Tuesday, December 12, 2006

School Bully

On Monday Paul Greenberg used the power of his statewide editorial page in an attempt to bully a single state representative, Mike Kenney, out of his support for parental choice. At issue was whether parents will have the choice of having their children take the "Common Core" courses or the math-intensive "Smart Core" track. Greenberg et al wants the "Common Core" option removed, forcing even the least talented and motivated in math to take courses like trigonometry and calculus in order to graduate high school.

My own view is that each parent knows their child's limits and talents a lot better than Greenberg and the more choice they have for their children the better. Read here if you want to know more details about why this is a bad move. I applaud representative Kenny for his common-sense approach, and I hope he does not knuckle under to Greenberg's bullying. I don't like bullies, and I like fascists even less. The Demo-zette editorial staff seems to have a tendency toward both.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a college educated person and a productive member of society.

Had I been forced to take Trig and Calculus, I'm afraid I would have had a difficult time graduating high school.

1:34 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Yep. Me too. Either they will have to dumb down the courses or flunk everybody- unless there is something they are not telling us, and there is. I need to write more soon about what I really think is behind this. It can't be what they say, because James' logic on this is absurd.

2:54 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

This two-tiered system as well as having just the "Smart Core" are both ridiculous ideas from small minded men of good intentions. If you can't figure out Trig, you should go to Vo-Tech, period.

3:02 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

What if you have a high level of general intelligence, but not in Math? Should Bob Dylan go to votech if he can't do trig?

C'mon Rob, FREEDOM. For once join us in advocating FREEDOM.

3:48 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

But glad you agree that having just the so-called "smart-core" is silly.

Ummmm. Did Hunter S. Thompson pass trig?

3:49 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger DeathRowBodine said...

Mark,

I agree that the students who currently are in the "Smart Core" should not be subject to a dumbing down that might occur if this is pulled off like the Arkansas Department of Education probably envision. However, the current smart core is not that hard. Alot of the religious and other private schools currently demand that level from all of their students, and all of them usally rise to the challenge. Is it easy? Of course not. Does Mommy's little darling perfect child get a perfect report card? Of course not. That is life. Life is hard. Sometimes you fail. Suck it up.

On the other hand, those students currently in "Smart Core" should have thier standards raised too. Call it "Super Smart Core" if you want. I don't think we are pushing our students enough in those areas that will be most critical for success in the future. A student that ends up with a C or D in a Trig course will be far better off than one that got straight A(s) in another year of basic math or no additional math at all.

Kids in other countries, and kids in private schools are held to this standard all the time and meet the challenge. You can not convince me that Arkansas public school students are not capable of achieving if they are held to equal standards.

Personally, I think Trig should be a minimum requirement to get a high school diploma. I have seen electricians screw up hundreds of dollars of conduit because they could not calculate simple angle / lengths for bends. Instead they had to do trial and error until it was "about right." Their work was always left looking unprofessional and careless.

The only thing about this that bothers me is something you are absolutely right about.... The Arkansas Department of Education cannot be trusted to do this correctly. They probably have some agenda that really ends up dumbing down the top of the curve without even pulling up the bottom of it.

6:54 PM, December 12, 2006  
Blogger rob_star said...

Mark,

I meant that everyone should be trained extensively in the area they show excellence in and an eagerness to pursue whether that be in Chaos Math theory or welding.

9:00 PM, December 12, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark --

When the Democrat-Gazette doesn't like something, they write and publish an editorial. When you don't like something, you write and publish a post on your little weblog. They aren't bullies or fascists for publishing their opinions, and you aren't a bully or fascist for publishing yours.

However, it is worth noting that they get paid for publishing their opinions, and that this may have something to do with the possibility that thpse opinions are more eloquently argued. For instance, they do not rely on namecalling the way you do.

11:00 AM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Among the differences is that I pick on people 10 or more times my size and they pick on people 1/10th their size or smaller on a routine basis. I remember how they beat up on LaVina Grandon, or coach Ron Crawford, or any other regular person who dares to speak up against their establishment mindset.

As far as them not name-calling, you simply don't know what you are talking about. They usually are more oblique in their name calling, often evoking images rather than coming right out and saying what is on their mind, but their are reasons for that 1) They are not as honest and 2) Their lables don't fit, so they have to smear people with innuendos.


But they still name-call plenty. I could fill 10 pages with the times they have called Jim Holt alone names. Maybe just with the times they called him a demogouge.

