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Chatterbox: Many views, little news

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During the 2012 presidential election, we talked about how so many news outlets fell short on really informing us.

We discussed broadcasters and pundits discussing issues, and how, even with so much talk, we weren’t being told what we needed to know. This election cycle, nothing’s changed. Though we all understand why this happens, we can’t approve, especially in a nation supposedly democratic.

It’s easier to pontificate and promulgate, and that’s part of promoting any hidden agenda, but that’s not responsible news. We need real information if we’re going to be able to make smart choices, and that means our facts must be received without bias. It’s the duty of those who have the outlet to do so, and those educated in the details of our purposely clouded political climate, to translate and deliver pertinent information to average Americans every day.

In a country filled with so many different people and situations, sources of income, education and methods of survival, naturally we won’t all agree on anything. For example, someone profiting from the manufacture and sale of guns won’t want any laws to minimize firearms. Anyone who profits from anything highly toxic, dangerous, or environmentally or socially invasive, is going to oppose even a positive change, if it drives their profits down.

In such conditions, even more important than our being informed with full, truthful facts, we must use those facts to dictate our commitments to all people, to our nation, and to the planet. Whether they immediately benefit us or not and whether we like them or not, all smart choices are best for all of us in the long run.

Anyone watching the debates can see that each candidate repeats an agenda. It’s annoying to listen to the same information again and again. It’s even more annoying to listen to it being repeatedly regurgitated by media members, especially out of context, and with more spin and opinions but still lacking real dissection and fact.

We don’t need to be told what to think, or what five people on a dais think, as they push their book or display knowledge of the most popular political lingo to prove they’re in touch. What we do want and need is the breakdown, and that’s what they’re supposed to deliver.

Recently, I spent some time researching something that has long fallen by the wayside, but it sure was a hammering point during the first few weeks of our current administration: The Emoluments Clause. Details on this topic would benefit most of us. Like other important points, many of us don’t know enough about it, such as how it can affect us as taxpayers and how it’s supposed to impact every administration.

The clause is clear, but it was soon lost amidst the debris of the constant tornado of too many issues coming at us at a speed designed to distract. Even now, again, it should be read, discussed and become a great frame of reference for us as we formulate our opinions on where we are as a nation, how we got here, how we’ll use our vote, and even what the nominating committees should be doing.

Something else we once heard about, lost in that same tornado, is what’s sometimes called the RFK law. Through the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ethics, it can be found under Nepotism. Here, again, is great information which should have been dissected for us and given a sustained importance. Here again, though there was plenty of talk, few reports presented a breakdown of the regulations and the impediments, or clarified the infractions. These are only two examples of recent failures to inform.

We all love this nation, not for what we have given to it but for what it has given to us. It isn’t, however, supposed to be anyone’s private cash cow or provide profit or benefit to any exclusive groups or single class of people.

As flogged as they may have gotten in the interim, there are rules in place for all of us. Even with them, we made many mistakes on our road to where we are. No doubt, we’ll make more, but they should be mistakes, not plots. If there are abuses, real reporting is essential. We don’t need pontification or opinions. We want facts backed up with information that’s irrefutable. We’d like to see the research, the laws.

Since 2008, instead of being informed, we’re still being distracted by interpretations – and many of us aren’t sure that the distraction isn’t the goal.


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