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The Dumbing Down of America: A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on August 12, 2014

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For most of my life I have laughed at conspiracy nuts. I would hear their ramblings, read their “proof” and then laugh in their general direction, convinced that they all needed a padded room and a straight-jacket so they couldn’t harm themselves or others.

So it is with more than a little chagrin that I state I am beginning to think that there is a grand conspiracy in action right now to dumb down the United States of America. I am beginning to suspect that somewhere in some deep subterranean tunnel below Washington D.C., there are people who are doing their damndest to make sure Americans think less. I can think of no other explanation for what I am witnessing these days. How else do we explain it? It is too frightening to think that this is just some random happenstance, that suddenly 300 million people have turned stupid overnight, and there is no explanation for it. Much better, me thinks, to give it a name, give it a face, and blame it on Big Brother.

I will go even further in my ramblings and state that I believe this conspiracy has been going on for over twenty years, and we as a nation have silently gone along with it, like cattle on a conveyor belt, heading for that pistol shot to the brainpan and blessed oblivion.

But how can I expect you to agree with me unless I show you evidence that supports my conspiracy theory? How silly of me! Please, allow me to point out the facts and then I’ll let you decide if I should be fitted for one of those “special” jackets.

The original reality television show
The original reality television show | Source

Stop, Children, What’s That Sound, Everybody Look What’s Going Down!

Look around you! Do you see it? Look in the front window of practically every home in America and you’ll see the little family huddled around their television set during prime time watching….reality television.

Yes, reality television, that phenomenon that seems to now have a life of its own. Reality television, able to leap tall buildings at a single bound, bend steel in its bare hands and shrink our collective IQ in a matter of minutes.

Reality TV first came on the American scene in 1948 with the debut of Alan Funt’s Candid Camera, a show that orchestrated bizarre events and then chronicled the reactions of unsuspecting citizens. It was an immediate success, and gave birth to a seemingly never-ending array of shows that spun-off of this successful formula. Today, Americans can’t seem to get their fill, tuning in by the millions to watch shows like American Idol, The Voice, X Factor, Survivor, America’s Got Talent and Dancing with the Stars.

Even the History Channel, long a bastion for learning, has succumbed to this conspiracy, offering us shows like Ice Road Truckers and Pawn Stars. History? Who needs it when we can entertain the starving masses with elaborately-staged mini-dramas starring Redman-chewing truckers navigating dangerous roads in the Yukon and Alaska?

Be afraid, folks! Be very afraid!

A little bit much????
A little bit much???? | Source

Numbers Don’t Lie

The computer and the internet: where would we be without them, right?

The average American spends 32 hours per month on the internet, and 92% of that time is reading and writing emails.

32 hours! Over one day per month! The percentage is higher, of course, for children, a fact that should instill fear in the hearts of every parent.

85% of Americans have complete faith in the internet to provide information for them, and Google receives an astounding 1.2 billion searches each day.

This may seem hard to believe, but I made it through my entire childhood without the internet. We managed to actually live a life without the World Wide Web. We did things like ride our bicycles and do chores. We explored our neighborhoods and we invented games. Believe it or not, we interacted with people face to face, in person, without the aid of electronic gadgetry.

I know some of you are going to ask what this has to do with dumbing down an entire society, and I would say to you that as long as the masses are entertained and subdued by that 18-inch screen, there is no concern on the part of the government that the people will ever stop and smell the stink coming from Washington D.C., and make no mistake about it, there is a serious stench coming from the east….shhhh….don’t say a word and it will all go away……go make another YouTube video and don’t worry about it….it will all go away once you have received your electronic placebo.

Back in the day when education actually happened in a classroom
Back in the day when education actually happened in a classroom | Source

Education….what Education?

Am I the only one who thinks that the youth of America are collectively ignorant? I know, I know, your son is on the honor roll and headed for Stanford, and little Suzie is on scholarship at Yale and all is right in your world…..but…..I’m talking about an overall feeling of rising ignorance.

I will be happy to tell you when this trend began. As a former teacher with eighteen years of classroom experience behind me, I can pinpoint the date when the great downhill slide began. Are you ready?

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act was passed in 1994 to ensure that all states had rigorous standards for all subject areas and grade levels. This was then carried forward and tweaked in 2001 by President Bush in the famous “No Child Left Behind Act.”

The priorities of these acts were as follows:

  • High academic standards and expectations for all students
  • Tests that are more rigorous and more challenging, to measure whether students are meeting those standards
  • Accountability systems that provide incentives and rewards for educators, students and parents to work together to help students reach these standards.

All well and good, right? What’s wrong with having high standards? Nothing at all until you tie Federal funding onto testing results. Suddenly every school in America sees the wisdom of scoring well on those standardized tests, and suddenly every curriculum in America is geared towards teaching to the tests rather than educating.

The results can be seen today. Several generations of students have graduated, most capable of taking a test, but totally clueless about anything outside of the test parameters. What about critical thinking skills? Gone the way of the Do-Do bird. What of problem-solving skills? Bye, bye Miss American Pie!

Let’s Take a Look at the Real Proof

I’m sure many of you are nodding your heads in agreement. Maybe some of you still have your doubts about the dumbing down of America. After all, it is not fun admitting that we have become, as a society, dumber than ever before in history. Sheez, that’s an unpleasant thought, right?

Well consider this then; this will be our litmus test on whether I am right or I am wrong.

Go to the closest shopping mall and carry on a conversation with ten random people and then tell me if you don’t think we might have lost a bit of our intelligence over the years. Heck, sit on a park bench and listen to people as they pass by. Go on Facebook and watch the random posts as they flash on the screen. I will do that on occasion and honestly, I don’t even recognize the conversation as being English.

Let’s switch gears for a moment.

I read a writing tip once that said writers should keep it simple. They should not raise the bar too high with their vocabulary lest they lose some of their audience. I have to be honest with you. That saddens me. Writers should dumb down in order to reach a broader audience? How about we raise the intelligence level of the audience instead of watering down the level of the Arts?

Look familiar?
Look familiar? | Source
Humanity One World....Making A Difference one person at a time.
Humanity One World....Making A Difference one person at a time. | Source

Moving Towards Our Destiny

Moo!

The sound of those cattle on the conveyor belt, waiting with complacency and apathy as they approach the pistol shot to the brain. Can you hear them? Do you see them? They are our countrymen and women and they are all around us, draining us of our intellect and infecting us with their “Intelligence Light” ……less filling, tastes great!

Now I’m not one to complain and shake the bell of alarm without offering a solution or two, so here they are in no particular order.

Get your kids outside and away from the television and computer. Set a specific viewing limit and then stick with it.

Get involved with your children. Take them on nature walks where you all learn about the plants and animals that you see. Go on road trips and learn the history and geology of the area.

Get involved in your local school and school board. Change happens locally and if you want to see educational change then you must demand it.

If you are a business owner then demand that learning occur. Offer seminars for all of your employees, and off them for free. You can only benefit from a more intelligent workforce.

Demand that Federal funding based on test results be abolished in the country. Allow teachers to once again teach a complete curriculum. Give them freedom to do what they were trained to do.

And on and on we go, but no suggestion is as important as the following:

STOP BEING COMPLACENT AND START CARING

Unless, of course, you think the guy with the gun at the end of the conveyor belt is there to give you a tasty treat, and then by all means, enjoy the trip!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

"Helping writers to spread their wings and fly."

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    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      Oh my goodness, we were just having this discussion! Everyday, I find another reason to be amazed by the ignorance around us. I can't understand how these people get through life. I am always looking for the hidden camera bcause "this can't possibly be real" Sadly, it is. Thank you for putting in easy to understand terms so that maybe who should read it, can. Up++

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      america is getting dumber by the minute. I remember a reality show called the LOUD family..Actually that was their name...The camera followed them around for about a month...We are so dependent on our electronics today..and we have more and more--ipads, phones, notebooks, whatever your choice is .....Today parents have to force their kids to go outside and before we used to wait to get up and run outside. Are kids smarter with all the fancy games etc???? Don't know about that for sure. Of course we have to deal with our changing world and it is changing on an hourly basis.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Randi, there are days that I am embarrassed to call myself a member of the human race. How could we have fallen so far???? For whatever reason, I still have hope my friend.

