America Flunks Freshman Comp Putting Our Democracy At Risk— It’s Not Just The Willfully Uneducated Gullibility Of The American People— A Critique

It’s the system we’ve allowed to form, meant to disseminate information that doesn’t disseminate information, accurate information; moreover, doesn’t permit people to correctly and expediently inform themselves.

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Separate and apart from this professor sounding like every other educator sounding off on the abysmal state of young people, dwindling caliber of the pupils put in front of them to teach pronouncing impending doom upon the country,  indeed civilization itself because those same young people didn’t absorb the educations we expected them to, sure to come down on us if we don’t improve said education on a host of topics complete with a meandering laundry list of reforms, enhancements and overhauls more convoluted than this sentence. The woe is me sentiment— expressed by teachers divorced from the bureaucracy that is pre-k to 12 ed., filled with demanding parents on one end and kids who don’t seem to have any on the other, education marred in mandated reporting of students who could be in an unsafe, neglectful home, don’t seem to have food, clothes at home or the supplies they need to learn, parents they know care about their children and their education but simply can’t afford the ever growing supply lists teachers and administrators are forced to pawn off on parents, state, county and city budget cuts eliminating more and more in class fun activities to solidify concepts, art and music long gone by the wayside  for fiscal or academic reasons, with it any understanding that the students he denigrates came from some of those backgrounds or that he’s teaching the lucky ones who found a way to pay for higher educations many don’t have the luxury of even if it means student loan debt they will pay for the rest of their lives— is worse than listening to Walter White’s whining in the pilot of Breaking Bad,  you know the part before both he and the audience with him learn he has cancer. And yet the country and the world continue to go on however meagerly in some opinions, however wounded in many identical opinions, people who might well agree the professor’s take isn’t helping, forgive us if we’ve seen this movie before; readers also please forgive us (because we know already few others will) if the majority of the current school age populous or anyone having attended college in the last 30 years names the professor, those who think like him, the bane of every persons academic existence buying into all the stereotypes about the current younger generation with no discernment despite being with them several hours a day, whatever decade we happen to be in, based on a handful of low performing students sometimes spanning an equal number of decades. Whether it was a teacher who went viral for all the lesser of wrong  reasons using a commencement speech to tell graduating students they weren’t special, backhanded commentary to the parents who ‘spent their entire lives to this point lives telling them so’ implication he spent at least 1 academic year trying to undo the damage. Fitting the definition of completely out of touch when called out on the national stage for his cruelty tarnishing an occasion where the students had actually accomplished something relating he’d recently discovered what a blog was, but he was trying to impart wisdom into high school English classes he taught where some of them probably already had one, potentially making money off of it  to boot in a side hustle to afford parts of college even their upper-class parents can’t manage, were certainly reading a fair smattering of them, then 2 years later popping back into the spotlight selling a book written to explain himself to ‘the mean people who didn’t get it the first time.’ Or the community college comp professor who wrote a piece for the same online magazine where our risk to democracy professor published his diatribe, this time bemoaning the death of high school English saying we focus so little on the basics of writhing while stuffing students chalk full of classical literature handing her college entrants that ‘don’t know sentences should have a subject and a verb or that they should agree’ seemingly unaware of things blog and author readily pointed out in their first piece referencing her, let’s call it what it is rant, the community college element, the liberal arts college element and students who weren’t ever going to be poet laureate or author of the next great American novel, never mind that writing to a 50/50 extent is an inherent talent to be honed not a skill to be taught the same way in math 2+ 2 is 4 or if you follow the steps of a mathematic process you’ll arrive at the correct answer. Mistaken in thinking grammar is easy that the most complex sentence students, people will ever write goes: The dog ran; the dog ran across the street, if you’re lucky they add to catch the ball, when there isn’t much that could be further from reality. Of course if that’s the extent of the sentences you write, somewhere between a 3rd and 6th grade level, you’re going to think grammar is easy. College level writing demands something more like these, “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed,” added to this, “I do not know where family doctors acquired illegibly perplexing handwriting; nevertheless, extraordinary pharmaceutical intellectuality, counterbalancing indecipherability, transcendentalizes intercommunications’ incomprehensibleness.” Or that people possess no comprehension of spelling and grammar rules because they are in incomprehensible miasma of, no matter who says otherwise, utterly illogical guidelines, parameters and contradictions with a healthy side of endless expectations—‘and if this is like this, then it’s not the original, but subsection usage four hundred and twelve;’ remember i before e except after c or when sounding like a like in neighbor and weigh, one among so many? Spelling insanity best demonstrated in the following 2 sentences, Read rhymes with lead, and read rhymes with lead, but read and lead don’t rhyme, and neither do read and lead, “Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.” For bonus points try to read this one without laughing; “I see,” said the blind man as he picked up the hammer and saw.” Then there’s punctuation surpassing beginning sentences with a capital letter and ending with a punctuation mark, pay close attention to this mind blowing explanation of the coma splice, the second pair of links after the death of high school English; “I was pondering why people have so much trouble identifying comma splices when I started browsing through a new book that had just arrived in the mail. Penguin sent me a copy of Brooks Landon’s Building Great Sentences, and it had a short, half-page section that answered the question perfectly: He points out that it’s exceedingly common for authors to put a phrase after a comma, and that’s not an error. It’s good writing style. A phrase is fine after a comma, but a lone clause is not; and many people (even English majors) don’t know the difference between a phrase and a clause.” Note not because they are inattentive derelicts, rather because of what the grammar blogger expounded on next; “Those parts that come after the comma are all phrases, participial phrases to be exact because they contain a participle—which is something that looks a lot like a verb, but isn’t. The important thing to note is that none of those phrases can stand alone as a sentence.” (See link below for examples) And Ms. Brooks wonders why we’re all confused regardless of what decade we were born in, which era we received our education during. Updates for the current now rereading her piece for this installment, the unadulterated fact successful writers hate the subject verb agreement grammar check in things like Microsoft word, that grammar checking software such as Grammarly goes after an ambiguous category known as wordiness and there’s a street side grammarian in one city telling people to cut back on all the comas. Perhaps actor comedian and writer Stephen Fry had the best answer to so called grammar Nazis by posing a question of his own in a wonderful YouTube video asking when any of these persons got excited about language and all its glory, marveled in great oratory or something well written and engaging whether or not it was grammatically perfect (enjoy below). Briefly delving into k-12 examples check out the YouTube explainer on why teachers school supply lists have gotten so brand specific, demand only solid primary color folders, mainly so that the teacher can say ok everyone take out your yellow folder for science class vs. Frozen or Star Wars because not everyone is going to have the same themed folders; flunking the task of student engagement, whatever gets a child excited and motivated to learn whether that’s a set of folders, cool pencils, themed notebooks instead of spending part of the first day of school k-2nd grade helping kids label which folder they want to use for which subject, teaching them the differentiation that science is one word starting  with the letter S social studies is 2 words so a kindergartener, yet to learn to read, can tell them apart (though why they would need such labeled folders at that stage is a mystery) spending the small, smart effort to print labels for the folders/subjects you intent to use X the number of students you have using class time to go through and have them choose then affix the labels to their themed folders. Alleging that the bright neon pencils your child wants don’t sharpen well just become sharp pieces of wood that wear down and need to be replaced (if I prove my child can use the hand held pencil sharpener correctly with them can they have their pencils?); similar supposition with the cheap RoseArt standard back to school crayon box costing .25 vs. Crayola’s box that cost .50 noting the trueness of color as opposed to indistinguishable shades of basic colors. No thought given to the students whose parents depend on community drives at their church, the city back to school fair for their child/children(s) supplies having no control over brands, how much the smallest costs add up when you have multiple children in grade school at the same time, in all 3 brackets of mandated education and don’t have endless funds; honestly, assuming any of this random YouTube video maker’s highlights echo the experiences of students, their parents, if you can’t manage these tiny things what the hell are you doing in the teaching profession and please get out. Professors’ alarmist shouting then giving way to legitimate magazine articles like the Atlantic referenced article below screaming about how higher ed. has resorted to coddling students subsequently wiped the floor with by Arthur Chu pointing out serious issues raised by type cast blue haired snowflakes before blog and author put in their 2 cents, siding with Chu and the snowflakes in case you’re curious. College professors its worth reminding everyone for whom at least one college puts out something for each incoming freshmen class they will encounter explaining cultural events from their perspective to bridge the gap between them and their students (should be required reading in every college institution perhaps especially the state and community college varieties) Beloit college calls theirs the mindset list including such bullet points as store items have always had barcodes, Michael Jackson’s family is considered American royalty not the Kennedy’s , Bill Clinton is an elder statesman more than a former president, celebrities who to them have always been dead, Richard Nixon and Kurt Cobain among them, grandpa having always been able to reach for the Celebrex to name a few.  Latest example of teachers presenting themselves as a bad example proving himself no different on several fronts, first and foremost ignored entirely is that academic writing of the kind he speaks is unique unto itself possessing its own rules on what constitutes an acceptable source of reliable information versus someone seeking basic summaries of what happened in the world today, generalized overviews of broader topics, say abortion or single payer healthcare, political policy proposals a-la the green new deal; rules and parameters that vary by a student’s major/minor, demands of specific professors. Further if the referenced individual professor either doesn’t understand, doesn’t allow, piece implication both, sources such as Reddit and YouTube to be used alongside academic publications to prove student theses for papers he misses their value in psychology, sociology and social work themed papers and disciplines, just scratching the surface of their usefulness in demonstrating examples of public opinion, written examples of psychological theory, phenomenon among the American/global population. All the more true on a practical level when you read closely and catch the person used the ‘unidentified Reddit user’ quote to close their paper arguably to give it more punch, make final remarks more memorable; anyone else think he needs to confer with his colleagues in the creative writing department for an explanation of what the student was trying to do. Speaking of things to come out of 2016, who remembers Rachel Maddow’s mic drop show segue conversation with Lawrence O’Donnell which included an explanation of the seeming fiction James Comey put into supposed to be factual memos about his controversial meetings with president Trump telling her audience, confronting the elaborate scene setting and internal thoughts, he’s a writer, not a half bad one either, to say nothing of wasn’t a portion of the reason Mueller couldn’t get Trump on some things was they couldn’t establish criminal mindset/intent; back to our professor, while we’re nitpicking was it that they used Reddit or was it that the citation was missing, there remains no citation parameters for such things? He doesn’t elaborate by a single sentence what it, discussing war and peace (are we to infer global events or the literary work), or the mentioned Facebook meme meant to argue against abortion actually said, how the student use it in their paper to bolster their viewpoint, putting a justified bad taste in his students’ mouths by defaulting to the assumption everything in social media commentary is stupid, useless, sparing not a moment to consider the peer reviewers of scholarly journals, a professor like himself might possess a Reddit account, and put parts of their expertise there too for the benefit of the public not reading their other work; proving the concept his approach needed/needs to be use with caution, use in conjunction with academic sources not barring usage altogether. Also alluded to is the lecture he gives to his students multiple times a semester on trusted sources but there are included no details on what those lectures consisted of starting with comprehension they have had trusted experiences with product reviews and testimonials about item X to find it reliable enough for their purposes on social media and believe, however mistakenly, the news they find there holds the same reliability versus the progressive labeled mainstream media known by college age young people to hold various biases, the status quo, establishment and corporate being the top 3; adding to his credibility problem, not his students or their dubious choice of sources, is his readily apparent woeful unpreparedness for those students comeback to his reliable sources shout fest he touts ends in a ‘soft landing,’ particularly relevant, when he broadens the problem out to the rest of the American people, apt to bring up how prominent newspapers the Washington Post ,the New York Times, Wall Street Journal lied us into the Iraq war, Salon.com themselves pointed out during the 2016 election cycle that it was shoddy reporting by one of these that had congressional investigators all over D.C. and Arkansas chasing president Clinton’s misdeeds and only finding a lie about certain sexual acts between 2 consenting adults, all blown back on Hillary Clinton of course when she decided to run for the highest office in the land.  