DFL Supporting Schools over the Troops?
There is no Democratic Party in Minnesota. Instead, we "Democratic Farm-Labor Party," or DFL. Yeah, they're basically Democrats, and are aligned with the National Democratic Party. But they work the words "farm" and "labor" in there like good little socialists, so I at least give them credit for being honest.
While driving yesterday, I noticed a car with an interesting magnet - it was a flag-colored ribbon, much like the ribbons used to "Support the Troops" -- except that this flag-colored ribbon said "DFL -- Schools" on it.
It's all fine and dandy if you want to go around making vague claims that you support "schools." Way to take a well defined, thought-out position there, station-wagon lady. You like schools. Woo hoo. Me too. Hey, I also have a favorable impression of roads, perhaps I can get a ribbon for that?
Just picture it: "Roads." (Perhaps next to an image of a road?)
I have to wonder, though - is this ribbon supposed to be making a not-so-subtle point of saying that the DFL supports schools at-the-expense-of the troops? As in "this is _my_ version of the ribbon you doo-doo heads, we should only spend our money on schools!"
Because if so, it's a fairly offensive magnet. Both the yellow ribbon and the flag-colored ribbon have a long and established symbolism in this country and in many others - they both mean "I support the soldiers." To alter that solely for the sake of making an unrelated political statement is low.
And it's not just making a statement, it's also a two-fold personal attack on people with a largely-unrelated opinion to the contrary. It's twofold because it's both an attack on someone's position on Troop Support, and also an attack on the fact that people have opinions on things not Schools-related.
These folks are, in effect, saying 'Hey you with your Support the Troops ribbons, you're idiots, why are you supporting the troops, you should be supporting this other cause instead. Check out my ribbon, it'll tell you a thing or two. see it? see? see?"
Why do you never see these people attacking other groups? "Kelly Clarkson fans, how can you waste your time and money so, Schools is where it's at! Schools! Schools!"
I'm not saying that people can't hold the opinion that the Iraq war was not in the country's best interests. And I'm certainly not saying that station-wagon drivers shouldn't be allowed to announce their undying love for all things "Schools," whatever in the world that may mean. But the alteration of a universally known and well-recognized symbol for that purpose is crossing the line, in my opinion.
Posted by jkhat at August 23, 2006 11:44 AM
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|# August 23rd, 2006 11:07 PM kris|
|it's like those bumper stickers that say how great it'd be if schools had trillions of dollars and the air force had to have a bake sale to buy a fighter.
that sticker annoys me because no, i don't think that would be great. i think it's incredibly naive to think we don't need a military.
|# August 24th, 2006 11:11 AM james|
|it bugs me when they always pit schools against the military. as if they are somehow mutually exclusive.
|# August 24th, 2006 10:05 PM Daddy|
|There was some funny stuff in that post, James!
Man, get you out of law school and the sense of humor comes right out.
Or maybe we need more movies about snakes on planes...?
|# August 24th, 2006 10:34 PM kris|
|oh, the funny was always there. i think we need to work on the "roads" bumper sticker. soon. |
|# August 30th, 2006 11:55 PM internets|
|The US is ~5% of the world's population, yet spends ~50% of the world's military spending. Some debate on the issue doesn't seem too crazy to me.
Ribbon symbols have been used for many, many causes over the (especially recent) years, but I agree its a little facetious.
And by the way:
SAT scores just mark the biggest decline in 31 years.
|# August 31st, 2006 7:10 AM kris|
|what do the SAT scores have to do with anything? i wouldn't be too alarmed with the scores dropping since the test was significantly changed this year-I don't think the scores are comparable. |
|# August 31st, 2006 7:18 AM james|
|"The US is ~5% of the world's population, yet spends ~50% of the world's military spending. "
and this is relevant how, exactly? i fail to see a correlation between population and spending in any one area. if you'd like to make a point, please make it, instead of vaguely alluding that you may have one.
not to even mention that im pretty sure you just made that figure up.
|# September 1st, 2006 12:55 AM internets|
|First, I know it sounds incredible, but
I did not make it up. Here's a reference.
The point is that with such vast sums being spent on the military maybe some
discussion on whether some could be diverted to other areas, such as schools, might not be such a crazy notion.
On the SAT scores - of course they are not perfect, but its one of the main metrics we have.
|# September 1st, 2006 8:03 AM BVBigBro|
|I have a better idea. Divert some of that miltary spending and some of that school spending back to me. |
|# September 1st, 2006 9:52 AM james|
|internets, the point youre trying to make isnt supported by how much of the _world's_ spending on military belongs to the US. your argument would be (at least a little better) supported citing the % of the total US budget spent on the military.
to illustrate, while i dont have numbers, im quite certain that each of these is true or very close to being true.
"The US is ~5% of the world's population, yet spends ~50% of the world's education dollars. "
"The US is ~5% of the world's population, yet spends ~80% of the world's scientific research dollars. "
it's a logical error to compare the US spending to that of other countries, and it's a second logical error to tie that to population. you're comparing apples to oranges, and you're doing it twice.
this might be a better source for you. as you can see, the US spends 4% of its GDP on the military.
finally, all of that said, i don't understand why you think that the military isnt necessary. you're dead wrong. if youre so dead set on shifting around existing spending, why dont you instead say things like "the US spends more money on giving grants to artists than any other country, that money could be spent on schools."
|# September 1st, 2006 11:52 PM internets|
|james, first - you are putting many words in my mouth. "some discussion on..." were my words. This becomes "military spending isn't neccessary" and I'm now "dead set on..."
second, the article I linked includes the percentage of GDP data. In case you did not read it all, I would like to remind you that the 4% of GDP/$500B does not include Afghanistan and Iraq wars and other "black budget" spending, so the true number (hard to find) is higher.
For the record, I think the school spending is probably high enough, or could possibly be reduced reasonably - with more focus the "three Rs" being my preference.
I also think the military budget is too high, for example deployment of the missile defense system is way too early - it should still be well in the research phase.
I am not a pacifist and I believe an effective and efficient military is necessary. When it comes to deployment, I am more in the John Adams camp than the George W. Bush camp.