The Truth Is Not Always As It Seems

In the November issue of the Costco Connection magazine, there was an article by John McManus, a communication professor and longtime journalist. He is also the author of Don’t Be Fooled: A Citizen’s Guide to News and Information.

In the article, he made some points that I fully agree with and have even mentioned in other posts on this blog.truth

When faced with information claiming to be factual, consider:

  1. The source. Who is behind the message? Is the source independent (free of conflicts of interest)? Is the source an expert or experienced in relation to the topic?
  2. The motivation. Is it really informational or is it an attempt to sell something, someone, or a point of view? Many “persuaders” cherry-pick information to make their case, omitting relevant contrary information.
  3. The evidence. Does the information come from direct observation? Does it logically support the claims that are being made? Does it include/magnify heart-tugging anecdotes to make it more compelling?
  4. The contents. Is anything left out? Are inconvenient truths missing?

It doesn’t matter what your persuasion. Don’t believe everything you read or hear just because it validates your personal beliefs. Do the research. Learn the facts before you repeat the information. This is especially true when it comes to religion and/or politics.

Keep in mind that the “truth” is not always as it seems.

Politics is Just a Way to Make Money

moneyfallingIn the local paper, a gentleman wrote a letter that contained some very good points and, in my opinion, perfectly describes the current situation in our (U.S.) government.

Here are some excerpts:

Let’s stop pretending that this whole mess is President Barack Obama’s fault. This has been years building up.

It was years of inflation and the top taking whatever they wanted while controlling the government.

It has been years of special interest groups pushing through their agenda with money, oil companies making sure we are dependent on their product, tax breaks for corporations while they outsource millions of jobs every year. These groups, which are making record profits every year, are keeping us busy fighting between two parties while they make off like bandits.

Politics is now just a way to make money, not a way to help your nation.

He also urges people to research things for themselves and not just listen to your party’s beliefs because, when it comes down to it, both parties will change their beliefs for some cold hard cash.

I think few can deny that everything nowadays is about M-O-N-E-Y. And if it weren’t for the GREED of some, others might not be worrying about how to make their next house payment, put food on the table, and/or gas in the car.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. Do you?

Anyone But Obama! How About the Cookie Monster?

GREAT post about the incomparable Sarah Palin.

http://www.johnstaugustine.com/blog.html

NOTE: Unfortunately, this posting has been removed from the above blog. Not being a fan of Sarah Palin, for me it was a great post that highlighted her inability to reason out the issues with any kind of sanity. I’m sorry others no longer have the opportunity to read this example of John’s wit and sarcasm.

In the Matter of Abortion

The current political scene has (once again) brought the abortion issue to the forefront with the Religious Right loudly proclaiming their “Right to Life” mantra. (This time, they’re even sticking their noses into the use of contraceptives!)

Now they’re pushing for a nation-wide mandate that abortion providers perform an ultrasound on each woman seeking an abortion. This in itself is unnecessary (and costly, around $200) if the woman has made her decision, but they don’t stop there. They also want to require the provider to offer (encourage?) the woman an opportunity to view the image.*

Cal Thomas, syndicated columnist, recently asked this biased question: “Shouldn’t  abortion-seeking women see the life they are about to end?” (I get so frustrated with men sticking their noses into this issue!)

There are several reasons why a woman will choose to have an abortion. The following statistics come from the National Right to Life website:

  • Feels unready for child/responsibility – 25%
  • Feels she can’t afford baby – 23%
  • Has all the children she wants/Other family responsibilities – 19%
  • Relationship problem/Single motherhood – 8%
  • Feels she isn’t mature enough – 7%

From a woman’s point of view (the only one that counts), these are all valid reasons. After all, she’s the one who will be responsible for the major care of the child.

It’s been said that the recent anti-abortion comments made by certain Republican candidates are not “an attack on females.” Oh really? What do they call it?

I’m not going to get into the debate as to when a fetus becomes a ‘real’ human being. That’s way beyond my grade level – and, to my thinking, everyone else’s. But I will stand up for a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body. And no one – male or female – has the right to interfere.

*According to the Guttmacher Institute (a non-profit organization that works to advance abortion rights), seven states — Alabama, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, and most recently, Virginia — now have this mandate in force.

ADDENDUM – February 10, 2014

I just came across an excellent blog posting on abortion and God’s will. I urge visitors to check it out at this link. The same writer also wrote the following in another posting on the same subject.

So it’s pretty hard to assert that a developing organism within a womb is a separate human being until it is born and begins to form its own individual experiences of the world. Since men have no existential understanding of what it’s like to be pregnant, a man should not have any say on the issue of whether or not a woman has an abortion unless he is married to the pregnant woman and intends to offer financial and emotional support after the birth. Likewise, a woman should have no say on whether or not a man uses Viagra, unless she is his intimate partner.

“Liberty and Justice for All”

“One Nation, Under God, with Liberty and Justice for All.”

This is one of the most profound statements of intent ever penned. This may be considered the newborn’s cry of our nation. It encompasses so much about what mattered to the Founders, and about what still matters to us today. It is a statement about our unity, our inclusiveness, and our willingness to stand together. It pays homage to how important religion, and the freedom there of, was to our earliest citizens. Most importantly it is a powerful stand on the values of equality, liberty, and fairness … Read more here.

This blog posting (found on “A Point of Contention“) totally highlights how I feel about politics and religion. I urge both Christians and non-Christians to read it, giving it the respect it deserves.