Tag Archives: newspapers

We Americans are not stupid!

By Chris Horton

The American people weren’t born stupid. How could we be? For three centuries the best and brightest made their way here looking for a fresh start, to escape from the tyrannies and rigid class systems of Old Europe (and Old Asia,) from the legacy of the Conquistadores, from wars and dictatorships and the bondage of poverty.

It was said that if you work hard, you can make it here, and the people who came were the ones who were willing. And work hard we did. It’s said we are the hardest-working people on Earth – working longer hours, longer weeks, working faster, with less vacation time and later retirement than anyone.

Our children could always go farther than we did – with the best schools and colleges in the world, with nothing stopping them from moving up in the world and giving their own kids an even better start.

So how could we be stupid?

We’re the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, who threw off the chains of empire and serfdom in a great revolution and the chains of slavery in a bloody civil war. We put a man on the moon, built the Interstate System in ten years, split the atom and raised a great citizen’s army that in four short years finished off the fascist hordes of Hitler and Tojo.

How could such a people be stupid?

But, you ask, how could we have let things come to the state they’re in now if we weren’t stupid?

With our living standard’s collapsing, our jobs exported, our cities and states, schools, roads and bridges collapsing, and the banks taking our homes and leaving them boarded up to rot. Aren’t we stupid?

We’re taxed to the limit by a government we don’t trust that gives the billionaires a pass, and we’re not getting much back for it. Our treasure’s being squandered in wars we don’t support, led by a President and politicians who promised to end them ,who lie with every breath, who gave away TRILLIONS to the very bankers that are ruining us. And yet, we elected them! Are we stupid?

Are we?

Lots of folks say so – about each other. But most people I talk to are still pretty smart, about the things they know about.

And there’s the rub.

We’re not stupid, we’re just ignorant. Given good information most of us will do the right thing, but we aren’t mostly getting it. Sad to say, the American people, who have always been among the smartest on Earth, are also among the most ignorant – about what’s really going on around the world, in Greece, in France or Iceland, in Libya or Pakistan – or in Wisconsin or Sacramento or on Beacon Hill and City Hall!

This is not entirely our fault. With a “corporate media” – television, radio, dailies, cable providers – that’s almost entirely owned by a few incredibly rich families; with a public broadcasting system beholden to its corporate sponsors, whose news director was a propaganda chief for the CIA; with endless corporate PR messages and with Rupert Murdoch’s empire deliberately spreading lies and confusion, it’s hard to know what to believe.

So what to do?

First, we need to turn off our TV and radio, and really talk, really listen to each other – about what’s going on and what we’re seeing in our lives, what we’re hearing from other people and what we’re learning.
But then somehow we need to put our truths into a bigger picture, a shared truth, free from the lies of the media barons. To share our stories across the city, the state, the land. Stories that will give us the courage and knowledge to get together, to act, to defend our homes and take our country back.

For that we need independent media: local radio stations, community cable, blogs and reader-supported Internet news services. And locally owned independent newspapers, like InCity Times, in whose pages we can tell our truth to our neighbors across town.

Remember the “Underground Newspapers” of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s? If you’re my age, you do. They helped break the media silence about Vietnam and Jim Crow, and gave us courage, knowledge, news of each other. Labor papers like New Unity in Springfield, movement and party papers, independent student newspapers and free entertainment weeklies broke through the silence and empowered us to turn the country around.

InCity Times is one of the last independent papers from that tradition. We need it now, and we need it to be joined by tens or hundreds more around the state. Because we need each other, and we need to be able to share our truth without the by-your-leave of the editors of the T&G.

So Happy Birthday, ICT, and many more!

Bullying knows no boundaries: the insidious nature of cyber bullying

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

The school year has come to an end, and one of the issues that I have discussed for several years has been an anti-bullying law for Massachusetts. Finally, last year Massachusetts became the 45th state to enact an anti-bullying law. Unfortunately, it took the suicides of 11 year old Carl Walker-Hoover of Springfield and 15 year old Phoebe Prince of South Hadley to convince state lawmakers to enact a state law.

Since being elected to the School Committee, I have been a strong advocate for anti-bullying legislation for as a former principal I saw firsthand what it did to our children. Bullying is unfair and one-sided. It happens when someone keeps hurting, frightening, threatening, or leaving someone out on purpose.

It wasn’t that long ago that bullying was often overlooked by teachers and parents, dismissed as a common if painful, rite of passage along the bumpy road to becoming an adult. This is not so any more as research has stated how devastating this behavior can be to the individual. No longer can we can say to the students, “Work it out” for they need to learn specific strategies to cope with these situations. Continue reading Bullying knows no boundaries: the insidious nature of cyber bullying

Worcester County sheriff candidate Lewis “Lew” Evangelidis steals InCity Times newspapers. Publisher goes to the police

Lewis Evangelidis and his campaign volunteers (pond slime) have stolen hundreds of my papers – InCity Times. I will go to the police – I have already called media. This is totally in character for Lew. After all, when I met him, he offered to BUY an endorsement from InCity Times: an ad for our endorsement. When I wrote an unflattering story about him (below), which also ran in InCity Times, he decided to steal my property – a crime – and blow a raspberry at my right to FREE SPEECH.

– Rosalie Tirella

“High Fiber,” Part 2: Are we ready for such rapid change?

By Jim May

Change is gonna come. To the Internet once again. So fasten your seatbelts.
In my last InCity Times article I discussed how the future personal “computer” for most people would likely be their nextgen cell phone-PC-GPS. That trend is happening now with iPhones, Androids, and their ilk.

Another trend that is fast becoming a reality is universal wireless broadband Internet. Wireless broadband is really cheap and easy to set up. To understand what it can do, just look at how many new iPhone “apps” appear daily. Whether in terms of cost, speed or ease of use, wireless broadband outperforms the “delivery” of almost all media today: radio, TV, newspapers and telephone. It would not be unprecedented for the USA to make the giant leap forward in a way that surpasses every other country on such a humungous scale. That’s kinda what we Americans do.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently proposed a plan to provide nearly universal wireless broadband nationally in the next 10-20 years. Such a plan would upend the media giants and transform TV, radio, telephony and who knows what else. Needless to say, the media giants are not too happy about the FCC’s plan. Continue reading “High Fiber,” Part 2: Are we ready for such rapid change?