Monday, April 16, 2007

Real Education

I am old enough to remember when (Especially in the American South and for both Blacks and Whites) anyone who was discourteous (Especially towards their elders) was described as “uneducated”. Telling some parent that his/her child was, in that sense, “uneducated” then brought forth shame and severe corrective measures---Towards the child in question.

Alas, now such a comment would not even be understood by most and, if comprehended, yield anger (If not physical attacks) against the critical speaker---And no civilization building reeducation of the child or adult truly at fault.

Alas, our hyper-sensitive, victim-based, no-fault and politically correct schools, parents, media-persons and politicians refuse to really “educate” our children—And themselves.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post Mr. Pawlak. My guess is that your children are both polite and educated.

This immediately reminded me of another thing that was quite different when I was a child. Patriotism. Back then it really meant something. It wasn't yelled or garishly displayed, but was a quiet communal feeling that united us. It meant protecting our fundamental rights and freedom. It meant cultivating our union and civilization, which was created under laws, with due process, and a quiet wisdom of the people. It meant doing what was right for our community, even at the expense of ourselves. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness had meaning attached.

How did we get to a point where a company like Enron can extract billions from the citizens of this country by, among other things, shutting down California power plants at the worst possible time for "maintenance", thereby using public monopolies to manufacture crisis to manipulate prices. How did we get to the point where this (times a hundred) could happen and yet only a few people go to jail? The documentary "Smartest Boys in the Room" is a must see. I've heard recordings where traders actually joked about separating Grandmas from their pension - in those words. Unbelievable! How can corporate leaders have even a shred of patriotism and do things like that?

Nowadays I get a queasy sick feeling every time I see a politician thumping his chest in self-righteousness, rationalizing everything he does under the banner of patriotism instead of logic and reasoning. I'm quite sure the word doesn't mean much to them. Or another outrageous abomination - desecration of the American flag. But wait, it gets worse; add the two together and you start seeing the end of our great nation; people mounting flag poles on their pickup trucks and ripping them to shreds at highway speeds, shouting via semaphore as they go; "hey everybody, look at me, I is patriotic".

Scenes like that make me physically ill to the point that the words of Eugene Debs and Sam Johnson start making sense;

These are the gentry who are today wrapped up in the American flag, who shout their claim from the housetops that they are the only patriots, and who have their magnifying glasses in hand, scanning the country for evidence of disloyalty, eager to apply the brand of treason to the men who dare to even whisper their opposition to Junker rule in the United Sates. No wonder Sam Johnson declared that "patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel." He must have had this Wall Street gentry in mind, or at least their prototypes, for in every age it has been the tyrant, the oppressor and the exploiter who has wrapped himself in the cloak of patriotism, or religion, or both to deceive and overawe the people.

Now, I'm certainly no fan of Mr. Debs, although there was a need for him at the time. And on the surface I can't support Mr. Johnson's quote - I consider myself very patriotic. But, taken together and applied in today's context, there is power and truth in those words.