Saturday, June 29, 2013

OUTRAGE?

I just thought I'd get this off my chest.  I'm so tired of the use of the word "outrage."  There are a lot of things in this world that are outrageous.  Most of the crap that people label as "outrageous" isn't really outrageous.  It may be annoying or it may piss you off.  But it's not outrageous. 

I recently read a book titled "Auschwitz" my daughter gave to me for father's day.  I really hesitated about reading it but I finally realized that reading history requires reading a lot of uncomfortable stuff.  I read the book.  I digested the book.  It was horrible.  The writer was a doctor who survived years in the prison camp by conducting numerous autopsies under the supervision of Dr. Mengele.  If that doesn't ring a bell he is the infamous "Angel of Death."  He conducted the most disgusting human experiments the human mind could contemplate.  Most the autopsies were done on demand.  In other words, there wasn't a lot of natural death going on.  Mostly the killing was on demand because Mengele wanted to conduct his research on the victims.  This was truly a disturbing book. 

As the Holocaust fades into history we need to read about what happened to remember.  Genocides have occurred throughout history for no other reason than a dominant group wanted to eliminate a subservient group.  My friend Z has a connection to one of the most horrible genocidal incidents in history: Armenians slaughtered by the Turks during WWI.  The Japanese conducted genocide in Asia in the 1930s with very little notice in America because America is Eurocentric.

These incidents are truly "OUTRAGEOUS."   Please don't cheapen the word by applying it to a series of bothersome incidents that really aren't worth the hyperventilating that goes on with politicians and other of the lower species who use the word to express their annoyance that everybody doesn't agree with them. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

POLITICS? YOU'RE KIDDING!

In this time of scandal for the Obama administration, it's hard to keep up with the daily disclosures. The corruption in this administration stacks up with any in our history.  I, for one, am happy that these thugs in the White House are finally being exposed.  I have a feeling Obama had no idea he would be running from one scandal after another when he pledged his would be the most transparent administration in history.  It's amazing the amount of roaches that are in a house until the lights come on.

Nancy Pelosi famously pledged to drain the swamp when she was made Speaker.  I doubt she thought that swamp was full of Democrats.  These people are ridiculous.  But constitutionally they are running our country.  Which brings me to my point.  The apologists for Obama are continually cautioning Republicans to refrain from politicizing these scandals.  My point is that because of the structure of our government it is all about politics.  These are politicians by definition.  This is their career.  Of course, it's politicized.  Since when does politicizing something make it less illegal. 

We can't allow these pompous asses to get away with lessening the severity and illegality of these scandals by cautioning the Congress against politicizing them.  It's the absolute duty of Congress to exercise oversight on the Executive.  Our Founding Fathers understood that political power corrupts and humans are susceptible to it.  And they were politicians!  They understood. 

Read Federalist #10 (Madison) and Federalist #51(Hamilton). 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

GONE FOR A WHILE

I will be out of commission for awhile as I'm leaving tomorrow.  I am going to Louisville to grade essays written by students who have taken the Advanced Placement U.S. history test.  I'm paid well and Louisville is a very fun town.  There's  a lot to do downtown and rest assured we make the best use of their hospitality. 

I am a life-long Reds fan and their AAA farm club is in Louisville, so we spend a lot of time watching baseball.  There are some great restaurants in town so we'll eat well.  It may not sound like reading essays is fun, but it's the best professional experience for A.P. teachers you can experience.  If there's one thing you can do as a teacher it's being able to credibly tell students what it takes to score well on their essays.  After five years I know what it takes to score.  

I'll read over 2,000 essays in my time there.  I can really plow through them after five years of grading essays so I'll try to set a personal record this week.  Last year nearly 400,000 students took the test.  Each student writes three essays so we graded about 1.2 million essays in our week in Louisville.  We will do our job, get it done, and get home to start the summer. 

The upside is I'm done for this year with the exception getting my grades in for the students.  I'll do that Saturday, June 8th and call it a year.  Then it's soccer time.  I coach girls' soccer for our high school.  We had our player/parent meeting last night and had a good turnout.  We start summer conditioning on June 17th and after that it's pretty much an everyday thing until October.  I'm ready to get going. 

