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Monday, May 02, 2011


Since there seems to be a lot of “debate” about what our “Higher Education” facilities are supposed to accomplish with the One Billion plus dollars they spend, I’ve decided to try to inject a little common sense that I’ve learned from past experience in the actual real-life “trenches”{read: university and college classrooms} in the academic battlefield where young student learner/seekers of truth, facts, logic and reason, face the anti-truth/fact/history/reason “professorial forces” with their ability to destroy the best of these seekers with their “grade-control” weapon of mass {students} destruction.
History-true past experience- is the seed of today’s reality, but as Orwell wrote in 1984, published in 1948, wrote: “Whoever controls the past, controls the present; and whoever controls the present, controls the future.”  But our past famous  “Academic Towers of Reason, Knowledge and Truth”, in far too many cases, have morphed, beginning probably during the 1960’s into the “Leaning Towers of Nonsense, Imagination, and Opinion.”
Almost every day one reads about the inability of our graduates, from high schools to graduate schools, to do “Critical Thinking” or “Analytical Reasoning.” The acquiring and freedom to use these two skills, especially in the classrooms where they are supposedly acquiring them, are precisely why all free nations have free 1-12 educational systems. These two skills instill in these seeking young minds the lost truth of the “WATCHMAN,” whose reason for being is to test every thing he’s taught, told to read, asked to memorize, against the Truth, Fact, Logic, Reason for any “change or deviation” from verified truth. 
After all, the elements were NOT created from the Periodic Chart, but the Elements, which had existed since creation, were finally discovered by chemists who tested, tested, scrapped, recycled, until they discovered the exact formula for each of the elements.  In that sense, man has never “created” anything; he has only discovered it, or transformed it; i.e. the element “iron” into tools, swords or plow-shares, depending on his purpose which depends upon his philosophy.  Let me here illustrate how the knowledge of the past history becoming personal experience, enables us to (choose/think) nobly in the present. It does Not, however, force us to act nobly: that is always another choice}, in order to affect our future, which all true knowledge will; one way if we reject it, another way if we accept and act on it.
The March 26, 2011 Bis/Trib had the obituary of Alfred Bartkowski, who “In October 1943, left home, much to the dismay of his mother, to join the Marines.” Alfred was 20 years old. “Serving with the First Marine Division-K Company, Alfred saw action in the South Pacific, in the Battle of Peleliu, which had the highest casualty rate of any battle in the Pacific War and has been called the bitterest battle of the war for the marines.”  Alfred was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star Medal. After I read this obituary (history) I went to my World War II Time Life Books, Volume “Island Fighting”, page 177 “On the northern end of the beachhead, Colonel Puller’s 1st Marines were in serious trouble.” Company K’s commander, Captain George P. Hunt later wrote, “I saw a ghastly mixture of bandages, bloody and mutilated skin…men outstretched or twisted or grotesquely transfixed in the attitudes of death… The carnage marked the path of the 3rd Platoon, which had lost more than half of its men but had wiped out the Japanese covering the point from the beach.”  Hunt writes late, “Less than two hours had passed since the landing, yet only 30 men remained alive and unwounded out of the 1st and 3rd Platoons.”  That, my friends, is a TWO HOUR history of a true American Hero!! But it’s not over.  Later Hunt writes, “Hunt counted his men and found that of the 235 men in his company who had landed 48 hours earlier, only 78 had not been killed or wounded.” 
That’s how and what we learn from history.  It helps us to discern and choose in our time and place.  For example, it helps us to judge a man who “served in Vietnam,” and received three Purple Hearts, one for a wound from a micro-sized piece of ricocheted shrapnel from his own weapon, removed with a hair tweezer, and covered with a postage stamp sized Band-aid.  After Alfred was discharged, he went to school and became a barber for 32 years at Arrowhead Plaza. How many of his customers do you think “knew” Alfred’s history?  I wish I had known Alfred, but I didn’t, but now that I do, to Alfred’s family, I say “Thank you” to you for his life and living and serving.
After this new knowledge of such a great man living quietly right here in Bismarck, in light of all the pompous self-idolizing rhetoric of so many people in the “serve the needy” or the “volunteering in the community,” believing they can “help’ any one else, yet have not acquired any of the compassion, ethics, goodness to even “give anything of worth to any person or entity.  One cannot give to others what one has not first acquired himself: To pretend to share something you don’t have, is fraud.
