Saturday, November 25, 2006


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Anyway in keeping with this Thanksgiving Holiday in the United States here are a couple of articles which seem appropriate for the Season & should give us something to think about .
Here is part of an article which examines the problem Americans have with regard to truth about their own nation & how education in America is more like propaganda than true education .

Misled America: Propaganda Masquerading as Information
by Doug Soderstrom/OpEd News
posted Wednesday, 22 November 2006

Having spent forty years as a psychologist teaching at college level, I now realize that we, as teachers, have done a terrible thing. We have chosen to mislead our students.

We have led them to believe things that are simply not true. Rather than educating them, arming them with the knowledge necessary to understand “the realities of the life,” we have inadvisably placed an inordinate emphasis upon preparing youth for the workplace, essentially training them to become robot-like cogs in the machinery of mankind.

Rather than vesting them with the power to think for themselves, the power to reason in a critical manner, the sagacity to understand the complex nature of the moral dilemmas set before us, we have, through the power of propaganda, chosen to domesticate our youth, deciding that it is preferable that they become flag-waving patriots, loyalists, apologists chauvinistically pledging their allegiance to the Fatherland.

From the very beginning our country has been enmeshed in violence. First, there was the decision to go to war with the British Empire. Then a near-genocidal attempt to destroy the American Indian, the original inhabitants of our country, followed by a centuries-long exploitation of the Black race.

Along with this, our country has a time-honored tradition of conflict with a multitude of others.

Threatening to destroy our adversaries (nations unwilling to align themselves with that of our interests) through the use of an arsenal of deadly (many of them nuclear) weapons.

Willingly participating in the overthrow of numerous popularly elected governments unwilling to abide by our rules.

Demanding that other countries allow us the right to exploit their natural resources in order to maintain our own standard of living.

Involvement in the trafficking of drugs around the world; assassinates foreign leaders, aids terrorists, and supports “death squads.”

We have committed a multitude of crimes against humanity, allowed the CIA, an organization much like that of the Mafia, to terrorize the world.

We kidnap suspects and tortures prisoners; imprisons more of its own people than any other country in the world.

America is the only nation in the West that kills it’s own people through the use of the death penalty.

America is an international pariah, a true maverick, refusing to work with the rest of the world in order to resolve problems confronting humanity and has a long and varied history of aligning itself with a rather vicious assortment of dictators, tyrants, and despots willing to do our bidding at the expense of their own people.

The second article is a commentary by the African- American poet Maya Angelou on the way the media & the Bush administration characterized the people of New Orleans during the Hurricane Katrina disaster

Words from Maya Angelou on Katrina
Sun Oct 23rd, 2005 at 02:09:22 PM EDT :: Katrina
Words from Maya Angelou on KATRINA

I'm not mad at Barbara Bush. Or Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. Or even at U.S. Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.) Maya Angelou says that when people show you who they are, believe them the first time. So, no, I ain't mad at them.

Not at the former first lady for suggesting that Hurricane Katrina evacuees living shoulder to shoulder in the Houston Astrodome were now better off than they were living in poverty in New Orleans.

Not at Fox News' conservative talk-show host, who maintains that the lesson poor children should learn from Katrina is that all they have to do is educate themselves and work hard and they will be able to avoid being left behind on the "metaphorical rooftop."

Not at the Republican from Baton Rouge, who The Wall Street Journal reported was overheard telling lobbyists: "We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn't do it, but God did."

Despite the public comments, the private ones made in segregated company (by conservatives and liberals) likely have been even more crass and unbelievable.

The hurricane indeed has shed a light. The spin masters in the Bush administration have done a glowing job over the last several years of pretending that America has achieved a colorblind, class-blind society.

Look around you, they say. Look at Condi and Alberto. Colin and Clarence. All credits to their race. What inequities? What ghettos? What barrios?

For some time now, the underclass has been kept off camera, rendered invisible, its voices muted.

But now that the hurricane has reminded us that, there are Americans too impoverished to leave their community even when a great storm is hurtling toward them, it's not surprising that many are shocked by it.

Including the compassionate conservatives, who, in scrambling to say something pithy and nice, are speaking off the cuff and unwittingly revealing themselves:

"Almost everyone I have talked to says, `We're going to move to Houston,'" the former first lady told National Public Radio's "Marketplace." She was referring to the evacuees in the Astrodome.

"What I'm hearing, which is sort of scary, is they all want to stay in Texas. Everyone is so overwhelmed by the hospitality. And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."

I suppose it takes tragedy to shock us, to reveal us. Until the E2 nightclub disaster here, many well-meaning Chicagoans weren't aware that the city had its share of segregated nightclubs. In Chicago today, there are still places where African-Americans (and not all poor)go so they don't have to dance around the color line.

I guess I'm not mad about the comments from the elite or the unknowing. Wealthy people get to choose whether they want to understand or deal with poverty. Many have chosen to and have been unfailing advocates for the poor.

What's more disappointing are those who come from humble beginnings and who now have the king's ear, but have remained silent. It's as though they've been struck with a form of selective amnesia. They can recall their humble beginnings during, election time or a confirmation hearing, but how soon they forget.

They're the ones who should be explaining to the Bill O'Reillys of the world that, yes, education is key and hard work a necessity.

But this also is true: A black or Hispanic PhD who tries to hail a cab late at night will probably be profiled just like any other black person.

Maybe someone could explain to Mrs. Bush that being huddled in a stadium not knowing where other family members are and uncertain about the future does not translate into an experience that's "working out! well for them."

Maybe someone could explain to the Baton Rouge congressman why now isn't the time to be flip about cleaning up public housing and God should be left out of this.
No, I'm not mad at members of the elite. They're merely saying aloud what they've been thinking.

It just shows us that "the line" and "the spin" can go only so far before--thank heavens--the spool eventually runs out.

- Maya Angelou -

Anyway enough said for now,

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