Sunday, May 04, 2008

"Better truth than flattery"




I read a great article from Jay Bookman today, in my hometown paper, The Philadelphia Inquirer, which is cut and paste worthy. I know the A-merry-ca love it or leave it crowd won't like it, but the truth hurts sometimes.






Sorry, unlike the rest of the folks here in A-merry-ca; I don't like my leaders to be like Pamela Anderson's breasts. Fake! So I co-sign with Mr. Bookman's thesis 100%.








Here goes:





"We Americans have a high regard for ourselves. We are - or so we tell ourselves - the richest, the most generous, the most powerful, the most peace-loving, the most productive, the most wise, and the most lovable nation on the face of the earth.




We also love politicians who dare to tell us all those wonderful things about ourselves. Like any people, we want to think well of our country and take pride in it, and we want leaders who take pride in it as well.





But there's a difference between justified pride and illusion.
Too many Americans seem to believe that our place in the world has been divinely ordained and thus permanent, when in fact it is the product of past sacrifice and wise choices. It can all be lost if we also lose the capacity to look at ourselves and our problems honestly.





It is no longer true, for example, that we are the richest nation in the world. Quite the contrary, in recent years we have become the world's biggest debtor nation. We are financing our prosperity in the manner of an old but declining aristocratic family, living beyond our means year by year by pawning off the assets earned by earlier generations.





But our leaders don't dare tell us that truth, because they know we wouldn't take it well. Even as they acknowledge some minor current difficulties, most of our political and business leaders reassure us that our economy is still sound as a dollar. They don't happen to point out that compared with the euro, the value of that dollar has declined by a third in just the last five years.




Yes, we remain productive, but that too cannot last if our government is too poor to invest sufficiently in our public infrastructure. Our roads, bridges, rail lines and ports are crumbling and insufficient in a modern economy, but we decline to tax ourselves to correct that situation. Our nation's Highway Trust Fund - the main source of infrastructure investment - will be bankrupt by 2009, yet we refuse to increase gasoline taxes to replenish that account.





Officially, we tell ourselves we can't afford it. Meanwhile we ship fortunes to oil producers overseas, where the money is put to such useful and productive purposes as building ski resorts in the Arabian desert.





There are no easy answers to $4 gasoline, but our leaders are nonetheless eager to offer a few. Some choose to bash the oil companies, as if they are at fault for our addiction to their product. Others suggest suspending the federal gasoline tax, which would slightly and temporarily ease our pain at the gas pump but do nothing whatsoever to cure the underlying disease.

President Bush, for his part, suggests drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, yet another seemingly pain-free solution. But we could drain the wildlife refuge of every single drop of oil it might hold and it would not lower the price of gasoline a nickel. Nor would it alter our strategic situation in any meaningful way.



Four hundred years ago, an English writer-philosopher offered great advice to a counselor to King James I. Always tell the king the truth, Sir Francis Bacon wrote in a letter to his friend. Tell the king what he needs to hear, not what he wants to hear.



'If you flatter him, you betray him,' Bacon warned. "If you conceal the truth of those things from him . . . you are as dangerous a traitor to this state as he that riseth in arms against him."



A lot of things have changed since Bacon's time. In this country, We the People are now king, but Bacon's truth still applies. Those advisers and courtiers who flatter us also betray us.
Instead of flattery, we need honesty. We don't need leaders to tell us how great we are, we need leaders willing to tell us that we've gotten ourselves into a bad mess and it's going to take hard work, sacrifice and cooperation to fix it. The alternative is the decline of a great nation.
Or, as a writer-philosopher named Bob Dylan once put it:
'If it keeps on raining, the levee's gonna break;
Some people still sleepin', some people wide awake'."







Shit, pass me the Ambien please.













[Link here.]

55 comments:

marlon b said...

Excellent post! Truth is a hard pill to swallow for we Americans. We’re definitely not as smart – hell, we’re damn near ignorant – in the global classroom. We the people of the U.S.A are extremely frugal at exercising critical thinking. We always prefer an abridged lie. Just look at the greatest story/lie/misspoke ever told, and we, some more than others, flock to it like a fly to dung: Religion. Not spirituality - religion. Again, just give us the abridged version lie and we’re content.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Our roads, bridges, rail lines and ports are crumbling and insufficient in a modern economy, but we decline to tax ourselves to correct that situation.[/quote]

I have had many an e-mail battle with the left leaning Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It is interesting that he has a voice to call for more taxes so that we could invest in our roads and bridges but would most soundly reject a proposal that would put in toll roads or even passive transponders so that the actual people using these infrastructure items are the one's paying for them. This would be called a "regressive tax" by him. Society, not the main user should bear these costs.

About 6 months ago I attended a seminar held by the US Comptroller of the Currency and a panel of economists from both sides of the ideological divide. They pointed to the big 3 entitlement programs and their expansion as the biggest threat to our future fiscal stability as a nation. (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security).

We pay $1 trillion per year into the big 3. In the next 10 years this will double to $2,000,000,000,000 per year. The panel stated that we could close down the Pentagon, never have had the Iraq War and cancel evil Bush's tax cuts and this STILL would not pay for the expansion in these unchecked entitlement expenditures.

