Sunday, August 5, 2018

Bill Crawford: Do We Care What Truth Is?

Do Americans want to be deceived?

In 2012 Marquette University ethics professor emeritus Dr. Daniel McGuire penned an amazingly contemporary piece entitled "The Loneliness of the Truth Teller" for the Huffington Post.

He wrote there is a "striking conviction of the Jewish and Christian biblical writers that people perversely seem to want to be deceived. The third century Christian Tertullian said that 'the truth appears to be instinctively hated.' The prophet Hosea lamented 'there is no truth ... in the land!' Jeremiah offered a dare: 'Go up and down the streets of Jerusalem and see for yourselves; search her wide squares; can you find anyone who seeks the truth?' Our leaders speak 'lies,' said Jeremiah and the 'people love to have it so.' Isaiah moaned that people 'prefer smooth words and seductive visions.' As a result: 'Truth stumbles in the market-place and honesty is kept out of court, so truth is lost to sight.'”

McGuire concluded the biblical and classical authors who said all this discerned "that people don’t mind deception and folks in power are more than happy to accommodate them."

Has that ever been more true than today?

Whether our powerful president's lies or our powerful news media's fake news, the "truth is lost to sight."

The truth is lost to sight so easily for two reasons. First, as Dr. McGuire says, because our sorry human nature loves to have it so. But also because it is buried beneath the piles of blogs, tweets, posts, pronouncements, and news casts that distort everything to fit their own agendas. Yes, we still have truth tellers, but you can't find them beneath the piles of verbal manure.

Former CBS host Bob Schieffer, author of "Overload: Finding the Truth in Today’s Deluge of News," said, "We can’t knock down every lie as it comes out, there’s just too much."

Closer to home, consider the story about the $2 million now-suspended frontage road project near Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves' gated community.

MDOT Executive Director Melinda McGrath said the only reason the frontage road was to be built was due to political pressure from Reeves' office. Reeves said he, personally, provided no such pressure and challenged McGrath to substantiate her claim. MDOT Commissioner Dick Hall said he made the decision to build the road for safety reasons but suspended the project after the safety reasons were questioned. McGrath, in a letter to Reeves, stood by her assertion that MDOT officials believe Reeves’ office exerted “political authority.” Likely Reeves opponent for governor next year, Attorney General Jim Hood said he has a duty to investigate.

Perhaps we don't care who the truth tellers are here.

How about House Speaker Philip Gunn's moral opposition to gambling vis-à-vis a state lottery. Gunn is a Baptist deacon who "has always been opposed to gambling" his spokesperson has said. But, fantasy sports gambling passed the House on his watch last year. And, guess what, it had a sneaky provision hidden within that legalized sports betting at casinos should the U.S. Supreme Court allow it. Sports betting at casinos kicked off last week.

Perhaps we don't care about this either.

And that is Dr. McGuire's point, we don't care about deception, especially from those in power. Woe is us!

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian.


Anonymous said...

"Truth" demands personal accountability.....which is what is rarely popular. That's really all there is to it. Trump is an imperfect human being no doubt, but his destruction of the mainstream media's narrative moving the nation toward Socialism is a great truth no seems to want to directly talk about. It's why all the Democrats have gone "all in" and aren't even afraid to openly promote socialism. It will be their final hoorah, because once most people really understand it, more people would rather be personally accountable than be taken care of by the government in no way "takes care of" anybody.

Anonymous said...

People believe those who agree with them. No matter if it is the truth or a lie.
If something is said about a person they dislike they believe it even though it is a lie.
Truth has no place in the world today.

Anonymous said...

I was naive to think we were better than this.

Anonymous said...

Unless the truth is absolutely imperative, that is, a matter of immediate life or death, we choose to take it or leave it. If it advances our personal lifestyle and fiscal agenda we take it, if it does not, we leave it. A universal truth.

Anonymous said...

Lt. Kaffee: "I want the truth!"

Col. Jessup: "You can't handle the truth!"

Anonymous said...

... we don't care about deception, especially from those in power ...

Case in point, Crawford's own herculean water carrying for Haley Barbour and the Kemper lignite fiasco.

Anonymous said...

Funny to be lectured about personal accountability by an anonymous blogger.

