Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In Which Ironicus 'Fesses Up

We are Progressives here in the marbled halls of IM Central. Progressives who are forced to vote for Democrats. Not because they are particularly progressive, but because republican policies are REgressive. Aggressively regressive. So it goes.

Monday, October 29, 2012

In Which Ironicus Puts Forth A Query

OK, it looks like Obama isn't going to be able to call off the election as some have feared, and he hasn't imported enough Muslims to guarantee his reelection either, so it appears we're all going to have to show up at the polls on election day and vote, just like we have for the last 43 presidents--who were all white by the way, but that has absolutely nothing to do with how convinced certain concerned citizens are that we're all going to be shipped off to FEMA camps by UN soldiers stationed in the country under the auspices of agenda 21 and then we'll be forced to get an abortion and gay marry an ACORN worker. After, of course, we're required to accept that global warming is real.

Which brings us to our interrogative: If you're a white guy who isn't rich enough to own a car elevator, why would you consider voting for the Mittbot?

He's run a business you say, and will thus be better on economic issues?

Have you looked at the type of enterprise he ran? It was an outfit of Armani clad pirates who swooped into a local area, bought up a business, stripped it of its assets then beat feet out of town leaving a stinking carcass and a bunch of people whose jobs were now in China.

Is that the kind of economic leadership you're looking for Bunky? Well, like we said, if you're rich enough to own a car elevator, or you've invested in Bain, sure, but if you're just some poor working stiff, you really think the Mittster gives a pustulating anal cyst what happens to you?

Maybe you think, well he agrees with me on social issues. Sure he does, but he agrees with everyone else too. In fact, if you catch him on a good day he might take both sides of an issue before you can even finish applauding when he takes the side you agree with.

He'll end Obamacare...

Yeah, right. Do you know how much big insurance loves Obamacare? It gives them a whole new guaranteed market. If Romney gets elected he'll get a phone call from some concerned insurance company CEO's and suddenly it will become too difficult to repeal Obamacare because Democrats! Besides, Obamacare is just Romneycare done by a black guy.

Look man, here's a fellow who runs around the country talking about how he's in touch with the needs of the 99%, but he doesn't even know how to sit on a bar stool. What's that tell you?

He'll make America a world leader again after Obama's apology tour...

Come on...dude doesn't even know where Iran is, England already hates him and most other countries would just as soon he stayed in one of his many mansions, preferably the one where the neighbors hate him.

We're dumb and we often vote against our own best interests...

OK, you got us there.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

OK, so let's say you're an overlord in New Zealand. You get up one morning and while you're looking for the instructions on shoe tying, there's a knock at the door. You open it and a stranger is standing there who says, "Hello. I'm from 60 Minutes." Now, it's been about six years since they repossessed your TV but even you know about 60 Minutes. You gotta be thinking "My day just got worse."

Well, strap in Bucko, because this is just the beginning.
Pressure is mounting for an independent inquiry into the number of dog deaths in the greyhound industry. It follows Sunday’s 60 Minutes investigation, which revealed hundreds of animals listed as retired are actually being put down.
"Well, 'retired' means not working anymore, doesn't it? I don't see the problem here," said Greyhound Racing New Zealand’s Jim Leach.

Oh, we totally agree Mr. Leach. It's like when you decide to retire they'll throw you this big party and you're boss will be all like, "Jim, for your many years of dedicated service to industrialized animal cruelty allow me to present you with this gold watch. Now if you'll just go with Dr. Smith here, he'll take you in the back and administer your lethal injection."
Today Green Party co-leader Russel Norman lent his weight to mounting calls for an independent inquiry, rather than one conducted by the industry itself. “The question is, are we willing to kill animals in order to enable our entertainment? Effectively that's what the greyhound racing industry is.”
Uh oh. Got the hippies on your case now, Mr. Leach. You know what that means. One morning you're going to wake up and find your house has been T P'd with Marcal® Small Steps® 100% Recycled Bath Tissue Rolls with flushable tubes. These people are some serious Mo Fo's.
No one from Greyhound Racing New Zealand would appear on camera today, saying they haven't confirmed what the investigation will actually investigate. But it will most likely include what happens to the dogs once they have finished their racing life.
"Most likely?" Man, Jethro Gibbs you are not. Dogs are listed as retired when they've been killed. What were you thinking of investigating, underage drinking by young dogs after lights out in the kennel?  Maybe the dogs are planning a breakout. You never know what they're talking about out there in the exercise yard. If we were you we'd make sure to inventory the cutlery after meals. They don't have thumbs but that may not stop them from making a mean shiv out of a spoon, and when their choices are win or die, they don't have much to lose, right Sera? 

