You Want To Know Why I’m Always Angry?

“Too often we … enjoy the comfort of an opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
~John F. Kennedy~

When I was a kid I remember seeing these ads on TV, sponsored by the United Negro College Fund. The ads focused around the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” and were designed to promote and support education in the black community. Although the use of the word Negro might not be politically correct these days, the sentiment that a mind is a terrible thing to waste has never been truer.

We, as Americans, send our kids off to school for over a decade, entrusting them into the hands of so-called teachers and educators, and hope that, upon graduation, they are ready to take on the world. But what is it that our kids receive at the hands of these educators; for I certainly can’t call it an education.

Now I’ve not sat down with a group of teachers and talked to them about what it is they are attempting to instill into the minds of our youth, but I have often wondered if the entire system is more concerned with producing obedient drones who will not question authority rather than giving our youth the gift of critical thinking skills.

I can’t say for certain if our educators are simply constrained by the system or if they actually believe the tripe they are filling our kids minds with, but there is an old saying that I think applies well to what our kids undergo when they attend our public schools, “Garbage in, garbage out.”

Now I don’t know if Thomas Edison actually said this, but he is attributed with saying, “Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.” Although the percentages may be a bit off, I think that is a pretty accurate assessment of Americans today.

To a certain extent everyone thinks. After all, when you go to your closet to decide which clothes to wear you are thinking, but it is not the higher skill of critical thinking. Critical thinking is taking a subject and examining it with an open mind from all sides; weighing the evidence, and coming to a conclusion that is fact based, not an emotional reaction to the subject matter.

I often wonder if the opinions held by most people regarding the role of society and government is based more upon the repeating of what was crammed into their heads by society than it is a careful examination of all the facts. Repetition and memorization does not equate to thinking.

To give you an example of what I mean by that, I could teach a child the alphabet and then teach them how to pronounce words, but if I don’t teach them the meaning of those words, what good does that do? I mean, I could learn to read Latin or Greek, but if I don’t know the meaning of the words I’m using I could end up saying I want to kiss your dog and not even know it.

I am as much a product of the public education system as are the rest of the people inhabiting this country, but due to some malfunction in my genetic code, or a few crossed wires in my brain, I am incapable of simply following orders and accepting what I’m told without questioning it.

Alexander Hamilton was also credited with being highly intelligent by his peers, yet he only had this to say about it, “Men give me credit for some genius. All the genius I have is this. When I have a subject in mind, I study it profoundly. Day and night it is before me. My mind becomes pervaded with it… the effort which I have made is what people are pleased to call the fruit of genius. It is the fruit of labor and thought.” Although I disagree with his political views, and despise the man himself, I have to say that Hamilton’s approach to acquiring knowledge and mine are quite similar.

I’ve been told by many people that they simply do not have the time to spend burying their noses in books, reading the writings of those who founded this country. Excuse the language, but that’s utter bullshit; especially when they spend hours sitting in front of a TV watching an endless stream of mindless drivel, or glued to their smart phones playing idiotic games and posting to Facebook. Everyone has the time, that’s not the issue. The issue is priorities; what is important to them.

As 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.”

Our schools no longer produce children who are capable of critical thought; analyzing facts and coming to a conclusion based upon those facts. What our schools do is indoctrinate our youth; teaching them what to think instead of how to think. This is so blatantly obvious that all one has to do to prove it is to provide them with facts that contradict their beliefs and watch them perform all manner of mental gymnastics to justify not changing their beliefs to conform to the facts. I truly think that most people would rather go on believing a lie than make whatever changes are necessary in their lives to conform to the truth.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was an 18th century writer and statesman, or politician as we’d call him today. He once wrote, “Knowing is not enough; we must apply.” You could know that fire is hot, but if you don’t apply that knowledge, and stick your hand into the flame, you’re going to get burned.

What good is voting when you don’t know the purpose your government is supposed to serve? What good is knowing what purpose government is supposed to serve if you don’t apply that knowledge when you vote? You see the conundrum? I’d be willing to bet that if I were to require people answer a simple 10 question civics test before being allowed to vote that the number of people voting in the next election would dwindle down to under a million people.

Yet people would argue that their rights were being violated because they were required to actually know something about their system of government before they were allowed to vote. Really? Explain to me again why we require people to take a written and practical test before being allowed to operate a motor vehicle or when purchasing a gun.

As far as we, as individuals, are concerned our government only has one specific function-to preserve our liberty. During the debate over whether to adopt the proposed Constitution or reject the plan offered by the Philadelphia Convention, James Madison wrote the following regarding the powers the federal government would be allowed to exercise on behalf of the people, “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected.

The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Read that bold face print as many times as necessary for it to sink in, but according to Madison the powers given to the federal government WERE NOT meant to improve the lives of the people overall; that was the responsibility of the State governments. Yet here we are with a federal government that passes all manner of laws which do what Madison promised it would not do.

So we are faced with the dilemma of whether or not Madison was lying to us all along, or if our government has usurped those powers from the States. It’s either one or the other, for Madison clearly states that the federal government WAS NOT to have the power to affect the lives, liberties or property of the people.

So let me ask you something, when you vote, (for those of you who do vote), what are you voting for? I don’t want you to repeat the platform of the political party you most closely affiliate with, I want to know what principles YOU, as an individual, stand for; for which your vote represents and is an endorsement of. When you vote that is what you are doing, you are endorsing certain aspects of a politician’s campaign; even when you vote for one candidate because they aren’t as bad as the other one. Regardless of which political party the person you vote for belongs to, you are saying, “I believe in the things this candidate stands for.”

