The Case Against Misleading Journalism (And For Bernie Sanders): Part I of II

It is no mystery. One of my greatest pet peeves is inaccurate and misleading journalism. I mean, really? You get PAID to report the news. Your job is to fact check, cite check and present an educated assessment of the story de jour.

It is so unfortunate that I have to call out a fellow liberal, but something must be said. Jonathan Chait, a writer for New York Magazine, wrote an article this week titled, “The Case Against Bernie Sanders.”  As an avid news reader and consumer of knowledge, I was intrigued.

After cross-checking each source cited and linked, I began to get that icky feeling again. I had flashbacks of Josh Mitchell and the Wall Street Journal. Thus, I feel in the interest of truth, I must take on the task of dissecting his article for your enlightenment and enjoyment.

But this is a complicated issue for me. Therefore, I have decided to break this post up into two parts.

This is Part I.  In this blog, I will explain some of the personal reasons I support Bernie Sanders. In the next part, I will dissect Mr. Chait’s article. This should be fun. J

PART I: When Feelin’ the Bern is not a Medical Emergency

feel the bern

It’s probably pretty obvious to most of you that I am a bleeding heart liberal. I am especially liberal when it comes to social issues, civil rights, separation of church and state, religious liberty, equality, drugs, the right to die, law enforcement, judicial reform and a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body. I believe in the autonomy of each human being. I believe that adults should be able to make choices for themselves without government interference or input.

Side Bar

This used to be a conservative point of view, but in my opinion, neither party can claim this as their cornerstone anymore. That’s why I am not a Democrat, Republican, or member of any political party. Rant complete . . .

I believe that a human being, by virtue of being alive, has the inalienable right to do what he or she wants so long as they are not harming others, putting others in danger, or harming or endangering another’s property. I truly believe in each individual’s “Pursuit of Happiness,” whatever that pursuit may entail. I don’t even care if people want to hurt themselves or their own property. That’s their prerogative to the extent that it is not harming others. (Before some troll starts calling me out for this paragraph, my intelligent readers know that each of these statements is qualified and more complex than this brief explanation. Therefore, any discussion about people with mental health issues, incapacity, or unaddressed issues that these blanket statements may provoke, etc. cool your jets. I know.)

I love my country and like Bernie Sanders, am very hopeful for the future. I believe in US. I especially believe in my generation and the generations to come. We do not live in an isolated world where we are unconcerned and unconnected with the rest of the planet. We watch as other economies and societies flounder and flourish.

We read about Germany welcoming American students to come to Germany to receive a free college education. We wonder why the Germans can do this for Americans, yet our government cannot (or will not) do it for us.

We read articles about paid parental leave in Europe and especially Norway and Sweden’s approach to maternity and paternity leave. Yet, young women in this country are afraid to even insinuate that they may want children in the future to their overwhelmingly white male employers. And if you do get pregnant, I hope you work for a company that provides some type of paid leave for you. They do not have to, after all.

When we browse through our newsfeed on Twitter or Facebook, we see articles or personal stories about people ranging in age from 18-30 who have died in combat fighting a war that we have no stake in. We read heartbreaking statistics and stories from our friends about loved ones who made it back from this endless war only to take their own lives because they are not given the support they need when they get home.

We wonder why our country cannot look like other countries. Why is our country consumed by the acquisition of “things”? Why are we strapped with student debt that will cripple millions of us for a QUARTER OF A CENTURY? Think about that. That’s like having a mortgage on a house for 30 years, except at the end of 30 years you have nothing to show for it. Why can we not take care of our veterans? Why can we not have a fair election system?

People my age listen to their friends talk about work. How they are asked to work more and more hours with no expectation of raises or bonuses. The attitude in the working world from our perspective is: “If you don’t like it, we’ll find someone else who will do it for less. Be happy you’re even employed.”

We watched our parents’ unflinching loyalty to their employers. They played by the rules, contributed to their 401(k)’s and they are masters at their craft. Now they wonder if they will ever be able to afford to retire. Their wages are stagnant, their retirement plans and home values suffered severely after the crash in 2008. So, what was the point?

The people whose parents benefitted the most from collective bargaining and unions (baby boomers, specifically), proceeded to elect people who dismantled that safety net for American employees. They elected politicians who made it harder for average people to seek the relief of bankruptcy. They elected politicians that bailed out Wall Street with OUR tax money.

And it is no coincidence that the cost of college and student loan debt (accompanied by interest rates upwards of 7%) have sky rocketed since the recession. Each action has an opposite and equal reaction. Each part of our economy is so intertwined within itself that the most destitute of our communities and citizens ultimately pay the highest price.

Why should we play by your rules? What has it gotten you? We have a healthy distrust for government and an unwavering barometer for truth, justice and unfiltered bull shit.

