Sometimes reality hits you right in the face

I found this paging through an 1883 Fourth Grade reader I was getting ready to sell on eBay.  

The following is the exercise at the end of an eight paragraph reading.  In other words, not an exam, just a typical homework lesson.  Just so you know, the numbers in (parentheses) are the paragraph numbers of the text in question.

I.  Explain “advertisement” (1); “townsmen” (4).  Give the distinction between “neighbor” and “friend” (4). What phrase (6) now and then? To work “by fits and starts” is the opposite of working  ——-  How?

II.  Write an analysis: — advertiser   clothier   industrious.

III.  Write the plurals of: service; salesman; child; quality; correspondence; duty.

IV.  Separate the compound sentence in paragraph 8 onto the simples sentences (prepositions) of which it is made up.

V. Write the form of a newspaper advertisement stating that an honest, industrious boy is wanted by a grocer.  Write an answer to an advertisement of this sort

I don’t think, 130 years later (with the government in control of education for the past 100 years) that even a fourteenth grade student could correctly answer all of these questions.

The current school system is the miserable failure that only government can create.

This is a shining example.  I believe it is time to get rid of the brick and mortar and get beck to education

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Snow on Basketball weekend? If the folklore is right….

Since I moved here I have heard bits and pieces of folklore.  Folklore comes from experience and the wisdom of the ages, with a little whimsy thrown in to keep things interesting.

Two tidbits come to mind this morning.

1.  There is always a blizzard around or on the weekend of the Boys High School Basketball Playoffs.

and

2.  You can expect snow about 60 days after a fog.

Here’s the deal… The Boys Playoffs start on March 15 in Aberdeen (fifty plus days)

and…

We have had two mornings of heavy fog.

Hmmmm. This could get exciting.

New York Post… Look to your own house before throwing stones at us.

Concerning the NY post article:

The Great Wide Open – How rural America has become a vanishing way of life.
Read it here:  http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/great_wide_open_WqL54fjvoNYjfFI74GlmmL?fb_ref=m_site&fb_source=home_oneline

Hey New York, clean up your own cesspool before you look at our Prairie!  Last time I looked you have more murders in a week than we do out here in year, and out here carrying a gun is legal.

As to the population loss, I truly believe you have seen the last of it in Rural America.  The 2010 census shows the change in population over ten years.  In 2000 we didn’t have high speed internet, a cell phone in every pocket and I-pads.

The census looks at a population shift but not the dynamic.  The true paradigm shift has been outbound from the troubled, crime ridden, overtaxed and under serviced cities to smaller cities like Sioux Falls, Fargo or Cedar Rapids.  Now the shift is happening again.  From those towns to even smaller towns.  

People not from here are starting to find out that they can send their kids to public school with class sizes of about twelve.  They are finding out, through the new media, that South Dakota has no income tax.  In fact, per capita, the taxes here in South Dakota are lower than any other state in the nation.  

Businesses owners in tune with the information age find that they can conduct business in this state which encourages entrepreneurship rather than the one they are in which is trying to tax and regulate them into oblivion.

The next census will tell a different tale.  It will be a tale of two cities (or rather one city crumbling under the weight of it’s own bureaucracy and a small town with few government constraints).  Those cities could be New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Huston or even Los Angeles.  The other Doland, Eureka, Harried, in South Dakota or perhaps Brandon, Iowa or Bloomfield Nebraska.  One shrinking and one growing.

People who work from home are starting to realize that “home” can be anywhere.  They are choosing to leave the high cost and congested areas and moving where the kids can go out and play without the fear of being molested.

Watch the 2020 census…. South Dakota may just have TWO Congressmen.

By the way New York, just how many congressional seats did you loose this year?

Oh…. and one more thing…..  It’s pronounced “Harry-id”, not “Harried”.

Rick Skorupski

A proud transplant in South Dakota.

Out of Power they will get louder. And more obnoxious.

OK the liberals are mad and doing what they do best.  Whining, crying and out shouting everyone in the room.  They will talk over anyone trying to explain a conservative idea.  Why? They don’t want conservative ideas  explained.  When we do – they loose.

Here’s the latest rant.  The dems in control of Congress right now are going to set it up so the new congress will have to vote to raise the debt ceiling in order to keep the government from default.  When that happens they will be like a young child taunting through a fence saying things like, “SEE!!!!  I thought your were conservative!!  You are spending more money – you have added to the debt!!!”

