Monday, November 30, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Speech which denigrates, demeans or offends other students is not protected under freedom of speech in the classroom or at the school and it's functions.
The number one right of students at a school is the right to learn, this endangers that right. The number two right of students is the right to safety. These T-shirts legally constitute "fighting words" or saying something so offensive that it can cause a fight. Again if a school allowed this and a fight did break out at the school or against another school at a game and students were harmed the school would be sued.
The school does the legally required precaution of not allowing a hostile learning environment and gets sued for not allowing freedom of speech.
Damned if you do and damned if you don't.
What the ACLU (and I support the ACLU on many of its issues) doesn't figure into this lawsuit is that the money spent on these lawsuits amounts to grand theft from the coffers of the taxpayers who pay to educate their children not enrich lawyers.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Now it seems there are three other hurdles before a health care reform bill will be passed: Socialism, abortion and boobs (Adele M. Stan at Altnet).
Calling this socialism isn't changing the polling numbers in the party of no's favor, but abortion and rationing (the fuss over mammagrams) seems to be having a few cowardly dems ducking for cover. The fact that the cover is big pharma and health insurer's money bags softens the blow.
I am surprised that it has reached this stage. I thought the fillibuster would end it for this year, so I'm wrong on the timing of this exercise in futility, but I still feel nothing will happen this year, no matter how hard Obama is pushing for it. Public option (a no brainer here, no public option no reform only smoke and mirrors) seems to be a sticking point for Mr. I'm so bitter Lieberman who is threatening to join the party of no in another fillibuster, and then there are the real cowards that won't vote for it if all women are allowed to control their bodies. Arguing about the evils of rationing after the last thirty years of bureaucratic denial by health insurers is almost (I said almost) down right funny.
So, what happens if health care doesn't get passed? 1. With all the members of congress and 1/3 of the senate up for re-election it becomes the hottest button issue for next year. I know the fear is that unemployment will distract from this, but I feel Bush is still blamed more for the economy than Obama and Congress is taking steps to come up with a jobs package to nuetralize this threat. 2. Abortion will for the first time be up to a vote, and if that's the reason why the cowardly dems have voted against health care then bid them goodbye. It has been too long that 25% of the population has held the spot light on this issue without a true national response by the voters. If it comes down to decent and affordable health care for all or a woman's right to choose, pro-life loses hands down. 3. The party of no gets voted out of office. Goodbye and good riddence.
Last years election was a step in the right direction and I haven't been all that pleased with Obama, but concidering the alternative I can still support him and have patience because in many ways he's moving in the right direction, just not as fast as I'd perfer. The 2010 election is going to be the either a return to the anarchy and chaos of Bush misrule or the tipping point for getting this country back to resembling a country worth living in.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Rachel Maddow has an interview with Frank Shaeffer at Altnet.
This is despicable. This is not Christian. This flies directly in the face of John 3:16. God is Love, not death. Shame shame shame on anyone who would do this. Read this and think about how these morons wax eloquent on the "sanctity of life."
Maddow: And then, there‘s this biblical quote making the rounds in anti-Obama circles. As reported this week in the “Christian Science Monitor,” “Pray for President Obama, Psalm 109, verse eight.” What‘s psalm 109 verse eight? Well, it reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.” Let his days be few. It‘s followed immediately by another verse, “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
And don‘t forget, that sentiment is now being merchandised on bumper stickers, on mouse pads, on Teddy Bears on aprons, framed tiles—those are nice. Keepsake boxes, t-shirts? “Let his days be few”—cute on a Teddy Bear.
Frank Shaeffer makes a very good point the Christians who deplore the acts and insanity of the fundamentalists need to stop hiding in the shadows and speak up. I'm speaking up!
In 1973 while at college my second room mate was a pole vaulter on the track team. He was from a small town in the panhandle of Texas. That Nov was the tenth anniversary of Kennedy's assassination. Hoyt and I got along and saw eye to eye on just about everything, hard to say when I was from a big city and he was small town. Until I brought up the Kennedy assassination and mentioned that I was once in the front row to hear Kennedy speak when I was nine. I read Manchester's Death of a President in high school and pretty much only knew those who deeply grieved for both Kennedy brothers.
