No Facts Allowed

Opinions are great, everyone has them and even if they are poorly informed, we can’t create exceptions. The well informed may be easier for party conversation, but the misinformed are sometimes great provender for our social sharing. Truthfully, perhaps it is the misinformation and those who are so plugged into remaining misinformed that should be our highest priority of this silly season that is this election season. Everything, every single

Tree of Knowledge, something we should all be striving to grow

last thing flows from being well informed, knowledgeable and having fact-based information. Without a clear understanding of both present day, as well as the historical basis for decisions it is impossible to form well-informed opinions.

Do not get me wrong, I am not so presumptuous to believe that five (5) people given the same facts will arrive at the same opinion. In all likelihood, they will not. Each person, given the same facts will have still brought their own personal history, education and bias to the table prior to being presented with the facts. Based on these personal details, each person will form an opinion. If asked to solve a problem (non-mathematical), each person will apply their own skills and history to the solution, despite having been given the precise same facts.

However, you are not allowed your own facts!

It is that simple, there is nothing ambiguous about the above statement; or is there?

I will be damned if I don’t think there might be something wrong in the water we drink or the air we breathe these days, because it seems we are indeed allowed our own facts. It appears one can say anything, pull anything out of thin air and repeated often enough it becomes accepted truth.

Satire becomes Truth, repeated often enough.

Lies become Truth, repeated often enough.

Barack & Hillary working together to bring Socialism to America

Let us take a couple of my favorites as examples.

Barack Obama is a Socialist, or a Communist, or a Fascist, or practices Islam.

Well no, he is not a Socialist. In fact, he is a Centrist Democrat, a moderate. The following are Socialists.

Name Famous for Name Famous For
Hugo Chavez President Venezuela Friedrich Engels Godfather of Socialism
Norman Thomas Presbyterian Minister, Author, Activist Helen Keller Activist, Lecturer, Author
George Orwell Journalist, Literary Critic, Author Eugene V. Debs Founder IWW, Social Democratic Party
Francis Bellamy Author of the Pledge of Allegiance, Baptist Minister Cornell West Educator, Philosopher
Albert Einstein Scientist Bertrand Russell Philosopher, Nobel Peace Prize Winner
Howard Zinn Historian, Educator Naomi Klein Author, Activist
Karl Marx Father of Socialism John Dewey Philosopher, Educator
Bernie Sanders Mayor of Burlington, US Representative Tommy Douglas Baptist Minister, Premier of Saskatchewan

The names in the table above are all admitted Social Democrats or Socialists, some are early versions some are still alive and working in their fields of expertise. There is clearly a wide base of knowledge in that group, everything from Philosophy, Science, Authors and Educators and oh my Politicians. Odd, I simply can’t find our current POTUS on the list, not because I decided I wouldn’t put him there either; no it isn’t that at all. It is for this simple reason:

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED YOUR OWN FACTS!

Here is another fun filled falsehood.

America is a Christian Nation.

No, it is not. Never has been. Never was intended to be. There isn’t a single shred of historical evidence to support the statement. On the other hand, there is significant evidence to support the historical view the United States of America was founded as a Nation that would be respectful and welcoming to all faiths and would be governed under Secular Law.

Another fun filled Fact:

Socialism ≠ Communism ≠ Nazism ≠ Fascism

These are all distinctly different political systems and in some cases economic theories. They are not the same. In fact, they have little to do with each other except in the minds of the ignorant.

YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED YOUR OWN FACTS!

We are in the silly season that is the Presidential campaign season. Thanks to the brilliance of SCOTUS we have the Citizen United ruling, making money talk and corporations people. Truth and Facts have taken a back seat to propaganda and outright lies. The problem is Citizen United was simply the Chocolate Sauce on the Sundae, since the 1980’s our public education system has been dumbing down our citizens so propaganda becomes the bar to climb over and it is a low bar indeed. Truth shouted on street corners is ignored in favor of the most egregious lie.

Both sides have their Pac’s, both sides have their defenders and both sides are able to distance themselves from these no holds barred swift-boaters. What should we do as responsible Americans? How do we distance ourselves from the garbage and educate ourselves on what is factual and best for our nation?

I will leave you with this, this is one of the lies, this is what the Conservative listens to and believe.

All I can say is you are not allowed your own facts!

Facebook Politics

Yesterday on Facebook, I posted a picture of Obama with his response (rhetorical) to Mitt Romney’s recent claim that 92% of all job losses were women’s jobs. This number of course, is not accurate. It also isn’t what was interesting about the discussion that followed that post. Let me make clear, I welcome dissent, debate and examination of information on my page. I am known for posting questions, sometimes even questions intended to create controversy. However, if you are going to join in the conversations there are rules to follow:

  1. Try to stay on point
  2. Don’t bring talking points (from either side)
  3. Back up your statements
  4. Try not to bring up Hitler or Nazi’s (it is a crap tactic)
  5. Don’t post and run

So back to the discussion, this is what I posted that started the truncated firefight.

