This episode examines the US Constitution on Free Speech, The Department of Homeland Security’s Disinformation Governance Board, tech platform “independent” fact checkers, and the rise of censorship.
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Good morning, we’re going to do a piece here on Misinformation or Disinformation and I’ve entitled it Where to Check Your Facts. The issue of free speech is huge in America right now, maybe in the world. But I guess Canada made a big show of not permitting people the right to assemble, the right to express opinion in a recent effort by Truckers to try to express dissent over vaccine mandates. I think Australia must be pretty hard on free speech at the moment.
I don’t know about Europe, but here in the States, there’s an enormously strong contingent or lobby or group that is downright hostile to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of Americans to express our views and our opinions. And this is both by government forces, as well as in the private sector.
There is, as I say, a group or contingent or Cabal, or a sector of Americans, who are openly and purely hostile to the doctrine of free speech, the constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech and believe proudly, that this element of rights guaranteed Americans is wrong and should be opposed. And speech should be delimited in extreme ways.
It just happens to be the nature of the time. I just didn’t see that coming. I never dreamt I would find that there would be such a significant and vocal outspoken group of American people who are proudly, vehemently, and aggressively against the right of citizens to express points of view. They are determined to stop it in all ways possible, and are proud to consider themselves the most virtuous among us, those who are strongly in favor of censoring people, deplatforming people, and imprisoning people. And so for strongly in favor, regard themselves as the most virtuous among Americans. How is that possible?
So, Americans were once proud and grateful for our freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. All my life, and I’m sure, it’s always been until this very time in which we live, it was true of all Americans on both sides of the political spectrum that freedom of speech was sacrosanct. It was a precious gift given us by our founders, and defended by valiant men and women who died defending these rights.
Now, it’s amazing to find that there are those who are openly hostile, proudly and aggressively so, and feels virtuous, honorable and feels to be the great defenders of Americans in their determination to prevent citizens from expressing themselves. It used to be a thing of pride in which we not only would tolerate opposing views, but we would fight for the rights of our enemies, to freely express themselves.
It was a sign of maturity; it was a sign of a broad mindedness, people were proud to be able to engage thought about which we disagree. And the very famous thing that resonated, as I say, on all sides of the political spectrum is, ‘I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will fight to the death to protect your right to say it’. This was the American way, it was a universal source of pride and gratitude across the board, and that now is utterly absent in a significant sector of American life.
The, what is called the First Amendment, has a number of guaranteed freedoms and the ones relating to speech basically have excised the other elements about freedom of conscience, freedom of belief, freedom of religious practice. And that part of the First Amendment, which speaks to speech, is essentially this, ‘Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or of the right of people to petition the government for a redress of grievances’.
So, it is a constitutionally enshrined right, to be able to express concern or even hostility to government practice that is regarded to be oppressive or tyrannical, or totalitarian in some way. Americans used to be proud of our freedom and our rights, especially the right to express a point of view. And we would never imagine that there would be people who would imagine themselves to be acting in a virtuous way, proudly demanding that we be silenced, or disappear, or our voice taken away, even imprisoned.
The way it came to pass, that a contingent or a group of American people who are against freedom, against freedom of expression, against freedom of speech, and consider themselves virtuous for holding this point of view, comes out of the history of a number of, it’s a very big topic, but I’m just going to focus on a couple of things.
It has to do with the emergence of legislation and orientation that has to do with groups or classes of people that became a focus of legislation and a focus of moral orientation. So there are concepts or terms such as hate speech, and hate crimes, and these are described essentially as hatred against a group or class of persons on the basis of race, religion, skin color, sexual identity, gender identity, ethnicity, disability, or national origin.
There emerged in the 80s also, some legislation in the 60s, later in the 80s, there emerged an orientation in which Americans began to be balkanized or broken down into a group of people who wants to assess whether or not given actions or given speech or given behavior can be intuited or sussed out or suspected of being directed toward a certain group. And these groups are oriented by people committed to what’s called Identity Politics- is your identity is your skin color, your identity is your religious faith, your identity is your sexual identity or gender identity, or ethnicity.
