Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ah, I am not as lame as you thought

Friday is often test day in the Chanman classroom. As I was briefing my 7th period 8th graders with their instructions for the test, I imparted some last-minute piece of obscure historical information in order to further explain something about the War of 1812 that the students kept not getting. Do I remember what the obscure info was? Nope.

I must have impressed the students, because I got the question I sometimes get from my students: How do you know all this stuff? My standard answer is that I'm a history teacher; I have to know this stuff. Some students then decided to put me to the test by asking me about the Presidents, such as who was the 19th president? Rutherford B. Hayes; who was the 23rd president? Benjamin Harrison, and so on. In fairness, they picked the wrong topic, because I have had the chronological order of presidents memorized since the fifth grade. After discovering they weren't going to stump me with the presidents, someone got cute and said, "What year did Mac Dre die?"

"2002," I said - eyes began to widen.

"How about Tupac?" said another student.

"1996," I said - murmurs of amazement began to ripple through the classroom.

"What about Biggie Smalls?" said another student.

"1997," I said - Now the murmurs became a cacophany of "No way!"

"How about Aaliyah?" said another student.

I said, "This is the last one and then we have to get the test started... she died in 2001."

Of course before we could start the test, my students wanted to know how I, a lame-o 36 year-old white guy who doesn't wear saggy pants and sometimes listens to Elton John during the last few minutes of class and who was their age in 1986 (they didn't say all that, but you can bet they were thinking it), could possibly know this critical information about their favorite thuggish hip-hop artists.

I told them, "How else? I read."

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Whopper of the speech

In Barack Obama's speech before the joint session of Congress the other night, the quote that was easily the most absurd of the night was this little ditty:

"My budget does not attempt to solve every problem or address every issue. It reflects the stark reality of what we've inherited - a trillion dollar deficit, a financial crisis, and a costly recession."

Yes, that can be such a bother to inherit a trillion dollar deficit, Mr. President. Say, what is your proposal to address this "stark reality"? Oh yeah, it is to saddle us with yet another trillion-dollar deficit, and according to the spending you plan for the future, your are just getting warmed up.

As this train-wreck of an administration continues its swath, I am tempted to chuck my sign-off of "Good Day to You, Sir" and go with "We Are So Screwed" instead.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Hollywood vs. Reality from someone who was there

I have a friend/neighbor who works with the Republicans at the State Capitol here in our state's capital. Back on February 11, he invited me to attend a presentation/discussion about the film Frost/Nixon that was held after hours at the Capitol in the office of the Leader of the Senate Republicans. The featured speaker was a man named Ken Khachigian, who has been described as a "lion" of California GOP politics. He served as Nixon's Deputy Special Assistant, and also served as Ronald Reagan's head speechwriter. If you read The Reagan Diaries, Mr. Khachigian is mentioned several times, almost always in the vein of Met with Ken Khachigian today to talk about the convention/acceptance/upcoming speech or Had dinner with Ken Khachigian and his wife this evening.

So if you look back through many of Reagan's famous speeches, including the ones he gave at the 1980 and 1984 Republican conventions, those were Ken Khachigian's words. Here is a photo of Mr. Khachigian with President Reagan that I found on Khachigian's Wikipedia entry:

Even after Richard Nixon left office, Mr. Khachigian stayed on board as an advisor, and attended the actual series of interviews in 1977 between Nixon and David Frost, having been Nixon's head researcher for the interviews beforehand.

Mr. Khachigian requested that his presentation and any questions and answers afterward remain off the record, and I will of course honor that. I can tell you that Mr. Khachigian took us through the events leading up to the Frost/Nixon interviews, and told us what was accurate and not-so-accurate about the events depicted in the film, and the play that preceded it. It was an enjoyable and unique experience for me to have the opportunity to attend this function while surrounded by several state senators and assemblymembers. I just sat back and took it all in.

After the event ended, the cameras came out. Here is the result:

From left to right: Yours Truly, Ken Khachigian, and my friend/neighbor

You can tell which one of these three gentlemen doesn't work in politics; I'm the one not wearing the ubiquitous dark power suit.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bias against masculinity can be so unmasculine

In addition to teaching, my wife does editing projects for a to-remain-unnamed textbook company. She edits and sometimes creates questions for tests. For some projects where my wife is tasked with creating questions, she is required to come up with a theme that involves a fake website, bibliography, and labeled schematic drawing, with a series of questions based on the information found therein. For instance, she once created one of these with sharks being the theme. She came up with a list of fake websites about sharks, a bibliography of imaginary books that were all about sharks, and a drawing of a shark with its major body parts highlighted and labeled.

