Making it easy

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 25, 2004

Doctor Liverman is correct when he states that dumbing down, accepting low scores, does nothing but allow time to make changes. Hopefully it won’t be the test that is made easier, perhaps examining the method of teaching the material, or the teacher, is a better solution.

In this country, sadly, we now expect goals to be lowered and not just in our schools. More and more people are accepting less and less responsibility for their actions. Overweights blame McDonalds, murderers claim despondency, defense attorneys stretch the limits of our imagination, politicians have short memories. Political correctness makes anything possible, and any action acceptable. We are in deep trouble.

It is amazing how the projected cost of the Cultural Center went over the horizon and how quickly came the response for lowering it. A chop here, a snip there and the cost meets the budget. Too bad our city council doesn’t see the value of that. They appear to look through the wrong end of the binoculars. They get an idea of the expected city income and match the outlay to it. It seems to me that quite often they will hire an employee, at the suggestion of the Manager, to fill a title they could manage quite well without.


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Example: we had an employee to handle Public Relations, whatever that might be. Then they hired a Communications Director which enabled them to shunt questions to him rather deal directly with it. Are we perhaps getting to be a bit uppity?

I read, with great interest, the Good Times Bulletin circulated by our Tourist Department and came across one particular sentence in a paragraph describing Farmer’s Market activity.

It named all the products for sale and ended by saying they &uot;were met by hordes of shoppers.&uot; Wow. I looked up &uot;horde&uot; and learned that it is a large and generally disorderly group of people. That’s just one horde and the writer said there were hordes. It was easy to imagine them fighting over a squash, one demanding she saw it first, tugging on the stem and beating the other lady with her umbrella. And two others; each pulling on the leg of a frozen free-range hen. I’m glad I wasn’t there in my weakened condition. I might have been hit with a flying cantaloupe. I’ll stick with the stores where I can fend off unruly persons with my shopping cart.

And I learned that the Baltimore Sun travel section lists Suffolk as a one-tank getaway. While here &uot;you bear witness to an almost perfect circle of solitude, textured by layers of history.&uot;

Makes you wonder where the lady writer was standing when she made that keen observation. It couldn’t have been my yard where some mornings the crows will not shut up as long as a there is a hungry hawk in the vicinity. And the cacophony of Canadian geese and seagulls chases solitude into the next county. But you know how we writers are, seldom dealing with reality, enhancing, fudging, exaggerating, lost in our own narrow world. Perhaps she was in her car, windows closed, watching a long train go by.

Remember when all the national politicians were pointing fingers at each other attempting to fix the blame for 9/11? They spent months at this game, speculation words rolling off their tongues as facts. We wondered which presidential period and which political party would end up with the responsibility in their lap.

Never fear, honest, straight shooting 9/11 Commission members took care of that – no one is to blame. Neither Clinton nor Bush face the music and all that charging the blame blather was for naught. Everyone and every department of government are in the clear. And why not…those video cameras at Dulles Airport vividly showed the hijackers walking calmly through the detectors with their box cutters packed in a carry-on. Buzzers buzzed but even if found those knives were acceptable traveling companions. If they had produced those films a month earlier the Commission wouldn’t have been necessary and all those mouthy, responsibility-dodging politicians could have saved their breath.

Robert Pocklington is a resident of Suffolk and a regular News-Herald columnist. He can be reached at