There is virtually nothing of Jesus Christ left in the Religious Right, it is now wholly dedicated to three issues: denying women the constitutional right to choose their own futures in regards to abortion; promoting discrimination, prejudice, bigotry and hatred of homosexuals, and destroying the concept of separation of Church and State by replacing the public schools with a system of religious indoctrination centers.
Privatizing Social Security
The impetus of this article is my long time watch of the Cato Institute, the Right-wing Libertarian organization – who with the help of Richard Mellon Scaife funded David Horowitz – has been infiltrating college campuses for most of a generation doing two specific things.
Collect and network cases of Political Correctness to exaggerate and distribute to conservative publications and radio shows.
A campaign across every campus in American to distribute literature and organize students to help destroy the New Deal, specifically Social Security. This is done through fear and misinformation that no college student will ever see a penny of their payroll taxes when they become eligible.
Running for Congress in 1978 and as Texas Governor in 1998 George Bush plainly stated he wants to eliminate Social Security and hand it over to the free market. Here in 2005 he is now going to do it come Hell or High water.
In talking to people I have realized there is a great misunderstanding regarding the percentage of money moved into private accounts. The GOP expresses it in the terms of percentage of the total individual payroll tax as 4% rather than the percentage of the actual money going into private accounts which is 60%. The Social Security payroll tax is 6% so their 4% is really 66% of it.
That is a very important semantic muddle they use to tout this crap. We think what the Hell, 4% is nothing to worry about. But the real percentage is 66% of Social Security. It does not matter if it’s Social Security, health care, education funding, progressive taxation, bankruptcy, human rights, civil rights or constitutional rights; they are going to take away everything they can from everyone they can but the wealthy and corporate backers. And all they have to do is scream SOCIALISM or intone God, and the majority of Americans bend over and spread.
The No-Care Hypocrisy
If someone as intrinsically repugnant as Newt Gingrich receives the best free federally subsidized health care in the world, why shouldn’t you? And more importantly, why, while he got his, did he do everything possible to deny you, yours?
The GOP, working behind closed doors, came up with a plan to change Medicare by pushing people into HMO’s and Managed Care where they can’t choose their own doctors. Not long before that the GOP destroyed the Democratic health care plan because it was worked out behind closed doors and would push people into HMO’s and Managed care where they couldn’t choose their own doctors. Again, the only difference is the inclusion of the word “Clinton”.
Now with that one under your belt, top it off with the GOP scaring all the people into believing that Medicaid will dry up in seven years with no one having any health care at all unless they slash it by $270 billion to pay for tax cuts for the upscale. Now get this, when the Democrats complain such large cuts will hurt a lot of people, the GOP screams that the Democrats are the spawn of Satan scaring the bejeezus out of little old ladies.
It is not so much that the do this, but that it works for them; the Washington Post and the New York Times piled on the Democrats for Medi-scare, jumping in bed with the GOP over the issue. Then to add insult to injury, a recent poll shows that even the majority of old folks like the GOP plan.
There is indeed a problem with the amount of money we spend on Medicare and Medicaid ($270 billion a year). The way to solve it is not by pitting old against young or poor against the middle class, but rather to cover everyone under a national health care plan in a payroll tax. Like the rest of the civilized world. But as the chances of that are absolutely nil, rather than cover everyone with perhaps a little less, let’s take it out on the children, the old and the indigent. It’s what American now stands for.
As your health is the most important thing there is, the best idea I have come across was from George McGovern who suggested a viable universal health care plan. Move into it gradually, cover the elderly as we do now, then cover preschool children, then children under 18 and after it gets working and accepted by the majority, move everyone in between into it. A sound idea, but of course untenable in the present atmosphere of he who gots the most, gets the most.
