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That’s a Mountain, I’m a Tree – Religion and Politics

I can’t tell you just how many people have complained about others expressing their beliefs, but if I had to guess, I would account the number of those who have to be larger than those who haven’t.

There are a good many things folks believe with which I disagree, but if the individuals in question actually elaborate on exactly what makes them feel justified in what they believe, we have a good starting point for discussion and—dare I say it—argument.

People take argument to be a bad thing, but in reality, it’s a necessary thing. It’s not the “bad thing” to set the record straight, incivility is the bad thing. If we can agree to disagree with civility, we will still disagree, but we need not do so in ways that make us want to harm or kill one another. And in the process of disagreement, perhaps one or both of us will learn something we didn’t already know. In the worst case, we will walk away continuing to disagree. Somewhere in between, somebody will realize his or her argument was flawed in some way (which may lead to a change of heart, or at least a “retooling” of his or her argument). In the best case, one or both will realize they were wrong in foundational ways, and will end up agreeing.

The best case is fairly uncommon, because it requires folks to face the thing most of them like least of all, being incorrect—and worse yet, being incorrect about something the which they care strongly about.

I’m not talking about arguing over what to have for lunch here (which can be a pretty substantial argument, mind you). I’m talking about arguments in basic and fundamental tenets of one’s existence and surrounding the world at large.

To use the old saw, I say all that to say this. Sometimes a fundamental belief a person holds is flawed. Let me give you an example.

Someone about whom I care recently cited the statement of another, who said something like the following, “I don’t understand how you can say you ‘don’t agree with’ my being a tree. That’s like saying you don’t agree with a mountain being a mountain. It doesn’t make the mountain any less a mountain.” What they said was not nearly so succinct, wasn’t nearly so politely expressed, and didn’t look as bizarre, as they chose something it was expected was “normal” in that person’s world.

The funny thing is, you’re being or not being a tree (or gay, or a male when biologically female, or frankly whatever) is not what’s at issue here.

The real problem is one of external identification versus self identification. You see, the mountain, didn’t wake up one day and decide it was a mountain. Nor was it “born believing” it was a mountain. The mountain, rather was externally identified as a mountain. And though there are those who might disagree with that identification, as a rule, if something is identified externally, and a sufficient number of folks can agree that the identity is valid, we can at least argue that to some, that is a mountain.

In the case of self identification however, some person or other sentient entity decides they or it is or are something. They may actually be the thing which they self identify as being. Then again, they may not. The corroboration for that fact is not in that individual making a decision they are or are not a particular thing, then asserting to the world at large that such is the case. Nor is it by necessity or in reality, about finding a bunch of like-minded folks to agree that the being is what it asserts itself to be.

I started (and will likely finish at some point), writing an article on something that somewhat “morphed into” an article on the concept of standards. It  turns out that this article tends to lead down the same path.

You see, determining what something is, requires having standards. If one doesn’t have standards, it is not just possible for something to identify as something it is not, it’s possible for people to identify things to meet their desires, regardless reality.

If you don’t think that’s a problem, allow me to give you a reason you might want to change your mind. If I tell you that a traffic light is red when in fact it’s green, and you’re responsible for traffic control, without taking the time to confirm my assertion and find yourself in agreement with it, you may decide that the “opposing light” should be green, since the one it “works against” is red.

This is one of many examples. Imagine that I tell you a car is in “perfect working order” when I sell it to you, but when you buy it and try to drive it, you find it lacks an engine! If I am allowed to set a standard that says “perfect working order” means “everything that’s present is operational,” and you have an expectation that the vehicle will operate as a vehicle should, our difference in standards is assuredly an issue. And though the examples are matters of external  identification, the same by necessity must apply to self identification. That is to say, there must be standards, and as a rule they must be outside of a single individual’s consciousness.

By way of example, because the physiology of Jewish folks makes them more susceptible to Epstein-Barr virus, or a person of African familial origin to hypertension or sickle cell anemia, if a person chooses to “self identify” as not being Jewish or of African heritage, it will be a great deal harder to track down what afflicts them. That’s not a matter of my attempting to separate folks by “race” (a thing which folks who know me, are aware, I don’t even believe in), it’s a matter of scientifically observable phenomena.

And just because you can’t see a way that misidentifying or mischaracterizing something “hurts” anything, doesn’t mean such a “way” doesn’t exist. Put another way, misidentification can have literally tragic results.

