Wednesday, February 29, 2012

School Discipline Fail

This is a story from our local school district:

Teacher Allegedly Ordered Boy With Autism Into Cardboard Box
My mind wanders to some of the discipline my teachers used in grade school.
Usually, public swats served their purpose in the younger years.
By the time middle school years arrived, the intended humiliation was seen more as a form of cred by your peers. Cred increased if you took the paddle with a giggle and held your head high.

 Mr S-, the math nerd who married Miss Bitch-On-Wheels had a good gimmick: He'd just dump the trash can over your head. And you stayed that way for the duration of class.
This was not fun. It was humiliating... of this I can attest.
It was also effective.

There were also The Closets.
The back wall of every classroom was lined with double-door closets, about six feet wide and two feet deep. Maybe five feet high.
One closet was a perfect dungeon in which to stuff an unruly kid.
If you were stupid enough to attempt escape, Mr S- would shove a broom through the door handles. This worked.
Then there was that one kid who busted through the broom handle and heaved a book at the teacher. He was expelled, of course.
But at least he left with his cred intact.

What private school teachers were able to get away with then would never pass muster today.
For the record: Our nuns and teachers took no shit.
But never, at any time, do I think any child was ever abused.
Humiliated and shamed into compliance? Absolutely. That was the point.
Abused? Never.

We didn't deal with special needs in our school. I have no idea what the appropriate response would be, and am not even sure what autism is.
But I'm pretty sure this teacher, despite her training, probably unintentionally did the wrong thing and is in a world of hurt because of it.
And the parents are making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Act Of Valor

Short on actors and any real acting, but high in action, and it's very real action at that, is a good way to describe Act Of Valor.
As you've all heard by now, this film stars real Navy S.E.A.L.s, both former and currently active, in the leading roles.

I've seen lots of action flicks in my time, but this is the very first one that can be considered an art house quality film because it does things other action flicks cannot. For starters, they had to use real S.E.A.L.s because the standard stuntman couldn't perform what was required.
It's everything you heard it was.

I can see this being the launch for another set of sequels much in the tradition of the James Bond series. A new S.E.A.L. movie every few years, with a different storyline, yet loosely based upon real geopolitical events

Go for it, take the kids and the wife. You'll be glad you did.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Mob Rules

Quote of the day: Obama apologizes for offending the Afghan muslims and not to American Catholics because the Catholics get pissed off and write letters where the Muslims will stab you with the letter opener.

Sex, Politics And Videotape

Gotta love it when those who made a career screwing the people of California find themselves occupying the other end of the phallus.
Humiliation for veteran politician, 70, as he is handed sex tape 'featuring wife 30 years his junior and lover she met in rehab'
Take a moment to gaze upon the loveliness of Nadia Lockyer (bow chika wow wow), currently serving as Alameda County Supervisor, and you'll know that this tape likely has the potential to sell an internet subscription or two.

According to a few reports, the life-long politician was attempting to use his influence on the local attorney general's office in an attempt to quash the leakage of his wife's extra-political affairs.

Since the action in the video is clearly voluntary, the man with the tape does indeed own the rights to it. Reportedly, the Top Cop of California politics is out of luck on this one.

Lockyer is a smarmy sort of guy, as anybody with a 40 years in statewide office can be. It wouldn't surprise me if he found way, crookedly... or even more crookedly than that... to put an end to this in his favor.

I'm hoping he fails.
I want this tape released in the interest of Free Speech and the Public's Right To Know.
He(and she)has earned every bit of it.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Misses, Elles and Chiennes

Hitler in drag, with a streak of vanity that dwarfed her Cadillac El Dorado...
Wrists jingled with gold bangles that matched the large dangly things hanging from her ears...
Half the Neiman-Marcus cosmetics counter resided on her face, while her perfume occupied half of Gardena for thirty minutes after she passed through...
"Bitch On Wheels" is not an overstatement...

Picture a Filipina Dolly Parton with perpetual PMS who took no shit from nobody, and you got a good image of Miss Cortez.

