Do you know what I don’t care about?

Well, I don’t care that Alex Rodriguez just hit his 600th career home run. I don’t care that Lady Gaga just was nominated for a thousand awards. I could care less about Bristol and Levi. And who, other than Shaq, cares that Shaquille O’Neal just sign with the Boston Celtics?

I do care that the Republican side of the aisle is trashing the President and the Democrats, with little resistance from our side. The pace of distorted “facts,” outright lies and conveniently ignored data has quickened as we move through primary season and into the fall mid-term elections. Could someone please tell me why Democrats don’t “fight fire with fire?”

I don’t care about the Maxine Waters and Charlie Rangel ethics issues. As far as I am concerned, they should resign now. I don’t care what Todd Tiahrt is going to do now that he has lost his primary race to Jerry Moran.

I do care about the ruling of the Federal Judge in California regarding gay marriage. I do care that that Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, two Republicans, did the right thing and voted for the Senate jobs bill. The rest of the Republicans voted against, despite the fact that it is deficit neutral.

I don’t care that someone has come up with a new sitcom entitled “Shit My Dad Says!” I also don’t care that the Parents Television Council wants advertisers to boycott the show. Hell, I don’t watch television other than sports, so why would I care about any of it? Besides, what’s a “Snooki?”

I do care that on January 20, 2009, Republicans suddenly became anti-war and fiscal conservatives. I do care that Bradley Manning may have betrayed our soldiers and allies in Afghanistan. I do care, that while about 90% of Democrats support President Obama, we seem to be gun-shy about saying it. I do care that the Con/Republicans seem to want to ignore the facts that they caused the Great Recession and the Democrats, led by President Obama, have brought us to a slow but steady recovery.

I don’t care that Albert Haynesworth can’t pass his conditioning test and Mike Gloic can.

(Haynesworth is a $120 million defensive lineman for the Washington Redskins. Mike Golic was also a defensive lineman – he retired sixteen years ago and now is a sportscaster. Haynesworth has failed his test three times. Golic, to prove a point, ran the same test and completed it within the allotted time.)

There are many things I do care about and a whole bunch that I don’t care about.

How about you?


William Stephenson Clark

20 Comments

Filed under American Society

20 responses to “Do you know what I don’t care about?

  1. “I do care that on January 20, 2009, Republicans suddenly became anti-war and fiscal conservatives.”

    You left out a few of what Republicans suddenly became on January 20, 2009, but their transformation can easily be summed up by saying they are anti-Obama.

    And, they’re sore losers too!

    They began complaining the day after the election in November, more than two months before those who won took office, about the lack of progress! Have you noticed how often they get how long President Obama has been in office wrong? Yep, they count back to when they began their season of discontent.

  2. Putting Our Brains on Hold

    The world leadership qualities of the United States, once so prevalent, are fading faster than the polar ice caps.

    We once set the standard for industrial might, for the advanced state of our physical infrastructure, and for the quality of our citizens’ lives. All are experiencing significant decline.

    The latest dismal news on the leadership front comes from the College Board, which tells us that the U.S., once the world’s leader in the percentage of young people with college degrees, has fallen to 12th among 36 developed nations.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/07/opinion/07herbert.html?_r=2&src=me&ref=homepage

    • We have ignored science and replaced it with superstition, religion, greed, and apathy.

      During the Bush Administration, America was subject to what can only be called antiscientific governance. Scientists were ignored, threatened, suppressed, and censored across agencies, across areas of expertise, and across issues.

      Think about those who are college age today — they were born in the early 90s and lived close to half their lives in a time when the neglect of science brought a broader neglect of expertise, competence, and even functional government.

      Science—and the broader way of thinking that comes with it—trains us to relish the very act of questioning for its own sake, of figuring out what’s true and false, of determining what works and what fails.

  3. Another good read that tells us America isn’t what she used to be.

    The Creativity Crisis
    For the first time, research shows that American creativity is declining. What went wrong—and how we can fix it.

    http://www.newsweek.com/2010/07/10/the-creativity-crisis.html

  4. I don’t know much about home schooling. I probably shouldn’t even make a comment since I’ve already admitted I’m not well informed. What I do have are a bunch of questions.