Lifespans – Country Men/Women
Canada — 76 / 84
Australia — 76 / 83
Japan — 76 / 83
Sweden — 76 / 82
Israel — 76 / 81
Greece — 76 / 81
Switzerland — 75 / 82
Netherlands — 75 / 81
France — 74 / 82
Norway — 74 / 81
Spain — 74 / 81
Britain — 74 / 79
New Zealand — 74 / 80
United States — 73 / 79
Of these listed, the United States, on the bottom, is the only one without national healthcare
A recent poll showed that 85% of Canadians were “happy” with the Canadian single payer system. The same poll showed that only 30% of Americans were “happy” with whatever the Hell it is we got here.
Jite Bill 2000 – Any member of the US House or Senate who votes against any form of universal health care will be immediately denied all forms of federally funded health services for themselves and their families
A single payer health care system is the simplest of choices, it is the most easily enforceable, it is administratively less costly by far, it will cost the nation less, it will cost individuals less, it will cost employers less, it will cover everyone with the same level of care most of us enjoy today, and it will never happen.
Believe it or not, competition in health care drives up the cost, the more hi-tech it becomes the more profit is made. Even with cartels and monopolies we have choices. With oil companies we can choose gas or coal or bicycles. With banks we can choose not to deposit or not to borrow, we can even live without the various utilities with a bit of self reliance, but health care is something we must have and often have immediately.
With the various success of single payer National Health Care plans around the world, which upwards of 90% of the people in those countries accept, and enjoy as a right, one comes to wonder why it is such anathema to us here in America. The plans are in place and work well in Canada, Germany, France, Britain, Australia, Japan, the Scandinavian countries, and literally everywhere on Earth accept the United States. In fact, these systems work better than ours with about half the cost. Why not here? Why is it political suicide to mention single payer national health care in this country?
Those nations, which enjoy national health care plans, are content taking care of each other. They are willing to pay more taxes to give everyone equal access while reducing the overall cost to the nation. The reason is that they are more homogeneous societies than we; of those previously mentioned Australia has the most Blacks at 1.5% compared to our 13%, and recently an added 16% Hispanic. Those countries perceive themselves as paying in for themselves and not some other differently colored culture they didn’t like then and like no better now.
When Andrew Hacker, author of Two Nations, Separate and Unequal was asked what to do to alleviate the racism in America, the noted expert in the field has very little to suggest. But most certainly there are things that do not help. Conservative talk show hosts who denigrate and insult one Black leader after another day in and day out, conservatives who ignore or defend racists and racist organizations, and neither do the endless attacks on Political Correctness help race relations where the gist of it has come to mean conservatives whose speech and writings reek of prejudice and bigotry are the victims, while those few who have the moral fortitude to call them on it have become fascist communist Demons from Hell. It’s all disgusting semantic drool a ten year old can see through, but then again most ten year olds are quite a bit smarter than most conservative talk show audiences.
The health care issue is used here because it is a topic of national discussion in the here and now, but this same mentality can be substituted to most any social program with the same results. The unsaid, “I hate my tax money going to NWORDS is the sad American bottom line. Though many politicians and individuals understand and wish to help through government intervention, democracy being what it is, the majority is not going to allow it until every Black in America follows the lead of Uncle Clarence Thomas and dresses, speaks, and thinks like Ron and Nancy Reagan. So though in it’s pragmatism it somehow sounds conservative, African Americans are going to have to do their best to do what they can for themselves by themselves, because with our recent run to the Right, this racist nation of ours is going to be just kicking them in the head harder as time goes on.
Teach Your Children Bad
One B-2 bomber costs enough to pay the tuition of all students at the University of Wisconsin for 11 years.
The central ideology of the conservative movement now holding this nation hostage has as it’s basis; greed being good, selfishness as something to boast of, and how as a society we should take pride in showing as much callous disregard for anyone we consider different as possible. These are the basic traditional American values we hear so much about. Not only should these fine values taking the high moral ground be shouted from every podium, pulpit and radio talk show in America, but should be incorporated into every facet of our education system. Early on, in Head Start and day care.
If a kid is playing with a toy and some other child wants it, teach that kid to poke the other one in the eye until it stops grabbing for it. If that same child wants all the toys from all the kids, just instruct him to use more fingers more often. And when all the kids are crying because their eyes hurt and they have no toys to play with, make sure the good kid with all the toys is not only rewarded, but also taught not to give a crap. Such instruction is paramount as the basis for creating more conservatives to insure a kinder gentler nation for the voting booths of the future
GOP University of Conservative Studies – Freshman Curriculum .
Bachelor of Conservative Science:
IMPACT PHYSICS OF BLACK TALONS – 3 credits
BIOLOGY OF CREATIONISM – 3 credits
CHEMISTRY OF LETHAL INJECTION – 3 credits
INFERIORITY OF MINOR RACES – 3 credits
FERTILIZER AND FUEL OIL 101 – 3 credits
Bachelor of Conservative Arts:
HOW TAXES AFFECT ME – 3 credits
HOW AFFIRMATIVE ACTION AFFECTS ME – 3 credits
HOW HOMOSEXUALITY AFFECTS ME – 3 credits
ME AND MINE – 3 credits
I AND MY – 3 credits
Bachelor of Conservative Fine Arts:
WHITE PEOPLE IN THE ARTS – 3 credits
RED DAWN – THE MOVIE – 3 credits
WATERCOLORS WITH ADOLPH – 3 credits
SCULPTURE OF THE B52 – 3 credits
RED/WHITE/BLUE – THE PRIMARY COLORS – 3 credits
School Vouchers – Idea From Hell
“Every time you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. It’s like feeding a dog on his own tail. It won’t fatten the dog.” Mark Twain
Everyone had best think this voucher business out slowly and surely before jumping onto the bandwagon, for not only will it destroy the public education system in this country, send hundreds of billions of dollars into the coffers of the Religious Right, but will facilitate the indoctrination of millions of our children into a belief system based upon anti-science, dogma, bigotry, intolerance and curtailment of the creative process. It will not only change the basis of our society, but will end America’s reign as the world leader in the promotion of freedom and liberty.
Issue 1 – We must lay to rest the false premise that the public school system has failed, has been destroyed and is so broken beyond repair that the baby must be thrown out with the bath water. In reality, most schools are doing fine as are most students. The problems are more societal than they are educational; and reform, not destruction, is the obvious way to lead ourselves out of it. The problems are mostly confined to inner city and rural areas where money is short because the primary funding of education comes from local property taxes giving the richer districts the most money to spend. Here we must also put to rest another false premise; that spending money on education does not improve it. This is one of the premier lies of conservatives that spending money on things does not help (so let’s reduce the military budget by 90%). Infrastructure, teaching aids, computers, smaller class size and well-paid teachers do indeed improve education.
Issue 2 – We must come to terms with what exactly the problem is. Conservatives will always put the blame on the NEA, after all, not only is it a union, but it often lobbies for causes regarding fairness, tolerance and equality, all aspects of what conservatives see as the road to Marxist Hell. After blaming teachers they put the onus on parents and then various forms of media and entertainment. Holding our kids responsible seldom enters into it. The truth is that the sorry attitudes of so many of our young people are brought about by a generation of conservatives commanding the national debate. Telling them they should all have at least one big handgun to carry around or be considered a little wussy, that nothing matters but their wallets, and a fast mouth, and the entrepreneurial spirit is more important than a higher education. This is streamed across America everyday on the EIB Network where Rush Limbaugh, who takes pride in flunking out of college, saying he is the smartest man in the known universe and constantly suggests that higher education is for socialist dumbbells. A lot of kids may not be able to read or write very well, but they are smart enough to get that message; get a big gun, care about nothing but yourself, move a fast mouth and the world is your oyster. The moral problem today is not about condoms, sex education, abortion, evolution, or teaching tolerance of gay men and women, it is this raw callous selfish disregard that is the centerpiece of the conservative ideology.
