Archive for June, 2011

THE PURCHASE OF THE PRESIDENCY, SAVING OUR DEMOCRACY, AND AMENDING THE US CONSITUTION

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

News of the health of the American democratic Republic gets more depressing every day. It has become so gloomy that without intervention of ‘we the people’, our politicians (including the Supreme Court Justices) will annihilate our constitutional democracy.

The news yesterday read, “Rove Group Buys $20M in Attack Ads”, The Daily Beast, 6/24/11

http://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2011/06/24/rove-group-buys-20m-in-attack-ads.html?om_rid=Nsjhko&om_mid=_BOBfEAB8cEITr4

Americans, wake up! If you have any respect for your democratic Republic, it is time to stand up and do something about American elections being bought and sold like potatoes in the market.

The U.S. Supreme, Court Citizens United Decision, was a greater blow to American democracy than bin Laden and his terrorist attack.

We American citizens can and should change our Constitution to prevent candidates and elections from being bought and restoring respectability to holding elected office in America.

Think about it, ask yourself why there are so many great potential statesmen in America that could actually win an election on their merit and serve admirably, who choose not to run because of the disrespect, the rage directed at a sitting President, and the danger involved in threats of violence and Mayhem against the President and political figures like Gabrielle Giffords.

In America democratic elections for President of the United States has become obscene and shameful; winning is no longer a matter of a candidate’s integrity. As Karl Rove has proven in previous elections, even in primaries of his own Party against fellow Republicans, it is paid-for propaganda using lies and deceit that motivate voters to elect an American President, who is also the most powerful man in the world.

In the name of patriotism and human decency, the manner of electing government officials, especially the President of the United States, must be changed to eliminate extremists from purchasing the power of the Presidency in the American democratic Republic.

I CAN TELL YOU WHAT IS WRONG WITH AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Having spent a life time career in Public Schools, I am now retired. That’s where I am coming from. Public Schools were my life’s work.

Today, the Public Schools are under attack. The American Media claims Public Schools are failing students, parents, and the Republic; this piques my interest. As for my own experiences, as a student in Public Schools, it was both good and bad; the bottom line, I leaned because of the schools and not in spite of them. I know what bad schools are like, I have been there and believe it or not I learned from them; I wouldn’t wish bad schools or bad teachers on any kid but I did learn from them.

When I hear or read about bad schools or bad teachers I want to know why, where, and how.

Today I read “Parents Enact Trigger Laws Nationwide”, on Huffington Post, 6/23/11 at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ben-austin/trigger-law-education-board_b_877859.html

The story is really about an organization, Parent Revolution, and it is written by the founder and Executive Director, Ben Austin.

Austin is a persuasive writer, and he begins talking about a God awful school, McKinley Elementary School in Compton Unified District. Immediately, I wanted to know what was bad about it and why; unfortunately, Austin never mentions specifics and that made me suspicious.

The parents petitioned the Compton School District and went to court, evidently with Austin’s assistance. Austin is Assistant City Attorney in Los Angeles and not Compton. Austin’s role presumably was not as Assistant City Attorney but as a private lawyer and Executive Director of Parent Revolution.

The court case is described by Austin as Compton School District “mounting an illegal ‘rescission’ campaign, harassing and lying to parents, and engaging in a signature ‘verification’ process that was so unconstitutional . . .” However, Ausin does not mention who specifically in the Compton School District is doing this but they most certainly sound sinister.

While petitioners wait the judges decision, Austin boasts that the parents signing the ‘petition’ will be allowed to send their children to a private school by “Celerity Educational Group”, presumably at taxpayer expense. I feel a little queasy about the solution and wonder why the bad McKinley school wasn’t just fixed.

This article, however, is really about Austin’s, Parent Revolution Corporation, and how they assist parents all over America to have State Legislatures enact “Trigger Laws” that allow the State, City, or County to take over Public Schools that parents believe are ‘bad’. Parent Revolution is a private corporation that facilitates parent takeover of Pubic Schools by virtue of “Trigger Laws”. Austin is a paid Executive Director of Parent Revolution in addition to being a City Assistant Attorney in Los Angeles.

