Sloppy Thinking 1

2 Jan

I am, as I may have mentioned before, a Crank. One of the things that makes me Cranky is the proliferation of short, punchy, let’s-all-feel-morally-superior slogans. I’m sure that I will revisit this theme, often, but I thought I’d start out with three that have been bugging me for years:

1) It will be a great day when our schools get all the money they need and the air force has to hold a bake sale to buy a bomber.
Ok, let’s just forget the argument over whether what is wrong with our schools is a lack of money. that’s a whole rant on its own. Or two or three rants, even.
It is NEVER a good idea to tell the military to look for their own funding. Because bake sales aren’t how they’re going to do it. If you want an idea of how bad it can get, go read a little about the Thirty Years’ War. With special attention to how the various mercenary companies behaved. The bumper sticker sentiment isn’t simply fatuous. It is based on a serious lack of though about what the military is, and how it behaves if not treated with respect and caution.
And then there’s the issue of would de-funding the military actually result in more money for schools. My guess, given the history of federal spending, is not.
2) Friends don’t let friends vote Republican.
My stepmother-in-law had this on her car for years, until I pointed out to her that the core sentiment was “It’s OK to keep some people from voting.”. That’s something I expect to hear from the Ku Klux Klan, not a Liberal suburban housewife. Oh, I wouldn’t be surprised by it on a college campus, But I can’t understand why otherwise intelligent people (I knew several) thought it was remotely OK.
3) A mind is like a parachute. It only functions when open.
A parachute that is always open will get caught by every wind that blows, and drag you through brambles and off of cliffs. So, for that matter, will a mind. Furthermore a parachute that is left open won’t function properly in a jump; it won’t develop properly, or will tangle you in the risers, and SPLAT!
Seriously; Both a mind and a parachute work best when properly packed and opened at the right time.
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