Thursday, July 24, 2008

Margaret Spellings just cost me $675!

The comically-delusional Margaret Spellings appeared on the Colbert Report Tuesday night, July 22. A five-minute segment on that show ended up costing me $675.

With the ominous possibility of me not having a workable television next year, I succumbed to the sirens’ song and purchased a new one at a local electronics store. Not a big screen, not the best picture, but it will work come February 2009. I took it home, plugged it in, and watched The Colbert Report. I usually watch the 8:30 p.m. rebroadcast of The Colbert Report because I can no longer stay awake until 11:30 p.m. Much to my surprise, our very own Secretary of Education was a guest. With much trepidation, I decided to see what she had to say.

In über-cheerleader mode, she of course praised the wonderful transformations that have come about in public education since the incorporation of NCLB. She also praised Senator Ted Kennedy and all the other bleeding-heart liberals who thought they were actually voting for educational reform (what freaking morons)! Rattling off statistics that were dubious at best, with glee did she promote the Bushites’ master plan for public education’s demise. And when her eyebrows went up and a maniacal smile appeared on her face when Colbert suggested schools allow federally-mandated spanking, I just started getting the dry heaves.

It was at this point that I heard a little voice in my head, telling me, “kick your TV, kick your TV, kick your TV.” And I did.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mad Cow Disease (sort of)

Went down the mountain last night and went into town for some live music. Caught a group from Chicago called Mucca Pazza (mad cow in Italian). If Camp Nickleby had a marching band, this is what it would be like! Way too much fun. Check them out! Their website is here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What Would Jesus Shoot?

I heard through the grapevine that there seems to be some problems going on at Camp Nickleby. The organization that rented the camp for the summer, Pastor John’s Hunting and Fishing Christian Academy and Institute for the Study of Biblical Prophecy apparently went afoul of the law. Some parents of the campers got wind of the fact that the Academy was planning a gun giveaway to campers as a reward for their hard work during Bible studies. Guns were to be awarded for memorizing various chapters of the Bible. Who thought this was a good idea?

Any student able to memorize the Book of Genesis would receive a Glock 17. Memorizing Exodus or Numbers would garner a camper a Walther PPK. Leviticus or Deuteronomy was worth a Beretta 3032 Tomcat. Any student willing to memorize the entire Pentateuch had their choice of either a Remington Model 7400 or a Ruger Model 99/44 Deerfield automatic rifle!

To motivate students even further, any student willing to memorize the Gospels in the New Testament would be given a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Can I get an amen?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mr. Dobbs Goes to Camp?

This past Saturday while channel surfing, I caught the last few sound bites of Lou Dobbs Tonight on CNN. The panel of talking heads was discussing Obama’s ‘learn a second language, dammit’ statement. I heard Dobbs say, “. . . not that we have children who are not speaking a second language, nor whether that be Spanish or any other language, but that many of our children cannot even speak English to begin with. And secondly half of black students in this country, half of Hispanic students in this country are dropping out of high school. We are permitting an entire generation of young Americans to be failed by a public education system . . .” Of course, blame it on PUBLIC EDUCATION!

I checked out Dobbs’ website and found this gem concerning public education:

Failing Grades

Education is the great equalizer in America, but we are failing an entire generation with substandard schools and teachers who are not held accountable. The future for students is increasingly one where they do not graduate, and not only are their job prospects severely limited but the nation’s ability to succeed can and will be impacted.

I invite Mr. Dobbs to visit my classroom when camp starts up again in August. I will introduce him to students who are totally unmotivated. I will introduce him to students who are burnt out on school because they are tired of filling out mindless worksheets from another ‘research-based program’ that doesn’t work. I will introduce him to students who are tired of taking test after test after test which reinforce their feelings of inadequacy. I will introduce him to students who must work a job at night to help their families make it financially. I will introduce him to students who aren’t interested in school because art, music and vocational programs have been gutted in order to raise the all-important test scores. And I’m sure it’s all the teachers’ fault! Damn teachers!

Mr. Dobbs, please e-mail as soon as you can and we’ll set up a time for your visit. I’ll even let you present a lesson. It should be lots of fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

How Could I Have Been So Wrong?

While surfing through the Net the other day, I came upon an interesting site which I would like to share. Although a majority of Americans consider George W. Bush to be the greatest disaster to hit the United States, this site carefully enumerates the many accomplishments of the Bush administration. It was written, anonymously, in June of 2004, so it unfortunately does not include some of the more impressive accomplishments of his second term in office, such as the Bush Administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina or the wonderful medical care our war veterans were receiving at Walter Reed Hospital until a journalist ruined everything.

It is truly a sobering document. I have listed only a few of the entries. The list is quite exhaustive and somewhat nauseating. Which is your favorite? The comments at the of the list are quite entertaining too! And keep in mind, these people are allowed to vote.

