We’ve been neck-deep in propaganda season most of the year. Not only is it getting harder to tell fact from fiction from spin from nuanced interpretation — and it was never easy — it’s actually becoming a topic people no longer care about. Fake news is the new normal; as a nation, we’re growing accustomed to believing what we choose to and disregarding anything that doesn’t fit our preconceptions. The alternative would be to do our own fact-checking — and who has time for that?
With respect to the apparent suspension of the Writ of Habeas Corpus in Portland, Oregon over the past few weeks:
Members of the U.S. military (it is asserted) are rounding up and detaining uniformed protesters on the streets. This has been reported in Portland for some weeks now, and a few recent videos appear to demonstrate the truth of it. (more…)
It’s made the news — of course. It was designed to, the which itself is no news; Trump has long made a habit of doing something obnoxiously distracting on a divisive issue whenever it suits him. We, apparently knowing no better, follow right along with him.
Because this was so evidently staged, I’d planned to give the entire issue a miss. I mislike being manipulated. The topic is nothing I’m particularly expert at; moreover, it’s not a subject with which our society as a whole is even comfortable enough to have developed (more…)
The current national discussion on gun control is taking place between a large number of people, many of whom have differing levels of expertise with the use or identification of weapons. Many of those desiring greater restrictions on firearms are unfamiliar with them, which is entirely reasonable; firearms aficionados and collectors would be the most likely to educate themselves on the subject, whereas those who fear or mistrust them would be likely to avoid any contact with the weapons in question.
Unfortunately for the dialogue, this lack of expertise detracts from the credibility of those wanting change. Additionally, decades of intricate and confusing gun laws have muddied up the conversational waters even more. Since profitable discussion requires mutual respect, and since the subject is simple enough to learn, read on. (more…)