The only teacher I ever had who I can honestly say hated me. It was personal, and I gave it right back. That just made hate burn brighter, but I survived seventh grade despite it all... And the many visits to the principal's office, and a couple meetings with the Pastor... (In catholic school, the parish pastor was Lord of All, Master of the Realm, far up the food chain, and only got involved in school issues when all else failed. Instances as such were rare to non-existent. Such describes the situation that concerned me. Fortunately, he was a 'student advocate', dedicated to the cause of Catholic education*... and he liked me.)

That said, she was also one of the better teachers I ever had, wholly dedicated to her ministery. I learned a lot under her lash, though much of it wasn't in the lesson plan...

Given who and what level of respect she commanded, often times others would address her as Ms. Cortez.
This was a mistake only made once. She was a Miss, and insisted on it. She hated feminism, feminists, and all they stood for. She expected her doors opened, her chair pulled out/pushed in, her cigarette lit, her dinner paid for...

As she explained to the class: 'Miss' meant a lady was young, fresh and available to suitors. Only a stupid broad (her term) would use 'Ms', and risk not drawing the attention of her future Prince Charming. (She found him that year: The math nerd who taught the class next door; got hitched and dropped several babies over a seemingly short period of time.)

This 'lesson' would come full circle soon enough.
My freshman math teacher was Ms S- (and kinda cute for a 30-something). One student made the goof of addressing her as 'Miss' and was promptly corrected "It's Ms S-".
The student then asked "why Ms and what's the difference?"
I shot out: Cause she don't want a man. Haven't you learned anything from Miss Cortez?
Ms S-, taken a back, stared straight at me... "And what makes you say that?"
The class erupted, the turmoil allowing myself and Ms S- to avoid any further delving into the topic.

A few years later, a close family member met Ms S- at a birthday party for a mutual friend (all lesbians in attendance). She asked me if I remembered a Sharon S-. Well, yes I did, and fondly so.
'Did you know she was...?'
I had my suspicions, and explained the story. Didn't matter none to me. She was cool, and her and I got along fine.
Whatever it was, but I think she felt 'outted' by my outburst.
For the next three years she remembered me in the halls (out of hundreds of former math students), and took the time to say 'Hi' and chat a bit. Like she was trying to be 'OK' with me.
Ms S- liked me. And I liked her in return. It was personal.
A dramatic reversal of the 'Miss' just a few short years earlier.

This was the late 70s, early 80s. Attitudes were not as they are today.
Personally, it really, really didn't matter to me.
But the under-current of fear, especially working in a Catholic high school... I can see now why she treated me as she did (with extreme kindness).
And why, out of potentially thousands of former students, she remembered me.
I could have cost her her job. I feel bad about that.
No, seriously.

These memories and lessons came to mind recently after reading this article at MailOnline.
France is bidding adieu to the term ‘mademoiselle’ – on the grounds that it is ‘sexist’.
The Gallic equivalent of ‘Miss’ will be abolished from all Government documents because it suggests that a woman is available.
Kinda funny that with all of it's economic problems the French politicians love these important, republic threatening cultural diversions as much American politicians do.
Prime minister Francois Fillon has also banned the phrase ‘nom de jeune fille’, meaning ‘maiden name’, from official paperwork because it is ‘archaic’ and has ‘connotations of virginity’.
God forbid anybody thinks there might be a virgin in France. Cant have that, now.
To the delight of feminist campaigners, an order issued to all ministries and regional authorities on Tuesday said ‘mademoiselle’ must be replaced with ‘madame’ and should be not interpreted as an indication of marital status.
I studied French in high school, and always thought 'mademoiselle' had certain musical charm to it. Too bad they want to ditch it.
'Mademoiselle harks back to the term 'oiselle', which means "virgin" or "simpleton".'
I call bullshit there. 'Mademoiselle' means 'Chick'. Even I know that.