Recently, my wife was tasked with creating another of these test-taking themes. She was tired of animals, so she came up with the idea of basing it on military vehicles. Same thing: list of military vehicle websites and books, and a labeled drawing of a tank that points out the turret, tracks, hatch, main gun, etc. After completing the theme, my wife got an uneasy feeling about the acceptability of her creation, and checked with her editor just in case. Sure enough, her editor nixed the idea of using military vehicles, because they can't "depict guns" or show any "bias." OK, I get the whole showing guns thing - I don't agree with it, but I get it. But what exactly did the editor mean by "bias"? Bias toward boys instead of girls, since the theme was military in nature? Bias toward our country because the military vehicles were American? In both cases, what is wrong with that?

I am becoming very weary of the bias that many people have against anything masculine. Being the father of a son who is approaching the age of five, opportunities for me to experience this bias abound. For instance, I was in the military and I like guns; I own a few, and I shoot them when the opportunity arises. Naturally, my son is therefore fascinated by the military and guns as well. In today's culture, that simple statement I just made would cause many people to get the vapors and be shocked at the fact that my four-year-old son would be exposed to such horrible things. That's a crying shame, because once upon a time, the way I raise my son was nothing unusual. In some parts of the country, it still isn't. However, the overall culture of our country is one that frowns upon certain expressions of masculinity, and often seeks to extinguish it. Not allowing the depiction of a tank on a test is a prime example.

Pundits and authors are taking notice of this trend. Not long ago, columnist Ilana Mercer lamented that there are not more "Sully" Sullenbergers out there; referencing the take-charge manliness of the pilot who successfully crash-landed his airliner into the Hudson River and saved every soul on board. Said Mercer:
...Missed by the perennial purveyors of pop culture and political correctness was a story about the value of an endangered, and vital, virtue: manliness.

Witnessed in that cockpit was old-fashioned manliness. The feminization and regulation of American society over the last 20 to 30 years has meant that life-saving manliness is increasingly confined to corners where women are less likely to encroach: like the cockpit....
This "feminization" of our culture has been ongoing since the late 1960s when women became more militant, and the ideal man became more "sensitive." This change in the outlook of what makes a man became especially apparent at the movie theater. To the dustbin went the masculine actors like William Holden, Robert Ryan, and John Wayne. Instead, the ideal male leads started going to wimpier, more sensitive fellas like Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty. If the masculine actors were still used, it was often in telling roles like Holden and Ryan in "The Wild Bunch" or John Wayne in "The Shootist" where they played men past their prime who were hanging on to a way of life that was no longer tenable. In the case of Clint Eastwood in 1971's "Dirty Harry", the whole point of the movie was that his masculine character was no longer the norm, and that he was hopelessly out synch with the rest of his more sensitive San Francisco police department.

In our world today, we need look no further than the Oval Office for an example of what is considered the ideal man. I mean, seriously, can you think of many men who are less manly than Barack Obama? For another prime example, check out Obama's press secretary, Robert Gibbs. To me, he is the epitome of the pasty-faced anti-male persona that permeates our society:

In his book Tender Warrior, author and minister Stu Weber talks about masculinity and what it is that makes a man. He identifies four pillars: King, Warrior, Mentor, and Friend. In today's society, Weber recognizes that only some of these pillars are still respected:
Unfortunately, the King and Warrior qualities of manhood are suspect today. Of the four pillars, they are the most tarnished and eroded in our culture. Few object to a man being a mentor or a friend. Many resist the King and the Warrior. Authority and strength seem to be questionable virtues in our day. But we miss them in this turbulent, rootless culture of ours. Oh, how we miss them! Without them, we are hollow men. We are men without chests.
It's a sad time in this country when boys cannot act like boys without looks of concern from the general public who are uncomfortable with outward displays of masculinity. On the other hand, to a certain degree, I don't totally blame the general public's attitude. If you further read Weber's book, he speaks of keeping your commitments as being one of the ultimate signs of masculinity. A father walking out on his children and leaving those children to be raised without a father is a definite violation of the commitments of which Mr. Weber speaks. These fatherless children are often left to develop on their own or with their friends - who are also often fatherless - a twisted and grotesque form of what they believe to be masculinity, which menaces society rather than protects it.