Formulating a functional response when students presented with peer reviewed professional publications skeptically ask peer reviewed by whom and what biases do they hold; instead who reading to this juncture can picture his head exploding for a second time? Has he done something as simple and basic as what my freshman comp teacher did for mine and all his night school class students at the start of what were 8 week condensed sessions providing a tour of the library and resources found therein, essentially school paid for databases in every major the school offered providing proxy codes so students could access it from there home computer/laptop minus the hefty subscription fee the school was paying. Another thing that made my freshman comp professor so good at his job is he understood where students were coming from, where the difficulties in both grammar and citation were rooted, hint it wasn’t in bad education, rather poor comprehension, the limits of comprehension at the junior high, high school level, understanding David Masciotra doesn’t possess, has no desire to possess, to the detriment of his students and larger America on the whole. What’s likewise telling is equally what’s both  missing and what’s present on the topic of how his students get their information, how ‘faulty’ information gathering across the country is negatively impacting our democracy due to bad sources, he’s not asking what kind of research his students did in high school, what kind of resources they had, more important for our purposes didn’t have, as far back as elementary school with  no study hall, which of those emerging adults  had to ride the bus, be home to watch siblings after school until parents returned from work excluding or limiting school library time, access to reference material for 5th and 6th grade classwork requiring reference materials not able to leave the library. Whose school wasn’t furnishing kids rented laptops and/or tablets to complete school work, only rented them overnight to students through the library because of their limited number, students who never knew about that for poor informing of the student body. He’s not asking who grew up too far from a public library to use it or with no money for bus fair to transport them to it; didn’t hear the story about the kid begging his mailman for junk mail to read having no books at home or money for the bus to check out library materials circa 2015, explaining why they are so devoid of knowledge on research. He’s not transitioning them from a database like Google Scholar to the more sophisticated journals, doing what many a high school teacher has had to do, steer them from Wikipedia to something like Google Scholar, it isn’t even mentioned either as not good enough for college research pursuits or too error prone for specific majors. Looking around his class at those in attendance and seeing older, working adults returning to school to finish a degree, achieve a new one and thus going over how to create an account, how to log in with school credentials, helping a student who tried but encountered problems, a basic primer for them or those who didn’t get it, for whatever reason, on exactly what academic research is. Has he ever in one of his lectures to students taken an example, the top 5 most egregious examples of bad social media usage and debunked them using his choice of reputable sources, odds scream not; too wedded to the idea students are supposed to already know how to do it than to the notion he’s supposed to teach it or expand and expound on what they were given in high school. Laughable is the professor’s reference to newspapers when he’s spending his days with college kids who are online nearly every hour they are awake, with no acknowledgement he means the online variety, digital copy implying it must be a physical newspaper which A- have been dying over the decades as fast the documented accelerated polar sea ice melt, why the mass shooting at Maryland’s Capital Gazette  was such a secondary blow, it essentially crippled  local journalism there, and B aren’t half as accessible or desirable to his students as he thinks when his student body isn’t reading the news they are watching it in the form of progressive YouTube channels like Secular Talk, The Young Turks, David Pakman, Sam Seder, Democracy Now, listening to progressive podcasts or getting these entities/individuals via podcast, other media platform source from Twitch to Roku. If they are viewing more traditional news sources it isn’t ABC, CBS, NBC nightly news segments favored by their parents, possibly even grandparents, it’s Newsy and b/60 channels found again on YouTube plainly made by the younger crowd for the younger crowd.  Assuming they are digesting print media it’s from sources such as Jacobin, Public Citizen, progressive alternatives to nationally acclaimed news publications, to say nothing of the reading materials for the 5-6 classes per semester in which they are enrolled, will be enrolled throughout their post-secondary educational career; professor profoundly ignorant of demands on students’ time, how many are participating in work study, holding a job to pay for school, working a side hustle to make ends meet.  In light of those factual cultural trends is he promoting apps like Audible and Blinkist that provide audio books available on your device you can use while walking/jogging, driving, long commutes to work; the latter that condenses non-fiction books’ main points into something digestible in 15 minutes, telling his students that if they can afford their streaming service subscription(s) to everything from Netflix to Hulu plus, Disney plus, all of the above you can afford this to better inform yourself; no, again they remain unmentioned, he likely doesn’t know what they are, would think an entire book shortened to 15 minutes sacrilegious, would discourage anything keeping them tethered to their devices longer than they are presently, all while making condescending comments about their being a lucrative market for the person who creates the bumper sticker ‘I don’t read and I vote’ to go alongside the I’m catholic and I vote, I’m an NRA member and I vote ones already in existence, as if we should use that as some kind of gage to citizens’ intelligence. Simultaneously stating Americans were duped by social media fake news that would have been easily identified by anyone whose read a substantive book absent defining what that word means to him or the context in which he’s using it, minus giving a single topic on which people should read to gird themselves against fake news or know about in our 21st century world, likewise no authors names or book titles are offered to give people a direction or to be able to assess the validity of his claim. Never mind promoting the false assumption, false framing you have to read a book to get the information from a book, that audio books back when they were on tapes, then CD’s before MP3 (I was in a high school reading writing workshop elective when we did a segment on audio books) haven’t been used for the blind struggling with braille, losing their sight due to age/disease, injured in an accident, tools for the severely dyslexic, variations on those assistive technologies providing audio read outs of textbooks to authorized students with the proper doctor documentation to overcome their learning difficulty. Reminiscent of the teachers across all aspects of education pre- k to post-secondary throughout the 2000 aughts terrified of the integration of technology into their student’s classrooms and lives asserting kids wouldn’t be able to distinguish the difference between the virtual and real world, academically ‘standing firm’ that kids needed to age appropriately progress to the adult world, not educators going down to them because they were learning math via computer game, expanding their vocabulary via an interactive fun thing that looked like play, discovering the names of the planets in the solar system the same way, missing the important thing was that they learn it, less about how, and whatever keeps a student in younger grades engaged use it. (Also well before things like ABC Mouse started proliferating commercials for their product) At the college level he’s the upgraded version of the professor indignant that he couldn’t assign a novel longer than 200 pages due to dwindling attention spans, chastising the use of cliff notes for humanities and literature classes while the student perspective stated if he had 27 hours in a day he would read Hamlet since there are only 24 he uses cliff notes; high school and college both equally exercises in time management as much as learning, professors would do well to remember. Returning to our current specimen for study in the woes of education and therefore democracy itself, for a person so concerned about unreliable data he penned what he did, he never pauses to contemplate the reason only 26% of respondents to a study could name the 3 branches of government is because of the quality of people they could get to participate not the education and intellectual quality of everyone, a majority of people in the country? Whether that’s because ‘smart’ people tag such calls as spam on their smart phones blocking them, use caller ID to block unknown numbers on rarely used landlines, just have a practice of hardly answering their phones or unlike the ‘less successful’ people nationwide, they are too busy working to be home or accessible when surveyors call, any and all the above telling them what the bleep they can do with themselves when they discover what the person on the other end of the line actually wants. Concept that follows the alarm bells sounded by those recently surveying millennials regarding what they know about the holocaust, some unsure if they had heard the word, others thinking fewer died, and while it’s disturbing that social media anti-Semitic propaganda appears to have led them to believe Jews were responsible, those who survived the holocaust pleaded with the soldiers and liberators who rescued them to speak out about their experience because they knew then people wouldn’t believe them; how are we surprised, closer to 100 years away from the event than not, what they predicted all those years ago is happening, too there is no comparative data from Europe about how the same age bracket answered identical questions. Farron Cousins Ring of Fire YouTube channel did something similar in 2017, timeline coinciding with the Masciotra article, elaborating on his percentages saying most can’t name a supreme court justice, those who came up with a name mistakenly said Harry Reid; he too misunderstanding why that is, where the professor shouldn’t, 1. In the latter example people don’t hear the names of Supreme Court justices in the news often; Harry Reid when he was in the senate was mentioned regularly 2. The commenter on that segment was spot on saying: “I think you’ve got it wrong. I learned American government almost 40 years ago in high school.  I’m not going to remember the specifics unless I use them on an everyday basis!   The same with algebra, biology, and world history.  However, based on my general accumulated knowledge, both academic and life lessons, I can make an educated decision.  I think either you connected with Trump’s salesmanship or you didn’t.  Don’t blame Education! Blame frustration, anger, and fear!  I think many journalists assume that the general public actually remembers all of their history and government lessons from K-12, College, and beyond.  Constitutional lawyers, politicians, and journalists hopefully have that correct specific knowledge at their fingertips.  The rest of us need to devote our time to other information depending on our jobs etc.  I hope a high school student who has just finished their government course understands the complexities of our constitution etc.  It’s fresh in their minds!   As time passes, I know that I have forgotten most of the facts that I learned in school …. but I certainly know how to THINK!” [Sic.] Again we don’t have comparative data of people from other countries answering the same questions about their governmental structures, many know about America as the envy of the world; continuing, we all know someone in our lives with Harry Potter’s Neville Logbottom problem of a horrible memory, did it never occur to the professor as much as it did to the video commenter how anyone could be good at history if they can’t remember all those names, dates and places and that the issue is memory not education or intelligence? But YouTube comments serve no academic value; how is it well educated, deemed smart people miss practicalities like knowing the 3 branches of government, names of sitting supreme court justices, forget all of them, doesn’t get you to work on time, knowing which train to catch does. None of these The Young Turks news network persons are in education or have experiences with random surveys apparently so it’s unexpected for them to know that where and how you administered the survey effects the results, how distracted with things about work, their finances or personal problems they were does as well, how seriously they took, dare we say it once more, a random survey at least could skew the outcome; however an educator, even at the advanced stage of college level should and it should appropriately impact his perspective, he should be providing his students and the public he chose to write to better remedies than the scattered ones offered, but he didn’t making his article a waste of digital space. Illustrating the point about who is or isn’t responding to surveys meant to gage people’s knowledge or opinion on topics X, Y and Z me and my friend are both millennials and no one contacted us for the holocaust questionnaire, Mr. Cousins didn’t indicate and hasn’t indicated he’s ever been contacted for a survey that one or the one 3 years earlier he’s discussing the results of despite likewise being an early millennial too; inferring if you want better results get a bigger, better, more representative sample or a more in depth interpretation. In closing the introduction, contrast our bellyaching professor to the physics professor nearly 70 as of late 2019 drawing students to his class whose majors are in no way related to physics, who don’t have it as a course requirement there to see what exciting thing he does next and probably walking away with a greater understanding than years of buckle down study would have provided, or the 91 year old professor’s virtual teaching during the pandemic that went viral in a positive way in no small part because he’s willing to try new things, willing to persevere. Who is David Masciotra inspiring to be their best selves, who is he compelling to investigate a topic or an interest, whose life is he changing in his job teaching, educated guess, precisely no one.      

