Have you ever gazed upon a herd of cattle or sheep and wondered what they were thinking? If you have then you probably can relate to how I feel when I gaze upon large groups of human beings.
Doctors who specialize in the human brain use electroencephalography to monitor the electrical activity inside the brain by way of electrodes attached to the scalp. This helps them to learn what activity, if any, is going on in certain areas of the brain.
I don’t know how much you know about the anatomy of the human brain but the cerebrum, or cortex is the largest part of the human brain and it is responsible for the higher functions such as thought and action. On the other hand, human emotions are carried out by the limbic system in the temporal lobe; specifically the amygdala.
I would love to see the results of a scientific study of human beings with an EEG, or electroencephalogram performed on people having a political debate to determine whether people are using their cerebrum or their temporal lobe during the debate. I’d be willing to bet that the cerebrum would probably be registering little to no activity.
There is a quote attributed to Thomas Edison that states, “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think that they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” Regardless of whether Edison actually said that or not, I think there is a lot of truth to that statement.
The human brain has been equated to a muscle in that the more you use it the stronger it gets. Well, according to Edison I’d guess that cerebrum of most people is pretty underdeveloped; as they certainly don’t appear to be using it very much.
Now I’m not saying you can’t be passionate, or get emotional about issues, but if that’s all you are doing then you aren’t using your higher functions; you aren’t actually thinking. I am very passionate about my right to keep and bear arms, but I back up my position with the most well thought out, and fact based argument that I can. Most people, particularly those who favor tougher gun laws, are simply emotional; they are unable to provide many facts to support their position on the issue. Think about the children, or we have got to do something to curb gun violence are not facts; they are emotional responses to a situation that most people have given little thought to.
Instead of looking at the causes behind all this gun violence, they offer up these knee jerk reactions to the symptoms; never thinking about the disease that plagues America–a lack of morality and respect for human life. So their solution is to deprive everyone of their rights because a relatively small percentage of the people abuse that right.
Take any of these crimes where some lunatic takes a firearm into a heavily populated location and begins firing into the crowd; how many gun laws is that person in violation of at the time of their crimes? I would guess that they are violating anywhere from five to ten gun laws just by opening fire into a crowd. Yet people think that one more gun law could have prevented them from committing that crime?
Look at the war on drugs and Nancy Reagan’s Just Say No campaign; how effective has all those laws been on preventing drug usage in America? Look at the war on poverty; how much money have we infused into the system to eradicate poverty, yet poverty still runs rampant in America. Look at how we deal with declining intelligence in our high school graduates; we funnel more money into the system and lower the standards to artificially inflate SAT scores.
Yet we still have crime, we still have poverty, we still have drug usage, and we still have a whole lot of people running around who are simply unable to think critically; to present facts in a clear and concise manner in support of their position on any number of subjects or issues.
I dare you; go into any public place and just sit there watching people as they move to and fro. What are most of them doing? Staring down into their smartphones; that’s what they are doing. The technology and the access to knowledge we have at our fingertips today is mind boggling; but how many people actually use that technology for anything other than checking Facebook or Twitter feeds?
How can anyone be expected to engage in an intelligent debate with people who bring no facts of their own to the debate; or worse, to whom facts don’t matter? As an example, let’s talk about U.S. foreign policy in regards to Iran. I’d be willing to bet that most Americans are pretty much in agreement that Iran is a threat to America and that our government needs to take steps to ensure it does not obtain a nuclear weapon and use it against us in an act of terrorism.
To begin with, I wonder how many people could locate Iran on a map if the name of the country was omitted from the map. Yet these people believe they are informed enough to form opinions about our relations with a country they couldn’t find on a map if the name of the country was omitted?
Unless you are over the age of 40 you probably don’t remember the Iran Hostage Crisis during the presidency of Jimmy Carter. The Iran Hostage Crisis began when a group of Iranian college students held 52 Americans hostage for over a year; 444 days to be exact. I wonder, how many have given any thought to what led to those Iranian college students taking 52 Americans for hostages.
Before I was even born the U.S. and Great Britain, by way of the CIA and British Intelligence agencies, in an operation entitled Operation Ajax, orchestrated a coup d’état in Iran; overthrowing the democratically elected Prime Minister; Mohammad Mosaddegh. In his place western forces installed Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, or the Shah of Iran.
A bit of history as to why this coup took place is in order. Prior to the coup Mosaddegh had sought to audit the books of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, or AIOC; a British held firm which we now know as BP, or British Petroleum. When the AIOC refused to cooperate, Iran nationalized its oil reserves; severely cutting back AIOC’s control AND profits. The coup was undertaken to place a more ‘western friendly’ leader at the helm in Iran and restore AIOC’s access to Iranian oil fields.
Just look at how some in this country are upset over the allegations that the Russians played a role in influencing the outcome of the recent U.S. presidential election, (unsubstantiated allegations I might add). Mind you, these people are upset simply because of rumors that another country interfered with our democratic election process; imagine how angry they would be if the Russians had orchestrated a coup and overthrown our democratically elected president; not to mention the fact that they then installed a Russian puppet in his place?
