When a Prime Minister Holds His People Hostage

Canadians cannot leave the country by air or rail if we are not vaccinated because we are not allowed on a plane or train. We cannot even take a plane or a train to another province if we are above twelve years old and not vaccinated.

As I write there is a court case in progress in B.C. that will determine the validity of vaccine mandates for Health Care Workers. Our heroes suddenly became villains and this is a most cruel way to treat our caregivers. These were the women, primarily, many of them recent immigrants, who donned layers of protective gear and faced a frightening pandemic with an unknown outcome. The did not cringe. They did not draw back. Yet our government is cringing from them and treating them like lepers.

At least the fact that a court case on behalf of the Health Care Workers is allowed is commendable. However, think of how disturbing it is that it has come to the point where we are surprised we can have our day in court: B.C. court allows case against Henry’s COVID-19 vaccination order to proceed

Everyone is getting covid, vaccinated or not. Vaccinated are dying of covid, as well as unvaccinated. This is not a vaccine, by definition. It is a shot.

Right now if you get covid, you are recommended (not required) to stay home for five days. Meanwhile, my 12 year old grandson who lives across the border will have to isolate for 14 days–even if he tests negative for covid before and during his stay–just because he is crossing a border. Canadian federal regulations. And note that he still can’t get on a plane after his 14 day isolation! So due to all this he will have to miss a family reunion and possibly his last chance to see his great grandmother. Let’s add that he has had covid and recovered, so he is forced to take a vaccine for a disease he already had. This is bordering on criminal.

The benefits of vaccinating children are not proven to be significant while the risk involved with vaccination is real. If it were my choice, I too would not vaccinate children and the primary reason is because it is taboo to mention vaccine injuries. We are being controlled. Compelled speech. Only say the party line, the politically correct thing. How much of our taxes have gone towards vaccine ads? Let’s not even begin to talk about money spent on tracing and testing. One must admit this is a business to keep going, lucrative as it is, especially now that the vaccine is not working and an antiviral treatment is selling fast.

https://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/03/covid-pfizer-pfe-earnings-q1-2022-.html

Does any of this make sense? Meanwhile airports don’t have workers. Why? Federal mandates. My son and his wife missed their flight due to long security check lines and they were by far not the only ones. They had to shell out an extra $700 to reach their destination last month.

Does freezing the bank accounts of people who gave to the truckers make sense? My husband met someone at a Pierre Poilivre leadership rally who had their bank account frozen for one month because they gave a $25 donation to truckers. This is why people are coming to Poilivre’s rallies by the droves wherever he goes. Truckers, in their cabs, were not spreading covid. There was no need for a last minute call to mandate vaccines for truckers. The whole protest could have been avoided if our government had behaved in a reasonable manner. It’s time our Prime Minister stops holding Canadians hostage.

Why Elon Musk must not buy Twitter

We are accustomed to seeing the greater buying power and control on the side that is known as The Left–Democrats in U.S. and Liberals in Canada, but today we are witnessing an interesting phenomenon. Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter, and he is not particularly left-leaning.

According to the Leftist news outlets, Elon Musk can’t buy Twitter because that would be the end of civilization as we know it. To show how serious they are about this, they’ve already labelled him as a racist.

The clear danger here is that Musk might allow people to hear both sides–right and left.

Some shudder to think of the implications of such a “hostile” takeover. A past president of the United States–God forbid–might once again be given a voice. Four years was enough. Twitter made sure of that.

So Elon Musk can’t buy Twitter: Elon Musk makes $43 billion cash takeover offer for Twitter

The public simply cannot be exposed to this kind of “misinformation.”

People are gullible and ignorant. They cannot be trusted to filter through and analyze information so it must be withheld by those who know what is best for us–The Leftist leaning media giants.

This was the gist of the message given, recently, to parliamentarians by health officials in Canada: members of Parliament cannot be privy to all the covid-related information because it might be “misunderstood,” even if three sitting MP’s are doctors.

This kind of take-down just can’t happen.

The Real Misinformation Machine

In Canada Prime Minister Trudeau and his New Democratic/Liberal Coalition are proposing a bill to give the government greater access and ability to censor Canadians on the internet. Prime Minister Trudeau claims the need to combat “misinformation.”

