Friday, June 15, 2007

Flag Day was Yesterday

I didn't really miss it, but I was a bit disappointed by our village's lack of flags. Last year and for a lot of years past, flags fluttered from power poles, houses and businesses on most streets. Yesterday was rather lacking in display. We seem to be getting a little complacent, don't know why, and I will not speculate.

PDB has a little post on Flag Day that links to a Mark Steyn column on why we don't need an anti-flag-burning constitutional amendment. Go read it.

Last year I posted this story. I don't think I can improve on it.

BRB is Write (and has yet to display a flag)

Monday, June 11, 2007

A Few More Fries for Thought

But not super-sized:

From the category of Why Is It? We love Nathan's and Hebrew National beef franks. They have an excellent taste and hold up well to grilling. But why do the Kosher packages have seven dogs to a pound (not a pun) and the non Kosher packages have eight dogs to a pound (again no pun)?

From the category of stupid label disclaimers: On the label of a large bottle of Mike's Frozen Hard Lemonade is: "Blender and ice not included."

Some more 10th grade gems (and no, I'm not betraying any confidentiality):

"The USA is the worlds largest supper power." Can't argue with that.

They had to use and understand the terms "natural-born citizen" and naturalized citizen." That proved problematic for some:

We got terms like "unborn citizen," "born citizen," "foreign unborn," "home born," "unnatural citizen," "non natural born." You get the picture.

"Declaration of Independants." Makes sense to me.

"Farmers of the Constitution." Foundling Fathers".

Also had this quote from Twain woven into one of the best essays I read: "A patriot loves his country. A nationalist hates everybody else."

And one of my favorites: "It takes a lot of hard work and smarts to become a memorized president of the US."

I hope I get called back to score some more writing tests. It was rather satisfying at times and could be very depressing at other times. It's hard to tell who is failing whom: Schools, teachers, parents, laws or administrators. But quite often, I read a paper that had triumphed over all those adversities, and it was a pleasure.

BRB is Write (and does not like very many kids.)


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Some Random Observations

I was going to call this post food for thought, but it would be just junk food at best; rather like fries served up at the library. (It made sense when I thought of it)

Waiting to rescue Ms CPB from her downtown workplace I get to observe a bit of street life, some very poor drivers with really expensive vehicles, and some interesting folk.

License plate on the back of a Lexus: ERUDITE1. Now, I wondered how hard it was for those folks to live up to that pronouncement; it surely didn't describe the car. Ms CPB's comment was: If you have to proclaim it, you don't have it.

The folk on the street where I usually wait is full of bankers, ITs, lawyers and various Admins scurrying in and out of the building. The odd urban vagrant slouches by occasionally, and lots of lost tourists looking for the way back to the colonial part of town. Walk down the street for six-seven blocks, and you will pass some old shops and cafes; some really trendy pizza, blues, deli joints wedged in with the performing arts center, micro brewery, and other shops that think they belong in the modern city scape.

Sometimes I have to wait around the corner. We are now in the guts of town. The old Woolworth is long time closed. There is a Historical Marker on the corner recalling the sit-in that took place there many years ago. On the next corner is the new city bus station. Between the Woolworth and the terminal are the necessities of urban life: the pawn shop, the barbershop, the magazine, tobacco, and snack shop. Life on that side of the street is a lot grittier than on the side where I'm parked. I rather like this part of town (in the daylight).

I recently had a job where I scored writing tests required by the state and written by 10th graders. I have come to several conclusions about schools and 10th graders. Spelling is no longer taught. Penmanship doesn't exist in any form in any grade. You'd think that teachers would insist that students write clearly, if only to make grading and correcting papers easier. The words there, they're, and their are ok to use interchangeably. Also allowed, and aloud and any other homonym that you care to name. Sentences and periods or full stops are optional. I cannot publish anything more detailed, 'cause, again, I had to sign a confidentially agreement. It is enough to say that 10th graders can be an opinionated lot when pushed. Most papers I scored demonstrated some thought, and some abandoned thought for just spewing out the parents' prejudices.

Most folk driving past my waiting place downtown have a phone in their ear. Who do they talk to all the time? What did they do before cell phones?

I have run out of fries.

BRB is Write (and still naive, but that's another post)
Damn Michael Moore, Anyway

Just when some sort of Universal Health Care is again poking its nose above the foxhole, Michael Moore has to come along and film another one of his agiprop, docu-crap movies. He is so polarizing that he only sets back his issues by the way he portrays them.

Roger and Me was rather brilliant. But, and this is a Big Butt, even for the leftie, liberal, union man that I am, he cheated. He cheapened his take on GM by attacking the wrong people: e.g. ambushing little old ladies of privilege on the golf course. I have my own copy, and have yet to get to the end of it. He actually had me feeling sorry for all those sad capitalists. I guess I'm not a true-red red.

Howard Fineman has a column in the current issue of Newsweek. I don't pay much attention to politicians, but some of the Dems are talking about some sort of universal health plan. I wish them luck, but they really didn't need Michael Moore weighing in on the topic. His contribution will only set the cause back. When the furor about Moore's film subsides, we may, again, be able to address health care sanely.

BRB is Write (and wishes Moore would attack the rampant spread of crap in the media)