Texas A&M Commencement Address - DFWstangs Forums
 
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Texas A&M Commencement Address

This is another forwarded email, but this was way too good to pass up. I'd like to hear some of the board liberals weigh in on this. Julie, Weslie, gpampers, JC, etc.... It's a long read, but very detailed and thought provoking.




This Texas lawyer, himself recipient of an Honorary Degree, is obviously opinionated, but to say what he does, in a commencement address a couple of weeks ago (January, 2008), in front of a class of Texas A & M graduates, and especially the faculty, is amazing. I would have loved to have been there just to see the faculty reaction.

This should be considered must-reading for every adult in North America . It is extremely rare that anyone speaks the truth like this at any College or High School Commencement Address.

Neal Boortz is a Texan, a lawyer, a Texas AGGIE (Texas A&M), and now a nationally syndicated talk show host from Atlanta . His commencement address to the graduates of this year's A&M class is far different from what either the students or the faculty expected. His views are thought provoking.




"I am honored by the invitation to address you on this august occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown up your bloomers today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration. You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You've heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the truth to set in.

Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast... including your own assessment of just how much you really know.

So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then, compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups -- The Blacks, the Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual.

Liberals feel that their favored groups have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives and Libertarians, I among them I might add, think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but your name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now.

If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You're going to actually get a full time job!

You're also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn't going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort, but in your earnings.

Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people; an agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child; an agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist, but who just can't manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills, but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million-dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have. A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force, deadly force to accomplish its goals.

You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to.

Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can't decrease its share of your income. That power rests with him, not you.

So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes ... a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Now let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world.

First is that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity! You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. Yes, it's that liberal group identity thing again.

Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications.

Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive healthcare unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.

You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.

If the Liberal Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit. This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Former Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky. It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino, entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."

That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S. O. B.! You did this to me!"

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich.

The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich.

Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it. The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

You have heard, no doubt, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor ... there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor.

Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $ million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas , or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty."

This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it? Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. Just remember all this the next time Charles Gibson tells you about some hideous new poverty statistics.

Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to grow and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

I'm about to be stoned by the faculty here. They've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going to get. That's OK, though. I still have my PhD. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal with life, or the truth So, get over it.

Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.


You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.

When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the country. If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.

Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What you earn is yours. Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,

Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.

Use wisely your power of choice.

Go the extra mile .. drive home in the dark.
Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can.

Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.

Class dismissed.

http://www.barefootsworld.net/commencement.html
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 07:55 AM
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"Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection."

If you're from Kenya, you may think otherwise. (this response was in the realm of civil discourse. no rats were killed, just severely critisized.)
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 08:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bcoop
If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position.

No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses.

You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so.

Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive healthcare unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof.




That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S. O. B.! You did this to me!"

The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms.

The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.


Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.
These are my favorite highlights.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 09:04 AM
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Great Read.

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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 10:39 AM
 
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Very interesting speech from a very conservative perspective. I understand and agree with the concept of individual responsibility. I've never agreed 100% with any particular group or political party - I am my own individual and my political views are quite simple:

I think the U.S. government acts too much like an international policing organization, and I believe it is to the detriment of our future as Americans. I believe that cooperation and collaboration earn more respect.

Our nation is a melting pot of cultures and religions, and I believe our government should strictly adhere to a separation between church and state. I respect all religions, but agree with none of them. I think the relationship between church and state as it stands now is toxic, especially when my President makes decisions based on discussions with his God.

I think the current prison statistics in America are appalling and provide a clear indication of failure in our society. I believe the government should step in with programs to decrease the number of individuals in prison - programs that work. (side note: I'm founder of an NGO that addresses this problem, but it is too large to handle without government support).

I believe that diversity is a good thing when combined with individual contribution and character. I do not believe that anyone should be awarded anything solely based on their race, gender, or any other diversity, just as I do not believe anyone should be denied anything based on the same. If you want it, you must earn it. Equal opportunity is important.

