Fact Checking the Fact Checker

As the influence over viewers’ opinions declines, the efforts by liberal news outlets to disguise their bias and hold onto their power over public opinion increases. Perhaps the most popular of these bias disguises is the use of segment titles; such as ‘fact check’ or ‘truth check.’ These segments typically open with a statement as if it were a fact and proceed to present their ‘evidence’ to either support or discredit their opening statement. Most of these segments end with a graphic illustrating some sort of rating such as stars or Pinocchio noses or some such device. With the analysis completed and given credibility by the rating system, the host typically signs off using their most distinguished voice and signature phrase.

A recent example is from the Denver Fox affiliate. The segment was titled “Truth Check: Fact checking Bernie Sanders’ latest Colorado ad.” True to the template the host opens by stating the purpose of the segment is to pursue the truth of the content of a political ad of Bernie Sanders in which he makes several derogatory statements about the President. As viewers we are supposed to believe we are being told the underlying truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…

But there is a very real difference between truth and truthful. A detailed explanation of these differences can be read here.

The Fox affiliate ‘analysis’ of Mr. Sanders’ claim that the Trump presidency is the most corrupt in history begins by acknowledging that Trump was impeached. That of course is true. But the reporter ignores the truth that the real corruption of the impeachment was by those who first created a false narrative, lied to a federal court to process their attack on the President and then ignored every precedent of law to push through a vote on articles which didn’t even include a law allegedly broken. And of course the vote was totally political. After more than 2 years and over $30 million taxpayers’ dollars spent investigating, there in fact was no corruption whatsoever associated with the President.

Then after acknowledging that Mr. Sanders’ statement is subjective and can’t technically be proven, the host adds that several associates of the President’s face prison time. But not one of those associates was ever even accused of any crime associated with the President. The segment goes on about some pardons and throws in a name as if there was any association of those convictions to the President.

The “Truth Check” of this segment is that its dishonesty can be discovered if the whole truth can be revealed.

Education Crisis in the House

With the media intent on covering the activity in Washington surrounding the conflict between the President and the Democratic Party, we are being given an opportunity to witness our government leaders unfiltered as they take their turns in the spotlight. But is this a good thing for many of them?

Remember the House Armed Services Committee hearing in 2010 concerning the U.S. military installation on the island of Guam? Hank Johnson (D,GA) said to Admiral Robert F. Willard, Commander of U.S. Pacific Command, “My fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize”.

That comment would have been comical if Johnson had not proceeded it by commenting about the overall dimensions of the island and then stating he didn’t know what those worked out to so he ask the admiral if he recalled how many square miles there were to Guam.

Johnson’s moronic comments made entertaining media for a few days; much like his comments about imagining a world without balloons during a debate over renewal of funding for defense department helium. But while he continues to win reelection and serve in the house, he is no longer alone in making a fool of himself by trying to sound intelligent while arguing in support of destructive, corrupt or simply stupid new government programs. So sad!

Regardless of your position for or against the President, if you have the ability to read and understand above elementary school level, you have to be concerned for the quality of our government after 50 years of decline of U.S. education. During these past few days, the number of representatives who very clearly demonstrated their lack of understanding of the Constitution was seriously disturbing. These are our government leaders. Yet they speak with such poor grammar they would be admonished by every one of my long since retired middle school teachers; including shop teacher Mr. Rose.

One representative addressing Obstruction of Congress was trying to sound intelligent by using the standard practice of speaking slowly and occasionally pausing as if to be thinking ahead. What she was attempting to explain was how the Constitution identifies the 3 branches of government as “co-equal”. Her comments tell us she has no understanding of the meaning of the English language word “equal”. Additionally, she demonstrated no knowledge of the history of the United States regarding the relationships the three branches have had for over 200 years. And most importantly she isn’t aware of the constitutional process for resolving disputes. Her ignorant rhetoric is widely accepted as intelligent on one side of the aisle that divides the House into two main party groups. So sad!

