Saturday, June 25, 2005

Gary Webb's Original Series Back Online

Thanks to the great folks at Narco News, Gary Webb's amazing stories on the CIA-Contra-Los Angeles Crack market nexus, complete with the supporting evidence, are back online.

Gary is no longer with us, but I'd like to think his spirit lives on. As Al Giordano so eloquently stated, "Gary never wrote with mere ink or pixels. Gary opened up a vein every time he sat down to tell us a new truth and he signed his byline, always, in blood. If you think that his suicide did not send as powerful a message as the stories he investigated and penned in life, think again: Gary was The Last North American Career Journalist. He presided over a transitional era and his death marks the end of that era. Fellow and sister journalists: The canary has died in the coal mine. Run out of that mine now, and seek alternate routes to truth-telling. There is no longer room for us inside the corporate machine."

If you value good, honest reporting, what can you do? At this point in history, you have to find the good reporters and support them. They will not be in any of the mainstream media. That's not to say the mainstream doesn't do good reporting from time to time - that would be a mistake. But if you are looking for people who will challenge high crimes of state, you will NOT find those people getting their articles printed in the LA Times, the NY Times, the Washington Post, or any other paper of "note." The simple reality is that the press relies on the government for access, and cannot afford to burn their sources by exposing their misdeeds. It's sheerly economic, really.

Go give a few dollars to your favorite blog. As badly as I need the money myself, there are others who are more deserving. I don't want to make recommendations. You know who they are.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Reality Gap between Bush and Science

In Europe, I spoke about what I call "The Reality Gap" - the difference between what the government says and what is actually true. Yesterday, the ACLU released a report describing how science has been under siege ever since September 11. Many stories came out yesterday and today with examples about how the White House is applying political pressure to literally alter the truth in scientific matters.

This is simply unconscionable. A society that does not value truth is doomed to failure. It's a pattern throughout history. Fundamentalist societies always fall to the enlightened ones. Peter Watson, in his commentary “The wages of fundamentalism” in yesterday’s International Herald Tribune, explained this well:
Look back at the four great eras of fundamentalism in world history. Under the influence of the Israelite zealots in the centuries before Christ, ancient Israel dropped behind the surrounding civilizations both politically and materially, and provoked the Romans, who annihilated them, sparking a diaspora which lasted 2,000 years. Christianity in the Roman Empire led to half a millennium of dark ages, ending only with the rediscovery of Aristotle in the 12th century. Ascetic Buddhist fundamentalism in China from the fourth century to the ninth century resulted in 4,600 monasteries being destroyed, before the Song renaissance released the finest flowering of Chinese civilization. And Islamic fundamentalism beginning in Baghdad around 1067 led to a millennium of backwardness, which still afflicts the Islamic world.

By contrast, the very history of modern Europe - the scientific revolution, the Enlightenment, the modernist battles of the 19th century - may be characterized as the victory of rationalism and science over religious dogmatism. Europe is the birthplace of science. It was in the universities of Europe, in the 12th and 13th centuries, that the experiment was conceived and the testing of hypotheses became a rival form of authority to that of the church, creating the accuracy, efficiency and prosperity on which the modern world is founded.
So what exactly is the Bush team doing to undermine science? The Executive Summary of the ACLU's report lists these key points:
  1. Restrictions on information. Since 9/11, more information has been classified, and in some cases reclassified (i.e., locking away information previously declassified), than any other time in our history. The administration has banned American publishers from consulting for or helping researchers in places like Cuba and Iran, where great strides are being made in certain scientific areas, due to political concerns. As the report states, “The designation of whole areas of research or knowledge as ‘sensitive’ based only on the vaguest criteria is especially ominous and a recipe for runaway secrecy.”
  2. Restrictions on foreign scholars. Due to increased difficulties getting visas here, some of the best and brightest are precluded from continuing their work.
  3. Restrictions on Scientific Materials and Technology. Certain materials that occur in nature and may have other uses are considered restricted materials now, due to fears of bioterrorism. And the government wants to tell universities who they can and can’t share data with, meaning we could be isolated from sharing with foreign students and professors, cutting us off from their potentially vital insights.

The report’s conclusion is worth repeating verbatim:

The government is seeking to graft the values of security agencies - secrecy, control and confinement of information - onto the world of science, where information must be uncontrolled, open to all and distributed as broadly as possible. This is a mistake for three reasons: it is bad for science, it is bad for freedom, and it is not an effective way of protecting against terrorism.
The report unleashed a new spate of articles around the world on the subject of the Bush administration’s disrespect for science.

