Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Those pesky racial double standards

Monday was an inservice day at my school. I am always torn about these days. I enjoy the day off from teaching, but I am also wary of the drivel that is going to be shoved at me during the instruction that is provided for the staff.

For the last couple of inservice days, we have been working with a consultant who has been showing us methods by which we can close the ever-present achievement gap. At one point, the consultant, who is black, mentioned some anecdote about her dealings with some of her black students (she is a principal). At one point during the anecdote, she referred to the black students - and black people in general - as "my people." I instantly cringed. I tried to imagine me, as a white person, standing before an audience of mostly black teachers and referring to other white people as "my people." You can imagine that my comment would go over like a lead balloon. I would soon find out that I wasn't the only teacher who took note of the comment. Later, when we broke up into our departments to meet separately, the "my people" comment quickly became an inside running joke among the members of my department.

I realize that the consultant made the comment in jest while telling a funny anecdote and it would be very easy to pass it off as no big deal. But again, I ask you what would happen if the racial roles were reversed? No matter the amount of jest involved, the comment would be in poor taste if made by me to a black audience. I am not angry at the consultant for her comment; I am angry at the condition of race relations in this country where one side is under a defacto gag order, while the other side can say whatever they want no matter how hypocritical it is. What needs to happen is that all sides should be held to the same standard. Either we all say nothing, or we all say everything. I prefer everything; life is more humorous that way.

Good Day to You, Sir

Kerry sticks his foot in it, starts chewing

"You know education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. And if you don't, you get stuck in Iraq,"

That is what John "F'n" Kerry said to an audience of students at Pasadena City College yesterday. Faster than you can say swiftboat, the fit hit the shan. Kerry's comments were wrong on so many levels, I scarcely know where to begin. First, he denies that he was disparaging our troops with his remarks; he claims that he was directing them at President Bush. Ha! ha! ha! ha! ha! Bush is stupid! That is some fresh and cutting edge humor! As author Christopher Hitchens has said, it has become a joke that stupid people laugh at. I am the first to admit that I would rather grind sand between my teeth than listen to George W. Bush make a public speech, but I'm sorry, one does not receive an undergrad degree from Yale and an MBA from Harvard without some modicum of intelligence. Even more amusing is that Kerry's grades at Yale were lower than Bush's grades. Careful who you call uneducated.

So, that is what Kerry said he meant by his comments. Bullpucky! When I heard those comments for the first time, any reference to our president did not even cross my mind. What I heard was an arrogant elitist comment, stated in a Freudian moment of candor, which was directed at our troops. Kerry, like many typical leftists, looks at the members of our military as a bunch of uneducated cornpone rubes who had no other choice in life than to join the military. Never mind that the United States military is the most educated in world history. Never mind that overall, our military is far better educated than our general society.

John Kerry can attempt to spin his comments however he likes. The bottom line is that his comments were directed at our military as a whole, not towards our president. John Kerry had no problem slandering our nation's military 35 years ago, and I see yet another example of someone who can grow older, yet never grow up.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, October 27, 2006

Mama Moonbat and Me

Cindy Sheehan came to Sacramento today and made her grand appearance at the intersection of 16th and Broadway. This was my second outing to this location to take photos of a protest. The last one of course being the protest against Israel when she was defending herself against murderous rocket attacks from Hezbollah terrorist cowards hiding among the civilian population in Lebanon. I have to tell you, I was rather disappointed in today's crowd. While I actually think it might have been a little bigger than the previous crowd, they didn't seem like it. I felt like everyone was just kind of going through the paces. I didn't see the intensity and passion of the last protest. I guess protesting directly in favor of Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists gets the crowd more riled up than protesting to bring the troops home. I got to the protest right when it kicked off at 4pm. People were still arriving and setting up, so I ducked into the Tower Book Store that was right there to see what was still for sale. You might have heard that Tower Records (and Books) went bankrupt and will soon be liquidated. At about 4:15, I went back outside and began taking pictures. That's when I saw Cindy Sheehan. She was walking along the sidewalk and working the crowd like a politician. The crowd didn't have that veneer of Muslim anger like last time, but there were enough nutjobs present to keep my shutter finger busy. So without further ado, away we go, and remember that you can click on the images to make them bigger:

First a long shot to give an idea of the size of the crowd on the busiest corner of the intersection. This is the corner where Mother Sheehan worked the crowd, and where the socialist capitalists set up their merchandise booths where they sold buttons and bumper stickers.