For some time, I have read about Trigger Law takeover of schools but I was not aware of the origin; I am now

Austin continues his story about how Trigger Laws are spreading all over the nation, mentioning New York and Texas specifically where parents found their Public Schools were ‘bad’ and were able to “take over” their Public Schools.

The New York School mentioned was bad because not enough African American Students were attending and graduating; my theory about that problem is that schools have little control over legally mature students attending until graduation, whether it is a good school or a bad one. Personally, I know of that problem and do not basically consider it a Public School problem, instead, it is more of a social, economic, or parent problem. But Austin believes it is a Public School problem. Of course, Austin is a lawyer and not a teacher.

When I worked in the Public Schools, I generally found parents and citizens proud of the Public Schools, and proud of their successful graduates; I too was proud of my students, my school, and my employers, the taxpayers.

Recently however, Public Schools are under attack and people say they are failing but no one specifically states how they are failing or why or how they can be made to succeed.

Public Schools have always had critics. Local Taxpayers Association always believed teachers were overpaid and the John Birch Society has always believed that since Public Schools are socialistic and anything socialistic is inherently wrong, therefore Public Schools should be eliminated and schools should be privatized.

But I resent any kind of criticism that is not specific; I consider it a personal affront because I was and still at heart am a professional teacher. That is why I just had to do some research on Ben Austin, Parent Revolution, and how schools are failing.

As an educator, I have actually had responsibility of evaluating schools and teachers; I always felt qualified because of my several degrees and my years of teaching and administrative experience.

Today, admittedly I could not find evidence that Public Schools in general are failing. What I did discover was that there is now a trend to believe that schools and students can be evaluated based on Standard Achievement Test Scores. However, as a professional educator, I would have to conclude that Standard Achievement Test Scores are not a measure of student success at anything except an ability to remember answers to the questions and that is not the most important thing that students achieve in Public Schools. It is more important for students to assume responsibility for being able to do something that is productive (but not to be chattel for employers). SAT scores measure only cognitive learning which is not indicative of success in life.

I am fully aware that some teachers in Public Schools are inept in spite of their training and should be fired. Tenure laws do not prevent teachers from being fired for cause and tenure laws are not to protect incompetent teacher; tenure laws are to protect effective teachers from being fired for political or social reasons. Unions do not protect incompetent teacher; unions do protect the rights of all teachers to fair and equitable treatment under the law. Please let those issues rest.

Incompetent teachers has always been a problem for the Public Schools; if I were to criticize the Public Schools and find fault, it would be retaining and/or hiring incompetent teachers. Because I have been responsible for hiring of teachers during my career, I am aware of the reasons for incompetent teachers in the schools and it is simple; there has always been a shortage of competent teachers available.

Even when there has been a surplus of teachers available, there has been a shortage of competent teacher. It is also true that the State has allowed ‘emergency’ credentialing of teachers who are not fully qualified in order for poorer schools to employ “cheap” teachers. Teacher quality would improve if credentialing requirements were enforced; there are too many loopholes.

A competent employer of teachers, will employ the most competent teachers that the school can afford; realistically, teacher salaries have never been lucrative for fully qualified teachers despite Public School critics claim that teachers are overpaid.

For example, my research found that Ben Austin’s day job as Los Angeles City Assistant Attorney, a government job like teachers’, received an annual salary of $119,031.60, or about 2 ½ times the annual salary of teachers. Austin’s salary as Executive Director of Parent Revolution is not available but he does live in a gated community in Beverly Hills and not Compton: Solidaridad, 06/29/2009: http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/2009/07/ben-austin-six-figure-salary-man-green.html

The total answer to why there are incompetent teachers is not wholly teacher salaries. The alternative answer to the problem is, why do teachers become teachers? Because there is always a shortage of competent teachers, some educated people take teaching jobs because they need a job; in reality, teaching is not just a job, it is an art and a science; it is a profession. As one Superintendent said, “Teaching is a highly skilled, highly nuanced task. It actually is Rocket Science to teach a Third Grader to read on Grade level.”

