Sane Society and Intellectual Honesty

Sometimes things I say confound people. They are talking to me via Facebook or chat room or email, and I say something like: “I think the term ‘intellectual honesty’ is a misnomer, just like the term ‘sane society.'”

I always manage to do these things where I make a complex statement, and it’s hard to jam the reasoning behind it into “140 characters,” so to speak.

This is why I love blogging.

I might lose just about all of you if I go on too long, but these URLs won’t go down so you can read my verbose verbage another time if you so desire. Like most who know a little about writing I know to kind of sum it all up in that last paragraph that everyone reads anyway.

Let’s start with “Intellectual Honesty” and why I call it a “misnomer”:

I am most certainly not saying that any person being intellectual is thereby being dishonest, by any means. The reason I believe the two words do not link is because the alternative is an impossibly. One cannot be dishonest in regards to your own personal reasoning and personal opinions, no matter if any facts collide with their intellectual position or not.

I can “intellectualize” any issue for you to the point that whatever provable facts and established evidence have far departed from whatever wide assertion I am making. You can find lots of examples of this on this very blog.

Whereas “honesty” relates to strict codes of precise reasoning that, as much as many desire them to, do not change at the whim of an individual. I believe the people screaming these false cries of “creeping socialism” are being “intellectually honest” with us, but they are still dishonest in their facts, in the labeling and on the raw record.

“Intellectual Honesty” is either one of two things: it is a given, where 100% of all people everywhere are “intellectually honest” so it is a redundant term; or it is a fallacy in that intellectualism may be in it’s nature honest but honesty is not by it’s nature intellectual. Either way I feel that this term doesn’t convey any kind of realistic view of the world, regardless of who is using the term.

Now on to “Sane Society”:

This term, to me, is a misnomer in complete and full. While one can glean and nit-pick through a society and raise up certain examples of sanity and good graces, there is a massive gap between that assessment and the picture of the whole.

I present to those believing that at a certain point we will attain a fully “Sane Society” here on planet Earth that to a certain degree establishments rely upon a certain amount of disorder. Utopian Society would be without need for “laws” or even “group morals” for all persons would never consider such acts that might disturb good public order and ethical treatment of others in first place. Other than for the sake of pomp and circumstance there would no need for “leaders” or anything but basic levels of “establishment” because all peoples everywhere would already understand and adhere to “Sane Society” principals. I believe a certain amount of chaos and disorder is inherent to the human condition itself, therefore while I enjoy musing over a “Sane Society” and the “Utopian Dream” I also view it as nothing but a muse in which to model a better world as opposed to the ultimate consequence of human progression.

What I am really talking about is the words we use and how we use them.

With the sharp increase in ad hominem attacks and red herring arguments in our lexicon, I can see how some might view these as less than important points. But I think these kind of issues are at the root of what is preventing good communication between opposing viewpoints in our society today. There is a strong need for a focus on critical thinking and making better arguments, and it starts with using language that makes real sense.

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Bipartisan Blogging Dies at Birth

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When I first set forth to imprint myself upon the wildly evolving beast of the blogosphere I held with me a tenuous goal: to create a fully bipartisan blog.

A place that would be both policy and ideology neutral, yet dealt in real news topics.

While the value of this concept in itself still appears quite sound in my mind, I discovered through personal experience that throwing that concept away was the best thing I ever did for my blog as a rank amateur in the mix. (Still working on that.)

Blogger tis I:

My posting entitled “Ann Coulter Still Sucks” was one of first impressions unto this wild animal of internet-posting that I can claim to my credit. Every word of that is partisanship, I am completely unashamed.

My posting entitled “The Libra-Scorpio Cusp” is enjoyed by many. I point out an internet inconsistency between websites and briefly address my feelings on Astrology.

Recently I was honored to have received an Editor’s Pick on Open Salon for what accounts to the end result of these bipartisan efforts of mine.

I thank the Editors of Open Salon for the honor in being selected.

In course of presenting the issue of Jimmy Carter’s words concerning race in America, I unconsciously fell into my routine of trying to revive the lost art of bipartisanship.

I presented the words of Alan Wilson rebuking the words of Carter directly as to any racial motives in his father Rep. Joe Wilson’s outburst.

I withheld the words of what I view as righteous indignation and retained myself to news-commentary.

However, my truly Bipartisan Blogging is dead. I fully intend to address every issue that I view as significant regardless of the possible offense drawn from that perspective.

Once you mix an opinion with a platform, you get punditry. Once the opinion is interjected into the Left versus Right Debate, it is already too late.

