MASSACHUSETTS : PULL BACK THE CAP ON CHARTER SCHOOL OPENINGS

The Charter School debate has been brought to the fore recently two events; ( 1 ) new legislation filed in January had its General Court committee hearing yesterday and ( 2 ) a candidate for Boston mayor, John R Connolly, has made raising the cap an issue in his campaign, and has garnered editorial support from Boston Globe columnist Scot Lehigh.

The issue is not a simple one. Massachusetts school laws don’t just address school openings or curriculum. Funding goes first to standard public schools; and teachers in standard public schools generally belong to either the BTU or MTA, two very powerful teachers’; unions. The involvement of union interests arises because most charter school teachers are not union members. that’s because the teachers’ unions discourage members from working in charter schools. Indeed, the teachers’ unions opposed the creation of charter schools from the beginning, and they still do oppose them. They oppose the cap-lifting legislation that we at Here and Sphere would like to support. 

Funding is also an obstacle, because money directed to new charter schools that the new legislation seeks to allow is funding taken away from standard public schools. This matters, because even if this legislation is adopted, most students will continue to attend standard public schools — the very schools with the poorest record of learning achievement. We are not comfortable with taking money away from schools that often need more of it, per pupil, than better-performing schools. If you are familiar with the boggling problems such schools face — equipment theft, assaults on teachers, school security, and more — you’ll know why.

That said, we favor lifting — but not yet abolishing — the current cap on how many charter schools will be allowed to establish. The argument for doing so is pretty conclusive:

!. Massachusetts charter schools way outperform stabdard public schools in standardized test results — tests that decide a child’s opportunity to attend a great university or college.

2.Massachusetts charter schools offer much more challenging curricula, with greater flexibility, than does the curriculum offered in standard public schools.

3.Just as important as the above, parents have lined u in huge numbers to enroll their children in charter schools. The statewide waiting list, according to reports, stands at ,000 and is growing daily. If parents want charter schooling for their children — and if they are right to do so — how can we in good conscience refuse them ? We shouldn’t.

4.Charter schools work especially in urban areas where standard school performance ranks among the lowest in the state. We strongly support the right of urban children to get schooling as strong as that commonly available to students in wealthier communities.

The current legislation seeks to abolish the cap on charter Schools. We wont go that far just yet. Our position is a middle one: the state should adopt the currently filed legislation and lift — but not yet abolish — the cap limits on how many charter schools can open.

— the editors

ROAD NOISE —- June 1, 2013

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WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF ROAD NOISE —- WHERE YOUR ROAD/MOTORING INTEREST AND THE AUTO WORLD MEET.

FROM FORMULA 1 (BZZZZZ) TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE (MMMM) AND ALL ROAD NOISE IN BETWEEN.

ROAD NOISE NEWS : AS AMERICANS DROVE ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, THE “ROAD NOISE” HEARD AROUND THE WORLD TOOK PLACE AT THE MONACO GRAND PRIX — WHERE NICO ROSBERG WINS, IN HIS MERCEDES, WITH AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 113.378…… SOON FOLLOWED BY THE 97TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500, WITH THE AVERAGE SPEED OF 187.433 AND A HUMAN INTEREST STORY — OF TWO BRAZILIAN, CHILDHOOD GO-CART FRIENDS, KANAAN AND HELIO CASTRONEVES, WHO, AS ADULTS DID THIS :

HELIO BECAME A 3 TIME INDY WINNER, WAS TRYING FOR HIS 4TH, ONLY TO WATCH HIS BROTHER KANAAN SUCCEEDS , AFTER 12 TRIES (PERSISTENCE !) , IN FINALLY WINNING THIS YEAR’S INDY 500 — AND GATHERING A 2.3 MILLION EARNING.

ALSO, FOR NASCAR FANS, THE CHARLOTE COCA-COLA 600 RAN UNTIL ON LAP 122 A FOX OVERHEAD TV CAMERA CABLE SNAPPED ALLOWING AN UNUSUAL TIME OUT INTERFERENCE FOR CAR REPAIRS.