https://www.salon.com/2017/11/04/america-flunks-freshman-comp-putting-our-democracy-at-risk/

http://www.salon.com/2011/05/11/death_to_high_school_english/#

http://distractify.com/old-school/2015/04/13/the-19-most-mind-blowing-sentences-in-the-english-language-1197891759

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/how-to-avoid-a-common-comma-error-the-comma-splice

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/09/the-coddling-of-the-american-mind/399356/

http://www.salon.com/2015/06/11/how_seinfeld_became_a_bad_joke_the_threat_of_a_hyper_vigilant_left_wing_outrage_machine_has_been_greatly_exaggerated/

https://themindsetlist.com/lists/2016-list/

https://themindsetlist.com/2016/08/mindset-list-class-2020/

https://themindsetlist.com/2018/08/beloit-college-mindset-list-class-2022/

Blaming the education system is a copout —no matter if liberal arts colleges have done away with history classes independent other post-secondary schools focusing on the sciences, engineering, math, courses for pre-med and pre-law at the undergraduate level, that ‘what gets you a high paying job has been substituted, at least in the professors mind, for national and world knowledge at a higher level’ and the broad educational subheading of civics has been dropped from high school curriculum requirements—for a completely different reason than one might expect blog and author to bring up when talking about the 2016 American election, the looming 2020 election where early and absentee voting are well underway. First and foremost it doesn’t explain Brexit in the UK, almost more important for our topic purposes, the Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show segment analyzing Google results from the nation, after the vote mind you, consisting of questions like what is the EU, what does leaving the EU mean, but America’s failing education system, lamented for decades, is the only one producing vast quantities of ‘stupid people,’ vast enough to effect monumental national outcomes like those decided in elections, obviously not true. It doesn’t explain the domino effect it and the election of Donald Trump had on the rest of Europe’s subsequent elections in places like Italy, the rise of far right politicians in Poland, Hungary, increase in neo Nazi and white supremacist activity as well as anti-Semitism in Germany and surrounding areas. Countries ‘unlike America,’ as progressives are fond of saying, where schools teach critical thinking and epistemology; it doesn’t explain the similarities they all have with a clearly on a different developmental level country like Brazil who elected Bolsonaro, how Australia elected a prime minister who is at the very least inactive on climate change if not an out and out climate skeptic being confronted by angry citizens as bushfires burned in early 2020. Moving away from elections, America’s ‘failing’ education system doesn’t account for realities the doctor whose bad medical science linked vaccines and autism was a British, now ex-physician, how it took off so well around the western world, who consistently produce better academic test scores on national and international testing prompting school reforms here in the Reagan 80’s that just made our problems worse if you ask educators, or that France had the highest anti-vaxxer sentiment linked to distrust in their government, by that same token Canada suspended several students and sent anti-vaxxer parents to an education class with little result, but at least they tried a reasonable counter response. Nothing in America or these viewed better education systems of our western world counter parts accounts for the harsh truth the likes of Jordan Peterson rose to prominence in his native Canada opposing LGBT protections there and at a time when we are confronting, in North America at least, the destructive nature of toxic masculinity he has pushed standard gender roles lending it his defacto support; the far right nationalist YouTube host Stefan Molyneux is from, can you guess, Canada. For all the talk and opining about America’s gun culture Sweden just had its arguably first drive by shooting of a 12 year old sparking outrage but no international headlines changing gun laws there like were enacted in New Zealand rapidly after the Mosque attacks, Germany who just had a woman pull an Andrea Yates killing her 5 children temporarily halting political campaigning there; yes postpartum depression or some other form of mental illness was almost assuredly at work, but it belies the ‘better society’ every western world country has, go to for progressives in telling Americans what we need to live up to, make our politicians fall in line with. When Mr. Masciotra wrote his late 2017 article the pandemic was not so much as an image in the mind’s eye of ordinary Americans or anyone not in epidemiology across the globe but again our ‘poor’ education system doesn’t produce understanding why Sweden opted for the heard immunity strategy to combat the corona virus, why The Netherlands initially started with the same type response; as blog and author said in their article on the virus, America’s response, sure Germans calling face masks a muzzle and participating in anti-lockdown protests could be copying Donald Trump and the Whitehouse, white nationalists and anti-vaxxers present notwithstanding, but if they are so much better educated, so much less likely to fall for fake, manipulated news, then why are said protests happening at all? Nor does it provide surface or in-depth origins for why lockdowns there have led to supposedly better educated citizens joining the rolls of the conspiracy group Q-anon independent concern about the alleged pedophile ring run by members of the deep state encompassing prominent politicians, former politicians and a litany of famous persons, how that could affect their children’s interaction with the world; the remaining new acolytes angered by lockdown measures to stem the virus they feel are too strict for the lack of virus found in their nation. Now if we want to say the whole of western education is failing multiple counties citizens and leading to the far right nationalism, authoritarian tendencies chosen by elected leaders and those who elected them, usually lesser educated, easily manipulated individuals/ large groups of people, then above all, make that clear; secondly establishing that foundation, ok what does it get you except a bunch of angry denizens of other countries who have plenty of ammo to throw back at you coming from a country doing worse, what does it achieve toward solving the problem of people’s bad information consumption globally no matter your county of origin, absolutely nothing. Blog and author have asked this question before, what do these termed better educations benefit the larger world or their countries of origin, if we are to think about the total overhaul of our system to the eastern model mimicking South Korea, Japan if not communist China, when the resolution to the Fukushima nuclear disaster’s resulting radioactive water waste continues to be dump it into the ocean; no more prepared to handle what befell them than BP oil, mitigation and contingency plans that were meant to look like NASA but would have flunked a junior high science fair, BP standing for British Petroleum in case anyone forgot. Is his subliminal suggestion we adopt the Scandinavian models Finland that counter intuitively spends less time in the classroom, for every 45 minutes of learning students receive a 15 minute break, no homework until high school but still needed to partner with an American company to reach toward their 5G network goals, who remain insular and don’t involve themselves in solving the world’s problems that will affect them eventually? How far away from mass usage are things touted on Reuters under the segment green trailblazers harnessing wind or ‘solar skin to charge your headphones,’ reality years if not decades assuming they can be made to work in such a way they are capable of mass production; blog and author at the top end of the line saying increase research and development for green energies, sustainable products admonishing via the platform had to get green and sustainable things out of the dark ages, stop it from looking like something created in the days of Little House on the Prairie, however exasperatingly it doesn’t matter what country it came from or didn’t if it’s practical usage in a timely fashion is nil. Yet, “the problem is not just that Americans don’t know. It is that they don’t know what they don’t know, and they don’t know how to figure it out. Like my students who attempt to meet their research requirement on Twitter, American voters are misinforming themselves with lies and inaccuracies from unreliable sources.” Being charitable and giving him the benefit of the doubt he’s at minimum partially right, blatantly obvious he’s never asked himself why the above is except to resort to easily identifiable villains of his own, tired, old repetitive ones at that bashing the usual scapegoats education and youth preparedness for the adult world, using an excessive amount of words to say ‘kids these days.’ If he really wanted to talk about something of substance pertaining to his arguments for a more informed populous he could legitimately start with, similar to dispelling the myth regarding the post racial world of president Obama (i.e. since America elected its first black president all its racial issues are behind it), finally putting to bed, once and for all, the idea of the internet as the great equalizer when it comes to informing citizens across the globe. Seeing social media’s involvement in the Arab spring, well known workarounds to internet restrictions in repressive political regimes and mistakenly believing ‘the information is out there all you have to have is the desire to retrieve it.’ A prevailing attitude leading to the professor’s point though he’s all wrong about why Americans ‘fell for’ fake news, Russian bots and constant, deliberate manipulation or exactly how far back it indeed goes; repeated current talk of fake news brought out newspaper and skewed political cartoons dating back to the creation of the document and the foundations of our country, Mark Twain was warning of so called ‘yellow journalism’ even in his day, Clinton conspiracy theories were as popular in the political arena of the 90’s as Michael Jackson tabloid headlines permeated the entertainment sphere beginning the decade before usually some woman claiming to have had his baby ultimately proved false well before DNA never mind after, tabloids and Fox News allowed to continue operation under freedom of speech while slander and liable laws make suing said publications, especially the former almost a waste of time before its even begun. People fell for Russian bots and misinformation to the extent they did because bots and misinformation to the discovered scale and sophistication was new to anyone not working for the FBI, homeland or national security, deep fakes were just starting to be talked about. To that end, why isn’t he opening this conversation with his students asking how many of their parents, grandparents and great grandparents tell them not to believe everything they see on TV, relating to them he was repeatedly told that, applying it to social media not to believe everything they see, read on platforms correlating what we know about special effects and stunts for TV/movies to make what we see look real to social media only accurately naming the stunts and special effects deep fakes, memes and otherwise altered video, enlightening not only his classes, but subsequently enfolding the American people via his article, there are no journalistic standards for the items posted on Facebook and twitter news feeds, Snapchat and Instagram along with enforcing the other analogy they would better understand than his students. Speaking of tabloids, why doesn’t his article correctly parallel them to social media calling it the new supermarket tabloid a comparison that they would readily understand and then be able contextualize it’s caliber of information, blog and author’s personal favorite comes from Kyle Kulinski naming social media the new bathroom wall, and of course no one should, is going to take seriously the scribbling’s found on a bathroom wall; another effective description almost any generation can understand giving much needed perspective on social media, what it is and its reliability. Forgotten are the growing numbers of people who don’t have broadband internet that span the globe not just America, whether it’s the kid in Italy using a field to do his homework because that’s where he can get a Wi-Fi signal or the kids in Indonesia trading recyclable plastic for internet time, while we’re in a defacto race with China and South Korea for 5G networks Germany has areas with exactly zero G’s of that type of cellphone or internet service. Rural spaces here at home constantly battling bad/nonexistent internet infrastructure, the 10% who aren’t using it at all, the 34% who don’t find it relevant to their lives, the 32 % who found it too hard to use and the 19 % who cited cost of either PC or internet provider as a deterrent to internet use but somehow the collective everyone’s belief in material generated by Russian bots is destroying democracy; even he has to see those numbers don’t add up, the pandemic illustrating just how many households don’t have broadband access or computers in them. Yet he’s not talking about the systematic closure of public libraries, rural and isolated areas that may have never had enough population to garner a library, hasn’t had one in years just putting the onus on the people to pick up a substantive book lest they be duped, ignorant millennials are keeping libraries across the country open, while redundancies mounting by the sentence, not offering audio books, some that can still be garnered on both tape and CD as an alternative for busy older persons, the older people he hopes are reading his article and devising a plan to avoid being duped next time. Absent the practical knowledge farmers who are working long days, getting up at 4 AM to attach milking machines to cows, feed the chickens and pigs, manage the fields that keep the world fed, those who work in construction, plumbing, manual labor best shown in the show Mike Rowe’s Dirty Jobs, still to be found in reruns on cable, are highly likely to come home at the end of the day watching a favorite TV show rather than delving into what, Proust, less because they are low information people, less educated, find such reading ‘too elitist,’ though perhaps unreliable, instead owing to the need to in their off time kick their brain into a lower gear, rest, engaging in a stress reducing hobby; true for anyone regardless their job, but especially true for high stress mentally or physically taxing ones, the overly tedious variety. And just because you read something doesn’t mean you would get the full value out of it minus the discussion often had in college classes guided by a professor whose studied it in much greater detail, has historical or literary contexts garnered over years of investigation, maybe life experience not necessarily had by the casual reader—oh. Beyond physical logistical barriers to good internet thus good information, is the reality people were depending so heavily on news in their Facebook feed, stories in their twitter feed, Snapchat, the professor mentioned a student’s use of a reedit comment simply because they can find those sources versus any of the ones he’s alluding to. Newspapers aren’t as accessible as the professor seems to think since fewer and fewer are actually printed in physical copy; even if you have the required internet you are then confronted with requests to disable your ad blocker protecting your computer, mobile device from malware, spyware, in certain cases ransomware. Alternatively if that isn’t barring you from the given information you tried to seek out you are then denied the newest content from national or local newspapers unless you are a subscriber requiring at minimum an e-mail address and password, usually for you to pay money even if it is a dollar a week, $3 a month for said subscription. And that’s just on current events listen closely to the parents of a college student who died by hazing who only