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Monthly Archives: January 2012

Classroom socialism . . .

The image and the tale of a classroom experiment below were in an e-mail sent by the youngest of my three daughters, the one that lives, loves and happily flourishes in the northern climes of Texas while looking after the activities of one husband, two young children and a dog named Wrigley. She also doubles as the president of a local grammar school PTA, and is occasionally a part-time (unpaid) consultant for friends who are commercial property managers, some actually and some potentially.

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Classroom Socialism . . .

When the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. Is this man truly a genius? Checked out and this is true… it DID happen! An economics professor at a local college made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that Obama’s socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

The professor then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on Obama’s plan.” All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A.” (substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they
wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the professor told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, no one will try or want to succeed. It could not be any simpler than that.

Remember, there there is a real test coming up—the 2012 elections. The five points that follow are the most important you’ll ever read and all are applicable to this experiment.

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

Government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from others.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

Can you think of a reason for not sharing this? Neither could I.

To the reader:

The diatribe below is my reply to the e-mail. If you were offended and took umbrage because of my sharing the experiment with you, whether real or false, you may want to ignore this part to avoid becoming irritated, agitated, aggravated and infused with the urge to respond with your opposing views. However, I welcome and will respond to all comments, negative and positive.

Love it, simply love it. I will never understand why people—Democrats, liberals, communists, socialists, anarchists and other misguided a-holes insist on pursuing socialism. It has never worked for any appreciable length of time and it never will. I checked this with snopes.com and learned that the e-mail has been around for more than fifteen years and perhaps longer, with various titles and referencing various schools. I seriously doubt that the experiment ever happened, whether before or after Obama ascended to his throne. Not that any of that matters, of course. I consider the experiment, whether real of false, to be a great and shining example of socialism and communism.

As you might expect, I have a story about this. Away back in the past century—in November of 1972—US Customs sent me to the United States Customs National Service Academy at Hoffstra University on New York’s Long Island. As an overall-clad country boy wearing clodhopper brogans and no socks, I was so thrilled that I could hardly maintain control of a certain feature of my anatomical waste elimination apparatus. My hope was that I would excel in my class and perhaps get an attaboy from the US Customs Service.

On my first day in class I knew that would never happen. Our instructor, a far past retirement age Customs officer faced the class and the first thing he told us was that we would be tested and graded on the various sections of the training, but we would not be required to make a passing grade, that our employment with Customs would not be affected, that in lieu of grades or diplomas we would be issued a Certificate of Attendance regardless of our final grade, whether superior or inferior.

The six-week course became a six-week vacation in New York for this ol’ country boy. I made only cursory glances at the various booklets and test papers and Customs publications, vowing to earn no grade above a C, and I was successful. Had I been even casually interested in making higher grades I believe that I would have been at the top of my class, which in itself would have been nothing to crow about. I can remember only one instance in which I stupidly raised my hand to tell the instructor that a two-step arithmetic problem that Customs officers would face on duty could be accomplished in one step, thus saving time and reducing errors in the calculation.

His answer? He took umbrage—well, he actually got really pissed-off and glowering mightily he said, “Do you want to teach this class?” I replied in the negative and I never raised my hand again, and I was never asked for an answer to any of his questions. That was probably a good thing, because had I been asked my answer would have been “Damned if I know,” even if I did know the answer.

I bore you with this diatribe only to point out that without competition, any system of government will fail miserably. Thanks for sending the e-mail. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in math, Obama administration, politics, Writing

 

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I met Casper, the friendly ghost . . .

The image below shows a table setting created by one of my three daughters (the middle one in age), the one that lives, loves, labors and languishes in the remote and desolate northern climes, specifically in Alexandria, Virginia. That ghostly image in the center of her butternut and acorn squash soup is a dollop of cream cheese. In her posting she likened it to a ghostly figure, and I likened it to a specific ghost—Casper, The Friendly Ghost of cartoon fame. Read her post here for her narrative of the occasion and the soup’s ingredients.

The text that follows is my comment on her posting. I found it so beautifully composed and presented that I decided it deserved its own post—its own spotlight, so to speak. I can say that with all humility. In fact, if I weren’t so humble I would be perfect!

En la madrugada—as freely translated from Spanish to English the term means “in the wee small hours of the morning“—I was standing at the computer we used to input vehicle license numbers, trying desperately to stay awake with very little success. However, every time I went to sleep my knees buckled and I awakened, or at least I became partially awake, not very alert but at least awake.

Casper appears to be drowning in Michael’s soup, a somewhat more ominous image than dancing, or perhaps playing Scrabble—the ghostly figure seems to be reaching for a Scrabble tile on its right—but perhaps not. Your ghost also resembles Casper the Friendly Ghost, a nebulous presence I encountered on the bridge that spans the Rio Grande River, a shallow and  horribly polluted stream that divides the US from Mexico!

