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Some random political thoughts [Oct. 22nd, 2008|12:42 pm]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
1. So John McCain doesn't think 'throwing money at the problem' would fix education. What evidence does he have that anyone ever 'threw money' at education, and that it didn't work? Does he know that many school teachers spend their OWN MONEY on things they think they need for their classrooms? Like A LOT? Does he think that paying teachers 2/3rd what they might earn in the private sector keeps the best teachers in the classroom?

While I have issues with the public schools, they built this country, and they're chronically underfunded, even in the best school districts. Anyone saying otherwise, or talking about how giving people money to put their kids in private schools is going to save education, is full of shit. What it looks like to me is that conservatives want a two track system, where people with money can put their kids in private school, and everyone else can go fuck themselves.

And this is already the system now in a lot of places. My mom tried to keep my younger sibs in the Norfolk public schools, but they were so awful, she ended up sending them to private schools, so they wouldn't get beat up and they'd learn something. This was 20 years or more ago, but I can't imagine things have gotten better there. We're lucky to live where we live, because the public schools are actually decent.

2. Maybe a corollary to problems with education, apparently a significant minority of this country believe all sorts of bullshit that just isn't so. What the hell can we do about that? They're constitutionally entitled to be completely full of shit, no doubt. But is there any way to enlighten some of those people? I am simply gobsmacked at the ignorance shown by people at Republican rallies. And that isn't just cherry picking to find the wingnuts; I KNOW lots of people like that -- I'm related to a whole passel of them. Sure I'd like to whack with a shoe anyone I hear saying "Obama is a Muslim," but I don't think that's a good way to win friends and influence people.

3. What is going to happen if the Democrats win both houses of Congress and the Presidency? Between 1980 to the present (with a slight respite 1992-2000) the Republicans have devoted their considerable talents and energies to turning the United States into a Banana Republic. Given the vagaries of politics even in the best of times, is it even possible for the Democrats to fix what's left of the United States? Do enough Democrats even have the drive and moral sense to try?

As a (relatively) old geezer, I have a hard time shaking the feeling that the world is inexorably circling the drain. As Rachel Maddow says, somebody talk me down!

[User Picture]From: bitterwhiteguy
2008-10-22 07:02 pm (UTC)
If the Dems manage to get 60 seats(not likely, but possible) in the Senate, then the next 2 years will be their litmus test to accomplish something substantial. In '10 the Dems are defending a lot more Senate seats and the GOP will excoriate them if they don't do anything substantial. In all likelihood the Dems are getting the keys to the car, it's up to them not to wreck it or we'll be back to 2000 all over again.
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[User Picture]From: girlsgirlsgirls
2008-10-22 07:47 pm (UTC)
not the world, just this particular country
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[User Picture]From: m3ani3
2008-10-22 08:32 pm (UTC)
I believe the base problem with education is funding sources, not funding in and of itself. The system is set up in multiple layers with federal, state, and local resources -- each betting against each other. There needs to be one funding source (in my eyes: federal) that says - this is what the schools get on a per capita basis.

Really, though - many of the students just don't want to be there. I think the Dems (at least the ones I have worked with in CO) are just wrong about how to deal with education -- the majority of them think that "everyone should have the same education". I disagree -- they should be given the opportunity for the education track they desire. If they choose not to take the opportunity - thanks, but toilet bowl cleaner is their career path.

The cynical side of myself believes that the Democrats will screw it up. I go back to Colorado - where the first time in....i don't know how many years - they had both sides of the legislature and the gov. office. They managed to get *nothing* done. OK. a couple of things -- but really substantial legislation = ZILCH. sad, but true. Democrats don't know how to manage the system -- too many do-gooders out there trying to make everyone happy.
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