Learning Not To Dream…..

by Microdot

Through out history, social change and the force behind the movements which impelled change come from the inspiration and energy of youth. The democratization movements of the Middle East, Libya, Egypt and most important, Iran, are primarily fueled by the young people of those countries. Idealism that is young, dreams which are alive, still being dreamt and haven’t been extinguished and snuffed out.

The idealism to believe that you can do something, that your life is worth giving to an idea.

Why is it that in America, the youth are more complacent than even the older population?

There is this sense of helplessness, that democracy has become corporatocracy and they are completely screwed. A 2010 Gallup Poll asked, “Do you think Social Security will be able to pay you benefits when you retire?” Among the 18 to 34 year old group, 76% said no. Yet in spite of this lack of faith in the availability of Social security, which they pay into, the obvious reaction which would be anger and a demand that the wealthy pay higher and more fair taxes, just isn’t there.

How has this situation, which has changed so radically in the last 30 years, come about?

Here are some thoughts:

1. Student Loan Debt and the fear it creates. The ever increasing cost of education in America is a pacifying force. 30 years ago, there was no tuition at The City University of New York. When I went to college in the 70’s in Toledo, the tuition was so affordable that I could work and earn my B.A. with out incurring any student loan debt.

Education is free in the Arab World. The Egyptians who deposed Mubarak, the Iranian kids who protested and were brutally suppressed in 2009, even the American anti-war movement of the 60’s and 70’s were composed of educated students who were relatively free of crippling debt.

Now, an American Student can expect to finish school with anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 bucks in debt.  The effect of accepting this debt as a natural fact of life cripples activism and encourages political passivity.

2. Psychopathologizing and Medicating Non compliance. In 1955, Erich Fromm wrote, “Today the function of psychiatry, psychology and psychoanalysis threatens to become a tool in the manipulation of man.” Fromm died in 1970, the same year that an increasingly authoritarian America elected Reagan and the same time an increasingly authoritative American Psychiatric Association began to focus on “disruptive mental disorders” in children and teens with new labels like “oppositional defiant disorder” (ODD). The official symptoms of ODD include “often actively defies or refuses to comply with adult requests and rules”, “often argues with adults” and “often does things deliberately to annoy other people”. In other words, normal adolescent behavior can be used as a reason to “treat” a disruptive influence. Heavily tranquilizing antipsychotic drugs (e.g. Zyprexa and Risperdal) are now the highest grossing class of medication in the United States ($16 billion in 2010); a major reason for this, according to theJournal of the American Medical Association in 2010, is that many children receiving antipsychotic drugs have nonpsychotic diagnoses such as ODD or some other disruptive disorder (this especially true of Medicaid-covered pediatric patients).

3. Schools that educate for Compliance and not for Democracy. The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation. A teacher can lecture about democracy, but schools are essentially undemocratic places, and so democracy is not what is instilled in students. Jonathan Kozol in The Night Is Dark and I Am Far from Home focused on how school breaks us from courageous actions. Kozol explains how our schools teach us a kind of “inert concern” in which “caring”—in and of itself and without risking the consequences of actual action—is considered “ethical.” School teaches us that we are “moral and mature” if we politely assert our concerns, but the essence of school—its demand for compliance—teaches us not to act in a friction-causing manner.

4. “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” The corporatocracy has figured out a way to make our already authoritarian schools even more authoritarian. Democrat-Republican bipartisanship has resulted in wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, NAFTA, the PATRIOT Act, the War on Drugs, the Wall Street bailout, and educational policies such as “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top.” These policies are essentially standardized-testing tyranny that creates fear, which is antithetical to education for a democratic society. Fear forces students and teachers to constantly focus on the demands of test creators; it crushes curiosity, critical thinking, questioning authority, and challenging and resisting illegitimate authority. In a more democratic and less authoritarian society, one would evaluate the effectiveness of a teacher not by corporatocracy-sanctioned standardized tests but by asking students, parents, and a community if a teacher is inspiring students to be more curious, to read more, to learn independently, to enjoy thinking critically, to question authorities, and to challenge illegitimate authorities.