Flags were again in abundance. This guy was carrying the double whammy of an Iraqi flag and a Palestinian flag. Look at the smile on his face; I'm telling you, the anger of the previous protest just wasn't there today. The soothing presence of Mother Sheehan must have been calming the masses.

This was a flag that was absent at the previous protest: a flag from Venezuela. The socialist, Castro-loving dictator of that South American country needs some love too.

Speaking of loving Castro, one idiot woman had a Cuban flag. How these "tolerant" lefties love Fidel so much, I will never figure out. He commits so many atrocities against the very kinds of people and ideas that these lefties supposedly hold dear: homosexuals, free speech, equality for minorities. It was on this corner of the street as I was taking pictures that I was asked at least three times by three different people (including the guy in the orange shirt and the brown hat, and the Cuban flag lady) if I worked for the federal government. One lady said my short hair made me look suspicious. Paranoia alert!

What this protest had to with anything that required a gay rainbow flag, I have no idea. I have noticed that no matter what the specific subject of a left-wing protest, every cause under the sun ends up making an appearance.

This chick practically begged me to take her picture. I wouldn't have included her picture in this post, but I can't let down my fans on the left! I just noticed that you can see my shadow as I am taking the picture.

The ubiquitous soldier mannequin was back. This grotesque caricature has been around the block. It sparked a controversy in the Land Park neighborhood when two local moonbats, Steve and Virginia Pearcy, hung it from their window as a protest against the war. It was quite the local news story for a little while. Then I saw it among some counterprotesters at a pro-Israel rally on the steps of the Capitol (the time I forgot my camera). That time, the soldier had an Israeli flag draped across it with a placard that said "Baby Killer." Then I saw that same soldier with the same Israeli accouterments at the previous protest that I photographed. This time, you can see that the soldier was given a new role. He was lying on top of a flag-draped coffin with the lovely sign below.

I wanted to ask this lady to which genocide was she referring. The one that Saddam carried out against the Kurds and Iraqi people in general, or the one that the wackjob from Iran wants to carry out on the Jews in Israel?

BDS (Bush Derangement Syndrome) strikes again! This grim reaper lady was carrying a halloween mask of George W. Bush in the fashion of the mask being a severed head. I was literally in the process of inhaling so that I may speak a few words to her about her not-so-subtle "kill the president" imagery, when a sensible lefty got to her first.

This guy (who had been flashing peace signs to passing cars a few seconds earlier) gently took the mask out of the grim reaper's hand and told her that she wasn't really helping their cause by essentially calling for the death of President Bush. Good show, Sir.

And then, there she was. Cindy Sheehan was strolling up and down the sidewalk on the southeast corner of the intersection. She was shaking hands, posing for pictures with people, and working it like a politician. The funny thing is that I heard her before I saw her. Who can not pick out that annoying, mousy, sing-song voice of hers?

As I stood there watching Mama Moonbat work the crowd, I happened to notice a tattoo on her ankle. Upon closer inspection, it turns out she had her son's name etched on there. I truly feel badly that she lost her son, I will give her that. But once she threw her hat in the public arena, she is fair game for criticism, dead son or not. The whole time I was looking at her, I kept thinking to myself that this is the woman who called the terrorists in Iraq, "Freedom Fighters." What an insult to the son whose name she bears upon her ankle.

After leaving Mother Sheehan to take some more crowd shots, I happened to be back in the area where she was just kind of standing around. I thought about it for a moment, then said screw it. I walked up to her and...

Who says I cannot be civil toward my political opposites? If anyone ever accuses me of being some vicious partisan hack, I can always pull out this picture of Mama Moonbat and Me and prove that I am able to get along with the other side. Maybe not totally - I threw that blue shirt in the fireplace when I got home...

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, October 26, 2006

And Orange it shall stay

End of story!

Good Day to You, Sir

Cough drops? No! Abortion? Go for it!

The other day at work, I received two different pieces of correspondence that made me chuckle. The first was an email from our school nurse that was sent to our entire staff reminding us that the nurse was not allowed under any circumstances to give out cough drops or cough medicine to our students. The parents must be involved in a decision like that you know.

Meanwhile, in my mailbox, I got a flyer from the CTA that listed their voting recommendations for the upcoming election. Naturally, with the exception of Bruce McPherson for Secretary of State, all of their recommendations were for Democrats. Don't think, just vote Democrat.

One of the Propositions on this November ballot is Proposition 85, which if passed, would require parental notification if their daughter sought an abortion - not parental permission mind you, just notification. CTA and many other left-leaning groups oppose Prop 85.

