Ann Bednarski: Here’s a list of good attributes, from A to C
April 6, 2013
This week, I was jotting down words that I believe are designed to confuse, convince and coerce the mind into a convoluted condition.
As it turns out, there are many words that fit into this category. I found there are a lot of "C" words on it. For example, there are many words that mean meeting: committee, conference, coalition, consultation and consortium. The thing each has in common is they are ways to defer action. On my list, I have added another, which seems to be the current way to defray responsibility: campaign. Another one: "Congress in recess."
We watch and listen as our leaders do a lot of "C" words but desperately need to move up to the "A" column and provide a list of accomplishments that consider consumers instead of cronies. The couching for everything is always "the children." Yet, the consequences of collective bargaining and controls conflicting with commerce are the very things that destroy, deflate and discourage children, our future leaders.
We have spent several decades dumbing down Americans; it all starts in our schools. Recently there has been more time and meetings, surveys and expert opinion considerations on uniforms, gun control, gay marriage and sex education than on job creation, debt reduction and eradicating rampant fraud in government. It is a sign of failure when the new state superintendent of education resigns. Education in basic skills and manners is essential to success in life as an adult.
It is disturbing that a Legislative Education Committee meeting lasted for several hours devoted to explicit sex education starting in kindergarten. I have to wonder will this deviation from academics make students more employable or make them feel prepared only for illegal, perverted practices to survive. Parents seem to be getting wiser and bolder; they realize what is happening in our schools is a jaded, liberal, hedonistic agenda they do not want for their children. Most notice the lack of academic standards and the influx of social issues over basic skills. Many young parents I listen to are afraid and feel they have no consideration by the bureaucracy known as public education. Businesses fret because they have difficulty finding people with skills needed for employment. It is a vicious, destructive path we have created.
You have probably heard the expression "plan the work, then work the plan" or, one I strongly support that earned Gov. Brian Sandoval my vote, was "Learn to read; then, read to learn." Enter union constraints confounded by a course of campaign and compromise. The sad thing it is student success that is usually compromised. Many students who are now adults feel cheated by the schools they attended as their own assessment of skills is reported as woefully lacking. The future for our children and grandchildren looks bleak.
The best way to counter that is to stay informed. We together can replace the frivolous, deceptive "C" words with an effort to insist our elected officials comprehend and commit to their oath of office. It used to be entering an election was an honorable way to serve the public. "Community service" is now a form of punishment for crimes. It is the greatest form of service there is.
Character should be an integral consideration for an elected official. It does not seem to be crucial to winning an election anymore. We have clever politicians who cheat the public, encourage fraud, fail to pay their taxes, and become pawns for unions and lobbyists. Those are signs of a weak character and self-serving. Thankfully, we also have some honest, dedicated leaders who work hard for us, ask the difficult questions, and communicate often with their constituents.
We have a finely crafted Constitution that has held this country together for over 200 years as "One nation under God, for liberty and justice for all." It works as an excellent guide to provide everyone basic freedoms and opportunities. Three branches of government is an effective way for a "checks and balances" system. Let's stop clouding them with manipulation, defiance and clever communication.
Ann Bednarski of Carson City is a career educator and journalist.