Believe it or not, I sometimes get in trouble for speaking (or writing) what is on my mind. Of course, that is exactly what free speech is truly about. As I look at what has happened recently, I just want to state a few things. First, never is violence the right answer. No matter what one feels about an issue, being able to discuss it in a civil manner will always provide the best outcome. I may not be convinced that your argument is valid, but it must be allowed. At the same time, I am allowed to state my opinion and must be permitted no matter how wrong you might feel that I am. The problem I see today is that the media promotes one idea and anyone who may disagree is “dangerous” or worse. There are very few absolutes in the world and only one ultimate Truth. Almost everything is seen from the perspective of the individual and so is biased.

So when someone voices an opinion, it is best to listen and try to understand where they are coming from. This has been lost in the partisan world of politics but also just in daily living. There are plenty of things that can divide people and there are those who benefit from the division. Mostly it is media, including social, that tries to make the most of it. It directs each of us to the arguments it wants us to articulate and rarely (I would say never) does it provides just facts. Every article seems to want to promote a point of view. I read the World-Herald newspaper to try and get information, but every single article uses biased wording to sway opinion. Whether it is about the election, COVID, Unicameral, or even local officials, it seems impossible to find factual information. The Public Pulse is as close to true journalism and it is all opinion. When will the media realize that they are why our Republic is unique and go back to providing both sides of issues?

God has given each of us a sound mind and the ability to reason. Personally, I look at information, study it, try to confirm or dispute it, and make my own determination. Sometimes it counters the media’s narrative. I will use the “mask mandate” as an example. All and I mean all, media promotes that mask usage lowers the Covid infections. I do not buy into it. The media will note “experts”, scientists, or officials and how they have determined that wearing a mask keeps everyone safe. They provide no data to back up that claim other than “science” shows that masks work. They point to two “studies”. One is two hairdressers in Missouri who wore masks and didn’t infect the thirty or so people they serviced. The other is a gentleman who flew from Europe while infected but didn’t transmit to others. Those are facts, but hardly a scientific study. On the other hand, I pulled an actual Government Clinical Trial (NCT00756574) that disputes the efficacy of masks. With that data, and using current observation, (the fact that once mask mandates went in place in Lincoln and Omaha, the rates of infection have increased dramatically). Sure it could be a fluke but without opposing views, how can anything be truly learned. I encourage everyone to think for themselves, ask questions, be involved but to always listen to both sides of an argument. You don’t have to agree, that is freedom and once both sides are aired, let it go. You can still be friends and have different views. But violence, looting, rioting, or even raising of your voice are not signs of valid reasoning but usually are signs of weak reasoning.