Why We Home-School, Lesson #47
Posted on 05.12.13 by Danny Glover @ 12:22 am

We don’t want our children educated in an environment where a teacher lets an unruly student bully her (and other students film the episode), where the disruptive student wins praise for ranting at the teacher, and where neither the mother (a teacher herself) nor school administrators punish the student for being inexcusably disrespectful.

There are no winners in this episode at Duncanville High School in Texas, which sadly earned 18-year-old sophomore Jeff Bliss 86 seconds of YouTube fame:

The message to teachers is that students can shout you down without consequence, and the message to students is that they are in control of the classroom. That’s an unhealthy atmosphere for teaching children who actually want to learn — even if, as Dallas Morning News columnist Tod Robberson argues, Bliss had a valid point about his teacher’s instructional methods.

“Teaching by ‘packet’ is no way to get through to young minds,” Robberson wrote in a column decrying Bliss’ behavior and the reaction to it. “… But his choice of protest venues and methods is one I will never celebrate. He owes everyone involved an apology.”

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)

Filed under: 1980s and Business and Culture and Education and Government and Human Interest and Media and News & Politics and Parenting and People and Rednecks and Video and Why We Home-School
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Obama: Look At Me, I Shoot Skeet!
Posted on 02.02.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:53 pm

Millions of Americans fear that President Obama is going to infringe their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Guns and ammunition have been selling so fast that Walmart is now rationing them to address the demand.

Obama wants to restrict access to guns, but he first he has to win the PR battle. That’s why he’s talking about how he shoots skeet “all the time” at Camp David — and why he released a photo to appease the skeptics who doubt that claim.


Sorry, Mr. President, firing a shotgun occasionally won’t earn you any street cred among rednecks who cling to their guns ever tighter when politicians like you start plotting to weaken gun rights. You’re no Paul Ryan.

Update: The picture of Obama as skeet-shooter-in-chief is great ammunition for Photoshop fun. Here are a couple of spoofs from my Facebook news feed today:

Filed under: 1980s and Business and Culture and Hunting & Guns and Media and News & Politics and People and Photography and Rednecks
Comments: 1 Comment

What Are You, A Communist?
Posted on 10.05.12 by Danny Glover @ 5:25 pm

Sometimes when our children say something odd, I answer with a wisecrack from my youth: “What are you, a communist?” I get blank stares. Or in the case of our 7-year-old daughter today, an enthusiastic “yes” — until I told her being a communist is bad.

I guess you had to be there — for the Cold War, that is. That snark, a word that didn’t exist when I was a kid, just doesn’t carry the same punch without the Soviet Union as a mortal enemy.

Filed under: 1980s and Family and History
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How The Legendary ‘Flying WV’ Was Born
Posted on 05.15.12 by Danny Glover @ 2:58 pm

I was born more than a decade before West Virginia University football players started sporting the current logo on their helmets, but I don’t remember seeing what came before the “Flying WV” we Mountaineers cherish today. Now I know the story behind that storied logo, which has made WVU “one of the top royalty-producing colleges in the country.”

Jake Stump of the WVU Alumni Magazine unearthed the details in what he called “hardnosed, investigative (ahem) journalism.” It all started in 1979 with the arrival of new football coach Don Nehlen to the campus. The old football uniform, helmet and logo, with “WVU” overlaying an outlined map of West Virginia, had no pizzazz, so Nehlen commissioned one to make a statement.

The details of the logo’s past remain murky even after Stump’s research because Nehlen and the other people behind the vision and the design don’t remember events exactly the same. But the story is fascinating anyway (at least for Mountaineers fans like me). Here’s the heart of it:

What we now know and love as the “Flying WV” was born on a sheet of wax paper. John Boyd Martin’s main inspiration? Mountains. Yes. West Virginia has mountains. WVU’s mascot is a mountaineer. Such an obvious fit.

“The first thing I did was play around with the initials,” Martin said. “When you put a W and a V together, you had mountains. They may call it the ‘Flying WV,’ but to me, it depicts mountains.”

Filed under: 1980s and Advertising and Business and Culture and Human Interest and People and Sports and West Virginia
Comments: 1 Comment

The Anti-Santorum BuzzFeed
Posted on 02.22.12 by Danny Glover @ 1:23 am

Go to the BuzzFeed Politics page and behold an orchestrated media feeding frenzy in progress. Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is the target. He has been rising in the polls, and BuzzFeed won’t allow it.