PRESIDENT BUSH'S AMAZING ACCOMPLISHMENTS (click for the ride of your life)

  • Handled himself with enormous courage, dignity, grace, determination, and leadership in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 hijackings and anthrax attacks. He almost single-handedly held this country together during those searing days. (I thought this was Giuliani’s job!)
  • Turned around an inherited economy that was in recession, and deeply shocked as a result of the 9/11 attacks. (Who’s going to inherit his economy in recession?)
  • Changed the tone in the White House, restoring HONOR and DIGNITY to the presidency. (You’ve got to be #%&@ing kidding me!)
  • Has reintroduced the mention of God and faith into public discourse. (This is also very popular in Iran)
  • Signed the No Child Left Behind Act, delivering the most dramatic education reforms in a generation (challenging the soft bigotry of low expectations). The very liberal California Teachers union (#%&@ing teachers unions!) is currently running radio ads against the accountability provisions of this Act. (Why have soft bigotry when you can have it HARD!)
  • Increased funding for the Troops-to-Teachers program, which recruits former military personnel to become teachers. (Yeah, PTSD in the classroom. Good idea! Those test scores should go through the roof!)
  • Established a $10 million grant program to promote private conservation initiatives. (Chump change!)
  • Successfully executed two wars in the aftermath of 9/11/01: Afghanistan and Iraq. 50 million people who had lived under tyrannical regimes now live in freedom. (WTF?)
  • Improved government efficiency by putting hundreds of thousands of jobs put up for bid. This weakens public-sector unions and cuts undeserved pay raises. (Once again, those #%&@ing unions!)
  • Converted federal service contracts to performance-based contracts wherever possible so that the contractor has measurable performance goals. (We need to electrocute only three more soldiers to meet our performance goal this month!)

George Orwell is looking down at us and laughing his ass off!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Got My Kicks

Greetings from summer vacation. I just got back from a week in Arizona. My ladyfriend and I did the Route 66 thing and drove some of the old, blistering asphalt through Barstow, Needles, Kingman and eventually set up base camp for several days in Flagstaff. We did forget about Winona, but I got a chance to stand on the corner in Winslow, Arizona!

How to Save Money on Science Textbooks

Never having seen the Grand Canyon before, a side trip was a must for me. The many photos I’ve seen do not, in any way, do it justice. While perusing the official, U.S. Government-sanctioned gift shop, I came upon an amazing book, entitled The Grand Canyon, A Different Perspective, a compilation of writings by various scientists and other experts. I thumbed through it and quickly realized that everything I learned during my tax-supported public school education about how the Grand Canyon was formed was wrong. Instead of being the product of millions of years of erosion created by the Colorado River, this book explains that the Canyon was actually the result of Noah’s Great Flood, described in Genesis. Instead of millions of years old, the Canyon is actually less than 6,000 years old! All of those years I had been lied to by my teachers, who were bent on spreading their godless/liberal/communist/homosexual agendas! I feel so betrayed. And dirty. The book was written and compiled by a canyon river guide, who came to Christ after years of drunken debauchery (where have I heard this story before?)

I sat down with the book and started reading. The book explains in great detail the overwhelming evidence that proves its theory. Interestingly, it never bothers to question the whole flood story. Apparently the writers of this book, along with most fundamentalists, are comfortable worshipping a deity who punishes a few people who piss him off by also drowning innocent babies and small children. I know that some four-month-olds can be a pain in the ass, but the whole drowning everybody thing seems to be going a bit far. Apparently the God of the Old Testament really should have entered an anger management program! The guy was just out of control! I think it’s time for somebody to put the FUN back into fundamentalism.

Another NCLB Casualty

After visiting numerous Route 66 sites and way too many souvenir shops, we decided to make another visit to the Canyon, but this time by train. Being a bit of a ‘foamer’, I was greatly disappointed that their steam engine was in the shop that day. Apparently, it needed new wheel bearings. Where do you find wheel bearings for a 90-year-old steam locomotive, Kragen? While suffering through well-meaning singing cowboys and ‘indigenous peoples’ entertaining passengers during the two-hour train ride, we met a teacher from Flagstaff. We struck up a conversation, and she mentioned that she was a 5th grade teacher, but that was soon coming to an end. After seventeen years of teaching, she was packing it in, pulling up stakes and she and her husband were moving to Bogotá, Columbia, where she would resume her teaching career. She seemed to be a very dedicated teacher, and I’m sure her students will miss her, but she finally reached her limit. She just got tired of all of the NCLB b.s. and ineffectual administrators she had to deal with on a daily basis. Teaching in the United States was no longer a joy for her. NCLB continues to work its special magic.