If The Haggadah Has Got It Correct Then Western Education Has It All Wrong

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CHABAD.ORG)

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What’s So Wise About the Wise Child?

They say the Haggadah never ends. That makes sense, because the Haggadah is the classic Jewish guide to education, and education never ends.

So now that we’ve done our Seder for the 3,329th year, and while it’s still Passover, I’d like to open a discussion on how we educate our kids. And I’d like to start by listening to what the Haggadah is telling us.

It seems it’s telling us we’re doing it all wrong.

Here’s evidence: How do we test, monitor and measure the success of our students? By asking questions, right? (Like I just did.)

And indeed, the average middle-grade teacher asks around 400 questions a day. That’s about two per minute. After 15 years, a teacher has asked at least one million questions. The student has asked if he can go to the bathroom.After 14 and a half years, that’s a million questions. The average student, however, generally only asks two or three questions a week—most commonly, “Can I go to the bathroom?” In high school, not much better, with about ten questions a day. Compare that to preschool kids, who ask an average of 100 questions a day.

Some will tell you that’s the Socratic method. We’re attempting to elicit intelligence from students by battering them with questions they never thought of asking.

But the Haggadah does the opposite. Rather than evaluating children by their ability to answer, it identifies them in four categories by their ability to ask.

Questions Are Rich

That turns everything around.

For one thing, from a child’s correct answers, you often know very little. Maybe he simply has a good memory. Maybe he’s good at guessing what you want to hear. At very best, a child’s answers only tell us what that child knows.

But theA child’s answers tells us what he knows. A child’s questions tell us who he is. child’s questions provide a window into the child’s mind and soul. A child’s questions tell us who that child is.

Every child is on a critical mission to make sense of things, to find the meaning behind everything, to put the pieces together. But each child sees a different world, through different eyes. So each child discovers that meaning in his or her particular way.

So that only once we know what this child is looking for, and how he is looking for it, only then we can assist him to find it. And that is education—assisting the child on his or her particular journey of discovering meaning.

Ask! Please Ask!

Let’s start from the beginning: The Haggadah is designed to incite questions.The Haggadah is designed to incite questions. How does it do that? By breaking the routine.

Generally, a festive Jewish meal begins with a blessing on the wine. We then all proceed to wash our hands, return to the table, and say a blessing on the bread.

On the Seder night, we also start with the wine. And then the hand-washing. And we return to the table. And then we take small vegetable and dip it in some sort of liquid, and eat it.

Why the change?

You’ll hear all sorts of reasons, but there’s one definitive answer cited in the Code of Jewish Law: We do it so that someone will ask a question.

And if they ask, what do we answer? We answer that they got it right. They asked a question.

Which means that the question is of prime value, even when there is no answer. As the ancient rabbis said, “Even though we have no answer for this question, once the child is asking, he will ask more questions.”

And why is that important? Because, to those ancient rabbis, it’s obvious that you can’t teach a child a thing until the child has a question.

Passing by a ninth grade classroom in a yeshiva, I hear the teacher lecturing: “Okay, so the ultimate reason for the creation of all things is…”

The diligent students take notes. The rest stare into empty space. The teacher may as well be speaking about the average rainfall in Indonesia.

You can’t teach a thing until you have first awakened a question.

A question creates a vacuum, a space in the brain to fit new knowledge. Just like a car is useless if you live in a big city where there’s no place to park it, and a meal goes in the trash if there’s no one to eat it, so the most satisfying answer in the world is meaningless to the child who never had the question. He has no place in his skull to store it. It’s just a distraction and confusion for his mind from its true quest—to find meaning.

Yes, in case the child has no questions, we provide some, in the form of the Ma Nishtana—”Why is this night different from all other nights?”

But that’s Plan B. Plan A is that the children will ask questions of their own. And you, the parent, will wrack your brains finding answers for them.

Answering the Children

That brings us to another vital lesson from the Haggadah: We don’t answer the question.Don’t answer the question. Answer the child. We answer the child.

