More proponents of a “Kill Them With Kindness” plan

I like cutesy pictures and saccharin sweet sayings, so here’s what I look at on the hutch above my PC.

An op-ed in the Washington Post a few days ago, The Dalai Lama and Arthur Brooks: All of us can break the cycle of hatred, caught my attention.  It was a short piece about the deluge of angry word flying across the internet.  The Dalai Lama and Brooks write:

“Human beings have a deep longing to live together in harmony. People only feel completely alive when experiencing loving bonds with one another. Everyone, of all faiths and no faith, knows this truth, and most profess it openly.

And yet people fight incessantly. Even though war is blessedly absent in most countries today, these are deeply polarized times. Words too often are delivered with contempt; philosophical differences are likened to warfare; those who simply disagree with another are deemed “enemies.” Often it is on the Internet — which was launched as a forum for unity — where people attack one another, under the cloak of anonymity.”

Their answer to defeating the growing “war of words”, especially online,  is very simple:

“Respond with kindness. Want to say something insulting about people who disagree with you? Take a breath and show generosity, instead.”

As I am typing this, Twitter is aflutter with another Trump-generated outrage spin cycle about Trump’s vicious attack yesterday on the late senator, John McCain, while standing in front of Army tanks and the American flag.  This spin cycle will agitate for a few days, but nothing will really change, despite a firestorm of words flying in the media, covering this latest Trump spin blitz.

Our politics very much reflects our culture and despite many anti-Trump politicians and pundits asserting, “This (meaning Trump) is not who we are,” sadly, Trump very much reflects who we are.

The truth is, in an America where good character and being truthful matters, neither of our two thoroughly corrupt 2016 presidential contenders would have been their party’s choice.  If either party had any ethical standards, they would have rejected such completely mendacious candidates, who were under so heavy a cloud of corruption, and who both have glaring character flaws.   We embrace a culture dominated by social media celebrity, Reality TV stardom and a news media entrenched in promoting political spin cycles.  Absent this media dominated culture, neither Trump nor Hillary would have risen to the top and diligent investigative reporting in the news media would have sunk both of them.

You don’t need a degree in psychology or fancy clinical terms to see that both Trump and Hillary lie outrageously and they both have the disturbing habit of doubling down on their lies, even when there’s video of them saying or doing the exact thing they are denying.  They launch media spin campaigns to bolster their lies rather than admit they lied.

In real life most people with even a bit of a moral compass, recognize thoroughly mendacious people like Trump and Hillary as people to be wary of and untrustworthy, but in American politics now, most Americans chose one of them to lead America…

That speaks to our American culture, where too many people prefer to jump on the latest popular spin train rather than standing up for any sort of moral principles.

Many conservatives and NeverTrumpers made their peace with Trump as POTUS, happily consoling themselves with “But Gorsuch” type rationalizations and trying to skim past the recurring Trump-instigated outrage spin cycles, like this bizarre spectacle of Trump’s attack on McCain yesterday.  Likewise, many Democrats chose to ignore the obvious Clinton corruption.

How many Americans will choose to start being kind and generous when facing hostile attacks?  Well, judging from a couple of decades of watching… and experiencing, social media behavior, even a few people beginning to lead this “kill them with kindness” approach, assuredly, is a welcome glimmer of hope.

The Dalai Lama and Brooks “Kill Them With Kindness” plan, naturally, resonated with me, because it’s the only way to defeat the massive SPIN information war that drives, not only American media, but also American culture.

Since 1998, I’ve wished a thousand times, and more, that I had never posted any comments online, but perhaps working toward writing less about politics and more about things that matter much more to me might be a good thing. Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture to change the tone, so I welcome the Dalai Lama and Brooks suggestion and will work to try to change the only person I can control… myself (and the tone of my blog  &  social media comments).

14 Comments

Filed under Civility, Culture Wars, Food for Thought, General Interest, Inspirations

14 responses to “More proponents of a “Kill Them With Kindness” plan

    • Being a NeverTrump/NeverHillary, AlwaysDefendTheConstitution American, I see his point, even though I’ve seen Greenwald make all sorts of bizarre claims too and in my mind, have his reporting in my “take all of his claims with extreme heapings of caution”.