Because teaching is a profession, it gives cause to wonder how parents, taxpayers, and Ben Austin know that their schools are “bad”; what makes those schools bad. Are the parents qualified, or is Ben Austin qualified to say a school is bad or a teacher is bad; how obvious is “bad”. There are times that bad schools are obvious. There are schools where everyone, students and teachers, are required to leave the premises at dismissal time and the doors are chained until opening of school the next morning; amazingly, students still learn.

But for critics to say that Public Schools in general are a failure, I won’t accept that and I question the qualifications of the critics!

Dan Austin’s Parent Revolution website, lists his staff; none including Austin are professional licensed educators.

As a professional educator I have concluded that Public Schools today are no better or worse than they have ever been. There are excellent Public Schools like legendary Beverly Hills High School, where Ben Austin lives in a gated community and there are some questionable Public Schools that I know about. However, I can tell the world that America’s Public Schools are not a failure; America’s Public Schools still teach our future Rocket Scientists how to read and write.

The next time that someone says America’s Public Schools are a failure, even if it is the President of the United States, I for one want them to explain how and why.

I can tell you what is wrong with the Public Schools in America; it’s unqualified critics howling at the moon, often with their own agenda!

THE CURRENT REPUBLICAN PARTY MANIFESTO; A TOTAL DEPARTURE FROM TRADITIONAL AMERICAN THOUGHT

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

Republican Party ideology today is totally contrary to the original, traditional concept of American democracy; the current Republican ideology has nothing to do with liberty, fraternity or equality and Republicans are singing praises to their opposition to those concepts. This is an entirely new notion for a major American political party.

American Republicans today, speak instead of absolute freedom, hatred for minorities, foreign cultures and people of other than fundamentalist Christian religion, and believe Republicans are inherently more equal than other Americans while claiming absolutely to not being biased.

The Republican concept of success is wealth. They believe if anyone works hard and devotes their life working to accumulating a fortune, they will succeed; at the same time, Republicans idolize heroes who either inherited or stumbled onto wealth and have never had to work a day in their life. That appears to be completely irrational thinking unless you consider counting one’s money to be hard labor.

Republican Party Members would idolize the first person ever, with the intelligence or lack of integrity, to get a patent on air that people have to breathe and live the rest of their life in luxury.

Republicans hate government and want to be in control of it, apparently for the purpose of eliminating it; in the same breath, extremist Republicans are complaining about the inherent corruption of government.

Ironically while running for office, Republicans claim that America has the greatest government on earth while wrapping their selves in Old Glory and at the same time declaring American government is too inept to trust with the people’s health care.

Further, to the wonderment of all, Republicans elected and serving in responsible high level governmental capacity, including the Presidency, have at times claimed that the American government is so totally incompetent that it should not be trusted with anything, including Social Security or the Post Office; it is obvious and quite apparent that these elected Republican government officials actually are the government and are in a perfect position to know how incompetent they really are.

Consequently, Republicans would eliminate any government programs that provide for the common welfare, including Medicare, public schools, and the Post Office that was established by America’s Founding Fathers that Republicans continuously misquote out of context to serve their own needs.

Republicans would eliminate any government programs for the benefit of the people simply because they consider such a program, a ‘socialist entity’ and Republicans insist that any nationalization and socialism is inherently wrong; therefore Republicans show contempt for that part of the US Constitution about America being a government “Of the People, By the People, and For the People”. Coincidently, the Republicans insist on defending government’s subsidies for railroads, airlines, oil and tobacco industries, and other corporate welfare as essential to the national welfare and apparently essential to America’s very existence.

Republicans today believe in elections only if there are no limits on secret Corporate and foreign political contributions and utilization of Republican produced and instituted hackable Diebold voting machines; Republicans also believe that if there is a question about voting procedures, the US Supreme Court should throw out the votes and decide the election in the Supreme Court in spite of the fact that the US Constitution provides that in the election of a US President, only States and Congress have the power make decision regarding the Electoral College voting and resolution of irregularities in Presidential Elections.

