Thursday, April 24, 2008

Just Another Laugh For Today

I was REALLY dragging this morning and needed a laugh. Luckily I found it.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

At Least McCain HAS A Plan

DISCLAIMER: Up until about 5 years ago I considered myself a Republican but after seeing how corrupt the party has become, and how it serves the needs of corporate America rather than the people, I now consider myself an Independent.

There is now way in hell I will vote for McCain, I don't care who the Democrat candidate is. He or she will get my vote.

Everyday the news agencies tell us about the new record prices for crude oil and gasoline. My raise for this year has been erased by increased costs for gas just to get back and forth to work. Something has to be done.

McCain has been ridiculed for his plan to freeze the federal tax on gasoline. Whether the 18 cents would make that much of a difference is hard to say. I'm cynical enough to think the oil companies would just pocket the money.

What has received less attention is his proposal to stop pumping oil into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Bush has been pumping oil into it his entire presidency and refusing to release any to ease prices. Currently there are over 700 million gallons of oil in reserve.

Who benefits from all that oil sitting in reserve? The oil companies, since it helps inflate the price of crude. Don't expect Bush or Cheney to do anything to lessen the profits for their oil buddies, who surely see the writing on the wall and are soaking us for every penny they can get while the getting is good.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Is WRONG With Teachers In My Area?

It hasn't been a banner week for teachers in my area, as several seem to have gone totally mad and gotten themselves arrested. Don't they realize it makes us all look bad when they do idiotic things like this?

First, there was the secondary teacher accused of having sex wiht a 17 year old student. Don't they realize it's against the law???

Then, there was the drumline teacher who was arrested and admitted to having sex with a 14 year old girl.

Finally came the first grade teacher who was arrested for providing alcohol to minors, apparently her daughter and her friends. This is one of those cases where I can easily imagine the parent saying, "I'd rather them do it here than out somewhere else".

Their actions bring disgrace upon all of us.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

How Could They Miss This Song?

A tip of the hat to NYC Educator, who brought us a link to Blender's Top 50 Worst Songs of All Time.

Like NYC Educator I have one I think they missed. How in the world could they not have Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl" on their list?

It's bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Why I'm Not Impressed By Merit Pay Schemes

One of the biggest merit pay schemes in the nation is ongoing in Houston ISD here in Texas. Last year's awarding of checks was a debacle, with seemingly no rhyme or reason to the dollar amounts. In dozens of cases teachers who had been let go were given bonuses for the test scores, while others with extremely high passing rates received nothing.

This year's awards don't seem to be much better. Via the Houston Chronicle's School Zone Blog, one top ten recipient from last year dropped from a $6100 bonus to $420. Another teacher who received nothing last year got $7600 this year, without changing his teaching style. One commenter noted that teachers at a school that was rated "Exemplary" for 2 years in a row received nothing.

Meanwhile, of the 251 principals of Houston ISD schools, 232 got bonuses. The superintendent received a 75K bonus, all 19 Executive Principals (maybe someone can fill me in on what that is) received bonuses and all 4 Regional Superintendents received them.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

How About A Laugh For Your Thursday?

I heard this quote from Dave Attell. I thought it was so funny I laughed out loud.
I got struck by lightning. Some people get magical powers when they're struck by lightning, like reading minds or seeing the future.

I got the power to twitch on the ground and crap my pants.

I still haven't decided if I'll use it for good or evil.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Teachers In Denver Beware! You WILL Be Held Accountable For This Child's Test Scores In 4 Years

Every marriages has arguments and disagreements, but how many of them have had this kind?

A couple fighting about which gang their 4-year-old toddler should join caused a public disturbance that resulted in the father's arrest, Commerce City police said Thursday.

No picture of the Mom but hey, at least she had a job.

Somewhere in Denver are some 3rd grade teachers who will be told they are not doing a good job when this child of these two idiots is a 3rd grader and can't past the mandated Reading tests.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Just A Laugh For Today

As they say, it's a good thing it isn't contagious.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

My "Rule of 500"

Over at Joanne Jacobs there's a discussion about a kid who was suspended for 3 days for sniffing a Sharpie, after he had used it to color his clothing. I suggested there's was probably more to this story, like the kid is a chronic behavior problem, or at the least, he had taken a Sharpie from the teacher's desk. I also noted that if the fumes had been toxic, and the school had done nothing to stop it, the school would be sued.

Of course the public school bashing crowd over there took exception, so this morning I gave them my "Rule of 500" and I'm interested to see the response. In a nutshell it works like this.

The next time you have a parent complaining about the punishment you gave their little darling, who really wasn't doing anything all that bad, hit them with the Rule of 500.

In the example above I would say, "What do you think this school would be like if ALL 500 kids were taking Sharpies from the teachers' desks, coloring their clothing and then sniffing the fumes? How much learning do you think would go on? IF WE LET YOUR CHILD GET AWAY WITH IT WE HAVE TO LET EVERY CHILD DO IT."

That usually shuts most parents up.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm Not The Only One Who Thinks We're Getting Hosed By The Oil Companies

Automotive expert Ed Wallace agrees with me and has posted this article detailing what the facts are about high gas prices.

Here are some of his points.

1. There Is No Shortage - Gasoline reserves on hand are at the highest levels since the early 1990s, which is remarkable considering the nation's refineries have been cutting back on the production of gasoline because their margins have declined. In fact, average gasoline reserves on hand have risen since this past October, while oil reserves in this country have gone up virtually every week this year—and only fog in the Houston Ship Channel that kept oil tankers from unloading their crude one week kept it from being every week.

2. Demand Is DOWN, Yet Prices Are UP - In January of this year, the U.S. used 4% less petroleum than we did a year ago. (Oil demand was down 3.2% in February.) Furthermore, demand has been falling slowly since July of last year. Ronald Bailey of Reason Online has pointed out that worldwide production of oil has risen 2.5% in the first quarter, while worldwide demand has grown by only 2%.

3. Speculation is Up, and the Dollar Is Down - The weak U.S. dollar as a primary cause for skyrocketing oil prices—there is "some" truth in that statement. But consider this: The dollar has depreciated 30% against the world's currencies since 2002, while the price of oil has gone up 500%. So is it the weak dollar that has caused a 500% increase in the price of oil, or is it the extra $241 billion worth of speculation? You can make the call on that one.

Does anyone, besides Glenn Beck, think we're not being bent over and screwed?

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Stories That Should Be April Fool's Jokes But Aren't

If I had seen this story today I'd have thought it was a joke, but I saw it yesterday.

I have to admit to having some weird thoughts (Nose Hair Trimmer of the Gods), but I never once looked at a picnic table and thought, "Damn, I gotta HIT that!"

Meanwhile right-wing nutjob Glenn Beck thinks huge oil company profits are great for us common everyday folks. After all, he claims the average American has plenty of Exxon stock in his 401K plan. I haven't seen the statistics but I wonder just how many Americans have 401K plans. Oh, and more people are on food stamps, not because the economy is ruled by greedy corporations who won't pay decent wages, but because more people realize they can get them.

Meanwhile, everyone is having to make sacrifices in these hard times. These poor people had to trade in their Corvette for a Suburban!! if you can believe that. I gotta tell you, there's nothing sadder than some poor white people who can barely afford their mansion on the coast.

At least no kids tried to con me today.