Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Another Muslim gone wild?

In the wake of a fatal shooting at the El Al counter at LAX by a Muslim in 2002, a fatal shooting this summer at a Jewish Center in Seattle by a Muslim, and the running down of students this spring on a North Carolina college campus by a Muslim, we now have a nutjob in San Francisco who treated the streets of San Francisco as his personal bowling alley, knocking down human pins on sidewalks and crosswalks until his fun came to an end in front of a (here it comes), Jewish Community Center. The name of this so-called driver? Omeed Aziz Popal. Is this another case of Muslim rage? Too early to tell, but I do have precedent on my side.

Here's the article about today's incident from the San Francisco Chronicle that I found linked on Drudge.

Good Day to You, Sir

Gosh, I'm a little mystified myself...

**Warning - Harsh language contained in this post. I find the use of asteri*** to be a bit juvenile and condescending:

I heard a very funny story today, confirmed to be true by two of my colleagues who were there. There was a phone conference regarding a hell-on-wheels student today. Present were our principal, the student's teachers, and the student's mom. The teachers had many issues to discuss with Mom, including one recent incident where, in the locker room, the student yelled "Fuck you!" at the top of her lungs. Before the P.E. teacher could bring up this incident, the mother of this student excused herself from the phone to quiet her noisy kids in the background. My colleague told me that the mother put her hand over the phone and yelled, "Shut the fuck up, I'm on the phone!" A few minutes later, the P.E. teacher mentioned the locker room cussing incident. The mother got exasperated and said, "You know, (Student) called her sister a bitch the other day. I don't know where she is picking up this language." The mother was serious folks. And people wonder why we teachers have no problem putting the blame on parents for much of what we endure.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, August 27, 2006

This needs to happen more often

A high school principal in Hammond, Indiana suspended 128 of her students (about 10% of the student body) on the first day of school for dress code violations. Good for this principal! I'm sure there was much moaning and gnashing of teeth by these students and many of their parents, but should one expect anything different?

Dress code violations are one of my primary causes of angst where I work. Every day, I see scores of students wearing what they are explicitly told not to, according to our school dress code. I confiscate baseball caps on an almost daily basis, I tell the boys to pull up their ridiculously sagging pants, I tell the girls to cover up their spaghetti-strap clad upper bodies (I usually send the girls to admin with a note so admin can deal with it; too much potential for sexual harassment accusations with that one). What chaps me is that the students consider me to be one of the campus hardasses regarding the dress code because so few of my fellow teachers enforce it. I get this all the time: I will tell a student to hand over his baseball cap, and I will get a ration of crap from the student about how no other teacher has said anything to him about it, so why should he have to give the hat to me? You could just dismiss it as the student trying to blow smoke in an effort to keep his hat. I'm afraid that most of the time, the student is telling the truth. I have no doubt that many other teachers at my site look the other way when they see blatant dress code violations.

My position is that the dress code should either be enforced, or get rid of it all together. To have a dress code and then not enforce it simply and effectively tells the students that if those rules are not going to be enforced, then all the other school rules are also fair game to be broken. This is called the "broken window theory". It was demonstrated when during his time as mayor of New York City, Rudy Giuliani cracked down on the little crimes in the city in an effort to stop the big ones from happening in the first place. I wouldn't attribute NYC's crime turn-around solely to Giuliani's policy, but it certainly helped.

I have experienced a similar situation in my own classroom since I started back to work. I noticed last year that a lot of class time was wasted trying to cajole my students into lining up outside my classroom door at the beginning of each period. They would get in a proper line and quiet down when they felt like it, and I really had no consequence put in place to convince them to do otherwise. This year, I started out day one with the new policy that if they were still in line outside when the tardy bell rang, anyone who wasn't in a single-file line or was talking in line would receive a tardy. I didn't care if they had made it to the line before the tardy bell rang; if a student(s) is behaving in a way that kept the line from going into the classroom, as far as I am concerned, that student is tardy. Here is where the gut check comes. For the first week or two, I was giving tardies hand over fist. It takes longer for some students to get the message that I am serious, that I am not backing down, and that the policy is not going away. One day last week, I handed out 12 tardies to students standing in line for my 8th period class. It takes a bit of fortitude to keep handing out the tardies, even when on the surface, the number seems absurd. I'll tell you what though, the next day, instead of 12 tardies, I had zero, and overall, the numbers of tardies are going down daily. Every once in a while, a student decides to test me to see if I am still serious, and he finds out I am. I guarantee that as the school year continues, that high school will not find it necessary to suspend 128 students every day. All you have to do is show that you are serious and don't back down, and the students will get on board. Now if only Israel and the United States will take a clue from this lesson in their dealings with Hezbollah and Iran!

Good Day to You, Sir

Bloggers wanted for 9/11 Tribute

I just signed up for a very moving project called 2,996: Honoring the 9/11 Victims. The operator of the website is looking for as many bloggers to each give tribute to one victim from the Islamo-fascist attack 0f September 11, 2001. This tribute will of course take place this coming September 11, which is the five-year anniversary of that horrible day. I signed up and was assigned a man named Christopher Faughnan, age 37. Mr. Faughnan died in the World Trade Center. The last time I checked, the Tribute was still a couple of hundred bloggers short. Even if they get enough bloggers, sign up anyway. The operator of the site made it clear that he would much rather have too many people sign up than not enough. If more than 2,996 bloggers sign up, then victims will be double-assigned.