“The wise child—what does he say?” Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitchwould point out that in Hebrew, with just a slight change in punctuation, those words can read quite differently: “The wise child—what is he? He says…”

Through the question, we see the child. And that is who we answer.

The wise child articulates his question. He’s obviously thought it through well and knows exactly what he’s looking for.

If he’s wise, why does he ask? Why doesn’t he just have faith, like a good religious boy, and accept all his parents and teachers tell him?

He asks because he has faith. Like a scientist who believes that there will always be an explanation if we will just dig a little further, he believes that there will always be meaning, and deeper meaning, and yet deeper. His mind is not fettered by faith, but driven by it. And his faith, in turn, is enriched by his questions.

Something neat Rabbi Avraham Altein just pointed out: If there are no children to ask, no guests, nobody, the halacha is that you have to ask the question to yourself. According to Maimonides, even if the children have asked the questions, the parents must also ask.

Get that? You know the answer, but you have to ask again. Really ask. Revisit the darkness of “I don’t know”—as though you never knew. Because last year’s answer no longer satisfies you. That’s how you get to a new light. And that’s what it means to be wise.

All the Children

Which all explains why the Wise Child often ends up getting all the attention, while the others are left out.

But no, there are three more children in the room.There are three more children in the room. They are also our children. They are also our children.

Like the Wicked Child. He’s next in line in expertise at asking questions. After all, he has identified exactly what it is that is bothering him. Problem is, he’s not interested in an answer.

But he’s still number two, because something bothers him. The whole Seder bothers him. Which means he’s alive and kicking. Which means there’s something there to work with.

The Simple Child asks, but he’s not sure what he’s asking. He’s the one that is too often ignored. Since you don’t really get his question (because neither does he), he never gets an answer. In the times we live in, that’s a precarious situation. Because that may one day mean to him that there is no answer. And if so, he will have a different question: “Why am I doing all this if there is no answer?”

So the Haggadah instructs you to tell him stories of wonders and miracles. That is his world, that is what he sees. He is in wonderment. Go with it—take that wonderment and nurture it, all the way. Don’t give him any less than the Wise Child, or the Wicked One. And don’t demand that he become the Wise Child—lest you push him towards his cynical brother.

As for The Child Who Doesn’t Know How To Ask—In illustrated Haggadahs, he’s always a baby with a pacifier in his mouth. But that’s nonsense.The Inquisitively Challenged Child got 100% on his Haggadah test. I’ll bet he got 100/100 on his Passover Haggadah finals.

You know why I think that? Look at the answer we give him: “For the sake of this, G‑d did what He did for me when I left Egypt.” That’s a deep answer to an intelligent person.

So what does it mean that “he doesn’t know how to ask”?

Many of the ideas I’m writing here were sparked years ago by a conversation with an Israeli researcher, a student of renowned educational psychologist, Benjamin Bloom, who visited our school along with many high schools across North America. At each school, the researcher would ask the principal, “Give me your best students, one by one, in a private room.”

When the student would enter, she would just sit there for a minute or two. Then she would ask, “Do you have any questions?”

Silence.

Then: “I’m visiting from Israel.”

More silence.

“I’m doing research.”

You get the gist of it.

But then, she would ask the principal to bring in the troublemakers, one-by-one. They would enter, and immediately break into, “Why am I here? Who are you? What is this all about? Israel? What’s that like?”

Open For This Child

So this child #4, a bright child who excels in school, why does this child not ask? Why is he not in search of understanding and meaning? What went wrong?

My guess? He went to school. There he was rewarded for answering questions just the way the teacher likes. But he was never rewarded for asking the really good ones that might disrupt the class, or the questions that the teacher might not have the answers to.

So Teach him, by example, that it’s even ok to question the most basic assumptions.for this child, “You must open for him.” Open his mouth. Teach him to ask. Teach him that it’s ok to ask. Teach him that it’s even ok to question the most basic assumptions. How? By example. By showing him how you yourself question assumptions.

That could explain another one of those Seder tidbits that should spark a thousand questions—or at least some annoyance. Immediately after the episode of the four children, a heavy chunk of Talmudic exegesis plops down upon us, seemingly telling us nothing of the Exodus narrative or the people sitting here.

