Sunday, June 24, 2012

I feel not so alone

Way back in March 2010 I wrote a post about Liberty University in which I suggested that Liberty's accreditation should be yanked because they teach creation "science."  On a recent episode of "Real Time" Bill Maher echoed my sentiment, but in a funnier way. The stimulus was Presidential candidate Willard "Mitt" Romney's delivering of the commencement speech at Liberty:

A step in the wrong direction

On Friday (June 22) we got this email from the university president:
Yesterday, the Florida Board of Governors approved at [sic] 13 percent tuition increase for UNF. We appreciate the work of the Board of Governors and are satisfied with its decision. As a sign of respect to the BOG and the Governor, we are not appealing the decision. This tuition increase will allow us to continue to provide a quality education to our students. 
The university had asked for a 15% increase, but that was turned down; 13% was the compromise.

This is a step in the wrong direction.  College student debt in the United States is already higher than credit card debt.  The right direction would be to make all education, kindergarten through university, free, i.e. tax-supported.  We could easily afford to do this, and add universal health care, if we didn't have to police the entire planet and at the same time coddle our millionaires.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Our inability to get these kinds of things done is a function, or rather dysfunction, of our hyper-independence training.  For those who missed it, independence training is a cultural value that stresses individualism at the expense of the social good.  It has multiple ramifications throughout our culture, from the rejection of co-sleeping with infants and the emphasis on early weaning (to the point where images of women breastfeeding are seen as "dirty") through the Lone Ranger Syndrome in popular culture, all the way to our ambivalence toward the United Nations and our too-frequent willingness to "go it alone" in international adventures of dubious legality.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A quiet anniversary

On this date in 1967, the US Supreme Court (not always as determinedly useless as they have been recently) struck down the State of Virginia's anti-"miscegenation" law, rendering such laws unconstitutional.  The case was Loving v. Virginia.  Wikipedia has a fairly good description here, and there's another article, with photos, here.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Join the Union, or hate America!

This is an important graphic. It reveals the positive effect that union membership has on our society (unless you believe that the increasingly obscene gap between the wealthy and the rest of us is a good thing).