Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Out of the attic and into the sunlight after 98 years

Pictured L to R: Harry Reid, Pres. Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Congratulations to President Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and everyone involved in winning this hard fought battle. Health care reform is now law. Republicans had decided if reconciliation failed, their political theme was going to be “Repeal and Replace” the Affordable Care Act. Perfect words for a bumper sticker: "Repeal and Replace." Bad showmanship. Republicans know President Obama will veto the repeal. But Republicans are desperate, and grabbing short straws. They desperately needed the touch down victory that the President snatched out of their hands.

To Republican's dismay the bill signing was a historical event that finally found its place in the sun, after languishing in an attic for 98 years. Teddy Roosevelt attempted to legislate universal health care in 1912. Republicans still have not stopped whining and complaining. They want President Obama and the Democrats to know the game is not over.

Five minutes after President Obama signed the Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act into law attorneys general in 13 states filed lawsuits, contesting the law, declaring it unconstitutional. Any lawyer in his right mind knows that these lawsuits are nothing more than political shams and grandstanding. The AG’s are making a big show of blowing smoke up each others butts. Bedsides, where are these states going to get the money to pursue the lawsuits?

Every Republican governor on the map is saying their state is cold stone broke! Not a dime to spare. Their economy is strapped down on the execution table, awaiting the fatal injection. The attorneys general are not listening. By the way, that is what they are accusing the Democrats of not doing.  "Not listening to the American people." Maybe these Republicans governors can apply for more of the stimulus money that they fought against.

The grandstanding AG’s and Republicans are up for re-election. Some are aspiring to run for governor of their state. These sanctioned lawsuits are a ruse to up their game plan. They are corralling the energetic ignorance of tea party folk who seem to adore them, and the lies they tell.

Democrats get death threats for voting "Yes" on the Affordable Care Act 

Never mind that when hate talk flows like water from a hydrant it is inevitable that a brain dead protester will answer the call of violence, knocking plans off kilter. I rue that day. All hell will break loose in America.

Republicans refuse to acknowledge the seriousness of the myriad of death threats some Democrats have been getting because they voted "Yes" to health care reform. The tea party crowd is accusing President Obama of being a dictator who wants to silence Americans. I have not seen evidence of that, and neither have the disillusioned accusers. Tea party bigots are talking loud and sounding silly. Strangely, the "dictator" has not ordered their arrest or imprisonment for protesting against him. Dictators have deadly reactions to citizens who publicly oppose them.

I am seeing lynch-prone protesters acting like dictators who want to silence Democrats and the President, taking away their right to make decisions that ill-informed Republicans disagrees with. They want freedom of speech for themselves, but silence of sapeech for Democrats doing their jobs.

Listening to angry obscene phone messages played by the media I've noticed something  odd. The callers repeated identical profanity laced rants. I noticed that the callers sounded as if they were reading from a script. It was the hesitation in some of the callers delivery that caught my ear. When someone is truly angry or insanely outraged their words usually have a continuous flow despite the lunatic raving. They do not lack concentration when shouting their own words. 

Another thing I noticed is the voices sounded southern. I live in Texas and southern accents are quite familiar to me.

It’s too bad that tea party terrorists do not realize they are being used by politicians and lobbyists, who are using them in  an attempt to destroy President Obama, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic party, the Affordable Care Act. What better way for attorneys general and other hopefuls to climb the political ladder than on the backs of gullible believers. Their giant crystal ball is telling them that they are going to smoke the Democrats in November, after which they plan to treat their rival like its symbolic mascot: the Donkey.

And then Republicans will  distance themselves from the violent leaning tea party crowd until the next election cycle in 2012. The political separation won't be easy. I wonder if these game playing Elephants saw the movie "Fatal Attraction?"

Fool me once, shame on you. Shame me twice, shame on me.  If they come to  their senses in time the angry tea partiers might flip the switch on the politicians they are now supporting. They might not accept a few months of backroom screwing without receiving adequate pay.

***This article was first published in 2010 on my blog.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Glenn Beck fights social justice

Glenn Beck
Glenn Beck is up to his verbal shenanigans again. He is attacking pastors who preach the true meaning of Christianity. He wants people to walk out of their churches if a particular subject is approached by their pastors. Unfortunately, Beck has low information viewers who will dutifully inhale  his every word. Beck claims to be a Christian. The God loving, God fearing kind.

Praise the Lord and pass the collection plate!

I would not be surprised if one Sunday morning a church-goer responds to the pastor’s social justice sermon, treating it like a town hall meeting. If the pastor laments the virtues of social justice--being your brother’s keep, do unto others as you would have them do unto you--the unholy devil himself just might break loose in  God’s house.

