Category Archives: Uncategorized

Veni, Vidi, Selfie

It is important to get it right.

I guess selfies are the modern response to “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make any noise”… If I go somewhere and take a beautiful picture how do you know I was there? Maybe I just cruised flikr for that landscape I posted on TubeFace. I did a post about selfies in May called Alone in a Crowd.

In China we have often found that complete strangers like to also document that we were there with them.

Here is my idea of a selfie:

Not only do you see I’m there, you can see I’m tired from trying to see everything. You can see why the Pull up a seat theme resonates with me!

It seems like people are taking fewer selfies than they were…or maybe I just don’t get out much.

We need to keep remembering the kids

It has been one heck of a news week and PBS doesn’t seem to have published their usual update piece. The only one I could find was this one in USA Today. It is not as concise and the information about the numbers is at the end. I copy it here, with attribution at the end:

Of the 2,654 children who were separated, 2,217 are no longer in government custody, either reunited with their parents or placed with other sponsors.  There are 211 children who remain in government custody whose parents are either deported, in jail on separate criminal charges or facing further scrutiny because the government is concerned they may pose a danger to the child. An additional 226 children remain in custody who have been deemed no longer part of the class-action lawsuit, including 114 who the ACLU has confirmed their parents do not wish to be reunified, 55 who were not separated under the zero-tolerance policy, 29 whose parents were deemed unfit for reunification and 28 with parents in the U.S. who don’t want to be reunified.

The Associated Press, Arizona Republic reporter Daniel Gonzalez and USA Today reporter Alan Gomez contributed. 

If I understand it correctly there are still 436 children in the custody of the US government. 211 have parents who were deported and have been contacted. For the 426 that have been “deemed no longer part of the class action” it is not clear to me what the plan is. Does anyone know? It is getting harder and harder to keep track of this situation.

 

Reflections and power

This is a very random post in response to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge for this week. The theme is to use the photo she published,

as a starting point for a post. Mirror, power lines, clouds and reflection were what I focused on.

Words are all I have…or do I?

Background

I’ve been trying to stay aware of current events since I got home from Mount Rainier. This is very hard on me because they often make my stomach turn.

The US was part of bombing a school bus full of kids in a busy market place? Children, some still babies removed from their parents and put in cages?

I decided to stay in the know, as much as I can stomach, because it seems like outrage is the only thing that gets attention. That is a really stupid way to operate. Especially for a nation that is supposed to operate by rule of law.

I observe that we seem to have a bit too much regard for attitude over actuality.

#saythisnotthat

The speaker was Jill Wine-Banks, I can’t remember the program, in the short segment she suggested using the word “conspiracy”* instead of “collusion”, and talked about #saythisnotthat. Totally agree with her premise. I’ve been uncomfortable for a long time about the words people are using, corrupting in some cases.

While I have you: There are a couple of other words I think we should stop using. One is “right” to describe people holding radical, and often racist, political positions. The problem is that the word “right” also has the meaning of “correct”. Instead of the “far right” (which can be a way to say “very correct”) they should simply be called “Trump Supporters”**. Using a word that means “correct” to describe a racist is wrong. (I do not believe that Trump Supporters are necessarily racists, however, evidence suggests that those who are not are either willing to be tolerant of racism or afraid to say anything, which is its own problem.)

Another word that should go away is “conservative”. A conservative has respect for institutions, like the court system, schools, government and so on, realizes a need for a rule of law and respect for the constitution, and realizes that you have to balance income with expenses. Someone like George Will is accurately described as a conservative. Many people currently claiming this identity are not conservatives; they should simply be called “Trump Supporters”. While I would, before my media blitz, have said that the word should be reserved for true conservatives I now believe that, like I can’t have a “tea party” anymore, the word is too far gone to be retrieved.

Probably we need to let “Liberal” go as well. It is mainly used by Trump Supporters to mean someone they want to bait into lashing out at them so they can play victim.

“Mainstream” ain’t what it used to be

Another term we may want to let go is “mainstream”, because it means too many things to too many different people. In my attempt to try and understand things I have been driven to watching several different venues. A thank you to someone who posted as a response to Fandango a link to a chart that judged the various media sources as right or left biased. I made a mental note of a few, trying to get different viewpoints in my media consumption. When I went back I couldn’t relocate that exact reference to share it with you here, but if you Google “right left media chart” there are a whole bunch of them…and they are not all the same.

I think, but am not sure, that this post: US Media Bias Resources, might contain that first one. I find that I am more in concurrence with the one posted in Partisan Bias vs. Journalistic Quality. The reason is that I think the person/people who put the first chart together are using how much the labeled groups like, or the opposite groups dislike, the reporting as an indication of bias. The chart seems to me more like a warning for people who have opposing views that they may not like what they see than an assessment of true bias.

You have to take into account what really happened. For example: If I love cats I can like a story about rescuing kittens, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that kittens were rescued. If I am a dog lover, maybe I don’t like the story about rescuing kittens, but that doesn’t mean that kittens weren’t rescued.

I find that these charts, in general, have a couple of problems:

  1. They over generalize. You are considered either left or right or liberal or conservative. I find that many real people, myself included, don’t fit into those categories neatly. To use my example from above: I love both cats and dogs, so I can like stories about both kittens and puppies, so long as I don’t bring any more animals home (my husband, the cat, and both dogs agree on that).
  2. The media venues have a variety of programs and the level of bias varies considerably from one show to another. I found this true of both MSNBC and Fox “News” (It really needs the qualifier, they seem to simply not report about half of what is going on because it doesn’t fit their agenda.)

Much factual news today doesn’t suit the Trump Supporters worldview so they claim bias. I don’t like news about bombing school buses…but it really happened. I don’t claim reporters are biased because they tell me about it.

When I was a kid on the evening news they always had the death toll for the Vietnam War…whoops I mean Police Action (although everyone called it a war at the time, one kid in my Kindergarten class’s dad died fighting over there). Now, just within my family, some people supported that war and others did not. But no one, on either side, claimed that there weren’t any deaths.

Rant over for now. I wish I could find out more about the #saythisnotthat stuff, but I’m not a twit…wait no, I should report accurately: I do not have a Twitter account…and I stopped using Facebook a while back for practical reasons (it ate up my cell phone battery trying to update itself).

Grace and peace to all, we sure seem to need it.

 

*Couldn’t help but notice that it could be re-punctuated to read: “con’s piracy”.

**My opinion is that when you get too extreme, on either “side” of the political spectrum, you should be referred to as a “wing nut”, but that sounds judgmental, and didn’t some famous dude say “judge not that ye be not judged”? …I wonder what he would have said about the current situation? Based on years of Bible study, I’m guessing that bombing school kids and folks out buying food wouldn’t fly very high with him, nor would storing children in cages. Just sayin’.