Sera is still in the playful puppy stage and really enjoys a good romp in the yard followed by a nap. She's a little shy at first in new situations and with new people, but once she warms up she'll ask for pets by poking you with her nose. Sera would do well in a home with older well mannered children as an only dog if her family is home more often to play with her, or with other dogs her own size. She doesn't mind going in her crate, but does have a lot of puppy energy so would need a yard she can run in, or someone to play with her. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Somebody Needs To Get The Sex And The City DVD's for Christmas

OK, so last time out we told you we felt pretty certain that god was telling us all he preferred funny underwear to terrorist fist bumps in the White House, but today we're not sure we're getting Yahweh's frequency at all.
Defending his stance that abortion should be illegal even in the case of rape, Indiana Treasurer Richard Mourdock, Republican candidate for Senate explained that pregnancy resulting from nonconsensual sex is the will of God.
Now, we're willing to stipulate to the fact that The Big Guy might have a bit of an unusual take on sex what with immaculately conceiving his own son and all, but G, this is the 21st century! Haven't you heard of Ladies Night? We mean, come on Mr. Omniscient. If you can arrange for some poor woman to be walking alone some night and put some perv in the area, surely you can arrange for some halfway decent looking guy to head to the local watering hole when it's two for one Jello Shots for chicks.

Hook ups, dude, it's not unheard of even for you divine types. Just ask Leda, although there is some discussion about whether one can have consensual sex with a swan, still, no police reports were necessary.

Look, we're not too up on your word and all, but we do have some experience with dating, so if you'd like to talk about it, we're here for you. Just no burning bush stuff, OK? Plays havoc with the smoke detectors.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Just, You Know, Leave The Wives At Home On Inauguration Day

Well, we're not bible scholars or anything, but even we can see god's will at work here.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association removed language labeling Mormonism a “cult” from its website after the >famed preacher met with Republican nominee Mitt Romney last week and pledged to help his presidential campaign.
It's pretty simple really, Jesus just told Billy he'd rather have a blasphemer in the White House than a black guy. 

Nothing personal, Mr. Obama, just you know, religion and stuff.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know disappointment is the ultimate fate of ambition...erm...we mean know that we are loathe to give up our little corner of the inter tubz to voices other than our own, especially on FHB days when we put the foibles and failings of the overlords on full display. However, when we came across this story we knew it had to be done because as we head into the bleakest time of the year each of us could use a small ember of joy to warm ourselves with and this little tale should carry you through until Groundhog's Day.

