Sure, we all can lie, but should we?

Back in the day, when Dianne Feinstein was a lowly San Francisco supervisor, she proposed an ordinance making it a crime to say something that isn't true in a political statement.  Irrespective of the First Amendment, I wondered then what kind of star chamber was needed to constantly monitor the utterances emanating from the political class...with flawless accuracy.  At about that time, she also pioneered the use of absentee voting as a way of harvesting ballots long before the actual election.

In my brief career as a journalist, I learned by observation that I had no obligation to tell the truth, but perceived credibility was essential to my success.  Words like "virtually" (meaning "not actually") were particularly valuable.  If you're obviously wrong much of the time, you won't get very far — unless you're doing satire.  But good satire needs a significant element of truth.

Why is there all this concern over divergent opinions of vaccines and other related topics?  After all, only folks who opt out of vaccination are at risk of becoming seriously ill.  The rest of us don't have a dog in that fight.  Could it be that the authoritarian pseudo-experts are getting just a wee bit desperate, now that they've seen Dr. Fauci implode over his lame denials regarding his connection to the Wuhan virus lab?

We are supposedly entering the age of information.  There are, as a result, multiple sources for this stuff called information.  Some of them are bogus.  But how can we tell?  There used to be a thing called critical thought.  This implied that we were expected to test what we were told in order to ferret out the hoaxes and other BS.  

A common substitute for serious argument is to attack the pedigree of the source rather than intelligently dispute the facts presented.  I once had a conversation about tax rates with a Berkeley clone: "If only the rich would pay their fair share...," she said.  So I told her that the top 5% of income earners already pay almost 60% of the income tax.  "You probably just heard that on Rush Limbaugh — and I don't believe it."  "You don't have to believe it.  It's still a fact, according to official IRS statistics."  As the late, great Walter E. Williams used to say: "I wish there was some humane way that we could get rid of the we could have an honest discussion about tax policy."

The foot soldiers of the crusade against misinformation are the fact-checkers.  They're a lot like hairstylists: they attract clients by delivering a particular desired result.  Checking up on the fact-checkers is a lot like watching the watchman: it tends to be a circular process.

It used to be that nonconformists were respected.  They were considered creative, inspirational, opening doors to alternative views of the world.  Not so anymore.  There is now a militant orthodoxy employing "cancel culture" to enforce its norms.  How else could these people adopt the methods of the Orwellian "Ministry of Truth" with such ease?

Donald Trump is a nonconformist.  He smashed the idols of authority worship — and prosperity began to explode.  Those were scary times for the corrupt bunglers of the Deep State and the political establishment, and they'll do just about anything to keep Trump or anyone like him from rising to a position of power again.  They tried to blame Ron DeSantis for an imaginary lack of urgency over the condo collapse, and they're not through taking shots at him.  Kristi Noem is a tough target to acquire, since she's a girl, but that didn't stop them from going after Sarah Palin.  And they've got only a few weeks left to mortally wound Larry Elder — but don't think they're not trying.  And they're still beating up on Trump.

Image via Pxhere.

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