An Outsider’s View from Inside
ongoing thoughts

Why is the country called by the name of the continent? Superiority complex? A moron is bad enough, but a smug moron?! I used to think US is the leader in all innovations. There are so many research facilities here where the most improbable ideas are studied and tested (by many imported brains). And yet more and more we're finding out how many advances in every field have been made elsewhere. US does not recognize them and insists on reinventing the bicycle the "American way" wasting your tax dollars along the way. Even foreign movies and TV programs are redigested “a la US” so that Americans would never know where the idea came from (Bird Cage, The Toy, Three's Company, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars to name just a few). A brilliant film by Francois Truffaut was remade into an awful comedy with Burt Reynolds. Only the title remained: The Man Who Loved Women. Want more?

ATMs were introduced in Europe years before North America; alternative medicine was practised for centuries all over the world and just being studied here; there are many effective (and cheap) medications used everywhere but unavailable to Americans (big business interests, hello!).
The current crisis in education started over 30-40 years ago when "bright American minds" decided to "free" the students and make it "fun". The whole system was overhauled: no rote learning, no teacher lectures, no grammar. The principle was - if you make it fun, they will want to learn. Sounds great, but in practice Johnny can't read! Generations were raised in this system and we can all see them in the work place now where outrageous ignorance is shocking. American products used to be treated as a symbol of quality - not anymore. We buy Japanese cars, Italian shoes, French food and wine etc.
For outsiders, it used to be that everything American seemed perfect: its inaccessible goods, its movies (and we had a chance to see some of the best), always smiling people. Could it be that some of that propaganda we heard was true? Mighty dollar is king here and it's better to be rich than educated?
Some time ago there was an article in the Insight section of the Sunday Chronicle (highly recommended for those who actually like exercising their brains) about Americans' preference of self-righteous individuals. They might be dead wrong, but sure that they're right and that's appealing. Saves you the trouble to ponder and actually think for yourself. Disney Co. refused to distribute Michael Moore's doc. Fahrenheit 911. Why? They decided it's too controversial for Americans to see - it might thaw our brains.
One recipe for solving most of America's problems? Education. Think about this: any kind of progress in human civilization was achieved by thinkers and protesters who questioned the status quo (ex: Galileo who questioned religion; revolutionaries who questioned dictatorships, humanitarians who questioned slavery and human rights abuses; hippies who protested the Vietnam war; current anti-war movement, Greens etc.etc.). Dig in and see where these people are likely to appear - university campuses and intellectual circles. Even the majority of revolutionaries came from the ranks of "oppressors" (they had access to education) They stirred "the masses" into revolt for their rights.
If we teach (from the appropriate age) that no one is beyond criticism and provide both sides of opposite opinions, people will have to develop critical thinking and decide for themselves. Educated citizens will not accept much of BS propaganda and push for change. Case in point: Bay Area, considered to have more sophisticated population, was the birthplace of many progressive movements that most Americans take now for granted. Even if they become only "armchair critics”, they would still have their votes to express their informed preferences. "Nerds" will be honored not ridiculed; Mike Wallace will be the new JLo and daring thoughts would be expressed by all, not only comedians.
Would you choose a doctor without a medical degree? A lawyer who did not pass the bar? Would you hire someone "who's like you" to manage your investments or you'd insist on rigorous interview process and credentials evaluation before you can be sure the candidate is qualified for the job? Why not insist on the same procedures for the most important job in the world? Let's set up a Presidents' U where EVERYONE can be admitted - not only the rich and powerful; where the same standards would apply to every single student regardless of his connections and where specialty courses would be taught:

1.Geography, history, languages, cultural differences, religions of the world, diplomacy, current affairs etc. for foreign relations

2. math, finance, world and local economy, principles of economic development etc. for managing economy

3. psychology, stress endurance, sensitivity training etc. for effective communication with people and diplomacy

4. moral values such as honesty, compassion, sincerity etc. to uphold the lives of others higher than your own.

5. you will swear that you will not impose any law on the country unless you or your family members will abide by it. (military service etc.)

To prove that you're ready for the last right of passage you should be willing to share your wealth with others before you can become president. How many would still want the job? "In times of change the Patriot is a scarce man: brave, hated and scorned" Mark Twain
That selfless activism on behalf of strangers still moves me to tears: refugees could not comprehend why thousands of people on the other end of the world would fight for them. America was the unreachable land of dreams. Older Europeans remembered food and other items Americans dropped to devastated cities after the war. That was the America admired and worshiped by the world at the time. Where is it?...

Americans - this good natured and basically compassionate folk - are victims of the powers that are ruled by greed. Abysmal education and relentless brainwashing decimated the country's spirit. America needs to stop cheering to empty slogans, wake up and see the reality for what it is.
I have this cartoon in my head: a pig getting screwed by an elephant with an ass watching helplessly - can you draw?
Financial "wizards" knew their risk would pay off regardless of the outcome - they're too big to fail. They screw you, the taxpayer, and millions like you, because they KNEW no one will make them pay for their greed!

Those companies should not have been bailed out. What about entire industries collapsing when new innovations are introduced? Cars replaced horse handlers, feeders, caretakers etc; technology allowed automated work and millions of workers lost their jobs - who rescued them? Progress has its price and people adapted. Moreover, I'd say to the top brass: you put millions of people at risk so here's the deal - you either make it work, prevent collapse or you get stripped of your fortunes and march straight to jail. I bet they would quickly find solutions to the problem.

Dems were influenced by scare tactics, but they should have given money DIRECTLY to little folks who might get crashed, not the criminals at the top.
Do you know what socialism is? Extreme theory prohibits private ownership of land and means of production. That's what happened in Russia and failed. But most prosperous European nations adapted the theory, allowed private property and have semi socialist systems even though they are not always called that. The richest country in the world per capita - Sweden - has the most advanced socialist system and some of the highest taxes. Yet, in Europe people are taken care of from "cradle to grave" and nobody wants to change the system in spite of high taxes. There's no such thing as foreclosure - both parties reach a compromise before any crisis. People don't mind paying high taxes to help those less fortunate and that, in turn, ensures low crime rates and happy societies.
TBC (to be continued)

No comments: