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Our Accelerating Tabloid Culture

The unreality industry in America, aided and abetted by the Internet, is alive and well and has infected the world

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Here is a quiz:

Q: Which came first, tabloid TV news or tabloid newspapers?
A: Tabloid newspapers.

As you stand in line at the check out counter at your favorite supermarket, even if you can’t stand them, you can’t help but notice the shouting headlines on the front page of the tabloids. In the 1960’s, it was Burton and Taylor, and then maybe lurid tales inside the Nixon White House, all the dirt on Burt and Loni that you could take in, what’s Jackie O up to, and then Brad and Angelina.

Today, take your pick – everyone is ‘fair’ game…

If the attacks on the well-known or well-to-do aren’t enough for you, there are also stories about miracle diets, alien visitors, medical breakthroughs, Biden’s ice cream choices, chainsaw massacres, and little known stories about the Pope.

“Come on,” you say, “no one with intelligence reads these.” Yet, the circulation and sales figures greatly belie your disbelief. The unreality industry in America, aided and abetted by the Internet, is alive and well and has infected the world.

Almost No One is Spared

No politician is safe anymore, certainly no celebrity, unless they are Democrats. No statesman, no rock star, no athlete is free from the vicious slings and arrows of public fortune. And by implication, neither are you.

If the truth about things all around you is constantly undermined, you might start to question basic human values that have been intact since the societies first formed.

When I’m in check out lines, I routinely ask cashiers why they carry publications with such lurid headlines, in full view of children and other gentle creatures. No one seems to know. One of them responded that the tabloids probably pay a lot of money to be placed in such a prominent position.

Unfortunately, today the unreality spread by tabloid news pales by comparison to that spread by the supposedly ‘legitimate press,’ blogs, Twitter, search engines, ‘fact checkers’ and everywhere in between.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Life

Like a Category 5 Hurricane, Kamala Harris is a Threat to All in Her Path

Nations that strive for ‘equality of results’ dampen the spirits of their citizenry

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Vice President Kamala Harris is proving to be the perfect complement to Joe Biden. She mangles what she says almost every other time she’s in public. You can count on her for ‘word salads’ that are either cringe-worthy or all together unfathomable.

Days ago Harris explained, “I know we’re all thinking about the families in Florida and Puerto Rico with hurricane Fiona, and what we need to do to help them in terms of immediate response and aid… We have to address this in a way that is about giving resources based on equity, understanding that we fight for equality, but we also need to fight for equity.”

Huh?

She went on, “Understanding not everyone starts in the same place, and if we want people to be in an equal place, sometimes we have to take into account those disparities.” Harris, you see, is all about chasing the illusive notion of ‘equality of results,’ whether it’s following a natural disaster or any other aspect of society.

Fixated on Illusions

Following her ill-conceived message, Christina Pushaw, the rapid response director for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, jumped on Harris’s words, and rightfully so:

Harris is fixated on the equality of results trap, in which most Marxists and socialists are ensnared for their entire lives.

Away from hurricanes, Harris believes that equal opportunity in the U.S. is not sufficient. Her raison d’être is championing equal results. Wikipedia says, “Achieving equal results generally entails reducing or eliminating material inequalities between individuals or households in a society and usually involves a transfer of income or wealth from wealthier to poorer individuals, or adopting other measures to promote equality of condition.”

As with so many on the Left, Harris thinks sees the role of government and society at large as ensuring equality of outcomes. ‘Residents’ of America, illegal aliens included, ought to enjoy the same benefits as everybody else. In her view, it’s not nearly enough to offer individuals a sound education, counseling, job training, apprentice programs, equal employment opportunity, and unemployment compensation.

Leftists in Never Never Land

As with nearly all ideas that the Left supports, if something sounds good then, gosh, it must be so! Let’s have it passed in Congress!

The itty-bitty, unrelenting problem with this political viewpoint is not everybody gives the same effort. Do you recall the kids in your high school class who constantly were slacking off? How about the ones who smoked behind the school building? And the students who often were tardy or absent? Or, who constantly made trouble?

Some of these students were regarded as the cool kids, showing up in all the right places around town and having a fun time (largely because they were not doing much homework). They didn’t study hard as you did. Hey, no problem! In the world of Kamala Harris, they each receive a free, all-encompassing, lifetime, ‘hall’ pass.

Do you also recall the kids who cheated on exams? Or, perhaps their lesser sin was cramming the night before a test and barely passing. You, however, prepared days in advance by reviewing the homework assignments and exercises in the textbook.

So What’s New?

In the workaday world today some of your ex-classmates, the ones who slacked off, are still proceeding in the same way. They drink or smoke or are chemically dependent. They look forward to taking the easy way out. Predictably, they desire more and more government benefits. They vote Democratic because the party keeps dangling proverbial carrots in front of them.

“Equality of results” is a socialist/Marxist if not communist platform. The notion reveals the major inherent flaws in the thinking of its advocates. Globally, nations that strive for equality of results dampen the spirits of their citizenry.

Invariably the intrusion of government elites, such as Harris, into so many aspects of people’s lives yields the emergence of a ruling class that is above all others. These puppet masters contend that they uniquely possess the wisdom to ascertain what is best for everyone, and exactly how these remarkable outcomes will be achieved.