What remains within me though are the principals of striving toward fair play and equal consideration of alternative perspectives, and still with my own case intact. The value of this bipartisanship effort is lost, but the spirit remains intact. The reason being for this loss, in my view, has to do this the source from which it comes.

Despite all reports to the contrary, I am not a big deal.

The person to revive journalistic standards in the United States, is not I.

I instead must cry out into the wilderness to capture this beast, while those within the press need only touch a laptop. So is the way of things. But while ‘truth’ can be subjective, the facts are not.

“You can have your own opinion, but you don’t get to chose your own facts.”

I make a great many declarative statements in the course of blogging, formed primarily from simple political and media analysis, which accounts to online punditry.

But I believe strongly in full disclosure of the fact that I am a liberal and freely admit it may alter my world view in some cases.

But the facts don’t lie, and I believe in the growing majority of cases the facts are on my side.

Pointing Fingers:

It could be said that I am extremely critical of the right wing in US Politics.

If one were to ever take the time to read backwards into my blog it can be found that I have tried to draw a line between “Thinking Conservatives” and “Limited Conservatives“.

Other times I have directly defended the specific quotes of both Carrie Prejean and Rick Warren.

Treading this line in not some political game on my part, but rather my honest opinion on those matters.

I believe that is what we have escaped from in the madness of mass computing and super-fast news-cycles. Partisanship sells books as much as it moves blog-hits, so perhaps some of these political shock jocks like Ann Coulter would rather be reasonable in her arguments, but it simply doesn’t pay the bills.

The truth being what is lost in this exchange, and I think that sort of thing is a shame.

I would much rather have a discussion in disagreement than just label others as “tools”, “fascists”, “un-American”, or “racists”.

But that creation of mine that might cross party lines, and maybe bring sanity to the mix to see what happens will have to wait for a another day. The raw truth of opinion should not replace factual evidence. Such is the road to tyranny.

So I have taken another road. I drew a line in the sand that allows me to say what I will of Republicans, or Democrats.

For instance, the Republican Party is currently self-destructing and the Democratic Party has dropped the ball on health care reform.

Such statements embody my current stage in blogging evolution.

Finale:

The spirit of political bipartisanship and the need for balance remains within me, but the middle ground is now mainly unattainable without the acceptance of false claims and baseless assertions. Any critical review of facts debunks most conservative mantras.

There is much to be said for ideological differences enhancing a debate but when the debate is centered around misrepresentations and sweeping accusations of assumed wrong-doing there simply to no room in which to move in.

I will most likely continue to be mistaken for a conservative by both machines that dictate ad banners and internet users alike, but this just a by-product of my attempt to split everything down the middle.

To me, most these differences are best settled in the voting booth at election time.

But if the accuracy of the information we receive is suspect and unverifiable then we have a responsibility as citizens to recognize this fact.

This tense political and social division has forever been an element of American Life, but I believe that the situation is amplified by media-giants who profit from the repetition of partisan smears of any person or group.

I can only pray for a day of more a more honest and non-biased form of journalism catching the eye of the American public, but I don’t see it happening anytime soon.

Eric Lightborn

http://ericlightborn.blogspot.com

http://twitter.com/EricLightborn

September 29th 2009

How Responsible is O’Reilly in Tiller’s Murder?

Crooks & Liars : Bill O’Reilly uses Private Long’s murder to try and justify his demonization of Dr. Tiller by John Amato

Raw Replay : Howard Kurtz excuses Bill O’Reilly’s incitement of violence against George Tiller by David Edwards

In terms of criminal responsibility to Bill O’Reilly or FOX Broadcasting in the murder of Dr. George Tiller, I can see none.

In terms of moral and civic responsibility, I see plenty. I believe it to a shameful state of affairs in America today that I am a ‘far left’ blogger for demanding responsible broadcasting and moral standards in addressing social issues like abortion and women’s reproductive health.

The crazies will do what they do.

Bill O’Reilly is not responsible when a lunatic reads his book and murders fourteen people in a church, nor is he responsible when a man watches his broadcasts and goes out and kills a man over it. In a legal sense this is true. In a moral sense Bill O’Reilly has blood on his hands for passing along biased and jaded perspectives on liberalism in America and his outrageously dangerous and slanderous coverage of Dr. Tiller.

The responsibility of a broadcaster is vapid in terms of serious social issues and FOX Cable News, not in anyway exclusive to The O’Reilly Factor.

