SPOON, FULL OF TRUTH

A heavy dose of truth, humor, and political activism.

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Location: Phila, Pennsylvania, United States

Thursday, July 06, 2006

GUEST COLUMN


THE FOLLOWING IS THE THIRD INSTALLMENT OF MY GUEST COLUMN SEGMENT. THE VIEWS ARE THOSE OF THE WRITER AND NOT THOSE OF D. JACOB MILLER OR SPOON, FULL OF TRUTH (ALTHOUGH I MIGHT AGREE WITH THEM). PLEASE ENJOY! CHECK BACK SOON FOR ANOTHER OFFICIAL SPOON, FULL OF TRUTH POST.
Normally, I love my morning routine. I get to work and read the news online while I eat my breakfast. Trust me, its more relaxing than it sounds. But today, the news frustrated me more so than it normally does. The first article that caught my eye was on MSNBC.com, entitled "Time to Change How We Spell Wurdz?". Almost the entire article was written phonetically, I assume, to illustrate the author's point. Apparently, there are activists protesting outside the annual national spelling bee held in Washington with such signs as: "Enuf is enuf but enough is too much" and "I'm thru with through" (and I just noticed that Word's spell-check does not mark "thru" as spelled incorrectly).These people are trying to do away with our current way of spelling and put in its place a simpler, phonetic "sistem". The theory is that if words are spelled the way they sound, it will be easer for children to learn to spell, excel in the English language and potentially completely eradicate the illiteracy problem. As I struggled to read the phonetic text I became more and more frustrated. Words were changed that were simple to begin with, like "noet" instead of "note", "uennyon" instead of "union", "wuns" instead of "once", and the list keeps going.

For our country to continue to be a leading world power, and to fully recover from the damage the current administration has done, there must be high standards of education. Yes, high standards mean that some will fall short, but lets be realistic, not everyone will be proficient in everything they do. And while it is sad that illiteracy is so prevalent, and our
language so complicated, these are facts of life and must be accepted as such. In much the same way that no one would argue that 2+2=4, no one should be trying to argue that "failure" should be spelled as "faeluer". Donald Bear, an educational professor, said that using the phonetic spelling of words would probably make it more difficult, citing the fact that words get their meanings from prefixes, suffixes, and roots that come from other languages. Even the nations largest teachers union, once a supporter, now objects to this "iedeea".

I've always prided myself on being an excellent speller, and, generally speaking, a pretty well-spoken, well-read individual, and I have to admit I breathed a sigh of relief when I read that the general American public is not in favor of this change and finds it completely unnecessary. For a moment, I was worried that we would actually lower our collective standards and, as if we haven't already done so to a dangerous degree, dumb down our entire educational system for the sake of a few. Next thing you know, G-Dub will be teaching grammar!!



The second article that really got my blood boiling over sheer stupidity was from the Washington Post, titled "Castration a Solution for Sex Offenders?". A man by the name James Jenkins had spent 5 years in a Virginia state correctional facility for molesting 3 young girls and an additional 2 ½ years for violating the terms of his parole. The night before a hearing pending a request to remove him from prison and place him in a treatment facility, Mr. Jenkins asked a guard for a razor so that he might look clean-shaven and presentable the next morning. After the guard finally gave him the razor, Jenkins stuffed an apple in his mouth and proceeded to castrate himself and flush his testicles down the toilet. He later claimed that he felt that was the only way he could stop the "deviant sexual fantasies" he suffered from, and to be sure he never victimized another little girl.

Normally, I'd commend the guys balls, pardon the pun, for castrating himself for such a reason, chuckle at his obvious psychosis, and maybe wish for a moment that people would show a little much-needed self control once in a while, but this was not a normal case. This one man's extreme decision led lawmakers in Virginia and several other states to consider using castration as part of regular treatment and rehabilitation of repeat sex offenders. Sen. Emmett W. Hanger, Jr. (R-Augusta) floated a bill that would give sex offenders the option at the end of their sentences to be castrated in exchange for their freedom, or to continue the normal process of moving on to a treatment facility. Sen. Hanger withdrew his bill when the issue of cruel and unusual punishment was addressed, but insisted that since the procedure would be on a strictly voluntary basis that issue should be moot. While no one is convinced that castration is a cure-all, many are in agreement that it would be highly beneficial in most, if not all, cases of repeat offenders, citing studies that have concluded that while the surgery does not completely eradicate sexual desire, arousal, function, or ability, the occurrence of repeat offenses does sharply decline after the procedure. One would assume that it would be beneficial, then, to cut off the hands, or at least the fingers, of kleptomaniacs, or pyromaniacs....

Am I the only one feeling the slow decline back into ancient times?
-Sam Porter

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spoon--I like the guest articles! Very insightful.

July 06, 2006 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for pointing out the craziness of spelling words phonetically.Maybe Joey Vento will take spelling as his next cause. If you can't spell cheese wiz , you can't order it. Likewise if you can't spell"wit" or "witout" , you are just out of luck.

July 07, 2006 7:47 AM  
Anonymous JAY FANAL said...

How about Indiana's new law which gives residents an opportunity to get a lifetime handgun permit. Oh those Hoosiers.They sure know how to make life hassle free. Will they now offer lifetime driver's liscenses or business liceneses to keep all hoosier residents free from the hassle of renewing their licenses ? Will they next pass a law requiring every citizen to pack a weapon ? Where is Jack Bauer when we need him most ?

July 07, 2006 8:19 AM  

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