Secular Indonesian groups warn govt to save democracy

Nimbus

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Good heavens. So it's true. The aliens are here amongst us.
That's one of the tests to see if a person is an alien. They always demands sex with your wife. A dead set give away.
I don’t get it. If he’s so powerful that he runs everything, why does he need your consent to have sex with your wife?
 

ChrisTex

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I don’t get it. If he’s so powerful that he runs everything, why does he need your consent to have sex with your wife?

 

centurion

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I'm a Muslim in the United States. I have witnessed first hand a number of tools deployed to halt the construction of new masajid, special restrictions placed on Muslim congregants but not congregants of other faiths, and acts of vandalism design to intimidate the local Muslim population. Most of this kind of suppression is done through legal channels of traffic studies, zoning laws, and frivolous lawsuits. That it largely takes on the form of supposed legitimacy does not remove the stink of suppression.

Left to their own devices without the guidance of a secular tradition, Christians and Jews in the United States and elsewhere in the "Western" world would be up to their old tricks. We, as a civilization, got better in spite of our dominant religious traditions, not because of them.



This is my favorite conspiracy theory, the Protocols of the Elders of Saudi Arabia. The notion that a majority of masajid in countries like Indonesia or the United States are funded by the zealous, endless largesse of Saudi Arabia doesn't come from any reliable source. Trying to find the source of where this lie comes from typically brings to figures like Bat Ye'or, David Gaubatz, Robert Spencer et al. If you'd like to believe them unquestioningly, that's your prerogative. It's a world where the occult influence of the Muslim Brotherhood permeates all aspects of Muslim life and where a secret collusion between Western powers and shadowy Muslim forces exists to "Arabize" Europe.

The reality is that Muslims across the world have been undergoing a wave of religious revival and fundamentalism. These events are cyclical in nature, and somewhere in a few decades we'll see a reversal of course. The problem with the annoyingly pious is that they don't like to eat their own dog food. Saudi Arabia, while a deeply conservative country and blessed with tremendous resources, does not at all have the resources to single handedly fund global dawah and every waqf on the planet or even most or even half or even 25% of them.

What is most influential to the Islamic psyche is the notion that our collective civilization has been in decline and, for many millions of Muslim, Islam is the answer. A large number of them lived either under the thumb or sphere of influence of the USSR or under despots. For those people, a more fundamentalist approach to Islam is a kind of revolt against a previous regime.

To be clear on the nature of religion in Indonesia, we're dealing with a country that is NOT secular. Not even close. Indonesia has multiple state-sanctioned religious confessions, but that is not the same thing as secularism. Worrying about "Islamization" is a distraction from Indonesia's real problem which is that it attempts to marry its religions and government in an effort to police morality.

I will keep it brief. I really never heard for Bat Ye'or, David Gaubatz and Robert Spencer.

What I know is that KSA, the dynasty - House of Saud itself and Wahhabis, are "married" and support each other for 150 years. Wahhabis support the dynasty, and the dynasty uses Wahhabism as an official interpretation of Islam in the Kingdom. This is no conspiracy theory and is easily checked in easily available sources.

As today is more important who holds the narrative than the substance itself, KSA has leverage. All official Quran translations and other holy scriptures are exclusively coming from KSA, as well the most interpretation and comments. BTW, for that purpose, I have read the Quran translated by A.Yusuph Ali 1946 edition, that is not "redacted" by KSA institutions, and by A.Arbery (who is non-muslim, but his translation is considered among the best ). Also, KSA educates many foreigners in its religious schools, among them the most prominent is Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.

In Indonesia is very active LIPIA institute from KSA. Who wants to know what LIPIA is can google by himself/herself, but prominent Indonesian students are Jafar Umar Thalib (Laskar Jihad), Yazid bin Abdul Qadir Jawas (prominent Salaphist), Muhammad Risieq Shihab (Grand Imam of FPI). Actually, Suharto allowed them to operate as he needed support for his power from the religious groups in the 1980s.

You do not need milions of people to make an influence. A couple of thousands/tens of thousands motivated indoctrinated individuals will, in one or two-generations, will make enough footprint and influence to steer the public opinion, as we see today.