We would NEVER see an article from Mr. Bookman which details the problem with this specific iceberg that is floating toward us. It is ideological incompatible with his normal subject of attack.

Christopher said...

"We are - or so we tell ourselves - the richest, the most generous, the most powerful, the most peace-loving, the most productive, the most wise, and the most lovable nation on the face of the earth.

Well, we may have been the richest in 2000 but after 8 years of the failed economic policies of Bush/Cheney, the US dollar is a shell of its former self. The dollar has fallen against the Euro, the Pound Sterling and even the Canadian dollar.

We are generous. We give loads to charities (even tip cups at Dunkin Donuts) and our tax code encourages charitable tax donations. Shit, even the Mofo from Midland reluctantly gave a billion to help Asia after the tsunami killed 200,000.

I don't know if we're the most peace loving. Our recent foreign policy excursions suggest we aren't opposed to fighting wars of ideology (think the Domino theory in SE Asia and current mess in Iraq that was sold under the guise of spreading democracy.)

I want to think we're wise but in 2004, we had a chance to reverse the actions and correct the political interventionism of the U.S. Supreme Court and vote Bush/Cheney out of office but we didn't. Cries of "let him [Bush] finish what he started in Iraq" were heard from Alaska to Florida.

Lovable? Americans? Hmmm, when was the author last in Europe or South America? Yeah, the world loves our movies, music and computer programs and games but, much of the world rightly detests Americans and they blame us for Bush/Cheney.

I do think, and I believe, once Barack Obama is elected president, these trends will reverse and as a nation and a people, we will get back on course. I saw an article recently that said the European Union won't even bother talking to George Bush -- they're waiting for the election of Obama to begin a fresh dialogue with Ameica.

MacDaddy said...

field, folks are going to get mad at you. You know how we Americans don't like to hear the truth. But thanks for giving Bookman some love. He and Cynthia Tucker are two of the reasons I read the Atlanta Journal Constitution every morning. Blessings.

Wine Dog said...

Dammit, Field. I was going to link to that article this morning.

I saw Jay Bookman's name and knew what it was going to be. Now I'll just link to you. ;)

Jazzy said...

I am probably going to catch flack about this but oh well here it goes anyway. America is run by the ignorant, uneducated, and the fanatics. Think I’m lying, who do you think it was that propelled the current administration into office. Billiary and Co. are set to pander to this same demographic to gain control. It is unfortunate that this demographic out numbers those of us that realizes that tax cuts, and rebate checks are not going to pull us our of our current impending recession. America is heading for disaster with there eyes wide shut.

jjbrock said...

Field great post you are keeping it real. I believe that's why America hate Jeremiah Wright because he was willing to tell America her problem.


He was forcing us to look at our selves. Think about it four dollar for a gallon of gas please somebody wake me when this madness is over.

@jazzy AMEN,AMEN and AMEN.

Nan said...

Great post.

Jazzy's dead on, too,
that America is run by the ignorant, uneducated, and fanatics. I'd add "the greedy" to that list. The Bushites have used the last 7 years to line their pockets with sweetheart deals and crony capitalism.

Christopher said...

Memba when we were in little school and they had that big, ole map of the world up on the wall, and the USA was at the center and stretched to look like the biggest country on earth?

I can't remember what they call that kind of map but it was intended to instill in us that we, the USA, were omnipotent -- the biggest and the most powerful nation on earth.

In fact, the USA only has 5% of the world's population.

Anonymous said...

And at last I can exhale! I have been wondering if only myself and the polical blogs i read knew this. I was beginning to feel like i was in a vacuum and now i can at least proclaim that one mainstream journalist has the balls to stand up and tell the danggone truth! Amen!

Thank you for reposting, and forgive me for foregoing my daily post and linking others to this article on your blog. The more we hide our hands in the sand the worse off we will be. There is an important message in all of this as we try to pick a new leader. We must foregoe political ranting and look to the candidate that offers us the biggest dose of honesty. We have to begin to require our leaders tell us the truth.

We are one step from being Chinese citizens with the amount of our national debt that is owed to them; however, we are schizophrenic in our inability to see our joined national reality.

Thanks again for reposting!

Kellybelle said...

But do truthtellers get elected? Sure Dennis Kucinich can say any and everything that sounds good and true, but no one's gonna VOTE for him. I fear we'll keep electing the liars and being distracted by the media until it's too late.

MacDaddy said...

"They pointed to the big 3 entitlement programs and their expansion as the biggest threat to our future fiscal stability as a nation. (Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security)."
Constructive: You forgot to add the biggest entitlement of all: the military industrial complex. That's where our money is going-- to military contractors either for continuing wars or for starting another one (e.g. Iran). Please keep in mind: Many of the most well-known economists are either on payroll for large corporations or do research at major universities on their behalf. The more progressive economists or political economists, are squeezed out. And because the lazy corporate is tied to the military industrial complex, we're not going to hear what those economists say. My point: Before repeating the ideas of conservative economists, it's in our interest to what others have to say as well. Blessings.

(fŭng'kē) [blak] [chik] said...

Excellent Link!!

New Black Woman said...

That was excellent!

gwpriester (i before e) said...

