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No Exclamation Necessary!

May I please make a respectful suggestion for everyone on both sides of the aisle when it comes to the sites we read and the outrage they stir up? If the headline contains an exclamation point, don’t get sucked in. If any of the sentences in the body of the article contain exclamation points (except for direct quotes – and even then, it’s iffy), don’t get sucked in.



Real news sites lay out the facts – they don’t try to stir you up with exclamation points to emphasize the outrageous things they’re purporting to have occurred. And I’ve stopped following the sites that try to rile us up like this. Are some mainstream news sites biased one way or another? Yes. But that doesn’t make what they’re saying fake news.

But when you see those exclamation points, beware. Before your outrage kicks in, do a little research to see if what you’re reading actually happened. There’s enough real news out there to fuel your anger.

As Sargeant Joe Friday may or may not have said, “just the facts, ma’am.”


Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved


Plays Well With Others?

Once upon a time, if you had a government job, you had a job for life. You had job security, decent benefits, and you were paid pretty well. It seems like a fantasy now in light of the past few years of brinksmanship, doesn’t it?

No matter what party you root for these days, you are most likely horrified and frustrated by the infantile behavior exhibited by our so-called representatives. Who can piss farther or longer?  And who can sling more mud, more blame, more ridiculous charges at their opponents? Most people have been likening this behavior to preschool behavior, and I agree – with one caveat: In preschool, teachers focus on cooperation and compromise, teaching their little charges that they need to get along with each other, building the foundation for future interactions in society. Where did those lessons go for our current Congress?

children.playing.coloring.pageWhat are some of the checkpoints on a preschooler or kindergartener’s socialization plan?

– plays well with others

– shares with others

– works well with others

– helps others

– participates well in group activities

– cooperates with others

These principles are sadly lacking in those who are supposed to representing the rest of us. Maybe we should get a group of  4- and 5-year-olds to demonstrate the way things should be done.  Such as caring about the good of the country, rather than their own self-interests. Not seeing the other political party as the enemy. Working together for the common good and realizing how much they are hurting innocent people in their haste to get re-elected. And staying away from eating paste.

I’ve been so distraught by this situation, I wrote an email to my Congressman yesterday. Here is the gist of it:

I believe that you believe that you are a good man. While I disagree with the ____ Party and many of the beliefs of the ___ Party, I believe you are trying to be an honorable person. And I hope you realize you represent all the people of your district, not just those who are in the ____ Party. So I am going to plead with you to get past the politics and the rhetoric the posturing that’s going on right now and think about the people who are being terribly affected by this shutdown. There is terrible harm being done to real people by the stance of you and pretty much everyone in Congress at the moment. No one is willing to compromise, you’re all just worried about being re-elected and not the fact that people will have no money to buy food, pay their bills, get care for their children if they’re not getting a paycheck. It’s terrifying, Congressman____, to face the prospect of no paycheck for even a day, let alone long-term. I’m not even mentioning all the other programs that are being shut down, affecting so many thousands. You and your fellow Congressmen need to put yourselves in the shoes of the government workers who work so hard for our country and are getting repaid for their loyalty and hard work by an absolute lack of compassion and caring by the people who are supposed to be representing them. Please put aside your egos and work together so we won’t have to face the prospect of losing homes, and all the ensuing catastrophic events that are sure to occur the longer this shutdown goes on. Thank you for your time.

As I sent off my email with hopes of getting some kind of response at some point, a message popped up on my screen. I’m paraphrasing, but it read something like this:

Due to the current government shutdown and furloughs, our staff is unavailable to respond to your message. Once the shutdown is over, we will respond to your concerns as soon as possible.

And there you go.


Copyright Nancy Machlis Rechtman, all rights reserved