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March 14, 2012

Episode 024: Help In Theory

The Axiom Amnesia Theory with Heit & Cheri

Most people want to do more than just “Help In Theory,” they want to actually help themselves and other people. In order to accomplish this, you’ll need to do some critical thinking. In this week’s episode of The Axiom Amnesia Theory, Heit & Cheri tackle tough topics and tragic events, all related to helping ourselves and others.

Topics discussed include schools forcing students and their parents to pay fines for tardiness and breaking other rules, the latest on the Kony 2012 propaganda, the Afghanistan massacre by U.S. military, and a mailbag question from Abstract Beats about the practical application of The Axiom Amnesia Theory.

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Segment 1

  • Thanks to Seventies Soulchild for the lead on the story about schools charging students and parents for tardiness and other infractions.
  • Schools criminalizing parents for children being late for school.
  • Some Chicago charter schools are charging students $5 per detention, and if they receive 12 in a year, they must take a $140 summer school class.
  • Spankings in school by school teachers–choosing between a ruler on the hand and a paddle on the butt.
  • What do the schools do with the money they collect from student fines? The teachers/administration uses the cash for different teacher-related events.
  • Many children and their families cannot afford to pay the fines. This causes undue stress on the child and family.
  • Some parents are actually sent to jail for contributing to the delinquency of a child because their children were consistently late. One Virginia woman was charged a total of $6,000 after being prosecuted.
  • Charging children fines is an indoctrination into the way the world works–preparation for paying a financial penalty for infractions against the authority.
  • Heit & Cheri share their grade school experiences, including school discipline.
  • Discussion of a Facebook friend’s daughter who was charged with a crime after being questioned by police without parental notification or legal representation. The “authorities” essentially used intimidation tactics to pressure the child into confessing.
  • Challenging the idea that grade school fights should result in criminal charges. In some places they handcuff the children and take them into custody for fights in school. Learning conflict resolution is part of growing up, and these policies interfere with the normal course of learning to deal with different conflicts.
  • The hypocrisy of living in a culture where the government teaches violence–going into other countries making war–yet, when children do it people say it’s wrong. Look at the example being set!
  • Does the age of the child affect how we view whether fighting in school is criminal? Old-fashioned fist fights should not be criminalized.
  • Pretty soon the school will have to offer payment plans to students and their parents.

Segment 2

  • Kony 2012 hits a snag with major criticism of the propaganda movement. People have started to wake up and realize that Kony 2012 is BS.
  • Axiom Amnesia fought the Kony 2012 video with a couple of videos of their own, including a play-by-play commentary, exposing the tactics used to trick the viewers into joining the bandwagon. Another video includes an excerpt from Episode 002: Inhumanitarian Mission, which explains how the USA sent military to Uganda and other countries in Central Africa back in October 2011.
  • The Kony 2012 propaganda pitch actually uses video that Heit used in one a video for his song, “Write About Myself,” a couple of years ago.
  • Challenging the idea that the USA should send military to Uganda to pursue Joseph Kony. It is an excuse for the USA to do what it has planned to do before the whole Kony 2012 even broke.
  • Explanation of how buying the $30 Action Kit from Kony 2012 will not stop or apprehend Kony.
  • Of over $8 million in revenue, Invisible Children only gave 37 percent to the cause they were working for. About a third of the money was spent on marketing. This alone is reason enough to question their mission.
  • Explaining how the whole “just do something” mentality can lead to problems. The director of the Kony propaganda proposes a solution and people chose to follow it blindly. This is a wrongheaded approach because it doesn’t help the cause.
  • The Kony 2012 marketing teams played a “numbers” game, with the understanding that the more people who viewed the video, the more people they’d get to share and possibly donate to their cause.
  • The suspicion that Kony 2012 used the same marketers as Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign. Also, one of the promotional posters appeared to have a “Yes We Can!” Obama poster in the background of the image.
  • A discussion of the similarities between the movie, “The Wave” and the Kony 2012 movement.
  • The Kony 2012 video went viral very fast and has over 75 million views to date. Within a few days people began to ask questions about the video.
  • The desire to change our world for the better is bubbling just under the surface of the younger generations. They want to become involved in making the world a better place, but they were easily misled by the Kony 2012 video.
  • The video was very popular with young people, ages 13 – 25.
  • The people in power see that the younger people will fight back and challenge the structure of the way the world is run.
  • Social media plays a huge part in the way the younger generations communicate with one another. This is why we need to understand how SOPA can affect us and our online activity.
  • The mainstream media jumped on the Kony 2012 bandwagon just because it went viral, and chose to lead with a misleading story. They didn’t look at this campaign with a critical eye–they didn’t do their research–they dropped the ball.
  • It was the bloggers and citizen journalists who really challenged the Kony 2012 propaganda and started waking people up to what was really going on.

