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Archive for _education

Jeffco Sick Outs

jeffco-boots-w-caption-web

I was actually working on this cartoon before the fallout from all of the staged protests that have occurred the past week or so. This cartoon was triggered by a video of the teachers union, during a recent conference here in Colorado. In the presentation, the speaker encourages out of state union members to come in and be “boots” on the ground to protest the lawfully elected board members of Jefferson County. This kind of intentional rabble rousing infuriates me. If the conservative right was to protest every single election we don’t agree with, we’d never get any other work done. And certainly when we do finally protest, when things swing too far left, we immediately get tarred and feathered as racist, sexist, pick your own epithet.

But what’s more infuriating is the complete distortion and lies being fed to these high school students about this issue. These kids have no clue about the source of their protests. In order to hide the fact that it’s about disgruntled election results, the unions have convinced the teachers that it’s somehow about pay or the latest, it’s somehow about taking away American history.

I’ve had conservative friends who mistakenly spoke out saying that they support teachers and that if the teachers are protesting then they must have a legitimate beef against the school board. All the school board did, their only pinnable crime, is that they said, “let’s talk about creating an advisory board to review the history curriculum.” And with that, the distortion begins. Kids on streets claiming that the school board wants to take slavery out of the curriculum?! Obviously, these ignorant children have been fed this poison from somewhere, perhaps from the very teachers that we are bending over backwards to protect?

Look, I’m not against the teachers. Some are probably just as hoodwinked by the unions as the kids they indoctrinate. All the board is suggesting is creating a system of accountability over what is being taught to our impressionable youth (and the student protests demonstrate just how impressionable they really are!!!). It is as if you worked in an office and one day the boss says, you know what, I’m going to form an advisory committee that will review employee performance to make sure it is in line with the objectives of the company. Should the employees suddenly protest such a move, what does that telegraph about their performance?

Not that I’m equating the content of the curriculum with the performance of the teachers. No doubt they are doing their very best instructing the kids, but if the material is incorrect or irrelevant, or perhaps too biased one direction, then all of their best efforts cannot overcome this. The fact that these kids believe that the board wants to remove slavery from the curriculum demonstrates just how little they even really know about the subject. If American history was properly taught, they would have learned that the Republican Party was formed as the Abolitionist party!

Seriously, though, I was in high school once. I remember exactly how it was. Any chance to get on TV and get out of class, we would take. We probably couldn’t even care less about what we were protesting. That wasn’t important. What was important is that it was 80 degrees and sunshine on a September day. Hello! Give me some cardboard, I’ll write down something stupid, and then I’m out of here. The real issue is that the media is turning ordinary teenage angst into some sort of deep meaningful, heartfealt protest movement, when in reality, it isn’t.

Graduation Day


“The old system no longer works.” That’s a paraphrase of recent comments uttered by Obama in a graduation speech. Indeed, it seems a lot of colleges teach you a skill, and then show how you can find a company and climb the ladder. Follow that formula, rise to the top, raise your family, have 2.5 children… you get the picture. It’s a great model. It’s the American dream. And these days, it seems that model is no longer working.

I am noticing a very peculiar thing happening in this economic crisis. As people continue to fail to find jobs, they are deciding that the best thing they could do is create their own work by starting their own businesses. We started as a society of entrepreneurs. However, the 19th century ushered in the age of the major corporation and Americans forgot how to fend for themselves. We became complacent in our “secure” jobs. Now that the security blanket has been removed, many of us are doing what made this country so great in the first place. We are improvising. We are inventing. We are creating. The best thing that government can do right now is to step out of the way and let it happen! Don’t coddle us when we are down. Don’t spend a gazillion dollars trying to keep crippling big businesses alive. Let us be Americans!

One quick final note. This cartoon is not intended to be a slam on college graduates. I’ve known many college grads who started great businesses. I’ve also known many who didn’t attend college who started great businesses, and are doing very well for themselves. I just know from my experience, many of my college educated friends, including myself, were never taught how to be entrepreneurs. I always found it pretty funny, that some of us with our so-called serious education didn’t have a lick of street smarts on graduation day. But through time, experience and a few hard knocks, we’ve learned, and so can any capable person who really puts their mind to it.

There are no winners

Sick Out

Overprotecting our Children

Unfair for Who?