One of my pet peeves and chronic frustrations is that "... some people just don't want to be confused with facts that contradict their preconceived opinions." This is not a disease which inflicts only socialists/liberal democrats, and it is not a contemporary anomaly. H.L. Mencken (the Bard of Baltimore) observed, "The psychologists and the metaphysicians wrangle endlessly over the nature of the thinking process in man, but no matter how violently they differ otherwise they all agree that it has little to do with logic and is not much conditioned by overt facts." I guess if I did a tad more research I could probably find a similar quote from a pundit contemporary to Cicero.
I have been a severe critic of the current administration. As a result, there are those who incorrectly assume my commentary and criticism is motivated by partisanship. It is not. I consider myself to be an equal opportunity offender. My professional and personal objective has been to focus on WHAT is right or wrong rather than WHOM. As fellow New Englander Henry David Thoreau asked, "Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth."
The greatest challenge for any observer of this current administration has been to find the truth -- about ANYTHING. Pick a controversy, any Clinton controversy:
View any of the above litany and apply dialectic. Invariably the "thesis" is probably the truth. The "antithesis" is the original Clinton story. The "synthesis" is the homogenized co-mingling of as little truth as possible with as much spin as possible to create the "official" mainstream media first draft of history.
Syndicated columnist Jack Anderson recently demonstrated the benefits of turning over stones. His staff made a routine request of Wellesley College that resulted in more substance than academic hubris usually yields. In the course of doing a story on Hillary Clinton, his staff requested a copy of her 1969 senior thesis from Wellesley College. No big deal. Not like he was requesting Rose law firm billing records that disappeared for two years only to mysteriously show up on the wicked witch's reading table. It was a simple, routine request, especially since usually college theses are available to anyone and normally considered public record. Not, however, in this case. Apparently, the current Wellesley president (a long time personal bud of Hillary) had created a new rule in 1992. The new rule reportedly, is that "... the college would seal the senior theses of any Wellesley grads who were either the first lady or the president of the United States."
Hey, rules are rules. So team Anderson figures, "OK, can you just tell us the 'subject' of the paper?" College says, "No." This is supposed to be a top-shelf bastion of academia, a collection of the best and brightest -- smart people. Perhaps some alum might want to suggest to Wellesley they add a course on "Consequences." Nothing fancy. Keep it simple: action/reaction ... good begets good ... bad creates negative consequences. Maybe somewhere on the entire faculty of Wellesley they could find a Ph.D. capable of communicating the concept to students. Maybe. ...
So what started as a routine research question morphs into an intrigue. By the way, here's a quick flash for the scholarly sycophants of Wellesley: Denying a reporter a student's senior thesis, or even acknowledging the topic/subject virtually guarantees the data you desire to withhold WILL be discovered -- and reported. Anderson asked if the new policy had been enacted at Clinton's request? Again, no answer. Did those fools really think Jack Anderson was going to say, "I'm so terribly sorry. Of course I understand that a 30-year-old college paper needs to be protected for reasons of national security. I am so sorry to have troubled you. Thank you for your time and please forgive me for imposing." I don't think so.
Rather, the stonewall at Wellesley's stonewall suggested not a mere paragraph, and not a single story ... there was something more. For openers, it wasn't a research assistant that contacted Hillary's press manipulators, it was an intrigued Anderson. He was assured it was no big deal: "hakuna matatta." He is promised that he'll get a copy of the college paper, AND an explanation of why it had been sealed. And, oh yeah, the check's in the mail.
Well, days turn into weeks, the weeks multiply and Jack has received ... jack! Eventually he was told not only that no copy would be forthcoming but that no explanation would be given. They left out the "eat rat excrement and die," but it was implied.
Anderson is a professional muckraker of considerable experience and success. He "don't need no stinking badges ..." or academic imprimatur. He eventually found what he wasn't even originally looking for. Hillary's thesis, was a critique of Lyndon Johnson's "War On Poverty" programs. Her conclusion: Community-based government antipoverty programs don't work.
So why try to hide that? Hell, it was one of the very few things about which she was correct. Her national healthcare debacle, notwithstanding the heavy mantles of secrecy were (and are) a monumental embarrassment. No one really believes her cattle futures success was anything other than insider info. Why not resurrect a 30-year old college paper revealing the perceptive insights of even the undergraduate wonk?
Words have meaning, and there are positive and negative consequences to what we do, what we write and what we say.
President Clinton said on Saturday that the official policy toward gays in the military (Don't ask/Don't tell") was a failure. He said it was "out of whack" and that military leaders were not carrying it out as he intended and as they promised in 1993. The problem was he intended the problem to go away and/or be ignored. The military had the impossible task of trying to implement bad policy.
Clinton's comments echoed those of Hillary ... kinda.
So why all the secrecy about a 30-year-old college paper which states the obvious: Community-based government antipoverty programs don't work? Well fast forward to now; President Clinton recently called for federal funding for a number of ... community-based government antipoverty programs.
was it Thoreau said? "Rather than love, than money, than fame ... give
me truth." Sorry pal, truth is/was both the first victim of war ... and
the Clinton administration.