Having been said, it is difficult to understand how Republicans are ever elected to office, considering only corporate CEOs and masochist working Middle Class Americans would appear to have any incentive to vote Republican.

SUNNY; MY FURTHER EXPLOITS

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Sunny here; just so you know, I am ok now but on Thursday I spent all day at the Vet’s and for a considerable time I was anesthetized. I had nine teeth pulled and those that were left were cleaned. It’s not easy being old. My Veterinarian gave me a clean bill of health and that is good news, but I’m pretty much having to gum some of my food now. Hey, for a 91-year-old Dog, I really can’t complain.

Our new house is working out well for my whole family, as far as I can tell. Erin spent most of this last week cleaning up the garden and making a mess on the patio. She also had some problems with the fishes pond. Those fish can be a lot of work and they are really not a lot of fun to play with. They are pretty austere. Personally, I just pretty much ignore them.

This is an interesting weekend. Erin is gone for the weekend visiting her brother and half-sister and Jessica and Clint are at the River playing. Guess what? I am stuck here with Grandpa.

So far, it has been alright. I finally get fed but I have to nag, nag, nag.

Grandpa tries, bless his heart. He had to give me pills in the morning and night, after my visit to the Vet. Grandpa thought I was dumb enough to eat those pills stuck in my food but I wasn’t born yesterday; instead I just left the food with the pills in it, in my dish and of course, I never leave that good canned food without eating it all of it, ever.

My food tasted terrible with those bitter pills in it. I finally convinced Grandpa to quit trying to mess with my head about the pills. Today is the second day and instead of sticking the pills in my food, he gave them to me in some Elderberry jelly on a spoon.

Well, the jelly was an improvement; it was at least sweet enough to kill the taste of the pills. The stupid pills fell out of the jelly, but I humored Grandpa and just stuffed them down me, cold turkey. They weren’t that bad with the taste of the jelly.

It surely is quiet around here with everyone gone. I was beginning to think Grandpa would never go for a walk with me, like Jessica and Erin do. But yesterday he finally got away from his doggone computer for a while and we went for a walk. I got real excited when Grandpa finally decided to so something with me to break up the monotony. I slipped right into my restraining chain all by my self and off we went.

The Vet lost my regular leash and all we had was a short one, so I was kind cramped during our walk.

I took my daily constitutional and Grandpa praised me like I had just won some sort of sporting event; he picked up my poop in a plastic bag are carried it with him like it was some kind of trophy. Boy, it sure doesn’t take much to please him.

We didn’t walk far yesterday because it was dark. We went to the park a couple of blocks away but Grandpa had trouble walking on the lawn in the dark because it was uneven; I didn’t want to push him too hard even though he really does need the exercise.

Today, Grandpa was up early and we had the jelly and pills episode. I think he is missing the family today so I tried to stay close and cheer him up. He wanted to go for a walk today and that was all right with me. Like I said, Grandpa really needs the exercise.

This time we walked clear to the end of the park, and he proudly carried my poop all the way; what a guy. When we got to the end of the park, there was a school there and a locked gate with a sign that said no smoking, no alcohol, and no Dogs; I thought that was quite offensive to be considered in the same category with alcohol and smoking. Some people just have no class whatsoever, even public school administrators.

It was a nice sunshiny day and we had a good walk.

Grandpa always stops and waits for me, when I happen to sniff something interesting.

There is a fantastic fire hydrant at the front of the park that had me sniffing for a long time. Grandpa followed my lead and was sniffing too but I don’t really think he knew what he was sniffing for. As for me, I thought I caught the scent of an old boy friend but that couldn’t be. That was so long ago; can you imagine at my age?

Grandpa and I had a good time today and it was later tonight, but I thought he needed another walk. I feel like I have to keep him moving. I went to him and indicated it was time for him to get off his chair and do something physical. He was a little reluctant, but I got him off his but and out on the sidewalk.