In conclusion, the Werchmacht (Nazi Army) and the U.S. Army both used tanks, artillery, and many of the same tools. What really made them different was not in the tools they used, but the rightness of their cause. When I hit 'em, they need hitting.

1:31 PM, December 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark

This response is evidence that you have no idea what you're talking about.

1. If it is not appropriate for an editorial page to discuss the official actions of an elected state representative or a public figure with his own radio show who funded a nonprofit group that covered the radio with advertisements just before the last election, it is not appropriate for a newspaper ever to criticize anybody about anything.

2. Evoking images is typically good writing. Name calling is typically bad writing. The reason you use name calling is that it is much easier. Relatedly, it is a reason that the editorial page's articles are much more convincing than yours.

3. Calling someone a demagogue is not name-calling. It's very different than calling someone a bully. It is possible to call someone a demagogue and for that statement to be true. Certainly, Jim Holt has made some demagogic statements. However, writing about someone else's views is not bullying. People bully by use of illegitimate force, not by printing up pieces of paper. If I were to call you an Internet bully, it would just be silly. If I were to call you a demagogue, it would not be silly, but the truth of the statement rests on how often you give demagogic speeches or post demagogic articles. I hope someday you understand what name-calling is. It is not just accusations that you don't like.

4. I don't have any doubt that you believe in the rightness of your cause, and I don't have any doubt that the editorialists at the paper believe in the rightness of their causes. But for you to suggest that they don't have the same kind of belief in their own integrity as you and are somehow like Nazis is really moronic. However, your attempt at this comparison falls flat because you are such a crappy writer. I hope someday you grow up and realize that you don't have a monopoly on integrity. Other people have a right to their own views and cannot just be dismissed because you think you are in sole possession of the rightness of your cause.

2:10 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

#1) Mike Kenny is still a single state rep. and the Demo-zette is a state-wide paper. I only wish he were the only ones you try to push around. When coach Ron Crawford or Lavina Grandon opposed you on school consolidation you mocked them too. You'll try to embarass and humiliate ANYONE who gets in your way. Not for being dishonest, but simply for having a difference of opinion with you. I for one defy you, and unlike you, I am not afraid to put my name on it.

#2) Is nullified by the fact that both of us evoke images and both of us call names and.......

#3) is nothing more than a claim by you that the names YOU call people are OK, but the names I call people are somehow not OK. When a state-wide paper mocks and ridicules a person it IS intimidating. There are more ways to bully people than with physical force and you know it. Threats of lawsuits for example.....or being painted as a "nut" by a state-wide paper when you don't have nearly as big a voice to fight back with and tell your side of the story. They are nothing more than bullies.

Compare that to this blog. If I criticize someone they can come right on here and answer me. I have to defend everything I say or lose the argument and my target has just as big a soapbox as I do. There is simply no comparison in moral legitimacy between my postings on this blog and the smear-jobs from the Democrat-Gazette.

#4) I don't claim to have a "monopoly" on integrity. That is a straw-man with my name on it which you have set up so that you can knock it down and claim you did it to me. Lot's of people have integrity, I just haven't seen much among the editorial writers at the Democrat-Gazette. They repeatedly claimed things like Holt's SB206 would "deny people medical care" when it would only deny access to other people's pocket's to pay for it. Even after being shown in black and white that it would not pre-empt either state or federal law that requires hospitals to provide emergency medical care they STILL tried to claim it did. Then they said shame on us for having federal law to force us to do the right thing when, once again, not even state law on emergency medical care would be affected. You have a right to your own views, but not your own facts. Especially when you KNOW you are telling it like it isn't.

2:40 PM, December 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...unlike you, I am not afraid to put my name on it.

also unlike most of the smear jobs Greenberg & friends publish in the editorial section of the DemGaz. Which is why I hardly ever read their scrawl.

4:39 PM, December 14, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mark --

As incomprehensible as this may be to you, I don't work (nor have I ever worked) for the Demozette. So your insistence that just because I disagree with your takedown that I must be part of the editorial page staff demonstrates nothing except your retreat from reality.

I am well aware that Mike Kenney is a single state rep. He has power that the newspaper doesn't have, and the newspaper has power that he doesn't have. For your sake, someday I hope you understand that power is a complex phenomenon (you seem to understand that it has many facets in your point 3 above but you don't seem to understand how it works in your point 1). I'm darn glad that we have a free press that can criticize state reps. The alternative is worse.

