Thursday, October 29, 2015

Narcissistic Nation Hooked on Social Media

We have become a narcissistic nation hooked on social media 24/7. If we look around in every direction possible, we see people with their eyes downcast and locked onto illuminated and addictive rectangular devices that consume many waking moments of each day.  These smart devices glow in the dark on the driver’s side while cars swerve or seem to drive themselves.

It won’t be long before driverless cars will be made available by the global government elites in order to allow us to shop online while they control and reduce us to a mental state of imbecility. A technology-addicted drone is easier controlled to accept any U.N.-directed lifestyle and any outlandish theories of population control that are aimed to shrink our world into a global entity devoid of borders, heritage, history, culture, and distinct languages.

One such service offered on smart devices is Twitter which began in March 2006 as a simple way to communicate instantly by using 140 characters. It sounded like a great idea in an emergency.  The original tweet sent by Jack Dorsey has now turned into the SMS (short message service) of the Internet with 500 million users.  What do Tweeter users tweet about?  Pear Analytics of San Antonio classified tweets over a two-week period in 2009 in the U.S. into six categories: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

-          Pointless babble (40.1%)

-          Conversation (37.6%)

-          Passing-along info (8.7%)

-          Self-promotion (5.9%)

-          Spam (3.8%)

-          News (3.6%)

The general public uses Twitter to/for:

-          Organize protests called “Twitter Revolutions” (2011 Egyptian revolution, 2010-2011 protests in Tunisia, 2009-2010 Iranian election protests, 2009 Moldova civil unrest, 2011 Arab Spring)

-          Civil disobedience and use by rebels in various countries

-          Emergency communication (earthquakes, floods, fires, tsunamis)

-          Breaking news

-          Tracking epidemics

-          Automatic response to natural disasters

-          As a tool in education to allow better communication at university level

-          Public figure narcissistic behavior of both famous and infamous individuals - “the ultimate expression of a generation of celebrity-addled youths who believe their every utterance is fascinating and ought to be shared with the world”

-          Twitter diplomacy (engage with foreign citizens)  - 153 of the 193 U.N. countries have government Twitter accounts

-          More than twenty Roman Catholic cardinals have active Twitter accounts

-          Imitating human communication, twitter robots influence public opinion about culture, products, and political agendas by automatically generating mass amounts of Tweets

-          Social interaction

-          Use in television (create the illusion of buzz, sway elections, influence the stock market, public information, and support or attack governments)

The number one complaint in Twitter is that “users are too connected.” I let you decide where that complaint is coming from.

The Facebook’s saga goes back to February 4, 2004 at Harvard where it was launched under the name “thefacebook.com” as the idea of Mark Zuckerberg. Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss disputed it in court. One thing is sure, it was an instant hit. http://www.businessinsider.com/how-facebook-was-founded-2010-3

How is Facebook used?

-          Using likes, shares, and memes, people have a false sense of activism, of doing something useful for their country or for their cause

-          Sharing of animal videos and photos as entertainment and relaxation

-          Communicating daily with real and electronic friends on family, medical problems, politics, morals, cartoons, and religion

-          Making prayer chains for self and for known and unknown people going into the hospital or already sick

-          Raising money for good causes and for illicit causes

-          Publishing essays, advertising books, and advertising sales

-          Organizing mass events and parties

-          Displaying fake photo-shopped material and spliced videos

-          Making political statements and supporting a favorite candidate verbally and financially

-          Opinion commentaries

-          Using comedians as a source of information

-          Lightning speed indoctrination into one’s ideology

-          Blotting out the past and cleverly replacing it with cultural Marxism

-          Playing computer games

-          Revealing very personal traits and characteristics to Facebook and to third parties who gather such information while the Facebook user is told he/she is taking a “fun survey”

One of the main complaints about Facebook is that it has devolved from a strictly social media friendship and family pictures posting platform into a medium in which technology makes drones of people, especially young ones, cleverly using a pastime to turn the population into mass narcissism, would-be Kardashians, and Che Guevara and Karl Marx sycophants.

On the positive side, if people can discern the manufactured from the real, Facebook is a source of instant news, news we can no longer get from the main stream media alphabet outlets who promote the ideology and the politics of the elites currently in power in Washington. Many Americans turn to overseas news via Facebook or the Internet in order to get honest reporting.

