Sunday, May 12, 2019

ANTI This and ANTI That

By David Hogan
Leeds, AL

I'm trying to figure out how we corrupted this meaning for, ANTI.
Some seem to think that if we are FOR something, we must by default be AGAINST its opposite or even alternatives. I find that utterly ridiculous.
I don't like olives in my egg salad, but I still like olives, and really don't care if anyone else likes them or not in theirs, and can't for the life of me figure out why anyone would give a damn. I'm not ANTI-OLIVE EGG SALAD, I just prefer mine without olives.
I see all kinds of protests going on with the preface, "ANTI" in front of something aimed at certain people, groups, businesses and more. Upon investigation there is no oppression of the choice being defended, it's usually just that the person or owner, etc. doesn't favor it or embrace it.
NOW if they were denying access to someone of whatever persuasion being defended by the ANTI-XXXX protesting, I could see the point.
IF there are public tax dollars involved in the whatever it is choice, I could see a point of debate, but not when the link is made from a stretch like trying to tie a business owner's personal preferences on the whatever it is, to their ANTI-XXXX acusations.
The ANTI-XXXX protestors are often just bitching because someone disagrees or doesn't embrace THEIR choice. WOW, that's some really fascist controlling horse shit right there. Just because someone doesn't prefer or embrace something does not make them ANTI to whatever it is.
Some controversial items of debate go well beyond this of course, but many are more about being pissed someone doesn't agree with them than anything else, and often justified by what they believe is the only "right" way to think.

Saturday, May 4, 2019

All Animals Are Equal, Sorta, Kinda

Thanks to good old George Orwell!
Facebook censored several big well known accounts that made news yesterday. Guess What? I didn't like ANY of them. GUESS WHAT ELSE? I don't care if I like them or not, censorship always denies us the ability to choose. Choose what, you may say?
To ignore, to embrace, to refute, to engage, to further understanding, to shake our head in disbelief, to know NOT to do what was written, to take action, to make any of MANY choices.
Notice how there are usually no DETAILED rules when people start censoring. Everything is most always SUBJECTIVE. This is usually followed by someone saying, "surely we can ALL agree" and usually, surely we cannot ALL agree on even the color of darkness, or if there even IS, a color of darkness.
When you HIDE evil or hate, IF we can even all agree to what that is, you allow it ambush status. Talk to one another, read, refute, reject, embrace, use your brain, instead of allowing someone else to decide for you.
OR NOT.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Right Now, Leave it for Others to Find!

The good and the bad of philosophy is that my great moments of wisdom fade soon and become dried up, but as time and conditions change they become meaningful again if not for me, maybe to someone else.
IF I wait around for them to be useful to me or receive praise from others, I could get lost in the wait and risk missing other wisdoms left behind by others, for me to find, when I truly need them.
I could have just said, live in the moment, but this seemed more profound to leave for others, and possibly the hint of a boat that may be used again, down the road of time possibly.

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Remember This Guy From The Past? There Are Many Like Him Now.

David Hogan
Leeds, AL
April 9, 2019

Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf, image from Wikipedia
The name Mohammed Saeed al-Sahhaf may escape the memories of many, even Americans born way before 9-11, but you might remember him by another name. That famous name for a time was, Baghdad Bob or as we saw him on CNN as the Minister of Information for the Iraq government in 2003, during the Iraq war.

Baghdad Bob became somewhat of a celebrity during the Iraq war mainly for disinformation, and soon was being called The Minister of Disinformation by many as he spewed outlandish things on the airwaves.  I remember possibly his biggest whopper was when the American tanks were coming into Baghdad he was saying there were no tanks in Baghdad even though they were less than a football field length from him and the noise was blaring over him speaking.

So, I bet you think I'm going to target the current state of news, don't you?  Actually, it's not my main point, even though I admit one can make an argument for a lot of disinformation being passed off as news in America today, but my concern is a troubling one in disguise, partly related to our mainstream media for sure, but a bigger concern at local levels of government.

Introducing the White House Press Corps was a good thing.  The White House Press Secretary announces the news of the White House in the presence of prominent news agency reporters, that question what is presented.

