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Critical Thinking

I was still a “sweet young thang” of 24 years, still listening to parents, the church, the government, the schools, everyone but myself, when I had a small but pivotal experience. I had an older friend, a woman that I was slightly afraid of because she tended to chew people up and spit them out on a regular basis. At least that was how I thought of her back then. Nevertheless, I liked her because she always seemed so clear about what she thought and wanted.

One day I read an article in the newspaper. It was brief and had to do with international relationships. I can’t remember now exactly what it said, but at the time, I was upset or unsettled and thought it was important for my friend to know about as well, so I took it to her and insisted she read it. When she did, I began spouting my opinions and attitudes about the article, only to be cut off at the knees when she handed it back to me and fired off a barrage of questions, “What do you know about the guy who wrote this? What is his agenda? Why does he use those particular words? How is he trying to hook you? Who benefits from this deal? Look at the bias of the newspaper itself! What does the article imply? What is it trying to get you to believe…to think…to feel? What is the history of international relationships between these countries? Where does this fit in the bigger picture of life and government and other countries today?”

I stood there in shock. Her questions implied that I did not know nearly enough to have an opinion of anything! They also implied that I had not done my homework. I was dismayed that I would have to do so much more work and pay attention to so many more boring details instead of allowing myself to get all worked up over a few juicy tidbits put out there solely to get me in a froth.

I only remember saying to her, “Where did you learn to think like that???” Suddenly, I wanted to see why things happened and know the understand the underbelly of life as it flowed through me and others.

What she presented that day was a small example of critical thinking. It is something we need right now in the U.S. If we don’t know HOW we have arrived at our present state of affairs…if we don’t know the hidden side of why people do what they do…if we aren’t looking outside the framework presented in a solitary news story… if we aren’t assembling a bigger picture of what is going on than the picture presented by the “authorities”… then we have not learned to think for ourselves or reached the point of critical thinking and will make serious mistakes in our choices for the future.

Trump the New Wife

Let’s imagine for a moment that you got a divorce and later met someone new that you fell in love with. Let’s say that this new love in your life already had children from a first marriage and that they ranged in age from 10 to 18 years of age. Let’s also say that you are enthusiastically focused on your new love and decide to get married. You look forward to spending time with a loving partner and assume that life will be better for both of you. However, after the marriage, you discover that the children are hostile. They are telling lies and awful stories to the ex-wife, their teachers, their friends,  the therapist, and the courts. These stories are not only untrue, they are based on childish points of view, immature perspectives, and old unresolved angers. How would you feel? What would you say? Donald Trump is in exactly this same situation.

The 2016 election was NOT about Trump, it was about we the people of the U.S. choosing to face and end the evils of financial corruption, child sacrifice, and sex trafficking. Mainstream news has not wanted to touch these topics except to say they are fake news. Why? I would think they’d be interested in bringing such charges to the surface, investigating, airing things out and getting to the bottom of such problems so we can heal and move forward peaceably. Instead mainstream media are going out of their way to destroy Trump.

The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Daily Kos, Moveon.org (both Daily Kos and Moveon are supported by George Soros) and others are pouring out a steady stream of headlines and information that is SO negative and SO biased it’s likely to trigger a backlash and create exactly the opposite effect they are trying to bring about. Of the headlines that arrive in my inbox every day from U.S. mainstream media, a large percentage are blatant attacks on our government. Here is a small sampling from the past few days:

Trump Revealed Highly Classified Intelligence to Russia, in Break With Ally, Officials Say – (Did he really? If our president can’t discuss classified information with other leaders and officials, then who can? What about Hilary Clinton’s sale of classified information to other countries? Who is the classified information for if not our elected officials? What is the point of collecting it if he can’t use it when necessary? I know it can be seen as naïve of me, but if transparency and honesty were valued, we wouldn’t be engaged in sneaky, “classified” operations in the first place!)

Trump’s Fraudulent Voter-Fraud Commission  (Who says it’s fraudulent? Is it any more fraudulent than the shenanigans of the Democratic National Committee and the way they stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders?)

A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump (Uh-huh…like Obama, and Bush, and Clinton were any different?)

When the World Is Led by a Child (This article is so vicious, so below-the-belt insulting that it’s hard to comprehend why anyone would print it in the first place. The article concludes with a statement that says Trump is a danger to the country…and completely overlooks the fact that this kind of writing is more of a danger to our country than 20 Trumps would ever be.)

