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The jumboist of jumbo entries...
26 June, 2002 :: 10:41 a.m.

A lot on my mind, who knows where this will go...

Maybe this will be an unpopular statement in this post-9/11 society, but with Independence Day fast approaching I can't say as I really feel or understand the feeling of patriotism. I mean I understand it in theory, but I don't really understand blind patriotism. I will be the first to admit that we have a lot to be thankful for in this country--in a lot of other countries I wouldn't be able to express these feelings without fearing for my safety and freedom. But love of country just isn't something I feel...why? How about lying politicians? How about the fact that, while it may be better than some other systems, capitalism sucks. We produce more than enough food in this country for everyone to eat (don't believe me, look at all the fat people in this country--they don't need all that food); we have enough money for a health care system that covers everyone (if we don't waste it on a missile defense system and tons of other stupid-ass gov't spending projects that aren't realistic...anyone know how much the gov't is paying to have research done for a system of camoflauge that would make soldiers essentially invisible? I don't know the numbers, but I'm sure that money could go elsewhere); we have enough money that our kids should be getting world class educations instead of so many places cutting back on educational spending...while I'm on this point, there is something else I want to mention:

I have been hearing this from education majors for a while and then two days ago I read an editorial on it--our nations schools are being dummed down. Teachers all over the country are being pressured into not failing students. Why? So that students won't feel bad--apparently everyone is afraid to be the next school where a kid brings a gun to school because he has low self-esteem and bad grades only make him feel worse. Cases mentioned in the article...a girl in Arizona who failed a class needed for graduation. What was the response of her parents? Sue the teacher for making their daughter feel bad and giving her severe health problems due to the stress she was feeling! Yep, that's right. Don't hold your daughter responsible for not doing the work, just sue the teacher. And it worked! The girl got to take a retest and graduate. Bullshit. You fail, you suffer the consequences...her parents are teaching her that she doesn't have to be accountable for her own actions--there's always somebody else to blame. Another teacher, I forget where, failed 30 students because they plagiarized--she was told she couldn't fail them. Other teachers are being pressured not to give failing grades to students. Another teacher, again, I forget where, failed a student in a class she needed to graduate...graduation day comes, there the girl is getting her diploma...the teacher looks into the school database and discovers that her grade was changed to a D without his consent...he and other teachers do some looking around and find that 11 other students had grades raised without consulting their teachers--and the principal and vice-principal of the school both received promotions later!

Add all that crap above to the fact that many school are either understaffed or do not have up-to-date teaching materials such as computers, books, etc. Our schools are failing our students by not allowing them to fail and by not giving them a chance to start with for a decent education. They are not being prepared for higher education and the costs for higher education are skyrocketing. There isn't money for important things, but our politicians have no trouble coming up with money to destroy the entire country of Afghanistan for the actions of a few who happened to be hiding out there, they have no trouble throwing gov't money to those who help elect them...there's no end to money for unneccesary things. Everyone who has the chance should read the book Savage Inequalities.

Personal freedoms are great and I'm glad to have them, but a gov't guided by big business while the citizens get trampled isn't something I care to support.

There was more to this, I know there was, but I can't think of it right now.

On a completely unrelated note:

In the shoe department at work, there is a hand-written sign pointing out a style of shoe that is on sale for like $2 or something rediculous like that. The sign points out that the shoes are "cheaper than a Big Mac"...woooo. I fail to see the point of this. If I'm looking to buy shoes, I'm not going to settle for a Big Mac instead; if I'm in the mood for a Big Mac, I'm not going to buy shoes instead...lots of stuff is cheaper than a Big Mac: a bottle of dish soap is cheaper, a pack of gum is cheaper, a set of three 18oz. plastic cups is cheaper...if I want a Big Mac, none of these things is a suitable substitution and vice versa. You have to be really intelligent to get a job at wal-mart obviously...I'm sure that person is being sought after by advertising agencies all over the country.

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