Writing on the Double Yellow Line

Militant moderate, unwilling to concede any longer the terms of debate to the strident ideologues on the fringe. If you are a Democrat or a Republican, you're an ideologue. If you're a "moderate" who votes a nearly straight party-ticket, you're still an ideologue, but you at least have the decency to be ashamed of your ideology. ...and you're lying in the meantime.

Location: Illinois, United States

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Today’s Chalk Dust

Today’s Chalk Dust
©2012 Ross Williams

Headline: ‘Hooker Teacher’ Can’t Find Work

Article Synopsis:
Melissa Petro, art and creative writing teacher at an inner-city-style Bronx elementary school, and with multiple master’s degrees, was told to resign by the Department of Education or face recriminatory proceedings after an article she had written as a free-lance writer turned up in the Huffington Post against the outcry garnered by craigslist.com over their “erotic services” ads – since discontinued. In the article, Petro had admitted to having been a sex worker at one time herself, and has noted the irony of the circumstances that led her to being a sex worker originally and those she faces now after being told she can’t work because she had been a sex worker.

Nice Work, But You Can’t Keep It: It is somewhat unclear which “Department of Education” is stiffing this young woman: the US, or the New York State. I believe New York calls theirs the Board of Regents, but that may simply be their curriculum dictator department.

Mayor Bloomberg piled on to this faux-cause célèbre by demanding her ouster as well.

For a group of liberals – and I’m talking about Bloomberg, and either the NYSDoE or the USDoE – to professionally lynch a woman who is the quintessence of the same self-sufficient feminism to which liberalism has been harnessed for at least five decades, is hypocrisy of the highest order. Not that hypocrisy should be a startling accusation against liberalism any longer. But still.

You’ve got what is, by all accounts, a good, qualified and well-respected teacher. ...at a time when good, qualified and well-respected teachers are apparently hard to come by. So of course the first thing you do when you find yourself in possession of a good, qualified and well-respected teacher is to demand her resignation.

Liberals love sticking their noses in where they don’t belong, which is pretty much everywhere ...almost as much as Conservatives do. But Liberals do not have enough noses to slice off their faces out of spite that they can afford to take every cockamamie cause that comes down the pike ... and which should belong to Conservatives besides.

Conclusion: ...and yes, Bloomberg is a Liberal. He switched allegiance in ’01 because the Democratic primary field for Mayor wouldn’t fit into Yankee Stadium, while the Republican field could have fit into a single stall of a Yankee Stadium men’s room with room to spare. You can call a dog’s tail a leg but it doesn’t give the dog five legs.

Headline: GA Student Sues School over Public Strip Search

Article Synopsis:
A 7th-grade student was searched by the administrators of his Clayton County junior high school because a narc reported him as having had marijuana. His pockets and book bag were searched and nothing was found. The narc then reported that the student was lying, and he was strip searched. Nothing was again found. The student, now known as Superman by classmates, is claiming long-lasting emotional trauma, in part because he is now known as Superman. He was wearing Superman undies at the time. Also being sued is the Sherriff’s Department and the school’s “resource officer”.

Why Can’t Anyone Count to Four: A “resource officer” is newspeak for On-Site Cop, and his job is to turn what is commonly little more than prankish behavior into criminal mischief if he can at all swing it. The rare actual criminal behavior that occurs on school grounds is, in my experience, typically overlooked. This guy is among the leading explanations for our public schools being turned into locked-down prison compounds, where Public Display of Affection becomes rape, taking two Midol for menstrual cramps becomes trafficking in narcotics, and bringing a knife from home because you can’t eat your apple while wearing braces becomes assault with a deadly weapon.

The student in question may or may not have had marijuana; marijuana does exist in schools. But there is still a 4th Amendment to our Constitution, and one would think that by the time an administrator had reached the point where he is running a middle school – which is newspeak for a junior high school – he would have been able to count all the way to four without using his fingers on some dumb kid’s Superman skivvies.

Apart from not teaching cipherin’ at this Georgia junior high, do they also not teach American History?

After no drugs were found the second time, what did they do with the narc? Junior high is a little early to be hired to work for the TSA ...

Conclusion: Besides which, Mister Resource Officer, do you not have a drug sniffing dog among your resources?

Headline: CO Student Quits Chorus over Islamic Hymn

Article Synopsis:
A Colorado high school senior has quit the school chorus because of the selection of an Islamic hymn being inserted into a musical program for public school competition. The song, “Zikr”, popular in greater Arabia and south Asia, was selected for its musical qualities and not its message which is, in part, “There is no truth except Allah.” Also selected for the program is an Irish folk song and a Christian song entitled “Prayer of the Children”. School officials are not altering their program.

Uh... ri-i-ight: The Islamic hymn’s writer, an Indian named A R Rahman, claims the song is not a hymn or intended for religious service at all, but the title of his song, “Zikr”, is a Muslim religious ritual, and roughly translates to “invocation to Allah”. Further, Rahman specializes in writing Muslim devotional songs, and his own website lists “Zikr” among them. “Zikr” appears to quote freely from the Koran in its lyrics, as some of those lyrics are among the koranic passages recommended to be recited during the Islamic ritual of the same name.

The song would appear to be the Muslim version of “The Lord’s Prayer”.

Be that as it may, the Christian song in the program – which should probably be described as “Christian” with quotes around it – is an anti-war song of that famous anti-war era covering the two US wars in the Balkans where, we should remember, a large number of the participants were Muslims whom we felt sorry enough for to go to war for them. The only specifically religious lyric of note in this “Prayer of the Children” is “Jesus help me” ... which, for an anti-war song mentioning “angry guns” and “hands with nothing to hold” may not exactly mean what one may suppose it means.

...although it probably does. Far be it from me to be deliberately disingenuous about this. I’ll leave that to the American Atheists. In any event, the religiosity of the two songs is hardly equivalent.

Conclusion: Speaking of the American Atheists ... where are they in all this? Either religion is verboten in public schools or it isn’t. And that goes for public school choral competitions as well. Muslim hymns don’t get a pass simply because Islam is not the dominant religion in the US; if religion in school is prohibited it must include dominant, subordinate and fringe religions as well. Otherwise, well ... you’re just a bunch of anti-christian bigots perpetrating hate-harassment. Right?


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