So again, what is it that YOU stand for?

Do you believe it is right for government to tax people upwards of 35% of their income to fund things the government was never supposed to be doing; including providing all manner of social programs to benefit the needy? Is your belief in accordance with those held by the people who founded this country? Well, let’s take a look.

In 1766, ten years before the idea of independence was a glimmer in the eyes of our Founders, Ben Franklin wrote an essay in which he said, “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer. There is no country in the world where so many provisions are established for them; so many hospitals to receive them when they are sick or lame, founded and maintained by voluntary charities; so many alms-houses for the aged of both sexes, together with a solemn general law made by the rich to subject their estates to a heavy tax for the support of the poor. Under all these obligations, are our poor modest, humble, and thankful; and do they use their best endeavours to maintain themselves, and lighten our shoulders of this burthen? On the contrary, I affirm that there is no country in the world in which the poor are more idle, dissolute, drunken, and insolent.”

Half a century later Thomas Jefferson would write the following in a letter to Joseph Milligan, “To take from one, because it is thought his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers, have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, the guarantee to everyone the free exercise of his industry and the fruits acquired by it.”

Well I’ll be damned, it certainly sounds like some of our Founders were not too keen on the idea of programs which took the wealth of some and gave it to those in need. Yet here we are in 2019 with a government that does just that, and a public that believes that is part and parcel of what government is supposed to do for them.

Doesn’t it piss you off when the pesky truth gets in the way of your beliefs?

I could go on for days discussing all the ways in which your government, (for I refuse to call it mine) violates the rights and liberty of the people in this country. For instance, the 2nd Amendment clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Infringed is defined as to limit, encroach upon, or undermine. How many laws has the federal government enacted which do just that; limit or restrict the extent to which we the people can own and carry certain types of arms? To say that the 2nd Amendment does not apply to modern day weaponry is idiotic, especially if you believe that your freedom of speech and right to privacy covers your use of the internet or telephones; as those also weren’t in existence in 1789.
And since I brought up privacy, let’s talk about the massive surveillance apparatus our government has at its disposal, which monitors and collects all our private electronic communications. How in the hell is that even legal?

If you would but read the 4th Amendment you would see that in no way is our government authorized to cast a huge net out over our private communications in the hope of catching someone in the act of committing a crime, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Where is the warrant for my private conversations to be monitored and collected? Who swore an oath or affirmation providing probable cause for me to be spied upon by my government? Yet when Edward Snowden revealed the extent to which your government spies upon you most people shrugged their shoulders and said, “If you don’t have anything to hide you shouldn’t have anything to worry about.”

It’s not about whether I have anything to hide, it’s about my right to have my private life kept free from the prying eyes and ears of the government, and the NSA in particular. As the Supreme Court held in 1967, “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of the liberties … which makes the defense of the Nation worthwhile.”

I constantly hear people say we should support our troops because they are fighting for our freedom. What freedom; we haven’t had any freedom in this country for decades. Even G.W. Bush said the terrorists hate us for our freedom, then he turns around and pushes through a whole slew of laws that restrict that freedom…and people supported him because their emotions were on fire after the attacks of 9/11.

People wonder why I get so angry sometimes. It’s not because of our government doing all these things; I can accept that those in power will seek to expand their power beyond what is right, (the very definition of tyranny). What I can’t accept is why people continue to support government when the facts prove that it no longer serves the purpose it was created to serve. That’s what pisses me off; when people still support this system when a mountain of evidence proves that it is a criminal enterprise that seeks to dominate and control every aspect of our lives.

Why does this happen? In a nutshell it is because people are incapable of, or unwilling to think. They let their emotions guide their decision making process and guide them in what laws to support, and which ones to oppose. Rarely does what the Constitution and Bill of Rights say come into play when people make those choices.

Yet people scurry about like ants in an ant farm, convinced that everything will be okay if we can just elect the right person into office…like Trump. What has he done to restore any of the liberty we’ve lost? Hmm??? Name just one thing that he’s done to restore any of your rights and I’ll shut up.

He hasn’t, and neither will whoever follows him into the Oval Office; for government doesn’t care about protecting your rights, all it cares about is its own continued survival and its hunger for more and more power. As long as the idiot voters keep supporting the system government will grant them a few table scraps, a few paltry privileges. But if the people start demanding their rights, and the ability to keep ALL their income to use as they see fit, then people will know the true nature of their government; for they will send their thugs, (law enforcement) out to force our compliance to its will

And tell me, how is that any better than the Nazis or the Communists we all claim to despise?

People ask how we lost our freedom. We lost it because we refused to think and we accepted tyranny because it came attached with bread and circuses. If you want an honest description of the people in this country today all you have to do is read the following, written 200 years before our Declaration of Independence, “Do not imagine that there is any bird more easily caught by decoy, nor any fish sooner fixed on the hook by wormy bait, than are all these poor fools neatly tricked into servitude by the slightest feather passed, so to speak, before their mouths. Truly it is a marvelous thing that they let themselves be caught so quickly at the slightest tickling of their fancy. Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.”

That’s the America we live in, where its occupants are more concerned with spectacle than they are the truth, where obedience is more important than standing up to tyrants; and that is why I get so damned pissed off all the time.

About Br'er Rabbit

I'm just one person out of millions of others. The only thing different about me is that I don't walk around with my head up my ass.
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