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March 22, 2011

Teacher layoffs - a destructive annual event

Teacher layoffs - a destructive annual event
The lives of public school teachers have never been more surreal. While they're being pilloried in film and in the press - for their unions being too strong, among other things - last week, 2,800 teachers in the Bay Area were told they might not have jobs in the fall. How's that for job security? There is no more counterintuitive and counterproductive element of an upside-down system than this, that every year of the past four - and nine of the past 20 - thousands of public school teachers are told that their positions are on the chopping block. Many of these teachers are rehired in August, but by then many have left. They've left the state and they've left the profession. There is no child psychologist who will tell you that children thrive amid chaos and uncertainty. Children need stability, regularity, continuity. And yet every year, we shake up their lives at will. We fire the newest teachers, increase class sizes and play musical chairs with teachers all over the district. Schools struggle to plan, to build, and each school's knowledge base is thrown to the wind. . . .

March 20, 2011

More "Sovereign" citizens try and fail at seceding from America

SWAT Team Called To Evict 'Sovereign Citizens' - News Story - WSB Atlanta
RIVERDALE, Ga. -- Clayton County’s SWAT team surrounded a Riverdale home Thursday as part of an eviction. The extra show of force was in response to what Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough called a veiled threat of violence by so-called sovereign citizens living in the home illegally for months. The group doesn’t believe they have to obey laws or tax codes, and in this case, Kimbrough told Channel 2 Action News that Gideon Israel and his wife, Deborah, had taken over the home and flooded the county with fraudulent paperwork to try to block the eviction. “(They) have threatened to do violence to anyone who approaches the property claiming that this property is a sovereign nation here in Clayton County,” Kimbrough said. Deborah Israel wasn’t home during the eviction, but when asked if he was staying in the home illegally, Gideon Israel told Channel 2’s Erin Coleman, “I’m just a person who is a pilgrim and a stranger and I refuse to adhere to unrighteous dictates when the Constitution states that we have rights.” He went on to say, “The robber barons, the bankers, who are getting bailed out are not legitimizing our documentation.”

March 18, 2011

CNC-based tattoo machine randomly assigns religious denominations

Automatic CNC tattoo machine -- Ponoko – Blog The machinations...

Highway north of Big Sur collapses into the ocean

Landslide closes picturesque Highway 1 - San Jose Mercury News

March 17, 2011

Happy St. Pats!

March 16, 2011

Funny, but this article sorta ends where it should start

This is a legit question, not just a rhetorical cry...

March 15, 2011

On being a tooth fairy

The second tooth | dooce
. . . Good thing I had my fun then, because the party was only getting started. That kid was so pumped on adrenaline that she would not sleep. Jon tried several times to sneak into her room to perform Tooth Fairy duties only to have her sit straight up, her hair a fiery mop of tangles, and go, "HI!" Not freaky at all. By eleven o'clock I told Jon to go to sleep, I'd set my alarm for 4 AM and sneak in there. Certainly she'd be heavily asleep by then. Certainly. Certainly! Did you know that "certainly" and anything remotely similar in meaning is the Universe's cue to screw with parents? It says so in the Ten Commandments. I woke up at 4 AM. FOUR O'CLOCK IN THE MORNING. Five dollars in my hand. Yes, that's the going rate in our house for a tooth, and I know we're spoiling her and she'll become a monster. A monster who will want her Oompa Loompa, like, NOW. I mean, her dad is, like, a magician, so where is it? The moment I touched her doorknob she sat straight up in bed. Let me remind you that it's four o'clock in the damn morning, so there is not a clear thought in my head. And so instead of poking my head in and saying something like, "Hey, heard a noise, are you okay?" I hit the floor. I hit the floor so fast that she didn't see me, and then I army crawled to the side of her bed, if this isn't the most ridiculous thing I have ever written, Heather, you are an idiot. I lay quietly beside her bed for about ten minutes to let her settle down, and then I reached up, stuck my hand underneath the pillow where Jon had put the tooth, and furiously felt around in the dark. NOTHING. I could not find that tooth, and then I heard Leta sit straight up again. Except this time she said, "Hello?" . . .