I don’t want to be composing this blog, but I am. If I was born in Utah, I'd probably be a Republican, a Mormon, and a Romney supporter. Thank you, Mr. Silverman. "Makers" please admit you were fortunate.
In response to a friend's request, I just read the New York Times Article, "Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain." http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/education/big-study-links-good-teachers-to-lasting-gain.html?_r=1 The article summarizes a scientific investigation which concluded that kids who have had the luck to be taught by "good" teachers, have increased earning capacity, more college degrees and a lessened chance for teenage pregnancy.
Since I worked as a teacher in public schools for 20 years, and I brazenly consider myself a "good" teacher, this article made a great read. You ask, how do I know I was a good teacher? Well, parents, administrators and lots of students have said I was, and I immodestly have decided to concur. Note: Accolades will be sent on request.
Though, this article made me puff up a bit, obviously, I know that there is a lot more to becoming a successful, good human being than having a good 7th grade science teacher. Where you are born, who your parents are, your DNA, every life experience molds us into who we become.
If you were fortunate to have had the right genes, lived in the US and had a basketball coach for a dad, you might be Michael Jordan. If you had had George Romney for a dad, you'd most likely be a Mormon and a Republican. Personally, I'd prefer to be Michael than Willard (aka Mitt).
I don't want to get into a discussion of self-determinism and free will, but since, I have no choice, I strongly concur with B.F. Skinner's words as follows:
"In the traditional view, a person is free. He is autonomous in the sense that his behavior is uncaused. He can therefore be held responsible for what he does and justly punished if he offends. That view, together with its associated practices, must be re-examined when a scientific analysis reveals unsuspected controlling relations between behavior and environment"
I thank and blame my life experiences for making me who I am. Thanks Mom and Dad. Likewise, a bit of the good stuff about me is due to my 7th grade science teacher. Thank you, Mr. Silverman.
Apparently, many in this country sincerely believe that each person decides who he/she is and what he/sh will become. They believe that individuals are solely responsible for their success or failure. If you are a billionaire, it is because you earned it. If you are a panhandler on the mean streets of Dubuque, you earned that too. Take the credit! You did it or you blew it.
It is the belief of this writer that if we are affixed to an immutable concept of self-determinism, we lose our empathy, our compassion and the impetus to help the less-fortunate. Note; the word "fortunate" itself conflicts with the concept of self-determinism.
Recently, a well written comment was posted on Facebook in reference to my last blog, The-Makers-Takers-and-Fakers. It read,
"We see Obama supporting equal outcomes and not equal opportunity. That is a loser for everyone in the long run."
To this I respond as follows: Opportunity is not opportunity unless people have had events and people in their lives to enable them to take advantage of opportunity. Open doors are not enough to assure social mobility. We gotta do more.
Interactions between humans affect humans. I wish there was a Mr. Silverman out there to help the "makers" of our society look into their being and credit all the people and events which enabled them to be "successful" and then see what they can do to enable others to a good life, or perhaps they just want to live in gated enclaves.
Posted By Matt 1/14/2012
I am continually amazed at the hatred expressed towards President Obama by so many Americans. Before you get on my case, yes, I have frequently expressed my disappointment and frustration with this President, but frustration and disappointment just is not hate.
Every week my Inbox contains nasty jokes, vulgar cartoons and ridiculous rumors claiming Obama is a traitor, a liar, or the Anti-Christ. This is hate. What spurs this vitriol?
The cast of clowns masquerading as qualified politicians seeking the Republican Nomination agree on almost nothing, but they universally appear disrespectful when they mouth the word, "Obama." Seldom do they have the class to even refer to our elected leader as "President Obama." And the crowds cheer the derision.
Why do they hate this man? What the hell has he done or threatened to do to them? Please note: The US Chamber of Commerce, Koch Industries , Health Insurance CEO's, the Walton Family, billionaire hedge fund manipulators, and some CEO's may have some reason to hate Barack. He is a threat to their unbridled power and greed. But why does the real Joe the Plumber hate the man?
Some of my closest friends answer, with one word," race." While I concur that the melanin content of Barack's skin may serve to inflame and exacerbate the malevolence of Obama haters, it is not the whole truth. It is just another spice to add to the hate soup.
I believe the answer lies in two words, "makers" and" takers." And more importantly how fakers used these concepts to spread fear to the naïve of this nation. Google that couplet and see what pops up. I'll make it easier for you. The following popped up from the conservative American Spectator:
The Teixeira/Halpin/Obama/Democrat strategy of organizing the takers against the makers is reflected in the Occupy Wall Street movement as well. That movement reflects a pirate mentality, as they feel perfectly free to help themselves to the earnings, savings, and property produced by others. Wake up America, this is what Americanized Marxist revolutionaries look like. But their creepy French Revolution play acting with its implied threat of runaway violence is not in the American tradition, and consequently won't work with the American people. But it is in the tradition of Barack Obama, whose previous career was precisely as a Marxist street agitator. www.spectator.org/archives/2011/12/07/organizing-the-takers-against
Americans living a relatively good life are scared; they are insecure; they are terrified. They have been taught that they have a good life because they deserved it, they are makers. But, lying out there is Obama and his henchmen, conspiring to grab that hard earned wealth, that right to own a weapon of choice, that right to hate, even the right to pray. Worse, Obama plans to redistribute their wealth to the dirty scum, the TAKERS.
The United States Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary, the Republican Party aren't worried about redistributing the wealth of the little guy. They are only worried about the distribution of THEIR WEALTH. And so these fakers spread the fable that there are two kinds of people in this world: the makers and the takers. If you have a home, a job, an education, a few bucks in the bank you are one of the people, the real people, a good American. Americans are makers..
Lurking out there are the takers: the evil ones on welfare, gangbangers, drug pushers, disgusting beggars, people living under viaducts, the unemployed riff-raff. Those lazy people, some named Juan and Jose', who are washing dishes, picking fruit and mowing Romney's lawn are the ones to be afraid of. These people want your stuff. While you are terrified, add to that list of low life, those lazy good-for-nothing government employees. They contribute zilch, but make life miserable, make us pay taxes, and regulate stuff. (I kind of think that the US Chamber is worried about their tax breaks and regulation of their right to treat workers, customers, and the environment any way they damn well please) And to top it off, those government workers still get ridiculous perks like health insurance and pensions.
The makers our GOP leaders never talk about are those who make billions. Never mentioned is how these billion dollar makers make hidden contributions to political campaigns in order to make politicians behave in ways to make them even richer. Never discussed are the corporate makers who, left to their own devices will make this world a cesspool, will make fair wages and good benefits things of the past. Heaven help people who stand in the way of the real makers, they are powerful and they are relentless.. Perhaps Obama is starting to make their lives a bit miserable.