Wednesday, 11/12/14, Public Square

I think we’re supposed to be content, and distracted, by  Reality TV, Facebook and Smartphones.



Filed under The Public Square

18 responses to “Wednesday, 11/12/14, Public Square

  1. This is why sheeple are in such demand by politicians and Vulture Venture Capitalists.

    Sheeple will simply go with the flow, never look up, never even have the thought to look up – which is an entirely different thing.

    I had an interesting discussion yesterday with a man about my age (61) and we both agreed that modern technology has come a long ways.

    But….we also agreed that maybe the world would have been better off if the t.v. was not 24/7. With all that time to fill – it seems too much of it is just plain C-R-A-P…

    1) reality t.v. shows
    2) Overpaid celebrities selling corporate foreign-made crap
    3) Too many ads selling the latest and newest drugs – and then having doctors being nothing more than corporate employees who are more than willing to write a prescription for those new drugs.

    This man and I both remembered the old test pattern of the Indian symbol when the television broadcast day was ended – at midnight in my town.

    And we thought midnight was really, really late…….

    In our current world of rush-rush-rush and non-stop 24/7 – is it any wonder our people seem to be always tired, not feeling healthy and just plain in a bad mood all the time…

    Is it any wonder…..??

    • No wonder at all. These tired people living these hectic lives don’t have time to do much more than put one foot in front of the other and tackle the next challenge.

      Why are we busier and our lives more hectic?


      The huge houses furnished and decorated ‘properly,’ and the two new cars, lots more clothes and shoes and STUFF than anyone “needs.” Taking our kids to classes and practices and… They don’t really just play anymore. Shouldn’t we spend time most days in the gym like everyone else does? Climbing the corporate ladder so we can pay for stuff — stuff we already put on credit cards and more stuff we want but don’t yet have. Did we forget the wisdom of working so we can live vs living to work?

      Just like remembering the “old test pattern of the Indian symbol when the television broadcast day was ended,” I’m sure we remember that was the ONLY television, each child did not have their own bedroom, there was one ‘living’ area in the house and everyone shared it, we might have both an every day and a dress pair of shoes, we didn’t over eat or eat packaged or fast food and we did our own housework and yard work and played a game of ball with the kids regularly so we really did adequate physical activity for the much more healthy diet we consumed. We didn’t have nearly as much stuff but we did seem to have more time.

      • We were also talking about that – one telephone in the house which was tied into the wall – so no privacy at all. We also had party lines up until I was in junior high school.

        I grew up in a 3-bedroom house, one car garage. There were five of us – the two girls shared a bedroom and my brother got his own bedroom (because he was the only boy).

        We were content and comfortable – but we were far from wealthy.

        Hell – our family doctor was not even wealthy. He lived in the same neighborhood as his patients. His kids ran around with the rest of us playing outside.

        Of course, nowadays with all the perverts and gun-crazed people roaming abound looking for trouble – our kids do not have the freedom/luxury (?) of being able to just go outside and play games with their friends.

        We also had neighborhoods filled with people that actually cared for and watched out for ALL the kids.

        You know one thing that we did not have? All these mega churches on every corner. Talk about people being so busy just buying ‘stuff’ to keep up with the Jones…(remember that old saying).

        Also – along with these mega churches, I think this attitude of Us vs Them has become even more prevalent and acceptable behavior.

        I don’t know what the future holds for my kids and grandkids. I have talked to each of my kids and I’ve told them that when I die, I want them to use the money from my life insurance and give serious thought to possibly getting out of America.

        I truly fear we are on the downward path to a third-world country. And this has nothing to do with the black man in the White House.

        It has everything to do with Americans worshiping the Almighty Dollar and allowing corporations to become our rulers.

      • There were NINE of us — two parents and seven kids (6 girls and one boy). I was the oldest child and up until I was 15 we lived in a 3 bedroom, one bath house, no garage. The four oldest girls had two sets of bunk beds in one room, the two younger girls had twin beds in another and the baby and only boy took turns sleeping with one of those younger sisters.