Issue 3 – We must separate the issues of public school choice and private school vouchers. The former is a reasonable idea and is being tested as magnet and charter schools all over the country. Some are successful and some are not, but most results so far show little change in academic proficiency. Most Americans have little problem with public school choice and it may be a good option of reform if busing is not a concern to them. But there is a fly in this ointment as well. The Religious Right is pushing charter schools to use as the jumping off point to hopefully destroy public education in lieu of religious indoctrination centers.
ssue 4 – We must define what exactly private school vouchers are. Let us use California as the test case as it presented itself on referendum as Proposition 174 a few years back. Every parent gets a voucher from the State in the amount of $2600 for each child in K-12. The average yearly cost of a secular private school in California is $10,000 while religious schools average $3000. This discrepancy is based on the quality of teachers, infrastructure, and the fact that religious schools are subsidized by the local, national and international fund raising pools of churches and various denominations. It is obvious that the haves will be subsidized by tax money to take advantage of good quality schools while the have-nots will be forced to either use what is left of the public system or send their children to below standard religious indoctrination centers. This is not to mention a voucher system will further increase segregation.
Issue 5 – We must look at the constitutional question. The vast majority of existing private schools are religious in nature, mostly Catholic or Evangelical, and they will be cheap and far ahead of secular private schools regarding recruitment and availability, which most parents will be forced to use because of economic reality. Literally billions of dollars in tax money going to support the religious indoctrination of millions of children. A lot of that tax money will also end up in the coffers of various political arms of the Religious Right to fund more of their intolerant referendums and to buy more ammo to shoot more doctors in the back. The question is whether this is possible under the separation clause of the First Amendment or will the constitution have to be amended. Recently that was settled by the same Supreme Court who appointed George Bush President, billions of dollars in tax money going to churches via vouchers is not at odds with the 1st Amendment
Issue 6 – We must make sure everyone knows exactly who is pushing private school vouchers. The main player is the Christian Coalition, the political arm of the Religious Right organized and controlled by Pat Robertson. C-SPAN aired a convention of theirs I happened to watch back in 1996. The speakers were in order; Pat Robertson, Newt Gingrich, Jesse Helms, Phil Gramm and Bob Dole. I missed the Dole speech because the previous speakers made me so sick to my stomach I was stuck in the toilet throwing up for an hour. All four speakers I watched had at their central issue the replacement of public schools with a system of private religious schools. The issue of abortion was suspiciously absent (after all, they pretty much have that all figured out, shoot doctors who perform abortions until they all run away), in lieu of this new idea, which they are putting all their cards in. The words condom, sex education, liberal socialism and Planned Parenthood rang through every speech ad nauseam. In fact two of them quoted the same Bible passage from Psalms about President Clinton to the affect that we should all rejoice because the leader shall soon be dead, all to the foot stomping applause of the Christian audience. Which is just what they want schools to instill in ALL our children. Before watching these speakers I had not fully realized the depth of their hate or the seriousness of their message regarding religious control of the government, Senator Gramm being by far the most despicable of the bunch.
Another group pushing private school vouchers is Empower America, whose cofounders, Jack Kemp and William Bennett are beating the same drum on the same bandwagon. Kemp has somehow come to be thought of as a moderate Republican, which he most certainly is not. He presided over HUD under Reagan who cut the department by over 50%. Then they both stood dumbfounded wondering why suddenly there were so many of those damn homeless people lying around in the streets.
The second of the cofounders is Bill Bennett (Rush Limbaugh’s best friend) who, as the data shows, was a complete failure not only as Drug Czar but as Secretary of Education as well. Now these are a couple guys who know what’s going on in education and housing and have real compassion for the least of us. What these guys are really after is the privatization of not only education but everything they can get their hands on, you name it. The intent is to make the entire moral ideology of this nation dependent upon max profit subsidized by doubtful deities prancing around in the netherworld.
Another dead giveaway as to what this is about and who is behind it is who the top individual contributor backing Proposition 174 was. His name is Howard Ahmanson, an evangelical Episcopalian who has donated $400,000 to the cause of voucherism. I quote from Ahmanson, “My purpose is the total integration of Biblical law into our lives.”
