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