NEWS YOU WON'T FIND ON CNN

(Dear Fellow American Redux, 2004)

“I neither earned, nor did I contribute a lifetime of tax dollars expecting that in the end so much as one penny of my taxes would be used to incinerate children. However, acquiescing to George W. Bush’s horrific demands in the absence of genuine, direct, supporting evidence of our enemy du jour’s capabilities and intent will mean just that. …and that would be the truest manifestation of spinelessness imaginable.” – Closing passage from the pre-war essay DEAR FELLOW AMERICAN, By Dom Stasi, February 23, 2003. 

By Dom Stasi
Responds1@aol.com

09/02/04 "ICH" -- 

As a writer who’s spent the last three decades working in the arcane fields of science and technology, I never expected that my work in those areas would be afforded wide readership or circulation.  That belief is my single concession to certitude.  However, as I or anyone else who’s toiled in the literary hinterlands of academic and professional publication will tell you, we eggheads do share at least one career attribute with our talented best-selling brethren.  I refer to those fortunate few writers whose every word is read by the multitudes.  What we share with them is this: Both my humble musings and those of the Asimovs and Hemingways and J.K. Rowlings of the world have been the subject of both firm affirmation, and ruthless criticism.  The former (affirmation) is always welcomed.  But given the audience size for technical writing, it is also sparse… hell, it’s as ethereal as interstellar dark matter.  In my world, praise – high praise - is manifest simply as an absence of criticism.  If I write an article or technical “white” paper that is selected for presentation, I’ll generally get one reading.  That would be before a peer-review audience of perhaps 1000 bespectacled bookish types at some trade luncheon or conference.  But don’t let their corduroyed looks fool you.  This is no flock of credulous evangelical sheep gathered at the knee of their all-knowing preacher. This audience is gathered for but one purpose.  That purpose is to find fault with what I’m postulating, and shoot it full of holes if they can.  Every one of them has a higher IQ than do I, so I know to get my facts straight before ascending the podium.  If I’m persuasive and authoritative, if my material stands up to validation, in short - if I’m right in my approach and my ideas or conclusions have merit - what generally follows is applause - sometimes polite, sometimes vigorous - a few questions, possibly  an invitation to publish in a respected journal in order that my paper may be criticized by thousands more, and finally an exchange of business cards.  For this I’m rewarded with a rubber chicken dinner and near-fatal indigestion.  That’s about it.  No talk shows.  No book tours.  No literary groupies.  But on the other hand – criticism – that thing every writer dreads to a greater or lesser degree and refuses to admit, is wrought and levied against the scientific writer on the grandest of scales by the most vitriolic and well-informed of critics.  Criticism of technical writing easily matches that leveled against the most widely published of popular authors.  That is because serious technical and scientific writing is always subject to what scientists call “falsification.”  When a technical article is published or read before a peer audience it often contradicts another person’s work or discovery, or hypothesis, or theory, or product, or heaven forbid: threatens his grant.  That person and his supporters are usually in the audience.  They arrive early, take front row seats, and copious notes.  They make eye-contact with you as you speak, and shake their heads in incredulity at your assertions.  They are already standing at the microphone when you call for questions and comments.  Simply stated, criticism and refutation of a new and contradictory idea is often quite severe, usually public, and - if you’ve done a good job of challenging the prevailing point of view - passionate.  The technical field – as do all knowledge-based endeavors - encourages criticism and disagreement, eats it up.  But in order to be taken seriously both learned writer and critic must adhere to elaborate, clearly defined, and strictly enforced rules of peer review, falsification, and rebuttal.  Each must cite profusely, and call to bear only primary references and formulaic or empirical proofs to support his or her argument.  There is little tolerance for protracted bias, and never room for mere conjecture.  Never.  A critic can never simply say to a writer, “You’re wrong,” or “I don’t believe you, or heaven forbid, “I believe you.”  If he does, he’ll be laughed out of the room (and possibly his job).  For just like the writer, both the advocate and the critic had better be prepared – very well prepared – to back up assertion with proof or irrefutable logic.  Technical and scientific writing and peer presentation is an experience at once terrifying, stimulating, and in the end either devastating or gratifying.  The science writer’s payment is either embarrassment before his colleagues or the rubber chicken.  Either way, learned postulation requires a strong stomach.  It also requires that both proponent and opponent speak frankly, pull no punches, and postulate only the falsifiable.  Political correctness is punished by reviewers and punished mercilessly.  There is no room for journalistic soft-peddling, subjectivity, baseless assertion, secondary reference, or pandering to the status quo.  But this is how knowledge, genuine human knowledge not propaganda, not advertiser claims or political promises, but knowledge, advances.  And when knowledge advances, ignorance retreats.  Whether that ignorance wears a mask of fear, hatred, incompetence, false morality, equally false bravado, dogmatic obedience, or blind faith, when knowledge advances ignorance retreats.  It always has, and in the long run, it always will.  For that, criticism is a small price to pay.   

Thus conditioned, in early 2003, I turned my writing efforts to another purpose.  I became outwardly politically active for the first time in my adult life.  I say adult life because as a child, I was apparently quite a political activist.  Allow me to explain.  When I was eight years old, my father had built me a soapbox racer.  It was a wonderful wooden contraption that flew down hills like a rocket.  He fitted the racer with a fiberglass mast.  From that mast fluttered a 48-star American flag.  Not a man prone to understatement, my father then emblazoned the little racer’s stern and both of its wooden slab sides with the boldly painted words: “I LIKE IKE!”  I hardly knew who Ike was.  But my father had been drafted in 1942, leaving my mother pregnant with me.  Like countless others of his day and of his kind, he’d followed Ike across Europe and back.  Even at eight years old, it was an easy thing to realize that I was far more fortunate than many kids of the early-Fifties - my friends, my classmates - all of whom had been born in 1941 and ‘42.  For I had both my whole, hale, and healthy Dad along with his glorious soapbox racer to celebrate on this crisp autumn day. As far as I was concerned, all was right with the world.  I never questioned the painted message.  I liked Ike, too. I liked him just fine.  As the years passed, I also found cause to like Jack, and Lyndon, and Jimmy, and Jerry, and Bill, and I endured the others silently, firm in the belief that they were fairly elected to office.  So the little wooden soap box racer and its patently Republican trimmings formed the sum total of my life’s public political activism.  At least it did until the year 2000, and specifically the month of November in the year 2000.  For it was then I first realized that somehow, the American presidency had degenerated from the likes of likeable Ike to the completely unlikely likes of child-like George W. Bush.   All of which led me to ask myself a very post-millennial question: Like how did that like happen?   

I immediately set out to find the answer to my question.  What I learned, I did not, like, like.  If you have not caught on by now, the point I’m trying to make is that somewhere between the latter half of the Twentieth Century, and the dawning of the Twenty-first, America had lulled itself into a widespread willful ignorance.  The politically-obsessed generation of the Sixties, now grown to middle-age was behaving like a bunch of apathetic, politically helpless, abjectly neurotic frightened dopes...  to put it kindly.   To put it less kindly: we’d become “the establishment,” and were behaving as such. 

With the events of 9/11 touching all of rational humanity and shattering many Americans’ childlike fantasy of absolute safety in a hostile world, those same Americans chose to embrace the equally fantastic delusion of regaining that false security through overt force.  Many of us, such as this writer, who were actually touched by the horrors of 9-11 personally, who breathed the ashes of the dead as we walked Manhattan’s streets, who had immediate family in the rubble of those towers before during and after the collapse, reacted with something other than abject paralytic fear.  Seeing and feeling what happened, New Yorkers were not ignorant of the facts.  We were not the detached targets of the fear-mongering, soap-selling propaganda most of America still calls network news.  We knew the truth, know it still.  We would not allowing our lives to be dictated by terror, not all of us.  Not even most of us.  New Yorkers knew a fear born of knowledge, not ignorance.  We breathed in the smoke of the victims bodies and wondered whose ashes choked us.  We saw loved ones and strangers covered in asbestos and concrete and blood.  We were not scared, not most of us, not for long.  We were, and still are, enraged.   

For the first time in our history, the enemy had “crossed the beach” as we would say in the Air Force.  But our nation’s response was less human than it was animal.  Like most New Yorkers, I’ll always remember our finest running toward the carnage while our president ran to Louisiana then to his bunker in Nebraska.  Then, nine hours later, he emerged from underground and returned to Washington, somehow a hero.  Later still he stood upon the burned and crushed and cooling bones of Ground Zero and he promised us retribution.  Ultimately it came.  But only after those who lead him had time to think.  There was money to be made here.  So they persuaded him to strike outward at whoever was convenient and ultimately fantastically profitable.  First Afghanistan, where our president’s father had tried and failed to build his pipeline but managed to build only the Taliban.  Then, after we accomplished nothing in Afghanistan and called it victory, we turned our sights southward.  It mattered but little that the new target was hardly more irrelevant than the first.  They were brown and they were Muslim.  Their president was as deceitful as is ours.  That was enough.  Over time, and through constant repetitive association, relevance itself became irrelevant.  The popular mind associated Saddam Hussein and then the  people of Iraq themselves with a terrorist act that they were never party to.  In Ox Bow Incident fashion, the cowboys hung the wrong people – lots of the wrong people.  The multitudes cheered.   

To date we’ve killed somewhere between 15,000 and 37,000 Iraqi civilians, and countless Afghan goat herders, women and children.  Most of the latter were far more intolerant of the Taliban than was our president or his enabling father prior to their emergence as targeted evildoers.  This infantile certitude was lauded despite that nearly all of the 9-11 terrorists were Saudis and none were Iraqi or traceable to Iraq.  The ensuing indiscriminate massacre and populist delusion allowed a criminal administration to squander our children’s future to the tune of what will be one-trillion dollars as soon as 2006 if Bush is returned to office.  Meanwhile, the actual perpetrators and planners of past and future terrorism run free and their numbers multiply like maggots in the very lands we’ve scorched and plunged into chaos to no demonstrable avail.  Such are the fruits of panic.  Ours was and continues to be a primitive, fear based, and wholly physical, animalistic response to danger.  I call it the cornered rat syndrome.  Many among us chose to condone physical violence over the wholly human attribute of deductive reasoning to address a crisis – a problem to which we as the most advanced and wealthiest society in the world were uniquely well equipped to solve.  But deductive reasoning requires a sound mind and the courage to consult ones own mind regardless of what truth such consultation might yield.  Our president has been “blessed” with none of these attributes in substantive measure.  His cowardice (Where was our leader for the nine hours immediately following the 9/11 attacks?  I know where I was .  Where was Bush?  He was running like a scared rabbit, hiding in bunkers and taking orders when he should have been giving them, and doing so “until the smoke cleared,” as the White House Chief of Staff put it.) his cowardice and conceptual ignorance of the issues have put our perceived security at elevated perceived risk.  For to respond otherwise, correctly, tactically, strategically, and honestly requires work, mental work, and a thought process equal to the task.  Thought is precisely and only what separates humans from the rest of organic matter: the power of mind is ours and only ours!  Instead of a thoughtful tactical response, what we got from our leadership, was brutality –  brutality inspired by criminals, and enabled by our leadership’s rampant, widespread, epidemic, sub-human failure of nerve.  That herd-mentality panic spread through the Executive, to the Judiciary, and overwhelmed to Legislature like a plague.  The credulous American public, They The People, followed their leaders’ example.  Within a day America was in full flight.  There was no FDR to lead us through our days of infamy.  There was no leadership worthy of so magnificent a legacy as America in crisis.  There was no courage in the halls of power, and thanks to that example, even less grace under fire on Main Street USA.  America panicked, and now the rest of the world knows how very easy is that emotional response instilled in us.  And today – especially today - as I watch the Republicans, sheep in wolves clothing every one – as I watch them stand on the bones of those they’ve exploited for money but never avenged, as they wave their “A Nation Of Courage” signs, I feel abandoned by my government and betrayed by those “Americans” who’ve capitulated to fear.   

Fear is a survival mechanism, and an important one.  It is neither good nor bad in isolation.  It is the response to fear that casts it into a category.  In humans fear is based upon but two things, and those two things are at diametric intellectual poles: ignorance and knowledge.  We feel fear when walking alone through a dark cemetery because we know not what awaits us there.  We feel fear on a sunlit battlefield because we know exactly what awaits us there.  If humans responded to fear by relying on our physical attributes alone, we would have become extinct before we ever became human.  We are slower, weaker, and have nether the teeth nor the claws nor the sinew of most other predators with whom we share this eternally squabbling orb.  But those are the attributes Americans have chosen to use - strength and brutality - to dominate and respond to our fear.  That’s a stupid mistake.  Humans have survived and flourished because we have used knowledge to combat the things we fear, not strength.  Knowledge, not strength makes us capable of exterminating the strongest of the animals with whom we share this earth.  It is mind, not fang and claw that have sustained our soft slow bodies against superior strength.  If we, as a culture, America, choose to abdicate intellect to strength, we too will become extinct when the thinking, reasoning world of humans decides to eradicate us.  Based upon the abject fear and ignorance among those the polls show to be a plurality of Americans, the rest of us are going to lose the word’s greatest treasure, a treasure bought and paid for by the blood, sweat, tears, courage, and intellect of our fathers and mothers and their fathers and mothers and theirs.  I’m speaking of Liberty.  Liberty!  Liberty!  Precious liberty, if not life itself! 