Concerning higher education and the student versus the “professor”, one ALWAYS has to keep in mind that the “professor” has a sure-kill weapon called the “professor to student” missile---The Grade!!  It will take out any student seeking truth on any frequency other than that of the “professor”.  That is why it is so crucial in higher education and graduate level learning to seek truth in history, and “know” that it is in fact true, an not just what the “professor” wants you to regurgitate on a multiple choice test.  All true tests of any learning from past experience {history, literature, philosophy, morality, economics,} must be demonstrated by the ability to “do” or “live” it.  After all, Alfred did not parade on Peleliu, he used what he had learned in the Marines to survive, and he enlisted in the Marines because of what he had learned about America and Japan and freedom.  Help us all to stand for TRUTH wherever we are, student or professor, no matter what it costs.  So we lose the election, some friends. Truth has never depended on a consensus of opinion nor on 51% of the mob. Here’s another truth we can learn from nature and experience.  Now our OBAMACARE health allows our children to remain dependent upon their parent’s health insurance until age 26.  This enables them to postpone their maturity until that age, enabling them to be 26 year-old toddlers.  Even nature knows better than that!  When a gosling is hatching from the egg, sometimes they have an almost impossible time breaking through the eggshell.  If you help them by breaking out a hole for them, you doom them to be a cripple.  The struggle to break out gives them the strength to later use, not only their legs, but to even hold their neck straight, and walk upright.
Some last thoughts concerning Libya and the “rebels.”  Where were these great compassionate hearts when Janet Reno torched Waco, Texas, in the name of “saving the children”?  How do Obama’s “Community organizers” differ from “waterfront thugs” or “Berkley street gangs”?  Why did our Speccial Forces Seals not capture the “teenage pirate protesters” before they killed the 4 Americans?  A later newspaper caption states: “Va. Ships disrupt pirate attack.” A critical mind would ask, who’s “Va. based”? Then the article says “…the aircraft carrier USS  Enterprise and the guided missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf responded…”  Again a critical mind would ask, why the hesitation with naming the ships as USS warships?  Where are our young people to learn to question? To seek the truth?  To develop the courage to stand for truth? 
One final gem about our colleges and universities and their recruitment guidelines.  Bis/Trib3/29/11, page 5A “Mom beaten to buy teen a car. Authorities in southwest Florida say a 17 year old girl pointed a gun at her mother, pistol-whipped her and forced her to drive to a dealership to buy her a used car. According to officials, the mother said she did not want to press charges because her daughter had been accepted to several Ivy League schools.  Authorities said they decided to arrest the teenager after learning that the gun had been stolen last year.”
There you have it, my friends: a young teenage protester, accepted in “several” IVY LEAGUE colleges, probably heading for a Doctorate in either Criminal Justice, or Social Science, with a Doctorate Degree in Counseling, majoring mainly in helping “talented” high school “high SAT scorers” find the most fitting academic environment for their blossoming talents. And for this we spend billions and billions in “higher education’?  From her actions, it would seem that maybe a community organizer in poor countries like Tunisia, Somalia, Libya, Cuba, Illinois, and Wisconsin, would be a place where her talent could bear fruit.  Or maybe a used car salesgirl in Detroit, Michigan.
The best news is that the Wisconsin AWOL De-Muc-RATS have returned to “cheering union workers.”  House Speaker Brian Bosma said, “It’s refreshing and pleasant to see a full chamber.”  He did not specify what it was full of, but a critical thinker already knows. Had these so-called elected/drafted public servants been wearing a U.S.A. uniform, they would have been court-martialed and dishonorably discharged. They were derelict in their duty; but then they had a tempting roosting place for chickens---Illinois- After all, some awfully chicken-CHICKENS call Illinois home.  And I do not mean Lincoln.  Study noble lives in the past to live noble lives in the present to make possible noble lives in the future.  That’s the purpose of ALL education at ALL levels and for ALL FREE people.

Citizen of ND since 1953, Ruben has BS and BA degrees from Dickinson State University, MA in English from University of Kansas, and was a Mandan High School teacher for 20 years, College faculty member at Dickinson State, Bismarck State, and the University of Mary. Married to wife Lois since 1958 with 5 children.

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