No, Mark, your bad conduct is not nullified by the fact that the Demozette invokes images. No, suggesting that someone is like a Nazi or a fascist is not nullified by the fact that they ridicule points of view that they disagree with. In some ways it must be nice to be so ignorant of history that one thinks that what distinguishes Nazis is that they were vicious ridiculers. The reason that people don't like Nazis is that they killed lots of people in pursuit of a vicious ideology. Comparison of editorial page writers to Nazis and fascists shows nothing except your own ignorance.

Mark, when you compare people you don't like to Nazis and fascists and then explain that what makes Nazis different is the rightness of their cause, and then explain that you are the one who does the things that morally need to be done, people will understand that you are arguing that you have a monopoly on virtue. You can deny this all you want and make up all the delusions you want that people from the Demozette are personally responding to you. When I interpret your posts with their plain meaning, you cry that I am setting up a straw man.

Mark, you are so distanced from reality and so unused to dealing with anyone from the real world that you probably believe that the way I am behaving -- reading and critically analyzing your posts -- is tremendously unfair. That is too bad and I hope for your sake that you get back in the real world someday.

5:34 AM, December 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

correction -- the penultimate paragraph should be

Mark, when you compare people you don't like to Nazis and fascists and then explain that what makes Nazis different is the rightness of YOUR cause, and then explain that you are the one who does the things that morally need to be done, people will understand that you are arguing that you have a monopoly on virtue. You can deny this all you want and make up all the delusions you want that people from the Demozette are personally responding to you. When I interpret your posts with their plain meaning, you cry that I am setting up a straw man.

6:59 AM, December 15, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Your second paragraph, while heavy on personal attack, fails completely to address my main point- the power of the demozette is used even on ordinary citizens like Lavina Grandon, Ron Crawford, and Debbie Pelley, when they dare step out of line. It's not just used on a state rep..

Your third paragraph, while also heavy on personal attack, also fails to address my main point. My main point was not to say that the Demozette were nazis, nor was that my second point. The point of my analogy with the Nazis/Allies was that good guys and bad guys can both use the same tools and still be morally unequal. ANY analogy breaks if stretched too far- and that is what you are doing. In so doing you set up ANOTHER straw man with my name on it for you to knock down. You seem very reluctant to address my actual arguments but wish to make up for it by knocking down arguments that you falsely attribute to me. So your "rebuttal" consists of personal attack, condescension, and rebutting arguments that I have not made but which you falsely attribute to me. Good job.

Your fourth paragraph, while heavy on personal attack, fails to present a logical case for your claim that I claim a "monopoly on morality". Your bald assertion that I do is not a logical case, nor is your misuse/mistrepresentation of my analogy evidence of such a claim on my part. Even if I DID claim the Demo-Zettes were Nazis, which I did not, it STILL does not mean I am claiming a "monopoly of virtue". Your accusation is ludicrous. Did the allies in WWII claim a "monopoly on virtue" when they fought the axis? Lots of people have virtue. Lot's of people don't like the Demo-Zette's editorial practices.

Your fifth paragraph, while heavy on personal attack, fails to even pretend to refute any arguments that I have put forth. It doens't even try to refute an argument which you falsely ascribe to me. It is just pure condescension, almost as if you actually made a case for your side. ONE of us has troubles with reality.

11:54 AM, December 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He didn't speak to this either......

"If I criticize someone they can come right on here and answer me. I have to defend everything I say or lose the argument and my target has just as big a soapbox as I do. There is simply no comparison in moral legitimacy between my postings on this blog and the smear-jobs from the Democrat-Gazette."

Good reason why blogs are a more moral way to attack than a state-wide paper is.

11:58 AM, December 15, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, I can't respond to your "main point" when you don't actually make it. Not being psychic, all I can do is respond to what you actually say.

But what you actually say is remarkably stupid. You say that the editorialists are like bullies and fascists, and that you're like the Allies. Then you're shocked that someone thinks you're comparing yourself to the Allies and Greenberg & co. to the Nazis. Mark, that's pretty stupid.

Apparently, you're unaware that most people think it's rude to compare people you disagree with with Nazis. Maybe nobody has ever explained this to you before, but another possibility is that plenty of people have and you just decided to ignore it. Mark, that's pretty stupid.

