Are we in the fifth grade?

I thought of that the other day in light of House Republicans orchestrating a full reading of the U.S. Constitution … Yes, our leaders should know the constitution, but this struck me as a bunch of fifth graders sitting around in a circle and reading from the same book.

What a waste of time!   And what a dumb publicity stunt!


About fsnowflack
Fred Snowflack was editorial page editor and a political columnist for the Daily Record of Morristown for almost 12 years. He has won numerous awards for editorial and column writing from the New Jersey Press Association and has written a blog on county and state politics for the last three years. He lives in Ledgewood in Morris County.

60 Responses to Are we in the fifth grade?

  1. P says:

    Speaking of a waste of time, here’s one of our lame-o Senators promoting an idea whose time has come and gone – ERA

    What a pompous a%$

    P.S. i noticed that the Dems were smart enough to make sure they took their turn too. Maybe they learned something from the most recent election results.

  2. Mark in Rockaway says:

    Yeah, it was a pretty pointless stunt. I recall Stephen Colbert testifying before a congressional committee last year, falls in the same category of “waste of time”.

    These are serious times, we need serious people.

  3. Ted Doty says:

    As Jon Stewart said last night. The first day of the 112th Congress and there’s much to be done…but first an assembly.

  4. Former Tea Party voter says:

    When was the last time you read the Constitution? I liked watching Nancy Pelosi take her turn. I guess from your posting, you have a problem with this important document? Many isssues that you believe in are rooted in this document. Why not take a few hours and draw attention to it? The democrats did participate, Fred, why is that if it was such a waste and childish?

  5. Bob Grant says:

    They left out the parts about slaves counting as 3/5ths of a person; that only owners of real property could vote and that women were excluded. As with most things these people do, it is twisted to fit their distorted view of America.

  6. Dan Grant says:

    I didn’t see any of it but my understanding is that they only read the Constitution and none of the Amendments harkening back to a time when slavery was alive and not dealt with and the only people who could vote were white male land owners over twenty one as if time stopped for America. That is a Tea Party view I suppose. I also understand that two new Tea Party Congressmen skipped the oath of office to attend a fund raiser there by breaching their office on the first day. More to come I am sure.

  7. P says:

    They read the Constitution, as amended. Which, by the way, it how the framers intended for changes to be made, not via judicial fiat. And it’s no a bad idea, from time to time, for Congresspeople to remind themselves, especially those who believe that the Federal government has the authority to require all citizens to purchase a specific product, that their powers are not unlimited.

    Next week they’ll be reading the Federalist Papers. 😉

    P.S. Nice attempt on the part of GrantStanders #1 & 2, again, to pretend that Tea Partiers are Racists and Misogynists. Please don’t lecture the rest of us about proper political discourse as long as you continue to play the Race & Sexists Cards.

  8. Dan Grant says:

    When you say judicial fiat do you mean like picking a President or having Corporations including those with foreign interests be allowed to run political campaigns? I agree it took some real wackos to do that.
    BTW. You can’t play the race card if it isn’t in the deck. There is no pretense needed when it comes to the Tea Party.

  9. Bob Grant says:


  10. Ed Ramirez says:

    To Bob Grant

    That is the beauty of our constitution; it can be changed to take out inequities such as Jim Crow laws. The currant law does not mention slaves and woman now have the right to vote.

  11. P says:

    #1, the Florida Supreme Court was trying to let Gore steal the election. The US Supremes just told them the recount had to be uniform and fair. #2, corporations, with or without “foreign interests” still can’t run political campaigns. #3, in the past it used to be that patriotism was the last refuge of scoundrels, now it’s racial ambulance chasers (like you). #4 what’s cowardly about speaking one’s mind, especially in opposition to two self-important blow-hards?

  12. Bob Grant says:

    Ed, I think you miss the point. The Tea bagger movement says it wants to return to the constitution of our founders, which excluded women and blacks and most people without property. There was no Constitutional Amendment to rid the country of the Jim Crow laws, they were done in by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Federal enforcement.

    I would like you to think about something. Our Constitution guarantees us the right to insult office holders, including the President of the United States; it says we can assemble together and petition our government for a redress of grievances and that we can’t have soldiers quartered in our homes without our permission and it says we can have a speedy trial if accused of criminal acts.

    There is nothing in our Constitution dealing with a right to a job at a living wage, or shelter, or education beyond the rudiments, or potable water, or sewage/garbage disposal or transportation or medical care or death with dignity. Are we to leave these topics to states with resources as varied as New Jersey and Mississippi or should there be some guarantees for all citizens to certain standards?

    A second item for consideration; We will have close to 400 million people in the United States in 2050 so will we need more order or less?

