Leave It To Peever

­­ Bumper sticker of the week: Ask your kids what they want for dinner only if they're buying.

­­ Quote of the week: ''The Senate needs to leave enough money in the proposed budget to not only reduce all marginal rates, but to eliminate the death tax, so that people who build up assets are able to transfer them from one generation to the next, regardless of a person's race.'' George W., April 5, 2001.

''You teach a child to read, and he or she will be able to pass a literacy test.'' George W., Feb. 21, 2001.

­­ Speaking of educational testing. How about these high-stake, standardized tests? They're everywhere. Recently Illinois developed its own. Of course, they didn't take much time validating it. But the politicians are happy. Now they can judge how smart our kiddies are. Or how dumb they are. Or how ineffective the teachers are. Or I suppose they could blame the whole thing on the parents, but we'd only tell them to stuff it. The teachers don't have the nerve. The kiddies don't have the rank. Anyway, these high-stake tests are now the key to a school's financial future, at times are used to determine whether a child needs to be held back, (flunking a student has never been shown to be intelligent), and the results could perhaps cost a teacher his/her job. Here's some creative ways to beat this politically testing stupidity:

1.Teachers can begin to teach students how to take tests. In particular, standardized tests. How about specific standardized tests? This will help the students score higher, resulting in everyone's life being better. Hopefully the students won't have to write their names on the test.

2.Anyone who cannot learn how to take tests will have to go to special ed. Kids in special ed do not have to take standardized tests, for obvious reasons.

3.Let bad students, especially those who are not good at taking tests, drop out of school. Or better yet, kick them out. Kids who aren't in school don't take standardized tests, for obvious reasons.

If the kids would refuse to submit themselves to such political, bureaucratic, bean-counter nonsense, it would prove them to be much smarter than all of us.

­­ With the election of George W., although I prefer to call it an appointment, I am declaring the entire United States suicidal. Here are some of his major accomplishments during his first 111 days in office:--

Luckily, he took about 85 of them off.--

After repeated attempts, he was able to find the White House. It was not in Austin like he thought.--

A tax refund for the rich. Just the other day I was thinking how much better off we would all be if only the rich got a little richer.--

How about drilling oil wells in one of the most delicate ecosystems remaining in the world. After all, it's estimated there is enough oil in upper Alaska to supply us with oil for about two and one half days. George swears his oil-drilling buddies will be careful. How reassuring.--

Speaking of oil, gas prices are at an all-time high in the U.S. I'm sure this is some terrible coincidence.--

The Kyoto Treaty is out. George thinks it's some kind of commie plot. Actually, his friends don't like talking about limiting atmospheric pollutants. Gives them nightmares. Scientists don't know nothing when it comes to global warming.--

Mr. Bush thinks perhaps the National Academy of Sciences was a bit hasty in declaring arsenic in drinking water as unsafe. He has decided he once again knows better than all those lame scientists. He suggests allowing 50 parts arsenic per billion, rather than 10 parts, a safety measure adopted by the European Union in 1998. It only took him 5 months to become smarter than all those dumb scientists.--

Rather than the government providing social services, let's give money to Christian groups to do the same thing. This is one of his crazier ideas, but it has some appeal to me. Weik's Worldly Works is prepared to do good wherever good is needed, provided the price is right.--

Let people invest their social security in the stock market. This particular idea appeals to George's rich Wall Street friends. They would have billions of new dollars to play with. Of course, they would take their appropriate cut.--

A Missile Defense System. This will cost us an estimated $250 billion dollars, which means more like gazillions. No scientist in the world believes it will work. None, except those that work for the four largest defense contractors.--

For the last 8 years, Republicans have been crying about all the federal judges. There are too many, we don't need to fill all these vacancies. Suddenly that has all changed. Now they can't find enough right-wing lawyers fast enough. An all out attack will be made on the abortion laws, labor laws, pollution laws, civil rights laws, freedom of speech laws, right to sue laws, church and state separation laws, anti-trust laws, privacy laws, Miranda laws, and any laws having to do with the rich paying taxes.

The only redeeming thing about the first 111 days is that at least that much of the pain is over. My grade for his effort: D.

­­ It's nice to be back out on the front porch. People go by and honk and wave. I'm never quite sure whether they're waving or giving me the finger. Either way, I feel pretty good about it.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online May 8, 2001

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