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Words Matter: Trust is at stake, and so is our survival.

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All I have to say is that words matter! Knowledge is power say the wisdom of the ages , and it is passed down by this talking primate through words. No civilization thrives on lies and misinformation. Words matter, and there are some words that matter more than others if it is survival at stake!

Trust! Such an important word. It's all about trust in the long run. Winning is often possible only by trusting. Beginning with trusting oneself, and depending on the guidance and assistance of others who can be trusted.

It is not merely that I am an 'English' teacher that I say this. The choice of our words absolutely defines who we are! It is not merely that words are all I have to bring a character to life in my head" -- so I can write a play where the words a character utters are the only way for the audience to determine WHO they are watching. Behavior is all, and dialogue defines character.

Words are all that you and I have to use, when we dip back into our brains in order to look at the prior knowledge that we already possess -- in order to compare it with the BEHAVIOR that appears in front of our eyes, on our stage; (we teachers call this critical analysis, as does the behavioral scientist Benjamin Bloom !)

I have trusted many people as I approach my eighth decade. I can speak from long experience with untrustworthy folks. I saw Trump for what he was, from the start, listening to him on 'that bus!' And yet, someone recently told me that the bus conversation, was merely "locker room talk." How sad!

Words matter: 'assassination of a 'terrorist'? Who defines those words? Pompeo? He is 'out there' on the MSM using those words -- although he is unable to define the word "imminent" (as in "imminent threat" by that terrorist, whom he decided must be assassinated.)

Pompeo's words were trusted by Trump... as few 'advisors' talk to that senile narcissist these days--and it is Fox News which determines his 'facts!' "Donald Trump has not made a single public statemen t since ordering last Thursday's operation that has not been either unhelpful or counterproductive." That letter about " withdrawing our troops from Iraq" is a prime example.

Although this truth is as clear to me, on my stage, it does not mean that this truth is recognized by anyone else. They do not recognize the utter incompetence for THIS job in this historical moment -- when this 'deal-maker is in charge. He is untrustworthy because of his total disdain for facts, his enormous ignorance, his impulsiveness especially towards 'global destabilization, " his dishonesty, cruelty and self-absorption, his utter contempt for advice from those who are familiar with running a government, and his admiration and "coddling of hostile autocrats" and "frightening style of leadership."

Blindness to Trump's behavior, to his words has led us to this moment where elected congressmen will not hold him accountable for breaking the law he has sworn to uphold.

It must stop now. This is not about politics" it is about survival.

"Limited cognition? Dubious character? Those may not matter when you're choosing the gilt for a golf resort or skyscraper. They do when you're deciding whether to put American lives on the line." We can't trust Donald Trump as our Commander and Chief.

Words Matter!

 

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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2 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments  Post Comment


Susan Lee Schwartz

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"Trump arrives at this perilous moment at a decided disadvantage: He can't assume people will accept what he says as true , because millions have concluded it never is."

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020 at 8:20:31 PM

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Gary Brumback

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Yes, words matter because, as verbal behavior, they can sometimes be a prelude to physical behavior intended by the verbal behavior. Physical behavior, therefore, is the crux of the matter and how it is played out should obviously be carefully monitored and responded to just as carefully.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jan 8, 2020 at 11:53:45 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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"carefully monitored and responded to just as carefully." And that would happen if there was a real government, but President McConnell does not respond even to the law, let alone to the clear evidence of the dangerous incompetence of Donald Trump."

... BTW Gary....and where's my book???

Submitted on Friday, Jan 10, 2020 at 11:17:01 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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and today, for those of youth read my Essay Words Matter, which ends with a look at the word 'imminent'... here is WHY the meaning of that word matters. You see, trump officials had NO idea where or how the 'immune Iran attacks would happen... they only had the WORD of President Pompeo, who. made the whole thing up so his buddy could kill the 'terrorist.'


As I said, in my title: words matter and what is at stake is our survival.

Submitted on Friday, Jan 10, 2020 at 11:14:36 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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and below is an example of how words of truth do matter, even in this post-truth society-- where disinformation is spread beyond anything we have seen in history ---thanks to the unintended consequences of that space where anarchy rules:

* amid the widespread fires in Australia, misinformation about the disaster has gone viral online.

The emergency warning issued for the Morton Fire near Bundanoon advised residents to seek shelter, noting, "It is too late to leave.""Protect yourself from the heat of the fire," the Rural Fire Service said . Too late to leave: Australia's advice for surviving a bush fire when surrounded]

Submitted on Friday, Jan 10, 2020 at 11:52:32 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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The Washington Post fact-checker reports on the "Moby Dick" of all assignments: Fact-checking Trump's marathon rally in Michigan a few weeks ago. He spoke off the cuff for two hours.So you think your job is hard; try fact-checking a Trump speech. Hats off to the Washington Post and Salvador Rizzo.


Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 12:00:07 AM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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Trump's words matter; here they are -- Trump said he would :"HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD" if Iran made good on its threat, vowing an attack on "52 Iranian sites" including locations "important to Iran & the Iranian culture."

Jamelle Bouie nails this moment: "Much of the work of H.P. Lovecraft, an American horror and science fiction writer who worked during the first decades of the 20th century, is defined by individual encounters with the incomprehensible, with sights, sounds and ideas that undermine and disturb reality as his characters understand it. Faced with things too monstrous to be real, but which exist nonetheless, Lovecraftian protagonists either reject their senses or descend into madness, unable to live with what they've learned.

"It feels, at times, that when it comes to Donald Trump, our political class is this Lovecraftian protagonist, struggling to understand an incomprehensibly abnormal president. The reality of Donald Trump an amoral narcissist with no capacity for reflection or personal growth is evident from his decades in public life. But rather than face this, too many people have rejected the facts in front of them, choosing an illusion instead of the disturbing truth. "The past week has been a prime example of this "phenomenon.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 11, 2020 at 4:22:28 PM

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