Monday, October 31, 2011

Actions Have Consequences...

... and the idiots running the U.N. have just been hit upside the head with one.

U.S. Cuts UNESCO Funds
UNESCO voted Monday to admit Palestine into the organization as its newest member, and the United States promptly responded by cutting off funding for the agency.
I got all excited when I read this. For a moment I thought Michelle had let barry have his balls back (at least for a little while). Then I read the second paragraph.
Acting under a legal requirement to cut U.S. funds to any U.N. agency that recognizes a Palestinian state, the State Department on Monday announced that the United States has stopped funding the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization because of the vote.
Ah, now I understand. obama had no choice, although I'm sure he's working on some way to resume funding under a presidential edict. Either that or he'll take credit for reducing the budget deficit by $80M.
The United States provides UNESCO with more than $80 million a year, covering about 22 percent of its budget, thus making any cutoff painful.
Good. I hope it pains those assholes. In fact, I hope the U.N. votes to give those rag-headed terrorists palestinians full membership. Then we can stop pouring money down that rathole in New York, kick the whole kit and caboodle out of the country, and keep whack jobs like iran's ahmadinejad from polluting our shores, streets, and air.
The prohibition on U.S. funding of U.N. agencies that recognize a Palestinian state was included in two pieces of legislation that were signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 and President Bill Clinton in 1994.
Bipartisanship at its best...

FOD 2011.10.31

Halloween and FOD - a scary combination...

Actually, what's really scary is the thought of four more years of this buffoon...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sweet Dreams

Think about this right before you fall asleep tonight.
Officials in the Florida Everglades have captured and killed a 16-foot-long Burmese python that had just eaten an adult deer.

Scott Hardin, exotic species coordinator for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, said workers found the snake on Thursday. The reptile was one of the largest ever found in South Florida.

Skip Snow, a biologist and python specialist at Everglades National Park, who conducted the snake necropsy, said the snake had a girth of 44 inches with the deer inside.

"This is clearly an extreme event,” he told the Sun-Sentinel. “It shows you they can eat huge things."
"...the snake had a girth of 44 inches..."

I'm somewhat on the large side - 6'1" and tip the scale somewhere in the mid-200s - but my waist size is less than 44 inches. That damn thing could swallow me whole.

Of course, it would have to catch me first...

Sunday Funnies 2011.10.30

Tomorrow is Halloween. Need I say more...?

It was Halloween and three vampires went into a saloon and walked up to the bar.

"What will you have?" the bartender asked.

"I'll have a glass of blood," the first replied.

"I'll have a glass of blood, too, please," said the second.

"I'll have a glass of plasma," said the third.

"OK, let me get this straight," the bartender said. "That'll be two bloods and a blood light?"

Looking for a Halloween costume? Here's a few ideas.

A man was in the hospital for a series of tests, the last of which had left his bodily systems extremely upset.

Upon making several false alarm trips to the bathroom, he decided the latest episode was another and stayed put. He suddenly filled his bed with diarrhea and was embarrassed beyond his ability to remain rational.

In a complete loss of composure he jumped out of bed, gathered up the bed sheets, and threw them out the hospital window.

A drunk was walking by the hospital when the sheets landed on him. He started yelling, cursing, and swinging his arms violently trying to get the unknown things off, and ended up with the soiled sheets in a tangled pile at his feet.

As the drunk stood there, unsteady on his feet, staring down at the sheets, a hospital security guard (barely containing his laughter) who had watched the whole incident walked up and asked, "What the heck is going on here! ?"

The drunk, still staring down at the sheets, replied: "I think I just beat the shit out of a ghost"

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Thought For The Day

“Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut”

     -- Ernest Hemingway

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2011.10.28

The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me...

This week my wife and I celebrated our 20th anniversary. She has one thing in common with most women - they underestimate how attractive they are to those of us who love them, regardless of whatever changes time hath wrought.

Don't bother me for the rest of the weekend. I'll be busy...

What Would Willie Do?

Busy day today. More later - I hope...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where's The Coverage?

Like any good business manager, I periodically review my past activities - in this case, my posts. I noticed a trend of increasing posts with obama as the main subject, so I've tried to back off from that and vary my topics. But it's just so damn hard, especially when he does crap like this.
The Obama/Holder Justice Department has proposed a revision to the Freedom of Information Act, allowing federal agencies to lie to citizens and the press seeking certain records, telling them the records do not exist.

The Justice Department has proposed the change as part of a large revision of FOIA rules for federal agencies. Specifically, the rule would direct government agencies who are denying a request under an established FOIA exemption to “respond to the request as if the excluded records did not exist,” rather than citing the relevant exemption.

The proposed rule has alarmed government transparency advocates across the political spectrum, who’ve called it “Orwellian” and say it will “twist” public access to government.

