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Thread: Hey Bush!

  1. #1
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    Have any of Iraq's massive stockpile of WMD's turned up yet?

    No! :o

    Didn&#39;t think so. <_<

    How long are some of you willing to wait?

    According to CAP Bush, in March these so-called weapons were poised to strike at a moments notice, now there&#39;s no sign of them.

    It&#39;s too bad CAP Bush got so many of our fine soldiers killed for this scavenger hunt.

  2. #2
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    forget anout WMD how about the fact that BUSH is borrowing against the TAXPAYERS and creating a deficit so that he can run New Deal economic reform programs IN IRAQ that wouldn&#39;t stand a chance of getting passed HERE IN THE USA&#33;&#33;&#33;

    what happened to Conservatives being anti-handout

    i don&#39;t care how we got there, WMD&#39;s, HMV&#39;s, DVD&#39;s, BVD&#39;s, who cares?

    i just want to pack the whole failure up and send everyone home.

    But no we will be in Iraq for a decade or so, regardless of who the president is, cleaning up someone else&#39;s fantastically huge mess... in the name of stopping terrorism?

    hey i got an idea how about you build a school in North Philly or the Bronx or Watts or East St Louis you rat bastards&#33; Why are our tax dollars being spent more freely in Karbala then here in the States? Cause of 9-11???

    i got two words for that

    BULL

    s**t&#33;

    Even GOPers should be ashamed at the level of spending and more than that what its getting us&#33;

  3. #3
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Oct 21 2003, 04:18 PM
    [b] hey i got an idea how about you build a school in North Philly or the Bronx or Watts or East St Louis you rat bastards&#33; Why are our tax dollars being spent more freely in Karbala then here in the States? Cause of 9-11???

    Even GOPers should be ashamed at the level of spending and more than that what its getting us&#33; [/b][/quote]
    Yeah.....I&#39;m a conservative and I&#39;m ashamed all right.....I&#39;m ashamed that we have so many people in the U.S who feel the only way to fix the education system is just to throw more money at it, we already spend more per capita than anyone on the face of the earth and our students test scores are middle of the road at best but you advocate tossing even more taxpayer money into a system that certainly doesn&#39;t give us any bang for the buck, I don&#39;t get it ?.

    Maybe, just maybe we can look at innovative ways to try to correct the problem instead of just tossing our hard earned money down the same bottomless ineffective money pit ....but nooooooooo.....the teachers unions who the democratic party is beholden to want no part of anything like school vouchers or anything else that may actually begin to turn around the present bad situation, all they want is to whine and complain they&#39;re underpaid and need more money.

    Why we even listen to the teachers union about what&#39;s in the best interest of our kids is amazing to me because the teachers unions care about themselves and only themselves to the detriment of the actual kids..... how can I say this ?.....well.....I&#39;ll quote the former head of the teachers union who when asked if a particular position he was advocating was gonna hurt kids stated " I&#39;ll start worrying about the kids when they start paying union dues ", all I can say is atleast he&#39;s honest.

    You can complain all you want about the money were spending in Iraq but I&#39;d rather spend the money there to get rid of a terrorist enabler like Hussein and help 90 % of his population to a better way of life, while, hopefully providing an example for the rest of the middle east by showing them how good life can be if you give people freedom and allow them to chart their own course in life, My hope is once people in Iran, Syria etc...see how the people of Iraq are in better shape they&#39;ll question their own governments and if you get enough people to in those countries to realize that their governments are taking the people and countries in the wrong direction then maybe with support from us they&#39;ll overthrow these terrorist supporting regimes and real change in the world can begin to take place.

    Maybe that all is a pipe dream but it sounds like a better investment to me than just tossing even more money into a school system with a proven track record of failure, I&#39;ll be all for giving the schools even more money if they&#39;d just convince me that more money will actually help the students get better grades.

  4. #4
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    cmon man to hear you say it, educational funding is just throwing money in a toilet.

    WHen you have 45 kids in a room that was only built to handle 25, and there aren&#39;t enough books to go around - you don&#39;t think money will help?

    why is it that throwing money AND LIVES down the drain in Iraq is just fine and dandy but throwing money at schools is a decided upon forever lost cause.

    but that&#39;s not even the point - im talking about the fact that we are BUILDING SCHOOLS in IRAQ when we aren&#39;t BUILDING SCHOOLS in the US&#33;&#33;&#33; according to you The educational system in the US is so corrupt and poorly run that more money won&#39;t help it... yet the educational system in Iraq is capable of taking an influx of funds and turning into instant results&#33;&#33;&#33; So the IRaqis have better educational system then we do? if true - Why is that ok?

    [b]Think about this - the NEW DEAL style projects Bush is funding with deficit funds WOULDN&#39;T STAND A CHANCE of PASSING CONGRESS if they were proposed to take place in AMERICA&#33;&#33;&#33;

    Unemployment in Iraq is 70%. US Soldiers are encountering violence an average of 20-25 times a day. WHy does any1 think more money is gonna Help THAT SITUATION[/b]


    by the way MD JET two wrongs don&#39;t make a right. Pointing out the failures of the US education system when we are talking about the US building Schools in IRAQ is like saying its Ok that Arnold groped 15 women against their will because Bill had oral sex in the oval office and lied about it.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Oct 22 2003, 09:36 PM
    [b] cmon man to hear you say it, educational funding is just throwing money in a toilet.

    WHen you have 45 kids in a room that was only built to handle 25, and there aren&#39;t enough books to go around - you don&#39;t think money will help?

    why is it that throwing money AND LIVES down the drain in Iraq is just fine and dandy but throwing money at schools is a decided upon forever lost cause.

    but that&#39;s not even the point - im talking about the fact that we are BUILDING SCHOOLS in IRAQ when we aren&#39;t BUILDING SCHOOLS in the US&#33;&#33;&#33; according to you The educational system in the US is so corrupt and poorly run that more money won&#39;t help it... yet the educational system in Iraq is capable of taking an influx of funds and turning into instant results&#33;&#33;&#33; So the IRaqis have better educational system then we do? if true - Why is that ok?

