Fact checking with Bias

So unless you’ve been in a hole hidden away from media and society, you’ll know that politics is a hot button issue in the social media world. Every few posts I see on my Facebook news feed is either pro or anti Trump, or extreme liberal or conservative. These posts are often met with what I’ll call “radical views” (not actually that radical but somewhat devisive views) and comments. I enjoy reading them from time to time as they sometimes are amusing to hear banter and read the various viewpoints of my friends. The thing that bothers me more often than not is when people debate but back their facts with extremely biased sites. I’m all for debate and discussion and I do see the need to back your arguments with facts but it doesn’t really support your cause if you’re using biased media outlets like Breitbart, the Blaze or Slate and the New Yorker. The reason for this is that the articles and opinions on those sites are incredibly bias. 

Why does this matter? Facts are facts right? Well yes and no. Yes facts are facts, but not entirely. For example, if I’m looking at the world through my blue tinted sunglasses, I could look at something yellow and say it’s green, or something red and say it’s purple. Does that make what I see wrong? Perhaps but let’s apply this to the whole liberal/conservative issue. If I watch the Colbert report and see a clip that says Trump is a moron for appointing Betsy DeVos as the secretary of Education and reasons to show why that’s the case, if I had a liberal bias that would just reaffirm my own personal beliefs and then I would share it and think, that’ll teach those conservatives. Conversely if I as a conservative then saw something on Breitbart telling me that the Colbert report is stupid because of these reasons, I would feel justified in thinking that my views were right to begin with and Betsy DeVos should be secretary of Education because she’s the best suited for it (I personally don’t care – I’m Canadian). Biased views will produce bias opinions and it’s easy to find bias in research and statistics if you’re looking hard enough.

Now you might be asking why should this matter? Well if you care for facts and truth then it should matter where you gather your facts or “alternative facts” as it may be. It doesn’t support your cause in trying to change views or opinions, if that is indeed your point in posting anything like this. Yes it’s nice to be on the winning team from time to time but really when you post something from a bias media outlet you frequent and support it just seems like a huge circle jerk. 

I guess what I’m trying to get at here is that there needs to be a way to bridge the gap between the two sides. People need to be more open to understanding and open to civil conversation. I understand that often people go into conversations under the pretense that they’ll be civil but when you go swinging arguments using your biased media outlets articles, you’re not looking for a civil open conversation. You want an all out brawl guns a blaze, because that’s exactly how those outlets write their articles. They hope to incite anger and cause contention because that is the very fuel that keeps them going, taking all of their passengers along for the Blazing ride down Slate road watching the world burn down around them.

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Being gracious in all things

I’ve noticed in the past several weeks leading up to and following the election in the United States, two things that I’ve found to be quite ironic as an outcome of the election.

The first idea, being that there have been a large portion of people on either side of the debate prior to the election have called for civility and to put an end to ignorant name calling if their supported candidate won.

Prior to the election, many Democratic supporters of Hillary would suggest that people shouldn’t vote for Donald Trump because he is a racist, sexual predator, whose methods of garnering support have come from name calling and defaming his opponents among other things. These same supporters also suggested that should Hillary win, Trump supporters should graciously accept the result and not protest in response to the outcome, as Trump admittedly stated that did he not win the election, he would have sought to contest the results of the vote.

Conversely, Trump supporters would suggest that people shouldn’t vote for Hillary because she was a murderer, a thief, a liar and was the epitome of evil. Likewise, I believe they felt the same things as the Democrats believing that should their candidate win the election, they should bow out gracefully.

The second idea comes as a result of Donald Trump winning the future presidency. All the calls for civility, name calling have been for naught, and division in the united states have seemed to not only continued but possibly escalated.

There were violent and destructive riots and protests by many who opposed a Trump presidency. These people were in protest out of fear that they felt would come as a result of a presidential candidate that ran a campaign that focused on some racial tensions that have come out of the war in the middle east. Liberal news outlets reported hate crimes that targeted visible minorities and immigrants. People were physically and verbally attacked for their religious beliefs, and the colour of their skin. Fear among these communities were rising as these reports flooded out over social media. These same people called those who voted for Trump ignorant, stupid and a plethora of other names with negative impact.

On the other side of the spectrum, those who supported Trump were excited to say the least, but the decorum that they called for pre-election was still nowhere to be found. They called for civility among the Clinton supporters, and asked that the name calling and mud flinging stop. They felt justified in their decision as their candidate of choice won. However, they did not exhibit any form of graciousness as they did exactly what they sought the the other side to stop doing. Thousands of posts on social media are vilifying those who supported Clinton, calling them ignorant, unintelligent, cry babies for not “graciously” accepting their defeat. The irony here is that there is need to be gracious not only in defeat but in victory as well.

I admit at the beginning of this post I had a clear direction of where I wanted to go with this, but as I’ve been writing and have begun to think through my points, the more directions I want to take this. So I’ll, try my best to sum up why I started this post to begin with.

There are  high tensions due in part to Liberal and Conservative media outlets. People go to the respective news source looking not for truth, or opinions that oppose their views but to find affirmation of what they already believe. They find exactly that in all the “articles” they read from their respective media outlets. The “truth” they want to find is all there in black and white. What many fail to see beyond this truth is that there are people involved. So wrapped up in being right, that people fail to see the reasoning behind all the protests, name calling and lack of civility. Millions of liberal/democrats are hurt and afraid and they want to know that their world will be safe, but they don’t get that sense of security from the conservative/republican side. All they have gotten were things like “suck it up, you lost”, “protests show your intelligence” and other hurtful things that have fueled their actions. Many conservatives now have a sense of pride from winning, but in doing so have over looked the fact that the other side is experiencing these feelings of hurt, fear and sadness.

While I can only offer what I would suggest to be a call for more graciousness and civility in all things, I doubt my influence or audience would be wide enough to make a change. People will continue to be persecuted for their beliefs, called ignorant for what they feel they know, and vilified for standing up for their own good. This makes me as an individual sad for our collective existence of humanity.While I know this article does not represent all democrats/republicans, or liberals/conservatives, it does represent the loudest voice among those same groups. While they may be the minority, sitting back and allowing these things to happen is (although cliche to say so) just as bad as saying them yourself. We need to remember that there are people out there who need love, who need to feel safe, who need to know that their opinions aren’t ignored and heard. While we may disagree with what the other side said, we need to be civil in how we listen to each other, how we work with one another, so that we may move forward in building up a future we can all be proud of.

I’m probably too idealistic in thinking this, but I will do my best to listen to those who need someone to listen to and spread as much love as I can within my area of influence.

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Life Away From Home

It’s been over half a year since I last blogged so here’s a quick-ish update, since I last wrote, I moved from Toronto to Edmonton and well here’s the rest of the update.

In the past month or so, I’ve been living away from home for pretty much the first time in life. While this may not seem like a big deal for many, for me this was a really big step. My decision to move was made quickly but something I was thinking about for a long time. As the move happened, my excitement rose. I was in a place with new things to explore and experience. I had a job interview for a job prospect that seemed great and exciting. I had settled into my new place and everything was going well. Two weeks in and things were moving along smoothly. Now having had a lot of ups and downs in my life, I’ve noticed one constant being that if things are going well things will inevitably go wrong.

I’ll start with work, or lack thereof. I got a job with an organization that does fundraising for non-profit organizations. My role was specifically “fundraiser”, pretty straight forward, nothing too complicated just ask people to donate. Seems easy enough right? Not really. I’m not quite sure this is the case. If you ever wanted a job where you feel ignored, invisible, and definitely overlooked, this is the job for you. The booth where I work is positioned in front of a Jack Jones store, and I swear it’s the most interesting store in the mall. The reason why I say that is because whenever people walk by my booth at the mall, they see us and then get entranced by Jack Jones. Their eyes just get fixated on to that store, as if it has them locked in a hypnotic trance and they can’t look away from it or they’d die. I’ll probably write more but back to my original reason for writing about work is as followed.

Just as soon as I started working, my campaign coordinator came up to me the second day on the job and told me that the hours would be limited as they would be losing part of their campaign at my specific location. This was an unexpected setback but I was still optimistic about this job.

I have been very blessed to have girlfriend who has been very supportive of me in everything that I’ve been going through, but it seems like I’ve been getting dumped on by life. About 3 weeks ago, I was subjected to the most intense pain I’ve ever had in my life. After struggling to find help, I eventually got to the hospital and was diagnosed with kidney stones. Also another story to be told there in another post.

Life away from home has not been the bed of roses I had expected and I am hopeful that things will get better because that’s what always happens for the protagonist in any story right? In my narrative I am the protagonist but maybe my perspective on things are skewed and I’m actually the anti-hero or even antagonist meant to suffer to get through the story that is my life. Who knows, but I do feel more inspired to blog more, so lets see how long this lasts.

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I’m a mess

I often  wonder why we meet the people we do. I will be incredibly genuine and candid about what I’m feeling right now. I feel really lost, really confused and I feel like complete heap of emotions. I never really understood that feeling when people say they’re sick to their stomach, they’ve experienced a heartache so bad it hurt physically or even crying till you have no more tears to cry. That was the case until tonight.

I’m in love, and being in love is great. But it’s a double edged sword because the greatest highs come with the potential greatest lows. I’ve hurt the one I love because I’m irresponsible with myself, and those around me. I can’t manage my life let alone hope to be with someone who has direction in life. Wandering through life is tough, and most people manage to stumble and get through with a few bumps or bruises. I on the other  hand have come to a standstill, my life has no direction. I see several goals and places where I want to be, but I’m crippled by options and choice. I’m here writing because it’s my refuge, my space, where I can just let my feelings out. My writing here in inconsequential to the grand scheme of life, as most things I do are. But some things I do, have significant impact on others. I question myself constantly and wonder why it is that I can’t manage to do even the smallest things that will lead somewhere, the path seems so simple. Just walk down it. It’s brightly lit, with guide posts along the way. Yet here I am, unable to do it.

