Thursday, September 30, 2010

Next Time Just Pull Her Hair And Run Away

We had a student like James O'Keefe once. He was mostly a harmless kid, just had to say this politely...over-inflated opinion of his own intelligence. Generally he would say something stupid in class, usually mouthing some talking point he'd picked up somewhere--generally without really understanding what it meant, then the sharper kids in the class would cut him a new one and life would go on. Eventually he learned that the other students weren't going to take what he said at face value the way he did when he'd read whatever it was if was pontificating about, so he resorted to what he felt was a knowing smirk and exasperated laugh when the debate went past his rather meager abilities to participate. Sort of reminded us of Tucker Carlson.

The problem with the real James O'Keefe is he got lucky. If his piece of fiction on ACORN hadn't been injected into a cultural climate where the media can't tell a real story from a bowl of oatmeal--and doesn't really care anyway as long as it's something that isn't complicated, and Congress is desperately looking for anything to do except their jobs, little Jimmy would have faded into early, lasting and well deserved obscurity.

But like we said, Jimmy got lucky and he was suddenly a made man. This type of encouragement is
disastrous for a person of limited intellectual capabilities as was shown in the Landrieu incident, and now in his attempt to embarrass CNN by boinking Abbie Boudreau.

Yeah. We don't get it either. The only thing we can figure is Jimmy wasn't doing too well on the singles scene and thought this might be a cool way to meet girls, plus get a tax write off. We agree with Jesse that it does sort of make sense from a 13 year old,  momma's baby, pencil necked geek sort of perspective, we mean look at the boy:

In high school he might as well have been wearing a sign that said "Please give me a wedgie." What we can't figure out is why it never occurred to him that a tee vee reporter lady, coming to interview him about a tee vee show her tee vee station was doing wouldn't bring a crew along with her to, you know, tape the thing for the tee vee. Think it though next time Jimmy, OK?

So now you're thinking "Wait a minute Ironicus, first this guy's claim to fame turns out to be bogus, then he almost gets himself sent to prison, now it turns out he's a perv. There isn't going to be a next time."

Oh yes, credulous reader(s), yes there will.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I Have A Right To Make Your Kid As Stupid As Mine

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the sun never sets on the empire of mean know that one of the ways we pass our time here in this space time continuum is by shepherding budding authors around the wonderful world  of academia. We came by this vocation naturally enough when we discovered that compositions of wit and wisdom (Mostly wit. OK mostly fart jokes) on the restroom walls kept our male counterparts distracted enough so that we could keep our lunch money, and heartfelt simple rhyming couplets often drew the attention of coeds who normally would have crossed the street to avoid giving us the time of day.

Hence began our life long love affair with literature. You may disagree, but we like to think that relationship has matured over the years and good books and good writing have become such a part of our lives it is impossible to imagine living without them. Plus we still enjoy a good fart joke. We tell you all this by way of setting the context for relaying the pleasure we experienced learning that there are indeed others such as ourselves, even in that oft maligned, laughing stock of a state, Texas.
Each winter, Humble Independent School District, located in a suburb northwest of Houston, Texas, hosts an annual literary festival. The all-day celebration of books, which alternates yearly between a children's literature and a teen lit event, has quickly grown into one of the nation's leading festivals. Last January's "Peace, Love & Books" gala at Creekwood Middle School featured nationally acclaimed authors and illustrators and drew hundreds of children and families, despite the damp Saturday weather.
Despite the overall tone of this blog it is stories like this that give us hope, for if love of literature, children and community can exist in Texas, there is a brighter future for us all.
But this school year, there will be no such celebration of books. Not because of budget cuts, and certainly not due to lack of interest. This year's teen lit festival has been canceled because of a string of events that followed the banning last month of bestselling young adult author Ellen Hopkins.
Yes, perhaps the good people of Humble are the robins that signal the long winter of America's national psychosis is drawing to a close and the banned the author? The lady that wrote the book? What? Is she Kenyan? You told this lady your town wasn't big enough for the both of you? Are the police sitting out on the road at the edge of town? Is the sheriff trying to get the shop owners deputized? Have you hired a gunslinger? Is this 1810?
Upon learning that Hopkins was scheduled to speak at this winter's festival, several parents complained to the school board. The superintendent, after consulting his head librarian, instructed the festival's organizers to remove Hopkins from the roster and rescind the invitation.
 See, here are the two necessary ingredients for this sort of idiocy to be successful: "Several parents" who've made their kids program the Tivo for Jerry Springer so they don't have to be home in the afternoon, and a superintendent whose spine is made of overcooked Ramen noodles.

And the really sad thing is these "several parents" probably didn't even need to maneuver their Hoverounds down to a school board meeting and wave their mostly spelled correctly signs around since when there is no leadership at the school these things always catch parents who actually want their children educated unawares because they make the mistake of assuming that professional educators, who are in charge of the professional education of their children, actually know something about education and children and actually care to put the two together.

Nope. Not even close, and that's why "several parents" can destroy an opportunity for "hundreds of children and families." But that's not even the thing that most makes us wish we'd gone into long distance truck driving. The thing that bothers us the most is that while most of these "hundreds of children and families" would have enjoyed the day and benefited from the event, there may have been just a child or two who would have caught a spark from one of these authors and it would have started a fire in them that would warm them and nurture them for the rest of their lives.

And they wouldn't have had to discover it by writing on bathroom walls like we did.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Extra Credit If You Know Who The Patron Saint Of Ugly People Is*

We're coming to you today from the Department of Religious Instruction here in the marbled halls of IM Central. The DoRI is just across the Quad from the Pope Bene Nazi Youth Memorabilia Museum and south of the Bishop Eddie Long Camp for Boys. Many is the time we've regaled reader(s) of this blog with tales of our upbringing under the watchful, if somewhat  bloodshot eyes of the Brothers Christian and the hair trigger ruler arm of their faithful penguin minions, the Sisters of the Holy Order of Dashboard Jesus ($12.95 includes shipping).

