wink ;): November 2004 Archives

Slowing down the pace

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I've been a little quiet here. Sorry. I wrote my Legislating Morality post because my school was holding a conference to discuss Gay Marriage. I figured that I would post my views before the conference so that 1) I could clarify my thoughts by writing them down and 2) practice defending my view and see where its major weaknesses are.

I had no idea how much discussion it would generate. I truly meant to keep following up on it, but there was so much of it that, when the conference was over, I just burned out on the topic.

Then the election got really close and I started writing about Bush. Now the election is over and I'm burned out on that too. And I'm rather bummed too.

Schoolwork is starting to catch up to me in a major way too.

I do, of course, still have lots to say, so I'll be posting eventually. But maybe not for a week or two.

There is of course more: The change in foreign policy towards preventative war. FMA. Bush's various unprincipled flip-flops. The way all of his (and Cheney's) best sound bites during the debates turned out to be blatant lies. The way that the campaign has been run (e.g. RNC mailings proclaiming that bible banning will be the result of a Kerry presidency. Also, attempts at vote suppresion.)

Unfortunately, I've run out of time. Well, I guess I could keep going, but it's kind of moot now that election day has arrived. I've tried to stick to the issues and avoid ad hominem attacks. I've tried to avoid conspriacy thinking. I've tried to avoid taking things our of context and makeing low blows. I've tried to avoid the extremes of the liberal arguments. I don't know how successful I've been.

Hopefully I've been able to show that you can be a rational and commited christian while not voting for Bush. (I know that Jeremy knows that. I'm hoping that more of my classmates can come to see that. ;))

Now get out there and vote (hopefully for Kerry).

No Child Left Behind. I just don't like it. That is not to say that I don't think that something needs to be done about our education system. It is to say that NCLB is not it.

(Full disclosure: my wife is a teacher.)

I have yet to talk to a teacher or shool administrator who thinks that NCLB is a good plan. While certain parts are fine, others are blatantly silly. The biggest one: the requirement that all schools must improve every year or lose funding. (note: you can dip for one year, but after that...) The crazy thing about that is that shools that are doing spectacularly well will get penalized. Say that your school is doing all that can be reasonably expected. All the students are performing well and getting great test scores. If they do not show improvement sometime in the next two years, they'll lose their funding. But a school that has no problems and is already doing great isn't going to be able to show improvement--there's nowhere for them to go. As a result, schools that are doing well are deliberately doing badly their first year of testing so that they have room for improvement. They need to do this in order to preserve their funding.

Again, I think that Bush is out of his depth. As the governor of Texas, he was able to do fine dealing with the Texas legislature. But Bush seems to be unble to deal with the much tougher adversaries on the national and international levels.

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