Let's Talk About It!

with host John Panesko

Stop the daily lie

A caller to this show made an excellent point but it took a while for the point to sink in. It’s the correct reaction to the daily lie being told to us by the media about the office of USA president. The lie is that THE PRESIDENT controls our destiny. According to both candidates for president, and all of their supporters, THEY hold the key to whether our lives are good or bad, whether or dreams are reached or not.

But is that the truth? If you are looking for work, does the president of the United States have ANYTHING to do with your success in finding work? If you are planning a vegetable garden for next year, does the president of the United States have ANYTHING to do with your success? If you are in a new relationship or mending an old one or doing any of the THOUSAND of important things that you and I do to make our lives better, does the president of the United States have ANYTHING to do with our success?

Or does CONGRESS have anything to do with our success? Or the US Supreme Court? As far as I can tell, none of the branches of the federal government have ANYTHING to do with the success we seek in our lives, with the pleasure we experience in our lives, with the goals we set for ourselves and eventually reach or die trying. THAT is all up to US, to you and me.

I’ll confess at times even I have fallen into the trap of thinking that my future somehow depends on who is in the White House or who is in the Governor’s mansion or who sits on the County Commission or in City Hall. But it’s really you and me, JUST you and me, our character, our faith, our self-discipline, our talents and our energy, WE control the future of our lives. We should relegate all those politicians and gov’t employees to their proper place which is far, far, FAR in the back of the room. And as our employees, they can do us a favor of shutting UP about all the wonderful things they plan to do with OUR money.

THEY should NEVER be in charge of your and my health care. They should NEVER be in charge of your and my education as it continues through our lives. They should NEVER be in charge of what cars we drive or what movies we watch or what we say or write to each other or with whom we gather for ANY reason. When we meet as a tea party that REALLY scares them, so much so that our employee, the president, actually disparaged us law-abiding citizens as awful people for DARING to challenge the government’s unprecedented spending binge.

Today, this week, this month, this year, year after year the major news sources are doing ENORMOUS damage to us, spreading a HUGE lie throughout our society… by mentioning the president every hour ON the hour, day after day, week after week, as if the president DOES play an important part in our daily lives. It’s similar to dictatorships which have giant posters of the fearless leader on all major buildings – you see them all the time, as if THEY are in charge. It’s a lie, a lie we have to resist.

You are in charge of your life; I am in charge of my life and if we could go a month at a time without hearing news about whoever is president, I think this would be a BETTER country.

Look at all the people believing the lie. I will NOT stand in the flood water waist deep waiting for the president to rescue me, but as you witnessed, there are people who will. I will NOT expect the president to provide me with prescription drugs or contraceptives, but as you witnessed, there are people who will. I will NOT wait for the president to provide me with a job, but as you witnessed, there are people who will.

If I do what I can for you, and if you do what you can for me, REGARDLESS of how the election turns out at the federal, state or local level, we’ll succeed. Faith in each other and faith in God started this country and that faith will sustain this country. Don’t let the president or the media lie to you otherwise.

Your Place in History

We are in a battle that we don’t realize, and we’re losing. It’s a battle as old as mankind.

Go back as far as you choose, even back to cavemen and you’ll find that individuals cherish liberty. As individuals we prefer to do what we want to, when we want to, where we want to. As individuals we cherish liberty.

But as societies we don’t get liberty, we get tyrants and oppression. Again, go back as far as you choose, even back to cavemen and you’ll find that societies consist of tyrants who gather power and then rule over others. The strong dominate the weak.

It is the natural state of mankind for the strongest to enslave the weakest. Look at every civilization over thousands of years and it’s a long list of enslavement by those who can amass power over others. Even the Cowlitz Indians who greeted Simon Plamondon, the first white settler in Washington, had slaves. The chief ruled the tribe and the weakest were enslaved. That happened here and it wasn’t that long ago.

So what the founding fathers of the United States did was hugely different. It was highly unusual. They established a set of rules to protect individual liberty against tyrants. In order to protect liberty from the well-known history of political leaders seizing power, the founding fathers made government to protect individual liberty.

The primary task of the US Constitution Bill of Rights is to guard our individual liberty (the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) which comes not from government, but from God. Liberty comes directly from God to us. Do not pass Congress and do not collect $200.

This hugely different concept is one which the US has tried to spread around the world with mixed results. The results are mixed because it’s the natural inclination of mankind for the strong to take more and more power and for the weakest to give up power (usually for the promise of security) until they find themselves enslaved.

To preserve our individual liberty we must constantly push back against that natural inclination of mankind to allow the bullies to rule the school yard or rule Olympia or rule Washington D. C. Power-hungry politicians are working overtime to get more power. Every government job is someone’s family income and they will not give up their jobs without a fight. Look at Greece. Look at Wisconsin.

Every generation has to do something, has to take a strong stand, has to create a movement, has to do something to fight back against the constant pressure from the bullies who want to rule our lives.

For most of our history, liberty won that battle every time. But something changed around the time of Franklin Roosevelt. Instead of claiming power for themselves, Congress claimed power for the poor. It was a false claim because all the power was sent to Congress, but they did it in the name of the poor so no one would oppose them. And it worked.

Over the decades we gave up more of the money we earned, and we gave up more of our liberty to be free from government regulation. Once the government saw it could seize power in the name of good intentions towards others, it grew and grew, even though we have the same problems today that we had before those programs were started.

In several generations no one has had the courage to push back against the inexorable growth of government. No one wanted to seem to be against “the poor” or “the hungry” or “the homeless” so we accepted more government along with its regulations and its taxes and its imposition into every aspect of every life. We now support a government ten times as big but we still have the poor, the hungry and the homeless.