Olivia, who seems to sense when Eileen Mitchell is feeling down about the loss of her beloved Elvis, often climbs into her companion's lap or brings a toy. Photo: Richard Glygayton / SF
"Excuse me," a stranger called out, weaving quickly between parked cars to reach us. "Can I pet your dog?" Her purse flapped against her side as she hustled toward us and her arms were filled with groceries, but she was determined to meet my greyhound, Olivia.
"Of course," I replied. When she reached us, she dropped her purse and groceries on the sidewalk, then knelt on one knee and wrapped her arms around Olivia's neck. She closed her eyes and buried her face against the soft fur, wearing a sad, wistful expression, and I realized there was more here than met the eye. After a few minutes of silence, she confirmed my suspicion.
"I live over there," she said, nodding toward a townhouse in back of the parking lot. "Every day I see you walking your dog, and I've been trying to get the courage to come out and say hi, but I've been afraid I'd start crying." She gave a heavy sigh. "We lost our greyhound a few months ago. I miss her so much."
I knew what she meant. Recently, I took Olivia, nicknamed Little Tiger for her striking brindle coat, to participate in her first Golden State Greyhound Meet & Greet. At these events, volunteers bring their hounds and educate visitors about what it's like to live with an ex-racer. Yes, many greyhounds are cat-safe; no, they aren't high strung and don't have to exercise constantly, stuff like that. We were approaching the tented booth filled with greyhounds when I saw him. I stopped in my tracks, mesmerized by the hefty fawn with gentle doe eyes that looked like Hershey Kisses.
He was the mirror image of my sweet Elvis.
I just stood there and stared, grateful that my Jackie O sunglasses were hiding my tear-filled eyes, when his guardian appeared at my side. "I knew it would be hard for you to see Victor," she said in a soft, knowing voice. "He looks just like him, doesn't he?" Of course she knew Elvis. Everyone knew my boy, whom I lost to cancer in February. Looking at Victor, I could almost imagine wrapping my arms around his neck, closing my eyes, and, for just a few precious minutes, pretending that I was holding Elvis. Would Victor have the same sweet musky scent? Would his lower jaw quiver with the same unmitigated joy that Elvis expressed whenever he was in my arms? Could I fool myself for even a minute? I wiped my eyes and turned away. I knew the answer.
Now, watching this woman holding Olivia, I shared my own loss, and then suggested she consider another dog. "Olivia will never replace Elvis," I said, "but she's helped me heal."
And she has. Every time I gaze at my boy's empty La-Z-Dog recliner or long for the touch of his velvety ears, Olivia pulls me back to the present. Maybe she climbs onto my lap, brings me a toy or simply lays her head against my chest. It's almost as if she can sense my aching heart.
Each time I hold Olivia, I inhale her unique scent and am reminded that she may be a different spirit, but she is just as eager to love. Every day she works her way a little deeper into my heart. Not in place of Elvis, but alongside him.
The woman thanked me, then gave Olivia one last kiss on her needle nose. And we continued our journey, my little tiger and I.
Can't add much to that, now can we Super C?

Super C is a very sweet, patient and gentle boy. He wants to be close to you and loves attention. He is housebroken. He will go in his crate but does not like it. He is not cat safe and shows a bit too much attention to small dogs. He is a big goofy boy who runs into things and trips on rugs.  Super C would do well in a working home. He would do well with older well-behaved children due to his clumsiness. He may accidentally knock small children down. He would do well as an only dog or in a home with dogs his own size. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tagg. You're Definitely Not It.

Well, this is interesting--in a mouth writing checks your butt can't cash sort of way.
Speaking on a local North Carolina radio station, Romney was asked about hearing “the president of the United States call your dad a liar.”“You want to rush down to the stage and take a swing at him,” Tagg said.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Punch the president. Yeah, right. This is the son of a man who had a kid held down while he cut his hair. OK Richie Rich, why don't you being your entitled little gluteus maximus down here and let the president put his foot in it about up to his knee.

We can just see it now. Here comes Tagg with his man Baxter a couple steps behind holding his coat. The Secret Service sees him coming and begins to converge but the president waves them off. When he's about five feet away he stops and begins to roll up his sleeves after carefully handing his Canary Diamond cufflinks to Baxter. The president takes off his coat and Tagg suddenly realizes he has an urgent engagement elsewhere.

An alternate scenario: Malia and  Sasha tease Tagg until he cries.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Fig, The Strawberry And The Holy Guava

As we mentioned yesterday we are duly certified educational technicians operating in our local educorporate training facility. As you might expect given our career choice, we put a high value on reading, writing, speaking and listening, and we place an even higher value on those traits when practiced by our trainees here in our house so to speak. We tell you this as background and to illustrate for you why we believe this country will soon descend into a Walking Dead sort of anarchy, except the dead won't be zombies, they'll "God fearin' church going folk."
The controversial issue of blasphemy and Muhammad has taken one of its more surreal turns as a student atheist group were ejected from their university Freshers Fair for naming a pineapple after the Prophet.
We'll pause here a moment while you read that again.

