Saturday, March 19, 2011



            Years ago, a realistic, very good boss of mine was fond of saying that we have to proceed while knowing only 60% of what we actually need to know in order to complete any task, let alone a large project. Often that knowledge amount is closer to 40%, or 20%, and this seems to me to be universally true in any human endeavor. Given what we do not know, we humans must somehow manage to, for example, decide which way to proceed at an unknown cross street, choose from a menu, win the game, marry the right spouse, or start a company; in relative ignorance, we must fight the war, make a budget, build the house, lay a foundation, bear our children--again, knowing only some fraction of what we really ought to know, in full, before beginning.


            How do we move forward? The American philosopher William James has written some great stuff on how we do this. Maybe it’s primal: we get hungry, or horny, or pissed off, until at some moment we break down and declare, “Fuck it. I’m getting up/buying the stock/applying for the job/ordering the fries.” And what if we did know the big picture, all filled in: Would we bother to attempt anything? Eve only knew, say, 1% of what she needed to know, and look what she found out. Candidates run for office knowing maybe 10%, willfully or otherwise, of what a position of public service entails, and yet if they had the whole story, would they even campaign?

            And then there is the act of discretion, a conscious choice to withhold knowledge in a situation. I ran across a quote by the great jazz pianist Thelonius Monk: “Don’t play everything (or every time); let some things go by. Some music just imagined. What you don’t play can be more important that what you do.” For me this means that you can choose not to use your full arsenal, too, aware of finer consequences, deeper purposes. This ability to use knowledge, powerfully and selectively. is gained of course through experience, the ultimate knowledge we can possess here on Earth. Again, William James kicks ass on this subject in his lectures on Pragmatism, which I came to only after deciding this for myself. Would knowing James have come in handy 20 years ago, or did I have to have my own experiences in any case? I’ll never know.

            So. Teaching, education, experience. What’s it all for?

            Surely to survive, humans need to know things. To live well, we need to know a lot. (Think about any crisis requiring engineers to solve it.) And on Earth, in my experience, most humans are really terrible teachers. (Forget about school, for now, because that’s a formal set-up. I’m talking in Life.) To explore how this lousy teaching is perpetuated, let’s start with your current job.


            How many people have helped you learn your job? Who taught you well? Now think about how much you learned by accident: in drive-by conversations in the restroom, on the stairs, in an elevator, in the break room. Just, you know, talking. Speaking for myself, a great deal of stuff I have needed to know came out of seeming chit-chat. “We changed that?  When? Why didn’t anyone tell me?” Someone is telling you now--in passing, yes, but telling you. You go with it. But it ain’t through teaching, if you see what I mean.

            Let’s take an example of how teaching does not happen, when a good instructional approach would really be handy.

            Suppose you have a nice boss who is incapable of making a direct request of you. He also has no sense of how to time his talks with you. While you are in mid-research or some other work-related task, he will walk to your desk and say to your back, “Bill, let me ask you a question,” and begin talking even though you really cannot stop what you are doing at this instant without losing all train of thought and missing a deadline for another boss. And the “question” is actually a passive-aggressive request for you to complete a task, one he is afraid to tackle himself because he doesn’t fully understand it and wants you to figure it out. Now. Because he has to have his needs met now. First, he stops by your desk in the morning.

            “In speaking this morning to Doug and Karen,” he begins, “we were reviewing the data you put into the chart. Now Doug seems to remember where that data came from, but Karen couldn’t find it. So you got it from...”

            You stare. Chart? What chart? What data? What is your boss talking about? You ask, “What chart do you mean?”

            “The Vendor-Cost Chart.”

            “The . . . oh, the Vendor . . . from last month?”

            “Where did you get the numbers, they want to know, to make the chart.”

            You stare. You think. You take a trip back in time. That was at least five charts ago. Seconds pass. Your boss waits. The solid work in front of you begins turning into puddles . . .

            Now you remember. “Oh! From the Systems Analysis Report that Doug gave me to extract the numbers,” you say. You rifle around your desk, find the folder, pull out the report.

            Without acknowledging the report you have extracted, your boss tries again. “Doug seems to think, and Karen, too, that the information you put into the chart comes from an older report.” He glances at the report you have handed him. “That that is an older report.”

            You stare. “I used the report Doug gave me. I didn’t write the report.”

            “Well, can I take this? Let me ask them about it again,” the boss says.

