No Hiding from the News

Speaking Out

Gore Creek in the morningFor the past ten days or so, I have been away from home, hiding out in my favorite retreat. But there is no hiding from the news. So, even though family matters take the forefront right now, I am commenting. The Supreme Court verdicts are concerning.

Voters on the left in 2016 are seeing their fears come to life. Combined with the blocking of President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the highest court in the land and two additional appointments by President Trump a major shift is now evident. The conservatives have control of the Supreme Court.

2022- Just the Beginning

Key judicial decisions released Summer of 2022 include a gun control issue in New York State, and the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, a major slam against the other two branches of government is found in the strike against the EPA. Lastly, the highest court will listen to an election case from North Carolina next year which may permanently alter how America transitions power.

The decisions don’t follow any pattern other than conservatism. Extreme conservatism. For example, the Roe V. Wade case can be seen as a state’s rights issue. The Deep South and other Christian fundamentalist areas of the country are now free to ban abortions and certain types of contraception (And yes, we may see additional cases to challenge the latter) in the respective state constitutions and legislations. Trigger laws changed regulations immediately in several states.

The State of Texas is taking actions one step further with the criminalizing of abortions. Neighbors, co-workers, indeed even strangers can turn in women who may have “vacationed” out of state seeking a pregnancy termination. Click here for a related article. Honestly, this reminds me of Germany in the 1930s. What is the next step? Designated “prisons” for doctors performing these safe terminations? Will females of all ages be confined in like places?

However, if the Supreme Court were pushing a States Rights agenda, New York State would be allowed to retain the tighter gun control law. A law on the books for over one hundred years. This discrepancy is most concerning. There is no hiding the fact the Supreme Court decisions stem from an agenda. I am unsure of how the Founding Fathers would view this dictation of personal morals.

No Hiding from The News

As a Christian, it pains me to see such un-Christian like views coming from the fundamentalists currently serving in Congress. Remaking the Constitution or rejecting it altogether as Representative Boebert did the day after the Colorado primaries is more than just worrisome. (Rep. Lauren Boebert Calls Separation of Church and State ‘Junk,’ Says Church Should Direct Government (yahoo.com)) And many of the hard-core conservatives appear to have ties to the January 6th incident. I say incident because there is debate in America over what truly happened that day.

Fundamentalists on the Supreme Court are also making waves. Justice Thomas is most notable. Quite ironic. He is against every ‘liberal’ relationship except one. Interracial relationships are ok. Of course, that permits his own marriage to stand. Again, he has ties to January 6th   through his wife.

Perhaps that is my biggest complaint. Extremists that say, ‘do as I say not as I do.’  Can you truly be a patriot and then storm the Capitol? I say No! Furthermore, why is Justice Thomas allowed an interracial marriage, yet he publicly seeks to ban same-sexed marriages? Why is one normal and the other not? Who decides? The state?

Divided We Fall

We have a big division in this country. One I have posited is stoked by outside forces. But the fuel is there to begin with. It may all tie into the current economy. Just as the economy of the mid-1800s spurred the Civil War conflict.

The Civil War arose out of the age of industrialization. Slave states wished to hold onto the old technology, human labor. Union States wanted to abolish the practice. Allowing the import of slaves may be the biggest mistake made by the Founding Fathers. It certainly was immoral. And we are still grappling with the outcome hundreds of years later.

There is no denying the economy played a big role in the Civil War. I believe a similar conflict occurs today.

Another Technological Revolution

Now we are in the midst of a new era, one of computers and artificial intelligence. This transition is apt to be every bit as contentious. Machines continue to replace much of human labor. And now, human thought. One can see the scary ramifications, if one is educated. And if not educated?

Here lies the crux of the problem. I have expressed my frustration with the state of public education over the years. Content is watered down. Graduating classes of less than one hundred have ten valedictorians. The Trophy Generation bears the brunt of their Helicopter Parents’ actions.

An unwillingness to allow children to face failure created a generation that cannot solve problems. And yes, this is a generalization. There are Millennials that can problem solve creatively. Many kids that earned meaningless grades will be able to punch buttons on a microwave or use social media apps on smart phones. But there is no hiding the fact that if these machines break, most individuals have no idea how they work. Or how they can be fixed.

Perhaps the transition will end soon. Individuals born after 1995 have always known computers. If not at home, at school. Thus, I think their brains will be wired differently. But will they join the workforce before we self-destruct? And will human creativity be a match for Artificial Intelligence?

No Hiding Ignorance is not Bliss

I use very little social media because of AI and Big Data. Less than ten years ago I became upset with Facebook when I tried to relate my experiences with Charter Schools. I literally was not allowed to post a comment. A few weeks later there were individuals fired from the company for inappropriate algorithms.

My use of various social media continues sporadically. Not what advertisers like to see. Unfortunately, few individuals understand the link between social media and Big Data. Many cite an unwillingness for vaccinations with fears of a microchip being inserted. The concern is their every move will be tracked. Yet these same individuals never venture out of their homes without their smart phones. No hiding from ignorance. Phones track your location and your searches.

Such a populace does not understand the ramifications of artificial intelligence. Furthermore, an unlearned and unskilled population will contribute to a growing inequality of wealth. This excellent article from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis shows the current statistics.

Wide inequalities in a country lead to civil unrest.

United We Stand

Can the United States of America remain united? A question that needs an answer. The Founding Fathers created a system of checks and balances. For the first time in my memory, the three-tiered government faces an imbalance with respect to the judicial branch. With time, the system should rebalance. As it has in the past.

I am still against stacking the court. Although now I understand the concept better. My belief is voters will turn out in November in much larger numbers than usual for the mid-term elections. The recent decisions by the high court have stirred up a hornet’s nest. There is no hiding from the fact that extremists are currently in control. But I believe moderates outnumber extremists of both sides. November 2022 is a critical election. Now is the time. Make your voice count. Vote.

American Flags

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