I think therefore I am. I write therefore I think.
INTJ personality. Jack of many trades, master of some. Former banker, consultant, technical writer, marketing manager, infopreneur and communications manager, now retired. Eclectic and sometimes eccentric. Cynical and often critical.
Here are just a few of the longstanding problems plaguing American education: a generalized decline in literacy; the faltering international performance of American students; an inability to recruit enough qualified college graduates into the teaching profession; a lack of trained and able substitutes to fill teacher shortages; unequal access to educational resources; inadequate funding for schools; stagnant compensation for teachers; heavier workloads; declining prestige; and deteriorating faculty morale.
There’s a Reason There Aren’t Enough Teachers in America. Many Reasons, Actually. Thomas B. Edsall NYT 12/14/22
I‘m hardly surprised to read about the many failures of the American education system. We need to prioritize education as much as we prioritize health care and defense spending. I had not factored the effects of the “culture wars” but I can imagine the toll it has created among many teachers. The job is hard enough now without adding politics and wacky prohibitions about what is taught and what books pass a purity test.
Education and teaching was much better when I attended school between 1958 to 1974. Teachers were generally respected. There were very few incidents of parental interventions. There was bullying but not to the degree seen today. There were no worries of a crazed gunman running into a class and shooting students. There was interest in pursuing teaching as a career. How that has diminished since I attended school!
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of students graduating from college with bachelor’s degrees in education fell from 176,307 in 1970-71 to 104,008 in 2010-11 to 85,058 in 2019-20.
Edsall NYT 12/14/22
The failure to provide or receive a good education is a bane for the rest of one’s life. We know what the problems are. How to fix all the holes in our education system is another matter.
I read over 60 books this year. There were very few that I rated five stars books which meant they were an exceptional read. There were too many books about Trump, many or most of which I read or skimmed. It’s hard to find a great book that will absorb your attention. I enjoyed the books shown below…
Excellent book. Reads like a novel. Highly recommended for students, scholars and readers interested in World War II and specifically the Catholic Church’s role dealing with the leaders of Italy (Mussolini) and Germany (Hitler).
While understanding that the Pope needed to proceed cautiously on the diplomatic front to protect the Church and Catholics who lived in Italy and Germany, Pius XII generally caved to the demands of the Fascists and Nazis.
In pre-war Germany, there was evidence of abuse committed by Catholic priests. This was used as a negotiation card by the Nazis to get Pius XII to agree to their terms.
Pius XII’s reluctance to speak out against the atrocities committed against the Jews was an act of moral cowardice.
Pius XII did not address the Nazi bombings of London, Rotterdam and Warsaw as they occurred. However he lobbied the Americans and British not to bomb Rome and the Vatican.
Kertzer provided stories where priests and nuns refused to aid Jews seeking to hide or flee from Nazi pursuers.
Pius XII did lobby Nazi authorities to protect Jews who did convert to Catholicism. He did very little to protest the poor treatment and murder of Jews.
Pius XII was fully aware of what atrocities were occurring.
Many of the atrocities against Jews were committed by Nazi officers and soldiers who were Catholic.
Pius XII does not merit any consideration for canonization. He certainly was no saint.