Democrats & Liberals Archives

Wise Up, Suckers

We read a lot about how dumb Americans are. Hand-wringing liberals whine about how one adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth. Gallup research shows that 47% of us believe that God created us exactly as the Bible describes. And in Florida, a celebration held for actor James Earl Jones accidentally named James Earl Ray as the honoree. (Oops. He was the guy who assassinated Martin Luther King Jnr., as it happens.)

Why do I go into this, surely material that is old, worn and labored?

Because it still matters. It really, really matters.

Education matters. And our fundamental lack of it matters even more. Put it this way... in a Communist dictatorship, our supposed arch-nemesis, it doesn't matter if you're educated or not. If you're not, you wave the flag and sing loudly at the parade. And if you are, you damn well better wave the flag and sing loudly at the parade.

But here - we have a say. We determine our representatives in government. We get to pick our leaders. We're a democracy, dammit.

So shouldn't we be smart about it? Since we have the opportunity? Shouldn't we pick the best man, or woman, for the job?

Sure. But there's something blocking our path to the best decision.

It's our ignorance.

See, we don't really understand WHAT the candidates stand for. We just know that one is too old, and the other one is too... ethnic. The old one is boring and looks like he's about to drop dead. The ethnic one bumped fists with his wife... IS HE A TERRORIST???

We shouldn't be judging our candidates this way. We should be asking what McCain really wants to do about Iraq. Or how Obama plans to fund his plans to help struggling Americans.

But instead we focus on the nonsensical, the pointless, the trivial. Whether Obama wears a lapel pin. Whether McCain yelled at his wife one time. Whether they wear their religion on their sleeve to the correct degree.

Now, Americans are not stupid, even though only one in seven Americans can find Iraq on a map. (Considering we're sending $300 billion of our kids' money there every year, we could show some improvement.)

But we listen to the media's outrage on these trivial issues, and we vote according to the drivel we are fed. "McCain changed his mind!!" is a familiar riff. Yeah... so what? Intelligent people often hold to a position until something changes. "Obama can't bowl for shit!!" - actually, that makes me more likely to vote for him, since I don't expect the President of the United States to be perfecting his game when the next hurricane flattens Miami.

I don't know how to solve the problem. The media only vomits up their crass fare because the people demand sensationalism, and the people demand sensationalism because they're too lazy or ignorant to get to the real story behind the media circus.

Perhaps we should only allow people to vote if they can describe three of the following five positions held by each candidate: Iraq, the economy, healthcare, Social Security, and whether or not Kobe Bryant had a good series in the NBA finals.

Posted by Jon Rice at June 15, 2008 12:34 AM
Comments
Comment #255652

As a child, I watched political discussion shows with my dad. I didn’t choose those shows.

He would change the channel on horror movies, likely because he didn’t want to deal with a frigtened child in the middle of the night. He controlled the channel we watched.

I was reading a BBC column about advertising in America. He was ridiculing the ads for prescription drugs. We are the sole country that allows our airwaves to be used for this.

I often hear reference to the anathema of mob rule in this blog. Who is choosing to broadcast this garbage that lowers the IQ of Americans?

Is it the broadcasters? They seen to be interested only in profitability which is tied directly to advertising revenue.

Is it Madison Avenue and their slick ad campaigns?

Is it corporate America who advertises only on PC gibberish because it gives the most bang for the buck?

Is it the FCC or FTC who allows ads by lawyers, get rich artists, and drug dealers?

Where is the adult in all this?

The information is available at school. Why don’t our children learn it better? Why is there only passing interest by most? Is it the teacher’s fault?

Where is the adult in our culture? Is the adult playing video games and renting the latest installment of Beverly Hills Cop?

Capitalism is great. It isn’t a substitute for Adults in our lives. On PBS last night I watched some old Bob Dylan video. They are doing a donor push. Bob sang about a fighter named Davey Moore.

The chorus goes,

“It wasn’t me that made him fall
No, you can’t blame me at all”

Who killed Davey Moore
Why an’ what’s the reason for?

Dylan goes through the litany of guiltless onlookers, The promoter,the manager, the refs, the opponent, the bookies, and the boxing fans.

His point is quite obvious. They all share in the guilt.

Capitalism has turned freedom of speech into a commodity. It goes to the highest bidder. The most ugly, gut wrenching, prurient spectacle wins the day.

I ask not only who killed Davey Moore (a real incident,by the way), but where is the Adult?

Posted by: googlumpugus at June 15, 2008 12:41 PM
Comment #255669

Half of all Americans are below the median intelligence. Are you surprised that most people prefer to watch wresting to news programs?

Some people are just not smart enough to understand the complexity of politics. It is not a matter of education. We all eventually reach the limits of our abilities if we push far enough. Some people get there sooner than others.

Nevertheless, most people have the ability to decide about those things that affect them closely and personally. When we aggregate all these individuals decisions in a marketplace, we come up with a decision that is better than the one most experts would make. The reason why market decisions are usually better than political decisions is because the market allows more choices and does not require that everybody do the same thing.

Democratic politics consists basically of getting something more than 50% of the people to overrule something less than 50% of the people. It is always divisive. Since you cannot opt out if you don’t like the result, you have to take it seriously.

Because the electorate is so screwed up – and always has been – we should be smart enough to limit the decisions made politically to those absolutely necessary. The more we expand government, the more we force decisions down a binary path and the more we force people who really don’t care or know enough to make a decision to decide.

Most people do just fine deciding about what affects them personally and what they know and care about. Let them do that. We must make some decisions politically. Keep it to a minimum.

Posted by: Jack at June 15, 2008 1:58 PM
Comment #255678

You mean, we shouldn’t vote for Obama because he would look better in basketball shorts than McCain????
Okay, and you’re so right, but, it would seem that our evoloution has sent us into a serious DOWN-spin. And I’m not going to make a lot of friends with this comment, but how many of you have tried to have a serious conversation with anyone under 30 lately? Can anyone tell me what it is that they find important? Where can you go in a conversation to find common ground with them?
I don’t hate kids ! I am scared to death of where we’re going led by this generation. I have a 30 year old grand-daughter and I’m not sure that she knows what a newspaper is. TV news, cable news of any kind, local, world……uhhhh..no. Not a clue. And I’m not trying to say that any person under 50 is lost, but check it out. We have to compete in the world, and we are bringing up the rear with education and are not far from sucking that hind t*t….
I will apologize if I stepped on some toes before everyone jumps in here and rakes me over the coals, but we seriously need changes….and we need them fast. It’s the old “sow and reap” adage that would apply here.
If most people are tickled that these kids can find 15 Starbucks within an hour using their new GPS in their new Beemer, then hey, guess we’re on track after all.

