Tuesday, November 25, 2014

An Understandable Reaction

First.

Did the President really say this?

"There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply upset, even angry. It's an understandable reaction."

Did the Attorney General really say this?

"This incident has sparked a national conversation about the need to ensure confidence between law enforcement and the communities they protect and serve."

The Bear supposes burning down the Dollar General is the way we have conversations these days, and that's an understandable reaction.

Juries take their jobs seriously. It's almost cute how these everyday folks get all earnest about "their case." Part of being an American is buying into things like juries and their decisions. And, believe it or not, that trust is not misplaced, at least in the Bear's experience.

Some people have forgotten how to American, if they ever knew.

An understandable reaction? Shouldn't we hold citizens to just a little bit higher standard?

Second.

Events like these present what the writer of Amusing Ourselves to Death, the late Neil Postman, called a "low information-action ratio." This occurs when we are bombarded with information about which there is nothing we can do. This produces a feeling of helplessness.

That's why it really is best to consume only as much news as you can reasonably digest. Ideally, you would only concern yourself with things you can do something about. We live in the age of the low information-action ratio. It's a good phrase to remember and remind yourself of, whether it is a riot in Ferguson, or the latest interview from Pope Francis.

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