The recent Democrat and Republican debates were a glaring example why Americans no longer trust the media who does not report the news but manufactures them. The debates have been an exercise in futility where Democrats were given fluff questions to make them look exceptionally prepared and honest candidates, while the Republicans received petty and irrelevant questions, were rudely interrupted by the so-called moderators with an agenda who spoke over the candidates, inveigled them to attack each other, and did nothing to advance the candidates’ experience, the issues plaguing our economy, and the problems with our corrupt political system. Sen. Ted Cruz pointed out “The contrast of the Democrat debate, where every fawning question from the media was, ‘Which of you is more handsome and wise?’”

The liberal media create false narratives parading as news, speak in contradiction to what we see, experience, and hear, a cognitive dissonance that affects the decision-making processes of many - it is a form of brainwashing.

Leon Festinger said about his 1950 cognitive dissonance theory: “If you change a person’s behavior, his thoughts and feelings will change to minimize the dissonance.” Keeping in harmony people’s behavior, attitudes, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings is important because they are interconnected. Forcing a change in one, will cause change in others. If you change beliefs, you can change behavior. If you force a behavior to change, thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs will also change.

A classic example of such brainwashing was employed by communists on prisoners during the Korean War. If they did not say what they were told, prisoners got nothing to eat. The brainwashing recitation included:

  • Communism is wonderful.
  • America is terrible.
  • America only benefits the rich, while the poor blacks die for them in foreign places like Korea.
  • Communism is the wave of the future and the most enlightened form of government.

“After enough repetition, some of the prisoners started to really believe it. Some even defected, and refused repatriation at the end of the war.”  http://www.orange-papers.org/orange-cult_q9.html

No matter what the purpose or how we use Facebook or Twitter, we have become a dangerously narcissistic nation addicted to social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October Beach Days

Photo: Ileana Johnson Oct. 2015
I am so enchanted by the sparkling emerald green waters of the Gulf of Mexico and its white quartz sand beaches.  I must have been a mermaid in a previous life, living in the aqua blue crystal clear waters.

Even though I am not the best of swimmers, going into the ocean has been a fascinating dance between excitement, apprehension, velvety sand, and elation driven by charmed curiosity.  I am lured by the crashing waves, the marine life swimming about, and that exquisite sea shell in which a tiny creature finds its temporary home. Sometimes the strong undercurrents try to pull me further out to sea.

The ocean is glassy and fluid – I can see clearly to the bottom floor. Tiny white sand sharks swim slowly around my feet, while an occasional flash of silver streaks fast in front of me, chased by pelicans and sea gulls, eager to dive around me in hopes of catching a tasty meal.

The days are perfect. The sun shines with few white clouds on the horizon. The days are balmy 80s, the water is warm, and the waves are too small for the impatient surfers and occasionally even placid like a stagnant lake.  The undercurrents can be seen in the wavy sandy bottom that resembles little sugary dunes.

Photo: Ileana Johnson Oct. 2015
 
I trudge my chair, towel, and water cooler to the water’s edge to relax in the ocean surf sounds and the salty aroma of the spraying mist.  The sea gulls appear suddenly when I open the cooler top to get a bottle of water. They’ve learned quite fast that those marvelous little boxes contain food. I brought chips in hopes that an injured sea gull I spotted the day before would show up again. He was dragging one foot behind but was still able to fly. I wondered if he could still hunt for fish to survive.

Photo: Ileana Johnson 2015
 
Not even a painful encounter with a small nesting stingray dampened my desire to enjoy the most beautiful beach in the U.S. I stepped on the creature in thigh-deep ocean. I was treading water instead of shuffling through the bottom like the locals have told me to do. Normally shy creatures, the vibrations cause the stingrays to swim away from humans.

Photo: Ileana Johnson Oct. 2015
 
Surprised, the stingray shot its tail with barbs into my right heel. The toxin caused instant excruciating pain and bleeding. The ER doc told me later that I was lucky – it missed my Achilles tendon and the X-rays showed no barbs left inside.

Every so many seconds, toxin-driven pain shot through my entire leg in spite of pain meds and soaking in very hot water.  I did not fuss much – I treaded in their world and disturbed their tranquility. Stingrays bury in the sand 3-10 feet from the water’s edge and usually nest from April to October.