      Andrew McCarthy’s someone whose take I respect and take seriously always, most of these “reporters/journalists” I take a wait and see approach. So many of the big name journalists destroyed their credibility jumping on the #Resist train and some destroyed it blindly boarding the Trump train.

      When the 2016 dust eventually settles, I’d imagine many of America’s journalists will be doing a whole lot of soul-searching, wondering why they have zero credibility left.

      • JK

        (You may recall I “had a beef” [gotten over pretty much] with the guy too, generally speaking – it was a Guardian supplied link on the leaked diplomatic cables shot my anonymity to hell .. had my ‘credit numbers’ showing up in places as diverse as from Northern Ireland to Oman. Fortunately for that “travel bit” I was still in the relatively good graces of at least a few individuals who stuck their necks out by personally alerting me I needed to get face-time at a high level to show I was in Arkansas and hadn’t left the country on a, figuratively, slow boat to China.)

        Still, though I hadn’t paid much attention to his absence from those media outlets, but since he mentioned it on that clip, I gave it some bit of researching and thought “Well yep, that is pretty significant.”

        As for the greater number of America’s “journalists” I have the distinct impression they’re not too much into navel-gazing.

  1. JK

    A friend of mine … well the grandson of the friend pointed the grandpa and the grandpa pointed me from him … gotta keep myself remembering LB it’s rare that it’s either me or my friends who’re the Spring Chickens anymore

    At any rate this ‘CWB’ site was pointed to me as a “good onsite source (doesn’t seem like its ‘big media’ owned and operated) for things Illinois” .. Anyway they’ve had some of the Juicy Saga from the beginning … This is from two, maybe three days ago and as I had this bookmarked ain’t checked for anything more recent:

    http://www.cwbchicago.com/2019/03/kim-foxx-says-smolletts-sweetheart-deal.html

    • Thanks, JK. Something just has smelled weird about this Smollett saga from the beginning, of course, but it’s the prep work that went into this hoax, coupled with the all-out liberal media/Dem political spin effort to hype the “MAGA white brute” allegation that has made me wary of believing any of the evolving storylines fed through the media. Wonder if Smollett was recruited or collaborated with some Dem spin operative(s) for this performance.

  2. JK

    Before I expand let me Thank You back LB for reminding me to look in on JB’s site – I knew he’d had some ‘health issues’ and his show hasn’t been as regular for over a month, John still sounds rather hoarse though but I hope he carries on because, to me at any rate, he’s one of the very few people “in media” who seems to really be fair and balanced (even if some of his guests are anything but!) plus that’s where A. McCarthy gets intelligently questioned.

    Smelled weird to me from the beginning too. Deepest darkest Chicago at 2:00 AM and -10°, MAGA country? And the “kids” just days or so before that? But, like yourself apparently, it was the seeming “prep work” nature of the whole shebang got me so curious that, in the fairly immediate aftermath Spartacus and Kamala come riding their highhorse into the Senate to pass “the first anti-lynching legislation” got me so curious I bought a book (Under Sentence of Death: W. Fitzhugh Brundage 1997) so I could study for myself the, purported “rise in hate crime.” The book study serving for me, revealing of the foundation.

    What had been nagging in the back of my mind was what I, in this our current state-of-affairs was, what I thought was a fairly straightforward question “Given that there is reported to be ‘a rise in the frequency of hate crimes’ ought it not follow that there is a rise in the frequency of prosecutions for same”?

    Well ‘straightforward’ though the question may be the answer is anything but – prosecutions are actually down. Quite dramatically down as a matter of record anyway.

    Just my opinion where responding to your wondering “if Smollet was recruited or collaborated” … Maybe not recruited (heck he very well coulda got, via his ‘actor training’ the screenplay wholecloth) but there would appear to be, given that “first” anti-lynching legislative action, collaboration.

    *Maybe current curricula developers in our Academia could maybe do what I did and get into one or two history texts from further back than Trump’s campaign firing up so to ‘more better appreciate’ claims to being “first” in anything having to do with the story of our Republic doesn’t make it necessarily so:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dyer_Anti-Lynching_Bill

  3. JK

    Noticed an item – may be of interest/use:

    https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-03/lu-afh032919.php

    Yeah I’m having trouble staying asleep.

