Closing Thought–01Feb22

There has been a rash of book banning especially in those Red States that snuggle up to Donald the Orange…..Tennessee has just become the latest…in an attempt to downplay the atrocity of the the Holocaust…..

“Maus” was removed from an eighth-grade English language arts curriculum by the McMinn County, Tennessee, Board of Education over concerns about “rough, objectionable language” and a drawing of a nude woman.
The board voted 10-0 to remove the book from the curriculum, saying it should be replaced, if possible, with another book without content deemed objectionable.
“Maus” is a graphic novel by Spiegelman, a comic artist, that follows his Jewish parents in 1940s Poland from their early experiences of anti-Semitism to their internment in Auschwitz. The novel is intercut with the young author’s attempts to coax the story out of his father as an old man. It depicts Jewish people as mice and Nazis as cats.
What part of a book about the horrors of the Holocaust should be objectable?
Why would anyone want to downplay those horrors?
Going on 90 years and some want to re-write history (again)…..
This attempt is despicable and should be punished for this attempt to whitewash history….yet again…..these are the same slugs that call the American Civil War as the “Lost Cause”….
This attempt is just another chance to spread ignorance…..the founding principle of the modern GOP…..
What is it about this book that scares conservs?
according to meeting minutes originally reported by TN Holler, was quick to assert he wasn’t “against teaching the Holocaust,” they apparently couldn’t allow it to be taught in a way that included profanity and nudity — in other words, in a way that conveys its dehumanizing reality. The same board member said, “[Maus] shows people hanging, it shows them killing kids, why does the educational system promote this kind of stuff, it is not wise or healthy.”
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Internet “Making Us Stupid”?

I visit a couple of debate sites….it helps me keep centered on the pulse of the country….

I have had this conversation with a few of my fellow bloggers and now I want to let them in on the site in case they would like to join the debate…..

In a 2008 article for The Atlantic, Nicholas Carr asked, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” Carr argued that the internet as a whole, not just Google, has been “chipping away [at his] capacity for concentration and contemplation.” He was concerned that the internet was “reprogramming us.” 

However, Carr also noted that we should “be skeptical of [his] skepticism,” because maybe he’s “just a worrywart.” He explained, “Just as there’s a tendency to glorify technological progress, there’s a countertendency to expect the worst of every new tool or machine.” 

The article, and Carr’s subsequent book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010, revised in 2020), ignited a continuing debate on and off the internet about how the medium is changing the ways we think, how we interact with text and each other, and the very fabric of society as a whole.

I have made my thoughts known…..yes it is making us stupid….all the conspiracies, misinformation and lies and hatred….that our society suffers with division and hate.

Please visit the site and make your opinions and thoughts known…..maybe you can help make a difference….after all it could not hurt.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Is The Constitution Still Working?

I plan of writing a series on our beloved Constitution….a common and popular political prop but with little understanding.

With all the turmoil and chaos in our political institution the question needs to be asked….is the Constitution still working as it was intended?

The Founders wrote a vague document with the intent that those in control would stay in control… from that view it is working.

But today is today.

My opinion is that it NO longer works….one reason is the vagueness which the Founders wrote into the document….but that is just me….

The U.S. Constitution is the sacred text of American government and civic life. But it’s time to face facts: The document, written in 1787, isn’t working. The signs are all around us. Just 38 percent of Americans in a recent Gallup poll expressed either a “great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in the presidency, down from 48 percent in 2001. Congress, never high in the public’s estimation to begin with, fell from 26 percent to a mere 12 percent. The Supreme Court has also taken a hit, down from 50 percent to 36 percent during the same period.

One reason often cited for the failing Constitution are the people who inhabit its carefully crafted institutions. In Congress, serious legislators are scarce, as many members aim for viral recognition on social media. Freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-N.C.)  freely admitted, “I have built my staff around comms [communication], not legislation.” Cawthorn is hardly alone: Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) represent a new breed of legislators who seek recognition and are largely uninterested in passing actual laws.

Now this brings up the question on whether the Constitution is democratic or not…..some thoughts on that question….

The Constitution, and the political order it made possible, defends “the honorable determination” of a free people to govern itself. But self-government, as the Founders understood it, demands constraints on the impulsive will of temporary—and often short-sided—majorities. Popular government is not democratic in a simply majoritarian sense, as thoughtfully designed institutions such as the Senate and the Electoral College make clear. Anything worth doing well is worth doing carefully and with the appropriate deliberation. As the authors write, “The trick in forming a government was to minimize the opportunities for mischief, while maximizing the opportunities” for republican virtue, or free and limited government “with numerous obstacles placed in the way of impulsive and short-sighted behavior.” And as the authors demonstrate, the constitution is not a machine intended to work automatically.

It’s hard not to notice that in the United States, political arguments frequently turn on questions that, in other democracies, nobody talks about. What are the powers of the legislature? What may the executive do? What can the states do without begging permission from the national government? Why can’t an idea popular with the public become a law?

For these and other questions, the answer will always involve the American Constitution, a document more than two centuries old that has been amended (not counting the Bill of Rights) only 17 times. In the wake of the 2016 election—in which, not for the first time, a candidate who lost the popular election entered the White House anyway—talk about the Constitution’s “defects” has become more insistent. Why can’t America be more like other countries?

The United States appears to have a government that makes it very difficult to accomplish anything, while other countries seem much more able to make desired changes—with a minimum of fuss and bother.

The Constitution is a great document….sadly as great as it is it makes governing damn near impossible….especially in these days of ignorance, lies and misinformation….most of which is spread by the very people that we elect to govern this country.

Please watch for more on the Constitution….there is more to come.

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I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”