Archive for the ‘Grade school’ category

TARP and Leviathan, The American, A Magazine of Ideas

December 1, 2009

This article will present a plan for recovery and some of the reasons we are in the predicament we currently are in. It is about returning to reprivatization in our economy.

TARP and Leviathan — The American, A Magazine of Ideas.

Why Your Child Has More Homework

November 22, 2009

Do you think the public schools should be teaching your children  who should be elected to public office in this country? What to think about abortion? Many other opinions upon which parents may not agree with the public schools.

We have been aware for sometime that the public schools have a special agenda that is not well know to the parents of public school students. We knew what some of the content included but didn’t know how it was being taught. We knew it was being taught during school hours and the core classes were coming home as homework. Thus the answer to the question, why your child has more homework.

In the regular public schools these classes are called “Critical Thinking” Classes. In one of the surrounding counties the “Critical Thinking Classes” meet every day, yet math, English and other core courses meet only once or twice a week. The rest of the core classes go home to be worked on. Another article indicates that most peers and parents are not qualified to impart “Critical Thinking” skills, this must be done by trained specialists.

If you are in the IB program the classes are called “Theory of Knowledge”. In the IB program the Theory of Knowledge classes are required for all IB participants. IB is a 2 year program which calls these classes “Theory of Knowledge”.

I am not convinced that parents are not qualified to impart “Critical Thinking” or the “Theory of Knowledge” to their children. I think the results would be much different and we would have a much different world. Our children were given to us as a gift from God and it is our responsibility to bring them up and educate them, not to turn them over to “trained” instructors who teach secretive courses. The stuff from these classes never seems to come home, or are parents told what happens in the classes. The names of the classes “Critical Thinking” and “Theory of Knowledge” seem to be something we would like our children to learn, but we need more detail about the content of the courses.

In our private school in Florida we have and are currently using Florida Virtual School because we believe we can avoid these classes. The FLVS is one of the best schools in FL. We can, however, select the class or not. As we use their part-time student offerings our students don’t select “Critical Thinking” classes.

There are groups wanting to get these courses into the curriculum of on-line school courses.

The FCC, Net Neutrality, Property Rights and the First Amendment

October 29, 2009

“The American”, The Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, reviewed a great article written 50 years ago. An economist, Mr. Coase wrote about the Federal Communications Commission and the effect of government regulation on the process. The article covers three of Coase’s points about the problem with government regulation. Mr. Coase’s points are:

“(1)    The existence of a market failure or externality does not in and of itself justify government intervention; indeed, government is often the underlying cause of the problem.

(2)    Government intervention is seldom either administratively efficient or politically neutral; to the contrary, it often results in what Coase called the “mal-allocation” of resources.

(3)    Government control of the economy is a threat to political liberty; for example, government control of the broadcast spectrum has consistently been used to limit free speech.”

These three points appear to be applicable to any project the government takes on. For FCC just substitute Health Care Reform, Cap and Trade, failed Bank and Financial Institutions, etc. The article is applicable to today’s world as it was 50 years ago.

Recently the BBC radio had a 3 part program on conservatism called “Conserve What”. It was basically historical, yet it attempted to place David Cameron, the current head Tory, in line with other Tories like Benjamin Disraeli and Margaret Thatcher. How do Cameron’s principles compare with their principles?

The BBC reached a conclusion about the major differences between Tories (conservatives) and the Socialist, Communist, Fascist groups. That conclusion was that Tories, when they determine the need for change they first assess what they have and then and only then do they start to make smaller changes. The Socialist, Communist, or Fascist changes systems by throwing the existing system out and making broad sweeping changes without regard to the parts of the system that works well. Many people call this throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Thought’s on Capitalism and an Opposing System

October 11, 2009

There is much confusion about capitalism, what it is, and how it works. Dr. Walter Williams, economic professor at George Mason University has a good article to answer these questions. It is a misunderstood economic system that has never been completely tried in the U. S., like other systems tried or in current use in the U. S. we currently have some capitalism, socialism, and a mix of other systems. We might be more clearly defined as a free enterprise system.

The current debate about reforming health care is an exercise by a group of elites setting the priorities for the populace, things they continue doing, apparently because the populace isn’ smart enough to decide what is good for us. Another one of my favorites, uses a childhood story to bring home the point that we are often times better off with what we have than in what our neighbor has that we might think is bigger or better than what we have.

Dr. Sowell uses the childhood story of a dog with a bone in its mouth who crosses a stream walking on a downed tree. Looking down the dog sees a larger dog with a larger bone in the reflection from the stream. He decides that he would like the bigger bone so he drops his bone and jumps in the stream to get the other bone. Of course, the bone he dropped couldn’t be found and so he ended up without a bone.

We may all end up without any bone as well.


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Choosing The Right College

October 1, 2009

Want some information on how to choose the right college? Here are some various helps I have come across.  A really good article is by Thomas Sowell published on Townhall.com. There are quite a few matters he investigates that many people might not consider.

