Truthless in America

There was an advertisement in the NY Times today for people who think that the legalization of pot is not a good idea. I can see why a lot of people feel that way. Pot is not an easy substance for everyone to control. But the ad, at one point, refers to it as habit forming. That is not true. Pot is not habit forming, but it can be a habit, and a bad one at that, it just isn’t habitual in the way that cigarettes are. Oops, that’s a mistake that they will be called out on.

The mischaracterization of an alleged fact seems endemic to this era. In an age where the internet allows us to check anything out, we go to sites that second our own point of view. I think this is absolutely fascinating in many ways. Critical thinking, something I remember studying in high school, has been abandoned since there is always someone who will state an untruth that backs up other untruths. Heartening to those living in alternate universes.

This might be called lying, but I am convinced that many people just don’t know the difference. It is as if at some point in our lives, we choose to be skeptical of some ideas, but not others. You see it on political broadcasts, you see it in Congress. Unfortunately, you see it in the fight to save the elephant as well as if anyone dealing in ivory is abetting the slaughter of elephants. Is there just too much (mis)information out there?

I read a review on PolitiFact the other day about a would be congressional representative running for office in Texas. She states that global warming is a hoax. PolitiFact makes short work of her criticisms as most are just the rehashing of other untruths found on the internet. What I find interesting is that denying the problem is easier than coming up with a solution. She’s just playing to her audience.  How sad given that our problems require thoughtful consideration.

The slaughter of elephants is also a knotty one. Coming down on those people who may have ivory artifacts that are old or antique is not the answer to saving the elephant. The attitude that endorses such a draconian “answer” is both lazy and intolerant. You want to tighten up the market? Come to those of us that know the market, know the true antique dealers and work with us. We will help. Too much work, I guess. Congress isn’t the only slacker out there.

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