Educating the indoctrinated public school child *UPDATED*

My daughter’s history teacher, when pressed by her students about Sunday’s health care vote, couldn’t keep her mouth shut.  (Keeping her mouth shut would have involved saying, “This is a history class, not a politics class.  You should ask your parents these questions.”)  Instead, she blithely opined that “all civilized societies have universal health care.”

Fortunately, despite years in the public school system, my daughter is still amenable to logic.  In the face of her teacher’s certitude, I challenged my daughter with a few facts and asked a few questions.

Her: We live in a really rich place, don’t we. [I should add here that our family doesn't live in great wealth, but, living in Marin, we are definitely part of a very wealthy community.]

Me: Yes, we do, but I’m not sure how long it’s going to stay wealthy.

Her: Why?

Me: Because that new health care plan has to be paid for. How do you think they’ll pay for it?

Her: They’ll get money from somewhere.

Me: Yeah, but where will they get the money?

Her: [Blank silence.]

Me: Taxes. They have to tax people. And look around you — these are the people they’re going to tax. Also, they’re going to tax these people’s businesses. So here’s a question for you. If the government takes more money from a business in the form of taxes, that means the business has less money, right?

Her: Right.

Me: And what happens when a business has less money?

Her: It can’t pay people.

Me: Bingo. And people who don’t get paid, don’t pay taxes — so you have to tax the reach rich people and businesses even more, since they’re the ones that still have money. But you tax them enough, and they stop having money too.

Her: Oh. I hope we don’t become poor.

Me: I hope so too. By the way, your teacher said “all civilized countries” have this kind of universal health care, right?

Her:  Yes.

Me:  Did she mention some of the countries that have it?

Her:  No.

Me:  Did she tell you about North Korea?

Her:  No.

Me:  North Korea is possibly the most repressive country on earth.  They have universal health care because everything comes from the government.  Also, do you remember when Daddy and I told you about Cuba, a country that’s like an island prison?  People get on rafts on shark-invested oceans to escape it.  Cuba has universal health care.  So did the Soviet Union, another country that was a giant prison that people tried to escape.  Under their universal health care, doctors were at the bottom of the pecking order.  Patients were in rooms with 20 or 30 other patients.  The beds were filthy and had no sheets.  People’s relatives had to bring linens and clean and take care of them.  That was also universal health care.

Her:  I didn’t know that.

Me:  I bet your teacher didn’t either.  In Canada, it’s not so bad. They have clean beds and good medical practices. The problem is the waiting. Take a hip replacement (which her grandmother had, twice). In America, once they decide you need one, you can have the operation in a few weeks. In Canada, it can take years. Also, if someone is really old, even though that person is in good health, like your grandmother, they might be refused the operation entirely, because it’s a “waste” to do it on an old person.

Her: That’s so unfair.

Me: Well, that’s the kind of decision a government has to make when it has to provide health care for everyone, and the citizens are running out of tax dollars. Right now, a lot of Canadians have been coming to America for these operations, because they can’t or don’t want to wait.

Her: Oh.

Me: In England, they also have “universal health care.” They also have one of the highest cancer death rates in the Western world, endless waits, hospitals that are death traps, and a pretty unhealthy population that the government keeps trying to bully when it comes to eating and exercise (since the government is paying for everyone’s health care). Healthy people don’t mind the system, because they don’t use it. People with emergencies sometimes get good care and sometimes get bad care, so they’re kind of neutral. Sick and old people, the ones who get told by the government that they are using up too many resources, hate it.

Her: That’s awful. How can they do that?

Me: Let me ask you yet another question:  If you get bad service at Nordstrom, what do you do?

Her:  Go to Target.

Me:  That’s right.  Or you go to Macy’s or Gap, or a hundred other stores.  Here’s the next question:  If you get bad service from the government, what to do you do?

Her:  Nothing.  There’s no place to go.

Me:  Right.  And if the government is the only provider of something, and has no competition, do you think it has an incentive to do a good job?

Her:  No.

Me:  Do you think it’s its employees have an incentive to try hard or give you good service?

Her:  No.

Me:  Okay, here’s another question:  Do you think people spend years and years, and work incredibly hard, go hugely into debt at medical school to make lots of money or little money?

Her:  Lots of money.

