Put Things Off…Next Thing, It’s a Hundred Years Later Or So…

it is hard to believe that Ben Franklin was the Tony Stark of the late 1700's.

it is hard to believe that Ben Franklin was the Tony Stark of the late 1700’s.

First, I want to address the caption.

Ben Franklin had a media empire, he controlled the flow of information to the United States via the internet of its time, an Almanac, he lived in a frontier not yet fit for Cowboys, and was an inventor who created the bifocal and discovered the basic rules for electrical conductivity. He loved wine, was a known womanizer, and in his later years continued to womanize while showing up to the Constitutional Convention to give it his endorsement. Without his seal of approval on Jefferson and mason’s work, the thing would not have gotten off the ground.

That’s why his face is on all that money I can’t afford.

All that being said, I am not a fan of Ben Franklin. You’d think I would be, but no.

The smug bastard invented Daylight Savings Time. Twice a year, I have to deal with a complex rigamarole to support an agrarian society. We, however, are an industrialized society. It just doesn’t matter, but since Holy Ben Franklin made the rule, most of America does it.

Ben Franklin has a storied history in Marvel Comics, by the way. Way back in the Seventies, a time traveling Doctor Strange and his girlfriend Clea, from the Dark Dimension, encountered Ben Franklin on a ship. I am not making up a word of this, check these images.

Here's Doc Strange talking up Ben's Tony Stark like virtues to his girlfriend.  That Liberace cape makes him pretty freakin' secure in his relationship, huh?

Here’s Doc Strange talking up Ben’s Tony Stark like virtues to his girlfriend. That Liberace cape makes him pretty freakin’ secure in his relationship, huh?

Here's Ben working some of his mad 18th Century Womanizing Skills on Strange's Girlfriend...

Here’s Ben working some of his mad 18th Century Womanizing Skills on Strange’s Girlfriend…

And finally, the most recent appearance of Ben Franklin’s ghost…

That says it all.  In case you missed the subtext.

That says it all. In case you missed the subtext.

Now…I have to admit that I’m fired up about Ben Franklin for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with all that, even the DST moronicism. I certainly don’t care that he shacked up with Strange’s skanky extradimensional girlfriend. I’m fried up partially because the new district calendar has me confused. At this point, I’m out of school, and have been for a little while…but July 4th is not right around the corner. It’s not far away, but I keep expecting it to be this week, because normally there isn’t much time buffer between the end of school and the 4th.

I’m also continually amazed, when I read the news, that the impression still exists that the Founding Fathers tried to set up a country where the NSA didn’t spy on you a whole lot. Old Ben and his cronies overthrew a government, and then turned around to create a Bill of Rights that guaranteed voting for rich people of one race and one gender, and the assurance that those rich people would always have guns. The Constitution is eight pages people. Read it.

Over time, we have become less backward. We realize for instance that a person is always a person, regardless of race. No fractions! We realize that women are pretty important, and should be allowed to vote, especially if we expect them to do all the work during say, World War II. Not that many tanks without Rosie the Riveter in the Ford Factory.

I have a point: As I look at the Vergara vs. the State of California case I think of the idea of creating laws that serve one group, and not another. The case goes after five sections of the Ed Code, basically relating to employment. one such concept is this:

The “Last In, First Out” statute. Everything in education, due to Union contract and Ed Code is based on “Last In, First Out” or “reverse order of seniority. However, according to the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research, a project of the Urban Institute and seven premiere universities, there is no reliable correlation between teacher seniority and teacher effectiveness. So…we are really saying that quality of work product is unimportant…that time in the profession makes you a better grade of person, with higher levels of rights than junior members.

What? No, I don’t think so.

Also, there is this point…a report from the Center on Reinventing Public Education found that seniority-based layoffs not only “exacerbate the number of people that lose their jobs,” but also disproportionately impact poor and minority students. Because schools serving low-income and minority communities have higher numbers of newer teachers, schools in the quartile with the highest percentage of minority students are 60 percent more likely to lose a teacher to layoffs than a school in the quartile with the lowest percentage of minority students.

Translation? The current rules of the Ed Code, and the contracts, create a situation where junior teachers are at minority or inner city schools. When layoffs happen, they then happen disproportionately at minority or “urban’ schools. Re-read that as “black and latino” and you are getting the drift. The current Ed Code and contract are basically an unfair, inappropriate, and unconstitutional 3/5 Compromise with young people and their families. Because you’ll note from the above stats…such sweeping layoffs don’t happen at predominantly affluent white schools.

That kind of think is what I stood up against in the Reed Case, and most probably will be why I’m on board with this one. I think this one is more intelligent, in that it addresses the State instead of the Union. In other words, the organ grinder, not the monkey in the hat.

I also think the reason this sort of thing can go on for so long, without anyone making an outcry, is it is the way the system was designed. Franklin, Jefferson, Mason…they wanted a system that worked for them, where they thought they knew better. There was no organized school system at that time, but consider how long there was one before we got to Brown vs. the Board of Education. The system is designed to work for some, because of the biases of the people who made it.

We are here now, stuck with it, so we need to make it work better.

About the art…we have a re-use of the TARDIS. Great thing…I’m not certain whether this is before or after the last time our hero used it to hit Ben Franklin over the back of the head for Daylight Savings Time. Since it’s a Time Machine…it doesn’t matter.

Further ambiguity is her clothing. She is wearing the Fifth Doctor’s clothing, pretty much, from the 1980’s. Again, the Doctor has a time machine, so the clothes aren’t automatically from the eighties, but I had a similar coat and sweater that I loved at the time as well. Either she’s gone into the closet to wear old clothes (always fun) or we are looking at a flashback. Narratively, it does not matter a whit. Except for her holding a Sonic Screwdriver with menace in the last panel…suggesting that we are looking at something from this time period.

The Doctor didn't use a Sonic Screwdriver in this time period.  Trivia from the 80's.

The Doctor didn’t use a Sonic Screwdriver in this time period. Trivia from the 80’s.

I’m not a fan of Ben Franklin, but very much a fan of the Fifth Doctor. So much so that I’ve done a color panel from this page, for posting later this week. Something to look forward to, True Believers.

As it is, I have been wordy and belligerent today, more like the Sixth Doctor. Tomorrow’s issue features one of the greatest crises in modern education…Hitler’s Sandwich! Be there!

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