There is for sure bias against Muslims in the US, but there is as well strong support. For serious trouble, victims will be on CNN, MSNBC, maybe even on Fox, and there will be many groups defending the civil rights of Muslims. However, in Indonesia these voices are silent and minorities are on their own. So frankly, if I have to choose, is it better to be Muslim in trouble in US or Non-Muslim in trouble in Indonesia, I chose the US.
 

Nimbus

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I will keep it brief. I really never heard for Bat Ye'or, David Gaubatz and Robert Spencer.

What I know is that KSA, the dynasty - House of Saud itself and Wahhabis, are "married" and support each other for 150 years. Wahhabis support the dynasty, and the dynasty uses Wahhabism as an official interpretation of Islam in the Kingdom. This is no conspiracy theory and is easily checked in easily available sources.

As today is more important who holds the narrative than the substance itself, KSA has leverage. All official Quran translations and other holy scriptures are exclusively coming from KSA, as well the most interpretation and comments. BTW, for that purpose, I have read the Quran translated by A.Yusuph Ali 1946 edition, that is not "redacted" by KSA institutions, and by A.Arbery (who is non-muslim, but his translation is considered among the best ). Also, KSA educates many foreigners in its religious schools, among them the most prominent is Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University.

In Indonesia is very active LIPIA institute from KSA. Who wants to know what LIPIA is can google by himself/herself, but prominent Indonesian students are Jafar Umar Thalib (Laskar Jihad), Yazid bin Abdul Qadir Jawas (prominent Salaphist), Muhammad Risieq Shihab (Grand Imam of FPI). Actually, Suharto allowed them to operate as he needed support for his power from the religious groups in the 1980s.

You do not need milions of people to make an influence. A couple of thousands/tens of thousands motivated indoctrinated individuals will, in one or two-generations, will make enough footprint and influence to steer the public opinion, as we see today.

There is for sure bias against Muslims in the US, but there is as well strong support. For serious trouble, victims will be on CNN, MSNBC, maybe even on Fox, and there will be many groups defending the civil rights of Muslims. However, in Indonesia these voices are silent and minorities are on their own. So frankly, if I have to choose, is it better to be Muslim in trouble in US or Non-Muslim in trouble in Indonesia, I chose the US.
Your knowledge of Islam, Islamic society, and Islam in Indonesia is a bit limited, which explains why you make these statements.

The most prestigious university for Islamic learning in the world is not in Saudi Arabia, it’s the 1048-year-old Al-Azhar university in Egypt.

Unlike the New Testament where the original manuscript in Hebrew was lost to time (the oldest copy is the translation in Koine Greek), the Quran was written in Arabic and traceable directly to Muhammad himself. By tradition every translated Quran is accompanied by the original Arabic. If you’re not satisfied with the translation, you are free to learn Arabic and translate it yourself. There is no such thing as an ‘authoritative’ translation.

The largest Islamic organization in Indonesia with approximately 90 million members is Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), established in 1926 by traditionalist Indonesian clerics in response to the growing Wahhabism a.k.a. Salafism in Saudi Arabia and other modern interpretations of Islam. Its rival is the Muhammadiyah, a 50 million-strong modernist proto-Wahhabist organization established in 1912. The third biggest player is the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, established by University Students in the height of the reform movement in 1998. They are inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt. The names you mentioned are loud people who often make the news, but in the grand scheme of things they’re small potatoes.

As for USA, regulatory struggles around establishment of Mosques is not an interesting subject that news media like to pick on. There was zero news about that Masjid in my town. Occasionally there would be coverage when a conservative karen publicly complains about a Mosque in her neighborhood, but it doesn’t happen often.
 

Helpful Herbert

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In Indonesia is very active LIPIA institute from KSA. Who wants to know what LIPIA is can google by himself/herself, but prominent Indonesian students are Jafar Umar Thalib (Laskar Jihad), Yazid bin Abdul Qadir Jawas (prominent Salaphist), Muhammad Risieq Shihab (Grand Imam of FPI). Actually, Suharto allowed them to operate as he needed support for his power from the religious groups in the 1980s.
Good summary. The last of those looks to be shortly on his way back to stir up trouble again. I have no idea why someone would try to pretend that the Saudis are not actively financing and spreading their ideology, or try to make out it is no big deal. It is all well documented and the damage is visible to anyone who lives here. Anyway the ignore button on this forum is helpful in dealing with such posters (who for some reason always seem to based in the US).
 

centurion

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Your knowledge of Islam, Islamic society, and Islam in Indonesia is a bit limited, which explains why you make these statements.

