Wednesday, August 15, 2007


This is curious, although perhaps not as disturbing as it sounds. There's a seemingly mis-guided comment thread in the local paper here. More this evening, if I can muster the energy.

H/T: The Orlando Sentinel.


Pastor_Jeff said...

"The test, which would have been administered to about 4,000 high-school seniors, would have cost the federal government between $3 million and $10 million, Ewing says."

$1-2K per test? Man, where can I get some of that action? I'll do it for half price -- $750 per.

Pastor_Jeff said...

And when can we get rid of Jimmy Carter's Department of Education?

Icepick said...

We can never get rid of the Dept. of Education. If we did, we would show that we didn't care about education. (Forget actually thinking about education, or any other topic. Caring is everything, actual effective thought and action is nothing.)

Pastor_Jeff said...

Won't somebody establish a bloated federal bureaucracy to think about the children?!?

Icepick said...

Jeff, your third comment touchs on a real sore point for me. I was recently involved in an argument where the important thing (apparently) was that I didn't feel for the poor. Really, everytime I hear or read an argument about how important it is to "feel for" the poor, I just want to stomp a hole in the person making that comment.

And yes, I recognize you are being sarcastic, and I also realize that as a minister you do have obligations to charitable work. But there is a big difference between works and words, or between works and "feelings". Gah, I'm about to wretch just thinking about it.

Pastor_Jeff said...

Ice, that's the exact point of my comment. Rather than actually helping (or leaving adults to make their own choices and lives with the consequences), we'll appeal to people's sympathies to do something costly and useless (if not outright damaging). The only thing that's improved in the process are the arm muscles of people patting themselves on the back for their "concern."

It seems that most government social policy over the last decades has the explicit goal of insulating people from adult responsibility as much as possible. That's disgusting and dehumanizing. If one really cares for others, then one treats them as responsible adults and not as poor little things who need our pity.

Jesus miraculously fed a huge crowd -- because they'd been there all day listening to him and didn't have any way to get food. But then crowds starting following him looking for handouts, so he began talking about the cost of being a disciple -- and the crowds disappeared.

We do charitable work, yes. But very little of it is simply handing out money to people. We will invest a great deal in people who are serious about working hard and making positive changes.

When did Americans stop resenting others' pity and come to desire and depend on it instead?

DuWayne Brayton said...

I don't like the idea of ridding ourselves of the federal dept of education, but I definitely think it needs to be seriously downsized. The only job it should have is to monitor how schools are doing, what's working and what's not, basically become nothing more than a resource for schools.

States should basically be doing the same thing on the state level, though with a little more involvement. I do see a use for the states having more involvement in funding, while I think the feds should get out of that business entirely. The more localized you get in the whole process, the more authority and the more funding responsibility there should be.

As it stands, there is just too much redundancy in the system. The feds have no business funding public schools, really this holds true of a lot of areas. Cut federal taxes and let the states do as they will. (I should note, that I am actually a supporter of a certain amount of welfare. I just think that should be up to the states and more localized voters.)