With Hoyt, I've never seen or heard such venom and hatred expressed as what he thought about Kennedy. It took my breath away. It was irrational and he was perfectly rational about just about everything else. We never brought the subject up again. He was not the only person I encountered while exiled to Texas for college that felt this way about Kennedy. As Manchester says in his book Texas took it personally that Kennedy died in their state and somehow it's Kennedy's fault for ruining their state's reputation.
I'm seeing on a really large scale the same kind of irrational thought as I saw in Hoyt. People who are intelligent, hard working, and respectable in other things become completely unhinged by the thought of Obama being President.
I have a dread about what will hit the fan if something does happen to Obama. It is my fervent prayer that nothing does, but the tea baggers and neocons and loony tunes on Faux news are whipping up a whirlwind of hate and advocating violence. This action could cause a catastrophic reaction should something happen. This reaction would make the riots and social unrest that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. look like a picnic.
I'll finish with this: Romans Ch 13 verses 1-7
The apostle Paul wrote this while Rome was ruled by the most evil and corrupt emperor in its history.
1 Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God ; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. 3 For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority ? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same ; 4 for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid ; for it does not bear the sword for nothing ; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil. 5 Therefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing. 7 Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom ; fear to whom fear ; honor to whom honor.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Nonetheless, this clueless clique is actually claiming that we commoners should be applauding the return of their multimillion-dollar bonus bonanzas. Why? Because, they aver, the rich payouts allow them to contribute to charity.
Such narcissism reminds me of a story about a selfish, no-good rich man who died and tried to get into heaven. But you can't just walk through the Pearly Gates. An angel reviews your life, then St. Peter decides if you can enter. To counter the angel's negative review, the rich man argued that he had a history of charitable giving. He'd once tossed a nickel into a beggar's cup, he pointed out. Plus, some years later, he had aided a poor woman by giving her a nickel. Then there was the time he put a nickel into the Salvation Army kettle.
Hearing all this, the angel turned to St. Peter and asked, "What in the world should we do with this man?" And St. Peter said, "Give him back his 15 cents, and tell him to go to hell!"
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Thanks to Yikes, one of her many Sunday cartoons.
Monday, November 16, 2009
- Stop bending over backwards to keep students in school that don't want to be there. A fortune every year is spent on "at risk" kids, and the main discipline problems stem from students that are mental drop-outs. The late Al Shanker over twenty years ago wrote an in his NY Times column that the best way to deal with these kids is to let them drop-out, but after they've gone to the school of hard knocks let them drop back in.
- Get rid of the GED. If you want students to earn a diploma don't give them a second option. If you're going to give them a second option stop counting them as drop-outs.
- Reverse court decisions that hamstring schools from having sane discipline policies. Schools have resorted to the insanity of zero tolerance because any time a principle wants to have the punishment fit the bad behavior a judge over rules him/her. If a student is constantly disruptive in behavior, attitude, bullying, vandalism, etc they are stealing the education of the other students by wasting valuable time and money. Allow the schools to expel them without having to jump through a million hoops. (If administrators showed common sense in some of their disciplinary decisions we wouldn't be in the fix. Too many times they blamed the victim not the predator)
- Restore the money that has been siphoned off for the students that don't want to be here and put it back into art, chorus, band, drama, physical education (which needs to be required for all grades). All math and science makes for a really dull school.
- Stop cluttering up the elementary grades with advanced math, science and social studies. Do third graders really need to know about plate tectonics? Algebra at the 4th grade level, come on! No wonder they stop progressing in their arithmetic and reading skill at the third grade level.
- Let students learn to enjoy reading before you throw technical writing at them. Social studies, science, even sex education turn children off to reading making it drudge work. Let them learn to enjoy reading through literature.
- Stop excluding boys from reading. Children's and young adult literature is a closed set with editors of publishing houses. They will not publish anything written for boys. This is not made up. Every publisher and agent for this age group that has spoken at Southwest Writers in the last three year has said this very point. There is nothing being published that would interest an elementary boy or middle school boy. Tom Swift and The Hardy Boys are too dated and schools won't buy them anyway. As a 7th grade teacher I bought at used book stores copies of Robert E. Howard's Conan series (the governator's movie was popular then), Barry Sadler's Casca The Eternal Mercenary series, and the works of Edgar Allen Poe. I had boys who'd brag that they'd never read a book by the end of the year upset if I stopped SSR early and they not only read the books I had them writing a short story. All my classes that year had a 100% completion for writing a short story. Students will read if what they are reading is interesting. Boys don't read at this age because nothing is being published for them.
