This is not about Republicans and their delegate rules and the ways the system can be gamed. It’s not about Democrats gaming the system either. It’s about kids. (More)

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

My oldest granddaughter is in fourth grade. Two days ago all the fourth graders had to run one mile. The track at their school is a quarter-mile so they need to go around four times. There are lots of fourth graders so the teachers came up with a ‘system.’ They put a bucket of popsicle sticks at the start/end and each kids was to take one every time they completed a lap.

This year the popsicle stick ‘system’ was upgraded. Last year it seems that “some kids” took more than one stick when they passed the bucket. This year a teacher was guarding the bucket and handing kids their one stick.

I asked my granddaughter what she thought of this new guarding the bucket business. She was somewhat philosophic.

“Well Nana, if there is a way to cheat I guess some people will always find it and take advantage of it. This was really silly though. We were running mostly for personal pride. There weren’t any prizes at all. Also, if you were going to be a cheater, why would you brag about it? They got in trouble for cheating but even the slowest runners got applause when they crossed the line.”

In case you are wondering, the fastest fourth grader was a girl with a 7.02 minute run. And, she was stopping for popsicle sticks. I was impressed.

Apparently every system can be gamed and the gaming starts at least in the fourth grade. I asked my first grade grandson, who was listening intently if he thought first graders would take unearned popsicle sticks. He said, “I suppose some would but most would be too busy running.”

This makes me wonder if some of the employees at Volkswagen and Mitsubishi were the types who grabbed two popsicle sticks at the quarter mile.