Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

10/20/2021 “1958 vs. 2021”   Leave a comment

I really don’t think another of my rants about political correctness is necessary today. These scenarios speak for themselves, in volumes.

Scenario 1:

1958 – Jack goes duck hunting before school and then pulls into the school parking lot with his shotgun in his truck’s gun rack. The Vice Principal comes over, looks at Jack’s shotgun, goes to his car and gets his shotgun out to show Jack.

2021 – School goes into an immediate lock-down and classes are suspended. FBI and local police are called, Jack is hauled off to jail and his gun confiscated. His truck is towed away and impounded. Counselors are called in to aid any traumatized students and teachers. The Vice Principle was later terminated and cited for not wearing his mask.

Scenario 2:

1958 – Johnny and Mark get into a fist fight after school. A crowd gathers. Mark wins the fight. Johnny and Mark shake hands and end up buddies.

2021 – Police are called and SWAT team arrives — both Johnny and Mark are arrested. They are charged with assault and both are suspended even though Johnny started it. Both are also cited for failure to maintain safe distance requirements because of the pandemic. Johnny was also found unmasked. Juvenile hearings are scheduled and Anger Management therapy mandated. Teachers are required to attend a training seminar on How to Handle Out of Control Students and a review session on Covid-19 rules and requirements is scheduled..

Scenario 3:

1958 – Jeffrey will not be still in class and he disrupts other students. Jeffrey is sent to the Principal’s office and given a good paddling by the Principal. He then returns to class, sits still and doesn’t disrupt the class again.

2021 – Jeffrey is isolated from other students. His parents are called and he’s transported to his doctor’s office. A recommended dose of Ritalin is prescribed by his physician. He then becomes a zombie. Next he’s then tested for ADD allowing the family to collect extra money (SSI) from the government because of his disability. Family counseling is ordered by the authorities.

Scenario 4:

1958 – Billy breaks a window in his neighbor’s car and his Dad gives him a whipping with his belt. Billy is more careful next time, grows up normal, goes to college and becomes a successful businessman.

2021 – Billy’s dad is immediately arrested for child abuse. Billy is removed to a foster care home until the father has completed his Anger Management classes. Billy then joins a local gang and is later arrested for a host of crimes. The state psychologist is told by Billy’s sister that she vaguely remembers being abused herself as a child and their dad ends up in prison. Billy’s mom has an affair with the psychologist and Billy steals a car and runs away.

Scenario 5:

1958 – Mark gets a headache and brings some aspirin to school. Mark shares his aspirin with the Principal outside at the smoking dock.

2021 – The police are called and Mark is expelled from school for drug violations. His car is then searched for drugs and weapons. His parents are detained and their house searched for any illicit drugs or paraphernalia. The Principal is suspended pending an investigation of his receiving drugs from a suspect student and supplying that student with cigarettes.

Scenario 6:

1958 – Pedro fails high school English. He then goes to summer school, passes English and goes on to college.

2021 – Pedro’s cause is taken up by the state. Newspaper articles appear nationally explaining that teaching English as a requirement for graduation is racist. ACLU files a class action lawsuit against the state school system and Pedro’s English teacher. English is then banned from the core curriculum and Pedro is given his diploma anyway. He ends up mowing lawns for a living because he can’t speak English.

Scenario 7:

1958 – Johnny takes apart some leftover firecrackers from the Fourth of July. He puts them into a model airplane paint bottle and blows up an ant hill. Ants die.

2021- ATF, Homeland Security and the FBI are all called. Johnny is charged with domestic terrorism and possessing unauthorized explosives. The FBI investigates his parents – and all siblings are removed from their home. All computers are also confiscated. Johnny’s father and mother are placed on a terror watch list and are never permitted to fly again. The family is sued by a neighbor when a drug sniffing dog bites his son.

Scenario 8:

1958 – Johnny falls while running during recess and scrapes his knee. He is found crying by his teacher, Mary. Mary is seen hugging him to comfort him. In a short time, Johnny feels better and goes on playing.