- Physical exercise. Elementary schools are omitting recess, middle schools are cutting back P.E. and inter-school athletics. There was an article in Sports Illustrated when Bobby Fisher beat Boris Spatsky in chess for the world championship (early 70's). Fisher spent more time every day running, playing tennis or basketball than he did playing chess. He said he'd never be able to focus on the chess board for hours if his body could not provide the oxygen needed for that much concentration. We expect our students to spend 6.5 hours a day in hard desks doing nothing but learning grammar (not reading or literature), history, science, math, etc without requiring the physical exercise necessary to pump oxygen to their brains. The Greeks knew that educating the body was just as important as educating the mind. Why have we forsaken this important ingredient in education. Japan has school for 8 hours a day, but only 6.5 of that day is in classrooms (the same as here). The other 1.5 hours in devoted to exercise. They understand this, we used to understand this, why have we gotten away from it. Oh yeah, budget cuts!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The worst year of my life was 7th grade. My parents didn’t have much money and we lived on the South side of America Junior High. We lived about a half mile from school and I had to walk to and from every day. Walking to school made you a nobody. The kids whose parents were worse off than us lived farther away so they rode the bus to school. They were speds. Not being very bright and having little money they slept in class or threw temper tantrums and were constantly being sent to detention. They did make good jocks and played on the Football and Basketball teams. The girls if they were pretty could catch the eye of the upper classmen and get an older boyfriend who would drive them to school so they didn’t have to ride the bus.
On the North side of school were huge mansions. They were very close to the school, but those students thought it beneath them to walk. They were driven to school by their mothers or chauffer in new shiny cars or limos.
The class that was most horrible that year was Rupert Murdock’s English class. I sat in the center of the room. No matter how hard I worked in that class it was never good enough. Every test and paper came back a D-; just enough to pass, but nothing more. It was hard knowing that the work I turned in was every bit as good as the kids who sat on the right or left of the class and they got A’s. Those of us who sat in the center were lucky if we received a C.
On the left side were the nerds and brains. In the front chairs sat the smartest guy in the class, Barack Obama an African American student who was always friendly, even though he rode the bus he wasn’t a sped. He was the smartest guy in the school; 7th grade class president and everyone knew he’d someday be valedictorian and student body president. He’d talk about trying to improve the school and was real good about defining the problems. There was a girl named Hillary Clinton who was nearly as smart as Barack. Her boyfriend was Bill Clinton, a 9th grader who was student body president. She would smile and act like she was concerned about everyone. If you were in the library studying she’d come by and say hi, maybe help you with your homework, but that wasn’t very often she spent lots of time with her boyfriend.. You could tell she didn’t like Barack as they competed for the highest grade in class and he seemed to always get the better scores. Another guy who sat in the back of the room on the left side was Ralph Nader. He was smart, knew he was smart and disdained anyone who he thought wasn’t as bright as him. He had a few friends that came to class with brief cases, wore pocket protectors and had scientific calculators dangling from their belts.
The right side of the class was dominated by the Queen. Sarah Palin was the prettiest girl in the 7th grade. She didn’t need a boyfriend. All she had to do was bat her pretty eyelashes and someone would buy her lunch or drive her to school or Mr Murdock would give her an A on a paper that didn’t have a single word spelled correctly or even make sense.
Queen Palin kept a court who followed her every move. She hated Hillary Clinton because Hillary could earn a good grade so she had her toadies Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck call Hillary nasty names. Make fun of her weight, laugh at her clothes or hair style. If Queen Palin wanted money for make-up, or clothes or lunch or to have her hair done she’d whisper something to her trolls, Banker, Credit Card, CEO and they’d give it to her. The trolls lived on the North side, came to school in chauffeured limos, always dressed in style, had their hair perfect and nails polished, but if Queen Palin needed money they’d never take it out of their own pocket. They’d roam the halls and take the nobody's lunch money. If you brown bagged it they’d grab your lunch eat the apple or banana in front of you, take a bit out of your bologna sandwich and throw the rest in the trash. They’d always have a couple of jocks with them to beat you up if you resisted their theft, and the school not only didn’t mind but encouraged them, after all their Daddy’s gave generously to the booster club.
