112. 2 IMPORTANT OPEN LETTERS, TWP ANALYSIS: THE GETTYSBURG OF THE ANTIS, IF I WERE A FLY ON THE WALL… & A SPECIAL MESSAGE

Dear Readers: This post- post election edition of TWP was not put together until middle of the week so it was more difficult to put together than most of our other posts. Why would it be harder to do? Simple. I (Renee) had some minor out-patient surgery earlier this week. As Editor of this 75,000+ viewer blog, I am the main writer and proof reader. So…I’m a little behind this week. And taking the rest of the week off from work does not mean a house work vacation. Hey, it would be FUNNY to watch civil engineer and hubby John try to drive a vacuum cleaner but if I laugh TOO hard, those stitches… (Not to worry, dear readers: This minor procedure was planned over a month ago and was successful.) Well, my boy Tyler was not told about it until Jenny dropped him off from kindergarten that evening but when told “Mommy had to go to the hospital but is fine now…”, he gave me the biggest hug! Ouch! That hug may have been uncomfortable -But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in this world!

Good news for misbehaving ladies at the middle school: I will not be swinging the paddle for a few weeks. Come to think of it -I haven’t paddled anyone myself since the school year started and have observed a grand total of 3 boys get swatted out of a total student population of 800+.

Where does “paddle-happy” fit into that?

2 VERY IMPORTANT OPEN LETTERS

Dear Readers: The following two open letters are intended for use by like-minded readers who, like TWP, are concerned about the possible actions of a “lame-duck” session of the U.S. Congress. The 2nd letter is to Governor-elect Tom Kasich of Ohio. Both letters may be copied from this post and emailed by individual viewers.

The first:

Dear U.S. Congressman/U.S. Senator:

We, the American people, spoke loudly and clearly a couple of weeks ago. The U.S. is on the wrong track and we DEMAND a change of course. Too many politicos over the last two years have thumbed their noses at the American people, who are their bosses -Not peons. That will STOP…NOW!

With all the problems facing the U.S. such as high unemployment, TRILLION $$$ deficits and a still shaky financial system -Does it make ANY sense for the Federal Government to micromanage the way school districts set up discipline policy? The clear answer is a resounding NO! America has a lot of problems that you should be working on but, against the wishes of a majority of the people, you on Capital Hill spent nearly a year “deal-making” behind closed doors to create “Obamacare”.

As a result, the economy is still in the tank with 9.6% unemployment. And with those unemployed folks are a bunch of politicians. If you are one of those: Take it as a lesson on democracy and who works for who. If you were re-elected: Be wiser and listen to the people who sent you!

Won or lost, lets finish the “lame duck” session by doing only what is absolutely necessary: Keeping the Federal Government functioning until the new U.S. Congress takes office next year. And that “lame duck” session should NOT include H.B. 5628 which bans school corporal punishment. Of all the things Congress could work on -This is the least important. Just leave that issue to the locally elected school boards -They know what they are doing and you DO NOT!

Sincerely,

your name

Address/Email

The Second:

Dear Governor Tom Kasich:

As a newly elected governor, you have many responsibilities that come with that office. The economy and jobs is first and foremost. However, Ted Strickland did not fully understand this and, as a result, lost in his re-election bid as Ohio’s governor. As the new incoming governor of the great state of Ohio, you should learn from Gov. Strickland’s mistakes.

One such major mistake is the “I-know-better-than-the-people” attitude. This was certainly demonstrated with the Ohio state corporal punishment ban passed a year ago INSIDE A BUDGET APPROPRIATIONS BILL! People do have different opinions about this issue but shouldn’t it be resolved by locally elected school boards? It is the height of arrogance when political insiders decide behind closed doors what local people elect local school boards to do.

Everyone is well aware of the many problems facing the people of Ohio. But shouldn’t local school boards set school discipline policy? If not, then why have local schools at all?

The purpose of this letter is to ask you to consider rolling back the school corporal punishment ban and returning to the status quo before the current ban pushed by outgoing Gov. Strickland. By doing so, you would send a clear message: “In Ohio, everything does NOT flow one-way out of Columbus.”