Yes, in the annals of religious persecution along with the martyrs, the pogroms, the holocausts, the inquisitions, the Diasporas, and the exiles we now have...a pineapple named Muhammad.
We labelled this pineapple 'Mohammed', to encourage discussion about blasphemy, religion, and liberty, as well as to celebrate the fact that we live in a country in which free speech is protected, and where it is lawful to call a pineapple by whatever name one chooses.
Look pal, just because  the University's recruitment brochure includes the phrase "We have an excellent reputation for showcasing the best of higher education in an engaging way" doesn't mean you get to go all rhetorical analysis on our most cherished, unquestioned, Bronze age myths. What do you think this is, the Age of Enlightenment or something?
After a few minutes, we were told by another member of RUSU staff that 'Either the pineapple goes, or you do', whereupon they seized the pineapple and tried to leave. However, the pineapple was swiftly returned, and shortly was displayed again, with the name Mohammed changed to that of Jesus."
Ha! Now you've been placed in a classic oratorical stepover armlock camel clutch called the horns of a dilemma. What do you have to say to that Mr. Get Ready To Burn In Hell. By the way, changing the pineapple's name to Jesus? Doesn't mean a thing except that when you find yourself in Satan's permanent RV camp your own personal tormentor will speak English (the language of the bible) instead of Islamic as he pokes your disbelieving little poop hole with his fire stick.
An argument broke our between members of the society and "a group of around five students, some of whom self-identified as Muslim."
As well it should, and in the fine tradition of philosophical and theological discourse we can only surmise that the volume of the argument was in inverse proportion to the logic displayed by the participants, but here's our question: Muhammad worked for Allah who, as we understand it, " If He willed, He could give the sky permission to fall on the earth, and whoever is in it would be killed." So, you work for a guy with a rep like that, do you really need a bunch of debate team rejects to defend you when a couple of band camp geeks get their rational thought on?

Well, if you do your boss ain't no boss like Jesus' boss 'cause when fifty or sixty homos walked down the street in New Orleans and made The Man's number one homie cry, G wiped out the whole Gulf coast. Now that's some religious authority right there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Look, If Muslims Can Stone Someone To Death, At Least Christians Ought To Be Able To Push A Gay Kid Around A Little

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the path to enlightenment leads through the valley of disillusionment to the high plains of resignation and ends on the banks of the river folly...erm...we mean know that we earn our daily bread as deacons in the church of reason. As a result of this career path we have become imbued with certain outlooks over the years, one of which is that policies that protect the young acolytes, especially from each other, are to be favored.

This is why we have generally applauded when legislators took time off from destroying collective bargaining, or throwing whole classes of people to the economic wolves to pass anti-bullying bills, although we must admit passing a law against bullying takes the same sort of forward looking clear eyed leadership as passing a law that says it's illegal for dogs to drive speed boats on the sidewalk.

Well, anyway all this is by way of introduction to the fact that as simple and straight forward as anti-bullying laws seem, apparently there is a theological argument against them. But first a little background:
A decade ago the Southern Poverty Law Center launched “Mix It Up” to get kids to spend time with classmates of different backgrounds. Although the suggested activities for Mix It Up at Lunch Day do not expressly address gay and lesbian students, the law center itself promotes equal treatment for gays and lesbians and that philosophy then informs the school program.
Well, like we said, policies that get the little spit-waders to interact with each other in a less wedgie dominant way is probably a good thing, plus "equal treatment"--who can argue with that?
American Family Association’s Bryan Fischer, who sees in it what he seems to see in everything, a stealth gay plot.
But, Mr. Fischer, what can you possibly see wrong with equal treatment? You know, do unto others as you would have them do unto you and stuff.
“Anti-bullying legislation is exactly the same,” Mr. Fischer said. “It’s just another thinly veiled attempt to promote the homosexual agenda. No one is in favor of anyone getting bullied for any reason, but these anti-bullying policies become a mechanism for punishing Christian students who believe that homosexual behavior is not something that should be normalized.
OK, that paragraph has given us a case of rhetorical whiplash. It seems to say that no one should be bullied, but if anti-bullying legislation is passed, then christian students will be punished for...what? Well, since it's an anti-bullying law, we guess...being bullies?

Admittedly there were times in catechism that we were less than attentive to the words of our instructor, but we think we'd remember if someone told us the only way good christian men and women could interact with LGBT students was to punch them.

Like we implied at the outset though, we're not theologians, so there must be a scriptural justification for Mr. Fischer's position which our admittedly heathen outlook is unable to fathom, otherwise it would appear he's just using his faith as a mask for his bigotry and prejudice, and that wouldn't be a very christian thing to do, now would it?

