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I have noticed that the WSJ since Murdoch shows up in Google News so much more often than a newspaper ostensibly concerned with finance normally does, and for reasons that have only tangential relevance to finance. Most of the links in Google News from the WSJ these days are for Op/Ed articles, of course, and today was no exception. The "spotlight" column of the Google News page linked to this banner:

The War Against Girls

I'll let you read it, and track down the original book it was written in response to, but what I found staggering is the public comments, particularly this one, which I will quote in total below the fold.

Are you aware how horribly "education" is screwing up the world, liberals?

minor update h/t to "swill to power" for catching a rather embarassing typo.

(Emphasis by snafubar)

Cullen Kehoe wrote:

 Interesting comments. The theme of many postings is that people need ever greater amounts of 'education' about these issues.

Americans need more 'education' about how to treat women. Indians, Chinese, everyone needs more 'education'. If everyone had a little bit more 'education' things would be so much better.

Who should do this 'educating'? It seems Western elites at the U.N. and other organizations 'educating' these folks in Asia had a hand in creating these wonderful policies 40 years ago. I love reading articles about today's politicians saying teenagers need more 'education' about their sexuality. (What teenager does not know about the birds and bees? What kind of 'education' are they talking about?)

Maybe we are just screwing up this world through our 'education' and technology. The family used to be building block of Western society and it has been nearly destroyed. For huge segments of the low and lower middle classes, they are forgoing marriage altogether choosing to just shack up for a time. Girls getting pregnant in their teens is completely normal for many Americans, just having different 'baby daddies' for their children.

That was all accomplished through a leftist 'education'. But if everybody just had a little more 'education' society would be much better off.

Because we know life was so terrible for those Baby Boomers growing up their two parent households, in those newly built suburbs, when people made a livable wage, companies still paid healthcare, there were still standards of decency, and when people still acknowledged the existence of a God and may have even gone to church.

The modern waste-land of America is so much better. Thanks hippies. Give me some more of your 'education' please?

Who knew that Bristol Palin had a "leftist" education...

All the woes of the world have been brought about by education and technology - in Cullen Kehoe's world - (and presumably the RW voices he follows espouse these views)

...and he implies that these forces - the technology and education (particularly 'leftist') that somehow ruined the idyllic life of the boomers - including the loss of 'living wage' and the demise healthcare still paid by the company - have been lost because of 'liberal' policies.

So by educating people, living wages were lost, companies stopped paying healthcare.

This, ladies and gentleman, is how America is lost. If a man like Cullen Kehoe can believe that it was through educating people that inspired, encouraged, or made abortion inevitable; if he believes that it was "leftist" policies that led to the disappearance of company paid healthcare and a living wage,

...then maybe he is right, because education surely passed over Cullen Kehoe.

Could the demonization of birth control be to blame for unplanned pregnancy?


Could the glorification of "the family" - no matter how dysfunctional - actually lead to teenage girls making a pact amongst themselves to get pregnant as a group to simply to be a "family" because a teenage girl had been led to believe that a "family" was all the world wanted from her, and without a baby she didn't have one?  

I quote the last line of the Time article about the girls:

But what does seem clear based on TIME's reporting is that some of the girls in question did at least discuss the idea of getting pregnant at the same time, and that too little was done to educate the girls on the potential ramifications of that choice.

Read more:

"little was done to educate the girls..."

Well. Really?

And so the answer must be less education.

That education is seen as an evil force, used as a pejorative, and put in quotes by the author of the comment as if it's just a phrase to be thrown around as a rhetorical football -

This may have some bearing on our current situation.

Simon and Garfunkel wrote The Boxer (1970)

such are promises
All lies and jests
Still a man hears what he wants to hear
And disregards the rest

This is hardly a condition reserved for or created by "leftists".

I present to you, sadly, not merely the dumbing down of America, but the smug confidence and arrogance that such is how it should be, and a cynical lament that we learned anything at all, for it was the suggestion that knowledge was a good thing that has surely brought us to our current levels of twisted misery.

In this curmudgeonly bloggers opinion, we are indeed "fucked", not only in deed as the writer scolds, but in practice, as the writer complains; and yet the writer of the comment, in his ignorance, has completely reversed the cause and effect that explains why.

