Friday, September 25, 2009

The Cult of Obama strikes again in our schools

Here is another ode to Obama from one of America's classrooms that was brought to my attention from Sacramento Citizen editor Katy Grimes, who posted it on her Facebook page. The kids, identified only as students from Mr. B's class in Room 8, are wearing Obama t-shirts and singing "Yes We Can!" Yet again, more schoolchildren being indoctrinated by the adult in charge.

It's OK though; according to the person - presumably the teacher - who posted the video, a mock election was held in the classroom the day before the 2008 election, and Obama had won with 18 out of 20 votes. Since most of those students presumably picked up their political beliefs from their parents, who presumably also supported Obama, I have to ask: Would those parents have been OK with this song and video if the students had been singing about George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan?

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The sleazy indoctrination of children by the Cult of Obama continues

I have previously blogged about the creepy songs and chants that educators have coaxed out of impressionable school children.

First, there was the ode to Obama by some children during the '08 campaign:

Then there were the militant, step-dancing boys:

And now we have possibly the most disturbing video I have seen (although the militant boys group is pretty hard to top). This video of elementary schoolchildren singing Obama's praises comes to us out of Burlington Township, New Jersey. Michelle Malkin has a good write-up of the story behind this video, because it goes a little deeper than simply an Obama-worshipping teacher who got too enthusiastic. Here is the video, and because little kids aren't always so articulate when they sing, I have copied the song lyrics directly below the video.

Song 1:
Mm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that all must lend a hand
To make this country strong again
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said we must be fair today
Equal work means equal pay
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said that we must take a stand
To make sure everyone gets a chance
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

He said red, yellow, black or white
All are equal in his sight
Mmm, mmm, mm!
Barack Hussein Obama

Mmm, mmm, mm
Barack Hussein Obama

Song 2:
Hello, Mr. President we honor you today!
For all your great accomplishments, we all doth say “hooray!”

Hooray, Mr. President! You’re number one!
The first black American to lead this great nation!

Hooray, Mr. President we honor your great plans
To make this country’s economy number one again!

Hooray Mr. President, we’re really proud of you!
And we stand for all Americans under the great Red, White, and Blue!

So continue —- Mr. President we know you’ll do the trick
So here’s a hearty hip-hooray —-

Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!
Hip, hip hooray!

Stuff like this truly disturbs me, as it so easily harkens back to the time of Stalin and Mao, when little kids would sing their leaders' praises with similar flowery and contrived song lyrics. I have never seen a U.S. president deified in this fashion. I have to wonder if Barack Obama himself would be creeped out if he saw these videos.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome to Crazy Arne's Used Educational Bromide Emporium!

From the "Better Late Than Never Department": Last Sunday in the Forum section of the Sacramento Bee, they ran a rather extensive collection of articles about President Obama's Secretary of Education (and former head of the failing Chicago public school system) Arne Duncan. The collection of articles was entitled Education Chief Wants a Transformation.

I had a bit of difficulty wading my way through these articles as the author, SacBee editor Pia Lopez, lost me in the first two paragraphs when she wrote in the most sycophantic terms,
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan is a man in a hurry. Children, he says, have only one chance to get an education: "We cannot wait because our children cannot wait."

And he's a one-man whirlwind in a battle against stifling bureaucracy at all levels - whether at the Department of Education in Washington or in rules and regulations at the local level that get in the way of efforts to improve student achievement.
Oh yeah, he's a real reformer, that Arne Duncan. When he was "CEO" of the public school system in Chicago, black 4th graders in Illinois demonstrated a 32-point gap in math scores compared to the state's white students, when the national gap was 26 points. Similarly, black 8th graders in Illinois experienced a 31-point gap in math scores when the national average was 38 points. Since most black students in Illinois live in Chicago, one must take note of who was in charge of the Chicago schools at the time, and had been since 2001: Arne Duncan.

As NBC News in Chicago put it in an article just five days ago:
So much for the Arne Duncan era.

In what was supposed to be the first noteworthy evaluation of the Chicago Public Schools' High School Transformation project of better teacher training and a tougher curriculum, test scores went absolutely nowhere - and in some cases, down.

No wonder school offiicals didn't hold the usual press conference; they just posted the scores and slinked away.

This news follows earlier reports that the high test score claims Duncan and President Obama touted about were inflated.

