Thursday, September 29, 2011

You can't make this sh** up!

Those words are often uttered by my wife after she regales me with yet another story of something that happened that day at her school where she teaches first grade.

While I teach in a middle to lower-middle class school, my wife teaches at a school that is located smack dab in poverty central. With neighborhoods in which the majority of residents live under the poverty threshold, there is always a certain amount of dysfunction to be found there.

Case in point:

Today, my wife watched as her principal affixed a district police officer sticker to the chest of a female first grader who had found and turned in a baggy of marijuana that she had discovered on a bench near the playground.

Later, my wife asked the student how she even knew that what she found was a bag of pot. The student told my wife, "Oh, I know what that stuff is. I see my mom and dad smoke it all the time."

You can't make this sh** up.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Teacher invokes Godwin's Law, proves to be an embarrassment to the profession

Although no one can ever accuse me of not being a political conservative, my participation in the teaching profession does often put me at odds with my fellow conservatives regarding the conventional wisdom about teachers and teaching.

One assumption conservatives often have about teachers is that they are all a bunch of raving left wing wackos. While I can attest that many of them are, I stand as living proof that this is definitely not always the case. And hey, my wife is a teacher, and she is conservative, too.

What doesn't help counter this blanket accusation of leftitude is knuckleheads like this high school government teacher who recently spoke at a Tea Party forum that focused on illegal immigration. The teacher was reduced to invoking Godwin's Law, which states that when one is losing a political argument with his debating opponent, you can be assured that the losing debater will call his opponent a Nazi. Watch:

How old is this teacher? 12? Aside from simply using the "N-word", just the way he calls the guy a Nazi betrays him as a snot-nose little punk who, when he was in high school, probably had upperclassmen shoving each other out of the way to see who could make him push a penny down the hall with his nose.

And shame on him for dragging his minion-esque students to the forum to serve as props. This guy should do himself a favor and find another line of work. If he taught my kids, I would pull them out of his class yesterday.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The true power of the Reno air race crash

I'm sure you have all heard of the tragedy near Reno, Nevada when a souped-up P-51 Mustang nose-dived into a crowd of spectators near the tarmac, killing 10 (so far).

Most of the videos I have seen were taken quite a distance away, so you see the explosion, but it seems like a major puff of dust. This video I found today is not like that. The person who filmed this was so close to the impact zone, I wouldn't be surprised if he was hit with flying shrapnel. The sound of the plane just before it hit, and the sound of the collision with the ground are truly horrifying:

Naturally, there are those who are calling for the air races to be permanently cancelled, and in some cases, all air races. I am not one of them. Heck, I didn't even know these air races happened every year, but now that I do, I would love to go!

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Friday, September 16, 2011

Medal of Honor: Sergeant Dakota Meyer, U.S. Marine Corps

For only the second time since the Vietnam War, a member of the U.S. Armed Forces has survived to receive his Medal of Honor in person rather than posthumously.

Sergeant Dakota Meyer, USMC, was presented with the nation's highest award for valor by President Obama, and judging from what I have read about his actions, he deserves it and then some.

Here is his citation:
Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer's daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy's attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
I continue to live in awe of these seemingly ordinary men who, when called, did something extraordinary. I am also happy to see that in an age when every kid gets a trophy, and even when the criteria to receive some lower military awards, such as the Bronze Star, have been watered down, the criteria for receiving the Medal of Honor are as exacting as they have ever been. The combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has dragged on for almost exactly 10 years now, and in that time, only 10 Medals of Honor have been awarded, for an average of one per year.

My hat is off to Sgt Dakota Meyer. Well done!

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

The Solyndra scandal for dummies

If you have any confusion about what exactly is happening with the scandal involving the now-defunct solar panel manufacturing company Solyndra and its ties to the Obama administration, then this should clear it up for you.

