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« See dhimmedia | Main | Quote of the Day ... and the New Year »

Monday, 03 January 2011

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Mannie Sherberg
Interesting coincidence: yesterday, I read in our local paper that more than 40 percent (!) of all Missouri high school graduates are so deficient in math or reading skills that, when they get to college, they require at least one remedial course. Today I read this very instructive post on segues. Taken together, the two stories give us a pretty fair idea of what has happened to dumb down the American electorate in recent years. What has happened is an almost criminal failure to teach our kids how to read and how to deal with numbers. Reading skills and math skills are the entry point into reasoning skills. If the news anchors on TV knew how to reason, they'd realize that most of the segues that come out of their mouths are non sequiturs -- fatuous statements that attempt to link unlinkables. They'd realize that much of what they're spewing out every day is illogical, sophistic, casuistic, and downright nutty. And maybe, just maybe, thinking people could once again listen to the nightly news without squirming. Our country's in bad shape -- and it'll stay in bad shape until we correct the problem of giving first-rate youngsters third-rate educations. As it is, many of our young people are graduating from college without even knowing that such things as non sequiturs exist. Bringing down the deficit, balancing the budget, and quashing wasteful spending are all essential, but they're not going to touch an even more fundamental problem: We are cheating our kids of their rightful heritage.

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