In fact, a Civic Committee study concluded that Chicago Public Schools had made little progress since 2003.
While performances like this are not unusual, it goes to show that Arne Duncan is not some superhuman supe who is going to pull our educational system back from the edge of the abyss, like Pia Lopez makes it sound. Whatever Duncan was pushing in Chicago wasn't working, and now that he is CEO of our federal educational bureaucracy, he wants to bring his failed policies to a school near you.

The Pia Lopez article continues:
"In the months and years ahead," [Duncan] has said, "we will ask thousands of communities across America to close and reopen schools based on data showing that they are underperforming. That has never happened before and it will be as difficult as it is important."

That will require that we find 5,000 "high-energy, hero principals" to take over these struggling schools. It will require finding 250,000 "great teachers who are willing to do the toughest work in public education...."
Oh, is that all? And tell me genius, where are we going to miracle up these 5,000 hero principals and quarter-million tough-work teachers? If it were that easy, would we not have done it already? How are you going to find quality teachers to do this tough work when the teachers unions will not allow them to be paid more. Speaking as a teacher myself, which scenario would I choose?

1. Get paid a certain salary to work in a comfortable middle class suburban school where I can actually teach moderately to well-behaved, motivated students.

2. Get paid the same salary or a little less to work in an urban school with dangerous, insolent, profane, unmotivated, disruptive human seat warmers.

Hmmm. What to do? As long as teachers get paid the same salary for different levels of abuse, you are never going to be able to fill these "tough-work" positions that require "heroes" to effect a change. And even then, many teachers and administrators would not sign up for that kind of abuse no matter how much they were paid.

But Arne Duncan is not done. He then provides Pia Lopez with his four basic models for transforming broken schools. I will list them uninterrupted and hold my comments until the end:

1. The children stay and the staff leaves. Teachers can reapply for their jobs and some get rehired, but most go elsewhere. His view is that, "At least half of the staff and the leadership should be completely new if you really want a culture change."

2. Replace staff and leadership and create experimental public schools run by charter organizations, universities, or non-profit groups.

3. For smaller communities with fewer options for new staff, keep most of the existing staff, but change the culture by increasing the school day and school year; providing new flexibility around budgeting, staffing and the school calendar; changing curriculum.

4. Close underperforming schools and re-enroll the students in better schools.

In the interests of time and space, let us just analyze the first and last models. Model #1 assumes that teachers and administrators are the problem with education. While I will freely admit that there are plenty of these people who need to find another line of work (isn't this true of any profession?), the primary issue is deciding who is not cutting it, especially the teachers, who are to be evaluated based on the academic performance of their students. How do you compare apples and oranges? Just envision two scenarios:

Well Mr. Ritzy Suburban Teacher, I see that your students, who come from intact families with involved parents, have almost perfect attendance and they have overwhelmingly scored either Proficient or Advanced on their standardized tests. Good Work! Would you like to come back next year?

As for you Mr. Inner-City Teacher, your students, who come from totally broken and dysfunctional families, missed an average of 50 school days this year, their rates of suspension for on-campus misbehavior were atrociously high, they turned in little to no homework, and most of them scored Below Basic or Far Below Basic on their standardized tests. You are obviously a sub-standard teacher, and you do not belong in this profession.

Model #4 is equally ridiculous. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, where is Secretary Duncan going to miracle up these "better" schools in which to re-enroll students who are being relocated from closed underperforming schools? Let's imagine another scenario using the hypothetical ritzy suburban and inner-city schools I just mentioned. Obviously, the inner-city school would be closed down for underperformance. What happens to the students who attended there? Since all students are entitled under the law to a "free and appropriate public education," they have to be put somewhere. Let's say there is room available at the ritzy suburban school, which is obviously a "better school" of which Duncan spoke. Let's say students from the now closed-down inner-city school are sent to the "better" school in the ritzy suburbs. When that happens, just how long do you think that the ritzy suburban school is going to remain a "better school"? Just how long do you think it will take for the parents who send their kids to that "better school" to yank out their kids and send them to either private school or another "better school," leaving the previous "better school" to become another underperforming school? Imagine this scenario being played out thousands of times over, all across the nation.

Spreading failing students to other schools is not going to solve the problem. In this blogger's humble opinion, the only way to solve the problem is to make attendance in school a privilege again, rather than a right. As long as disruptive and ambivalent students are kept captive in our schools, nothing will improve. Let them go find out how fun the real world is without being coddled in the surreal world of our current educational system. Additionally, the social safety net that makes being kicked out of school or dropping out of school look more attractive needs to be seriously curtailed.