This is why those people who live with their heads buried in the sand and who believe all these false things about the US of A, and their enabling cheerleaders, Limbaugh, O'Rilley, Krauthammer, Kristol, et. al., get so upset when someone like Jeremiah Wright or Barack Obama tries to tell them the truth.

Hence one must draw the conclusion (as in nothing is better than the bible and bread is better than nothing, therefore bread must be better than the bible), that to tell the truth means one hates America and one is not a patriot or capable of leading the nation down a better path.

But, please, don't get me started. :-)

Christopher said...

If the Borg Queen loses North Carolina and Indiana, according to a report on the Huffington Post, she plans to fall back on the "nuclear option" to win.

Essentially, blowing up the party thru the superdelegates in order to get her way.

She can't be allowed to do this. This is when that pussy Howard Dean, along with Pelosi and Gore, needs to step up and wup some serious ass.

ac said...

For years I've struggled with the patriot question only to recently realize that we confuse patriotism with nationalism. The blind allegiance to flag and country, the unwillingness to question our imagined place in the world, the insistence that our ish don't stink...it's not patriotism, it's nationalism and it's a dangerous path to be running down blindly.
This is a great article, Field, thanks for posting.

Admiral Komack said...

Field,
Don't startle the sheep!
They may start feeling BAAAAAA-D!

Doc L said...

Great post Field;
America "can't handle the truth". It might cause them to think or act. This is why most legitimate conspiracy theories get no traction. If we actually entertained the idea that our government orchestrated, or even was complicit in the assassinations of JFK, MLK, RFK, we would go bonkers. To consider the inconsistencies in the official stories of 9/11, the 2000 election, Katrina, the so-called, drug war, Noriega--need I go on--would shake most Americans who actually believe their government is upstanding, moral and have their best interest at heart. To think otherwise would destroy the fantasy and they would unfortunately,have nothing to beleive in.

Since the country is a big corporation, maybe it should consider a "SWOT" analysis. But no, that would mean we consider that we might have some weaknesses.

Until we decide that we will honestly respond to the truth and the true reality of this country, "The Rise and Fall of the USA" is a book ready for publishing.

mellaneous said...

Hey Field Jay Bookman slipped in a false premise as well. Who is the "we" that he is referring too. It has never been about we or us. Especially when he says we are financing our prosperity. Most of we aren't prosperous and its mainly because they, the ruling class tries to take every dime we make and when we work for them they try to squeeze as much work out of us and give as little back.

The working class and even the middle class enjoy a higher standard of living because of the thievery of the US ruling class in its dealings with the rest of underdeveloped world.

This nation's ruling class has always been a theiving one. It has never been as beneficent as some folks go around repeating. The problem Bookman is talking about is the problem of class society. The rich have plundered just about everything including our wages and even our tax dollars which we don't realize we have no control over. Oh yeah we do get upset if Suzy next door is collecting a welfare check off our money, while the big checks go to corporate welfare which goes unnoticed and uncriticized.

Bookman misses the point about rebuilding the country's infrastructure. Speaking of the whole truth if he wants the truth he should point out that the government spends billions of dollars on corporate handouts and whatever other fancy name you want to give it. Thats where the money goes. Hell they just spent billions bailing out Bear Stearns while they wring their hands when it comes to you and me.

The truth is if they borrowed money to finance a war they could borrow money and give less to their cronies to rebuild the infrastructure,(including public schools, public housing and the health care system) but they (the power structure) have no will to do that. They are advancing their own interests as they always have.

And constructive feedback is just wrong on his figures on the entitlement programs which workers in this country have rightfully earned. I am curious as who told him that crap about the programs bankrupting the country.

Anybody remember the concept of redistrubiting the wealth. The oil companies are gouging us by all accounts the price of production has not risen significantly so how do we explain the jump in costs to us, besides the greedy speculators artificially inflating the price.

Folks should just stay at home for a day or maybe two and force the government to make the oil companies cut it out.

Bookmans premise is liberal crap trap. The rulers know the truth. They have no plans for the future except toexploit and appropriate until there is nothing else to exploit.

The folks running this government know the truth, it is the average person who doesn't know the truth and that is, that nothing will change without them accepting that this is a class divided society and that the ruling class will let the rest of us starve unless we do something about it. If you think I exaggerate just look at the ruling classes in most Third World country they do what's best for them and the rest be dammned.

The problem is that the people have to face up to the truth and act on the truth that real change won't happen without them. Neither an old friend of theirs or a female true believer nor a magic Negro can bring about this change.

heartsandflowers said...

Let's add the medical experiments, genetics testing and controlled infection responses the gov't regularly engages in. The co-opting of Black civil rights organizations by whites for their own political gain. The secret military aggressions going on right now with the US funding attacks on Iran through 3rd parties. What else? I suggest everyone watch American Blackout for a real evaluation of where Black people stand in the electoral process. It is truly nothing short of astounding that Obama is where he is right now...or he has made some alliances that may put him at odd with us if he is elected..though not more so than the other candidates.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]America is run by the ignorant, uneducated, and the fanatics. Think I’m lying, who do you think it was that propelled the current administration into office. Billiary and Co. are set to pander to this same demographic to gain control[/quote]

Jazzy - why are you and others so inclined to skip over the local governments that preside over your misery and focus on the Federal government?

