There’s a news source for everyone

In my search for better news sources in the sea of leftist, rightist, moderate, etc., I have discovered that the news you read is typically aligned with your belief of what resonates as truth. Having had several interactions with people on Twitter lately, I’ve found a very disturbing trend that I think is part of the problem. There are several people who have now blocked me on Twitter after accusing me of being a troll. Whether I’m a troll or not remains to be seen, it meant something different back in the day when I did online gaming. A troll on Twitter seems to be a person that disagrees with your viewpoint or opinion. Oh, were you waiting for a more detailed description or definition? Yeah, me too. My experience is that it has now become impossible to have a debate on Twitter with someone else since it has now become so easy to filter and block out anything or anyone that makes your opinion questionable. No wonder the online space has become so polarized and divisive.

Taking sources of news out of the picture for this paragraph, it would appear to me that a rogue report or stray tweet that seems legit based on the number of retweets and likes will often be taken as fact. Upon further scrutiny though, the report or stray tweet doesn’t hold up and replying as such to the originator of said tweet gets probably one or two volleys before you’re called a troll and summarily blocked. How can that be considered anything other than seeing the world through your own set of rose-colored glasses? Everything requires scrutiny, checking, re-checking. The scientific method is applicable to almost everything in that you can pose a hypothesis, develop a theory, test it, and repeat as often as needed. I ask myself the question “is this real?” as many times as articles and tweets I read. Two or three verifiable sources with multiple facts to back those sources, then checking the facts further generally will yield results that can be trusted. This of course takes time and patience, and as we all are aware, both are in short supply for the majority of the American public.

Now, turning the sites onto the news sources (mainstream media), there is a news source for every walk of life. News is published when there are people to consume it. A site like CounterPunch.org leans right. New York Times and Washington Post leans left. The truth I’ve discovered is that there isn’t any unbiased, non-left, non-right news source out there. They’re all slanted one way or another based on the audience they’re publishing the news for. If you’re aware of a news source that isn’t biased in any way, please share as I’m looking for something that is literally just the facts. As most of my news is typically op-ed’s, I have to take large swaths of time to make sure that what I’m reading is the truth. To share or not to share, that is the question?

No one is really right, or wrong. Technology has created this ideology of an information island. You surround yourself with people that think, feel, and express themselves in the same way. You congregate in blogs, forum groups, Twitter feeds and share news with each other that reinforces the beliefs of the group; in other words, self-reinforcing group-think. Those of us who find their way onto your information island that aren’t cut from the same grain, an anomaly in the matrix, a sneaker in a closet of wing tips; are properly dismissed and thrown to the sharks to find another information island to invade. What we’ve lost the ability to recognize is that in order to grow and learn as a people, we need to question the norm and listen to others that don’t agree with us. The founding fathers, I’m sure, had their detractors and enemies, but they persisted by working together to create the Declaration of Independence; eventually signed by everyone. Abraham Lincoln pushed The Emancipation Proclamation at a time when a war was being waged over the very subject of slavery. I know he had his detractors and enemies, but persisted by finding solutions that forced compromise on all sides for the greater good. The trend to reject a different idea or opinion because technology makes it easy is extremely troubling to me and something I make every attempt not to get sucked into.

I’m proud to follow In Saner Thought and John Liming’s Blog because they both have opinions, views, and ideas that more often than not differ from my own. Regardless of whether I choose to alter my view or not, I’m thankful for the opportunity to offer my own comments, receive comments in return, and in some cases we agree to disagree. That’s OK. We’re entitled to have disagreements and differences, that is truly what makes us such a remarkable species. No one is threatened, no one is fighting. Amazing what adults can accomplish when their minds are open enough to accept that we’re all different in our own ways. The news should be straight facts, like it used to be, so that we can discuss our views and opinions in a healthy manner without the threat of violence. That’s something we’ve started to lose on a scary scale.

#in-saner-thought, #mainstream-media, #news, #the-ripening-wanderer, #trolling, #trolls, #twitter

Being uninformed is not bliss

Inspiration: Media to Voters: Drop Dead, We’re Getting Hillary Elected

How can we fight this? The mainstream media has implied, we as voters, are stupid. Sheep following the Sheep Dog, obeying every nudge in the direction of the fenced corral that leads to slaughter. Mainstream Media (MSM) is now a juggernaut controlled by the will of a few people to manipulate what we see, read, hear, watch all over this country. Mountains of damning evidence has been posted to WikiLeaks (WL) in the past week with barely a mention on any of the major news networks or sites. This is what happens when the majority of MSM is owned by people with special interests and something to gain by selectively reporting on certain news to support their private positions.

