Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ category

“and here is the rest of the story,” about Pastor Jones and the Ground Zero Mosque

September 19, 2010

As Paul Harvey used to say, “and here is the rest of the story” .  Actually, it probably isn’t the total rest of the story, there is probably more government interference to come Pastor Jones’ way.

If you have been following the Ground Zero Mosque story you know part of the story about this Florida Pastor and his small flock. There are attempts to discredit and marginalize him and his flock mostly by those who are at best, marginal themselves. They have called him an idiot, a pinhead, and that was only by those on the right.

If you read the article by Diane West below you will see the heavy hand of the US Government written all over this story. At least on Pastor Jones side of the story.

The shoe that is yet to fall is probably a tax audit to make sure he (Pastor Jones) is not violating the rules for the tax exempt status of his small church. No doubt some lawyer or CPA suggested that he should incorporate his church rather than use some other form for his church. The sad truth is that if you ask the governments in this case the state for a corporate (fictious name) the state now controls if you may exist or not and applying to the Fed’s for non-profit status allows the Fed’s to impose any rules they see fit. In this case you can be shut down by the state (FL) or the Feds.

This reminds me of a Christian financial counselor, Larry Burkett.  We listened to his radio shows and attended a few of his seminar’s over the years. Larry passed in 2003 from cancer, I believe his ministry is being carryed on by a group named Crown Ministries. Anyway, Larry was one of those counselors who seemed to have the normal interpretation of the Scripture concerning obeying governments. Without quoting the specific Scripture it has to do with the instruction to obey governments because they are instituted to do good.  The actual quote does not tell us what we are to do with governments that are instituted with the intent to do bad. That maybe the subject of a future blog post. To continue with Larry, he did have an epiphany later on because the IRS did a complete audit of his non-profit ministry. The story goes that they looked at every scrap of paper and questioned each one for the period under audit. Now the IRS has a number of agents who if they aren’t auditing Larry Burkett they are auditing someone else thus you could say with some degree of truth that it costs the IRS no more or no less to audit either Larry Burkett or GM. But, that is not true for Larry, this audit required thousands of dollars to pay his staff to help reconstruct transactions and all that was involved. GM has a full-time staff to handle audits which probably occur on a yearly basis for them.

After that audit Larry did not appear as friendly towards government intrusion into citizen’s affairs as he had before. I always figured that Larry got on the wrong side of some government official or agency that had the power to institute an IRS audit and that is probably what happened.

Diana West: Demonizing Pastor Jones also means denigrating his rights | Washington Examiner.

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Going “green”

May 30, 2010

This article and some of the comments are very good.  They expose some of the beliefs (as opposed to facts) of a certain movement. Enjoy the article, John Stossel is always a good read.

John Stossel: Going “green” | Washington Examiner.

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.

WHO PAYS MOST OF THE TAXES? YOU DO, BELIEVE IT OR NOT

August 2, 2009

I recently read that 40% of U S income taxes are paid by 4% of the U S citizens and President Obama keeps talking about the top 5% of taxpayers who he is going to make pay for everything for the rest of us.

I am not sure those figures are really correct. Income taxes are paid by many different entities such as corporations, some non-profit organizations, and certain other entities that are not people. There is also some information going around that claims that 95% of the citizenry don’t pay any income taxes or if they do won’t have their taxes raised one dime. See the New York Times article for some serious comments from the left and the right. Perhaps these statements are correct as far as they go.

There are many names for taxes in the United States and the various States and many ways for them to be assessed. You can avoid some of these taxes by not using or consuming the article on which the tax is imposed. By not smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages,  using other products that have excise taxes, etc. you can avoid excise taxes.

One of the greatest proofs of who pays the tax is the sales tax. Sales tax is always paid by the last consumer and there shouldn’t be any question about that.  Buy something that requires sales tax and you prove my point.

Let’s consider a slightly more complicated purchase and how tax might be applied and who ends up paying the tax.

Let’s assume that all the parts of this product are made and sold by companies that make a profit. The other day we bought a lawn chair for $19.96 to use on our patio. This particular chair has plastic feet and drink holders which are formed from an oil by-product. For this small part of the chair we have the tax on the sale of land on which to drill,  tax on companies that explore for oil, tax on the manufacturing company that makes and sells the feet.  The frame is some kind of steel, the frame would incur taxes on the land bought for mining, the mining company that mines iron and any other products from mining to make steel, then there is the company that turns the ore into steel tubing or sheets. There are net seats and net backs sewn into cloth seats and backs so that there is air flow through both areas. Made from the same cloth material is the bag to store the folded chair. I am beginning to get tired of this so I will just state that we still need dye for the cloth, netting, and the storage bag, the thread used to sew the cloth, netting, and bag together, paint for the steel frame, the steel grommets that allows the seat and arms to slide up and down and other miscellaneous parts and supplies.

If the federal corporate tax rate is 50% based on all the profit from all these companies, and the profit is 25% of all the combined selling prices there is a calculated total federal tax on this chair of $19.96 X 25% = $4.99 and a tax rate of 50% = $2.50. The $2.50 does not include sales tax which in this case was $ 1.40.

Assuming that the above rates are somewhat accurate we paid $21.46 including sales tax and federal tax of $2.90 or 13.5% taxes paid by us as a consumer on this one item.

Think about how much “hidden” tax you are paying and how much more would you like to pay?

“Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber”

July 23, 2009

Dr. Walter William’s article (the above title is his) reminds me of some of the reasons we have become involved in the education process. Our involvement started when our sons were in grade school. We were living in “Middletown USA” (for those of you old enough to remember where that is).

Middletown has a teachers college (from which I graduated), and at that time produced more teachers for our children than any college except Columbia.

While driving through the campus I caught a broadcast from the college radio station where a student was interviewing an assistant dean of the school of education. The college official being interviewed had input into what the student teachers were being taught about what they should teach your children. The schools at that time were pushing a math method called “new math”. They continue pushing this, however, they change the names of the classes. The student asked the college official what was wrong with the “old math”? The college official answered, “There are those of us in the education community who think there are needed social changes in the USA and the quickest way to bring about those changes is to lessen the influence of the parent over the child”.

Many of you may have taken “new math” classes or the same thing with a different name.

We run into people who have had to participate in these classes during their public school student careers. We meet these people as we interview students and parents for enrollment in our private school in Florida.

Why does Dr. Williams call this generation the, “Dumbest Generation”? I think it is not because the members of that generation are especially dumb. His article uses some test scores to determine that this generation is the dumbest. What has caused the test scores to be so low. Of course, the test results are determined by the questions asked and the students exposure to those subjects while in school. Could it be that the tests do not test what has been taught? We know that some of the tests have been “re-centered”, that means to add points to the student score to keep the scores higher. Another reason could be the mandatory subjects that are covered, but do not belong in the typical core course categories.

At a meeting in Florida with one of the testing companies the public school teachers were complaining about the ten subjects that they had to teach along with all the regular classes. The two courses that were mentioned most were “Anti-bullying” and “Aggressive Girls”, these are real money makers for the people who produce the course material. These courses do not come home with the student to complete, that is why public school students have more homework each day. Many parents and students we interview complain about the loss of time to do extra curricular activities or family activities due to new greater amounts of home work.

Dr. Walter E. Williams, who is on the faculty of George Mason University as a John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics, an author, a columnist, and other activities. Dr. Williams article below was published on Townhall.com

Walter E. Williams : Dumbest Generation Getting Dumber – Townhall.com .

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June 16, 2009

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Education Comments

Character Assassination for Political Advantage

June 14, 2009

Have you heard that “Saul Alinsky taught two generations of American leftists” a quote from the article linked to below.

Why bring this up? Alinsky’s name comes up a lot and I wondered who he was or is and how has he influenced our country and our values. As an education blog we have a chance for a little education.

This article gives examples of some of his teaching and how it has been used by the Clinton’s against Obama and others.

Certainly the Clinton’s are not the only users of Alinsky’s teaching. Learn and enjoy.

American Thinker: Comedy, Bullies, and American Politics.