Facebook Follies

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As an adult, I feel no remorse for dispossessing the younger generation of Facebook, that aging platform of “What I’m doing and who I’m doing it with.”  If the first generation of college and High School users embarrassed each other or became petty at times, we adults have certainly done a great job in setting a more mature example.   Certainly it remains exemplary for keeping up with the current events of family, friends, acquaintances, and, at times, the complete strangers who touch their lives.  It’s also a media empire, with news feeds based largely on my interests or subjects that I allow.

Let’s get to it.  The political season wrecks what is otherwise a fairly consistent source of distraction and information.  To say I’m not without political opinions would be to understate that I actually do hold firm to a set of values, though I’m willing to test them.  Others may approach issues similarly.  And others just hate.

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A High School classmate posted a detente type post about the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, likely the result of reading the satisfaction of others who favor a replacement that leans closer to their politics but use the opportunity to voice discontent.  That’s my interpretation.  Here it is:

“If you are a liberal and don't like Scalia, just remember that the way you act gives conservatives free reign to pick your dead hero later. And they will, so don't whine.  You don't get to whine about it unless you show some respect now. And same thing goes the other way. Don't get all incensed at liberal joy at Scalia's death if you haven't behaved well towards their guys.”

Regrettably, when politics are involved, this is known as an appetizer.

“I'm sorry, but Scalia is being shown the respect that he earned by being so rabidly against, gay rights, women's rights, and "liberal" ideals that didn't suit his very conservative view points. He was a very powerful fascist who shrouded himself with the Constitution and used it as a tool to promote his very rigid personal beliefs. If so called "liberals" are not showing him respect in his death, it's because he showed little respect in kind during his life time as a public servant. It's not whining when you don't like someone, it's called an opinion.”

Let’s see, Supreme Court Judge is a “rabid… fascist,” one charged with shrouding himself with the nation’s Constitution yet conducts evil within its guidance.  And there is an ironic dichotomy in calling someone a fascist, yet being associated with “liberal” thought is a name that is unjust. Hey, it’s just opinion, right?  Here’s a follow-up.

”I am not going to apologize for disliking a man and his opinions simply because he’s dead. Conservatives have done nothing but spew hatred and disrespect for the President for the entire 8 years of his Presidency, so I can't really hear it when suddenly all bets are off because Scalia is dead and his opinions on gay people, equal rights, justice for the wrongly accused made him a Fascist in my opinion. I am not asking you to agree with me on that point of view. And by Fascist I mean: "of or relating to fascism, authoritarian, totalitarian, dictatorial, despotic, autocratic, undemocratic, illiberal.”

Okay, strident opinion.  Actually, the poster of this comment is an incredibly bright person, creative and a really good photographer.  What one chooses to post on their Facebook feed becomes an autobiography over time.  Negativism, or worse, speaks to the discontent of a person, if not the soul.  I de-friended her during the last election cycle not because of disagreement but because of the corrosive thread of her posts, which I’ve done with caustic conservatives as well.   With some people, there is no room for discussion and argument.  It’s just name calling.  “I’m right.  And you’re an idiot.”  I can easily find my own information and distractions elsewhere, but I feel sorry for people whose worldview is fixated, in my estimation, on their dissatisfaction with life and their demands that government fix it for them.

But that’s not the end, no.  Shortly after, a person unknown to me adds, “Sure am glad he's no longer among the living. I plan on breaking out champagne when Darth Cheney finally dies.” 

Wow.  That’s just… bewildering. Joy in the death of another person.  Hatred of a person removed from public life for seven years.   That’s a lingering kind of hate which I just can’t understand.  The competition of ideas is part of the fabric of life, but most (I hope) would agree that the eradication of opposing thought sounds, dare I say, fascist (see definition above, to which I would add “intolerant”).     What to do?    

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned” ~  possibly a Buddhist quote

We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

“You cannot hate other people without hating yourself.” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Those are helpful quotes for reflection. The possibly Buddhist quote above lacks a clear reference source.  It likely descended from the 5th century Buddhist commentator, Buddhaghosa, who in discussing anger wrote, “By doing this you are like a man who wants to hit another and picks up a burning ember or excrement in his hand and so first burns himself or makes himself stink.”   It stinks alright.  Begone.

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  2. For the moment, I would like to focus on how that person used the word “fascist”. I have seen time and time again where a liberal will equate conservative, which certainly Scalia was, with fascist, which he never showed much of a sign being.

    Where does this come from, one may ask? It comes simply from people who don’t put much energy into where things fit. Stalin, who by many definitions was an evil man, is considered to be far left. I think he obtains this ranking due to the fact that he was a victor, and to the victor go the spoils (regardless of the number of people you had killed). Liberals in the U.S consider themselves the left, since they are nicer than Stalin and have a much lower body count to their name. It kind gives one an explanation how little dictators such as Castro get a wink and a nod.

    Ok, let’s get back to fascist/fascism. Where does it fit in? The poster child for fascism is Adolf Hitler, an evil man in his own right. Liberals consider him to the far right. He did lose the war and therefore has to be different. Why do they do that? Well, to liberals, Hitler is 180 degrees from them in terms of actions and thoughts. So obviously, conservatives, who are on the right by definition, are closer to Hitler. And so voila, fascism = conservative. Neocon oh so like mein fuhrer.

    But what if we broadened our minds a hair? What if we thought in a three-dimensional quality as opposed to a single line (left side right side)? What did Hitler stand for? For one, more government. Socialized healthcare. Equality for the “right” kinds of people. Gun control. It doesn’t take long for one to see that Stalin and liberals have more in common with Hitler than the right does.

    So next time someone tries to tell you a conservative is fascist, remind them of how similar their policies are to Hitler.

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