This is news?

U.S. officials said Tuesday the Social Security system is not financially self-sustainable. The Medicare and Social Security trustees made the assessment in releasing their annual report on the entitlement program. Each year, the trustees look at the financial condition of both Social Security and Medicare, and Treasury Secretary John Snow told reporters Social Security “continues to be seriously underfunded,” with a $3.7 trillion benefit obligation, for which trustees predicted it will not have the money. Snow said the program’s cash flow will be in the red in 2018 and the program’s money will be exhausted in 38 years and “neither of those dates have changed since last year’s report. Part of the growing problem is the 76 million baby boomers who will be retire and file for Social Security in the next couple of decades.

Ponzi schemes always fail over time, what else is new. But maybe if we print a lot of money, we’ll be able to meet all of the program’s obligations. Alternatively, we could import a lot of third-world guest workers. That seems to be working really well for Europe.

Loathe them

Space Bunny shares: A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of a dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in a Broni suit, Gucci shoes, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leans out the window and asks the shepherd: “If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock,will you give me one?”

The shepherd looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing flock and calmly answers “Sure. Why not?” The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his AT&T cell phone, surfs to a NASA page on the internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite navigation system to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo. Then the young man opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg. Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses a MS-SQLdatabase through an ODBC-connected Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of complex formulas. He uploads all of this data via an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.

Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer and finally turns to the shepherd and says: “You have exactly 1586 sheep.””That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my sheep.” says the shepherd. He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks onamused as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.

Then the shepherd says to the young man “Hey, if I can tell you Exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?” The young man thinks about it for a second and then says,”Okay, why not?” “You’re a consultant.” says the shepherd. “That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?” “No guessing required,” answered the shepherd. “You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked; and you don’t know crap about my business…

Now give me back my dog.”

Mailvox: the socialism of school

Jamsco replies: Again, having something in common with socialists doesn’t make you a socialist. I assume that communists hold meeting to make decisions. Does that make meetings communistic?

That’s true, but only at the most superficial level. We’re all human oxygen-breathers, for example. However, having something general in common with socialists and advocating the tenth pillar of the Communist manifesto – “10. Free education for all children in public schools” – are two very substantively different matters. So, yes, supporting free education for all children in public schools is at the very least communistic, just as supporting “abolition of property in land” would be.

And compared the ludicrous stretch of imagination involved in equating the average right-wing Republican with a member of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party, it would be most reasonable to label a supporter of public schooling a communist. I wouldn’t and I don’t, since most people have given no more thought to the nature of public schooling than they have to the Labor Theory of value, but I have no problem labling the NEA and its activists as such. If someone was advocating lebensraum and a second Endlosung, I doubt Jamsco would have any problem labling them a Nazi. So, what is the difference here? And how many of those ten pillars need one actively support before it is appropriate to label them a socialist or communist?

Keep in mind that public schooling is as necessary a component of modern totalitarian rule as gun control. It is very difficult to engineer a society without control of the children. They are, to paraphrase Lenin, the high ground. That is precisely why the homeschooling movement terrifies the NEA, as it strikes at the heart of their power.

Mailvox: Vox can speak for himself, thanks

Jamsco writes: Vox says: Home Schooled Students do much better than PS Students

Debater says: My kids are in public schools and they are doing fine or better than HS students.

Vox actually says, anecdotal evidence. 49 percent of all public school students are doing better than the average, so what? Are they developing to their intellectual potential or not? That’s the question, and one Debater is unlikely to be able to answer in the affirmative.

Vox says: But you don’t know how your kids are being indoctrinated.

Debater is aware of what his kids are being taught and says: My kids aren’t being indoctrinated.

Vox says: I’ve got these condemning quotes Dewey and Harris that show that public schools were created to indoctrinate

Debater points out that these quotes are a century old and suggests that things are different now.

Vox actually says, no, Debater, you have no clue. The primary purpose for public schooling is to control the social development of children and cripple their intellectual independence. This is the basic goal of education – the subsumption of the individual – and nothing has changed since it was first articulated. There are older quotes and newer quotes, and the base purpose remains the same. Most people are not capable of recognizing systematic indoctrination anyhow. It’s not usually quite as obvious as in the Soviet Union.

Vox pulls out the big guns and suggests that he read Gatto, a more recent source.

Debater does and sees that the book is rhetoric and propaganda from a bitter former employer

Propaganda serving what purpose? Why would a highly honored employee be bitter about the institution which rewarded and lionized him?

Vox says: It’s not propaganda, that’s how the schools are now run.

Debater 2, a PS teacher with 20 years experience says: No, that’s not how schools are run. Debater 2 is not surprised that there are some former employees who are bitter with PSs.