Friday, October 12, 2012

Friday Tucson Bashing

Man. When the first line of the article is "[t]he reports splash across my screen like a contagion: injury after injury at Tucson Greyhound Park, most of them due to outright neglect," you know it's going to be a bad day for Tommy "The dogs come first" Taylor.
But the conditions that resulted in no fewer than 68 damaged racing dogs over a two-month period—from broken equipment to shoddy track maintenance—led to nothing more than harsh words from the Arizona Department of Racing.
Oh. Looks like old Tommy gets a pass this week. Probably just as well what with the death threats and all. Now for those of you playing along at home, the Arizona Department of Racing is the body that is supposed to oversee the commercialized animal cruelty industry in the state and make sure everything is on the up and up. The representative responsible for operations at Death Camp for Greyhounds...erm...Tucson Greyhound Park is friend of the blog Rory Goree, who comes to this position drawing on his experience as United Greyhound Racing's Director of Welfare and Advocacy, during which time 140 greyhound disappeared from Tucson Greyhound Park never to be seen again, the cruelty scandal first broke, the track had to shut down for two weeks because of an outbreak of a "mysterious respiratory disease, and eight dogs died from heat stroke while being transported.

So, to recap: If we were greyhounds and we were told Mr. Goree has our backs, that would not be a comforting thought, but let's give the Department a chance and see how they are responding to the latest incidence of "putting the dogs first."
The records are scathing. "Tucson Greyhound Park needs to do a lot better job maintaining their equipment and fix broken equipment immediately," says one ADOR inspector's report, obtained by the Tucson Weekly. "This neglect will not be tolerated."
Yes, well,'s been our experience that when a bureaucrat says "This neglect will not be tolerated" instead of, you know, actually doing something about the aforementioned neglect, that in fact, said neglect will be tolerated.
Perhaps ADOR officials simply didn't want to spotlight their own failings by slapping a high-profile penalty on Tucson Greyhound Park.
Nah. Just look at Mr. Goree's record as Director of Welfare and Advocacy. For him failure isn't a bug, it's a feature, right Bones?

Luyendyke Bones is a very sweet, friendly and outgoing boy. He gets along very well with the other Greyhounds in the foster home. Bones is learning to go up and down the stairs. He loves to play with toys. Bones is not cat safe so no kitties in the home please. He has not been around small dogs yet, nor has he met any children, but he would probably be OK with well mannered ones. Bones would do well in a home with a single owner or a family. He would be fine as the only dog in the household. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

And Jesus Saith Unto Them, "Ima Bus' A Cap In Yo Disrespectful Little Be Hind"

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the futility of planning as it calls down upon us the wrath of the gods of uncertainty...erm...we mean know that on several occasions we have delighted you with tales from our desultory youth. Or given you the excuse to put off doing something productive for a few more moments, and we're OK with that, accepting purpose where it finds us.

All this is by way of saying even though we felt fate had dealt us the role of Eddie Haskel in the great Leave It To Beaver of existence, we never felt our lives were in danger, only our posteriors.
To save space, I've omitted the Biblical citation for Republican legislator Charlie Fuqua, running again for legislature's endorsement of the death penalty for rebellious children. Fuqua doesn't think execution would have to be used often on children who defied their parents, but suggests the deterrent effect of its legality would be beneficial.
 Doesn't think it would have to be used often? How very Post Bronze Age of him. And as for the "deterrent effect" we can just see the conversations in the cafetorium now? "Billy won't be coming to the party this Saturday, man."
"Why not?"
"He missed curfew for the third time this month."
"Bummer. What is he, grounded?"
"Naw man, his dad shot him."
"Whoa. That's harsh."
This passage does not give parents blanket authority to kill their children. They must follow the proper procedure in order to have the death penalty executed against their children.
 "Proper procedure?" What, are there forms to fill out? Where does one acquire these forms, the government?  "Excuse me, I'd like to pick up supplemental tax form 88B and an application to whack my kid."
"Yes sir, and you gonna ice the punk by gunshot, lethal injection, or just run over the ungrateful miscreant with your car?"
"Give me the car one. We're going to visit his grandparents over the holidays and well, let's just say that disrespectful heathen isn't coming back."
Even though this procedure would rarely be used, if it were the law of land, it would give parents authority. Children would know that their parents had authority and it would be a tremendous incentive for children to give proper respect to their parents.
Well, it is true parents don't have any authority over their children. Especially since the union got ratified. We mean, just try and change the work rules so little Johnnie has to take out the trash without a corresponding increase in his allowance. Boom! You'll find yourself in front of the Labor Relations Board so fast you'll think you're Michael T. Duke at a UFCW meeting.

