Sunday, October 19, 2008


I am an elementary schoolteacher, and politics are verboten and useless in the classroom. Children merely articulate what they have heard at home, and they don't have the background or the verbal and conceptual foundation to discuss, much less understand, politics.

I love politics. Even at an early age I was passionate about politics. Unfortunately, my family mistook my passion for irrationality, so the first ten years of my political discussions at home (age 16 - 26) were spent trying to deflect my facial expressions and verbal tone rather than the gist of what I was saying. I always resented that. I suppose my family would have allowed me to discuss politics with them if I were on Prozac or Valium, but as I recall, they hadn't been invented.

Outside of the home, I found myself knowledgeable, well read, and ahead of the game. I am still proud of my efforts to elect Barry Goldwater for President in 1964, my shared disregard with Senator Goldwater for Ronald Reagan's military-backed, conservative deceit, my mutual respect for both William Buckley and Hubert Humphrey, my abandonment of the conservative Republican ideal due to its death by internal poisoning from an overdose of Protestant fundamentalism, and my growing disillusionment with the length of a presidential campaign, which has at least helped me in some ways understand previously incomprehensible mathematical concepts, such as my newfound grasp of infinity, especially when applied to elapsed time.

However, I have a new political philosophy, and it pretty much agrees with Christopher ("Christo") Buckley. It doesn't seem that November 4 will ever get here. Until that time comes, I live by my new motto, "All Americans should have the right to freedom from the press."

Saturday, October 18, 2008


About 99% of my favorite people on the planet are under the age of ten, and one of the many reasons why is due to their natural ability to speak the truth, even in public. With the Presidential and Senate campaigns in high gear, it is a relief to be able to go to an elementary school each day and hear someone, even if it's children, speak the truth. Here are some exact quotes from the mouths of babes:

"Mr. W., you're wearing too much cologne."

"I don't like school."

"You're just saying that to make me feel better."

"What happened to your hair?"

"You look old."

"You look terrible. Are you sick?"

"You do it too, sometimes!" (I hate that one.)

One of my fellow teachers, Greg, has a son who says things like this in earshot of the offender:

"Daddy, that man's cigarette smoke stinks!"

"Look at that man, Daddy. He pushed his cart into that lady's car and dented the paint. Isn't that against the law?" (The man looks accusingly over at Greg but is unable to say anything because it was a child who spoke the truth and not an adult who could then be physically threatened.

"That lady just said a naughty word. She has a dirty mouth."

"Look, Daddy! That lady opened that package of candy. Is she going to pay for it or is she just stealing?"

We should treasure the truth. Someone very great once said, "The truth shall set you free." How right He was.