Most teachers have little idea of the purpose of their grand enterprise, nor do they understand the significance of their own actions. This is not surprising, as teachers generally hail from the dregs of the educated classes. One would not expect second lieutenants to have any real notion of what is going on in the high strategic circles. Furthermore, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence from a plethora of sources supporting Gatto’s description of how and why schools are run as they are.

Vox pulls out the bigger guns and says: But Public School Systems were crucial to the Social Models of the last century.

Debater 2 says: American Public schools have different goals than the Nazi party.

Vox says – No they don’t. Look at the Education Union Websites.

Debater 2 does and isn’t bother by what he sees there, largely because his politics aren’t the same as Vox’s

The fact that Debater 2 is sympathetic to the societal goals of the historical National Socialist party hardly disproves my point. That alone should suffice to wake up ignorant public school advocates, who have no idea that socialist societal engineering is what they are signing their children up for when they put them in Debater 2’s hands. Furthermore, Debater’s I and II make statements that only indicate their lack of ability to see and understand what is happening right in front of them. This doesn’t surprise me in the least, as most people fail to recognize the obvious, let alone that which is intentionally kept out of the public eye as much as is reasonably possible.

Why women don’t get it

The St. Paul Pioneer Press has been chronicling the trials and travails of one Ruby, who is single and not looking very likely to find a mate any time soon. Why not is not much of a mystery, as she is about as clueless about the opposite sex as I’m guessing she is about plate tectonics. In this week’s episode, the poor darling tries speed-dating:

I was a little nervous and a lot curious as I walked into a large room at a sports bar that looked like a log cabin on steroids. Right away I noticed several well-dressed, average-looking men. The women, fulfilling the social standard, were generally better looking. While everyone waited for the session to start, I began chatting with two young women who, based on another friend’s recommendation, also were trying speed dating for the first time.

Women, for some reason, are almost completely incapable of accurately judging attractiveness as men see it. This is why a woman can look at Marisa Miller and say “I don’t think she’s pretty at all” then turn around and tell you that their obese friend with stringy hair is gorgeous because she has a nice smile. Note that she thinks the women were better-looking, on the whole, and keep this in mind in light of what she writes later. The Perfect Aryan Male attended one of these events in the same city and he said that out of the 30 women that were there on the night he participated, there was only one woman who was actually pretty, although he discovered that she was built like the Great Pyramid of Giza when she stood up. And this is a guy who is so obviously a catch that he can’t go to a strip club without getting asked out by the dancers.

Of the 30 guys I met, I marked yes to three. One was Hot Matt, who was still in college and obviously too young for me. (Logic played no role in that decision.) I wished I was attracted to a few more, but the sparks just weren’t flying. I wrestled with the idea that I might become attracted to more of them if I got to know them better, which is surely possible, but with me, that rarely happens. Plus, I didn’t take very good notes, and most of the guys darted for the exit afterwards instead of mingling, which the service encourages.

Two things. First, if the women were actually more attractive than the men, then why did most of the men bolt? That doesn’t describe the normal behavior of a guy who finds himself in the company of more attractive women who he knows are available in my experience. Second, note that the failure of “sparks” to fly in three minutes is reason enough to disqualify an otherwise acceptable man and that despite her long record of dating failure, logic still plays a backseat role to mindless optimism. Thirty-something ladies, if you want to get married, it helps to stop panting after the handsome college boys, take a good look in the mirror and give the guys who are on your level – or close to it – a chance. Even if you’re uncommonly well-preserved, the college boy isn’t going to marry you and you’ll have blown another few months. And as for expectations, well, the White Buffalo and I were talking last night, and concluded that no one in our extended circle, with one or two exceptions, was with the kind of person that they, or anyone else, would have imagined themselves to marry.

My dear friend Chatterbox told me recently that she had tons more dates than any other woman she knew when she was living in New York City because her attitude was that if a guy asked her out, any guy, then she was going out. Now, she definitely has some strange-looking friends, but a lot of great stories too. And with an attitude like that, it’s no surprise that she’s happily married despite the handicap of her MBA. First get real with yourself, then be real with others. A little practicality goes a surprisingly long way in the dating game.

A letter to Jean Francois

Walter Cronkite writes: “In the interests of your campaign and your party’s desire to unseat George W. Bush, you have some explaining to do. When the National Journal said your Senate record makes you one of the most liberal members of the Senate, you called that ‘a laughable characterization’ and ‘the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen in my life.’ Wow! Liberals, who make up a substantial portion of the Democratic Party and a significant portion of the independent vote, are entitled to ask, ‘What gives?’ “It isn’t just the National Journal that has branded you as a liberal. So has the liberal lobbying group Americans for Democratic Action. … What are you ashamed of?”

Walter, you senile old drag queen, Senator Kerry is ashamed of the fact that his leftist views, even prettied up with the description liberal, will keep him out of office. This is hardly rocket science. While I admire straightforward liberals like Walter Mondale and Paul Wellstone, who have at least part of the courage of their convictions, there’s a reason that they couldn’t get elected anywhere outside of the People’s Republic of Minnesota.