2021 – Mary is accused of being a sexual predator and loses her job after another teacher saw her hugging Johnny. She faces 3 years in State Prison for child molestation. Johnny undergoes 5 years of intense therapy, becomes sexually confused after hypnosis therapy revealed alleged repressed memories of abuse. He now identifies himself as a transgendered named Janine.

AHHHHH!!! THE GOOD OLD DAYS

10/19/2021 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Remembered   Leave a comment

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England of a heart attack. Six years and one month later I was born. Approximately twelve years after my birth I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and later saw my first Hollywood movie version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Through the years I was able to find and read the occasional Holmes story but it wasn’t until I was stationed in Korea in the 1960’s that I happened upon a complete volume of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It was left at the hooch of a Korean business girl by an American G.I. who had since returned to the states. She couldn’t read a word of English and gladly gave me the book. In the intervening years I’ve read the entire Holmes collections many times. That book I found in Korea actually piqued my interest in crime and criminal investigations.

After leaving Korea I joined the Pennsylvania State police and began a thirty year career first as a police officer, then a private investigator, and lastly as a corporate investigator. I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes was the inspiration for my career but I can’t tell you how many times when I first initiated a case I thought to myself, “Watson, the game is afoot.” Rest in peace Sir Arthur, your legacy lives on.

THANK GOD FOR MY KINDLE, HOLMES IS WITH ME EVERYWHERE

10/17/2021 Why Does Everyone Hate America?   Leave a comment

I thought the title of this post would get your attention because we as Americans aren’t all that surprised when we hear how much most of the world seems to hate us. People hate us, countries hate us, individuals hate us, and yet millions of them put their lives at risk to escape their own countries to come here. I find that to be a conundrum and it needs to be examined and we’re going to do it right now.

I consider myself to be a proud and patriotic American. That being said I feel that most people on this planet have little or no respect for our country, our people, our culture (if we have one), and our politicians. When Donald Trump was president everybody on the planet including the people in this country had nothing good to say about the man. I’m finding now that Biden has been elected, other countries are already taking potshots at him as are many of our own citizens. He’s too old, he’s crotchety, he can’t remember anything. What the hell are we doing? We hate to be hated but insist on hating others including ourselves. Many of those comments I mentioned were obtained from British television and those folks don’t hold much back when criticizing.

I would gladly tell most of them if asked how little I care about their opinions on America. It’s like when you were in high school and somebody picked on your sister. It’s okay if you do it but no one else better try. I fully understand why the rest of the world shows us such little respect. We are as always our own worst enemy. I won’t even begin to discuss reality programming which makes the entire planet think we’re a bunch of mouth-breathing, arrogant morons. It’s hard to argue that fact when so many millions of Americans are so addicted to watching these staged soap operas that permit idiots to exploit their 15 minutes of fame at our expense. Fake drama, fake plot lines, and generally just a lot of BS.

There is so much weirdness in America these days it boggles the mind. I know by now to expect the absolute worst and when it doesn’t happen, I celebrate. I’d like to send a big shout out to the Media and Hollywood, for producing such crap and broadcasting it worldwide. Without fuel a fire will go out, so people, please stop fueling the damn fire.

I was thinking last night while surfing around the TV network sites, how would a reasonably religious and intelligent person living anywhere on the planet feel about America after watching an hour of TMZ or the host of reality shows clogging the airways.

I know that America and its Americans will continue moving down this road regardless of the consequences. That’s our right as free citizens to be as stupid and unmindful about others as we seem to be. However, we should really stop whining about everyone on the planet hating us. We have to get over that crybaby BS and take the heat for all the stupid crap we continue to do and then transmit it to the rest of the world.

Every time we have one of our wacko celebrities out of the country on tour, they’re seen as representing all of us. That’s about as scary as it gets for me. How about you?

