The Vax Fax….uh, Facts

Hypo

A local high school teacher recently scared the Hell out of a couple of public nurses and some students. A science teacher, he should have known, and acted, better.  Apparently he’s an anti-vaccination conspiracy theory believer.  He abandoned his class and classroom three times, to go to the gymnasium, where booster shots were being given.

He banged on the nurses’ work table. He leaned in on his knuckles, nose to nose with them, and demanded that they provide proof that vaccinations were safe.  He paced around, yelling that the students had the right to know that the vaccinations could kill them.  The students were frightened, not of the shots, but of his behavior.

His school board censured him, the police were called, and charged him, and he got his 15 minutes of infamy in the media. A few days later, this letter appeared.  My response follows it.

VACCINATION DEBATE

Re: Anti-vaccination teacher guilty

I find it rather ironic that this week, an Ontario teacher was found guilty of misconduct for pushing his views on vaccination, and my nephew died after 32 years, as a result of uncontrollable seizures, after being vaccinated as a child.

This teacher was trying to assure that his students were aware of all the side effects, including possible death, as the result of vaccines.

Too much of this information is buried from the public eye. I’m not against vaccines, I’m just an apprehensive observer who doesn’t have enough information to make a proper decision on my own.

Jim Kuntz

VACCINATION PARANOIA

I was disappointed to see Jim Kuntz’s letter of support (Vaccination debate, Mon. Feb. 27) for the anti-vax teacher.

He was chastised not for his views, but for his actions. There is a proper time, place, and method of protest. Interrupting medical procedures, and frightening nurses and students was very inappropriate.

Kuntz was disingenuous to mention his nephew’s death after long-term seizures, and the fact that he had been vaccinated, with no proof that one caused the other. Epilepsy usually first presents just as children receive their first shots.

He complained that much of needed information is not available to the public. If either of these gentlemen need info, they need only contact their personal doctor, the local Medical Association, the Provincial Medical Association, the Canadian Medical Association, The World Health Organization, or the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control).

They are all available online, and unanimous in their stance that the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the slim possibility of a bad reaction. Or they could just Google ‘Disproven Vaccination Theories.’

The Archon

The anti-vaxer conspiracy theorists would rather believe stripper/porn star Jenny McCarthy, and some guy who ‘bought’ fame by faking results, than thousands of doctors with millions of hours of training and experience. What do you believe on this subject? Anybody want to weigh in – pro, or con?   😕

***

CENSORSHIP BUREAU

When my letter above was printed, the newspaper removed the word ‘disingenuous’ (too big for local Mennonites?), along with any hint that Kuntz had intentionally misled readers.

The final paragraph, with its support of the opinions of trained physicians, and the idea of using Google to dispel at least one conspiracy theory, simply disappeared. You don’t think someone at the paper is an anti-vaxer, do you??! 😉

 

Easy Money

American money

There was a mean boss in a factory.
The boss liked to watch the workers.
He wanted the workers to work hard.
One morning the boss came to the factory at nine o’clock. A man was drinking coffee.
The boss came back at nine thirty.
The man was still drinking coffee.
The boss was angry. “How much do you make a week?” he asked the man.
“Three hundred dollars.” the man said.
The boss gave the man three hundred dollars.
“Take the money and get out of here!” he said.
Then the boss asked another worker: “What was that man’s job?”
“He doesn’t work here”, the worker said, “He came to pick up a package.”

***

A Rabbi, a Hindu Monk, and a lawyer are driving down the road when their car breaks down in the middle of nowhere.
Spotting a farmhouse they walk over and tell the farmer they need a place to stay the night while they wait for a tow.
“I’ve got room in the house for two of you but someone’s gonna have to sleep in the barn.” says the farmer.
The Rabbi says, “I’ve no problem with that, I’ll go.” He leaves.
Five minutes later there’s a knock on the door. The farmer opens the door and the Rabbi is there.
He says, “Sir there is a pig in that barn; in my religion pigs are unclean, I cannot sleep under the same roof with a pig.”
The Monk speaks up and says, “I have no problem with pigs I’ll go sleep in the barn.” He leaves.
Five minutes later there’s a knock on the door. The farmer opens the door and the Monk is here.
“Sir there is a cow in that barn; in my religion cows are sacred, I cannot sleep under the same roof with a cow.
The lawyer responds, “I’ll go sleep in the barn, I’ve got no religion.” He leaves.
Five minutes later there’s a knock on the door. The farmer opens the door and the pig and the cow are standing there.