ROAD FEATURE VEHICLE : THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTEREST VEHICLE IS A SMALL ELECTRIC- POWERED VEHICLE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS. ASSOCIATES OF MINE IN ATLANTA ARE DEVELOPING THIS VERSION. THIS VEHICLE TRANSFORMS A STANDARD MANOEUVRABLE AND EFFICIENT LOCAL CAR INTO AN OPEN INTERIOR SPACE LSV, BUILT TO HOUSE THE DRIVER’S OWN WHEELCHAIR.

ALL HE/SHE HAS TO DO IS SIMPLY TO OPEN, WITH AN ELECTRIC REMOTE, THE EXTRA LARGE REAR HATCH DOOR, THEN ROLL IN, UP TO THE STEERING WHEEL, THE WHEELCHAIR LOCKS INTO PLACE WITH EASY REACH OF THE CARS CONTROLS.

ROAD HISTORY WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS IS KNOWN AS THE HOME OF GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY’s AMERICAN JET ENGINE WORKS. BUT DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ALSO THE HOME OF ONE OF THE FIRST GASOLINE DRIVEN MOTORIZED VEHICLES ?

AS THE STORY GOES, IN 1894 HIRAM MAXIM, A THEN RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE, HAD INTEREST IN APPLYING AN EARLY 3 CYLINDER GASOLINE POWERED PISTON ENGINE TO HIS ADULT SIZED 3 WHEEL BiCYCLE. CREATING ONE OF THE FIRST MOTOR PROPELLED VEHICLES. MOST PARTS PUT TOGETHER FROM THE WELDING COMPANY WHERE HE WORKED, HE, FROM HIS GARAGE AT HOME. AFTER NUMEROUS TRIES FROM HIS GARAGE IN WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS HE SUCCESSFULLY RAN THE ENGINE, PUT HIMSELF ON THE 3 WHEEL BIKE UNTIL IT TOOK OFF AT A GREATER SPEED THAT HE IMAGINED UNTIL HE FINALLY FELL OVER THE FRONT, LANDING SCRATCHED AND BRUISED BY PROUD OF IT ALL.

HIRAM MAXIM WENT ON TO PLACE 3 AUTOMOTIVE PATENTS CREATING SOME OF THE WORLDS FIRST MOTOR DRIVEN ROAD NOISE.

ROAD MUSEUM & EVENTS : NOW THE LARS ANDERSON MUSEUM IN BROOKLINE MASS IS RE-OPENED, ITS NEW EXHIBIT ‘PATINA, PROVENANCE, ORIGINALITY’, A TRIBUTE TO THE RESTORATION OF THE COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE, LOOKS TO BE AN INTERESTING VIEWING.

ROAD SAFETY :  And according to the ‘National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’, ‘many people call them car “accidents”, but really the correct term is “collisions” or “crashes”. In a vehicle collision someone was acting in a way that caused the crash to happen which could have been prevented had they acted differently. If it could have been prevented it is NO accident’**. You decide.

ROAD ECONOMICS   ROAD NOISE NOW LEAVES YOU WITH THIS SESSION’S QUESTION FOR NEXT TIME:  IS THE CHINESE CAR COMING TO THE USA WITHIN FIVE YEARS?

THANKS FOR JOINING US !

TILL NEXT TIME MAY YOUR ROAD NOISE LEAD YOU TO YOUR BEST GOALS.

—- Charles Barris / Road Noise

*The Roads We Traveled/Waitley

** NHTSA

ROAD NOISE — JUNE 1st 2013

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WELCOME TO THE FIRST EDITION OF ROAD NOISE —- WHERE YOUR ROAD/MOTORING INTEREST AND THE AUTO WORLD MEET.

FROM FORMULA 1 (BZZZZZ) TO ELECTRIC VEHICLE (MMMM) AND ALL ROAD NOISE IN BETWEEN.

