This blog represents the views of the author alone and not the newspaper.
Two weeks ago, a friend asked a couple of us a question that stuck with me. He asked, “How can you tell if what you read is opinion or fact?” This is where a lot of people are. It’s a sad state of affairs.
I think we pay too much attention to memes and trivia matters; like how many rounds of golf the president plays.
We are already bombarded with the president’s tweets that start off a “breaking news” day.
I told my friend that his answer lies within. He can verify the facts if the article produces documents and he can study the issues that he is interested in. I told him that I don’t usually accept videos as proof because they are usually cherry-picked and doctored.
The economy is shaky and some economists are predicting a recession. If you are as old as me, you’ve heard that thousands of times, regardless of who’s president. I often look at other indicators like trends of the jobs market, consumer confidence, bond market and how the current trade wars are affecting prices.
Those on the far right are saying some of us are wishing for a recession to get rid of Trump. Bill Maher and a few others might but I wouldn’t wish a recession on anyone. Especially now, since we have already used two tools in our toolbox; low-interest rates and a tax cut. I don’t have confidence in the president’s cabinet and they are too proud to call in outside help. Lord help us.
I’m trying to understand and I keep the lines of communication open with my conservative friends. I read everything I can. I’m currently reading “American Carnage: Inside the Republican civil war and the rise of President Trump… by Tim Alberta.
I learned that the GOP has been tougher on Trump than any democrat. I bet Ted Cruz is singing the praises of Trump in Goliad but he along with Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and Rick Perry said that Trump should never be close to the nuclear codes. Oh, you might say that’s just politics and they are golfing buddies or work for Trump and it happens at your party. No, it doesn’t, because we have never nominated a person, we wouldn’t trust with the launch codes.
I watched the one-sided video of U.S. Rep. Michael Cloud’s immigration crisis panel discussion; waiting for a mention of employers who might be in cahoots with the Mexican cartel and are breaking our immigration and employment laws. Law enforcement and the landowner on the panel told me nothing I didn’t already know. I was also waiting for someone to ask why a court had to force a United States agency to give the detained children a toothbrush and some soap. The other day the administration said it would not give the detainees a flu shot. To his credit, Rep. Cloud truthfully said that the asylum seekers are walking up to the border patrol. Tell me again how more fencing would stop them. He also admitted that a lot of the issue is political. I take issue every time he mentions those who want open borders. That’s a GOP talking point because no Democrat holding an office or wants to hold an office wants open borders. Open borders are an exaggeration because Dem lawmakers are always voting for border security measures. They do not want to remove fencing, aerial surveillance or border patrol. They do want more funding for immigration judges to relieve the backlog of applications. They do want a comprehensive immigration reform package but the Freedom Caucus refuses to let that happen.
The one thing that will never be discussed is the ineptness of this understaffed administration. One of the biggest crises we are facing and we have an undersecretary or an acting chief in charge. How can you control 62 border patrol agents on a Facebook group known for racists posts, if you don’t have stability at the top? I remember back in 2018 when DHS boss, Kirstjen Nielsen told a congressional committee that she couldn’t say how many people have died in her department’s custody.
We are not going to separate the opinion from fact unless we learn the issue. The border issue is a prime example. We have the media, mayors of border cities, ranchers, local sheriffs, border agents and fact-finding committees, all telling us a different story.
I think the solutions will continue to be difficult unless we turn down the hateful rhetoric. It starts at the top by always invoking MS13 with the situation at the border or the governor trying to seize on scare tactics in a newsletter to his constituents; just to win votes.
I bet my bottom dollar if we treat the asylum seekers in a more humane way the media would go away and we wouldn’t have a need for fact-finding committees. I also bet if we started locking up the employers (illegal employers) who break our immigration and employment laws, the magnet would go away. Oh wait, the tariffs are already making the prices go up and now no more cheap labor! Careful what you wish for.
That’s it for this week but sorry no time to discuss buying Greenland, nuking hurricanes or the president not showing up to the G7 climate change meeting. Not that anyone wanted his opinion.