Let’s put this in terms that even the left can understand. 

Here’s the scenario… 

You allow your son (call him Barry) to play with his friends (Harry and Nancy) in the back yard.  You see them going out the door with a ball and bat.  You tell him not to play ball in the back yard. You explain to them there is not enough room in the yard for that.  They ignore you.  As you expect, Barry hits the ball over the fence and breaks the neighbor’s window.  You punish Barry by taking away his ball and bat.  You tell his friends Harry and Nancy they can no longer play ball where they can cause damage.  You gain control of the back yard and stop further destruction.  

But the neighbor still has to be paid for the broken window.

On unemployment and the economy.

I was asked what I would do to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.  Before I answer that I would like to mention that the worst unemployment is in states that have been in control of the Democrats for a very long time.  The vast majority of states that have Republican governors AND Republican controlled Legislatures seem to be in much batter shape. – just an observation.

 Now – on to my answer on reducing the unemployment rate.

It seems to me that 90% of the time the solution to a problem starts with, “Get the government out of the way and…”

In this particular case we need to do certain things to restore our economy.  First, we need to stop the uncertainty in the financial and business arenas.  Things like a 1000 plus page health care bill and an 1800 page omnibus budget bill do not give confidence to people who are thinking about investing capital into a business.  I have an opportunity right now to start a business.  It would bring more tourism into the area and fill a demand that already exists.  Nothing big, maybe 3 jobs.  It will also require me risking capital and taking on some loans.  Personally, I will not stick my neck out, not with the current anti-business climate in Washington causing an unstable economy.  I can surely understand why no one else will either.  Most business are trying to survive the downturn and have little confidence that they will not get slammed again.

What do we need to get the economy moving?  Get the government out of the way and:

Eliminate 90% of the silly regulations that stifle business.  Did you know the paper containing regulations on raising and selling cabbage weighs over eight pounds?  Get the government out of banking and let the bankers (the people who know how to make money grow) do their job.  Repeal the Heath care bill and while your at it, get the government out of medicine.  Get the government out of the housing market, let it stabilize at the actual cash value level.  Then it can start to grow.  Defund Fanny and Freddy.  Sell the assets to private business.  Eliminate the EPA’s ability to regulate Co2 (while we are at it eliminate the EPA’s ability to regulate – period).

Another big slice of the solution?  Eliminate the confiscatory personal, business and corporate income tax and replace the whole thing with the Fair Tax.  When businesses don’t have to spend gazillions on accountants and tax lawyers to maintain their records, they will have more money to invest.  Business that went off shore to get a better tax break will come back.  Business from other countries will come here simply because the cost of doing business will be lower.  Now, this may cause some unemployment in Washington DC, particularly on K street where all the lobbyists are working to get the tax code rewritten in favor of their clients.  Frankly, I don’t see a down side there.

Finally once you get the government out of the way you re-energize the free enterprise system that allowed this tiny 13 state piss pot mini nation to become the most powerful economic engine in history.  We did it without the EPA, the DOE, the FDA, ATF, FTC, HHS or even the USDA.  We can do it again if we just “Get the government out of the way and…”

On education

I sent a note to a friend of mine this morning concerning the failure of our public education system.  He lives in Arizona and is not convinced that the private sector can do a better job educating our kids than the government.  After I read it I thought it might make a good post:

————————————————————————–

South Dakota, like Arizona is constitutionally bound to provide an education.  I don’t have a problem with that.  What I have a problem with is the institution created by government to perform this function.  It has failed and, in many places, failed miserably.

I propose taking the money from the Department of Education (or Arizona equivalent), local school taxes and all other education funding and divide it by the number of school age students in your state (or mine) and send each parent or guardian a voucher for that divided amount (less 2% for administering the program).  This would force education into the private sector and still meet the obligation of the state.  With all education in the private hands, the power to choose (spelled liberty) would fall on those most concerned with their child’s welfare.  Good schools would flourish and bad schools would go out of business.

“What about the inner city schools?”, you ask. “There is a possibility that crack moms will sell the voucher to a disreputable “school” and the child will get no education?” Good question, I’ll answer it with a question, What are they getting now?  Chicago has a 50% percent drop out rate, Baltimore is worse.  Washington DC (which has the highest cost per child/year) is worse still. What is Phoenix?  Six percent of the graduates of the Philadelphia school system (which is less than half of those who initially enrolled) can read at grade level.  What is the rate in Nogales? 

