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Archive for June, 2011

Let’s discuss dreams a little more. The American Dream is, generally, a good thing but it needs a bit of tweaking to fit into todays’ phraseology. So let’s expand it a bit so that it will resonate with the rest of today’s global village residents.

In the first place, we as Americans need to acknowledge a most prominent fact. I will bold this for greater emphasis. WE DID NOT INVENT THE DESIRE FOR A BETTER LIFE! “The American Dream” is an exclusive phrase which blots out the entire rest of civilization and it needs to be expanded. Everyone else on planet Earth has been dealing with issues of injustice and/or political oppression for several millenia at least and America has an obligation to recognize these efforts. The North American continent was resettled a very short time ago in relation to the history of the rest of the world. We ‘huddled masses yearning to breathe free’ have now had more than two centuries to readjust our thinking processes and it is time to show it in our communications with the rest of the world. Doesn’t matter if you are Democrat or Republican, Independent or Green party.   We must make a point of acknowledging the history of others in our political pronouncements.

I am old enough to remember the protests and signs of the sixties in Europe that said “Yankees Go Home” and the resentment this generated in the american public. “We saved their butts in WWII and this is how they thank us'” was the prevailing attitude at that time. I remember thinking—“I really don’t blame them.”

America’s political verbiage after WWII showed not even the slightest recognition of any other country on this earth. We perceived ourselves as the saviour of the entire free world and had no hesitation in proclaiming it. Now I have had my issues with this country but I have never hated her. On the other hand neither have I swallowed her political infantilism whole and without chewing. We need to address this particular issue because the repercussions of this post-war self-centered arrogance remains a stumbling block in our foreign policy. America, for better or worse, is now a world leader and if we are to fulfill this position with any degree of competency We Must Change Our Political Syntax To Recognize The Historical Efforts Of Other Countries. If the British, French, Italians, Czech, Polish, Phillipino, Norwegian, and even German people had not made a concerted resistance effort the outcome of WWII would have been much different, America or no America. After all, we have been militarily immune from attack not because of our superior righteousness but because of the two or three thousand miles of ocean that guards both of our continental coastlines. It was only the advent of modern missile technology that made us seriously fear any sort of enemy attack and we, ourselves, invented and implemented that technology. The only nation on earth who has ever used nuclear weapons in an armed conflict is America. And according to the media we are the one people on earth who screech the loudest about WMD‘s. This gives the impression that America is a nation of certifiable cretins. It would behoove America to yell less about WMD’s since we are the ones that came up with the workable version and are the only ones who have ever used one on a perceived enemy. If we are to maintain credibility with our traditional allies and establish healthy relations with new ones we must publicly acknowledge these factors. Or at least stop soiling our political pants about them. The rest of the civilized world remembers very well who dropped the bombs on Japan. The bathroom humor of passing a loud fart and looking at the guy next to you and saying “Well!!!!” in a loud affronted voice is not going to deceive anyone here.

In conclusion, “The American Dream” is going to have to be revised to “The Planet Earth Dream”. And if we survive the next few decades this may even have to expand itself into  “The Interplanetary Dream”. That’s the wonderful thing about dreaming, it has practically no limits. And it frequently happens that the dreams of today turn out to be the realities of tomorrow. So go ahead and dream a little. I guess we can all stand it.

Next post—we will continue to explore the dream world.

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So.  Let’s talk about “The American Dream”. Ours is a land where all men are created equal, a land with a government of, by, and for the people. A land of opportunity where everyone will have the freedom to dissent in their opinions openly and without fear of reprisal. The only land where just anyone at all can become PRESIDENT!  Just think of it!  No matter who they are (or even where they were born?) the electorate of America can put them in charge. How’s that for freedom for the huddled masses, eh?

Of course this also means that just anyone at all will automatically have the specialized knowledge of such highly complex issues as international finance, foreign policy, military intelligence, corporate and civil law, ecology, medicine, agriculture, national and local banking etc., etc. to make informed decisions. Whew! Not only that but they will have an entire four years to cure every perceived ill not only in this country but in the rest of the world as well. We certainly are the ‘land of opportunity!’

And of course all the rest of our elected law makers are voted into office using the same strict criteria for fitness for public office that we apply to all our presidents, that is–just anyone at all can do this.

The basic tenets of the American Dream I have in bold letters above were actually taught to me in grade and high school. Taught me by teachers, if you can believe it, people who went to college for at least four years. And they were so proud to do it. And what is more, it is continuing to be so taught to this very day. Even as a very young American I had enough native good sense to be amazed at the obtuseness of my teachers on these particular subjects and I was by no means alone. Every last bit of the anti-establishment mentality that came into its flower power heyday in the sixties was seeded by the type of injudicious  rantings you see above.