Issue 7 – We must look to the voucher systems in place at present. In both Milwaukee and Cleveland it encompasses a few thousand inner city children. The results show that there is no difference in math scores between public and private students, a drop in reading skills in the voucher students, and some of the schools are going under leaving students stranded without any school to go to at all.
Conclusion – We must understand these voucher plans have little to do upon improving education, but rather to further segregation and to indoctrinate millions of children into narrow minded Republicans for the voting booths of tomorrow. Do not let this happen, it is the most serious issue we face in this country today.
School Vouchers in the House
“Two Colorado politicians, U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and state Sen. John Andrews, recently signed a pledge calling for the elimination of all public schools.” Not an episode of South Park, but from the Denver Post.
The GOP gave JC Watts the job of spokesman for their presentation of the School Voucher Bill in the House. Using Uncle JC to show how concerned Republicans are about poor black children. Behind Watts stood a chart showing divisions of the public by race, sex and so on; all backing school vouchers by over 75%. The chart claims it’s a done deal and it is time for Congress to get in line with the people.
The new game is to play the word choice as the centerpiece of their propaganda machine, school choice. Don’t they define the same word as baby murdering? Never forget that this voucher movement was initiated by the Racist Right to further segregation, pushed by the Religious Right to force religious dogma into public schools and is now the centerpiece of Republican politics to ensure conservative voting patterns in the future.
Conservatives, in mostly lockstep have fought all civil rights legislation, have voted against Head Start, school lunches, for the elimination of the Department of Education, against national academic testing and have been the leaders in keeping the disparity between rich and poor school districts in place. Now suddenly their concern is the education of poor black children. Come on. What the GOP gets out of this game of semantic drool is really quite simple:
Creating religious indoctrination centers to march out millions more conservative voters for the future.
$3000 worth of tax credit (cash rebate) for each child they and their wealthy constituents already have in private schools.
The destruction of public education.
Tens of billions of dollars pouring into the Religious Right’s propaganda machine and out to Republican campaigns.
Pretending to be concerned with the black community to increase their share of black votes.
The reality of such a plan is that because there is no way that an infrastructure of private schools can handle more than a tiny percentage of the more than 50 million public school children, it will skim off the best kids with the most concerned parents, leaving the bulk of children at risk to the ever less supported public school system. There are no federal requirements for voucher schools to adhere to anything, including teacher accreditation, civil rights, or the mentally, emotionally or physically disabled, which is also true of most Charter Schools. Outside the bounds of federal, state regulation and outside school boards as well.
The question we must not allow them to duck is why conservatives hate public education so intensely that they want to destroy it rather than fix it. It’s not that hard to understand. Our public schools teach tolerance, that bigotry is wrong, that we must care for the environment, that we are only part of the world, that smart sex is better than dumb sex, and that religion best be left to the private sector will not be part of the curriculum. Anathema to everything conservatives stand for.
This is the most important issue of our time. In the short run it will do little if anything at all to improve education, while pushing the children most at risk into the ever declining public school system, and further segregating our children by race and class. And in the long run it will continue to move this nation ever closer to a becoming the Taliban of the West.
Jesus is Coming
I have a radical solution to the various problems concerning disparity of school districts, white flight and the fall of inner city tax bases. All state tax revenues be distributed to school districts in relation to population. Period.
The two issues that most confound America are race and religion. Guns, crime, homosexuality and abortion though high on emotional bandwidth, have little immediate affect upon the vast majority of us. On the other hand, race and religion affect us all and go to the quick of our society. The war regarding race is now Affirmative Action while the battleground to destroy the concept of separation of church and state is being fought in the schools.
The Freedom of Religion Amendment has been floating around the House since Republicans took control in 1994. It is a constitutional amendment, which would allow the respective states to force feed organized prayer to public schools students. Nothing that unusual about Republicans trying to bring their own brand of the Taliban to America, but what should scare the pants of everyone is that in a recent poll, 70% of Americans said they think it’s a good idea.
