Monday, September 30, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
But the opposition is also fertile ground for wild rumors: That the Common Core bans the teaching of cursive so future generations won’t be able to read the Declaration of Independence; that the standards require schools to monitor kids through iris scans or biometric bracelets; that teachers will be forced to introduce pornography under the guise of reading instruction.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The state has virtually guaranteed that a merger is impossible by insisting that each district have a majority vote for merging rather than requiring a plurality of yes votes over both districts. There's always a loser in these mergers; either one district ends up paying more in taxes than before, or one district loses a building, or in the SVE case, they lose their current BOCES, etc. So I'm not holding my breath, although Romulus/South Seneca looks like a surprisingly good bet.
LATER: It was close in Romulus, but it passed both districts. South Seneca: 473-86, Romulus: 268-242. I guess we know which district expects to lose out. Now it moves to the referendum later this fall.
Monday, September 9, 2013
Why is gassing Syrians in 2013 worse than gassing Iranians in 1983? Is gassing Kurds worse when Iraq does it in the 1980s than when Britain does it in the 1920s? Why do we hear so much about the Germans' use of chlorine and mustard gas in World War I and so little about the American and British use of phosgene in World War I? The Japanese gassed the Chinese during the Sino-Japanese War. Hafez Assad gassed Syrians in the 1980s, with the Reagan administration's wink and nod—better a Westernized dictator than those Muslim Brotherhood boys. What is it about gas—some gas—that makes us so queasy?
The Germans gassed Jews and Gypsies, the Croatians gassed Serbs. We killed our own prisoners with gas from the 1920s to the 1990s. Wikipedia suggests that the excessive twitching and drooling of the decedent makes the whole thing particularly icky for the viewers. I guess in comparison, electrocution is kind of pleasant, and the firing squad is a day at the park.
Perhaps our red line should have to do with the action and not the methodology. Just a thought.