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Analysis posted Oct 25 2007, 11:28 PM Category: Commentary Source: Mark Morford Print

American kids, dumber than dirt

By Mark Morford

Warning: The next generation might just be the biggest pile of idiots in U.S. history

I have this ongoing discussion with a longtime reader who also just so happens to be a longtime Oakland high school teacher, a wonderful guy who's seen generations of teens come and generations go and who has a delightful poetic sensibility and quirky outlook on his life and his family and his beloved teaching career.

And he often writes to me in response to something I might've written about the youth of today, anything where I comment on the various nefarious factors shaping their minds and their perspectives and whether or not, say, EMFs and junk food and cell phones are melting their brains and what can be done and just how bad it might all be.

His response: It is not bad at all. It's absolutely horrifying.

My friend often summarizes for me what he sees, firsthand, every day and every month, year in and year out, in his classroom. He speaks not merely of the sad decline in overall intellectual acumen among students over the years, not merely of the astonishing spread of lazy slackerhood, or the fact that cell phones and iPods and excess TV exposure are, absolutely and without reservation, short-circuiting the minds of the upcoming generations. Of this, he says, there is zero doubt.

Nor does he speak merely of the notion that kids these days are overprotected and wussified and don't spend enough time outdoors and don't get any real exercise and therefore can't, say, identify basic plants, or handle a tool, or build, well, anything at all. Again, these things are a given. Widely reported, tragically ignored, nothing new.

No, my friend takes it all a full step or rather, leap further. It is not merely a sad slide. It is not just a general dumbing down. It is far uglier than that.

We are, as far as urban public education is concerned, essentially at rock bottom. We are now at a point where we are essentially churning out ignorant teens who are becoming ignorant adults and society as a whole will pay dearly, very soon, and if you think the hordes of easily terrified, mindless fundamentalist evangelical Christian lemmings have been bad for the soul of this country, just wait.

It's gotten so bad that, as my friend nears retirement, he says he is very seriously considering moving out of the country so as to escape what he sees will be the surefire collapse of functioning American society in the next handful of years due to the absolutely irrefutable destruction, the shocking and nearly hopeless dumb-ification of the American brain. It is just that bad.

Now, you may think he's merely a curmudgeon, a tired old teacher who stopped caring long ago. Not true. Teaching is his life. He says he loves his students, loves education and learning and watching young minds awaken. Problem is, he is seeing much less of it. It's a bit like the melting of the polar ice caps. Sure, there's been alarmist data about it for years, but until you see it for yourself, the deep visceral dread doesn't really hit home.

He cites studies, reports, hard data, from the appalling effects of television on child brain development (i.e.; any TV exposure before 6 years old and your kid's basic cognitive wiring and spatial perceptions are pretty much scrambled for life), to the fact that, because of all the insidious mandatory testing teachers are now forced to incorporate into the curriculum, of the 182 school days in a year, there are 110 when such testing is going on somewhere at Oakland High. As one of his colleagues put it, "It's like weighing a calf twice a day, but never feeding it."

But most of all, he simply observes his students, year to year, noting all the obvious evidence of teens' decreasing abilities when confronted with even the most basic intellectual tasks, from understanding simple history to working through moderately complex ideas to even (in a couple recent examples that particularly distressed him) being able to define the words "agriculture," or even "democracy." Not a single student could do it.

It gets worse. My friend cites the fact that, of the 6,000 high school students he estimates he's taught over the span of his career, only a small fraction now make it to his grade with a functioning understanding of written English. They do not know how to form a sentence. They cannot write an intelligible paragraph. Recently, after giving an assignment that required drawing lines, he realized that not a single student actually knew how to use a ruler.

It is, in short, nothing less than a tidal wave of dumb, with once-passionate, increasingly exasperated teachers like my friend nearly powerless to stop it. The worst part: It's not the kids' fault. They're merely the victims of a horribly failed educational system.

Then our discussion often turns to the meat of it, the bigger picture, the ugly and unavoidable truism about the lack of need among the government and the power elite in this nation to create a truly effective educational system, one that actually generates intelligent, thoughtful, articulate citizens.

Hell, why should they? After all, the dumber the populace, the easier it is to rule and control and launch unwinnable wars and pass laws telling them that sex is bad and TV is good and God knows all, so just pipe down and eat your Taco Bell Double-Supremo Burrito and be glad we don't arrest you for posting dirty pictures on your cute little blog.

This is about when I try to offer counterevidence, a bit of optimism. For one thing, I've argued generational relativity in this space before, suggesting maybe kids are no scarier or dumber or more dangerous than they've ever been, and that maybe some of the problem is merely the same old awkward generation gap, with every current generation absolutely convinced the subsequent one is terrifically stupid and malicious and will be the end of society as a whole. Just the way it always seems.

