Saturday, April 08, 2006

Hold the Phone!

I was pleased with having caught up with all my back Watcher's posts when I noticed March 24th was missing. Oops… I started to work, bringing in the link to the Education Wonks, building up some dudgeon for the subject of their post, and then…
…and then the Watcher sent me the dreaded Notice: must put up everyone who got at least 1 2/3 votes for the March 24th posting. Doom. How could I have skipped the 24th and blithely gone on to the next week? Oh. Wait a minute. My daughter's birthday is – or was or remains – the 23rd. Of course I ignored it, being as I was in that la la land where you go on the black anniversaries.

Well, I survived the third of her birthdays since she died, so having to put up a few extra links – all to posts of bloggers I like anyway – is, in comparison, as easy as falling off a blog – I mean a log. Right. Easy as falling off a log; you'll see.

That was the week the Education Wonks won, a red letter day. I like their site, but it can be painful to read. If you have children in the public school system in this country you have your work cut out for you in vaccinating them against the world view that prevails in the hallowed, bureaucratic and densely ignorant halls of today's government schools. I am amazed at the Wonk's fortitude.

Their winning post is a case in point. Should you have missed her fifteen minutes of fame (about twenty minutes more than she deserved), they present Autum Ashante, who, at the age of seven, has already been taught to spout the anti-American, resentful entitlement drivel that so many of her elders do. Except little Autum does it in the form of poetry – or so her rant is labeled: "poetry" – just like the jerk poet laureate in New Jersey. Remember him? Amiri Baraka, who penned these deathless lines:

Who do Tom Ass Clarence Work for
Who doo doo come out the Colon's mouth
Who know what kind of Skeeza is a Condoleeza
Who pay Connelly to be a wooden negro
Who give Genius Awards to Homo Locus

Now little Autum is following the path he blazed with his work.

A 7-year-old prodigy unleashed a firestorm when she recited a poem she wrote comparing Christopher Columbus and Charles Darwin to “pirates” and “vampires” who robbed blacks of their identities and human rights

Here, from Michelle Malkin, is a small section of her diatribe. It's not poetry, it's a litany of ignorance:

White nationalism is what put you in bondage
Pirate and vampires like Columbus, Morgan, and Darwin
Drank the blood of the sheep, trampled all over them with
Steel, tricks and deceit.
Nothing has changed take a look in our streets
The mis-education of she and Hegro – leaves you on your knee2grow
Black lands taken from your hands, by vampires with no remorse
They took the gold, the wisdom and all of the storytellers
They took the black women, with the black man weak
Made to watch as they changed the paradigm
Of our village

Now you tell me: is this the work of a seven year old? How many smart – I mean really bright – seven year olds have "paradigm" in their vocabulary? I don't know which is more ignorant, calling this tripe "poetry" or asking anyone to believe a seven year old wrote it…and of course the brainstem media ate it up.

Second place was taken by one of our best essayists, and that's saying something in this group. This time Rightwing Nuthouse considered “A Tale of Two Fathers":

H. Barry Holt and Joe Johnson have never met and do not know each other. What they have in common is that they are the fathers of soldiers. Both served in Iraq. One is dead. One is now home. But the stories of both fathers speak to us through the pain and anguish of separation.

Joe's son Justin had been in Iraq a month when the dreaded knock on the door shattered their Easter Sunday 2 years ago with the news of sudden death. Joe was not there to comfort his family. He was at Fort Lewis in Washington trying to qualify to serve in a National Guard unit that was headed for Iraq. For you see, Joe too wanted to serve. And he wanted to be close to his son.

What Joe does will surprise you.

The second father, Mr. Holt, went through the torture of the damned – as do all parents whose children deploy. He read everything he could find, he veered between relief and anguish and shame when he read of the deaths of others' children, these soldiers in Iraq. But the ending is different. His son came home. Rick Moran observes:

It is perhaps most admirable that Mr. Holt could have room in his anxious, troubled heart to feel for the parents of those not coming back from Iraq. It speaks of a largeness of spirit that seems to be shared by so many parents, and wives, and husbands, and brothers and sisters of those who march to sound of the guns in the name of service. It is something that those of us who do not have a loved one serving seem to forget whether we support the war or oppose it; after all the talk, all the debate about policy and timetables and force structure and "cut and run" and "chickenhawks" there is the father, and the son, and the fear of separation and loss.