GOD BLESS AMERICA – LOL

10/15/2021 Day Four – Misc. Trivia   Leave a comment

VARIOUS ODD FACTS

  • In 1679, Messrs. Green, Barry and Hill were hanged at Tyburn for a murder they committed at Greenberry Hill.
  • Melanie Griffith has a tattoo of a pear on her butt.
  • And not to be outdone, Anna Kournikova has the tattoo of the sun on her butt.
  • Andrew Jackson (1829-37) once killed a man in a duel because he insulted his wife.
  • John Quincy Adams (1825-29) used to take a swim in the Potomac River every morning naked.
  • Jimi Hendrix lost his virginity at age 12.
  • Mark Twain lost his virginity at age 34.

MARK TWAIN WISDOM

  • “There are several good protections against temptation, but the surest is cowardice.”
  • “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”
  • “Education is what you must acquire without any interference from your schooling.”
  • “Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.”
  • “Familiarity breeds contempt . . . and children.”

INSURANCE

  • Dolly Parton insured her breasts for $3 million.
  • Michael Flatley, Lord of the Dance, insured his legs for $40 million.
  • Tina Turner insured her lips for $1 million and her breasts for $750,000.
  • Bruce Springsteen insured his voice for $5 million.
  • Jennifer Lopez insured her entire body for 1 billion dollars.

FYI: I’M INSURING MY RIGHT HAND FOR $10 BILLION

10/11/2021 Famous Last Words – Part II   Leave a comment

As I promised, here is part two of the “Famous Last Words” list. They don’t need any more of an introduction than that.

“No! I didn’t come here to make a speech. I came here to die.” Crawford Goldsby, a.k.a. Cherokee Bill, when asked if he had anything to say before he was hanged.

“I know you’ve come to kill me. Shoot, you are only going to kill a man.” Che Guevera

“Don’t let it end like this. Tell them I said something.” Francisco (Pancho) Villa

“I’ll be in hell before you start breakfast!” “Black Jack” Ketchum, notorious train robber

“Don’t worry… It’s not loaded…” Terry Kath, rock musician in the band Chicago Transit Authority as he put the gun he was cleaning to his head and pulled the trigger.

“Is someone hurt?” Robert F Kennedy, to his wife directly after he was shot and seconds before he fell into a coma.

“Die, my dear? Why that’s the last thing I’ll do!” Groucho Marx

“Go on, get out! Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough!” Karl Marx, asked by his housekeeper when his last words were to be

“I have a terrific headache.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who died of a massive cerebral hemorrhage

“Drink to me!” Pablo Picasso

“I have not told half of what I saw.” Marco Polo, Venetian traveler and writer

“Dammit… Don’t you dare ask God to help me.” Joan Crawford. This comment was directed towards her housekeeper who began to pray aloud.

“Lord help my poor soul.” Edgar Allen Poe

Now that we’ve laid all these so-called celebrities to rest we can move on with our lives. If any of you come up with any epithets or last-words to celebrate your own death, let me know. I have a another post on this subject coming in the near future and I could add yours to the list.

* * * * TRIVIA WEEK COMING SOON * * * *

10/12 – 10/16

All Trivia – All Week

10/10/2021 A Modern Den of Iniquity   Leave a comment

Anyone newly elected and working in Washington DC becomes a cynic within minutes of their arrival and a power-grabbing beltway politico within days. Between the lobbyist’s kissing their asses and the ever-growing groups of citizens who want something from them, they become overwhelmed very quickly. If they’re strong of character and have an equally strong stomach they may be able to work through all the nonsense and actually accomplish something meaningful. Even if they’re successful in doing so, the powers-that-be will keep dragging them back. They just keep repeating to these rookies all of the rationales they used to excuse their own bad or illegal behavior. Your ability to remain a decent individual under the worst possible circumstances isn’t helped when you read these kind of statements made by well known Washington insiders:

  • “You will be measured in this town by the enemies you destroyed. The bigger they are, the bigger you will be.” John B Connally – Texas Gov. 1979
  • “Don’t write anything down, but save everything that anyone else writes down.” Maureen Dowd – Columnist, 1995
  • “I was not meant for the job or the spotlight of public life in Washington. Here ruining people is considered sport.” Vince Foster – Suicide Note – 1993
  • “If you can’t deal every day with having people trying to destroy you, you shouldn’t even think of coming down here.” Alan Greenspan – 1994

After reading these statements even I’m becoming depressed again. The question for me is why anyone would willingly choose to work under these kind of conditions. They all say they’re going to fix the system from the inside and I’m sorry to say but that’s a lot of hogwash. We been hearing that same mantra for decades from really good people who were elected with the best of intentions. They are immediately eaten alive by the veterans and unable to make any meaningful changes whatsoever.