My thanks to Atlanta talk radio host Neal Boortz for breaking it down for us:
  • Obama decides that he is the one who will decide where the new jobs will be, and he wants green jobs. Green jobs make liberals happy.
  • Since Obama thinks that green jobs are cool, he decides to throw taxpayer money to private businesses who promise him green jobs.
  • Solyndra needs money. So Solyndra gets in line for some ObamaMoney.
  • Obama thinks that Solyndra is the perfect backdrop for his green jobs program, so he designates Joe Biden to go make a speech at the groundbreaking for a new Solyndra facility.
  • But wait! Solyndra has applied for a $500 million plus loan guarantee, and the application hasn’t been approved yet!
  • Obama’s own Office of Management and Budget tells him that the loan isn’t a very good idea.
  • Obama remembers, though, that Solyndra principal George Kaiser is huge contributor to his campaign.
  • Emails fly at the White House. Some suggesting that the loan guarantee isn’t a good idea, some saying we need to move ahead on this project.
  • Somewhere along the line the loan agreement is modified to protect Solyndra investors while putting the American taxpayers on the hook.
  • Obama administration officials actually sat in on some Solyndra board meetings while all of this, and Solyndra finances, were being discussed. (Imagine of Bush administration officials had sat in on Enron board meetings.)
  • The loan guarantee goes through. The administration gets their day in the sun with Joe Biden speaking at Solyndra headquarters.
  • About a year later Solyndra is in the tank.
  • The taxpayers take it on the chin for over $500 milllion.
  • The Democrats blame Bush, saying that the loan application happened during the Bush administration, not Obama’s.
  • The Republicans are rude enough to point out that the Bush administration rejected the Solyndra loan application. It only gained new life when Obama took office and started spouting off about green jobs.
  • The FBI raids Solyndra headquarters.
  • Democrats and the Obama folks go into pure defense mode.
  • Where does this go from here? That is going to depend on whether or not the ObamaMedia is compelled to really cover the story.
I continue to be amused by what the news media decides is a scandal and what is not. I can pretty much guarantee you that had Nixon and Reagan been Democrat presidents and taken the same exact actions that they did when they were president, the terms "Watergate" and "Iran-Contra" would not be in our national consciousness. Tell me I'm wrong.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I would check for the union label, but whatever is written on it is probably too profane to read

If you haven't heard about the longshoremen strike up in Washington state that turned violent and felonious, then I'm not surprised. Somehow, the lamestream media isn't too enthused about reporting on the nefarious activities of one of Obama's and the Democrats' core constituencies.

During their strike/attack at a grain shipping terminal in Longview, Washington, these upstanding union members:

1. Threw rocks and sprayed pepper spray at police officers.
2. Restrained commerce by blocking trains on railroad tracks.
3. Cut brake lines on train cars.
4. Destroyed other property such as vehicles and building windows.
5. Assaulted several security guards and took them hostage.

Golly, just think what kind of national news coverage this would have received had these people been Tea Party activists. Think the coverage would have been sparse? Or positive? Instead, the very day that these union thugs did all this, the leader of their parent union, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, was a guest of honor at President Obama's speech given before a joint session of Congress.

One of the union thugs who - allegedly - carried out multiple crimes that day was one Ronald Patrick Stavas, age 45, of Kelso, Washington. One of Stavas' - alleged - victims identified him after viewing video of him "confronting" - in the words of a Clark County, Washington newspaper - a KGW TV news crew.

Somehow, I think the word "confronting" doesn't quite convey the magnitude of the abuse that the KGW crew received at the hands of Mr. Stavas. After listening and watching to his actions and words, I have little trouble doubting that he was capable of committing some of the crimes that were carried out at the Longview shipping facility. What Mr. Stavas didn't think through was that TV news cameras tend to have playback ability. What you are about to watch is absolutely, positively NOT SAFE FOR WORK, so turn down those speakers:

Remember, according to The Narrative, it is the Tea Party that is violent.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

I wonder if Obama employed this strategy the first time he tried to get laid?

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is starting to look like the wheels are coming off the bus in the Obama administration and - after last night's shellacking in New York and Nevada - the Democrat party as a whole. How desperate does Dear Leader sound when he says something like this?

As one comment from another blog retorted to Obama: "If you love me, you'll resign!"

Is this man really the President of the United States? Please tell me it is all a bad dream.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Talk about a rebuke to Obama!

If the Democrats have lost the voters of the Brooklyn/Queens congressional district that sent raging statist Anthony Weiner to the House of Representatives seven times, then the times, they might be a-changin'.

Tonight, in the special election to replace Weiner the Perv, Republican Bob Turner defeated Democrat David Weprin. Most of the votes have come in, and Turner is currently leading Weprin by 54%-46%.

