Have We Lost The Art of Journalism?

journalism_ralstonreports

9-19-19

 

Have We Lost The Art Of Journalism?

 

Gone are the days of Clark Kent and Lois Lane reporters for the major newspaper of their fair city. In the day and age of the internet where anything goes and nothing is sacred.

 

Things began to change after the Second World War. Honesty and character were the norm. A man’s word is his bond was actually sealed with a handshake. Hard work built character. Families were taught to honor and respect parents, the elderly and authority. Life wasn’t always fair. Becoming a journalist was easy, but becoming well respected had to be earned.

 

The really tough part was covering without become the story. Journalists around the world held to certain principles. It has always been important to report the truth accurately. Staying independent of any influences and maintaining fairness and impartiality were important. Keep in mind the humanity of the lives being affected. Most of all professionals are responsible journalists standing by their words and admitting when an error has been made is being responsible.

 

A coveted spot for journalists has been covering the President of the United States. America has ogled over little John-John and Caroline and the children who resided in the White House residence. The formation of the White House Press Corp made it possible to maintain an orderly team of journalists who would insure America was informed of the goings on within the White House.

 

What we’ve seen since the 2016 election is a departure from the norms of journalism. No matter what is going on with the presidency, the national economy or world events today’s journalists have allowed personal prejudices to influence the accuracy of their reporting to the point of becoming disrespectful and belligerent toward the White House Press Secretary, President Trump and his administration officials and their families.

 

The vitriol and hatred expressed by members of the media is inexcusable and leads me to believe that we’ve truly lost the Art of Journalism. Let me present five basic standards which professional journalists must adhere to.

 

Five Principles of Ethical Journalism

https://ethicaljournalismnetwork.org/who-we-are/5-principles-of-journalism

 

 

  1. Truth and Accuracy
    Journalists cannot always guarantee ‘truth’, but getting the facts right is the cardinal principle of journalism. We should always strive for accuracy, give all the relevant facts we have and ensure that they have been checked. When we cannot corroborate information we should say so.

    2. Independence
    Journalists must be independent voices; we should not act, formally or informally, on behalf of special interests whether political, corporate or cultural. We should declare to our editors – or the audience – any of our political affiliations, financial arrangements or other personal information that might constitute a conflict of interest.

    3. Fairness and Impartiality
    Most stories have at least two sides. While there is no obligation to present every side in every piece, stories should be balanced and add context. Objectivity is not always possible, and may not always be desirable (in the face for example of brutality or inhumanity), but impartial reporting builds trust and confidence.

    4. Humanity
    Journalists should do no harm. What we publish or broadcast may be hurtful, but we should be aware of the impact of our words and images on the lives of others.

    5. Accountability

A sure sign of professionalism and responsible journalism is the ability to hold ourselves accountable. When we commit errors we must correct them and our expressions of regret must be sincere not cynical. We listen to the concerns of our audience. We may not change what readers write or say but we will always provide remedies when we are unfair.

 

EJN supporters do not believe that we need to add new rules to regulate journalists and their work in addition to the responsibilities outlined above, but we do support the creation of a legal and social framework, that encourages journalists to respect and follow the established values of their craft.

 

In doing so, journalists and traditional media, will put themselves in a position to be provide leadership about what constitutes ethical freedom of expression. What is good for journalism is also good for others who use the Internet or online media for public communications.

 

It is well to remember that internet bloggers, tweeters and Facebookers would be well to adhere to these standards before facing legal troubles of libel, slander and malfeasance. – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Why the Constitution?

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9-17-2019

 

Why the Constitution?

 

This is the 232nd anniversary of the Constitution of the United States and many do not know, nor have they learned why we have the Constitution in the first place. The settlers of the new world did so because of the perceived opportunity for living in a land free of the corruption and graft of the old world countries they left behind. Over time it seemed that the corruption and graft followed. Because the new world was ruled predominately by the old world nations of Great Brittan, France and Spain shaking off the bonds of the old world seemed like an impossible task.

 

What began with a small group of men and women searching for a new way of life had to include a new way of governing. One of the major grievances was taxation without representation. Much of the wealth of this new world ended up in the pockets of kings so far away. Soldiers were everywhere and often forced their way into homes across the colonies without any input from the home owners. Taxes on everything were raised without consent or warning.