I am all for evaluating teacher performance, and merit pay, and paying teachers more for subjects that are hard to fill (math, special ed). The problem is when you take a private business model like that and then apply it to a public institution with all the inertia and bureaucratic nonsense that comes with it. If I were in charge, I would close down the public - read: government - school system tomorrow and privatize the whole dang thing, but I know that won't happen in the foreseeable future. The most frustrating thing for me is watching the deck chairs be arranged over and over again on our Titanic educational system. All I can do is sit helpless and watch.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"...Boy?" Really?

I have been totally swamped at work, hence my dearth of posts recently. I did have time, however, to take note of the whole "You lie!" controversy that took place when Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina uttered his now-famous two word exclamation during President Obama's speech defending his so-called health care reforms - a speech in which he repeatedly... well... lied. Go Joe.

There had already been many past mutterings from the loony Left that any criticism of Obama was based on his race, but Wilson's utterance, and the huge anti-Obamacare rally that took place in Washington D.C. on 9/12/09 opened the flood gates of vitriol against anyone questioning our Dear Leader. Pretty soon you had everyone on the Left - including a Jew-hating ex-president - declaring that all the criticism of Obama was being committed by racists.

Of all the declarations of that preposterous and slanderous lie, the worst was from that hateful little shrew at the New York Times, Maureen Dowd. In a hilarious episode of pop-psychological projection, Dowd insisted that Wilson hadn't just yelled, "You lie!" No, what he was really yelling - we just couldn't hear it - was, "You lie, Boy!" Gosh, Maureen, Rep. Wilson said nothing of the kind... but you certainly did. Attributing the utterance to Rep. Wilson does nothing to change the fact that Dowd is the one who verbalized it. We don't know that Wilson was thinking "Boy", and I'm sure he wasn't. I can't say the same for Maureen Dowd, as apparently that is what she was thinking.

Try as I might to explain this whole situation, a writer far more talented than I has scribbled a much better roundup. I urge you to read National Review's Jonah Goldberg's thoughts on this subject. Here is a snippet or two to get you started:
And, yes, a tiny, tiny fraction of the signs at the Tea Party protests last weekend were racially insensitive. But if that’s how we’re going to score, then opposition to the Iraq War is anti-Semitic. After all, I saw a bunch of signs at antiwar protests that said bigoted things about Jews...

Left-wing writers spent the week droning on about how it’s now racist to say “I want my country back.” These amnesiacs are blissfully unaware that “taking back” America was the rallying cry of the Democratic party for eight years under George W. Bush. Anti-white racists all...?
Read the rest. I thought Goldberg - author of the stupendous book Liberal Fascism - was dead on.

Good Day to You, Sir

Dumbest. politician. ever

I have seen cities issue policies that prohibit local police agencies from engaging in high-speed car pursuits, but how about prohibiting pursuits on foot? Sallie Peake, the mayor of Wellford, South Carolina, has issued just such an order. If I had simply read an article about this insanity, I would have thought that Ms. Peake was stupid enough, but then I saw this video of her as she defended her policy to a skeptical reporter. I hope that the people who voted this numbskull into office are very proud.

This woman has the intelligence of a sack of hammers.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, September 14, 2009

RIP, Patrick Swayze

I can imagine how my parents felt when the actors of their generation began dying off. Now I am getting a taste of it as well. Despite his horrid personal life, I must admit that I have always loved much of Michael Jackson's music; I grew up listening to it. How weird it was when he died this summer. Similarly, I can track the years of my youth by thinking of movies starring Patrick Swayze. When I was the same age as the middle school students I now teach, I remember watching Uncommon Valor and Red Dawn. In high school, it was Dirty Dancing and Road House. In college, it was Ghost and Point Break.

Thank goodness for the DVD player.

Good Day to You, Sir

Finally, Obama and I agree on something

I have written about the rude and racist antics of egomaniac extraordinaire Kanye West when he made an ass of himself on the post-Hurricane Katrina telethon in which he announced that "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

In the wake of Kanye's idiotic behavior toward Taylor Swift at the increasingly irrelevant MTV Video Music Awards, it seems that our president is not all that impressed with Kanye West either, apparently calling him a "jackass" during an unguarded and off-the-record moment with the press.