Even the ACLU is aghast at the proposal, claiming it “will dramatically undermine government integrity by allowing a law designed to provide public access to government information to be twisted to permit federal law enforcement agencies to actively lie to the American people.”
Speaking of federal law enforcement agencies lying to the American people, the proposal "seems curiously timed as momentum builds for a full accounting by the Obama administration on Operation Fast and Furious.."
After months of stonewalling and obfuscation, and delivery of documents so heavily redacted as to render them useless, there is no doubt on Capitol Hill that the Justice Department is trying to cover-up the gun trafficking operation-gone-bad.

The Obama administration sailed into office on a very thick carpet woven by media cheerleaders, with the promise to be “transparent.” Page after page of requested documents that were totally redacted, making them nothing more than large blocks of black ink on a white background, are not transparent. They are not even translucent.
Now obama and his felons-in-waiting aren't even satisfied with stonewalling, obfuscation, and rampant redacting. They want to be able to flat out lie about the existence of the documents in question.

So much for the most transparent administration in history. And so much for objective reporting.

As if that's not enough, the betrayer-in-chief snuck this one in under the radar. (H/T iOwnTheWorld)
The president has overseen a new executive order, via the Justice Department, to prohibit the mention of “Islam” in the training federal law enforcement training manuals. That’s right folks. Law enforcement training can no longer refer to Islamic terror as…well… “Islamic terror.”

Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole has confirmed that the Obama administration was pulling back all training materials used for the law enforcement and national security communities, in order to eliminate all references to Islam because some Muslim groups have claimed it is offensive. That’s like taking Racists out of the KKK. Or Italians out of the Mafia.

The terrorists must be slapping high fives behind closed doors. Thanks Allah. Thanks Obama. Score one major victory for CAIR. One major defeat for United States national security.

Interesting. The president has no qualms about shooting foreign terrorists on foreign soil, yet he caves to Islamic pressure inside the borders of his own country.

Organized Crime and the Drug Cartels should take a lesson from this. All you need to do is intimidate the government and complain that accusing Mexican and Colombian drug lords ... as being drug smugglers is OFFENSIVE. Being factual is unimportant. More importantly, we must not offend. We must capitulate to the people who hate us the most.

Here are a few facts taken from various sources (see below):
  • More people are killed by Islamist terrorists in one any one year, than in all 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition, combined. (Note: That’s ISLAMIC terrorists)
  • More civilians were killed in two hours on September 11, 2001, than in the previous 36 years of sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. (That’s by ISLAMIC terrorists)
  • Islamic terrorists murder more people each day than the KKK has in the last 50 years. (Note: That’s ISLAMIC terrorists)
  • Islamic terrorists have carried out nearly 18,000 terror attacks worldwide since September 11, 2001. Read it again. That’s Eighteen Thousand attacks worldwide by ISLAMIC terrorists.
  • In the last ten years, more than 96,000 human beings have been slaughtered b y Islamic terror attacks. (Note: ISLAMIC terror)
  • In the U.S., there have been twenty-one citizens killed in Islamic terror attacks since 9/11 by seven perpetrators. Another four were foiled before anyone was killed. (Note: ISLAMIC terror)
If you want to keep a track on the body count of Islamic terror, check this site.
This is the same administration that was illegally selling assault rifles to Mexican drug lords which has resulted in the killing of innocent people, including an American Border Patrol agent.

Where’s the outcry?

Where’s the outrage?

Hell, where's the coverage of these abominations in the mainstream media? Can you imagine the outcry and outrage if a Republican president did anything like this?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

You Light Up My Life

On the off chance that my wife reads this, Happy 20th Anniversary honey.

On the much more likely chance that she won't read it, here's why a 21st anniversary may be problematic.
My wife and I were sitting at a table in a local restaurant staring at a drunken woman swigging her drink as she sat alone at a nearby table.

My wife asked, 'Do you know her?'

'Yes,' I sighed, 'She's my first ex-wife. She took to drinking right after we got divorced over 25 years ago, and I hear she hasn't been sober since.'

'My God!' said my wife, 'who would think a person could go on celebrating that long?'

Tempus Fugit

I don't know what genius decreed that mid-semester should occur at the same time as deer season, but that's where we currently find ourselves. Plus my wife made the poor decision to marry me in late October (the poor decision was the timing, not the decision to marry me).

Bottom line - too much going on, not enough time.

I have mid-terms scheduled for my classes this week. Next weekend (Halloween weekend, no less) is opening day for kids, and the following weekend is opening day for adults.

In Texas the kids get their own opening day, which I think is a great idea. However, it does complicate things. I'll take the grandkids next weekend, then I get to go hunting the weekend after that. However, I have to squeeze in a 20th wedding anniversary celebration sometime between the two (that is, if I want a 21st anniversary). Not to mention grading a whole passel of exams.

I did get a chance last weekend to visit the deer lease and get things in shape for the upcoming season. Blinds were repaired, shooting lanes were opened, and scouting was done. The ongoing drought has had a severe impact on the deer herd. Body conditions are marginal, antler development is minimal, and the fawn survival rate is way down.

That last has chilling long-term implications. Most of the deer taken every year are in the 2-3 year-old range. Given that last years fawn crop also had a low survival rate, that means that the next few years will have a relatively small number of deer advancing through their age brackets, resulting in poor hunting for the next several years.

