My Response to Baby Boomer Whining

My aunt sent around a “it’s not fair to criticize the Baby Boomers” email. Here’s my (somewhat incomplete response to that nonsense; the email is quoted below my remarks):

Hello all,
(Please note what follows is my interpretation as a historian of 20th Century US politics, and it is NOT directed at anyone on this mailing list as I have no wish to insult any friend or family member. Aunt Lois’ email, however, made me react in a certain way.)

With all due respect to all my friends and family on this mailing list, I must tell you that as a historian I assert that the “baby boomer” generation is (present company excepted of course) the worst generation ever vomited up by any society. BBs have destroyed everything they have touched and left the nation in ruin.

The BBs started taking power around 1980, and look at the result. Between 1789-1980, the US took on ~$1 trillion in debt. By 2011, under three decades of BB rule, we have $12 trillion in debt. BBs consistently voted to cut taxes and preserve services — a complete contradiction which should have been obvious to most people (unless you are a dedicated viewer of Fox “News,” where up is down and black is white).

By voting for tax cuts that made no sense, BBs stole money from my generation and the one after mine, the current college students, and left us with nothing but fiscal chaos. I remind you that in the 1950s — the decade which most Americans associate with prosperity, thanks to the labor unions which created the middle class — the top tax rate was 90%. 90%. Now it’s in the range of 32% and the middle and lower classes pay more in taxes as a percentage of their income than the wealthiest 1%. That’s BB math. Yes, it make less sense than a monkey with Alzheimer’s. And yet people are marching to demand tax cuts for that wealthiest 1% under the Tea Party banner. Welcome to Never-Never Land, the final product of BB delusion.

How the “conservatives” tricked an entire generation into voting AGAINST its own interests is beyond me. It makes no sense. Voting to cut taxes on the wealthiest in our society has destroyed much of our economy. How is this not obvious? Maybe fluoridated water made all the BBs mentally deficient, because I can’t think of another reason why anyone would fall for such a scam perpetrated by the wealthy oligarchs who rule us. The only reason we have a middle class is due to the victories of the labor movement in the 1930s and 40s, and now the BBs rail against union “greed.” What? What??? CEOs now earn approximately 400 times the average worker; in the 1950s it was in the neighborhood of 45 times. And the unions are “greedy”? How does that make sense? I do not suggest that some unions have had problems, but as far as I know no union has driven the American economy to the brink of collapse because of their financial shenanigans like the CEOs of Goldman Sachs or Bear Stearns.

Another point: Ronald Reagan was not god. He did some good things and he did some horrible things — have you read about life in Nicaragua during the Contra period? Or the other nations in Central America with US-backed Death Squads?

One thing to remember about good ol’ RR is that he raised taxes when the situation demanded it. It’s stunning how much people have forgotten, or chosen to forget, because of what is said on FOX “News,” a station that makes Pravda look like the New York Times.

FOX “News” is actually the best example of the BB generation: they lie all the time about everything and have tried to turn greed into a virtue. That about sums up the BB generation from the viewpoint of those who came after.

We — the generations after the BBs— have every right to criticize what the BB generation has done. It proved to be a selfish, self-centered, narcissistic, short-sighted, greedy generation that cared for nothing but itself — and getting a 40″ television. The BBs were handed everything and they demanded more and more and more like a rapacious child. Like a plague of locusts the BBs swept over the country and ate up everything they could. We probably would have fared better if the country collapsed in 1980 rather than come under BB rule.

The two BB presidents were Clinton and Bush Jr. One was a sex offender (but a good president in some ways) and the other was an idiot who drove this nation right off the cliff by falling into the trap set by Al Qaeda and who couldn’t negotiate his was out of a paper bag with no bottom. Both were draft dodgers (as were Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz) and Bush et al played Soldier Boy by invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11 and thus caused the unnecessary deaths of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, all because of intelligence they knew was a lie and which the Germans insisted was a lie (google “Curveball”).

And Dick Cheney is just evil. I imagine he eats the hearts of unicorns for breakfast and washes it down with the tears of orphans.

I remind you that is primarily the BB generation which has brought Sarah Palin to the forefront … a woman so ignorant that she couldn’t be elected dog catcher in any other civilized nation. Yet we are stuck with her because the BBs are too distracted to see through her act.