On the other hand, Obama does seem to think that thuggish hip-hop rappers like Jay-Z and Ludacris are a-ok. So, he had me, then he lost me. Oh well.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Ah, the sound of freedom

I took my 5 year-old son to the Capital Air Show at Mather Air Field this Saturday. I took him last year and he loved it, but we were only there for a couple of hours starting in the early afternoon, and by the end, he was ready to go.

Not so this year. This time, we got there around 11am, and I had to drag him away even after the final act - the Air Force Thunderbirds - had finished their show after 4pm! We toured the static display airplanes, watched as many demonstrations as we could, ate lunch, and frequented the World War II display of American and German uniforms and weapons. We both handled the M-1 Garand, M-1 Carbine, British .303 Enfield, Bazooka, Sturmgehwer 44 and MP-40 submachine guns, and the Kar-98k rifle. If you know your weapons, that was quite an impressive list.

I thought I would include a few photos. I can think of few things that are harder to photograph than an airshow. Your target is moving so quickly, and it always looks so much smaller in the photo than it did in real life. All I can do is incorporate the plane(s) into the larger shot and hope for something dramatic. That is made much easier when you are blessed with the skies we had on Saturday afternoon:

My favorite demonstrations to watch are the aerobatic prop-job airplanes that do flips and tumbles which seem physically impossible, both for the aircraft and for the pilot. Unfortunately, photos of these demonstrations don't show the tiny little one-seat aircraft very well. That is why I enjoy the big planes being put through their paces. The C-17 Globemaster III has no problem filling my viewfinder. This aluminum overcast was designed to get in and out of small airfields, and with its reverse thrusters and incredible thrust-to-weight ratio, it can take off and land on a virtual dime. On the ground, it can even travel in reverse!

And then of course, the final act of the day was the Air Force Thunderbirds. If I can think of one word to describe my feelings when these planes zoom and whoosh overhead, that word would be "proud." It truly is the sound of freedom!

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, September 11, 2009

When all doubt was removed

At 6:03am PDT on September 11, 2001, my wife and I were getting ready for work, and as we usually did, we had the T.V. on so we could catch the morning news. On that day at that time, we were both looking at the screen, transfixed, as we tried to comprehend how an airplane could fly into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. It was at that moment that I watched the black image of a large jet airplane flash into the screen and then disappear behind the north tower. An instant later, a gigantic fireball burst from the other tower.

The human brain works in strange ways when confronted with a stressful situation. I will never forget my first thought when I watched that second plane hit the World Trade Center. My thought was, "Good Lord, there is an air traffic controller out there somewhere who is screwing up very badly right now." A few seconds later, the comments of the witnessing newscasters snapped me out of it when they said that there was no doubt now that all this was on purpose.

If you can stand it, watch this compilation of news footage of the moment when all doubt was removed that the horrific happenings of that September morning 8 years ago were no accident:

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

In Memoriam: Joan Francis

Three years ago, I profiled Christopher Faughnan, who died in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. I have linked the profile to his name if you wish to read it. I wrote about Mr. Faughnan as a part of the 2,996 Project, which was begun to help remember the 2,996 innocent people who were killed on September 11, 2001 in the World Trade Center, in the hijacked airplanes, or in the Pentagon. The way the Project works is that bloggers sign up to honor one or more victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The person I was assigned is a woman named Joan Francis. While I found all kinds of information for Christopher Faughnan, it was very difficult to find any information on Ms. Francis. After Googling her name, I noticed that on list after list of all the 9/11 victims, Ms. Francis was the only person on the entire list who did not have her age and town/state of residence listed beside her name. I found one website that quoted a government official from the Carribean island nation of Trinidad-Tobago identifying Ms. Francis as being a citizen of that country.

The lack of information or photos of Ms. Francis saddened me greatly, as I could not find out if there is anyone - friends or family - who miss her or give tribute to her memory. So Joan Francis of Trinidad-Tobago, although I have never met you; I don't know what you look like; I have no idea what kind of person you were or what kind of life you led; I do know that you were present in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and you deserve to be remembered and honored for giving your life on that horrible day that still haunts my dreams.

God Bless you, and Good Day to You, Joan Francis


Is it the British Parliament on C-SPAN?

I thought it was for a moment while I was listening to Obama's speech in my car on the way home from work this afternoon. Right after Obama told the joint session of Congress that any health care bill signed by him would not provide free access for illegal aliens, I heard a low ruckus from the audience, and one member yell, "You lie!" Wow! I don't think I have ever heard anything like that emanate from a congressional audience while any president - Democrat or Republican - was speaking. I am by no means saying it has never happened; I have just never heard it until today.

