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Monday, June 29, 2015

Question Authority

In the 60’s, “Question Authority” was a very popular bumper sticker. You saw it on every other car it seemed. I think in todays world it applies even more than it did then.
Looking around us, at the never ending loads of lies and very very questionable activities, it seems we need to be wary of any authority, no matter the source.
On one hand, we are told one thing just to find out it isn’t even close to what is going on. In fact, lying seems to be the order of the day, along with what ever so called authority says is the last word.
The problem seems to be how do we question said authority. Used to be we had real journalists who would sniff out the lie of the hour for us. Not anymore, it seems.
“Watergate” brought down a sitting president, uncovered by real journalists investigating the lies., They questioned the authority. So called journalists today are the TV talking heads who for the most part are just “readers” reading what someone prepared for them, many times just repeating a wire release that is in reality a “press release” from wire services like Reuters. Said authority can be government or a private company. It is taken at face value because of who it is from, no questions or investigation needed or called for.
Our information system seems not to question much of anything. Newspapers wonder why they are losing readers, the same with nitwit, sorry, network news TV programs. The cable news programs are a tad better, but those are divided by the right or left. Very few offer anything better for a halfway intelligent viewership. The internet seems to be an alternative no one saw coming in the big business of news. And they don’t seem to know what to do about it. The internet has so many options to dig out what is a lie, a twisted truth, or the truth without a bias, but those options are hard to find as well, so things are not what they seem. If you lean towards one side even the truth can be denied.
The question is authority and how do we question it. I sure have no simple answer, except to be be very doubtful of much of what we hear and the source whence it came.
We are conditioned from the time we are little kids to believe a great part of the absurdities that we hear from authorities no matter how far the absurd takes us. How do we question authority when many times we don’t even know the question to ask, or who to go to? If you have ever been to a community meeting, see how your questions go and the disdain with which they are received… Mostly gets one nowhere because they are the authority and how dare you question their wisdom. The further up the food chain you go, the worse it gets.
The cliche’ I cannot avoid is “they”. Yes, the infamous “they” think everyone is not too smart and they are. I once was at a meeting for the small community I lived in at the time and it was about water bills they, the water company had a very complicated chart with all kinds of math and flow charts that was, in  reality, confusing to a layman. and they bamboozled us with numbers that no one could follow . However, in our group was a man who looked like a typical hippy of the day who started asking question the water authority could not answer, because the dumb hippy was a math genius, and pointed out all the mistakes in the presentation. The water company folded their tent and let and our water bill remain at the same rate. That was questioning authority with a positive outcome.
WE need to keep it in the forefront of our brain pans to Question Authority, at every juncture.
We need those bumper stickers again and we ain’t even hippies.
Question Authority, we are not as dumb as they think.

By Dude McLean

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