IS IT TIME WE START TALKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED?

The news this week is all abuzz over a man jumping the White House fence, running across the lawn and getting into the East Room before being stopped.

There is a national !GASP! in the collective media. Congress is holding hearings. One Congressman suggested issuing a ‘shoot to kill on site’ order. Investigations will follow. Heads will roll! (well, actually they won’t – bureaucrats are a protected species). There will be a lot of talk about “This never happening again!”.

Is it time to answer the question, “How did we get here?”

Here’s a bit of history: In the eighteen hundreds, even into the early nineteen hundreds, people in Washington DC would hold family picnics on the lawn of what was then called The Presidential Manor. There were no gates, no fences and no gun laws. Teddy Roosevelt (one of my least favorite Republican presidents) would even walk around the grounds and talk with the folks picnicking on the lawn.

Today to even lean on the tall wrought iron  fence surrounding that building will get you, at the very least, a stern warning.

What happened? Why is this so. Are we not the same people as our great – great grandfathers and grandmothers? The DNA hasn’t changed. So the environment had to.

In the eighteen hundreds people were self reliant those who weren’t were aided by private charities. They, for the most part, went to church. They worked hard and raised families. The children of those families were taught Judeo-Christian values, manners and respect for others. Mothers and fathers were in control of their children’s upbringing and education. They were taught the American culture. Violence was minimal and literacy was significantly higher than it is today.

Today we have a new culture. A culture where government is father and mother. Government is the teacher and the disciplinarian. Government gives and takes as it see fit. Government is the new king. People in this new culture are raised by television (public or government television during the formative years) and government schools. There is no mom at home to set a standard, because mom has to work to pay the taxes this new king demands. Thanks to the Progressives in the ACLU, there is no God in school to provide any guidance or moral compass. Thanks to moral relativism there is no right or wrong. People are not restrained by this new faulty upbringing and have little to no respect for other individuals. Video games teach it is okay to kill and the schools teach that behavior is neither right or wrong.

So, no wonder we need gates, guard dogs and even “Shoot to Kill” orders to protect the current elected leader of this semi totalitarian kingdom. The king himself made it that way.

To rid ourselves of the disease in our culture we need to look back one hundred years, before the Progressive era. We need to look at what worked then and try very hard to make it work again today. It will not be easy. The Progressives have been in control of government, education and much of entertainment warping and distorting our concept of right and wrong for most of the last one hundred years. It won’t correct in a day. But it won’t correct at all if we don’t start reminding people of a once civilized culture that held family picnics on the White House lawn.

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EDUCATION – A whole new approach for the twenty first century

I am going to suggest something that is far a field of what most who read this would consider. This is not to meant raise the ire of those reading. This is simply for the purposes of discussion. (And a lively discussion is what I expect).

I submit we are educating our twenty first century children with nineteen century methods.

What so I mean? In 1885 we had the Little Red Schoolhouse that had a schoolmarm teaching the three R’s. In one hundred thirty years, as man learned to drive, fly and even go into space; we still have the same thing, only bigger.

If you look at a typical classroom today you will see the teacher standing (or sitting) writing on a screen that transposes the information to a smart board. Look at the room and you will see the students with their heads down staring at their laptops, notebooks or tablets.

So, picture this,  you have fifteen to twenty five people all connected electronically with the teacher who is connected electronically to the smart board.

I pose a question. Why do we need the brick and mortar building?

Why are we putting our kids in a cage for six hours a day? Why do we force them to sit in a germ infested room all day? How many times have you heard the phrase, “It’s going around the school.”?

I have “attended” several webinars. I meet with and learn from people all over the country (and the world for that matter). I interact with them in the same manner as our teacher is interacting with the students in the classroom. I didn’t need to go to a room in a building to learn. Things such as on line webinars are using twentieth century technology. It is still an interaction with a teacher. BUT it is a far and away improvement from the brick and mortar style education we use in public and most private schools today.

I have not even touched on twenty first century technology. With artificial intelligence, a computer program can learn the student’s weak and strong areas and focus on those areas that need more attention. Now the student is self paced and is not held back or dragged forward by others trying to learn the same thing. That can’t be done in a classroom.

This is the way education should be working. It isn’t. Why? I have two theories to kick around.

One – The education establishment (spelled education monopoly) does not like it. It gives the power to choose back to the parent or guardian. The national teacher’s unions don’t like it. It takes power (and dues) away from them.

Two – Today’s parents have become used to a public paid baby sitting service. Tell parents that the school will no longer house students and they will revolt. They want their “free stuff”.

One more point and I’ll let this go to conversation:

Today in the United States of America we are graduating kids who can not read their own report cards. They can not do simple math, such as make change. The public education system in these United States on average is equal with Lartvia, the Slovak Republic, and Lithuania. That is not a shock statement, look it up here: The Programme For Individual Student Assessment results for 2012. It clearly shows that we are not only failing but slipping more behind with each year.

Now before the education lobby get all over me and insists that they don’t have enough money to do it right, I would like to point out that the report from PISA clearly states money is not the issue.

“While the U.S. spends more per student than most countries, this does not translate into better performance. For example, the Slovak Republic, which spends around USD 53,000 per student, performs at the same level as the United States, which spends over USD 115,000 per student.

Just over one in four U.S. students do not reach the PISA baseline Level 2 of mathematics proficiency a higher than OECD average proportion and one that hasn’t changed since 2003. At the opposite end of the proficiency scale, the U.S. has a below average share of top performers.”

I think it is time for our kids to get the advantages they deserve. It is time to “tear down this wall” of education malaise and unleash our kids’ full learning ability. To do that, we need to think in terms and practices of 2014, not 1885.

Published in: on September 24, 2014 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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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

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.

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”.

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!

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. 

STOP SPENDING MY MONEY!!!!

Here is a note I sent to my State Legislators this morning.

Good morning,

 Here’s a place to look when making decisions on cutting funds.  How about cutting off the advertising budget for the South Dakota department of health?

 I am tired of and insulted by these TV commercials telling me that a “force field” will not keep out flu germs!!!  These ads are demeaning, insult our intelligence and a waste of our good money. 

To start with the H1N1 flue peaked in October and there has been no real flu outbreak this winter when compared to others. See the WSJ report on the subject:

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703429304575095743102260012.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsSecond

Tell the Department of Health to STOP SPENDING MY MONEY by killing the funds they use to talk down to me!!!