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A Turn For The Worst

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The right has taken a dangerous turn where candidates like Christine O’Donnell and Carl Paladino actually have scored nominations and received publicity for their ridiculous agendas.

Christine O’Donnell actually beat moderate incumbent Mike Castle in Delaware’s GOP Senate primary in a stunning upset that will essentially ensure a Democratic win in the Senate race come November. Her win is a glaring example of the disturbing trend where Republicans are fighting against the rights of others as opposed to truly being representatives of smaller, less invasive government.

Some of you may have seen and heard tapes of Ms. O’Donnell demonizing masturbation and spreading lies that abstinence-only education actually works. As a Republican, one would expect fiscal responsibility, but she is swimming in personal debt. The founder of Savior’s Alliance For Lifting The Truth firmly believes that her theological beliefs should have dominion over the most private affairs. (Pardon the Maddow intro)

Here’s yet another video of the homophobic candidate’s misinformed discussions from the 90’s. In it she claims that condoms and needle exchange programs do not reduce the spread of disease (and if they do they give people a false sense of entitlement to continue lifestyles she doesn’t agree with) and that AIDS-afflicted individuals are so because of their own faults and that gays are to blame. (the discussion started because of a call about a drag queen ball) She likens AIDS to heart disease, and under this theory, maybe heart disease charities get too much funding too.

People like Ms. O’Donnell block attempts to minimize disease under the guise of morality. they work to deny life-saving prevention measures and drug rehabilitation. By pushing a theological agenda and spreading hateful stigma, they are actually partially responsible for the spread of HIV/AIDS amongst young people. The fact of the matter is that over 80% of global HIV cases are amongst heterosexuals who abstain from drug use, a point that is lost on those who want America to become a theocracy.

Like it or not, the vast majority of human beings masturbate. Self-satisfaction has even been captured in utero and amongst infants, and they’re probably not lusting. And even if so, so what? Pretending that sex doesn’t exist will not make it go away. People have been having sex since the beginning of time, all around the world, in various positions, and for various reasons. Even while I’m writing this blog someone, somewhere is having sex, and hopefully they’re having safe sex.

HIV/AIDS is also a serious disease, and denying treatment to those afflicted may make them die quicker, but they’re going to spend less time being productive citizens before they pass. And most of those with HIV do not know that they are infected, so telling youth that condoms do not prevent the disease makes the hyper-religious agenda an accessory to transmission.

Christine O’Donnell is merely a symptom of a disease striking the western world — one of paranoia, hatred, and denial. This extremism has afflicted all political spectra and is an attack on your personal freedom and that of your neighbors. If you’re Republican, go and take a look at the principles and do note that the dangerous trend in the party is absolutely contrary to what it is supposed to represent. If you think that theocracy and democracy can coexist, look at Iran and give your head a shake.

I’d like to thank all of you who voted for Christine O’Donnell for handing the Senate seat to Chris Coons on a silver platter.

“The best lack all conviction while the worst are filled with passionate intensity.” – W.B.Yeats

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About Michelle Galipeau

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    When did Blogcritics become a forum for hatemongering and ignorance?

    Do you think that all people who are personally religious are just waiting to create a theocracy? When has O’Donnell ever said she thinks her personal beliefs should be imposed by law? Certainly not in your videos or links.

    Jimmy Carter was a crazy fundamentalist who said many things similar to what O’Donnell said, including quoting the exact same biblical passage she quotes in one of these videos. Does that mean he was trying to turn the country into a theocracy too?

    Your ignorance might be curable, but the hate is a fatal character flaw.

    Dave

  • Jordan Richardson

    Do you think that all people who are personally religious are just waiting to create a theocracy?

    Nah, just the Muslims.

  • http://rooferonfire.blogspot.com Mika Galipeau

    The Republican party used to stand for freedom, fiscal conservatism, and love of fellow human being. Many of the liberties we enjoy to day were founded under the GOP.

    I’m disappointed that a party that once stood for the common man has decided that our neighbors could be the enemy; bringing snap judgments about personal morality into public policy.

    Even George Bush attempted to instill acceptance of others, in fact, Ms. O’Donnell desires to get rid of HIV funding that was initiated by Mr. Bush.

    The party has been taken over by the fearful extremists to such a point that candidates are arguing over how polar they are.

    Personal religion is a fine thing, but when one’s sole raison d’etre is to serve an omnipotent being, we are indeed in danger of theocracy. All one needs to do is look at the Texas GOP platform, riddled with religious references, xenophobia, and homophobia to note the disturbing direction that a party I have previously felt favorable is heading.

    I am a centrist whose entire family lives in the United States. I have called out people both left and right when personal belief infringes on others.

    Christine O’Donnell is a fiscally irresponsible professional politician who cannot tell the difference between an antiquated text and the world as we know it.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “When did Blogcritics become a forum for hatemongering and ignorance?”

    Right, because we’ve never seen ignorance in the Politics section before

  • STM

    EB: “Right, because we’ve never seen ignorance in the Politics section before”

    Lol.

    Jordan: “Nah, just the Muslims.”

    Ditto.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    Your ignorance might be curable, but the hate is a fatal character flaw.

    Clean that mirror!

    Wow.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Michelle,

    It is amazing how much hypocrisy is present within this *bogus party*…

    One one hand, we have this puritanical-puppet that would bring us back to the days when women were no more than, chattel in the name of the Lord.

    Then, on the other hand, we have Sharon Angel(NV) who also wishes that she could destroy all of our social programs, but keeps a blind eye and a closed mouth when it comes to legalized prostitution and gambling in her own state. How convenient this infection is! Say and do whatever it takes to destroy this country.

    We have news for these misguided and naive-tea-drinking-citizens, not only is America not going to become a Theocracy, if any of them actually get to Washington, they aren’t going to have that much of an impact.

    Have you also noticed, that it appears to be the media-itself that is desperately trying to elevate this crowd to the level of a viable political party?

    Why aren’t they calling themselves, The Anachronistic Party, that’s exactly what they are.

    JD

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Here is O’Donnell on what it means to be a woman (from her book report on, The lord Of The Rings).

    :D

  • Ruvy

    The politically correct police are out in force again. This time Sheriff Galipeau, from her squad car in British Columbia, CANADA, has decided to bang her billy-stick on Christine O’Donnell for daring to defeat a different member of her own political party. Howe cute.

    The American Sect’y of State interferes in OUR internal politics with her big mouth, and the Canadian branch of the North American Political Correctness Squad interferes in the politics of Delaware.

    Yanks, get the hell out of MY country. I leave it to you Americans to assert your own independence. I’m not holding my breath.

  • Clavos

    Independence isn’t what it’s about anymore Ruvy. Now it’s all toe the party line and obey what the government tells you to do, because it’s for the good of everyone, as in Obamacare.

