Know your News Source, Please

It is a real shame that we are allowing information from biased news sources to unnecessarily divide us.  What is really sad is that this division has come between good friends and even family members!  So here is a list of news sources that use propaganda, misleading, inaccurate and fabricated information that include nonsense damaging to public discourse from the left, the middle and the right.

The Left:  PATRIBOTICS, PALMER REPORT, OCCUPY DEMOCRATS, BIPARTISAN REPORT, DAVID WOLFE and FORWARD PROGRESSIVES

The Middle:  NATIONAL INQUIRER, NATURAL NEWS and WORLD TRUTH TV

The Right: INFO WARS, THE BLAZE, RED STATE, BREITBART NEWS, NEWSMAX, DAILY CALLER, CT CONSERVATIVE TRIBUNE, DAILY WIRE  and FOX NEWS.

 

The following news sources use selective or incomplete stories, unfair persuasion and unfair interpretations of the news.

The Left:  ALTERNET, DAILY KOS, SECOND NEXUS, BUZZFEED NEWS, NEW REPUBLIC and THE HUFFINGTON POST

The Right:  DAILY MAIL, NEW YORK POST, DRUDGE REPORT, OAN (ONE AMERICA NEWS NETWORK) and THE FEDERALIST.

 

The following news sources provide pure news without a slant.

AP, REUTERS, BLOOMBERG, AFP, ABC NEWS, NBC NEWS, CBS NEWS, NPR, BBC, PBS, and THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR

Other sources with a slight slant include,

The New York Times  and The Washington Post on the Left and The Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine on the Right.

Please know the source of your news, it is critical!  Stay in the GREEN!  For further information go to MediaBiasChart.com

 

Fairness Forgotten?

In Dream Hoarders:  How the American Upper Middle Class Is Leaving Everyone Else in the Dust, Why That Is a Problem, And What to Do About It ( Brookings Institution Press 2017), Richard V. Reeves tells us that between 1979 and 2013 real income for the bottom 80% of American earners rose by only 41% while the top 20% rose by an astounding 88%.

The author contends that the upper middle class is unaware of the detriment that they are causing.  In fact, they tend to blame the top 1% for our collective economic ills.  Their focus on appearance, achievement and affluence keeps them from seeing the entire picture.  Reeves writes that exclusionary zoning, college legacy policies and internships acquired through family connections, give upper middle class children an unfair advantage to better K-12 education, choice college entry and intern opportunities not based on merit or real ability.

There have been attempts to outlaw these unfair advantages, but they have gone unchanged.  The upper middle class has cut themselves off from the bottom 80% believing they only have themselves to thank for their accomplishments.  By isolating themselves, they seem to have lost empathy for average Americans and when they go to the polls, they vote to protect their own interests and not for what is good for America.  They are squashing upper mobility for the bottom 80% and keeping it for themselves through unfair laws and policies.  They have forgotten fairness.

Honor and Respect Cannot Be Bought

Honor and respect is earned through consistent honorable and respectable behavior.  Honor involves honesty, fairness and integrity in one’s beliefs and actions.  It requires, being truthful, treating others with the utmost honor and respect, honoring your debts, taking personal responsiblity for your actions, and being of service to others.

It is not okay to lie, name call, defame, cheat and be disrespectful.  IT IS NOT OKAY!  As members of the greatest democratic society in the world and of all times, it is our responsiblity to act with the honor and respect necessary to maintain the high ideals required by American democracy.  This needs to be demonstrated from all, especially from the top down.

Honesty, honor and respect were taught me at an early age.  When I was around six or seven years old, I was helping my family with household chores and found some coins on the floor.  These  coins would have purchased a king’s ransom of penny candy at the corner store.  But instead of pocketing the coins, I showed them to my Dad.  He said thanks for showing him the coins that I found and as a reward for my honesty I could keep them.  I was honored for my honesty which resulted in respect for myself and for honesty in general.

Another memorable opportunity for practicing honor occurred when I was around nine years old.  My Grandmother loved gladiolus flowers and when we would visit her we would pass a roadside stand that only sold cut gladiolus flowers.  When my parents felt that I was old enough, they allowed me to go to the stand with the correct amount of money by myself while they stayed in the car.  The roadside stand was unmanned and the purchase was based on the honor system.  The customer picked out the bouquet they liked best and then put the money in a cigar box along with the money from previous customers.  So, I picked the bouquet I thought my Grandmother would like best and I put the money in the cigar box to join the money already there.  As I closed the cigar box and returned to the car I felt a great sense of pride and self-respect that I was trusted to be honest and honorable even when no one was watching.

