website directory for free! This business is listed under American Literature Directory the not so middle path


Follow by Email

Friday, May 8, 2015


I was taught to be a man, but I learned to become human.

Sunday, August 3, 2014


It's hard to see the way up from the bottom of mountain. But, once you reach the top, it's easy to show others the way.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Disservice of Public Education (2007)

We presuppose a lot when we talk about public education.  To inform, to educate, and to pay for the education itself by means of taxation is the usual picture that we conjure up.  In fact, those are some of the main purposes imbued into our public educational system.  The problem is that these purposes are never totally fulfilled.  Rather, they are only realized insofar as their purposes serve those of public opinion and the upper class, by which I mean those in the highest tax brackets.  The system is loaded with exceptions to the rule and many examples may be found in what we are taught is not what we should exercise.  We are educated to think critically of others, except for our teachers, administrators, and curricula.  We are even fed the lie of fair and equal when our schools are anything but.  All things considered, it’s amazing that this system still stands despite these numerous contradictions.
Speaking of which, it might be prudent of us to look at the very best of places to start, that being the very heart of the ideology itself.  Contemplate these words for a moment: “Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech…” (U.S. Constitution: Amendment I)  Here lies the heart and mother of oddities and pietisms.  We were taught this in school.  We might have even done a class project in which we divided all of these amendments up among the class and thereafter made some sort of presentation, but we have enshrined these words and have left them void of exercise.  
Speech is, furthermore, more than just words.  Speech is the expression of ideas which can be either verbal or nonverbal.  “Fuck you!” and the “birdie” are both one and the same.  Yet, because these are offensive to the majority, the minority must adhere to the other’s standards and relinquish their right to express themselves freely.  So, from day one, we are taught in our schools to dance to the song of the ruling class and accept everything that is acknowledged by them as, “normal”, while the rest is considered radical, dangerous, or wrong.
Think about it though.  What do we really learn in school if it’s not to exercise our freedoms?  That can be surmised by: be on time; raise your hand when you want to speak; refrain from using bad language; beepers, cell phones, hats, baggy clothing and so much more isn’t allowed because it is “gang related”.  If we’re taught anything in school it is to accept what we are told despite the contradictions presented in what we are taught.  The land of the free indeed!  
It seems to me that public education teaches the student how to function in a society of rank and file, and certainly not to think critically of their teachers, school administrators, or curricula.  The problems with all of these are that some teachers are poorly trained, administrators are more concerned with attendance and adherence to school policy than anything else, and that the information being taught sometimes isn’t true or accurate.
It’s kinda funny to think of some of our books as inaccurate, but even telling half a truth would be a fallacy in it of itself.  Today’s historical textbooks, unfortunately, do no service to the actual event, unless of course this part of history conforms to socially acceptable opinions of history.  A prime example of this is Helen Keller.  Most people know of her, a girl who was born blind and deaf and learned to read and write with the help of her teacher Anne Sullivan.  Some can even recall the scene depicted in some books and movies where she puts two and two together and realizes that the symbol for “water” was connected to the water being held in her hand.  All of the common motifs valued by western society are represented here; overcoming difficulties, struggle, and perseverance. 
More surprising than what Helen Keller did is what she’s not famous for, most notable among these:
…that Helen Keller was a radical socialist.  She joined the Socialist party of Massachusetts in 1909…After the Russian Revolution, she sang the praises of the new communist nation…Through research she learned that blindness was not distributed randomly throughout the population but was concentrated in the lower class…[furthermore] Keller’s research was not just book learning: “I have visited sweatshops, factories, crowded slums.  If I could not see it, I could smell it.” (Loewen 21-22)
It would be rhetorical of me to ask you why we don’t know this of Helen Keller when it is very plain to see that her accomplishments, though great and many, do not fall in line with traditional “free societal” values, specifically, democracy.  Perhaps this is why we pay her lip service but discredit her life’s work by omitting it.  
The interesting thing about omitting facts which aren’t supportive of “free society” ideologies is that those are the only consistencies between differing school districts in the U.S.  The provocative thing about which is that “unlike virtually every other industrialized country, the United States has no national curriculum and no agency that services the development of classroom materials.  Each of the nation’s 15,367 school districts is a kingdom unto itself…with the power to decide what its students will be taught.” (Kantrowitz and Wingert 59)  This means that twin girls going to different schools in different school districts learn from two different curricula.
The inequalities only increase from here.  Suppose those two girls attended two different school districts where the property values were also different.  This now means that not only are they learning from two different curricula but that one of these curricula is better funded than the other.  This is because our American “schools receive funds from three governmental sources – about 10 percent from the federal government, and depending on the allocation within each state, about 40 percent from the state, and 50 percent from property taxes in each district within the state.” (Eitzen and Zinn 472)  The long and short of which is that the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor.  By funding schools through property taxes we ensure that the price of an education between a rich neighborhood and a poor one is as different as night and day.  “In New York City, per pupil spending of $10,500 is half the $21,000 per student in the Long Island suburb of Manhasset.” (Kozol 23-24)  Therefore, children attending nice schools in affluent neighborhoods have better chances of going to expensive universities.  Not only that, but they are also the only ones who have parents which can afford such schools.

