Skip to comments.Americans orchestrating own doom
Posted on 10/21/2006 10:38:35 PM PDT by SmithL
The dispatches arrived in a bunch and pointed too much to the same conclusion to be coincidence. The conclusion: We're doomed. And it's not al-Qaida doing us in. We're doing it to ourselves.
In what is surely the tip of the social iceberg, a New England grade school has joined schools across the country in prohibiting the kids from playing tag at recess.
Touch football is also banned. The schools are growingly - and legitimately - fearful of lawsuits over playground accidents by litigious parents. Seesaws and jungle gyms have long since disappeared from playgrounds.
But there is probably more at work here than just fear of the courtroom: the kids' feelings. Remember a few years ago when the schools started banning dodge ball? The problem was, dodge ball was exclusionary, the point being to knock people out of the game at great risk to their positive self-image.
The problem of unsupervised games and skinned knees may be self-solving because surveys show recesses are shriveling, with the schools arguing they need that time to prepare their students for the tests mandated by the No Child Left Behind Act.
So how's that working out?
Not so hot, according to a Brookings Institution study. It found that, while American eighth-graders professed enjoyment of math and confidence in their math skills, they didn't perform as well as foreign eighth-graders, who were not so happy and confident.
Summed up one account: "Even the least confident students in Singapore outscored the most confident Americans."
Countries like the United States that teach math by trying to relate it to daily life using real-life examples have the worst scores. There's a two-word explanation for that: binomial theorem. When was the last time you had occasion in daily life to use that basic first step in introductory algebra? The more math you learn, the more remote it is from real life.
The final threads of this tapestry of doom came together when the Associated Press filed a story about an NFL program to help combat the epidemic of childhood obesity, a condition caused in part, the experts say, by a lack of exercise like, oh, say, playing tag or dodge ball.
The program aims to work physical activity into the classroom. Reported the AP:
"New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning dropped by a Manhattan public school this week where he showed eighth-graders how to add some exercise to their math class. He had them perform squats, then count their own heart rates for 15 seconds and multiply by four to calculate their heartbeats per minute."
So here we have eighth-graders - 13-year-olds - being challenged to count into the double digits and then multiply that number by four.
A science lesson would teach the dangers of cholesterol and the importance of healthy hearts by having the kids play - get this - tag. Imagine what it will do to the self-esteem of an eighth-grader who in a classroom game of tag is chosen to be cholesterol, heart-clogging fat.
We will ask ourselves how we got to be so fat and stupid. And the answer will come: Education.
Indeed, the descendants of the flinty New Englanders who chased the British redcoats from Lexington Green and Concord Bridge back to Boston are prohibited from playing all unsupervised "chasing games."
There is likely some advantage in approaching a difficult task with humility and trepidation, but we do lead the world, however, in instilling self-esteem.
If you're really good, there are only about five other people in the world you can talk to, and none of them, very likely, is a Singaporean eighth-grader.
As a right, rather than something that is earned.
When the pussification of America is complete, I'll be like Stallone in "Demolition Man". The one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind.
Imagine the self esteem of the poor b*stard that was the last one tagged "IT".
HE/SHE must go thru the rest of their lives being "IT".
>>When the pussification of America is complete, I'll be like Stallone in "Demolition Man". The one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind.<<
You mean in that future world were 'CONTACT SPORTS' have been banned because they are too agressive - -
That future was described by the character played by Wesley Snipes as a "pussy-whipped [faggot], Brady Bunch version of itself"
The word: faggot, was in the movie when it was first released in theaters, then it was edited out .
And my reply would be...."Get over IT." ;)
What kind of panty-waist kids are we raising these days? Heck, our ancestors are getting more exercise than the kids these days, from all the spinning they're doing in their graves!
Home-schooling is looking better all the time.
Our past, the blood, sweat and tears of our forefathers, who only tried to "make a better life" for their children, us, has become our decadence. Technology, market and societal advancement (although I don't necessarily mean that as a positive), and work ethic, have led us to become tired, easy to manipulate, dismissive, and as such FAT and STUPID. Yes, FAT and STUPID.