***

A: Why are you late?
B: There was a man who lost a hundred dollar bill.
A: That’s nice. Were you helping him look for it?
B: No, I was standing on it.

***

Becky: Simon, your father is a teacher but you can’t read and write.
Simon: So, your father is a dentist but your little brother Bill still has no teeth.

***

An art collector is walking through London looking for a Christmas present, when he notices a mangy cat lapping milk from a saucer in the doorway of a shop. He does a double take when he notices that the saucer is extremely old and very valuable, so he walks casually into the store and offers to buy the cat for two pounds.
The shop owner replies, “I’m sorry, but the cat isn’t for sale.” The collector says, “Please, I need a hungry cat around the house to catch mice. I’ll pay you twenty pounds for it.” And the owner says, “Sold,” and hands over the cat.
The collector continues, “For twenty quid, I wonder if you could throw in that old saucer. The cat’s used to it and it’ll save me having to get a dish.”
The owner says, “Sorry, but that’s my lucky saucer. So far this week I’ve sold sixty-eight cats.”

Institute Of Higher Learning

University

On the first day of college, the Dean addressed
the students, pointing out some of the rules:

“The female dormitory will be out-of-bounds
for all male students, and the male dormitory to
the female students.

Anybody caught breaking this rule will be fined
$20 the first time.” He continued, “Anybody caught
breaking this rule the second time will be fined
$60. Being caught a third time will cost you a
fine of $180. Are there any questions?”

At this point, a male student in the crowd
inquired: “How much for a season pass?”

***

Little Johnny missed his final exam due to the
flu, but he’d done so well during the year that
the teacher suggested to the principal that they
gave him an oral exam to make up for the test he
missed. The principal agreed so they called
Little Johnny into the office and explained to
him what they were going to do.

First the teacher asked, “Johnny, what does a
cow have four of, that I only have two of?”
Little Johnny replied, “Legs.”

Next the teacher asked, “Johnny, what do you
have in your pants that I don’t have in my
pants?” Little Johnny replied, “Pockets.”

Finally the teacher asked, “Johnny, what is
the capital of Italy?” Little Johnny replied.
“Rome.”

The teacher turned to the principal and asked,
“What do you think, should we pass him?” The
principal replied, “Better not ask me, I got
the first two wrong.”

***

This guy keeps falling asleep in church and his
wife’s getting sick of it. She decides she’ll
bring a pin to church with her and poke him when
he starts falling asleep. They’re in church the next
Sunday and he starts falling asleep right as the
preacher’s saying, “and the Lord God created the
heavens and the earth.” His wife pokes him and
he jumps up yelling “HALLELUIA!!”

The preacher, looking startled, says “very good, very
good.” A little while later he starts falling
asleep again as the preacher’s saying, “and the
Lord parted the Red Sea for Moses”. His wife
pokes him and he jumps up yelling, “PRAISE THE LORD!!”

The preacher exclaims, “Very good, very
good!” A little while later he falls asleep again
just as the preacher says, “and what did Eve say
to Adam after they had their second child?” His
wife pokes him again and he jumps up yelling,
“STICK THAT THING IN ME AGAIN AND I’M GONNA
BREAK IT OFF!”

Hot Dog

Hot dog stand

Two guys immigrate to America.  On their first
day off the boat they are wandering around New
York City seeing the sights.  As lunch time
approaches they decide they are hungry.  They
then come up to a street vendor selling hot dogs.

One says to the other in a shocked tone, “My God.
Do they eat dogs in America?”

“I don’t know!” says the other, equally appalled.

“Well,” says the first, “we’re going to be
Americans, so we must do as they do.”

They approach the vendor bravely. “Two hot dogs,
please.”

The vendor hands them their food in a pair of
paper sacks.

The two immigrants sit on a park bench to eat
their lunch.  One looks inside his sack,
hesitates and turns to his partner and says,
“Uh, which part of the dog did you get?”

Hot dog

***

A young woman was so depressed that she decided
to end her life by throwing herself into the
ocean.  She went down to the docks and was about
to leap into the frigid water when a handsome
young sailor saw her tottering on the edge of the
pier crying.

He took pity on her and said,  “Look, you’ve got
a lot to  live for. I’m off to Europe in the
morning, and if you like, I can stow you away on
my ship.  I’ll take good care of you and bring
you food every day.”  Moving closer he slipped
his arm round her shoulder and added, “I’ll keep
you happy, and you’ll keep me happy.”

The girl nodded yes.  After all, what did she
have to lose?  That night, the sailor brought her
aboard and hid her in a lifeboat. From then on
every night he brought her three sandwiches and a
piece of fruit, and they made passionate love
until dawn.