My final thought. External Identification is not nearly always correct, but it is a mechanism by which folks can agree what someone or something is. Equally, self identification can be correct or incorrect, by contrast though, if self identification doesn’t match external identification, it’s more likely to be of little to no value—and that’s in cases where it’s not harmful.

As always, thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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The Spectrum and Levels – Autism

It’s always hard to recall exactly when and where you have said what, and to whom. On top of that, even if you’ve said something multiple times, it’s entirely possible that folks have missed the expression of it, either by simply overlooking it, or because they haven’t read, seen or heard what you’ve said.

One thing I’ve said before that bears repeating (even if you’ve seen it in my past writings) as a result of this is, I’m pretty sure a “diagnosis of” Autism is very similar to many other “medical diagnoses” in that it’s more about symptomology than underlying causality. Put another way, folks are diagnosed Autistic as a result of what people see concerning them rather that what’s making it happen as it is.

That doesn’t mean I don’t consider it “useful” for the diagnosis of Autism to exist, just that, as a diagnosed family member has correctly stated, the “picture” that is Autism (regardless the level) is different in all likelihood for each Autistic person (I don’t say each diagnosed person here by intent).

That being said, it’s equally important to realize, that “the spectrum” is broken down into “levels” for quite important reasons. I have heard two expressions of those levels the which readily correlate:

  • Level 1 (Mild) – Folks who are obviously “different,” but at the same time, generally have far fewer learning disabilities. These folks may have a hard time “keeping up” in school and be “socially awkward.” They are almost invariably viewed as “different” or “weird” by their non-Autistic peers. In some cases, they have areas that people view as “exceptional;” the trade-off being that they “lack” in others. Since this is a generalization, one mildly Autistic person may have comparatively little problem “fitting in” or working well with society, while another may have more (this is true at every level, by the way)
  • Level 2 (Moderate) – Moderately Autistic folks are those who may one day more or less “fit into” standard society. Then again, they may not ever do so in some of the more meaningful ways. Since each of the levels of Autism can somewhat be viewed as spectral in nature, the differences in abilities and difficulties may be pretty broadly varied from one “moderately Autistic” individual to another. It should be noted that the major differentiation between the levels stated, is the possibility of the diagnosed individual being able to deal with society as it exists, as such a mildly Autistic person may be somebody who ultimately “fits in well,” but that doesn’t mean they don’t have many of the issues or traits of a moderately Autistic person. It only means they have managed to “fit in” better.
  • Level 3 (Severe) – Severely Autistic folks are those who likely will never just “fit in.” They may be rocking in a corner, throwing themselves on the floor and/or babbling. That being said, when you see them, they may seem largely “normal.” Put another way, it’s possible they are displaying none of (or a largely limited set of) the aforementioned behaviors. Even so, they may never learn to speak like the average person, and even if they do, they may never learn to pay bills or “keep house” or do myriad other things that most folks take entirely for granted. Just as with mild and moderate Autism, the “line between” moderate and severe Autism is quite blurry. This may mean a child termed moderately Autistic may never truly learn to function in society.

There are probably arguments out there among people who deal with Autism as to exactly where what “lines ought to be drawn,” but I think this is a pretty accurate picture of mainstream thought on Autism and how it’s categorized.

This is not the “meat of” what I want to discuss in this article, however. Rather, I wanted to explain that Autism—like so many other things—is not an “off the rack condition (or set thereof).”

By this, I mean to say that Autistic folks termed “mildly Autistic” may never truly fit in to society at large. They may be plagued their entire lives with issues with which the “average person” never or rarely has to deal. I’m not trying to make excuses here, just shine the “light of reality” on the condition.

An important realization is that, the “more Autistic” a person is, the less likely they will be to ever entirely fit in to society at large. Put another way, my moderately Autistic six-year-old may never entirely “leave home.” You can rest assured that we will continue to treat him as though he will until and unless it becomes obvious it will never be possible (and I don’t expect that will happen before he’s at least eighteen years of age).

Obviously, parents of severely Autistic children have comparatively less hope such a thing as integration into society is likely. It’s already sufficiently unlikely for children and adults with moderate Autism that such a thing will not occur as to make it more of a dream for those caring for severely Autistic children and adults.

A large part of the reason I bring this up is a virtual explosion of Autism diagnoses—particularly mild Autism.

