Tag Archives: Merry Christmas

The Cat in the Hat Supports Initiative 42

I do not understand.
Why they say no way.
They signed on the line;
They agreed to pay.

But state Legislators refuse
To honor their education promise.
It doesn’t make sense
When it is such a simple premise!

See, it works like this,
Politicians make law
That everyone must follow
Even politicians and in-laws.

So, why the fuss?
It’s law; honor it!
Not to, doesn’t make sense
Not one little bit!

And then
Uncurling from his mat
Stretched and stood the Cat in the Hat!

We looked!
“It’s time,” said the Cat in the Hat.
We looked!
And saw a petition
In the hand of the Cat in the Hat!
And he said to us,
“Enough is enough, it’s as simple as that!”

“I know it’s hard,
And it won’t be easy.
So, don’t be afraid,
And please don’t get queasy!”

“We’ll place a petition on the ballot,”
Said the cat.
“For education we’ll take a stand.”
Said the Cat in the Hat.
“It’s the only option left to do.
Education won’t be adequately funded
Without Initiative 42.”

The teachers and children
Did not know what to say;
They’d never had a friend
To look after them that way.

But Governor Bryant said, “No! No!
Make that cat go away!
Tell that Cat in the Hat
We ain’t gonna pay!
He should not be here.
He should not be about!
He should not be here
Somebody please kick him out!”

“Now! Now! Have no fear.
Have no fear!” said the cat.
“It’s not a trick; it’s not bad,”
Said the Cat in the Hat.
“A little petition is all it is
With nearly 200,000 Mississippi names
Standing up for education
Tired of playing political games!”

“Throw it out!” said Tate Reeves.
“It’s not fair; not fair at all!”
“Throw it out!” cried Phillip Gunn.
“Initiative 42 will lead to our fall!”

“Have no fear!” said the cat.
“Initiative 42 rights a wrong.
Do your job, nothing to fear;
See a judge if the same old song.
Fund education as you promised,
And let that be that.
Fund education! We’ll leave you alone,”
Said the Cat in the Hat.

“Two can play that game!”
Said Reeves and Gunn.
“We’ll add confusion to the mix!
Initiative 42A will make it fun!”

“Look at this!
Look what you’ve done!” said the cat.
“The people don’t know if they’re between the A or T
Much less where they’re AT!
Should they choose 42 or 42A?
My oh my, what should they do?
You’re the Grinches who stole Christmas!
Mr. Gunn and Reeves, shame on you!

And look!
Now they’re running TV ads
That would scare even Stephen King!
Just to make Initiative 42 look bad!

Oh, no.
That is not all…
They tell us a black Democrat judge
Will cause Mississippi to fall!
He’ll spend school money as he pleases,
He’ll give it to his favorite schools!
And they tell us this
Because they think we’re all fools!

“But, have no fear,”
Said the cat.
“Initiative 42 is on the ballot,”
Said the Cat in the Hat.
“The ballot may look tricky,
But Mississippians are not fools;
They will see through the smoke
And vote for Initiative 42!”

The teachers and children
Did not know what to say;
They’d never had a friend
To look after them that way.

Adapted from The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss by Jack Linton (October 24, 2015)

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Thank You for a Great Year: My Christmas Wish List for Mississippi Education

This will be my last blog for 2014, so I want to close the year by saying thank you to everyone who took time to read the articles. A year ago this month I set a goal to write and publish at least one blog/article per week. I wanted to write at least 52 articles that would get at least 1,500 views/readers by the end of 2014. To date, the weekly blogs have received 11,416 views and counting. I don’t know if this number is good for a blog, but it is so much more than I expected that it blows me away, but regardless of the number, I am honored and humbled by the readers who followed and shared my blogs throughout the year.

The topics varied from nonsense to serious issues, but whatever the topic, I did not shy away from stating my opinion. There were a few who took exception with my outlook, but many more voiced their support. I say thank you to both groups: Thank you to those who took exception with my views and caused me to slow down and look at things from a different perspective; and, a special thank you goes to those who supported me and gave me the encouragement and courage to keep writing. One thing I learned through this process is that the daily headlines are a great source for writing topics, but it takes a lot of work to go beyond the headlines to discover a new topic or angle week after week. Yet, my goal was not to just find a topic, but to create a piece that would make the reader think, smile, or stop and say, “What the hell?” If I failed to do any of those, I failed as a writer by leaving the reader indifferent. Hopefully that did not happen, but if it did, I apologize, and thank the readers who stuck with me.

