Friday, September 11, 2009

Random half-thoughts

Half-thought #1

I promised I’d write a bit more about Tuesday’s presidential message to school kids, and why I had a problem with it. Actually I had several problems with it …

The first issue is trust. I totally did not trust this current presidential administration to stay on topic—which was supposed to be “stay in school.” If that was the message, why was part of the original lesson plan to write a letter to the president and tell him what you will do to help him. Excuse me, but the president works for us. He’s there to help us, to serve this nation and do what’s right for this country, including upholding our Constitution. I’d have been angry if this had been an assignment from a Republican administration. Politics have no place in the classroom. I remember as a child that teachers stayed from very heated subjects—and remember, I was in elementary school in the 1960s. Teachers didn’t talk about how bad (or good) Vietnam was, about why we were there, or which president put us there. They’d say the U.S. was at war to defeat communism and left it at that. I remember in 1968, in seventh grade, how we had mock elections in my civics class and the discussion was utterly student-driven. No doubt kids got their talking points from parents, but teachers did not reveal their party affiliations in any way, shape or form.

The second issue is that of timing. This message could have happened anytime in the school year. Why on the first day of school for many districts? Was this so parents would not be able to object to the lesson?

The third issue is audience. No need to preach to primary-aged kids about staying in school—if they have parents with only half a brain cell, those parents have to be smart enough to know that kids need to finish high school at the minimum. Better to give that talk to junior high and high school students, and be honest enough to say that college is not for everyone, but there certainly are trade schools and vocational education that will meet nearly everyone’s needs.

One of my friends told me about something that happened to her high school-aged kid the first week of school. This kid had a homeroom/core teacher who had two boxes of pencils, and asked students to take a pencil from one of the boxes. When her kid took a pencil from one of the boxes, the teacher said “Ewwww, you don’t want to take a pencil from the Republican box!”

Her child has been moved from that teacher to another, and she reported what that teacher said to the principal. I hope she doesn’t stop and also reports it to the district superintendent. No place for that in our schools today, period!

Half-thought #2

I wish that Representative Joe Wilson hadn’t felt the need to apologize for thinking out loud during the president’s delivery of his latest propaganda. Perhaps that wasn’t the time or place to say, “You lie,” but the truth hurts, doesn’t it Nerobama?

I bet over 50 percent of U.S. citizens who can legally vote agree with those words.

Half-thought #3: The “N” word

There are two words in the English language that I have a real problem with: the word cunt and the word nigger. And I hate the “n” word whether it’s uttered by a white person, black person, brown person, or whatever color pops up. Of course if a non-black person uses that word it’s racist, but it’s perfectly okay for black people to call each other nigger or some rap music-inspired version of it.

On Tuesday I was waiting for the light rail by a park that is frequented by lots of homeless people, drug addicts and people who would have been better off at a place like Agnews used to be. I’m always a bit nervous sitting there, waiting for the right train, so I am hypervigilant almost to the point of paranoia.

A pair of buses pulled up into their spaces, and passengers began to board. Suddenly a very obese black man with no shirt on came running as best he could across the street, hollering for the bus to wait. No problem, there was a line.

In the meantime, a black woman came from the end of the block screaming every racial epithet used on black people. She was screaming for the bus driver to not let “that motherfucking nigger-ass onto that bus!” She was screaming so incoherently I have no idea what he did to offend her. As she got closer to the bus the man jumped down from the steps (he now had a shirt on) and he took off walking (this guy was seriously obese, a la Fat Albert). The gal stepped halfway on the bus screaming at the bus driver to call “fucking 911 on that nigger’s ass.” Apparently the bus driver didn’t do as she asked, and she jumped off the bus, screaming racial epithets at the Latina bus driver. The gal starts running after the guy, and I realize I am between them. What if either or both had a gun? Then I thought how much it sucked that I thought that, probably because both people were black and the gal was so obviously out of control.

Fortunately a cop had the misfortune to drive by and she flagged him over, screaming incoherently yet again, the epithets flying. The cop flipped a U-turn and went after the fat guy, who had walked to the end of the block, not once breaking out into a run. Who knows what happened, because my train came and I was happy to climb aboard.

I hate to make blanket statements about a group of people, especially because I know so many good friends whose skin color happens to be black, and I know those people do not use that word in any way, shape or form. But the double-standard in its usage pisses me off. It’s a nasty word, a negative word. Use it and the world around you thinks a whole lot less of you, and may be scared of you. To me, it’s offensive regardless of the skin color of the person using the word.

Half-thought #4

The San Francisco County District Attorney Kamala Harris announced that her office would not be seeking the death penalty against Edwin Ramos, an illegal alien career criminal gang banger with his very own anchor baby, who murdered a SF man and two of his sons in broad daylight in June 2008. The worst that can happen to him is life in prison without the possibility of parole (haha right that's easy to change!) if he is convicted. Remember we are talking about an San Francisco jury—those people are who elected Kamala Harris in the first place! Even though one of the Bologna sons survived the attack and is now an eye witness, that may not be enough to put Ramos away!

To contrast, the San Joaquin County DA announced that it will seek the death penalty against Melissa Huckaby who is accused of killing eight year old Sandra Cantu and stuffing her body into a suitcase. At least that is being put on the table for the jury to decide.

Both cases have special circumstances attached which makes the murders death-penalty eligible. Thing is, Ramos will be a hero in prison, a gang leader, someone for the little gangstas to look up to. At least if he were on death row his contact with other people would be limited. If he ends up in prison he'll be a big man ...

I don't know if a San Joaquin County jury would be able to give the death penalty to Melissa Huckaby. I still think that one's going to get a change of venue. Here in Santa Clara County would make it possible for me to attend that trial; the superior court building is just 10 light rail stops away from where I live.

Enough for now. I think sleep can come now ...


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