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What ever happened to honesty in our country?

Uploaded: Mar 9, 2020
Whatever happened to honesty in America. Is lying – or relying on so-called “alternative facts” becoming more acceptable? Why?

The honesty issue has been troubling me of late, because not only do we, the people, seem less concerned, but also nonchalant about boastful mistruths made daily, especially by politicians.

Case in point: The NYT reported last week that an official at the Interior Department embarked on a campaign that has inserted into the agency’s scientific reports misleading language about climate change – including debunked claims that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is beneficial. The misleading language appeared in at least nine reports so far, the NYT investigation showed, including environmental studies and impact statements on major watersheds in the West. The effort was led by Indur M. Goklany, a longtime Interior employee, who has been promoted by the Trump administration to review the agency’s climate reports. The wording, known as “Gok’s uncertainty language,” inaccurately claims that there is a lack of consensus among scientists that the Earth is warming. The final language in one of his reports inaccurately states that some scientists have found the Earth to be warming; others have not.

According to NASA, multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that Earth’s climate is warming, and that the warming trends are extremely likely due to human activities.

Okay, that’s one small example of government lying to us. Need I add that according to the Washington Post fact checkers, Trump made 16,421 false or misleading during his first three years as president. And that number was before the coronavirus ever appeared on the American scene, with the president continuing to say to us this week that the virus is under control and any American can get tested for coronavirus, which isn’t true.

Not a good role model for presidential truth telling. Remember, long ago George Washington cut down a cherry tree and then readily admitted he did it because could not tell a lie to his parents. How refreshing, if the tale is true.

Now that we are in the midst of the presidential primaries, lies and cover-ups have been popping up all over the place. Each candidate, I suppose, is just trying to paint the best self-portrait, and hoping that voters don’t catch their exaggerated slip-ups.

A couple of years ago, comedian Stephen Colbert labeled all this “truthiness” -- the quality of a statement seeming or being felt to be true, even if not necessarily true. We laughed about it at the time, but it’s become more operative in our society -- except it’s much more than truthiness now – oftentimes it is just plain lying.

And it happens locally. One city council candidate suggested that she didn’t really want more growth in Palo Alto, that she wanted us to carefully monitor new developments n our community. I took that to mean slow and controlled growth. Since she was elected, she’s very pro-growth in housing and in commercial development. I’ve seen mayors and city managers give brief reports so that their city “looks good.” That’s better, they think, than telling the truth to the public. I’ve seen city officials hold off for months – sometimes years – releasing investigatory results to the public.

And interpersonally, what we believe has become the new truth. My son has a business friend who told him, “Well, I can’t agree with you, because I feel differently, and, therefore, I know I am right. You have to respect what I feel.” My son replied, “I respect what you feel, but you are factually wrong.” And his friend replied, “So what?”

Isn’t the truth better than lies? I care about truth, probably you do too, but many Americans don’t seem too anymore. What is happening? Are our “feelings” preempting our factual knowledge? Are we losing our sense of morality – i.e., lying and cover-ups are becoming okay? Are you worried?
We need your support now more than ever. Can we count on you?

Comments

 +   22 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 9, 2020 at 5:38 pm

It is a sunny and dry day today.

Alternative Fact - It is not raining today.

There are always different ways of looking at the same situation. I know that this is not exactly what you are talking about but there are times when we really have to look at both sides of a difficult situation. A glass is both half empty and half full. Both are completely accurate facts. If you are pleased about the fact that there is still something left in the glass for you to drink then that is good news. If in fact you are thirsty and have just spilled some of the water in your glass, you might be unhappy about the water being wasted rather than pleased about the fact that there is still some left.

Lying is a very awkward phrase to use when it comes to politics. You use some technical situations which I am not familiar enough with to be able to comment. However, I will say that deliberate deception is never acceptable, but there are times that the way the question is asked can make a very different answer to a similar question asked another way.

I am not trying to defend anyone. But it is often not as cut and dried as one may think.


 +   28 people like this
Posted by Charles, a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 9, 2020 at 6:58 pm

You throw out lies like it is the truth in your article. The WaPo is anti Trump at the top level. To even believe that number is incredible to a reasonable person.All politicians lie as Did Obama about Heathcare and all during his time in office. That number is a stupid make up number for people like you to shout out to everyone like minded.

Why dont you stop your lying and report you hate Trump and all he stands for. Remember we are just ignorant people . It always amazes me how people like you think how right you are no matter what the facts state.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:39 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

> "According to NASA, multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree that Earth's climate is warming, and that the warming trends are extremely likely due to human activities."

This claim doesn't rise to the level of "truthiness", but yet it persists.
Basic skepticism should tell you that it is false:

1. 97% is an absurdly high number for any claim in this category.

2. Supposedly "multiple studies" came up with the same number, despite using different sample space, different methods and for different years. For any such result to be largely invariant is highly implausible (euphemism for "fraudulent").

3. The reader should question how they came up with a representative sample set. If you have been following the polling for the Democratic Presidential candidates, you should notice the wide range of results from polls taken at roughly the same time. Nate Silver became famous for weighting (handicapping) the results from various polling organizations to produce a composite that was often more reliable than any of them.