      Thank you for the visit and have a great weekend.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 3 years ago

      Bill - I once wrote a hub on the Dumbing Down of America. If it truly is a conspiracy, it is working great.

      As an employer of people, it was getting more and more difficult to find prospective employees who could read and fill out a simple job application form.

      Ask a prospective employee for a Resume, and many have no idea what you are asking for.

      I haven't checked lately, but I believe the US was down to somewhere near number 23 in the world ranking for education levels.

      Excessive time on the internet and playing computer games added to hours and hours of mindless TV watching is taking its toll. A toll not only in brain power, but the physical health of our youth. The human body was not designed to sit or lay on the couch all day, but that is what many of today's children do. Most schools have dropped Physical Education as a required subject. For many children that was pretty much the only physical exercise they got.

      So the real question is can this trend be reversed or is it too late? It would take involvement from the parents to limit computer and TV time in their homes, and many will not do this. They themselves are waiting for "Honey Boo Boo" to start on the big TV in the living room.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      The dumbing down of America is and has been well on its way! Really sad reality, and by the way, I cannot stand those reality shows! Yikes!

      I agree 100%.

      Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Carol, I remember that show sadly.

      The collective intelligence of this country is falling and I am convinced of that. We no longer know how to problem solve, and we certainly do not understand critical thinking.....and I dread the thought of a new generation without those skills.

      Have a great weekend and keep hoping that we turn things around.

      Thank you Carol!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      You have made a lot of good points. I don't think it's the government that is trying to dumb us down, necessarily, but it is happening.

      I see things on the news all of the time that stun me. It's sad, really.

      As for reality tv, I was going to agree with you, and then I realize I watch some of it. I love Dancing With the Stars, because watching people dance to dynamic music is thrilling for me. And some of the shows that show the "World's Dumbest..." make me feel smart!

      If I ever have kids, I'll want to limit their time on the tv and computer. I couldn't imagine a childhood like that. When I was a kid, my brothers and I would go out and play outside. we would ride our bikes, play with our friends, or else play games, or with our toys inside. We were always interacting with each other, not with a tv screen. That was also when I got the passion to write. If I had had too many electronics back then, I may have been distracted from that passion.

      I don't like the standardized tests ruling schools, either. It sounds good for the bar to be set high, but when everyone has to worry about the tests, instead of learning information and skills that are imperative in real life, it does a lot of damage to society.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, I am thankful daily that I do not have a television. :)

      Thank you my dear and have a wonderful weekend.

      Blessings always,

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Poolman, I would add something here but you said it all and said it quite well. I have had the same problem in hiring...absolutely frightening that those people think they should be hired when they can't follow instructions on an application form. Sigh!

      I don't have the answer my friend, or at least an answer that could possibly work. As you say, the parents of so many children are as bad as their children.

      Thanks buddy!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      I would love to reach out hug you just for the statements you made about teaching. Seriously, I recently stated I have no desire to step back in the classroom and teach. This statement was not about myself or the kids I would be teaching, but about what a damn joke it has become with teaching for the god almighty test. I am so with you that we need to get back to basics and teach the fundamentals and not for these tests. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for saying it just as it is. Have of course voted up and shared all over. Hoping you are winding down and getting ready to have great weekend now, because you truly deserve it!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Kathryn, I don't really believe the government is behind some conspiracy....but it would be nice if we could blame it on them. :) You had me laughing about "World's Dumbest"....it is a nice boost for our ego, isn't it? LOL

      If you had children I would feel real good about their welfare and upbringing. :)

      Have a great weekend and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Janine, there isn't enough money to tempt me back into the classroom. If I'm going to be hired as a teacher then I want to be allowed to teach....and that isn't happening today. I feel sorry for the dedicated teachers who have their hands tied today.....not for me thank you very much.

      Have a great weekend my friend and thank you for your kindness.

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I really want to get a piece of chalk and write "free mustache rides" above your head.

      I'll slap myself for you.

      You know I'm right there with you on this subject. This is one of the reasons why I'm sick of writing about nutrition--I fear that big food corporations have taken hold of the minds of most Americans and they're not letting go. As a result, people are suffering from disease and mental illness. Kids can't learn when their bodies are full of chemicals. It's already been well established that processed foods are linked to aggressive behavior, but I still hear people say that behavior problems are the result of a lack of corporal punishment. Come on! UGH I'm off on a tangent again.

      By the way, what ever happened to TLC, The Learning Channel? Ain't no one learnin' nothin' there.

      The education issue really gets me going, so I'll stop here and say, "Right on, Billybuckaroo!" Now I'll go think some happy thoughts.

    • shielamaeparreno profile image

      Shiela Mae Parreno 3 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

      So true. I sure do hope my children in the future will still be holding books instead of gadgets during classes. I love reading books rather than facing screens. Voted up and will share bill! =)

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      Bill, college students are accustomed to getting study guides for tests. They study (memorize) the answer to pass exams. Why go to class? Yes, we should be scared because they are our future leaders.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

      You KNOW I know what you are saying. My child (I won't name names or sex here) is an honor student. In the Spanish (didn't know there was such a thing until it was there) Honors Society. I asked my child how to say "Welcome to the White House" in Spanish. My child couldn't tell me. Two years of Spanish class, getting A's and they could not say that simple sentence.

      Spelling is another problem to me. One of my favorite examples is another of my high school age children spelling "Board Games" like this: bord games. AND THOUGHT THEY WERE RIGHT!!!!!

      I hate teaching the test rather than testing the knowledge. We are becoming a nation of cattle, of sheep. We have no unified direction; we are all just milling around mooing and baaaa-ing, and brother the butcher is coming!

      Great article Bill. Sad, but brilliant.

      I think my Reality Show ideas on the hub I wrote earlier are better than some of those on television now, don't you? Expecting a call any day to reap the harvest of my intellect! I'll share it with you and Bev, so be expecting a check any day now!!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LMAO....Lizzy, the opening line of your comment was a classic. I almost spit out my tea.

      I don't know, Lizzy, but if I had a child the age of yours I would have serious concerns....still....

      My son is 28 now, and he had me for a father poor kid....and he is incredibly intelligent and can think for himself and I'm proud of him....but it took a lot of work on my part to reach this point. If I had left it to the schools my son wouldn't be able to spell his name.

      Stay hopeful my friend and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      shielamaeparreno, I do too...there is something comforting about holding a book and turning pages....I hope that never disappears because I refuse to buy a Kindle. :)

      Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Dianna....I love (sarcasm coming) the pre-SAT tests....they practice an almost identical test before taking the test that determines what they know. My only question is how do any of them do poorly on that test? The answers were practically given to them already.

      This is not the world of education that I once taught in.

      Have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      MIke.....Honors Spanish???? Wow! That's all I've got....Wow!

      I'll be looking for that check in the mail my friend....hey, why not fly it out here so we can meet and bitch about society together? LOL

      Have a great weekend and thank you as always.

      bill

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      QUOTE: " I am beginning to suspect that somewhere in some deep subterranean tunnel below Washington D.C., there are people who are doing their damndest to make sure Americans think less."

      Mahathir, Malaysia's very own Ferdinand Marcos, downplayed the value and the need for politicians to debate each other, saying Malaysians are not ready for such exchanges: "The Malaysian public is not yet that mature. This is not America. And even in America, the debates all expose how stupid the candidates are, that’s all".

      http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/articl...