Here’s the classic translation:

One may think that [the discussion of the exodus] must be from the first of the month. The Torah therefore says, “On that day.” “On that day,” however, could mean while it is yet daytime; the Torah therefore says, “It is because of this.” The expression “because of this” can only be said when matzah and maror are placed before you.

But Rabbi Don Yitzchak Abravanel (15th century) tells us it’s actually as relevant as you can get. It’s a response to that Inquisitively Challenged Child. It’s about opening his mind with a question that challenges the most unquestioned assumption of the entire ritual: Who says it’s Passover tonight?

Try reading it like this:

You: Hold on, maybe we were supposed to do this Seder on Rosh Chodesh—15 days ago on the first day of the month!

Child: Umm. Why then?

You: Because that’s when God told Moses about the mitzvah of Pesach.

Child: Okay, so we messed up.

You: Nope, it says on that day.

Child: Okay, so let’s get on. What do we say next?

You: Not so simple. Because then we should be doing it during the day. Now it’s night already.

Child: So it’s over. Let’s eat.

You: Not so fast. You see, it says, for the sake of this stuff. Meaning this matzah and bitter herbs that we eat on the night of Pesach. So we have to wait until we’re supposed to eat that stuff—and that’s tonight.

Child: Why on earth do we have to tell a story to food?

See? It worked!


So here’s what I’m taking from my Seder into the coming year:

Torah comes to us in a beautiful package, wrapped and tied. The only way to untie those knots and open up its treasures is by asking the right questions whenever and wherever they come to mind, and asking them without fear or shame.

How do we get ourselves,How can we teach the faith and courage it takes not to fear a good question? our children, other Jews, and everyone else who can benefit, to ask? How can we teach the faith and courage it takes not to fear a good question?

If we can find answers to those questions, we will have half of education nailed.

What’s So Wise About the Wise Child?

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman’s writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
Sefira Ross is a freelance designer and illustrator whose original creations grace many Chabad.org pages. Residing in Seattle, Washington, her days are spent between multitasking illustrations and being a mom.
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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Shows Her Hypocrisy And Ignorance After Visiting A Public School

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

Newly minted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a hard time getting inside the District’s Jefferson Middle School Academy last week when protesters briefly blocked her from entering. But at the end of her visit — her first to a public school since taking office — she stood on Jefferson’s front steps and pronounced it “awesome.”

A few days later, she seemed less enamored. The teachers at Jefferson were sincere, genuine and dedicated, she said, they seemed to be in “receive mode.”

“They’re waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child,” DeVos told a columnist for the conservative online publication Townhall. “You have to have teachers who are empowered to facilitate great teaching.”

DeVos, who has no professional experience in public education, is an avowed proponent of voucher schools, charter schools, online schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools. Teachers across the country have been galled by what they see as her lack of faith in — and understanding of — the public schools that educate nearly nine in 10 of the nation’s children.

Jefferson educators found her comments about their work hard to take: On Friday evening, the school responded to DeVos via its Twitter account, taking exception to the education secretary’s characterization of Jefferson teachers.

“We’re about to take her to school,” the first of 11 rapid-fire tweets said.

The tweetstorm singled out teachers like Jessica Harris, who built Jefferson’s band program “from the ground up,” and Ashley Shepherd and Britany Locher, who not only teach students ranging from a first- to eighth-grade reading level, but also “maintain a positive classroom environment focused on rigorous content, humor, and love. They aren’t waiting to be told what to do.”

“JA teachers are not in a ‘receive mode,’” the tweets concluded. “Unless you mean we ‘receive’ students at a 2nd grade level and move them to an 8th grade level.”

An Education Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson, who accompanied DeVos on her visit to Jefferson, offered praise after the visit for the “dynamic classroom instruction” they both witnessed there.

