Tag Archives: United States of America

Education is Under Attack in the USA

If many more states follow the path of cutting education funding as those mentioned in this blog post have done, our next generations of “educated” students are going to be the most poorly-educated ones in the world. Third world countries only wish they had the educational opportunities that Americans have had in the past. At the rate stipulated in the post, many states won’t have to put their children’s education on high priority and won’t have to do anything to increase the caliber of their educational curricula; their state education departments will receive kudos for their “excellent educational institutions” by default.

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – February 2015

An educated population is a vital resource to any developed nation (if not a requirement for a nation to become developed).

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On the individual level, there are numerous benefits that come from educational achievement. More educated individuals tend to make more money, live longer, and have greater career achievements than those who have less education. These individual benefits translate to societal benefits, as more educated societies tend to be healthier, more productive, less violent, and more likely to produce technological progress.

Unfortunately, the modern American right wing has become stuck in a mindset where education is derided and, where possible, defunded or privatized. The meme of the “ivory tower liberal elite” competing with the “common sense conservative” has created a justification for large portions of our nation to see education as something that is not only unnecessary, but a threat to their established ways…

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200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner

This weekend has seen various celebrations of this 200th anniversary of our national anthem.

 

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On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry, after a 25-hour battle, raised a huge 42-foot American flag, sewn by Mary Pickersgill, to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812.  The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Key was aboard a ship in the harbor when he became thus inspired.  Key’s words gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own meanings and memories.

 

old flag

The National Museum of American History is working to preserve this flag for future generations.

Here is a video by Dudley Rutherford in which he tells the story behind the Star Spangled Banner: