Showing posts with label Freedom of Speech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Freedom of Speech. Show all posts

October 6, 2018

The DIVIDED States of America

Our nation is increasingly polarized with little to no tolerance of others wants, thinking, or actions. 

- First under Obama.

- Then with the election between Hillary and Trump.

- And now over Judge Kavanaugh.

The result has been some of the worst behaviors seen since the Civil War--with not only disrespect, restrictions on freedom of expression, but even threats and actual violence!

This nation is no longer the UNITED States, but much more like the DIVIDED States. 

And that just plays into our enemies hands and could lead us to eventually lose our very democracy to totalitarianism, dictatorship, and tyranny.  

So now may be a good time to review for yourself how many biases are driving your thought processes and behaviors and creating dangerous fundamentalists and extremists all around us instead of thoughtful dialogue, negotiation, and compromise. 

Here are 20 biases that may be affecting you more than you realize:

- Do you overestimate the importance of the information you have or feel good about (Anchoring,  Availability, and Choice-Supportive Biases)?

- Do you seek out and perceive information that simply validates your preconceptions (Information,
Confirmation, and Selective Perception Bias)? 

- Do you overemphasize information that is more recent or recognizable (Recency and Salience Biases)?

- Are you ignoring information that doesn't "fit your script" (Ostrich Effect/Omission and Conservatism Bias)?

- Are you tied up in the groupthink of your peers (Bandwagon Effect)?

- Do you see patterns in random events or conspiracies that don't exist (Clustering Illusion)?

- Are you overconfident in your thought process and conclusions (Overconfidence Bias)?

- Do you tend to overvalue the usefulness or success of something, but not recognize its limitations or failures (Pro-Innovation and Survivorship Bias)?

- Do you fail to take risks because you prefer certainty (Zero-Risk Bias)? 

- Does your thinking something will happen actually cause it to happen (Placebo Effect)? 

- Do you use the ends to justify the means (Outcome Bias)?

- Do you judge people by their race, class, gender, religion, sexual preferences, or national origin (Stereotyping)?

- Do you fail to recognize your own biases (Blind-Spot Bias)?

Perhaps if more people would open their minds to information and engage in genuine thinking and critical thinking, rather than a lot of fake news and hype, we would be a far better and stronger nation. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Business Insider)
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December 1, 2016

Love The Flags

So while we were in Florida, we went into one of the many art galleries. 

And on the wall was this painting of the Israeli Flag with the Star of David and inside was a beautiful red heart. 

Out of curiosity, I inquired how much this was and the lady says, "Oh, that is $55,000!"

While we were impressed with the painting of the Israeli flag and what it represents as one of America's greatest allies and friends, we must've looked really puzzled at the price, because the lady goes, "Well, of course it's worth it!  It's by Peter Max, the most famous artist in the world."

My wife and I nodded and left the store, and immediately were asking each other why every gallery says with a straight face that the artist that they represent is the "most famous in the world."

Anyway, at the same time this was going on we were following in the news about the controversy with people burning the American flag and the question of whether this is just an expression of free speech or something more that should be prohibited as disrespectful and unpatriotic or even traitorous to the country. 

In that respect, the flag that represents our values, beliefs, and patriotism is valuable beyond pure artistic sense or money, it is who we are and what we love. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 26, 2015

Discuss and Work Together, Respectfully

Everyone and their brother seems to be jumping on board to hit on Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of our "Major Strategic Ally" and friend, Israel. 

This after Netanyahu accepted an invitation from the United States Congress to speak about Iranian nukes threatening the State of Israel, the region, and the Western world. 


1) Iran, Israel and Arab Allies:


Truly, can anyone blame Israel and our Arab allies of being distressed that we are disavowing our 2011 commitment to them, as President Obama stated:


"You also see our commitment to our shared security in our...there be no doubt: America is determined to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon...My policy is prevention of Iran obtaining nuclear weapons."


Now we have as reported gone from preventing Iran on obtaining nuclear weapons to instead a possible agreement that still leaves thousands of Iran's nuclear centerfuges spinning and "sunsets" as early as 2025!


This is a lopsided turning of the tables on Israel and of our Arab allies for reapproachment with Axis of Evil, Iran


2) Russia and Ukraine:


But not alone are our Middle East allies in feeling abandoned by us, as we made security guarantees also to Ukraine in the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 that specifically committed the U.S., U.K. and Russia to:


"Respect the independence and sovereignty and existing border of Ukraine [and to] refrain from the threat or use of force."