I cannot complain, after 36 years of going to the Gulf’s beaches, this is the first time I was stung. Mims was joking that next time, I might encounter Jaws. Considering all the sandbars so close to the shore, it was a distinct possibility.

Siesta Key
Photo: Ileana Johnson Oct. 2015
 
The edge of the beach was protected habitat where turtles nest and native flowers, bushes, and weeds grow wild and undisturbed. When dark falls, it is really hard to see anything. Ambient light is very low, street lighting is banned, and most homes have no outdoor lights on.


Photo: Ileana Johnson Oct. 2015
Not to be outdone by the atheist crowd that plasters religious COEXIST bumper stickers on their cars, environmentalists have come up with a Coexist t-shirt that sports an endangered animal marine species for each letter. Under a shady grove of palm trees and other tropical plants, a sign sponsored by atheists and secular humanists urged beach goers to protect their environment by adopting a park. Politics is ever present even at the beach.

Photo: Ileana Johnson 2015
 
Many stores are shuttered for the winter season. The local hangouts are busy and the dimly lit Walmart is open 24 hours. We loved it so much, we went four times. It was fantastic to hear nothing but English spoken in every store and to see American waiters, store clerks, and medical personnel trained in the United States.

The bookstore chain did not disappoint with its liberal staff. An elderly employee, with a Brooklyn accent, asked for my “teacherdom I.D.” when I purchased a book on Florida’s history. I had asked him about Donald Trump’s and Michael Savage’s books due out any day. He shrugged his shoulder as if I spoke a foreign language and, with a dumb grin, directed me to a helpful and more professional person.

Even though the beaches and water are perfect for a late October, the town is semi-deserted of tourists, save for small groups from France and Germany.  I could hear their animated conversations around me.

A few string-bikini clad young American women were strutting at the water’s edge, proud of their impropriety. The notoriously nudist European women were surprisingly subdued. But some of their men were letting it all hang out in string-bikini speedos, leaving nothing to the imagination.

Photo: Ileana Johnson Oct. 2015
What a great place to walk on the beach, watch sunrises and sunsets, admire pelicans and seagulls dive for fish, read a book, or fall asleep under an umbrella, lulled by the constant roar of waves crashing against the sugary-white sandy beaches.

Leaving this Floridian paradise, going through two beautiful airports in Tampa and Miami, where TSA agents were actually nicer to us in their freedom-robbing attempt to keep us “safe” from invisible terrorists, and returning home to cold weather and crowding in northern Virginia and to the dingy, smelly, and dilapidated Reagan National Airport, I cannot help but think, what a metaphor this is for all that is corrupt and dirty in Washington, D.C.

 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

My Own Teeth and Obamacare

Photo: Wikipedia
Every time I travel to my hometown for a visit, relatives take turns asking me if my pearly-whites are the original ones. They even break the personal space barrier for a close-up inspection. The first time the question shocked me but then I understood that it was unusual to be as old as I am and still have my own teeth. Most people have badly made dentures, gaping holes, or teeth so far gone that they should have been extracted years ago.

If you chip a tooth, a private dentist will charge 800 euros to repair the damage.  Apparently nobody wants to go to a state-run dentist because the workmanship is not guaranteed and materials hard to find. This explains why so many people have ugly dentures, cavities, yellow-brown, or missing teeth. I concede that some may have fear of dentists or lack good brushing habits.

Medical care does not include much dental care and certainly few people clean their teeth professionally or wear braces. Dental hygiene is a subject seldom broached in public although there has been a concerted effort to teach people proper brushing and flossing.

Socialized medicine is unable to provide so much advertised free medical care; it sounds too good in theory; but in practice, once the money runs out, the meds are in short supply and access to doctors and hospitals becomes sporadic and difficult.

Do the promise of free medical care and a shiny plastic card get you the best doctors and hospitals? It is a great concept if you have the sniffles -- care is immediate and free. It is not such a good idea if you have something more complex that requires better drugs, more medical skills and training, extended hospital stays, and better hospitals with private or semi-private beds instead of shoddy and dirty wards, or worse yet, gurneys in an ER hallway.