Me:  What do you think is going to happen if the government says “We’re not going to allow you to make lots of money?”

Her:  People won’t become doctors.

Me:  Right.

Her:  Stupid Obama!

UPDATEThis story, of a public high school arranging for a girl’s abortion entirely behind her mother’s back, seems entirely appropriate for the above post.  Also, I’m not the only one struggling to stem the indoctrination tide.

Fortunately, despite years in the public school system, my daughter is still amenable to logic.  I mentioned a few facts and asked a few questions.

Me:  Your teacher said all civilized countries have this kind of universal health care, right?
Her:  Yes.
Me:  Did she mention some of the countries that have it?
Her:  No.
Me:  Did she tell you about North Korea?
Her:  No.
Me:  North Korea is possibly the most repressive country on earth.  They have universal health care because everything comes from the government.  Also, do you remember when Daddy and I told you about Cuba, a country that’s like an island prison?  People get on rafts on shark-invested oceans to escape it.  Cuba has universal health care.  So did the Soviet Union.  Under their universal health care, doctors were at the bottom of the pecking order.  Patients were in rooms with 20 or 30 other patients.  The beds were filthy and had no sheets.  People’s relatives had to bring linens and clean and take care of them.  That was also universal health care.
Her:  I didn’t know that.
Me:  I bet your teacher didn’t either.  Let me ask you a different question:  If you get bad service at Nordstrom, what do you do?
Her:  Go to Target.
Me:  That’s right.  Or you go to Macy’s or Gap, or a hundred other stores.  Here’s the next question:  If you get bad service from the government, which is the only provider around, what to do you do?
Her:  Nothing.  There’s no place to go.
Me:  Right.  And if the government is the only provider, and has no competition, do you think it has an incentive to do a good job?
Her:  No.
Me:  Do you think it’s employees have an incentive to try hard or give you good service?
Her:  No.
Me:  Let me ask you another question:  Do you think people spend years and years, and work incredibly hard, at medical school to make lots of money or little money?
Her:  Lots of money.
Me:  What do you think is going to happen if the government says “We’re not going to allow you to make lots of money?”
Her:  People won’t become doctors.
Me:  Right.
Her:  Stupid Obama.

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Comments

  1. suek says

    >>Do you think it’s employees have an incentive to try hard or give you good service?>>
     
    Be sure you manage to add in the difficulty of firing public employees who also belong to a union…

  2. SADIE says

    FANTASTIC!
     
    Print and send to all the kids in your daughter’s history class … and by all means save one for the imbecile posing as a history teacher.
     

  3. Charles Martel says

    Well, Book, I immediately saw through your Socratic ploy. Asking a mere child to answer your endless questions, and in so doing cleverly lead her to troglodyte conclusions that she thinks she has reached on her own through “logic,” is a classic white racist/elitist/sexist/homophobist/classist tactic.

    For shame. All civilized countries have ways of dealing with dissenters like you!

  4. 11B40 says

    Greetings:
     
    For a while now, I been somewhat irked by what I see as the redefinition of what a “teachable moment” is in our all encompassing media.  My understanding has always been that the teachable moment is when the one being taught is open and receptive to the information being transmitted.  Lately, it seems that the concept is morphing into when the teacher sees an opportunity to meet his/her need to impart information.  I was subconsciously looking for a clear indicator of the difference and I think your non-biblical parable  has offered one:  It’s when the teachable one asks the first question.–
     

  5. Mosonny says

    Scary part is that the rest of the class may have not had good parents to discuss this with, and would have come away with indoctrination complete.  That this kind of indoctrination is going on at all, in any class in public schools throughout the entire country, will ensure that we will be and remain enslaved by these children, who will grow up to be good little totalitarians. 

    I’m glad your daughter had someone to teach her (and that she told you about it).  But many, if not most kids, have parents at home, even well-meaning ones, that won’t understand the problem.  Heck, I work in a hospital, in an ER, and we saw all kinds of abuse and waste, much of it from government regulation, and yet, it’s taken a long time for some of my co-workers to catch on that maybe, just maybe, govt. is the cause of many of our problems and not the solution. I even have doctors I work with that don’t get it (though most do), and would have less understanding of econ 101 on this than your now-better-educated daughter.

