Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Alternative to Alternative Facts

There is no such thing as "alternative facts". 

But . . . 

I don't say this often about commercials. They usually just serve as a bathroom or snack break. But I have been enjoying the CNN "facts first" commercials. They are right about their premise, we cannot change facts. And really, it's futile, a waste of time, to argue them. Here's the "but": although it makes no sense to argue facts, it makes every bit of sense argue about them. In fact, we should. It's what's we value the most about our democracy, and it's this practice that keeps us a democracy.

Sadly, it seems that we have lost the ability to debate.

If I break this down to its core, to something that comes up often in parenting, I bet most people can relate. If there was half of a cake left when I walked out of the kitchen an hour ago, and only crumbs when I walk back in an hour later, there's going to be a conversation. The boys could come up with a lot of reasons it's gone: friends were over and they all had a small piece, or Dad ate it (a favorite, despite the fact that Dad's not home), they accidentally dropped a piece on the floor while moving it to the plate, there are many things we can discuss. But if they try to tell me it's not all gone, we're done. Denying the truth is a conversation stopper.

White Chocolate Sprinkle Cake, a moist vanilla cake made with melted white chocolate and sprinkles, drizzled with a marshmallow crème frosting | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert #cake

White Chocolate Sprinkle Cake
White Chocolate Sprinkle Cake, a moist vanilla cake made with melted white chocolate and sprinkles, drizzled with a marshmallow crème frosting | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert #cake

I just don't see how persuasive discourse can be fruitful if those involved in the discussion are talking about different things.

If you don't start with a fact, you're building your case on nothing. Ultimately, it will fall apart. And it seems to me an act of cowardice, denying a truth. Whether you like it or not, admit it. Only then can there be validity in any position against it.

There's not a lot of change that can happen if we can't even come to terms with a what it is that is factual. And what's frightening to me, a true assault on democracy, would be a constant and continual blitz to deny facts, effectively diverting the conversation from the value that lies in debate. We do ourselves a grave disservice if we can't articulate our position because we're too busy arguing about what it is we're polarized about in the first place.  

We, in this country, are talking in circles. And we're getting louder and angrier and moving further and further apart. We're not discussing, we're not persuading, we're arguing. Why? Because we don't start with facts. It is not a sign of approval just to admit that something is currently so. We will find ourselves in a much better position if we can agree on what is and move on to debating what should be. 

There are no alternative facts, but there are alternate opinions. 

I hope we can get to them.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

White Chocolate Sprinkle Cake         

Printable Recipe

1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs, room temperature
1 cup milk, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup white chocolate chips
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup multicolored sprinkles

2 TBSP butter
1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
2 cups powdered sugar
up to 3 TBSP milk
2 TBSP multicolored nonpareils 

*Grease and flour a bundt pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Melt white chocolate chips until smooth when stirred.
*Cream the 1 1/2 stick butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, milk and vanilla, then beat in 1 1/2 cups of the flour.
*Beat the melted white chocolate in, followed by the remaining flour, the salt and baking powder. Beat for 2 minutes. Fold in the colored sprinkles.
*Pour evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 35 - 45 minutes or until the center springs back to the touch.
*Cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around all the edges, remove from the pan and cool completely.
*Spray a bowl, beaters and spatula with non-stick spray. Beat the remaining butter with the marshmallow creme and 1 TBSP milk. Carefully beat in 1 cup powdered sugar, followed by another TBSP milk, then the second cup of powdered sugar. If it's too thick, you can add the third TBSP milk. Place in a plastic bag, snip the corner and drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle with the colored nonpareils.


  1. The cake looks so moist and fluffy, Karen! I want to dive through the screen and take a piece of this cake!

  2. Great essay and I agree. And of course, I wish I could sit down and eat some of your cake and we could discuss. My biggest fear is that lies will become so common, that people won't care, will accept them and awful things can happen as a result. Think about prejudice and slavery. People believed that the Bible approved. Or if they didn't believe, they allowed lies about differences in people to sway them. Thanks again for this. I am in a small Resistance Group. It helps to be with people who want the truth.

    1. And I agree with you, we are at real risk in this country of being so constantly and consistently bombarded with lies that some people can start believing it. All I can say is that although it does no good to bang our heads against a brick wall try to have a discussion with a liar, I think we still need to be vigilant in calling out the lie.

  3. I like facts, facts are good, cake is also good, just saying, I like cake

  4. No alternative facts here. I am not a big white cake fan but this one makes me want to reach into the screen and grab a slice. Except I can't, because I can't make up my own laws of physics. Darn. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. If you ever figure out a way to do that, be sure you let me know your secret.

  5. Amen Karen! This is a great discussion. I can't believe you went to the Marshmallow Creme frosting so mouth watering. Alternative fact, Marshmallow Creme is illegal in several states as punishment to the residents living in those states. Most likely those states with sanctuary cities!

    1. Ha! Lucky for me I'm not from one of those states, I grew up on Fluffernutters.


Warning: Comment at your own risk. I have Comment Moderation, meaning I approve all comments before they show up here. So go ahead, I'm not scared!