 

After much discussion and dissent it was decided that the Constitution must protect the rights of man while limiting the power of government. Only the power given to the government or to the state (colonies) had to come from the people. Otherwise the power remained with the people.

 

I challenge you to go to the Senate.gov website and read the Constitution for yourself. Look at the Bill of Rights, the Preamble and the Amendments as well. Understand that the rights of the people hinge on the first 10 Amendments, the other Amendments clarify that which was not spelled out clearly enough, but do not nullify or change the original Bill of Rights.

 

In their infinite wisdom those who comprised the Continental Congress saw that a Democracy would not work for this new world government. They saw that a republic also was lacking. What had never been done before (or since) was creating a Constitutional-Republic where the rule of law WAS the Constitution and based entirely upon biblical principles and standards created by Almighty God.

 

These men and women chose to put themselves on the line (lock, stock and barrel = everything) for the sake of Freedom, casting off the bonds of the most powerful government in the world at that time. Not everyone was in agreement and some even helped the other side as the War of Independence waged on.

 

The end result was freedom and a new nation was formed, the United States of America was bought and paid for by the red blood of patriots who put their money where their mouths were. It hasn’t been easy and many struggles have been waged and won for the sake of Freedom.

 

As with any war there are profiteers who manage to get rich off the backs of hard working men and women and it was no different then and still happening today in 2019.

 

We call it public service, but those who enter politics are people like you and me. They are of “we-the- people” and are sent to Congress to represent our best interests, yet what inevitably happens is they become “acclimated” into the political climate of Washington politics.

 

It’s easy to go from public service to self-servicing politics where the agenda appears to be personal enrichment of wealth and power over people. There is no justification for padding ones bank account while claiming to be in public service, yet here we are voting the same people back into office time and time again simply because our chosen political party says so.

 

Whether it is an elected or appointed office the official must take “the oath” before assuming that office or position. That oath includes “protecting and defending the Constitution of the United States against ALL enemies both foreign and domestic, and obeying the orders of the President of the United States so help me God.”

 

Military service is another matter where the service member puts him or herself on the line to protect the Constitution and our way of life. Nobody can imagine what that means without actually doing it!

 

The Constitution does not guarantee fair and equal treatment, free housing, food or entitlements or forgiveness of school debt or even free healthcare or the right to abortion services.

 

The Constitution does guarantee freedom to worship God, to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness without fear of an out of control government interfering.

 

Politicians tend to seek re-election as their primary focus and many will say and do anything for the almighty vote. There should be a Constitutional Amendment that insures a politician seeking a different political office must resign his current office upon submitting the intent to run for political office (other than re-election).

 

It’s been said that a chain is as strong as its weakest link and the same can be said for a nation. We are only as strong as our weakest citizen. We must step up and protect each and every citizen from bullies, thugs and criminals with every fiber of our being. – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Operation Orange Envelope Campaign

FlagBettsyRossnamesPhotosBanner2

15 September 2019

 

The Operation Orange Envelope Campaign to bring to a vote HR2201 and S1381

 

This is a call for Thailand Veterans of the Vietnam War, their families, survivors and friends to join this campaign to focus attention on the unknown and forgotten – what I call the “walking dead” from Herbicide Exposure while stationed in Thailand during the war.

 

We are NOT the Blue Water Navy veterans you have heard about, nor are we covered under their recently passed bill.

 

On 19 August 2019 we launched our Operation Orange Envelope Group on FB in preparation for the massive nationwide kickoff to Mail Orange Envelopes happened beginning 12 September 2019, to the Administration, Members of Congress (Veterans Affairs Committees of both Chambers) and the Media (national and local outlets). One lady actually walked the halls of Congress for 2 full days to hand deliver 1070 envelopes and mailing another 30 before returning to Tennessee.

 

As of this writing our FB Group membership stands at 367 active members, with 105 having sent out 4881 Orange Envelopes, resulting in Media outlets across the country conducting and/or scheduling interviews of at least 3 Thailand Veterans after receiving Orange Envelopes.

 

Our membership increases daily, tallies keep coming in and as we are joined by members of other Thailand FB groups we expect to literally flood the halls of congress with Orange Envelopes so that we will be ignored no longer.

 

We began expanding our reach through various Thailand Veteran FB groups by inviting them to join the campaign.

