America . . . then, and now

91K593vG-xL._SY550_I’m a ‘baby boomer.’  From what I hear I grew up during America’s *richest* era — the 50’s and 60’s — a time when the ‘middle class’ had a lot of ‘wealth’.  Not ‘millionaire’ level kind of wealth, but lots of ‘discretionary income’ . . . for vacations and various ‘non-essentials’ that life had to offer . . . stuff like cars, homes, vacations, clothes, toys, gadgets, TV sets and other technology, etc.

But the world I was born into is not the same world I live in today.  How has it changed?  How *often* does it change?  How I would describe and articulate it?  With great difficulty.  But, to some degree, I’ll try.

In some ways I don’t think ‘people‘ are the same.  What people will accept and reject — tolerate and not tolerate — is different.  To mention one obvious thing — when you have one group of children grow up (in the 1950’s and 60’s) with practically zero technology and another group grow up (in the 1990’s) with lots of technology (and never having been without a personal cell phone) . . . that sort of thing produces a different ‘type’ or ‘kind’ of human being, I would argue.  I’m not placing a ‘value’ (good or bad) re: that — just saying that it exists.  Getting into all that is beyond the scope of ‘this’ piece.

The 1960’s had the Vietnam war . . . an undeclared war . . . a war in which our government leaders lied to the public (ongoing) until Dr. Daniel Ellsberg leaked the famous “Pentagon Papers” to the newspapers (which published it, verbatim).  The P.P. (LOTS of pages) clearly showed the lies perpetrated against the American people by its leaders.  If *that* was lied about, what else?  In 1960 outgoing President (and former 5-star general) Ike warned the American public (on national TV) about the, “. . . military-industrial complex.”  Did we listen?  No.  Not then — not now.  If people are being “entertained,” why should they ‘listen’?  The effect of entertainment is not unlike the effect of a drug.  Consider the parallels, and play it out (in your own mind).

In the 50’s and 60’s public schools were designed to produce “good citizens” . . . not citizens who were actually informed/armed (with real facts) and made ready to function in the world as productive adults and informed political citizens.  You were ‘trained’ to be a good ‘cog’ in the machinery (that was/is the USA) and to not “rock the boat.”  If you rocked the boat you were called disloyal or unpatriotic or treasonous or worse.  Is it any different today?

We were told/instructed that the USA was the “greatest” country in the world . . . the most powerful . . . really just the BEST, at just about everything.  We were told pleasing fictions about George Washington and Christopher Columbus and the Founding Fathers and all sorts of things that were either not true or distortions or fragments of the truth.  Is it any different today?

For certain things the ‘profit motive’ needs to be removed from the equation . . . certain things being the obvious ones: war, medical/medicine, education, etc.   There are some things that it would be clearly *wrong* to profit from.  Murder?

If you really want to know what’s ‘going on’ . . . and why things are ‘as they are’ . . . follow the money.  WHO profits from this or that?  There‘s your answer . . . THAT’s why it happened . . . someone (or some entity/group) got more wealth and/or more power and/or more wealth AND power from what just went down.

Somewhere along the way (mid to late 19th, early to mid-20th Century) the USA decided that it knew what was *best* for everybody, everywhere and that it was right and just and proper for us to assume our “rightful place” and *police* the *world* (which included installing military bases all over the world) . . .  and, to do this and that in the name of *freedom* (while simultaneously committing various crimes and atrocities around the globe) — the kind of stuff that does *not* get mentioned in the corporately controlled media (US news sources).

During the 60’s peace movement there was an opposing slogan, “America, love it or leave it.”  (Well, for the record, I do ‘love it’ don’t want to ‘leave it.’)  The peace symbol was called a, “Footprint of a chicken” by some.  Yeah, right.   There are some who argue that to criticize war is to criticize the men and women who serve/served in the US military.  I disagree; but it seems to me that in today’s world one can’t tell who is a hawk and who is a dove.  Most seem indifferent.  I hear very little talk about war, or peace, or American government (especially with respect to foreign policy).  I don’t hear much talk about what I would call ‘serious matters and issues’ (though I know various heated discussions occur in the Facebook and Twitter environments and other social media outlets).  I rarely hear anyone bring up American Imperialism.  Is that because they don’t know what it *is* . . . don’t know it exists . . . or they deny it exists . . . or what?

I am a veteran of the US Army and, while I am against war (except for bonafide self defense) I don’t believe that to criticize and call for an end to war is to condemn our military personnel — the ones who do the actual bleeding and dying.  No, it’s to condemn certain political/military decisions (and the elected and non-elected decision-makers) that are made solely or mainly for the increase of  wealth and/or power.  As always, it is not the blood and guts of sons and daughters of US Senators and Presidents (or the other elites — the ruling class) being spilled in the sand in some foreign land.  It’s the ‘ordinary’ people who see it as a profession (like any other job) and/or actually do want to ‘make a difference’ (for the better) in the world.

If someone is *told* what to think . . . from the cradle to the grave (via what is aka indoctrination) . . . it would not be surprising to learn that that someone is living in some kind of  ‘trance.’  And a person in a trance doesn’t *know* they are; and, if you tell them, they likely won’t like you . . . and, likely won’t agree with you.  It’s only when a person ‘wakes up’ . . . that they realize they’ve been ‘sleeping.’

A person who is *awake* does their own thinking — thinks their OWN thoughts — not what they’ve been programmed to think.  They do their own research.  They investigate and research and ferret out what the actual/true facts of a matter or issue are.  They don’t believe something just because someone said it was true.  A person who is awake doesn’t continue to *trust* once knowledge they’ve been repeatedly lied to comes to light . . . they don’t trust blindly or naively.

Read what ‘other countries’ have said (and are saying) about us.  Read Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky.  Read Oliver Stone’s, Untold History of America.  Read similar books,  which offer truth (i.e., actual and *factual* views/records/reports of America and American history).  And then, don’t take my word for it . . . don’t think my thoughts . . . wake up . . . and do your own thinking.  Until you do that, you don’t be able to tell if we agree, or disagree.

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