With the Feds spending 7% of the budget on local schools do you believe that THEY are the cause of the schools that are failing? If anything in certain areas (Philly) there is a case of VOTER NULLIFICATION where the actions of the people in the voting booth can't be understood per their demonstrated frustrations with that which goes on in their streets.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Constructive: You forgot to add the biggest entitlement of all: the military industrial complex.[/quote]

Than you Macdaddy for giving me a comment that I can showcase to demonstrate how IN ERROR you are. (Besides Christopher's rant is so 'all over the place' I decided to pass on it).

First let us show the baseline evidence:
http://federalbudget.com/

As you can see - the "Big Three" entitlements - Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid make up 47% of the total Federal budget. Again - it is estimated that in 10 years this will balloon to be $2 trillion per year and 63% of the federal budget.

US Comptroller Of The Currency "Fiscal Wake Up Tour"
http://www.boom2bust.com/category/terrorism/

I WUZ THERE!! They had a panel of economists from BOTH SIDES of the isle who agreed that ENTITLEMENT SPENDING and the INTERESTS PAYMENTS on national debt is the One/Two punch that is going to cause the economic collapse of our nation.

Indeed too many people are prone to fight the partisan and ideological fight on the matter. In truth NOT ONE OF THE THREE presidential candidates are saying anything remotely in line with what these economists said would be necessary to get our house in order for the long run.

Thus it is ILLOGICAL for anyone to attempt to increase public dependency on this same system by promising health care to all which will be a permanent draw upon the bucket. As much as I agree that Iraq spending was far, far more than promised....it is not permanent and health care is going to cost far more than the $150 billion per year spent in Iraq.

Or perhaps you didn't see what your boy Duval Patrick is having to deal with in MA?

Costs Soar for Mass. Health Care Law
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jnn7How__5P8t-cd2SKI8n6INGyQD9006M2G0


And by the way:
DEFENSE SPENDING For 2007, the budget rose to US$439.3 billion + $170 in Iraq last year is FAR SHORT of what you say to be the largest spending area by the Feds.

(I see why you like Bookman. I have call him a political hack)

Deacon Blue said...

Ah, Constructive Feedback, I agree with you on something at last: local and state leaders are far and away mostly at fault about the decline of education.

However, don't let the feds off the hook here, either. The so-called No School Left Behind Act and its fallout has done some serious damage by forcing schools to address standardized testing and that doesn't really measure much of anything and take away from the time needed to really LEARN something.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]And constructive feedback is just wrong on his figures on the entitlement programs which workers in this country have rightfully earned. I am curious as who told him that crap about the programs bankrupting the country.[/quote]

mellaneous - I am happy to see that you base your rants on such a factual basis. :-/

Please see my attendance at the "Fiscal Wake Up Call" as just ONE example of my research on the issue.

You see - you get it WRONG.
In telling you that the $1 trillion is about to DOUBLE to $2 trillion IN 10 YEARS is not an issue of "rightfully earned" for me. I put forth factual estimates. It is for you to apply the judgment.

Let's start off with the question - "In your mind does the DOUBLING OF PAYOUTS in 10 years represent an INCREASE in the quality of services or the total number of people served to JUSTIFY the increased payments?"

This is a jump from the current 47% of the federal budget up to about 63%!! Does Bookman and others think that some CROWDING OUT of other expenditures is going to take place to fund this? OF COURSE it is!!

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]has done some serious damage by forcing schools to address standardized testing and that doesn't really measure much of anything and take away from the time needed to really LEARN something.[/quote]

Darn it Deacon Blue - you had to go and mess it up with your closing statements.

This is RIDICULOUS!
This is "Jonathan Kozol speak!!"

If you buy his line - a group of 3rd grade Blacks who he tracked - get this - upon 7th grade were "not able to hold a rational conversation with their school teacher".......BECAUSE OF NCLB!!! In this case he is using NCLB as a cover for calling Black kids Ignorant. For me - I am more disturbed with folks like YOU who don't see what he and others are doing! (Here ya go buddy: http://withintheblackcommunity.blogspot.com/2007/08/what-does-white-liberal-think-of-you.html)

What is amazing to me is that the same people who talk about how "teaching to the test" STEALS INSTRUCTIONAL TIME away from the teachers and students.....can't seem to tell of the overwhelming success that was had prior to NCLB.

True to form Jonathan Kozol INDEED attempts to paint the picture of the glory days for inner city schools prior to NCLB.

The sad part about it is that he has exposure to many Black public school administrators who haven't called him out on his leftist White supremacy. (I don't use this word with reckless abandon but that is exactly what it is he is doing. I have a bigger problem with Black folks who pose for the picture that he paints.).

Jazzy said...

@Constructive I am not letting the fed govt off, but they IMO set the tone for what's allowable at the state and local levels. Why should they be fiscally responsible when its so obvious that the fed govt does not count this as a virute.

and a side note I've told you once to lay off the corn it's bad for the digestive system

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Let's add the medical experiments, genetics testing and controlled infection responses the gov't regularly engages in.[/quote]

Heartsandflowers:

I have a new tactic. I no longer challenge Conspiracy Theorists. Instead I assume that all that they say is TRUE and then I inspect them on their behavior and policy positions based on the assumption that THEY BELIEVE what they are saying is true.

