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E-News editor's notes.  The first piece, to the best of my knowledge, is not written by a high schooler.  But the message is consistent with what has been said in issues of Montebello E-News.  Because so much information comes our way, we need a new way to separate truth from fiction, so that we make better decisions for our families, friends, and ourselves.  What new way?  One possibility is the "Starbucks Sunday".   The second piece points to an equally distressing problem coming from the opposite direction, namely, the purveyors of information holding back on what we the public should know.

Information War

by Margaret Manning

"The world isn’t run by weapons anymore, or energy, or money.  It’s run by little ones and zeros, little bits of data.  It’s all just electrons.... There’s a war out there... and it’s not about who’s got the most bullets.  It’s about who controls the information.  What we see and hear, how we work, what we think, it’s all about information.”

The world is run by information.  When I first heard this quote, I immediately thought it was an overstatement.  Daily news of weapons of mass destruction, continuing disputes over land and territory, and struggles over energy resources remind us of “wars and rumors of wars” all around.  Surely, we are in the midst of multiple wars.

But the way in which these news stories are told underlies the insidious perpetuation of conflict.  The instant access to information and news as a result of the Internet makes every blogger a knowledge guru and every website a “purveyor” of the truth.  Those “in the know” craft the news and spin their stories.  Indeed, the more I see the way the world interacts with the wealth of information available through the power of the Internet, the more I become convinced of the truth of this statement:  The world is run by information, and the world is embroiled in an information war.

A few examples might illuminate this point.  After the horrible events of 9/11, media in this country began to report coverage of these events from the perspective of the Arabic-language broadcasting network.  How different the events looked to those whose only access to information was this one source.  To some, a “holy war” was underway, turning terrorists into heroes and the innocent into evildoers needing to be punished.  This was not simply a war of guns or bombs, but a war of information, and the power of information to shape hearts and minds.

The same could be said about the current crisis involving Russia and Georgia.  The Russian media reports that they invaded a sovereign nation to come to the aid of the Ossetians, and that President Bush provoked the invasion in order to install his candidate in the White House.  This is not the information we are getting here in the United States, so who is telling the truth, and who is winning this war? ...

Margaret Manning is associate writer at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

Why Are We Not Being Told?

Listening to the national dialogue on health financing reform, you would think that we have only two options: 1) Don't start from scratch with a better program, but build on the current system (Obama), or 2) Reform the tax code to shift incentives for purchasing insurance from employers to individuals (McCain). Replacing our dysfunctional financing system with a single payer national health program, if even mentioned, is immediately dismissed from the dialogue. Don McCanne, "Quote of the Day", September 17, 2008 

Why should "single payer" not be dismissed immediately?

Kaiser Family Foundation
September 17, 2008
Covering the Uninsured: Options for Reform Options for Covering the Uninsured

1. Build on the current system: Strengthen the employer-based system Expand public coverage by building on Medicaid and SCHIP Create new group insurance options for individuals and businesses

2. Revise the sponsorship and financing of health coverage through the tax system

3. Adopt a single-payer plan [E-News editor's highlight]

September, 2008       


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