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Friday, September 29

jocelyn elders for secretary of education

Well, to spend the afternoon cleaning house or blogging?

I must confess it has been a while since my last entry. I haven't wanted to write about the disappointments or the daily insults. Sometimes the theater of the absurd that is modern living gets to be an old, repetitive topic. Or it could just become a regular feature on these pages.

Someone I knew said that I am an angry person. If you aren't angry, you are delusional.

Part of the function of public schools of all levels is teaching civics. We do a really poor job of it. One of my students said that her professor wouldn't allow her to take a make up exam. She needed to miss the exam because she had been subpoenaed and she had to testify in state district court. When did professors get the idea that their exams are more important than a subpoena? The student had the court summons issued by the court in hand. She wasn't lying. She cannot duck the subpoena or she will be arrested. Perhaps her instructor isn't familiar with the laws of the State of Texas. My student performed the exam in a rush, made it to court late, and the judge admonished her. Fortunately she did not hold my student in contempt.

Another colleague told his classes that there are at least 500 "partial birth abortions" (not a medical term, but rather a term more closely associated with propaganda) performed a week. He did not inform them of the emotional nature of the term or the fact that federal law prohibits the procedure. The basis of the law is probably unconstitutional because it violates Roe v. Wade.

How in the Hell are we supposed to teach students something of their responsibility as citizens if we don't provide proper, honest, information to students?

Another police officer was murdered in Houston last week. Talk radio has used the fact that the suspect in the shooting is here illegally to mew and puke about ICE (sounds like a name straight out of Get Smart) and what is known as a "sanctuary policy." Our police cannot ask someone their legal residency status because if they are here illegally, we don't really have the manpower or the jail capacity to process them and ICE is overwhelmed. The same people who complain about this policy are the same people who hate paying taxes and refuse to raise taxes to provide for enough police officers so the police must work alone rather than with a partner. They won't raise their taxes to provide ICE with manpower and facilities. Conservatives want to gripe about illegals but they don't want to raise taxes to cope with a problem that they understand to be a national security issue.

Two weeks ago, the decision was made at our house to purchase new Michelin tires for my Volvo. I like Michelins. I don't buy other tires. I ordered said tires from a national chain tire dealer. They still haven't called me to tell me that the tires are here. The manager of the tire store told me that UPS had brought him, "like 500 new tires and I can't tell if the ones you ordered are like here. I mean there is this invoice and a shipping list, but hey, I have got 500 new tires so I don't know where your tires are." So I went to where America shops for washing machines, underwear, and tires and bought said Michelins there for about $200 less than the discount store wanted. But I had to wait three hours for a service person to remove my old tires and replace them with my new tires. Thank God they remembered to tighten the lug nuts. During that time while I waited, even though I had a reservation --whatever that means-- I was subjected to Dancing with the Stars on the television in the waiting room. I think the premiere of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip said it best when one of its characters noted while describing the general tone of television programing, ''If you pointed a camera at two people masturbating, it'd be among the least embarrassing things on the National Broadcasting System.''

It might not be the most embarrassing thing happening in modern life, either.

We purchased a new dishwasher and it took no less than 27 hours to have it installed. The installer went to the wrong house--common in our neighborhood where the builder named all the streets practically the same name and gave houses the same numbers a block over--where the installer sat in the driveway unable to call us on his cell because it was dead. Evidently leaving the driveway once he found it and say calling us from a near-by gas station isn't company policy. The next day, he found a phone that actually worked and called while standing on our porch without an appointment. We let him in the house to install the dishwasher because we were afraid that no one would ever again show up to install the dishwasher. That also took three hours. Not kidding. Wish I were. He was from Syria via Bulgaria armed with a university degree in engineering.

What do these paragraphs have in common? You can't fix stupid and it is clearly running us into circles into the ground.

When Jocelyn Elders, the Surgeon General in the Clinton Administration, suggested that we teach young people how to masturbate, she was on to something. She shouldn't have been fired. She should have been made Secretary of Education. If masturbation was included in the curriculum at all schools, at least young people would learn something and perhaps something they would be good at and enjoy. This makes much more sense than depending on the school system to tell students something important like honoring a subpoena, recognizing propaganda from truth, why we pay taxes and where they go, and reading well enough to understand how to order and change tires.

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