5. The Normalization of Surveillance. The fear of being surveilled makes a population easier to control. While the National Security Agency (NSA) has received publicity for monitoring American citizen’s email and phone conversations, and while employer surveillance has become increasingly common in the United States, young Americans have become increasingly acquiescent to corporatocracy surveillance because, beginning at a young age, surveillance is routine in their lives. Parents routinely check Web sites for their kid’s latest test grades and completed assignments, and just like employers, are monitoring their children’s computers and Facebook pages. Some parents use the GPS in their children’s cell phones to track their whereabouts, and other parents have video cameras in their homes. Increasingly, I talk with young people who lack the confidence that they can even pull off a party when their parents are out of town, and so how much confidence are they going to have about pulling off a democratic movement below the radar of authorities?

6. Television. In 2009, the Nielsen Company reported that TV viewing in the United States is at an all-time high if one includes the following “three screens”: a television set, a laptop/personal computer, and a cell phone. American children average eight hours a day on TV, video games, movies, the Internet, cell phones, iPods, and other technologies (not including school-related use). Many progressives are concerned about the concentrated control of content by the corporate media, but the mere act of watching TV—regardless of the programming—is the primary pacifying agent (private-enterprise prisons have recognized that providing inmates with cable television can be a more economical method to keep them quiet and subdued than it would be to hire more guards).

Television is a dream come true for an authoritarian society: those with the most money own most of what people see; fear-based television programming makes people more afraid and distrustful of one another, which is good for the ruling elite who depend on a “divide and conquer” strategy; TV isolates people so they are not joining together to create resistance to authorities; and regardless of the programming, TV viewers’ brainwaves slow down, transforming them closer to a hypnotic state that makes it difficult to think critically. While playing a video games is not as zombifying as passively viewing TV, such games have become for many boys and young men their only experience of potency, and this “virtual potency” is certainly no threat to the ruling elite.

7.  Fundamentalist Religion and Fundamentalist Consumerism. American culture offers young Americans the “choices” of fundamentalist religion and fundamentalist consumerism. All varieties of fundamentalism narrow one’s focus and inhibit critical thinking. While some progressives are fond of calling fundamentalist religion the “opiate of the masses,” they too often neglect the pacifying nature of America’s other major fundamentalism. Fundamentalist consumerism pacifies young Americans in a variety of ways. Fundamentalist consumerism destroys self-reliance, creating people who feel completely dependent on others and who are thus more likely to turn over decision-making power to authorities, the precise mind-set that the ruling elite loves to see. A fundamentalist consumer culture legitimizes advertising, propaganda, and all kinds of manipulations, including lies; and when a society gives legitimacy to lies and manipulativeness, it destroys the capacity of people to trust one another and form democratic movements. Fundamentalist consumerism also promotes self-absorption, which makes it difficult for the solidarity necessary for democratic movements.

These are 7 items that contribute to the suppression of individual thought and crushing resistance to domination, but we must also consider the epidemic of childhood obesity, which brings it’s entire range of depression, health related problems and passivity into play.

The justice system…recall the 2 Pennsylvania judges who were recently accused of taking $2.6 million in payments from the corporate prison system to ensure they kept a steady flow of profit making young people incarcerated.

This is how Corporate America creates Perfect Republican REPLICANTS.

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37 thoughts on “Learning Not To Dream…..

  1. for some reason, I lost the edges of some words in the post and could not figure out how to make wordpress fix the problem. It doesn’t seem to impede the legibility, but it is frustrating. I was happy, though, that I got my XANAX gif to work…..

  2. Hello Microdot,
    I find it very interesting that in the current World Market Competition, that in other countries advanced education is free or low cost where we here in the United States are going in the exact opposite direction. I have always said that a country’s true wealth is in its well educated middle class.

    Just like in any third world country where there is no middle class, the “Have Nots” are the least educated. Is this were the Tea Party “Need Lower Taxes” and the upper 1% of our country trying to take us here in the United States?

    A typical Teabagger’s short term solution with LONG TERM DEVASTATION!!!

    1. “…a country’s true wealth is in its well educated middle class.”

      Never more true words ever spoken. EDUCATION-EDUCATION-EDUCATION !!!

      Please just tell me why some people never get that message.

  3. Hello, EOK but in all do respect I just dont see any GOP Party memeber calling
    for increased taxation, even for education.