 

In fact you don’t have to be a Veteran to join us, simply come to the Operation Orange Envelope FB group and request to join. Then begin writing a short letter (1-2 pages) asking for Congressional support (Co-Sponsors) of HR2201 and S1381 (companion bills will change US Code Title 38) to grant presumptive exposure to herbicides for Thailand Veterans (important to note the years: 1961 – 1976).

If you are new, please use this as a guide to getting started. We log our mailings with name, state, and number of letters and to whom? Post in the comments section and the admin team will update the document for accountability purposes.

Will you join us?

 

Joseph J Wilson Jr – Admin

Operation Orange Envelope Group

SFC, USA (Retired)

Thailand Veteran 2/68-7/70

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Elevating From The Swamp

9-10-2019

 

Elevating From The Swamp

 

I am guilty of referring to Congress as “The Swamp” not without good reason. Every day we are subject to the unprofessional antics and political stunts played out on Social Media and Television day time talk shows and even news anchors or so called political analysists.

 

There are certain Constitutional responsibilities afforded members of Congress, among those are creating laws and adhering to certain ethical standards in the performance of their jobs. For the most part members of Congress do a fairly good job at conducting themselves in high ethical standards. However as with a barrel of apples there are some bad ones that go to untold lengths to hog the political spotlight so that they achieve name recognition as movers and shakers.

 

There are certain times when those in political power decide to run for the highest office in the land, the Presidency of the United States, while other times it is thrust upon them. We are told not to judge a book by its cover, but once achieving the office of the Presidency, they become an open book exposed for all to see. Not everyone makes a good president and each must learn to adjust or do the best they know how or leave office for the good of themselves and for the nation.

 

The Constitution was written and adopted at a time when there was no “norm” as the American way of life was just beginning. Trying to foresee every eventuality was an impossible task. Electing a president had never been done before and a system of voting included the use of an Electoral College where surrogates chose the president.

 

Another process was what to do to remove a president? This brought up the impeachment process for elected officials, and specifically the president could be removed for high crimes and misdemeanors, but what are they exactly? Over time the Speaker of the House (Gerald Ford) said “High Crimes and Misdemeanors is whatever the House says it is at a particular time in history”). Well low and behold it came about that the Speaker of the House Gerald Ford became our 38th President.

 

This brings up a question, what happens when a member of the so-called “Swamp” moves into the White House? Keep in mind most have spent a considerable amount of their adulthood as a member of Congress of 4 – 8 years or longer. It’s like someone working in a fast food restaurant who suddenly gets elevated to shift leader or store manager. They are no longer known as “buddy”. How do they adjust?

 

We’ve a number of presidents in recent years that have come from either the House or the Senate and now they’re the “most important man in the world” (in their eyes, and the eyes of many). How exactly does one shake off the swamp mud?

 

Lyndon Baines Johnson was thrust into the presidency with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and he launched the nation fully into the war in Vietnam and refused to run for reelection. Both Kennedy and Johnson were WWII naval officers and both were members of Congress who elevate into the White House. Jimmy Carter also a WWII naval officer and combat veteran was also a member of Congress who rose to the highest office.

 

Barack Obama was one of those who used the power of the pen to exert his “presidential power”. He became impatient with Congress acting too slowly or not at all (remember he spent 8 years in the US Senate) and created DACA (Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals) when Congress couldn’t seem to get the job done.  The fact that it was unconstitutionally enacted made no matter to Obama and Congress said and did nothing!

 

It seems that once a politician gets immersed into the swamp through the Congress it’s pretty near impossible to get away clean. Most simply go from Congress to a cushy political job in their home state. Hillary Clinton was one who had been in the White House as the First Lady, then elected into the US Senate with aspirations of going back into the White House as the first female President, so much so that the means of her election campaign justified the end. Yet what put a stop to her dream job was a non-politician whom she knew very well and had solicited for campaign contributions in past campaigns. I’m talking about Donald Trump. He came out of the shadows, stole the limelight and ultimately won the presidency. That dream job turned into a political nightmare for Hillary and her supporters who have yet to recover. It stands to reason that if you bathe in a mud puddle, then tromp throughout the house you’ll leave a trail that a blind man can follow.

