It Boggles the Mind

And, really, thank god for Campfield’s mind-boggles, because after this afternoon only a mind-boggle like he delivers could unboggle my mind from discovering that I’m spouting Republican talking points.

So, anyway, I’m reading along about his exciting adventure with his “presumption of joint custody” bill when he says

Currently 95% of contested custody cases go to the woman. Even when abuse is not part of the equation at all that number holds true. Where possible, reasonable, wanted and in the best interest of children that should be the case. The single parent household is killing the development of children. While not always the case you can look at about any study and the single parent household will rank at the top as a factor or common denominator for a child’s failure. Both parents are important to the life and development of the child and not just as a wallet.

America, I don’t even know what to say.  If this passes this year is he going to require next year that divorcing parents continue to live together?  Or that you can only get divorced once you have someone else lined up to marry?  Because, if not, I don’t understand how he’s going to prevent kids of divorced parents from living in single-parent households.  Even if parents have joint custody, the kids will still have two single parent households to be shuffled between.

So, what am I missing here?  Are Republicans going to work on banning divorce next?  Or will they get in the spouse-handing-out business?

Clearly the End-Times Are Here

Oh sweet and tender Jesus, I just got an email from Bill Fucking Hobbs containing a link to this press release and I…


God damn it, am I on the same fucking side of an issue as the god damn TNGOP?!!!!!!

I only have minor quibbles with this press release.

Have I lost my mind?

Am I drunk and don’t realize it?

Am I about to have to stand before God Almighty and listen to Him say “I don’t want you here, but I can’t stand to listen to your mother cry for eternity, so I guess you can come.”?

Will I be able to sneak through some back gate of Heaven to go play volva to the Aesir in the afterlife?

Ah, well, fuck it.  Times are weird and when times are weird, weird things happen.

But promise me this, readers, if I am drunk and don’t realize it, and drunk on something that makes Republicans seem reasonable, will you promise that, if you catch me flashing my boob freckle at Campfield and whispering seductive things in his ear, that you will come over and clock me upside the head and sit outside with me until you can put me in the Butcher’s car and he can take me home?

Is the Governor’s Sentiment Un-American?

Kleinheider reports that Colby Sledge reports that the Governor says:

Bredesen says we’re “upside-down” when it comes to community colleges; there are too few people in two-year programs and too many in four-year programs.

This is irritating enough, but Sledge further reports:

On cost savings in higher education: “I think you can reduce some administration costs within the system … The real cost savings in the system are in not starting PhD programs in some of the schools around here.”

And what do you even say to that?  A PhD program that results in grad students who get paid next to nothing to teach is hardly a huge cost factor, when you consider the massive amounts of labor they provide.  Of course, if there are fewer students going to 4-year colleges, because the governor thinks they should all be in 2 year colleges, then you don’t need grad students to teach them, so I guess the circle of stupidity comes… god, backed myself into a corner here… full circle.  Yes the circle comes full circle.  That’s the best I could come up with.  Sorry.

I have two trains of thought thought.  One is practical.  Are there a bunch of employers in Tennessee or in the nation who want employees with an associate’s degree?  The governor seems to think that there should be more people in two-year colleges than there are in four-year colleges.  But this would only be true if most employers prefered to have employees with two-year degrees and a much smaller amount wanted folks with four-year degrees.  I could be wrong, but this seems to not be the case.  Even if having a two-year degree is the minimum requirement for a job, if you are a 22 year old person applying for it and you have a two-year degree and two years of work experience and the other person applying for the job has a four-year degree, I’d think you’d be pretty reasonable in being afraid they’d rather have the kid with the Bachelor’s degree, even with less experience.

Also in my experience, there are three types of students who attend two-year schools.  People who are trying to get the first two years out of the way in an inexpensive manner but who then transfer to four-year schools to finish up.  (So, assuming that the Governor doesn’t disapprove of this track, wouldn’t you still end up with more people in four-year schools, because they’d contain the people who started at that school and the people who transfered in?)  People who are trying to acquire skills they need in their careers (and these folks may have jobs that need these skills right now or they are trying to get those jobs in the future).  And kids who aren’t going to college, for one reason or another, but who just haven’t come to accept that truth yet.

