Pressured Into Silence

“Have you ever met one of those students, who, at age eighteen, has a completely different worldview than you, because their parents watch FOX News? It’s hard to tell them they are wrong, because they’ve been brainwashed.”

The whole class laughed.

One of my teachers actually said this just last week. He continued, “I mean, this might be some of you sitting in the class, and I’m sorry.” His tone was still sarcastic. Ugh, no you’re not. If you were sorry, why would you say it in the first place? I thought to myself.

I do not generally like talking about politics. However, I have needed to let this out for three years-since I started college. I am not going to beat around the bush, talk down how I really feel, or try to be polite. In fact, I am going to be blunt. This is my one chance to let this out in an academic setting.

I am a very Conservative Republican.

Before we go on, let’s clear the air. Yes, I have been raised in a Conservative town, with Conservative family members, who have Conservative values. But I know exactly what I believe in, and I know why I believe in these values and ideas. I know the opposing-side’s argument. I am not against hearing about Liberal, or Democrat ideals. I am not ignorant. I am not closed-minded. Most importantly, I am not a bad person. I just generally tend to find more logic (told you I would be blunt) in Conservative perspectives.

Being a Conservative Republican is not easy for a girl like me. I go to a public, liberal arts university in one of the most liberal areas of one of the most liberal states in America.

Sadly, last week was not the first time I heard a snarky remark from a teacher. In fact, I have learned to expect it. It does not surprise, shock, and appall me like it did when I first came to college.

These comments bother me not because I disagree with what my professors have said. Rather, the reason the comments upset me so much, is because the professors act like everyone else in the room agrees with them-or at least they should agree. They deliver their unnecessary opinions in a manner which make the students who have opposing viewpoints feel that they are stupid and ridiculous for believing what they believe. However, having to hear these comments has become the norm for me.

Not many college students have the same political beliefs I do-even if they have been raised with Conservative values. College students are stereotypically liberal. I have no problem with other students having differing views than myself. I am also fine with my professors holding different beliefs. What really rattles me is when the professors assume that their opinions need to be shared with the whole class-like the opinions are essential to the curriculum. I am sorry-I do not remember signing up for college to have the instructors shove their beliefs down my throat.

Professors, when you are teaching a history lesson, perhaps lecturing on the famous day of December 7, 1941, it is not necessary that you throw in your opinion on the current war in the middle-East. This leads to your opinions on the President, which connects to the supposedly mindless candidates for the 2013 election. This somehow triggers the whole class to start discussing taxes, government entitlements, welfare, abortion, legalizing marijuana-cultural issues which can be very touchy for many people on both sides of the fence.

Now there are a few outspoken students in the class who are are inconsiderately rambling on and on about how stupid they think the government, the world, the Republican party, or the state of California is, and the proud professor is praising their rambling. Instead of re-directing the attention back to Pearl Harbor (did you even remember what we were talking about?), the professor is now agreeing with the students and bashing people who disagree with them.

While all of this is happening, I am sitting in my desk and looking down, so that my looks of disgust and disbelief are not seen by anyone else in the room. How can they NOT realize that some of us may not agree with them? Do they even know that other people might believe something different? Why am I sitting here taking all of this? Should I be defending myself? No-that would cause the whole class to look down on me. I wonder if the professor would lower my grade if I tried to share the opposite view of this issue with the class. Can we just stop? This is irrelevant. Stop talking about it-this is so pathetic. Stop. Stop. Stop. Ugh. Disagree. No. Stop. Please.

Last spring, I had an experience with a professor who gave me a tough time for trying to say what I believe. We had to write an opinion-based paper related to issues in the war, and I decided to write about the issue of the treatment of war criminals. When I received my graded paper, I found that my professor had graded me based on my beliefs. Her hand-written comments filled the margins and they were certainly about her opinions versus mine. I could see her disagreement and anger in her handwriting. She asked me to re-write the paper four times and had me address different issues within the topic each time.

Her “suggestions” were merely comments which made me feel idiotic for saying what I had said. “Well, you need to talk about…” and “You do not understand what I am asking you! It is imperative that you address this issue!”

All I could do was re-write the paper like she asked. I worked so hard to simply defend myself and what I was saying. I would not give in. I was livid. Not because she disagreed with me-I expected that. What I did not expect, was her disrespectfulness and unprofessionalism in forcing me to question my own beliefs after I had opened up and shared. Her class was the last one I took in the department before changing my major to English.

Being conservative in a liberal community is not easy. I have found eight or ten people who share my beliefs here at Sonoma State. Finding a conservative friend at this university is like finding an English-speaking person in a foreign country where you do not understand the native language. In a foreign country, you are away from home and the people who believe and understand the same way you do. When I find someone who agrees with my political beliefs here at SSU, I am so relieved. Someone finally understands and agrees with me. Someone else is insulted by the students who preach their opinions in class, and disappointed by the professors who unprofessionally fail to discourage the ridicule. I am not the only one. Someone else get me.

Professor, I am the FOX news girl you were mocking last week.

