Mike Rowse A voice from New Mexico

2Oct/170

Human behavior fascinates me.

Human behavior is so amazing and fascinating. It can be good and it can be bad. Last night in Las Vegas we saw both. We saw a man take the lives of dozens of people and injured hundreds more. As of right now, if the police know why he did this, they are not making that public. But we also saw total strangers helping each other, not just the emergency personnel like police, firemen and women, or ambulance personnel, but concertgoers reaching out to others to help them get the safety, to tend to their wounds and so on. We’ve seen that over the last few weeks in response to the hurricanes and resulting damage. But it’s more about the manipulation of information and the desire for power that I want to talk about today.

Certainly there will be calls for the banning of so-called assault weapons after this tragic incident in Las Vegas. The facts will be ignored about all of the weapons that are in the possession of Americans and how few real incidents there are, of this type anyway. They will ignore the statistics that say criminals will do anything to get a gun to achieve their ends and that a ban on legally owned weapons would do little to stop them. They will ignore that more people are killed in a month in Chicago and other big cities by gang violence in which illegally obtained weapons are used then were killed in Las Vegas this week. But it’s because they want power. The politicians with their friends in the media will tell you that Republicans are conservatives don’t care about the debt in Las Vegas which is patently false. They will tell you that you must vote for them in order to stop tragedies like this in the future. They will ignore the facts that in areas where guns are outlawed, other means to accomplish such horrible ends are used such as bombs or poison.

But I also want to talk about a couple of other incidents that happened over the weekend. The mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulin Cruz, made news by claiming that Pres. Trump and the federal government have forgotten about her island and the people living there. She said Pres. Trump doesn’t care about them and is ignoring them. Of course the mainstream media and many of the Trump heaters in America picked up on that theme and carried the ball even further. They chastised him for playing golf or going out to dinner will people in Puerto Rico are suffering. They ignored the actual facts and the other information that was out there to refute her claim.

Just last week Mayor Cruz was praising the federal government’s response to the tragedy in Puerto Rico. But apparently her loyalty to Hillary Clinton in the radical Democrats caused her to change her tune. You can’t have a staunch Democrat Mayor not take advantage of a crisis and miss an opportunity to bash her political opponents.

It was also clear that according to other mayors in Puerto Rico as well as the heads of the various police departments and other first responding agencies that Mayor Cruz had not attended any of the meetings coordinated by FEMA in which they were discussing the efforts to provide aid to the citizens of Puerto Rico. These briefings and two-way discussions included what the people on the ground needed and how they were going to get it as well as the challenges that faced them in getting relief supplies to them. Let’s not forget that Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was already in total disrepair prior to the hurricane. Just getting truck drivers to be able to deliver supplies is a challenge. Not to mention the condition of the roads. All of those people attending the meetings have said that the response by the federal government has been fantastic.

Puerto Rico’s governor, Ricardo Rosello, has said repeatedly that Donald Trump has been on the phone with him virtually every day. Those conversations have centered around the challenges and how the feds will help to overcome them as well as the governor making requests for assistance and declarations, each one of which Pres. Trump has answered. The governor said Pres. Trump has given Puerto Rico everything the governor has asked for.

I’ll move on to topic number two in my example; Pres. Trump tweeted that the gross domestic product, the growth in our economy, increased to 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017. A noted liberal journalist tweeted that the same thing had happened under Pres. Obama for each of the years that he was in office. If you look at the actual data from multiple sources both inside and outside the government including the Federal Reserve and Commerce Department as well as several economic think tanks, the actual annual growth for each year of Pres. Obama’s tenure ranged from -.3% to a high of 2.9%. There were a couple of quarters during his tenure or the annualized growth rate exceeded 4% and approached 5%. But that tells you that the other quarters during those time frames were pretty bad the highest growth rate achieved was 2.9%.

This is where I get to the human behavior point and observation. In the case of the gross domestic product, a friend of mine posted on Facebook the tweet from Pres. Trump and the response from the reporter. I pointed out the fallacy in his claim but my friend said that at least during Obama’s tenure it was a general upward trend. I pointed out that I was not denying the fact but that the claim by the reporter was patently false. My friend’s response was that he believes our current president tweets out a lot more fake stuff than anyone else. I knew that if I pointed out that the growth rate did not come from Pres. Trump but from federal agencies, he would just make up an excuse.

I also pointed out the fallacies and factual inaccuracies in the reports regarding the mayor of San Juan. Not to give credit where credit is due, one of my more liberal friends who hates Donald Trump with a passion, a purple passion as he put it, said that in the last week or so watching what is going on in Puerto Rico he has learned more about the media and how they are not reporting all of the news. However he still believes that Pres. Trump and the federal government to do more to help Puerto Rico and its citizens than they are doing.

It is hard for us to change. We hate to admit we were wrong or that we have been duped. People on both sides of the aisle have a hard time changing their preconceived notions, opinions or feelings. Sometimes we have to be hit in the face with a brick to believe that we might have been wrong about some policy or some politician or some opinion that we have held. That’s what makes it difficult to have an open and honest dialogue, especially in the public arena. Now imagine when you have politicians and media personalities knowingly lying to you (and I include omitting factual information in my definition of lying) how hard it makes it for us to actually have a discussion based upon facts.

We live in an age where it is much easier to access information from multiple sources than at any other time in our history. Yet we seem to have a populist that is much more ignorant than in past decades. I don’t care if you are a fan of Fox News or CNN, it’s incumbent upon us to try and find out what the actual information is into compare that to what is being reported to us. It seems that we tend to gravitate towards the new sources that we believe agree with our point of view or support our point of view. I think it’s time that we all learned to spend our efforts finding out what’s going on by accessing the source information, such as reports from federal agencies and think tanks, that show us the raw data rather than the interpretation of that information by so-called reporters or politicians. That’s when we will begin to take back our country and realize what the political elite and the media are doing to us.

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