Now there is a similar scenario, but not the same in local government, known as their Public Information Office.  These offices put out news from city and county governments but, few have a meeting room or daily press conference. What they DO have is a Facebook page and website including live streaming meetings.

In part that is a good thing, in part.  What's missing is the presence of reporters to question the government while being watched in a setting of significance. There is another element to these new Public Information Offices and that is government created news releases, and their websites where they turn press releases into their own news articles.

The local government offices often selectively choose what they highlight in what makes it to their videos, articles and posts.  If you try to call them out on this, noting they are not under scrutiny, they will fall back on having meetings videotaped as a usual defense. Part of the reason people rely on news is they do not have time to attend government proceedings, or watch them on a video.

Press releases are a good thing, but they have created what I told my reporters to be "Lazy Shit Journalism".  If you don't follow up and ask questions of the news release you are letting government control news unfettered.  Many reporters put out the entire government press release as their article, with maybe a word or sentence changed at best.

Getting news from the government is a good thing. Getting news from the government without questioning it, verifying it and researching it, is not a good thing and can lead to our friend above, Baghdad Bob, spreading disinformation at will.

Unfortunately many mainstream news agencies have become versions of Baghdad Bob, often siding with a party, an administration, and embracing the news releases of whom they are siding with and ignoring the others.  Baghdad Bob would certainly embrace those agencies and woo them to be an ally.  The news cannot be an ally of any one part of government or political parties at the expense of the others.

Until news gets back to calling out everyone, the best we can hope for is to have news agencies that their bias, balances the bias of other news agencies.  That's a sad solution as mainstream news does not embrace the need of a two party system to keep each party in check. What they do now is to move forward an agenda of the side they are an ally with, and those news agencies that attempt to keep them in check are often outnumbered if even in existence.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

This Independent Thinker is Growing Tired.

David Hogan
Leeds, AL

I've pretty much been an independent my whole life. It could have been from growing up with controlling parents, or having to endure fights as just the normal part of walking to and from school, or having 3 siblings and realizing early how easy people gang up on someone. Who knows?

There has always been a liberal side of me and a conservative side of me, and I'm not going to speak what issues take me to either side in this article, although ten years ago I would have been glad to.  Not any more.

There was a time when both sides of the aisle could look at something preposterous and say, "no, I'm not buying that."  No one even had to offer up a political side.

We didn't convict public figures to federal prison and then try to name a public facility after them. In fact Richard Scrushy had a road named after him taken away, after his fall from grace.

We also didn't sentence a politician to four years in prison for corruption and watch him walk around free three years later never having seen the inside of a prison either. Appeals are usually filed from inside prisons by those convicted and sentenced to go there.

We didn't grieve over the death of police officers on the one hand, while calling for them to be hanged on the other, after being cleared of wrongdoing.

In fact there WAS a time when this country operated on a presumed innocence stance on both sides of the coin, be it victim or perpetrator. Investigations were commonplace too, but we lived with the outcome, and if appeals were to be filed, then the process was enacted.

There was also a time when police officers took being a smart-aleck for just that, not a cause to be handcuffed for "disrespect".  Of course there was also a time a police officer was respected too.

SO, just what am I tired of?  Justifications for bad behavior for any and everything.  It's one thing to go easy on the family stealing bread that has suffered undue hardships and presented their misery to a judge, and another to think someone has a "right" to settle differences with a gun, or to think systemic injustices make it OK to affront someone.

BUT WHAT I'M REALLY TIRED OF IS LAZINESS!

I'm tired of lazy protesters that won't do arduous work for change. I'm tired of people blaming one another simply because of race. I'm tired of everyone that thinks "things" that cost money are a right they are entitled to, without putting anything into the pot to pay for it. I'm tired of those that have nothing to put in the pot for social benefits that can't be at the least, grateful, for what they do receive. A mean, nasty, violent, old mangy dog, that's been on the street for it's whole life may growl at you, but it will still wag its tail once you've thrown it some food and moved on.