I found this rather interesting that in this krazy state of ours, a school nurse can't give a kid a cough drop, but then that same kid can turn around and get an abortion without the parents finding out. Something is seriously wrong with this picture.

Good Day to You, Sir

Closing the pressure valve

Today, President Bush signed the legislation that calls for a 700 mile fence to be built between the United States and Mexico. I won't go into the half-heartedness about a 700 mile fence being built on a 2,000 mile border, or the fact that we are still chock full of illegals that our executive and legislative branches seemingly have no intention of dealing with. What I do want to highlight is the reaction that this fence is eliciting from the Mexican government. By their over-the-top rhetoric, you would think they are panicky about something. The article to which I linked has some rather memorable comments from the outgoing and incoming presidents of Mexico. Here are some choice nuggets of amusement from the article:
"It is an embarrassment for the United States," [President Vicente] Fox said. "It is proof, perhaps, that the United States does not see immigration as a subject that corresponds to both countries."
No, President Fox, what is an embarrassment is your corrupt basket case of a country. If you could somehow clean up this corruption, Mexicans wouldn't be so hot to trot to jump the border in the first place, and this fence would not even be necessary. As much as I mock the gentle Canadians, I can't help but notice that we don't have a fence on our border with their country, and yet, I don't see an influx of illegal Canadians overrunning our countryside. What is a tragedy is that Mexico should be a paradise. It has everything: natural resources, coastline, tourism, seaports. Instead, American tourists are advised to stay in the tourist areas of the tourist towns on the coast. Going anywhere else puts one at risk of getting arbitrarily arrested by a federale' and being charged a hefty bribe in order to be released. It's pathetic.
"The decision made by Congress and the U.S. government is deplorable," [President-elect Felipe] Calderon said while on tour in Canada. "Humanity committed a grave error by constructing the Berlin wall and I am sure that today the United States is committing a grave error in constructing a wall along our northern border."
When I came across this article, before I even read it I knew that there would be some quote from a Mexican official bringing up the Berlin Wall. Newsflash, Felipe! The Berlin Wall was built to keep people in; this fence would be built to keep people out. I loathe to even mention it because this Berlin Wall argument is so patently absurd, but yet it keeps getting brought up over and over, so someone must think the imagery is working.

If you want a better comparison, you could liken our fence to the Great Wall of China, which was built to keep out the Hun and Mongol hordes to the north - too bad the Wall ultimately failed to keep them at bay. Another more modern-day example would be the fence in Israel that was built to keep out homicidal Palestinian bombers. It's a lot harder to set off your bomb vest in a Tel Aviv pizza parlor when you are forced to go through a guarded checkpoint in the fence, rather than just walking across the border.

The bottom line is that anything the United States does to keep our neighbors from the south from coming north is bad news for the hopelessly corrupt Mexican government. That people from Mexico can come to the United States illegally so easily is what helps to keep these corrupt people in power. If that Yankee Gringo pressure valve were closed, an explosive uprising in Mexico would be inevitable. Why else would Fox and Calderon resort to speaking in such an absurd fashion. They sound nervous to me.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mama Moonbat is coming to town!

Cindy Sheehan, the woman who most recently said that she wishes she could go back in time and kill President George W. Bush when he was an infant, is going to be the guest of honor at an upcoming anti-war protest at the intersection of 16th and Broadway in Sacramento. This is the same location where I photographed all those beastly people at the Hate-Israel fest a couple of months back.

One of the pro-Israel counterprotestors that I met at that rally sometimes lets me know about the really good Moonbat rallies coming up, and she has alerted me once again. Here is the info about the rally that she sent me. This info was of course, written by the Moonbats:

Announcement from the usual suspects:

Huge Peace Demo with CINDY SHEEHAN!
START DATE: Friday October 27
TIME: 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Location Details:
All four corners of the intersection of 16th & Broadway, IN SACRAMENTO
Event Type: Protest
Contact Name Stephen & Virginia Pearcy
Email Address stephen.pearcy [at] sbcglobal.net
Phone Number (510) 559-3118
Hello everyone,

Please join Cindy Sheehan, and many other peace activists, at 16th & Broadway, in Sacramento, FRIDAY, October 27th, from 4pm to 6pm, to protest George Bush's catastrophe in Iraq and the most corrupt American presidency in history!

A heartfelt patriot, Cindy continues to work tirelessly to prevent other parents, widows, orphans, relatives of soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians from becoming the next victims of an unjustly prosecuted, obscene, genocidal, illegal war, fought in violation of international law, Geneva Convention accords and our currently imperiled Constitution.

