16 August 2006

Non-Random Thoughts II

---I said Hector "I Hang With Drug Dealers" Martínez lied and he admitted it. In an unsurprising turn of events, his fellow muck-wallower and president of the senate Kenneth "If I had Another Brain Cell, I'd Be Half as Dumb" McClintock stated that he "can't see a reason for an Ethics investigation" in this matter. Of course he can't: you have to know and have ethics before you can use it as a standard.

---The local Verizon operation--a de facto monopoly--has been sold to a Mexican telecommunications company. Not news, really. What is news is that the employee share of the company IS being sold.

Skipping over how We ended up with a legalized roadhog barring the way to telecom progress, the sale of employee shares at a time when a Mexican company is taking over probably means that the bloated phone company will be seriously reduced in size. Verizon tried to do that, but was hampered by the take-over agreement. I believe that this time, the dial tone will go mute on several hundred employees and that it won't take long before We see it happen.

---For those of you who may have noticed, The Jenius hasn't mentioned a "walk around the mall"-type survey in a while. Reason: the last one depressed Me. I asked 44 adults to mention five incidents in Puerto Rico's history. The first 10 I asked couldn't give Me any, not even something like the recent government shutdown. Eventually, over 30 adults answered with mainly blank stares. A handful mentioned 1 or 2 incidents. Only the 44th person, a woman, rattled off five. Why? She'd helped her daughter through her school class on the history of Puerto Rico during the past school year. What depressed Me most was hearing more than one person say that "the history of Puerto Rico isn't that important." I wish there were a DELETE button for My Life.

---A book on sexuality described as "overtly explicit" has been pulled from public schools classrooms by (mis)education secretary Rafael "I Ride a Rotting Whale" Aragunde. Despite a lengthy review and evaluation process at the administrative level, which presumably includes teachers (around here, you just can't assume it does), a handful of teachers protest the book and in a matter of minutes, the secretary orders a recall and states that "Parents should review the book and make their own decision (about it)." I don't care how the secretary and his blubber-butt cohorts at (mis)education want to spin this, but this was nowhere near an educational decision: it was a political one. And a craven one, to boot.

Rather than take the complaints for what they are (minor dissent) and maintain a posture of "business as usual" (such as it is), Rafy-Daffy overreacts and throws a hissy-fit. If the book weren't about sexuality, would the decision "process" be the same? If a book on Puerto Rican history had a chapter on "Taíno Genocide" and 20-30 teachers protested that, would the book be pulled immediately and parents told to "read it and decide"? The point isn't--or shouldn't be--that the book is about sexuality, but that the way this is being handled is totally, utterly wrong.

If the book is "too sexual," whose standards will apply: those of a minority or the majority? If some teachers find the book dangerous and/or disturbing, but the parents don't, who will prevail at the classroom level? And by caving in like a cheap house of cards at the slightest breeze, Rafy-Laffy sets a precedent that will be exploited like a cheap drug-addicted hooker in a guerrilla camp.

School's out before it even began...

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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