  6. says

    Why don’t you forward a copy of this to your school’s PTA newsletter? Anonymously, of course. Because that’s what I’m going to do. I think I’ll also drop a couple of copies off at my church’s office.
     
    Keep up the great work!

  7. suek says

    A trillion has 12 zeros…
     
    I have a couple of calculators – they don’t go that high.  I sure never thought I’d have problems counting the _zeros_ on my ten fingers…!

  8. JKB says

    I’ve just been reading a book from the turn of the 20th century promoting exposure to manual training in education.  The author expounds on the ills of society and how having education grounded in the physical world can help.  What is interesting is that if you ignore that he mentions nothing after 1899, the problems in education and society have changed very little.
     
    I assume that this type of training evolved into the woodshop classes that have even faded away from education these days.  It wasn’t vocational training but a way to demonstrate to the student how their other studies can be of use in the real world and to reveal any fallacies they might develop or be taught in the theoretical education.
     
    Mind and hand [microform] : manual training, the chief factor in education – Ham, Charles Henry, 1831-1902

    “At the door of the study of the philosopher and of the laboratory of the chemist stands the artisan, listening for the newest hint that philosophy can impart, waiting for the result of the latest chemical analysis. In his hands these suggestions take form ; through his skilful manipulation the faint indications of science become real things, suited to the exigencies of human life. It is the most astounding fact of history that education has been confined to abstractions. ”

  9. suek says

    JKB…
     
    You raise a good point.  Obama wants everybody to go to college.  Leaving aside for the moment the fact that imo I think the rationale for this is be assured that everyone is indoctrinated or identified as a candidate for re-education, what is the result?  who is going to cut the lawns?  you have all those marvelous scientific researchers – who’s going to build and maintain their labs and equipment?  who’s going to resupply their measuring devices?
     
    Book…start a conversation with your husband sometime.  Mention to him that you think you need to switch your old fluorescent bulbs that use magnetic ballasts for the new ones that use electronic ones(you probably have them in your kitchen or garage).  Of course, he’ll want to know why – reasons are that the legislature has made it illegal to ballast any bulbs over 13 watts (the old four footers are 40 watts, newer ones are 34 watts, electronic ones are 32 watts) with magnetic ballasts.  You have to use electronic ones instead.  In addition, the combination of electronic ballasts plus electronically driven fluorescent lights save about 30% of the power used.  You have to reduce your footprint, after all.  (of course, this is all garbage, in the sense that electronic bulbs cost more, and electronic ballasts have a life of some 5-7 years compared to 15-20 for magnetic ones, but we’ll leave that alone for the moment).  If you can get him to consider this as a possible, now ask him when he’s going to do the job.  ‘What … me???”  well…why not?  He’s a smart man – bet he’d tell you so.  There’s no trick to the bulbs – buy new ones.  Take the old ones out and take them to hazardous waste.  (of course, if they’re broken, they can’t be recycled.  Remember that.  It might come in handy.)  Now for the ballast.  The clerks at Home Depot should be able to help him pick the right one.  Or if he doesn’t trust them, he can just read labels.  There’s a wiring diagram on the ballast itself.  How hard can it be?  those guys who usually do it – handymen – barely got out of high school.  He’s college educated, right?  So…it should be a breeze for him.  (by the way…I’d also have a good handyman or electrician lined up if he’s with you so far)  How’s he doing?  what’s his attitude?  it’s something he can’t do?  afraid to do? it’s beneath him?
    How about your cars?  Do you or he change your oil?  change tires?  Guess what – your mechanic didn’t go to college.
     
    I wonder about all those attitudes.  We send our children to colleges because we don’t want to have them digging ditches.  But the fact is, sometimes ditches _have_ to be dug.  If the elite can’t or won’t, then they have to find someone who will.  Who is that going to be?  If _everybody_ in the society is college educated, who’s going to do the dirty work?  Should we reserve those jobs for those who are mentally incompetent?  Would you want such people building/repairing your house?
    In Russia, they killed the elite.  In Cambodia they killed many, drove everyone  out of the cities and into the country,  and forced former city dwellers to farm – when they had absolutely no knowledge of _how_ to farm.  People starved.
     