As elections approach, and during a month on par to be the deadliest ever for Americans in Iraq, it's particularly important now to keep the spotlight on the Republican-orchestrated disaster that has already claimed the lives of over 655,000 Iraqi civilians and 2,800 American soldiers.

There will also be a major demonstration (and counter demonstration) in San Francisco the next day, UN PLaza 11:30 -1:30.

I don't know yet if I can make it to this protest, but if it turns out I can, I know of at least two of my fellow local bloggers who I would love to join me (paging Darren and George!). Again, I will check with she-who-keeps-the-calendar (my wife), and see if I can swing this one. If I can, I will be there with digital camera in hand. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll get a shot like this one:

Good Day to You, Sir

This is why I refuse to chaperone school dances

We have come a long way from the foxtrot and the twist. Nowadays, our nation's students are performing simulated sex acts on the dance floor. The name assigned to this form of so-called dancing is "Freaking". Schools are not only cracking down on freaking on the dance floor, some have banned dances altogether. Not surprisingly, some parents are upset that dances have been banned, because they don't see what the big deal is with this Freaking phenomenon.

Ahem, I can answer that one. As a recently minted father of a daughter myself, I nodded in agreement with this quote from the second article I linked:

"I'm still waiting for the first father to tell me he doesn't mind his daughter dancing that way," [Principal Charles] Salter said.

Good Day to You, Sir

They may be a cult, but they're my kind of cult

I won't ruin the absurdness of it all by explaining it in detail: Click here for an amusing article about our nanny government's in-vain attempts to get the Amish hooked on food stamps.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, October 16, 2006

My mom says there's a lot of black people in Africa

I am having a little challenge in my second period U.S. History class. Right now, we are studying the colonial period and are just getting into the beginning of the War for Independence against England. When studying this period, the subject of slavery and race relations in the colonies obviously needs to be discussed, and we definitely have done so.

What I am finding grating on my nerves as of late is a black female student in this class who takes me to task every time I use the term "black". The first time the subject of race in the colonies came up in class, I used the term "black", and the girl went into a tirade about how I need to use the term "African-American" instead. I stopped the lesson and addressed this misnomer. How can one use a geographical moniker to describe someone's race? I patiently explained to this student (and the rest of the class) that using the term "African-American" to describe black people is inaccurate because not everyone in Africa is black. Especially in north Africa, you will find millions of people who are quite light-skinned and Arab or Berber-looking. If someone from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, or Egypt moved to the United States and became an American citizen, is not he or she an African-American? And don't forget about the African whites who have lived in South Africa and Zimbabwe for about the last 300 years? Also, historically, it would be inaccurate to describe slaves in either the Colonies or later, the United States as African-Americans. The early slaves weren't African-Americans, they were Africans. The later slaves who were born in our country were not even considered to be Americans, even if their ancestors in America could be traced back to the early 1600s. See the Dred Scott decision (1857) for more on that. Freed slaves in the post-Civil War United States did not officially become citizens until 1868.

That was the only time I have visited this topic in-depth with my students. Ever since, every time I say "black" during my lessons, I can often hear this student mutter under her breath, "African-American".

I know I am probably being a bit overly technical here, but this African-American business really bothers me. When referring to my race, I have never described myself as a European-American. I am white. And come to think of it, this student has never complained to me about my use of the terms "whites" or "white people"; only when I use the terms "blacks" or "black people". Does this give us a little window into her own little personal cache of racism? Whatever happened to "Black is beautiful"? I guess she is too young to have heard that old standard.

After writing this and organizing the thoughts swimming around in my head, I believe I have figured out a way to solve this dilemma: I will stick with the science. Scientists only recognize three different types of races in the world - Caucasoid, Mongloid, and Negroid. I wonder if my student would prefer "Negroid" to "black"? She better make a decision, because I will not use the term "African-American" in reference to the black race, just to appease this student's delicate sensitivities.

By the way, if you are having a conniption about my title for this post, then you need to watch South Park more often!

