Sorry, AOL, but this feels inappropriate

Reading through AOL today and saw this page:

AOL screen shot on 30 December 2014

AOL screen shot on 30 December 2014

If you can’t read the bottom link, it says: “Airlines in dire need of new pilots”. This on the same page they discuss the crash of AirAsia 8501.

Advertisements

On writing–language and bias

If you haven’t accepted that words have the power to manipulate, take a look at this headline recently from the Huffington Post:

Image

Here’s a link to the article in question.

Shame on UPS, you “heartless” evil corporation. Its what the majority of Americans believe corporations are: Heartless, Unfeeling, Thieving, Conniving, etc., etc. The article goes on to say that the UPS facility in Queens will be firing 256 people. Gutless evil entity! And why? Well, because one employee decided to question work hours, got fired, and 250 walked out in protest. Saying it like this, you’d think, absolutely, what a “heartless” way to treat your employees. But this is where the biased language of our current media comes in to play. And they are all guilty of it. I’m looking at you Fox, CNN, MSNBC. It just so happens that Huffington Post committed the latest one. And it is a whopper.

Look closely at the published and updated dates/times. If you are not on the link, here they are:

Posted: 04/02/2014 4:38 pm EDT Updated: 04/03/2014 2:59 pm EDT

What I find amusing is that it took a day for Kevin Short, the author of the piece, to ask a simple question: Can the employees of UPS walk out? You’d think not since a work stoppage at a place like UPS or FedEx or the Post Office would cost the company millions. Of course, we all want our latest thing from Amazon shipped on time and would raise Cain if delivered late. And so, a day later, this is posted:

Update 4/3: Thursday, a UPS spokesperson informed The Huffington Post that the contract between UPS and the Teamsters includes a no-strike clause. Management at the Maspeth facility, where employees worked, warned the employees as they were leaving that their jobs were at risk, the spokesperson said. The Teamsters did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Too little too late, or maybe just perfectly executed, depending on your position in politics. Reading the comments section, you find the battle lines clearly drawn by the people who will never ship with the “heartless” UPS and those who believe that UPS is in the right to fire the employees. I’d be amazed if some of the posters who said that UPS should face a nationwide boycott even read the article or just caught the tag on Huffington Post’s main page and commented. There’s even a moveon.org petition available. Of course, the petition says nothing about the language of the contract that these employees worked under. It all comes down to language.

One simple word–“heartless”–has energized what really should be a non-issue. Amazing. In this case it is not the power of words but the power of one word. As writers it we should be cognizant of the words we choose in our own writing. But we aren’t or we choose not to be. In the realm of published media, I’d argue it’s the choose-not-to-be category. Huffington Post, Fox, MSNBC, CNN all have an agenda to drive. Where this agenda comes from is usually clouded in conspiracy, but there’s a clear agenda. Sadly, many readers and viewers are blinded by that agenda. We hate corporations. We love unions. We hate the 1%. Hence, we’ll say that UPS is a “heartless” company and our followers will agree. What a wonderful way to continue to divide and conquer.

Maybe it is time that we have a truly unbiased, truly “fair and balanced” (sorry FOX, you can’t claim this), source of news where the bias is obvious. There is none.

Those of you who cannot read the bias in the Huffington Post (or FOX, CNN, MSNBC) article, and see it in their delay of reporting all the facts of the issue, welcome to the Church of the Blind. Services are being held daily. They will provide you with the liturgy. Don’t think for yourself. Just rinse and repeat.

 

Are the Democrats killing the Republicans?

The Romney loss malaise has set in, and many on the right grasping as to why the Republicans lost this election. What was supposed to be a sure thing became a we can’t.

The GOP has been quick to cast blame wherever they could throw it, but this isn’t a game of horseshoes.

At one time, both party’s had their extreme groups clinging to the fringes of the party.

However, since the 1970s, one party has watched their fringe group slowly move their way toward the center.

At one time, abortion, same-sex marriage, and the legalization of drugs were taboo topics in government. Now, what was a small group of people on the left fringe have made their way into the main.

