OVERSIGHT? OVERVIEW. OVER THE TOP. OVER AND OUT.

OVERSIGHT, OVERVIEW, OVER THE TOP — AND OVER AND OUT!

Are you dismayed that he-who-shall-not-be-named got into the White House by propagating lies and fake news and through other high crimes and misdemeanors? Then don’t do that. Over the past couple of days, I’ve had  bunch of stuff sent to me, written in comments or via email, that our shiny new updated, 21st century POTUS has:

  • Cancelled Roe V Wade (a woman’s right to abortion)
  • Removed support for all women’s health care (no idea if this has an acronym or something else)
  • Gotten rid of the Affordable Care Act (AKA Obama Care).

None of which are true.

For example: Roe V. Wade is a matter for the Supreme Court (henceforth known as SCOTUS), assuming they would review it (again). Which is doubtful since they have ruled on it multiple times, always with the same result. Not only have they not overturned it, further review isn’t on their docket.

How do I know this? I follow the SCOTUS website. I glance at upcoming cases, sometimes read the summaries of why they made a particular decision. If it is important to me, I try to read the decision itself. Usually, I get about halfway and go back to the translation, but I give it a try. Whatever language SCOTUS speaks, it is not the same one I use. The important point is that I do not rely on Internet hearsay for information about things that matter. I look them up and so should you.


If you are old enough to write on the Internet, you can track down source information. I’m really tired of hearing people whining about how they don’t know how. Learn or shut up.

What IS true? Trump issued a Presidential order further loosening the most hated part of the ACA which says that you get health insurance or pay a fine. It was already pretty loose, with many exceptions for hardship and has not been enforced very often even under President Obama. So it’s a change, but it’s not actually a change. It’s more a gesture to his followers that he does intend to make changes to the health care system, but not yet.

Did it cancel some outstanding “stuff” that Obama put in place? Yes, but every incoming president has done the same thing. Just as they change the pictures and the curtains in the White House (and probably the bed linens and which dishes they will eat from on a daily basis), they close off loose ends of their predecessor’s plans and presumably formulate their own directives and plans.

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Maybe you have good reason to panic. Maybe the world as we know it is about to end. Maybe he-who-I-will-not-name is going to cancel the ACA … but he’s not likely to do it without having a replacement plan. Why not? Because the people who voted for him are the very people who depend on it. It’s bad politics to attack your core and not expect to also get kicked out of office. The entire GOP is very wary and worried about the probable blow-back that would result from cancelling “Obama Care” without something at least as good in place. Twenty million people finding themselves without health insurance would be unhealthy for their future prospects as elected officials.

They may not care about me or you, but they do care about their own careers. Self-interest is the one interest you can take to the bank.

We are the oversight for our government. They may forget it, but don’t you forget that they work for us and at our pleasure and discretion. True, once they are in office, it’s hard to dislodge them before the next election, but those years fly by pretty fast. Congressional representatives only have two-years to prove their worth. Senators get a big six and POTUS gets 4. Two and a half, really, because by then, he (or hopefully, someday, she) is already revving up for reelection.

equal-justice-under-law-scotur

I am begging you: Please do not post, comment, email, rant or otherwise distribute misinformation. Distortions of truth may be more lethal than complete fiction because most people never get more than a sentence or two into an article. If they see anything which appears to confirm what they already believe, they don’t read further. I’ve seen it here on Serendipity. I often get comments that show my reader hasn’t read more than the headline, glanced at a picture, hit like, and made a comment. Usually, I don’t care. I’m not typically a source of hard news. Occasionally, I do a more research. Dig up historical precedents and back up my opinion with data.

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The thing I won’t do is casually publish information that is serious — and false. Whether it’s completely untrue or merely substantially wrong. I will always fact check anything that matters. I’ll usually fact check anything that can be checked even if it’s trivial because I come from a background where facts matter.

Truth is not a matter of opinion and no, your opinion is NOT as good as anyone else’s if you are ignorant of the subject about which you are talking.


ON A PERSONAL NOTE

It’s the time of year when I set aside my blogging cloak and don the cloak of book judge. From now until the end of February, I’ve got a lot of reading to do. That means I’ll be visiting you less often and posting less. I’m sure you will all manage with less of me for a few weeks. I’ve also picked up a miserable head cold. Why is it that I am brave and stalwart in the face of major adversity, but a pathetic lump in the face of a runny nose, itchy eyes, sore throat and all that other stuff? And yes, Garry’s got it too because caring is sharing and we really care.

22 thoughts on “OVERSIGHT? OVERVIEW. OVER THE TOP. OVER AND OUT.