It would seem like we could work something out here without, you know, infanticide and stuff. There's got to be a middle ground. How about this: Muslims don't ice people right away. Say you get caught stealing something, they'll just cut off your hand. Couldn't we come up with something like that? You know, if the kid forgets to trim the bushes after he mows the lawn dad goes all Kunta Kinte on his toes.

Oh wait, we forgot, Islam is a barbaric religion. Wouldn't want to go copying any of their practices. Besides, they already off their kids, although it's only the girls so, you know, biblically  based killings are equal opportunity killings. Yay Jesus!

Friday, October 05, 2012

Friday Hound Blogging

Man, we're kind of at a loss this week. No one is bashing Death Camp for Greyhounds...erm...we mean Tucson Greyhound Park, CEO Tom "The Dogs Come First" Taylor, or his brain addled sidekick Dr, Joe "Needles" Robinson (Wally's College of Veterinary Medicine and Truck Driving School class of '95). Well, there is the fact that they've apparently been breaking the law for 60 years, but that's about to change now, right Kim Janes, manager of Pima County Animal Care?
Janes said he doesn't know why the park was exempt, and about a year ago his office started investigating the matter.
Wait. You know where the track is. You know where the dogs are. We're assuming you can drive, or you know someone who can, and it's taken you a year to decide you don't know why Tommy gets to break the law? Man, Jethro Gibbs you are not.
Janes said the South Tucson's City Attorney's Office contacted his office Thursday to confirm an ordinance that the greyhounds at the park should be licensed. Janes planned to send Animal Care officers to the park this week to assess the situation. "We are going to be talking to the track and say they need to have some information for us," he said. "When we come out, we will need to see rabies vaccinations and proof of when the dog got here. If (they) don't have proof, we are going to assume it has been here more than 30 days."
We are shocked, we tell you SHOCKED that there are dogs at this dog racing track. Sounds like the overlords aren't the only ones who quit caring about the dogs when they're not "fit for purpose" huh Sylvia Martin, of West Allotment?

A former racing greyhound that was no longer ‘fit for purpose’ was found dumped at a borough retail park last week. The five-year-old dog was dangerously emaciated when she was found in the Silverlink car park in Wallsend, by Greyhound Rescue North East rehoming coordinator Sharon Morgan. “She was so thin, she was desperately trying to get food off people,” she said. “We know she was a former racing dog as her ears are marked, but she has been sold on so many times we cannot trace the owner.
Oh, now that's a shame because the greyhounds are just like family to the overlords, they come first and they're high performance athletes so they get the best of care which means Minne's owner, well maybe one of them anyway, is probably out there scouring the countryside looking for her so she can be returned to one of the loving homes that sold her on, or maybe gave her away, or just abandoned her in the park...oops, this is where we came in, right  Rusty?

Rusty is a very friendly boy who loves kids. He is learning to play with toys and he loves them. He likes to be petted but is a little reserved when he first meets you but as soon as he warms up to you, he will be your best friend. he likes cats and other dogs.He is learning to walk on a leash but needs a little more work. He would do well in a home with a single owner or a family because he loves kids. He can either be an only dog or  can live with other dogs and/or cats. For more information about this dog, and other rescued racing greyhounds looking for homes, go here. If you don't know about the plight of racing greyhounds go here.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Much Ado About Empty Suits

OK, so tomorrow is the debate between President Commie McKenyastan and Bob 2.0. Word on the street is that a zinger protocol has been uploaded to old Bob and he is expected to try his luck at insult comedy. Also too, empathy.

We won't hold our breath, unless it means that he's going to say to the 47%'ers, "if you don't have a car elevator, I feel your pain."

For his part, President Obama is expected to remain black.

You'll excuse us if we're not too excited about all this. First of all, it's not a debate, it's a televised dual news conference lead by Jim Lehrer who was press secretary in the Harding administration and now drives a cab part time in Sheboygan when he's not on PBS. All the topics are known ahead of time and all the responses have been exhaustively worked out right down to the emphatic finger jabs and eyebrow raises.