As I studied my countrymen’s response to the events of 9/11 everything seemed irrational and mindless.  I could not believe my findings.  Mine was the most educated general population in our nation’s history.  This was the most politically active and radical generation since the American revolution, yet we were behaving like threatened, frightened animals.  To put it in scientific terms, my initial hypothesis (My generation of Americans is smart and aware) was inconsistent  with the empirics (My generation of Americans seems both dumb and ignorant).  Or as they say in plain English: there’s no way in hell this could be true.  It did not make intuitive sense.  After all, how could I, a trained technologist, time and again stand before an audience of perhaps 1000 men and women, genuinely consider myself the least brilliant person in that room, yet when trafficking among the general public, when discussing politics and policy with anyone on the Right, my position seemed somehow better informed, substantively so, more intuitive, rational, critical, aware, plausible, in a word, my position was more falsifiable  than theirs.  That could not be.  But man-oh-man it sure did seem that way.  Yet to accept such a thing would be supremely arrogant.  Arrogance is something I consider beneath human dignity if not absolutely primal.  I needed answers.      

In February of 2003, my consternation turned to action.  I had come to the new century already outraged over the treasonous hounding of President Clinton by those who cared more for the acquisition and subsequent abuse of power than they did the well-being of our nation or the will of its people.  That outrage was affirmed by the theft of the ensuing presidential election by the same gaggle of exploitative gangsters, while the proximate manifestation of a gullible and confused public looked on slack-jawed and inert. The compounding disaster of governance culminated with September 11th  and the descent into abject terror that gripped the so very many.  That fear was shamelessly encouraged by those who would exploit the gullible and fearful among us, and it led to the subsequent abdication of representation by our legislators for their own fear of being considered unpatriotic and losing the jobs they held but were by no means performing.  This failure of nerve by the people’s branch of our government was made abundantly clear when our Congress turned into a glee club.  Our country had been attacked by maniacs, and instead of a voice in government we were suddenly left with a voice in song.  God Bless America on the Capitol steps was supposed to compensate us for our congress’s unanimous abdication of their responsibility to represent and restrain, advise and consent.  The United States was being pirated from us by an angry, vindictive, avaricious, and irrational executive branch while the branch mandated to be “the voice of the people” was instead a bunch of voices raised in song.  Congress was whistling through the cemetery, and half of America was cheering them on.   

So, with our representatives gone stark staring nuts, with 78% of our countrymen in panicked full flight, and with our individual votes no longer worth a plug nickel, this American – me - was  fast becoming a political tinderbox.   

Abandoned by the people’s branch of my government, this American determined to find his voice elsewhere.  On February 23, 2003, I did.  I wrote an open letter to the people of the United States.  I called it DEAR FELLOW AMERICAN.  To my surprise it was picked up by the print media in a number of American cities, and reprinted in London, Sydney, Johannesburg, Paris, Toronto, and heaven knows where else.  After that the internet kicked in.  And, wow, did it kick in! The original article is still around and still being read.  Since that time I’ve penned perhaps 20 additional essays on politics from the progressive point of view.  The letters, letters, letterslettersletters, have been overwhelming, and to my delight, overwhelmingly positive and intelligent as well.  No one has sent me a rubber chicken yet, but beginning with Dear Fellow American, my angry progressive voice seems to have stricken a chord with many of my countrymen and women, a chord that the mainstream media has neglected or been unable to play.  So the evidence I was seeking was suddenly everywhere.  We’re not dumb!  Not the people.  Our popular media is dumb.  Our leaders are dumb.  But we’re not dumb, not all of us, not even most of us.    

I receive a great deal of highly intelligent comment on my writing and opinion – a great deal indeed, always signed, always engaging.  That is consistent with an informed readership.  Yet I am profoundly flattered and delighted daily that my words might engage such an audience.  I endeavor to answer all of it.  Any disagreement from the intelligent public is limited to criticism of my approach, my postulated solutions, my determination of proximate cause, or the degree of constitutional degradation we’ve endured, but the truth of my work is never belied or effectively contradicted.  Perhaps that is because, despite that I write opinion, my scientific experience has taught me to cite primarily, and reference profusely.  My editors are driven nuts by my sheer number of footnotes.  However, I’ve been to the mountain.  As such, I always expect an intelligent audience to consider me a source not a seer, be skeptical of my statements, try to shoot holes in my arguments, find errors where they can, and verify or belie my words by the independent research an informed, literate audience has been trained to conduct.  I’ve rarely been disappointed.   