It was pretty impressive when Massachusetts sent Republican Scott Brown to the Senate, but with two Republican governors (Weld and Romney) in its recent past, and the fact that it is easier for a candidate of the opposite party to appeal to an entire state rather than just a single congressional district (think a Republican trying to get elected in Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco district versus getting the whole state of California to approve him) I would say that Turner's win in New York City is even more impressive. Anthony Weiner was one of the most leftist members of the House, and Obama won that district in 2008 with a comfortable 55% of the vote.

Don't get me wrong though; never ever count out the cult-like following who will vote for Barack Obama next year no matter how destructive and/or incompetent he is. This election in New York may or may not be an indicator of how the 2012 election will go, but I can assure you that Obama will not go quietly. If you think he can lose on his record, keep in mind that Franklin Roosevelt was president during sustained periods of 20+% unemployment, yet the voters kept sending him back three more times.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

"Bow" or "Bow"? - As it turns out, President Obama knows about neither

I have finally had the opportunity to view some of last Sunday's 9/11 ten-year commemoration coverage. Most of it was done in a respectful and somber manner, even to a fault it seemed - this morning, local talk radio duo Armstrong and Getty expressed their disdain at Sunday's "griefgasm" that included a commercial showing the Budweiser horses bowing toward New York City.

What left me most appalled at Sunday's coverage was the speech given by our Dear Leader at the site of the World Trade Center Memorial. President Obama, who, after attending Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ for 20+ years and says he prays every day and should know something about the Bible, made a faux-pas that I believe ranks up there with the time he called a Navy Corpsman a "Corpse-man."

Obama was reciting (reading off his teleprompter) the 46th Psalm, which talks about snapping a spear and breaking a bow... as in a bow and arrow. Since Obama is actually unfamiliar with the Bible seeing as how all his church talked about was hating America and hating whitey, and is also unfamiliar with all things military, as his "Corpse-man" mispronunciation shows, it is no shocker that Obama flubbed his 46th Psalm reading by pronouncing "bow" the other way, such as: "Bow before the Japanese Emperor, a Saudi ruler, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives."

Hey Barry, you want to know how to properly recite the 46th Psalm? Let Color Sergeant Bourne from Zulu show you how it's done. God, I love this movie:

But wait, our Dear Leader wasn't done making an ass of himself. Since he is so good at bowing, you would think he would know that if there is anyone to whom you should bow your head, it is not the Emperor of Japan or some Saudi potentate, but to God. Did Obama do that? Yeah right:

If you look up "juxtaposition" in the dictionary, the above image should be included there. Doesn't this just tell you everything you need to know about the arrogant, narcissistic man-child that currently occupies our Oval Office? How can he bow before God when he is too busy working on his Mussolini impression? This one has always been my favorite:

If Obama had any shred of dignity left, he would "bow" out of the 2012 election and go back to Chicago.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, September 11, 2011

In Memorium: September 11, 2001

On the 5th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, I posted a memorial to one of the victims of those attacks. I did this as part of an Internet project called 2,996: Honoring the Victims of 9/11. Three years later, I took part again, and posted a new memorial to a different victim. Both of them died at the World Trade Center. Even though it has been five years and two years respectively since I posted these memorials, I have received occasional comments about them, including two comments just in the past couple of days. Obviously the victims' names were Googled by interested parties, and they came across my posts.

Sadly enough, I never saw any project advertised like the one five or two years ago, so I have decided to repost the two memorials I wrote in 2006 and 2009. The first memorial that I wrote in 2006 is for Christopher Faughnan:

Christopher Faughnan, 1963-2001

I recently told you that I, along with thousands of other bloggers, signed up to honor a victim of the Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It is now time for me to carry out my promise. I know I am early (I am writing this on 9/6/06), but I think Mr. Faughnan deserves more than one day, don't you?

Christopher Faughnan was born on October 31, 1963 in Colorado. He attended the University of Colorado, Boulder, graduating in 1985. Chris met his wife Cathy while both were undergraduates at CU. He was working as a security guard, she as a lifeguard. One day, Cathy held up a piece of paper to Chris that said, "Cute Butt."

Chris and Cathy had three children: Siena, Juliet, and Liam. The Faughnan family lived in South Orange, New Jersey and Chris worked as a government bond trader at Cantor Fitzgerald Securities, which was located on floors 101-105 in the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

When Chris got home every weekday at 6:30 p.m. from his job, "he would get the kids all crazy," Cathy said. "They would jump around him, laughing and kissing him." Chris and Cathy bought a minivan, and Chris ferried the three children to art classes, gymnastic practice, ballet lessons and soccer games.