What was really funny was watching the footage of the incident on YouTube when I got home. When I merely heard it on the radio, I could not see Obama's reaction, and I certainly could not see the look of consternation on Pelosi's tightly stretched mug.

Check it out if you haven't already seen it:

For the record, the man who yelled was Republican Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina. In true squishy Republican fashion, Wilson later issued an apology for his actions. The problem with doing that is that Obama was indeed lying. When Republicans tried to insert language into a possible health care bill that would have specifically excluded funding of illegal aliens and abortion, both amendments were voted down by the Democrats.

Good Day to You, Sir

"His" town hall meeting?

These arrogant congresscritters at their town hall meetings are the gift that keeps on giving and giving. The latest congressional representative to taste his own foot is Democrat (what else is new?) representative from Indiana, Baron Hill, who I think might be taking his first name a little too seriously.

Listen to what he tells a constituent in the audience when she asks him why she cannot film the meeting for a school project:

What was that last statement from congresscritter Hill? "Now the reason why I don't allow filming is because usually the films that are done end up on YouTube in a compromising position." More prophetic words have rarely been spoken soon-to-be-ex-congressman Hill. You just made your future opponent's campaign ad.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, September 07, 2009

Tomorrow's Obama school speech: Yes or No?

If you haven't heard, tomorrow morning, President Obama is going to give a speech to the students of our nation's schools via the website. He and his handlers have insisted that the speech is simply a "stay in school and do your work" pep talk. Tonight, I finally had the opportunity to read and preview his speech, and to tell you the truth, as much as I find the man's politics to be horribly repugnant, the speech isn't half bad.

As long as Obama sticks to simply telling kids to stay in school and what not, I never had a big problem with the speech itself. What I had a major problem with was the fact that until tonight, I could not preview the speech to see exactly what he was going to say. Further, the lesson plan from the Department of Education website that accompanied the speech - which has since been removed - instructed teachers to do such things as have their students write a short essay in which the students would write about how they could help our president. This leaves students with the impression that they work for our president and not the other way around. I would have had a big problem with that assignment.

However, after previewing the speech and seeing the president actually has some rather candid things to say, I believe I will actually show the speech tomorrow. Either live, or delayed, as I am sure it will be instantly posted on YouTube.

Now don't think I have gone all soft on our Marxist Commander in Chief. I am still very wary about having any president piped directly into our nation's schools. Even though his message might be a good one, the precedent that is being set here, no matter how benign the subject matter, is one that needs to be addressed with my students. My first question to them would be to ask how they would feel if President George W. Bush was going to speak to them directly instead of their hero Barack Obama. I will discuss with them the notion that although this speech was very non-offensive, what if future presidents (including Obama himself later in his presidency) use their direct access to the nation's schoolchildren in order to push for policies and legislation that are near and dear to that president's agenda? I will discuss with them how a practice like this could be used or abused in the years to come. I will let my students hear Obama's message in my classroom, but I will still require them to think about discuss the ramifications behind its delivery.

If you want to read the speech yourself before Obama gives it tomorrow, you can read it at this link here. Otherwise, here are some of my favorite passages:

But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Unless you show up to those schools; pay attention to those teachers; listen to your parents, grandparents and other adults; and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has for your education. I want to start with the responsibility you have to yourself...

But at the end of the day, the circumstances of your life – what you look like, where you come from, how much money you have, what you’ve got going on at home – that’s no excuse for neglecting your homework or having a bad attitude. That’s no excuse for talking back to your teacher, or cutting class, or dropping out of school. That’s no excuse for not trying...

I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things.
But the truth is, being successful is hard. You won’t love every subject you study. You won’t click with every teacher. Not every homework assignment will seem completely relevant to your life right this minute. And you won’t necessarily succeed at everything the first time you try...

The story of America isn’t about people who quit when things got tough. It’s about people who kept going, who tried harder, who loved their country too much to do anything less than their best.
It’s the story of students who sat where you sit 250 years ago, and went on to wage a revolution and found this nation. Students who sat where you sit 75 years ago who overcame a Depression and won a world war; who fought for civil rights and put a man on the moon. Students who sat where you sit 20 years ago who founded Google, Twitter and Facebook and changed the way we communicate with each other.
So today, I want to ask you, what’s your contribution going to be? What problems are you going to solve? What discoveries will you make? What will a president who comes here in twenty or fifty or one hundred years say about what all of you did for this country?
I am not above giving credit where credit is due: overall, President Obama's speech is an excellent one. But politically, I still oppose him on every front.

