Tag Archives: Blatant Disregard

Progress Doesn’t Always Mean Going Forward In A Good Way

I love the future.

The very idea of it, the changes inherent in it, just gives me a thrill. Sometimes it’s a thrill of the wonder of the future and sometimes it’s a thrill of fear, a worry about what comes next.

For the most part, though, I’m always looking forward, anxious to see what new thing will be coming to benefit us, to vex us, to change us. So, yeah, you could say I’m a proponent of progress and moving forward.

(And, if any of you dudes or dudettes figured out by the opening bits that I’m about to talk about an instance in which I’m not thrilled by progress, then, congratulations. You’ve been paying attention for the last couple of years of your life at least.That wasn’t snide, by the way. I mean it. Congratulations on paying attention to the how the world around you works. You’d probably not believe how high is the number of people for whom the world around them is a complete mystery, operating on unknown and ineffable principles. However, I’m just remembering that this is a parenthetical aside and, so, should probably be moving back to the main thrust of my argument.)

In this instance, however, I’m not all that thrilled by the idea of progress. (see above) See, I live in what had been a relatively stable neighborhood. The houses have been here for a relatively long time — since the 1980s at least — almost completely built out. It’s the almost bit that’s causing me some concern here.

See, across the street from the entrance to the cul de sac on which I live, there was one house on a very large piece of property. The owner sold that property to a developer, who then turned around and built 20 homes on that same piece of property. The developer also built a road that connects a larger, more trafficked road, to our road, which runs parallel.

The problem isn’t so much the new neighbors, but the fact that their road allows drivers to circumvent the crowd on the old road by taking ours. And it’s not really the increased traffic. It’s the increased number of numbnuts and jackwagons that seem to be using our road.

They don’t stop at the stop sign (a sizable percentage not even slowing down) despite there being at least 10 kids under 10 years of age living within 100 yards of that stop sign. And there are several who have decided that the yards along our road are not, in fact, yards, but, rather places where they can dump the evidence that they’ve been drinking.

Yep, when I’m out walking with Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, I constantly find — in the same places every day — empty Coors Light cans, empty and often broken bottles from Icehouse and the occasional Steel Reserve malt liquor can. People toss out empty sixpack containers, still in the bag.

It’s just this blatant disregard for other people that really frosts my chaps, if you dudes know what I mean. The sense of entitlement that they must feel: too important to have to stop at a stop sign despite the danger to others, too important to hide their drinking in their own trashcan.

Now the maroons are starting to dump their empties in actual yards and not just the bits of yards that are further from the homes.

What I want to know is: What goes through someone’s mind where they think that it’s okay to just toss an empty out on someone’s lawn as you’re driving by? Seriously. I want to understand, but I don’t think I ever will.

These types of poltroons just aren’t like the rest of us. Oh, how I really wish I could find out who’s doing it because I have a lot of garbage I’d like to leave on their yard. And, yes, I know two wrongs don’t make a right. But, remember that three rights can make a left.

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And Then There’s This

by Richard

There are few things in this life I despise more than willful ignorance, and one of those is when you deliberately attempt to infect the younger generation with anti-science, anti-rational belief systems that will end up doing more harm than good, to both the young dude and the country.

Yeah, it’s one of those rant things. There’s stupid. There’s abysmally stupid. And then there’s this.

In Louisiana, the governor, Bobby Jindal (who tried to perform an exorcism on a lady friend in college) has signed an education “reform” act that will funnel public funds to private religious schools.

Even there I’m getting all bothered by the blatant disregard Jindal and the rest of the Louisiana government is showing for our Constitution and the very clearly defined separation between church and government. Public money should NOT go to private religious schools, especially when those schools go to such lengths to abnegate the rational, evidence-based curriculum supposedly in place in public schools.

And this is where it really starts boiling my blood. They get to use their own text books. So, yes, I understand there might be some inaccuracies in public-school textbooks, but they do not willfully distort history, economics and mathematics to fit their narrow, religiously strangled worldview.

For one, of the 119 (mostly Christian) participating schools, Zack Kopplin, a gutsy college sophomore who’s taken to Change.org to stonewall the program, has identified at least 19that teach or champion creationist nonscience and will rake in nearly $4 million in public funding from the initial round of voucher designations.

Many of these schools, Kopplin notes, rely on Pensacola-based A Beka Book curriculum or Bob Jones University Press textbooks to teach their pupils Bible-based “facts,” such as the existence ofNessie the Loch Ness Monster and all sorts of pseudoscience that researcher Rachel Tabachnick and writer Thomas Vinciguerra have thankfully pored over so the rest of world doesn’t have to.

Let’s just look at a tiny few of the groaners that are going to be taught — as incontrovertible fact — to a significant portion of Louisiana’s young dudes and dudettes in school.

1. Dinosaurs and humans co-existed on earth, as late as a few thousand years ago. “Bible-believing Christians cannot accept any evolutionary interpretation. Dinosaurs and humans were definitely on the earth at the same time and may have even lived side by side within the past few thousand years.”—Life Science, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2007

All this leaves aside the decades of rigorous scientific study, carbon-14 dating, all of that and it does it because a book tells them something different.

2. Slavery wasn’t that bad. “A few slave holders were undeniably cruel. Examples of slaves beaten to death were not common, neither were they unknown. The majority of slave holders treated their slaves well.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 2nd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 1991

Which little nugget of wonder and idiocy goes right along with this next, notice the scare quotes, “fact.”

3. The KKK were a bunch of all-right guys, who only wanted to reverse America’s moral decline. “[The Ku Klux] Klan in some areas of the country tried to be a means of reform, fighting the decline in morality and using the symbol of the cross. Klan targets were bootleggers, wife-beaters, and immoral movies. In some communities it achieved a certain respectability as it worked with politicians.”—United States History for Christian Schools, 3rd ed., Bob Jones University Press, 2001

Really? Really? You’ve got to wonder about the worldview of people when they try to tell us slavery wasn’t bad for the slaves and the KKK, the KKK, were only trying to help. This is outrageous! And it’s being taught as fact. I pity those poor Louisiana school children and it makes me want to smack the idiots in charge of these textbooks and schools.

All of that pales, though, next to the sheer, blinding idiocy of this next fact, in which the zealots try to cast mathematics in a religious light cause that math, it too haaaaarrrrddddd.

“Unlike the ‘modern math’ theorists, who believe that mathematics is a creation of man and thus arbitrary and relative, A Beka Bookteaches that the laws of mathematics are a creation of God and thus absolute…A Beka Book provides attractive, legible, and workable traditional mathematics texts that are not burdened with modern theories such as set theory.”—ABeka.com

ABeke.com is the website run by the people who are publishing most of these textbooks. Yeah, you read that right. Because it’s “modern” math, it’s wrong since it doesn’t acknowledge that it comes from God. I mean, really. It’s not like you can interpretate it differently. Math is plain, unvarnished fact and they’re throwing away the bits they don’t like because of a philosophical difference. That’s like saying the number 7 is immoral so we will never use it again. Which means 4 + 3 now equals 8.

Dudes, this is just plain wrong. And the scary thing is this is happening more and more, even in the public schools. You think our kids rank too low in science and math in international comparisons now? Wait until this generation starts getting tested and see how low we’re going to sink.

I would never get into any car designed by someone educated like this, or go to a doctor from this tradition, or drive on a bridge or any of a thousand occupations that rely on the practitioners knowing the difference between reality and fantasy.

You can’t make a bridge stay up just by wishing. You have to make it stay up by using mathematics and science. And these poor kids just won’t know how to do that.

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