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Monday, January 31, 2011

Idiocy of the Education System

Posting on behalf of occasional contributor Quorri Scharmyn...

Here’s what’s wrong with education: people are idiots, parents are worthless, and there are too many kids in classrooms. Stop throwing money at specialists and curriculum packages, stop thinking that if we plan and sit through more meetings things will change, and stop cramming as many students as you can into a classroom. While you are at it, force parents to give a crap about their kids and then, I promise you, we will have smarter and more capable children graduating more often with more productive and satisfying lives.

Idiocy abounds in public education and I’m not sure why. You’d think there would be more intelligent people drawn to the professions that support intelligence, but you’d be thinking wrong. It’s my first career so I guess it’s possible that there are this many idiots in every sector of the populace, but it still blows my heavy mind. The counselor who is supposed to support students in receiving the services they need can’t understand words I speak, she specifically does and says the opposite of what I communicate to her and then is confused about why things don’t work out. She is not the only ass-tard. Many of the teachers I work with simply tell their students to do worksheets or assignments out of books and then proceed to spend the entire class period sitting at their desk. I have no idea what they actually think they are doing, but it is not teaching.

Then I get parents who want to know why their son or daughter is failing my class. They are angry and they are rude, they question me as though I should be ashamed or apologetic. You know what they never ask? “How often is my son/daughter on task in your classroom?” “How many of the past ten assignments has my son/daughter turned in?” “How often has my son/daughter taken advantage of the extra time and help you offer to anyone who cares to use it?” And the non-existent answers for those non-existent questions are almost always “never”, “none”, and “very little”. So, I ask you, how the crap am I responsible for that failing grade? Where was this parent all the many evenings and weekends that the student could have been catching up on missing work or asking for help? Did that parent ever teach their kid the value of education or of taking responsibility? No. So, eat me. Your kid can suck it.

Then the all-important District or the administration of our building or our learning community partners tell us how we should teach in order to have more success. We should ask questions this way, correct homework that way, practice this approach, use these tools, document every interaction anyone ever has with anyone, and call every student’s parent every day. And we should do all of that during the only 50, paid minutes of the day that students aren’t in our class. Oh, and we should also do all of our curriculum planning and grading during that same time while also meeting with students and parents who need to meet, or with any other teachers or counselors who need to chat with us. And, oh yeah, don’t forget that is for at least two separate classes we are teaching, if we are lucky enough to only teach two separate classes and not four or five.

Sure, no problem. That shit is easy. Especially since all of the classes at my school have 30 kids in them and 10 of those are either kids who don’t speak English, who are at very low skill levels because they have learning disabilities, or are emotionally and behaviorally disturbed and need special attention. No sweat. And, yeah, while I’m off doing this, you all just keep on voting tax money away from education or, when you do spend money, spend it on more standardized testing, more specialized curriculums, more studies, or more pointless trainings for teachers. That will definitely make things better. While you are at it, start firing teachers who happen to get stuck with classes full of Special Ed students who were mainstreamed too early, English Language Learners who can’t actually speak English, and kids of parents who just don’t care about their child’s education enough to actually take time every day to support it when those students don’t pass an arbitrary test. And then shoot me, because this is too much fun.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Republicans Want More Restrictions and Reduced Funding for Abortions

The republicans are at it again. This time around House Speaker John Boehner has on the table a proposed law - The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. "The act seeks to establish a permanent, government-wide prohibition on federal subsidies for abortion and for healthcare plans that cover abortion"

Fine, some pro-lifers don't want the government to pay for abortions, but this law really doesn't want anyone paying for abortions.

This proposed bill would prevent private insurance companies, that people pay for with there own money from paying for abortions.

So think about it like this pro-lifers:

You might not be for abortions, but what about in cases where if the woman doesn't get one she could die? But at least the baby would live, and you get the joys of raising the new bundle of joy all by yourself.

How about if your 12 year old daughter was brutally raped and got pregnant in the process? The way the republicans are wording the bill, you would have to pay for your 12 year old raped daughters abortion. Or if you are pro-life or can't afford the abortion, you can all raise the new baby in one happy loving family, as I'm sure that is what it would be.