Beck has his own interpretation of the Holy Bible. The people he “preaches” to are mostly Southern, White, poor and undereducated. His money backers are educated, manipulative, rich. Listen to the messages played in the news since President Obama’s signing of health care legislation. No true Christian’s voice in the mix. Ol' Satan disspirited hound dogs are definitely in the hunt!

I would not be surprised if a Pete Wilson type member or visitor jumps up in the middle of a “social justice” sermon, and yell at the pastor: “You lie!”

I cannot speak for The Father, The Son or The Holy Ghost, but I do believe God has a distaste for people who enrich themselves at the expense of those who have not heard opportunity knocking on their door. Beck is a good example. He is rich and getting richer. That’s not to say that rich people should give away the money they earned it. They are not obligated to be that generous.

How difficult is it to reach out to help someone realize his or her dream? A helping hand does not mean doing the work for the receiver of one's goodwill. Not all goodwill involves money as Beck is implying. He feels the government is trying to take his money, and give it to "lazy people" who want nothing more than to sit back and wait for a check.

Oprah Winfrey reaches back and pulls individuals up all the time. Her best friend, Gale, says that is the way Winfrey is. The same applies to Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and thousands of social justice heroes we do not know about. I am not a Biblical scholar but I believe God was an avid student of human rights, social justice and equality. If that is not true, the Bible is a sham. According to Beck, we have been conned to believe that Jesus is not benevolent and justice loving. Glenn Beck is entitled to his interpretation of Jesus.

Beck is showing once again that he is not as intellectually honest and aware as he envisions himself. He should spend more time preparing his lesson plan before executing it on his TV classroom. He and his followers should learn the true lesson and meaning of God, Jesus and Christianity.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Back to the basics in the classroom

When I was a student many years ago, teachers were allowed to teach, and students knew why they attended school: to learn. We were not seat warmers and trouble makers. Sure there were kids who did not want to sit all day and learn. They were disruptive and sassed teachers just to see how much they could get away with without taking a trip to the principal's office where they were quickly dealt with.

If a student was absent from school the parent knew the next day or same day. Teachers were not afraid of students. Parents did not threaten teachers. The majority of parents wanted to know what their child or children were doing in school.

In the classroom we were taught the components of a complete sentence; how to read a sentence correctly, understanding the reason for punctuation and how to use it; how to write essays with a beginning, middle and end. My English teachers from elementary school, all the way through high school, were drill sergeants in dresses and heels. 

We read out loud in class, never to ourselves. Proper PE dress was a requirement. Getting on the gym floor wearing regular clothes instead of blue shorts, white blouse, white tennis and white socks meant a zero grade. Participation was another requirement. No sitting on the sideline. No excuses were acceptable. Math, socials studies, history and other subjects were taught just as vigorously. Not all of the teachers were ideal for the classroom, but students did manage to learn in their classes. Classroom progress was expected, and teachers were expected to deliver.

We were not taught to pass a test. We regularly took exams and quizzes, covering subjects we had been taught in prior weeks and months. I experienced this kind of teaching from elementary to high school. Remembering my teachers and their "take no prisoners" attitude followed me to the classroom every day. As a substitute teacher, I was not familiar with the lax style of teaching I see in the classrooms today.

I witnessed first hand how lax teachers, students, and principals have become. I had teachers leave instructions telling me I should not expect too much from certain students. I was shocked to see blackboards used for display. When I was a student the blackboard played an important role in the classroom.

I saw teachers sleeping in class. Students took charge, doing what they wanted. In some high schools boys played cards or dice, girls groomed each others hair, makeup and painted their nails. My sense of appropriate classroom decorum would not allow for that waste of time. Though I witnessed a lot of disturbing behavior, I also learned that students wanted to be challenged. When I challenged them academically, demanding respect in the classroom, they responded positively.

That is what the schools have to get back to: teaching and challenging students. But first, take-no-prisoners initiatives have to be put in place to weed out ineffective teachers and principals. New hires should be asked: “Are you willing to dedicate yourself to teaching and being effective? Do you want to this job because of the pay and benefits, or to make a difference?” I think the questions are important. Interviewees can lie but the lie or truth will manifest itself.

I remember a newly hired teacher taking a leave of absence to have surgery soon after her insurance kicked in. As it turned out, she was a poor teacher, who took lots of absences. The principal was not happy with her, but she could not fire her. She only took the teaching job so that she could get the surgery that she couldn't pay for out of pocket.

