Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The World of Fairness

Vincent Giordano has an interesting job.  He's the head guy for the New Jersey Education Association, the teacher's union in Jersey.  Sometimes....he gets called in to do an interview, and folks ask stupid questions.  So Vincent got this question.....why he didn't like the idea of giving vouchers to lower income folks.....giving them a chance to take Johnny Junior out of the local crappy public school and move him into a successful private school situation.  Vincent sat there for a moment, and basically said: “Life’s not always fair.”

This quote got out.  Folks are looking at Vincent, who makes over $300k a year as the union chief, and looking at this comment of "life's not always fair."  Folks aren't happy about the comment.

I sat and pondered over this.  I grew up in the 1970s and you didn't really have a bunch of folks running around, and talking about making life for everyone.  Kids got failing test grades.  Some folks still had outdoor toilets.  Some folks still burned coal in a fireplace because they couldn't afford anything else.  Some kids never went onto college because there just wasn't money for it.  Some guys had crappy third-rate chainsaws because that was all they could afford.  Some guys still drove 15-year old Ford pick-ups because that was all they could afford.  Some folks considered Campbell's soup to be a 4-star meal....mostly because that was all they could afford.  Some folks drunk Schlitz Beer because that was mostly all they could afford.

Sometime in the past twenty years....folks have come around to a silly notion that life is fair.  Somehow....someway....we've all earned the fairness deal.  My humble guess is that half the American population is walking around in some daze....believing that fairness will come to them.

The more I thought about Vincent's comments....the more I kind of agreed with him.  There just isn't any fairness in life.  If you are unhappy with your public school and virtually poor.....then tough luck.  You can move to another state and restart your life, or just accept the crapped up situation you've got.  The union and the teachers don't really care one way or another about getting better.  Their priority is simple.....find more money....for pensions, pay, and benefits.

So as you sit around tonight....fantasizing about your fairness level in life, you ought to think about this...up until the 1990s, there was no fairness in life.  George Washington accomplished everything in his life without fairness.  People crossed the plains and in some cases....died while crossing the plains, without fairness.  Men landed on the beaches of Normandy to fight the Nazis, and some died, without fairness.  Some folks were in the Twin Towers on the wrong day, and met up with a world without fairness.  Some guys stood up in the Alamo, and met their life's destiny without fairness.  Lewis and Clark crossed America, without fairness.

We've done pretty good without fairness.  Maybe that says something.

Speaking Right?

This is what we know.  Arizona's highest court has stood up and rendered it's support of a ruling where a Latino gal....running for city council person out in San Luis.....cannot be on the ballot.  The reason?  She doesn't command the English language.

These Arizona folks are apparently pretty serious that you can't be part of the city, county, or state government.....if you can't speak the English language at a certain level.

I sat and thought about this a while.  It is obvious that it's a case that will end up quickly at the Supreme Court level (my humble opinion).  But beyond that.....it begs this odd question.....where exactly are you going to find Americans to run for office.....who have a command of the English language?

I have to admit in my home state of Bama.....there are probably three million residents who speak at such a level.....that I myself......cannot understand what the heck they are talking about.  I admit, I have been out of the state for a fairly long time, and maybe I've become accustomed to plain English speaking.  There are folks who will respond to a question I ask and I actually have to ask to repeat what they said while I listen very intently.  If Bama folks had the same law for running for office....it probably would disqualify at least half the political folks we have in the state from their office.

There's another problem I see in taking this Latino gal off the ballot.  To be honest, it's hard to find a ethical individual in today's atmosphere.  If someone is standing up and swears they are fairly honest and respectable, then I'd like to see them run for office.

I believe this case will reach the Supreme Court....and in a matter of days, they will render the quick decision that there is no clause in the US legal system to halt folks from running for office based on language ability.  Maybe that's a good thing.

An Odd Story

I like Russian newspapers.  Out of every ten stories....at least one is so bogus, that you would really like to believe its true.

This week, if you read science journals.....the Russians have been at the South Pole, drilling roughly two miles through the ice....down to Lake Vostok.  This is a lake which has been covered by ice for millions of years.  No one is sure what might be down there, and it's a pretty curious episode for scientists around the world.

So this Russian paper (Ria Novosti) has come out with this story.  The Nazis....toward the end of the war....arrived at the South Pole and were building this sub base deep under the ice at Lake Vostok (which is completely covered by ice).  They even added some quote from a Nazi admiral, which is a one of a kind quote because no else has ever heard of this quote.  The guy brags about this fortress they've built.

So the belief that this Russian paper is building upon....is that the Russians are about to discover this Nazi sub base.

 I sat and pondered over this.  First, the Nazis would have needed five-star technology to navigate their subs up to such a point, and they would have had to dig out this fantastic tunnel for support activities to take place.  And why the South Pole?  You could have easily done this at a dozen points in Argentina or the Falklands.

I'm not much in believing this story.  It does sound great and it'd be nice to find this hidden Nazi base with three hundred Nazis still left over from the war.....but it just ain't going to happen.