Iraq Vet Takes On Murtha and Moran - Rush Limbaugh Transcript  

TTigerAtty 62M
3769 posts
6/2/2006 1:44 pm

Last Read:
6/5/2006 5:39 am

Iraq Vet Takes On Murtha and Moran - Rush Limbaugh Transcript

Some of my political posts have drawn to my blog people who have never before visited me. It's been a very interesting dynamic to observe, and I thank all of them for their first-time visits. Many have come back numerous times to leave follow-up comments.

Who would have thought there would be people who are as passionately interested in politics as they are in sex?! But, that is what I have found!

In response to and in honor of my new audience, I have decided to post some transcripts from the Rush Limbaugh Radio Talk Show. As, I mentioned in a previous post, Rush is from my hometown of Cape Girardeau, MO.

I hope you will enjoy and benefit from this partial transcript of Rush's show on April 13, 2006. If you already think you will disagree with Rush because he's a conservative and you are a moderate or liberal, please give him a try. I think that if you expose yourself over a long period of time, you will find that you agree with him more than you disagree ... even if you are a liberal.

If you disagree, tell us all specifically why on the basis of the issue under discussion and without personally attacking Rush or me for posting this. But, if you do attack us, we're big boys, and we can handle it!

Iraq Vet Takes On Murtha and Moran
April 13, 2006

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: There's a fabulous column today in the Washington Post. It's by Wade Zirkle. Wade Zirkle, executive director of "Vets for Freedom." He served two tours in Iraq with the Marines before being wounded in action. Listen to this. It's an op-ed. "Earlier this year there was a town hall meeting on the Iraq war, sponsored by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), with the participation of such antiwar organizations as CodePink and MoveOn.org. The event also featured Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), a former Marine who had become an outspoken critic of the war. To this Iraq war veteran, it was a good example of something that's become all too common: People from politics, the media and elsewhere purporting to represent 'our' views. With all due respect, most often they don't.

"The tenor of the town meeting was mostly what one might expect, but during the question-and-answer period, a veteran injured in Afghanistan stood up to offer his view. 'If I didn't have a herniated disc, I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops,' said Mark Seavey, a former Army sergeant who had recently returned from Afghanistan. 'I know you keep saying how you have talked to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. The morale of the troops I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back despite the hardships. . . .' 'And, Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just arrived back from Afghanistan -- we never got a letter, we never got a visit from you, you didn't come to our homecoming.

"The only thing we got was a letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to, but the morale of the troops is very high.' What was the response? Murtha said nothing, while Moran attempted to move on, no pun intended, stating: 'That wasn't in the form of a question, it was a statement.' It was indeed a statement; a statement from both a constituent and a veteran that should have elicited something more than silence or a dismissive comment highlighting a supposed breach of protocol. This exchange, captured on video (it was on C-SPAN), has since been forwarded from base to base in military circles.

"It has not been well received there, and it only raises the already high level of frustration among military personnel that their opinions are not being heard." I might add, or are being ignored. "In view of his distinguished military career, John Murtha has been the subject of much attention from the media and is a sought-after spokesman for opponents of the Iraq war. He has earned the right to speak, but his comments supposedly expressing the negative views of those who have and are now serving in the Middle East run counter to what I and others know and hear from our own colleagues -- from junior officers to the enlisted backbone of our fighting force.

"Murtha undoubtedly knows full well that the greatest single thing that drags on morale in war is the loss of a buddy. But second to that is politicians questioning, in amplified tones, the validity of that loss to our families, colleagues, the nation and the world. While we don't question his motives, we do question his assumptions. When he called for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, there was a sense of respectful disagreement among most military personnel. But when he subsequently stated that he would not join today's military, he made clear to the majority of us that he is out of touch with the troops. Quite frankly, it was received as a slap in the face. Like so many others past and present, I proudly volunteered to serve in the military. I served one tour in Iraq and then volunteered to go back.

"Veterans continue to make clear that they are determined to succeed in Iraq. They are making this clear the best way they can: by volunteering to go back for third and sometimes fourth deployments. This fact is backed up by official Pentagon recruitment reports released as recently as Monday. The morale of the trigger-pulling class of today's fighting force is strong. Unfortunately, we have not had a microphone or media audience willing to report our comments. Despite this frustration, our military continues to proudly dedicate itself to the mission at hand: a free, democratic and stable Iraq and a more secure America. All citizens have a right to express their views on this important national challenge, and all should be heard. Veterans ask no more, and they deserve no less."

That, again, is Wade Zirkle. He's the executive director of Vets for Freedom, two tours in Iraq with the Marines before being wounded in action. I have a little bit of experience with this. I did a troop visit to Afghanistan a year ago in February, and I found frustration with the way the news is reporting what they're doing in Iraq and what they're doing in Afghanistan. I didn't find morale problems, and I talked to Democrat soldiers, Republicans. They covered the political spectrum, and I was not restricted in who I could talk to.

I found just the opposite, folks. That's why there's a big disconnect here between the way the drive-by media is covering this and I'm glad to see this reported. To have Moran diss a constituent and a veteran! "Well, that's not a question. That's something more in the form of a statement." Let there be no mistake: when you hear Murtha or Moran or any of the other usual suspects, on the left in the Democratic Party make their comments, they are impugning. They're impugning the military; they're impugning the character of the people who volunteer. They impugn their backgrounds, they impugn their efforts, and they disregard the worthwhile status of the mission at large, and the troops know it, and that's what this column in today's Washington Post illustrates.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Back to the phones we go, Buffalo, New York. This is Amy. You're next on the Rush Limbaugh program. Great to have you with us.