As a result you all think we're atheists, but that is at least thirty cubits from the truth because, as we've also written previously, once you get the holy cold shower--yer in and ain't nothing  nobody can do about it, which is why we like to refer to ourselves as recovering catholics. Well, we tell you all this by way of establishing our credentials to comment on a recent story in the New York Times, the headline of which is Basic Religion Test Stumps Many Americans. Now, when you first read that you might think the article is about republicans, who want to cut social security, Medicare, food stamps and taxes for the rich, blow up brown people countries and just generally wall off anyone who isn't wealthy and white because said republicans have obviously failed a pope's hat full of religious tests. True as that position is though, in this instance you'd be wrong because what the article is really about is how atheists know more about religion than believers.
On average, people who took the survey answered half the questions incorrectly, and many flubbed even questions about their own faith. Those who scored the highest were atheists and agnostics...“Even after all these other factors, including education, are taken into account, atheists and agnostics...still outperform all the other religious groups in our survey,” said Greg Smith, a senior researcher at Pew.
Hmm, thinks us. This is a bit of a conundrum because religious folks are always telling us we don't know nothing about nothing and if we did we'd see how complex the universe is so it had to be created by god who is the only being complex enough to do something like that. Except when he's simple.

Well, OK, fair enough. All those scientific explanations tend to upset people still running around looking for apes evolving into humans anyway,  so we're thinking what the article may be saying is that atheists have a better grasp of the big picture, but when it comes to how faith works in between the regular collection and the special collections on Sunday, the believers have the upper hand--especially catholics who had company policy surgically attached to them in second grade.
Forty-five percent of Catholics did not know that their church teaches that the consecrated bread and wine in holy communion are not merely symbols, but actually become the body and blood of Christ.
Oh. Come. On. We know that and we spent most of catechism class staring at Elizabeth Arlen's...ah...sweater. That's the only thing most people know about catholics: they EAT THEIR GOD!!! Bwwaahahahaha!!! Cripes, when we were in sixth grade we had the little lutheran boy that lived next door convinced that for two hours after mass all catholics had super powers because of it. Yeesh people, learn to take advantage of your opportunities, OK? Confession? Get out of jail free card, who's with us?
“I have heard many times that atheists know more about religion than religious people,” Dave Silverman, president of American Atheists, said. “Atheism is an effect of that knowledge, not a lack of knowledge. I gave a Bible to my daughter. That’s how you make atheists.”
 Not true, Mr. Silverman. We looked forward to reading the bible as kids. Our favorite part was where god threatened to give the Israelites all hemorrhoids, although to be fair, we really didn't enjoy the poop eating parts even if the King James version did use the word "piss" which made the next favorite bible quote day at school really interesting. Come to think of it now, that was also the last favorite bible quotes day.

*Now you know

Monday, September 27, 2010

Plus ça Change, Plus C'est la Même Chose

Frequent reader(s) of this blog have quaffed the kind nepenthe of mean know that we earn what passes for our salary toiling as acolytes in the Church of Reason. It is in this capacity that we approach the recent comments of President Hopey concerning the state of American education with a great deal of interest, and no small amount of trepidation, as we have been on the receiving end of  Federal assistance to schools before--but the therapy seems to be helping and the nightmares have mostly stopped. Still, in the interests of fair play and open debate we look forward to getting an illegal alien, secret Muslim's view on the educorporate training industry in this country, figuring if he can do for schools what he did for middle class tax relief...uh...we could...oh crap.
President Barack Obama started the school week Monday with a call for a longer school year, and said the worst-performing teachers have "got to go" if they don't improve quickly.
Ah, the classic opening gambit: Teachers got to go! Well, no one would argue that there aren't bad teachers in schools, just as there are bad doctors in hospitals, bad mechanics in garages and bad football players on NFL teams (We're looking at YOU Detroit!). Anyway, our experience has been the reason bad teachers persist is because some principals are too incompetent, cowardly, or unorganized to fire them. Oh, too lazy as well.

It's hard to fire a teacher and it should be because sometimes it's the bad teacher s who become the principals and if they could get rid of teachers who challenge them on a whim we might have even more bad teachers in the school--birds of a feather don't you know. Also, teaching can be a fairly subversive activity because even though everyone will tell you they want schools that produce literate individuals with highly developed critical thinking skills, really they don't. Don't believe us? Ever heard of Texas?
Asked in an interview if he supported a year-round school year, Obama said: "The idea of a longer school year, I think, makes sense." He did not specify how long that school year should be but said U.S. students attend classes, on average, about a month less than children in most other advanced countries.
We call this the theory of Education by Osmosis. Just keep the little brats in their seats longer and they'll get smarter. Unfortunately, when a major portion of the school year is given over to preparing the students to take high stakes tests the end result of a longer school year will probably just be grumpier students, and frustrated teachers . Oh, and by the way, there isn't enough money to keep the schools open as long as they are currently, let alone longer.
In the interview, the president said he wants to work with teachers unions and he embraced the role they play in defending their members. But he said that unions cannot and should not defend a status quo in which one-third of children are dropping out. He challenged them not to be resistant to change.
Yeah. Pesky unions. Everybody knows principals, superintendents, parents and politicians all have teachers' best interests at heart. If these unions would just get out of the way we could have world class schools, like in Texas and Arizona.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Hound Blogging

A while back, as a public service--and yes we are permitted to use that phrase as a descriptor for this blog without violating any local, state or federal statutes despite what you might have heard--as a public service we brought you a handy dandy overlordspeak decoder guide because admitting that you kill and injure innocent animals for fun and profit  trailer payments is not a position that is likely to endear you to people in full possession of all their faculties and thus greyhound racing aficionados losers have to couch their cruelty sport in terms more acceptable to those of us with souls.