    Fellow bloggers, the GOP is at war with the middle-class. I know that you want
    to remain a Republican, EOK, but the Party has deserted you, don’t you think?
    Just look at the recent polling. Huntsman receives but 1%, and Romeny about
    15%. That leaves about 80% in the reactionary wing of the GOP.

    M_R, there is just no compromise possible with the GOP. It is war, my friend,
    and we don’t need any prisoners.

    1. Excuse me, I’m a Republican and have been an active Republican for decades. I’m calling for increased taxation. I’m also deathly afraid of our failing education system. Every time I see a school levy fail, it just makes me sick.

      In the 2008 primaries, I was already a member of the Clinton team for two years. I ended up voting for McCain because Obama’s known inexperience and election tactics (over 10% of American votes were discarded in the Democrat Primaries) scared me more than the unknown Palin.

      By the way, MANY other Republicans are of the same mind. I just don’t consider the “Republican” Party of today true Republicans. After Nixon many Republicans fell back and the loser crowd (ironically, former Democrats) took over the Party. Unfortunately, most real Republicans just watched while the Party went to hell. For those here in Northwest Ohio, the recent firings at the Election Board are a continuation of this condition.

  4. Microdot asks, Why is it that in America, the youth are more complacent than even the older population?

    Excellent discussion starter. Perhaps they are much brighter than us- the older generation. We are still clinging to the past, to the ideals that we lived through when we were truly a united set of states and people. We believed that old axiom, TEAM– together we achieve more. We saw how cooperation moved us through lots of difficult spots and how important that our politicians came together to solve those big problems.

    Today’s youth have been watching the nonsense in DC for the past decade and have come to realize that today all of that political posturing is just bull shit! They watch as wars drag endlessly on with no purpose other than enhancing some political agenda. They know that the fat cats on Wall Street are out to screw them– after all their parents and grandparents lost their shirts and life savings through the antics of these greedy bastards. They know that their future looks mighty dim with the clowns in charge of the economy. They see hypocrisy every day as they watch our ‘leaders’ lie, bob and weave the truth to fit their personal agenda.

    WTF! These youth are savvy and connected and know that the stuff that we believed in and fought for is so yesterday and totally irrelevant to what their future looks like. Their passivity is a direct outcome of the kind of America that we the adults created for them- a bunch of hooey!

  5. I find it interesting that as the bright and shiny parade of polished pewter dullards rise and fall in the pathetically short media stunted attention spans of the conservative electorate, the one constant has been the low, but steady rating of Mitt….He will be the candidate, whether you, or the republicans like it…he is their only candidate and he has been polling a steady 27% across the board…you go Mitt! MITT ROMNEY 27% ALL THE WAY! I just hope he remembers not to bungi cord the dog to the top of the car on his next vacation while the workers triple the size of his 50 Million Dollar…hey, I’m unemployed too…Mansion….I guess 27% of the Conservative electorate believe that CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

    1. (Throwing up in my throat) Ya, I couldn’t believe that Supreme Court ruling either. Corporations were set up to protect potential investors from being sued so more money could be raised for investing in new or enlarged companies (not to invest in politicans for more control).

  6. CORPORATIONS ARE PEOPLE TOO!

    I’ll continue my remarks from above [now that I’m awake]. My father and the fathers of the friends of mine worked either in an office or at the factory where their work was respected and appropriately compensated. That was when the CEO’s [we used to call them the boss or the owner] made 4x what our fathers made. In the factories at that time, the unions helped the workers maintain their rights and kept the unscrupulous bosses from screwing the workers. Whites got fair and just salaries and from that, the middle class grew, spread and prospered. Blacks has a much different story, but of course, we didn’t know much about ‘that end of town.’

    Today that employee-employer relationship is quite strained. Union-busting is the common practice and worker benefits are dwindling. Opportunities to work in factories are scarce. Home ownership is dicey at best because of the mortgage/banking scams that were permitted to ‘operate.’ Retirement benefits and/or savings have dried up. Job security is non-existent.

    The stories that we grandparents tell to our older grandchildren must seem like fairy tales to them. Once upon a time in America…

    The ‘good old days’ are gone and the ‘land of opportunity’ has evaporated… like Oz. Thank god my grandchildren are gifted academically, otherwise their future would be truly grim.

