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Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:22 AM

The 2016 Reunion

Being a creature of habit, with a predisposition for using simple models to illustrate various “systems,” I found that my children were receptive to learning about society by considering their classes in school. It’s a method that most people can easily understand, and discuss politics, economics, and even the justice system. I think that it might even be useful for promoting understanding between people here. But, of course, I could be wrong.

Most of us have had the experience of going to public schools for K through 12th grade. In some cases, people went to one district; others moved around with their families. But, to some extent, we were in a sub-group of our community …..and that subgroup was fairly representative of that community. Obviously, not every family or individual in the community had a child attending school, but enough did that the last names of your classmates were representative of the inhabitants of your neighborhood or community.

In our classes in school, we sat in the same rooms as the children of the wealthy parents, the middle class parents, and the poor parents. And, although we might wish otherwise, these students’ experiences within the school system was influenced by their parents’ socio-economic status. This includes the student’s expectations for their standing within the system of their classmates.

Most of us knew some version of George W. Bush in school, for example ….a cocky, arrogant loud-mouth, with an obnoxious sense of entitlement. No one really liked him, although the “upper-crust” pretended that they did. The faculty and administration held him to a very different standard than they did the other students: if he was suspected of cheating on his homework, teachers looked the other way; if he got caught skipping class, the administration took the “boys will be boys” approach.

We likely encountered a Ted Cruz, as well. The self-righteous, bible-tooter, who took pleasure in being the class tattle-tale. We knew a Marco Rubio, who convinced himself that he was so slick, that he could out-smart anyone and everyone. Our little Marco’s tend to position themselves near the George W.’s, both for opportunity and protection. We had a version of a Willard Romney, the rich geek who took perverse pleasure in bullying the vulnerable kids.

Upon graduation from school and college, these characters provided proof positive about the nature of DNA, by rapidly morphing into their parents, as indistinct as the next generation of dandelions. Today, they are the establishment of our local communities, our state capitals, and Washington, DC.

We understand that the 1% are going to have most of the wealth in our society. And that is okay, because we see that money is their god. They worship the dollar. What we have a problem with, though, is that they are the primary recipients of the school’s free lunch program, which was intended to provide meals for the students from low-income families.

We also have a problem with the manner in which they believe that, to borrow a phrase, some animals are more equal than others. They are convinced that, as the 1%, they have the right to determine not only who will win every election, but even who is allowed to run. And they have been getting away with that type of behavior for far too long.

This has allowed them to stack the deck at every level of government. Hence, for far too long, government has simply served as a tool to advance their business interests. Their sense of entitlement is such that they feel justified in making decision that reward their interests, while damaging the quality of life for the rest of their classmates. It might be deciding to frack under your property -- say, for example, the farm that has been your family’s home for generations. That it poisons the water supply for your neighborhood means nothing to them, for they worship the dollar.

They may determine that their corporations might benefit from a military invasion of a country -- perhaps in the Middle East -- to allow them to control that nation’s natural resources. Obviously, they will not consider sending their own children to “serve” in harm’s way. So they send the recent graduates from the poor and middle class families. They mask their intentions with patriotism, and pretend to honor the military. Right. Hard to line that up with the disgraceful manner in which the needs of veterans’ are so often ignored.

Like Claire Standish in “The Breakfast Club,” they have convinced themselves that everyone wants to be part of the 1%, that everyone looks up to them, and that the school simple could not function without them. Indeed, this is the shared delusion of the dollar-worshipper’s club.

Today, of course, that delusional system they subscribe to is at risk of being shattered. It’s bad enough, in their opinion, that another loud-mouthed rich kid is challenging to be named prom king, and that quite a few students who the 1% had counted on to support them are backing this fellow. But even more outrageous -- and totally unacceptable -- one of the poor kids who reads books and earns good grades is convincing students that the prom is intended for everyone. The entire class is paying for it, and should have equal say in how their money is spent.

The 1% feel betrayed by the others listening to this trouble-maker. They have tasked a teachers’ aide, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, with putting Bernie in check, but that isn’t working quite the way they planned. Thus, their outrage has now gone beyond Bernie, and targets those other students who recognize that what he is saying makes sense. In fact, what he is proposing is exactly what is found in the social studies books they read in school, which describe how our constitutional democracy is supposed to work.

My kids are no doubt looking forward to my class reunion this summer coming and going, so that they don’t have to listen tome babble on and on about this topic.

Peace,
H2O Man

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 25 replies Author Time Post
Reply The 2016 Reunion (Original post)
H2O Man Mar 2016 OP
daleanime Mar 2016 #1
H2O Man Mar 2016 #3
liberal_at_heart Mar 2016 #2
H2O Man Mar 2016 #4
liberal_at_heart Mar 2016 #5
H2O Man Mar 2016 #9
FourScore Mar 2016 #6
H2O Man Mar 2016 #13
FourScore Mar 2016 #24
malthaussen Mar 2016 #25
Punkingal Mar 2016 #7
H2O Man Mar 2016 #14
tk2kewl Mar 2016 #8
H2O Man Mar 2016 #15
tk2kewl Mar 2016 #17
H2O Man Mar 2016 #19
tk2kewl Mar 2016 #21
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2016 #10
H2O Man Mar 2016 #16
CaliforniaPeggy Mar 2016 #22
Hortensis Mar 2016 #11
H2O Man Mar 2016 #18
kgnu_fan Mar 2016 #12
H2O Man Mar 2016 #20
Sensitive soul Mar 2016 #23

Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:31 AM

1. K&R.....

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Response to daleanime (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:34 AM

3. Thank you!

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:32 AM

2. Damn you are good! Are you a professional writer?

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #2)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:42 AM

4. Thank you.

I appreciate your kindness.

I'll try to answer your question. I am one of those kids from a poor family, who loved books. And who rebelled against the system. I'm retired now, after working in human services for decades. And I've always been far better at communicating by writing, than speaking.

Over the years, I've had things published in newspapers, boxing magazines, archaeological journals, and even Playboy magazine. I've wrote and co-wrote a number of books. I'm actually working on three books now -- focusing primarily on one on the environment and human health.

The OPs I post here are generally my "warm-ups," as I consume my morning coffee. Lately, a few have been on campaign-related issues that I thought about the previous evening.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #4)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:45 AM

5. Well we here at DU are all the better for having your warm ups. Thank you.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #5)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 01:24 PM

9. Oh, thanks.

The article in Playboy was in the early 1980s, when the "moral majority" was in the news. My article, titled "Christian Manifesto," was focused on what economic-political system fit the teachings of the prophet Jesus. I said that democratic socialism did.

It, too, was a "warm-up" type of essay, that I wrote off the top of my head.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:54 AM

6. As a girl in such a class,

I was always aware of the pretty girl who seemed to have it all. She was an exemplary student. She was nice when she wanted to be, but also capable of incredible cruelty - manipulative, really. You never knew which side of her you would encounter, so all the girls had a fearful respect for her. Of course, she lived in a very nice house, in the wealthiest neighborhood. She was usually dressed well, brought in an enviable lunch each day and consistently the teacher's pet. But most notable: she was always popular - something I never understood.

Thank you for another wonderful post, H2O Man!

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Response to FourScore (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:26 PM

13. Interesting.

Thank you.

I was recently talking to my old high school principal; he went on to teach at an outstanding university, helping to prepare teachers, principals, and superintendents for their careers. We are friends now, although we were not at the time I was in school. I sometimes tell him that he has grown a lot, since the days that I used to try to gently encourage him to stay away -- way away -- from me. (grin) He assures me, and I quote, that he "hated (my) guts," and that I am the only person he was ever afraid of.

Some of the kids we knew as classmates have never really changed; others have. It's curious: I skipped school, and was suspended, a heck of a lot. My grades were high, but I was one of out-of-control kids in my class.

A while back, I thought of writing a play of sorts, with the 17-year old H2O Maniac, interacting with the older version of me, in my prime as a social worker.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 07:42 PM

24. H2O Maniac. That's funny. I might just have to call you that from now on.

You have such great stories - you should definitely write a play!

BTW, the girl I wrote about was not just one individual, but a "type" I saw more than once throughout my years of school (except college). I found it interesting that the "type" reminds me of a particular candidate; not entirely, but somewhat.