CALLER: Oh, it's such an honor, Rush.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: Such an honor.

RUSH: Thank you.

CALLER: We went to a homecoming this past weekend for our very good friend's son who returned from the Iraq. He was there a little over a year and he's home on a 15-day leave, and he brought a beautiful slide show of pictures he had taken when he was over there of all the good being done, and we started talking about it. When you said it about the media only looking for the bad, he said, "Journalists drive around and would come up to a unit and ask, 'What did you guys see today, anything?' They said, 'Oh, you know, it's pretty quiet. We're helping over here with this building. It's pretty quiet.' Okay, they'd pack up, leave -- and he said it's very one-sided. The media only wants the blood and the gore, nothing good, and the pictures he had were just wonderful, just outstanding of all the good that's being done.

RUSH: Well, that's the story that we continue to hear, and in fact when President Bush called the media on this in his last press conference it sent them into a tizzy. But this is the drive-by media. We just continue to hear story after story after story, and I'm an eyewitness. I mean, I have not been to Iraq, but I've been to Afghanistan, and there wasn't any media there because there wasn't anything going wrong in Afghanistan when I was there. That was one of the laments, by the way, of not just military rank and file, but commanding officers, "Where is the media? I mean, we're doing great things over here." That's why they're not there. There's no problem. There's nothing they can show that's going wrong, and in Iraq, you know, they may like the blood and guts, but I tell you what they like more than anything, is a bombed out car. That seems to be the staple of footage that we get from Iraq.


END TRANSCRIPT

Copyright © June, 2006 by TTigerAtty


TTigerAtty
TIGERS, LLC
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ohsodelicious 57F
1922 posts
6/2/2006 6:03 pm

Tig{=} Yes! It is pathetic!! In recent history our men and women that have served in 'police actions' and wars have been 'discounted' by the political power figures/house and unfortunately, by some people {not real sure how to convey my ideal}...you never know...with some politicians...they could be up for re-election and their constitutes/demographic shows they are against...the prolonged involvement {hence the bandwagon phenomena}...they are playing their 'tune' to popular opinion in their demographic area??!!

As far as the media is concerned {in my opinion}...RATEINGS!!...is all they are really concerned about...look at it this way...Headline!! US Troops rebuilding local community!!...verses...Headline!! Two Solders DIE!! In car-bombing outside of...that is an easy answer...Sensationalism!! What sells and creates a higher 'profit'...Just my take on the situation I should probably just keep my yapper Shut

Hugs...OhSo{=}


micahbiguns 50M

6/2/2006 6:08 pm

Gotta love Rush! Are you a 24/7 subscriber


TTigerAtty 62M

6/2/2006 6:28 pm

ohsodelicious - Nice to have a friendly face (or should I say friendly boobies) drop by! The leftists and Bush-haters are killing me on my other posts and around the blogs! I'm really losing sleep! You have good insight OhSo, and I do appreciate the calm, intelligent way you express yourself. I've had enough of the ranting and name-calling for one day! Hold me! Tighter! Mmmmmm!

micahbiguns - No, I don't subscribe to his newsletter or ditto-cam. I pulled this off his website. Just Google 'Rush Limbaugh'. I try to listen to Rush and Hannity everyday for as long as I can. Then I listen to CBS news and also to the constant commentary on FOX News. I don't get to read as much as I would like to. Do you listen to a lot of talk radio in your truck? What do you like to listen to while driving? Still thinking about your GTO! Any luck yet?


keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
6/2/2006 9:05 pm

I would like to see a more balanced presentation of the conditions in Iraq. The whole of Iraq, not just the troubled sections. The successes are being downplayed.

However, in the competetive world of media news, tame settings do not sell. Chaos and violence is what gets them an advance in their careers.

Blog On!


TTigerAtty 62M

6/3/2006 4:30 am

    Quoting keithcancook:
    I would like to see a more balanced presentation of the conditions in Iraq. The whole of Iraq, not just the troubled sections. The successes are being downplayed.

    However, in the competetive world of media news, tame settings do not sell. Chaos and violence is what gets them an advance in their careers.

    Blog On!
Keith - Good point! I have from time to time heard the number of provinces in Iraq where all is fairly peaceful, at least absent the insurgency attacks (suicide bombers and IEDs along the road). Much of this violence we see on the news is very concentrated. You only get the more balanced reports on conservative talk radio and FOX News. So, what does that tell us about the rest of the national media? As Rush would say "Hmmmmmm?" Thanks for stopping by! Glad to see ya' back!


TTigerAtty 62M

6/3/2006 4:33 am

    Quoting rm_mzhunyhole:
    I'm just gonna comment..ya know MZHuny don't know diddly squat about politics..Go Big Blue!
MzHuny - Don't ever sell yourself short, hon! You are a very balanced and reasonable person! Get involved in our American politics. The country need more people taking an active interest. We need to hold politicians (on both sides of the aisle more accountable to We The People). Go Big Blue? Has basketball season started already? Always good to see ya'!


