RfD – Reality For Dummies

There is an epidemic in America these days. It’s a damaging combination of ignorance, anger, stubbornness, apathy, gullibility, reluctance, spite, denial, and straight up stupidity. (Among at least a dozen other harmful ways of thinking.) Since this post will revolve mostly around political opinions or beliefs, let me say that I don’t even care what “side” you’re on when it comes to any particular issue… I just want you to be able to recognize and accept things that are false, just as I want you to be able to recognize and accept things that are truthful. Operating within the bounds of reality, to put it simply. Apparently, though, that’s something that can prove to be incredibly difficult for an obscene amount of humans on this planet.

  • Robert Mueller and his team announce 13 new indictments resulting from their investigation. Most of the people are Russian, not linked to Donald Trump in any specific way, and it says the people that the Russians did work with were unwitting participants… unaware that their strings were being pulled by Russians.

Donald Trump and his supporters immediately seized on this news, and either through ignorance or deception – spun it as some sort of huge vindication for Trump. Going on about how the actions of those Russians had no impact on the election, and that it proves that Donald Trump and his campaign “did nothing wrong” and that there was no collusion. All of that, and more, based on these specific indictments on that specific day.

RfD Explanation: 1) Nobody can say with certainty that the actions of the Russians had zero impact on the election results. You can only say that if you know for certain what would have happened without Russian interference, which is impossible. 2) As for the “did nothing wrong” and “no collusion” claims… those claims can both be true for this incident, with these indictments, while still allowing for those claims to be false when it comes to anything else in the investigation. If the FBI is investigating the mob and they arrest some low level shmuck – just because it was “the shmuck” that was picked up, it obviously doesn’t guarantee that the mob leaders are innocent and will never be caught and charged in the future. That shouldn’t even need explanation.

  • President Obama created DACA protections through an executive order, which Donald Trump has since nullified once he came into office.

In the time since then, Donald Trump has been endlessly tweeting about how Democrats don’t want to help DACA, they don’t really want DACA, they only want it as a campaign issue, and how badly DACA recipients have been treated by the Democrats. He also claims that Republicans are the ones who are working hard to save it, that they want to make a deal to save DACA, and that he’s offering DACA as a great deal to Democrats.

RfD Explanation: Donald Trump single-handedly ended DACA. There shouldn’t be a need for elaboration after that, but… not only is Trump responsible for DACA being in the dire position that it’s in, but he and the Republicans will not vote on a clean DACA bill. He wants to use it as a bargaining chip – the exact thing that he has accused the Democrats of wanting to do. Democrats were even willing to deal, to offer requested funding for “The Wall” in a bipartisan deal that would save DACA – but Trump went back on his word and rejected the deal, feeling he wasn’t getting enough from the Democrats to save DACA. Simply put, the GOP controls the senate and the house, so if Trump wanted to save DACA as he claims, the Republicans could do it themselves – with just a few (happily given) votes from Democrats. Every argument he makes on this is nonsense.

  • Rob Goldman, Vice President of Advertising at Facebook, made several tweets about their part in the Mueller investigation – since they’re being looked at due to Russians buying blocks of advertising on the site before and after the election. He wrote today that “I have seen all of the Russian ads and I can say very definitively that swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.”

RfD Explanation: The problem with this statement is that Donald Trump and loads of his followers started retweeting this information as fact. That the Russians were “definitively” not trying to sway the election. However, unless the ad buyers directly told Goldman the goal of their plan – his use of the word “definitively” is a huge issue. He can look at all the ads, he can look at other information, but his conclusion is simply an opinion or impression – not something that should be presented as a fact, and then retweeted by Trump as a fact. It would be like me saying “I read this help wanted ad, and can say definitively that they wouldn’t hire my friend Jim.” It’s not something that can be claimed as fact.

Those are just the three most recent incidents in my mind, where people are being sold a load of horse shit – and they either don’t care or they don’t know any better, so they run with it and repeat it to others as gospel as well. As long as something fits the preferred narrative that someone already has in their head, they’re not going to apply critical thought. Some others… they might actually suspect (or even know) that a piece of information may be partially or completely false, but for some reason they’d rather feel right (with others that think like them) than actually be right.

I’m sure there are some Trump supporters who started out legitimately putting their hope into the guy. Wanting to give him a chance, and believing his words when he’d say how much he was gonna fight for “the little guy” or whatever it was that sold himself to them. Over time though, I’m sure that many of those folks started questioning, and then realizing… that in so many instances, Trump is ridiculously full of shit. But by that point they’re already fully invested – and even just acknowledging the lies and deceptions to themselves is something they aren’t willing to do. Realizing and admitting that you’ve been suckered, even just to yourself, is a difficult thing to do. Nobody likes feeling duped… and many Trump supporters, to me at least, seem like they’d rather angrily defend everything about him and their support for him, rather than allowing anyone else to see that they’ve realized how much they’ve been conned. Their feet are dug in at that point, and nothing will change their mind about how they’re gonna play the rest of the game.

