It's FIVE Oclock In The Morning – Dammit! (or) What Did I Ever Do To Montezuma, (or) The Epiphany!!!

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OK. So I know I promised to post some details concerning the stuff that I’ve been doing as a student teacher, and you haven’t seen me write a damned thing… Well, this is not that post!

This is a post about the future… and my intestines, and how it all fits together.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been telling my students that one of the reasons why I love history is that, at some point while I was studying the stuff, I saw how it all fits together – how one thing leads to another and another and another ad-nauseum…

It’s All CONNECTED!!!

Example – we’ve been covering the 1920’s which includes the flappers. Why did the flapper phenom occur. There are lots of reasons; more women worked and had a disposable income, shorter work days, ease of travel with the growth of automobile ownership, etc. Two things stand out for me. One is the new invention of unsecured credit, a new idea implemented in the 20’s. Because you didn’t have to pay out a lump sum of cash to buy something, like a car, you could live a much more carefree lifestyle and live far beyond the standard of your parents (compare my generation to the kids now, who all have cell phones, iPods, and $200 dollar sneakers and you get the idea), combined with the advent of the 19’th amendment, giving women the right to vote, was incredibly liberating. Kids alway want to rebel against their parents (my generation had punk rockers and glammers), and what better way as a young woman than to wear revealingly short shirts and tons of make-up and go out all night and party, something young women growing up at the turn of the century could never have done without terrible public scorn. With out the social and economic changes that occurred before and at the start of the 20’s, that era may not be remembered as the Roaring Twenties.

So, I’ll skip to now. One of the reasons you haven’t heard boo from me is that I came down with a nasty case of food poisoning – complete with stuff coming out all ends. Monday through Tuesday morning was vomit day (two words I love in the English language are the onomatopoeias Vomit and Puke – they sound like what they are). Yesterday, all seemed to get back to normal. But what I didn’t count on, was that, because I had eaten nothing for a day and a halve, I hadn’t given the plumbing a thought because, well, it had nothing to do and nothing to do it with. Well yesterday afternoon, after I had had my first full meal in two days, and just before I had to finish a spa job postponed on Monday – Surprise!!! I don’t know what I did to piss off Montezuma, but it must have been pretty bad, ’cause man it was just flowing like a high pressure soda fountain…

STOP! STOP!! STOP IT!!!

This post is getting pretty gross, you may be thinking. Yes it is. But it has a point.

It’s All CONNECTED!!!

You see, for the past week I have been struggling with the concept of the first lesson plan I had to design and implement in the classroom. It has been vexing me. But, as Keith Richards will tell you, sometimes you come up with the best ideas in the middle of the night (he got Satisfaction at three in the morning). I had a hard time sleeping, mostly out of fear that my intestines would keep me up all night long. They didn’t, but my anxiety did – how that for logic. Anyway, while I was laying in bed, it all came to me… well not all, but the start. I now know how I’m going to put together my first, AND last, lesson plan, one that will adapt to both classes I am going to teach – U. S. and World History.

It’s All CONNECTED!!!

“You Say You Want A Revolution….” That is my theme. Why? I was trying to figure out how to bridge the gap between subjects in U. S. and World History, and realized the revolution is one of the things they both have in common. It can be political, social, economic, you name it. And there are things that have to have happened in the past that stirs the revolutionary pot. In a nutshell, I’m going to have the students draw a two page timeline of the periods the have been studying this semester (1900 – 1930), and extend it through to the present. I’m going to start with the present and have them list the most important things happening in the here and now – the global war on terror / Iraq, the prospect of electing the first woman or black president in U. S. history, cell phones, you name it. I’ll show them how things that happened in the past, whether in the last decade, or the last century, are vital to all they know and experience now. I’m going to make history personal to each of them. Throughout the semester, as they cover each decade, they will fill in the timeline with the some of the important stuff they learn as we cover each decade. There will be three accompanying pages were they will list, as they go through the semester, the different things that affect history as it progresses. At the end of the semester, the very last assignment will be a Mind Map (look it up) of the four basic concepts that drive our daily lives – economics, politics, technological, and cultural – and have them draw out at least three things from each group, each from a different decade or period, that affects their lives today.

Damned I’m tired. Oh well. Too bad. Gotta go get ready for school.

