Congress Does Not Forgive

Many tow the party line over redemption or values.

Regardless of your personal political compass watching the congressional appearance of Michael Cohen may present a valuable argument that when it comes to politics and justice there are many that tow the party line over redemption. This isn’t to suggest that Mr. Cohen is a saint or to shift the blame towards anyone else. Instead, the testimony appeared to become an issue to continually beat a person while he was down. Additionally, it provided a change of evidence opporunity towards the opposition. 

I couldn’t help be reminded of how those either found guilty by the courts or exiting the prison system are viewed by either lawmakers or the public eye.  I think we all collectively witnessed how a piece of new evidence or perspective could overturn or change an outcome typically used against the accused. For example, if an individual convicted of a sex crime had new evidence that could turn an issue, there will ultimately be others that habitually lay claim towards absolute guilt rather than trying to understand or apply new evidence. Perhaps people are stubborn enough to still think the earth is flat because they want to exercise methods to go against the grain to prove a political point.

There is plenty of data and evidence suggesting that prosecutors, defendants, investigators, and even juries have tainted viewpoints. These groups attempt to look beyond personal or political issue in discovery between truths or evidence because they have an agenda to tow a particular line. Credibility, while a formidable part of justice has its flawed issues too. But it is when distrusted or those convicted capable of providing facts, data, and a path towards redemption are consistently met with opposition to be silenced and unheard. It begs to question, when is credibility restored or allowed to reenter as a moving forward moment? If we wonder why society won’t become involved in remedy towards complex situations is perhaps because there are those in power to exclude others based on guilt or association. Proof that christians claim to be forgiving, but sometimes have another agenda at hand.

Witnessing the Cohen testimony I felt as if the whole process was a grandstanding moment for everyone involved. Similar to the behaviors of courtrooms across America where distraction, finger pointing, and perhaps the best tears win the sympathy of living room juries. I am afraid that justice as we once knew it has somewhat disappeared and replaced with theatrics, showmanship, outrageous theory, and a politizied pursuit of maintaining a win not for democracy but for a particular side. I would argue that the side we should choose is for the pursuit of honesty, understanding, and compassion so that society can move forward becoming moral and ethical people where mistakes, misdeeds, and forgiveness can be reintroduced in what was once considered a neighborly and virtuous society. 

One thing I did learn from the Cohen testimony is that justice is indeed a politicized moment than an integrity moment with each side representing its base instead of attempts to discover and understand the truth.

Fake or Credible Internet?

Executives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google appeared today before Congress to discuss issues of possible Russian election interference. What I learned from that discussion was that internet providers are not as transparent as they claim to be. It has been a long-standing unwritten policy that the internet will not be controlled by anyone or any company. What we perceptively learned today was that the big internet giants have an interest in revenues and public image. Naturally, they do not wish to be labeled as “controllers of free speech.” But what about television, mail adverts or newspaper media flyers. They are regulated by many rules and regulations, and the deliverables of that particular irregularity or false product could be held liable for distribution not to mention investigators will be serving search warrants and filling up evidence boxes for later court dates. Such false advertising or false production is similar to snake oil pitches. Eventually, the salesman and the product can be banned and criminally charged if it causes harm.

The internet can be a dangerous place. It does have a unique mystique about it, and the data it collects and shares can be compared to a diamond mine depending on how one desires to implement a plan. But the internet today is not the porn hub central that once was deemed the 1990’s deviant playground. Today, the internet has become a part of our connected world with ala carte news and home appliance device connectivity. This is a differing contrast to European and foreign markets that protect user information. The internet has become dangerous because we have created conditions for it to be hazardous. Without fundamental enforceable law and boundaries, we have allowed the internet to be policed by not companies and people but instead analytics and software. This is not to imply a conspiracy theory of artificial intelligence taking over the world. Alternatively, the implication is that software is not human enough to determine what is real versus what is not. But to take that argument a bit further, many Americans have difficulty in distinguishing between fake or credible.

