Unfriended

Rationalthinking101.com is my blog and whenever I post to it, like now, it’s setup to share my post both on Twitter and Facebook.

Since I live in Texas, I’m in the Trump Bible Belt. I’ve got friends here and I work for the state, but in a recent survey I discovered most of my Texan friends don’t believe in rational science and definitely support Trump. They believe Earth was created 6,000 years ago (even though many Christians believe otherwise) and that Trump is the best president ever (mind boggling to me – don’t they keep up?).

These views make their way to RationalThinking101.com and as a result trickle to Facebook and Twitter. Once in awhile (not every day, mind you), I get a notification that some person I worked with for years and years has unfriended me.

How can that be? I accepted them as my friend and coworker, can they not do the same?

Of course, I’ve got many Texan friends on Facebook and 99.99% of them remain my friends, the occasional dropout makes me sad.

Here are a few of my views. If you don’t like ’em, get rid of me, but I still like you as a person.

  1. Earth is over 4 billion years old.
  2. Trump is a bad president.
  3. I was born in Boonton, New Jersey. I’m a democrat.
  4. We went to the moon.
  5. The Earth is not flat.
  6. Global warming is real. The main contributor is the State of Texas. Look it up.
  7. I get along with pretty much everybody even if politically I bite my lip. (I was afraid, during the last election, to put posters in my yard. I feared for my family and my home.)
  8. I own guns with real bullets. When I was a kid I owned a BB gun.
  9. I don’t eat meat. I’ve been a vegetarian for over 44 years.
  10. I don’t care if you’re gay, lesbian, bi, straight, black, green, yellow, white or from another planet.

There ya go.

JoeDropsBall5

Relics of the Past Destroyed? Is it Islamic Extremists Again?

Back when the Taliban Government under Sudam Hussein was destroying relics and statues of Buddha in Afghanistan that were thousands of years old, historians were horrified. Could you imagine, for example, blowing up the pyramids of Egypt? The Taliban’s actions were reminiscent of the Nazi’s burning books, or of the Spanish burning all of the Mayan civilization books and with it their history.

Although the war between the North and the South was largely about slavery – owning people – it is still part of our history. It may not be the brightest point of our history, much, I suppose, like the Taliban saw their country’s roots in Buddhism and Hinduism (Afghanistan is a word coming from India’s Sanskrit language). They destroyed statues, figures, relics, historical monuments and every remnant of the past that they could get their hands on. Should we do the same, or should we see the bigger historical perspective?

Is it okay to have statues of important figures in the Confederate States of America? They went to war against the United States much like the thirteen colonies declared independence against the King of Britain and wrote the Declaration of Independence. The outcome of the two wars was different, but both were states fighting for independence.

Had the colonies lost their war and America stayed part of the British Empire, would we now be destroying the Declaration of Independence and all evidence of the revolutionary war? Probably not. It would be history nonetheless. Similarly, should we now destroy all evidence there was a war – our deadliest war – now that there is no more a Confederate States of America?

These symbols – the Confederate heroes statues and flag – are seen not just as reminders of our unfortunate past of slavery but in today’s climate as a line drawn by white racists against the rest of us.

Admittedly, the issues are boiling over.

Once again racism rears its ugly head. We see the revival of the KKK and an alt-right president who comes just after the first African American president. The country could not be more divided – except perhaps in civil war.

Historically, we’re in a time of extreme pendulum swinging from left (Clinton) to right (George W.)  to left (Obama) to alt-right (Trump). The swinging is getting wider and wider and different views seem irreconcilable.

Despite the troubled times of the present, would the destruction or removal of these statues be met with blessings from historians four hundred years in the future, or will they see it in the same light as destruction of the Mayans, blowing up of Buddha statues or burning of books?

People will do what people do and this article will not change history in any significant way, however it’s one liberal’s opinion.

Good News Bad News

All news is bad news. Bad news sells.

Increasingly, however, there are human interest stories dubbed “happy news” at the end of news broadcasts, but it seems to diminish in the light of the chaos that I see going on the world.

Cyber attacks, White House in turmoil, Trump increasingly isolated, Russia buzzing our planes within 20 feet, North Korea, the terrorists in Syria and Afghanistan, firing the one guy in charge of investigating the President.

Even if you get all your news from Fox and Rush Limbaugh, surely you must sense there is chaos. Every other major news organization in the world is reporting on it.

It’s depressing. I’m really trying to understand.

I’d like this blog to steer towards science, but sometimes, I just have to say something.

So here it is: something.

A New Era

For better or for worse Donald J. Trump is not going away.

Much to the chagrin of the Democratic party and half the country, it is unlikely Trump will be impeached or somehow replaced before the end of his term in office. The era of Trump has begun. The world has changed. Much.

Yes, we all know the President has made outrageous statements and unverified claims before, during and after the election campaign, and he will obviously continue to do so into the foreseeable future. That’s not going to stop. Neither will his conservative agenda.

HandsHoldingWorldGold_MedTrump is making progress toward fulfilling many if not most of his campaign promises. To his supporters he is a dream-come-true President that is standing up for what many Americans have wanted all along. On the other side, to those who will be negatively impacted, he is a nightmare.

Be prepared. The dark side of the Force has awakened.