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I Can Tell You What’s Real

December 7, 2020

How do you run a democracy if you think you know what you’re voting for but what you know may be completely wrong?

Milt Policzer

By Milt Policzer

Courthouse News columnist; racehorse owner and breeder; one of those guys who always got picked last.

Do we need to know more or less?

Back in the good (or maybe bad) old days before the internet, I used to think transparency was the problem. How do you run a democracy if you don’t know what you’re voting for? Governments at all levels seemed way too secretive.

That opinion, of course, is my journalistic bias. I fully admit to my prejudice here — I want to be able to know about everything whether I need to or not.

If there’s, say, a secret war being conducted by the Central Intelligence Agency, knowing about it would have a reasonable effect on voting. If that sounds far-fetched, you’re not old enough to remember the secret bombing of Cambodia — for more than a year!

Now we have lots of information. Unfortunately, a lot of it is fictional. How do you run a democracy if you think you know what you’re voting for but what you know may be completely wrong?

I, being the most completely rational person in the universe, trust major media outlets and people who say they’re serious scientists and experts. But should I?

After all, I may think Joe Biden just won an election by millions of votes, but have I personally counted them? I may think there’s a raging pandemic, but I haven’t been sick (knock on computer screen).

There are people with straight (or strangely distorted) faces saying Donald Trump won the last election. They didn’t count the votes either.

So what do we do? The answer is obvious: create your own reality. Think of life as a computer game. Your personal version of “Civilization.”

Did millions of people just vote in an election? Clearly not. I’ve never met millions of people. I’ve met maybe a couple of hundred people ever. Most of them agreed with me so they voted the way I did. That settles the election.

Reality is what you see and want to believe. If that’s not good enough, just believe everything I tell you.

You’re welcome.

Obvious answer. I’m a big fan of speculation and creative explanations, but sometimes an answer is so obvious that no imagination is required.

I direct you to a recent 75-page ruling from the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey on the issue of whether members of a reviewing committee appointed by the state’s Health Department to review medical marijuana business applications were acting arbitrarily.

A panel of judges rated each application on six categories and some of the scores looked like one of the ice-skating judges was rooting for the home team. One judge would give a perfect category score and another would hand out a zero.

Said the court: “On this record, one can only wonder what it was that the review committee members on either side of this spectrum were or weren’t seeing or considering…”

We don’t need to wonder — obviously those guys were smoking something.

Occupational hazard.

Mystery solved. Last week, I noted that even though the “get.sucks” website claims that both Apple and Taylor Swift have purchased “.sucks” domain names, they don’t appear on the internet.

Reader Steve Lamont has provided some enlightenment. It turns out that Apple and Swift did indeed buy the domains — you can tell by using a “whois” service. “Neither of these domains has any IP addresses assigned to them, however, so that's why you can't find them on the internet.”

So the “get.sucks” hush money model works. People will pay not to suck.

Thanks, Steve.

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