Thursday, 11 June 2015

08:36 – In a sign of the times, North Carolina education authorities are considering what to do about thousands of children who’ve flunked out of third grade. State law requires 3rd grade students to pass a reading test. Those who don’t are held back and undergo a summer reading course, after which they’re retested. But only about 100 of the 500 or so students in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County schools who went through that course were then able to pass the test, leaving things up in the air for the 80% or so who failed the test twice. State law makes no provision for what happens next.

They can’t very well dumb-down the test any further. It already defines a third-grade reading level at what most reasonable people would consider to be a Pre-K level, “See Jack run” and so on. Of course, most of the problem pupils are ESL kids, who are illiterate not only in English but usually also in their native language, which is mostly Spanish. The obvious answer would be to export them and their families back to Mexico, but there’s not much chance of that happening.

As I sit here at my desk preparing to write huge checks for state and federal estimated taxes, I wonder how the hell it became my responsibility to pay for futile attempts to educate the ineducable children of Mexican peasants. I really have had enough, and I’m by no means alone. It’s long past time to roll things back to where they used to and should still be.

09:41 – Ooops. I just realized that my last post is what progressives would probably call a “microagression”. Or maybe a “macroagression”. I’d like to macroaggress those sons of bitches with a 12-gauge. Buckshot rounds aren’t cheap, but I wouldn’t begrudge the cost of 1,000 rounds or so. Hell, tar, feathers, and rails are cheaper still. (Note to censors: this isn’t true threat speech. I’m not saying I’ll do it, nor am I encouraging others to act. I’m merely saying that I’d like to. I wouldn’t actually do it unless I could get away with it, so this is merely free polemic speech protected by the shreds of the First Amendment.)

If you’ve ever tried to transfer bulk food like rice, flour, sugar, beans, etc. into clean 2-liter bottles, you probably already know how difficult it is to find a wide-stem funnel that fits inside the mouth of 2-liter bottles. There’s actually a company that makes such funnels specifically for filling 2-liter bottles, but their prices are outrageous. A few years ago, Barbara found the solution. It’s called The Pampered Chef Flexible Funnels. They come in a set of two nesting funnels. The small one is just a typical funnel. The larger is a wide-stem funnel that is a slip fit for the inside of the mouth of a 2-liter bottle.

Speaking of outrageous prices, though, you’ll have to check around to avoid being ripped off. Amazon has them, but for $22.19/set. I’ve seen them new on eBay for as little as $5/set. Barbara just bought two more sets as a gift for me, and thinks she paid about $8/set. They’re silicone, so they’re very flexible and nearly indestructible. This or a similar funnel is essential for filling 2-liter bottles without wasting effort or spilling food all over the place.