Americans Dumber than Ever

VDare has an article giving yet more exposure to what many have already noticed, but too few have tried to do anything about. Public education is a farce, and the industry knows it.  Test scores are falling, standards are sinking, and the budget is increasing. It’s obvious that the current measures being taken by the DoE are inadequate if not malformed. If raising standards for students and giving more money to teachers is not fixing the problem, perhaps we should try raising the standards for teachers.

Force teachers to compete for their salaries; their pay would be based directly on the success of their students. If only 10% of their students are proficient in the requisite material, then the teacher makes less than a burger flipper, but can climb to higher paying salaries by improving their students’ performance. Many schools already participate in a testing system, why not use this as the basis for their funding?

Education NEEDS to be competitive, our educational standards are embarrassingly low internationally. If future generations are really going to clean up all the mess that the current are creating they need to be as well educated as possible, else we are all of us doomed.

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Litigation only Stifles innovation; The business world vs. Google

There is a sad sort of phenomenon that the world populace has been subjected to for most of this era, and it is becoming increasingly prominent and obvious. The root of this problem is businesses inability to evolve at the same pace as technology. A new product or technology arises and becomes popular and instead of embracing this new way idea to increase business the corporations’ first strategy is litigation. It is always litigation.

The record industry was terrible about this during the Napster era, and has only in the last few years started to really embrace this new technology. The movie studio’s are now attacking Google Video and YouTube. Warner aside, these people don’t see the benefit of these sites. For almost any sort of market, exposure only increases your sales. This has been proven quite adequately with mp3s, and I can’t imagine it not applying just the same with video.

Lately people have been ridiculing and litigating Google for everything they are doing, because they are making money. They are well within fair-use laws. Their news site only shows a short clip from the author’s site which the reader must go to in order to read the full article. The book search that they have created works similarly, a small excerpt is shown with a reference to the full work, this is the same rights that someone writing a paper would get, why is it not applicable to Google? Because they are displaying ads? They are not SELLING the book, nor the excerpt. Why should they have to share their ad revenue?

People complain that their copyrights to their content are being infringed, when in reality they should be thanking Google for the added exposure. They should try to harness this new exposure and maximize their profits from it. Litigating new technology only stifles innovation. Google is giving consumers exactly what they want, an easier way to find and absorb content. If the content providers/producers were making this as easy as Google is, then THEY would be making the money and even still they are only GAINING from Google’s distribution of their content because it always points back to the source.

This really comes down to people being angry about not getting money. Even if the money being made is not directly coming from their content, but only indirectly associated with it. As I understand it, Google has an opt out mechanism for excluding content from their search products. If these people don’t want their content — which is FREELY viewable — to be redistributed then they can simply exclude themselves, but that is not what they want. They WANT to be included, but the want a share of the revenue to which they have no right. Shameful, simply shameful.

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Marriage is Unconstitutional

Aparently there is a debate in congress over a proposed amendment to the constitution. The amendment would essentially define at the constitutional level that a marriage is only between a man and a woman. While this change would not directly effect me, it DOES effect MILLIONS of people nation wide. It is of much curiosity to me why people feel so strongly about this. Bush has even come out in support of this and stated that marriage is a fundamental corner stone of our society and it should not be redefined by activist judges.

The history of marriage is hazy at best, as it goes back beyond record and varies from region to region. In the west, for centuries, if not eons, marriage was practiced to accumulate wealth and to ensure the survival of one’s lineage. Religious influences aside, these are the two main initial reasons for this institution neither of which are necessary in today’s society. In contemporary society the primary gains, other than social recognition, is tax breaks, hospital rights, and wills. I cannot find a reason why anyone in a serious relationship should be denied any of these rights.

If your arguments against same sex marriages are because it degrades the sacrament of matrimony then perhaps it is indeed to ensnared in religious trappings to belong in our legal system in the first place. Perhaps we should remove it in its entirety and replace it with a legal recognition of a familial unit, which simple allocates the previously specified rights to whomever is within the contractual union. And if you really think that it threatens the values of marriage and family, then perhaps you should be proposing legislation against divorce as well.

What this debate comes down to is a threat to civil liberties. Just because its the way it has always been, does not mean its the way it should always be. If it were so, white land-owning males would be the only ones voting. Even if the vast majority of Americans is against giving these civil liberties to anyone, it is the responsible thing to do. Is it not? Or perhaps I’m just a terrible American.

I would like to give an open challenge to anyone who can give me a non-religiously backed argument against same-sexed marriage. Honestly, I just havent heard any reasons that sound logical yet and I refuse to believe that the world is filled with that many religious bigots.

“You can’t blame yourself for what gorillas did.” – Lisa, Team America

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