            During your lunch, your boss comes by your desk, interrupting again as you hastily grab a napkin, and repeats, with a slight variation, and a steady voice, “Sorry to interrupt your lunch. When I met with Doug this morning to discuss the chart, and again just now, and he said that the information in the chart might have come from an older report. There might be a new report. It might be changed. Karen is pretty sure it was changed.”

            You say, honestly, “I don’t know what to tell you.”

            Your boss says, “Well, it looks of if the chart, based on the report you gave me this morning, might not have the most current information.” He stares at you. “I have to disseminate a correct chart to Marketing.”

            You are supposed to be reading your boss’s mind. (Full disclosure: I am lousy at mind-reading, much to the unending chagrin of ex-bosses, to say nothing of former lovers. Who were not my bosses. Boy, this got awkward . . . sorry.)

            You are supposed to fathom the unasked question, the question you should “hear” in the voice of your boss: Where is this Mystery “New Report” from which you were supposed to extract the data? Your boss is looking at you with a mixture of blame, fear, and confusion, but mostly blame: Why didn’t you divine that there was an updated Systems Analysis Report before you made the Vendor-Cost Chart?  And why aren’t you responding to an unasked question, a question with no context, just because you turned in that chart three weeks ago? More to the point: Why did you fail them?

            In addition, your boss--and apparently Doug and Karen--expect you to pull the aforementioned “New Report” from your ignorant, lazy ass, and create an entirely new chart--a chart that was days in the making--now.

            Why are you trying to destroy this company?
            How many of the world’s workers are supposed to “divine” the way a company works, where information is stored, or how a task should be completed? I know people who have held jobs for years and cannot tell you, even now, exactly what it is that their company produces. I asked a bank teller of a recently bought-out bank where I had my account, “What is the plan now that the banks have merged?” She had no idea what I was talking about.

            “Is there anything else I can do for you?” she asked. Um, that’s okay.

            This is not the fault of workers, and yet the boss of a friend of mine said it was. “It’s their job to figure out what we do,” she said of the newly-hired assistants who were walking around in utter confusion. Huh? But how would they know where to begin searching? And they are busy, you know, working now. On stuff you give them to do. “They should stay late and study up on it, if they want to get ahead.” Um, study what? “They have to figure it out.”

            Seriously? Why must everything we do be a game of hide and seek, cat and mouse, pin the tail on the spinning bottle? What is the point of propagating ignorance? (Can you imagine telling a medical student with no training, “Here’s the patient--figure it out”?)

            It’s not as if this strategy has been working great for us here in America: Failing companies, struggling economy, and 20 million unemployed to prove it hasn’t, as of this writing. (But profits have never been higher! And millionaires? We’ve never had fewer people owning the majority of our nation’s wealth!!)

            Cynicism aside, this is not a secret corporate strategy, this way of treating workers. It’s an absurd accident born of money lust, job promotions-without-training, unchecked ambition, and willful blindness. Oh, and a lack of an education grounded in critical thinking and joy. It’s a circumstance that we can call, “I Suck at Running a Company, but That Won’t Stop Me from Running It into the Cold, Hard Ground--and You with It--for a Great Severance Package When the Board (or the Fed, whichever) Catches On.”

            Meanwhile, the workers continue to suffer.

            As a veteran teacher, allow me to submit an alternative scenario to the Chart-Report story above: 

            BOSS, via email: “I need to meet with you at 2:00 PM today concerning the data you used to create the Vendor-Cost Chart last month. Bring the Systems Analysis Report that Doug gave you.  Thanks so much.”

            YOU, via email: “Will do.”

            Later, at the meeting:

            BOSS: This morning when I met with Doug and Karen to discuss last month’s Vendor-Cost chart, we realized that Doug must have given you an earlier draft of the Systems Analysis Report, and that the data in it is outdated. Let me see the report data that you used. [You hand it to your boss; he reads it over.] Ah, yes, this is outdated. Here is the final version of the Systems Analysis Report [handing you the final, correct version]. Now that you have the chart set up, would it be possible to input the correct data and give us a new chart tomorrow afternoon? Doug said it’s okay to make this priority.

            YOU: Will do.

            I kid you not a bit when I say that scenarios like the one above could change the planet. Shorter work-weeks, less stress, more efficiency, lower costs, and fresher outlooks, to start. But this isn’t just about one worker’s life in an office or behind a deli counter or at a marketplace. This is about building and sustaining the global human society.

