Monday, December 1, 2008

Cheaters Never Prosper? **UPDATED**

Uh, yeah, apparently they do. Obama is a major case in point. He only got to where he is now by cheating on a massive level, with the DNC both sanctioning and colluding in the cheating. A major avenue in which the cheating occurred was done so with the help of a number of young people through both caucus fraud and voter registration fraud (this has all been documented a hundred times, both here, and at a number of news sites. But in case you need a reminder, go to We Will Not Be Silenced for information on caucus fraud, and HERE for information on young people committing voter fraud). Many of us have been shocked by the levels of unrepentant cheating and fraud, though, it seems, we should not have been...

It seems that more and more students are cheating, according to a nationwide survey, and not just a few. According to the survey, 3 out of 5 (64%) of students admit to cheating on exams, about 4 out of 5 on homework, and more than 1/3 admit to cheating more than once. More than a third plagiarized their papers, often from the internet. I might add, it wasn't just in school that these behaviors were evident. No, about 1/3 also admitted to stealing from friends, parents, or a store. Kinda blows the educators' whole excuse, um, I mean, THEORY, that students were cheating more because of higher expectations and university requirements (which does not seem to include ethical behavior). Uh, yeah. Wow.

And it isn't just here in the US. According to a survey in the UK, half of the students at Cambridge admit to cheating, too. These students were most likely to plagiarize, with only 5% being caught at it. Just 5% caught at plagiarizing out of over 50%. Holy smokes.

Here's the thing - Obama AND Biden are known plagiarizers. Some of you may recall that Biden actually had to drop out of a presidential campaign for failing to mention the author of a speech he gave once, though he did give credit to the others he used. Biden, though, also plagiarized papers while in law school (!!!!) too. It seems he was a serial plagiarizer. Back then, that actually seemed to matter to people. Sadly, not any more.

Obama's instances of plagiarism are almost too numerous to mention, but here are just a couple(H/T to Big Head DC):

And this one:

I could go on and on. Feel free to do a search and you'll see what I mean.

Anywho - our students have become a bunch of cheaters, both in and out of schools. Teachers are catching but a very, very few of them. I have to say, though, when university professors turn a blind eye to the plagiarism of their candidate (and his vice president), is it any wonder that students are getting away with rampant cheating? (I know, I know - too many students, too few teachers, the demands of "No Child Left Behind," and all of that. But this did not happen overnight. And it isn't just in overcrowded schools. It is systemic.)

Now, I'm not blaming it all on the teachers. Families and our society in general play a big role in this, well, moral decline is the phrase that comes to mind. This "win at all cost mentality" seems to have infiltrated our culture, and is just insidious. Cheating, lying, and stealing have become all too common, and all too accepted.

What is worse is that students are not learning the material (according to the article). I would suggest they are not learning how to study, or even how to think, as a consequence. As for the claim that the students are under pressure to meet university requirements, how does it help them to cheat if they make it to the universities, and don't KNOW ANYTHING? All it does is bring down the quality of education in the universities by having to play catch-up in so many areas. Or having to tutor so many students because they don't know how to study. And on it goes. The lack of real world consequences to the lying, cheating, and stealing does have wider ranging affects.

Certainly there have been none for the Obama camp. Quite the opposite, in fact. It doesn't give me a lot of "hope" that things will "change" for the better anytime soon...Not only was Obama's and the DNC's actions excused, but there was downright glee at the actions of many of his young supporters actions to throw this election (and nomination) for Obama. And nary a word of reproach was heard from the Candidate/Nominee. Nope - and for good reason. Given his own actions, he was scarcely in a position to criticize the actions of those who helped to elect him.

We need some major changes in this country - in our schools, our families, our culture in general. This level of cheating - over HALF of our students - cannot continue, not without continuing degrading effects on our country, our schools, our very selves. Until people are held to a standard, and held accountable for their actions, I fear this trend will continue. And all of those students and young people who saw the positive result of their dirty work will just be inclined to continue it in the future. We are all at fault for allowing this to happen, and to continue unabated. To now cast away all of the unethical and immoral actions of the President Elect as old news is to condone those actions.

How is it that in just twenty short years we have gone from condemning actions like plagiarism in our candidates and running them out of the process to condoning it in our candidates? How does this happen?? I leave it to those more knowledgeable than I to debate and discuss the reasons, but I do know that until we take a stand, our country will continue down the path evidenced by our young people and president elect. I, for one, am not willing to stand by while this country tolerates, no, accepts, liars, cheaters, and thieves in our students, our culture, or in our leaders. That is not an option. Speaking out, speaking truth to power, not sweeping the past year under the rug and accepting that this is the "new politics" is what I will be doing. How about you?

UPDATE: The CEO of the organization that conducted the survey of 30,000 youth nationwide was on the news this morning. Here is the video of his interview:


SFIndiePUMA said...

“The first sign of corruption in a society that is still alive is that the end justifies the means.” - Georges Bernanos

As long as we, as a society, continue to overlook the means by which success is attained and focus only on the result, we will ultimately find ourselves a country without a soul.

Little by little, and more and more often, I find those who opposed Obama beginning to accept the "inevitable", resign themselves to an illegitimate presidency, and offer praise for the potential good he might accomplish.

At what cost, I wonder? If we make it okay for Obama, where do we draw the line? What example are we showing our children? How are we defining ourselves to the world? Who will come after him?

Maybe I'm being melodramatic, but are we selling our souls to save our material comforts?

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Exactly, SFIndiePuma! That is what I have been saying, too - that the ends justifies the means no matter how illicit the means may be. It is just astonishing the people who are willing to justify the trash Obama spewed abt Clinton, BOTH Clintons; or call it "clever" when he gets ALL of his opponents thrown off the ballot - TWICE - to get elected; or pretend like NONE of the caucus fraud or voter fraud happened; or who blithely dismiss his plagiarism - university professors in my family have done this; the homophobia; the misogyny...And on and on it goes.

So, yes, I agree - as a society, when we continue to let bad behavior go by because, hey, well, look at the record that coach has (e.g., Bobby Knight); or how well that guy acts, or sings, or plays a sport, we can forgive how he batters the women in his life; or the underhanded means by which someone gets to the highest office in the land. Now that he's poised to take office, let's just forget the lying, cheating, stealing, duplicity, and machinations to get the office. After all, he's our first bi-racial president, so just let it go already!! Sheesh.

So, no, I don't think you are being the least bit melodramatic. All those kids who threatened, bullied, changed data at caucuses, forged registrations, committed voter fraud, all of that (and more) now KNOW that cheaters DO prosper, and they do not have to do things the RIGHT way (read: ethical, moral) when cheating will get them more than they ever could achieve if they go by the book.

64% of high school kids nationwide admit they cheat. Almost 1/3 admit they plagiarize. Over 1/3 say they will do it again. So, yeah - I think you are right on target, SF!

Oh, and as one of my co-writers said, it is extremely hard on those students who DO work hard, don't cheat, and still get the same grades as the cheaters, or who are completely over-passed for awards or scholarships because of someone else cheating their way through...Sad...