Americans are beginning to find out with Obamacare just how bad socialized medicine truly is. With an insurance card issued by one of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) state exchanges, people cannot get their meds refilled in another state. It’s bad enough that the premiums are much higher than the previous private insurance and the deductibles in the thousands per year. The advice from the medical staff that has no idea how to help such patients is to call their Congressman. Since the law has been in effect since 2010, the chance of reversing this government bureaucratic nightmare is zero.

Certain drugs that are expensive are no longer dispensed by government insurance to all patients; they must have other underlying issues before even a pricey topical cream is paid for. The patient must use cheap drugs instead that could potentially kill their livers. It saves the insurance money, who cares about your life? Do you need expensive chemical mixtures to treat on-going cancer or other serious problems? Too bad, your insurance no longer pays for them.  

There was a reason why foreigners flocked to the United States for medical care because treatment was available quickly and rates of cancer remissions or cures were the highest in the world. Surgical expertise was also the best in the world.

How high are the premiums? It depends how you purchase your insurance and if you are eligible for a subsidy on which, of course, you will have to pay taxes because it is considered income. If you are on Medicare Part B, premiums are $104.90-$335.70 per month, per person. Medicare announced that premiums will have to go up 52 percent in 2016 in order to keep the system afloat. Medicare was stripped of billions of dollars in funding in order to use those billions to fund Obamacare. http://www.mauldineconomics.com/frontlinethoughts/unhealthy-not-wealthy-and-far-from-wise

People living on fixed incomes such as Social Security are finding out that they are not going to get a cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 2016 because inflation is low. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is reported at 2 percent. Anybody who shops in this economy knows it’s a manufactured number.

Employees stayed in lower paying jobs because they had good insurance. People who previously had good and affordable private insurance coverage, even half-timers, are finding themselves now dumped into the exchanges and having to pick bronze, silver, or gold plans with much higher rates and much higher per person annual deductibles. Chances are, most people, will be hard-pressed to meet the deductibles of thousands of dollars per year before the insurance pays anything at all.

Rates vary based on income, type of coverage chosen, where one lives, and quality of options and service may or may not be adequate. “Now they can at least get overpriced and underwhelming Obamacare policies,” said John Mauldin. He continued, “The worker’s share of premiums for a family policy went from $1,543 in 1999 to $4,955 in 2015, a 321% increase. The employer’s share went up almost as much, from $4,247 to $12,591 (+296%).”

The winners are Americans with pre-existing conditions; before ACA they could not buy insurance at any price. Illegal aliens, who allegedly were not supposed to be covered by Obamacare, are also beneficiaries of ACA.

According to Kaiser Family Foundation, in 2014 32 million non-elderly Americans were uninsured. About 10 million people have enrolled in state and federal Obamacare exchanges and approximately 14 million have enrolled in Medicaid. This means that the uninsured rate changed from 16.2% to 10.7% by first quarter of 2015. For less than 6 percent gain in insurability, ACA has disrupted or destroyed the insurance and quality of medical care for a very large majority of Americans. http://kff.org/uninsured/fact-sheet/key-facts-about-the-uninsured-population/

The Heritage Foundation warned us in 2009 why Obamacare was wrong for America. Knowing what was wrong and that there was nothing we could do about it then nor now, provides no comfort to those who are sick or will become sick and in need of medical care. http://www.heritage.org/research/factsheets/obamacare-top-10-reasons-its-wrong-for-america

1.       Millions of employer-sponsored insurance holders will lose their insurance (88.1 million was the prediction)

2.       Individual mandate translated into less freedom and more taxes

3.       Private health care plans changed in order to conform with ACA standards

4.       The federal government will push any private competitors out of business; as Heritage put it, “the umpire is also the first baseman”

5.       Your health care decision will be made by the fed

6.       Higher taxes will hurt small businesses

7.       Medical decisions will be made by bureaucrats

8.       The Affordable Care Act is not funded

9.       Taxpayers will pay for abortions against their religious beliefs

10.   The ACA was deceptive that is why it was rushed through and not read carefully

Most Americans are going to have to accept inferior medical care because their better plans are no longer approved by the government and do not meet their standards. Garth Kant listed in 2013, “52 reasons Obamacare can’t work.” http://www.wnd.com/2013/08/52-shocking-reasons-obamacare-cant-work/#37SYTKHYUSDfktY6.99