So, rather than looking to see whether or not behavior is criminal in itself, or speech is harmful in itself, it’s turned around to be examined for whether or not it is directed towards an individual of their identity. This goes contrary to a long standing American ideal and tradition that is enshrined in the vision and the narrative introduced by Reverend Martin Luther King, in which he’s Jr. in which he said, ‘It’s not by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character’.
So, what people who are oriented towards individual and personal rights and responsibilities, they want to know is the behavior criminal, is the speech problematic towards anyone, not whether it’s towards a given identity. So, as the legislation and as orientation, particularly of a given political part of the spectrum, wanted to focus only on identity, not on personal and individual responsibility, these people began to create the culture in which all behavior and all speech and all action is assessed by its impact on a group or a class of people.
Now, can people of a given sexual identity be problematic? Can they be criminal? Can they be bad people? One would presume so. Can people of a given skin color be problematic, be bad in their behavior, be criminal in their behavior? One would assume so. They are people, of course, there’s going to be some people with problematic behavior or views or ideas, there are people.
But by lumping all people into separate demographic groups, we remove the orientation towards the value and the integrity of the behavior of the individual and reverse its emphasis on whether or not it is directed toward a particular identity. Violence is violence, there are laws against it. Why in particular should there be an interest in whether the violence was committed against a particular group or identity? These are called hate crimes.
Negative speech is to be frowned upon, is to be dissuaded, and is to be worked against. No matter who you’re speaking against, one should never be dismissive or hurtful in what one says to a person. Why is it especially helpful to understand if it’s hurtful to a particular random identifying characteristic, national origin? So, a person who’s going around being saying hurtful things, if he particularly for some reason hates Peruvians, he’s just going to only speak negatively about Peruvians. It’s not the point that he’s speaking about Peruvians, it’s this point that he’s speaking hurtfully. That’s what one should focus on.
But in my opinion, is the behavior of the individual and whether or not they’re breaking laws? Once legislation and culture shifted, to be riven with identity, and groupings, and away from responsible public behavior was what led to the possibility of having a political class and a political community that is in favor of violating or removing constitutionally guaranteed rights of free speech. It grows out of the development of this cultural development in America.
So now, people are on the watch on the lookout for if hurtful speech is directed toward a particular class or a particular sexual identity or gender identity and so forth. One of the things which are technically forbidden even with the rights of free speech is the incitement to violence or the incitement to harm; if one speech leads to harm. This is constrained or it’s not guaranteed free speech, to deliberately incite or lead to harm. And so, laws exist already to curtail speech that is not free. One doesn’t have the right to speak in ways that deliberately lead to harm.
This element of the examination or the evolution of the protection of free speech in America grew to develop the language and the narrative and the political class that refers to speech as violence. And that grew out of the psychological community in which, if you threaten someone, say, the psychological community developed the doctrine and argued for that the mere threat is equal to violence, it causes as much harm to the individual and so then evolved the development of the concept or doctrine of speech as violence.
Now if you turn on the TV, you’ll see some 28-year-old white blond hired basically for their looks, sitting behind a desk on ABC or NBC, or MSNBC, and they’ll just flip through with this language and with this narrative, and so they’ll say, ‘And we’re seeing in our country’, whether it’s violence or violence on paper, ‘this violence on paper so that you can write an opinion’. And then the opinion itself is called violence. That means that somehow you’ve expressed a point of view that is so distressing or stressful to the reader or hearer that you have committed violence. You’ve behaved in a criminal fashion.
So now we can understand how what was once a great pride of America, that people here are free to speak, they’re free to speak their mind, the evolution of certain key threads of thought shifted to produce a class of people who proudly as virtuous seek to curtail speech in many, many forms. And they have developed the capacity and the language to say that speech is violence, speech is criminal. And by stretching the notion of incitation, and then the narrative enters into the culture, and then they feel that if someone says someone is a racist, say they’re a racist.
