Tag Archives: Texas Legislature

Monday, May 22, 2017 – Global Update and Texas Public School News

Monday, May 22, 2017 – Global Update and Texas Public School News

Good Morning Civics Class.

Our vocabulary word for the day is: ultracrepidarian. (uhl-truh-krep-i-DAIR- ee-uh-n) It is an adjective noting or pertaining to a person, who criticizes, judges or gives advice outside the area of his or her expertise.

Let us explore some examples of persons who might be described as ultracrepidarian.

At the global level The United States’ ultracrepidarian Potus is sword fighting with Saudi royalty. Talk about sabre rattling. They all went to the Toby Keith Testosterone Concert, part of the Hand Maiden’s Tale Tour. Meanwhile, Malaria the Silent and Blondie Anorexia are showing a great deal of leg for an Arab country that covers their women in sheets.

I really do not know what to think about that glowing orb thing. It is creepy. I think it is three billionaires contacting the Mother Ship for further details. It is also possible the sheiks told POTUS it was the newest thing for penile dysfunction and is available for only $19.95 (easily converted to rubles) via the Internet.

Today Trumpet is to visit the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. Fake New, Inc. reports he is exploring moving the wall to Laredo, Texas or somewhere in Arizona. FYI – Do not even think about putting the words “wall” and “Big Bend” in the same sentence.

“But in Texas the talk turned to outlaws, like Willie, Waylon and me.” (David Allen Coe. 1976) Other outlaws now include, but are not limited to: the entire Texas Legislature. What is happening in The Lone Star State of Texas?

There is one week of public schools left in the year and one week left in the Texas Legislature. Of course that fat lady is not warming up to sing and Saint Dan, The Evangelical can still hold bills in the Senate hostage and call special sessions until he gets his way. But he might be content to throw the entire public school system and its children under the big yellow legislative bus.

First, the bathroom bill. Am I reading this correctly? This now only applies to K-12 public schools? And the lower chamber pot (The House) stuck this in the bill as amendment for the requirements for an ISD’s for emergency preparations?

The Texas House passed bathroom restrictions for transgender students.

…An amendment was added to school districts’ emergency plans and added language requiring K-12 schools provide single-stall restrooms and other public areas to a student “who does not wish” to use facilities designated by “biological sex.”

What happened to “local control?” or as we say in Texas, “by God Independent School District.” Is there funding in the school finance bill to make these accommodations or is this an “unfunded mandate?” Why not add an amendment to make the “other bathroom” a pay toilet and name it the Dan Patrick Potty ? If you are going to discriminate, then go all out. This might pay for the required upgrades the school has to make or at least increase custodial pay for those who have to clean up when everyone pees on the floor.

School Finance. The upper chamber pot did approve the school finance bill. But only if it included Voucher Language. Let me translate. If your child is disabled you can use my tax dollars that take away from the public school system and can be used for private schooling. It also reads as though my tax dollars can go to parents educating their children at home.

The Senate put a voucher-like program in House Bill 21, the school finance bill.

The upper chamber early Monday morning approved a bill that would simplify the formulas for funding public schools and allow parents of kids with disabilities to take state money to leave the public system for private schools or homeschooling. HB 21 now includes a provision the House hates and Patrick wants: state subsidies for parents who want to send their children with disabilities to private schools or need money for services to educate them at home.

In summary, here’s what I’m thinking. Please protect the public school system from ultracrepidarian politicians. And please protect all Texas children and especially those in foster care, who are transgendered, and with disabilities from the Texas Legislature.

https://www.texastribune.org/2017/05/22/brief-may-22/?utm_campaign=trib-social-buttons&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social

Thursday, November 16, 2016 – Jonathan Swift , Ignatius J. Reilly and Me

Thursday, November 16, 2016 – Jonathan Swift , Ignatius J. Reilly and Me

Thank you to my government employee friends and the literary people especially us liberal arts folks – especially Brit Lit and Grit Lit majors. You recognized yesterday’s quote from Swift’s Thoughts on Various Subjects written about the British monarch George I and published around 1726.