Well, while an ovrlordspeak decoder guide may be helpful for day-to-day overlord obfuscation there are times when the best translator of overlordspeak in one of the overlords themselves. For example, when overlord A says:
Greyhound racing is popular all over the world.
We consult our decoder guide and find it is not generally advisable to take him at face value and in fact we may even assume he to say this politely...perhaps  putting a bit of a positive spin on the situation as it were. However when overlord B says:
Our attendances have been absolutely hammered. Twenty years ago there were 4 million race goers attending our tracks. This changed very little up until year 2000 and now you can see [points to slide show] over the last 3 years as the recession has started to take a chunk out of everything, in the high street, and retail, our attendances have plummeted quite dramatically – between 2008 and 2009 a 13% decline in attendances. The business itself has changed considerably when the promoters try and bring people in through the gates they have been offering more and more cut-throat packages, cut-throat prices, virtually giving it away, so not only are there fewer tracks there are a lot fewer people coming through the turnstiles."
 Whoa. Just Whoa. Here's an overlord who's cold bringing it. Dude's name is Gordon Bissett and we'll just let him translate for you. Hey Mr. Bissett, what do you say when you hear this:
Persons who own a racing or breeding greyhound must register with the NGA. They must agree to accept full responsibility for their greyhound's welfare at all times, or face severe consequences, including possible expulsion from the association. Such expulsion effectively means permanent banishment from participation in greyhound racing throughout the U.S.
"Accept full responsibility for their greyhound's welfare at all times," Mr. Bissett. Not too many ways to spin that, huh?
"Our concern was that the number of tracks declined, that means the numbers of breeding declined. So far, in the UK that isn’t the case. What has happened is that greyhounds have become a lot cheaper – you’ve heard of ‘buy one get one free’, well we have that with the dogs"
"Buy one get one free." Ha Ha. That's funny. More catchy than "Accept full responsibility for their greyhound's welfare at all times" we have to say. More accurate too, but what about oversight Mr. Bissett? Here's what one of your fellow overlords says:
In a strictly regulated, state-run gaming enterprise like greyhound racing, it is simply unreasonable to think that the same people who spend hundreds of thousands, and even millions of dollars on the breeding, raising and acquisition of Racing Greyhounds, would deliberately or ignorantly subject them to the mythological abuses, or risks, such as those alleged in the literature and in the press releases of politically motivated hate-groups like Grey2K.
See? Regulation keeps everything on the up and up, right Mr. Bissett?
One of the most concerning aspects of Mr Bissett’s ‘Viewpoint’ is that of animal welfare laws. Laws he says are "daft..." Mr Bissett’s indifference to animal welfare laws doesn’t stop there and he continues to say "The bigger issue for us is the Welfare of Racing Greyhound regulations that comes into effect on April 6th this year and we trialled, and trialled the information of about ten pages of daft legislation. Things like ‘you have to be able to observe the greyhound when it’s in a racing kennel’. The integrity of the kennel has been destroyed as a result of that. There are a whole load of things. You know – the vet room has to have about 20 different conditions attached to it!!
Yeesh, Mr. Bissett, now we're all confused. We got one story the overlords are telling the public and then you come along and say pretty much the opposite of what they're telling us. Which shall we believe?
"So, in summary, we’ve got a similar industry to yourselves, a falling number of greyhound tracks, we have falling attendance, we have a rapidly declining tote turnover...We have a problem with our media, we have a problem with our PR, we have a problem with our image...
Yeah. Well, being heartless liars will do that to an image, huh Zero?

Zero is very curious and likes to explore his surroundings. He follows his foster family around the house and loves to follow his canine siblings as well. He is very energetic, happy, puppy-like and playful. He can be a bit vocal when left alone which the foster family is working on. He goes for short daily walks to build up strength in his legs and to learn how to behave on leash. When he gets excited he may ‘chitter’ with his teeth. He loves to be brushed and loved on. Zero would do well with a family home more often but still may transition to be fine while alone. Older well-mannered children would be best since he can be a bit clumsy and knock over smaller children. He is good with other dogs and would probably be fine as an only dog. 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.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Apparently Wal-Mart Has A Law School

We're coming to you today from the set of Law and Order: Special Idiots Unit on the backlot out behind the marbled halls of IM Central, and like all their stories, this one is ripped from the headlines.
In classroom’s across the state, Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox uses videos to teach students the dangers of internet predators and cyber bullies. But is one of his top lieutenants engaging in cyber bullying, the very behavior Cox says is so dangerous? Andrew Shirvell is an assistant attorney general who helped run Cox’s last re-election campaign. But on his own time, he’s the author of a blog he started last spring targeting Chris Armstrong, the openly gay president of the University of Michigan’s student assembly.
 So at first we thinks Attorney Shrivell has to be more conscientious in reading memos from the boss, and so we set about writing a post in the fine tradition of this blog focusing on the fact that the boss is named Cox and his assistant is Shrivell.

However,  before we were to engage in a little disquisition at the expense of the two aforementioned unfortunately named individuals,  what should bubble up from the inter toob soup but this:
The Wisconsin prosecutor caught sending racy text messages to a domestic abuse victim went on medical leave Monday and hired an attorney who argues the matter should not cost him his job.
 "[S]ending racy text messages to a domestic abuse victim" is not a legal strategy we are familiar with. Intrigued we read on:
Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz acknowledged last week he sent 30 text messages in three days trying to start an affair with a domestic abuse victim half his age while he was prosecuting her ex-boyfriend. In them, he asked whether she was "the kind of girl that likes secret contact with an older married elected DA" and called her a "tall, young, hot nymph."
See, here's your problem with modifiers Mr. Kratz. "tall, young", and "hot" while somewhat cliched, are at least in the ballpark, but "older, married" and "elected?" Elected? This is how you attract "nymphs?" Sir, we are sorry to have to tell you that your ipso has lost its facto.