The proof of the depth of such widespread ignorance is in the fact that during this three-and-a-half year drama the majority party leadership have chosen to refuse to join the President in asking the third branch to rule one way or another. Although these inter-branch disputes have historically been resolved by the constitutionally outlined process, this Congress simply decided they were more “equal” than the Administration, therefore whatever Congress ordered, the Administration must do. Otherwise – according to one political party – the President is Obstructing Congress. So wrong and so sad!

footnote: For those who dislike the President, this article is only intending to point out the ignorance on display in the process. It is constitutionally within the powers of Congress to impeach a President for any “crime” they should choose. The problem in this case is that there is no such crime as “obstruction of Congress” by either the judicial or administration branches. They are co-equal by design – for a reason!

Grateful for Impeachment?

We should be thankful for the impeachment process. Without the light of attention shining into the dark chambers of those who have created a fourth and powerful branch of government, we may not have discovered the serious threat to freedom of these unaccountables. Moreover, we are only now beginning to understand the power to control so much of our government and our lives these bureaucrats have created for themselves.

Because of the availability of so many media outlets, it is extremely difficult to understand the extent of ignorance by so many Americans about what has happened and is happening in Washington, DC. with regards to the, so far, non-violent attempt to overthrow our constitutional representative democracy. The impeachment activity is not the issue. The issue is: now that more and more of us are aware of the degree to which these bureaucrats have incorporated themselves and the extreme efforts they will undertake to protect their power, how do we “drain the swamp” ?

No question that the selective broadcasting of only the anti-Trump speeches in the hearings by so much of the media is partially responsible for the plague of ignorance affecting nearly half the population. No doubt the impeachment will continue to be reported as the lead story by much of the old established media. But when the process is finished, regardless of the outcome, if the subversive forces responsible are not exposed and held accountable, the peaceful transfer of power in America by the will of the people will be the ultimate loss.

We know the facts about how impeachment came about. We know the truth about some of those responsible; but not all!

Whether your team wins or loses, there is nothing to celebrate if the “swamp” isn’t drained.

Timeline to the 2nd Civil War

Before the rise of the Romans, scholars of the Etruscan period recognized a pattern of human behavior wherein a major crisis occurred coincidentally with the end of the lifespan of a generation. This time span of roughly 80 years was named saeculum. As we read the now infamous and quite comical Democratic Party – invitation only – Articles of Impeachment, it might help to identify this activity as the end of another saeculum in America’s history.

We are now roughly 80 years from the crisis of World War Two. That great crisis was roughly 80 years from the 1st Civil War, which itself was roughly 80 years from the American Revolution. Are you beginning to see the pattern now?

Former state Senator Greg Brophy recently presented his thoughts at a GOP breakfast on the importance of the 2020 election by comparing it to the 1864 election of Lincoln. While we are not yet engaged in armed conflict as was the case in 1863, it is undeniable that the political, social and desired economical paths for the United States has the country as divided as it was in 1860.

The very idea that more than 4000 people liked this obvious display of hatred for anything indicative of success and free market competition illustrates the depth of division in America today.

Before Strauss and Howe wrote Generations in 1991, Ronald Reagan warned us that freedom is always only one generation away from extinction. Since America is the last stronghold of freedom on Earth, if socialism emerges as victorious over freedom from the currently simmering crisis here, freedom will face total extinction around the world.

If life has only 12 years left due to man-made climate change, some might not care to engage in the preservation of freedom. But those us who have experienced the value of freedom may choose to fight to be free to live out our last few years in pursuit of happiness.

Socialism compared to Cooking Frogs

As more and more young Americans object less and less to Socialism, the truth about this failed ideology as a political system needs to be exposed. Perhaps more importantly, the influence of communism in the modern Democratic Party needs to be illustrated with real world examples of today; not the fading lessons of the defunct U.S.S.R. and Nazi Germany.
Recently a newly formed organization gathered speakers in Loveland. All had immigrated to the United States from Socialist / Communist countries and they came together to tell their stories of life under socialism.
While they varied in backgrounds, age and years in America, their stories of poverty, hunger and, worst of all, the despair they escaped were poignant. A common thread connecting their experiences was their education as youths.
Education focused on indoctrination is the key to the expansion of socialist ideas. And the process is slow. One of the speakers compared the decline of education and growth of socialism to the story of cooking frogs by first dropping them into comfortable cool water and gradually heating it to boiling. It is believed the frogs never understand what’s happening until it’s too late. Is that what happened in America?

