Fake News Blues…

It is amazing that now we have to deal with such new terms as “alternate facts” and “fake news”.  These accusations that are launched by our current resident in the White House have caused an expected polarization along the lines of supporters on both sides, but it does definitely make somebody wonder…just what, if any, “truth” is there in the assertion?

If you watch certain networks, it is clear that there is a slant on the delivery of the daily news from the commentary to the guests or experts that are interviewed.  While this is painfully obvious even to the most naive viewer, we have to remember that all of these news outlets are a commercial venture.  Every news broadcast is interrupted by a series of commercials that target their loyal audience.  The broadcasters set up their news twist so elegantly prior to the commercial to keep you on their station through the advertisement.  These advertisers want to keep their predictable audience and quite often their political views will affect their purchasing choices.  I recently watched a news station that leans toward the liberal side and saw a number of ads for medical programs or devices that indicated that they will be covered by medicare.  Government insurance is a commitment that comes from our Democratic party.

This type of news delivery has been around for a while now, so we should be used to it.  The charge of “fake news” as issued by the executive branch of the federal government is something quite different.  It is designed to inflame the electorate and believe that there is something genuinely evil about the news industry as a whole.  News satire channels on TV and and Internet are definitely fueling the fire…but they serve the purpose of entertainment more than the responsible journalism that keeps government honest.

Our president is using this new phrase to deflect the focus off of his relationship to a totalitarian leader of a regime that stands in direct contrast to what America is at it’s core.  He has refused to implicate Russia and continued to shower praise on their leader.  If he had been forthright, honest and transparent then there would be no suspicion about his international dealings but he hasn’t.

There is a real difference between real news and fake news.  So much of the “fake news” comes from discussions that are taking place on social media with no basis in fact and continues to polarize Americans.  A leader who leads with tweets is no leader.

Twitter has it’s place…so does Facebook. It should not be a playground for misinformation particularly when it is being spread by the President of the United States.  Enjoy my “tongue in cheek” musical lament inspired by number 45.

 

Building Walls

The great unifying force that is our president is making good on a campaign promise.  He’s going to build that wall. Yes, he is going to keep “those people” out of the United States of America, a country founded by immigrants.

It seems ironic that the very people who founded this country would have a problem with immigrants.  It also seems that our president who wants to bring this country together is going to do so by offending groups of people who are identified by their race.  It seems that he is also offending women as evidenced by the marches this past weekend.

These “appearances” to me are the biggest problem with his leadership.  Some people have a medical condition where they can’t stop “saying” what they might be “thinking”.  Communication on a global stage means watching what you say…particularly in this  connected world.

Hosted Blogs OK

If a person can create something of value, they should be able to market and sell it using available technologies.  This should be taught and there is no better way to test it than through an old fart like me.

I remain employed by my current NJ public school and it never ceases to amaze me.  When I had this blog hosted at WordPress.com, it was not accessible at school.  Now that I have it hosted with SiteGround, I can post whatever I want.

The free version has limitations built into it.  The free version is talked about at our conferences.  The free version is a way for anyone to begin to build their writing skills by writing everyday.  The free version is blocked. 

One of the glaring problems with education today is its lack of connection to the real world.  We are still talking about jobs and creating jobs and looking to recover manufacturing jobs instead of teaching students how to create value for themselves.  Students create things all the time.  Those creations are never seen to be valuable enough to be the vocation that will get them through life.

I have a rebellious streak in me.  I have been using one essential question in my music production class.  It is “How can I get the world to pay my bills?”  This should be the question that everyone answers and not “what do I need to get into college?”  That is a loaded question that presupposes that you should go to college.  The cost today outweighs the benefit particularly because colleges never ask my essential question either.

I am participating in an action research project.  If a person can create something of value, they should be able to market and sell it using available technologies.  This should be taught and there is no better way to test it than through an old fart like me.  Also, no one should have their own value determined by those around them.  There are a lot more people in this world.

Mark: 6:4