So, unless I’m part of the affluent rich upper white class, I honestly can’t see why we should have public schooling at all.  Nor can I see that these purposes fulfill their aims.  The schools don’t allow the students to criticize anything, except for what is presented to them formally in a class.  The schools don’t teach the whole truth except for when it serves their traditional free societal values and perspectives.  The schools are largely supported by property taxes which further ensure the lines of stratification are not crossed.  The schools just don’t work.  Albeit that this is simply my opinion, if the purposes of public education are to inform without prejudice, educate without bias, and be paid for with tax dollars fairly, then they only do half the job, and a half assed job in any school only ensures an “F”.

Monday, February 24, 2014


Let the wind always find your back,
And the sun ever warm your face;
Your heart find its heart's desire, 
Never far to chase.

May your strengths flow like the river,
Your nights never shiver.
Your horse's hooves always fall true,
Let her never throw a shoe.

Yet, if your day turns bleak,
never retreat!
Let come what may. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Freedom Is Not Free

Terrorism -noun- the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.

Ideologically, yes, the military protects the freedom of its people when those freedoms are under attack or threat by a credible  aggressor, i.e. a threat that could limit or remove such freedoms entirely e.g. a coup d'├ętat.  Credible threats to such freedoms would typically come from foreign nations or other large threats; not from small non-state actors, those are security threats.

The idea that terrorist acts precipitate change in American society is a false truth.  The Patriot Act was not a result of terrorism.  It had been drafted long before September 11th, 2001 (Paul, 2011).  Similar liberty-stripping acts and human rights violations can be found among other historic examples (Japanese internment of World War II, Jim Crow, etc.).  Public shock, outrage and paranoia secured the passage of the Patriot Act, along with the subsequent invasion of Iraq and the continued occupation of other countries abroad.

Essentially, terrorism itself does not effect change as it happens often enough without any legislation being passed whatsoever e.g. the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Oklahoma City Bombing, etc.  Bear in mind that, according to an FBI report, between1980 and 2005, 90% of terrorist activities which were conducted on US soil were by non-Muslims (WashingtonBlog, 2013). 

Notably, there are two basic ideas regarding terrorism: literal and doctrinal. Please find the literal meaning above.  Doctrinally, it means the same with the condition that, it does not matter what the US does to other groups, it matters what other groups do to the United States.  According to the literal meaning, US actions abroad qualify the state to be deemed a terror-state as it has committed a number of actions against civilian populations resulting in massive losses in order to intimidate for political ends.  If anything, US attacks on foreign nationals engender future attacks on Americans and their military (Lowery, 2011).

Accordingly, the idea that military attacks abroad prevent terrorist attacks in the future should be totally inadmissible within the realm of common sense.  It is an argument from the point of being infallible and should be considered egregious in a conversation. The consequent idea of paying for freedom through sacrifice is rhetorical and also holds no water.


Lowyer, G. (2011, March 2). U.s. bombing in vietnam drove civilians to viet cong. Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved from

Paul, R. [Web log message]. Retrieved from“the-patriot-act-was-written-many-many-years-before-911-and-the-attacks-simply-provided-opportunity-for-some-people-to-do-what-they-wanted-to-do”.html

Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press, n.d. Web. 05 November 2013.

WashingtonBlog. [Web log message]. Retrieved from

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Words hollered harshly happen fairly quick,
the mean green eyes let silver tongues flick.
The plain pain plays from the heart, not the lips.
We speak how we think.
We think how we speak.
The mirror reflects the moon when the mind does not fleet.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Poor Sorrow

The poor half-wit, the miserable whelp.
To 've been here so long and not 've felt.
He's drowned everyday, never learns from mistakes.
Day in and night out, at the bottom spirit lakes.
After tens of millennia, it's never come to pass.
Sorrow's never taken a swimming class.