ROAD NOISE NEWS : AS AMERICANS DROVE ON MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND, THE “ROAD NOISE” HEARD AROUND THE WORLD TOOK PLACE AT THE MONACO GRAND PRIX — WHERE NICO ROSBERG WINS, IN HIS MERCEDES, WITH AN AVERAGE SPEED OF 113.378…… SOON FOLLOWED BY THE 97TH RUNNING OF THE INDIANAPOLIS 500, WITH THE AVERAGE SPEED OF 187.433 AND A HUMAN INTEREST STORY — OF TWO BRAZILIAN, CHILDHOOD GO-CART FRIENDS, KANAAN AND HELIO CASTRONEVES, WHO, AS ADULTS DID THIS :

HELIO BECOMES 3 TIME INDY WINNER, TRYING FOR HIS 4TH, ONLY TO WATCH HIS BROTHER KANAAN SUCCEEDS , AFTER 12 TRIES (PERSISTENCE !) , IN FINALLY WINNING THIS YEAR’S INDY 500 — AND GATHERING A 2.3 MILLION EARNING.

ALSO, FOR NASCAR FANS, THE CHARLOTE COCA-COLA 600 RAN UNTIL ON LAP 122 A FOX OVERHEAD TV CAMERA CABLE SNAPPED ALLOWING AN UNUSUAL TIME OUT INTERFERENCE FOR CAR REPAIRS.

ROAD FEATURE VEHICLE : THIS WEEKS SPECIAL INTEREST VEHICLE IS A SMALL ELECTRIC- POWERED VEHICLE SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR WHEELCHAIR USERS. ASSOCIATES OF MINE IN ATLANTA ARE DEVELOPING THIS VERSION. THIS VEHICLE TRANSFORMS A STANDARD MANOEUVRABLE AND EFFICIENT LOCAL CAR INTO AN OPEN INTERIOR SPACE LSV, BUILT TO HOUSE THE DRIVER’S OWN WHEELCHAIR.

ALL HE/SHE HAS TO DO IS SIMPLY TO OPEN, WITH AN ELECTRIC REMOTE, THE EXTRA LARGE REAR HATCH DOOR, THEN ROLL IN, UP TO THE STEERING WHEEL, THE WHEELCHAIR LOCKS INTO PLACE WITH EASY REACH OF THE CARS CONTROLS.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CARS AND CARTS ATLANTA GEORGA

ROAD HISTORY :  WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS IS KNOWN AS THE HOME OF GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY’s AMERICAN JET ENGINE WORKS. BUT DID YOU KNOW IT WAS ALSO THE HOME OF ONE OF THE FIRST GASOLINE DRIVEN MOTORIZED VEHICLES ?

AS THE STORY GOES, IN 1894 HIRAM MAXIM, A THEN RECENT COLLEGE GRADUATE, HAD INTEREST IN APPLYING AN EARLY 3 CYLINDER GASOLINE POWERED PISTON ENGINE TO HIS ADULT SIZED 3 WHEEL BiCYCLE. CREATING ONE OF THE FIRST MOTOR PROPELLED VEHICLES. MOST PARTS PUT TOGETHER FROM THE WELDING COMPANY WHERE HE WORKED, HE, FROM HIS GARAGE AT HOME. AFTER NUMEROUS TRIES FROM HIS GARAGE IN WEST LYNN, MASSACHUSETTS HE SUCCESSFULLY RAN THE ENGINE, PUT HIMSELF ON THE 3 WHEEL BIKE UNTIL IT TOOK OFF AT A GREATER SPEED THAT HE IMAGINED UNTIL HE FINALLY FELL OVER THE FRONT, LANDING SCRATCHED AND BRUISED BY PROUD OF IT ALL.

HIRAM MAXIM WENT ON TO PLACE 3 AUTOMOTIVE PATENTS CREATING SOME OF THE WORLDS FIRST MOTOR DRIVEN ROAD NOISE.

ROAD MUSEUM & EVENTS : NOW THE LARS ANDERSON MUSEUM IN BROOKLINE MASS IS RE-OPENED, ITS NEW EXHIBIT ‘PATINA, PROVENANCE, ORIGINALITY’, A TRIBUTE TO THE RESTORATION OF THE COLLECTIBLE AUTOMOBILE, LOOKS TO BE AN INTERESTING VIEWING.

