Sunday, September 30, 2007


My favorite political cartoonists of all time - Cox and Forkum - have decided to call it quits. I have posted many an image from them, including my tribute post to 9/11 just a couple weeks ago. Every one of their cartoons were home runs; they drew no foul balls.

Of all the cartoons I have posted from them over the last two years, this one is my favorite:

Nothing like one more jab at that idiot Jimmy "Dhimmi" Carter as I bid adieu to Cox and Forkum. I will so miss their work. They plan on keeping up their site indefinitely as an archive, so I will be moving their link on my blogroll to the Reference section at the bottom of the roll.

Good Day to You, Gentlemen, and thanks for all the laughing and thinking.

Sunday Bee again

Welcome SacBee readers! My recent post on the European trend of handing teachers microphones to be heard above their chatty students is featured today in the Forum section of the Sunday Sacramento Bee. The post in the Bee was edited for space, so if you want to read the entire thing, I highly suggest you click the link, or scroll down to my previous posts.

Good Day to You, Sir

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Another parental encounter

Chalk up my second tongue-clucking parent meeting of the year. A mother wanted to know why her student was failing. Quite simple really: he didn't turn in any homework, or produce any homework when I checked it at the students' desks, as I am known to often do. He is also totally distracted by the crowd he hangs out with, as I was filled in by his previous teacher that he aspires to be a hard-core gangster rapper. You should see this kid's MySpace page - Yeesh!

When speaking of my frustrations about this meeting with my wife, I was having trouble coming up with the words to describe the disposition of the mother. The attitude of the mother might be described as one of seething, yet repressed hostility towards me. Another that comes to mind would be silent contempt. She was cold, emotionless, talked barely above a whisper the entire time, and looked at me like I was some kind of insect.

It turns out that her son did do a lot of the work for which he received no credit. That's what happens when you do the homework, and then fail to turn it in or show it to me. I will always be mystified by that sub-group of students who do their work and then just don't manage to get it to the teacher. What a waste. Where the mom got angry - and started personally attacking me in a diplomatic manner - was when I refused to give her son credit for the work. Like it or not, I have a no-late-work policy; it is in writing in the syllabus, it has been made known to the parents since week one of the school year. You may not agree with it, but you must abide by it, and this student didn't abide by it. I couldn't get the mother to understand that just doing the work isn't good enough; you have to prove to me that you did it. Her son failed to do that; I'm not exactly sure how. How many times did I announce to the class to get out their homework? How many times did I walk up to this student and ask where his homework was, and all I got was a "I didn't do it" or a shrug of the shoulders?

For an hour, that mother brought up the same arguments over and over again, practically browbeating me in an effort to get me to cave and accept her son's work. Believe me, when this quiet, intimidating woman was this relentless, of course it was tempting to just put the numbers into the gradebook. However, the fallout would be severe. Her son would go to his little cadre of buddies and brag about how his moms got Mr. Chanman to give in. So the next time I wouldn't accept a late assignment from someone, guess what the first thing the student would say? You let so-and-so turn in his stuff late!

When a request for an exception didn't work, the mother began questioning my integrity, my compassion, and my abilities as a teacher. Don't you believe in giving a second chance? Do you believe you have the best interests of your students at heart? If so many of your students aren't turning in your homework, then perhaps you shouldn't assign it anymore. And my favorite: How is it that [my son's] grade didn't start to improve until this meeting was scheduled?

My answers to this mother were simple. Second chances? You bet! The next time there is a homework assignment, make sure I see it or that it's turned in. Also there is the extra credit assignment list on the wall over there - pick one! Best interests? You bet! One of the most valuable lessons that one can learn in life is that failing to carry out your responsibilities can be costly. Being allowed to experience failure often has the effect of motivating a student to not want to experience failure again. Which brings me to my favorite question she asked, which was why his grade didn't improve until our meeting was scheduled. I wish you all could have been there, because by her demeanor and tone in asking this question, what she was doing was insinuating that I had either purposely or accidentally withheld assignment credit from her son, and only started giving him credit for his work when I knew I would have to meet with her. She said it in a very carefully worded way so that it didn't sound like an open accusation, but the insinuation was crystal clear. I didn't even want to go down that confrontational road with her, so I told her that was something she should ask her son, as only he would know the answer. What I wanted to say was that perhaps he started turning in assignments in the last week precisely because he knew she was going to meet with me, so he had better get his butt in gear and raise his grade as to lower the impact of her possible wrath upon him, because I'm sure he knew that I was going to tell her exactly what I told her. Should I have said this to her? I don't know. Sometimes, I am still learning what is and is not an acceptable level of candor when talking to a parent; especially one that was as hostile as she.

A week before the meeting, the student had a 29%. On the day of the meeting, he had a 47%. Today, after another assignment was turned in, he now has a 54%, and this semester isn't over until December. That's what the specter of failure can do for you. Were it not for my "harsh" policy, he would probably still not be turning anything in, because after all, he could just rush a bunch of stuff in at the end for half-credit.

As for the notion of not assigning homework because too many students refuse to do it? Does that really need a response?

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Imagine if auto insurance covered oil changes

That is what John Stossel asks of you in his latest column on our wild and crazy health care system, and the wild and crazy solutions to fix it that have been cooked up by our politicians.