Another columnist considers your child’s education and where it should happen. Walter Williams in this article talks about secondary education.  A couple of comments we really eye opening. One about where public school teachers send their children to school. In Philadelphia 44% of public school teachers choose private schools for their children, in Chicago 38% and Cincinnati 41%. In the U. S. House of Representatives 37% choose private schools, and 45% in the U. S. Senate. The President of the United States sent his children to private school in Chicago and now in Washington DC. Dr. Williams likens this to him taking you to dinner at a restaurant and then informing you that the chef and the wait staff won’t eat in this restaurant.
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Do Big Endowment Fund Losses and Extended Graduation Time Effect Scholarship Levels?

September 8, 2009

A resounding YES to that question.

College endowments have taken big hits this year. Harvard’s  funds and Princeton’s are down 30% and Yale is down 25% according the the “Communique’s” Alexander Green, Investment Director, The Oxford Club. He further stated that their real world returns were probably even worse because their investments are fairly illiquid. Therefore, it is very difficult to fix a fair value and maybe even find a buyer. If these three major  colleges and universities are doing so poorly perhaps no endowment fund is doing any better and most will probably be worse.

What does this portend for college applicants? Lower college endowment funded scholarships is the most likely scenario. If your capital was reduced by 30% you would also reduce your expenditures if you had a choice. Particularly in tough times like now. The last time we had a really bad depression or recession it took about 16 years to recover with the government intercessions. Are we going to do any better this time. The government’s involvement is much greater this time so maybe it will last longer. They seem to be following the policies of FDR which didn’t work until after about 1946 and WWII. Here are the results of a recent economic study that supports the assertion that Obama’ s plan doesn’t work  and is making the same mistake as FDR’s plans.

Not only will the endowment fund losses potentially effect the size of endowment financed scholarship. Another matter that effects your college and university costs that seems to be coming to the front is the time it takes to get a four year or bachelor’s degree. The American Enterprise Institute has published a report on diplomas and dropouts. This a fairly lengthly report and appears to cover most institutions and their record of graduating students with a four byear degree.

Uncle Buck’s Unofficial Review of American History

August 18, 2009

This is an “Education Comments”, blog , but some of you may not be sure that is accurate. My purpose is to not only comment on education “stuff” going on in the public and private sectors, but to try to educate people about some things that are going on in this country and the world. Most of these comments will be critical because there are people in this country who want to tear it down. Actually, there were people who wanted to change our country right after the Constitution was signed.

Part I-  Here are some of the events that have transpired during my lifetime so far.

I was born a year and and few days before Nazi Germany invaded Poland. I don’t believe the two events were necessarily connected.

World War II remembered almost.

Two of my uncles were in World War II, stationed  in Africa and later in Europe.  When they were home on leave and after the war there were family gatherings celebrating their safe return. They usually brought something fr0m the countries they had been stationed in. I don’t remember much about the war except  for VJ (Victory over Japan) day. It was celebrated by people driving their cars to the center of town,  lots of honking of horns,  and the setting off of  firecrackers.

I remember playing war and wanting an army helmet, which I never got. I don’t think my parents were interested in training a future soldier.

Why I Love Pie

During the first few years of my life my father worked for one of my uncles by marriage. The job he had was delivering pies from my uncle’s bakery. Picture this, my Dad delivering pies on a motorcycle with the pies in a pie case in the sidecar. If they were to do the same thing today they would probably be breaking a thousand or more health, business regulations, and other various laws. There are some remarkable stories that have been handed down regarding the motorcycle, sidecar, pie rack and pies being driven on and sliding around on ice and snow. The funny thing is no one ever got hurt on or by the motorcycle or got food poisoning from the pies.

This uncle had a law degree, although, he never practiced law to my knowledge. He was an instructor at the Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana for awhile. He then started the pie bakery and my father delivered pies for him. He was always taking on some branch of government because of their interference with his personal property or personal  rights. I don’t think he was particularly a Democrat or a Republican, but a person whose interest was in a very small government that would not be strong enough to steal property or freedom from it’s citizens.

Were he alive today, he would still be fighting federal, state, and local governments for control of his own destiny. Perhaps he would also be in jail.

During  this uncle’s lifetime there was  a journalist,  H. L. Mencken (1880 to 1956). I first read Mencken several years ago. Mencken has fallen into disfavor with current journalists, if they can be called journalists. Most of today’s journalists really are cheer leaders for the statist government. There does not seem to be any professional reason to disrespect H. L., other than he had low regard for governments and government elected officials or bureaucrats. These people today seem to be held in high regard even though most of them are simply unconvicted crooks. H. L. was a great advocate of very small government, did not support FDR’s  New Deal,  entry into World War I, or W.W. II. I recommend you read some of his writings. We certainly need some of his ideas now. Here are some samples of his writings. Enjoy them. If you don’t like them, maybe you need to lighten up.

Here is a Constitution written by H L Mencken in 1937 for the New Deal. Could have been written just as appropriately for 2009.

More later

Uncle Buck