Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Sunday, May 06, 2007
I don't know if that's a reflection on the Yankees, on the hypocritical and mercenary Clemens, on pitching in baseball in general, or on the evolving flex-time work schedules to which our aging economy is moving.
All I know is that I have yet another reason to root hard against the Yankees.
....More American deaths reported this week in Iraq. Try as I might to "stay the course" in my head, my heart has moved ever closer to saying just get our men and women out of there, let them all kill themselves.
If only we had a leader who could articulate why we are there.
If only we had a leader who could articulate...anything.
If only we had a leader.
...Can someone explain to me why we don't have a standing emergency response team? Why doesn't the federal government have, say, 20,000 trained men and women who could be air-lifted into areas torn apart by a tornado, or a hurricane? Or who could leap in and help with brush fires, or floods? Workers who are trained in search and rescue, or restoring power and water, or massive, quick clean-ups?
Like now, that poor Kansas town gets flattened with a tornado. Boom, in come 3,000 trained responders, tearing through the town in search and rescue, manning bulldozers to quickly clean up the debris, re-stringing electrical wire, etc. Save whom they can, restore what they have to, get the place ready for rebuilding.
Sort of a civilian National Guard.
Truthfully, that's what I thought FEMA was supposed to be.
.....College-picking season has just passed, and so I'll renew my problem with State-funded colleges.
I just don't get the current scheme. It makes no sense.
Let's use New York State as an example.
Students at SUNY schools pay a reduced tuition and room and board--the taxpayer picks up the rest. This education is viewed by the vast majority of SUNY students as a "right"-- and as a result very few donate back to their alma mater. They just assume that this reduced rate is something to which they are entitled, and therefore show absolutely no gratitude for the savings they receive.
Worse, many of these students, after receiving this taxpayer-subsidized education, will leave the state for jobs elsewhere.
Which means that New York taxpayers are subsidizing the education of students who will then take this training and education and use it to improve life in other states. Indeed, many of them will then compete with New Yorkers for business--so, in essence, we are helping to train our own competitors!
Here's what I would do if I were king.
Every SUNY student's tuition bill would list the total amount it costs to educate the student for the year--then would show a "taxpayer scholarship" deduction-- then show the amount the student would need to pay.
That is, right now a SUNY school may be spending, say $25,000 per student, but is only charging $15,000. Instead of not showing the savings in black and white, I would list it as a scholarship- that way, maybe graduates might feel some level of gratitude, as students who receive scholarships at private universities often do.
I would then take it a step further-- that "taxpayer scholarship" would be set up as a loan-- for every year after graduation you file a New York State Income Tax return, we forgive 10% of the loan.
You don't work here? You pay us back.
It is ridiculous that some truck driver here in New York pays taxes to subsidize a doctor's daughter's college education, just so that she can move to North Carolina and manage a company that puts the truck driver's company out of business.
Anyway, that's what I would do.
....Am giving my annual worm composting lecture at our local Community Activities center. Each year I get a half-dozen or so hardy souls who listen to me explain how, and why, they can build, feed and maintain a worm bin-- and then we build them! I just took delivery of 5 pounds of eisenia fetida, or red wigglers, so I'm good to go! Lot's of laughs, a fun 2 hours.
There is not a man of us who does not at times need a helping hand to be stretched out to him, and then shame upon him who will not stretch out the helping hand to his brother.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Studio 60: 3....2....1...
That's bittersweet news for us fans. We do get to see another 3 hours worth of pretty good entertainment, but the timing makes it virtually certain that it will be cancelled.
Too bad. While not perfect, it was some of the best TV on TV. I guess since no one ate any crawly critters, or showed their stupidity to a live audience, or did an off-key karaoke version of "Feelings" so a British twit could make devastatingly witty insults at them, the network wasn't willing to keep at it.
It's amazing to me that when a show does squeak by its first year or so to become a monster hit (Seinfeld, Hill Street Blues, etc.) the TV execs are falling all over themselves in self-praise about their vision and patience, how you have to let talented people find their rhythm and, eventually, their audience. Yet when presented with a similar opportunity, such as Studio 60, they panic and pull the plug.
But what do I know? They are the experts.
Of course, network TV's ratings are in a long, steady decline.
Maybe there is a connection between ratings and quality? Maybe people don't look for quality diamonds at a flea market, so that good, intelligent shows wither on the networks because they are surrounded by crap? Maybe shows like Studio 60 just need some time?
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Suspended For Doing What He Had To Do
SACRAMENTO, Calif. � School officials on Monday suspended a 14-year-old boy who said he had to urinate in a bottle after his science teacher refused to let him use the restroom. The teacher was being transferred to another school.
Patterson said he went into a corner of the classroom on Tuesday and urinated into an empty Gatorade bottle after his teacher repeatedly refused to give him a pass to use the restroom and threatened to have him suspended if he left the classroom.
"He said, 'Do what you got to do,"' Patterson said. "I said, 'I've got a bottle' and he said, 'Go in the corner.' So I just handled my business."
What can I say? The kid followed directions, was obviously well-prepared for that portion of the class, showed initiative, and didn't whine in the face of bureaucracy.