Sometimes being active means being aware and voting for the right candidate. The real reform candidates did not win in the primaries and had the people understood the issues they would have elected the right people. The majority of this bunch are just hand picked party hacks that will follow corporate party orders and will rubber stamp Bush's escalation. Bush understands this and knows he can steam ahead but will try to "resell" the war with new spin words. The corporate media continues to help him keep the people confused.

The actual step that ended the Vietnam war was congress ending funding for it. Every few months congress rubber stamps more money to fuel the Iraq and Afghanistan occupations.

I know the media made a lot of fanfare about the democrats taking over but it's just a distraction. Even the 100 hours agenda is just token reform that will make headlines and make everyone feel good but will do little in the end. If people really understood this they would not be fooled into settling for less. It's one of the reasons people become "disenchanted" with politics. They work to support candidates that say all the rght things but in the end nothing really changes. During Vietnam enough real reform democrats got into congress that started things rolling and the rest of congress began to go along or risk losing their own seats. But an interesting thing is McGovern was trounced by Nixon.

There are now major demonstrations against the war every few months or so that draws tens of thousands of people but Bush ignores them and marches on. He knows Congress, Corporate America and the Corporate Media are behind him so he doesn't care what the people think. They never really do anyway, unless of course we have informed and active citizens, on every level.

Bush claims history will vindicate him which shows me that he is after the oil. And if he succeeds that's all that will be remembered. Not the tens of thousands of dead and wounded and the suffering and hardships that were inflicted. That's how history is written, it sanitizes the suffering.

Of course if we continue to use oil Global Warming will destroy the planet. Corporate America profits from the war but it's the people who pay the price. A war for oil is not in the best interests of the American people. Safe, clean, renewable energy is, which is what we should be spending our money on, not a war for the profits of corporate elite's.

There are a few reasons the US ended the Vietnam War. The demonstrations were one but people began to question the war deeper as more of the soldiers deaths came closer to home. Also soldiers began to return home and tell a different story about what was happening. It was awaking the people into aware and active citizens, which they fear, so they ended the war. According to Noam Chomsky the real deciding factor was the military was "mutinying." The army was beginning to crack and the generals were concerned. It's why the eventually ended the draft. Check out the documentary "Sir, No Sir."

When I say we need to inform the people I mean so they understand the issues, vote for the candidates that represent their interests and act.


QUESTION: I couldn't agree with you more on that - but there's the rub: how do you get an informed pubic in this age of partisan bickering, with the people bickering with one another and divided over everything from abortion to liberalism vs conservatism to prayer in the schools to smoking to drunk driving? We can't even agree on a sensible health insurance program without people dividing along ideological lines and insisting that it's either "my way or the highway!" Petty dictators around here are a dime a dozen.
Well, keep trying to raise public awareness, my friend, but I'm afraid you have an uphill battle around here.


it's definitely an "up hill battle." But to begin with we don't have an informed public. We have a public that is distracted with nonsense and deliberately misled and confused by the corporate media. They are not informing us. They even have us divided into "Red and Blue." If more people were informed of the real issues there would not be this division. It's the people vs corporate power. Most of us are not in that 1% or the top 10%.

IFYou are reading some of the alternative media on the net and watching Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. You see they are giving the real answers to real problems, like the war and Israel and corporate theft. If you compare it to the nonsense they have on TV and print you can see the differences. There are not two sides to the War, it's a lie and illegal. There's no debate. It's about stealing the oil. They wrote and spoke about the importance of the region in the 90's and now here we are. We got rid of Saddam, there were no WMD but now it's a new excuse as to why we have to stay. You can watch them lie about Iran and Syria also.

Same with Israel. It's like what they did with racist South Africa, trying to make it appear as if there were two sides. But there is not "two sides" to racism and apartheid, aggression, ethnic cleansing and murder. There's not "two sides" to this issue.

Certain issues are social, like abortion and school prayer, are important but the bottom line is they have sold out our country and our taking away our rights. Global Warming will destroy the planet. These are the real serious issues that the people are being lied too about. The corporate media "muddles" the issues because they are nothing but huge corporations that are owned by wealthy conservative CEO's who use it to present the issues in a manner that will promote corporate interests.
Checkout FAIR's site were they list who owns the media, it's an eye opener.

While they had constant almost 24 hour debate over a handful of demonstrators on the Terry Shavio case they were robbing the country, waging war and passing a bill that basically makes it impossible to go bankrupt, with little debate in the news.
They built us up on debt and are pulling the bottom out and will be putting people in "Debt Slavery."