4. The imprecision of the claim, especially "extremely likely due to human activity". How much of the warming trend is needed to qualify? 50%? 1%? 99%?

The original 97% claim was shown to be "junk science" shortly after it was published, as were the various follow-ons.
For example, Kendall Zimmerman (2009, U Illinois): From a self-selected set of over 3000 scientists, 160 self-reported as "climate scientists", and of these 79 published more than half of their peer-reviewed publications were on climate. Of this group, 77 agreed that human activity was a "significant contributing factor" to warming (no threshold). 77 of 79 = 97.47%

Other studies have searched for key phrases in the abstracts or the full papers of various climate conferences. The vast majority of papers were excluded from the reported sample set, rather than being reported as "unknown" in the results. This "cherry-picking" was not called out by the survey's authors.

QUESTION: Is this patently fraudulent claim being repeated by so many authorities for so many years a symptom of the "truthiness" problem? Or might it be a contributing factor to the severity of the problem?


 +   30 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 6:21 am

mauricio is a registered user.

What happened to honesty? Look at who our President* is-A serial liar and scam artist who lies each time he opens his mouth. What did you expect?


 +   32 people like this
Posted by ahhh, the sore loser, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 6:55 am

> All politicians lie

Ahhhh, bothsiderism at it's finest. Trump has 16,000 documented LIES. All you've got is "you can keep your doctor" (not even addressing the fact that insurance companies have forced me to change doctors a half dozen times.)

Find you safe space where you can hide from the truth of Trump's lies ("anyone that wants a test can get one", "we'll have a million test kits ready (last week)" but only shipped 70,000, etc...

The biggest moment was the Reagan/GOP lying about trickle down, and it was all downhill from there. (Also - Reagan: my heart tells me it's true, but facts tell us different")

Thanks, Diane.


Last: Cen-sore the Denier uses 400 words to claim that 94% is not 97% (note he himself cherry picks one report.) All this from the one who quotes highly questionable sources - from a bogus denier site (see Sherry's thorough put-down of it) through James O'Keefe.

Sigh. Some things never change. Sad.


 +   19 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 8:39 am

Look at this another way.

Why are people like Tony Heller, Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Praeger, and others "no-platform" victims? These are individuals who are not being allowed to give their points of view.

Free speech often means hearing something with which you do not agree. Free speech by definition should be left to the individual to ascertain whether their arguments stand up to critical and opposing opinion. Why are so many people protesting these people when they have never listened to, or read, anything these people produce without anything other than disliking opposing points of view to the liberal left wing norm?

What is so dangerous about independent thought? What is so dangerous about like minded people discussing moderate views? What is wrong allowing people to make up their own minds on issues without being prevented? How come the liberal left cannot stand others not agreeing with them?


 +   45 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:24 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Trump lies about coCvid-19 are staggering, even for a compulsive liar like him.

“I think that whole situation will start working out, we're very close to a vaccine."

"“The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA,"

"“We're really down to probably about 10," Trump told reporters, when the actually number was already much higher.

TRUMP: "The Obama administration made a decision on testing that turned out to be very detrimental to what we're doing. And we undid that decision a few days ago so that the testing can take place in a much more accurate and rapid fashion."

Fact, It's a complete lie that an Obama-era rule limited laboratories run by companies, universities, and hospitals from developing and running tests for the coronavirus during an emergency. No such regulation existed. It never happened.

This is a tiny sample of his non stop lies since the beginning of the pandemic. This creature is incapable of telling the truth, or of discerning fact from fantasy no matter what.


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Longtime Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 11:50 am

Re: Climate Change, kept secret is the data resulting in "Hide the Decline". Why?


 +   23 people like this
Posted by dennis praeger, a resident of Hoover School,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:30 pm

"These are individuals who are not being allowed to give their points of view."

Oh, bull. Praeger is all over the internet, radio, his so called "university", social and other media. Him, petersen and others have made fantastic livings on non-critical thinkers who swallow their baloney under the guise of "thinking".

You buy that snowflake, sob story from praeger?

Weak. He won't get a cent from me. He's got a great grift going, though.


 +   19 people like this
Posted by dennis praeger, a resident of Hoover School,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:33 pm

"amazes me how people like you think how right you are no matter what the facts state."

Statements like this are always found in post with zero facts given.

Ain't the irony Grand?


 +   35 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 12:50 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Anyone trusting anything Trump says about anything, especially the covid-19 pandemic, here is another tiny sample of his outrageous lies:

The lie: “We've signed more bills " and I'm talking about through the legislature " than any president ever."

In reality, Trump had signed 42 bills into law through his 178th day in office. Not only is that not the most ever, it's not even really that close. The most ever is the 228 by President Dwight Eisenhower, just narrowly ahead of President John F. Kennedy at an even 200. In total, six presidents " Eisenhower, Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, George H.W. Bush, and Bill Clinton " signed more bills than Trump during the same period in office.

