Dumbed down, deformed and dangerous
Have a look at this video. If you were wondering how the powers that be managed to get America this far down the path to eternal Imperial War get the answer here. On the list of who we should invade next according to the 30% who support future wars are: France, North Korea, Iran, Italy, Cuba, Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Canada, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East.
And they all point to Australia on the interviewer's "fake" map. The level of education or the lack of it is a tell all. Which reminded me of a recent article by Matt James: Little Machurian Candidates. In the article Matt describes the torture and brainwashing that constitutes the American school system today. He records the experiences of his own child and goes on to discuss the problems inherent in curricula that promote alienation, fear and lack of trust and confidence:
I was curious about the crying. Jenny was such a happy child. I asked her that night what made her sad at school. Expecting to hear about something on the playground, I was surprised by her answer. The listening-hour stories made her sad:If stories like that of the little squirrel are what our children are being taught, if they recognize the fear and humiliation the squirrel is put through, if they are not told of other more dignified, more caring, more human patterns of behaviour, who will they identify with? The brutes. The ones who deride, abuse and humiliate others. This is how our school system creates monsters and sociopaths.
Once upon a time there was a daddy duck with seven ducklings. They ranged in age down to the youngest (who reminded Jenny of a first grader). The daddy was mean. One day he demanded that all his children learn three tasks, such as running, swimming, and diving. If a duckling was unable to master all of the tasks, he would be banished from the family to live with the chickens. The youngsters struggled under the cruel eye of their father. When it came to diving, the first grader floundered and was sent away to live with the chickens.[snip]
I was determined to get to the bottom of things. Since they didn't send books home with students in the younger grades, I went to the school the following day and spent a couple of hours reviewing the elementary readers. As I read, my eyes opened wider and wider. I had assumed the purpose of the reading curriculum was to stimulate the juvenile imagination and teach reading skills. Instead, I saw material saturated with, to borrow another parent's language, "an unadvertised agenda promoting parental alienation, loss of identity and self-confidence, group-dependence, passivity, and anti-intellectualism." [snip]
The stories in the readers consistently associated individual initiative with emotional or physical pain. Consider the example of the little squirrel whose wheel falls off his wagon. When he tries to replace it, the wagon rides with an awkward and embarrassing bump, noticeable to his friends, who then tease him about it. Another attempt to repair the wheel results in an accident, with bruising and bleeding and more humiliation. The cumulative effect of this and similar story lines, given the vicarious nature of the reading experience, would be to discourage initiative and reduce self-confidence in the first grader.
Animal dads, moms, and grandparents were portrayed over and over in various combinations as mean, stupid, unreliable, bungling, impotent or incompetent. Relationships with their children were almost always dysfunctional; communication and reciprocal trust were non-existent. A toxic mom or dad, for instance, might have stepped in to help our youthful squirrel repair his wagon, only to make matters worse and wreak emotional havoc in the process. Jenny's heart would be lacerated by stories which constantly portrayed parent/child relationships as strained, cruel, or distant. I could see her crying with hurt or frustration. [snip]
The following "story" and "comprehension" questions are representative of the anti-intellectualism that I found in the readers:
Once upon a time there was a little green mouse who hopped after a tiger onto a yellow airplane. The plane turned into a big red bird in flight, and the mouse turned into a blue pumpkin. The pumpkin fell to the ground and its seeds grew into pots and pans. Blah, blah, blah
1) "What color was the mouse?"
2) "Why do mice turn into pumpkins?"
3) "How do seeds grow?"
I can see children getting frustrated over material like this. It is debatable as to which facet of the exercise is more onerous, the reading or the "comprehension." I almost incline to the latter. Among other concerns, I wonder if it is a good thing to pressure children to respond to stupid or unanswerable questions. Such a process would lead to passivity and a loss of confidence, to a little engine that couldn't.
And the little engine that couldn't, what does it do when parents fail, friends, family, school, society, the world fails and it finds itself drenched in the sweat of innumerable fears and threats? It finds solace in the Big Leader with the Big Stick.
The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America