Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Educational Observation

As many of you know by now, Jake Ford did his media debut on Monday. On the same day, Sen. Steve Cohen addressed the College Democrats at the University of Memphis. I got to listen to Jake and Steve on the same day, which clarified my views about the characteristics that identify and differentiate each candidate. These events got me thinking about a particular issue that is very important to me: Higher Education.

Jake Ford’s GED and his unsuccessful college stints have opened the door to a fair amount of criticism. While I respect him for at least getting a GED, I wonder what has kept him for pursuing higher education. He is bright and articulate, and has a role model to follow in his older brother, who attended an Ivy League School for undergrad and went on to graduate with a JD from one of the most prestigious law schools in the country. So what’s the hold up?

I have many friends with GEDs. I also have many friends who did not finish college for one reason or another. Some of them were faced with a financial burden that, at that age, they were unable to sustain. Many of them dropped-out because they were young and irresponsible, and wasted their opportunities away. However, most of them regret not finishing their degrees and would like to go back to college but they can’t because they can’t afford it. They can’t afford to leave their bill-paying jobs for a degree that no longer ensures them the possibility of a better future. Nevertheless, many people fight against the odds and go back to school and finish their degrees. Among these people we find single mothers, people that struggle financially, people that have been out of school for years, and all sort of untraditional students that manage to beat the obstacles one way or another to accomplish their goals.

Jake Ford was evidently in the position that his will to go back to school could have been financially backed up by his family, and yet he chose not to. I can understand him being proud of having a GED and that he has had a good run at in his father’s company, but how is that an accomplishment?

Education is the cornerstone of democracy and better society. His disdain for higher education bothers me, as he does not seem to understand the severity of this issue. Students are troubled not only by the rising cost of college tuition and the prospect of a unstable job market, but also with the notion that pursuing this ideal means for many having to repay a debt almost well into retirement.

There is a broader economic impact to be considered as well. Educational loans do not stimulate the economy, so it is in the nation best interest to provide financial assistance to these students to ensure that their future earnings are not tied up in endless debts, but are instead invested in their future as saving accounts, health insurance, retirement plans, so on and so forth. Steve Cohen understands these principles and has fought fiercely for many years to make education accessible for those who value higher education.

At the College Democrats’ meeting, the students were asked how many of them were on the Hope scholarship, which is financed through the Tennessee Lottery. I would say that 40 to 60 percent of the students present raised their hands, and thanked Sen. Cohen for making that possible.

The difference is clear. On one side, we have a man that has fought for the educational dreams of students in Tennessee. One the other side, you have a guy that couldn’t even fight for his own.

30 comments:

Freedonian said...

Excellent as always, Pam.

On other blogs, I've seen people trying to stick up for Jake and his GED. They say "Lots of people have GEDs", and you know, they're right.

A lot of people had to quit school because they were poor and had to work. A lot of people quit school to raise a child.

Is Jake disadvantaged in some way? Did he get pregnant as a teenager? His situation is nothing like the working class people of this city. He doesn't have an education simply because he lacks the attention span to finish anything. The man I heard on the radio wasn't the sharpest tool in the shed, but he surely could have graduated high school.

It's simply a lack of followthrough and as the beautiful Pam pointed out, a lack of dedication to learning. It's not just the formal education that he lacks--- Could you have imagined a guy running for Congress during an ongoing insurgency that can't define "insurgency"? It's an overall lack of intellectual curiosity. We've already got that in the executive branch. We sure don't need it in the legislative branch.

English Rose said...

Also, as an aside… I know there are some making hay about Jake’s lack of qualifications. This goes over my head somewhat. Particularly because I know President Bush has two degrees from Ivy League’s. Does it show? Can’t imagine that money/privilege played a part in him acquiring...

So, the point I’m making, when people like Bush can, in effect, de-value the ‘system’ there is a danger the entire process becomes compromised and overrated. For instance, Joe Ford Jr has a law degree – but from what I can glean thus far, he’s not particularly bright.