I do not believe the government should provide free health care to all Americans, but I do believe it should step in and regulate the health care industry in a way that allows any taxpayer or working citizen access to insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. I do not feel sorry for anybody who has access to health insurance, but "can't afford it" even though they have new cars, cell phones and big screen TVs.

I do not like the practice of wealth re-distribution that our country adopted long ago, but I do agree that social welfare programs are necessary. I also believe that we need a shock to the system and extreme reformation. I am not against individual repayment of government assistance, community or military service in exchange for assistance, or time limits and dollar amounts "not to exceed" for government assistance. There are too many people that take advantage of the welfare system in this country, and they should face severe penalties.

Education in this country is a disgrace and it should be at the top of everyone's list of priorities to fix it. Each child is an individual, and as such, should be taught based on his/her learning style instead of in a standardized fashion. Teachers should be compensated far more than they are now, and there shouldn't be a minute of hesitation to terminate a teacher if he/she becomes complacent and ineffective.

I understand the importance of a healthy economy, but if given the choice between a healthy society or growing economy, I will choose society every time. Just because low wages, deregulation, and various other cost-cutting tactics boost the economy, it does not mean they are good for society.

If simply talking to our adversaries could possibly prevent war and the loss of countless human lives (ours or theirs), our government has the responsibility to engage in such conversations.



I could go on and on... but these are at my core. Do my viewpoints make me a Liberal? Maybe, but why would anyone spend their precious time trying to convince me that I'm wrong, or that I'll grow out of it when I enter the real world? I'm old enough to know where I stand with 100% certainty, and I will not apologize for the fact that I "feel" or "believe" too much to be taken seriously by those who "think" instead.
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weslie
Very interesting speech from a very conservative perspective. I understand and agree with the concept of individual responsibility. I've never agreed 100% with any particular group or political party - I am my own individual and my political views are quite simple:

I think the U.S. government acts too much like an international policing organization, and I believe it is to the detriment of our future as Americans. I believe that cooperation and collaboration earn more respect.

Our nation is a melting pot of cultures and religions, and I believe our government should strictly adhere to a separation between church and state. I respect all religions, but agree with none of them. I think the relationship between church and state as it stands now is toxic, especially when my President makes decisions based on discussions with his God.

I think the current prison statistics in America are appalling and provide a clear indication of failure in our society. I believe the government should step in with programs to decrease the number of individuals in prison - programs that work. (side note: I'm founder of an NGO that addresses this problem, but it is too large to handle without government support).

I believe that diversity is a good thing when combined with individual contribution and character. I do not believe that anyone should be awarded anything solely based on their race, gender, or any other diversity, just as I do not believe anyone should be denied anything based on the same. If you want it, you must earn it. Equal opportunity is important.

I do not believe the government should provide free health care to all Americans, but I do believe it should step in and regulate the health care industry in a way that allows any taxpayer or working citizen access to insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. I do not feel sorry for anybody who has access to health insurance, but "can't afford it" even though they have new cars, cell phones and big screen TVs.

I do not like the practice of wealth re-distribution that our country adopted long ago, but I do agree that social welfare programs are necessary. I also believe that we need a shock to the system and extreme reformation. I am not against individual repayment of government assistance, community or military service in exchange for assistance, or time limits and dollar amounts "not to exceed" for government assistance. There are too many people that take advantage of the welfare system in this country, and they should face severe penalties.

Education in this country is a disgrace and it should be at the top of everyone's list of priorities to fix it. Each child is an individual, and as such, should be taught based on his/her learning style instead of in a standardized fashion. Teachers should be compensated far more than they are now, and there shouldn't be a minute of hesitation to terminate a teacher if he/she becomes complacent and ineffective.

I understand the importance of a healthy economy, but if given the choice between a healthy society or growing economy, I will choose society every time. Just because low wages, deregulation, and various other cost-cutting tactics boost the economy, it does not mean they are good for society.