Asked Saturday to respond to DeVos’s comments about Jefferson teachers, Wilson provided a statement:

I’ve worked in schools for my entire professional life — as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. I have learned from much experience what it takes to prepare students for college success. The teaching and learning at Jefferson will put our students on a path to college, successful careers, and beyond. I see that. Our teachers see that. Our students see that. And our parents see that. Defying expectations takes experience and a lifelong dedication to all students. DCPS is rich with educators who have this experience.

 

“I find it very interesting that the chancellor saw teachers that were pushing rigorous learning, students asking each other high-level questions and cultivating high-level responses, and teachers who take initiative and give their lives to the education of these children,” said Jefferson teacher Caroline Hunt. “DeVos saw something so different. … Maybe if DeVos knew more about education she would realize just how amazing the students, teachers and staff are.”

Jefferson is five years into a turnaround effort and is one of the fastest-improving schools in the city’s public school system. While fewer than half of students are meeting or approaching grade-level expectations, according to new Common Core tests, the school’s growth has won it classification as a “rising” D.C. school.

China And The U.S.: Cooperation Through Education

(This article is courtesy of the Shanghai Daily News Paper)

President urges cooperation through education

PRESIDENT Xi Jinping sent a letter on Saturday to mark the opening of the China-US Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University.

Education is an important force that pushes forward human civilization. Nowadays the young people in all countries should establish a world vision and raise awareness of cooperation through education, Xi said in the letter.

The China-US exchanges in education had played a positive role in promoting understanding and friendship among the people as well as improving the relations between the two nations, he said, adding the two countries should deepen cooperation in this field.

He hoped that the Schwarzman College could be built into an international platform for cultivating the world’s excellent talents, providing study opportunities for the youth of all countries and helping them enhance understanding and exchanges.

Jordan Constitution Concerning Tribal Justice System

(This article is courtesy of the Jordan Times of Amman)

Cabinet amends law to limit scope of ‘tribal justice system’

Cabinet amends law to limit scope of ‘tribal justice system’

By JT – Sep 01,2016 – Last updated at Sep 01,2016

AMMAN — The Cabinet on Thursday approved a draft law amending the 2016 Crime Prevention Law, which targeted provisions governing controversial tribal customs like Jalwa (forced relocation), Diyeh (blood money) and administrative governors’ authorities related to these affairs.

The law will be sent to the next Lower House, which will convene after the September 20 elections, for endorsement as stipulated in the Constitution, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

“Jalwa”, a term first coined by tribes, entails the forced relocation of a clan if one of its members murders someone or commits other serious crimes like rape, in a bid to avoid friction between the two tribes, both of the victim’s and the murderer’s, if they were living in the same area.

Interior Minister Salameh Hammad has recently held several meetings with tribal and religious leaders, along with jurists, from across the Kingdom.

The figures reached an understanding that regulates tribal customs and norms and limits tribal cases that fall under the Crime Prevention Law to homicide, honor and cases when members of the tribes involved in the dispute do not honour pledges made on their behalf by mediators.

Under the amending law, jalwa should be limited to the murderer, his father and sons, and for a period not exceeding one year, with the possibility of renewing it if deemed necessary by the concerned administrative governor. The proposed version of the law also stipulates that jalwa should be made from one district to another within the same governorate.

The law also tasks the chief Islamic justice with deciding the value of diyeh in murder cases that end with reconciliation, and levies on those parties in tribal disputes who dishonor pledges made by mediators to pay mediators, or guarantors of the deals made, a fine of no less than JD50,000 in compensation for the damage caused to their reputation.

The administrative governor, according to the amendments, has the power to oversee all the tribal procedures included in this law, Petra added.

The amendments aim at regulating tribal customs and norms related to conflicts and cases of jalwa, atwah (a tribal agreement that functions as a temporary conciliation between conflicting parties until the civic law decides on the case) and diyeh, according to Petra.

The law is meant to avoid exaggerated practices that may cause social problems as a result of relocating families away from their places of residence, which normally results in damage to innocent families’ members, who might lose their jobs, education opportunities or businesses.