The sham of good intentions cannot be accepted as justification for bigger government. The loss of liberty cannot be shrugged off as inevitable. Each generation must push back the tide of leaders who “only” want just a little more of our liberty so they can add to their power, even if they hide behind the poor and the hungry and the homeless.

Today is the place in history for our generation to push back. I am pushing back with my words to you and my encouragement to others. Will you take this baton from me and push back by talking to your friends or by sending them the link to this page?

Doing nothing means we will continue to lose ground. Doing something will start to repay those who gave their lives to protect our liberty – a liberty which we must refuse to give away voluntarily – no matter what the politicians promise us.

Will you join me in pushing back, today?

Privacy? What privacy?

Tell me about your privacy. You can buy 160 acres and put your home right in the middle of it so no one can see what you are doing. Or you can own a home in town and put up a high fence and keep your blinds drawn tight so no one can see what you are doing. Physical distance or physical barriers should prevent anyone from seeing what you are doing on your land, or in your house.

All that is changing.

Technology exists for anyone to have clear vision over several miles to observe minute details at a distance and to broadcast those details to any point around the world. You won’t know they are watching.

Technology exists for anyone to point a laser at your window and by the reflection, to hear any conversation in that room, or maybe even anywhere in the house. Windows act like transmitters, vibrating in response to sounds inside. You won’t know they are listening.

Technology exists for anyone to drive by your house and use thermal imaging to see where persons are located in your house, even with the blinds drawn tight, and maybe they can see what you are doing as well. You won’t know they are watching.

Technology exists for anyone to fly an unmanned drone high above your property and observe anything that can be seen from the air. Over 300 law enforcement agencies and research institutions in the US have licenses from the Federal Aviation Agency to fly drones and see whatever they can see from the sky. You won’t know they are watching.

It really doesn’t matter whether we are being observed by the government or by private companies, our lives are be observed in ways we never dreamed of. Our emails and cell phone calls are monitored, every site we visit on the Internet is tracked including the amount of time we spend there, our credit card purchases are analyzed, our bill payment histories are shared and our vital information, including our mother’s maiden name, is known by so many agencies it’s no longer considered private information.

Our founding fathers put restrictions on government in an age where the government was limited by the human senses. Technology has expanded our powers of observation a million times over. Is there really any such thing as “privacy” any more?

Unfortunately the battlefront of these privacy issues will be decided in courts where the government will be fighting criminals hiding their wrongdoing. The courts will have facts that cry for rulings in favor of the government and against the criminals. I expect courts to tend to rule in favor of the government, giving it more power, and against the criminals, giving them less privacy. Those of us interested in limited government are lumped in with the criminals on this issue.

Buying a large plot of land or putting up a fence and pulling the blinds are useless gestures in a battle against more intrusion into our lives. But then consider young people plastering all their personal information and intimate details on the Internet for everyone to see. Don’t expect them to be upset with a government that can see more, hear more and know more than we’re used to.

Texting Changes Your Reality

I have a theory to share with you. I have observed that younger generations now communicate very differently than older generations and that is having a significant consequences which I’ll reveal. My theory is a variation of the old phrase, “you are what you eat”. What you take in, you put out. If you’re raised in a house that speaks French, you’ll speak french. If you’re raised in a house of profanity, you’ll use profanity. We are what we eat.

Today younger generations are raised in a house that communicates in short quips or phrases or even symbols appearing on the screen of a cell phone. Even though a young person seems to be isolated, staring into their cell phone, they’re really in a house with several friends who are having a conversation in short quips. This has a huge impact on their perception of reality.

How would you describe, for instance, a bitter encounter between two of your friends? In the old days you actually saw the encounter happening in your presence. You would observe their facial expressions, their body language, who moved forward, who moved back and you would have an accurate grasp of the actual event. When younger people grow up in a house of texting, all they see of a bitter encounter is the short quips written, and that’s all.

How often have you heard a young girl describe a bitter encounter by saying, for instance, Terrel was like, “What’s up” and Amanda was like, “You’re mean.” and Terrel was like, “Am not” and Amanda was like, “Whatever”. All the speaker can do is repeat the short quips written because that’s all they observed. If they say anything more about the encounter, they are just making it up. Let’s say for argument that such short quips are 20% of the actual encounter; only a tiny fraction of the actual event. Today’s youth have to guess the other 80%; they have to guess what the persons were thinking, feeling, and doing when they texted those short quips.

So the person witnessing this event on their hand-held screen has to make up in their own heads what is really going on, based on the tiny clues of written quips. That is dangerous. First of all, it’s unreliable. Secondly, a young person’s perception of their world comes from making up the missing 80% of an event with their own imagination of what really happened. When you are raised in a house where you make up 80% of your reality on a regular basis, you become very different from people who observe life directly.

Young people who spend a significant part of each day making up 80% of what is happening around them, slip into the bad habit of actually believing whatever they make up in their own heads. When a hundred times a day you make up 80% of your reality, your reaction to actual encounters changes. When a mother tells her teenage daughter to clean up her room, it’s easy for the daughter to reply, “You just hate me and want me to move out of the house.” leaving the mother perplexed. But younger people are constantly creating a huge portion of their own reality based on the short phrases that appear in their world.

If a young person believes that oil companies are evil while they drive to the protest in their car, it’s their reality. If they believe that banning plastic bags will save the planet, even if it’s something they made up in their own mind, it’s their reality. If they believe that they are doing a great job at work, even though their product is abysmal, it’s their reality. If you confront them with facts that challenge their reality, they have a strong motivation not to believe your facts.

The unintended consequence of living in a house of texting is that the occupants become used to creating and clinging to their own reality even if it is at odds with the real world. This self-delusion is increasing in our society and is prevalent among younger generations. Some of us will take profitable advantage of this change while the rest of us will be like, “Whatever”.