Praying in school is not the real issue; rather, this is a point blank attack to change the very structure of our society by tearing down the wall between Church and State, the most central factor our founding fathers saw in drafting the Bill of Rights.
In getting the Amendment ready for public consumption, the political stump speeches from the GOP unequivocally advocate not only the destruction of the Department of Education, but changing our educational system to private school vouchers. This issue of course works for conservatives by the constant repetition of their dishonest propaganda:
Our educational system is a total failure
Our graduating seniors cannot read their diplomas
Our public schools do not teach reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmatic
Our public schools teach our kids to hate America
There are literally hundreds of these flat out lies that have been repeated so often and so intensely that the nitwit public can’t help but shovel it up.
Of course there are a few countries that beat us in educational areas, most of which are socialist homogenous societies. Finland is usually first, then Holland, The Netherlands, Sweden and Japan. These countries, unlike us, fund public education fairly and evenly, they consider teachers more deserving of respect than corporate raiders, and believe being educated serves both the individual and the society better than filling wallets as fast as possible.
Our most central educational problem is that the unemployment, poverty and hopelessness endemic in our inner cities flows from the streets into the classrooms, bringing our overall educational proficiency down. We tend to blame it on race or unions rather than the lack of economic opportunities our racist culture has wrought upon these areas and families.
Our second problem in education is the disparity between school districts caused by funding through local property taxes rather than general revenues. But whenever this issue is brought up, rectifying it becomes lost in the morass of the negatively labeled and racially bias Robin Hood rhetoric and is usually nixed.
The Religious Right has the seeds of this religious educational structure already in place and is chopping at the bit to get going. A real movement to a voucher system would mean as much as 100 billion dollars a year going from State revenues into the coffers of these Right-wing Religious organizations; not only increasing their power through money spent on PACS and propaganda, but closing the minds of most of our children.
The majority of these new voucher schools will be teaching what religious schools teach now, but on a far grander scale: Creation Science as biology, intolerance of other religions and cultures, hatred of homosexuals and that choice is murder, all the while not only pounding the fear of eternal pain and damnation into these kids, but pounding the crap out of them as well.
Oh sure, those who can’t afford the costs above the vouchers will stay in what is left of the de-funded public schools and indeed, there will be good secular private schools, which, without the infrastructure, power and money of the major religious denominations to back them up, will cost families thousands of more dollars a year.
One last point, I contend that the majority attraction in destroying public education is based far more upon racism than it is education.
The Charter School Danger
Jite Bill 2007 – All school board elections will be held at the same time and place as general elections.
Wow, the Separation of School and State Alliance! What an organization this is! Point blank, the purpose of education is to teach Christianity to our children. With all haste, break the back of public education and totally replace it with private schools in the hands of the Religious Right. The organization is somewhat reminiscent of creation science advocates in that they try to push this Christian theocracy through absurd secular arguments rather than religious dogma. The hate they push out so intensely is directed first at the government, followed by unions, then teachers and liberals. Right-wing Columnist Joe Sobran is their guru.
Watching a few hours of their meeting on C-SPAN woke me up to something. Be careful of this charter school business. Pushing charter schools is now the central plan of the Religious Right as it tries to move public opinion against public education. And when they feel they have majority support, along with the legislation (which the have) and the Supreme Court (which they have), move the whole shebang into a private voucher system dominated by the Neo-Christ of intolerance, bigotry and hate.
I also realized while listening to them make their plans, why is it so easy for them to get control of so many school boards. The elections are held separately from general elections so a fanatical voting block can win a school board election where perhaps only 5% of the registered voters go to the polls.