Posted by: janedoe at June 15, 2008 2:20 PM
Comment #255684

janedoe you have made an excellent point:

“If most people are tickled that these kids can find 15 Starbucks within an hour using their new GPS in their new Beemer, then hey, guess we’re on track after all.”

Why spend time teaching geography when the market has made it easier to find your way around without it. Now I wouldnt use a GPS unless forced myself, as I like to wait until I’m lost to admit defeat, but the younger generation are responding to their environment. Directions, go to map quest, they spell it out and give you a map. Why waste time learning to to read a map?

“Hand-wringing liberals whine about how one adult American in five thinks the Sun revolves around the Earth. Gallup research shows that 47% of us believe that God created us exactly as the Bible describes.”

Its easy for us to blame the lack of education on the public schools and the big government, but we seem to forget that the market plays a big part in this. It just that the marketeers have figured out how to put the risk and liablity for their actions on to the backs of the consumers and the government. They want to sell easier, convenient, and no hassle, let us do it for you, We will take care of all the details etc. yet we say its the schools and government. The marketplace demands specialization in our occupations and we focus on that specialization yet dont see the effects of specialization on the rest of our lives.

With the attacks on the public school system and the teachers unions the past 30 + years is it any wonder education seems to be in a tailspin? Do we ever look at the marketeers that supply the learning material to the public schools and ask why they are providing less than we need? When one state can determine what goes into and what stays out of the books our childern use in school shouldnt we question that?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2008 3:14 PM
Comment #255688


There is little doubt that television is the all time greatest investment that capitalists ever made.

Jack: “We must make some decisions politically. Keep it to a minimum.” I am glad to see that you finally defined democratic capitalism.

It seems to me that producers are finding it harder to find new ideas in sensationalism and that the new fads lose their effectivness to soon. Some say that the Friday night executions might increase the share of viewers. I believe that putting prisoners in the arena and fighting them to the death will gain a larger market share and more advertising dollars.

Posted by: jlw at June 15, 2008 3:51 PM
Comment #255691

““We must make some decisions politically. Keep it to a minimum.” I am glad to see that you finally defined democratic capitalism.”

When exactly did we change from a republic to a capitalist system of governing? Did we vote on this and I missed it?

“Some say that the Friday night executions might increase the share of viewers. I believe that putting prisoners in the arena and fighting them to the death will gain a larger market share and more advertising dollars.”

Well let the market decide, put them both on and the best ratings win. Of course the extra benefit being we can cast dispersions on the youger generation for being so violent.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 15, 2008 4:58 PM
Comment #255702

I should point out my sister has nearly zero interest in politics. I personally feel my father’s bias towards men affected that.

Jack is right that not everyone can comprehend easily the shifting sands of political discourse. I think many people become disconnected from politics in their daily lives with a shrug and a feeling it is all hot air. Much of it is, including my own pronouncements. I think most of us understand here that it is the struggle to understand that drives us to enter the debate.

I have had the same experience as jane doe, but I also have had deep discussions on Reddit with young people. I also have the same experience that Jack has written about before when I attempt to discuss some aspect of a policy and watch my family member or friend’s eyes glaze over with a “how do I get out of here” look.

I think for me it is the drive to understand where I am in history. It is the same drive that compels me to understand physics, or local geography. I want to know what is actually happening around me. I want to understand it.


Posted by: googlumpugus at June 15, 2008 11:23 PM
Comment #255720

Everyone here is correct in one aspect or another. People and especially young people are so busy procuring things and having fun that they have little time for the boring things in life. Of course this all emanates from having a life can be easier for the consumer, market based ideology, that determines priorities in todays lifestyle. People take what they can get and assume that if they have enough things all must be good with the world. I do believe it really is that simple. Most people determine their well being, and the state of their country by what they have in comparison to their neighbors, family, friends etc. Most are so busy making enough money to procure and enjoy their things that they find little time to look into or ponder why things are.

My son is a young teacher of four years now. He quickly learned that in this day and age the teacher has little control over children. Once they reach middle school age it becomes very difficult to enforce any sort of discipline aside from detentions. A teacher can not do anything today that might be construed in anyway as a threat to a student for fear of reprisal. And the worst part is that many parents back this ideology and put the blame on the teachers for their children’s failings. In fact it is the failing of many parents to insure that their children are progressing in the proper manner with respect to work ethic and understanding responsibility. It must be very frustrating for teachers in todays age. They have to tolerate the disrespectful rants of their students and then take it from the parents too when trying to administer punishment. The parents of many of those problem children seem to believe that their children can do no wrong and it must be the teachers fault if their children are not producing. In many cases the truth is that parents simply do not want to accept responsibility for the actions of their children. It is easier to place blame than deal with the situation.

Posted by: RickIL at June 16, 2008 9:08 AM
Comment #255747

Good comments RickIL. Try this interesting exercise. Replace the word “Children” with elected politicians, and the word “Parent” with the electorate. I supposed the word “teacher” could be replaced with the word “judge”.

Posted by: Jim M at June 16, 2008 1:13 PM
Comment #255767

I just wrote my representative to support the resolution to impeach the president!

Anyway, I wish the media would do a better job of educating. I cannot, for instance, understand why anyone that supported Hillary would decide to support McCain. Issue-wise they are completely different. Also, I feel if there were more understanding of the Republican platform they would have less support.

Posted by: Max at June 16, 2008 4:31 PM
Comment #255768

Yes, there’s a difference between stupidity and ignorance.

In a voting nation, an educated electorate is paramount to avoid having to acquire that education the hard and painful way.

After all, Thomas Jefferson said: “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”

The voters will get there education, one way or another.
Too often, it is the hard way.
Too often, lessons must be re-learned.
Too often, it’s 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
And we’ve been going backwards for a while.
Now many painful consequences will be unavoidable for many.

