Monday, February 20, 2012

That ain't workin, that's the way you do it.....

Just in case you get a day off for the holiday, I thought I would give you something to do while you are getting your money for nothing.

Head over to VAT19 , and you are sure to find something to spend all that money on. They have a collection of unusual items, from a punch to make your own guitar pics,
to helium filled remote controlled flying fish,
to Etch-a-Sketch iphone cases
and hundreds of other equally useless but thoroughly entertaining "I want one" sort of things.

And......most of the items have an entertaining little video to go along with it.

Although I am posting this primarily for your entertainment, is an evil corporation intent on doing all it can to lighten your wallet. The items they carry are so irresistible that you may find yourself deprived of all your money, which will soon be lining the pockets of the owners of the website and their employees (who are probably working today).

Thursday, February 16, 2012

And once again

In our country and with our system of government, it is not the political leaders that determine the character and direction of the people. Rather, it is the character and direction of the people that determine the political leadership.

So, the answer for any troubles we might have is not to be found in trying to pick a proper political leader alone.

Here is what someone else said about the matter:

"Is there no virtue among us? If there be not, we are in a wretched situation.
No theoretical checks-no form of government can render us secure.
To suppose that any form of government will secure liberty or happiness without any virtue in the people, is a chimerical idea, if there be sufficient virtue and intelligence in the community, it will be exercised in the selection of these men.
So that we do not depend on their virtue, or put confidence in our rulers, but in the people who are to choose them.

James Madison

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Somebody up there really doesn't like you after all.

Just Received this notice affecting our Charter School Teacher friends. It seems that someone does not like Charter Schools and wants all the Charter School Teachers to quit immediately. If this goes the way the IRS wants it to, states will have no say in this matter any longer.:

"Possible IRS rule change alarms charter schools.

The IRS is proposing changes to the rules for Charter Schools. You have until Monday to comment at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools website:

The issue is this: The regulation would force those charter school teachers who have chosen to be in the state retirement system and are currently contributing to their state retirement plans to quit their charter-school jobs or lose the money that has been contributed to their accounts by the state. Teachers can keep what they've put into the account, but anything the state has put in would be gone.

This is a retroactive action that is certainly unfair and should be illegal.

But apparently the proposed regulation will not be subject to a vote by Congress and is NOT legislation. Instead, the IRS is simply required to use its expertise and experience to come up with the best policies."

Here is a little more information from the Arizona Charter Schools Association:

Protect Charter Teacher's Retirement Benefits

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Old and New

Calling it an important part of Western culture, members of a House committee voted Monday to let schools teach the Old and New Testaments to students in public high schools.

Bill to bring Bible onto High School

I find this kind of interesting and thought I might comment on it.

It is certainly controversial. I am sure some will say something like, "How dare they teach the Bible in public schools! It smacks of establishing a religion and will open the door for those evangelicals to make more converts and send more kids to pray around the flag pole. What is going on with this legislature!"

But, here are some reasons to include a study of the Old and New Testaments:

- The legislature is correct. Without an understanding of the Bible, it is literally impossible to understand many literary references. It also has had an undeniable affect in western civilization, and is difficult to understand the foundational background of our laws, ethos and culture without an understanding of the Bible.

- It is perfectly acceptable to study the tenants of other religions, from the deep held beliefs of the ancient Greeks to the text of the Bhagavad Gita to the tenets of secular humanism. There is no reason to exclude a study of the Bible simply because it's existence makes some people unreasonably angry.

On the other hand

- It is already perfectly acceptable to study the Bible as literature, or as a foundational cultural reference or as a religion. Why does a law need to be passed to implement this? Diane (my lovely wife) attended an Arizona High School not that long ago, and she had a course on the Bible as Literature. Did something shift, besides the volume of the voices of some in the culture, that made it necessary to codify a whole new course? It seems to be a bit of someone feeling the need to make a law about something so they can say they did something. Election season is now!

And a personal bias

I am very much in favor of schools that are "Christian" in beliefs, teachings and practice. I go so far as to say that our public education system, and especially our university's, seem to work hard to indoctrinate the young people in our culture to reject Christian beliefs. So, if you are a parent that wants your kids to learn about the Bible, flee the public school system as quick as you can. Or else do what you can to teach your children what you believe is the truth. If you are otherwise, then disregard my opinion.

And here is a reasonable statement from the ACLU (and some of you find that hard to believe) about the Bible in Public Schools:
The Bible in Public Schools: a First Amendment Guide