Where are all the kids playing football in vacant lots? Where are all the kids playing street hockey? I don't see it in my bucolic little corner of the country. I'd gladly wait for the kids to get the net out of the way of my car as long as they were playing outside. No, their ears are glued to their stupid cellphones, walking up and down my neighborhood streets late at night coping feels of one-another, spewing filth and practicing the art of seduction at 13.
Why? Because for 40 years the democrats wanted to create a society of sheep who fall for their brainless manipulations and "require" government direction at every step in their lives? Well, yes, but, WHERE WERE YOU? How did you vote? Did you care? Did you say something, write a letter, perhaps, *gasp* PROTEST? Now we have to clean this mess up. But we can't yet, now we have China, Iran, N. Korea, and Russia, eyeing us up, calculating our weaknesses - Russia and China are fairly quiet, most likely the ones controlling the experiments against us, and there's NO QUESTION their pawns, Iraq and N. Korea, are the "media" being used to conduct these experiments on US. Right? Do we take of "terrorism" (and I'm not suggesting terrorism is not real or an immediate threat, but I AM suggesting that its present scope is not the product of its own momentum) and then take care of home?
NO! Ignoring the issues of our weaknesses as a society NOW will lead to a failure to prevail in ALL AREAS of our future survival as a nation. We must put more stock in the clarion calls an articles like this are. We must use this skill we've all developed to multi-task for pleasure and commerce to repair and fortify our society!
All things operate on cycles, social and political trends are not immune. The pendulum will only swing so far.
check out this article on AntiMullah about how we should wake up.
The one-eyed man is king in the land of the blind.
Uh no, he's usually diagnosed as a pyschotic and shot full of thorazine, but have fun anyway.
They can all beat us over the head about tax cuts and tax hikes and more money for this and less money for that, but all that matters not if we're all dead.
I had the good fortune to be a kid in the 50's. Since we didn't have any goodies like computers and cell phones, we played outside all the time. You name it, and we probably played it.
I was only in the house to eat, sleep or to do homework. We were outside, even in the winter.
We got to know our neighbors and built strong relationships with other kids. We also learned the value of hard work and practice to improve one's sporting skills.
Probably caused my mom a headache cleaning all those clothes. Most moms didn't have to work in those days. She could stay around and keep an eye on us.
Since most kids don't get down in the dirt every day, their immune systems are probably suffering along with their self esteem and self worth.
Thanks for the ping and I'll check out the article on the site.
I think this is and has been culturally specific.
I don't have specific stats but, generally speaking, I believe some Asian countries such as Japan, China and Singapore (even a European country such as Germany) are much more concrete-oriented & 'perscriptive' - subjects such as high level math and physics are much more valued and encouraged. The U.S. is more abstract-oriented in comparison.
Wow! That is a real eye opener.
GOD AND MAN IN THE SKINNER BOX
Attending college in the 60's, I was exposed to the writings of BF Skinner in a mandatory Psychology 101 class. At the time I was struck by the time and energy the department devoted to this man and his theories. Essentially, he put a chicken in a box and taught it to play baseball by rewarding it with feed. When the chicken pressed a lever on cue, or ran a base, it got a pellet. Skinner was able to train animals to a remarkable degree with this method of positive reinforcement. He also demonstrated that negative reinforcement, such as electric shocks, was not as effective as positive reinforcement in controlling animal behavior.
So far, Skinner has not done the world much harm and perhaps he has even contributed something useful if you are Siegfried and Roy. But it soon became clear that Skinner and my psych professors had ambitions grander than dog and pony shows when they required a reading of Skinner's Walden Two. Here Skinner extrapolates his findings from chickens to people and causes real mischief. Essentially, he postulates that the humsn animal is a TABULA RASA, neither good nor evil, which can be conditioned into good behavior. There are no evil people just poorly conditioned behavior. All that is required to have generations of well behaved human chickens is a grand enough Skinner box to positively reinforce positive behavior. Of course, it does not take a socialist to see that it would take more than a village, indeed it would take a federal burocracy, to build and maintain a big enough box.
