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Conundrum

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There are so many things out there right now that I consider both serious and urgent. One of the most difficult for me to share in any sort of organized or coherent method is the way our education system has been undermined, sabotaged, taken over and totally trashed. It isn’t that my emotions get in the way, although I do get angry every time I think about what is being done to our children and young adults, it is just that there is so very much that needs to be said.

  1.  Every education degree I have researched or tried to pin down at a major four year institution seems to require as many hours of teacher development, classroom management, educational trends and community relations as it does hours of the subject matter that one is expected to teach. I realize that some psychology is necessary when dealing with children, not to mention their parents, but I think that a teacher should have a single mission and leave all of the management, relationships and negotiations with the administration. If this seems unreasonable, then allow the parents to become more involved!
  2. Parents have slowly been forced out of the school systems. Educators, backed by very powerful unions, have taken over our schools from kindergarten through college. We thought that we were placing the future  of this country in capable hands that valued the trust we gave them. We were wrong. Every 3 years the Program for International Student Assessment measures the performance of students from 65 countries. The United States of America scored LOWER than China, Republic of Korea, Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Estonia, Canada, Belgium, Vietnam, Australia, Slovenia, New Zealand, France, Iceland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Germany, Austria, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, United Kingdom and Latvia. Similarly, we also scored lower than most of these countries on the science literacy tests. So, obviously the people who have been in charge of educating our children are failing miserably by world standards.
  3. Our government sees a problem and immediately thinks to solve it by throwing money at it until a better result is achieved. For the comming 2014-15 school year the National Center for Education Statistics estimates that we will be spending $12,281.00 on each child in public school. Naturally this figure does not include the lab fees, sports fees, home room fees, band fees, club fees or the massive quantities of paper towels, toilet paper, baby wipes, band aids and other miscellaneous classroom on-hand merchandise. Then, one must not forget the notebooks, project materials, highlighters, workbooks, planners, poster board, reading lists, sometimes it seems as if there should be an advanced course in finance just for the parents to juggle all of the expenses.
  4. In the nineties homeschooling started gaining in popularity, but there were still many who felt uncomfortable taking something so important (your child’s education) away from the professionals. What if something got left out? What if they couldn’t get into college? Well, in 1997 a study was undertaken. It was a little surprising to me. Home schoolers outperformed those in public schools by 30-37% in all subjects. From K – 12 all homeschoolers scored, on average, in the 87th percentile! If you want some numbers that are a little more recent, in 2001 Stanford accepted 26% of its homeschooled applications which was about double the overall acceptance rate. Wheaton College reported that its homeschooled SAT scores averaged 58 points above the total entering class average. Also, SAT reported that homeschoolers scored about 81 points above the national average.

We all have complaints about the selective history being taught. We resent the attitude that America is not the greatest nation and a beacon of hope and freedom. We detest textbooks that only cover the mistakes without also covering the sacrifice, the heroes, the generosity and the exceptionalism. But it is absolutely infuriating that the education system could not even teach concrete concepts of math and science! It is so hard to be organized and coherent when teachers have been telling me that they know what they are doing and that they are professionals when they are obviously not getting results.

There is a problem here. Is it really logical to keep doing the same things over and over while expecting a different result?

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Town Hall Post by John Hawkins

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This is so definitely on point that I just lifted the whole post with kudos to the brilliant author!

Five Consequences of America’s Moral Collapse

7/25/2015 12:01:00 AM – John Hawkins

“Americans have become so “non-judgmental” that many people can no longer tell the difference between good and evil. We congratulate ourselves for being “nicer,” more sensitive and less prejudiced than past generations of Americans, but we don’t stop to consider how much more there is to morality than that. An America that isn’t full of good people won’t remain a good nation, nor will it remain strong and free over the long haul. Our country’s lack of morality has real consequences that are capable of eventually sinking us as a nation.
1) The Collapse Of Marriage: There used to be quite a bit of social stigma attached to getting a divorce or having a child out of wedlock. That’s no longer true and consequences for society have been horrific.

Although there is some dispute about the numbers, roughly 40% of marriages now end in divorce and “half of all children born to women under 30 in America now are illegitimate. Three in 10 white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies.”

