A Free Press — The Light of Truth

Well, after all the big ado about crowd size, alternative facts and Trump coming up short in the size department (just couldn’t resist because in this case size really does matter), the administration is for all intents and purposes waging a war against the freedom of the press. The latest salvo was fired by Stephen K. Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and former head of Brietbart (ahem) News (that’s a real stretch), where facts are fiction or alternative facts.

Here’s a link to the story where he says the “News media should keep its mouth shut!”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump’s-chief-strategist-says-news-media-should-‘keep-its-mouth-shut’/ar-AAmhL9O?li=BBnbcA1

As typical with conservatives, he called the news media the opposition party, elitist and the usual insults. The issue always seems to be that the far right version of the truth never quite jives with the real truth, which can be rather inconvenient, especially considering this disparity has been practically a constant with both Trump’s campaign and his administration. Of course, they rely on less than reliable sources for their “alternative” facts!

http://money.cnn.com/2017/01/26/media/infowars-alex-jones-donald-trump/index.html

As a former radio news director, anchor and reporter, I know how those in the spotlight like to spin the facts to their advantage. However, in my experience interviewing local politicians, state representatives, a governor and a former president, I have never seen anything to beat the obfuscation, misdirection, temper tantrums and general disrespect for the news media (and by proxy the public) shown by Trump and his ‘team”.

So maybe we should remind the current administration and its mouthpieces that the same constitution which the far right is always harping about includes a troublesome thing called the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There are a bunch of inconvenient rights in there that Trump and the conservatives find terribly annoying. But more importantly the rights are a cornerstone of maintaining our liberties in a free society.

“Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost.”  Thomas Jefferson

“Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.”      Walter Cronkite

And this brings us back to the central point:

Without a free and independent media to investigate, fact check and verify what our government is saying and doing, we will be living in a dictatorship!

So whether you love them or hate them, be thankful that we have a free press! But again, make sure you carefully select and verify the media you choose to use to get your news. And yes there are both liberal and conservative outlets, although I find the major news networks (CNN, ABC, CBS and NBC) try to be as independent as possible.

In the end, it’s all about shining a light on the truth! And so Mr. Trump and associates, here’s a little something from Plato to think about.

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”  Plato

Stay observant and call out those who would hide the truth!

MAKE A DIFFERENCE TODAY!

Let the R.A.I.N. wash away the fog and expose the truth!

The Divine Miss Bri

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Inspired to Fight Back

Hi! Welcome to the newest incarnation of my blog. As it has been since I first started it, this blog is a work in progress. While it has been trending toward the political in support of transgender rights, I have been inspired to take the next step and make it an ongoing effort to actually fight for the rights of all who are being threatened by the new government. This applies to everyone who is not able to enjoy the equal rights to which ALL citizens should be entitled.

Today’s Women’s Marches were the catalyst that got me mobilized to really become an activist, so I joined the A.C.L.U. and the H.R.C. in addition to re-thinking my blog and my priorities. As an out and proud transwoman, I have tried to simply be an example that transgender people really are everyday people — we work (if people will hire us), we shop, we laugh, we cry, we pay bills and we pay taxes. Of course, I’ve been fortunate to live in a state that provides the LGBT community more rights than many places. Plus, my friends, mostly theater people, have been very accepting.

However, the election campaigns brought out a very ugly side of America in the anti-women, anti-black, anti-muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ rhetoric being espoused by candidates and their supporters, especially the Trump camp. Post-election, Trump’s nominees and appointees embody the hard core philosophy of extreme conservatism that marginalizes women, racial/ethnic/religious minorities and members of the LGBTQ community. The key point that emerges is that if we do not band together and fight together for the rights of all, then we will all lose.

While the national demonstrations are hugely important as a statement and as a motivator, the next step is to get involved, as Michael Moore said in addressing the women in D.C., by supporting organizations like the ACLU, HRC, Planned Parenthood and many others. He also cited the phrase most associated with former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill that “all politics is local” in urging all of us to get involved in local politics.

One essential thing that must be stressed is that we do not seek special treatment but rather equality of rights. We simply want to be treated equally and not marginalized because of our gender, skin color, religion, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or anything else.

I have renamed this blog “Raging Against Inequality Now” AKA R.A.I.N., because I hope to rain all over the new government’s efforts to treat us like second class citizens or worse. Over the coming weeks, months and years, I hope to address specific threats / challenges and some options to help deal with them. I invite your comments and suggestions going forward, but please keep them clean and respectful because Karma and I are both bitches! Also, if you like what you read here, please share it with others. The more the merrier and the bigger the impact!

LET THE R.A.I.N. COME DOWN!!!

The Divine Miss Bri

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