Saturday, June 30, 2012

When Commies Speak in the School Yard . . .


I have a background rich with communism. Strange, given that I am a middle of the road American, raised on a small family farm, educated in a progressive and normal suburb of the healthy American metropolis, Denver Colorado, educated at an agricultural college, Colorado State University, pulling down a decent 3.2 grade average, and dutifully serving my country as an artilleryman in Viet Nam.

It all went bizarre in Viet Nam, as I reflect on it. Uncle Sam kindly introduced me to Asian cultures, and my Meyers Briggs INFJ personality, a rather wayward spirit knowing no chains, enticed me toward the exotica I found in peoples who live very differently than the peoples of my Denver suburb. And especially toward the women peoples found looking stylish and pretty, always with smiles and lively humor.

So I became a rather common-man's Somerset Maugham, sitting in the corner of the Raffles Hotel in Singapore under a palm tree and slowly spinning ceiling fan, watching half-naked dancers leap between and over snapping bamboo sticks at risk of losing an ankle or two, sipping a beer (not a girlie drink like a Singapore Sling), and making notes for a new story in a bound notebook largely full of empty pages.

When I returned to the States, I fled my roots for good, moving to California and whatever was waiting there. Well, I discovered the joys of a Murphy Bed waiting there, swinging down from its storage space in the wall, in my dumpy little apartment in Hollywood just off Melrose. Down to my last $120, I moved in with my girlfriend, a pert and pretty Chinese girl from Singapore, schooled in London, legs from heaven, mind from Mensa with an IQ around 170.

Protesting K+12. Are these our teachers?
That was my first brush with communism, for her father was a dedicated commie, having fled from his capitalist wife early in his marriage, going to China, and writing commie writings. My girl friend, soon to become my first wife, indoctrinated me in the challenges Chairman Mao faced to unify a huge, very poor country split into a bazillion fighting factions. So if he was a little ruthless, it was for the greater good.

I became a long-haired rebel and earned my FBI file by attending anti-war protests, the war being in Viet Nam. The trend line went something like this. Drive to rally. Have car license plate recorded by FBI. Watch non-descript brown van show up across the street off and on for several weeks with a funny antenna sticking up from the back. Make sure sex is loud and untoward anti-American comments are not.

My second brush with communism came between marriages 1 and 2 when I was continuing to explore other cultures, and the women thereof. This time I was dating  a Mexican labor union organizer. Well, I learned that basically labor organizers and communism in the U.S. were rather like soul brothers. Both are inclined to see corporations and capitalists as evil, greedy, self-serving bastards. Never quite catching on that corporations are the reasons jobs exist in the first place, and if the capitalists were not out there innovating and getting efficient, the laborers would still be hauling coal out of deadly dust-filled mines in buckets rather than cruising to the very clean Aircraft manufacturing plant in used but quite serviceable Chevrolets

So I can spot a good commie when I read one, and so I quote from people representing teachers in the Philippines:

  • Mr. Roger Soluta, KMU secretary-general, of labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno, protesting the expansion of school grades: "K+12 seeks to systematically produce contractuals who receive lower wages and are denied of benefits, job security, and other rights. K+12 will give away diplomas for entry into severe exploitation by big capitalists."

  • Mr. Benjie Valbuena, Vice-chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT): “Pnoy must prioritize education in a genuine way – in the current budget call and planning, address long standing deficiencies, shortages and call for a higher Salary Grade for teachers in particular. Job creation and poverty reduction will not happen if the same failed globalization policies of previous administrations are retained. There must instead be more democratic income, asset and wealth reform and greater assertions of economic sovereignty in the country’s international trade and investment relations."

  • Ms. France Castro, Head of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT):  “If President Aquino is genuinely concerned on the quality of our education, he should not blindly follow the dictates of monopoly-capitalists."

This kind of blame-the-other-guy mentality, wrapped up in some ideological statement that takes capitalism as a swear word, makes me want to puke.

Well, fortunately, these people are the warts, not even the nose, and certainly not the mind and body of education.