Perhaps people are now paying attention as they are beginning to lose their doctors, their health plans, paying higher Medicare costs, higher private insurance premiums, higher deductibles, experiencing denial or worsening of medical care, paying higher taxes, accepting less working hours, unemployment is growing as employers kill existing and new jobs, and doctors and specialists who accept Obamacare insurance are harder and harder to find.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

An Existential Dilemma in the Land of Vlad Tepes

A heated debate is raging on in the eastern European country of Romania, a member of EU since 2007 but not of the Schengen zone.  Members of the Schengen zone can travel freely without a passport between the member states. The debate has divided the population along party lines, ideology, faith, experience, education, and even families in their extended relationships.

Romania is a paradise of spectacular landscapes, mountains, valleys, rivers, gorges, the famous Danube River, the Danube Delta with its rich fauna and flora, the Black Sea, and fertile lands that could grow so much wheat and corn, it was known as the bread basket of the Balkans. Many yet to be explored natural resources are hidden beneath the soil and rocks:  gold, coal, iron core, bauxite, manganese, lead, salt, silver, zinc, petroleum, and natural gas.

Temporarily forgotten are the economic problems that ail a crony capitalist system emerging from decades of communist dictatorial oppression. What is important at the moment is whether Bucharest will build the biggest mosque in Europe, in the middle of predominantly Orthodox and Catholic Christianity. It is an existential dilemma in the lands that Vlad Tepes, the infamous Dracula, and many voivodes and rulers after him, protected with guts, blood, and glory, from the constant invasions of the Ottoman Empire during five centuries.

Why would Bucharest need such a huge mosque? Who will pray there? The population is atheist, agnostic, or Christian. Dobrogea, in the eastern part of Romania, already has mosques to accommodate the Turks whose ancestors had settled in these parts of the Black Sea.

Can the country, struggling with many economic issues,  afford the influx of Middle Eastern men of fighting age who are sure to come as war “refugees?” Apparently the prime minster, who allegedly received a new knee in Turkey, was quoted as saying that Romania is prepared to receive refugees and has opened two camps with a capacity of 500 each in the western part of Romania, but so far, few “refugees” have petitioned for asylum. Asked if such refugees will be distributed by areas or by counties, Ponta answered that the said “refugees” are free to go wherever they wish, with only one interdiction, they cannot vote.  http://www.ziare.com/victor-ponta/premier/romania-pregatita-pentru-refugiati-ponta-sa-i-integram-sa-nu-ramana-pe-cheltuiala-statului-1385886

“The mayor of Arad, where unemployment is zero, told me that they need workers, especially those who are easy to train. Nothing happened what ‘the crusader Basescu’ said,” Ponta concluded. Basescu, the former president, vehemently opposed the Bucharest mosque and the “refugees” being settled in Romania.

Those who survived Ceausescu’s four-decade long dictatorship are divided. Some who are too old to work and fend for themselves, are nostalgic for his tyranny because they did not have to work very hard, did not have to be responsible for themselves. As long as comrade government provided meager rations and salaries, enough to survive on, they were satisfied.

The young, representing the “tyranny of the oppressed,” have no memory of Ceausescu’s regime and thus think that socialism and communism are great ideas – who would not want to be taken care of in the fashion of the western European Fabian socialist societies whose governments are bankrupt?

These two groups do not see any problem with building the largest mosques in Bucharest – the more the merrier. The fact that the two cultures, Islamic and western, are incompatible, does not seem to faze them.

A short list highlights the alleged corruption and theft affecting society and the economy profoundly. These events took place after Ceausescu was executed on Christmas 1989 when a period of chaos ensued. How long this period lasted is debatable but the results are still felt today.

-          Part of the national bank’s gold was allegedly taken out of the country.

-          Factories that may or may not have been productive were sold to foreign investors or destroyed and sold for scrap metal and the money was pocketed by those in power.

-          Diesel payments for ships sailing under Romanian flag were stopped, the ships were sold as scrap metal in the ports where they happened to be docked, and the money was pocketed by those governing and making such decisions.

-          Even though Romania had no debt, once some industrial and agricultural production was stopped, it was necessary to make loans from foreign banks in order to keep the country afloat, thus Romania began its indebtedness to the western bankers.

-          Oil, gas, and gold were given to foreign investors in exchange for substantial bribes to governing individuals.