And this is the building block, the atomic structure of war. Always has been, always will be.

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There are three posts which qualify for the Tardy Report from the Non-Council group (the rule is, wait too long and you must put up any and all posts which earn at least 1 2/3 votes). I probably would have linked to these anyway.

First was Florida Cracker with "What Did You Do in the Great Gulf War, Grandpa?"

And the tale she tells, of the saga of Sailor Gonzales and his faithful companion, Ben:

Gonzales was an aircraft mechanic on a Marine base in Hawaii on Sept 11, 2001. When all the Marines left for war, Gonzales was left behind with a bunch of engines, he recalled.

“I realized I didn’t join the Navy to do this. [I thought] ‘I’ve got to get over there.’”

He switched rates, became a dog handler and eventually arrived in Atsugi [Japan]. When the kennel master asked for volunteers to augment Army dog handlers in the Middle East, he was the first to raise his hand.

“I thought, ‘If I can go out there and find one IED (improvised explosive device) that’s maybe 20 lives to save.’


He worked downrange for long hours, a sailor in a soldier’s world with a weapon, rounds and body armor. But Gonzales had to carry Ben’s gear, too: special sunscreen, “doggles” and booties, 18-pound canine body armor and ample water.

Ben proved worth it. He found 14 insurgents, 17 rifles, more than 1,000 rounds, a rocket-propelled grenade and a bomb-making kit during the deployment. But over two days in October, the two faced their most difficult challenges, which helped lead to Gonzales’ battlefield promotion.

You’ll have to click the link to find out the exciting conclusion to the story. You’ll see why Florida Cracker walked away with first place.

The next two entries, disparate as they are, tied: Sigmund, Carl and Alfred and Wretchard divided second place among/between them.

Sig/Carl/Alfred (obviously a blogger with Multiple Personality Disorder) was nominated for a guest post, “Mamacita On The PC Of Dumbing Down And Why This May Be The Most Important Post You'll Read All Year.”

Mamacita is the author of The Weekly Scheiss Blog. She’s also a serious and dedicated teacher. Here’s what she has to say about learning:

It doesn’t take a lot of money to educate people. It does, however, take a great deal of money to purchase the bland paper trails that teachers are forced to use, lest someone be insulted or offended or discriminated against.

In the novel “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn,” the illiterate grandmother lifted her new granddaughter and said, simply, “This child has been born of parents who can read and write. This, to me, is a great miracle.”

Where did it begin, this ‘dumbing down’ of American education? Because, whether you want to admit it or not, our schools are set up to serve the lowest common denominator, and that is NOT a good thing.

There are many things at which to point an accusing finger, but I have two main targets: limited vocabulary in textbooks, and the self-esteem movement, which includes feelings of entitlement and special treatment.

There you have it: stupidity and narcissism and it only costs about $9,000.00 a child to inculcate them in both. You can see the results all around you.

The Belmont Club tied for second with Mamacita for his post, A Reason to Believe."

Pondering the many ways the brainstem media and its fellow travelers have attempted to make the struggle in Iraq a “fiasco,” Wretchard says:

Instead of insurgency the talking points have changed to how Sunnis might soon become victims of an ethnically hostile Iraqi army in a Civil War. Going from a boast of conquest to a portrayal of victim is usually an indicator of something. In my view, the shift of meme from the “insurgency” to a “civil war” is a backhanded way of admitting the military defeat of the insurgency without abandoning the characterization of Iraq is an American fiasco. It was Zarqawi and his cohorts themselves who changed the terms of reference from fighting US forces to sparking a ‘civil war’. With any luck, they’ll lose that campaign too.

No one writes like Wretchard. As I looked up this quote, I noticed his stats on the side bar: well over ten million visits in two and a half years. Cream rises to the top, no?

The rest of us are hanging loose at the Watcher’s Place. He’s always on duty.


Mamacita (The REAL one) said...

Thank you for the mention and for the link. I appreciate both very much.