Bush Cuts College Financial Aid

Bush, who had spoken about supporting education – ends up doing just the opposite.

His “No Child Left Behind” program, that was completely hollow without funding, seems to have fairly well vanished.

Now, they are cutting one of the most fundamental financial aid packages available to American people who want to educate themsevles – which benefits both themselves and our country as a whole.

Read the Seattle Times Article

So many people are effected by these cuts. And the money the government saves is so tiny compared to the enormous amounts it spends on things with far less intrinsic value.

I suppose it is best to keep people stupid.

And of course, let’s not listen to the hard science that keeps telling us we’re destroying our environment’s ability to sustain our lives.

Let’s get some oil. Let’s do some favours. Let’s instill democracy.

Let’s not ever consider anything greater than what we can get – what we want.

Academics More Likely to be Democrats?

There are a few surveys out that seem to show Academics are far more likely to vote Democratic than Republican.

I’ve read a lot of commentary on this – much of which says this simply proves Democrats are smarter than Republicans.

Read a Study

The ratios do seem a little staggering. Economics seems to be one of the closest, where Republican are outnumbered 3:1.

Sociology and Anthropology has Democrats outnumbering Republicans by approximately 30:1

If this is all so, I wonder, more than little rhetorically, why do the stupid people always seem to run things?

Simulating Thoughtfulness

Leonard Pitts wrote an editorial that appeared in the Seattle Times called “To all you bullied teens: Get over yourselves”.

He makes a couple decent points.

Yes, “it takes a special kind of arrogance, self-absorption and entitlement to believe that your humiliation and pain merit the lives of a dozen strangers.”

And yes, there is nothing new about kids getting bullied.

Unfortunately, the rest of the piece makes little sense.

Leonard says that “to say a child killed people because he was bullied or ostracized is to dignify the act with false rationality — and to shift the onus for the crime to its victims”.

I hope he was just in a hurry to get an editorial piece produced for a deadline. To say that being bullied caused a child to commit mass murder is not false rationality – the rationality is determined on a case by case basis. However, saying so, if the circumstances make such a statement plausible, is an attempt to attribute identifiable events or factors as causal foundations to an incident that is extraordinarily difficult to understand entirely.

Leonard also says that if we determine that a child being bullied eventually led to this child committing murder, that we “shift the onus for the crime to its victims”.

This statement could only be true if the victims were the ones who originally committed the bullying.

The editorial portrays Leonard as a man who was once bullied and now is confused about how children can plot to kill, yet dismisses abuse as a potential reason.

As we all know, abuse can come in many forms, and not just through peer bullying.

Yes, bullying has been around for a very long time. It is an act of domination, control, fear, humiliation and disempowerment.

Experiencing such things are not limited to encountering a bully. Such things are common. And children are often far more aware than we give them credit. Why would these children even mention that despite our increased security and intelligence efforts, we are still not safe?

It is possible to look at this editorial, or rather its elements, in a larger context and perhaps gain some insight into that knowledge Leonard seeks.

Or, perhaps, it is simply the moon and stars moving in certain configurations, a certain pesticide combining in the brain with a certain cleaning product chemical, or too much Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

The European Union and Military Might

The European Union – an unprecidented alliance of European nations cooperating in economic and political arenas is focusing more now upon building its military capabilities which are independent from United States interests.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua has an interesting article depicting some of the issues and progress.

As an American, it makes me feel much better thinking that the European Union will have the capacity to act on their own. I think we have much better things to focus upon than policing the world or furthering economic interests through military actions.