How Trump Hurts the Spying Business (This article decries the tarnishing of America’s image as the ‘last, best hope of the world’ while proceeding to tear apart Trump and the current government…as if America had only been tarnished in the last 100 days. Anyone paying attention is aware that the real tarnishing started 16 years ago with the destruction of the Trade Center buildings by our own government.)

Trump White House is a Horror Movie with Hordes of Leakers and One Scary Clown (This story is so poorly written and so obviously distorted that it doesn’t deserve any comment at all. I was reminded that many newspapers and magazines know that approximately 70% of the people read only the headlines, so they try to get their digs in by juicing up the headlines in terrible ways.)

Students at Notre Dame Plan to Take Back Their Graduation from its Horrible Speaker – Mike Pence  (The author here tries to say that Republican speakers interfere with the graduates’ right to celebrate their academic success. She concludes by saying it would be nice if Pence ended up speaking to an empty room because everyone walked out. What does this teach the younger generation about how to treat people???)

Anderson Cooper to Trump Lackey Jeffrey Lord: If Trump Took a Dump on His Desk You’d Defend It (Disgusting! This is so low-class it’s pathetic! I wanted to cry at the ugliness of how we are talking about one another!!)

All of these are deeply negative, insulting to our government, and serve only to spread worry, fear, negativity, anger, distrust, poor attitudes, and severe biases designed to distort people’s perceptions and bring out the worst in us.

Media, Truth, and Perception

There have been a number of people asking me what sources I use for my information. The latest was Janet, so I decided to answer in a post.

When it comes to television, I watch it rarely, maybe once every couple of months. When I do, I watch Link TV with Amy Goodman. The rest of TV has been a wasteland for a long time and network TV will probably never fulfill the promise of its potential to develop and educate us.

Regarding newspapers, the mainstream newspaper I still read most often is the New York Times – mostly to get a good feel for the propaganda being perpetrated on the U.S. The NYT seems to have suddenly tempered some of their reporting a tiny bit since the election, but is still very biased and still failing to report all of what is going on in a balanced way. As for radio, I no longer listen to radio or NPR at all – most of that stuff is milktoast.

A side note… Since I travel to the east coast a fair amount, it is clear to me that the people in Washington DC and New York – all of whom have been lost in some very comfortable illusions for a long time – are about to experience a taste of what Detroit experienced when the Big 3 automakers suddenly found themselves ousted by Japanese carmakers…uncertainty, loss of income, abrupt expulsion from the illusion of security, a total paradigm shift, and a feeling of their world being turned upside down. My point in mentioning this is that all of the mainstream media has been totally controlled by the people in Washington DC and New York.

To get an idea of what is really going on and how people think and feel outside of DC, New York, and the U.S., I visit sites like NSNBC (my favorite), InfoWars, DrudgeReport, Breitbart, Truthdig, ZeroHedge, RealistNews, NewEasternOutlook, Xinhua News Agency, Jon Rappaport, RT News, Veterans Today, Washington’s Blog, Gmail News, French news, English news, Russian news, and a number of sites that are not well known at all but still provide a serious context for what is happening in the world around us.

I think it would be important to say that I am not looking for “the truth” from any of these sources. I am looking at the consciousness and assessing the language that is represented by each of these outlets. I then put together a picture for myself of what people are saying, thinking, and doing here and there. I weigh all of this along with what my own inner knowing is telling me, and out of this emerges a picture of what might be called “What is.”

This picture of ‘what is’ gets sifted, sorted, added to, subtracted from, dumped, retrieved, tweaked, and re-shaped again and again over the ensuing days and weeks, eventually resulting in something much broader and deeper than any media outlet could ever present. It allows me to see what is happening and to examine all of the factors that are in play at any given time.  In other words, “the truth” is something I discern for myself, and I am never in a hurry to declare what that truth is. What most people think is true, is usually just a momentary snapshot of where they are pointing their perception and attention.

Hillary – Health Drama…Or Planned Escape?

A number of people sent me articles about Hillary’s “collapse” at the September 11th memorial ceremony and the mistaken announcement by ABC that she was dead. Several people even called to ask what I was seeing around Hillary’s health. So here is the straight answer.

There is something that doesn’t sit right with me about the rather sudden focus on health issues for her and for Bill Clinton. Is the whole drama a script designed to fake her death…and then Bill shortly afterward, so that we all think they are gone…when their real plan is to “disappear” and go off to Argentina or Bolivia or some equally distant and unknown place to live out their days without being prosecuted for all of the murders and other crimes they have committed? It has been reported that Richard Rockefeller faked his own death last year or the year before and is now living the good life freely in South America.

