I have a couple of gripes, sorry for posting them: sometimes I can't help myself.
First: What happened to unbiased reporting?
I seem to remember there being a basic tenet of of news that reporters were to report on the news to the best of their ability, to show all sides, to dig deep and figure out the truths of the story. I honestly remember that being part of the curriculum in my Social Studies class.
What happened to it? Everyone who reports now is clearly (and purposely) biased. Like reporting has become some sort of game to be played. Or, in the case of certain personalities, a way to make money from advertisers.
The most unbiased reporting available to me today is John Stewart. He's a comedian. The second most unbiased reporting I've found is European.
Today, most news media (especially in the US) has an agenda: both at the article level and also unfortunately at the corporate level.
Is that because they are owned by individuals with political agendas? Perhaps. Or perhaps its that reporters take the easy route and just do the bare minimum. Or perhaps they give into management pressure so they don't make waves.
This subject is related to the next. Please read on.
Second: since when is there any acceptable reason to torture (or even hurt people)?
I can't believe that we are arguing the veracity of torture. I can't believe that "we got useful information" is an argument in favor of torture. I can't believe that we have sunk as low as the terrorists. I can't believe we have allowed the terrorists to make us into terrorists.
I can't believe that we argue about how useful the torture might be when torture is clearly something we should never do.
Why did we torture these people? Because they are bad men who deserved to be punished? No. We believe that bad men don't deserved to be tortured. Its in our constitution.
And while I'm on the subject let me take a little detour. How come we claim in the Bill of Rights that all [wo]men are equal and yet don't apply them to people who aren't citizens? How can we bear to see such a double standard?
Why did the people who knew allow the torture to continue. Why did GW Bush think he was doing the right thing torturing people to protect us? Since when is it worth the price of torture to protect us? How is it, that in less than fifty years the US went from clear understanding that means is more important than outcome to thinking that the end justifies the means?
The answer is simple, and it gives me reason for hope.
We forgot because we didn't have the experience and we didn't learn the experience from our forefathers.
So this experience for us is meant to cement the understanding within our hearts and minds so that we never commit these crimes against our souls again.
Please, lets learn this lesson. Lets realize that we must practice what we preach, set an example that the world can look up to and rise above the petty contrivances of the extremists factions. Even though it might put us a little more at risk, at least we can face the future with clear consciences and carry our lives forward with healthy attitudes and habits.
It may seem small, but trust me: its not. This lesson is among the most powerful we can learn.
Lets learn to be peaceful and compassionate.
How are the two related?
In both cases, we have forgotten what it means to be upstanding. In the first case, reporters have forgotten the purpose of their job: they are the police of the rich and powerful. They are the third party observers who can present a clear picture of a happening so that people can know, learn and grow.
In the latter case, as I stated, we have forgotten to stand up for people's rights because we don't know how to stand up for our own. We are so used to doing what we want we forget what it cost our forefathers to give us our freedom. They fled Europe for the very same tyranny we are now showing to "terrorists." They wrote that line, "All [wo]men are created equal" because they understood that power brings tyranny. They created our system of government to enable the people to prevent that tyranny. And we the people have forgotten to exercise our rights. And we the reporters have forgotten to police the rich and powerful. Because its easier to go with the flow than buck it.
Stop going with the flow. Look around and when you see something that violates someone's rights, stand up for them. Remind everyone that differences are good and that our founding fathers overcame their differences to create our laws so that different people could co-exist in peace and prosperity.
I sincerely hope that we can learn this lesson, for this generation and find some way to pass it onto our children. Perhaps they will be able to lead us away from fear.
I have hope for us, because this truth came out and because we can now choose who we the citizens of the United States of America wish to be.
I leave you with this question: who is wounded by your anger? Who is helped by your rightousness? Who is vindicated by your superior beliefs?
Causes Brian McKee Supports
I support the cause of peace via peaceful means.