    Very reminiscent of the old Soviet Union…

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    And what happens to Republicans who don’t toe the party line? Better yet, what happens to Republicans who don’t toe the Beck/Limbaugh/Hannity line?

    At no time in the history of the Democratic party has there been a period to compare with the party-line obstructionism that the Republicans have waged since Obama took office.

    Abortion
    Alternative lifestyles (LGBT’s)
    Marijuana
    Stem cells

    Which party is it that supports CHOICE in all of the above? The Democrats. And which party is it that says “NO CHOICE”, toe the party line or else? The Republicans.

    Choice? Or no choice?

    The choice is clear.

  • Baronius

    That footage is fifteen years old.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I yi yi! It’s insurance reform, not Obamacare.

    :D Now we are all bullshovits…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Very reminiscent of the old Soviet Union…

    Were you there?

  • Clavos

    And which party is it that says “NO CHOICE”, toe the party line or else?

    Both of ‘em.

    But you know that.

    Welcome to the United Soviet States of America.

  • Clavos

    Were you there?

    Were you?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    no.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    unless the Hindus, Buddhists and Some Muslims are right, then maybe

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Clavos –

    Name one – even ONE – Democratic politician who’s had to apologize for calling out or even disagreeing with a liberal pundit.

    Unlike yours on the conservative side, liberal politicians don’t have to “toe the party line” as defined by our pundits.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    It is in fact the Tea Party that is searching for ideological purity in their candidates. They also generally want to keep “social issues” out of the election discourse.

    But the Christian fundamentalism is there, in O’Donnell and also Angle and Rubio. I don’t think Carl “Pass the Porn Please” Paladino fits this mold, but he is disgusting on many levels.

    Dave Nalle with one hand writes an article praising the Republican party for its “progressive” stand on gay rights, and with the other laughably accuses this article’s author of “hate” against silly Christian lock-step rhetoric he has himself mocked frequently in the past.

    The homophobia of candidates like O’Donnell, Angle, Rubio and Paul is enough reason for me to oppose them.

  • Clavos

    liberal politicians don’t have to “toe the party line” as defined by our pundits.

    I wasn’t speaking of pols, I was referring to the entire population. case in point, most of us (the American people) don’t want Obamacare, according to the polls, but unless we can get it repealed, it has been made into law anyway, and those people who don’t want insurance will be forced to buy it regardless.

    That’s toeing the party line — at gunpoint.

  • Clavos

    As I said, we have become the United Soviet States of America, and it’s bipartisan; whichever party is in power passes its favorite legislation with absolutely no regard for the wishes of us dumb masses. Why, because the fucking “intellectuals” R AND D, but especially the D “intellectuals” in academia and places like DC and Hollywood have nothing but contempt for us boat salesmen, plumbers, truck drivers, Southerners, and especially, country folk from flyover land.

    A pox on both their houses and indeed, on the entire land.

  • Clavos

    I also wasn’t talking about pundits — more of the same “intellectual” assholes.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, there was a recent article in The American Spectator called “America’s Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution”. It’s gotten quite a bit of buzz. If you haven’t read it, you should.

  • http://rooferonfire.blogspot.com Mika Galipeau

    I don’t tow the Hollywood line, I was busy toting my propane line across a roof all day.

    But will assert that the politics of America have a great effect on me and my family. I frequently work in the U.S. and the vast majority of my relatives call the USA home.

    And if you think I am some Socialist fool, take a look at my blog and note the number of times I’ve called out Obama and others for their hypocrisy and dangerous behaviors.

    Polarization has affected both major parties as it has in the nation to your north. People really are arguing over who is most extreme instead of coming to a consensus.

  • Arch ConscienceStain

    but especially the D “intellectuals” in academia and places like DC and Hollywood have nothing but contempt for us boat salesmen, plumbers, truck drivers, Southerners, and especially, country folk from flyover land

    Waaaah!

    Pull your nose out of Hannity’s ass.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I have plenty of contempt for anyone who actually thinks Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle or Ken Buck are praiseworthy candidates you’d be proud to vote for and have as your senator.

    People voting with their ids to this extent are poorly informed and reckless, and they [and we] may wake up with terrible hangovers from this tomfoolery.

  • Clavos

    Baronius, thanks very much for the American Spectator link!! That’s a hell of a good article, and one of the best analyses of this country I’ve seen recently.

    Interestingly, just this morning I read an also interesting article about Bob Dylan which was on Real Clear Politics. The Dylan article opens with a description of the Codevilla article.

  • Clavos

    Pull your nose out of Hannity’s ass.

    Do I hafta? It’s nice and warm and comfortable in there.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Wonder what Dylan say about this article…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I am going to crack right up!

    Baronius and Clavos, are trying to convince themselves (after reading a conspiracy theory’s claim) that the Democrats are the ruling class in America.

    Tell me, if either of you can what political party does the anonymous top 2% belong?

    JD- break-time…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • Clavos

    Baronius and Clavos, are trying to convince themselves (after reading a conspiracy theory’s claim) that the Democrats are the ruling class in America.

    It’s a good idea to read something before commenting on it, Jeannie. The article doesn’t say that; in fact, it doesn’t even restrict the ruling class to only politicians, let alone just Dems.

    And it doesn’t say a word about conspiracy theories.

    On second thought, maybe you did read it — your comprehension is just deficient; they probably don’t teach that in government schools.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, that article has gotten a lot of notice. I don’t agree with everything in it, but when does that ever happen? It kind of weirds me out that the article never made a ripple in the BC pond. Maybe we’re not as connected as we like to think we are?

  • Clavos

    Yeah, I’m surprised too, Baronius.

    My excuse is I was out of the country for six weeks in July and August. The essay first appeared in The American Spectator, in July, when I was away, but I’m surprised I never saw anything about it on Real Clear Politics (though there may have been something in July).

  • Baronius

    Well, this site has been in a lull, in terms of intellectual stimulation.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    OK, I didn’t read all of the article. In fact, it was when I got to the author’s implication that, Chautauqua, was the *ruling class* that I stopped reading.

    JD Why you have to insult me, personally, is beyond me.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The article is well written, but intensely ideological. The latter is what one would expect from The American Spectator, the former, not so much.

  • Clavos

    Sorry you took it that way, Jeannie, I didn’t intend to insult you. The insult was to the school system, which richly deserves it.

    But you really should read the whole essay. Taken as a whole, the author is pretty bipartisan with his criticisms, and he makes some excellent observations.

