Things I Think This Morning

This morning my mind is on ideological morons, service, the church and perverts.

Ideological Morons and Charlatans

Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are putting certain people in the penalty box, that is, suspending their access to the platform. In certain cases, like the Alex Jones case, it’s because the offender makes up sh** and peddles it to gullible people (and goodness knows there is a multitude of such people out there). In other cases, it’s because the offender spews racist or other hate-filled garbage.

It’s not a matter of government censorship or the First Amendment, which is the easy case. All of us should be adamantly opposed to any form of state censorship.

These cases involve nongovernmental platforms and actions. Which makes it a harder issue. These new web-based platforms are akin to a newspaper in the old days or a book publisher.

I don’t think anyone would argue that a newspaper editor or book publisher was obligated to publish anyone else’s fabricated conspiracy bullsh** such as the crap Jones routinely propagates. Or become a tool for fascists, neo-Nazis or white supremacists. Yet some of the same people think internet social media sites are crossing the line when they exercise such discretion. I disagree.

Everyone should have the right to espouse whatever opinions they hold, no matter how offensive and repugnant those opinions might be to others. But no one should have the right to have another person or organization help them corrupt the minds of others. Just because the Constitution guarantees the right of bad people to say whatever they want does not mean those people should be entitled to assistance from any other individual or company. Ideological morons and charlatans should have to find their own way in life.

Unless the moronic charlatan manages to get himself elected to the presidency of the United States. In which case the charlatan should have unrestricted access to all the internet platforms. So the rest of us knows what kind of person he truly is. And what’s going through his pea-brain.

In other words, every rule has an exception.

Great Service Is Worth the Extra Cost

Recently we had the Geek Squad deliver and install a new TV. They were great.

We also frequent an ACE hardware store that’s two short blocks from our house, even though the prices are higher than the nearby Lowe’s. The service at White’s ACE store is great.

For some things I find myself driving to Home Depot rather than the much closer Lowe’s because the service at HD is far superior.

Until recently it was one of the reasons I shopped at Whole Foods. There was always someone ready to help you find what you were looking for and the guys behind the meat counter were helpful and nice. But then Amazon bought Whole Foods and began turning it into a financial enterprise. The service has fallen off dramatically, and I find myself making far fewer trips there.

No matter what it is, from retail to utilities to doctors to government to whatever, I just want good service. Is that too much to ask? Bad service is everywhere these days. Fortunately, though, there are some oases of good service out there. My goal is to find them and give them my business. And to thank them. For caring. And helping to make life easier for the rest of us. And a bit more pleasant and enjoyable.

The Church Is Corrupt

As the AP reported recently from my home state of Pennsylvania (where I spent the first 56 years of my life):

More than 1,000 children — and possibly many more — were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses, while senior church officials took steps to cover it up . . . .

The grand jury said it believes the “real number” of abused children might be “in the thousands” since some records were lost and victims were afraid to come forward. The report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period decades, beginning in the mid-1950s.

[T]he two-year probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.

An old good friend of mine (although we haven’t been in touch for years) was one of the victims. You can imagine how it affected his views of religion.

There is a federal statute known as RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act). I hope someone sues the Catholic Church under RICO. One thing is abundantly clear to me by now: the Roman Catholic Church is a corrupt organization. No one should give it a dime. Or the time of day. If they get sued enough, perhaps they can be bankrupted. That would be a good thing.

Perhaps the institutional corruption is the inevitable product of putting a bunch of old celibate men together and giving them power and tremendous influence over other people. Sadly, it’s not the only corrupt organization wrapped in religious garb.

In the meantime, Vera, do not allow yourself to be alone with an adult man, even if (perhaps especially if) he professes to be religious. Too many men are perverts. And it’s impossible to know who is capable of committing such atrocities. So caution must be the operative word.

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