Oh, and one more thing. I noticed that Obama ends his speech with "God Bless America." I wonder if the ACLU is going to sue him for that one. After all, they sued to have schools take down the very same words from their marquees in the wake of September 11, 2001.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The right to own a telephone?!

And to think, this man is a U.S. senator. Mark Warner (D-naturally) of Virginia was holding a town hall meeting in Fredericksburg the other day when a constituent - who is a high school government teacher by the way - asked Senator Warner a very simple question: Under what specific article and section of the Constitution does the government have the power to run our health care system?

Watch the good senator make a fool of himself as he stupidly brings up other unconstitutional government programs to prop up his argument, and then proceeds to forget for whom the Constitution was written:

You might want to reacquaint yourself with the 10th Amendment regarding your telephone argument, Senator.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Buckhorn Road was burning

Well, almost. The reason I haven't posted in the last few days is because I have been without a computer. The reason? On Tuesday morning while I was teaching, I got a very rare phone call on my cell phone. It was my home alarm company informing me that they had received a maintenance signal from our alarm system. There wasn't much I could do about it until I got home. Around 4pm, the fam and I arrived home to find the electricity at our house was completely out in one section of the house, and was doing some strange things in the rest of the house. I would turn on a light, and it would burn at what seemed like 400w, then a few seconds later, it would be barely illuminated like we were having a brownout. Speaking of brownouts, our refrigerator was barely functioning, so I ran an extension cord to another outlet that seemed to be OK. When I plugged in the fridge to the new outlet, it caused the power in the entire house to diminish to almost nothing. There had been such a surge of power in my son's room, that a bulb had burst out of the light fixture on his ceiling fan, and fallen to the floor. The metal part of the bulb was still screwed into the socket. I tested our kitchen chandelier, and turning it on instantly caused two bulbs to burst. To top everything off, the house was permeated with acrid odor of overloaded electrical wire. It was as if our house had been possessed by a poltergeist, and we have come to find out that we were damned lucky our house didn't burn down.

My suspicion was that our 40 year-old circuit panel had finally gone kaput. Nevertheless, I called our local utility company to come take a look. To cut to the chase, it turns out that our next-door neighbor had a tree company in his back yard that morning, and somehow, the workers had managed to either partially cut the powerline running our house, or a felled branch had landed on the powerline and pulled it partially loose from the pole. Either way, the line had lost its ground, and had spent the day surging and diminishing in an effort to find some kind of equilibrium.

Once the utility repairman replaced the damaged line, he told me I might want to go around the house and check if any electrical equipment had been damaged. I began pushing buttons on our electronics to see if anything was ruined. Behold the list of what needs to be replaced:

Computer tower
Home stereo
Home CD player (6 disc changer)
Two DVD players
Mounted microwave oven
Two alarm clocks
$800 of circuitry in our air conditioning system
Cordless weed eater (battery recharger was ruined)
Three ceiling fans
Garage door opener
Dish Network box
Cordless phone
The transformer to our alarm system was blown

Not to mention a visit by an electrician that cost $200 in which he said our breaker panel will probably need to be replaced, and also a day off from work on Friday so I could receive all these technicians who paid a visit.

One of Friday's visitors was a representative from the tree-trimming company who confirmed that it was his workers who caused this mess, and next week, I will be hearing from their insurance company.

One purchase that couldn't wait was a new computer, as we use it for an additional consulting business that my wife and I both do. I saved the receipt.

This experience has already been such a pain, but if I can find any lemonade in this deluge of lemons, at least we will be receiving an upgrade on our computer, stereo, and other older equipment that did not survive the Chanman family electrical massacre of 2009.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Undercover at a town hall meeting

Jason Mattera of the Young America's Foundation has rounded up his brass cajones and given us another wonderful insight into the mind of left-wing ignoramuses who gathered outside a town hall meeting put on by moonbat congressman Jim Moran of Virginia.

Mattera is the one in the Bob Marley garb and the gaudy sunglasses who gives all those kleptocrats out there the opportunity to say what they are really thinking.

Creepiest part of the video: The long-of-tooth hippy who speaks of the collective "It."

For more of Mattera's hilarious and downright ballsy antics, just enter his name in the search engine feature at the top of the screen.

Good Day to You, Sir