The lie: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

In reality, Trump has made specific claims of serious voter fraud in several different locations across the United States, including Virginia, California, and New Hampshire. But as for the statement above, there are two very clear lies. The first is that Trump won the Electoral College in a landslide, when the truth is that he had one of the smallest electoral victories by percentages. Trump received 56.9% of the electoral votes in the 2016 election, which is a smaller percentage than all but five elections since 1960.


But to the bigger point, Trump is incorrect that millions of people voted illegally. Putting aside his assumption that the vast majority of those imaginary “illegal" voters would have voted for Hillary Clinton, Trump's statement is based on a claim by InfoWars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, who said that three million illegal aliens cast ballots in the 2016 election. Based on lack of evidence and credible reports, that has been rated as false by everybody, with the exception of Trump cultists


 +   13 people like this
Posted by Iconoclast, a resident of University South,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 4:28 pm

"1. 97% is an absurdly high number for any claim in this category.

2. Supposedly "multiple studies" came up with the same number, despite using different sample space, different methods and for different years. For any such result to be largely invariant is highly implausible (euphemism for "fraudulent")."

"Implausibility" is a subjective judgement. Implausibility does not equal falsification, e.g., relativity is implausible. Elastic approaches to objectivity like the above underpin many of the gaslighting and outright falsehoods ricocheting around our culture today.

Allegedly unscientific claims must be refuted by objective science-based arguments, not by piling subjective judgements on them.


A great many lies stem from a simple aphorism: Never let an untruth come between you and a pile of money


 +   20 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Mar 10, 2020 at 5:06 pm

mauricio is a registered user.

Criticism of the theory of relativity of Albert Einstein was mainly expressed in the early years after its publication in the early twentieth century, on scientific, pseudoscientific, philosophical, or ideological grounds. Though some( a minority) of these criticisms had the support of reputable scientists, unlike climate change denial, Einstein's theory of relativity is now accepted by the scientific community as practically irrefutable. Would any sane person claim that a near 100 percent claim re General Relativity is absurd? Of course not, but sanity and Trump support are badly estranged.


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:54 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

@ mauricio

1. The history of Science is littered with examples of theories becoming the consensus and then being overturned as it is increasingly difficult to accommodate new data. It is strange that you would cite Einstein's Relative -- which supplanted the centuries-long consensus for Newtonian mechanics -- as evidence that a current consensus should be treated as true.

2. When Einstein proposed his theories of Special Relativity and then General Relativity, there were many highly reputable physicists that were skeptical. By your standard, Einstein should have been disregarded/suppressed for challenging the (Newtonian) consensus.

3. One fundamental of Science is that theory must be capable of being falsified/refuted. Otherwise, it is in the same category as religious dogma. Yet you characterize General Relativity as "practically irrefutable" in an apparent attempt to confer that status on Climate Crisis advocacy. One of the big criticism of "climate science" at the public policy level is that it behaves more like a religion than a science.

4. Minor: General Relativity is not "practically irrefutable". While it does an excellent job of describing most of the current data, my browsing of science news keeps encountering stories of phenomena that don't seem to fit within the theory.


5. On "climate deniers": Some judicial systems provide for three verdicts: "guilty", "not proven", and "not guilty". The last is rendered when the jury decides there is convincing evidence that the accused was factually innocent of the charges. The current behavior of many prominent climate crisis advocates is to equate skepticism -- not proven -- with declaring the claims to be false. This is not the behavior of people operating as scientists, but more like members of a fundamentalist religion (or cult).


 +   14 people like this
Posted by Douglas Moran, a resident of Barron Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:56 am

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

@ Iconoclast

Your response to my comment is based upon a misrepresentation of what I said. The two items cited were part of "Basic skepticism should tell you that this is false", with skepticism being the topic (subject) of the sentence. Yes, I should have anticipated a malicious interpretation and used "likely false" instead of just "false" to avoid people confusing a claim being false with a proposition being false. A proposition is a logical statement that is true, false or undecidable. A claim is a *performative* statement where the writer/speaker asserts that he has a valid basis to believe that the proposition is true -- the claim can be false even though the proposition turns out to be true.

The abuse of statistics behind the 97%-claim was so basic and of such magnitude that I don't see how anyone could honestly judge the claim to have been made in good faith -- my comment judged it to be "fraudulent".

As to you ascribing to me the equating of "implausibility" with "falsification" -- that "very low probability" is no different from "an argument showing it to be false/impossible" -- speaks volumes about you.


 +   20 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 6:26 am

mauricio is a registered user.

The scientists who originally doubted General Relativity then came to accept it as every observation and experiment kept proving it right. Climate change deniers keep refuting it in spite oof facts proving that every prediction and model agrees with climate change. Actually, it is now clear that if anything, climate scientists have underestimated the speed and catastrophic dangers of global warming. Therefore, climate change deniers are nothing but a cult, and a cult that puts the future of humanity in grave danger.


 +   10 people like this
Posted by NeilsonBuchanan, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:29 am

NeilsonBuchanan is a registered user.

Biased opinions and politics are documented throughout history.
It ain't gonna change. The only antidote is critical thought.

We have the option to disengage or get more involved with politicians we favor.


 +   28 people like this
Posted by mauricio, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 10:39 am

mauricio is a registered user.

