Differing perspectives can elevate our comprehension of complex issues, but they can also drag us down into a pit of malevolence when discussion and debate are replaced by an unbending quest to convert or conquer.
It is understandable that we may not have time to fact check every story that pops up in the news. However, it is appalling that inflammatory or sensational stories are so readily and eagerly shared by people who are not the authors and have not taken the time to check the basic facts. As dismayed as slanted media makes me, I am more dismayed by the people willing to share stories that are more tabloid than news, more lies than truth. In an age of information, it is discourteous to pass on incorrect material – regardless of what political agenda you may think will benefit from a “bit of exaggeration.”
While many US citizens debate the issue of security versus privacy, they neglect to seek answers to the most important question? Is the US bureaucratic and military muscle doing the work of securing the nation or has it been outsourced to those whose loyalties lie in the $$$$ rather than the flag?
The following are some of the current discussions on the issue of outsourcing security and defense:
I just love it when a journalist tells it like it is… (see the link)
My favorite section was on the IRS and the difficult job they have. Like any other government branch, the IRS is made up of humans and humans often make bad decisions, especially when there are new or complicated policies to manage.
What I find most odd about this latest round of “scandal” is the comparisons being made between President Obama and President Nixon. Nixon was a tightfisted president when it came to decision making and oversight. He trusted few. Obama seems to trust many and seeks to let the professionals in each bureau run the day-to-day. This is what causes him so many problems – he trusts people to do their jobs.
Mistakes happen in every administration, that is a given. There has never been nor will there ever be a “perfect” president, not even ole George Washington himself was without flaws. Sometimes mistakes get reported, sometimes they don’t, and in some cases mistakes are covered up – hopefully in all cases mistakes are motivators for change and better training.
Mistakes will happen but if WE THE PEOPLE keep going on witch hunts and continue on a path of losing faith every time someone makes a mistake – including the people in the Oval Office and in Congress – then WE THE PEOPLE will be making the biggest mistake of all. Our lack of faith in our system is the greatest threat to our nation! When bad things happen, when mistakes are made, and when threats are not halted at our borders, instead of rallying we gnash our teeth and rend our clothes in anger over our governments failure. But our government is of the people and by the people. People make mistakes – some from good intentions and other from arrogance, but this is nothing new. The only thing new is the speed and volume of information availability. Mistakes now become public fodder even before they are fully investigated. Human mistakes!
Just as the laws are made to protect the common man, those same laws protect the common man who works for the government whether they be elected, appointed, or hired by a bureaucratic supervisor. During a witch hunt, would you voluntarily give up your right to remain silent? So why then would you expect any public servant or employee to give up that same right? Instant news and the public outcry that follows instant news do not negate the right to a fair hearing.
Seeking change, disagreeing with policy, disliking personalities – these things may direct your voting choice but they should not cause you to distrust those who are elected, nor should they cause you to lose faith in the system. During the election cycle there is much complaint about mudslinging and the lack of truth, but where is the outrage and disgust over such underhanded politically motivated tactics during the non-election cycle (if there is such a period anymore)? Hiding political agendas and mudslinging behind demands for transparency and demands for instant details is appalling. Even when mistakes are less mistake and more intended actions, the rights of individuals and the protection of innocents must be considered. Even a witch hunt targeted at one, may cause unintended casualties and unintended consequences. People make up our government and their lives and their freedoms COUNT!
In the days of old, the witch hunt often targeted innocents, and just as often ended up targeting the very people responsible for the witch hunt’s origin. When January 2017 rolls around, who will have survived this latest witch hunt unscathed? Will it be WE THE PEOPLE or will WE perish due to our own mistakes rather than from those we perceive made by others?
Is there a danger in supporting YOUR TEAM rather than supporting OUR Team? Have we lost the OUR NATION and become irrevocably divided in a contest of finding fault? Has history become only the Myths and Legends with which we batter and attack the opponent? Or can history still teach us something about the reality of human fallibility and the imperfect nature of trying to do our best and falling short of expectations? Can truth ever be found if we only see what we want to see, only hear what we want to hear, and only perceive what we already perceive?
Are we still trying to learn, grow, evaluate, and improve – or are we simply taking sides?
People keep talking about the ills of our government, about our liberties being at risk and about how bad the nation is now. But I really wonder how many of them have ever studied any history – real history, the kind that goes beyond even the freshman level American History course of most colleges. Before they spout off about the loss of rights, do they really do their very best to understand the basis upon which those rights were created or do they simply agree with the masses screaming foul?
I often wonder if the propaganda material of 1770s and 1780s is all the people of today know about and whether they understand that not all the Founding Fathers agreed on the propaganda. The one thing they did seem to agree upon was creating a Constitution that did not hem us in but rather grew with us, adapted as we adapted, and outlived the political rhetoric of any one generation.
Lastly, I wonder if the spouting masses of today have any real idea of how much compromise those Founding Fathers put into not just the Constitution, but into the governance which then had to follow in order to provide for the protections the Constitution promised. Or how many times it took the threat of war before they would step down from their soapboxes and agree to compromise.
Maybe it is our turn to set aside the soapbox and pick up a scholarly history book, one that challenges our notions rather than simply tells the mythical side of the story.
Whenever the media or friends discuss the war on Christmas these thoughts come to mind…….
I often wonder if “political correctness” is blamed for the decline in “Christmas” because Christians avoid looking at themselves and asking if they are teaching “Christmas” or teaching something else. It is easy to get fired up at the “attacks” but much harder to recognize that “Christmas” doesn’t just happen because you buy a tree and make cookies.
I really don’t think the lack of a nativity at the court house or public building will adversely affect my family, but the lack of one in my home certainly will. While it is sad to see public display of the holiday diminish, I do try to keep in mind that it is the traditions we make at home and share with our family and friends that count. I also remind myself that Hollywood’s version of Christmas is a rather new version and that the fundamentals of Christmas count more than how Hollywood defined Christmas to our parents and grandparents.
Whether I say Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, or Season’s Greetings, I am wishing a person the best. Christ is only removed from Christmas when I forget to include him in my life, not when others exclude him from theirs. I would hope I live in such a way that people will still know I am Christian even when I wish them Happy Holidays. If nothing else, I hope they at least see the kindness in me when I wish them happiness.
A wish of cheer, in any form, is the message that carries on even after the lights and the tinsel get packed away for another year. Christ will never be removed from Christmas as long as well-wishers genuinely wish each other glad tidings at least once a year. This is part of the magic of the season; this genuine wish for blessings and cheer to be the companion of others. The Bleak Midwinter is replaced by a White Christmas the moment when a genuine greeting brightens someone’s day.