That’s important because children raised without a mother AND a father are statistically worse off in just about every area imaginable.

“Controlling for socioeconomic status, race, and place of residence, the strongest predictor of whether a person will end up in prison is that he was raised by a single parent. By 1996, 70 percent of inmates in state juvenile detention centers serving long-term sentences were raised by single mothers. Seventy-two percent of juvenile murderers and 60 percent of rapists come from single-mother homes. Seventy percent of teenage births, dropouts, suicides, runaways, juvenile delinquents, and child murderers involve children raised by single mothers. Girls raised without fathers are more sexually promiscuous and more likely to end up divorced. A 1990 study by the Progressive Policy Institute showed that after controlling for single motherhood, the difference between black and white crime rates disappeared.

Various studies have come up with slightly different numbers, but all the figures are grim. According to the Index of Leading Cultural Indicators, children from single-parent families account for 63 percent of all youth suicides, 70 percent of all teenage pregnancies, 71 percent of all adolescent chemical/substance abuse, 80 percent of all prison inmates, and 90 percent of all homeless and runaway children.

A study cited in the Village Voice produced similar numbers. It found that children brought up in single-mother homes ‘are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape (for the boys), 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.’ Single motherhood is like a farm team for future criminals and social outcasts.”

Instead of trying to reverse the crippling damage being done to our country by the collapse of marriage, we’ve chosen to degrade it even further by allowing same sex unions, soon to be followed by polygamous unions that will degrade the institution ever further. If it’s true that marriage is the bedrock of society, then our nation’s house is built on sand.

2) Crime: Despite the fact that China and India have populations four times our size, it’s stunning that America has the largest prison population on Earth. Not coincidentally, America’s once sky-high crime rate dropped as massive numbers of criminals were locked away.

Bizarrely, many people talk about crime as if it’s divorced from morality. We hear about a supposed “rape culture,” school shootings, the “Knockout Game,” child abuse, etc., etc., etc. without making the obvious connection to morals. Good kids aren’t raping anybody, assaulting strangers to prove they’re tough or shooting up movie theaters unless they’re mentally ill.

Kids who are taught about good and evil, right and wrong, patriotism, chivalry and honor are going to make mistakes. A few of them will even turn out to be bad apples. However, full though our prisons may be, they are not full of God-fearing men. They’re full of people who are morally adrift.

3) Poor Government: America seems to be becoming progressively less governable and there are many reasons for that.Government has become too big to effectively manage, both parties have moved away from the center, gerrymandering has decreased the power of voters and increased the power of special interest groups – we could go on and on. Despite the fact that it’s seldom discussed, one of the biggest factors is the dishonesty of our own politicians.

How does that play a role? Well, it’s impossible to cut any kind of meaningful long-term deal on taxes, spending, immigration or any other big issue because neither party can be trusted to stick to a deal. Politicians lie to the voters, they lie to the other party and they even lie to their colleagues on the same side of the aisle.

Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation, Obamacare, was entirely built on lies. Hillary Clinton has been caught lying more times than Pinocchio – and it’s not much different for the GOP leadership in Congress. Today, as I write this, Ted Cruz has stepped to the Senate floor to call out Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for lying to his own caucus.

On the one hand, it’s extraordinarily difficult to govern a nation without long term planning, but how do you plan for the future when no politician’s word means anything?

4) Dependence: Americans have traditionally been some of the most self-reliant people on the face of the earth. People used to be ashamed to be on the dole even if they felt like they had no other choice. Judging by the numbers we see today, that’s no longer true.

More than 1/3 of the population, 109 million Americans, are on welfare. That’s more people than there are in the four most populous states in America (California, Texas, New York and Florida) COMBINED. More than 45 million Americans are receiving food stamps. Nearly 11 million Americans, a number larger than the population of Greece, are on disability.