Whatever, it's their country, their language. They can do what they want with it.
As for me, I will continue on as I always have and call "Miss", "Ms" and "Ma'am" as I see fit.
It goes like this:
Younger than me, like in her 20's, she's a "Miss".
My waitress is almost always a "Miss".
Unless she's older than that, then she's "Ma'am".
Any woman older than I is "Ma'am".
Unless she's clearly trying to hard to look younger, then I call her "Miss" and watch her face light up. (Some gals are silly that way.)
Position of authority over me is always a "Ma'am".
Unless she serving me beer, then she's a "Miss".
Heavily tatted, peirced, dike-looking serving me coffee and omlets in Portland is a "Ma'am" (Sorry, I just can't call "Miss" on that.)

This is the way it is. If the PC police don't like it, they can kiss my ass.

* That every Catholic child, whenever possible, be able to recieve a solid education infused with Christian values so as to provide a sturdy foundation for good citizenship and sucess in life.

But It's For A Good Cause

I remember when the mantra was about personal private life and nobody else's business.
Not any more.
In order to make sure gays and lesbians are adequately represented on the judicial bench, the state of California is requiring all judges and justices to reveal their sexual orientation.
California just gets sillier and sillier.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Mountain Man Update

I'm telling ya, something about this guy just oozes cool if you ask me. Pissing off The Man while doing your thing. The Man don't like that.
The dude has been identified and now we can see The Patriot Act at work. Yeah, that invention of the Bush administration that was supposed to keep us safe from assholes named Ali, Mohamed, and Sharif who were trying to jack airplanes and crash them into Manhattan skyscrapers.
All this guy has done is break into a few neglected cabins and jack a little coffee and whiskey. A far distance from airplanes and Manhattan, if you ask me.

Don't get me wrong. I'm am NOT saying this dude is among the saints. But he's far from a threat to the republic.

And still... when you set up a cabin out in the wilderness, far away from civilization... someplace that you rarely visit, let alone occupy regularly... and are foolish enough to leave coffee, booze and ammunition inside of it... well, that is just a welcome invitation to a mountain man to escape the cold and snow. (Maybe all the caves were occupied?)

This man is a nuisance, not a terrorist.
Yet, if he was accompanied by a several dozen dread locked college kids who didn't want to pay their student loans, he'd be allowed to trespass for months anywhere he wanted... and smoke a little ganja with the coffee and whiskey.
I'm not liking this.
If they're going all Patriot Act on this guy, this may end with a showering of gunfire.
I doubt such force should be necessary.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Heavy Metal Wednesday

Traditionally, I've always had the ash applied with a thumb or index finger, in the shape of a cross (kinda). Usually towards the end of the procession the priest acquires a lazy thumb, and you end up with a Rorschach Blotch.

This year my parish used a stamp to apply the ash. I think it looks more like an iron cross than a Christian one.
Does this mean forty days of head banging til Easter?

Ash Wednesday Debate Prediction

Odds that Gingrich appears at the debate with ashes on his forehead: 1:1
Santorum 5:1

Monday, February 20, 2012

The more Santorum speaks, the more I think he should keep speaking.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Living The Dream

My secret fantasy.
Mystery Utah 'mountain man' eludes investigators for 5 years
I saw "The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams" when I was kid. To refresh your memory: a woodsman known as Dan Haggerty is wrongly accused of murder and flees to the wilderness to escape injustice, living off the land, fighting the elements...
A couple years later was the movie "Jeremiah Johnson", in which Robert Redford escapes civilization to live the mountains man's life style as a fur trapper.
I guess both of these movies fit in with my fetish for Jack London stories that I had acquired during this same period.

Of course, these are all movies and make believe, and in both cases above, the stories were loosely based upon some real life people and then embellished for storytelling purposes. But hey, I said it was my secret fantasy, anyway. And fantasies are whatever you want them to be.

Going rogue. Doing it for real. Gotta respect that.
Sure some of these guys who occasionally show up on the 'rogue' lists, seems like every couple years or so we get one, tend to be unsavory.

British Columbia had the Barefoot Bandit, the kid who jacked a private plane and crashed it, among other things...

The Unibomber.