And they say, ‘I believe all green people are more likely to commit crimes in Democrat-run cities. I believe that all people born green are more likely to commit crimes in Democrat-run cities’. This statement has been branded as an incitement to violence against green people, and that speech should not be allowed. For people who believe in the First Amendment, it’s fine to have an opinion, if you believe green people are more likely to commit violence, it’s an opinion.
Americans used to be guaranteed the right to express an opinion, this person happens to be a racist, he happens to have a negative view about green people. Bad luck for all of us, racists exist, this guy’s racist against green people. And now there’s a class of people who have developed the thought and the beliefs and language and the narrative that that speech is violence, that green people, upon hearing, that are harmed.
And so the First Amendment could not possibly have envisioned a racist speaking out loud, that green people are more likely to commit crimes. That person has incited violence against green people, that person has actually harmed green people. This is called violence on paper or speech of violence. And then once you have evolved with the evolution and emergence of Identity Politics, in which people are not regarded as individuals, but regarded as groups and classes.
So you have Identity Politics, you have the evolution of hate crimes, then hate speech, then you have speech as violence, speech as harm, and you have expressions as violence on paper. And so now, First Amendment rights which was the kind of crown jewel of being an American, ‘I may disagree with what you have to say, but I will defend to my death, your right to say’. Something that I don’t even agree with, that I find problematic, that I find bigoted, that I find racist, I’ll defend to my death your right to say it, even though I find what you’re saying abhorrent. That was the cornerstone of American life and American freedom.
But, once you have the evolution and development of Identity Politics in which what we’re mainly looking for, is if any criminal act is directed against a group, a sexual group, an ethnic group, a national, that people are not regarded for who they are as citizens, that all people are created equal, all people are equal under the law, we have laws against criminal behavior, we have laws against incitation for harm in speech. But no, now it is such that speech is violence, and you have terms like violence on paper.
So once you have a community of people, and basically they are a highly influential, elite class. They’re basically the wealthy and the powerful. And the way you’re wealthy and powerful is either by control of media, control of government, control of wealth, and control of institutions in which cultural life unfolds.
So basically, a small coterie of elite who consider themselves virtuous in protecting the powerless, if somebody of some sexual orientation is considered powerless, then an opinion about such a person is violence, and some elite person considers themselves as having the right to silence others with opinions that they regard harmful to some disadvantaged class or grouping.
Alright, so once that’s in place, now, you start to see the emergence of two types of censorship or two types of totalitarian behavior in which Americans now are no longer free to express their views and express their opinions. One is a sensorial government, a government that will kick your door in, that the FBI will investigate you, that you’ll sit in solitary confinement without representation, because you have expressed a point of view that differs from what the government would want you to believe.
Americans, prior to now, regarded that as problematic behavior, regarded that as the behavior of totalitarian regimes which had gulags and people disappearing and people being tortured, and that used to be seen as a negative by Americans. But now that we have that new situation, with speech as violence and violence on paper, and everybody regarded as some disadvantaged group or another, then you have the government saying we have to protect these disadvantaged people from speech.
And the most recent evolution or development of that is what was something literally unthinkable. It was limited to fiction, it was in 1984. They called it the Disinformation Government Board, in which the United States government wanted to propose to have an organization and they still do. They want to have an organization under the Department of Homeland Security, one of the most heavily armed forces on Earth, one of the most invasive and highly capacity surveillance forces on earth that have unlimited military power over United States citizens.
That group wanted to establish and still is establishing a Disinformation Governance Board. And, it’s under the authority of DHS leader Mayorkas. This is an individual who is overseeing the literal destruction of America with an open southern border. There’s mass death due to the flood of fentanyl. There’s a catastrophic influx of hostile agents into our country from tens of enemy nations disappearing throughout the United States. That’s the individual under whom the Disinformation Governance Board is being set in which the US government is going to examine the dissemination of information and decide whether it’s permitted or not.
They tragically appointed a person who couldn’t possibly survive scrutiny. This was Nina Jankowicz, and eventually she retired. I’m not going to go into her; she’s an easy target for ridicule. But I’m not going to go into that. Eventually, that caused the first incarnation, first rollout of the Disinformation Governance Board to crash on the shoals and be causes of great embarrassment to the Biden administration.
