Last Week Tonight – Tuesday Fix!

I needed a dose of “Last Week Tonight,” so this episode from 12 February was just what the doctor ordered! Enjoy…

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Downstairs

I can relate to this…always. Good days or bad. I depend on none but myself, because I’ve never let myself down.
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Sheldon Kleeman

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How did it feel

To slam the door

In my face,than

When it was at your

convenience

You open the door

The words you thought

You said,I will call

you back,I’m still

Waiting,that’s ok

I know how it feels

To have life stare you

In the face,how you

Can’t stand confrontation

So you turn away from

Life when you can’t stand

It’s face,was that my face……..

How awkward it must feel

To see your face in mine

Now you know how life

Can take a turn so fast

That next turn could involved

You,it’s ok I understand

The harshness of reality

Just remember the phone

Can ring both ways

My arms are to short

To box with life

It’s my turn to

Have a death ear

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R.I.P., Gwen Ifill…

Gwendolyn L. Ifill: 29 September 1955 – 14 November 2016

Ah, me…the last person who inspired me to study journalism passed away today. Gwen Ifill, award-winning newscaster, political reporter, and author, succumbed to complications of uterine cancer at the age of 61. From the New York Times:

Gwen Ifill, a groundbreaking journalist who covered the White House, Congress and national campaigns during three decades for The Washington Post, The New York Times, NBC and, most prominently, PBS, died on Monday at a hospice in Washington. She was 61.

The cause was complications of uterine cancer, her brother Roberto said.

In a distinguished career, Ms. Ifill was in the forefront of a journalism vanguard as a black woman in a field dominated by white men.

She achieved her highest visibility most recently, as the moderator and managing editor of the public affairs program “Washington Week” on PBS and the co-anchor and co-managing editor, with Judy Woodruff, of “NewsHour,” competing with the major broadcast and cable networks for the nightly news viewership. They were the first all-female anchor team on network nightly news.

Last spring, she and Ms. Woodruff were the moderators of a Democratic primary debate between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Senator Bernie Sanders, reprising a role that Ms. Ifill had performed solo between sparring vice-presidential candidates in the 2004 and 2008 general election campaigns.”

She was a huge inspiration for me in junior high and high school, especially after I began volunteering at, and then working for, the local radio station in the little community that I lived in at the time. She, along with Walter Cronkite and Paul Harvey, were the people that I looked to for facts, honesty, and humour in the news and daily life. Looking to them, I learned that facts are always important, even if the truth is ugly and difficult to digest. Ms. Ifill, however, filled me with a sense of confidence and pride. Seeing someone that I could relate to gave me hope that I could achieve similar goals. She was someone who taught me steadfast resilience, and gave me the courage in refusing to let others dictate what I could accomplish. She exemplified many qualities that I strive for on a daily basis, including exceeding other peoples’ low expectations. She spoke of this, and other things in this excellent interview in Mother Jones:

For a decade, Gwen Ifill’s been a fixture on PBS’s Washington Week and The NewsHour, the mild-mannered staples of capital-S serious TV news. “You may not see me tweeting soon,” she confesses, but she says she’s happy to see bloggers burst the Beltway bubble. Mother Jones caught up with Ifill during a schedule packed with nightly shows and a national tour for her new book, The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama. Ifill shared her thoughts on moderating Sarah Palin, being spoofed by Queen Latifah, and checking the rabid fervor of Obamamanics: “Calm down, people…Prepare to be disappointed—that’s almost inevitable.”

Mother Jones: In your book you describe politics as like sandpaper, moments of friction that rub up against one another and then we reach a smooth new place. Is that politics in general or specific to racial progress?

Gwen Ifill: I think it speaks to politics in general; the degree to which it’s unique or specific to racial politics is that race is itself the ultimate sandpaper in our culture. So if you take the conflicts we are used to dealing with, race over the years in America, and you combine that with the desire or aspiration to political power or taking power from other people, which is what politics is all about, you end up with a lot more friction than you would normally see with just straight-ahead politics. It’s a very complicated and ever-changing evolution, race and politics in this country, because of the history of the nation as well as the nature of politics.

MJ: What’s it like being in more than 3 million homes each night? Do you take particular care to reach a broad audience?

