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This world is one big game of "Go"-- Black against White, Light against Darkness --and we all have a choice to make: Do we war FOR the Light?

...or against it?

Government Education's Chicken Come Home

Ladies and gentlemen, the future leaders of our country

And they want more money for education?

posted by Unknown @ 10:37 PM,


On August 12, 2008 at 6:12 AM, Anonymous BenT - the Unbeliever said...

Considering the unsourced unattributed apocryphal nature of the piece there's no question of its authenticity.

But supposing for a minute that these are real quotes from poorly educated students...what does it mean? Should we abandon the idea of public education as a failed attempt? Should we hold 15 year olds back with 9 year old because they aren't grasping history? This is one of your pet peeves. But you never have much to say beyond cheap condemnations.

For myself I know some kids that are bog stupid. But I also know some adolescents that are a credit to humanity. Youths full of intellect and curiosity. Willing to work to better themselves and their fellow man.

On August 12, 2008 at 8:52 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Do you suppose people were better educated and more aware of the world around them BEFORE public education? What do you reckon the literacy rate was in Colonial times? For women? For the poor? For slaves?

Back in the days that we treated mental illnesses with punishment or torture? Back in the enlightened days of medicine when we treated "vapors" with a good bleeding?

Do you suppose the average child in 1776 could find Africa or Australia on a map? How about South Africa? Or how to read a map? Or how to read?

And say, finally, whether peace is best preserved by giving energy to the government or information to the people. This last is the most certain and the most legitimate engine of government. Educate and inform the whole mass of the people. Enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order, and they will preserve them. And it requires no very high degree of education to convince them of this. They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty.

~Thomas Jefferson

On August 12, 2008 at 9:09 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

I believe the point is the constant demand for more money. Money isn't the problem. It rarely is. The problem is how to teach. The problem is how to get kids to want to learn. The problem is how to deal with those who can't or won't learn. Without a doubt, for kids to reach the level indicated by the link to be so stupid is a sign something is abslutely wrong. Kids learn in different ways. Public schools teach in only one way. Learning is a privilege and a duty. Kids don't understand this.

I've lamented the removal of God from public schools. I believe this has contributed to bad attitudes amongst the young. Another lament is the removal of corporal punishment. Between the two, kids have no moral basis nor do they have a sense of consequences. The consequences of a "F" doesn't move enough kids.

Because of the above, as well as because of a totally different mindset at the time, I believe that kids in 1776 were no worse off than kids today as far as success in education. What one must keep in mind is that to compare then and now, one must do so by looking at the results of those who wanted to learn. At the time, attendance wasn't mandatory. In the early days of our country, solid Biblical knowledge was mandatory to enter the universities, most of whom were run by ministers. So at least in terms of knowledge enough to enter college, I'd say those in the old days were far better equipped. Standards were different then.

On August 12, 2008 at 9:17 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Indeed. Female and black, for instance, need not apply. Or learn to read. That would only lead to problems and they weren't really "equipped."

Yes, standards WERE different then.

On August 12, 2008 at 10:02 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Dan, Ben, thanks for being typically you... typically obtuse and vacuous.

On August 12, 2008 at 10:12 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...


Your post suggests that public education is sucky.

I asked a reasonable question: Do you suppose people were BETTER educated before public education?

Ben asked some legitimate questions. What is the point of your post? It seems to be that we ought not spend more money on public education because some students are doing poorly, and that because some students are doing poorly, that is an indication that public education is a failed institution.

We are merely asking questions in response to your apparent position.

How is that obtuse? Vacuous? These seem to be reasonable questions given the gist of your commentary.

On August 12, 2008 at 10:23 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Come on, Dan. You know better than that! Standards of Education!

On August 12, 2008 at 10:26 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I'm sorry, but I honestly don't know what that answer has to do with our questions.

Are you in favor of standards of education? Me, too. I expect that my children have basic standards of education that they meet. And, God bless those public schools, my children ARE meeting those standards of education and going way beyond.

Our public school teachers all support high standards of education too. If that is your point, we all agree.

On August 12, 2008 at 10:34 AM, Blogger ELAshley said...

Some students? This is AP students we're talking about... advanced placement students. You're trying to deflect the issue, in a typically, Dan fashion, by making the discussion a moratorium on the evils of colonial education because they excluded blacks... I'm appalled at the apparent lack of substantive government education today. TODAY. All the colleges in the mid-eighteenth century (the 1700's for those of you not in AP classes) were Christian colleges dedicated to the advancement of the Gospel.

