All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.



Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!

10/22/2014

Rap Done Right

I don't know how I missed this back in the day.  Thankfully we have the internet.

Home Schooling

Home schooling has much to offer in terms of educational opportunity.  Home schoolers will tell you it is the better way to go for a variety of reasons.  I agree.  A child will have a better learning environment, more individualized teaching.  All of that is true and valid.

What they don't tell you is that you will go bonkers if you home school your kids.

In a traditional school setting some poor slob gets paid to put up with children who have the same learning disabilities you did.  Oh yes.  I said it.  Children have learning disabilities.   The single biggest one is LBD.  The second biggest one is they are children.

Kids instinctively know that some things are "funner" than others.  This is because they are children and haven't succumbed to the evils of delayed gratification.  They know that playing on the swings (which is what mine are doing right now, that's how I got 15 blissful min of blog time) is more fun than multiplication.  Long division? Ha!  There are bikes that need riding.

I repent in sack cloths and ashes over the way I treated my teachers when I was a kid.  One guy named Donahue had a drinking problem.  We called him Drunkahue.  Do you know why he drank?  That's right kids.  After 10 years with a roomful of teenagers you'd need a little nip in the afternoon to help make it to happy hour too.  After 20 years you need a nip in the morning, between classes, and a good slug with your morning coffee.  It's not alcoholism, its dedication to getting to retirement.

Do you know why teachers have tenure and unions?  They need them.  No one in their right mind spends that much time with kids in an institution.  Who wants to be institutionalized?  Nobody.  Have you ever been around a women who spent 24 years teaching the 1st grade?  Five words: "Good Moorning booys and girrrrls".  You heard a certain half crazed voice in your head when you read that, didn't you?

Crazy.  That's what kids make you.  That's just the kid portion of the dementia.  You can't forget about LBD.  LBD was first discovered by Adam and Eve, at least that's the rumor.  In more enlightened times the issue of LBD was addressed in the classroom by the board of education.  By board of education, of course we mean the paddle.  By paddle we mean a 2x12  solid oak board with a two handed reinforced handle and holes drilled in it to make it more "aerodynamic" and leave lots of red hickeys on the butt of the victim student.

The teachers of yore were wise.  They knew that LBD (Lazy Butt Disorder) was best addressed by applying the board of education to the seat of learning.  They also knew that beating the living tar out of a kid could keep you from going insane.  There is no historical documentation to back this up, but logic dictates that several stiff drinks right before administering the beating does help the recovery of the teacher.

I don't know if you know this or not, but you can't randomly beat your children anymore.  You didn't know that?  My dad sure didn't.  If I came home from school and he even suspected LBD, I got a whooping.  That's because my dad knew he didn't want me getting kicked out of school.  Back then they figured if you had LBDD (Lazy Butt Disruptive Disorder) they'd kick you out and you'd have to spend your day with your parents.  My parents didn't want that, so they beat me.

Then someone, obviously not a parent or a teacher, got the bright idea that we shouldn't beat kids with LBD.  At least they didn't take away the keys to the liquor cabinet.

After spending 4 hours combating LBD and WLG (whiney little girl) you can't send them home, because you homeschool your kids.  That's right.  They are already home.  There is no escape because you are the primary care giver.  You can't go anywhere to get away from them because you've already pulled your hair out, your clothes are a mess from the art project, and you are afraid the cops will take your license for good if they catch you driving after homeschooling again.

They will know too.  Last time they caught you during a traffic stop.  They snuck up to the window and when you weren't looking and saying "DAAAAAD" in a nasally voice.  They knew right then from the twitching and involuntary convulsions that  you were operating a car after homeschooling.  The dilemma is you can't drive to the liquor store.  You can't walk there either.  The cops don't look kindly on the imaginary conversations you have with yourself.  Apparently the neighbors complain when they see you walking and yelling things into the air. "You have to learn your multiplication tables, because I say you have to learn your multiplication tables". 