            I say dream big.

            What is the key to building a better world? Teaching. Good teaching. And the leadership to promote, inspire, and support this.

            To revisit an earlier post: If I hear one more politician, pundit, or documentary filmmaker declare, “We need more great teachers!” I will vomit. That’s their easy answer to the profound problem, “How do we fix bad schools?” But they are asking the wrong question. The correct question is, “How do we encourage and train people to be good teachers?”

            More people must learn how to engage with people in the field, listen carefully, and think through tasks logically in order to help one another do what needs to be done. In short, we need more people, specifically leaders, to think like good teachers. We all have to do this better, on some level. And in my view we don’t have a lot of time to learn how.

Did you hear that? Another union just lost its wings.

            Let’s get to it. Open your textbook.

            Many of us have worked for a company whose head wanted to make a lot of money. As we know, the best way to make money is to have a product magically appear and just “be purchased,” money flying directly into the pockets of the head of said company, so as not to incur labor costs, materials charges, or overhead.

            Ha, ha!

            Until this happy day appears--the same day on which all consumers begin receiving magical checks each week to cover all their bills, or hell, no bills ever again, ever (come to think of it, the Soviets tried that, and it worked great, whatever happened to them?)--company management resorts to job “consolidation” and job “promotion” to cut costs and insure big bonuses for themselves.

            Consolidation, to take one small example, occurs when a manager hires one terrific cashier, who is “so good,” she then also has to put prices on items, distribute sales fliers, put the carts away, stock shelves, and wash the windows. The manager gives her loads of hours, but doesn’t pay overtime. Instead, he gives her the title, “Head Cashier.” But she can’t keep up, and has to work on her own time to finish tasks. She begins to fail. Sure, the super-cashier knows the entire store inside and out, but it’s exhausting. And now the customers line up, complaining of the slow line, the lack of carts, the empty shelves, and dirty windows. But it’s so much cheaper to over-extend one great cashier who can do it all rather than hire three cashiers, or another stocker, or an assistant manager to oversee all this. Really, it’s a no-brainer. No brain needed at all. Nope. No brain.

            And the manager finally drives this overworked, failing cashier to quit, or else he’ll fire her. Time to hire again!

            Because it just makes so much sense.

            This way, your business will have a lot of turnover, lose all the company’s institutional knowledge, and create a chaotic environment wherein your business is making a “fresh start” once a month or so. Customers leave. And then the company gets sold. And destroyed.

            Nothing like eating your young!

            Corporations try to mask lousy employee treatment by calling it promotion. What could be more flattering? A shiny new title, a smidge more money, and lots more responsibility. “You’re our (wo)man!”  We measure the outcome in dollar signs.

            Consolidation and promotion are killing us.

            I will offer a specific corporate example, and I’ll call him Franz. Franz was in charge of creating digital products for a big corporation. He was great at it, in that he knew his stuff, loved researching it, hired top people, and generated a real buzz of creative energy that hummed around his department. To top it off, Franz’s products worked, made the company money, and he was even liked. As a result of his success, the head of the Franz’s division was told to promote Franz to a vice president, which was an administrative position. Franz respectfully declined. “What I like about my job,” he explained, “is that we start with nothing, and then there is something. It is 80% creative, maybe 20% administrative. If I become a vice president, it will be the inverse, 20% creative, 80% administrative. I’m a creator.”

            “If you don’t take it,” his boss told him, “they [the higher-ups] will make me fire you.” Why? Because they wanted Franz to combine his current job with the job of another department manager (whom they had already fired, er, “let go to pursue other options”), thus “consolidating” while offering Franz a “big title” to do both jobs. Franz declined. The company promoted him anyway and announced it in a big corporate meeting where Franz couldn’t say no.

            So he quit.

            People in America’s corporate workforce have seen this happen project after project after project: The forcing out of people who are brilliant because they refuse to be promoted into positions where they would not be brilliant. Where, in fact, they could only succeed by working too hard to learn new skills that did not interest them and for which they had no real aptitude, causing every aspect of their lives, personal and professional, to deteriorate; where they could no longer interact on a peer level with former peers; where the people they had hired, mentored, and trained would be answering to an entirely new person, a kind of sub-manager, one who may or may not value their skills or get their jokes.