Does anyone care how many of these people are legitimately having hard times and need a little temporary assistance to get back on their feet versus how many are parasites who are looting the system? It certainly doesn’t seem like it. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of people who even feel bad about being on the dole either. In fact, it’s probably more of a social faux pas to suggest that people should feel bad about living off other people’s labor than it is to sponge off the taxpayers without regret. That’s why it’s not just an economic problem, it’s a moral problem and it’s one that is likely to get larger as a smaller and smaller share of workers are asked to shoulder the load for people who don’t work for a living.

5) Lack Of Civility And Manners: The great Samuel Adams once said, “A general dissolution of principles and manners will more surely overthrow the liberties of America than the whole force of the common enemy. While the people are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their virtue then will be ready to surrender their liberties to the first external or internal invader.”

Between the anonymity of the Internet, the crudity of much of modern music and TV along with our bad habit of rewarding every reality show star and jackass with 15 minutes of fame as long as they’re willing to go to any lengths to catch our attention, we’ve become a crass, rude and obnoxious culture.

We live in a country that often rewards sarcasm instead of wisdom, rudeness instead of insight and the squeaky wheel instead of the farsighted patriot. You’re more likely to get your way in America if you claim to be angry, offended or can just make enough noise on social media than if you’re plain old right. How well is that working out for our country?”

Guns! Guns! Guns!

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I just read a post by one of my more liberal friends which struck me as belonging in Dummies 101.  We are a nation that was founded on the principle of a citizen militia being available if ever needed. Even in this day I believe that most of us would gladly pick up guns, shovels or whatever we were asked to and do anything to save our country if we were invaded or threatened. Because we have always had guns, guns are everywhere. If we try to pass some type of gun control legislation (whether or not it is constitutional) it would only take guns that we actually know about out of the hands of law abiding honest citizens. It would not touch in any way the sudden influx of smuggled guns, homemade guns, guns purchased on the black market or passed down in families, bought overseas, received as gifts, etc.  It would not cover any of the guns owned by criminals or gang members, it would not even threaten their supply of guns.

People keep forgetting that a gun is a tool. It can be a tool of violence or it can be the tool that saves your life. Those people that keep screaming for more gun controls are overlooking a very major point in almost every major incident. ALMOST every time we have a mass shooting it occurs in a gun free zone. After all, no self respecting homocidal maniac wants to start gunning people down if there is a chance that one of them will stand up and start shooting back!

It is astonishing to me that the left assumes there is no right to defend oneself from aggression. I suppose they assume that the victim is to politely request that the criminal wait just a sec while the police are contacted…..forgetting in the heat of the moment that the left previously cut the cops off at the knees over imagined racial slights and ridiculous restrictions.

So, who will save them now?

Five More Reasons

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  1. Pakistan developed the bomb with only 3,000 centrifuges while Iran is being allowed to keep 5,000.
  2.  In spite of anything anyone says or claims, 24 days notice before any inspection is plenty of time.
  3. Where testing is required by this alleged agreement, in many cases the required samples are to be collected by the Iranians themselves!
  4. If you disregard Benghazi and Mexico, the President claims to believe in the “no man left behind” policy, at least when it is to his benefit. The failure to even include mention of the four American citizens who are being wrongfully held and tortured in Iranian prisons is a demonstration of the weakness and the ignorance of Obama’s negotiation team. It I s a strong indication of the value this White House places on the lives of its citizenry, of its willingness to stand toe to toe with a dangerous and unpredictable enemy without blinking and do whatever is necessary to bring our people home. That is one of the purposes of government. This agreement fails.
  5. Even Secretary Kerry admits that Iran will probably have the nuclear bomb in ten years (if not sooner) under this so-called agreement. 

Actually, the more I read and the more I research the more convinced I am that there is almost nothing in this “agreement” which is good. We have wasted millions negotiating this and it does nothing to improve our position or place any further restrictions on Iran. To the contrary, in many ways it smoothes the way to a nuclear bomb for the number one state sponsor of terrorism.

Why the Iran TREATY Scares Me!

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Putting aside whether or not the president has a demonstrable history of lying to the American People, which he does. Ignoring all those annoying issues of politics and which party is responsible for what. The following reasons are the short list of why this proposed deal gives me nightmares.

