Eventually, in everyone’s life, there comes a time when we all must stop and question our own worldview. This is a matter of simple inventory maintenance, but it’s more than that. It’s not just a collection of ideas, but a collection of people, places, and experiences which have taught us these major keystones in our way of seeing the world. It is these sources which often must be examined in order to gauge their authenticity and validity.
This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. It was compiled by someone who felt these issues were worthy of focus due to their resonance in their own life. We all have our own set of facts which comprise the facets of our political worldview, and that is normal. The idea is to try as much as possible to be aware of the roots which your current view grew from and to judge your information not by its prevalence, but by its relevance and verifiability.
In a world where only lies seem to be taken unconditionally and anything else is 'fake news”, when the spotlight is used up and the public furor dies, it is difficult to distinguish between fact and fiction. Without regard for what is 'popular' in the news at any given time, there are important issues that we can confirm, with a few simple checks. That's no small feat when the truth is bandied about like a carrot on a string.
But all of this dances around a question that has vexed mankind for millennia: How do we know what we know?
Most of us are aware that not everything we've been taught in school is accurate, but not many really even begin to question the 'facts' that they have amassed. It is an important question because if we can't determine the sources of our information for ourselves, we'll never be able to personally verify their accuracy.
School and academia, based on peer review, the science of data analysis, empirical observation and the scientific method, is not an infallible source for verifiable information. However, it is the best we have available to us.
Unfortunately, even valid sounding information can be corrupted by omissions, misrepresentations, and deliberate obfuscation, while some people profit from information being misunderstood.
Although established academic perspectives are valuable, nothing can replace the impact and importance of personal experience. In this way, a general consensus, the personal experiences the masses, is also a major source of how we know what we know.
One must also keep in mind, however, that the personal experiences of the masses can be skewed by misunderstandings, assumptions, folklore, urban legends, unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and deliberate exaggerations.
So where can we turn to for truth? What means can we employ, to properly vet the information we are bombarded with daily? Part of the answer lies in learning how to scrutinize information and its sources. Another lies in coming up with our own collection of trusted sources.
This brings us to our first verifiable fact…
Wikileaks documents are real.
Many will assume that this is referring to WikiLeaks circa 2016, which would be accurate, but it also pertains to WikiLeaks documents released prior to and after that date. In fact, WikiLeaks documents are now admissible in UK court as evidence. This is at least partially due to the fact that emails have a unique electronic signature called a DKIM code which confirms that what you are reading actually came from the source indicated. This is proof of authenticity, and cannot be faked.
So Donna Brazile did indeed provide town hall questions in advance. Of course, the implications of what is being said is often open to interpretation, but at other times, there is little lost in translation. This fact has not stopped WikiLeaks from being accused of everything from Russian collusion to the outright manufacture of email data, by people who benefit from that information being discredited, but the truth does not change regardless the accusations.
And as those very same WikiLeaks documents have shown us…
Our mainstream media has been fatally compromised.
Everyone who's been paying attention has their own favorite moment from 2015-2016, where the media showed their obvious bias against third parties, Bernie Sanders, Democratic Socialists, and anything running contrary to accepted establishment narratives. Perhaps it was when Bernie Sanders was completely ignored… until they couldn't possibly do that anymore, and then they turned to venomous attacks. Perhaps it was when they excluded all third parties from debates, coverage, and polling data… until they couldn't do that anymore, and then they began to slant their coverage against third parties, and skew their polling data.
Maybe it was when they told you it was illegal to look at WikiLeaks. Maybe it was when they said they were going to commit a felony by calling California for Hillary Clinton, even though most of the state hadn't even voted yet. Throw a rock at that two-year period, and it will likely land on a reason to mistrust the mainstream media – whether from FOX, CNN, or MSNBC.
Is this the funniest fake news story ever? Here, host @ChrisCuomo (son of 3 term NY Dem governor Mario) falsely states that it is "illegal" for the public to read @wikileaks, but not for CNN, "so everything you learn about this you're learning from us" https://t.co/cwq9HzsLeD
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 18, 2018
"Move on." I hear many already saying. But in spite of the media's obvious lies, manipulations, and distortions, the smoking gun in the whole thing are still the leaked emails revealing mass organized media collusion, yet vast swaths of the US population remain oblivious.
Does anybody really believe that the framework put in place to execute the wishes of the DNC just suddenly vanished when Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination in July 2016, or as soon as Trump became elected? The DNC continues to manipulate minds and pull heartstrings, while we’re charged by the cable television and weekly mail subscription industries for the privilege. Sometimes it's not even so much a matter of what they say, or what they talk about, but what they don’t talk about.
The DNC and RNC are both private corporations.
The fact that the DNC and RNC are both private corporations can be easily verified, with a small complication: Both list themselves as 'semi-private' organizations, when in reality they are more accurately considered 'semi-public'. This was verified during the DNC fraud lawsuit, throughout which the DNC used their status as a private corporation to avoid prosecution. Their defense was that they had no business even being called out for anything they did, much less punished for it. We ignore this glaring fact at our own peril. The DNC feels entitled to act however it feels necessary to act, with no oversight or regulation. The DNC is supposed to be nothing if not a representative body beholden to voters.
