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Here's some advice from a teacher in the public schools of Philadelphia to everyone who wants to know what's really wrong with the whole system.

There are several truly important factors bogging down an educational system that is being led to the chopping block by politicians and capitalists who really don't want it to exist anymore, and here they are, one by one:

Politicization of Education:
At the heart of the American education system is something called the School Board. Often seen as a springboard for beginning political careers, this morass is sometimes staffed by people you'd never expect - nor want - on a board of education. I've seen school districts with board members who never finished high school and were vocally dead-set against providing students with access to various viewpoints. Such individuals desire to put their hands into the waters of education so that they can manipulate society to fit their megalomaniacal needs: limit the education to produce a smaller mind. This is similar to the next factor in the destruction of American public education -

When jobs go oversees so people who are already millionaires and billionaires can get even richer by cheating workers of their deserved shared wealth, there is less opportunity and wealth. America, while supposedly democratic, then becomes more of a slavepit as bosses ship the jobs overseas for wealth they don't need and make life harder on families already rife with increasing poverty, homelessness and unemployment. How can people send their children to trade schools and college and pay for their medical and other needs when the only jobs available are increasingly found at low-wage retail outlets such as Wal-Mart?

Why is this happening? Powermongery and greed. For example:

The descendants of Sam Walton, now the owners of Wal-Mart, are spending a lot of money in promoting a voucher system that will eventually destroy American public schooling. The working class in general is never going to be able to afford private schooling in large numbers without making insane sacrifices, and I say this remembering my own family's privations due to their sacrifices sending me to twelve years of Catholic school. My father was a disabled veteran who could not work at all due to paralysis. My mother desperately pinched pennies so that I could avoid the neglected public schools and eat good food and see good doctors. We were barely middle class, and at this time that class is nearly disappearing. And why should working class people, with whom I identify myself, suffer privation simply to acquire education? Part of the theory behind 'America' as an improvement of the human condition is free education. Once this is destroyed, Wal-Mart will have all the small minds it needs to toil endlessly for virtually nothing, as it expands its grip on an American economy increasingly characterized by service and retail outlets and very little skilled manufacturing labor. Then the billionaires can be trillionaires, and what they intend to do with this wealth, I cannot tell you.

People are just beginning to see how socially irresponsible the big capitalists really are with the revelations behind the corporate embezzlement scandals. My sister's retirement plans went out the window years ago when her boss, the fourth generation to own a family construction contractor, embezzled from his own company and completely ruined it and the lives of all the people working there. Somehow he avoided jail and has tons of money in a Swiss account. My sister and all her fellow workers who also helped build his company and his wealth had to start over again. This kind of thing happens to whole towns and large communities, for example Bethlehem and Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, purely to put more money in the pockets of people already rich, although in different ways: sometimes the companies don't self-destruct but simply pull the labor out of the country or mismanage themselves into oblivion and sell the remains for profit. The workers left behind in these economically decimated communities now cannot afford to send their children to private schools, vouchers or no, because the costs of these schools are rising dramatically from year to year. Also, teacher turnover is increasing as many of the same strains appear in them as are already seen in public schools. Imagine the massive influx of todayís public school students into the private system, which isnít anywhere nearly ready to absorb them. Who will build the new private schools? Certainly not the parochial institutions, except for very rich religious communities that will make the tuition costs exclusionary to the vast majority of applicants Ė again, regardless of the presence of a voucher system.

Despite the Founding Fathersí promise of freedom of information and free education and a free press, never was there a nation of people so easily indoctrinated and controlled as the American People. As an educator, I find this character flaw in a 'free people' and a 'democratic nation' staggering. Oh, yes, with the destruction of public schools and the majority of the public unable to pay for private education, vouchers or no, the average working class American will rely even more on military employment to advance him or herself. Today they find themselves on an illegal battlefield at the behest of people who lie to them and use them to commit unbelievable crimes that would astonish the American People were they to concentrate on what is really going on.

Of course, the media won't allow that, since its owners are working with their fellow billionaires to keep 'the system' going. Witness the Disney corporationís censorious refusal to distribute Michael Mooreís new film, ĎFahrenheit 9/11í. This refusal stems from the board membersí fear that it will cause the American People to remove G.W. Bush from the White House in the coming election, which may well happen anyway: nonetheless, a board of directors controlling a mass media outlet has defied its responsibility to provide access to information to the American People and Freedom of Speech to Michael Moore, who is trusted by many Americans, including this writer, to honestly inform the Nation, whatever his faults. Donít be surprised by the fact that supposedly family-friendly Walt Disney Corporation is doing this: Walt Disney was a Hitler collaborator and sent him millions of dollars before the American entry into World War II, which is a documented fact.