You might think this is a good thing, and to some degree, you’re correct in thinking that. The problem is, since more people are being diagnosed Autistic, it’s becoming somewhat harder to get people to understand that Autism truly is spectral in nature. That is to say, that because Autism is not a single thing in terms of symptomology, there must be means and methods to both determine severity and to deal with those differences.

Like it or not, just as with many other things, moderately and severely Autistic children are (in non-therapeutic senses) getting “lost in the shuffle.”

You see, the more “normal and mainstream” Autism appears to society at large to be, the less interested folks become in making concessions for moderately and severely Autistic folks.

Where on the one hand, that’s not the fault of mildly Autistic folks, on the other it is still the reality.

I’m not suggesting as a result, that we should either stop diagnosing or stop dealing with mild Autism. What I am suggesting though, is that we must be careful to clearly distinguish between mild Autism and its more severe forms. And the sad reality is, where severe Autism is harder to deal with where caregivers are concerned, the one more prone to get ignored or at least marginalized is moderate Autism.

My “answer?” We must be ever-vigilant in ensuring that people don’t become “overstimulated by” exposure to—most particularly mild—Autism to the detriment of folks with more “severe symptoms.” I know that sounds harsh, but you need to understand, a mildly Autistic person having issues in “society at large” will likely get to the point where they can deal with that society; moderately or severely Autistic folks may never get to that point.

Okay, out of time and words for the moment. As usual, thanks for reading and may your time be good.

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Changing Feet – Bullying – Religion and Politics

One of the obvious and at times, somewhat unfortunate realities of life—particularly the life of younger folks, though it happens to older ones as well—is bullying.

I believe I have said it before, but I want to make sure to do so now. Bullying will never go away. That’s not to say we should ignore it; rather, we should teach people to deal with it in better ways. 

Sometimes, that looks like “living with it” for a time, sometimes like walking away, but almost never does it look like “fighting back.” Don’t get me wrong, there are extreme cases, where the person doing the bullying will very likely inflict harm (most particularly, physical harm) on the person being bullied and nobody else will be around to see—much less stop—what is happening. In such instances, I would argue that confrontation of one sort or another may become the only answer.

As a rule though, most of the time, folks being bullied will find in time, that the person doing the bullying becomes irrelevant; they cease to be a problem by virtue of ongoing life changes on the part of one or the other person, or both people.

One other important point. Bullies are usually people who are “broken” in some wise. That’s not, per se, an excuse as much as a reason for who they have become. And sometimes, the only thing that will “fix” the person they find themselves to be, is time and separation from that which helped them to choose a bad path. In effect, you could say that I’m as much arguing for clemency for the bully as for the bullied.

Obviously, that does not mean the bully should be allowed to act badly on an ongoing, unchallenged basis. This is particularly true when they’re likely to cause physical harm to the person being bullied.

Some argument can be made for mental, psychological, spiritual and emotional harm as well, but the reality is, as mentors, our initial aim ought to be to make our charges as impervious to such “attacks” as possible. Put another way, where I’m not saying such attacks are in any wise “okay,” parents, guardians and the like should make it their business to make them as impracticable as possible.

This article though, is intended to discuss another issue. That conundrum is that of “changing feet.” At this point you may be asking, “What on earth are you talking about?” Let me attempt to clarify.

I think we can all come to an agreement regarding a basic definition for bullying. Bullying would be the attempt by one person to force another person to physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually acquiesce to the “demands of” the bully. Sometimes, it may be something as “simple” as asserting dominance; at others, it may be more complicated. An example of “more complicated” would be my trying to force others to believe as I do on a particular issue. That would be as opposed to discussing the issue with them, and causing them to have a change of mind or heart, by presenting arguments that make what I say valid to their way of thinking or feeling.

I need to pause for just a second to posit an idea. The idea can be stated pretty simply, “We will not agree on all things at all times.”

I have said it before and will do so again, even if one assumes “universal truth” (I do, by the way) there are still three “outcomes” in our disagreement:

  1. Party A is correct and party B is incorrect.
  2. Party B is correct and party A is incorrect.
  3. Both parties are incorrect.

It is possible to state a fourth outcome, but it’s never truly correct. The fourth outcome would be, “Both parties are correct.” The problem with this outcome is, I’m not talking about things like quibbling terms here. I’m speaking here, about genuine disagreement. That is to say, differing in terms, having misunderstandings in things like scope and so forth are not the intent.

