Category Archives: Insanity

To Kick or Not to Kick

Kickstarter_logo_bigger

As many of you know, I’ve been writing a book, and it’s going quite well:

But it’s now at the point where it’s eating into my brain in a way that’s distracting when I’m trying to get everything else in place for the upcoming season of football and basketball. Such fun. Really.

I want to focus on the book, tho, and I need to pay my bills, so I’m hoping that people can help me out. I’m putting together a kickstarter for this, and I want to know if y’all think this is a good idea, a bad idea, don’t care, will help, won’t help, might help, can’t help, or whatever. I’m interested in your thoughts. So share, and let me know what you think.

A couple of things:

  • Yes, I will produce the book. It’s literally forcing its way out of my head, so it’s going to be written anyway, but it should be faster if I can get the support of y’all to do this.
  • I will be making some promo stuff as gifts for the giving levels, and have pretty much figured those out. I will definitely post more as I lock things in.
  • I want to make sure that everyone is involved in some fun ways, so I’ll be producing a “Readers List” of backers, above a certain level, who will get copies as I’m pumping them out. These won’t be edited copies, they will be the rough drafts that fly out of my fingers, but that doesn’t mean you have to edit them. You can if you want, and feedback is always appreciated, but it’s more for you to have proof it’s getting done and going well.
  • I’m not above selling the names in my book. You can buy one for a friend or for yourself. It’s cool. That’s definitely a backer level, although not a cheap one.
  • I intend to eventually sell this to a publisher as there are continuations to the story that will become other books. So, provided this one doesn’t liquify my brains out my ears, this will be the start of something cool. If my brains liquify and I don’t even return to writing, this will be a collectors item. Win-Win.

So, thoughts? Let me know.

Saintly, I Say

You might be interested to know that I’ve once again been working with the Carroll College Fighting Saints Athletics on the Saints Wrap-Up show, and on the state-wide broadcasts of their playoff games. I love it! I’ve never been athletic, nor do I always understand what is going on with every call, but it’s fun to watch and the students are all amazing. I get to watch the games from the sidelines and from the media boxes, and the sidelines, no matter how cold, rule. Here’s some of my favorite pics from the game this week:

Just fucking stop!

Oh, my head.

I’ve read this posting twice, and looked into it enough that I had to reread it another three times, thus reaching a fifth, but one that lacked liquor.

Fuck. Me. Sideways.

There is so much that’s wrong with the current level of disturbing language/signage/garbage surrounding our politics that I’m beyond flabbergasted. I’m appalled. I’m disgusted.

I see people, some of whom I’m related to quite closely, tossing about divisive, destructive, delusional arguments that, when examined, lose whatever microscopic patina of sensible disagreement completely, only to be exposed as the contemptible whining of sore losers. Then there’s the contemptible, vitriolic, asinine boot-licking that oozes out from the other side of the aisle in the hopes that someone will mistake it for caring, thoughtful, discerning governance.

I must pause, because I feel I need to point out that I’m not a lapdog to the liberal side of the aisle, nor am I somehow blinded by and enamored of the conservative side of the aisle. I love my parents very much. They are both very amazing people. My dad and I didn’t always get along. There were times, not so very long ago, when if we spoke to each other more than once every three years, we’d been in contact too often and needed some space. That’s not the case anymore, although we don’t agree on everything and still get into arguments about who is right and who is wrong. Dad tends to think the liberals are wrong, and being lead there by the unions. Can you guess what I tend to think?

Nope. You’re wrong. Thanks for playing.

I tend to think everyone is wrong.

I’m hoping that I’m center of the road, but currently that means I’m pragmatic and thoughtful and I do care, quite a bit, about the human race, I just don’t like much of it. I find the lack of movement on LGBT issues by the Obama administration to be a huge betrayal. Worse, I know it for a horrible mistake on his part, but he won’t listen to me. I find the bitching by the conservatives about the $1Trillion cost of reforming health care, after they just spend $3Trillion on two wars in the Middle East, and almost another $1Trillion on bailing out banks that were “too big to fail”, to be hypocritical at best, and insane and criminal are also possibilities.