Maybe a couple of shots of Nyquil to steady up.  I'm out.  I think I still have some rubbing alcohol around here someplace.

Middle East Assignment

A disappointed soft drink salesman returned from his Middle East assignment. His boss asked, "Why weren't you successful with the Arabs?"

The salesman explained, "When I got posted in the Middle East, I was very sure to make a good sales pitch as our product was virtually unknown there. I didn't know to speak Arabic, so I planned to convey the message through three posters. My first poster was a man crawling through the hot desert sand, totally exhausted and panting. Second, the man is drinking our soft drink and third, our man is now totally refreshed. Then these posters were pasted all over the place"

"That should have worked," said the boss.

The salesman replied, "Well, not only did I not speak Arabic, but I didn't realize that Arabs read from right to left."

10/21/2014

B-Side, Another One Bites the Dust

If you were to visit my town you might see on the back of some of the cars and trucks window stickers.  This is normal.  Lots of small towns are proud of their high school sports teams and parents will put their kids jersey numbers and name on their windows to show support for their kid. 

If you hang around here long enough, and spend your time checking out window stickers you will notice two stickers show up more than others.  Each sticker is a reference to a different boy.  Each boy was popular.  Each boy was on the football team.  Each boy had everything going for him.  They had something else in common.  Each boy killed himself.  The window stickers are "remembrance stickers". 

The first boy, we'll call him "G", offed himself about 10 years ago.  The second boy, we'll call him "T", did the same about 6 years ago.  I don't know much about "G".  I do know a bit about "T".  "T" was a football star.  He had a choice of scholarships one to play at U of W.  Granted not a Big 10 school, but still pretty good going into his senior year.  Maybe he would have gotten a better school at the end of the season.  He also had an appointment to West Point.  His parents own a successful business in our town.  They have money.

If "T" left a note, I don't know about it.  I do know, on a passing basis his sister.  She is an attractive girl.  "T" was a good looking kid too.  It's fair to say that the whole family are what you might call "the beautiful people".  Money, good looks, youth, a promising educational career, and a leg up on life, it wasn't enough.

I was teaching the teens at the time and one day the kids came to class despondent over "T".  So we talked about it.  I told the kids that "T" didn't matter.  I told them he was a selfish fool.  People who hurt other people like he did are fools.  He didn't matter because he quit trying. Checking out is cowardly.

I don't think my counsel was what they were expecting.  I know its not what they were getting from the professionals at school.  I also told them that 5, 10 or 15 years from now no one would remember "T" because he decided that he didn't matter.

That proved untrue.  I still remember.  Yesterday I was behind a truck with "G's" sticker on it.  The truck was old, like mine.  I reflected on the fact that soon that truck would be traded in on a newer one.  We wouldn't be seeing his sticker around much longer.  Most of the window stickers are gone now, the beautiful people can afford new cars a little more frequently than the norm.

The kids in my class have moved on.  Most of them have graduated by now.  Several are more than have done with college.  Life has moved on.  "T's" sister is married and moved out of state, her and her husband are living their dream.  "T" would have finished his college football career.  I don't know if he was good enough to go pro.  We'll never know that.  Maybe he would have went to West Point.  He'd be a brand new butter bars now.  We don't know if that would have worked out either.

He might have married the girl he took to prom, but he didn't go.  He might have had a case full of trophies or a chest covered in medals.  He might have.  He might have tried.

10/20/2014

Down the Rabit Hole

Outlaw's comments jogged my mind about a post I've been mulling over.  What is the greatest sin of our age?

For an individual the greatest struggle with sin may lust or greed or whatever they have a particular struggle with.  It may be fair to say that what ever temptation a person is facing at the moment is to some extent the greatest one.

Probably most people who are biblically semi-literate have seen part of this, but I'm going to include a fuller reading:

Isa 5:18-24
 
Woe to those who draw sin along with cords of deceit, and wickedness as with cart ropes, to those who say, "Let God hurry, let him hasten his work so we may see it. Let it approach, let the plan of the Holy One of Israel come, so we may know it."
 
