“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. … What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”
This is the talk you might hear from some radical or religious cult. Turn off the TV, don’t read the paper. These are your enemies. You have to be very paranoid to think everyone is lying to you. But this is exactly what Trump said at a speech in Kansas City to the VFW annual convention on Tuesday.
My advice is to do just the opposite: Read, see and think. Compare opinions, ask questions and do your homework. Don’t stick with anyone. A lot is happening. Trump might not like it, but it is happening. I don’t know exactly which news story he was referring to: Scott Pruitt horrible record at the EPA or Ryan Zinke at the Interior, and their cozying up lobbyists instead of protecting the environment, the NATO and Helsinki summit messes or the progress in the Mueller investigation. Take your pick!
Reading means going beyond CNN. If fact, I like the BBC for more broad coverage. And news magazines like Time or Newsweek. You might find our that Trump is furious about comments made by three former intelligence leaders, John Brennan (CIA), Michael Hayden (National Security Agency) and James Clapper (National Intelligence Agency). Each of these three leaders, with long backgrounds in government service, has written a book, the latest one by James Clapper (Facts and Fears).
You might find out about how the White House barred a CNN journalist from the White House Press press briefing, and the strong criticism from the head of Fox News, Jay Wallace, for this action. This is very important, as a whole series of commentator deride the “liberal media,” at the very top, they understand the importance of media access. As discussed in the link below, something similar happened in the Obama administration with a Treasury Department press conference, and CNN refused to cover it unless Fox News reporter was allowed to attend.
I would plead with people to detach themselves from a rigid group mentality, so they can absorb ideas and political philosophies from both Republicans and Democrats. Each party claims to be fiscally responsible, but the track record (really up today) shows that our deficits rise, no matter if it is a Republican or Democrat.
I am not a loyalist to any party or platform. I spent 5 years working at a research center, which taught me the best researchers are great at asking questions, and thoroughly reading everything available on a topic. Critical thinking is hard work. You have to compare multiple sources of information and opinions.
I think the greatest people on this planet, are parents who congratulate their children whenever they ask questions. When a child extends questioning to both parents, and teachers, I think it’s time for parents to start a college fund.
I hope Americans read newspapers. I try to read 3 newspapers, one printed and two on the internet. I can’t compete with the oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffett, who reads five newspapers every day, beginning with the Omaha World Herald, which his company acquired in 2011. I got that tidbit of information from Wikipedia, which seems to be doing a terrific job of providing unbiased and well documented information.
My New York Times just arrived. Headline news: “Raging fire turns Yosemite into a ghost town.” Not fake news. Front page picture on the Times, is Half Dome at Yosemite, barely visible with all the smoke. . Also, “US and Europe ease trade feud”, outlining a deal (positive to Trump and EU leaders). Also, news commentary, “Cash flowing into Treasury starts to ebb,” and concern about rising deficits (negative for Trump). Just finished front page item, “Promising Alzheimer Drug attacks brain changes and symptoms.” Hope it works.
Real news means going to the source. In Chicago, reporter Pam Belluck was there at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference to listen and explain in non-technical terms how the new Alzheimer’s drug works, or really how it is intended to work. Is Biogen going to soar this morning? An Associated Press photographer, Noah Berger, shot the photo of the haze over the 38,000 acre fire obscuring the view of Half Dome
Going past the front page, on to international section. There is a heat wave in Japan, with peak temperatures going to 106 deg F, and 23,000 people have been hospitalized. Yes, I’m thinking global warming, and how the acting EPA administrator Andrew Wheeler should be sent their immediately. Shucks, there is no mention of global warming, just the grim facts of how miserable conditions are. Half the 23,000 people are over 65 years old (my group).
It was awful day in Paksong, Laos, as flooding and the bursting of a dam caused thousands to flee. This time, climate change was mentioned, by a group called International Rivers, which has opposed hydroelectric dams due to the unpredictability of extreme weather events.
Trump would rather people be apathetic and focus on golf and just believe how good he’s doing. No chance with me. Sorry, but it’s his pep rallies which are loaded with crap.
Listen, read, and think for yourselves. Please!
Wikipedia: Michael Hayden
Wikipedia: John Brennan