From an email I sent last month to my oldest brother on December 27, 2011:

There will be lots of chatter between now and the end of 2012, perhaps more than within any previous year, especially considering the ever-expanding web that has only allowed this level of global communication for a relatively short span of time.  Certainly, too much information in one-year’s time for any one person to be able to absorb properly.  How can anyone today make a sane decision when it’s impossible for any one person to sort through all of the facts, opinions and outright bias?  Will this lead to reliance on supercomputers to decide for us?  It’s all too tortuous on the mind to fret over for very long.

I had to break away from Glenn Beck and much of FOX News, because both encourage specific fears in order to promote “proper” responses to those fears.  Beck wants us to fear the Obama socialists (he has done an immeasurable service to America for shining light on those cockroaches), and FOX wants us to fear any threat to the capitalist machine (cockroaches of another genus).  Fear can be a very good thing.  It’s a natural instinct that protects us from imminent danger that can’t be sensed otherwise.  But, fear takes its toll in heavy doses.

On Christmas day, with family, MSNBC happened to have been on.  The channel was spewing continuous half-hour “reality” programming with police shootouts, blood flowing down one officer’s neck, a 72-year-old woman being tazed by police, a 19-year old Black lady being punched in the face by a policeman, a show dedicated to sex slaves . . . ad nauseum.  This was all day on MSNBC on Christmas day!  I had to get the courage up, since it wasn’t my home, to ask for the channel to be changed.  None of us remembered who had left the TV on that channel, and I think everyone was afraid that someone there actually wanted to watch it.  I think someone had been flipping channels, was interrupted and walked away without realizing what the programming was.

The next morning, I put on a PBS recording of a 1966 Lawrence Welk Christmas show.  Welk’s programming was steeped in centuries of European ethnic music and culture, all of which promoted family bonds.  Ahhhh, Joe Feeney, The Lennon Sisters and Joanne jamming out a Frosty the Snowman boogie on her upright piano.  It was great therapy!  I was eleven when that show first aired.  Times were sure different back then.  It doesn’t seem like forty-five years could make that much of a difference, but today, instead of Joanne on piano, you’re more likely to see Lady Gaga in harlot’s underwear on the piano, singing Poker Face with her black-eye makeup.  In fact, there was a Lady Gaga Christmas special this year.  I didn’t watch it.  I guess we can thank the “progressive” minds out there for those polar shifts in cultural values that took years of political maneuvering to put in place.  Hmmmm, could it have been global warming that caused those polar shifts and not the progressives at all?

Politics, with all of its fear, dread, nastiness and danger to one’s mental stability will certainly flow like raging sewage in 2012.  I’ve resolved myself to participate as fully as possible without losing my mind any further in the process.  It will, after all, be the most viciously fought-over election in our times, possibly in all of the history of American elections.  Much is at stake.  There are a handful of elite power brokers in this game with all of their chips forward and AK-47 derringers (not tazers) hidden under the table to take out the winner.  Soros, Trump, the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch . . . ad nauseum.  –SB

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