I also point out how, despite all the evidence of total public-education meltdown, I keep being surprised, keep hearing from/about teens and youth movements and actions that impress the hell out of me. Damn kids made the Internet what it is today, fer chrissakes. Revolutionized media. Broke all the rules. Still are.

Hell, some of the best designers, writers, artists, poets, chefs, and so on that I meet are in their early to mid-20s. And the nation's top universities are still managing, despite a factory-churning mentality, to crank out young minds of astonishing ability and acumen. How did these kids do it? How did they escape the horrible public school system? How did they avoid the great dumbing down of America? Did they never see a TV show until they hit puberty? Were they all born and raised elsewhere, in India and Asia and Russia? Did they all go to Waldorf or Montessori and eat whole-grain breads and play with firecrackers and take long walks in wild nature? Are these kids flukes? Exceptions? Just lucky?

My friend would say, well, yes, that's precisely what most of them are. Lucky, wealthy, foreign-born, private-schooled ... and increasingly rare. Most affluent parents in America and many more who aren't now put their kids in private schools from day one, and the smart ones give their kids no TV and minimal junk food and no video games. (Of course, this in no way guarantees a smart, attuned kid, but compared to the odds of success in the public school system, it sure seems to help). This covers about, what, 3 percent of the populace?

As for the rest, well, the dystopian evidence seems overwhelming indeed, to the point where it might be no stretch at all to say the biggest threat facing America is perhaps not global warming, not perpetual warmongering, not garbage food or low-level radiation or way too much Lindsay Lohan, but a populace far too ignorant to know how to properly manage any of it, much less change it all for the better.

What, too fatalistic? Don't worry. Soon enough, no one will know what the word even means.

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Comments 1 - 20 of 21 Add Comment Page of 2 >

Posted: Oct 26 2007, 6:15 AM

education has always been a means of controlling the populace, not a means of imparting wisdom, the exact opposite, in fact. That's no big secret, but it is so effective most folks have never bothered to read what Plato had to say on this subject, at length, around 400BCE. Heaven forbid anyone think for themselves, they might start to realize that they are responsible!

Posted: Oct 26 2007, 1:46 PM

It may not be a secret friendstacy, but I missed it. When I first went to a big school, it was a case of 'oh s**t'. I knew this wasn't for me, I have always tended to contest the world, not on the basis of changing it but on the basis that it doesn't change me. I figured at the time, as a 7 year old entering a highly authoritarian regime, if this is the order of things that is fine for others, I simply exercised my personal choice as it sure wasn't for me.

I didn't presume whether I was right or wrong, being there from a scholarship left me with a tinge of guilt. Only in recent years am I better informed, disrupting freedom of thought is very dangerous, schools are very dangerous and I can see back through how it all works. Those that excelled were actually the conformists and these were never the most able, so it was all serving to hang the world upside down.

What you have said friendstacy are things I didn't know and although they are obvious and known to you, that doesn't apply to so many so it is good to state these things, perhaps with quotes from Plato included.

Posted: Oct 26 2007, 11:07 PM

209172 God damn, I want some Taco Bell now...

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 6:59 AM

Long before I read Plato, I went to school and saw for myself that it was not about learning, as I had been told, but about obedience and conformity. If a five-year-old can see it, why not everyone else? That's what I don't understand, is why can't people see how they have been manipulated? Is it inherent in the manipulation that they deny its existence? Many things are obvious to me that most people are either unaware or unwilling to recognize.

"And the final outcome of education, I suppose we'd say, is a single newly finished person, who is either good or the opposite."
From The Republic, book IV
"good" having been previously determined to mean that which benefits the State

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 10:34 AM

Thank you for the link friendstacy.

All manner of experiments are being conducted on children, the government wants to give an untested cancer vaccine to young children in the UK. I say untested, I have had rather sickening first hand reports of the side effects from such experiments.

<"We now know that the so-called 'sleep studies' carried out by Dr Southall involved giving babies noxious gases, including carbon monoxide. ...

... "I am not a bitter person, but I hope and pray that there is a proper inquiry into this doctor, his accusations against innocent parents and his invasive experiments.

"I say that for my own sake and thousands of other children just like me.

"The opening of his secret files will be just the start.'>

The UK keeps its secrets like no other nation such is the ugliness of so many of those secrets.

Wherever we have failed as a generation, whatever the causes, we owe the next generation a lot more than we have given so far.

