Tag Archives: tongue in cheek

Six Quick Questions for President Clinton or President Trump

The name calling, theatrics, and worrying are almost over.  After nearly two years of scandal, controversy, and boisterous policies that often beneath their rumbustious surfaces lacked sensitivity and understanding of the fears and vulnerability of the American people, the race for the Presidency of the United States is thankfully coming to an end.  Political campaigns traditionally offer little substance, but the 2016 campaign will most likely go down in history as the loudest campaign with the least substance of all.  Fortunately, come Tuesday, voters will decide which of the two most despised presidential candidates in history will lead the nation for the next four years.  Some will rejoice for the victor, but most will sigh in relief that it is over regardless who wins.

Wednesday morning, November 9, will definitely bring a sense of relief and hopefully peace.  In America’s most contentious and bombastic election, the American people have been played and manipulated to the fullest.  They have been baptized in ignorance, misinformation, and deception to the point they are disgusted with the whole ugly process.  The credibility of both political parties has been greatly compromised and both will most likely be stained for years to come.  Most people will agree, it would have taken a complete “do over” to lend any credibility to the campaign, but that was impossible once the political machine was rolling.

Politics have always been about sleeping in the bed you make, and unfortunately, during the 2016 presidential campaign, the people were forced to sleep in the lumpiest, most bizarre, uncomfortable political bed of all time.  Millions tuned into the news and social media each evening hoping to gain insight into a campaign that often resembled caricatures of the blind leading the blind.  During a campaign conducted more for the benefit of the two parties than the American people, few of the voters’ questions were answered in a sincerely honest way on either side of the fence.  Their questions and concerns were lost under the smoking cover of deleted emails, lies, misinformation, barroom antics, and locker room talk.   As a result, America is likely to remain doomed to crawl under this rhetorical fog for at least the next four years and possibly much longer.  Therefore, in one last attempt to get some clarity, there are six questions, as legitimate as the 2016 campaign itself, that the winner needs to address before he or she takes a two month hiatus from the public to begin the transition to the White House.  The questions may be uncomfortable, but no more so than the discomfort experienced by most Americans during the travesty of the election campaign.

Questions for Mr. or Mrs. President

  1. A question for the Democrats if they win the White House: President Clinton, how do you plan to convince America you know the difference between the truth and buggering the truth?
  2. A question for the Republicans if they win the White House:  President Trump, if you put a stop to immigration, what will become of IHOP?
  3. A question for the Democrats if they win the White House:  President Clinton, to qualify for the tax breaks you promised middle class families, how do I set myself up as a non-profit organization similar to the Clinton Foundation?”
  4. A question for the Republicans if they win the White House:  President Trump, how do I set myself up as business corporation to avoid your middle class tax increase and take advantage of your proposed corporate tax cuts?
  5. A question for the Democrats if they win the White House:  President Clinton, this presidential campaign has shaken America to its core, and exposed American insecurities.  How will you help Americans, especially those on Facebook, feel good about themselves again?  You know the ones who post such messages as – “If you are truly my friend and care about me and my dog and also my cat, you will like and paste this post to your timeline and my timeline, so I can leave you a comment;”  and
  6. A question for the Republicans if they win the White House:  President Trump, you have said climate change is not a real issue, so do you also see explorers who visit both the North Pole and South Pole as bi-polar?

To some, these questions may seem a bit shallow, but the odds of getting a legitimate deep response to any question after the election are even greater than the odds prior to the election.  Face it, the Democrat and the Republican Parties, have taken Americans for an old fashioned hayride soiled by bull poo.  Though it is highly unlikely the election process is rigged as claimed by some, it has been clear for quite some time the legitimacy of either candidate for the presidency is highly flawed at best.  The only consolation is that maybe when we tackle this process again in four years, we will pay closer attention and get it right the next time.  Until then, Americans will sleep in the bed they and their political parties, which lately only pay lip service to representing the people, have made for themselves.  The coming four years may be rocky, but we will make it through them.  How do I know?  It’s simple; there are too many deep rich pockets involved for the future of this country to go any other way.