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
 
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.
 
Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks, who acquit the guilty for a bribe, but deny justice to the innocent.
 
Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the LORD Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel.
 
NIV
 
I realize that this was specifically written to a group of people who are now long dead and gone.  Yet I keep pondering if this isn't a good description of people in American today.  Americans, especially liberal Americans believe they are very smart, " wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight".  Incrementalism is taught as a method of "social change".  The terms "change agent", "advocate" "change advocate" are lauded as worthy and honorable roles to play in civilization.  No one seems overly interested in defining what the "change" will look like or describing the desired outcome beyond the nebulous "better", "fairer", or "more inclusive".  Sin is drawn along with cords of deceit. 
 
Evil is called good and good evil.  Perversion is proclaimed as a "civil right".  Non-participants in perversion are required to praise it or face legal sanction. We are a conglomerate of people who over indulge and our system of justice frees evil doers while denying justice to the deserving. 
 
The last 50 years of American civilization have been the most technologically advanced in recorded history.  They have also been some of the most economically prosperous times man has ever enjoyed.  Even in our economic depressions, we are wealthier than most of the human race throughout time.  The United States represents "the best" humankind has achieved.
 
This has lead us to believe that we really are especially cleaver. 
For the life of me
I can not remember
What made us think that we were wise and we'd never compromise
For the life of me
I can not believe we'd ever die
For these sins
We were merely freshmen
We tried to wash our hands of all of this
We'd never talk of our lacking relationships
And how we're guilt-stricken sobbin' with our heads on the floor
We fell through the ice when we tried not to slip we'd say
 
Can't be held responsible
She was touchin' her face
I won't be held responsible
She fell in love in the first place

We still haven't learned our lesson.  If we don't, and soon, our flowers will turn to dust and blow away.


10/17/2014

Qualified Immunity

Aiyana Stanley-Jones would have turned eleven years old this year.  Would have.  The Detroit police department shot her in the head during an illegal no-knock raid of her home.  I'm filled with rage, indignation, and sorrow over what happened.  It's not hard to see why blacks don't like white cops.  A couple of facts I'd like to highlight about the situation.
  • The police only obtained a warrant for Aiyana's home after they shot her in the head.
  • The police were serving a warrant on a duplex.
  • The police had a warrant for the unit next door.
  • The police brought along a camera crew who were shooting footage for a reality TV show.
  • The police officer who shot Aiyana had been involved in previous problematic excessive force situations prior to this one.
I suspect that the above facts were part of why Joseph Weekley was stripped of his qualified immunity and required to stand trial on charges related to his killing of a 7 year old girl. 

This is how it should have been.  I agree that Weekley should have to face a jury.  Which he has done, twice.  Each of the juries ended up deadlocked over his guilt.  As the case progressed through the system the more serious charges were either dropped or dismissed until this last time all he was facing was a charge of "careless or reckless firing of a weapon causing death".  He wasn't facing a murder or even a involuntary manslaughter charge.  The jury still couldn't agree that he had done that.

Everything Weekley has said about the situation has proven to be a lie.  Grandma didn't grab his gun.  The forensic tests prove her finger prints weren't on the weapon and the gunpowder residue tests show that her arm wasn't near the barrel.  The only person whose finger was on the trigger was Weekley.  The only person who shot the gun that killed a little girl as she was sleeping was, Weekley.

To some extent the system worked.  It's too bad that system didn't protect Aiyana.  I think all good people grieve over that.  The fact is that Weekley got caught.  Weekely was charged with crimes and tried twice.  Two times the jury deadlocked.  The second time all they had to decide on was two facts:
  1. did someone die
  2. did Weekley pull the trigger
They couldn't figure it out.  How stupid is the Wayne county jury pool?

The people on that jury were the arbitrators of justice. Their job was to either acquit Weekley out right or condemn him for his crime.  Either way justice would be granted either in the form of vindication or vengeance. The jury failed to do its duty.