The Democratic Platform addressed abortion this way: (Try to ignore the fact that the Democrats say this, yet want government intervention on birth control)

“We oppose all efforts to weaken or undermine that right [abortion]. Abortion is an intensely personal decision between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her clergy; there is no place for politicians or government to get in the way.”

Ten states have written into their constitutions legal same-sex marriage. These states tend toward the blue.

Colorado and Washington states both legalized the possession of marijuana in 2012.

It is not just within the Democratic party that what was once a fringe idea has shifted to the moderate.

Mainstream media is also embracing these ideals.

New Normal on NBC

New Normal on NBC

New Normal

Television shows like “The New Normal” and “Modern Family” highlight openly gay characters. Looking at their titles alone, it can be seen how well what was once hidden from society has become an integrated part of it. While I am not one to cite the Huffington Post, they did run an interesting article on the political choices of viewers of these shows, and they stand to support my assertions.

How is this killing the Republicans?

Simple.

The further to the middle these ideals slide, the further to the extreme right shifts the bulk of the Republican party.

There was a time when a sort of détente existed between the Democrats and Republicans. A tenuous peace predicated on each party keeping the fringe groups contained on the edges of the party. The party leaders could come together in the middle, my neck of the woods, and work together. Now, as views that contradict almost every fiber of the conservative Republican become more accepted, they retreat further into the corner of politics. And what do hunters say about a cornered animal? Exactly.

How to Save the Republicans

I’ve heard Rush Limbaugh and other Republican talking heads talk about how the Republican party is in surrender mode.

Really, Mr. Limbaugh, the Republicans are in a more dire place than that.

By shifting to an extremist position on the right, fighting to “retake America”, they end up Beliefs-of-the-Republican-Party-e1353328912692looking like crazy zealots shouting from the highest peaks of insanity. Instead of fighting, it is high time for the Republicans to come back to the middle. How they do that, though, is going to take a measured amount of trust and faith in the system that they are claiming to want to “retake”.

At the fundamental core of most Republicans is a moral conservative that was born during Reagan’s first election. I say to these Republicans–Tea Party or common Republicans–it is time to live what you preach: Love they neighbor.

The writing is on the wall. We are in the “new normal” and you aren’t going to take back anything. The harder the Republican party fights against these norms, the more the Democrat party wins.

The Republican party needs to not judge (lest, of course, they be judge… not by God, but by the voting society that views them as antiquated).

The Republican party needs to love their neighbor. They don’t have to accept anything. If their neighbor wants to have a same-sex marriage, be happy for their happiness. Remember, dear Republican, God brought hell on earth to Sodom and Gomorrah, but this is the same God that allowed Lot to sleep with his two daughters.

Puritan father and wife with children

Puritan father and wife with children

It isn’t that the Republican party is the party of old, white men. However, it is seen this way because of the image of Puritanical white men who lived as God on earth (He for God only; she for God in him).

I would argue that most Americans see themselves as fiscally conservative while socially liberal. These are the targets that the Republicans should court. Unfortunately, the socially liberal aspect is non-existent with the extremism of the new Republican.

Republicans, look for the good in this “new normal”.

Right now, judges in the juvenile court system will not hear cases involving parents giving their children marijuana so long as the student is “passing” their classes and attending school. Doesn’t matter if the child is attending stoned or not. There just isn’t room in the case load for these issues (FYI, as a teacher, I asked this question of a juvenile court judge and that was his answer). Now, at least here in Colorado, maybe we can tax the pot dispensaries and use this money in the juvenile court system?

The Republican party shouldn’t compromise anything. Hold your values. Teach your values. Just accept that at this moment in American history, your values aren’t the norm. Right now, there are independents looking for a fiscally conservative party; people, Democrats and Independents alike, admit that we cannot survive years of reckless spending like we have seen recently.

Let loose the extremist camp. Let them form their own party.

Find a way to come back to the middle.

Otherwise, yes, Mr. Limbaugh you are right. Time Magazine you are right.

The Republican party will die.