    Are the number of home schooled children on the rise?

    I see some stats that show home-schoolers test well. I want to know what those tests are, where they’re doing well. Is it knowing stuff like dates and already accepted facts, or is it a test of critical thinking skills? Taking some of those accepted facts and finding solutions to today’s challenges. Are they learning how to use resources?

    Are most home-schooled children in a faith based curriculum?

    I could go onandon with my questions. Anyone able to direct me to answers?

  5. itolduso

    fnord-

    I cannot direct you to a directory of good information, since it is not an issue I care a great deal about. I can tell you bits of ancedotal information I have from several families I have known that homeschooled.

    Some do it because of the perceived bias against their children…. the “They don;t understand my child syndrome”

    Some do it because of the percieved bias against religion “The schools teaches against religion and religious people syndrome”

    Some do it because of the “the other kids are mean to mine” syndrome

    Some do it because of th “schools aren;t safe” syndrome

    And some do it because they beleive that the schools are failing many of our children, teaching to the lowest common denominator.
    ****************************************
    Some do it very well, with tightly constructed school days, in an area of the home set up for just school, and with the most modern textbooks and internet available material, supplemented by field trips and actual interviews with people that would be unable to be accomplished with a larger group

    Some do it so so, with various aspects of the above done well, and others not so well.

    some do it very poorly, and it ends up with an almost do nothing time, with the education of their children lacking.
    *************************************
    The tests are standardized tests, that all students I believe are required to take, and are a testing of knowledge retained.

    ****************************************

    As to a “faith based curriculum”, I guess that would depend on your definition. Many include the importance that faith and faith based people placed in the foundation and growth of our country, some do not. I have known total secularists that home schooled, and total religionists that home schooled, and the vast majority are somewhere in between.

  6. 6176746f6c6c65

    Home schooling; my anecdotal evidence is similar to that of itoldyouso. One area where home schooled children are touted is on “standardized testing”, particularly the SAT and ACT. Of course, as is true of their cohort that are educated in the public or private schools, only some of them take these tests. As the students do not attend a state accredited school, they do not participate in the State Assessments. It is my feeling that if they did, their performance would not vary too much as a whole from the group at large.

    There are a number of perceived benefits to home schooling according to the proponents; I’ve heard the arguments, and neither agree nor disagree with the positions set out. My personal feelings on the matter are complex; for most students, I believe the perceived disadvantages (lack of socialization, e.g.) outweigh the advantages (personalized instruction, e.g.).

    The few home schooled students who come to NEMHS often do very well, particularly in subject areas where rote recitation and application of facts are involved, and struggle a bit in areas where “fuzzy” logic and thinking are involved. Critical thinking skills are often under-developed, which is usually remedied by the second or third year. Again, these students are but a fraction of the total number, and are those whose parents realize that the limits of their instructional abilities have been reached, who desire their students obtain a better education than they can provide.

    I do not object to home schooling; I do object to the rather loose regulation thereof by the appropriate authorities. I feel the majority of young people who are home schooled suffer educationally as a result.

  7. Answering the questions to standardized tests doesn’t impress me very much. I’ve never felt it was as important to recite facts as it is to have knowledge of how to use resources where those facts are stored. I’d rather see the brain used to create than to store.

    I’m concerned that we seem to be educating a generation with too little emphasis on math, science and critical thinking skills. This seems to be happening in every place education is provided, but to a higher degree in home schooling.

  8. “…lack of socialization…”

    To some this is a positive.

    One of the traits of a cult (imo) has been when they want to separate themselves.

    • itolduso

      On the other hand, many of the students I know that were homeschooled were quite “socialized” by participating in group sports, outings, etc and etc

      • And this is one place I don’t agree with KSHSAA (certain extracurricular activities fall under its jurisdiction). The way home schools are identified, as I understand it, is by registration with the state BOE. Each “home school” is given a unique identification via name and perhaps number. Yet, KSHSAA allows any number of these schools to compete as one in various areas. This is, as far as I know, not permitted (to use a ridiculous example, Wichita High School Northwest and Wichita East field a football team as the “Wichita Public High School Blue Grizzlies”) for other schools, but one sees the Wichita Home School Warriors so competing. It seems to me that as each home school is a separate, distinct school, the ability to compete should be limited to the students of that school only. A personal opinion, to be sure, followed by another opinion that if interscholastic competition (athletic, academic, whatever) is so important, then that student should be in the public or private schools, and not as a “home schooler”.

