Chemisse's Journal - Archives
There are definitely bad apples, as in any profession. Sometimes they are just tired out teachers who have lost their spark. It's not an easy job, overall. Other times, they are inexperienced and ineffective. It takes a few years to figure out how to teach in ways that can excite kids, yet still maintain an effective classroom environment.
I recall my years in school. There were a handful of really good teachers, the bulk seemed mediocre to me, and a couple of really bad teachers. Techniques in those days were lecture and worksheets. No hands on, no projects. Praise was scarce, criticism ample. School was boring and unpleasant. But I got a very good education.
Now, we cater to shorter attention spans (due to tv, video gaming, etc) with multi-media presentations and hands-on activities; we worry over children's self-esteem and how well they are adjusting, we consider a variety of learning styles to allow all children to excel as best they can, and on and on. And yet the test scores are poor!
Imagine, a full week of Cheney-dominated tv.
Of course we don't like to speak ill of the dead, so his image will be softened. We will be treated to stories of Dick as a college student, Dick as a dad, Dick as a doting husband, anything but Dick as a dick. News stations will search for photos that show his human side. Likely they will have to resort to baby pictures.
And then there is the very lengthy funeral, during which numerous dignitaries will have to feign sadness and respect, while fighting down urges to spit on his grave.
In the meantime, the masses will gradually forget the bad times, the crimes against America, the torturing, the face shooting. Out in public you will overhear comments like, "You know that Dick Cheney, he was an alright guy."
When it seems like it is almost over, that is when the real nightmare will begin.
Liz Cheney, her chin thrust out and her eyes glistening with the hint of tears, will announce that she won't let her father's dream die.
That's when she will announce a run for the presidency.
Maybe these brain structures are involved in filtering out certain sensory information which would enable us to perceive other forces, information that could overload or destablize our mental functions, and the damage to these tissues prevents such filtering.
I would compare my suggestion to taking a psychedelic drug, which opens mental perceptions in a way that can be both illuminating and deleterious.
Particularly when my mother is trying to foist yet another amazing vitamin-related cure upon me. I gently try to explain to her that I need evidence - or at least a damned hypothesis about how it could POSSIBLY be effective.
Hurt, she explains to me that she read of several cases in which it completely cleared up whatever ailment she is proposing it for. Then she plays the can't-trust-the-government/industry/medical community card, in which she darkly insinuates that such natural cures are concealed by pill pushing doctors, the secretive and crooked FDA and the profit-hungry drug businesses.
So I know all about the effect of bullshit claims on naive people. It annoys me, but it doesn't make me really upset.
What I really enjoy is talking about some of the mysteries in science. I like wondering about possible explanations and exploring ideas. Sure, people will often wander a bit too far into la-la land, but I don't begrudge them that. Not everybody has good scientific thought processes.
I would rather see some loony theories being flung about than not be able to talk at all, because every thing that meanders off the straight and narrow meets harsh and rude recriminations.
She would not be one of the group running for the nomination, so she would be have to be in an intellectually challenging debate, but could snipe from the sidelines. She would be the 'rogue' candidate.
Of course she couldn't win, but that would only add to her victim pose, giving her years of stories to tell about how she was discriminated against, etc.
And best of all, it would be perfect for us, splitting the Republican vote and assuring Obama's reelection.
Until their concerns are heard, respected, considered, investigated and addressed.
The more people scream at them or lecture to them, the more marginalized they feel and the more they will become a vocal fringe group that will sabotage society's medical goals.
I was raised as a Christian by parents, who were lukewarm churchgoers. I thought it was lovely. Jesus was so sweet, God loved us all, and everybody believed in being kind to others. I enjoyed believing in this kind of God for most of my childhood.
One time my Sunday school teacher invited us to picture what it would be like if we woke up the next morning and discovered we were black (I think Negro was the term used back then). She elaborated about how we were no different inside and how sad it would be if people thought about us in a different way because of our skin color. This made a huge and lasting impression on me, even though I was only about 7.
