Monday, January 23, 2017

The Panda Bear on Obstacles, Newspapers, and the Ordinary Person

The Panda Bear Blog is a blog about an ordinary office worker who wants to change the world.

In a previous post, the Panda Bear had written about her New Year’s resolution to lose weight.   She even was so bold to state that she had lost a few pounds.    Well pride comes before a fall.    The Panda Bear unexpectedly had to have gum surgery. Because of the surgery she could only eat soft foods that are room temperature and because she had to restrictions on exercise she gained some of her weight back.    However, she now ia feeling better and plans to return to her diet(Here is an exercise tip -instead of exercising for an hour straight break it up into two half hour sessions.   It is just as much exercise and it is not as tiring as exercising all at once).

The Panda Bear mentions this because many events that we cannot predict can slow us down from reaching our goals.   Instead of beating ourselves up for not sticking to our goals we must simply forgive ourselves and start all over again.

Though this was not a New Year's resolution, the Panda Bear has started to subscribe to a newspaper and tries to read it every day.    She decided to start reading the paper not just because of the "fake" news.    The Panda Bear felt she was uniformed of some basic facts.

She like Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate had her Aleppo moment.   Like Gary Johnson the Panda Bear believes that the US providing the Syrian rebels with arms has increased the bloodshed in the area and is imperialist.    She also was not aware of what going on in Aleppo (though she did know that the civil war is destroying Syria).

However, it was really on a local ballot question that Panda Bear was truly confronted with hers and others ignorance of what is going on in the news.   In Massachusetts, there was a referendum question on whether to expand Charter schools in areas where the public schools are low performing The Panda Bear strongly supported this measure.   The public schools in city of Boston are a total mess and have been for the past fifty years,   The Panda Bear works with many people who live in the City of Boston and they use the Charter schools.

However, when the Panda Bear stated her support for the resolution to expand Charters schools on Facebook  many of the Panda Bear's friends disagreed.    What bothered the Panda Bear was not the disagreement but how neither she nor her friends were uncertain of the facts surrounding Charter schools.   Were they free?  Were they part of the "public” schools system?   Were they regulated? Well in reading today's newspaper the Panda Bear found out that the Charter schools are regulated by the state. (The Panda Bear believes Charter schools are free). 

The Panda Bear always heard growing up that the gold standard for news was newspapers-not radio or television.   Her local paper done some good investigative journalism and does contain opposing views.

However, it still perplexes the Panda Bear when newspaper editors discuss how they failed to understand public sentiment during this election.    The Panda Bear wishes to tell academia, the media and politicians that one trait of the ordinary person is that there are a lot of us.   We are not some rare species that has not been seen for decades.   Common people are like pigeons, squirrels and sparrows in the city.

If the common person is not seen by the press it is because they are not looking.


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