Why not universal healthcare? The insurance companies have screwed ALL Americans. Why do we allow corporations to determine who does and does not receive medication and healthcare by virtue of a person’s ability (or inability) to pay?

Money in politics has rigged elections for a party that does not represent our beliefs and is fiercely opposed to change and progress. We have atoned for our crimes of seeking an education by committing up to 25 years of our lives paying off our student loans. We watch as our friends, neighbors and members of our community are arrested for possession of marijuana and police are literally getting away with murdering young black men and women. We see You Tube videos of police conducting raids on medical marijuana dispensaries and consuming their products. We read reports of law enforcement selling weapons and laundering money for drug cartels. We are pissed!

The Democrats are not innocent in this. They have become complacent. They have forgotten about states like mine. Texas is a historically blue state. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? But the party has abandoned us. And let’s not forget Bill Clinton’s indispensable role in signing mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines into law and further deregulating the banks, among other mistakes of his presidency.

Our country is a mired pool of hypocrisy and injustice. In my opinion, we do need a radical change.

This is why I support Bernie Sanders. Are all of his budgetary plans completely hammered out to the nearest cent? No. But do not be fooled, nobody else’s proposals are either. Wise readers, do not get caught up in the rhetoric. Never stop seeking the truth.

When I look at Bernie Sanders’ record, it is consistent and honest. He, like many other people, has evolved on certain issues. He’s recently been ridiculed for his past stance on gun legislation, but as a person from Texas, I get it. And it is nothing compared to what the Clinton campaign would have you believe.  Every state is different, but Bernie rarely is. This speaks to me and people my age. We’re tired of the bullshit. And there is one voice out there who seems to get that.

Since the mainstream media tends to ignore Bernie Sanders, let me drop some truth bombs on you with some excellent sources so that you can learn more about Bernie Sanders.

  1. Here is a list of Bernie’s most important issues. Feel free to cross-reference these proposals with his 30+ year voting record on Google.
  2. Bernie just released his budget on his website. You can see it here.
  3. 210 leading economists support Bernie Sanders’ plan to raise the minimum wage to $15.00/hour by the year 2020.
  4. 170 leading economists support Bernie Sanders’ financial reform plan to reign in Wall Street.
  5. If you disagree with economists and you yourself are not an economist, you become that person that diagnoses themselves with severe life-threatening ailments by using WebMD. Neither you nor your computer are a doctor, and you need to see a professional. The same goes for economics.
  6. Bernie is unquestionably a loyal-long time LGBTQ community and rights advocate. Just this morning, the Human Rights Campaign endorsed Hillary Clinton. A petition has already appeared on Change.org calling for the group to withdraw their endorsement because, lest we forget, Hillary Clinton is an uber-religious soldier in the democratic party. Unlike Bernie Sanders, and much like Barak Obama, Hillary was really late on the uptick.  While Bernie has been the house DJ for the most fabulous party on earth for over 30 years, Hillary only showed up around 2013 and even then she stood in the corner quietly watching to see what others were saying about **in a whispery southern voice** the gays! I do declare!
Parents guide

This abomination of a book is available for free on Amazon.

  1. Want to check out which Democratic nominees have been lying during this election cycle and what they have been lying about: click here!
  2. Here is a fact-check comparison for all 2016 presidential candidates: click here!

Although this is a short list, it is a list to get you started on getting know Bernie Sanders’ stances on issues and the truth about his campaign. Love him, hate him, it doesn’t matter if your opinion is based in fact.

I’ll see you tomorrow when I explore Mr. Chait’s article for you. And if you run across an article that just doesn’t sit right, feel free to share it with me in the comments.

Peace and Love,

Lindsey

 

Back to the Bible: Job 6-9

Job 6-9

Let’s get back to reading the Bible!

As you might recall, we left Job with his “friend” Eliphaz (who was smoking a burning bush), telling him that his suffering was all for his own good.

Job 6: Job responds to Eliphaz and basically tells him to f*ck off.

Thoughts:

  • Job begins by telling Eliphaz (rather sarcastically), ‘You’re right, my complaints are rash, I am only bearing the burden of the wrath of God.’ (Job 6:1-4).
  • Job emphasizes, “[T]he terrors of God are arrayed against me.” (Job 6:4).
  • He asks Eliphaz, do donkeys not cry when they are hungry? He is likening his suffering to the unconscious outcries of a dying animal. You really feel for Job.
  • He then prays that God “fulfill my hope, that it would please God to crush me, that he would let loose his hand and cut me off.” (Job 6:8-9).
  • He prays that God will end his life.
  • He turns his frustrations to his friends and says, “He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.” (Job 6:14).
  • He tells them that at his greatest time of need, they abandoned him by fearing the wrath of God without ever knowing for sure if Job is a sinner, or if Job actually deserves his plight. He criticizes them and mentions that he has not asked for any charity or even redemption, but they ignore his pleas. (Job 6:14-24).
  • Finally, Job tells them that if they could please explain to him what he has done wrong, he will be silent, but he will not stop until he understands the “cause of [his] calamity.” (Job 6:24-30).
  • Neither his friends, nor God has given Job a reason for his suffering. How is Job supposed to follow rules that he does not know exist?