According to Chris's younger brother Michael, Chris was a, "compassionate, respectful and generous man. He stood in defense of our environment, volunteered his time and money in support of human rights, and gave unselfishly to help disadvantaged, vulnerable members of our society. He spoke openly against unjust government policies, and followed a private ethic of compassion."

On the morning of September 11, 2001, Chris was working in his office in the North Tower. At about 8:30am, Chris had talked to his youngest daughter, Juliet, who was four years old at the time. Chris cajoled Juliet into saying "I love you" to him. Juliet was the last Faughnan family member to speak to Chris. At 8:46am, Islamic terrorists piloting American Airlines Flight 11 struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center just below the offices of Cantor Fitzgerald. Chris was one of 658 employees of Cantor Fitzgerald who died that awful day. Chris Faughnan, husband and father of three, was 37 years old.

After Chris's death, Cathy and the children moved to Boulder, Colorado to be closer to family.

In a November 2003 tribute to his brother, Michael Faughnan had this to say about Chris:
"There are many adjectives I could use to describe my brother, but words always fall short. So I guess I'll just identify a scene perhaps many may relate to. It may sound superficial but it really is quite telling. You know when you're in a bar and there's somebody in the group that looks to you and says, 'what are you drinking?' and he comes back with three or four drinks for others - that's an example of Chris. Not keeping score on who buys the next round, but because he wants you to have a beer and not pay for it.

So the next time somebody buys you a beer - not expecting one in return- think of my brother."

God Bless you, and Good Day to You, Christopher Faughnan


Next is the memorial I wrote in 2009 for 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


God Bless these two people, the thousands of other victims who died that day, and also the thousands of American servicemembers who have died in the wars that were born out of the aftermath of that day ten years ago that changed the United States forever.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Ten Years Later: September 11, 2001

Where were you when you first heard or saw the news? My wife and I were getting ready for work. This was before kids, so we always had the TV tuned to the local news as we got ready. At around 5:50am PST, the local news cut away to a special report, saying that apparently, an airplane had crashed into the World Trade Center and one of the towers was on fire. At that time, they didn't know if it was an accident or what kind of plane it was.

As my wife and I watched the smoke rise from the gaping hole in the top of the North Tower, I watched another airplane flash into view from the right side of the screen. It disappeared behind the towers, and then a split second later, a giant fireball filled the screen. I'm sure you have seen this footage yourself.

It is crazy how the mind works during a stressful moment. Even after I watched the second plane fly into the South Tower, I will always remember my first thought, which was, "Man, there is some air traffic controller who is royally screwing up." My mind still hadn't wrapped itself around the fact that this was a terrorist attack! Talk about having a "September 10th" mentality.

As the morning quickly unfolded, my wife and I had to continue getting ready for work. But when news came in that the Pentagon had been hit as well, that is when I called my parents. My Dad answered the phone, and I will always remember what I said. I asked, "Are you watching the TV?" He said he wasn't. I told him, "Turn on the news right now!"

I wasn't teaching in 2001; I was still working full time at the California National Guard State Headquarters in the Inspector General office. I had called in earlier to ask if they wanted us to come in and they said to wait and they would call. They finally did call at about 6:45am and said come in to work. It was during my drive to work that the news on the car radio announced that the South Tower had collapsed. That was 6:59am PST. I got into my office and the rest of the staff already had the TV on. We watched the North Tower collapse at 7:28am PST. After the North Tower collapsed, the leadership at the CalGuard HQ changed their minds and sent everyone home. My wife was not so lucky. She attempted to teach her 1st graders for the rest of the day, but not much teaching was accomplished. She was told that she could not talk about it with her class (understandable with six year olds). Every recess she shuffled her students out as fast as possible so she could turn on the TV. As for me, I spent the rest of the day in front of the television with a perpetual look of astonishment on my face. When one of the newscasters said that, based on how many people worked in the World Trade Center on a typical day, as many as 30,000 people could have been killed, I burst into tears.

As the day wore on, I also tried to digest the news that a fourth plane had been crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. By the time my wife got home, she and I were both absolutely numb.