            Back to Franz: Eventually, after Franz resigned, someone from another department was brought in to run both departments under a new department name, like “Digital Shit.” Over the next month, Franz’s entire group, one by one, also resigned; and with no one left to run the creative end, let alone work in it, what had been the Technology Development disappeared. It set the company back several years in the making of digital products, and I'm told that as of this writing they have yet to catch up. And no one at the top really noticed until about four years later, when customer complaints were rising and sales had been noticeably declining. Franz knew that such a thing was going to happen, tried to explain, but he was considered insubordinate and ungrateful.

            And so, in fact, was Jesus Christ, and Cassandra, when you think about it. (If you don’t know the Greek story of Cassandra, allow me to recommend it.)

            So Franz’s story is so much chump change in the bucket of corporate, and historical, buck-passing.

            Consolidation and Promotion: “How hard could it be to do everything?” asks the CEO of his private secretary, as his limo driver takes him to his private jet, where his pilot awaits to take him to his island and to the masseuse who provides his happy ending.

            What does this have to do with education?

            A bunch of things.

            All this lousy behavior from badly-run corporations (and poor politicians) is a result of not thinking like a well-trained teacher. A teacher asks, What do I want my students to achieve? How do I get them to achieve this? How do I measure that achievement?

The question too many corporations and politicians ask instead is, How can I make a lot of money for myself and enough for my shareholders/ constituency so they’ll shut up?

            I am trying to imagine a teacher asking the above question and keeping her job. In a country where the corporate way of life is rewarded financially more highly than any other, I’m astounded that people wonder why we don’t have legions of great teachers just lining up to enter our schools.

            Maybe we should promote them, call them Uber-Teacher. Who needs money? Or respect?

            On Promotions: Most teachers want to be teachers. They like teaching.  There are no actual “promotions” in the world of education, unless you consider becoming an administrator a promotion; it’s not really a “competitive” environment. However, we have all seen brilliant teachers who opt for administration because it often pays half again as much at teaching. No one in most of this country can support a family on one teacher’s salary. (After 15 years, with a Masters, I was still making a salary in the mid-forties. After 30 years, I still wouldn’t see 60K.) What is the trade-off? Administrators have a 12-month contract, as opposed to a teacher’s 10-month contract, less vacation, and spend long hours at school. But teachers have long days, too--I regularly put in a 12-hour day, five days a week, and often went in on weekends to work with the drama club (for a $300/year stipend). And we teachers spend our weekends grading papers, reading texts, and planning lessons; we often spend our “summer break” traveling to see our parents for a couple of weeks, followed by reading texts, planning lessons, and going to graduate school (which we pay for ourselves) (I’ll do an essay on my Summer Vacation around June). It more than evens out, is what I’m saying, but administrators are paid a whole lot more because there are far fewer of them, for one; and since the work is often more heavily accented on disciplinary stuff, teacher evaluations, and being the bad cop, for many the job of administrator is less rewarding spiritually, if not soul-crushing. (Some might just say the job is for the power-mad; being an administrator is like having a fiefdom, I guess. It’s what keeps some going. Paranoid types in this job think that all teachers secretly want to be administrators, and as a result, often loathe teachers. We teachers say, “You’ve got to be kidding.” But to no avail. And so the cycle goes. But a good administrator is gold to a teacher.)

            But back to teachers who want to be teachers.

            Consolidation in the form of over-sized classes is a challenge that most teachers face at one time or another. It saves the states money, and not only in hiring fewer teachers. Consolidation has also become a factor in record-keeping. Teachers now do all the school’s attendance on computer, thereby eliminating the need for an attendance secretary. In addition, if teachers input all their grades onto a computer and hit “send,” there is no need for a data person to input those grades. That sort of thing.

            In addition, teachers must now master a wide range of skill sets that make teaching a particularly difficult profession, when many people, I think, only see as tools of the trade: a) kids, b) a teacher’s edition of a text book, and c) rows of desks. There’s a little more to it, funnily enough, and big, consolidated classes, along with all the record-keeping, have set it up to make a difficult job even harder.

·      First, teachers are required to deliver effectively not only content knowledge; they have to understand learning styles, developmental psychology, and what it takes to foster a healthy environment for kids to learn content.

·      Next, teachers must have strong, efficient organizational and record-keeping skills, for both attendance and gradebook, but more to the point, in moving efficiently and sanely from activity to activity during a class.

·      In addition, teachers must have strong computer skills that include typing, navigating the Internet, and accessing and using digital technology.