But I don’t care whether the Biden administration is embarrassed or not, I just care how we can come so far, that we have something straight out of 1984 which was nicknamed the Department of Truth. And this is the towing element of fiction of totalitarianism. It’s the face of totalitarianism; a governance disinformation which decides if someone’s allowed to say something or not.
Now after Nina Jankowicz has withdrawn or retired or quit or left, they went and found one of the most hideous individuals in recent American history, Michael Chertoff, as the person who’s going to make a study of what went wrong during the first rollout of the Biden administration’s Disinformation Government Board, that’s Michael Chertoff. Here are a couple of words on him.
Michael Chertoff experienced detaining Muslim Americans, justifying CIA torture, and helping draft the Patriot Act, making an all too appropriate choice to advise this Orwellian agency, Government Disinformation Board, that’s referred to in a lot of writing as Orwellian; referring to the quintessential narrative of what totalitarianism is, and yet it’s being applied. It’s not fiction anymore.
Here’s further; if the Biden administration wanted to dispel the Orwellian aura around the very idea of a government sponsor disinformation board, they could not have picked a worse candidate. Chertoff is notorious for enabling some of the most egregious offenses of the war on terrorism, from federal surveillance, to unlawful detention, to torture. Indeed, his previous governmental appointments were met with vociferous opposition from groups like Human Rights Watch, and the ACLU.
Those are the groups who appointed Chertoff in previous incarnations. And now that a Democrat-led Biden administration is proposing something as what’s called Orwellian as a disinformation board that’s going to place the government as responsible for assessing whether or not people can speak freely, and they appoint Chertoff, and I invite you go find on television, anywhere on television; Sunday morning shows, 6 o’clock News, 11 o’clock, turn it on and go find someone alarmed that this board is even proposed and let alone that Michael Chertoff has been tapped to be the person to oversee the recreation of it following the utter fiasco of that Nina Jankowicz appointments.
Okay, another example of what’s going on, and that’s does one really want the government to be able to say, whether my neighbor has said something that’s allowed or not allowed, or true or false? I think we don’t want that. And yet, they speak with pride and self-glorification, that how great they are, how great they are, and how concerned they are for disadvantaged people.
That’s part of the legacy of Identity Politics, and the academic twist on language such as speech as violence and violence on paper. So that, the words now come to be sufficiently branded so that even just a thought or a word or sentence can be branded as a person who has committed violence and must be censored, must be forbidden from speaking.
The other place where this happens, not only in the Spirit, I’m not going to get into the cancel culture, the woke entertainment community, the woke corporate community, that just destroys people’s lives. Basically, one other example, I want to talk about Elon Musk’s efforts to acquire Twitter. Elon Musk is a lifelong Democrat supporter, has been all his life. He regarded the direction Twitter took by having opaque rules in which they would close down or choke the traffic of given individuals, he thought that Twitter is too central to communications and the transmission of news and ideas for it to become censorial without accountability.
So, Musk himself said, ‘Given that Twitter serves as the de facto public town square, failing to adhere to free speech principles fundamentally undermines democracy’. That’s all he said. This is all he said. So he unimaginably initially offered $44 billion for Twitter. There have been some bumps in the road due to questions about bot accounts and due to questions of the SEC filing of whether or not all the accounts of Twitter’s value is accurate. But this is still in process. According to Musk, and he says, ‘Twitter created in 2006 has the potential to become a free speech platform’, a free speech platform.
For him, it is a social duty that every democracy needs. Musk believes that free speech is the cornerstone of democracy and helps democracy. There’s a view of many or a common truism, which says, ‘The problem in the efforts to arrive at what’s true, does not arise out of less speech, but more speech’. The more people get to express their points of view, the more people get to argue their points of view, the more we can hear how people come to hold the views they have.
These are the ways in which citizens have the ability to listen and learn and come to the conclusions of whether what’s being presented is true or false. It’s never the case that if someone has the capacity, simply to prevent the speech of someone who doesn’t agree with that this is going to lead to the truth. Now, major tech platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others, they have what are called ‘independent fact checkers’.