China and Russia are great models of speech censorship. However unlike Canada, the UK and the US, they are not democratic countries. In recent days all three countries have moved towards increasing online censorship. We know, of course, that Liberals/Democrats putting pressure on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube is nothing new. But now it appears to be necessary to go after smaller publications as well.

Governmental powers have discovered how easy it is to create legislation that gives them even more power. We have an example, this week, of the BC government giving itself power to expropriate not only land for Sky Train development but land for development next to Sky Train development. See New legislation to allow BC government to buy more land around SkyTrain for housing

The recent Canadian Liberal coalition with the New Democratic Party is a desperate attempt by the Liberals to retain power following the Emergencies Act fiasco which was implemented under false pretences by the Prime Minister in collusion with the government-funded media. We have yet to see any corroborated news report of actual violence. No weapons were found by the “national guard.” The City of Ottawa needlessly shut down businesses in the area. An anonymous resident of Ottawa reported, I am a local resident. I can confirm that the media put a very false spin on the entire situation. Bars getting out at 2am in the market is more disruptive than this protest ever was. Period!

Squashing a peaceful truckers’ gathering in Ottawa after a sudden vaccine mandate threatened the livelihood of 10% of truckers is simply inexcusable for a democratic country. We are supposedly free to choose our medical procedures in Canada. However, if we make a choice unapproved by the government then we will be verbally attacked in the media and by our Prime Minister, in a very public way, while in private we lose our incomes, businesses and homes. Does that not appear to be a form of coercion? Medical decisions are not to be made under duress of any kind.

BC is the last province to lift its vaccine mandate, on April 8, but federal government vaccine mandates for federal employees and truckers remain in place. This is without any medical support for the current efficacy of the vaccine to prevent infection. The jab should not be distinguished as a vaccine since it does nothing to prevent contracting the current virus.

This is not about health. It is purely political. And that is what is riling Canadians.

Our government is toying with the people because it can. Nobody can stop this. So it appears. All the opposition can do is talk. Either this or the wheels of change are moving painfully slowly.

Yesterday I had a fatalistic moment as I thought about the future of free speech and other democratic freedoms in Canada. Like Elon Musk, on the subject of potential abuse of Artificial Intelligence, I became less fearful. Musk admitted he had resigned himself to a fatalistic acceptance once he realized the powers that could regulate AI abuses were not listening and not inclined to take action. This is not good news. It is a characteristic of totalitarian regimes. People stop resisting because they think it is pointless. Those in power can then have their way with the people.

My battle is not with AI, although we will all suffer as a consequence of the inevitable abuses to come. My battle is with misinformation–the battle for truth over lies. Trudeau, Russia and China peddle in misinformation. As do CNN, MSNBC (who hired Jen Pasaki this week), The New York Times, The Washington Post and other outlets with a similar bias who are at this moment scheming to form an alliance to ‘collectively bargain with Big Tech platforms’ as to which information you and I are to see.

 You can listen to Russell Brand discuss this topic on his April 5 documentary here. The Journalism and Competition and Preservation Act is a bill proposed in the US Senate, intended to create an alliance between Big Tech and Big Media. This merge is not so dissimilar from Trudeau’s merge of the Liberal Party with the NDP to retain power.

As Brand puts it, “…centralized power will have yet more ability to control the narratives that dominate our lives.” Brand points out that this will be at the expense of smaller outlets and independent content creators and asks, “Why would a democratically elected official do something that prohibits the free flow of information?”

The major media outlets point fingers as they repeat a talking point in unison, “The sharing of biased and false news has become all too common….” Apparently, having a bias, other than theirs, is no longer tolerated.

Tennessee Senator Marsha Blackburn warns about more censorship from Big Tech.

Trudeau, similarly, is working to censor free speech in Canada with the introduction of Bill C-11. The National Post’s First Reading article,The Liberals’ weird obsession with censoring the internet states, “Despite Liberal assurances that C-11 would avoid the “controversial” excesses of its predecessor (Bill C-10), this new bill was also broad enough that it could similarly impose government controls on the content of everything from podcasts to Facebook posts to YouTube channels. If passed, it would create a new position, the Digital Safety Commissioner of Canada, who would have the power to order 24-hour takedowns of a broad swath of “unauthorized” web content.”

