Monday, July 28, 2014

(Via: Blogging Through the Fourth Dimension) What we need to remember

Great post- had to share.  Yes.  Yes.  Yes!

Common Core, Smarter Balanced Assessments, Funding, and whatever other political hot button issues- all take a backseat to this simple statement:  Remember, they are a child.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Vouchers: Redux

A guy I've known for a long time is running for the state assembly as a conservative Republican.  His background is in the banking industry.  He's a great guy, squeaky clean, upstanding citizen, wonderful father- all the rest.

We were talking the other day and he asked me about the Common Core.  I said what I had to say and then let the conversation move on to other things. 

After awhile, I asked him the difference between banks and credit unions.  He went on a diatribe (as I suspected he would) about the unfair advantages of credit unions and how the rules are different, the playing field isn't level, etc.  I listened.  Occasionally- I threw out a clarifying question like "So, it isn't fair when two entities- both delivering the same essential services- play by different sets of rules?"  He enthusiastically agreed!  Or, a restatement- "You're saying that the rules are so different that it's virtually impossible to even come up with a way to accurately compare the performance of a bank to a credit union."  EXACTLY!

Then things got interesting...

"So," I said, "you must be opposed to vouchers then."  Without a bit of hesitation or a hint of irony, he expressed his strong support for vouchers.  "Oh," I countered, "so you're just a garden variety hypocrite then.  A guy who wants a level playing field for himself, but isn't concerned about it when it comes to someone else.  Got it."   

He looked down, shook his head, and muttered "boy, I guess I walked right into that one."

We moved on to talk- pleasantly- about other things.

As I said, he's a great guy.  He's probably going to win.  I'm OK with that, but I do hope he reflects on our conversation before jumping all in on any new legislation to expand the voucher program.

I didn't even get into the completion angle.  Businesses collude and/or carve out niche areas all the time.  His bank is one example.  They provide a nice range or services on fair terms, they do so competently, and they don't engage in the kind of crazy nonsense that seems to be the norm on Wall Street.  They don't compete with anyone though.  Not really.  Not really.

I could easily argue that a school faces more competition than a local bank, but that's another post!

Sharing from "The Becoming Radical"

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Please Stop

 I was driving in to work today and I heard a soccer player who had been injured early in World Cup play say that "Everything happens for a reason."   I hear that phrase all the time now- especially after tragedies- and it about drives me insane.  No, it doesn't.  At least, it doesn't in the context that it is being said- which is that it is part of God's Plan.  There may be several 'reasons' why that player tore a hamstring at that precise moment- but none of them were because God intended for it to happen all along.

Two parents die in a car crash leaving behind a bunch of small children - "Everything happens for a reason."  Well- if you mean that the driver was drunk and driving too fast- then yes, the crash happened for a reason.  If you mean that God intended for this to happen as part of master plan- then please just stop talking to me.  That's nonsense and theological gibberish.

A small child dies.  "Everything happens for a reason."  Or, worse "God needed another angel."  Please.  Stop. 

We live in a broken world.  The fact that God is powerful enough to be able to use people to find good in tragic situations does not mean that God needs bad things to happen in order to use them for a greater purpose, or that everything that happens- good or bad- happens because there is a pre-plan from on high. 

I wanted to go fishing this morning- actually went to the marina and was ready to launch, but my battery was dead.  Now- the reason I arrived at the marina with a dead battery is that something was drawing on the battery in the 3 weeks since I last used the boat, and I didn't check it last night.  The reason is not that it was God's plan for me to come to work and not go fishing this morning.

If each of us was simply a marionette, controlled by a puppeteer god- there would be no need for grace, or forgiveness- or Jesus.  We are not marionettes.  Everything does not happen for a (God induced) reason.