On the bright side (sort of), the feral hog population is booming. Those damn things are the mammalian equivalent of cockroaches. I swear that they would survive a nuclear war. Since there is no limit or season on feral hogs in Texas, I foresee a hog-rich deer-poor hunting season this year.

Hmmm ... bacon ....

Give The Devil His Due

My fingers are choking as I type these words (I have a fondness for mixed metaphors), but it's time to give obama credit. On his watch we've seen osama bin laden killed, several top al qaeda leaders wiped out, and gaddafi captured, killed, and sodomized, although not necessarily in that order.

Just as I would have castigated obama for failing to take advantage of those opportunities to eliminate enemies of this country, so must I give him credit, albeit grudgingly, for fulfilling the responsibilities of his office.

In a similar vein, however, I would be remiss if I did not point out that obama's success is due in large part to the continuation of  policies put in place by his predecessor. Guantanamo, enhanced interrogation techniques, electronic surveillance ... all these things were vilified and opposed by obama and his supporters. But they also led to the intelligence that enabled the SEAL operations, drone strikes, and air attacks that made those successes possible.

There is a word for that.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anchors Aweigh, Y'all

San Antonio has a long and proud history of association with the military. In fact, San Antonio's nickname is "Military City USA."
From the early days of the Spanish exploration of the West to providing the cutting edge in battlefield health care training, the history of San Antonio is closely linked to military history.  The Presidio de Bexar served as the seat of government and headquarters of military power in Colonial Texas, and became the focal point of the battle for independence from Mexico through the historic Battle of the Alamo.  A strategic center during the epic wars between Native Americans and the U.S. Calvary, the military presence in San Antonio is unbroken for nearly 300 years.  Occupied by Conquistadors, Texas Rangers, Confederate and Union troops, and serving as the recruiting and training grounds for Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, San Antonio’s military history is a colorful as its many fiestas and festivals.  The first military airplane flew at Ft. Sam Houston, Eddie Rickenbacker learned how to fly at Brooks Field in World War I, and the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Astronauts were trained for the rigors of space flight at Brooks Air Force Base.  From Korea to Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm to Operation Iraqi Freedom, San Antonio has trained, equipped, and cared for America’s fighting men and women as they defend our way of life.
My father retired from the Air Force at Randolph AFB. I spent some time TDY at Fort Sam Houston. Lackland AFB is where young men and women receive their Air Force basic training (such as it is...). There are several other military installations in and around San Antonio.

Recently, the military consolidated its medical training program for all the service branches at Ft. Sam. This introduced Marines and Navy personnel to the area. One consequence of this is that we now have another excuse to party - Navy Week.

Of course, being a landlocked city and somewhat unfamiliar to this whole Navy thing, we needed a little elementary education.
The Navy is the branch of the U.S. military that fights on the water in ships, under the water in submarines, and over the water in planes that take off and land on Navy aircraft carriers.

Think of the 70-80-90 rule:

Water covers about 70 percent of the Earth's surface.

About 80 percent of the world's population lives near the ocean.

About 90 percent of all international trade travels by sea.

What happens on the water is critical to American security, the preservation of American jobs, and peace worldwide. Most fundamental, it's important to our national defense. After all, the United States is bounded by oceans on both sides.
I knew about the ships, subs, and carriers. I didn't know about the 70-80-90 rule. Like I tell the kids, any day you don't learn something new is a wasted day.
With the opening of Medical Education & Training Campus, along with Master at Arms training at Lackland AFB, the Navy's two largest enlisted rates receive their training in San Antonio. And dozens of sailors and Marines have recovered from war-wounds at BAMC and the Center for the Intrepid. This is a Navy town.

As San Antonio hosts Navy Week from Oct. 24 to 28, and sailors come to the city to share their stories, remember the importance of a fast, flexible force — provided by sea power and the U.S. Navy. In this way, the Navy protects America more than ever.
San Antonians appreciate the military. We also love to party. (Check out Fiesta San Antonio - our version of Mardi Gras. The kids even get out of school for the Battle of Flowers Parade.). So bring Navy Week on.

This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Another Monday Tradition

In addition to Monday being FOD, it also looks like the first day of the week is becoming 'personal massager' day.

Last Monday we had the story of a man injured by a flying dildo. This Monday we have a story about a woman with a vibrator in her suitcase who got a fan letter from the TSA.
(A passenger) recently flew from Newark to Dublin, and upon arrival found a very special personalized message from the TSA in her suitcase. Jill ... (says) that when she unpacked her bag this morning, she discovered a note scrawled on the official form from the TSA informing her that her bag had been inspected. "GET YOUR FREAK ON GIRL," it read.

Jill believes the personalized message has something to do with the contents of her suitcase, which included a silver bullet vibrator from Babeland. She says she brought that particular device "specifically because [she] figured it wouldn’t raise any red flags at TSA." Flags no, but something seems to have been raised.
It's nice to know our government is protecting us from ... what? ... women who pleasure themselves?