In the years since that awful day, our entire society has changed. Life has almost become Orwellian, as we live in an increasingly repressive police state with the TSA molesting and manhandling us at the airport; we live in a state of perpetual warfare in such places as Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya ("We have always been at war with Eastasia"); and through laws like the PATRIOT Act, the federal government has the ability to conduct surveillance on Americans that, while the feds insist now that abuses of these laws cannot happen, there is no guarantee that these laws will not be abused in the future, if they are not being abused already. Creeping tyranny in this country has become so pronounced that, more often than not, I question which I should fear more: Islamic terrorism or the actions of my own federal and state governments? What should I fear more: the one in lightning-strike chance that I or my family could be killed in a terrorist attack, or the almost 100% chance that the legislature and governor of my home state of California are - through Assembly Bill 144 - about to shut off any method for me to defend myself and my family with a firearm? What should I fear more: A one in a lightning-strike chance that Islamic terrorists will kill me or my family, or a fifty-fifty chance that due to job-killing and crony-protecting laws, regulations, and spending passed by the federal government, my wife and I will lose our livelihoods, our home, and God knows what else?

My children were born in 2004 and 2006. They will never know an America as it existed before September 11, 2001; just as I, having been born in 1972, will never know the America that existed before the national cultural and financial upheaval that began in the mid-to-late 1960s. Even after the 1960s ended, I like to think that the United States still enjoyed just a smidgen of innocence in the decades that followed. I believe that smidgen of innocence was extinguished on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, and I don't know if we will ever get it back. The thought that my children are growing up in the roiling cauldron that is Post-9/11 America pains my wife and me to no end.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Who do U.S. military members like better, Obama or Bush?

h/t to Bookworm Room (see blogroll):

Say what you will about George W. Bush (and I have plenty, and it isn't pretty), it was always very obvious that he was loved by the servicemembers he commanded. Just watch this rousing reception when Bush was introduced to a crowd of Marines during his presidency:

Now contrast that with the reception a group of what looks to be Marines and Navy personnel gave Obama just the other day. Notice what it takes to get them to finally applaud:

Can't say I blame them. I ended my 12-year stint in the U.S. Army and National Guard during Bush's presidency, but I served all four years of my active duty under Bill Clinton. I swear to you, I felt more honored to serve under Clinton than I would under Obama. Left-wing politics aside, at least Clinton has some wisp of masculine gravitas to him. Obama is just a preening metrosexual who I can't imagine would last more than a week in the military.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Agency Fee Payers: It's that time of year again

It is time once again for the yearly ritual that teachers like me who are not members of the California Teachers Association (CTA) must accomplish if we wish to get back a portion of the union dues that we are nonetheless forced by law to pay to the CTA if we want to continue teaching in this benighted state.

California is a "closed shop" or "non-right to work" state whose laws force teachers like me to pay approximately $900 in annual dues to the CTA, even if I am not a member. Luckily, I get about $300 of that money back, as that is the approximate amount of my dues that the CTA uses, not for work related issues, but for political activism - the lion's share of that money going to Leftist/Statist/Democrat causes. If a member of the CTA wants that money back, he has to donate it a charity that is on a CTA-approved list. If the member simply wants the money back free and clear, he must quit the CTA, as I have done.

If you are a conservative teacher like me who is sick of having his money forcibly confiscated and used to support causes that disgust you, you can get that money back. And as for liability insurance and all those benefits that that CTA promises its members? You can use your $300 refund to buy better benefits from the Association of American Educators (AAE), who are linked in my blogroll at left. I have been a member for about five years now, and I couldn't be happier with them.

For further information, you can also check out the California Teachers Empowerment Network (CTEN), who also writes about such issues, and can also be found on my blogroll.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

A bumper sticker that would make Orwell blush

Traveling the highways and byways of the Sacramento area on a daily basis gives me witness to occasional displays of stupidity on the bumpers of people's cars.

On my way home from work this afternoon, I glimpsed a bumper sticker that said this:


Really? So which part of this stance is "pro-child"? Is it when a pair of scissors is inserted into the back of the baby's skull? Is it when a baby is torn and picked out of the womb, limb by limb? Is it when a still-alive baby that has just been aborted is shuffled off in a bucket to the corner of the room where he or she dies slowly and painfully?

