I downloaded these visuals from the Internet years ago and by now do not recall sources in order to offer credits, but I appreciate the talent of the artist and photographer responsible.
In 2013, the "congratulatory" cartoon reaches closer to truth than fiction. The world's on fire while, simultaneously, the mighty keys of freedom and liberty forged in blood, sweat and turmoil by those who came before us to create the United States and escape tyranny appear to be rusting to dust, one by one, at least temporarily. Good teachers -- great teachers -- and students populate every state, but statistics still warn of the perilous status of secondary school, high school and college education in the United States. If anybody really thinks increasing the power of the Department of Education and initiating Common Core and other big brother systems into local education formats is the solution, good luck. In the meantime, some teachers can't teach, a disturbing number of students can't learn, learning disabilities seem to abound and dropout rates soar. The educational dilemma's essence, however, is centered firmly in the solid and secure family unit -- which is well on its way to disintegration, and what remains of it (one parent families, for example) is all too quick to blame schools and educators for their children's learning problems. Taking personal responsibility has almost gone the way of the dinosaur -- our president certainly doesn't hold himself responsible for anything in his Administration except maybe for almost single-handedly killing bin Laden -- and for not firing Eric Holder. Birds of a feather, etc., etc.
But you're wondering about the other illustration, the cryptic image in the photo shown above. I wanted to include that in stark contrast to the humor image, because this is a now apparently weather-beaten memorial in Russia, dedicated to boys and girls murdered by the Nazis in Leningrad during World War II. I guess this photo seemed appropriate because, while on one hand we can condemn the state of education in this country, during WW II children seen as obstacles were deprived not only of opportunities to learn, but of their very lives. Forever. Opportunities to learn in one's youth vs. opportunities to die young. As the world turns, such choices continue, choices often unfortunately manipulated by circumstance. An advanced society indeed -- advanced in what?
MORE ABOUT EDWARD SNOWDEN: If an IRS official can get away with clamming up and taking the 5th, thus negating her unique responsibility as a government employee to tell the truth and nothing but the truth by default before Congress, I guess Snowden can do whatever he wants. No? Well, maybe let's do this: Various members of Congress are screaming for his head and demanding he be captured and questioned as a traitor. First of all, yes, he violated his oath, but he doesn't appear to have revealed much that wasn't already known or suspected -- and certainly enemy forces were far more aware of government operations than the man in the street. If Congress wants Snowden, and if the president wants Snowden, all one has to do is issue either an Executive Order or legal promise of immunity from prosecution if Snowden returns to the U.S. Impossible? Outrageous? Well, how badly does the government want Snowden? Otherwise, it's probably going to be a cat-and-mouse game with the Chinese, and he may also have time to think about disclosing more essential information publicly -- or to the Chinese communists.
The interesting and almost obvious thing is that Snowden, though said to have been a third party voter, at first was all for Obama until he discovered the president wasn't anything he anticipated, and frustration grew from there. I'm thinking that Snowden represents a time bomb of sorts, and can almost hear the ticking in expectation that more disappointed young people will start emerging from the shadows of phony and irresponsible existence in which they've dwelled since Obama hypnotized them and claimed their souls in the process. Lies and evasive P.R. maneuvers from the White House don't make good umbrellas once the inevitable storms move in.
Get it? Snowden IS the Obama generation, and that generation hosts plenty of members. Or did, because his poll numbers are dropping like flies in an insecticide factory. If young and impressionable folk aren't already upset about their choices, they soon will be because this Administration has been applying the silent shackles for years, and those entrapments are about to surface via "Obamacare" and other serpentine directives. And if anybody should fight new immigration legislation tooth and nail, it's the young American citizens who might be starting to get a clue that Obama is nothing more than a Wizard of Oz, an empty suit stuffed with special interest agendas destined to "fundamentally transform" youth into the new slave class. The new USA.
SPEAKING OF CONGRESS: If wisdom comes with age, I wish a bucket load of those old bastards affiliated with any and all political parties who have "served" longer than a dog's life span in Congress would exhibit the wisdom to just retire and get out. Two terms is enough for anybody, and while it's easy to say people should have the option of being elected for as long as the voters will have them, it should be clear currently that a lot of voters are just too lazy to research any other name on the ballot, and choosing the familiar, well-established incumbent name in the booth is all too easy. The USA desperately needs new, younger blood in the driver's seat -- and I have every confidence that young folks in the age range including Edward Snowden would agree. Same old deal, Mr. or Ms. member of Congress -- the youth are running short on trust regarding your actions.