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 3 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      Well said, Billybuc. The tendency to teach to and study for standardized tests is a great threat to our educational system. Look at our television fare now. It is all banal reality shows. Our country will soon face a dearth of critical thinkers which will be a dangerous threat to our country.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, I'm reminded of a movie I saw once....one of the lines was "you aren't ready for the truth." There may be some truth in that statement. :) I find that sad to write but it may be very true.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      HS, I believe that to be true, and when the pool of good thinkers has shrunk to minimum numbers, guess who will rule the country.....those few who actually learned to think for themselves.

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc, the truth is that Mahathir is a multibillionaire, just by being Prime Minister of Malaysia, and that's the truth that I am not ready to accept. Malaysia has produced many multibillionaires that are not in Forbes' list, although they are richer than Robert Kuok, Forbes' No. 64 in 2012.

    • Barbara Kay profile image

      Barbara Kay Badder 3 years ago from USA

      Bill, I've been amazed to by some of the young people. If you go through a checkout at a store, some of them don't even possess simple math skills. They are now taught how to use calculators to add and subtract, not how to do it on their own. I have no problem with calculators, but they should still be able to do it without one.

      I watch American Idol and The Voice for the music. No, I don't watch the other reality shows. I'm not much of a TV watcher, because I'd much rather read. Watching the news and those two shows is about the only TV I watch.

      There may be more of a conspiracy than we all think. Once people don't think for themselves, you can control them. I've lost some of my trust for those in control, congress in particular.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. Again I can only echo your comments. It's the same in the uk. Reality shows dominate our weekend viewing with more in the week. We even have the same titles you mention. I despair for the future, I really do. Top class as usual.

      Graham.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, this is just my opinion of course, but in a country like Malaysia, where so many are poor, there should not be one multibillionaire. :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Barbara, I have no faith in the political system. I have to have faith in my fellow citizens but it's a bit scary doing that considering the lack of intelligence I see on a daily basis. Still, we have hope, right?

      Have a great weekend and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Graham, our countries are tied at the hip my friend. What is good for us is good for you, and what is bad for us is good for you.....maybe if we combined the intelligence in our two countries we could come up with one solution that actually makes sense. :) Thank you my friend and have a great weekend.

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 3 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      True and well put as usual, Bill. This continually growing emphasis on assessment of learning with "comprehensive" tests in our schools is insane. It appears that teachers have time only to teach the test answers, leading to memorization that will last until the test is taken, then you can almost hear these answers fall out of the students' heads as they leave school.

      How can the effectiveness of teachers be measured accurately?

    • WalterPoon profile image

      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc, just in case you think that I support what Mahathir is saying, we, in Malaysia, no longer trust Mahathir anymore, after we discovered his dirty secrets from the internet. The mainstream media (both newspapers and TV, as well as radio) is tightly controlled by the government to spread "official news" (also called "lies") that most of us no longer use them. Sales are plummeting.

      And if I don't support what Billybuc says, who should I support? Mahathir? He has lost our respect. Imagine being hoodwinked for 22 years under his premiership, when we were fed official propaganda a.k.a. lies!

    • MrsBrownsParlour profile image

      Lurana Brown 3 years ago from Chicagoland, Illinois

      I very much agree with your ending suggestions to educate our children about the natural world (hands-on! go outside!) and for adults to contribute to a high standard of public education.

      I also agree that the media is too often a source of entertainment rather than education---its power to educate is beyond the imagination of future generations! I love comedy and entertainment as much as anyone, but real information (history, life skills, science) could be written into entertaining shows and be so much more effective in raising well-educated, concerned and enlightened citizens. ~Lurana

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jim, right at the end you hit upon a sticky problem...how to assess teachers accurately. Sounds like a simple question but the solution is not so simple. I agree that it must be done but I honestly don't know how to do it.

      Thanks for your input. You are appreciated my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, I suspect that the American people have been lied to for decades. Perhaps ignorance is bliss? I don't really believe that but it sounds good, right?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lurana, what you say is true, but sadly it does not sell. People want mindless entertainment....or at least those who register on the ratings seem to want it....Honey Boo Boo for God's sake. Is there nothing sacred any longer?

      Thanks as always and I hope you are well and happy my friend.

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      This statement says it all, "STOP BEING COMPLACENT AND START CARING"!!!! I could not agree with you more. With regards to the educational system, it is no longer about teaching children what they really need to know to function adequately as adults. Let me tell you that gone are the days of real teachers that gave a damn. It seems to me that the general public and the government doesn't give a hoot either. In response to your observation about "reality tv", I have to admit that with the exception of a couple of shows, i.e. Survivor and Amazing Race, I can actually feel my IQ dropping after watching some of these programs. This was an excellent article. Thanks for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rose, it is interesting that you named the two reality tv shows that I watched back when I had a tv five years ago. Those were actually entertainment and not an insult to my intelligence.

      Education.....there are some good teachers out there....I was one of them....but for the most part their hands are tied and they are not allowed to teach to anything other than the test. That's why I left teaching three years ago.

      I don't know all the answers but I know for a fact that nothing will be solved unless the American public starts wanting and demanding change.

      Thank you for the visit and kind words.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Great hub! There is usually a lot of complaining in the issue of education, but usually nothing right seems to have been done so far about it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, what I know for sure is that what they are currently doing is not working, and they have had twenty years to fine-tune it and get it right. :)

      Thanks my friend and have a relaxing weekend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      America's dumbing down is growing by the day. The ever growing reliance on technology to provide answers easily, the fact that kids today seem to decide what they want to learn and not learn, and lastly the damn standardized tests that force teachers and students to learn a lot of "facts" for the test but nothing useful for life; like how to make change, or how to balance a checkbook, etc.

      Heaven help us as the slide downward continues.

      Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mary, in truth, I do not see this being fixed in the near future. As long as government rewards schools with money for test results, we will see standardized testing as the holy grail of education. That is sad but a reality.

      Thank you my friend. At least you and I can make change. :)

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I think it is the government and we have seen it in so many cases in the past. Dumb is how they overcome and control. Look how Hitler fooled so many. I have no doubt they are in our Internets, our phones, hooked to our cars and why on earth do they want to know our every move when they couldn't follow after a terrorist the Russians informed them about? I am not just on one party, I was angered at the last one for similar activity but the one we have to worry about is the one we are facing! I think they have worked it out to not have groups that might come together and do something or speak out against them. Strange how much we have changed since the 70's when protests seemed an every day occurrence, isn't it?

    • rose-the planner profile image

      rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

      Hello billybuc. I just wanted to clarify that you're right, not all teachers are the same and I definitely did not mean to paint them all with the same brushstroke. I personally know of some excellent and dedicated teaching professionals. I think it is true that many feel that their hands are tied but the truth is many teachers today are not willing to go the extra mile like the teachers that I grew up with. You know, the ones that used to stay after school to help you; the ones that gave up their own time for extracurricular activities and so on. I guess we have to face it that times have changed. By the way, you were probably one of those amazing teachers yourself. Take care. -Rose.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      I was and am with you right up to the testing part. If we don't have testing I don't see how we are going to get out of this mess we have gotten ourselves into. Not having a goal to strive for is what has allowed America to be dumbed down while we weren't looking.

      I want data. I want to know what my children, well grandchildren now, are supposed to be learning. I want to know how we are measuring up.

    • Curiad profile image

      Mark G Weller 3 years ago from Lake Charles, LA.

      Television is a sponge sucking the life out of society!

      Yes technology has it's place, but so does nature and most importantly Love!

      Maek

    • Trinity M profile image

      Trinity M 3 years ago

      Well said my friend! As always you have hit the nail on the head so to speak; and trust me the problem is not only in America… Not big TV watchers, the best thing that happened to us was the TV being hit by lightning on Christmas day. We are now 6 months in without a TV and we’ve never been happier! As for education; our school system has been dumbed-down about 5 times in the past 10 years. It’s no wonder we choose to homeschool.