The most prestigious university for Islamic learning in the world is not in Saudi Arabia, it’s the 1048-year-old Al-Azhar university in Egypt.

Unlike the New Testament where the original manuscript in Hebrew was lost to time (the oldest copy is the translation in Koine Greek), the Quran was written in Arabic and traceable directly to Muhammad himself. By tradition every translated Quran is accompanied by the original Arabic. If you’re not satisfied with the translation, you are free to learn Arabic and translate it yourself. There is no such thing as an ‘authoritative’ translation.

The largest Islamic organization in Indonesia with approximately 90 million members is Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), established in 1926 by traditionalist Indonesian clerics in response to the growing Wahhabism a.k.a. Salafism in Saudi Arabia and other modern interpretations of Islam. Its rival is the Muhammadiyah, a 50 million-strong modernist proto-Wahhabist organization established in 1912. The third biggest player is the Partai Keadilan Sejahtera, established by University Students in the height of the reform movement in 1998. They are inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Egypt. The names you mentioned are loud people who often make the news, but in the grand scheme of things they’re small potatoes.

As for USA, regulatory struggles around establishment of Mosques is not an interesting subject that news media like to pick on. There was zero news about that Masjid in my town. Occasionally there would be coverage when a conservative karen publicly complains about a Mosque in her neighborhood, but it doesn’t happen often.

Thank you for your patronizing statements and explanations. I will dismantle your arguments in several easy steps.

I did not mention the most prestigious Islamic university in the world, but the most prominent Islamic university in KSA. How many students in Al Azhar is from Indonesia? Not many, I can remember Gus Dur and Abdul Somad at first hand. Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University is a serious propaganda machine funded with serious money, not some Trump university. How much is LIPIA, an arm of the mentioned Saudi university, important for KSA says the fact that King Salman offered to Jokowi an increase of the number of scholarships as a form of "help" to Indonesia during his last visit.

The argument that I have to know Arabic to know Quran is interesting. This means that Arabic speaking Jews and Christians better understand the Quran than some outsider who does not speak Arabic. Again, irrelevant. For the masses, it will be important what the priest/imam says, and he will speak as he is trained/taught. I will remind you that the Bible was on Latin, the language not known to the wider public, and all interpretation was by the clergy, controlling the narrative. This was until Martin Luter translated the Bible in 1522, meaning 11-12 centuries of Bible interpretation was trough and exclusively by the Church, simply because almost nobody could read the content.

If you are intellectually curious you should know the history of Islam first before reading the Quran. I recommend you the "Sirat Rasul Allah/Life of Muhammad", by Ibn Ishak from the 8 century so you can complete your knowledge. I suppose you did not have it the school.

So the most important is who controls the narrative, not what is in the books.

On top of it, KSA controls most of the translations to English (Quran, Sahih-al Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and many others) and their interpretations, footnotes, comments etc.

The argument about the size of MUI, NU-again, irrelevant. Indonesia had the third communist party in the world with 3 million active members, and now there are no traces of that. What was yesterday is not a guarantee for tomorrow. When enough religious radicals infiltrate these organizations, government, they will just simply take them over, as they started from the Indonesian universities student organizations. You do not need many people to make a change and start steering the public opinion if these people are loud and devoted to the cause.

The narrative in Indonesia goes, heard from my Muslim friends- Saudis are obedient to God, they live wealthy and do not work, you be pious as them and you will have the same destiny. The country that you have left will be much different in the future.

Do not worry about my knowledge of Indonesian history, is for sure on par with yours, and probably above.
 

Nimbus

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Thank you for your patronizing statements and explanations. I will dismantle your arguments in several easy steps.