Christ in Math
“I live to see the day when we won’t have public schools. Our churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!” Jerry Falwell
We at the Christian Intellectual Ministries have accomplished many wonderful things over the years. We have fought teaching the children of America the lie of evolution by requiring Creation Science be given equal time in public school science classes. This is only fair considering the factual scientific truth of the first page of the Bible using the Christian Method as opposed to the unsubstantiated conjecture and lies of evolution using the atheistic Scientific Method. We may not have accomplished our ends in this regard yet, but with polls showing 50% of teachers and 70% of parents want Creation Science given equal time, we will accomplish it before too long.
So let us savor our victories. In just the last year alone we have removed hundreds of books from school libraries, such foul Godless tripe as Of Mice and Men and Catcher in the Rye. We have removed sex education programs and halted the dissemination of birth control devices at all levels, while at the same time doing everything in our power (including shooting doctors in the back) to stop women from murdering their children. If we make sure our children are not taught about sex and birth control, they will not have extramarital sex, get pregnant, and there will be no need for abortions, it is only logical.
We have also managed to remove AIDS education at all levels. After all, what does a teenager need to know besides that if they have sex they will die? If that is their choice then too bad, what better way to learn to be responsible and accountable for their actions? We too have attacked and removed many forms of counseling and self-esteem programs, especially those regarding gays dealing with their homosexuality.
Our next step is to put Christ back into mathematics, either that or take math out of public schools all together. Remember, mathematics, just like evolution, cannot be proven, and as such, to be fair to our children, here are the new rules:
· Change the plus sign to a fish, and put it on all typewriters and computer ASCII.
· With the Trinity as the basis of Christianity we will base our system on “3” rather than “10”.
· Make pi an even “3”. Call the corners of triangles, Father, Son, Holy Ghost, and make all angles of all triangles all equal.
· Change the divide sign to a fish.
· Change the multiply sign to a fish.
· As subtraction has a negative connotation, it is a sign of the Devil and will not be tolerated.
· And of course the story questions will all be references to Christianity and the Bible: If Jesus hung on the cross for 3 hours and came down to promote executions for 30 minutes, how many total minutes did he suffer on the cross?
A) 180 minutes
B) 150 minutes
C) 200 minutes
D) 175 minutes
Answer is “A”. You forgot, subtraction is not allowed.
“Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same…” Pete Seeger
My first experience with school uniforms was in the military in Asia. I remember laughing to myself that if it weren’t hard enough telling them apart as it is, uniforms sure added to that dilemma. Of course I was yucking it up from inside a uniform with a haircut that made me look exactly like every other American soldier to them.
I don’t like the idea of school uniforms, it’s a conservative idea, and that alone should set off the siren. What with all this angst about class warfare these days, are not the uniforms we wear in the adult world delineators of social class and standing, exasperating the problem further?
At the top of ladder are those in the dark suits with red ties, including that lighter suited mass of humanity streaming in and out of large building each weekday, showing they are at least on their way to that red tie higher standing. Then there are those on the bottom, you know who they are because they have “Mel” and “Jimmy” spelled out in an obligatory patch on their chests. Then there are the uniforms people wear to help the rest of us tell what they do; doctors, nurses, fire fighters, police, prisoners, fast food workers, soldiers, mail carriers, sports teams, and of course nudists. All this is very good for the clothing industry (well except for the nudists), especially when they decide for us that all our uniforms should have a new look every few years.
Sometimes an entire society decides to get into lockstep uniform, the Mao Jacket in China for example, or in the Arab world where because it’s so hot all the time, [PC ALERT] they wrap big white blankets around themselves and put Italian table cloths on their heads.
There are also varying degrees of peer pressure and collective behavior that cause many of us to get in uniform. We adults chuckle at our children who turn their baseball caps around and put on shirts and pants that seem ten sizes too big because they want to be different, but just end up all looking alike, which has been true of all youth in all generations. And don’t forget, we are chuckling at them from within our own generation of uniforms.