      I think this is a global crisis and you are quite right my friend, we must all rise up and say “no more”! Thank you for writing yet another informative and inspirational hub. Let it be said that one man CAN make a difference and you dear friend certainly do… because you make us take stock and you make us care.

      So nice to read your work; I’ve missed you and our chats. Love and hugs to you always. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, it's not the testing per se that is the problem. We have always had testing....it's tying the Federal funding into the testing that is the problem. If a school knows that they will get more money for higher scores, then they are going to drop all other education and concentrate solely on test taking, and that's where the whole system falls apart.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Mark and obviously I agree.

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      Catherine Taylor 3 years ago from Canada

      I agree with you 100%. It startled me the other day when an adult friend of mine had no idea what the difference between fiction and non-fiction was. I worry for our future, I worry about the lost art of story telling and the use of language as an art form. As usual your magnificent hub articulated a deep-seated hub so many of us have. Well done. By the way, every time I read you new tag line I smile. It is so perfect for you. Have a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend Bill.

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      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Bill. Great message. When we were raising our kids during the 1990s and early 2000s we made damn sure that they were signed up for baseball, basketball, girl scouts, boy scouts, etc.. Every Tuesday we dragged them to a local youth weekly road race designed just for kids. They didn't always love what we did and where we were taking them but they look back on those days fondly today. And many a vacation was spent hiking the beautiful outdoors of your Pacific Northwest. Oh, there were times when all they wanted to do was sit in front of a video game or a computer. Great hub Bill, have a great weekend.

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      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Interesting food for thought, Bill

      Let's take a test became the game the last too many years that I was fortunate to be a teacher. Thinking critically, thinking outside of the box...nada...if they were taught it all it had to be done creatively to mask what we were doing...we HAD to address the standards and test the standards and reteach the standards we never really had time to teach. And now, guess what??? 160 teachers and a boat load of parprofessionals were cut this June. And who will replace them you ask, why substitutes of course. And that is not a slam to subs as I subbed while my first grandson struggled to stay on the planet. I am not saying they cannot do equally well but they may not feel compelled to as they have NO benefits and make a fraction of the money a teacher makes which in an of itself is a pittance.

      Reality shows...are you kidding me??? It is difficult to find a show that isn't dubbed 'reality'. I however do not have tv because I refuse to spend my few dollars on it. I do watch some shows like 48 hrs. on the internet once in a while though.

      Do I think things have been dumbed down? 'Deed I do and I feel we have allowed it to happen. all of the suggestions you make are a way to bring us out of this sluggish drivel we have become enmeshed in over the years.

      Voted up up and away and shared!!! Angels are on the way...

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, your last statement is the most interesting, and one I've thought about often. I spent my college years from 1966-1970 protesting. It was happening all over America....and now nothing. It's as though people could care less, or they are resigned to their fate, or they are too ignorant to realize that their freedoms are being stripped away from them. It really is quite amazing and worrisome.

      Anyway, thanks for giving your two cents worth. You are always welcome here.

      Have a great weekend.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Rose, thank you! I knew you didn't mean all teachers. Actually, when I was teaching I was very vocal about deadbeat teachers who were only in education for the paycheck and summers off. I have no patience with anyone in education who doesn't live and breathe passion.

      Anyway, thanks for checking back in and have a wonderful weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Trinity my dear, I don't know if it's comforting or not knowing that this is a global crisis of conscience. :) It does not surprise me, though, that the same problems plague other countries. We are a global society and what hurts one hurts all.

      I have missed you and thank you for the FB message. Have a great weekend.

      love,

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thunder, thank you! I see examples daily of a lack of knowledge in society, but what truly bothers me more is the lack of caring about that lack of knowledge. It's like it's cool to be stupid. LOL Can that be???? God I hope not.

      I appreciate your kind words....I just want to see all of my writing friends succeed, no matter how they define success.

      Have a great weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, I wish there were more parents like you and your wife. It blows me away how many kids we have today with no personal ambition at all, or dreams but no plan or inner-drive. I hope we turn it around as a society in the near future.

      Have a great weekend and thank you as always.

      bill

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      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      Billy,

      Well this is the first time in a while I can't say 'that was beautiful', in fact I'm almost irritated after reading this! Of course, I won't shoot the messenger. :D So many points in here could've made their own hubs. Where do you even start? Hmmm. Reality TV; now there's a good one! I hate that it even exists and it's not allowed on in my house... of course there are actually some educational 'real' television that might fall under reality TV and I'm not referring to those. Not only are kids not learning much more than how to pass tests but they cling to these drama-filled, unrealistic shows. Worse... I know adults that sit and watch some of these programs and actually believe it's reality and enjoy themselves! Arghh! Have you noticed the trend that even adults seem to be victim to this 'dumbing down'? Where is the challenge anymore? So many people have an electronic in their face, they don't need to think for themselves anymore and then when the do, they're at a loss!

      Arghhh again! Let's hope the right people or enough people care!

      Excellent as always Billy,

      Cat

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      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, I've spoken my piece on this subject many times. All I can say now to you is, "Amen"!

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      Linda Rogers 3 years ago from Minnesota

      Hi Billy~you have written another hub that has everyone talking. It is very very scary how our world has changed since we were kids. I too was a kid that had no internet or cell phone. I jumped on a trampoline for hours in the neighborhood, rode bike everywhere I went and did not have a computer to come home to. There are many great things about the computer age, but sadly, it's replacing too much of our lives. I guess the saying~ 'everything in moderation' is something we can all revisit. Thanks for always writing hubs that have important messages.

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Wow! You hit the nail on the head with this one.

      I will tell you what I plan to do. I told you that my small dog is in training to become a therapy dog. Therapy dogs get to go to schools and have young readers read aloud to them. This is done out of hearing of other classmates. These young readers know that they will not be judged for poor reading skills from a dog. The aim is to help young students gain confidence and hopefully learn to love to read.

      It is small, but it is a start. Great idea, huh?

      Yes, some 'in touch' man taught me that small acts of kindness can have big dividends.

      Thanks, Bill.

      DJ.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I want you to take a deep breath, relax and enjoy the weekend. The stupidity will still be here on Monday. LOL

      I just shake my head. I put in eighteen years of classroom battle trying to eradicate this trend, or at least lessen it, but the numbers are overwhelming and discouraging to say the least.

      Like I said, have a great weekend my friend, and thank you.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Amen, Sha, and I know you have. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, it is a start and it is a brilliant one, and it is a start that encourages me. Thank you for being you!

      bill

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      Cat 3 years ago from New York

      billybuc,

      Not to mention... this 'no child left behind act' actually drags kids along with it. So many kids are just taught what need for testing purposes, as you've mentioned, while finding it hard to grasp anything else. My son for instance, he struggles with dyslexia and easily falls behind. I do what I can to combat the issue, but in 5th grade he was reading at the level of a first grader and off to Middle School they sent him... tell me that's not overwhelming and it's hard not to continue to fall further behind if nobody's appropriately addressing the issue! Arghh... Did I mention I have degrees in the education field, but within the last couple of years decided that it wasn't for me!

      You have a great weekend too!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      PS, ....I'm not sure I have anything to add. Everything you said I understand to be true because I have seen it far too often. One of the reasons I'm no longer teaching is because I had become a dinosaur who was trying to swim against a raging river of ineptitude.....and I just got tired of swimming. So I could put in my time to draw a paycheck and really accomplish very little, or I could walk away on my own terms....and obviously we know what I chose...and far too many good teachers are choosing to do the same.

      Here the school systems buy out the experienced teachers so they can hire the inexperienced at a cheaper salary and then they can mold them into little clones who teach to the test. No thank you.

      As much as I miss the kids, I am happy I left.

      Thank you my friend. Hugs and blessings coming your way.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Minnetonka, thank you. I think we are a dying breed my friend. Some day in the near future they will talk of us as they talk of the Do Do Birds, and then further in the future we will become a footnote in ancient history.