  1. I know what you mean, but I have now said quite clearly, that I no longer discuss it, because I am slowly out of my depth. I am trying to come to grips with Swiss politics and that is not easy. All I wanted to do was support a little march, but I am now an armchair spectator. The rest is just a side dish.

    Like

    • I get frustrated that people who complain about all the lies and fake news are simultaneously spreading lies and fake news. Personally, I think knowing what you don’t know if just as (maybe more) important that what you DO know, since a lot of what we (think we) know is wrong. We’ve got a miserable mess on our hands in the U.S. and spreading rumors and lies, whether you agree with them or not, is not going to improve the situation. You and I are both considered “old,” but we both know that finding out the truth of whatever we want to know is nothing more complicated than typing a few words into your browser and hitting “enter.” ANYONE can do it. They just would rather moan about how “I don’t know how to do anything.”

      Whiners make me crazy. Maybe there was a time when search engines were complicated, but that was long ago. Anyone can find out anything, pretty much.

      I try to not get deep into the technicalities of politics and government because it really IS complicated. And sometimes, contradictory. But I really DO know that major changes to laws are not accomplished in this country by one guy with a pen. I don’t think in any democracy or republic, anyone can do that. Maybe if the zombies attack, you get a free pass. But only during the Zombie Apocalypse.

      Like

  2. What a disappointing post. No ranting, no fake news. So level-headed and thoughtful, based on real facts, not alternate facts, no vituperation. You’ve set a new low, Marilyn- which in this topsy turvy world we now live in, is actually setting the bar a bit too high for the rest of us. You know, when I was growing up, DC Comics had a series called Alternate Universe. Most stories were based on Hitler having won WW II, and Superman an enemy of the state because he was the ultimate non-Aryan. Or something like that. But I never thought an alternate universe could actually become real. Until now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed we are all fallible, but there are a lot of people who NEVER fact check. Either they feel they can’t possibly be wrong because whatever it is sounds right …. or they are too lazy to bother … or they fact check using phony sources. If you check your facts using the source of the rumor, you probably aren’t going to figure out what’s really going on.

      But some people — too many — are actively and possibly intentionally — spreading rumors, innuendo, and lies. That’s something else. And I see it a lot and the excuse is that “they read it on the Internet.” Really? Seriously? Aw, c’mon. EVERYONE knows better than that in this day and age.

      This, for me, is not a “your side, my side” issue. I don’t care who you think will make America great or greater, a lie is a lie is a lie is a lie. Because I would like to agree with you doesn’t make it better.

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      • That’s true. There is nothing worst than telling a lie to spread an agenda. They are banking on the laziness of people to not look it up.

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        • Most people don’t bother to fact check anything, especially if they agree with it. It’s especially important to check things with which you agree because those are the things you are most likely to “share.” To paraphrase a well-known saying, “if you aren’t part of the solution, you ARE the problem.”

          Like

  3. In this new, crazy era we find ourselves entering, it is all the more important to separate fact from fiction, fake news, or alternative facts. It’s sometimes difficult to run down all the variations, but, as you point out, it is possible. Enjoy your reading time, feel better, and I’ll look forward to the day we see more of yfou again!

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  4. I think your reading gig has come at a good time. Something else to think about other than your cold and You Know Who. The internet, and social media in particular has made it very easy to spread false news or as we now know to call it “alternative facts”. It is like an enormous game of Chinese Whispers.

    Like

    • It’s easier to spread lies and rumors and hearsay than facts and truth. MUCH easier. Everyone really (apparently) believes their opinion is as good as anyone else’s, even when they are utterly ignorant about the subject matter. Not only have we decided that truth and facts are unnecessary, we have disqualified education entirely. You don’t have to know anything, just rant and the world is yours.

      So yeah. Reading books is probably a good choice.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You are absolutely 100% correct. Should anyone want to post something on our social media outlets, they themselves should check out the information first and not take it as gospel because someone else said it was so. Check it out and then if you care to weigh in with your thoughts on the matter at hand – at least you will know what you are talking about and can definitely back up your thought process to a degree anyways.
    I, too, have gotten caught up in this wonderful journey called life and have not been able to post as often as I would like. So, until I get my head wrapped around what it is I want to write about as we move forward in 2017, my posts here on Word Press will be limited as well. My guess is at least for a couple of weeks.

    Like

    • I’m just super busy right now. The main reason I often steer clear of controversy is because I need to do my research and have my facts in order before I write. Which takes time. Which I don’t have this month. But I’ll be clear by the end of February.

      No one can say we aren’t living in interesting times. A little TOO interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

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