Tag Archives: Truth

I Can’t Even…

As I enter the twilight of my junior college career–getting ready to embark on my final push towards my bachelor’s degree at an as yet undetermined university–I find myself paralyzed. Dumbstruck not by the variety of academic choices that lie in front of me, not by the awesome responsibility of choosing just HOW much debt I intent to incur over the next seven years (2 years BA, 5 yrs PhD program), and not by the use of the Oxford comma (see what I did there?).

No, indeed since November 8th of 2016 I’ve been awed…metaphorically frozen by the, and I use this word judiciously–“reality”–of just who has been sworn in as President of the United States. I guess, like any victim of trauma, I’ve used self-delusion as a defense mechanism. But tonight, while doing laundry during a break from studying The Iliad, I heard an NPR announcer say the phrase: “President Trump.” Obviously, I’ve heard this before, but for some reason, tonight, it hurt. It was surreal. A moment of panic set in and I literally wondered if I had either died, or was suffering from some form of parallel universe awareness. This simply can’t be…

Today, the director of the FBI stated, in no uncertain terms (Don, this means NOT fake news), that the administration of the sitting President of the United States is under criminal investigation for his alleged campaign ties to a foreign government. The Russians. As a child of the cold war, this chills me to the bone. But perhaps the most chilling “reality” is the seeming lethargy with which this news has been greeted by my fellow countrymen.

Let’s review: the republican nominee, and eventual electoral college victor, our now sitting President, is the subject of a criminal (read: treason) investigation for alleged collusion with the Russians to, among other things, affect the outcome of the presidential election.

I’m not going to parse this with anyone, nor do I intend to build a case against him. I believe the investigation alone speaks volumes.

What I do demand is an immediate, and serious examination of the evidence to begin articles of impeachment of this man, and, pending the outcome of the FBI’s (and hopefully a special prosecutor’s) investigation, a constitutional evaluation of the propriety of the last election by our Supreme Court. The buck has never stopped “here” with Trump and it’s pretty clear that the dysfunction has metastasized within his government. I’m calling for the Court, again pending satisfactory evidence of duplicity and criminal wrongdoing, to call for another election.

There is simply too much at stake to allow this narcissistic, impending indicted criminal to continue to govern. Consider the ACA and the wide-ranging effect Trump’s Federal Judge appointee’s can have on our country for decades to come. We can all see the writing on the wall here…let’s quit pussy-footing around the issue and stop calling this man our lawfully elected “President.” Bill Gates visited Trump today to discuss “the internet” today. I was outraged. It’s time for people of conscience to let the emperor know his fat ass is naked for all the world to see.  Government leaders and those in power need to stop entitling this man and his corrupt machine. Call a spade a damn spade.

“President Trump”…I can’t even.

 


Why Truth Matters

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Stop what you’re doing right now and tell me which way is north.

Not sure? OK, grab your smartphone and access your compass app…this should do it.

What does this have to do with truth? The question: “Which way is north” refers to a baseline or default direction from which we measure the other elements/directions within that world.

In other words, within our socio-political world, the abrogation of truth has led to a warping of our moral compass…a dangerous precedent.

Without a frame of reference, the short shrift we increasingly give truth is denigrating our ability to hold ourselves, our society, and our leaders accountable to the truth; to that element of our existence that allows us to judge right and wrong. To that precious commodity that allows us, as a society, to call out those who would harm us and declare “this is wrong”.

When we play fast and loose with the truth, we lose the moral high-ground.

Case in point:  the political assassination of Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov.

It doesn’t take an individual with a degree in international relations, criminology, or Soviet history to surmise that Putin is holding the metaphorical (if not literal) smoking gun.

In another era, our government, our media, our so-called political “leaders” could, in good faith, call out the modern day Russian Czar Putin on this travesty of justice. While Putin is many things (among them sociopathic) he is not stupid. He must realize the American government, media, and Congress don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to claiming the moral high-ground. In fact, he’s already spun the assassination as the work of American agents.

Sigh.

Let’s take our government first. Yes, we’ve never been fortunate to have a completely transparent government, but as the heroic revelations of Edward Snowden have illuminated, our government is actively and aggressively lying to the folks that empower and employ them…you and me.

And what of the media? The fifth estate formerly occupied by luminaries such as Murrow and Cronkite…

Those luminaries have been replaced by America’s most trusted news source, Fox News.

If this doesn’t cause you concern, stop reading now and return to whichever reality show of the moment or televised pursuit you are watching and please increase your cholesterol intake. If it does concern you, take heart. When was the last time those individuals who are truly curious, consumers of real news, watched network news anyway. I’m encouraged by the fact that there is a large portion of the country that was not included in this poll. At least I desperately, if not naively, cling to this hope.

And finally, what of our most precious representatives in Congress? You know, those individuals whose very existence is based upon their ability to accept corporate donations and spew whatever soundbite adds to those campaign contributions. Still not with me? These are the folks who are currently walking the razor’s edge of treason by undermining the constitution and the executive branch with respect to the Iranian nuclear enrichment talks. Fine upstanding individuals who wouldn’t know a moral compass if it hit them in their fat coffers.

