Aug 17Liked by Barry Brownstein

I don't remember learning about the content of the constitution in school. Maybe bits and pieces, but we never really studied it. I remember reading the Gettysburg address. But it was kind of like, that was something great and this is America. But we didn't really study it. No one asked us to THINK. And we certainly never talked about current events. I ended up studying Russian language and literature in college because, when I grew up, the USSR was the "evil empire". (Ironically, given your article, that designation was given by Ronald Reagan.) I didn't buy it but didn't know how to find answers.

We also didn't learn anything about how to take care of ourselves - like what's healthy and not re: food or anything else. We were punished for misbehaving and rewarded for success, but neither of those things taught us much. As far as I'm concerned, the failure of America comes down to its schools. They don't help us become better human beings, but tell us how to behave. College was a godsend. I was finally asked to think, but it seems things have changed there, too.

But, even in college, it wasn't really acceptable to be a full human being. Emotions were still suspect. America seems to be caught in a trauma loop, and the only socially acceptable medical solutions seem to be pharmaceuticals and the only acceptable social solutions seem to be more control. Ironically, the trauma seems to be the result of not enough human kindness and connection and too much control to begin with.

Anyway, thank you for your articles. I appreciate what you share and teach.

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Aug 18Liked by Barry Brownstein

Thank you, Barry

The drive to impose our will - beliefs, opinions, judgements - onto others is growing; it would seem - like at no other time in our respective democracies.

Division and separation within our society are way more evident than ever in my recollection. I'll be 82 in a few months.

I read that it's like cancer in the US.

We in Australia are in lockstep with you - just 10 to 20 years behind in our slide into mayhem.

I feel saddened and concerned that my grandchildren are not experiencing the peace, simplicity and community I grew up in following the end of World War Two.

The collective honey in our hearts seems to have gone and been replaced by the poison of being right and making others wrong.

The kindness, understanding, wisdom and common sense, a hallmark of where I grew up while still alive, is on life support.

Warmly ... John

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Aug 17Liked by Barry Brownstein

Thanks for the reminder of how on-target Reagan was much of the time, especially in the themes of his speeches. Even back then, a substantial minority of citizens hated the message, with a fury nearly as intense as it is today for Trump, who is different from Reagan in many ways but shares his general distrust of government solutions to society's ills.

Socialists despise any talk of self-responsibility; someone else is always at fault for every personal or national ill. Luckily, socialists inform us, everything can be fixed if we let the government redistribute without hindrance. Don't try to bring up historical failures of socialism; they didn't do it right. And definitely don't try to bring up the successes of capitalism: even if true, it's better for everyone to be equally poor than for everyone to be well off but some people are much richer than others.

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