Education welfare

Education welfare: A mildly interesting article about the school transfer option of the “No child left behind” education plan included this quote from an indignant citizen:

“I would have taken the option to transfer, but I didn’t have it,” Jackson said. “This law ended up costing me money out of my own pocket.”

Boo hoo. Imagine that — having to foot the bill for your own child’s benefit. We homeschoolers do this every day. Americans have come a long way… No longer the independent minded people we once were, most of us take for granted that the costs of education will be paid for by everyone else. Jackson is not happy that his son’s school is underachieving but can’t understand why he should be responsible for the costs of his child’s education. And yet, homeschoolers choose to pay for their child’s eduction “100% out of pocket,” and still pay the property taxes and federal taxes that fund government schools that fail.

Does recalling Davis matter?

If the pilot of a doomed airplane were to be recalled from his position just a hundred feet before the craft plunged into the ocean, would it really matter who replaced him? Not even the Terminator would be able to get the plane on the right track. I can certainly understand the desire of the California electorate to fire their governor. He is truly an incompetent man, who is firmly in the pocket of special interests. He has no desire to manage his state out of the plunging dive it is in and would rather double the salary of a few state workers and give them 90% retirement pay for life at the age of 50 than trim one cent off the budget elephantiasis. But the problem is not just Gray Davis. The governor is a figure-head that is likely to get all the blame or all the credit for whatever happens. Certainly he deserves much of the blame and should be held accountable for defrauding the public and lying about the budget crisis during is re-election campaign. But what of the legislature that seems incapable of not hemorrhaging money that isn’t theirs? What of the Willie Browns of the state? If I still lived in California, I would likely vote to recall Gray, and I am not sure who I would vote for to replace him. But I have to wonder if it wasn’t a mistake to do this. (And I say wasn’t because it is inevitable now.) Wouldn’t there be more hope for change if the state was forced to live with the mistakes of the electorate, and a more sweeping “recall” was to take place in a few years when a “throw all the bums out” mentality takes hold? Maybe the next governor will get a “pass” when it comes to the next regularly scheduled election… it remains to be seen. But you have to wonder why any Republican would want to take over in the pilot seat just before the plane hits the water.

Why I am a Utopian Reject

I do not mean to suggest that the world or the United States in particular is a realized utopia for anyone. Militant feminists are still trying to find a way to make men irrelevant, atheists are still trying to banish any notion of deity from public view, extreme leftists are still trying to impose their moral code on society, extreme right wingers are generally trying to do the same thing, moderates are still trying to figure out “why can’t we all just get along,” educational elitists from all points of the political spectrum would like compulsory attendance to their neo-fascist institutions to be more strictly enforced and rigidly executed to churn out even more followers they can exploit, and MTV is still trying to reduce the attention span of the average pimple-faced teenager to less than a nanosecond.

I am a Utopian Reject because there exists not a single idealized vision of human society that suits me (that is, idealized by modern ideologues), or of more importance, I do not suit any purveyor of utopia, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, fascist or libertarian, spiritual or religious.

Being a Utopian Reject does not have anything to do with mindlessly protesting against establishment, abstaining from the electoral process (if you happen to live in a country with one), making your mind a god, or avoiding a bar of soap and a shower. Hippies may very well be societal rejects, but they are stupid and lack rudimentary reasoning skills — this is not what is meant by being a Utopian Reject. Multi-platinum musicians who never overcame teenage angst and feel guilty about being paid so much to be so worthless are not Utopian Rejects just because they feign intelligence in political or social matters, no matter what rhetoric they choose to parrot.

Purveyors of utopia from all political, social, and religious persuasions cannot overvalue the ignorance of the masses. No architect of utopia could hope to work with an independently wise and knowledgeable population and expect to make any progress. It is therefore the case that utopians almost invariably identify the same “problems” and the same “goals”– and only sometimes manage to concoct unique “solutions.”

I am a Utopian Reject because the utopian constructs of society designed to processes citizens like so much bologna into neat little packages largely failed on me. This is a mixed blessing, to be sure.

There are Utopian Rejects all over, in any political party or any religion. Most of them haven’t quantified their rejection from utopia. The more cognizant one becomes of their rejection, the more difficulty they have fitting into the round holes their square personalities have been hammered into.

Utopian Rejects don’t necessarily all agree on any particular set of values or truths, but all would agree that there really is no such thing as utopia.

I do not pretend to represent all Utopian Rejects, only myself. I believe in absolute truth, I believe there is right and wrong, and that most “gray areas” exist out of laziness in reasoning rather than some imagined equality of values. I do not for one minute think my mind is my god and I do not make a man or philosophy my final authority.