These social pathologies aside, we must change course in this country in how we treat our young males. Instead of guiding and channeling their natural aggressive tendencies into something positive, too often these tendencies are treated as some sort of disease that must be purged from our midst. This must stop.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, February 20, 2009

I got your conversation right here

Attorney General Eric Holder has declared that we are a nation of cowards when it comes to discussing race. Watch Pat Buchanan and Michael Eric Dyson take Holder up on his challenge:

Take that, Eric Holder!

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Concessions are made, but the end result sucks

California finally has a budget! As if Californians are not already overcharged enough by our free-spending legislature, we will now have to pay even more of our hard-earned dollars if we want to continue living in the late, great state of California. The bright side, if there is one, is that had a single Republican state senator named Abel Maldonado not dug in his heels and held his ground, the budget that was passed would have not just been bad, it would have been calamitous. The not-so-bright side is that Maldonado didn't dig in his heels nearly enough.

Gone from the final bill was a 12 cent hike of the state gasoline tax on what are already the highest average gas prices in the nation. At one point, this gas tax was seemingly a done deal. Also gone was what was essentially a 5% increase of state income tax liability on what are already the highest state income taxes in the nation. Of course, instead we now have a 0.25% increase in the state income tax. Keep in mind, these increases are being imposed on an already overtaxed and overpriced state.

While these concessions by the Democrats are good news, the fact still remains that this budget includes increases on our state taxes, and not mentioned in the attached article is any news about the proposed doubling of vehicle license registration fees. I will be interested to find out if that passed as part of this budget deal.

I think what made me most angry about this whole budget ordeal was the statement made by President Pro Tem of the state senate, Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat from the Sacramento area. Duing an impassioned speech on the senate floor, Steinberg said to his Republican colleagues,

"I wish to God, that you could deviate just a little bit, just a little bit, from your philosophy, just a little bit, from the endless mantra of no new revenue, no new revenue ever, and be a participant and partner with us in solving this problem."

No, Senator Steinberg, how about you deviate just a little bit, just a little bit, from your philosophy, which, like a broken record, always includes tax and spend, tax and spend, tax and spend. And don't you love how Steinberg uses the crafty little word "revenue" instead of "taxes." That's putting the cart before the horse. Revenue is what a government receives as a result of taxes that are paid. Using the economic theory endorsed and successfully instituted by Presidents Kennedy, Reagan, and Bush II, lowering taxes actually leads to increased revenues. Apparently, there are still plenty of politicians - most on the Democrat side of the aisle - who have yet to learn this lesson. Nice try with trying to sell this boondoggle of a budget with your semantic trickery Senator Steinberg, but I'm not buying it.

While I am happy that not everything that our state legislature wanted to do to us came to fruition, the fact remains that we got royally screwed. I liken this to being mugged and then being relieved that the criminal only got away with my wallet and let me keep my cell phone. The bottom line is that I still got robbed.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I think Holder wants a one-sided conversation

Our illustrious Attorney General, Eric Holder, thinks we Americans are "cowardly" for being hesitant to talk about race in this country. I see a couple problems with this statement. First, I have the sneaking suspicion that Holder would like any conversations about race to occur in the paradigm of "black=victim, white=victimizer" and leave it at that. Second, and on a related note, how is our country supposed to talk about race when any white person who is the least bit critical about anything a minority does would immediately be labeled as a racist? Those conditions do not make for a useful dialogue.

For instance, what would some people instantly think of me if I said the following clip (which, coincidentally, happened today) shows a symptom of a decades-long culture of fatherlessness and glorification of crime and nihilism in the black community?

On a side note, this clip also shows how utterly absurd the whole sagging pants thing can be. I saw at least two combatants have to take a time-out from the melee so they could pull up their damn pants.

Good Day to You, Sir

A happy day

Two U.S. Border Patrol agents whose sentences were commuted by former President Bush after spending two years in prison for shooting a Mexican drug dealer were released from prison today.

Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean will have to spend another month on house arrest, but being home with their families should be quite a consolation for that inconvenience.