We took a different route on our walk tonight; it was an area that I had never smelled before so that made it interesting. I didn’t find anything exciting but it was different and I enjoyed it. We did hear some dogs growling in the background that sounded rather mean. I noticed that Grandpa kept me close to him. He needn’t worry, I would protect him.
When we got home, I indicated that I was hungry again. He made a big show of giving me some of that good canned food I like, just like Erin does. I barked, jumped, and danced around so he would know that I was appreciative. You just have to humor him, you know?

It’s lonely without the rest of the family here, of course, but it is an opportunity for Grandpa and I to spend some quality time together. I think he really appreciates it and actually, I admit that I do too.

ELECTONS 2012 FOR DEMOCRATIC PARTY PROGRESSIVES

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

Thinking 2008 Primaries, what a bleak picture for Democratic Party Progressives.

The 2004 Democratic Primary left a horrible taste in the mouth; Progressive Democratic favorite, Howard Dean, was destroyed by Clinton centrist establishment candidate Sen. Kerry, playing into Republican hands, making dumb accusations against his own Party favorite Dean saying that Dean yelled too loud and it was unbecoming of a President.  Progressives wondered why Democrats were not screaming louder.

Establishment Democrat Kerry proceeded to not remember where the Green Bay Packers played football, one of many gaffs showing he did not know working Middle Class Democrats and Progressives. Kerry had not enough spine to condemn hackable Diebold voting machines, which defied statistical projections of his winning.

In 2008, the best the Democrats offered Progressives ( heart of the Democratic Party) was John Edwards, who talked the talk but evidently walked the walk with his pants down.

Barrack Obama said all the right things, end the wars, close Gitmo, and end tax cuts to the wealthy;he was elected with a helluva lot of help from Progressive hero Howard Dean, whom Obama  trashed as soon as he was sworn in President.

Today, Democrats lost Midterm Elections 2010 without Dean’s help, America is at war, Gitmo is open, and tax-cuts for wealthy have been extended.

Question is, what is there for Progressives in 2012.  Oppose Obama in the Primary?  Stay home election day 2012?  Vote for Nader like in 2000?  Take to the streets  like Egyptians?

SUNNY; HER STORY

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

Sunny is my name; this is my story.

The name of ‘Sunny’ was given to me a long time ago and I had nothing to do with it; there are some in my family who say it fits my disposition but I don’t even want to get into that.

Oh yes I am a female, I am a Dog, and Dog is God spelled backwards, so keep that in mind. Certainly, I do not consider myself a God but the word Dog is a personal noun and worthy of capitalization; I thought that I should make everyone aware of that.

Now, I am elderly by Dog years, 91 on my last birthday. My life has been a good one and I have no regrets. All the members of my family are good people and we have always taken good care of each other and protected each other; in turn, we all love each other. We are a close family.

Recently, the family experienced a quite dramatic change in our lives. We moved into a different house and in another neighborhood; believe me that takes some adjusting.

We all got together one evening to consider whether or not to make the move and basically we all agreed that we individually and collectively would benefit from moving. The new place is more spacious and comfortable and we would all have even more privacy than before.

However, there was one factor essential to the move that we would have to give a lot of consideration; we would be required to share the new home with the patriarch of the family who would be moving in with us, the grandfather, Erin’s dad.

Grandpa, as we call him, is not necessarily bad per se; he actually has redeeming qualities. However, he is crazy as a loon and an embarrassment at times because of his craziness. Though personally, I am rather partial to him because that man has a knack for scratching you behind your ears that is absolutely divine.

We concluded that we still wanted the move because Grandpa would be Grandpa regardless of whether we moved or not but now he would just be there with us everyday.

Grandpa wanted it made clear, that he was not required to have to live with someone else; he was simply sharing expenses with us for our mutual benefit. For the record, Grandpa made a deal with Erin, our matriarch who runs the show. Grandpa said that he would tell people he was moving in to take care of us and Erin should tell people that he was moving in so we could take care of him. Whatever, but I must say my ears have never felt so good!

Actually, this moving and Grandpa moving in was all Erin’s idea; she had always wanted a big house and yard and never had the opportunity and Grandpa was living alone and getting depressed. So, she is the one who found this house for sale and approached Grandpa about it.