      Well that was depressing. LOL

      Thank you and blessings to you always.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cat, I taught in private schools and even there they promoted kids who should never be promoted so that they didn't have to deal with the real problems....they were not prepared for any child that did not fit inside the box.

      I'm glad I'm no longer teaching. :)

      Take care my friend.

      bill

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      Martin Kloess 3 years ago from San Francisco

      I am extremely happy with all I have done. It is very difficult (frustrating) to watch others do less. But it is their life...

    • Made profile image

      Madeleine Salin 3 years ago from Finland

      The problem is that children and people don't need to think themselves anymore. Just google and you can pick the answer you want.

      My seven year old son always says that he wants a computer and a cell phone. When I was in that age, they didn't exist. Instead I went outside to play and discover things in nature. Now I have to drag my children outside...

      There's a school near where I live, where two teachers are going to try a new way of teaching now. The 7 year old children are going to spend less time in the class room and they can concentrate on what they are interested in. There won't be any right or wrong answers on questions either. It's going to be interesting to see the results in a couple of years.

      I could write so much more about this subject, because this hub was so interesting and inspiring. Thank you for writing this!

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      Mark Johann 3 years ago from Italy

      I thank you for this view. I wonder if someday, there will be no more classrooms and institutions around. Just internet?

      What do you say? Would it happen?

      It seems that everything is on the internet today, bigger than any library in the world.

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      Hawaiian Odysseus 3 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      Bill, in the course of my eBay work, I sometimes come across paper ephemera, books, and other memorabilia that remind me how much more literate our forefathers were. It's because they were much more well-read than contemporary Americans (I will keep it specific to our country) and, of course, had no television and Internet to do the thinking for them.

      That's why I really love and appreciate your message here. And you also just reminded me of the primary reason for my sticking with HubPages--that I might simultaneously indulge in the pure joy of original thinking and writing while having access to almost immediate connectivity with fellow original thinkers and writers. In a very effective way, we thus combat the dumbing down of America.

      Great hub, my friend! Aloha, and have a fun and free thinking-saturated weekend with Bev!

      Joe

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Martin, I will never understand how some can settle for less, but as you say, it is their choice. Thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Made, I hope that new school does well. We need innovative new ideas to educate our children. We need teachers that are allowed to think outside of the norm, and bring excitement back into education. The old way is not working and it is time for change.

      Thank you for visiting my dear friend. Have a wonderful weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mark, I have no problem foreseeing a world where all education happens online and I think that would be terribly sad. I wish I had all the answers but I do not.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Joe, what a great reflection.....a community of original thinkers and writers....yes, that is what we are.

      On a different note, we are heading out to garage sales....and then we will sit down for a summit meeting and plan our ebay venture....wish us luck.

      Have a great Saturday my friend.

      Aloha,

      bill

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      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc, why would you feel terribly sad for nothing? I only feel sad when my neighbor's dog don't bark when it sees me. As they say, being ignored is worse than being hated. I think distance learning is good... attending lectures once every semester, while the bulk of the learning is online.

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      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, not just in America my friend....I have this discussion on a regular basis, same subject different country. In the UK there are so many university graduates waving their diplomas and degrees, but no common sense. Look at our government, they involve us in long protracted wars with no real plans. They seem to have no idea why we're there, how and when to get out and what exactly has been accomplished.

      The BBC was once considered to be the bastion of the English language, but the standards has slipped so much in the last few years, I won't be surprise to find that the standard of English has fallen behind some third world countries. I can easily see why people believe there is a deliberate conspiracy to make us all into dummies. Another superb article, let's hope it will open some eyes and stop the sleepwalking into oblivion. Up and sharing.

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      Cynthia Calhoun 3 years ago from Western NC

      You piqued my interest with your comment on my blog, LOL. Glad I came over. We must be thinking on the same wavelength. I have to admit that I hope I haven't pissed off a lot of my teacher-friends by writing what I did. But man, I just feel so strongly about this. It's one of the reasons I came to despise my last teaching job. They would pull me from my classes starting April 15th! I would not teach another class - maybe one here or there - until the following AUTUMN when school started again. And we're supposed to be teaching something? Those dang politicians have no idea (or maybe they do...going with your conspiracy theory here...) how they've tied teachers' hands. They have no idea how kids can't think for themselves when they get to college. It's astounding to me. Yet, interestingly enough, all those politicians would NEVER send their kid to public school. Sigh...you rock and keep on rockin.' :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cyndi, interestingly I think, most teachers understand this problem but most parents don't. Parents think as long as their kids are getting the grades and passing the tests that everything is okay....until they get to college and find out they don't know a darn thing. .....I couldn't take it any longer, and I taught in a private school. Had I taught in the public school system I would have retired ten years ago.

      Keep on rockin' yourself lil' Sis, and thank you!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ahhh, Walter, I am glad I'm not longer a teacher. :)

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      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hello William D. holland, the proffesor .

      Acute. You're a 100% right. ( as I was composing my comment, Faith Reaper already said it in her comment, so she helped me to think about myself that I already do understand a core of the message).

      " the dumbing down " is an evil system of Marxism/Communism in which ignorance occupies ruling positions , and in order to bring population to their level, they create " educational programs" to have greater grip of controlling. Mass production of ignorance is succeesful in America, wherever individuals give up to find for themselves the truth.

      This is one of the outstanding linens of you( actually all is ) , that writers are called to raise the intelligence level of he audience. Briliant. [ Now you'll know why I've begged to have room to stay close to you - and the rest of you].

      Oh, one more thing, you've clarified to me, why often in conversation with born/raised here people, looke at me as if being totally from different planet, -- and that's probably that after all this time living here I don't know what the reality TV is, ( out of my domain )- my frequent question is ' where are the parents? ' when it comes to education , which basically begins at homes , children are copying the big people around them.

      Great hub. Voting up, awesome and useful.

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      Poon Poi Ming 3 years ago from Malaysia

      Billybuc... I think you need an autoresponder, judging by the number of comments you are receiving, LOL.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walt....great line...nothing we can do about that. :) Thanks for stopping by.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Walter, I am blessed....this is pretty normal for my hubs and I'm grateful for each and every comment.

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      Connie Smith 3 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      Billy, Right On! The best education comes from hands on 'doing', good honest research, and getting outside. Actually speak to local government officials, talk to the people who work in laboratories, walk in the park and observe nature. If we don't get our youth off their behinds and interested in something more than tv and computer games, we are all doomed! Once again you have hit it totally on the head dear friend ;) Pearl

      Voted Up+++

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      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Bill, I was in Fl. a few years ago sitting in a mall waiting to see ' Brokeback Mountain ' an older gentleman was sitting on the same bench i was sitting on, he was wearing an Iwo Jima hat, A young man wearing a suit and tie approached him and asked, " What is Iwo Jima? " The old man explained it was a place where a battle was fought during WWII, the young man told him that he had never heard of this place. I was amazed. What are they teaching in school? Great topic bill...

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, let's hope this really isn't a conspiracy, because if it is then it's working well. I am appalled by the lack of intelligence I see daily, and I know that makes me sound like a snob....if so, then so be it. :)

      Thank you my friend and have a wonderful Sunday.

      Blessings coming your way.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pearl, if I were one of those parents who allowed their child to play on the computer on a sunny day, I would turn in my parenting membership card. I watch kids walking down the street texting messages and paying no attention to the world around them. Disgusting!

      Thank you as always my friend, and have a wonderful Sunday.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ruby, may we always remember Iwo Jima.....there is no excuse for students not knowing that basic information about American history. I am more disgusted daily my friend.

      Thank you and I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, thank you for a fantastic comment, especially the part about Marxism.....educational programs to have a greater grip on society. You may be much closer to the truth than you even realize. This is insanity, plain and simple, and it will continue as long as citizens allow it to continue.

      Thank you for such kind words. You are a good human being and I'm proud to call you a friend.

      bill

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      THANK YOU!