Even considering the afore-stated though, it must be reasonable to assume that folks will have differences of opinion and belief. Equally important, except where those differences are harmful (and typically, I mean physically harmful, and in a fairly immediate way), it should be considered entirely acceptable for those differences to exist. One final thought on that. Again, unless it is immediately harmful (and again, I maintain in a physical way), one ought to be able to act on one’s beliefs in order to maintain internal integrity, and be within conscience.

As with most articles, I had a particular impetus for writing this one. In this case, it happens to be beliefs concerning “gender identity.”

It has been argued by a very small minority in the population that they “don’t identify” as the gender they were “assigned at birth.” I could easily argue the concept of “gender assignment” for the majority of humans—and even more easily argue the spurious idea that doctors “regularly” perform surgeries or enact “therapies” on “gender ambiguous” children at or near birth (and most particularly, without the advice and consent of the parents of the child)—but that’s not the point of this article.

The purpose of this article, is to discuss the idea that such folks have been and are being bullied.

To begin with, I should say that the majority of folks (and I would argue that this is even true for children) don’t know such people are among them, and that even those who do, likely don’t care that they are among them. The most significant “exception to this rule” would be when such folks insist on using facilities designed to “support” the opposite sex (physically) to themselves. And even then, since in most cases, that would be “public” restrooms, assuming they used stalls (which seems as though it should pretty generically be the case, since men in ladies’ rooms would not have urinals to use), though it might be a bit unsettling, I don’t see it generically to be an issue.

Rather, the issue would be when people abused the right to use such facilities in order to “prey on” folks of the opposite sex in some fashion (particularly children). And no, nobody is arguing the majority of “transgender” folks are doing that, just that it’s possible for criminal people and people with mental illnesses of various sorts, to abuse that “right”.

I have pretty much “run out of space.” As such, allow me to make the most significant point, and the one I intended to make with this article. That would be that, it is unreasonable to argue the rectitude of requiring people who—for a variety of reasons—do not accept and count reasonable, the idea of “gender identity” as expressed by “transgender” folks and their “advocates.”

Requiring them to consider those ideas reasonable, is just as much bullying, as people expecting transgender and similar folks to accept the beliefs of those who do not agree with “expressed societal norms” to agree with them. It may even be more unreasonable, considering that a vast majority of folks express “gender identity” that matches their “physical sex.” This is particularly true when people are jailed or otherwise penalized by law for refusing to do so.

One more thing to say. I am obviously not arguing that “transgender” folks should be bullied in any sense. That having been said, I am questioning the idea that they are bullied when folks do things like, use pronouns that are not the ones “transgender” folks “prefer.”

I’m also saying that transgender folks ought to expect to be treated like everyone else, and should pretty much count it as likely exceptional for anyone to treat them otherwise. That’s not a function of bullying either. Rather, it’s a function of there being standards in place—standards it appears some “transgender” people are trying to cause to cease to exist.

Okay, time to call it a day. Much more could be said on this, but I haven’t the “space” to do so here. May your time be good, and thanks—as always—for reading.

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Border Security and Racism – Religion and Politics

To begin with, I should say that anyone who knows me at all well, is pretty much aware that I don’t believe in racism. I don’t want to get off into the details of that in this article. Suffice it to say that, where I believe folks do horrible things “in the name of” racism, since race is an arbitrary distinction when talking about human beings, their “excuse” for those activities cannot be racism. The “other side of that coin” is that people trying to “sell themselves” as being of “other races” are at best misinformed and at  worst outright liars.

The intent of this “preamble” is to make it clear that I believe anybody trying to sell an idea, based on cultural classism by calling it a “matter of race” is, again, at best badly uninformed, and at worst lying to achieve sympathy for something that is nonexistent. Let me stop you before you make the argument that the difference is one of semantics. My position is neither new, nor without a great deal of consideration. I could discuss the whys and wherefores all day, but this piece is on entirely another subject. The only reason I bring up this distinction, is that it “plays into” the main subject somewhat.

The main thing I want to discuss, can be summed up in the following points:

  1. It is nothing like accidental that sovereign entities have borders and laws governing entry into those entities. It’s not something that’s unique to one such entity, or even the majority of them. Put simply, pretty much every country in the world has borders and laws governing who may enter the country through those borders and who may stay, and under what circumstances.
  2. Presuming that people are “being racist” or to put in in terms with which I can agree, “being culturally classist” by saying that members of a particular cultural class who choose to enter such a sovereign entity illegally will have in their ranks, people who are evil or extremely criminal is obvious errancy.