In my 18 months of writing political opinion and fact, I’ve not received a single intelligent or factual rebuttal.  That is an incredible fact.  Is the Right so philosophically bankrupt that none can craft and deliver anything but conjectural diatribe awkwardly posited?  That’s what I get from them.  It’s all I get from them.  Despite that I limit my writing to the most progressive, literate, and critical venues, none of my critics has yet offered a persuasive, or even intelligent, cited, issue-specific refutation.   

Here’s a sampling, just a few lines from three of this weeks dissenting mail.  I assure you, these are from the most rational:   

 

  1. You know its people like you that make ignorance worse off than it truly is! You definitely make me sick.

2.      Mr. Stasi, You are without a doubt quite disgracefull. You have a sight that downgrades our president as if he had a choice where he would spend his service. …the world laughs at your sorry liberal , whiteflag waving, frenchy ass.  Get a life

 

3.      Has anyone ever told you ... that you sound just like our enemy...that if you put your words next to the lunatics who want us dead, there really is not much of a difference? HELLO !!! what was 9/11 ? DID YOU CHEER ON THAT DAY ??Goooooooooo Bush,,,,,,,4 MORE YEARS !! 

Need I say more?  Can they say less?  Can anyone find an issue or credible argument buried in this baby talk?  They all speak with absolute certainty, but succeed in proving absolutely nothing.  If one checks the sparse references these budding Krauthammer’s cite he’ll find they are as wholly vacuous as their assertions.  Letter-writer # 1 cites Bush’s girlfriend as proof positive he served in the Alabama National Guard.  To back that up she cites his landlord.  Number 2 ignores the facts, declares me a liar and leaves it at that.  Writer # 3 takes things a bit further.  After demanding that I leave the country immediately, he or she asks if I cheered on 9/11 since I hate America so much.  As I said earlier, I had immediate family in those towers before, during, and after their collapse.  I’ll neither defile their courage, nor dignify her stupidity by responding further. 

Yet this is how childish is a vast portion of our chronologically adult, voting, though constitutionally ignorant population.  Such arguments as their silly letters pose are every one completely absent the recognized tools of critique, and are instead a strident exclamation of the argumentative and constitutional ignorance to which this administration panders, and to which it has hitched its future and I’m sorry to say ours as well.   

What, dear reader, will derive from our national failure of both nerve and mind.  Where will this pointless national rage, this ignorance, this credulity lead our country?  Such people as these dispense with cowering beneath their beds long enough to vote.  They run around with signs saying they’re couragous as if to convince one another, as I’m sure they do.  They call themselves patriots.  They vote! 

It is to them and their ilk that we abdicate our country and its future if we do not appear at the polls in even greater numbers.  To do otherwise is to accept America the frightened.   

This week’s Republican National Convention has made its vulgar appeal to that fear and ignorance.  Now, after enduring speaker after speaker, I can make the connection between the uncritical mind of the Bush/Cheney supporter and the appeal of their leaders.  Unlike scientific peer review, political speakers can get away with saying whatever their flock wants to hear, they need only be adequately unethical and philosophically bankrupt enough to do so.  Since, to the juvenile mind of the sycophant, these men represent omnipotence, they are assumed capable of accomplishing miracles.  Today’s Republicans need never prove or have accomplished what they claim.  They just need to claim it with certitude and the faithful and frightened will believe.  Perhaps the most obnoxious display of disrespect for the ability of their faithful to think critically came with the appearance of Democratic Congressman Zel Miller.  That the Republicans would choose a Democrat to assail John Kerry as a “flip-flopper,” and do so secure in the knowledge that their flock would not have adequate clarity of thought to recognize so profound a dichotomy, speaks volumes.   

So, one after another they’ve ascended that podium these last nights and lied through their too-many teeth.   They did so and will continue, secure in the knowledge that, as has been said by that most famous of all Republicans, “You can fool some of the people, all of the time.”  One can only wonder if the credulous, trembling sheep in wolves clothing who believe them are equally unaware of what their tough guy, draft dodging leaders think of them.  For the very same  some of the people  Mr. Lincoln so eloquently referenced was later given a label by that very government that so deliberately exploited them and exploits them still.    

The power of propaganda, which the current (Bush) administration uses to incredible advantage and which has been displayed in all its vulgar glory this week, was virtually invented by an American president.  I'm not talking about the kind of comic-book propaganda we associate with Tokyo Rose, or the Kremlin.  I'm talking about American propaganda, the kind that gave birth to Madison Avenue.   