-          Laws were passed that allowed foreigners with money to invest in “agriculture” to exploit the land and to harvest timber, gold, and frack for natural gas, desertifying large tracks of land in the process, and poisoning rivers with cyanide and other toxic chemicals; the said foreign investors were not required to clean up the ecological disaster they left behind.

-          As more and more taxes were imposed, the money were not put to good use, benefitting or building schools, hospitals, and orphanages; the money built thousands of churches and fattened the pockets of the governing individuals who used priests to preach to their flocks to vote in the most corrupt politicians who were skilled orators.

-          The alleged sabotage of Romanian investors who found efficient and non-toxic ways to explore for gold without destroying the natural habitat.

-          Out of control deforestation resulted in landslides and floods and the destruction of entire villages.

-          Alleged damage to tourism at the Black Sea due to fracking for natural gas in Dobrogea.

-          Creation of a class of EU-style welfare dependent citizens and parasites who watch mind-numbing telenovelas while their country is being destroyed.

-          Laws that allow politicians to purchase land for prices below real estate values in beautiful areas and to build villas on that land.

-          Exacerbating the decades-old divide between Hungarians, Swabians, and Romanians in Transylvania through corrupt political moves, keeping the population at odds.

-          Passing laws of immunity for crimes committed by those in power who undermined the country’s economy for personal and political gain.

-          Expropriating private land of those who opposed the land grab across the country.

-          The irrational decision to pay Holocaust reparations of 60 billion euros to Israel (even though 95 percent of Jews were alleged to have survived in Romania when they were sent to Transnistria, away from Hitler’s grab) at a time when former soldiers, workers, teachers, and other poor Romanians living on pensions of 300 euros per month had to take substantial EU-dictated austerity cuts; 20 billion euros were already paid even though Romania had to likely borrow the money.

-          The Penal Code was changed and expunged of the punishment for undermining the national economy.

-          Billions of euros were allegedly funneled to finance electoral campaigns of those in power who speak so eloquently and convincingly, promising to eradicate the blatant corruption in society but deliver nothing except more wealth and power to themselves.

Despite the bleak economic reality, the useful idiot voters who applaud and reelect to power the very same corrupt politicians who have relegated them to comfortable poverty, are busy on social media, discussing passionately the pros and cons of the mosque, while the economic and societal quagmire around them continues unabated. They seem to be deaf and ambivalent to the historic song of previous generations, “Wake up, Romanians, from the sleep of death.”

Whether some of the allegations can be proven and could stand up in a court of law remains to be seen. It is a fact that the majority of the population is still relatively poor even after twenty-five years since communism “fell” while a few politicians and oligarchs have become millionaires and billionaires many times over.  Crony capitalism has replaced one set of ruling elites with another. The only difference now is that the masses can idle their time with tele-entertainment on every channel and food is available. They can criticize the new regime, but nobody listens.

 

 

 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Behavior Modification and "Interrupting Whiteness"

Behavior modification is a type of therapy also known as applied behavior analysis. First mentioned in 1910, it focuses on “decreasing maladaptive behavior through extinction or punishment.”

Behavior modification, similar to operant conditioning, can be achieved by various means: reinforcement (positive or negative via rewards or lack of them), punishment, extinction, shaping, fading, and chaining.

Behavior modification can be used to treat obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), phobias, enuresis (bed-wetting), generalized anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder.

Behavior modification draws from the operant conditioning principles developed by the American behaviorist B.F. Skinner (1904-1990) who discussed using operant conditioning to shape behavior of humans and animals by reinforcement or lack of reinforcement in his 1938 book, The Behavior of Organisms. Skinner is highly regarded and studied in universities across the country, particularly in Education and Psychology.

Extinction, such as putting a child in time-out when he/she misbehaves is an example of “nudging” unwanted behavior by separating a child from his parents or an individual from a group.

Negative reinforcement is a “behavior whose reinforcing properties are associated with its removal.” Terminating an existing electric shock after a rat pressed a bar is negative reinforcement.

By rewarding desirable behavior, undesirable behaviors are replaced with more desirable ones. Using punishment through aversive or unpleasant stimuli is a way to discourage unwanted behavior. One example would be taking away smart device privileges. If the reinforcement is removed permanently, behaviorists call it extinction.