And that Rudolph guy (or was it Randolph?), who was accused of bombing the Olympic games in Atlanta and a clinic and such. I really don't go for the killing type of rogue, but I do respect how this guy had the whole government chasing his ass through Appalachia for years and years. He was cool ('cept for the killing and bombing stuff)...

It's this latest guy though... in Utah... this dude seems to have it.
Scaring the shit out of everybody.
Considered armed and dangerous without having harmed or endangered anybody.
Got the cops tied in knots.
Doing it his way, his terms... I bet 100 people have walked past him at twenty feet away and never seen him.
And yet, nobody has a clue who he is.
He's good.

I'm hoping he turns out to be some whacked out, off the grid, DIY type instead of another murderer on the loose. That would ruin everything.

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Still Faith

Another rally pushing an agenda on the National Mall
Thousands of atheists are expected to attend the Reason Rally next month in Washington, D.C., an event that organizers hope will unify a large part of the secular community.
Personally, I think a movement that starts with the premise "Y'all are stupid" isn't likely to garner much support from those outside their lawn camp's perimeter.

I was mostly an atheist-agnostic throughout high school, transitioning to deism by the time I was 21. So, I'd like to think that I do kind of understand where they are coming from, if only a little bit.
One drawback to the concept was the need to always think about it... why atheism was 'reasonable'... and why the other guys were not.
Everytime I looked in the mirror, ate dinner, drank a beer, scratched an itch, I was bumping up against the work of a creator who existence I was denying.
Eventually, I came to the conclusion that it was unreasonable to deny the existence of a creator when the evidence all pointed in the opposite direction.

Me, and everything around me, and everything that was a part of it was here. It had been created by something or someone, right?
Certainly that something must have had a reason for it. Maybe 'it' was lacking an ulterior motive... but even a whim is a reason.
A greater leap of faith would be to deny what was obvious to me. I didn't find this reasonable at all.

Anyway, if these guys want to take a 'Live and let live' approach, but feel insecure enough in their lack of faith and need to feel a part of a larger lack of faith to gain meaning, more power to them. I wish them no ill and every happiness this life can offer.

Just don't call me stupid for coming to a different conclusion. That would be unreasonable.
Word verification has been disabled for this page. I hope this makes it easier for everybody who desires to leave a comment.
If the bots appear in force, I may have to reconsider.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Blogger's new word verification scheme sucks.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Whitney Vs Dolly

It's been a week, to be sure.
Whitney Houston is still dead, and likely will remain that way while the media fawns over her memory and final rites.
I was never a Whitney fan. She came about in the 80's, when my mind was elsewhere and though I have heard many of her songs it just wasn't my 'stuff', ya know what I'm saying?
That... and anything I was listening to never made it to the Grammys anyway. "Grammy Winner" as a title/descriptive has always been a non-starter for me. Irrelevant. That leaves Whitney and I miles apart as far as appreciation goes.
I'm not saying she didn't have obvious talent. I'm just that saying whatever she had didn't matter as far as I am concerned.
That said...
It's no secret that our national anthem has got to be the biggest bitch of a song to sing, yet she delivered like nobody else can.
Check it: anybody who could sing The Star Spangled Banner like she did deserves a place in American history. Maybe even her face on a postage stamp.

Hell, forget the fucking stamp. Toss that Indian girl and put Whitney's mug on the next Dollar coin.
You got my vote.
Can I get a "Hell yeah!" for that? (if not yer a racist, so fuck off.)

So what's the burr in my saddle? I'm gonna tell ya.
Throughout the 'Whitney' tributes I keep hearing the same damned song. It's not even her song. It's a frickin cover.
Sure, give Whitney her props and all that.... But let us not forget, that song that it appears she is most famous for was first written and sung by a far greater talent than Whitney.
And the original still kicks ass:

No blatant disrespect to Whitney, but face it folks... Dolly is The Shit.
Don't you ever forget it.

Dolly: Singer, songwriter, composer, businessman, gay icon, entrepreneur, philanthropist, still contributing...

