicans that everything would be all right if they were patient and allowed nature to take its course. And Republicans rambled on about how good the night was in the good old days—last night.
A hearing was convened on the spot because there was no time to waste. The day was slipping away. Irony replaced lunacy for a short time as scientists tried to convince Republicans that day and night was something we really did have no control over.
“That's just the way it is,” said an elitist scientist from one of those Ivy League schools.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

A Fox in the Henhouse is Anything But Fair

Cranks used to be harmless individuals who stood on the corner cursing the heavens, screaming the world was coming to an end and hurling dirty looks and a raised fist to anyone so bold as to ridicule them.  There weren’t enough of them to make a difference and for the most part the few that existed were obviously crazy, or as we used to say, touched in the head. They’ve come a long way. Now they have their own news station.

Watching FOX News is like being a fly on the wall in a roomful of old cranks, disguised as attractive young blondes accompanied by their suitors, listening to them proclaim the sky is falling and discussing whose fault it is. FOX News is where cranks, both viewer and commentator, wind up to get wound up.

It’s not that hard in a complex world to find something wrong if that is all you are looking for. Cranks have always known they can draw a lot of attention to themselves by searching behind every silver lining for that tidbit of disaster that might exist. But Fox News has managed to place themselves ahead of the curve on the negativity scale by putting those tasty morsels under a microscope.

In their world tragedies become conspiracies, isolated cases become the norm, good programs they don’t like become evil deeds they must destroy.

We live in a country where individual freedom and representative government are the standard by which all others are measured. The very bedrock of our Constitution is based on the dignity of man and the guarantee of life, liberty and happiness. But that doesn’t mean things won’t sometimes go wrong or that in a nation of 300 plus million people, some of them at times will be less than happy. Zeroing in on those exceptions and harping on them because it gets you an audience doesn’t make you a voice of reason. It makes you a crank.

It is easy to ignore a crank standing on the corner. But FOX News has cornered the crank market. They reach millions of people who wouldn’t recognize a crank if he or she were staring them in the eye.

Like I said earlier, the crank standing on the corner thinking he could change the world was crazy. But the cranks over at FOX News can and do influence people. So what is their motivation? You don’t have to go far for the answer.

Money and power, as usual, are always the prime motivators behind bad behavior.

Why else would people claiming to be dedicated journalists who love their country express so much contempt toward their government when there is so much to be proud of?

There used to be a thing called perspective for everyone but the cranks. We were cautioned to keep everything in perspective and always be aware of it.

But in its quest for money and power, FOX News has distorted the facts by continually maximizing the minimal. They have treated perspective as something not to be aware of, but rather to beware of.

They lead us to believe that

the miniscule number of people that might engage in voter fraud justifies putting an unnecessary burden on millions of voters who have never committed fraud;

 —more Congressional hearings are needed to determine if a tragic attack on an embassy might possibly involve a conspiracy;

 —the rise in some people’s rates overshadow ten million people having health insurance for the first time;

the inability to stop or control political upheaval in countries where political unrest could and should be fully anticipated is somehow seen as a sign that the most powerful military in the world is suddenly weak;

raising the minimum living wage will cost jobs when being able to earn a living is the reason for having a job;

regulations are bad in spite of the fact that every major economic catastrophe has been due to the lack of regulations.

The list is never ending because cranks will always find something to complain about. Talk of death panels, IRS, NSA, ATF, FDA, ETC overreach, the color of the president’s suit, or worse, whether he was even born in this country—all this becomes fodder for the cranks at FOX News.

It is important to remember that cranks aren’t necessarily dancing to a different drummer. They are simply out of step.

How should we deal with all this crankiness?

The same way as if they were standing on the corner.

Ignore them. After all, they’re just cranks.