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EDUCATION WITH A CONSCIENCE

There is so much to be done with all levels of education in the United States, and so much that is being done horribly wrong, and so much that is offered as a solution that is even more wrong, that I shall try to shed some light on where we have been, where we are, and where we are heading in higher education.  There isn't enough room here to even touch the surface of higher education, let alone all of education in the U.S.

The backbone of higher education in the U.S., historically, has been in the field of liberal arts.  Liberal arts have been the springboard to original thinking, and freeing us from the narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness of business and industry.  To be sure, business and industry have fluorished in America.  That is obvious.  Less obvious, but far more profound, has been the impact left by liberal arts in the U.S. 

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WHEN ARE THERE ENOUGH GUNS?

While critics of guns are lining up myriad attachments to the recent Sikh temple killings in Milwaukee [Oak Creek], these oversimplifications are far exceeded by the defenses and excuses for our gun culture and the silly attachement to the Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution.  Our "well regulated militia" has us killing each other in record numbers. 

Look clearly, something has to be done.  Killings with guns developed for battle have become all too regular.  These group murders have become increasingly common even in Wisconsin.  We have to grow up and come to grips with solutions not excuses. 

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A TIME TO LOOK INWARD

It becomes more apparent each day that the United States of America has become infested with greed, guns, violence, ignorant fundamentalism, bigotry, ad infinitum.  What to do?  Is the onslaught too much to do anything about?  While many Americans profess that they cling to the Holy Bible for guidance, the history of the world indicates that either these same people are not reading the Bible or are ignoring it.  No religion, no ideology has been more violent and more killing than have been the Christians ...sometimes of other Christians.  The domestic terrorism in Oak Creek is not an isolated case.  Using violence and guns in particular, Wisconsin has a recent history of religious or other bigotry manisfesting itself in multiple murders.  Add greed, add selfishness, add more guns, add a warlike culture, and you have a recipe for these actions.

I struggle, too, to try and make any sense of it.   Allow me to share some quotes with you...

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SIKH TRAGEDY HAS BECOME AN EDUCATION

After the shock and sadness related to the domestic terrorism at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek, the metro Milwaukee community has had an opportunity to reflect on a wide variety of things that are infecting American society.  During these dark hours, our better selves have surfaced.  People have embraced our Sikh neighbors.  Too often seen as "the other," during their recent pain and suffering we have come to see them as our brothers and sisters.  No longer are we prone to judge them simply because of their turbans and beards.  Where confusion reigned, there is now some enlightenment ...finally!

I hope this sort of insight continues.  Bigotry is a disease that infests us too much and too often.  And it is contagious.  But peace, brotherhood, love, compassion, understanding, openness, etc. can also be contagious.  This painful lesson must be etched in our collective memory and translated into progress in human relations and tolerance.  It is time to embrace each other, not to judge and produce hateful violence.

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Greed, Guns, Bigotry ...IMAGINE!

Following the London Olympics opening ceremony where the Brits celebrated universal health care and John Lennon, etc., and following the string of shootings throughout the U.S., I thought it was time for us to think of a world better than the one that greed capitalism is giving us.  The lyrics to the song "Imagine!" by John Lennon, played at the Olympic opening, follow.  Please think of a world that could be...could be.  Imagine with all our wealth and riches shared, just imagine what kind of a world we could build.

                                    IMAGINE

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WE ARE HEADED FOR DISASTER

The parade of extreme right-wing groups is destroying America.  And they parade more often now, and with more confrontational assertiveness, more guns, more religious overtones, etc.  Our nation is being stolen from us.  There seems to be a right-wing joy today in preventing legislation, giving us religious sermons, demeaning our President, lies, deception, and support for the military-industrial complex.  Not only do the greedy individuals and corporations benefit from this warped loyalty, they are making puppets and stooges for the wealthy and the war corporations.  Tax the poor, reward the rich.  Sad.

The American form of fascism has us believing that we need war, we must prepare for war, we need to give tax breaks to the military corporations, and we need to "protect" the rich.  And it is bathed in patriotism.  The following quote is especially aimed at those religious nuts who confuse and co-mingle the Bible with their political ideology.  When you parade around about the Bible being God's word, consider the following:

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SOME GREAT RIGHT-WING IDEAS...

How about a plan to eliminate taxes, get the federal government totally out of a revenue-raising program, and serve a good ole-fashion religious policy?  Sound good to you?  The Republicans enforced such a plan when they were in control.  It was called Prohibition.

How about ending all abortions?  Sound like a good ole-fashion religious principle?  The Republicans are hell-bent on making that a reality.  

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HOW YOU ARE A SUCKER...

 The right-wing manipulators and greedy people are counting on you to buy their snake oil, hook-line-and-sinker.  They have put their propaganda worms in the water and you have been biting.  You are too easy.  It is absolutely amazing how easy you are to trick and catch.  OK sucker, here are some examples of how you are viewed by these greedy scavengers, and how you think you are so smart in believing them...[Incidentally, the greed is more unevenly distributed by the right-wing selfishness, but it occurs in both major political parties...and you are the sucker for both of them].

"We have some income and profits to protect.  We shall have to come up with a scheme to give us more tax breaks and special contracts.  Let's get the populace to blame all taxes and make us look good."

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GOP Convention goal for Romney:

GET THROUGH THE DARN THING WITHOUT MAKING YET ANOTHER GAFF THAT MAY REVEAL WHO YOU REALLY ARE!

Claude Rains: "I'm shocked...shocked!"

The Republicans in Missouri elected Todd Adkin to the U.S. House of Representatives over and over and over and over.  Akin is known for his inappropriate and ill-informed statements.  They loved  him.  And when he talked in an interview at a St. Louis TV station of "legal rape"  or "forced rape" there was a nationwide uproar.  NOW and SUDDENLY the Republicans finally had to act.  Romney said Adkin should resign from the election.  Ryan called Adkin personally to ask him to step aside.  It all reminded me of the movie "Casablanca" where the police leader played by Claude Rains said he was :shocked" to find gambling going on at Rick's Place, though he had been sitting in Rick's for many months watching it.

Todd Akin's thinking about women, rape, abortion, etc. was known everywhere.  This goof's Neanderthal thinking about women was well documented.  The Republicans liked him because he played to a certain element in the right-wing that agreed with that stupidity.  Heck, Paul Ryan himself had co-sponsored a bill in the House of Representatives with Adkin to outlaw all abortions...yes, ALL aboritions, even in the case to save the woman's life.  ALL abortions.  They cloaked some exceptions in the Middle Ages language like "Forced rape."  Folks, rape is rape is rape is rape is rape!  Ryan and Adkin were social buddies.  Their views concerning women are like brothers or at least very close friends.

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