Intro

Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Fear is Stupid


I know I am not alone in this. There is a growing trend on my timeline on Facebook and on some of the Tweets I see. They are ones of fear. Fear the government is coming to get us.  Fear of soldiers dressed in black body armor dropping on zip lines from black helicopters.  Fear that we are under constant scrutiny. Fear of Republicans.  Fear of Democrats.  Fear of Evangelicals. Fear of Atheists. Fear of science. Fear of asteroids. Fear of the bird flu. Fear of same sex marriage.  Fear that something is being hidden in Benghazi.  Fear of gun laws. Fear of no gun laws. Fear of more taxes. Fear of not enough new taxes. We live in a society that is becoming afraid, and I suspect that certain politicians and lobbyists want this.   I cannot count the number of memes that do this.  Fear that there is a host of people who want to take all hand outs and do drugs. I cannot count the number of false stories on new ways the government is going to turn us into a dictatorship or the number of stories about new ways that gangs are going to rape women or the number of stories about new candy flavored drugs. Fear of a kidnapped child. I've even had a meme with the accompanying story about the danger of the brown recluse. Honestly, with all the fear this and that, it must be tough for these folks to leave the house.

Fear is stupid.

A quick check and the internet will tell you that you've been mislead.  You've been lied too. Much of the statistics you see on the memes are made up.  Thousands of the pictures  been photoshopped, taken out of context, or mislabeled. You have been manipulated because the creators of these stories know that the ones who repost this baloney will not actually check the facts or have been convinced that fact checkers are lying.   In fact, if you do not know the source of the photo, you should always check.  For example, there is a report from a the Washington Times that the DOD has marked Catholics as terrorists.  They didn't.  Try reading the report. The Washington Times is owned by the Unification Church, sometimes referred to as the Moonies. They have also reported things like 9/11 was a plot by the National Education Association.  All stories about the DOD are tied back to this one paper and this one story.  Not a single other paper has independently reported this.

Fear is stupid.

There no super secret organization waiting to zip line into your home.  There is no league of evil guys planning your demise as soon as we have universal background checks.  No criminal started life with a record or genetic disposition to become a bad guy. The government is not coming to get you and even if they were, do you honestly think your guns could stop them.  Ninety percent of Americans support some form of gun regulation.  Most Republicans and most Democrats are nice people who are not extreme.  There is no evidence that anything that will happen in a gay marriage  that would not happen in a straight marriage.  The vast majority of folks who need our help, really do need our help.  They are not all on drugs or just sitting around.  Most programs require work proof and states that have enacted drug testing have lost money on the tests because the tests cost more than the drug users they discovered.

Fear is stupid.

We do need to control spending and to raise new revenues.  Economics is and always has been about balance.  Many evangelicals are not political and do not see their beliefs as something to impose on others.  Atheists cannot hurt you. Understanding science expands what we can do to help others and has usually moved us forward. No cases of human to human transfer of bird flu have occurred. There is no unknown planet or asteroid hurtling from outer space towards the planet and even if there were, would you want to know?  The meme about a little kid being used for gangs to rape is an urban myth.  The kidnapped child you posted may be a hoax.  All you have to do is do a quick search for missing teens.  Drug dealers are not making candy flavored meth.  There has never been a documented death recorded in the US that can be attributed to the brown recluse spider according to ABC news.

Fear is stupid.

Some things are out of our control.  To live in fear of things you cannot control is silly.  Some things are in our control. To live in fear of something we can control and yet do nothing to take control is stupid.  To live in fear of a government that we elect is just as illogical.

To live in fear is stupid.  To let others continue to try and make us live in fear is just as stupid. So here is what I want you to do. If someone posts something that is wrong, divisive or grounded in fear, comment on it. Post the link to Snopes.com or another fact check organization.  Do not let it slide.


Fear is stupid.