This nation now lies in ruins after 30 years of rule by the Baby Boomers. So yes, we criticize the BBs but only when they deserve it — which is always about everything.
~ Shawn

“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Safety nor Liberty.”
– Benjamin Franklin

On Tue, Feb 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM, wrote:

Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was NOT the senior citizens who took:

The melody out of music,
The pride out of appearance,
The courtesy out of driving,
The romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The Golden Rule from rulers,
The nativity scene out of cities,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The prudence out of spending,
The ambition out of achievement or
God out of government and school.

And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance
from personal relationships and interactions with others!!

And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism,
and remember those who have fought and died for our country.

Does anyone under the age of 50 know the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner?

What about the last verse of My Country ’tis of Thee?

“Our father’s God to thee,
Author of liberty,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s Holy light.
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God our King.”

Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand
at attention with their hand over their hearts!

YES, I’M A SENIOR CITIZEN!

I’m the life of the party…… even if it lasts until 8 p.m.

I’m very good at opening childproof caps…. with a hammer.

I’m awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.

I’m smiling all the time because I can’t hear a thing you’re saying.

I’m sure everything I can’t find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.

I’m wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that’s just my left leg.

I’m beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.

I’m a walking storeroom of facts….. I’ve just lost the key to the storeroom door.

Yes, I’m a SENIOR CITIZEN and I think I am having the time of my life!

Now if I could only remember who sent this to me, I wouldn’t send it back to them,
but I would send it to many more too!
Spread the laughter
Share the cheer
Let’s be happy
While we’re here.

Go Green – Recycle CONGRESS!!

Once Again, FOX “News” Makes You Stupid

From Alternet:

Study Confirms That Fox News Makes You Stupid
A new survey of American voters shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources.
December 15, 2010 |

Yet another study has been released proving that watching Fox News is detrimental to your intelligence. World Public Opinion, a project managed by the Program on International Policy Attitudes at the University of Maryland, conducted a survey of American voters that shows that Fox News viewers are significantly more misinformed than consumers of news from other sources. What’s more, the study shows that greater exposure to Fox News increases misinformation.

So the more you watch, the less you know. Or to be precise, the more you think you know that is actually false. This study corroborates a previous PIPA study that focused on the Iraq war with similar results. And there was an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll that demonstrated the break with reality on the part of Fox viewers with regard to health care. The body of evidence that Fox News is nothing but a propaganda machine dedicated to lies is growing by the day.

In eight of the nine questions below, Fox News placed first in the percentage of those who were misinformed (they placed second in the question on TARP). That’s a pretty high batting average for journalistic fraud. Here is a list of what Fox News viewers believe that just aint so:

* 91 percent believe the stimulus legislation lost jobs
* 72 percent believe the health reform law will increase the deficit
* 72 percent believe the economy is getting worse
* 60 percent believe climate change is not occurring
* 49 percent believe income taxes have gone up
* 63 percent believe the stimulus legislation did not include any tax cuts
* 56 percent believe Obama initiated the GM/Chrysler bailout
* 38 percent believe that most Republicans opposed TARP
* 63 percent believe Obama was not born in the U.S. (or that it is unclear)

The conclusion is inescapable. Fox News is deliberately misinforming its viewers and it is doing so for a reason. Every issue above is one in which the Republican Party had a vested interest. The GOP benefited from the ignorance that Fox News helped to proliferate. The results were apparent in the election last month as voters based their decisions on demonstrably false information fed to them by Fox News.

By the way, the rest of the media was not blameless. CNN and the broadcast network news operations fared only slightly better in many cases. Even MSNBC, which had the best record of accurately informing viewers, has a ways to go before it can brag about it.

The conclusions in this study need to be disseminated as broadly as possible. Fox’s competitors need to report these results and produce ad campaigns featuring them. Newspapers and magazines need to publish the study across the country. This is big news and it is critical that the nation be advised that a major news enterprise is poisoning their minds.

This is not an isolated review of Fox’s performance. It has been corroborated time and time again. The fact that Fox News is so blatantly dishonest, and the effects of that dishonesty have become ingrained in an electorate that has been been purposefully deceived, needs to be made known to every American. Our democracy cannot function if voters are making choices based on lies. We have the evidence that Fox is tilting the scales and we must now make certain its corporate owners do not get away with it.

Exactly

This is a wonderful article from Alter.net, which expresses exactly how I’ve been feeling. This is the first page of several, so be sure to read the whole article.