It's the same with Universal Health Care. If people knew the truth, about how much money is being made and how we are suffering and getting ripped off and they would understand how to vote. It's not about our care but about protecting corporate profits.
Original Post
"There are now major demonstrations against the war every few months or so that draws tens of thousands of people but Bush ignores them and marches on."

When those people are along the lines of Cindy Sheethan (nope, that is how I spell her last name...too bad the mod will not let me REALLY spell her name) who screams shrilly the extreme leftist position, who is now gone to Cuba to protest Gitmo, who has met with Hugo Chavez, and who uses her dead son as a vehicle to futher her agenda; or if it is illegal aliens at a huge rally in D.C. (like the one I walked into after my family and I left the Air and Space Museum- where was INS, border patrol, ICE, etc.?) demanding more "rights" when they are not even citizens...No wonder Americans who are educated, smart, and up to speed on current events ignore them...

I have personally attempted to discuss issues with war protesters who were assembled at the state capital when I used to live in Columbia, SC, this was 2 years ago. As soon as I identified myself as a vet of OIF, they immediately clammed-up, and told me to go away. They wouldn't even discuss or debate issues with me....OBTW, I was by myself...talk about a bunch of cowards.

ADDED: another case in point- I thought Cindy Sheethan was the anti-war protester...Look what she is doing now:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,242275,00.html

I am sure my maternal in-laws would have something to say to her if they could. They were forced to flee Cuba in 1959....
What really irks me is that yes, Americans for the most part are NOT informed, why?

Why is it when I go to a Chick-Fil-A, and the high-school aged person at the counter asks me after I told her I flew into Atlanta to visit Alabama, from Kansas City, and she asks me: "Where is Kansas City?" I then replied: "You do not know where Kansas City is?" She replied "No, in fact, I flunked my U.S. geography test yesterday, I have a retest next week...". I rolled my eyes, shook my head and walked off. My wife is an educator. She says it is aweful how kids today do not care to learn...all they want to know is: who won American Idol last night, who is who, what is what, etc. But when it comes to simple geography, history, math, science, etc. they don't care. Heck even the PARENTS don't even care anymore. IF the students even have a parent in the house....one of her students, now this is extreme, was found out later to be homeless along with some other family members.

Yep...some places are better than others...but by and large, a large number of Americans don't even know current events, lack basic education, etc. Don't believe me? Ask around...heck, even watch Jay Leno when he goes around asking folks things. It is embarrassing to say the least. And strategically on economic fronts, will hurt us. How many have gone to the hospital, to find the doc or nurse is not even an American, but from overseas, say India, UK, some other place? It is sad...really sad.
The question is how can America be educated to understand what freedom means? ignorance: does not want to read, nor understand, and has never read the Declaration of Independence, nor does he understand his first Right and Duty;

What freedom is not: a tyrannical government; Dissent represents what Freedom is. Jefferson: "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be." (as cited in Padover, 1939, p. 89)". . . whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right." (as cited in Padover, 1939, p. 88)

four basic principles: that democracy cannot long exist without enlightenment., that it cannot function without wise and honest officials, that talent and virtue, needed in a free society, should be educated regardless of wealth, birth or other accidental condition, that the children of the poor must be thus educated at common expense." Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppression of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. . . . the diffusion of knowledge among the people is to be the instrument by which it is to be effected.

How many Americans even know who Jefferson was? Where I live, football is more inportant than education. Parents have been known to hold their boys back so they could play another year of highschool ball. Highschool coaches make tons more than teachers. Many schools are failing...but not the football teams.

How do we teach people the difference between what is really happening vs propaganda? How do we get the people to understand what a free press is and how it isn't working now. Will we wake up before being put to sleep? Slavery isn't freedom. I believe we are entering into a new age of Serfdom. The m.a.s.s.e.s support the elite. M.a.s.s.e.s are expendable. They have no rights because they are basic property of the elite. Today's reality and the American Dream seem to be growing further and further apart. if a frog is placed in a pan full of cold water, and the heat is turned up gradually enough, the frog will fail to sense the danger, and instead of jumping to safety, it could quite unknowingly allow itself to be cooked. In a similar fashion, the media continues to be used to desensitize and/or misinform the general public into repeatedly accepting domestic and foreign policies that are very often diametrically opposed to the best interest of the majority.
quote:
Originally posted by Brentenman:
"There are now major demonstrations against the war every few months or so that draws tens of thousands of people but Bush ignores them and marches on."

