Monthly Archives: May 2011

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

We offer observations on the human condition from a twenty year old mind trapped in an 80 year old body.

NOBODY ASKED ME BUT

“To venture is to gain” is an old adage. These days not to venture means not to have a job.

Some fear the future. Me, at age 80, I’ll take ANY future.

“I await the dawn.” Daily prayer of those who are elderly.

Machines now check books in and out of library. What about those wonderful librarians?

The US Army taught me to hate a line, any line!

Some read ingredients of what is consumed. Me, I am a gambler in life.

According to Republicans, there are no left turns in Heaven.

Republican Math: Firing people results in more jobs. That sure was not what Mrs. Klingkerfuss taught me in math.

I feel guilty in a coffee shop taking a booth. I just need my privacy.

For all too many humans, the “self” is an unwelcome stranger.

WHY GATES FOUNDATION WASTES ITS MONEY

I have spent 55 years involved in teaching. I taught 12,000 teachers and at least 3,000 secondary students. Based on my life experiences in education, it is clear the Gates Foundation is wasting its money.

1. Giving money to businessmen who have never taught is akin to asking Michele Bachmann to make an intelligent observation on Middle East policy.

2. Giving money to those who want high test scores may increase test scores but it does not lead to greater learning or thinking.

3. Giving money to people who have never taught children, but believe they know how to teach children is akin to asking Sarah Palin to become president and preside based on ignorance.

4. Giving money prior to identifying 21st century skills and attitudes ensures any result will be based on the prior century.

5. Giving money to people who desire schools their own children would never be allowed to enter is a hypocrisy run wild.

6. Giving money to people who believe they can quantify critical thinking is either the greatest breakthrough in thinking of this century or the greatest blunder of this century.

9. Ditto for people who believe they can quantify creative thinking.

10. If the Gates Foundation was around in 1901 it would support efforts to improve the training of blacksmiths.

11. Billy, before you give another penny, how about teaching high school for a year?

12. Billy, would you allow the people you fund in education to get a job in top management at Microsoft?

13. Giving money to people who lack knowledge about the culture of schools ensures failure.

14. Giving money to people who lack any awareness of how change proceeds in education ensures failure.

15. Establishing “standards” helps mediocre teachers know what is the least work they have to do.

16. Giving money to people who want to establish “standards” ensures they will never support outstanding teachers whose goals are NOT standards, but going beyond them.

17. Giving money to people to identify “outstanding teachers” first requires identifying people who know how to identify people who can identify outstanding teachers.

18. I assume the Gates Foundation lacks awareness there never was a “standard” that I could not manipulate to attain the standard.

I once worked with teachers whose school received money from the Gates people. Neither the teachers nor the students had the faintest idea what the Gates Foundation wanted them to do. Of course, neither did Gates Foundation people know how to implement what they wanted done. I assume stockholders in Microsoft would never allow such waste of their money.

GERMAN PRESS BLASTS NETANYAHU!

Since the end of World War II, the German government has been among the strongest supporters of Israel, but recent events such as the arrival to power of Benjamin Netanyahu have led to serious rethinking of Middle Eastern issues. Der Spiegel noted there was wide agreement across the spectrum of the German press that Netanyahu offered nothing new in his speech to Congress. “Commentators writing in Germany’s main newspapers agree that Netanyahu’s statements would be popular back in Israel, but were highly critical of a stance they say threatens to destroy a fragile opportunity for peace in the Middle East.” As Der Tagesspiegel put it “the speech he gave was one in which pathos accompanied dramatic simplification.”

The shame of Congress was failure on the part of those who have a lucid understanding of issues in the Middle East, but they remained silent due to Republican yahoos who played to the “Jewish vote.” Those American Jews who care about Israel must support efforts of President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to initiate honest negotiation.

Within a year, most European nations will recognize the nation of Palestine and Israel will be completely alone in the world–except for the fact no American political leader has the courage to speak the truth to Americans.

Driving Can Be Dangerous To Saudi Males!

As we all know in the West, the nation of Saudi Arabia is the source of our oil, and its rulers dislike al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups because its nation is a citadel of western democracy. Oh, there are some minor issues such as denying women basic rights of free speech, the right to work, AND denial of the right to drive a car. Heck they can’t even leave the house without checking with dear old hubby. However, Manal al-Sharif, is one tough woman. She is tired of only being in a car which is driven by a male, and wants to drive wherever she damn well pleases. One day she even rode a donkey down the street to show how stupid are anti-driving laws. We can assume that women in ancient Arabia did not have a male sitting on the donkey to drive her to shop for some lace. Ms. Sharif has begun a campaign to end anti-driving laws and got in a car and drove it. She was arrested by the religious police for disturbing public order and inciting public opinion.

The anti-driving law makes no religious sense anymore than it does logical sense. It is purely a device to control women by taking away their freedom to meet with other women or to take a job and earn money. As long as the wife is a prisoner at home, without income, without access to friends, she is under the control of husband, father, brother, uncle or any other male in the family.

Gee, does anyone think Barack Obama will make a speech urging freedom for women in Muslim nations??

Time To Move On From Libya?

The UK newspaper, the Independent, has obtained a copy of a document supposedly written by Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoud in which he proposes and end to fighting. The essence of the letter is a promise to institute a cease fire that would be supervised by the UN and the African Union with a promise of regime change to follow. The letter says: “the future of Libya will be radically different from the one that existed three months ago…. we must stop the fighting, start talking, agree on a new Constitution, and create a system of government that reflects the reality of our society, and conforms to the demands of contemporary governance.” For some reason, the letter does not refer to Muammar Gaddafi or his place in the transition.