ROAD SAFETY :  And according to the ‘National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’, ‘many people call them car “accidents”, but really the correct term is “collisions” or “crashes”. In a vehicle collision someone was acting in a way that caused the crash to happen which could have been prevented had they acted differently. If it could have been prevented it is NO accident’**. You decide.

ROAD ECONOMICS   ROAD NOISE NOW LEAVES YOU WITH THIS SESSION’S QUESTION FOR NEXT TIME:  IS THE CHINESE CAR COMING TO THE USA WITHIN FIVE YEARS?

THANKS FOR JOINING US !

TILL NEXT TIME MAY YOUR ROAD NOISE LEAD YOU TO YOUR BEST GOALS.

—- Charles Barry

*The Roads We Traveled/Waitley 

** NHTSA

EBT REFORM : NOT THE BIG DEAL IT’S BEING WHIPPED UP TO BE

One of Boston’s daily newspapers has made a lot of noise this year ramping up alleged abuses in Massachusetts’s EBT — “electronic benefits transfer,” i.e. food stamps — program. This at the behest of a Taunton State Representative, Shaunna O’Connell (R), who has made it her cause celebre.

We at Here and Sphere reject the fuss. Here’s the daily paper’s claims vs. the Real Deal:

1. EBT benefits went to dead people — yes. About 0.20 % of the state’s EBT funds went to dead people. Most banks would be overjoyed with a loss rate that low. The loss resulted from, in almost all cases, of people delaying to inform the state of the death of their r5elative. The state Department of Welfare estimates that only a very, very few cases involve knowing fraud. Those will be prosecuted if feasible.

2. EBT benefits should be conditioned on recipients working — most benefits go to elderly, the disabled, or to single parents. Single parents already work. If you think that caring for a house of kids isn’t work, trying to doing it sometime. Not only is it work, but also: having a single parent doing it, and paying her benefit money to keep her doing it, costs a heck of a lot less than day care for kids while the EBT recipient goes out and works at something.else. As for the disabled and the elderly, they either cannot work or shouldn’t be asked to. Retirees who do not work are often too physically down to work at much. They may have a hobby : but to order them to pursue their hobby or lose their EBT seems like “piling on” to us.

3. EBT was being used to buy cigarettes, or liquor, or scratch tickets — this is where the whole “EBT abuse” flap began. We agree that EBT recipients shouldn’t use their benefits to gamble; and cigarettes sure aren’t much good for one’s health. But life, for EBT recipients, isn’t exactly fun. In most cases it’s a cramped-up life without a car, without the ability to go anywhere or do anything or buy anything but survival. Try living an EBT life sometime ! Do we as a society REALLY want to insist that EBT recipients can’t buy a cigarette, or have a drink of wine or beer here and there ? I hope we haven’t become that petty. And can we add that even as to food, you cann0t buy pre-cooked food with EBT ? Go to Market Basket — where because of super low prices almost all EBT people in our region shop — and look at the pre-cooked chickens, pork, and turkey: too bad, Bub, you have to pay for those with cash. No EBT allowed !

In any case, the legislature a few months ago amended the EBT regulations to prohibit EBT use for purchase of cigarettes and liquor. And the Governor signed the legislation.  Hope you’re happy now…

Finally, we at Here and Sphere just find this entire wave of beating up on those in opur state who live on the edge of survival about as low as it gets. What possesses us to chaff the weakest and most vulnerable of our fellow citizens ? Is that the way we want to perform our duties of citizenship to the whole community ? Do we think that leaning on the very vulnerable somehow makes us a better place ? Is this really our big priority by way of government reform in Massachusetts ? More important than infrastructure and transportation improvements ? than education updates ? We at Here and Sphere hope not.

