Fifty years ago we were shocked to learn that the North Koreans and Chinese were brainwashing our young soldiers during the Korean War. Recently, after 70 years of living in the dark, I discovered that I had been brainwashed by my momma, my teachers, and my so-called friends. The soft soap they used to scrub my dirty mind was horribly toxic, and its ingredients included untruths like the following:
1. If society has a tough problem, give it to a government to solve. Yeah, right! They will spend years to remedy it with an unfair inept solution that will cost millions of tax dollars and create thousands of jobs for auditors or inspectors to enforce the unclear regulations or ignore them.
2. War is hell! Don’t go there, don’t do that, and don’t send your kids. Unless ordered to do so by your country to defend our unexplained interests, to correct the flagrant injustices in other countries, and to protect human rights being violated by governments similar to ours. But remember, intelligent robots and suicide bombers are much more effective in delivering destruction than well-trained camouflaged foot soldiers with flak jackets.
3. In ROTC I was told that you can’t win a ground war on the immense land mass called Asia. Too many people, too ready to die for their country, religion, and political beliefs, and too long a supply line. (Think oceans to cross before any fighting begins.) Since 1950, where have our soldiers been sent? Do you need a map, a history lesson, or a political explanation about why we choose to ignore that ancient military wisdom?
4. If someone alleges that you broke the law, hire a good lawyer to defend you, unless you can’t afford one. They charge you for calling their office and leaving a message. Lawyers are supposed to be interested in justice, presenting factual evidence, and respecting the pertinent law and our noble constitution. When there is money involved, they are only interested in getting their “fair share” – at least 30% plus expenses!
5. The public accounting profession is society’s expensive requisite to certify an “honest set of books” and help us to pay our taxes correctly. The financial information presented in the annual report will always be according to “generally accepted” and obscure accounting principles which are to obfuscate the bad news, exaggerate the good news, and fornicate somehow with the client!
6. Everyone in the country will be regressively and progressively taxed in order to share the social burdens of maintaining peace and order, of providing services that only a sloppy government monopoly can provide, and of stimulating the economy, fighting inflation, and employing thousands of unemployed citizens in the District of Corruption. These taxes will be levied fairly so that those “movers and shakers” and “special interest” groups with powerful lobbies will not be over-taxed. In all cases the ultimate citizen will be routinely ignored.
7. No child will be left behind the school as punishment – just behind the curve! Every child will receive good marks in their classes (especially those students enrolled in elite Ivy League colleges and universities where any grade less that an A is a disgrace), a credit card upon graduation from junior high school, and the freedom to be addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, illegal drugs, fast food, and sex by the time they are 21. Attire is optional, but untied shoes, ugly color combinations, and unkempt hair styles are mandatory for males.
8. Advertisers and the honored members of the media are our friends and sources of reliable information. Pay close attention to what they say! Especially the unbalanced talk show hosts, the local newspaper whose editors are impeccably honest purveyors of all that’s supposedly fit to print and scandalous, and the Websites on the Internet whose sources of information are unquestionable, sincere, and sometimes even humorous.
9. There are two days in your life that you don’t need a doctor. The day you are going to die, because he or she are helpless to save you. And the day you aren’t going to die, because you are going to recover. A visit to your gate-keeping doctor merely results in an unnecessary co-pay requiring a lengthy form to fill out and send to your expensive health insurance company who may not cover your psychosomatic illness and the prescribed drugs!
10. In school I leaned that if I studied hard and graduated from college, I would become an informed person, an impartial juror, a discriminating voter, and a decent citizen. The only unvarnished truth I have learned over the years is that I will never be as smart as younger people. I still don’t know why I am here and where I might be going!