The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Saturday, August 06, 2005


Come and get me, San Jose Mercury News letters page. Bring it on.


Truman did what he had to do

By the late summer of 1945, America had been at war for almost four years, and had sustained a million casualties -- nearly 300,000 of which were battle deaths. The recent blood bath at Okinawa most certainly did not hint at a weakening of Japanese resolve.

Had President Truman not used the atomic bomb -- and had the American public discovered that he could have shortened the war and saved U.S lives -- he would not have been impeached, but he would have been hanged.


Fuck yeah! You know why I like this letter? It's not because I have anything against Truman, or think that he should have been executed for failing to nuke a few hundred thousand Japs. It's because this letter is such a refreshing splash of cold water in a world of passive-aggressive seditious namby-pamblies who get worried when an illegal combatant's favorite manual of fascism might have been used as an impromptu plumbing prop.

It's the same feeling I get when I see the Cleveland Indians mascot.

Oh, and another reason to approve of this letter:


E.B. Floyd
San Jose



Teachers need tenure protection

People seem to forget that tenure is necessary to teach. Teachers need to be able to teach evolution without fear of being fired by a fundamentalist school board member, or flunk a kid without worrying if his dad is friends with the principal, or be able to teach history without worrying if some nut on the school board thinks slavery was just fine.

I agree two years for tenure is too short, but five years is too long. Tenure doesn't mean you can't be fired, only that due process -- rather than the whim of a principal or school board member -- must be followed to demonstrate incompetence.

Is there a belief that we have too many teachers so we need to make life harder to discourage those who keep trying?

Michael Goldman
Sunnyvale


Of course teachers need tenure to prevent them from being fired for, you know, reasons. Tenure will never be abused for ill! It will only be used for good! Also I need tenure in my job at Google, because otherwise I might be sacked for coding in Java when some high-level manager likes C++. And my friend Brian needs tenure because otherwise Loral might fire him when he causes a communication satellite to go into orbit around Neptune. (Why Neptune? Because the whole John Roberts nomination is about distracting attention from Neptune. Karl Rove never talks about Neptune. Think about it.)


Get soft drinks out of high schools

In ``Helping teenagers kick their soft-drink habit,'' (Editorial, July 28), you underscore the need to get soft drinks out of our high schools.

The $320,000 that San Jose Unified alone takes in each year from Pepsi for its soda machines is blood money gained at the cost of our children's health. The rate of obesity in adolescents has more than tripled in the past three decades; if current trends continue, more than one-third of kids born in 2000 are destined to become diabetic, some of whom before they are even out of high school.

It's more than time that we champion the health of our kids and get soft-drinks out of all our schools for good.

Kate Grant, director,

Healthy Silicon Valley
San Jose


Blood money? I thought it was profit obtained by satisfying consumers' desires.

I mean, if I oversleep and miss a plane flight, is it Macys' fault for selling me sheets and pillows?


A U.N. hater is our ambassador

John Bolton does not know the meaning of the word diplomacy, does not believe in the mission of the United Nations and does not even believe that the United Nations should exist.


Oh, come on. Such an exaggeration. I'm sure John Bolton knows the meaning of the word diplomacy. Or could look it up in a dictionary.


And we are supposed to believe he will be a good U.N. ambassador?


Who fucking cares? The person responsible for the greatest improvements in the UN was Jesse Helms, for God's sake.

Why is it that if you crack open a high school history textbook, you'll find lots of criticism of the League of Nations as ineffective? Yet the UN, which does the League one better in being ineffective and vile, can do no wrong.


3 comments

3 Comments:

The letter you cite (re tenure) explains why teachers need the protection of tenure. Tenure isn't the problem; it's administrators who sign off on it without vigorously observing and evaluating their staff. It's not that many teachers are actually bad; it's that they're mediocre. Substandard teachers can be fired, but again, administrators have to cross the Ts and dot the Is.

By Blogger goddessoftheclassroom, at 11:29 AM  

The letter you cite (re tenure) explains why teachers need the protection of tenure.

And I explained why software developers and aeronautics engineers need the protection of tenure.

Tenure isn't the problem; it's administrators who sign off on it without vigorously observing and evaluating their staff.

Well, you can observe and evaluate all you want, but it's dollars to donuts that one's behavior will change after one's job is guaranteed.

Substandard teachers can be fired, but again, administrators have to cross the Ts and dot the Is.

Sure, if the teacher is caught in bed with a young boy ^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H(some other horrific crime that is not an anachronism since the acquittal of Michael Jackson).

By Blogger Floyd, at 12:07 AM  

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By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:00 AM  

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