TOP FIVE 2013 NATIONAL STORIES - A War On The Human Psyche


By Bob Weaver

2013 has been a year of war.

War on terror, drugs, Obamacare, women, poverty, immigrants, coal, Christmas, government, guns, religion, etc. etc. etc.

Perhaps the real war is the war on the human psyche, Orwellian in nature, well delivered by pop entertainment mediums, government, electronic devices and entertainment talking head news, a hubris of diversion from real issues that need real solutions, lessons never learned from history, while at the same time solidifying political parties without compromise.

The overwhelming themes - money, ratings and selling stuff.

1. The dysfunction of Washington, fiscal cliffs, nuclear options, and a record low number of bills passed, those passed appearing to have little to do with improving the life of American citizens. But the Congress, while getting all-time low approval ratings, will be re-elected from their gerrymandered districts.

2. Education, with national educators saying only 25% of USA high school grads prepared to enter college, and the nation falling behind most developed countries in educational achievement.

3. Further revelations about the surveillance of every American's once sacred privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment, accounts, emails, phone calls and Internet activity, the continued use of warrant-less searches. What, me worry? It makes us safer.

4. Two Americas, the growing disparity between the haves and the have nots, with the stock market/corporations making record profits while most working Americans have been suffering stagnant wages with reduced benefits for over a decade, with millions of jobs having been globalized, rarely mentioned as a reason for the nation's unemployment. It is the death of the dream to belong to the middle class. The death is evident, but we're led to believe a funeral is not necessary. It will trickle down.


5. Entertaining ourselves to death? Neil Postman's book, written over 20 years ago, says we are surely "Amusing Ourselves to Death." We're facebooking, texting, twittering, gaming, cell-phoning, e-mailing, downloading, browsing, and surfing, not to mention watching TV "reality" shows and movies. No silence for critical thinking or contemplation.

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