"Nevermind…"

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Ron Paul has been in the political news quite a bit lately, because of a New Republic piece unearthing a series of news letters that were published in his name over the coarse of twenty some years, featuring many racists and homophobic rants. The articles in question contained no bylines, so the identity of the author who penned the fowl features is not known at this time. Yesterday, Paul was interviewed by Wolf Blitzer on CNN, and gave a spirited defense that I think absolves him of the question of authorship. Toward the end of the interview, Ron Paul states that he is against the drug war, which has resulted in a disproportionate number of African Americans going to prison on non-violent drug possession charges, and he supports the immediate release of those convicted of that crime. He states that he could not be a racist and support that position. He also challenges Blitzer to find any quote by him that shows any racist tendencies. Paul is firm and is convincing here.

There are, however, parts of Paul’s defense that I must question.

Paul says that the publication was not run by him, and the writings do not reflect his views. He says he did not pay attention to, and was not aware of, the contents of the newsletters in question because he was busy, either serving in his private practice, or serving as a congressman….. If I was allowing someone other than myself to publish stuff under the Sonicfrog.net monicur, I would want to know what was published in my name, I would make sure it was clear any second party contributions to this blog do not reflect my POV, and I would make sure the readers understood this to be the case. Anyone who wrote something stupid and blatantly offensive (OK, my blatherings ARE often intellectually offensive, but it’s my stuff, deal with it) would not be permitted to continue using my name.

Is it possible he didn’t see the articles in question? It’s possible. But I find it hard to believe that there was not ONE person within Paul’s inner circle of friends, business connections, or political contributors or advisors that did not know about the letter or it’s contents; that there was no-one who would bring these putrid diatribes to his attention. The Economist makes a point of the fact that the publishing company that produced the letter was run by Paul’s long time campaign manager, Mark Elam, though I will caution there is no indication so far that the guy published the newsletter during the period in question. There is also a lot of talk about the probability that Lew Rockwell was the ghost writer of many of the articles in question. From the Economist:

…it was an open secret during the late-80s and early-90s who was ghostwriting the portions of Mr Paul’s newsletters not penned by the congressman himself: Lew Rockwell, founder of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, and members of his staff, among them Jeffrey Tucker, now editorial vice president of the Institute.

He denies it, and he may be telling the truth. But both of the men cited above have been long involved in Paul’s political career, and appear to have been involved in some capacity with the Ron Paul Newsletter, and are also adherents of a specific brand of libertarianism that garners a limited following. This type of political camaraderie often stick close together and watches each others back; “an attack on the one is an attack on us all”. So far, I see no proof that these guys were directly involved in the production of the articles in question; it all looks like innuendo. But I would like to know this; how could someone publish this kind of clap-trap in a widely distributed letter with your name on it, it goes on for ten to fifteen years, and not one of your friends or political allies ever sees it and brings it to your attention?

What is my take on this? I find it hard to believe that the ghostwriter is not known, or could not easily be identified by the Paul camp. Although I don’t believe that Paul wrote the offensive letters, it does appear that Paul knows who it is, and, for whatever reason, he is protecting the identity of that person. Right before the Iowa caucus, I wrote that he would be the Republican I would support if I were to vote for a Republican. In a nutshell, here was my reason why:

I like the guy, maybe simply because he is a rebel, a nonconformist within his party, and is not afraid to stand for what he believes. How very rare that is in modern politics. For all his faults, he would be an honest broker.

In my mind, Ron Paul has lost the appearance of being an honest broker. So, for what it’s worth, I hereby withdraw my endorsement, and offer this little video to commemorate the un-endorsing of Paul…

[youtube V3FnpaWQJO0]

 

It's Four Oclock In The Morning – Dammit!

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Well, 417 to be exact. I woke up about an hour ago and couldn’t get back to sleep. It’s partly from the chicken burrito I ate last night – no need to say more – but it’s mostly about the HUGE change that is about to occur in my life. Monday morning, my life changes, completely, irreversibly. I start the final step in the process of becoming a high school history teacher – I start my student teaching. For those not familiar with the world of education, student teaching is much like an apprenticeship, where you serve under a master teacher and learn the skills of the art of teaching. I have been a substitute teacher for a year, and I have learned a lot about classroom management, but this will be different. As a Sub, you are kind of a fill-in, where most of the hard work, such as lesson preparation, has been done for you. Now I will, in a couple of weeks, become responsible for producing lesson plans that meet all the criteria of the California state standards, grading assignments, being a psychologists, nurse, and everything else that goes with the job of teaching.