Whitney: Singer. Dead.

Add it up.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

OK, This Has Gone Too Far

Way too far...
Go ahead and read it.

So wrong on too many levels and I don't know where to begin, but it has got to stop.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Is This For Real?

Maybe it's fake, but it's still funny.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No, This Is Worse

Try to get this one out of your head the rest of the day.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Every Knee Shall Bend

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

California passed a law a few years ago that required all employers who provided health insurance to their employees must also cover abortion and contraceptive services.
All employers. That also included personnel who worked directly for a religious organisation, such as a Catholic archdiocese.The Church fought this provision to the highest court in the state, and lost every step of the way. The reasoning of the courts was that nobody was required to use these services, so therefore the freedom of religion was not violated.
I think the Church found a book keeping work around, but not sure exactly what they did.

In Catholic theology, abortion has been labeled an intrinsic evil. In short, it is a moral evil never to be permitted nor excused by the faithful. As Faithful, we are required/obligated to stand opposed to abortion in every circumstance.
As a Catholic, I am not only not permitted to take part in an abortion. I am also forbidden to suggest an abortion to anybody. I am not to aide in it's procurement in any way. And I am duty-bound/required to discourage anybody who may be thinking about having one.
I cannot say "Gee, abortion sucks, but just in case... the clinic is right over there."
That is The Faith.
This is MY faith.
This is what I have sworn to uphold as a Catholic man of The Catholic Faith.
I stand opposed.
It's not a momentary act.
I stand opposed.
It's an exercise of my faith.
I stand opposed!
It's not that complicated to figure out.
I stand opposed.
Such a statement should be definitive in itself.

Yeah, I understand that the law as it currently is understood states that a women has a right to seek an abortion, something about a 'right to privacy' or whatever.

Privacy: Generally understood as that which pertains secretly/personally to one individual. In short, nobody else's fucking business.

How the hell did we go from "Nobody else's fucking business" to "Everybody else's obligation."?

If things go as the Obama administration has ordered we will have the establishment of a religion (the abortion faith) while 'prohibiting of the free exercise thereof' of other faiths, like mine.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

He Forgot To Tap Out

NJ Robber Dies After Trying to Steal Phone from Former HS Wrestler
Ha! Take that, motherfucker.

No, I'm not endorsing the death penalty, though it is a good thing that the Lifestyle Criminal Community is minus a member.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

MVP? I Call Bullshit!

How can Aaron Rodgers be the MVP of the NFL when his back up performed just as well or better when given the chance.
If what Rodgers took part in in Green Bay was MVP worthy, the award should go collectively to Green Bay's receivers. Not the guy who was easily replaced with Matt Flynn.

My Pick for MVP:
Of course, Jay Cutler. Or Maybe Payton Manning, even if he didn't actually play football. No two teams suffered as drastic a meltdown as the Bears or the Colts when their franchise quarterback got sidelined.

Or Maybe Brady. He won without a defensive unit to cover his ass and will likely win the Super Bowl in the same manner.

Anybody but Rodgers. He's not worthy.

Justice Served, Finally

There was a horrible situation that happened in Orange County a few years ago. A high school girl decided to jack her father's new Porsche and take a wild and crazy ride... that ended rather quickly and abruptly against the side of a toll booth.

It was mess. Her body was mangled, nearly decapitated, and her brains ended up splattered against they wall. Literally. Her brains were splattered against the wall.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) did their required investigation including photo documentation.

Within two weeks, crash scene photos started popping up in the grieving family's email accounts with usually taunting messages. A horrible time for the family became even more so, as you can imagine. The cyber-taunting went on for months, and to this day still occurs.

The family sued the CHP for releasing the photos. The CHP denied any liability, which was all bullshit because they were the only ones who had possession of the images. Then the CHP tried various other gimmicks and maneuvers, anything at all, in an effort to dodge culpability.

Finally, the CHP settled with the family shortly before going to trial.

Link to the story here.

