June Letters to Jim: Confused About News Channels

With the passage of Memorial Day Weekend and the unofficial arrival of summer vacation, I thought I would take the time and get caught up on my fan mail after a two month break. With schools closed for summer, we will hopefully get a reprieve from mass shootings. Now if I can just get that fat hairy neighbor of mine to stop sunning himself wearing just a speedo, my life should be pretty good.

Dear Jim,
What the heck is wrong with Joe Biden that causes him to have such low polling numbers? He seems like a nice guy who has gone to great lengths to help the nation’s most disenfranchised. Am I missing something?
Confused Voter

Dear Confused,

Yes and no.

Part of Biden’s problem is he faces a lot of voters who do not care about our Constitution and who want to see this nation pivot from the democratic principles it was founded on. They do not believe all men were created equal because in order for that equality to play out, it means leveling the playing field which inevitably results in a smaller piece of the pie for white voters.

It is one thing to claim you support “equal rights” when your personal way of life is not at risk of having to change, it’s another to back it up with your actions. It’s like building new prisons or homeless shelters. It’s easy to want to see more built until one is constructed in your town.

There is a great divide in this nation and it is not a two way battle between liberals and conservatives. There is a third group in the middle that remains unsettled at how far the right and left want to move society. They have trouble supporting Biden just because he is not Trump and worry we may be moving too far left too fast. Now that they have had four years of Trump and two and a half years with Biden, they are asking for someone new, fresh, who can offer them hope that we will be able to become more moderate in our actions. However, as long as Biden and Trump go at it, there is little hope for such a candidate emerging while there being little reason to be excited about next year’s election.

It’s still early in the process. There is no way of knowing what sort of events unfold that will influence the election. Neither Biden or Trump seem long for this world and yet there doesn’t seem to be much hoopla over seeing DeSantis or Harris facing off.

For now, remain patient and see where we stand a year from now.

Dear Jim,
You have not said much more about your Ketamine treatment. Has it helped much or is it just a bunch of hype?
Interested in Knowing More

Dear Interested,

I thought I would write about each of my four treatments, but after my second, I realized there are some things that just can’t be explained. Each of my four Ketamine trips have been different from one another. Each has also helped me to learn a bit more about myself and most of all, each has helped me feel better. A month after starting the treatment, I can say my head feels far more clear than ever. What I can’t say is it will work for you because there are no guarantees when it comes to medicine.

It should also be pointed out, simply taking Ketamine is not the solution. You must be willing to adapt lifestyle changes and this is where Americans and their health fall apart. In my case, I am learning to take time out to meditate and to practice my breathing methods. I am constantly reminding myself of new ways to respond to life’s annoyances and am catching myself when I slip up. It requires me to go beyond my comfort zone in other areas of my life and to trust others for guidance.

It also requires the loving support of family and friends whose encouragement reminds you that you are not alone in your fight.

I am also investing a good deal of money which means I must commit to a process that can be time consuming, frustrating, and yes, expensive. Along with the doctor overseeing it all, I had to open my mind to the teachings of someone whose approach to health is not typical in this country. At the same time, it has required me to check in regularly with a therapist. The bottom line is, while others my age are traveling the world or living their dream retirement, I am investing in my mental health and approach toward life. None of this has been covered by insurance so do not look for me on any upcoming cruises, tours, or vacation hotspots.

My hope is, besides working for me in the long term, this will someday help others less fortunate to obtain this sort of care with the help of insurance. If it can find its way to the masses as one of several treatment options and allows more people to enjoy life, then the work I have put into me will have all been worth it.

Dear Jim,
CNN or FOX News? Which would you advise I turn to for my information?

Neither. If you are new to the news, I strongly advise against any of the national television network news forums. If you were new to running, would you begin with a marathon or a mile? National networks are the marathon and your local news outlets are the mile. Begin with what is local and learn what is going on in your city, county, state, and then nation. Keep in mind, when you are watching any news broadcast, it is simply trying to attract as many viewers as it can to sell advertising. Information is unimportant.

Instead of watching the news, try a variety of written news sources. In time, you will find which ones you gravitate to in order to remain accurately informed.

Lastly, under no circumstance, rely on friends for your news. They have their own built in bias and to assume they think like you is to head down a slippery slope. Share and discuss your thoughts with them, but under no circumstance think they know more than you.

Dear Jim,
You recently made a joke about Martha Stewart appearing on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. Shouldn’t we appreciate the beauty of people of all ages and include them when we look at something devoted to swimwear? Maybe you are not as open-minded as you like us to believe?
hame on You

Dear Shame,

It makes no difference to me who ends up on the cover of any magazine, including the annual SI swimsuit edition. As for Martha Stewart, she may be 81, but I am willing to bet she has had more than her share of cosmetic work done. Still, that’s fine with me since women in their 20’s now do too. I don’t even mind that she is an ex-con who is receiving a wonderful second chance of turning her life around so she doesn’t end up in the slammer as a repeat offender.

Here is what I do mind. The extent businesses go to show the world who they embrace on this planet. It’s almost as bad as the extent other people go to cancel them out. Why does everything have to be turned into a social or political statement? Why can’t I just grab a six pack of beer and buy a magazine without it being turned into a statement of who or what I support?

I am not a fan of fat people made out to be every bit as sexy as a Hollywood beauty. I am less of a fan of people who say the word fat is offensive. It is just as descriptive as the word thin is. I do not need to know if a model is straight, gay, trans or anything else to decide if what I see is beautiful. Are they less beautiful if they are conservative because I am more liberal?

So go ahead and place all the shame on me you want, but we both know the shame really belongs to you for judging me on how I judge others. That said, I think we can both agree that the world is better off with Martha Stewart on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Afterall, they could have gone with me.

Editor’s Note: We would like to confirm that the world is much better off with Martha Stewart on the cover and not Jim.

Dear Jim,
Why is it so difficult for our leaders to reach an agreement over the debt ceiling? Don’t they know the ramifications of our country not paying its bills? Why does it get dragged out for so long? Who is to blame for all of this?

Dear Perplexed,

Both the left and the right know the ramifications of not paying our debts and neither side is about to be the first to begin a worldwide recession all because they refuse to do what is their duty. In this case, you can blame the right for dragging this out and trying to turn it into a larger negotiation. The fact they would hold the entire world as economic hostages rather than doing their job says pretty much all you need to know about a party that has gone off the rails.

At the same time, I blame the media, who have spent the past month flooding us with stories of what is going to happen if a deal is not reached. They turned this into a bigger deal than it had to be all because they go searching for issues to get the public worked up over. It has allowed both the left and right to go before the public and point fingers all in the name of drumming up political support. This is nothing more than the media being driven by ratings and advertising rates and not actual news.

In the end, an agreement was always going to be reached but it was in the interest of both parties to drag it out because they fear if they quietly go about doing the jobs they are hired to do, no one will notice. This has been nothing more than bad news is better than no news.

That will have to do it for now. I have had it with my hairy neighbor and am about to take my weed eater and trim up his body hair.  Until next month, be safe.