  • Clavos

    Oh, and by the way, Jeannie, he doesn’t say that Chatauqua “[is] the ruling class,” only that it’s one of the places (along with Ivy League colleges, for example) where the ruling class is bred and which they frequent — that’s pretty true, as is the fact that Ivy Leaguers DO tend to wind up among the movers and shakers of the country, i.e. the Ruling Class. Bush, Kerry, and Obama, among many others, are all Ivy League alumni.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Codevilla takes the popular but erroneous line that TARP and the stimulus bill and the health reform bill and the financial reform bill were “power grabs.” They were not. They were reasoned responses to real problems. It’s not as if this cabal were just waiting for the chance to spend $700 billion on Wall St. They were reacting to a big crisis.

    Also ignored is the fact that TARP worked, that it spent far less than originally estimated, that it has been paid back with interest quite speedily. And look back at your own comments and dire predictions about the auto company bailouts last year. They have been far more successful, with far fewer bad consequences, than you want to admit.

    It is hard for me to accept the premise that Barrack Obama and George W. Bush, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi, belong to the same elite cabal. If so, they don’t seem to have gotten the message.

    I understand that you are suspicious of government solutions to problems. But it’s quite a leap in logic from that to applying the word “Soviet” to our government. That’s paranoid horse manure.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Thank you for that, Clavos, I’ll read it again.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “Wonder what Dylan say about this article…”

    If the title the is an intentional play on words, he would like it that, but not sure that it is

  • Mark

    handyguy, are power grabs and reasoned responses mutually exclusive?

    The fact that TARP (a huge government solution — what other entity has that kind of borrowing power?) worked to the extent that it did is hardly reassuring. It simply reinforces the government’s claim to being the solution of last resort.

    Now that the crisis is past…maybe some energy can be put into repealing the Patriot Act. Where do you think that idea is on the agenda?

  • Clavos

    I wouldn’t be paranoid, handy, if my own government weren’t the biggest threat to my freedom and peace of mind.

    And yes, I do see much of what the Obama administration is doing as ploys to enhance the government’s power and control over the people. Call me paranoid if you will, but I don’t buy, for example, all the sanctimonious claptrap emanating from the WH about Obamacare — it’s a power grab of historical proportions, pure and simple.

    Already, many of the “promises” made to get it passed are proving to be so much empty air — even the promise to reduce overall health care costs is proving to be bogus. In a report by the government’s Centers for Medicare Services (CMS) released September 9th, and published in the nonpartisan journal, Health Affairs, CMS concluded:

    — National health care expenditures will increase by $311 billion.

    — Health care increases to 21% of GDP by 2019.

    — ObamaCare spends more than $828 billion for health care coverage. (CMS didn’t analyze all the tax increases, such as HSAs, FSAs, increasing the AGI threshold, etc.)

    — The government will spend $410 billion to expand Medicaid.

    — Medicaid enrollment increases by 20 million new beneficiaries.

    — 18 million people will be uninsured (excluding 5 million illegal immigrants).

    — Uninsured and those employers who don’t offer coverage will pay $120 billion in taxes.

    — 50% of seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage plans.

    — Some of the Medicare cost-control mechanisms may not be sustainable.

    — Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) will run a deficit in 15 years.

    — The $5 billion for High Risk Pools is not enough.

    — Doctors may drop out of Medicare because of the changes in Medicare reimbursement rates.

    — Medicare “savings” may be difficult to achieve.

  • Baronius

    I don’t agree with some things in that article, but it does make good points. For example, it implies that both parties are indistinguishable, which is false. But it’s correct in saying that the political elites of both parties have more similar backgrounds and perspectives than they’ve ever had before. It reminds me of Tom Sowell’s description of diversity in the Ivy Leagues: the son of a white suburban doctor going to school with the son of a black suburban doctor.

    Something else in the article reminds me of Sowell (at least I’m pretty sure it’s him). The article talked about the role of gerrymandering in insulating politicians from voters. That’s a huge point that most people don’t think about. Sowell raised it in in reference to Rangel. It’s not that black politicians are more corrupt, he said; it’s that untouchable politicians are more corrupt.

  • Baronius

    One other good thing: the article really slams turn-of-the-century Progressives. No offense to Dave Nalle, but that crowd seems to get a pass around here.

  • http://rooferonfire.blogspot.com Mika Galipeau

    44. – I do have a lot of fun with words for the articles I write, whether here or elsewhere. It’s always intentional. Clever noticing it, by the way.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    TARP was intended to be a one-time response to a unique emergency.

    Since it was designed by a conservative Republican administration and largely implemented by a liberal Democratic administration, generalizing about its significance for ongoing policy is questionable.

    One of the stated purposes of the financial reform bill is to prevent future bailouts. It’s fine to be skeptical of that and to argue about it — but the government is not claiming that this kind of massive intervention is desirable or wonderful or a great basis for future policy.

    And I appreciate that Clavos despises the health reform bill. My point of view is that it is a large and complex bill and contains some great, good, flawed, and bad parts.

    The system as it is/was, serves many people very badly. Many GOP know-nothings prefer to defend that terribly flawed system and caricature the Obama bill. To leap to the conclusion that it is, in toto, evil and destructive, is propagandistic rhetoric.

    The talk of repealing it is nasty, vindictive election year blather.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Before we freak-out because the Senate was just by-passed. Is it possible that this influenced the decision to go ahead and create consumer protection(what we haven’t had for years)?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Elizabeth Warren is a calming influence [for everyone but bankers], so there will be no freaking out.

    We should all plan to participate in Jon Stewart’s Oct 30 gathering in DC, “Rally To Restore Sanity.” They will even provide signs for us, including, “I Disagree With You But I’m Pretty Sure You’re Not Hitler.”

    Or if you prefer, you can instead go to Stephen Colbert’s cross-Mall rival rally, “Keep Fear Alive.”

    Comedy to keep us grinning in very trying times.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The we was referring to Clavos, Handyguy. Keep that passive-aggressive crap up, it’s inspiring…

    JD

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna
  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    If I knew what you meant, Jeannie, I would try to respond. My comment was not aimed at you, nor was it intended as an insult to anybody.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’m such a conclusion jumper, sorry…:(

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Bill Clinton was Stewart’s guest last night, and gave an amazing extemporaneous monologue on how the Dems should make their case. They kept the cameras rolling, and there is a total of 30 minutes of the extended interview on The Daily Show’s web site.

    Our current president is a great speaker, but Clinton’s ability to sound like ‘just folks’ while discussing almost anything knowledgeably is extraordinary.

  • Clavos

    Our current president is a great speaker, but Clinton’s ability to sound like ‘just folks’ while discussing almost anything knowledgeably is extraordinary.

    True dat. He lacks the — je ne sais quoi — arrogance and condescension of the other guy.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    IMHO the condescension is in the hypersensitive eyes and ears of the beholder.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Handy –

    IMHO the condescension is in the hypersensitive eyes and ears of the beholder.

