Monday, May 17, 2010

Hora bătrânească

Here is a song from Northeast Romania.  If not for the language, you would think it was Klezmer!  In fact, much of Klezmer music comes from this area: N.E. Romania, Moldova & Ukraine.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cut Education First!

Dateline:  Illinois
The News:  Scott Cohen, the disgraced pawnbroker forced to withdraw from the race for Lieutenant Governor now decides he wants to waste his money trying to get elected Governor!

Hey Scott, Illinois does not need a governor. What it does need is a CFO with an advanced degree in accounting. If he looks like a movie star, so much the better, but I’ve never met anyone with a PhD in accounting who had time to style his – or her – hair six times a day. Absent a CFO, Illinois will have to make some hard choices. Liberals ask, “What services would you cut first?” And this liberal replies, “Education.”

That’s right, if I were the Guv, and be glad I’m not, the first thing I would do is eliminate all public education in Illinois. Nothing warms the heart more than seeing a parade of teachers tromping down to the unemployment office, where they will then be doled out your tax dollars to waste on booze, cigarettes and prostitutes. It’s not just the teachers who will be siphoning off your hard-earned cash, but also the custodians who wipe up all those footprints, the school nurses who aren’t allowed to dispense aspirin without threat of a lawsuit and those cafeteria slackers who sling slop onto your kids’ lunch trays. Throw in all the planners down at the Board of Ed, curriculum writers, administrative assistants and the folks who record those annoying voice mails you get whenever you need to reach someone ASAP, and you’ve got a queue of jobless mopes that would stretch from Alton to Antioch.

What then, you ask, is to be done about our youth’s education? One solution is home school. That’s right, if your idea of home schooling is making sure your kid learns to read at a fifth grade level, develops enough computer skills to find your favorite celebrity’s website, can count to $12,000, maybe learns a couple Bible verses and can tune a radio to the easy listening station, your job will be simple. For those parents who have a marketable skill, you’re probably unemployed yourself and can spend your idle days teaching it to your offspring. If you’ve dreamed of having a doctor or lawyer in the family, time to move to Indiana.

Another solution is vouchers for private schools. Some spoil-sports complain that the vouchers do not cover enough of the tuition to allow truly low-income children to attend. But with the money the state saves on all those education professionals who are now drawing a fraction of their former salary on unemployment, we can pay the kids to sweep the streets, pick up trash, mow the lawns of the richest politicians and clean toilets in hotels. That should earn them enough money to make up the difference. Their new jobs will keep them off the streets, and if they don’t have time to do their homework by the time they finish their shifts, they can join the ranks of Illinoisans who read at a fifth grade level, know how to find their favorite celebrity websites and hum easy-listening tunes while shopping at Aldi. Child labor laws? Hey, that’s why man invented white-out.

So, cut education funding first. Let the big-wigs in the public education system who make six figures while asking their faculties to take pay-cuts and forgo raises find out what peanut butter on crackers for breakfast, lunch and dinner tastes like.

Finally, a quote from my favorite TV show:

Homer: By the way, I was being sarcastic.
Marge: Well, duh.