Alternative Facts

FACT: Alternative facts are lies.
FACT: Alternative facts are opinions.
FACT: Alternative facts are as real as alternative lifestyles.
FACT: Alternative facts are the tools of propagandists.
FACT: Alternative facts are believed as truths by the brainwashed.
FACT: Alternative facts, the propagandists who spread them, and the mental midgets who believe them, are a clear and present danger.

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Just the Facts

Dear media,

Where were you in 2015 and 2016 have you been the last 30+ years?

Congratulations! You successfully enabled a man who now declares war on you.

And you deserve it.

You have no one but yourselves to blame for your eroded credibility. For far too long, you have chased sensationalism, the ratings dollar, and portrayed the news as entertainment. So you get what you deserve. It’s tempting to jump on the Trump administration’s media-bashing bandwagon, but we need you now more than ever. You are the only check left on a complete fascist and Orwellian takeover of America and democracy. Your rights—unlike women, LGBT, black, immigrant, voting, and many other rights—are enshrined in, and protected by, the Constitution, because, have no doubt, the current administration would strip you of those rights in a rushin’ Russian heartbeat. This is what they plan to do to me, my husband, son, sister, mother, and fellow marginalized brothers and sisters. So count yourselves lucky.

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twopointnine don’t count

When a candidate receives 2.9 million more votes and still ends up losing, something is seriously wrong with our election system. That’s 2.9 million voters who don’t matter. Their votes, representing more than the total population of eighteen individual states (based on 2010 census), and is more than the total vote in thirty-four states, may as well have been incinerated. We could void votes for Trump in eight states combined (Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, West Virginia, and Nebraska) or in Ohio alone and still not reach 2.9 million. Imagine the outrage if his votes in any one of those states simply didn’t count.

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Mary Chapin Carpenter: Where Time Stands Still

April 1995: San Francisco. After a breakup, I set off to travel alone for the first time in my life. Sad and scared, yet excited to be exploring and finding myself, I walked, hiked, and biked around the city for days, sometimes never speaking to another person all day. This song, on a mixed tape with Radiohead’s Creep and Counting Crows’ Sullivan Street, kept me company. All three songs are forever etched onto my memory and senses, next to the rolling hills, the cable cars, the Castro, and the Golden Gate. The trip and Mary’s song changed my life.

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Talking Heads: (Nothing But) Flowers

1988: back seat of my parents’ car headed to visit my younger brother, a freshman at Boston University, fresh AA batteries in the Sony Walkman, 45s prerecorded onto a blank Maxell, headphones on, and a mixed tape playing and rewinding to this song over and over again.

Years ago
I was an angry young man
And I’d pretend
That I was a billboard
Standing tall
By the side of the road
I fell in love
With a beautiful highway
This used to be real estate
Now it’s only fields and trees
Where, where is the town
Now, it’s nothing but flowers
The highways and cars
Were sacrificed for agriculture
I thought that we’d start over
But I guess I was wrong

Get (Nothing But) Flowers

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A Bucs Fan For Life

For the last forty years, I’ve been asked why and how I’m a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan, especially being from New Jersey. I usually say the first football game I went to as a kid was a Giants/Buccaneers game. But I think I was already a fan by the time I went to that game. Truth is, the Bucs caught my eye the minute they entered the NFL in 1976, an expansion team along with the Seattle Seahawks–another team I root for.

I was eight years old when the Buccaneers completed their inaugural season with zero wins and fourteen losses. It’s when I must have developed a thing for losers and underdogs—I’m also a Mets fan. In 1977, the Bucs kept me engaged by losing the first twelve games of their second season. With twenty-six losses in a row, my devotion to them was cemented.

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From Jerusalem With Love

It’s been almost four years since we shared our family in the New York Times. At the time, we were inundated with media requests, but also with hundreds of supportive and loving messages from people all over the world. Every now and then, we receive an email from someone who has read the story for the first time or someone who has reread the story. Today, we received this message that touched our hearts:

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Pay No Attention To That Man In Front Of The Curtain

Dear media,
It’s clear Trump is the shiny object you can’t help gawking at. In fact, you wet yourselves over his every tick and tweet. Grow up. Trump is the distraction. Ignore him. The real show, and the laws and policies that will affect our lives more, will take place behind the scenes. Shine the spotlight there. On Bannon. On Miller. On Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, and anyone else using Trump as a blinding shield. Resist Trump’s temptations to lure you back in. Ignore him. He hates you anyway. He has called you disgusting and corrupt. The enemy of the people. And the more attention you give him, the more you prove him correct. Covering him for ratings is disgusting. Covering him to make a buck is corrupt. So stop. Ignore him. This will drive him crazy. You must focus your attention on the players in Congress. Please, please, please, just ignore Trump. He deserves nothing more than your total disregard and neglect.
Bigly.

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