Three of the current top five pieces on the site are attacks on Santorum, and the hit pieces continue as you scroll further down the site or look at the “Most Viral in Politics” sidebar. Here are the headlines:

And then there’s the piece lamenting the fact that no matter how many presumably outrageous Santorum quotes BuzzFeed and other publications unearth, the new frontrunner is “gaffe-proof.”

The press dutifully transcribed all these remarks, but none of them raised a ruckus for more than a few hours. They’re just the latest in a long line of Santorum quotes — on homosexuality, on women’s roles, on contraception and abortion — that seem to have lost their capacity to shock. And though they’re still well to the right of public opinion, as reflected in polls, they’ve done nothing to hurt Santorum, whose campaign has attained an aura of momentum after winning three states in a row earlier this month. For Rick Santorum, there’s no such thing as a gaffe anymore.

Reading BuzzFeed these days is like reading transcriptions of the opposition research compiled by either his top GOP rival, Mitt Romney, or the Democratic National Committee — or both. I’ve rarely seen a presumably objective publication so transparently contemptuous of a candidate and so determined to drive a negative narrative about him or her.

But hey, BuzzFeed is driving traffic and generating buzz for itself. That’s all that matters in today’s “journalism,” right?

UPDATE: Rich Lowry of National Review explains what’s really stirring in the minds of journalists who keep trying to manufacture Santorum controversies.

Santorum is a standing affront to the sensibilities and assumptions of the media and political elite. That elite is constantly writing the obituary for social conservatism, which is supposed to wither away and leave a polite, undisturbed consensus in favor of social liberalism. Santorum not only defends beliefs that are looked down upon as dated and unrealistic; he does it with a passionate sincerity that opens him to mockery and attack.

Filed under: 1980s and Adoption and Books and Culture and Media and News & Politics and People
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Snickers: Candy Not Fit For A King Size
Posted on 02.17.12 by Danny Glover @ 4:24 pm

Well, candy fans, there’s sad news in the snack world this week. It looks like the obesity mafia organized by first lady Michelle Obama to whack all the fat and fun out of American society has put a hit on the king-size Snickers bar.

Mars, the candy company that makes Snickers and other delicious treats, has caved to the politically correct pressure of the food police. Come 2013, the company will stop selling candy bars that include more than 220 calories.

Forget the free-market principle of supply and demand that says if customers want giant candy bars, Mars will make them. When the first lady is traveling the country to decry the “obesity epidemic,” it makes more sense for Mars to conform to an arbitrary caloric line.

This corporate change of heart about sugary overload isn’t a bad thing for me personally. I’ve consumed way too many king-size Snickers bars in my life. But coming as it does amid a White House-driven campaign against obesity, and after the nanny state has taken control of light bulbs across America, it’s a wee bit annoying.

It’s also a hypocritical marketing gimmick considering that I just spotted a $10 Snickers bar like this in a local CVS last week:

These developments combined have inspired me. For our New Year’s Eve party this year, in memory of the soon-to-be-smaller Snickers bars, I’m going to buy a “Slice ‘n Share” Snickers to bid farewell to an American tradition. Maybe I’ll cut it into servings of 220 calories or less in honor of Mr. Mars and Michelle Obama.

Then we’ll dim all the incandescent light bulbs in the house and invite everyone to gather ’round our energy-inefficient TV to watch comedian Tim Hawkins tell us all about his dream of a “Snickaloaf.”

Filed under: 1980s and Adoption and Business and Culture and Food and Government and Human Interest and Just For Laughs and Media and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Video
Comments: None

‘Must Be Able To Work Indecently’
Posted on 10.19.11 by Danny Glover @ 1:14 pm

I know the economy is bad, but is it so bad that people would be willing to consider a job where one of the skills required is this:

Must be able to work indecently, with minimal direct supervision.

I can see why someone who is willing to work indecently wouldn’t want much direct supervision. The job also requires “overnight travel” and a willingness to “embrace diversity.”

One laughable error in word choice makes the ad sound like something from an adult publication, but it’s actually a listing for … a food-safety specialist in Northern Virginia/Maryland. No pole-dancing required.

My guess is that the ad meant to say the employee “must be able to work independently.” Instead, we see what happens when all of the copy editors are downsized.

Filed under: 1980s and Adoption and Books and Business and Grammar and Just For Laughs and Media
Comments: None

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