    Quoted for truth! People who are arrogant and condescending never, ever apologize for making a mistake. Obama’s done so more than once.

    OTOH, I remember clearly when Kerry asked Bush during a debate, “What mistakes have you made in your first turn?” Bush didn’t answer.

    I trust NO ONE who is unable to admit when they’ve made a mistake.

  • Clavos

    Bush sucked, no doubt. You’ve never heard me say otherwise Glenn. But then the one thing I’ve learned from you is that if you’re a conservative you’re trash and worse, while if you’re a liberal you’re anointed by god (small g).

    Boring.

    And Obama is the most arrogant, patronizing and condescending sonuvabitch we’ve had in the WH in a long time. You guys conveniently forget what he had to say about the rural folk in Pennsylvania, but of course y’all probably think he was right, and maybe he was but that’s no way for the ruler to talk about his subjects — whoops! I mean for the president to talk about the citizens.

    In every speech, he talks down to the peasants, but the hallmark of his arrogance is how he rams his pet projects through even when the polls are telling him that the people don’t want them.

    Meh.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    [Although after the election of 2008 most Republican office holders argued against the Troubled Asset Relief Program, against the subsequent bailouts of the auto industry, against the several “stimulus” bills and further summary expansions of government power to benefit clients of government at the expense of ordinary citizens, the American people had every reason to believe that many Republican politicians were doing so simply by the logic of partisan opposition. After all, Republicans had been happy enough to approve of similar things under Republican administrations.]

    and, they are still saying, No ,to anything and everything that this administration wants to accomplish.

    [Never has there been so little diversity within America’s upper crust. Always, in America as elsewhere, some people have been wealthier and more powerful than others. But until our own time America’s upper crust was a mixture of people who had gained prominence in a variety of ways, who drew their money and status from different sources and were not predictably of one mind on any given matter. The Boston Brahmins, the New York financiers, the land barons of California, Texas, and Florida, the industrialists of Pittsburgh, the Southern aristocracy, and the hardscrabble politicians who made it big in Chicago or Memphis had little contact with one another.]

    Does this really surprise anyone? The people who are now in power have little memory of harder-times; they have been born into this class of wealth and privilege. This is why public education is crucial to keeping the door to opportunity open for everyone.

    [Today’s ruling class, from Boston to San Diego, was formed by an educational system that exposed them to the same ideas and gave them remarkably uniform guidance, as well as tastes and habits.]

    The author leaves out a very important component in his argument here, when he ignores the effects, media and consumption have had on our privileged class.

    [By contrast, while most Americans pray to the God “who created and doth sustain us,” our ruling class prays to itself as “saviors of the planet” and improvers of humanity. Our classes’ clash is over “whose country” America is, over what way of life will prevail, over who is to defer to whom about what. The gravity of such divisions points us, as it did Lincoln, to Mark’s Gospel: “if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” ]

    All of this religious gibberish should be stricken from the article. America does not all pray to God, and we are not a Theocracy. When politics and morals are held up to a religious light, anyone who’s not “Christian” is somehow, less-than…
    Also, this author sounds trite and petty, claiming to know what religious beliefs our politicians hold. That’s really none of our business.

    [How did America change from a place where people could expect to live without bowing to privileged classes to one in which, at best, they might have the chance to climb into them? ]

    When the quest for personal untaxed wealth took precedence over growing this country’s prosperity for all.

    Greed, is what happened…

    JD

  • Clavos

    This is why public education is crucial to keeping the door to opportunity open for everyone.

    Agreed, a well-educated citizenry is crucial to the success of the society.

    Unfortunately, it’s been decades since “public education” has fulfilled its mandate and actually educated, and this sad state shows in all areas of the society; many, if not most, Americans are barely literate these days, Americans rarely speak more than one language (practically all Europeans do), Americans are ignorant of mathematics and the sciences, Americans have little knowledge of the geography, history and cultures of the world, etc., etc.

  • Baronius

    Clavos, I agree that the quality of the educational system has fallen across the board. But I don’t quite agree with your comment about a well-educated citizenry. America has been successful at times when it was less educated than it is today. The health of a democracy, it seems to me, depends upon its citizens being educated in civics.

    (Sure, I’d like to see our educational system improve in all areas. Education in the sciences is important to our high-tech future; basic literacy is imporant to the lower-tech portions of the economy. Languages, obviously, assist in trade, and although the arts are hard to quantify, we could sure use some improvement in them.)

    I know that everyone gets touchy when the subject of literacy tests for voters comes up. What would you think of a civics test (equivalent to the citizenship test) for voters?

  • Clavos

    You asked the wrong guy, Bar, because I’m in favor of literacy tests, I think it criminal to allow someone who cannot even read, to vote, but that’s, as you say, a whole other discussion.

    That said, my direct response to your question would be that changing the discipline to be tested probably wouldn’t make the idea of testing any more palatable to those who are opposed; it’s basically the same principle.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    If this is all you can pick out of my response to that article, then I’m very disappointed.

    JD- I’ll be back tomorrow, bye

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    FYI, I, went to a private school. ;D

  • Clavos

    Jeannie, I didn’t respond to the rest of your comment because I didn’t have anything to add to what you said. the only point you made for which I had input was the one I posted.

    But, here you are:

    and, they [Republicans] are still saying, No ,to anything and everything that this administration wants to accomplish.

    Pretty much true, I have no problem with that.

    Does this really surprise anyone? The people who are now in power have little memory of harder-times; they have been born into this class of wealth and privilege.

    True.

    This is why public education is crucial to keeping the door to opportunity open for everyone.

    Response in #63.

    The author leaves out a very important component in his argument here, when he ignores the effects, media and consumption have had on our privileged class.

    True, but you really don’t make a point here,you merely state an opinion, without a conclusion. However, those effects of which you speak apply to all the population, not just the Ruling Class. That’s why we have ghetto kids killing each other for their sneakers. How would you solve this? Repeal the First Amendment? — the cure would be worse than the malady.

    All of this religious gibberish should be stricken from the article.

    Partly true, but as an atheist, I would advocate for striking all religious gibberish entirely from the society — all of it. That, however, would of course be unconstitutional, so, on a personal level whenever I hear religious gibberish (a tautology if ever I’ve heard one), I tune it out.

    [How did America change from a place where people could expect to live without bowing to privileged classes to one in which, at best, they might have the chance to climb into them?

    I don’t think there’s been a “change,” I think it’s always been that way — not only here, but everywhere throughout history. Here, at least, unlike other societies before (and after) the American revolution, we HAVE had some opportunity to climb up.