I met Casper the Friendly Ghost many years ago at a lonely Texas-Mexico border crossing. I was working the midnight shift—12 midnight until 8 AM, and I was one of only three people on duty. The others were an Immigration officer and the outbound toll collector, and both were sound asleep, trusting me to guard them and the United States of America from harm by applying my accumulated knowledge of outbound and inbound restrictions that were promulgated by the USA and Mexico. Mine was a Herculean task, but I usually managed to do it successfully over my two-hour shifts during the assigned eight hours until I was relieved by the Immigration officer.

And what to my wondering eyes should appear—no, no, not Santa Claus and his reindeer-drawn sleigh piled high with Christmas gifts for the world’s children. What appeared to my wondering eyes was Casper the Friendly Ghost of cartoon fame, dancing around in the bright light, appearing and disappearing while I watched. I rubbed my eyes roughly several times, but he continued capering under the hanging light, sometimes small and at other times larger. I imagine that by now you, the reader, are highly skeptical but this story is true—I should know because I was there.

The bridge to Mexico began some 100 feet from my position, and there was a brilliant light erected on a tall pole beside the pedestrian walk. During one of the many times I awakened, I focused my gaze on the lighted area and I began seeing movement high up near the source of the light, something similar to a swarm of bees or scudding clouds or rising flights of birds or bats, forming shapes that would rapidly change, literally disappearing for a split second before forming a new shape.

As I walked slowly toward the bridge I continued trying to come fully awake, and I hitched up the weapon I was required to wear, a six-shot revolver with a six-inch barrel—the hitching-up was needed because the belt was too large for me. Mind you, I had no intention of shooting Casper—I could never do that—my children would never have forgiven me.

As an aside to this posting, after several months on duty at the bridge the pistol belt fit snugly because of the frequent meals delivered at a highly reduced price—not gratis, but close—from a Mexican restaurant on the other side of the bridge.

As I slowly drew closer to the lighted area, all the while keeping my gaze on the forms that were—-well, they were forming and re-forming, and the shapes suddenly devolved into untold thousands of swarming insects, appearing and disappearing as they circled under the light. Many more thousands were on the street and the sidewalk, some dead and others still moving. I was finally wide awake and feeling considerably better—Casper had disappeared.

The insects were willow-flies, creatures that were born under water in soapstone banks and rocks. At birth they rise to the surface and lie there until their wings dry enough for them to take off from the surface of the water. Willow-flies only make one flight because they can only take off from water, and once they land they are finished.

I have no doubt that, now that you know I met Casper the Friendly Ghost many years ago, you will pester me until I post that story on my blog. Okay, okay! I’ll start on it!

Contrary to my usual promises I did post the event, albeit 360 days later (last year on 12 January 2011, and it is reproduced exactly as I posted it as a comment on my daughter’s blog.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 8, 2012 in law enforcement

 

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An irrestible urge . . .

I found an image online that infused me with an irresistible urge to tell an off-color joke as a posting, one that would definitely be condemned by my mother’s family. All have crossed the River Styx, the stream that separates the living from those who have made the crossing, the latter of which includes my parents’ entire family, except for me, of course. Those who have gone before were my mother, father, one brother, five sisters, and a stepfather that I feel obligated to mention. Of the total of  ten people in the family I am the only one still standing, and I’m hanging on for dear life.

Yes, life is dear to me in spite of the loss of family members, the political upheavals across the earth, the present declination of our country and its position and importance among the world’s nations, and in spite of the price of gasoline, movie tickets, popcorn and garlic bologna. In the words of an old song, “Please, Mister Custer, I don’t wanna go!”

In telling this joke I would be chastised by all except my brother and my youngest sister. Both enjoyed jokes, especially my brother, but my sister took an interminable amount of time in the telling. I believe she did that in order to dominate any conversation—to stay on stage, so to speak.

The image below is that of our current president speaking to an audience, accompanied by a woman signing his words for the benefit of those in his audience that are hard-of-hearing. Please trust me when I say that the image includes the off-color punch-line of the joke—it’s hidden, but it’s there. On the off-chance that the punch-line escapes you, I’ll will happily forward it to you in a brown-paper-wrapped e-mail.

The honeymoon was over and the newly-weds, a well-seasoned world-traveler and a sweet young thing unwise in the ways of the world, were beginning their new lives together. They were at breakfast and just before the husband left for work he asked his wife to practice a certain action that she steadfastly refused to perform throughout the honeymoon, explaining that she had never done that and knew not how to do it or even begin to do it. He suggested that she practice the act with the ketchup bottle during the day. She loved her husband and wanted to please him and she promised to comply. She practiced the action throughout the day, performed it obediently that night and promised to willingly and happily comply with future requests, and the couple lived happily ever after.

Postscript: On November 18, 2010 a unique lady, lovely in every mental and physical respect, beautifully loved and loving, crossed over the River Styx.  We would have celebrated 58 years of marriage just 25 days later on 13 December, and her eightieth birthday on 26 December. She was and still is my wife Janie, a Georgia peach that I married in 1952. For awhile after her death, life was not dear to me, but I feel that I have overcome most of the sadness that the death of a loved one can create—not all, but enough to feel that life is still good and that happiness has many facets—one needs but search for it in different ways and in different places.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on January 5, 2012 in death, disease, Family, Humor, Writing

 

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