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Learned Apathy – Why people don’t react

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“Recent polls show that 43% or Republicans and 76% of Democrats believe…” 

B***s**t! Headlines like the above are meaningless.

The Apathy of Numbness: Public Opinion is a useless measure.

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: Scarred by Insurrection 2.0

Watch major media for a week, then conduct a survey about how people feel or what they believe is true about most any issue and all you’ll find is that news works. What they report and how they spin it is what the opinions will reflect. If George Floyd’s conversion from career criminal to honored martyr is the only thing people hear about for a month, then they will believe much of what they hear. When that shifts to the Border Invasion, a similar shift in opinions will occur. Educational Pollution, like Critical Race Theory or the “1619” myth, will dominate next month. Then we will return to Demonizing and Neutering Police, or Climate Scares, or the Debt Crisis/Budget Deficit, or China’s Increasing Dominance. Next comes Election Reform and Voter Suppression.

If all you play is Beatles music then most music opinions will be about Beatles music. Well, yeah!

Likewise, if you make Race observations about everything then people will start to see Race in everything. This is not only not “rocket science”, it doesn’t even require contemplation. Want to know what people think today? Read last week’s news reports. Yet our media persists in measuring the obvious as if it might finally provide some insights. Not likely.

The Apathy of Numbness.

When someone hits you, your reaction is immediate and strong. But when they hit you repeatedly, there will be a point where you simply adjust to the pain and stop reacting. For example; many people almost faint from fear when they get an injection. They say they fear the needle, but that’s not true. What they fear is not knowing how much it will hurt. If you have received many injections in your life then another one is no surprise and therefore not a source of fear. Discomfort, surely, but not fear.

Long ago I took a spill on my bike and the nurse at the hospital had to pick the debris out of my wounded posterior. An embarrassing but necessary experience. The nurse, Larry, said, “Are you sure you don’t need a sedative before I do this?” I replied, “No, I’m not sure at all. But I don’t want anesthesia if I can avoid it. Would you promise to pause if the pain is getting too much for me?” He said, “Yes.” So, I told him to proceed. I wasn’t afraid of the pain. I was afraid of not knowing how long it would last. It is the unknown that scares us most.

The same is true about bad news. The degree of “badness” isn’t the activator, it is whether it was unexpected and how much it affects you personally. That is what determines your response to the news.

When the news says, “Murders are up 800% in Portland” (actual May 2021 report), surely that would alarm anyone! But, no, most of us have become so numb to the reports of abuses, crime, violence, riots and murders that we just shake our heads. This is the apathy of numbness.

Apathy is a stage of Depression. It starts with Boredom. Boredom is evidence of a lack of purpose or sense of connection. If we are not personally involved and don’t feel threatened then it alarms us, but it doesn’t activate us to do anything about it. Boredom becomes Apathy over time. The more we hear awful news or see gory images on TV the less it affects us and so we become detached. We say, “What’s the use in trying? All you get is pain. When I needed sunshine I got rain.” (from Neil Diamond’s song “I’m A Believer.”)

What happens when we lose our sense of Outrage?

If no bad news is bad enough to get us to scream, “I’m not going to take it anymore!” Then we don’t reach out to get others involved. We don’t marshal resources to mount a response. We don’t call our elected officials. We don’t start a petition or a fund raising campaign, or organize a resistance movement. We don’t turn out to vote the bums out of office. That is when government control becomes absolute. That is when Democracy dies.

The next step from Apathy is Depression and that is a clinical state that needs treatment. The symptoms of Depression can be severe and even fatal. Our nation is on the verge of Depression right now. Not just Emotional Depression, but also Financial Depression.

The Democrat Party is truly just that, having a party! They are spending in ways that drunken sailors never aspired to. It’s as if they never learned that money must exist before it can be spent. They acknowledge no limit on the amounts. Their “cause” justifies it.

This is not a zero-sum game. 

Something we don’t hear is this: all these emergencies that require zillions of new dollars are ALREADY being addressed and have some existing funding in place. These are not new causes or needs, they are existing issues that aren’t completed yet. We’ve always been fixing roads and repairing bridges. We’ve always had people who need healthcare but can’t afford it. We’ve always had energy needs, educational needs, border intruders, climate impacts, international missions, and military needs.

But if they call it the “Family care act” or the “fix the bridges near grandma’s house act” then people react as if nothing has ever been done about this and all new funding needs to be found, or borrowed if we can’t afford it. So they print new money (inflation).