Btw, does anyone watch 'The Apprentice'? Interestingly, this time round, he divided the teams in two: those with college eds and those who stopped at a high school diploma. Old Trumpy said, in his experience, those with high school diplomas did better in his business - for a whole host of reasons. In a couple of tasks they did indeed trump those that held more quals. Trumpy wasn't railing against education (and neither am I - had to work/sacrifice much for mine) - I know 'in the real world' it's hard to make it if you don't have a decent ed, and I'm not particularly championing Jake at all - but it was an interesting 'experiment', nevertheless.

English Rose said...

The social logic of Ivy League admissions

http://www.malcolmgladwell.com/2005/2005_10_10_a_admissions.html

Timewalker said...

Great post!
I'm almost loathe to suggest it, but maybe this one should be posted to DKos - no anti-Jr slant to it, all Pro-Cohen, pro-Dem candidate, pro-education.
But I'm sure someone would find a way to rip it apart.

Pam said...

Well ER, Jr. went to an Ivy League. So you tell me...

Freedonian said...

So, the point I’m making, when people like Bush can, in effect, de-value the ‘system’ there is a danger the entire process becomes compromised and overrated.

On the contrary--- George H.W. bush managed to find two universities willing to sell diplomas to the dull-witted fruit of his loins.

What does it say about Jake that, even with his family's considerable wealth and influence, they still couldn't find a place that would let him graduate?

I know they don't have Bush-level money, but surely, a prep school diploma would have been less expensive than Harvard and Yale.

JSF said...

To English Rose--

You are entitled to your opinion, but based on the things I've seen you post on other blogs, you are definitely not at the top of any class.

Nevertheless, I can document proven academic achievements and awards at all levels of my education. Can you do the same?

If you are ever down for some type of mental competition, then let me know -- any place, any time!

Until then, you are probably better off writing your groupie-biased opinions about HFJ. You appear to be an expert at that.

Pam said...

I don't know how to do DKos, so it's staying here until further notice. Thanks you the seuggestion though!

Anonymous said...

To JSF:
If you were so smart, then you would have made it to the general election....

John Harvey said...

You know the GED is no biggie. Bill Gates and Paul Allen (two of the richest men in the world) are both college dropouts. It's not whether or not a person has a PhD, it's what have they done. What has Jake done vs. what has Cohen done? I think the distinction is fairly easy to see.

English Rose said...

I guess no-one bothered to read my link...

The social logic of Ivy League admissions

http://www.malcolmgladwell.com/2005/2005_10_10_a_admissions.html



Pam: "Well ER, Jr. went to an Ivy League. So you tell me..."

[Nothing to tell, really - haven't you gathered, I'm distinctly unimpressed by the cloak-and-dagger Ivy League system?]


Freedonian: "On the contrary--- George H.W. bush managed to find two universities willing to sell diplomas to the dull-witted fruit of his loins."

[Exactly. I'm making the same point, albeit differently. Admitting an intellectual light-weight in the first instance, then selling them a diploma - opening doors otherwise closed to mere mortals and, therefore, setting them up for a life of privilege --- de-values the 'system'.]

Freedonian: "What does it say about Jake that, even with his family's considerable wealth and influence, they still couldn't find a place that would let him graduate?"

[Perhaps, not dissimilar to many families of similar standing, daddy thought it best not to further squander his hard-earned $s; if Jake didn't have the smarts/capactity for higher learning - let him help run the family business instead.]

Freedonian: "Could you have imagined a guy running for Congress during an ongoing insurgency that can't define "insurgency"?"

[Yes, I can. Tragically, I can also imagine that the US commander-in-chief, probably can't spell the word insurgency, let alone define. He can barely read his cue cards intelligibly. Now that's what I call scary.]

Freedonian: "His situation is nothing like the working class people of this city."