In reality, the elites gum up the works. Favoritism rules. As in George Orwell’s Animal Farm, some animals (people) are “more equal” than others. Societies that mandate “equality of results” drive people to emigrate to places like America, or at least the few free parts of Europe.

Conversely, nobody risks their lives and their fortunes to live where a privileged ruling class, who are ‘more equal than the rest, determines what is best for everyone.

Reality Strikes

Individuals throughout the world simply do not approach their careers or jobs with the same vigor, smarts, or dedication. Many adults exert little effort or mis-directed efforts, and merely get by. They are unlike those who carve a path for themselves, generate wealth, and provide for their families. Most kids know this by age nine.

The U.S. Declaration of Independence rightfully declares that all men [/women] are created equal. This does not imply that everyone has the same capabilities. Skills and aptitudes vary! Some people are knowingly suited for a certain field of endeavor; others spend years or decades unsure where to best apply themselves. They settle into a work routine that might earn them a living but doesn’t offer a great life.

Welcome to reality. The government is not omniscient. The government cannot legislate equality of results. The government can’t delve into the lives of each and every citizen to provide some gilded path for each to follow. It is not possible and even if it were possible, it would not be desirable.

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Life

Human Population and Legitimate Environmental Concerns

It is time to address runaway population growth, however unpalatable that might be to some people.

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Most conservatives know that the Green New Deal misses the mark and that dire claims of global warming often fall far short. Still there are legitimate concerns about the environment, as hurricane Ian makes its way up the east coast, that merit consideration.

Decades back, a statement signed by 1,575 scientists from 69 countries was sent to 160 national leaders, as reported by the Union of Concerned Scientists in Washington, D.C. Signers included 99 of the 196 Nobel Laureate scientists living at the time, as well as senior officers from prestigious scientific academies around the world.

What was in the letter? It warned that, “Human beings, in the natural world, are on a collision course.” Environmental concerns were apparent in the atmosphere, water resources, oceans, soil, topical and tempered forests, and living species. The scientists lamented that, “Much of this damage is irreversible, on a scale of centuries or permanent.” They went on to say, “We are fast approaching many of the earth’s limits.”

Vanishing Resources

Here are some long-running examples of the degree to which our planetary resources are being stretched:

* Water is at a premium: no more fresh water exist on the planet today than in Biblical times. Yet, the earth’s population is eight times greater than it was in 1840.

* In 1990, 1.2 billion of 5.4 billion people had no access to clean drinking water. Today, more than 2 billion of nearly 8 billion people lack safe drinking water at home.

* In 1990, one in 15 people lived in areas defined as water-stressed or water-scarce. This number eventually could rise to one in three people.

* Chronic fresh water shortages have occurred in Mexico, Brazil, Africa, the Middle East, Northern China, parts of India, several former Soviet republics, and the western United States.

* More people imperil many other species. The World Wildlife Federation’s endangered species over the years have included the ivory-billed woodpecker, Amur leopard, Javan rhinoceros, greater bamboo lemur, northern right whale, western lowland gorilla, leatherback sea turtle, and Siberian tiger.

Too Many People?

When 205 Nobel Prize winners were polled regarding the most compelling challenges confronting humanity, of 36 completed responses, #1 was population growth, and #2 was environmental degradation.

Increasing human populations don’t inherently equate to mismanaged resources and more dire conditions, yet that has been the continuing norm. Lester Brown, former president of the World Watch Society, once observed that without radical, scientific breakthroughs, large increases in crop yields that have allowed production to keep up with the decades of rising human consumption might no longer be possible.

“Human demands are approaching the limits of oceanic fisheries to supply fish, grazing lands to support livestock, and, in many countries, of the hydrological cycle to produce fresh water,” Brown observed. “As a result of our population size, consumption patterns, and technology choices, we have surpassed the planet’s caring capacity.”

The Ever Critical Masses

Some people surmise that war, famine, and pestilence all reduce population. “Doesn’t nature manage things?” they ponder. Nature does not micro-manage our population. No war and no starvation – even in Somalia or Ethiopia counterbalances the human net gain of one million more people every five days.

The key to the quality of life for future generations is keeping population at a replacement level, i.e. the number of live births equaling the number of deaths. Even with fertility declining worldwide, the fertility in some developing countries still averages more than four children per family.

It is estimated that of all 14-year-old girls alive today, more than a third will be pregnant by age 20. About 35% to 40% of the population of developing countries is under the age of 15. With so many entering their reproductive years, population is destined to increase for many decades.

More than one-half billion people are unemployed or underemployed in developing countries, and multi-millions more enter the job market each year. Difficult economic conditions, exacerbated by pandemics and rapid population growth, have prompted millions of rural poor to migrate to cities and prompted millions more to cross international borders in search of a better life.

The Only Way Out

New York, which in 1950 topped the list of the ten largest cities in the world, is no longer in the top ten. Explosive human population growth is at the root of every planetary shortfall, emergency, and full-blown crisis. It is time to effectively apply the breaks to this runaway train, however unpalatable that might be to some people. Collectively, we cannot continue down this path indefinitely.

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