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Feature: Weapons of Mass Delusion: America's Real National Emergency

In the book Weapons of Mass Delusion: America's Real National Emergency author Richard Forno examines American culture particularly since September 11.

cover art
Cover art
Title: Weapons of Mass Delusion: America's Real National Emergency
Author: Richard Forno
ISBN: 158961111X (hardcover edition)
Publisher: Potomac View Press (hardcover edition)
Popular technology commentator and author Richard Fornos witty but realistic examination of American culture, particularly since September 11. He acknowledges -- and challenges where necessary many of the critical issues Americans are afraid (or incapable) of confronting themselves. He concludes that the national emergency facing America today isnt terrorism or rogue nations, but the daily illusions and mass delusions that make up what passes for reality in American society - in other words, the real danger facing America is what we're allowing ourselves to become.

Quotes from the book

The Realist Manifesto

"I am a Realist. I live my life based on reality, not wishful thinking, hyperbole, spin, empty promises, fear mongering, or adherence to a single party platform. I will not subscribe to a single party line, and most importantly, I pride myself on routinely doing a very contemporary un-American thing by thinking for myself and forming my own opinions on the issues impacting on my life and nation."

Democracy Lives But Where Are The People?

"The hard truth is that most Americans are not only apathetic and seriously uninformed, but lack a fundamental understanding of how their country works or should work let alone the rest of the world, or even know where to look and find such things out for themselves. They shy away from interest in national affairs terrorism and taxes aside and generally content to live their lives in blissful ignorance...Im convinced that Americans know significantly more about the Three Stooges than the three branches of their own government."

Spinning the Body Politic

Committed: 1) A way for politicians to say they will deal with public issues without providing any specific details of their plans that could endanger their political standing. (E.g., Im committed to an America where every American has access to quality and affordable health care. How? Details, please!) 2) The past tense of the verb describing what we should do with most of our politicians and narrow-minded pundits.

Democracy: A now-theoretical form of government that demands participation of a well-informed citizenry and encourages open, public debate. It is supposed to be administered by politicians of the highest integrity, something generally absent in modern American politics. Flag: Since September 11, a necessary item to wave or display at all times and on all vehicles to avoid suspicion of being unpatriotic or supporting terrorism.

Why Stop the Buck, When You Can Pass It?

"It appears that the nation founded on principles of independence, self-reliance, and Poor Richards Almanac has devolved into the nation where no one wants to be responsible for anything; a nation where being an idiot can make you rich, assuming you dont mind a little embarrassment or public scorn along the way and can find a group of citizens on a jury who are dumb enough to reward you for your own stupidity."

Regarding Political Correctness in Schools

"The School Boards preliminary ban on dodge ball is now permanent. It was determined that the game is too competitive and encourages aggression in an environment where the strong and clever pick on the weak, and the strongest or most clever student ultimately wins. How this game can prepare children for life without hurting their self-esteem is unknown, and thus it must not be played on school grounds or at school events."

Schoolyard Stalag

"Implementing a fanatical, shoot first zero-tolerance regimentation akin to prison life requiring mandatory conformity and stifling creativity is not the answer to the ills plaguing the majority of our public schools. Im waiting for the day when all school students are given tranquilizers at the start of each school day to keep them in line and compliant."

Cloistered Kids Syndrome

"Society has become so risk-averse that learning through mistakes or personal failure is no longer socially acceptable. Zero-tolerance is the new standard. At what point do people become able to take charge of their lives, make their own decisions, and learn from their experiences without the training wheels?"

Functional Illiterates

"It is a sad state of affairs that todays graduates who enter tomorrows workforce are not only less educated than their parents but are unable to think outside the technology-derived boxes theyve been reared in assuming that they can even think for themselves, let alone do so critically. As a result, theyre less creative, less independent, and less capable as adults to contribute positively and responsibly to the challenges of the world around them. Theyre unable to seek answers for themselves or even have the visceral sense to know when something sounds wrong and should be challenged. But rest assured, they can send e-mail, cut-and-paste, run spell check, and synthesize papers from disparate sources that they didnt cite correctly."

Generation Rx

"In our brave new world, a child can spend almost his or her entire life in a haze of legally-sanctioned and prescribed drugs that effectively alters their innate talents and curiosity about the world around them just so they can conform to modern societys fantasy of what a normal child should be like. This runaway medication of children used as a substitute for therapy and in the absence of any other intervention or attention has become an uncontrolled national experiment with still-unknown consequences, both to the children now, and to our society as they become adults in the future... And were still worried about marijuana use?"

God, Inc.

"'God' is just a marketing idea used to establish brand identity. Reverends, ministers, deacons, and priests are just another name for sales executives, account managers, and consultants who market products in a very competitive market and try to break into new ones while keeping their churn rate down. Ask any marketing executive; theyll tell you its all about branding. And organized religion is no different."

Interpreting the Ten Commandments in 2003

IX. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBORS WIFE

"This one is just stupid. If youre attracted to a woman, youre not sinning, youre human. Otherwise, why did God invent bare mid-drifts, tight leather jeans, and attractive females? Adam wouldve ogled Eves twin sister the Heavenly Hooters Girl if she wasnt too busy interning for Heavens Gatekeeper after she got off work as a landscaper in the Garden of Edens apple orchard. Now, if you carry through with your desires, thats another story . . . but desire in and of itself isnt necessarily a bad thing."

America's Religious Wrong

"I dont plan to impose my spiritual beliefs on anyone, particularly since I view spirituality as a deeply personal thing that varies from person to person. Morality isnt black-or-white, and sure isnt based on any one particular set of religious beliefs. To those who take pleasure in their self-serving mandate to impose their dogmatic beliefs on others, I tell them if their God doesnt like the way I live, or what I choose to read, watch, know, do, challenge, or acknowledge in this world, let him tell me, not you. "

Americas Profitable Red Light Districts

"It seems the only documented benefit to red light cameras is to the organizations that install and administer them, as they convert traffic law enforcement into a business practice with the ultimate goal of turning millions of unwitting drivers into a nearly limitless source of free revenue."

Homeland Insecurity

"Perhaps the terrorists are winning, and were just too caught up in our own Star-Spangled American egos to admit it. After all, the stated goal of the September 11 terrorists and their leader was to destroy America by attacking those things that mattered most to our society. Only an idiot would think that simply meant iconic buildings or people."

The Terror Alert They Wont Issue

"Tiptoeing around the reality of the situation and bombarding the public with vague warnings of little value doesnt help the American war effort, raise morale, or reassure our citizens. Ironically, these warnings only force us to look over our shoulders and shiver in fear, creating a culture of national paranoia and confusion in our once-free society, something the terrorists probably wanted to accomplish all along."

The Approaching Digital Dark Ages

"Relinquishing the task of frequently exercising your memory and letting technology remember routine things for you while still in the prime of your life isnt beneficial, its setting you up for a long-term dependency on something that might (and generally does) fail down the road, be it a company or nifty gadget. And being unable to access old data because a corporation no longer makes decades-old software available is setting us up for a data- and memory-retrieval fiasco."

Hollywoods War for Social Control

"Its high time that the entertainment companies learn that if they treat their customers as criminals, theyll not only have fewer paying customers, but many more criminals to deal with, too."

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