If you have good intentions & are attempting to be honest in your statements all you can do is speak from all you have gained from long observation & experience, adding whatever education on the subject you have.
You can do no more.
All else lacks integrity.
In these times almost everyone has an angle & inclined to express his/her rightness, politicians especially.
It seems the standard thing to do now.
Expressing doubts, never being satisfied w/ your level of knowledge & preferring to seek greater insight is rare.
The quiet, thoughtful ones are seen as inferior when others argue as warriors on a battlefield confident they alone know the indisputable truth.
A strong opinion = a strong mind = a strong person.
It is what most men are clearly expected to be to gain respect.
Approximating deep reality on any question is these days often of secondary importance to stating your case firmly with apparent confidence.
Surface impressions often override all other considerations.
Discussions may well become arguments in such a forum.
Listening is an art that takes a great deal of developing for anyone... & particularly for an egotist. Politicians as a class seem to have large egos as a job prerequisite.
But if they are not listening are they really learning?
And if they are not learning..?
Fixed opinions are of course the enemy of learning. A person w/ these has arrived at a full stop confident he/she has arrived at a conclusive perception on all issues involved.
Group thought reigns where all have such fixed opinions.
Example: John Bolton et al.
We watched John Bolton address the students of Oxford University on YouTube the other day.
He was supremely confident that all the outrageous things he was saying were completely reasonable & eminently logical positions which were wholly & indisputably right.
You have to admire John Bolton for one thing & one thing only.
He doesn’t mince his words.
He said up front that the Trump administration was only concerned about the USA... & its allies.
He was supremely proud of all that we wince at.
At least Bolton doesn’t try to couch the actions of the Trump administration in words that soften or make fuzzy the intent as Pompeo does.
His speech listed almost all the major policy decisions of the Trump presidency, omitting only exiting the Paris accords.
Bolton was asked about US support for the Saudi regime & in so many words admitted that they were treated differently exactly because they were an ally of the USA & it was in the USA’s interest to treat them that way.
How right was Bolton (& others of his mindset) to fail to mention the effect of US regime change wars in the Middle East?
You will have noticed there has been no contrition, no war crime tribunals & the politicians involved simply reiterate their rightness.
If you stand at the pinnacle of the western political & media machine you can make almost everything done sound “right” no matter how wrong it, or the consequences of it, may have been.
The manipulation of mass perception is in high gear in these times.
Born demagogues always believe they are wholly right in all they say & do.
Trump is typical.
Utter even a few words of disagreement with his oracular pronouncements & you know precisely what is likely to result.
Either a tirade of abuse or bitter silence.
These days there are apparently as many rights & wrongs as there are people, especially in the West where 'anything goes' liberalism from the Sixties has expanded till now.
No one ought to be truly surprised by the Epstein revelations, hopefully soon to break.
Most young people don’t like limits & rebel against limitations on them.
Look at Hong Kong now.
Look at perhaps 10,000 in Moscow & perhaps more. Whatever the status quo is... they don’t want it.
They want change.
They want an indefinable “something else”.
The “something else” the young want is usually quite vague & there is often a naive notion that if they could just get rid of this elite the next elite will be much better.
However they think some “others” who are somehow better will take over.
It won’t happen.
Look at Venezuela.
Trump, Bolton, Pompeo, Rubio & Guaido insist that if they can just get rid of Maduro (& of course they want all his people too) then all will be well.
It won’t. It clearly won’t.
But these elderly “teenagers” constantly spin this yarn.
Look at Iran. Same there.
Trump, Bolton, Pompeo & the rest say that if Iran is turned upside down sweetness & light will break out.
Yes, just like all those absent flowers the Iraqi people didn’t throw down when their US “liberators” marched into Baghdad.
Neocons are always so convinced of their rightness. The tendency is to make all the facts fit.
Those that don’t fit are excess to requirements.
We all saw it over Iraq’s non-existent WMD. You might have thought a little humility would follow.
Not a bit of it.
Assertions of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections were built from nebulous allegations soon transformed to sound bytes failing to use qualifying terms.
Almost immediately it was "Russian interference" as fact, the word allegations dropped.
'The Russians' was made to infer 'The Russian State'.
->No collusion was found.<-
Facebook ads, an amateurish effort of wildly varying themes half of which appeared after the election, had no effect.
Most probably from a misguided group of Russians citizens.
These days you are supposed to sound certain or risk being seen as incompetent. The @NYTimes has fallen foul of this.
The strict rules governing what constitutes true journalism have now been abandoned except in the case of independent investigative journalists.
Now mass media journalism is simply another saleable product. A means to maintain a steady income flow.
That flow is seen to be determined by decisive & confident reporting that presents little opening for doubt.
A story is now created, not truly investigated.
Right & wrong are important.
We stand on shaky ground w/out adherence to it.
If our priority is just to sound confident no matter what we say or do then we are lost.
Journalism just becomes another branch of story telling to please bosses, sponsors & readers.
This new way of relating “news” ties in perfectly with the West’s desperate need for a group though mentality issued broadly that sticks.
It becomes mere propaganda.
It does the CIA’s job for it without need of any ‘Operation Mockingbird’ to ensure it.
We can all be wrong & to a greater or lesser degree we are & most of the time.
Because the wide spectrum of ‘the truth’ can never be truly & fully spoken.
Lao-Tze knew that 2,600 years ago when he wrote the Tao Te Ching.