Which brings us back to Mr. Shrivell who also tried his hand at a little wordsmithing  on Chris Armstrong's openly gay buttocks:
With 27 postings to date, Shivell’s blog is filled with language you’ll never hear him use in a court room, calling Armstrong “nazi like,” a recruiter for “the cult that is homosexuality,” and a proponent of a “racist, anti-Christian agenda.”
Who says lawyers tend to be obtuse and circumspect? Finished, Mr. Shrivell?
In other internet postings, Shirvell’s language has been even stronger: calling Armstrong “Satan’s representative on the Student Assembly,” even posting a photograph with a swastika attached to his face.
See what happens when you run up against a highly trained legal mind? All that's missing is a neener neener neener.
Cox issued a second statement, saying, "...Mr. Shirvell’s immaturity and lack of judgment outside the office are clear.”
Well, nobody's perfect. Inside the office the dude's a veritable Perry Mason. Maybe Mr. Kratz has a more open minded boss:
Gov. Jim Doyle planned to meet with Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Monday afternoon to discuss Kratz, a Van Hollen spokesman said. Doyle said last week he was considering all options against Kratz, including removing him from office for cause.
Whoa, that's a bit harsh don't you think? Just assign someone else to handle cases that involve nymphs. Yeesh, do we have to do all the thinking around here?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Hound Blogging

Frequent reader(s) of this blog know the true extent of the cosmic forces arrayed against mean know that we have written on several previous occasions about the devastation brought to communities upon the closing of the local animal exploitation facility greyhound race track.

Well, as if that sort of wholesale economic disruption weren't enough, today we have the unpleasant duty of reporting to you an even more insidious element coming between the overlords and their simple desire to live out their lives leeching off the backs of innocent greyhounds, bringing excitement and thrills to the public through the exhilarating sport of greyhound racing, namely greed.
Dog racing will never return to Walthamstow Stadium under the current ownership, it has been announced. In a defiant statement, Housing association London and Quadrant (L&Q) has for the first time completely ruled out the sport becoming part of a future development - irrespective of the outcome of any future public consultations.
 "Defiant" and "...irrespective of the outcome of any future public consultations?" Who do these people think they are? This is America! Well, OK this is England, but that's sort of like America-Lite. Anyway the point is We The People aren't going to sit still while outsiders come in here and take away our right to lose the rent money two dollars at a time...umm...two pounds at a time we mean. Yeesh, it's no wonder they lost the revolutionary war. Bet they're metric too.
Save Our Stow (SOS) campaign leader Ricky Holloway expressed outrage at the announcement. He said: "They think they know what's best for our community but they don't."
Tell it Ricky! Greyhounds have been suffering and dying at the track since 1933, and now a bunch of real estate pirates show up and tell us just because no one comes to the track anymore they are going to get rid of it? We don't think so.
"This is the most blatant act of a developer putting its own profit before the wishes of any community and L&Q must now be stopped."
Amen brother Holloway! This isn't a community that's going to stand by while a bunch of profit hungry developers in their fancy suits and with their fancy cars runs rough shod over the rights and desires of the citizens. The last thing we need is some cheap, sleazy strip mall full of tattoo parlors, tanning shops and video stores. We love our neighborhood here mister, and our neighbors, so why don't you get back in your fancy car and take your fancy suit and your money grubbing greedy self back to where you came from?
L&Q said it will continue to push ahead with its plans for housing at the Chingford Road site. "There are a number of reasons for this. "There is a serious need for housing in Waltham Forest - over 14,000 families are currently on the waiting list in the borough."
Never! This community will not be turned into some post apocalyptic desert full of trash and drug users. We got rid of that when the track closed. You can't just...wait a minute...houses you say? 14,000 families? OK that's...uh...that's going Skyp, why don't you entertain our friends here while we step out for a quick regroup?

Skyp is active, bouncy, happy and very friendly. He is very affectionate. He will seek you out and will stay next to you for pets. He gives kisses. He is a quick learner. He likes to play with toys. He has cute floppy ears. He is very comical, inquisitive, and a cute boy. Skyp would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children. He would do best as an only dog, as he is a bit pushy with other dogs. He has a lot of energy since he is young and is a greyhound mix. He would make a great jogging partner. 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, September 16, 2010

And If You Ask Where Calvin Is, They Say Don't Be So Literal

"Life is a kit," our old daddy used to say. By that we think he meant it's over priced, the instructions don't make any sense and there's always a part or two missing. But sometimes life presents you with a gift that is so complete, so perfectly finished, so whole as to unite you with the cosmos in such a way as to make time vanish and universal truth wash over you like eternal starlight. This is one of those gifts.

It seems there is this band called The New Pornographers, which is neither new, nor pornographic. And there is this college called Calvin College which is not run by a guy named Calvin, but does appear to be a college, albeit it one controlled by the christian reformed church, which brings us to the point of this little disquisition.

It seems the college that is not run by a guy named Calvin invited the band that is neither new nor pornographic to come to campus for a little musical interlude. Well, as you might imagine this precipitated no small amount of concern amongst the elders as christian reform and pornography are not generally mentioned in the same breath.