Anonymous said...

We'll have civil war before socialism. Those Antifa clowns were obviously never taught to avoid kicking a yellow jackets nest.

Anonymous said...

2:27, what is your definition of socialism? We already have lots of socialist aspects in our economy at the federal, state, and local levels.

Anonymous said...

When lying gets to the point of, obstruction of justice, we have a real problem.
The president's lawyers can not let him be interviewed by Mueller, he would likely commit perjury with the first question answered.

Anonymous said...

2:27 PM We will have civil war before fascism. 55% of the country voted against Trump and will never agree to let him become a Putin puppet dictator for life. By the way the word Antifa means anti-fascist.

Anonymous said...

@3:41, jump on in. Don't worry, the water is merely warm.

Kingfish said...

And over 50% voted against Hillary. She never got 50% of the vote just as Bill, I think, got only 43%.

Anonymous said...

Kingfish, quit using facts. 5:49 doesn't care about facts or truth. 5:49 only wants to advance their narrative.

Marlana Walters said...

Is being lonely or telling the truth really so bad?

Anonymous said...

Hold on! Huffington Post has published an article about truth-telling? Somethin' ain't right with that picture!

Anonymous said...

You know its true when Fox News doesn't report on it, or they down play it.

Anonymous said...

It is human nature not to believe what you don't want to be true.
Humans don't want to believe their judgment, especially about other humans might be flawed. That is psychologically frightening and makes them feel vulnerable.
This is why abused women don't leave their abusers.

In addition, once you recognize a problem, you have to solve it.That requires grasping the full nature of the problem, action and energy.

It also requires taking responsibility if you have helped cause the problem or shouldn't have ignored the reasons the problem exists. That is an ego blow.

If we don't understand a subject or complex problem , we like oversimplification so it allows us to feel smart.

So, unless you acknowledge that you are an ordinary human with human flaws that you must guard against, you can't be honest with yourself or anyone else. You will also fall prey to blind trust in other flawed humans without questioning their motives like seeking power or greed ( other human flaws). You will fall prey to false prophets who tell you that you are exceptional or can be if you follow them.

Our Greatest Generation was great because they had no choice but to see there were problems greater than their own egos and that ordinary people could be extraordinarily misled.It took them 2 World Wars and a Depression but they got that blind trust and denial is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

All I know is that Urban should have fired that guy a long time ago...

Anonymous said...

It's actually that humans believe what they want to be true. That's the basis of denial.
We also find it very frightening to accept that our intuition and judgment could be ever be so badly flawed as to put us at risk. And, in less personally direct situations, it's a blow to ego and self-confidence.
It's why abused people don't leave their abuser... falling in love and trusting someone you were certain loved you is more terrifying than being hit.

There is also the human inclination to avoid having to deal with problems in hope the problem will be resolved with time or someone else will resolve it for us. And, that becomes even more difficult when we sense some responsibility for the problem by misjudging others or not being smart enough to see the problem clearly. That's a huge ego blow.

The ultimate versions of denial comes when it's reinforced by our peer group(s). Jonestown and Waco are extreme examples. And, the rest of us like to think we are immune to so blindly putting faith in a single other human, but the fact is , we are not.

I would remind all of you of the " Blue eyed/Brown eyed" research and the research where ordinary people were able to deliver extreme electrical shock another human they heard screaming and begging them to stop, based simply on the word of someone they believed to be in authority and trustworthy.

Truth tellers are people who are willing to accept they are not exceptional in our species as they recognize human weaknesses and try to adopt behaviors that help them avoid the dangers those weaknesses present.

Those given to fanaticism are those who are willing to perceive other humans( singularly or in groups) as so exceptional as to be almost without flaws. And, they can base that on one talent or looks or what they say without regard to their past or expertise.

So, step one to be truthful and having a chance to recognize the truth is to accept that we are mammals and like all other pack mammals, our species has talents and flaws. We can join functional or dysfunctional packs. We can have individuals weaknesses and strengths.

Unlike the other mammals, we have the ability to be less of a victim to our environment if we are self aware of our strengths and weakness and choose to learn to overcome our weaknesses through maximizing our learning capability and improving our ability to make judgments. And, that is a life long tasks.