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 10:50 AM

Further to requests for information of experiments by Porton Down and commercial affiliates, the bioterrorist organisation in the UK responsible for decimating the last armies of the UK and US, they responded to enquiries initially pretending to miss the question. When challenged they responded:

<"We apologise for misinterpreting your request and ask that to clarify matters you resubmit your request clearly stating your specific requirements, we will then endeavour to assist."> - Kim Galloway (for Richard Maudslay), Corporate Secretariat, DSTL

The enquiry was sent following admissions by Porton Down over chemtrail experiments. The response to their nonsense included effectively a repeat of the original questions filed under FOIA (freedom of information act), DPA (data protection act) and DOTR (defence of the realm) (sent 10/05/2007):

<I require full details of any activity involving chemical releases into the environment spanning the last ten years, where appropriate specific details of what was dispersed when, where, in what volumes and by what mechanisms.
If further clarification is required, please advise.>

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 12:03 PM

24218 The dumbing down of America helps create future generations who will increasingly rely on the government for their support and subsistence. Many of you probably realise that if you keep the population in "free" stuff and "assistance" then the population eventually loses interest in doing for themselves. Dumbing down the population and ensuring that future generations will rely on government is a tactic of many "dictators" world-wide.

The education system is failing because there is no demand for responsibility from children, no demands that they try their best to succeed and no demands that learn that they must rely on themselves.

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 12:09 PM

There is massive intervention when it comes to children and the Internet and one can well see why. On the Internet people can find out what America is, just a slave camp run by a private bank. When a bankrupt nation like the US wants to buy a bomb, they borrow the money. The Federal Reserve isn't a bank or a reserve, it just prints the money and charges interest, now at such absurd levels that when all worth is extracted from the people, such stock (people) no longer has value and is to be eliminated. Stockholder and forerunner of the federal reserve is the Bank of England and all these global divisions are now being combined centrally though I understand although a private bank now runs Iraq, the same doesn't yet apply to Iran.

All that wealth and power is now being combined centrally, the story of earth seems to be much about following a plan for how to steal it. If such things really are so fundamental, they effect potentially each and every child on earth, these are things that perhaps they should know.

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 12:14 PM

<if you keep the population in "free" stuff and "assistance" then the population eventually loses interest in doing for themselves>

This is why I find the title 'Corporate Secretariat' so sinister, why I find 'socialism', the 'left' and similar Rothschild's contrivances so threatening as it represents the wolf in sheeps clothing. It is much easier for governments to do harm in the name of doing good.

I contested speed cameras on the grounds of genetics. Whilst the police state in the UK became self-financing and corrupt by such measures, the level of enforcement meant that human beings were being asked not to think, the state would think for you, thus creating a world absent of one of the greatest gifts mankind has; the ability to think.

Conversely, the 'right' was the wolf in wolf's clothing, George Bush and Bush/Brown make little pretence, rather an overt will to bomb mankind into oblivion, with Hilary Clinton and quite a list of others just hoping for the chance to have their turn.

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 12:43 PM

So much of all of this sham has been through the harvesting of the mind, body and spirit of the people. Sometimes a formal war is manufactured, but the quiet war for people's mind's has gone on with catastrophic (and catatonic) results as this article indicates.

I look at things on the basis that when there is a war, it makes sense to use the weapons of the enemy where this does not require compromise of principle and becoming that which one opposes.

Much of mind control is an information war. A friend was being interviewed by the voice of the Tavistock Institute; the BBC. He was well briefed in 'the game' from the chauffeur that took him to the studio. All it was about was soundbytes, that is all they were interested in.

In order to spread information widely, it helps to provide the smallest possible package as an entry point, just as a soundbyte can be used to turn people's minds off 'national security', 'child protection', it can also be used to wake people up; '9/11 was an inside job', 'when were you last at Bohemian Grove Mr. Clinton'.

Some soundbytes are thought suppressors, some raise questions kicking the grey matter into action. 'America is owned by a private bank', 'if you can't fire him he doesn't work for you' or for those that like some Da Vinci code, 'for a clue to 9/11, look on the back of the one dollar bill'.

Posted: Oct 27 2007, 7:33 PM

"A child is not a vase to be filled, but a fire to be lit." - Rabelais

"Don't limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time." - Rabbinical saying

"The state must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation." - Adolf Hitler

Hitler rephrased by Blair and Brown in a soundbyte as: "every child matters"

Hitler rephrased by Bush in a soundbyte as: "no child left behind"

Posted: Oct 28 2007, 8:12 AM

As there is so much talk of about so many conspiracy groups involved in mind control, and there are many, it is useful to perhaps look The Tavistock Institute, the kingpin of global subversion.

When strange policies are inflicted on schools in America, a whole range of companies or organisations are blamed, when such insanities are inflicted on the UK it is said they are adopting Americanisms.

London is the world's capital, terrorism, war, drug trafficking, child abuse and mind control.