found out about the school’s troubled record with the dangerous trend after his death; still they did their research, found things that presented good reports about the institution all agreeing, including the young man, it would be a good fit for their son. Problem, what they encountered was not an objective review of all aspects of the college but promotional materials for the school; blog and author have talked extensively about the admonishment prevenient today that people do their research whether it’s on a job listing they want to submit an application for, a company they want to work for, a neighborhood they want to move to, usually in a morning show segment where the ‘expert guest’ gives few if any substantial tips to adequately conducting such research for those of us, as blog and author has also previously stipulated, born before windows 95 was mass proliferated, fully expecting sufficiently interested parties to buy their book. Regular readers will remember the analogy of likening it to telling a 4 year old to do jumping jacks never showing them what a jumping jack is; a story once told by Dr. Laura about her son having flunked a spelling, or dome sort of test in early grade school and her yelling at him to go study, coming downstairs some significant time later crying asking what’s study? Yes blog and author chided the retuning US mother for using .coms and .orgs to determine where her family would live, children attend school by that same token where was the information she was supposed to use, where was the contextual content indicating to her the test scores she was seeing needed “to be pulled apart to consider all the variables. One way to understand this is to say that children’s academic performance needs to be looked at holistically and not as a single data point—for example, how much of their score is based on inschool learning versus what the students are absorbing from their educated parents, tutors, summer programs, and peers; extracurriculars; library books; and the like. Sadly, these assessments do not give teachers timely qualitative feedback to understand what makes each child tick, to be able to motivate that child, and to develop a safe, strong, and trusting relationship with her. For actual actionable growth, it’s not the numeric score that matters so much as the explanation” [Sic.], short answer nowhere without an extensive tour of the country talking to students, parents, staff and administrations. Still the mantra remains for people to do their research nearly impossible without an index in your head of helpful websites or compiled in a PDF, word or other document format; blog and author routinely highlight the bizarre fact that the back of a school composition notebook sold in stores al-a Wal-Mart and Target has a better condensed collection of website references to obtain government informational statistics, links to famously known encyclopedias having gone online. Unfortunately despite what the author of the Commonsense Media piece stated as a guide for professors and researchers unaffiliated or lacking access to a library much of the cataloged articles on Google Scholar are not free, or it greatly depends on the type of information you seek; I used it to look up something I’d written a paper on in college and was gratified to recognize many of the scholarly databases I used in school, less gratified to see every time I tried to view an article I was greeted with prompts to log in with local library or school credentials, seeing a listed cost to buy the wanted article, $15 dollars the going rate. There is also a fundamental disconnect between individuals like the professor, progressive, independent media pundits, self-professed loud mouth YouTuber Kyle Kulinski and the rest of the country, perhaps the world about how and why they consume news, how and why they interact with social media; the average middle aged adult’s news watching consists of over the air 30 minute national news available 6 days a week when not preempted by sports on either day of the weekend and their local city/state news on before or after, only the local portion if they are opting for the 10 or 11:00 news slot after primetime television nightly again 6 days per week, they may read the front page of their local newspaper if they are offered a free one in their city (unlikely) or passing the rare newspaper holder on the street, in the pharmacy or hyper local grocery store but won’t buy one. Of those who can afford cable they pick their favorite 1, 2, maximum 3 CNN, MSNBC shows on usually 5 days per week, watch those dutifully and that’s the beginning/end of their news consumption; compounding their less than rapt attentive news viewership they are doing so, if a woman, while helping kids with homework and getting dinner on the table with the 5:30 and 6:00 slots running in the background, if a man while being inundated with report card, field trip permission forms to sign, detention slips, wife rattling off a ‘honey do’ list while they try to rest their aching body after a long day at work. Or if either are wearing business suites or business casual both parents are juggling work e-mails, ‘adult homework’ brought home from the office, either one tackling the homework permission, detention slips, news relegated to the background. During the 10:00/11:00 variety the woman is completing house chores, depending on age of children picking up after younger ones while the man is sitting at the table ironing out how to pay the month’s bills, afford the supplies for their kid’s science project, taking his turn at the shower (news a mumble in the background), winding down for bed, our depicted office workers much the same regardless who takes on the stereotypical gender role duties only to exhaustedly fall into bed getting up to do it all again tomorrow. Young singles yet to establish either their careers or a family are likely facing long commutes home from work at a startup that gives you an equity package not an actual wage, when they do get home to the apartment or rental house shared with at least 1 roommate to afford the rent they either have more work to do to help the startup get off the ground or need to start their side hustle gig to pay rent and their monthly student loan payment, chores rotated weekly or monthly between occupants, if they’re lucky it’s not their turn to cook diner, work e-mails, project deadlines part of life. If you’ve advanced far enough to living alone you have an apartment to clean, clothes to wash at the dying art of a thing called a laundry mat due to the cheaper living space not having hookups or not being able to afford a washer/dryer set yet, why young professionals like meal prep kits and services like Plated and Blue Apron because it eliminates nightly or weekly trips to the grocery store, guess work of trying to make something with the contents of their fridge or freezer, having too much and creating food waste, food coming prepackaged, pre-portioned and usually includes an easy to follow recipe ready in 15 to 30 minutes perfect for one, but you can order enough for the number in your household, chose things that are vegan, vegetarian, glutton free, an alternative to giant conglomerate, corporate grocery chains, ethically grown and sourced fruits, vegetables and meats. What little spare time millennials, college graduating gen Zers do have spent on their passion which collectively seems to be giving back, volunteering, helping others, personally carving out time to consider dating, connect with friends, spending a little time on social media before falling into bed, edging on burn out, to do it again tomorrow; none of which includes Americans across age demographics who aren’t watching the news because they have 2, 3 jobs, take anywhere from 4 to 8 busses to those jobs and getting up at 5:30 AM don’t return until 16 hours later, our mentioned farmer that is up at 4:00 going to bed just as the 10:00 news starts to get 6 hours sleep and do it again, predictably spends the timeslot of early evening news feeding and milking those cows for the second time a day. Not seeing what outrageous thing the president said or the local politician making promises that sound too good to be true, to the extent farmers were glued to the news throughout the Trump administration it was to monitor his trade war with China, see what was going to happen to the trade relationships cultivated over years and how that effected their livelihood, overwhelmingly negatively; here are your, we need to stop calling them low information, and rather low access to information voters. Because if they are donating plasma to give their kid a birthday present they aren’t paying for internet, if they can’t manage a car payment they aren’t buying internet service, cable packages either while we’re at it. People who have both access and social media accounts are also not going to social media for news; many older persons are connecting with children moved out of town or state, Skype or Face Time-ing with their grandkids and see something in an automatic notification for something, who are part of online knitting groups, recipe swaps; those with families are in mommy groups selling used kids items locally and they see some large, obnoxious, annoying headline from whatever tabloid rag equivalent is trending today and they stop in part due to being unable to believe what is says, share it without reading past the headline (bad, bad, social media user) because the headline was so provocative that’s what they’re talking to their friend about suddenly. Program host Ari Melber points out people can’t easily disregard what they hear even if dubious about source and it not affect them, one could quickly add read or see in there; question is why the America flunks freshman comp professor doesn’t know this when we are familiar with it when it comes to everything from song lyrics, the worse the more remembered just ask parents of the last 30 years who’ve lived through Barney, Frozen (hey didn’t the creator apologize for Let It Go; no adult having to ask why) to Baby Shark. You can’t have a well-informed populous, society when you hide all the credible, legitimate, solid sources behind disable your ad blocker messages, mandates for subscriptions and boxes to enter your library or school information; what’s left is people being drowned in minutia and the information wild, wild west that is Facebook, twitter and the rest of social media. People can’t arm themselves against misinformation, wherever it’s coming from, be it the political ad on TV or the banner on their twitter account if they have next to no spare time in which to do so and have to dig like a digital goffer on top of it. But not once did the professor call out the newspapers for their subscription mandates, ad blocker notices, float as blog and author have making it illegal for them to do so because they are charged with giving people the news, never mind in the infancy of the world wide web when such things were automatically free. He’s not pushing for local libraries to be kept open, rural library options to be given to isolated persons, dealing with the digital divide so people can be taught how to go to the website of their favorite, local newspaper, how to find videos of their local/national news on platforms like YouTube they can watch anytime because they don’t have a cable package at all or one expansive enough to include DVR rental, since you can’t realistically outright own one, they are rented by cable providers. He’s not talking about what we lose from the forced upgrades to varying formats of media the way Arielle Bernstein did for Salon when discussing the Netflix show 13 Reasons Why and the suicide note left by the main character on cassettes, no shortage of irony, the same place he chose to, publish, or was willing to take his op-ed offering, says not a single word about who controls this holds an extraordinary amount of power, effects information flow, culture and yes democracy; Bernstein touched on all but the last. Blog and author regularly going through what happens when things are only available to stream, who loses out when they can’t see the visual representation of things like The Handmaids Tale and draw the noticeable parallels to our current world, see our potential dark future path if we don’t change while chiding young and older people alike for using the tools most readily available to them. These are the same people who inspired the OK Boomer hashtag by millennials and gen Z who don’t know what else to say in the face of their climate science denial, accusations of killing stable industries diamonds to paper napkins because they can’t afford the former and want to do their part in saving the planet by not using the latter, would rather rent or trade clothes for one time use occasions like attending someone’s wedding not the least of which because it’s cheaper and more sustainable, trading allows them to keep up with fashion trends and not get bored with the contents of their closet without breaking the bank, essentially wasting money. Millennials and teens who want a solution to student debt not encompassed in get a job when they already have 3 and can’t make ends meet or can’t get one at all because no one will give them a chance; who see adulting as a verb not an insult, a pathway to getting their life together and achieving the milestones they want to even if they aren’t the exact ones boomers, their parents think they should. People who think if young people aren’t doing it (basic life skills) the way they do, their parents did they aren’t doing it, can’t do it making them useless; because you have to balance a checkbook not use a bank monitoring app, online banking tools to keep track of how much you have, where your money is going, you have to shop with a list at the supermarket like that 90’s episode of Rosanne not use a meal prep service, budgeting is done with pencil and paper not an app, everyone should have home repair skills, for one they are never likely to own in their lives not call Angie’s List because it’s much cheaper than the resulting aftermath of trying to do it yourself, forget studies show renting is cheaper and landlords don’t want you fixing things preferring their maintenance staff do it. Not because they are just as tentative, unsure as past generations at the same age, when starting out on their own, it’s just they’re more open about it, willing to take offered help, help has taken on a new format of teaching you beforehand versus the receptionist who would help you fill out the job application not denigrate you to the boss for asking about a specific question. Even the class on adulating showcased in the news gets an F for failing to use said apps, failing to show healthy things you can make using a microwave since this is the microwave generation, perpetuating their ‘ignorance and uselessness’ by telling them they don’t know how to do X and can’t figure it out by themselves, untrue, simultaneously leaving off the source of millennials collective trillion dollars of debt is mostly on education not frivolous shopping sprees, they have less wealth than boomers because they are being paid on average 20% less than boomers for the exact same job a generation ago, or that it takes them longer to establish themselves because of the former 2 things less than not knowing home repair. One mentioned how to rent an apartment property, blog and author having covered that absurdity too; rental résumés, the application, the above and beyond things you’re expected to do to get a landlord to pick you that smacks more of a job interview or a date not shelter, you know a thing everyone needs, no one questioning the ludicrous process, the insane demands once you are a tenant, instead of can you pay rent, on time, are you unlikely to engage in criminal activity, destroy property, the only things that should matter. Lastly is why professors like him don’t talk about these things because they don’t want solutions they want to bask in their assumed superiority and kvetch while lording it over the rest of us; at least the lone redeeming quality of Brooks’ piece is when she said she didn’t believe she could get her students where they needed to be in the 16 weeks she had, showing concern for something other than the irksome fact she had to deal with these ‘less than ideal people.’