— the Editors

TWO-THEMED DANCE MUSIC : GUTI @ BIJOU 05.26.13

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On Sunday night, Boston dance music fans had an opportunity to see Argentina’s Guti drop a set in prime time. At Bijou, the rapidly rising DJ — whose full name is Jose Maria Gutierrez Hernandez — delivered a set unlike any other that this writer has seen, one with bottom beats and overriding detail so separated — and so individually spotlighted — that his two hours amounted to two entirely separate sets sharing the same time slot and space. There was realism in that: after all, two people dancing on the same dance floor are, in fact, two separate lives confronting in the same space and time. Guti’s Argentina has, for over 100 years, owned a dance, the tango, in which hot drama arises from the friction of two separate lives acting in the same space and time. Only fitting, was it, that Guti gave his Bijou fans a 21st century version of tango drama, a dance very different in its passions but much the same in its two wills willfully dancing.

In tango, the clash is of anger, of dislike, of sexual heat that forces itself through mutual rejection, power plays, sex as pain, humiliation, surrender. Nothing this dark happened in Guti’s Bijou set, but much the same plunge was implied — risked, even — yet gently avoided in his very dissimilar two waves. First came a big, alpha-male’s boot stomp, next an interlude of high-note bird’s calls followed by the boot stomp returning. This was the set’s pattern; the boot stomp had its minutes, only to give way to equal minutes of flutter, lullaby, whistling, twisty noises: seduction in a soprano octave.

His music amounted to two themes having an extened conversation, a give and take that, late in set, moved toward resolution as Guti mixed the two themes together in complicated angles — in each of which the two conversators worked their way around each other, as if to gain advantage. Yet no advantage was to be had; each theme in his \music maintained its tone, its movement, its initiative, and if, in his mix, the focal point between them tilted in one direction. Guti brought it back again to the other direction only to end up in the middle as stomp and flutter circled one another like side by side whirl-a-gigs of sound. Such too, was the tango.

Guti has, in the past four years especially — he has DJ’d for far longer than this — produced tracks, or re-mixed the work of other producers. His prolific body of work has attracted devotees almost everywhere that dance music is enjoyed. Many sound dream-like in their delicacy and whimsy : “Hope,” Ray Foxx’s “The Trumpeter,” “I’m feeling Interglactic,” Wols’s “Bushmans Oversized Vibe,” for example, and his remix of Livio & Roby’s “We Are.” Eqully many do a bounce, from squeaky squiggly to boot stomp: his remix of Davide Squillace’s “The Other Side of hiustler,” “option One,’ and “Bususki,” and “Non Adepto.’

This list by no means exhausted the sequence of excerpts from tracks, both his own and remixes, that he input to his Bijou workout. Using a PC program this writer hasn’t seen before, one that enabled him to pick and hunt from one track to another and punch it all into a scant two channels of mix, Guti squashed and jiggled the knobs on the PC mixboard. He cranked more two, three,m even four at once, pushing and pricking the sound into conversational cant. There was buffoonery in his mix and boasting too; zig zags and finger pointing. All of it pressured the dancers to move not just legs and hips but also hands, head, elbows, knees. Body talk took on advanced meaning — but not so advanced that a pair of classic tango dancers wouldn’t have understood every surge, sag, lean, pucker, wink, and prance in Guti’s battle of two wills willing upon each other.

It was aset not to be missed, as sublime and imaginative as any that this writer has seen in many, many years.

Opening for Guti was DJ D-Lux, whose reidency at Re:Set Wednesdays (in Cambridge) has made her a local, Boston star of deep house grooving. In front of Guti she played exactly what she is best at : two hours of rolling rhythm in murmur tones, a succulent flavor evoking the sweaty sentiments that deep house lives by. D-Lux’s set could easily have headlined almost any dance music club in the Boston area — at least at those few clubs hereabouts that are willing to embrace the deep house sound in its fullest evocation.

