Untitled, by Diana Maus, http://mosaicmoods.wordpress.com/

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Jonathan Safran Foer said: "I'm grateful for anything that reminds me of what's possible in this life. Books can do that. Films can do that. Music can do that. School can do that. It's so easy to allow one day to simply follow into the next, but every once in a while we encounter something that shows us that anything is possible, that dramatic change is possible, that something new can be made, that laughter can be shared."

Sunday, November 20, 2011


A body of research out of the University of Michigan in 2010 suggested that our opinions, as contrary to fact as they may be, are based on such fundamental beliefs, that, when presented with contradictory facts, we will stubbornly adhere to our original belief.  So much for human intelligence.  The phenomenon is called Backfire, and it is playing a powerful role in how we are shaping our views on welfare, immigration, and even the president's place of birth.  It is also as dangerous as the gun pictured above. 

Like Lincoln, I have always believed "If given the truth, they (American people) can be depended upon to meet any national crisis.  The great point is to bring them the real facts."  Our present puzzlement, however, comes from the fact that we are unsure who has the facts that we can depend on to not be skewed or full of lies.  Do we listen to Glenn Beck?  Does Chris Matthews have the answer?  Have you found some other news source that relies on facts? 

The longer I'm on earth, the more slippery facts become;  we are getting so good at distortion, concealment, and manipulation of our facts, that we seem able to fit pseudo-facts into any number of prejudiced points of view.  Ergo - Backfire.  As difficult and time-consuming as it is, the truth of the matter is that I must ferret out what appears to be facts from sources that "appear" to deal squarely with both sides of issues.  Otherwise we will be able accept as a candidate for president of the United States someone who states proudly, "I'm a leader, not a reader."  It is obvious this kind of leadership is based on Backfire.  It's like deciding to make an apple pie and making it with cherries.  However, because of some garbled recipe, or regard for the person who gave us the recipe, we stubbornly insist that "This is APPLE pie!" 

Perhaps the time has come when we can no longer depend on anyone for facts - perhaps we must take the time away some other part of our lives to test ourselves:  do I know how much the national debt is and to whom I owe it?  Do I know the facts about the decline of the middle class and what that means to America?  Have I listened to those who call themselves the 99% or have I simply labeled them based on my favorite commentators prejudices? 

Find some sites that you trust:  Here are some I subscribe to.  I don't guarantee their complete nonprejudiced point of view, but at least they assess fault or honors for both parties and multiple points of view:

http://factfinder2.censu.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml  (This gives fantastic info from the latest census.)
Just a few facts from that last site:

One third of the population earns less than $35,000 a year.
7.4% or 8, 478,651 ppl earn less than $10,000.  (That's the size of a large city full of Americans.)

15% of Americans have no health insurance.  How many million is that?  Where do they go and what do they do when they are sick?  Who pays for it?

6,421,415 children under 18 have no health insurance coverage.  Another large American city's worth.
Of our 18-24 year olds, 14% have less than a highschool education.  How many million is that, 30% of whom will live in poverty. 

Facts are like eating food that is good for us.  We may not like it, but we're better for it and we will make better decisions with it.  The more we look at facts, the better we will like ourselves and the less likely we are to be victims of the manipulators we are exposed to.  The more often we will ask questions about what 9-9-9 really means and why we can't provide work for those out of work. 

Backfire will kill us.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Descarte In Love

Ran across this more intelligent and descriptive way of expressing where I find myself right now.
 Love, accepting that we are not pure and lucent hearts, ricocheting towards each other like unlatched stars—no, we are tainted with self. We sometimes believe the self is an invisible glass, just as we believe the body is a suit made of meat. Doubt all things invisible. Doubt all things visible.

Descarte said it - I didn't!