https://time.com/5175704/andrew-wakefield-vaccine-autism/

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-is-the-most-anti-vaxxer-country-in-the-world-2019-06-19

https://nationalpost.com/news/ontarios-mandatory-class-for-parents-seeking-vaccine-exemptions-has-zero-conversions

https://www.newser.com/story/294413/thousands-of-germans-protest-masks-that-make-us-slaves.html

https://apnews.com/7e6103fa6643607861d426e311ae74b2

https://www.newser.com/story/295812/in-germany-a-crime-so-awful-it-halted-campaigning.html

https://apnews.com/1a29c754044d8f2a593911368e86d028

https://www.salon.com/2019/09/07/our-worst-year-yet-in-the-best-ranked-school-district/

http://www.salon.com/2017/04/16/the-human-cost-of-a-forced-upgrade-what-we-lose-when-technology-platforms-fade-away/

https://www.vox.com/2019/11/19/20963757/what-is-ok-boomer-meme-about-meaning-gen-z-millennials

https://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Holiday-Lights-La-Jolla-San-Diego-Christmas-Attorney-Battle-Fight-235934901.html

https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/survived-holiday-light-harassment-you-can-too/

https://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2015/11/yes_your_landlord_can_legally_ask_you_to_do_all_these_things

http://www.mandatory.com/fun/1062884-landlord-posts-hilarious-letter-full-of-rules-for-his-tenants