With this in mind I have a question for you:

1) WHY would you accept "universal health care" from a government who had previously attempted to kill you or infect you?

2) A few months ago NPR "News and Notes" did a story on the lack of Black folks participating in medical clinical trials. As a result when the new procedures or pharmaceuticals were put on the market they had more data on WHITE FOLKS and thus they adjusted these treatments toward the physiological, dietary and lifestyle patters for WHITE FOLKS because they did not have enough Black folks to adjust their final results to encompass our unique needs. The Black spokesperson for the medical testing firm said that the type of fear that you promote is the key force suppressing participation. She then told of the CONSEQUENCES upon Black folks when these procedures and drugs are released.

3) Take the same M.O. as in #2 and ditto it with respect to Organ transplants. Blacks die for the lack of organs from donors of their own race which are more likely to be accepted.


[quote]
The co-opting of Black civil rights organizations by whites for their own political gain.[/quote]

Interesting.
The NAACP was FUNDED by White folks upon their founding. When do you figure this issue that you pointed out start? Certainly the NAACP Spingarn Medal is not named after a brother.

For me the greater problem today is with Black folks FUSING AND CONFUSING their community interests with the interests of the popular political party with Black America. Some don't know when the interests of the Democrats ends and where theirs begins. This has led to the Democrats having more power over our communities than ever before.....with little changed in our schools, the safety of our streets or the economic development that takes place within.

Absent consciousness of what the purpose of your political advocacy is - someone else will indeed benefit from the confusion. You'll be content that your adversary is being beaten down but won't ask for much for your assistance.

mellaneous said...

Actually Constructive Feedback I have got it right. This social/economic/political system known as capitalism is corrupt,exploitative, murderous and oppressive and it has to be changed. It is going down and trying to take us with it. I am not interested in arguing about the arrangement of chairs on this Titanic.

So we are clearly on two different pages. I see capitalism/US imperialism as the problem. I can't argue figures within this framework as well as you do nor do I wish to. My common and political sense tells me we don't have what is rightfully ours as working people because we have been ripped off and lied to.

Entitlement programs I believe have been earned by the sweat of most people's brow, which is justification enough for me.

And since you are obviously pretty astute you know that the capitalist exploit our labor and do not pay workers their fair wage which is why they and not us live so well. I know folks have accepted this crap as the truth and the way things are but it is not right and it is exploitational.

But if I were to debate the figures with you, I would suggest that we look at how the remainder of the monies excluding the entitlements are spent. I disagree with your premise that $600 billion for the wars and the defense budget was not that much money, are you kidding, can you imagine what we (citizens, folks the people) could constructively do with that kind of money. Okay lets if thats not fair lets imagine what could be done with just half the over $400 billion defense budget and just for fun add in the corporate welfare and other goodies handed to Big Business.

And I would take issue with the war in Iraq or Afghanistan being neccesary. And keep in mind I am not arguing from their point of view.

And I don't see the defense spending as "our" defense budget. This government has never gone to war for "our" benefit and it is not "our" military industrial complex, nor is it "our" defense.

But whatever you want to believe and no matter how well you claim it (US imperialism) as something that belongs to you, they (power structure) view you and all of us for that matter as no more than cannon fodder,appendages, hyperbole or just superfluous.

I am reminded of a Malcolm X speech in which he talked about black folks were running around saying, "our astronauts when they won't even let you near the plant.A Negro running around talkig about our astronauts. Why that's a Negro that's lost his mind."

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]This social/economic/political system known as capitalism is corrupt, exploitative, murderous and oppressive and it has to be changed. It is going down and trying to take us with it. I am not interested in arguing about the arrangement of chairs on this Titanic.[/quote]

So let me get this straight - you are RIDING ON A VESSEL that you are saying is GOING DOWN but you remain? And you continue to CONSUME the fruits which it provides to you? This does not seem rational to you?

You see I don't have an "America love it or leave it" view. This is totalitarian. I have no problem with people criticizing this nation with the hopes that it will improve.

I DO have a problem with people like YOU who fundamentally damn and condemn this place. My position is instead: "America - don't be a CONSUMER CAPITALIST CO-CONSPIRATOR to a system that you HATE!". Every key pressed on your keyboard to communicate your thoughts travels through a multi-billion dollar network that was originally funded by the military and has been since built up by EVIL CAPITALISTIC corporations who used Wall Street financing to front them the money so that you can use these services and then VOTE YOUR SUPPORT FOR THEM each month with that little ballot known as an INVOICE sent to your house each month.


[quote]
So we are clearly on two different pages. I see capitalism/US imperialism as the problem.[/quote]

I see the ABSENCE of a market system that stands as the difference between the services that you consume upon this "stolen land" and the people in Darfur or parts of India who can only wish for such a market for them to obtain access to the basic goods for life.

Isn't it GREAT that you are able to apply your ABSTRACT THEORIES in a debate that are so far astray from your real world existence?

