Mr. Sinton’s recent commentary (Eagle - 24 February) exhorts us that to “achieve unity, tolerance and integrity” we “must start to stop lying.” When I saw the title of the article, I knew it would likely be a familiar leftist trope and would depress me. I forged ahead anyway. A quick examination revealed that the article was structured around several oft repeated leftist mythologies. It quickly became clear that these tales would be presented as fact and any non-believer would be termed a “liar” or a “racist.” I.e., standard leftist methodology that would require complete fealty if I was ever going to achieve unity, tolerance and integrity.
This got me thinking about truth and lying. If two people have significantly differing opinions on the same subject, is one lying? If we can’t tell, how should we examine each opinion for truthiness? Classically, truth, or lack of it, is not determined by declaration but by verification. Maybe the easiest verification is to appeal to authority. But can we agree that the authority is a proper arbiter and not a liar? My favorite authority is the chairman of the House committee on intelligence, Adam Schiff, probably the most publicly blatant liar since Andrew Cuomo. Schiff was soundly reelected so maybe having no integrity and being a liar is a political career enhancer.
Another verification method is consistency. This is the method the classical scientific method utilizes. That is, multiple repeats of experiments yielding consistent results speaks to truth within the confines of the experiment. The obvious flaws in this system are why scientists are being asked to publish their data when they publish results. Even then recall the “hockey stick” climate change data fiasco? Truthiness is harder to find than it first seems.
Returning to Mr. Sinton’s specific examples … he claims that the recent Texas weather anomaly was due to global warming. He offers no evidence so I can’t imagine how he knows this is true. He undoubtedly wishes this is true but wishes are just opinions or maybe lies. The whole thing was tragic but it is worth noting that at the bottom the wind farms were producing just 12% of their usual output while the nuclear plants produced 79% of their usual. If anticipating changes in the climate is important, then I think I know how to build back better and it isn’t wind farms. Mr. Sinton claims that this is the second 100-year ice storm Texas has incurred in a decade so the locals should have been smarter. I can’t find a reference to the alleged earlier storm but I did learn that the operative forecasts are provided to Texas by NOAA. Of course, Mr. Sinton’s “told-you-so” would have been more impressive if it had occurred before the storm.
What is true includes the facts that windmills froze (I knew that they killed birds but I didn’t know they could freeze) and that many components of the gas system froze as well. It looks more like a poor maintenance choice than climate denial to me. So, we have two mostly diametrically opposed descriptions, does that make one of us a liar? If so, which one?
Mr. Sinton’s second example was his claim that the recent “huge hack” was perpetrated by Russia, not China. Again no evidence or other support is offered. How does he know? Is he lying? I have no idea.
His third example is that Antifa is a “convenient scapegoat to hang violent extremism on.” Further, “they are an unorganized group that opposes fascism …” He supports his unorganized claim by pointing out that they have no website but his major point is that people who pin the Jan. 6 Capitol riots on Antifa are liars. Apparently, he doesn’t take the fact that the FBI identified what they said was the leader of Antifa from Jan. 6 smartphone video and arrested him as proof of 1) existence, 2) organization, and 3) sufficient past criminal activity to develop a FBI file. Mr. Sinton would label anyone who saw the leader of Antifa at the riot and assumed there were other members present as liars.
The strangest of Mr. Sinton’s points is that BLM is not a right wing extremist group. Of course not. BLM is a violent, leftist extremist group with great marketing and, therefore, foolishly not included in the assessment that right-wing extremist groups are our greatest threat. He claims this is important “lest another deadly riot erupts like one we witnessed … where terrorists became cop killers as they hunted the vice president …” Seriously? Yes, one cop tragically died but, as of this writing, we don’t know how. One unarmed veteran was shot by a cop but again, we don’t know by who or why. The crowd was unarmed and obviously weren’t cop killers (if they were, they were amazingly incompetent). Pelosi and AOC are so frightened of furries with horns we need razor wire and 26,000 armed troops around the Capitol. A Marine captain with that many troops could occupy whole countries with little difficulty. Somebody really likes political props or someone is lying.
I’m with Mr. Sinton in that less lying would help the current political divide. However with the main stream press being paid to stoke the flames and not conforming to any significant standard of fairness, it will be a long rough road. If “stop lying” really means “acquiesce to our mythology” then I’ll pass. By all means, let us start the stopping of lying. Mr. Sinton should go first.