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Guide to hype-sifting
In our world today, truth and objectivity are often garbled by political agendas and murky media reports. We Americans make up our minds like we want our food: fast. We tend to take our stances according to a political party or our personal beliefs instead of a dispassionate examination. Then we spend our time finding supporting information to confirm our opinions.
We miss out on the bigger picture when we label an issue or politician "good" or "bad" without undertaking that dispassionate examination. Objectively evaluating an issue or politician is incredibly difficult these days, but it's also more important than ever.
I would like to share my own personal methods for sorting through the hype. The following "tests" help me develop my opinions.
• Information is good, more is better. But I am careful to remember that all information is not quality information.
• I am suspicious of inflammatory language and emotion-charged images. The truth does not need this kind of help, it will sell itself.
• Short quotes often mean the words are taken out of context. When I read a quote, I want to see at least a paragraph and I need to know in what circumstances the quote was made. Basically, I want to know everything about the quote before I use it to form my opinion. I disregard bumper stickers.
• Motives can be obvious or not, but politicians and news media will always have agendas that may or may not be well-intentioned. It helps me to consider, "What's in it for them?"
• I get my news from many sources. I recommend at least three. Watch or read "the other guys" and don't forget there are good international news sources that provide a world perspective.
— Tim Williams
We're grounded: Part I
Could it be possible that Mayor Bach's terminating the Airport Commission is the first step in "privatizing" another of our city enterprises — our airport ("Fighting gravity at the airport," City Sage, May 22)?
Under heading MUNICIPAL AIRPORT ADVISORY COMMISSION, 14.1.101: COMMISSION CREATED; MEMBERSHIP, 14.1.102: FUNCTIONS, and 14.1.103: MEETINGS; CHAIR, "Marketing" is not mentioned.
Under heading 14.1.202: DIRECTOR OF AVIATION; POWERS AND DUTIES, "Marketing" is not mentioned.
John Hazlehurst's statement, "Don't beg, plead or threaten — just bribe" won't work because Councils in the past have not been willing to pay the price to entice businesses here. Will this new Council step up to the line and take the reins of marketing to the airlines?
The real questions to be asked of the remaining airlines servicing the airport are: "Do you really want to continue service here? Can you utilize your aircraft in another market that is more profitable for your organization?" Those answers will determine whether Colorado Springs Municipal Airport has a future.
— Gary Casimir
John Hazlehurst overlooks one more detriment to our airport — there's no public transportation that will get you there! Surprised?
— Michael Adams
Within the past year, the former Colorado Springs City Council experienced an impasse, due to a tie vote, to OK regulations (useless, and then some) on fracking within city limits. But, due to new Council members being elected recently, the first gathering of this new City Council resulted in a one-vote majority voting to reconsider use of solar gardens, and in so doing, reopened the greed door for further reconsideration of fracking.
Future argument: We must get our power from fossil fuels (i.e., via fracking) must we not?
No big surprise, new and old Council members were told emphatically, at this recent "do away with solar gardens" Council meeting, to vote no on solar-garden continued support. And who did this ordering? The head of local Americans for Prosperity, the oil baron Koch brothers' politician buyout-and-vote-manipulation organization.
Wake up, folks, here comes a new push by greedy oil interests to "frack" us. So what if ruination of health/water/air results.
— Rita Walpole Ague
It's an insult
The National Rifle Association has decided to throw its weight behind the John Morse recall in Senate District 11 ("NRA is gunning for Morse," IndyBlog, May 17). Coupling the pro-gun fervor with the Republican desire to pull out of office an effective leader from the opposite party is simply a partisan tactic, which I and many others would argue is a misuse of the recall mechanism.
The NRA postcard being mailed to D-11 voters is addressed to "Second Amendment Supporter," but the NRA always waves the Second Amendment flag at any gun safety measure — however innocuous. Polls continually show that "responsible gun owners," even within the NRA, support background checks and limits on large-capacity magazines, as well as various other measures designed to limit the ability of criminals and the mentally ill to obtain and wreak havoc with weapons that are far from what a sportsperson or hunter would need, or in most cases even want.
The gun safety legislation passed under John Morse's tenure as president of the Senate is reasonable to responsible gun owners and non-owners. To make these efforts sound as though they are somehow anti-freedom, anti-Constitution, anti-Second Amendment is blatantly false, misleading and an insult to thoughtful members of the 11th District.
Show the NRA and the extremists of the Republican Party that these tactics are unwelcome in our district. Do not sign the Recall Morse petition, or if you did already sign, recant your signature or vote for Senator Morse if the recall comes to an election.
— Jonothan C. Tierce
If we outlaw guns ...
"After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. I sure as hell wouldn't want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military." — William S. Burroughs, 1992.
— Eric Schissler
With all the recent sex-abuse drama in the military, it seems that the solution is almost simplistically obvious: Appoint women to the post of prevention officer.
How likely would it be that a female would become an overt sexual predator emulating these last three males? This is not to say that all women are squeaky clean, but past behavior gives men less than a stellar track record.
— Mimi Vacher
Audacity of the right
Just when I thought that the GOP could not top its scheme to obstruct and stifle any progress wrought by the Obama administration, I observe the insanity of the Benghazi circus perpetrated by John McCain, Ron Johnson and Rand Paul.
This has never been about finding out what happened at the outpost; it is all about poisoning the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Just think — all those tough guys, those chickenhawks (excepting Sen. McCain) mortified by the bespectacled Yale grad.
We begin with McCain, who was too busy to go to the State Department briefing on Benghazi but could preen before the cameras and excoriate the Obama administration. This is the same senator who defended the Beirut barracks bombing of 1983 — 241 deaths — by confessing, "This is war; mistakes get made."
That works when Republicans are in control; when Democrats are in charge, it's a national disgrace. Where was he when 13 different episodes resulted in 57 American deaths during the administration of Bush the Younger?
Johnson showed his ineptitude by confessing that he did not attend the briefing either, but he could still be outraged. Nothing like the thought processes of the me-too, what-he-said crowd.
Paul, not content with then-Secretary of State Clinton's assumption of responsibility — "The buck stops here" — was curious as to her role in selling weapons to Turkey. When she denied knowledge of any transactions, Paul contended that his tabloid news source could not be wrong.
Conveniently forgotten in all of this is the candid declaration of Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz. When confronted with the truth of his committee cutting funding for foreign service security measures, he said, "Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country."
There is much to be outraged about surrounding Benghazi, but it's not where they, nor the press, are looking.
— Steve Schriener