[I agree, wholeheartedly. Unlike them, Jake has other options...]

Nice motorbike: Didn't I read that Jake is a CEO for the family firm? Btw, Richard Branson is also a drop-out.

Joey: Will you marry me?

Breezy said...

My dear Freedonian,

you are the worst kind ignoramous. The "the alleged educated and still don't know anything ignoramous". (your elevator skipped the humanities floor, dear)

Your statement of "pam, excellent as ususal" made me want to vomit. Who, do you think that you are?

Your lack of tolerance for those with a differing opinion reeks of stupidity and ignorance, and all of the degrees on earth can not change that fact.

I don't know Jake Ford personally. I would not recognize him if he walked right up to me. I do not know what he has been through in his life, but I do know that something apparently went wrong at some point.

Did any of you live in his household while he was growing up? Did any of you witness the emotional impact of his surroundings upon him as a child?

Do any of you know anything about attention deficit disorder, if that in fact, was his problem?

Unlike yourselves, I was not there. However, I do know that there is nothing funny or cute about laughing off the shortcomings or misfortune of others.

There are millions of people in this country, that for whatever reasons,lack a formal education. Based upon your postings, I would be willing to give them a chance before you based strickly upon "heart" alone.

Does your DEGREES blind you to the fact that financial security in one's household does not necessarily equal emotional security and peace of mind. The average fool on the street knows that.

As much as I loathe George Bush, I find you and your "no nothing" comrades here even more pathetic. If so much were not at stake, you would be funny.

You, strickly based upon what I have read, need to concentrate more upon what "should" be in your heart, opposed to your alleged educational accomplishments. One plus one, is equaling "other" in your case, dear.

jsf said...

To Anonymous 9:50pm--

You are right. The person with the higher IQ always wins an election. I'm being sarcastic, because under that reasoning, George W. Bush is the smartest guy in the country. Get real!

Here are the reasons I lost in the primary: (1) lack of campaign financing in comparison to Tinker & Cohen; (2) lack of political experience when compared against Cohen; and (3) not enough presence in the District after being in school in California for 10 years.

IQ had nothing to do with it Anonymous, but you can believe what you want.

Pam said...

I agree that a lack of formal education or a college degree is not necessarily an impediment to success. However, for every Gates, Allen or Branston out there, there a zillion others drop-outs who can’t even get a job at McDonalds.

Given the information made available so far by JF himself, I am more inclined to say that he belongs to the latter group rather than the former. JF just got lucky that at least his family was sufficiently successful for him to ride on their coattails and live off their pockets. To my knowledge, no proof to the contrary has been shown.

If there are any accomplishments, records, credentials, awards, etc. that make this man qualified to be a Congressional Representative, I have yet to hear about it. By all means, if you have anything to add to his defense other than family lineage and race, please share with the rest of us who are still waiting.

As I said, he is articulate, charismatic, and seems bright. He seems to have good intentions and have set opinions he advocates or criticizes. Nevertheless, not one of this characteristic are substitute for real qualifications, such as a legislative initiatives, bills passed, issues’ position on records, honors and awards for respectable organizations, etc. You get where I am going with this.

JF’s educational background is simply one of his many un-compelling characteristics. I do not trust a person who has not pursued his education to represent fights and pursue the educational interest of the students of the 9th Congressional District, especially in times when there is an ongoing an educational crisis.

Moreover, I am not lured by the idea of having him role model for future generations. Our high-school drop-out rates are outrageous as they are, and I am not confident that JF will be able to change that for the best. If anything, with the example he is giving out, it may actually make it worse.

Pam said...

Hey Joe,

We are dying to know the answer to ER's marriage proposal. Way to go!

Freedonian said...

you are the worst kind ignoramous.

Nah. I'm pretty sure there's at least one worse kind. It's a rare breed called the "Breezicus inbredicus".

Do any of you know anything about attention deficit disorder, if that in fact, was his problem?

