The news this week has been dominated by the Lara Logan story. Ms. Logan was the subject of the most popular post in FRI history which can be found here. Reactions to the news that Lara was subjected to “a brutal and sustained assault and beating” have cost at least one knucklehead his job when he tweeted dismissively about what exactly those seven words mean. We don’t know what happened to Ms. Logan that day and it will be up to Lara Logan to set the record straight which is what some in the media are calling on her to do. You can read another account of a woman from the international media covering the same story on the same day at the same time here. As she points out she was lucky, and she was scared, and I doubt she will ever place herself in a similar position. Ms. Logan has my heart felt sympathy as does every human victim of mob violence. The specifics of the assault don’t interest me because there is nothing for me to learn from them. I won’t mix in a large crowd celebrating the overthrow of a repressive government under any circumstance and I’m not easily intimidated.
What gets my blood boiling was the news this morning that CBS had sat on that story for five days and only released it when other news outlets were about to do the same. The main reason I keep this poorly edited (but at times interesting) blog going is to be part of the movement which is stripping away the ability of main stream media to dictate news cycle narratives. I have no idea why CBS sat on that story but I suspect it has more to do with the report that the crowd was yelling “Jew Jew Jew” then any concerns for Ms. Logan’s privacy. CBS has an agenda and when confronted with facts running counter to that agenda it reacts like every rich, powerful, arrogant, liberal douche-bag organization in the world; it ignores the story or spins the details.
Which brings us to the protests by the Wisconsin state teachers union. If you want to read some professional liberal spin on the topic here it from CBS news. If you want the truth you need to hit the blogs; Wisconsin native Ann Althouse is a good place to start and you can find her blog here. The people of Wisconsin after years of democratic fiscal insanity decided to bring the adults back to power. The new Governor, Scott Walker, has made the obvious first move introducing a bill that will dismantle the 50 year old collective bargaining for public employee unions. It is not like he has any alternatives; every majority democratic state in the union and most of the European Union has the identical problem; gold plated obligations to state employees and no money to pay for them.
I find the reaction from the teachers unions, public employee unions, and state democratic representatives to be repugnant. The crowds descending on Madison behaved like a bunch of thugs which is in stark contrast to the Tea Party movement. I’ll leave the political commentary to others but I have to point something out about the American educational system. The vast majority of state teachers union members should be fired on the spot for one reason and one reason only; they suck. Not as in “suck up billions of dollars while giving almost zero return on investment”; they just suck. I’ll let the eloquence of Mark Styen make the point becasue I can’t get past the “they suck” thing:
I think if you had to name one institution, which is probably the biggest structural defect in Western societies right now, and the one that places the biggest question mark over the future of Western civilization, if there was one institution you needed to take apart, it would be the education system.
There is no education system in Afghanistan but there are millions of kids who dream of becoming literate. So let me tell you a remarkable story about a little girl with an aptitude for languages and a desire to better herself and her community through education.
The Marines have built a school in Naw Zad but there are no female teachers in the area. The local people want their daughters to receive an education so a brave little girl has stepped in to fill the gap. Every evening at 1900 hours (7:00 pm) Zarmina’s father brings her and her sister to the Marine combat outpost and drops her off with the Female Engagement Team (FET). They spend an hour or so going over a reading, writing or a math lesson and the next day Zarmina teaches that lesson to the girls in the Naw Zad school.
I asked Zarmina’s father if it was OK to put her picture and story in the blog and he was proud to grant permission. Zarmina and her family are all in. The Marines came here; drove the Taliban out and told the people they will protect them for as long as it takes to bring lasting peace. If we pull out early the fate which awaits Zarmina and those like her from the Taliban is to horrible to contemplate. It will make whatever the mob in Egypt inflicted on Lara Logan seem tame in comparison. Zarmina and her sister Afghans who are trying to obtain a modest education are risking their lives. They have bet everything on the Americans seeing this through to the bitter end. The Marines are game – they won’t quit but they don’t have a vote in how this turns out. It is politicians like those in Wisconsin who abandoned their posts to thwart the will of the people who will decide if we stay or go. Recent history regarding peoples in war torn lands who have bet their lives on us sustaining our commitment to them is not exactly positive.
If you are fond of prayer you need to send a few extra ones topside for Zarmina and the children of Afghanistan. With friends like Pelosi, Reed and Barack Obama those kids are going need all the help they can get.