When you tell a group of growing youngsters that just any old body can be a senator, or a congressman, or best of all–The President!,  this will not be perceived by them as a great freedom of opportunity. Children have no such life experience as to make this association. What they will think is — ‘can’t be much of a job if just any one can do it.’  I know this was the impression my class mates and I were given. We had some lively discussions when the teacher wasn’t around. And I still see this reaction in a good portion of students today. As I said in my first blog, I don’t think young people are stupid.  They do not suffer this type of thing gladly. It brands the most important of our public offices with a minimum wage job mentality and all american school children are taught to despise minimum wage jobs and the substandard shmucks who perform them.  ‘Anyone can grow up to be president’ is equal to ‘do you want to flip burgers the rest of your life?’ This is the attitude we convey to our young people by not choosing our words more carefully. The American Dream is being slowly poisoned by uninspired semantics.

We have heard a lot of rhetoric about the declining quality of education these past few years. And just as much about resuscitating the American family and its’ values in order to keep the American Dream alive and healthy. Education and the American Dream are solidly linked together in our minds. Most of this rhetoric has come from the conservative right in our political system. These are the same people who for several generations now have regurgitated the kind of kant that produced much of our malaise in the first place. So now it is time not for dreams, but for a reality check. Our current crop of young people are providing us with one by dropping out of our schools because dreaming is an adult pass time. Growing children are not interested in dreams, they want to know what is real and useful in the world around them.  It is our job as a society to teach them these things. They will form their own dreams when they’re ready to do so. The American Dream is being systematically poisoned by succeeding generations of conservative but self-centered adults.

It is not true that just any one can be president. Or a senator. Or a representative. We need to stop selling this fallacy to our future voting population— it makes them bilious when they grow up. Being elected a leader by your peers is a great honor and only certain personality types will be able to lead well and with grace. It also requires more than just an average type of education and better than average brains. Not just anyone can do this. We need to start teaching this in our school systems. It will provide some backbone to the American Dream if our children are taught to recognize and honor real leadership qualities. It will be a valid litmus test for our “values” as a whole if they as individuals have enough self-respect and self-confidence to do so.

By indoctrinating our young people with political hyperbole, by devaluing the many in preference to the publicly chosen few, and by focusing all accolades on these few we have not created a population of stable, intelligent citizens. We have by our own lack of perception destroyed the self-esteem of the average children who will constitute the bulk of our working population. Until we moderate the ranting of imbeciles in pursuit of the Great Expectations of the American Dream, until we begin to give ample respect to the average citizen in our scholastic rhetoric, we will never do such simple things as balance our national budget or wipe out the deficit. It is vital that we stop giving our children the idea that life not lived on the mountain tops of personal wealth or public acclaim is not worth while. That a moderate income is something to be despised. That simple everyday things are to be continually passed over in the expectation that something more exalted lays in the future.

It is more than high time that we stop abusing our children with totally unrealistic Great Expectations that the greatest majority of them will never, never  realize. They will still be good people, good Americans, and good parents if they never do get to be president. Or a movie star, or a neurosurgeon, or a rock star. Or have a six figure or over yearly income. If we don’t start reversing this idiotic hyperbole in our public schools where it is taught, we will not survive for another two generations.

We have a great deal more ground to cover on the subject of
dreams so the next post will be entitled—–

Dream On.

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Wrong is such a large word. Such an all-encompassing word. A word we become acquainted with very early in our lives. Sitting happily in our high chairs at breakfast we probably, in the adventurous way of all babies, had the happier idea of not just eating our dry Fruit Loops but attempting to see if one of the little things would fit up our nose. It seemed about the right size. Of course the attempt brought an instant and emphatic NO! from mama. Our little baby hand was snatched and the offending Loop removed and lots of words issued out of mama none of which we understood. We did, however, understand the emotion conveyed by the tone of voice(loud/stern), the facial expression(scowl), and the action of having our baby will controverted by the act of a larger and stronger authority figure(mama).

In last weeks’ installment I posed the question—“how shall we define Wrong?”  Of course, I have been mulling this over for the past seven days in an attempt to whittle it down to an ingestible size for public consumption. Quite a task as you all may appreciate. One of the reasons this posting is late. The trouble is not so much that everyone has their own opinion of what defines ‘wrong’ as it is the conflicting applications of the term.

For instance–freedom of speech is guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States of America. Everyone agrees that this is a ‘right’ thing for us to have included in our rules of government. The right of honest and open dissent. OK so far? Let’s apply this to one of the major bones of contention today. Homosexuality. Never mind whether you personally are for or against this practice, that is not what we are discussing now. My point is this, a person has the constitutional right to disagree with it and to say that they do without being accused of hate crimes or “discrimination”.   In a few words, the homosexual lobbyists are calling freedom of speech ‘discrimination’ and making out that this is a ‘wrong’ thing. They uphold the principle of free speech only they want it censored to suit their egos. Especially, any prospective employer is to be penalized for not agreeing, both verbally and on paper.

When did we pass an amendment to the Constitution saying that employers were no longer Americans with the same freedoms guaranteed to the rest of us? There is definitely a conflict of application here. Freedom of Speech is defined as–freedom of speech and not as–speech that only agrees with me.

This same political maneuver is being used by a host of other so-called ‘minority’ groups. They yell “DISCRIMINATION” at anyone who doesn’t instantly agree with them on any subject whatsoever as if discrimination were a dirty word. In fact, it is not. It is the first public function of any intelligent adult to discriminate between what is actually, functionally good and what is only good if you don’t look too close. But the real issue here is this–any one of these groups which are nowadays  referred to as special interest, base their expectations and arguments on the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution but in practise expect these same freedoms to be denied to all opposing opinions. Any one who disagrees with them is ‘wrong.’