If we were represented, we might see some climate legislation passed.
Global warming is real, and it's happening right now.
Even the staunchest climate denier has a hard time denying the data results from over 100 years of global climate monitoring. The statistical models this body of data produces are fairly unmistakable. The geological evidence also concludes that Earth's climate is cyclical and that we are in a transition period. Science is fairly unanimous in this diagnosis.
There is also a mountain of evidence demonstrating how man-made components in our atmosphere are having a detrimental effect on our climate: CO₂ causes ozone depletion, increasing the greenhouse effect, which traps heat from the sun in our atmosphere, increasing our rate of global warming. Our biggest producer of CO₂ is the fossil fuel industry, which has spearheaded efforts to deny the scientific evidence and mock the scientific and academic communities which simply processed the available data.
Does this sound familiar? It will after you read the next item.
Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) describes our current monetary system in the US.
Again, this conclusion is based on the empirical observations of many people who have compared their findings and found commonality in their data. We know that Congress creates new money because we can watch this process happening. We know that a public deficit is a private sector surplus because we can analyze the patterns within the data.
All the rest is simply a difference in the utilization of the facts inherent within MMT. MMT already is. We are already using our monetary sovereignty and fiat currency to deficit spend. The problem is that those 'executive level' controls are used to enrich the military industrial complex. When it comes time to spend for the public good, MMT is strictly off limits. It is not that we need to stop funding the military, but we do not need to spend more on it than the next 7 countries combined. Profit-centered public budgeting is wasteful, especially when those private entities are paying their employees 1/500th of what their CEO receives. It is also a serious conflict of interest, rife with the potential for almost unlimited corruption.
Another problem is the treatment of soldiers and servicemen and women after they have given their service. After being used as fodder for wars that accomplish nothing but enriching those who are already rich, many are desperately in need of physical, emotional, psychological, and financial help. There are thousands of homeless US veterans, which is a travesty because we already have everything we need to take care of them – and have for years. We can find the money for the jets and tanks, but not the soldiers in them. MMT eliminates any logical excuse for this behavior to continue, and it's as verifiable as the weather. …Provided you don't live in a cave.
When it comes to our national election integrity, ‘a cave’ is where a great many are living.
Our entire election process in the US is owned and operated by private corporations.
As election integrity activists like Bev Harris have shown us fairly conclusively, our election systems in the US have been transferred completely to private corporations who count our votes with covert and opaque software. It is a massive and ongoing coverup. All of the mechanisms exposed in the 2012 documentary “Hacking Democracy” were used in 2016 during the primaries and general elections and are still in use today. In addition, hidden functionality was found to be running within the “GEMS” network that allows users to fractionalize votes. Using this process, election results can be obtained in any configuration desired by the highest bidder.
While this is unfair to just about everybody who is eligible to vote in the United States, some must endure this, and more.
Non-white ethnicities of all descriptions are being unfairly targeted.
This is happening in ever-increasing frequency, by militarized police forces which are superimposed onto ethnic social communities that they do not represent.
This is one of those verifiable facts that are likely to be opposed but is blatantly obvious to anybody who is paying attention. Many will say that the situation is too open to individual spin, and slanted by vested interests. I'll explain why that conclusion is flawed.
Even if those people who love to decry 'liberal media slant' were right, non-whites would still be being treated unfairly. They'd still be being used as propaganda by that same media, who only cares about their plight for that sole purpose. You either believe that black and brown people are treated unfairly by police, that they are treated unfairly by the media, or both. Either way, you can't say 'institutionalized racism doesn't exist.’
But the fact is that there is statistical data showing that Black and Latino people are being killed by police in the United States at a ridiculously high ratio when compared to white people.
As Sun Tsu alluded to in his famous book The Art of War, when you want to slow your enemy down, target their most vulnerable. For us today, that means the enemy will then be forced to either move focus away from the bigger picture of human liberation for the 99% or alienate a huge portion of their support base by treating them as unfortunate collateral damage in the grand scheme of things. The intent is either to divert or divide.
We do not have to do either. Things may slow us down, but did anyone really expect to have no obstacles thrown in our way? We will face them together and overcome them together.
The second half of this series will be about what we must do as a result of these verifiable facts, but let's go ahead and address this one right now.
If we are going to be a movement about people, then people must remain our focus. If a large portion of us is being unfairly targeted, we must focus on that problem also, without fail. We won't lose focus, as long as we remember where our focus is, and that the problem is the same corrupt establishment as always. Always punch up, never down. In this battle, we are all soldiers, and nobody gets left behind!
Sick of being acted upon? Then act.
What is really sad is that many already know these things, but still won't take the responsibility which comes with this knowledge. They won't verify the truths for themselves, making those facets of reality become integrated with their own. To do so would mean they must then change their worldview, not to mention become responsible for the implications of this new knowledge. To do that is to realize that these facts create a scenario under which one must act.
We must all take a serious look at these facts, and come to our own conclusions not based on bias, not based on slant, but based on repeatable observations of reality, raw data, and wisely formed conclusions. As progressives, we need to come together on all of them, not just cherry pick a select handful which best suit whatever slant we, ourselves want to maintain.
Please join us for the second and final installment in this two-part series, covering strategies for the future which build on the knowledge of the past.