Friday, February 03, 2006

Killing the Mockingbird

This is about accusation.  False and Real.
My wife and I have a fair bit to do with kids.  Lots of reasons. But we do.
There is a disturbing trend which is resulting in accusations. False and Real.
In schools "Don't Touch Me"  is code for I don't want to do what you are asking  to do and so I won't and there's nothing you can do about it. 
Inappropriate touching is wrong.  Sometimes if a kid (6-7-8 grade) is uncooperative and needs some physical direction (like out of the room) he/she cries rape.  Not rape exactly, Don't Touch Me.  It's not far separated in it's tone.
It puts fear in the hearts of teachers and workers in the school.  Every few months in the Chicagoland area there are episodes where a teacher or principle trying to keep order physically restrains a student.  And is sued.
Schools are a mess.  Public education should be outlawed.  That's another discussion.  I'm hopeful that public education will fall off the edge of the earth.
But, we have taught thin skinned accusing behavior to our kids and are reaping a whirlwind we didn't think was blowing.  Stranger Danger is good.  Don't take candy from the old man in the car.  Don't let anyone touch you inappropriately.  All good.
But Judge, Jury and Prosecutor is now in the hands of teens and sub teens.
Don't Touch Me now means I'll get my lawyer.  Or my rich parents will. 
Same thing applies to racial comments.  Someone calls someone a name and the long arm of the law comes out.  I'm not for calling anyone names but this doesn't need Barney Fife and his deputies involved. 
Don't Touch Me has gone too far.  It's the killing a mockingbird accusation that has neutered our schools, churches, caretakers and authorities.  We are reaping a whirlwind of sassy kids, disorder, lack of focus and a new generation who doesn't get it. 
I lived in fear that Mr. Schuske would kick the crap out of me if I sassed back in class.  If I had known he couldn't I would have sassed more.  Or worse.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Encountering the Borg

You know the Borg.  They have become the metaphor for nearly every kind of unified force for evil.  A mindless collective consciousness.


I have seen every Borg episode of Star Trek Next Gen several times.  I’m easily entertained. 


Tonight I encountered a member of the Borg Collective.  How do I know? 


First the Borg are oblivious to others around them. 


Second they did what they did without consideration for others. 


Third they were connected thru implants in their brain the Borg collective. 


Fourth they are rude as they pursue what they do.  If you get in their way they will walk over you.


I was at Quiznos.  I like their subs.  Toasted.  Wheat.


In walked a Borg.  He had a Bluetooth cranial implant.  He was talking to someone somewhere.  Loudly.  There were others in the shop.  He talked so we could all participate in his self-important conversation.  I think when you get the Borg Bluetooth implant it requires that you talk very loud at all times.  He did barely acknowledge the man from whom he ordered his sandwich.  He had his teenage son with him.  He didn’t acknowledge him either.  If a car had driven thru the window of the shop it wouldn’t have mattered.  What he was talking about was far more important.  Some big software deal. 


Borg are always tweaking the system.


He got his sandwich, got into his ship (I didn’t see if it was square) and lifted off.


Resistance in this case is NOT futile and I REFUSE to be assimilated. 


Evil Bluetooth Borg.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

How I got here

I am not of "Germans from Russia" heritage.  Many people from the Dakotas are.  We were different.  Redlin's are Prussian.
Our Stambuch (Family Tree) goes back as far as 1271.  We were rooted originally in Estonia which at that time was a Germanic area.  We were Pastors, College Professors, Farmers, Shoemakers, and Crusaders.  We liked going to war.  Later when Martin Luther did his thing we were part of the peasant wars.  There are actually two little towns named REDLIN in Germany, one near the town of Wittenburg where Luther posted his 95 thesises, and one in protestant Mecklenburg Vorpommeran, Germany.  I have visted both of these places.
My people were pushed out of Pommerania (now Poland) after Kaiser Bill lost it.  Here's a picture of the Church my Great Great Great Grandfather was baptized and married in. 
They came to America on a boat in 1888.  They had been pushed off their land, moved to Schleiswig-Holstein in Northern Germany, and then to Iron Ridge Wisconsin and then to homestead in South Dakota north of Watertown.  I was born there 55 years later.  Remements of the old homestead sod house and all still stands kind of.
Germans from Russia were socialistic. ND Bank, State Mill and elevator. etc
They lived communally.  Voted NPL.  Were pacifists. That's why ND is considered to be one of the most socialist states in the union.  That's why is still screwed up today electing liberal representitives and voting for Bush.  ND doesn't know who it is.
We were never part of any commune, socialist movement, NPL, and we were supporters of the military. 
We are just a little different from other Germans in ND.  We were Fiecely Christian, Conservative, Independant, and just a little hard to get along with.
We still are.