Stossel doesn't lament the fact that supposedly 47 million Americans don't have health insurance; he believes that NO ONE should have health insurance except for catastrophic illness or accident.

I hope you watched 20/20 a couple weeks ago when they dedicated an entire show to our health care and health insurance industry. It was great to watch Stossel make Michael Moore squirm.

Good Day to You, Sir

What took so long?

It finally happened. I got an email from a reader who asked me why I end each post with the tagline, Good Day to You, Sir. It's actually a pretty vague but meaningful reference.

Of all things, it comes from the 1991 Oliver Stone film, JFK. There is a scene where Jim Garrison (as played by Kevin Costner) is having lunch in a New Orleans restaurant with a sleazy lawyer (as played by the late, great John Candy) who had earlier represented Clay Shaw, the man Garrison put on trial for the murder of John Kennedy. During the lunch meeting, Garrison is trying to ascertain some crucial information from the lawyer, but the lawyer is stonewalling and refusing to give up the information, for he knows he will die if he talks. Finally, Garrison loses his temper and threatens to subpoena the lawyer and put him on the stand. At this point, the lawyer also loses his temper, bolts out of his chair, stands over Garrison, and loudly berates him to drop this entire case, because Kennedy is "as dead as that crabmeat!" After the lawyer is done yelling, he calmly collects himself, puts on his hat and sunglasses, and as he saunters away from the table, he bids "Good day to you, Sir" to a still astonished Garrison.

That scene always struck me funny that no matter how much both men lost their tempers and sniped at each other, the lawyer was still fully able to depart with that classic southern charm by wishing his opponent well as he disengaged. That is how I like to think I run this blog. Even if you disagree with me, to the point of hating me personally ( I still remember one commenter calling me an asshole), it is always my hope that we can walk away from our disagreement in a friendly manner in the tradition of that obscure scene from a very flawed movie... but it's still one of my favorite films of all time!

Good Day to You, Sir

A Psalm for Teachers

One thing I like about the Book of Psalms in the Bible is that there seems to be a Psalm for every situation. There is even one for teachers who brave the worst that our culture has to throw at us. Believe me, I treasure the good students I have. I point out their good deeds every day. I go around the classroom pointing out the positive, graciously acknowledging those students who are doing the right thing, who are following my instructions, who have gotten out their book and pencil and paper.

And then there are the disruptive students who dress like they aspire to be in prison, who blurt out whatever comes to their mind no matter how inappropriate the subject matter, who laugh and yawn and burp at purposefully and ridiculously loud levels, who yell across the classroom to another student while I am teaching, who loudly use the word Nigga with abandon, who destroy school property, write on desks, and mercilessly tease weaker students on campus. And they do all this in the classroom while I am trying to teach them and their fellow students.

With these disruptive students in mind, I have posted in a partially hidden area of the wall next to my desk, the 12th Psalm. When I am having a bad day at work, I will sometimes sit at my desk and read that Psalm. You decide if it applies to not just my ill-mannered students, but to our current culture as a whole:

Help, O LORD, for there is no longer anyone who is godly;
the faithful have disappeared from humankind.
They utter lies to each other;
with flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

May the LORD cut off all flattering lips,
the tongue that makes great boasts,
those who say, "With our tongues we will prevail;
our lips are our own--who is our master?"

"Because the poor are despoiled, because the needy groan,
I will now rise up," says the LORD;
"I will place them in the safety for which they long."
The promises of the LORD are promises that are pure,
silver refined in a furnace on the ground,
purified seven times.

You, O LORD, will protect us;
you will guard us from this generation forever.
On every side the wicked prowl,
as vileness is exalted among humankind.

That is from the New Revised Standard Edition of the Bible. If you are after something a little more reader-friendly, I will reprint the Psalm from my paraphrased Living Bible that my grandmother gave me for Christmas in 1984 when I was but a young lad:

Help, Lord! Godly men are fast disappearing. Where in all the world can dependable men be found? Everyone deceives and flatters and lies. There is no sincerity left.
But the Lord will not deal gently with people who act like that; he will destroy those proud liars who say, "We will lie to our hearts' content. Our lips are our own; who can stop us?" The Lord replies, "I will arise and defend the oppressed, the poor, the needy. I will rescue them as they have longed for me to do."
The Lord's promise is sure. he speaks no careless word; all he says is purest truth, like silver seven times refined. O Lord, we know that you will forever preserve your own from the reach of evil men, although they prowl on every side and vileness is praised throughout the land.

Vileness is exalted among humankind. Vileness is praised throughout the land. Does that strike a chord? It has often been observed by the punditry out there that in our society, goodness and virtue have become deemed as evil, while vice and outrageousness have been deemed as desirable. Just look at the worship of train-wreck celebrities, the torture porn movies that have come out lately, the misogynistic, crime-glorifying hip-hop that still rules the Top 40 charts, and on a more local note, the hand-wringing and attention-giving to the disruptive students in school that blogger Mamacita recently wrote about with such emotion. Slowly, tentatively, I have seen small signs of a backlash against some of this societal degradation. However, by and large, wickedness continues to rule the day. For the sake of my children, I hope that this small backlash someday becomes a full-fledged rebellion that will save us from this generation forever.

Good Day to You, Sir

Won't this just make the students talk even louder?