    [b]Think about this - the NEW DEAL style projects Bush is funding with deficit funds WOULDN&#39;T STAND A CHANCE of PASSING CONGRESS if they were proposed to take place in AMERICA&#33;&#33;&#33;

    Unemployment in Iraq is 70%. US Soldiers are encountering violence an average of 20-25 times a day. WHy does any1 think more money is gonna Help THAT SITUATION[/b]


    by the way MD JET two wrongs don&#39;t make a right. Pointing out the failures of the US education system when we are talking about the US building Schools in IRAQ is like saying its Ok that Arnold groped 15 women against their will because Bill had oral sex in the oval office and lied about it. [/b][/quote]
    You make some very well reasoned points, so I&#39;ll take them one by one and address them the way I see it.

    " When you have 45 kids in a room that was built to handle 25 " etc.................
    The way I see it the problems we have in the educational system have little to do with the actual classroom conditions and are mostly caused by the fact that alot of parents { and most inner city parents } don&#39;t place a high enough priority on their childrens education.

    I spent a year in Korea in the mid 80&#39;s while in the Air Force and helped out teaching 1st and 2nd graders english, those kids were crammed into a small room that was more oppressive than anything you or I could&#39;ve imagined and yet they excelled, they didn&#39;t care about the surrounding bad conditions, all they cared about was that they were expected to learn and were motivated by their parents and teachers to excel so they tuned everything out and accomplished their objective, I and everyone else who were involved with working with these kids were totally blown away with how these kids were not only able to master english but every other subject that was thrown their way as well, and, for most of these kids that was after starting off the day before dawn helping their parents out on the farm for a couple of hours, it was eye opening.

    On the other hand, I have a friend who in the early 90&#39;s got a teaching job in Harlem, she was eager to go in and try to make a difference, after her first couple of weeks of being totally disrespected and ignored by a couple of her 3rd graders she was looking foward to parent teacher night so she could speak to some of the parents and try to enlist their help in controlling some of the more unruly children, when the other teachers told her she should only schedule 1/2 an hour for all the conferences she said she would need more time, surely 1/2 an hour wasn&#39;t going to be sufficiant because she had a class of 35 kids and was going to need more time to individually address all those parents, the experienced teachers told her 30 minutes was plenty and lo and behold they were right, because the only parent who was concerned enough about their childs education to show up was one of the parents of one of the more unruly children who wanted to know why the teacher was harrassing her child and made alot of threats about reporting her to the school board about the teachers obvious racism, needless to say after a couple of years of that she decided to take a teaching position out on Long Island and I don&#39;t blame her one bit.

    There is IMHO no amount of money that&#39;s gonna fix our educational process, it&#39;s not the conditions or textbooks or anything other than the fact that alot of parents have screwed up priorities and their childs education isn&#39;t as high as it should be, so, all you can really do at this point is try to save the kids that are stuck in the worst schools and whose parents genuinly care but are helpless to do anything by giving them vouchers and getting them away from the thugs and malcontents that are gonna do all they can to drag them down and put those kids in with other kids who are somewhat motivated to learn, I think you could save alot of kids if you did this and you really don&#39;t have anything to lose at this point...but...the teachers union and the democratic party who is beholden to them will do everything in their power to stop it, why ?, because the teachers union is all about getting more money for their members and the dem&#39;s are all about getting votes from the union, meanwhile, whose really looking out for the kids ?.

    " Why is it that throwing money AND LIVES down the drain in Iraq etc..............

    I just think that if we can build up Iraq&#39;s educational and other systems and make them a strong ally and a thriving democracy it&#39;ll pay dividends for not only the U.S and the Iraqi people but hopefully for alot of the region as well.

    It doesn&#39;t seem so far fetched to me that if you once had a country that was run by a brutal dictator and remove him and turn the country around both emotionally and economically that people around the region are gonna take note of the improvement, this can hopefully spread to Iran who is a terrorist sympathizer as well, from what I&#39;ve read the majority of Iranians and especially the students wish to reform their country and get it away from the oppressive regime now in place, if what we do in Iraq { and Afghanistan } continues the momentum and helps more Iranians to wonder about why they don&#39;t enjoy the freedoms the Iraqis do and eventually becomes one of the reasons why that regime is toppled then we could be on our way to making real progress in the whole middle east, that would be a huge benefit to the world as a whole.

    Nobody, wants to see ANY lives lost but this is IMHO the beginnings of a battle that potentially can change the middle east and the world as well, the terrorists realize this, why do you think they fight so hard to get us out of there ?, they know that a certain portion of the U.S is against it so if they can up the ante and take out some of our soldiers some people are gonna call for us to get out which is exactly what they want, then they will again be free to hide out protected by friendly governments who willingly invest in the destruction of the evil U.S, it&#39;s gonna take time, money, and unfortunately some lives to try to turn this mindset around but if we can accomplish it it will better the lives of everyone, this may be our last shot at real change in the middle east and the world that we&#39;re gonna get, we tried to appease them and show them what decent people we were and all that got us was alot of hatred, I think it&#39;s a worthy investment now to go a different route.

    As for " The educational system is so corrupt and poorly run that money won&#39;t help it "............I&#39;ll stand by that, we already spend in excess of 700 billion dollars in education, that&#39;s enough to get the job done, other countries spend 1/2 of that per capita, per child and average higher test scores, that tells me that money isn&#39;t the problem.

    As for " yet, the educational system in Iraq is capable of taking an influx of funds and turning into insrant results "...........I&#39;d say, they can if they are properly motivated { see above }.

    As for " The new deal " comments........I think you&#39;re comparing apples to oranges, over here we don&#39;t need any more new deal projects, we have more than enough already, but, over there where they have nothing at this point but oil which the people haven&#39;t benifited by because the proceeds were used for the military and palaces they need a hand to get moving in the right direction and I&#39;m all for it.