Another science denier/doubter, Donald Trump, said very recently, after he had gotten all the government agencies that protect us, that covid-19 was basically a cold and hoax, and that he stopped it. That is exactly what happens when science doubters are allowed anywhere near power, and frankly, when allowed a blog.


 +   19 people like this
Posted by YSK, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 12:46 pm

Yeah, whatever happened to honesty and morality? Everybody wants to gripe about Donald Trump but I don't see people in this state griping about police chiefs and sheriffs and mayors vowing not to uphold the federal law about immigration. Nobody is griping about the fact that California now allows up to $950 in material goods to be stolen with little or no legal repercussions. When people break the law of any kind, social media typically rallies around the perpetrator and blames the victim. All around us, people are flagrantly breaking the law and then screaming about Donald Trump. If you going to scream about him, you'd better look at yourself.The people you are voting into office, such as liar Gavin Newsom, are just more of the same.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by dennis praeger, a resident of Hoover School,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 1:01 pm

" If you going to scream about him, you'd better look at yourself."

70% of Californians break the law? Steal $950?

Who knew?


 +   11 people like this
Posted by 6Djockey, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 3:35 pm

6Djockey is a registered user.

The city council member in question is Alison Cormack.


 +   9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:32 pm

Truth has an economic value.
I have noticed over time that in workplaces where information used to be shared as a matter of honor, now people are more likely to hoard information or even mislead other people they believe the are competing with.

When companies do not tell the truth to their employees, employees work more for themselves.

Putting an economic value, particular enough of an economic value to make a difference in lifestyle, things eventually will fall apart.

Republicans in particular lie to the public because their main focus is on creating a government that doesn't work, so they can point to the government as the problem ( the government they molded to be loyal and incompetent ) in order to push limitless amounts of money into the private sector, which then gets funneled up to less and less people at the top.

Our whole society has been broken in order to create an oligarchic class that is not competent or interested in good governance or being good citizens.

Thomas Frank's book "The Wrecking Crew: How Conservatives Govern" is the book that will open your eyes to this pattern of destruction.

When these behaviors can be imposed at the top by threatening people's lives and existence we have a snowballing negativity that will ultimately tear all we know and loved about America apart and leave it wide open for military or economic enemies to exploit.


 +   18 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:38 pm

Douglas Moran, are you just not happy enough staying in your own little pompous blog where you can condescend, insult, censor or delete comment to your heart's content?


 +   11 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:47 pm

Lies, when the "first man" of our country takes such pride in lying and spewing nonsense and some people think this works and is what one is supposed to do in life ... not hard to understand why lying is so rampant.

The problem with Trump and anything scientific, or anyone with expertise is that Trump's education ended in 1968, if he even paid attention in school. My best guess is that considering how far Trump went to hide his college grades, which he demanded that Obama disclose, he did not go well. Not the genius he claims. He has no curiosity about science or the government, and he refuses to consult of listen to experts.

The problem is that while Trump lies about the facts, the spirit of ignorance with which he does it is the real problem. The man cannot learn anything new, and he has a real distaste for listening to experts. Trumps's ignorance abounds when the other day he asked experts in front of the whole world why can't they just give people the flu vaccine to combat COVID-19? Trump had no understanding of what most of the government does, which is why he shut down the departments dealing with pandemics.

Yet somehow this is a point of pride with a lot of Americans. How much lead do we have in our water anyway?


 +   9 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Why is it that the loudest voices against climate change are from the same organizations that led the fight against cigarettes causing cancer, or other public health hazards that cost big business money?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 10:07 pm

Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
> Why are people like Tony Heller, Jordan Peterson, Dave Rubin, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Praeger, and others "no-platform" victims? These are individuals who are not being allowed to give their points of view.

When are they prevented from speaking or giving their points of view. Jordan Peterson is all over You-Tube? What are you talking about?

> Free speech often means hearing something with which you do not agree.

Today in America there is more than just free speech going on. As usually you conservatives are quick to find minor cases which you completely exaggerate ( which is a manner of lie ) in order to hide your own prevention of people speaking ... who need to be heard and have more than right, but an obligation to speak, such as government experts who have studies issues like global warming, or disease pandemics. Your leaders are taking power based on lies, and them muzzling their critics. Where are you complaining about that?

> Free speech by definition should be left to the individual to ascertain whether their arguments stand up to critical and opposing opinion.

The problem with that is when a political consortium of liars has control of the means of speech distribution, such as the AM radio stations, or FOX News and other conservative outlets, or the means to muzzle people's right to speech by threatening their livelihoods, that is not free speech. Shutting out certain ideas and repeating ad nauseum lies, as per the axioms of Goebbels about repeating lies enough times.

In computer parlance we call this denial of service. We have a denial of service of the people who would lobby and promote truth and democracy, while we have the repetition and insistence by the mainstream media that some things are to be spun for political stability and maintenance of an unjust status quo.

> Why are so many people protesting these people when they have never listened to, or read, anything these people produce without anything other than disliking opposing points of view to the liberal left wing norm?