These people, we don’t know who they are; they’re nameless, faceless, they have no accountability whatsoever. We have no idea if they’re independent at all. We don’t know who they are. We haven’t examined their history. Like we have Michael Chertoff being put in head of the United States Government Disinformation Board, we know who he is; we can look at his record. Nina Jankowicz, we can know who she is. She’s a massive disseminator of disinformation. She was appointed by Mayorkas as the head of the disinformation board.
So, if we can know who people are, we can go find out if they’re ‘independent fact checkers’. We can see how they vote, we can see who they are, which party they donate to, we can look at their own Twitter account, we can look at to see who they despise, who they hate, who they’ve written against.
But if they’re just called independent fact checkers, and that’s something you can express a point of view like, ‘This medicine doesn’t work, or this medicine is bad for you. Or I have an uncle, who by the time he took his third protective action for his given disease fell over dead. He was 45, he was named the healthiest person in his corporation 4 years in a row, and went to protect himself from a given disease and he is dead now’.
If I wrote that, I would be removed, they would say, ‘You violate the terms and service of Twitter’, and so on. And so, all Musk wanted to do was just simply provide transparency in the governance of what is protected speech. And if there are people who are misrepresenting themselves, they’re not who they say they are, if there are people who are committing what are already crimes, incitation to violence, that their record could be shown, they could make their case, and they could be judged and they could be deplatformed or given a warning or the regulations could be open and transparent.
The mere desire of Elon Musk to spend an ungodly amount of his own personal money on the acquisition of Twitter with no other reason just to allow the exercise of the constitutional guaranteed right to speak and to think and have an opinion, he’s come under withering attack suddenly out of the blue. There are people whom he has ‘what is it sexual misbehavior’, every imaginable dirty trick in the book. Suddenly, he’s the enemy of all of humankind. Half of Twitter threatens to quit. My God, Elon Musk is coming and he wants free speech.
How can people be so openly hostile to free speech? Again, I discussed it earlier in this podcast that they believe that they are protecting groups, and they’ve come to drink the emerging and evolving democratic narrative grounded in kind of psychotherapeutic concept that speech is violence, and people are hurt, they’re harmed by what’s said, utterly contrary to how every American was raised prior to this current generation.
Alright, so this is just a little background. And I want to say the following, I want to offer the following thoughts and conclude, thanks for your attention so far. Information exists on a spectrum. Or, the transmission of information or narratives, there’s truth that which is factually correct, and it’s offered for consideration in a constructive and helpful light. I believe what I say is true, I’m presenting it because I believe that education and knowledge helps us become better people, and helps us to make decisions in our lives. That’s as close as you can come to truth.
It’s well intended, it’s well researched, and it attempts to be constructive as a form of education and information, helpful. Then there is speech that’s not true. It has factual problems. What’s being said may not be the case, that the not trueness of speech of that sort. It might be that the person has the information wrong. They thought it was the case, but they’re wrong. It’s not, it’s just an error, it’s bad information.
You can say that voting is as close as next Friday, when it doesn’t close until November. It’s just wrong information. You’re not ill intended, you’re not trying to do anything wrong, you’re giving wrong information, which could be really harmful. It could prevent people from voting and things like that. It’s bad. Its information that’s not true. But, it’s not meant to be true.
Or, it’s information that’s not yet fully known like all scientific information, like all medical information. The definition of science, the definition of medicine, is that things that are put forward as the case need to be challenged or falsified. The whole idea of putting forward something as the case invites the scientific community to try to falsify your information. And eventually, a great deal of things that were held to be scientifically the case turned out not to be the case, nobody is ill intended there.
They thought it was so, it looked like it was so, the best telescopes we have say it was so, the best microscopes we have say it was so, but eventually it became falsified. No one was ill intended there, they weren’t trying to cause harm or difficulty, they just didn’t know yet. So, information can be wrong. Just wrong, got it wrong, or it can be not yet known, and even eventually, falsified. All of that’s not true. That’s the next thing down on the scale.