If simply talking to our adversaries could possibly prevent war and the loss of countless human lives (ours or theirs), our government has the responsibility to engage in such conversations.



I could go on and on... but these are at my core. Do my viewpoints make me a Liberal? Maybe, but why would anyone spend their precious time trying to convince me that I'm wrong, or that I'll grow out of it when I enter the real world? I'm old enough to know where I stand with 100% certainty, and I will not apologize for the fact that I "feel" or "believe" too much to be taken seriously by those who "think" instead.
I think... I mean I know you hit the nail on the head. Only thing I would change is
"Joey should get everything for free." needs to be added in there.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weslie
Very interesting speech from a very conservative perspective. I understand and agree with the concept of individual responsibility. I've never agreed 100% with any particular group or political party - I am my own individual and my political views are quite simple:

I think the U.S. government acts too much like an international policing organization, and I believe it is to the detriment of our future as Americans. I believe that cooperation and collaboration earn more respect.

Our nation is a melting pot of cultures and religions, and I believe our government should strictly adhere to a separation between church and state. I respect all religions, but agree with none of them. I think the relationship between church and state as it stands now is toxic, especially when my President makes decisions based on discussions with his God.

I think the current prison statistics in America are appalling and provide a clear indication of failure in our society. I believe the government should step in with programs to decrease the number of individuals in prison - programs that work. (side note: I'm founder of an NGO that addresses this problem, but it is too large to handle without government support).

I believe that diversity is a good thing when combined with individual contribution and character. I do not believe that anyone should be awarded anything solely based on their race, gender, or any other diversity, just as I do not believe anyone should be denied anything based on the same. If you want it, you must earn it. Equal opportunity is important.

I do not believe the government should provide free health care to all Americans, but I do believe it should step in and regulate the health care industry in a way that allows any taxpayer or working citizen access to insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. I do not feel sorry for anybody who has access to health insurance, but "can't afford it" even though they have new cars, cell phones and big screen TVs.

I do not like the practice of wealth re-distribution that our country adopted long ago, but I do agree that social welfare programs are necessary. I also believe that we need a shock to the system and extreme reformation. I am not against individual repayment of government assistance, community or military service in exchange for assistance, or time limits and dollar amounts "not to exceed" for government assistance. There are too many people that take advantage of the welfare system in this country, and they should face severe penalties.

Education in this country is a disgrace and it should be at the top of everyone's list of priorities to fix it. Each child is an individual, and as such, should be taught based on his/her learning style instead of in a standardized fashion. Teachers should be compensated far more than they are now, and there shouldn't be a minute of hesitation to terminate a teacher if he/she becomes complacent and ineffective.

I understand the importance of a healthy economy, but if given the choice between a healthy society or growing economy, I will choose society every time. Just because low wages, deregulation, and various other cost-cutting tactics boost the economy, it does not mean they are good for society.

If simply talking to our adversaries could possibly prevent war and the loss of countless human lives (ours or theirs), our government has the responsibility to engage in such conversations.



I could go on and on... but these are at my core. Do my viewpoints make me a Liberal? Maybe, but why would anyone spend their precious time trying to convince me that I'm wrong, or that I'll grow out of it when I enter the real world? I'm old enough to know where I stand with 100% certainty, and I will not apologize for the fact that I "feel" or "believe" too much to be taken seriously by those who "think" instead.

I constantly read how the Liberals never speak up and when one does, no one seems to have anything to say.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 12:41 PM
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 12:42 PM
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Very interesting post from a very liberal perspective.

We will have to agree to disagree on several points. If America doesn't "police" certain areas, anarchy and wars would erupt overnight. If you're okay with the death that would ensue, you're either not really a liberal or you didn't think the issue all the way through to its conclusion.