(Field Negro - capture that IP address. The government might ask you for it at a later date. If I had a sleeper cell that I was recruiting for - I know who I would be talking to first)

Yet another "Radical Anarchist who is against the system of capitalism..........with an e-mail account and a MySpace page"!!

Deacon Blue said...

@ Constructive Feedback

I never said education was a rousing success lately before the NCLB Act. What I was suggesting is that the feds are making a bad situation even worse. Becuase putting teachers into a position to have to teach to a standardized test doesn't do kids any justice. There is no doubt this takes time away in the classroom and it gives the teachers and administrators and state legislators who ARE lazy yet another excuse for why things are f-ed up.

I would ask you to tell me what you thinkg NCLB accompishes.

MacDaddy said...

"Entitlement programs I believe have been earned by the sweat of most people's brow, which is justification enough for me."
mellaneous: You got that right. It means the same thing. I would just say it differently-- that these so-called entitlement programs were fought for by working people and conceded to us by governmental officials from FDR on down so we wouldn't tear this f...ing country apart.
Constructive: I like some of the things you say, but, frankly, you're the one that's all over the place. Plus, you're not looking at the major issues. If you want to put down local government, go ahead. But the real deal is the federal treasury; and Republicans, the party of the rich, know it. The real money comes from defense contractors and insurance companies wrenching every penny it can out of the government in the name of fighting for democracy, fighting communism (Oh, sorry. They used that excuse up, huh?), homeland security, blah blah blah. Without the support of that federal treasury, local governments can't do much but increase property taxes to pay for police, firehouses and garbage collectors. That's why it's so important to make changes at the federal level.
One more thing: May I suggest some Miles Davis type cool jazz to cool you down. You sound a little stressed. Blessings.

Lolo said...

Field

You nailed it. To the wall.

This is exactly what is staring us in the face while we're distracted with pitting the Cletus' against the Elitists.

Infrastructure, education and research is where we desperately need to focus our energies.

mellaneous said...

Hey Field forgive me if we are going overboard here because its obvious that me and Constructive Feedback are on different sides of the aisle.

Constructive: Since you have mislabeled me and called me irrational though I seek to change the ship that is going down and since you have accused me of having an America, "love it or leave it attitude" all I can say is that I told you we were going to disagree.

And by the way what could be more irrational than defending a system that does not include you.

No matter how you label me or seek to justify this system the fact remains that it is antithetical to the interests of most human beings. Since this is Field's blog I am not going to go there with you my friend I try to spend time discussing things with folks who want real change not those who want to defend this system of exploitation and oppression. And that's what it is no matter how you defend or how carefully you word your defense,or defend its techological advances it is lacking in simple humanity.

I don't buy your framework and I am not an anarchist.Worse things could happen than this filthy rag of a government looking up my computer address to harass me.

Since we are having civil discourse please spare the violence baiting (sleeper cell) talk, after all you did say that, you had," no problem with people criticizing this nation with the hope that it will improve." That is what I have spent a lot of my life doing in the real world not the abstract.

NSangoma said...

~
Who Will Tell the People?
Hmmm, where hath I read that a'fore?

We are living on borrowed time and borrowed dimes.

Communist China will lend us the money to pay for the reduction in the Federal Gasoline Tax.
`

bigE said...

Bringing this up makes me wonder, why isn't any one talking about Obama's sponsorship and Hillary's cosponsorship of the patriot corporation act? Is this a honest CHANGE?
Are we now asking our corporate CEO's to wear flag pins in exchange for keeping workers at guaranteed minimum wages?Who is going to help the working class? Is this how spending down our capital and going into debt, and our chickens coming home to roost is the honesty RevWright was talking about?
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=110_cong_bills&docid=f:s1945is.txt.pdf

Jody said...

Bige,
This bill is designed encourage business to stay in the US. It has, in my opinion, an unfortunate name, but its intention is a good one... to encourage business to do business in the US... to provide jobs to people in this country and not ship their business overseas....

Blinders Off said...

I was waiting on someone to mention China. For those of us who have not been asleep, we know China owns America. Now, they are trying to kill as many of us they can by sending tainted products to America...and I don't think my conspiracy mind is too off about the tainted products coming from China.

Rent Party said...

Great article. But what if the king doesn't want to hear the truth? I keep telling my boss, whose name actually is King, the truth and he hates it.

Whitney B. said...

Good stuff and how true! This country is going to hell in a hand basket! (That's one of grandmother Jessie's sayings.)

We need to start calling into those right-wing radio shows asking for an accounting of the Cheney secret talks about energy. We need to start standing up to all of the Repubabbubbah's talking points (including the quote un-quote military) about the police action in Iraq and what the heck is going on with the Arabs and oil prices!

Brothers and sisters, quit lying down to all of this horse crap! You are being fed, at the trough, a bunch of stuff that is not good for the brain or the diet (CNN,FOX, etc)! It is time to protest, protect and speak loudly about how you are being used and abused! You have crappy jobs, no insurance and the house you live in may be gone any day (whether you own it or not).

Reverend Wright had one thing right and I am not going to add fuel to the fire! America was a great country and we can be that again, but only if WE, the PEOPLE decide that enough is enough! Power to the People! It is time to give up our conveniences and give in to the future!

Whitney B.

