Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Media Conspiracies

Rev Jeremiah Wright 2Earlier today a story was released regarding a group of journalists who plotted to protect presidential candidate Senator Barak Obama from the Rev. Wright scandal (see story). Is it really so surprising? The media has done an excellent job marginalizing anyone who uses the word conspiracy. Today anyone using the "C" word is branded a nut job, conspiracy theorist, ... and immediately discredited. If I were involved in conspiracies I would think that a great first step to hiding them in plain sight would be to create an environment where anyone making claims of one would be considered a fool.

In reality, we live in a world filled with conspiracies and to disbelieve that they exist is almost equivalent to saying that there is no sun. We are all aware of them and may have participated in some. I can think of several times in my childhood where I conspired to hide things from my parents or deflect blame to someone else. At work people conspire to advance in their careers, sometimes by sabotaging co-workers, who they perceive to be a threat. In politics people seeking office often disparage their competitors in ways that most would feel are unethical. We regularly see peopleMao the Unknown Story prosecuted for Ponzi schemes that rob the innocent and trusting. Wherever the opportunity to gain money, power, or prestige exists there will invariably be found those conspiring to attain them using unethical or illegal means. Read "Mao, the Unknown Story" and you'll be appalled at the “conspiracies” he was involved in and how he was able to rewrite history to cover them up.

We would be foolish to think that today's politicians and journalists have any higher moral character than those in business, who are regularly pilloried by the press and political office holders.

In reading the story about the Rev Wright conspiracy which, as of now, has been run by only one major news outlet (is that a surprise), I am reminded of Allen Drury's great political fiction series (published between 1959  & 1975): "Advise and Consent", "A Shade of Difference", "Capable of Honor", "Preserve & Protect", "Come Nineveh, Come Tyre", and the alternate ending "The Promise of Joy". These are great books that are relevant today and contain hidden truths about how politics works and the media operates. They are on my recommended reading list. Over the years I've given several sets to friends. While they are not in print today you can readily find used copies.

Update:
You might also enjoy reading this post from on a website entitled “The Mind Unleashed”  which discusses a 2013 study “What about building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories.”

Monday, July 19, 2010

Civility in Politics

Well it has been about a month since the primary election and I feel settled enough to have a good mental review of my experience. First of all even though the candidate I worked to support lost I would do it all again, even knowing the outcome. Of course there are things I would do differently. It would be sad if this was not the case, because then I wouldn't have learned anything. Let me share with you some of the positives.
 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Amazing Grace: The Rest of the Story

The following story regarding the composer of "Amazing Grace," one of my favorite songs (I especially like the version performed by The Canadian Scottish Regiment Pipes and Drums), is found on page 178 of the book entitled "The Rebirth of America" published by the Arthur S. DeMoss Foundation.