So, because the college that is not run by a guy named Calvin is in fact a seat of higher learning, great effort was expended to educate those residents of the community who were not, as the kids say, hep cats. Tragically, we have to report that effort failed and the band who is neither new, nor pornographic was dis-invited by the college that is not run by a guy named Calvin, but the public announcement of the dis-invitation of the band that is neither new, nor pornographic contained a little nugget, a jewel, a perfect diamond of truth that is so complete in its thought, so whole in its construction, so simple in its expression that we had to bring it to your attention. To wit:
However, after weeks of discussion and consideration, the irony of the band's name was impossible to explain to many.
 Oh, amen brother, and...amen.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

There's No Crying In Texas

Frequent readers of this blog know victory is merely the temporary postponement of mean know that we are card carrying members of the educorporate training complex. As such, in carrying out our duly appointed responsibilities vis-a-vis annoying students, we have often had to cope with adolescent emotions run amok. These occurrences are generally inconvenient and often require copious amounts of our time that could be better applied to more convivial pursuits such as, well, not being around kids in freak out mode for one.

We tell you this because, even given our years of experience ruining the next generation we haven't quite figured out a way to be in a human service without, you know, being of service to the humans. Until we ran across the policy at Byron Nelson High School that is.

Byron Nelson High School junior Kyler Robertson was cleared to return to classes Thursday, his mother said, two days after he was suspended because he was believed to be under the influence of marijuana. Robertson, 16, was grieving his father's death when he went to school Tuesday. He had bloodshot, watery eyes, and school officials said he smelled of marijuana, according to Cristy Fritz, his mother. After being checked by a school nurse, he was suspended and told that he would have to enter an alternative education program.
Now, we have long known that always assuming the worst about kids was very efficient educationally, because it allows one to go right to the punishment phase of the policy without having to waste time trying to figure out what's actually wrong, like one would do if one actually, you know, cared or something, but involving the school nurse, who's medical training and observational skills were professionally honed is brilliant. See, a regular person like an competent teacher, or concerned school counselor when observing a student apparently in some distress might make the mistake of asking what's wrong?

Yeesh. And we trust these people with our kids? Luckily this little miscreant was seen by a trained professional who immediately deduced his problem as drug psychosis and shipped him off the burn out wing. Wham Bam, problem solved.
But a drug test performed later that day showed no evidence of marijuana or any other drug, according to records provided to the Star Telegram. Robertson, who plays on the junior varsity golf team, did not return to school Thursday because his family is preparing for his father's funeral. Richard "Richie" Robertson was fatally stabbed Sunday during an argument.

Oops. Well, on the bright side, the kid got out of that math quiz. No harm no foul huh?

District spokeswoman Lesley Weaver said she could not discuss specifics about the case, citing federal privacy laws. She did say, however, that the district has offered support and counseling to Robertson. "We plan to do everything within our power to help Kyler overcome his drug problem," she said.

Northwest school board President Mark Schluter declined to comment because of the possibility of litigation. "I will tell you one thing though," he said. "That's the last time we're going to hire a school nurse who used to work at the Walmart walk in clinic."


Monday, September 13, 2010

Maybe He's Only Infallible When He's Sober

We are faced with quite the conundrum here in the marbled hall of IM Central today. Yeah, yeah, we know what you're thinking, "Did Grey Goose go on sale again just as the emergency supply of Stoli dropped below the critical thirty day mark?" Ha! How little you know. We have stared into the steely face of teetotaler catastrophe on more than one occasion and held our ground. In fact we have on numerous occasions gone deeply into the den of chaos and battled the forces of sobriety and rationality with only our trusted companion Jose Cuervo at our side.

No, the genesis of this particular conundrum goes clear back to our days as little Ironicii when we were dues paying members of Peter's Posse, dutifully dominosing our vobiscums and patering our nosters. One of the things that the nuns pounded into us, when they weren't pounding other things into us, was that the pope, he don't make no mistakes. Whenever there was a classroom spelling bee in Sister Victorine's class you could count on the word "infallible" being in there and woe to the young supplicant who was unable to successfully navigate his or her way through it without walking into the valley of the shadow of able and ible.

Which brings us to this little piece of jetsam that floated up on the inter toobz this morning.
Pope Benedict XVI will break his own rule this weekend when he beatifies Cardinal John Henry Newman, the renowned 19th Century Anglican convert who greatly influenced the Roman Catholic Church.
Now, you children of the  Reformation out there may read that and think, "Oh, how nice. Popey's gonna let that Cardinal dude in the frat without making him pledge all the way though to hell week. Now watch this drive."

Oh no man. We have to tell you, if you're a catholic, even a catholic as...erm...causal as we are you read that and all of a sudden the room is filled with the spirit of Sister Arnulfa and her twenty pound catechism book, and your brain just goes FFFFFSSSSSZZZZTTTT!! Next thing you know you're looking for a ruler to pound your own knuckles with.

This is big, man, huge. Galileo huge. We mean, think of the implications: The pope is infallible but a rule he made is apparently wrong, or as Aristotle would say:
The pope cannot make a mistake
The pope made a rule that was a mistake
Therefore we must lubricate our centers of reason with 80 proof palliatives.
And he did it for an Anglican ferchrssakes, an Anglican! That's like Yankee stadium sponsoring a Red Sox fan appreciation day. Somebody get Jose on the phone.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Hound Blogging

Well, what can you say about democracy? So you go and let the people decide things and once in  a while they're going to make bad decisions. You know, Missouri Compromise, Prohibition, George Bush. Stuff like that. And of course the latest miscarriage of the democratic process occurred when the ill-informed and mislead people of Massachusetts voted to kill the thriving industry of animal exploitation greyhound racing, thus bringing an untimely end to a waste of innocent lives and community resources exciting and popular  industry.