So please, sign up and give tribute to the civilian-soldiers who died that day in a war that knows no borders, boundaries, or limits, and does not differentiate between soldier and civilian. As far as the Islamo-fascists are concerned, we are all equally fair game.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, August 26, 2006

If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!

Dear Readers-
I would like to introduce a post from my first guest blogger: Mrs. Chanman. Take it away Sweetheart....

I was explaining my recent experience in the Sacramento airport to Mr. Chanman and I could tell he was formulating a future BLOG post in his mind. He insisted I tell my story....I took our two kids, Chanman Junior who is two, and Baby Chanman who is 4 months old, to San Diego last week. Thank goodness my mom was with me, or we might still be in the security section of the airport! I had gone to the TSA website before going to the airport to make sure there would be no surprises due to the recent airport security scare. I had read that milk was legal and I wasn't really concerned about anything else.

When we got to the security area, Chanman Junior was riding in a stroller and I was carrying Baby Chanman in a Baby Bjorn. I was lugging a diaper bag on my back and a purse on my shoulder. When we got up to the machines, I was told that Chanman Junior would have to take his shoes off (I had purposely put him in tennis shoes and socks so I wouldn't have to worry about his sandals slipping off in the airport...never did I once think he would have to remove his shoes... he is two for goodness sake!). I removed his shoes and he went through the gate, no problem. Then they told me I would have to dispose of the contents of his sippy cup-- you know, the most common ingredient used for making airplane bombs-- whole milk. I told them that I had just read on a sign that children could keep their milk. They opened the container to make sure it was actually milk. Which it was-- SHOCKER!!! The security lady held Chanman Junior's hand until my mom could get through the metal detector.

I folded up our stroller and put that through the machine, took my own shoes off, and shoved my purse and diaper bag into a gray container. All this, while Baby Chanman is patiently waiting in the carrier on my chest. Fortunately, they let me keep her in the carrier while I walked through the detector. (I had read on the TSA site that babies had to be removed from carriers, and it also reminded parents NOT to put their baby through the x-ray machine. Can you believe that?????? As Mr. Chanman said, "obviously someone did it or they wouldn't warn you about it!"). On the other side of the metal detector, I was informed that my diaper bag would need further scrutinization and could I please step aside. Again, thank goodness, for my mom who was now putting Chanman Junior's shoes back on him, after putting her own shoes back on. At this point, Baby Chanman is getting a little ticked off...she is hungry now.

I followed the TSA guy over to a private station (what to they think we put in diaper bags anyhow?) where he proceded to go through each and every pocket, taking each and every item out. Okay... this diaper bag was loaded perfectly! I spent a long time making sure I could squeeze everything in. I had diapers for both kids, a change of clothes for both kids, toys, puzzles, snacks, bottled water, medication, blankets.. you name it. This guy honed in on my hand sanitizer...an apparent NO GO. Going, Going, GONE right in the bin with all of the other contraband items. Then he found some free samples of diaper cream that I had gotten from a swanky baby store. French diaper cream. Apparently the security team isn't fluent in French, so the pricy samples...going, going, GONE! Then he found the tube of Burt's Bees Diaper Cream. This is the good stuff. This is the stuff that costs $8-$9 per tube. This is where I drew the line. He asked me what it was... I said, "diaper cream, AND IT'S EIGHT OR NINE DOLLARS A TUBE!" Apparently he was unable to give the diaper cream the go-ahead, so he called his supervisor over. The supervisor looked at the tube, took the lid off, smelled it, and said (and I kid you not...), "I am going to let you keep the cream, but I can't guarantee the supervisor in San Diego is going to be as nice when you are flying home." UGH! It took us almost as long to deal with the security area of the airport as it takes us to fly to San Diego! Something just isn't right.

To sum it up, I understand we have to be careful these days. Most people are good, but there are a few others who ruin it for the rest of us. I just don't understand why I have seen many sketchy people slide right through airport security (Mr. Chanman and I have flown quite a bit since September 11, even venturing over to Europe), while watching the TSA folks search a nun (I am NOT KIDDING!) and a wheel chair-bound very old lady. I don't have any answers, but I wonder if it will ever not be worth the effort it takes to travel. Especially with kids. I think, instead of looking for those contraband items, let's look at the people who might be potentially carrying those contraband items instead.

FYI-- We slid right through security in San Diego... they never even unzipped our diaper bag!

Good day to you, TSA (and lay off already!)

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Moonbats want another go-around

In the comments section of one of my recent posts, one of the pro-Israel counter-protesters from the big pro-Hezbollah event wrote me to let me know that the terrorist-loving moonbats are going to put on another freakshow. This Saturday, August 26th, they will be meeting at the same location: 16th and Broadway in Sacramento from 5:30 until 7:30pm. I don't know if I can make this one. I think I did a pretty thorough job of photographically documenting the last one, and I also have Miroslav's showing of the documentary Obsession to attend. If anyone is interested though, I highly suggest you go down to 16th and Broadway and watch the action. It gets pretty amusing in a make-you-heartsick-for-your-country sort of way. I have copied and pasted the commentor's message here if you want to read the whole thing:
Excuse the non-sequitor, please. We had met on this street corner not that long ago- alas, I can't make it this weekend, but I trust you'll pass this information on to people who can use it, please

(They seems shocked last time to have opposition- we should keep it up)


Please join us at 16th & Broadway, in Sacramento, this Saturday, August 26th, from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, to make the following demands for peace in the Middle East:

1) that Israel immediately release all of the democratically elected Palestinian representatives that the Israeli military has kidnapped from Palestinian territory and is now holding in Israeli prisons;
2) that all Israeli military personnel immediately get out of Gaza and Lebanon, and that Israel stop its policy of aggression in both regions;
3) that U.S. representatives stop their blanket support for Israel and recognize that peace in the Middle East means a free Palestine that includes the right of return; and
4) that all U.S. military personnel immediately get out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Folks, there is a real danger right now, because the U.S. and Israel are headed down a path of EXPANSION, not reduction, of their collaborative military goals in the Middle East. It's quite clear that they now have their sights on Iran. If we don't start pushing back harder right now, we could very easily soon find ourselves demanding an end to World War III. Seriously.