I haven't seen any law get written that reference anyone's religion. Why do you think "liberal" and "conservative" Supreme Court justice appointments are considered so critical? Lawmakers pass laws that favor their moral compass. I know where you're going with Bush and his embryonic stem cell research "BAN" (not a ban at all, read up on it) etc., but I have yet to see any laws that tell you what church to attend.

Teachers get paid $60k for nine months of work. If they want to find temporary jobs the other three months so they can have a "reasonable" wage then they can. In fact, if it pays enough, they can have that job year-round. I don't feel sorry for anyone's career decisions.

Some kids are dumb. We should never put the education system in reverse to cater to them and increase passing percentages. Let them work the fields, sorry.

You said "just because low wages, deregulation, and various other cost-cutting tactics boost the economy, it does not mean they are good for society". What is the alternative? Government interference in all facets of society to promote a consistent standard-of-living for all citizens, no matter their input into the system? Think about what you are saying. I think we got to see what that led to in Russia, a bunch of vodka-drunk peasants with no jobs. Capitalism rules, I give you Exhibit A: United States socioeconomic dominance prior to LBJ's Great Society.

I could go on and on as well...

Last edited by 46Tbird; 11-12-2008 at 12:48 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 01:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by 46Tbird
If America doesn't "police" certain areas, anarchy and wars would erupt overnight. If you're okay with the death that would ensue, you're either not really a liberal or you didn't think the issue all the way through to its conclusion.
While I don't want war and death to ensue and think our government should do everything it can to prevent it, I also think diplomacy should come first. This ties into the concept of speaking with our adversaries. Why can't we have a good relationship with leaders that do not agree with our politics or ideas? Being respected in the international community leads to open open minds and a willingness to negotiate and compromise. I don't claim that it works 100% of the time, but I don't think it should be discounted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 46Tbird
I haven't seen any law get written that reference anyone's religion. Lawmakers pass laws that favor their moral compass. I know where you're going with Bush and his embryonic stem cell research "BAN" (not a ban at all, read up on it) etc., but I have yet to see any laws that tell you what church to attend.
You are absolutely right - there isn't a specific law that tells us how to worship, and I'm grateful for that. I have no concerns about the government taking away this freedom, but as a person who questions religion anyway, I tend to question anybody that speaks to a God for the answers to political issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 46Tbird
Teachers get paid $60k for nine months of work. If they want to find temporary jobs the other three months so they can have a "reasonable" wage then they can. In fact, if it pays enough, they can have that job year-round. I don't feel sorry for anyone's career decisions.
I don't feel sorry for them either, but I see more value in the work they do for our future than $60k/year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 46Tbird
Some kids are dumb. We should never put the education system in reverse to cater to them and increase passing percentages. Let them work the fields, sorry.
Funny, my concern is for the "smart" kids. Why should they be held back by low standards and expected to only perform within passing percentages? The system currently teaches to the average student, and forgets to capitalize on the intelligence of the exceptional ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 46Tbird
You said "just because low wages, deregulation, and various other cost-cutting tactics boost the economy, it does not mean they are good for society". What is the alternative? Government interference in all facets of society to promote a consistent standard-of-living for all citizens, no matter their input into the system? Think about what you are saying. I think we got to see what that led to in Russia, a bunch of vodka-drunk peasants with no jobs. Capitalism rules, I give you Exhibit A: United States socioeconomic dominance prior to LBJ's Great Society.
My point is that boosting the economy is great, but there must be consideration for the effect on society as a whole. There should be a balance.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 01:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Weslie

Funny, my concern is for the "smart" kids. Why should they be held back by low standards and expected to only perform within passing percentages? The system currently teaches to the average student, and forgets to capitalize on the intelligence of the exceptional ones.


I'm going to respond to this one, as it's about the only one I have time for right now. I'm taking a quick break, and I've got to get my ass to downtown Dallas before rush hour starts. That said......