It's not that I don't know, although I don't. It's that I don't give a flying shit. Is ADD one of the traits we should want in a Congressman? "Congressman Ford, how do you vote?" "Um... What were we talking about again?"

There are millions of people in this country, that for whatever reasons,lack a formal education. Based upon your postings, I would be willing to give them a chance before you based strickly upon "heart" alone.

It's a shame. The first bill I planned to propose was the mandatory hogtying of anyone that thinks "strickly" is a word.

Does your DEGREES blind you to the fact that financial security in one's household does not necessarily equal emotional security and peace of mind. The average fool on the street knows that.

Again, are these traits that we look for in a Congressman or not? If he's so emotionally disturbed that he couldn't sit in a classroom, then what business do we have sending him to Congress?

You, strickly based upon what I have read, need to concentrate more upon what "should" be in your heart, opposed to your alleged educational accomplishments. One plus one, is equaling "other" in your case, dear.

Well, "dear", what I have in my heart is exactly what should be in my heart. You need to look inside your own and figure out what it is that makes you think that the guy who tried to define "insurgent" on the radio twice the other day before finally giving up should be one of 435 that get to decide how to combat the Iraqi insurgency in the House of Representatives. I believe the people we send to Congress should actually have some faint idea what the issues facing this nation are. I'm real funny that way.

Feel free to pick up your "I was insulted by the Freedonian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt" t-shirt on the way out the door. And remember, if you try to wield the English language like that again, we'll take it away from you.

Breezy said...

Thank you, for yet "again" proving my point, so sad, dear.

Breezy said...

Did mommy not hug you as a child or something?

I am not insulted by you. I feel sorry for you, dear.

Pam said...

I had ADD. I still have ADD. Plus financial constrains, family issues, and other issues that you would not begin to imagine. Then again, I made it through high-school, I have 2 undergraduate degrees and going for a graduate one next year.

Jake's problem is a character flaw that is not justified by exacerbating one's negative life experiences.

Compared to most people, he had it really fucking easy. All the BS you have brought on still does not address how the lack of education, and other accomplishments make him a qualified candidate for this position, which further proves my point that there no substance to his candidacy or campaign whatsoever.

We'll have issues and go through hard times. But some of us have to courage to keep on going and finish what we started. And that's the difference.

Freedonian said...

Thank you, for yet "again" proving my point, so sad, dear.

You had a point? Have you ever thought of combing your hair over it to de-accentuate it?

I am not insulted by you. I feel sorry for you, dear.

Well, God bless your pointy little head.

Breezy said...

I think that your Adderall need either a b.i.d dosing, or a change in the strength, and you will be just fine sweetheart, calm down.

We are so very proud of your educational accomplishments. Good girl, now open wide.

Freedonian said...

I must say though, I've learned my lesson. I've found someone with ADD that I'd vote for.

Anonymous said...

TO: JSF
FROM: Anonymous 9:50/AKA/Nova

Don't make excuses for your loss. Based on your education and self-proclaimed intelligence you should have been able to figure out a way to work around Tinker and Cohen's money advantage. Tinker had more money than Cohen. Did she win?? That argument doesn't make sense. If you already knew that you had no visibility in the community for 10 years what made you think you could come in and win and finally why didn't you devise a strategy with your superior intelligence to overcome the obstables in your way? It seems to me that if you were truly smart you could have come up with some winning strategy.

Sorry for being cruel but you need to think before making arrogant posts about your own overblown sense of intelligence. Its annoying and shows your stupidity.
NOVA

Breezy said...

Oh, and Freedonian, before I leave, strictly, "there" feel better now? Bless your little silly stupid heart.

Btw, I commend people that realize that they have a problem and "do" something about it Pam.

As Freedonian's comment illustrated, there is so much bias and b.s. directed toward those with mental issues.

Freedonian said...