    Greed, is what happened…

    Greed didn’t “happen.” it’s part of the human psyche — always has been, always will be.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “many, if not most, Americans are barely literate these days, Americans rarely speak more than one language (practically all Europeans do), Americans are ignorant of mathematics and the sciences, Americans have little knowledge of the geography, history and cultures of the world, etc., etc.”

    malarkey. pure junk. do you know any people that fit the above description? really? think about it.

  • Clavos

    Not malarkey, zing. Ask ten Americans to show you where Macedonia is on a map; you’ll be lucky if one can. Hell, ask ‘em to show you Montana, or Idaho; or ask ‘em the capitals of these states.

    It is a matter of record that American students consistently score lower than Asian and European students on academic tests.

    My mother-in-law is a college English professor. She has worked at a handful of colleges in as many staes in the Southeast; she currently works at Auburn. Every semester, at every college at which she’s worked, she is required to teach a remedial English course (so are the other professors, except for the most senior). The course is designed to teach the Freshman students the basics of reading and writing — reading and writing!! Subjects that they should have learned in grade school! They are high school graduates, admitted to college who can’t read and write at college entry level.

    For decades now, American education has been sub par, despite the fact the USA spends more per student than most of the other developed countries.

    John Stossel and ABC’s 20-20 conducted a direct comparison with students in New Jersey and Belgium.

    They found:

    To give you an idea of how competitive American schools are and how U.S. students performed compared with their European counterparts, we gave parts of an international test to some high school students in Belgium and in New Jersey.

    Belgian kids cleaned the American kids’ clocks, and called them “stupid.”

    We didn’t pick smart kids to test in Europe and dumb kids in the United States. The American students attend an above-average school in New Jersey, and New Jersey’s kids have test scores that are above average for America.

    Lov Patel, the boy who got the highest score among the American students, told me, “I’m shocked, because it just shows how advanced they are compared to us.”

    The Belgian students didn’t perform better because they’re smarter than American students. They performed better because their schools are better. At age 10, American students take an international test and score well above the international average. But by age 15, when students from 40 countries are tested, the Americans place 25th.

    American schools don’t teach as well as schools in other countries because they are government monopolies, and monopolies don’t have much incentive to compete. In Belgium, by contrast, the money is attached to the kids — it’s a kind of voucher system. Government funds education — at many different kinds of schools — but if a school can’t attract students, it goes out of business.

    Belgian school principal Kaat Vandensavel told us she works hard to impress parents.

    She told us, “If we don’t offer them what they want for their child, they won’t come to our school.” She constantly improves the teaching, saying, “You can’t afford 10 teachers out of 160 that don’t do their work, because the clients will know, and won’t come to you again.”

    “That’s normal in Western Europe,” Harvard economist Caroline Hoxby told me. “If schools don’t perform well, a parent would never be trapped in that school in the same way you could be trapped in the U.S.” (emphasis added)

    And yes, I know plenty of people in lesser jobs who fit that description — almost every tradesman who comes to mow my lawn, repair my plumbing or clean my carpet, paint, etc — people with only a high school diploma or less.

    Not malarkey — fact.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Western Europe doesn’t achieve its results by encouraging home schooling. They have good state-run schools.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “Not malarkey — fact.”

    “many, if not most americans are barely literate… ignorant of mathematics and the sciences [and] the geography, history and cultures of the world” is malarkey.

    (i’ll give you that most black and white americans only speak one language. but you can’t really be forgetting all the latino, asian and other americans who speak multiple languages.) (i can only speak one language at this point, but i used to be able to read literature in spanish… i dunno quite how i lost so much of it, but i despise memorization and even if i could do it, it was a struggle for me. it’s a shame, as i live in a spanish-speaking neighborhood and can understand enough to know when i’m being talked about, but can’t really respond in spanish… which would be awesome now and again.)

    that said, it would shock me greatly if someone couldn’t pick out montana and idaho. both are quite distinctive. (nebraska and kansas would be more difficult. but fuck those states. they mean nothing.) i hear people say shit like this all the time, but i never seem to run into people who can’t pick out states. in fact, the people who believe that other people are so stupid tend to be the ones in the wrong about things. thinking others can’t understand or do the basic things you can do is a dangerous game.

    and come on. macedonia? everyone associates it with alexander the great. find greece, go north (as you can’t very well go any other direction without drowning). it’s around there somewhere. that part of europe is a bit of clusterfuck though. the names and borders of those countries have never been particularly solid.

    i’ll admit that my knowledge of science is flimsy, although i’m ok at biology (because of work) and physics (curiosity). i also have no real mind for math. but that’s because my dad’s a mathematician. god, he could make that shit boring.

    also, my very american education made me vastly curious about the world and other cultures. we were offered high school courses on the histories and cultures of various regions (i took a course in asian studies). our school had a television studio, a radio station, vocational studies, a football team that went to the state championships three years in a row and fucking lost, deals with local universities to sit in on classes…

    and you know what? my school district was a pretty average district in a just above average state. as i said somewhere else, it’s not the teachers or the schools that are to blame. it’s the individuals and their parents. of course your education is going to be shitty if you don’t go to school or do your homework. but if you apply yourself, you can get a pretty good education in america. how’d you do it?

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Why exactly would the mass populace of this country need to know where Macedonia was? I am 43 and it has never come up once in my lifetime. It’s just bullshit trivia, no different than knowing some obscure fact about Star Wars.

    Now if a person didn’t know how to use tools to look up a country then you may have a point. Otherwise your charge of illiteracy just comes off as arrogant and condescending and we know how much you dislike that in a person. btw, can you find NGC2070, The Tarantula Nebula, on a map of the our universe?

  • Jordan Richardson

    In the views of many, memorizing a pile of useless facts is equivalent to intelligence. Critical thinking and research skills be damned.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The European school system “might soon collapse” if not reformed, European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas told a public hearing in Brussels last week (19 March), citing “alarming signs” like lack of teachers, cumbersome decision-making procedures and governments’ unwillingness to invest in infrastructure.

    Alarming signs of an unwillingness to invest in infra-structure, sounds familiar…

  • Clavos

    It seems I’ve struck a nerve with all you Gringos — good.

    Blather on all you want about how obscure Macedonia is, but it’s a fact that the students of other nations consistently outscore American kids when tested on common disciplines such as math and history.

    zing, thanks for your considered reply. You at least attempted to adress my contention point by point, but, by using yourself as the example, you weakened your argument because you’re clearly more knowledgeable than the average Republican, or plumber, or carpenter — or for that matter, the average Hollywood movie star or Fundamentalist Christian.

    I agree with you and “many,” Jordan. Mere rote memorization of facts is not education, but of course, I didn’t say it was, so I’m not sure why you brought up that non sequitur.

