My wife and I watched an award winning documentary Thursday night (September 4, 2014). It was called “Hot Coffee: Is Justice Being Served?” The DVD for the documentary was released November 1, 2011, and Amazon sells the DVD for more than $24.00, but you may be able to watch it free on YouTube or from HBO for a lot less.
This is what I learned: if you don’t want Bill Gates, the Walton family or the Koch brothers—for instance—ruling America instead of the elected representative of the people, I urge you not to make the mistake that capitalism is the same as democracy. It isn’t.
Marriam-Webster.com defines capitalism as “an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market”
By contrast, democracy is defined as “a form of government in which people choose leaders by voting and an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights”
Under capitalism, everyone isn’t treated equally, and I’ve never heard of a corporate CEO elected by the people who work for the corporation the CEO rules over.
A member of the U.S. Congress is an elected—by the people—representative. The president is elected by the 538 electors of the Electoral College. Most states have a “winner-take-all” system—based on the popular vote of the people—that awards all electors to the winning presidential candidate. However, Maine and Nebraska each have a variation of “proportional representation.”
In fact, there have been four Presidential elections where the winner lost the popular vote of the people but won through the Electoral College: John Quincy Adams in 1824, Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, Benjamin Harrison in 1888, and George W. Bush in 2000—yes, Al Gore had 540,000 more votes from the people than Bush, but G. W. won the electoral vote, 271 to 266. FactCheck.org
I’m going to copy the product description on Amazon here: “Everyone knows the case of the woman who sued McDonald s over spilled coffee. Or do they? More than 15 years after making international news, the case continues to be cited as an example of citizens who use frivolous lawsuits to take unfair advantage of the American legal system. But is that an accurate portrayal of the facts?
“An eye-opening documentary with jaw-dropping revelations, HOT COFFEE exposes how corporations spend millions on propaganda campaigns to distort Americans’ view of lawsuits forever changing the civil justice system. By examining the impact of tort reform on the lives of ordinary citizens, the film shows how Americans give up their Constitutional rights in all sorts of ways without knowing it for example, by voting for caps on damages or signing away your rights in contracts. Through interviews with politicians, judges, lawyers and ordinary citizens, first-time filmmaker and former public-interest lawyer Susan Saladoff delves into the facts of four cases to tear apart the conventional wisdom about jackpot justice.”
Watching this film, I discovered that the propaganda campaigns that were used to manipulate the justice system in the United States are also being used to distort Americans’ view of democratic public education.
Americans are literally being fooled—out of ignorance and laziness—to surrender their Constitutional Rights, vote out democracy, and replace democracy with a profit-driven, corporate oligarchy that doesn’t answer to the Constitution or the U.S. justice system. Watch the next video at your own peril.
Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).
His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves
Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).
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September 5, 2014 at 19:35
Reblogged this on Lloyd Lofthouse.
September 5, 2014 at 19:43
There is much truth here. The last video (Wolf-Pac) uses all the data and graphs that public schools use to convince us of the propaganda. And they ask for support via money donations (which many of us in the public school system are losing and are not now in a financial position to contribute to). A true conundrum. What to do? Write a novel?
September 6, 2014 at 08:43
When Benjamin Franklin was asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, “Well, Doctor, what have we got— a Republic or a Monarchy?” Benjamin replied, “A Republic, if you can keep it.”
After reading your comment, I wondered what you meant by “write a novel.”
Write a novel to expose what’s happening in the corporate manipulated and manufactured crises of public education, or write a novel to make enough money to support yourself if the public schools are closed and turned over to a corporation—something that is already happening across the country, something that accelerated more than 500 percent under President Obama’s White House?
I don’t think writing a novel is even part of the solution, and might be futile because there’s too much competition out there battling for attention from readers. I wrote about that here:
But there is something that can be done and it only costs some time—as little as maybe a half hour or less a day.
First: Visit Diane Ravitch’s Blog every day and “Like” as many of the posts she publishes daily as possible; then Retweet them before sharing on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and any other site where you might have your own page. In addition, Diane’s Blog is a WordPress Blog, so I also Reblog some of her posts but not all of them. If you have a WordPress Blog, you can do that also.
