It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. -Frederick Douglass

It never ceases to amaze me: the average American is walking around with the entire sum total of all human knowledge in their pocket. And, in doing so, exposing themselves to irreparably harm, these devices are just as dangerous as tobacco, basking anyone around them in the warm glow of microwaves. A good trade off? Maybe so, except, in a recent poll, it was found that 44% of Americans get their news from FACEBOOK, highly edited to a leftist viewpoint, drenched in liberal hate and repression. So, no, it’s as stupid as smoking, a meaningless filthy habit. It’s killing you, but the addiction is too strong.

My daughter tells me that the Internet is not really a very good place for information, since it is all wack jobs (like me) spewing out insane conspiracy theories. Well, I suppose that is true in a way, since the Internet has EVERYTHING. It obviously includes wack jobs (like me) spewing out insane conspiracy theories. It also includes the “Alternative Media”, a self regulating group of very meaningful researchers and journalists who work very hard to cut through the Mainstream Media’s propaganda to provide people with insight and information that will help them to understand the world around them, their place within society, and enable them to make decisions based on this. These people come in all flavors, left, right, feminist, parents, homeowners, VW owners. Finding them, and using them as a resource is not easy. It requires leaving Facebook, Wikipedia, and Google behind. I don’t use Facebook, except as a networking tool (right now I am looking for a luthier to do some repair on Galadriel), and I always log off when I am done.

I used to use Facebook. Then something happened that made me see it  was very dangerous. A good friend of mine posted something about how the Stars and Bars is a symbol of racism, and The War of Northern Aggression was fought to end slavery. Yeah, all well and good for a 6th grader, but anyone who has ever studied anything about the Civil War KNOWS this is not true, not even a little true. It, like the story of Washington and the Cherry Tree, is a myth. The thing is, I know in my heart, after long talks with this person, a lifetime of chats on life, the universe and everything, they know damn well it isn’t true. But here they were pushing the “ban the Confederate Flag” meme. I realized they had caught a disease, a cancer, from smoking Facebook. They would follow a meme, even if it denied what they knew to be true. The meme was the truth. The facts were unpleasant details that no one would bring into the discussion. They were weaving lies in real time, propagandizing THEMSELVES. I logged off Facebook. I considered closing my account entirely, but I am glad I didn’t, I sometimes go there for legitimate purposes, like finding a luthier to fix Galadriel, so it has some uses. The news isn’t one of them.

That doesn’t mean I don’t get my news from the Internet. Far from it. The list of news sites I go to regularly (daily) is intentionally planned to hopefully give me an accurate picture of the world around me. MSM, right wing sites like InfoWars, left wing sites like Common Dreams, and those intrepid individuals who don’t readily fit into any particular group like The Corbett Report and Truth In Media. I have learned EVERYONE is peddling propaganda of their own particular flavor, and if you are interested in forming an opinion of any meaning, you have to take it all in, filter it through you OWN mind, and form your opinion. The news takes me about an hour. This is the same amount of time my parents spent on the news.

The citizen of a free democratic society has to be informed. It is the responsibility of each person to become informed. Jefferson, that slave-owning bastard that wrote the Declaration if Independence, once noted that to stop learning was death. It certainly has proven to be the death of liberty and democracy in America.