Is there a lesson here for us? In 50 years the education in the United States has gradually fallen from the best in the world to struggling to be in the top 30. During those same decades the Great Society outlined by Democratic President Lyndon Johnson gained momentum as social programs gave more and more benefits while government gained more and more control over our lives.
Today we face government gaining control of every aspect of our lives. And the Democratic Party candidates for President are comfortable proclaiming they promote more socialism – not less.

Socialism Advanced by Schools

The speakers were all immigrants from socialist countries. All had fled to America, to freedom! All of them still had family in their birth country. They had come together in the small crowded room in the basement of this church to tell us their stories. Stories that differed because of their ages and family status in their native countries. Yet regardless of when or where they had left their birth countries, regardless of how old they were or when they came to America, each of them had come to the church this evening to explain to us the truth about life under socialism. And make no mistake, to those of us who are old enough to have seen communism in its undisguised years, to see people shot and killed for tying to escape over the wall from East Berlin, to see it before it was rebranded in our schools as socialism – or worse, the modern American Democratic Party – what these new Americans were describing was frightening.

While the stories varied from Cuba under Fidel Castro, Venezuela under Hugo Chavez, to corruption so prevalent in Peru that three ex-presidents are under indictment and the current Congress has been suspended by the current President who himself has been suspended by that same Congress calling for impeachment. All the while Peruvian’s distrust of the politicians has reached the boiling point. Does that sound familiar?
Despite their varied origins, despite the fact they came from different countries, despite the difference in names assigned to their various governments and leaders, the results were always the same; poverty and despair and starvation. People suffer with diseases that could be cured and are easily prevented in other nations where the government doesn’t control every aspect of the healthcare system.

While universal poverty, lack of medicine and nutritious food are undeniable results of socialism, how does a nation fall prey to such an obviously failed ideology? The answer to that question is the common thread that ties each story to every other. That universal connection is the government control of the children through schools that indoctrinate not educate. Schools where history is rewritten to exaggerate the attraction of socialism and the suffering of the working class under Western democracies. From free daycare to free college, a government monopoly of the curriculum guarantees socialism will prevail over time. Indoctrination like this takes time. The rise of socialism isn’t usually an overnight transformation like a violent revolution. And even in the cases of revolution such as in 1959 Cuba the underlying motivation to follow and install a Socialist leader takes time. The promise of a life of comfort being insured by the State is an easy sell to the most ignorant, the impoverished, the laziest and, sadly but most importantly, the most trusting: school children.

Two of the speakers recalled similar memories of being required to spend their Sunday marching in youth parades to show the love they had for Fidel Castro. Going to church was not permitted. These parades started early and lasted all day. In contrast to the youth parades in Cuba were protests in Venezuela. But instead of the marchers being filmed for propaganda to show the success of the Socialist society, those who demonstrated opposition to Hugo Chavez were subjected to severe punishments.

Today in Cuba diabetics die from lack of insulin. Infants die in filthy hospital rooms where simple disinfectants are unavailable. Food and medical supplies are stopped at the borders of Venezuela to prevent the weakening of the government’s control over every aspect of the citizens’ lives. And these are only two of the unlimited number of examples the people escaping from socialist countries can recount.

Many in the audience were folks who remember hiding under our school desks during nuclear attack drills. Yeah, we really did that! Others could understand how terms like “cold war” and “ mutually assured destruction” effected daily life. But clearly our generation has failed to be vigilant over our youth as evidenced by polls indicating a majority of young voters have little to no objection to Socialist policies. Worse still, our lack of awareness of what has been happening in our schools is now translating into votes for openly socialist political candidates. Most haven’t won yet but time is running out for freedom. The “one generation” Ronald Reagan warned us about may be about to assume real power. Since the late 1960’s America’s education ranking has fallen until today our students no longer rank among the top 30 developed countries. Ignorance is a valuable tool for socialists.

But the question from the young folks was; how does any of this affect me here in Colorado?