President Bush was given a lot of flak by supporters of Ramos and Compean for only commuting their sentences and not giving them an outright pardon. There was a method to Bush's madness: the two men did not ask for a pardon. In an interview with radio talk host Mike Gallagher that took place just a day or two after the commutation was announced, I listened to the wife of one of the agents (I can't remember which) tell Gallagher and his audience that to receive a pardon, you have to sign document admitting guilt to your crime. Since Ramos and Compean both maintain they did nothing wrong, they refused to ask for a pardon if that meant admitting guilt. With a commutation, the two men are free to continue pursuing their case in an effort to be fully exonerated.

The man who Ramos and Compean shot (in the ass, by the way) was in the process of transporting 750 pounds of marijuana across our border. During the agents' trial, the drug dealer was given immunity by the U.S. attorney so he could testify against the agents. While the trial was going on and while the scumbag had immunity, he was caught yet again transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana across our border. Boy, there's a reliable witness!

Thank God for President Bush seeing the light on his last day in office and signing the commutations for Ramos and Compean. Were his feet not held to the fire by many politicians, talk radio hosts, family members, and citizens, I am confident that Bush would have allowed those two men to rot in prison.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Left finally states the obvious

Last week's cover of Newsweek was refreshingly candid. With the red hand of the Republicans and the blue hand of the Democrats shaking on it (and don't get me started on this red = Republican, blue = Democrat business), the cover matter-of-factly declares "We Are All Socialists Now". Speak for yourself, Newsweek!

It's funny, during the Joe the Plumber phase of the presidential campaign, the lefties and the lamestream media did nothing but scoff at conservative and Republican assertions that Obama and a Democrat-controlled congress were going to impose socialism on the United States. The media either denied it, or simply retorted that President Bush had already started us down that road (I have to admit, I agree with that last assertion).

However, once Obama was safely ensconced in the Oval Office, only then did Newsweek have no problem blaring to the world that what Obama and the congress are imposing on us is blatant socialism. I was intrigued by the whole "hands shaking" imagery to symbolize socialism, because I knew I had seen it someplace before. Then it struck me. There is a group called the Democratic Socialists of America. I have even linked to their pathetic, freedom-hating, confiscation-loving website. Here is the top banner of their site:

Below the cute little peace flower is that familiar shaking of hands. Also on their homepage is a similar image that is on their donation button:

Newsweek had obviously done their homework when they designed their cover. Then again, since it's safe to bet that many of the Newsweek staff presumably belong to DSA, they didn't have to think very hard about what to put on their cover.

Good Day to You, Sir

Oh, how I miss Ronald Reagan

Listen to the humble wisdom of a true conservative president as his statements are juxtaposed with those of our megalomaniac-in-chief who currently occupies the Oval Office. The difference is astounding.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy reading!

Watch a Georgia congressman introduce you to the hard, cold reality of what a congressional bill looks like, especially when that bill is the Porkulus.

Good Day to You, Sir

Where have you gone, David Farragut?

One of my favorite lessons to teach my 7th and 8th graders is when I tell them about 19th century American admiral, David Farragut, who served in the U.S. Navy from the War of 1812 through the Civil War. My students, who are between the ages of 12 and 14, are amazed when I tell them that Farragut was given his first command of a ship at the age of 12. Imagine that; he was responsible for an entire ship and was giving commands to dozens of men, all at the age of 12. How far we have fallen.

Several days ago, Drudge carried a story about some Massachusetts middle school boys who have gotten into legal trouble for using their cell phones to spread around a photo of the half-naked girlfriend of the one of the boys involved. Now, in stereotypical U.S.A-circa-2009 fashion, a parent has come forward to defend his son's atrocious behavior:

"What they did, yes, it was wrong. But did they really know it was wrong? No. They're 13-year-old kids," said [Brian]Hunt.

Unlike the boy's Internet activity, Hunt admitted he never monitored his son's cell phone because, "he's a good kid."

"And, like I said, and I'll say it over and over again, these are 13-year-old boys, and I want everybody out there to remember when they were 13," said Hunt....
Shame on you Mr. Hunt for expecting so little of young men who are so old. I teach 13 year-old boys for a living; believe me, they know the difference between right and wrong. I continue to be appalled at how little we tend to hold young people accountable for their actions. And the problem is that what is considered to be a "young person" continues to creep upward.

Good Day to You, Sir

Didn't you hear?

A store locking up its condom display in order to thwart shoplifters is racist.
A group of Boston community activists are protesting what they claim is a discriminatory move to lock up condoms in a Dorchester CVS pharmacy.

