It’s just this war and that Lying son of a bitch Johnson

Wesley: Things got a little out of hand. It’s just this war and that lying son of a bitch Johnson and…I would never hurt you. You know that.

Forest Gump 1994

Hours before the most optimistic state of the union speech I’ve ever heard, Ruth Marcus Mayer at the Charlotte Observer wrote about a revelation that struck her on the way to the Woman’s March in the form of a good Samaritan and a car issue in a piece titled: My hatred of Donald Trump has been bottomless. Then my car broke down outside the Women’s March in DC..

This is a story of Resistance meeting reality. It contains may gems worth an old fashioned fisking.  Let’s examine them in order:

I wanted to be with people who shared my anger. Because I have been so angry about Donald Trump this past year. I have been angry at my country for electing this man, angry at my neighbors who support him, angry at the wealthy who sacrificed our country and its goodness for tax breaks, angry at the coal miners who believed his promises…My fury has been bottomless. I drink my morning coffee from a cup that says, “I hate to wake up when Donald Trump is President.” My husband and I, while reading the latest Trump news, routinely turn to each other and mutter, “I just hate him so much.”

Look at this Anger and Hate, hate and anger, ever single day. You would think someone’s life was more than who is in the White House but apparently not.

After the march, Katherine and I hit the road in the late afternoon, feeling good; we had done our part to express our outrage. We were about 90 minutes south of D.C. when I heard a terrible popping sound. I assumed I had blown a tire and headed toward the nearest exit. The popping was followed by screeching – were we now driving on metal? Luckily, there was a gas station right off the exit and I pulled in.

All the righteous liberal anger doesn’t do a thing when you have a car problem

Before I could do anything but park my grey Prius, a man rushed over. He looked like a mechanic in his well-worn overalls. “I heard you coming down that road,” he said. Before I could say much he started surveying the situation. He didn’t so much offer to help us as get right to work.

I love this sentence, first we find out she is driving a Prius which is apparently standard equipment for an upper middle class liberal, but notice that a man rushes over to help. Apparently he never got the memo that masculinity is “toxic” and that by rushing over to help he is reinforcing old harmful outdated memes on the roles of men and women.

He did all of this so quickly that I didn’t have time to grab the prominent RESIST sticker on the side of my car, which suddenly felt needlessly alienating. As this man lay on the ground underneath my car with his miracle zip ties, I asked if he thought they would hold for four more hours of driving.

Notice the difference here, this man didn’t see that “resist” sticker on her car and decide “the hell with this liberal, let her wait for AAA” or have bottomless anger toward her. Oh and pro-tip, if you were actually part of a “resistance” then you wouldn’t have that sticker on your car for fear of your life, let alone attend a public rally with thousands or even tens of thousands to openly protest against the government.

“Just ask any redneck like me what you can do with zip ties – well, zip ties and duct tape. You can solve almost any car problem. You’ll get home safe,” he said, turning to his teenage son, who had been standing nearby. “You can say that again,” his son agreed.

The whole interaction lasted 10 minutes, tops. But that good Samaritan – I never learned his name – was a man of his word: Katherine and I made it home safely.

Contrast this self-proclaimed Redneck, teaching his son by example and sharing the joys and value of mercy, chivalry and love of neighbor just hours after the woman he helped shared and celebrated with her daughter the joy of anger and hatred.

As I drove home, I felt the full extent to which Trump has actually diminished my own desire to be kind. He is keeping me so outraged that I hold ill will toward others on a daily basis. Trump is not just ruining our nation, he is ruining me. By the end of the drive, I felt heartbroken.

Look at the buck passing here. Her lack of kindness that has in her word diminished and/or ruined isn’t HER fault it’s all because of Trump.

When my husband and I first moved to Charlotte eight years ago, I liked to tell people that our neighborhood represented the best impulses of America. In our little two-block craftsman-home development, we had gay and straight families and people of every political persuasion from liberal to moderate Republican to Tea Party, and we all got along. We held porch parties in the summer time and a progressive dinner during Christmas. It wasn’t perfect, but for the most part it worked. We put being a cohesive neighborhood above politics.

How about that, she admits her tea party and moderate republicans somehow didn’t use the presidency of Barack Obama, no matter how much they might have disliked it or even hated it, as an excuse to stop being neighborly toward other who thought differently…

But this year, I realize, I have retreated from my porch.

Note the contrast here, Obama is president, republican/teaparty neighbors remain neighborly, Trump gets elected she retreats.  That suggests if the tables were turned and it was them potentially stranded with a Make America Great Again sticker on a pickup she might have thought: “Serves them right!” and happily driven away.

I want to come away from the march with that very simple lesson, but it begs this question: How do we hold onto the fire and the outrage that fuels our resistance to all of the cruelty that Trump is unleashing, but also embrace the world with more love?