Yes, it’s going to cost some money, but listen up fucker, it’s money spent directly on our citizens – that’d be you, your family, friends, neighbors and countrymen – directly. I think that taking out Saddam makes citizens of the US safer, but it’s an indirect benefit. Healthcare would be a direct benefit to all of us, although it won’t solve every fucking problem either.

The liberals want to “make it all better for everyone”, not realizing that the only way to make everything equal on all levels is to whittle everything down to the lowest common denominator. It doesn’t take much past a day in kindergarten to realize that won’t work, but their hearts won’t let them see reality, and their heads are wont to follow.

The conservatives want to make sure that any changes we do make are in the direction of biblical supremacy and theocracy, but they like to hide it under the guise of “the directives of the Founding Fathers” and that other bastardized bastion of the weak-minded, “Original Intent” which has come to mean “shit we like, so there, nyah”. They also want to make sure that if anyone is spending their money, it’s not the damn government.

Which brings me nicely to the article that prompted this post. Let me quote you the good parts:

“These individuals came all the way from Southeast Texas to protest the excessive spending and growing government intrusion by the 111th Congress and the new Obama administration,” Brady wrote. “These participants, whose tax dollars were used to create and maintain this public transit system, were frustrated and disappointed that our nation’s capital did not make a great effort to simply provide a basic level of transit for them.” — Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas

No, for real. Read that shit again. I’ll wait.

Done? All five times? Are your eyes trying to backflip in your head, or have they just succumbed to the stupidity and are now bleeding?

First off, if there is an investigation opened on this, it will be, by virtue of the fact that DC Metro is part of, well DC, which is Federal, so this would be a Federal Issue. A Federal Issue that will cost Federal Money. Federal Money that those very same protesters were trying to tell this idiot to stop spending like it’s going out of style.

Second, Metro is under attack from all fronts – political, obviously, but also from time and age, the metropolitan area’s growth, the ridership, etc. Metro doesn’t have the resources to up the trains for the event, and thus couldn’t even if they wanted to.

Third, they didn’t want to. Or, more precisely, there wasn’t a real need for more trains. If you’re going to any big event, like an NFL, NBA, or NHL game (ha! could happen), it’s just like going to the airport – go early, pack the night before, don’t bring a gun (even if you’re in Arizona and you can, don’t) and know that you will be delayed. Metro can handle anything, if people are patient and plan ahead a bit. I know, I was there for a hugely busy event called Gay Pride, and it was fine. Yes, I had to wait for the next train. Yes it was *gasp* nearly 15 minutes away. How. Did. I. Survive?

We may never know.

Regardless, as using a publicly-funded socialist/communist system such as the Metro-rail is counter to your argument – since it is paid for by all for the betterment of all and it is therefore a completely socialist system – your group should have worked together and pooled your money and gotten buses that could transport everyone just like they do in communist Portland, OR fucking walked. After all, it was a MARCH ON WASHINGTON.

Those that took cabs did what this 9.12 movement says it’s really all about – keeping their money and spending it their way on things that help them, as the government cannot be trusted to build something that works. Those of you who are going to try to be a smart ass with me (bad move, I’ve got that gig down), I will cut you off at the pass by pointing out that just because it doesn’t work the way someone expects doesn’t mean it’s broken. (Except for Windows.)

So, Rep. Brady, think about what you are going to do next. And then think again. Maybe three or four more times. And then just drop it. Don’t apologize, we know it won’t be sincere, and frankly, it isn’t needed. Just pretend you were never speaking.

It’s what I’m trying to do with the lot of you.

Family Feud isn’t a Game

My sister just got married. It was a lovely wedding – the bride radiant, the groom nervous. The groom’s parents beaming. The bride’s mother cried as her daughter pledged to love, honor, and cherish ’til death do them part. A year ago, I never would have imagined how things would play out.

This has been an extraordinary year for a friend. As 2008 dawned, she was waking in the middle of an alcoholic nightmare and suffering from a huge hangover. She’s also has bipolar disorder. Her parents had loaned her a car, and when they discovered that she had been driving under the influence (again!) with three children in the vehicle, they immediately took the keys and confiscated the car.