This turned out to be good for all of us. Let me tell you, it makes me feel good all over just to see Erin enjoy working in her yard, soaking up the sun, and tending to the fish pond.

Oh yes, the new place has a small fish pond full of gold fish. Erin has always loved all kinds of living creature and her daughter Jessica is just like her. Jessica is in her third year of college and she works part time too; we girls in the family are very industrious.

Jessica’s husband, Clint, is also part of the family living here. They moved back with us because he is temporarily out of work, as are nine percent of the other working men in America and it is exceedingly difficult to find work today.

Jessica has taken on the duty of feeding the fish every day because she likes doing it. Would you believe it, Jessica has named all the fish; she really likes having fish here at our new home.

“How do you like the fish, Grandpa,” Jessica asked Grandpa the other day.

“Fried,” he said and Jessica made a sad-lookihnt face.

Of course Jessica knew Grandpa was joking, I think.

Actually, I too find it a little difficult to warm up to fish in the family; the cold reality is that who wants a fish scratching you behind the ears.

Erin also has two sons. The oldest, Daniel works in Hollywood and live in L.A., a hundred miles north of here. He often visits on the weekend and now we have a guest room which is convenient for him. Erin’s youngest son, Michael, has been living at home with us until he took a job in Yellow Rock National Park for the Summer; he just left to spend the Summer working there. I really miss Michael a lot; we all do!

Before Michael left, we always took long walks several times a day; he has always been so good to me and I depended on him a lot. He likes to tease me but its obvious that he loves me vey much.

When we moved into our new place, Michael was running around doing everything for everybody.

Of course, Michael had to set up everyone’s computer for them; he’s really smart and he studied computer science at the university. I know Grandpa misses Michael a lot too, because Grandpa was always asking Michael to fix something or other on his computer for him; Grandpa is totally helpless when it comes to computers.

As it has worked out since our move, I am the one who has to put up with Grandpa for most of the day. Everyone else is gone to work, or school, or looking for work. So it is pretty much Grandpa and I together all day long.

But, I really don’t mind. If it weren’t for Grandpa, I would be all alone so I guess you could say that Grandpa moving in is somewhat of a blessing. We’re both old as the hills and tired, so we do have something in common. Of course, Grandpa talks a lot; talk, talk, talk, all day long, usually telling me tall tales about when he was young. What can I say? We are company for one another and like I said before, that man does have a gift when it comes to scratching you behind your ears!

KIM IS MY GREATEST HERO IN HISTORY

Sunday, June 12th, 2011

There is a wide divergence of opinion when Americans are asked, “Who is your greatest hero in history”; common answers are Thomas Jefferson, Jesus, Alexander the Great, John Birch, Albert Schweitzer, or Bill Gates. This is a controversy that I find quite intriguing.

The answer, of course, comes down to who and what the individual is who is being asked the question. In my own case, frankly there are times when I myself wonder just who or what I am? When I look to my reputation, I have discovered that some people don’t care who I am, some choose not to discuss it, and there are a few who are quite explicit but I would rather not reveal their conclusions.

Over the years, I have answered to a variety of salutations, such as, Richard, Dick, You-S.O.B., Sir, Jackass, and Doctor. When I was young I consider Dick to be endearing when I was called that by my mother; later, I discovered that some classmates called me that comparing me with a body part in a negative reference and decided I preferred to be addressed as Richard or even Hey-You.

Actually, I have a negative reaction to being called Sir and I am not sure why; probably this goes back to my military service days when I was required to address some soldiers as, Sir, when I considered them to be of little relevance. Now, when someone addresses me as, sir, I wonder what the hell I did wrong.

Now about the title, Doctor; it is somewhat of an embarrassment to me. Actually, I earned an academic degree, Doctor of Education. This was accomplished for the expressed purpose of getting some respect from other people in my profession that I felt the need to impress. It is only embarrassing for me to be addressed as Doctor when the person addressing me is a friend, student, or acquaintance that I invariably call by their first name rather than title and surname; formality tends to inhibit a close and valuable relationship. Also, I get disturbed when strangers want me to tell them how to cure their arthritic knee or some hideous disease.