Why do you think we do not see lots of articles on the virtues of astrology? Why do we have to go back and give serious discussion again and again to ideas that have been discredited. The Right certainly uses that meme to avoid discussion about Democratic Socialism, equating it to socialism, and then communism, and then saying it has landed on the ash heap of history. Why then they do insist on repeating ideas from people who actually have been discreditied.

Jordan Peterson, to use your example. extended his expertise to dietician and told everyone the only thing he eats is red meat. I don't know how long he did that, or what other problems he had, but he checked himself into rehab a while back for addition. You want us to allow this guy influence people when apparently you don't know that much about him or what his beliefs are.

> What is so dangerous about independent thought?

Using trickery, propaganda, shutting people off from hearing both sides of the issues at once --- when they repealed the fairness doctrine, that somehow qualifies as independent thought for you? How funny.

> How come the liberal left cannot stand others not agreeing with them?

How come you have to lie about that?


 +   2 people like this
Posted by Colonel Jessep, a resident of another community,
on Mar 11, 2020 at 11:27 pm

"You can't handle the truth!"


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 12, 2020 at 8:14 am

Well Crescent Park Anon, I would much rather listen/read to Jordan Peterson who is open about his beliefs and diet (he does not advocate his meat only diet but is not hiding it) than I would to you since you appear to agree with no-platforming individuals. Yes, his videos are on the internet and although I haven't seen any since I am not interested in them I would imagine that a quick search and I would find many on astrology.

Your idea of non-platforming ideas and thought is very Orwellian. It is a much more dangerous practice than you imagine. The thought policing in our campuses is terrifying. People can choose where they get their information, unfortunately our campuses are taking away the choices. There is a definitely liberal/left slant to education and anyone who chooses to question is not only ostracized but very likely suffering when it comes to grading or career advancing.

We cannot live in a vanilla society. More than one opinion on any matter should be lauded, not prevented. A different opinion is not something that should be feared. It should be a strength to hear and listen to those who disagree and cause for better understanding. Shutting them out is likely to cause more problems than advancing knowledge.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Dementia Joe, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Mar 12, 2020 at 10:22 am

Mauricio makes so much sense!


 +   5 people like this
Posted by TMTOYH, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 12, 2020 at 5:11 pm

general topic interesting but some of the posts like "CrescentParkAnon" make me dizzy

too long

the one about critical thinking makes sense, but critical thinking and critical talking are very different things


 +   7 people like this
Posted by ahhh, the sore loser, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 13, 2020 at 6:52 am

Several great points above, including the destruction of @resident's myth that Preager and Jordan are somehow censored.

So @resident moves the goalposts, unable to defend his lie, and attacks evil education institutions. Yet again the shift: the topic of honesty (and LIES) is supposedly about diversity of opinion and his canards about schools.

So let's try this: Trump fired the Pandemic Team leader from the NSC 3 years ago and hasn't replaced him.

Are you going to lie about that? Or muddle something about Bolton to defend Trump's inconceivable failure? No, of course not! It's somehow all the fault of lib'ruls in universities!

What will your Trumpian excuse be for taking Obama's Recovery (Dow = ~8,000) to Trump's Bear Market? Trump pumped it with tax cuts for corporations when they didn't need them, constantly pushing for lower rates; now when we need those tools for an actual CRISIS, he's got nothing to left but to twiddle his short fingers. Inexcusable.


Another great point: Douglas Moran, are you just not happy enough staying in your own little pompous blog where you can condescend, insult, censor or delete comment to your heart's content?

Using falsehoods from bogus climate sites and the punk criminal that cos-plays as a pimp and then deceptively edits videos is beyond disingenuous.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by ahhh, the sore loser, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 13, 2020 at 6:55 am

TMTOYH?

And yet here we are?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by A different perspective, a resident of Charleston Meadows,
on Mar 13, 2020 at 3:52 pm

Because American people haven't been under an extreme national hardship for so long.

In good times, what is the cost of lying? To most of those who lie, not that much: libel and slander are neither litigated nor prosecuted inside a corporate environment.

The benefits of lying in good times are huge: being hired to a job the liar is not qualified for, undeserved promotions, avoidance of accountability etc.

In times of life-threatening emergency, things change. Lying can injure and kill people. The cost to liars can now be the victim's, his or her family's, or society's revenge, which in certain cases could be extremely severe.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Anon, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 13, 2020 at 4:29 pm

>> So let's try this: Trump fired the Pandemic Team leader from the NSC 3 years ago and hasn't replaced him.

Web Link


 +   8 people like this
Posted by ahhh, the sore loser, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 13, 2020 at 6:15 pm

@resident - from the link (in case the truth still frightens you:)

"It's thus true that the Trump administration axed the executive branch team responsible for coordinating a response to a pandemic and did not replace it, eliminating Ziemer's position and reassigning others..."


Trump fired the Pandemic Team. There's some honesty, for ya...


 +   11 people like this
Posted by Iconoclast, a resident of University South,
on Mar 13, 2020 at 9:36 pm

@ Moran

Your response to my comment is based upon a deliberate misrepresentation of what I said. Your word salad reads quite impressively, but it boils down to pure vapor. My original comments stand.