Despite having two highly marketable degrees, she was working for less than $10/hr at a dead-end job, not really able to support herself and her daughter. The combination of debilitating diseases had wrecked havoc on her life. In a little over four years she had been fired, dismissed, or quit under duress from more than twelve jobs. She had been hospitalized three times with a blood-alcohol level of .40 or thereabouts (you read that right – about 5 times the legal limit!), her daughter had been taken into custody by a state, and she had spent a month in a treatment program. Yet she refused to take the medications and continued heavy drinking.

Well, for a while. Lately, she has been incredibly successful in turning her life around. In March, she enlisted in the Montana Army National Guard. She is in the middle of her training to become a helicopter mechanic. I am surprised that she was accepted with her medical history, but the opportunity is terrific. The Guard is paying off her student loans and she will be a full-time employee when she completes her training. She should therefore always have the medication and counseling that her mental illness and addiction require – and it seems she’s taking them. The days of dead-end jobs are behind her. Before leaving for basic training, he boyfriend asked her to marry him. She is being given another chance at a bright future for herself and her daughter.

Me & Boo
Me & Boo

This is the story of my sister. I wasn’t at her wedding because I, like my mother, wasn’t invited. In her world, my mother is the ogre that tried to ruin her life. Her stories of her childhood now include a morass of abuse, neglect, torture and trauma – but none of it is real. She actually told me my mom is evil, and that everything in my life that’s wrong can be drawn back to mom. And it’s utter bullshit.

My sister is well loved by family, regardless of, and in fact, in spite of this horrible year. She gets into fights with my mom because she feels some odd combination of longing to be just like mom and abhorrence of that exact desire. My sister is her own worst critic, and instead of focusing her energies on making herself better, she’s just changed her reality to better reflect who she wishes she was – and it’s ironic that the one person she wants to be is the same person she has so effectively cut out of her life – our mom. When I said my mom cried the night my sister got married, I wasn’t lying. I’m pretty sure my dad cried, too. Neither of them were at the wedding, tho, as my sister has banished my mom so completely.

But it’s a new year, and I hope that she does well. I do love her, and I’m glad that she’s found love. I hope it can last the rather expansive reality check that’s headed her way, but like most love, I think it can. Her husband is a good guy, even if he can’t see the forest for the trees most days.

I life my life without regrets, always have, always will. I accept what I do for my choices, and that my life is what I have chosen it to be. My sister is forcing me to choose between her and my mom. I choose my mom, my dad, my other sister, my nephew, brother-in-law, cousins, aunts, uncles and the whole brood that expands and covers a good portion of the country. I will not let them go for the sake of pretending that what my sister has done is ok, it’s not.

I will gladly buy her all the Lincoln logs she needs to build a bridge and get over this, even if I have to take up a collection to get the necessary abundance. I want my family back, but I want it back in one piece, not divided by the imaginative machinations of a deluded little girl.

Honda does the Right Thing

It’s been a stressful week. It’s the 2nd anniversary of Richard’s death, and it’s the first time that I’ve been able to spend it with Janna basically attached to her hip. During the first year of grieving she couldn’t handle being around me too much as she would attempt to convince herself it was 2005 and my being there was normal because we had lived together in 2005 while Richard was in Iraq. When he returned at the end of 2005, a new chapter of their lives started, and I helped to smooth that transition for them both since the Army hasn’t figured out how.

And then, bam! Gone.

Now, Janna, The Cheerleader, has had to deal with this loss for two years. Day in and day out she’s worked to get her life back, get her sensibilities back, and to get as well as she can. Not easy, not fast, and certainly not painless. But still, moving forward in big ways. And hanging out with her 24/7 is a lot of fun even when she’s screaming. Sometimes, because she is.

That being said, the little extra stressors in her life are not much fun. They suck. Like, transmission needs to be replaced at a cost of several grand and lots of without car time. Not making her happy.

Consider as well that the car got it’s original transmission changed at approx. 78k miles in October 2005, the second swapped out after only 25k miles and 18 months, and now the third is being swapped out for the fourth after a mere 20k miles and 12 months. Not pretty.

Worse, the car is now out of the extended warranty, so the transmission isn’t covered in any way. And as we all know, they aren’t cheap either.