Monday, January 30, 2006

A Recommendation from Gene's Bookclub

 A book you should read (but liberals won't):


Fred Barnes has written a little book.  It’s called Rebel in Chief.


It's an extension of what he wrote in 2004 right after Bush kicked Kerry's Butt.


Just reading exerpts I grasped why I and so many of my ilk are so slavishly loyal to George W Bush.  He represents the person we wish we would be if somehow they made us President (or King).


Some of the things he says about our magnificent President in this book are:


GWB plays by a different set of rules, he has a complete lack of interest in being loved by the Beltway establishment.


He operates his administration like a small occupying band of insurgents, an elected band of brothers and sisters on a mission.


He sees himself as an alien in the realm of the governing class having been given a green card by the voters. 51-48%.


He avoids being sucked into the Washington mindset and echo chamber.  He and Laura avoid the capital’s social whirl.  He goes to bed early (he ducked out of a dinner with India’s prime minister at 9:30am to go to bed).  He was up at 5:30am because, as he said, “I’ve got a lot to do”. 


He goes to Crawford Texas, to relax, not to the Kennedy center.


His emotional distance makes it easy for him to break some furniture sometimes.  In his first term metaphorically he busted up a whole living room.  He abrogated the missile defense treaty (Star Wars), He gave a really cold shoulder to Al Gore’s Kyoto treaty (thank the Lord), He insisted immediately that 9-11 was an act of war, he ignored the international community’s insistence that the path to peace in the middle east was negotiating with Yasser Arafat. 


He committed Washington’s cardinal sin of taking on Social Security, trying to do major reform.


And he cut taxes.


As a result his Rebel in Chief style has brought republicans to the mountaintop.  He initiated a political realignment that continues today.  He helped congressional republicans achieve a majority as well.


Clinton got what he strived for, Personal Popularity.  Bush is willing to surrender personal popularity to get what he seeks: a transformation of American Politicos that makes the Republican Party the majority party.


Bush talks about Jesus far less than Clinton did.  He doesn't wear his faith on his sleve like Clinton did.  He is deeply religious but private about it.  But his memorable quote is: Liberty is not America’s contribution to the world but is God’s gift to Mankind.


Somehow Bush is able to stand strong in the face of bad news:

The news media hammers hard on him about Iraq, Drug entitlement program, the accusation of a culture of corruption, $3 gasoline, Iran, the ownership society that hasn’t yet gotten traction.


George W Bush has recently been reading about George Washington.  He is said to have commented, he was the first, I’m the 43rd.  They’re still analyzing him.  In 200 years they’ll still be analyzing me.  I will do what I believe to be right.


I guess it will come as no surprise, I am so glad he is there in the White House and in Charge.  He is my hero.  


As for me and my house, God Bless President Bush










Sunday, January 29, 2006

In the Year 2029

Headlines from the year 2029:

Ozone created by electric cars now killing millions in the seventh largest country in the world, Mexifornia, formerly known as California. White minorities still trying to have English recognized as Mexifornia's third language.

Spotted Owl plague threatens northwestern United State s crops and livestock.

Baby conceived naturally. Scientists stumped.

Couple petitions court to reinstate heterosexual marriage.

Last remaining Fundamentalist Muslim dies in the AmericanTerritory of the Middle East (formerly known as Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Lebanon).

Iran still closed off; physicists estimate it will take at least 10 more years before radioactivity decreases to safe levels.

France pleads for global help after being taken over by Jamaica.

Castro finally dies at age 112; Cuban cigars can now be imported legally, but President Chelsea Clinton has banned all smoking.

George Z. Bush says he will run for President in 2036.

Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $17.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesdays only.

85-years, $75.8 billion study: Diet and Exercise is the key to weight loss.

Average weight of Americans drops to 250 lbs.

Japanese scientists have created a camera with such a fast shutter speed, they now can photograph a woman with her mouth shut. (Hummmmmmmmm)

Massachusetts executes last remaining conservative.

Supreme Court rules punishment of criminals violates their civil rights.

Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.

New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters and rolled-up newspapers must be registered by January 2036.

Congress authorizes direct deposit of formerly illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.

IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75 percent.

Florida voters still having trouble with voting machines.