Common Sense is an Unfortunate Oxymoron

Critical thinking isn’t being taught or encouraged in the way it was 40 or 50 years ago. When I take the time to peruse daily news, I usually become pissed off, because I know we can do better.

Common Sense is an Unfortunate Oxymoron
Photo by Andreas Fickl on Unsplash

Don’t believe me? Read a newspaper

I took an internet journey through the headlines and realized that while I’m no Rhodes Scholar, the common sense-challenged live and vote among us. And many of them are in charge of stuff. We read about them in positions of trust and leadership, but we don’t read that they’ve solved much of anything. They do what we did as kids with household chores; spread the dust around so it looks as if we really swept it away.

Critical thinking isn’t being taught or encouraged in the way it was 40 or 50 years ago.  When I take the time to peruse daily news, I usually become pissed off, because I know we can do better.  Here’s my headline round up:

We’re angry’: Central Texas woman deals with no running water after surprise $3,000 bill

What kind of people are we who turn life’s necessities into commodities? So, for the love of money, we will allow people to starve, die of thirst, and go without healthcare because our society has placed a price on life-saving resources. And some companies have bottled air for sale. Was this ever supposed to be this way?

“Water has joined gold, oil and other commodities that are traded on Wall Street, as worries about the uncertainty of its availability in the future rises.”

I can’t imagine a small-minded Supreme Being, but if you were God for a day, wouldn’t you take away water until we learned how to share and play together better?

“Systemic failures” in Uvalde shooting went far beyond local police, Texas House report details

Can’t we just call this tragic incompetence? An inability or refusal to make policies that anticipate worst case scenarios and plan for them. We used to call it disaster preparedness---a full-fledged exercise in, “what-if’s” in which responses are analyzed and added to a plan. And implemented when needed.

Texas School District Requiring Students to Lock Phones in Pouches During Class

When I read this, I thought about the children held helpless in a classroom with a killer while police were …. not sure what they were doing. Now, at least one district wants to ensure they can’t communicate if they need to in an emergency?  So, leave the school doors unlocked, and remove all methods of communications because teachers can’t control unarmed students with phones? I don’t understand the logic.  When my children reached elementary school age, I gave them pre-paid phones. I wanted them to know they could always call me, at any time.

More Texas school districts switch to 4-day weeks, addressing teacher shortages

Is this the tail wagging the dog? We need more teachers than administrators for obvious reasons but as a society, we continue to talk about their problems without executing solutions. The National Education Association President, Becky Pringle, calls it a five-alarm crisis. This is their list of reasons for a decline in the number of teaching degrees. It is familiar but unaddressed: Burnout, low pay, a lack of respect, a need for protection, and assurance that students in need of mental health care will receive it. Shortening the week will not address either of those issues. Grow a pair and give teachers professional pay, the respect they deserve, safety, and help with kids who need help.  

Texas program to help with energy bills pauses applications as temperatures soar

Administrators of the $50 million program didn’t anticipate the number of people who would need help with overdue energy bills. Because of unexpected demand, they can no longer accept applications.  I know from my days in government that putting good intentions into action can be a lengthy process, and I know from my years in television news that issues can be oversimplified in the summarized versions of what we call the news, but wouldn’t this have been revealed in a needs assessment, as part of the program planning before they launched?  don’t get it.

FBI and NSA directors warn of evolving foreign interference threat ahead of U.S. midterms

Threats from adversaries are an unfortunate new normal in our elections now.  Iran, China, and Russia know the way to feed U.S. insecurity and to de-stabilize our government is by attacking our elections system. They have help from supporters of the former president. Ironically, I have never heard a demand for recall votes from his supporters who won their seats. They apparently only have a problem with the results of elections in cases where their candidates don’t win. Why haven’t the elected officials of their party who won, challenged election results? America has had a history of sad and pathetic days, but today’s enemies within our government represent a new low, as is their support of rioters who blatantly attempted to overthrow election results.

And while we’re in the gutter, let’s kick up a bit more dirt. Is it too early to call a karmic return for Trump and his big lie?

The Murdoch-owned New York Post called Donald Trump “unworthy to be the country’s chief executive again,” surprising criticism by the paper of his ally. Right-wing television is not carrying his recent rallies, and the Wall Street Journal called him “the president who stood still on Jan.6th.”

Maybe we don’t have to bury common sense just yet….

Myra Jolivet is a storyteller. First a TV news anchor and reporter. Then came PR work and consulting. That's where she is today - banging her head against the wall - trying to help CEOs and political candidates tell their stories well. Myra writes a series of murder mysteries She was a kid with an imaginary friend. That says it all.