Tuesday, January 02, 2018 1:00 am
'Facts that are fun, numbers so nimble'
We have gotten our present of reduced taxes. Congress has finally pulled together to pass reforms that lead to an average benefit, per taxpayer, of $1,084. A year. That's great!
One nice pile of money, extremely excessively estimated, is for Plumber Patty and Factory Fred. They'll be able to put $453.17 in the checking account. The $37 will buy a dinner at the diner, maybe drinks, or what a congregant would contribute to church. Every month for the next 10 years ... no, really, eight.
The other stack is for Hedge Fund Henrietta and Business Bob. Their savings will be $16,267. Yearly. Endlessly. Wowee, where to spend such a beautiful bonus? Maybe a Rolex, maybe a stock, but certainly some campaign cash, a generous gift, for their friend Republican Ralph.
Facts that are fun, numbers so nimble; this is no funky fiction. Oh, silly, remember ... the bill for this bill. It's $4,643.96 for every man, woman and baby.
Dishonest media fed rise of alternatives
The founders knew men were no angels and created three equal branches of government to keep each other in check and balanced. To ensure the checks and balances, they wrote a clause in the First Amendment that allowed for the freedom of speech and freedom of the press. In their reasoning they wrote: “The last right we shall mention regards the freedom of the press. The importance of this consists ... in its diffusion of liberal sentiments on the administration of Government, its ready communication of thoughts between subjects, and its consequential promotion of union among them, whereby oppressive officers are shamed or intimidated into more honorable and just modes of conducting affairs.”
“Press” encompasses a variety of means far beyond written. But the press' meaning of “freedom” has been abused. Everyone should understand that freedom of the press means freedom from government oppression and was intended to give the people a voice and to inform – give us the information, the story. That meant the whole story, all sides in a truthful and nondisingenuous form.
But the protections granted in the First Amendment have been debased by the media themselves. They now use their credentials to shield an alliance with the government and against the people. They make up news and anonymous sources, tell half-truths, omit or twist facts (Brian Ross, Dan Rather and Brian Williams). Their dishonesty is not only counter to the original intent but self-destructing. Their disingenuous reporting created an atmosphere of mistrust. This led to a surge of alternate outlets of news from talk radio to Fox News and various other forms of media. In addition, less reliable news sources, taking advantage of knowing truthfulness is no longer a prerequisite, began to flourish – adding to even more distrust.
The media, now accomplices, have unwittingly aided in widening the swamp. Government officials, corporate boardrooms, lobbyists, entertainment leaders, etc., all know they can maneuver the media without rebuke.
The founders and the First Amendment availed to the media a great privilege they have abused. Had they simply done their jobs as intended, none of the alternative news outlets would have been necessary or flourished and the people would have been better served.
Carroll's holiday cheer
Thank you to the Carroll High School music department for an outstanding, beautiful Christmas concert. Carroll has many very talented musicians!
We were pleased to hear so many beautiful Christmas carols. We are looking forward to next year's Christmas program.
MONIA and BOB ALEXANDER