Read the full news story here…

Revolutionary Shot

Source- Married To The Sea

Monday, January 24, 2011

Washington State Budget Priorities

The Washington state government this week passed a budget that cuts about $222 million dollars from the budget. Most of the cuts are in the area of education and health care.

What's interesting about his budget is the areas that don't get cut. In reading the story on the Seattle PI there is no mention of cutting road construction project. Yet when I drive past some road project that isn't really needed, I see a bunch of guys in orange standing around watching the one or two guys working.

They are reducing teachers, yet there is no mention of construction. I was on the Everett Community College campus the other day and noticed a new building, and another one in the process of being added on to and remodeled. Next door was a brand new grade school. The Alderwood High School was just torn down and moved to another location. And these are just around me, I can only imagine the building construction going on elsewhere around the state. How about this lawmakers - no new construction. The students and teachers can manage in the existing buildings and classes. Keep the money for the people who educate them, and save money on the guys who build them.

I know this budget falls in the cities and counties, but how about cutting the police force. They don’t do anything anyway except for sit on the sides of roads and write BS speeding tickets.

I'm sure there are dozens of more effective ways to reduce the budget that I haven't thought of in the last 2 minutes I've been typing. Yet, lawmakers seem to continue regulating with their heads up there butts. Is it because they are truly that clueless, or is it some ploy to make a production out of budget cuts to get us to agree to higher taxes?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tea-Party Okay With Cutting the Military Budget

Anyone who has read this blog knows what I think of the tea-party and the Republican candidates who cater to them. But, for once they have said something I agree with. A tea-party spokesperson has said that all budgets should be on the block for making cuts, including the military.

Read more here…

Monday, January 17, 2011

Eisenhower Warns of The Military-Industrial Complex

It was 50 years ago when Dwight Eisenhower made a speech using the phrase "military industrial complex," when warning us of the dangers in a ballooning military budget and the U.S. desire to maintain such a large military. He warned of a "permanent arms industry of vast proportions."

If anyone would have been knowledgeable on military budgets and size, it would have been the man who lead the U.S. invasion on D-Day, and commanded the military to win the war in Europe.

Prior to WWII and Korea, there weren't many industries that were solely dependent on the military. For example when we needed Jeeps so Ford stepped in and helped produce them. When we needed aircraft there were multiple companies to build them, besides building commercial planes. But as time went on, the cost of supporting the military went up, and business was built around that purpose alone. So that now, when we cut the military budget those industries are hurt, and American jobs are lost. And with businesses like Boeing having plants in states across the U.S. those jobs losses could happen in any congressman's district. A congressman who appropriates the military budget.

Accounting for inflation the militaries budget has doubled since Eisenhower left office.

The U.S. currently spends about 663 BILLION dollars on its military budget. Larger than any other country in the world. And more than twice the budget of the next highest country on the list of China.

We use the excuse that we need to keep America safe to justify our military spending. Yet, it's just as safe to be in Europe as it is here. Canada is just as safe as the U.S. So forth and so on.

What would our education system be like if we spent that kind of money on it? Or our healthcare system, mass transit, environment, or even space exploration? Yet we focus on the now, and not the future. We focus on fear over reality. And the military budget goes up, while the country goes down and deeper in debt.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Results of Right-Wing Rhetoric and Fear-Mongering

Of course all the news this week has been about the shootings in Arizona and the possible culpability that the right-wing media might have in it. Was Jared Loughner influenced by the loudmouth pundits spouting off hatred and violence on talk shows? It's possible, but it's also possible that it wasn't the case, and the guy is just a wacko who would have done the same thing anyway. Yet, how many people out there are actually influenced by the right-wing rhetoric and fear-mongering that comes from the mouths of people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin? Even if Loughner wasn't influenced by those hate-spewing publicity whores, how many people in this country are influenced by them? And how long will it be until some nutcase actually does harm someone thanks to these people?

