Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I have heard that the most effective tool for reducing vandalism and shoplifting in shopping malls is Mozart. Pump it over the public abuse system and older people feel welcome while the adolescents vanish. The problem is that crowds of feral young people are tolerated because they have money. A few weeks ago I was in the candy/newspaper/stationary/lotto local store as the Korean owner stood in the door staring at two Junior High students browsing the wares. When they left to rejoin the baying crowd outside, who were working themselves up for a fight, I asked him, “Why do you put up with it?” His reply, “I have to. They are my customers.”
The great tragedy is that at the crucial moment when we needed someone who could stand in for Good King Harry and rally the troops for battle on behalf of Western Civilization John McCain was not up to the task. He wanted to and I think he saw the big picture, even if he was wrong on many details, but whether due to age or infirmity or a misplaced gentility he just couldn’t sustain an attack.
Thank you for giving me an opening to tie together my ideas on this and the last thread. In teaching BTW this is called "spiraling" and deserves a black belt.
Government, particularly at the national level, should have one role in education; inspecting and tossing criminals into jail. A provision for vouchers, designed to augment a rich variety of charitable and commercial services, should be the basis of funding for our educational system. The States should set standards and supervise tests and inspections to see that those standards are met. Parents who refuse to educate their children or who (Here is where I expect the Libertarians to explode) misuse their authority to inculcate ignorance and bigotry under the guise of and in place of education should be charged with abuse. This should not interfere with private religious and cultural schooling but would cause a problem who believe that in the name of a religion it is acceptable to refuse to provide a basic education and instead spread lies and hate. The only alternative to that is the current dysfunctional system in which real abuse is ignored while more and more money is thrown at the unionized public schools by a centralized government that in theory controls everything but in practice delivers little.
I'm sure I used this story before. Some years ago I met the then Commandant of West Point. I pointed out to him that a College President had three jobs. As the Colonel holding the General's bag trembled the Commandant asked "Really, what are they?" The answer, "Why General, parking for the faculty, football for the alumni and sex for the undergraduates." Having had his job explained to him the gentleman laughed and shook his head "Then I am a complete failure. The environmentalists won't let me fix the first, we are losing at the second, and the third is illegal."