Eye-catching, huh? For the record, he didn't. It's science. I'll report back to you sometime on the results.
So, not long after I posted a screed on Walmart Derangement Syndrome, which led to a very pleasant series of check-ins from bloggyfriends, I got a blast email from Councilmember Hans Riemer, of whom I have spoken variously in these pages, especially whenever I write about things local. That led me to Hans' blog, which is now linked off to the right somewhere, mostly so I remember to keep an eye on him. He's a recovering Californian, you know.
There are those of you who will disdain this personal involvement with the system. I do not begrudge your disdain any more than I begrudge Hans' energy for involving himself in the minutiae of government. Is he ambitious? Yeah, he is. Does he want to be one of our overlords? Hmm, yeah, he does, at least at some level of overlording--I've never asked him what he has in mind, and I've no idea if he knows what he has in mind, and if he does, he's sure not going to fucking tell the likes of me. Is he one of the 1 percent? Probably not. He's probably in about the same ballpark as I am, as far as that's concerned, and I really, really promise you that I'm not one of them. What makes him different?
Well, you're not going to like my answer to this, and I'm not going to contend that you should. The answer is: because I know him a little bit as a human. And I said so. So there.
Obviously, it would really be kinda seriously fucktarded for me to scorn any disagreement you might feel welling up at this point in the discourse.
The point? Right. Hans' blog. But first, also too: it turns out Hans is one of the five co-sponsors of the relatively pointless Walmart legislation. I should've figured that was the case. There's just no substantive political downside in MoCo to aligning yourself against Walmart. Duh on me.
So Hans' blog. I wrote him immediately when I saw it, expressing my hope that he was delegating blog production to some staffer. He replied quickly, telling me he does it himself. I believe him. The blog itself is pretty standard stuff, mostly diary, all designed to pump out Hans-centric stuff, as it should be. It's all Blooger-normal, and the tone is probably about right.
The links are local stuff, but...well, one of his links is Just Up The Pike, which I sometimes like and sometimes think is off its nut (as I did with the Walmart post, which started with a link to JUTP, which seems to think that Rockville Pike should be a walkable fake village from Route 28 to the Beltway; this idea is fucking silly). Another is Greater Greater Washington (both JUTP and GGW are linked from BFF's place, so I've never bothered). I've always read GGW respectfully, without necessarily agreeing with its POV, but I see that its most recent post (10/27/2011, and I'm not linking) is an affirmation of the No Child Left Behind Act.
Holy fucking shit. That's one of the most loathsome pieces of legislation ever. And the only thing GGW thinks is wrong with it is that it wasn't sufficiently funded. Holy fucking shit. GGW takes the farthest detour up its own ass when it talks about NCLB's teacher accountability provisions. Sure, it's good to be able to dismiss bad teachers, but NCLB links accountability to test scores. It has done more to dumb down education and water down critical thinking than any other measure since the advent of public education. It is the point source of teaching to the test. The GGW blogger refers to himself as an "educator," which means he's an administrator, not a teacher (if he were a teacher, he'd say so; if he were an administrator, he'd cloud it; bingo). Further, he weasels the issue by saying that he (as a "taxpayer," and like "lots of teachers") supports NCLB's goals for accountability. You might read that as softening his support for NCLB's approach; I read it as weasel shit, because if didn't support the approach, he wouldn't be sleeping with the enemy. Among the parts of NCLB he explicitly likes: allowing parents to pull their children from their local schools that don't meet AYP (average yearly progress, another loathsome and faux-metrics-driven feature of the law), and especially allowing parents to pull their children from "dangerous" high schools (he cites, stunningly, a high school in Prince Georges County--right, I see where we're going here).
I have never before seen a post this contemptible on GGW. It's so awful I won't link to it.
And I digress. Hans gets a cookie for blogging, and for taking the time to do it himself (it's his clock, what the fuck should I care?). The truth is that sources of information about our local locality are limited--even biased sources like GGW (yeah, okay, or me or BFF or JUTP or Your Fucking Washington Post) require some hunting. While I respect the perspectives of some of my bloggyfriends who have no use for government, I think it's okay for people to have some clue what their local overlords are thinking, and for my part, I trust that what Hans tells me in his blog is true, at least for a given value of truth unrelated to whether or not people vote for him.
Well, shit, all that took a left turn from where I started. Whatever. I think I started the post with the intent of picking out dumb shit Hans blogged and mocking it. Sorry, my assault on NCLB left me too winded to mock. My bad.
Update: Oh, shit, I forgot the actual professional criticism (I'm an actual Web professional, you know): Hans, your labels suck balls. Get someone to go through them for you. You got librarians down there at the COB, I know you do.
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