      For awhile there I was wondering if it was just me overreacting. (I tend to do that.) Sadly it's true. Nobody wants to make the effort anymore. Nobody wants to explore the unknown and make new discoveries. Nobody wants to make the effort to think and analyze the information they're given. It's too haaard. Just spoon feed them their pablum and give them some Kool-Aid to wash it down with and they couldn't be happier.

      You're so spot on about reality TV. I remember 'Candid Camera.' My parents watched it religiously. I hated it. I thought it was cruel to prank people and then mock them. I think reality TV is the 21st century equivalent of the old-time circus freak shows. And Simon Cowell is the ringmaster. His shows seem to be about humiliation and very little to do with talent. (I suspect he was bullied at school and this is his way of exorcising some demons.) I've always said George Orwell had the right idea, just the wrong date.

      I've notice the Arts are dumbing down as well. I've seen what passes for literature these days. It's little better than primers with a few obscenities sprinkled in to make it seem relevant. I just read the summary on the back of the book and I feel like I've read the whole thing. On the bright side, it's a real money saver. lol I refuse to follow this trend. I encourage my kids to question everything and not give in to the hype. I will not dumb down; I will insist everyone else smarten up.

      Thank you again for writing this.

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      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Very interesting Bill and as always a wonderful read!!!

      Here's wising you a wonderful day.

      Eddy

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      BobbiRant 3 years ago from New York

      Great hub. No Child Left Behind was designed to dumb down students. College education is now not affordable for many. It's all designed because the 'elite' started to complain that Baby Boomers were taught 'all wrong.' How so? Well Boomers were taught to think for themselves. Can't have that! A dumb population is a population that is easier to control. Look it up, there is an article about this and why Americans are dumber. Technology is now geared to distract the population while robber barons rob us all blind and pass legislation in Their favor.

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      Vickiw 3 years ago

      Hello My friend Bill, I apologise for my recent absence - been downsizing, moving and helping with some e-books that you might have heard about. But this topic I cannot resist. It is a far-off echo of the pain I have felt for years when I see the way society is changing. I hate to say this, but it seems too late to remedy.

      In early childhood children are meant to learn through their play experiences. These experiences can consist of nothing more than being given a piece of string, or a paper bag, or a little pebble. This happens, even today, if one considers how many children grow up in desperate poverty. They don't have access to the media influences that 'privileged' other children have.

      Remember, these small children need their brains to develop in the best way possible. It is normal for them to explore, to develop talent and interests, respect for others and their world. When the billions of brain synapses they are born with are not used, they are simply pruned out as not being essential by the computer that is our brain. When parents allow their children to become engaged in electronic media time and develop an appetite for it, arrested brain development occurs, EXCEPT in the areas being used. Therefore large chunks of knowledge are unavailable to the child, because the brain has discarded the unused potential that was there!

      Follow this to the logical conclusion, and yes, society has to change. It is inevitable. And, yes, society will become dumber from a general point of view, and less interesting, less resilient,(they wouldn't know what that means) less imaginative, less able to care for and appreciate others, and so the list goes on. The 'privileged' will be the children growing up with the primitive play materials, because they will have developed the well-rounded and superior brain intellect, which allows for critical thinking, imagination and understanding of their fellow man.

      Funny, last night I watched a documentary on the sexualisation of 7 year olds. I felt like crying. I could not watch the whole thing.

      I did not see a television until I was 26 years of age. I was so blessed.

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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      All I can say, Billy, a resounding, “Yes.” History tells us of the warnings of the late great Edward R. Murrow that echoed of the dangers of misusing television as being merely a tool of entertainment, and not one that also educates. The media also shares in the blame, and seems to cater to the assumption that everyone has the IQ level and attention span of a gnat. Everyone is obsessed with tweets, 60-second blog reads, and Facebook “friends” whom they’ve never met. Fewer and fewer people actually read books or newspapers anymore. I could go on about this terrific hub you’ve written, but will close with saying, “one of the best I’ve read at the Hub.”

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, thank God I'm not the only one who feels this way. I'd hate to think I was getting senile or just turning into a grumpy old man. Circus freak show? How about the Roman Circus? We might as well feed the Christians to the lions and sell tickets to watch it.

      And yes, the Arts.....ebooks have watered down the talent pool as far as I'm concerned. Oooh, look, I just published a book....I'm an author! Well, no, you are one of millions who knows how to write 50,000 words and download them on a computer...that does not make one an author or writer.

      Gotta go....I need a mental break today so I don't start mumbling to myself. LOL

      Thank you as always and I hope your Sunday is filled with happiness.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Eddy, and Bev and I wish you a very happy day as well.

      love,

      billy

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, the plan is working perfectly. We are now a stupid society and much more complacent. Just feed us our pablum and then go ahead and strip the Constitution......disgusting doesn't even begin to describe what has happened to society.

      But there are a few of us who refuse to bend, and as long as there are then there is hope.

      Thank you my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Vicki, there is nothing I can add to what you have written. Why don't parents see this? Because today's parents were raised the way they are raising their children. They know nothing else....the childhoods that we experienced are becoming extinct and that, my friend, spells doom for society.

      I could no longer be a part of the farce called education. I would rather educate now through the written word and hopefully reach many more.

      Thank you as always and blessings to you on this fine Sunday.

      bill

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, thank you so much. High praise for a hub I did not want to write...mainly because it depressed me to write it. I have thought about this often but did not want to believe it was actually happening....all of the comments confirm what I suspected for so long....we really are dumbing down in our society and I find it sad.

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      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      George Orwell told us what was coming in "1984". I happened to believe that IN HIGH SCHOOL! I am a free think, always was, and always will be. I don't even own a television, for want of something better. I like to read, expound my thoughts, and seek like minded individuals that do the same. We are in the minority. Television brainwashes, but only if you choose that medium.

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      Theresa Ast 3 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Bill - Wonderful Hub. You know that I experientially and philosophically agree with every word you said. We are in a sad and dangerous situation in this country and we are not admitting the problem and are certainly not redressing it swiftly. I routinely have classes full of students who made straight A's in high school, but if presented with the kind of work you and I did they would be fortunate to earn C's. Thanks for a beneficial and necessary rant. Blessings! Theresa

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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Billy;

      When I wrote that comment about friends, I thought, “Oh my goodness, that didn’t come out right,” because we develop friendships here. On Facebook you can have 900 “friends” that aren’t at all like the friendships we develop here. I should have phrased it a little differently.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I knew what you meant. :) Facebook is from another galaxy not resembling Earth. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I cannot foresee the day when I will need television to stimulate my mind...I pray it never happens. :) Thank you as always my friend.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh Theresa, I have no doubt that what you say is true. My first teaching job was at a junior college and I was blown away by the lack of knowledge displayed there.

      But we carry on because if we don't then who will?

      Thank you my friend.

      Blessings always,

      bill

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      moonlake 3 years ago from America

      They can't figure out how to give a 2o% tip or to add an extra 20 dollars onto a check. I agree with all that you have said. My granddaughters were picked at their school to put a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. I was excited over it but they didn't seem to understand how important it was. They don't know about the Wall coming down. They don't know what the Nazi’s did or if they know at all they know very little. I get upset that history is not taught the way it should be. I have tried to tell them about the atomic bomb and how as a child I lived 50 miles from the testing of the bomb. They aren't interested, they are worried about the Kardashians and what's next in that sick family’s life.

      Voted up on your interesting hub.

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      I hear you Bill. Real strong message. Made me think of the song - you and me and baby makes three has now changed to you and me and the computer makes three lol. Children definitely need to know there is a whole world out there and there is so much to be seen and learned far away from the World Wide Web. Passing this on.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Moonlake, thank you for that comment. Not only is there a lack of knowledge but there is a lack of caring over the history of this country....don't even get me started on the Kardashians. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Gypsy, it is discouraging for sure....as our generation passes on, who will be left to remember the world of old, and who will be here to lead the world of new?

