The hero is not fed on sweets, Daily his own heart he eats; Chambers of the great are jails, And head-winds right for royal sails.
- Emerson, American Poet and Essayist (1803-1882)
Monthly Archives: February 2013
I scoop the dog up, have a look at him, and find he’s got no collar, no identification. I bring him in and my wife instantly falls in love. They’re playing, they’re frolicking, they’re rolling around and it’s truly love at first sight. He’s a lovable little dog and the two dogs we already have seem to be having fun with him as well.
Immediately, I can tell my wife is already in mode of the little child asking “can we keep him?”, but I’ve got this little feeling gnawing at me and I’m thinking what if this is some little eight-year-old girl’s favorite little dog, and what if she’s totally heartbroken wondering where her little dog is?
The dog looks like he’s been recently groomed, so he’s not a street mutt, but he also looks like he’s been out for days, he’s pretty filthy, we check his paws, and they look raw and he yelps at the slightest touch of his paws, so he was probably sitting out in the middle of the street out of exhaustion and it looks like he might have come from many miles away.
Still, I keep thinking of that sad little girl with the lost dog and so while the wife is bathing him, I go out for a stroll with our own two dogs, I talk to a healthy sample of the neighbors walking their own dogs and a few of the neighbors in their cars as they pull up to their homes, and I describe this dog to them and while he’s not the most remarkable looking dog, no one knows of any of our neighbors who owns a dog that fits the description.
So we let him stay for a night, and I figure, tomorrow, against my wife’s wishes, I need to take him to the vet, see if he has one of those chips implanted in him that has his info and if not, maybe then I can have a clear conscience in leaving it up to the owners to see if they’re posting signs because I’m already getting a little attached to this dog and I’m thinking if the owners really want him, that should be up to them to put up the “lost dog” signs instead of it being left up to me to put up the “found dog” signs.
The next day rolls around and my wife, who runs a day care for special children, has her first client shows up to the door, and he can only walk with the help of a walker and while usually it’s her answering the door for her clients, for some reason I was the only one home at the time and like I normally do, I open the door with just one foot extended to keep our two dogs at bay and let them know they’re supposed to stay inside, but as I did this, our new found dog took the first opportunity and bolted straight out that door.
And I could already hear my wife accusing me of doing it on purpose because I knew how much she loved that dog! And sure enough, she did.
You know what, though? The way that dog bolted at the first crack of daylight, I was kind of over it. Your loss, pal.
So today, a month and a half later, guess who comes knocking at our door? That’s right, with his paws literally scratching at the front door, there he was, little Georgie (as we had named him that first time we met.) He had come straight to our freakin’ door.
Now that this is the second time Georgie has been loose to run the streets and possibly get hit by a car and his owners still haven’t gotten him a collar or a tag, so at this point, I’m of a mindset to say to hell with it, we’re claiming him as our own and we’re going to give him a better home, but I’d like to ask of you this poll question and offer it up as a question in a more general sense:
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I had the great fortune of not tuning into the Oscars last night, so today, I don’t have to blog about the four hours of my life I’d like to have back if somehow I’d been given the Clockwork Orange treatment and been forced to endure watching that awards show, but in reading through a pretty funny bit of “live snarking” by Nikki Finke I learned from the comments that good old Hanoi Jane was honored by Hollywood with a role as presenter of some award or another.
So it got me to thinking about Hollywood and its long and storied love affair with Communism, which got me to wondering what the world would look like if the preponderance of Commies in Hollywood had seen their hearts’ desires come true and it was actually the Communists who won the Cold War.
First off, voting would be a whole lot easier . . .
No longer would the masses have to trouble their heads with the issues, the choice would be as easy as showing up to the voting booth and marking the one box available. Just as surely as Hollywood respects a guy like Woody Allen, who has the courage to say what most of the rest of them are thinking in saying that Obama should be granted dictatorial powers, having one man on the ballot and one man in control of everything would make life in America so much more efficient and simple, and what could possibly say “national unity” so loud and clear as a nation where our Dear Leader gets 100% of the vote each and every election until his death?
Speaking of unity, if the Commies had won the Cold War, imagine the joys of those Soviet-era bread lines for all the citizens of the world to take part in. Nothing says getting to know your fellow comrade like standing in line for hours to receive your fair share of the delicious loaves churned out by our state-run bakeries.
If the Commies had won the Cold War, there’d no longer be any desire to “keep up with your neighbors” when it comes to the kind of car you drive because there’d only be two types of cars, cars with the kind of quality and craftsmanship we saw in the Yugo for the proles, and of course, a luxury vehicle for every member of the Politburo, who should never have to suffer the indignity of driving the same types of vehicles as the working class.
Best thing is, it would only take about a dozen years of diligent savings for every prole to have their very own death bucket – er, I mean, fine automobile.
Of course, there would also be Obama phones! Obama phones – free to each and every member of our great society! Just imagine the glorious type of technology that would be free to all comrades, as shown in this depiction of what this year’s latest Obama phone would look like had the Commies won the Cold War.
Finally, we could ban Fox News and all the other news channels would no longer have to waste any effort in trying to have some superficial semblance of objectivity to their reporting. It would be all good news, all the time, a non-stop celebration of our socialist utopia, in this, the best of all possible worlds.
Ahhh yes, it brings back fond nostalgia of the New York Times celebrating the great progress and prosperity of the Soviets under Joseph Stalin while tens of millions were purposefully allowed to starve during his great reign.
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One of the sharpest quotes I’ve heard spoken in my lifetime came from General Colin Powell arguing for the approval of Resolution 1441 to the members of the U.N. Security Council:
I’m very pleased to be here as the secretary of state of a relatively new country on the face of the Earth, but I think I can take some credit sitting here as being the representative of the oldest democracy that is assembled here around this table. Proud of that.
source: The Weekly Standard
Proud of that.