Three weeks later, during a routine inspection,
she was discovered by the  captain.  “What are
you doing here?”  the Captain asked.

“I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,”
she explained. “I get food and a trip to Europe,
and he’s screwing me.”

“He sure is, lady,” the Captain said.  “This is
the Staten Island Ferry”

***

Did you hear about the lawyer who named his daughter Sue?

***

Hear about the psychic midget who escaped from
jail?

Yeah the headlines in the newspaper read
“SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE”.

***

Little Matt is sitting in the back of math class,
obviously not paying any attention, when the
teacher calls his name. “Yeah teach?” he says.

“If  there are three ducks on a fence and you shoot
one of them with your shotgun, how many are
left?” Matt answers “Well, teach, if I shoot one
of them with my shotgun, the loud noise is going
to make them all fly off.” “No, Matt, there will
be two left if you shoot one with your shotgun,
but I like the way you’re thinking.”

“Well,teacher, I’ve got a question for you. There are
3 women that come out of an ice-cream parlor, one
is biting her ice-cream cone, one is licking it,
and one is sucking on it. Which one is married?”

The teacher is a little taken aback by the
question, but answers “Well, uh, gee Matt, I
guess the one that’s sucking on it.” “No teach,
the one that has the wedding ring on her finger,
but I like the way you’re thinking!”

#450

Can You Read This?

Extra Extra

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Can you read this? Thank a teacher!

Over the past year, I have witnessed a miracle. My six-year-old son has learned to read.  He has gone from haltingly making his way through the lowest leveled readers, to having hundreds of sight words and reading with excitement and passion.  He loves to read.

His life has changed for the better – not just this year, but forever.

Kids don’t just learn to read on their own. They must be taught by specially trained teachers committed to ongoing professional learning.

My son has a teacher like that, but you won’t read a story about her in the newspaper. That’s because, while she is excellent, she is not unique.

Dozens of children at my son’s school learned to read this year. Hundreds of teachers taught thousands of kids across the Region to read this year.  Everyone reading this letter learned to read from a teacher. But we take them for granted.

Teachers doing their job well, year after year, are the norm. They’re not “news.”  The teacher who taught my son to read, and the thousands of other teachers like her in this Region, will continue to do amazing work that goes unnoticed and underappreciated.  That’s a tragedy!

Peter Stuart

***

There are many ways to learn reading

As with the similar bumper stickers, when I read that headline, I laughed.

I’m glad that letter writer Peter Stuart found a dedicated teacher who taught his son to read. There are many more like her out there.  I had a couple who taught and inspired me.

I have to take extreme exception, though, with his blanket claim that kids don’t just learn to read, and need to be taught by specially trained teachers.

For centuries, people learned to read from others who were not even teachers. Later they learned from teachers who were barely trained, much less specially.

Back before the distraction of television, my mother read to me constantly, any decent book which came to hand, including Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling, and T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which went on to become the hit musical, Cats.

She did not teach me to read.  She did not point, and say, “This is A.  This is B.  This word is Cat.  This word is Dog.”  She just read to me.

One month before my fifth birthday, when she was sick in bed, I picked up a copy of Maclean’s magazine and read to her. I just learned to read!  I’ve never met another who made the same claim, but a few must exist.

Grumpy, Braggart, Old Archon

***

Commitment Needed

I agree with letter writer, Archon, that some of us either seem to pick up reading on our own, or are taught quite well by “unqualified” teachers.

I taught myself to read around the age of four, mainly by being exposed to books, and the magnetic letters on the fridge.

My mother wasn’t surprised: she also read before starting school, and so did her mother.

As a home educator for almost two decades, I have seen many parents teach reading (and math, and much more) to their own children. Some children learned easily; some had challenges; some learned at three or four; some at the “normal” age; some not till much later.

Some used phonics and basal readers; some used computer software, and some used more informal methods.

Some families required extra help to deal with specific learning issues, but most of them managed extremely well.

Teaching reading does take commitment, patience and imagination! But it doesn’t require a teaching degree.

Anne White

***

As you can see, I’ve been at it again. I respect and admire teachers, but, like anything else, I’m not impressed with the, “Let someone else take care of it.” mindset which is all too prevalent.  Know how to take care of yourself, and your children.

Anybody else want to brag? How young did you learn to read?  Who “taught” you, using what?

