Taken on the way back to DeLand after a 46th anniversary weekend getaway in St. Augustine.
NFS or publication because I appropriated someone else’s sky.
I don’t think this 19th century Wagnerian diva would have needed the 20th century amplified speaker above her head!
About a week before Tuesday’s election here in Florida my wife and I received an oversized postcard from a candidate for judge. The card featured a traditional photo of the candidate, his wife, and their children – all smiling as if blissfully happy:
- The same kind of photo one saw on advertising for, say, Democrat Eliot Spitzer while he was patronizing one of New York’s most exclusive and expensive call girl agencies.
- The same kind one saw on church promotions for evangelical, virulently homophobic pastor Ted Haggard while he was rendezvousing with a gay prostitute to enjoy crystal meth and anal sex.
- The same kind one saw on campaign literature for Republican David Vitter while he was arranging with Washington, D.C.’s, most notorious “madame” to hire a call girl who would dress him in diapers and “discipline” him.
I don’t remember which candidate mailed out the postcard – honestly! I could dig out the identity, but it really wouldn’t matter. I’m sure that particular candidate has a faithful marriage, has a happy family, and lives blissfully in “Happy Valley” where the bluebirds sing and there’s always plenty of sunshine (except when the suburban lawns need rain). Or not. Doesn’t matter (except to the candidate and his or her family). This is about principles, not personalities.
I’m just saying the general public has no way of knowing. In other words, the “happy family” portrait might say something about the candidate’s campaign strategy, but it says absolutely nothing about the candidate’s character or qualification for office.
That card featured quotations from the candidate affirming his patriotism; his commitment to “truth, justice, and the American way”; to moms and apple pies; etc. Again, the equivalent of smiling as if in rictus, shaking hands, and kissing babies. Every candidate says and does that sort of thing, and every rational voter knows it’s just bullshards.
No point in piling up examples. Any alert reader can provide her or his own. The real question isn’t what we can’t trust but what we can; isn’t what’s meaningless but what actually means something. My treatment of this issue is going to be a” several-parter,” but let’s begin with the way this stuff looks to a sixth-grader. Say what? Yeah. Precisely.
Fortunately I didn’t have to look far to find an articulate kid I could ask. I just happen to know a sixth-grader who is super-smart and thoughtful, and whom I can trust. I asked her, “If you were going to vote in the next election, what would you want to know about the contestants before casting a ballot?”
Her answer? “What their rules would be and what they would change for better and for worse. I would want to know whether they would make some things such as gay marriage legal or illegal.”
I’d translate these “kid-speak” specifics into “adult-speak” principles as (a) “What policies would guide you?” and (b) “Where do you stand on these specific issues: x, y, z?” In other words, an intelligent sixth-grader says, “Forget the cotton-candy happy photos and the formless, diaphanous, meaningless platitudes. Tell me what specific, concrete policies you would pursue; and what specific actions you would support in respect to ____ (fill in the blank with the issues that matter most to you).
Pretty damned good for a sixth-grader, I’d say! Add to that one further question and you’ve got a dandy foundation for assessing political candidates. That further question? “What’s your track record? What have you actually done in the past to justify our believing you’ll honor your promises for the future, and that you have what it takes to turn promises into realities? Not what you’ve said, mind you, but what you’ve actually done?” Talk is cheap.
Local superintendent’s controversial way of addressing dress code sends students home humiliated
August 22, 2014
by Paige Hill
NOBLE, Okla. – A group of Noble High School girls were left crying and humiliated after they claim they were called out in front of the entire school for what they were wearing.
[S]enior Stephanie Stewart remembers.
Stewart says, “The first sentence was, ‘Have y’all ever seen any ‘skanks’ around this school’. Around the end she said, ‘I don’t want to see anyone’s ass hanging out of their shorts.”
[T]his morning Bass followed up, unannounced.
According to Stephanie she asked just the girls to stand up while she did a dress code check, even asking some of the girls to bend over.
Stephanie was singled out because in Bass’ opinion her dress was too short.
Bass says, “If you’re not comfortable with bending over, we might have a problem.”
Bass said she thought the problem was so widespread, she sent an email to teachers saying, “Our female students are pushing the limits. We all know this to be true… please help us stay on top of this until a new norm of modesty is established.”