MOfunNOWWOW 55F

6/3/2006 9:22 am

You know me Tig I just do what master says and be a good but dumb little slave for whoever is in office! I also dance to whatever tune is throwing money for the charities I work for, I vote best I can and I involve myself with making things better around me! I like keeping an eye on the sign of the times. Some very interesting posts you have been up too. Peace and Humanity ALWAYS FIRST!!!! {=}


MOMO
just a squirrel trying to get a nut


TTigerAtty 62M

6/3/2006 10:06 am

    Quoting MOfunNOWWOW:
    You know me Tig I just do what master says and be a good but dumb little slave for whoever is in office! I also dance to whatever tune is throwing money for the charities I work for, I vote best I can and I involve myself with making things better around me! I like keeping an eye on the sign of the times. Some very interesting posts you have been up too. Peace and Humanity ALWAYS FIRST!!!! {=}
Sorry for the political posts, MO, but the whining, belly-aching, elitist, Bush-hating leftists have got me all fired up, and now, I'm firing back!

You make a good point, MO, about serving a Higher Authority. I just wonder what He thinks about all our political bickering, the lies, the distortion of truth, the mischaracterization of motives, the demonizing of our elected leader, etc. I wonder what he thinks about the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, et al. The starvation and AIDS in Africa. And, now to hit home for all of us to think about, I wonder what he thinks about AdultFriendFinder, the lifestyles we are living, sex outside of marriage, etc. Yikes! Now, the liberals will attack me for sure! I better get my battle helmet on and get it strapped up! Take care, sweetie! Thanks for always bringing me back to what is really important!


DrLoveEsoterica 62M
219 posts
6/3/2006 2:53 pm

Well . . . HELLO my friend TTiger!

I have been traveling a lot over the past week or so and I've only been able to drop in for a few minutes at a time to read some of your blog. If I remember correctly, in your first discussion of this topic, you asked for a "dialog". Seems you've gotten that and more. A LOT of water has flowed over the political dam.

Where to begin . . . Hmm. I don't have time to go back and discuss each comment that has been made on here, even though I'd love to. I'll start by reminding you of the post I made on your "Political Dissent Part 1" blog, the first one you wrote which started this whole fire storm. My views haven't changed one bit since I wrote that response. However, your blog has taken a HUGE turn to the right since you wrote those first few interesting pages.

At the onset, I want to tell you I still consider you a friend, and will do so even after writing this response. I've enjoyed reading and responding to a lot of your blog topics. I hope to continue doing so for a long time to come. However, I fear you have fallen into some of the same traps that our extreme liberal friends have. Your voice has taken on the sound of a right-winged zealot, and I think that is unfortunate.

My first observation is that, like many good folks, when you get backed into a corner (and it appears to me that you've been backed into a number of them in the last several posts), you tend to come out swinging hard and mean . . . You've resorted to some of the same nasty "name calling" that you so vehemently asked others to NOT do, as you started your discussion on May 17th. While this is your blog and you can do with it as you wish, you DID ask for this debate. You even said you welcomed it. It should not have surprised you that you were met with the onslaught. You should have not stoop to the same tactics that you criticized in your earliest blogs. However, it's not fun being attacked, is it? I think you have just experienced some of what the liberals experienced as GW first moved into the White House and the Rush Limbaugh's of the world first learned they could improve their ratings with "liberal bashing".

Without mentioning names, I think a number of folks who have responded to you, have done what you've asked. They gave you their opinions . . . They presented facts in support of their opinions and presented pretty good arguments. Not all were fully explained, but many were as good as, or better, than many of the arguments you have presented. (Understand that I realize there have been a couple of idiots who have responded to you too . . . but your comments have brought a LOT of folks out of the woodwork. You should have expected nothing less.)

You did ask one follow-up question of one responder that he/she (I forget which) never replied to, and I would like to talk about that for a minute. I believe it was a public school teacher who mentioned to you about the failure of the Bush policy on education . . . "No Child Left Behind" . . . and you asked him/her to follow up and tell you about that policy and what was wrong with it. That is a fair question . . . and as a professor at a fairly large southeastern university who teaches research methods and statistics, I'd like to take a stab at answering your question. A lot of students who take my graduate courses are either current or future public school teachers. The No Child Left Behind Act is very simply a means of cutting federal funding to public education while attempting to justify it in the name of "accountability" . . . FALSE accountability. There are too many problems with this legislation to mention them all, but I will say that the most terrible outcome has been the reduction in quality of education to that of "test-teaching". In my work, I develop and validate standardized tests . . . and I will be the first to tell you that their purposes are very specialized in most all cases. When a piece of federal legislation sets the same standardized test performance expectations of all students (those who don't speak English, those who are gifted and talented, those who have learning disabilities, and those who have social disadvantages) in order for a school district to receive funding, the impact is quite simply the "Dumbing of America". All a teacher can do under such unrealistic expectations is "teach the test". It doesn't matter whether a student can think critically . . . or express himself/herself creatively . . . or be capable of selecting a career path more challenging than working at McDonald's, as long as he/she can spit back the correct answers on some narrowly focused standardized test that was developed by someone like me who only looks at the mathematical reliability and validity of the instrument (which has very little to do with whether the right questions were on the test). There is no SINGLE test suited for such a purpose. The purpose itself is flawed. The result is that we set up our poorer students to fail miserably and we bore the hell out of our gifted students. To further make my point, there is a short story I'd like you to read. Please check it out at: http://AdultFriendFinder.com (If the URL doesn't transfer, simply Google "Animal School" and you will find it.) It is a parody of the 1945 classic "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. In this short story, the "abnormal eel" is the only Animal who benefits from a piece of legislation like "No Child Left Behind". (BTW, this story was written years ago, long before NCLB was enacted . . . I wish President Bush's education advisers had read it before they pushed through NCL. Such legislation stifles creativity. It doesn't allow for individual excellence. It forces us to accept mediocrity as acceptable performance. Unfortunately, I hear more and more of my best students saying they will not go into public education as long as such stupid policy forces them to teach a test rather than teach individual students to reach their own potentials. Local government tax bases are so poor that we already pay these folks an embarrassingly low salary. Now the feds take the challenge out of the profession and make it less psychologically rewarding too. How much more damage can we do to our public education system? (I understand why we need to cut our national budget because of the huge debt that has been building up . . . But what about some logical priorities? Shouldn't that have been discussed before we started an expensive war, without international support, that has come close to bankrupting our country?)