Back in the olden days when I was in school, we had dress codes so fierce we all ended up looking the same. No tennis shoes, no jeans, shirts had to have buttons which had to be buttoned up except the top one. Those rebels among us, often to the horror of school officials, sometimes kept two buttons unbuttoned! Remember the tab collar and the buckle sewed on the back of the pants? Gee, we all had to have those. We wanted to be different, not necessarily different from each other, but different from the generation before us to set us apart. Then sometime in the middle 60’s it began to change. Hair became the focal point and with it came changes in dress codes until the 70’s, when there were almost no limits at all.
We have to wear uniforms as adults. Now, perhaps, that requirement will be enforced through K12. We are born in uniform, we work in uniform, when we retire we seem to all jump into white shoes and polyester, and we’re even buried uniformly. I guess that leaves us to express ourselves in dress only on weekends and those four years of college less than a quarter of us get to attend.
Now I do understand the point about getting killed over a jacket. Well hold it, what do they wear over their uniforms on cold days? Well I do understand that, I understand the expense of style competition as I do the ease parents would then have dressing the ungrateful little goofs in the morning. But the ideological hypocrisy here is something to behold. One of the central themes from the Right is their attack on pinko liberals who want to force everyone to be equal. Well what’s all this then? You would think they would shut up on that count, hey? No way, remember we are not dealing with rocket scientists you know.
But let us not forget the purpose here, and the obvious good ends that packaging our kids into visible clones will gain us. Our educational system has been failing since when? They tell me it’s been since those evil 60’s when the dress codes fell apart. Put our kids in uniform and ZAP! Problem solved! And what the Hell, it’s a much better idea than vouchers.
California was one of the top 5 states in public education in the early 70’s. Since the big property tax revolt and the referendums capping those taxes, California is now in the bottom five states in public education.
The Parental Rights and Responsibility Act is one of those House bills Republicans dust off every so often when they feel the average American IQ has gone down another ten points. Written and submitted by the Christian Coalition, its function is to do everything possible to destroy public education in lieu of a voucher system. Although touting such cool stuff as massive corporal punishment and the like, its two most basic themes are to force schools to conduct alternate classes in anything at all a parent may find offensive in the curriculum, and to hold teachers personally liable for anything a parent wishes to sue them for. This one is about as awful as it gets. The good news is that when they push it through various state referendums it fails, but as soon as they get both houses of congress, like now, it is sure to come up again nationally
Making Higher Education Harder to Get
A wonderful new idea has come out of the Right-wing libertarian think-tank, the Cato Institute. It seems private colleges are having trouble competing with subsidized state run universities because of high tuition. The Cato answer? Force the state run colleges to raise their tuition’s to that of private universities!
The underlying conservative philosophy that giving anyone anything at all is anathema to American/Christian morality was best expressed on PBS’s Firing Line. William F. Buckley had a round table of conservatives and a new idea came up. Eliminate scholarships, Pell Grants and any and all government help in gaining our children affordable higher education. The reasoning is that the more that an individual spends on their own education, the more they will appreciate it and the better they will do. The reality is that as we sit with our educational system losing funding on all fronts, pushing to eliminate public schools and now trying to deny the poor access to higher education, most of the rest of the world pours more money into it, gives everyone an opportunity to a free education and are beating our pants off in percentage of high school and college graduates with higher test scores and workplace abilities. None of the conservative pundits at the table disagreed with the idea of making higher education harder to get, not one word of dissent. Here we have the reason we see so many strange looking doctors with such funny names.
Welfare Chain Gangs
Did Jesus, before he produced bread and fish out of the air to feed the masses, preface his miracle commanding they first don orange vests and pick up empty wine cups along the Road to Damascus?
A bill sponsored by the GOP was passed requiring those getting public housing assistance work two hours of menial labor each week for the government. Sounds good. I am sure that being the fair people we are and not wanting to only pile on the poor, that the bill will also require forced labor from:
· All those being assisted by home mortgage deductions.
· All farmers paid to not grow anything or who sell their products at fixed rates to the government.
· All CEO’s and Board of Director members who get any form of federal subsidies or tax breaks for their companies.
· All members of congress who get health care from military hospitals.
· Anyone receiving Social Security beyond what they paid in.