    I wonder why none of you addressed the fact that so many American students reach college without the necessary skills to meet the challenge of college level study, thus forcing the nation’s institutions into teaching elementary reading and writing skills?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Here is a Sunday morning read for you, Clavos. It’s not a really long article, you know who poorly all of us Americans read

    :B You, Baronius, and Cannonshop might have a good idea in regards to a literacy test before you can vote. How about an Ebonics test, think you can pass?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Make up your mind, Clavos, you disparage, higher learning, and then claim that it’s the ruling class.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Collen Powell, whom I greatly-admire, made some excellent points in regard to our education system this morning on Meet The Depressed, education begins at home.

  • Clavos

    Make up your mind, Clavos, you disparage, higher learning, and then claim that it’s the ruling class.

    Thanks for proving my point,Jeannie. I don’t disparage learning at all, quite the opposite, I disparage the fact that our educational system is so inadequate it fails to impart learning.

    And incidentally, I was NOT referring to “higher” learning, my criticism is of the schools teaching the grades through high school.

    Our colleges and universities still do a fair job of teaching (even the remedial skills necessary to enable the high school graduates to read and write), although these days, with few exceptions they pretty much hew primarily to lefty dogma.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Meh

  • zingzing

    clavos: “you weakened your argument because you’re clearly more knowledgeable than the average…”

    yet my point was that i received my education in a rather average american public school system. how’d i do that? how’d you do it?

    if our school systems are so woeful, how are some able to take the tools they’re given there are build a quality education out of them? sure, our schools could be better. so could our parenting. so could the quality of our cocaine.

    if your kid is a dumbass who can’t read by the time he’s 18, well, that’s your fault as a parent. kids should be able to read by 3 or 4, before school starts.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    kids should be able to read by 3 or 4, before school starts.

    The sad fact: Many children have little to no parenting and if the parent isn’t a reader , then you’re not going to see that early learner. Head-start is the only chance for many children.

    Compassionate and intelligent social programs would bring us closer to this goal.

    Three’s a little early to be cracking the whip, isn’t it?

    JD

  • Clavos

    how’d you do it?

    I didn’t. Until college I never attended a day of government schooling. My point about you is that you are the exception that proves the rule. Most (not all) public school alumni do not learn very much, and I think Jeannie is right, a lot of parents haven’t a clue themselves and so do nothing to encourage their children. Increasingly, the ones that do are keeping them home and teaching them themselves (like my friend), an idea I heartily endorse.

    Three’s a little early to be cracking the whip, isn’t it?

    Not at all. My grandmother started teaching me to read at 2. By 3, I could read at 2nd grade level.

    My father, an avid reader all his life who had been a history major in college, had me reading the classics (Dickens, Defoe, Twain, etc.) by the time I was nine, and kept guiding me all the way through high school.

    I laugh at those NEA bumper stickers that say, “If you can read this, thank a teacher.”

  • Clavos

    Another thing that made readers out of both of my siblings and me besides our grandmother and father: my parents never owned a TV — never. In their house, you wanted entertainment, you talked or read.

  • zingzing

    clavos: “My point about you is that you are the exception that proves the rule.”

    out of everyone i went to public school with (and with whom i still keep in touch), two have doctorates (one in biology, one in psych), four have masters (one in computer science, one in german, two in physics), and those of us with just bachelors are writers, artists, musicians, actors, dancers, etc. the one with the masters in cs designs war games and is a raging libertarian with a suicidal streak. too smart for his own good. nearly everyone i know went to public school, 99% of them have graduated college (i can only think of one that didn’t, but he’s a ridiculously creative and talented actor, dancer and musician,) and most of them are very well read.

    if i’m an exception, then so is everyone else in my experience. i certainly don’t hang out among the most ridiculously intellectual people, but everyone i know and everyone i meet all seem to be fairly intelligent.

    i meet a lot of people that say americans are dumb and can’t read or identify canada and shit, but i rarely seem to meet the people they’re talking about. it’s odd.

    jeannie, by age 3, kids should be able to read plenty. they naturally aren’t going to be able to comprehend a lot of what they read yet, but they should be able to get through dick and jane type stuff.

  • zingzing

    “my parents never owned a TV — never.”

    getting rid of my television was the best thing i ever did. what few television shows i would want to watch are easily available on the internet, with all the commercials edited out. and watching television is so mindless. at least if you have to actively search for something, it’s something you actually want to watch.

  • Clavos

    if i’m an exception, then so is everyone else in my experience…

    Of course, my friend. Birds of a feather and all that…

  • zingzing

    “Of course, my friend. Birds of a feather and all that…”

    yeah, well. one would think i’d occasionally meet an illiterate fool who can’t identify canada on a map. law of averages and all that, if they’re so common.

  • Clavos

    One last point, zing. You and I can discuss this issue until the cows come home, but the fact is that I’m not alone in this, experts have been saying for years that US schools are lacking, and that this lack has resulted in our falling behind in a number of important disciplines, including the sciences, engineering and mathematics. Don’t take my word for it (as if you would), Google it — it’s not hard to find good sources on the issue.

  • Clavos

    yeah, well. one would think i’d occasionally meet an illiterate fool who can’t identify canada on a map. law of averages and all that, if they’re so common

    Talk to your auto mechanic the next time you take your car in for repair

  • zingzing

    don’t have a car… i live in nyc. to own a car would be remarkably expensive and frustrating around here. my roommate does however, and i had to go pick up his car for him one day. the mechanic seemed reasonably intelligent in conversation and he wrote my roommate a not ineloquent letter detailing what was wrong with the car. i didn’t ask him where canada is situated, but you know, i doubt many people would really do that.

    yes, us schools have fallen behind. that’s true. but they aren’t producing illiterate imbeciles at a 50% clip, which is what you suggested at the start of all this.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    keeping them home and teaching them themselves (like my friend), an idea I heartily endorse.

    It does more harm than good, to deprive a child of social interaction and mutual learning experiences with their peers.

    You advocate sociological inbreeding, Clavos?

  • Jordan Richardson

    I agree with you and “many,” Jordan. Mere rote memorization of facts is not education, but of course, I didn’t say it was, so I’m not sure why you brought up that non sequitur.

    Wasn’t addressed to you, Clavos, and certainly isn’t meant to undress your point (which I somewhat agree with, even with your flowery overstatements). I brought it up because of what El Bicho said, I think and it’s not a non sequitur at all in that rightful context.

    Memorization does pass for education. It follows that perhaps that approach accounts for why Americans slump so greatly in test scores, etc.

  • http://rooferonfire.blogspot.com Mika Galipeau

    Higher education and occupation do not make an intellect.
    Under such auspices, I would be of neanderthal mind since I did not go to college and am employed as a construction worker. In reality, I could converse in three languages and read novels prior to entering school at age 3 1/2. As a youngster I could name the capitals of every nation on the planet and locate every state in the Union on a map. We owned a television, but I seldom watched.