And yes, regardless of political leanings it is said with every transitional period of government and has since the 18th century when Swift wrote about the rise of Parliament and decline of the monarchy when the sun never sat on the British Empire.

Speaking of centuries, here is another great quote from John Kennedy Toole’s outstanding, laugh out loud and well deserved Pulitzer Prize winning book about Nawlins, Louisiana – From A Confederacy of Dunces:

“I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.” Ignatius J. Reilly.

So me!

20130701_121153

Here’s to the beginning of The Silly Season – the filing of bills in the Texas Legislature. Photo by me.

Friday, May 13, 2016 – To Pee or Not to Pee – That is the Question.

Friday, May 13, 2016 – To Pee or Not to Pee – That is the Question.

Snarky Friday Returns. It is Friday, the 13th and a full moon. The crazy people come into the light.

Nov 2013 2013-08-24 156 (800x530)

Photo by me. Austin Graffiti Wall August 2013

I am not fond of lawmakers trying to pass legislation about my body or my bodily functions. I just do not think morality can be legislated. Urinating does appear to be an unalienable right and does fall under life, since one will die if he or she does not urinate. I suppose liberty and pursuit of happiness do fall into the bowl too. Liberty as in “free to pee” and happiness since, well, who isn’t happy with an empty bladder? But should this be a political issue?

I see where Lt. Governor of Texas Dan Patrick is willing to fall on his sword regarding the Fort Worth Independent School District and the Superintendent’s stance on transgender bathrooms.

Which part of INDEPENDENT School District do you not understand, Lt. Gov. Patrick? Last time I looked at the Texas Constitution and the Texas Education Code, the Executive Office cannot single out one school district and make decisions for the district. It falls under local control – you know that platform you advocate?

Regardless of one’s opinion on transgender and bathrooms and who pees where, the issue is authoritarian control by the Texas Legislature regarding school districts and the policies adopted locally.

One must listen carefully to the language used. Tomorrow the POTUS will issue a “Directive” to public schools regarding transgender and bathrooms.  In spite of Lt. Governor Patrick’s rhetoric, it is not an Executive Order. It is not a law. It does not “force” anybody to do anything. Lt. Gov, you are just making up stuff as you usually do and the lemmings march to the sea behind you.

I wonder how the bathrooms will look in the proposed 63 MILLION dollar football stadium in McKinney ISD. At that price tag there could be many bathrooms. Something for everyone. I wonder how much instruction 63 million dollars would provide?

Oh well. I hope you get to pee wherever you want to.

Contributions to this article come from The Yellow Stream, by I.P. Freely.

June 2, 2015 – Sine Die! The Fat Lady Has Sung and the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature Has Adjourned! God Help Us All!

June 2, 2015 – Sine Die! The Fat Lady Has Sung and the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature Has Adjourned! God Help Us All!

Sine Die. The fat lady has sung and the 84th Session of the Texas Legislature has adjourned!  God Help Us All!

Remember RL, when there really was a fat lady that sang Texas Our Texas at sine die? What was her name? Ernestine Glossbrenner? House representative from Corpus Christi maybe?  What did they sing yesterday? Onward Christian Soldiers marching off to Bastrop?

Well, Yippee Yi Ky Yay! Listen up Buckaroos – Open carry of handguns has passed from the legislature and galloped on over to the governor for his stamp of approval.  You can openly carry your handgun, but keep your beer closed while driving.

And campus open carry of handguns passed for public institutions of higher education too.  That will give an entirely new meaning to Texas Tech’s “Guns Up!”   Those crazy Red Raiders can now shoot the frozen tortillas from the sky when they throw them at the opposing team and fans.

How many days until college football season begins?

One last question.  Will the The Velvet Jones School of Technology at the corner of First and Chicon in Austin be grandfathered into campus carry?

