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Thank you for your reply and for reading my post. And as I told the other person who commented — it’s refreshing to see people respond like adults. I appreciate your courteous disagreement, which is rarer than diamonds these days. On that note, “asking them to do what exactly?” A genuine question, how nice! I posted an analysis, to which you respectfully disagreed and offered a sincere question in return.

We used to call that conversation

And that’s why I’m here — to argue for the importance of critical thinking and intellectual integrity. As for my “somewhat simplistic” notes on Trayvon — I simply planted the seed for discussion, my documentary makes the case. But I don’t go in-depth on Trayvon — because I’m out to illustrate how emotion runs roughshod over reason, not relitigate the case. However, I’m happy to provide some degree of argument around it — and I welcome being challenged.

And besides, the bulk of my documentary is about Iraq WMD: The most costly and dangerous self-delusion in modern history.

Trillion Dollar Tube

My Cousin Vinny is maybe the most hilariously educational movie ever, and this scene is at the core of our culture’s communication divide.

Don’t shake your head. I’m not done yet. Wait till you hear the whole thing so you can . . . understand this now . . .

 

Asking them to do what exactly?

To start with, don’t call it “Black Lives Matter” with the first black president in the White House. Just on logic alone, it’s absurd: We elected the first black POTUS, and next thing ya know, “black lives matter”? That is not smart — and here’s why:

When you make one big move (especially one THAT big) — the smart play is to make incremental moves before you make another big one. It’s hard enough making change even with halfway-reasonable people (in ANY environment — let alone the political arena). “Black Lives Matter” was beating the Right over the head with change — and that’s doomed to fail when you’re dealing with people who don’t play by the rules and are not guided by conscience. Same goes for the toppling of monuments — they’re just tangible symbols to make you think you’re making progress (firing up the base for fleeting gain).

Whatever satisfaction the Left gets from that — it can’t even remotely compare with the rage the Right will leverage from it. And even if you could miraculously wipe out every trace of reverence to the South in the Civil War — it wouldn’t do a damn thing to solve the underlying problems. Far from it, as it would make matters much worse.

Proof positive is this buffoon in the White House right now

There are many factors that created the conditions for this monster to come along. But given the tight margins, there’s no doubt that the non-stop noise around BLM, Kaepernick, and the monuments — easily put Trump over the edge.

You cannot beat these people head-on. Think about Republicans’ position on climate change: “It’s not man-made” — end of story. Everything they believe can fit on a few bumper stickers. And yet you’re trying to use facts to fight for the planet — against people who don’t give a damn about any evidence that doesn’t serve their agenda. You’re all going about it the wrong way.

Ray Liotta’s philosophy from Copland — is the way to go:

The goal is perpetual motion. You want greens but how do you ensure the greens? You can’t — as in life and in traffic. So what you do is you leave yourself an out. At every corner you leave yourself an alternative. You move diagonal — you turn the wheel when you hit a red light. You don’t drive down Broadway to get to Broadway. You move diagonal, you’re gonna get perpetual motion, and that’s what you want . . .

There was an incident in Florida where someone got shot and killed. One was an unarmed black teenager and the other was an Hispanic adult who claims to have shot the teenager in self-defense. My job as a citizen (should I decide to have an opinion on the matter) — is to examine what happened, take all information into account, and arrive at a conclusion.

None of that happened here

The conclusion came first — backfilled by confirmation bias every step of the way. I don’t doubt your good intentions, but you’re taking the “cycle” into the story — before even understanding the story. You’re talking about “unarmed people being killed” before you even consider the role that the unarmed person played.

Once you get into a habit of doing that, it just becomes noise and counterproductive to your purpose. The second you shun something that doesn’t fit the narrative you see — you have contaminated your perception. We have to be able to agree on the fundamental facts — otherwise it’s impossible to come to an understanding of what the truth is (to whatever degree it can be ascertained).

We have to be able to agree that Trayvon was carrying a watermelon drink (not iced tea). Maybe it matters, maybe it doesn’t — but we have to agree on what’s what, so that we can appropriately weigh what it means. That is essential to arguing in good faith — and consistently doing so would literally change the atmosphere of America (and the world). Indiscriminate thinking is not just counterproductive in one context, as you automatically do damage to others.

It appears that labeling the can as “iced tea” was an honest mistake by the cops (and even some local media — who based their reporting on that error). I don’t take issue with that — I take issue with left-leaning media never correcting it. That doesn’t happen without ulterior motives. I know what the watermelon connection is (both with the history behind it — and the tie to Lean). I don’t care — their job is to report what’s what. They can have their opinion on what it means, but to manipulate that evidence is nothing short of corrupt (right along with plastering his childlike picture all over the news).

Does this look like a child to you? Looks like somebody who could beat the hell out of Zimmerman to me.

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Nobody illuminated that better than Charles Barkley — who brilliantly boiled it all down in about 90 seconds: 

Injecting race and gun control into the debate poisons the waters of possibility, and you won’t accomplish anything anyway. There was a time to fight race relations head-on (MLK days and such) — but that time is long gone. You’ve gotta be much more strategic about it now. Same goes with gun control and everything else you seek.

Which brings us back to Kaepernick

IMAGINE if he had the guts to say that there’s more to the story than trigger-happy cops (which in no way excuses them). My view of police officers these days — is that they’re overly protective of own safety — in a job that by definition, comes with a certain degree of danger. If you’re unwilling to take that extra split-second to ascertain the threat, then you have no business being in that job.

