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Orlando is currently washing over the media, and without doubt generating great profits for them. This seems a callous statement, until you watch the video of Les Moonves, the head of CBS, where he says, “Donald Trump has led to money ‘rolling in’ this election cycle.” Talking about how horrible it would be for America if Trump were elected he said, “It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS”. The audience of stockholders cheered. This is the ultimate of the ugliness of the power of money, as it corrupts good news coverage and analysis and replaces it with a media brawl. That can’t be good for America or the world or for any people of the future, who will suffer from the bad policy decisions created by this ugly process.

The murders in Orlando were probably driven by some sort of media-grabbing motivation too, and that idea is supported by the Orlando murderer calling the police to make sure his statements would be recorded and become national news. Back when the Unabomber was at large he published his Manifesto, and in it he stated clearly that an ordinary person can only get media coverage by killing people. That is clearly shown today, and the ongoing ugliness is driven by media profits and reveling in the endless speculations and details.

Today our group discussed the concept of fear, and surprisingly we didn’t dwell much on the news. In fact there were a few who claimed they attended very little to the news, and specifically didn’t permit it to be background noise in their environment. The reason being that they didn’t want unmonitored ugly ideas, that the news incessantly dwells on, creeping into their mind. They said that news makes them anxious about things that have nothing to do with their lives, and since there is nothing they can do about the problems, it is better for everyone involved to shut the news out.

Many of the people present were parents, and one of their prime worries was their children. They had the usual parental worries, but these have been compounded by the present flattening of the middle-class dream of a beautiful life. We had some discussion of fear of death, but the general tone seemed to be that it was inevitable and they were comfortable with the temporary nature of life. Near the end of our discussion we got into the fear of heights, and there was an upsurge of concern about that fear. There were various examples and stories about coping with those fears. The question of fear of guns came up late, which was odd because there had been some discussion of guns relative to the various known and usually discussed issues. Strangely no one, at least in the few minutes that it was the active topic, seemed to fear guns. Perhaps that is because the homicide rate in our city is low, even though the suicide rate isn’t, and I guess people feel that use of guns is under one’s personal control, so it isn’t something to be afraid of.

Fear didn’t seem to be a deep issue with these people, and it’s just one of those things you live with.