And that's all I have to say about that in this forum.


 +   12 people like this
Posted by Chickens meet Roost, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 14, 2020 at 12:13 pm

I hope people who are not neoconservative cultists finally wake up to the fact that there are no facts or truth that will wake up the right to their framework of lies or the damaging impacts to our nation and citizens.

Quick Recap:
After dizzying debt/deficit in the Reagan years,

the country elected Bill Clinton who balanced the budget amid relentless actual partisan witchhunts (it's not a witchhunt, by the way, if there is actually something there to be concerned about as with this porn-star-effing-liar in chief),

which the next Republican in office completely destroyed, getting us into horrible debt and deficits and plunging the economy into the abyss, which the next Democrat worked hard to keep out of a great depression and provide a steady and unprecedented growth curve -- slowly the debt and deficit stopped accelerating so fast yet was the main thing neoconservatives blamed him for (the stock market performed better in the last 3 years of the Obama presidency than first three years of this one, and after a year in office, this potus pushed manufacturing into a recession already because of trade import tax policies),

now we get people talking about how great the economy is and believing everything as if this guy hasn't lied his @44 off over every last thing even inconsequential. The truth is that Republicans give us deficits/debt and ineffective/inefficient/incompetent government, they have in California, they have nationally, for decades. Democrats have to step in and be the adults in the room, yet they do nothing to talk about it effectively to counter the constant attacks by bully baby rightwingers, who have long before this potus turned to lying for power as their modus operandi.

This was a good article: Web Link
"It is not merely Trump's ignorance and imbecility that creates a country unprepared and ill equipped to deal with a health problem, but the entire ideology that underwrites his incompetence.

For decades, conservatives have told the public that, in the words of Ronald Reagan, “Government is not the solution to the problem. It is the problem." One of the most catastrophic actions of the Trump administration has been the empowerment of this right-wing, antisocial mindset " a pathological pursuit that Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign chief and White House strategist,...

"As cable news follows Trump's every tweet and crude utterance like a child watching a bouncing ball, Michael Lewis reports in his outstanding book “The Fifth Risk" that the Trump administration is deliberately understaffing important governmental agencies, or appointing ideological dolts who despise those very agencies to run them."

This is not the first or even the most deadly consequence of our nation being subject to the damaging undemocratic greedy machinations of rightwinger bully babies. The lack of a functioning public health system and affordable healthcare for everyone like every other advanced nation on the planet has been able to provide in one form or other has already killed or shortened the lives of many millions of Americans, or ruined their lives through predatory medical bill bankruptcies, mortgages, and other scheming predatory practices too numerous to mention and too often allowed to proceed unchecked.

Like Dorothy with the ruby slippers, Democrats have always had it in their power to massively change things, by just showing up at the polls, by every last one -- I mean YOU -- realizing that if YOU don't take the responsibility to ensure that you vote in every election and take the balance of power in Congress seriously (helping counteract the overt machinations of Repbulicans who do NOT have the majority mandate and have yet managed to demonstrably HARM our nation for much of the last half century for the benefit of a few), then things cannot change.

The other guys may be relentless liars, grifters, propagandists, lying hypocritical pharisees preaching false doctrines to golden-calf worshipping cultist, but you always had the power to do something about it. Will you now?


 +   8 people like this
Posted by Chicken meet Roost, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 14, 2020 at 2:54 pm

And what do you want to bet that the liar in chief will blame every last bad thing that happened on straw-man boogeyman "democrats" and even Obama? (And where are the Democrats to point out things like that this potus does nothing but blame everyone else for his bad bumbling and take credit for things he just has no right to?) Who is keeping track of these things as they happen so it's easier to pull them up in a few months? (Like 45 actually blame Obama for the test kit fiasco? You do realize that rightwing echo chambers are praising what a great job 45 is doing and blaming everything that goes wrong on "democrats")

When the rest of you get tired of your lives and livelihoods being upended by humoring such idiocy and hollowing out the greatest democracy on the planet from within, then remember that it is your responsibility to VOTE every time, and ensure it's easy and possible for everyone else to.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by P A Resident for 44 Years, a resident of Green Acres,
on Mar 14, 2020 at 5:28 pm

P A Resident for 44 Years is a registered user.

97 percent is suspect? I bet an even higher percent believe in the germ "theory" of disease, that the earth is round, and that the moon landings weren't faked. Still more that vaccines don't cause autism.
A 99 percent electoral victory is suspect. High consensus on basic science is not.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Fighting Stupidity, a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown,
on Mar 15, 2020 at 12:29 pm

The lack of education, knowledge and common sense is frightening.
I think the only ones interested in keeping everybody as uneducated and dishonest are those interested in establishing a criminal and totalitarian societal regime.
Wake up people, democracy is dying.


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Chicken meet Roost, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 15, 2020 at 1:28 pm

@Roger,
"I wish there was a way for both republicans and democrats to work together. Each party has its strong suit, and all this back and forth with cries of incompetence is really getting old. It's the same old story every 8 years (hopefully only 4 this time), and soooo much time is wasted with nothing actually getting done."