 

As the 2020 Presidential Election is just around the corner, a lot of the swamp rats are scrambling for exposure in hopes of keeping the swamp alive and well in the foreseeable future. The only way out is to drain the swamp and having a viable plan to clean up all the muddy tracks and remove all traces that the swamp ever existed. Seeing the resistance coming from the congressional leftists I’d say that President Trump is well on the way to getting the swamp drained – One rat at a time! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Here’s Your Sign

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9-5-2019

 

Here’s Your Sign

 

I’m amazed at how quickly we forget. Somebody goes crazy with a gun and immediately there are parrots shouting “Gun Control” at the top of their lungs. I guess if they say it long enough and loud enough the threat of political pressure causes corporations who thrive on political financing will cower down just to appease those yelling the loudest.

 

Recently we’ve had active shooter situations in schools, shopping centers and events and many situations were stopped by someone open carrying or with a concealed carry permit. Think about that for a moment, an active shooter was stopped by an actively armed citizen because law enforcement had not arrived on the scene and people were in harm’s way.

 

Contrast that with literally hundreds if not thousands of people killed in cities around the globe. Major urban areas in Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle and other places that are so called safe havens for criminals because of strict gun control laws and are under the control of democrats in government.

 

The Bill of Rights protects every US citizen’s rights to free speech and self-defense (own and bear arms) against intruders (including an out of control government). American’s have fought and died to protect those and other rights listed in the US Constitution. In the days of the wild, Wild West outlaws with guns robbed and killed at will and during the depression of the 1930s bad guys with guns repeated the process until stopped by good guys with guns. Declaring a city, place or area a “gun free zone” is like hanging up a huge sign, “Take what you want because we won’t allow anyone to stop you”.

 

How soon we forget that evil succeeds when good people do nothing! Now is not the time for standing idly by and watching bad guys with guns to run amok.

 

Gun control is not gun control if you cannot control criminals with guns.

 

Assault weapons used to assault others must be dealt with by stopping the assaulter and a gun is just a gun until the trigger is pulled! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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Climate Change versus Fossil Fuel

9-4-2019

 

Climate Change versus Fossil Fuel

 

The 2019 Democratic Climate Change Debate session scheduled for 7-hours have produced some of the most ridiculous concocted statements from some of the left’s leading candidates for the 2020 Presidential Election against the reelection of President Donald Trump. I have tried to stay clear of the rhetoric and focus on other things – life, liberty and the pursuit of my happiness.

 

Today I asked myself “What is Climate Change” and this paragraph from NASA provides a very reasonable and down to earth definition:

 

What Is Climate Change? | NASA

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/k-4/stories/nasa-knows/what-is-climate-change-k4.html

Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place’s usual temperature for a month or season. Climate change is also a change in Earth’s climate. This could be a change in Earth’s usual temperature.

 

Next I wanted to know what exactly is fossil fuel? All the Democratic candidates seem to be dead set on getting rid of them and this American Heritage Dictionary provides a very good definition:

 

Fossil Fuel

n.

A hydrocarbon-based fuel, such as petroleum, coal, or natural gas, derived from living matter of a previous geologic time.

n.

any fuel derived from hydrocarbon deposits such as coal, petroleum, natural gas and, to some extent, peat; these fuels are irreplaceable, and their burning generates the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide

n.

fuel consisting of the remains of organisms preserved in rocks in the earth’s crust with high carbon and hydrogen content.

(From The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.)

 

So if fossil fuel is bad and causes climate change it only makes sense to get rid of them and do what we did before using fossil fuel. There are lots of ways fossil fuel is being used besides heating homes in certain areas and yes that produces air pollution and that is bad.

 

But however so is smoking right? Cigars and Cigarettes cause air pollution, lung cancer and lots of nasty problems within the human body. Why is nobody talking about banning Smoking EVERYWHERE AND ALL THE TIME? Because somebody invented Vaping! Vaping is one of those little eCigs that are the rage with kids and adults everywhere. It allows them to puff away without creating all that smoke, smell and causes no cancer to the lungs. There is a small drawback, vaping causes popcorn lung which causes the lung to sort of collapse within itself and makes it rather impossible to breath.

 

Let’s move on to something else that is directly related to fossil fuels, what kinds of products would we have to give up if we simply banned fossil fuels all together?

According to this US Energy Information Administration (EIA), this is a partial list of petroleum products and their share of total US petroleum consumption back in 2013.

