The Art (Bell) of conspiracy theories

“It’s a mystery! It’s a mystery wrapped in the riddle inside of an enigma!” — Joe Pesci, from the Oliver Stone film, “JFK”. Art Bell is dead. I did not kill him. But, if I had, it would be stupid to admit it. When the official story is released, Art Bell will be declared the mortal victim of lung cancer—and that is just what the Kardashians want us to think! Yes, the Kardashians were in cahoots with the CIA, Vladimir Putin and professional wrestler John Cena to eliminate Art Bell.…

Shootings and scandals and bears, oh my!

“The indictment of Flynn is just cheese on a nothing burger. It is unthinkable that the mainstream media is jumping up and down declaring this the end of the Trump presidency” – Andrew Wilkow on XM Radio, 12/01/17 A perusal of news cycles over the last few weeks reveals a burgeoning and troubling trend. Controversy with its many faces is being multiplied greatly. The incessant howling and hysteria within the media and related tragedies, scandals, and other harmful events seem to be rolling out one after another. And the propaganda…

What if truth does not matter any more?

What happens if Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia proves collusion but nobody believes him? Why are conservatives so quick to indict Hillary Clinton about her Russian connections but give Donald Trump a pass? Has the idea of objective truth become passé? Are we at an unrecoverable point in time when tribal politics has laid waste to objective truth? The answers to these serious questions will determine freedom in America for generations to come. The basis for every conspiracy theory is that somebody is lying about something…

Trusting the press: Do you believe in Trump or the Founders?

Consider why the man over an administration being investigated for collusion uses the term ‘fake news’ Think about how safe you would feel if the overwhelming majority of your neighbors support a man who would be willing to assault you. That may explain why the first thing I did after reading that nearly two-thirds of citizens believe that mainstream media reports “a lot of fake news” was purchase a newspaper that I get for free. Why even try? Why get a heat stroke, as EMTs told me? Why spend three…

Meaning and discourse go hand in hand

If you want elevated dialogue, you need an elevated mind. Most Americans, across the political spectrum, seem to mourn the loss of civil dialogue. Indeed, civil dialogue has been kicked to the curb in the age of Trump. But Trump is only a symptom, even if a modern icon, of discord. The true villain here is the mundane minutia that fills our minds through round-the-clock information on social media. It has lowered our civic IQ, then lowering the substance of civil dialogue. Social media creates the delusion that all opinions…

In interview with Putin, Megyn makes a mockery

“Presidents come and go and even the parties in power change, but the main political direction does not change. That’s why, in the grand scheme of things, we don’t care who is the head of the United States. We know, more or less, what is going to happen. And so in this regard, even if we wanted to, it would not make sense for us to interfere.” Vladimir Putin interview with Megyn Kelly, June 5, 2016 I remember watching Megyn Kelly’s first show on Fox News. She was fresh, feisty…

Beauty and the Beast: Out of the closet?

There is a controversy over the new Beauty and the Beast movie. Evidently, Disney wrote a gay character into the script. No, not “gay” as in happy, as in every Disney movie prior to the 1980s. “Gay” as in sexual orientation. Evangelical leader Franklin Graham has called for people of faith to boycott the movie as a show of force for traditional values. But is that a good idea? If were you born well before 1988, you might remember another movie controversy over The Last Temptation of Christ, a more…

The subtweets of historians

“Posterity! You will never know, how much it cost the present generation, to preserve your freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven, that I ever took half the pains to preserve it.” — John Adams During this particular week, at some point, I will hear someone state that America’s Independence Day should be July 2nd. Usually, this is done not because someone has an intricate knowledge of American history, but because they heard an anecdote that is…

The Mero Moment: Hollywood “Truth” — April 28, 2016

Several years ago I attended a three-day seminar about writing in general and screenplays in particular. My interest was more about how to tell an interesting story. So much of public policy is dry and boring. I thought I could benefit from some expert storytelling. The seminar was presented by famed Hollywood screenwriter Robert McKee – if you saw the movie Adaptation you’ve heard of Robert McKee. When his book, titled Story, was published nearly 20 years ago, he then claimed that his students had won 18 Academy Awards, 107…

The Hub Sheet – Mar 26, 2016: Caucus, Easter Crime, and the American Dream

The Utah Politico Hub live blog of caucus night captured the excitement (and crowds) from around the state. A 2.5 foot tall stack of voter registration cards was delivered to Salt Lake County. The Utah engineer who warned of (and tried to stop) the Challenger explosion 30 years ago died this week. Three ways to improve the online voting experiment. America’s competition deficit. Gov. Herbert signs 52 bills and sort of maybe endorses Ted Cruz finally but not really.at his monthly news conference. After Scalia’s death, Dow Chemical drops appeal, settles in class-action price fixing…