The bottom line is that we have never had a perfect President who did not make any errors in judgment in life or in his Presidency with the possible exception of George Washington whose only job really was to be a visible , uniting presence...that's why he slept in so many beds. He was visiting every colony so people could see there was a leader.

Anonymous said...

"You know its true when Fox News doesn't report on it, or they down play it."

Funny you would say that since the other networks cover/announce zilch of what Trump has done positive with the economy or anything else. Or does your theory not apply in reverse?

Every day all day long we hear, "You will not hear or read this on mainstream media".

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that this bull economy is getting ready to crash. The media is trying to do Trump a favor.
Even if we all know when it turns into a bear market it's going to be the feds fault not his tax cuts and tariffs.

Anonymous said...

4:35....Your 'sky is falling' bullshit never does work. How frustrating that must be for you at supper every night.

Anonymous said...

@1:36pm It's the content of the message that matters doofus, not the messenger. Sheesh. What if that was said by a computer? Would it be no less true? You seem to have a mental block for internalizing truth when you hear it. Guess you're unable to process facts and topics without it getting personal. You're statement says as much.

Anonymous said...

7:33 pm Your " pie in the sky" doesn't work either.

I would suggest to both of you that "the market" is not the same as our economy, only a bellwether. And, it has always, had a psychological element akin to reading tea leaves.

Here's two examples: The downturn after 9/11 that hurt so many ordinary investors and took years for 401Ks to recover wasn't justified. The catastrophe of 2008 was justified. Again, the people hurt most were ordinary investors, most of whom can't ( again thanks to greed on the part of a few) buy shares except through funds.

Trump, a businessman who was seen as favorable to business, is a psychological event. Actual results will determine what the market does or doesn't do.

My concerns are long range. De-regulation is fine when it's targeted, but regulations to ensure that the Stock Exchange, banking and those whose profession it is manage our money do so ethically and responsibly were gutted and continue to be as well.

The worst to me, is that a prospectus doesn't have to be accurate. It's really no more than a sales pitch now. Morningstar used to be able to give an investor a fairly good reading on stocks. Now, they can't as the information isn't reliable.

Add to that, the manpower and power needed to regulate those entities as been reduced to a level of near impossibility. That is why, if you read about Wells Fargo today, they were able to get by with stealing people's homes.

Punishments, when they exist for such shenanigans, don't fit the crime. What I mean by that is that crime is still profitable even after fines.The entities experience a short term loss with the fine and bad publicity but they still will come out ahead.

Add to that, that it isn't good for wealth to continue to be concentrated in the hands of a few , for " too big to fails" ( euphemism for monopolies) to increase in number or for wages to stay stagnant.

And, of course, trade war history doesn't have a great track record and unless successful negotiations start soon, the impact will be felt throughout the economy.

Then, there's the rising debt, a part of which continues to be borrowed from Social Security.

Were that not bad enough, natural disasters are increasing. It matters not why you think that is happening. It matters a great deal that we knew it would be happening and did not prepare and are not preparing still. For example, it's really not smart to let developers continue to pave areas so that water has no place to go but up. We should be planning and building with the impact on the environment considered but instead, we are de-regulating in stupid ways instead of sound ways.

I see a President that talks a good game but doesn't seem to work very hard. He delegates to others and barks orders without much interest in consequences. His successes have been to the credit of the competent people in the administration, but unfortunately, he has some real doozies he's hired as well like Flynn and Manafort.

That Manafort has gotten by with what he has for as long as he did should be your hint that we've some real problems in our economic system. You need to pay attention to what he did and how he and Gates did it regardless of whether or not he's held accountable.

PS Ignorance of the law is no excuse ever. Good intentions and ignorance doesn't get you off the hook especially if you damn well ought to know. If we politicize laws so that only some have to adhere to the law, then that also will not, in the long run, bode well for our economy.

Shelby Stewart said...

The truth teller is lonely because the truth seekers are smothered by the Fake News journalist who are silver tongue liars.

truth teller- whistle blower

truth seeker- bloggers

Fake news journalist- established media

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).

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In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.

In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

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This is definitely a Beaver production.

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Trollfest '07

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There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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