  13. Dan Grant says:

    P. Bob and I use our real names. You hide. Why don’t you at least have the courage to say who you are. There was a time in America where people would step up and state their opinions honestly and openly. Now we have an internet that allows people like to say whatever with no regard for truth.

  14. Bob Grant says:

    Dan, you might as well talk to a cast iron lawn duck–the guy is not worth the time and effort to type a response.

  15. P says:

    What I have to say about political events doesn’t really require you to know who I am. As far as I am concerned, my words stand on their own. And being “known” doesn’t seem to stop you from making scurrilous, inflammatory charges about the tea parties.

    P.S. We’ve always had people publishing things anonymously, or under a pseudonym. The internet has just allowed everyone, named or unnamed, to have a greater voice. Trying to squash free speech doesn’t seem to be a very Liberal thing to do.

  16. P says:

    Dan – Did you speak out when ran this little ditty about Bush?

    Or when this guy tried to choke a peaceful protester?

  17. chubbypaul says:

    Fred, fifth grade is about the correct level at which you creatively write! I can see you now, jammed into a fifth grade desk coming up with these creative articles! Keep up the good work

  18. Dan Grant says:

    We aren’t going to go back and forth about this. There is no question that the Right has made a cottage industry out of hate, fear and venom. Most reasonable people understand that. The moveon commecial was entered by a contestant and they never used it but just keep lying. Try however to use your name. Maybe I will assign some prominate Republican’s name to your anonymous P and simply say that you are them. In Fact I think you are Michael P. Carroll so in future posts I will refer to you as Assemblyman.
    PS YOur words can’t stand. They melt into a pile of whatever.

  19. I don’t think so, Dan.
    Michael P. Carroll also uses his name …

    As for CubbyPaul, I write at a fifth-grade level so that you can understand me

  20. Dan Grant says:

    Fred, maybe yes and maybe no. He could also use another name for his more insulting posts or maybe it could be Pennachio? The point is that when they use free speech to attack people they ought to at least put their name to it or you shouldn’t post it.

  21. seekntruth says:

    What exactly is the benefit of putting your name on a post? Is it going to give it more credence if you think it is coming from a particular person?

    No, I think protecting one’s anonimity, especially in light of the AZ shooting, is more important. Not that there are any persons with psychoses writing on this blog (or at least dangerous ones).

  22. P says:

    My favorite thing about posting Anonymously is the amount of consternation it causes for my political lessers. As for not going back and forth, your mouth says NOOOOO, but your fingers keep typing. 😉

    Political operatives of both stripes love to make money off of conflict, most of it self-generated. During every election cycle I get plenty of emails from the Liberal groups I sign-up with to keep tabs on their latest talking points. They all are always screeching about some Republican and begging for money to fight for Truth, Justice and the American way. So trying to pretend it’s just a Conservative or Republican issue is just more Left-wing propaganda. Too bad we aren’t buying.

    P.S. By all means, keep guessing. I will guarantee that I am someone that none of you have met, or would know my name or face it you ever bumped into me. I’m just the average taxpaying citizen in Morris County trying to keep Fred on the straight and narrow.

  23. To answer the above, the value of putting your name on your post is that you are standing up for what you believe!

  24. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, Fred is often accused of favoring Republicans and just as often Democrats so I don’t think keeping him on the “straight and narrow” is your purpose.

    Your goal appears to be directing all discussion toward the talking points you wish to promote.

    We may not know your name but we certainly have your number

  25. P says:

    Fred’s a big government Democrat. Period. He may like some Republicans, but he has never seen a big government program that he didn’t love. I guess you really don’t read or retain much if you believe otherwise.

    As for the rest, BINGO. For the first time in a long time, TeddyBoy is right. My GOAL is to get my POV across. My only question is – Why are you writing comments on a POLITICS website if it isn’t to vigorously push your Political POV. DUH.

    I guess that’s the difference between the preening Pols like Ted, Nedd, and the GrantBoys who just want people to pay attention to THEM; and the rest of the unwashed anonymous posters who primarily care about the issues.

  26. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain you really must learn to read. I said, guys like you call Fred a big government Liberal some people I know call him a small minded Conservative. Pbrain, take a breath and focus.

    Secondly I never said you don’t have a right to post. I merely wrote that your stated reason for posting was disingenuous

  27. P says:

    You might want to look up the definition of Disingenuous. I’m very clear about what I post and why I post it. And I constantly focus on the issues I care about. The fact that you trail around behind me yelling “focus,” just shows who controls the debate.

    And as for “people I know . . “, sorry, but people from Far Left organizations (or maybe just the little voices inside your head) calling Fred a “conservative” are as off base as you are.

    I’d challenge you or them to point to one issue where Fred could be deemed a Conservative. No one who supported ObamaCare with the vigor that he did could ever fall into that category.