The mischief comes in when this thinking invades the penal (whoops, I mean corrections)system or the educational establishment and so on. Praeger, in his wonderful essay, has alluded to the effects on education of this baleful presumption about the nature of man. He is absolutely right when he says: you a mess of Wu
No issue has a greater influence on determining your social and political views than whether you view human nature as basically good or not. (Praeger's comment in an article which prompted this post)
This is why liberals loathe believing christians. This is why liberals are collectivists and conservatives are individualists. This is why the Democrat party slices and dices the electorate into groups. This is why Patty Murray said what she said. The old adage that liberals love mankind in the abstract and as a group (read African-Americans) but despise them on an individual level finds its origins here. This is why believing Christians and believing Jews are finding that they hold much in common and have a common philosophical enemy in secular Jews and goyische pagans. The application of this insight is almost endless.
must read bump
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." -Manuel II Paleologus
Personally, I love statistics. Some people hate them. I can understand why. Statistics are an analytical prehensile limb but how coordinated is the mind that employs them? I would look at tools instead of grades thats right, Id drop the usual infatuation with grades and curriculums and instead look at tool sales. Think about it, who actually uses physics every day? Im an engineer and enjoy solving high level math and physics problems but let me tell you a secret the guy with the tools gets the job done. More often than not, its the guy working the machines who offers a new destiny. Afterward, the more politically apt engineers and managers inject the creative genius of their subordinates into the appropriate stream of consciousness. I think that the mechanics of change in society have similarities be they products, law or any other aspect of culture.
Case in point; the apartheid regime of South Africa had to go. That was a required change. Post revolutionary governmental incompetence is an entirely independent issue. The Truth and Reconciliation project was and remains a model for post revolutionary politics. What remains to be resolved in South Africa does not absolve the apartheid regime of its dysfunction.
>>Is it really even possible for a "faggot" to be "pussy whipped"? It seems to me the whole notion of being "pussy whipped" presupposes the condition of having the aforementioned portion of the female anatomy conditionally withheld until some task the aforementioned female wishes one to perform is fulfilled, hence holding no sway over someone who is of the homosexual persuasion.
I was making a reference to th dialog in the movie !
The original cut of DEMOLITION MAN
I know, I just was being a wise-ass. Demolition Man is one of my favorite movies.
>>Case in point; the apartheid regime of South Africa had to go. That was a required change. Post revolutionary governmental incompetence is an entirely independent issue. The Truth and Reconciliation project was and remains a model for post revolutionary politics. What remains to be resolved in South Africa does not absolve the apartheid regime of its dysfunction.<<
Nor should aparthied be used as a scapegoat or source of excuses for all that has gone wrong South Africa since 1995 .
In many ways, South Africa was better off under that old regime, than the current corruption, ineptitude and lawlessnes that marks every and now all Black Majority Ruled African nations .
The fall of aparthied gave that Mugabe in Zimbawe the license to turn his government into another Robber Barron potentate, so typical of all Sub-Saharan countries .
Black Majority Rule = Mob Rule .
Both there and what we've seen in New Orleans in the aftermath of Katrina .
With smaller families, the kid density in neighborhoods means fewer pick up games. People decry all of the organized sports kids are playing these days, but face it, it's gonna be organized to get enough kids together in one place to play some sports.
During the summer, my young adult sons regularly play pick up games of baseball (hardball) in the city, where they live. Basketball is the game of choice for most city kids these days.
Where are all the kids playing street hockey? I don't see it in my bucolic little corner of the country.
My sons played it some, as well as many other sports, both organized & pick up games.