    One of my best friends from childhood was not academically astute, but he knew that if he attended the vocational high school and learned a trade, that he would be prepared to work in some mechanical trade the rest of his life. Toledo’s vocational high school is shuttered today; last week they demolished the girls’ vocational school after years of sitting empty.

    Maybe we shouldn’t tell our grandchildren about the ‘good old days’ because it looks like that time will never come again here in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Why? Because the Money Barrons have ravaged the nation and sucked it nearly dry.

    Perhaps the worst chapter in this ghoulish story are the lackeys for the Money Barrons- those sycophants who promote the barrons’ work through their idiocy. I’m thinking the numskull Tea Party/right-wingers. That set of dumbbells who mindlessly promote the Money Barrons agenda, ‘believing’ that they will get some crumbs from the table for their pandering.

    The dream is dead. Shall we tell the children or not? It’s truly a grim fairytale.

    1. I was downtown last week and saw the demolition of Maycumber. They have also closed the Jefferson Center (former Post Office). That is where really troubled youth (usually expelled) were sent for more specialized education. Now they’re just “left hanging out to dry”.

  7. ” Perhaps they are much brighter than us- the older generation. states and people. We believed that old axiom, TEAM– together we achieve more. These youth are savvy and connected .”

    Give me a break, M_R. Most youth of today could give a rat’s ass about
    their government. HOw many college students are taking upper division courses in history and political science? They could care less about being
    a knowledgeable citizen and casting their vote intelligently. I work with
    these kids day in and day out, the majority of them are 16 to 25, male and
    female, predominately minorities(black and latino), some straight with many
    gay and lesbian, some are in high school and most are in junior college
    or at a 4-year college, many single parents with at least one child, some
    with 2, and a few with 3,4,and 5 children and usually with different men. One
    woman, 23, has the five chilren and had the first at 14 and she words for
    $2.12/hour and tips of which she has to tip out 3% back to the company!
    She has no other skills, but to wait on tables. Her tips are about $35 a day
    during the week, maybe $50 on the weekend and if she works a double maybe around $70 and if over Christmas or tax free back to school shopping day
    she and the rest will possible reach $90. The group that busses the tables
    are paid $3.50 plus tip shares from the servers; they make $15-30 a day.
    And, the same is true for the hostesses. Bussers and hostesses are where
    the high school students are. Many are already in trouble with the law, my
    friend. Many are on drugs, and not just weed. Most carry a weapon, usually
    a knife, and there have been four cuttings in the last two years, a number
    of fights, and one manager seriously hurt by a cook who attacked him with
    an iron frying pan. And, this is a “family” restaurant, lol! Needless to say, I am the “token.” There are about 150 employees. Just wanted to give the
    demographics.
    Back to my point, these 16-25 year olds have an entirely different set of
    values and aspirations than your college student setting in their classes and
    their dorms, with fraternity and soriority brothers and sisters, being supported
    by their parents and the student loan system. Their day is coming when
    they graduate and owe a good $100 thousand(which is not wiped away by
    bankruptcy laws). And, what I described above makes up a large part of
    the 50% who pay no taxes. Indeed, with the kids they have, they get a tax
    refund higher than you or I do, because of the tax credit they get for low
    income and children that we have no access to.

    Therefore, these youth have very little interest in government, whether that
    is local, state, or far away in D.C. for real reasons, my friend, and not the
    esoteric points for them you make about “team”, “hypocrisy”, “wall street,
    “wars”, “political posturizing and agendas”, or that they are “savvey and
    connected.” My friend, these 50% non-tax payers are concerned about the
    real tomorrow, not that esoteric “tomorrow”, their rents are do, they need
    tires or a car repair so they can get to work or the health clinic, just
    staying alive to get to the next day(I have had one guy show me the 5
    bullet holes in his body, and he is 29), and pay for their weekly weed and
    coke supplies. This is the real world of these 50 percenters, my friend.
    They are concerned about “now”. They are individualistic, they don’t read
    newspapers and magazines, they don’t watch CNN, MSNBC, the evening
    news programs, PBS, and the like. We need to separate out the esoteric and the “today” to have any chance for change.

  8. Hello Uptheflag,
    I want to start by saying all are well and Hurricane Irene is now just a note in history. Everything went smoothly from the evacuations of the coastal areas to the infrastructure to aid and assist the citizens. THis is how it properly works when you don’t appoint someone whose best job was judging a horse contest but raised money to elect the incompentent.