Rush Limbaugh has a top rated radio show which he regularly fills with fear-mongering and hate rhetoric for his audience to take in each day.

Glen Beck has joked about putting poison in Nancy Pelosi's wine, amongst many other rants he has made including a desire to kill Michael Moore.

Bill O'Reilly has joked about decapitating a Washington Post columnist, among many other hostile and hate filled quotes, and more quotes.

Sarah Palin put 20 Democratic members of Congress in her crosshairs, and bragged that 18 are now gone, leaving Rep. Giffords and Rep. Nick Rahall to go. She has made so many stupid and hate filled statements I'm not even going to bother linking to some of them.

At what point will these people realize that the majority of their listeners aren't that bright and that is why they listen? These listeners are easily influenced and might not realize that one of the murder related "jokes" are actually jokes.

Last spring Charles Alan Wilson a tea-party member was arrested for threatening to kill Patty Murray. Any idea where he got some of his ideas from?

And recently Charles Turner Habermann was arrested for threatening to kill Democrat Jim McDermott.

Last time I watched Stewart or Colbert, I don't recall them "joking" about the death of a person they disagree with. When I read or listen to my "left-wing media" stories I don’t recall reading anyone making jokes about the death of conservative Republicans, or members of the media. Think about this: If this had been someone shooting a extremely conservative politician, what would the right-wing media be saying about that right now? Worse than anything that is being said about them, that is for sure.

Unfortunately, they won't learn a lesson from this and tone down the rhetoric. They won't attempt to speak out in a more civil tone. They will talk about this for a while, then the short attention span public will move on, and the right-wing media will continue with the hostile hate filled rants they have been doing in the past. After all that is what people listen to and increases the ratings.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Hawks Pounce The Saints

Seattle SeahawksIt was pointed out to me that most of my posts lately have been downers and a little depressing. So, today I'm going to post on the news over the weekend. Yep, that's right, the Seattle Seahawks, the first team to go to the playoffs with a loosing record beat the New Orleans Saints, the team who won the Super Bowl last year.

Even though the Saints were down a couple of players and they were playing in Seattle, it still wasn't expected that the Seahawks who have stank it up most of the season would beat the Saints. But they did. Do we think they are going to beat Chicago? No of course not, this is Seattle after all. They get our hopes up, then show up for the game, throw a bunch of interceptions, drop balls, and don't run for a crap. But at least we have this win, and we can always hope that a miracle will happen again on the 16th. After all they did beat Chicago last time they played each other, and that was in Chicago.

If anything it gives me an excuse to sit at the bar and drink beer for one more game.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Google Map of Animal Deaths

Since it has been getting so much news lately, someone actually took the time to create a google map and plot the locations of the recent mass animal deaths.

View Mass Animal Deaths in a larger map

Maybe they should plot all the locations that humans have been slowly slaughtering and forcing animals into extinction… Oh wait, that would be everywhere. No map needed.

Bluefin Tuna Sets Record for Sale

Need further proof that we are over fishing our oceans. One way to tell is the price of product. The fewer fish to choose from, the higher the price for what remains. The Atlantic Bluefin Tuna will most likely be extinct by 2012, at the current rate of fishing. And due to its reduction in populations the Bluefin is setting record prices. One single Bluefin Tuna just sold for 32.49 million yen in Tokyo, roughly $400,000. That's right, four hundred thousand dollars for a single fish.

Read more on BBC News

Thursday, January 06, 2011

The End of Days… For Birds

Birds are dying all over the place, fish are dying, and even more birds are dying in mass numbers. Is in the end of the world? Is the 2012 prophecy prepping us for next year? Who knows. My vote is the birds are just hitting a point that the locusts known as mankind has had such a negative impact on this planet that we are seeing more results of animals dying off due to there inability to withstand the human caused destruction of the environment.

But, I'll leave it up to the scientist to figure out before I start stock piling my bomb shelter.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Animal Cruelty Around the World

Very regularly I'm disgusted with the human race and our ability to callously inflict pain on life forms we consider worth less than ours.

Photographic essay after the jump