But we called Honda USA and went over the events, and asked. What could hurt if we asked for help, the worst thing they could do is say no, and then we were no worse off for asking. They said they would review the case and get back to us in few days. Usually, this is corporate speak for “Let me get a social normative graph because it’s something to refer to and will take time, tricking one to think we’re making the effort, when we’re just stalling” but not this time.

After considering all that Janna has had to deal with this, it’s been sucky. Just fucking sucky. Having the car issues to deal with all throughout the Anniversary day did some good in distracting from the insanity inherent in a 32 year old widow’s life. It seemed like a good thing to me, but Janna felt that she didn’t get anything accomplished on thursday, even tho she spent the day reconnecting with various parts of her family, both the family she was born into and the family that she was married into. None of it was easy.

Honda has decided to pay all but 10% of the bill to replace the transmission. It will therefore have a 3 year/36,000 mile warranty for the transmission itself. So the little people can play their game again. And we whole-heartedly thank them.

YAY!

Politic-tick-boom Montana

Yep, just when it seemed that we could finally have a news report that wouldn’t include the phrase “latest poll results” we hear that the twits who thought that Ron Paul was a good idea have, now that McCain has the nomination, lost their shit. And no, it’s not funny. These people are off kilter already, and now they are mad, which has turned them into a mob, complete with torches and sack-cloth tunics. But I digress.

Roger Koopman has decided that there are 14 Republican traitors that need to not be re-elected. And here’s the best part, Koopman is already a complete right-wingnut with a special phone direct to Jesus and a rather spiteful hatred of anything that he doesn’t understand. While he may have a triple-digit IQ (I have no idea) after reading what he’s got to say, and what he plans on doing, I’m pretty sure that the first digit is a zero. Why? Oh because

Assisting Koopman in “the liberty project” is David Hart, state coordinator for Republican Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in Montana, who, via e-mail, urged Paul’s “Montana Freedom Fighters” to help recruit candidates.

is why. I don’t know if you caught it, but given that my readership is generally outside of Montana, let me tell you.

Realize that this is Montana, The Last Best Place. Well, the last best place to hide while writing a manifesto and sending out mail-bombs, Teddy. And Teddy was merely one of the more notorious figures nationwide because of where he sent the bombs. Had he just mailed them in Montana, he’d have been relegated to the slag heap of history with the rest of Montana’s nutjobs.

Nutjobs that tend to be hiding in plain sight in my lovely home state. Nutjobs that Ron Paul has riled up and organized. You know what happened the last time nutjobs got organized in this state? They went nuts.

Let me sum up this little gem from 1996 for you:

  • Nutjobs near Jordan, MT, keep hearing about the national debt.
  • Nutjobs start bitching about the debt. None can shut up about it. Ever.
  • Nutjobs decide to do something, because something must be done.
  • Nutjobs do what is obviously the right thing to do to reduce the debt the U.S. has to other nations.

Allow me to interject, as you might be thinking “Gee, Hamm, that doesn’t seem too bad. What is your problem?” and if I weren’t from Montana, I would be thinking exactly that. But I’m from here. I know these people. Trust me, it’s not going to end well. Just from going over the story I hear their voices in my head as they verbalized their hatred and distrust of “the gubbament”.

  • They decided to try to create their own, new, country, complete with a court system and currency.
  • They then placed liens on property owned by people who worked for “the gubbament”. The liens were, of course, authorized by the new country’s courts. (Presumably, The Honorable Bubba Cockbite presiding.)
  • The money from those liens was to be collected and used make a “good faith” payment on our national debt. (Which, if you followed along, would be the debt of a foreign nation – if any of this crap had been legal!)

Yes folks, Montana. Lovely state. Great skiing. Amazing summers. Fantastic wilderness, resources, and even a lot of good people. I can’t forget the good people, just because I’m pointing out that we grow the World’s Largest Nuts™ – only ours don’t grow on trees, but they do have the ability to vote. These are the people that Ron Paul and his Baffling Brigand of Bigots have decided to rile up. These are the people that they’ve decided to organize and aim at a target.

Are you following along here? Do you get how very dangerous this is? Just in case you don’t, it’s like covering a baby in bacon and tossing it to a pitbull. And like those 81 days in 1996, this, too, won’t end well.