Two very important questions remain, who decides the desirable behavior parameters and to what ends? Do the ends justify the means?

Suppose your desire is to have a “national conversation on race” because you believe the majority white population is racist and therefore their behavior must be extinguished. Aside from non-stop race-baiting discussions on the liberal main stream media outlets with low viewership, you engage the liberal academia at various colleges through their progressive departments of studies of women, race, and social justice.

If their outrageous accusations and ideas don’t stick, then they move the notch to “interrupting whiteness” in American schools, “leading while white,” “challenging white supremacy in society,” and eliminating “white privilege” of Caucasian students, “white domination of thought,” achieving “racial equity,” and how to “decenter whiteness.”

If these topics seem twilight-zonish, then perhaps we should attend the national conference for teachers and school administrators taking place in Baltimore, MD on October 10, 2015 which focuses on race, “leading while white,” and “systemic racism” in our schools and society. http://www.summitforcourageousconversation.com/overview/

The conference titled The National Summit for Courageous Conversation 2015 is organized by the Pacific Educational Group (PEG), “a large and influential consulting firm hired by hundreds of school districts nationwide – often under pressure from the federal government – to address ‘racial gaps’ in scholastic performance and behavior problems in the classroom.” According to PEG, “public education should be infused with Afrocentrism.” http://www.pacificeducationalgroup.com/public/pages/home

Why not discuss relevant topics such as improving reading scores, math scores, science scores, overall achievement in school, graduation percentages, and reducing violence, truancy, drugs, and dropout rates in school? Why not attempt to fix what is wrong with families and society in general that produce such moral and mental decline in our children, regardless of skin color?

In the fundamentally transformed new and improved America, “is this the kind of race-obsessed confrontational philosophy that should be guiding instruction and curricula in the nation’s public schools?” http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2015/10/07/interrupting-whiteness-education-conference-blame-white-teachers-and-students/

No mention is made of personal responsibility, the destruction of the black family unit by dependency on welfare programs, the absence of dads in the home, drugs, violent behavior of blacks on blacks, recidivism after jail, abortions, the lack of self-control, lack of motivation to study, school dropout rates among black students, huge unemployment rates among black teens, and other issues that plague the black community.

It is convenient instead to blame non-existent “white privilege.” Critical Race Theory dissects the concept of “whiteness” as the focus point of guilt for all societal problems. Because we are Caucasian, we somehow benefit unjustly from this “racist” system; we are part of the system, and thus automatically racist. The struggle of millions of whites to succeed by working hard against many odds is somehow irrelevant in this half-baked theory.

According to Critical Race Theory, “racism represents both prejudice and power. Since the theory espouses that blacks have no power in society, they cannot possibly be racist.”

The PJ Media post of October 7, 2015 lists some of the workshops. The titles are sheer propaganda meant to re-educate, to shape the white population’s behavior into the desired direction of utopian “racial equity.” Communist societies used “re-education” to force people into confessions of their non-existent guilt and acceptance of the new ideology. If they refused, they were sent to re-education camps, labor camps, prison, or shot. http://pjmedia.com/zombie/2015/10/07/interrupting-whiteness-education-conference-blame-white-teachers-and-students/

To nudge students into desired behavior, PEG focuses on “restorative justice,” an euphemism for eliminating detention and suspension for students who exhibit violent behavior at school and offering them therapy and counseling sessions instead. Since July 2015 “restorative justice” is now official government policy.

The September 15, 2015 Executive Order titled “Using Behavioral Science Insights to Better Serve the American People,” will use behavior “to support a range of national priorities, including helping workers to find better jobs; enabling Americans to lead longer, healthier lives, improving access to educational opportunities and support for success in school; and accelerating the transition to a low-carbon economy.”

The Social and Behavioral Sciences Team (SBST) proposed in this EO will use empirical findings from government-recruited behavioral science experts to help people “access public programs and benefits” with ease,  to present information in such a way that ”affects comprehension and action by individuals,” to “most effectively promote public welfare, as appropriate, giving particular consideration to the selection and setting of default options,” and “review policies and programs that are designed to encourage or make it easier for Americans to take specific actions, such as saving for retirement or completing education programs.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/09/15/executive-order-using-behavioral-science-insights-better-serve-american