Well so much for that as Crimea has now been annexed by Russia and battling rages across eastern Ukraine by Russian-supported separatists, despite a blantant violation of a truce recently brokered by France and Germany.


3) Poland and Czech Republic


Yet once again, with Poland and the Czech republic (members of NATA), we commited ourselves to building a missle shield only then to back away and seemingly abandon them


"In one of the biggest national security reversals of his young presidency, Mr. Obama cancelled...plans to station a radar facility [and]...ground-based interceptors."


Questions:


Why are we continually turning on longtime friends and allies and embracing enemies sworn to our destruction?


What do our commitments mean to anyone anymore and why shouldn't our shunted allies speak out, especially when it is their countries that are being placed in jeopardy?


Disrespect and Freedom of Speech:


What is also amazing is how low we have gone in our interactions such that we no longer discuss and disagree respectfully, but instead resort now to withholding security information, disgraceful name-calling (e.g. "Chickenshit"), discrediting, and even seeking to silence opposing views!


What has happened to our dearly held and constitutional rights and values for democracy, free speech, including openly debating issues and respecting differences of opinion?


Institutional Anti-Semitism:


Interesting also is how big and tough we are being on little Israel (population 8 million and about the size of the 5th smallest U.S. state of New Jersey)...


While simultaneously many seem to be proverbially (excuse the language) peeing their pants in front of the newly aggressive "Big Bear," Russia


What is more important when it comes to the dangers of a Iran with nuclear WMD--a longtime friend and ally Israel that is facing a potentially existential threat just 70 years after the Holocaust or getting an historical "award" for making an agreement (and a potentially bad one at that) with Iran?


Conclusion:


Behavior unbecoming, includes serially breaking commitments, silencing the opposition (uh, against our Constituion), name-calling and bullying, and endangering longtime allies and friends--this is not leadership and does not leave anyone a desired legacy. 


Let's openly and freely discuss and work together respectfully in true friendship and partnership, and get a good deal that safeguards the democracies of the United States and Israel. ;-)


(All Opinions my own.)


(Source Photo: here with attribution to blueforce4116)

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February 8, 2013

What's Your Information Lifecycle


A critical decision for every person and organization is how long to keep information out there in the physical and cyber realms.

Delete something too soon--and you may be looking in vain for that critical document, report, file, picture, or video and may even violate record retention requirements.

Fail to get rid of something--and you may be embarrassed, compromised, ripped off, or even put in legal jeopardy. 
It all depends what the information is, when it is from, and who gets their hands and eyes on it!

Many stars have been compromised by paparazzi or leaked photos that ended up on the front page of newspapers or magazines and even government officials have ended up in the skewer for getting caught red handed like ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner sexting on Twitter.

Everything from statuses to photos put on social media have gotten people in trouble whether when applying to schools and jobs, with their partners, and even with law enforcement. 

Information online is archived and searchable and it is not uncommon for parents to warn kids to be careful what they put online, because it can come back to haunt them later. 

Now smartphones applications like Snapchat are helping people communicate and then promptly delete things they send. 

With Snapshot, you can snap a photo, draw on it, even add text and send to friends, family, others. The innovation here is that before you hit send, you choose how long you want the message to be available to the recipient before vanishing--up to 10 seconds.

Snapchat has sent over 1 billion messages since July and claims over 50 million are sent daily--although forget trying to verify that by counting up the messages because they have self-destructed and are gone!

Of course, there are workarounds such as taking a screenshot of the message before it vanishes or taking a photo of the message--so nothing is full proof. 

Last year, according to The Atlantic, the European Commission proposed a "Right-To Be Forgotten" as part of their data protection and privacy laws. This would require social media sites to remove by request embarrassing information and photos and would contrast with the U.S. freedom of speech rights that protects "publishing embarrassing but truthful information."

Now, companies like Reputation.com even provide services for privacy and reputation management where they monitor information about you online, remove personal information from sites that sell it, and help you with search engine optimization to "set the record straight" with personal, irrelevant, exaggerated or false information by instead publishing positive truthful material.

According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (7 Feb. 2013), "Ephemeral data is the future," but I would say comprehensive reputation management is the future--whether through the strategic management of permanent information or removing of temporary data--we are in a sense who the record says we are. ;-)

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