Thursday, January 07, 2010

Turtles Soar, For Less!

Queer the Turtle U Rises to 8th in Excellence Without Money Rankings!

Oops, I mean, of course, in Kiplinger's Best Values in Public Colleges Rankings!

How'd we do it? Why, by slashing budgets and raising class sizes and furloughing employees!

Oops, no, I mean, of course, by eliminating waste and implementing a courageous 4-year tuition freeze at the behest of Gov. Martin "You, Sir, Are No Jack Kennedy" O'Malley!

That's right, kids! You can have your cake and eat it, too! You can drastically reduce levels of state support for higher education, artificially hold down the cost of tuition, and never in any way undermine the quality of the educational experience! Not only that, but then you can run for reelection as a progressive Democrat on a spooky-scary platform about how terrible it would be to let a Republican back into the governor's mansion -- because you are cynical enough to believe that no one will remember that the state's last Republican governor actually boosted support for higher ed with a record-breaking budget increase.

Don't misunderstand us, darlings. Affordability in higher ed is important, and we are tickled pink that QTU is getting props for "combin[ing] outstanding education with economic value." But we are sick and tired of Democrats aiding and abetting the public's delusional sense that you can offer public goods -- such as education, health care, roads, and a cleaner environment -- without significant investments of public money. We get a burning in the back of our throats every time we hear Martin O'Malley brag about his administration's commitment to fiscal responsibility. O'Malley has opted to balance the state's budget on the backs of 70,000 state employees rather than advocate for a tax increase that would have more equitably distributed the sacrifice necessary to weather the storm of the recession. Democrats are furthering the cause of privatizing everything and still trying to pass themselves off as the last best hope of people -- and turtles -- on earth. We're not buying it, and we hope you won't either.

Go read Bob Herbert's column from earlier this week. It puts our crankiness here in a broader context and raises alarms about how utterly inadequate the remedies being proposed are to the social and economic crises we face. We need leadership, language, vision, and political will commensurate with those crises -- and suddenly Democrats are deciding they'd rather quit than fight.

You get what you vote for, fellow citizens. Do you think maybe it's time we started voting for something else?


  1. Excellent piece! But what of the fact that we don't have much money in Scarlet Knight land, either, given us by the state - and even less, I suspect, when Republican Christie unveils his March 16 budget - and we've sunk to 48 from 43?

  2. Did tuition go up? That might have bumped you down in the rankings. Penalties are severe for charging what the market will bear when it comes to higher ed. This ain't one of those important businesses, like selling shoes, you know!

  3. For a variety of reasons, I am starting to think that these United States might do well if, for example, women were represented proportionately, REALLY (at 51% through the legislative, executive, and judicial branches). Does this mean I'm saying women are perfect? No way. But we can't do any worse as a group than the white men who continue to dominate EVERYTHING. And we're a higher percentage of the population. Such a change would itself be startling--imagine seeing pictures of Congress that featured as many women as men; imagine seeing pictures of executives featuring as many women as men; imagine seeing pictures of administrators at major research universities and colleges that feature as many women as men; imagine seeing pictures of the president with his advisers that feature as many women as men. Such a shake up in view might just enable a shake up in viewpoint--gee, what if taking care of one another personally, professionally, socially trumped striving for personal, professional, and social glory? I mention "taking care of" not to romanticize women, but because it is simply a fact that women continue to be the primary caretakers personally, professionally, socially. That doesn't mean there are not exceptions, but the food-on-the-table responsible adult continues to be a woman in most households, and that extends to many realms of professional and social caretaking.

    Our leaders are exhibiting no imagination and when the going gets tough, they're quitters. What ARE we doing in Afghanistan? What are our goals? How many Metro trains will have to crash and how many potholes destroy cars before a brave politician stands up and explains what taxes are for? How many star male athletes will have to be chased by a jealous wife wielding a golf club or be found to have guns in his locker before we as a society determine that these are overpaid spoiled brats, and that the gross amount doled out to them might be better spent on public education?

    Has anyone else noticed that while the United States pumps money into technology education, China, the real world leader now, is pumping money into poetry, art, music, and humanities education. Those Chinese. . .they recognize that critical thinking is the most important skill to be cultivated.

    OK, my rant has gone off in a couple of different directions, but I am weary, very very weary, of war and more war; sports stars who are either thugs and/or abusive husbands; and a quick fix romanticization of technology when what we need are more critical thinking skills.

    The only war I support is that on poverty and poverty of mind. Thank you, Rox!

  4. Dear Readers,

    We are reasonably certain that Goose is aware that Barack Obama is not a white male. For the purposes of this righteous feminist rant, however, we believe she has positioned him as an honorary white male on account of the role he plays in "dominat[ing] EVERYTHING." She's right about that, in our humble opinion.

    Yours sincerely,
    Office of Permissible Hyperboles, Roxie's World

  5. My school gets some bargain basement education bragging rights. It's troubling, very troubling.


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