One warm sunny fall day during lunch I was with friends and we were running having a good time. The school bully Big Pharma couldn’t stand the fact that a nobody would actually be happy. He ran up to me and kicked me in the groin.. I was in agony rolling on the ground tears streaming down my cheeks as I heard him laugh. I saw Hillary Clinton start walking over to me, but Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly started calling her a bleeding heart, and that only someone who was fat and ugly would be interested in helping the nobody’s that walked to school. Nurse Health Insurance came out, but because Banker and Credit Card had stolen all my lunch money she walked away leaving me to get up and make it back to class with only the consolation that the pain was temporary and Big Pharma hadn’t killed me. As I limped into class I heard Barack say loudly that something needs to be done about the bully’s hurting the nobody’s and speds at the school and that he would ask the student council to pass a resolution on student safety.
Principle George W. Bush then came over the intercom to announce that there were two important games coming up between
Queen Palin came in the next day with a fundraising brochure that had all kinds of nice products. It was the only time she ever noticed those of us in the center. She smiled, or at least her lips curled up, the eyes said she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. Banker and CEO were at her side to make sure everyone bought something from the brochure. Credit Card didn’t come to school that day so we all had our lunch money. I bought a tin of popcorn and was told that all the items we ordered would be delivered in three weeks. A week later Principle Bush thanked all of us for contributing and supporting our wonderful football and basketball teams, but that the company we ordered products from had declared bankruptcy and unfortunately none of our orders would be coming in.
Those sitting on the left side of the class naturally had strong words to say about this problem. Ralph Nader, who had refused to buy any of the products denounced all athletics in general and insisted if we’d all become vegetarians that nothing like this would have happened in the first place.
Hillary told everyone not to blame her boyfriend Bill, because the school year was almost over and this was all Principle Bush's fault.
Barack spoke eloquently about how Principle Bush should have known that this company was run by crooks...
Banker started yelling at Barack because his Daddy’s company was the one that went bankrupt. This caused Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck to join in and for the rest of the school year all the todies could do nothing but scream and yell obscenities at Barack and Hillary and Bill and all those who sat on the left side of class.
Mr. Murdock smiled and congratulated the left and right side of the class for making his class have such a lively debate and scowled at us in the center for not having anything to say on the matter, not that he would ever call on us if we did raise our hands to speak.
Principle Bush announced later that in the football game against
The next year Bill Clinton graduated and was seen no more. Barack and Hillary were elected student body president and class secretary enraging Queen Palin who wanted to be class secretary and John McCain, the guy she could lead around by the nose, to be president. She let loose her toadies Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly to keep calling those on the left every evil thing they could think of. The school walls were plastered with graffiti blaming Barack and Hillary for everything from earthquakes and tornados to Dutch elm disease. Posters were hung showing Hillary being burned as a witch and Barack’s face on a dog. Principle Bush retired and Mr. Murdock became head master. Every day after chief councilor Huckabee gave the morning prayer Principle Murdock would praise Queen Palin, her bullies, toadies and trolls for making the school such an interesting place for our educational experience.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
- Mom has a really good post at her site. I know of whom she's referring, but since she wishes to keep it 3rd person I'm not saying.
- It's a good thing Harry Teague is our state rep in a different district. If he's going to vote like a republican he should call himself one. Our only no vote on health care. He should hang his head in shame. I hope this gets him fired by the voters in his district, at least they'll know what they're voting for.
- Health care reform did pass the house, narrowly, but women were given short shift by an anti-abortion measure added to it. Why do women need to be treated like children who have to have a husband or daddy make their decisions for them when it comes to their own bodies? Why do women stand for it?
- It looks to me like health care reform will die in the senate, cross fingers and hope that I'm wrong, what this will do is make the election next year more about health reform than the economy. Damn I really don't like living in interesting times.
- Today marks 20 years since the Berlin Wall fell. Other than in the news did you hear a big yawn?
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Wade Burleson is theologically much more conservative than I. He was for awhile on a number of the SBC boards. He also blogs and he wrote about problems within the leadership. For which he was treated like any other heretic.