    • Thanks, JK, listening to this podcast now. The Dems were left adrift the weekend Barr released his 4 page letter, but they’ve regrouped now. The Comey faction amongst the Mueller team seems to be leaking to the NY Time and WaPo, if their unnamed Mueller team sourcing is to be believed. Comey is quite a snake in the grass type spin operator. So, now we probably get another year… or two… of Trump/Russian collusion, while Schiff and Nadler try to create a new Trump corruption spin narrative. The spin drama never ends.

  4. JK

    It would appear LB, I’ve stumbled across somebody else asking the same sort of question I’ve been turning over noted above: ““Given that there is reported to be ‘a rise in the frequency of hate crimes’ ought it not follow that there is a rise in the frequency of prosecutions for same”?”

    Looks like the answer may not be through a response provided by the factor I was considering but something not requiring the ‘follow’ part as I put it to myself: rather a ‘lead up’ bit or, more succinctly, “the reason more reports are coming in is because more reporters [law enforcement agencies in this case] are reporting.”

    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/columnists/nolan-finley/2019/04/07/finley-americas-hate-crime-surge-hoax/3374192002/

  5. JK

    Okay LB, and very preliminarily at this stage:

    The number of agencies reporting to the FBI’s UCR (Uniform Crime Reporting) database in 2016 was 15,254 with a covered population of 289,814,003 – then, for 2017 the respective jumps were 16,149 and 306,435,676. Which roughly “equates” to the Detroit News reporter’s stated ‘1000 new reporters’ (16149 – 15245 = 904).

    But it is the increase in the ‘covered population’ I strongly suspect, that is responsible for “the great increase in Hate Crimes coincident with Trump” that our media seems to be sensationalizing (306,435,676 – 289,814,003 = 16, 621,673).

    * I noted but unfortunately deleted a link I’d used to get to the two remaining which I post below – but I seem to remember it stating ‘people of Muslim/Arab origin/descent began to be specifically categorized in 2005.’ … Which makes me extremely curious as to ‘who/which particular group’ can possibly comprise such a seemingly specifically arrived at number as sixteen million six hundred twenty one thousand six hundred seventy-three individuals in the course of a single year?!!!

    https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2016/resource-pages/abouthatecrime

    https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2017/resource-pages/about-hate-crime

    • Thanks for this info, JK. Plan to comment further and maybe get a blog post written later tonight after my husband goes to bed. Long story there with his declining abilities, but suffice it to say, during the day he needs a lot more help with basic tasks than he used to.

      • JK

        Exercise caution with the numbers I obtained above LB, further reading makes me suspect (believe) ‘nobody really knows but if anyone does know, there’s a good reason the info stays put’ … or sumpin’ like that. Maybe not such a “good reason” … Exhibit – A sample headline:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/03/23/hate-crimes-rose-the-day-after-trump-was-elected-fbi-data-show/?utm_term=.b15648753a50

        That’s pretty stunning.

        But then, same source:

        “But the data is also misleading. There are so many gaping holes in the data that it is difficult, if not impossible, to ascertain the true scope of bias-related crimes in America.”

        “To start with, it’s impossible to conclude that hate crimes are being prosecuted on a large scale.”

        “It’s also impossible to say where most hate crimes are being committed. FBI data shows roughly half the hate crimes in the country occur in just six states: California, New York, Ohio, Michigan, Massachusetts and Washington.”

        What! Not Alabama, not Mississippi, not mid-town Chicago?

        “Some of the states with the highest percentages of African American residents — such as Mississippi and Alabama — reported very low numbers of hate crimes, even though half the hate crimes reported last year by the FBI targeted African Americans.”

        “Critically, the fact that the FBI is tallying something as a hate crime in its annual report does not actually mean that the incident was charged as such — it just means that the incident meets the federal government’s definition.”

        “The racial epithet targeting a black Vermont high school student and spray-painted across the school’s football field in the summer initially resulted in a felony charge of unlawful mischief because, as police chief [.. ..] explained, according to the Burlington Free Press: The hate crime law “applies to an individual, a crime against a person, and in this case we have a crime against an object, that being the field, and the victim being the school district.”

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/11/17/hate-crimes-are-soaring-but-we-still-dont-know-how-many-people-are-victimized/?utm_term=.178e786fe3cb

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