Then there is falsehood, it is the manipulation of information, said or put together in such a way with the intention to pursue a given agenda rather than to inform. I’ll take a little bit of what’s true, a little bit of what’s false, or present falsehood as true, and so on and so forth. I have bad intention for my knowledge, I want to pursue an agenda, either my own wealth, or my own children getting into schools, or whatever it is. The next thing down on the spectrum of information is falsehood. It’s deliberately intended, that’s information that’s badly intended.
And finally, there are lies. This is saying things that one knows to be untrue with the deliberate intention to deceive. You’re saying something about a person, you’re saying politician X, Y, or Z did this with him or her or that little boy, or sold this or that or this insider trading or that. You know these things are to be false, and you’re saying them anyway with the intention of deliberately deceiving your hearer, that’s the approximate range of information; truth, not true, false, and lies. All information falls on that spectrum.
Rarely can one find information that we can simply call truth, rarely. It’s just the case. Rarely do we find outright lies. They’re there, there are plenty of people willing to lie to you, and they’re there. But it’s not common. These extreme ends of the spectrum are not that common. And all other information is on a spectrum between, depending on the intentionality of the person who’s speaking to you, the integrity of the person who’s speaking to you, the virtue of the person who’s speaking to you.
Do they want to help you? Have they been conscientious? Have they tried to research so that what they’re telling you is accurate? A lot of people are well intended, but they’re too lazy to do the research. So, they get way up in the areas of truth. It’s really hard to find people who want to do all that work and get things right and suspend things that they prefer for themselves. That’s a very high level of communication and information. A tremendous amount of information is not true or partially true, or partly wrong. It’s not ill intended, it might be lazy, and the person is mixed in their agenda.
They want to kind of have you believe that that girl is not so nice, or that guy is really not so nice, because they think it’ll make you like them better. It’s just part of the blend of human life and human experience. So, what has happened in this evolution and development of the sector of people who are proudly against speech, proudly against free speech, proudly against the US Constitution, which they believe harms this group or that, this disenfranchised group or that, it’s always groups, it’s not people, it’s groups.
They have come up with the terms; disinformation and misinformation to describe all information that may not be perfectly accurate, or may not be perfectly well intended. This is part of the same twist and evolution of the narrative that participates in this doctrine or concept of speech as harm or speech as violence. Because once you brand something as disinformation, it’s deliberately intended to mislead the hearer and cause a negative outcome in our society in our culture, and of course, for these disenfranchised groups, misinformation, and disinformation.
And now suddenly, now this is inciting. Did you know that at 3am in Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, they found 673,000 uncounted votes between 3am and 5am? Something like that. This is inciting. This is what caused the insurrectionist people to crash through the windows and capitalize. And so now, this is inciting. Now this falls into the category of speech, which is deliberate, it’s already constrained by the government. It’s just naming. It’s just naming an opinion.
You could also just simply say, ‘That’s not true, they didn’t find those votes. It’s just not a fact’. Or, you can just make sure that person never speaks again, forbidden to have an opinion. The way you can virtually and proudly say that no one should be able to express an opinion, it is absolutely forbidden, even if you have 10 million people listening to you.
If you dare to suggest that votes were counted at 3am in Philadelphia, your 10 million people who you built over stressful and painful life of effort, trying to build an audience is just taken from you. Why? Because, this is disinformation. You’re deliberately trying to mislead people. You’re inciting, it’s forbidden speech, alright.
And so because this kind of forbidden speech, this harmful speech is going out, we now need government bodies of misinformation. And we need independent fact checkers. The government is absolutely incapable of deciding what’s true and false, incapable. That’s why we have the fifth column. That’s why we have the press. The job of the press is to get elected people to say what they don’t want to say, to try to get the truth out of them. How on earth can anyone believe that the government is going to be the people but who are going to tell you what’s true and what’s false?