Good Day to You, Sir

Clinton's blunder is all Bush's fault

I just got a chance to read the rest of the Forum section in Sunday's (10/15/06) Sacramento Bee, and the featured front-page piece is a real jaw-dropper. It was written by William Perry, who served as Clinton's Defense Secretary from 1994 to 1997. It is a little lengthy, but I am going to quote the first few paragraphs in order to show you the true definition of chutzpah. At the same time, I will pummel Perry's pathetic prevarications.
...While this [nuclear] test is the culmination of North Korea's long-held aspiration to become a nuclear power, it also demonstrates the failure of the Bush administration's policy toward that country. For almost six years this policy has been a strange combination of harsh rhetoric and inaction...
And who exactly was the number one assistant to North Korea's "long-held aspirations to become a nuclear power"? Why, that would be Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter who struck the deal with North Korea which gave our little friends two nuclear reactors worth $5 Billion dollars. It is a bit disingenous on Secretary Perry's part to blame the Bush administration for their actions on a situation that was dumped into their lap by Perry's former boss.
The most important such limit would have been on reprocessing spent fuel from North Korea's reactor to make plutonium. The Clinton administration declared in 1994 that if North Korea reprocessed (spent fuel), it would be crossing a "red line," and it threatened military action if that line were crossed. The North Koreans responded to that pressure and began negotiations that led to the Agreed Framework. The Agreed Framework did not end North Korea's aspirations for nuclear weapons, but it did result in a major delay. For more than eight years, under the Agreed Framework, the spent fuel was kept in a storage pond under international supervision.
Well, I'm glad to see that Secretary Perry actually has the stones to admit that the Clinton administration played a part in this whole mess. Of course, according to Perry, if North Korea had gone forward with their ambitions for a nuclear weapon while Clinton was in office, they would have crossed a "red line" that Clinton would presumably have answered with armed force. Clinton? Armed force? Boy that's rich! Just sit there for a second and try to imagine Bill Clinton making any aggressive move toward North Korea for violating an agreement. Yeah, I couldn't imagine it either. This is the same guy who let eight years of terrorist attacks on the United States go unanswered, with the exception of a pre-impeachment bombing of some tents in Afghanistan and an aspirin factory in Sudan. The only major military action he conducted was against a country (Serbia) that he knew was no threat to us, and in a twofer, he also defended a drug-running Muslim terrorist organization (the Kosovo Liberation Army).
Then in 2002, the Bush administration discovered the existence of a covert program in uranium, evidently an attempt to evade the Agreed Framework. This program, while potentially serious, would have led to a bomb at a very slow rate, compared with the more mature plutonium program. Nevertheless, the administration unwisely stopped compliance with the Agreed Framework. In response, the North Koreans sent the inspectors home and announced their intention to reprocess (spent fuel)....
Ohhhh, I see. The Bush administration "stopped compliance" with the Agreed Framework. Never mind that the North Koreans had already violated it themselves when they started their "covert program in Uranium". So, when we get right down to it, Perry's argument is that the only reason North Korea made the Bomb is because George Bush made them angry. They never would have done it otherwise. Hell, I'm game; just for the sake of argument, let's say that George Bush's supposed belligerence toward North Korea is the reason that they began producing uranium and then plutonium in order to make a nuclear bomb. What Perry never acknowledges is that the reason the North Koreans were able to make a bomb in the first place is because Bill Clinton gave - not sold - gave the North Koreans the technology to make the bomb in the first place.

To quote my heroine Ann Coulter, "The beauty of being a liberal is that history always begins this morning. Every day liberals can create a new narrative that destroys the past as it occurred."

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, October 15, 2006

That's Twice!

The fam and I traveled north this weekend to see my parents, who live in the lovely volcanic pine forests of northeastern California. On the way home today, I got a call on my cell from George at the MimmenBlog (see blogroll). It seems that I was published in the Sacramento Bee's Forum section again. The section in the Forum where my blog post appears is no longer called Surfing USA; it is now called the Blog Watch, and it features excerpts from regional blogs rather than national ones. My post on North Korea acquiring the Bomb was showcased. It did my heart right to see the terms Billy Jeff, Madeleine Halfbright, and Dimmy Carter appear in the rather leftist Sacramento Bee. If they keep this up, I might end up respecting them just a little bit more.

So, if a Sac Bee reader should come to visit my blog because s/he saw it in the Forum, then Welcome! says I, and of course...

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I'm a doofus... maybe the Muslims will like me?

Meet Adam Gadahn. He is a former teenage death metal dork from Orange County, California who decided to turn off, tune in, and drop out by converting to Islam and joining al-Qaeda. As a secondary school teacher, I have seen his type before: lonely, dorky, pudgy and amorphous, few friends. Think of this as his pathetic way of getting back at all the people who picked on him or made fun of him as a kid.

Several times, Adam - who now goes by the name Azzam the American - has made al-Qaeda propaganda videos where he speaks giddily of the Islamic terrorist attacks on America and promises more to come, "Allah willing." For his efforts, the United States government has now charged Adam with treason, making him the first American to be charged with that crime since Tokyo Rose and the Rosenbergs back in the early 1950s. The article says in part,
According to the charges, Gadahn appeared in five videos broadcast between October 2004 and September 11, 2006, giving al Qaeda "aid and comfort ... with the intent to betray the United States."