In the Washington Post, Rick Weiss wrote:

The ACLU report echoed concerns expressed by others in recent years over an alleged pattern of sacrificing science for political goals, including the editing of scientific reports at odds with White House policies on global warming, mercury emissions, contraceptives and other topics. A letter expressing alarm about such practices, circulated by the Union of Concerned Scientists, has accumulated signatures from thousands of scientists, including 49 Nobel laureates.
In the Miami Herald, Ellen Goodman used the Terry Schiavo case to illustrate the problems with the politicization of science.

The New York Times recently reported how the White House Council on Environmental Quality – the same group who edited EPA warnings re the NYC air after 9/11 – edited reports from government agencies that discussed the causes of global warning, altering the reports to downplay not only concerns but possible remedies. The person doing the editing worked for the American Petroleum Institute.

When even Bush’s strongest ally internationally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, says the President has his head in the sand re global warming, something is terribly amiss. As the American International Auto Dealers group stated, “The Bush administration has its own take on science, however. If you don't agree with a scientific report, just change the wording.”

Bush and Science just don’t mix. Pick your poison, or your salvation.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

The Terminator, Indeed

Since Arnold Schwarzenegger has taken over CA, he's terminated a lot more than he's created.

Schwarzenegger’s election terminated $9 billion in funds the energy companies overcharged the state. Former Governor Gray Davis was hotly pursuing a lawsuit against the energy companies when ousted in the recall election. California Attorney General Bill Lockyer continues to press cases, but it doesn’t look promising:
"Most of Lockyer's previous attempts to sue energy companies in state court have been moved to federal court or to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, which has jurisdiction over wholesale energy disputes." [source in previous link]
Under Arnold, Secretary of State Kevin Shelley, the man who threw Diebold out of the state, was ousted and Bruce McPherson installed instead. Under McPherson, the state is set to recertify Diebold, and possibly to introduce ES&S machines as well. ES&S and Diebold are run by brothers, and together this team is responsible for counting 80% of the vote across the country. Do we really want such power concentrated in such hands? Especially when one of the pair, Diebold, has employed five convicted felons?

Recently, the Governator terminated 2 billion of funding that was going to go to the schools - promising to restore it when times were better, and then when times were better, giving back only a portion of that.

Last month, in nearly 50 places across the state, teachers, students, parents and other concerned activists protested the Governor’s refusal to give back the money he took from the teachers.

Today in Santa Monica, 220 people marched with signs and banners down 20th Street from Colorado to Pico Boulevard to join a protest rally at Santa Monica Community College, one of the bodies hardest hit by the Governor’s cuts. In hideous irony, the Governor was there tonight to give the commencement address. Not surprisingly, this predominately minority, low-income audience booed the Governor.

One can only speculate at the advice he must have given the hardworking young graduates. Be an admirer of Hitler in your youth (but disavow it when you run for office)? Spend more time on your body than your brain, and you too can rise to high office? It’s okay if you are an immigrant if you keep other immigrants out?

The protestors showed creative flair, oftentimes parodying Arnold’s movies. Constance Youens, from Murietta in Riverside County, a fifth-grade teacher, had a two-sided sign. One side said “Kindergarten Cop-out” and the other said simply, “True Liar.” I asked her, what’s your biggest concern, and she shrugged and said, “I don’t even know where to start.” I can relate.

I spoke briefly with Andrew Sachs. He had a “Don’t Mess with Texas” T-shirt altered to say, “I messed with Texas.” He explained that he had made them for a friend who had filmed a documentary on how the privatization of the prison system in Texas was failing utterly. When I asked him his name, he was initially reluctant to provide it, fearing he’d end up on some government list. I explained to him that he might as well get on the list early. We’re all on a list, somewhere. We can’t live in fear. It’s important to constantly speak out.

At the rallying point on campus, a series of speeches were first kicked off by the local “Billionaires for Bush” music group singing their stinging and hilarious songs. Several local Santa Monica activists got up to speak passionately about the demise of funding for public education. One of the most eloquent speakers was a young woman, Nicole Barnes, who will be starting college there in the fall. She spoke of her worries as she entered adulthood that the problems will soon be so far advanced that “we can’t turn around.” “We’re being left behind,” she pleaded. “We are the future, and if we have no education, where does that leave America?”