GI: I think I would do that no matter what I was doing. Even though I am in television now, I spent my career trying to speak to the broadest possible audience whether it’s in print or whether it’s in television. Because I would never work for a niche publication or a niche program on television and because I am a journalist and not an opinion person, my job is to try to see how many different points of view I can represent or how. It’s not even a question of who you don’t offend because you are always going to offend somebody. The question is how can you get people to listen to the information you have to present. You don’t do that by telling them, My way or the highway; this is what I think. And you don’t do it by saying, Let me just talk about this one slice. Barack Obama didn’t get elected president, would never have been elected president, had he decided to run as a black candidate. In order to reach the broadest number of people you have to speak to their interests as broadly as you can.

MJ: And yet cable news at least is full of pundits, and from Rush to Rachel, there’s a definite personality worship going on. Is opinion taking over, and what does that say about the role of the media?

GI: I don’t think it takes over, but it’s different; they do a different job than I do. I don’t think if you ask Rachel Maddow if she’s a journalist she would say she is. Jon Stewart doesn’t say he’s a journalist. Sean Hannity, I don’t know what he’d say, maybe he goes back and forth. But to me it is really incumbent on us to be as clear in our definition as possible of what we mean when we say media. Because media could be anything. I think it’s great to have a vibrant and lively public debate out there about points of view, as long as you’re willing to listen to the other side, too. I don’t see myself as a pundit and I take great pains not to be one because I always want to consider that the other guy might have a point, too. Otherwise, I couldn’t do my job. So I don’t think it’s taking over. I just think we as consumers of information media must be very clear what it is we are consuming. Whether we are choosing to get our information by listening to people fight about it. Or whether we’re choosing to get it by listening to the facts or watching the facts as they’re laid out and then reaching our own conclusions. It’s very different ways of info gathering, but it’s not all journalism.

MJ: Have Americans come to rely more on punditry versus reportage?

GI: I hope not. I don’t think so. I think that, for instance, and this isn’t punditry per se, but people who laugh at Jon Stewart. I have a lot of college students say to me, That’s all I watch. I guess I am supposed to be dismayed by that, but I’m not, because in order to laugh at Jon Stewart you have to understand the underpinnings of the joke. You have to know who Nancy Pelosi is; you have to have your basic information. That’s true for a lot of people who watch shout shows. They are also getting their information from someplace, their basic information. Some of it is flawed, some of it is not. But at least they’re taking it in, which for, you know, pre-cable I went to college at a time when people weren’t even reading the paper. So I want them to be getting some sort of engagement, even though it might not be the kind of engagement I would choose to give.

MJ: Shout shows?

GI: Shout shows. People who sit in different boxes and yell at each other. I call it more heat than light.

MJ: Do people just want to be told how to interpret events as they happen?

GI: Some people just want someone to agree with the conclusions they have already reached. I don’t think people are looking to make up their minds on these shows. I think they’ve already made up their minds. If you’re watching Keith Olbermann or Rachel Maddow, you have probably already made up your mind what you think, and you want someone to say, Doggone right—that’s what I thought. [Laughs.] You know, we praise people who agree with us. But that means they formed their opinions somewhere else. There’s nothing wrong with having reached your conclusions about your opinions; it’s just not what I do. And I don’t think everyone, I don’t think most people are that hard and fast. Rather, there’s that sponge-like quality. They want to know more.

MJ: The PBS ombudsman said of The NewsHour that he finds it “sometimes too polite, too balanced when issues are not really balanced.” What do you think he means by “too balanced”?

GI: In the media universe we’re in, where there are people screaming on one end, there is no problem at all with having a little bit of extra politeness. At the NewsHour, our goal is not necessarily to be polite but to be respectful, of various points of view. Now, what we struggle with sometimes is the notion of false equivalency, which I guess is what he’s alluding to, the idea that you have engaged an evenhanded debate when there is a clear point of view that is unchallenged. I can’t think of an example, but that is one of those endless inside journalism debates we all have.

But at The NewsHour we really think our role is to vet as many points of view as possible, put as much information on the table as possible, and assume, I think correctly, that the people at home are willing to take that information and make up their own minds. We’re never going to say, This is the truth, or, This is the end, this is the way you should believe. We like to think that maybe, just possibly, conceivably, people are smart enough to make up their minds for themselves. I have time after time after time found that to be true. That people are engaged in, that people want to be engaged in getting the information but they don’t necessarily always want to be told what the conclusion ought to be. And The NewsHour is very—we are very careful with our prize, which is an hour of commercial-free time every night, to go as deeply as we can into subjects, to lay out as many, sometimes five points of view about a single thing and try to just lay it all out there for viewers to make their own conclusions. And our viewers are really smart. They really do figure it out on their own; we don’t have to lecture them.

MJ: Alternately, The NewsHour has been criticized for catering to the right and center more than to the left. What is your response?

