Borrowing a term from a 20th century mystic, (G.I. Gurdjieff), we find ourselves caught in a world of illusion. We believe what we are told, as it is easier than trying to figure out answers to the tough questions confronting our peace of mind and tranquility. We go about our daily activities not even realizing that we are sleepwalking, we are not consciously aware that we are not consciously aware.
The Map Is Not The Territory; The Menu Is Not Food, or so goes the basic tenant of Neural Linguistic Programing (NLP) followers. President McKinley could not find the Philippines on a world map, yet his navy had defeated the Spanish rule of the islands and they were suddenly American protectorates. I get no satisfaction from eating a menu at Denny's and some of pictures are hard to digest. The reflection I see in the mirror is not me, it's an illusion. Reflections are not reality.
We see what we want to see and we hear what we wish to hear. How many times have you missed a turn while driving along mindlessly. We watch television shows which reflect our interests. We watch only the news channels that feed our deep-seated beliefs and political persuasion and we listen to talk radio from broadcasters who think like us. All the others are propaganda, liars, hypocrites & lunatics, trying to undermine the American way of life.
American Exceptionalism; If only we were as great as we believe ourselves to be, or even as great as our dog believes we are. American leaders have always claimed that the people of this country are the brightest, most inventive, hardest working of any society in the world. OK, we helped out in winning a couple of World Wars through concerted efforts, but then we went on to loose a few after that. Through the lens of being exceptional, however, we really didn't loose any war; Vietnam & Korea were never declared wars by Congress, just police actions so you really can't count them. Iraq & Afghanistan were never declared either, so we can't loose.
Manifest Destiny was a concept that filled the hearts and minds of many 19th century. We were on a mission from God to kill off those native savages and steal land from the Mexicans. Onward to Cuba, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Hawaii, and the Philippines, it was a Divine mission the White House would tell the public.
We are watching the unfolding of American Democracy in real time. The First Amendment to the Constitution insures that Congress cannot make any law that limits free speech. "Speech" was not well defined in the Constitution but most every dictionary defines it as a vocalization, produced by people. But the Supreme Court has expanded the definition so the act of speaking can lawfully be attributed not only to people, those with voices, but to include those who let their money do the talking. Is this a great country or what ? The Supreme Court validated this with their Corporate Personhood decisions to support corporatocracy. But nowhere in the Constitution does free speech have an obligation to be truthful. Reagan once said "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." It's a relative position, which politicians seem to take as license to lie.
The Second Amendment allows people to own and use guns. In 2008, there were 9,369 homicides by gunfire in the US, while in the UK, where guns are prohibited, the number was 14. Hey, if some one does not agree with your thinking, we can just shoot "em.
The Sixth Amendment assures the accused to a speedy and public trial by an impartial jury. The Seventh Amendment assures that all suits where the value of the controversy exceed $20 must be tried by a jury. Well that is sure inconvenient. So today we depend on plea bargains to lesser-charges to keep the court rooms free of unnecessary jurisprudence. The US ranks #1 in the world with the most persons incarcerated (2,019,234;15%) while China, with over a million more people only had 1,549,000 prisoners behind bars in 2008 (8.6%). And the USA ranks #24 among all nations in crime rate. We either have some pretty-good police & judges or we have a lot of lousy lawyers; it's relative.
The Eight Amendment says that "no cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." Torture is not a relative term, it's just plain wrong, so don't try to define it to fit your needs, it's illegal, it's immoral and not malleable; sorry, Dick.
The Fourteenth Amendment, originally written to remove slavery from the American culture has been twisted to induce slavery by corporations. OK, Supreme Court justices, have you even bothered to read the Fourteenth Amendment ? Corporations are not people, never were and should never be. It states in Section 1: "All persons born or naturalized in the United States are subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside. No State shall enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within it's jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." Section 2 regards the age of representatives; Section 3 talks about being an office holder who has engaged in an insurrection against the country; Section 4 is about debt; Section 5 allows Congress to enforce by appropriate legislation, the provisions of the amendment. I have not found any act of Congress which has established corporations (or multi-nationals) as persons or citizens.
Educational misfortunes run the gamut from under-funding, under-staffing, and rewriting history, as in The Texas Schoolbook Massacre . Most schools no longer teach Civics, so people never learn how our government is supposed to operate. The purpose of education has become keeping inquiring minds occupied with rote, quieting dissensions so that they never learn critical thinking skills. It's a lot like religion, just believe, don't question. If they never know, they will never question authority. Social Studies became depositories of mis-information; many high-school graduates believe like Sarah Palin that Africa is a country and they are hard-pressed to identify Viet Nam or Laos on a map. Give them a globe and they'll walk away in disgust.
The Bill Of Rights, Amendments 1-10 of the Constitution, was a novel idea granting persons, not corporations, certain rights and privileges. But a War-Time-President, which Bush-43 wanted to be, has the rights to limit personal freedoms in the interest of National Security. But here is the problem .... Bush-43 was appointed by the Supreme Court, not by the public in a free-election, but by suspicious election fraud. So was he a duly elected President, according to the Constitution, or a Corporate Shill, appointed by a nine member panel of elites ?
The Patriot Act I & II took certain rights and privileges away from the American people under the pretense that we were at war. But Congress is the only authority in this country to declare war; they never did. War is between two international states, not between one state and a bunch of distributed tribes. We are at war [sic] with an ideology. OK, Iraq was a war, preemptive and illegal, but Congress funded it just the same. Now it is an "occupation" since Bush-43 declared victory on an aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln off the coast of California on May 1, 2003, we are no longer at war [sic]. Occupational Presidents have undefined powers in limiting citizens rights. Afghanistan remains a Police Action and not a war. So why are we still denying rights ?