 

 God, Stalin and Patriotism — Meet Russia’s New Education Chief Aug. 24 2016

(This article is courtesy of the Moscow Times News Paper)

 God, Stalin and Patriotism — Meet Russia’s New Education Chief Aug. 24 2016

Olga Vasilyeva arrives at the Russian Public Chamber to take part in a press conference, Moscow, Aug. 24, 2016. Artyom Geodakyan / TASS

For Olga Vasilyeva, it wasn’t the breadlines and high crime rates that made early post-Soviet life a daily trial. It was the public reassessment of the country’s recent, and bloodied, history.

“[The goal was] to blacken the past, to remove from the social consciousness the value of tradition, pride for the greatness of one’s country, culture and language,” she told an audience of teenagers at a seminar on patriotism in late June.

“Astonishing myths” abounded in the 1990s, she said, as she singled out the Ogonyok news magazine that was symbolic of the glasnost era. “If you look at the number of deaths and those repressed [under Soviet rule] cited in Ogonyok, it becomes completely unclear who was left alive at all!” she added, hinting that the figures were greatly exaggerated.

Statements such as these have alarmed some Russians after Vasilyeva, a woman in her 50s with cropped blonde hair and gold-rimmed glasses, was installed as education and science minister on Aug. 19.

While some in the academic community expect her appointment to usher in a new era of dialogue, critics stumble over Vasilyeva’s allegedly positive references to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and her ties to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Is the blend of religious conservatism and patriotism that has accompanied President Vladimir Putin’s third term in power about to come knocking at schools’ doors? they ask.

Moscow history teacher Tamara Eidelman thinks it might. “Vasilyeva’s appointment is a sign of the general atmosphere in the country toward faux patriotism and Stalinism,” she says. “And that, sadly, will of course also impact schools.”

Former Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov

Former Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov Kremlin Press Service

A Bone to Voters

The removal of Vasilyeva’s predecessor, Dmitry Livanov, did not come as a surprise: There have been calls for his resignation for almost as long as he was education minister.

Appointed in 2012, Livanov made few friends by pushing through far-reaching reform to reduce state dependence and improve efficiency in education. Among his most controversial moves was an overhaul of the Russian Academy of Sciences by merging research institutes and cutting funding. He also enforced the implementation of a unified state exam.

It gained him the reputation of an uncompromising technocrat and made him widely unpopular with a sector accustomed to Soviet-era support.

In popularity surveys, Livanov has consistently placed near the bottom. A recent survey of government ministers by the state-run VTsIOM pollster ranked Livanov the Kremlin’s most unpopular staff member, with his lowest score in years.

With parliamentary elections less than a month away, on Sept. 18, Livanov’s sacking fits a tradition of throwing a bone to voters by purging unpopular government officials. Compared to Livanov, Vasilyeva is “a new leaf,” head of VTsIOM Valery Fyodorov told the Vesti news program.

Russia’s academic elite embraced the news. “We hope that reform from now on will be more balanced, rational,” Vladimir Fortov, the head of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told the state-run RIA Novosti agency.

The Kremlin has presented the choice of Vasilyeva as inspired by gender equality issues. “I would propose appointing a woman,” a serene Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told Putin in a staged meeting broadcast on state television.

More likely, however, is that Vasilyeva’s history, not her gender, snagged Russia’s first female education minister the job.

Tikhon Shevkunov is rumored to be Putin's spiritual adviser.

Tikhon Shevkunov is rumored to be Putin’s spiritual adviser.

Lucky Meeting

Vasilyeva, who declined a request for comment for this article, grew up in a Russian Orthodox household in the 1960s. It was a time when “any information on a baptism, christening, religious wedding or funeral was passed on to the executive committee,” she told the religious Pravoslavie.ru website in an interview.

“Nevertheless, my father, who had a certain position, wanted his children to be baptized,” she said. After graduating early at the age of 14, she studied choir directing and later history, going into teaching and then academia.

As a prominent religious scholar, Vasilyeva focused on the relationship between the state and the Russian Orthodox Church in the 20th century, publishing more than 90 papers on the topic. At a religious seminar, she met then-Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, a Russian Orthodox priest rumored to be Putin’s spiritual adviser. Many believe that relationship has played a crucial role in her dealings with the Kremlin.