I did not mention the most prestigious Islamic university in the world, but the most prominent Islamic university in KSA. How many students in Al Azhar is from Indonesia? Not many, I can remember Gus Dur and Abdul Somad at first hand. Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University is a serious propaganda machine funded with serious money, not some Trump university. How much is LIPIA, an arm of the mentioned Saudi university, important for KSA says the fact that King Salman offered to Jokowi an increase of the number of scholarships as a form of "help" to Indonesia during his last visit.

The argument that I have to know Arabic to know Quran is interesting. This means that Arabic speaking Jews and Christians better understand the Quran than some outsider who does not speak Arabic. Again, irrelevant. For the masses, it will be important what the priest/imam says, and he will speak as he is trained/taught. I will remind you that the Bible was on Latin, the language not known to the wider public, and all interpretation was by the clergy, controlling the narrative. This was until Martin Luter translated the Bible in 1522, meaning 11-12 centuries of Bible interpretation was trough and exclusively by the Church, simply because almost nobody could read the content.

If you are intellectually curious you should know the history of Islam first before reading the Quran. I recommend you the "Sirat Rasul Allah/Life of Muhammad", by Ibn Ishak from the 8 century so you can complete your knowledge. I suppose you did not have it the school.

So the most important is who controls the narrative, not what is in the books.

On top of it, KSA controls most of the translations to English (Quran, Sahih-al Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and many others) and their interpretations, footnotes, comments etc.

The argument about the size of MUI, NU-again, irrelevant. Indonesia had the third communist party in the world with 3 million active members, and now there are no traces of that. What was yesterday is not a guarantee for tomorrow. When enough religious radicals infiltrate these organizations, government, they will just simply take them over, as they started from the Indonesian universities student organizations. You do not need many people to make a change and start steering the public opinion if these people are loud and devoted to the cause.

The narrative in Indonesia goes, heard from my Muslim friends- Saudis are obedient to God, they live wealthy and do not work, you be pious as them and you will have the same destiny. The country that you have left will be much different in the future.

Do not worry about my knowledge of Indonesian history, is for sure on par with yours, and probably above.

You know more about Islam and Indonesian history than me. Sure.

Who is the most popular Islamic preacher in Indonesia today? Which school did he go to?
 
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HappyMan

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Wow... You guys know a lot about this stuff. I almost wish it was a separate thread so it would be a bit easier for interested people to see.

Nimbus, the "karen" bit was beneath you, I reckon. Not the sentiment, just the word.

Thanks for the education, gentlemen.
 

Nimbus

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Wow... You guys know a lot about this stuff. I almost wish it was a separate thread so it would be a bit easier for interested people to see.

Nimbus, the "karen" bit was beneath you, I reckon. Not the sentiment, just the word.

Thanks for the education, gentlemen.
Karen is a popular term here, it’s a meme.

I’m not an academic, and I don’t pretend to be one. I don’t take myself seriously, so you shouldn’t either.
 

centurion

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You know more about Islam and Indonesian history than me. Sure.

Who is the most popular Islamic preacher in Indonesia today? Which school did he go to?

It is a paradox that both Abdul Somad and Muhammad Q. Shihab are alumni of Al-Azhar, is it not?

I think we came to the bottom of the pyramid of disagreement.
 

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Nimbus

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It is a paradox that both Abdul Somad and Muhammad Q. Shihab are alumni of Al-Azhar, is it not?

I think we came to the bottom of the pyramid of disagreement.

Paradox? You either don’t understand what the word means, or you don’t understand the two persons you’re referring to.

Good job googling. Nobody calls him Muhammad Q. Shihab, except guys who just searched for him.

If I see honest mistakes here and there, I usually refrain from getting personal because everybody has a blind spot, including me. But once in a while comes a guy insisting on an outlandish theory based on a subject he claims to be an expert on, when in reality his knowledge is just scratching the surface. I just can’t help it this time.

I’m gonna stop here, I’m so tickled I can barely type. Your claim that you know more than me about Indonesian history is truly amusing. Folks here who know me since the old forum would be entertained too.
 

centurion

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Paradox? You either don’t understand what the word means, or you don’t understand the two persons you’re referring to.

Good job googling. Nobody calls him Muhammad Q. Shihab, except guys who just searched for him.