I’m not sure if I’m making alot of sense or describing my thoughts on this subject as well as I normally could – it is four in the morning after all. But I’ll do the best I can. My mood lately has been a see saw, where at one point, the logical part of my personality knows I will do fine, as I don’t start teaching for a couple of weeks, and will have plenty of time to get up to speed. Then there are other times where the mystery of this new unknown adventure on which I am about to embark becomes almost overwhelming. Usually my dreams don’t seem to have squat to do with my daily life – kinda like the time I dreamt (is that a word?) I was shot and killed on the Mexican border for trying to smuggle fine imported Italian spaghetti across the border, and then came back to life as a cartoon dog! I don’t know; I can’t explain; my brain is a mystery to me too!!! Anyway, tonight’s episode made more sense, what little I can remember of it. I awoke with lasting image of having to cross a fifty foot chasm, one hundred miles deep, on a flimsy looking bridge made of nothing but toothpicks! However, I’m not sure or can’t remember what business Don Henley had being there…

Bass Players Untie!!!!

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…. er, I mean “UNITE”!!!

Bass players everywhere finally find their candidate, and you’re going to deny us this? We knew Sid Vicious and Sting were foreign-born, and that Dee Dee Ramone was unelectable; Geddy Lee was terrible on the stump and Krist Novoselic was a one-issue pony on Bosnia.

But with Huckabee, finally an electable bass player. You and the MSM are conspiring to get this wrong and rob us of our time.

Stolen From: Sully.

Blogiversary Maintenance – Lorikeets

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As promised, for the New Year and the third year Blogiversary, I am cleaning up some stuff here at Sonicfrog. I have removed a few links, some of bloggers that have stopped blogging, and some that have links on other blogs I often visit. I will be adding some new ones too. Here are a few:

GrrlScientists – This is a blog focuses on science (obviously) but includes some politics and personal bits as well. The “Grrl Scientist” in question is Dev, and used to run The Lory List, an e-mail newsgroup which provided a forum for lorikeet and parrot owners. The group of people on the site were invaluable fountains of helpful information when we got our first lorikeet – a green nape lory name Emmet…

[youtube Ymhl2ahht4U]

When Emmet died in 2000, the friends on the list really helped us deal with our loss. It’s amazing how much these little creatures become a part of your life. We got Miss Bird, or black capped lory, through another friend on the site. Here she is when we were bringing her home.

[youtube 7O-XC50zqF0]

Loniinae.Com – This is a site run by Matt, one of the guys we used to talk to on the Lory List. He now runs the Lorikeet Exhibit at the Houston Zoo.

There will be more new links soon, but I’m getting hungry and have to go eat.

"Even kooky, ignorant rapist-pardoning goober preachers can play the bass."

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This sort of funny yet lame comment, the quality of which you’d expect to find on the KOS site, from the Talk Bass ♫ forum about the Republican winner of tonights Iowa caucus. I may not be endorsing Huckabee (one two extremely devout Christian Presidents is enough in my lifetime, thanks), but from the YouTube clips I’ve seen, he’s not a bad player at all – he moves well on the neck. Now, he’s no Geddy Lee, but then, neither am I. I’m not a sax player, so I’ll have to ask around to see if those multi-instrumentalists who play both think Huck’s bass playing is on par with Bill Clinton’s sax work. Reguardless, if Huck manages to win it all, this could become a trend – Play musical instrument? You may have a leg up if you run for President!

[youtube fdtt8Gt1dfU]

☑ Obama also won tonight, and though I haven’t heard he plays any musical instruments like, say, the drums, he did beat on third placer Hillary Clinton like John Bonham’s kick drum tonight, and that thumping sound hit all the right notes for me!

PS. I just joined the Talk Bass forum, and the guy who wrote that is probably going to blast ME when he reads this post. Oh well. Sometimes I deserve some criticism too.

Sonicfrog Rocks The Caucus….

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… No I don’t. I live on the other side of the continent, but the headline sounded good so I went with it. But if I was there, and I could vote for one candidate from the two major parties, I would support…

…drum roll please…

Barack Obama and Ron Paul.

In a nutshell here is why.

