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

A simple Question 2.0

About four years, eleven months and two weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “A Simple Test.”  If you don’t remember it (and I’m sure you don’t ) remind yourself of it here:

https://p3bfco.wordpress.com/2008/11/07/a-simple-test/

I will ask you today an go to your sock drawer and get the notes you took back then.  Let’s compare them to what we have today.

Here are some of mine.
On November 7th 2008 I said “My electricity costs me $8.50 per kilowatt hour.  This is about $100 a month in winter.  More in summer with the air conditioner running.  But I’ll use the winter number.”

Today my electricity is $10.50 per kilowatt hour but my monthly connection fee has increased from $13.00 to $55.00. My lowest electric bill now is about $150.00 a month and I’m told it is about to go up again. Seems the current administration is squeezing our coal fired power plants.

Here’s more: “A loaf of bread is about a dollar and a quarter today and a gallon of milk is about $3.50.  Butter is $2.28 lb. Eggs are about $1.20 a dozen.”

Today a loaf of bread I about $2.25. A gallon of milk is $4.27, Butter is $1.88 and Eggs are $1.80. With the exception of butter, all the other things are higher.

Let’s look at some more notes from my sock drawer. “Gasoline in town yesterday was $2.10 gal.
Oil is running at $61.00 a barrel on the market this morning.”

Today gasoline is running about $3.96 and the price of oil is $86.00 a barrel.   Now here’s something curious, the last time gas was around and over four bucks, oil was running in the 140 range. All the liberals were blaming George Bush for cronyism and being in bed with big oil. Where are the finger pointers now? But I digress….

Here’s more from the 2008 post, “Now, on to other things…..
My local stores are well stocked.
I can get a doctor’s appointment on the day I call in.
I have a high quality (in patient) medical facility only a few miles away
The national unemployment rate is around 6%.
Inflation is being reported at about 5%.
Remember the Misery Index?  That is the unemployment rate plus the inflation rate.  Today the Misery Index is at 11%.
The current President has an approval rating under 30% and the current congress is at about 10%.”

Okay, Obamacare hasn’t kicked in yet (it won’t until after this election {wonder of wonders}) so I still can call my doctor and get an appointment for later today.
The stores are still stocked but I am noticing empty shelves more and more often.  Especially in the big box stores like Walmart.
The national Unemployment rate is 7.8% (that is if you forget to count California like they did with this last release {oops})
Inflation for 2012 is being reported as 4.8% (but here’s a new twist, they no longer count gasoline of food {well, who uses those things anyway.})
The misery index today conservatively measured is 12.6% A truer measure of the misery index is taking the percentage number of the unemployed and adding it to the Producer Price Index (a more accurate indication of inflation). Today’s PPI is 10.8%. The true (without government jinking the numbers to make the administration look good) unemployment, according to Gallop, is 9.7%. Today’s un-underemployed index is 17%. So… You can place a real misery index at somewhere between 20.5% and 27.8%.
The current president approval rating is 48% and Congress has gone from 11% to 21%.

Now…. How about you? Got that note from your sock drawer in your hand?
What is your energy costing you today?
What is your medical care costing you today?  AND…  How good is it?
Do you think you are better off than your parents?
Do you think your children will be better off then you?
How do you see the future?  Bright or bleak?

Now ask yourself…
“AM I BETTER OFF THEN I WAS FOUR YEARS AGO?”

I think the answer is obvious.
I’ll close this by saying, “I told you so.”

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.

“Curiouser and Curiouser”, said Alice

So, I’m watching the 10 o’clock news on my local CBS affiliate last night and they come out with this story on how a local Hotel is in the process of being torn down.

http://www.keloland.com/news/NewsDetail6371.cfm?Id=105084

“So?”, you ask, “Old buildings are torn down all the time.”  No big deal – right?  Or is it?

From the story I find out that this nice looking fairly new structure was hit with “a six page letter” containing “health and property violations”.  So the city forced the business to close.

Over time it seems that the owner could not “comply” with the city and the property was subsequently condemned.  Now it is being demolished and the property will be left vacant.

Now, I was not born yesterday and I was not born in South Dakota.  Having been raised in New Jersey and not South Dakota it is not my nature to think the best of people (something the Midwest culture teaches here).  The culture I grew up in was corrupt.  So I look for the corruption when I see stories like this.  I immediately look for the story behind the story, The skullduggery if you will.

I did a little homework this morning and to my surprise (yeah right) it seems that this property is in the same neighborhood as the proposed location of the New Event Center.  Remember the New Event Center?  The one voted down by the residents of the city (twice)?

Now I am not accusing – I am curious.  I find it odd that the city of Sioux Falls chose to single out this individual and this property for so much attention when there are other parts of town and other blatant violations being ignored.

Could it be as they say in the Real Estate business … Location – Location – Location?

Another Bright Idea

It seems that Sioux Falls hasn’t learned the lesson yet.  There is a new member of the City Council that has a brainstorm of an idea.  “Let’s raise the tax on hotel rooms by two dollars a night to bring in more tourists.”  Sound ridiculous?  Of course.  The twisted liberal logic is as follows.  We raise the tax and use the money to promote tourism.  That means we can hire another bureaucrat (spelled patronage job) to oversee this newly found cash.

Why do they want all this extra tourism?  To justify building the brand new Event Center that the people have said they do not want (twice).

I consider the above to be absolute proof that the democrats have taken over Sioux Falls.  How do I know?  First, they refuse to listen to the people who elected them.   Second,  they have no concept of the basic business economics.  Hey Sioux Falls City Council, here’s a reality that is often missed in the halls of government.  If you charge more money for something, fewer people will buy it.  Even if you spend that money to tell people how good something is now that it costs more.  It just doesn‘t work.  If it did, we would all be driving Duisenbergs and Packards.

Here’s the basics:  First – People in Sioux Fall at large do not want the city to spend millions of their tax dollars to build this new albatross of an event center.  (See my previous post on the subject).

https://p3bfco.wordpress.com/2009/12/16/loose-touch-with-the-people-and-loose-your-town/

Second – People who visit Sioux Fall visit for business, family and for the charm.  Fewer people will visit if you raise the cost of staying in town.

Don’t believe me?  Outside of Philadelphia, just a few miles over the line, there is a major business and convention center in King of Prussia Pennsylvania.  Why is it there?  Why was it built?  Because the Philadelphia City Council has made it cost too much to stay and work in Philadelphia.

Mr. Mayor, though I think you are part of the problem, perhaps you can listen to the citizens of your fine city for once and drop this foolishness once and for all.  Break the cycle of ever increasing taxes, fees and costs and let Sioux Falls be what it is – the best (big) small town in America.

As things go…

This is not mine and probably not new, but I did think it was worth posting.

Thanks to my friend Joe.

Over five thousand years ago, Moses said to the children of Israel “Pick up your shovel, mount your asses and camels, and I will lead you to the Promised Land.”

Nearly 75 years ago, Roosevelt said, “Lay down your shovels, sit on your asses, and light up a camel, this is the Promised Land.”

Now Obama has stolen your shovel, taxed your asses, raised the price of camels, and mortgaged the promised land!

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!