Saturday, September 14, 2019
Is it absolutely necessary to make every post a battleground for Trump lovers and Trump haters?
Janet Kavandi is a wonderful story of perseverance in the odds of adversity. Her parents were killed when she was a child, but she overcame that early emotional trauma and made a mark for herself in a field that was almost completely relegated to men at the time she made it her life's ambition.
I will never forget sitting in the Carthage Senior High School Auditorium in June 1998, watching the live feed from NASA as Kavandi achieved her dream of going into space, making the first of three space shuttle flights.
Though we had every expectation that everything would go as anticipated, there was a real fear that something could happen and another Challenger tragedy could occur.
When it became evident the launch was successful, a burst of sustained applause swept through the auditorium.
After her days as an astronaut, she was named to one of the top administrative positions at NASA, as director of the Glenn Research Center.
This week, she announced her retirement, but the people who commented on the post immediately turned it into yet another tired political back-and-forth.
What is the matter with you people?
Not every single story should be viewed in a partisan politics prism.
I am so sick of seeing phrases like "libtards," "MAGAtards" "lefties" "cuckservatives". If your only purpose is to pick a fight please just shut the hell up.
There is nothing wrong with expressing political views or arguing points, but that is not what is taking place, whether it be on the posts that are not related to politics or the ones that clearly are.
It appears most of the comments of a political nature do not have the slightest interest in defending or establishing positions and most likely those who write them do not have the knowledge or the ability to do so. They are perfectly willing to parrot whichever insult is favored by those who share their political views, with a desire not to enlighten but to infuriate and belittle anyone whose political opinions differ from theirs.
I am no innocent when it comes to this problem.
While I share political opinions from time to time, I do not feel it necessary to make fun of anyone who disagrees with me. Do I make fun of politicians from time to time? You bet I do and I do not intend to stop. I try not to do so in a mean-spirited way and for the most part I have been successful.
While I have rejected some comments, for the most part I recently gave up on trying to police comments from people who are so used to having their invective posted on blogs and other media Facebook sites that they just go from one site to another posting the same inflammatory comments and living vicariously through the attention they receive.
This has been weighing on me recently, especially as I have been working on a book that mostly takes place in the 1940s when people had differences, but did not have the loaded weapon of social media to turn them into a fast-spreading poison.
That being said, I did not intend to write about this until I saw the comments on the Janet Kavandi post.
The first comment was from a Trump hater who immediately jumped to the idea that Kavandi quit because Trump had not appointed her NASA deputy director and made a reference, if I recall correctly, to MAGAtards.
A comment after that pointed out correctly that I banned the word "libtard" and took me to task for allowing MAGAtard, while another comment accused me of being a hypocrite.
Apparently, neither of them noticed that I have been lax in my enforcement of my rule and let the offensive term "libtard" slip into a few comments.
The only things they remembered is that they did not like it when I banned one of their pet words and they turned holier-than-thou when they spotted a word that offends them- MAGAtard.
I deserve to be criticized, not for being a hypocrite, but for falling short of the standard I set for comments.
By doing so, I contributed to the social media cesspool. For that, I apologize.
I will do better.
But would it have been that difficult to leave some positive comments about a woman who has done nothing but bring pride to this area?
In Janet Kavandi, we have a graduate of Carthage High School and Missouri Southern State University who reached the stars, while we seem content to wallow in the mud.
How I decide what goes on the Turner Report and Inside Joplin
Over the nearly six years since I launched the Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries blogs, I have developed a basic formula for what is posted on Inside Joplin and what is published on the Turner Report.
It basically comes down to this:
Breaking news, information about upcoming events, most news releases, most agendas and records page material like traffic accidents, arrests, marriage licenses, dissolutions, criminal cases filed and bankruptcies are posted on Inside Joplin.
The Turner Report posts information about criminal and civil cases as they wind their way through the judicial system, original and investigative reporting, commentary, columns and government, courts and political coverage on the local, state and national levels. It also includes information about my books, signings, speaking engagements and anything personal I write.
I normally post meeting agendas on Inside Joplin, but the agendas for Joplin City Council, Joplin R-8 Board of Education or the Carthage R-9 Board of Education are published on the Turner Report.
Some weeks, it is the courts, criminal reporting and commentary on the Turner Report that receive considerably more traffic, but some weeks when breaking news dominates coverage traffic goes to Inside Joplin.
That was what happened this week.
A Jasper County deputy was shot, a Carthage student injured in an explosion and the Jasper County Sheriff's Office announces major new child sex charges against a Joplin man.
Those stories dominated the coverage and links to the posts are provided below.
Support the Turner Report, Inside Joplin and Inside Joplin Obituaries, by using the PayPal buttons below or sending a contribution to Randy Turner, 2306 E. 8th, Apt. A, Joplin, MO 64801.
The Turner Report
1, Joplin man charged with eight felony crimes against children caused deaths of man, two children in 2008
2. Two years ago today I was attacked, identified my attacker and no one has ever been arrested
3. Tonight, I lost 15,000+ e-mails, my contacts and the research files for my Truman book
4. Federal judge revokes Neosho man's probation on bank fraud, forgery charges
5. Janet Kavandi retires from NASA
6. Tattoo enables McDonald County authorities to positively identify body left in suitcase near Highway 59 as Jessica McCormick
7. Pierce City man held without bond for 1988 cold case murder, arraignment set for Tuesday
8. Forty years have passed since the murder of Barbara McNeely
9. Go Fund Me account established to cover funeral expenses for Joplin High School football player
10. Kay Hively: Growing up in a different era
1. Joplin man charged with eight counts of statutory rape, statutory sodomy, two counts of sexual trafficking of a child
2. Explosion reported at Carthage Technical School, student life-flighted for emergency treatment
3. Suspect in shooting of Jasper County deputy located, situation under control
4. Suspect in shooting of Jasper County deputy dead from gunshot wound
5. Jasper County deputy who was shot, deceased suspect identified, more details provided
6. Jasper County deputy shot north of Missouri Southern in Travis Acres area, suspect still at large
7. Webb City pedestrian stuck by semi, seriously injured
8 Jasper County Sheriff's Office Arrests
9. Joplin Police Department weekend stats include 140 arrests, 16 crashes
10. Joplin Police Department Weekend Arrests
Inside Joplin Obituaries
1, Kadin Roberts-Day
2. Heath Little
3. Laitham Cotten
4. Windy Cox
5. Shannon Burleson
6. Jeff Howard
7. Todd Whitehead
8. Sharon Belk
9. Bob Groff
10. Beverly Comer