Perhaps, it is time to place the needs of Libyans before the desire for punishment of their brutal dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. He deserves to be sent to prison, but reality is peace could be achieved and lives could be saved by allowing this two-bit punk to remain in office for a few months before he flies off to Saudi Arabia. Save lives even if it means saving the life of a thug.

Tiki’s Running From Giant Nazis!

Tiki Barber was once an outstanding running back with the New York Football Giants. He holds most running records for the team and was at the peak of his career when Tiki decided he did not like the coach of the team and he did not believe the organization was showing him sufficient respect. Oh, that paid him millions, but where was the respect for his great running. So, Tiki left his cleats behind and went on TV where he immediately insulted former team mates, coach Tom Coughlin and the owner of the Giants. Tiki lasted several years in the NFL, but only about one in the TV league. So, Tiki decided to return to football and once again dash through holes and score touchdowns. Alas, jokes began to circulate concerning his old body and Tiki became upset. As he noted in a Sports Illustrated article, together with a new girl friend, he moved into the home of his agent, Mark Lepselter where they hid out in the attic.

“Lep’s Jewish and it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing.” Yes, Tiki, it was like a reverse Anne Frank thing. The football Nazis were on your tail. The TV pundit Nazis were out to get you. The New York Football Giant Nazis were laughing at your aged body and condemning it to the garbage heap. Tiki, I do not know how you get a good night’s sleep because of those Nazis who are out to get you.

Oh, Tiki, your wife who you left while pregnant with two children is sleeping peacefully these days.

Say It Ain’t So, Paul!

The Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a poll to determine how the American people support ideas of Congressman Paul Ryan, boy wonder of the Republican Party who wants to end Medicare as we know it. Poll results:

For Ryan plan: 35%

Against Ryan plan: 60%

Republicans for Ryan plan: 57%

Independent against Ryan plan: 60%

Democrats against Ryan plan: 79%

Only 13% want cuts in Medicare

The recent victory of Kathleen Hochul in a conservative New York state special election for Congress demonstrated quite vividly that even conservatives reject the ideas of Paul Ryan. Of course, once Americans realize his ideas lack any foundation in reality, we are certain the rejection rate will witness a significant rise in disapproval.

Laura Ingraham Is NOT A Slut!

Ed Schultz has been suspended for calling Fox News leading idiot woman. Laura Ingraham, a “slut.” In her typical Republican slant on life and poverty and disaster, the Republican spokeswoman who poses as a newscaster, made the following statement:

“I do think of the disconnect and maybe the tone deafness, if you will, of that devastation from Missouri. Heart breaking pictures and then President Obama lifting the glass of Guiness. There is something about that, that I think hits people in the gut. Maybe the Irish part of the trip that could have been put off to another day.”

I wonder why Mr. Schultz was upset at this typical Republican smear of Barack Obama since if one tunes into Fox News, this might be among the lesser insults uttered about the president. Of course, Miss Ingraham has a point. My confusion arises from her failure to make the following points:

1. Pictures of former President George Bush cutting wood in Texas while our men and women were dying in Iraq.

2. Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld boasting how he stood for five hours a day to prove anyone could do this while our soldiers were ducking and lying down to avoid getting shot.

3. Pictures of people getting food from charities while Republican congressmen who cut funding for the poor were having lunch with lobbyists.

4. Congressman Bob Woodall of Georgia telling a constituent who was worried about Medicare cuts that he was tired of people who couldn’t handle their own medical costs and why didn’t she begin to take responsibility for cancer.

5. I wonder if Ms. Ingraham has taken a vow not to have sex until the devastation is dealt with in Joplin, Missouri.

Sorry, Ed, Ms. Ingraham is NOT a slut. She is an insensitive boor who shills for Wall Street.

Israel Against The World!

Members of the US Congress are rallying behind Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who played to the orchestra in his speech to Congress by emphasizing how much Israel has worked for peace only to be rejected by Palestinians. Important Democratic legislators are complaining that President Obama had no right to emphasize the importance of the 1967 border and only encouraged Palestinians to refuse compromise. Their statements simply reflect that Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are not the only voices of ignorance in America. Israel will soon be completely isolated from the entire world–except for the US Congress, that is. Hossan Zaki, a senior adviser to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, told the Australian media, “my sense is that if Israel continues to ignore international calls for achieving peace on a just basis,” and continues to block Palestinian efforts at reconciliation, “no government in Egypt will be allowed to ignore those feelings.”

In simple language, this means the Israel treaty with Egypt will end, its agreements with Jordan will end, and, aside for such staunch foreign policy experts like Sarah Palin and Fox News, the people of Israel will be completely isolated. That is why dozens of Israel military officers have urged reaching an agreement with Palestinians, based on the 1967 border.

Ali Abdullah Saleh Against The World

Ali Abduallah Saleh has been dictator of Yemen for nearly three decades so it is normal in his view that when the boss man speaks, everyone jumps to attention. For two months, protesters in the streets of Yemen cities have been demanding that he step down as dictator and allow free elections. It is rather difficult for one accustomed to power to simply vanish from the scene of authority. He, most probably, also fears being placed on trial for his crimes. After all, his buddy Hosni Mubrarak hesitated and did not get the hell out of Egypt and the result was being placed in prison and now facing a trial for his crimes against the people of Egypt. That scenario plays strongly on the mind of Saleh.

He unleashed his dogs of war upon the population and there is fighting in the streets. He made clear to the world, “I will not leave power, and I will not leave Yemen. I don’t take orders from outside. Yemen will not be a failed state.” And, he warned that if he is forced to surrender power, al-Qaeda will take over the country. That should play well in the American Congress and on Fox News.