    As for " the unemployment and violence ".....Iraq&#39;s got the 2nd largest capacity to produce oil in the world, surely with an asset like that and a regime that want&#39;s to help the all the citiczens instead of just a few they could support themselves quite nicely and turn around their economy with a little help, as for the violence, again, I hate to lose even one of our soldiers but I&#39;d rather have our soldiers fighting the terrorists and mercenaries over there than having those those terrorists sitting around protected bt sympathizers plotting ways to wreak havoc over here.

  6. #6
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    bitonti

    We "throw" more than enough money at schools here in the U.S. My school tax bill (which just went up almost 12 percent) is HUGE. The problem is how that money is mishandled. Horrible parents and greedy unions only exacerbate the problem.

    You&#39;ve also claimed in the past that military action is a poor way of dealing with the problem of the growing hatred of America and its manifestation as terrorism. "Address the root of the problem" was your cry. Well, isn&#39;t building schools for those little bastards a key element in that approach? Or should we just let them continue learning in dirt huts, learning from mullahs that their greatest contribution to history would be to kill as many infidel Americans as possible, and die in a blaze of glory while doing it?

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Oct 22 2003, 09:36 PM
    [b] Pointing out the failures of the US education system when we are talking about the US building Schools in IRAQ is like saying its Ok that Arnold groped 15 women against their will because Bill had oral sex in the oval office and lied about it. [/b][/quote]
    Oh yeah.....I forgot to comment on that analyis, all I can say about Arnold and his candidacy is if I had a vote I would&#39;ve voted for McClintock and if he and Arnold split the vote and Bustamonte won so be it.

    I would never vote for anyone with such character defects as Arnold has, I always felt that Clinton was wrong for what he did and disgraced himself and the office with his actions and especially the perjury that followed.

    While I understand the difference between character defects { Arnold } and character defects + perjury while a sitting president { Clinton }, I believe that character really does count and regardless of a persons political positions you cannot vote for someone with a history like that.

    The conservatives who were willing to overlook Arnold&#39;s past disgraceful history are every bit as hypocritical in my mind as the liberals who would say and do anything in defense of Clinton.

  8. #8
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    Tail - imitate Michael Moore much, dude? "Hey Mr. Bush&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;"

    Great posts Maryland and Shakin.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Oct 23 2003, 12:46 PM
    [b] Tail - imitate Michael Moore much, dude? "Hey Mr. Bush&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;"[/b][/quote]

    CAP Bush owes the American people an answer to this valid question. He especially owes an answer to the families of our soldiers that he got killed in this misadventure.

    I think you&#39;re particularly afraid of the answer.

  10. #10
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    Ok Tail, you&#39;re the man dude. "No sign" and "at a moment&#39;s notice"

    -yeah, you&#39;re a serious thinker who deserves to be engaged in a thoughtful debate.

    chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp

    You are a GIANT joke dude. A likable joke, but a joke nonetheless.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by shakin318[/i]@Oct 23 2003, 11:52 AM
    [b] My school tax bill (which just went up almost 12 percent) is HUGE. [/b][/quote]
    Isn&#39;t it funny that today the average American is paying more in combined taxes than before Bush&#39;s tax cuts?

    What a sham&#33;&#33;

  12. #12
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by jets5ever[/i]@Oct 23 2003, 01:35 PM
    [b] Ok Tail, you&#39;re the man dude. "No sign" and "at a moment&#39;s notice"

    [/b][/quote]
    5-ever... What is this tripe supposed to mean?

    You&#39;re an ignorant uneducated fool, but a likable one.

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    MD Jet, your post made good points and the ones I&#39;ve heard time and again in the past. But, as people are so quick to point out with most "liberal" fixes, it seems to ignore a lot of the realities outside the box:

    A - Who pays for and organizes the transportation for the "poor but concerned" inner city parent who wishes to use a voucher for their kid? That costs a lot more money than simple bus routes that feed to the local school. You criticize "funding education" as a "band-aid" solution when in fact there&#39;s an infinite number of [good and bad] ways to fund things, but are advocating a "solution" that basically dooms and screws anyone "left behind" in the "bad" schools.

    B - What happens to all of the schools with students "left behind" because of greedy and/or unconcerned parents? Do those become warzones? prisons? The same ideology that insists a child HAS to be born if it was conceived seems to have no problem leaving the children of bad parents (let alone the unlucky children of parents who aren&#39;t successful in the voucher lottery) to suffer in an inner city school that would only be further ravaged by vouchers. And what of the teachers who are stuck there who are not getting the (admittedly corrupt and byzantine) union perks due to lack of seniority?

    C - How do you ensure all schools have even enrollment, other than to reject a large percentage of vouchers if there&#39;s a clear lopsided "preference" of which schools kids SHOULD be sent to instead of their local feeder?

    Look, I agree the teachers unions are too beaurocratic and corrupt for their own good. Throwing money at a problem, however, should NOT necessarily mean throwing money directly at the beaurocracy without demanding and enforcing some reform. I&#39;d welcome a candidate from either side of the aisle who has sincere plans to cut administrative overhead WITHOUT necessarily cutting the programs that directly benefit the student. But "No Child Left Behind" has been a complete joke 3 years into Bush&#39;s term.

    I think there needs to be a way to get schools to compete for funding and special projects instead of just competing for students from anywhere in the county. Whether it be in the form of tax breaks for those district parents, or more slush funding for luxuries once the basic standards of behavior and education are met across the county.

    This probably needs its own thread since it came off another "WMD" post...

  14. #14
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    Privatize it...take education out of the government&#39;s hands. Let schools and teachers compete like other companies and employees do. If some schools are "ravaged", let them shut down, what&#39;s the loss there? New schools would pop up because there would be a demand. The government can participate in this free market, but should not dictate anything, their schools should merely be another option or, at worst, a fail-safe. You can&#39;t ensure that all schools have enrollment, and many of them should not, since they are failing. No teacher is "stuck" anywhere - everyone is free to leave. How has Bush&#39;s NCLB been any more of a joke that what had been going on? What&#39;s the great and obvious solution that others champion that he missed the boat on?

    How are schools going to compete for funding and projects when they have no say over the caliber of students they enroll and no incentive to produce quality instructors? How is the government going to pay for these grants if they lower education taxes for a lot of people?