    I wonder about all of these because I heard the other day that some fairly large number of tool and die shops closed in the last couple of years.  Tool and die shops make the molds/tools that are used to make manufactured items.  Assembly line items.  They went out of business because nobody is manufacturing things we use any more.  In WWII, we ramped up production.  Put people to work and made more stuff.  Now our plants are no longer operating, and worse, we’re losing the skills that make the plants operate and allow us to manufacture stuff.
     
    Is it really all that great to send all our kids to college?
     
    Y

  10. Charles Martel says

    A couple of thoughts. . .

    A few years ago I took on an editorial consulting job with a small publisher. He wanted a third eye to look at the relationship between two warring writers, as well as a revamp of the house style book and a tune-up of the editorial production process.

    Not long after I arrived, he hired a personable, intelligent young women in her late 20s, a fairly recent graduate of a 4-year school in Brooklyn. Despite her charm and smarts, it didn’t take long for me to realize that she was pretty much standard issue when it came to today’s college graduates. When she wasn’t on guard she would  speak  ungrammatically—“Me and my sister went…”–and use loopy Latinisms whenever she wrote about a topic she wasn’t confident explaining. So I had a lot of work to do teaching her basic expository writing skills. (She was a fairly good writer when it came to matters close to the heart. A self-professed feminist, her writing about her relationships with her very lovable and powerful mother and aunts was moving.) 

    Her lack of skills was something I’d seen dozens of times before, and her generic, unexamined feminism was old hat to me. But what really grabbed me was the rainy day I opened an umbrella as I was leaving her office after a short chat. She shrieked in horror, babbling that my act would bring down bad luck on us both. I laughed and started to say that surely no college graduate could possibly believe such twaddle. Then I realized she really was superstitious, so I bit my tongue. (Didn’t want to inspire any complaints about my lack of respect for “diversity.”)

    Politically this woman was a typical unthinking college clone: pro-abortion, pro-homosexual marriage, anti-Bush, pro-affirmative action, pro-steal from the rich. In short, she was a person who had NOT been educated in the true sense of that word: Latin e + ducare, literally, “to lead out of,” as in out of the prison of one’s small and solipsistic self.
    Now, multiply her by the millions and you can see that Obama is, indeed, planning what suek said, namely to use college as a means to indoctrinate the clueless ones who will keep the Democrats in power until the rotten remains of the United States  are finally occupied by the Cuban or Venezuelan armies (except in Texas).

    The other observation: The big town in Marin County, San Rafael, has a blacksmith shop on one of its main drags. It does a land office business because there are some things even a Cray supercomputer can’t figure out how to form by machine. Bookworm’s husband is probably good with his hands, but nowhere as good as this smith, whom everybody from miles around has to come see to get their smithing needs met.

    Oh, the point of this: the guy who runs the shop isn’t a college grad. If he had been, he would have been smart like them college fellers and majored in a field that was hurting for experts—say, history or communications. Instead, the doofus learns an almost unheard-of trade that no self-respecting collegian would ever take up. How stupid is that?

  11. SADIE says

    Charles Martel
     
    You can take the girl out of Brooklyn but ……
     
    Diversity challenge: If USAF has a spot for  ‘wiccan’ worship, you can be grateful that the work environment precluded a circle of stones near the water cooler.
     
    You and suek  (in Brooklyn, it’s yuz pl.) confirm that ‘higher’ education has resulted in the thinning of  oxygen in and around the brain. I shudder to think of the oxygen deprived Ivy League grads, who can’t change a tire or a light bulb, but are fired up to change the entire system in America.

  12. suek says

    And what you get when you move from Brooklyn to the deep south???
     
    Yuz all….!!
     
    Although…if you’re really from the south (I’m not, but I’ve been ejimacated), you know that “y’all is the singular, “all y’all” is the plural.

  13. says

    Apropos the value of a college education, if any . . . .  The funny thing is that my husband, when it comes to hands-on work, is a jack of no trades.  I’m the one who re-wires lamps, puts together furniture, patches things, etc.

    And lately, I really need to buff up on those skills, because I cannot get a handyman to my house for love or money.  It’s very strange.  The economy craters, construction is down, contractors are out of work, and I can’t get anyone to help replace the little things that are falling apart around my house.