Honor and respect require adhering to social norms (unwritten ethical behavior) that uphold the common good.  It is essential to our democracy that our leaders demonstrate honor and respect.  It is vitally important to remember this when we vote.

Return to Civility and the Common Good

In The Common Good (2018) Robert B. Reich writes that the people of the United States are focused less on “…the common good” and more “…on self-aggrandizement.”  He says that “…the idea of the ‘common good’ was once widely understood and accepted in America.  After all, the United States Constitution was designed for ‘We the people’ seeking to ‘promote the general wealth….”  Unfortunately, “…the common good is no longer a fashionable idea.”

Reich states that “the Common Good consists of our shared values about what we owe one another as citizens who are bound together in the same society – the norms we voluntarily abide by, and the ideals we seek to achieve, …keeping the common good in mind is a moral attitude.  If there is no common good, there is no society.”

Reich continues “…we must agree on basic principles – such as how we deal with our disagreements, the importance of our democratic institutions, our obligations toward the laws, our respect for the truth – if we’re to participate in the same society.”

Sadly, according to Reich, the first to break the unwritten rules that exploits the common good for personal gain is rewarded.  This has now resulted in the attitudes of “…whatever it takes to win in politics, …rig the economy or to …maximize profits” at the expense of the common good as being somehow acceptable.

In Choosing Civility: The Twenty-Five Rules of Considerate Conduct (2002) P.M. Forni writes that “As we pull out all the stops in our frenzy of achievement, we often disregard the norms of civility …we become too busy, too goal-directed.”

The common good is lost in the mindset of self-aggrandizement, personal achievement and over-the-top consumption.  The common good becomes a seeming drag to those who are totally focused on their personal goals.  However, they forget that our country, our society, was built on the common good.  Their fortunes were built on the foundations built by the members of the common good.  We need to treat one another with civility and respect no matter our station in life.  A focus on the common good is essential to the survival of our society.  How can we make it fashionable again?

Who’s Deserving?

Some of the top one percent (those earning $400,000 or more per year) seem to believe that only they are deserving.  They believe that government regulation and policies should favor them and that anyone who has not achieved their level of success is undeserving because they haven’t worked hard enough or are simply just lazy.

I am certain that the top one percent has worked very, very hard and put in countless hours to achieve their success and that should be rewarded.  But should they be rewarded at the expense of the remaining 99% made up of the middle and working classes and the poor?

All hard work should provide a livable wage!

I wonder if the top one percent is grateful for their ability, opportunity and support from both family and the nation?  I know I am grateful for all that helped me to move from being a tip-earning food service worker, to a working class union-skilled-craftsman to an advanced degree teaching professional.  I am thankful for my natural ability, a supportive, stable working class family of origin, and a loving and patient spouse who supported me both financially and emotionally during my last career change that reduced by my income by 50% while I attended college part-time for 8 years.  And, I am thankful for my nation and state as my career change began at a subsidized community college and then continued on to two state universities.  Another thing I am grateful for is fortuitous timing (a little luck) and the teachers’ union as I was easily able to procure a teaching position shortly after graduating with my Masters’ Degree in teaching that included a fair starting salary with fair annual raises, pension, healthcare and an opportunity to earn tenure.  Even so, I’m still nowhere near the one percent, but am very happy and honored to be in the middle, helping special needs children.

At one time, our nation rewarded hard work.  However, many low-wage jobs that are essential to our national well-being are undervalued today.  Some of those jobs include childcare, elderly care, care for those who are disabled, food service and prep, office cleaners and domestics and customer service workers.  As a special education teacher for high school students with autism, I depend on para-professionals to keep my students safe and to help them acquire the skills they need to live at their individual highest level of independence.  These caring, dedicated, necessary, highly trained para-professionals are truly undervalued and are not paid a livable wage even though many have some college or college degrees.  I am not sure how to change these circumstances, but if government regulation and policies can favor the top one percent, it can also favor undervalued, deserving, hard-working Americans.

Remember, our true greatness as a country can only be measured by the quality of life experienced by all our citizens, not just the few.  All are deserving!  And those who HAVE, should be grateful and thankful for the support they may have taken for granted.