"Gadahn gave himself to our enemies in al Qaeda for the purpose of being a central part of their propaganda machine," Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty told a news conference.

"By making this choice, we believe Gadahn committed treason -- perhaps the most serious offense for which any person can be tried under our Constitution," he said.
If we catch this guy, I say fry him. If you want to truly see how despicable and pitiful Adam Gadahn/Azzam the American really is, watch him here on YouTube (or, $1.7 billion later, is it GooTube now?).

Good Day to You, Death Metal Dork

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Like giving car keys to a drunk teenager

This is the graphic that dominated the homepage of FoxNews when I recently checked it to see what was going on in the world. What is going on is madness... sheer and utter madness.

Can you imagine the nutcases in North Korea being in possession of operational nuclear weapons? Apparently, that scenario is now a reality. North Korea successfully detonated a nuclear weapon sometime today.

Time for a little Clinton bashing. It was Billy Jeff, and his idiot sycophants such as Madeleine Halfbright and Dimmy Carter who paid the blackmail in the form of a free nuclear power plant to North Korea back in 1994. The North Koreans promised that they would only use the plant to produce electricity... suuuuuure, that's the ticket. This is what happens when you try to appease evil. It fails every time, and yet our gutless politicians keep on trying it.

Just the other day our Secretary of State, Condi Rice, was all giddy after being told (in English) by the leader of the Palestinian Authority that Hamas and the other Palestinian terrorist groups had every intention of recognizing Israel's right to exist. Of course then the guy turned around and said on Palestinian television (in Arabic) that these same groups had no obligation to recognize Israel's right to exist. We are such suckers.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Why Jamal can't succeed

This is one of those subjects that is so sensitive, that to even bring it up always causes people to question your motives for having done so. Too often, bringing up the problems facing the black community - no matter how true the statistics - causes one to be labeled a racist. No matter what good intentions I or others may have for bringing up the problem, it does not matter. To bring it up makes one an instant racist in some peoples' eyes. Of course, that is exactly one of the difficulties with this whole issue; how can you solve a problem if you are not even allowed to identify what it is without being labeled as a racist? My motive for bringing up this topic is that I every day, I watch a disproportionate number of my black students spend their time in class whittling their lives away, with academics being the last thing on their minds. Do some of my white and hispanic students do this too? You bet. However, the key word here is "disproportionate". Why do so many of not just my black students, but black students around the country, choose not to succeed, when so many are very capable of doing so?

Have you ever read the book Why Johnny Can't Read (and the sequel Why Johnny Still Can't Read)? Author Rudolf Flesch identified a problem with literacy in our country, and then delved into the reasons why the youth of this nation were not learning to read. We are only now recognizing the reasons (whole language, change in learning goals) and making a half-hearted attempt to do something about it.

The question in educational circles that is often asked nowadays is why Jamal can't succeed. If you look at the performance and test scores of black students, and especially black male students all over the United States, you will see that their scores are consistently behind everyone else's. The question everyone asks is, Why?

Some go after the simplistic answers, such as the teachers and administrators are a bunch of racists. If this is true, then why do black students underperform in schools and districts where the teachers and administrators are almost all black? Others say that it is because black students attend schools that don't get as much funding. The schools in Washington D.C. spend somewhere around $12,000 dollars per student - the highest per-student amount in the country, yet black students in D.C. produce some of the worst test scores in the nation. Others posit that black students are not as intelligent as students of other races. Hogwash! When you get the time, read the account Dr. Thomas Sowell (the most intelligent man I know of - and he's black thank you very much) wrote about the all-black Dunbar High School in Washington D.C. During the 19th and early 20th century, Dunbar High consistently outperformed two of the three all-white high schools in the nation's capital. Even today, there are public schools all over the country that sport almost total poor minority populations, and yet the students succeed.

Unfortunately, these schools are diamonds in the rough. By and large, schools with a student body that is poor and minority are doing horribly, and too many schools that are well-off and minority aren't doing nearly as well as they should. Read the famous study by the late Berkeley anthropologist, John Ogbu, who found that black students in an upper-class Ohio high school were outperformed by the lower-class white students in the same school district. Ogbu and other researchers have observed an "oppositional peer culture" that tends to marginalize, mock, and shun black students who "act too white." There is much controversy about this "acting white" phenomenon, and many educational researchers swear up and down that it does not exist, but too many teachers, students, and other researchers have seen it with their own eyes. Dr. Ogbu was savaged by critics of his study, but their criticism was mostly of the "How dare you bring this light" or "How dare you blame the victim" variety, rather than "your methods were flawed."

