Propaganda Clues

This “apology” for Texas is clear, blatant propaganda, and could be a textbook case for student analysis. I’ll just point to a couple of the really obvious points of interest and let the student winkle the others out for themselves, mmmK? 😉

Here’s a sample:

After citing one Texas political loon and another would-be politician with some strange views (though she shows more historical literacy than the writer does), the writer says, “You might gather from this that Texas K-12 schools leave a lot to be desired.” Now, while the wannabe pol was, at the time of the writing, running for (not sitting on) the Texas State Board of Education, which is also responsible for the Texas university system the writer praises, the other pol has nothing at all to do with Texas education. Both of these “proofs” are irrelevant.

And in this, and further rags on the Texas K-12 schools, the writer includes nothing to support his statement about the poor state of K-12 education in Texas.

But of course, despite having the nation’s largest ratio of non-English-speaking (mostly illegal) immigrants, Texas public schools actually rank in the top third nationally, much better than the writer’s home state of Oklahoma, or bastions of his Blue State views such as Illinois and Wisconsin.

[Note: for those who have been paying attention in the past, I do also believe–note, statement of opinion only :-)–that Texas pubschools are in a horrific state, BUT that state is certainly better that more than 2/3 of the rest if the country’s states.]

So, argument by assertion. Irrelevant “facts” and no recognition of contradicting facts. Pure hand waving.

Next up: Sneers at the UT Austin bell tower being lit orange with every athletic triumph. . . morphing into sneers at Texas law allowing students to carry firearms on campus, in class.

Historically illiterate or simply deliberate propaganda? The guy knows all about the importance of the UT Bell Tower, and rants on about athletics vs. academics using it as an emblem of misplaced priorities, then sneers at Texas Law allowing self-defense on campus. The connection is strangely drawn. Some students actually fought back against Charles Whitman in the 1966 Bell Tower shooting spree. *meh* That was 1966. Of course it was too far back to mean anything to the dork writing the article. Probably. Still, the strained evolution from the sneering at the “oranging” of the Bell Tower for inconsequentials, to his lefthanded presentation of guns in the classroom, plain and simple propaganda. Argument by statement with no substance.

With those two samples to go on, I leave it as an exercise for the student to strip out other elements. Have fun!

Baling Wire and Chewing Gum Quality Service Work

Our local POTS company (VERY local: two exchanges which were charged “long distance” charges for calls between the two, up until the company figured it’d net more by charging everyone a monthly fee, a couple of years ago) has such excellent service. [sarc /off]

Ten months after the cabling was installed for a fiber connection, the company finally got around to installing the electronics enabling a fiber connection. A month and a half later a crew came by to remove the old copper. What did the crew do? It cut the copper at the pole and left. Period. That’s it. Telco copper cabling draped across our back yard. THAT was “removing surplused Telco equipment.”

Of course, the local Telco’s owners live sumptuously, have recently almost taken over “downtown” in the county seat with a huge, palatial new office building, etc., but improve service to match? Notsomuch. Sure, one can now obtain (very) low-speed DSL via fiber for substantially more $ than (a much hated) cable company’s Internet connection that is an order of magnitude faster.

And Why Would That Be, Exactly?

According to ABC “News” *cough-gag*

Both the Washington Post and CNN report that if the House cites Holder for contempt, it will be the first time in history that a U.S. attorney general is held in contempt of Congress.

Could that be because this is the first time in history that a U.S. attorney general has acted so contemptuously toward Congress? Hmmm? Could be… (Is)

The Hivemind needs to learn to call a spade a spade.

Continue reading “And Why Would That Be, Exactly?”

Summer Projects

Well, it seemed like it was time for another minor kitchen facelift. Nothing major, but with the nice stainless steel (inside and out) Bosch dishwasher last year and the stainless steel monster fridge this year, the cabinets and counter top were looking a bit tired by comparison, so…

So far:

Counter top sanded down and preliminary prep for a Giani faux granite finish done. But before doing that,

A fresh paint job on the cabinets–1/2 done, now–high, high gloss white with new chrome hardware to please my Wonder Woman. 🙂

Also before the Giani stuff, some small stuff: new light fixture, some wiring (before, because some of the wiring will actually affect the counter top), a few small structural and cosmetic additions and changes (like some plastering/replastering and repainting of some areas of the walls)–nothing big.

And after the counter top is finished, then I can finish up the stove area: sheet, brushed stainless steel backsplash and some stainless steel paint for the oven door–from the same company as the counter top paint.

Yeh, yeh, I know: paint a countertop?!? This will be my second time. The last was 12 years ago, and it lasted well. In fact, I’ve only been able to sand it down not even off (a really good epoxy paint). Besides, it’s not like I, Mr. Tightwad, would actually buy a granite counter top!