Recently, Colorado has followed California’s examples of socialist policies in far too many instances. The tyranny demonstrated by the vengeance-motivated Democratic party ruled legislature this past session is a warning shot to let those who have the audacity to oppose their leadership will be punished or driven out of “their” state. Perhaps there is no better example in the world than the overwhelming citizen opposition to proposition 112 in the election of 2018. Yet the citizens’ loud and clear voices were completely ignored as the Democratic legislators immediately demonstrated their disdain for the citizens’ who would dare to question their desires to shut down the oil and gas industry in “their” state.

But the example here is not that the legislators believed they had the duty to reverse what they decided was the wrong decision by the voters. The example here is that those same legislators then claimed to be supporting “democracy” by joining a movement to eliminate the electoral college system and thereby support the popular vote system for electing the President. These two actions are oxymoronic. The very idea that a popular vote supporting an issue the Democrats controlling the government didn’t like had to be overturned is in direct conflict to the same idea that a President should be elected by only a small geographic section of the country where the concentration of population is easier to convince to support Socialists.

Conflicting Training creates Confusion

The images are too familiar: students parading away from their school in single file with hands raised as heavily armed ‘peace’ officers shout orders to keep eyes straight ahead. The process behind these scenes has been taught and practiced so regularly that when one of these horrific events actually occur the officers respond almost autonomously.

So it is that while police departments review their performance after incidents like we saw recently in south Florida, a conflict is widening between the way schools and law enforcement are preparing and training for one of these mass attack events. Seconds are critical. The actions of responding officers are tempered to divide their attention three different ways. Don’t misunderstand. Unlike the students and staff who may find themselves directly in the line of fire and survival is their only immediate focus, officers responding from the outside have time to consider what they will be facing “inside” the situation. These men and women have every right to take a few moments to suit up in protective gear, call for activating special teams and roll in the heavily armed vehicles. Understandably responding officers are trained to prepare for the possibility that any one or more of the people coming toward them may turn out to be an assailant. This is the reason they are trained to approach the outbound crowd with intent to gain and maintain control.

In contrast to the training and practice of the responding officers, students and staff are not afforded the opportunity to suit up in protective armor. They don’t have the luxury of time to gather as a team and discuss their response tactics. Very few staff and virtually none of the students have portable communication systems capable of instantly informing multiple recipients simultaneously. Possibly the only mass signal of value is the sound of gunfire. The students and staff suddenly confronted with a life-threatening situation simply need a different plan than that of responding officers. And more and more school systems are realizing that their plans – born of the obvious – must be designed to reduce the targets of opportunity for the attacker(s).

Students huddling in a classroom simply create a larger target without protection. This is why more and more school districts emphasize and train the system known as “run, hide, fight.” Run is obvious and the first choice – but it very clearly contradicts the orderly evacuation mandated by well-meaning responding officers. Hiding is only effective if the hiding place is not easily discovered. A large group can not hide together and a locked classroom door is very temporary at best against an armed intruder.

And so the last choice becomes the best and possibly only chance to reduce the number of casualties. Fighting back against an armed attacker who is probably nervous, has little or no experience in life or death confrontations, and most probably has some instinct to survive, is not nearly as dangerous as it may initially seem. Something as simple as a book or a chair thrown toward the attacker isn’t going to permanently stop the attack, but it may well buy enough time to escape – run!

Run, hide, fight. If “run” is the first option, “fight” may very possibly the best option to create the opportunity to run. The situation might seem out of control to the incoming responders. Armed responders need to be retrained to be on the same page as those who they currently see as an out of control crowd. Then they can focus on getting out of the way instead of creating an organized line of targets like ducks at a shooting gallery. Of course the very best and most effective way to reduce the number of deaths and casualties by a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. It is time to stop these criminal-safe zones and allow teachers and staff to choose to be armed and ready to protect our children.

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Were the Founding Fathers so thoughtful as to anticipate Dark Matter?

The process by which government could create laws and indeed the scope of where and how government can interfere with liberty was considered enough of a priority that the Constitution addressed the issue early and often. Article one section one defined the legislative Powers and delegated them to Congress.  Additionally, Revenue bills were designated as exclusive to the House of Representatives with the Senate being authorized to “propose or concur on Amendments as on other bills.”  Furthermore, if a bill was approved by the house and then debated and approved by the senate, it required the signature of the President before it could become a law which then and only then allowed the government to collect the Revenue.