Here's a humdinger of an article from across the Pond. I guess out-of-control students are not just an American phenomenon. The chatter in classrooms across Europe is apparently so bad, teachers are being urged to use microphones in the classroom in order to be heard above the din:
Teachers are being advised to use microphones, loudspeakers and other techniques to save their vocal cords.

A team of scientists issued the recommendations after a study of the impact of increasingly noisy classrooms. The survey of 3,904 teachers in France discovered that they were twice as likely as other workers to suffer disorders ranging from sore throats to vocal fold swelling...

According to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm), the consequences were grave as teachers struggled to make themselves heard above the babble. “It can rebound on the professional and social life of the person concerned, affecting their mental, physical and emotional state and their ability to communicate...”
This is such typical leftist nonsense. Yes, leftist. Do you think conservatives would come up with a solution like this for classrooms where students won't be quiet so the teachers can do their job? As a culture deteriorates, conservatives urge people to retake the culture; make the accepted vileness shameful again. Leftists on the other hand.... Criminals are starting to rob convenience stores? Put the clerk behind bulletproof glass. Vandals are breaking windows downtown? Post cameras everywhere. Students are not respecting the teacher and are talking too much and too loudly? Give the teacher a microphone. Would it be too much to expect the students to stop talking over the teacher? In our current culture - both here and in many parts of Europe - I guess it is. This is what happens when the sense of entitlement in prosperous countries begins to take over.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tom Cruise's How-To Guide on Eliminating Thugs

There is a scene in the movie Collateral that has always just... ahem... blown me away. It is the infamous briefcase scene where Tom Cruise's hitman character does what he has to do in order to get his briefcase back from a couple of punks who just stole it from Jamie Foxx's character. From Cruise's actions, you can tell that he got some A+ prime technical advice from someone who knows how to shoot. On a whim, I searched for the scene on YouTube, and I quickly found that I am not the only one who is impressed by this particular scene. If you don't want to see realistic images of people getting shot, then don't watch this YouTube critique of Tom's technique.

I know Tom Cruise played a bad guy in this movie, but in this particular scene, I think he's a righteous "homie".

Good Day to You, Sir

Birmingham and Selma, this ain't

I have shied away from the whole racial conflict story out of Jena, Louisiana for the simple fact that every story I read on the subject left me with the feeling that I wasn't getting the whole story from either side. I would finish reading a newspaper article about the events in Jena, and I would be left with more questions than I started with.

Here is a brief synopsis of the brouhaha as I understand it. Correct me if any of it is wrong. Last year, some black students at the local high school checked with the school principal to make sure that it was OK for them to sit under a tree the campus. There apparently was an commonly understood but unwritten rule that only white students could sit under this tree. Soon after the black students used the tree, they came back to find some small nooses hanging from it.

The white students who hung the nooses were quickly identified and slated for expulsion by the principal. Instead the superintendent and the school board reversed the principal and suspended the boys for three days instead.

This light punishment did not go over well with the black community in Jena, and a series of racial incidents - some violent, some not - took place over the ensuing months, with black students and white students fighting and bickering back and forth. Things came to a head in December, 2006 when six black athletes from Jena's high school football team assaulted a white student, knocking him unconscious, then kicking his unconscious body as he lay on the ground.

The biggest point of contention that has brought hundreds of black protesters to Jena, along with those race pimp charlatans Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, is that the local DA charged the six black students with attempted murder for their beating of the white student.

There is plenty of blame to go around on both sides in this case. First to the white students: In 21st Century America, how in God's name can there be a "whites only" tree? That is just reprehensible. Speaking of reprehensible, hanging nooses from the tree? The three boys should have been expelled, not suspended. The sup and the board were wrong to overrule the principal. The DA was most likely wrong to charge these six students with attempted murder. They used no weapons, the student was treated and released from the hospital, and he was later seen at a social function that night. On the other hand, there were six assailants kicking an unconscious victim. If they weren't trying to kill him, what was their intent. This is why I qualified my opinion about the DA as being "most likely" wrong.

As for the black students, they tended to meet words and nooses with fists and feet rather than words of their own, thus escalating the situation even further.

To fill in the rest of the holes on this case, I direct you to a piece written by columnist Jason Whitlock of the Kansas City Star. He often writes on racial relations, and especially how they relate to the sports world. I have found Mr. Whitlock to be a sane and thoughtful voice on matters of race in this country. Much of what you may have heard about the case in Jena tends to be full of half-truths and misrepresentations. Mr. Whitlock does a great job of clearing away much of the fog. This excerpt from the column gives you a little idea of what I mean:
Much has been written about Bell’s (the main assailant's) trial, the six-person all-white jury that convicted him of aggravated battery and conspiracy to commit aggravated battery and the clueless public defender who called no witnesses and offered no defense. It is rarely mentioned that no black people responded to the jury summonses and that Bell’s public defender was black.
Good Day to You, Sir

Next we'll see dogs and cats living together

From Michelle Malkin's blog, this photo about sent me over the edge. It was recently taken at a security checkpoint at Detroit's international airport:

Yes, that is a Muslim TSA worker - complete with hijab covering her hair - searching a Catholic nun. The funny thing is this not the first time I have seen something like this - at least the nun part of the equation. I was at Albuquerque's airport in July, 2002, where I watched another nun be searched, wanded, her bags unpacked and searched, the whole nine yards. A few minutes earlier, I had watched some other airport security flunkies force a 80+ year old lady stand up out of her wheelchair so they could wand her too. She could barely stand up, and her relatives who were with her had to stand under her armpits to keep her from falling down. I was so angry I could have spit.