--- gotta run... funeral to attend.

On August 12, 2008 at 11:03 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, much of the technological advances you take for granted are the result of both the free market that you think we need to regulate intelligently and, more, the industrialization that you think we need to scale back dramatically.

Regarding the latter, you urge -- strongly, repeatedly, to the point of nausea -- that we should live simply, "within our means," and rely on sustainable, renewable, local sources of energy. If all of society followed your prescriptions, we would have never developed the MRI, the CAT scan, or genetic testing. It's doubtful we would have even been able to mass-produce the vaccines that have nearly erradicated certain diseases like polio. We would be much closer than we are now to the world of leeches and bleeding that you decry as backward.

I doubt that anyone here would disagree with Jefferson's high valuation of education, we just disagree on whether it should be provided by the government, and -- if so -- whether it should be funded at the federal level. Enough of Jefferson's contemporaries disagreed with the latter to kill his proposed Constitutional amendment that would authorize federal funding of education, so it's not obvious that our Founding Fathers unanimously agreed with him on that point.

Even conceding the idea of federal funding for education, I doubt that many of the Founding Fathers would have approved of the postmodern nihilism that has so thoroughly infected public education today. The form of education that the founders no doubt championed was the classical liberal education that was rooted in a fundamental respect for Western civilization. Since such respect is now viciously attacked as sexist, racist, homophobic, and essentially evil, it is inconceivable that public education today even remotely resembles what our founders envisioned, beyond the most superficial elements of a teacher lecturing students in a classroom.

But all that brings me to a question about your regard for the past: why in the world do you invoke Thomas Jefferson when he owned slaves?

Marshall appeals to the standards of the past, and you display a thorough contempt for those standards and even the past itself.

Indeed. Female and black, for instance, need not apply. Or learn to read. That would only lead to problems and they weren't really "equipped."

Yes, standards WERE different then.

With this sort of attitude, you really should stop insisting that you understand conservatism, and you really should stop invoking conservatism in support of your environmental radicalism.

It's really the same sort of attitude that led to renaming Notre Dame as a temple for Reason, an act of metaphorical violence against tradition that quickly led to literal violence against traditionalists.

"The past was racist and sexist, and therefore its every aspect that we've abandoned should have been abandoned. The past, being racist and sexist, is also altogether worthless."

This is the position of the intransigent, radical, ideological Progressive, who treats revolution as a religion and who can't discern that not all change is progress, that not every step taken is a step forward.

Wrong as the position would be, dangerous as it would be, your holding this position would at least have some sort of internal logic and consistency. But, then, you earlier appealed to a dead white, male slave-holder who dared to write that "all men" are created equal rather than "all persons.

Your position doesn't seem to be, let's not invoke the past because it's racist or sexist. Instead, it appears to be that only your critics are so prohibited. How dare Marshall invoke past standards, because there wasn't universal suffrage and because slavery was condoned.

But you? You can quote Jefferson quite freely.

You ostensibly appeal to the conservative principle of small, limited government to curtail military spending -- even though national defense is a truly fundamental function of government, one that's expressly consitutional -- but this principle is nowhere to be found when you're arguing for government management of education, government regulation of the market, and untold amounts of spending to address the "root causes" of poverty in other countries.

You're very interested in what the Bible says about how Israel had a small army and relied on God, but when that same book records that the same Deity told that same army to fight wars of annihiliation, you dismiss that as an atrocity that must be reinterpreted.

And, now, you denigrate appeals to the standards of the past because the past was imperfect, because it has taken time to fully implement the principles of human liberty in abolishing slavery and expanding the vote, but you still feel free to invoke the Founding Fathers whenever you feel like it.

Well, at least your inconsistency's consistent.

On August 12, 2008 at 11:29 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Aaaand, Ben's and my questions go unanswered.

Thank you very much for the conversation.

On August 12, 2008 at 11:41 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

Bubba noted:

This is the position of the intransigent, radical, ideological Progressive, who treats revolution as a religion and who can't discern that not all change is progress, that not every step taken is a step forward.

And it is also a position that very few actual people of whom I'm aware or have ever read or heard of anywhere in the real world. It's certainly not my position.

