Wednesday, December 19, 2012

On the Heroics of Schoolteachers

When I was a teacher, I (and many other teachers) determined that, if an armed intruder tried to get into my classroom, I would go Chuck Norris on him. I wouldn't do it to be heroic. Want to know why I would do it? First, my kids were that important to me (yes, every one of them) and I would do whatever I could to protect them. Second, as has been demonstrated from Columbine to Sandy Hook, the bad guy was probably gonna shoot at me anyway, so I had nothing to lose.

But all of the Sandy Hook teachers were heroes, both the ones who survived and the ones who died protecting their kids. They should be honored and rewarded the way heroes are honored and rewarded.

And I know I should call my kids "my students," but they were, and always will be, "my kids."

Monday, December 3, 2012

The fiscal cliff: a couple of ideas

Idea #1: Someone suggested that it would be very wise for the Republicans to acquiesce, and to accept Obama's (and the Democrats') proposal to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans. Warren Buffett and other wealthy people have pooh-poohed the Republicans' contention that when wealthy people are taxed more, they invest less; therefore, raising the taxes on the rich will not have the net negative effect the Republicans are predicting.

But the better reason to raise the taxes on the wealthy is that, four years from now, when we're in worse shape than we are today, the Republicans can point at President Obama and the Democrats in Congress and say, "See? We TOLD you it wouldn't work! But NOOOOO, you wouldn't listen!" It would give them a lot a lot of leverage for unseating all of those Democrats.

Idea #2: This idea has been floating through Facebook and email lore, and it's a perfectly sensible idea. The idea is that we take away all of the special privileges that Congresscriters enjoy, and make them live the same way the rest of us live: the same tax laws, Social Security payments, Medicare/Medicaid payments, health plans, and everything else. They have forgotten how normal people live, and they need to be made to remember.

And here's a third idea, tangentially related to the fiscal cliff and the financial mismanagement that brought us to this point in the first place:

Idea #3: It was indeed Warren Buffett who proposed a constitutional amendment that says, in essence, whenever Congress cannot balance the budget for a given year, all of the members of Congress automatically become ineligible for re-election.