These 10+ abuses of the past 30+ years have resulted in these 17+ deteriorating conditions.
Perhaps enough voters will be less apathetic, complacent, ignorant, blindly partisan, and irrationally fearful, gullible, delusional, and lazy when enough of the voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry?
Perhaps enough voters will then question the wisdom of repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election when that bad-habit becomes too painful?
Perhaps enough voters will finally do as most unhappy voters did in year 1933 (during the Great Depression), when voters ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress (39% of 531 Congress persons in 1933, or 44% of the 467 up for re-election in 1933)?
Perhaps enough voters will finally understand that giving Congress dismally low approval ratings (e.g. 11%-to-18%), but then rewarding Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates is sort of … illogical, to say the least. HHMMMmmmmm … perhaps stupidity is factor after all?
What ever the reason for repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, it’s certainly not a smart thing to repeatedly do, is it?

On the bright side, there’s some reason for hope.
Pain and misery is the fail-safe; the final self-correction mechanism that will provide the much-needed motivation to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.
Voters will (unless we wait too long; there’s no guarantees) most likely finally stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election when failing to do so finally becomes too painful.
Are we there yet?
No. Probably not.
As you can see by the 73rd Congress (1933-to-1935), the trends of decreasing re-election rates and increasing pain levels are related:

    _____71st, 72nd, and 73rd Congress Re-Election Rates_____
  • 80.0% |o———————————————————————— (79.7%)

  • 79.0% |————o————————————————————

  • 78.0% |———————-o————————————————-

  • 77.0% |———————————o————————————— (76.8%)

  • 76.0% |————————————o————————————

  • 75.0% |—————————————o———————————

  • 74.0% |—————————————-o——————————-

  • 73.0% |——————————————-o—————————-

  • 72.0% |———————————————o—————————

  • 71.0% |————————————————o————————

  • 70.0% |————————————————-o———————-

  • 69.0% |—————————————————-o——————-

  • 68.0% |——————————————————o——————

  • 67.0% |———————————————————o—————

  • 66.0% |———————————————————-o————-

  • 65.0% |————————————————————-o———-

  • 64.0% |—————————————————————o———

  • 63.0% |——————————————————————o——

  • 62.0% |——————————————————————-o—-

  • 61.0% |———————————————————————-o- (61.2%)

  • 60.0% |————————————————————————-

  • _____1931_________________1933_________________1935

    _______109th and 110th Congress Re-Election Rates________
  • 89.0% |———————————
  • 88.5% |o——————————- (88.6%)
  • 88.0% |—-o—————————
  • 87.5% |———o———————-
  • 87.0% |————-o——————
  • 86.5% |——————o————-
  • 86.0% |———————-o———
  • 85.5% |—————————o—-
  • 85.0% |——————————-o (84.9)
  • 84.5% |———————————
  • 74.0% |———————————
  • _____2007_________________2009

Perhaps when Congress’ re-election rates fall to about 62% (as they did in year 1933-1935), we will finally reach the majority of the voters’ threshold for pain and misery?
Perhaps when the 17+ deteriorating economic conditions (which are now worse than ever and/or since the 1930s and 1940s), has doubled in number and severity?

When the voters finally get fed-up, they won’t discriminate much between Democrat or Republican politicians (as demonstrated by the low re-election rates, despite high party-seat retention rates: One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2008.htm).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 16, 2008 4:57 PM
Comment #255775

Wxcellent Jefferson quote, d.a.n. Thanks.

Posted by: googlumpus at June 16, 2008 6:30 PM
Comment #255778

IMO there are so many reasons for what is happening in our country today with regards to why Americans tend to vote against their own best interests and why we seem so dumb.

We have the corporate take over of the media, the control of our country and government by major corporations, the lust for the almighty dollar over everything else, the idea that out of control capitalism fixes everything, fundmentalists preaching from the airwaves that their view of morals, religion, and the bible is the only true way to true salvation, of course my list could go on and on.

I think the most damning thing for our country is the constant and never ending assault by advertising that preaches you aren’t happy unless you have stuff, you don’t have to work hard-just charge it, you don’t have to strive for a healthy life-just take a pill and that biggest lie of all-if you work hard enough, ignore your health, your family, and give everything to the JOB that you too can have the American dream-money-and then you will truly be happy-cause you can buy all the junk you want.

Our educational system is antiquated and in need of repair. Many of our schools are falling down. As adults we would not tolerate working in some of the conditions that children have to tolerate everyday at school. We throw money at the problem without really figuring out what our kids need. We bore them with constant testing and teaching the test to meet some stupid “no child left behind” guidelines. We strap teachers with so much paper work that they don’t have time to be creative or are too tired. Our classrooms are too big and therefore children who need more time and attention can’t get it. If a child has a major disability, they get special services but the child that just needs a little extra help can’t get it-cause the teacher is too busy meeting unending guidelines and trying to attend to all the other kids in the classrom. Early childhood education-preschool and kindergarten classrooms-discourage thinking outside the box, slap down creativity in children and encourage them to all think and be the same. They do not look at skill progression and therefore try to spoon feed skills that most preschoolers/kindergarteners are not ready for and they do not look at the progression of social/emotional skills in children and then punish kids for not following the rules. We damage children’s self-esteem so early in life then wonder why they think they are stupid and can’t learn or are just bad kids. They become what we tell them they are. We wonder why we grow up to be adults that can’t think for ourselves, believe what we hear on the airwaves, and never consider looking up or researching different points of view. We wonder why the drop out rate is so high. Our school system says that it encourages parent participation but it is on the school systems terms. The school system does little to understand what goes on daily in poor homes and has the attitude that the environment a child grows up in shouldn’t impact a child’s performance in school. The educational system as a whole has overtime set up an adversarial relationship with families and then wonders why they can’t get along with families and parents. I am not saying that all parents are great but you reap what you sow.

With that said I will add that I have worked with MANY wonderful teachers who against all odds continue to try and try to meet the needs of the children in their classrooms.

Until we begin to encourage free thinking in children, quit punishing them for every minor infraction, quit belittling them, quit trying to force them to learn skills they aren’t ready for, and quit teaching them that the attainment of stuff will make them happy and then begin to teach them that being happy comes from within, being smart is appreciating their own unique gifts and skills-nothing will change and things will only get worse

Certainly all this is just my humble opinion.

Posted by: Carolina at June 16, 2008 7:49 PM
Comment #255785

Jon,

Nice article.

googlumpugus,

You wrote:

Is it the broadcasters? They seen to be interested only in profitability which is tied directly to advertising revenue.
Yes, for profit broadcasters are only interested in profit. A dumbed down electorate driven by rampant consumerism is highly profitable.