Getting back to the original subject:

Politically-Motivated and Manipulated Educational Methodologies and Incompetent, Negligent Parenting:
Please don't buy into 'No Child Left Behind'. Under this innocent-sounding moniker, with phenomena such as institutional racism, cultural and intellectual neglect and social decay marching in parallel, methodologies are being introduced into schools that guarantee that children will not learn. The children I teach now, while no less intelligent than myself, are now the most apathetic that I have ever seen, and are vastly less culturally literate and far less intellectually stimulated than Americans have ever been. What has been removed since I was a student?

The sabotage is deep and wide-ranging (Caution: Personal Sentiment Alert):
Parental negligence and ignorance is epidemic in America, across the board. It is not universal but it is massive and it is brutalizing children in unseen ways. Parents must get the damn television out of children's lives now, as well as a capital-driven youth culture that is teaching nothing but moral corruption and consumerism. The moral corruption is a necessary factor in the consumerism, of course, which is why young children are the ones buying the majority of the Britney Spears CD's. There are ten-year-olds walking around in the Philadelphia neighborhood where my mother grew up in the 1930's, with thongs and short-shorts that make me want to throttle their parents. With stores selling thongs made for and marketed to young children, there is something seriously wrong. Since there would be no manufacture of these items without a market, there is a cycle here that parents have no will to break. Parents are teaching their children nothing, in any regard - not just morals - and if children are taught no social propriety there is very little, if anything, that we can do with them. Personally, I'm tired of constantly telling my ninth grade girls to stop shaking in front of boys like pole dancers while I try to get the lesson going.

People, please teach your children to act like civilized human beings and not retarded, whorish poodles. This just isn't working. We finally have a generation of children who are effectively unteachable. Is that going to help bolster democracy in America? By the way, Wal-Mart is selling the thongs. I wonder what they have against the CD's they want to censor...?

This is the only nation on earth, in history as far as I know, that has advertising campaigns across the media telling people to parent their children and to act like adults in front of them.

If it sounds like Iím venting, yes, I am. However, everything I just said is essentially typical in at least a large plurality of Americaís families and schools, and Philadelphia is deep in this morass.

Now, for the methodologies:

Pennsylvania has a separate certificate for teachers of reading skills. This is extremely crucial: reading deserves to be an entirely separate subject from English language arts, and there can never be anything wrong with having a separate effort dedicated squarely to bolstering reading skills. That's democratic, and even the Puritans recognized the need to guarantee that every citizen, surprisingly even their women, read and wrote. However, the school district of Philadelphia eliminated these certificates from its faculties in the early 1990's, citing funding difficulties. Many schools also lost their technical education facilities and teachers. Also, after this year (at this writing, early 2004), students are not required to pass anything but English and math to finish high school. They won't have to pass history nor science. The standards keep falling. I note that the foreign students, even non-native speakers with difficulty with the language, are most often not the ones failing, but the native-born kids.

Why? Kids could pass these subjects in years past. It's because due to neglectful parenting and the media-driven youth culture, kids are too distracted and anti-intellectual to care about learning. Now, as kids becoming more difficult to teach, the schools just can't force them to learn subjects they don't care about. To be truthful, the kids don't care much about English and math, either, but these will fall to the wayside, too, at about the time the public school system finally implodes under the weight of the social decay and the Walton's campaign to destroy the schools.

Teachers, also, have increasingly less authority in their classrooms as they are blamed more and more for ingrained problems that appear in these children long before any teacher sees them, including increasing occurrences of problems resulting from chemical abuses in utero. In Philadelphia, there are entire communities of children and parents who are victims of this illness. Imagine what it is like for a teacher to cope in such an environment, where there is truly nowhere to turn. Parents often go absolutely nuts when a teacher tries to take action against discipline problems and will not take an objective view of what a teacher tries to tell them. To discuss the classroom methodologies:

The actual methodologies being introduced pander to this surrender to the negligence and cultural decay. Phonics, although powerfully effective for many years, has been essentially buried except for the now famous tv-advertised 'Hooked on Phonics' books. I benefited greatly from phonics, and enjoyed learning them as I became a college-level reader and writer before entering high school. It didn't hurt that my father taught me to read beginning at the age of two, since he was a parent who valued learning and saw himself correctly as his child's first teacher, although he didnít go past the eighth grade. But such a parent is an increasingly rare bird today.

