'The weird kid' at school

My legs felt weak and tired after a short walk a few days ago, so I'm trying to walk more often. Exercise, and all that.

Friday's walk took me past an elementary school on recess. There were hundreds of kids in batches, some playing kickball, some playing tag, some just walking and talking with each other, as if they're miniature humans.


#425  [archive]
MAY 25, 2024

One girl was by herself, walking the width of the soccer field, then walking back, then leaning against the goal. That's the way I usually was at recess, "playing with myself," as the other kids said. Always I've been happier alone than in a crowd.

The girl was wearing the Islamic uniform for females, though — full body abaya, with headwrap — so she's alone not by choice, but because she's 'the Muslim girl'.

It's a public school, so the dress code for all the other kids is blue jeans, and that's what that girl wishes she was wearing. She's different, not because she's different, but because her family and her religion requires it. 

It ought to be illegal — forcing a child to be 'the weird kid' at school is child abuse.

Of course, so's everything else about religion.

France, apparently, sees the separation of church and state as more than a mere cliché. Religious statements and clothing are banned in public schools, for staff and students alike. The French team in the upcoming Olympics won't be allowed religious displays during the competition.

I ain't sure whether that's the right way to deal with religion in the public square, but I'm willing to entertain the idea. What do you think?

Gotta say, it looks like it's working better for France than the wacky way we handle freedom of religion here in America, where the kookiest Christians have been trying to get Christian prayer and their Ten Commandments back into public schools since the day they were ordered out.

I've never eaten at a Red Lobster and never will, but anyone with anyone whose shell isn't cracked should know instinctively that the chain's demise is not, as has been publicly explained, because too many customers came for a loss-leading promotion of all-you-can eat shrimp for twenty bucks. 

It's a business, very big and for a long time, very successful. If a successful business makes a pricing error, it adjusts the price.

This was no pricing error. This was a company run stupidly, with high-finance imbeciles seeing more money to be made from things that have nothing to do with seafood.

Just another white collar crime, that's all.

Here's expert police work: Thomas Perez Jr of Fontana CA called the cops because his father was missing. For this, officers interrogated Perez for 17 hours, searched his house, lied that they'd found "visible bloodstains," denied him access to his prescription meds, even threatened to kill his dog, until Perez broke down and confessed to killing his father… who, it turned out, was alive and well.

For this, the city will pay $898,000, but it took six years and a court case to get that settlement, and as always always always happens in cases like this, there's no indication that the officers involved were disciplined in any way.

In other news of perfectly ordinary police work, a cop in Sturgeon MO chased, captured, and killed a blind and deaf family dog.

The cop said he "feared being bitten and being infected with rabies," and "felt that his only option was to put the animal down," though the dog wasn't aggressive, wasn't barking, and it It was a 13-pound Shih Tzu — a small, fluffy breed that attacks only with slobber and yipping.

The police department has reviewed the video and "determined that the officer was not wrong in his actions."

And let's close with what'll be the close for much of humanity, a climate change roundup. Or more accurately, a species suicide snapshot: 

NOAA predicts above-normal 2024 Atlantic hurricane season 

The 'Doomsday Glacier' is melting faster than scientists thought 

US schools that never needed air conditioning need it now 

19 Republican Attorneys General have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block Democratic-led states from suing the oil and gas industry over climate change 

German climate change activists have been charged with "forming a criminal organization" 


A furious, forgotten slave narrative resurfaces after nearly 170 years 

How police killings are kept hidden: ‘We don’t know how many George Floyds there are’ 

It is disappointing, if not surprising, that the west's response to the ICC accusations was to defend Israel despite its war crimes. 


    Bramble and the Rose
by Reilly & Maloney

by Michael Nesmith and the First National Band

    NPR Blues
by Utah Phillips

    They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore
by Kinky Friedman

    Wild Over Me
by The Project

⚰️  DEAD PEOPLE  ⚰️ 

Gordon Bell
VAX minicomputers 

Larry Bensky
journalist, Pacifica 

Sam Butcher
artist, "Precious Moments" 

Richard Foronjy
actor, Midnight Run 

Darryl Hickman
actor, The Grapes of Wrath

Jan Kaczmarek
film composer, Finding Neverland

Jim Otto
footballer, Oakland Raiders 

Morgan Spurlock
filmmaker, Super Size Me

Robert Patrick Tully
forgotten man


Cranky Old Fart is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited. 

Tip 'o the hat to the AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Chuff, Dirty Blonde Mind, It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time, Lemmy.world, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Mr Souza's Happy Place, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration.

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo emeritus, Jeff Meyer, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.

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