Friday, August 25, 2006

Sticks’ stones

Spot wondered what situation would stir the somnolent Sticks to surrender his slumber. Spotty is pleased that he was apparently the catalyst! We haven't heard much from Sticks lately, and Spot will speculate about that in a minute.

In a post that mentions Spot by name in the title, Captain Fishsticks sets out to prove how wrong Spot was in his posts Harry Potter and the Pathetic Bag of Wind and Captain Fishsticks with shining eyes. Specifically, Sticks is incensed that Spot would accuse him of using minority kids as stalking horses for school voucher plans. Let's imagine this little scene:

Spot: Remember, Captain, you’re still under oath.

CF: Yeah, yeah I remember.

Spot: You’re a libertarian, right?

CF: And proud of it!

Spot: I’m sure you are. Do libertarians believe in the public interest?

CF: Well, sure! Just not the same way you do. We think it is in the public interest for there to be no public interest. We don’t believe that people can get together collectively to do useful things, except for maybe national defense and the protection of private property rights.

Spot: We’re all in this by ourselves, right?

CF: Right. And this big invisible magic hand will push each of us in the right direction and it will all come out okay if our faith is strong enough and we just hope for the best. I know that sounds kinda crazy, but that’s what we believe.

Spot: Will the invisible magic hand give a shove to the neglectful parents who won’t immunize their children or seek medical care for them when they are sick? Will the invisible magic hand stay the hand of a child abuser? Will the invisible magic hand provide for orphans?

CF: It’ll provide for the orphans if they can do useful work.

Spot: Move to strike the answer as non-responsive.

CF: Okay, no, it won’t do any of these things.

Spot: Thank you Captain. And yet, you believe that privatizing the educational system, will improve educational outcomes? And you want us to believe that little black kids aren’t just stalking horses for your long term plan to destroy public education because it is full of union people?

CF: [chortle] Yes, that’s right.

Spot: Thank you. I have no further questions at this time. The witness is subject to recall.

There it is, boys and girls. Is Captain Fishsticks a credible witness on his concern for inner-city school children? Of course not. He doesn’t give a rat’s arse for them; he’s just interested in another way to put pressure on public schools to try to kill them. Take away as much revenue as you can, bleed them white and watch them die.

Oh no, says Sticks! Rep. Buesgens’ plan is only for low income kids. But, it’s just the camel’s nose under the tent. Pretty soon you’ve got the whole camel! The strategy of the vouchers crowd is to whittle away at publics schools, making them die from a thousand cuts. The inner-city schools are the most vulnerable, so that’s where to start. If you read the comments to Sticks’ post and the two Spot posts linked above, you will see that’s the agenda for a lot of the people who agree with Sticks.

The really disgusting and manipulative thing, one that really requires the stones, is that Sticks’ crowd is enlisting the support of inner-city parents who have endured decades of neglect of their public schools. It is shameless chicanery.

Sticks say private school vouchers are also a way for the state to save money. Exactly. Why spend, say $8,000 or more per year on an inner-city kid when you can toss ‘em a $3500 voucher instead, especially when you can make his parents feels fortunate to get it! Is that a good libertarian value, or what!

Spot says the answer – the only equitable and legal answer – is to stick it out with the public schools and make them better. That runs contrary to Stick’s nature.

Oh, almost forgot! Sticks has been very quiet lately. Just a post of his columns and a couple of other little posts for weeks now. Why? Spot thinks it is because Fishsticks has got a new gig. Why doesn’t someone ask him what it is?

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