You may well think I have said all there is for me to say on this in the afore-written. Let me assure you this is not the case. The reality is that people will make arguments without fully considering what I have said, just because they feel they can do so based on the brevity of it.

There was a recent “political advertisement” on television, I am told (I really don’t watch television), that talked about an illegal alien living in the United States who had killed multiple police officers. This man essentially expressed regret that he was not able to kill more. Further, he made it clear that he intended to attempt to escape—through whatever means—from prison and kill more.

It happens this person was Hispanic by heritage. The resultant furor over this video was entirely predictable. It was also, entirely misplaced. The furor ought to have been over the fact that his horrible excuse for a human being had committed terrible, heinous crimes and expressed the desire to commit yet more of them. Rather, the outrage that followed was over the idea that the video was “racist” because it dared to display a Hispanic male (however evil he was) as being evil.

The funny thing is, the only reason many folks would have taken not of his cultural class, is that the vast majority of folks entering the United States through the southern border (the one with Mexico) happen to be Hispanic in familial origin. I am among the group group that would have done so, that’s how I’m aware they exist, and are so very large a group.

Absolutely nobody is trying to say that every person in the Hispanic cultural group is evil. In fact, most folks would be horrified to be counted in any group that would do so. They’re not even saying that those who come from Mexico, Central or South America, breaking immigration law in the process, are by and large “horribly criminal.” It should be clear that they are definitely not saying this about people who enter the United States legally, or are citizens of the U.S.

Let’s be clear, if you enter the United States illegally, or come here legally and stay when you’re not legally allowed to do so, you have broken and are breaking the law. That having been said, your breach of immigration law by no means compares to murder, rape, violent assault or drug sales.

That being said, it does compare to breaking and entering, and in many instances, to burglary. When you enter the home of another without permission, or stay there when told to leave, the very least they can say, is that you are trespassing. When you enter that residence without permission and using covert methods, that would be breaking and entering. When you take things to which you have no right from that domicile, you are guilty of burglary. This is not some complex, pie-in-the-sky set of concepts.

The fact that tens, hundreds, thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions do this on an ongoing basis, makes it no less criminal behavior.

The first act of a person finding folks in his or her home who were not invited (forget taking things from it that do not belong to the uninvited person), is at the very least to tell them to leave. This is not some sort of ceremonious act; and it’s not something that is considered unreasonable by even the most lawless of persons.

Truth is, in many instances, entering a house the which you have no right to “invade,” may well result in your being shot by the owner—and that’s not conditional on how long ago you did so, by and large if you’re still there.

I’m not by any means suggesting that illegal aliens in the United States should be killed. I’m not even suggesting that all of them should be summarily deported (despite the entire reasonability of this from a legal perspective).

On the other hand, I am suggesting that there should be some punitive course of action applied to these folks (unless strongly extenuating circumstances can be given, and even questionably then).

With regard to more folks coming into the U.S. Illegally, or staying in the U.S. when told they are no longer welcome for whatever reason. I see no reason they should be allowed to come in or stay (again, barring extreme extenuating circumstances).

This is not something I would not expect any sovereign state in the world to say. Nor would I consider it unreasonable for them so to do.

Okay, at my “limit” word-wise. Final words?

If you either came to the U.S. illegally or stayed when you were told it was time for you to leave, you are in breach of law, and should absolutely expect consequences. If you think it unreasonable for the U.S. to enforce border security and immigration laws, you should know that the country from which you came did likewise and that I and many others consider it totally reasonable that they did so.

As usual, thanks for reading and may your time be good.

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Media Objectivity – Religion and Politics

As a young man—fairly, as an older child and into my years of young manhood—I was among those who believed a commonly held fabrication. To wit, I believed that the media was an entity that reported the facts (I use the term “entity” loosely). I believed, as do so many still today, that some part of the media was—or even could be objective. As I have aged, it has become ever clearer to me that this was not, is not and could never be the case.

