Posts Tagged ‘literature’

Important to know why going private is not the way to go, not even close!



Everywhere you look today you’ll find profits prophets of doom bemoaning the quality of our public school system.

We’ve got too many failing schools, they say. The only thing to do is to invest in private and privatized institutions vouchers, charters, ANYTHING but public.

But as education professors Christopher and Sarah Lubienski wrote in their landmark book “The Public School Advantage: Why Public Schools Outperform Private Schoolsthere’s little evidence behind the hype. Public schools are far from perfect, but even given their deficiencies, they have benefits that far outweigh those of privatized schools. Indeed, market-based educational reform, wrote the Lubienskis, is “increasingly a belief system rather than a policy theory.”

Privatized schools are sometimes great at boosting standardized test scores, but when it comes to authentic indicators of student learning, they often fall well behind their traditional public school counterparts.

And when you…

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In case the Russian spy drama overly sidetracked anyone, the following bills have been introduced quietly, I might add.


  1. HR 861 Terminate the Environmental Protection Agency. This means that Lake Michigan will be totally poisoned in a year. The great Lakes are basically static. They all only empty through one river, the St. Lawrence, so they retain pollutants. Lake Michigan unfortunately lies within U.S. boundaries with a multitude of mills, heavy populations near the shores, so heavy pollution. The lake was thought to be beyond saving, but due to efforts by the EPA it is just now starting to recover. Now heaven forbid that corporate America has to spend some profit and not dump their pollutants untreated into this body of water. The Great Lakes are the largest source of fresh water on the planet, and all of them are polluted to one extent or the other!


  1. HR 610 Vouchers for Public Education
! Voucher programs have shown to be unsuccessful. But what is most important for you to know, the voucher program will only allow you to put your child back into the same public program, but with a lot less money available to perform its duties. It does mean the rich can now save a buck sending their children to private schools that you still cannot afford, while your child gets even less of an education than before!            
  2. HR 899 Terminates the Department of Education
! So yes, they need to terminate anyone that might forewarn you about the ass kicking you are about to take!
  1. HJR 69 Repeal Rule Protecting Wildlife
! I would thing that should be self evident, but it will not be!
  1. HR 370 Repeal Affordable Care Act! Ok, I won’t defend it, but make sure you do not let them remove it until you understand perfectly what it is you are getting. You know the GOP are claiming they have written a tremendous, wonderful, the best of the best, most fabulous replacement for the ACA. It is an insult to basic intelligence; it is nothing more than a tax break for the wealthy while ripping healthcare away from millions. Just be wary folks. It ain’t whacha think!

6. HR 354 Defund Planned Parenthood
! This entity is under attack because of abortions. But it does not use funds from the government to fund any abortions. So now all you are doing is taking needed medical help from people who cannot get it elsewhere.

  1. HR 785 National Right to Work (this one ends unions) If you are one of those who hate unions, well you have no idea what unions have done for you, even if you and yours were never in one!
  1. HR 83 Mobilizing Against Sanctuary Cities Bill
  1. HR 147 Criminalizing Abortion (“Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act”)
 Are we going all the way back to telling a woman to only speak with permission, to take care of the husbands needs above her own, and obey your man, or men if you don’t have your own man? I am a man, and even I know that is bullshit!
  1. HR 808 Sanctions against Iran

Since I started writing this the GOP has defunded feeding old people and children in need! The President just announced he will dismantle anything and everything that President Obama set in motion to fight climate change. That includes weather satellites controlled by NASA! He figures what you can’t see he can lie to you about! His meetings with leaders of countries that are members of NATO make it obvious he does not even understand how NATO works!

Look, I follow the writings of several highly educated people, Diane Ravich, for example, because she is plugged in way better than I am! Actually I don’t even know where the cord is! I recommend her to you, especially if you are in education.

I have no formal degrees. I am an avid reader, I do have a lot of technical training, some college, but as I said I never turned any of that into a formal degree unless Master Mechanic counts. However there is a humane way to live, a right and wrong that to my way of thinking is universal, it is not something you can parse out or budget out of existence. Kids, older folk, anyone up against it really, deserve to eat, stay warm, and live. (inside) Now that does not mean luxury by any means, but we, as humans, with a brain, conscience, and basic intelligence should not be debating this. As one of the richest countries in the world with all of the attributes that entails, it should just take care of its citizens, period. We can get into how we break the cycle of poverty, the dumbing down of America, the huge differences between poverty, middle class, and the upper crust, if you will, but we don’t put our basic humanity on a shelf while we figure it out! It does not take a genius to figure out right from wrong. I served my country, Sgt. USMC two tours in Nam as an avionics tech. I worked for 40 years. I never went on welfare and I worked for the same company for 30 years as a civilian before I got my second job! I am a proud liberal because I have a brain, a conscience, and I know right from wrong. I also know the GOP is totally out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent, and the current President lied to you big time and has mental problems. As I said before I do not have a degree, in psychology or any other medical field, but I know a rabid dog when I see one!