Most of all, I'm tired of those that think because you are tired of something, you have never endured hardship and are privileged because you don't just roll over and jump on a bandwagon without any questions whatsoever.

So, what is my answer to all this?  I honestly don't have one anymore. I used to tell people to, "agree to disagree", but now their reply is, "you're either with us or against us".  So, I'm just tired, for now.




Friday, January 25, 2019

The Need To Always Be Right Can Hurt Us All

David Hogan
Leeds, AL

Photo courtesy of Trustologie
A week later and media sources are STILL trying to find MORE wrong with the Covington, Ky students / Native American meeting on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
There is PLENTY to learn.
  • Maybe the Native American might have spoken in plain English to the young man instead of waiting until after to speak to press.
  • Maybe the young man might have asked the elder if he wanted him to move or had anything to say.
  • Maybe the school could admit to poor chaperoning
  • Maybe those making a big deal about a hat and what it "means" to others might realize like it or not it is an expression of Free Speech and those griping also wear their symbols no matter how they try to scale one against the other.
  • Maybe THIS, and Maybe THAT.

And MAYBE just maybe we ALL quit trying to one up the other "side" and maybe just maybe say hey we can do better, we can ask when we don't know, we can communicate in forms each of us CAN understand, IF we care enough to reach out.
Or just keep trying to BE RIGHT and let that cortisol building up take us to an early grave with I WAS RIGHT on our tombstones, THEN we can bitch about which tombstone is right.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

The Power of SO WHAT in Dealing with Caregiver Anxiety

David Hogan
Leeds, AL

Photo courtesy of healthywomen.org
I have been a caregiver to different family members with various forms of dementia since 2006. I've shut down businesses to take care of loved ones, and continued running them as well. I am now retired and take care of my father in law with Alzheimer's 24/7. He is the last parent living for my wife and I, and he is 90 years old.

I run a Birmingham Area Facebook Support Group for Caregivers where we try and support one another, and provide resources and information to help one another insure our loved ones are well cared for at home, and that we, as caregivers learn to support ourselves.

People often say you must have to take it one day at a time while caring for someone with Alzheimer's.  I respond by gently telling them, "No, it's more like one minute at a time, as things often change with little notice or warning."

With that knowledge of change, it can bring about a lot of anxiety for caregivers.  What do I mean by anxiety for the caregiver?  I'll give a few examples:


  • When will he go to the bathroom?
  • He hasn't been to the bathroom in three days do I start the laxative, and how much?
  • When is the best time to give the laxative?
  • Did I feed him the wrong things and cause him to be constipated?
  • He doesn't want to get out of bed, but he needs to move so he won't stove up, do I just get him up anyway?
  • I don't think he is answering me truthfully about pain and just trying to please me and not wanting to be a bother, do I call the doctor?


And ON and ON it goes, as caregivers know all too well that almost every decision they make may be criticized by other family members and even worse by their own self.  Yes, caregivers can get into a rut of second guessing everything they do in all decisions.  Why?

No one can beat up on us like ourselves, and caregivers often blame themselves for things they have no control over.  Alzheimer patients at home can become irritable through no fault of anyone, even with us doing all the reassuring, soothing, calm and other suggestions told to us by professionals.  That's just one example.  Yet, we as caregivers also know there is an expert about everything out there on the internet and in support groups, so we think we should know it all.

GET OVER IT, ALREADY! BEND LIKE THE PALM TREES!

Sometimes they go to the bathroom just because they went to the bathroom. SO WHAT?  Everyone goes to the bathroom! Aside from making sure they are eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of water, getting ample movement, get over it already.  They will go when they go, and as long as it's not beyond what your doctor says is a reasonable interval, just deal with it when it happens.

Anxiety is feeling helpless over something.  Responsible acceptance is one of the answers to cope with caregiver anxiety.  If you know you are doing all the things doctors and experts are telling you to do, and paying close attention to things, accept that this is a horrible disease, and that you are like a palm tree in a hurricane that doesn't break because you can bend and know that not only are you doing the best that you can, but that you make a difference in the care of another human being.