While our demonstrations alone certainly won't solve these problems, they are a very important part of the effort. They not only create a forum for networking, but they also draw public attention to the issues and convey messages generally withheld from corporate news broadcasts. On the other hand, sometimes our messages from the demos do get local media coverage; and when that happens, we have a rare opportunity to expose some truths to people who usually get distorted news.
So please forward this to others and come out to 16th & Broadway this Saturday, and bring your friends, banners, flags, signs, art and instruments!
Good Day to You, Sir

While the Army courts older recruits...

the Marines have been reduced to calling back some of their departed bretheren. No I don't mean departed as in dead; I mean departed as in Individual Ready Reserve (IRR). Here is how military service works. When you enlist, you sign up for an eight year enlistment. If you don't serve eight years on active duty - and many don't; I served a four year active enlistment - you still have to serve an amount of time that finishes out your eight-year enlistment in either the National Guard, the Ready Reserve, or the Individual Ready Reserve. If you are in the National Guard or the Ready Reserve, you do the one-weekend-a-month-two-weeks-during-the-summer gig. If you sign up for the IRR, you go home and go about your normal civilian life with no further training. However, until your eight year enlistment is up, you are subject to recall to active duty if the need arises. For the Marines, that need has arisen. This week, the Marines have started to call in IRRs because not enough active duty and reserve Marines have volunteered for duty to Iraq.

This parlays right into what I just talked about in the previous post. Now why do you think the Marines are having trouble recruiting? Could it have anything to do with the Camp Pendleton Eight, who are sitting in the Brig and facing a possible death penalty for killing the enemy? Could it be the flap over the continuing investigation of the Haditha (non)incident? Could it be the media's trial and conviction of the Marine who killed the Fallujah sniper who was playing possum? All of these events have no doubt caused a lot of second thoughts both to Marines who have come up for reenlistment, or for possible recruits who were going to go into the Marines, then decided not to when it appeared that they could be sold out by our cowardly and politically correct government so easily.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, August 19, 2006

So it has come down to this?

I just came across this article about the advanced age of some of the new recruits going into the United States Army. Congress recently increased the maximum initial enlistment age from 35 to 42. Read the article to see some of the new recruits we are getting.

Before I go on, I want to emphasize that in no way do I wish to dump upon these enlistees. They obviously love their country enough that they are willing to put their aged bodies to the test in basic training, and by joining the Army, they are saying that they are willing to die for this country. God bless them for that. Here comes the "but": Just because you want to join the military doesn't necessarily qualify you to be in the military. The job of the military is very simple. As Rush Limbaugh always says, it is to kill people and break things. Doing these tasks takes a lot of strength and endurance. In war, there is no such thing as second place; you either win or you lose. That means you have to enlist the strongest, most agile, and most brave soldiers you can manage. Is the United States doing that if we are reduced to enlisting 41 year-old grandmothers? Read this snippet from the article about this well-meaning but inadequate soldier going through basic training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina:
As [Margie Black] took a break from learning how to handle her M-16 rifle, the former corrections officer said her major challenge in the first three weeks of training was climbing and rappelling the 50-foot "Victory Tower."

Black is afraid of heights.

"I cried all the way up and all the way down, but my drill sergeant talked to me the whole time and got me through it," she said with a smile.
I went through basic training at Fort Jackson in 1993. I climbed and rappelled down the Victory Tower. I don't remember crying all the way up and all the way down, and I certainly do NOT remember any of my drill sergeants "talking to me the whole time and getting me through it", unless you count "Chanman! You had best hurry the fuck up!" as talking to me the whole time and getting me through it. Private Black, if the sight of the Victory Tower makes you burst into tears, I have to ask what you will do when you have to climb that cliff or steep hill in order to rescue your fellow soldier or take out that gun emplacement. You won't have a drill sergeant assigned to you to get you through it.

I don't mean to put all my derision on 41 year-old Private Black. She only enlisted because she was allowed to. I reserve the bulk of my ire for the morons in the U.S. Congress who authorized this rule change. I also blame President Bush for fighting another Vietnamesque quagmire where our soldiers are forced to fight with their limbs hogtied lest we offend anyone. When you have rules of engagement like that, of course you are not going to meet your enlistment goals. You are also not doing the enlistment quota any favors when you take the word of a bunch of Iraqi terrorists that one of their own was murdered by some U.S. Marines, and then take said Marines and throw them in the Brig for months without a trial, as is currently happening at Camp Pendleton. Again, not a situation that would make me want to stay in the military, let alone enlist in the first place.

It is so tempting to use the military as a social engineering laboratory, because you have such a captive audience. But when you start fiddling with the military and its ability to accomplish its mission, which is to defend this country, you put the survival of our nation at risk. I hope our clueless politicians get a clue before it is too late.

Good Day to You, Sir

World Trade Center

Last night, I went to see World Trade Center, Oliver Stone's treatment of the September 11, 2001 radical Islamic attack on America. My concerns about left-wing conspiracy theorist Stone directing the movie had already been put at ease by the columns and reviews - including ones written from the political right - that assured me that the movie stayed away from controversy.