The very thought of it should be absolutely unthinkable. And then to trust nameless, independent fact checkers from Facebook and Twitter and people to like, block your thing from being said? Who are these people? What do they know? We have no idea who they are. We have no idea their agenda, we have no idea their purpose, and we have no idea who hired them, who picked them, who built them, who these people are. Both of these things should have no business in my life, to tell me what’s true and what’s false. But do I need help to know what’s true and what’s false? I absolutely do.
I can’t do it alone. I can’t do it in a vacuum. But I do not need the help of people I don’t know. And God knows I don’t need the help of the United States government. What do they know about what I know and don’t know; what I’m allowed to read and not allowed to read? It should be unthinkable. And yet there are people fighting for it with pride and a sense of virtue. And these fact checkers, who are they? Why do I think they care about what I know or don’t know?
There’s no way to have confidence in such an inane notion as an independent fact checker, nameless, faceless people. We have no idea who they are, with opaque rules about what’s allowed to be said and what’s not allowed to be said, unthinkable. So, here’s the last thing I’m going to say. We all face the burden of charting our life and making our decisions and assessing information that comes to me. Is this person lying to me? Are they telling me something so that I will do something that’s for their advantage even if it’s going to cause me illness for the rest of my life?
Is there a person who’s willing to get me to take a pill for 15 bucks that that 15 bucks is more important to that person than my life, that I’ll be limping with swollen knees for the rest of my life? Then he’ll lie to me, he’ll say, this is the best thing you ever need; you’ll never have another sleepless night again, you’ll grow a full lot of hair. And so he’s lying, the person’s lying, all the way up to people who are saying, ‘Did you realize that they’re going to put a highway right beside your house or something’? You say, ‘No way. No way. There are laws against that, I’ve checked’.
And that person might be telling the truth. I think he’s lying. I think he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. I think he’s just trying to get me to sell my house, and then I find out that it’s true. So, every information that comes to me, I have to figure it out. There are people that’s gonna lie to me, and I might want to believe them. And there are people that are going to be telling me the truth, and I might think they’re lying. All of us have the individual burden figuring things out. But it’s difficult. So how do we get the help we need? And here’s the point of this, the whole point of my podcast; people we trust. Ideally, it should be family.
I should be able to go to my mom and my dad and my sister and my brother and my son and my daughter, and say, ‘Have you heard this? Have you read anything about this? Do you know anything more about this’? Ideally, family is the best place to have your ‘independent fact checkers’. ‘No, no, Dad, absolutely not here, I’ll show you an article I read’. That’s who I want worried about what I believe to be true or false.
And then after family, close friends, community, people I can trust. Family and friends, community, people, and groups that I volunteer with. Maybe I work in a soup kitchen, maybe I go to a church, maybe I work in a library. Maybe I have friends who I’m in a club; I’m in a chess club with. ‘Did you read about this? Did you hear about this? Have you ever heard about this drug that they say is supposed to do this or that to me? Have you ever heard about it? Have you ever read about it’?
The secret or the need is to recover basic life in family and then friends and in community. Therein lays the solution to the issue of speech, the issue of harm. Who’s going to tell me not to speak this way because it hurts the feelings of a group? Somebody I know, somebody that loves me, somebody that cares about me. ‘Do you realize when you talk like this, how it sounds? Do you realize that when you said this, my friend was so hurt, he never wants to ever come back here again’?
It isn’t to have some nameless ‘independent fact checker’ closing down my accounts and I never know what happened. It is locally, it’s individually, and it’s responsibly. Do you think that somebody’s going to help me that if I have a bad attitude that has some race, that has some bias in it against a sexual orientation, do you think that I can only hear from one type of person or another type of person? People are people.
That’s how we come to improve ourselves. That’s how we come to have a relationship with information. So, I really implore you, I ask us, I pray to invest in the relationships needed. Because we will always be met with a spectrum of information, we will always have to navigate it. We can’t do it alone. We have to do it in community. And we absolutely do not want the government of all people and nameless, faceless people who we know nothing about turning over our personal responsibility to them to tell me what’s true, what’s false, or what I’m allowed to hear or not hear. Thanks for listening, we’ll talk again soon.