Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Waiting Forever

What are the odds that RUSD teachers will show Waiting for Superman in any of their classes that deal with current issues?

For those of you not yet aware, Waiting for Superman is a documentary produced by Davis Guggenheim of An Inconvenient Truth fame. The committed liberal takes an honest look at our public schools.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Clash of Perverts?

A recent post of mine entitled Universalist Truth has generated some interesting discussion so I thought I would reintroduce it here. Sean Cranley maintains that when religious folks do some crazy things, like fly airplanes into buildings, they are perverting their religion. Maybe so in some cases, but certainly there are religious (or philosophical) differences between people such that it isn't so easy slap on the "perversion" label and walk away. For example, Christian denominations disagree on the issue of homosexuality. Which ones are perverting their religion and who decides? Sean responded as follows:

"We all make those judgments and we arrive at a general consesus on the big issues. It's called civilization. Clearly threatening or inflicting phyical harm crosses the line of reasonable people in all cultures."

Oh really? This ranks right up there with Sean's "schools can't fail" theory. Note the moral relativism in arriving at a general consensus. But clearly inflicting physical harm crosses of reasonable people in all cultures, says Sean. What about war Sean? Can civilizations clash? Was England being unreasonable in declaring war on Germany?

Lets move beyond war. For thousands of years slavery was, by consensus of non slaves, an institution that was commonplace across many civilizations. Was that consensus OK Sean, or are we correct today in our revulsion of slavery? Lest you think we are in an uninterrupted march toward greater civilization, consider that at one time Muslim women were able to work, reveal their faces, drive cars, keep their clitori and what not, yet, in some Muslim civilizations, by consensus of those with power, well, those rights don't exist.

Write them off as perversions Sean, pretend it is just a handful of crazies, bury your head in the sand. As for me, I will recognize it for what it is. It is a clash of civilizations. Some things are right, others wrong, irrespective of consensus. But I suppose that makes me one of the perverts, eh Sean?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Profiling Double Standard

A Racine man carrying a firearm was arrested in Madison after refusing to produce identification that the police demanded to determine whether or not he was a felon.

In other words, the man was profiled as a potential felon because he was engaging in the legal act of carrying a firearm.

Not to worry folks. Any minute now President Obama will scold the State of Wisconsin. Soon the federal government will sue the state for profiling. Demonstrations will break out throughout the country for the unfairness of it all. States will refuse to do business with Wisconsin. And finally, we will plead guilty to the United Nations civil rights commission and beg for forgiveness.

RUSD Dreams

The following is a sentence by sentence rebuttal of Al Levie's letter to the JT. Levie is a teacher at Horlick High School.

Al: RUSD supporting the DREAM Act is the right thing to do.

Me: How so Al?

Al: Our country was based on the guiding principal of liberty and justice for all.

Me: For illegal immigrants as well? Do you really teach this nonsense to your students?

Al: Students who work hard in school should be given an opportunity to pursue their dreams of a college education.

Me: Really Al? I had to pay for my college education. Besides, are the illegals really prevented from attending our universities or are they just required to pay the out of state tuition rate?

Al: As a society, we tell our children if you work hard in school and do the best you can will be rewarded with a good education and a bright future.

Me: I don't recall society ever saying such a thing to me.

Al: RUSD needs to advocate for those students who society has made false promises to.

Me: Who are they Al?

Al: Undocumented students do not have access to student loans and in many states have to pay out-of-state tuition.

Me: When did society ever promise in-state tuition to people who have broken our immigration laws?

Al: Upon graduation in order to get a good job they must lie about their status.

Me: What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

Al: Do we really want to put our best and brightest in that position?

Me: Our evil society didn't put them there Al, their parents did.

Al: Is it fair?

Me: Its more than fair Al. Despite breaking our immigration laws, they were given a free elementary and high school education. This costs the rest of us in the neighborhood of $12,000 per illegal immigrant.

Al: Is it just?

Me: Yes, but let me tell you what would be unjust. It would unjust to subsidize the college education of illegal immigrants with in-state tuition while legal residents of other states have to pay the full amount. Giving more rights to illegal immigrants than to legal citizens is very unjust.