The reviewers were right. I didn't feel like I was being preached to about the evils of America or anything of the sort. In fact, except for a few small scenes and pieces of dialogue, you would have thought the World Trade Center fell due to some sort of natural disaster; for instance you never see a plane hit the buildings, only a shadow of the first plane briefly flashes across the ground. This was one of the concerns of some of the right-wing reviewers of the movie: that the movie had been so scrubbed of any mention of the evil and Islamo-fascist motivations of the perpetrators of that day, that a viewer would barely realize that the World Trade towers had been attacked. I disagree with those reviewers. I could see logical reasons for Stone not making a huge production of the motives and evil of the Arab terrorists, and not showing a lot of what we all saw on our T.V. screens as the horrible day unfolded. This movie was about two Port Authority cops who survived the collapse of the buildings and became hopelessly trapped in the rubble. Throughout the movie, they have little idea of what is going on, they go into Tower 1 not realizing that Tower 2 had been hit (they thought the Tower 2 hit was just a rumor or misinformation), they have no idea that the buildings both collapsed. When WTC 7 collapses, they have no idea what that is either. There is a movie-making technique called dramatic irony, where the viewer knows more than the characters on the screen. Think of a character walking into a dark room with a killer hiding behind the door. Think how different the viewer's experience of watching that scene would be, depending on whether or not the viewer knows that the killer is there. By staying focused on the cops and not giving a lot of background as to what is going on outside; by keeping the movie's focus a micro and not a macro, the viewer shares the confusion, fear, and dread with the Port Authority cops who are caught up in the collapse of the buildings.

Speaking of the collapse of the buildings, I considered it to be one of the most powerful moments of the film because I was introduced to a concept that of course makes perfect sense, but because I had only watched the buildings' collapse on T.V., it never quite occurred to me: can you imagine the noise that the collapse of the towers produced? The only time I have seen the towers collapse for real was from camera coverage in a helicopter, or from a cameraman several blocks away. Have you ever thought about what the collapse sounded like to the people who were in the towers when they fell? Oliver Stone and his sound people did a fine job of demonstrating just how much noise it made. When Tower 2 collapses, I could practically feel the walls of the theater shake.

World Trade Center wasn't a perfect movie; not by a long shot. There were stretches that I thought were rather boring, especially when the movie cut away from scenes at the towers and showed us the drama of the families of the Port Authority cops as they tried to find out if their loved ones were alive. I'm not complaining that Stone and his screenwriter chose to explore this family angle, I just don't think it was done very well, especially when flashbacks were used. I am not a fan of flashback scenes, and if they are not done well, they can totally bog down a movie. Rather than try to explain how flashback scenes can be done in the right or wrong way, just watch (or maybe don't watch) Alexander, Oliver Stone's gawdawful previous effort to see how flashbacks can totally bog down a movie. Watch Stand By Me to see how flashbacks can make a movie.

One thing I really appreciated in World Trade Center was Oliver Stone's inclusion of the story of Dave Carnes, a former Marine who was so fired up over the attacks, that he donned his old uniform and walked right into Ground Zero. It was Staff Sergeant Carnes who found the two surviving Port Authority policemen. Staff Sergeant Carnes ended up reenlisting in the Marines "to avenge this" as he put it in the movie, and he served two tours of duty in Iraq.

World Trade Center was by no means a perfect movie. Oliver Stone's style has become rather heavy-handed in some ways. The movie shined when we stayed with the trapped Port Authority cops, and with the rescuers of whatever branch of service as they picked through the rubble of the World Trade towers. If you want to see a realistic movie that truly shows the battle of good and evil that took place on September 11, 2001, I suggest you rent United 93. While World Trade Center was mostly hit but sometimes miss, United 93 was a masterpiece.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Another stunning educational moment

This week is geography week in my classroom during this, our second week of school. Yesterday, we went over the four hemispheres of the earth and the continents that lie on them. During every period, I had to explain that continents are not the same as countries; that continents are just big masses of land, and on those continents are many countries. Here's where it goes from bad to worse: I had several students (several too many for 7th grade) who, I kid you not, did not know what a country was. One kid asked me, "Is the United States a country?"

Please tell me, am I too hard on these kids? Am I being unreasonable for being horrified that at the age of 12 or 13, many of my students do not know what a country is?

Good Day to You, Sir

Jimmuh Carter hits bottom, keeps digging

(Cartoon hat tip to the geniuses at Cox and Forkum; see blogroll right)

During my all-too-short lunch break today, I caught a snippet of the Michael Medved show on the radio where Medved was fuming about an interview that disgraced (as far as I'm concerned) former U.S. president Jimmy "Dhimmi" Carter gave to a German magazine called Der Spiegel. For you non-German speaking folks, Der Spiegel means The Mirror. I got a chance to read the interview, and I gotta tell you, I can't remember the last time I read something that ticked me off so badly. This man, who purports himself to be the picture of morality and the conscience of our nation, is a tyranny-loving, America-hating liar. I cannot speak more lowly of this man, who I would probably consider the worst president of the 20th century, if not the worst ever. I always say that nothing much of any good came out of the 1970s (except me). Jimmy Carter is the embodiment of everything that was dysfunctional about our country during that screwy decade.

I don't like to fisk articles because, well, frankly it can be mentally taxing and time consuming. So I will stick to just the juiciest Jimmuh-isms that oozed out of this article like a lanced boil. Check out what Jimmuh had to say:

Under all of [the Bush administration's] predecessors there was a commitment to peace instead of preemptive war. Our country always had a policy of not going to war unless our own security was directly threatened and now we have a new policy of going to war on a preemptive basis.