The National Debt is so great that it may be impossible to ever pay it off.

Once you are dealing with Trillions of dollars, there will be a point where the interest on the debt is so great that we can’t earn enough to ever pay it off. Our politicians have become the Loan Sharks who are charging us exorbitant amounts for benefits we never really receive. But they benefit from it, in Washington D.C. all is well.

We see the “National Debt Clock” on the news and hear numbers like Thirty Trillion Dollars! But that’s meaningless to most of us. When did you last notice the bill for your part of the national debt? You didn’t because it isn’t isolated like that. It shows up everywhere else: in home prices, at the gas pump, grocery store, restaurants, lumber costs, appliance prices, increases in personal service charges, addenda in your phone and TV and utility bills. Extras on invoices after the taxes and delivery fees. We pay all right, just not in separate billing. Sometimes it’s not a bill at all, it is just a shortage of something we need. Compare 2021 to 2019 economically.

How come the free world has been in lockdown and recession while China has not? Commentator Mark Steyn said recently, “China’s economy… grew 2.3 percent in 2020, and first quarter growth for 2021 in China set a new world record—it was up over 18.3 percent. The COVID pandemic has been hugely profitable for China.” They thrive while we suffer from debt and economic infection, how can we be OK with this? We aren’t, we just don’t feel that we can do anything about it, so we don’t. Again it is Apathy.

We are numb, so we don’t act.

The 10,600 violent riots during the pandemic became so familiar that we adjusted to it through numbness. “People killed? Where? Oh. That’s a shame. What’s on the other channel? Let’s watch a movie.”

When we lose our sense of outrage we are fast-sliding into bondage. Democrat politicians decided that they needed for us to feel outrage against Trump so they started touting January 6th as the worst riots ever and blamed Trump for inciting them. Not true, but don’t ask for public opinion polls to discern the truth. The media has convinced people that the riots at the Capitol were “an assault on Democracy” and “worse than 9-11.” Neither of those claims is true, but people are numb so they just accept it unchallenged.

What’s the remedy for Apathy?

Action. As my drill sergeant often said in Basic Combat Training in the Army, we need to “Get off your ass and on your feet, out of the shade and into the heat!” Yes, we need to act, react, interact, and stop the beating. Don’t let them get away with the lies and distortions. Call their hand on misstatements and half-truths and spin. Challenge them when they encourage you to speak “Woke.” Do not allow the numbing down of America. 

Don’t wait for a leader, Be One! 

 

 

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Jim Cathcart, CSP, CPAE is an Executive MBA Professor, Author of 21 books, Hall of Fame Professional Speaker, Top 1% TEDx video (2.4 million views), US Army veteran, Singer/Songwriter, and Lifelong Motorcyclist. He is known as "Your Virtual VP" for his Advisory/Mentor work with organizations worldwide. Based in Texas...and proud of it!



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Conservative Justices are Still in Danger. Joe Biden Could Change That Today

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United States Supreme Court

Just because the Supreme Court ruling that overturns Roe v. Wade has finally been issued, it doesn’t mean the lives of the court’s conversative justices are any safer from pro-abortion extremists.

The President could immediately use the bully pulpit to minimize any threat to the lives of those sitting on the bench. It’s something he should have done weeks ago but should certainly do in the wake of the Dobbs. v. Jackson ruling.

Here’s the question that needs to be asked of President Biden or his spokesperson today:

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: Scarred by Insurrection 2.0

“As you know, a man with the intent to kill Justice Kavanaugh was arrested outside his home a few weeks ago. The pro-choice group, Jane’s Revenge, has committed many recent acts of violence and is now threatening a night of rage in response to today’s SCOTUS ruling. If, God forbid, a pro-choice extremist were to assassinate a sitting justice, how would the President think about filling such a vacancy?”

That answer should be simple:

“Obviously, this is a horrible hypothetical which reasonable Americans of all parties hope never comes to fruition. That said, it’s a fair question given today’s heated political climate and one he has thought about deeply. In such a terrible situation, the President would nominate a new appointee that looks as much like the deceased justice as possible. Beliefs, age, temperament – all of it. Were a conservative justice to suffer such harm, the President would ask Republicans to find that matching replacement, whom he would then nominate. Those rare, few extremists who might think to do harm to sitting members of the court must know they will never gain a political advantage through such an act of violence. I would hope that leading Republicans would make a similar pledge regarding the next time they hold the White House, that this thinking will become the unwritten and well understood rule here in D.C.. It is one of the few concepts that members of both parties should be able to commit to with full voice.”