GI: The joy of The NewsHour is that we’ve been criticized for catering to everybody. The right is as unhappy with us as the left; the middle is as unhappy with us as either the right or the left. And after a while you don’t spend a whole lot of time pulse checking for who’s been criticizing you today and do the best job you can on a certain day, and one day you will displease one side and another day you’ll displease the other side, and hopefully you’ll displease them all at once on occasion.

MJ: I guess that means you’re doing your job then.

GI: Yeah, that’s my thinking.”

Rest in peace, good lady – you were a huge inspiration and a shining star in my life. You will be sorely missed during the next few years…your intellect, fairness, and sense of justice is needed more than ever, these days.

Well…Fascinating.

So – that just happened. That really, really happened, didn’t it? Go figure. Amazing. Part of me says, “I don’t believe it…I can’t believe it…” But, you know what? The deeper, darker, cynical, and completely honest part of myself says, “Of course this happened. It was practically foretold…you could have bet money on this and won a fucking mint.”

This is why I have little respect for, or trust in, most people. This is why I have few acquaintances and even fewer friends. I read people like books – I meet people, size them up, pull them apart and pick through their guts. I listen to what people say, but not necessarily with my ears…I’m more inclined to use my eyes. I read between lines and observe body language. I follow patterns. I can read a room the moment I set foot in it – and that’s why I prefer being outdoors more often than not. The negativity of others is palpable and stifling. Phony smiles are all to obvious. Fake people with dead, botoxed, plastic faces nauseate me – but me being honest and saying that is considered “judgemental.”

The result of this presidential election is just another example of how hate-filled, ignorant, irrational, and psychotic people really are. This is the result of people being insanely fucked in the head simply because a Black man was in the White House for eight years. I’ve seen, first-hand and up-close, the sheer evil people are capable of doing to others. I’ve seen people’s lives destroyed from the spiteful actions of selfish, self-absorbed people who couldn’t put honesty and honor before the false front of a family name or legacy.

I can safely say that my conscience is clear…I cast my vote, even though it didn’t go the way I’d hoped. I have always done my best to be part of the solution, not part of the problem – and that will never cease. I never made plans to move to Canada, because there’s no need. I was born in this fucking country – that makes it mine. I’ll fight like hell for my little piece of quiet. Don’t bother me, and I won’t bother you. Come at me with your ignorant shit, and I’ll rip your fucking face off. It’s that gawddamned simple, for me.

Like me? Great. Hate my guts? I don’t give a shit. Assume what you wish – you will always be wrong. If you want to know me, ask me something real. If you want to be ignorant or rhetorical, then don’t waste my time. I’m going to be busy…it’s going to be a long four years, and I have much to get done. Time to get that armour on and wade back into the fray.

Stephen King on Books – Meme…

True words, right here! Excellent quote.
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Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

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8 Good Reasons Why You Should Let Go of Clutter

Excellent advice for Monday – get rid of clutter, both material and mental!
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ALK3R

“We are shallow because we have become enslaved by gross materialism, the glitter of gold and its equivalents, for which reason we think that only the material goods of this earth can satisfy us and we must therefore grab as much as can while we are able.” ~ F. Sionil Jose

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Today’s Inspiration

True words, here! Excellent quote.
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Simply Etta D.

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Lack of Trust

I relate to this 10,000%…trust and respect must be earned. There is no other option.
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Espiritu en Fuego/A Fiery Spirit

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/trust/#like-250044

TheDailyPost

Oct 16, 2016

Trust

For me in terms of my personal experience Trust must be earned not given. I suppose because I’ve been in abusive situations my ability to trust humans has eroded over time. I no longer have faith in people like I once did and mostly keep to myself. The amount of lies and falsehoods folks tell is amazing. That’s why I don’t usually get involved with groups, causes or anything where I’d have to rely on other people or get involved in situations where I’d have to ask for help.

Nor do I like or enjoy going to any type of doctors. The only reason I’m engaging the medical profession now is because I’m in extreme unrelenting physical pain. Unfortunately in order to continue functioning in close to a normal manner I must allow these quacks to ponder, poke and prod…

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The NOUN

True, wise words, here…this is excellent.
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Sheldon Kleeman

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Who is the NOUN

The all seer

Who presides

That one who

Will write

All that needs

I dare to ask

Anymore

For even those who predict

Are afraid to say what shall become

Who is the noun

Who shall say it will be done

Who will hear

Who will speak

And will we all…….

Be present

When the

NOUN

Is

Revealed

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Yes 

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