The delegation of Boston civil rights leaders, health advocates and community members claims the Rhode Island-based pharmacy chain has a practice of locking up condoms at the CVS pharmacy on 778 Dudley St. and in other communities of color all over the country. (Emphasis mine)
Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


While watching this video, pay special attention to the blondish middle-aged lady in the white dress who stands up on the left side of the screen. Sick, sick, sick. Obama is just a man, people! He is not a God!

Good Day to You, Sir

Teaching: the "Chicago Way"

As a teacher, I will admit that I am naturally inclined to be suspicious about news stories like this one, but after reading it, one must admit that there is quite a bit of fire with that smoke.

It seems that quite a few teachers in Chicago have developed a habit of physically abusing their students; hundreds of teachers, actually.
...An exclusive CBS 2 investigation discovered Treveon Martin is one of at least 818 Chicago Public School students, since 2003, to allege being battered by a teacher or an aide, coach, security guard, or even a principal. In most of those cases - 568 of them - Chicago Public School investigators determined the children were telling the truth....
What makes this even more intriguing is that most of these abuse cases happened during the administration Chicago Schools Superintendent, Arne Duncan. And just who is he? Why, he is Obama's pick to head the Department of Education!
..."Any founded allegation where an adult is hitting a child, hitting a student - they're going to be gone," Duncan said.

But that's not what happened under Duncan's watch. Of the 568 verified cases, only 24 led to termination. Records show one teacher who quote "battered students for several years" was simply given a "warning" by the Board of Education....
Even with the number of cases of student abuse accusations, I would still like to see more information on the specifics of these cases. Did a teacher defending himself from an attacking student count as abuse toward that student? Either way, do you think the media would care were it not Barack Obama's appointee heading the Department of Education? I do have to wonder if we will the reputation of yet another Obama nominee go south?

Good Day to You, Sir

Our President is an absolute embarrassment

I know this video is making the rounds, but I felt like I had to post it anyway. President Obama held a town hall meeting in Fort Myers, Florida the other day, and what I saw made me cringe. The most cringeworthy segment came right at the end when Julio made his appearance. If you are wondering why Julio has worked at McDonalds for the last four years and can't seem to find another job, just watch the video if you haven't seen it already.

You could say to yourself that this shouldn't reflect poorly upon Obama; after all, it was Julio who was making an absolute fool of himself. However, you must realize that the people who speak at these town hall meetings are often screened beforehand, especially for a president who I have noticed will call on certain reporters at press conferences even before the reporters have raised their hands to ask a question.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, February 09, 2009

I'm hungry all of a sudden

Big tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin (see blogroll) for turning me on to a new website. It's called This is Why You're Fat, and it invites readers to email pictures of some of their favorite guilty culinary pleasures. I am not going to copy and paste any pictures; you need to go there yourself. I will describe my favorite which caused me to make that tongue-wagging gutteral noise that Homer Simpson makes when he sees something he likes. Try this one at your next meal:

The Hamdog

A hot dog wrapped in a beef patty that’s deep fried, covered with chili, cheese, onions, served on a hoagie bun topped with two fistfuls of fries and a fried egg.

Sweet Lord in Heaven, that sounds lovely. And it looks lovely too; go check it out!

Good Day to You, Sir

AP factchecks Obama, tough question gets booed

Our Dear Leader gave a painful-to-watch town hall meeting in Indiana today where he stood up in front of God and everybody and told whopper after whopper. The most surprising thing to me is that the rundown of his whoppers was provided by an article from the Associated Press, which is usually in the tank for our benevolent Messiah. An example from the article:
OBAMA: "I've appointed hundreds of people, all of whom are outstanding Americans who are doing a great job. There are a couple who had problems before they came into my administration, in terms of their taxes. ... I made a mistake ... I don't want to send the signal that there are two sets of rules."

He added: "Everybody will acknowledge that we have set up the highest standard ever for lobbyists not working in the administration."

THE FACTS: Two of his appointees, former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle for secretary of health and human services and Nancy Killefer as his chief compliance officer, dropped out after reports they had not paid a portion of their taxes.

Obama previously acknowledged he "screwed up" in making it seem to Americans that there is one set of tax compliance rules for VIPs and another set for everyone else. Yet his choice for treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner, hung in and achieved the post despite having belatedly paid $34,000 to the IRS, an agency Geithner now oversees.