You have to look at this from Iran’s perspective; we interfered in their government by booting out a duly elected Prime Minister to replace him with a ‘western friendly’ Shah for the sole purpose of maintaining foreign access to Iran’s natural resources. How would we feel if another country did that to us?
And Iran is just one of many times our government has interfered in the internal politics of other countries. But because we are America, the land of the free, we think we have the moral high ground in any argument, and that it is okay if we do things that we condemn other countries of doing. Does the word hypocrisy mean anything to you?
Look at Al Qaeda; birthed out of the remnants of the U.S. assisted Afghani mujahedeen and Osama bin Laden’s anger towards the U.S. Look at ISIS; birthed out of the vacuum created when we toppled Saddam Hussein. We create our own monsters, and then use those monsters to justify our foreign policy and a continual state of war against the very terror our foreign policy gives birth to.
Now I’m not saying that there aren’t religious fundamentalists, or zealots if you will, who would still commit acts of terror against us simply because they believe they are doing Allah’s will. But we certainly aren’t making matters any better by sticking our noses into their business like we have been, and continue to do. Then to make matters worse, we go into their country and bomb the shit out of the, displacing hundreds of thousands of people, then say we have to let them emigrate to America as refugees. That’s just brilliant; piss somebody off by blowing up their house, then invite them over to live in yours.
Like I said, there is a draught in critical thinking going on here in America.
I just thought of something I need to insert here. I liken American politics to cotton candy. Our elections, especially our Presidential elections, are like a TV event more than they are the election of a new Executive. Look at all the pomp and circumstance; the TV analysts giving their two cents on the outcome; and all the fanfare; it’s like a flipping parade that lasts for months.
Yet with all this fanfare, this shiny appearance, it is empty and without substance. I have often wondered whether people are actually more influenced, even subliminally, by campaign slogans than they are the actual issues. Hope & Change, Make America Great Again; all designed to hook people into supporting this candidate or that. It’s like Jackson Browne says in his song Lives In the Balance, “They sell us the President the same way they sell us our clothes and our cars.”
It doesn’t matter what the issues are; fixing our declining economy; improving the standard of living for all Americans; reducing crime; graduating students who are capable of critical thought, the average person does not want to look at the underlying causes that led to these problems. Instead they want a leader who can make all these promises that sound good, but in the long run don’t do anything to solve all our problems.
If you were to truly think about it most of the problems this country faces can be traced back to a problem that is twofold in nature. First of all we have abandoned the principles which made America great to begin with; a sense of morality and respect for the lives and property of others; an abundance of liberty and a respect for the rights of the individual; and a general willingness of the people to assume total responsibility for their own lives and sustenance. Secondly, and correspondingly I might add, people today look to government as if it is some god to whom they can pray to solve all their problems.
Imagine if you will that you know a family who has a child they did not teach any values to. That child then grows up and causes all manner of problems for the parents; problems which the parents are then required to pay for to solve. Yet instead of disciplining their child, they let him go on doing things that cause more problems for them; until one day the family finds itself bankrupt and on the verge of ruin.
Well that’s America in a nutshell. We, or our Founders, created a system of government with very limited authority and an even more limited scope of operation. But like the parents, we did not refrain our government from overstepping its authority and causing all manner of problems in the process. So we bail the government out, either via higher taxes or by supporting wars or laws that infringe upon our fundamental rights. We are nearing the point where America collapses under the weight of its national debt. But to even hint at cutting our government down in size causes people to laugh derisively at those who make such suggestions.
It’s all because people simply do not want to exert the effort to truly think about the issues that face this country; they want quick and easy solutions that require little to no effort on their part. Not only are they averse to thinking, they tell me they don’t have time for the kind of study that I do. Yet they can certainly find time to check their Facebook feed, or spend hours on the weekends watching sports.
Actor Stephen Fry once said, “There are young men and women up and down the land who happily (or unhappily) tell anyone who will listen that they don’t have an academic turn of mind, or that they aren’t lucky enough to have been blessed with a good memory, and yet can recite hundreds of pop lyrics and reel off any amount of information about footballers. Why? Because they are interested in those things. They are curious. If you are hungry for food, you are prepared to hunt high and low for it. If you are hungry for information it is the same. Information is all around us, now more than ever before in human history. You barely have to stir or incommode yourself to find things out. The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.”
Knowledge is out there, you just have to want it bad enough to go out and find it. I guess it all boils down to your priorities. Are you more content to go through life believing lies, or do you have enough personal integrity to seek out the truth; and then use that truth to affect how you make your decisions in life?
America could be great again, but it has to begin with the people wanting what made America great to begin with more than they want anything else. As Patrick Henry said, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings-give us that precious jewel, and you may take every thing else.”
Your choice America; either stand for the principles and values that made America such a great country or keep putting your trust and faith in charlatans and false idols. One choice leads to prosperity and an abundance of freedom and the other leads to ruin.
I don’t know what else I can say. I feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall; trying to get people to see what is so painfully obvious to me. So if I seem to be repeating myself time and time again, forgive me; it’s just that I feel like I’m stuck trying to teach people to add 2 + 2 and they simply are unable to get it. I am therefore forced to conclude that people either don’t care, or they are just flat out stupid.
I’ll leave for y’all to decide which one applies to you personally.