But being ignorant, or just plain "misundereducated", he's sure he's got it all figured out. If ignorance is bliss, then willful and deliberate - enthusiastic, even - avoidance of actual facts must be better than an orgasm.

maybe that's what he's really missing?

And so it goes.

Comments are yours, I'm going outside to enjoy real birds and bees.

As an addendum, as I read this after having been posted for a while, the WSJ article and the referenced book imply that it is abortion that creates the artificial imbalance of male/females, because in paternalistic societies that try to curb population, nobody wants a girl and therefore the girls are more disproportionately aborted.

Now, take this reality at face value and realize that abortion is but means to an end; your RW Christian Gun-loving American will say "Guns don't kill people, people kill people" - therefore the "abortion" was only the tool used to accomplish the ends. As a male, I gotta ask why the world is better served by having more males - have you seen what has been done by the ones we've already got?

Again I quote Gallagher the comedian:

"It ain't the mentality, it's the men totally"

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

    by snafubar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:11:17 AM PDT

  •  education is unnecessary. (7+ / 0-)

    90% of the economy is consumed by 10% of the American public.  You probably wouldn't know that because those 10% are your betters.  

    The vast majority of the economy is produced overseas.  

    QED, 90% of the American public is redundant, "surplus population" to use a quaint 1930s phrase for it, überschüssige Bevölkerung.  Only fit to be taught the Bible to keep them out of trouble, and then consigned to penal servitude (slavery) in private sector prisons if they get upp-, er uh, out of line.

    See, it all makes sense now, doesn't it?

    Get with the New World Order or get out of the way.

    Get out of the way anyway, you are obsolete.

    Globalization Über Alles!


    (if your snark meter isn't reading off the scale, replace the batteries now)  

    •  My snark meter is fine; my outrage meter (4+ / 0-)

      fucking shattered back in the Bush years so who knows what it actually reads now.

      How George Soros is reviled the way he is but Rupert Murdoch became a silent Saint (nevermind being not an American but Aussie) is only evidence that Orwell was far more ahead of his times than originally obious.

      The Truth is what people are willing to believe as truth, it has nothing to do with facts in evidence, reason, logic, or outcome.

      Your comment is appreciated. The people who would not know it as snark (who surely aren't reading this website) are the ones that scare me.

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:46:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A lot depends on what you think "education" is for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This comes down to a simple argument.  How soon should children marry?

    If you're a conservative, you believe that children should marry somewhere between 18 and 22, so they (more likely the man) can go out, get work, and then start the important business of making babies and continuing the cultural traditions.

    If you're a "liberal elitist", you are in favor of children getting as much education as possible, delaying marriage until the mid-20s, and then carefully planning a family.

    Both of these used to work fine, until the jobs for high-school graduates went overseas.  Now, an early marriage is likely to lead to poorer living conditions for the family.

    So yeah, there's a deliberate attempt to dumb down the average American.

    "People should not be afraid of their government; governments should be afraid of their people." --V

    by MikeTheLiberal on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:38:11 AM PDT

    •  First of all, "children" shouldn't marry, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      loggersbrat, MikeTheLiberal

      adults should -

      and the age is irrelevant, what ought to be the criteria is that the two individuals are compatible with one another and - maybe even - in love.

      Marriage is not for everyone. I'm 43 and single - ask the girls I've loved why we're not married and they'll tell you I wasn't the right guy they wanted to marry.

      What if they had been cajoled, pressured, encouraged to marry me - crazy, sick bastard that I am, simply because their family or their community insisted that all must be married or else?

      Oh - silly, answered my own question - the "what if" would be a 50+% divorce rate.

      There is a deliberate attempt to dumb down the average american, but really, how much effort do you need when you consider what you're starting with? Dumb them down much more and their involuntary reflexes will cease.

      ... remember what Gallagher said about us

      "think about how dumb the average guy is, then realize that half of them are dumber than that..."

      (closes my eyes and counts down until the first mathematical pedant chimes in to tell us that the correct term for that joke would have to be "median" and then ignores me when I tell him that it's not a funny joke if most of the audience would need a math textbook to understand it)

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:05:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Education" is awareness of alternatives (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snafubar, Apost8, trueblueliberal

    The heart of actual education is awareness of all perspectives and possibilities. As such, it always undermines central authority in potentis, and that is why authoritarians hate education.