  28. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, you make my point once again. You’re entitled to your opinion, the problem is you think your opinion is the standard. Pbrain, every one is entitled to their own opinion. Heck, the rest of the world even puts up with you.

    Pbrain, Pbrain, Pbrain READ & FOCUS I didn’t call Fred Conservative, others have.
    As to your challenge, it’s pretty clear that all you want to do pontificate on your idea of a conservative. So why don’t you simply put pen to paper and write. The rest of us can move on to intelligent discussion

  29. P says:

    Gee Ted, thanks for allowing me to voice my opinion. Very generous of you.

    Please name these “others.”

    And thanks for the advice, but I write every day as you wait breathlessly in your BatCave waiting to see what pearls of wisdom I’ve dropped on the porcine of MP.

    P.S. If I thought that my opinions were universally accepted and embraced, I wouldn’t bother writing them.

    P.P.S. Still waiting for the name of the unions that represent school superintendents and police chiefs. I’d think that providing simple information like that to back up your wild assertions would have been your first priority.

    FOCUS, Ted, FOCUS 😉

  30. Ted Doty says:

    I’m assuming you think your opinions are valid. Why not persuade instead of using angry rhetoric?

    The names of the unions were mentioned 2 or three times. Read and Focus Pbrain.

    The reason you never win an argument is because you hop from issue to issue without focus.

  31. P says:

    You never list two unions, just one “association.” And as much as you’d like to pretend it’s a union, it isn’t. Just admit it’s just another one of you Big Fat Lies.

    As for “angry rhetoric,” I checked out the definition online and lo and behold, here’s the picture I found –

  32. P says:

    P.S. By now Fred I’m assuming that you’ve figured out the the answer to your original question is – YES! 😉

  33. Ted Doty says:

    hmm an association isn’t a union, What then is the NJEA Pbrain or the Administrator’s Association. Wake up Pbrain and focus. You lost that argument already

    Now we’re trying to get you to realizes your flawed approach to every issue.

  34. P says:

    Ted, read the definitions of Association and Union. Big difference. Unions represent people. They bargain on their behalf. The file grievances. They sometime provide health care and/or pensions. Whatever association that Superintendents belong to isn’t a Union by any stretch of the imagination, even yours!

    Right now the Superintendent in RT must be rolling around on the floor laughing at the ridiculous information you continue to try to peddle. No wonder no one pays any attention to you.

  35. Ted Doty says:

    You’re off topic again. This time tying to revive an argument you’ve already lost.

    Pbrain, you can;t claim a difference between professional associations and unions and attempt to support your view with only one attribute, collective bargaining.

    Focus Pbrain. Look into all aspects. You might start with the the mission statements. And stop the hap hazard rambling. This thread is about the reading of the Constitution in the House as if they were holding a 5th grade civics rally.

  36. P says:

    Glad after 35 comments, and my own about what the original topic was (#33), that you finally woke up.

    And yes, there is a HUGE difference between professional associations like the ABA, and Unions, like the NJEA (although they also call themselves an “association”), and whatever the supers belong to more closely resembles a weak version of the former, not the later. In other words, they do not, as you so stridently claim, belong to a UNION! Again, you are either CLUELESS or a BIG FAT LIAR (or maybe BOTH).

  37. Ted Doty says:

    So you’re both unable to distinguish between an association and a union AND are incapable of staying on topic.

    Is the NJEA a union or an association? How about the American Medical Association? The Police Benevolent Association (The collective bargaining unit for most police officers and the group to which some police chiefs belong? AND what is the ABA?

    Also is collective bargaining the sole determinant for a union? Doesn’t an association such as the AMA set pay-scales for doctors without collective bargaining? Pbrain, if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck it’s more than likely a duck.

    Now Pbrain drop it or focus on the topic at hand.

  38. Ted Doty says:

    Exactly, Pbrain is hopelessly caught up in arguments that he can’t support or even explain

    Pbrain can’t even explain why his current point constitutes a distinction that makes a bit of difference. Nor can he explain the logical connection between his many subject changes and the original topic

    Pbrain is simply an angry person with a pointless point of view.

  39. P says:

    Really HOPE-LESS

  40. P says:

    P.S. You might want to let the people at NJ PERC know that their website is wrong as it clearly states –

    What New Jersey public employees can form or belong to a union?

    A public employee is any person employed by a public employer except elected officials, members of boards or commissions, managerial executives, and confidential employees.

  41. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain can’t figure a union, from an association…some of which are unions that only call themselves association…and he he says the ABA is altogether different.

    Geez Pbrain I think the ABA dissolved. I think Dave Debusschere handled the merger negotiations …and during his career he was represented by the baseball players association as well as the basketball players association…both of which are unions…or are they?