Black Art Depot said...

Agree with that. It's almost as if no one in America wants to sacrifice anymore for the greater good of their family, community, ethnic group, hell... sometimes even themselves. I did however think that by drilling in ANWAR that it would alleviate some parts surrounding our energy crisis. Even if it was only a short term solution while we attacked the issue on multiple fronts. I guess however I could be wrong. And America better wake up...Every great civilization has come and go and if the USA wants to remain "Head Honcho" it better tighten up......

Whitney B. said...

I used to live in Alaska. I have been informed by geologists that that reserve wouldn't last 10 years, if that. Not to mention, it would take billions to build and drill. Not to mention, that unlike Prudhoe Bay, it was created as a true wilderness reserve and has a very delicate eco system.

But, what the hell, it doesn't matter anymore as we've wrecked everything else for the last 30 some odd years! The ice caps and glaciers that I used to see from the road are gone(in less than 15 years), and it's worse in places like Greenland and Iceland. And, no one seems to give a big rat's ass.

I say we should all buy scooters as a second vehicle. That way, on most days of the year, you'll get 100 mpg and save a lot of money, too. It's a small thing, but it could be a really good movement toward letting those rat bastards know we aint gonna keep guzzling from the poison trough.

kathy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]What I was suggesting is that the feds are making a bad situation even worse. Becuase putting teachers into a position to have to teach to a standardized test doesn't do kids any justice.[/quote]

Deacon Blue:

Do you have any empirical evidence to support your claims that NCLB has made things worse - particularly in Inner City schools?

The sad and shitty part about it is that you can look at any inner city schools where our people are concentrated and they now have an administration in place that is otherwise favorable to the majority of Black folks and STILL there are problems.

Maybe this personal experience that I had recently is part of the problem?

http://withintheblackcommunity.blogspot.com/2008/04/snoop-dogg-lyrics-in-song-used-in.html

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Plus, you're not looking at the major issues. If you want to put down local government, go ahead. [/quote]

The bottom line is that Black folks obtain more of our interfaces with government and are being short changed by government at the LOCAL LEVEL more than any other government entity.

* Schools - administrated by the local government

* Safe Streets - a function of the local government per the mayor that presides over the police chief who presides over the offices

* Economic Development - the ability to assign business licenses and approve zoning requests and to order the development of certain parcels of land into commercial enterprise zones is a unique function of the local government.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]Constructive: Since you have mislabeled me and called me irrational though I seek to change the ship that is going down and since you have accused me of having an America, "love it or leave it attitude" all I can say is that I told you we were going to disagree.

And by the way what could be more irrational than defending a system that does not include you.[/quote]

Mellaneous:

Have you ever heard the story about the MAFIA WIFE who stayed with him because she wanted to CHANGE HIM?

She saw that he was not the owner of a small waste management company - he had too many shady friends who were mosters

She saw that he brought home more money than what a small company should bring in.

She lived in the mansion, wore the jewels, drove the car that his lifestyle afforded her.

Even though she told the police that she stopped sleeping with him as her sign of protest against all that he was doing as she tried to CHANGE HIM.....when the jury viewed her case they voted GUILTY because she was a CONSUMER of the lifestyle that the GANGSTER made possible.

What can we deduce about YOU and your attempts to CHANGE this vile and evil government?

What if a Native American came to you and told you that the property upon which you live is his ancestral burial ground and you should move immediately just as his people were moved? Would you punch him in the nose or go to the same court system who did not uphold his contract made with the USA 150 years ago when they stole the land that you now live upon?

Deacon Blue said...

@ Constructive Feedback

This is something I will rarely say, but empirical evidence doesn't mean shit. Not in the case of the NCLB Act and how wrong it is, that is. This is no-brainer AFAIC.

We have overcrowded classrooms...hell, they were too big when I was in high school and that was more than 20 years ago. Teachers are expected to teach more kids with less support from their districts. Now the feds come in and say, if you don't do well enough on these standardized tests, that's proof that you're a failing school, and we're gonna knock you for it.

Ok, so now schools have this extra requirement hanging over their heads. Getting enough kids to pass the standardized tests becomes a critical concern. Of course the schools now have to teach TO these tests if they aren't fortunate enough to have a student body that aces it.

This takes time away from other teaching. How could it NOT? And the hell of it is, standardized tests don't prove that kids are learning anything. I still don't know why so much stock is put in the ACT and SAT exams for college enrollment, for example. They are culturally biased and even if you ignore that, they don't prove you've learned anything. It's just some stupid rite of passage we have to go through. The medical establishment does the same thing with board certifications. Passing a certification exam in your speciality doesn't prove anything about whether you're a good doctor; but insurance companies often won't let you bill them unless you get certified.

Not to mention that fact that we create extra federal bureaucracy, and probably extra state and local bureaucracy, to administer the NCLB Act, which does little, if anything, substantive to HELP education.

The NCLB Act doesn't help the situation. It was an empty gesture made to look like proactive movement on education. It does nothing to put our schools back on par with what many (probably most) other developed nations have.

Ergo, it ain't helping...and it eats up extra time...therefore it hurts. Even if the hurt is only miniscule, it harms the educational system.