I do too. I think checks and balances and the push and pull of democratic homeostasis are what make are country strong, they're what make democracy strong, but unfortunately, Reagan started a movement to destroy democracy (drown it in a bathtub), with a pseudoreligious cult of unproven supply-side economics. Reagan's own budget director said it was basically lie, a cover for cutting top tax rates. "Permanent Republican majority" is still their push, which is just another name for destroying healthy democracy and political competition. Ironic, isn't it, from the party that claims to be about the value of competition?

This is why we have been wasting time. Democrats have been behaving as if everything is normal and it's just politics as usual, while the Republicans have been busy destroying democracy by actively overturning elections of Democrats at all levels of government, especially governors and senators, actively stacking the Supreme Court which has oddly been all reactionary neoconservative biased since Reagan with no back and forth (read Supreme Conflict).

Normal homeostatis, back and forth, has honing forces the way honest competition does. But Republican modus operandi has been the use of lies and propaganda to avoid being changed by competition and to keep power regardless of what the majority in this country want. They have destroyed the community sense of the importance of investment in our infrastructure and our people (look at the language around corporate entitlements vs. the language around investments ordinary people need to succeed).

There are two ways back from this: 1) Democrats wake up and get the polls in such unusually high numbers, and maintain those high numbers for off-year elections, so that their leaders have a mandate to start fixing the system so Republicans can's abuse it (and us), or 2) a mirror senseless force builds on the left (which Repbulicans are going to be his like a ton of bricks with because of their hyperbole around anything that isn't extremist rightwing) which is inevitable, and ultimately clashes, almost inevitably violently.

Only one of the above lets us restore our democratic prosperity.


 +   2 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 15, 2020 at 4:25 pm

> I wish there was a way for both republicans and democrats to work together.

The aims of Republicans and Democrats used to mostly align.

Today, due to a declaration of war on regular people, and media attacks on
the past status quo that was the most prosperous times as well as the most
patriotic time in the US, immediately post-WWII when there was massive public
trust in the government and massive public investment and more equality, over
those years the Republicans declared war on that, so truth must be discouraged
to hide that.

GOP basically have spend the last 40-50 years transforming our country into a
land owned by private elites who buy and run the media and the government and
use investment and price-fixing to drain the money from the public sector and
from individuals. Because they do not need Americans, and only want anything
to do with them at rock bottom slave wages. Forget their occasional rants
about immigration, anything to sow division and lower wages is A-OK for them.

There is no way to work with that. There is no framework to compromise, and
anything that looks like compromise is a temporary arrangement for the Republicans
just until they have the power and resources to break it down or force people to
fall in line for survival. [portion removed]

Republicans used to be the party of business, and business used to contribute to
the public good, today that is all gone. Anand Giridaharas's book ""Winners Take
All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World" shows how all the charity done by
this class of people is like a crocodile's smile, only window dressing for more
and bigger exploitations.

Sure, they will donate millions to rebuild the Cathedral at Notre Dame, but they want
tax breaks that take money away from the public good and the government. They
do not want to invest in a CDC pandemic group for the pubic good, because these
people feel like ( and ignorantly so ) that they will be OK no matter what happens
and good crises are their opportunities when you have enough capital. Sure they
will talk up a social security tax break in order to drive up deficits to the point where
they can attack the system they attacked and want to break as broken. That people
do not understand this clearly is a sign that our media is yet another distraction.

There is no compromising with that. There is only revealing the truth to the public.

The only reason we even have a Democratic party anymore if to create a national
disposal place for ideas Republicans do not like and have a place to attack publicly.

Republican backers are the same people who fund the Democrats, and the same
people who said - party over if the Democrats run an actual Leftist, an actual
opposition candidate. No compromise with that.

The establishment Democrats don't want to actually have to work for a living, so
they play along to make us still believe we have some scintilla of democracy left.

Where there is truth there is discussion, enlightenment, and ultimately democracy,
so we can't have that, but it cannot be overtly or violently shut down either ... it will
scare the cows and chickens so they don't give milk and eggs and may even disrupt
the barnyard.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 15, 2020 at 6:20 pm

The problem with some of the people on the left with what they are talking about here is that it sounds very much not socialism, but Communism.

Orwellian theories always sound good in principle, but the practice has not worked out very well.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 15, 2020 at 9:12 pm

FDR Democrat: Web Link

The Second Bill of Rights was proposed by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt
during his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 11, 1944.[1]

In his address, Roosevelt suggested that the nation had come to recognise and should
now implement, a second "bill of rights". Roosevelt argued that the "political rights"
guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights had "proved inadequate to assure
us equality in the pursuit of happiness".

His remedy was to declare an "economic bill of rights" to guarantee these specific rights:
Employment (right to work[notes 1]), food, clothing and leisure with enough income to
support them

- Right to a useful and remunerative job.
- Right to earn enough for food, clothing, and recreation. ( living wage )
- Farmers' rights to a fair income
- Freedom from unfair competition and monopolies
- Decent Housing
- Medical care
- Social security and Disability
- Education

Missed the book ... here's the movie: Web Link

77 years delayed thanks to some people calling this communism.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 15, 2020 at 9:25 pm

In cases you are interesting you can read FDR's 1944 speech right here:

It is our duty now to begin to lay the plans and determine the strategy for
the winning of a lasting peace and the establishment of an American
standard of living higher than ever before known.