The funniest comment I heard all night came from speaker Christopher Adiano (spelling unknown) who said, “When I heard the Governor was coming to Santa Monica College, I was so happy. Finally, the Governor is going to get an education!” The crowd roared with approval.

I got the feeling most of the cops were not terribly excited to be stuck on that particular assignment. As we marched and rallied, cars drove by, honking profusely in approval. It made quite a din, but not quite as much noise as the guitar player who attempted to imitate Jimmy Hendricks' rendition of the national anthem. I made a connection with one of the policemen when I winced and said to him, that’s just awful! He cracked a nice smile – it’s funny how easy it is to connect with someone, even when you’re on opposite sides. There’s always some point of commonality between any two people. I want to look for that more often.

CBS and several local stations were there to cover the event. Whether it will make the local news tonight remains to be seen.

There’s something Arnold should have terminated but didn’t – his campaign contributions from Tom Noe. Even George Bush returned campaign contributions from Mr. Noe, a rare coin dealer who somehow, miraculously and against all good judgment, was handed $50 million from Ohio to invest in his coin business. Now, strangely, 121 coins the fund had invested in are missing, and the state lost between $10-12 million on the investment in what is now called the “Coingate” scandal.

And then there’s the thing Arnold should terminate, but won’t: the special election. Why is he putting his initiatives on the ballot? Because he couldn’t get them passed by the legislature and he’s trying to cash in on his personal appeal by taking them to the people. But these initiatives are Orwellian – full of nice sounding words as they slip a noose to the uninformed to slip around their necks. Several initiatives give the Governor ever-increasing power. And dare I ask why he is rushing the election through this year, rather than waiting for the normal election cycle? Could it be because the requirement for a voter-verified paper trail on all voting machines doesn’t kick in until Jan 1, 2006? With the state about to certify Diebold and ES&S to record and tabulate our vote, I can’t help but fear there’s something sinister afoot.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Darwin Award Nominee?

Okay - he's still alive, but this just in - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the first directly-elected leader of Indonesia, gave out his private mobile phone number, urging people to call with issues. But the media started sharing it. Want the number? +62 811 109 949. Just don't expect to get through. So many calls came in that his phone is now unusable. Gee, how did that happen? Bad Idea Jeans!

I'd ridicule this even more if we didn't have a president whose stupidity didn't just crash a cell phone, but crashed the lives of thousands of families around the globe who are now suddenly without a loved one due to the war in Iraq.

And I have to say, I applaud the Indonesian president's heart, if not his intellect, on this matter. He believes, rightly, that a leader should never separate himself too far from his people. Bravo, good man, bravo. In fact, as Jared Diamond writes in his recent book Collapse, it's important for the elites to participate in the same reality the people under them share, so they can see problems coming and head them off. In this interview, he explained, "in societies where the elites do not suffer from the consequences of their decisions, but can insulate themselves, the elite are more likely to pursue their short-term interests, even though that may be bad for the long-term interests of the society, including the children of the elite themselves."

In other words, if I had to choose between a president who wanted so much to talk to his people that he'd naively give out his private phone number, or a president who sends the children of others to kill and die to promote American imperial interests, hmmm, it's a tough call.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Paris Postcard

I wrote this when I was in Paris recently on Jimmy Walter's 9/11 European Tour, but thought I'd share it with my blog audience. I'm usually ranting and raving and depressed when I come here. I thought you might want to read something I wrote when I was actually having a fantastic time!

I’m at the halfway point in my one day in Paris. I’ve stopped along the Champs Elysée at a sidewalk restaurant (too pricey to call it a café) for a prix fixe menu, meaning set items for a fixed price. A chilled glass of red wine (Pinot Noir) was just put on my table. Chilled red wine, in France? That’s either very right or very wrong, and I would have no way of knowing which, being no kind of connoisseur. Given the heat, however, now that the surprise is past, the coolness is welcome. My menu today consists of French onion soup, grilled salmon, and crème brûlée.

So far I’ve climbed more stairs today than I probably have in the entire year to date. I started the day by climbing the Eiffel Tower! Now bear in mind, I’m carrying a purse laden with a digital camera, a laptop, it’s heavy battery, the power cord (just in case I feel the need to recharge), an umbrella (utterly unnecessary on this gorgeous 80 degree day) and other assorted (un)necessities. So when I tell you that I climbed to the upper level, the last platform before the elevator that takes you all the way to the top, you should be really proud of me. That’s a very steep climb. (Excuse me, my French onion soup arrived, and it’s fabulous. The cheese is thick and bubbly rim to rim, so allow me a few minutes before continuing. Heaven in a bowl!)

