Friday’s Odds and Ends


A student in a Dallas suburban school didn’t like the assignment he was given, so he mouthed off to the teacher, and now the teacher is on administrative leave, while school officials cleared the student of any wrong-doing. What is wrong with that picture?

Apparently the video of the rant by Jeff Bliss, an 18-year old sophomore, has gone viral on the Internet, and some people are calling him a hero, because part of his rant was to point out what is wrong with education.

I’m sorry. A kid that disrespects his teacher like that is no hero. I don’t care if there might have been one valid point contained in the harangue. And there is also the question of what went on that caused the teacher to kick him out of class in the first place. It was that action that led to his now-famous parting remarks.

Sarah Anderson raised an interesting point in a recent column that was published in The Dallas Morning News on the topic of salaries for CEOs. She wrote, “The current tax code lets corporations deduct from their income taxes unlimited amounts of executive compensation, as long as they say this pay is based on ‘performance.’ As a result, huge companies like BlackRock have an incentive to dole out massive stock options and other so-called performance bonuses.”

Her column was in response to the ad by Laurence Fink, who is the CEO of BlackRock, where he is calling for raising the retirement age to 70. According to Fink, people should wait before collecting social security because “most of us have jobs where we just sit around.”

That might be true for Fink, but most of the folks I know who are approaching retirement age are not sitting around in their jobs, raking in the big bucks. And if Fink is so worried about the solvency of the social security system, he could just decline his benefits when he retires and live off his accumulated wealth.

Now for some fun from the comic strips. This first one is from Bizarro. by Dan Piraro. A unicorn gets on an elevator and asks the man next to the control panel for the thirteenth floor. The man says there’s no such thing.

Here’s one from the classic, Peanuts. Charlie Brown is sitting at his desk at school. He says, “A spelling bee? They’re going to have a city-wide spelling bee?”

In the next panel he considers, “I should enter it… That’s the sort of thing I need to do to gain self-confidence.”

Then he smile. “I think I’ll raise my hand and volunteer. It’ll be good for me… I think I’ll just raise my hand and volunteer….”

In the next panel Charlie Brown says,”My hand won’t go up. It’s smarter than I am.”

Today’s Literary Lesson comes from 10lb. Penalty by Dick Francis. A character is reflecting on the political process, “Votes are won by laughter and lost by dogma.”

3 thoughts on “Friday’s Odds and Ends”

  1. I saw that school video. The boy should be serving detention for his behavior, at the least, and the administration should have simply checked to see if the teacher was, in fact, teaching the approved curriculum – which I agree is too often focused on passing state mandated standardized tests.

    Charlie Brown’s hand is smarter than mine sometimes.

  2. Hello! Thanks for stopping by The Opinionated Pussycat!

    I see I’m not the only one with Spam comment issues.

    Captcha has solved my problem of 3000 a day, less on my Mad Macedonian blog ( so I reluctantly use that.

    I see you are a Texan and I like what I’ve seden of your blog so am adding it to a list of Houston & TX blogs I’m building for my non-cat blog. 😀

    I’m relatively new to Houston/TX so didn’t know about the Houston Writer’s Guild.

    As for the student getting cranky with his teacher, I too would like to know if the teacher had any problems with the kid before this incident.

    I DO feel there are legitimate times for a student to speak up in class and walk out, as I did it myself, in middle school in the early 70’s….During a test some bullies damaged my briefcase, and when I stood up and asked the teacher for permission to leave and go to the principal’s office, the teacher told me to sit and finish my test. I picked up my stuff and to the shock and amazement of classmates who never dreamed I had it in me, told the man no, and walked out heading to the Principal’s office. 😀

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