The pot calling the kettle crazy

So, I was reading the latest gem over at JMG, which is about this insanity, and figured that I had to point this bit out:

…whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives…

Fundamentalists, be they Christian, Muslim or whatever other religion, are the one’s who have, throughout history, believed in righteousness of their God, who, I would point out, is the Ultimate Imaginary Friend. Religious wars are fought on the basis that one groups UIF is better than the others’.

Fundamentalists, be they Christian, Muslim or whatever other religion, are conservative, yet they constantly whine about their god, their beliefs, their “moral fiber”, and rage against marriage equality, the gay agenda, activist judges, and many other “liberal” causes, and seek to enforce their own way of living on everyone else.

Yes, people who think and act along the lines of the quote are truly insane. I think more of them spend several hours a week preaching about their UIF than spend time fighting for basic human rights.

Leaks of Other News

Wow, talk about an Activist Judge. I don’t know all the details, but I got the basics. And now, I have them to share with you.

Wikileaks.org was set up to expose the wrongs of the world that fools have documented. This would be the Web2.0 version of the parking garage where Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein met with the mysterious-yet-hilariously-named Deep Throat. A repository of some of the shittiest things orchestrated by groups of humans that have caused real harm to many other humans.

And how effective is Wikileaks? I’m guessing you’re wondering that because, well, I’d never heard of it before today, either. Hat tip to The World’s Toughest Programmer, Mike.

Well, apparently the site is so good they’ve pissed off China. And several other questionable regimes. Which is all well and good, because governments deserve that sort of headache.

But Wikileaks didn’t stop there. Hell no. They go after everyone who exhibits snake-like behavior. Including a bank in the Cayman Islands. And in going after the oppressive and corrupt, Wikileaks has become the ultimate expression of Freedom of the Press, which is, you might recall, one of our primary rights here in the United States.

Ah, but never let it be said that bankers aren’t clever bastards, since they managed to buy a federal judge in California. How else do you explain that Judge White signed the order, drafted by the Cayman Islands bank’s lawyers without a single amendment? Judge White is a Bush appointee, so it’s certainly conceivable that he suffers from a whiff of douchedom, but Vice President Cheney wouldn’t even pull this stunt, and that man would kill a puppy for a quarter.

Wikileaks have basically registered under every top-level domain, so you can go to, say, wikilinks.cx. If heavy hands are going to try to use our nameservers against us, we should publish their IP address as well: http://88.80.13.160. They have also promised to step up publication of any and all leaks that pertain to the banking industry, which should very quickly ruin several bastard’s days.

I’m dismayed that this Judge didn’t toss the bank’s lawyer out on his ass. I’m disgusted that this Judge even entertained the idea for a second. And I’m absolutely livid that he signed the order. This guy shouldn’t be allowed an opinion on strawberry jam, let alone a core Constitutional Issue such as this.

Winnings And Losers

Ok, so the Montana Democrats had a contest. I, along with another creative gentleman, won. We each got $50.00, which is a nice round of drinks that I fully intend to have tonight. And while bragging about winning is always fun, there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

You see, not only does my mother work for the illustrious “Brad’s Johnson“, she’s the head of the Lewis & Clark County Republicans. Did I mention I’m gay? Oh, but wait, there’s more.

Know how I found out I won? Mom got asked in the office if she knew I’d won by someone who’d been contacted by someone else who apparently had read the press release that went out from the Montana Democratic Party on Friday of last week. For the record, she didn’t even know I entered. My guess is that someone from the press called to get a quote from Brad’s Johnson about the contest because it’s a slow news week, Apple having announced the new iPods last week. Even better, the MDP hadn’t even managed to get their site updated as the press release about this contest was the last official duty of their outgoing communications director.

The press release followed by the request for comment to the reporter becomes even funnier because, let’s be real, Brad’s Johnson (nor any other part) wasn’t in the office, which is his normal routine. He might have the title of secretary of state, but he’s never in that office.

