Get the facts straight before squawking

This wasn’t my original plan for my column this month, but I thought a quick reminder might be in order before we start receiving angry phone calls. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently released radio ads against the proposal for health care reform. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is its own entity. Many community Chambers choose not to be associated with the U.S. Chamber because their own membership and mission doesn’t support the particular political agenda the U.S. Chamber takes. The U.S. Chamber has taken stands and issued endorsements in recent elections that have come across as being representative of “all” Chambers. The U.S. Chamber does not speak for the Silverdale Chamber.

From time to time, the Silverdale Chamber Board will commission a task force of members to research an issue, speaking to Chamber members directly and investigating the pros and cons. A report is formulated based on the findings and presented to the Board for consideration. After the review, the Board will decide to take a stand or not; or to offer endorsement or statement against the proposal. Additionally, at no time will the Silverdale Chamber offer endorsement of a candidate.

It is mind-boggling to me the length some people will go to use fear and misdirection to make a point, or win someone to their side of an argument. It is vitally important people realize that to make good decisions, we need to be well informed. Relying on a single source for news and information can only lead to trouble and continued frustration. If I relied solely on Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for my news, I’d have a rather warped world view. What I see in the world and what just frightens the bejeebers out of me are the people who have become parrots of what they hear and read in small scale. It’s as if they don’t have the time to make their own decisions based on careful research or study; it’s just easier to repeat what someone else said because they happen to have a huge syndicated column, a TV news show or talk radio.

There’s a film that shows up from time to time on Comedy Central titled “Idiocracy.” It’s ridiculous in so many ways, but it offers a glimpse into a world in the future where being smart and having independent thought is frowned upon and the norm is a society incredibly dumbed-down because they have everything handed to them and don’t question anything. Much akin to being kept in a herd like “sheeple.”

Before climbing up on a perch to squawk loudly about the latest issue, make sure you are informed as well as you can possibly be. Read the pros and cons of your particular belief, from several sources. Yes, it’s OK to investigate a point of view you don’t agree with. If nothing else, it might give you a greater understanding of the overall issue.

Have you cast your ballot for the ‘Best of Central Kitsap’? The Chamber is thrilled to be partnering with the Central Kitsap Reporter and Kitsap Mall for this third annual celebration of the people, places and things that make Central Kitsap a great place to live, work and play.

Share your enthusiasm and show your support for the people who provide you with excellent customer service. Recognize your favorite place for a meal. Tell us who and what you think makes Central Kitsap the best.

If you want more information about what’s going on at the Chamber, you can subscribe to our weekly e-mail newsletter by sending a note to subscribe@silverdalechamber.com. Until next month, thank you for shopping Silverdale.

Darla Murker is the executive director of the Silverdale Chamber of Commerce. She appears the third Friday of the month in the CK Reporter.

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