        When I was 15 and the youngest child and only boy was 4, we moved to a two bedroom, one bath house WITH A FULL BASEMENT. We were really uptown and had more space than we knew what to do with! We turned that basement into a girls dormitory, and that one boy child and the parents had the two bedrooms on the ground floor. We still ALL shared that one bathroom.

        Pause here for a fun memory: One day the bathroom door was closed and a line of girls began forming outside the closed door. We took inventory and discovered it had to be that BOY in there. One of the sisters said loudly, “Hurry up John, there’s a line out here!” In no time the door burst open and a wide-eyed little boy asked loudly, “Where’s the lion?” 🙂

        Know what? In both houses we still had room for overnight company! I remember fondly family — Grandma, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins… coming to stay, and all of us girls had friends spend overnights when we were teens. Sleeping on pallets on the floor was common. We never had much space and we never knew our space was being invaded (or whatever the words are to describe our need for space today).

        My Dad had ten green thumbs and grew great gardens of abundance each summer. We ate fresh veggies and fruits (mostly berries) every day during growing season and we canned for the times we couldn’t grow food. Meat wasn’t a part of most meals but we sure did have some Sunday afternoon feasts of fried chicken or roast or meat loaf or … Other days protein was mostly from eggs, beans, greens.

        We did not get sick, we did not see doctors. I don’t think we ever had health insurance and the few times one of us did need a doctor we probably made payments.

        We didn’t take vacations — we couldn’t all fit in a car. We always had enough people for a game of cards, a board game, baseball, tag… We were encouraged to be curious, always visited libraries and had lots of books. Dinner time — sitting at one table — was mandatory attendance and the discussions were lively. Sometimes we’d break out books and maps at dinner time. Books took us all over the world. Education was emphasized, school attendance was expected to be perfect, time was set aside where we all (including the parents) did homework. The parents did homework with us as neither of them had attended school beyond 8th grade so were eager to learn.

        We were happy as clams!

      • fnord – I think you and I both grew up in similar surroundings.

        Our family only had three kids – but my Mom grew up in a family of 6 kids and my Dad’s family had 5 kids.

        Neither of the grandparents’ houses were big – just average and, like you said, one bathroom.

        We all managed to live and be happy. We were taught to be content with what we had and to be thankful we had it -even if it was not exactly what we wanted.

        By being thankful – I don’t mean we sat around and had long flowery prayers to the only ‘true’ God.

        I mean we were damn thankful to have what we had – and to be willing to share what we did have if our family/friends/neighbors needed something.

        We went to church but not to be looking down our noses at those who chose to go to a different church or those who chose to not go to church.

        BUT that was when our family was attending that small American Baptist church.

        THEN my mother got all involved in that Independent Baptist Evangelical Church. This where our focus on the one ‘true’ God was really brought into the picture.

        You see – We were the ONLY people that knew the one ‘true’ God. Yeah, you betcha …wink-wink

        If you did not read, study and preach from the King James version the Bible – then you were not a ‘true’ Christian.

        Then I went to that Fundy Baptist College in Chattanooga Tennessee. WOW – talk about an education…

        I witnessed how religious people could really be mean, rude and hateful creatures – and I do mean creatures.

        That Independent Fundy Baptist Church was a business selling the product of Jesus – it was not a true church – IMHO

        And that was back in the 1970’s…….these mega churches have only become more mean, more rude and more hateful – IMHO

        Sad to say – these mega churches are what Ronald Reagan let into the Republican Party in 1980. Reagan allowed Jerry Falwell and his Immorality Boys to come into the GOP and take over…

        The rest is history….

  2. Indy, I thought of you and your granddaughter when I read this. I don’t know if this fits your scenario of last year and I’m guessing it probably doesn’t, but it does probably fit other scenarios at schools all over and every day. RD, I thought of you and your grandson too. And, I felt so very thankful for teachers after reading this — I sure hope every child who may be “THAT” child for even a minute has a teacher just like this one!

    Dear Parent: About THAT kid…

    • Our problem last year was a mixed bag –

      1) one bully has a father that barks out orders like a military general. Is it any wonder he was in the middle of a nasty divorce with his second wife?