Just tonight Geraldo Rivera made insinuations of vigilante violence against a child molester in Oklahoma in the course of denouncing vigilante violence himself.

The fact remains that the both the network and the broadcasters themselves have a responsibility to the public they serve to protect the lives of all citizens and protect the due process of law.

By calling Dr. Tiller a ‘killer’ repeatedly on the air Bill O’Reilly risked inciting violence.

By vaguely insinuating that the Oklahoma child molester might be killed and have his body dumped on the side of the road Geraldo Rivera risked inciting violence.

The responsibility to the community for news broadcasting that does not risk the incitement of violence in the nation is fundamental to our domestic security as a nation.

This entire issue has absolutely nothing to do with an individual political agenda on my accord and I am willing to retract my provocative statements in regards to Mr. O’Reilly provided he states clearly to the public that he will no longer use his media platform to play dangerous games with people’s lives and then follows through on this promise.

Mine is a cry for an end to irresponsible broadcasting coming from FOX News.

For whatever failures of bias to found on vast quantity both on MSNBC and FOX, there is only one network inciting violence and using radical right wing propaganda to do more than simply share an alternative perspective. Quite often the network is used as an agent for unscrupulous pundits to gamble with the safety of physicians and the liberal population of America.

Ultimately, I believe these people have become drunk off their own power and will never admit their own misdeeds let alone their own inability to recognize their contributions to a climate of violence in America.

As long as the public continues to support their ‘crusades’ they will remained deluded and ignorant to the harm they cause in their wake. When the veil of public approval is lifted it becomes clear that these men will say anything to get ratings and if that means risking inciting violence, then so be it.

Bill O’Reilly versus Joan Walsh

YouTube Video of The Debate

“This Tiller thing is bogus. And I think you know it‘s bogus. And if not I‘m gonna show you a sound byte that‘s gonna prove it to you.”

How many sound bytes do you have to show people to fix what they read in textbooks and newspapers?

If it’s in the Constitution, he has a sound byte for that. No need to read it yourself.

If it’s the truth of ideology that he claims to hold and only perverts and twists to his own ends, he has a sound byte for that. No need to speak to the people involved.

If he promotes domestic terrorism via lies about Americans and invasions of privacy in his ‘just crusade,’ he has a sound byte for that. No need to look at reality.

He has a sound byte ready for the day he starts getting right down to it and promoting violence against liberals and terrorism on the city of San Francisco. And another one ready as they fit him for an orange jumpsuit.

All of it to carefully explain away why he is not at fault, ever, and has nothing to do with anything except the so-called ‘truth.’ All it to make sure nobody in his audience ever actually reads anything except what he tells them to.

To me, this is proof of what I’ve always said about Bill O’Reilly:

This man cares nothing for facts and only for own personal set of biases.

 

The O’Reilly Tactic of Dirty Pool Debate revealed one of his trademark spin artist moves in the opening moments of this clip.

Bill’O brings up as a side-line, and states himself very quickly, in mentioning what Joan wrote on her website was “unconscionable” and then says he is going to “stick to it” by addressing the matter at hand.

This is classic Dirty Pool Debate. You slander your opponent and before they get a chance to respond then quickly you move to the ’real issue at hand.’ The whole point of Dirty Pool Debate is to demean the character of your opponent instead of argue the point with them.

Bill O’Reilly is a master at doing just this. Keeping the truth of a real debate away from his audience and helping them maintain narrow-minded thinking while feeling like they are ‘learning’ about politics, media and the nation.

Just screaming like an idiot into the camera and refusing the recognize the damage he does to society at large with this brand of partisan hate and untruthful propaganda on serious social issues in America.

Joan: “You crusaded against him.”

Bill: “You bet!”

Joan: “He had been shot twice already.”

Bill: “And I‘m sorry about that.”

Well if he was so sorry why didn’t he stop slandering and misusing his platform to spread lies about Americans that ultimately lead to domestic terrorism incidents?

Because that would have hurt his ratings. Oh, the precious ratings.

He should be sorry. He is the one with blood on his hands, after all.

What Bill O’Reilly does on television is wrong. It is a brutal set of lies and conjecture that provides no benefit to the nation whatsoever. FOX Broadcasting Studios should be ashamed to have their name attached to such a disreputable and dishonest man.

 

The need to scream over all that disagrees with your mentality is a clear example of partisanship and intolerance for the opinions of others.

The need to call everyone not aligned with you as “far left“is a clear example of a need to marginalize your opponent because you feel your own position is weak or lacking against theirs.