Looking back over the 52 blogs, it is easy to see that at least half dealt with education. That is understandable since I spent 37 years in education as a teacher, coach, and administrator, but even more important I believe education is one of the most crucial issues facing Mississippi. So, I decided to visit the topic one more time for this last blog and share my Christmas Wish List for Mississippi Education. Of course, the greatest single thing that could happen for education would be for everyone to put their differences aside and work together for the common good of all children in Mississippi. Who knows, maybe Santa Clause has a miracle in his bag for 2015 – stranger things have happened.

My Christmas Wish List for Mississippi Education:

  1. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for Mississippi legislators to make education a priority and fully fund education;
  2. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for Obamaphobia to not get in the way of doing what is best for our children’s education;
  3. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for state political leaders and educators to stop looking at each other as adversaries and begin working together for what is best for the education of our children. Of course, the only way that will happen is for state educators and state legislators to learn to trust and respect each other;
  4. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor as well as all Mississippi Legislators to listen to state educators from the State Superintendent on down who have embraced Common Core Standards as what is best for our children. After all, the educators are the experts;
  5. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for the Common Core naysayers to look at the standards before accepting everything negative they read on the Internet or hear through the grapevine as Common Core gospel;
  6. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for our political leaders to put their political ambitions aside and do what is best for our children’s education;
  7. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for Mississippi educators to present a united front and let their voices be heard loudly and clearly in support of what is academically best for children; and
  8. ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS is for all Mississippians regardless of their stand on Common Core Standards or any other education issue to put their politics and differences aside and have a joyous and Merry Christmas with their families and friends while remembering the birth of Christ as the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas to all who made this blog writing experiment a success in 2014, and may God bless each of you and your family during this joyous season!

JL

©Jack Linton, December 17, 2014

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays

I don’t mean to offend, but . . . .

Over the past few years there has been a lot of controversy over some people and businesses opting for “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.”  Angry words have often resulted along with threats of boycotts, but little has changed, and both are still being used.  Personally, I prefer “Merry Christmas” because Christ is what the holidays are all about although the birth of our savior is often lost amid the lights, glitter, shopping, and giving and receiving of gifts.  I have serious doubts if there would even be any holidays during December if not for the Christ story.  If not for Christmas what would there be to celebrate during a month filled with rain, snow, cold, and just plain yucky dreary looking days – very little.  It would be just another month like January and February with little to celebrate other than the college football national championship, the Super Bowl, and boxes of little sugar hearts inscribed with “Be my valentine.”  I enjoy all three, but none of them bring forth the feeling of “good will to men” that is felt during the Christmas season.

Face it; Christmas puts us in the mood for “giving” and “family.”  Despite its hustle and bustle, it reminds of us of the innocence of childhood, the magic of believing in miracles, and the comfort of knowing we are so loved that our creator sacrificed his only son to ensure a home for each of us in his kingdom.  As long as Christians keep these things in their hearts, it doesn’t matter that a few people or businesses use “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” In fact, if every Christian kept the spirit of Christmas in his or her heart, there would be so many fires burning for Christ, no business would dare not have “Merry Christmas” in every window in their stores.   I may be wrong, but my faith in God tells me I am right when I say there is little good that can come from getting angry about someone using “Happy Holidays” rather than “Merry Christmas.”  Why should I let the actions of others ruin my Christmas?

My point is that it is not worth losing your Christmas spirit over someone using holiday phrasing that may make you cringe and get angry every time you hear it.  From what I read about Christ, I believe he would have prayed for these people, but I do not believe he would have been overly upset at their word selection.  My knowledge of Christ leads me to believe it is more important for each of us to keep the spirit of Christmas in our own hearts and not judge someone else for how he or she chooses to celebrate or acknowledge Christmas.  The most powerful witness we can give is through our actions and how we live our lives – not in what we say or don’t say.  Besides, I do not believe it is humanly possible to say “Happy Holidays” without thinking of Christmas, and isn’t that what we want at Christmas – to keep Christmas in the hearts and minds of men?  So, though I prefer “Merry Christmas,” I would like to wish each and every individual and business “Happy Holidays” and a “Merry Christmas,” as well as challenge anyone saying “Happy Holidays” not to think about Christmas.  You see, I believe whether you say “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Christmas is on your mind, and that is what God intended from the beginning.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

JL

Copyright © 2013 Jack Linton