Horseshit! There are programs within public education, that cater to the "smart kids". I know first hand, as I was in every last one of them when I was in school. Whether it's Eureka (what it was called when I was in elementary), Honors classes, Advanced Placement, or concurrent enrollment with the local community colleges. It's the middle of the road kids, that are being held back by the dumbasses. The kids that underachieve, and don't pursue Honors and AP classes, that are effected by throwing in the curve. And really, if it's that big of a concern that your "smart kid" is being held back, there are a plethora of Private schools. Kenny has never stepped foot in a public school, and if I have things my way, he never will. If your local private school isn't up to your standards, you can always do as we did with Kenny this year, and home school. Basically, I look at it like this. It's YOUR child. It's your child that goes through school to be prepared for life, or suffer the consequences, which in life, is failure. When the consequences are so great, why leave it to chance? School is no different than any other branch of 'public service'. It's a big, fat, failure. But, we live in America. We have the freedom to pursue other options. It's not the govt's job to make sure YOUR child is best prepared to succeed in life.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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You're right, Brent. There are countless programs out there for GT kids - some better than others. There are also options like private school and home school - which are not feasible for many families. And maybe schools are not teaching to the average students, and instead are focused on the low-performing ones - which is a problem in itself.

You and I both know that too many parents leave their child's education (and parenting, in many cases) to the system. It's unfortunate, but it's a fact. My children certainly won't need the government to prepare them for success, but there are children that do, and it is no fault of their own.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:00 PM
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Just an aside, Boortz never actually gave this at a commencement.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/boortz.asp

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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:06 PM
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Did you just agree with him and not admit that your statement was incorrect?

Clarify: Smart kids are not GT (Gifted and Talented), in your mind?

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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by VETTKLR
Did you just agree with him and not admit that your statement was incorrect?

Clarify: Smart kids are not GT (Gifted and Talented), in your mind?
I don't see how my statement was incorrect. I know there are GT programs, but I do not agree with the way many of them function, and even with these programs, there is still a standard of teaching to a group instead of to the individual. In my opinion, that is a fundamental flaw in the education system. Individuals learn in different ways, and should be taught accordingly.

And to clarify: No, it is a fact that "smart" and GT are not one in the same. I am using GT as a reference to the program and not necessarily the child. I know plenty of "smart" kids that cannot get into a GT program for reasons beyond their control, and those students are thrown into regular classrooms and left to flounder. Too bad for them that mommy and daddy can't afford to send them to private school, I suppose.
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weslie
Very interesting speech from a very conservative perspective. I understand and agree with the concept of individual responsibility. I've never agreed 100% with any particular group or political party - I am my own individual and my political views are quite simple:

I think the U.S. government acts too much like an international policing organization, and I believe it is to the detriment of our future as Americans. I believe that cooperation and collaboration earn more respect.
I kind of agree/disagree with this point. I think we need to back off from the policing and let other countries do their thing, until it directly affects then we get involved in an overboard fashion. We have the power and shouldn't be afraid to use it when required. I do think we could co-exist better that way and those that rule with violence would respect our ability to use violence when required.

Quote:
Our nation is a melting pot of cultures and religions, and I believe our government should strictly adhere to a separation between church and state. I respect all religions, but agree with none of them. I think the relationship between church and state as it stands now is toxic, especially when my President makes decisions based on discussions with his God.
I think the church/state argument gets twisted. For some reason people have taken on the stance that religion should have no place in politics, those in office, etc. Which I'm convinced is gov't getting involved in religion, as is the case with prayer in school, at events, and so on.

I agree with you on the melting pot, but that has changed as well, people used to come to this country and take on the views and values of this country. People would even give up family names. We have become multi-cultural and that is a big problem. We are losing our identity to embrace the identities of other countries. Which means that at some point, the ideals that America has held so dearly for so long will cease and we will become a 3rd world shithole. There are set traditions, beliefs, core values and procedures that need to be enforced. Simple things like English being the official language. People coming here need to embrace this country since they left the cesspool they were living in. Now you have groups moving in and maintaining the views of which they fled from. Much like Californication, when these people get involved with the community and politics they start turning this great country into the place they couldn't wait to leave. This is not good on many many levels.