I don't like to fly, and reason numero uno is the absolute torture that one must go through at the airport before one gets on the plane. I'm sure you have heard many of the horror stories ad nauseum, but a picture speaks a thousand words, and the above image is stark proof.

Good Day to You, Sir

Hillary Hillarity

My regards to the folks at (see blogroll), who always use one of the following two images when they post something about the latest shenanigans of Hillary Rotten Clinton. I crack up every time I see this:

or this:

I swear on my life, as does HotAir, that these images are not doctored in anyway. They are simply still photos of Hillary in mid-sentence, demagoguing as only she can. Are you ready for this creature as our president? The pessimist in me sees that exact scenario happening.

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, September 21, 2007

Information to soothe environmental hysterics

UPDATE (9/25/2007, 2305 hrs) - I was informed by a commenter that my link to the PDF file is dead. After confirming that it was indeed dead, I, your humble blogger, searched the Web and found a new link. The paper is called Hysteria's History by Amy Kaleita, Ph.D.

Via FrontPageMagazine, I came across a very easy-to-read essay (PDF file) that addresses the hysterical claims made by the enviro-fascist wackos out there. The file says it's 30 pages, but don't let that scare you. A lot of it is endnotes and big blank spaces. Here is a passage from the essay to get you started:
In the media, global warming causes everything. A brief perusal of stories from the last several years reveals that warming has been blamed for a huge array of problems, including increased teenage drinking, stray cats, poison ivy, and sharks. More seriously, global warming has also been blamed for widespread malnutrition and outbreaks of disease, Hurricane Katrina, and the crisis in Darfur.
Boy, the Church of Global Warming is looking more and more like a bunch of medieval peasants.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Where does the time go?

All this blogging about the military in the previous post just reminded me of something. It was 15 years ago today - September 18, 1992 - that I enlisted in the U.S. Army. I got out for good exactly 12 years later - September 18, 2004.

After spending 12 years in the military, some people have asked me why I didn't stay in to get my 20 years so I could draw a retirement. I have plenty of reasons for getting out, which I don't feel like rehashing at this late hour. All I have to do is look at what I did get out of the deal:

A Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
A Single Subject Teaching Credential
A Master of Arts in Education (Curriculum and Instruction)

Not a bad haul; and all I had to pay for were the textbooks!

I had always looked at my time in the military as a means to an end - I just didn't foresee the end taking so long to finally arrive!

Good Day to You, Sir

John Murtha is pond scum

Corrupt congressional representative John Murtha (Democrat - what else? - of Pennsylvania) made quite a name for himself last year when he put himself out there by referring to the accused Marines of the Haditha "massacre" as having killed Iraqi civilians "in cold blood."

The incident in Haditha refers to an IED explosion and subsequent firefight on November 19, 2005 that led to one dead U.S. Marine and 24 dead Iraqis. Residents of Haditha - which was considered a hotbed of insurgent activity at the time - pointed their fingers at our Marines and accused them of killing innocent civilians, and of course, our anti-military, anti-American press lapped it up and splashed it on their headlines.

After military investigations and Article 32 hearing after Article 32 hearing, one by one, the accused Marines are having their charges dropped. This is because it becoming more and more apparent that these Marines were simply doing their job of reacting to IEDs and shots being fired at them from nearby houses. In the process of clearing these houses, women and children were indeed killed. Of course, that is going to be the natural result when the bad guys are using said women and children as human shields, so that when the Marines do come-a-knockin', the dead women and children can be used as valuable PR for the enemy. Too bad the enemy knows our gullible press and politicians only too well.

Meanwhile, we have a U.S. congressman on the record referring to these Marines as cold-blooded murderers, and Murtha is a former combat veteran Marine for pete's sake! Jason Mattera of the Young America's Foundation recently decided to take Congressman Murtha to task for his slander of our brave troops. He somehow got a chance to approach Murtha, cameraman in tow, in the Capitol Building. Watch the retreat of Congressman Murtha commence:

What I think is most amazing about this clip is how Murtha keeps mumbling that "the trial isn't over." Well, Congressman - if the trial isn't over, and we shouldn't yet assume their innocence, then why were you out there assuming their guilt by publicly accusing them of having killed innocent women and children "in cold blood"? What a pathetic excuse for a human being!

Good Day to You, Sir, and good for you Mr. Mattera!

UPDATE (9/18/2007, 2234hrs) - So you don't think it's me, YouTube is running really slow to paralyzing tonight. Stoopid YouTube....

Sunday, September 16, 2007

In the Church of Global Warming, lying to children is apparently not a sin

A big hat tip to the news site WorldNetDaily (see blogroll) - not only for alerting us to this story, but for my liberal (did I use that word?) borrowing of their graphics in the retelling of this story. Please check the WND link for yourself if you like.