JL

©Jack Linton, November 7, 2016

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School Free: Eliminate Public Schools in the United States

I have been thinking about the recent Mississippi vote against fully funding public school education. I realize it does little good to rehash old wounds, but sometimes a second look is warranted. That is especially true in light of the emotions that flowed so freely on both sides of the issue in the days leading up to the vote. So, putting aside the confusion caused by the ballot and the chancery judge issues that dominated the discussion prior the people’s decision, I took a second long look at the main reasons people gave for voting against fully funding education. The primary issues I looked into were school consolidation, over paid school administrators, throwing money at education, and lack of performance and fiscal accountability. Rather than focus solely on Mississippi, I decided to take it one step further and examine how Mississippi attitudes toward education compared to public attitudes of education across the nation. I am glad I did; it changed everything!

First of all, when it comes to public attitudes, I found Mississippi pretty much flows in the same direction as the rest of the nation. We also seem to be perfectly in sync with the other education bottom dwellers – Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, and Washington, D.C. I found the negative attitudes displayed toward public education by so many Mississippi voters differed little from attitudes toward public education in other parts of the nation. Like most of the nation, Mississippi is facing an education crisis spurred by a thinly disguised Republican agenda to privatize public schools, a movement for greater parental choice in education decisions, and an unwavering belief that the public knows more about what is best educationally for their children than educators. In addition, the overall lack of political and public respect for public schools as well as the political and public resolve to influence, dictate, and control the selection and development of local and state school curriculums appears to be common across the states. What truly bothered me though was the discovery of a deep underlying – unspoken – opinion held by many in the political arena as well as the public that suggested the United States would be better off by eliminating ALL public schools!

After years of lackluster academic performance, it appears the public’s respect and trust of public education falls somewhere between their respect and trust of politicians, TV evangelists, and used car salesmen. In seems, many people in the public believe they can do better teaching their children at home than public school teachers can in the classroom, so they question the existence of public schools. Of course, as an educator, I regarded such reasoning as nonsense, but after immersing myself further into the issues, I came to the realization that maybe they are right. Maybe, it is time that as a nation, we face the possibility that public schools have outlived their purpose. If we are honest with ourselves, public schools today exist primarily for childcare, sports, free lunches, and of course, testing. Even academic courses, to create jobs and sustain student interest, have been subdivided and disemboweled to the point of irrelevance. When lack of subject substance and continuity is meshed with the present public school focus on social interactions, celebrations, playtime, political correctness, and curriculums we dare not make too challenging, we are left with little more than a hypothetical school. Again, let’s be honest, that game can be played at home with less expensive overhead than public classrooms. Current politics, local pandering, inclusiveness, and permissiveness have left many public schools little more than thirteen years of leveled kindergarten with a senior year that according to the public should exclusively be about having fun and building memories.

So, yes, maybe there is credibility to the idea of eliminating public schools altogether. With the Internet, cell phones, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and texting, children have little need for the social aspect of school anymore, and the academic possibilities and resources available online far exceed what many underfunded and understaffed public schools can offer. Regardless of parental income level, the Internet is available with very few exceptions in homes via a connected computer, smart TV, Ipad, or data linked cell phone, so why do parents need to send their children to school? For a fraction of the cost of what parents spend on local school taxes, school supply lists, workbooks, monthly school fundraisers, school field trips, school uniforms, and private tutoring lessons, they can have everything a school can offer in the comfort of their homes or the public library, and still have time to drop the kids off at the mall for the afternoon.

This has not been easy for me to swallow, but as an educated person, I have no choice but to face this new reality. Schools are no longer relevant in America! The sooner this is accepted, the sooner we can put an end to the many school related issues handcuffing our society. Since everyone who has ever attended grade school or high school is recognized by most American political leaders as experts on what children need to know and be able to do (especially in Mississippi), the United States could easily abolish ALL public schools and save billions of dollars in education wages, salaries, and benefits. I dare say, making America “School Free” would most likely have a major positive economic and social impact on our nation. If there are any doubters, please look carefully at the following benefits . . . .

