Doubt what you’re told to believeThe good old days — we seniors have heard or used that phrase frequently, haven’t we?
The good old days — we seniors have heard or used that phrase frequently, haven’t we?
For the most part, when we were little tykes, those beliefs were often true and comforting. It was good to have those reassurances. In addition to our parents, we accepted almost everything adults told us.
Do you ever wish those good old days were back?
It’s not so comforting to discover as we grew up that there many uncertainties to live with.
Two very simple examples:
Our weather forecasts are usually correct, but now and again, we discover they are not certainties.
As consumers, we hear or see some excellent, exciting advertisements. We’ve learned that, in too many ways, we are told only the part the teller wants us to hear.
When I enlisted in the U.S. Army on Dec. 10, 1942, I believed nearly 100 percent of what I’d been told or read in history books and governmental pronouncements. It wasn’t until the Vietnam War and the Daniel Ellsberg reports that I learned what we’d been told wasn’t the case at all.
We had sent many young Americans to be maimed and die in a war sold under false pretenses. The communist bogeyman had been trumped up. We did some writing and reporting routines to satisfy that we had not really been driven out of Vietnam. We tried to remember the good. Live and learn, never again would we be suckered into a unnecessary blood and death battle.
But no such luck. Vietnam was only a mistake, and we had endured a costly and humiliating war. We would never make a mistake like that again.
But, Korea, and then Iraq, finalized my awakening. It took a long time for the truth to sink in. President Dwight Eisenhower, our World War II heroic general, learned it up front in WWII and later as president. He said in his final address that we citizens in a democracy have to be ever vigilant in resisting the Military Industrial Complex. We did listen to government’s claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Why? Why do we keep seeking out far away fields for what we call the spread of democracy or nation building?
Our capitalistic society, where money is king, has come to be directed by the Military Industrial Complex. We can’t stop or even slow the building of more and more expensive war machines. We have more military than a dozen or more other major countries combined. Congress personnel have been bribed with large donations of election funding. They have to seek re-election funding soon and regularly. The Military Industrial Complex provides it.
One of our justifications is that many jobs would be lost if we cut back on military spending. We are told the military is private spending while, badly needed at this time, infrastructure is part of our too large government spending projects.
Government spending is our problem. But now we allow more expensive contracting, one of our growing privatization efforts, while our infrastructure deteriorates unbelievably. We avoid looking into the growing private contracting that has become a large part of military spending.
We still believe Military Industrial Complex propaganda and maintain them in power and profits. Will we never learn?
Will we remain spineless and allow our democratic government follow the “patriotic” example of the German people during the Holocaust?
Another most serious message problem we face is that our banks are too big to fail. Instead of breaking them up and making them do penance, we have bailed them out and let the hoodwinked investors, once again, fall for the derivative, subprime loan malarkey that, unfortunately, is redeveloping.
Bernie Hughes, Ed.D, is a retired educator who resides in Superior. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.