Ego And Insecurity – Episode 1

Brigham Young is quoted as saying, “He who takes offence when none is offered, is a fool!”  He then added that, “He who takes offence when offence is offered, is also a fool.”  Too many fools wed ego and insecurity to teleology, and not only get upset when it’s not their ox that’s being gored, but blame the wrong thing, or a non-existent thing for the goring.

Negros can refer to each other as niggers, and it’s all in good fun.  Women can refer to each other as bitches, and they’re just joking.  Let a white man refer to a black man as a nigger, even in the same joking manner, and there’s Hell to pay.  If a mere man calls a woman a bitch, a Government Agency will quickly be involved.  Should a white man call a black woman a nigger bitch, he’d better not do it in Utah.  They still have firing squads.

A nephew used to refer to his Negro, high school, best friend as “Nigger.”  I cautioned him against it one day.  “That’s okay.  He knows I’m joking.”  Maybe, but others may not.  My son’s Grade 2 teacher had a bad habit of smacking students in the back of the head with a pen if they didn’t measure up.  It’s not the kind of action that should have been acceptable against anyone.

She’d smacked almost every kid in the room, with no retribution, till the day she smacked the only black kid in class.  The next day, she and the principal were visited by six high-level Black Panthers, including a high-voltage lawyer.  Cease and desist was the least of the threats.

A politician in New York, with a broad vocabulary, bemoaned a low grant for his pet project by calling it a niggardly amount.  It’s not even spelled the same, and it has no connection to Negros, but he was forced to issue an apology.  “I’m sorry you black folks are so busy learning Ebonics, that you don’t speak English.”

An Ontario bureaucrat, referring to some of the Aboriginal problems I mentioned in my Attawapiskat post, said that many of them were caused by do-gooder Whites, and was called a racist by both Indians and other whites.  The comment is not racist.  It’s an acknowledgement of a social/cultural situation.

Oprah Winfrey went into a boutique store in Switzerland and wanted to buy a $38,000 purse.  The clerk shooed her out, saying she couldn’t afford it, not knowing that Oprah could buy the entire country.  Immediately the accusations of racism rang out.  Bullshit!  Classism maybe.

Used to the more sophisticated, urbane European upper-crust, to the clerk, Oprah must have seemed like the typical sweatshirt-and-flip-flops-wearing, ugly-American, “looker.”  She could have been white, black or green.

In Montreal, a young couple who were culturally, but not religiously, Jewish, did not wish to sign a religious document and be married by a rabbi.  Instead, they went to City Hall for a secular ceremony.  The clerk who served them was a headscarf-wearing female.  Not only had they been married by a “religious” person, but one from a religion which debases females, and discriminates against Jews.

The Quebec Premier tried to have an act passed which would prevent anyone serving the public from overtly displaying any religious symbol – and the camel-shit hit the fan.  The loudest howls are from Muslims, claiming that this is racism, ignoring the fact that Muslims come from around the world, and from many different races.  It might be claimed that it is religious discrimination, except that it applies uniformly, to Sikhs, Jews and Christians, as well.

One apparent Muslim, (Abdullah Ahmad – you decide) sent a letter to the Toronto Sun, bitching about, “the ban on religious clothing or gear.”  Again, no such animal!  There is no ban on what you wear, only on what you may or may not do, while being paid by the Province, serving the secular public, when you wear it.

On a discussion page I recently read, a 25-year-old female said that she gets moody and short-tempered from time to time, and takes it out on her live-in boyfriend.  She got in a bad mood, and he sat and tried to talk it out with her for a half an hour, but she snapped at him again.  He rose, pointed a finger at her, told her she was a high-maintenance, drama queen, said he’d had enough, and slammed the door on the way out.  What should she do about it??!

I was amazed that, not only did every commenter, female and male, take her side, but nine out of ten females urged her to dump him for being abusive.  This is not abusive!  There is a legal axiom which states that the truth is the perfect defense.

She may be upset to hear that she is a high-maintenance drama-queen.  If you don’t want to hear it, don’t be it.  The problem may solve itself if he finds somewhere else to live, and only comes back for his stuff.  She wanted, “The right to her own feelings.”  She may get it – alone.

One of the young fellows at the auto plant had a succession of short-term girlfriends.  After five or six months, they each, “Just went crazy.”  I told him one day, after the seventh or eighth time I’d heard this sad song, that the common factor wasn’t the gals going crazy, it was him, but he was too busy bumping into trees, to see the forest.

I’d try handing out some of those Free Thinkers cards, but it wouldn’t work.  People like these always “believe” that it’s somebody else’s fault.

