A Reintroduction


My Uncle Bob is, to put it bluntly, gullible. When he isn’t sending me emails about chemtrails, he’s sharing HAARP theories on FaceBook about how the government is creating hurricanes. If you’re lucky, you have no clue what those are, but I’m betting you haven’t been able to avoid the topic of fake news that has grabbed the attention of so many people this year.

2016 has indeed been a turbulent year, but it wasn’t the worst. If you’re reading this, you are at least alive which testifies to my statement. If you’re still moping over the results of the election, gloating over the victory, or pining for some fallen TV/movie/music idol, you really need to lift your head up and look at the world around you. I said 2016 wasn’t the worst year ever but there’s a lot of crap going on that needs to change. Regardless of your personal or political beliefs, change is a’coming and if you can’t tell fact from fiction, it’s gonna run you over.

I’ve heard the Declaration of Independence referred to as merely a declaration of war whereas the Constitution is the collection of laws our country is founded on. But really, they should be taken together because neither was written in a vacuum and both were ratified by basically the same people. The concepts in each can, and should, be embraced as the originally American ideals. Two key phrases from each begin with “we”, “we the people” and “we hold these truths”. This country wasn’t created for the benefit of a few, and the ideals and principles espoused by them in the later half of the 18th century were meant to apply to all citizens until that form of government was ended.

Instead of looking at the world of opinions in the traditional left and right paradigms with all manner of shades on either side of what is subjectively called the middle, how about we look at it as an ever-widening set of concentric circles. At the center are the core values that Americans hold and the associated “truths” like equality, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the other basic rights specifically detailed in the Constitution. The farther opinions get from the center of this circle, the more dangerous the people holding them are. I think the center of this circle is really quite large and can hold the majority of Americans. It’s when you get farther out where you encounter the extremist whose views (like white supremacists and anarchists) threaten our very existence.

High on my list of the things that ail us is fake news. You can call it dis-information, mis-information, propaganda, or just outright lies, but it all boils down to manipulating perceptions. It was used to during the election by members of all parties and continues to be used in the post-election period as both scare tactics from the Democrats and fear mongering by the GOP. Some are blaming the Russians, some the alt-right, and some blame FaceBook for allowing it to proliferate. It really doesn’t make a difference. It’s here, it’s bad, and it needs to be dealt with.

Unlike my Uncle Bob, most of the people I know online can think for themselves and don’t want to be taken advantage of by the hucksters peddling their conspiracy theories and social theories. The problem is that this issue cannot be solved by just one person crusading on social media. It requires a network of people who keep their eyes open looking for suspicious material. Basically, I need your help.

This is the first post in what I hope becomes a regular series of commentary on with an eye towards debunking the malicious stupidity that is masquerading as news. Writing the posts is difficult enough and there’s now way any one person could have enough time to monitor and evaluate all the garbage floating around.

Here’s what I’m asking:

1. Share this post and sign up for email updates when new material is posted.
2. PM, email me, or post comments here about any links you think are fake.
3. Help me to recruit others and ask to them send me the links or (better yet) collect them for me and send me what you deem relevant.

In return, I will be writing about this problem and I promise to hit all sides with equal vigor because I just can’t stand the BS any longer. I can’t do it by myself; nobody can. Together, we can be the eyes and ears.


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