Trump cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%. Guess where they’ll try to make up for that?
It’s not smart policy to anger the country that makes all our consumer goods
Jack Ma, the founder and chairman of Alibaba, says that the Chinese retail giant no longer promises to create 1 million U.S. jobs in the wake of an escalating trade conflict.
People should be permitted by law the purchase Alcohol and Smoke recreational Marijiuana at 18, the same age they are considered Legal Adults that can sign contracts, vote, sue and be sued, own property write a will, be prosecuted as an Adult, serve on a Jury, in many States run for Office including Governor, join the military, get a passport, marry…etc…
People should be able to Vote at age 16 with a strong emphisis on Civics in the Education system, Brazil, Argentina, Equador, Austria and Scotland currently allow 16-17 years olds to vote.
Back in October of 1990, I was fresh out of the Navy and was asked to be best man in my friend’s wedding in Kansas City, Kansas. There was no way my car could make it there so I hitchhiked from Columbus, Ohio to the wedding.
As I was walking through East St. Louis, a taxi stopped along the highway and offered me a free ride. I jumped in and seeing the driver was middle-eastern, I immediately asked, “So, what do you think about what is happening in the Middle East?”.
At that time, Desert Shield had just started and it was being covered wall to wall in the media. He calmly recited, “I am an American and I have lived in America for many years” like a well rehearsed line from a badly written play. I said, “Don’t give me that bullshit, tell me what you really think!”
He looked at me for a moment skeptically, cautiously as if he was sizing me up and then said, “It isn’t fair”. I asked what he meant and he continued, “Last week an Israeli soldier was killed by Palestinians and there was a story on the front page of the newspaper with a picture of the mother crying. On the same day, in the back of the paper, there was a story about eight Palestinians killed by Israelis and there was no picture. Why? I’m sure they all had mothers who cried over their deaths, why was one story on the front page with a picture but the other story in the back of the paper?”
I didn’t really let his question or the weight of it sink in before I responded with, “But what about all the terrorism?”
He said, “Terrorism is very bad but I understand it. For many years, the Palestinians went to the UN and the United States and other countries and said ‘Help us’ but no one listened. They tried to bring their case through the court systems but no one listened. And then they started hijacking planes and bombing people and they became hated all over the world but at least they were no longer being ignored. I do not agree with terrorism but I do understand it”.
I was left with nothing to say to that. We may have talked more as he took me out of his way across St. Louis but I do not remember what was said. I was so blown away by what he had already opened my mind to that I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
This was one of those rare events in my life that changed my outlook forever. I had never thought about how the media could shape people’s opinions simply by what they chose to emphasize and how they told the story. They did not have to outright lie to manipulate public opinion, it could be much more subtle than that. I took two lifelong lessons from that short conversation:
1.) How the story is told is as important as what is being told.
2.) You can understand something and not necessarily agree or condone it.
This second lesson seems self evident on the surface. You can understand why someone robs a bank without condoning it. However, somehow, people do not think that way about terrorism. Many, if not most, think if you try to understand it, you are somehow unAmerican. That is so counterintuitive and yet it took this chance meeting for me to really get that.
I saw this photo today pop up on my Facebook feed and it made me remember my hitchhiking experience from almost three decades ago. This still happens in the media every day. With all the talk of “Fake News” out there, it is important to remember that a story does not have to be “Fake” to be misleading and in fact, this kind of subtle propaganda may be even more dangerous. Because it is factually accurate, it does not set off the same alarm bells. It is not noticed. It simply creeps its way into our collective conscious as undeniable truths that eventually manifests themselves by electing people like Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton and no one can really point their finger at what the turning point actually was.