I'm no Dr. Thomas Sowell, but he's one of my greatest influences. He makes me think, and I give him honors for that. To Dr. Sowell: "Thank you, sir," and pardon my ripping off of your "random thoughts on the passing scene" title. Think of this as an amateur "homage." I hope everyone who reads this gets a laugh, or a serious thought.
Mort Kondracke's latest column is about the problems in our education system. The problem with mister Kondracke's column is that it doesn't once mention "discipline," which is the the root cause of the US' lag behind the rest of the industrialized world in education. What good is "accountability" for teachers and principals, if there's no "accountability" applied to the the students? (read it here)
Congress is browbeating Ambassador Crocker about Iraqi "political progress" during the "surge." The US Congress itself has been dithering on reform of Medicare, general health care, Social Security, energy, immigration, and many other huge issues for decades. I would remind Congress that the formative years of any nation emerging from tyranny are bound to be filled with missteps, as our own nation's history clearly illustrates. The Iraqis are moving faster on their domestic political front than our Congress did in the 1700's, or our current day.
At work, I call everyone "sir," "ma'am," or "miss." I don't expect my customers to reciprocate, though many do. I got an apology from a customer tonight, after he complained about my "attitude." He didn't realize, until we had a little "argument," that his calling me "homeboy" was not the way to initiate a professional conversation. For the record, I bust chops on people who call me "dude," as well (sometimes worse). I try to treat all people the same, especially when giving lessons in etiquette.
Back to education: The US could benefit by expanding the "exchange student" program to grade schools, preferably with eastern Europe.. Unlike in the '70's, when foreigners came to the US for a "good" education, we need to send our kids overseas to get any "real" education, today. Plus, foreigners who are exposed to the "hate the US" ideology taught in our educational system will see through the propaganda, unless they're from nations that already echo it (Belarus, or Russia, for example). Either way, it's a "win-win" idea. There's no way any eastern European nations will teach them to hate America as much as our own public schools do.
The taking of Okinawa cost around 20,000 US servicemen's' lives, and over 107,000 Japanese lives. There were 36,000 US non-death casualties, according to a PBS documentary (link). How does Okinawa compare to Iraq, and why do we still have a large base there, over 50 years later? Okinawa was one battle, in a long war. Which presidential candidate sees Iraq in a proper context to a worldwide war on Islamist terrorism, and the states that support it? Further, how does this "worldwide" war compare to the "cold war," in regard to our international policy?
Germany never attacked us, except for our shipments of arms to Britain. Saddam never attacked us, except for firing missiles daily at our planes, which patrolled the "no-fly" zone. Saddam also attempted to asassinate our president, and violated 14 UN sanctions, the last of which authorized use of force. With luck, this will be taught to children in US public schools, 50 years from now. I don't like to rely on "luck," preferring to fight for the truth to be told.
A funny thing happened to Hillary, and Obama, on the way to the White House. They found out that plenty of white men are put down, ripped off, and discriminated against, as well, and for no racist or sexist reason. Life is tough, and some people of every race and gender just scrape to get by, no matter how many "advantages" others think they have. What's more, they need these people's votes, if they want to win the election.
I'll close with these words of wisdom from Dr. Sowell himself, from his latest "random thoughts" column (link): "Senator John McCain could never convince me to vote for him. Only Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama can cause me to vote for McCain." I'll add that it will be my pleasure to vehemently disagree with, and criticize the president I voted for, should he be elected. That is the American way. It doesn't mean I "hate" him.
See my previous post, "Two Old Black Men: The Wisdom of Drs. Williams and Sowell." (link) Here's a "gift" from Dr.Williams: a "Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon Granted to All Persons of European Descent. (link to official certificate). Ya gotta love this country, however crazy it seems!