Demonstrating the importance of a good education the City of Pittsburgh Public School Board decided that grades were so important that they would accept nothing less than a grade point average of 1.5 for any student wishing to participate in sports or other extracurricular activities (That’s D+ for those of you who grew up when I did).Â We cannot have any football players ineligible because of low grades.Â The “lowering the bar” part is because prior to this the bar was a full “C” or 2.0 grade point average.Â That requirement must have decimated the ranks of the chess club and the forensics team.Â Lest your heart (and mind) be too troubled by the lower standards any “students who are at a 1.5-1.99 GPA must take part in a probationary program aimed at getting them to a 2.0. If they haven’t achieved this in two semesters, they would be ineligible for activities including sports, band and club activities” unless there is a chance that a city football team can capture a state championship.Â We wouldn’t want to deprive any kids of that honor.
“Because half a dozen grasshoppers under a fern make the field ring with their importunate chink, whilst thousands of great cattle, reposed beneath the shade of the British oak, chew the cud and are silent, pray do not imagine that those who make the noise are the only inhabitants of the field; that, of course, they are many in number; or that, after all, they are other than the little, shriveled, meager, hopping, though loud and troublsome, insects of the hour.
As I thought about how to describe this book by author Joshua Cooper RamoÂ an image of The Wizard of Oz movie flashed into my mind.Â I hope that I don’t do this book a tremendous disservice with my analogy, but I think it fits on a very superficial level.Â Like Frank L. Baum, Ramo exposes our quaint life to tremendous upheaval into a world we don’t know and frankly want no part of.Â A journey begins as we explore the new reality of this world as we look toward leaders who can save us.Â Only our leaders like the Wizard are really just men with fancy titles, degrees, and curtains that shouldn’t be explored.
Exxon Valdez, Hurricane Ivan, Ruby Ridge, Monica Lewinsky, Iranian U.S. Embassy take over, Bay of Pigs, and Hurricane Katrina were all disasters faced by White House different administrations.Â Besides the worst economy and near 10% unemployment Obama has his first “natural” disaster.Â
Politicians and government officials you just have to love them.Â Okay you really don’t have to love them, but they do the darndest things.Â As I sat through a recent presentation by a transportation official who was selling a program to construct additional roads within his district.Â I don’t know if you have heard, but there is a lot of stimulus money for shovel-ready projects to create billions of new jobs.Â It should not be a surprise to have a transportation agency wanting to build more roads.Â That’s the left hand.
This will be an unusual post for me.Â I am going to use mostly quotes to tell a story.Â A story that I hope will propel you to action.
“The crash was the honest acknowledgement of the breakdown of capitalism…caused by speculating margin traders brought down the nation.”
“The country, he believed, had grown too fast:Â beyond ‘our natural and normal growth.’Â The problem was that there had been ‘an era of selfishness.’Â There existed ‘throughout the nation men and women, forgotten in the political philosophy’ of the last years.”
(Sung to the The Candy Man as made famous by Sammy Davis, Jr.)
Obama Man, hey Obama Man
Alright Everybody, Gather round
The Obama Man is here
What kind of porky do you want?
Sweet mortgage? A brand new bridge?
New jobs? Anything you want
You’ve come to the right man because
I’m the Obama man!
Who can take a crisis?
(Who can take a crisis?)
Sprinkle it with fear
Cover it with stimulus and a miracle or two