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      Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

      I 100% agree with you on this. I believe for years all schools wanted to churn out were kids that were comfortable following rules and pushing buttons. This is perfect for companies. After all, do you want an employee that thinks for his or herself, and calls the managers out when they are wrong, and expects to be treated with... (gasp!) respect and dignity? It is way easier to have an employee that simply pushes the buttons, does not question authority, and blends in with everyone else. If you happen to be a student that is a little unique with fresh ideas or a high IQ, they have no idea what to do with you. That is why we are failing as a country!

      Sorry... I just went into one of my rants. Great hub, by the way. :-)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jeannie, I encourage rants on this site. You should know that by now, and I loved your rant. Yes, companies want the exact opposite of what is being taught in school....this whole system is screwy my friend and I see no end in sight.

      Thank you...it's always nice to see you drop by.

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      Keeley Shea 3 years ago from Norwich, CT

      billybuc - I so love your writing style. Always makes me sit and really think about things...this time the world we live in. I totally agree with you. Great article!

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      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Bill....Once again and as always, you bring your readers some of the most realistic and basic facts about "what's going on"....all around us. You have an uncanny knack of being sensible and direct and "waking up the sleeping masses."

      For this alone, I say, "Thank you," ...but you go the extra mile and present solutions, for thinking individuals to act upon this newly-aroused awareness.

      This hub is another powerful Wake-up call. All who truly CARE, cannot possibly justify, hitting the damned snooze button!!

      Bravo, bil!....UP++++

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Keeley! I appreciate the kind words. I'm still finding myself as a writer and your feedback helps me greatly.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Paula, thank you my dear friend. I was given a gift....maybe a meager gift but a gift nonetheless....it is my writer's voice, a voice that seems to inspire and serve as a call of action. I plan on using that voice to speak out and hopefully make a change in society. I appreciate you very much.

      bill

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      Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      You have chosen the most beneficial way to share your gift----your voice...with the world. Such an outstanding gift......must grow and multiply in purpose......thus, MUST be spread for all to be nourished and motivated by it's power. YOU, are appreciated!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Awww shoot, Paula...thanks. :)

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      SilverGenes 3 years ago

      Well now, just a moment while I get my stylish new tin hat down from the roof and then we can talk. Gee, with NSA, that's not quite as funny as it might have been while we were all still ignorant. Anyway, here's my crazy take on it. We have allowed capitalism to get out of control. It is now a bigger boogieman than all the rest ever were. Money is at the root of everything now so most art is out the window in favor of entertainment that appeals to the broadest base of the population. Education is now rewarded with money for test results so is it any wonder that is going the same direction? We really need to get over the idea that a number in a corporate bank is the most powerful thing on earth. We seem to be trading everything of value for it and it actually has no value. At the moment, our education in the north and south regions of North America are far behind the rest of the world (in most cases) so how do we expect to thrive? Oh yes... we are expected to remain on the conveyor belt, not thrive. Oh, could I get on a soapbox now! Suffice to say, excellent hub that should be read by everyone while we can all still read!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alex, I love it when my readers rant. Means maybe I hit on a hot subject. There is nothing you said that I can argue with...don't even get me started with the NSA....when did it become alright to give up our freedoms so willingly? As for education....it is going to be a long time before we see it get better....anytime you mix government and money you have a potent recipe for disaster.

      Thank you as always, Alex.

    • watergeek profile image

      watergeek 3 years ago

      I had four principals ask me if I was going for a teaching credential during the six years I substitute taught awhile ago. I told them no. Why? I couldn't stand to teach for "No Child Left Behind." I didn't like the way the curriculum was becoming so left brained and so focused on tests. I knew I would be upset if I found creative ways around it, caught up the difficult students, and then they went right back into it with the next grade. I have two siblings who teach and they both hate that program.

      Here's what I mean about being too left brained. Kindergartener bodies and brains are still primarily right-brain directed. That's our creative side. That's the side that needs to thrive for any endeavor to be at all unique. Yet we're redirecting kids in kindergarten to make them more left brained before they're ready. We've cut the painting, music, stretching and dancing, way back in most of classrooms. We're trying to teach math and memorization and the structure of paragraphs. We don't have field trips anymore (although many schools are starting to plant school gardens now (yay!) to fulfill some of that need).

      The upshot is that . . . kids are frustrated and BORED! And when they're bored, they act up. And when they grow up without good creativity skills and the hand/eye/ear coordination that goes along with them, they're more bored and they act up more. I taught juvenile delinquents for a year, and found a high preponderence of very creative, very uneducated teenagers. . . . What's happening with our prisons again? And how much of that unprecedented growth is coming directly from a lifetime of boredom/frustration and other people trying to force you to do what you don't want to do?

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      watergeek, nice to see you. I left teaching for this reason, so you are preaching to the choir. Every year more money was slashed from the Arts, and every year more emphasis was placed on standardized testing.....it was enough to make me look for the quickest exit and become a writer.

      Thanks for weighing in with such valid points.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I found myself having to fill in those gaps at home. With my two oldest, I would always buy crayons and paints for them to play with. I didn't give them much direction, just told them to make what they wanted. As my oldest daughter grew, should would sketch fashion designs and imagine having her own line of clothing. I encouraged her in the dream.

      My other daughter writes, draws and is currently working on 'Bob'. Bob is a dinosaur, I think, that she created from a large Coke bottle, toilet paper tubes and papier mache. She's 20 now, but she has never lost her enthusiasm for crafts.

      I was lucky with my son as there was a Montessori pre-school near home. He flourished beautifully there and still has a creative drive. He prefers to express it digitally. He always did have a knack for things electronic.

      I worry about their future children though. We're a family of free thinkers and I am concerned how they will fare in conformity factories...sorry...schools if they continue along this path. By God, I'll home school them myself, if need be.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Phoenix, you have a right to be concerned about your grandchildren. Free thinkers have few outlets in the educational factory today, and I believe it will only get worse. Private schools and home-schooling are the only way to go these days if you want the entire student educated. Thank you for another cup of coffee. :)

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      watergeek 3 years ago

      I know I'm preaching to the choir, billybuc. Sometimes I just have to let off steam. (Coffee . . . good idea.) Well, I've heard that the state of California, where I live, is preparing changes to our educational system. One of the bills coming out will reduce testing requirements to the bare minimum required by OCLB, while a more reasonable method of assessing student progress is developed. There is also a bill to let corporations create technical courses for public K-12 schools. (Not sure how I feel about that.) I haven't seen anything related to reinstating right-brained training in schools, though.

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      Genna East 3 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Hi Billy;

      I thought of your hub when I saw an old movie the other night titled, “Network,” with William Holden, Peter Finch, Bob Duvall, and Faye Dunaway. Genius script. The irony is that the satire of American television portrayed in the film through the flagrantly absurd programming and machinations of a particular network – and the society that encourages it -- has become reality.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Watergeek, you can let off steam anytime you want on my site. People should be ranting about the education system in this country. Regarding your current statement, having corporations step into the mix makes me quite nervous, but then how could they mess things up any more than the government did? LOL Thank you for stopping by again. I love your passion about this topic.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, I think of that movie often...isn't that the one where he screams "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore?" Yes, it has become a reality, and that should frighten everyone.

      Thank you as always, Genna.

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      anndango 3 years ago

      Interesting read! And interesting you brought up the advice given to writers everywhere: Keep it Simple. I actually agree with that advice. I doesn't have anything to do with dumbing down. I think it refers to the fact the great writing is written in a simple way to convey great ideas and profound thoughts. Shakespeare's "To be or not to be" couldn't be any simpler. Dickens' "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" is another example of simple but strong writing. They were in no way dumbing down to the audience. Rather, they raised the bar.