Best wishes and regards to you, your family and the people of the “Buckeye State.”

Sincerely,

your name

address/email

TWP ANALYSIS: THE “GETTYSBURG” OF THE ANTIS

Dear Readers: We at TWP recommend that you first read our February 2009 post Ingraham v. Wright: THE AFTERMATH and WHY IT MATTERS. By doing so, you will have a better understanding of the context of our analysis. Also, a basic understanding of the U.S. Civil War may be helpful although TWP will only touch on that. Our analysis uses symbolism and analogies to convey what we believe to be a strategic blunder by the antis in their quest to ban school c.p.

Election of 2008: We believe the undoing of the anti- c.p. movement started with the election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. The antis truly thought it was THEIR “Heaven on Earth” moment. It was not long after his swearing in that President Obama uttered positive comments about “whuppings” in the context of the black community. That should have been a signal to the antis that their agenda was in trouble.

Antietam Creek: In mid to late 1862, this was a battle that, if it does not occur, Confederate General Robert E. Lee marches a stronger Southern army around the Western flank of the demoralized Union forces who had been beaten and battered up to that point. But instead of seizing badly needed supplies and then encircling Washington, D.C., General Lee was surprised at a little known creek called Antietam. Why? Because Union scouts discovered battle plans accidentally left in a cornfield the night before. As a result, the first attempted invasion of the North failed and with it -A chance to turn the political tide against President Lincoln and the Unionist before the crucial mid-term election of 1862. Also, this accidental victory boosted the confidence of the Union forces who were near collapse. General Lee and his Confederates barely escaped to fight another day but never again held the advantage they held before that battle.

ANALYSIS: We at TWP would NEVER boast any comparison with those Union scouts but we do wonder. The fact is: TWP is the ONLY fair-and-balanced perspective on the issue of school c.p. By contrast, the antis’ core strategy has been to work behind closed doors in state capitals which are the “sweet spot” of American politics. Why? Because state capitals are not in the 24/7 news cycle of Washington, D.C. nor in the closer to home local news coverage. That strategy worked over several decades but stopped at the dawn of a new century with only two states joining the ranks of non-paddling states in the last decade.

Gettysburg and Picket’s Charge: When General Lee decided to launch a 2nd invasion of the North, he did so knowing that the Union was more unified and stronger than the previous year. General Lee had his hand forced by the string of defeats suffered  by the Confederates in the West Theater of Kentucky and Tennessee. So, with reluctance, General Lee lead his army into battle just outside the small town of Gettysburg. This time, the Union army was ready and occupied the high ground at a place aptly called Cemetery Ridge. Having been unsuccessful in out-maneuvering the Union forces for weeks, General Lee ordered one of his commanders, a General Picket, to launch an all-out frontal assault on the Union forces who were well dug-in. Instead of attempting a flanking maneuver  or a withdraw back to Virginia, the Confederate army was nearly destroyed. Historians consider the Battle of Gettysburg a decisive turning point in the U.S. Civil War and, although the war was not ended on that fateful day, the Confederate armies would be on the defensive until their surrender at Appomattox. There WERE Confederate “victories” after Gettysburg but the tide was ultimately with the Union as the North swept up all Southern resistance by April 1865.

ANALYSIS: As a movement, the anti c.p. zealots had an unbeaten (No pun intended) win streak which added up to 30 states which as of this post, ban school c.p. The antis’ problem is that the remaining 20 states have a much higher regard for local governance of school districts. Their defeat in an U.S. House committee was due to pure arrogance and greed. For zealots, that is usually the case. And in the case of the anti c.p. movement, the zealots should have been happy with a 30 to 20 edge in non-paddling states. But they were not.

