[FoRK] The Decline of Empires..

Ian Andrew Bell (FoRK) fork at ianbell.com
Mon Jan 3 16:10:17 PST 2005

On 3-Jan-05, at 3:39 PM, J. Andrew Rogers wrote:

>> Wow, this is simply a ridiculous, circular, self-defeating argument 
>> and
>> it really saddens me to hear you attempt to use it.  This is like not
>> voting because your party never wins, which as we know a large number
>> of people do as well.
> Uh, no.  It is like not voting for a party you disagree with.

Voting is the exact function which changes that which you disagree 
with, in principle.  Voting for politicians who fail to offer answers 
to the problem is therefore irresponsible in a democracy.  You voted 
for a president whose idea of progressive social programs were pretty 
much limited to "they're out to get us" and "keep the queers from 

> You seem to be saying that even
> though most people acknowledge that existing funds are more than
> adequate for the task and that mismanagement is the problem,

You obviously haven't established this, and I gave you a pass when you 
mentioned this idea earlier, but you seem to take it as a given that we 
all agree that money is not the problem.  There is no clear consensus 
around that notion except for the counterproductive rhetoric of 
conservatives such as yourself.  A chorus of unsubstantiated voices 
does not equal a quorum.  The US spends more on education quite 
precisely because things COST more in the US.  If we paid educators 
more then I'm sure more skilled people would choose to become 
educators.  As it is, it seems that the best educators today earn 
higher pay in the private school system so clearly, if that's true, 
this is an effective system.

I'm saying that providing a high standard of education for everyone 
benefits us all, and conservatives have been gutting those social 
programs which cannot provide a return on investment to shareholders, 
prime among which is Education, while they isolate themselves from the 
problem by chucking their own kids in private school, proclaiming the 
failure of the educational system.  Precisely what Luis was talking 

James, Andrew, Roger... whatever your name is... I've enjoyed your 
debates in the past but if you're going to stick to Ann Coulter-esque 
sound bite arguments then you're not doing much to further your cause.  
I'd love to see you disprove me and I realize this takes some time, but 
please.. bring some substance!


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