Our Written Language

By John Love

I have a set of books called the Great Books. It has all of the old philosophers and wordsmiths of an era gone by, Socrates, Aristotle, Descartes, Spinoza, Galileo, Milton, Shakespeare, and on and on for 54 volumes of different people in our history who made an impression on society one way or the other. I have been reading Aristotle for the last few days. I can’t go for more than a few days in a row before my mind gets bent and my head starts to ache from actually having to think so hard for so long a time. I got these books from Britannica back in the early 70’s, through the military. I love reading all of them because the thought process, the education, and the use of the English language to describe ideas, stories, arguments, or philosophies is a constant revelation of what we are capable of. My biggest sorrow is the fact that even our great writers and commentators of our day cannot wield the English language as it was used in educated circles in the past. We have lost the art of language as it once was, and to our great detriment. I am not talking about just the English language per say, but any and all discourse.  Our forefathers who were responsible for creating our American way of life, for example, wrote in pros that far better described their thoughts, dreams, and wishes!  They were far more eloquent, expressed more passion and depth than writers of our modern age seem to be able to bring to the page.  We have lost the ability to use our language to it’s full potential, and I for one am sad we have lost this art.

Even when we translate a century old philosopher, say from Italian to English, we tend to simplify what was being said. I don’t think this is done so much because the translator does not think we will understand it as written, but rather that the translator no longer has the skill to accurately describe what is being said in English. When more famous people, such as Aristotle or Socrates are translated, their works are so famous that writers must use words that accurately portray what they have written down themselves. Even so, I have been told by several people, that if you have the ability to read some of the more famously known works of the past in the original language, you again see that even with a script to go by, the English language version was considerably better, but still suffered in the translation.

However, if you read, for example the Federalist papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay, you begin to see how words and knowing how to use them properly is of the utmost importance. If you continue on in this same general time period with the writings of John Stuart Mill such as On Liberty, Representative Government, and Utilitarianism, you begin to suspect why precise language and its meanings are important. We love to hate and make jokes about lawyers, but when you start to understand why precise language can and is important, you begin to understand why legal documents are written as they are. Now the writings I am talking about here are not beautiful in their pros, but accurate in their description to the point that it is almost impossible to misconstrue what is being said.

Now lets talk about great English authors. After all, the language we speak, as a common language in America is English. We however did manage to add our own flavor to it as we added words derived from our melting pot of nationalities making up our country, at the beginning, and even more so now. I believe this, and our education system, which has continued to spiral downward with every decade in our history, has been largely responsible for our decline in our use of the English language. My example would be Milton, known as one of the preeminent writers in the English language. He was a civil servant. He wrote in a religious and political time of upheaval, but not only was he known for his technical writing ability, but his poem, Paradise Lost is and will always be a classic. You must understand that Milton could read and write in English, Latin, and Italian. You will find that most educated men around the time of Milton and on in to the next century, could read and write in multiple languages, and most had a complete and exceptional understanding of those languages and could communicate quite effectively in each. As we Americans slowly weaned ourselves from our native countries, especially England, we started to lose such skills as were held by the likes of Milton. I know, you can probably find me an example of people that are reminiscent of the times and era I am so fond of here, but I make the statement that these people are far and few between, and that very, very few, work in the media outlets of today. A student used to be required Latin, which if you ever took a class from Mr. Pratt, you know to be important in understanding any English science text, Greek and Latin root words being the basis for almost all scientific terms. Teachers, even at grade school level at the time of our countries creation, usually spoke multiple languages, had almost all taken Latin at the very least, and had a superior command of the English language and its subtleties, not to mention the rules by which it was governed, no matter what subject they taught.  A teacher now can get by on a moderate understanding of the language, speak no other, and in a lot of cases is a government paid baby sitter, not an educator.

They Oakland School district here in California created a stir when they decided to incorporate Ebonics, an African American vernacular made popular by students in large cities in California, notably Oakland and Los Angeles. In my mind, this made it harder for those individuals who embraced Ebonics to get and hold professional jobs. It further marked them as coming from a particular segment of society not well thought of in any academic circles. For this reason alone, educated black professionals went on record in very large numbers in a vehement attack to rescind this type of thinking, which in their minds separated a whole segment of black society into a much to narrow market for their skills.  I bring this up merely to point out that this and other such trends do not help support a movement back to the basics of understanding the language we most commonly use in this country and around the world. We need to be able to communicate our ideas far better than we do now, and on the other hand, be able to understand and respond in kind when we hear language that embraces nuance, beauty, an exactness of description and meaning! We are fast losing our ability to speak and write in meaningful ways. This undermines our ability to communicate our ideas, our dreams, yes even our arguments in a fashion that uplifts us even in our disagreements.