To make things simple, I have boxed the comments and I identified them with an initial. I have also left the comments exactly as they are written, except to change personal names, don’t blame me for the shoddy English, punctuation, etc (even my own).

This was the first post in the chain of 27; we will call our friend K to make things simple:

K

I’m voting for Romney because Obama wants to start a Communist Nation. Romney might not be more qualified than Obama, but has done nothing to help Americans, he has made life worse!!!!!!

Me

K, do you know what Communism is? Can you tell me? Can you tell me how you are worse off? Just curious mind you, most people I know are not worse off. Just out of curiosity – are you okay with the following:

  • Elimination of Social Security?
  • Elimination of Medicare?
  • Elimination of Public Education?
  • Elimination of EPA?
  • Elimination of Planned Parenthood?
  • Elimination of Aid to Dependent Children?
Those are just a few of the things Romney has agreed to go after. Have you read the Budget Recommendations from the GOP? If not let me suggest you do so. The poor and the middle class will see their taxes increase while the super wealthy will gain additional tax breaks.

Just for edification and context there were several other posters who came into the fray, one who did not take kindly K’s comment, I’ll call him C.

C

that is the kind of talk that perpetuates the ignorant redneck stereotype.unlike romney obama is smart enough to understand that if the rest of the world dies so does the usa but if the usa dies the rest of the world wouldn’t lose any sleep

There were several more comments from others between C’s comment and the following from K.

K

I enjoy when people stoop to calling other people names because they do not have the BALLS or the intelligence to REALLY know what is going on. And everyone who votes for Obama— hope you enjoy wearing uniforms, and having a Hitler like regime. WAKE UP!!!! Yes Val i know what Communism is, and Hitler, I mean Obama is going for it. Obama has absolutely no credentials to be worthy of being President. He was put there as a Figurehead. There is no such thing as a free society anymore. WAKE UP!!!! Our freedoms have been slowly taken away from US for many years now. It started way back with FDR—not with Bush. Did you people notice that the Clintons and The Obamas are getting richer, while we Americans are paying more for everything? Agree with S. And Val if you want a fight, please go on a poltical website to do it, cause i’m not engaging in any more poltical fighting here on FB—it’s to open a forum, and many people do not understand how to treat others with respect!!!

She agreed with the following statements from another poster, S.

S

If they had a “None of the Above” Button on the ballot, I would vote for that. There needs to be a DRASTIC change. Neither side is for US, the citizens of this country; they are all about THEIR agenda, no matter what that is.

I did respond to the above comment, perhaps not as politely as I might have but I didn’t feel at all polite at that point. Why? Mostly because I think people, who jump in with both feet, using inflammatory language and rhetoric should be ready for the fallout and prepared to defend their positions. Clearly, K was not prepared to do either, she wanted to flame and run.

Me

K, I didn’t call a name. You came to my page. You incorrectly implied the current president desired a Communist regime. President Obama was voted into office by a majority of the people of this nation, whether you agree with their right to vote or not.Loss of rights? You mean like the loss of the right to vote?This is my Facebook page K, you don’t like what is on my page, get off the page. I get to post any damned thing I like here.

Finally S asked the following, though he had been participating in the discussion he had not perhaps truly been reading anything but the responses directed at him.

S

What are all of you on K for?! Just like you, she is voicing her opinion. What’s appalling is the contradiction! Think about what you’re saying here! This country, like it or not, is based on the freedom of speech and our rights as human beings. That is being corrupted by BOTH PARTIES! No matter what race, creed, religion, etc…. We are getting SCREWED!

My response was as followed, I also finally responded to C regarding his original comment to K.

ME

S, read what she has said. This is my page and she has suggested that I should not voice my opinion on my page, that is the first problem. The second problem is she has failed to respond to a direct question. The third problem is she has called the President of the United States “Hitler”, that is not ‘opinion’ that is Right Wing rhetoric without substantiation along with the accusation that this administration desires a Communist Regime, more Right Wing Rhetoric without substantiation.Had she said I am voting for Romney because he better represents my personal ideals and standards I would have been fine with that.
C, truthfully I would rather we all keep it more respectful. While I also take umbrage with the statements K made. I would far prefer to take those statements down, one by one and call them what they are:Right Wing Rhetoric without substantiation or value.I would rather ask the question, what is the basis in fact for the statements. In this way we aren’t just name calling or flinging insults.

Would love to hear what you think. Am I crazy? Is it getting worse out here? I certainly think so, I think the nation is getting more divided every day. The rhetoric more heated than I have seen it, ever. People are so uninformed they are willing to ‘buy’ whatever trash talk they hear the talking heads in politics and media spew across the airwaves and social media and they do it without validating facts.

Comparing the current President to Hitler and a Communist in one sentence is just one example of ignorance at its best.

What say you?

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