Jack,

You wrote:

Because the electorate is so screwed up – and always has been – we should be smart enough to limit the decisions made politically to those absolutely necessary. The more we expand government, the more we force decisions down a binary path and the more we force people who really don’t care or know enough to make a decision to decide.
Nice anti-democratic rant. As with many your ideas, seems reasonable until carefully examined. First, true demcracy is a free market. Granted, the present American corporatist, big money special interest, lobbyist campaign contribution controlled system is not a free market - not for the American people anyway. For the big money special interest it is - you know the ones - the ones that don’t want no government looking over their shoulder and making them play fair. They are free to buy as many government officials as they can afford and the more they buy, the more they can afford - nice system - for them.

But in an ideal world like what our founders envisioned, democracy is a free market.

Second, democratic government is not binary - not even close. You can nominate and elect any of about 225 million Americans. That is 225 million paths - not 2. I know W taught you all of that fuzzy math, but there is nothing fuzzy about that. Democracy, true free market democracy combines the wisdom of 225 million people. That is why if anything, we should expand the function of government. Of course, first we need to take it back - create a true political free market for the American people. Unfortunately, Republican corporatist masters will not fair so well under that system - not nearly so well.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 16, 2008 8:41 PM
Comment #255790

Why it may serve the Elite of Society to believe that Americans are politically incompentent, the fact that so many Children of the 21st Century are standing up to the Status Quo of their Parents’ Establishment should demonstrate to My Peers that such polls can be staged.

For as googlumpus said “Where is the Adult” I ask you does your child lack the Common Sense to look up such Knowledge and Wisdom if the needs arise? For why not every Human has an Instant Recall Memory I would hate to see the day when America was ruled by only the Citizens who know how to read in between the lines of Human Nature.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 16, 2008 10:17 PM
Comment #255796

Carolina, I could debate you on a number of minor points in your comment, but, I won’t. The reason is that you have correctly touched upon the central problem regarding education. We have a cookie cutter production line education system that functions from the top down.

What is missing from academia in education is observation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and the simple but all too important fact, that education occurs from the student up.

Students learn best in environments conducive to learning, absent roaches, rats, temperatures above 72 and below 68 degrees, and surrounded by stimulating enticing and walls and displays full of eye, ear, and tactile educational materials, and security which frees students to attend the learning instead of watching their backs.

But, education occurs from the student up. Which means students learn best from those they respect for what they have to offer. And as we all know, respect paid is respected. Gifted teachers respect students, accept them at their own individual learning level, and work with the student to elevate them from that point. This one crucial factor is what mandates small teacher student ratios, and for a great many American students, even one on one training. Gifted teachers not only assess what the student’s learning progress level is, but, what their temperament, their preferences, and their interests are and use those as starting points to lead the student to what the student needs to learn.

Needless to say, such gifted teachers are to be found under every rock in every unemployment line seeking a job. Such gifted teachers recognize their talent and usually can translate that talent into in any number of relatively lucrative careers. And therein lies the argument for dramatically increasing the ceiling for teacher pay. But, not across the board. Merit pay based on performance of the students MUST become part and parcel for a wide range of teacher salaries.

And, I know this is radical, but, gifted teachers should make far greater wages and be given classes of both the best and brightest and worst performing students in the same semester. Gifted teachers would appreciate this, as the worst performing students would justify their wages, and challenge their growth as teachers, while working with the best and brightest would be self rewarding and energizing laying the basis for such teachers to want to come back semester after semester though higher paying opportunities may lie outside youth education.

But, America has to first and foremost incorporate Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into every school environmental design and insure to the best of their ability that the bottom 3 tiers of the hierarchy of needs are met for students, barring those obviously which prudence dictates be found only in the home or personal lives of the students, of course. Provisions must be made to insure students are fed healthily if that need is there, that their security needs are met from home to classroom (we really fail on this score), and that the environment they enter is built upon respect, acceptance, discipline, and stimulation of the mind and curiosity. Discipline is crucial as is security, and America must also come to terms with programs and facilities for students who cannot function appropriately in regular school environments.

The way to mitigate stigmatization is to make even the regular schools attend special needs of students. Hence, special needs schools only become an extension of regular schools environments, but with more specialized staff and resources.

No student who repeatedly disrupts the educational process for other students and teachers, should be permitted to remain in the regular school environment, but, required to attend facilities designed to meet their special needs and facilitate both their education and return to the regular school environment when and if ready.

This is going to require a major investment by our society and its people. But, nothing less than America’s future rests upon making this investment as soon as possible. There is nothing more fundamental to society, other than the family unit and basic sustenance resources, than its educational system. Good and effective democratic societies absolutely require the widest possible education and development of critical, analytical capacities of its voters, workers, and parents. The whole of society and its future prospects will be elevated by such an investment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 17, 2008 1:38 AM
Comment #255813

The education system is suffering for many of the same reasons many things are suffering.
The problem is rooted in wide-spread apathy, complacency, and laziness.

The root problem is wide-spread moral and fiscal decay, and we are all culpable. While most people are law abiding, their apathy, compacency, and laziness allows far too many cheaters among us to perpetuate numerous abuses.

It’s not hard to see that too few of us sufficiently value education, and we are seeing the results in which 1 and 4 students are failing to graduate from high-school.
That neglect won’t only affect the young people … not when a growing number of seniors are depending on a declining number of workers per entitlement-recipient for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and other tax-payer funded public-works.

Perhaps (most likely), when the consequences of that neglect become too painful, the resulting pain and misery will provide the much-needed motivation to finally do something about it? But positive change won’t be quick and easy, so the sooner the better. The longer things are allowed to deteriorate, the longer and more painful it will be to stop the growing corruption and deterioration.

Perhaps when enough voters are jobless, homeless, and hungry, enough voters will question the habit of repeatedly rewarding cheaters with perpetual re-election? Perhaps then, we will have the ingredients necessary to create the next great generation.

Education solutions…

Posted by: d.a.n at June 17, 2008 10:16 AM
Comment #255819

Carolina,

You wrote:

Until we begin to encourage free thinking in children, quit punishing them for every minor infraction, quit belittling them, quit trying to force them to learn skills they aren’t ready for, and quit teaching them that the attainment of stuff will make them happy and then begin to teach them that being happy comes from within, being smart is appreciating their own unique gifts and skills-nothing will change and things will only get worse
Well said.