OT - Sounds like a great turnout in MI. We'll see how this pans out!

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 10, 2016, 11:20 AM

25. Hah, we another thing in common, then.

I, too, stepped out of school a lot, and was suspended therefor. Which I always thought was a strange sort of logic. I ended up dropping out, but that didn't keep me from grad school.

-- Mal

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 11:55 AM

7. Wonderful, as always...

i wanted to add to the part about teachers. Not only often looking the other way, but actually helping them along, as in, "You failed that test, I can fix that for you, no problem."

I'm not talking about most teachers, only some. But I witnessed that very thing I described.

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Response to Punkingal (Reply #7)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:37 PM

14. Right.

There are definitely some teachers -- and administrators -- who behave that way. It can happen on the individual level, or a wide-spread, systematic way. And that, obviously, doesn't mean most teachers, or schools. But way too many.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 12:27 PM

8. Ugh!

 

In Jr High this joker was a classmate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Ruddy

Thank goodness he went to a private HS

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #8)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:41 PM

15. Yikes!

Isn't that something? Did you interact with him in junior high? Could you tell he was odd?

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #15)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:50 PM

17. we had many classes together...

 

He was very flamboyant... but not unlikable at the time.

I do remember him being political, and we're talking about 12-13 year olds. He was a "Reagan Republican" in the late 70s a couple of years before Reagan was even elected.

I remember he ran for class prez, but I don't remember if he won if not.

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Response to tk2kewl (Reply #17)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:59 PM

19. Wow!

That's really interesting. Thank you for sharing that with us. Much appreciated.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #19)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:04 PM

21. i was close with a friend of his who continued in public school

 

this other kid ran for school board at 18 right after HS grad and won. he was a republican too, but i don't remember him being over the edge. lost touch with him though.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 01:36 PM

10. K&R for another great essay! Thank you, my dear H20 Man.

This is a great analogy. I really enjoyed reading it.

You help all of us when you show us what the world looks like through your eyes.

Thank you again!

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Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #10)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:48 PM

16. Thank you, Buddy!

Through my eyes, you bring intelligence, gentleness, and a sense of humor and hope to this community. And your comments and compliments on my OPs mean a great deal to me.

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Response to H2O Man (Reply #16)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 05:52 PM

22. Thank you so much! That is really kind of you...

And it is easy to praise your essays--they are that good.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 01:44 PM

11. "I don't really understand,

but I think I do" may the short form. I'm not sure.

I get that "DWS" serves the snooty 1% kids, but where is Hillary in this?

Where are the GOP big shots?

And if the 1% is the privileged kids, where are the 0.01% shadowy plutocratic billionaires usurping power from the people and the GOP? Are your teachers like the real ones who teaching curricula infiltrated into America's education system by the Kochs-et-ilk to
** get rid of the concept of "inalienable rights" and
** the concept that "all men are created equal" and
** inculcate the concept that government must be oppressive and harmful and
** the concept that the only economic system that works is one that funnels our national wealth into their pockets?

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #11)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:57 PM

18. Right.

No one I think is in my tree
I mean it must be high or low
That is you can't, you know, tune in
But it's all right
That is I think it's not too bad
-- John Lennon


I think that the people in DU:GDP already are pretty set in how they view her .....some see her as bigger-than-life great, others as all that is bad about politics. But the majority, I suspect, view her as a human being who has been involved in the political system for decades. And as someone who has been the target of a lot of rabid right-wing republican hatred, yet rather close with other, establishment republicans.

Thus, they may see her pluses as outweighing her minuses, or the minuses outweighing the pluses. What I may think or say isn't going to change anyone's opinion of her -- nor should it. So I left that part a blank, so to speak. In a real sense, for me it is more about the people around her. If her candidacy somehow wasn't being run by the Clinton machine, I suspect that she would come off significantly different than she does.

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Response to H2O Man (Original post)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 01:52 PM

12. yes... we remember those people....Thank you H2O Man!

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Response to kgnu_fan (Reply #12)

Tue Mar 8, 2016, 04:59 PM

20. Yes, we do!

Thanks, my Friend.

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