The Eiffel Tower. I have always though it one of the most beautiful man-made structures on the planet. I know there are many who disagree. But the arches and curves, the technical genius of its design, its situation between the river and a beautiful park that stretches beyond, and its overall gracefulness combine to make it one of my personal seven wonders of the world.

When I arrived, by Subway this morning, there were already long lines for the ride up the leg of the tower. Funiculars sit in some of the legs, offering a ride to the platforms at the lower part of the tower. So I climbed. And climbed. And repeated to myself that if I just kept stepping one step after the other I would get to where I needed to be. But (pardon – the birds are rioting in a nearby flowerpot. Maybe one of them stole some food? They’re shrieking at each other!) eventually I made it up the viewing platforms. There are a couple of levels. The lowest one is where most of my fellow climbers stopped and turned back. And I don’t blame them. It was difficult getting that far. But I pressed on, and was rewarded with an unobstructed view at the higher level platform.

Paris is breathtaking. Everywhere you see beautiful old architecture, often intermingled with modern architecture, and somehow it all works. (Oh my – the salmon has arrived, and it’s big and flaky and tender and fresh! The plate is decorated with vegetables julienne and capers, and a peeled cherry tomato. Artistic to look at, and sumptuous to taste.)

I’m having an odd earthquake sensation. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been in motion all day until now and my body is not yet at rest, or if the cars going by and the very wide and very busy Champs Elysee is causing the motion. I feel like I’ve been on a ship for a week. In a way I have, with all the planes, trains, buses and boats. Happens every time I bend my head over my plate. Oh well.

From the upper platform, I took the elevator - a quick but terrifyingly high ride - to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I was in Europe once before, in 1987, and at that time remember only making it to the bottom platform, not the upper one and definitely not to the top. I don’t usually have any issues with Vertigo, but I must say I swooned a bit when I looked down. I felt safe, but slightly dizzy. But then, maybe that was the beauty of the view! Once up, I did not climb back down, but opted for ride down the elevator and separately, down the funicular to the base. Check. Another item on my lifelong “must do” list achieved.

From there, I got an all-day pass to the taxiboats that circle the city by river (Seine). I got off at the next stop, my favorite museum on the planet so far, the Musee D’Orsay. I spent a good half a day there the last time I was here, 18 years ago, and this time went quickly to revisit my favorite pieces. The museum is an old converted train station, and is a beautiful building in its own right. But graced with statues and artwork you’ve seen all your life in books, now come to life a few feet in front of your nose, it becomes a fairy tale kingdom. I walked into one room and blurted out, “ROSSEAU!” I love his highly unique style, the flat picture with more than meets the eye, the dark greens and warm oranges. I don’t particularly like those colors, but he uses them so well and in such harmony that I enjoy it in his work. In another room, I saw my favorite Renoir, a party scene with men and women dancing and chatting at a lively outdoor soiree. You’ve all seen it somewhere. It’s quite famous, and rightly so. Wish I could have that in my living room!

The Monets. The Manets. The pointillists and the broad strokes of Van Gogh. There’s a picture similar in tone and color to his famous “Starry Night” that I like much better. I was so busy trying to capture it with my camera that I neglected to get its name. But it’s just amazing. The dock lights cast ripples of gold through a dark blue harbor area as stars twinkle in the sky with gleams of gold that cannot come only from paint! I’m constantly amazed and in awe of how the artist can capture light and bring it to life in two dimensions.

I find I’m drawn to art that has a story buried within it. I’ve never been fond of still lifes, although I can appreciate the accuracy, the color, the composition. But when I see a man and a woman dancing, or children at the seaside, or couples strolling at dusk, or battle scenes, my mind instantly engages and starts to draw in the rest of the story, the relationship between the figures, what came before, and what will happen next. I love how that works.

Well, given how very close the Musee D’Orsay is to the biggest church of art in the world, I had to use my (highly recommended) one day museum pass to jump the line and directly enter the Louvre! Again, I had spent perhaps a full day there before, and knew even then I hadn’t seen everything, but I rushed through to my favorites. The museum is divided into three main galleries – Delano, Sully, and Richelieu. The Delano wing houses the Mona Lisa, which I had to see. One of the first pieces you will see in the Delano is the breathtaking (literally – I can’t help but gasp whenever I see it) Winged Victory. What a monument to grace and motion, captured forever in a marble slice of time. Continuing up more stairs, many more stairs, many more STEEP stairs (I told you, the most climbing I’ve done all year) I finally reached the Mona Lisa. She really does have a delightful smile, and since we share at least part of a name, I feel a certain kinship there. She was still taking in the crowd as seductively as ever. And the crowd was pushing and shoving, trying to get to the front row for that fleeting encounter with the immortal. I swear that’s the appeal of great art. It transcends our personal history and connects us to a sense of the eternal.