There are many other points that have been made that I wish I could address too, but I need to get back to work and this is getting too long to maintain most folks' interest . . . so I need to stop if I want any of it to be read. HOWEVER, I will make one stab at the war in Iraq, since it is also a hot topic for you. In my earlier blog response I told you that I voted for President Bush both times . . . the first time, proudly (There is a reason Al Gore's home state didn't support him in his bid for the presidency. Here at home, he is known for the fake that he is. He plays much better in the national spotlight than he does here at home where most native Tennesseans watched him grow up on his father's tobacco and cattle farm as he was trained to be the consummate politician.)

While the first election results were questionable, and the fact that the decision ended up being heavily influenced by GW's brother in Florida was, in my opinion, an embarrassment to our electoral process, I agreed with most good conservatives that a decision was made and it was time to move on and let our new president begin his leadership. He is/was the president. Our voters, and subsequently our legal system, determined that. I supported him throughout his first term even though, as stated in my earlier blog response, I didn't agree with a lot of his policies and legislation. As such, the second election was a much harder decision for me. Had the democrats put forth ANYONE other than the candidate they did, I would have strongly considered voting for a democrat.

I truly do believe that the primary reason we went to war in Iraq was because GW wanted to be known as the president who finished what his father (who I still respect a great deal) started in the first Gulf War. Unlike his father though, GW never bothered to get the rest of the world to go along with him. Instead he acted like a "Texas Cowboy" and thought he could do it alone. In my opinion, this one decision, has done more to hurt the credibility of my country internationally, than any other single event in its history. It isn't that Saddam wasn't a bad person who needed to go . . . It's how we did it. I believe there is sufficient evidence to prove (at least to me) that the WMD fear and other false propaganda presented to us was simply an attempt to justify a war that was ultimately started as a "political ploy" to boost our president's popularity, just as it did for his father when he went into Kuwait. The only difference is that his father, who had a just cause, took time to built international support before making the decision, and he listened to his allies when they came on board. George Senior knew when to quit. GW, on the other hand, took a huge risk and it backfired terribly. We're now in a quagmire that nobody knows how to get out of. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

Just look at the press coming out of Iraq about Abu Ghraib, and the civilian massacres. I know "war is hell" and innocent people often get killed . . It's happened in every war since the beginning of time . . . but we're supposed to be the good guys! Our troops, who I support 100 percent, are getting mixed messages. I can only guess that it's hard as hell to tell who your enemy really is, under the stressful conditions they are in. While I can understand how such accidents could happen in that environment, I can also understand how public sentiment will turn rapidly as more and more such events are uncovered. I fear that before we leave, it is US that will be hated by these people more than Saddam.

We cannot afford to leave a job we started "unfinished". However, I don't see any working plans that tell us how to fight such a war. I fear that the next presidential election may result in such a huge swing left that some bleeding heart liberal will be elected and he/she will simply cut and run, the way we did in Viet Nam . . . or worse yet, GW, in an attempt to save political face, will simply declare the war a "victory" and pull out our troops too early, leaving millions of people to be slaughtered by the next dictator who takes over. That can't happen either, but I think the American voters have had enough of the "Bush" style of conservatism. Historically, as a country, we've swung far to the left after such a long hard swing to the right. Again, I hope I'm wrong. Only history will prove me right or wrong.

I cannot leave without saying that there are SOME things our president has done that are good. However, after two term, I am afraid that I think the bad outweighs the good. I too look forward to the end of this era of generally "bad politics". I don't know who I'll vote for in our next election, but I'll be right there beside you (and my Dad) exercising my right. Personally, I think John McCain of Arizona would get my vote, if the election took place today. However, I've learned that politicians do a lot of strange things just to get elected. I like his current politics. I'm hoping he doesn't end up selling his sole just to get the nomination.

In closing, in my opinion, your decision to start quoting your friend Rush was a terrible mistake. I listen to Rush occasionally too. When he first came on, I thought he was pretty cool. However, over the years he has become just another one of the right-winged sensationalists who will say anything he can to keep his ratings up. Like his left wing counterparts, he is way over the top and his message is no longer close to representing mainstream America (assuming it ever was). His ratings are now based more on "entertainment value" than whether his politics are right or wrong. (Actually, about the only person on talk radio I think makes much sense anymore is Dave Ramsey. He's a conservative I listen to any time I'm in radio range. However, he seldom talks politics.)

There are many other things I'd like to debate with you . . . Murtha, Rowe, Energy Policy . . . many more . . . but I think I'll stop and see if I still have a friend out there.

Take care my friend . . . and the next time you light a match, you may want to make sure you don't do it inside of a gasoline tank.

Doc


TTigerAtty 62M

6/3/2006 3:16 pm

    Quoting DrLoveEsoterica:
    Well . . . HELLO my friend TTiger!

    I have been traveling a lot over the past week or so and I've only been able to drop in for a few minutes at a time to read some of your blog. If I remember correctly, in your first discussion of this topic, you asked for a "dialog". Seems you've gotten that and more. A LOT of water has flowed over the political dam.