When those people are along the lines of Cindy Sheethan (nope, that is how I spell her last name...too bad the mod will not let me REALLY spell her name) who screams shrilly the extreme leftist position, who is now gone to Cuba to protest Gitmo, who has met with Hugo Chavez, and who uses her dead son as a vehicle to futher her agenda; or if it is illegal aliens at a huge rally in D.C. (like the one I walked into after my family and I left the Air and Space Museum- where was INS, border patrol, ICE, etc.?) demanding more "rights" when they are not even citizens...No wonder Americans who are educated, smart, and up to speed on current events ignore them...

I have personally attempted to discuss issues with war protesters who were assembled at the state capital when I used to live in Columbia, SC, this was 2 years ago. As soon as I identified myself as a vet of OIF, they immediately clammed-up, and told me to go away. They wouldn't even discuss or debate issues with me....OBTW, I was by myself...talk about a bunch of cowards.

ADDED: another case in point- I thought Cindy Sheethan was the anti-war protester...Look what she is doing now:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,242275,00.html

I am sure my maternal in-laws would have something to say to her if they could. They were forced to flee Cuba in 1959....



They will always be right wing people who will support any war and whatever the government says without questing it, but so far the all volunteer army has worked pretty well. There is also a group of military families that do not support the war. Gold Star or something like that is led by Cindy Sheenan who opposes the war.
Those that complain that the soldiers are bearing the cost are right, but it's because as I said before, deep down inside, the public is not really buying the war. They would have no problem recruiting people if the American people truly believed it was a worth while cause.

There is a more serious problem though, the US has been recruiting a number of 3rd world people, especially right wing, to fight in Iraq in exchange for US citizenship. Of course when they come back and live here and if they stay in the military it will then be a real separate entity made up of people who have little connection to us.

The best way to stop this is to end the war. It's a lie. It's all about controlling the oil and spreading US imperialism. There is no reason to continue this war and it's only increasing the growth in terrorist groups and hatred toward the US. Our own intelligence analyses has stated this.

We need to develop safe, renewable energy sources, that's what's in the peoples interests, not fighting a war for oil and profits.

But you know what, if Bush attacks Iran and Israel attacks Syria the "Gates of Hell" will be opened, as the Islamic Clerics like to say, and we will be in a real war where they will strike here. The government will impose Martial law, end our rights and they imprison dissenter and they will reinstate their draft. They will also make us serfs, with no rights, to work for low wages and their high profits and to be used as cannon fodder in their wars for power and profits and "Glory."

But if the army is made up of draftees it may revolt again like they did in Vietnam, so who knows? It will be more chaos, hardships, suffering and death. Better to end the war now. We need to inform people of the truth and elect the right people to congress and let the world live in peace.
Brent (and I am really not trying to be a smart*** here(Well, tell the truth and shame the devil, I guess I am) but I know what a rabid republican you are) thank George W and the past Republican lawmakers for the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND program that educated that poor kid who flunked geography! THE DOG
quote:
Originally posted by elijah495:
We never know the true feelings of the American people, because the majority doesn't vote.... how do you entice millions of people to vote when nothing we do as a country pertains to them?....or they think not...


Back in the 60's and 70's radio and tv use to remind people how important it is to vote. People who don't vote are ignorant. The very people that are on social security, low wage people, and even middle class are the very people that do not vote. Most of them have been brainwashed that their vote don't do any good and have fallen for the propaganda. If you are a democrat and someone from the republican side is asking you to vote republican, take a look at what they have and then take a look at what you have. One of the biggest things that people don't realize why Senator Shelby, Bud Cramer, Jeff Sessions, voted along with this war was because of Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Lockeed Martin, any state that has a lot of military bases will vote for war and be on the side of war, because the people who work for these outlets are making big paychecks. So if you are wondering why there is not a big outcry in Alabama, I just gave you the answer. You take a look around Florence, the Shoals, a lot of fine homes going up. Have you ever wondered where these people work? Again, I answered your question.
quote:
Originally posted by MADDOG 20/20:
Brent (and I am really not trying to be a smart*** here(Well, tell the truth and shame the devil, I guess I am) but I know what a rabid republican you are) thank George W and the past Republican lawmakers for the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND program that educated that poor kid who flunked geography! THE DOG


My wife would disagree with you. About time someone cleaned up the schools or made an honest effort to clean them up. She calls it a lack of personal effort and a lack of parental responsibility, along with some schools that just suck.