No, Jon, government schools have done no favors for these kids,  and that includes our current under thirty  generation.  We need to disestablish the education system with all the administrators and lobbies that go with it.

Get back to the roots of local control – the parents.  The inner city kids  stand a much better chance of being in jail than graduating high school with the system in place today.  Perhaps, just perhaps, with a 100% voucher system, some of the kids might actually get an education and get off the welfare / drugs treadmill.

Other than the above, I have no strong opinion on the subject.

Where are the songs?

 

As many of you know I am semi retired.  I augment my meager pension with some selling on eBay.  Recently I went to an estate sale and bought several hundred player piano rolls.  Many of these are from World War One (for those with a public school education, that war was fought between 1914 and 1918 – It was the first time we fought Germany – not the second time when we fought Hitler).

Why am I talking about this?  The songs!  There must have been hundreds of patriotic songs during that war.  “Over There” is one many remember.  But how about “The Navy Took Them Over and The Navy Will Bring Them Home”.  Or perhaps “Keep the Home Fires Burning“.  There is even one called “If He Can Fight Like He Can Love … Goodnight Germany“!

Why am I bringing this up?  About nine years ago some people with more radical ideas than the Germans ever had took it upon themselves to destroy several buildings in New York, part of the Pentagon, four airplanes and most of all… countless lives.  The intent was to bring the economy, the military and the government of the United States to it’s knees.  A far more violent act than anything Germany did.  Yet…. Hardy a song.  I can think of two, both sung by country singers.

Is it that no one cares about our country anymore?  I don’t think so.  Perhaps there are no new patriotic songs being written?  I think that would also be a stretch.  With such a violent and coldhearted attack, not on fighting men, but civilians (including children) one would thing this brutal act would have triggered some artists and song writers into action.  I am not convinced that we, as a nation, are so unfeeling that we could not create more than two songs supporting this great land, and the people who protect it.

It becomes apparent to me that the entertainment industry become so controlled by the left that no patriotic music can make through the vetting process.  The entertainment industry (and that includes Hollywood) has been so corrupted by people who hate what this nation is and despise it’s roots, that they will not let the true American spirit shine through in song or on screen.

Having vented, I think now I will go back to work, selling the songs of yesteryear, when people in entertainment were proud of America and not bent on “Change” ing  it.

Think I’m too far out on this one?  Prove me wrong…. Send me the MIDI file of “Rap for America – A Tribute”.

On immigration reform:

On immigration reform: 

Let me say first and foremost that I have no problem with LEGAL immigration.  My mother’s, mother’s parents came from Ireland and Germany, my father’s father from Poland.  Had not these families LEGALLY immigrated, my parents would have never met and I would not exist. 

Having said that, I am strongly opposed to ILLEGAL immigration.  People who have such little regard for our law that their very FIRST act in this country is to break it. 

We all know that the system is broken.  It rewards those who break the law while hindering those who try to do things right.  Simply stated, the system is upside down.  LEGAL work visas are nearly impossible to obtain while comparatively it is a relatively easy thing to simply walk across an unfenced and unguarded border.  In a world that is run by common sense rather than politicians seeking to get reelected, the reverse would be true.  Work visa’s would be easy to obtain by honest folks and ILLEGAL workers would have a hard time finding work. 

But….how to get there?  This will take a new and fresh approach on immigration.  We must make it easy for honest law abiding persons who want be here and work here while making it difficult for those who use our soft borders to break the law.  That is true immigration reform. 

A man smarter than me laid out a simple idea that seems to work in my mind.  Here it is in a nutshell….. With my personal modifications, I will spell it out in a simple four step process. 

1. CLOSE THE BORDER!!!!!  If you come home from vacation and find that a hose burst on the washing machine and water has flooded the basement, what do you do first?  TURN OFF THE WATER!!!  We need to build a fence, patrol the fence and stem the tide of illegal traffic of people, drugs and who knows what else is coming across into this country. 

2. Enforce the laws concerning hiring illegal workers.  Put the full force of the legal system behind it.  A company violates the law once they pay an outrageously hefty fine, second time – someone goes to jail.  No one will be willing to risk jail time to save a few bucks on labor.  Illegal hiring will dry up. 

3. Establish at legal points of entry as a means for LEGAL workers to come in.  Each person wishing to enter will have fingerprints taken, perhaps other biometric scans as well.  Each will be compared to a data base of prior offenders and, when cleared, (this can and should take less than a minute) will be issued a green card.  One thing, each individual will be asked to sign a card stating that should they violate ANY law they will be subject to immediate revocation of their visa and deported.  Each person holding a work visa will be required to renew that visa at regular intervals (perhaps semi annually). 

