I was asked by a state representative to go (2.5 hours) out to Sallisaw, on the border of Arkansas and OK, this morning to talk to a group of Supts about CCSSI. I was unable to speak to any of the group after I finished speaking, but my takeaway was this: Some of them totally get the unfunded mandates part and some get the idea they are being forced into a little box by a government which keeps them - in many cases - from actually helping their students (and towns and communities). Some even understand that this concept operates outside the ideas of the 10th amendment.
I wonder how many really care much about what the 10th amendment is and/or means, though. So many were quiet it was really hard to get a read at all on their actual thoughts other than the fact that unfunded mandates are killing them and the superintendent is not high on their list of "people I most want to 'hang out' with".
Two WOMEN who came from AK to this meeting for some reason (I guess because there's a college/university in Ft. Smith that some Sallisaw grads attend and they are administrators there) sat there during my whole talk, shaking their heads and looking at me like I was a complete idiot. When the one spoke, she acted as though she wanted to slash my tires - or my throat - for not loving the CCSSI to pieces.
This is nothing new for me and it has caused me to see the America of today as completely black or white (not a racial statement) with an amorphous, gooey center.
One group operates on sheer emotion - very little expenditure of actual brain cells, but lots and lots of hormones (in the case of women) and something like an endemic rage syndrome (in the case of men). They see people like me as a 'fight'...as an adversary that wants nothing more in life than to take away the little umbilical cord to their federal government feed trough. I need to be STOPPED. I MUST be stopped.
The other group uses lots and lots of brain cells but not enough hormones (or rage) to actually get the attention of anyone in the emotion zone. We don’t understand emotions or how to relate to them as a course of action, so we spend our days crying out in the wilderness and preaching to the choir.
One part of the gooey middle won't miss Dancing With The Stars, attends every single performance of their kids (grandkids) sports, drama, choir, etc., which causes them to spend 12 hours in the car, carting said children back and forth to practices, during which they do nothing but talk on the phone to their friends about who's left on Dancing With the Stars and having conversations among themselves about who got the new Beemer and whose husbands are cheating.
The other part of the gooey middle is hanging on by their teeth - their lack of education and poor upbringing causes them to think about nothing much but how they're going to get from day-to-day. They care little about the kids they have because they just flat don't have time to - they're too busy feeding them. They could possibly be intelligent enough to make a life for themselves, but no one's really taught them how to make use of the brain they have, so they work and because they’re exhausted from work tend to concentrate on superficial things that make them happy like, getting their nails done or watching endless sports games on the satellite dishes precariously perched on the edges of their roofs or patios. Often, even if they wanted it, they can't get real help from those around them because the others are, in fact, worse off - involved in drugs and/or gang violence and/or sitting around their cockroach-infested homes/apartments in their house shoes watching Jerry Springer and living off their welfare checks.
It has always been so, I suppose. I heard a speaker say once, that those individuals who actually fought for independence of our country from British rule amounted to less than 25% of the total population at the time.
I guess the problem is that, today, we have a gazillion more people, 20 trillion dollars more debt and a welfare class (in some form) that amounts to nearly 50% of the population.
Doesn’t look too good for the home team, I’m afraid....