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The Anxiety of Electronic Addiction

While global media coverage provides many benefits, it also has quite a few side effects

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Much of our nation stays glued to a TV screen, computer screen, and cellphone screen, and as a society, our exposure to the media has increased several hundred percent within a few decades. While worldwide media coverage provides many benefits, it also has quite a few side effects.

As we spend more and more hours tuned to electronic media, we are exposed to tens of thousands of messages and images. Similarly to too much food at one sitting, too much data at once isn’t easily ingested.

The average person spends more than eight solid years watching electronically how other people supposedly live. Forty years ago three major television networks dominated television – ABC, NBC and CBS. Today, well, you know the story… In fact, there are now 500+ full-power independent television stations.

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Some-THING, Speak to Me

We have become an anxious society that uses electronics to not feel alone, to evade confronting why we can’t seem to get what we want, or to avoid better use of the hours we say we so earnestly want.

As each breakthrough in communication and entertainment technology is introduced, it is accompanied by predictions of doom for its predecessors. Television was supposed to have finished radio. VCRs and then DVDs and DVRs were supposed to have finished off movie theaters. It hasn’t happened yet.

We retain, embrace, and offer rapt attention to all forms of media, and to the devices that transmit them to us. Our cultural and electronic addiction to the mass media not only inverts our perception of available time, but also diminishes our attention spans. Television and radio news features grow shorter and shorter to match the fragmented, decreasing attention spans of viewers.

Try this: For the next minute, stare at your watch. Or, if that’s too boring, think about something pleasurable you’re going to do today. Your perception of the length of a minute will differ vastly from using that minute to listen to the news or read a page from a magazine.

Warning: The exercise you were going to undertake for a full minute may have just failed.

Our culture is so committed to motion and to information intake that you may be unable to make yourself stare at your watch or simply contemplate for one minute, even when the thought is of something pleasurable!

The Rise of Sensationalism

More than 100 years ago, William Randolph Hearst used sensationalism to heighten the most mundane of stories in order to sell more papers. For example, if one of his reporters turned in a story about a dog that got a foot stuck in a sewer grate, Hearst would have the headline changed to read, “CANINE TRAPPED IN TUNNEL OF DEATH.”

Today, to capture an over-stimulated, distracted population, television and other news media relies more and more on sensationalism. It’s now ingrained in the nature of broadcasting, and it’s hazardous to your breathing space. With a planet of more than five billion people, the various forms of media are easily furnished with an endless supply of turmoil for mass transmission. At any given moment, somebody is fomenting revolution somewhere. Such turmoil is packaged daily for the evening news.

We are lured with images of crashes, hostages, and natural disasters. We offer our time and rapt attention to each new hostility, scandal or disaster. Far more people die annually from choking on food than in plane crashes or by guns, but crashes and shootings make for great footage, and play into people’s fears.

According to a study from The Economist, your chance of dying from a domestic, commercial airplane mishap actually is quite small. You only need to be concerned if you fly 100 times per year, for thousands of years.

Unless it directly affects you or your community, give up offering any attention whatsoever to news coverage of spectacular crashes, train wrecks, etc. If you’re concerned about reducing the incidence of violent death, learn the Heimlich maneuver or CPR. But please, stop being enthralled by spectacular media coverage of non-imperative events and sensationalized trivia.

Take Control

You can’t afford to pay homage to everyone else’s 15 minutes of fame. Tomorrow morning when getting ready for work, rather than switching on the radio or TV, quietly envision how you would like your day to be. Include everything that’s important to you – the commute, entering your building or your office, sitting down at your desk, handling tasks, and taking breaks.

Envision interacting with others, going to lunch, conducting or attending meetings, using the phone, finishing up projects, and walking out in the evening. With this exercise alone, you’ll begin to feel a greater sense of control in aspects of your job that you might have considered uncontrollable.

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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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Elections

America No More…

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After watching with over a hundred others the newly released movie, Civil War, I left the theater stunned, and I was not alone. Was it a good movie? Just a deeply unsettling one! Could it really happen? You don’t even want to imagine it! But with Biden’s assault on America continuing and Trump reemerging as the favored GOP candidate, the American division is growing. More and more citizens are getting angrier as their standard of living is in jeopardy and illegals are getting benefits citizens can only dream of.

Spoiling the movie’s plot is never appropriate, but when Western forces from Texas, Florida, and even California take on the elected President, the country is left in a civil war. We watch as desensitized media professionals cover the death of hundreds of American citizens. To the film’s media, the war is just a once-in-a-lifetime story that deserves to be captured one picture at a time. After all, it’s the media’s job. They are just feeding citizens what they want—blood, gore, winners, and victims. What would happen if America descends into such chaos? This movie provides one disturbing view, one that, God help us, must never happen.

One thing is clear, when a country loses trust in its leader’s ability to preserve their cherished freedoms and ensure equal treatment under the law, even insurrection seems somehow possible. That is a nightmare no American should have to entertain, but more and more Americans seem to be losing hope in the future of our country. They don’t trust elections. Many don’t even like the Presidential choices presented to them.

The Founding Fathers valued freedom enough to unleash a revolution against the greatest power at the time. Enough citizens joined them in securing what most at the time believed impossible, independence. Yes, insurrection hatched our beloved America. Belief in equal rights and freedom are powerful forces that have always driven patriotic Americans to action.


Even with our differences, most Americans believe in property rights, voting rights, law enforcement to keep us safe, freedom of speech, and personal responsibility. Unfortunately, more and more Americans feel these values are in question, and they are not sure America can be saved!