Neither educations ‘glaring shortfalls’ or people’s poor attention to news about the world around them, regardless the understandable, if not justifiable, reasons absolves social media platforms of responsibility for policing their own sites, enforcing their outlined terms of service that would have shut down the menace that was Alex Jones long before he was de-platformed and sans the controversy on censorship and the worries about where it would stop versus the freedom of speech enshrined in the constitution. America’s implied ignorance, gullibility and now demonstrated lack of access to solid information sources doesn’t negate the facts to come out in the 4 years post 2016, post the 2017 date of Masciotra’s piece identifying American political ads paid for by foreign entities paying for them in foreign currencies including Russian Rubles, apparently right under Facebook’s inattentive nose, something that is unquestionably illegal. It doesn’t take away from how yet another bad algorithm pushes not only people further and further into their desired political bubble excluding all else but pushes questionable, misleading content to the top of feeds, Facebook’s or YouTube’s, either because it drives likes and thus profits or in the case of the latter keeps people on the site absorbing content keeping them in business as well. The fact these platforms could improve their algorithm to function better, do totally different things entirely changing for the positive people’s interaction with social media and video hosting or drop the algorithms currently in use letting information flow to users organically in the platform. What should be standard enhancements making it easier for users to either discern what they are looking at or find what they were looking for, basic labeling of publications featured in ‘news’ found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram The Daily Caller, The Daily Stormer, Breitbart not by political persuasion, decidedly right wing, instead by category as commentary magazines, op-ed, labeling entities like The Onion satire so people know what type of article they are reading, more importantly sharing with their social media friends or acquaintances offline, identifying something meant to be a meme, meant to be a joke as a meme. Doing what YouTube quickly did post 2016 identifying the origins of channels ABC and NBC, CBS News, RT the latter from Russia, ones from China and so forth; as it pertains to the 2016 election, the 2020 election following twitter’s example removing most political and issue ads from their platform period. If not removing so called ‘news feeds’ from a place it was never designed to be to begin with possessing and adhering to your own platform instituted journalistic standards outlined for most decades old publications that have become American institutions; professor Masciotra could maybe spend a sentence or 2 of his article inches, even in an arena where it doesn’t apply, talking about what a progressive commentator barely touched on, the standard rules we used to have regarding journalism they thought dismantled in the Regan 80’s and how they should be brought back as soon as possible or the hard fact Fox News does not operate in the UK for abject failure to adhere to the most basic journalistic standard put forth by regulators not just a lack of popularity for the right wing network, who despite not having our freedom of speech still have tabloids and other questionable content, no one is being thrown in jail at the government’s behest for, stating their however unfounded, opinion, the crux of our freedom of speech that people always get wrong. Freedom of speech is not synonymous with freedom from the consequences of speech i.e. being tossed off a social media platform operating as a private business making its own rules. Here persons like Kyle Kulinski contradict themselves calling twitter and the like the equivalent of the bathroom wall, in the next breath also calling it the new public square needing to be regulated like a public utility in his offered context meaning free speech absolutism applies unless it is advocating direct threats of violence, doxing, the act of putting people’s personal information, home address on the internet sans their knowledge or permission so the larger public can go harass them. Take his segment on Facebook and twitter’s censorship of the New York Post story regarding Hunter Biden and corruption, that he used his dad in various public offices to get jobs and money; except within 2 days of the controversy of whether or not social media should have blocked it from retweet, direct messaging, various types of sharing it came out that it came from a former Sean Hannity staffer, Hannity who works for Fox News, the owner’s son just admitting they traffic in misinformation not news, and Trump advisor Rudy Giuliani who was working with a person identified as a Russian agent, that he and Trump were warned by government officials this had all the markings of a Russian operation, was now being investigated as election interference, the details had all the markers of something called information laundering: telling a lie to another party via your lawyer, and their’s, so that now the other party believes it; whereas they wouldn’t have believed it directly from you. Exactly what the computer repair person allegedly did giving it to Giuliani’s lawyer not the police or the FBI if they thought it represented evidence of criminality; The Young Turks pointing out twitter’s policy of not publishing hacked material, which this looked a lot like since it came from a computer store person on a laptop supposedly dropped off but never picked up by Hunter Biden, owner copying the hard drive in the course of requested repair, and had the social media giant been clearer about their parameters for removal there would have been less cries of censorship. Kulinski can’t even manage the objectivity of his fellow progressive hosting a YouTube show of his own David Pakman in highlighting there is no headers to the e-mails, no meta data giving clues as to their origins just screen shots of PDFs that could be fabricated, additionally no clarity indicating if the author of the e-mail is talking about something that actually happened or something he hopes to happen, like inquiry letters written to companies you wish to work for, much like the Hillary Clinton WikiLeaks e-mails showing incomplete snippets of strategy, mostly bad ideas from her staff and to quote Kulinsky something, something mainstream media coordination with the campaign, for the record the Biden campaign denied any such meeting. Well before all that there is the undisputed fact that the New York Post, however mainstream it is thought to be, is a tabloid the same way The National Enquirer is a tabloid, the Globe, The Sun all appearing in a standard Google search of tabloid magazines and the word list typed after it, National Enquirer making so much news lately because of the coordination between Trump and the magazine’s owner for disparaging stories on rivals and their role in the Stormy Daniels saga, not for legitimate news; hardly a leap or a huge ask to say to social media companies don’t put known tabloid trash in your news feeds on the level of alien babies, Nostradamus predictions and celebrity gossip where the only thing they got right was the spelling of the celebrities names, a picture of said celebrity that may or may not be connected to the story being told. Kulinski a bit young to remember allegations Michael Jackson built a shrine to Elizabeth Taylor, proposed to the actress, sleeps in an oxygen chamber, well preceding 2 bouts of child molestation accusations that went nowhere and the original accuser recanted; but, Facebook, twitter and everyone should have left it up and let people decide it’s accuracy, worth—no! Because it’s not like we don’t know how many people will see the provocative story and never hear/see the follow up debunking it, reality that’s Tuesday happening with nearly every false story of all time; tabloids the precedented precursor to social media we have as a gage. His fellow progressives at The Young Turks uncovering that even Fox News passed on the story it was so poorly sourced, the longtime writer at the New York Post didn’t want his name on it, another at the magazine only discovered her name on it after it was printed and out in the public leaving the former Hannity staffer who has no other byline with them or any publication; adding to the absurdity is the constantly changing story surrounding how they got the materials including not knowing it if was Hunter Biden’s laptop, him who dropped it off after all, then claiming the computer store person was blind so who knows. And even they botched the ‘Russia angle’ calling it an unnecessary element to the mainstream media narrative when the Russia part is it could have come from a known agent deliberately giving it to Giuliani knowing what he would do with it furthering their goal of sowing chaos into our election, not the desire to add Russia to or blame Russia for everything. Rudy Giuliani gaining Pakman’s attention for a video he did with the Sacha Baron Cohen character Borat, the actress plying his daughter where he appears to be pleasuring himself on a bed with a girl he believed to be 15 (actress actually well of age part of the blending of fiction and reality plus pranks he’s notably famous for) Pakman’s point easily illustrated that Giuliani himself, the people he works with, their behavior belies the their assertion they are too smart to fall for Russian plots. Kulinski’s response, to say that the corruption story was valid and should have been published but not the accompanying personal pictures of Biden shirtless in a bathtub wearing sunglasses, asleep with what looks like a crack pipe next to him on the bed, doing a follow up to say the texts supposedly from Biden senior to his son in rehab, the flowing installment of ‘October surprise’ dirt humanized presidential candidate Biden for the unconditional love he showed his addict son not enhanced the corruption story or made him look bad; to again quote one of his one liners, crickets, absolute silence on anything subsequently discovered about the Hunter Biden story he was apoplectic at social media for ‘censoring.’ Confronting the corruption purportedly proven by these, sketchy to say the least e-mails, first and foremost Hunter Biden is not the one running for president and the rest of the Burisma story about the Ukrainian energy company where the younger Biden served on the board has been thoroughly debunked in that Biden did not try to fire a prosecutor for investigating his son’s job, or to garner favors with the company to benefit his son; in fact he followed the lead of president Obama and our European allies in pressing for that prosecutor’s firing because he would not investigate instances of corruption and any corruption related to Burisma was before Hunter Biden was ever on the board. Secondly assuming for the pure sake of argument what is revealed in the most recent e-mails is true, is it corruption; perhaps better phrased is, how is it different than the name you drop in a job interview in the hopes of landing it, how is it different on a slightly larger scale than the fact that if you are applying for a job at the local burger barn, retail store in high school and your friend who already works there can recommend you, you are more likely to get the job? Blog and author well known for pointing out their disdain for the who you know over what you know culture in hiring, fitting into company dynamics and answers to behavioral analysis questions over any standard on competence in screening applicants; however, it was always a matter of degrees on the odd questions, i.e. how much weight they did or didn’t carry and let’s stop pretending the latter isn’t how things work that it’s 50/50 meritocracy and 50/50 name dropping if we’re being generous, things you wouldn’t know relying on the Kuliski take. America’s state of education, knowledge of the facts, comprehension of key complex issues or a severe degree of lack in those areas doesn’t negate Sinclair broadcasting and the virtual takeover of local network news stations, the propaganda found there and exposed by MSNBC among others and the must read scripts outraging ‘mainstream media hacks’ as progressives are wont to regularly call them, the fact that they traded access to the president to run favorable coverage of him negotiated by Jared Kushner during his 2015-2016 campaign. Local news where many older people, the average age of a Trump supporter, sporting gray hair and beginning wrinkles, obtains their news. Nor does it change the fact that Russian sputnik radio is operating on a station in Kansas City certainly not rising the ever wagging eyebrows of progressive, independent media but did catch the attention of the over the air mainstream variety for perfectly astute reasons; Russia, a known national rival shouldn’t be operating radio or TV on American soil, Ed Shultz shouldn’t have been able to go from MSNBC to RT standing for Russia Today, though few know it. Our OK boomer minded professor did make one concession stating that foreign social media campaigns stoking racial tensions did and do exist, Russian bots and deliberately placed misinformation, routinely fomenting tensions on both sides of an issue are a thing but stops short of naming that the largest problem, particularly unfettered, unrestricted, unrestrained and with no attempt at management over haranguing people for falling for it. Pushing back against the concept of media literacy, firstly literacy being the wrong word because it refers to the ability to read then understand what you read on a basic level, and contradicting the however humorous segment from Bill Maher on sub-literate America, the sub-literate America who elected Donald Trump, most of the people either he or the professor are talking about had no trouble reading the headline, meme even the substance of the article where they managed to get that far; if anything pertaining to literacy using the chosen vernacular, we need social media literacy people who understand the low caliber of the things called news by Facebook, twitter and the rest’s feed for the purpose. We need more library classes, community teaching sessions people can attend learning how social media works for all those multitudes of thousands to millions of digital immigrants for whom this is all both new and overwhelming; Bill Maher missed this too, the reason people are reading 50 Shades of Gray the equivalent to reading of what candy corn is to vegetables, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games ‘books meant for children’ is A- because these are popular known series people become curious about and B- they have larger themes that connect to the whole of life not just their juvenile/adolescent, not children’s genre, the strong female characters in series like The Hunger Games was a huge draw. There is far less said about major biographies, analysis of historical events and few if any guided book clubs to help people navigate through them if they wanted to read them while getting the most out of it; flowing from a recurring theme, it’s one thing for Maher miss these things as a comedian, professor Masciotra another matter entirely. To achieve the more informed populous he wants we need to support policies that give people more time either for greater focus on the news or to read weightier options, slow their gravitation toward fantasy as an escape from a crappy, exhausted life; unachievable if you’re working/commuting and putting in 12 to 16 hour days, if you have weekends off choosing between sleep and doing your laundry, having to carve out time to buy groceries and pay bills. Adult coloring books are 1 very intricate designs no child could conquer without a gift for art and are meant to fuel a connection with art any person capable of holding colored pencils can participate in 2- are meant to enhance focus to a type of almost meditative state toward relieving and managing stress; yes in part by evoking the nostalgia of childhood coloring books but hardly all of the premise for benefit or his sarcastic indication of the infantilization of the American adult. Countering the following Masciotra quote, “as everyone scrambles to correctly assign blame for the degradation of American democracy in 2016 through fake news Russian disinformation campaigns, commentators act as if they are attempting to determine who is responsible for letting a toddler jump into the pool. Was it the social media CEOs for having no standards regulating content? Was it Vladimir Putin, whose interference some have called an “act of war?” Or was it the DNC for their failure to adequately guard against hacking” Donald Trump’s election is not analogous to who let the toddler jump into the pool, Maher too has it wrong for a 3rd time in a row it is not because he is the natural product of the self-esteem movement which began decades after his childhood. Donald Trump’s election and indeed if he wins reelection is a direct result of the electoral college known for repeatedly shortchanging democrats historically and using a system that is not based on the popular vote, whichever candidate achieves the highest number wins, were we using such a system Hillary Clinton would be our sitting president remembering 3 million more votes were cast for her than Donald Trump, excluding those who voted 3rd party or abstained from filling in the president/vice president slot on their ticket providing a more accurate picture of the 2016 results. Explaining the being that is Donald Trump, providing insight into how he came to be the way he is, is a little more complicated but not by much, he is a product of the 1950’s he was born into, Maher got that part right, yes with all the cultural implication coming with it particularly contrasted with the 60’s and the ideological mindset divide on who thinks each decade was great, the greatest. Yet Donald Trump is the product of the 1950’s in a different way as well and stands as a living example of what happens when school systems don’t know how to identify or what to do students who have learning disabilities, when screenings fail, more devastatingly are non-existent; bigger than the spanking phenomenon that permeated the decades between the 1950’s and the 1980’s and corresponds with the most prolific documentation of serial killers, blog and author has detailed on several occasions, to corresponds with the children are to be seen and not heard concept of parenting and social behavior, and what went on behind closed doors with a family remained their business even if it was abusive, an era where psychological abuse like that which Trump appears to have suffered according to niece and trained psychologist Mary Trump wasn’t recognized or seen as the immense problem it is, leaving children in such homes to be spat back out on society later. The 1950’s an atmosphere where people didn’t talk about issues like the alcoholism that ran through the decade, the reality everyone’s family, even a majority’s, didn’t look like Leave It to Beaver, good treatment programs were yet to be developed and anything pertaining to mental illness was arcane. Giving us exactly what we see, a barely literate president who has any number of learning disabilities, may or may not have at least one psychological disorder never acknowledged let alone diagnosed or treated, now with his age add on a generous helping of cognitive decline, dementia or outright Alzheimer’s and our professor wonders why people with all of their faculties can’t keep up with the psychological melodrama, his targets for psychological manipulation don’t know it through a combination of being too busy with survival and too tried to investigate the verbal diarrhea flowing out his mouth; an educator should be able to do better than that. Amidst all this are the things big tech Google and the like can do to make it easier for the general public to find reliable information, not take the 8 hours a day I spend 6 days a week gathering news sources for the articles I write, why it takes one to three months to put one together, for instance why do the news feeds linked to internet service providers Centurylink, Mediacom, MSM lack the ability to highlight the title text of an article, copy it to a new tab without either clicking on it, which will disrupt the order of the feed as it refreshes new titles and you may lose items you wanted to collect or forces you to overload a laptop’s RAM memory with a huge amount of browser tabs open in a browser like Google Chrome by opening each in a new tab; instead of copying said text putting it in a new tab to find the source material link since the Centurylink one won’t be there a week, month, year from now, having no more than 2 tabs open. Speaking of which Google Chrome is a known memory and CPU hog, too much to ask for them to work on that? To the makers of computers why do laptops come in 1 of 2 memory options 8 or 16 gig of RAM, why not make one to match the 1, 2, 3 terabyte hard drives available as opposed to having them so unevenly mismatched making my screen blackout in the middle of a video forcing a hard shutdown, constant browser restarts because all the nightly news, MSNBC, Newsy, b/60, Reuters, independent videos are too much for it and I’d like to know when I get to the end of the day’s video work. Plus I can listen to the YouTube videos while opening the aforementioned print media in Centurylink, find the source links copy them to my reference pages word file saving time, catalog the salon offerings and, go through the Dailymotion ones that are text on a screen mostly from Wochit, GeoBeats and similar others, again saving time. To that end why is Dailymotion such a CPU/ RAM hog it causes my laptop fan to go wild even though it is refurbished new meanwhile YouTube takes many, many more tabs to do the same thing; spelling out the need to uniform platforms to run identically and smoothly for god sakes? Why isn’t Dailymotion’s home/features page static like YouTube’s meaning videos you can click on but none of them running unlike Dailymotion’s where the trending video is always running with no way to shut it off and take the stress off your browser, CPU/memory if you have it open because you know you will need it for a title before your task is over, keep one open and ready because it takes so long to open the page to begin with; why doesn’t either platform, any platform for video content not have something bargain basic with their logo and a search box, noting else so you can input titles, key words, if you are not interested in browsing their entire cache of video merely searching for 1 video, for lower and more cost effective internet speeds if nothing else? Again if you have to making these adjustments a matter of federal law in the name of function and information; further why do Google chrome tabs after so many run off the edge of the screen space instead of creating a second even third row, possess that display option should a person choose to use it preventing opening constant duplicates to be sure you have the wanted video, apparently the people who design these things need to come watch me work for a week, none of them new complaints but all over brand name electronics community forums, browser forums, operating system forums. Somehow in the 9 years since I last bought a computer, until this year, computer manufactures have managed to make the track pad mouse even worse than the one I bashed nearly to non-workable causing it to jump even worse around a text document than ever before making it next to impossible to type without text ending up everywhere but where it’s supposed to, so much so there is a YouTube video walking people through disabling their track pad if using a USB port or wireless connected mouse to make it functional to type text, but if you aren’t you’ll need one to re-enable it minus the function keys demonstrated in video below. How about the find and replace randomly turning itself on in Microsoft word, probably helped along by being right above your select options instead of where it used to be in anything before 2010 located with copy, cut and paste, and if the replace is too, not just the find navigation pane, the only way to know it’s on is by a highlighted section and the fact that you cannot type text; worse the only way to turn it off is to shut down your computer entirely and reboot, seriously whose brilliant idea was that? The overtype is another thing prone to randomly turning itself on without ready notice and between it and the wandering cursor typing text where you want it and how becomes an exercise in hair pulling frustration. Is it just me or do we need like a 5 year moratorium on new operating systems to instead devote time to a new line of computers addressing these problems? Retuning to search engines like Google and what information gathering in the 21st century entails, educators from the 2000 aughts still parsing what it meant students were exposed to such vast technology remarked they were being taught to think non-linearly for instance when compiling a report on the country of Haiti being taken from a vital statistics page to a recipe for creole chicken, a standard dish, and being taught to make the inference how they are connected; well can people who want it put some linear thinking functions in to their searches, taking one of those Centurylink feed titles, putting it into Google and having the option to alphabetize results by major national or local newspaper, so the Associated Press, where it says it’s from, comes up before the Washington Post because the Washington Post sourced from the AP to write their own article that was published later. For that matter, why can’t a person tailor their Google results to go from earliest to most recent the same way users can choose all, news, video, image, for type of search and under the more tab you can find added categories for ultra-specific searches; and save author some time and don’t e-mail squawking you already can by going to … because that’s exactly the point for the multitudes of new users to something like Google who are not under the guidance of a teacher in a library, community education class for seniors, adults, children in varying grades good luck ever knowing that. Options to alphabetize and adjust chorology should be right next to the all, news and image tabs period; when inputting search terms people shouldn’t have to do what a potential employer suggested when responding to my inquiry letter and attached portfolio, looking at the humor piece I summited and telling me to type mythology after the name of the Greek god I’d chosen to write about for the college class assignment (plugging the name into a search engine and write about what you find) blown off at the time for reveling in his misunderstanding of what it was and why I included it. No one should have to do that that way rather it should have given me/ anyone options to search the name in the contest of mythology, businesses named after it, research databases or facilities along with the existing news and all categories users are familiar with; not making it excessively hard to find what you’re looking for despite the admonishment of the John Tesh radio show that students become frustrated when they can’t easily find something on Google never having to dig through encyclopedias and physical copy reference books, wasn’t the whole point of moving the internet form a military project to civilian application ease and access?