Let’s be clear, I’m not saying that one should entirely ignore the media (though I don’t generally see how that would be harmful much of the time). Rather, it is my contention that one ought to recognize that media will be biased, and to determine exactly where the bias of a given media outlet or particular “reporter” lies. In so doing, it ought to become obvious what kind of bias that individual or outlet possesses, and what “filters” are being applied by the entity in question.

On top of this, one should consider the truthfulness of the individual or other body in question. If it can be shown that the person or persons are prone to spout obvious and provable falsehoods, one probably should consider not paying them a great deal of attention—if any at all.

I want to also make it plain that I am not talking about any particular part of the media here. I am not, for example, speaking strictly of what is referred to as “the mainstream media.” Rather, it should be understood that I am saying all media—and yes, that includes Fox, CNBC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, Google, Yahoo!, MSN and all the rest (including “local” media, like newspapers and local talk radio)—is biased in some manner or other. And where I am convinced that some of them are more prone to spread falsehood to “push their agenda,” I’m equally convinced that others are not so prone to do this. That doesn’t mean that sometimes their agendas don’t “color” their reporting in ways that make them less honest than I would prefer them to be, it only means that they don’t intentionally tell untruths.

In case you’re wondering how I could be saying this about “news in the olden days,” let me bring a couple of quick ideas to you, that will help to “spread light” on what I’m saying, and what has happened in past.

It has been argued, that media in past was prone to find out that something considered newsworthy had occurred, gather the “facts,” then report—through whatever type of media—what they found. There are (at least) two issues with this:

  1. That everybody—news reporters and editors included—has “filters.” Put simply, that our pasts “color” how we see our present. If you lived through rape (a horrible thing, to be sure), when you see stories about rape, you are pretty certain to not look at them in the same way as someone who has not been through that horror. This is a rather radical example. Imagine a person whose parents could not afford to buy or obtain for them anything but the barest of necessities. Were the parents intentionally evil or otherwise bad? Probably not! Nonetheless, the person would be forever aware that such circumstances existed, and more, aware of how it “feels” to be in such circumstances. Even this is somewhat extreme. The simple example of watching a man (or woman) beat an “innocent” animal may be enough to change one’s perception from that point on.
  2. That what is reported is equally important to how it is reported. The first point was particular to how a given thing is reported by a given entity. This one covers what is reported. Imagine that you don’t consider it important when something happens (a thing that’s true for pretty much everybody), so you don’t tell people about that thing. It used to be quite common for folks to not even think about the fact that they were unable to “use” one half of their body. These days, that’s a pretty sure sign of stroke, and is considered something to act on quickly. The point is, what one considers important enough to impart to others matters. If one decides that a given story is “not worthy” of reporting, or that another story is, one may choose to not report, or report things in ways that make it appear that things are not as they actually are. Recently—and I’m sure this has happened quite a lot before this happened—a prominent individual was accused of various forms of sexual misconduct, by people who were able to produce absolutely no evidence to back up their claims. A large portion of the media “ran with” wild stories, none of which were ever even mildly substantiated by evidence. The result was that people who counted on the media outlets and individuals who did this, received their “news” from people who chose to report something that, quite frankly, did not belong in the news. Even if one believes it did though, they chose to report things that were entirely unsubstantiated as if they were fact.

One thing I think needs to be plain, is that none of this is said in order to “excuse” any part of the media at large (or for that matter, anyone spreading disinformation). Nor is it to say that I don’t see other issues with the media at large, or with particular individuals who are considered parts of that media.

It is—at least to me—patently obvious, for example, that certain members of the media are attacking public figures across the “political spectrum.” It’s equally obvious, that certain “reporters” are either far too full of themselves or have far too little regard for those about whom they are reporting. The result is obvious incivility. When you constantly ask questions that are clearly intended to attack the person of whom you are asking them, and ignore or belittle their answers even when they are entirely reasonable, you likely have both a bias against the person in question, and an inability to act in an even remotely civil fashion.

When you “take over” press conferences, not allowing others to speak or ask questions, even when your questions and concerns have been answered, and you have been told you may only ask a limited number of questions (in order to make it possible for others to participate as well), yet refuse to do so—and particularly if you make a habit of doing this, you might be uncivil.

Okay, over my “self imposed word count.” Time for “last words.”

For those of you who have the incorrect belief that the media or some part of it,  is now or ever has been or will be unbiased, objective reporters of the news, I ask you to consider what I have said here in the fervent hope that your perspective will be altered.

As usual, thanks for reading and may your time be good.