As for the teaching methodologies, they are increasingly centered on children with issues, and gifted and 'normal' children are being virtually ignored. Furthermore, true special education teachers are being pushed out of the equation, at least in Philadelphia, as a very false implementation of the so-called 'mainstreaming' philosophies turns classrooms across the district into shambles. Teachers are spending the vast majority of their time disciplining students while they lose the kids who want to learn.

Special education works. Mainstreaming could even work if properly implemented, which takes a LOT of money and additional personnel in every single classroom. However, it is a philosophy that ONLY works when implemented PERFECTLY. Going halfway with it and insisting upon it as a matter of policy, then not following up with providing every single classroom with the trained personnel absolutely crucial to making it work turns a good idea into a complete disaster. This is what is happening the majority of the time. Mainstreaming must NOT be used if a school district doesn't have the money, personnel and training to implement it COMPLETELY and PERFECTLY. Many school districts are simply using mainstreaming as an excuse to avoid paying the needed number of special education teachers, yet the true use of the system demands even more of them, including paraprofessionals. To really make mainstreaming work successfully, the districts need to spend even more money and hire more trained and licensed people.

I'd also like to remind everyone of the Commonwealth (state) of Pennsylvania's disastrous and strangely forgotten flip-flop on educational methodology in the early to mid-1990's. The legislative body of Pennsylvania ordered in the late 1980's that Outcomes-Based Education (OBE) be the order of law throughout every school system in the state. Yet the implementation of this paper-based farce of a methodology failed so unutterably miserably that NO ONE is hearing of this method of schooling today, and hasn't for many years. Outcomes-based education was supposedly the crux of my teacher education, yet I never saw any instruction that showed me how all this theory could be implemented, nor did anyone else with whom I have discussed this. It was a lot of theory with virtually no method, and the people who promulgated it spoke a lot of 'shop talk' and did much political legwork to promote it to lawmakers. However, they never really showed anyone how to DO it, which never happened in education before, and hasn't happened since. There has always been someone to actually demonstrate the practice of educational methodology, even when it's been poor; here, a gaggle of incompetent politicians bought into something that was never completely baked to begin with, just to be seen taking some kind of action, whatever the consequences later.

Sounds like American Politics, doesn't it.? That's the order of the day here in Philadelphia. Demand, order and implement some sort of change, spend millions of dollars on it, no matter how unsound it is. Then people will believe at least that you're doing something about it.

Right now in Philly they're moving towards script-based education, in which a teacher will simply read a script to students, who will fill out a mindless workbook by a company called 'Kaplan' in which they are asked questions after they read stories. One question they are consistently asked is 'What does the Who do?' This is the case even when the true subject of a passage is not a living person or creature. This will truly confuse a child in terms of semantics and syntax and is only one example of the mother-lode of bad ideas in the 'Kaplan' system of scripted education. It's also a subtle attack upon the professional standing and educational investment of educators, since someone who generally holds a Master's or close to it is wasting all that training and knowledge on reading a script by someone who seems never to have stepped into a classroom.

The children know what kind of garbage this is, too. My fiance teaches in the same district in the school I transferred from last year, and they're also using Kaplan. I have the option of using it but refuse to do so except as part of substitute plans when I'm out sick; a colleague I know in my school has to use it with her Transitional English classes. Both my fiance and my colleague inform me, along with others, that the kids disappear from the classroom exponentially as the Kaplan program proceeds. The longer the teacher persists in using the system and the script, which is being required, the more kids begin consistently cutting the class, because they are being bombarded with stupidity disguised as teaching. (As of my final revision of this writing, late May 2004, the encroachment of this horrid method has been stopped by a quiet mutiny of the teachers of Philadelphia, a rare but important victory.)

I have met exceedingly few educational methodologists who seem to remember what it was like to be in the same classroom from day to day, or who really seem to understand how children think. I suspect that if a methodology appeared that didn't reinvent the wheel (so many of these 'new techniques' are complete rehash) and actually helped learners learn, it would be glossed over by the educational establishment. Why? I so often see the most profoundly insensible things happen in the schools where I have taught.