Segment 3

  • On March 10, 2012, just weeks after the Qur’an-burning controversy, a 38-year-old United States Army staff sergeant from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state walked off a coalition outpost in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, broke into three homes, and killed and wounded numerous people. Among the casualties were 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children. Some Americans cite battlefield stress as a possible cause for the incident. Afghan civilian deaths continue to increase yearly.
  • The soldier supposedly committed all the acts within an hour, while being heavily armed, walking on foot to and from the villages, and then returning back to the outpost. There simply wasn’t enough time to perform all of these acts and carry all the gear he supposedly had with him.
  • Witness accounts suggest that there were multiple U.S. soldiers who committed the massacre, not just one soldier.
  • The only people we hear from are the U.S. officials who are towing the line of the “official” story. They all have an interest in what happens.
  • If we could speak the language we would be able to hear the witnesses for ourselves. Unfortunately we have to rely on the interpreters.
  • There is plenty of history in the Afghan and Iraq Wars (Haditha, Convoy of Death, Kill Team, etc.) to support the idea that entire units of U.S. military have committed atrocities. In addition, there are plenty of historical events (JFK assassination/Warren Report) where the government claims the acts were committed by a lone gunman in an attempt to cover up the truth.
  • We don’t really know what is going on in Afghanistan. All we know is what they tell us, and that doesn’t seem to be true.
  • Battlefield stress, a brain injury, and problems with his wife have been cited as reasons why the “lone gunman” committed the acts. The Pentagon representative, a general, refused to confirm the brain injury story.
  • We believe it was an entire squad that committed the massacre.
  • The people in the affected villages were told to come back to their villages after fleeing when NATO forces invaded the area. They were told they would be safe.
  • It was virtually impossible to find a map of the area when trying to research how the events could have happened in the time given.
  • The Taliban called those who committed the acts “sick-minded American savages.”
  • The Taliban made the point that if the soldier was indeed mentally ill (like the USA claims), then the USA is arming lunatics who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans without giving a second thought:

    The American terrorists want to come up with an excuse for the perpetrator of this inhumane crime by claiming that this immoral culprit was mentally ill.

    If the perpetrators of this massacre were in fact mentally ill then this testifies to yet another moral transgression by the American military because they are arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenceless Afghans without giving a second thought.

  • Hilary Clinton’s lackluster apology was unbefitting, considering the circumstances.
  • People who agree with the wars, support the politicians who back the wars, or otherwise champion the cause of military intervention in foreign nations are complicit, and therefore share in the responsibility for the lives lost.
  • Trayvon Martin, 17, was walking to a home in a gated community in Florida. The neighborhood watch captain says he shot the unarmed Martin in self-defense. Some Sanford, Florida, residents say they think there is more to the story.
  • We are all human and we should stand for the people who cannot stand for themselves in these countries where the USA has perpetrated atrocities.
  • The hypocrisy of chasing Joseph Kony, while at the same time ignoring the war criminals in your midst who are responsible for these wars in the Middle East in their imperialistic pursuits.
  • The idea of the hero and the villain–No matter what atrocities they commit or how many people they slaughter, the whites are ALWAYS the hero and the Blacks are ALWAYS the villain.
  • Race is part of the problem with all of this, because race issues still pervade our society. If the Afghan civilians were white, the whole world would be outraged!
  • The only reason “you” jumped on the Kony 2012 bandwagon is because it was represented by an old, sweaty, Black face.
  • Shoutouts to Ryan Redskins Fan, Abstract Beats, Algenonn, and Scottie Doesn’t Know, who are some of Axiom Amnesia’s biggest supporters on Facebook.