—- Deedee Freedberg / Feelin’ the Music

COFFEE OR VODKA ? PARENTING 911 : MEMORIAL DAY DISMAY

Dear: Parenting 911 :

Last year around Christmas we lost my Father in law. He was a very sweet and genuine man. My husband Jason does not have the fondest memories of his father, but my son Seth does. Walter was an awesome Grandpa. He was funny, goofy, and the ever reigning practical joke- King. I met Walter only a month before Jason and I got married. For most of our dating relationship I never even knew he existed. I was aware that Jason’s mother left Walter when Jason was very young. From what I’ve been told: she was a bit loony: however Walter insists that she was suffering from some mental illness associated with Jason’s birth. He also has implied on several occasions: that she was unhappy for several years after Walter returned from war. Jason believes his father was abusive, not to him but her.
I don’t know what to believe.I just know I have a son, who is heartbroken. A father in law who is hated, loved, and missed: and a husband who does not deal with any of it.

My son Seth started school this year. Last week he learned all about Memorial day, and what it means. He was taught that it is a day we show an extra bit of gratitude and thanks to our Veterans. Seth knows his Grandpa was in a war: and now wants to celebrate his life, and heroism. Jason refuses to acknowledge his father as anything but a bad memory….

Help Please…….

Sincerely,

I don’t care just fill-er-up

Dear: Fill-er-up

First, congratulations on seeing where this could impact the sweet little sponge: that is your 5 year old son. That age is so full of impact having, and defining moments. Seth is trying to first figure out his spot on the family tree. Who to mimic, who to ignore, as well as who to love. As a parent and much like Walter, you LOVE unconditionally. If I had to guess: I would say it is very likely that you we’re loved unconditionally as well. Jason see’s parenting, and the bond there-in as “conditional”….. Jason see’s parenting, as a choice he makes everyday to participate in Seth’s life. In both you and Jason’s life someone, or several someones,impacted your life: your way of thinking, the way YOU would describe parenting.
Jason’s jaded view is not necessarily wrong ( for him ). He is allowed to feel that way, he is allowed to hurt, and even to be angry. However what he is NOT allowed to do: is apply those feelings to his way of parenting. That is not only bad for Seth, but as you are feeling right now- bad for your PARENTAL UNIT, and relationship. My advice for dealing with Jason……..HAVE A SERIOUS TALK.

Guidelines to said discussion:

A) Do not be threatening, judgmental, or brash. Remember: He is not wrong for his feelings. He is however accountable for how he exhibits them.

B) Ask him what he thinks is the truth about his mother’s absence. Why did she leave?, If he can’t / won’t tell you, perhaps he needs to visit the idea of talking to someone professionally. Cognitive therapy is a structured way of dealing with things that you could not and should not personally take on- or attempt to advise on.

C) Explain your feelings to him, give him a chance to react like a grown up, and parent.

D) Continue to be his loving wife but…..BE A MOTHER FIRST. Always put what’s best for Seth ahead of what’s easier, what’s nice, and what’s best for the husband. A mother that puts herself or partner first is NEVER happy and often loses both in the long run. A partner can be talked to, helped to see right from wrong, and comprehend things in a way a child can not. We can’t always fix the damage we cause to our children……Your husband is proof……
( “Editor’s note” When saying “Be a mother first”, it is not because I, or anyone else would think you would not: because in all fairness your first inclination in the face of such a problem was to seek advice. That is the stuff GREAT moms are made of…)

ON TO THE BOY………

What an exciting time, when they start growing up, and realizing all the things that make the world go round, and all the people to thank for why it still does. Seth is absorbing his surroundings with intensity and the hunger to learn every day.

What he learns is obviously very important. Since as parents you are his First roll model’s, it is imperative to be good ones. Our actions are our children’s first ideas about how to think, act, love, hate, and be.

Regardless of how “Jason” feels about Walter, Memorial day is much more than one man. We as American’s are lucky enough to have a long list- including a whole wall and so many more tributes to our veterans and fallen soldiers. We are lucky to have veterans and fallen soldiers at all. Show Seth some pictures via the internet, or in person if you can. Showing him a great respect for lives given, people wounded, and battles fought with courage, and honor: is a great way to help him participate in the holiday while honoring, and paying respect to a man he loved.

