Monday, December 29, 2014


Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree
The generation of "Baby Boomers" that came up during the 50s and 60s will forever be remembered as the "Enlightened Generation." We were special. The world had never seen anything like us before, and for the most part, the nation still reflects just how special we were. We were just idealistic kids, but we got it right. We embraced knowledge, educated ourselves, and then demanded that this nation adhere to the values that it professed to hold dear. Even this nation’s founding fathers found it expedient to comprise some of their values, but we didn’t compromise even one, and the fact that this nation elected its first Black president on our watch - a mere fifty years after Black people were being attacked by police dogs for exercising the simple right to sit at public lunch counters - will forever stand as a monument to the astounding impact that we’ve had on this nation. But we got yet one more task to perform before we move on. While we're still around, we’ve GOT to educate the young people of this nation to begin to follow in our footsteps.
As we’ve aged, our numbers have began to diminish, so the nation, and the world, have started to backslide - and it didn’t happen spontaneously. It was a planned and orchestrated attack against everything we represent. It started nearly 35 years ago under the Reagan administration. First they began to attack public information by abolishing the "Fairness Doctrine." The Fairness Doctrine provided that if any television or radio station in America broadcasted a purely partisan perspective on a public issue, they had to provide equal time to the opposing point of view.
The doctrine’s purpose was first, to keep the American people informed, and secondly, to prevent the demagoguery that we see today on Fox News, and it served its purpose well. It provided endless public debate on every public issue, and that, in turn, served to keep the nation informed of every side of every issue. In addition, a person like Rush Limbaugh couldn’t have existed under the Fairness Doctrine, at least, not unless he had a liberal sitting right next to him who could challenge every lie he told. But some stations found that too combative, so they simply gave a liberal a show with equal time that immediately followed shows like Rush Limbaugh's.
But conservatives found that when the people were informed of the facts, the conservative point of view always fell short. That’s why it was so important to them to abolish the doctrine, so they could spew their lies and propaganda with impunity. Then after they successfully got the doctrine abolished, conservative-leaning corporations began to buy up all the media outlets across the country, effectively shutting out the liberal perspective from the American people. It got so bad under George W. Bush that only conservative commentators were being broadcasted to the troops in Iraq. I tried to take up the slack by communicating with the troops online, and I had quite a following. But after a while, a military commander contacted me and politely asked me to cease and desist. He said that I was hurting moral. I found that to be both a profoundly significant, and an extremely telling point of view. If truth hurt moral, what did that say about the mission? 
After the conservatives effectively blocked the liberal perspective from the airways, they then turned to our educational system. They used tax laws and various other measures to attack and defund our educational system in order to ensure that the generations that followed the Baby Boomers didn’t have the educational background to become independent and critical thinkers. As a direct result of the machinations of this Corporate/GOP alliance, today many people with college degrees lack much of the knowledge that the enlighten generation was armed with when they entered high school. That’s why it’s routine to hear the Republican base make statements like, "Barack Obama is un-American - he’s involved in a socialist plot to insure my family against catastrophic illness." Many in the Republican base actually accept such gross stupidity as logically valid. Personally, I find the fact that people’s minds can be manipulated to that level of stupidity kind of scary.
Thus, the brutal attack that's currently being waged by conservatives on the nation's educational system that's been ongoing for the passed thirty years, is in direct response to what the enlightened generation was, and who we remain to be.
We hold the distinction of bringing America closer to what it professes to be than any generation in the history of this country. So we, as a generation, possess the quality of intellect that rabid conservatives are doing their very best to ensure never arises again. We are a direct threat to their agenda to convert America from being a democratic republic, to becoming a corporate feudalist state, where they can lower the standard of living of the American middle class to one that conforms more closely to the global economy, where in many countries, workers make less per week, than many American workers spend on lunch per day.