From there, I descended and ascended and descended more stairs than I ever want to remember to get to the bottom of the Sully where Venus di Milo stands unarmed and disarming. Again, people pushed and clamored for her attention, or at least, to get their picture taken in front of her.

Somewhere en route to Venus, I encountered another old favorite: a lovely white marble sculpture of a young angel embracing a young maiden as he pulls her in gently for a kiss. She is melting in his arms. It’s so lyrical, so completely romantic, I can’t help but be smitten each time I see it.

After getting lost in the Egyptian antiquities section and finally finding my way out, I headed through the beautiful gardens that extend for the Louvre towards the Arc de (du?) Triomphe, which straddles the street where I’m sitting. I can see it through the trees, just a few blocks away.

Paris is just huge. The streets are wide. You could drive buses side by side on the sidewalks in spots. The parks are large and gorgeous, with flowers to match. The streets are filled with “smart cars” that are a welcome relief from the wasteful SUVs of America and especially Los Angeles.

I was rereading this to pick up where I left off, now that I’m back at the hotel room. It’s only 8pm but I feel the need to put my feet in the air and give them a long rest. After lunch I hopped a tour bus for a couple of hours around the major sites. I love all the history that accompanies such tours – the little facts. I was surprised to learn that only a century ago, the Louvre had fallen into disrepair and was a site where starving artists gathered. Thank goodness the city had the foresight to save and restore this amazing monster of a building to turn it into a shrine to the arts.

The Opera House is truly a gorgeous monument. The street that leads from the Louvre to the Opera House has no trees because the architect did not want trees obscuring any of the lovely lines in that magnificent structure. I recently read a book about the building of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and was surprised to see how strong the artistic visions were for both the buildings and the landscaping. In Los Angeles, buildings are primarily functional. In Paris, in the older buildings, no surface is flat for too long. There has to be a carving, or a relief, or a decoration. Buildings had to be beautiful, not just functional, and the affect these buildings had on me as I walked down the street was remarkable. I felt like I was in a state of constant mental and emotional stimulation. I delighted in the creativity. The Louvre is as fascinating outside as it is inside. Immense statues of men, women, gods and angels guard the outside walls of the buildings. Which reminds me – why is justice always depicted a women? What’s up with that??

I think of what would happen were Americans to take over Paris. They’d start by privatizing the Louvre, chopping up the parks and handing them over to developers, and selling off the riverfront property. They’d put a McDonalds on the viewing platform in the Eiffel Tower.

Speaking of which – one of the audience members at our talk last night asked what they should do, and if they should boycott McDonalds. I said you have to do something, and I liked the idea of a McDonald’s boycott, personally. I said as the US goes, so goes the world, meaning, our problems are soon to be everyone’s problems. I said if we go to Iran, we may drag France with us, and many nodded their heads. I know that the current European Union constitution has a new section on terrorism that is bothering those few who have read it. I’m not up on the specifics, but they said we’re already exporting the worst from our society to Europe. And Europe is having a financial crisis much like that in America. As in America, the middle class is disappearing as societies become increasingly more polarized. It worries me. But nothing worried me today. Today, I just took in all the mental, artistic, emotional, and sensory stimulations and just wallowed in that without analyzing (until now, drat.)

I hope cities in the US learn of the value of public spaces. That’s what strikes me in Europe. There are HUGE squares, HUGE parks, long waterfronts where anyone can come and partake of the beauty. In many American cities, such places are few and far between and insufficient. Central Park perhaps comes close. But it has never struck me as beautiful the way the carefully manicured and artistically designed parks are in Europe.

In Paris, the parks are paintings waiting to be captured. The colors and combinations of colors dazzle and inspire. The scents, however, cannot be captured. I must have stuck my nose inside a few score of various blossoms. Most gave off something delightful, and a few had no smell. There is a rose garden in the middle of a lovely park near my hotel. I love the strong fragrance of genuine natural roses. I loathe the scentless imitations commonly found at grocery stores. They’re a discredit to their race. The scents of jasmine and mock orange sent me several moments of sensory bliss. A good fragrance can completely shut down my other senses temporarily. It’s a lovely feeling.