OBTW maddog, guess who joined GWB in getting No Child Left Behind started and passed? Why, good ole Uncle Teddy Kennedy himself.... Shame on YOU.
quote:
Originally posted by Brentenman:
quote:
Originally posted by MADDOG 20/20:
Brent (and I am really not trying to be a smart*** here(Well, tell the truth and shame the devil, I guess I am) but I know what a rabid republican you are) thank George W and the past Republican lawmakers for the NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND program that educated that poor kid who flunked geography! THE DOG


My wife would disagree with you. About time someone cleaned up the schools or made an honest effort to clean them up. She calls it a lack of personal effort and a lack of parental responsibility, along with some schools that just suck.

OBTW maddog, guess who joined GWB in getting No Child Left Behind started and passed? Why, good ole Uncle Teddy Kennedy himself.... Shame on YOU.

In my personal experience, many parents do try to get involved in their schools and are often ignored or otherwise turned away. For most parents, their first sense of a school district is their neighborhood school and their children's own teachers. When they do not feel that their efforts are welcome or appreciated there, they will seldom move onto higher levels of involvement.

Most schools and districts are not versed in volunteer management. The ones that are tend to pigeon-hole parents into tidy little roles that suit a particular teacher's or program's needs, without really considering the parents' needs or ideas. How involved does a parent want to become when their volunteer time is limited to mind-numbing tasks like cutting out math manipulatives, coloring in posters or decorating bulletin boards? While all are necessary tasks, I'm sure, they do not utilize the intelligence, spirit and ideas a parent can bring to a school and district.

Schools say they want parental involvement, much the same way that politicians say they want to hear from their constituents. But when push comes to shove, they really just want to be left alone to do what they were going to do anyway.

As one teacher told me, "I have to manage my class, I don't have time to manage volunteers too. They ask too many questions and won't just follow my directions. It's just easier to do it myself." (The principal of her school supported that notion as well.) Easier in the short run, perhaps. But in the long run, that teacher, principal and thus the school itself are discouraging parents from ongoing and higher levels of interaction in the public schools.
The media only accounts for a part of why people are misinformed. Two other parts, as I see it, have to do with education and religion. In terms of education, there are a number of problems: not enough people are getting to the higher years; there are roadblocks in terms of money and admittance exams; and there is a general tendency to educate people in terms of success in business or useful skills for jobs, instead of a broader liberal education that exposes a person to literature, history, reading and analytic skills in general; the study of various economic and political systems, etc. Most people armed with this type of education are not suckers for every pundit or snake-oil salesman who comes along. (I would also mention that even k-12 education in the United States is highly indoctrinary as opposed to enlightening, but that's another entire subject; and of course, the massive "home-school" movement which is merely a more focused type of indoctrination, but that's another subject, too.)
In terms of religion, many clerics purposely discourage the acquisition of knowledge as some sort of devil-induced way of robbing people of their faith. In a broad sense, religion and the pursuit of knowledge are diametrically opposed to one another, because it is true that the more knowledge one gains, the less religious he/she is likely to be. That's why, for instance, the Catholic Church suppressed Galileo at the time: his knowledge of the heavens were contrary to the Biblical view of the universe, and hence undermined the authority of the church. This is the same reason why many modern clerics are opposed to the Theory of Evolution. So, many churches, contrary to their protestations otherwise, work actively against a more informed population. This modern religious movement has focused the country on things like displays of the "10 commandments" in public schools, or the teaching of "intelligent design" as opposed to efforts to improve the overall quality of education. In other words, the conservative religious movements have seriously delayed the progress of education in this country by keeping our political system tied-up, so to speak, with these useless debates - and this may be one of the main reasons why American educational institutions are falling behind. Consider the problems with stem-cell research: is there any doubt that we have fallen seriously behind on this due solely to clerical interferrence?

So, I think any approach to a better informed citizenry needs to include not only what I have indicated in my critique of the media, but also these two areas, as well.
The reason Americans are not informed is one thing. Obsession with entertainment. When some useless celebrity has a kid, everyone knows the kid's name within hours of it's birth. When politicians pass legislature that can adversely affect our day to day life, no one has any idea because they're too busy reading about the celebrity kid. We're too self absorbed in our selves and would rather be entertained than informed.
quote:
Originally posted by NashBama:
The reason Americans are not informed is one thing. Obsession with entertainment. When some useless celebrity has a kid, everyone knows the kid's name within hours of it's birth. When politicians pass legislature that can adversely affect our day to day life, no one has any idea because they're too busy reading about the celebrity kid. We're too self absorbed in our selves and would rather be entertained than informed.


Nash, for the most part, I agree with you.... but not everyone is that way, Thank God.

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