·      Also, teachers have to be effective communicators, in speaking and in writing, and comfortable with and knowledgeable about diverse groups of people--all ages, races, religions, genders, levels of education, and types of odors. They also have to remember “hella” names and translate the latest slang.

·      Finally, teachers have to have an aesthetic sense, maintaining a tidy classroom, if not necessarily an artistically inspiring one, and an understanding of good or at least reasonable taste in how things are displayed, from books to posters. (At my first job, the night custodian vacuumed, but I had to wash my own chalkboard, empty my trashcan, and wash my kids’ soiled desk tops--so I had to be a good cleaner unless I wanted to catch their colds.)

·      If you are not proficient in any single one of the things I mentioned, you really cannot be a teacher.

            Please note that at least your personality is not a factor. Even if you are back-biting, immature, uncollegial, proselytizing, a closet drinker, obnoxious, self-aggrandizing, surly, and vague, by turns, this will more than likely not affect you professionally if you can do the rest. I taught with all of the above, and was known, myself, to have “an edge.” It doesn’t matter. (As long as you don’t have to share a classroom.)

            So then we give these people 150 or 220 kids to teach, counsel, average grades for, have conferences with, and pass or fail, and a salary far less than a sanitation worker’s. ALL jobs matter, don’t misunderstand me, but it’s telling that we as a nation value trash-pickup above education.

            The point: Unprepared, underpaid, overworked teachers QUIT, creating huge staff turnovers, loss of institutional memory, thereby creating a chaotic environment for colleagues and students, as if a once-a-year fresh start isn’t enough.

            Sound familiar, corporate America?


            Kids go to school K–12 in this country and are not allowed to drop out until age 18 in most states. (This isn’t only because America wants educated kids, I discovered, but also because parents want babysitters and companies want to keep kids out of the workforce as long as possible.) Kids’ only course option is, generally, an academic program. Even if, by age 12 or 13 or 14, say, it is obvious they suck at academics, and that they should get to go live on a farm for a year and grow nourishing food, kids still have to tow that academic line until they are 18. It’s like being forced to take a promotion, moved into a job you can’t do.

            As you might imagine, this often has negative effects. We write these kids up, giving detentions and holding hearings, until we can “fire” them in the form of expulsion, or until they quit, officially at age 18.

            This serves no one. The whole community suffers, from the home to the job market. Even allowing for sociopaths and psychopaths, do we really need to “promote” kids who are not academic until they feel like failures?

            Hmm. Is there something else kids could do? Oh, I remember: Trade school, trade school, trade school. Here are a few vital trades off the top of my head, that keep the nation moving:

            Manufacturing (which we no longer do; a shame)
            Sanitation worker
            Elevator repair
            Tile installation
            Computer technician
            Hair stylist; colorist
            Beggarman; Thief
            Construction trades
            Auto repair
            Train repair
            Typist/data entry
            Road repair

            To say nothing of service industry jobs, requiring people who can cook, count change, read labels, work with customers, learn inventory, set a table.

            Who is out there training? teaching a workforce? encouraging workers to feel invested in what they do and how well they do it?

            ANYONE who trains workers successfully, wherever they do it, is a teacher. And there are so few well-trained teachers, and so few good trainers relative to the number of teachers and workers who need to be trained.


            I humbly suggest that America’s schools AND corporations participate in training the workforce in and beyond academic knowledge. We used to do this. What happened? Why do we not celebrate and respect the hell out of these trades? The denigration of labor in America began in earnest with President Reagan (today only 7% of the nation’s workforce is unionized, compared to around 50% in my father’s time--and when I hear anti-union workers complain about their 60-hour work weeks, thanks to consolidation, I coolly retort, “That’s why there were unions, dumbass”) (and this was around the same time governors declared, idiotically, “Schools are a business” and began turning them into failed ones) but it continues even as of this writing, unwittingly, with President Obama: “Everyone should go to college.” Really? Even if they suck at academics? Apparently, this corporate sickness of promoting people past their abilities will not, finally, die. I also suspect that companies that produce testing materials started lobbying for more academic testing, the way the auto industry and the Teamsters lobbied to shut down the railroads. I could look all this up, but this is a memoir. It is not journalism. So don’t quote me.

            I am sharing views and opinions. I am trying to be “provocative.” It is not meant to be strictly “factual,” but can you tell the difference?

