Everyone is entitled to an opinion. We all have different ideas about how things should be done: however, I firmly believe those opinions need to be grounded in reality.
I will admit, it is hard to determine what is authentic, and worthy of our attention as fake news, “alternative facts,” innuendos, myths, rumors, lies, and straight-up deception proliferate, and bombard our senses, through our personal news feeds.
Beware! Propaganda is the largest and most dangerous form of manipulation. The masses are not always (read: rarely) right. They are all sheep, ebbing and flowing with the tide of public sentiment.
Be skeptical! I will argue that within any big story the facts have been distorted with just enough bias to control an ardent reaction to the issues. Yes, even the reputable news agencies rig the narrative, through sophisticated and calculated language choice and evocative images, to create that all-important emotional response and disguise their true intent.
Dig deeper! Study history! (No, not the fairy-tale version that was written by the victors and celebrated every year.) Probe the side stories! Be willing to research the rest of the tale – the part that was left out because it did not serve their intended purpose. And, as Woodward and Bernstein famously reminded us, while they investigated Watergate – always, always, always follow the money!
To be absolutely clear in my assertions: ignorance (herd mentality), greed, and laziness, combined with a bombastic attitude, used to flaunt bigoted hostility towards various groups (ethnic, political, LGBTQ, religious, etc.) within the human race, is not only ugly, but it is also downright dangerous.
As an autonomous individual, yes, absolutely, your opinion is important and should be heard. Nevertheless, if you have not taken the time to unravel the details, and, as a result, spout misinformation, as well as your contempt and prejudice, do not be surprised when you ultimately end up being on the unsound, and, straight-up, wrong side of an issue, and, in time, history.
Yes, I have finally returned from my multi-pronged, month-long summer adventures. The last leg being at my brother's farm in Vermont to help plant his inaugural hemp crop.
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