    Vouchers haven&#39;t even been tried on a large scale, and yet the "bogeyman" arguments are out in full force. It&#39;s all union propaganda. &#39;The schools suck, we need drastic reform?" Well, what about vouchers? "No way, if we use those, the schools would suck&#33; Just throw us more money, even though that hasn&#39;t worked&#33;" round and round we go. Are vouchers the answer? I don&#39;t know. Could they be? Maybe.

    The problem is far more pervasive than any [i]one[/i] grand scheme that people want to champion. Maybe my ideas will work, maybe they won&#39;t. Parents, teachers and yes, the kids all need to shape up. A lot of parents don&#39;t care and many of those parents are single parents and possibly poor parents. Are there married, affluent parents who are apathetic? Of course there are and they are a big part of the problem. But I&#39;d be willing to bet that the children of married couples perform a hellofalot better and take school more seriously than single-parent children. Consider that elitist or hateful if that helps you, but you damn well know its true, regardless of the implications.

    It&#39;s also funny to me that you bring up abortion as a contributing factor into this problem, even though the problem hasn&#39;t gotten better since Roe, rather, it has gotten worse. People are allowed to and do have abortions, yet still we find many parents who suck and kids who are born into a sh*tty situations. Less kids is no proposed solution to education problems. Why not just gen eng designer babies, or, divine which ones are dimwits before birth and just get rid of them. And if parents can&#39;t score above 90 on an IQ test, they should be forced to abort. (kidding)

    Tenured teachers, powerful unions, pandering politicians, a pervasive lowering of standards, a litigious society, economic fluctuations, a total loss of incentives for young teachers to care, beauracratic nonsense, unfit parents, rationalistic clap-trap like ADD or ADHD, entitlement mentality, quickie divorce, day-care &#39;empowerment&#39;, and victimization-complexes all harm education. It all ties in. You may laugh at me, but I think the problem is unfixable and that things are really getting this bad. They aren&#39;t there yet, but we are getting there quickly.

    The government can TRY to come up with plans to improve things, but it&#39;s up to the individual family unit to make sure its kids are educated properly. Be active in PTA, remove incompetent people, stay abreast of issues, punish your kid, make him do his homework, etc. Don&#39;t sue or attack a teacher every time he fails your kid or says that your kid is acting like a jerk in class.

    You may not agree and everyone laughed at Dan Quayle when he said it all those years ago, but the destruction of the family unit and family values is hurting education more than any &#39;program&#39; like Head Start or Bush&#39;s NCLB that you can point to. There are some who want to erode so-called traditional values for the sake of tolerance, diversity, &#39;fairness&#39;, "women&#39;s rights" "separation of church and state" or whatever other grouping of syllables is most soothing to the contemporary ear. You can think that religious people or conservatives are heartless or simpletons for wanting to preserve tradition and the family, but just keep it in mind when you analyze why things are the way they are these days. I am just like any other kid - I didn&#39;t care about school, or at least, I didn&#39;t see what the big deal was. My parents kicked my ass if I got bad grades and I learned to get good grades just to stop the groundings and spankings. I went to church every week because I had to and was respectful to elders because I&#39;d be dead meat if I wasn&#39;t. Who knows how I would have turned out if not for my parents&#39; constant vigilance? I am sure as sh*t that no government "program" could have replaced that immediacy.


    [url=http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/thernstrom.html]http://www.townhall.com/bookclub/thernstrom.html[/url]

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    So 5ever, how do we get to your happy "family values" utopia you describe in your last few paragraphs? Clearly a guy who just spent the opening paragraphs ranting about how the government programs don&#39;t help wouldn&#39;t want -- gasp -- the government to enforce family values on the populace?

    Moreover, even if one buys into your hypoethetical premise that the ONLY right way to raise a kid in society is with 2 married, Christian parents (a hilarious view coming from a guy who insists over and over that he is not religious per se), how do we get from point A (our current horrible society) to point B (your apparent ideal, which I know I&#39;m exaggerating to make a point)?

    Should we euthanize everyone who is already a single-parent child, gay, atheist, or otherwise unfit and then hope that the privatized school system and resultant society only accepts the "people" who fit the stereotype of family values? And the rest can be hidden in inner city workhouses so they don&#39;t scare or harm the "golden" children?

    Seriously, all you&#39;ve done in your argument is reinforce and exaggerate some of the unspoken elements of Maryland Jet&#39;s post about vouchers. You tell us how you think it SHOULD be if all parents and children were righteous, moral, and well-behaved, but the implications of how you&#39;d go about eliminating everything that SHOULDN&#39;T be is frightening. Are you hoping that by starting over, closing all schools, etc. we will start a 10 year plan to weed out all undesirables because they&#39;ll have nowhere to go to get an education, a family, a job, or discipline? We&#39;re not so far off from your own joke about prohibiting sub-90 IQ parents from having kids at this point.

    You can accuse me of being facetious or alarmist here, and I know damn well you aren&#39;t advocating some kind of totalitarian Stepford society. But I simply don&#39;t see how else to get to the situation you describe as "nice" at the end of your post without somebody basically creating and enforcing that kind of world across America, and finding something to do with "the rest" so they don&#39;t continue to ruin everybody else&#39;s life. It&#39;s a serious problem, frankly. Every solution towards "reform" at some point or another is going to have to confront the wholly ugly question of what to do with all the "screwed" people.

    As I said before, I agree that unions should not have bullying power to swallow up dead money and practice croneyism that is years removed from the original purpose of unions to protect workers&#39; rights in dangerous industrial environments. I also agree that parents should bear the brunt of taking responsibility for raising their kids, being concerned about their kids&#39; future, not suing or making dumb excuses for everything, yadda yadda yadda.

    But somebody still has to provide the INFRASTRUCTURE to give each child a fair chance at education, and I&#39;m sorry if I don&#39;t trust Churches and Wal-mart type corporations to provide for that in the absence of a decent public school system. Each of those types of entities has primary motivations aside from educating children; either they want to make a profit or they want to propagate a religion. The job of a public school system and school board is to serve the people and educate the children. They don&#39;t exist for any other reason. If they aren&#39;t doing their jobs properly and adequately, then somebody needs to come in an shake up the system without throwing it away entirely.

