Enmity Toward the Press

0bcfb788-a484-4d91-8e3e-f7faf0c722cdHe calls the stories in newspapers, magazines, and on TV about him “fake news. He refers to the free press as “the enemy of the people.”

But in a way, I understand Donald Trump’s enmity toward the press. After all, they call out his lies, they fact check his “alternative facts,” and they demonstrate just how unhinged, unfit, and unqualified he is to hold the office of President of the United States.

By printing what he says and does, by video taping his own words, by counting his lies, and by documenting his misstatements and fabrications, the press is demonstrating the depth of his narcissism, his lack of knowledge, his inability to be empathetic, and his moronic delusions.

By quoting him, the press is showing that he has an inability to construct cohesive sentences, which is not surprising, given the clearly chaotic way his mind works.

Unfortunately and inexplicably, about 40% of American voters hang on his every word and believe every lie that escapes his lips. Apparently, if they even watch news, it’s only Fox News. And if they even read newspapers, it’s only conservative newspapers.

So the master of the con continues to carry on and we just have to hope that the press will continue to do the job that the Republicans in Congress seem to be unable and unwilling to do: keep the president in check for the good of the country.

Written for the benefit of America and for my one-word challenge (enmity).

Repost — Facts Versus Truth

My blogging friend, James, started a comment he posted on one of my rants yesterday about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s “he said/she said” hearing yesterday, with this quote:

Archaeology is the search for fact … not truth. If it’s truth you’re interested in, Dr. Tyree’s philosophy class is right down the hall.” -Dr. Henry (Indiana) Jones Jr.

Of course, my post and James’ comment were in the context of the testimonies yesterday of Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh. What James said was, “What we’re looking for is (or should be) facts. What we might have to settle for is truth, but I don’t see how we’re going to get it.”

The Indiana Jones quote and what Jim wrote reminded me of my fourth or fifth post when I started this blog. And so, since it basically went unread when I posted it, I thought it might be a good time to shed some light on it.

Facts and TruthWhen I first read Faulkner’s quote (above), I was perplexed. I had always considered “facts” and “truth” to be synonyms. Even the definitions of the two words cross-reference one another:

Fact: something that actually exists; reality; truth.
Truth: conformity with fact or reality; a verified or indisputable fact.

Facts are used as proof of what is undeniably “the truth,” but are these words truly interchangeable or do they actually have different meanings and usage?

I was curious enough about the similarities and differences between these two words to do some Google research. And I learned that not everyone believes that they are synonymous. Some folks actually differentiate between the them using diametrically opposed logic.

One site argued that facts can be fleeting, enduring for but a moment. For example, the “fact” of someone’s location on a fast-moving train changes every instant. Truth, on the other hand is a more enduring type of fact, this source claimed.

Another site argued that if it’s a fact now, it will be a fact in the future, whereas truth is more temporal. Facts indicate a universal truth, while truth depends upon temporal circumstances. For example, that the sun appears to always rise in the east and set in the west is a fact. It will never change.

I found an interesting site, differencebetween.net, which provided four facts (or truths?) about facts and truths:

  • Facts are more objective when compared to the more subjective truths.
  • Facts are more permanent when compared to the more temporary truths.
  • Facts exist in reality, whereas truths are usually the things that one believes to be true, or the things that are true in the current situation.
  • Facts can also answer the ‘where,’ ‘when,’ and ‘how’ questions, whereas truths answer the ‘why’ question.


And then there is “truthiness,” a word first coined by Stephen Colbert a dozen years ago. Like when Bill Maher says, “I don’t know it for a fact…I just know it’s true,” truthiness is the quality of seeming to be true based upon one’s intuition, opinion, or perception without regard to logic or factual evidence. It’s when someone feels, believes, or wishes that something is true even when it is not supported by the facts.

So with both facts and truth under siege by Donald Trump and his surrogates, and with “alternative facts” and “false truths” being promulgated, I  have to wonder if Faulkner’s statement was extremely prescient and sadly reflective of where we are in the second decade of the 21st century.

So what do you think? Are the words “fact” and “truth” synonyms? Do you use them interchangeably in your oral and written communications? Or do these two words, as Faulkner believes, have little to do with each another?

And in today’s world, where truthiness means more to a lot of people than either facts or truth, does it even matter anymore?

#FOWC — Don’t Take Him Literally

61D1BFFE-D81F-4C2F-9A81-743E046DD93DI heard her say, “You shouldn’t take Donald Trump literally.”

“So you’re saying that you can’t believe anything he says,” I responded.

“No, that’s not what I’m saying,” she said. “When he said Mexico will pay for the wall, for example, he meant it, but just not up-front and with cash. Mexico will ultimately pay for it through favorable trade deals he’ll negotiate with Mexico.”

“So you’re saying we should take him figuratively, but we should not take him seriously,” I said.

“You should take him seriously,” she said. “He’s a man of his word, but just not his literal words.”

“If you can’t take what he says literally, how can you say he’s a man of his word?” I asked. “That makes no sense. And you can’t take someone seriously when he constantly lies.”

“You liberals are always trying to take Trump literally and you keep claiming that he’s lying,” she said. “But he’s not lying. He’s just being symbolic.”

“Oh, you mean he’s expressing alternative facts, Kellyanne,” I said.

Truth is Relative

2CCC9F0C-D770-4BB2-9455-4B7FF9261242“They may have a different version of the truth than we do.”

Rudi Giuliani, lawyer and
cable news presence for Donald Trump

“What they’re really trying to do is trap him into perjury, and we’re not suckers.” Rudy Giuliani said about special counsel Robert Mueller’s pursuit of an interview with Donald Trump. Giuliani also, questioned the nature of truth itself when he claimed that “truth is relative.”

Of course  truth is relative in Trumplandia. What else would you expect when we now live in a world of what another Trump shill, Kellyanne Conway, calls “alternative facts”?6ECF4652-A0AD-45A5-9045-31943ADCAB4E

I’m Entitled to My Opinion

92D91B33-8B8D-4DE7-800D-3AC4D8ADF5E1I was having a discussion about our infamous president the other day with an acquaintance of mine. He was telling me that “it’s a fact” that Donald Trump had accomplished more in his first year as president than any president before him. I countered his “fact” with actual facts, to which he replied, “Well, I’m entitled to my opinion.”

We seem, these days, to live in a culture where everyone thinks that the phrase “I’m entitled to my opinion” implies that all opinions are equal and that ignorance is just as good as knowledge.

It’s often something people will say as a last ditch effort to justify their point of view by defending their right to hold an opinion no matter how ill-founded, uninformed, and yes, even stupid, it might be. In their minds, they create a false equivalency between fact and opinion.

A fact is something that has actually happened or that is empirically true and can be supported by evidence. An opinion is a belief. It is normally subjective, meaning that it can vary based on a person’s perspective, emotions, or individual understanding of something.

Facts can change over time. What is a fact today may, through more study and new evidence, be updated or revised. Knowledge is growing at an impressively rapid pace, and because knowledge is not finite, scientific facts can be refined as more knowledge is acquired.

As your knowledge or understanding grows through learning, your opinions on that subject may change, may evolve, as well. That’s as it should be.

So yes, while you are entitled to your opinion, you must never, without foundation, equate an opinion with a fact or assume that an opinion is truth.

Well, that’s my opinion, anyway.

And don’t get me started on “alternative facts.”

Written for today’s one-word prompt, “fact.”