In other words it's about as close to a debate as Michelle Bachmann is to a Nobel Prize in High Energy Physics.

You can pretty much tell what the journalists, professionally trained in the journalistic sciences are going to take away from the Ebony and Ivory Variety hour: Expectations.

But if you expect them to talk about how Americans seems to be running all over the country shooting each other up with wild abandon, sorry.

Expect them to talk about an 11 year fizzle in Afghanistan? Not happening.

Robot bombs blowing up children? Meh.

Working people are working harder now just to fall behind more while CEO's make 18 gagillion dollars a week just for driving the company into the ground?  Uh uh.

America imprisons more people per capita than any other country in the word? Say what?

Housing? Crumbling infrastructure? 15% of the population below the poverty line? Over 16 million children going to bed hungry? The fact that the pirates who wrecked the economy in the first place are still riding in their chauffeur driven limos to their fancy offices every day instead of breaking rocks on an Alabama prison farm? 

Come on, we got an election to get through here. Can't be muddying up the proceedings with a bunch of Much easier to talk about who "won" and who had the better suit.

As for us, we'll be watching reruns of Martin on the TV Land channel.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Make Sure To Put Your Toys Away Or You'll Never Get Into A Good College

Last week we told you about Springtown, Texas ISD Superintendent Mike Kelley's determination to paddle him some of that sweet sweet post-pubescent booty. You may have gotten the impression that we were not in favor of professionally trained educational professionals who decide that the best way to get kids to learn is to beat them, and you wold have been correct. Personally we prefer more subtle forms of behavior management such as the random quiz--given three days in a row, no more, no less. Then wait two days and give another. Also there is the dinner time call to the parents, very effective with certain parents, and of course, The Home Visit. Ah, what memories that brings back. the tears, the curfews, the promises...and no bruises.

So, slapping kids around is not what we'd call a sound pedagogy for children. For adults, however...we're not so sure.
With school in full swing across the United States, the littlest students are getting used to the blocks table and the dress-up corner - and that staple of American public education, the standardized test. A national push to make public schools more rigorous and hold teachers more accountable has led to a vast expansion of testing in kindergarten. And more exams are on the way, including a test meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career.
OK, so what test is specific enough that it can determine whether a five year old boy is on track to be a policeman, a fireman, a cowboy or an astronaut since those are the most popular career paths at that age. And why subject five year old girls to this test? Just check the box labeled princess and that will pretty much cover it. 

Paul Weeks, a vice president at test developer ACT Inc., says he knows that particular assessment sounds a bit nutty, "but we've pretty much maxed out the market for selling tests to the other grades, so profit margins, you know"?

Asking kids to predict the ending of a story or to suggest a different ending, for instance, can identify the critical thinking skills that employers prize, he said. "Of course, their ability to predict when they are five can be totally different by the time they get to 18, after they've been taught and stuff, but hey, that just means they'll need another test!"

"There are skills that we've identified as essential for college and career success, and you can back them down in a grade-appropriate manner," Weeks said. "Even in the early grades, you can find students who may be at risk. Or at least our tests will show them at risk. Who knows what's really going on at that age."

Opponents counter that testing puts undue stress on 5- and 6-year-olds and cuts into the time they should be spending playing, singing and learning social skills. They also contend that most tests for kindergarteners are unreliable because the children have short attention spans and often find it difficult to demonstrate skills on demand. "Which is why we need more tests, only shorter," Weeks said. "Say, what if we tested playing, singing and social skills? That could work. We really don't care what we test."
Kari Knutson, a veteran kindergarten teacher in Minnesota, has seen the shifting attitude toward testing play out in her classroom. During her first two decades of teaching, Knutson rarely, if ever, gave formal tests; kindergarten was about learning through play, music, art and physical activity. These days, though, her district mandates a long list of assessments. This week, it's on to math - and a seven-page, pencil-and-paper test. "It's supposed to show them what they'll be learning in first grade," Knutson said. "Like they really care."
"But don't you see?" Weeks asked. "That's the beauty of it. The tests aren't for the kids anyway. They're to create fear and confusion among the adults, so we can sell them more tests. You people really don't get marketing do you?"