I spend a lot of my time looking at government and criticizing everything that needs to be criticized. It really bothers me that even I can’t find a solution to this problem after years of watching so many good people fail in their attempt for change. I’d much rather criticize and then offer a workable solution, but I cannot because I don’t have one. Maybe it’s just my apathy with the entire political system as it currently exists. The “Founding Fathers” must be spinning in their graves.

THE MONSTER HAS BEEN CREATED, NOW WHAT?

10/09/2021 Famous Last Words – Part I   Leave a comment

As a person ages and begins to deal with their own mortality they sometimes think about the final moments of their life. I’ve observed that death can also be a final moment of embarrassment for some. People who are celebrities of a sort must think that their final words may be released to the public and repeated forever. The last thing you want people to think is that you were frightened or stupid at the end. Unfortunately many times these final words do seem stupid, some humorous, and others make no sense at all. This collection of final words has been in my files for years and has always made me think a little and occasionally smile a lot. What will I say at the end? I’m not a famous person so it will only mean something to me and possibly the last person I talked to. No one else will care.

Let’s now take a few minutes and review some of these last utterances of some allegedly famous people:

“I don’t have the passion anymore, and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away. Peace, Love, Empathy. Kurt Cobain.” Kurt Cobain (in his suicide note). Lead singer for American grunge band Nirvana, referencing a song by Neil Young.

“In keeping with Channel 40’s policy of bringing you the latest in blood and guts and in living color, you’re going to see another first – attempted suicide.” 30-year-old anchorwoman Christine Chubbuck, who, on July 15, 1974, during technical difficulties during a broadcast, said these words on-air before producing a revolver and shooting yourself in the head. She was pronounced dead in the hospital 14 hours later.

“It’s very beautiful over there.” Thomas Edison

Now why did I do that?” Gen. William Erskine, after he jumped from a window in Lisbon, Portugal in 1813.

“Don’t worry, relax.” Rajiv Gandhi, Indian Prime Minister, told his security staff minutes before being killed by a suicide bomber attack.

“Dying is easy, comedy is hard.” George Bernard Shaw

“I’m losing.” Frank Sinatra

“My wallpaper and I are fighting a duel to the death. One or the other of us has to go.” Oscar Wilde

“I’m tired of fighting.” Harry Houdini

“I see black light.” Victor Hugo

“LSD, 100 micrograms I. M.” Aldus Huxley to his wife. She obliged and he was injected twice before his death.

“I’m bored with it all.” Winston Churchill, before slipping into a coma and dying nine days later.

“Dear World, I am leaving you because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool – good luck.” (suicide note) George Sanders, actor

“They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance.” Gen. John Sedgwick, Union commander in the US Civil War, who was hit by a sniper fire a few minutes after saying it.

After reading these final words I know I can do better. I just hope I have the opportunity to say something meaningful or humorous before I go. Not to be too morbid but you should really take some time to think about and write your own epitaph. Stand by for Part II of Famous Last Words . . . coming soon.

P.S. Here’s what I’ve decided should be my last words: “veni, vedi, cessi”. If Latin was good enough for Julius Caesar, it’s good enough for me. It translates to, “I came, I saw, I left”

WHAT WILL YOUR’S BE?

10/06/2021 Thinking Outside the Box   Leave a comment

Thinking outside the box is a rarity these days. Some people do it automatically in everything they do and are called, weird, odd, strange and a host of other not so nice descriptions. Unfortunately the great majority of people that are truly out-there are artists and creative types. In order to create something that people will pay attention to you must be out-there. I’ve been lucky enough to be labeled out-there since I was seven or eight years old by my parents and friends alike. That to me has always been a badge of honor and always will be.

