Whom Should Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker Send After the Truant Senate Democrats?

"14 Democrats frozen in carbonite, coming up!"

When it came time for the vote on the controversial bill that Wisconsin’s teachers are ditching work to protest, it was stalled because the Democrats in the state senate–all of them–got on a bus and ran away, out of state.  The governor has dispatched the state troopers to find them, but I don’t think that’s good enough for these gutless cowards, subverting the will of the people as made manifest in elections, by pandering to their special interests. 

When something similar happened in Texas a few years ago, Governor Rick Perry sent out the Texas Rangers (the law enforcement officers, not the athletes) after them.  Sadly, Wisconsin doesn’t have access to the Chuck Norris squad, so perhaps we could offer him some other options.  Tell me which one you like best.

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Educational Priorities in Wisconsin

From a Wisconsin columnist who thinks the spoiled teacher protests there could be a good moment to indoctrinate young people about social justice:

For some families, when your child’s teacher takes off for a protest in Madison, it can seem like a wasted day….

Students who wondered where their teachers were last week should be assigned to do a paper on what happened in Madison and describe why such events are part of the American experience. Most of all, students should try to figure out exactly why their teachers were gone and whether or not they can agree with their reasons.

Yes, that’s much more important than math or reading.  American students are dangerously lacking in basic knowledge and skills, but it will do them so much good if their teachers skip an indefinite number of school days, and then return to run a self-righteous instructional unit about it.

The Hypocrisy of Bleeding Heart Teachers

I’m talking to you, Wisconsin.

I bet the union thugs shutting down learning in Wisconsin, taking students out of school for political reasons the kids don’t even understand and sabotaging the process of education, are the same teachers who usually claim to “love” their students, being extra kind to them and making sure that class is fun. 

I’ve known tons of teachers like this. They look at their work as a “calling.”  They likely embrace all the latest watered-down edu-fads sponsored by the experts, and look down their noses at the cynical conservative teachers who are just here to do an important job and do it right. 

The thing is, teachers who revel in the warm, fuzzy side of the profession are rarely the selfless shepherds of youth they want you to think they are.  They’re in love with an image of themselves as the cherished, inspiring heroes of society. 

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Racine Cuisine

My mom is from Racine, Wisconsin.  I have two very fond memories of edible delights from visiting my grandparents out there when I was a kid. 

The first is Kringle.  This Danish pastry treat looks like a pizza, but with a large hole in the center, only making it about four inches wide.  Unlike the cheese of a pizza, a Kringle is frosted on top and filled on the inside with your choice of things like apple, cherry, or pecan.  According to the Wikipedia entry for Kringle, they’re especially important to Racine, one of the few places in the country that even makes Kringle, because of their large Danish immigrant population.  Denmark’s loss is our gain!

Even though my grandparents have both passed on, my parents occasionally go out to visit other friends and family, and when they do they always bring back some Kringle.  In fact, when finances permit (which they haven’t for some time now, alas), I’ll order one through the mail myself. 

I can’t recommend highly enough that you visit the website of Racine’s O&H Danish Bakery and order some Kringle.  Especially at this hot time of the year, we could all enjoy a cool, light, sweet treat like this. 

The second is a hamburger and homemade root beer from Kewpee.  I remember my grandfather taking my brother and me there whenever we visited, and it was the highlight of every trip.  Kewpee is an old fashioned place, with only a few locations left open in that part of the country, but somehow they make the absolutely best food in the world. 

Check out the pictures and menu on their web site.  It almost makes one want to go out to Racine just for a trip to Kewpee, doesn’t it?  I realize now that I haven’t been there for…twenty years?  Wow.  I really do need to go to Racine to eat at Kewpee. 

By the way, on the off chance that anybody from Racine ends up reading this, my grandfather was Frank Cooper, who was a high school principal out there until about thirty years ago.  Not only do we share a penchant for long, solitary walks, but I had completely forgotten about his career in education until after I decided to become a teacher myself.  But if I think about him too long now, I’ll start to remember him taking me to Thrifty’s for ice cream, and this post has already made me hungry enough…