Admittedly, in my lifetime, I have often been referenced as a Jackass or You-S.O.B, always by someone that disagrees and loathes me. I enjoy being called those names immensely in that context; it means that I won. This is an attitude that I developed early in adult life when I discovered that to be a real success in your profession or in life itself, it becomes necessary to develop a few enemies along the way (but only for good reason and only a result of careful diplomatic choice).

Therefore, I am at a loss when it comes to determining who or what I really am and when it comes to deciding who I would consider the greatest hero in the world, I would have to decide by crass gut feeling.

So when I feel good, it is usually when I am commuting with nature, eating, or thinking about sex; when I feel distressed it is when someone rejects my friendship, the refrigerator is empty, or the damn horse-shoe-shaped idiot light won’t go out on the dashboard of my car.

The conclusion is that based on my own opinion of myself, I am partial to nature, overweight, horny, gregarious, and am in conflict with the American Automobile Oriented Society. That about sums me up.

Never have I ever been an automobile aficionado. It always appeared macho to be able to identify cars and horsepower and though I would like to be macho, I still don’t know what the hell a horsepower is even though my car might have 200 of the damn things.

In Sociological research, I learned that America is an Automobile Oriented Society; half the current population is presumed to have been conceived in an automobile. In spite of the research, I cannot warm up to my own automobile; all I require is that it get me to where I want to go and home again.

Personally, I have a relatively new, functional car with less than ten thousand miles on it. I thought that my car and I had developed a mutually cordial relationship; I even learned where the hood release is, though I don’t really know what is under the hood of my Silver Car. (Silver Car is what I tell people when they ask, “What kind of car do you have?”)

Then recently, my Silver Car, began sporting an additional light on the dashboard; it was a light shaped like a horseshoe which led me to believe it had something to do with one of my car’s many “horse powers”. To further enlighten myself, I turned to my Silver Car manual, which has remained undisturbed in the glove compartment (which also has never had a glove in it) since I owned my Silver Car.

I looked up “horseshoe shaped light” and sure enough, it had something to do with one of Silver Car’s horse powers; when the horseshoe shaped light comes on, it means there is something wrong with the air in the tires. Modern technology is truly wonderful; I cannot possibly imagine how the horseshoe shaped light knows when something is wrong with the air in the tires.

It appeared easy enough to fix though and there was no evil intent by the Silver Car in flashing me the horseshoe shaped light. I had the tires checked and was informed that the air in them conformed to the requirements of the tire.

The freaking horseshoe shaped light still came on, however; I refuse to argue with a car, though, and considered buying a new one!

Instead, I took it to the dealer’s mechanic and complained, noting that there was still a warranty on the Silver Car. The mechanic, Kim, is a genius; he replaced the Right Tire Sensor Horsepower and the damn light went out.

Therefore, I concluded that Kim is my greatest hero in history!

THERE’S NO BUSINESS LIKE PUBLIC SCHOOL BUSINESS

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

When businesses try to tell the public schools how schools should be run they do great harm to public schools.

Teaching and learning is not anything like producing wickets or running a business and when businesses offer to contribute to the public schools, they want something in return; that something businesses want in return has not ordinarily been beneficial to Public Schools. Most often, businesses want to contribute to the public schools to stimulate “competition” among students.

Competition is a primary factor in the success of businesses; simply stated, competition is not a positive motivator in either teaching or learning, it is a negative.

Competition in teaching or learning is like asking a crippled runner to compete in a hundred yard dash. Businesses cannot understand this. Business also does not understand that cooperation can have value; business understands only competition. Unfortunately, most students only learn because they want to learn for a specific reason; students don’t ordinarily learn because they have to beat their fellow students. Students do not win at learning, they earn success.

Bill Gates is a genius at computer technology and eliminating competition and creating a monopoly, but Bill Gates does not know anything about teaching, learning, or public schools; he never attended a ordinary public school and he is not a professional educator.