Instead, they chose to leave the comforts of state capital politics, which receives much less media coverage, and instead “de-cloaked” themselves in a vain strategy to “nationalize” an issue that was on no political party’s radar screen. By doing this, the issue of school c.p. was now in the “big leagues” of American politics with the harsh lights of the 24/7 news cycle. And, just like the ill-fated Picket’s Charge, the results were a disaster. Congresswoman McCarthy bill to end all school c.p. didn’t even get out of committee -One in which the liberal Democrats held an outright majority. As of this posting, the “lame duck” session of the U.S. Congress has not yet begun but even if McCarthy’s bill gets out of committee (A snowball’s chance in HELL!) and is voted on by the full House -It still must go through the U.S. Senate with all it’s debate rules and be passed EXACTLY in the wording as in the House before President Obama can sign it into law. In our opinion, ex-Speaker of the U.S. House Nancy Pelosi will become U.S. President in January 2011 before that happens.

Conclusions: The “debate” is not over as to school c.p. just as the U.S. Civil War was not over after Gettysburg as Confederate General Lee withdrew his bloodied army back to Virginia to fight another day. And there were more Confederate victories but the long slide to eventual defeat began at Gettysburg. TWP does not know when or if the “debate” will end but one thing is for sure: There is no going back. McCarthy’s bill will be just a historical footnote at best but no longer will the antis be able to move their agenda without being noticed.

We at TWP believe that as another generation of Americans grow up and come of age, the misbegotten goal of a national banning of school c.p. will eventually be forgotten.

IF I WERE A FLY ON THE WALL…

Dear Readers: This segment is only a work of fiction but has what we at TWP would call an “element of truth” in it. Remember -The anti- c.p. movement is not just made up of a bunch of spoiled 14 year old brats. After all, how do you explain Paula Flowe’s trips to Temple, Texas or Memphis, Tennessee or even Hawaii? Non-profit foundations -That’s how! As the story below shows, the “money-men” of those foundations do NOT take kindly to losing.

Time: 11:00 a.m. (Pacific Time)

Where: San Francisco, California

Who: Mr. Bigg. Multi-Billionaire CEO. Mr. Bigg is the Donald Trump of the West Coast but in style -Makes Trump look like a brownie scout. While not mafia, Mr. Bigg plays to win -at all cost- and HATES to lose. As to power politics, Mr. Bigg is the consummate non-partisan and plays both sides against each other. His motto is “Winning isn’t everything…Power is!…And Power begats Wealth.” And his favorite hobby, aside from pursuit of more power and wealth is Martial Arts.

Especially when in a bad mood…

And when Mr. Bigg is not happy…NOBODY IS HAPPY.

Yours truly is just a fly buzzing around…And keen on staying out of Mr. Bigg’s way!

As his secretary started to buzz his large penthouse office, the 6’7″ 355 pound West Coast mogul swung around and with a shriek, chopped a 3/4″ board in half with his bare right hand. Paula Flowe of thehittingstopshere jumped backwards startled -Nearly bowling over Jestin Samson. The pair had just opened the gold plated doors to the giant office of the most powerful business tycoon in California -And they were not there for pleasantries.

Mr. Bigg snickered as he mused to himself “Peons” while looking out the enormous windows of his office upon the Golden Gateway Bridge and San Francisco Bay.

Mr. Bigg turned and without a single word, tool a Havana cigar out of a jeweled box on his custom made oak wood desk and lit it. Paula started to gag and Jestin seemed to sniffle as his allergies started.

Reclining back in his natural leather extra large chair, Mr. Bigg was the picture of ease in his silk and cashmere robe.

Finally Mr. Bigg spoke, in a low but forceful voice, “Paula…Junior…You are 5 minutes LATE!”

Paula meekly attempted to reply, “Traffic was busy…” but Mr. Bigg slammed his fist on the desk, silencing her.

“If there is one thing I hate nearly as much as losing…It is LATENESS!” Mr. Bigg bellowed.

A rather pale and nervous Jestin stammered, ” Mr. Bigg, would you mind calling me Je…”

Mr. Bigg interrupted, “Since my money bankrolls your ‘armpit’ of an organization…I’ll call you what I please…But don’t worry…You will not require a ‘safepass’ to leave here!…HA HA HA HA HA…”

Turning back to Paula Flowe, Mr. Bigg turned serious again and pointedly asked, “Paula, you DO know why I summoned you here, don’t you?”

