Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Monday Post

A nice way to begin the week.

Sadly, Shark Week is over. Let us mourn in our own way.

In other news, the world is filled with idiots.

Case in point: does Matt Damon know what he is talking about?

In the viral Matt Damon video, he finally is outsmarted by a cameraman when the latter posits that in, any profession, there might be ten percent of employees who aren’t up to par. Matt Damon, instead of making the absurd case that this cannot be true of the teaching profession, actually agrees but thinks he has scored a point on the cameraman when he says, “Well, maybe you’re a sh***y cameraman.” Just so: If the cameraman is not doing a great job, he isn’t going to be able to stay in it, is he? He has no job security. He has to go out and prove himself every day. Like most of us.

Now let’s consider a randomly-selected city. Like, oh, say, Boston. Boston was able to fire only 12 teachers five years ago. Now, after gigantic leaps forward, it is able to fire about 57 in a given year — or one percent of the pool.

Boston has a 255-page union contract and it’s so cumbersome to fire a teacher that principals instead simply rotate them from school to school. This “dance of the lemons” has been thoroughly documented in city after city and was discussed in the documentary “Waiting for ‘Superman’” last year.

An official with the Black Ministerial Alliance in Boston says the current system is failing and “our children are the ones who are suffering.” Does Damon think the Boston schools system should be run more as a jobs program for a few teachers or more as an education program for the many tens of thousands of poor minority kids who are stuck with an underperforming school?

As someone who has both taught and has relatives who were/are teachers, I can tell you that an excess of apathy and wrongly placed idealism is far worse than an excess of money. Any teacher not worth his or her salt shouldn't be in the classroom. That goes without saying. No one would dream of hiring a cardiologist whose sole credentials are owning the entire DVD box set of ER and a strong will to help others without getting one's hands dirty. Teachers whose benefits exceed their results are a drain, financially, academically and - dare I say it? - morally. Teachers are hired to mould students into productive citizens and should feel in their bones that nothing short of their utmost will do. Not every teacher is an oaf or an imbecile. Some labour under difficult circumstances. Some have become war-weary dealing with lazy, bratty kids, mindless parents, overpaid administrators and teachers' unions unaccountable to anyone. And a good deal are happy to read from a textbook and leave once the bell rings.

Let's overhaul the system. Do the kids have a love of learning? No? Then what the hell are mum and dad doing about it? Are they brats? Fix that. Now. Are the teachers not only university-educated but tested in the field (classroom, if you will)? Scrap the unions and give the teachers an iron-clad contract and let them earn their benefits. Why give money to a mafia-like teachers' union when they can keep their money and defend their own interests? Are there too many administrators getting nice, cushy salaries? Screw that! What is the bar for acquired knowledge? Raise it. No one poised to go into university should have trouble writing a single page essay or have it riddled with spelling and grammatical errors. If the student in question cannot articulate why he or she deserves to take a real class in university, then he or she should look elsewhere for a professional niche. Don't get me started on the ideological crap now found in curricula across the country. People need to locate their country on a map, do basic math and write a coherent sentence, not hate the straight whiteys on Turtle Island.

But that's just what I think.

But the idiocy doesn't end there. I wish it did because idiots like these probably don't know how to handle a fire extinguisher or something even more difficult for them- a spoon.

Did you know that the Vatican is the greatest threat to Western civilisation? It's true. The Illuminati and the saucer people are also heads on this international conspiratorial hydra. Don't believe me? Read:

Starting in 2008, this Campaign has a special focus on the Vatican, given the enormous political and economical power it holds, but aims at representing all the issues around secularism and human rights, including opposition to state-funded faith schools, rejection of  religious tribunals and support to equal rights for LGBT citizens.

We promote:
  • freedom of religion, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech
  • women’s equality and reproductive rights
  • equal rights for LGBT people in all the European Union
  • a secular Europe – democratic, peaceful, open and just, immune to the clandestine influence of privileged religious (or other) organisations
  • one law for all, no religious exemptions from the law
  • state neutrality in matters of religion and belief
We oppose:
  • the privileged status of the churches under Article 17 of the TFEU (Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union)
  • the special status of the Vatican in the United Nations
  • state-funded faith schools
  • the economic privilege and political influence of the Vatican
In past editions this Campaign has been titled “NO VATICAN – London for a Secular Europe” and was supported by the British Humanist Association, the Central London Humanist Group, the Gay And Lesbian Humanist Association, the National Secular Society,  One Law for All, OutRage!, the Rationalist Association.

Okay- hating Catholics and believing the Vatican would rule the world (among other things) might have been acceptable at a time when proper hygiene and literacy were thought to be things of the devil but this is the twenty-first century. It's quite alright to let one's womenfolk gain literacy, fly in airplanes and accept the very believable premise that bigger threats to Western civilisation are not only things like polygamy, the institution of archaic codes of conduct as civil law, arrogance, rape, subjugation and murder of Christians and other religious minorities but the obliging failure by so-called progressives to act on such things.

(enormous hat tip)

But wait! There's more!

The breaking point of order in the community isn't ongoing riots and crime but the displaying of a sign.

If the comments are any indication, the biggest pantload is the offense of "breaking the law". Total bullcrap. This has nothing to do with following the letter of the law but one woman's courage to express something people would rather not talk about. Don't forget what the taxpayer pays forDo keep in mind the utterly horrid and asinine comparison of Linda Gibbons to a convicted girl-murderer whom anyone with a brain stem would argue is a greater threat to public safety than cardboard. I have yet to receive a satisfactory explanation as to how holding up a sign which makes some feel uncomfortable will be the straw that breaks the camel's back. The cops did nothing at Caledonia and had the average citizen turn in Vancouver rioters but are front and centre whenever a grandmother needs arresting. What malice for an opinion or person can excuse this legal garbage?

Ask the average person if they would like to sink in credit ratings. Don't be surprised by the answer.

China continues being evil:

China will support Sudan to develop its oil sector and other industries, its foreign minister said on Sunday, after the highest-level talks between the two allies since South Sudan became independent.

And now, a woman no purse-snatcher should ever mess with:

After 98 years, the phone call finally came. 

Last week, Sensei Keiko Fukuda of San Francisco became the first woman to be promoted to judo's highest level: 10th degree black belt.

Only three people in the world, all men living in Japan, have ever reached that mark. 

The martial arts promotion by USA Judo brought 98-year-old Fukuda to tears at the women's dojo where she still teaches in Noe Valley.

1 comment:

Black Mamba said...

re. the 98 year old black belt, this one's good too: http://althouse.blogspot.com/2011/07/another-creepy-elevator-guy-another.html

I notice she's wearing a ghi. I'm a great believer in martial arts training, esp. for girls.