Alligators 'n Roadkill

Alligators 'n Roadkill
On The Road


Sunday, October 2, 2011

Who Is In Charge Here, Anyway?

"There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity." - - Robertson Davies

I was taught as a child that America was founded on a principle that while we’re all equal, we should, as a nation, always strive to do what is best for the majority of the people.  What was the phrase?  Something about “we must do the most good for the most people……..”?  That means, we do not force the majority to do a thing for the benefit of any small minority – ever!  Doesn’t anybody remember this phrase:  “Majority rules!”???  This was, of course, with the understanding that the Constitution does protect the basic rights of any minority at the same time.
So now, someone please tell me why have we allowed ourselves to be taken hostage by all these splinter groups, these minorities of ‘Mothers of left-handed, spastic mutes,” and other wacko idealists?  Why is it that we have allowed the Constitution to be so twisted that it no longer supports the ‘most good for the most people,’ but instead is now interpreted to mean the majority should now acquiesce to every demand made upon it by whatever minority screams and cries the loudest?  Worse, we pay for this with our tax dollars!  (Well, those tax dollars that are not being tossed away on yet another stupid war).
Here’s a revelation for ya:  The ADA is a very bad law.  There, I said it.  Why is it a bad law?  For one thing, it hurt a lot of businesses, especially small ones.  I recall a number of small businesses that had to shut down because they could not afford to provide wheelchair ramps, or rails and other fixtures at their entrances, or in their bathrooms, or even to set aside handicapped parking.  For another, it diverted a lot of tax dollars from being able to help a majority of people with real and pressing needs (you know, like hungry people, homeless people, people with mental illness, and like that; but those are no biggies, right?), to catering to the needs of a very small minority.  That is, frankly, un-American, and just plain dumb.
I also recall - vividly - working in a facility that had to install all the handicapped-access gewgaws, only to see them never get used.  Ever!  And, this was a Public Health Clinic!  And, when was the last time you saw a truly handicapped person park in any handicapped spot, anywhere?  For that matter, how often do you drive into a parking lot, and marvel at all the empty spaces right up close to the entrance of Wally World, or the Mall, because apparently all those handicapped folks for whom these spaces were created do not appreciate the effort that has gone into this convenience, or maybe they are staying close to home, because they can’t find a decent paying job (much like everybody else in this economy).  Or, you go into the public bathroom in a restaurant or a movie, or even a store, only to find that there is always one stall empty.  And, that is the handicapped one, right?  This whole sorry scenario is a perfect example of the majority having to give way to a minority.
Take a look at public education.  It has dumbed down over the last thirty or forty years, in response to demands by minorities of every stripe.  You have to provide ‘special education’ programs for every individual who is not quite up to average physically or mentally.  Why?  Who is really helped by these programs, and who is harmed?  As for who is helped, I’ll tell you, in one compound word:  nobody!  Who has been harmed?  All of us, since our young people can no longer compete on any level internationally.  As a result of the dumbing of America, we no longer produce well-educated anything.  It may be true that our young people are perfectly prepared for the world we are leaving them (a world where we no longer make anything except hamburgers) - a world where we no longer provide much of anything of value.  A world where they won’t have to think for themselves, because we are passing along that need, along with our ability to do so, with every new law that takes from the majority and gives to the minority.
This is wrong, and if someone does not realize this, and begin to take steps to reverse this process, you can kiss goodbye any expectation that the U. S. can hope to be a leader in any area.  We may well continue to be a world leader, but we will only lead in the lowest achievement scores, as we become a quiet backwater nation peopled by sheep, who will be little more than a mat for the rest of the world to wipe its collective feet on.
Speaking of education, I remember when a grade of ‘C’ was considered to be average, and an easy acceptance that – at the end of the day – most of us are indeed just that – average.  And, you know what?  There is nothing wrong with being average!  (That makes us, after all, a part of the majority of the people on the face of this earth!)  Sure, we can all strive to do our best, and try to achieve beyond our abilities.  But, that doesn’t mean everyone who makes the effort should automatically be granted some sort of special dispensation just because they made the effort.  That means that those who actually reached that goal, those who demonstrated that they are above average, should receive a better mark for not only their effort, but for their achievement!  (btw, in other words, a ‘B’ was considered to be a good grade).
To further illustrate what I’m talking about here, below is the Mission Statement of a school District where I once worked as a school nurse.  The district in question is the Ysleta Independent School District, located in El Paso, Texas.  They adopted this absurd statement back about ten years ago:
All students who enroll in our schools will graduate from high school, fluent in two or more languages, prepared and inspired to continue their education in a four year college, university or institution of higher education so that they become successful citizens in their community.