That aside, we all have a responsibility when dealing with the police. If you cop an attitude (especially in today’s climate) — you are radically increasing your chances of getting gunned down). Yes, you can find examples where blacks did everything right and got killed anyway. But that number pales in comparison to the times where they didn’t follow instructions.

The argument is not that they deserved it — but rather that they played a role in what happened, and that a prudent course of action would have most likely produced a different outcome.

You think Chris Rock just came up with this out of thin air: “How to Not Get Your Ass Kicked by the Police”:

It’s not only funny — it’s central to the story, but no one of serious influence on the Left has the courage to say so. But what do you think would have happened had Kaepernick protested by kneeling — AND advocated for “How to Not Get Your Ass Kicked . . . ”?

Whole new ballgame, as now you’d have a serious-minded force: A guy with real guts who would have totally changed the dynamics of the debate. His supporters wouldn’t be putting him on pedestal, but I guarantee he would have made a serious impact (especially when a few others joined in — maybe even Obama coming around to being the leader he should have been). To be sure, Republicans would still be pissed off about the kneeling (they live to be angry — so they’ll always find something to bitch about). But he’d take a lot of oxygen out of their fire by sharing some of their concerns — and in so doing, inject hard truths that cut through the crap and actually accomplish something.

Instead, Kaepernick just poured more fuel on the fire and got nothing in return — except for pointless praise and fluffy “conversation” on race relations that invariably go nowhere. It’s irrefutable that race relations worsened on Obama’s watch — and he had a role in how that happened. His premature commentary on Trayvon was egregiously out of line for a president — pouring fuel on the fire from the get-go. That was the catalyst of all the chaos to come.

Fuel on the Fire

That is not an agent of change. Even though I voted for him in 2008 — I knew he wouldn’t deliver on the “change” he sold himself to be. How did I know? Because he had no record of risk. I would add that the left-leaning media was shortsighted in pushing him over Hillary — because the smart play was a Hillary/Obama ticket. You’re all thinking “We can have the first black president!” — and I’m thinking, “Wouldn’t 16 years of Democratic presidents be better?” So with just a little patience — you get a fully-qualified president for 8 years (and the first female POTUS to boot), and another 8 with a seasoned Obama. So you get the “first black president” in the long run — but you get a much better president out the deal.

Granted, he still wouldn’t be the change agent I’d like to see — but with 2 terms under Hillary, I think he would have done a much better job (not only because of him—but also the different conditions he’d be under by that time). And with 16 years — hell, who knows by then. That’s a ton of time to make serious strides with the right people in place (not to mention the courts and Congress). Do it right — and you might be talkin’ Democratic rule for a generation and beyond.

And this ain’t Monday-morning quarterbacking — I said all this at the time.

You assume that we both define “consequential president ” as a matter of policy — when that has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Had he represented what he claimed as a candidate — and been bold in his attitude, I would have voted for him again even if he accomplished absolutely nothing on the policy front. “Change” in healthcare and other areas might be your deal (and I respect your interests). But “change” as a matter of courage, honesty, and integrity is mine.

That was the entire premise of his candidacy — to be different than anything we had ever seen before. And in the long run, such a tectonic shift in attitude would have served your policy interests far more than fighting for them head-on.

The Republicans pushed him around not just because they’re a bunch power-hungry bunch jerks, but also because Obama allowed them to. John Kerry lost in 2004 because he let chicken-hawks turn a Vietnam vet into looking like a wimp. You don’t screw around with people like that — those are the moments when you fight head-on, with the full force of your convictions. Mueller was classic “Democrat” in the way he handled his investigation. You don’t fuck around with people who act in bad faith — spending a year and a half letting them dictate the terms. You tell Trump that he either shows up on a certain date and time, or he’ll be getting a subpoena over it (and that you’ll take it to Supreme Court if you have to). The argument that it would take too long is ludicrous — considering that they wasted a year and a half (only to get half-assed answers in writing).

And as part of the demand, they’ll be no debate over the questions or the amount of time. I ask, you answer — that’s it! You give Republicans an inch and they’ll take a hundred miles.

All the more reason why Obama would have been better as VP first — as he’d be ready to deal with these scoundrels after 8 years under Hillary.

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I’m not on anybody’s side. I may be more inclined to some of the Democratic Party’s beliefs, but that’s not my purpose here. I’d just like to live in a world with a lot less bullshit. Speaking of which, the blurb for On Bullshit perfectly captures how shit shovelers spread their folly with infinite freedom:

Bullshitters seek to convey a certain impression of themselves without being concerned about whether anything at all is true. They quietly change the rules governing their end of the conversation so that claims about truth and falsity are irrelevant.

When I was growing up, it was inconceivable that America would become a place where untold millions would tap dance around reality — delighting in their contempt for correction. A go-to tactic of the dead certain is to make damn sure the debate never reaches the merits of the matter.

We don’t solve problems in America — we perpetuate them by ceaselessly jockeying for the upper hand. The internet and the cable clans paved the way for the onslaught of the utterly absurd. Instead of genuinely listening to each other with our fine collection of communication tools — slinging snippets of certitude has become America’s pastime. We have created a knee-jerk nation where discernment is derided and negligence is in vogue. What was glaringly impolite in the past is now perfectly acceptable. There was a time when adults acted their age, but those days are long gone. Defending the indefensible has become a badge of honor, as Anything Goes is the new world order.

My generation got off easy, as all we were called to do was weigh information. But even that was too much of a burden. As we got more, we became less. We all know that the devil’s in the details, but does this look like a culture that reflects that understanding?

Thanks again for your time!

Rick

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