Public School teachers have an obligation to evaluate all of their students; however, the “ABC” grading system is ludicrous because it is based on unfair competition which is a negative stimulus except for a student genius like Bill Gates.

All students are not capable of getting an “A” but all students are capable of learning and becoming productive.

Inventor Thomas Edison failed mathematics at school; ordinarily, Public Schools do not evaluate or emphasize creativity. Pity.

Evaluating students or teachers using Standardized Achievement Tests is idiotic; a student could get a perfect score on an SAT and not be able to do a damn thing. SATs measure only cognitive learning and cognitive learning is not the most important thing students learn in public schools.

President Obama and Secretary of Education Duncan, both have adopted the craze of using SATs in evaluating teachers, student achievement, and individual Public Schools; this is abhorred and detrimental to Public Schools.

There has been a lot of talk about poor teaching in the Public Schools lately. Teachers are supposed to be professional and effective; as one public school superintendent said, “Teaching a third grader to read at the third grade level is actually rocket science.” This is true.

However, unfortunately not all teachers are professional. For the last fifty years, professional teachers have been so scarce that teachers without adequate training had to be hired as an emergency measure because of the scarcity of technically qualified teachers. Some of these emergency credentialed teachers learned “on the job” but pity the poor students who were subject to the teachers learning to teach; others just became “poor teachers”.

Of all the professions requiring extensive academic training, teachers earn the least. Yet, in spite of low pay and benefits, there are always job seekers willing to accept a teaching job; but there always has been a shortage of qualified professional teachers. That is meaningful. It is too bad, but there are too many people in this world who believe than any one with knowledge can teach; it is not true.

There has been a trend in recent years for Public School Boards to hire people from the business sector to administer the schools; they believe schools should run in a business like manner. The problem is that Schools simply are not the same animal as a business. Businessmen administering Public Schools can and many times have lead to disaster. To teachers this is a truism.

RAISING THE NATIONAL DEBT; WHO IS THE ENEMY?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2011

Personally, in this time of national economic crisis, I do not believe that raising the national debt limit should be a partisan issue, with either party making demands; there is a patriotic responsibility for all members of Congress to agree to raise the debt limit immediately in these desperate times for working Middle Class Americans that constitute a vast majority of he people.

Government spending, is always a serious issue and a partisan one.  However, when you are the head of a family and you have no bread on the table, it is no time for the family to argue over whether or not to increase their debt problem by using their credit card to buy bread.

It ill behooves politicians to make demands for their vote to increase the National Debt when the common citizen is suffering grave financial distress and he will suffer the most if the credit of the nation fails. Politicians are fools for holding their constituents hostage.

PRESIDENT OBAMA AND EMPLOYMENT IN AMERICA; OUTLOOK FOR 2012

Sunday, June 5th, 2011

Of course jobs will decrease in the 2012 Presidential election year, neither the President of the US nor Congress has any control over jobs; in America, Corporate America is the employer. Corporate America does not want Obama to succeed but want profits to go up and Corporate America IS the employer in American Economy. They have sent jobs overseas and restrained from hiring in America to prove President Obama a failure. And stupid Americans buy this crap. As a consequence, corporate profits have never been higher and never has employment been lower. The American economy is in the tank and that was designed by Corporate American and the Republicans that they purchased with extraordinary campaign contributions.

Corporate America are a paper entity, Corporate America has no feelings, no loyalty, no conscience and no compassion and no patriotism; they are legal paper entities which the Neocon Republican Supreme Court has deemed to be human beings with more rights than real American human beings but corporations are not really human beings.

Corporate America would benefit from the elimination of the American working Middle Class, Labor Unions, and expensive tax supported Public Schools and that is their goal.

Wealth is power and Corporate America is the most powerful force in America today because the Neocon Republicans have deregulated business so that Corporate America can do what they please and the Necon Republican majority on the Supreme Court will support them with the likes of the “Citizens United Decision” which did not favor citizens at all; it was all for Corporate America and buying elections like the 2010 Midterms.!