If I see honest mistakes here and there, I usually refrain from getting personal because everybody has a blind spot, including me. But once in a while comes a guy insisting on an outlandish theory based on a subject he claims to be an expert on, when in reality his knowledge is just scratching the surface. I just can’t help it this time.

I’m gonna stop here, I’m so tickled I can barely type. Your claim that you know more than me about Indonesian history is truly amusing. Folks here who know me since the old forum would be entertained too.
I see that you are on "ad-hominem/name-calling" level of the pyramid.
From your answer, I see that I answered correctly. I did not google, believe it or not. For the wider public, both are from Azhar, one is a respected scholar, the other is religious celebrity preacher that is for establishing a caliphate in Indonesia-two different flowers from the same plant.

I do not know who do you follow from these two people, but I can assume where your heart lies. I am happy to inform you, here in Indonesia we do not have problems with karens, karen here gets 2-5 years in prison straight away.
 

Nimbus

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I see that you are on "ad-hominem/name-calling" level of the pyramid.
From your answer, I see that I answered correctly. I did not google, believe it or not. For the wider public, both are from Azhar, one is a respected scholar, the other is religious celebrity preacher that is for establishing a caliphate in Indonesia-two different flowers from the same plant.

I do not know who do you follow from these two people, but I can assume where your heart lies. I am happy to inform you, here in Indonesia we do not have problems with karens, karen here gets 2-5 years in prison straight away.
Yes, I am calling you directly, because most of your stuff about Saudi Arabia is irrelevant to Indonesia. As I said before, you don’t know what you’re talking about yet you claim that you do. I’m not gonna stop calling your hubris.

UAS is the modern Indonesian version of a televangelist. He is not HTI, as his speech about khilafah islamiyah is in the context of prophecy. He is not a Salafi because he routinely quotes and agrees with opinions from four different schools of Islam, which Salafists deem invalid. Like his popular predecessors from 20 and 40 years ago, his popularity comes from mixing religion with humor. Indonesians don’t flock by the tens of thousands to listen to him if he’s a Salafi speaking fire and brimstone.

As a low brow preacher to the masses he occasionally gets ahead of himself and runs into controversies. The fact that Prabowo once considered him as a presidential running mate puts him on the wrong side of the current government.

No, he is not a valid example of your Saudi conspiracy. As you just discovered, he went to Al-Azhar, not to some university in KSA.

Saudis did and do try to influence Muslims wherever they are, but to suggest that they’re the puppet master steering Indonesian sentiment on Islam is laughable. Indonesia is more than capable of growing her own brand of fundamentalists, to the point of armed rebellion. If you actually know Indonesian history, you would have understood this.

Muhammad Q. Shihab. Amusing.
 

centurion

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I understand your argument about Indonesian capability of growing own authentic extremist, even rebelling (Darul Islam being one of most significant in the 2nd half of 20th century), but I think the argument is wrong. Before there was a more clear distinction between Islamist and "others". For example, Sultan's Hanngkubuwono X (present ruler of Yogyakarta) wife Ratu Hemas is not veiled, despite him being amir al-muminin (defender of the faith).

But now, religious puritanism is entering capillary to the whole society. The Guardian is holding left positions sometimes, but they summarized well in their recent analysis. But for sure they are not right-wing conspiracy theorists.

 

Nimbus

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Here’s a direct quote from the Guardian article

Saudi Arabia didn’t single-handedly cause the conservative turn in Indonesia, not by a long shot. But what I learned in three years was that it has indeed contributed to it in all sorts of ways.

Rizieq Shihab is the head of FPI. He’s there not because KSA is so influential, but because FPI was an artificial populist organization established by a faction of the military supporting then president Habibie, to be launched against students of the reform movement in 1998. They have not outlasted their usefulness, so they’re still around.

It’s interesting that the article makes it sound like Jokowi capitulated to Rizieq Shihab by joining the prayer. This shows a fundamental misunderstanding of his personality. Jokowi rose to power due to his extraordinarily populist and down-to-earth persona. He was famous for his incognito visits to mingle with regular people and take part in their activities.
 