See you soon. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

THE TRUTH

A friend of mine sent me this video.  As painful as it is to hear, it's true.  The "NEA" statement at the beginning refers to the National Education Association.  That's the union I'm compelled to belong to because my state isn't a right to work state.  I refused to join the union but I still must pay dues.  That I'm compelled by the government to pay dues to a union that I feel does not represent my best interests is the essence of tyranny. 

The actor in the video is Jeff Daniels.  He's played many parts including George Washington in a movie called "The Crossing" about the crossing of the Delaware in preparation for the attack on Trenton in 1776.  It's one of my favorite movies. 

Please listen and I'm interested in hearing comments about the statements in the video.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

WHY DO WE WATCH FOR GOVERNMENT TYRANNY?

For those of us who have blathered on about government tyranny and been derided for it, this week has proven what the founding fathers knew.  Man can't be trusted with power unchecked.  The founders built checks and balances into the Constitution.  Not because they were worried about the form of government they chose but that they didn't trust the humans who would control it.  History is rife with evidence that humans can't be trusted with power.  The Roman Empire, the German Empire, the Persian Empire, the British Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire; need I name more? 

That being the case, the prescience of the founding fathers is absolute.  They understood that as Madison said, "if men were angels, no government would be necessary."  But lest you think that the founding generation were big government people you are sadly mistaken.  As president, Madison vetoed the "American  System" in 1816, which was a plan for the federal government to fund state public works projects using federal tax money.  He felt the use of federal tax money to fund projects within states was unconstitutional.  What did Madison, the "Father of the Constitution," know?

The founders understood that humans needed a government to assure that they could survive as a common entity.  However, they needed freedom to thrive.  It was this balance that the founders strove to achieve.  Our form of government is the least evil form of all governments.  Most assuredly, government is evil if left unchecked.  Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.   

George Mason, a Virginian who was respected second only to George Washington, refused to sign the Constitution because it didn't include a Bill of Rights.  When he was told by others that the rights of Americans were included in the text, he stated he wanted them explicitly written for all to see.  We would do well to exercise his skepticism about "implied rights."  Of all the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, two are extremely important.  The Second Amendment is the one that ensures all others will be obeyed by putting the ultimate power in the hands of the people and the Tenth gives the power to the states that they reserved to themselves.  After all, the states formed the federal government, not the other way around.  The Founding Fathers understood this.  It's time we did too. 

That brings us to the IRS.  The most intrusive and potentially the most evil of all government agencies.  As the opinion in the  court case, McCulloch vs. Maryland in 1819, states, "the power to tax is the power to destroy."

The progressives will profit from Americans accepting that more government is good for humans.  In reality it is the opposite.  The more powerful the government, the less the people thrive.  That's to the benefit of those among us who feel they are better fit to make decisions for us than we are for ourselves.    

It's time we all wake up and check the power of the government.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

STANDARDIZED TESTS

I wanted to give my students some credit because recently we had our round of standardized tests.  In Ohio, sophomores take the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT).  I have three classes of sophomores and we prepared for three straight weeks for this test.  The students didn't love it but they were diligent in their preparations.  It was tedious for them and me.  Well, the results are in.  Out of the three classes everyone passed except one student who barely missed.  He'll pass the next time.  That's 55 out of 56.  I'm proud of them and I'm relieve for them.  They don't have to test again.  I'm not a fan of these tests not because I disagree with tests.  I don't like that they are written by people other than teachers.  Some of the language is so stilted I spend time teaching the vocabulary of the tests rather than the concepts they need to know. 

Additionally, my Advanced Placement students took the AP US history test today.  After talking to them they feel they killed it.  We spent a lot of time reviewing and studying together to get it done.  They were very confident they beat the test to death.  BOOM! 

Sometimes it good to be a teacher. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

NOW IT'S THE PRESS THEY'RE AFTER. A LOVER SPURNED?



I think you could keep busy just cataloguing the scandals in the Obama administration as they unfold.  Well, now they've gone and done it.  They pissed on the press.  After all the adulation and unconditional love from the press,  the Obama crew has grabbed the phone records of the Associated Press.  How dare they!

Will the press take on the part of the scorned lover?  Will they, like the abused spouse, finally call the police and prosecute?  Or will they take their lover back and give him and his minions another chance.  After all, he represents everything they love.  They gave up their career for him.  He may have stepped in it this time.

This administration is dangerous.  Someone needs to watch it.  Did they finally awake the sleeping dog?