Trying to Trick Me

It’s important to read labels: IMG_20130512_103726


Hmmm, a whole section of oatmeal! Unless of course you want plain old fashioned instant oatmeal. In that case, enjoy your grits!

In Closing: Crap like this is one of many reasons Congress should read out loud every bill they vote on; I guess the sequester is working =/; for pity sake, do not jaywalk in Vegas (all those pedestrian overpasses are there for a reason!); if I may use a one word answerno; this sucks; Rolling Jubilee is back in the news; and inspirational.

Apples and Oranges

In the wake of Newtown and the failure of Congress to “Do Something Do Anything” about gun laws, various people have suggested bulletproof backpacks or even uniforms for school children, saying  “It’s no different to having a seatbelt in a car.”


No, it’s very different from a seatbelt in a car.

First off, car crashes happen much more often than school shootings. If you live in a major metropolitan area, there was a car crash in your city today. I can almost promise that. I can also almost promise that there was not a school shooting in your city today. School shootings are rare; car crashes are not. It’s reasonable to take a routine precaution against injury for something that is unfortunately an everyday occurrence.

Further, I’d like to point out that we call them automobile accidents. Almost nobody intends to get into a car crash! While accidental shootings happen, nobody accidentally takes a loaded gun to a school. That’s premeditated. Always.

I might have bought “It’s no different from having a fire extinguisher.” After all, school fires are rare, but we’re awfully glad fire extinguishers are there if they happen. Oh, but we aren’t talking about equipping every student with a $269 fire extinguisher, now are we?

Don’t dare get on the “don’t you care about the safety of the children” high horse. If we really gave a darn about the children’s safety, we wouldn’t let schoolboys play football.

Speaking of schools and gun safety, I hope this disabuses anyone of the notion that armed teachers are an answer. I fully support your right to own a gun. I just don’t support your right to have it on campus.

In Closing: gee no kidding; speaking of job creation; To Big To Fail should be Too Big To Exist; empty calories; and Happy May Day.


Parts of the following are anonymized for what should be obvious reasons.

After class recently, I overheard a classmate loudly complaining that this particular class was “a waste of money” on material that “I’ll never use in [career].” I had other places to be, and better things to do than set this young person straight.

First, the class in question is a prerequisite to the degree program. You can’t even apply for the program until this class is completed with a decent grade — and by the way, many people fail this class. So even if the information does turn out to be “useless,” it has to be learned and learned well.

Second, the follow-on class — also a prerequisite — builds on this material and is extremely relevant to the career path in question. If you don’t understand the first class, there is no point in attempting to take the second class. I hope never to encounter someone in that career that didn’t understand the material in the follow-on class.

And finally, if my dear classmate would pay attention, it would become clear that the only irrelevant thing in the class is the attitude. At least this person does not pose serious competition for the seats in the program.

I had noticed that some of my class materials make an effort to relate classroom material to the real world. Nice, but I would have thought that some things are obvious. Clearly not. It turns out that many young people just can’t see the relationship between “what I am doing now” and “what I want to be doing a decade from now.”

This was reinforced by a pair of items I came across. Apparently there are people who think even the English language is irrelevant, despite the fact that any decent job will require reading and writing at a level far above what  I am seeing in the classroom.

In Closing: inequality; weight loss; personal finance; if it isn’t safe and educational, it doesn’t belong in a school; pay attention to the bottom chart; quack; megacommute; and astronaut wisdom.