At this point, a naysayer throws the usual argument at me that it is just as well that these abortions take place because many of these aborted babies would have been born into terrible circumstances such as poverty and abuse. To that I say, if this is your criteria for playing God and deciding who is born and who isn't, then why should we stop at the unborn? My wife and I both teach in pretty dysfunctional parts of town. We could give you quite a lengthy list of elementary and middle school-age kids who live absolutely miserable lives, and this jackwagon driving the car with that bumper sticker could end their misery right quick. Heck it makes more sense to kill these kids who have been born, as we know they live miserable lives, whereas with unborn babies, we can only guess. I know this is quite a swiftian proposition I am making here, but it is a road that has been traveled before in world history.

When I was young and dumb, I considered myself "pro-choice." Now that I am a father of two children, I definitely don't think that way anymore, but I actually changed my stance in my mid-20s, years before I had kids of my own. I think what changed my views on abortion the most was a news story sometime in 1998 out of Montana - or some state up in the northwest - where a pregnant woman was jailed and slated for trial on charges that she was using illegal drugs while pregnant, thereby abusing her unborn baby. So you know how she got the child abuse charges dropped and gained her freedom? She got an abortion. Think about it: She skated on the charges of abusing her baby by killing her baby.

Let's put that on a bumper sticker.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Yeah, more debt. That'll do it!

So, our Dear Leader wants to stack $300 billion more onto our already out-of-control debt.

Just to remind you of what this means, check out how far we have come and where we are headed; and keep in mind that the red bars begin the same year as Obama's presidency:

It's as if the house was on fire when Firefighter Obama arrived, but he started spraying it with a tanker truck full of gasoline.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Technical difficulties repaired?

That was weird. I had to copy and paste the last three posts onto a Word document, and then delete them off the blog. I then reposted them, and my menu is back up on the left side. Hopefully, this was a permanent fix.

I am getting sick of Blogger; maybe I'll switch to WordPress.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Representative Wilson, meet Mayor Nutter

I don't know how this clown got past my radar, as I had never heard of her until today. Florida Congresscritter Frederica Wilson appeared on MSNBC yesterday to explain the reasons that blacks in the United States are being affected by the Great Recession more than other ethnic groups. Her list was of the tired, unimaginative, cliched variety that included racism, of course. She also mentioned this digital divide that supposedly exists.

And then there is the hat. Apparently wearing a ridiculous hat everywhere she goes is this woman's schtick. She has even petitioned House Speaker John Boehner to drop the "No hats in the House Chamber" rule that has been in place since 1837. Wearing a hat like this while performing your official duties as a sitting member of the United States Congress is an absolute disgrace, and this woman should be ashamed of herself. I get the feeling however that shame is not something that is part of her personality profile. Enough of my written description of this clown; don't just read the transcript, roll the tape!
When you look at African American males, 40% of them are unemployed, those under 30 years of age. I understand exactly the entire nation must be involved in this recovery but the black community is experiencing a great recession. That's what we're experiencing... And all of the growth in the past 30 years, we see it slipping away. From home ownership, the middle class; it's slipping away from our hands. And it has a lot to do with many issues. Racism, shipping jobs overseas, access -- no access to technology. You know, the digital divide is there and many of the new jobs that's what it requires. So, we have a problem.
For good measure, this same Congresscritter referred to the Tea Party as "the real enemy" in a speech she gave yesterday. Frederica Wilson apparently decided to join the Civility Brigade with Maxine Waters.

As for Wilson's concern about why black Americans under the age of 30 are especially having trouble finding work, I refer her to the words spoken by the Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael Nutter (who is also black).

In his speech last week to a Philadelphia church congregation about the mobs of young blacks who are tearing that city apart, Mayor Nutter doesn't blame the problems that young blacks face finding a job on racism, shipping jobs overseas, or the digital divide. His reasons are a bit less esoteric:

I'll tell you one thing - if I was interviewing job candidates, and one walked in wearing a hat as ridiculous as that worn by Frederica Wilson, I would toss that application in the trash as soon as the person walked through my door.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson

Now that's what I call school spirit!

Some parents at our kids' elementary school told my wife about a YouTube video made last May by a local middle school that you just have to see.

With our educational system the way it is, government bureaucrats would look at these students not studying their language arts and math and shake their heads with a tsk, tsk. However, years from now, when they are all grown up, these students will never forget what they did in this video and the work they did preparing for it.

The best part is that this is the school to which my kids are slated to attend when they reach middle school. Knowing what can go on in middle schools (after all, I teach in one), it does my heart well, and my wife's heart well, to know that this is the kind of enthusiasm and spirit that awaits our children in a few years:

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free... it expects what never was, and never will be." -Thomas Jefferson