    You have asked a very good and respectful question of why I stay a Republican member with this current wave of whipped up ultra conservative nut jobs that identify themselves as Tea Party or Patriots blowhards. I would also add that your statement the Party has left me and what the Republican Party use to respect and hold important.

    You are correct that about 80% of the GOP is now in the reactionary wing to the point that there is no compromise even with the more sane and enlightened moderates, (we ever decreasing few) Republicans.

    As for me, I stay and voice my concerns and viewpoints, giving examples from the past from whence we came. I find those extreme reactionaries that have the loudest voice are of a lower intelligence, lacking knowledge, and are too easily lead; destroying their own quality life and stratification in society. In this scenario the only “Trickle Down Theory” is their own “Trickle Down” is from the “Middle Class” to “Lower Poverty Classes.”

    From your comment, “It is war, my friend, and we don’t need any prisoners,” is very true but the sad thing is these Tea Party or Patriots blowhards are running around shooting themselves thinking they are winning the war only to at some point and time will realize that they are the causalities. By then, it will be too late. They will have lost so much that was gain and fought for by many of good men over the last 100 years, and it will be a very hard fight to simply regain what we all once had.

  9. “Toledo’s vocational high school is shuttered today; last week they demolished the girls’ vocational school after years of sitting empty.”

    As I recall, M_R, Macomber was the vocational school for boys and Whitney, across the street was for girls. I met a guy at my high school in my sophomore
    year who switched to Macomber at the end of my sophomore year. He
    was a gifted mechanic and had even customized a ’51 or 52 Ford. He switched to Macomber, and I bumped into him a good five years later, and
    he was a successful automobile designer.
    And, of course, I’m sure that you will remember the saying about guys and girls went to those two high schools…”Macomber makes them dummer.”
    There was even a “cheer” that guys at my high school used whenever we played Macomber, and it was “Macomber, Macomber, go to Macomber and
    become dummer!”
    Another story is that a cousin of mine went to Whitney. She took up sewing and textiles. Upon graduation she was immediately employed by Sears,
    and finally ended up working at the Sears Tower in Chicago as the national
    buyer in her field which had changed from textiles.
    We cannot try to force people into one education theory, especially given
    the circumstances that we find ourselves in. BTW, has TPS re-opened
    the closed DeVilbiss High School location on Upton to a more traditional
    vocational education?

    1. No, DeVilbiss is where Scott High School students attend class until renovations are done at the Scott building.

  10. EOK glad to hear all is OK in your area. When Katrina hit New Orleans, up
    here in Jackson a good 170 miles from NO, we lost power from the soaking
    rain and downed pine trees that gave way with just wind gusts of 45mph.
    The next day it was 95 again and we were without power for four days. We commented and laughed that we got thru it because of the old days in Toledo
    when we had no air conditioning and threw a sheet on the floor and slept in
    front of the screened door. However, I don’t want to rough it any more, lol!

    I totally accept your very last clause, EOK. The “jobs” that have been lost
    in this Great Recession will for the most part never be filled. It seems to me
    that for some time we will be looking at something like 20% unemployment and
    all the losses that presents.

  11. Engineer- glad to know that you and yours are safe. In an oddly-related point– I ‘visited’ a right-wing blog whose owner lives in Norfolk VA. He was worries, as he should have been, about what the next 48 hrs. would bring. Several of his bobblehead right-wing gang members wished him luck.’ Another told him that he’s pray for him. I told him not to worry because THE GOVERNMENT workers were on top of the situation [as in my last post.]

    You can imagine the outrage I caused there; it was itself a hurricane of massive proportions as the reactionary fools dissed the government up an down and called me the usual set of foul names.

    Oh, the idiocy. I think of your comment above, Engineer, but the sad thing is these Tea Party or Patriots blowhards are running around shooting themselves thinking they are winning the war only to at some point and time will realize that they are the causalities. So true, so true. They ‘believe’ so much crap that the professional propagandists feed them 24/7 on AM radio that they cannot see the forest for the trees. “They are the causalities.”

    Former regular commenter, Sepp, has stopped posting comments here and has now fallen completely to the far-right reactionary side. He feels more comfortable posting his stuff on the right-wing gang blog where he gets high-fives with every far-right reactionary statement. There is where your GOP has gone, Engineer, and these people are not going to give up ownership any time soon. They have found their like-minded clutch and are happy to take over your once-grand old party for their own selfish ideological purposes.