Speaking before the 14 other nations of the UNSC, some of whom had some serious misgivings about the resolution, I love how Powell got in that polite little bit of a reality check to start the speech – oh by the way, we may be among the youngest of nations assembled here, but we’re also the oldest democracy, making us the blueprint and inspiration for every one of your democracies that followed.
After the defeat of the Nazis and after the Soviets lost the Cold War, there is not an honest historian alive who could argue that the United States of America is anything other than the greatest civilization of the last two-and-a-half centuries and America continues to be the greatest living civilization on the face of the Earth. When I think of that fact, it sometimes leads me to think back on history and ponder the fates of all the other great civilizations in history.
I want to share a scene from Swing Vote, an enjoyable political comedy that flew under most people’s radar. In this scene, the schoolchildren have been asked to offer their essays on “Why It’s Important to Vote.”
All the world’s great civilizations have followed the same path. From bondage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy back to bondage. If we are to be the exception to history, then we must break the cycle, for those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – Molly Johnson, Swing Vote
The topic was why it’s important to vote, but Molly also gave us a much wider view of history relating to the pattern of democracies in the past.
Should we imagine that we’re somehow immune to the same cycle that befell every other great democracy, just because we’re Americans? America is the great civilization of our time, but I wonder at what stage of this great civilization we’re in now.
In my mind, it was the founding fathers who had it right in declaring that every person is born with inalienable rights granted by God and that the government’s one and only purpose should be to prevent the infringement of those inalienable rights by one person upon another.
Now we live in a land where we’ve seen an electorate that has voted not just once, but twice for an administration which believes it is the government that grants the rights, that it is the government that should be the provider, dividing up and doling out the prosperity to a people that it considers mere subjects of the Almighty State.
I refuse to believe that we’re beyond the point of no return, but I ask you, at what stage do you think our civilization is currently in?
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I saw a photo on Facebook this morning and I couldn’t help but feel compelled to reply.
There’s a little bit of irony in this plea for education funding because of course, you have to be woefully ignorant to suggest there’s no proper share of money being spent on education in America. Here’s how we stack up with the rest of the world:
And here are the results from the U.S. ranking fourth in the world in education spending:
The three-yearly OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report, which compares the knowledge and skills of 15-year-olds in 70 countries around the world, ranked the United States 14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.
Source: Business Insider
Quite an awesome job for government-run education in America! We’re already spending more per student than every country on the face of the Earth except for three, and we’ve ended up 14th, 17th and 25th in reading, science and math.
Just keep those facts in mind the next time someone around comes telling you we’re not spending enough on education. It’s not the lack of funding, it’s the top-heavy bureaucracy that’s crushing our students.
One last set of data to consider when we’re talking about education funding in America. Let’s compare the spending among American citites:
Highest three cities in per capita spending in the U.S.?
Washington, D.C. – $18,667
New York – $18,618
New Jersey – $16,841
Utah – $6,064
Idaho – $7,106
Arizona – $7,848
How’s that working out for you, DC, NY and NJ? Can we take a look at how poorly your test scores and graduation rates compare to the states spending as little as a third of what you’re spending?
Obviously, lack of funding is the farthest thing from the real problem here. The teachers unions have fought it tooth and nail and those unions have kept the Democrats in their back pockets, but when polls show 71% of mothers support having school choice as an alternative to our failed public school systems, it’s time for common sense to take over and for the bureaucratic fat cats to get kicked out of their ivory towers and sent down to a level where they can actually do something productive for the kids.
Hey Mr. or Mrs. “I’ve spent the last thirty years of my life as an administrator”, if you really care about the kids, how about you give up that fat administrative paycheck and rejoin the ranks of the teachers where you can make more of an impact in children’s lives than you ever did on the school board?
If we were to simply allow private schools to compete for the tax dollars parents are already paying for their kids educations, the competition of private schools with fresh ideas would force public schools to rethink their old ways and step up their performance or wither on the vine, and don’t worry about the death of a public school, there will be more private schools to take the places of those schools that continue to fail. If a few failing public schools get taken over by schools showing better results of if those failing schools get bulldozed or even if they just sit there empty like some abandoned factory in Detroit, you should shed no tears over it. The death of a failed public school simply means no longer will that school be cranking out a populace where the majority drop out and the few who do manage to graduate are woefully unprepared for the life ahead of them.
One last fact to ponder here: Almost four in ten Chicago public teachers send THEIR OWN KIDS to private schools. Thank God they can afford it, but for most Chicagoans who earn nowhere near the average $76,000 salary of the Chicago public school teachers, the money they would need to pay the tax of a public education they won’t be using along with the tuition they’ll need to get their kids out of thsee failed public schools just is not an option.
So whenever someone from the teachers unions or one of their bought and paid for politicians gives you the lie that the problem with America is that we aren’t spending enough on our kids’ educations, just realize that of the more money they’re asking you to spend on top of the money we already spend, 80% of that money is going to go not to the kids themselves, but to the teachers unions, in the form of salaries, benefits and pensions and the funding of bloated bureaucracies and political propaganda to keep school choice an option only for the public school teachers themselves, the politicians and the higher members of the upper class.
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It seems the days of HOPE and CHANGE have now given way to APATHY and COMPLACENCY. Obama’s viewership for his state of the union address had the lowest viewership of any state of the union address since Bill Clinton gave his final SOTU in 2000.
As a matter of fact, it was the second lowest ratings of any SOTU address in the 21 years Nielsen began tracking these addresses to the nation in 1993.
On the bright side for Obama and the Democrats is the fact that those 33.5 million viewers found a way to cast 60 million votes in Obama’s re-election.