I come to the reader being a teacher who has taught every grade from Kindergarten to twelfth grade, every subject (as a substitute in all cases outside my specialty, English, but often for terms longer than a week) in every basic demographic of school: rural, suburban and urban. I've taught every ethnicity of child found in America (at least Pennsylvania). I've taught in private and public schools, including Catholic.

There are better teachers than myself, even with less experience, but I know my business and I have an excellent nose for bovine fecal matter, to put it politely.

Thus, the culprits include: Politicians; the social irresponsible but wealthy captains of industry (who are beyond bordering on treason, in truth); opportunistic methodology hawkers who often have little or no background in education (who simply seek to exploit a market); negligent parents and blatant social decay that are decimating our schools and their work, which is supposed to be that of laying the foundation of the lives of our youth.

I personally believe that the problem cannot be fixed unless America is first reduced socially and politically to veritable ashes and shattered as a society, then rebuilt from the ground up. I can already see that conditions will become vastly worse before they get better.

It's an easy prophecy to speak, because even our flawed 'Founding Fathers', who could not have foreseen all these things that have passed to us since their time, knew that a free education was critical to a free-thinking society. American education is the victim of deliberate and willful neglect, and the occasional prodding towards the precipice. It is proof that American society, if it has ever been a truly free-thinking society, will soon be impossible to describe in such terms.

A nation whose citizens cannot think nor evaluate effectively cannot choose for itself. The end of the United States of America as a society, a cultural and political entity and a people is coming upon us quickly. Be prepared.

The Alienist

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The following comments are for "American Education Dies Screaming"
by the alienist

nice someone's finally beginning to preach some truth...capitalism is the dominant religion around us. it's all about keeping the masses ignorant, distracted, highly competitive and in fear and our valuable time and energy will be wasted through hiding and desensitizing ourselves from the nagging social responsibilities demanding our attention yet we continue to shun and ignore justifying this how? the american educational system (piusly justified and upheld) encourages extrememe competition, narrow controling perspective, harsh pressure and punishment, heterosexism, homophobia, consumerism, racism, sexism and personal detatchment to social concerns and nature in general. our system is the most wasteful in the world. yet preservation and awareness of how much we consume and the reason for our energies existence aren't fosed on or discussed as needed. the handful in power care not at all for this nations comprehensive well being. we are dying of obesity, bloated on our greed, lust, fear, and shame. there is no honor here, and our children see these things. there is a growing restlessness among the people, and i am grateful to be a part of this much needed awakening to what is subtly being tolerated, encouraged, and ignored underneath all the glitter and loud music.

( Posted by: satori [Member] On: May 25, 2004 )

You're right, as always. I really enjoy your well-written rant essays. They open my eyes a lot of the time.I am actually a high school student, and I see a lot of the things you wrote about in this. Students are apathetic, anti-intellectual, and basically lacking in goals, except that they all want to become doctors or lawyers so they can make money. It's depressing. It really is. You're absolutely right about a total collapse occurring before things can get any better. As I've written before, the future looks pretty bleak at this point...and yet not a lot of people seem to realize this. Anyway, good work.

( Posted by: Virtex [Member] On: May 25, 2004 )

the cynical american
Dear Alienist,
I am having the same thoughts as Claire, although I agree somewhat with your position. There is just so much I would like to add to it, that I want to write a seperate essay, and refer to yours. As long as we can meet in forums like this, there remains some hope for a free society.
Mark B.

( Posted by: brickhouse [Member] On: May 26, 2004 )

the perspective of teachers
People listen to doctors, lawyers and plumbers, all of whom to to school for years to learn their and pain a lot of money to do so. They have to build up credibility in their profession by seving in a variety of jobs within their field, but the one that doesn't gain any credibility with experience is the teacher. Americans don't want to listen to teachers, and that's the bottom lie.

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: May 26, 2004 )

Yeah, I too could go on for about twenty pages regarding a few general oddities in this article. I must say I was surprised the author (this was written by the Pennsylvania school teacher, no?) seemed to wax so overly critical of the blue-collar parents earlier-described as being ravaged by a criminal Capitolist economy. Hmmm. At what point in a 40 hour work week does one have a nice leave-it-to-beaver father/daughter chat about the innapropriateness of thongs?

Rather than addressing the real problems of the school system this article appears to be the unaimed ranting of an understandably over-worked teacher, highly upset over changes in the licensing process and willing to take it out on the nearest insufferable bystander.

It would have helped if it had been written with a more conscious form intact, a workable outline beginning with a firm subject and sticking to it. While I commensurate with the unfortunate impact Britney Spears likely has on the managibility of a classroom, I see little to connect it to changes in certificate requirements of teachers. While the wealth of the Walton family certainly helps one side in the struggle over the voucher system, raving about the loss of manufacturing jobs in the present-day customer service-focused economy is not readily connectible to whether or not the voucher system is a workable solution.

The wealth of venom in this article does little to mask it's complete lack of cogency and, to be sure, ranting does even less than the voucher system or an unfunded mandate in the arduous task of fixing our schools.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: May 26, 2004 )

In the UK, I work as a disability support worker, in a previous job I was asked to work for half a day in a school in a very deprived area. One of the teachers remarked to me, "Forget teaching them anything, this is more about mob control." The poor sod had lost heart, lost any hope of seeing what was neeeded, political will to completely rebuild the whole area, give community pride in itself and some sort of future outside of collecting social security money, going on dead end government training courses.
Good piece of writing btw, although I feel unable to debate the points raised due to lack of in-depth knowledge of your situation in the US.
Paul the Ogg

( Posted by: Ogg [Member] On: May 26, 2004 )

Licenses? And you say I'm not cogent?
>Rather than addressing the real problems of >the school system this article appears to be >the unaimed ranting of an understandably >over-worked teacher, highly upset over >changes in the licensing process and willing >to take it out on the nearest insufferable >bystander.

You are either saying that I should've been critiquing the licensure proceedure for teachers or that I was on that track and fell off. (It's damn hot in here, yes, my classroom.)
Well, the article is about several all-around factors that lead to the detioration of American education, which it states at the beginning and goes on to do.

It's admittedly rather digested; a veteran colleague of mine wholeheartedly agreed with the article and stated that she could have gone on at far greater length about some of the stated issues and others yet; but who would've read twenty pages? I rather think, hazelfaern, that this was your real difficulty with my piece: attention span.

I very clearly demarcated my 'emotional appeal' section - and the issue is indeed one of moral guidance and parental controls, which for teachers is a serious temperature-raiser. Emotional appeals are considered to be valid in argumentative writing with at least solid supports. And you're very wrong; while parents may both be working, I think they have the ability to control what the young ones are wearing, at least in the younger years - those little kids certainly aren't driving to Wal-Mart and plunking down the cash for the pop-diva wear.

I knew when I posted this piece that I would get critics who would miss much of the point due to one factor: they're not teachers. As I pointed out in my last response comment above, people just don't listen to us nor consider our complaints nor critiques valid. In America, as apparently in Britain, the common citizenry has virtually NEVER listened to what we have to say on any issue, no matter what supports we provide for our arguments. And if hazelfaern is trying to suggest that I don't deserve my certificate, well, suck an egg. This is my fifth year in this combat tour and I have saved kids despite themselves and despite their parents and environment - with the help of all my colleagues who also work with them. We have storms of great teachers, counsellors and other staff in Philadelphia, but of the factors we're up against, we have virtually no control. Other people DO however have control of them, and I appeal to them to take control of those factors. THAT'S the purpose of the article which should be apparent.

Returning to licensure, the only thing I addressed regarding that was that we needed to reinstate the use of professionals with specific READING certificates and to increase the number of people working in the special education departments. I assume it's pretty balmy where you were reading my piece, hazelfaern, of you would've caught that.

Do you complain of my attacks on capitalism in the article because you've seen me attack this economic system elsewhere? Let me pull you back to the article, if by the nose:
Capitalism is one of the factors destroying American Public Education. I'm tempted to repeat myself in caps, but I won't.
Billionaires are spending staggering amounts of capital on political initiatives that will cave public school right in, and they are doing this at the very same time they are deteriorating workers' rights and the economic opportunities of many communities. Ma & Pa's little store isn't doing so well in Everytown America these days, if you didn't notice, let alone K-Mart. Retail is only the newest example of this phenomenon: massive corporations sucking and drying up competitive opportunity. It's virtually impossible for us to have our own businesses, decent jobs, pay for the house and car and the baby and our educations.

The pressure-cooker of American society, a condition of which the CEO set is taking full advantage, is going to boil over. When it does, you can bet that these people will put Humpty back together in a configuration most suited to them. I didn't make up the stuff about their support of the voucher system: critics have been assailing that destructive idea for many years, including teachers' unions (DOH, I've lost hazelfaern again, teachers don't have cogent opinions about anything) and the criticism has been getting much louder since the Waltons started pouring insane amounts of money into the promotion of this political red herring.