The other big issue that is most likely adding to the problem is that the illegitimacy rate among black children continues to hover in the neighborhood of between 60-70%. The illegitimacy rates among whites and hispanics is nothing to shout about either, but the black rate blows them away. This kind of social pathology cannot help but affect a child's life both in and out of school. There are far too many black children out there who do not know the experience of having a masculine influence of a father in the home. Again, some researchers disparage the importance of fathers in the home (are you beginning to see a pattern here with what some researchers disparage?), but seeing how I am a father, I know that fathers are indispensible influences on the lives of their children.

So what does this social pathology in the black community look like? George Mimmen at the Mimmenblog links us to a little window via YouTube, into the insane world of these black young people who have way too many other things on their mind besides getting an education, and obviously have little to no adult supervision at home. Frankly, this video scares the hell out of me. When I watched it, I could hear Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Martin Luther King weeping from their graves.

Good Day to You, Sir

Color me there on opening night!

In case you didn't know, on October 20 (only two weeks away), the film adaptation of the book Flags of Our Fathers is coming to the movie screen. The book was written by James Bradley, whose father, John Bradley, was one of the men who raised the flag on top of Mount Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima. The movie chronicles the battle and the aftermath of the lives of the flag-raisers who survived, but brought the battle back home with them in their heads as they were recruited to help sell war bonds.

The movie is directed by Clint Eastwood, produced by Steven Spielberg, and written by Paul Haggis; all three of whom have directed movies that previously won the Oscar for Best Picture - Eastwood for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby, Spielberg for Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan (Best Director), and Haggis for Crash.

That is a lot of talent, and the movie's trailer looks excellent.

Bonus - Eastwood filmed a companion movie back-to-back with Flags of Our Fathers. This second movie is called Letters from Iwo Jima, and shows the battle from the Japanese perspective. The protaganist in this movie appears to be General Kuribayashi, the leader of the Japanese garrison on the island, and he is played by Ken Watanabe. You might remember him as the bad-ass Samurai who befriended Tom Cruise's character in The Last Samurai. Letters from Iwo Jima is slated to open in theaters in December. You can watch the trailer here if you have the correct media player. For me, it always seems that no matter which media player I need to watch something, I never seem to have it.

Good Day to You, Sir.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Left-wing thuggery in action

On Wednesday of this week, Jim Gilchrist, who is the leader of the Minuteman Project down on our pourous border with Mexico, came to Columbia University in New York City to give a speech. He was invited there by the campus Republican organization. Things did not go well. Several left-wing/socialist/racist organizations showed up and disrupted the speeches, then finally stormed the stage. Luckily, video cameras were there and recorded this stellar example of left-wing "tolerance" in all its brutal glory. See also this news article about the ugly incident.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wisconsin lawmaker must have read my blog

I was checking the news, and found this article on the FoxNews website. A state legislator in Wisconsin has proposed that Wisconsin teachers be given the option to arm themselves with a concealed weapon if they want to. It's probably more of a symbolic proposal than anything else, because I'm sure that the lawmaker knows as well as I do that arming teachers would never happen in this country. We are too far gone down the we're-so-civilized-we're-uncivilized road.


Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

What to do about all these school shootings?

My opinion is one that would probably make most people gasp in horror because their minds cannot conceive of such a thing: arm the staff. Allow teachers and other approved staff members to carry a concealed firearm.

Think about this for a second. Where in this country are you almost guaranteed to find a place where no one is armed? If you said "public schools" then you win a cookie. There is even a federal law that designates schools as "gun-free zones", with signs hanging around the school area alerting everyone to this fact. That law was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, but Congress reauthorized it anyway back in 1996.