Those who live in glass houses simply can’t throw stones and we are quickly becoming the inhabitants of the largest glass mansion in the (and I use this word cautiously) “civilized” world.

 


Blogonymity…

Blogonymity.  Heretofore, I’ve maintained a relatively low profile here on WordPress with regard to my identity.  I’ve provided some hints here and there, but realistically I haven’t really shared any deep personal insights other than my take on the issues of the day.

I think that’s about to change.

I need to write.  I always have and have been blessed to find that passion again recently while I had some time off work for a surgery.  Since I’ve been back to work it’s been MUCH harder to find time, but I’m finding that I NEED to write so will be getting up a little earlier than I normally like, so I can make the time to write.

And not just political/cultural criticisms.  I need to write about what’s in my heart and soul.  That’s where the passion lies…within.  So my fear is that in addition to coming off nihilistic, I will bore my readers to death.  I sure hope not.  I’ve decided to share some of myself and some of my life experiences here on this blog that I may experience the catharsis self-examination does, but most importantly I hope to find common ground with the reader.  Community, if you will, in the words and experiences I share.

How much is too much?  Enough to get me fired?   Enough to prevent getting hired at another job in the future?  I don’t know…these concern me greatly, but I guess I’ve decided to risk it.  Whether it’s ego or not, I haven’t decided, but I’ve chosen to be very open with those around me about my private life.  It’s time to share those things with you…the reader.

Wish me luck…


Fact Check Felonies…

The Federal Trade Commission regulates claims made by advertisers to ensure they are not misleading the public.  Congress has subpoena power and the ability to compel truthful testimony from witnesses called before them.  Federal and local elections are chock full of regulation.

Why can’t we compel candidates to tell the truth? Seriously…lock the bastards up for bald-faced lies.  On both sides of the aisle.

Think about it.  Our lives are full of regulation, we are protected from virtually every bad outcome through a cornucopia of rules, codes and regulations.  Why not force politicians to tell the truth…in advertising and in debates.  Enough with the bumper crop of “Fact Checking” sites…this is ridiculous folks.  I realize we live in a free society that values free speech but let’s face it…few of us actually care enough to “fact check” claims made by most politicians.

I submit that the impact these politicians have on our lives are every bit as important as knowing if our favorite drug causes rectal bleeding if used in excess.  Come on…let’s hold these suckers accountable to the truth.  Mandate honesty and let’s see how fast the tone of these campaigns change.

It wouldn’t be that hard really, simply hire one of the readily available fact checking warehouses to become an independent commission and allow the General Accounting Office to investigate and submit to the D.O.J. criminal charges.

God only knows what would happen if politicians were held to this standard.  They might actually become more accountable for their actions both pre and post-election.  They might not need to employ the “spin” machines that feed us their pabulum each night.

As crazy as this idea might sound, I don’t think it’s so far off the mark.  We, as the electorate, deserve honesty from our leaders. We demand it but do nothing to hold them accountable.  Quite the opposite, we encourage their lies (witness the recent Romney “bump” after his “liar, liar, pants-on-fire performance during the debate).

I’m really not in favor of the next layer of bureaucracy that this would create, but I am in favor of legislation that comes nearer to requiring pols to be truthful…what is your solution?


The Reality of Donuts.

So I’m listening to NPR this weekend and there is a professor discussing the new reality of journalism.  And to paraphrase badly, he describes the reality as being a donut.  The donut hole are the issues, or realities that all parties can agree on.  The donut itself are the areas that require balanced journalistic effort…present both sides of the issue: fact checked and properly sourced.  And the space outside the donut are the areas that most people can agree are non-issues.  As an example, he stated that 40 years ago, the Obama birth certificate issue would have been a non-issue…it was so far outside the norm that it would have received no validation in the media.

He further suggested that the issue of global warming should receive the same lack of attention.  The overwhelming majority of the scientific community agrees that it is real.  To suggest otherwise is to embrace a fringe belief based on hyperbole and politics.

Oh, if it were only that easy.  In fact, if it were that easy, I’m afraid Fox News would have to reduce it’s programming from 24 hours, to about 2.  The proliferation of right-wing talk radio, followed shortly by media giant Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, and the response from MSNBC and other flatly biased liberal news organizations have created a scenario where, as the professor said, the donut has been blown to pieces.

Nietzsche said “there are no facts, only interpretations” but I don’t buy it.  I think we can all agree that the sun will come up tomorrow…and that if it is out, it is daytime.  Interpretation perhaps, but a truth within the dount hole.

It’s past time for reasonable people to stand up and call BS on the biased, merchants of spin.  On both sides of the aisle.  It’s past time we came to the consensus that some things are not real and refuse to entertain them in the public discourse.  Crap is crap…”if it walks like a duck” can become our Mantra.

Look, everyone views things through the prism of their own experience.  I’m just suggesting it’s time for the critical thinker to stand up and be counted…and to have the moral authority to discount that which is false.  It’s not a radical thought.  It’s what brought down Joe McCarthy.  It’s what keeps the donut hole full…


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