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Twisted Behavior
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News Stories Reflect Growing Human Lunacy

By James Donahue

Columnist Thom Hartmann posted a recent column this week in which he argued that America’s failed education system and a subsequent dumbing down of the people has been responsible for the destructive mess that has been going on in Washington in recent years.

He wrote: "Many of today’s biggest political issues, like our privacy rights, would not even be up for debate today had it not been for the attack on education. If more Americans had a strong understanding of our history, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney would never been able to pull off the Patriot Act. And, we wouldn’t be discussing the Orwellian government spy agencies like the NSA in this day and age."

Hartmann raises a powerful point in his column, which appeared in the Feb. 25 edition of Alternet. But the general stupidity of the citizenry is reflected more and more regularly in everyday news headlines.

Here are just a few noticed this week as examples:

Former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has never quite had both oars in the water at the same time, blamed the ISIS extremists for inspiring the deadly shootings of two New York police officers in December. That there was a general public anger over a series of stories reporting aggressive police actions, including the killings of various citizens throughout the nation at about that time didn’t seem to cross Bachmann’s mind. All of the violence by police and citizens against each other has been a troubling indication that people have begun to behave erratically for unexplained reasons.

The very existence and rise of the ISIS movement in the Middle East, North Africa and Indonesia in the past year has been another issue that goes beyond understanding. This group appears to be another radical spin-off of the Islamic faith. Its members appear with their faces covered much like the American Klu-Klux-Klan, only dressed entirely in black. And they are capturing citizens from all over the world and publically beheading them in front of video cameras. What is their purpose and why must they murder innocent citizens?

Not only are the ISIS members a growing problem, the organization also appears to be attracting new members from unexpected places. What is the appeal that is drawing teenagers from the U.S. and Canada to run away from home and attempt to join ISIS as "terrorist brides" and warriors? Many of the young men, those who have been captured in their efforts to leave the country, say they planned to carry the ISIS fight to the homeland.

What is it about such an extreme terrorist organization that attracts the youth? And why is it that extremists have emerged so frequently from the fringes of a religious belief system like the Islamists? Followers of Mohammad have been known for their peaceful ways. Yet the terrorists movements originating among the Moslems are giving all Moslems an undeserving black eye.

In the United States, we are watching a fierce political battle going on between newly elected "Tea-Party" conservative Republicans and the Democrats, headed by President Barack Obama, that has been raging since the day Mr. Obama entered the White House. That he is the first Negro to ever be elected to the presidency appears to have stirred up racial hatreds in the country. This seems to be what the Tea Party is really about. Because of the in-fighting, very little legislation is getting passed. Government offices are not getting financed. Consequently government programs are failing to serve the public as well as they should.

Case in point: the wrong information about the new federal health care benefits was mailed to an estimated 800,000 Americans that signed up for the program. This information was needed for income tax filing, which is due in April. Because of the error the government has been forced to allow for delays in income tax filings. Delays in tax payments will undoubtedly create unexpected deadlocks in other branches of government in the weeks to come.

Was this sabotage or an honest mistake? We have to wonder since the Republican conservatives have spent most of their time in Congress voting on bills designed to repeal what they call "Obamacare." All of the 52 attempts to date have failed.

The militant Republicans pushed through a bill to approve and fund the controversial Keystone pipeline that would carry costly raw crude oil extracted from shale in Canada and the Northern Western United States, south to Gulf ports. The need for such a pipeline has been questioned, and strongly opposed by environmentalists. A pipeline rupture would cause extensive damage to the environment. Also the opponents argue that the production of this oil is too costly to be a benefit to anybody. The President this week wisely vetoed the bill.

The legislators would agree to pay for a useless pipeline, but seem to have trouble passing a bill that would keep the Office of Homeland Security operating. What is going on in their heads?

On the commercial front, it appears that as the value of the dollar declines, people are paying more and more for products that are not only smaller is packaged size, but manufactured with inferior grade materials. Many products are being made in China and India and shipped to the U.S. People’s pets are falling ill and dying from toxic pet foods. There are growing reports that generic drugs, which are being forced on American patients by insurance companies, also are lacking in quality and may even contain flour or sugar. The Supreme Court recently ruled that drug companies may not be sued over issues involving generic drugs.

Should be wonder why more and more people are walking into crowded buildings with guns blazing? The general insanity is spreading. The illiterate masses are angry and confused. They have no idea what to do about these things except to pick up firearms and start shooting.