America: Why R Your Peeps So Dum?
U.S. culture is going down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.
December 9, 2010

JoeBageant.com / By Joe Bageant

If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

One explanation might be the effect of 40 years of deep fried industrial chicken pulp, and 44 ounce Big Gulp soft drinks. Another might be pop culture, which is not culture at all of course, but marketing. Or we could blame it on digital autism: Ever watch commuter monkeys on the subway poking at digital devices, stroking the touch screen for hours on end? That wrinkled Neolithic brows above the squinting red eyes?

But a more reasonable explanation is that, (A) we don’t even know we are doing it, and (B) we cling to institutions dedicated to making sure we never find out.

As William Edwards Deming famously demonstrated, no system can understand itself, and why it does what it does, including the American social system. Not knowing shit about why your society does what it makes for a pretty nasty case of existential unease. So we create institutions whose function is to pretend to know, which makes everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it also makes the savviest among us — those elites who run the institutions — very rich, or safe from the vicissitudes that buffet the rest of us.

Directly or indirectly, they understand that the real function of American social institutions is to justify, rationalize and hide the true purpose of cultural behavior from the lumpenproletariat, and to shape that behavior to the benefit of the institution’s members. “Hey, they’re a lump. Whaddya expect us to do?”

Doubting readers may consider America’s health institutions, the insurance corporations, hospital chains, physicians’ lobbies. Between them they have established a perfectly legal right to clip you and me for thousands of dollars at their own discretion. That we so rabidly defend their right to gouge us, given all the information available in the digital age, mystifies the world.

Two hundred years ago no one would have thought sheer volume of available facts in the digital information age would produce informed Americans. Founders of the republic, steeped in the Enlightenment as they were, and believers in an informed citizenry being vital to freedom and democracy, would be delirious with joy at the prospect. Imagine Jefferson and Franklin high on Google.

The fatal assumption was that Americans would choose to think and learn, instead of cherry picking the blogs and TV channels to reinforce their particular branded choice cultural ignorance, consumer, scientific or political, but especially political. Tom and Ben could never have guessed we would chase prepackaged spectacle, junk science, and titillating rumor such as death panels, Obama as a socialist Muslim and Biblical proof that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs around Eden. In a nation that equates democracy with everyman’s right to an opinion, no matter how ridiculous, this was probably inevitable. After all, dumb people choose dumb stuff. That’s why they are called dumb.

But throw in sixty years of television’s mind puddling effects, and you end up with 24 million Americans watching Bristol Palin thrashing around on Dancing with the Stars, then watch her being interviewed with all seriousness on the networks as major news. The inescapable conclusion of half of heartland America is that her mama must certainly be presidential material, even if Bristol cannot dance. It ain’t a pretty picture out there in Chattanooga and Keokuk.

The other half, the liberal half, concludes that Bristol’s bad dancing is part of her spawn-of-the-Devil mama’s plan to take over the country, and make millions in the process, not to mention make Tina Fey and Jon Stewart richer than they already are. That’s a tall order for a squirrel brained woman who recently asked a black president to “refudiate” the NAACP (though I kinda like refudiate, myself). Cultural stupidity accounts for virtually every aspect of Sarah Palin, both as a person and a political icon. Which, come to think of it, may be a pretty good reason not to “misunderstimate” her. After all, we’re still talking about her in both political camps. And the woman OWNS the Huffington Post, fer Christsake. Not to mention a franchise on cultural ignorance.

Willow Has Quite a Mouth

Paul Supporter Stomps A Woman’s Head

What the fuck is happening to this country?

Fascist

**NOTE: The date should be 1935.

Cut Spending, Cry Republicans. Yet They Can’t Name a Single Program to Cut.

Why I’m Voting Republican

I Am Not a Witch

Guess Who Once Called the Administration the “Commie-Crats”?

Asst. Attorney General, Clearly A Closet Case, Attacks Gay Student

Irrefutable Proof that the Bush Taxcuts Were a Miserable Failure

Fear. Ignorance. Intimidation.

We Are At That Point

I wrote this during a Facebook chat:

“We are at that point when the ruling class can no longer promise prosperity, so they turn to fear-mongering and hatred to keep the people behind them.”

Yup, that’s about it I think.

Car Accident Victim Tragically Not Glenn Beck

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