    On the small scale (small brained and small scope), dear old Dad hates the fact that junior and missy go to college and hear about the Viet Nam war's history and come back and know things other than he knows and contradict the family authority, and so dad concludes "those colleges are full of liberals."  They're not. They're full of potentialities. On the large scale, people who like obedience like populations who behave predictably and do what they're told.

    To the right, education is always a threat, because the right is about power.

    Everyone is innocent of something.

    by The Geogre on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:41:25 AM PDT

    •  indeed, but only the small brain fears education (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      because that is what brings home the reality of their own stupidity = not just to everybody else, but to themselves.

      My dad was the first to go to college; his father worked in a coal colliery as a kid picking slate off a conveyer belt.

      When my dad came home from his first semester of college, his dad was cutting risers for the back porch steps. There was a pile of scrap off to the side as he was eyeballing it and getting it wrong.

      Dad makes two measurements, uses trigonometry, lays it out with a square, and gets it perfect on the first cut.

      His father refused to talk to him for the rest of the weekend.

      I think shame has as much to do with hostility towards the younger (if smarter) generations; Bill Cosby used to do a routine about Dads (to his son):

      "I brought you into this world, and I'll take you out of it..."

      The teacher never likes to be reminded he may still have something to learn, and human nature (pride) being what it is, that usually results in bullying to the guy who tries to bring new knowledge to the conversation.

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:12:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  On the level of interpersonal? Yep. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I used to be a tech director, and I discovered early on, and told my staff: No one wants to feel dumb. Computers make people feel dumb. In a school, people who define themselves entirely by their intelligence are being told they're incompetent, and they get mad.

        The same thing happens at home. A clever child learns not to say, "You're wrong," but "We learned something new."

        I also think, though, that college or advanced degree parents tend to want to siphon off their childrens' educations ("Tell me everything you learned, so I can know it too"), where what can only be called monetary or authority trades (managers, "executives") may be resentful. This is particularly true for people who have made ethical compromises.

        Everyone is innocent of something.

        by The Geogre on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:19:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Conservs, You May Have Your 91% Tax Back, (4+ / 0-)

    your triple-sized union population back, your regulated non-free-trade domestic economy back, your anti-trust business ownership economy back, your anti-speculation finance back, your media public service requirement and ownership limitations back, your public-schools-with-no-vouchers back, and your cheap state universities fundable by working fast food back.

    We hippies apologize for every law Ronald Reagan taught us to pass.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:59:43 AM PDT

  •  I always thought the Bible was odd when.... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snafubar, Caniac41

    Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge Eden dissapeared and all the calamities of "humankind" were visited on us.
    I am an educator and find this appalling.
    This is one reason I have alway questioned Christianity.
    It seems this passage will become the anthem for the GOP/TP soon.

    Eric Cantor can kiss my big old Missouri butt!

    by cyncynical on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 08:49:27 AM PDT

  •  irony alert: "insistent" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    "Deliberate, Insistant, Dumbing Down"

    Full disclosure: I don't actually think typos have a positively correlative relationshiop to educatiom levl.

    •  I wear the cone of shame. (0+ / 0-)

      I never proofread my diaries. It just falls out of me.

      There was once a full page add at the NCState "Technician"

      the ad read

      "Proffreaders needed"

      Apparently so.

      Irony police have slapped me with a fine, no more warnings for me.

      George Orwell is banging on the lid of his coffin and screaming, "1984 was a cautionary tale, you dolts, not a motivational speech!"

      by snafubar on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:42:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Guess geography isn't taught anymore either. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Last week a Weather Channel reporter was stopping people on the street and asking a simple question.  "If it is summer in the United States, what season is it in Canada.  No one got it right!  They guessed every season but summer.  One woman replied, "How should I know -- I'm from Texas."  Dear Lord.....

    "By means of shrewd lies, unremittingly repeated, it is possible to make people believe that heaven is hell -- and hell heaven. The greater the lie, the more readily it will be believed." Adolph Hitler

    by pittie70 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 10:50:30 AM PDT

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