Thursday, January 25, 2024

Brief Blog Break: Back Sunday

Time for a 4-day break... just because.

Seeing as how you stopped by why not check out my archives (right side of page)? There's years of stories and opinion pieces to peruse.

Interested in reading some poetry or flash fiction go to The Creative Chronicles of Dave Stancliff.

Here's a sample: The Language of Color

More to see.

Here's a link to the daily newspaper - The Times Standard in Eureka, California. I wrote a Sunday Opinion column for the publication for five years after I retired as a newspaper editor.

Here's a sample: When Love Calls: a brief look at a four-letter word

Something to ponder...

This year's presidential election is going to be historical in many ways. Americans may lose their hard-fought freedoms under an authoritarian rule by Trump if he wins.

It's MAGA versus America.

If you haven't registered to vote this year, do it now. More important Vote Blue if you want to preserve the republic.

As it stands, I highly recommend taking a few days away from the chaos in your life every now and to just have fun. Life is too short.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Are Tests for Cognitive Decline Something to Brag About?

Listening to Trump speak at recent campaign rallies raises the question of the orange clown's sanity.

Between thinking he's running against Barrack Obama and confusing Nikkie Halley with Nanci Pelosi; he's been talking crazier in each new public appearance.

While campaigning in New Hampshire he went on a rant about how smart he is and how he "aced" another cognitive test for dementia recently. 

For the record, there are three scientifically accepted cognitive tests. None of them have whales despite Trump's claim that his test featured one. 

Let's think about that for a moment.

The purpose of a cognitive test is to see if the brain is functioning correctly. There's generally a reason to take one. It's not like an annual eye exam. You don't take a cognitive test unless there's a reason.

Cognitive skills and knowledge involve the ability to acquire factual information, often the kind of knowledge that can easily be tested. Cognitive science is a growing field of study that deals with human perception, thinking, and learning.

Let's put it this way; if you were having troubles like hearing voices in your head, or were speaking coherently was a challenge, would you broadcast that to the world? Or would you quietly see a doctor to get help?

How many friends or family do you know that would go to a party and brag about taking cognitive tests like they were badges of honor?

However, if you go to a Trump rally, he makes a big deal of the test as a measure of what a stable genius offers. Worse yet, his cult followers need to take cognitive tests themselves due to their lack of critical thinking or belief in reality.

Trump's father had dementia in his late 70s and the odds that Donald does goes up with every public speech he makes showing his condition is getting worse.

As it stands, the idea that the Republican party is promoting an arguably crazy man shows just what trouble democracy is in today.

Monday, January 22, 2024

Why Americans Aren't Happy

 A recent Forbes survey of the top 20 happiest countries in the world lists the United States at #15. Finland was #1. 

With that empirically established what's the problem? 

Why are we so miserable in the Land of the Free? We have the biggest economy in the world. So, what's the problem?

Overall, the fear of losing freedoms is like a blanket over our national consciousness. It seems like everyone is afraid they're going to lose something important in their lives.

These fears are magnified by the political polarization in the nation that are tearing apart norms and precedented laws at an alarming rate since Trump turned the Republican party into a cult of one.

With a presidential election looming in November, this is a particularly divisive time because democracy is on the ticket. 

If Trump wins, it will become an authoritarian hell in America. He openly advocates for shredding the Constitution and making himself a dictator at his rallies.

Americans are afraid, confused, and angry at the constant chaos across the country. As a nation we can't do anything about mass shootings that plague our schools and public places. Other counties have travel warnings about the risks of visiting the United States.

Many older Americans long for a mythical past where everything was just peachy. 

Many younger Americans see no future for themselves because of the devasting effects of climate change brought on by greedy corporations. It's a bleak outlook, but not an unrealistic one.

We have several generations that have always known war (or undeclared wars like Vietnam). It's no wonder people's mental states have been weakened by the constant global combat that has been their norm.

The battle for equality for all races has become more intense now than it was prior to the Civil War. Racism is ripping our social fabric apart. Extremism is everywhere.

We have millions of homeless and disenfranchised people living in the streets of cities from coast to coast. Note: there's no homelessness in Finland.

Since the pandemic we have large swaths of people who've become addicted to social media where there is little, if any, content control. Lies and misinformation are on a thousand platforms spreading hate. Tech companies rely on the massive traffic they produce online.

As it stands, the brief summary above is just some of the main reasons Americans aren't as happy as many other countries.

"We have seen the enemy, and it is us." - Pogo 

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