I'm all for teachers organizing and getting a unified voice. But how about an intelligent one? And one that takes one's self-responsibility as the primary charter, and what others do as a secondary interest. Not one that is always out looking for someone else to do the good, hard work to make education and teaching whole. Do it your damned self. There is nothing worse than an educated whiner who pretends to teach values to our children, thereby teaching children how to whine. Meanwhile doing nothing to promote innovation and efficiency in teaching.

  • Capitalists are the reason for failure of education in the Philippines? I don't think so. They are the solution, if you'd look up from your painting of simplistic commie slogans on cardboard and notice things like the internet. The internet is a beautiful capitalist tool.

  • How about the Catholic Church being one very big reason by virtue of a morality that promotes overbirthing in a poor nation that can't provide that many well-paying jobs?

I get sick of a "solution" that keeps asking for more money, like beggars in graduation gowns groveling for jobs because the beggars exist, not because they are talented and ambitious and can make the capitalist employer wealthy enough to pay them big wages.

End of rant.

I was led to this verbal binge by a comment on my blog from the good Angel C. de Dios, Ph.D. at Georgetown University in the U.S. With a name like that, how can you go wrong? His web site is at:


I believe Dr. de Dios is sincerely interested in the well-being of education in the Philippines. He has done some thoughtful articles about curriculum issues and, of course, represented the pro-teachers (as labor) groups I have quoted.

I disagree with educators blaming President Aquino or the budget. I believe they ought to focus on how shrill and disorganized they are. How un-unified. How unimaginative. And how they look past the issues of morality (overbirthing) and culture (over-blaming, with little self-responsibility). And kindly lose the commie ideology and words; they were hot in the 1950's but read "imbecile" in 2012.

Two busted institutions in the Philippines are education and the courts.

It is not really a budget issue in either case. It is a case of the subject institutions being disorganized, inept and in denial as to their own failure to stand up.

19 comments:

  1. From: Island jim-e

    1. Gee...some thought provoking topics! Ouch..
    With all due respect these topics could take up
    a book or event two! Many people cannot even
    begin to comprehend the issues...most do not have first hand...in the fox hole experiences...
    most refuse to learn....most run the other way
    as they carry their apathy and ignorance like
    "little gods" that they need to protect!

    2. The fear, terror and reactions to "isams" brings back a lot of pretty scare-me memories...fall out shelters in family back yards and under most public buildings, duck and
    cover class room exercises...that eventually caused me to get drafted into a combat infantry squad in Vietnam and uncles seeing action in WWII and Korea! Ouch!

    3. School memories which caused me "ouches"- of instructors/educators/teachers and advisors who were poorly qualified to be in public or private institutions....repeating the wrong stuff they learned and the results still echo
    throuh the halls of time! Ouch!

    4. Members of the "religous" who caused me
    much "finger--butt--slapping-bad times" in the
    cause of "education-or-else" and in a misguided
    effort to make me conform-to be converted--to
    see the light and become/get religious myself...
    by instilling the "fear of GOD" in me! Ouch..!

    5. As the degree (measured in percentiles) of
    emotional energy is the motor (motivation) that
    drives both "isams", religious, clerical,
    politics and human passions....all same-same
    --just a matter of results/fruits and degree
    of success!

    Enthos--a two edged sword...a "pandoras box"...
    and human beings that become "other directed"...
    usually into disaster epics!

    Mis-directed humans are prone/driven by whatever basic desire can be used to produce
    over-the-top (overwhelming) enthusiasm...
    worship, gruesome exhibitions of ignorance,
    inspiration, possession, "spirit-filled", excitement and persuasion ....just as they can
    exhibit "holyness"!

    Perhaps one of the reasons our court system is
    busted is that the pratice-filled lawyers and judges are not prepared or qualified for the
    job that needs to be done! They have soooo much church filled "crap" floating through their confused minds as to equate sympathy
    and "turning the other cheek"--aka: forgiveness and forgetfullness....that hey have become
    disfunctional! They have "lost" focus of the
    basic needs and function of civil and buisness
    law....! Therefore they are worthless to our
    society, community, environment, and economy...they become part of the problem...!

    The so-called PH educational system is broken
    for the same reasons...unqualifed people...doing the same damage...over....and
    over again and expecting better results (the
    true definition of insanity)!