And guess what, professors? We “FOX-newsers” have feelings too. Did that ever cross your highly educated minds? Probably not-brainwashed Republicans are heartless, right? We could argue just as much that you “CNN-er’s” are also brainwashed. There really are more of us than you realize. We are just too afraid to speak up. Maybe if you would be more respectful and open to hearing other viewpoints, the class could have a more well-rounded view of the issues our country and world face. Maybe if you were not too busy preaching your beliefs and mocking ours, you would learn something new. Maybe the class would have an intellectually stimulating, professional, and respectful discussion. Because of your ignorant and upsetting remarks, this is not possible.

I always stand up for what I believe in-except in these situations. In a public California university, a place where students go to get their degree-to become well educated and more aware of the world, I am pressured into silence. I am surrounded by closed-mindedness. And it is one of the most frustrating and upsetting feelings for us-the brainwashed victims.

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What is wrong with Legislators?

Watching the legislative hearings today, I was surprised to find the legislators reading only the titles of bills and passing them rapid fire. Until they came to a bill honoring Ronald Reagan for his  contributions and for being the only California Governor to go on to become President.

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Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan 1964

Assembly approves bill for Ronald Reagan statue

The state Assembly on Friday unanimously approved a bill that would authorize a Ronald Reagan statue inside the Capitol.

Republican Assemblyman Curt Hagman, of Chino Hills, told fellow lawmakers that Reagan deserves a special place inside the Capitol because he is the only California governor to become president. The actor-turned-politician is buried at his presidential library in Simi Valley.

Hagman and Assemblyman Martin Garrick, R-Solana Beach, authored AB2358. The bill passed 55-0 and moves to the Senate.

While I  was watching, this bill did  pass, but while most other bills were being voted on by 65+ Assembly members, this bill was passed with only 38 voting – 38 to 0, with many of the Assembly members  abstaining.  I don’t know where the article above  obtained their figures, but it’s clearly wrong.  Most of the Democats did not vote on  this bill, even though the statue had been paid for with DONATIONS and would not cost the state a penny. Even long-term maintenance will be footed exclusively by donors.

Just another example of partisan politics.

Of course, it’s possible that the reason so few voted was that they didn’t have time to run to other desks to vote on the behalf of other assemblymembers…

Come to find out, California is one of the few states that actually allows legislator to change their vote at a later date. So, it’s all posturing. Aren’t you tired of the games being played, not only in Sacramento but in Washington as well. Their all crooks…all but Dr. Ron Paul.

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Big Brother is Watching YOU!

Privacy has become a luxury that few people have the resources to afford. It seems our privacy is to be invaded at every turn. We know from past experience that anything useful and advantageous also has the potential for abuse and harm.

Look out everyone…big brother has arrived in style.

Security Tracking Systems For Today That Keep Up With The World Of Tomorrow

Metuchen, NJ, November 18, 2011

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Cell Phone Detectors

Security in this country is a huge issue; on a national level, and for corporations, prisons and individuals alike. This is where Berkeley Varitronics Systems comes in – a leading provider of advanced wireless solutions and security products to the domestic and international wireless telecommunications industry. CEO Scott Schober is a sought-after security expert who made a presentation at the inaugural Concordia Summit in New York City recently to top level political decision-makers from around the world that included Mikheil Saakashvili – President of Georgia, former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, former President George W. Bush, and Thomas Kean, former Governor of New Jersey.

Schober’s security team was part of the 9/11 first-responders who attempted to locate people buried under the rubble by locating their cell phones. BVS products can be used to detect anything – from people illegally crossing our borders, bomb threats, detecting smuggled cell phones in prisons, to protecting board room secrets of corporate America.

Berkeley Varitronics Wolfhound-Pro cell phone detector has been featured on Fox News. It is a precision, handheld, wireless sniffer specifically tuned to the RF signature of common cell phones for both U.S. and European bands and its high speed scanning receiver allows security personnel to locate nearby cell phones in either standby mode or during active voice, text or data transmissions. Instead of illegal and unsafe cellular jamming signals, this detector prevents wireless usage by detecting and even locating the perpetrator.

This product is vital in prisons where keeping cell phones out is becoming a major problem across the country, but especially in California where state prisoners are being bumped into local jails. Prisoners having access to cell phones is always a serious safety concern, but more so with gang members who use them to contact outside members, intimidate witnesses, or conduct criminal activity from inside prison walls. Cell phones can also be used to relay information on transportation of inmates, by giving date, time and route.

Berkeley Varitronics Systems are featured at all major security events. They were recently a featured company at the 4G World Conference in Chicago, where attendees were offered an opportunity to meet their guest spokesperson, Los Angeles Lakers star Andrew Goudelock. (Please see: Keeping America Safe) They also recently made a presentation at the Chiefs of Police Conference in Kansas where they demonstrated the latest in cell phone detection devices.

Located in Metuchen, NJ, Berkeley Varitronics Systems has been providing advanced wireless solutions and products to the domestic and international wireless telecommunications industry for over 38 years. For more information on this respected company, please visit: Berkeley Varitronics Systems, Inc.

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