A plan to fake one’s death has to be very carefully organized and carried out so no one figures out what is really going on. In the case of Hillary, her “death” would have several benefits. First, she could retire in peace.  Second, she would be able to abscond with the money she’s made through so many unethical deals. Third, if the death occurred before the election, it could possibly delay the entire election process and give the Democrats time to try to figure out how to prevent Trump from being elected. If it happened after the election, her vice presidential choice would step into the presidency. The Republicans used that same plan with Ronald Reagan. They forced Reagan to accept George Bush for vice president because they were planning to assassinate Reagan and usher Bush into the presidency. But the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray! Reagan survived, the Republicans had to slow their plans and bide their time, and Bush was forced to go through his own election process, although there was no sweat in doing so because that process was already being manipulated to get the outcomes the Cabal wanted.  If Hillary’s VP was previously hand-picked by the Cabal to carry on the same old agendas, the corruption would continue, perhaps even deepen, and it would be more difficult to create needed changes.

Of course, it is possible that Bill and Hillary are just getting older. It is possible that in spite of all their money, they don’t have the time or inclination to seek out the best and latest medical care. It is possible that they don’t know how to take care of themselves, or have just been so busy with their political careers that they’re worn out and falling apart…but somehow I can’t buy any of that. As usual, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Mainstream News and Thinking For Yourself

People have forgotten how to think for themselves. Are you one of them?  You are if you still watch and listen to mainstream news. Mainstream news is little more than baby pablum put together and spoon fed to you in nice, neat sound bites to make sure you never get the whole truth. Mainstream news is useful for only one thing – to get an idea of what the people in power want you to focus your attention on. It doesn’t matter whether it is truthful or not. It doesn’t matter that it is shallow or heavily biased. It doesn’t matter that the entire background and much of the story is missing. It doesn’t matter whether you believe it or not. It only matters that you spend your precious consciousness focused on it because that means you’re NOT focused on anything else that might tell you the whole truth – or develop your ability to discern the truth for yourself.

In the same way that we now have to bag our own groceries, do our own bank deposits, pump our own gas, figure out our own healing programs, and put together our own music, we now have to put together our own news. You have to do your homework when it comes to the news. Look around. Dig for info. What shows up? What fits together?

There is a ton of misinformation, bias, disinformation, nonsense, fear, propaganda, and crap out there. There have been plenty of times I threw my hands in the air and thought, “This is ridiculous! Everything I read or watch contradicts the thing I just finished reading or watching.” But learning how to put the news together is like anything else, you have to start somewhere. You will pass through stages.

The first stage is usually shock. You think the majority of what you are reading and hearing can’t possibly be true.

The next stage is overwhelm. Who and what should you believe? There is too much to even begin to assimilate a small amount of it. You drift from one extreme website or YouTube report to another.

The third stage is sorting.  Some of what you read begins to sink in and you begin to see certain themes again and again, read certain sources frequently, and develop a loose framework of ideas about what is actually happening in our world.

The fourth stage is arguing. You begin to get a fair but flawed picture of what is going on in the world and try to tell your family and friends – who are not really interested and who sometimes accuse you of becoming a conspiracy theorist. You back away in embarrassment and uncertainty.

The fifth stage is going deeper. Stinging from the criticism of family and friends, you expand your reading and listening in order to get a more accurate picture. You listen to all sides of a topic and a wide variety of reports – pro and con – about events taking place or continuing to unfold, and you begin to develop a well-rounded picture of what is going on in the world. You find yourself following certain threads more closely than others. You also begin to recognize who is grounded and accurate as well as who gets totally caught up in hyperbole and melodrama.

The sixth stage is discernment. By now you have a number of sources you go to regularly. You know how to listen to what is being said and what isn’t being said, and you are putting pieces together to make a fairly accurate assessment of the situation in many areas of life on our planet.

The last stage is thinking for yourself. At this stage, you have a sense of the history and background in the issues of our time. You know who is pushing one set of ideas and who is peddling a competing set of ideas, and you’re pretty clear about how each source is most likely to present the information at hand, what their positon and their biases are. You also know what your position and biases are as well. In other words, you have begun to know yourself, achieved the ability to see, hear, and think for yourself, assess what is likely to come down the pike, and to make appropriate decisions. Nothing is more critical for you in the development of your own consciousness!