In any case, I don't think these particular types of 'bullets' are what we need to worry about...

FOD 2011.10.24

A little short of time, so today's post is short and to the point.

obama recently completed a "Save My Job" campaign bus tour of Virginia and North Carolina (which, incidentally, cost the American taxpayer thousands of $$$). It did not have the desired effect.

President Obama had beers the other day with four unemployed construction workers. Obama asked what it's like to lose their jobs. And they said 'Oh you'll see.'

President Obama is off on his three-state bus tour this week. I believe the three states are Confusion, Delusion and Desperation.

Do you know the difference between Obama's dog and the U.S. economy? Obama fixed Bo.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Funnies 2011.10.23

It's World Series time. Sunday is also church day (at least theoretically - we've been backsliding lately). So today's jokes combine church and baseball.

Two nuns took their first trip outside the convent. They had never seen a baseball game, so the Mother Superior arranged for them to get World Series tickets. Once inside, they sat in the bleachers. Hearing a vender selling hot dogs, one said, "We've never had hot dogs before," and they decided to order a couple.

The first nun unwrapped her hot dog, and proceeded to quickly wrap it up again, saying, "Oh, my!"

"What's wrong, sister?" asked her companion.

"Well," came the reply, "which part of the dog did you get?"

Outside a small Macedonian village close to the border between Greece and strife-torn Yugoslavia, a lone Catholic nun keeps a quiet watch over a silent convent. She is the last caretaker of the site of significant historical developments spanning more than 2,000 years.

When Sister Maria Cyrilla of the Order of the Perpetual Watch dies, the convent will be closed by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Macedonia. However, that isn't likely to happen soon, as Sister Maria, 53, enjoys excellent health. By her own estimate, she walks 10 miles daily about the grounds of the convent, which once served as a base for the army of Attila the Hun.

In more ancient times, a Greek temple to Eros, the god of love, occupied the hilltop site. Historians say that Attila took over the old temple in 439 A.D. and used it as a base for his marauding army.

The Huns are believed to have first collected and then destroyed a large gathering of Greek legal writs at the site. It is believed that Attila wanted to study the Greek legal system, and had the writs and other documents brought to the temple. Scholars differ on why he had the valuable documents destroyed -- either because he was barely literate and couldn't read them, or because they provided evidence of democratic government that did not square with his own notion of rule by an all-powerful tyrant.

When the Greek church took over the site in the 15th Century and the convent was built, church leaders ordered the pagan statue of Eros destroyed, so another ancient Greek treasure was lost. Today, there is only the lone sister, watching over the old Hun base.

And that's how it ends: No Huns, no writs, no Eros, and nun left on base.


The church orchestra was performing Beethoven's Ninth. In the piece, there's a long passage, about 20 minutes, during which the bass violinists have nothing to do.

Rather than sit around that whole time looking stupid, some bassists decided to sneak offstage and go to the tavern next door for a quick one. After slamming several beers in quick succession, one of them looked at his watch and said, "Hey! We need to get back!"

"No need to panic," said a fellow bassist. "I thought we might need some extra time, so I tied the last few pages of the conductor's score together with string. It will take him a few minutes to get it untangled."

A few moments later they staggered back to the concert hall and took their places in the orchestra. About this time, a member of the congregation noticed the conductor seemed a bit edgy and said as much to her companion.

"Well, of course," said her companion. "Don't you see? It's the bottom of the Ninth, the score is tied, and the bassists are loaded."

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Only In Texas

Drudge provided a link to the following story that could only occur in Texas.

Woman allegedly beaten with frozen armadillo
A man used a frozen armadillo to attack a 57-year old Pleasant Grove woman, Dallas police said.

According to investigators, the altercation occurred when the suspect was selling the carcass to the victim, who planned to eat the animal.

The pair apparently began arguing over the price of the item when the man twice threw the armadillo at the woman.

For those of you not in the know, here's some interesting facts about the assailant's weapon of choice.
The Texas state legislature designated the nine-banded armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus) as the official state small mammal in 1995. A distant cousin of the sloth and the anteater, the nine-banded armadillo is the only species that occurs in North America. A bony, scaled shell protects the armadillo from predators.

The Nine-banded Armadillo is a cat-sized, armored, insect-eating mammal. Similar in form to an anteater, the bony, scaled shell of the armadillo protects it from attacks by predators. Unfortunately, armadillos often fall victim to automobiles and are frequently found dead on roadsides.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To show the armadillo that it could be done.

Q: How many Aggies does it take to eat an armadillo?
A: Three: one to eat it, and two to watch for cars.

Q: What’s the difference between a dead armadillo in the road and a dead lawyer in the road?
A: The armadillo has skid marks in front of it!

 The word armadillo means "little armored one" in Spanish.

The animals have long been considered a legitimate game animal in Mexico, and the practice of eating armadillos was adopted by residents of South Texas when the animal migrated there. During the Great Depression, East Texans stocked their larders with armadillos, which they called "Hoover hogs" because of the animal's supposed pork-like flavor (some say chicken-like) and because they considered President Herbert Hoover responsible for the depression. Currently, barbecued armadillo and armadillo chili are popular foods at various festivals in parts of Texas, Arkansas, and the southeastern United States.

