Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Please Help Save Harvey's Life!

It would be illegal to copy an entire newspaper article on a blog so the photo is just the first part and I will explain the rest of the story. Apparently the military have been secretly training rabbits to act as guard animals similar to Dobermans. They are bred for aggression and trained to attack any intruders attempting to penetrate sensitive sites that worry Homeland Security such as nuclear plants, nuclear waste facilities, and government buildings at night. Their small size and silent, secretive nature makes them potentially ideal guard animals.

Harvey was one of the first attack rabbits in this experimental program which was jointly sponsored by by the Pentagon, Homeland Security, and the League of Republicans for U.S. Patriotism. He was stationed inside the perimeter fence at the Hampton nuclear facility when five off duty soldiers came by outside the fence. They began taunting the rabbit by beating on the fence and yelling. Harvey apparently became so enraged by this that he finally broke his rigid training, scaled the fence, and leaped at the soldiers. According to preliminary autopsy results three of the soldiers died almost immediately from the carotid arteries and jugular veins in their necks being ripped open while the other two soldiers died of blunt force chest trauma caused when Harvey hit them in their chests with his hind feet. During the trial the defense attempted to show that this incident was the fault of the military for initiating this foolhardy training program for rabbits and that Harvey was not to blame. This defense did not sway the verdict since the general consensus was that any rabbit who could be this violent had to be held accountable for their actions. Many pieces of evidence the defense attempted to enter into the record were blocked by Homeland Security on the grounds that it would violate national security. Harvey was given a 20 years sentence in solitary confinement at Boulder Penitentiary. He is now back in his kennel under heavy guard while the case is being appealed on the grounds that rabbits rarely live past the age of ten years. Since Harvey is already 2 years old this is effectively the same as giving him two terms of life imprisonment.

Here is where you can help. If you feel that Harvey is being unfairly punished for this please send a letter to the following address telling them why this is such a cruel travesty of justice:

Homeland Security, Experimental and Covert Division
21406 West Arlington Boulevard
Washington, D.C. 78209

You can also go to the ASPCA website and sign their petition to free Harvey. Their URL is

PETA also is organizing an email campaign for this cause. You can get more information on how to participate in this worthy cause at

PLEASE HELP HARVEY! He should not be given this cruel treatment for something he had no real control over. Animal lovers everywhere need to unite before it is too late for Harvey. If you love animals you need to help send the message to the government that we will not tolerate mistreating animals this way.

Thank you and please respond soon. Harvey's time grows short.

Oh yes, just one more thing. APRIL FOOL!!!!!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Rough 3 months healthwise

I am still fighting the eczema problem. After I went back to the dermatologist and got the cortisone shot, prednisone pills, and steroid cream things started clearing up about 50% before plateauing. The steroids lost their effectiveness and I started having huge flareups. This atopic eczema or atopic dermatitis as it is also called is very nasty in its severe form. I have it on my arms, feet, underarms, neck, and groin region. It follows the pattern where an area will turn scarlet and burn intensely, followed by peeling and then turning dark purple. Then it all starts over again. I have not been able to move around much or get out of the house except for doctor visits. Putting on clothing is agonizing and at this point the skin is so sentitive that even moving around is extremely painful. I have been practically living under a vaporizer and have been moisturizing the skin several times each day. Nothing much has helped so went I went back to the dermatologist March 10th he was pretty stumped. He took a punch biopsy in one of the red areas to send off for analysis and I went in the next day for blood tests. He isn't sure it really is eczema at this point but from what I have read about it I think it looks like a classic case of severe, chronic atopic eczema. I go back next Friday to learn the test results. In the meantime I am in agony. It feels like my body has been dipped in battery acid. Imagine the worst case of sunburn you have ever had and triple the effects and you will have an idea of what I have been living with. The doctor put me on the top dosage of the immunosuppresant drug cyclosporine. This drug has recently been used on severe eczema when other drugs fail to control it. It will probably take at least 2 weeks before I see any improvement. I am very nervous about the dangerous side effects of it but really do not have much choice if I am to recover from these daily flareups. Otherwise I am doing all of the things that are recommended by authorities on the disease but with no real benefit seen.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Incredibly Stupid!!!!!

I can't believe this. State Senator John Thrasher of St. Augustine is pushing a couple of bills through the state senate about schools and teaching. One of the bills links teacher salaries to student scores on a standardized test. Another bill takes away teacher tenure based upon experience. Teachers will be on annual contracts and will only receive continuing contracts if their students excel on this standardized test.

Let me point out a couple of things. While on the surface these bills make sense if you think about it a moment the flaws are apparent. In my teaching blog I kept harping about pressure being placed upon teachers to "teach for the test". What do you think this is going to do to finish driving them in that direction? A teacher would be crazy to not teach for the test if this passes. Their job will depend upon it. True education and creative teaching will be a thing of the past. Another thing is the potential for abuse of this by principals and superintendents. I have already talked about the pressure placed upon me by my old principal Brennan Asplen of Bartram Trail High School when I dared to say anything contrary to the party line. Imagine the pressure he could bring to bear upon teachers like me if their job depends upon a standardized test! Just change the teaching assignment and give that teacher poor classes and they will be certain to fail and be kicked out. It really frightens me to think that someone would have that amount of power over the lives of people they control, able to wipe out their lives on a whim just because the teacher doesn't always strive to make the principal look good. Under those circumstances I can't blame teachers if they all acted like sheep and blandly followed whatever lead the principal dictated.

The Bartram teachers already had been told about this proposed legislation. Could that have anything to do with why they suddenly cut off all communication with me?

I would also like to point out that Thrasher is good buddies with our superintendent
Joseph Joyner, the same guy who was behind the pressure for me to not say anything negative about the school system's policies in my blog. What would the passing of these laws do to increase the power of people like Joyner to coerce people into his "image is everything" model of education? Frankly I think it would mean the end of true learning. All the teachers would simply become shills (many already are to a great degree) who struggle daily to make the administration look good by having students excel on one silly test at the expense of true learning. Scary, isn't it?