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NJCubScouter

A terrorist organization?

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NJ;

 

I'm not saying a line can't be drawn. What I'm suggesting, and I think we agree, is that taking a life isn't where the line belongs. And, it's not about threatening someone personally or economically -- that happens every day and they're criminal events -- but trying to violently coerce a government or society into changing socially or philosophically. Even the environmental extremists are using what looks like economic assault against individual car dealers or homeowners, but they're actually trying to get the government to ban large SUVs or zoning commissions to stop residential development they don't agree with. There is no comprehensive single list of domestic terrorist groups, as there is with foreign terrorist groups. That complicates it further.

 

I think the definition of what constitutes terrorism and terrorist groups should be as narrowly and precisely defined as possible. A terrorist group's existence demands a response of some sort. There's a wide continuum of responses, from an Operation Enduring Freedom at one end to "Operation Stern Glance" at the other. Almost all are very expensive in terms of people, money, equipment, diplomatic favors, good will, and so on. So, let's make sure we're on target. As I said before, that's very difficult when working with allies in other countries. With many, we don't share a common culture, language, or values. Given that, it's no wonder we may not share a common definition of terrorism.

 

So, no, I don't buy the assertion in your last post. But, I don't think anyone's trying to sell it, either.

 

I can't speak for Secretary Paige, but my guess is that, like we've all had in much less public forums, it was one of those "...darn, I wish I hadn't said it like that..." moments.

 

I'm not trying to be flip, just suggesting that he's not lobbying to get the NEA in the same bucket with FALN.

 

KS

 

 

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All I can say is that if the NEA gets its way the teacher will be replaced by the administrator as the great messianic giver of knowledge, students will be trapped in failing schools, relativism will abound, secularism will flourish, progressive ideas will become the only unbigoted ideas, skills useful to leading a productive life will decline, and self esteem will become more important than self control. In short, the NEA is setting up those generations that will fight the future battles in the war on terror, and the wars yet unseen, to fail.

 

 

Let me relate a local example of the NEA at work. After a series of standardized tests committees were formed to improve certain weak areas. The high school teachers were left asking the middle school teachers why students were sent to them without key skills for learning science, math, literature, language, and practical skills. The middle school teachers answered by asking the elementary school teachers why they were sending students who couldn't read to middle school. The elementary school teachers (all of whom had been taught NEA promoted education methods in college) then asked what they were supposed to do about it, fail the kids? The middle and high school teachers answered, that yes, you can't send kids on without being able to read. The elementary school teachers then protested that doing something like that would crush their self-esteem, that it would crush their desire to learn, and that it wasn't the job of teachers to judge the students. The middle and high school teachers all quickly gave up on the idea of actually improving on what the elementary teachers were doing, since they obviously couldn't understand that if kids couldn't read, they couldn't learn, and that as nice as it may be to pass them in 2nd grade, it would be worse on them to find out they can't get a job some day.

 

I am in no way opposed to teachers, or to unions, but I am opposed to most of the teachers unions. (My father has been a long time member of a labour union, and my mother taught school for many years.)

 

All this being said, the NEA is not a terrorist organization. It is not in legue with terrorist organizations. It doesn't want the terrorists to win. The Secretary shouldn't have used that term, either seriously, or in jest in such a forum. Perhaps in the back yard with close friends while flipping burgers and putting back a few cold ones making a joke like that would be OK, if not in particularly good taste, but that was very unwise for a meeting with the governors.

 

Now on the other hand, this isn't the first time since September 11th that very serious sorts of words have been used in ways they should not have. I know the ACLU has taken flack. At least one "civil rights" group refered to a certain local police department as being a fascist organization and engaging in terrorism against "their people". How many times have various people been accused of fascism, Nazism, or McCarthyism over the years, even since September 11th?

 

I am not attempting to justify a wrong with another wrong, but I do find it intersting how selective the outcries, uproars, and outrage about these things can sometimes be.(This message has been edited by Proud Eagle)

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ProudEagle says:

 

All I can say is that if the NEA gets its way the teacher will be replaced by the administrator as the great messianic giver of knowledge, students will be trapped in failing schools, relativism will abound, secularism will flourish, progressive ideas will become the only unbigoted ideas, skills useful to leading a productive life will decline, and self esteem will become more important than self control. In short, the NEA is setting up those generations that will fight the future battles in the war on terror, and the wars yet unseen, to fail.

 

As I suggested in my first post in this thread, I come here not to bury the NEA nor to praise it. (Ancient quote alert, though I guess I have paraphrased it almost beyond recognition, and yes I know it isn't actually ancient either.) I could tell you a few stories of my own. I do think your statements quoted above are a bit, um, overdramatic. I also am not sure about that "administrator" part, I think a lot of the unionized teachers I know would be happiest if the principals and other administrators were rarely heard from except to keep the buildings open and running, the flow of textbooks and supplies (and paychecks) flowing, and the disruptive students out of their class.

 

As for your "local example": Based on my own experience, if you are serious that a substantial number of students are (or were) reaching the sixth or seventh grade without being able to read, or even reading a couple of grade levels behind, there is some other factor or combination of factors at work, other than unionized teachers who learned "NEA approved education methods." As I said before, the teachers in my district are NEA-affiliated and presumably went to the same types of teacher education programs as the ones in your district. The students in our district score pretty high on standardized tests, there are programs in the lower grades to "catch up" students who are below grade level, and different "intensities" of program depending on the severity of the problem. This applies to students both with learning disabilities and without. The most serious and difficult to remedy problem seems to relate to students from homes in which English is not spoken, which shouldn't be a surprise. If you come from a district that has an abundance of those kinds of issues, and/or a school board and/or administration that have failed to provide for programs to deal with the students' needs, I would look there first. Of course there are incompetent teachers too, and there are teachers that do not require enough of their students. But (again) in my experience, recent graduates (who would seem MOST likely to have been "indoctrinated" in NEA-approved methods) are the LEAST likely to just want to let students slide along from grade to grade without knowing what they need to know. It's more some of the ones who have been there 25-30 years, especially teachers in some of the middle and upper grades, who are just sort of counting the pages on the calendar and waiting until it's time to collect their pension. (Note to any teachers out there, I said some, not all, or even most.)

 

Now on the other hand, this isn't the first time since September 11th that very serious sorts of words have been used in ways they should not have. I know the ACLU has taken flack. At least one "civil rights" group refered to a certain local police department as being a fascist organization and engaging in terrorism against "their people". How many times have various people been accused of fascism, Nazism, or McCarthyism over the years, even since September 11th?

 

And how many people, especially since 9/11, have been accused of being "unpatriotic" or worse, simply for opposing some policy of the current administration? Especially for worrying that some of the measures supposedly intended to fight terrorism could instead be used to stifle dissent, as they were by other administrations 30+ years ago? I have heard people like Howard Dean and John Kerry called "friends of bin Laden" and "friends of Saddam" by nationally syndicated radio talk show hosts. In fact I have heard a lot more of that than I have heard going in the other direction. But I hope we can agree that it goes both ways.

 

On the other hand, I don't think a comment by a "group" or a talk show host or some other person "out there" is quite the same as a comment by a national public official. And that works both ways too, or at least it should. I seem to recall a couple of Clinton appointees, early in his administration, who were thrown over the side for remarks that were "ill-advised" or maybe just misunderstood and misinterpreted, causing an uproar on the "other side."

 

So, yes, outrage does tend to be "selective," but nobody has a patent on that.

 

 

 

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