    There&#39;s definitely a point at which the "might" of the corrupt or otherwise stagnant unions needs to be confronted, and my opinion is that school vouchers are a way of circumventing this with the bad side effect of creating more chaos and disparity between schools. Democrat or Republican, if the problem is the phantom "unions" (which frankly I think are overestimated as a straw man for Angry conservatives) they need to be reformed and brought into the 21st century while we enforce some kind of basic standards for education.

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    BTW, I just looked at the capsule and reviews for the Thernstrom book you cited. Have you read the whole thing?

    It looks interesting for sure, but a lot of it goes right back to the same things we agree on: schools need to have tight standards, good teachers and schools need to be rewarded when they meet certain standards and achievements, and the bearocracy and moralizing/diagnosing needs to be leaner and more localized.

    I&#39;d be curious if the book touches on your talking points of single parenting and religion that you brought into this argument. Stereotypically, most inner city blacks are pretty strong Baptists and Latinos are staunch Catholics. There seems to be this whacky connecting of the dots by some out-of-touch conservatives that poor inner city neighborhoods produce atheism, feminism, voluntary single-parent childraising, or any of the other threats to wholesome American family values.

    It&#39;s right up there with the argument that homosexuality is nothing more than a hip urban social trend that lures people in against their will rather than a compulsion many people have from birth or deep in the beginnings of childhood. Most poor people raising a child by themselves are doing it because the other partner died, got arrested, or skipped off and stuck them with the baby. NOT because Hillary Clinton and the evil academic feminazis told them to artificially inseminate because Men are evil, God is dead, and diversity is cool.

    I guess what I&#39;m trying to say is that the "problems" of inner city bad/single parenting and the more affluent/general issues of divorce, religion / lack thereof, and "alternative" lifestyles are largely two separate universes that happen with entirely different motivations. It&#39;s intellectually lazy to lump them into the same "symptom" and assign solutions based on that.

  17. #17
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    I disagree intensely about your implication that I advocate a government-controlled family unit or any other type of Big Brother lifestyles issues. What is Roe v Wade, but the government (judiciary) imposing its will on to the population and subverting democracy?? My god man, judicial fiat is ridiculous, even if it is to re-define marriage as an opposite-sex union only.

    Where did I ever say it was the ONLY way to raise children? I think it is the best way and it has nothing at all to do with religion. I was raised in a religious environment, that shaped me, whether or not I agree with the dogma, and I do think religion is tied to tradtional values. I am not religious, but am not as anti-religion as you are (I know, I know, you aren&#39;t anti-religious&#33;) A traditionally married couple is the ideal situation in which to raise children, you KNOW this. It&#39;s not the only acceptable way, and I never even came close to implying that. Divroces happen, women get pregnant and I applaud and admire those single women who do not abort. But that is no excuse to be apathetic about your child&#39;s education. It doesn&#39;t cost ANYTHING to care. You can think that I blame poor people too much but I think you victimize them too much, with your &#39;screwed&#39; line a simplistic example. Why do you always assume that I advocate forced change? Perhaps I should have clearer, but I am lamenting what I see as the general breakdown of so-called family values and traditional values and its correlation to the current problems we face in education and its overall impact on society. I don&#39;t advocate any fiat imposition, I am simply pointing out that it is incumbent upon the INDIVIDUAL FAMILY UNIT (whatever composition it appears in) to take a passionate interest in their child&#39;s education. Seriously, the simple truth is that if more parents cared (atheist, gay, single, poor, rich, married, divorced, whatever) than education would improve. In fact, I though I spent a lot of time saying I didn&#39;t think ANY government program would change things for the better so long as many children are raised in less than ideal situations with parents who are sub-standard in this regard.

    I cited that book because it talks about personal accountability - parents, kids, teachers. It does not directly relate to my braod theme, no.

    If you think the increase of single parents in coctemporary society is wholly unrelated to a breakdown in the importance of traditional family values and the rise of feminism than I don&#39;t know what to tell you. Sure, good people have bad things happen to them and of course, some partners die and yes, not all or perhaps not even close to all single parents PREFER that arrangement, but spare me you "hooker with a heart of gold" stuff as an all -encompassing explanation..

    I also find it bizarre that you don&#39;t trust corporations or religion, yet trust a school board and unions and think that vouchers are evil A PRIORI and that unions, while not perfect, really get a bad rap. Corporations DO only care about profits and to get them in this context, they need to produce a superior product and beat their compeition&#33; The honestly of capitalism is refreshing. Also - you are quite cynical about religion. I know I defend it and you perhaps think I AM religious, even though I am an atheist.

    What instrinsic integrity does some tenured teacher or school board member have? You don&#39;t think unions only care about profit and their a&#036;&#036;es? Every organization exists solely to maintain itself or enrich its members in some way. The idea of a bunch of noble teachers and noble kids and noble poor paretns who are all just suffering from a lack of resources form the big bad government is laughable in its simplicity. 9Yes, I am being harsh and exaggerating your themes here)


    Look- we don&#39;t disagree on much, besides vouchers. I feel that you can work your a&#036;&#036; off to provide whatever infrastructure you want, but that unless all of the parties involved take upon THEMSELVES to improve things, it ain&#39;t gonna happen because some strategiest all of a sudden thinks up some utopian solution in a room somewhere and them implements it. You can lead a horse to water, but you can&#39;t make it drink.

    Good stuff - see you tomorrow.

  18. #18
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 23 2003, 02:09 PM
    [b] MD Jet, your post made good points and the ones I&#39;ve heard time and again in the past. But, as people are so quick to point out with most "liberal" fixes, it seems to ignore a lot of the realities outside the box:

    A - Who pays for and organizes the transportation for the "poor but concerned" inner city parent who wishes to use a voucher for their kid? That costs a lot more money than simple bus routes that feed to the local school. You criticize "funding education" as a "band-aid" solution when in fact there&#39;s an infinite number of [good and bad] ways to fund things, but are advocating a "solution" that basically dooms and screws anyone "left behind" in the "bad" schools.

