Fake News – wow!

April 16 (Easter) in San Diego.

There seems to be 4 types of news if not more.

  1. Narrative accounting of the facts that have happened
  2. Narrative interpretation of the facts that have happened
  3. What will happed based on what has happened (prophesy)
  4. Fake news – it never happened.

I find option 3 totally annoying but at least I know it is happening. I find it annoying because our modern day prophets have no more idea than the peanut butter man what will happen. However, the trajectory is more often negative than positive, ‘chicken little.” If one is trying to raise one’s anxiety levels and blood pressure this is a good stimulus.

Option 4 requires the upmost diligence. The news reporter most often does not even know that the information is “fake”. The reporter is one piece of the conduit between a source and you and I as the viewer. So the reporter can be totally authentic and genuine as they are believing what they have received from the “conduit.” My protection is to

  1. Pause                      pause
  2. Discern             indifference
  3. Read widely
  4. Wait for tomorrow’s update.


Calm before a another who-ha?

March 19, 2017 San Diego

On Monday the Senate starts the confirmation on Judge Gorsuch. Looking at the tentative line of inquiry from progressives makes me wonder. None of the questions seemed to do with supporting the Constitution. The questions seemed to be aligned with the favorite social narrative.

I will assume the conversation will not go far before “progressive – Senators” just go ballistic. They will ask questions on their narrative and he will respond on “what does the Constitution indicate on the matter.

I would hope in the time of the discourse that agreement will be reached on the necessity of upholding the Constitution. If not we are all in trouble.


March 5, San Diego,

A recommendations for all is to read the news 1 – 2 days after it so-called happens. This knee-jerk exploding head reporting will just annoy, frustrate, or something to you if you do not let it simmer for a day or two. Each explosive event seems to mellow out or at least get enough form after a few days that sense can be made of it.

If that is not doable for you at least listen carefully to what is explicitly said and not said. In this latest discourse about wire-tapping Trump tower what Trump is saying and what Obama is saying are not mutually exclusive. They could both be technically right and they both could be technically wrong based only on what they are explicitly saying. Three cheers for political speech: one can appear to be saying something quite transcendent, but in fact while appearing to be saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’ are in fact only deflecting inquiry.

Hate and Intimidation = Power and Fear

February 19, 2017

Seems to me that if hate and intimidation is the over strategy then the covert strategy is power and fear. Wow, I wonder how that fits into “civil discourse?”

A concern to all should be that hate and intimidation often get the same type of response but more vitriolic and several decibels louder.

Give this course of public “flaming of one another” a couple of more months and civility will be totally out the window. Selah

Ask Questions

Feb 5, 2017.

I wrote last, that to “take in all the ‘noise'” in the market: first pause to reflect and then read widely.  I would now add: “ask questions.”

Almost no one puts the full story on the table at the first sitting. Asking questions understanding 2draws out more of the story and allows a fuller reflection (pause) on the person’s point of view.

If we put the 3 together: pause, ask questions, and read widely = P.A.R. To stay on PAR follow throughwith the “course” of life or even the “course” of a conversation use the 3 skills.

Compassion and Pausing

This first week of the Trump presidency has been exciting to say the least. How can I take it in and be useful to myself and the country.

As I noted at the end of my previous blog: pause and read widely.


  1. For me, pausing, is more than just taking a breath. I need to ponder over time: minutes or hours. I use my exercise of riding my bike as a good time to get out of the humdrum of input from others and reflect.
  2. For reading widely a cup of coffee at my favorite shop does the trick. Read and Orange Man Detective with Magnifying Glassreflect. The only outside in put in the shop I go to is the biking sports station which just shows race after race. No commercials.

The Devil and “False Narratives”

In last week’s post I wrote that I must pay much more attention to the details of the spoken and written word as some details may be technically true yet positioned in a way that presents a deception. Alas, this week there has been several discussion about “fakes news” or what I will label “false narratives”.

Fake news, false narratives, lying: the distinctions are moot. Let’s look at the Trump – President of Taiwan phone call. It was first reported that Trump phoned her. Half day later it was she phoned him. It certainly was not a spontaneous call as it has been reported that it was “set up” by several “go-betweens.” (Forgot the names.)

The next level of horror was that China will retaliate for Trump breaking the “One China” policy as if the  phone dragonscall was the only item between the two countries and that China has been fully abiding by all its responsibilities and agreements. Not.

The news was real but the positioning was totally projecting what horror might happen, but project in a way that made the probability a foregone certainty. That certainly is a false narrative. Yes something may surely come of it and I am sure the “false narrative” generators will make the most of it.

For anyone reading this post I have two suggestions.

  1. When any huge event happens, or an event that appears huge, or an event that is presented as huge happens: pausepause and breathe. Give it some time to percolate.
  2. Read widely and in depth.

The Devil Really is in the details

I guess I am going to need to pay more and more attention to the details of what is said and implied.

Hillary did win the popular vote. Yes indeed she did. However, the way it is talked about one would think that this was childrena broad vote across America which was only usurped by the Electoral College. Not so fast. Roughly speaking Trump won the popular vote in 49 states by about 850,000 but lost it in California by 3,400,000 votes. Alas, Hillary wins the popular vote by 2,500,000 ish.

No denying the pdragonsopular vote win for Hillary. The demon though is not the Electoral College. If there is a demon it is that we are a Federal Republic with significant State-power. Thus the other 49 States to count. California: shock to you, you are just one of 49, not the end all and do all of the United States.

Seems sometimes that our passion for a position way out weighs the reality of the facts so we then shift into broad homilies and hope others do not delve into the details.


My coaching for myself and other, become detail mongers.

Isn’t it peculiar


Isn’t peculiar that in California we raise the tax on cigarettes to minimize their proliferation

and we legalize the use of marijuana, with one of the most  popular ways of using it, is smoking?

Isn’t peculiar that we make such a noise about “vaping” and we legalize marijuana for “recreation”understanding 2

Isn’t peculiar we are downgrading criminality and yet we complain about the increase of crime Orange Man Detective with Magnifying Glass


Americans going crazy

Back in San Diego.

In my most recent post I wrote that while on the road in other countries the locals love to talk critical issues with people from the USA as long as they are certain we will not go crazy. Now the 3-4 million people running around the USA “going crazy.” I am sure my foreign counterparts just nod their heads and note, “that is what they are worried about” in having deep discussions with Americans.

Two things amaze many of the colleagues:

  1. the fact that we can run around and go crazy at all. Not every country where I work would such a behavior be allowed.
  2. the fact that what the crowds are saying is most preposterous.

Anyway as I noted, travel abroad and you will see for your self.