You may or may not have heard of the name Laurie David. She used to be married to Larry David, who is the co-creator of the Seinfeld sitcom and also had a cable hit with the show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Notice I ended up naming Larry's accomplishments and not Laurie's. That's because, although she has done some writing and producing in Hollywood, her primary accomplishment was marrying Larry David. Currently, she is a board member on the Natural Resources Defense Council and is a contributing blogger to the Huffington Post.

What Laurie David is best known for is being one of the true kool-aid drinkers in the Church of Global Warming. Quite frankly, I believe that the woman is mentally unstable. She is well known for verbally accosting people on the streets if they are driving a Hummer or a big SUV, calling them "terrorist enablers". The former Ms. David believes she can do this because she drives an electric Toyota RAV-4. Of course, she also commutes between her two enormous houses (one on each coast of the country) by way of a private jet that burns more fuel in one cross-country trip than a Hummer will use in an entire year.
Now that you have the back story, what brings mention of Laurie David to my blog today is a children's/young person's book on global warming that she has put out there through the Scholastic publishing company, which supplies more than a few books to our nation's schools.

This book, titled The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming (yes, I'm sure it gives a balanced view), has been shown by WorldNetDaily to have a downright falsehood in it. There is a graph in the book that purports to show the relationship between the rise in the earth's carbon dioxide levels, and the rise in the earth's average temperature. Take a look at the graph as it appears in David's book:

First, please note that this graph starts on the right and goes to the left. The CO2 level (in red) rises, and the then the temperature level (in blue) seems to rise as a result. So looking at this graph, the reader is left with the impression that rising CO2 levels causes the earth's temperature to rise as a result. One big problem. This isn't true, and Laurie David has to know this because she switched the elements of the graph. The CO2 level should be the blue line, and the temperature should be the red line. Here is the graph as it is actually supposed to appear, but does not in David's book:

This totally changes the cause and effect of the increase in temperature. In reality, rising temperatures cause an increase in the earth's level of CO2 - NOT the other way around. So if earth's temperatures dictate the amount of CO2, then any increased production of CO2 by us humans cannot possibly be the cause of global warming. This undoubtedly upsets zealots like Laurie David to no end, so what to do? In her case, she apparently decided to doctor the graph to show the result that she wanted.

The assertion that we humans are causing global warming to happen is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon the human race. Forget the accusation of global warming "deniers" being the tools of industry. Any of the tens of millions of dollars that skeptics of global warming have taken from the evil oil industry pales in comparison to the billions of dollars that purveyors of the global warming hoax have taken from national governments and non-governmental organizations.

Meanwhile, elitist, lying hypocrites like Laurie David will say with a straight face that I should curtail my consumption in order to stop global warming, while she flies in private jets to her gargantuan, energy-inhaling mansions. This would all be so hilarious if the intended results of these megalomaniacs were not so damned serious.

Good Day to You, Sir

Published again

Welcome Sacramento Bee readers. My post on scientists proving that conservatives are "stupider" than liberals is featured today in the Forum section of the Sunday Bee.

Good Day to You, Sir

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Media double standard strikes again

I'm sure you all remember the flap over radio host Don Imus referring to the members of the Rutgers University womens' basketball team as a bunch of "nappy-headed ho's". For this politically incorrect sin, Imus was excoriated in countless breathless news stories, he knelt in shame at the altar of that lying charlatan Al Sharpton, and was then was ultimately fired despite all his efforts to play nice.

Fast forward to September 7 of this year. In a football game being played at Rutgers, the visiting players, midshipmen, and family members of the U.S. Naval Academy were repeatedly mocked by the home crowd in a most vile fashion.

In a column for, Robert Knight describes the most charming event of the day, when, just before halftime, Rutgers fans began yelling toward the Navy bleachers - forgive me - "Fuck you Navy! Fuck you Navy! Fuck you Navy!" Remember, this wasn't just directed at the players - which would be bad enough - this was directed at the midshipmen and the families of players and midshipmen in attendance.

My question is, seeing as how this boorish and deplorable behavior came from none other than Rutgers University, home of the sainted basketball team that had to bear the cruel taunts of Don Imus, why is this not a front-page story all over the papers and cable news? This happened over a week ago, and today is the first time I have heard anything about it. To ask the question of course, is to answer it. Once again, in the eyes of the left-wing media, some people are more worthy of victimhood than others.

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

C'mon! Be a Man!

I found this interesting list on the Popular Mechanics website via the Instapundit. It is a list of 25 skills that every man should know how to do.

Uh... OK, I counted, and I am proficient at least 14 of them; 15 if you count backing up a trailer. I have done it before , but it took me awhile.

Good Day to You, Sir

The Carnival of Education

This week's edition is up and running at History is Elementary. My post regarding my district's botched textbook adoption is featured. Check it out!

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Sen. Craig is not the only one who should resign

From John Hawkins of, read this informative and humorous column listing nine other members of Congress who should be given the heave-ho. Don't worry, he picks on the Republicans just as much as the Democrats, including both Senators from Alaska.

Good Day to You, Sir

Where were you and what were you doing when...?

Remember that day six years ago today when our lives and our world changed forever? God bless the innocent lives extinguished, the affected families, and the sheepdogs out there who continue to take on the wolves of the world.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Another "Conservatives are stupider" news story

The LA Times (natch) ran an article on some scientific experiments that showed a difference in how liberals and conservatives think. The article summarized that liberals "tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives", and that, "Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments whereas liberals are more open to new experiences."