Paula stuttered, “Because our organization’s effort to ban school corporal punishment nationwide has failed…”

Mr. Bigg scowled and replied, “No, that is NOT precisely correct…I could care less if a snotty nosed kid gets his rear end busted…ANY screw-off in my business empire will get far worse!…I only indulge you because it gives me another issue to barter with for my own purposes…Now try again…Why were the two of you summoned here?”

Like an anxious 1st grader, Jestin blurted out, “We are here because our organizations owe most of their funding to your non-profit foundations!”

Mr. Bigg cracked a smile and remarked, “Thata boy, junior!…I see that you are learning something in college after all!…And why would I be displeased with the results of my ‘investment’?”

Paula chimed, “Because you HATE to lose…on ANYTHING that you put your money into!…Right, Mr. Bigg?”

Puffing lightly on his cigar, Mr. Bigg responded, “That is correct…And is why you are here…No one plays me for a fool…I play both political parties for a reason…My only political color is GREEN, not red or blue…And before you interject a word, junior…That’s GREEN as in MONEY!”

Jestin broke in saying, “Mr. Bigg, we know that you are disappointed but we PROMISE to do better next year…”

“This is NOT a sports franchise, junior…This is power politics, my ‘style’…And in this ‘game’, there are NO second place trophies or ‘next year’…” thundered Mr. Bigg.

“But our movement is not over…” whined Paula.

“You two can do whatever…Try a sidewalk bake sale…But with the results of the last election, I have decided to ‘realign’ my non-profit foundation’s grants towards causes which have a more probable chance of success…So, the plug has been pulled on your ‘nospank’ crusade!”

“But you can’t…” Jestin wailed.

“I just did…And the two of you need to get started on that bake sale (Pointing to the door)…Outta here!…I have a meeting with the new governor-elect in one hour!” shooed Mr. Bigg.

Upon hearing this, yours truly, the fly, couldn’t help myself. I just had to buzz Paula and Jestin. Yaa Hoo! Victory lap around Paula’s head. But then Paula got mad and started to swat at me!

“Hey, no fair, Paula!…I thought you were OPPOSED to ‘hitting’!” I mused to myself as I easily dodged Paula’s hands.

The I saw Paula roll up some papers as she got a very mean look on her face. It was then that I decided to flee Paula’s wrath -Where are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals when you need them?

***A SPECIAL MESSAGE***

Dear Loyal Readers:

This is the 111th post of TEACHERSWHOPADDLE. A major milestone which Jenny, Wendy, Michelle and I (Renee) never intended to reach when we started this blog. We would never have dreamed that our little blog, which sole purpose is to give a teacher’s perspective on a difficult issue, would have over 75,000 viewers in only 28 months. Hey, the original plan was for us to publish a dozen posts for about a month but as everyone knows -We just kept posting as feedback grew.

But there comes a time when “One has said enough!”

And now, that time has come.

Yep! TWP is “packing it in!” 😯

And no…This has NOTHING to do with some minor elective surgery I (Renee) had done last week. So relax!

Rather, our little blog has done everything it could possibly do -And then some. Short of starting a pro-paddle party (Giggle), there is nothing we can say or add to the debate on school c.p. that we haven’t already addressed in a previous post. We have covered every angle. So, instead of posting for the sake of posting, TWP will publish its final post next week before the Thanksgiving 4-day weekend on Wednesday November 24th.

This last post of TEACHERSWHOPADDLE will be a good one and all readers are invited to send your farewells. But BE NICE! And while there will be NO new posts after that, we will keep the blog on the ‘net -Although w/o a comment window. The reason for this is that we will be “retired” from operating this blog. Hey, we have families, careers and lives of our own!

But it was fun publishing this blog. From internet friends we have made to needling the antis -We gave as good as we got. The end of TEACHERSWHOPADDLE was originally intended for Spring 2010 but the nationalization of the school c.p. issue caused us to extend the life of the blog until we were certain of the future direction of the U.S. With the November election over, we are now in sight of the last post of TWP.

Hope to hear from y’all soon!

Renee, Jenny, Wendy and Michelle.

COMING NEXT: PROF. N. COMMENTARY,

OTHER READER COMMENTS,

A TWP REUNION: 40 YEARS LATER

&

GOODBYE



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