That could leave the perception that there is one set of rules for Geithner and another set for everyone else...
The other painful part of the town hall meeting was watching softball question after softball question being tossed to him by members of the audience. I can see why that is when Obama was finally given a question with some teeth. A woman named Tara had the, ahem, audacity to ask Obama about the tax troubles of his cabinet nominees. What did Tara get for her trouble? Try a rousing hiss of booing from the Messiah-adoring audience. Hey man, I thought dissent was patriotic. Shouldn't they have been cheering Tara for speaking truth to power?


Good Day to You, Sir

He can always get a job in Obama's cabinet

Prosecutors: Jail ex-D.C. mayor Barry over taxes
WASHINGTON (AP) - Prosecutors asked a federal judge Monday to send former Washington mayor Marion Barry to jail for failing to file his tax returns for the eighth time in nine years....
Barry has been the gift that keeps on giving for over twenty years now.

Good Day to You, Sir

A racial firestorm

Many people remember the downfall of Al Campanis, general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers who lost his job after stating in an April 6, 1987 Nightline interview, "Blacks may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or, perhaps, a general manager." Even though Campanis was a good friend of Jackie Robinson, he was fired and was vilified for years as yet another racist white person in a position of power, sticking it to the black man.

I bring up Campanis's statement so it can be juxtaposed with this one:
“We don’t do as well on these multiple-choice tests,” said Capt. Otis Jordan, president of the Houston Black Firefighters Association... “I compare fighting a fire, riding an apparatus, to playing football. Your best athlete might not be the straight-A student.”
This statement was made in response to a lawsuit that has been filed in Houston, Texas by seven black firefighters against that city's fire department. The lawsuit contends that the department's 100-question multiple choice Captain's promotion exam is racially biased. How exactly a test like this can be racially biased, I am not sure, but biased is what these seven black firefighters claim it to be.

Apparently, the fact that the test is multiple-choice is too much for black people to handle. Hey, don't snarl at me for saying such a thing. Otis Jordan said it; just reread the quote above. What will always amaze me is how minorities are all too willing to denigrate themselves and their race, such as with statements and lawsuits like these, and also through the constant push for so-called affirmative action and other forms of quotas. How ironic that I, as a "typical white person" (to borrow the phrase from Barack Obama), have more faith in the abilities of these firefighters than they do.

Yes, yes, I know what comes next in this common dialogue: But minorities can't make it in the "white man's world" without certain programs and protections to give them a leg up. Yeah, I understand that point. I mean, after all, a minority has yet to even be elected presid... never mind.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Stabenow is stuck on stupid

I keep hearing smug little lefties carp about how the only people they hear talking about a possible return of the so-called Fairness Doctrine are from the political right and radio talk hosts who would be affected.

Naturally, this isn't true. Just reference past comments from the left side of the Congressional aisle by those who would love to see the so-called Fairness Doctrine reinstated, such as Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Kerry (D-MA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Maurice Hinchey (D-NY).

Now, you can add Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to the peanut gallery. Speaking with uber lefty Bill Press on his radio show - and I noticed Bill Press's show did not include a balancing voice from the right - Stabenow and Press had the following exchange:
BILL PRESS: Yeah, I mean, look: They have a right to say that. They’ve got a right to express that. But, they should not be the only voices heard. So, is it time to bring back the Fairness Doctrine?

SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I think it’s absolutely time to pass a standard. Now, whether it’s called the Fairness Standard, whether it’s called something else — I absolutely think it’s time to be bringing accountability to the airwaves. I mean, our new president has talked rightly about accountability and transparency. You know, that we all have to step up and be responsible. And, I think in this case, there needs to be some accountability and standards put in place.

BILL PRESS: Can we count on you to push for some hearings in the United States Senate this year, to bring these owners in and hold them accountable?

SENATOR DEBBIE STABENOW (D-MI): I have already had some discussions with colleagues and, you know, I feel like that’s gonna happen. Yep.
The way I figure, the wannabe tyrants in charge of our government want to tell people how much their salary can be, so why not tell radio stations what they can say?