If that's the way they put it, then I think the science is correct - liberals are better able to tolerate ambiguity and conflict:

Well, like, I know that Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot and Castro and the Kims from North Korea shot, tortured, starved, and worked millions of people to death, but they meant well. They were just trying to make a better life for their people.

How's that for ambiguity? Whereas a "structured and persistent" conservative would say, "Those guys were evil, and I hope they burn in everlasting hell. End of story."

The article concluded by saying, "Based on the results... liberals could be expected to more readily accept new social, scientific or religious ideas."

Yeah, like Communism, socialism, eugenics, new age mysticism, human-caused global warming....

Good Day to You, Sir

Blacks just cannot control themselves...

So implies Tavis Smiley, a leftist former talk host on Black Entertainment Television (BET) and current leftist talk host on PBS. This story, which came out in late June, flew under my radar until I came across it in the Digest section of my latest issue of Whistleblower from World Net Daily. The WND link to the story can be accessed here. Since it is a short blurb, I will just reprint it for you:
The moderator of Thursday's Democrat presidential debate said he did not ask the mostly black audience to refrain from applauding candidates' answers, because blacks are too "emotional" to obey such a rule.

Asked by C-Span host Brian Lamb why he didn't enforce a no-applause rule for his PBS-sponsored debate like other debate formats, moderator Tavis Smiley explained: "Because black people are an emotional people. I know it wouldn't have worked."

Smiley says the black audience attending the 90-minute session at Howard University would not have listened or complied with such a request for silence, suggesting African-Americans are unable to control themselves.

He made the remarks on Friday morning's Washington Journal program aired on C-Span.

The nationally televised debate featured eight Democrat candidates, including Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.

Smiley, a black talk show host and liberal political activist, made the observation in the wake of widespread violence during Juneteenth celebrations across the nation.

Police reported stabbings, shootings and beatings – including the fatal mob beating of a Hispanic man – at festivals commemorating the black holiday in Milwaukee, Wis.; Austin, Texas; Syracuse, N.Y.; and other cities.
Reminds me of that moron of a college professor who I mentioned in a previous post, who said that black students shouldn't be expected to sit in their seats and be quiet at school because it is in their "culture" to disrupt.

When people say stuff like this, do they even listen to themselves? I'm sure Mr. Smiley thought he was paying the black race a compliment, when in reality, he was insulting and degrading them instead.

Good Day to You, Sir

Hey Kanye, what's that on your shoulder?

Upon further inspection, it appears to be a huge racial chip. Kanye West is currently one of the top-selling hip hop "artists" in the country. What he says, my students internalize and believe. Just the other day, George W. Bush came up in conversation in class, and one of my black students blurted out in all seriousness, "He hates black people!" Gee, now where have I heard that before? Oh yeah:

The articulate Mr. West essentially said the very same thing during a televised fundraiser right after Hurricane Katrina made her visit.

Now, Kanye strikes again. He was apparently upset that he was completely shut out at the MTV Video Music Awards the the other night. Backstage, during a little tantrum, he was heard to yell, "That's two years in a row, man... give a black man a chance!" Notice how he just casually and superfluously throws the race card into the mix. If anyone has watched MTV, that network gives "a black man" plenty of chances. When they do show videos (which is practically never), plenty of them are of the hip hop variety.

"Give a black man a chance"? You mean like these black men who have won MTV VMAs in the past? - Michael Jackson (ahem), Prince, Living Colour, LL Cool J, OutKast, Lenny Kravitz, Will Smith, Usher, Li'l John, Ludacris, Timbaland, and... oh, look at this: Kanye West won a VMA in 2005 in the category of Male Artist of the Year for the video of his "song" Jesus Walks.

You could just pass this off as just another overpampered celebrity to whom we shouldn't give the time of day. I would love for that to be the case. Unfortunately, like I said earlier, when Kanye West speaks, my students listen. And what they hear is a bunch of paranoid race-card-pulling claptrap that too many of them accept as gospel.

But the night wasn't over for Kanye West. He hosted a party at his crib after the VMA show ended. At the party, the thuggish Suge Knight, who is the former head of Death Row Records, was, according to the article, shot in the leg by a "black male" assailant wearing a "pink shirt", and had to go to the hospital to have the bullet removed. Role models, all.

Good Day to You, Sir

Sunday, September 09, 2007

You can take this textbook and...

After going through textbook adoption last year, we have received our new textbooks, and for some bizarre reason (I believe it's because it's what the other middle school in the district wanted) the 6th and 7th graders will be using the text from Glencoe-McGraw Hill, and the 8th graders will be using the text from Teachers Curriculum Institute (TCI). I am fine with the Glencoe book; it was my first choice for all three grade levels. So why, oh why, did the 8th graders get a different text? Just being different would be OK if the style of the text was like the Glencoe books. But no, the TCI is one big love letter to the worst excesses of Howard Gardner's Multiple Intelligences theory. Yes, as a resident heretic in the education community, I think Howard Gardner is full of crap with his MI theory. But that is a post for another day. Right now, I have to think of a Plan B, and fast.