For the last week, I’ve been reading CounterPunch and The Intercept several times a day. I’ve discovered, not to my surprise, that MSM has selected to report only on the information it receives and is approved to report on. Several WL emails released are literal proof that this is happening and is hard to ignore. CounterPunch more than anywhere else, is reporting news in a format that all MSM has lost the ability to or been prevented from doing. As an example, here is a listing of articles that have recently been posted to CounterPunch:

counterpunch

For contrast, here is Bing News and Google News:

bingnews

googlenews

What is unfortunate though, is that the majority of people who *do* end up going out to vote are typically the older generations of 50 and over. This group of people have traditionally received their news from newspapers (local and national) and the local news outlets (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, etc.). I’ve not seen a newspaper or watched local media for several years, so am far from an expert on what they’re choosing to report and broadcast. What I can observe are my parents, whom still get a daily paper and watch ABC primarily, spout off nonsense details that, to an informed individual, are obviously nonsense. Appeals to their individual intelligence supported by facts that can be proven go unanswered and unwavering support for a “lesser of two evils” candidate continues.

My real fear in all of this discovery, is that until a generation used to getting their news from print and local media outlets goes away, we’re going to continue down this path of monopolization. At what point do people finally decide to question whats going on and start to make a change? I’ve made my change, I’m questioning everything until I’m able to verify it from multiple sources. E.g., the “official” warning that claimed that the Podesta emails were forged and tampered, without proof to back that statement, is a flat-out manufactured LIE to deceive and divert a public to other stories. It was successful though, as you don’t see a single WL news link in anything from Google or Bing. My simple point here is that in order to change this MSM monopoly, enough people have to choose to NOT read what MSM is spewing. We have to choose to be informed and find news sources that allow that to happen.

The appeal I’m making is not focused on getting people to listen. Rather, its focused on getting people I know to just read a few articles on CounterPunch or The Intercept and then DECIDE for themselves if its worth their time to continue. Some do, some don’t. The ones that don’t, I stop trying. The ones that do, however, generally are open to some discussions that continue the conversation towards an informed consensus. What conversations are you having?

#clinton, #counterpunch, #mainstream-media, #news, #podesta, #the-intercept, #trump, #wikileaks

What a crappy Monday!

Today has been difficult for me, definitely a “down” type of day that has infected everything around me. It’s been a long time since I last had a day where it started off wrong from the moment my alarm went off. No matter what I’ve attempted to accomplish today, it’s gone sideways and ended up being much more effort to be expended to get things straight again. Coming off a great three-day weekend (had a friend’s wedding on Friday) where no one yelled, got angry, or fought about anything just to get rewarded with such a horrible Monday really does suck. Noises around me seem worse today the before, my typing is horrible and labored, have yet to have a meeting go well, and I keep fighting the urge to just go home.

The news was depressing at lunch and didn’t do much to make things better, although it was part of my routine that wasn’t upended today. Bombs, stabbings, rumors it is linked to terrorism….. WTH? I can’t shake the feeling that we’ve done this to ourselves, we’ve created a system that is ripe for this sort of violence. We’re a divided country and with that division, we’re too focused on what offends us to recognize what a massive target our country actually has become. Obama is a lame-duck, the government is gridlocked and hopelessly ineffective, the Fed is hinting at a rate hike (that I think is needed btw), yet all we’re worried about is how much gasoline is going to cost heading into the holiday season threatening our pervasive need to buy more stuff. It makes me sick. We want the quick fix, a miracle pill for the economy, all without the sting and pain that goes along with it. Don’t raise my taxes, but reduce the debt. Don’t spend so much on military, but protect us from evil-doers. Keep me safe, but don’t violate my privacy doing so. Grrr!

My pessimism can’t be hidden today. I’m angry at the system and the people who have been allowed, unchecked, to mold the system to their benefit. Only 3% of this country makes over $250,000/year (after tax deductions and loopholes that is) of reported income. Would I think differently if I suddenly started making $2-3 million per year? Perhaps. I’d much rather think that I’d be the outsider, the squeaky wheel, the one that polarized the 97% to recognize their power and start wielding it instead of ignoring it. Take all that pessimist energy, the “downs”, and channel it into something productive that normal Americans can get behind. How quickly things would get turned upside down and quickly fall apart when over 300 million people start pushing a common message. A message that tells the other 3% your time is up, easy money is gone, and they’re the ones footing the bill for our great economic recovery.

Has my day improved now having gotten this negative word vomit out? No. Has my pessimism been reduced a little? Yes. Do I hope that you are listening to me instead of just hearing me? Yes, definitely yes! A good saying, not sure who said it. “You can fill a bucket with drops or a torrent, the bucket still gets full. You can change Government one person at a time or with a country, the Government still changes.”

#depressed, #monday, #news, #politics, #power-of-change