If we made America “School Free”. . . .

  1. Parents could teach their children the way they were taught;
  2. Parents could assign homework not too difficult, so they could help their children with the homework;
  3. If we made America “School Free,” the national budget could be balanced and the national debt paid off with the money saved on education;
  4. The cost of childcare for working parents could be drastically reduced. Parents could reduce childcare costs by dropping their older children off at the mall, movie theater, park, or zoo during the day. For younger children below the age of five, there would be an abundance of teenagers available and willing to babysit for a small fee since they would not be burdened by school;
  5. Eliminating public schools would drastically impact the economy for the better:
    • Revenue for businesses in malls would increase;
    • Local sales taxes would increase;
    • State money normally spent on education could be divided among other state agencies to hire extra personnel, improve services, rebuild crumbling infrastructures such as bridges, and there would even be money to build more prisons. Who knows a little extra money in the budget may even solicit a smile from the highway patrol personnel in the driver’s license office;
    • Without such expenses as school taxes, school fund raisers, and school supply lists, parents would have more money in their pockets;
    • If America was to become “school free,” unemployment numbers would spiral downwards since malls would need to hire extra security and sales floor people and more police and highway patrol personnel would be needed to patrol the streets.
  6. If We made America “School Free,” kids too cool for the mall or without transportation to the mall would have more social time on street corners;
  7. School buildings could be converted to climate control storage units, which would create additional local government revenues. Of course, the broken windows and air and heat would have to be repaired or replaced first, and better security systems would have to be installed in most public schools used for this purpose;
  8. Football and baseball stadiums as well as gyms could be turned over to local club sports. Clubs would be responsible for hiring and firing coaches at their discretion. There would be no more of the “namby-pamby” talk about character building; it would be “win or the highway” for coaches and players alike. Kids could practice eight hours a day, five days per week or even seven days a week if coaches and parents desired;
  9. There would be no testing, which means no more shaming comparisons to other schools in the state or countries around the world;
  10. Since they would no longer be needed, School buses could be parked bumper to bumper along the USA/Mexico border to provide an inexpensive wall to keep out illegal immigrants. School bus drivers could be hired full time to sit in each bus with a shotgun to repel all illegals trying to cross the border;
  11. Money saved on education could be used to create a wall of isolation around the United States. Only information and people deemed pertinent to the political agendas of the governing party or pertinent to the success of collegiate or professional athletic teams would be permitted to enter the country;
  12. The government could control all free thinking, or at least quarantine free thinking troublemakers to restricted zones in barren thinly populated areas of the country. The Democrat and Republican parties would be free to indoctrinate or brainwash the American people with any ideology that suited their agendas;
  13. Providing services such as sex education, suicide awareness, health screenings, counseling, providing for children with disabilities, and serving breakfast and lunch would once again become the moral, parenting, and monetary responsibilities of parents;
  14. State and Federal legislators could concentrate on issues such as poverty and not simply focus on the symptoms of poverty such as poor academic performance. Without public schools as a whipping boy, legislators might finally do the job they were elected to do;
  15. If we made America “School Free,” freeloading teachers would finally be forced to get real jobs like everybody else!

These are only a few of the benefits of getting rid of public schools in America. Based on the current attitudes toward public school education in Mississippi and across the United States, I am convinced the public is ready for such a move.  It is bound to happen sooner or later.  How much longer can public schools in this state and this nation exist without the confidence of the people? Public school educators have endured about all the disrespect and votes of “no confidence” they can tolerate. So, why not simply put them out of their misery and close public schools altogether? Except for Friday nights in the fall, I wonder if public schools would even be missed.

JL

©Jack Linton, December 14, 2015

Why Babies are Bald?