Alas, it seems he’s pissed at me. (HA! Brad’s Johnson is pissed! Get it? HA!) He might be pissed:

Whatever the reason, he’s pissed. I don’t care. Frankly, the people of Montana are pissed at him for the poor job he’s done and incredible lack of ability he’s displayed. So let him be pissed at me for my wit. That’s fair, fine and dandy.

However, there are some rumblings that life at work for my mom is going to be rough. And I have a few thoughts on that: I doubt it would come down to such childish behavior, but it might. I know the reason our society is as great as it is, can weather the storms of stupidity that periodically race through our history, and will get through the current debacles that abound, is because we have the freedom to speak our mind. Anyone who thinks that towing the party line is more important than exercising our rights has more in common with Putin than our Founding Fathers. I’m sure everyone would hate to find out that our state government was riddled with that crap, but I don’t know that anyone would be shocked, if only because people tend to already be pessimistic about government.

Anyone who has met me knows that I’m going to speak my mind, no matter what. Client meetings where I’ve been asked “What can you make with vinyl?” have elicited “Ass-less chaps for Pride.” from me with nary a blink or a pause. I have worn a shirt that says “No. Dude. Seriously. Fuck You.” to client meetings, lunches with business people, a school and a church. Freedom of speech is important to me, and I invite anyone who sees that shirt or hears my words to debate me on it. Yes, I’m on the edge, but that leaves more room at the middle for others.

If Brad’s Johnson is bent out of shape (curves left now? odd that) and he wants to debate his benefits against his deficits with me, I’ll gladly meet him at a podium, anytime.

That, of course, presumes he could bother to make it to Helena at some point.

You don’t say.

The oral arguments are over so the Supreme Court is currently deciding the fate of the Bong Hits 4 Jesus case. Regardless of the outcome, we are left with the comforting fact that, once again, the system has proven itself too willing to step into a case. Or, as is my current thinking on public schools, the administration doesn’t have a clue, nor do they care to find one, and so knee-jerk reactions to, let’s face it, creative-yet-disturbing moments by students have become Supreme Court Cases.

I remember when, way back in the day, there was a common phrase here in Montana. Before Bart Simpson enriched us with “Don’t have a cow, man!” we had people calmly saying, “It’s not a Supreme Court Case, chill.” I’ve not heard that phrase in nearly a score of years – 19, to be precise – and it was my 8th grade science teacher, whose name I can’t remember, but whose soft-spoken demeanor yet intense passion for the wonders of world made science interesting. He said it after a demonstration of an electrical circuit caused a student to freak out a bit. Holding hands in a circle, we created a circuit, and to prove this concept, two of us let go of each other and instead held the positive and negative wires from an alternator. The alternator was cranked over, only once and by hand, and produced electricity, and the circuit of teens lit up – one teen to the point of hysterics. But it wasn’t that big a deal, it was not a Supreme Court Case. It wasn’t even painful, just odd. I can’t imagine that he’s still allowed to do this demonstration, but I hope he is.

Which brings us back to the fundamental problem here. We have a student who wanted to test the limits of Free Speech. We have a principal that wanted to further her career, which one would hope would mean educating students better, but the cynical side of me suspects that means not upsetting the status quo.

You can’t expect teenagers not to push the boundaries. That’s just dumb. Anyone who was a teen knows that. If you didn’t push any boundaries when you were a teen, you were either in a persistent vegetative state or you did so many bong hits 4 Jesus that you’ve just forgotten what else you might have done. But it’s a good thing that teens push boundaries, it’s fundamental to learning. Every advance we have made has come about because someone said, “What if?” and didn’t listen to the chorus of people who responded in the negative. The trick, for teachers, is to channel that urge into positive events. I’m currently teaching a bit at the high school I attended, so I know it’s hard, but more on that later.

So this teen decides that on the day the Olympic torch is going to run past his school, he’s going to put up a message that he thinks, quite reasonably, will get him on TV. And he succeeds in his goal. Having put that much thought into creating the sign, there’s a very real chance that the kid knew he was going to get in trouble. So what happened next was a shock to the aforementioned carrots and stoners. The principal sees the sign, confiscates it, and confronts the student, giving him 5 days suspension. When the student quotes Jefferson on Free Speech, instead of being impressed by the kids knowledge on the subject, or hell, for even being able to quote Jefferson at all, she instead doubled the suspension to 10 days.