    B - What happens to all of the schools with students "left behind" because of greedy and/or unconcerned parents? Do those become warzones? prisons? The same ideology that insists a child HAS to be born if it was conceived seems to have no problem leaving the children of bad parents (let alone the unlucky children of parents who aren&#39;t successful in the voucher lottery) to suffer in an inner city school that would only be further ravaged by vouchers. And what of the teachers who are stuck there who are not getting the (admittedly corrupt and byzantine) union perks due to lack of seniority?

    C - How do you ensure all schools have even enrollment, other than to reject a large percentage of vouchers if there&#39;s a clear lopsided "preference" of which schools kids SHOULD be sent to instead of their local feeder?

    Look, I agree the teachers unions are too beaurocratic and corrupt for their own good. Throwing money at a problem, however, should NOT necessarily mean throwing money directly at the beaurocracy without demanding and enforcing some reform. I&#39;d welcome a candidate from either side of the aisle who has sincere plans to cut administrative overhead WITHOUT necessarily cutting the programs that directly benefit the student. But "No Child Left Behind" has been a complete joke 3 years into Bush&#39;s term.

    I think there needs to be a way to get schools to compete for funding and special projects instead of just competing for students from anywhere in the county. Whether it be in the form of tax breaks for those district parents, or more slush funding for luxuries once the basic standards of behavior and education are met across the county.

    This probably needs its own thread since it came off another "WMD" post... [/b][/quote]
    Jetset, you raise interesting questions, my responses :

    A- While I haven&#39;t thought about all the nuts and bolts about how the transportation would work I&#39;ll just say I can&#39;t see how that would be a major obstacle, surely some students would face long trips to and from school but if given the choice of having my kid travel even 2 hours to and from school...or...have them stuck in a school with many thugs and malcontents, then I would opt for the long trip, Hopefully the kid will benefit in the long run.

    As for the money what I&#39;d like to see happen is for the government to basically freeze educational spending right where it is, since I believe we now spend too much anyway I don&#39;t forsee any harm, as a matter of fact if you freeze spending now and do the voucher program you&#39;ll have less kids in the failing classrooms so no increase would still be spending more per capita, per child than you were before.

    Then I would take the monies that we were planning on increasing education by { cause we increase it every year } and toss that into a voucher program to help defray the costs of schooling / transportation etc.....If the education budget is around 750 billion, and I would estimate it grows by 5 % every year, then we&#39;d start off the voucher program with about 37.5 billion, overall, a good start.

    As far as the dooms and screws everyone left behind I don&#39;t think it&#39;s the system that&#39;s doing that, I blame the lack of parenting in alot of cases that dooms too many kids and especially inner city kids, I believe you could equip some of these schools with computer stations that would make NASA jealous, the best teachers money could by, brand new shiny buildings with all the extras and you still wouldn&#39;t be able to motivate most of the problem kids, all you would have accomplished is making yourselves feel better about the situation and alot of money wasted, so what do you do with then ?, You leave them where they are and pray some of them see the light and find some way to turn it around which sounds bleak but in reality is all we are doing now anyway.

    B - The schools that students were left behind in would not be a pretty place, but, it&#39;s not like it&#39;s nirvana to be in there right now, I don&#39;t know exactly what would happen but they&#39;d be getting more money per student so maybe that would help a little but I doubt it, I guess those students situations wouldn&#39;t change a whole lot and they&#39;re gonna have a tough time but that&#39;s the way it was gonna be anyway, atleast you&#39;ve taken some students out of there and given them a shot to succeed which is better than we&#39;ve been doing.

    C - I believe that if people are dedicated to making the voucher system work it has the potential to help alot of kids, will there be some inequities as to where some students are placed ?, absolutely, will there be some kids with long commutes ?, you betcha, will it be fair that a situation will probably arise somewhere where some kid that lives down the block goes to a school an hour or so closer to the one you are assigned to ?, no it won&#39;t be but life isn&#39;t always fair, I think you just gotta look at the big picture, if you&#39;ve got a class of 40 or so kids who are stuck in a school where the teachers are berated by students every day, where the thugs and malcontents roam the halls looking to cause trouble, where the administrators are unmotivated because they just want to get through the day with as little difficulty as possible, and you can send 15 or so of those kids to other school districts where they are mixed in with kids that are more motivated it can&#39;t help but have a positive effect on them and isn&#39;t that what it&#39;s all about, helping as many students as possible get an education and become productive adults, if that is the goal and we&#39;ve pretty much proven that no matter how much money you sink into the present system it&#39;s never enough then I&#39;m all giving vouchers a try, it can&#39;t possibly be any worse than what we&#39;re dealing with presently.

  19. #19
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    Good responses, I&#39;ll stick with 5evers now and MDJet&#39;s tomorrow.

    I agree that we agree on a lot (sic), and I will check out that book at some point. As for your issue of "trusting" unions and school boards, I don&#39;t know where you got that -- every post I&#39;ve made on this subject has admitted they are part of the problem and need to be reformed. I just disagree they need to be thrown out entirely.

    I&#39;m a big fan of capitalism when it comes to buying products, choosing brands, developing markets, etc. The one thing I disagree with hardcore libertarians and some oddball conservatives on, however, is this fantasy of privatizing all infrastructure and eliminating any government regulation of vital basic human resources.

    A primary education is and should not be a "product". I could spot you that higher and vo-tech education IS a product, and for that very reason I think the society, government, and community should be directly involved in providing a baseline "infrastructure" otherwise known as primary education so the kids [and parents] are in a better position to choose their future education when they have more mobility and aptitude.

    Anyway, that&#39;s an economic argument moreso than a social one. The thing I&#39;m more concerned about is our disagreement on the social aspect, and how we can "change" things in a fair and balanced (sic) manner. You keep disclaiming that you don&#39;t want Big Brother to force &#39;values&#39; down our throats, but you also keep implying things will never get better until traditional "family values" return to a majority of society.