You are kidding right? We never had a commitment to preemptive war before President Bush came along? Jimmuh must have slept right through the Korean and Vietnam Wars; Grenada too.

Carter: No, as a matter of fact, the concerns I exposed have gotten even worse now with the United States supporting and encouraging Israel in its unjustified attack on Lebanon. (Chanman's emphasis)

SPIEGEL: But wasn't Israel the first to get attacked?

Carter: I don't think that Israel has any legal or moral justification for their massive bombing of the entire nation of Lebanon. What happened is that Israel is holding almost 10,000 prisoners, so when the militants in Lebanon or in Gaza take one or two soldiers, Israel looks upon this as a justification for an attack on the civilian population of Lebanon and Gaza. I do not think that's justified, no. (Chanman's emphasis)

Where do I begin with this one? First, I would like Jimmuh to tell me exactly how it is that Israel was "unjustified" in defending itself from hundreds of rockets being fired at it every day from Lebanon. Second, please notice that even a left-wing rag like Der Spiegel clucked their tongue at that comment. Notice that the interviewer followed up with the question, But wasn't Israel attacked first? So what does Jimmuh do? Why, he lies. He says that Israel bombed the "entire" nation of Lebanon. See, that's one of the big lies to come out of this whole ugly mess. Not only was the entire nation of Lebanon not bombed, not even the entire city of Beirut was bombed either. The Israeli airstrikes were as surgical as possible, and they were targeted only against targets that were essential to the continued operation of Hezbollah: bridges, power facilities, headquarters buildings, the airport, fighting positions. Admittedly, the problems for Israel lay especially with that last item: fighting positions. That is because for Hezbollah, their fighting positions were purposely set up among the civilian population of Lebanon, so that when Israel did defend itself, Lebanese civilians would inevitably be among the casualties. Yet you don't hear Jimmuh say a word about his friends from Hezbollah using civilians as human shields. And notice in his last sentence there that he throws in Gaza for good measure. Nope, no rockets being fired into Israel from Gaza by golly (only about 800 of them). My God this man is contemptible!

Carter: When I became president we had had four terrible wars between the Arabs and Israelis (behind us). And I under great difficulty, particularly because Menachim Begin was elected, decided to try negotiation and it worked and we have a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt for 27 years that has never been violated. You never can be certain in advance that negotiations on difficult circumstances will be successful, but you can be certain in advance if you don't negotiate that your problem is going to continue and maybe even get worse.

Even though there is so much more, I will end with this, because this really takes the cake as far as showing what a pompous, lying ass that Jimmuh really is. Nice twofer Jimmuh: you get in a dig at Menachim Begin, then you take credit for the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. The only thing Jimmuh did to make that peace agreement happen was to show up. It was Egyptian president Anwar Sadat who "under great difficulty" approached Israel and made the peace treaty happen. How much difficulty you might ask? Remember how his fellow Muslims repaid Sadat for making peace with the Jews? He was shot and killed three years after the treaty was signed.

In the name of politeness, getting along, and "being the bigger man", it has become unfashionable to wish ill will upon your political opponents. But sometimes, you have a case where it's not just about minimum wage policy or whether or not to build a sports stadium. The actions of Jimmuh Carter cause peoples' deaths. When he chums it up with Fidel Castro and Kim Jong Il, when he chums it up with Hezbollah and Hamas, when he legitimizes a sham election in Venezuala in order to retain their murdering socialist dictator, Jimmuh Carter does a lot more than differ with me in policy; he causes the violent death of a lot of innocent people. When you have a man like that, especially one in his 80s, you can't help but hope that his advanced years will take him soon so that more people may yet live. If any of my readers find my position to be distasteful, just ask yourself if you would wish Hitler or Stalin had caught cancer or had a stroke before they could carry out all the awful things they did.

In the meantime, if Jimmuh's ticker is going to keep chugging along a while longer, the least he can do is go back to his peanut farm in Georgia, and stop meddling.

Good Day to You, Sir

Just one thing about the Ramsey case...

If there is one category of news story that doesn't interest me, that is the missing/murdered white girl of the week. Lots of girls and women are murdered all the time; I am not quite sure why white girls from the 'burbs seem to be the only ones that make the national news.

With that in mind, I only bring up the JonBenet Ramsey case because of the new big revelation this week that this John Karr person allegedly committed the murder. No doubt the guy is a perv and a sicko, but I just don't believe his story. It is all too pat. Hey, if I am wrong about this, I will have no problem saying a mea culpa. The problem is that the story of his has holes in it, and he has a motive to confess to it. He was arrested in Thailand on unrelated charges that have to do with kiddie porn. I was listening to a local talk show this morning on the way to work. A guy called in who lives in Thailand for part of the year. The guy said that Thailand is a great place to visit as long as you are law-abiding. If you end up in a Thai jail though, then God help you. You will wind up either executed or never seen again.

John Karr just seems like some kind of mentally unbalanced person who is confessing to the Ramsey crime for whatever reason, I don't know. The bottom line is that I will be very surprised if it turns out that he really murdered JonBenet Ramsey.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, August 14, 2006

Who, me?

