mind numbing masses

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by olckicker, Jul 26, 2002.

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  1. olckicker

    olckicker Member

    Jan 30, 2001
    Democracy depends on the masses' ability to elect the right people to deal with their societies' problems. But, all too often, the masses elect the wrong people because they have nice looks, have nice personalities, have slick commercials, have sound bites that give easy answers to complex issues. Meanwhile, younger generations are being converted into technically proficient automatons so they can buy fast foods and fast cars.

    What's the solution? We need to start with education. Besides practical skills, humans must be trained to think critically and creatively about themselves and their world. The must become citizens instead of consumers. Otherwise the only possible solution is a benevolent dictatorship.
     
  2. spejic

    spejic Cautionary example

    Mar 1, 1999
    San Rafael, CA
    Club:
    San Jose Earthquakes
    I think education is a poor way to develop a good version of democracy. But a problem with benevolent dictatorships is that they also have too short a range in their planing, and the power tends to corrupt the person in charge.

    The best form of government is a system of rules which are changed and interpreted by an elite. The elite are chosen by a round-robin professional wrestling competition.
     
  3. eneste

    eneste Member

    Mar 24, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA
    It's just the natural order of things. When you are on top you get comfortable and less aware. Happened to the Romans right? It's on it's way to happening to us.
     
  4. ONE

    ONE Member

    Aug 11, 2000
    NOLA
    its not happening to me...ive decided to be an ostrogoth instead.
     
  5. GringoTex

    GringoTex Member

    Aug 22, 2001
    1301 miles de Texas
    Club:
    Tottenham Hotspur FC
    Nat'l Team:
    Bolivia
    Does anybody wonder why Republicans love standardized testing?
     
  6. eneste

    eneste Member

    Mar 24, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Have you seen all the TGIFriday's popping up lately?
     
  7. Daksims

    Daksims New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Colorado
    Re: Re: mind numbing masses

    To make sure students are getting the essentials needed to think critically and creatively about themselves and their world - like reading, writing, and 'rithmetic. You need to learn to think before you can.
     
  8. Daksims

    Daksims New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Colorado
    Does anybody wonder why liberals are so deathly afraid of vouchers? I'll answer. They know if they lose control of the minds and let people think on their own, everybody would become conservative. :) Public schools are one of the downfalls of this country. I speak as a survivor (graduate) of one. I also spent many of my years as a student at a private school. I personally believe the best way to raise your kids is to homeschool.
     
  9. empennage

    empennage Member

    Jan 4, 2001
    Phoenix, AZ
    This is wrong. There is so much more to school then just learning the curriculum. In fact, I'd go as far to say that the most important skill learned at school is learning to deal with social situations. IMHO kids that are homeschooled don't develop the skills necessary to be successful in life.
     
  10. CFnwside

    CFnwside Member+

    Jan 25, 2001
    Humboldt Park
    yes, and in order to really prepare them for the complexity of life, they should be kept in the basement until they turn 25.
     
  11. CrewDust

    CrewDust Member

    May 6, 1999
    Columbus, Ohio
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The Founding Fathers were right about the masses. They could not be trusted to make the important decsions like who should be the president. I believe that Florida 2000 proved them right.
     
  12. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    All that proved is that you can't trust a candidate's governor brother to hold a clean election.

    If you're so contemptuous of "the masses" (of which you are one, unless you're a Fortune 500 CEO) why don't you go to Myanmar, Libya, Saudi Arabia or somewhere else where they think like you do?
     
  13. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    Does anybody wonder why reactionaires and religious fundamentalists are creaming themselves over the prospect of vouchers? I'll tell you. Because then the rich ones can get even more wealthfare from the public trough and the religious whackos, militia members and racists can remove their kids completely from society so they can be better brainwashed without the interference from superior competing views and contamination from people of differing ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds that might actually make their kids start to question what they are taught and think for themselves about things instead of just swallowing Mom & Dad's (or their private school ideological proxy's) propaganda.
     
  14. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Oh please, Jeb Bush had nothing to do with getting his brother elected. The fault lies solely with the idiotic voters who can't figure out the ballot, a ballot that was approved by a Democrat. If there's anyone to blame, blame the voters and the local Board of Elections who approved the ballots, not Jeb Bush.

    They had been using the ballots when Clinton won his re-election, what was so hard this time?
     
  15. Colin Grabow

    Colin Grabow New Member

    Jul 22, 1999
    Washington, DC
    Interesting theory, but it really doesn't square with the fact that vouchers as currently implemented -- such as in Milwaukee and Cleveland -- only apply to poor children who already attend public schools that are deemed to be "failing." Those children also happen to be heavily minority, which actually means more minority students attending private schools.
     