NOTE: Recent medical research suggests that people who regularly handle armadillos may be increasing their exposure to Hansen's disease (leprosy). Armadillos have very limited natural immunity to leprosy, and they are shipped from Texas and other states to research facilities worldwide for study relating to the diagnosis and treatment of this disease. In other words, DO NOT EAT ARMADILLO MEAT!!!

On the bright side, armadillos from Texas are invading the north.

Roving armadillos could be heading for the Washington area
Armadillos in D.C.? It may sound absurd, but new reports show that the leathery, armored mammal from Texas is on the move and could soon take up residence in the Washington area.

Climate change is the culprit, reports the Daily Climate Web site, citing biologists’ claims that the armadillo’s northward expansion can be attributed to a warming atmosphere.
On a more personal note, I've been involved with the little critters since I lived in Austin in the 1970s. That was the genesis of the country/hippie/rock movement - the Redneck Rock or Cosmic Cowboy sound - spearheaded by Willie Nelson, among others. Ground Zero was the Armadillo World Headquarters, where I spend many a happy hour listening to the tunes and eating delicious concoctions whipped up by Big Rikki the Guacamole Queen.

The Armadillo caught on quickly with the hippie culture of Austin because admission was inexpensive and the hall tolerated marijuana use. Even though illicit drug use was flagrant, the Armadillo was never raided. Anecdotes suggest the police were worried about having to bust their fellow officers as well as local and state politicians.

Soon, the Armadillo started receiving publicity in national magazines such as Rolling Stone. Time magazine wrote that the Armadillo was to the Austin music scene what The Fillmore had been to the emergence of rock music in the 1960s. The clientele became a mixture of hippies, cowboys, and businessmen who stopped by to have lunch and a beer and listen to live music. At its peak, the amount of Lone Star draft beer sold by the Armadillo was second only to the Houston Astrodome. The Neiman-Marcus department store even offered a line of Armadillo-branded products.
More recently, as I have settled comfortably (more or less) into middle age, my involvement with 'dillos has morphed into trapping them and removing them from my yard. They burrow incessantly after grubs and insects,  rooting up the sod like a pack of feral hogs. But they're too damn cute and inoffensive - not to mention downright dumb - to shot. The best bait I've found to attract them is potatoes soaked in beer (It also attracts Irishmen, so you have to use the right sized trap).

One definition of serendipity is a "happy accident" or a "pleasant surprise." That's what this post has turned into. It started off as a 'news of the absurd' type post, but quickly wandered into a biology lesson, a few bad jokes, and a blast from my past.

What a long strange trip its been...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Follies Happy Hour 2011.10.21

South and Central Texas were all shook up after a 4.8 magnitude earthquake rattled residents from the Rio Grande valley to the Texas Hill Country. Thankfully there were no injuries or major damage.

In recognition of the quake, for the Friday Follies Happy Hour we present the musical version of what Mrs. CenTexTim often says - " I feel the earth move..."

Anecdotes, Personal Experience, and Hard Data

I am an education professional - a college professor. My colleagues and I often share stories about problems we have in the classroom with students who are obviously ill-prepared for college.

Similar anecdotes abound on the Internet. Today, for example, Christopher at BMEWS shared his experience from tutoring hopefuls trying to get their GED.
The students I have are so deficient in math that I wonder how they even got to high school before they dropped out! They have no knowledge of basic math that I learned in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade.
Meanwhile, Grouchy Old Cripple posted this video of someone trying to form a coherent thought.

It's frightening to think that this person is allowed out in public by herself without a caretaker.

Personal experience and anecdotes are, of course, no substitute for hard data. Well, the U.S. Senate recently released a report on the status of government spending and education in America. It should surprise no one who has been paying attention that we the people have been shovelling an ever-increasing nummber fo dollars into the public education system with no improvement in results.
“Money does not necessarily correlate with student achievement… in this country in the last 30 years, we have more than doubled the amount of money we are spending per child… and the results have gotten worse, not better.”

– Michelle Rhee, former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor, February 9, 2011
Words are nice, but the data need no help speaking for themselves.

The report concludes:
We all agree on the importance of education and the necessity of providing an environment where academic achievement can flourish. In terms of investing in education, however, it is not how much money you spend but how you spend it.

(H/T to Powerline for the link to the report.)
I struggle daily with paperwork, busywork, and assorted other timewasters that have absolutely nothing to do with educating my students and everything to do with justifying the existence of a massive, cumbersome, and ineffectual bureaucracy - and its administrative overlords.

Case in point: New York state. Over a 15 year period (1997 - 2011)
the ranks of education administrators have swollen a breathtaking 34 percent over the last 15 years -- and they're overseeing fewer students...

The number of supervisory staff in public schools increased to 42,000 (in 2011) from 31,332 in 1997, even as student enrollment statewide fell and performance rankings sat stagnant...