I just found out the other day that I am going to be getting a student teacher sometime after Labor Day. I know that I am supposed to have a choice in all this, but the other day, some lady who turned out to be a big-wig from one of our local universities, walked into my classroom to give me my master teacher paperwork. I knew that Che Guevara next door was getting a student teacher, so I told her she must be looking for his room. She checked her paperwork and said, "No, you're Mr. Chanman right?" I told her I indeed was, and she showed me my name on her little printout of several teachers on my campus who were slated to receive student teachers. I told her that this was all news to me.

I think this is where she roped me in. I said, "There must be some mistake, this only my third year teaching," to which she replied, "Well, someone must think you're a really good teacher because you were recommended by the district office and your principal." Holy crap, now how am I supposed to turn the offer down after being buttered up like that? Besides, the student teacher will be with me only until Christmas break, she will observe me for the first five or six weeks, and then she will only take over one of my morning periods. It's also something I can add to my resume when I begin eventually looking for high school positions once I can't stomach middle school anymore.

So there it is; my third official year teaching (I have actually taught four if you count my long-term sub job), and I am already going to be a master teacher. Once I start dealing with this student teacher, I will probably realize that I know more about this whole teaching thing than I give myself credit for. The funny thing is that I volunteered to do this and I have no idea if I am going to be paid, and if so, how much. Ooops.

Good Day to You, Sir.

Problem solved... for me at least

I have an update on that demonseed student I mentioned two posts ago. She is history. I wish I could say it was because she was expelled or sent to the "special" school as reader Teri so amusingly referred to it. Nah, in the end she simply moved. That means some other poor teachers in another local district get to deal with her.

Picture the scene: This morning, I pulled up my grade/attendance program on my computer. I click through my classes to check for changes (it is only the second week of school so I am still getting drops and additions). I click on the dreaded period this girl is in, and a flag pops up saying The following student(s) has been dropped from this class: And there was her name.
I clicked through the rest of my periods just to make sure she hadn't simply been relocated to another one of my classes, but nope, she was gone. I asked around and some other relieved teachers were all to happy to giddily inform me that she moved away.

With her gone, that class is now a dream to teach. Not only are her disruptions gone, but her vast influence on fence-straddling students departed with her, so these other students shaped up as well. I swear, one of the most frustrating things about teaching is the influence that one bad apple can have on 30 other young people in the same room, and hell, 900 other youngsters on an entire campus. I can think of a lot of students at my school who are probably, literally, crying with joy that this girl is gone. For them, a major source of bullying is no longer there. Unfortunately, all I can think of are the students and teachers elsewhere who have no idea what is about to come crashing down upon them.

Good Day to You, Sir

Terminator 4: The Rise of Hezbollah

One of my all-time favorite movies is Terminator 2: Judgement Day. Near the end of the movie, when all of the main players are engaging in their showdown in the steel foundry, there is a scene where Sarah Connor has cornered the evil T1000 on a scaffold above a large pool of molten metal. She begins repeatedly shooting the T1000 with her shotgun. Each blast stuns the T1000 and sends him reeling back closer and closer to the railing above the molten metal, and oblivion. Sarah shoots and shoots, and just when the T1000 is backed up against the railing, and one more shot will send him over the edge to his doom, Sarah pulls the trigger on her shotgun, and *click*... *click* *click* *click* - she has run out of rounds. Meanwhile, the T1000 has regained his balance, and being made of liquid metal, he swiftly heals his shotgun wounds. Then, to add insult to injury, he raises his eyes to Sarah without raising his head and tauntingly wags his index finger at her.

If you haven't already figured out my analogy, Sarah Connor is Israel, the T1000 is Hezbollah, and the *click* is the idiotic cease-fire that began being observed yesterday. All this cease-fire did was give Hezbollah the break it needs to rearm, regroup, and redeploy. Why oh why does Israel always give in, and why oh why does the United States demand that Israel do what the United States would never itself do, and that is to capitulate before its enemy. If Israel demanded of us what we demand of Israel, we would tell Israel to pound sand. Israel should do likewise when we send Condoleezza Rice over there to tell them to make nice with a bunch of bloodthirsty killers like Hezbollah.

In T2, the T1000 eventually gets sent into the molten pool of metal, but only after it gets shot with a grenade launcher by the Governor of California. Israel should take the hint and go after Hezbollah with even more resolve and greater firepower.

One thing many people in the west don't understand (and Israel should) is that these Islamic crazies don't think like we westerners do. We look at diplomacy and negotiation as a strength and something to be admired. The Islamic crazies look at diplomacy and negotiation as a sign of weakness that can be exploited for their gain. The only reason Hezbollah agreed to abide by this cease-fire is so they can make like the T1000: regain their balance, heal their bullet wounds, then once again make a go at wiping out Israel. Hezbollah doesn't admire the United States, Israel, or any of the weak-kneed Euro/U.N. noodles because they push for a cease-fire; Hezbollah looks at these countries with contempt for being so weak that they would actually desire to negotiate. The only thing these crazies understand and respect is force, power, and violence. The only thing we can do is give them what they respect... in spades.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, August 07, 2006

On the first day no less

Today was my first day back teaching, and wouldn't you know it, I had to remove a student from my classroom. This is the third year in a row I have gotten this student in my class. I'm not sure why they keep doing that because she tells anyone who will listen - fellow students, other teachers, administrators - that she hates my guts and purposefully misbehaves in the hopes that she will be moved to another teacher's classroom. Yet, three years in a row now, the class schedulers have seen fit to put her in my room.

Some might see this as a case of me knowing her too well and waiting for her to screw up; not so. Today, I gave her chance after chance - too many chances really - yet all giving her more chances did was agitate her that much more. Finally, it was time for her to go. On her way out the door, she was bragging to me and the class that I wouldn't be able to call home on her because her home phone had recently been shut down. This girl is a real piece of work.