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      anndango 3 years ago

      *It doesn't...* (I hate typos, lol)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, a great comment...I would only change one thing in your comment....you said "the great writing" and I would say some great writing is written in a simple way. :) Thanks for stopping by and adding to the discussion.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No matter how many times I re-read, a typo will pop up when I least expect it. :) Thanks again, Anndango.

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      anndango 3 years ago

      Yes, another typo, arghh. Thanks for correcting that!

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Anndango, thank you! I think I need to follow you since you are an award winning writer. :)

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      skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      billybuc Brother another wow hub of love. I could not agree more. Behind big bro are principalities and powers of higher places in the workings. I also believe that many in the upper house (government) are being mind trained without knowing what truly is going on. Can't we learn from history?? There is nothing new under the sun. Yes our government is working to get us to submit to them and depend on them. Our dependence needs to be on Almighty God. May God help us. Our nation needs to come back to Christ. This is out of our hands. We need divine intervention. I am afraid many have forgot who our creator is and how our America was birthed. One nation under God. When we are deliberate and go against God He withdraws His hedge of protection. It is not too late. God says if we repent and come back to Him he will heal our land. God Bless you dear billybuc. You are awesome. Your sister in Christ. Skye

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Skye, one day I hope to meet my friends here on HP, and you are one of them. True words you speak my friend.....the strength and gifts that we need are ours for the asking.....and yet so many do not understand that.

      Blessings to you my friend, and the love of friendship coming your way

      bill

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      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      Don't get me started on the standardized tests that kids have to take these days. For a few months that is all they teach...forget writing a paper or reading a real book. Outrageous and they think that the results are indicative of a child's intelligence. We do a lot with our daughter outside of school, museums, day trips, historical things....I think this sort of thing helps children, not just schools. She also plays outside...a lot and with friends so that she knows how to hold her own and socialize. Important stuff that can't be found on a computer. (She uses those too ). Can you tell this hub fired me up?

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      watergeek 3 years ago

      What you're doing, Glimmer, is real education. That's what our schools used to do. Do you remember the years that Japan was envious of us because we were so inventive as a culture? They kept sending researchers over to figure out how we did it. Well, that's gone. So parents are picking up the slack in their homes, and that's exactly what needs to happen.

      Along with that, we need to keep after our legislators to let them know good education is important, and what they're doing right now is not good. But then, where's the money to pay for it? Without the top 1% paying their fair share of taxes, schools are having to cut out these "extraneous" activities and stick to the bare basics that don't cost much.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, it was meant to fire some people up, so I'm happy it succeeded. Parents who think their child is receiving an education at a public school are sadly mistaken. I'm glad you understand that. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      watergeek, you are back and interacting and I love it. The more this is discussed the better....we have to raise awareness. It may seem like too little but at least it is something.

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      Sanctuary 3 years ago

      Sadly to change the system we live in requires a constant search for the truth and complete defiance of the things that deny it. You can not change the political system when its already rigged and voting for their already chosen agendas has nothing to do with bettering most of our lives. Yet they only have to convince you of one thing you believe and you defend that one thing often at your own destruction. The financial system collapsed due to deregulation and a plan that made some people rich, why else would they do it. The same Ponzi-scheme was played in 1920 almost perfect. A false currency system requires failure. The only information most people get is an advertisement and the truth you do receive should bombard you. Because you our powerless to change anything we have become trained enough to defend stupidity. No great investigations or rules have been made to stop any of this. No one has gone to jail or been made to pay back their mistakes to ordinary people. We have only been made to work for less, fewer hours and to pay a higher cost of living and taxes. We have to pretty much be dumb and apathetic just to get through another day of lies. Stupidity is our future and a requirement for life its self. No amount of education is going to help your children survive a future that is going to collapse at some point. How long can a Fraud of this size continue to last? Will it be the environment that kills us first or a complete collapse of the monetary system that has no real value. Personally giving up is the only option because the average person has 0 power in changing the nature of the powers that control our lives and control the agenda.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sanctuary, I happen to agree with much of what you have written. I believe the monetary system will be the first to go, and I expect that to happen in my lifetime. There are simply too many warning signs that point to that happening....nobody wants to see it because it would scare the shit out of them if they faced the truth. Thank you for sharing your dismal but right on thoughts.

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      Lianam 2 years ago

      Actually, this has been happening a lot longer than anyone of could even imagine. This is strictly my opinion, feelings, and beliefs based on my daily observations and experiences for many, many years.

      The 'dumbing down' statement is so true it is scary. As long as they keep us in survival mode. The worse this will get. It is not age specific like the younger generation verses the older. I can hardly believe how many older than myself are so asleep, just go about daily lives, do not notice what is really going on around them, or are in complete denial. It's scary and I am related to some of these people. Though I have to admit with my interjection of stuff when appropriate has had some effect and they are starting to notice things more. It has been a long hard road without getting labeled a wacko. For all I know I was, just no one dared say it to my face.

      The education system has been ruled over and pretty much defunct for all of the 40 years I have been in it. It is getting worse. I went back just 8 years ago to get a 2 year RN. I have a previous B.S. in biology and genetics. Huge difference between the 2 and what has happened since. I am not saying my first education was that perfect either. I will just say I was sadly disappointed.

      I have not watched tv for about 10 years now and when I do the majority I do see I feel like they are sucking the brain cells out of my brain. I don't own a tv and I am better off for it. What I do watch I watch for entertainment only and keep that in mind. Forget reality tv it just perpetuates the very things we don't want to have happening in this world division, competition, rudeness, back stabbing, etc. I have no time or interest in it at all.

      As for the internet, it is a double edged sword. If it was not for the internet I would not have learned what I needed. The rest of it I can do without. It is called discernment. If a person has enough 'life experience' meaning little things that make you go hmmm, then it is hard to put the puzzle pieces together. Sanctuary said many things that I would agree with. I will say as long as more people start to wake-up the chances for change will happen. However, all the defunct systems money, education, 'big business', health system, government, etc will fall first and hard. It won't be the little guy that suffers the most. I am not saying some won't, because they will to a point from being asleep to long. Those at the top that created the mess in the first place will suffer the most, because the very systems they created to dumb us down, enslave, make us sick, etc will crumble beneath them.

      I have hope and faith we humans will make it through and make the necessary changes to make this world a better place. It will just be a slightly demanding and bumping road to that end. Many will have to help others adjust who truly want to.

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      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lianam, what great reflections and observations. I found myself nodding my head with every one of your statements. I have nothing to add; you said it all here. Hope and faith in the future....we must have those.

      Thank you for a great comment.

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      Nancy Mitchell 22 months ago from Bend, OR

      First, Bill, let me say how much I enjoy your writing. Second, let me say that you and I have had similar experiences as teachers and got pretty darn discouraged. The dumbing down and political correctness in education is enough to make anyone go nuts, and if you're an especially competent and creative teacher, even more so. What scares me most these days is the group think. Take a current example -- Bruce Jenner's transition into Caitlyn Jenner. If you're not 100 percent behind this, if you question it in any way, you're shot down by the political correctness police. There's no room for intelligent discourse. Issues in education are the same. Teachers are losing more influence. Go along with the program or you'll be replaced with someone who will.

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      letstalk, there is nothing for me to add to what you said. I don't think I could be convinced to return to the classroom in today's environment...for me it just wasn't teaching any longer. Thanks for your thoughts.

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      watergeek 22 months ago

      I was having fabric cut in Hancock Fabrics the other day. 1/4 yard I wanted. The cutting clerk didn't know how to read the ruler. She measured out a yard and asked if that was what I wanted, then started guessing other numbers. I finally had to point out that 1/4 was the "one slash four" number. Talk about dumbing down. She was not an immigrant, nor from a gang area. Her accent, mannerisms, and phraseology all indicated an average American young woman, who apparently had not paid attention in school. . . .

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      Bill Holland 22 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Water, I have no words and I don't doubt it at all. I could tell you stories from teaching school that would either have you crying or laughing.....sad for sure. Thanks for sharing that...I think. :)

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