I won’t go into why suspension from school as punishment is about the dumbest thing ever. There isn’t enough ice-cream to keep me from blowing a gasket, so that, too, shall wait.

So the kid, armed with the ACLU, files suit. Round one goes to the principal, because it’s a school, and while the kids don’t lose all their rights when going to school, they do lose some of them. Some speech must be limited, after all, yelling “Fire!” in a crowded school is the same as yelling it in a crowded theater.

The kid and the ACLU appealed, and the 9th Circuit, not seeing any smoke, much less a fire, said that not only was the kid unreasonably stripped of his rights, in doing so the principal may be liable for monetary damages to him. So it’s no surprise that the principal, who by now is at the superintendent’s office, appealed this decision to the Supremes.

And the justices are quite overcome with joy on this one. I suggest reading Dahlia Lithwick’s Dispatch, as usual, rather than me trying to sum up her work. Apparently Justice Stephen Breyer managed to hide the fact that he spent his teen years doing his best impression of a rutabaga . I say that because he couldn’t have managed law school and his legal career to such great success if he was a pothead, yet he said that ruling in favor of the student would cause teens to start “testing limits all over the place in the high schools.”

Again, testing limits is how we all learn and create. That’s nothing new, and stifling that instinct is just as bad as letting it run rampant, yet those are the only options that anyone involved with this case can apparently see. Which just goes to show you how bad things are, because some of the brightest minds around can’t see what the sign said, and are off discussing completely irrelevant issues.

This case demonstrates one of the fundamental flaws of the current teaching regime, and it’s one of the biggest. Rather than confronting this student in a positive way, the principal was acted as a power-obsessed and power-corrupted coward and neglected all students, not just at her school, but now, due to the coverage that this sort of thing would obviously generate, at every school. And yes, I lay the neglect at her feet because it’s her damn job to lead teachers, which should mean she can think at least as well as the students. It’s not unreasonable to expect that since the sign got on tv already, she might want to really think about the best way to confront this.

“And how,” you ask, “is that possible? What should she have done?” The only thing she is really supposed to do – use her head.

Instead of suspending the student for 10 days, the principal should have given the kid 10 days to prepare the affirmative defense for his slogan. As in, debate. As in debating against teachers, because the principal would choose 3 teachers to prepare the negative. And the principal would pick the judge, too. And on the 11th day, at 10 am, the kid would debate the teachers. At school. In front of every other student, who would watch through either attending (if you had to) or through the announcement or the closed-circuit TV system at the school.

Now, let’s discuss the pros and cons of this event. Pros first, since I can actually think of a few of them.

  • The kid is required to defend a controversial position in front of his peers, but the peers aren’t able to help in any meaningful way.
  • The slogan is brought before the students not as a rallying cry for the oppressed but as a learning tool.
  • The teachers get to bring out the big guns, go for the jugular (verbally, of course) in a way that, legitimately, showcases their greater knowledge, wisdom and experience.
  • The students see that, rather than just getting a free 10 day vacation, pushing the boundaries can have consequences they really don’t want to face – namely, public speaking, but also being resoundly beaten down by teachers in front of the entire school.
  • Everyone learns that “With great power comes great responsibility” actually is true.
  • Everyone has a chance to THINK.

As for cons, the only real downside I can see is if the teachers aren’t capable of holding their own in the debate. That would suck, but, in my experience, even the worst teachers are always ready with a snappy retort to the smartass kids. In the debate, these teachers don’t have to win, as the phrase is nonsensical. So long as they expand the discussion to include why sometimes it’s better to not say something, or to hold back your free speech, they ultimately win.

And isn’t “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” really “Religion is the opiate of the masses” in disguise?

And now the fun begins!

Does anyone else think that The Washington Madam’s case is going to ruin more than a few of the careers of inner-beltway boys? Pretty much a no-brainer.

But think about it for a moment – with a list that numbers around 15,000 clients, is it too much to think that just a few, like say less than 10%, could be women? And who, my dear readers, might they be? I can think of a few, but I’m going to hold off for a bit. And I’ve got a big soda and popcorn for the show.