      2) one bully has a father who is a former local high school football star – who never left his little town and he cannot find a job now because he was so certain he would be playing in the NFL now and be a millionaire. Sadly – he is also divorced and as I have witnessed on the school grounds, every female teacher there seems to flock to this guy like he is the grand prize. WHY???

      3) we had a teacher who is in the profession because she gets her summers off and she gets off every day at 3:30pm. This teacher is very good at keeping up appearances – but she has very little love and understanding of children. IMHO – this teacher gives good teachers a bad name…

      4) we had a principal that refused to even investigate when problems were reported to her. Her response to me was – we don’t like to use the word bullies. With all the anti-bullying posters hanging around the school walls – I wonder what am I supposed to call a bully?

      I could almost feel sorry for the bullies if it was not for the fact these two have been getting away with this behavior for the past 3 years. These two are in the other room this year – but from what I’ve heard from other parents, these two bullies have not stopped their bullying ways.

      My daughter is a pre-school teacher and she knows exactly about the ones that fit the description of ‘that’ kid…

      And the article is correct – there are several factors involved…..but the running theme is –

      1) low income
      2) not enough to eat
      3) no stability in the home
      4) domestic violence and/or drug use
      5) a lot of grandparents are raising their grandkids due to problems with drug/alcohol abuse

      If these Loud-n-Proud Christian Republicans was really serious about changing our country – they would stop spending their money on mulit-million dollar political campaigns and start investing their money into the future of our country – our kids.

      But – as we’ve see far too many times – these folks are too busy to be bothered by what is really going on.. they would rather blame the black man in the White House.

      • P.S. – what upset us the most was when this teacher started sending the granddaughter to the counselor because this teacher said the child had ‘mental issues’.

        In other words – the kid that got bullied was the problem?

        But – in thinking back – during that time period last year, the granddaughter had those episodic bouts with throwing up and two doctors told us she had a virus and sent her home.

        Come to find out – the endocrinologist suspects the granddaughter’s pancreas was starting to shut down last year and was sporadically working. So those days the kid was not focused, tired and throwing up were the days the pancreas was not working properly.

        It had nothing to do with ‘mental issues’ – and everything to do with physical health issues.

        The teacher last year never did call my son or DIL before she sent their little girl to the counselor for ‘mental issues’.

        That is what bothers us the most – the parents were not even contacted…..and I suspect this teacher simply wanted to get my granddaughter labeled as ‘mental issues’ and then she could get rid of her out of her classroom – so she would not be bothered.

        This year’s teacher is totally different – and I am so glad. The Kindergarten and First Grade teachers were both wonderful. It was just this particular Second Grade teacher that was the type that I would call ‘Loud-n-Proud Christian’. Caring more about the appearances and not caring about what matters the most – the kids.

        I base this on what I’ve learned from other parents – I am not the only person that feels this way.

        But the principal will not even listen to anyone who dares to question this teacher – so, she is covered and she knows it.

      • I am sooo happy to hear this year’s teacher isn’t among the few bad apples like last year’s teacher!

        I knew it didn’t fit your situation. Still, I thought of your little granddaughter who suffered unfairly. I wish we could truly live Hillary’s lesson of “it takes a village” and do what is best for children. They are our tomorrow!

      • Kids are our tomorrow….

        Which is why it bothers me to know that by 2020 (only 6 years away) – the number of Americans over the 60 will outnumber the kids under the age of 5 yrs – for the first time in history.

        No country can survive without the kids coming up the ranks to become our future leaders…

        And then – with the kids we do have, how many are in stable homes with enough income to truly thrive?

        It takes money to raise a family – and the jobs we are seeing in America today are just not paying enough to make raising kids a real possibility.

        Something is very wrong…..

  3. I hope everyone can find the time to read this piece. Honestly, this is one of my favorite Atlantic pieces of the year, and I read at The Atlantic often.

    (from the link): Anyway, Homer Simpson once said that alcohol is the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems. And I kept thinking: That’s actually a pretty good description of the Internet and how it’s changing our discourse. It’s basically the cause of, and solution to, everything that plagues our culture.

