2015: For Millennials, patriotism doesn’t mean compliance

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain (RARE.US) What do President Teddy Roosevelt, author Mark Twain, and theologian G.K. Chesterton have in common? Each understood what patriotism is—and, more importantly, what it isn’t. Each also understood it in a way that is, unfortunately all too rare today. Recent polling research has revealed not only that the Millennial generation is more politically independent than our elders, but also that we’re less patriotic… or at least, that’s how the poll results are presented, with dire headlines like, “A generational gap in American patriotism.” But is this actually true? It depends on what you mean by patriotism. Young people are about 15% less likely than average to say the U.S. is the greatest country in the world (32% vs. 48%), and only half say the phrase “a patriotic person” describes them […] Read More

2015: 9 Things Many Americans Just Don’t Grasp (Compared to the Rest of the World)

Americans’ lack of worldliness clouds their views on everything from economics to sex to religion. To hear the far-right ideologues of Fox News and AM talk radio tell it, life in Europe is hell on Earth. Taxes are high, sexual promiscuity prevails, universal healthcare doesn’t work, and millions of people don’t even speak English as their primary language! Those who run around screaming about “American exceptionalism” often condemn countries like France, Norway, and Switzerland to justify their jingoism. Sadly, the U.S. economic deterioration means that many Americans simply cannot afford a trip abroad to see how those countries function for themselves. And often, lack of foreign travel means accepting clichés about the rest of the world over reality. And that lack of worldliness clouds many Americans’ views on everything from economics to sex to religion. Here are nine things Americans can learn from the rest of the world. 1. Universal […] Read More

2015: What It MEANS to Be an American

Many blowhards attack those who criticize powerful people in America. They treat any questioning of “authority” as being “anti-American” or “anti-government”. Indeed, according to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is “low-level terrorism”. And see this, this and this.  Similarly, an FBI memo labels peace protesters as “terrorists”. But – as shown by the following quotes – those are anti-American thoughts. Indeed, as Americans, we are very pro-America. But we’re anti-CORRUPTION, anti-FASCISM and anti-PILLAGING AND PLUNDERING.  If that makes us controversial, so be it … we’re in very good company: “It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error” – The United States Supreme Court decision in American Communications Association v. Douds “To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men.” – Abraham […] Read More

2015: The War On Our Intuition That Something Is Fundamentally Amiss

Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog, What will you accept as real–your intuition that something is deeply amiss in America or the official propaganda that all is well? In 1967, the rock group Buffalo Springfield recorded a song titled For What It’s Worth which speaks not just to the late 1960s but to the present. Consider the opening lines: There’s something happening here What it is ain’t exactly clear The ambiguity is not coincidental. When the song was recorded in December 1966, America was in the beginning throes of a full-blown national nervous breakdown that would endure for 15 years until 1981. The fundamental narratives that had sustained the previous 20 years of apparently limitless prosperity and moral certitude were breaking down. The primary narrative of American foreign policy–that the U.S. defended liberty and always won its foreign wars over evil totalitarianism/ fascism/ colonialism was being destroyed on a daily basis in Vietnam, […] Read More

2014: America’s Dangerous Turn to Anti-Intellectualism

The rise in academic book bannings and firings is compounded by a growing disregard for scholarship itself. Recently, I found out that my work is mentioned in a book that has been banned, in effect, from the schools in Tucson, Arizona. The anti-ethnic studies law passed by the state prohibits teachings that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” and/or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” I invite you to read the book in question, titled Critical Race Theory: An Introduction so that you can decide for yourselves whether it qualifies. In fact, I invite you to take on as your summer reading the astonishingly lengthy list of books that have been removed from the Tucson public school system as part of this wholesale elimination […] Read More

2014: The American Dream: “You Have To Be Asleep To Believe It”

“It’s never gonna get any better, be happy with what you got… because the ‘owners’ of this country don’t want that. The ‘real’ owners of America – the big wealthy business interests that control things and make all the important decisions – got you by the balls… What they don’t want is a population of well-educated people capable of critical thinking.” Three minutes of uncomfortable truth…

2014: In The US, Democracy Is Now A Sham

Submitted by ‘Ray’ via ClubOrlov blog, The founding principle for this new form of government which emerged in the 18th century, was that the Common Man was the ultimate source of power. Citizen legislators would enact the laws and shape the nation’s destiny. But instead, our republic is now strong-armed by professional politicians. The two dominant concerns of these careerists are to STAY in power and to do the bidding of those who ENABLE them to stay in power. Anyone who doubts this statement might try explaining why campaign finance reform and term limits are perennially “off the table.” Actually, that is an understatement – they aren’t even in the building. It is bad enough that the President, Congress and the Courts serve the interests of a minority that is so tiny that it is almost microscopic. What is even worse, is WHO that elite constituency is. It is […] Read More

2014: What Happens When Teachers, Delivery People And Fast Food Workers Don’t Care Anymore…

One of the big problems in America today is that a lot of people simply do not seem to care about what they are doing anymore.  The level of sloth, laziness, and apathy that we are witnessing in this country is absolutely mind-numbing.  Of course, this is not true of everyone.  There are still many Americans that are extremely hard working.  But overall, it really appears that people are not taking as much pride in their work as they once did.  Some of the examples that I am about to show you are quite funny.  Others are more than just a little bit disturbing.  But they all have a common theme.  Americans from all walks of life are simply giving up.  Whether they are teachers, delivery people or fast food workers, the truth is that there are a whole lot of people out there that seem to have mentally […] Read More

2013: What San Francisco’s Bat Kid Tells Us About America

A fascinating watermark in America’s obsession with superhero culture, and geek culture. The following first appeared on Think Progress: It used to be that the Make-A-Wish Fund would hook up a chronically or terminally-ill child with a trip to Disney World or a meeting with one of their favorite celebrities. Now, in a sign that times–and culture–have changed, something much more ambitious has happened. At the request of a five-year-old named Miles, who has leukemia that’s gone into remission, and with the help of many, many volunteers, including San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr and the San Francisco Giants, big parts of San Francisco will be turned into a fantasy of Gotham so that Miles can pretend to be Batman for the day, while his younger brother is dressed up as Robin. The event’s gone viral, prompting tweets from as high up as President Obama, and some questions about the allocation of […] Read More