“Failing schools” often exist in neighborhoods where children go home to crack houses. We have lost “the war” on drugs. We offer meager drug abuse treatment. We ship jobs overseas creating economic hopelessness here. We allow corporatist media to sell consumerism as an ideal. Being born with a silver spoon in your mouth makes you “better than” - better than what - better than who - it was a lucky accident of birth. The more things change, the more they stay the same. We are tending toward virtual royalty. Education occurs on the “festering scab on the ass of the universe that we call earth” - (my phrase - my contribution the American lexicon - use it widely and often). Anyhow, point is, the problem with education is much bigger than the educational system.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 17, 2008 1:33 PM
Comment #255828
Ray Guest wrote: Anyhow, point is, the problem with education is much bigger than the educational system.
Very true.

It’s difficult for many to see that.
We’re all culpable.
These abuses and the painful consequences did not all come about by mere coincidence.

The fiscal situation alone is cause for serious concern.
You know there’s a serious fiscal problem when no one can tell you where the money will come from to pay only the interest on $53.2 Trillion of nation-wide debt, much less the money to keep it from growing any larger (DEBT=PRINCIPAL+INTEREST).
Especially when that money does not yet exist, and 80% of all Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.
We will not be able to grow, tax, untax, spend, import immigrants, or print enough money out of thin air to avoid the painful consequences.

  • Nation-wide debt is $53.2 Trillion (never worse both in size and as a percentage (384%) of the $13.86 Trillion GDP):
  • $52.5T |—————————————-d (d=debt=$53.2T)
  • $50.0T |—————————————-d
  • $47.5T |—————————————-d
  • $45.0T |—————————————d-
  • $42.5T |—————————————d-
  • $40.0T |—————————————d-
  • $37.5T |————————————-d—
  • $35.0T |————————————d—-
  • $32.5T |———————————-d——
  • $30.0T |———————————d——-
  • $27.5T |——————————-d———
  • $25.0T |——————————d———-
  • $22.5T |—————————-d————
  • $20.0T |—————————d————-
  • $17.5T |————————-d—————
  • $15.0T |————————d—————-
  • $12.5T |———————d——————g (g=GDP=$13.86T)
  • $10.0T |—————-d—————g——-
  • $07.5T |———-d————g—————-
  • $05.0T |-d——-g——————————
  • $02.5T |-g—————————————
  • $00.0T |——————-+————————- YEAR
  • _____ (1956)_____(1976)_____(2007)
    • Total Domestic Financial Sector Debt = $15.8 Trillion
    • Total Household Debt = $13.88 Trillion
    • Total Business Debt = $10.16 Trillion
    • Total Other Private Sector Foreign Debt = $1.8 Trillion
    • Total Federal Government National Debt = $9.4 Trillion
    • Total State and Local Government Debt = $2.2 Trillion
    • __________________________________________________
    • Total = $53.2 Trillion
    • Including the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching, the total is $66 Trillion! (over $216K per person).

If the government and voters could (which isn’t likely) started now trying to pay back the total $53.2 Trillion of nation-wide debt (at only a 4.0% interest rate), it could take over 272 years (longer than the nation has existed), and that would require that we stop borrowing $3 billion per day, and start paying back more than the daily interest of $5.81 billion (so that the principal stops growing larger). In today’s dollars, after 272 years, the interest alone would come to $524 Trillion (3800% of today’s $13.86 Trillion GDP).

Jack wrote: Some people are just not smart enough to understand the complexity of politics. It is not a matter of education. We all eventually reach the limits of our abilities if we push far enough. Some people get there sooner than others.
Intelligence is not the problem.

The problem is the same fundamental human flaws that have been with us all along (e.g. greed, selfishness, complacency, apathy, laziness, delusion, lazily misplaced loyalties, ignorance, and irrational fears and hatreds). And all are exacerbated where their is power to be abused, and opportunities for self-gain.

Even many intelligent and educated people can be part of the problem.
In fact, many intelligent and educated people are part of the problem.
Thus, it’s not all about intelligence alone.

Another part of the problem is a lack of Conscience and virtue.

  • Responsibility = Power + Conscience + Education + Transparency + Accountability

  • Corruption = Power - Conscience - Education - Transparency - Accountability

However, when there is insufficient Conscience and virtue, then more Education can eventually compensate to balance the equation.
That is, Education is a good place to start.
But that doesn’t mean only need Education about reading, writing, and arithmetic.
We also need Education about human nature too, and the ability to accept and recognize the importance of those fundamental components above.
The good news is that most of us will (most likely) get our Education, one way or another.
The bad news is that it will (most likely) be the hard way (again).

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

Posted by: d.a.n at June 17, 2008 3:59 PM
Comment #255832

d.a.n. says, “It’s not hard to see that too few of us sufficiently value education, and we are seeing the results in which 1 and 4 students are failing to graduate from high-school.”

According to the editorial in the June 23rd issue of U.S. News and World Report, “Education is another great American success story. There has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of adults completing high school and college. Nearly 90 percent of all adults get high school diplomas today compared with 33 percent in 1947; college graduates have soared from 5.4 percent in 1947 to almost 30 percent today.

What say you d.a.n. where does your 25 percent failure to graduate rate come from?

Posted by: Jim M at June 17, 2008 4:19 PM
Comment #255835

Jim M, I don’t have to ask d.a.n, I read and watch the news. He got that figure from places like Detroit, Mi., where Obama and Gore assured folks Obama’s plan is provide assistance to schools where assistance is most needed. I can hear McCain’s muffled, “Ouch”, right now.

I dare you to research the comparison of the ratio of U.S. students enrolled in H.S. and college to number graduated, with nations like India, Japan, China, Taiwan, and Malaysia. Go ahead, I dare you to look it up and report the result honestly and without spin here.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 17, 2008 4:24 PM
Comment #255860
Jim M. wrote: Nearly 90 percent of all adults get high school diplomas today … What say you d.a.n. where does your 25 percent failure to graduate rate come from?
Jim M, Not even the U.S. Census Bureau reports “90%” high school graduation rates.

Don’t believe everything you read.
Look for more than one source.
Also, look at what each state reports, and then average those rates.
Then take the 50 largest cities (as shown below).
That will give you a more accurate rate.