When they started flaunting this line of crap I was, to say the least, flabbergasted, amazed, dumbfounded, and left pretty much speechless.  I am over the speechless part by now, however.  What kind of insanity is this?  How can anyone propose that they can take a group of kids, from all walks of life, with all kinds of socio-economic, not to mention cultural differences, and accomplish such a lofty goal?!  They should have skipped all that folderol, and just settled for “successful citizens in their community,” for crying out loud!
Read my lips:  NOT everyone is average!  One minority of us is above average!  Another minority is below average!  That is life, people!  You cannot change reality, no matter what you smoked back in the 60’s!  Not everyone can graduate from high school, and we all know that.  Not everyone can learn a second language, and we all know that!  As for everyone going on to higher education, fahgeddaboudit!  Ain’t gonna happen!  Can’t happen in the real world no way, no how!  Or, to put it more simply:  You can’t fix stupid!  (OK, it is also more expensive than ever to afford a college education, so that lets a whole lot of people out, without even considering their intellectual capacity for higher education).
What’s worse, I distinctly recall, at that very same YISD, there was either a written or tacit policy that said all students were to achieve passing grades of 80 % or higher in all subjects!  No such thing as pass or fail.  There was no room for failure, even for those dummies who always do, and we all know there are more than one or two of them in any given group of students!  That was a totally unreasonable expectation!
What’s worse, what we have achieved is to cheapen the efforts of those few who are exceptionally gifted, those few who can and do better than the rest of us.  How can they avoid adopting an attitude of “why try to do well, if that dummy over there is going to get a mark nearly as good as mine, and he/she won’t even have to try to earn it?”  Doesn’t anybody remember when grades in school were earned?
I have preached along these lines before:  maybe, just maybe, progress is not always achieved by changing everything that we do, and the way in which we do everything.  Maybe progress should be measured by a demonstration that we can continue to produce a certain percentage of overachievers, while overall consistently producing a good crop of average achievers.  You know, that sort of status quo worked for several generations, long enough for us to show the world what a real leader is and can be.  But, someone started messing with our system, back in the 70’s and 80’s, and now, we are not a world leader, nor are we showing the rest of the world our heels, because they are overtaking us, easily.  And, guess what?  Those other countries are not necessarily using totally new methods, but some of those same methods that used to work for us.
And, now we come back to another growing minority, one that wouldn’t even exist if not for certain exceptional folks having done some exceptional things.  This is not an easy pill for some folks to swallow, but here it is:  Due to major advances in scientific research and Medicine, people are living longer overall, and, at the same time, there are fewer birth defects, and many crippling diseases have been effectively eradicated.  Because of the lower percentage of birth defects and the eradication of so many childhood diseases, we now have fewer crippled children growing up in our midst.  However, also due to advances in Medicine and Science, we also now have babies born prematurely who survive where a short fifty years ago, they would not have had much chance for survival.  Unfortunately, a portion of those who survive their premature births are left with crippling conditions.  So, we have a two-edged sword at work here.
Our very advances have created a new class, if you will, of handicapped people, and a new and slightly different minority.  I remember going to school with kids who had contracted Polio, and this left them with different levels of physical handicap.  But, today, for those who are paying attention, you will not see many mildly handicapped kids, but kids who are in need of special equipment, like motorized wheelchairs, and computerized vocoder devices that speak for them.  And, just in case you think I’ve overlooked another phenomenon of scientific progress, let me acknowledge that today we also have significant numbers of kids growing up with conditions that did not even exist a few short generations ago.  I’m talking about kids with severe allergies (in part to things that did not exist a few short generations ago) and food sensitivities (celiac disease, et al).  Some of these kids would not have survived infancy, let alone childhood, just a few generations ago. 
A significant adjustment in the world around them has been made, and is being made, for this minority.  And, a lot of that adjustment is being made under new laws that did not exist fifty years ago, and at tax payer expense.  I am not offering any specific conclusion beyond this simple observation:  that this minority does exist, and that their existence is impacting what others (who outnumber them) have to do to accommodate them.
So, where are we headed?  All I can offer is this thought.  So many things in the world seem to occur like the movement of a pendulum.  Super strict morals swings to rather liberal morals, or attitudes towards science or religion swing from acceptance to rejection, in patterns, much like the swing of a pendulum.  Maybe this current trend of the majority catering to minorities, like the sickening demands for political correctness, will gradually swing back the other way, and the majority can once again resume their role in leadership while worrying less about how they speak to that role.

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