1.   Our government is well aware that Iran was conducting some sort of nuclear weapons related ballistic testing at their Parchin facility in 2002. As provided in this document, disclosure and access to Parchin will not even be agreed upon until after most, if not all, of the sanctions are lifted.

2.   Iran does most solemnly promise to present this agreement to the Iranian Parliament. My understanding, however, is that because of meeting schedules and agendas etc., that this treaty might not pass the parliament at all or if it does it might be as late as early 2016. On the other hand, the sanctions seem to be ready to come off as soon as possible.

3.   When the U.S. Releases the hundreds of billions of dollars that it has been holding as part of those sanctions, I have serious reservations about whether any of that money will end up in the pockets of the poor or the needy. I do not think Iran will use one cent of it to improve hospitals or childcare or better nutrition. I believe that most of that money will be spent on bombs, guns, missiles, tanks, military hardware, computers for dissemination of propaganda, religious schools for the education of innocents for suicide bombings…….need I continue? After all, we have ample proof that they are one of the global leaders of state sponsored terrorism. They certainly know how to spend that money better than we do!

4.   I wonder if President Obama has considered the historical ties between Iran and North Korea. I did hear Obama say in his press conference yesterday that this agreement would close off all of Iran’s paths to a nuclear bomb. These two countries have worked together in the past and it would be perfectly logical to conclude that Iran considers North Korea to be a possible path. Look it up!

5.   President Obama said, many times, that there were provisions built in to this treaty which would allow us to act based on Iran’s violation of international law (presumably because they had violated the treaty). Breaking this down into its most basic terms, the treaty makes its requirements law so that if violated we can immediately take action. This sounds wonderful until you remember that we have given them all of their money back, every nation can trade with them, they can purchase military hardware and all the ammunition they will ever need. Lastly, please also remember that we are decommissioning ships in our navy, our military hardware is old and not being replaced adequately, we have been issuing pink slips to our men and women in the military and even the FBI admits that ISIS is currently operating in all 50 states and that since Obama took office our foreign intelligence capability has been significantly degraded.

That is my admittedly simple very short list, but isn’t my short list enough to get you started on your own research toward a personalized long list? Obama can be a very persuasive speaker, that’s how he became president. But we need to vote on the basis of facts and history, not political party and personality.

Trump?

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Not an issue for me either way since I believe that any qualified individual has the right to offer themselves to the voters. I have not been surprised by the initial reactions from the press, the liberals or the GOP. However, maybe it is worth a mention that “the Donald” is ranked pretty high in most of the polls I have seen.

Just for the record, I am not planning to vote for Donald Trump in the Republican Primary. He is a very intelligent and courageous man and I have a lot of respect for him, but I do not feel like he has the personality we need sitting in the Oval Office. He is obviously a brilliant manager whether you approve of his methods or not. He succeeds. He gets things done. I believe, although I do not actually know, that he is brutally honest in pursuing what he thinks is right. But in my humble layman’s opinion, President Obama and his gargantuan ego have strewn enough constitutional and social wreckage around. It will take us decades to clean up his mess. One more thing…..even with the phenomenal business acumen and negotiating skill that Trump obviously has, a president must know when to speak and when to be silent. Being a leader of free nations requires more than honesty, it demands subtlety and tact.

Knowing where I stand on Trump’s bid for the Republican nomination is important because the point of this blog post is that almost every media source I hear or read is going to impressive extremes to destroy, misrepresent, mislabel, abuse, shun, ridicule, accuse and basically imploy any and every method imaginable to discredit Trump with the public and run him out of the race. While I would expect this of the liberal media and the Democratic Party, I am shocked at the diatribe which is flowing from some of the more conservative commentators.

Since he has announced, Trump has jumped up in the polls to first place among republican voters. Most conservative commentators observe that this is an indication of how serious the American citizens are about radical change. I am of the opinion that it is also a message to the GOP establishment. Trump does seem to have some unorthodox methods and some solutions appear too simplistic, but they probably sound good to the ordinary regular normal non-political person on the street. 

So, if you dislike Mr. Trump, or any other political candidate, instead of randomly assaulting their heritage or accusing them of unnatural acts, do your research and either post it up or speak intelligently about the facts.

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