Monday, November 29, 2010

Holiday Tips To Keep From Missing The Point

We hope that you enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday as much as our staff members did. Of course, with every family gathering, there are almost always some relatives who don't understand how politics at almost every level works - or does not work. We had our share of "interesting" discussions over the Thanksgiving break, as we're sure most families did. While most of our different conversations appear to have remained civil, we know that's not the case with every holiday reunion.

The biggest single thing we seemed to run into is family and friends who refuse to remain informed, and instead choose to believe whatever snippets they may happen to hear from the infotainment talking heads on TV.

For example, while many insurance rates will be going up slightly, as FactCheck.org has proven, the majority of Americans will NOT be paying significantly higher insurance premiums next year. Compared to past years, the Health Care Insurance Reform law actually will have significantly reined in the potential for increases in health care premiums for most American families.

The latest release of previously classified documents through Wikileaks has even more examples of facts trumping rhetoric.

Released over the weekend, the documents prove many things. For example, Saudi Arabia and many Arab states, who often decry the United States as the policemen of the world, have also been insisting for some time that America attack Iran - because the Saudis and fellow Arabs either have no real ability to do so or are afraid to do it themselves.

Other ideas promoted this year by those on the far right have also been proven false by the latest release from Wikileaks. According to those previously classified papers, the Obama administration has quite obviously been working incredibly hard over the last two years on diplomatic efforts to contain or redirect the North Korean threat. The administration has also been shown to be working to handle the prisoner situation in Guantanamo Bay, to deal with the rampant corruption in the fledgling Afghan government, and to deal with both traditional and cyber terrorism from groups like Al Qaeda and traditional powers like China.

We hope that after a long break away from your regular responsibilities that you click some of the links we provide, then read and research for yourself the truth behind the issues you hear about on radio and TV and read about in the newspapers. We're not suggesting you take large chunks of time out of your already busy schedule to learn vast amounts about large numbers of subjects. That's our job as members of the media, and one we enjoy performing for you.

However, it's likely that that within the next thirty days you'll be at another family event, with a few individuals who might not be as well-informed as yourself. Take some cues from us and research the topics you care about most. Then, at the next family get-together, you might be able to have more civil and intelligent holiday discussions, leading everyone to the real point of the season - peace and family.

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