I admit I don’t know much about Obama’s political leanings. I would assume he is a typical tax and spend liberal, but he impresses me non the less. It’s not just that he’s young and closer to my generation than the other candidates, though I would be lying if I said that counts for nothing, he seems to have an integrity lacking in so many of the others. About a month ago, Hillary was actively attacking him for campaign funding improprieties (if that’s not the pot calling the kettle… oh, is that racist… nevermind) and talking heads on both the left and right condemned him for not countering with an attack or retaliation based on the colorful Clinton campaign finance history (Hsu, Trie, Jun, Rosen et al). Both Rush and NYT left-wing columnist Paul Krugman have said this made him look weak. I disagree. Obama is running in the perception that he is the alternative to the common politician. Responding to the Hillary fear mongering tactics, including the combo-smear base on his Muslim upbringing and his Arabic middle name Hussein, would just lower him into the muck and destroy the attempt to show he is different from the others. I always say that I love the game of politics but hate the stench. Unlike others who deride dirty politics yet roll in the slop like pigs, Obama is truly trying to play it clean. He has resisted the pressure to throw mud. He has remained calm and centered through the storm. For me, actions speak much louder than word, and Obama has acted well,… gasp… almost Presidential. It would be nice to have a President like that.

A lot of people deride Ron Paul as bat-shit-crazy because some of his ideas are, well, bat-shit-crazy! Lets take Paul’s stance on free trade and his aversion to the Federal Reserve. He wants to abolish both. Free trade does have it’s drawback – in its current implementation, it is neither free or fair. It promotes low wages and poor working conditions in some instances. But the growth of commerce around the world does provide more affordable goods to all, provides jobs to those that world normally have nothing, and acts as a buffer against both war – China’s economy would be crippled if relations with the US went sour; and economic downturns – when things are bad in one place there is always someplace else where it’s not.

I have not thoroughly studied Paul’s argument for trashing the Fed Res, but I do know that this has been tried before, by Andrew Jackson when he refused to charter the National Bank system, the precursor to the modern Fed Res. That, along with the Jackson backed Speicie Circular Act destabilized the economy and resulted in a severe depression from 1837 through 1843. Paul, like Jackson before him, wants to tie the value of the dollar to gold, a change from it’s policy based value determinant. The price of gold right now is at $863 per troy oz., while the value of the dollar on the foreign exchange market is low. Changing the dollar to the gold standard would be hyper inflationary, to say the least. Higher gas prices are not so much a concern, since wages would also rise with this change. The problem with gold based currency is, and always has been, the availability of the stuff. All it would take is for some crafty investor to find a way around the safeguards and corner the gold market, then you would see all hell break lose economically. It’s been done before, which is why the modern dollar is not held hostage to a commodity such as gold. Ah! History is a beautiful thing!

So I am not in Paul’s camp on economics, which is one of the most important issues to me. There are many reasons not to vote for him, the best roundup can be found here. So why support him? Because he is neither a “borrow and spend” politician like the current administration, or a “tax and spend” liberal; he is in the “don’t spend so you don’t have to borrow or tax” camp (along with ten other congressmen at most). I like Paul because I know EXACTLY where he stands, not just on one issue, but most everything else. Where everyone else in the GOP is trying to run from their record (Huckabee on illegal immigrants), or pandering to the evangelicals (Romney on past support of abortion and gay unions) or the rabid GWOT crowd, (Guliani, though I do give him kudos for not pulling a Romney on abortion). Paul, a libertarian, is not wavering on his positions one bit. Some have criticized him for not believing in evolution and wanting to abolish the Dept. of Education, or not supporting federally funded abortion, or not supporting this federal program or that, blah, blah, blah… He believes in states rights vs federal govt. He’s a libertarian. Duh! He is, for better or for worse, who he is. Most of his ideas would get no more than, say, five votes in congress, and many of his ideas just wouldn’t work in the constructs of the modern age. Still, I like the guy, maybe simply because he is a rebel, a nonconformist within his party, and is not afraid to stand for what he believes. How very rare that is in modern politics. For all his faults, he would be an honest broker.

Happy New Year, A Day Late And A Dollar…

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So, it’s a new year. I am starting the year off by linking to the Sonic-Mate’s Blog – Greg’s Big Fat Head. He has promised, sort of a New Years resolution, that he will blog more, which will be excellent since he is way, way, WAY, smarter and interesting than I am. His content raises many interesting questions and points to ponder, like, why is that guy going to cut off that baby’s head. I bet you didn’t even know there was such a thing as “Hover Bacon”. Well, thanks to Greg, we all do!!!!

[youtube mjatRkpSa5U]

But seriously, if Greg makes good on his resolution, you will find plenty of interesting posts on subjects such as astronomy, physics, Greek mythology, art, mixed drinks, and a whole range of things that I know little if anything about.

Love Ya Schnookums 🙂

PS. It’s the third year blogiversary for the Sonicfrog family of blogs. I will post the official write-up for that tomorrow, ’cause right now we’re heading out to get some coffee.