As to the article, mention of binomial theorem, don't know about the rest of the nation's schools, but I know I had to relearn trinomials to help my sons with their homework. Then again, I had a recent conversation with one of my sons about converting numbers into various numeric bases. During the drive between my house & the store, I taught him how to convert numbers into base three, base eight & then some others which were higher than ten. Learning can & does take place outside of school...
George Thurgood & The Destroyers .
The best engineers are those that can also turn the wrench. A wrench man will know a standard thread pitch, while a non-wrench engineer will read in one of his books what the best pitch should be for an application, even if a bolt has to be specially made to comply with his design.
Yes, I wasnt suggesting that concrete is more valuable than abstract or even vice versa.
Personally and as a psychologist, I agree with you regarding 'tools' versus 'grades'. I don't think that they teach or put sufficient emphasis on practical or softer skills in schools or universities even in some Western countries. The MBA program, for example, is an exception.
"Tools" or to use a psych term "competencies" such as: influencing skills, leadership, creativity, innovation, initiative, tenacity, etc. are largely abstract and are essential for making things happen; not only in personal/social life but also professionally in many fields.
A balance between abstract and concrete is critical. Concrete gives one a model or a framework, whereas abstract enables one to successfully apply the concrete. I also believe that, unfortnately, concrete subjects (specifically cognitive abilities) are viewed and in most cases are easier taught. The ability to act in more abstract terms is more time consuming and needs to be continuously nurtured from a young age.
Btw - I like statistics too and statistics show that statistics are simply indications a means to an end, not an end in itself. It is the analysis, interpretation and application of stats that matter the most.
check out this article on AntiMullah about how we should wake up.
Thanks so much for the ping!!!
" They are indoctrinating our children to wait for help rather than learn how to survive on their own in the world. "
How right you are!!
In the coming Depression (and there *will* be one), it will be interesting to see our population separate into two distinct groups: Those who "do", and Those who "have done for them".
Imagine Post-Katrina on a national scale -- millions upon millions (unprepared/unable/unwilling to "do for themselves") helplessly, stubbornly, waiting for - DEMANDING - *somebody* to rescue and take care of them. And dying in their multitudes when the help and care is not forthcoming.
"Dependency" is *not* a survival trait.
Question: How do American home schooled children come out on these world tests?
"No playing tag, and no competition in any sport for that matter. In fact, no competition - PERIOD! We are all winners here. I have ZERO TOLERANCE."
So much for teaching self-esteem...
Teach them something useful and self-esteem will come on it's own.
PING = Later
Thanks for the ping.
As the great swamp philosopher, Pogo, once said: "We have found the enemy and they are us."
I guess the days of kids playing Smear the Queer are over,replaced by the more acceptable"Kiss the Queer".
We accept that. Our children are doing very well scholastically, I'm just pointing out that it is only because we put so much effort into what takes place outside of school. It sure as heck isn't because of the school.
What irritates me is when I compare the quality of education I received compared to what my children get. My parents never had to worry or work so hard as far as my school work. They were wonderful and supportive, but I don't recall them needing to spend 16-20 hours a week on my back asking "Do you understand?". Now we are seeing stuff that many people would assume are easily taught being entirely ommitted, and children being left with complex homework and no method to discern how to do it. Good review for us, but extremely troubling that the children don't get at least the basics at school. We are banding together with several parents in the same class and comparing notes on the teacher (who is highly rated!), the homework and general comprehension of the children. We are coping, but it's really concerning.
Thank God for our tutor, who is as devoted and wonderful as we could hope for. My son's getting highest marks because of her and his mother. I help too, but can't compare my effort to theirs.
When the kids get older, we'll consider the alternatives for education. Right now we can handle it. Later the $1,600 a month minimum (2 kids) for private school may be the option we take unless we can get involved with a good home schooling group. We'll see. For now, we want to focus on getting all the basic down.
Demo man is one of the scariest movies because it is slowly coming true.
Just as bad, those flinty New Englanders are about to re-elect a lying, murdering, woman-abusing, pile of cr*p to the U.S. Senate. Maybe America is lost.
A beard and no teeth.