The state's student population dropped to 2.7 million from 2.8 million -- or 4.6 percent -- during that period.

And during that same span, the number of rank-and-file teachers grew to 214,000 from 194,957 -- a 9.8 percent increase.
To recap:
  • Number of administrators up 34%...
  • Number of teachers up 9.8%...
  • Number of students down 4.6%...
  • Overall public-school expenditures more than doubled, from $26 billion to $58 billion...
  • Result: in 1997 NY ranked 40th nationwide in high school graduation rates. In the most recent rankings it is 38th.
Now repeat this across the country.

Not much bang for the buck - unless you're an administrator...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Barber Shop Wisdom

I got my hair cut yesterday at Larry's Barber Shop. Larry's is a small two-chair place that's been in the small town near where we live for the past few decades. It's a gathering place for males of a certain age who have plenty of time on their hands, not much to do, and strong opinions (read: old farts). Not only can you get a haircut for $10, but you can get a feel for the mood of the local populace.

There were a number of news stories being discussed, starting with the escape of exotic animals in Ohio. Since deer season opens in a couple of weeks, the consensus was that this would have been a fine opportunity to get in some target practice.

Then the topic shifted to the five French Moroccans caught breaking into the Bexar County (San Antonio) courthouse. This was when everyone thought it was some sort of terrorist plot (before the revelation that it was just a bunch of drunks having an Animal House moment). Again the consensus was bring out the deer rifles and turn 'em loose. Another opportunity for more practice.

Finally, someone brought up the antics of the occupy whatever flea baggers. You can guess the response: more practice.

By now my hair was cut. I made sure to tip Larry on the way out. I didn't want to be the target of more practice...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Am A Racist

That is, according to self-appointed racism czar Melissa Harris Perry, I am a racist because I have pointed out in the past that only 53% of Americans pay income taxes, effectively subsidizing the non-paying 47%. From Real Clear Politics:
MSNBC race relations commentator extraordinare Melissa Harris Perry explains it is racist when Michele Bachmann points out only 53% of Americans pay federal income tax and says we all need to pay.

"What that is meant to imply is that there is a whole group that is dependent," Harris Perry analyzed.

Harris Perry says that 53% talk is just codeword for the "2011 version of the welfare queen."
Baseless generalizations like this are as damaging and despicable as someone saying "all the people on welfare are worthless blacks." It distracts us from the real problem  - raising the income level of the 47%, coupled with meaningful reform to the tax code - by introducing a false and incendiary charge designed to inflame rather than illuminate.

When I think of almost half of the citizens in this country not paying any income tax, I don't think of welfare queens. I think of a mix of people who, for a variety of reasons, do not contribute their fair share. Whether it is economic misfortune, health issues, or yes, a dependency on or addiction to welfare, I certainly would like to see more of these folks in a position to pay taxes.

Regardless of race, gender, age, religion, ethnic background, or sexual preference...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weather Update

I've mentioned before that we've been having an extraordinarily hot and dry year here in South Texas. Here's something to help put it in perspective.

At least in this neck of the woods the women can wear shorts and tank tops, and we can enjoy a nice cold beer...

A Tale Of Two Cities - Both Ridiculous

Two different cities, two different parts of the country, but both with school districts utterly lacking in common sense.

Massachusetts Principal Takes Aim at Fall Holidays, Says They're Insensitive
Anne Foley, the principal at Kennedy School in Somerville, Mass., sent an email to teachers warning them about celebrating Thanksgiving, the Boston Herald reported.

"When we were young we might have been able to claim ignorance of the atrocities that Christopher Columbus committed against the indigenous peoples," Kennedy School Principal Anne Foley wrote.

We can no longer do so. For many of us and our students celebrating this particular person is an insult and a slight to the people he annihilated. On the same lines, we need to be careful around the Thanksgiving Day time as well."
I may be wrong, but I don't recall Columbus committing atrocities or annihilating large numbers of 'indigenous peoples.' On the other hand, he did open up the New World to others who arguably did so, but blaming him for that is like blaming Henry Ford for drunk driving deaths today.
Teachers have already been told not to let students dress up for Halloween.

Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi told The Herald that Halloween is “problematic” because of connections to witchcraft.
And we all remember what they do with witches up there in Massachusetts, don't we.

Of course, Halloween today is about scoring as much candy as a young child can carry, not about witches grouped around a bubbling cauldron.
Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone, who has three kids at Kennedy, also weighed in.

“I’m the son of Italian immigrations, so I take Columbus Day very near and dear, and I’m proud that he discovered America and that America’s named after another Italian,” Curtatone said. “If we ignore and we don’t want to talk about it, if we want to stifle debate, then we’re ignoring history.”

He also added that he was planning on being in full costume at Somerville’s annual Halloween parade, which residents said is one of the largest in the greater Boston area.
Good for Joe.
The situation even caught the attention of U.S. senator for Massachusetts, Scott Brown.