  42. P says:

    You should check the NLRB website for the status of the MLB and NBA unions. NJ PERC handles public sector employees in the state of NJ, and their position on superintendents and police chiefs (i.e., managerial executives) is crystal clear, regardless of how much TeddyDust you try to throw around.

    It doesn’t matter what someone or something calls themselves, it’s what the applicable governmental agency’s rules & regs say. e.g., You call yourself an Expert on school board matters, especially budgetary issues, and we all know that’s a total joke.

  43. Ted Doty says:

    Another pointless point of view from Pbrain.

    Pbrain you fill these pages with endless blather. And when someone exposes your errors, you provide a “yeah but” response that changes the focus of a discussion.

    I’m sure you think it all makes you look intelligent but to those of us who remember, you’re just another Professor Irwin Corey comedy act.

    Thanks for the laughs

  44. P says:

    Mr. UTTERLY HOPELESS continues to pretend that the Laws of the State of NJ have no meaning whenever they contradict one of his LIES.

    I checked the Internet for your condition Ted, and here’s what I found – It fits you to a T –

  45. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, focus and reveal the relationship of the “laws” you quote (most of which aren’t lawsl) and the subject at hand.

    Pbrain aka Prof. Irwin Corey likes send us all to the 5 minute university of everything he knows…relevant or not

  46. P says:

    Laws aren’t laws! I guess down is up and left is right? Everything’s backwards in TeddyLand.

    P.S. It isn’t about what “I know, or don’t know,” it’s about the fabulous LIES you tell.

  47. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, read, focus and comprehend, What I wrote is that all too many of your references are not laws.

    Again, read focus and comprehend

  48. P says:

    Provided One Reference (i.e., very Focused) It is THE LAW (very Clear). Wrong, again TeddyLiar (SOP). Just admit it (this will never happen, but we can all dream).

    In case you missed it the first time –

    What New Jersey public employees can form or belong to a union?

    A public employee is any person employed by a public employer except elected officials, members of boards or commissions, managerial executives, and confidential employees.

    P.S. I noticed that you provide copious external links and documents to back up your RTBOE “claims,” but refuse to here. Wonder why? (note – that question was rhetorical)

  49. Ted Doty says:

    A law that clearly has no relevance to the subject at hand or the reality of how compensation for school superintendents is set.

    Focus on the topic. Address the issue and specifically relate your blather to it.

  50. P says:

    You said that the superintendents’ union was to blame for their escalating comp. Clearly, there can be no union, but you just can’t admit it. Why?

  51. Ted Doty says:

    Because there is a union. It’s named an association but a union none the less.

  52. P says:

    So the law clearly says that Superintendents CANNOT belong to a Union (which has a clear legal definition that any association they belong to would not meet), but you continue to claim otherwise. Still cannot tell if you have Lost Your Mind or you’re just trying to take the p&*^ out of us.

  53. Ted Doty says:

    Pbrain, if you knew anything, you’d know that collusion is near impossible to prove.

    But it happens Pbrain, it happens

  54. P says:

    Ah, so now we are on to COLLUSION! There’s a scary word.

    So just how, pray tell, do Superintendents Collude with one another? I cannot wait to hear the latest ramblings of the RT Madman.

    P.S. In case you hadn’t worked it out, just because you claim that “it happens,” doesn’t make it so. The fact that you continue to offer ZERO proof for any of your wild assertions continues to undercut your credibility and authority.

  55. Ted Doty says:

    Collusion cannot be prove unless some one breaks confidence.

    Pbrain, there are many laws that prohibit price fixing but it happens. on’t be nieve.

  56. P says:

    Still haven’t explained how superintendents “collude” to create a problem, provable or not. First define the specific issue.

    Just yelling “COLLUSION” doesn’t cut it.

    But hey, at least you aren’t still claiming that there’s a superintendents’ union. We’re making baby steps. 😉

  57. Ted Doty says:

    Oh I see, Prove something that’s impossible to prove.

    Well superintendents all get together on the 2nd Tuesday of each month down at the lodge. You know the same place where GOP Congressmen meet to recite poetry or the Constitution on the first Monday of each month.

    Go down there early and wear something professorial…like a herringbone sport jacket and they’ll let you in. don’t bring a wire though, they’ll catch you for sure

    Pbrain you are such a fool.

  58. P says:

    You still haven’t explained how a bunch of superintendents “colluding” makes a difference. You can try to gloss it all over with some weak sarcasm, but you haven’t even made a case of what collusion would do for them. Sure they talk, but so what. Did they hire the Mob to force you to give them money? Did they hire a private eye to get pictures of you with a goat? I don’t care if you can prove it (I know that will never happen), but rather, why you would even try.

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