  16. krolpolski

    krolpolski Member+

    Considering that 57,000 legal voters were eliminated from the voter rolls prior to the election -- most of them African-Americans who would tend to vote Democratic -- by Katherine Harris (Bush's Florida Campaign co-chair and Florida Secretary of State), the small number of voters who couldn't vote correctly really wouldn't make that much of a difference.

    For more details go to http://www.gregpalast.com/detail.cfm?artid=122&row=1
     
  17. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    ... Except that these programs are "pilot programs" that are expected to expand dramatically now that vouchers have been sanctioned by the Supremes.

    There are two major groups of parents who are pro-voucher: (primarily non-white, primarily Democratic) poor inner-city parents, and (primarily white, primarily conservative) middle- to upper-class religious parents. Everyone seems to agree that the inner-city parents will be the major beneficiaries of vouchers short-term, but what happens if you tell the white suburban parents who are already sending their kids to parochial school AND paying local school taxes that they're not eligible for a voucher? They will raise hell, and eventually the states & cities will cave on this issue and give vouchers to everyone who asks for one, or distribute them solely through a lottery.

    What happens next is where it gets interesting. Surely there will be a lot more kids moving into private schools, which will in the short-term lead to some selectivity on the part of the schools and could lead to some children being turned away even though they've got a voucher. Then you've probably got some race-related lawsuits that will pit the two pro-voucher groups against each other. It's not far-fetched to see this get really ugly really, really quickly.

    As an aside, it's interesting to note that a few really uppity schools will likely refuse to take any kid with a voucher, even those whose parents have the money make up the difference, because acceptance of vouchers = acceptance of public funding, which will open them up to a whole host of antidiscrimination laws. So the barriers to the top private schools will likely remain up, even with free money available.
     
  18. Dante

    Dante Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 19, 1998
    Binghamton, NY
    Club:
    Juventus FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is in reference to the post above Obie's....

    Have you read the guys other stuff? Check out the Guerilla News Network. He's done interviews there.

    He was complaining that improper votes were not counted, I don't see where he's argument is legit. He points out that some ballots had a mark near Al Gore's name when there should have been a hole punch. It's not our fault that people are too stupid not to punch a hole in a punch card.

    The U.S. Civil Rights Commission stated that there was no conclusive evidence that there was any intentional disenfranchising of black voters.

    Why wasn't there the same amount of moaning when it happened in '98 and votes weren't counted for the same reason???

    The New York Times felt that the election ended failry http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/12/politics/recount/12VOTE.html
     
  19. Colin Grabow

    Colin Grabow New Member

    Jul 22, 1999
    Washington, DC
    Well, that's a lot of speculation on your part, and how it all plays out remains to be seen. The reality however remains that vouchers as currently implemented have not resulted in the wealthy clamoring for inclusion.

    Vermont and Maine have both had limited voucher programs in place for over 100 years without this occuring.
     
  20. obie

    obie New Member

    Nov 18, 1998
    NY, NY
    Club:
    New York Red Bulls
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    But they're still only pilot programs. The concept of the pilot programs were to try to build something that they will eventually be able to expand. Even you must admit that advocates want to dramatically expand these programs, which will likely radically shift the demographics of voucher recipients. And, can you also agree that the primary (not only, but #1) reason why conservative Christians supported vouchers is for personal relief from their double burden of parochial school tuition plus public school taxes?

    Now that these two disparate groups (poor city families and Christian suburbanites) have the clearance to build a big voucher program, their previous singular goal of government approval will fragment into the very different goals of (a) school choice for the inner-city parents, and (b) tax relief for the suburban parents. I'm not even going to say that it could be difficult; it will be ugly.

    I don't know about these programs, but VT and ME are two of the whitest, most economically homogeneous states in the country. The battle will come when money has to be doled out between inner-city kids and suburban kids.
     
  21. Daksims

    Daksims New Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Colorado
    My bad, you're right. Kids need to be taught how to roll a joint and drop a hit.

    Public schools teach bogus theory as fact. The majority of kids coming out of school can't spell, use correct grammar, do simple algebraic equations, or navigate through windows. I see this first hand in my job, as most of the people I hire and supervise are straight out of highschool. My training department spends almost 2 out of 3 weeks re-educating these kids to speak correctly.
     
  22. Dan Loney

    Dan Loney BigSoccer Supporter

    Mar 10, 2000
    Cincilluminati
    Club:
    Los Angeles Sol
    Nat'l Team:
    Philippines
    Ah, yes, the good old liberal media.