Where’s the love when you don’t care

It’s interesting to see how the shoe is starting to appear on the other foot these days. For years, homeschooling parents were the ones on the defensive. Public school parents had absolutely no problem making very judgmental statements about homeschoolers, usually having something to do with the ridiculous notion of socialization, as if there’s anything normal about an environment consisting solely of people of your own age, a social environment that no one will ever see again outside of school. Apparently these amateur socialization experts have never seen the Glory Days phenomenon, just to give one example.

But now that it’s becoming increasingly obvious that homeschooling is better from academic, socialization, intellectual development and religious freedom points of view, it’s the parents who send their kids to public schools when they don’t have to that feel under assault. To them I say: deal with it. Like Space Bunny, I’ve heard far too many women say that they can’t wait until their kids are off to school so that they can have more time for themselves. Their rhapsodies of praise to the paradise that is the local school, in most cases, is nothing more than ex post facto rationalization of their desires. That’s their right, of course, not only to feel that way but also to make the decision to sentence their children to school so that they can have more time for shopping and Starbucks. Just don’t tell me that they love their children as much as those who accept a lower standard of living and sacrifice their free time in order to give their children the best education possible. Logic dictates otherwise.

Unlike the government and many public school advocates, I believe every parent has the right to educated their children as they see fit even if that means sentencing the children to twelve years of intellectual mutilation. What they don’t have, however, is the right to expect me to cheer or otherwise salute a foolish and self-centered choice.

Mailvox: the Buffalo bellows

The White Buffalo comments: I don’t want you to send your kids to PS, I want you all to stop telling me what to do with my kids.

WB, I don’t think I’ve ever told you what to do with your kids. Nor do I doubt your affection or willingness to shoulder your paternal responsibility for them. The way I see it, there are four kinds of parents who send their children to public school.

1. The stupid – this covers most parents, who have no idea what public education is nor has the notion of any other educational option ever entered their minds.

2. The stuck – those who have no choice. I have nothing but sympathy for them.

3. The selfish – those who value their free time more than their children’s education. These are the people I was condemning in today’s column. If it wasn’t appropriately and perfectly nuanced in your opinion, then, well, tough. What do you expect from a freaking poem?

4. The strange – those, like WB, who seriously believe they are performing some form of vicarious mission work through their children. I disagree, of course, and I neither condemn nor understand them. Perhaps there is a genuine calling of this sort. It’s just not one I hear.

I quite liked Space Bunny’s point: I fully support anyones right to do what they will with their own children. Too bad the government doesn’t feel the same. And speaking of which, MM writes: Just read your column entitled “The Yellow Bus.” Thank you for putting into print the feelings of many parents. I have a kindergarten-age child in public school now, and am pulling him out at the end of the school year. Our school district and the DA’s office have threatened my wife and I with one year in county jail and removing our child from our custody, citing excused medical absences as justification. To top it off, their aggressive actions break a contract agreement signed by the school and myself.

Never trust the bureacracy. Never. I did mention the bit about packing all the educationists off to Cuba, didn’t I?

Mailvox: Yeah, that’s kind of the point

RC writes: Your poem assails all public schools alike (denigrating them as “government schools”). I must inform you that there many excellent public schools, to which we can attest because we managed our kids through them successfully (and no, not only marginally). In fact, our children scored much higher on their ACTs/SATs than did their local private/parochial schools friends (who paid through the nose for the questionable “bragging rights”). All we hear is lamenting, ridicule, insults, and harassment from columnists and other media personnel toward public schools. We never hear of a plan to help–only to tear down.

Am I not making myself sufficiently clear? I do not wish the public schools to be “fixed”, anymore than I wish to “fix” Sudanese slavery. I would like to do to the public school system what Rome did to Carthage. If these champions of public schooling understood the purpose behind public schooling, which is not to teach, but to indoctrinate and cripple, they would understand why my contempt for it is based on both experience and theory. The purpose of education is not what you think it is, moreover, it has not been since Dewey and his sponsors. If you do not know who William Torrey Harris was, then you will almost surely not understand my position or why he would say: “Ninety-nine out of a hundred are automata, careful to walk in the prescribed paths, careful to follow the prescribed custom. This is not an accident but the result of substantial education, which, scientifically defined, is the subsumption of the individual.”

We will not help society one bit by such poems or by otherwise throwing “stones” at public schools from the comfort of our pristine homes or private prep schools. This will only demonstrate that we are arrogant and elitists who are happy to criticize from afar as we push for measures to further diminish and divide. We have met many with this mindset. We are not impressed.

“We” are obviously confusing me for someone who gives an airborne rodent’s posterior. And yet, RC is right with regards to one thing. We shouldn’t throw stones at public schools. Society would be much better off if we simply burned them all to the ground. You can’t fix what is working as designed.