Quote:
I think the current prison statistics in America are appalling and provide a clear indication of failure in our society. I believe the government should step in with programs to decrease the number of individuals in prison - programs that work. (side note: I'm founder of an NGO that addresses this problem, but it is too large to handle without government support).
I agree with you. They need to make prison hard and make it a situation where people don't want to return. I think the Soviets had this one dialed in All prisons should be located in Northern Alaska.

Quote:
I believe that diversity is a good thing when combined with individual contribution and character. I do not believe that anyone should be awarded anything solely based on their race, gender, or any other diversity, just as I do not believe anyone should be denied anything based on the same. If you want it, you must earn it. Equal opportunity is important.
In other countries people live with one another. Over here diversity is preached so we feel like we are forced to live with one another.
Based on what you say, affirmative action needs to go away. I also think a lot and by a lot I mean most problems with the different races can be blamed on 1) The government and 2) white people, since the two combined have a long standing practice of telling the minority races that they aren't as good as whites therefore they need a hand out to get a hand up. That needs to stop. Blacks have the same choice as everyone else to fight for their piece of the pie.
Welfare also needs to be severely limited and capped and there need to be measures put in place where getting a handout isn't very comfortable.

I have two friends that are African-Americans, by this, I mean they were born in Africa and moved here. One is a white guy born in Kenya that joined the British SAS, the other is from Liberia and was considered a 'have.' They don't talk about diversity or groups being forced together. Both of them also state the disgust that 'Africans' have of black Americans. They view them as very privileged and don't understand their complaining when they are making good money from the government, drive new vehicles, wear designer clothes, sport jewelry etc, when the Africans shit in a pit that uses push sticks, bath using dirty water in a bucket and standing on a piece of rubber and starving most times to hopefully make it to the next meal.

Quote:
I do not believe the government should provide free health care to all Americans, but I do believe it should step in and regulate the health care industry in a way that allows any taxpayer or working citizen access to insurance coverage at a reasonable cost. I do not feel sorry for anybody who has access to health insurance, but "can't afford it" even though they have new cars, cell phones and big screen TVs.
I agree with most of this. I also believe that a lot of the cost associated with medical services is due to the nature of the insurance companies. Even up until a few years ago there was a discount for cash pay, but a lot of Dr.'s have gotten to the point where they charge full price to cash customers because the insurance companies are screwing them over.

Quote:
I do not like the practice of wealth re-distribution that our country adopted long ago, but I do agree that social welfare programs are necessary. I also believe that we need a shock to the system and extreme reformation. I am not against individual repayment of government assistance, community or military service in exchange for assistance, or time limits and dollar amounts "not to exceed" for government assistance. There are too many people that take advantage of the welfare system in this country, and they should face severe penalties.
I agree with you on welfare programs. They became necessary when people became accustomed to them. Now people milk the system and it would take a massive reformation of the system to get people off of welfare. As I stated earlier, people on welfare need a cap of the benefits they receive and there do need to be some type of job training or education initiatives put in place to get these people on their own feet and making money instead of sucking it up. But I feel on a very strong level that our government would prefer more people to be on the tit of the government because it gives them massive control over a huge chuck of the population.

Quote:
Education in this country is a disgrace and it should be at the top of everyone's list of priorities to fix it. Each child is an individual, and as such, should be taught based on his/her learning style instead of in a standardized fashion. Teachers should be compensated far more than they are now, and there shouldn't be a minute of hesitation to terminate a teacher if he/she becomes complacent and ineffective.
The education of my kids is extremely important to my wife and myself. This is the reason she started a private school based on a university model (UMS) system to insure our kids aren't subject to the piss poor education at public schools or a set of believes that I don't adhere to.
I am also completely disgusted with the way schools handle education. Instead of forcing the dumb kids to catch up with the intelligent kids, they force the bright ones to dumb down their abilities so the idiots don't feel bad. Or like the illustrious DISD did and putting into place a system where 1/2 right gets the job done. See how well, outside of government work, someone will do where only 50% is required of them.
I also agree that teachers need more money.

Quote:
I understand the importance of a healthy economy, but if given the choice between a healthy society or growing economy, I will choose society every time. Just because low wages, deregulation, and various other cost-cutting tactics boost the economy, it does not mean they are good for society.
I believe these two are directly connected. Usually people that are growing their own economy are healthier, happier and better off due to their own efforts. If you look at countries with socialized health care the quality of life sucks because people are having to wait for care, they also become slaves to a failed system and work to provide for others. I don't mind being charitable and would say with absolute confidence that I give more money than most people in this country can even begin to understand, but if I'm forced to give more to the entity known as government I'll have to start cutting back on donations.

Quote:
If simply talking to our adversaries could possibly prevent war and the loss of countless human lives (ours or theirs), our government has the responsibility to engage in such conversations.
With some of our enemies this will not work. Muslims live the mantra of rule by force and the only language they understand is violence. Niceness or diplomacy is viewed as weakness. Think of two dogs, the one that wins the fight wins the submission of the other dog. They are viewing this as a religious war and the only path they think of is victory. So either we win or they win.

Quote:
I could go on and on... but these are at my core. Do my viewpoints make me a Liberal? Maybe, but why would anyone spend their precious time trying to convince me that I'm wrong, or that I'll grow out of it when I enter the real world? I'm old enough to know where I stand with 100% certainty, and I will not apologize for the fact that I "feel" or "believe" too much to be taken seriously by those who "think" instead.
You have some ideas on both sides of the aisle, which I think that most people do.

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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 03:43 PM
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My senior year I had 6 AP classes (which weren't hard themselves) and I needed one more class to fill my schedule and the only option was an on-level class. It was a complete joke. The class was loud, immature and the teacher didn't teach. She just gave us busy work out of a book. I couldn't imagine being in 7 classes like that for 4 years and be expected to go out and be a productive person.

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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-12-2008, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Weslie
I don't see how my statement was incorrect. I know there are GT programs, but I do not agree with the way many of them function, and even with these programs, there is still a standard of teaching to a group instead of to the individual. In my opinion, that is a fundamental flaw in the education system. Individuals learn in different ways, and should be taught accordingly.
Hence the aforementioned gifted and talented programs, correct? These GT programs you mention don't sound anything like I've personally seen. Perhaps it has something to do with big cities or maybe the teachers you've seen teach these classes just don't give a fuck? Just because you've witnessed flawed (in your opinion) education doesn't mean that's how it's done everywhere else. Believe in the fact that their are educators out there that reach out to individuals, and not just one way of teaching that's set in stone.

Quote:
And to clarify: No, it is a fact that "smart" and GT are not one in the same. I am using GT as a reference to the program and not necessarily the child. I know plenty of "smart" kids that cannot get into a GT program for reasons beyond their control, and those students are thrown into regular classrooms and left to flounder. Too bad for them that mommy and daddy can't afford to send them to private school, I suppose.
Illustrate this factual line for the rest of the class, if you don't mind.

I see where you're using the "s around smart. If I used the international quotes sign while describing someone's kid as smart, their parents would be offended.

Not to pry, but what exactly do you do for a living? Are you a teacher, by any chance?

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GhostTX
Just an aside, Boortz never actually gave this at a commencement.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/soapbox/boortz.asp


I even searched on Snopes prior to posting. I couldn't find anything.
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 10:03 AM
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Those Aggies don't know Shite from Shinolla.
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post #21 of 21 (permalink) Old 11-14-2008, 10:46 AM
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"diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. "

Well said.
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