We cannot be content, no matter how high that general standard of living
may be, if some fraction of our people"whether it be one-third or one-fifth
or one-tenth"is ill-fed, ill-clothed, ill-housed, and insecure.

This Republic had its beginning, and grew to its present strength, under
the protection of certain inalienable political rights"among them the right
of free speech, free press, free worship, trial by jury, freedom from
unreasonable searches and seizures. They were our rights to life and liberty.

As our nation has grown in size and stature, however"as our industrial
economy expanded"these political rights proved inadequate to assure us
equality in the pursuit of happiness. We have come to a clear realization of
the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security
and independence.

"Necessitous men are not free men."[6] People who are hungry and out of
a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

In our day these economic truths have become accepted as self-evident. We
have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis
of security and prosperity can be established for all"regardless of station,
race, or creed.

Among these are:
* The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;
* The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;
* The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;
* The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;
* The right of every family to a decent home;
* The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;
* The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;
* The right to a good education.

All of these rights spell security. And after this war is won we must be prepared
to move forward, in the implementation of these rights, to new goals of human
happiness and well-being.

America's own rightful place in the world depends in large part upon how fully these
and similar rights have been carried into practice for all our citizens. For unless there
is security here at home there cannot be lasting peace in the world.


--

Calling the greatest President in modern history a communist is nonsense on its face and just doesn't cut it Resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Alex, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Mar 16, 2020 at 1:34 am

We live in alternate realities.
The other half of the country is shown compelling evidence on a daily basis that the liberal media is fake news, and the tech giants and the deep state are actively trying to subvert democracy and overthrow a democratically elected president.
Honestly, as a neutral party, I believe the evidence is quite clear that the republicans have a much stronger case and your unwillingness to constrain your hysteria and allow the other side to have their turn at governing is leading us towards a real shooting civil war.
BTW, please explain why you are now hysterical about “climate change" instead of “global warming". Or remember “the ozone layer"? Or how about “acid rain"? You people live your lives in a permanent state of infantile hysteria. You'll believe any hysterical story that you are told and thus are easily manipulated. For chicken little the sky is always falling.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 16, 2020 at 8:28 am

Here is a short video from PragerU which discusses this issue.

I recommend it to anyone who wishes to look objectively at the topic with their mind open to thinking independently rather than being fed PC messages without giving them deeper thought.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 16, 2020 at 11:04 am

Raw first hand historic data and speeches compared to Prager U. spin ... and you call Prager objective ? ? But people need PragerU spin to be open-minded.

--

PragerU, short for Prager University, is an American non-profit organization that creates videos on various political, economic and philosophical topics from an Amercan Conservative OR RIGHT-WING PERSPECTIVE ... The videos are posted on YouTube and usually feature a speaker who lectures for about five minutes.

The organization relies on donations, and much of its early funding came from fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks. PragerU is not a university or academic institution. It does not hold classes, does not grant certifications or diplomas, and is not accredited by any recognized body.

--

Conservatives always label their spin as objective.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 17, 2020 at 7:11 am

"The word university is derived from the Latin universitas magistrorum et scholarium, which roughly means "community of teachers and scholars". I found that from a quick google.

The video I shared is about tolerance. I think it is worth realizing that people are entitled to their own opinion and allow others to formulate their own opinion with an open mind.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon., a resident of Crescent Park,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:01 am

> The video I shared is about tolerance. I think it is worth realizing that people are entitled to their own opinion and allow others to formulate their own opinion with an open mind.

Sounds like you would agree with me that the Fairness Doctrine should be brought back in the media so that like you anyone can offer opposing points of view to say ... right-wing media outlets that only present on point of view, like FOX News.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:57 am

The same of course could be said about CNN and many others.

I definitely would agree that in respect to the idea of collecting data from many different sources makes sense to me. I would not condemn any particular source, but I would be strongly suspicious of anyone who is getting all their information from just one side of the issue.

As I have said before, any "no platforming" is wrong in any shape or form. We should allow everyone their voice and unless they are inciting violence against those with whom they disagree, then they should be free to have their voice heard. It is up to those who listen (not just hear) to intelligently think the issues through with an open mind and be prepared to discover something they had not previously given much pertinent thought to.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Scott, a resident of another community,
on Mar 30, 2020 at 1:50 pm

Scott is a registered user.

post removed


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by waasymoto, a resident of Community Center,
on May 10, 2020 at 10:49 am

We're past the tipping point. Fake news has always dominated: the people have been lied to since forever. Now we have become the enemy. We've been parced to the point of mutual contempt. And it's cuz there is no moral compass. The only thing most people believe in is themselves. It's cuz people reject God. I'm a good person and I don't believe in God. We are doomed with God. Satan looks good giving you time away from work, getting stimulus checks and postponing rent. Can you say Waterloo? Every puppy has to pay, everyone will have their day.


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