I went to the principal during my prep period and told her that I had to remove the student from my classroom. The admin and most of the teachers are well aware of this girl and her insolent, disrespectful, highly disruptive behavior. The principal gave the girl yet again another "this time I mean it" speech. I can appreciate that, but our little darling has been getting these speeches since 2004, yet nothing has changed. I can feel for my principal, as her hands are somewhat tied by the insane laws regarding special education students in this country. If this girl didn't have an IEP, I suspect she would have been booted a long time ago. But since she receives Special Ed services, she is more protected from disciplinary measures, even though her behavior has nothing to do with her learning disability. She is just a mean, loud, obnoxious bully who loves to torment both her fellow students and even her teachers. She goes through life lashing out at anyone who dares tell her what to do. And meanwhile, she is given chance, after chance, after chance, after chance... I shudder to think what she will do when she encounters an authority figure that she can't buffalo with an IEP?

On a positive note, she was my only bad experience of the day. I certainly saw other students today with whom I know I will eventually butt heads; that's just part of the job. Mostly, I saw polite, enthusiastic students who are ready to learn something. Let's get started!

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Moonbats on parade

Talk about shooting fish in a barrel! That is what I thought to myself as I approached - camera in hand - the gathering of fools at 16th and Broadway in Sacramento at around 7 o'clock on a beautiful Saturday evening. I had only found out about this protest today when I happened to check the goings on at the website for the Sacramento Area Peace Action. The announcement said, "Protest U.S. & Israeli aggression in the Middle East. Bring your friends, banners, flags, signs, art and instruments! 16th & Broadway, Sac." The moonbattery and sympathy for terrorism that was on display was to me, quite astonishing for a second tier city like Sacramento. The intersection at which this event went down is a rather famous location, as it is the home of the very first Tower Records... yes, that Tower Records. At the same location is the Tower Theatre. That is where I parked my car and made my way toward the action. As I got closer, I could hear the bongo drums and honking of horns from sympathetic drivers. Here is where the picture essay begins:

I first want to express my gratitude for the few, the brave, the outnumbered pro-Israel counterprotesters who turned out to be seen and heard. I didn't catch your names, but after going out into the sea of hostility, you guys were a welcome oasis to come back to and regroup before going back out again into the morass. G-d bless you for that.

Then it was time to get busy. This sign not only gives you an indication of the tenor of this demonstration, but the picture itself is a nice little panorama of the intersection that gives you an idea of the size and placement of the crowd. Hmmm, I am always a little mystified at the comparison of Nazis to the Jews. Didn't the Nazis kill... never mind, you already know where I am going with this.

Another crowd shot to get us oriented. I killed four with one blow, managing to get a Palestinian, Lebanese, and Iraqi flag, plus a moronic anti-Israel sign all in one frame.

I saw this goulish mannequin when I attended that pro-Israel rally at the Capitol a couple of weeks back; you remember - the one where I forgot my camera.

And then there was this guy. Quickly and simply dubbed "Suicide Bomber", he caused ire on both sides. The pro-Israel contingent was justifiably upset, but the funny part is that many in the pro-terrorist crowd thought this guy was some sort of agent provacateur trying to make their side look bad. Several protesters, including one woman in a hijab carrying a sign saying, "He is not with us" stood next to him and badmouthed him, and occasionally even shoved him. Either way, the guy was a wack job.

I saw a couple Code Pink ladies in the crowd. I had never actually seen any Code Pink members in person before, so I crossed the street to get a better look. That is when I had my first encounter with the seething hatred that these people harbor in their hearts. Take a look at...

This.... I was taking a picture of her sign, which says "Supporting Bush is un-American". As I was snapping the picture, I happened to look up and I saw her hand assume the position of attention. I didn't think her "bird" made it into the photo, so I said, "I'm sorry, I'm afraid I didn't catch that." She was happy to oblige for a second shot. I told her, "Thank you very much", and moved on. She must have seen me talking to the pro-Israel crowd. Feel the love!

One thing about this protest that I found particularly troubling was the amount of children I saw holding signs and chanting agitprop. I took quite a few pictures of other children protesting, but I chose this one because their faces are not showing. I figure these kids have already been exploited enough.

Photos of a couple celebrities were on honored display. Here you have your obligatory photo of Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the terrorist group Hezbollah. Lebanese in origin, and kept alive by the financial and material backing of Syria and Iran, it is Hezbollah that has been raining about 100 rockets full of ball bearings every day on Israeli soil. There were quite a few photos of Nasrallah in the crowd.

Like right here for instance

And what kind of protest would it be without a photo of the patron saint of loons everywhere, Mama Moonbat herself, Cindy Sheehan. Look at that sanctimonious pose. I think I'm feeling a little queasy...

There were several political organizations that attended the festivities. I already mentioned Code Pink. Here is a banner from the Peace and Freedom party. There's an Orwellian name if I ever heard one. They are about neither peace or freedom. Here's a definition of irony: A group calling itself the Peace and Freedom Party coming out to support vicious and totalitarian terrorist organizations that are sponsored by some of the most vicious and totalitarian governments on earth.

There was a whole slew of people afflicted with BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome)in the crowd. BDS is an industry unto itself. I don't like a lot of his policies and accomplishments either. The difference is that they think he is a right wing devil, while I don't think he is nearly conservative enough!

You also had your capitalist socialists. While espousing the evils of capitalism, these people have no problem taking your money.