    That’s an exaggeration, of course. The Internet didn’t cause Donald Trump, and it certainly can’t solve Donald Trump. Did you know that every single day, the Internet produces more speech than was created between the dawn of civilization and the year 2006? You didn’t know that, because I just made it up. But it feels true. We are all bombarded. We are drowning in information. It’s no longer thrown on our doorstep each sunrise, or even just broadcast into our living rooms; it’s in our hands every waking hour; the endless stream of talking, as we spend all day moving our eyes from screen to screen to screen; it’s the first thing we see each morning and the last thing we see before we go to bed.

    When the Duck person said his crazy thing about the sins of the gays and how nice things were during Jim Crow—which was just wild—Sarah Palin (who maybe didn’t know better) and Governor Bobby Jindal (who definitely knew better) said it was a violation of the his First Amendment rights. And it wasn’t, obviously. The government wasn’t removing anyone from the air. A&E under pressure from GLAAD and others considered removing a reality-show persona from the air. So it wasn’t a First Amendment issue and the fact that that has to be said out loud should make all of us sad. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t speech issues at stake here, which is what at the heart of conservatives’ complaint.

    The right to free speech may begin and end with the First Amendment, but there is a vast middle where our freedom of speech is protected by us—by our capacity to listen and accept that people disagree, often strongly, that there are fools, some of them columnists and elected officials and, yes, even reality-show patriarchs, that there are people who believe stupid, irrational, hateful things about other people and it’s okay to let those words in our ears sometimes without rolling out the guillotines.

    The bottom line is, you don’t beat an idea by beating a person. You beat an idea by beating an idea.

    The Culture of Shut Up
    Too many debates about important issues degenerate into manufactured and misplaced outrage—and it’s chilling free speech.

    • The Culture of Shut Up – goes hand in hand with the Proud to be Stupid.

      There used to be a common courtesy when I grew up. Whatever happened to that?

      Now – if I disagree with any Evangelical Republican – I am told I am ‘persecuting them’ for their religious beliefs?

      Excuse me – but when did I put a burning cross in their front yard.

      When did I lynch one of these Fundy Christians?

      When did I join other to black ball them so they could not find work or housing?

      When did I throw a bomb into their church so they could not practice their religion?

      All I do is to have my chance at Free Speech when I dare to disagree with what they say…….and that is the problem, as I see it.

      If one wants to have free speech – then we need to make sure EVERYONE has that same right to free speech.

      In this hot button issue of prayers in school – have you noticed that it is NOT people from any other religion but these Evangelical Christians that are pushing this issue?

      I don’t see the Jewish, Buddhists, Muslims or even the Catholics pushing for their particular prayers. All I see are these Fundy Evangelical (usually Baptists) who think they have the right to demand THEIR prayers are in school and no other religions need apply.

      • You are correct that no matter how hard we try to be respectful of others we will absolutely run into some people who aren’t even trying and make us wonder why we should try. It’s hard not to respond in kind to rudeness insults and hate, but I still firmly believe it is the mature and best way to interact! I also strongly believe that the words of rude hateful people who hurl insults say way more about them than those they are insulting.

  4. Some charts, some graphs, a bit of information and some truthful encouragement.

    (from the link): The truth is this: Most Things Are Getting Better for Most People, Even If a Bit More Slowly Than in the Past, and There are Plenty of Things that Can, and Should, Be Better Still. (Not a great bumper sticker, I admit.)

    Progressives Lost the Election, but Their Ideas Are Winning
    Cheer up, liberals.

    • As I was driving around town doing errands yesterday, I noticed there is a lot of building going on in this town.

      Not sure what was going up – a few apartment complexes, some houses but a lot of new businesses.

      Hmmmm….if the black man in the White House has ruined our economy and destroyed our country – then he must be going about it the wrong way….

      NOW – if only the average working American’s income started to raise – as the corporate CEO’s and their profits have skyrocketed since Obama took over.

  5. Well, we ALL felt the earth move, under our feet … and equality in marriage came to our state — W O H O O !! It was a fitting way to usher in marriage equality to Kansas, don’t you think? 🙂

  6. Between 2008 and 2013, cops in Brazil killed 11,000 civilians.
    Eleven thousand.
    One. One. Zero. Zero. Zero.

    US Police Brutality Is Bad. This Giant Western Country’s Is Way Worse.