By the way, U.S. News and World Reports also reported on 02-APR-2008 that there are problems with some inflated (rosier than reality) high school graduation rate percentages.

Please see the numerous sources and results below which support the 1 of 4 failing to graduate from high school.

HighSchool Graduation Rates Year 2000-2001 (source: www.manhattan-institute.org/html/cr_baeo_t1.htm):

  • Alabama 62%

  • Alaska 67%

  • Arizona 59%

  • Arkansas 72%

  • California 68%

  • Colorado 68%

  • Connecticut 75%

  • Delaware 73%

  • District of Columbia 59%

  • Florida 59%

  • Georgia 54%

  • Hawaii 69%

  • Idaho 78%

  • Illinois 78%

  • Indiana 74%

  • Iowa 93%

  • Kansas 76%

  • Kentucky 71%

  • Louisiana 69%

  • Maine 78%

  • Maryland 75%

  • Massachusetts 75%

  • Michigan 75%

  • Minnesota 82%

  • Mississippi 62%

  • Missouri 75%

  • Montana 83%

  • Nebraska 85%

  • Nevada 58%

  • New Hampshire 71%

  • New Jersey 75%

  • New Mexico 65%

  • New York 70%

  • North Carolina 63%

  • North Dakota 88%

  • Ohio 77%

  • Oklahoma 74%

  • Oregon 67%

  • Pennsylvania 82%

  • Rhode Island 72%

  • South Carolina 62%

  • South Dakota 80%

  • Tennessee 60%

  • Texas 67%

  • Utah 81%

  • Vermont 84%

  • Virginia 74%

  • Washington 70%

  • West Virginia 82%

  • Wisconsin 85%

  • Wyoming 81%

  • AVERAGE: 73%
  • HighSchool Graduation Rates Year 2004-2005:

  • Alabama 61%

  • Alaska 68%

  • Arizona 73%

  • Arkansas 73%

  • California 70%

  • Colorado 74%

  • Connecticut 78%

  • Delaware 60%

  • District of Columbia 58%

  • Florida 61%

  • Georgia 58%

  • Hawaii 67%

  • Idaho 77%

  • Illinois 77%

  • Indiana 74%

  • Iowa 83%

  • Kansas 74%

  • Kentucky 72%

  • Louisiana 55%

  • Maine 77%

  • Maryland 74%

  • Massachusetts 75%

  • Michigan 71%

  • Minnesota 78%

  • Mississippi 62%

  • Missouri 77%

  • Montana 76%

  • Nebraska 80%

  • Nevada 45%

  • New Hampshire 77%

  • New Jersey 83%

  • New Mexico 54%

  • New York 68%

  • North Carolina 67%

  • North Dakota 79%

  • Ohio 76%

  • Oklahoma 71%

  • Oregon 70%

  • Pennsylvania 80%

  • Rhode Island 71%

  • South Carolina 56%

  • South Dakota 76%

  • Tennessee 65%

  • Texas 69%

  • Utah 79%

  • Vermont 80%

  • Virginia 73%

  • Washington 69%

  • West Virginia 73%

  • Wisconsin 81%

  • Wyoming 74%

  • AVERAGE: 71%
  • And here’s the high school graduation rates for the nation’s 50 largest cities for 2003 to 2004:

  • City Principal School District Graduation Rate (2003-04)

  • Mesa, Ariz Mesa Unified District 77.1%

  • San Jose, Calif. San Jose Unified 77.0%

  • Nashville Nashville-Davidson Co. School District 77.0%

  • Colorado Springs Colorado Springs School District 76.0%

  • San Francisco, Calif. San Francisco Unified 73.1%

  • Tucson Tucson Unified District 71.7%

  • Seattle, Wash. Seattle School District 67.6%

  • Virginia Beach Virginia Beach City Public Schools 67.4%

  • Sacramento Sacramento City Unified 66.7%

  • Honolulu, Hawaii Hawaii Department of Education 64.1%

  • Louisville Jefferson County School District 63.7%

  • Long Beach, Calif. Long Beach Unified 63.5%

  • Arlington, Texas Arlington ISD 62.7%

  • Memphis Memphis City School District 61.7%

  • San Diego, Calif. San Diego Unified 61.6%

  • Albuquerque Albuquerque Public Schools 60.8%

  • El Paso El Paso ISD 60.5%

  • Charlotte Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools 59.8%

  • Wichita Wichita Public Schools 59.6%

  • Phoenix, Ariz. Phoenix Union High School District 58.3%

  • Austin, Texas Austin ISD 58.2%

  • Washington, D.C. District of Columbia Public Schools 58.2%

  • Fresno, Calif. Fresno Unified 57.4%

  • Boston, Mass. Boston Public Schools 57.0%

  • Fort Worth Fort Worth ISD 55.5%

  • Omaha Omaha Public Schools 55.1%

  • Houston, Texas Houston ISD 54.6%

  • Portland, Ore. Portland School District 53.6%

  • Las Vegas, Nev. Clark County School District 53.1%

  • San Antonio, Texas San Antonio ISD 51.9%

  • Chicago, Ill. City of Chicago School District 51.5%

  • Tulsa Tulsa Public Schools 50.6%

  • Jacksonville, Fla. Duval County School District 50.2%

  • Philadelphia, Pa. Philadelphia City School District 49.6%

  • Miami, Fla. Dade County School District 49.0%

  • Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma City Public Schools 47.5%

  • Denver, Colo. Denver County School District 46.3%

  • Milwaukee, Wis. Milwaukee Public Schools 46.1%

  • Atlanta, Ga. Atlanta City School District 46.0%

  • Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City School District 45.7%

  • Oakland Oakland Unified 45.6%

  • Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Unified 45.3%

  • New York, N.Y. New York City Public Schools 45.2%

  • Dallas, Texas Dallas ISD 44.4%

  • Minneapolis, Minn. Minneapolis Public Schools 43.7%

  • Columbus, Ohio Columbus Public Schools 40.9%

  • Baltimore, Md. Baltimore City Public School System 34.6%

  • Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Municipal City School District 34.1%

  • Indianapolis, Ind. Indianapolis Public Schools 30.5%

  • Detroit, Mich. Detroit City School District 24.9%

  • 50-City Average 51.8%

  • This seems to confirm the assertion that urban graduation rates are lower.