Segment 4

  • Mailbag question from Abstract Beats:

    Had an epiphany today while listening to the show. Mainly because I related to the last topics of prison and college. And I hope this criticism isn’t taken negatively because not much of what you guys do is negative. You explore these so called axioms or things said to be true and often times give other perspectives on the subjects. What I find difficult to cope with, and it may well just be a PP (personal problem) and my emotions getting involved, is that these realizations of life truly have no real solutions. And often times these other perspectives come across as axioms themselves. It leaves us in a conundrum. So I ask the question, how do/did you see your viewers using the information you present? Was it just for education, was it for us to choose a “side”. Honestly I’m just curious on your original intent of Axiom Amnesia.

  • The original goal of Axiom Amnesia is to challenge ourselves to forget the axioms–the long held beliefs that we haven’t challenged.
  • Heit uses an analogy of the basket of apples to illustrate how we should take all of our beliefs and examine them and only retain those ideas that have stood up to intense scrutiny.
  • We need the back and forth dialogue to help us to vet our ideas.
  • The question of the day serves to help us all to challenge the axioms in our everyday lives.
  • Axiom Amnesia’s ideas are not axioms themselves because we’re taking what’s there and analyzing and discussing it. We always give rationales for our positions. These rationales are based on things you can research for yourself.
  • “Purging the system” is important because if somewhere down the line, what Axiom Amnesia says becomes an axiom, then people MUST challenge or question these ideas. We should be constantly asking whether what we believe is really true and whether it should be the foundation of any other belief.
  • Axiom Amnesia welcomes challenges to their ideas.
  • It is never proper to approach an axiom with an axiom.
  • We should feel free to challenge an idea no matter who said it.
  • How to handle the problems that seem to have no real solutions. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming, but it is important to continue to challenge the axioms to help others understand. Eventually the axiom will go away and people will see things differently.
  • The solution to many of the social issues is to approach it by doing whatever it is that you think should be done. Don’t simply settle for doing what other people think should be done–don’t rely on what the group thinks should be done. Find your own way and think it through for yourself.
  • Addressing the idea that Axiom Amnesia talks about too many negative things. We must bring the issues to the light and address them so that we don’t remain stuck due to failure to address the issues.
  • Play whatever role you think you should play!

Audio Credits:

Move Your Feet” – Junior Senior
Write About Myself” – Heit The Great
Afghan killings strain relations with US” – Al Jazeera English via YouTube
Clinton: Afghan Killings ‘Terrible, Awful’” – Associated Press via YouTube

Further Reading/Viewing:

KONY 2012 Play-By-Play Commentary – A MUST Watch Video!
KONY 2012 Promotes Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act of 2009
“Sick-Minded American Savages” – The Taliban
Descartes’ “Basket of Apples” Analogy

Sources:

Schools shouldn’t fine tardy students or their parents
New video responds to ‘Kony 2012′ backlash
Social media target Kony driven out of Congo
Kony Evades Capture in Central Africa as Internet Campaign Rages
Afghans express skepticism over shooting account
Army sergeant accused of slaughtering kids in Afghanistan may face the death penalty
Statement of Islamic Emirate regarding the inhumane crime committed by the American savages in Kanda
Florida teen’s shooting by watchman questioned



About the Author

Heit & Cheri