It may be hard to learn the Truth

A friend just forwarded me a nice email about Irena Sendler. Died: May 12, 2008 (aged 98). It asked me to send that email on to all my friends to help spread the word. I very rarely do that, even though I frequently totally agree with the message.

Irena Sendler was busy during World War II, saving Jews from the Nazis. Much like in Schindler’s list. There is a nice article about her here:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/sendler.asp

And when anyone wants to get a big controversy going, all they need to do is say that the Iranians deny that the Holocaust happened at all. There is a nice article about it on this link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-24442723

Where they point out that, that denial idea, should really not be aimed at all Iranians. Just a few of the ‘high up’ dudes. Iran’s government is finally figuring out that they shot themselves in the foot or worse with that BS.

Trying to accomplish something through lying, either using deliberate fabrication or deception or by cherry picking data to create the wrong impression, has probably gone on for hundreds of thousands of years. Pretty much everyone uses it, it would seem. Governments in particular, including the USA.

I remember a TV series called Perry Mason, where he would seldom lie, but he would frequently choose his words carefully so as to cause you to go away with the completely wrong impression. It was often quite ingenious. But, it can be argued that deliberately fooling somebody, is still deliberately fooling somebody. Seldom a good idea. Often very tempting, but just don’t go there.

I was just reading the Wikipedia entry about Hypatia (pronounced hy-PAY-shə)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypatia

There was a movie about her. Released in 2009.

The Wikipedia entry seemed like a reasonable collection of examples of propaganda and distorting or making up facts. I don’t mean to imply that the article is deceptive. What I mean is they quote, or say that they are quoting, several extremely different versions. It’s always going to be difficult to discern what the truth is in a thing like that. Something that happened a long time ago and was clearly controversial at the time it was happening. No surprise that different people wrote different accounts of, ‘what really happened.’

There’s a quote somewhere about, “History is always written by the winners.”

And I’m not one to blame modern Jews or Christians or the atheists or whatever group, for the insanity that pretty much everyone agrees both sides perpetrated in that situation. Hypatia was killed. It sure looks like ignorance and bigotry was the reason. Being a brilliant women may have been most of it.

I was told that the Cuna Indians of Panama value their women’s opinions. They are almost matriarchal if I was told correctly. Make sense to me.

But, back to saving Jews during World War II. I have known several Jewish People and non-Jewish People that lived through that time period in Germany. And we have talked about their first hand experiences. And feel free to make up your own mind, but I have no problem believing the depth of atrocity of human against human, that is widely portrayed in the movies and books that I’m familiar with.

One of the Jewish People that I knew as an acquaintance in Houston, was actually on Schindler’s list. The actual list, not an actor in the movie. And he is alive today because of he was on that list. Another, fled on the last ship, leaving from southern France that his family could get on. It was get on THAT ship or stay in what soon became German territory. The ship was headed for Hong Kong. Perhaps not a garden spot in what was to come, but he lived. He grew up there for a while, and after the war, he was then able to move to America.

I think we all need to be careful of falling victim to misinformation. And I think we all should expect to often be a victim of misinformation, however hard we try to learn the real truth. We live in complicated times. But probably everybody always has. Hypatia did. Schindler did. Some are far worse than others.

Speaking of misinformation, I was reading an article online about the group of motorcyclists that pulled the guy out of his SUV and hospitalized him and threatened his wife and baby child.

The really amazing part for me, were the many rabid comments, where so many people don’t seem to have a clue, that, unless you were sitting in that SUV, or floating in the air above it, invisibly, you really don’t have any way to know exactly what really did happen. Yet, it would sound like most of the people commenting would love to smack somebody. Exactly who they want to smack, depended on what preconceived lunacy they had in their head. In fairness, most of their imaginary scenarios COULD have happened. But, as far as I know, there is as yet no proof of any of them. Please keep an open mind and try hard to learn the truth first.

It sounds like there’s quite a bit of amateur video, that if cautiously observed, could be very useful. One wonders how much other useful video was quickly erased, or put on a shelf somewhere to be withheld to hide the truth.

And, I can think of no justification for beating the guy to a pulp. Hold him for the police, is OK. But, not to hospitalize him. Not to threaten his wife & child.

Vigilante justice, is pretty weird. Suddenly they assume that they are the good guys, and naturally, because they ARE the good guys, they are therefore justified at being bad guys. At least that seems a popular opinion in the media. The basis for many films and action movies. It makes for exciting movies. And I certainly have watched quite a few of them. But, isn’t this whole thing with the SUV, just another good example of the evils of vengeance?

Back in the 1970s, I was watching some kids cartoons with a friend’s children, while waiting for their parent to finish with some chores so that we could go somewhere together. I was appalled at how the superheroes, since, obviously, they were superheroes, thought nothing of collateral damage. Picking up someone’s automobile and throwing it at the villain. Destroying a skyscraper, because the villain was standing on its roof. And so on.

Growing up watching crap like that might make it quite easy and logical to take the law your own hands and wade into a situation like the SUV, feeling fully justified and righteous. ‘Hey, look at me! I’m Rambo!’

And, now, for the legal system to decide who was in the right and who was in the wrong, they are faced with wildly divergent, and conflicting reports as to what it was that happened, and why.

A lot of English people that I know are quite concerned about the apparently large number of closed-circuit TV cameras and surveillance in the UK. I am concerned at how easily it could be used for harm. Snowden, discloses spying on so many people, and so on. However, I am certain that it could very often be used for wonderful good. And I believe that it usually is. So, having Big Brother watching you, is great as long as he’s a nice guy. Unfortunately I don’t have such a warm and fuzzy feeling about the US government surveillance that is been in the news so much lately. But, there’s not much I can do about it. Other than keep it in mind.

And, remember that even an honest video, can possibly fool you too. You must keep fresh batteries in your thinking cap, at all times. (And cross your fingers for luck.)

Dave

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2 thoughts on “It may be hard to learn the Truth

  1. On the Hypatia story, you might want to read The Ornament of the World: http://www.amazon.com/The-Ornament-World-Christians-Tolerance/dp/0316168718

    While this book has nothing to do with Hypatia specifically, it speaks to why the Christians hated her so and to the roots of this conflict.

    I suppose you know that dash cams are very common in Russia, due to the corruption of the police and the craziness of the drivers. Also now standard equipment on American police cars. Due to the prevalence of iPhones, etc., citizen journalism has become a growing force. It’s a good thing.

    Violent movies certainly have corrupted people’s ideas of right and wrong. A man in Seattle was killed during an altercation with skateboarders. It didn’t seem to occur to them than hitting him in the head with a skateboard might not be a good idea. The real world is not accurately depicted in many movies. Duh.

    • Yes David. Too many Road Runner cartoons. Hey Folks. Those are not Documentaries. In the real World, breaking a bottle over someone’s head often kills them. Shooting them in the shoulder usually causes permanent serious damage. Be nice to each other. More than enough poop happens even when we try to get along.

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