By being so specific about how the government was to be permitted to raise Revenue, it is possible to argue the founding fathers may well have anticipated that as government grew there might be the possibility of the government generating Revenue by enforcing regulations created by unelected bureaucrats. These regulations – which never meet the Constitutional measure of a law – have become so pervasive in our everyday lives they are now commonly referred to as “Dark Matter” created by the “deep state.”

“The problem with regulatory dark matter is that it allows the executive branch of our government to rule sectors of our economy through mere announcements, rather than actual lawmaking or even proper rule-making,” states Clyde Wayne Crews Jr of the Competitive Enterprise Institute1.  Crew attempts to explain the extent of what he calls “lawlessness” in his analysis.

The extent of Dark Matter became headlines recently when President Obama signed some 1500 pages of such regulations on his last day in office.  And almost immediately following his inauguration, President Trump signed an executive order2 intended to eliminate thousands of existing executive orders as he took the first steps toward restoring the rule of constitutional law and reigning back the power and size of the federal government.

But Trump’s order that requires two existing regulations be revoked for each new one only scratches the surface. A major study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute revealed that not even congress understands the full scope of Dark Matter. The Federal Register list more than 440 federal regulatory agencies3, but a Daily Mail article posted March 14, 20174, says there is no finite number as to the number of agencies operating with so-called federal authority.

Not only is the number of agencies unknown, the total number of their rules and regulations can’t even be estimated to any degree of certainly. The federal government is estimated to issue approximately 3000 new regulations every year. The 2016 estimate of Obama administration regulations exceeds 2850: a ratio of 18 regs to each 1 law passed in accordance to the Constitution.

  1. https://cei.org/content/mapping-washington%E2%80%99s-lawlessness-2017
  2. http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/30/trump-signs-executive-order-slashing-regulations-biggest-our-country-has-ever-seen/#ixzz4bJTIz02d
  3. https://www.federalregister.gov/agencies
  4. http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/14/agencies-use-regulatory-dark-matter-to-skirt-trumps-reforms/

Truth vs Truthful in the Un-Fake News

Is there a difference between a true statement and a truthful one? For decades we have all watched as lawyers and politicians dissected words into such literal meaning that we finally reached the point of being told by a United States President that different groups might well have different meanings for a word as small as “is.” It was September 13, 1998, when President Bill Clinton told a grand jury he hadn’t been lying because, “It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.” And many would argue that was the final crashing blow to honesty in the public media.

Today the news media has perfected the art of extruding the meanings of words to create impressions designed to mislead their audience in whatever direction leads toward their ideological position. Moreover, when the writer doesn’t possess enough command of the language to deflect a story with word meanings alone, the popular tactic has become simply distorting the truth by scattering a few false details to an otherwise true story or using the headline to create the first impression.

To illustrate that method, consider the following event:

A colorful city commissioner who’s policies were opposed by the local newspaper was walking through his neighborhood when he came upon a house on fire. As he approached he heard the moaning of the elderly gentleman who had fallen near the front door. The commissioner managed to force open the door and drag the nearly unconscious victim to safety. When the fire department arrived firemen made the victim comfortable and called for an ambulance while the auxiliary team offered the exhausted commissioner coffee and a doughnut.

The next day’s headlines read:

Commissioner Relaxes with coffee and donuts while neighbor’s house burns

Regardless of how accurate the paper reports the rest of the story, the headline has served its purpose – malign the commissioner. The paper then avoids reporting why the commissioner was even on the scene until at least the second paragraph. This insures fewer readers and gives the writer additional opportunity to invoke his opinion into the article mis-catagorized as news.

If or when someone complains on behalf of the commissioner the paper gets a second news cycle from the original headline by very easily making the case that the headline was true. They may even have a photo of the commissioner with a cup of coffee sitting in the yard of the burning house. The follow-up story defending the original headline (ie the article) then has the added benefit of discrediting a supporter of the commissioner and “proving” the paper is factual and – by implication – truthful. The fact is that it is true, just not truthful.

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