It sounds more like the sort of strawman position that people like to create to have an easy "enemy" to attack.

On August 12, 2008 at 11:46 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I don't want to belabor off-topic points, but really, honestly, Bubba, you need to quit guessing what I'm thinking or what my opinions are. You are consistently wrong on nearly every thing you say about what I believe. And I know that for sure because, well, it's ME that believes it.

Peace, y'all.

On August 12, 2008 at 12:15 PM, Anonymous Bubba said...

Dan, the use of strawman tactics is an interesting accusation coming from you, since, in our last conversation, you accused libertarians of being isolationists and accused neoconservatives of the belief that might makes right. Here, you dismiss Marshall's point with a glib invocation of slavery and women's rights, hardly the mark of someone interested in a substantive discussion.

And, while we're on the subject of questions that are ignored, I repeatedly asked in that thread a couple very specific questions about what sort of world legal body you would support -- whether it would include representatives from dicatorships and whether it would be authorized to use military force -- and you never got around to acknowledging either question, much less answering either question.

It's a shame you don't seem nearly as interested in answering questions as you are in insisting that others answer yours. It's a shame you don't seem truly concerned with clarifying and justifying your position rather than obfuscating about your position -- for instance, by blathering on about support for pacifistic foreign policy only to say that you don't actually want your ostensibly religiously based beliefs implemented by our actual government.

If only you were interested in a good-faith argument, your position would be oh-so-much more clear, and you wouldn't have to bemoan my consistently missing the mark in deducing your utopian positions.

On August 12, 2008 at 12:17 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

This blog isn't in business to specifically answer your or Ben's questions. Didn't I negate the need for an answer when I scolded you for being off-topic... what did I say? Obtuse, vacuous?

"It sounds more like the sort of strawman position that people like to create to have an easy "enemy" to attack."

Good grief! Dan... er, Pot! Meet Kettle! What hypocrisy!

"I don't want to belabor off-topic points..."

Are you sure? 'Cause it appears to be your favorite pastime.

" need to quit guessing what I'm thinking or what my opinions are. You are consistently wrong on nearly every thing you say about what I believe."

Again, "Pot, meet Kettle." You are consistently wrong in your characterizations of not just me but Bubba, Marshall, and anyone else who espouses a Conservative point of view.

On August 12, 2008 at 12:43 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

But to answer Ben's questions...

"What does it mean?" It means government funded education is a failure if advanced placement students are this ignorant.

"Should we abandon the idea of public education...?" No. But we should abandon the Unions stranglehold on the content and quality of education. Let TEACHERS be graded by the quality of their instruction. Allow parents school choice and foster a little competition. No child should be forced to attend a failing school simply because government says they live in that school's district... School vouchers would be a good start.

"Should we hold 15 year olds back with 9 year old because they aren't grasping history?" No, but neither should they be in advanced placement classes. Let's face it, if a child whats to try to be a lawyer or doctor, by all means allow them the opportunity, but just like life in the real world, if they fail to perform to expectation, they must either demonstrate a renewed effort by a "demonstrable" grasp of the material, or make room for a student who can. This world needs, mechanics, pest control, plumbers... etc. Let those "youths full of intellect and curiosity" who are "willing to work to better themselves and their fellow man" have a shot at the brass ring, irrespective of the color of their skin or the amount of money in their parents account.

There has to be accountability. Not just for the teacher, but the student as well. In 2003, the United States ranked number 18 out of 24 nations in terms of the relative effectiveness of its educational system. Finland, Australia, Belgium, Austria, Hungary, Netherlands and the United Kingdom beat the United States, while the Asian nations of South Korea, Japan and Singapore ranked first through third, respectively. More recent stats from 2007

Good first-starts in correcting this trend?

1) Eliminate the Unions
2) Provide School Choice (vouchers)
3) Provide Mandatory teacher testing
4) Return to the more traditional
"classical" education, or the Trivium.
5) Reward performance in students, not failure.

On August 12, 2008 at 12:59 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

So, since the topic of this post is the quality of public education, my question is: Do you suppose people were BETTER educated before public education?

On August 12, 2008 at 1:10 PM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

As stated, I'm entirely favor of having high standards, like they do in the schools where my kids have gone.

The schools I attended.

So, we're not disagreeing there. I'm glad to see you're not thinking we ought to get rid of public schools. Just have higher standards.