Her ties to the church are such that upon her appointment, Patriarch Kirill, the head of Russian Orthodoxy, congratulated her in a statement on the church’s official website. “The Lord has generously endowed you with talent, which you have successfully made use of in the many stages of your service,” it said.

Those links have alienated Kremlin critics such as Alexei Venediktov, editor-in-chief of the Ekho Moskvy radio station, who promptly announced his resignation from a ministry advisory body. “She believes the church should be close to schools, and the state to the church,” he said. “Nothing good can come of this appointment.”

Others argue Vasilyeva’s views on history, not her religious zeal, are more cause for concern.

In a closed lecture given to Kremlin officials in 2013, Vasilyeva reportedly praised Stalin for uniting the country on the eve of World War II, according to an unnamed source cited by the Kommersantnewspaper at the time.

Reports of ambiguous statements on Stalin abound and, upon her appointment as minister, Russian liberal media have rehashed them to decry her political leanings. Vasilyeva’s supporters have dismissed the allegations as based on misquotations and defend her public statements on Stalin as historical appraisals based on fact, rather than value judgments.

Less unequivocal is Vasilyeva’s championing of patriotic values. Previously, Vasilyeva was deputy head of the presidential administration’s “social projects” body, tasked with advising the government on issues of patriotism. The group was overseen by Vyacheslav Volodin, the deputy head of the presidential administration and brain behind domestic policy.

In her work in the presidential administration, Vasilyeva played a key role in preparing new teaching material on Russian history and literature. There, she took a firm line, according to a source who had crossover with Vasilyeva at the time and asked to remain anonymous. “She very sharply, almost rudely, tried to push through a line of ideology on the one hand, while reducing plurality on the other,” says the source. “She sees history as the study of truth, rather than an ideological debate.”

Her appointment, the source adds, is the result of a tug-of-war within the Kremlin. “When faced with an opportunity to put his own person in the position, Volodin went for it,” the source says. “Medvedev was presented a done conclusion.”

Kirill Zykov / Moskva News Agency

Wait and See

So far, Vasilyeva has given little away about her plans as minister, saying only that Livanov’s reforms will be “reviewed.” In her first public appearance, she said her main priority as minister would be to defend the interests of teachers.

“Their position, their state, society’s attitude toward them,” she told a teachers’ conference, dressed in a black gown with long sleeves — not unlike those worn by Orthodox priests.

Former student Katya Bolotovskaya enthusiastically remembers Vasilyeva’s lively music and history lessons at a Moscow school in the late 1980s. “She was a wonderful teacher, better than all the others,” she says.

Bolotovskaya could never have predicted that her teacher would one day become the country’s education minister. Now, more than excitement, she feels alarm. “It scares me that the education minister would have such pro-church, pro-government values,” she says.

Moscow history teacher Eidelman believes it’s too soon to tell. “It would be premature to judge Vasilyeva on her words,” she says. “But, to be honest, her words inspire fear.”

Beijing Gets 70% Of Its Needed Water From The Yangtze River: Is This Sustainable?

Beijing gets 70% water from Yangtze River diversion

ABOUT 70 percent of water used in Beijing comes from China’s Yangtze River valley through a massive water diversion program, water authorities have said.

Over 1.5 billion cubic meters of water were diverted from the Danjiangkou Reservoir conjoining central China’s Henan and Hubei provinces, as of Aug. 10, accounting for 70 percent of Beijing’s water demand.

Water from the Danjiangkou Reservoir began flowing to Beijing in December 2014, as one of the three branches of China’s south-to-north water diversion program, channeling water from the Yangtze River valley in southern China to address water shortages in the country’s north and western regions.

To ensure water quality, Henan has made a 1,595 square km water protection zone near the reservoir and removed nearby factories and companies along the water diversion route to make room for forestry. The province has also put 181 water treatment and soil conservation projects in place to protect water sources.

In exchange for clean water from the south, Beijing has funded water protection and related programs in Henan with 250 million yuan (US$37.69 million) per year since 2014.