Henry_SLB

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I'm not saying that biased sources never present reasonable arguments... But if one has a fixed stance on a given issue (pretty much the whole kit and caboodle of a religion), a fair presentation of arguments against one's own stance may not be welcome. You'd need a second media source to check the spin, if you wanted to see the whole picture. Perhaps I am a bit lazy, intellectually, but that seems like a lot of unnecessary work.

Problem is, I reckon most of my fellow humans are equally lazy, so we end up with a bunch of people who choose to consume carefully crafted claptrap and are chronically under/mis-informed
I'm a bit baffled that you think it is unnecessary work to be better informed. I suspect perhaps you are of the opinion that a person with a position set in concrete doing such work is wasting time. You are probable correct in general but my experience has been that if you take such a position there is no hope of getting out of the box.

My experience has been that to get out of the box one needs to have an "Aha Moment" where they realize how they have been fooled for years by those on the high pedestals. To do this one needs to do work. The way it worked for me was through reading history from both extremes of position on a given subject. In this I was quite often helped by comments of individuals posting in the Net who obviously knew much more than I did on the subject. However, it was my conviction that I was not wasting time to find out more which motivated me to work to lift the veil from my eyes set by the mainstream media and my education.

Finding out the details about the Opium Wars, Japanese Camps in the US, JFK assassination etc. helped me to question the positions I held in my original box. In the case of Indonesia it was the subject of the mountain of gold in Papua New Guinea found by a Dutch geologist Dozy in 1936.

Thanks to a book by Greg Poulgrain Incubus of Intervention I was able to get the details of how this discovery was made and the myth constructed around it. The official narrative to this day is that the Dutch ,finding gold of highest concentration in the world at that time, wrote a report and then forgot about it until the report was rediscovered by accident 20 yrs. later just before the breakup of the Dutch East Indy colonies. The report of the discovery was then translated for the Indonesian government from the Dutch language as part of the hand over control process. However, there was a small problem with the translated report. The Dutch found it necessary to change the units used in the report. When the new calculation units were used someone made a mistake by placing decimal points in the wrong place resulting in the discovery looking like nothing special. Now isn't that strange ? In the current climate obviously I am weaving conspiracy theories. So be it. But my years as an engineer tells me that when you find something BIG, calculations are check and rechecked then checked again. I'm suggesting that I don't buy that lullaby of mistakes and forgetting about the report.

The Dutch did the same thing with their large discoveries of oil in Papua. They hide this information from President Sukarno government by suggesting that what they found was trivial amounts of oil. To their defense it must be said that they had some help from the Americans who were playing their own self serving games in hiding this information. The oil fields were anything but trivial.

If you follow this story you will realize that a relatively small group of people was engineering a scam of the Century. Well that's what I call it because it is not described this way by the bulk of writers on this subject.

So where am I going with my comment because clearly it has no relation to religious issues in Indonesia ? The point I am trying to make is that without a fair amount of historical knowledge and understanding how empires operate one can not begin to understand the movements of the Pawns on the Grand Chessboard. These Pawns could very well be directed at religious issues of the target without anyone suspecting who the chess player actually is. Yes, this is the Land of Conspiracy that all like to avoid as though it were that dreaded Covid-19.

In the age of the internet we have better access to information but likewise access to lots of misinformation. How do you sift this info ? Not easy. However, if you have lived fairly long, traveled and observed then you have a better chance of catching on to what is what in this information storm. But in the end, besides just information I believe you need to have that "Aha Moment". That experience allows you to better pull it all together so as to know what you are dealing with and who you are looking at who may be in the deep shadows. Sometimes you can get lucky to find the tracks they have left behind thanks to the work done by others such as in the case of the work by Greg Poulgrain. Otherwise you are on your own playing Sherlock Holmes with little chance to know the real truth. However, sometimes knowing 50% of the truth is enough to have the grand outline of the Real Truth.

You do not need millions of people to make an influence. A couple of thousands/tens of thousands motivated indoctrinated individuals will, in one or two-generations, will make enough footprint and influence to steer the public opinion, as we see today.
Exactly. Any serious movement is not led from below but from the top. The top of the pyramid is small because a small number are needed to control the many which is clearly seen in the army. I suspect that often those directing things are numbered in less than a thousand and maybe even in only the hundreds.
 