We see the same thing happening in the UK. Today’s headline reads, UK censorship bill tasks Big Tech with deciding when something is “illegal” or “fraudulent It refers to the introduction of the Online Safety Bill. A copy of the bill can be found here.

According to Reclaim The Net news , “The bill…gives these tech giants additional powers that aren’t granted to police and the courts, such as the power to set their own rules around how they’ll deal with harmful content.”

The article goes on to say, “By deputizing Big Tech, the Online Safety Bill also creates a dystopian censorship alliance between these powerful companies and the UK government. The government can dictate its censorship requirements directly to its Big Tech enforcers without the police gathering any evidence of an alleged offense and without prosecutors gaining a conviction in a court of law or even a court order.”

The sudden international escalation of censorship is astounding.

In a small counter-effort, Elon Musk purchased stocks in Twitter that made him a major share holder this week and gave him a seat on the Board. This followed a survey he recently conducted of two million people on Twitter, 70% of which believed Twitter does not adhere to principles of free speech.

In the meantime Big Media conglomerates team up to influence Big Tech. What is happening here?

Twitter

I am reminded of the interesting developments around Gamestop. Check out this ThinkSpot podcaster. I am also reminded of the GoFundMe and GiveSendGo accounts started (and cancelled) for truckers. And then there is the recent targeting of the American Frontline Doctors website by Google with, “Reduced display features, lower rankings, or even removal from Google Search results.” What do all three have in common? Ordinary citizens communicating without gatekeepers.

I think what is happening here is really quite simple. There is information that must be concealed from the public. We have the clear example of the CDC with New York Post article, CDC withholding COVID data over fears of misinterpretation: The CDC has admitted it is withholding large portions of COVID-19 data — including on vaccine boosters — from the public because it fears the information could be misinterpreted.

We might not come to the right conclusions if we have all the information, is that right?

Truth Can Be Misrepresented Rather Easily

This past week our province, British Columbia, announced the dropping of mask mandates, as of Friday, March 11. Masks will still be required in medical facilities.

On Friday my husband suggested we go to a mall to see how people were responding to the lifting of mask mandates. About 65% of the people we saw were not wearing masks. I entered two business with staff who were not wearing masks. Most staff were still wearing masks.

Last year BC briefly dropped the mask mandate but then re-instated it to coincide with a surge in the Delta variant.

During the early months of the pandemic B.C.’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, held back on mandating and encouraging mask wearing. We found comfort in Bonnie Henry’s daily, almost motherly, encouragement and admonition at the beginning of the pandemic as we sat isolated in our homes. It was reassuring to learn she has a background working with pandemics. When her approach differed slightly from that of other provinces we concluded that she was looking at the bigger picture and was in particular concerned about the psychological impact of a pandemic. She knew how important it was for us to remain calm and hopeful. She knew the necessity of health officials being able to maintain the trust of the public. And she knew it was crucial for people to be a support to one another during these trying times.

So much has changed since then. 

Two specific decisions eroded my trust in Dr. Henry. Both exhibited a change in what were once her strongly held beliefs. The first was implementing mask mandates after repeatedly telling us for weeks that masks did not offer significant protection against covid-19. The second was bringing in vaccine passports after saying on May 25, 2021 that “there is no way that we will recommend inequities be increased by the use of things like vaccine passports for services with public access here in British Columbia.” I wrote a letter to her, asking for an explanation, and received no response.

Not everyone is happy with the lifting of mask mandates. This is how the World Socialist Web Site news media and other sites responded to her decision:

“Thursday’s announcement is just the latest in a crush of decisions by provinces from coast-to-coast over the past five weeks that effectively implement the far-right Freedom Convoy’s demand that all anti-COVID public health measures be rescinded and the potentially deadly virus be allowed to run rampant.” (Note “far-right” is an opinion and does not accurately describe the truckers. Note also that the government-funded Canadian Broadcasting Company recently retracted two articles, one with a false claim that the Freedom Convoy had Russian influence and the other claiming that hefty donations to the truckers GoFundMe came from foreign sources. Both false insinuations originated with our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and served as his justification for employing the Emergencies Act against the truckers protest.)

In Burnaby Now you can read a similar opinion article that voices the fear that Henry is not “following the science” by lifting mask mandates.

