If you could take an all-expense-paid two-week vacation to anywhere in the world with one friend or partner, where would you go and who would you take?
The one-person limit is a serious issue for me. I can't go to New York, London or Ireland without taking at least 3 people if I want the other two to ever talk to me again.
I vote my best friend and Greece if I'm limited to one person.
If I can take more than one person - I'd start with New York City.
Please pass along:
For info about someone in Japan e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For into about someone in a tsunami zone email email@example.com
Phone info line is 1-888-407-4747.
Provide the full name, birth date, location of the person, pre-existing medical conditions, and if they are elderly or a child.
What is the craziest dare you have ever taken?
Dares can be the bane of life or the joy of life. In my case, I only take those that culminate in pleasure.
I proposed to the vice principal of my junior high on a dare. Got down on one knee in the hall on a classing period! He accepted.
I also leapt off a second floor balcony so I wouldn't be caught sliding down the fire-escape slide at my school. The dare was to slide on the fire-escape-slide. The leap was because I knew I could make it to the ground faster, and thus not be caught by the teacher, if I jumped instead of slid. They decided not to outlaw sliding down the slide after my leap. I am proud to say I came out of it uninjured.
Isn't the Republican Party the one that ran saying they would always support education? Wasn't education George and Laura Bush's "thing"? What happened that now, nationwide, republicans are attacking and destroying school systems, turning on teachers, cutting universities so deeply that they are about to die on the vine?
Lest you think I am "over stating" the sitaution, here are the facts:
Wisconsin - The Republican Governor and the republicans in the legislature have want to strip teachers unions of their rights to collective bargaining, cut pensions, cut health care benefits. Deny health insurance to "limited term employees". Allows state agencies to reassign career employees at will. Transfers funding from the geenral fund, used for education, to the executive branche. The contraversay has closed schools there for almost a week.
Texas - The projected republican budget proposes to cut $10 Billion from public education funding. This adds up to approximately $1,000 less per student in the public school systems of the state. State run universities have also been warned that even though they have returned almost 15% of their current budgets to the state, they will be asked to return more in the near future, and will receive far less in the new budget allocations. The Governor, (R) Rick Perry, also wants to cut off all funding for the Historical Commission and the Commission on the Arts. Texas is also mandating cuts to employee benefits and insurances. Some areas of Texas have already experienced massive teacher layoffs.
California - Republican lead legislatures in California have attacked education with massive layoffs, requests that employees take unpaid leave days, and cutting entire programs from public schools. The end result is over crowded classrooms and bad education in a state that was known for providing quality education.
Providence Rhode Island - Every teacher in the district was fired as a way of dealing with a "fiscal gap". This is meant to force every employee in the district to renegotiate and take a pay cut or leave.
Tennesse - The state legislature has passed bills to strip educators of their colletive bargaining rights, making it illegal for Tennessee Education Association members to make contributions to any political candidates.
Idaho - Currently debating a republican sponosered education reform bill that will eliminate tenure for new teachers, remove collective bargaining rights and move from classrooms to online courses, increasing classroom size and cutting 770 teaching jobs.
The list goes on and on. Pull up a map of republican states, put that state and "education budget" or "education reform" in your google and you'll find anti-union, teacher firings, massive classroom enrollments, and dozens of others of attacks on educators.
What is behind it all?
The politicians involved will say it is a budget saving issues, but Texas has a huge rainy day fund that the governor says he won't touch.
The real reason probably goes back to statements that the Republican once made in its platform proposals. They believe education is the responsibility of a parent, and that public education needs to give way to home schooling and private schooling.
Do we want to return to a time when the majority of our nations children were uneducated? Do we want to go back to a time when one parent has to stay home because if they don't, they're children will not have an education?
I used to be a republican.
I apologize to my fellow Americans for my stupidity.
At the time, I thought they really did care about the country. I was naieve.
Should parents be held responsible for the criminal actions of their teenage children?
Every case has to be handled individually because there are too many variables.
Sometimes parents beg authorities to help them with unrully children, and get no help, sometimes parents just ignored improper behavior too long. Sometimes parents were warned to pull the kid into line, sometimes parents were hindered by laws that gave kids more freedom and parents less authority.
What is your favorite opening line of a book, and why?
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity...," - Charles Dickens, "A Tale of Two Cities".
This line is ageless. It applies to the age Dickens wrote about, and it applies today. Every age is perfect. Every age is tragic and flawed. It is up to those traveling through to embrace the joy, and correct the flaws.