Good Day to You, Sir

Krauthammer calls it

I enjoy reading Charles Krauthammer due to his blunt and effective use of words. His latest column is proof of that. In criticizing the pork-laden spending, er, stimulus bill, Krauthammer gives a synopsis of how Obama's presidency is doing so far. Here's a hint:
After Obama's miraculous 2008 presidential campaign, it was clear that at some point the magical mystery tour would have to end. The nation would rub its eyes and begin to emerge from its reverie. The hallucinatory Obama would give way to the mere mortal. The great ethical transformations promised would be seen as a fairy tale that all presidents tell -- and that this president told better than anyone.

I thought the awakening would take six months. It took two and a half weeks.
Read the rest of Krauthammer's thoughts here.

Good Day to You, Sir

Classroom craziness

I have a couple of bizarre experiences this week at work. The first was a mother knocking on my classroom door yesterday morning with her 8th grade son in tow. She was trying to find out more information about why exactly he is failing my class. This should be no surprise seeing as how I had him last year as a 7th grader and he failed both those semesters too. In fact, he has been failing every class every year, no matter which teacher he has. Right now, he has a 0.17 GPA, and that is about the highest it has ever been. No matter; I fully expect this kid to be passed onto high school where he will most likely fail miserably and drop out by the end of his sophomore year.

In the meantime, I was dealing with one pissed-off mother, and it wasn't me at whom she was pissed. As I went over the gradebook with her and showed her all the assignments her son had not turned in, including easy assignments like daily bellwork that are turned in every Friday, I could see her getting angrier by the second. The kettle started whistling when I turned to the kid and asked him to get out his bellwork for this week. "I don't have it," was his answer. Why not? "Because I didn't do it," was his answer. That's when Mom slammed her fist onto a desk and yelled, "Boy, I will knock you across this room!"

I didn't know whether to snicker under my breath, or think about covering my butt and reporting her comment to the administration as a possible CPS matter. I have to admit, it was rather satisfying to see this kid - a perpetual disruptive class cutup - get his perpetual grin wiped off his perpetually smug little face. The problem is that when all the smoke clears, and Mom calms down, this kid will most likely end up failing this final semester of his middle school experience, and he will be academically eaten alive in high school next year. Chalk up another ugly statistic.

That same day, I called another student's father after school let out. The kid had decided to dig in his heels when I told him to remove a sweat band from his head. The rules are clear about stuff on your head in the classroom, but for whatever reason, the kid defied my instructions and instead chose to argue with me about what is and isn't acceptable to be worn on your head in the classroom.

I called the Dad on his cellphone, and when he answered, I immediately noticed a lot of whooshing background noise, like he was on the side of a busy road somewhere. After I identify myself on the phone with a parent, I always ask if he or she has time to talk. This Dad said, "Well, actually I am pulled over on the freeway and a cop is writing me a ticket." Wow! I told the Dad I could call him back later, but God love him, he told me, "Nah, we can talk. I'm just sitting here and the cop is back at his car filling out the citation. What's up?"

Now that is a dedicated parent!

Good Day to You, Sir

Driving the car over the cliff

That's what the Democrats are starting to do with our economy. With a Democrat president and a Democrat-controlled Congress, there is not much to stop the zealous compulsion they feel to control every aspect of our lives. Two recent examples of note come to us from the Messiah himself, Barack Obama, and that bizarro congresscritter, Barney Frank.

First, Barney Frank has made public his notion that due to our financial situation, Congress and the President should dictate to private companies how much they should pay their employees. At first, this rule was only going to apply to companies receiving bailout money from taxpayers; now Frank wants to apply this rule to all private companies in this country. Roll the quote:
Congress will consider legislation to extend some of the curbs on executive pay that now apply only to those banks receiving federal assistance, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said.

“There’s deeply rooted anger on the part of the average American,” the Massachusetts Democrat said at a Washington news conference today.

He said the compensation restrictions would apply to all financial institutions and might be extended to include all U.S. companies....
Just for suggesting such an unconstitutional notion, this man should be arrested. Of course, he should have been arrested a long time ago for his dealings with Fannie Mae and his use of his position in congress to manipulate the housing market. Also, wasn't there a male prostitution ring being run out of his house by a former boyfriend? Of course, Barney knew nothing about it.

So do you think the Messiah would back up Frank's insane plan? Let us recall Obama's worrisome quote about companies and CEOs from just the other day:
"There will be time for them to make profits, and there will be time for them to get bonuses -- now is not that time. And that's a message that I intend to send directly to them."
Good God! Well, thank you for clearing that up, Emperor Obama. We are so screwed!