The trouble is that we don’t know where to find the truth about the science anymore. It may not be so far-fetched to think that our governments and health officials are actually following opinion polls and have been doing so for some time.

Another question I have concerns the science. Is the science being communicated faithfully? This week I read an article referencing five instances of wrong conclusions being reported in “the science.” What led me to the article was my own observation when I decided to look for scientific research and scholarly reporting on the efficacy of masks.

I first went to the Mayo Clinic website where I found a recommendation that a cloth mask have multiple layers and is tightfitting in order to prevent “droplets” from escaping. Initially we were told that the virus was spread by droplets but a few months later scientists informed us that the virus was in fact spread by aerosol particles. This changed the whole mask-wearing paradigm since evaporated respiratory particles can get through a porous surface. Note, if we want to inhale air, we will have to use a mask with a porous surface.

On the Mayo Clinic website I read, “Can face masks help slow the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)? Yes. Face masks combined with other preventive measures, such as getting vaccinated, frequent hand-washing and physical distancing, can help slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.”

My search for data on the protectiveness of masks alone against the spread of the coronavirus was unsuccessful. I found a lot of discussion on comparisons between masks. I found studies done in labs, but no assurance that lab results translated to effective protection by masks worn by the general public. In fact there was evidence to the contrary.

I went to the CDC website where I read, “Masking is a critical public health tool for preventing spread of COVID-19, and it is important to remember that any mask is better than no mask.

OK, that is like saying, “any condom is better than no condom.” Would you say a leaky condom is a “critical public health tool” in the prevention of transmissible disease? Because masks are “leaky.” There is scientific evidence for that. Hence the insistence on “layers” and “tight fitting.”

But how many layers of a “leaky” mask are enough? The Mayo Clinic website also says, “Don’t add layers if they make it hard to breathe.” So, added layers can make it hard to breathe and when a child says, “I can’t breathe,” we should listen. I have low blood pressure and a low oxygen level and sometimes I find I am just not getting enough air with a mask. But that is another issue.

The CDC advises us to “Wear the most protective mask you can that fits well and that you will wear consistently.” And it further states, “Wearing a well-fitted mask along with vaccination, self-testing, and physical distancing, helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.”

Wherever we read of the effectiveness of masks, note that it is always mentioned in conjunction with other protective measures. That is because, masks, on their own, are not sufficient protection. It has never been proven that masks are effective to prevent infection. Every reference to masks has a qualifier such as “tightly fitting”or a comparison of the fabric or weave or construction (N95 KN95 medical masks). One of the most troubling pieces of guidance offered is for people with hearing disabilities to wear a “clear mask.” We’ve always been warned not to put plastic over our heads. This is the same, unless there are breathable parts of the mask where air can enter. But do they not get the point that it is not the hearing challenged person who needs to wear a clear mask? They need to lip read others and they cannot do this if other people are wearing masks.

The CDC website goes on to say, “Masks and respirators are effective at reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, when worn consistently and correctly.” Medical staff have to be trained to put on their masks, and they have masks that are rated for higher protectiveness. Masks prevent droplets from escaping, so, in the case of surgery, I would want my surgeon to wear a high quality mask.

I looked at an article referenced on the CDC site entitled, An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. The authors claim to have synthesized the relevant information and conclude that “The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected respiratory particles in both laboratory and clinical contexts.” Preponderance of evidence in a court of law means that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true. Another research article referenced on the site states this result: A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%).

Another article listed on the CDC site concerning masks states, There is moderate certainty evidence that wearing a mask probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory-confirmed influenza compared to not wearing a mask (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.26; 6 trials; 3005 participants). This is the “preponderous” evidence we have. It makes little or no difference. The “little” might tip us above the 50% threshold of evidence of truth.

Here is something more of interest I discovered. “While laboratory tests generally suggest that N95 masks are superior in performance to surgical masks, population studies in healthcare workers have not documented significant differences. This discrepancy may be due to the lack of proper fit when using N95s. Conversely, cloth masks generally perform poorly compared to N95 and surgical masks in laboratory tests. However, in part because of the global PPE shortage, cloth masks have become the most commonly used PPE by the general public. Despite their shortcomings, community-based research has demonstrated the efficacy of cloth masks in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.”