I believe even your husband can’t argue with the the meaning of the day. I’m sure there are a few things he could find a way to participate in himself.

Memorial day is a wonderful chance to show Seth the blessings of giving back.

http://www.voa.org/landing?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=assumed%2Bterms&cn=ccs&ebcmp=10145557&advid=81984&ebag=2427698&ccsurl=$$http://clickserve.dartsearch.net/link/click?lid&cn=ccs&ebcmp=10145557&advid=81984&ebag=2427698&ccsurl=$$http://clickserve.dartsearch.net/link/click?lid&cn=ccs&ebcmp=10145557&advid=81984&ebag=2427698&ccsurl=$$http://clickserve.dartsearch.net/link/click?lid&cn=ccs&ebcmp=10145557&advid=81984&ebag=2427698&ccsurl=$$http://clickserve.dartsearch.net/link/click?lid&cn=ccs&ebcmp=10145557&advid=81984&ebag=2427698&ccsurl=$$http://clickserve.dartsearch.net/link/click?lid&ebkw=87906344&ebkw=87906344&ebkw=87906344&ebkw=87906344&ebkw=87906344&sead=20895971235&sead=20895971235&sead=20895971235&sead=20895971235&sead=20895971235
http://www.cnn.com/2010/LIVING/11/10/iyw.help.vets/index.html

Or find other programs in which to volunteer.

If his Grandfather’s grave is not too far away, or if maybe he was laid to rest in a cemetery specifically for war veterans- perhaps paying a visit with fresh flowers or a special flag with Seth would be a nice outing.

Hope some of it helps and maybe through the years, Jason will come around to. Happy Memorial Day !!!

— Sincerely, Parenting 911

KAT GOT YOUR TONGUE : “BOOTY CHATTER”

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Hello my beloved Kat readers !!

So let’s cut to the chase and discuss another fun topic, OK ? I don’t usually use ebonics in my blogs but today will be an exception. This particular topic is a considerably unnecessary evil occurring in every conversation. Unable to fathom a better befitting word, today’s topic is “Booty Chatter.” For those unfamiliar with this terminology, it IS how it sounds. “Booty” is a derriere and “Chatter” is conversation. Put simply it’s “talking out of your butt.” I’m not deliberately being vulgar, just trying to be direct!

I’m sure a majority of people have been volunteered, unknowingly, to be subjected to nonsense. To me, there’s nothing more annoying than a conversation heading towards intellect only to detour into crazy town. Don’t get me wrong, I’m impartial to unexpected factoids — as long as they represent actuality. Today there’s a multitude of individuals pursuing not factoids but some illusion of professional grandeur. Some may begin their day at an entry level position and over cocktails that evening become a jack of all trades. Much like a super hero, they morph into philosopher, scientist, or politician — or all three, rolled into one!

Some readers may be questioning “how can I separate fact from opinion if what’s being said is said with such conviction?”

Truthfully, you can never really tell unless you know a person intimately. Furthermore anyone with common sense should be capable of distinguishing actual data from Booty Chatter. Seeing how it’s nearly impossible to detect these social pariahs, it’s best to remain accountable for one’s own blunders. Often it’s a cinch to confuse personal beliefs or convictions with legit facts especially if we feel passionate about our opinions. I too have previously been guilty of dispersing my personal views as if they were truths. Unfortunately, such dispersion is classified as “notions with no research to support such beliefs.”

Best way to avoid being a Booty Chatter perpetrator ? Avoid subject matter you’re not familiar with. Religion, politics, and sexuality are all sure to push you over the edge of very significant boundaries.

Readers please do heed my warning! There’s nothing more embarrassing than being publicly interrogated on your source if it’s all misinformation! No one wants to be branded as “the one so full of crap, if you shut your mouth your butt would talk!” Many may not know it, but there’s a difference between fact and opinion. And everyone knows opinions are like buttholes. Everyone has one and most of them stink. Thus Booty Chatter was born!

—- Kat Gottlich / “Kat Got Your Tongue”