From Eggs to Conspiracies
Can you crack an egg and dispose its shell using only one hand? If you answered “no” I bet you are in the majority. I know I have never learned to do it. I asked my wife, Karen, if she could crack an egg and get rid of its shell with one hand and she answered that she had seen it done, but that she could not do it.
So, what does cracking an egg one-handed have to do with anything? I have never seen it done, but I have heard some people, including some famous chefs, say they could do it. While I have never seen it done I believe it is possible. I have determined that it is possible to shell an egg with one hand after, if you will, examining many sources. Perhaps someday I will even learn to do it. Meantime I do not doubt the efficacy of performing the task. I do not believe there is a conspiracy to fool me and others who have not seen or cannot see it done.
On the other hand, today we have conspiracy theorists crawling out of the woodwork telling us that Covid-19 is a hoax and that we should “liberate” our country from the fakers who are denying us our rights. These people and their rantings remind me of the time after September 11, 2001 when some said that the whole terrorist attack thing was a fake and that it was only our own government that perpetrated a fraud on all of us by destroying the World Trade Center and partially destroying the pentagon. Personally, I have never heard the conspiracy crowd explain the crash of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania, but I am sure they are talking about it somewhere.
The radical WTC conspiracy groups have created many scenarios to “actually explain what happened that day”. There is even a physicist with a PHD who claims it all happened due to microwaves sent by the government destroying the infrastructure and collapsing the towers. Balderdash. That physicist needs to go back and get some lessons in reality. I am not going to debunk “theories” here although I have my own advanced Physics degree. Instead let me say that unlike the conspiracy creatures I WAS THERE AND EXPERIENCED IT ALL! I heard the sound as the aircraft hit Tower One. I felt the building as it moved and then returned to its upright position. I felt the building drop several feet as the expansion joints returned to their normal configuration. I smelled the aviation fuel while descending the stairs and I encountered burn victims on the way down. Finally, I was close by and ran as Tower Two collapsed.
Those who wish to adopt an alternative concept of what happened on September 11, 2001 are welcome to do so. And, as Michael Bloomberg once said, “I will defend their right to be wrong”. However, make no mistake about it, THEY ARE WRONG. What happened is just what we all saw and felt.
As I said earlier, now the crackpots are coming out of the woodwork again and saying the Coronavirus is a fake. I have a friend who says that they will not even believe the body count until they can see the bodies for themselves. Why do we have such mistrust and cynicism in the greatest country on Earth? Why do we not have solid faith in our government, our scientific communities and what we see and hear from outside the United States? These are good and fair questions. Let me share a few thoughts.
Let us start with our National leadership. TOO MANY MIXED MESSAGES. No National governmental leader on any side is emerging as a visible leader. Our president self-congratulates himself on his “fine job” while evidence from MANY corners shows his lacks during this crisis. No Republican seems to have the courage to stand up to his bullying tactics. Our National Democratic leadership is conspicuous by its silence. Citizens should be able to look to Federal government leaders as roll models and as pillars on which we as “the people” can rely for support. Some state governors are emerging as models of leadership and they are providing some solace to their constituents and others outside their state’s borders.
The media is not helping. Leaving the more conspiracy-minded Fox News network out of the mix, many of our media outlets contribute to our fears and anxieties. One network we watch begins its national news programs with a bunch of provocative, confusing and often misleading headlines that seem only to be designed to attract attention but do not necessarily do anything to quell fears. I believe the media in “accurately reporting the news” does have an obligation to help create and provide confidence in the citizenry. While some of the stories and, especially the pictures, need to show what is happening there should be an effort to help instill assuredness in the steps we all are taking. If the media outlets around the nation believe in our system’s overall approach and methodology then Television, for example, should be producing its own editorials and messages to help the country’s attitude and mindset. Editorials should not be confined to newspapers and we should all see all reputable media sources work to debunk the conspiracy theorist’s rantings.
Finally, there is all of us. Unless I am terribly out of touch I believe most of us understand and are willing to do what is necessary for our population to stay alive and fight this virus. This includes each of us being willing to stand up and say that we will not permit the virus to get the best of us. We need to say that we know that staying home does help us to stay safe. We need to confront our leaders and tell them n ’mas what we need, and we need to work together to see that they do their jobs. Coronavirus is not any political party supporter. If there is one lesson we all should learn and adopt it is that we should send a message to Washington and to our state officials that wrangling and arguing needs to stop. Disagreeing over a stimulus package dollar amount helps no one. If both sides in our present political stalemate really support small business then let’s all tell them what we want in the package and we should tell them that if they won’t work this out then they can say “goodbye” to their jobs.
We all need to gain confidence and conviction in our own minds first. We as citizens make this country great. We can and should have the freedoms our forefathers fought for and established, but we also must recognize that with those freedoms comes the responsibility to defend those freedoms from within as well as without our borders. I know from personal experience and involvement in both state and National advocacy that each of us has a voice and more muscle to flex than we have come to believe.
A final thought about conspiracies. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, our country came together, and we all were unified in a way probably not seen since World War II. During the first few months after the attacks there was an incredible amount of team spirit and unity among all of us. Also, guess what, during that time we heard little or nothing from the conspiracy theorists about fake ideas of what happened on that day. We allowed in the theorists by becoming, after a time, complacent.
We can have that same unity and team spirit today. Yes, it is harder now because the virus hits all of us personally. Yes, our economy has largely shut down and our government has not given us, in general, much reason to be optimistic. However, optimism comes from within. It is all about faith in ourselves our eventual future and it is about our drive to get through this and come out the better for it. Now is not the time to quit or feel lost and beleaguered. Speak up and make something positive happen. Want an idea? Someone go to www.change.org and write a petition demanding that the congress and president pass a second $2 Trillion package with another stimulus check and $500 Billion for small and only true small business. The last package had loopholes that allowed large businesses to get some of the money intended for small businesses. If someone does this please let me know and I will login and support it as well ass notifying my friends and social media outlets to do the same.