Considering conservatives are on the wrong side of history in every debate over social issues I can see why Bill O’Reilly is so threatened to use such shallow and childish tactics.

Joan is absolutely right about Bill O’Reilly being a vile man. A vile and lowly man who loves his ideologies more than he loves other humans.

He disrespects the nation and the intelligence of his audience with his so-called ‘facts’ and his so-called ‘reporting.’

Time and time again it is the true patriots who must stand up against the charlatans and propagandists who seek to destroy this nation in violence and ignorance.

Let our voices be heard, loud.

A domestic terrorist is in our amidst: Bill O’Reilly. A man who promotes vigilantism and misinformation that gets Americans killed.

Has America Gone Conspiracy-Crazy?

It has been my observation that popular websites and radio shows have experienced a recent increase in the number of people touting the “New World Order Theory” (NWO) or an apocalyptic theory that includes global conspiracies in one fashion or another. I am not a fan of dismissive attitudes and rather than mocking these people I wish to explain why I personally do not subscribe to these theories even after having reviewed much of the same media and materials that they often use as evidence for their theory.
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http://www.coasttocoastam.com
http://www.jordanmaxwell.com
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There is no doubt that there remains a large divide in society between the labor classes and the aristocratic classes of people, no matter how wealthy or advanced a society is. As many have written on throughout history there is a mutual disgust shared between these classes.

The labor class most often views the other as uncaring and immoral. The aristocratic class most often views the other as uncivil and illogical.

The clever, and usually fiendish, use this divide on both sides of society to promote their personal agenda. Be it selling DVDs, seeds, books, survival supplies or perhaps gaining ratings, website hits and sponsors the issue of interjecting mass fear without any tangible proof is reprehensible. Not to mention the fact that both modern and ancient politicians have sought to demonize one group or another using these same existing prejudices in what is commonly called class-warfare.

I assert that the entire idea of a “grand-puppeteer council” that rules all of humanity is a form of ancient social-engineering, if you will, developed perhaps some time prior to the Roman Empire. An agenda formed purely to destabilize all forms of government in a time when there was no such thing as democracy or equality under the law for any person not of a ruling class.

I believe the labor class of old created this entire theory around the strange practices of aristocrats that still exist in today’s society in the form of the Skull and Bones Society or other ritualistic practices in society as a whole. The unseen and unknown rulers of all cannot be proven nor disproved. Nor can the shadow regime be seen for it is made of no light that we pathetic laborers can find with the blindfolds that our masters provide. It is a perfect circle of plausible yet improvable concepts leading to the same conclusion of rejecting all the institutions of government as purely evil.

I see certain figures like Jordan Maxwell as not motivated by sheer profiteering motives but rather simply a person who has read more material and done more research than I have, by far, yet he has not considered this simple concept while reading many occult materials. Maxwell is one of the rare exceptions in this subject where he is genuine and earnest about his fears for America coming under some form of global-control. I just simply disagree and obviously I would be proven wrong if such a thing were to happen outside of popular fiction.

I am not certain if America is falling prey to an age-old agenda of anarchistic motives or if a certain few have simply become voiced after being silent but the issues of the press failing to do their job in the modern world or the multitude of other arguments used to promote these theories don’t provide any proof for the theory itself.

No doubt someone who believes strongly in these theories would seek to call me a “NWO shill” and I am trying to convey that I see Alex Jones, for instance, as a profiteering shill. Let people judge for themselves as I make zero dollars on this weblog and Jones runs advertisements for his products on the radio. George Noory would be the converse of Jones where he appears to simply believe in the NWO while further proving my point that Jones is primarily motivated by profit due to fact that Noory doesn’t engage in schemes to sell documentaries yet is still affiliated with and outspoken on the issue.

Many theories defy evidence, like Creationism for instance, and there are many people of varying degrees of study who wish to establish a sense of complete authority on these theories making them into supposed facts. It is the very nature of spreading willful ignorance. Some issues do not have all the standards of scientific proof at this time and must be handled as such.

The answer is, we don’t have the answer. Anyone who tells you otherwise should called into suspect immediately to produce proof or be called to state themselves as a person of convictions and not facts, which is perfectly acceptable.

I am not here to be throwing out names for everyone to repeat of my ‘perfect’ theories or just to start an uproar on any of the issues I’ve touched on but rather to say that when any person simply accepts what they hear, see or read as proof-enough for them that ultimately we all could suffer the consequences if this were to become systemic.

Eric Lightborn
February 17th 2009