I like a text that comes with plenty of supplemental materials and a teachers edition text with lots of ideas in the margin so that I may pick and choose my lessons according to my teaching style and the intellectual abilities of my students. The TCI text and materials are very bare bones and very scripted. There is no teachers edition textbook. There is simply a guidebook whereby I am supposed to use the scripted lesson they provide for each chapter, and that's all there is to it. And every lesson centers around some sort of skit or cooperative learning activity. There are no other options provided by the trendy numskulls at TCI. If I don't want to use the one and only lesson they have provided, I have to reinvent the frickin' wheel by coming up with my own lesson and my own materials.

Any ideas anyone?

Good Day to You, Sir

Kids say the darndest things!

Leave it to my three year old son to call 'em like he sees 'em. Tonight, I was walking down the hallway with him to begin our "night-night" procedures. As he often does, my son asked me if I could lie down with him tonight while he fell asleep. I told him, "I can't tonight kiddo, I have to make my lesson plans for the week." He asked me, "Why do you have to make lesson plans?" I told him, "So I can teach my students." My son immediately shook his head and said, "No no no, not teach; you babysit your students!"

How right he is...

Good Day to You, Sir

Friday, September 07, 2007

Remember, only white people can be racist

I was cleaning up my classroom after the final bell this afternoon, when I came across a binder a student had left. I opened up the binder to find out to whom it belonged, and quickly identified it as belonging to a Hispanic female student from my 4th period class. Her name was on a piece of paper that had a poem written on it. In the three weeks since this school year started, this student has made it clear that she doesn't like me in the slightest, and after reading the poem, I think I have an idea why - I'm not Mexican. Here is the poem as she wrote it:

Roses are red
Mexicans are brown
That's my race
So don't put it down!!
My MEXICAN pride
I will not hide
I will not disgrace
My MEXICAN blood
flows hot & true
My MEXICAN peeps
I will stand by you
Thru thick & thin
Till the day we die
Our MEXICAN flag
Always stands high
I yell this poem
Louder than all the rest
Cuz every 1 knows
MEXICAN Pride in my mind
MEXICAN BLOOD is my kind
So step aside and let me through
Cuz its all about the MEXICAN crew
Life sucks and then u die
But if your MEXICAN
You die with good ass pride!!!
Send this to 10 Mexicans to show ur pride


Isn't that great? It's so nice to see a young lady so enthusiastic about her heritage. Just one thing though - Take out the word MEXICAN (her capitalization, not mine) and replace it with WHITE or ARYAN, and replace BROWN PRIDE with WHITE PRIDE, and it quickly becomes apparent how ghastly this poem really is. What makes it worse is that you are not in MEXICO, honey. If that basket case of a country is so damned wonderful, then don't let the door swipe your ass as you saunter back across the border.

Due to her disruptive and grotesquely disrespectful attitude toward me in class, I called home on this student the other day. A woman answered the phone and I asked for the student's mother by name. The response from the woman on the other end was, "No sequenta, no sequenta." The woman only spoke Spanish!

Good Day to You, Sir

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Mamacita's Manifesto

I am truly at a loss for words at how exactly to convey how powerful the following linked post is. Since I have been a teacher, I have read all the literature and articles about why teachers leave the teaching profession. Common reasons listed include poor pay, lack of admin support, overcrowded classrooms. But those are just the branches. Mamacita of the blog Scheiss Weekly (see my blogroll), has done a masterful job of describing the root cause: disruptive students and their often enabling parents along with the education system's willingness to tolerate it.

If you read any article on my blog that I have ever linked, I implore you to read this one. Mamacita has succeeded in articulating what I have been trying to say for the two years of my blog's existence. Any edubloggers or bloggers, period out there who are reading this blog, I implore you to link Mamacita's post on your blog as well.

Mamacita, my hat is off to you.

Good Day to You, Sir... er, Ma'am.

Self-defense doesn't always involve a criminal

I know that the pro-gun control crowd would scoff at the point I am about to make, but I believe it is a legitimate argument to make in support of the right to bear arms.

I found this news story on the Drudge Report. A Maryland couple were attacked in their home by, of all things, a rabid bear. While the bear was attempting to enter the home through a window, did the occupants call 911 and wait for the police to arrive? Heck no, the husband blasted the bear with a shotgun they keep in the home.

I grew up in a little mountain town in northern California. Our house wasn't on the town water system. Instead, we had a small pump in a creek below our house, which pumped water to a holding tank on the hill behind our house, and then the gravity feed from the tank down to our house provided for some great water pressure. Every once in a while, the pump would quit working - usually in the dead of night - and I or someone else from the family would have to go down the hill to the creek and take a look at the pump. This involved walking through some very isolated forest and down a trail to the creek; a trail used by bears and humans alike. If you went down that trail to the creek and the pump, you needed to take two things with you besides tools: a long stick, and a gun. The stick was to whack the trees and bushes on your way down there to let the bears know you were coming. The gun was just in case you happened to come upon a mama bear and her cub. Black bears usually run the other way when they see you, but what if just this one time, they don't? That's what the gun was for.

My parents continue to live in the forests of northern California, and when my 62 year-old mother (sorry for spilling the beans, Mom) goes for walks by herself, she always takes a .38 revolver with her. Why? Mountain lions, that's why.