It is a sad commentary on the seriousness with which the average voter takes his or her responsibility when an industry that contributed so much to the common good can be dissolved by popular vote, especially in these challenging economic times. Well, Massachusetts' loss is Alabama's gain, right Birmingham Racing Commission Chairman Charles Crockrom?
With its continued operation at stake, the Birmingham Race Course on Wednesday asked the Birmingham Racing Commission for emergency funds that could be worth more than $1 million over the next year.  The commission approved the requests in two 3-1 votes.
Right, because when money is tight the state has to protect every revenue stream it can to be able to continue providing vital services to the people of Alabama. You know things like schools, roads, police and fire,  things like that. Really, what choice did Chariman Crockrom have? If he was going to carry out his responsibility to look out for the best interests of the residents he had to pour more money into the track. Well, he explained it best:
Chairman Charles Crockrom said the commission had to act now. "If it closes, what do we have?" he said.
 Umm...a chance to use the money for something that actually benefits the community? We bet you would vote for that, huh Joiner?

Joiner has a gentle, easy personality and she is very affectionate. She will lean against you for attention. She likes to be around people. She follows her foster mom from room to room. She is very alert and full of life for a senior dog. She is a quick learner. She likes to play and will flip her toys in the air. She likes to bring all the toys out of the toy basket. The dogs play musical dog-beds and she will watch when the other dog gets off so she can jump right on to it. She loves her walks. She has a snaggle tooth that looks cute when her tooth hangs out of her mouth. Joiner would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children. She good with other dogs of all sizes and would probably be fine as an only dog. 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, September 08, 2010

Is It Really Hunting If You Don't Have To Get Out Of Your Lincoln Navigator?

We're not big outdoor types here in the marbled halls of IM Central. A fact you may have deduced form the fact that our halls are marble and not the more rustic dark walnut paneling, or, say canvas. Having grown up in the depths of the Windy City we just never were inculcated into that culture of Field and Stream, unless by field you mean empty lot and by stream you mean hydrant run off. In fact, we were 12 years old before we saw a real tree.

Well, we tell you all of this not to demonstrate our lack of outdoor manly credentials, but to emphasize that even though we are to masculine outdoor activities as feather boas are to Pastor Giles, as diplomacy is to John Bolton, as white is to John Boehner, as the sanctity of marriage is to Newt Gingrich, as Rice is to Krispies. What?

OK forget that last one. The point is even with our lack of pioneer skills we find this situation a bit odd.
By most accounts, free-ranging feral swine are as much of an ecological threat as Asian carp. Leading agricultural and natural resources organizations in Michigan are worried enough to want them eradicated and banned from the state, but that would shut down at least 40 game ranches whose owners collect as much as $2,000 apiece from hunters eager to stalk and shoot them on the ranches.
Now, at first we thought "free ranging feral swine" was some sort of heavy metal group, but it turns out they're just pigs. Big, mean, unsociable pigs. Hence the writer's dilemma. One the one hand, 200 pound wild pigs with a personality part barbed wire, part hand grenade are tearing through the flora looking for trouble. On the other hand are 40 guys who own "ranches" for hunters too fat to walk through the woods and shoot something without having a heart attack. What to do, what to do?
A balanced approach that avoids putting these entrepreneurs out of business seems like a better option, provided the owners are willing and able to keep the critters contained.
Umm...Mr. or Ms. Editorial writer? We're sorry to tell you that ship has already sailed, or perhaps more in the spirit of the day, that pig has already run off. Perhaps these 40 slaughter camp "ranch" owners are willing, but it's pretty obvious they aren't able.
Taxpayers shouldn't have to subsidize private hunts or pay for the disease and damage caused by feral hogs that escape.
Now that's a pretty reasonable position with which we heartily concur Mr. or Ms. Editorial writer. Thank you for pointing that out.
Michigan residents already have been saddled with a $415,000 tab for actions to protect local pork production facilities when 19 wild hogs were diagnosed with Pseudo rabies (PRV) at a private hunting facility in Saginaw County in 2008, according to Michigan United Conservation Clubs. appears another pig has already run off. So what's plan B?
The United Conservation Clubs are among organizations pushing to have feral hogs listed as invasive species.
Yeah, well, see here's the problem with that. We're not sure you can call them "invasive species" when you invited them up here in the first place. Now, here are all these 200 pound pork bulldozers running around their native habitat and you're like, "Hey pigs. Come on up to Michigan and let us put you in a yard so rich guys can pay $2000 to sit on the lodge porch and shoot you then go back to watching their stocks on Scottrade." 

So the pigs are probably like, "Thanks dude, but we'd rather stay down here where we at least have a chance that the bubbas who come looking for us are too drunk to hit what they're shooting at." Well, they're pigs, right, so what choice do they have? Now they're running all over up here so the manly men can get their manly on without getting their Predators all muddy. So what's plan C?

Republican House lawmakers are proposing legislation to keep the ranches in business with increased state oversight. The bill would require ranch owners to pay a $1,000 fee every three years, install tougher enclosures, test all of their boars for diseases and keep detailed records of each animal.
OK, we're not hunters or anything, but it seems to us if you have to catch the animals every so often to give them full medicals before you shoot them, it sort of takes away from that whole stalk your prey thing hunters seems to like. But that's just our opinion. We could be wrong, and as we wrote before, we're all for not subsidizing your need to go out in the yard and shoot things.

The problem is that stronger enforcement proposed in the bill would cost $2.3 million a year, according to DNR estimates -- far more than the $40,000 or so the proposed fees would raise over a three-year period. With the state budget more than $1 billion out of whack, taxpayers can't afford to make up the difference. If the disparity can't be resolved through higher fees, invasive species listing might be the only alternative.
The United Conservation Clubs are among organizations pushing to have feral hogs listed as invasive species, which would simply outlaw them.

Oh. Well, why didn't you say so before? Problem solved. Just remember, when you outlaw them give them about thirty days or so to leave the state.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Oh, Just Because You're Getting Shot At You Think You're Mr. Know It All

A little while back we told you about the good reverend Terry Jones and his plan to love all those musslemens into the open arms of Jesus. It was a Herculean task. Not that we mean the good reverend Terry is in any way associated with a pagan demigod running around being the son of one of those false Roman or Greek gods and a mortal women which were just myths that a few misguided goat herders believed until Christ came along and put the holy stomp on those unbelieving  unbelievers and if you don't believe us you can ask Constantine who was all like Pagans R Us until god came down and said, "Look buddy, this Zeus is whack and you better get with the program or there'll be no Roman Empire for you."