Sine Die – all of the idiots may return to their respective villages.

Monday, May 18, 2015 – Graduation, Family & Bikers

Monday, May 18, 2015 – Graduation, Family & Bikers

“What a wild, wacky weekend in Waco,” she said with alliteration. I stole today’s title from Great Niece Courtney’s tweet.  She is one of my new followers on Twitter. She joins several new FFs. (Facebook Friends). Fortunately and thankfully my trip to Waco only involved the first two descriptors.  What a tragedy. I bet the Waconians (?) thought Stephen King’s The Stand was taking place.

But for my new social media friends – Welcome to Here’s What I’m Thinking.  Here are my rules. They are always subject to change.

I write a post everyday Monday through Friday and maybe Saturday and/or Sunday if something happens to interest me. I try to post around late morning unless I play golf. If the rains ever cease and I can play golf again, postings will appear in the afternoons. Note: “around late morning” is from the bureaucratic time zone – the one used by state and federal agencies.

I write mostly about college football (and a few other sports), the Texas educational institution, politics and anything else my great mind thinks about.  Just because it appears to be sports oriented does not always mean it is about sporting event, itself. I say this for the Sports Challenged who do not follow sports.  I may critique and rank the college football uniforms for that Saturday. For example from last fall “Is it just me or do the Texas Tech football helmets look like the Dairy Queen logo?”

Topics range from snarky to moving.  Remember my sister reads this daily.  So try to refrain from using the F word too often. My family only tends to use it around her when there is a bear chasing one of us in Alaska.

To get people to read what I write I created this mission statement – aka my business plan.

If I have known you in the past, know you now or will know you in the future, I WILL write about you.  There is a high statistical probability that what I write about you will be positive.  But are you willing to risk that you fall outside the standard deviation and are written in a negative light and not read Here’s What I’m Thinking?  Those who do not read, will be written about.

The intent is to make at least one person think and/or laugh daily.  I am not responsible if coffee, red wine or any other substance hits your computer screen while laughing or crying.

I try to be bipartisan snarky, but the political writings do lean left and tend to be more blue oriented than red.  And sorry, Greg, Courtney, Principal Judy, et al, they lean far to the Maroon and White rather than the burnt orange.  I anxiously await your snappy comebacks.

Jennifer, check out some previous posts with me and Reveille VIII or the implosion of the West Side.  Yes, me and 7000, at 6:30 AM on a Sunday morning to watch a wall full of memories fall.  Why? Because we are the Aggies. That and money and better ESPN angles for football games. It is amazing what a Heisman Trophy will bring, isn’t it Baylor? And we get to play on real TV. (Paraphrase to Chancellor John Sharp), but I understand The University is booked until 2027.

Remember, you do not have to like anything I am thinking.  The goal of a writer is to evoke emotions. (A big shout out to Mrs. Traugh and Mrs. Burnside for teaching me that in high school and I did not split my infinitive either.)

Comments are most welcome even if you have a different point of view or perspective.  It is a diverse world.  Remember the site is called Here’s What I’m Thinking, not Here’s What I Believe.  Often the postings are parodies or satires.  It is written on multiple levels with multiple items embedded.

You can access the site by going to Drdrd85.me and one does not have to go through social media (i.e. Facebook or Twitter).

Originally, the site was modeled after the vanity cards, at the end of Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady productions.  Many are aware my favorite TV show that is not on ESPN is The Big Bang Theory. The vanity cards are the paragraphical writings on the cards that flash at the end of the program.  Mine were supposed to be “bathroom” in length, meaning one should be able to read what I writing during an ordinary visit to the bathroom or about 500 words. But sometimes I become verbose. But hey, I have a PhD. That is how we talk – long and boring – just like I did now.