    Where to begin . . . Hmm. I don't have time to go back and discuss each comment that has been made on here, even though I'd love to. I'll start by reminding you of the post I made on your "Political Dissent Part 1" blog, the first one you wrote which started this whole fire storm. My views haven't changed one bit since I wrote that response. However, your blog has taken a HUGE turn to the right since you wrote those first few interesting pages.

    At the onset, I want to tell you I still consider you a friend, and will do so even after writing this response. I've enjoyed reading and responding to a lot of your blog topics. I hope to continue doing so for a long time to come. However, I fear you have fallen into some of the same traps that our extreme liberal friends have. Your voice has taken on the sound of a right-winged zealot, and I think that is unfortunate.

    My first observation is that, like many good folks, when you get backed into a corner (and it appears to me that you've been backed into a number of them in the last several posts), you tend to come out swinging hard and mean . . . You've resorted to some of the same nasty "name calling" that you so vehemently asked others to NOT do, as you started your discussion on May 17th. While this is your blog and you can do with it as you wish, you DID ask for this debate. You even said you welcomed it. It should not have surprised you that you were met with the onslaught. You should have not stoop to the same tactics that you criticized in your earliest blogs. However, it's not fun being attacked, is it? I think you have just experienced some of what the liberals experienced as GW first moved into the White House and the Rush Limbaugh's of the world first learned they could improve their ratings with "liberal bashing".

    Without mentioning names, I think a number of folks who have responded to you, have done what you've asked. They gave you their opinions . . . They presented facts in support of their opinions and presented pretty good arguments. Not all were fully explained, but many were as good as, or better, than many of the arguments you have presented. (Understand that I realize there have been a couple of idiots who have responded to you too . . . but your comments have brought a LOT of folks out of the woodwork. You should have expected nothing less.)

    You did ask one follow-up question of one responder that he/she (I forget which) never replied to, and I would like to talk about that for a minute. I believe it was a public school teacher who mentioned to you about the failure of the Bush policy on education . . . "No Child Left Behind" . . . and you asked him/her to follow up and tell you about that policy and what was wrong with it. That is a fair question . . . and as a professor at a fairly large southeastern university who teaches research methods and statistics, I'd like to take a stab at answering your question. A lot of students who take my graduate courses are either current or future public school teachers. The No Child Left Behind Act is very simply a means of cutting federal funding to public education while attempting to justify it in the name of "accountability" . . . FALSE accountability. There are too many problems with this legislation to mention them all, but I will say that the most terrible outcome has been the reduction in quality of education to that of "test-teaching". In my work, I develop and validate standardized tests . . . and I will be the first to tell you that their purposes are very specialized in most all cases. When a piece of federal legislation sets the same standardized test performance expectations of all students (those who don't speak English, those who are gifted and talented, those who have learning disabilities, and those who have social disadvantages) in order for a school district to receive funding, the impact is quite simply the "Dumbing of America". All a teacher can do under such unrealistic expectations is "teach the test". It doesn't matter whether a student can think critically . . . or express himself/herself creatively . . . or be capable of selecting a career path more challenging than working at McDonald's, as long as he/she can spit back the correct answers on some narrowly focused standardized test that was developed by someone like me who only looks at the mathematical reliability and validity of the instrument (which has very little to do with whether the right questions were on the test). There is no SINGLE test suited for such a purpose. The purpose itself is flawed. The result is that we set up our poorer students to fail miserably and we bore the hell out of our gifted students. To further make my point, there is a short story I'd like you to read. Please check it out at: http://AdultFriendFinder.com (If the URL doesn't transfer, simply Google "Animal School" and you will find it.) It is a parody of the 1945 classic "Animal Farm" by George Orwell. In this short story, the "abnormal eel" is the only Animal who benefits from a piece of legislation like "No Child Left Behind". (BTW, this story was written years ago, long before NCLB was enacted . . . I wish President Bush's education advisers had read it before they pushed through NCL. Such legislation stifles creativity. It doesn't allow for individual excellence. It forces us to accept mediocrity as acceptable performance. Unfortunately, I hear more and more of my best students saying they will not go into public education as long as such stupid policy forces them to teach a test rather than teach individual students to reach their own potentials. Local government tax bases are so poor that we already pay these folks an embarrassingly low salary. Now the feds take the challenge out of the profession and make it less psychologically rewarding too. How much more damage can we do to our public education system? (I understand why we need to cut our national budget because of the huge debt that has been building up . . . But what about some logical priorities? Shouldn't that have been discussed before we started an expensive war, without international support, that has come close to bankrupting our country?)

    There are many other points that have been made that I wish I could address too, but I need to get back to work and this is getting too long to maintain most folks' interest . . . so I need to stop if I want any of it to be read. HOWEVER, I will make one stab at the war in Iraq, since it is also a hot topic for you. In my earlier blog response I told you that I voted for President Bush both times . . . the first time, proudly (There is a reason Al Gore's home state didn't support him in his bid for the presidency. Here at home, he is known for the fake that he is. He plays much better in the national spotlight than he does here at home where most native Tennesseans watched him grow up on his father's tobacco and cattle farm as he was trained to be the consummate politician.)

    While the first election results were questionable, and the fact that the decision ended up being heavily influenced by GW's brother in Florida was, in my opinion, an embarrassment to our electoral process, I agreed with most good conservatives that a decision was made and it was time to move on and let our new president begin his leadership. He is/was the president. Our voters, and subsequently our legal system, determined that. I supported him throughout his first term even though, as stated in my earlier blog response, I didn't agree with a lot of his policies and legislation. As such, the second election was a much harder decision for me. Had the democrats put forth ANYONE other than the candidate they did, I would have strongly considered voting for a democrat.

