This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions can change, depending upon my awareness of changes in factual information. It is my intent to remain focussed on specific public issues, regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
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If there is no bad news, then all is well.
If there is no bad news, then, if you vote, you risk all that is well.
If there is no bad news, then do not vote and risk your family's future, because all is well.
If there is no bad news, then any personal perception that you have that all is not well is the consequence of being affiliated with the wrong party, because all is well.
If there is no bad news, ignore those perceptions that all is not well, because, others with the credentials, skills, responsibilities and means to inform you what, and why, all is not well, know that your fears are unfounded, because all is well.
If there is no bad news, then there is no necessity to vote, because all is well.
There is little to no detailed "bad news", in Schoolcraft County. Those businesses with the chosen public responsibility to collect and report the news, as I expect, in an objective and balanced fashion, do not. The commercial Schoolcraft County news sources have made the choice to be the censors of news, based on whatever reasons they may have. The professional Schoolcraft County collectors and sellers of local news, that are hoped, by me, to be sources of unassailable integrity, have chosen to be the arbiters of the public "good" by censoring news for reasons I can only surmise.
A resident of Schoolcraft County might ask, "Who made you the judge of Schoolcraft County professional news reporting, politics, politicians, governmental business and the associated news?" to which I would answer "No one." A slightly more astute resident might ask, "What professional credentials do you have to report the news, or pass editorial judgement upon the variety of public business and associated players that you choose to write of?", to which I would answer, "I have no professional credentials. Credentials do not make the news, or report it, or understand it; people do." Then, a more introspective Schoolcraft County resident might ask, "Then why should we be interested in, or believe anything you have said or written?"
The answers to the last question, and, in my opinion, the important question, is qualified by numerous givens:
A. Given that all those that report the news, for hire, are subject to employment related influences.
B. Given that all those that report the news, for hire, are subject to the editorial influences of others.
C. Given that all those that report the news, for hire, are influenced by their employer's biases, as well as their own.
D. Given that all those that report the news, for hire, are subject to political and economic pressures, of infinite variations, including those listed previously.
D. Given that all those that report the news, perceive the world more or less differently than everyone else.
E. Given that all those that report the news, are imperfect, subject to errors of perception, judgement, understanding, prose, speech, etc.
F. Given that all those that report the news, will have their news stories molded by a litany of reasons, unknown to the reader.
G. Given that all those that report the news, or editorialize, have a moral and legal responsibility to justify the content of news stories or editorials, with facts, circumstances and reasoning.
Then, my answer is: "What I have to say or write is likely to be as true and germane, as anything else you are likely to read or hear, concerning certain Schoolcraft County events I choose to consider. What I have said and written is, in many cases, markedly different to what you have heard or read elsewhere, regarding the same Schoolcraft County topics of interest covered by other professional "news sources", if covered at all. If, what I have said, or written, in public, is generally false, incorrect, morally wrong and legally indefensible, then, I would have been pilloried by the news media, and up to my eyeballs in lawsuits, years ago."
I do not claim to be perfect. I know I am not perfect. I do not expect perfection of others.
Regardless of my degrees of imperfection, regarding any of my qualities, or lack thereof, the rest of the world is what it is. My awareness of, understanding of, and reporting of, what I witness and experience is done in the context of my understanding that I and others are subject to the consequences of the influence of nature and nurture, regardless of how they are defined.
That said, in the context of our civilized society, I have the responsibility to speak up about those that I perceive victimize me as a means to their own ends. As one who wishes to remain a member of our civilized society, I choose to renounce the personal use of force to resolve differences of my opinions with those of others. As a member of our civilized society, I have a responsibility to be tolerant of others that perceive the world differently than me. But the tolerance of differences becomes tenuous when I perceive that I am victimized, deliberately, by the informed and voluntary choices of others, in favor of their different view of the world.
What I do not have the responsibility to do, in our civilized society, is remain a silent, willing victim, to be preyed upon, repeatedly, against my will, while others with the chosen responsibilities to inform the community, and thereby prompt action, choose to look on in silence, or turn away. When those with the chosen responsibilities to inform the community of predators, or to help keep them at bay, choose to remain silent, or inactive, or to foster predatory behavior, then I, and others of the unwashed masses, have no moral or ethical obligation to be restrained by the stated and implied terms of a social contract that requires all members of a civilized society to conduct their business consistent with the stated and implied terms.
To put it bluntly, I am not a means to someone's ends, as if I was a southern, antebellum black slave.
When the rules of civilization break down, then the club, knife, and gun become the only remaining means of choice for effective defense against those that would victimize with impunity.
From my perspective, in Schoolcraft County, there is no viable argument, philosophical, political, legal, or economic, to justify the censored reporting I have witnessed. If the news media chooses to provide detailed balanced news coverage, reporting the details of the incompetent or corrupt behavior of public officials, as well as singing their earned praises, life in Schoolcraft County would be far more pleasant, and satisfying, to me, because the undeserving, as well as the deserving would be recognized and held accountable, in public.
In a civilized society, there is a survival responsibility for those in glass houses to throw rocks. There is a survival responsibility for the pot to call the kettle black. There is a survival responsibility to judge others, and act accordingly.
In an uncivilized world, any weapon is appropriate to settle differences of opinions between individuals, and groups, and taking an intellectual stand is worthless, because overt physical coercion is the means to all ends. In an uncivilized world, there is no point in intellectual discussion, to resolve a difference of opinion, or a slight. You just slit your opponents throat, one dark night. If you want to get a true life picture of what you and your neighbor are, after civilized political and governmental behavior becomes badly corrupted, watch the evening news. There is always some example of the consequences, somewhere in the world.
From my perspective, Schoolcraft County politics, and government, lies in a twilight zone that I label "civilized anarchy". Generally speaking, regarding local government behavior, if it is expedient, the law, regulations, ethics, policy, and any and all rules of objective and civilized political and governmental behavior are to be ignored as much as is expedient, and as much as "the media" and residents of Schoolcraft County will allow. As long as the media remains silent, concerning the details of such business, the general public remains ignorant, and those that favor government by their own rules hold sway.
Bad news, dirty laundry, investigative journalism, substantiated gossip,... call it what you will. It has an honored, and justified place, as one of the few tools to identify, and hold official public predators accountable for corrupt activity.
Given the alternative, just think of all the Schoolcraft County "problems" I could solve, given that part of my life I have been willing to put into my writing, if I was to avail myself of uncivilized alternative solutions to my perceived grievances.
Like it or not, the value of a free flow of "bad" news helps keep whole the fabric of a civilized society. Bad news is good news; it is required to survive.