So. How shall we define “WRONG” ? In two ways. The baby way, which  I illustrated in the opening paragraph above. It is a sad but true thing that many Americans are social/political/intellectual babies and will remain so. Their sense of ‘wrong’ will always be based on a purely emotional reaction to a scowl, a stern voice saying NO!, and a dim but persistent resentment of the authority figure(usually Republican government) that controverts their baby will by taking away their Fruit Loop.

Then there is the adult definition of wrong which is based on a reasoned analysis of any given issue.  For the adult, a thing is wrong because

a.) the logical premise is either false or fatally flawed(ObamaCare, censored Freedom of Speech)

b.) the certain outcome is physical illness and/or discomfort(just try snorting a Fruit Loop),  it is fiscally irresponsible (bouncing checks, ObamaCare), and it will cause harm to yourself or others(drug addiction, drunk driving).

I am sorry to disturb the many babies out there with a bit of adult truth but in the real, adult world you will occasionally be scowled at. You will hear stern voices and sometimes they will use the n- word. This is not “wrong.” It is not required of society to never make you feel like a baby if you insist on reasoning like one. Society is not going to hell in a handcart as so many people say. It functions just the way it should. The problem seems to be the generations we are raising to think that “no” is a hate word and not a reasoned response to stupid or even dangerous ideas; generations imbued with totally unrealistic expectations of the society in which they will have to live.

Which brings me to the subject of my next post.

Great Expectations!

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First, let’s get acquainted just a bit, so you will have some idea what to expect from this blog.

#1.) This is a forum for thinking adults, in which category I include anyone fifteen years or older. Yes, baby boomers, the young people of our world really do use their brains, perhaps more than the popular media will ever discover. Which leads me to point—-

#2.)It won’t have a mess of ‘teen screen’ graphics, videos, photos, slide shows, animations, in fact, none of the cheap visuals so popular with so many of all ages. These things stimulate the most superficial brain functions, not the core processor, if you will.  Which leads me to point—-

#3.) My experiment.  Which is this blog itself.

It is my personal belief that people generally, are not stupid. Especially young people. OK.  I’ll wait while you all have a good laugh here, but keep reading, and remember—you’re a people too. Done laughing now? So answer this–our history goes back more thousands of years than present academia will acknowledge. Some scholars are admitting that “modern” man has been around for at least thirty thousand years, probably much longer. Stupidity does not encourage that kind of survival. Especially on such a world as ours with its’ predators, diseases, poisonous life forms(plant, animal, insect, democrat), and natural disasters. Yet here we all are, alive and yelling. And no, I won’t apologize for the democrat crack. Who’s yelling the loudest about the sky falling these days, Chicken Little?

Now, there are many different factors that influence the ebb and flow of the interpersonal relationships collectively known as ‘society’, intimated in the above paragraph. See them?  We will be covering a few of them in the course of this blog.

So. The question of this installment. Did we go wrong? Well, let’s see.

1.) We’re still here.

2.)Most people, regardless of their culture or place of residence on planet earth, expect to arise in the morning. Literally. They expect to work, play, eat, and go peacefully to bed at night. More people will be doing this than not. Everywhere. For the majority of us, there is no immediate death threat of any kind hanging above our heads and we will go on in an everyday sort of way. Don’t believe me? Try this.

3.) Take one full hour out of your week. Shut off the TV, the cell phone, the pc, the land line, all the electronics. For one hour. If at all possible, spend this hour in the country. Or the park. Anywhere there is more green growth than black asphalt. Find a comfortable spot and sit quietly. You may take a friend if you wish but don’t talk. About anything. Just sit, watch and listen. For one hour.

We share this world with thousands of other creatures and if they are not panicking, you most probably don’t need to either. Animals live simpler lives than do humans with all their artificial standards and imaginary fears.  If there is a bad storm coming at sea the birds head inland and the fish head for deeper water. In floods or wild fires critters move toward safer ground. They know a real threat when they see one. Do you?

And just how is the above relevant to the question? Let’s apply this to the “HEALTHCARE CRISIS”. Probably perceived as one of the major threats to our society today. There is no such thing. Hill and Billy of Arkansas created this media monster to get into the White House. The term was invented during that particular presidential campaign. The Clinton’s were not doing so well until Hilary stage-managed the pitiful story of the one woman who ‘fell through the cracks’ of the medical establishment, which was very sad–really. I remember it quite well. So we are to never mind the hundreds of thousands or even millions of us who did not?

I want ya’ll to take a few moments to analyze any real threats you see and compare them to the media generated hysterics we are now living with.  Does this make any difference in your personal perception of  what is wrong with our society? Well,  did we “go wrong” or has our present social atmosphere been created by talking heads in order to garner a larger share of the news ratings?  It just seems to me that we really haven’t “gone wrong”—-we are just being told so relentlessly that we have, that no one is even questioning the process anymore.

And that, dear readers, leads me to the subject of the next post.

How shall we define “wrong?”

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