When what you believe cannot be proved using evidence which is not opinion, you know nothing. When the basis of your opinion — and beliefs — are lies, you know less than nothing.
Political lies and corruption have always been with us. The issue is not when they began because government — any government — breeds corruption. But when did we start to go from corruption political or corporate and turn it into a mass of lies and mass disinformation?
From my perspective — which is a mere 74 years long — it really got a leg up on us in the 1970s when “news” stopped being “public service” and became part of the entertainment division. Initially, what it meant was that news had to “earn its own way.” It had to attract viewers like other shows. That was the real start of “if it bleeds, it leads.” It’s why the movie “Network” was such a prescient show. All the outrageous things they showed in the movie have come to pass, short of having on set executions. At least, not yet. Once the gates were open and news didn’t have to really be news anymore, Fox slithered in. They don’t even call what they show as news anymore. It’s entertainment, pure and simple. If you choose to believe it, that’s your problem. They never said it was true or provable. They entertain you with “news-like” events that have nothing to do with any provable reality.
So what is news? What, for that matter, is a fact?
Let’s start with simple things. Do you believe in traffic laws? That a red light means stop and a green one is for “go”? Do you believe you should keep your car going in the same directions as other cars in your lane? Do you feel it’s fair to require drivers to turn on their lights in the dark and use directional signals or do you feel that you are being treated unfairly by being required to use your lights?
We don’t argue about them nor do we obey them because we like them. We obey them because (1) we don’t want to crash and burn or (2) wind up losing our insurance or (3) go to jail for vehicular homicide. In addition to rights and wrongs, there are financial and legal issues and while insurance companies may be corrupt, no one is ready to try to duke it out with them. Some stuff is obvious. We don’t need to discuss it, argue about it, or prove it.
BELIEF is not a fact. FAITH is not a fact. AGREEMENT doesn’t make something true. Truth and reality are not based on how many others agree with you. When the emperor is naked, no matter how many people in the crowd think he’s dressed, he’s still nude.
So now we’ve established that facts exist. Let’s move to some other basic items.
The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. Why? Who knows? Every day of every year, it’s always the same. We know this because we see it happen every day of our lives. You want to argue about it? I didn’t think so.
How about how many people were actually at T****’s inauguration? There are pictures of the audience with large swatches of seats empty. Someone, probably several people, tried to fix the pictures with Photoshop. Processing photographs is not a perfect art form. You can always tell when someone has electronically altered a photo. You don’t need to be an expert to see the difference.
How about “all the terrible things Biden has done”? Like what? Provably what? Not what someone told you and which you believe because you are too ignorant to dig through information and find out what actually happened. Can you read? Can you spell? Do you understand context? Can you connect two thoughts and use them to form an idea? Do you think or is everything in your head derived from some sleazy commentator?
Whether or not you believe something has nothing to do with whether or not it’s true, real, or honest. Evidence is not instinctive. What you “feel” is right is often wrong. That’s how (and why) fraud gets perpetrated. “Oh, he looks honest,” is not the best way to pick your contractor and I bet you know that. As for suing in court, you need evidence. Scientifically and rationally provable evidence. Truth is not an opinion. Lying isn’t either.
All religions are fine and you are free to practice them. The government has nothing to say about it and neither should you. You have the right to assemble peaceably and argue civilly. Threats are not peaceable. You can, if you like, petition the government if you have a grievance. This doesn’t mean you can threaten, shame, humiliate, or attack someone who doesn’t agree with you or assume that anyone who doesn’t belong to your cult or party is evil. Maybe YOU are the evil one. Ponder that.
It doesn’t mean and has never meant that anyone can say whatever they want about anyone or anything. It doesn’t license anyone to insult others on the basis of race, ethnicity, religion, lack of religion, disability, sexual orientation, level of education or lack thereof. It means that the press exists so that we can know the truth and you can’t sue the press for TELLING the truth, even when you don’t like what they are saying. Holding an alternate opinion proves nothing.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If we allow people to assume that the first amendment gives everyone the right to say whatever they like about anyone or anything, as a nation we have no future. This kind of warped thinking will destroy us. No one gets a free pass. These lies and fabrications will bring us to our knees. That includes you, your children, the rest of your family and all your friends. When you destroy a nation, it affects all but the richest and and most powerful. They will inherit your earth.
If you feel oppressed now? Wait until we all live under the iron fist of the powerful exploiters who are using you for their own purposes. After you enshrine the powerful, when all future disagreement ends in violence and death, you can look back on the “old days” and wonder how you could have been so stupid. By then, it’ll be too late. You can’t tear out the underpinnings of a culture and society and assume that somehow, it’ll still be okay. It won’t be okay. It will be gone.
Read some history. Read American History. Read world history. Find out what happened before you were born. Discover how Rome and Greece were destroyed from the inside by mobs and rioters. Don’t read just one book. Read a bunch of books by a variety of authors. Seek evidence. Search for truth. Discover why trials require evidence rather than opinions. Then take a long, cold look at what you believe. Delete anything that is not buoyed up by provable facts and see if anything, is left.
Stop watching Fox “News.”