Do you want to hear about the community-based research on which mask wearing has been based? Here it is, from the same article:

As of July 2020, the CDC recommended that all Americans wear masks in public settings [20]. This recommendation was made, at least in part, due to a report from a hair salon in Missouri that demonstrated the efficacy of wearing masks [21]. In May 2020, two hairstylists in Springfield, Missouri received positive test results for SARS-CoV-2 and were exposed to 139 clients in total since the onset of their symptoms [21]. Both stylists, as well as all 139 clients, wore some kind of facial covering while in the salon, with the stylists wearing either a double-layered cotton face covering or a surgical mask. Despite their proximity to the infected stylists, for appointments ranging from 15 to 45 min in duration, it was found that none of the 139 clients developed COVID-19 symptoms within the two-week quarantine period. Furthermore, of the 67 clients tested, all results were negative. Interestingly, the type of face mask worn by the 139 clients varied, with only two clients wearing N95 masks, 46% wearing surgical masks and 47% wearing cloth masks [21]. Although anecdotal, this incident suggests that consistent and proper usage of facial coverings can help minimize symptomatic transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during close contact, as at a hair salon. In fact, it appears that COVID-19 transmission rates are generally lower in countries and regions where citizens are accustomed or required to adopt universal masking, such as many parts of Asia [22,23]. Simulations and mathematical models have also predicted that the adoption of universal masking would substantially curtail the spread of COVID-19 [24].

Yes, it is as a result of an anecdotal survey done by two hairstylists and because it “appears” that COVID-19 transmission rates are lower in regions like Asia…. This is the science behind mask wearing. Then, again, the article says, “Although there is a lack of published work evaluating the efficacy of universal masking by healthcare workers to prevent spread of SARS-CoV-2, the continuous use of masks by healthcare workers in clinical settings is widely supported.”

We wear masks because the continuous use of masks is “widely supported.”

It is important to take careful note of wording when you read anything. It is, after all, the truth we want, is it not? And, as I have discovered, truth can be misrepresented rather easily. There is sufficient evidence for that.

Wounds of a Friend or Kisses of an Enemy

I am writing a more personal post this week. I watched the movie Emma and was struck by her lack of self-awareness. This of course is the theme around which the story revolves. I’ve been doing some soul searching. How unaware am I of the impact of my words?

The movie was timely as I was just brought up short by someone who corrected me with what I am to consider as a ‘loving rebuke from a brother.’

Rebukes are those double-edged swords. They can wound and heal or they can destroy. In the movie Mr. Knightley soundly rebukes Emma for her insensitive remarks to Mrs. Bates.

Mr. Churchill initiated a game requiring everyone to say three very foolish things. Laughing, Mrs. Bates self-deprecatingly says she is sure to say several foolish things if she opens her mouth. Emma then responds that the difficulty for Mrs. Bates would be to limit herself to three things.

So simply and beautifully done by Jane Austin.

Emma has mis-stepped before, but how her character flaw is laid bare before her friends. Mrs. Bates fumbles a little and mutters, “I see. I see….I will try and hold my tongue. I must make myself very disagreeable, or she would not have said such a thing.”

Emma changes when the full impact of her actions dawns on her. She heeds Mr. Knightly’s rebuke, as spoken by someone who cares.

Mr. Knightley points out that Mrs. Bates is below Emma’s station in life and will continue to sink and this is why Emma’s behaviour is so disgraceful. He reminds Emma that Mrs. Bates has known her since infancy and that when she was younger “her notice of you was an honour.” He says others will take their lead from her in their view of Mrs. Bates. To her credit, Emma comes to deeply regret her words and determines to make amends.

Wounds that heal. Mr. Knightley is greatly relieved to see that he has not ruined his chances with Emma, and that deep down her character was what he hoped, not what he feared.

As authors and journalists, we have to hold ourselves to a gold standard that refuses to stoop to ridicule and chooses to see the world as it “could be.”

I watched a brief clip by Jordan Peterson in which he says, you don’t want a partner who will just pat you on the head; you want someone who will push you towards who you could be.

As authors and journalists, we have to hold ourselves to a gold standard that refuses to stoop to ridicule and chooses to see the world as it “could be.”

