Another old adage I like is "Believe nothing of what you hear and only half of what you see." Recently we have heard much news about Trump supporters leaving fascist graffiti around, and I never believed this was done by Trump supporters. I am satisfied with my gut feeling by new evidence such graffiti was perpetrated by a black racist. William Tucker of southern New Jersey was arrested by Philadelphia police for vandalizing multiple vehicles and homes on Nov. 9, where he wrote messages like "Trump Rules" and "Black B*tch" on an African-American woman's car. therussophile.org/hate-hoax-blac k-man-arrested-for-racist-and-nazi-trump-graffiti.html "
A critical person will do their own research as much as possible, or think things out. For example, when someone says the Mexicans are coming to U.S. to take jobs Americans won't do, just think and realize, a Mexican, once here, will be just as ambitious (or discriminating) as any American. The solution is to pay decent wages.
A person incapable of doing research or thinking things out must choose a mentor, and sometimes a "gut feeling" is all you have.
In my humble opinion, a good mentor would be Bernie Sanders with no unreasonable conflicts of interest, not Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump with many too many conflicts.
The critical thinker would have little trouble identifying red flags, and discerning when we might be tricked into voting tax-paid subsidies to profiteers. For example, how do you promote a consensus around Republicans' current agenda to privatize education? One way is to get a gullible, uneducated group of people to condone censorship in public schools by protesting against Literary Classics - and stir up racial tension at the same time. Such anti-intellectualism in public schools might make some voters support privatization? I remember so well the quality of education I received from dedicated Catholic nuns. I also know my sons got a better education in private, pre-prep school. Am I ready to agree on privatization? No, because it should be cheaper to improve public education, rather than taking our public schools away from us and adding the profit factor to the costs. Whether the red flag works or not, at the very least societal conflict is created, which keeps our eyes off the major issue, like how elite profiteers jerk us around.
And what of environmental regulations on behalf of the handicapped, which was covered in a 60 Minutes broadcast on CNN Sunday, December 4, 2016? Perhaps another red herring. This report indicated that people who had no damage to themselves were able to sit in an armchair and sue hundreds of small businesses successfully for failing to meet environmental protection specifications. While it does indicate that there may be too much micro-management by EPA, there is much to that report that seems not quite objective. Anyone with a little knowledge of Tort Law would be skeptical.
There is a huge lobby on behalf of veterans' issues. Of course we should take pride in our veterans, especially in those who take actions in support of what they believed they fought for, on issues of equal rights, happiness, and justice for all. We have support of veterans like Timothy We also had over 11,000 Veterans protesting at Standing Rock recently.
On the other hand there are veteran "Me-Firsts" who could care less about any issues except seeing to it they get the largest share of our socio/economic help programs. Many only went into service bribed with huge bonuses and promises of education at a time when otherwise "All You Could Be" was a Pizza deliveryman. And it was advertised that way, the Pizza guy and the soldier and the music "Be All You Can Be." Many veterans are not as gallant as we would like to think they are. Most advocates for veterans, like John McCain, want them to be first in line for heath care, but they would never even consider endorsing health care of equal quality for all. Some veterans end up spending the rest of their lives in saloons, either bragging about their war exploits, or trying to forget. And now that America needs real revolutionaries, where are they?
Other organizations are also "Me-Firsts" unconcerned about any people but themselves. An outright subversive one is Black Lives Matter. The black people I love are those who have joined white masses of people seeking remedy from oppression for all people, not just one race. They rallied and voted with Bernie Sanders, even though Hillary seemed to be offering them some "Me-First" programs for minorities. I love people who appreciate the work and struggle white people made to help get Civil Rights laws passed, who marched with Martin Luther King, sat in at lunch counters, even died defending blacks from racism. Many of these older white people are now hated by members of the "Me-First" Black Lives Matter organization, which encourages white hatred. I would discriminate against the black ones who tried to take away Bernie Sanders' platform on behalf of Black Lives Matter. I shall discriminate against black people who forget how many white votes it took to elect a black President and many other members of Congress and political offices all over the U.S. I agree with Bernie that we have come a long way in the "structural" defeat of racism. Personally, I realize that, although we must have laws and use the justice system to be sure everyone has equal rights, there is no way we can force love among people who refuse to use The Golden Rule as a life style.
I awoke this morning thinking about our youth and the struggles they face. I remember in the 50s and 60s how most young people usually made a successful transition between high school and the adult socio/economic system within 5 years. The YMCA gave shelter to homeless people making transition. Some kids went to college and got jobs after graduation. Most went to occupational training institutions and became employed even faster. As for others, (like myself), employment was easy to find at the early age of 13 at a clothing store or Dime Store on Canal Street. And armed with a good Catholic school education and having learned to type at home, I got a good job as a clerk typist at age 16. Another salvation for some Catholic influenced young people was learning to think with our heads instead of rushing into pregnancy and marriage. It's not the same today. Young people today need to become more aware of consequences. A law limiting child births as was passed in China is not a cruel choice when we consider a dozen good reasons for it. I will not digress to that subject here.
If teachers learned to be as dedicated to their professions as were my Catholic nuns, we would not have kids leaving eighth grade not knowing how to write a decent essay, add up a grocery list, make a budget, and keep a checking account. The biggest problem is that too many young people, if not on drugs or alcohol, are emotionally damaged anyway. Many have the idea you shouldn't have to work for a living anyway. (I'm not sure they aren't right about that, but the day hasn't yet come when we are all allowed to retire on our common wealth. See Robert Reich: Universal Basic Income In The US 'Almost Inevitable' ) Even people with the means for a basic living need some interest or hobby in life. Some of the cures for emotional disability can be found in other paragraphs of this article.
The United States, through foreign policy, discriminates all the time. Foreign policy "friends" can torture, bomb, and otherwise mistreat it's citizens with impunity, and even be rewarded with huge weapons deals. (U.S. Imperialism No justice if you're Palestinian: A window into the cruel practices of the Israeli armed forces.) Foreign policy "enemies" - not so much! Greedy capitalist oligarchs like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton cannot give us a foreign policy based in any measure of truth, justice, equality. The ongoing dispute between these two is simply a matter of which group of corporate elites are going to rule the world.