Based on that little snippet of discovery it will be hard-pressed for any prosecutor to effectively rule on the Russian election hacking issue. Not because of evidence, but because of the complexities of election laws differing across state lines and internet data servers that typically reside outside the United States as a form of redundancy and backup qualities. Let’s not mix up collusion with election tampering. Collusion is a secretive path to data where tampering is a physical adulteration of data. But I think it is equally important to ask tech giants to disclose to government or a branch of oversight how it maintains its secretive or propriety paths. For example, today I performed a random search of Kevin Spacey and Anthony Rapp separately. What I quickly discovered was that Spacey had all the press information while Rapp had similar linkage. There was not one negative search story about Rapp to include alternative viewpoints or discussions. Why? Is it that analytics immediately point to what is deemed credible or is it what tech giants want us to read?

Overall, it is very complicated, and any legal ramifications about internet tampering will ultimately set a new precedent of how we or others police credible data. Another question to ask ourselves “does metadata exclude opposite viewpoints on purpose because it deems them as false?” This would be the argument I would introduce because not one blog or publication raised issues with Rapp. I am not attempting to slam Rapp. I am only using this as a prime example of how information seems adulterated and selectively scrubbed while searching for it.

The bottom line is that tech giants have an agenda and we the people are its product. Naturally, there won’t be much transparency from tech giants because that would remove a large slice of income and data collection from its grasp.  Google, Facebook, and Twitter currently monopolize our data where we do not own ourselves or our privacy any longer. Until someone breaks up the monopoly or peels back the onion of these companies, we will continue to witness distortion and snake oil pitches that seem all too real. Perhaps the internet and another nation adulterated our recent election by creating emotional harm. At what point will it become perilous where many people die or are harmed because the internet has succeeded credible standards seemingly no longer used because it’s not technical or high speed sufficient?

Sensationalism in the News

“Netanyahu Blasts Kerry’s Speech as Biased Against Israel.” This was an actual headline by a national news source. I am not complaining about the story. What I am complaining about is how the media sensationalizes headlines that distract from what actually occurred. For example, Netanyahu did challenge Kerry, but he didn’t blast him as the headline claims. Rather the headline should appropriately read, “Netanyahu finds Kerry’s remarks unacceptable” The media today is responsible for providing an accurate portrayal rather than disrupting diplomacy based on its loose interpretation. I would like to see our media stop trying to be like a Jerry Springer Show and return to journalism. Today the media is only trying lure the best tag line to keep circulation trending and popular with its readership.

When I read ESPN and see a headline that reads “Panthers Annihilate Falcons” I usually get a chuckle under my breath. If you read that headline, you would literally think there are bodies all over the playing field with scores of medics on hand providing triage until they can be medivac out of the stadium. We have become so immune to colorful and over the top language that words like annihilates or terrorist attack seem rather calm to our language base. If you want to watch me roll my eyes and shake my head, then let me read a headline that says, “Bombs Continue to Level Aleppo Syria.” This is where I draw the line of practical journalism. You can’t level a town that has already been leveled. Again, journalistic methods are not providing critical thinking or an accurate picture of what is going on. Again, we have become so desensitized about war, terror, bombings, drones and air strikes that our language has become remorseless.

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Another problem for journalists versus the media is that journalists rely on a written column while the media relies mainly on its camera abilities. Personally, I take more trust and credibility in a single journalistic newspaper than an entire media crew. My reasoning behind this is because journalists seem to have a better grasp on credibility and trying to interview both sides to provide a bigger assessment. American media outlets appear to lean towards whoever speaks in front of the camera and of course, will run the story if the opposing side refuses to comment. The media develops its audience public opinion. What makes matters worse is the headline that will immediately appear on the media website. Again, you will see, “Neighbor Suspected of Rape” when the story only paints one side of the allegations and smears a person all over the airwaves even if nothing becomes of the allegations. You can’t take away the destruction claims and poorly used sensationalized headlines. Moreover, journalism is not intended to do harm to people. It should be a way of documenting the facts rather that suspicions. But the media likes trends, and so do we as viewers.

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Perhaps for the sake of credible and truthful journalistic standards our nation should take a step back and stop trying to be the first on the airwaves or social networks for breaking stories. In fact, I detest breaking stories because most are not relevant to my public safety. Instead, the media has taken what was once a level of national importance and degraded it to ensuring it would interrupt programming to spread entertainment features that further deteriorate and heedless credibility in the media.

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