People continuously use the word weird for those of us who are strange, little off center, or just plain different in our way of thinking. I’ve been called much worse by many people over the years due to my unusual approach to the art I create. I understand that some people are offended by that description but I never was. I’m a firm believer that if you walk by any of my projects and didn’t stop for a second look, I wasn’t getting the job done.

Many years ago I created a piece called “Death Penalty”, and it was displayed in a museum art show. To my great surprise it actually won an Honorable Mention award from the judges. I created a miniature electric chair with all the bells and whistles of a real one. It sat upon a base covered in a collage of death penalty photos and newspaper articles which made quite the graphic statement about the death penalty, both pro and con.

I stood on a raised stage nearby drinking coffee and watching the main floor of the exhibit. People were milling around but I was more interested in those looking at my piece. It drew quite a crowd and a lot of discussions were occurring. I mingled among the crowd anonymously listening to comments and the numerous and varied conversations. The consensus of opinion was that the artist was a little weird and totally off-the-wall. I was absolutely thrilled. That meant even more to me than the Honorable Mention award. I was later approached by the father of a young Goth girl who attempted to buy the chair for her Christmas present. I didn’t have the heart to sell it and I kept that chair for many years before it eventually fell apart during one of my many moves. I’ve always had a hard time selling my art after putting so much effort into producing it. It’s like losing a child.

Now let’s drop back few decades to my days in college. I was inspired by a fellow student after being requested to do some sort of display that would sell a fictional product. This was a commercial art class and a required subject which I truly detested. I thought it was too blatantly commercial and I complained to everyone. A fellow student on the day of the final review took me aside and said “your taking this stuff way too seriously”. He took me into another room and under a sheet on the table showed me his final project. He’d set up a place-setting with a knife, fork, spoon, lacy napkins, and a half filled bottle of Coke. Directly behind the place-setting was a a faux campfire. Over this fire he’d placed a headless baby doll on a spit. He spray painted the doll with a reddish paint to make it look roasted. I was a little shocked at first until he uncovered the last part of his project. He pulled the the sheet away to show me a large, round, red, Coca-Cola sign. It simply stated “Things Go Better With Coke”. I was blown away and thrilled to have met someone who was truly out-there. All these years later I still remember him, the piece, and the attitude it took to make it. I also remember that he got an “A” on the project and I didn’t. I’m carrying on his philosophy as best I can to this day.

If you’re a creative type and I hope you are, don’t let people put you in a box. It’s been my experience that the further out-of-the-box you can take yourself the better your work will be. There are way too many people spending way too much time being critical of virtually everything. To be an artist, poet, or writer is to put your creations “out there” for public viewing. It’s the most rewarding risk you can take.

STAY TRUE TO YOURSELF

10/05/2021 Harry Chapin (The Minstrel) Remembered   Leave a comment

Well, I had a great night’s sleep last night for a change. It’s not often I get more than eight hours and it was glorious. Now I’m enjoying a quiet morning which gives me time to think and reflect on my eventful life. I have a number of people who I think of often and enjoy remembering on this blog and most of them stay with me because I have a personal connection of some type with them. Whether their entertainers, celebrities, or just plain folks.

For many years I made the drive from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Boston after visiting family. Part of that trip required me to be traveling southbound on Interstate 81 in Pennsylvania just outside of Scranton. I suddenly realized “It was just after dark when my car started down the hill that leads into Scranton Pennsylvania”. This quote is my interpretation of the lyrics from one of my favorite songs written and performed by one of my favorite singers, Harry Chapin. I wasn’t hauling 30,000 pounds of bananas but it felt like I should have been.