      • Is it true (I honestly don’t know) that in order for home schools to use any of the facilities of public schools, even the participation in sports, that the home school has to be counted on ‘seat day’ — the day that each and every student no matter where they are actually located the rest of the school year must be present and counted for funding purposes?

    • From my years of Bible study I remember the word sanctified means to be set apart. I was always taught that we had to live in this world, but we don’t have to live the way the world does.

  9. itolduso

    fnord-

    I have to disagree. Math, science,etc have their base in facts, not critical thinking skills. The application of those, yes. However, one must first understand what one is thinking about. That requires a heavy dose of memorized facts. For instance, higher mathemetics (such as differential equations, etc) are quite dependent on critical thinking skills, but in reality, are also heavily dependent upon memorized facts. WIthout those facts, with the requirement to “look them up” each time you need to apply them, would be a complete waste of time. The same goes for the “hard” sciences. While working out chemical compositions, for instance, it would be a complete waste of time to have to lookup how many electrons a particular chemical element may have. Although for some of the less common elements, reading of the periodic table would be required due to nature of just not encountering them.
    A more practical example would be hiring an electrician. While his critical thinking skills are very relevant in laying out the way he is going to wire your remodel, it would probably tick you off if while on the job, he had to look up evey size of wire for whatever current you were going to pull from a particular socket.

    • Good points, and yours is an excellent example. Yes, you start with some premise of facts, and you go toward understanding. You use those facts to develop and create and discover. I was talking of the mindset that allows one to rest on the laurels of facts instead of using them for innovation.

      I consider scientific thought an example of knowing how to learn, how to become informed, how one answer leads to another question, it’s the curious vs. the incurious.

    • Agree with your examples. There is a fundamental body of facts which must be “learned” (memorized) before critical thinking can be usefully applied. With that said, the mere showing that one has memorized e.g. 9×6=54 is not as important as knowing how to compute the number of square feet of tile necessary to fully cover the floor of a regular rectangular room that is 9 feet long by 6 feet wide, i.e., 54 square feet. Same basic multiplication.

      A very trivial example, to be sure.

      • itolduso

        HAHA!!

        Not laughing at you, but I remember all the bitching I heard from my kids as they began working the “word problems” in their math classes, and my thoughts about them when i was in school.

        Application of facts. Not a trivial example at all.

    • I think it’s good to go out into the world armed with facts and a healthy skepticism. That’s what scientific thought is — you set out to prove or disprove. That takes skills we could sure use in our government!

      This is from wiki —

      1. Use your experience: Consider the problem and try to make sense of it. Look for previous explanations. If this is a new problem to you, then move to step 2.
      2. Form a conjecture: When nothing else is yet known, try to state an explanation, to someone else, or to your notebook.
      3. Deduce a prediction from that explanation: If you assume 2 is true, what consequences follow?
      4. Test: Look for the opposite of each consequence in order to disprove 2. It is a logical error to seek 3 directly as proof of 2. This error is called affirming the consequent.

  10. itolduso

    Unfortuantely, what I see in many parts of the education field is “experts” touting critical thinking skills without the necessity to study and memorize “facts” . In fact, I heard a math teacher proclaim nobody needs to know multiplication skills becaus calculators are a dime a dozen.

    My reply to her was “yeah, and if you don;t have a calculator handy?”

    she was dumbfounded

  11. I don’t like the Tea Party Movement. But, I must admit I had never seen it from this perspective —

    “…but in general, the presence of a new political force that is not called Republican and is not tied to George W. Bush has given the GOP a glorious opportunity to remake its image, at a time when trust in the party is very low. Some liberals deride the tea party as a new bottle for old Republican wine. But rebranding works.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/05/AR2010080506105.html