https://www.salon.com/2017/08/29/fox-news-yanked-off-british-airwaves/

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/13/james-murdoch-says-his-family-media-empire-legitimizes-disinformation-and-obscures-facts/

https://www.youtube.com/post/UgwgTSEMMJL9QAo9kIZ4AaABCQ

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/12/trump-campaign-sinclair-broadcasting-jared-kushner-232764

Progressive, independent media personalities and critical, analytical thinkers do themselves no favors when they fail in understanding their audience, which should consist of the larger nation/globe not just regular or sporadic watchers/listeners of their programs, guest appearances, doesn’t necessarily have the same caliber of analytical or critical thinking skills they do less for what wasn’t taught to them in school and rather that it parallels the things said here about writing, it too being an inherent skill to be honed as opposed to taught; further that in nearly any subject, profession or craft teaching, no matter how excellent, is no substitute for nature raw talent in an area. Leaving off the adjacent concrete truth, they’re in the jobs they have, doing what they are doing because they greatly excel at those 2 skills a cut above the rest; by that same token their skills are so good in those 2 spheres because they use them every day, all day in their job where average persons use other skillsets in their respective professions, an it pays the bills job. They again shoot themselves in the foot, as the saying goes, denigrating what they call mainstream media nightly national and local news 30 minute segments on over the air television, cable news channels repeatedly fond of saying they don’t cover it because of corporate media bias, why would they do stories ratting out or getting into trouble their corporate colleagues or status quo bias, no what routinely transpires is, in the case of Kyle Kulinski, he readily admits to only using print media examples not standard nightly news on over the air television which perhaps got it a few days behind print media, even up to a week as the over the air reporter put the story together, one network, usually over the air, got an exclusive and the other 2 were left to follow in their wake. Interestingly ironic as over the years blog and author have been following him (roughly 2011 when upgrading to DSL and finally able to watch platforms likewise YouTube, corresponding with boss’ desire to include video, relevant things with embed codes) his commentary on headline stories for his show is days, sometimes up to a week or more behind the original airing of the story, even hype generated around it. They, all progressive, independent media fail to understand how mainstream media is structured even on a Network such as CNN, MSNBC in the era of the 24 hour news cycle; that most shows are structured in 1 hour blocks meant to cover the most relevant of the day’s news, even longer shows like Morning Joe, programming by Wolf Blitzer mimicking over the air morning talk shows like Today are broken up into similar blocks hitting the main headlines at the top or end of every hour knowing no one is going to watch the whole 4-5 hours, those who watch are going to watch 1, maybe 2 as they get ready for work in the morning, get kids off to school. For seniors and retirees they watch an hour or so, particular segment grabbing their attention before going about their activities for the day, heading to the local senior center, groups they belong to, commencing with household chores, journeying to their doctors appointment; blowing utter holes in the idea that cable news channels have all the time in the world over the air and other stations don’t to talk in depth and endlessly about the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, what is really behind the war in Yemen and the U.S. involvement. A situation that perfectly explains the scant time spent on the Hurricane deaths in Porto Rico, shows are structured knowing people are going to spend on average an hour of their time watching the news, learning what happened in the world not binge watching CNN, MSNBC, Fox; still progressive media’s favorite mantra is what the ‘legacy,’ regular media didn’t cover, barely talk about. Kyle Kulinski complaining Rosanne and her racist ranting got 20 times the coverage of hurricane Maria yet they did talk about it and how much was there to say ABC did segment lasting 3 minutes during 1 30 minute broadcast alone, NBC 1:45 in same time frame MSNBC a 5:47 on a 1 hour program, another 2:37 segment specifically dedicated to holding the Trump administration accountable in another 1 hour timeslot CNN a 4 minute interview with actor who is also Porto Rican, another 8 minute segment on anther show much of it relatively soon after it happened. Part of the reason Rosanne got so much coverage is the broader questions she evoked on race in America particularly post the election of president Trump and the virulent racism that was sitting just under the surface for the prior 8 years of president Obama, what it all was telling us. The same scenario with the minimum wage protest ‘not covered by mainstream media’ though it was in USA Today just not on television versus the coverage times devoted to Charlottesville and ‘assholes with tiki torches, wearing Dockers, chanting white lives matter, and Jews will not replace us; however, wage protests by this time were common, many cities or states had passed ballot initiatives or legislation raising their minimum wage in 2016, were slated to put them on the next ballot later in 2018, let us not forget also that part of the coverage of Charlottesville was the race component and the implications of such a dramatic response to the removal of a federal monument and what it meant for race and extremism in America, the Jewish persons virtually trapped in the synagogue they surrounded while doing this. Next came Trump’s horrifying response announcing there were good people on both sides, his refusal to denounce clearly and unequivocally white supremacists, white nationalists that holds to this day, the subsequent counter protest and death of a counter protester who was mowed down her name as we’re sure he remembers is Heather Heyer. But he couldn’t get past that this and a wage protests were not given equal coverage by media; when they aren’t equal especially when one is already going in a positive direction towards something the people want, is good for society and the other is going in a vastly negative direction cementing our president as a white supremacist before our eyes. Another popular one for him was the alleged 455 stories done on Stormy Daniels held up to zero on the U.S. involvement with the war in Yemen, but not only is part of the root word in news new, which what is happening in Yemen is not people were dying, disease was rampant the day before, and the day before that, the year before that as the ever evolving story of Stormy Daniels had the potential to spell Trump’s impeachment, expose his tax returns(which might have been a good thing to know earlier since he only paid $750 in tax his first year in office and has an undisclosed Chinese bank account, his owed debt represents a national security threat (note the mainstream media links blow indicating coverage) illuminate laws broken by our president to get into that office. As if we could forget there were also other important stories needing our attention children separated from parents at the border, what was happening in Syria; on the subject of children at the boarder Kyle Kulinski who mocked Rachel Maddow for crying on air when hearing about infants taken from their mothers but ignored or didn’t see Stephanie Ruhle do the same thing. A subject not being new therefore not being news explains precisely why the homeless man who froze to death on Christmas was only covered by one print outlet (best guess a local paper where the man lived or was found) because while yes, it is incredibly sad and files in the face of the spirit the season is supposed to embody, it isn’t new or even uncommon happening in every westernized country to experience cold weather. Kulinski who chided CNN for going after fellow progressive Jimmy Dore though he had some huge falling out with TYT and the formers audience disagrees with him that there is substance to Russia-gate regardless whether or not Trump was led from the Oval office in handcuffs commenter putting it like this “Between Seth rich and Hillary having Parkinson’s, Jimmy kinda brought it on himself. If they really wanted to do hit piece they would’ve said tyt or Sam Seder who’s channel is bigger than right wingers they mentioned [Sic.] Farron Cousins from a couple of paragraphs ago once noting the honesty Of MSNBC’s Chris Hayes regarding why they didn’t do more stories on climate change detailing what low viewership it repeatedly got; obvious question, is that an indictment of the mainstream media, a place that depends on network and individual show ratings to survive, something they as independent media are not wholly unfamiliar with having endured and retooled their platform presence to manage the YouTube ad-pocalypse, or an indictment of the public for not giving more care to what is going on beyond our borders, farther than in our own back yards, something Cousins acknowledges not giving the public a pass but more determined to obliterate mainstream media. Continuing contrary to Mr. Cousin’s impassioned speech on covering stories anyway, being honesty with yourself and accurately reporting things that matter to the American people, that has little practical value if people don’t view it because they don’t thus become informed on the topic; Mr. Cousins way off when he predicted Chris Hays would go the way of Ed Shultz and Cenk Uygur who were both booted from MSNBC at different times for ‘daring to cover real news,’ ‘expressing an opinion not preapproved by their cooperate overlords the executives,’ segment done in 2018 Chis Hayes still on the job. Their often bizarre takes on issues don’t win anyone to their cause, no, not give everyone healthcare like every other developed world nation, free 4 year college/trade school or community college institution since such degrees are seen as the new high school diploma equivalent or a $15, better term living minimum wage rather the title of video below called News ‘Network Covers School Lunch Debt Story They Think Is Cute’ featuring a young man who when he discovered his fellow students had lunch debt set about fundraising to pay off monies owed being in the second grade; Mr. Kulinski’s response was to attack the ‘mainstream media’ for not calling out the absurdity of the richest nation on the globe having lunch debt not realizing their focus was on the ingenuity and helpful spirit of the young man who saw a problem and set about devising a solution not to mention at his tender age was wildly successful. Next he’ll be chiding the boy for not instead petitioning the state/national congress to allocate specific funding for school lunches, confronting his local school board to extend budget funds to cover student lunches; something yes, it’s clearly time to talk about, but not by denigrating this story. It would have been perfect to talk about when one school district threatened parents with child services intervention if they didn’t pay for their child’s lunch debt, some of which included children being able to charge extras like ice-cream on their lunch account minus the parent’s knowledge, done by his fellow progressives at TYT especially post a wealthy benefactor coming forward offering to pay the debt and they initially declined, supporting the idea it was about shaming parents for being poor, using scare tactics, done by local officials not as national policy. Or his take on Home Depot workers response to a local story, who found out about a boy and his family who wasn’t sure insurance would pay for the 2-year-old’s walker and built one themselves; but, the media gets an F for spending the limited segment time they had on the Nightly News, the apparent tweet came from Fox, for not using it as a moment to plug Medicare for all or highlight an insurance company should not be able to deny a child his medical needs including mobility devices as basic as a walker. Again missing the focus, spotlight with the limited time had, was on the kindness and ingenuity of the workers, willingness to help others, aid a member of their community not the quality of healthcare, yet to be determined at the time of commentary if the insurance company did deny it, nothing said about why the parents feared it might be, if there was any substance to that or their poor understanding if insurance coverage spawned it without any real cause. Instead it falls in with what 3D printing has done for the creation of prosthetic limbs, drastically reducing costs allowing those familiar with the process to print prosthetics for persons in war torn Africa having had hands cut off by rebel factions, the 8th grade class who made one for a farmer who lost his in an accident; it’s more a custom piece that would cost more medically even if they willingly agreed to pay for it and it and shows a way to take down for-profit healthcare, medical device companies by building it cheaper and leaving them out of the equation. Student lead projects also cut down on 2 other things hampering life and function even if an insurance company agrees to pay for it or under a Medicare for all type system, paper work and time it takes for it to go through the process; situations like these ideal for people who need something custom other than the standard in prosthetics or mobility device And before you say it wouldn’t happen in another country check out the preceding video of a young man in the UK whose parents saved for 4 years to have a private surgery now allowing him to walk with the help of a standing device lessening the chance of developing brittle bones in his lower limbs due to being non-weight bearing; yet under their national health service the parents should never have gotten a bill and the surgery should have been done not only to give him a quality of life but make him as productive a citizen as he can be, still it wasn’t. Kulinski clearly doesn’t know about the 11 year old with scoliosis whom there is a surgery that might help her severe form of the disease minus stunting her growth as traditional spinal fusion would unquestionable do and forcing her to discontinue the martial arts she loves, picking up on a familiar pattern, that shouldn’t be if nationalized healthcare is so wonderful, yet said surgery isn’t covered by the national health service owing to it being too new; forcing her parents to crowd fund on UK social media, but only in America. Yes Alexis Shapiro’s story is American about a young girl whose hypothalamus and pituitary gland were damaged during brain surgery to remove a benign tumor leaving her with a rare type of obesity, her always feeling hungry; doctors told them gastric bypass could save her life but health insurers said she was too young, not we don’t cover that, pushing her parents to GoFundMe to acquire the money to change their child’s life. But who doesn’t believe the UK’s national health service would have done the same thing based on the 2 stores already shared here, merely 2 of many to be found we’re sure; Kulinski loving to highlight what people in other countries think of healthcare costs here, well blog author wonders how shocked and horrified those UK parents were, the devastation of the girl who loves and is talented in martial arts but had to face because of a gaping hole in their health coverage everyone want America to adopt ASAP. By the way the surgery seems to have been a success at the time of follow up she had lost 33 lbs., her diabetes gone, and blood hormone levels edging toward normal. Contrast the ‘not feel good stories’ to news segments where the absurdity of what the insurance company is doing is the focus like the boy with a degenerative hearing disorder denied a cochlear implant despite the recommendation of his hearing specialist whose story eventually lead to a change in policy for that state or the baby deemed too fat to qualify for insurance under his parents’ plan despite being months old and only on breast milk. Both were treated as the indictment of insurance companies as they should have been because that was the focus not the kindness and generosity of others, the unique problem solving of young people representing hope for our future. What about when medicine doesn’t have anything in the device mobility department that works for your child, enter the father that created a type of boogie board named the frog for his infant with spinal bifida so he can be a normal infant on his stomach pulling his torso up reaching for toys, their kitty’s tail, moving around the house as if he we crawling; in turn raising money and building more for other families of children with similar disorders and needs. The great uncle who took an infant/toddler Bumbo seat added some wheels to make a custom wheelchair for his niece a design that has been proliferated on YouTube and lead others to build ones for their child in addition to collecting funds and Bumbo seats to make ones for others. This wasn’t an insurance SNAFU or an oversight, still who can picture progressives screaming about it not existing totally separated from the fact different disorders effect each person afflicted with them differently. Another family is raising money not for their son’s medical bill payments al-a GoFundMe rather for research for a clinical trial of gene replacement therapy for a specific type of spinal muscular atrophy; no one indicted the healthcare system over the Ice bucket challenge raising money for ALS research, independent media or otherwise, nor were they expected to. How about the high school robotics team creating a type of wheelchair for a toddler arguably a better wheelchair for him at his age than an expensive one even under a national healthcare system that only cost the price of the parts and time to add the electronics; here too is a facet not often talked about that these inventions by inventive parents, relatives, high school kids offering kindness are not medical grade, would never be approved by an agency like the FDA, god forbid worn or faulty electronics electrocuted the child or their parent, medical grade things cost more part of why some devices are so expensive minus the rapacious, for profit middle man price gouging you to paraphrase Kulinski. Bringing us to his pet legislation introduced by Bernie Sanders Medicare for all adding in glasses, dentures and hearing aids starting with seniors and expanding out to all Americans, lost, it does nothing about those who are on Medicare and Medicaid who only get power wheelchairs once every 5 years even if it means the hand controls are being held on with duct tape and are in other ways clearly falling apart from nearly constant use by people put in it at the beginning of the day and not taken out till the end, think Christopher Reeve, people who use it like a moped to go to the store, the pharmacy, the doctor, anywhere your feet would and some places a car would. Plight including the family of a 16 year old with cerebral palsy who last got a new chair at age 11, yes probably under private or state insurance, but the principle still applies with the known Medicare and Medicaid restrictions, has grown several inches in those 5 years and had outgrown the growth modification of his wheelchair well before he was eligible for a new one, fitting him and his needs poorly to begin with. At the new fitting he was allocated a power and manual chair to accommodate his growing size and expanding needs, school to teach him to use the power one while the manual better suited for home; during his fitting the persons doing his assessment asked if he had scoliosis to which his mother replied no just really bad posture pertaining to his CP, them planning to fit him with a lower backed chair allowing him to sit straighter. So unless Bernie Sanders, whatever political figure makes a full throated attempt to turn it into law, plans to fix those things along with the expansion people are going to fast find out Medicare for all is in some ways no better than the bad health insurance they already had, we collectively have as a nation open to us. Not very surprising at this juncture his segments on 2 separate women facing charges stemming from doing something to do get healthcare; except that is not why they are facing charges, they are each facing charges for fraud one for faking her address across state lines to get her 3 children covered in a different state and the other who changed jobs no longer qualifying for Medicaid but failing to report her new increased income, the $24,000 of care wrongly received, plus knowingly falsifying forms not merely misunderstanding a state boarder is no doubt partially responsible for woman 1’s potential 27 year jail sentence, though everyone agrees she will get nowhere near so many years behind bars, especially now that the story is out. The only thing holding Mr. Kulinski’s attention that fact she shouldn’t be serving any time for the ‘crime’ of getting her kids care, the real crime is that they didn’t have it already, calling it theft of property and it shouldn’t be according to him it should be socialized; no they are calling it theft of property because she stole healthcare benefits from the state of Tennessee where she doesn’t live. The fix for this is comparatively simple and where candidate Biden’s desire to ‘tweak Obamacare around the edges’ might be more effective, Medicaid expansion under Obamacare is no longer voluntary but mandated, as were the state insurance exchanges even if the federal government had to come in and set them up when state officials refused to do their own homework, in all 50 states unless the state system is already operating under the same parameters, almost guaranteed Mississippi isn’t. Coupled with removing the doughnut hole between unable to afford other insurance and qualifying for Medicaid, what the expansion tried to do, why Biden’s concept of enhancing Obama care versus Medicare for all would work better even solely as a transitional step. Since this involved kids where too was CHIP, the children’s health insurance program exactly for children whose parents make too much to qualify for Medicaid as is a national program; why weren’t the kids state covered due to their being A- minors and B- based on their medical conditions if they paid out 24,000 for 3 children, you honestly think that likely single mom can afford her 20% of $24,000 his beloved Medicare for all would leave her with? Woman 2 a teacher was doubtlessly charged due to the 5,000 plus in fees Medicaid paid out on her behalf when she did not qualify, now here is a case where perhaps she shouldn’t be charged for forgetting, an actual mistake, should immediately get a lawyer; but does he also not think someone would/could be charged under a Medicare for all system for misrepresenting their income, getting potential extra help, that they wouldn’t find themselves initially charged until officials looked into it closer and recognized it for the genuine mistake it was, he’s dreaming. Kulinski fond of spotlighting people he’s ‘de-radicalized’ out of the right wing echo chamber of Fox news while his fellow progressive and independent news personality Cenk Uygur asserts a why behind so many people falling for and being susceptible to conspiracy theories: they don’t know it could be the deep state, it could be aliens but they do know they can’t and don’t believe what places like CNN are telling them with their both sides ism, treating everything equal and calling it neutrality. Blog and author have a different question, how many are you sending running down the preverbal rabbit hole because to them you don’t make sense either, how many are you turning off from watching the news able to find just as many problems as they do with mainstream media in your coverage and commentary, who are just sick of the screaming, the how you gunna pay for it mantra voice, the impersonation of political figures, because to them it all sounds like nothing but noise?