In the beginning there were many animals and only one man and one woman. The man and woman had no worries at all. The Great Spirit protected them, did all their shopping, and paid all the bills. They lived in a perfect world except for one little problem; they were jealous of the animals. The Great Spirit created the animals with thick warm fur and long majestic manes, but the man and woman felt slighted since they had been created with cheap shiny bald heads that burned badly under the summer sun and turned a purplish color during the winter cold. They looked anything but majestic; they looked more like land lobsters during the summer and varicose veins on stilts during the winter.

Baldness became a real issue for the humans. It became an even bigger problem than the sneaky serpent who flirted with the woman by throwing apples at her when she walked by his tree. That problem had been relatively easy to fix. The man asked the Great Spirit to speak to the serpent. The serpent was warned to leave the woman alone, but when the serpent proved too smitten with her to heed the warning, the Great Spirit removed the serpent’s arms and legs and gave them to the monkey. From that day forth the serpent slid on his belly and spent his time coiled at the foot of the apple tree scheming ways to get revenge on the Great Spirit and the man and woman he protected. Meanwhile, the monkey swung through the trees by his tail, learned to use his new hands to hold bananas, and since he could not figure any other use for his new legs, he practiced long hours to learn how to walk erect, which thousands of years later caused a great deal of confusion as to the origins of man.

As time passed, the man and woman grew cranky and mean and hardly spoke to each other. Every time they looked at each other, their bald heads reminded them how inferior they looked compared to the majestic animals. The day came when they could no longer stand the sight of each other; even their reflections in the rivers and streams made them ill.  Finally, they became so depressed that they sought professional help, but to their dismay they discovered professionals had yet to be invented.

Their depression became so deep that the Great Spirit began to worry about them, so he called all his buddies and the apprentice spirits to a great council fire called the Council of the Bald Knob. At the Council of the Bald Knob, a plan was devised to help the man and woman. In the spring, the Great Spirit gathered clay, the silk of the silk worm, the yellow rays of the sun, the curl of an Easter lily, and molded them along with a piece of his heart into a tiny being he called a child. The child with its head full of curly yellow hair and a manual called The Instruction Book were given to the man and woman. The Instruction Book not only provided hair care instructions, but it was filled with advice for raising children.

The woman was thrilled, but the man became very suspicious of her and the child. He refused to believe the child was his since it looked nothing like him. After all, the child had a full head of hair, but the man and the woman were bald, so how could the child be his? Of course the child was his; who else could it belong to, but unfortunately, the man refused to listen to reason. Nevertheless, the arrival of the child and his beautiful head of hair lifted the woman’s spirits; the child with his beautiful mane was more majestic than any animal she had ever seen.

While the woman doted over the child, the unreasonable man continued to deny the child was his and sank deeper and deeper into depression. The woman tried desperately to reason with him, but he was convinced he had been wronged and nothing she said could persuade him otherwise. Finally, the woman had enough and kicked him out of the cave they had shared since the Great Spirit created them. Meanwhile, the Great Spirit became very concerned that the man and the woman’s separation could play havoc with his time schedule for populating the earth, so he re-convened the Council of the Bald Knob, which he renamed the Council of the Bald Knob II. The Council had two objectives: help the foolish man cope with fatherhood whether he was ready or not, and convince the woman to take the foolish man back. After great deliberation, the Council finally agreed on a solution.

The following spring the Great Spirit sent the man and the woman a second son, but this time the child was bald like the man and the woman. The man was ecstatic; he passed out cigars to all the animals and partied for three days. He embraced his new son, and apologized over and over to the woman for doubting her, and pleaded for her forgiveness. Since he was the only erect walking option around, the woman forgave him and let him back into the cave. The foolish man learned his lesson and never doubted her again, and just to be make sure, from that day forward all babies were born bald, and even to this day most babies are bald or mostly bald at birth.

JL

©Jack Linton, November 29, 2014