I’ve been a fan of Chapin’s since the late 1960’s, after attending two of his live performances while in college, and I’ve been listening to his music ever since. He was charismatic and had the ability to capture his audience’s attention completely. His songs were based on actual experiences as he traveled around the country and were poignant to the extreme. He was much like the minstrel’s of the Middle Ages, traveling from town to town, learning new stories, and putting them to song. His performances were an absolute pleasure for those of us lucky enough to attend them.

Harry Chapin died young, on July 16, 1981, near exit 40 on the Long Island Expressway. He lost control of his car, slid into the other lane, and was crushed by a tractor-trailer. He never had a chance. I’m old enough to have been around to experience the “Day the Music Died”, when Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Richie Valens were killed. As upset as I was on that day, Chapin’s death affected me even more. Anyone who ever was lucky enough to experience him in a live performance felt as though they’d made a new close friend. We fans mourned his loss deeply then and every day since.

His epitaph Is taken from his song ” I Wonder What Would Happen to This World”.

Oh if a man tried

To take his time on earth

andImproved before he died

What one man’s life could be worth

I wonder what would happen

To this world

And that’s how I spent a few hours a few days ago, listening to live recordings of some of his concerts and thinking about good old Harry. It’s always a wonderful interlude for me and I intend to repeat it as often as possible. If you have a opportunity to buy any of his music, do so, you won’t be sorry. My personal recommendation is the CD, “Greatest Stories Live”.

RIP HARRY

10/04/2021 The Politically Correct Mindset   Leave a comment

I was cleaning out some old boxes a few days ago attempting to rid my residence of old junk and a host of bad memories. These boxes contained books, papers, and other assorted BS from the absolute worst employment experience of my life. It was two years of hell on earth for me and went a long way to making me the cynical and pragmatic SOB I’ve become. This is why I have such a dislike for political correctness. I became a victim of it working with this company and it’s employees.

Most people don’t like to name names when talking about their past bad experiences but I have no qualms about doing it. Many of you have never heard of the Hechinger Corporation and I’m happy to let you know they no longer exist. It was a small family-run hardware business that had grown to many hundreds of small stores across the country. The company philosophy, as directed by the Hechinger family, seemed more interested in liberal causes and making political contributions than actually making money.

I’m getting off my main point. Political correctness has always been in my crosshairs since the day this blog was started. I don’t spend time complaining about it just for giggles. Experiencing it firsthand is not fun and not something I would wish on my worst enemy (well maybe on my worst enemy). It’s a very dangerous tool when used by people who care more about being PC than anything else. I was one of the unlucky few management members from a very dynamic company that they’d purchased who survived the personnel slaughter. The Hechinger brainwashing machine kicked in almost immediately and I was sent to a steady stream of team-building seminars, personality testing, and spent hundreds of hours getting my head filled with their liberal politically correct BS.

For over a year they attempted to change my approach to my job and how I did business. I wasn’t about to change because I’d been very successful for years at what I did and they had not. They kept the pressure on me with all of their PC crap until I simply lost it. It was the day I was to receive my first evaluation from my new bosses. I stood up from behind the table and told them in no uncertain terms that I thought they didn’t know what they were doing. I begged them to just fire me. Being the PC idiots that they were they spent the next hour trying to convince me that I should calm down and relax. I ranted and raved for a while and again begged them to fire me. They wouldn’t do it and abruptly ended the evaluation session. I think they felt they could still save me and convert me to their way of thinking.

The next day I was given a better-than-average evaluation, a decent raise, and sent on my way back to New England. Any good businessman will tell you that if an employee begs to be fired, just do it. I was let go a few months later after they destroyed the company and it went out of business. That’s why I continuously bitch and complain about PC issues. If the minor issues are ignored by intelligent thinking people more will likely follow.

So as I’m delivering these books and papers to the trash can what falls out at my feet but a book I hoped never to see again. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. He was God Almighty to the Hechinger Corporation and they beat me over the head for more than a year with his book. If I never hear the term “paradigm” again it will be too damn soon. Did you hear that loud “THUD?” That was Covey’s book hitting the trash can.

BEWARE OF THE PC POLICE, THEY’RE EVERYWHERE

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