    Crase, delusionary beliefs, misdirected energy-driven excuses, extreamism, archaic structures, refusal to take responsibility for building/creation of a better/new way/system!
    A archaic system based on taking...not giving
    all you have!

    As an example:
    This refusal to go the extra-mile is driving the repitive failure whichis exhibited by a police action that can catch theives, child molesters, slave owners....but the courts can not, will not, refuse to process the criminals...and the disfunctional government
    who refuses to fire the court officials....!

    The schools who insist on processing the "heard" at the expense of a quality
    educational effort! Of teachers who refuse to
    test and seperate the pupils capable of going to
    college/universities...from those who could benefit only from a technical school support
    program....!

    The government...bad leadership, bad management, bad administration should be impeached so that the community can once again
    become functional, profitable, comfortable and
    have a chance at true liberty, democracy and
    justice!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I have given you a portfolio of "ouches", you have returned a great many depressions, keyed to your precise vision of how it is here.

      ". . .one of the reasons our court system is
      busted is that the pratice-filled lawyers and judges are not prepared or qualified for the
      job that needs to be done!"

      Indeed, never has so much education been wasted on the professionally ineffectual. How do they show their faces around town?

      "This refusal to go the extra-mile is driving the repitive failure which is exhibited by a police action that can catch theives, child molesters, slave owners....but the courts can not, will not, refuse to process the criminals...and the disfunctional government who refuses to fire the court officials....!"

      The chain of command for failure.

      Gonna go get stinkin' drunk . . . chirp chirp chirp

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  2. From: the cricket....

    1. "when you wish upon a star...! Disney song tune!)

    2. Movie-Disney "the tar baby and ber rabbit!"

    3. On second thought perhaps it is well past time for our island authorities (forced by we the people) to stop ignoring the
    reality that the government needs to stop being protective,
    paternalistic, use the rod, endose the free market economic
    system for the citizens future benefits!

    How about leasing/employment by contract/renting the heavy rail,
    light rail, public transit bus, expressways, schools, jails, airports, marine and cruise ship terminals, bridge, flood/rain/storm control (by independent energy based corporationsz)...make the competition work for us instead of
    against us...no more greedy power hungery non-qualified public
    government employees, appointees,elected officals need apply!

    ...leave somethin in the bottle for me please...! chirp!

    ReplyDelete
  3. manuelbuencaminoJuly 3, 2012 at 8:26 PM

    All I can say is, if tomorrow by some miracle, Noynoy eliminates poverty provides jobs health and education for all, the only ones out of a job will be those people who make a living out of the misery of others. The commies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've discerned that he commies on Mindanao are largely extortion racket gangsters. Now these teacher-organizers seem to have an intellectual bent (using "capitalist" as a swear word) that is similar to the ideologues of the U.S. in the 50's and 60's as they touted their failed model of socialism. Their notion of "equality" means that everyone should share the spoils of those few who work hard and create value. It seems not to mean that everyone should work hard and create value.

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  4. Please read

    http://philbasiceducation.blogspot.com/2012/07/truthiness-in-education-we-all-must.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Dr. de Dios, I read the article. You are concerned about lack of science for elementary school in the new curriculum, you recognize ACT as doing a positive service representing teachers, you cite the lack of sufficient funding, and you conclude with an important advice to ACT and their ilk: "Unfortunately, embracing ideology and issuing statements that clearly have militant character does disservice."

      I hope you will offer commentary here and not simply use this blog as a referral source to your site. That would be using my good will for your benefit; not cool.

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    2. I did not want to take so much space on your site so I simply wrote a link to a post that is somewhat a response to what you wrote above. Also, I never thought that I benefit from the blog that I maintain.

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    3. Fair enough. Your article is indeed relevant. You don't have to worry about taking up too much space with commentary. I welcome lengthy inputs, as the idea is for others to share their insights, not just have Joe Am strut his half-baked stuff.

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  5. I will comment on "How about the Catholic Church being one very big reason by virtue of a morality that promotes overbirthing in a poor nation that can't provide that many well-paying jobs?"