Anyway, hopefully there is a little something for everyone.   Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Friday, May 15, 2015 – “Are We There Yet?” said the Snark

Friday, May 15, 2015 – “Are We There Yet?” said the Snark

To all my friends and colleagues’ who were and especially those who bravely continue to be in the institution commonly called – K-12 Public Education:

Remember when we used to say “The Legislature wants schools to do more with less. However, someday they will ask us to do it all with nothing.”

Are we there yet?  I believe so. Once again the boys and girls of Texas get one of the simple machines from the Texas Legislature.

For your daily assessment, select from the following which simple machine the public schools were given by the Texas Legislature.

(a) Lever

(b) Wedge

(c) Wheel and Axle

(d) Pulley

(e) Inclined plane

(f) Screw

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – Hidebound – The Word for the Day

Thursday, May 14, 2015 – Hidebound – The Word for the Day

Every day for some reason I reason I receive the word of the day from dictionary.com in my email.

The word for May 12 was hidebound.

Hidebound means:

  1. narrow and rigid in opinion; inflexible: a hidebound pedant.
  2. oriented toward or confined to the past; extremely conservative: a hidebound philosopher

With the word of the day comes the use in a quotation and the origin of the word.

Quotes

I never saw a man so distressed as you were by my will; unless it were that hidebound pedant, Lanyon, at what he called my scientific heresies.

— Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1886

Origin

Hidebound entered English in the mid-1500s as a descriptor for malnourished cattle. It joins the words hide meaning “the pelt or skin of one of the larger animals” and bound meaning “made fast as if by a band or bond.”

As this is Texas and we assess everything in education, here is your assessment question.

For the writing portion, write a paragraph answering the following question:

Doesn’t this sound like the Texas Legislature?

 

Friday, May 8, 2015 – Snark Attack

Friday, May 8, 2015 – Snark Attack

What has the Texas Legislature and Governor done for the people of Texas this week?

Open carry of handguns is shooting forward through session.

The Governor said he would sign a bill saying “clergy do not have to service people whose belief structure is against theirs.” Note: this is fancy bullshit language for discrimination and bigotry. And this has nothing to do with where people go to the bathroom.

Then the Governor decided to send the Texas State Guard to protect the people of Bastrop County from The Attack of the Federal Government. Was the Texas State Guard the military branch W. Bush was in?

And then to add sprinkles to the cupcakes, Texas State Representative David Simpson, REPUBLICAN from Longview, filed a bill Monday that would repeal the state’s ban on growing, possessing and selling marijuana – something he believes God intended.

Here are some quotes attributed to Mr. Simpson: “I don’t believe that when God made marijuana he made a mistake that government is to fix.” Or how about, “Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor.” And finally, albeit taken out of context somewhat “All that God created is good, including marijuana.”

Am I the only one finding this triad worrisome? Hand guns, bigots and pot, Oh My!  I hope there are enough sane people around when the zombie apocalypse takes place.

Friday, April 3, 2015 – Snarky Friday – Assessment

Friday, April 3, 2015 – Snarky Friday – Assessment

To select this Friday’s snark about, I imagined the following as giant piñatas and I was beating the crap out of them – the state of Indiana, Ted Cruz or Assessment in Texas schools. The one with the most candy today was Assessment in Texas schools.

Last week was STAAR Testing in the Texas public school system. Assessement. Testing. What have you learned? How do we know? Can a test show what you know?

So this week’s Friday question to the Texas Legislature as always is – “What have you done for the people of Texas this week? Here is a list, including, but not limited to:

  • Increased anxiety levels among all school aged children
  • Increased anxiety levels among all parents and guardians of school aged children
  • Increased anxiety levels among all teachers and instructional assistants
  • Increased anxiety levels among all campus and district level administrators
  • Decreased instructional time in the classroom
  • Ineffectively utilized teachers and administrators throughout the educational system
  • Increased corporate earnings for Big P and others profiting off the children and the educational institution under the heading of “Assessment.”