    I’ve already partially replumbed under my sink, but I really didn’t want to do the whole thing myself.  Ah, well.  It just makes me more competent in my children’s eyes.

  14. says

    Suek is probably right.
     
     
    And college is just another miniature federal government itself. A black hole concerning money. You pay in and whatever you get out, is whatever you get out. Only the virtue of competition makes it functional.
     
     
    And of course, we all suspected Bookworm was the Renaissance man of the house. Right?

  15. SADIE says

    And of course, we all suspected Bookworm was the Renaissance man of the house. Right?
     
    Y, let’s make Book  the Renee-sance woman of the house – a touch of  femme fatale ; )

  16. JKB says

    I would point out that in the book I referenced, the manual training is for vocation but intellectual development.  This type of training was first set up at MIT in the late 1800s among other places.  The point was more to develop a well rounded graduate able to meet the demands life imposed.  An extra benefit was the student being comfortable handling life’s little repairs.  Abstract learning in the way of Plato is able to sustain any number of fallacies.  Try to apply that to form something physical and the ugliness of the fallacy is readily apparent.
     
    Today we have hordes of graduates who’ve never had to test their “learning” against the cruel reality of the physical world.  Even when their brilliance does crash against reality they simply assume they didn’t use enough money, have enough control or somebody didn’t cooperate rather then face the fallacy of their beliefs.

  17. suek says

    I attended my daughter’s graduation from ITT last night.  Very small class.  Most of the group was getting degrees in the Crime and Justice area.  Most were males, although one of the valedictorians was a woman – with 7 kids yet!  almost all were Hispanic or at least not caucasian.  The audience was… interesting ….  Many families, most of which appeared to be young growing families, not “just” parents.
    Not a lot of ceremony, but a ceremony, nevertheless.  I was reminded of my impressions many years ago when I first moved to this community where I live now.  I really didn’t understand why they made such a deal out of the 8th grade graduation – it’s only 8th grade, for crying out loud!  Over the years though, I learned that it was somewhat more.  We have about 45% hispanic enrollment – for many of them, it was the highest level of education members of their family had received.  Especially some 20+ years ago, many of the 45% were migrant workers – at this point, that percentage is greatly reduced.  The families are still here – but they’re permanent members of the community.  In addition to that, these kids had often started in kindergarten together and moved from that point to eighth grade together.  It’s a small school, and classes are in the 30ish level.  As they completed 8th grade, there was the feeling that they were indeed going out into the world, and this was also probably the last time that they’d have a graduation ceremony where they actually knew everybody graduating with them.
     
    I hadn’t looked at it that way.

  18. suek says

    >>The funny thing is that my husband, when it comes to hands-on work, is a jack of no trades.>>
     
    Would I be right if I assumed that he actually thinks he’s superior exactly because of that fact?
    There’s a thing in here I’m trying to remember…historical…but I can’t quite get a hold of it.  Something to do with the Egyptians.  They won wars, and took slaves.  The slaves were educated (this raises another issue – maybe that’s why they lost to the less educated Egyptians?), and the Egyptians used them for things like bookkeeping, and gradually management.  As time went on, the slaves became the ones doing all the doing, and the masters did less and less.  At some point, the slaves just told the masters to get the heck out of town, and took over.
    I suspect the books tell the story a bit more elegantly, but that’s the gist of it.   “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it”.   I don’t have a problem with education – but the question is…what is being _learned_ from the education?

  19. SADIE says

    The Obama Administration wants to make sure that tomorrow’s leaders are fully indoctrinated into the leftist philosophy of living. Part of that indoctrination now includes lesson plans offered to teachers by the Public Broadcasting Service on how to fully persuade students of their “fundamental right to health care.”
    more here:
    http://gatewaypundit.firstthings.com/2010/03/pbs-now-offering-teachers-indoctrination-materials-on-nationalized-healthcare/
    scream here:
    Use the Just The Facts chart from Yes! Magazine’s health care issue to give students an overview of the health care reform debate. Why does America spend more per capita on health care then any other nation, but still rank 28th in life expectancy? Why are insurance premiums rising so quickly? How can we cap health care spending? Is universal health insurance a tenable option in the United States? Outline the current challenges facing the American health care system.
     
    I am stammering and stuttering incensed – Yes! Magazine

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