Comedians have recently come under fire. While I agree with the importance of having the liberty of free speech, I’ve been of the opinion that a good comedian makes us laugh, collectively, at ourselves, our lives and the dilemmas we face. ‘Collectively’ is the key word here. We may be embarrassed but we can laugh at ourselves without feeling we are a target.

It’s easy to go with the flow, and laugh even when we know something is hurtful to someone. There is a verse in the Bible that says, “Better are the wounds of a friend than the kisses of the enemy.” Do we really want the approval of the enemy? A true friend looks for fairness to all and is guided by kindness, while an enemy harbours malice.

Someone who does not like you when you are real will not like you if you fake it to go along with them.

I found a saying when I was young that went like this, “A fool convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” Someone who does not like you when you are real will not like you if you fake it to go along with them, either. You become subservient when another can make you change outwardly and your outward behaviour no longer matches your inner convictions.

There is tremendous power in words to wound. There is also power to influence others for good or evil. It is much easier to tear down than it is to build.

In today’s society trashing a person’s life seems to be some sort of sadistic sport: Let’s see whose life we can destroy this week.

In Canada thousands of caregivers risked their lives during the worst part of the pandemic and have now lost their jobs, on top of it all, due to vaccine mandates. Some provinces have decided against firing health workers as we approach the “endemic,” and the journalistic response has been disturbing. Chris Selley covered the surprising attitude in a recent article entitled, Canadians are enjoying firing the unvaccinated far too much.

Kudos to our local school boards and unions who have decided to continue business as usual rather than lose teachers.

I’ve led a sheltered life and cruelty always comes as a shock to me. It may be because I’ve stayed off Twitter. (Smile.) The real reason why I am not on Twitter is because of how much of my valuable time it would consume. But there is another reason. I would find it too hard to resist firing off those zingers in the moment. I need a Mr. Knightly in my life to hold me to a higher standard.

Viewing An Example of Biased Journalism

We have a strong political divide and it’s not healthy. But this is not about politics. It is about journalism. Having said that, journalism has become political. Nothing has exposed this as well as the Trump election and his failure to be re-elected. This piece points out not only bias, but complete loss of journalistic objectivity.

When it is only acceptable to write one view, then journalism becomes suspect.

When it is only acceptable to write one view, then journalism becomes suspect. It trespasses the high journalistic standard–the code of objectivity–which is ultimately the foundation of public journalistic trust.

You’ve all seen them–the articles covering Trump’s claim of American election fraud. Maybe the election was stolen. Maybe it wasn’t. But one thing I know. It’s not up to journalists to print a verdict before the evidence is examined and tried in court. However, this is what happened, right out of the election gate, and we all witnessed it.

I’m not American. I hope the election wasn’t stolen. But how can I know, if nobody is willing to examine the evidence, much less give it credibility?

From the perspective of the media, election fraud is completely preposterous. The obvious bias of journalists, supported by–probably encouraged by–the news outlets, is almost laughable, but for the implications. Journalism that is influenced can be corrupted. When the public feels that journalism is influenced, it loses confidence in the reporting of news. In recent years there has been a shocking erosion of public trust in media.

I’ve taken an article printed on various new sites such as The Guardian, the Business Insider and The Washington Times for my illustration of media bias. The articles look much the same and there are numerous similar articles in print, with different angles, regarding the US election.

The article headline is Steve Scalise, No 2 House Republican, refuses to say election was not stolen. Below is the complete article with my personal observations in bold.

In a television interview aired Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, Scalise, the House’s second-ranking Republican, stood by Trump’s lie (should be “claim”) that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
By Hope Yen – Associated Press – Sunday, October 10, 2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House’s second-ranking Republican, Rep. Steve Scalise, repeatedly refused to say on Sunday that the 2020 election wasn’t stolen, standing by Donald Trump’s lie (should be “claim”) that Democrat Joe Biden won the White House because of mass voter fraud.
More than 11 months after Americans picked their president and almost nine months since Biden was inaugurated, Scalise was unwilling during a national television interview to acknowledge the legitimacy of the vote, instead sticking to his belief that the election results should not have been certified by Congress.