After Captain Hairspray decided to take millions away from the boys and girls of Texas schools by closing The Form Factory where I was working, and put them toward your toll roads, I was unemployed. I was fortunate to secure a job in a nearby school district in a central office job to complete my educational career.On the educational side (not the business side) everyone at this level was Master’s Degree and higher.  There were about 25 of us.

During assessment week, or Academic Lockdown, as I like to call it, every one of us was out of our offices and on campuses. My job was to ride around the district visiting my four assigned campuses. I was a Bathroom Nazi.  My job was to go to a campus and give one of the people assigned to guard the bathroom a 15 minute break and/or a 30 minute lunch break. I would sit in front of the bathroom, with no book to read, no phone to look at or no music to listen to because these and about a hundred other items are forbidden in the testing rules. I was happy to have a chair to sit in.

My job was to ensure only one student entered at a time and only stayed a reasonably allotted time.  When the campus bathroom Nazi returned, I would leave and drive to another campus and do the same routine. I did this for four days.

These are your tax dollars at work.  And this model is carried out throughout the state in over the 1000+ by God Independent School Districts.

And if you think that is scary, guess what I did while unemployed?  I scored assessment tests. As they say in show business – You ain’t heard nothing yet!

Oh yes – the Texas Education Agency (TEA) is a good place to share your thoughts regarding assessment, but please do not place blame this mess on the agency.  As all state agencies are required, it is just following the laws set forth by the Texas Legislatures.  So if you desire change contact your representatives.

Maybe a new state education slogan could be: Texas Education: Where Every Child is Assessed!

God Bless Texas and God Bless Texas Education. Feel free to substitute your own belief structure.

Friday, January 30, 2015 = Snarky Friday

Friday, January 30, 2015 = Snarky Friday

What has the Legislature done for the citizens of Texas this week?

To the Honorable, yet Confused Representative Molly White,

Dear Representative White,

Here is what you posted on Facebook yesterday:

“Today is Texas Muslim Capital [sic] Day in Austin. The House is in recess until Monday. Most Members including myself are back in District. I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office.”

I see that you are newly elected to the Texas House of Representatives.  Therefore, I am compelled to offer a few suggestions:

  1. Capitol or Capital? Please use the correct spelling. The building, the one where you work, is spelled with an “O.” The city where it is located is spelled with an “A.” A handy mnemonic is “the building has a dome, so it is spelled with an “O.” The state capital is a place, so it is spelled with an “A.”
  2. You left an Israeli flag on your reception desk? You are from Belton, Texas. Are there any Jewish people who actually live there? I am somewhat confused here. Are you representing the district in Texas or some place is Israel?
  3. You want the Muslims to say the pledge of allegiance to the United States. You do realize you are a representative in the Texas legislature and not in Washington, D.C., don’t you?
  4. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate for people visiting to say the Texas pledge of allegiance? I mean you, as in the Legislature, mandated that every school child in Texas say the Texas pledge, so why not capitol visitors?
  5. While you are at it, why don’t you have them sing the state song too? You do know it is Texas Our Texas and not The Eyes of Texas?
  6. Have the Muslims sing The Star Spangled Banner too. Perhaps if they sing America, the Beautiful and My Country tis of Thee you can enjoy an entire choir.
  7. Perhaps reciting the Preamble to the United States Constitution can fit into your interrogations.
  8. A nice paper to accessorize the Israeli flag might the Ten Commandments. I mean after all, the Protestants got them from Jewish people.
  9. Another nice accessory on your reception desk might be the Bill of Rights. Maybe you could highlight the first amendment. That is the one that starts with Freedom of Religion, and continues with Freedom of the Press, and Freedom of Speech. There is also that “right of the people peaceably to assemble.”
  10. The event, Texas Muslim Capitol Day, was organized by the Texas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. You are aware this was to promote positive relations between the United States, of which Texas is a member, and Islam? And last, but not least, not all Muslims are terrorists.

Just a few suggestions for you to think about, Ms. White.  You are not related to Ron White, the comedian, are you? You know he says “You can’t fix stupid.”