    I truly do believe that the primary reason we went to war in Iraq was because GW wanted to be known as the president who finished what his father (who I still respect a great deal) started in the first Gulf War. Unlike his father though, GW never bothered to get the rest of the world to go along with him. Instead he acted like a "Texas Cowboy" and thought he could do it alone. In my opinion, this one decision, has done more to hurt the credibility of my country internationally, than any other single event in its history. It isn't that Saddam wasn't a bad person who needed to go . . . It's how we did it. I believe there is sufficient evidence to prove (at least to me) that the WMD fear and other false propaganda presented to us was simply an attempt to justify a war that was ultimately started as a "political ploy" to boost our president's popularity, just as it did for his father when he went into Kuwait. The only difference is that his father, who had a just cause, took time to built international support before making the decision, and he listened to his allies when they came on board. George Senior knew when to quit. GW, on the other hand, took a huge risk and it backfired terribly. We're now in a quagmire that nobody knows how to get out of. I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think I am.

    Just look at the press coming out of Iraq about Abu Ghraib, and the civilian massacres. I know "war is hell" and innocent people often get killed . . It's happened in every war since the beginning of time . . . but we're supposed to be the good guys! Our troops, who I support 100 percent, are getting mixed messages. I can only guess that it's hard as hell to tell who your enemy really is, under the stressful conditions they are in. While I can understand how such accidents could happen in that environment, I can also understand how public sentiment will turn rapidly as more and more such events are uncovered. I fear that before we leave, it is US that will be hated by these people more than Saddam.

    We cannot afford to leave a job we started "unfinished". However, I don't see any working plans that tell us how to fight such a war. I fear that the next presidential election may result in such a huge swing left that some bleeding heart liberal will be elected and he/she will simply cut and run, the way we did in Viet Nam . . . or worse yet, GW, in an attempt to save political face, will simply declare the war a "victory" and pull out our troops too early, leaving millions of people to be slaughtered by the next dictator who takes over. That can't happen either, but I think the American voters have had enough of the "Bush" style of conservatism. Historically, as a country, we've swung far to the left after such a long hard swing to the right. Again, I hope I'm wrong. Only history will prove me right or wrong.

    I cannot leave without saying that there are SOME things our president has done that are good. However, after two term, I am afraid that I think the bad outweighs the good. I too look forward to the end of this era of generally "bad politics". I don't know who I'll vote for in our next election, but I'll be right there beside you (and my Dad) exercising my right. Personally, I think John McCain of Arizona would get my vote, if the election took place today. However, I've learned that politicians do a lot of strange things just to get elected. I like his current politics. I'm hoping he doesn't end up selling his sole just to get the nomination.

    In closing, in my opinion, your decision to start quoting your friend Rush was a terrible mistake. I listen to Rush occasionally too. When he first came on, I thought he was pretty cool. However, over the years he has become just another one of the right-winged sensationalists who will say anything he can to keep his ratings up. Like his left wing counterparts, he is way over the top and his message is no longer close to representing mainstream America (assuming it ever was). His ratings are now based more on "entertainment value" than whether his politics are right or wrong. (Actually, about the only person on talk radio I think makes much sense anymore is Dave Ramsey. He's a conservative I listen to any time I'm in radio range. However, he seldom talks politics.)

    There are many other things I'd like to debate with you . . . Murtha, Rowe, Energy Policy . . . many more . . . but I think I'll stop and see if I still have a friend out there.

    Take care my friend . . . and the next time you light a match, you may want to make sure you don't do it inside of a gasoline tank.

    Doc
I do feel that I have lit the match a bit too close to the gasoline tank! Ouch! The liberals are attacking me from all quarters of this site!

Well, at least, I'm meeting a lot of new people ... but, they all hate me now!

Doc, you have written by far the most reasoned and thoughtful political comment I have seen on this whole site as long as I have been here. I will try to learn from your great example! There is a a way that we can have good political discussion on this site without pissing each other off IF we don't attack each other, don't attack each other's viewpoints, and don't attack the political parties that each of us support.

I especially appreciate your detailed analysis of the errors that have been made under the banner of 'standardized testing'. I can see that you definitely know what you're talking about on that issue, and I follow and accept what you're saying. It's not too late to correct this wrong-headed direction though, I presume? How do we achieve both accountability for performance and also allow teachers the latitude and flexibility with their students who are individuals? What is a better way to do this? Is this being looked at or are we going blindly forward with the program?

Again, thanks for the thoughtful, even-handed, balanced comment. The way you wrote is was so skillfull that I could not get "hooked" into an argument with you. You were calm , reasonable, balanced and you had facts to support your positions. Well done! I think we need you in Congress!


DrLoveEsoterica 62M
219 posts
6/3/2006 6:32 pm

"It's not too late to correct this wrong-headed direction though, I presume? How do we achieve both accountability for performance and also allow teachers the latitude and flexibility with their students who are individuals? What is a better way to do this? Is this being looked at or are we going blindly forward with the program?"

TTiger, in answer to your question above, I think most folks in the Department of Education are simply riding out the rest of this administration's term to see what happens during the next election. NCLB is the law of the land and schools are attempting to make sure they "make the grade" and not lose additional funding. There is very little "innovation" coming out of USDE right now. Most of the Bush appointees know they are "short-timers" especially if there is a change in parties with the new election. Actually, I don't even know of a prominent Republican who talks very fondly of NCLB, so I doubt that even a new Republican administration would keep the status quo. We are all waiting for a "change".