“I’ve been very clear from the beginning,” he said. “If you look at a number of states, they didn’t follow their state-passed laws that govern the election for president. That is what the United States Constitution says. They don’t say the states determine what the rules are. They say the state legislatures determine the rules,” the Louisiana congressman said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Pressed by moderator Chris Wallace on whether the election went beyond a few irregularities to be considered “stolen,” Scalise responded: “It’s not just irregularities. It’s states that did not follow the laws set which the Constitution says they’re supposed to follow.”
Trump left office in January a few weeks after a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol in a violent riot in an attempt to prevent Congress from formally declaring Biden the winner. (placed here for effect)

As Trump mulls a 2024 presidential bid, he has been intensifying efforts to shame – and potentially remove – members of his party who are seen as disloyal to his bogus claims (should leave out bogus) that last year’s election was illegitimate. House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California, who is vying to become speaker if the GOP takes control after the 2022 midterm election, continues to defend Trump and his false assertions (should leave out false).
At a rally Saturday in Iowa, Trump spent almost 30 minutes arguing falsely (should leave out falsely because this is inserting a belief of the author) that he had won Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds stood by and welcomed his return to their state.

In fact, no election was stolen (appropriate wording would be, “According to….no election was stolen”) from Trump. His former attorney general, William P. Barr, found no evidence of widespread election corruption. Allegations of massive voting fraud also have been dismissed by a succession of judges and refuted by state election officials and an arm of the Homeland Security Department during the Trump administration. (A good journalist would dig into this and also include information from those bringing the allegations. There is a story here.)

Scalise on Sunday appeared to be referring to the legal argument, made in several lawsuits backed by Trump before and after last November’s election, that the Constitution gives the power of election administration exclusively to state lawmakers. (What exactly does the Constitution say? Why not a quote here?) The suits sought to invalidate a number of pandemic-era accommodations including expanded mail voting that were put in place by governors, state election officials and judges. (Did Trump have a case, based on the Constitution? Was there any question of legality here? We need more information. We rely on journalists for this information.)

The high court ultimately turned away the cases, declining to rule on the matter. There’s no indication in any of the suits (not one example is given of a suit…bad journalism) that changing the COVID-19 accommodations would have altered a state’s election results.

Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who is serving on a House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, on Sunday slammed Scalise for spreading Trump’s “Big Lie.”

“Millions of Americans have been sold a fraud that the election was stolen,” Cheney tweeted. “Republicans have a duty to tell the American people that this is not true. Perpetuating the Big Lie is an attack on the core of our constitutional republic.”

END OF ARTICLE

It is the responsibility of journalists to present evidence and then to trust the public to have the intelligence and insight to come to a reasonable conclusion.

“Journalists and the news outlets have the responsibility to tell the American people what to believe.” –False

The beauty of the article is that the last two paragraphs reveal the logic of the writer. We might rephrase, “Journalists and the news outlets have the responsibility to tell the American people what to believe.” This, of course, is false. It is not the role of journalism, in a democratic society, to push a certain narrative. We see this happening in totalitarian states where news sites and journalists are the propaganda arm of the government and must tout the party line, or face consequences.

Readers want information. We want to be able to trust journalists to give us both sides. We want to examine the evidence for ourselves. We don’t want to be told what to believe. And we would like to see journalists’ opinions reserved for Commentary and Opinion columns.

Writers Needed

Now is the time to hone your writing skills. Now is the time to learn to express the important things on your mind and in your heart.

It may be your voice that is heard. It may be your voice that makes the difference.

This is the time to shine your light. This is the time to assess what is happening around you and to determine your role. What can you do to move things forward in a positive way?

I think the most important thing we can do right now is to work on building good, strong relationships. Learn from the best. Watch how others do it. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone. You may have to change your tone. Maybe your attitude, or your approach. Learn to listen well. Learn to hear people’s heart. Learn how to reflect back what people say, so you are sure you heard the right thing. Learn to respond with clarity and sincerity. Learn how to bite your tongue, sometimes.

Most of all, be a helper. That is what this is all about. As the beloved Mr. Rogers said, many years ago, “Look for the helpers.” Better yet, be a helper.

Help with your words. Find something encouraging to say. Find something enlightening. Put the pieces together and share what you discover.

Be ready. Don’t expect everyone to appreciate what you say. Find better ways of saying it, rather than giving up.

Leave a legacy. Leave something people can read, or listen too.