Job 7: Job is over this whole thing. He is in pain and is ready to die. He continues to struggle with God’s silence on the cause of his plight.

Thoughts:

  • Job continues his soliloquy and likens his suffering on earth to those of a “hired hand” or a “slave.” (Job 7:1-3).
  • “Like a slave who longs for the shadow and like a hired hand who looks for his wages, so I am allotted months of emptiness and nights of misery are apportioned to me.” (Job 7:2-3). Don’t worry, we aren’t going to get around to solving the slavery issue with this epiphany . . . there are plenty more references and reverences for slavery to come. Love thy neighbor!
  • He reemphasizes that he would choose death over living to end his suffering. (Job 7:7-21).

Job 8: Job’s friend Bildad weighs in and he is not helpful.

Thoughts:

  • Bildad starts by asking Job how much longer he is going to complain. He reminds Job that God can’t pervert justice or what is “right,” and God delivered Job’s children, “into the hand of their transgression.” (Job 8:1-4).
  • Too soon?
  • He tells Job that he needs to seek out God and pray to him for his mercy. Bildad continues by reminding Job that if he is actually “pure and upright” that “surely” God with “rouse himself for you . . .” (Job 8:5-6).
  • This book is better than a Telenovela! It’s like we already know that Job did not do anything. Rather, he was the most righteous man on earth! I guess for God, this is how he treats his best—his favorites if you will. But I digress.
  • He tells Job that nobody knows anything about God or his rules, so unlike a reed that doesn’t have water, he needs to search for water to save his life. Because we all know that like plants without water, “the hope of the godless shall perish.” (Job 8:11-13). I’m wilting!

So sad flower

  • Bildad starts sounding like a modern-day TV-Evangelical. God is great, he would not reject someone who is blameless, he is a lush plant in the sun, etc. God’s “trust is a spider web,” a.k.a. beyond our understanding. (Job 14-22). We’ve all heard this before.

Job 9: Job points out that there is no arbiter between man and God. Then Job drops a truth bomb and the mic.

Thoughts:

  • Job sets Bilbo Bildad in his place. He says that there is no way to win with God or be on his good side because “If one wished to contend with him, one could not answer him once in a thousand times.” (Job 9:1-3).
  • He continues and points out that God can take anything he wants but nobody “who will say to him, “What are you doing?” (Job 9:12)
  • Job states that he must ask for mercy from God because he knows he has done no wrong. (Job 9:13-24). You have to admire Job’s tenacity, and as a lawyer, I agree: Job is innocent until proven guilty. #Lawyered
  • Job finishes by pointing out his own mortality. He states, “My days are swifter than a runner; they flee away; they see no good.” (Job 9:25). I guess there were runners in Biblical times and just like me they saw no good in running.
  • He pleads with God to “take his rod away from me, and let not dread of him terrify me. Then I would speak without fear of him, for I am not so in myself.” (Job 9:34-35). Haha! He said rod.

Will God take his rod away from Job? Tune back in to find out! Next reading is Job 10-13. I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

 

Peace and love,

Lindsey

#BerniePromPosal by @StephenAtHome

Last night, Stephen Colbert dissected the reason why Bernie Sanders has never worn a tuxedo. The hypothesis is that Bernie did not go to his prom because if he had, he would have worn a tuxedo. In an effort to help heal Bernie’s broken heart, Stephen suggested that viewers post pictures of themselves with Bernie at prom with the hashtag #BerniePromposal. Without further ado, here is me and Bernie at the prom: Linds and Bernie Prom

#FeelTheBern

2016

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Lindsey Mears Original Work, “Pitty Love” 2016 (c)

Greetings readers,

My sincerest apologies for falling behind in my posts. I am still reading The Bible, and I hope you are too. I’ll pick back up with that this week.

Things change quickly in life and you never know where you will end up. I have been through a whirlwind of change since 2012 when I graduated from law school. But things are falling into place and for those who have supported me, thank you.

As the 2016 political cycle ramps up, I will try to post more frequently. Politics are my guilty pleasure after all. Thanks for hanging in there with me and I look forward to writing, reading, learning and debating with you this year.

See you soon.

Peace and love,

Lindsey