Education Is Our Best Hope
When I was a child my family and I would often travel to my grandparents’ home to spend the weekend. They had a nice double lot in a small Texas town just on the edge of the coastal plain and hill country. My grandfather had purchased it several decades before at a time when no one yet knew which area might become the good part of town and which the not so good. As time passed the deep pockets in town purchased all the adjacent lots and soon the county judge and his family were my grandparent’s new neighbors.
As often is the case, high profile public figures tended to keep low profile private lives and this was true for Judge Kieke but not so much for Mrs. Kieke. Often after barbequing or yard work we would settle into lawn chairs and await the evening breeze that always begins to stir on hot evenings shortly before dusk. On many occasions Mrs. Keike would stop by to say hello and maybe impart some morsel of gossip that the local paper was not yet privy to. If she stayed long enough to be seated I knew the conversation sooner or later would touch upon a subject that would be close enough for her to repeat her well-worn mantra “education is our best hope for the future”. You see, Mrs. Kieke had been a school teacher all her life, abundant with many perks I am sure but not the least of which was that she was able to meet a young upwardly mobile attorney who would later become the county judge.
We all live in a much changed world since those days but hardly a day goes by since then that I am not reminded of the validity and import of her message. That is why I find it particularly distressing to notice the number of individuals and even organizations that are now attempting to discredit this message. You see, it is easier to control and pass off lies as truth to those who do not have the capacity to fully understand. Ignorance is a means of control.
I wish this was just a bad script for some B rated movie but sadly we are getting an all too clear picture of who these people are and their dark agenda.
Knowledge is power and many do not wish to share it. One recent candidate even referred to the President as a “snob” for wishing our children to attend college. Ask yourself, what are the ties that bind and what is the message that lies within? You have your myriad of constabularies, local, state and federal. You have organized religion and how that is translated down to your local church, private clubs and all you hear of them, including the Mason’s and something called the Illuminati. What is truth and what is propaganda and do you have the tools, time and access necessary to tell which is which?
Not since the enlightened age of our founding fathers has science come under as much attack as today. Look for it in the headlines and you will see it every day. The right-wing fanatics are telling us that global warming is not occurring or that we are not causing it, while all the scientists are begging to differ. Women do not get pregnant from rape. Dinosaurs lived contemporaneously with humans and fossils were placed there to test our faith. Dogma is waged against Dogma so that the simple truths of any true profit are obscured. Ask yourself if the people with power or voice who claim to be Christian or Muslim are in fact doing anything in which Christ or Mohammed would take pride?
The right-wing fanatics of Christianity and Islam would have us join an international war of annihilation. Kill the Gentiles! Kill the Infidel. And yes take their oil! Yet all should know that Christ preached to the Gentiles. Fundamentalist Islamic nations do not school women or promote free thought yet the Quran 017:036 states: “you shall not accept any information unless you verify it for yourself. I have given you the hearing, the eyesight and the brain and you are responsible for using them.”
Unfortunately, today we are losing the leisure time necessary to do this and be a well informed electorate capable of checking the onslaught of propaganda. We choose to believe what the leaders of all these groups are telling us without checking the facts. If you have a favorite personality you are more inclined than ever to agree with what they say the very moment they say it. I so enjoy Stephen Colbert’s homage to this trend by referring to his character as a “gut thinker.”
You might well say “so what if some are fooled and led astray” but I say “was not a kingdom lost for the want of a nail.” The slow deterioration of what should be common knowledge will certainly play a part in reversing the progress we have made from 1933 through 1968. Now the corporation is more important than the individual and even referred to as people itself. Would be leaders are seeking to dismantle our safety net of social services by first plundering it for as much corporate profit as possible before exclaiming “see it is bankrupting the country” all the while increasing our military spending beyond even what the Pentagon asked.
Beware, for the radicals will not accept defeat without a fight. If they are not able to win within the rules of our Democratic Republic then the rules will have to be changed. Again, this is not a script for a bad B movie it is already happening and has happened before. How many of you are aware of the coup attempt in this country in 1935. Google it and you will find many well-known corporate leaders behind it, all jealous of the regression occurring in then Nazi Germany.
Today the means for revolution are more veiled but nevertheless quite real. New Voter ID laws aimed at restricting the poor, restricting polling times and locations in Democratic precincts, gerrymandering, declaring huge numbers of living voter’s as deceased and more.
Now let me get to what I consider one of the greatest threats yet, Citizens United! This is the group that would have you believe they have a monopoly on American values or strong family ethics. Thanks to their efforts for the first time in our history private money can be used in unlimited quantities by unknown individuals or corporations to directly propagandize every election. The well-known founders of this organization must have had Joseph Goebbels’ words in mind when he exclaimed: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” Mrs. Kieke was alive when those words were spoken and I fear she is spinning in her grave now at the thought that such attempts are being repeated.