READ: Politicians, from school board members to the end of the table in the boardrooms, are willing to consciously do fatal damage to our public education system, historically a hallmark of the Nation and one of the very pillars of (what's left of) our ability to speak up for ourselves in order to GAIN POWER OVER US! "Hrm, I wonder what will put the final kaposh on our drones' ability and willingess to evaluate our treatment of them and take appropriate action?"

Enough is said here. Anyone who continues to find 'flaws in my reasoning' simply has never worked as a teacher. I invite you to print out my article and show it to at least three teachers of children Kintergarten through twelfth grade in a public system in the USA and ask them what they think of it. Don't assume it's too long for them, I assure you they read better and faster than you do (I speak of course to the doubters).

( Posted by: the alienist [Member] On: May 26, 2004 )

Alienist, a clarification
I was not, in any way, dismissing your point. I am extraordinarily repentant and humbly beg of your apologies for mistaking the author of this article.

I am not unfamiliar with the plight of teachers, as my mother is a twenty-five year veteran of your common war. We've had lengthy conversations about the current state of education, the voucher system, licensing, the formation of curriculae, et all, and I am quite passionate in my own opinions regarding the current state of education in the US.

Allow me to restate my point, as I believe I may have made it poorly: I would like to see more focus placed on one of your issues with a full examination of it, rather than a catch-all variety of issues examined superficially. Is your intended audience one made exclusively of teachers? If not, then giving some background and explenation of the licensing of teachers and the voucher system would have helped make your case more fully.

You say the manner in which this is written is due to the fact that a deeper examination would require twenty pages. All right -- break it down, then, one issue at a time. The truth is the relevance of the voucher system is of vital importance and deserves it's own editorial.

I may have conveyed an erroneous sense that my deep adversion to the style of this article is due to it's content, which is not the case. It is because I believe that the style deflates your argument that I reacted so strongly.

The truth is the greatest evil of the voucher system is that it subverts the needed work of fixing our schools. Rather than examining the serious flaws in our school system, politicians are attempting to create a release valve on the pressure cooker, diverting students into schools which are not currently falling apart at the seams. However, one of the greater strengths of private schools is a more reasonable teacher to student ratio which allows for more one on one time with both students and parents. Trying to siphon off the number of students in the public school system is an excercise in futility, as it simply delays the reckoning of our multiple problems for a few brief years more.

To my mind the most essential work needed in order to fix our public schools is a reduction in class size, an increase in pay for teachers, an increase in the availibility of teacher's aides (particularily in order to streamline the process of grading tests and papers -- a task which takes up a significant portion of my mother's time) and a firm mission statement regarding what we expect our schools to do and how we expect them to accomplish this. Your talk of licensing strikes me as an aspect of the larger issue of curriculae implentation and on-going teacher education, an issue which is also significant enough to deserve it's own editorial space.

I am personally averse to the demonization of any segment of a population, whether black or white, rich or poor, gay or straight, blue-collar or grey-flannel ensconced, particularily as I believe idiocy and self-centeredness do not make such distinctions and beneath these labels we are all deeply human, capable of horror and heroism, alike. I am even more averse to this tendency within writing as I feel it allows the author to avoid building a case and simply lay certain failings at the feet of those to whom they are opposed. Alerting the reader to the fact that your writing is emotion-based does not compensate for a lack of treatment of your subject and to my mind, wherever an other or group is attacked for the problems of a distinctly seperate group, whether it's "those damn Jews", or "those lazy Mexicans" or "the Capitolist pigs on Wall Street", the relevant subject is being neglected in favor of venting the spleen.

In a sense, I agree with much of what you are saying, herein. I simply feel you did not convey it very well and that all of your subjects as well as your audience deserved better.

Of course, you can do what you like with my opinion and if you ultimately decide that this writing style works for you and I'm a reactionary nincompoop, well, fine. However, I would challenge you to write this out in a more traditional essay style and see if the reactions you garner in the comments section are not drastically different. Having said all this I will cease and desist from the subject, allowing that my opinion has been fully made and any further commentary would be more than excessive. I appreciate your time and attention and again, my sincere apologies for my lack of cogency in the earlier comment and particularly for mistaking the author of your article.

( Posted by: hazelfaern [Member] On: May 29, 2004 )

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