I’m not sure which people are more scary/frustrating to me. The ones who know that Trump (or whoever) is full of shit most of the time, or the folks who really do believe everything that Trump (or whoever) says. I can understand people in the first group, but the second group… how can anyone be so oblivious when they’re being lied to over and over? But hell, in both instances – I can’t help but feel a little bit sorry for them. It would suck to put your faith into someone that turned out to be a snake oil salesman, just as it would suck to be so blinded by hope that you can no longer recognize fact from fiction.

The divide between folks like me and folks like them… it’s getting bigger and bigger with each day that passes. On top of that, while I thought that when it comes to politics, that people would start to consider themselves more as independents, as issue based thinkers and voters – but the opposite seems to be true. Democrats/liberals are moving farther to the left just as quickly as Republicans/conservatives are moving farther to the right. Things feel broken and somewhat irreparable, and I don’t see how it’s going to get any better any time soon. That’s what brings me back to the topic of this post. If people could just make more of an effort to find/recognize/admit truths and resist lies and bullshit, and act on those truths and lies accordingly, things would have to get a little better, right?


An Awful Human Being

Over the past many months we’ve all become somewhat numb to the (insert negative adjective) things that come out of Donald Trump’s damaged old brain, but it’s like he has a superpower… the power to blurt out or do something even worse than the week before, which shocks, saddens, and angers the majority of the people in the USA and world despite the understandable Trump fatigue. 😞

Like a majority of the voters in the last election, I was one of the 65,844,610 people who knew ahead of time what we were going to get if he got elected. But even with all of the expected (and unexpected) awfulness that has come from him so far (whether through intention, indifference, or ignorance), waking up today and seeing what he’s tweeted… how can anyone not see him as anything but a horrible, irredeemable waste of flesh after today?

Through his own admission, which oddly sounded like boasting, Trump has accurately described the devastation to Puerto Rico from the recent hurricane. He’s talked about the destruction in a way where you can tell he doesn’t even really think it’s worth or able to be repaired or rebuilt, while (for some reason) talking about the billions and billions of dollars of debt the island has. 🤔😧 So, the scale of the tragedy is not in question, even by him.

Any news channel that you turn to, you see the nightmare. No power grid, hospitals unable to help or relying on generators with little fuel, food and water shortages, gas shortage, no AC, etc… you can obviously go on and on. The federal government has a lot of resources and people in place, and they’re doing what they can, but the mayor of San Juan has literally been begging for more help any time she’s been given the chance… because that’s what you do when you don’t want people to die.

But Donald Trump woke up in an apparent rage about it, and decided to attack her on Twitter. Claiming the problem isn’t a lack of resources or logistics to get it to the people, but because of her poor leadership abilities. 😐 But he didn’t stop with just attacking her. 😑 He praised his part of the response, the federal first responders, but then berated the people of Puerto Rico who are suffering – saying that they weren’t willing to help with the work, and that they wanted everything to be done for them. 😧

He continued to whine the she was “nasty” to him, which he said “the democrats” had told her to do, and then did his normal “fake news” complaints, apparently trying to make people believe that we aren’t seeing all of the things that we are seeing on all of the news programs. This is a sick, sick man. No joke. Sick. He’s tweeting these things from the comfort of his luxury golf club, while the mayor of San Juan has literally been walking through sewage-filled flood waters as they continue to look for stranded people.

The federal response was slow rolling out, he barely had anything to say about the hurricane damage for days after it hit, and once he did start talking about it – it wasn’t in the same “come together” way that he spoke about Texas and Florida. You could feel it… it was more like “Wait, they’re Americans? Fuck. I guess I won’t be able to get out of fixing up this third-world island for all of these poor brown people.”  He keeps bringing up their debt, he keeps talking about passports and visas for some reason… like he almost thinks they’re going to become undocumented immigrants or something. 🤔 Everything about his response has been disgusting.

An island with over 3 million people living on it has been nearly destroyed. People have died… people are still dying… and “our President” attacks them, their leaders, and pretty much everything about who they are. 😣 Oh, and he wants it both ways. On one hand he wants everyone to think that the roll-out of disaster relief is going perfectly, and what we’re seeing on the news is all fake somehow… but on the other hand he’s admitting that the situation is a giant clusterfuck, by trying to put the blame on the leadership in San Juan and the unwillingness of their people to work or help themselves. I wish I had more eloquent words, but it’s just fucking astounding. 😔 I didn’t think I could have less respect for that man, but boy was I wrong.