So, since the only person on a school campus that is guaranteed to be armed is the psycho(s) who goes to the school to slaughter as many students as he can, schools have become rather juicy targets for these killers. This week, that became rather evident with the school murders in Colorado, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

In the 1970s, Israel had a problem with PLO terrorists going onto school campuses and killing students and teachers. Israel confronted this problem by allowing teachers to arm themselves. Problem solved. For more on about what Israel did, read this interview of a former Israeli official that is posted on the website for one of my favorite political groups, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc. He says in part:
Teachers and kindergarten nurses now started to carry guns, schools were protected by parents (and often grandpas) guarding them in voluntary shifts. No school group went on a hike or trip without armed guards. The Police involved the citizens in a voluntary civil guard project "Mishmar Esrachi", which even had its own sniper teams. The Army's Youth Group program, "Gadna", trained 15 - 16 year old kids in gun safety and guard procedures and the older high school boys got involved with the Mishmar Esrachi. During one noted incident, the "Herzliyah Bus massacre" (March '78, hijacking of a bus, 37 dead, 76 wounded), these youngsters were involved in the overall security measures in which the whole area between North Tel Aviv and the resort town of Herzlyiah was blocked off, manning roadblocks with the police, guarding schools kindergartens etc.
For an example of an armed school staff member that is closer to home, look to Pearl, Mississippi in October of 1997. Luke Woodham stabbed his mother to death, then grabbed a gun and went to his local high school to take out his frustrations on his classmates. After killing two students and wounding several more, Woodham stopped to reload. That is when the assistant principal put a gun to Luke Woodham's head and told him to drop the weapon. Woodham complied and the assistant principal held his gun on Woodham for a full five minutes until police arrived. When the shooting started, the a.p. had run to his vehicle which was apparently parked off campus, and retrieved the gun that he kept in there. So what stopped Woodham from killing more people with his gun? Another gun of course, and it wasn't a police gun either. It was an assistant principal who was probably violating some law by having that gun in his car near the campus in the first place. Thank God he was a rule breaker!

All this school shooting chaos has spilled onto my campus over the last two days. Yesterday, some graffiti was found in one of the girls bathrooms that said something to the effect of, "I want to shoot Name, Name, and Name in the head. This will happen on 10/5/06." The last part of the grafitti was written almost as if the writer chickened out and decided to soften her message when she wrote, "I will do this with a Be-Be gun (sic.)" A "be-be" gun, huh? Wow, violent and uneducated.

In light of the national incidents and our bathroom literary misadventures, our administration and district office decided that we will have an intruder-on-campus drill sometime on Wednesday. We teachers were given the procedures, and we were told to practice them with our homeroom students at the end of the day. I was appalled at the procedures. I mean, I have heard of these procedures before elsewhere, but practicing them today really set off my bullshit meter.

What the procedures essentially tell you to do is to cower in your room and wait for the shooter to come in and pluck you off one by one as you lie there helplessly. We are to lock the door, shut off the lights, and all the students are to hide under their desks out of sight of the windows. No chance to fight back in any of this, you are just supposed to cower there and hope the shooter doesn't pick your room. Of course, if he doesn't pick your room, that means he picked someone else's instead. Either way, his gun has to be met with someone else's gun for the slaughter to end. Is it going to be from a teacher who is right there on sight, or is it going to be from a policeman who is several minutes away?

Don't worry if you think I am a kook for believing that teachers should be allowed to arm themselves (even if you are dead wrong), because this will never be allowed in our country. Just look to my previous Wussification of America post. Do you think the mothers who won't let their kids bob for apples because it might traumatize them would let their kids' teachers arm themselves?

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Today in the news

Welcome Sac Bee readers! (If I get any). I had just opened up the Sunday Sacramento Bee this afternoon, when my buddy George Mimmen of the MimmenBlog (see Daily Reading List) called me and said, "Dude, you're published in the Bee!" I figured there had to be some sort of mistake on George's part, especially when he began reading the entry that was selected for publication and I didn't even recognize it as my own until he got to the very end and read something that triggered my memory.

It seems that this blog entry somehow caught the eye of the editor of a weekly feature called Surfing USA: A selection from the week's blogosphere, which is found in the Forum section of the Sunday Bee. For a humble blogger like myself, I have to admit that I am pretty excited to see one of my posts published in the major newspaper for the 37th largest city in the United States... hmm, when I explain it that way, it kind of sounds pathetic doesn't it? Eh, heck with it - I'll take my kudos where I can scrounge them!

Now, on to other happenings in the news. Do you remember the story that broke the other day about a deputy and his police dog being shot and killed during a traffic stop? On Friday, a SWAT team tracked the (alleged) perp down. For the record, here is the (alleged) perp's mug:

So this genius raises his pistol at the SWAT team, and not just any old pistol, but the one he (allegedly) took off the dead deputy. For his efforts, the perp - identified as one Angilo Freeland - was shot 68 times by the nine-member SWAT team. There were 110 shots fired in all.

Frankly, I am shocked and saddened by this incident. If you do the math, only 62% of the SWAT team's shots found their intended target. If that's the best they can shoot, they need to spend more time on the firing range.

Good Day to You, Sir