    This, by the way, was buried at the bottom of that particular article:

    An approach Mr. Gore and his lawyers rejected as impractical — a statewide recount — could have produced enough votes to tilt the election his way, no matter what standard was chosen to judge voter intent.

    Another complicating factor in the effort to untangle the result is the overseas absentee ballots that arrived after Election Day. A New York Times investigation earlier this year showed that 680 of the late- arriving ballots did not meet Florida's standards yet were still counted. The vast majority of those flawed ballots were accepted in counties that favored Mr. Bush, after an aggressive effort by Bush strategists to pressure officials to accept them.


    But since headline writers have the same power to decide elections as the Supreme Court, under the Constitution, then why not let them spin it any way they please?

    Edit, yet again: Daksims, which "bogus theory" would you be complaining about? If you're referring to a theory that rhymes with "Revolution," then I wouldn't bother saving up to send your kids to college - unless the Institute for Creationism Research has upped their fees.

    Anyway, as far as this thread is concerned - awfully nice to see the tradition of pissing all over democracy in the Dick Cheney Era is alive and well. Isn't it amusing to note that those against democracy never fail to put themselves in the correct category, when it comes to choosing up sides between Eloi and Morlocks? I've got a feeling some of the anti-democrats in this forum would be pretty darn surprised on which side of the divide they fell, if the elite of this nation got to interpret the so-called will of the Founding Fathers.

    "Number one ain't you. You ain't even number two." - Frank Zappa
     
  23. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    You think they don't do that at private schools? HA ha ha ha ha! And you claim to have gone to private school...

    Ah, and evolution rears its head again. I was wondering which of the three pro-voucher groups you belonged to. Thanks for clearing that up.

    Then you have a classic self-selected group because the kids who CAN spell, do math, etc., usually go to college if their parents can afford it and don't go straight from high school to work at McDonald's or whatever your company is. So you never see the ones who majority who make it out of public school with decent skills. Either that or you hire exclusively from poor rural or inner city high schools.

    If the latter is the case, the solution is to even out the resources available to public schools so that public schools in poor areas aren't at such a disadvantage to private and even public schools from rich ones. My mom works for a public high school in a rich suburb and the vast majority of those kids can read and write and go on to college from which they get good jobs.
     
  24. NER_MCFC

    NER_MCFC Member

    May 23, 2001
    Cambridge, MA
    Club:
    New England Revolution
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The fundamental principle of democracy is that everyone agrees to abide by the will of the majority and the majority agrees to respect the rights of the minority.
    Therefore, education and well designed, well executed methods of picking political leaders are both important.
    In the end, I fear it may come down to the Consitution not being flexible enough for how much things have changed in the last 215 years. After all, when it was written, those eligible to vote were perhaps 20% of the population, and neither government nor large business was numerically significant. That is, government was a significant part of the economy and large businesses weren't big or numerous enough to play the role they do today. I see two major consequence of these circumstances: 1) business leaders were less likely to involve themselves in politics to support their businesses; 2) political leaders were less beholden to the markets.

    I doubt that either condition still held by 1870, let alone 2002. The result is that the country is run (more or less by accident) by a mix of big government and big business, and everyone else has little or no real input, regardless of how well educated they are.
     
  25. joseph pakovits

    joseph pakovits New Member

    Apr 29, 1999
    fly-over country
    True, although one of the reasons that people can't think straight about politics and economics is because they aren't educated enough regarding Amercian history to realize that the socioeconomic changes that were slowly building almost from the country's birth and finally exploded in the years immediately after the Civil War made the greatest fears of the Founding Fathers (and therefore parts the Constitution) obsolete. Therefore, not only do they not know how to fix this, they don't even know where the problem is.

    Most high school level US History textbooks I've seen pretty much gloss over the almost 40 years from 1866-1914 as if not much of any importance happened when what really happened was a second American Revolution. Kids learning about this period of our history get a bit about immigration, a bit about the Wild West, a bit about Teddy Roosevelt and maybe the Haymarket Riot and not much else. Kids get almost no context on the expanding overseas American Empire, nothing on the complete overturning of the Founding Fathers' views on the immortal, unlimited business corporation, next to nothing on how the move from a rural agricultural to an urban industrial society changed American society and the political system, virtually nothing on the entry of the USA into the global economic system, etc.

    The trouble is that if you do not understand what was going on during the post-Civil War years that laid the foundations of modern America, you cannot understand what is going on today or have a clue as to what to do about its various problems.
     

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