Independent Thinking: Separating Fact from Opinion

As a professional writer, I read a lot. The first thing I do in the morning is get a cup of coffee and sit down in front of my computer and read what has happened in the world overnight, then I read the opinions of what has happened. Unfortunately, it is becoming harder and harder to tell the difference between fact and fiction when it comes to the news, current events and, most tellingly, politics.

I am not a person who trusts one news outlet. I read news stories from many different outlets, and try to sift fact from fiction, news from propaganda, and there are times I have trouble separating them. Which got me thinking about someone with a ‘real’ job, someone who doesn’t spend hours getting their news and has, honestly, better things to do.

Hobby Lobby DebateI’m not talking about ‘low-information’ voters (or low-information people, for that matter), but if three different news sites have three different stories with three different conclusions, how do you sort out the truth? The Supreme Court’s decision on Hobby Lobby got me started down this road, and believe me, I read more than three ‘hard’ news stories on that decision, and none of them stated what, to me, was obvious. The blogs and opinion pieces were actually even less informative, if that is possible.

In the interest of fairness, I have been known to compare Obamacare to prohibition, and feel that we will get the same results from both, but it took almost a week before someone wrote what I had been thinking. The contraceptive mandate was added to Obamacare after it had been voted on, ratified and signed into law by the president. As a matter of fact, it is safe to say that the ACA would not have passed the Senate if the contraceptive mandate had been left in.

So, instead of talking about why we, as taxpayers, should be funding birth control, at all, we have gotten a week of people talking how the Supreme Court is waging war on women, causing a constitutional crisis, in the pocket of big business and, my personal favorite, how they are waging a constitutional war on big-business from the pocket of women (okay, I made up the last one, but it wouldn’t have surprised me). What I do know is that the Supreme Court ruled that some, not all, contraceptives are not covered by the ACA if a closely-held business objects to them on a religious ground.

That seems pretty simple, doesn’t it?

I am firmly in the camp that believes employers should stay out of their employee’s personal business, and employees should keep their personal business to themselves. Granted, I am 50 years old, but I have never had a discussion with my boss about contraceptives. I have never looked at an insurance policy and wondered where the condom coverage was (and I am not going to start now).

If you want business and government out of your bedroom, don’t invite them in.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the opinion of the writer and do not reflect the policies of this website or organization.

Matt Towns
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Matt Towns

Matt is a former military journalist who spent 10 years in the US Navy. He served in various posts during his career, including a couple of deployments on the USS Valley Forge (CG-50). After leaving the Navy, he worked in management for a number of years before opening his own businesses. He ran those businesses until 2012 when he chose to leave the retail industry and return to writing. Matt currently works as a freelance writer, contributing to the US Patriot blog and other websites about political affairs, military activities and sailing.
Matt Towns
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4 thoughts on “Independent Thinking: Separating Fact from Opinion

  1. An excellent article Matt. I like your cautious approach to checking many sources. I too have searched for the facts on this matter and discovered that the decision was narrowly focused on just a few forms of “birth control”. Still covered are many forms of birth control. But you touched on a bigger theme; keeping gov’t and business out of our personal lives. I’ve tried to live by the saying “if you want to go to the dance, you have to pay the fiddler” (must have originated by people attending square dancing). What is so difficult about affording your own condoms or birth control pills? Maybe people can buy a few less channels on their cable tv packages or a few less gigabytes on their data plans and then they should have no problem affording their own darn birth control!

    1. There is the rub, David, everyone wants the benefits of our society, but the number of people who understand that those benefits come with responsibilities is dwindling fast.

  2. Exactly, Matt….we live in an age of mind-blowing entitlement. People want their Obama phones, their ObamaCare, Obama bailouts…and Obama birth control. I come from the generation following yours, and I can safely say yours is a mindset I share. This expectation of free birth control makes no sense to me, as a woman, a conservative, and a taxpayer. There are so many addendums and gray areas to ObamaCare, and the general public fails to see how this all adds up to rushing along our road-trip to hell in a handbasket. And trusting mainstream media went out the window years ago; that said, the insanity has absolutely accelerated. I was told a few weeks ago that no one in MSM will ever hire me, and I’m just fine with that. Nicely done, Matt.

    1. Obamacare will be like prohibition. It will get mired in red-tape, the courts will gut the law of any real meaning and it will wither on the vine. Eventually, politicians will get around to repealing it and then we will start over, with a bigger mess and even less trust in our government to ‘get it right.’ Unfortunately, this country will still be dealing with the long-term effects of it for generations.
      I’m not sorry to hear that anyone in the MSM will hire you. You are too talented a writer and journalist to work in that sweatshop of ideas. Change is coming, and you will be on the front lines of it, right where you are, doing what you are doing. As more and more people lose faith in traditional media, they will begin looking for other voices. Other facts and opinions. You are right where you need to be.

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