https://www.foxnews.com/health/girl-with-rare-weight-gain-disorder-raises-money-for-gastric-bypass-surgery

https://www.ajc.com/lifestyles/health/more-static-for-carson-rubin/whcdd5UovGQMiPSFDaxhJN/

https://www.governing.com/topics/elections/gov-minimum-wage-2016-state-ballot-measures.html

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/03/state-legislatures-overturn-ballot-initiatives/519591/

https://apnews.com/article/chemical-weapons-syria-archive-aleppo-04f6a88cb89098925d5ca2ee2d09d74b

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/environment/ct-met-chicago-drinking-water-toxic-lead-20200910-vz26osqn7rb2xkjrv56sypstpu-story.html

https://www.salon.com/2020/10/14/facebook-bans-anti-vax-ads-but-anti-vax-groups-remain-safe-on-the-platform/

Then there are the prominent issues themselves and the supposedly nuanced conversations being had by, predominately the left, that really aren’t as sophisticated as they are leading their followers to believe. Think a $15 minimum wage never mind that while ‘the fight for 15’ fits well on a poster or a banner, makes a great rallying cry it isn’t the solution you think it is because $15 is too much in some smaller parts of the country that will lose all the jobs continuously fear mongered about and more by the political right, republicans constantly talking about hard work and boot straps, and is too little in some of the most expensive parts of the nation, sections of New York and California for example, where people migrate to for the career opportunities had in areas like silicon valley, god forbid you were born there and could never raise the funds to move somewhere with at least a perceived lower cost of living. At the same time changing the national minimum wage once, as lobbied for by voters does nothing to address 2 larger structural problems that will cause it to be a recurring issue: states’ rights permitting individual states to adjust the minimum wage in a myriad of ways; infamous case, while everyone was paying attention to balloon boy in 2008 Colorado was lowering their minimum wage, how about the usually republican governors and state officials who have defied the will of voters via ballot initiatives raising their states’ minimum wage, winning the majority only to be blocked. Secondly unless there is a federal law or mechanism that adjusts the minimum wage based on factors like inflation, accurate calculations of the cost of living voters will continue to have to come back to their elected leaders with their hands out begging for recalculations again and again; but, a living wage in all parts of the country, urban rural, in between, densely populated, small town not found on a map, you deserve a living wage, work in retail, fast food, or work in a corner office you deserve a living wage, gig worker, freelancer working full time equivalent hours, you deserve a living wage doesn’t fit well on a poster. It’s an identical scenario with free college, setting aside that only applies to in- state public college, community college institutions shutting out capable students from going to top Ivy League schools because they don’t live in a state with an Ivy League college, effectively screwing any student who needs to go out of state to find a school offering a program in their desired field of study, advocated for relentlessly without understanding free college essentially lands students in the same boat they are now with no solid job prospects and a way to make a living when employers begin only accepting those with nationally known institution degrees; there is the reality that disregards all ways states will undermine free college including rejecting federal funds for it then complaining about cost and low enrollment convincing voters free 4 year post high school ed. doesn’t work. Blog and author’s assessment of outcomes should free college pass in a congressional bill, be something congress finally agrees to fund at the federal level backed up by David Pakman’s revealing look at how red states, as his titles says, would torpedo free college plans. Part of why the Obama era idea of telling schools they must keep school tuition fees no larger than projected inflation for a given year could work better, be a stepping stone to the final goal or free 4 year college, if they are going to surpass that tuition level hike being able to prove it was for things to benefit students more science and other equipment for classrooms, increase database subscriptions, added majors and minors, associate’s degree programs to transition to in demand jobs, not sports arenas, legacy stadiums leaving those to be paid for by the no shortage of wealthy alumni. Can Biden be pushed left by progressives enough to change the law allowing student loan debt to be adjudicated through standard bankruptcy, a reversal of his previous stance, perhaps create a unique type of bankruptcy singling out just student loans allowing them to be refinanced, negotiated or adjudicated minus ruining the students credit, barring them from car loans, apartments or home buying since their debt is related to education not frivolous shopping sprees, again a stepping stone, an alleviation of financial pain while implementing free college helping those already graduated and saddled with mountains of debt. On the ‘illegal, offensive wars against countries that didn’t attack us’ progressives al-a Kyle Kulinski think we don’t need to broker a peace treaty with the Taliban in Afghanistan we can just take our troops and leave because our stated goals for being there, dismantling al-Qaida and killing Osama Bin Laden, are achieved ignoring that the Taliban too is a terrorist group known for its extreme interpretation of Islam forcing men into beards, barring secular radio and oppressing women with full burqas, unable to leave home unless in the company of a male relative/husband, or don’t we remember that’s what was found upon our ‘invasion;’ reality women have more freedom under the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan than they would if the treaty with the Taliban were to succeed leaving them in charge, one soccer payer interviewed last year pre an election there apologetically saying 9/11 meant horror for us but freedom for them to walk down the street not getting beat up by Taliban, to do basic things like go to the doctor alone. Women can play soccer, there is a national women’s team, there’s is a women’s only gym and a female mountaineer who can practice her craft/sport, athleticism in minimal fear, dido the female motocross rider hoping to inspire other girls. But according to Kulinski logic not only do we throw away the sacrifice of every person who died there US and allied soldiers, who was maimed there, civilians killed or maimed caught in the crossfire, horrible mistakes; we let these gains fall by the wayside because it’s time to come home, spend money used there here. Iraq holds an even greater threat in ISIS that keeps spreading and what we are still doing there is less about guarding oil and more about stabilizing a democracy, you know the long term goal post capturing Saddam ‘but they can’t define what winning looks like!’ Like Iraq and Afghanistan pull out of Syria because we are the invaders where Syria’s recognized government asked Russia to be there, while we keep getting into skirmishes with the latter, but we were ‘invited’ first by the Syrian rebels who wanted Assad gone and self-governance. Somewhat surprising he has, as of date of publication of this piece, yet to comment on the print articles stating investigators were unable to confirm chemical use in 2 highly publicized attacks there circa 2016 and 2018; however, something happened to those kids we all saw writhing on our TV screens for the second then third time, the first being why we went in at all, and it needed to be stopped, if not by us then who? It’s a repeat with what he calls our shadow war in Africa added to the ISIS materials found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, there are the Somali women and girls playing basketball behind high concrete walls because of, what else, Islamic militants whose religion says girls shouldn’t do that, walls the only way they have a modicum of safety, in Mozambique they are causing violence and family hunger, food insecurity but we shouldn’t be fighting a shadow war in Africa against ISIS or whatever the Islamic extremist are calling themselves there/ these days. Kyle Kulinski rails again on the military industrial complex- how about we start calling what it is the MILITARY JOBS COMPLEX since he’s always talking about pieces of it in every state, chided Elizabeth Warren for giving Trump what he wanted on the 2017 or ‘18 military budget never mind votes for MIC are votes for jobs held by constituents in politicians’ districts he’s forever saying they should be more representative of, why Warren voted for it, never mind the moment you cut military, stop funding parts and pieces of it, who gets cut but the grunts pushing paper, answering phones, assembling parts and cogs for a larger whole they never see, ordinary people who were merely earing a check not the defense contractors, war hawks, neocons bla, blab la. Forgotten the knock on effects to local economies the dinner that used to serve workers lunch, custodial services for the building no longer needed, metal working and skilled labor suddenly dried up. Again brings up Trump saying we are there (Iraq) for oil said the same about minerals in Afghanistan but we should all have a question for Mr. Kulinski are we actually getting/taking any in either space and if we are how has the Guardian the Intercept some print magazine he trusts not found out and sent him screaming about why it isn’t a larger news story; since we haven’t let’s take that as a no and it appears he needs to acquaint himself with both the twitter feed ‘shit my dad says’ that spawned a book and a short lived TV comedy starring a few pant sizes bigger William Shatner because maybe then he could stop getting bent on what Trump, Bolton and the rest of the ‘neocons’ spit out their mouth randomly. And how many decades does he think it will take to get a bonafide progressive in there after a ‘Bernie Sanders esque’ presidency, if progressives manage to push a hoped for Biden administration left enough to cut military spending the slightest little bit when few will ever again vote for such a person because they lost their job to military budget cuts championed by the then administration, their town was essentially gutted by the knock on effects of support businesses shutting down. Now could some of that be offset by initiatives like the green new deal and the jobs it would generate, would it be a better source of employment of course, but you have to remember Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said the same thing to coal miners in 2016; their response we’d rather be doing coal and went on to vote for Trump in droves because he said he would bring their jobs back despite that being an utter impossibility. Too how long did it take FDR under an arguably much friendlier government to implement his new deal, for his alphabet of agencies to start producing results in terms of getting people jobs, giving people paychecks, because any such president has 4 years after that you’re done. His response to Biden’s maybe increase of the military budget and what he surmises, with little evidence, Biden wants to do with it was to naïvely talk about free college costing less than the last increase of the military budget subtracting what Biden said he MIGHT do, nothing definitive, previously praising him in a video for talking about putting more funds to veteran care, prevention of staggering numbers of veteran suicides. Irresponsibly equates so called IT upgrades Biden said the increase was for to upgrading our nuclear weapon system from the floppy, disk which increases exponentially the chance of hacking without any specifics from Biden; whereas author heard IT and thought combatting cyber threats from Russia where they hacked into electrical grids for example, but Russia isn’t mentioned by him without the word gate attached to it, independent they did the same thing to Ukraine before annexing Crimea. Talks about our infrastructure grade of D+ and trash airports without apparently seeing the CBS Sunday Morning piece on an airport revamp in Indiana not trying to compete with Singapore’s so called best airport compete with butter fly emporium, but simply modernize which seemed to make flyers happy never mind the roadwork author sees in their own city every summer including this one despite the pandemic, New Jersey replacing all lead pipes, Chicago doing the same, long overdue but getting done, or the realization that infrastructure has become the 3rd rail of politics where it used to be social security. The fact that if, IF there was the large type of bill Kyle Kulinski thinks we should pass, money reallocated to the task red states would reject it like they did for Medicaid expansion under Obama care, the same way they would reject subsides for free in-state college tuition of the states’ inhabitants, the way they have for pre-school funding in the past, outside that they would inevitably try to do what Trump does every so often declaring infrastructure week and ultimately pushing privatization, contracts to his cronies. Our loud mouth YouTuber talks regularly about false premises namely we can’t afford it mantas trotted out when universal healthcare, free college and a green new deal are mentioned, infrastructure while we spend so much in Iraq, Afghanistan, keep increasing military spending when the question not asked is why we can’t do all of the above, the issue isn’t money it’s ideas on HOW to do these things and that republicans don’t want to, that they have no plans, no earthy idea how to formulate one, HOW we render the national debt number to more of a inconsequential figure than it already is by implementing some of these things that will pay dividends in more government cash to pay down said debt or spend in maintaining mentioned programs, national function. Yet while we’re on the subject of infrastructure, related to the green new deal and all the jobs purported to stem from it, there looms another question, do we have enough construction workers, journeymen, pipefitters, plumbers, skilled laborers to do the required work as young people understandably have no interest in joining fields that will destroy their bodies in a few short years, for all these potential green energy jobs how much training will it require the same way the Tennessee Valley Authority charged with bringing electricity to the region under FDR required competent electricians, how long will that take, and considering the government’s track record with job training, how successful will it be? One of the many looming problems with a federal jobs guarantee well separated from the incorrect employer notion you can’t fire anyone one with said guarantee in place; the left’s green new deal and federal jobs guarantee is their solution to the military industrial complex what nicknamed normy (centrist/establishment) democrats learn to code, as in computer code, is the solution for both coal miners and long gone manufacturing workers. Problem everyone in those groups can’t learn a green energy job, the same way every coal miner, manufacturing worker can’t transition successfully to computer coding and if you can child establishment democrats for their stance, someone should call you out on yours too. No progressive politician, surrogate or activist directly affiliated with the movement is prepared for the fights entities like the for profit healthcare system will put up if Medicare for all became law, probably petitioning to the Supreme Court calling it unconstitutional, the drawn out years of legal maneuvering that will ultimately leave people needing care in limbo perhaps for decades; identical grim prospects for free college waged by institutions used to charging whatever they want and spending however they wish, screaming about their survival. Now that is no means a reason not to do it, but to borrow a religious phrase, put on the full armor of god, in other words get prepared for battle and realize it’s going to be one and a long one at that; putting in the support legal framework and governmental structures making the bigger things possible, tackling states’ rights as it pertains to free college and a living wage preventing them from lowering wagers and not implementing monies for higher ed. Even if it means advocating a constitutional amendment like the one progressives crafted to remove money out of politics upgrading federal job training to accommodate green new deal jobs or a jobs guarantee, allocating funds to research and design assistive equipment for construction workers and skilled laborers to do the work sans scarifying their body. What is really risking our democracy is this implicit ‘understanding’ that people are going to treat the news like an independent research project in order to be casually informed about what is going on in the world intertwined with the idea that you are ever going to get young people to leave their Reddit forums, Facebook news feeds and independent media sources like those mentioned for MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, 30 minutes of nightly national/local news, whose average age creeps up a year or 2 every year they assess it somewhere between 65 and end of life, or get them to stop trusting those sources over the ones the professor touts. That people are going to spend the 8 hours a day I do collecting news information for the blogs I create, the hours someone like David Packman expends perusing the news and thinking about how he wants to present content for his show, that they have that kind of time in between working a job, taking care of their kids, carving out a little time for their spouse, looking for job if they’ve lost one, dating if they are looking for someone to start a life and family with, or they are going to trade a significant portion of their scant leisure time for deep diving the news because this professor wants them to, bloviates that our democracy is at risk if they don’t. In fact his condescending tone, treating everyone as stupid who might have fallen for a Russian bot or subconsciously remembered a deceptive headline due to its provocative nature while in the voting booth filling out their ballot, who didn’t know what they witnessed was a deep fake pretty much guarantees they won’t. Next to be challenged is that you need to do so rather than watch and pay close attention then think about what was presented and your understanding of it, how any of it, if at all, retaliates to you; this purported need for media literacy, beyond the fallacy of the term already mentioned, the idea you need to vet the news the way someone would vet a vice presidential running mate, a supreme court pick, interview scrutiny you might receive for a security sensitive, highly intensive job is absurd and needs to be treated as such. Never mentioned media understanding and comprehension might well and predictably has drastically changed since many of the visibly older voters supporting Trump have been in any form of classroom, why David Pakman’s breakdown of how not to fall for fake news falls exceptionally flat with people; it is deceptively simple as most people out of school any time at all don’t know the definition of a primary source, or how to apply it to the broader topic of ascertaining fake news, don’t know how to find the primary sources for the factual information being distorted in the exampled tweet and they aren’t going to do it for the deluge of misinformation out there. And they certainly are going to be disinclined to chasing after it chiefly because no one wants to put any guardrails on social media or hold the news accountable to any standard that might infringe on a misguided notion of freedom of speech. Larger threats to our democracy are the complications with voting from registration, no same day registration in many states, no early voting in certain states, to the long lines and time associated with casting a ballot for want of enough polling places usually in areas dominated by populations of color or students republicans know vote overwhelmingly democratic. Never mind the out and out voter suppression blatant intimidation, to misinformation saying one party votes on a different day, closed polling places in ethic areas, dividing college campuses into at least 2 different voting districts to make it more difficult to vote like they did to a North Carolina historically black college, to name a few of the standard bag of tricks used by republicans. Trials and tribulations of students trying to vote in the state where they attend school when you are presented with more obstacles to getting the most common ID, a driver’s license in state X, when hunting, fishing and gun permits are considered acceptable forms of ID to cast your vote but not student ID’s; students who have to wonder why they can’t vote online if not by phone or text, who were likely thoroughly not impressed with Marco Rubio when he ran in 2016 having missed more votes than he was present for and called out on it, in one breath talking about modernizing our workforce then talking about jobs you do with your hands. Scratching their heads why congress has not found a secure way to cast votes remotely, view in real time or listen, again securely, to congressional hearing content not classified then render a vote along with their colleagues while campaigning, an upgrade from the zoom software used during the pandemic. A greater risk to democracy is the amount of disengagement, the half of the country that doesn’t vote, younger and younger people who don’t vote because they see the system as wholly broken and their vote pointless, while plainly old fuddy-duddies wonder why the rap song by YelloPain ‘My Vote Don’t Count’ is so informative versus formal education. Putting it to a beat for starters, there’s a reason why every interactive kid toy with batteries puts colors and members, animal sounds to music, why School House Rock was so successful, actually spawned by a father going to its creator bemoaning his kid could remember the lyrics to Jimmy Hendrix but not his multiplication tables, it helps them remember. Because he is one of the very group he’s speaking to, the same color, ethnicity, sharing many of the same formative experiences not a white educator that has no real understanding of their students’ lives, he isn’t trying to run an agenda past both expressing himself and helping those he’s speaking to with the song; not trying to shove it down anyone’s throat for the love of school funding parameters, keeping the ethic kids they don’t understand and don’t know how to try to understand from being a statistic, or trying to win them to your way of thinking by the admonishment you don’t want to be uneducated, seem stupid, the opposite of a winning strategy. He’s speaking in relevancies that directly affect these people’s lives related to the lesser known branches of the government and what their vote can do to positively affect what happens in those branches, bettering their lives, not vague nonsense putting middle and high schoolers to sleep who weren’t getting enough to begin with because classes started too early, their after school job, care for a sick parent, fighting for survival not knowing where their next meal is coming from, where they are sleeping any given night. What’s kill our democracy is not the stupid people rather the profound limitations of the purported smart people who dared to write pieces like David Masciotra’s but not talk about the truly important things and steps to improve the vote and with it the strength of our democracy instead resorting to sarcastic, snide comparisons to who let the toddler jump into the pool because sane people, smart or not, think basic regulation of social media is in order especially something called a news feed that doesn’t deliver worthwhile news, honestly taking advantage of what others are hiding behind ad block turn off requests and money grubbing subscriptions. Because even Facebook started removing things about holocaust denial in all probability responding to the same study mentioned here showing what millennials thought based on unchecked misinformation and is also removing anti-vaxxer and COVID 19 misinformation due to it being a massive public health threat coupled with people’s distrust in any forthcoming corona virus vaccine thanks to president Trump’s politicization of the CDC and the approval process, actions experts say are far from enough. But the only problem are the stupid, gullible people who live in America and don’t read what varying other people believe to be a steady diet of substantive books, non-fiction, with time they don’t have no guarantee they would fully understand it if they tried; the country may be doomed alright from an excessive amount of solutions presented and followed through on by ‘smart people.

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About Natasha Sapp

Proclaiming an edgy voice of reason to America,while bringing back the common sense to social issues.

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