    There are people who are innately quicker learners than others. Excluding them from the public school experience stunts them socially, but also affects students who may not have it so easy. Smart kids have positive effects on their brethren. I am more than happy that teachers encouraged me to help other students as it taught me patience and acceptance.

    When you combine intellectual segregation with inadequate curricula you have a recipe for disaster. Nowadays folks see intellect as a disadvantage, opting for psychotropic medication versus thwarting boredom by allowing children the opportunity to assist their peers.
    Children are not the same and never have been, and expecting them to all be mediocre is a disservice to all.

  • Clavos

    It does more harm than good, to deprive a child of social interaction and mutual learning experiences with their peers.

    My friend’s children aren’t deprived of anything, especially not “social interaction,” they play team sports, participate in Scouting, go on field trips with groups of other homeschoolers, one of them plays lead guitar in a rock band, etc.

    You have an erroneous idea of what homeschooling is like these days, Jeannie. There are now so many homeschoolers that parents form associations and sometimes even divvy up the teaching duties if, for example, one parent is expert in history, he/she might volunteer to teach several other kids in addition to their own, and another parent in the same group might teach math, etc.

    What I can tell you about my friend’s kids is that they are all three very articulate, with extensive vocabularies, and appear to be very adept at abstract thinking and problem solving. I was able to observe two of them (boys, ages 15 and 11) at very close range and 24/7 this summer, because I invited them and their mother (the third son is 21 and on his own) to take a two week cruise on my boat with me. It was an ideal setting for getting to know these kids well at very close quarters, and I was very impressed by them.

  • Clavos

    yes, us schools have fallen behind. that’s true. but they aren’t producing illiterate imbeciles at a 50% clip, which is what you suggested at the start of all this.

    Imbeciles, no, and I don’t think I ever used that word at any time — I never said American kids are stupid, just poorly educated. Illiterate? Actually not that either, but semi-literate? Emphatically yes — and far too many of them for the money we spend on “educating” them. On several occasions my mother-in-law has shared her students’ (the kids in the remedial classes) first week essays, which she has them write in order to evaluate them at the beginning of the semester. Considering that these kids have been graduated from high school and accepted at a major university, they ARE only semi-literate — most can’t even construct a sentence properly, much less put together an entire paper coherently.

    It’s nothing short of shameful and appalling.

  • Clavos

    Jordan, I apologize. I did think your comment was directed at me.

  • zingzing

    well, clavos. not everyone is a good writer. or even decent. i’ve done enough editorial work in corporate america to know that a) just because you can’t write doesn’t mean you’re stupid (i rewrote stuff for a multi-billionaire who almost bilked the stock market of billions more, and then got caught, but managed to get off scot-free and loaded as ever), and b) foreign people (who can speak english perfectly well) can be really shitty writers as well.

    i’m glad a lot of people suck at writing. it gives me a job. but it’s funny how much academic writing flusters people. my ex could write me terribly eloquent, deeply personal, highly communicative letters that could break your heart (or mine, as it were, in the end, oh weepy, weepy, i). but her 80-page thesis paper was a fucking mess. i couldn’t believe it was the same person writing. took me a week to get it looking presentable.

    academic and business writing is frightfully unnatural to some people. i’m not sure it’s always the easiest way to gauge a person’s abilities.

  • Clavos

    zing, I’m talking way beyond bad writing; I’m talking functional illiteracy — the inability to even form simple declarative sentences that are coherent, to use the right verb tense, to understand basic concepts like agreement of subject and verb, severely limited vocabularies — in short, the stuff they should have been taught back in grade school. Speaking of grade school, these kids also have trouble reading, according to my mother in law.

    And once more: I am NOT saying they’re stupid, they aren’t, they are UNEDUCATED — but they have been processed through twelve years of government “education,” and pushed out into the world without having learned even fundamental basics

    Not just bad writing, no. Hell, college freshman in general don’t write well, many of them — that’s part of what they’re in college for.

  • http://rooferonfire.blogspot.com Mika Galipeau

    Zing, I do understand what you are talking about, as I’m often asked to proofread the work of those with far more paid education than I have.
    I have also noticed the amount of young adults with severe reading and writing deficiencies; because of the new apprenticeship requirements for tradespeople it is coming to the forefront. The current BC roofing procedures manual is almost 5 inches in thickness and failure to understand specific codes can result in fatal disasters. The inability to read well and understand structural mathematics is now the difference between 12 and 40 dollars per hour.
    someone used the ‘mechanic’ example prior, and I will state that if you cannot read and write, you can no longer become apprenticed as a mechanic. In the province I live in, there are now literacy tests in grade 12, and if you do not pass, you do not graduate. All apprenticeships require a minimum of grade 12 in British Columbia.

    Just thought I’d put that out there.

    Oh, Clavos: I submitted an article about 10 hours ago. Also putting that out there ;)

  • Ruvy

    Some 30 years ago my ex and I went on a cross-continent tour of North America. We saved money by staying with relatives and my ex had relatives who lived near New Orleans. One evening while visiting, we were watching TV, the TV news. This principal of a school was complaining about budget cuts the new Reagan administration was forcing on Louisiana schools.

    My ex’s relatives were howling with laughter listening to this guy talk. He did not utter a single sentence in literate English. Literate Ebonics, maybe. English – no. Roofing instructions are not written in Ebonics, even in America. They are written in English. What kind of role model was this principal supposed to be anyway? And assuming his students could get position as journeymen in the construction trades, would they be able to read the instructions?

    I think that is what Clavos has been talking about. I have seen the same decline in education world-wide, with a few notable exceptions. Israel is NOT one of those exceptions, unfortunately.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I’ve started to get really curious about, Mexico’s educational-system.

    I found out more than I could have imagined. We are so sheltered from any real news here in the states. You have to look elsewhere if you want the truth.

    The truth about Mexico:

    Mexico takes even less notice of their public obligations and trust of the Mexican citizens. Look at Maquila.

    However, there may be a high level of education in Mexico,(exclusively for the privileged class). I just haven’t found it yet.

    JD

  • Clavos

    Further on the abysmal quality of our nation’s education system:

    There is a new documentary, Waiting For Superman, premiering nationwide on September 24th which exposes and examines the sorry state of our government schools. The film is already receiving enthusiastic critical acclaim, here’s an excerpt from Variety’s review:

    “The information presented here is sobering: This country spends more to incarcerate someone for four years than it would cost to educate the same inmate in private school for 12 years (and likely keep him/her out of prison). But the monetary waste caused by poor schools is just one item on the film’s agenda: The unfulfilled potential, social disintegration and generational failure — perpetuated by the hamster-wheel logic of the nation’s entrenched school bureaucracies — are mourned throughout. And it’s the arrogance of so-called educators that comes under Guggenheim’s withering moral/intellectual assault.