Hmmm, now that I think of it, just about the only things that aren’t getting changed in the kitchen are the ceiling and the floor… I ought to reconsider that. Maybe get rid of the nasty “popcornish” ceiling and plaster/paint it…

Oh, forgot. Doing the faux granite to approximate a match to some marble tiles I picked up that are going to make the counter backsplash. And yeh, I’m not removing the tile that’s there. Got some spacers to allow me to tile over the current bqacksplash and reinstall the electrical outlets, have an adhesive that’ll let me adhere the marble to the ceramic. I’m all set there. Again: cheap and less work. (Have you ever removed ceramic tile? Messy, PITA and all the backing has to be replaced before putting anything else up. Not doing that again. Just not.)

*sigh* Also neglected to mention that the peninsula I added to the kitchen about thirteen years ago (20″X40″, hardwood top, 2 large drawers, cutting board drawer, pot rack above) has gotten a renewal as well with a fresh sanding of the top followed by a pickling treatment. Not going to do the same with the kitchen island, though I may change the cabinet to the white the rest of the kitchen cabinets have gone to.

Anthropological Research Topic

There’s probably a doctoral thesis in an exploration of the “Reality-Based” Fantasy community of wandering leftards, the Mass MEdia Podpeople Hivemind, Academia Nut Fruitcakes and assorted fellow travelers to discover the points–if any–where its world view has some (accidental?) connection to real reality…

More Hot Air from Algore?

Has Algore come on board yet with those idiots blaming the Icelandic eruption on Anthropogenic Global Warming Climate Change Whatever? If not, maybe it’s just because he’s blowing too much hot air of his own to pay attention to this latest “proof” of his epic myth.

Twilight Zone Stuff

Today, I finally got my desk cleaned off. Well, almost. Four times today I’ve had my keyboard drawer cleaned off down to the keyboard and mouse.

Four times.

It’s not cleaned off now.

I swear–seriously!–my desk abhors a vacuum. Clean it off? “Stuff” creeps out from some space in some interstice between universes and plops itself on my desk. Really. Today, I found some pictures–just sitting out in the open on my desk–that I HAVE NOT SEEN FOR 12 YEARS. Pictures of me that I had been SURE I’d thrown out (because, like every picture I ever had taken for a yearbook–these as a teacher–they were ugly as sin, that is, looked exactly like me. *heh*). My Wonder Woman asked me to give her one of them, because she’d never seen them before (and has the typical perceptual problem of Good Women: she is unable to see just how ugly I am :-)).

Cue Rod Serling.

As Ought to Be?

My first wind instrument, not counting of course the recorder I played as an even younger child, was a trombone. In fact, it remained my primary musical instrument–apart from voice–for many years. Hence my chuckle when I read the following in a contemporary Holmesian short story, The Adventure of the Lost World by Dominic Green

“…I consider it normal to see a man’s life taken from him by another for the pursuit of criminal gain, Watson; but it is rare indeed for him to be eaten afterwards.”

Even I, who have been in Afghanistan, was appalled. “Surely not.”

“Just so, Watson. In the past seven days, on Hampstead Heath, there have been seven attacks upon street musicians, each the player of a trombone of some description, and each attacked, if those who heard the attacks are to be believed, whilst executing the closing bars of Gustav Holst’s Thaxted [see below the fold–ed.]. In each case, the victim appears to have been attacked from above, the flesh crushed and cut, the bones splintered, the capital extremity entirely missing in many cases. Each victim’s body was also notable for the stench of corruption which hung about it, like gas gangrene.”

“Accidental death has been ruled out, then? A recurrent trombone malfunction of some order—”

“—has already been checked for… [emphasis added-ed.]

*heh* “A recurrent trombone malfunction of some order… ” There were times… (Ah, the memories!)

“No, no, Watson! Blowing one’s head off from excessive back pressure developed while playing ones instrument is much more common among oboe players!”


Later, when I’d given up trombone for other instruments, other musical pursuits, when I taught budding musicians, I noted that the flute players were always the most cooperative, compliant and studious of instrumentalists, while the trombone players (and drummers–not to be confused with percussionists*) were generally the clowns and “martini lifters” (and the trumpet players the “weight lifters”–the “jocks” of the band). Again, there were times… *heh*

Continue reading “As Ought to Be?”

Responding to Disingenuous “Debate”

Not apropos of anything in particular. Just a comment on the passing scene.

C.S.Lewis, commenting on the Martin Marprelate Tracts, enunciates my own view toward those who would stifle legitimate debate in the public forum today:

“Those who refuse to let their opponents dispute have no right to complain if they hear instead lewd catcalls in the streets; in a sense, it is what they have chosen.”*

And so, if I sometimes resort to “lewd catcalls” and mockery of those who would stifle debate–or even worse, corrupt discourse with deception and outright lies–I have the eminent company of such personages as “Martin Marprelate”.