Liar, Liar, Pants On Fire

There is part of me that just wish people would grow up especially when it comes to running our government. I get that they make mistakes but own up and move on. However, as Forrest Gump's mother reminded him and that this article will remind you, "Stupid is as stupid does." However, if they did what I am suggesting, I would have to find other topics about which to write. Sen. Rand Paul is the latest example of this crazy behavior. Moreover, to be honest, by the time I finish this article, proof it, send it to my webmaster, and it is posted, there will be others to be added to my list of really stupid politicians.

Another advantage of this particular case of regarding Paul is that I will link this article to my online classes next semester after returning from a month in Burma/Myanmar. At the beginning of every semester and in the syllabus for the class, I will talk and write about not plagiarizing their written assignments. It is easy for students to cut and paste off the Internet and act like what they submits are their words. One would think by college that they would know how to use quotation marks, footnote, and cite their work. Most do. However, there are students that still cheat.

I tell them that it is as critical to learn not to plagiarize, as it is to learn the content of the course. It is not my goal to have them learn the material of the class and to learn that they can cheat by copying someone else's work. If they do learn both the content of the class and plagiarizing, they will be caught in another class or they will be caught in life. School is for learning so that we can function in the world. Eventually, they will get into trouble.

Years ago, I would merely Google a part of an assignment that did not sound like at college student wrote it. That is not that difficult. When I was in college, I never even addressed or thought about the ethics behind plagiarism. I knew that I could not write, while at college or even graduate and post-grad school, as well as some textbook. I knew that my professors would see the written difference between a student of theirs and some scholarly source. Apparently, college students a half century after I was sitting where they are thinking that their writing skills are equivalent some scholar.

My Googling process was time-consuming, but I am paid to teach. Fortunately, in recent years we have search engines like Turnitin.com or SafeAssign.com, which will take minutes to check, compare, and evaluate the students' paper. Now, some students will dislike enduring the pain of failing an assignment, but without the pain, there is no gain.

Rand Paul Rand Paul
Rand Paul is a wondrous example for me to use in my classes to illustrate that cheating or plagiarizing is too costly even to attempt let alone the person does not learn what they are copying. It does not make any difference whether Paul is merely mouthing or writing non-sense, which he is IMHO. The issue is he is cheating. In addition, unfortunately, Paul was never a student of mine. However, he plagiarized parts of the speech, and a newsperson called him out for cheating.

Paul could have said, "Oops, I made a careless mistake." However, he attacks the motivation of the newsperson for getting all of the political left for "unfairly targeted by hacks and haters." Whether I agree with anything that he says or not, the issue is not my agreement or disagreement with his view of things. My dissing of him is because he cheated. Duh.

 Pinocchio was a wooden dummy...

Pinocchio was a wooden dummy...

Had he just said that he was careless, it would have been forgotten in a nanosecond or two. However, to cover a lie, he attacks the messenger. That is not honest. As many in his party say to us, "man up"; he needs to do the same. Covering a lie with a lie is still a lie.

What I get from my students that plagiarize is often the same retort. I am picking on them or they did not plagiarize. Interestingly, my response after restating what they did is to double-check all assignments or papers that they write in the future. The news media did a similar thing, but in this case, they looked back upon other speeches, articles, or books. Guess what? They found more plagiarism.

A personal reaction to Paul's comment about 98% of his speeches are extemporaneous...really? Does Paul know what extemporaneous means?

From the Free Dictionary

From the Free Dictionary

As Forrest Gump's mother always told him, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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Forrest Gump Film Poster

Forrest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does."

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