After all, if we got rid of schools, we'd be back to where we were before public schools were widely available - fewer people were literate or aware of the world around them. The public schools have been a good thing and it is a good thing to ask how we can improve them still.

I'm not sure how valid your ideas are - do you have any research supporting these proposals? - but I'm glad you're concerned.

In my public school training, I learned that the number one indicator for a child's academic success (above class size, although that has been proven to help; above the child's family's income, although that has an impact; above even teachers with less experience and skills!, although that is important, too) - the number one factor, according to studies, impacting a child's education is: How much parental support is there for education?

So, one question to consider might be, how do we best enable parents to want their kids to do well academically?

On August 12, 2008 at 8:12 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Yawn. Haven't read the comments. But good Lord, EL. 1. What is it you expect from a free country, which means that parents are as free to rause their children s god-awful ignorant as they are; and, 2., what is it you do to help your own children do to prepare; and 3., if you have no children, then, well, you're on the sideline; keep cheering and hollering as loud as you want, but those of uis with children, and some sense, trump you. Period.

Talk about something you have some knowledge and experience in. Same fer all of you'ns. Voice on. But ...

On August 12, 2008 at 10:11 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

That is an ignorant position upon which to stand, ER. By that measure of logic all of you who haven't served in the military should keep yer yaps shut on issues like Iraq and Afghanistan. But since you won't in that respect, I won't in this.

Thanks for your input, but it's ignorant, hypocritical; and it adds nothing of substance to the discussion.

On August 13, 2008 at 8:22 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...


Do you suppose people were BETTER educated before public education?

I'm not sure this question is the most germane. Even if one believes that people weren't better educated before public education, it doesn't logically follow that the improvement resulted from public education. That conclusion may be an instance of confusing correlation and causality: post hoc ergo propter hoc.

There are other factors that compound the issue. There is industrialization, which increased the standard of living and led to urbanization, which in turn freed children from their farm-related chores. There is also political small-l liberalization, whereas slavery was abolished and suffrage was expanded; education would almost certainly become more widespread at the same time, regardless of public funding.

A more relevant question is, if education improved, how much of it can be attributed to public funding? And have problems developed that are endemic to the gestalt monopoly of education, problems that could be addressed through competition, or privatization of some kind (including vouchers)?

And by what standard should we measure improvement? Is it by universality alone, as you seem to imply when you suggest that, just because education is now provided to more people, education is better?

(This logic would make Marxism better ipso facto, as it theoretically guarantees universal food and medicine; never mind the interminable lines for stale bread, when it's available.)

Or should we also not examine the sort of education that was given to those who received it? Of those who received education then and now, who has been better off? Who's better equipped to read a newspaper, write a simple business letter, and balance a checkbook? Who's better equipped to read a novel, write a persuasive essay, and balance the books for a small business? Who has a better understanding of the classic works of literature, a better resulting grasp of philosophy, and a fuller rhetorical arsenal to communicate that grasp? Who has a better knowledge of the Bible, its theological claims and its ethical commands?

And, how long did this education take? Ten years, or sixteen?

Since colleges routinely have to teach courses in remedial English, covering basic grammar to incoming Freshmen when they supposedly graduated with a high-school education, and since -- as Allan Bloom documented -- humanities education in particular has become a joke, I have trouble believing that public education is an institution that should be defended by reflex.

But all that's assuming a particular answer to your question, an answer that you clearly anticipate but one about which I'm skeptical.

Wikipedia is certainly not the final authority, particularly on controversial subjects, but it asserts the following:

"The school system remained largely private and unorganized until the 1840s. In fact, the first national census conducted in 1840 indicated that near-universal (about 97%) literacy among the white population had been achieved."

I think you presume a bit much about how backwards things were before government-funded schools.

And, if I may digress, I think you have a tendency to ask questions that shore up your position rather than seek the answers to questions that truly get at the issue.

You're doing the same thing at your own blog, dealing with the question of whether sexuality is a more important topic in the Bible than money. You're trying to find an answer to the question by doing word counts.

You acknowledge that these word counts miss figurative language such as "laying" with someone or loving "mammon" -- and I think it's likely that figurative language is more frequently applied to sex; remember Mary's insistence that she didn't "know" a man -- but you go on counting.

You count instances of expansive words like "money" for economic issues but not similarly expansive words like "marriage."

And what do you get?