Gasoline 46%

Heating Oil / Diesel Fuel 20%

Jet Fuel (kerosene) 8%

Propane / Propylene 7%

NGL / LRG 6%

Still Gas 4%

Petrochemical Feedstocks 2%

Petroleum Coke 2%

Residual / Heavy Fuel Oil 2%

Asphalt / Road Oil 2%

Lubricants 1%

Miscellaneous Products / Special Naphthas 0.4%

Other Liquids 1%

Aviation Gasoline 0.1%

Waxes 0.04%

Kerosene 0.02%

 

Of course these consumption rates have increased over time since then, don’t you think? Well I was thinking more about giving up fossil fuels and wind turbines and electric cars and stuff that operate on electricity would simply take up the slack as we phased out the petroleum product portions of fossil fuels. I found this partial list of products made from petroleum, but since inventors invent and consumers consume there seems to be that thing called supply and demand that overrides cutting back on many of the things we take for granted.

 

Here is a partial list of products made from petroleum?

Here is a quite large partial list of products made from petroleum. This list is constantly growing as new inventions are created. Here are some of the items which are made from petroleum.

 

So which ones are YOU willing to go without?

 

Solvents Diesel fuel Motor Oil Bearing Grease
Ink Floor Wax Ballpoint Pens Football Cleats
Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides
Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures
Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes
Cassettes Dishwasher parts Tool Boxes Shoe Polish
Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape
CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline
Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap
Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes
Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs
Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant
Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings
Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician’s Tape
Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint
Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters
Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring
Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick
Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber
Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin
Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice
Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint
Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards
Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains
Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses
Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses
Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs
Combs CD’s & DVD’s Paint Brushes Detergents
Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents
Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones
Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras
Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages
Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers
Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups
Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia
Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste (Yuck) Gasoline

 

While there will be a number of industries that benefit from lower oil prices, it isn’t usually an immediate effect. It takes time for input prices to filter through the corporate supply chain and the economy.

 

Given the large drop in oil prices, this should give you some ideas about areas that could benefit from these lower prices. Investing in the oil sector may require some caution. My thought is to be careful of catching a falling knife on oil prices. There will eventually be some great bargains in the oil and gas energy sector, but patience is always a virtue. Look elsewhere to related industries. (2015)

 

https://www.innovativewealth.com/inflation-monitor/what-products-made-from-petroleum-outside-of-gasoline/

 

I’ve come to the conclusion that the climate always has and always will change over time. That’s the way God created it. Man has made great strides to use the resources available to him, and the overriding factor that “The love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (from the bible) holds true. Money may not literally make the world go round (God created it to spin on its axis), but money makes man better able to control others, buy expensive toys and even try to shame those who either can’t afford or choose not to indulge in all the bells and whistles that are being touted as something we all must have to exist. I don’t know how much Americans can take from radicals and liberals on either wing because like it or not it’s all the same bird. One last thought before I close – It’s hard to soar with eagles when you surround yourself with turkeys! – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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News of the Day

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8-25-2019

 

News of the day

 

There is a fire in the Amazon which predictors say could disrupt the global climate if not extinguished immediately. There are polar ice caps melting at an alarming rate also affecting climate change. US politicians have determined that internal combustion engines and dairy cows produce emissions that will also have a lasting effect on the state of our climate.

 

In the Middle East Israel combats attacks by Hamas and Iranian forces from bases in Syria, while US politicians begin going against stated US policy to condemn Israel and defend Palestine while condemning US policy and defending illegal aliens.

 

President Trump is in France at the G7 Summit talking with world leaders about real world problems, such as combating the fires in the Amazon and other matters.

 

Recent Democratic Party campaigning for the 2020 Presidential race have reduced the contenders into a sizable circus of who can stop President Trump from re-election and stop the very successful policies which have stimulated the US economy over the past 2 ½ years.

 

Meanwhile fake news media outlets such as CNN are fixated not on reporting the news as it is happening but attempting to smear the President with unfounded attacks by so called “experts” on his mental status without ever so much as a meeting or clinical observation or charging the outrageous fees associated with Psychiatric consultations (none given).

 

What is transpiring are a number of Republican so-called Presidential Candidates coming out of the woodwork thinking they can upstage a very successful sitting President?

 

What this means to the “Average Joe” on the street (you and me) is not so much about what everyone is saying they can do for our country, but demonstrating real tangible results, like a successful economy.

 

This is not worthy of political posturing, simply watching the action (or inaction) of politicians which can be measured by something called results. Do their actions match up with their words? Does their mantra simply have a hollow ring to it? Or can you reach out and touch those results (lower taxes, higher wages, more jobs, etc.)? Need I say more? – I am the Real Truckmaster!

 

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