Well, Constantine was no dummy. He knew which side his cross was nailed on, so he was all "Sign me up lord," and you know the rest. Now, it's the same for the good reverend Terry, except for the parts that are different, because he put this sign out on his lawn the said "Islam is of the devil" figuring that when the odd mooslim passed by he'd see it and go "Holy crap! I did not know that. I'd better get in there and ask the good reverend Terry what I should do."

Now, maybe the Islamo-people can't read christian or something, but it didn't turn out quite the way the good reverend Terry had planned because after a week or so when he'd even been on the teevee the Mohameds weren't coming in to get saved. So he had to come up with another idea, namely, burn all the Korans so the muslins will have to start reading the bible.

Brilliant. We mean, think about it. The books look alike. They both got Jesus in them, and they both have lots of parts people can pull out at random to justify their own bigotry and xenophobia. What can go wrong?


Hmm...Probably ought to listen to General Petraeus, being as he's a genuine christian hero and victim of a treasonous left wing smear campaign so out of respect and admiration for the general who should be president, we guess it's back to the drawing board, huh fellas?
If we want to help our troops, we need to remove Obama and Petraeus from the battlefield and let our troops do their job—eliminate the enemy—the ragheads.
General Petraeus treasonous to freedom.. Let it be known that in the name of freedom others may burn the Bible, build mosques on our sore spots but they cannot stomp on our freedoms... To imagine that we should give up freedoms in order to help an Islamic nation is beyond absurd. It is treason to the cause of freedom...
 Whoa. That's a little harsh don't you think? This guy is actually fighting the war you get to pretend you're part of and you go off on him just because he says the guys who are flinging bullets at our troops are likely to take it a tad personally if you take time out of your busy day watching Glenn Beck and going to Sam's Club for a pallet of chicken wings to burn their holy book? Come on. How about some of that good old christian love and understanding for the general?
Petraeus is the unwitting pawn of muslims. By telling this foolish pastor not to burn qurans he is further legitimizing the muslim response...Shame on the general who just as big a fool as one who would want to incite to violence those souls he should be seeking to win.
"An unwitting pawn? A fool?" Man, we'd hate to hear what you had to say about Jesus if he said something you didn't like.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday Hound Blogging

Every once in a while as we sloosh through the inter toobz we run across a story, or stories that may give us pause. This aforementioned pause might manifest itself in the form of a somewhat wrinkled brow and an softly spoken "that's odd," or perhaps a look of general perplexity might cast itself upon our visage cause us to declare to no one in particular,  "Holy Cow!"

There is, however another class of stories, a class so bizarre, so outre', so incredibly boggling as to flitter one's mind as if it were a dishtowel in a hurricane. These are stories that cause one's eyes to bug out; that cause one to expectorate one's adult beverage onto the screen of one's electronic computing and calculating device; that cause one to exclaim, in the immortal words of Father Nestor our old Latin Prof, " Sanctus Concubitus Excrementum!"

Today we bring you an example of that last class of story, but before we go on we feel it is necessary to warn you that these two stories, if read side by side may result in the intellectual equivalent of mixing matter and anti-matter.  We are so concerned for your mental well being that we offer each story in it's own color so that you may read one entirely and digest it before reading the other. And that is the way we recommend that you read them because to mix them is to tempt the fates; it is to laugh in the face of the gods of sanity and reason; it is to thumb your nose at the very forces of nature and the order of the universe.

On the other hand, an adult beverage or two may provide just the protective shield you need. Ready? Here we go. Story number one:
The Belle Vue racetrack in Manchester was home to yet another packed card yesterday, with 14 exciting 470m races on the schedule. Each action-packed race kept greyhound racing fans on the edges of their seats with excitement.
OK, so far so good. Just another overlord trying to convince the rubes they had fun losing the rent money. Now, story number two:
A veteran greyhound racing enthusiast has vowed to "give up the game" after six greyhounds were "put down" following serious injuries at Manchester's Belle Vue dog track in just over a week.
OK. You read those together, didn't you, even after we warned you not to. We'll give you a moment to pick yourself up off the floor and freshen your drink. Ready? still have a few drippings left on the screen over to the right...yeah just there. Need another tissue? OK, story one:
The first race of the day, which began at 14:18, featured six terrific competitors. Odds makers selected Wi Wi Wi Delilah as the favourite with 7-1 odds before the race, and the pup did not disappoint. Wi Wi Wi Delilah won the race with an early pace and a great finish of 28.70 seconds, and has had a relatively mixed record as of late. Just Gilbert (4-1) took second place by 2 lengths and a finish of 28.86.
One the bright side, apparently these six "terrific competitors" had the good fortune of finishing in one piece. Story two:
The middle-aged man, who said he had raced dogs at the stadium for half his life, contacted greyhound protection group Greyhound Action on Sunday, after a two year old dog, called Ballyverry Rock, was "put down" after being badly injured in a race the previous evening. The man, who asked for his name not to be divulged, said the dog's death was "the final straw" for him, after witnessing five fatal injuries to greyhounds at Belle Vue the previous weekend.
Obviously  Ballyverry Rock was not a "terrific competitor." Sort of like the guys before Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Running Man. Story one:
The race’s favourite, Remember Jay Bee, finished a shoulder behind Gortnagrage Jel in 28.59. Remember Jay Bee carried 9-4 odds into the race, but failed to deliver a good performance in the end. Fifth place went to Ammunition (7-2, 28.67, 1 length), while Baltylum Droopy (5-2, 28.68) finished a head behind Ammunition in last place.
Uh oh. Jay Bee "failed to deliver a good performance." Isn't that what Blofeld said to Number Three in From Russia with Love just before he killed him? Story two:
"He said he'd raced greyhounds at the track for half his life, but these latest fatalities were the 'final straw' and he was 'giving up the game' because of lack of concern by the racing industry for the welfare of the dogs. "He asked us not to reveal his personal details, saying he'd be 'lynched', if 'certain people' involved with greyhound racing at Belle Vue discovered he'd been in touch with us.  Greyhound Action's UK Co-ordinator, Tony Peters, said.
 Yeah. First rule of cruelty and callous disregard for innocent living creatures in greyhound racing is don't talk about cruelty and callous disregard for innocent living creatures in greyhound racing. Story one:
The greyhound racing action at Belle Vue will resume on 26 August, with yet another action-packed card.
 Too bad they can't train the greyhounds to say "We who are about to die salute you," huh Ironhorse?