Random Thoughts

I guarantee that they’re random.  It’s up to you to decide whether or not they’re real thoughts

Having ignored single-parent families for years, the Elementary Teachers Foundation of Ontario is now on a crusade to save children who have “two mommies” or “two daddies” from discrimination.  Since they might not have a mommy or a daddy when the appropriate day comes along, the Federation is advocating changing some names.

Fathers’ Day would be known as Love Day, and Mothers’ Day could be called GAMES Day, for Grandmothers, Aunts, Mothers, Even Sisters.  Based on that, I suggested that Fathers’ Day be named FUGLY Day, for Fathers, Uncles, Grandfathers and other Lying Yahoos, but I just don’t feel the Love to accept it.

I just put a fresh crop of Karma in the barn for the winter.  A week ago, I took the daughter up the highway for her pain-med infusion treatment.  As we reached the on-ramp for the highway, we spotted a young man standing on the edge of the road with two big hockey bags.  I haven’t seen a hitch-hiker in years, so we pulled over and asked him where he was going.  He wanted to get to London, an hour up the road, and we were only going as far as Ingersoll, 45 minutes away, but he accepted the ride.

His chances of getting a ride to London improved by being as far as Ingersoll.  He had broken up with his significant other (or she had kicked him out broken up with him), and the remains of “all his worldly possessions” were in those two bags.  He hoped to get back a job he’d previously held, as a chicken catcher at a packing plant.  Who says there’s no good jobs anymore?

Since the grandson is “all growed up” and moved out to his first apartment, the daughter is sometimes a little lonely.  I went to pick her up the other evening to share a meal and a bunch of conversation.  Coming down a hill to a traffic light, about a half mile from her house, I spotted a Ford pickup which had almost made a left turn, but was abandoned in the intersection with the hazard lights flashing.

I had time to wonder why exactly there, as I edged past it.  A half block further on, I found the reason.  A guy is clumping along with a two-gallon plastic gas can in his hand.  I pulled into the next driveway, rolled down the window and asked him if he’d like a ride.  He was overjoyed.

His name was Mike.  Everybody, say hello to Mike.  He was headed towards the daughter’s place, hoping for a ride from his dad, who lives nearby, but there are no gas stations in the downtown area.  I drove him back out to a garage, waited while he filled the can, and drove him back to his truck.

The all-electronic dashboard on his truck doesn’t work right.  How I can relate to that.  He never knows just how much gas he has.  When it runs out, it runs out, and the truck is too heavy for one man to push.  Three more feet, and he could have coasted three blocks, almost to the gas station.  He has the gas can in the bed, but somebody, who is not him, used it, probably for the lawn mower, and put it back empty.

In 1918, the U.S. Postal Service printed 24 cent stamps to celebrate air-mail service.  Since the public didn’t know what airplanes looked like, the picture of the JN-17 “Jenny” was inserted upside-down.  A few were sold before the mistake was caught, making this the most expensive collectible stamp.

95 years later, the USPS decided to duplicate the stamp to celebrate 100 years of airmail.  Since everyone knows what a biplane looks like, the picture was inserted right-side-up, and a hundred sheets were printed before anyone noticed.  Most of the sheets were recovered, but a couple are unaccounted for.  They’re wrong, because they’re right, and we have another potential fortune-maker.  Way to go, Post Office, keep up the momentum.

As the digital world continues to wrap its tentacles more tightly around us, the local newspaper has been including two sections of the New York Times in the last six Saturday editions.  We got the International Weekly and the Book Review.  Is the Times really that pretentious?  We were treated to stories of South Koreans emigrating to Mexico for work.  Dear Lord, are there jobs even Mexicans won’t do?

Last week there was a story about Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban.  Apparently she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and some were disappointed that she didn’t win.  I’m proud of her and what she’s trying to do, freedom for Muslim women, and education for Pakistani girls, but really?? A Peace Prize?  Nothing she’s doing is to bring peace.  It’s like having a Casino built in your town, and giving it a Civic Award for creating more parking.

This week’s Book Review section had a two-page article about Phillip Roth and Norman Mailer, both powerful writers, who hit their stride back in what? – 1973?  Nothing a little more recent??  Even H E Ellis would say, “If not me, at least do Jodi Picault!”

It’s snowing on my website.  I don’t know whether that’s because WordPress just gratuitously turned it on, or because I clicked the snow icon last year, and it’s still valid.  I haven’t noticed snow on anyone else’s site, but then, I’ve been in suspended animation, and remiss in my visits for about a week.  Sorry!

I’m temporarily all ranted out.  You may now provide adoration.  I had to give all mine to the cat.  😉