I wish I knew the answer.

The answer is very plan, Trump hasn’t released cruelty or hatred or anger, you have. You have chosen the fires of outrage over love, you have decided to define yourself by this anger.  You’ve turned your politics into your religion and the religion of liberalism can not handle heretics, particularly when out of power.

If you have embraced bottomless hatred the problem isn’t Trump, it’s you, on the plus side you gained an insight thanks to the gift of your car problem and the redneck helping you.  This means you just might still be capable of looking at yourself in the light of truth, and recognizing what you’ve become is the first step in getting out of the trap of anger and hatred.

Don’t be this guy.

Update: For some reason I saw Ruth Marcus rather than Ruth Meyer on this piece proving that while staying up all night with your sick wife is a good idea, publishing a post while doing so not so much.  My very bad and apologies to Ms. Marcus thanks to Don Surber for spotting that.

Update 2:  fixed type on 2nd to last paragraph, Anger not Answer.


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LindaTo: The Folks at the Fordham Institute

From: Linda Szugyi

Re: Your Common Core Movie Fact Sheet

Fordham Fact Sheet

Fordham’s Fact Sheet lists thirteen ‘facts’ to counter thirteen ‘false assertions’ in the HSLDA movie about Common Core, Building the Machine.  Here are the first two.  I will continue with the rest in later posts.  My comments are italicized.

1. ASSERTION: THE COMMON CORE WILL NOT BENEFIT CHILDREN.  FACT: NO LONGER WILL A ZIPCODE BE THE LEADING INDICATOR OF WHAT ACADEMIC GOALS A CHILD IS EXPECTED TO REACH.

Since the goal of advancing educational excellence is embedded on Fordham’s logo, the author of this fact sheet probably knows that neither the assertion nor your refutation are statements of fact.  They are both opinion.  I may not be on the staff of an education policy think tank, but I’ve seen the “fact v. opinion” lesson over and over.  My older son’s curricula emphasized it every year, beginning in 1st grade.  The skill of distinguishing between fact and opinion is a favored educational subject these days, and it is fully incorporated in the Common Core Standards.

Perhaps next time, Fordham’s fact checker will follow the example of Mr. Farris, a man who knows the difference between conflicting evidence and differing opinions:  “I think that on balance [David Coleman‘s] proposals are not for the good of the public schools . . . he wants to try to improve the public school system.  He genuinely believes that systemization, centralization, and data collection are good things for kids.” (Building the Machine, 32:00-32:40)

2.  “ASSERTION: THE STANDARDS ARE TOO LOW OR, ALTERNATIVELY, TOO HIGH.  FACT: THE STANDARDS PROVIDE ACADEMIC BENCHMARKS BY GRADE. IF THE BENCHMARKS ARE ACHIEVED, A STUDENT WILL BE READY FOR COLLEGE OR CAREER. THE BENCHMARKS ARE A FLOOR, NOT A CEILING.”

It’s a floor, not a ceiling, so of course a student can learn more than the standards require.  Except, wait a minute.  Common Core is advertised as rigorous, “informed by the highest standards,” and “informed by the top performing countries.”

So which is it?  Are they the minimum required, or are they “new demands” and “high expectations?”  Logic dictates that they cannot be both a floor and a ceiling at the same time.  By the way, the skill of exercising logic is also fully incorporated in the Common Core Standards.

The folks at Fordham want us to believe that the Common Core standards are like Mamma Bear’s porridge: “just right!”  Um, guys.  You are trying to impose a single set of standards on every public school kid in America.  There are a lot of public school kids in America.  They have very diverse life experiences and goals.  How in the world are those standards going to be “just right” for every single one of them?

Bonus:  here is one of the authors of Common Core, explaining how the standards are too low for students who plan to either enter a STEM field of study or apply for a prestigious, competitive university:

The Fordham Fact Sheet carries on at length about students performing poorly in math, but how exactly does the existence of this problem prove Common Core is the solution?  It does not follow.  Here’s some remedial work for Common Core proponents:  a CC-aligned lesson on logical fallacies.

Here’s the third assertion/fact to chew on:

3.  ASSERTION: “THE COMMON CORE DISINCENTIVIZES PARENT INVOLVEMENT. IT STOPS PARENTS FROM A DEEP AND ABIDING INTEREST IN THEIR CHILD’S EDUCATION.”  FACT: WITH STANDARDS, PARENTS CAN CLEARLY ASSESS IF THEIR CHILD IS BEING CHALLENGED TO GAIN THE SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE NEEDED TO SUCCEED IN COLLEGE OR CAREER.

I’ll pick up with this one next week.  Hint:  I think I see some false premises in there . . .

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