    First off, I AGREE that 2 parents are better than one. I&#39;ve never advocated elimination of "marriage", and I would even argue that the vehement anti gay-marriage reactionaries are less inclusive and supporting of marriage and responsible parenting than people with my view (our conservative amigo Andrew Sullivan agrees with me on this point, but maybe that&#39;s because he&#39;s an evil fag -- [url=http://www.andrewsullivan.com/homosexuality.php?artnum=19890828]http://www.andrewsullivan.com/homosexualit...artnum=19890828[/url] ).

    Secondly, we already give tax breaks and extended benefits for married couples, and if you think the majority (I mean like 90% AT LEAST) of American society doesn&#39;t still fantasize about a spouse, 2.5 kids, and a nice house with a picket fence then you&#39;ve read too many Robert Bork fear-mongering books. If a parent happens to be stuck single, what exactly are you advocating being done for their case? Being forced to marry? Should the government pay for dating services? Seriously. There was an article in the Village Voice (the left&#39;s version of Bork style fear-mongering) a year ago about a Bush program pretty much demanding welfare mothers marry suitors arranged through the program, and I find that kinda creepy quite frankly.

    I don&#39;t even know how to respond to your twisted logic that Roe v. Wade is somehow Big Brother imposing its will on society, when the entire point of the verdict is to give people a right to make their own decision and tell everyone else to butt the hell out (and since abortion is de facto illegal in 80% of the USA thanks to States and Municipalities making their own decisions, your claim is even more ridiculous). Jesus, that&#39;s right up there with saying Separation of Church and State is a communist myth to subvert Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson from turning America into Iran. With Justice Moore&#39;s protestors being led out of the Alabama courthouse in handcuffs, maybe you&#39;re on to something. :rolleyes: For my part, I apologize for even tossing it into the argument offhand since it&#39;s obvious you have a bug up your ass about it equal to the one I have about whacko religious fundamentalists.

    Back to the core issue at hand: we agree that people should be accountable, and in education the parents HAVE to take an active and caring role to give the kid the best chance at turning out right. The question remains: what about the kids who have apathetic or unavailable parents, whether it&#39;s because they&#39;re both working, they&#39;re *******s who had the kid by accident, or because they&#39;re single and can&#39;t provide adequate resources for the kid? What do we do with them? And this doesn&#39;t even touch upon abusive parents, who come in every color, demographic, religious preference, and economic background.

    Society will never be perfect, and ultimately a lot of people are just plain rotten or permanently screwed from any number of hazards they grew up with. My concern is and always has been giving as many people as possible the best opportunity without bringing entire communities down for good. In some ways vouchers address the issue for the concerned parent who has their s**t together enough to do the paperwork/advocacy/transportation/money for their voucher, but they basically abandon the child of the "every other" type of parent whether its through incompetence, negligence, low lottery pick, or malice.

    Hell, maybe in the end the best thing IS to have some kind of military-style boarding and vo-tech school for anyone shut out of the happy voucher / private system, but if so I still have to ask: why not just have this for the problem children and make everyone else take pride in building up their local community school to be the paradise they think vouchers will win? This isn&#39;t too far from what we do in most counties that have the "reform" school expelled kids end up in, except for -- once again -- the bloated lawsuits, board corruption, and teacher beaurocracy that makes it harder to effect change. Which brings us back to square one.

  20. #20
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    [b]Jet Set[/b] - that&#39;s a great post. I DO keep saying that I don&#39;t want Big Brother to force anything down our throats and yes, I DO lament that social mores have deteriorated and I DO think that things will definitely get better if there was a return to more traditional family values. However, I do not make the jump you accuse me of - namely, advocating that the government or anyone else FORCE people to do this. Just because I think it sucks doesn’t mean I advocate fascism. I don&#39;t think single parents should be forced to marry or get tax breaks for dating services; you are dragging my serious point/insight to an absurd extreme in order to attack it. You know damn well what I mean. I am talking about PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY. You keep talking about infrastructure and I agree, it&#39;s just that IMO you vastly underestimate the importance of a stable family unit in this infrastructure. That being said, of course not every kid is going to come from a stable family environment. But to imply that it&#39;s only kids of poor, single parents who are all just trying as hard as they possibly can, given their circumstances and who are still failing to be educated because of everyone else&#39;s failings is quite narrow, IMO. (Yes, I dragged your point to an absurd extreme in order to attack it - guilty&#33;)

    I also think, frankly, that your "out of touch" and "...because he&#39;s an evil fag" lines are low blows. I like and greatly respect Sullivan and don&#39;t care who he wants to bang and I have already told you that I support the Texas sodomy decision. However, you can talk about being "inclusive" all you want but even you and he realize that judgments have to be made at some point. Making such judgments does not always equate to being &#39;reactionary.&#39; At some point, our society needs to define what exactly marriage means. You (and Sullivan) have no problem defining it as the union of two consenting, non-related adults. The logic being that why should gender matter, along with his other conservative arguments that essentially create a straw man with DPs and then tear down DPs in order to boost his point? He writes well, though and has some interesting things to say. However, if he&#39;s so worried about DPs being de-valued and occurring potentially between non-sexual bachelors or an elderly woman and her live-in, exactly how does allowing gay marriage prevent that from happening anyway? That is also the "bogey-man" slippery slope argument you accused me of making regarding gay marriage a few months back&#33; That&#39;s all well and good and anti-discriminatory, unless you are a Mormon polygamist. Also - why can&#39;t I marry my cousin or sister? Why can&#39;t four people get married? Why can&#39;t three, or five, or ten? Please, please explain the reasons why these marriages should not be illegal, given the logic of allowing gay marriage to be legal. Because your reasons will 100% be "discriminatory" and involve a lot of "well, there aren&#39;t a lot of people clamoring for group marriages right now, so it&#39;s a non-issue." Perhaps, but it was not too long ago that no one even thought of gay marriage. You can laugh at me all you want and say I am using slippery slope arguments (the same slippery slope arguments the left uses to rationalize support for late-term abortion) but you know damn well that at some point, a judgment has to be made about marriage and ANY such judgment can rightly be construed as discriminatory by some people, no matter if the line is drawn at hetero, gay, or group. To think otherwise is to be illogical and if you disagree, you advocate the government "forcing lifestyles down our throats." Sullivan creates Borkian-fear by saying that DPs will be horrible. Surely, if you think I am absurd for saying a change from a definition of traditional marriage will lead to group marriage, then you think Sullivan is absurd for using the same vapid logic. But this is ancillary.