I can only watch as she continues on down the path, one day I will catch up to where she is now. It might be too late by that time, for diamonds are often the ones that get snatched up by those who notice it as more than just a rock. I don’t know, I’m still reeling from what happened. I feel sadness, I feel confusion, I feel lost, and I know it’s no one’s fault but mine. The pain is starting to dissipate, or maybe I’m just numb to everything I’m feeling, probably the latter as I feel intense grips at my heart whenever I think about anything.

I need to figure out my life before I can bring anyone else along for the ride. I know a love like this won’t go away, nor do I want it to. I deserve this hurt and pain I feel and that’s all I know at this point…

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What does it mean?

Whatever happened to the days of the past?
I often think back and reflect on these things as I ponder my life
Life that brings people in and out of our lives
Laughter that is shared with those same people through experiences with them

You never really notice those whom you’ve had an effect on
Only those you feel you haven’t changed or influenced at all
Ultimately we never understand the scope of people in our lives

Gone are the past, when the experiences we’ve lived shape who we are
Old memories slowly slip into the place where thoughts become nostalgic

Times past are fun to relive, but looking forward is how we should perceive
One slice of our lives we share with one another

Futures often are unclear, sometimes filled with despair, others with hope
Everyone sees things a bit differently but the world continues on
Remembering those important people in our lives
People we love, cherish and honour

With every bit of our existence
Intimately we bring people into our lives
Trusting that God will help bring us happiness through them
Happiness found with those we love are invaluably important to our existence

Meaningful relationships are the things that every person wants deep within
Every person longs for them, and only a lucky few are able to find them

Jumping into something unknown brings excitement
Once someone reaches your heart, they never leave
Reminding us why we go through this mortal existence
Days are hard but these relationships and people bring meaning to our lives
Another reason why it’s important to always press on
Never giving into the despair that looms all around

Don’t ever take for granted important people around
A moment with someone you love can live with us forever
Volition compels us to want to be with these people
Independent of time, when we’re with them we feel at peace
Every worry goes away, as we strive to be better because of them
So what will you make of things with those you love?
?

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Overcoming the impossible

The title may be a bit misleading as what I’m trying to accomplish or going through isn’t really impossible per se, rather it’s an obstacle in my path of accomplishing what I want to accomplish in life. A lot of what I’m facing is really personal to me, as in they aren’t things that are influenced by an outside source. At times it really seems impossible to get through but I know that’s just a mental issue that I need to work through by trying to accomplish small things. There are a lot of pressures I feel personally as a writer, a creative, and in general I guess. The thing is that a lot of these pressures I feel are placed upon me by myself because of all the great things I want to accomplish and or become. This leads me to wonder and question a lot whether I am capable of doing such things at all, let along with the help from people around me. I think this is one of the reasons why so many people these days struggle, because of stresses and pressures that are imposed on them from either society or from within as is my case. I haven’t really been too open with everything I’m going through because well it’s just not something I’m used to. Really what is happening is that a lot of the times people such as myself, don’t know how to reach out to others. I’ve been accustomed to the fact that men should be strong willed, and asking for help is a sign of weakness. That isn’t the case by any means, but… maybe these are just excuses as well. I’ve begun to make little changes in my life, doing small things and while I am by no means perfect in everything I’m doing I’m making that effort, slowly but surely.

In any event, my journey over the next few months will be critical in determining my future. No pressure right? Ha!~

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Something’s wrong…

I think that this is as good of a time as any to start up with this blog again… I’ve struggled over the past little while trying to figure out why I haven’t been able to be consistent with my writing on this blog. It’s something that I felt and really wanted to work on but for whatever reason I would always make excuses and never really get around to do much, I would get down on myself and well nothing would really be accomplished. It’s not even that nothing will be accomplished, it’s literally nothing was completed. I just would stop working and worry about how much everything mattered, even if it didn’t matter that much. I want to and have these great dreams and things I want accomplished, but it seems as if I’m struggling to even accomplish small tasks. Every day I struggle to find the motivation to do anything. One of the things that makes it so difficult is that I don’t feel as if anything is wrong, but I know that there is something wrong. To escape my feelings of worry and anxiety I tended to find ways of escaping, playing video games, watching endless amounts of media, or just sleeping for hours. It’s something that I know isn’t going to benefit me by not doing anything but even small simple tasks seem hard for me to do. Anything that is remotely productive becomes worrying to me. There are feelings of inadequacy that accompany my mood. It’s kind of hard to recognize because I don’t feel sad like the feelings that are typically associated with depression. Sometimes I wonder is this because there’s something actually wrong with me, or if I’m just lazy. Maybe it’s a fear of success, fear of rejection, or just fear in general. A lot of people tell me to just do it, and they make it seem as if it’s so simple. It probably is but for whatever reason I can’t seem to bring myself around to doing anything. Sometimes I even do things such as applying for work, I get so far as to completing and application then closing it because I’m afraid. It’s just… I don’t really know… Things are just… There’s definitely something wrong with me but I’m working at it… I just don’t know if it’ll be too late to change and make my life better.

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