I think that's pretty logical. And you still haven't given one point of defense as to what positive outcomes the NCLB Act brings to the table. Convince me that it's adding something positive, and maybe I'll concede to you. Until then, it's a waste of time and a waste of money and it makes a bad situation worse.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]This takes time away from other teaching. How could it NOT? [/quote]

Again - I take it that you were very pleased with the bang up results that occurred BEFORE NCLB?

[quote]
We have overcrowded classrooms...hell, they were too big when I was in high school and that was more than 20 years ago. [/quote]

Interesting. I never understand the line of reasoning from YOU or US Rep Kendrick Meeks in regards to how on the one hand you argue about OVERCROWEDED CLASS ROOMS and then you oppose SCHOOL VOUCHERS that would tend to REDUCE CLASS SIZES in these OVER CROWDED SCHOOLS!!

Why don't you admit that you are not against OVER CROWDED CLASSROOMS. You are instead for "less crowed Government Operated Schools with ALL STUDENTS WITHIN TRADITIONAL GOVERNMENT OPERATED SCHOOLS". If you at least admitted this you would be more in line with what is obvious.

[quote]
Teachers are expected to teach more kids with less support from their districts.[/quote]

I thought that now that THE PEOPLE THAT YOU FAVOR are in place running these school systems that the MAGIC would have kicked in right now. Let me ask you Deacon Blue - how many majority Black school systems have a fire breathing conservative antagonist running the show versus people who enjoy POPULAR support? STILL they are not delivering for you.

[quote]
Now the feds come in and say, if you don't do well enough on these standardized tests, that's proof that you're a failing school, and we're gonna knock you for it.[/quote]

Maybe, just maybe YOU WERE FAILING before the tests and the tests simply bear this out?

Here is what I don't understand about you libs, Deacon Blue. If and when the school systems degrade their standards and bestow a diploma upon those who would have otherwise FAILED and then these same people so how make their way through instructional training and thus show back up as TEACHERS in these same schools.....you would be the first among them to cry that these schools receive INCOMPETENT TEACHERS due to RACISM.

You never get the fact that YOU are the main ones who have lowered the standards and now the CHICKENS HAVE COME HOME TO ROOST. Everyone else is wise enough not to hire them.

As I see it Deacon Blue - the worst thing that can happen is for you to WIN and thus have your policies assume the prevailing position within the school system. It will surely fail.

Ok, so now schools have this extra requirement hanging over their heads. Getting enough kids to pass the standardized tests becomes a critical concern. Of course the schools now have to teach TO these tests if they aren't fortunate enough to have a student body that aces it.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]And by the way what could be more irrational than defending a system that does not include you.

No matter how you label me or seek to justify this system the fact remains that it is antithetical to the interests of most human beings.[/quote]

mellaneous:

YOU "defend this system" each time you pay your invoice for services rendered from your cellphone provider, ISP and at the gasoline station. Your dollar is your ballot. My words are nothing more than some electronic bits stored on the hard drive of this site which Google paid SEVERAL BILLION DOLLARS to acquire.

If this nation is against the interests of most human beings....why do you stay within the belly of the beast?

Why don't you reconcile yourself with the other parts of the world who are under the foot of this beast? When you live the lifestyle that they do rather than continue to consume the STOLEN FRUITS from the tree of DEATH then I will view you as a more committed soul.

mellaneous: would you give the land that you live upon back to a Native American who comes to claim it from you? How willing are you to assume personal material loss as a pretext of being loyal to your theories?

Deacon Blue said...

OK, constructive, I give up trying to talk to you. I thought you were actually trying to have intelligent discourse for a moment there, but I was obviously deluding myself.

You continue to assume that I was somehow thrilled with the school system before. (I wasn't)

You seem to think I'm focused on schools heavy on minorities (I never brought race into the equation and think that aside from truly affluent schools, the ed system in general is screwed)

You claim I am against school vouchers. (I never mentioned them and I am, frankly, mostly neutral on the topic with a slight "pro" leaning).


You claim I am a liberal. (I am not. I may tilt toward the lefthand side of the fence, but I am moderate overall and hold several conservative beliefs).

I could go on, but since you're simply going to continue to make shit up about where I'm coming from, why bother? Again, I should have realized before when I pegged you as a Web bully that engaging you was pure folly. I allowed myself to be lulled into the misconception that perhaps you had taken some of my earlier words to heart and were truly trying to engage in dialogue.

What a chump I am to have fallen into that trap. Shame on me. Never again.

field negro said...

deacon blue, you cannot reason with someone you will never change. I am sure CF is one of those people who just loves the sound of his own voice. While you are trying to reason with him, he isn't even listening.

What he fails to understand is that many of us have been there done that with the right wing hustle. We have studied all the policies he likes to rant about, and at the end of the day,it's just more of the same.

Deacon Blue said...

LOL. Thanks for the perspective, Field. I sincerely appreciate it.

Didn't figure I'd change Constructive's mind, actually. For a moment there, I thought HE might have something to add to MY knowledge or even a point to challenge my own thinking. Then he just added more noise instead of talking and well...

...at least this time I didn't call him out on the playground for a fight like I did with Nsangoma. I'm learning better when to cut my losses...I hope.

;-)

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