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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL


I don't know exactly what you'd call my politics, but I have to think that capitalism has failed us when our national government, mass media, and even our health care systems have become nothing more that corporate fronts.

There are people in this country who would want you to believe that our teachers are lazy and privileged.  Well, I know plenty of teachers and in my experience they are neither.

Those people want to divide us, and they want to keep us uneducated.  They want us doped with sex, TV, and bad food.  The truth is right in front of us!

I am SICK AND TIRED of corporations in this country being treated better than HUMAN BEINGS.

 

8 comments:

  1. Check out this comic and hopefully others at http://publiccomix.wordpress.com

    It's completely open to submissions, and if we get enough, we're trying to put together a zine to be distributed in Madison and other places this battle is being fought.

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  2. I can give you a whole list of teachers that have influenced (and are still) me and had faith in my abilities when I was unable to see them... I owe them a lot til the day I die...

    It's not just in the US, it's basically everywhere!...
    greedy people who want to turn us into zombies, feeding our carnal desires to shut down our minds...

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  3. Mr. Patterson was my science teacher! I was a science club officer (also for rad fieldtrips)! Thanks for this! -cyrus c@4gre.org

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  4. I think it's pretty clear that our culture is degrading, but all of this seems more like chickens coming home to roost than a corporate attack on the public sector.
    I graduated in 1997, and I stood next to a guy in line that I knew could barely read. This was at one of the highest-rated public high schools in Minnesota.
    It runs a lot deeper than the debate is going; we got fat and lazy, especially over the last twenty years. I think all that cheap credit and housing was meant to keep us that way so we wouldn't feel the effects of losing real industry/manufacturing ( NAFTA) until much later, after it was impossible to do anything about it. It's happening now.
    I love the idea of learning for the sake of it, but most people don't give a shit and never have. They won't value education until they see direct benefits from it. If every job you can get out of high school ( and even many that require a college degree*) requires zero academic knowledge ( like every service industry job; the stuff that was supposed to replace manufacturing.), people will not value academics.

    So the real deal is that teachers can only really facilitate learning. They can't turn shit into gold. The problem is that they don't really say that. All the rhetoric about the "power of education" is based on denying that fact. Good schools are schools where kids show up wanting to learn because their culture expects that of them.
    Making sure teachers have great benefits doesn't really play much of a role in making sure kids are doing well in school. And if the State is broke, they might need to take a hit.

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  5. Hey Uland, thanks for your comments...

    I would almost guarantee you that this IS a corporate-funded attack on the public sector. The only really powerful unions left in this country are the Public Service unions, because those are jobs that can't (knock on wood) be outsourced overseas.

    The right wing in this country has systematically attacked and weakened unions for much of recent history... for a number of reasons, I think, including that unions are still one of the most important rallying and fundraising points for the Democratic Party.

    Also this recent effort is likely meant to again shift attention away from those who really caused the financial meltdown -- Wall Street criminals who were aided and abetted by their cronies in office. Whether the states are in crisis or not is not in dispute, but taking away workers' rights in the name of balancing budgets is just more distraction and manipulation-- Want to balance a budget? How about collecting taxes from the 25% of major corporations that pay $0.00 a year? Oh no, that would "hurt business" (ie "me and my wealthy friends").

    I agree with your comments about the disintegration and ignorance of our culture, and sure, there have always been people who remain willfully ignorant, who reject educational opportunities, but that's not what we're talking about here.

    Making sure teachers have good benefits allows more people to take on the difficult task of becoming teachers, and keeps them in the job, where they can become more and more effective over time.

    I've been a member of the working class (working poor is more like it) my whole adult life, and I can't sit by idly and watch the right wing smoke and mirrors bullshit anymore. In siding with fellow workers over corrupt millionaire fatcats my choice is clear.

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  6. To further challenge Uland (who does make some valid points), I condense one of his comments: "I love the idea of learning for the sake of it, but most people don't give a shit and never have. They won't value education until they see direct benefits from it. If every job you can get out of high school...requires zero academic knowledge ... people will not value academics." ...and point out that paying teachers well not only brings in better competition (in classic capitalist fashion), but adds prestige to the field. One of the most obvious jobs one might pursue after graduation (and one that does require academic knowledge) is "Teacher," but most of the best talent says, "screw that, there's no money or glory in it." The brightest are encouraged on every front to become robber barons if there are no more openings under "rock star/movie star."

    Unfortunately, not all teachers become "more and more effective over time," as John says, but they "can," and are more likely to if they feel well compensated. It might be Step 1 in (re)creating that culture that values learning.

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