And they’re coming very close to achieving that goal. A Princeton University study has declared that the United States is no longer a democratic republic; we’re now an oligarchy that’s controlled by the rich. The top 5% of the nation now control 72% of the wealth, and the bottom 80% of Americans only control 7% of the wealth. This has come about just since the Reagan administration. But consider this. Once the bottom 80% of Americans only control 5%, then 3%, and then later, none of the nation’s wealth, our children - both Black and White - for all intent and purposes, will be slaves. Thus, this is no longer a struggle about merely race - race is now only used to keep the poor and middle class divided. We are now knee deep in a CLASS struggle, and it’s the most dangerous threat to the American way of life that the nation has EVER faced.
So as Baby Boomers, this nation’s enlighten generation, we have yet one more task to perform for this nation. We must do our best to see to it that our legacy lives on. It is essential that when we leave this Earth, that we leave our spirit behind - we owe it to the nation, we owe it to our children, and we owe it to our passionate brothers and sisters who are now in the wind. That is my life’s mission, and that should be the mission of ALL of us who are still around. We must muster the strength to come together for one final rally against those who are out to destroy our children’s way of life.
America may not have always lived up to its ideals, but what made it special was it had ideals. That’s what made a generation like ours possible. But that’s no longer the case. Radical conservatives have changed that. At one time Americans could look forward with optimism, but not now - they’ve changed America into an ugly, evil, and dark place of mass suffering (when was the last time you saw a conservative who wasn't mean and hateful - in spite, of their professed Christian values). At one time politicians of different political persuasions could work together to further the interest of the American people, but not now - radical conservatives routinely hold the American people hostage in order to promote their malevolent agenda, and will vote any one of their number out of office who wants to act responsibly on behalf of the people.  At one time politicians sought to inspire, but not now - conservatives seek to anger, and turn one American against another. That’s the only way that they can survive, because their agenda is so toxic to the American way of life that they have to appeal to the very worst in the nature of humanity in order to generate enough hatred between one American and another to get them to vote against their own interest.
So America needs us more than ever. We may no longer have the vigor that we once had, but we still have the passion, and not only that, we possess the most potent weapon that the domestic enemies of America will ever face - knowledge. We are the most knowledgeable people in America, so as we prepare to leave the stage, let us remind these chumps what we’re made of, and let our final encore be one of love for our children and grand children. Instead of simply saying good night, let us leave them with the gift of love, happiness, and the kind of security that we enjoyed.
So as we prepare to make our final exit, let us come together one last time and tell our children, "Don’t worry, babies, We got this!" And after we’ve defeated these scoundrels, and as we walk out the door after our final curtain, let us not forget to leave a message for history . . . "All You Need is Love." Only then, will we be free to join our brothers and sisters in the mist, with our heads held high.
Receding hairline, failing vision,
hair now turning grey,
an aging boomer in final protest,
Father Time his foe this day.
Donning his headband, tie-dyed jeans,
and scorched draft card of protests past,
he set out for one last battle,
as in his youth that had quietly passed.
Ode to an aging Boomer,
a different kind of man;
colleagues all now in the wind,
as he makes his final stand.
But he found no placards or the sound of Trane,
no passionate speeches in the gentle rain,
no pretty girls wearing mini skirts,
and no solemn guards on ‘pig’ alert.
All he found was a new America,
and more freedom across this land;
the fruit of his struggle
for women's equality,
and the rights of his fellow man.
He found Martin, Chavez, and Malcolm X,
all standing by his side;
He found Thomas Jefferson
and all his forefathers
beaming down with pride.
He found minority children across this land
whose reach now exceed their grasp;
He found Jim Crow angrily cursing him,
as he took his final gasp.
He found pride as an aging boomer,
more hero, than common man;
He found a quirky old fart embraced by history,
for having the courage to take a stand.
Alone, an aging Boomer,
fellow travelers now in the wind;
but once again, he limps to his trench,
to defend his fellow man.

Eric L. Wattree
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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