    Jim M. The last time I checked, 25% represents 1 of 4 (i.e. 100% - 75% = 25%).
    Thus, only about 1 of 4 students are graduating from high school.

    And some high school graduation rates in many major cities are as low as 50%

    This report by the NCHEMS Information Center shows the following average public high school graduation rates for the U.S.:

  • Year __ Graduation Rate

  • 1998 __ 67.8%

  • 1999 __ 67.2%

  • 2000 __ 67.1%

  • 2001 __ 67.3%

  • 2002 __ 68.2%

  • 2003 __ 69.7%

  • 2004 __ 69.7%

  • 2005 __ 68.9%
  • However, there are also motives for dishonest reporting (inflating the rates), according to this report, stating high school graduation rates not as high as some are reporting. For example, the U.S. Census bureau reports 85% graduation rates in year 2004. So, whose lying and why? Well, the Federal government also tells us that inflation is currently only 4%. Do you believe that? If you have other high school graduation rate sources, feel free to provide them. An overwhelming number of reports from states and national organizations don’t support the 85% high school graduation rates reported by the U.S. Census bureau.

    Jim M, I can understand a disdain for exaggeration, and genuine doom’s-day, chicken-little pressimism, but what’s up some people that have such a disdain for anything-not-rosy? And why do they almost always seem to be from the conservative group? If you have sources to refute the stated facts, feel free to provide them, and I’ll read them and compare them to other sources.

    Also, why don’t you do some research to compare U.S. students and foreign students?

    “This is no longer about students slipping through the cracks of our educational system. Those cracks are now craters.” — Reg Weaver, President, National Education Association (NEA), October 3, 2006

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve).

    Other than that, everything is rosy!

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 17, 2008 7:23 PM
    Comment #255861

    While the voters have the government that the voters elect (and deserve), the children (minor students) are the true innocent victims of the voters’ (as a whole) neglect.

    Posted by: d.a.n at June 17, 2008 7:26 PM
    Comment #255894

    Ray

    I believe passionately in democracy - LIMIITED by the rule of law and just plain limited government.

    Not everything should be put to a vote. Some things are just none of my/our business. Lots of things are none of my business. I might have an opinion about it, but I should not have the right to impose my will, even if I can get 51% of the people to agree I am right.

    You may focus on the first part of what I say and forget the second. People are good at making decisions about what directly affects them. Let them decide w/o the government telling them what to do and most of us will be happier. We need government and laws, but it is a tool we should use sparingly.

    Posted by: Jack at June 18, 2008 4:42 AM
    Comment #255917

    Jack,
    As a Man that has use my High School Knowledge and Wisdom for better or worst to understand My Elders and Peers Debate of Government and Society, I do believe as an American a “Real Education” matters. And that does not mean using the Political and Societal Tool sparingly.

    No, I do not see the need for 12 years of English or the need to abuse the children by repeating the same old 3R’s forever. Yet, I can see the need to maintain the Natural Gap of Knowledge held by the Learned and Unlearned of Society. Therefore, since it would remain in the Inherent Best Interest of the Corporations of Society to teach every citizen why money must be made in order to secure a future, why not keep the how to the Learned side in the hope that the future generations will know better how to handle the future profits of man.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 18, 2008 11:53 AM
    Comment #256074

    Henry, your English sucks, to be frank. You could use a little more of at least one of the three R’s.

    Communication is an important skill. Few here have a clue what you are trying to communicate.

    I am not intending to be cruel, but honest with you.

    What’s the deal with the repetition of the phrase Peers and Elders? Is this something of religious significance to you? It sounds as though someone wrote a program to insert trite phrases into semi-grammatical sentences to give the appearance of coherence. Rather than preaching to us, how about some honest communication? Everyone has valid ideas, I respect anyone who attempts to join the conversations here. I’m curious why this bizarre pattern of prose occurs in your writing and more about your reasoning behind whatever it is you are trying to say.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at June 20, 2008 12:08 AM
    Comment #256116

    Googlumpugus,
    Why not a Britain the language that I use has been around for hundreds of years. However, knowing that many on this blog are Lawyers and other Citizens learned in Law and Criminal Justice I will respect their Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights to protect the Learned and Unlearned Ignorance of the Law.

    Maybe someone can help you to learn how to read between lines, but not I. For why a Gentleman, I can claim that those citizens over the age of 50 (My Elders) and those Citizens 30-49 (My Peers) have no excuse for not knowing their Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights. Nevertheless, keeping in mind that I must respect the Children of the 21st Century (those citizens under the age of 30) Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights to build a Better World than their parents thanks to the Grandparents of Society (those Citizens over the age of 70)and the Founding Fathers of America. For I do not think you want me talking about Manners and Protocol.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 20, 2008 7:07 AM
    Comment #256176

    Jack said: “We need government and laws, but it is a tool we should use sparingly.”

    In general I agree with your premise. But, and its a big but, that philosophy was designed for an agricultural and pre-industrial - technological age in which people could readily educate themselves to defend against unscrupulous, deceptive, and concerted efforts to deprive them of what is dear to them.

    Today’s specialized society means that transactions and events and scams of the highest sophisticated order, literally on the cutting edge of innovation, are myriad and threaten not only the general public without specialized knowledge, but, specialists in other areas, but not in the areas in which they are being taken advantage of.

    The world has accepted complexity and sophistication without question due to its many positive benefits. But in so doing, they never stopped to examine and proactively defend against the many ways such a specialized and complex world leaves individuals helpless and incapable of defending themselves as individuals against highly organized and specialized groups intent on taking advantage.

    The Mortgage debacle being a prime and timely example. The national debt being another. Just two of a plethora of examples. Bigger and more reaching government is needed to act as defender of the general public. Ford’s Pinto misdesign resulting in burning death of the vehicle’s occupants in the event of a rear end collision, was another example, demanding consumer protection by the Government, as no individual had the authority or resources to stand up to Ford’s cadre of high priced lawyers and lobbyists, and multi-million dollar PR efforts.

    This is not an argument for unlimited government. But, it is a reality based argument for why we cannot return to the extremely limited government of the 17th and 18th centuries.

    In just the last 30 years, with the rise of global international corporations, the complexity and sophistication factors jumped many fold, leaving the individual citizen even Less in control of their fate at the hands of the marketers, PR facades, and scams and risky ventures touted as holistically beneficial for consumers, investors, and even voters.