So, for the vast majority of people who attend two-year schools successfully, it is a tool for acquiring skills they need to achieve a goal they have.  It’s not, despite the stereotype, a holding tank for losers.

To me, it makes sense that there would be fewer people attending two-year schools than there are attending four-year schools, if the two-year schools are working how they should.  You get people in and out and on with their lives.  You don’t have the dalliers trying to figure out what they need.

But my other train of thought is philosophical.  Bredesen went to Harvard.  He’s now filthy rich.  And he achieved both of those things because, at heart, he thought that he could do it.  That even a kid who lived with his mom and grandma after his parents’ divorce could go to Harvard if he was inclined and could get in and could figure out how to pay for it.

So, considering his background–that he has what he has because he had the idea that it was possible–I think it’s frankly really shitty to say that we have too many people attending four-year colleges.

In fact, it seems down-right un-American.  Why shouldn’t as many people as can go to four-year colleges?  And why shouldn’t as many people as can go to two-year colleges?

Why should our governor be sitting around acting like folks are just going to have to accept that we’re not all going to be able to get the education we need?

That’s something a person might come to realize.  You might want to go to Belmont, but the kids and the boss aren’t going to make that possible.  But that’s a choice you should get to make.

It’s not something the governor should be setting as some kind of public policy.

Education is key to being able to pull yourself out of poverty, out of crappy jobs, and bad situations.  It opens doors for you that are otherwise very difficult to get open.  An educated work-force is attractive to employers.

Why are we talking like it’s not that important for the future of Tennesssee?

Why a Girl Like Me Can’t Take Herself Too Seriously

Every once in a while I have a day where I get so worked up that I’m just like Bill the Cat at the end of it.  And not in the “Finds herself president or in Billy and the Boingers” way.

And then I look at my blog stats and I realize that, no matter what all else I write, the window most of the internet has to Tiny Cat Pants is either some post I wrote on hermaphrodite porn or the post I wrote on the exorcism on Paranormal State.

I don’t know.  It puts it all in perspective somehow.

Yesterday, I came home, planted poppies, zinnia, and alyssum and then hung out in the hammock.  It feels smart to me to plant right before days of rain, like free water!  The Butcher has a friend with a truck, so, after it stops raining, they’re going to go rent a tiller.  Since that might not be until Sunday, I was a little stressed that the lines that the Professor and I mapped out to plot the beds would be gone.  But the Butcher went out and dug holes at each corner of the beds.  So, even if the rain takes care of the paint, he’ll still know where to till.

I also got him all excited about the mushroom compost.  Or at least for my sake, he pretended to me.  He also spent a good part of yesterday clearing more brush in where we put our poor lone raspberry.  But holy shit!  I can’t remember.  Did I inflict a picture of the raspberry on you on Sunday?  Anyway, since we planted it, it has twice as many leaves and appears to me to be taller.  In other words, it’s really taken to that spot.  No reason it shouldn’t though.  We looked for where the privet was growing the best, dug the privet up and stuck it right there. If it’s a good spot for privet, it’s a good spot for other growing things (or often visa versa, of course).  Still, it’s really satisfying to see it thrive.

And the other satisfying thing, about seeing the holes at the ends of the beds, is that it reconfirmed that that’s much better soil on that side of the creek.  Good dark brown stuff that does not behave so much like it’s about ready to become a clay pot.  So, it’s not just where we put the raspberry, but all over.

Here’s a question I have for you, internets.  What constitutes organic gardening?  Is it just not using chemical pesticides or what?  And should this be something I’m embarrassed to admit I don’t know?

Also, in tiny cat news, yesterday, she hid under my bed and jumped out and grabbed my toes and then skampered off, kind of terrified and pleased with herself that she had the guts to do that.

Never, folks, never in the history of the tiny cat has she ever, ever done something like that.