Way back in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson, despite his campaign promise to keep America out of "The Great War" (WW-I) had already determined in his own mind – just like Bush - that our economic interests abroad (Back then it was European imperialism, not Middle Eastern oil that concerned our president.) would be better served by a vanquished Germany (Sound like the Neo-con fantasy about Iraq?)  The American public was widely pacifistic at the time. So, needing an excuse to send them to war, a war from which none of them could personally benefit, Wilson formed a government-funded group called the Creel Commission.  Creel was given the task of changing the peace-loving public's mind, and instilling in them a hatred and fear of Germany and all things German. The Creel Commission knew the power of fear, and fear’s power to infect.  It was the ubiquitous human attribute they would endeavor to exploit.  It worked.  Within six months, scores of otherwise passive Americans were setting fire to their own Teutonic neighbor's houses, and German-owned businesses and extolling their hatred of German-American’s in all manner of ways.  The Creel Commission's findings are still a part of the federal government's data base.  They paid for it.  They own it.  They’ve built upon it massively.  They're not reluctant to use what they know.  Today we call it Social Science.    

The Pentagon's Office Of Special Plans (formed under Rumsfeld) is today’s version of the Creel Commission.  It has revived the Creel techniques and put them to good use under Paul Wolfowitz.  Meantime (emphasis on the mean) Karl Rove, not one to sit on the sidelines when there is a smarmy idea to steal, has become expert in the same fear-mongering techniques.  There is nothing new under the sun when it comes to these guys.   

The power of propaganda worked as astoundingly well in this century as it did in the last.  The Creel Commission's findings and techniques are everywhere to be found in the ways that the Bush administration has manipulated and exploited the gullible.   

There are people in any society who form opinions, and there are those (far more numerous) who allow their opinions to be formed for them.  The latter, being generally biased and under informed as well, are wont to ever admit or even be dimly aware that they are the pawns of professional manipulators.  I say they are generally biased as well, because that bias is what prevents them from changing their minds when evidence contradicts their pre-formed "opinions."  Don't get me wrong, bias is an important human attribute.  It is what allows us to make decisions.  If we did not have some measure of bias in our thinking we would change our minds indiscriminately and never come to a firm conclusion about anything.  Unfortunately, bias is also a serious liability to critical thinking when it is manifest to excess.  I am of the opinion that both of these liabilities, inordinate bias and susceptibility to influence, exacerbated by a strong helping of fear, are what the Bush leaguers have substituted for substance when endeavoring (with apparent success) to control the popular mind.   This week we’ll see it in all it’s vulgar glory.  Keep the Creel Commission in mind when watching the Republican National Convention.  Look for evidence of their claims.  Seek substance n their words.  Observe their efforts to instill fear.  Fear.   

The Creel Commission’s members were well versed in the new and emerging discipline of Social Science.  They knew from their experience and knowledge of history that any vast socio-political population – American or otherwise – was characterized by a large plurality of those who sought to be led, those who could be easily inspired to action by authority figures.  The same mentality that inspires a Kamikaze or suicide bomber could inspire any frightened, uncritical, confused animal.  When the uncritical mind faces danger – real or inspired – it reacts in one of two ways: fight or flight.  Simple.  Animal.  Predictable.  Controllable.  The Creel Commission named this multitude of Americans “The confused and frightened herd.”     

In self-serving deference to my critics and their leaders, I will not trouble to cite or reference my equally self-serving opinions this day.  I’ll instead leave you with the opinions of more worthy Americans than I. 

Thomas Jefferson said at the birth of our republic, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be.”  At the moment we are both.  How long will such conditions coexist?  Not very I would posit.   

But perhaps more to the point, at our nation’s most critical juncture, and out of his respect for what we were as a people and can become again, another great president, a great leader of a what was by then great nation, found these words of inspiration and truth in our hour of genuine, mortal crisis: “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself.”  

Could these leaders of America’s greatest generations ever have known how very true their words would prove to this latest generation of Americans?   Could we?  


-The Author-
An engineer, Dom Stasi is chief technology officer of a national television network. He was the original chief engineer who helped design and build both the HBO and MTV networks, remaining as an executive with both for much of his career. Mr. Stasi also flew aerial reconnaissance during the Cold War and was an engineer on Project Apollo. He is a frequently published science and technology writer. 


Copyright: Dom Stasi.

  

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