"Still, I think those are pretty good sampling words and it comes up to 213 instances of "sex"-y words and 461 instances of "money"-ish words. That is about what I would expect if you did a more exhaustive search." [emphasis mine]

Of course it's what you expect, and that raises the question of whether the question was asked because the person asking the question already knew it confirmed his expectation.

A more thorough look at how the Bible approaches sexuality and money would note that 1) the "one-flesh" relationship of marriage was instituted before the Fall and 2) the first mention of the fundamental problem of economics (scarcity) is implied in the promise that man would eat by the sweat of his brow, a consequence of the Fall.

And it would acknowledge the fact that, while there isn't a single book in the Bible dedicated almost exclusively to issues regarding wealth, there is a book solely about the proper expression of romantic love, a poetic celebration of marital love.

Any discussion about the importance of sex in the Bible that omits an explicit acknowledgement of the Song of Solomon is woefully incomplete, but your word-counting approach does exactly that.

And there's another, more obvious instance of possibly gaming the system, of asking only those questions that support one's position: the issue of the Bible and homosexuality.

Your argument for the normalization of homosexuality, its moral equivalence to heterosexuality, and the resulting radical redefinition of marriage hinges on a few very specific claims, such as the (very contentious) claim that the passages that forbid homosexual behavior don't apply to modern relationships.

Even if that claim is true -- which is very arguable -- there are other questions that are at least as important, the chief being this: Why did God make us male and female?

You have a very different interpretation of Matthew 19 and Genesis 2, one that I still don't find plausible, but this interpretation was given in response to my continued insistence to address these passages. You yourself never found them relevant to the question.

I have to wonder whether you dismissed the question as irrelevant because, whether you ever admit it, you know the answer's inconvenient.

On August 13, 2008 at 10:26 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

A more relevant question is, if education improved, how much of it can be attributed to public funding?

Bubba, let me praise you: These are GREAT questions and entirely reasonable to ask, to research, to debate.

All I am objecting to is the notion - and it is done way too often - of pointing to an anonymous online website with some examples supposedly of a few students (AP or not) who demonstrate poor performance and saying, "Ah hah! Proof positive that public education is failing!"

That approach is lacking in reason and objectivity. I am entirely fine with considering all of your questions.

I will even offer an answer (subjective, unresearched) with my opinion about whether or not the kids who WERE educated back then, did they get a "better education"?

I'd suggest that probably they did. And the reason for that is that it is a different task to try to educate ALL children as opposed to SOME or HALF of the children.

Before education was mandated, who was being educated? Those whose parents wanted them educated.

And what has research shown us to be the main factor in academic success (if you're willing to accept my memory on the point)? Parental support for education. So, if that factor was the main factor back then as it is today, then one would expect that children were motivated to learn and, if we assume that those children who had less support or opportunity were less present in classrooms, then teacher efforts were directed to a classroom of motivated students. (there will always be some exceptions, of course).

It is to be expected that a group of students who are motivated to learn, whose parents support their education and whose teachers aren't having to deal with the "other" students, that for THOSE students, they will probably do better in school and, in fact, have a better education.

But that is assuming that we're only educating half (or whatever percentage) of the children. What if we're trying to educate them all? Including the unmotivated ones? The ones lacking parental support? The ones who are homeless or otherwise marginalized?

Did you know that 1 in 5 children are below the federal poverty level? A good number of those (and others) live in families with only one parent?

These families and children have a lot going on in their lives and it may not be surprising that they often (not always) have a hard time succeeding academically.

Anyway, all of that to say, that I am completely fine with studying the issue and seeing where we are failing and where we are succeeding and how we can increase the success.

What I object to is pointing to some random problems and saying education is failing.

On August 13, 2008 at 9:01 PM, Blogger Erudite Redneck said...

Re, "By that measure of logic all of you who haven't served in the military should keep yer yaps shut on issues like Iraq and Afghanistan. But since you won't in that respect, I won't in this."

Actually, I have never said a damn thing about how the military, as an institution, ahould operate internally. Ever. And that's what you're alluding to with this post, only as regards education.

So, consider BS called, EL. Wanna harp on what education should accomplish for the good of the county, harp on. Wanna harp about how it should accomplish it, tax policy and structurewise, shut your own mouth, until you have a personal stake in it.

On August 13, 2008 at 10:46 PM, Blogger ELAshley said...