    The film closely examines the intransigence of the teacher’s unions, the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and National Education Association (NEA), which I have already mentioned in this discussion as being a significant obstacle to improving the quality of our schools. Needless to say, the film, directed by Davis Guggenheim, who also directed An Inconvenient Truth, is biting and incisive, but according to Variety’s reviewer, John Anderson, is not one-sided:

    “Waiting for Superman” has a pacing, rhythm, mix of media (animation by Awesome and Modest) and sense of human connection that keep it engaging and, at times, very, very moving. The children Guggenheim focuses on — in Los Angeles, D.C., the Bronx and Harlem — are little packages of promise, whose futures become dependent on the lotteries by which they are admitted (or not) into the charter schools that provide the only alternative to the corrupted institutions to which they are otherwise consigned. The blame for this corruption is spread all around, and the state of the schools is diagnosed as critical. But the film also addresses very possible solutions and the kinds of people who can apply them; as such, it’s a movie full of spirit and hope.

    I’m not the only one who thinks our schools are tanking.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Bull-The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and National Education Association (NEA), which I have already mentioned in this discussion as being a significant obstacle to improving the quality of our schools.

    You can’t just make shit up unless you say it’s just your opinion.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    What happened? Did #103 slip by?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    Here is a good film about life in, Mexico for many men, women, and children.

    JD

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Clavos’s views on American public education are spot on. Bright and naturally inquisitive as most kids are, the grind of going through the average American middle school and high school just about kills all desire for learning. All one has to do is to look at what passes for a middle- or high school textbook to become convinced of this truism. Our kids are being terrorized by the requirements that are made of them in terms of memorization of useless facts without the benefit of thinking. Not until one enters a higher education facility that thinking becomes a requirement. Consequently, what the kids naturally know and are inclined to do prior to entering an American public school, they have to unlearn while there, only to relearn it again while in college.

    But then again, we’re always been paying a lip service to public education. And what’s the interest, anyway, in having the general public capable of thinking for themselves?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Who cares what the, Anarchist thinks? Not many, but you may get a big audience with that tea Party crowd.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Maybe education should do the same as, health insurance reform, require most of the money to go into the classroom, where it belonged in the first place.

    JD

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos,

    I’m so tired of this endless union-bashing. I can see what keeping unions down and non-existent is doing for, Mexico, and this isn’t there.

    Furthermore, if you have such a wonderful education, why don’t you share some of that knowledge in these threads. Just saying, “teach em at home” is lazy.

  • Clavos

    Just saying, “teach em at home” is lazy.

    Once again, you’re not paying attention. I have advocated for the voucher system, charter schools, and for those who can afford them, private schools such as the Montessori system in addition to homeschooling. The last two of course, are are not for everybody. Parents lacking money can’t use private schools and those lacking a decent education themselves would not be able to teach their kids.

    However, both charter schools and vouchers have been proven to be VERY effective, but are vehemently opposed by the unions because they present a serious competitive threat to the government schools, which, to survive that competition, would have to do some serious thinning of the current ranks of teachers. That poses a huge threat to the leaders of the unions, who cannot afford to lose any members and thus strength and revenue. So, the unions, using their millions of dollars collected from their members as dues, lobby Congress constantly — literally all year, every year — to protect their turf. The congressclowns, as they do with all lobbyists, do the teacher unions’ bidding, and year after year, nothing changes, except to get worse.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    I will have to respond tomorrow, Clavos. This comment requires more thought and research… You do make a good case here, and I pay attention to what you say, even though I argue with every word.

    nite

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    The unions, using their millions of dollars collected from their members as dues, lobby Congress constantly — literally all year, every year — to protect their turf. Yes, they do.

    Now, look at the reasons why the teacher’s unions lobby Congress.

    Use of members dues.

    Nothing is an absolute in this world, Clavos, so while the union uses member money to lobby, please understand that it is the members themselves who are lobbying Congress.

    As far as a million schools and what-ever arrangements at home, that’s not a realistic way to achievement any standards or continuity within the fabric of this society. It’s not a pinko-commie-plot to send all the little children to government indoctrination camps. It’s education for all.

    : See?

  • Clavos

    No, Jeannie, I don’t. I have no idea what part of what I have said you’re addressing — in fact, I have no idea what your point is.

    I said nothing about “government indoctrination camps” — WTF? Even if the government were attempting to “indoctrinate” the kids, I wouldn’t be worried — hell, they can’t even teach ‘em to read and write!

    Jeannie, as to the “members themselves” lobbying congress — so what? It’s the lobbying that is wrong — no matter who’s doing it: the teachers, the banks, the auto manufacturers, the AARP — it makes no difference who. Lobbying is corrupting our legislative process, and teacher union lobbying is screwing up the schools.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Clavos, I didn’t say that, You ,called them that and I can’t force you to SEE my way. no hard feelings, OK? :D Good!

    Entitlements and the Taylor Law are what’s screwing up schools.

    “The labor unions also contend that the Taylor Law does not provide government agencies the incentive to negotiate contracts on a timely basis and negotiate the terms of the contract in good faith. There have been lobbying efforts by municipal unions to the New York state legislature to change the Taylor Law.” link above

    Now, about lobbys, there are good and bad, it depends on … LOL, bye for now…

  • Clavos

    Clavos, I didn’t say that, You ,called them that…

    For the life of me, I don’t recall saying that, so how about a link?

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    correction:

    I didn’t say that you called them that. In fact, nobody called them that, it was just an illustration of how (some)people see public schools.

    :D punctuation better?

  • Clavos

    Jeannie,

    I’m a volunteer at a charity organization called “Everybody Wins South Florida,” whose CEO is the daughter of a very good friend. What we do is mentor disadvantaged kids for the specific purpose of helping them learn how to read better. Anyway, the young lady in charge has secured the movie, Waiting For Superman for an advanced screening here in Miami. The movie, directed by the same man who directed Al Gore’s movie, An Inconvenient Truth, deals with the problems in the school system and what should be done about them. Obviously, I haven’t seen it yet, but my understanding is that it’s getting a lot of attention nationwide. I mention it because I thought you might be interested in seeing it. It opens nationwide sometime next month.

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Thank you, Clavos, we will be sure to see it. That’s really great, your reading program(crucial)for disadvantaged youth! seriously

    Here’s one review: This film will certainly get more people talking about public education, teachers unions, graduation rates and global competitiveness. long over-due

    Here’s another.

    There’s always two sides…

    :D

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Well Clavos,

    I’m watching, Education Nation, and can say with, *utter* certainty, that this is an attempt to privatize and bust the unions. But, you already knew…

  • http://jeanniedanna.wordpress.com/ jeannie danna

    Where is Clavos?

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