    I remember when I was growing up in Manila who regularly attended Sunday mass. The families with large number of children are among those who do not. So I am not sure how the Catholic church has "promoted overbirthing". Yes, opposition to any bill that advances practices that do not agree with the doctrines of the church is always clearly made known by the Church. This may have a strong influence on politicians. Still, the question remains on how the people in the Philippines really elect their officials.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was reading an article the other day about, I believe it was Thailand, that had the same population as the Philippines in 1970 or so. Excuse my rough recall. Thailand today has a population of 70 million and the Philippines is heading for 100 million. There is a reason, and the reason is that the "doctrine" you state gets applied without regard for the fact that the State (Caesar's realm) does not have the resources to feed the Church's flock. The Church criticizes the government for producing a weak economy; it does not say "this level of birthing is unsustainable because the islands are crawling with poor people who are eating the resources like termites; we can do something about this). It makes no sense to me. It is like the Church is INVITING Revelations to occur, maybe in our lifetime.

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  6. Japan has about 840 people per square mile, Taiwan has 1800 while the Philippines has 780. The Philippines population growth rate is indeed high. Whether what the Catholic Church says or not has strong influence on what happens in the Philippines is not a fact. The Catholic Church in the Philippines says so many things but more often than not, these are in fact ignored. But the Catholic Church is a good excuse or scapegoat for those who do not want to accept responsibility for their own actions and decisions.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "But the Catholic Church is a good excuse or scapegoat for those who do not want to accept responsibility for their own actions and decisions."

      Yes, to an extent I would agree with that statement. But I don't think it is the whole truth. Doctrine means something, when it is applied. And if that doctrine is not keeping up with knowledge and newfound values, then the doctrine deserves to be criticized. I criticize that the Philippines is about the only nation in the world that still holds women in bondage to abusive men, with no rational way out of a broken marriage contract. And I criticize that the Church is unsympathetic to the idea that too many mouths can assure a wretched life for the millions, when a nation's economy simply cannot feed them. Ownership of responsibility cuts many ways. Education is not a sin. Being unkind is.

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    2. The Catholic Church has its doctrines and as a religious institution, one of its main functions is to offer its view of humanity and the world. A church's view may seem obstinate to some people but as in every religion, there is a great deal of conservatism.

      What is in the law books of a country is a different story. That is the responsibility of the country's lawmakers and the citizens. What is being taught in schools is a different story, that is the responsibility of the teachers and educators. Freedom of conscience means anyone is free to leave a church if one does not find its doctrines acceptable. The laws of the land do not provide the same option. What Filipinos write in their laws requires everyone to follow. On the other hand, the opinion of the church can be easily dismissed or ignored. Let us not confuse between the two.

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    3. Good points, all. The Church does many, many good deeds.

      Government would have more success at doing the State's work if the Church would render unto Caesar and ALLOW the state to accept responsibility for the unsustainable level of birthing. But she can't both hold the State responsible for the economy and poverty, then tie the State's hands through outdated doctrine.

      It is not me who confuses between the two, church doctrine and laws. It is all the Filipinos who find laws inconvenient and irrelevant (like Chief Justices who prepare sloppy and misleading SALN's).

      And I agree, the Catholic Church will either bend its doctrine or more and more people will find it irrelevant. Like what is happening in Brazil, where membership is fleeing as if from a sinking ship.

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    4. By the way, you are describing and citing this "lack of responsibility" among Filipinos in one of your previous posts.

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    5. Yes, sometimes I get onto themes and mush them to a pulp repeating them. If people always see the root of problem as "out there", it becomes a good reason for doing nothing about it. So many excuses . . .

      I appreciate your joining in the commentary, by the way. Made me think . . . (ha, MY benefit).

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    6. My blog is only 2 1/2 months old. I decided to write a blog when Philippine newspapers refused to publish what I wrote without giving DepEd a chance to respond first. The blog has taken a significant amount of my time and I am sure that with what I have been posting, I have likewise gained animosity. That is the benefit that I am getting.

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    7. Yes, wonderful "benefits", eh? Well, I was impressed with the amount of work that you put into the accumulation of information about education. I particularly appreciated the discussions about science in the lower grades. I do fear that my own thinking about education would be considered so bizarre by DepEd that they would never get to animosity, past the laughing. Best wishes in stirring up some progressive thinking about education.

      Joe

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