This message has to be plain and, given the political climate, it must be stated ASAP.

Would a Biden white house make such a statement? Doubtful, given the left’s tacit support of the violence it likes through its refusal to condemn Jane’s Revenge, BLM riots, etc.

So be it. If Joe Biden won’t answer the question clearly, it should then be forced upon him. How?

By asking the same hypothetical of all leading national GOP figures. Take this same question straight to Trump, DeSantis, Noem, Haley, etc. and let’s see what they say.

I have a lot of hope they would all answer that question correctly and convincingly, but let’s find out.

Joe Biden told us he would be a unifying figure. Is he capable of finally delivering on that promise for the first time, at a moment when it’s needed most?

*Photo credit: @davidlat at FreeImages

P.S. I haven’t written in a while but these articles have aged pretty darn well, if I do say so myself:

BBQs Cook Fish, Too — Beware the Weber, Trager IPOs

When the Market Crashes, There is Only One Place to Hide

I’ll be back with more on markets soon…

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Tech Tools Leading to Our Fast-Forward Future

Researchers will likely develop nearly every tech tool you’ve seen in science-fiction movies and television

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Lowell Catlett, a retired professor in Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business, observes that all the high tech products on your desk and in your home will soon be antiques from a capability stand point. The almighty chip grows smaller and more powerful, and thanks to advanced microscopics, they’re proceeding towards a time in which the chip will be no thicker than a fraction of a human hair. In fact, microscopic motors today are no thicker than a human hair!

A World of Marvels

Scientists and engineers will likely soon develop nearly every technology you’ve ever seen in sci-fi movies, Superman comics, and all of the versions of Star Trek. Many miraculous breakthroughs are available now, but simply are not cost-effective for the masses. Existing sunglasses – far beyond the ill-fated Google Glass – allow you to watch any television show while you’re wearing them, wherever you are.

As “sun glass” technology is perfected, future models can be built right into your eye. You’ll automatically have protection from sun glare as daylight levels change. Laser technology in sunglasses for U.S. Air Force pilots will enable them to fire missiles or operate plane controls through their eye movements!

Trending on PolitiCrossing.com: Tucker: Scarred by Insurrection 2.0

Professor Catlett says, “Once you combine laser and computer technology, you’re able to read smart books – books that know when you’ve lingered on a word and hence, don’t understand its meaning.” So, then and there, while you’ve got your magic sunglasses on and are reading this book, a synonym pops up on the screen.

Instant Updates

Well-funded fire and police departments will equip each of their officers with such sunglasses to instantaneously give them updated information in the field. A firefighter entering a burning building could be told to turn left to safety, rather than right. A police officer could be told that the bridge is out 50 yards ahead and to take a hard right into the sandbank.

One day, politicians will be fitted with such technology. A new algorithm for identifying thumb prints, ten times faster than what currently exists, is nearly ready. Hence, about 30 seconds after you look at someone across a room his name will spell out in the corner of one of your lenses. No more forgetting old what’s-his-name.

Every sales force worth its salt will be outfitted with such lenses. Imagine, you walk into a new company, you don’t know a soul, and soon enough you’re greeting everyone by his/her first name. Until the technology is widely known, you’ll be regarded as some type of wizard.

Think Your Way Through It

The electronic headband, an emerging product, allows you to think your way to everything you want to do in your home. Sitting in your armchair, you’ll be able to lock the doors. You’ll be able to start your coffee maker. Want the television on or off? You’ve got it. Same with the lights. Refrigerator door. Windows up or down.

If you want to write a letter to your sister in Des Moines, you’ll only need to think the letter. You’ll be able to “program” your personal computer, write, and e-mail the message simply through your thoughts.

Soon, jet pilots flying billion dollar planes will be able to sit in the cockpit, think about what they want to do next, and have the plane be totally responsive. “Ultimately,” says Catlett, “machinery will be totally user-friendly. No instructions, no need to speak, no need to do anything, just think what you want to do.”

The Ubiquitous Computer

The world will enter a stage of the “ubiquitous computer.” Computers will be all around you, anywhere you go, built into the side of walls. They’ll be so powerful and all encompassing that they’ll be virtually invisible.

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