I do have a personal stake in it. Taxes... the money they take from my paycheck twice a month before I ever see it.

On August 14, 2008 at 1:52 AM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Indeed. You pay taxes, you have a stake in it. Besides, the quality of our youth affects society as a whole. A better eduacted youth is a benefit to all. A lesser educated youth is a burden to all.

Public education IS failing if we don't rank at minimum, top three in the world. There's no excuse for that. Public education IS failing if ANY AP students are as stupid as indicated by the link. Public education IS failing for HS graduates not having the type of well-rounded knowledge of which Bubba spoke regarding youth of the past. And they don't. Whether more money is the answer is the point of all this. It isn't the answer.

On August 14, 2008 at 5:51 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

On August 14, 2008 at 5:51 AM, Blogger Dan Trabue said...

I agree with Eric on this one, ER. We all have a right to an opinion on the future of all of our children.

It's just that it's not smart to base an opinion on an entire education system based on a few anonymous examples found randomly on the internets.

And while Marshall is certainly welcome to his hunch that "Public education IS failing if ANY AP students are as stupid as indicated by the link," he may do well to benefit from some of the public education courses they offer for adults to help in his reasoning...

Still, unreasonable and illogical or not, he is welcome to have an opinion about stuff he doesn't know about. And we are free to take it for what it is worth.

On August 14, 2008 at 8:12 AM, Anonymous Bubba said...


First, about poverty, Thomas Sowell makes a couple very good points in an article that was reprinted here, first that the free market has done more to raise the poor's standard of living than all government programs combined, and second that the poverty line is constantly moving.

"As late as 1930, most American homes did not have a refrigerator but, by the end of the decade, most did. By 1970, virtually all families living in poverty had refrigerators. By 1994, most American households below the poverty line had a microwave oven and a videocassette recorder -- things that less than one percent of all American households had in 1971...

"The poor will always be with us, so long as they are defined as the bottom 20 percent, even if yesterday's bottom 20 percent are now among 'the rich,' as such terms are defined by those with a stereotyped vision of a static world."

So when you tell me how many kids are raised by families who live below the poverty line, I do consider the truly difficult upbringing that, say, Abraham Lincoln had and the comparative luxury that even most of our poor enjoy, and I conclude that this isn't the best explanation for why those kids do poorly at school.

Whether a child is raised in a two-parent is a much better predictor of whether he'll grow up undereducated -- and not just undereducated, but underproductive and more liable to commit crime.

But as serious as the problems of divorce and illegitimacy are, I'll remind you that you support a radical redefinition of the legal institution of marriage that would further sever the once-strong ties between marriage and procreation and that has already further undermined the institution in Scandinavia.

On a topic more directly related, I generally don't believe that anecdotes are the strongest evidence of a trend. It's said that an anecdote is "data" in the singular, but it's also divorced from the context. I think that there are much stronger indications that education is in bad shape.

But poorly written answers from students taking the Advanced Placement test isn't completely meaningless, and putting weight on such anecdotal evidence isn't so contentious that it justifies your snark.

And while Marshall is certainly welcome to his hunch that "Public education IS failing if ANY AP students are as stupid as indicated by the link," he may do well to benefit from some of the public education courses they offer for adults to help in his reasoning...

Still, unreasonable and illogical or not, he is welcome to have an opinion about stuff he doesn't know about. And we are free to take it for what it is worth.

I understand your being short with me, as I am no longer willing to pretend that you always argue in good faith, but I believe Marshall has remained quite cordial in these discussions.

But if we want to make snippy comments about someone else's supposed ignorance, I'll remind you of a conversation that started here, in which you quite arrogantly asserted that the U.S. Constitution permits social welfare programs and then produced the most strained arguments to support that assertion.

You had your hindquarters handed to you.

I believe that that experience should have led to your being a little more humble regarding the supposed ignorance of others.

But if that's not the case, I will feel free to keep reminding you of the thumping I gave you, when such reminders seem appropriate.

On August 16, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...

Many thanks, Bubba for the defense. Keep in mind that it is Dan chastizing me for my reasoning. Pretty funny, no?

On August 16, 2008 at 4:44 PM, Blogger Marshall Art said...


Without bragging about my extensive post-grad work in education, it doesn't take a doctorate to understand that our standing vs the rest of the world shows a problem with our educational system. If we aren't first, second or third, we're stroking ourselves to say otherwise.


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