Al:There are those who qualify their application of the ideals embodied in our Pledge of Allegiance by not extending the rights of citizenship to hardworking students.

Me: The Pledge of Allegiance reads: "I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Now if the pledge read: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice and in-state tuition and citizenship for hard working students who have disregarded our immigration laws" .... well, then I would concede the argument.

Al: RUSD do not be pressured by them. They need to be educated, not catered to.

Me: RUSD does catering? I'll have sloppy Joes, tator tots and sugar free desserts for our next tea party planning session. Want to join us Al?

Al: If the mission of RUSD is to educate all children, then we need to advocate for them and help them realize their dreams.

Me: Educate all children Al? Even citizens of foreign countries? Better double check that RUSD mission statement.

Al: Support the DREAM Act.

Me: Dream on.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Trust Us

The Journal Times has a commentary today warning readers to be aware of impending political spin as November 2nd approaches. As an antidote they suggest, you guessed it, reading the Journal Times. Who needs The Onion?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Universalist Truth

The Racine Post has a little article centered around a statement issued by Racine's Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church. Read the article here. The church issued the following statement:

“We, the undersigned members and friends of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, along with Unitarian Universalists throughout the country, stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and their right to the free exercise of their religion in these United States. We deplore the senseless destruction of their places of worship and we denounce all acts of intolerance against Islam and other religions. We support the right of Muslims and those of all religions, as affirmed in the U.S. Constitution, to worship in their faith tradition.”

Should read:

We, the undersigned members and friends of the Olympia Brown Universalist Church, along with Unitarian Universalists throughout the country, stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and their right to the free exercise of their religion in these United States. We will continue to pretend as though there are serious efforts to curtail the free exercise of religion by Muslims in this country. We will continue to actively ignore the real issue at hand, that is, whether it is highly insensitive of Muslims to build an enormous mosque so near to the former World Trade Center grounds and the national tragedy inflicted upon us by radical Muslims. In taking this difficult and courageous stand, we will demonstrate once again our moral superiority to the unenlightened masses.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Tea Party Protesters Lack Diversity

I just came back from Racine's Tea Party gathering. I will leave it to the mainstream press to accurately characterize the event and the participants. I want to focus on the protesters.

I was struck by the complete lack of diversity among the five protesters. They were all young white males. There was absolutely no representation from women, blacks, or Latino's - can't be sure about gays- I'm a don't ask kind of guy. Speaking of homogeneity, their hand held messages were uniformly devoid of original thought. "If you can read this, you're smarter than Sarah Palin" and "go home racist sexist homophobes" and similar deep thoughts.

On second thought, they did use a variety of bright and cheery colors for their hateful messaging.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Free Merchandise Offer

Regular readers of Free Racine probably know that I own a business downtown and that I rarely mention it by name on this blog as I prefer to separate my business interests from my political interests as much as possible.

Today however I am faced with an awkward dilemma. There is a rather large Tea Party rally scheduled for downtown Racine tomorrow and merchants have been asked to give a symbolic tax break (note to WI Department of Revenue, I really mean a discount) of 5.1% to customers.

I normally participate in any and all downtown events but this one has a decidedly political tone about it despite claims to contrary. Additionally, the attendants are regularly met with scorn and accusations of racism, sexism, homophobism, Islamaphobism etc... from a good portion of the electorate. I would rather not have my business associated with those disgusting attributes.

So what to do? I am damned if I participate and damned if I don't.

I think I have a solution. Yes, I will offer a 5.1% discount to any and all customers on Saturday. But in an effort to distance myself from the ism and phobia crowd, I will make an even better offer to their detractors. I hereby announce, in a spirit of nonpartisan inclusiveness, free merchandise, yes you read that correctly, free merchandise, 100% off, to anyone and everyone who can prove that they are not, pick one, a racist or a sexist or an Islamaphobe or a homophobe.

Dimple's LLC is located at 416 Main Street, downtown Racine.