Personally, I would have prefered this case went to trial. Certain folks need to be put on the stand and explain publicly their tortured reasons for dragging the family through this. The public shaming would have done society some good.

It's a travesty when those who are sworn to be the administrators of justice pull out all the stops when it's their ass on the line after they've created the injustice in the first place.
As to be expected, nobody has lost their jobs over this.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Worthless Cool

A bullet that doesn't miss?
Engineers at Sandia National Laboratories have invented a bullet that guides itself to the target.

Sandia has wide expertise at miniature technology, and the bullet works like a tiny guided missile.

The patented design doesn't shoot straight. Instead of a spiral rotation, the bullet twists and turns to guide itself towards a laser directed point. It can make up to thirty corrections per second while in the air.
If I get this right, you point the laser thingy on the target while some super-mini tech gizmo inside the bullet steers the projectile to it's target.

It all sounds good, and probably looks good on paper,too.
Practical application? That's another thing altogether.
In practice, bullets don't miss. They land fairly close to where they are pointed. Any misses are attributable to human error, 99.9999% of the time. There are few world class shooters who can out shoot a rifle's ability to perform, but they are so few in number and are not to be found among anybody that you know.

So, if I got this right, the shooter must hold a laser point on the target, which is most likely moving, and hold that laser point on target until the bullet reaches said target, about 1 full second later if it's a long shot.

When firing a weapon, one creates an explosion that disorientates the shooter for a very brief moment in time. This is why quick follow-up shots are challenging. The gun recoils with a loud boom that throws you off point. Quick recovery, meaning the time it takes to accurately sight in on another (or the same) target is a practiced skill.

The longest shot I ever took, and made (because I'm that badass) was on a moving deer about 325-350 yards out. I shot. Heard the *Bang* and had barely enough time to hear the bullet slam into meat. About a second. Maybe less. Maybe a smidgeon more. It was the only time I can actually say that I heard impact from a bullet I had discharged against a live animal.
It's not likely I would have been able to hold a laser point on target soon enough after recovering from recoil to direct the bullet to it's mark.

You getting this? After firing and recovery, there is NO TIME to aim and hold a laser point position on a standing target let alone a moving one.

Maybe a sniper could use it. Snipers work in teams. One guy could hold the laser pointer. Even that won't work. Take it out to a real battlefield, and the laser pointer will give away the sniper's position and thereby defeating the whole point of being a sniper.

Sure, this is really cool technology and all that. It's also worthless.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Afghan Conflict

I've believed for a long time that it was time for the United States to mostly leave the Afghan theater. Seems all we are doing there is sacrificing our brave young men to prop up a regime that we already know to be corrupt beyond salvation. It's time to accept that democracy in the western tradition just won't work for some peoples, regardless of whatever the Neocon vision wants to believe.

At the same time, we can't allow Afghanistan to return to it's former status as a safe operating haven for Al-Queida (however the hell you spell it) to launch further attacks upon the United States homeland.

It seems to me that Obama administration has figured this one out. Link

The United States hopes to end its combat mission in Afghanistan by the middle of next year, more than a year earlier than scheduled, Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday...

...Current NATO strategy, agreed to at a summit in Lisbon in November 2010, calls for coalition forces to gradually shift to a training, advisory and assistance role with the Afghan military on the way to withdrawing all combat troops by the end of 2014.

I am suggesting that we continue harassment and interdiction of Al-Queda (however the hell you spell it) through the use of Special Ops, Special Forces, Navy S.E.A.L.S., and CIA operatives in a manner that does not claim headlines. It would be really, really sweet if such operations were conducted under a cloud of darkness... such that gives us a method of public denial while those on the ground (i.e. the bad guys) knew damn well they were facing death at possibly American hands should their efforts continue. But nobody really knew for sure.

We can come to terms with the Taliban, knowing that it wasn't the Taliban who was waging war on our homeland, and possibly come to agreement with them as to our intentions per Al-Quiada (however the way you spell it).
Our war never was with the Taliban in the first place. They became our enemy because we made them that way.
Let us not forget, they were our 'friends' at one time. They can be again.