Recent events have illustrated the profound gift of Education to the Human Race. Lately ‘Alternative Facts’ have been touted as valid assertions by the United Sates Government. Also, Conspiracy Theory notions have been given credibility and study at our government’s highest levels.
I was raised in a family where higher education was not mentioned. Neither my mother or father had received the privilege of attending a college or university. Often education, post high school, was made light of or looked upon as unnecessary. Conspiracy theory had equal weight as facts…science…and philosophy. I knew people that read the National Enquire…and believed it’s bizarre assertions.
Education’s original purpose is to produce a critically thinking individual. A person who does not take a leader…a pastor…or their neighbor’s beliefs as settled concrete reality. Mr. Spock, of original Star Trek fame, often remarked whether something was logical or not. Education gives you a working background that you can weigh pronouncements and illogical paranoid ‘fever dreams’ against demonstrated reality or facts.
For sometime now…Southern Illinois University has been under budgetary attack. Sadly the dedication States had for many years to providing a solid University Education to their citizenry…has been left to the side of the road…for the expediency of political posturing and pandering.
SIU has been forced into a budget scenario that will devastate their academic programs and their academic support programs. This sad state of affairs has been precipitated by gross inaction of both the Illinois Legislature and the Governor.
The latest budget proposal asks for the examination of hundreds of positions through Outsourcing and the draconian cuts of Academic Support programs.
SIU is the light in Little Egypt that has pulled up the poor working people of our region…and without this Light…we will be Appalachia.
Do we really want to turn our back on Higher Education? Will the American people be strong competitors on the world stage by absorbing the knowledge that is available to them through media…their neighbors…their churches…?
Does the TriLateral Commission and the Bilderbacks truly run our government behind the scenes? Were there really three to five million illegal votes cast during our last presidential election? Does any television news station provide us with all of the facts that we need to make informed decisions…without research?
Truly facts are not always forthcoming and have to be dug for as one would mine for precious gold. The benefit of a strong background in the Arts…the Sciences…and History is invaluable in weighing the multitude of beliefs held by our Human Family.