Sunday, May 02, 2010

"Why is there always money for war but never money for education?"

That's the bumper sticker I saw at the Mansfield Flea Market on my way back to the car today. I immediately thought of these two photos I had seen a short time before and I had to marvel at the short sightedness of the driver that affixed such a stupidly worded statement on his or her bumper. For the record the photos was in a 1973 soft cover over sized book called "The Best of Life". Life as in the now defunct magazine.

That's a union man for you. "Where is mine?" Leaving aside the unimaginable sum of what this country spends on education every year including the fat unionized teachers checks we write, it is just mind boggling that someone could be so ungrateful for the sacrifices some have paid for country. First of all it is a false choice that we have to have one or the other but not both. Or that throwing more and more money at education necessarily means a better educated student. Second, this person has the gall to quibble about the money spent on securing his freedom as if we could have shopped around to find a better deal somewhere? If only that money had been redirected to "education", than where would we be today? Who would be our rulers? The Nazis? The Soviets?

Or would we merely be one of many mediocre nations like the socialist basket cases of Europe?

I suppose in an odd way these views are the inevitable consequence of having it so good for so long. They have become spoilt like children. They are unappreciative of the sacrifices that have been made because they are so far removed from them. Our World War II veterans are disappearing every day. Soon they will be all gone. Some of us are forgetting the lessons we learned then. Foremost among them is to never be caught unprepared again.

America is special because we made different choices than other nations did and continue to do so. We do not believe in "free". We believe in rugged individualism. We have charity but once you are on your feet again, you are expected to care for yourself and your family. We believe in freedom and if necessary, we will spill our blood to make sure we remain free.

I have always had the utmost reverence for our brave men on the front lines no matter if it is a World war, Vietnam or the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. They are not cowboys. They must have been scared out of their wits lots of times.

I lost one friend while I was in the Navy. What would it have been like to have the list of your buddies still alive verses those that have fallen

---and the former is the shorter list? Education isn't free any more than freedom is. But when and if it came down to choosing one or the other it is beyond question what choice has to be made. The best education in a fascist state is not a life worth living.

Some people forget that.



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