Many Americans no longer even believe that elections will produce a lawful winner. They don’t trust the voting machines. They want paper ballots that can be counted. They don’t believe multiple days are needed. Hasn’t one day of voting always been enough? They want required IDs and signed mail-in ballots. They fear ballot harvesting is just another name for ‘manufacturing” all the votes you need to ensure a fraudulent victory. Are American fair elections no more!

Many no longer believe that the enforcement of law is fair and sure. While former President Donald Trump has been charged with multiple “crimes,” President Joe Biden’s similar actions aren’t even charged. Hunter Biden’s influence peddling with money set aside for the “Big Guy” are not even covered in the mainstream media. The Dept. of Justice is quick to charge Trump, but with the Bidens, we hear nothing but crickets. People who commit crimes are being let go instead of being held accountable. Is American law and order no more!

Under President Trump, our border was finally more under control. Under Biden, his open border has been continually flooding our country with illegals from around the world. They come expecting benefits at the expense of taxpaying citizens. Illegals overwhelm services in our urban areas. Legal immigrants had to wait years to enter and are fuming at this invasion of illegals rushing to the front of the line and expecting to be accepted, supported, and allowed to become citizens. Is America’s secure border no more!

We thought in America, your home was your castle. If you work to buy the home of your dreams, you were sure that your property rights were secure in a community that you loved. But today, squatters are taking over vacant homes and fending off owners who want them to leave their property. Illegals are being told to come to America, find an empty home, and move in. In the name of equity, governments are rezoning the suburbs and requiring the building of low-income housing where it is not wanted. Are America’s property rights no more!

Do you believe America is lost? Do you believe nothing can reverse this march to chaos? Do you believe that it is time to buy your own guns to protect your family when the government won’t? Is a civil war coming? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you are in danger of losing the optimistic attitude that has characterized Americans for two centuries. This is our country. This is not the time for surrender. It’s time to fight to preserve America the best way you can—vote for candidates who promise to preserve the rights you value most.

Your vote does matter. There are no perfect candidates, but the party positions make a difference in this critical election. If you want law and order, secure borders, fair elections, property rights, and a return to personal responsibility, there is only one party to support. Vote for every GOP candidate you are given the opportunity to support, or it may very well be America no more!

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Biden wants to tie Israel’s hands

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After Iran launched an extensive drone and missile attack against Israel, Iran’s president vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with a military response. In plain language, Israel is not allowed to react as any other country would after being attacked. That seems to be the opinion of many world leaders, including Joe Biden.

That’s like saying that the US had no right to retaliate after Japan’s attack on December 7th. This absurd policy applies only to Israel. If Iran launched missiles against the US, imagine what we would do in response. (Of course, with a wimp in the White House, there is a good chance that we would do nothing.)

On the evening of 13 April 2024, Iran launched hundreds of deadly missiles against various sites in Israel. Iran’s attack was presumably in retaliation for an Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Israel’s justification for its attack is that the Iranian consulate has been the center for Iran’s terrorist activities throughout the Middle East. The consulate “did not have diplomatic immunity,” according to attorney Alan Dershowitz, “because it was not being used for diplomatic purposes; it was being used to plan military attacks against Israel.”

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With assistance from the US, the UK, neighboring Jordan and other nations, Israel successfully intercepted nearly all the missiles and drones. Despite the lack of damage, Iran’s intent clearly was to inflict serious harm. Iran underestimated Israel’s ability to defend itself. Now Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi has vowed to completely destroy Israel if it proceeds with even the “tiniest invasion” of Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country would be the one to decide whether and how to respond to the Iranian attack, brushing off calls for restraint. “The state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself,” Netanyahu said. “Everything is on the table right now,” said a source in the Israeli government. Israel possesses an impressive range of high-tech weaponry, including nuclear weapons and F35 fighter planes that can overwhelm Iran’s outmoded air force.

“Iran declared war on Israel by sending more than 300 bombs in Israel’s direction, aimed at civilian as well as military targets in Jerusalem and other locations,” said Alan Dershowitz. “As a matter of law and morality, Israel is entitled to respond to this act of war by overwhelming, even disproportionate, force against Iranian military targets.”

Biden has not supported Dershowitz’s argument. Instead, he has “sent a clear message to the mullahs that there would be no consequences for their rogue actions,” said Lisa Daftari, a leading Iranian-American expert. “What we are seeing is a manifestation of weak policies and the ayatollah’s correct read on American foreign policy.” Biden’s policy, said Yaakov Katz, a leading Israeli security expert, “does not work and the world’s strategy of diplomacy and sanctions is not effective. The world needs to shift gears and change the way it has tried to confront Iran.”

Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe agreed that the Biden administration’s tepid policy has emboldened Iran. “Joe Biden’s reaction to that hit in Damascus sent a message to Iran and to the rest of the world that the US was not with Israel, that the US was reluctant to support Israel on this. And I think that emboldened Iran. And as one of the former intelligence officials in Iran said to me, with friends like Joe Biden, Israel doesn’t need more enemies.”

Biden has warned Israel not to take action, said Alan Dershowitz. “Biden wants Israel simply to proclaim victory and not respond appropriately. This will only encourage Iran to take further military action against Israel either directly or through its numerous proxies,” Dershowitz warns. “If the [Iranian] regime felt endangered, it could attack Israel with its nuclear weapons, as it has threatened to do. That is an important reason why Iran’s potential nuclear arsenal should be destroyed before it can be deployed.”

“This is the time to act,” Dershowitz concludes. “Iran has provided Israel and the United States with a complete legal and moral justification for destroying its nuclear weapons program and for beginning the process toward regime change. If we do not act now, it may be too late.”

Ed Brodow is a conservative political commentator and author of two No. 1 Amazon Best Sellers, AMERICA ON ITS KNEES: The Cost of Replacing Trump with Biden, and THE WAR ON WHITES: How Hating White People Became the New National Sport.

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