Second: If time permits— after visiting Diane’s Blog to help spread the word and educate as many Americans as possible about what is going on to subvert democracy in the United States by a handfuls of billionaire oligarchs that includes—for instance—Bill Gates, the Koch brother, Eli broad, the Walton Family, etc.,—I suggest you familiarize yourself with the Education Bloggers Network and support a few or all of those Blogs the same way. You can sign up for these Blogs to send you an e-mail when they publish something new. And check back from time to time, to see if I added any new blogs to the network.
To become more knowledgeable on this issue so you can hold your own in a debate and possibly enlighten the fools who are swallowing the lies that public education is failing and public school teachers are lazy incompetents, you might also want to read a few of the nonfiction books that have come out recently on this issue, and I’m not talking about my own memoir as a teacher.
We are in a propaganda war. The billionaires have money. We have numbers. There are 3.3+ million public school teachers in the United States, and they can win this war along with their parent and student allies if they mobilize and organize to spread the information to counter the lies and propaganda of the billionaire oligarchs. This is already happening, and this movement is growing.
3.3+ million teachers are a HUGE army compared to the one woman who burned herself with MacDonald’s super-hot coffee in a poorly designed cup that could melt from that heat.
Here are the books I recommend. Read them and start reading Ravtich’s Blog on a regular basis, and you will become an expert in the educated army to help spread the truth through facts that are not cherry picked.
The Teacher Wars: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession
By Dana Goldstein
“Ms. Goldstein’s book is meticulously fair and disarmingly balanced, serving up historical commentary instead of a searing philippic … The book skips nimbly from history to on-the-ground reporting to policy prescription, never falling on its face. If I were still teaching, I’d leave my tattered copy by the sputtering Xerox machine. I’d also recommend it to the average citizen who wants to know why Robert can’t read, and Allison can’t add.” —New York Times
Reign of Error
By Diane Ravitch
Diane Silvers Ravitch is a historian of education, an educational policy analyst, and a research professor at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development. Previously, she was a U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education under President G. W. Bush. She was appointed to public office by Presidents H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
A Chronicle of Echoes:
Who’s Who in the Implosion of American Public Education
By Mercedes K. Schneider
Schneider says, “Corporate reform” is not reform at all. Instead, it is the systematic destruction of the foundational American institution of public education. The primary motivation behind this destruction is greed. Public education in America is worth almost a trillion dollars a year. Whereas American public education is a democratic institution, its destruction is being choreographed by a few wealthy, well-positioned individuals and organizations. This book investigates and exposes the handful of people and institutions that are often working together to become the driving force behind destroying the community public school.
50 Myths and Lies That Threaten America’s Public Schools:
The Real Crisis in Education
By David C. Berliner, Gene V Glass, Associates
David C. Berliner is an educational psychologist and bestselling author. He was professor and Dean of the Mary Lou Fulton Institute and Graduate School of Education. Gene V Glass is a senior researcher at the National Education Policy Center and a research professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder.
NOTE: All it will take is a lot of informed and dedicated Americans doing a little bit every day to defeat the oligarchs and their corporations from stealing the people’s democracy that the U.S. Founding Fathers gave us.
It’s up to us to keep our republic/democracy. If we are unwilling to sacrifice the time and effort to do it, then we deserve to lose it to oligarchs like Bill Gates, the Koch brothers and the Walton family, and if we do, they will become the royalty—the oligarchs—of a U.S. Monarchy.
Gerri K. Songer
September 6, 2014 at 11:11
Reblogged this on Students 4 Democracy and commented:
Students can promote long overdue change through participation and peaceful activism.
September 7, 2014 at 06:31
I’d like to say that this is shocking, or at least surprising, on society’s part. But it’s not. I remember a young, female, college freshman (around the time Mandela was freed) saying that her father had been to South Africa on occasion for business and that he said it wasn’t as bad as everybody said! (Like he would have been roomed at the Soweto Motel 6 anyway.) People believe what fits their view of the world, be it good or bad.
September 7, 2014 at 08:12
I agree. When people grow up with a biased view of the world, I think they will search out anything in the media that will support that bias. I think that explains why conservative talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh, for instance, have such a huge following. His faithful fans turn to him because the lies he spreads supports their biases—what they want to believe and are unwilling to challenge. They just blindly accept Limbaugh’s flawed opinions without checking the facts because he tells them what they want to hear so their bias is justified.
January 10, 2015 at 19:57
WOW, this is scary. Why are the corporations doing this and taking away our freedom to defend ourself in court?
January 11, 2015 at 07:03
Greed and so much money they think they can do anything they want.