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Why Politicians Always Call for a 'Conversation' ; by McKay Coppins

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We need to have a conversation in this country about soul-deadening political clichés. Listen closely and you’ll hear many  candidates offer the same dodge to different issues. Lazy rhetorical devices plague our political discourse. But there is something especially grating about a candidate calling for a “conversation” when asked about an issue. It rings with the echo of empty ideas. It emanates the stench of platitude and prudence. The abstractness of the language renders the sentiment meaningless: Who, exactly, should be having these conversations? Where should they be taking place, and on what terms? - the catchall cop-out has  been deployed in response to all manner of weighty policy.    The truth is that when politicians are pleading for a national conversation, it is usually because they are trying to avoid one. '

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I began teaching in 1963,; Ba and BS in Education -Brooklyn College. I have the equivalent of 2 additional Master's, mainly in Literacy Studies and Graphic Design. I was the only seventh grade teacher of English from 1990 -1999 at East Side (more...)
 

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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As I write an essay for my blog, called Words Matter, I have a whole section on 'conversations.'

"Some words matter a very great deal, because they are not words at all"--"they are sirens, bullets, knives. The connotation is missing, entirely, in formal American discourse today, that "these are very bad men, who will lead you into disaster, atrocity, and ruin" "--"and in fact, they already are. Isn't that what kids in camps are? If you don't think so, my friend, then you are on the wrong side of history."

And I say this -- no society or civilization has ever survived when decisions were made based on misinformation and lies!

All the genuinely 'wise' people (experts, academics, policy analysts and brilliant journalists etc) who speak today, are ridiculed. "Truth is NOT Truth," says the spokesperson for our liar-in-chief, who shouts 'Fake News" and tells ignorant Americans that "the press is the enemy of the people.

But, the real analysts -- of this moment in history-- are saying that 'disinformation has been weaponized."

This is the observable reality in this informational era... where the internet has been the conveyor of lies to a huge portion of people, who already know only what the media sells as 'facts.'

Ignorant of history in unimaginable ways, our citizens --- in this era of information technology -- lack the prior knowledge which makes it possible to compare what is in front of their eyes, with the facts of history.

We are seeing a 'cognitive dissonance' where people do not grasp the truth in front of their eyes! Like the sleazey lawyer who was the 'fixer,' for our president.

Critical thinking depends on PRIOR KNOWLEDGE, because no hypothesis or prediction can be based on anything but FACTS.

Opinions are not facts, because the 'belief systems' that promote them are not based on authentic knowledge...and as we know, today people are so wedded to their belief systems, that even when a serial criminal who has spent a lifetime defrauding people, and has treated women in the most debased manner, is still their 'hero.'

History does not lie, and it will show that America was on its way to failure for a long time, and pushed into real decline in the 21st century

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 8:02:18 PM

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Susan Lee Schwartz

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and BTW for 5 decades, I taught 7 year olds and 13 year old kids how to engage in meaningful conversations so that they could get their thoughts down--the first step in writing, after which the next steps get it ready for the reader.

Words matter, which is why the power elite are ending real education, and pushing the testing, so that memorizing the facts that are presented can be regurgitated.

Writing begins with thinking, comparing what one sees to what one knows too be true--- a process that has disappeared in America. The EDUCATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX sells tests, and controls the media (which they own) so the public-- which is clueless about what genuine LEARNING looks like-- will learn only what the curriculum 'teaches."

It is Shared knowledge that MAKES DEMOCRACY POSSIBLE.An ignorant citizenry is the goal, not just the profit made by the businesses that take over our schools.

And take a lookwho funds the school curricula controls the conversation on history and civics in North Carolina. TheKoch brothers network is busy funding the movement to erode public education

and in Arizona.

David Safier writes in the Tucson Weekly about well-funded efforts by the billionaire Koch Brothers to promote their anti-government, free-market libertarian views into local high schools.

Words matter most when the brain is developing. Children are the future. The Saudis know this, and their madrases control what the kids know.

Submitted on Wednesday, Jul 3, 2019 at 8:03:07 PM

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