“Our Words Fell On Deaf Ears. . .”

6 04 2007

UPDATE – CNN story just posted here, with full transcript of statement.


Still watching the live news conference on CNN and thinking it should be required viewing in every school worldwide — that is, if we do mean to create and preserve real environments that sustain human life by right instead of might.

When one is “not equipped for a fight” and reason fails in the face of unhearing, blinded, singleminded Borg-like purpose, Reason itself becomes an unreasonable response and is forcibly redefined against your will, becoming not an academic exercise but a raw first-rung survival skill, a matter of figuring out who is fit to survive and what it will take.

And even that kind of Raw Reason falters without intelligence, sound information for making wise decisions, and being allowed untwisted, unmanipulated communication within one’s one group of fellows and with the real world. Reason stripped, blindfolded and shoved up against the wall to hear the sound of guns being cocked.

Oh, and who ALWAYS bears the brunt in any patriarchal power play? Why, the woman of course!

“It was mainly psychological and emotional . . .”

“Isolation was a major part of this . . .”

What was the worst moment?

“There was a lot of trickery and mind games being played . . .”

“We were always fed and watered, but unfortunately it was just the fact that it was ‘shh, shh, you’re not allowed to speak.’ ”

Perhaps the worst of all then?

“We were absolutely starved for information . . .”

More about the mind games?

“They gave people privileges. . . secret rumors about George Bush . . . so we didn’t know what was happening.”

“She was separated from us as soon as we arrived. . .she was told shortly afterward that we had all returned without her. . . for four days thought she was all alone. . .like all of us she has been exploited.”

Do you think any concessions were made?

“Not that we’re aware of . . .not at all.”

What are you thoughts today about being told (your release) was a gift?

“As far as I’m concerned the whole thing was a complete media stunt . . .I’m not their biggest fan.” General laughter from audience of reporters.

Could you be a little more specific?

“Absolutely no speaking, we were blindfolded for the first week. . .It was very much a stunt for Iranian propaganda.”


In the aftermath, one of the sailors said that at least, “We now know a bit more about their intent.”

LISTEN UP Thinking Parents and freedom fighters everywhere. What do *I* believe? That school board members and scientists, reasonable Rs and Ds, the whole creative class and especially the hard-working non-political, non-ideological, non-intellectual, good-neighbor regular family folks who (with or without succeeding in “school”) have always been, and remain, the most commonsensical and most moral majority in America. And here’s some sound information we all can use, right here at home:

When people show you who they are, especially in an ideological battle for survival of the fittest, believe them.



2 responses

6 04 2007

So what kind of reasoning mind will survive and thrive in the future? Talk about a real-life test to determine what has been learned — could it have gotten any more real-life for these fine young sailors? I flashed on Prince Harry’s commission and upcoming deployment to Iraq, and wondered what his extremely elite education has prepared him to face?

Then I wondered how education and cognitive psychology expert Howard Gardner would apply his theories to what happened today? Would these five kinds of minds win decisively against international terrorism and domestic dominionism, and if so, why aren’t we emphasizing THESE as dead-serious survival skills for individuals and humanity, and education itself?

Instead of beginning (and, all too often, ending) with test scores, we should begin by considering the kinds of minds that we want to cultivate in our education system.
My own reflections suggest that in the future, we need to cultivate five kinds of minds if we want to be successful asa nation and, more important, as a world. Those minds include:

. A disciplined mind, that can think well and appropriately in the major

. A synthesizing mind, that can sift through a large amount of
information, decide what is important, and put it together in ways that
make sense for oneself and for others;

. A creative mind, that can raise new questions, come up with novel
solutions, think outside the box;

. A respectful mind, that honors the differences among individuals and
groups, and tries to understand them and work productively with them; and

. An ethical mind, that thinks, beyond selfish interests, about the kind
of worker one aspires to be, and the kind of citizen that one should be.

No doubt, some measures for each of these could be devised, though I doubt that a paper-and-pencil or computer-administered, short-answer test will prove adequate. But the important point is this: Any country–and certainly one as prosperous and well-positioned as the United States–should begin educational discussions with a serious consideration of the kinds of human beings we would like to have and to be in the future.

And that is why the education ministers of the world remind me today of lemmings–marching confidently, but proudly and disastrously, into a sea of ignorance.

6 04 2007

From the statement, a pretty fair statement of the problem imo (research lingo for “the sticking point that needs to be examined and better understood” ) —

We realized that our efforts to reason with these people were not making any headway. Nor were we able to calm some of the individuals down.

“It was at this point that we realized that had we resisted there would have been a major fight, one we could not have won with consequences that would have had major strategic impact. We made a conscious decision to not engage the Iranians and do as they asked.

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