Monday, May 30, 2022

Where do you get your information?

Gary asked, "Where do you get your information?"  He watches only MSNBC and CNN--two channels that pretend to be objective and fair, but repeat the Democrat party talking points, in my opinion.  That is a great question, however, something all librarians and teachers emphasize when teaching research skills. And it’s essential for him particularly to ask because so much of the news is infused with opinion, not research, and he spends a lot of time watching news from one viewpoint. His method is why librarians and teachers usually don’t accept “magazines” as a valid source when teaching research. Some won’t even accept an encyclopedia, which is a shame, in my opinion. I love encyclopedias, and most articles are signed. Not many people own the 11th, 12th, and 13th editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, but I do.

When I give an opinion, it’s that. Norma’s opinion. When I quote, I try to always cite the source, and my opinion may be learned from others over time, but by checking their sources. Dennis Prager’s recent tirade against Biden reflects mine, but I’ve followed Prager for years. He’s been on radio for 40 years, is Jewish, loves music, literature, politics, has great wisdom, and supports young conservative influencers like Candace Owens, Will Witt and Charlie Kirk who have gone on to their own careers. Pager was anti-Trump in 2016—converted to a fan when Trump accomplished conservative goals of lower taxes, less government control, border security, cutting red tape, best friend Israel had, priorities for prison reform, etc.

My opinions are primarily built on my values, even if I don’t think about it. Christian, anabaptist, conservative fiscally, formed by the region I’ve lived in (Midwest U.S.), the language I speak, race/culture, college education, and career. However, my entire life I’ve been pro-life, even before I understood the science and politics of taking the life of a baby in the womb. Even in second grade, I remember thinking evolution was ridiculous and anti-science, because yes, evolution was being taught as truth at Forreston elementary in the 1940s. I learned to pretend I learne it, to answer the questions on the tests correctly, and not rock the boat. I love science—and I see my values about creator/created confirmed every day, especially astronomy and all the “new” critters found at the bottom of oceans. Love that stuff!

When it is rate, number, percentage, average, median, year, I am usually relying on a government or academic source (since academics have government grants it’s hard to know where one stops and the other begins). I always keep in mind those sources also have biases because they are collected and published by humans. For instance, after 2008, certain crime sources just disappeared. After certain years, census sources changed—for instance, additional groups or races were added or divided. What was called white was changed to create Asian or Hispanic (a made-up word that includes hundreds of cultures). Biracial white/black/Asian/Mexican/Cuban/Indian is almost always considered black—probably a carry over from segregation days. It's my impression that liberal/progressive sources are more likely to refer to numbers rather than rate. Most confusing (on purpose) is the writer moving from rate to number to percentage in the same article. For instance, violent crime may have black aggressors 8x the rate of whites, but because white criminals outnumber blacks due to the population, liberal sources will site numbers more often in crimes. You may have to go to the last paragraph or a graph/chart to see percentage or rate.

Over time, I’ve learned when there is a horrific tragedy like last Wednesday in Uvalde, Texas, the tsunami in 2005, or the Louisiana hurricane in 2006, or the strange conflicting figures for the 2020 vote, it may take years to sort out or find the truth. I’ve heard three versions by Saturday of how police acted/reacted to the Uvalde tragedy. Without even listening to the news we know there will be the anti-gun bills and the safety bills. We know Democrats will be anti-2nd amendment and the Republicans will focus on SRO, more cameras, better training.

For some reason, Gary often sites David Duke, a has-been, colorful Democrat, from many years ago, sometimes because he was a southerner, and that was the party of hate he grew up with, the party that held blacks back with various Jim Crow laws, and now do it with money from government programs. He’s really a creation of the media, unlike Antifa, which actually did roam city streets, who were well-educated, rich white supremacists, who covered their faces with hoods, who did burn down buildings, and had clout. When I was a Democrat I certainly didn’t associate my party with Duke, just as I don’t associate any Democrats I know with Antifa.

But Democrats do get in a rut.  They are very suceptible to "progressive" ideas and fall for the socialist clap-trap. They actually believe if we hand more money over to the government, it will be used for whatever purpose they claim.  Republicans have spaghetti spines and no balls, to stick with the body language. 

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