Notre Dame also once almost fell to wreckers. It was badly in need of restoration and was expensive to keep up. But the city or the church or perhaps both – I can’t remember – found a way to save it. In Los Angeles, like the Ambassador Hotel, it would have been leveled and a fake version put in its place. If that.

All this said, by the way, I still like Los Angeles. It’s just home, and I’m starting to miss it, even amidst all this otherworldly splendor. The creative culture there is palpable. The weather is great. And when the trees are blooming – and LA has some of the prettiest flowering trees I’ve seen - it can be a lovely place in its own way. And it’s teaming with wildlife. Deer are readily seen in the hills (or at least were when I used to live near them.) Dolphins can be seen in Santa Monica Bay and points beyond. I’ve even seen whales off the shore in Malibu, and a little red fox once near Fox Hills mall. For all their charms, you couldn’t find live, wild dolphins in any of the cities I’ve visited yet. So that’s something to look forward to when I return! I’m at the halfway point today – three more cities and then home. Can’t WAIT to see Madrid. I’ve never been there, and we have the longest stay there – 3 or 4 days. Then on to Vienna and finally, London.

Here’s a tip for you. If you want something, really think about it and focus on it. I swear this works. For the last year I’ve had strong desire to see London. I think I saw it in a movie and it’s just been on my mind ever since. At least once a week for the last year I’ve found myself wishing for a way to get to London. Finally, I have it! So you see, dreams really do come true. Or maybe that’s part of the strange magic of Los Angeles....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Will be on the Meria Heller show

Just a note to readers - I'll be on the Meria Heller Earth Newshour show with Mark Elsis this Thursday, June 9th, to talk about the RFK case. Check for details.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Reality Gap

I just spent the last three weeks in Europe, talking about “The Reality Gap” – the difference between what the government proclaims to be true, and what is true. My specific focus was the environmental issues in the wake of collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11, and the government’s deliberate misrepresentations as to the safety of the air and dust in New York’s financial district.

In the wake of the collapse of the Trade Center towers, many tons of hazardous materials filled the air. Lead from computers. Mercury from computers and florescent light bulbs. Fiberglass and the dust from 600,000 square feet of glass. Dioxins from the burning nylon carpets and insulation materials. PCBs and PAHs – polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, formed by the incomplete combustion of oil, gas, garbage, and other materials.

The EPA had collected data it either had not tested or did not test properly, but still wanted to issue a minor warning re the health of the rescue workers and office workers near ground zero, but the White House Council on Environmental Quality (an Orwellian name if I ever heard one) altered their statements, indicating it was safe for people to go back to work.

One astute observer at the London show asked afterwards, doesn’t the Reality Gap extend far beyond this issue? He said, what about science? What about other fields? I never got the chance to answer as a colleague jumped in with his own statement. But I wanted to answer, so much so that I’m still thinking about it a couple of days later.

Yes. The Reality Gap is everywhere now, not just in the representation of historical events. It’s hard for anyone to know what is true anymore. I was in a newsstand earlier today and the guy manning the cash register expressed his frustration at never knowing what to believe. One story said “x” caused cancer, and another story said “x” was good for you. The problem isn’t with us readers. The problem is that the truth is highly politicized. Consider the following items:

  • Al Gore has been trying to sound the alarm re the very real problem of global warming. Bush and team pretend global warming doesn’t exist.
  • Scientists continue to disagree over whether cold fusion exists. 15 years after the original experiment that drew such controversy, the science and results have improved, but some still claim it’s nothing. George Seldes once wrote that if you look for the social economic motive, you will not have to wait for history to tell you what was propaganda and what was truth. Anyone who understands the world’s power structure is centered around oil will quickly realize that no one will allow a technology like cold fusion to take root until all the profiteering that can be done off of oil is complete.
  • The government has spent literally millions of dollars disinforming on UFOs, so says someone close to that effort. This effort has also painted antigravity as a physical impossibility. But explain that to the scientists in England who have levitated wood, strawberries, and a frog!

    There’s a reason we don’t know the truth about many things. Always, it is because the answer benefits the “wrong” party – the one not in control, the one who could wrest control from the controllers if spoken.

I’ve heard it said that the truth is like water in a clay pot – it will always find a way to seep out. Let’s hope so. And let’s hope we have the ability to recognize it when it does. In a world of cowed journalists and dishonest media owners, it’s getting harder and harder.