    How is my logic on Roe twisted? Refresh my memory- was that the elected legislature that created that law is response to the majority&#39;s will, or was it unelected judiciary imposing a fiat? You equate Roe with freedom, I do not. In fact, it is laughably ironic that you use the phrase "give people the right to make their own decision" to summarize it. Those words are horrifyingly hypocritical, IMO. What &#39;right&#39; does that decision give the child?&#33;?&#33;?&#33;? The adult&#39;s decision WAS made when the adult had unprotected sex. Spare me the "rape and incest" line that everyone trots out - as if abortion isn&#39;t a form a birth control. I also vehemently disagree that abortion is de facto illegal in 80% of municipalities. That sounds like one of those stats that people believe simply because they are repeated often, like how 90% of rapes go unreported or how gays make up 10% of the general population or how global warming is due to Detroit. Nonsense, all.

    Forgive me if I don&#39;t care what the Village Voice says. Your very question about &#39;what should be done (by the gov&#39;t) for the care of someone who is "stuck single" is all you need to know. NOTHING&#33; Take care of yourself&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33; WTF is so complicated or narrow-minded about that? Seriously.

    BACK TO THE ISSUE AT HAND - yes, society is not perfect and yes, there is no cure-all. This is why I don&#39;t quite understand you opposition to vouchers, or, if I may be allowed to borrow a euphemism -"school choice." Are you against choice, dude? ;) Yes, vouchers aren&#39;t perfect, but is that any reason to not even try them? I mean, the system is broke right?

    I have absolutely NO problem with military reform schools or anything like that, believe me. We don&#39;t disagree on much regarding education, I simply bristle at the notion that I am out of touch. I am not out of touch and in fact have many friends and cousins who are teachers, some of them in the NYC public school system. I am not towing the party line here dogmatically.

    We can and should argue about whatever procedural, cosmetic or (gasp&#33;) structural changes are the best. I am interested in that debate. I cringe at platitudes, though, about "providing infrastructure" or "giving people opportunities" and the like - what does that all mean?

    What to do about kids with apathetic parents? I don&#39;t know. You seem to think this "apathy" is not related to anything cultural and accuse me of being "non-inclusive" if I suggest that perhaps if people started taking more responsibility for their life choices things would improve. Look at day-care. There are kids who spend 40 hours a week in day care, and then 30+ hours a week in school. Simply - their parents aren&#39;t raising them&#33;&#33; Why do you think "ADD" and "ADHD" are so prevalent nowadays? Parents have abdicated the raising of their children to other organizations and it is costing our society. There are women at work who say things like, "Man, when I drop off little Timmy at day care every morning, it&#39;s like this big weight has been lifted off of my shoulders." That&#39;s B-S. This woman is married to a surgeon, she doesn&#39;t have to work. But she wants to have luxuries and is unwilling to make any real sacrifices for her children’s welfare - she considers labor pains or getting up at 3:30 AM when the baby cries as &#39;sacrifice&#39; however don&#39;t you dare try to take away her career, Benz, or quarterly vacations&#33; Teacher&#39;s do the same thing - let&#39;s just dope kids up when they misbehave, that&#39;s a great idea. Some kids HAVE to go into day care, but very, very many of them do not.

    Dual-income families exacerbated the "latch-key" kid syndrome. Kids come home from school and they have hours and hours to do whatever until their parents get home. Their parents get home and are too tired to be up their a&#036;&#036;es about school or what TV program they are watching or what chat rooms they visit. It used to be that the mom would always be around, always up your ass about homework or where you were going or who you were hanging out with. Not so anymore. This is not some repressive ideal that I advocate the gov&#39;t forcing people back into - it is simply recognition of facts. Many, many single parents do a great job and they raise fine kids who are in day care. I am not anti- anything, but you know what I am getting at, I hope.

    I know I am all over the place and all. Just stick with me for one more second. I know you have said in the past that you admire your liberal friends more than most conservatives because it is the liberal friends whom you see working towards change and trying to be compassionate, and believing in causes. I can understand that completely, and thought about it a lot. But what I realized is that their are both overt ways and subtle ways to do this. Society DOES have a decided and IMO legit interest in legislating certain aspects of morality -so long as the proposed &#39;good" done to society does not conflict with privacy rights. That&#39;s why I think porn, or gay sex or whatever should be legal. It is also why gambling, prostitution and hard drugs should stay illegal. It is hard to draw the line when dealing with specifics like gay marriage or weed - I have almost visceral reactions to these types of issues and try to make sense of it all and admit fully to biases from my upbringing. But regarding the admirable "contributions" that are made by many thoughtful and conscientious liberals (which I fully acknowledge) - I also think that so-called traditional family values make the same contributions, although they are not as in your face. What more can any two people do to improve the world they live in, long term, than to raise 3 or 4 (or whatever amount) good, decent and caring children who will grow into good, decent caring adults who will then possibly raise good kids of their own? I think that the woman who stays home with her kids and a traditional, god-fearing family is very undervalued in that regard and is, in some ways, ridiculed in this society as being either quaint, simple, stupid, sexist or chauvinistic. It is not the only "correct" way by any means to raise a family. I just feel strongly that it is a &#39;force of good&#39; if I may be allowed to be so romantic about it ;) Hey, perhaps the real contribution of good parents is to produce and raise good, decent, caring liberals who grow up to become your friends&#33;

    Anyway - good stuff. You are a very, very bright kid and as always, have given me more than enough to think about. Sorry if I was harsh at all - I type quickly and just have passionate opinions - as I know you do.

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