HappyMan

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I'm a bit baffled that you think it is unnecessary work to be better informed. I suspect perhaps you are of the opinion that a person with a position set in concrete doing such work is wasting time. You are probable correct in general but my experience has been that if you take such a position there is no hope of getting out of the box.

My experience has been that to get out of the box one needs to have an "Aha Moment" where they realize how they have been fooled for years by those on the high pedestals. To do this one needs to do work. The way it worked for me was through reading history from both extremes of position on a given subject. In this I was quite often helped by comments of individuals posting in the Net who obviously knew much more than I did on the subject. However, it was my conviction that I was not wasting time to find out more which motivated me to work to lift the veil from my eyes set by the mainstream media and my education.

Finding out the details about the Opium Wars, Japanese Camps in the US, JFK assassination etc. helped me to question the positions I held in my original box.
No, I don't think it is necessarily wasted time to be better informed. The question is whether a given thing is worth the trouble of being well informed about (JFK, for example, is completely irrelevant to my life) and whether a given source of information is worth the trouble of vetting. Collecting a bunch of questionably sourced anecdotes from questionable sources... definitely a waste of time.

In an election period like the current on in the US, it is worth it to me to read several widely respected and reliable news sources to be informed about the candidates. I don't bother with any that I know will have a strong bias. I am also not going to go wandering around the web to see what "unbelievable truth" some dentist in Des Moines has anonymously posted in a forum full of people disposed to delusions, sans documentation. Why would anyone ever even want to bother trying to verify something like that?

I'm a news consumer, not an editor or a reporter. There is no reason for me to go diving through the midden heaps of mouth-piece journalism looking for nuggets of truth. As was stated by other posters to this thread, the title story here was reported more thoroughly and with less likelihood of bias by another news source. I'll skip the rubbish, thanks.
 

Henry_SLB

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15
No, I don't think it is necessarily wasted time to be better informed. The question is whether a given thing is worth the trouble of being well informed about (JFK, for example, is completely irrelevant to my life) and whether a given source of information is worth the trouble of vetting. Collecting a bunch of questionably sourced anecdotes from questionable sources... definitely a waste of time.
Rest assured, I'm not trying to change your worldview on what is worth knowing or not. I was just suggesting that what is being offered in the MSM as the best truth money can buy best be taken with a grain of salt. Lies about Iraq do effect people even if their kids were not sent there, their taxes for 17 yrs were wasted on that mess which could have been otherwise used for something better. JFK might be irrelevant to you but it does not mean that what/how it was done did not have an effect on how the nation was governed after it happened.

We are all different and will have different reason why we might want to check information being streamed to us by MSM. Mine was simple, curiosity.

In an election period like the current on in the US, it is worth it to me to read several widely respected and reliable news sources to be informed about the candidates. I don't bother with any that I know will have a strong bias. I am also not going to go wandering around the web to see what "unbelievable truth" some dentist in Des Moines has anonymously posted in a forum full of people disposed to delusions, sans documentation. Why would anyone ever even want to bother trying to verify something like that?
My understanding of the lay of the land today leads me to the conclusion that there are no respectable and reliable mainstream news sources. Right off the bat I crossed off New York Times after their great job in 2003. NPR went down the toilet right around the time first Bush was president and completely fell off the cliff in 2001. CNN, BBC and FOX reliable ? Not for me. Independent journalism on a large scale is nearly dead.


I'm a news consumer, not an editor or a reporter. There is no reason for me to go diving through the midden heaps of mouth-piece journalism looking for nuggets of truth. As was stated by other posters to this thread, the title story here was reported more thoroughly and with less likelihood of bias by another news source. I'll skip the rubbish, thanks.
I never suggested that you would be best informed going to news articles. From my comment,
The way it worked for me was through reading history from both extremes of position on a given subject.

Trying to find truth in news articles without knowing fairly well history of the region and the players is surely setting one up to swallow crap. Let me just cut you off the pass, I don't mean every news articles about a lost dog or the building of a bridge. But then who knows, journalist today are so deep in crap for their journalistic honesty that even these stories might be somehow contrived.
 
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