Things finally started to get interesting (ha, ha) when this guy showed up wearing a U.S. Marine Corps t-shirt and carrying that sign, which I would say speaks for itself. You can probably guess that his sign went over like a turd in the punchbowl. I was working the crowd, taking my pictures, when I heard someone yelling, "There's your peace! There's your peace!" Some more, shall we say, militant protestors had zeroed in on this guy and in no time flat were surrounding and shoving him, so he was verbally pointing out their actions rather than their words. Nuke Iran Guy made no effort to fight back, but he continued to get shoved and forced into traffic on adjacent Broadway. In this picture, he had just broken free from being surrounded and is participating in a shouting match with an older Hezbollah supporter of Arabic descent. I never was able to get a picture of this Hezbollah supporter, because every time I pointed my camera at him, this other guy with a Palestinian flag kept putting his flag in front of my camera. So the Hezbollah supporter was calling Nuke Iran Guy a baby killer, and this picture catches Nuke Iran Guy yelling back, "You are the baby killers! You are the terrorists!"

There was another pro-terrorist protester (on the left), who followed Nuke Iran Guy and tried to intimidate him by staring him down with his arms crossed. At the same time, the intimidator tried to engage Nuke Iran Guy in debate, but the best thing he could come up with was to call Nuke Iran Guy a "dipshit". Wow! That really convinced me to change my position.

This guy here also did quite his share of shoving and intimidation toward Nuke Iran Guy. I managed to snap his picture, but by this time, I had gotten swallowed up by the melee, so my photo is rather blurry from being jostled around.

In the meantime, while all this is going on with the Nuke Iran Guy, these two guys are having their own little confrontation. It seems that the pro-terrorist guy in the hat didn't like how Suicide Bomber was reflecting the crowd's true colors a little too well, so he walked over and began having words with him. Pretty soon, the two were bumping hips with each other in an attempt to knock each other off the sidewalk and onto Broadway. Eventually, they must have come to a mutual understanding, because after awhile, they continued to talk and not play bump-ass.

Now this guy - I don't know what to make of this guy, who was a walking definition of cognitive dissonance. He was wearing a yarmulke, but he was wearing a shirt that said "Free Palestine". I tried to take a picture of the shirt, but he was facing the setting sun, and my frontal image was flooded so badly with sunlight, you can't see anything. He was also holding this sign:

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought Jews don't believe in Hell. On the other side of this sign was this:

Rachel Corrie was a student at the radical Evergreen State College in Washington state. She traveled to Israel as a member of the International Solidarity Movement to show her support for the Palestinians. In 2002, she played chicken with an Israeli bulldozer that was about to demolish a Palestinian home that was covering a tunnel used for weapons transfers. Rachel lost. The bulldozer operator didn't see her, and she was crushed to death. You play, you pay. Hilariously enough, Rachel's parents recently filed a lawsuit againt the Caterpillar company who manufactured the bulldozer. Give me a break. Here is a charming picture of Rachel Corrie being Rachel Corrie:

Nothing much going on here: Just Rachel Corrie teaching some Palestinian children how to burn the flag of the United States. And doesn't she look like such the peace activist. She has love and compassion written all over that face. Hat tip to inhonor.net for the use of the photo.

Finally, we wrap up with this guy. There were lots of cars passing through the intersection of 16th and Broadway on a Saturday evening. Many of them were honking their horns in a show of support for the terrorist sympathizers. This guy in the picture must not have had a horn on his Harley, because instead of honking, he revved his engine and pumped his fist in the air as he slowly creeped through the intersection. After he had cleared the crowd, he took off down Broadway, and I stopped watching him to return to the action. That is when I heard some kind of commotion behind me. I turned to see that Harley Guy had been so enthusiastically in tune with the protestors, that he didn't watch what the heck he was doing, and rear ended a car in front of him, dumping his motorcycle in the middle of Broadway. He tried to save face from what had to be the most embarassing moment of his life by popping to his feet with both arms raised in the air like he had just scored a perfect 10 in the motorcycle crash event of the Moonbat Olympics. The funny thing is that within about 10 seconds of his wreck, Sacramento's finest seemed to appear out of nowhere. Up to this point, police presence had been very subdued, but all of a sudden, black and whites seemed to materialize out of thin air. It turns out that there were cops all over the place at this protest, they just did a great job of being invisible.

The crash of Harley Guy seemed to me to be a fitting end to my work at this protest, so I decided to hang it up. I bid farewell and good luck to the pro-Israel protesters, then went to my car. To get back on the freeway to go home, I would have to pass through the intersection of 16th and Broadway. As I drove through the intersection, I rolled down both front windows, raised my fist out my window and yelled for everything I was worth, "Long live Israel!!!" I could hear some retorts from the crowd, but I couldn't make out what they were saying. The best part is that I didn't crash my car.

Good Day to You, Sir, and Long live Israel!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Back to the trenches

Well boys and girls, the fun and games are about to come to an end. I go back to teaching on Monday. Today, we had our half-day staff meeting at the campus where we sit for almost three hours and listen to the admin and office staff tell us how to do this, and how we need to do that. I know that it's often necessary to give us all a refresher and I appreciate the clarification on certain issues, but I get antsy having to sit there just the same.

So, while you are doing whatever you do on a typical Monday morning in August, send good thoughts to the Chanman as he takes on grillz, and sagging pants, and disrespect, and world and U.S. history, and some students doing their best, and students laughing as I purposefully make a fool of myself on stage (what I call the front of the classroom). Teaching would really suck if I didn't love to do it so damn much.

Good Day to You, Sir