The motives of a vicious animal may be different from a vicious criminal of the human variety, but the results of your encounter with either of them is likely to be the same. It is better to take the gun with you and not need it, rather than leave it at home and end up needing it very badly. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and yes, Rudy Giuliani, would love to take that access to a gun away from you.

As an aside, that Maryland couple is lucky that the 2nd Amendment doesn't give us the right to arm bears. Get it?

Good Day to You, Sir

This week's Carnival of Education

The midway is now open at the Education Wonks. I don't have anything entered this week, but it is always worth checking out anyway.

Good Day to You, Sir

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Devil made me do it?

Not according to Dennis Prager. The man who is arguably my favorite radio talk host writes in his latest column about what motivates people to commit evil acts, and it is probably not what you think. After going through the litany of common factors (Devil, genes, money, upbringing, etc.), Prager once again makes the complex, simple:
Victimhood. A lifelong study of good and evil has led to me conclude that the greatest single cause of evil is people perceiving of themselves or their group as victims. Nazism arose from Germans' sense of victimhood -- as a result of the Versailles Treaty, of the "stab in the back" that led to Germany's loss in World War I and of a world Jewish conspiracy. Communism was predicated on workers regarding themselves as victims of the bourgeoisie. Much of Islamic evil today emanates from a belief that the Muslim world has been victimized by Christians and Jews. Many prisoners, including those imprisoned for horrible crimes, regard themselves as victims of society or of their upbringing. The list of those attributing their evil acts to their being victims is as long as the list of evildoers.
This is why I think Prager is a G-d.

Good Day to You, Sir

Monday, September 03, 2007

Good thing it wasn't a jet fighter!

In 2003, President Bush took a spill while riding a Segway, that funny looking two-wheel scooter that was supposed to change the world. Unfortunately for President Bush, he lost his balance and took a header onto the ground. The press was relentless of course, especially a British journalist named Piers Morgan. Morgan called Bush an "idiot" for falling off such a "sophisticated, self-balancing machine."

Well, in a lesson right out of the pages of Aesop, it seems that the other day in Santa Monica, Piers Morgan took a spill of his own. On a Segway. Morgan did President Bush one better by breaking three of his ribs.

I can think of plenty of things for which one could righteously mock President Bush, such as his horrible public speaking abilities, his atrocious policies toward illegal immigration, his out-of-control spending of taxpayers' money, his sense of loyalty that can sometimes lead him to nominate numbskulls to important government positions. One thing though that the left has always stuck to that I thought was just absurd is the assertion that President Bush is stupid at worst or unintelligent at best. All I can say is: F-102. That is the model of fighter jet that President Bush flew in the Air National Guard. It is a rather gross contradiction to call someone stupid when that same person has the brain power to fly a complex aircraft, along with the knowledge of physical principles and avionics that go along with it. I have never had anyone fully explain to me how a man so stupid was able to fly an airplane so complex. Oh wait, I know, someone did the flying for him! It was all a big coverup!

Bottom line, if you are going to make fun of President Bush, you would be wise to pick something other than his supposed lack of intelligence. That meme is tired. Are you listening Mr. Morgan? Raise your hand if you can hear me. Oooooh, sorry! I forgot about those ribs.

Good Day to You, Sir

What did he do, exactly?

I have been trying to ignore the news cycle - and blogging for that matter - over this long holiday weekend, but something about this whole Larry Craig l'affaire de restroom bugs me.

First, let me make it clear that I have little doubt that the man is a pervert who was looking to engage in public sex in an airport restroom. The description of his actions by the arresting officer makes it pretty clear that Craig was up to something.

With that said, the description of Craig's actions by the arresting officer - which can be read here - also seem a bit ambiguous and quite pedestrian, especially considering the sentence that went along with Craig's guilty plea.

The police report speaks of Craig peering into the officer's bathroom stall from three feet away. How big are the cracks between the door and the stall frame for goodness' sake? It's not as if Craig had his eyeball right up to the crack. The report speaks of Craig fidgeting with his hands, of tapping his foot in the stall, and sweeping his hand under the partition of the adjacent stall, and yes, at one point, Craig's tapping foot made contact with one of the officer's feet. Questionable behavior to be sure, but was this worth a $1,000 fine and ten days in jail (suspended)?

Common sense tells me that Craig was up to no good, but the standards of our legal system operate on a bit of a higher level than just gut instinct. Proof of a crime is also a very necessary component. Other than the slight contact with the officer's foot, what crime do we have? What worries me about this case goes beyond the strange sexual proclivities of one U.S. congressman. What worries me is an American legal system that, more and more, prosecutes and/or convicts people based on flimsy evidence. The Duke non-rape case is a perfect example. The biggest mistake Larry Craig made was to plead guilty to tapping his foot and fidgeting with his hands. I would like to have seen him force the state to prove that propositioning public sex was what he was really up to.

The next thing you know, I will be standing on a curb, away from any crosswalk, and after looking in both directions for no apparent reason, I will be cited for jaywalking because it looked like I was about to cross the street. That may or may not be a lame example of what I am trying to illustrate here, but I hope you see my point. I get very nervous thinking about what the government can start doing to you based on what you might do. It's just too bad that the example I have to use is Larry Craig's distasteful attempt at picking up someone in a public men's room.

Good Day to You, Sir