Blog #85 – Education…Politics – 9 September 2016

Holy Lizards, Batman: Those “damned” emails are “trumping” funny, “phony?” Unaudited Tax Returns!

Could anyone (besides good old Fox “news”) enjoy a little break from the agony of this here election business?

My dear old pappy, who as you know is also my chief typist, has thought for some time now that education ain’t exactly what it used to be. He’s figured for a good while that our modern day college degree is about the equivalent of his “old pappy’s” eighth grade training at good old Garrett Heights Elementary School in Baltimore, Merryland. Of course, there is a lot more emphasis on “social” studies today, no doubt aided by the advent of microbreweries, but one might conclude that the “readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic have suffered a tad.

Anyway, whilst mulling such notions, the old feller happened to pick up the latest copy of his fav mag. It’s called “The Week,” and is just a slim, little weekly magazine (maybe 1/16th inch in depth), but covers (briefly, of course) just about everything going on in the world. So, Yikes, the Editor’s Letter (written by William Falk, Editor-in-chief) in the September 9 Edition smacked old pap right in the eyeball, and with permission, we are quoting it here:

“We took our daughter, Jessica, back to college this week, lugging her mini-fridge, boxes, and a mammoth suitcase across the parking lot and up into her dorm room overlooking the quad. Karla and I helped Jess set up her room, searched the halls and campus for any signs of micro-aggressions or hate speech, gave her a loaded handgun, hugged her, and tearfully headed home, secure in the knowledge that she was in a safe place. OK, I wasn’t serious about the micro-aggressions or the gun. But on college campuses, the pursuit of safety now rivals the pursuit of knowledge as the ultimate goal, and some people are willing to go to great extremes to achieve it.
In fact, the demand for “safe spaces” has grown so clamorous that the University of Chicago felt it necessary to advise incoming students this year that they can expect to encounter “ideas and perspectives at odds with their own,” including some that may “cause discomfort.” That statement of free speech principles should be unremarkable, but it has triggered an aggrieved pushback from students and academics. The University of Texas, meanwhile, has adopted a very different definition of “safe spaces.” State legislators have authorized students to carry concealed firearms into classrooms and dorms, on the premise that “gun-free zones”only serve to invite attacks by deranged mass-killers. This is such an interesting country, isn’t it? At some colleges, students are seeking protection from “triggering” works of literature, such as The Great Gatsby, and the Merchant of Venice, and bans on The Vagina Monologues because it is offensive to “women without vaginas.” Another college has deputized people in an age group known for its impulsivity and intense emotionality to carry lethal weapons—and pull actual triggers if they deem it necessary. Getting an education has become so much more complicated than it used to be.”

Well, as you may even guess, both old pap and I feel as though Mr. Falk’s concluding sentence (which we emboldened) may be a marvel of understatement!

We also feel as though the so-called administrators and politicians are the more likely culprits, rather than the poor, old, underpaid teachers themselves. In any case, when one considers the current state of education, our present political dilemma becomes, not understandable, but at least believable!

As they say in the “twitter world,” BTW: The very interesting NBC ditty with the “candidates” regarding “Commander-in-Chief” last night overshadowed Apple’s announcement of its iPhone 7!  Old pap missed the broadcast, but fortunately the “talking heads” will be recovering it for a few days, and, eureka, thanks to the miracles of modern science, he caught the videos on the net!

Secretary Clinton, to her credit, stuck to the issues (except when old Matt Lauer had to bring up those “damned” emails again), mostly abided by Matt’s request to focus on “your” plans, and not spend the limited time just berating your opponent, and addressed each of the major issues with very logical analysis and proposals.
The Donald, on the other hand, spent lots of time criticizing Mrs. Clinton, and, as is his normal modus operandi, spoke mainly in platitudes, bragging profusely about his self-assessed virtues in every area of thought and action.

As we’ve observed before, it is an awful shame that we voters in our good old U.S.ofA. are asked to choose between two of the most distrusted candidates in a long time. The only thoughts we have to offer on the situation are: 1. Hillary is not a total con artist, and 2. She is unlikely to attempt to reverse the human rights progress we’ve made over the last 50 years.

Here’s lookin’ at you, Bus and real old pappy.

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