    1. That’ll teach you to disagree on their blogs. YOU HAVE BEEN CENSURED (deleted and barred).

      I was discussing this post with my spouse on the back porch last evening (beautiful weather we’re having here in N.W. Ohio) and suddenly I realized what was meant by “Fundamentalist consumerism”. Ya, I’m a little slow sometimes; duh-FOX News.

  12. I’m not going to say anything about anyones’ opinion on this matter.

    I will tell you that three years ago I knew three kids in college. Two of them (1-freshman & 1-Junior) actually said they were going to vote for Obama because they wanted to tell their Grandkids that they voted for the first black president. The third was a Freshman who was voting for McCain, because his daughter was HOT.

    In my opinion, these college kids are smarter than noone. Maybe life experience will make them a little more wiser

    1. I was happy to be able to vote at that age (first group of 18 eligible to vote), the Viet Nam War, the draft and all. Now I think maybe that is a little young to vote. I love telling people that my grandmother could not vote when she was turned 21 (people don’t realize black men could vote before women).

  13. “Sepp, has stopped posting comments here and has now fallen completely to the far-right reactionary side.”

    This does not surprise me as I am sure he will find comfort there because he will not be challenged to support his positions with logical argumentation supported by facts. No one there will research and expose his “Rambo Wannabe” military lies.

    Those of non-critical thinking will be secure in being told how brilliant they are by just repeating the same nonsense you will find on those Far Right Sites. Those sites are nothing more than a support group of enabling ignorance.

  14. “Those of non-critical thinking “. This has often been a topic of M_R’s posts as
    well EOK. I wonder what that percentage of the electorate would be? 60-75%?

    1. Hey Mic- BTW, this post was well done. I read it on the brain police. Just wanted to drop you a line to let you know I had a few more questions for you on my question post. Thanks

  15. Hot? Holy Cow….What ever turns you on Bub… I guess that some people get off on those FOX News Silicone lip injected Babes…but then some people actually get out of their air conditioned lounge chairs and have a real life. McCains daughter is like something I think I’d find the frozen food section……yeeesh…..

  16. Well Uptheflag, I would have to go as high as the 80% we spoke of. I was speaking with a family friend who was the lawyer who represented the FBI agent during the Iran Contra hearings that Ollie North reported to. Johns Hopkins Political Science and Law Degree, and life long Republican I would add.

    I had stopped by his home to speak with him and his wife and was telling him of our local State Senator’s sexual harassment of female college interns to the point that no college in the area will recognize any credits should a student intern under him. Of course it is all hushed up and he still stumps on being a good Christian Conservative and gets reelected term after term. When I told them that I had asked the female Republican House Representative from the same district, how she with a clear conscience could stand next to him during TV and newspaper photo ops giving credence and validity of overlooking this pervert’s actions, her reply was, “Well we want to keep that seat Republican.”

    The family friend’s wife replied with all of her North Carolina southern draw….”Well it’s not a God Damn Religion!!”

    This is when it occurred to me. The Republican Politics has become a non-questioning, based on faith only, religion to the LIV. The State of Maryland has had to pay restitution to those college females for his actions, but he still runs as a Christian Conservative Republican instead of being arrested like he should be.

  17. UptheFlag challenges, Give me a break, M_R. Most youth of today could give a rat’s ass about their government.

    Or, another way of looking at the same outcome is to say that they DID take a look at their government and found it pitiful and therefore they do not expect any positive outcomes from that government.

    You and I, on the other hand, knew a time when that government actually functioned for the majority of the people. That’s why we are the deer in the headlights, shocked to see it become non-functioning and irrelevant in our lives.

    1. FINAL QUESTION: At our age, do we give up and hope the Country holds together until we pass or do we use our knowledge to try to change the Country so our offspring won’t have to pay the price? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m trying something right now, but you wouldn’t believe the resistance or who is resisting. One thing I have learned is that some people don’t want to know the truth.

  18. Hello Jeff,
    “One thing I have learned is that some people don’t want to know the truth.”
    Good statement as not wanting to knowing the truth and clicking your heals saying, “There’s no place like home; There’s no place like home.”

