Wednesday, June 10, 2015
When folks have something intelligent to say, that's just fine. When it's propaganda for propaganda's sake, it sucks.
At the very heart of the whole of the ideological spectrum, or from a religious or "moral" standpoint, there are common elements that both sides of the aisle share, but we're often too busy running our damned mouths to even notice. You see, it's easy to be pissed off and stay pissed off because of "righteous indignation," and it gathers a crowd who end up screaming for someone's blood, but at the foundation, we have more in common with one another than we have reasons to riot. Here are a few examples of what I am getting at:
African American President: This generation has made history by electing a man whose skin color would have gotten him killed in parts of the country not 60 years ago. Both sides of the aisle want to see our country safe, prosperous, caring, strong, and effective. The hardcore left loves the President just because of his skin color, and there are those on the hardcore right who hate him for the same reason. But at the bottom line, you'll find that we all want the President to succeed because for him to succeed means that the whole of the country succeeds. I'm not a fan of many of his policies but it his policies I abhor, not the color of his skin.
Football: At a football game, there are supporters of one side and supporters of the other. No one cares what political party you belong to because what matters is the game and the team. Period.
Comedy: We all love to laugh and that excludes no one. Humor is a uniquely human attribute and it doesn't matter if you're a Lutheran, a Methodist, a Republican, a Democrat, a Libertarian, a Baptist, or an agnostic - we all love to laugh and there isn't anything wrong with that.
No Hungry Children: Not a single person I know would advocate that any child should go hungry. Not a one. Conservatives and liberals alike see the problem as real, but often, nothing gets done.
You see? We have great things in common and if we only had the courage to cherish those things rather than fight about issues of little impact, the world as we know it today would change. Granted, there will always be the criminal element lurking about, but as a general rule, peace with one another is better than conflict.
Social media is a great place for positivity and a celebration of commonalities to start. One person can share a positive note with friends and the result is someone's day is made more bright. One person can surprise a friend with a sweet message and provide comfort for someone suffering from depression. Sharing information about progress, about volunteerism, about planting a garden are all very positive and fun things to see on social media rather than the argumentative tripe we see spewing forth today. Don't you get tired of the duplicity on both sides? Wouldn't it be nice to see everyone within our sphere of influence just get along and not try to eat each others' flesh with vitriol?
Hell, I'm as guilty as any, if not more so because I was a talk show host.
Of course, this is just my opinion and if you disagree with me, you're probably one of those long-haired, Birkenstock-wearing, dope smoking, hippie. Or you're a conservative, fascist, racist, homophobic, idiot. Either way, you know I'm right.
Monday, June 08, 2015
Every legislative session without fail, some utterly useless pile of human waste authors legislation that causes a stir for teachers. This last tango included House Bill 1749 (Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-epulsive, and Representative Tom Sewell, R-idiculous) made it illegal for teacher unions to have payroll deductions to pay for union dues of their membership. Of course, it's one of those bills that make the red-meat-eating Super-Republicans salivate, but like many of the bills being hatched by the GOP legislature, it will be shot down as unconstitutional and, well, stupid.
According to the Tulsa World, Representative Newell had this to say:
“I’m not an attorney. As we were drafting the bill, I talked to our staff attorneys that help us,” Newell said. “This was a controversial bill so there were lots of attorneys who looked at it. I was not aware there were any questions about the wording of the bill.”
But I digress.
Yes, the Legislature has staff attorneys at their disposal (Fred Morgan was one for the Senate), but apparently these folks must be college buddies or drinking pals or something because they are way off the mark in telling Sewell that this was a bill that would pass constitutional muster.
Your tax dollars hard at work, y'all. But that's the "Oklahoma Standard," isn't it?
Teachers are instrumental in our society and an invaluable resource. Hell, I believe that the Legislature gets paid more than the teachers at this point, but teachers sure put a burr in the saddle of the GOP sycophants. I suppose on some level we have only ourselves to blame for this type of bovine feces. We keep electing these window-licking clowns with IQs barely above room temperature and we expect something more?
|Do we laugh or cry?|
As Ronald Reagan once said to a friend of mine who served in the Reagan Administration, "Sometimes, we just have to do the right thing because it IS the right thing." In this case, the right things to do are to leave the teachers alone, pay them better, flush that merit-pay tripe down the toilet, and do our jobs as parents to teach our children that school is a place for an education, not a free-for-all panty raid of adolescent hormone surges. When our children act up, discipline. Teach our kids to respect authority and guess what happens? The whole of academia will benefit.
Oh, and if you're wondering where the funding for teacher raises would come, take these measures:
|Okay, she's kinda hot. We still need to eliminate that post.|
2. Make our part-time legislature truly be part time. They should convene every two years and be paid accordingly. This is Oklahoma, people. There isn't that much going on really, except for the Thunder and college football.
3. Eliminate a percentage of ad valorem tax breaks given to oil and gas companies, and dedicate the revenue for teacher pay. And don't start rending your garments and bathing in sack cloth and ashes. If you think that they can't afford it, just go downtown and look at the Devon phallus that towers over the other buildings. No. They aren't making a statement or anything...
4. Cut the Quality Jobs Program in half. The screening process should be much more stringent anyway and anyone who argues that Oklahoma needs incentives for businesses to locate here probably works for the Chamber. Cut the budget in half, give difference to teachers.
Of course, this is just my opinion and I could be wrong, but I seriously doubt it.
Let's go do some good with whatever time we have left. It might not be very long.