What happened to that kind of Christianity? Where did all this religious zeal come from? And worst of all, how did they get so consumed with hate?
I believe there is an energy or force that permeates the universe. Some people call it god. It is a part of us all; we are a part of it. It courses through all beings, and is in the forests, the oceans, the earth. We feel it; we manipulate or direct it at times (prayer); we come from it; we return to it.
The fact that fundies are anti-vaccine has no effect on me. I am not going to automatically take the opposite opinion just to distinguish myself from them, as you seem to suggest. (Perhaps that's what I missed learning to do when I declined to be on the debate team). I like to look over the information and make up my own mind on issues.
I heartily endorse most vaccines and my children received the needed inoculations right on schedule. But I do like to question authority and when I hear the flu shot being sold like it is the latest snake oil, I get suspicious. Critical thinking means you don't just accept things as fact because somebody told them to you. Or buy into a stance because you 'believe' in it. Or allow a knee-jerk reaction to dictate your opinions.
I just happen to be prejudiced against single-minded, self-righteous religious fanatics who are also pretty dumb and don't care that they are completely unequipped to have the most powerful position in the world.
So I could see that someone might dislike Obama personally yet not be racist. Except Obama is a nice guy, intelligent, conciliatory, and lots of other good qualities. It's hard to imagine disliking the guy, other than for policy differences. So I think people who despise him are either narrow-minded right wingers who would hate any Democratic president, or racist. Most probably both.
I am arguing against publicly branding them after they have served their time.
And I am not expressing pity for the sex offenders particularly, just saying that it is not a popular stance to stick up for someone who everyone loathes. This means they can be treated very badly and no one makes a peep.
For example, Jeffrey Dahmer did pretty much the most despicable acts ever done on another human being, in my opinion. Did any of us feel any outrage that he was murdered in prison? Certainly not me. I was actually pretty happy that he got 'what was coming to him.'
But having a prisoner murdered in prison is a still murder and it's still wrong. So because everybody hated Dahmer, nobody cared. There was no tv special, no calls for changing prisons to prevent such things from happening. Disgusting mass murderers who ate boys have no voice speaking for them.
Sex offenders are in the same boat. Everybody hates them and nobody will speak out for their rights, even if their rights are being totally trampled on.
But when one group is being treated unfairly, it compromises all of our rights. It weakens our moral integrity as a nation.
We are more thoughtful and nuanced than that.
The whole death panel accusation is just silly.
But just because Palin et al pushed us into a corner with this accusation doesn't mean we sit in the corner and sulk.
There are real decisions that are being made every day by families, doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. What we need to do is get better control of how the decisions are being made and who is making them.
That is just the position he is in.
I guess my point is that in an ongoing war soldiers have to demonize the entire opposing army in order to do their jobs. And the government has to set up a good/evil storyline to get the people behind a war.
Next thing you know we are rooting for our 'side' (which of course is fully supported by God) like it's a football game, and soldiers are killing civilians because they don't really think they are quite human (a quote I read yesterday about the My Lai massacre).
Yet if you step outside this reality, pull yourself away from your country's mindset and look at both sides, you see they are just like us (God's on their side too!).
Sometimes you really have to conduct a war, but it would be nice if we didn't try and pretend our opponents are all evil and we have the goodness of God on our side.
While I am sorely tempted to think some people are pure evil (Dick Cheney comes to mind), I really don't believe it. Everybody is a mix of what we would label good and bad.
That's why I have a huge problem with the whole premise behind fighting and killing in wars. One woman's precious son faces off with some little boy's beloved daddy. Neither is evil by any stretch, yet they both think of the other as evil. They have to or else they can't aim the gun at the other and pull the trigger.
It's so hard to express what it was like then for young people who became involved in the movement.
This sentence is perfect:
'These pockets of anti-social, anti-establishment individuals questioned authority and their surroundings while searching for the real meaning of life and the deeper truths.'
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