Posted: Oct 28 2007, 12:21 PM

74235 When I was little, I used to get pissed off that my parents wouldn't get cable, and wouldnt let me watch tv until my homework was done, or for more than 1 hour a day. But now I thank god. I thank God that I'm not like the rest of the kids I go to school with, who's conversations revolve around "beauty and the geek" or "best week ever." They see me waving Ron Paul signs on the street corner with my meetup group, and they ask questions like "Oh, you're into politics?," as if somehow it is uncool to give a s**t about the direction your country is headed, or to even notice that all your rights are being taken away by an administration who's greatest accomplishment is the perfection of ruling by fear.
Sometimes though, I wish I were like them. I wish I didn't see the gap between the rich and the poor growing larger everyday, largely because of trade agreements passed not by this administration, but the one before it. I wish I could be happy eating double cheeseburgers and watching VH1 all day. They truly are the lucky ones, because we they can't see it. I would much rather prefer to not see it, than to watch it everyday and know that there are too few of us who do see it, to do anything about it. Best Wishes all, I'll keep working toward my Ph.D. maybe then the Swiss will let me in.

Posted: Oct 28 2007, 1:40 PM

you vote for Ron Paul, my young friend, and nothing will change. you'll be lucky to get out of the US to go anywhere, much less Switzerland. The system is far too broken to be fixed now. Funny thing is, it never worked in the first place! The constitution never gave anyone anything besides a reason to give away their power "for the good of the State" - it was never about freedom, but always about making most of the people consent to being governed by a few.

"I HEARTILY ACCEPT the motto, "That government is best which governs least"; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, "That government is best which governs not at all"; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have."
- Henry David Thoreau

Posted: Oct 28 2007, 11:25 PM

66186 friendstacy:

it is not that people are unwilling. it is only because people's egos would rather self-destruct that admit being wrong. damn freud. damn him for setting the blue print for instinctual manipulation, eh?

Posted: Oct 29 2007, 12:13 AM

68104 That comment about Christians being lemmings is pretty stupid,and hateful. Im a Christian,and Im very aware of what is going on, and by the way ,"ZEITGEIST" is absolute crock of bullcrap. Zeitgeist is ignorant,and it would be just as easy to call soldiers "Insiders of the elite one world order plan", but soldiers dont know what the Military Industrial Complex is, they are unaware because NO ONE HAS TOLD THEM TO BEWARE. Im a Christian who knows whats goin on......back off the hatred,it is ignorant people in general, not a specific religion or group of people,,,,,,but people in the latest generations from all walks of life who are going to be stupid enough to let America fall apart

Posted: Oct 29 2007, 8:34 AM

Christian individuals are not being attacked, but rather the religious institution that controls them (with their consent, of course). big difference there...

History has been manipulated and changed to fit the agenda of whatever small group of people wish to control all the rest of us. Yes, even your Biblical history has been presented in such a fashion as to serve an agenda. That agenda being to prevent you from thinking for yourself, making your own decisions, taking responsibility. I am not saying there is no truth in your religion, I am saying that small nugget of truth only serves to give people an excuse, to justify the abuses and control issues piled up on top of it.

Posted: Dec 09 2007, 4:22 PM

The control of the means to educate the people or to deny that opportunity has long be recognized as the ultimate means and the shortest route to enslaving the populace.
History is replete with examples where complete cultures were denied the means to education and threatened even to the point of death if caught in the act thereof.
It is true the human ego will, if not put in check, keep an unlearned person from gaining the knowledge to improve their lives for the fear of looking or not wanting to seem ignorant or foolish. Almost ironic.
Those in power with their almost unlimited wealth know this and much more. They are not beyond using any an every means at their disposal to ensure the majority of the masses stay ignorant while perceiving themselves to be anything but.
Look around you today and you might the emphasis of me time, pleasure rather than effort, video games, movies, TV and many other genera, anything but true education which frees the mind and in turn becomes a dangerous adversary to those look upon us as a resource, less than cattle , to be used and discarded.
Sad but true.

Posted: Dec 09 2007, 6:47 PM

99230 Zeitgeist was Gold EXCEPT for the RELIGION Part

YES the Roman Catholics Controlled by the Elite used Christianity as means to control the people and the elites still use christianity today in that way. BUT YOU CANNOT DENY THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, JESUS, THE PROPHETS, and the SCRIPTURES

but we have to realise the Romans and Jews altered the books a little and used religion, the banking system, politics, big business, military,agriculture,media, etc to form todays New World Order

here is the NEWEST VERSION of ZEITGEIST NO Atheism with more scenes. It is a complete DVD with menus and chapters

DOWNLOAD the NOn ATHIESTIC Zeitgeist Version with MORE FOOTAGE here:

if you dont know how to use torrent search google, and find out how easy it is and its free.

once the download is complete use nero to burn this image to a DVD

Posted: Dec 13 2007, 8:42 AM

Zeitgeist, like most everything else, came with an agenda. Give the people just enough truth that they don't bother looking for more and will accept the lies and half-truths. Find your own truth, for it may not be what others believe is true. And the only place you will find it, is within. No ancient book, or words of ancient prophets can save you now, you gotta save yourself before it's too late.
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