Wednesday, January 25, 2012

This is why I [should] never watch the SOTU address.

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[grumbles] Another cross-post, by the way.

Maybe I’m just too cynical. I was not impressed. At all. There were tons of moments where I was like, yeah, I absolutely agree with that, but [yawn]. Then again I also know that SOTU addresses are just bullshit. All talk and no game. That’s all they’ve ever been, and all they’ll ever be. And it’s an election year, so of course it’s upped. It’s meaningless. What matters is what is actually attempted over the course of a year, not just what’s said.

Maybe my standards are just too high. “Lesser of two evils” just does not cut it for me anymore. I’m not even sure I believe it.

And the GOP response omfg what the fuck was that shit. Nothing less than expected, of course, delivered by a douchey robot, but ugh. This entire government is just… no.

Ok, the whole thing about offshore drilling - do not even fucking get me started. If you knew me before, you know the environment is a big fucking deal to me. THAT IS NOT FUCKING CLEAN ENERGY. WHAT THE BLOODY HELL ARE YOU FUCKING OUT OF YOUR MIND?! IN THE ARCTIC TOO WHAT THE FUCK MAN WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK

The “forced to stay in high school until 18 thing” — mixed feelings, mostly negative. Education means a lot to me, and a high school diploma is a necessity these days because practically every single employer in the country (yes that’s an exaggeration shut up I know) will judge you for it, but sometimes there are really good reasons to leave, and I don’t think all learning has to be in a classroom. Some of the most intelligent, most innovative, and most successful people in the world never graduated high school. The focus should be on real education and real education reform, real skill development, not forcing children to stay in sub-par schools just to say they were there and left with a meaningless piece of paper. Forcing people to stay in school means absolutely nothing— that does NOT guarantee that they will actually learn anything or be motivated to learn. I mean really, if you know you have to be in school until you’re 18 but you really don’t give a shit about it, don’t you think the easiest thing to do would be to fuck around and fail til your 18th birthday? You can’t force someone to learn. I’d rather my child drop out and enrich themselves via world experiences (if they so choose) and work than be forced to stay in a school system that doesn’t meet their needs — or expectations, my own included. I'd like to know that we can talk about options for the future, rather than a rigid set of obligations. I think we place far too much emphasis on classroom learning and college as a measure of intelligence and success.We really do. I’m glad I went to college because I truly enjoyed it and I enjoy learning in a structured environment. That said, it is NOT for everyone, and it does NOT guarantee success in life. (Many people are actually better off without college. Debt. Run away, it’s a trap. Even with more government support, it can be extremely difficult.)

While I think it would be FANTASTIC for young parents to have government support to return to school, including childcare services, is this even on the table? Or are you simply going to force them to juggle everything on their own?

Also, how does this affect homeschooling? Many children who are homeschooled are able to obtain a high school diploma before they turn 18. (I technically graduated high school before I was 18. What if I had skipped a grade or two?) Would they be forced to attend anyway, or enroll in college just because they’re underage? Just how literally are they going to take this?

It’s like… I understand the supposed good points of this, and the statistics supporting it, but… It’s just not that simple. You can say the words all you want, but it’s not that simple.

So I think on that particular line, the priorities are just… wrong. And ok, to be perfectly honest, it scares me. A lot. People under 18 pretty much don’t have any rights to begin with, including the right to vote. They’re not treated like autonomous persons, but like property in a way. And in many cases, minors would have a lot of trouble leaving the country on their own. (Not that I’m saying a 13 year old should expatriate, but 16 is old enough, and often mature enough, to make more of their own decisions. If you’re able to support yourself and live on your own, I don’t see why anyone should try to decide your life for you.) There’s no choice whatsoever. So it bothers me that any country spouting “freedom” should force any class of citizens to be detained for any capacity, against their will, simply for falling within a demographic. So on that level, yes, it actually scares me that this government would insist that all states enforce a law like that.

Skimming the rest of the transcript for things I likely missed while screaming at the TV:

  • Merit pay, ok. All of that stuff about teachers, awesome. Standardized tests like those are not an accurate way to measure achievement or intelligence.
  • Taxation. Yeah… oh look, he talked about the 98%, I remember hearing that. I wasn't surprised. Hm.
  • Oh look, more American exceptionalism. That actually really bothers me.

Moving on because I have other things to do tonight.

Anyway, someone needs to compare this to last year. What’s just talk, what actually means something. Prove it’s all political bullshit. Just because.

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