    I can see how many have taken that route.

  19. Jeff wrote, “One thing I have learned is that some people don’t want to know the truth.”
    Very true, Jeff. Therefore, ignore them. Whats the old saying, “the truth
    shall make you free?”
    If a person cannot accept the true facts and instead continue to accept the half
    truth which is a lie, they there is no way to change their mind. For a long time
    I engaged in dialogue with Sepp over his ideas and could not reach him. Now,
    I read that ” he will find comfort there because he will not be challenged to support his positions with logical argumentation supported by facts.” I tried to
    challenge him on factual basis, not ideology. We can’t convert everyone. We
    have to leave them behind. If they are 30-40% of the electorate, thats OK, we
    still have 60-70% and that is a landslide in any election.

    Your second question , Jeff, was ” do we give up and hope the Country holds together until we pass or do we use our knowledge to try to change the Country so our offspring won’t have to pay the price?” You have asked a responsible question. Jeff, I answer that question in the latter. We fight to change the country; there is no choice in my opinion. We have to challenge
    our Representatives and Senators. And, we need to change them. M_R and I agree on a number of issues, Jeff, but the truth is he supports his Democratic
    Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur, and I don’t understand his position. Why
    he loves her so much that he won’t call a spade a spade and say that she is part of a dysfunctional House of Representatives, I do not understand. My only
    conclusion is that no unkind word can be said about a fellow Democrat. Yet,
    the record shows that Marcy Kapture sold out the middleclass. This is what
    we need to be about, Jeff. We need to reclaim the country of Franklin Delano
    Roosevelt. We have to reclaim the FDR American Dream. Obama won’t
    do it, therefore, we have to change our Representatives and Senators who stand
    with FDR
    my thinking. If not us, who?

  20. I pointed out a lot of things in my piece that seem to be things that “can’t be undone”. But, there are a lot of things which we accept as inevitable because, a distortion repeated over and over again becomes the truth…no actually that’s politics…
    Americans have been told over and over again that Social Security will be bankrupt in a few years. How many economists have proven this to tbe false and given us the remedies we must enact to safeguard it and make it stronger? Yet, the manipulative corporacracy of the conservative agenda keeps repeating it to the point that we all begin to believe it.
    We keep hearing that this is all about “less government”; to shrink government to the point where it is irrelevant. What does this really mean?
    In reality, the less government line is the way that you will be made to surrender your voice, your ability to particip[ate in the future.
    This is the line that Rick Perry has been hawking shrilly for years…what does Rick Perry really want?
    Yesterday, Rick Perry discussed foreign policy, telling the nation’s oldest major veterans organization that U.S. forces must be led by American commanders rather than “multilateral debating societies.”
    Addressing the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ annual convention in San Antonio, the Texas governor urged the United States to renew its commitment “to taking the fight to the enemy before they strike at home,” as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches.
    He drew sustained applause from the hundreds of veterans in a cavernous, concrete-floored convention hall when he said no one but U.S. brass should be leading American troops in missions abroad.

    This less government line is a thinly veiled manipulative charade that is in fact the gateway to more, authoritarian government. We have seen the creeping influence since the days of Reagan.
    As Republican Legislators, like Cantor, try to use national disasters as way of blackmailing us over the economy, they use our natural xenophobia and ignorance to extend authoritarianism. An intelligent population believes and has faith that they can control their destiny…idiots want to believe that they need a dictator.

    1. Doesn’t it boil down to education? I don’t mean knowledge, but education or education as a way to acquire knowledge. It always seems to me that when people are afraid they are really afraid of the unknown. And when that happens, they concede their personal freedom to persons they deem to know more. I mean how else can you explain the popularity of Rick Perry? Seriously. Or on a more personal level, how do explain some people believing everything they read on some blogs? I know, “it’s on the computer/TV, so it must be true.” Really?