“Let’s not take political correctness to the extreme. Let the kids in Somerville enjoy Halloween,” Brown tweeted Friday.
I never thought I'd be praising a couple of politicians for having their heads on straight, but in this case Mayor Curtatone and Senator Brown have earned some well-deserved kudos.

Contrast the Somerville school district's stifling of long-standing cultural and historical traditions with the following, in which a foreign culture is stuffed down the students' throats.

TX High School Students Made to Recite Mexican National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance
Students in a Texas public high school were made to stand up and recite the Mexican national anthem and Mexican pledge of allegiance as part of a Spanish class assignment, but the school district maintains there was nothing wrong with the lesson.

It happened last month in an intermediate Spanish class at Achieve Early College High School in McAllen, Texas — a city located about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Wearing red, white and green, students had to memorize the Mexican anthem and pledge and stand up and recite them in individually in front of the class.
I get the whole 'learn about the culture as you learn the language' thing, but I do think the school could have found a more appropriate way to do so. I wonder how many Mexican schools teach the American pledge of allegiance and the words to the Star Spangled Banner as part of English classes.

Whatever happened to just teaching reading, writing, and arithmetic?

If you really want to get depressed, go to where I got the above image from and read the related post.

We are failing our kids...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Headline Of The Year

Best man left bleeding after being hit in head by flying dildo
(Best man Jure) Skumavc was still sporting a scar on his forehead at (the) wedding nearly three weeks after being dinged by the artificial dong…

He said the pink projectile was flying an impressive 7 meters across the room and looping about 2 meters high.
“Other people got it in their chest and knees. I was the only one bleeding."
The weapon of mass destruction was propelled by what are evidently a very impressive set of vajayjay muscles possessed by the 'exotic dancer' hired to perform at the bachelor party.
“I don’t have a massive experience with dildos,” he said. 
Does it take much experience to realize that said implements of pleasure don't usually fly around the room? 
The scars left by the offending object have since healed, but Mr. Skumavc said the story was still very much alive.

“People keep asking how close my face was (to cause that sort of injury),” he said.
I have absolutely nothing to add…

(H/T to Roger the Real King of France for the link.)

FOD 2011.10.17

obama and his minions have established a tradition of releasing unfavorable news on Friday afternoons to minimize publicity. This last Friday was no exception, although it was particularly notable for the number and significance of its announcements. Number one:

The Obama administration Friday pulled the plug on a major program in the president's signature health overhaul law — a long-term care insurance plan dogged from the beginning by doubts over its financial solvency.

Known as CLASS, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program was a long-standing priority of the late Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
That pretty much tells us all we need to know about it.
Although sponsored by the government, it was supposed to function as a self-sustaining voluntary insurance plan, open to working adults regardless of age or health. Workers would pay an affordable monthly premium during their careers and could collect a modest daily cash benefit of at least $50 if they became disabled later in life. The money could go for services at home or to help with nursing home bills.

But a central design flaw dogged CLASS. Unless large numbers of healthy people willingly sign up during their working years, soaring premiums driven by the needs of disabled beneficiaries would destabilize it, eventually requiring a taxpayer bailout.
My wife and I have long-term disability insurance. It's not cheap, but we both had mothers who needed long-term care, and we saw the deleterious impact, both financial and emotional, it had on the family. We've agreed that we don't want to put the other spouse and kids through that. But we would much rather rely on a private insurance company than a government program. Evidently a lot of other people feel the same way.
After months insisting that could be fixed, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally acknowledged Friday she doesn't see how.

That's the same conclusion a top government expert reached in 2009. Nearly a year before the health care law passed, Richard Foster, head of long-range economic forecasts for Medicare, warned administration and congressional officials that CLASS would be unworkable. His warnings were disregarded, as Obama declared his support for adding the long-term care plan to his health care bill.
What's the point of having experts on staff if you don't listen to them? Maybe because their advice gets in the way of politics...?
The demise of CLASS immediately touched off speculation about its impact on the federal budget. Although no premiums are likely to be collected, the program still counts as reducing the federal deficit by about $80 billion over the next 10 years. That's because of a rule that would have required workers to pay in for at least five years before they could collect any benefits.
Budget gimmickry. The private sector must comply with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) but like so many other things, our uberlords exempt themselves from the rules and regulations they subject us to. Which brings us to Friday announcement number two.

Treasury announces 2011 deficit is second highest in history
The U.S budget deficit for fiscal year 2011 is $1.299 trillion, the second largest shortfall in history.

The nation only ran a larger deficit for the 2009 fiscal year, which included the dramatic collapse of financial markets and a huge bailout effort by the government. The nation's deficit that year was $1.412 trillion.
Third straight year in a row the deficit has exceeded $1 trillion ... equal to 8.7% of GDP (the historical average budget deficit is 2.3%) ... and no end in sight.

You can't keep spending more than you make. Eventually something's got to give.

Friday announcement number three seems innocuous enough on its face, but it may be the most subtly troubling of them all.