YES, there are some alternatives for improving schools. One of the first things we can do is increase the support offered to new teachers. So many of these young people are simply dumped into a classroom and left to sink or swim. I believe in accountability in education too, but we need to use the right criteria to evaluate. I know that one has to have appropriate resources and motivated students to reach stated educational goals.

When you and I were out there "cruizin' main street" in the 60's and 70's, things were a lot simpler. The worst thing our teachers had to worry about was whether they were going to catch me smokin' in the bathroom, or you makin' out with your girlfriend in the hallway behind the auditorium (both being suspendable offenses at that time, btw). Today, (just a few months ago) a 9th grade student walked into a small rural school in an adjoining county from where I live and shot and killed the principal, and wounded the assistant principal. He took the gun to school to shoot one of his teachers he "didn't like" The principals just happened to intervene before he got to that teacher.

One of the first things we could do to improve schools is to simply clean up the discipline problems. I have a 15 year old son in public school . . . and some of the things he comes home and tells me each day scare the hell out of me. As the result, I serve on every parent committee I can and visit his classrooms every chance I get. I talk with his teachers routinely. All of his teachers are good people. Most are better trained than the ones you and I had (and I think both of us turned out OK).

As harsh and uncaring as it sounds, if a student doesn't want to learn in a healthy conducive school environment, in my opinion, after several chances and/or warnings, he/she should be moved to one that is more restrictive and more compatible to his/her needs. Some students in our public schools could better be served educationally in boot camps or correctional facilities. (I'm glad I don't have a blog, or it would be flooded by liberal hate mail after such a statement.) I simply hate to see a few misguided kids cause chaos for a whole school. I'm not talking about students with disabilities . . . or students who are simply underachievers. I'm talking about students who constantly bully others and who do everything they can to disrupt a teacher attempting to do the right thing. In my opinion, those students will cause educational test scores to be collectively lower than will any incompetent teachers. How can good students learn and good teachers teach when they are constantly dealing with this kind of disruption? Such students need to be taught in alternative environments . . . the more problems they cause, the more restrictive the educational environment. (I would have no problem in the federal government providing some special funding to assist schools with providing those more appropriate school environments for students who need them. This issue is large enough that it needs federal support.)

In my opinion, many of the problems in public schools are best able to be solved at the local district level. The federal government has a role in education, but it is primarily one of collecting taxes and redistributing them equitably to those districts that need them the greatest. The U. S. Department of Education also has a role in showcasing programs that work and helping local districts to emulate them or do better. There is nothing wrong with having a few national educational priorities and some federal dollars that can be sought if/when a school addresses one of those priorities, but most of the federal funds delivered to schools should be strictly "formula funded" using formulas that address the educational needs of our country for a well trained and employable graduate who has been provided one or more means of contributing to our society (vocationally, academically, creatively, etc.). Leave the accountability issues to the states and the local education agencies and the citizens in the districts. In my opinion, there is no way the federal government can "legislate" individual school improvement, except in extreme examples of social injustice such as those they addressed during the civil rights struggle we experienced earlier in our history.

Another thing that will improve school accountability is parental involvement. While I know that June and Ward Cleaver no longer live in America, there is some opportunity for EVERY parent or guardian to participate in his/her child's educational experience. Incompetent teachers will not stand the test of parental observation and participation in the school. (One of us may have to explain to some of the younger folks on here who Ward Cleaver was.)

In summary, I believe very much in the conservative opinion that the federal government's involvement in public education should be limited to providing equatable distribution of funding, overseeing social justice and showcasing excellence in education. While our public schools admittedly have some serious problems, if they are to be improved, it will be done on the local and state level and NOT by taking federal funding away from a school just because the students collectively don't perform at some arbitrarily set national test standard.

Doc


keithcancook 60M
17718 posts
6/3/2006 8:50 pm

    Quoting TTigerAtty:
    Keith - Good point! I have from time to time heard the number of provinces in Iraq where all is fairly peaceful, at least absent the insurgency attacks (suicide bombers and IEDs along the road). Much of this violence we see on the news is very concentrated. You only get the more balanced reports on conservative talk radio and FOX News. So, what does that tell us about the rest of the national media? As Rush would say "Hmmmmmm?" Thanks for stopping by! Glad to see ya' back!
You really should expand your sources if you want balance. Do not rely on conservative radio and FOX news to give you a complete picture.

NPR is a good source for more liberal presentations of current events. An informed voter has listened to arguments on both sides rather than blindly following one preacher.

Overall, I find the BBC to be the best source of news on the planet.


DrLoveEsoterica 62M
219 posts
6/4/2006 8:51 am

Keith: I agree with you. One needs a balance in reporting. I've watched the BBC for years on NPT. It's interesting to see how our politics play in another country. The British still have a very objective matter-of-fact way of reporting on television. Their newspapers (at least the ones I've read) are not so good . . . more tabloid-like, but I think the BBC is about as good as any world news source that is currently out there.

NPR certainly gives one a different perspective than Rush . . . but both have their agenda, even though NPR is a lot less "in-your-face" than Rush.

(Excuse my taking up so much time on your blog TTiger . . . Next thing I know you'll be expecting me to pay rent!)

Doc


TTigerAtty 62M

6/5/2006 5:39 am

    Quoting DrLoveEsoterica:
    "It's not too late to correct this wrong-headed direction though, I presume? How do we achieve both accountability for performance and also allow teachers the latitude and flexibility with their students who are individuals? What is a better way to do this? Is this being looked at or are we going blindly forward with the program?"

