Thursday, December 23, 2010

Open Letter to the NK School Committee

To the NK School Committee,

Clearly the US is falling behind globally.  If we expect better scientists we need to improve science education.  If we want more talented engineers and mathematicians we need better math and physics courses.

I would like to ask you if our schools are preparing students to become our best politicians and legislators?  Is the educational system preparing them to become the political leaders our cities, states and country need to succeed in the future?

I can recall as a high school student that the most boring class I took was called 'civics'. Perhaps we are witnessing the consequences of that mistake. Is the school system creating excitement and respect among our students who will become our future leaders?  Are we creating an atmosphere that excites and inspires?

I looked through the online curriculum at the NKHS Social Studies section and found nothing that relates to local government and contemporary local issues. Instead I found history. Certainly important, but it's not anything that will engage students with their real world as it surrounds and effects them today.

Perhaps I've missed something. I would love to be corrected.


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just Wondering

I think of myself as a pretty liberal guy but the Virginia judge had a point when he ruled against the federal requirement that all citizens buy health insurance.  Perhaps the only constitutionally acceptable requirement would be for those people who use federal health insurance such as the VA.

On the other hand those who complain that it is wrong for young people to have to buy insurance so older people can have health care seems to indicate a certain level of, forgive me, stupidity. Do they really not know that is exactly how insurance works? Insurance companies make tons of money by collecting premiums from enough people who don't use it to pay for those that do, plus a tidy little profit.

Still there might be a legitimate constitutional argument against the federal government mandating insurance.

Perhaps instead the federal government can make it a requirement for federal reimbursement for health care contingent on a certain level of mandatory insurance required by those states. If they refuse to require health insurance for its citizens then they will risk forgoing federal reimbursement for health care.

Can't have it both ways.

Maybe It's Just Me.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Maybe it's just me but the placement of two letters to the editor in the Thursday Dec. 2, 2010, Providence Journal caught my eye for two reasons; first, the 'right' position was on the left side and the 'left' position was on the right side. Just a coincidence?

But the second, more important reason was, that here, in two letters, side by side, we see a larger national problem.

One author paints the unions as the victims of greedy corporations, doing the same as they do.
The other author paints the unions as villains out to destroy private enterprise and the public.

The facts suggest that there is truth and blame on both sides.

Public sector unions have made it difficult for municipalities to deliver services that people can afford.  Compared to the private sector, their retirement benefits are most enviable and in some cases rather outrageous.

Their interest ultimately is not for the welfare of the people but themselves.

The corporate world complains that unions make it impossible for them to compete and that the unions are responsible for outsourcing jobs. Still, their profits are the highest in history.

Their interest ultimately is not for the welfare of the people but themselves.

One of the pillars of America is our court system.  It is an adversarial system where justice requires the presence of a judge whose job it is to be sure the rules are followed and fairness prevails, and an impartial jury whose job it is to render a verdict after hearing both sides.

It isn't working well in the public arena. We are the 'jury' but we clearly don't listen openly to both sides of an issue; and the laws, which, like judges, try to assure the rules are followed, have failed miserably, replaced by lobbyists and donations from both sides.

Let us hope that both sides soon wake up and take a hard look in the mirror.