Teachers should be evaluated every six months, rather than yearly. Poor evaluations should lead to termination, or a severe warning to improve their skills. Union protection for poor teachers and principals have to stop for the sake of the students.

In addition to setting strict rules for teachers and students, parents have to do their share, given they are the key to their kid's learning and behavior at school. Parents must participate in their kid's education, making sure they are completing homework, demanding to see report cards, requesting periodic meetings with teachers.

Ultimately, students are responsible for their own education and behavior in the classroom. Students want structure and guidance. Many of them perform much better when they are taught at home to do their best. Home rewards and encouragement are extremely important. This would be an idea situation, but all too many students come from dysfunctional homes where the parent or parents have little to no interest in their education.

Unfortunately, the school system is forced to be parent, nurse who dispenses medications, counselor, adviser and disciplinarian. Many schools have become extensions of those dysfunctional homes. One solution does not fit all, but getting back to the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic, parent participation and a dedication to teaching is a good start.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Tiger Woods: I've Missed You!

Tiger Woods
The porno slut is hustling publicity again. She has revealed to the media the “supposed”sexual text messages between herself and Tiger Woods. At first she demanded that Woods apologize to her on national TV.

Her ego is bigger than her "porno assistant." Use your imagination on that one.

Whoever heard of a woman acting like a side-line whore, and not keeping quiet about it? A sign of the times I guess. Sleep with somebody famous–divorced, single or married-- and broadcast it to the world. Then claim to be an unwilling victim who was persuaded by the aggressor to commit adultery.

Woe is the porn slut, and the other peroxide bimbos who came forward, claiming they had affairs with Woods.  He  is certainly a busy man, weaving in and out of hotel beds between winning golf tournaments! Women, though they deny it, are attracted to the loud scent of money, power and fame. I am wondering how many more publicity seeking bimbo's will crawl out the woodwork now that Woods has announced that he will play golf again in April.

The circus has just began. But I digress. Here is the point I want to make.

When the Thanksgiving incident happened with Tiger Woods at his home it was reported that he had been in an automobile accident. The first thing I wanted to know was if he was alright or seriously injured. I wanted to know if he had sustained injuries that would cut short his brilliant golfing career. 

After learning that he was not seriously injured I wanted to know when he would get back on the golf course. You see, I never watched golf until I started watching Woods. I even learned golf lingo so I would know what the broadcasters were talking about. I was and still am ready to start rooting for Tiger Woods again. I have not watched since his departure.

Unlike the scandal driven media, and individuals who want to see Woods hit rock bottom-- I do not care what he did in his personal life. I have a hard enough time keeping my own closet clean. A couple of weeks ago I heard a woman call a radio talk show. She said the only way Woods can prove that he is sorry for cheating on his wife is by give all of his money to charity, and start over! She even suggested he start by working at McDonald’s or some place similar! The caller probably never accomplished a dream that made her wealthy or financially comfortable. You do not give your fortune because of adultery.

I have watched Woods for years. I never saw him project a perfect man image. I saw a golfer who loved and respected his his father. He loves the game of golf. He works hard to perfect his game. He plays to win. He has earned his right to live lavishly. He has the money to pay for it. He is not an affirmative action success story, as one female golfer once implied.

Woods is not saint. He did not force those women to perform whatever sexual act they committed themselves to in privacy. I wager that none of the golfers will dare throw the first stone at Woods. At least not in public. I am sure they know there are more ways to sin other than adultery.

So before passing judgment on Tiger Woods, or anyone else, check your own closet. Check under your own bed to see what’s hiding under there. Is it an innocent angel smiling back at you? Or is it a dark secret you want to forget and continue hiding?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The 2010 US Census shouldn't be avoided

Senator Ron Paul, Libertarian
On March 3 I read an editorial in the Houston Chronicle, written by Ron Paul. He was telling citizens to ignore the 2010 census because the government only wants to collect private information on any one who fills out the forms.

I am surprised that a seasoned politician like Paul would suggest that people not fill out the US Census. With this editorial he proved that ignorance is bliss, and some people will do whatever is told to them. The U. S. government does not depend on the census to gather information about citizens.

Each time individuals fill out employment applications, visit their private doctor or go the emergency room, enroll in college, fill out applications for a credit cards, buy a home or rent an apartment, seek a loan or mortgage, start a business–they are revealing more about themselves and family members than they would on the US Census.

The census is basically about political representation in Congress, and federal money that  states receive. A numbers count is just as important as the information collected. A vote against the census is a vote against yourself and your state, city or county. By the way, if you think no other agency has “private” information on you, do a people or genealogy search on the Internet.

Surprise! Surprise! You have no private life after all!