            America’s citizens, from the media to the viewing public, too often can’t tell the difference between opinion and fact. It’s heartbreaking, and nation-destroying, and it makes me sick to watch it happen.

            How does this happen?

            It all comes about from a lack of education.

            For education to be effective, it has to have a context. So much information is decontextualized, that telling the fact from the fancy seems beside the point. Yet that is the point.

            Look at the Tea Party. I read that its suspiciously (Koch Brothers) bank-rolled members are, for the most part, “highly educated,” but what does that even mean if they don’t understand the difference between facts and opinions? Their middle class members declared that their 2009 taxes were the highest ever, but in fact their taxes were the lowest in 20 years. No matter. Ask them, “How is Obama destroying the Constitution?” They don’t know. I asked one. Five. Eight. I heard one mumble, “...Second Amendment...” but when pressed, he didn’t know what the Second Amendment actually said. (And President Obama isn’t even doing anything related to the Second Amendment as of this writing.) Many probably don’t even know what any of the Constitution says, in terms of the actual words. (Even during the 2011 opening of Congress, some Republican readers omitted parts of the Constitution when they did the “full” reading, items such as black men counting as 3/5 of person, thereby negating history, because exposing the Constitution as a living, breathing document is, apparently, uncomfortable.)

So why is it that if I write a false claim on a misspelled sign-- “Democrat’s hate Buisness!” -- and wear a funny hat while I hold the sign, it’s news, and therefore it is fact. People read this, see this.

            “If I believe it, it’s true.”

            “If I say it, it’s true.”

            If schools do nothing else, they must dispel this myth: “If I believe it, if I say it, it’s true.” If I believe a gifted technology developer should be an ace at finance, then he should be. If I believe that teachers should be as effective teaching 50 students at once as they are teaching 25, then they will be. If I believe that Earth is only 5,000 years old, it is. If I believe that oak trees are made of cotton candy, they are. And they are delicious. It’s what I believe.

            Schools have to teach not only the difference between facts and opinions, but that acting on opinions in the face of facts that contradict those opinions makes you legally insane.

            Or, in this country, a right-wing Republican. Or an apologetic Democrat. Or a lousy corporate executive. Or on the state board of education. Or Texas.

            A right-wing Republican says, “The BP oil spill will correct itself, and the environment will not be affected.”

            An apologetic Democrat says, “I care, but I won’t act, because I might offend my colleagues across the aisle.”

            A lousy corporate executive says, “If I believe you should be a vice president in charge of a division about which you know nothing, then you should be.”

            A state education board says, “If I say you should study and master academics until the age of 18, then you should.”

            A Texas board of education says, “America didn’t trade slaves, Thomas Jefferson had nothing to do with the Enlightenment, Jefferson Davis was an American president, and evolution is a myth.”

            You present them with the facts, and they fire you. Or fire ON you.

            What the hell is going on here?

            For one thing, lousy leadership is rampant. I’m talking governors, superintendents, school boards, principals, what have you. The fish rots from the head down. Where are the models of good leadership? And when did “leadership” in America translate to meaning “loudest mouth”? As much as I respect Barack Obama, he leads like a legislator, which is not technically leading. I think he can lead, and wonder why, as of this writing, he is choosing not to fully exercise his leadership, though I do respect that he is trying to push congressional powers back on Congress. Under President Bush, “leadership” somehow became equated with “dictatorship.” These are, I hope everyone knows, not the same thing.

            Not everyone knows that, though.

            By the time I was teaching, schools had stopped doing assemblies for class officers (“it gets in the way of instructional time”); stopped doing school debates (“people get upset”); and banned Junior Variety Shows (for fear of parking lot riots). Afraid of the kids. Way to go, grown-ups.

            This brings me to FEAR: People who “lead” by destroying, blaming, lying, manipulating, fear-mongering, threatening violence, and practicing hypocrisy are not “leaders”; they are “terrorists.” Terrorists create terror, hence the term. By this definition, Sarah “death panel” Palin is a terrorist. Glenn “Obama is a Nazi” Beck is a terrorist. Their training camp? Turn on Fox “news,” and other media like it. Listen to those opinions, those “beliefs,” that substitute for facts, the fantastical answers to questions that the moderators never stop to point out are, in fact, fantasies and lies.

            That’s what I’m talking about.

            It’s time to train some damn teachers. Dammit.

Next up: STANDARDS! Sexy, hot, wet, bare-breasted STANDARDS.

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