Obama sends 100 military advisers to fight Africa rebels
The first wave of U.S. Special Forces Green Berets arrived in Uganda this week to support the battle against a guerrilla group accused of widespread atrocities, Pentagon and military officials told NBC News.
I remember when Green Berets (and others) were sent to Viet Nam as 'advisers.' We all know how that turned out.

And don't forget, we still have forces involved in Libya, despite this statement.
“I said that America’s role would be limited; that we would not put ground troops into Libya; that we would focus our unique capabilities on the front end of the operation, and that we would transfer responsibility to our allies and partners,” Mr. Obama said in an evening speech to the nation. “Tonight, we are fulfilling that pledge.”
obama said that on March 28 of this year. Last time I looked we still had U.S. forces involved in ongoing operations over there.

Of course, the MSM is so fascinated by the occupy whatever Flea Baggers that there is scant reporting of obama's misadventures...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fun With Computers

Putting the "personal" in Personal Computing...

Sunday Funnies 2011.10.16

Since this was The Week From Hell, it stands to reason that today's funnies are Hell related.

 A Texan dies and goes to Hell. While down there the Devil notices that the Texan is not suffering like the rest. He checks the gauges and sees that it's 90 degrees and about 80% humidity. So he goes over to the Texan and asks why he's so happy. The Texan says, "I like it here. The temperature is just like Texas in June."

The Devil isn't happy with the Texan's answer and decides to get him, so he goes over and turns up the temperature to 100 degrees and the humidity to 90%. After turning everything up he goes looking for the Texan. He find him standing around unbuttoning his shirt, just as happy as can be. The Devil quizzes the Texan again as to why he's so happy. The Texan says, "This is even better. It's like Texas in July."

The Devil, now upset, decides to really make the Texan really suffer. He goes over to the controls and turns the heat up to 120 degrees and the humidity to 100%. "Now lets see what the Texan is up to," he says. So he goes looking for the Texan. He find him taking his shirt off, even happier than before. The Devil can't figure it out. He asks the Texan why he's happy now. The Texan replies, "This is great, it's just like Texas in August".

The Devil says, "That's it, I'll get this guy." He goes over and turns the temperature down to a freezing 25 degrees. "Let's see what the Texan has to say about this. "The Devil looks around and finds the Texan jumping up and down for joy yelling, "THE RANGERS HAVE FINALLY WON THE WORLD SERIES!".

 One day a guy dies and winds up in hell. As he is wallowing in despair, he has his first meeting with the devil…

Satan: Why so glum?

Guy: Why do you think? I’m in hell!

Satan: Hell’s not so bad. We actually have a lot of fun down here. You a drinking man?

Guy: Sure, I love to drink.

Satan: Well you’re gonna love Mondays then. On Mondays, all we do is drink. Whiskey, tequila, beer, soft drinks, you name it! And you don’t have to worry about hangovers because you’re dead anyway.

Guy: Gee, that sounds great!

Satan: You a smoker?

Guy: You better believe it!

Satan: All right! You’re gonna love Tuesdays. We get the finest cigars from all over the world and smoke our lungs out. If you get cancer—no biggie, you’re already dead, remember?

Guy: Wow… that’s awesome!

Satan: I bet you like to gamble.

Guy: Why, yes. As a matter of fact, I do.

Satan: Good, because Wednesdays you can gamble all you want. Craps, blackjack, roulette, poker, slots, and Kino. If you go bankrupt, you’re dead anyway. What about drugs?

Guy: Are you kidding? Love drugs! You don’t mean…

Satan: That’s right! Thursday is drug day. Help yourself to a great big bowl of crack…or smack. Smoke a doobie the size of a submarine. You can do all the drugs you want, you’re dead, who cares?!?!?!

Guy: WOW! I never realized Hell was such a cool place!

Satan: You gay?

Guy: No…

Satan: Ooooh…You’re gonna HATE Fridays

One day in the future, Bill Clinton has a heart attack and dies. He immediately goes to Hell, where the devil is waiting for him.

"I don't know what to do here," says the devil. "You are on my list, but I have no room for you. You definitely have to stay here, so I'll tell you what I'm going to do. I've got a couple folks here who weren't quite as bad as you. I'll let one of them go, but you have to take their place. I'll even let you decide who leaves."

Clinton thought that sounded pretty good, so the devil opened the first room. In it was Ted Kennedy and a large pool of water. He kept diving in and surfacing empty handed. Over and over and over. Such was his fate in Hell.

"No," Bill said. "I don't think so. I'm not a good swimmer and I don't think I could do that all day long."

So the devil led him to the next room. In it was Newt Gingrich with a sledgehammer and a room full of rocks. All he did was swing that hammer, time after time after time. "No, I've got this problem with my shoulder. I would be in constant agony if all I could do was break rocks all day," commented Bill.

The devil opened a third door. In it, Clinton saw Jesse Jackson lying on the floor with his arms staked over his head, and his legs staked in a spread eagle pose. Bent over him was Monica Lewinsky, doing what she does best. Clinton took this in in disbelief and finally said, "Yeah, I can handle this."

The devil smiled and said "OK, Monica, you're free to go!"