4. Open the outbound gates and let the stream of those who are here illegally get out so they can get in line to come back in legally.  Those 12 to 20 millions that the government says they can’t deport will gladly deport themselves so they can get in line to get the legal visa. 

This is immigration reform that works. Where did I get the original concept? From a book written by man that understands the world that works and the world that fails. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=15D3ElV1Jzw 

The Two Dollar Project

Like many of us I was disappointed and angry Sunday night when the extreme left wing of the Democrat Party got their childhood dream passed through the US House of Representatives.  I was even more disgusted the next day as the left wing (aka main stream) media had a party all over my television.

I would not allow myself to feel defeated, I would not allow myself to give up and simply roll over and play dead.  But what could I do.  I am just one person with limited assets.

Yet I have to do SOMETHING!

I thought of the internet and what some people call Web 2.0.  The liberals have understood and have been using this media for a while we conservatives scratch out heads.  This time I am going to turn it around.  I have started a group on the social network Facebook and I have pledged to send Two Dollars to every Republican Candidate who is running against a person who voted for the bill.

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/group.php?gid=102684303100744

That’s right, if a congressman/woman voted to take away my healthcare choice, I am sending $2.00 to his/her opponent.  I can’t afford to do this all at once, but I can afford to do it between now and the November election.

“What good will that do?”,  you ask.  “What’s two bucks?”  Not much…. Until the social media and Web 2.0 kicks in. Right now I have about 15 people who have joined the pledge with me.  That’s 30 bucks.  What happens if this thing goes viral?  What would it do for a campaign if 150,000 people joined in on the pledge?  That would be $300,000 into each campaign for people to replace those who took our freedom.

THAT my friends, will make a difference.  We The People will have spoken and this time they will have no choice but to listen.

 How about joining with me in The Two Dollar Project on Facebook and use our combined will to THROW THE BUMS OUT!

Couldn’t even miss one meal out……

I heard it last night and was not convinced of the story.  Now this morning I read it in my local paper….. 

http://www.aberdeennews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100313/FRONTPAGE/3130333 

It seems that “Hard as they tried“, the South Dakota Legislators could not find a way to cut 32 million dollars from the state budget.  Let’s see $32,000,000 from a budget that is about $1,500,000,000 (state spending). 

If I do my math right that’s 2% percent!!!  The State Legislators could not find 2 percent in savings??  Who’s kidding who? 

Let’s put this in money I can understand.  Lets use a family that has an income of $3000 each month.  If this family had a reduction in income of 2% that would be about sixty dollars.  So instead of making $3000 each month they would have $2940 each month.  That might not be the best news but it would not be devastating.  There are ways for a family to not spend 2% of what they were used to.  One less night in a restaurant.  Perhaps skip the dirt track races for a while.  Cancel the premium channels on cable.  What I am trying to say is for you and me, though it may be a bit uncomfortable, cutting 2% in spending would be an easy goal. 

Now… Are you legislators in Pierre telling me that you can’t find even enough savings equivalent to a dinner out for the family? 

BUT – That is only the beginning…. 

I find out this morning that they postponed any decision on that budget until the last possible moment.  Why?  To see if they can get a bailout from their Uncle Sam.  Like whiney children they are saying,  “We don’t want to stop our movie channels, we and our rich uncle to buy them for us!”  Their excuse?  “He’s going to give it out anyway.  If we don’t take it someone else will.” 

What happened to Pride and Self Sufficiency?  What happened to “I can stand on my own.”?  My grandfather suffered the great depression (as did all of yours).  He lost his business, and had to struggle to make ends meet.  He worked hard to get out of poverty and back to prosperity. 

What is the message that our Legislature wants to send to the nation?  We are so poor that we can not make ends meet and we need help from the citizens of New York and California?  Are we saying we are so feeble-minded that we can’t control a budget smaller than the budget of St. Paul, Minnesota? 

Well I say NO.  I say we manage our own business in Pierre, spend when the money is there and cut when it isn’t.  I say NO to the federal bailouts with all the strings, rules and regulations attached.  We CAN stand on our own feet in South Dakota and we know it. 

Our legislative leaders can’t….. It seems they lack the spine.  

I am disappointed ….  and ashamed.