      And while we’re at it, I have a question for persons in either the education field or the Psychology field. (Once again, I’m serious as a heart attack.) I was reading comments on “certain” blogs and was puzzled by how smart some commenters thought they were. It was obvious by the comment contents that the authors were “not the sharpest tool in the box”, but the group was constantly patting each other on the back for their astuteness. It seemed more than just wanting reinforcement of their views, but they actually seemed to thing “God” had given them all the brains and everybody else was a dummy. Just wondering……

      1. I tried to make that point in my piece. If education has been reduced to a behavioral management system, rather than a real education…and by real education, a system that provides knowledge and stimulates creativity, then it isn’t really education, isn’t it?
        The Republican extremists who control the Texan Legislature would like to change the concept of education to programming. Behavior modification, ideological control. It’s like trying to argue with the so called conservatives who come here, or I run into from time to time. There is no truth but their truth and if you try to discuss, then you are a typical example of Liberal Anger…and you don’t wanna make these dudes get angry with your liberal ager, cause they will remind you that they have guns…just in case the inconvenient logic gets too annoying.

  21. Microdot wrote, the manipulative corporacracy of the conservative agenda keeps repeating it to the point that we all begin to believe it.

    This is what is hurting America now. The 24/7 AM radio professional propagandists have been driving their messages into the heads of their audience for years. What other outcome could one expect with that amount of propaganda streaming into the ears 24/7?

    One of the most sad outcomes of this is that ‘they’ don’t realize that ‘they’ have been fully pimped by the corporate message. In fact, when questioned about their mindless adherence to that message, they become belligerent and adamant that YOU are the idiot. It is an advertiser’s dream audience. Their heads have been turned into sponges, eager to absorb the next piece of propaganda from their ‘favorite’ spokesperson. That they don’t even realize how they are being manipulated is perhaps the saddest part of the entire scenario.

    I think that Microdot says it well when he writes, An intelligent population believes and has faith that they can control their destiny…idiots want to believe that they need a dictator. Two unelected ‘dictators’ pop into mind- Limbaugh and Norquist. These two unelected people have enormous mind control over tens of millions of Americans. If this isn’t a subtle form of dictatorship, then I need to retake Political Science 101.

  22. Jeff says, I was reading comments on “certain” blogs and was puzzled by how smart some commenters thought they were.

    The oft repeated line comes to mind- they don’t know what they don’t know. The book, What’s the Matter with Kansas, is on the topic of proud ignorance and details how the people of Kansas have traditionally voted against their own economic futures in election after election because of propagandists who convince them to vote ‘the party line’ by throwing a red herring or two at them. Abortion is the brightest-red herring.

    Jeff- commenters or those who post are merely stating what they ‘believe’ to be the ‘truth.’ The most important question for the reader of the blog to ask is where that information came from– which is to question the truth of the statement. If [my comment above] there is a powerful professional propaganda machine pumping out ‘truth’ 24/7, the listener tends to believe that as ‘truth.’ They aren’t called ‘professional’ for nothing.

    Jeff brings up the question of fear: when people are afraid they are really afraid of the unknown. And when that happens, they concede their personal freedom to persons they deem to know more Sadly, often the ‘persons they deem to know more’ really don’t. What often happens is that they repeat what the professional propagandists have said and deem it to be ‘true.’

    I’ve been meaning to do a posting on ‘fear’ and maybe Jeff has given me reason to do that soon.

  23. Well said Microdot; we are losing the middle class into poverty. It will destroy us if it is allowed to continue. My only consolation is that we have had similar disparaities before (the 1890 gilded age comes to mind) and survived and thrived by changing and correcting the extremes and inequities.
    I await history repeating itself, preferably less painfully than other corrections have been, if that is possible.

  24. Have you all noticed how M_R has avoided my challenge to his support of his Congresswoman? M_R supports most of the issues that Rep. Kaptur opposes,
    so why is there a reluctance to come out and demand her resignation? Is it because she is a Democratic woman, and this blinds his open-mindness?
    Toledo has become Kapturs fiefdom. Yet, M_R is quick to condem people
    who do the same very thing. Kaptur is “at war with the Toledo middle-
    class”. Why is M-R not using his strong rationality and condemn Kaptur?
    She has presided over and abetted all the problems that he and we discuss
    every week on his blog. I’m sure there most be another Democratic woman
    in Toledo that could stand up to her. M-R talks often about his discussion
    groups, so he moves around the politicos; he knows the people; he is
    influential; and he can help make change. Why is he holding back?

    1. Avoided or thought your question was nonsense?

      You might be pleased to know that the infamous ‘Joe the Plumber’ is thinking of running against Kaptur.How’d you like to see him in Congress?

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