Apparently you didn't bother to think about what I wrote before, which is that Ron Crawford has his own radio show and plenty of money to cover the radio with ads just before the election. Like your insistence that it is improper for a paper to criticize an elected official, that is pretty stupid.

You also didn't realize the implications of the argument that you are not the only person who behaves in good faith. I have read the editorial page and I have read your weblog. Your accusation that they act in bad faith while you don't is ridiculous. You lack the standing to complain that they behave in bad faith, whereas you don't. You can analyze their actions, but it is downright impious for you to argue that you have perfect knowledge of their character. Until God appears to me and explains that Mark is pure-hearted and the editorialists don't believe in the rightness of their cause, I will continue to see both people as having a right to their opinion. Again, to argue (as you did, no matter how much you try to deny it) that Greenberg is like a Nazi because of the wickedness of his cause is really, really stupid.

Two things for you to think about:

1. Note that if you give reasons that someone is stupid, it's not the same as just name-calling.

2. Note that the person who compares his opponents to Nazis is typically 90% of the way there to already having lost the argument. However, it is quite frequently the case that the person who does this has not only by and large lost the argument already but is too stupid to realize it. Let's see if you pass the test this time.

3:11 PM, December 15, 2006  
Anonymous Mark Moore said...

Amazing. You STILL don't respond to any of my points, you STILL insist that I was saying they were Nazis without even addressing my contention that my point was that good guys can use the same tools as bad guys. It is not the tools they use that makes them bad, but the what they use them for. Instead of engaging in rational debate on the points I raise, you wave your hand and claim I don't have any.

You claim you don't get what point I am trying to make, so it is no wonder you are unable to refute it. But like a mocker who reviles at what he cannot understand you STILL lay on the personal attacks.

As for Ron Crawford, the man has to defend his views with money from his own pocket, and his reach is tiny compared to the Dem-Gaz. So one victim makes an effort to defend themselves and their position from the establishment machine- that does not mean it is a fair fight.

Speaking of saying stupid things, YOU are now trying to cover your tracks for your own stupid remarks. At first you tried to declare that I thought I had a "monopoly on virtue". Now you realize how silly that claim was and you backtrack and claim your argument is "you are not the only person who behaves in good faith". That WAS NOT your claim. This is the first time you have made that claim. The original claim was that I thought I had "a monopoly on virtue".

YOU SAY: "You lack the standing to complain that they behave in bad faith, whereas you don't. You can analyze their actions, but it is downright impious for you to argue that you have perfect knowledge of their character."

So YOU say. I have seen and heard enough of their character to make my own judgment. I don't have to have PERFECT knowledge of it. Just enough to make a reasonable decision and I have it.

And I also never said that they did not believe in the rightness of their cause. That is another example of your irritating habit of setting up straw men. They may well believe in their cause- the Nazis believed in their cause too. Now you will say that I am calling them nazis again but of course a reasonable person will understand that my point is that even an evil person can believe their cause is "right" but that does not make it so.

They may believe so much in their cause that they think it justifies smearing people and twisting the facts. That does not make it right.

As for your numbered "points"
#1. You are attempting to justify your repeatedly calling me stupid by saying it is OK to name-call if you give "reasons" for it. OK, so I gave reasons that the Dem-gaz editorial writers are bullies- not that any documentation is needed.

#2. You say that "the person who compares his opponents to Nazis is typically 90% of the way there to already having lost the argument. However, it is quite frequently the case that the person who does this has not only by and large lost the argument already but is too stupid to realize it. "

Good thing I didn't do it then. You have lost every debating point with me on the facts, so you have to cling to your victories over self-erected straw men as justification to hurl your invective at me.

In my scenario, the Dem-Gaz editorial writers are the bad guys. In WWII, the Nazis were the bad guys. I am not saying the Dem-Gaz writers are Nazis, I am saying they are also the bad guys in this scenario. Are you following me so far?

I didn't think so. I will try again with the patience of Job.

Do you remember the movie The Patriot? In that movie, the British were the bad guys. Just as in WWII the Nazis were the bad guys. AM I CALLING THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR BRITISH NAXIs? Hmmmm?

My point was that just because the good guys use the same tools as the bad guys does not make them just as bad.

Are you finally going to get this, or are you simply going to call me "stupid" five more times and refute two more arguments that I never advanced?

8:44 PM, December 15, 2006  
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