Good Day to You, Sir


A bumper sticker on a pickup truck while driving on Watt Avenue in Sacramento:

I'll keep my guns, freedom, and money;
You can keep the "change"

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Beware the Ides of March

In years when state and local budgets don't look so good (this is one of those years), California schoolteachers dread March 15, as that is the final day that they can be given a pink slip which indicates they might not be returning to their job next school year.

The trick is that just because you receive the dreaded pink slip, it doesn't necessarily mean you have lost your job, it simply means you may lose your job. Districts must cover their arses and overestimate the number of job cuts they might have to make. In many cases, either all or almost all of the pink-slipped teachers return. This year however, pink-slipped teachers might not be so lucky.

According to this article from the Sacramento Bee, almost all the major districts in the Sacramento area - Elk Grove, San Juan, Sac City, Folsom-Cordova, Twin Rivers - have already issued hundreds of pink slips. It is anyone's guess how many of those recipients will receive a final notice on the drop-dead day of May 15th.

My wife, who works in one of those aforementioned districts, came home today and informed me of the bloodletting that is scheduled to happen in her district. The word came down that any teacher hired after October 2002 is going to receive a pink slip. The juiciest part is that only certificated staff are going to have their jobs threatened; due to some kind of clause in their union contract, classified staff is safe from any layoffs for the next two years, so no one on the classified side will be receiving any layoff notices. Isn't that grand? Axe the teachers but keep the lunch ladies. God knows we need lunch ladies, but in the end, what is the mission of a school, to educate or to feed? My wife also informed me that as part of her district's shakeup, vice principals, curriculum specialists, and administrators from the district and county offices of education will be sent back to the classroom as teachers. This begs the question: were all those high-paying curriculum specialist jobs at the district offices even needed in the first place? What other kind of dead weight could be cut in our educational system, especially in the Taj Mahals that are many of our district offices?

What about the effectiveness of the teachers who are possibly being let go? The criteria for their dismissal is based solely on seniority. You could be one of those lazy teachers who hands out worksheets and reads the newspaper - it's not just a cliche', I have seen it with my own eyes - but in my wife's district, if you were hired in 2000, your job is safe. On the other hand, you could be an effective eager-beaver teacher who inspires your students to succeed and you are doing wonders with helping to raise test scores, but since you were hired in 2005, you are out of a job. This is a perfect example of one of the major reasons for the substandard education that we are seeing in California today. Until that situation changes, you are not going to see significant improvement in academic performance anytime soon.

My district actually has increasing enrollment, and so far no certificated job cuts have been announced. If they are, let's just hope the magic cutoff date is after July 2004!

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Barack Obama doesn't care about white people!

**Scroll for Updates

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it? A similar statement sounded just as ridiculous in 2005 when hip-hop idiot Kanye West told a nationwide audience that "George Bush doesn't care about black people." Roll the 40-second tape if you care to relive the moment:

If you think what that moron Kanye said was meaningless, think again. For literally years afterward, I had students - particularly my black students - ask me if George W. Bush really hates black people. When I asked them why they would think such a thing, their reply would be because Kanye said so. Fast-forwarding to 2009, I came across this headline today: Nearly 1M without power 5 days after ice storm.

I'm just wondering - where is Kanye West? Where is the media outrage? Where is the left-wing blogosphere spreading the meme that Barack Obama has dropped the ball? Now keep in mind, I don't think Obama has dropped the ball at all, nor did George W. Bush drop the ball in the federal response to Hurricane Katrina; that's the whole point. This ice storm is a state and local matter, just like Katrina was a state and local matter. Nevertheless, the federal government under George W. Bush was blamed for the deplorable conditions in New Orleans days after the hurricane ended, yet the federal government under Barack Obama is not being blamed for the deplorable conditions in states like Kentucky, Missouri, and Arkansas days after the ice storm struck, even though hundreds of thousands of people are living without power in the middle of temperatures that were well below freezing.

Once again, another blaring example of the selective outrage and hypocrisy of the political left and the news media.

Good Day to You, Sir

No sooner did I publish this post, then I quickly discovered that I am by no means the only blogger to notice this blaring double standard. For more insight on this situation click on the links to the following sites:

The Sundries Shack

American Thinker

Michelle Malkin

Good Day to You, Sir