    Americans have no control over their food selections at the supermarket, no idea where the food came from, how many contaminated hands have handled it, or what high technology tricks have been applied to hide the detection of an inferior product or harmful product (lead in toys, salmonella on and in tomatoes).

    These circumstances demand a proactive government serving the needs of the people to protect them from those who would take advantage of their lack of specialization, access to information, and lack of education as to what to watch out for. It is easy enough to say a cheated investor is a fool.

    But, today, more than half the work force are investors, and a college degree in finance is not even remotely within the capacity of every investor in a 401K or pension plan to acquire. Multiply that by every specialization of work known on earth, and the public and consumer at helpless in making informed and wise consumer decisions.

    Hence, the growing demand on the part of the people for a government that will watch out for their interests through agencies like the FDA, Port and Border Authorities, the SEC, and enough other acronym agencies and oversight Committees to keep me busy for a month just discovering them all.

    Limited government is still an important and useful concept, but, one has to be very careful about becoming ideological about it. There are lives, health, and well being hanging in the balance when it comes to limiting government oversight and regulatory control, on behalf of consumers, investors, employees, businesses, all of whom are vulnerable to highly specialized nefarious interests with knowledge on how to take advantage well beyond that which can be expected of consumers, investors, employees, and businesses.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at June 20, 2008 2:37 PM
    Comment #256240

    Henry,
    I don’t particularly care what you talk about, though it should remain on subject, which I guess this isn’t.

    What I am curious about is whether this speech pattern is an affectation or the result of some arcane educational background you have. It isn’t the King’s english. What is your educational background? Homeschooling, US public education or some other nationality?

    While I would say it’s a bit like reading old english, it really isn’t even that.

    Posted by: googlumpugus at June 21, 2008 2:06 AM
    Comment #256246

    Googlumpugus,
    As one who is My Elder I should not and do not have to defend myself against the fact that the Learned Knowledge of Man is flawed. However, as a Child of the 70’s who proved to My Community Elders and Powers-that-Be that as an American I can build an Unlimited Sustainable Society in which every Citizen can be made economically viable and financially independent based on them investing in their own Inherent Best Interest to be Human. You need to find someone who can explain to you why the Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders of America and Humanity is limited to the Debate of Build a Better World even today.

    For why everyone has the Unalienable Right to believe in the Whole of Human Knowledge and Wisdom the way that they choice. Limited by the Founding Fathers of America and Our Grandparents, you really do need to go read the Bold Experiment.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at June 21, 2008 3:19 AM
    Comment #256253

    Googlumpus, the conversation with Henry is stepping over the bounds. Take it to email. Henry has every right to comment here provided he complies with the Rules of Participation, without critique of his personal characteristics. He is under no obligation to answer questions of a personal nature.

    We can ignore his comments which we can’t understand, and that is always an available option for readers.

    Posted by: Managing Editor at June 21, 2008 5:31 AM
    Comment #256278

    The public schools are run by the local governments. If people are unhappy with the results, they should vote to decrease the funding rather than voting to increase it. The school district here spends a very large amount of money per capita for special needs students in a private facility run by a religious organization.

    The special education funding here is so large for such a small number of students, that I thought it must have been a mistake printed in the budget, but it wasn’t. This private organization, which already owned as much land as the township, was enabled to buy various additional properties, including a psychiatric hospital.

    The school districts here also trade their problem students to eachother to fit into specific programs. Those who are not as special just get to sit in classrooms with students who speak 50 or more languages. They are also a little vague on the actual numbers of students, possibly as a way of fudging the drop out rate.

    Posted by: ohrealy at June 21, 2008 11:41 AM
    Comment #256346

    Managing editor and Henry,

    I apologize if I have offended anyone. It was most certainly not my intent. My e-mail is googlumpugus@hotmail.com. I invite Henry to engage me there.

    My intent was to engage Henry. My questions were an attempt to help Henry not critique him in any way, other than that I was being direct about the impenetrability of his language.

    To wit, on your last post Henry, are you saying I am your elder or are you an elder? Are we both elders. I asked for no defense but rather an explanation.

    As to your reference to your unlimited sustainable society versus build a better world debate. Please elaborate. Since I know nothing about you, you have proven nothing to me. Few things in life are unlimited, and this begs disbelief. How that isn’t a part of building a better society is unclear from your words.

    The Bold Experiment in a google search points to many book titles. The most notable in America is one about JFK’s Peace Corps movement. Is that what you are referring to?

    How does all this relate to the crass media that John Rice is discussing here?


    Henry may well have something valuable to say. In that I would be more than willing to help him do that, I offer my time.

    Posted by: googlumpus at June 22, 2008 10:15 AM
    Comment #256705


    Who ever wrote the article “Wise up Suckers” spoke exactly what I have felt for a long time. It makes me feel good to know there are others that feel the same as I do.

    Posted by: Bill V at June 25, 2008 1:34 AM
    Comment #257591

    So glad we’re back.
    Subject: Wise up suckers!
    Question: Wise up to what?
    Look around and you will see young people with brains just waiting. Do these people go to war and get mangled or do they become doctors, engineers, scientists, etc.? Look around and you will see materials that can be used for housing, hospitals, schools, etc. Look around and you can find healthy soil for growing crops, apple trees, cotton, etc. There it is, but you can’t have it. You can’t have it unless you jump through the hoops like a trained seal. You can have an extremely high I.Q., but if you don’t have money and a decent environment for study and work you can’t have the sheepskin. There’s the medicine for your sick child, but you can’t have it because you were too lazy or not smart enough or you couldn’t find your boot-straps. You can’t have it because it’s all your fault because you’re not good enough or smart enough or ruthless enough to scam, lie, cheat, steal and “get ahead” in life.
    Many of us “played by the rules” and lost our houses anyway. We “played by the rules” and our jobs were shipped overseas anyway.
    Do we sound bitter? Who wouldn’t be bitter with that kind of stuff in this existence? Here’s a wild guess for an answer: a sociopath.

    Posted by: Stephen Hines at August 3, 2008 6:02 PM
    Comment #275208

    End computiuar schooling close down the DEPT OF EDUCATION get the NEA away from the kids return to home or private schooling and stop the brainwashing

    Posted by: Flu-Bird at February 7, 2009 11:38 PM
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