He is still a puppy at heart. He is energetic and friendly with a silly attitude that makes him fun to have around. He is very playful and tries to get the other dogs in his foster home excited and frisky. Ironhorse would do well in a working family home with well-mannered children, 10 and up. He would do best in a home with a fenced yard that he can gallop around in. He is good with other dogs and would probably be good as an only dog with a family that will play with him regularly. 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, September 02, 2010

Give Me Your Lunch Money And By The Way, Those Aren't Good Colors For You

When we were in fifth grade the class bully was Vernon. He wasn't the most efficient bully you could have, sometimes going whole weeks without asking for our lunch money, or cutting in line, still he was the best we could do and we were appropriately respectful of his role. Until Richie Smith punched him in the nose one day that is. In Vernon's defense we have to say it was a bit of a sucker punch because he wasn't actually engaged in an bullying activities at the time, but Richie's dad had told him he must always stand up to bullies, and we guess Richie just decided there was no time like the present to put his father's advice into action.

Anyway, that pretty much ended Vernon's career as a bully. We tell you this by way of establishing our credentials in the area of bully relations and bully associated issues because it seems the folks over at Focus on the Family have some serious misconceptions about the nature of bullies and how to tell them from the people being bullied
As kids head back to school, conservative Christian media ministry Focus on the Family perceives a bully on the playground: national gay-advocacy groups.
OK, anyone who was ever in school knows that the gays aren't the bullies, they're the ones who get bullied. We mean, think about it. What's the absolute worst thing one middle school kid can call another? "You're gay," right? Now, think back to your school days. Would you walk up to the resident bully and ask them if they're gay because they're a bully, or a bully because they're gay?

Didn't think so.

Now, we don't want to cast aspersions on anybody, but really FOTF, if you are being bullied by gay folks, you have got to be some sort of weapons grade wimp, or a really lousy dresser. Something.
"We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled," said Focus on the Family education expert Candi Cushman.
 Yeah, so the "activists" introduce their "rhetoric" that says gay kids shouldn't be bullied, and you're concerned that the "viewpoint" of christians is "belittled" because of that. So...the "viewpoint" of christians is that gay kids should be bullied? We're a little unclear on the nature of your concern. And your "expert" on bullies is named "Candi?" With an "i?" Come on. Where's Pastor Giles when you need him?
Public schools increasingly convey that homosexuality is normal and should be accepted, Cushman said, while opposing viewpoints by conservative Christians are portrayed as bigotry.
Well, let's see. Mr. Webster, care to step in here?
big·ot·ry  [big-uh-tree]: Stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one's own.
 Yep. Sounds like bigotry to us.
Cushman said there have been several incidents in which religious freedom has lost out to the right of gay activists to promote their views.
Hmm...must have missed the memo that said homosexuality was a religion. Well, as long as they don't try to open an interior decorating shop near ground zero, we respect their right to worship as they see fit.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Deaton for Senate! Motto: Let Parents In Washington Worry About Him

Frequent reader(s) of this blog accept the inevitability of regret and disappointment, as did their mean  know that we here in the marbled halls are not what you might call multi-taskers, especially when it come to blogging and drinking. Which is why we are so impressed with this guy.
Eric W. Deaton, a Constitution Party candidate for U.S. Senate, was indicted Tuesday, Aug. 31, for unlawful sexual conduct with a minor.  A poster pictured on his website says he supports fiscal responsibility, balanced and centered government, honoring founding principles. The poster also says, “Return moral citizens to office.”
Candidate for the Senate, Cub Scout Pack leader, Elder in his church, "moral citizen" and pedophile all at once. Man. And we can't even type and sip our adult beverage at the same time. Some folks just got it going on, you know?
His website lists endorsements from Liberty Candidates, Mansfield Tea Party and Akron Tea Party, along with a national group called Vote Family Values.
Now, since a group like Vote Family Values has endorsed Mr. Deaton we can only assume this "unlawful sexual conduct with a minor" charge is some sort of misunderstanding. Perhaps Mr. Deaton was just instructing the aforementioned minor in family values, James Dobson style. Also, the Tea Party in like the minors for the Republican party, so we're figuring this guy has to be the next Max St. Pierre or something.
“I think this is politically motivated,” said Deaton, blaming the indictment on his decision to run for political office.
Yeah, well that's a thought. Perhaps the alleged victim was really a member of Minors for Democrats or something.
Deaton, 42, of New Lebanon is to be arraigned Sept. 14 in county common pleas court on the third-degree felony count.
Umm...yeah, there is that whole possible jail time thing, but hey, adding inmate to your job duties shouldn't be too hard for someone with your  organizational skills, right?
A campaign spokesperson said Deaton is still running for Senate.
Good for you Mr. Deaton. After all, someone has to carry on the work of people like Mark Foley.