Breezicus inbredicus,

Please feel free to share whatever you think it is that makes GED Jake worth voting for. The floor is yours, asshead.

Is it his impressive partial high school education? The intellectual might that fails so miserably to define "insurgent", a word that has been used on nearly every news broadcast for the last three and a half years?

I realize that someone so shitall stupid that they think "strickly" is a word probably sets their standards for intelligence pretty low. But I don't.

Freedonian said...

So you think there's a comparison to be made between a young lady that managed to complete two undergrad degrees, is working on a postgraduate degree and some guy that dropped out of high school despite having every advantage in life?

Has it even been established somewhere that Jake had ADD? And if he did, then who the hell cares? He started life with every advantage, yet couldn't find a place to sell him a diploma. The young lady you just disrespected overcame much more, I assure you. She worked her ass off. He did nothing. He was born on third and thinks he hit a triple.

Pam said...

Breeze,

You seriously need to get off whatever illegal subtance Jake is feeding you with and get a life.

There is nothing worse that wasting valuable posting space with jabberish BS. Sadly, you are just a full mouth of absolutely nothing to say.

You wanna play here, raise to the level of the debate. Get an education. Accomplish your goals. Reach your potential.

Otherwise, I am sure you middle-high school points of view and insults will be welcomed at Jake's Fan Blog, which has "special" you in mind (and him!)in mind.

jsf said...

Nova--

No one is making excuses. I admitted my defeat and have moved on, but the facts are the facts. I am pretty sure that I received most votes per dollar in this August primary, so how do you explain that? And don't default to the easy argument of bringing up the Ford machine stuff and people just voting for a name, because that argument won't fly in 2006. My campaign did not have the machine behind it.

Say what you want, but the votes we received would not have happened without intelligence and a sound strategy.

However, IQ points will not pay for mail-outs. It will not pay for commercial time. As I said before, based on your reasoning, every politician would be in Mensa and we all know that's not true.

Go back and read my 1st post over. I didn't say it was money alone that determined a winner. I said it was experience, money and community ties collectively -- not individually. That is why Tinker lost despite having more money. She had the money, but she lacked the qualifications elsewhere.

When I first entered the race on February 24th, neither Tinker nor Cohen had officially filed for the race and at the time I felt that I was more qualified than any of the other candidates in the race. The results of the election prove that belief to be correct, because I finished behind only Tinker & Cohen.

I don't care if you find my statements annoying Nova -- deal with it. If you don't like what I'm posting, then don't read it. I am quite confident in my intelligence and have numerous unbiased people from all over the country who can vouch for it along with the applicable educational credentials. If you think I'm stupid, then that's fine with me, because then you're the one showing your stupidity. I don't need your validation or approval. I just like to argue, so I'll keep bringing it to idiots like you that talk without knowing a damn thing.

Have a good weekend!

Joe

Anonymous said...

To:JSF
From: Nova

You missed the whole point of my previous post. Let me break it down to an ABC/123 level.
Politics is about strategy and executing it. George Bush is an idiot and so is Sen. George Allen. However, the people behind their campaigns figured out the best way to WIN and did it propelling them into office despite their obvious intellectual shortcomings.
Dismiss the Ford machine all you want but the only reason you came in third is because of your last name.
Better strategy, better execution could have placed you in the general election but that doesn't matter anymore.
Your cousin had the presence of mind (or at least HFsr or HFjr did)to realize that the AA vote was going to split so he offered up an alternative for November. That is what I call smart strategy and execution. Does Jake have the education and chops to represent the 9th district? On paper--no but time will tell. He will probably get the opportunity to go to Washington based on the racially polarized Memphis that I've seen in person and on the blogs.
Again, I apologize if I hurt your feelings. Next time you run for office follow the model that your cousin Harold has set. He is running a flawless campaign.
Have a good weekend too!

Pam said...

Flawless? Hardly.

If anybody is buying advice from anybody here, that should be HFJ from JSF.