Over the past five years, Beijing has signed combined investment deals with Henan worth 1.08 trillion yuan, with 431.9 billion already invested.

Henan is also slated to sign a number of deals with Beijing on Monday, for cooperation in education, technology and many other sectors, authorities said.

Politically Correct

 

Good morning my friends. Today I wish to speak with you about political correctness. This subject matter touches each and everyone of our lives. In its simplest form political correctness is the attempt to avoid offending anyone about any subject. I believe that when most of us hear the words politically correct a smile crosses our face if nothing else than because we know we are about to experience something that is just plain stupid, usually introduced by PhD’s. What new phrases have replaced some of our old standards, the geek ignorance is quite amusing at times. There was a time when the use of common descriptions didn’t bring out a law suit, C-4, or an M-60. In the past we could describe a dirty old man in simple terms, but, not anymore. The age of political correctness has changed the description of him into a sexually focused, chronologically gifted individual. Laziness is now referred to as motivationally deficient. Friends, we are no longer short, those two inches I have shrank since high school didn’t really happen, I can’t have that, it might hurt my feelings. It is comforting now to know that when I was in school that I wasn’t having trouble with Algebra after all, I was achieving a deficiency in equations.

 

We could just sit back in our recliners take another toke and grin at all the stupidity. But, do you know something a little scary? There is an entire subculture that takes this humor as their gospel. Trouble is these kooks get on school boards and try to get their gospel of re-education into our nations schools. At almost all of our college campuses some form of “re-education”, like Ebonics for example, are now part of the Freshman orientation but they are usually called by some generic name like “diversity education”. It is an attempt to please everyone all of the time and to not offend anyone any of the time. All sane people know that this is a total impossibility, even most of us folks who have lost our rockers knows that much about reality. In our country these days we dare not speak the truth about anything for most certainly it will offend someone or hurt someones feelings, or get us arrested or sued. Friends isn’t this just another way of saying we must constantly and habitually lie?

 

For those who might think (that alone is becoming a novel thought as we are now always being told what we are too think) that the stupidity that is political correctness is a by product of the 60’s and 70’s drug culture, I do have to disagree with you. Back then people actually got an education when they went to school. These days kids graduate high school and can’t even read or make change for a dollar and then some school districts want to add this stupidity into the mix of the non education of the public school systems. Political correctness has been around and practiced within other cultures since at least WWI. In my opinion, political correctness is a lot like classical Marxism. If we compare the basic tenets of political correctness with classical Marxism the parallels of the two are very obvious. When Marxist Communists take over a country such as Russia, China, North Korea, Cuba or the U.S., ( oops, did I say that), personal freedoms just do not exist. Look what being politically correct did for Germany back in the 1930’s and 40’s. It is more than a little bit scary for those of us who are of gray hair who see so plainly how political stupidity takes away our freedom, and all forms of basic common sense.

Collage

Higher edumatication is why I am here

Seems like sifferin and writting is all I do now I sware

All the processors they give us so munch work

Us ole country boyz were just ust to playin in the dirt

Ain’t evan got enough time to chase these purdy little skirts.

Thay got words hear like I aint never heard

Thangs like algiebray with thar X’s and Y’s

Have you evar sean a cow with such thangs on her side?

Thay evan got sumthing hear called ammounting

It’s spose to tell ya whare all those X’ and Y’s go

My cuz taught me amounting when I was still young

Ten toes up and ten tose down is a whole lotta fun.

Thay got this thang here called sciences

Thay buy big glasses just to look in the sky

Woudnt it be a lot cheeper just to go to my favorate bar

Down a jug of corn likker and look through the bottom of duh jar?

One thang bout being here without a dought

All these movie star play thangs wondering about

Some evan better than I sean when I was on Mr Springers TV show.

I’m a gonna be the most edumaticated redneck in east Kentuckie

Goin to collage no doubt this is a grate life fer me

It might take me twanty years to get one of dem degreez

But thats alright, Ive always got da farm

And of corse, my for leggad girlfriend Bessie.