    TTiger, in answer to your question above, I think most folks in the Department of Education are simply riding out the rest of this administration's term to see what happens during the next election. NCLB is the law of the land and schools are attempting to make sure they "make the grade" and not lose additional funding. There is very little "innovation" coming out of USDE right now. Most of the Bush appointees know they are "short-timers" especially if there is a change in parties with the new election. Actually, I don't even know of a prominent Republican who talks very fondly of NCLB, so I doubt that even a new Republican administration would keep the status quo. We are all waiting for a "change".

    YES, there are some alternatives for improving schools. One of the first things we can do is increase the support offered to new teachers. So many of these young people are simply dumped into a classroom and left to sink or swim. I believe in accountability in education too, but we need to use the right criteria to evaluate. I know that one has to have appropriate resources and motivated students to reach stated educational goals.

    When you and I were out there "cruizin' main street" in the 60's and 70's, things were a lot simpler. The worst thing our teachers had to worry about was whether they were going to catch me smokin' in the bathroom, or you makin' out with your girlfriend in the hallway behind the auditorium (both being suspendable offenses at that time, btw). Today, (just a few months ago) a 9th grade student walked into a small rural school in an adjoining county from where I live and shot and killed the principal, and wounded the assistant principal. He took the gun to school to shoot one of his teachers he "didn't like" The principals just happened to intervene before he got to that teacher.

    One of the first things we could do to improve schools is to simply clean up the discipline problems. I have a 15 year old son in public school . . . and some of the things he comes home and tells me each day scare the hell out of me. As the result, I serve on every parent committee I can and visit his classrooms every chance I get. I talk with his teachers routinely. All of his teachers are good people. Most are better trained than the ones you and I had (and I think both of us turned out OK).

    As harsh and uncaring as it sounds, if a student doesn't want to learn in a healthy conducive school environment, in my opinion, after several chances and/or warnings, he/she should be moved to one that is more restrictive and more compatible to his/her needs. Some students in our public schools could better be served educationally in boot camps or correctional facilities. (I'm glad I don't have a blog, or it would be flooded by liberal hate mail after such a statement.) I simply hate to see a few misguided kids cause chaos for a whole school. I'm not talking about students with disabilities . . . or students who are simply underachievers. I'm talking about students who constantly bully others and who do everything they can to disrupt a teacher attempting to do the right thing. In my opinion, those students will cause educational test scores to be collectively lower than will any incompetent teachers. How can good students learn and good teachers teach when they are constantly dealing with this kind of disruption? Such students need to be taught in alternative environments . . . the more problems they cause, the more restrictive the educational environment. (I would have no problem in the federal government providing some special funding to assist schools with providing those more appropriate school environments for students who need them. This issue is large enough that it needs federal support.)

    In my opinion, many of the problems in public schools are best able to be solved at the local district level. The federal government has a role in education, but it is primarily one of collecting taxes and redistributing them equitably to those districts that need them the greatest. The U. S. Department of Education also has a role in showcasing programs that work and helping local districts to emulate them or do better. There is nothing wrong with having a few national educational priorities and some federal dollars that can be sought if/when a school addresses one of those priorities, but most of the federal funds delivered to schools should be strictly "formula funded" using formulas that address the educational needs of our country for a well trained and employable graduate who has been provided one or more means of contributing to our society (vocationally, academically, creatively, etc.). Leave the accountability issues to the states and the local education agencies and the citizens in the districts. In my opinion, there is no way the federal government can "legislate" individual school improvement, except in extreme examples of social injustice such as those they addressed during the civil rights struggle we experienced earlier in our history.

    Another thing that will improve school accountability is parental involvement. While I know that June and Ward Cleaver no longer live in America, there is some opportunity for EVERY parent or guardian to participate in his/her child's educational experience. Incompetent teachers will not stand the test of parental observation and participation in the school. (One of us may have to explain to some of the younger folks on here who Ward Cleaver was.)

    In summary, I believe very much in the conservative opinion that the federal government's involvement in public education should be limited to providing equatable distribution of funding, overseeing social justice and showcasing excellence in education. While our public schools admittedly have some serious problems, if they are to be improved, it will be done on the local and state level and NOT by taking federal funding away from a school just because the students collectively don't perform at some arbitrarily set national test standard.

    Doc
Wally ...

I agree with you 100%! I know teachers in high school and college who would agree with you also. I don't know why such a common sense approach is not being implemented? It seems like this ought to be something most Americans could come to agreement on. We all have experience with education. Either Americans have taught like you and my good friends in Cape Girardeau or we have gone through the system ourselves or we have children who have gone through the system.

I can relate to the difference in discipline when we attended school vs. today's environment where principals and teachers are fearful of a lawsuit if they dare discipline a kid. When I grew up, I was told that I had better not cause a teacher a discipline problem. If I got in trouble at school, it was always very clear to me that I would be in even bigger trouble at home. That was all it took for me! Consequently I focused on learning. 95% of the kids had parents just like mine. The other 5% were dealt with and there were never any lawsuits against the school district.

My daughter (now 22 and a senior at the University of Missouri) had a good experience in our local public school system, but values are changing in our school district also. She was fortunate to have had parental support and to get with a group of kids that were good kids. The public school system did not fail her. She is carrying a 3.9 GPA and will go on to grad school for a PhD.

You make a lot of sense, have experience and good insight on these issue. I hope you are getting involved politically to push for these changes. We need more educators running for political office and fewer attorneys!

Thanks for continuing the discussion!

"The Beav"


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