Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Girls State - Boys State

Last evening, September 25, 2012 The American Legion, Post Three in Macon, Georgia hosted the participants of the 2012 Girls State and Boys State.  After a catered meal the participants spoke of their experiences while attending this event.  I recall that each spoke that the experience was a "Once In A Life Time" opportunity for them.  In addition they expressed gratitude to their respective Families, their School and to the American Legion Post and the American Legion Auxilliary for sponsoring them to this week long event.

The participants sponsored by the American Legion Post Three and the Auxilliary were from the following schools in Bibb County:

Central High School - 1 Boy and 1 Girl
Rutland High School - 1 Boy and 1 Girl
Stratford Academy - 1 Boy and 1 Girl
First Presbyterian Day School - 1 Boy and 1 Girl
Westside High School - 1 Boy
Mount DeSales Academy - 1 Boy

The following is a list of statements that I recorded as these High School Seniors addressed us and summed up their experience at Boys State or Girls State 2012:

  • The experience instilled pride in our Country
  • One Goal - Trained them to work for the betterment of our United States of America
  • The Opportunity to make new Friends from all over Georgia
  • Learned about State Government
  • Learned that Citizens have an important role in the Community.
Participants in either Boys State or Girls State have demonstrated excellence in their academic endeavors and have potential for Leadership roles in the future.  They are nominated by their respective High Schools after completing their Junior Year of High School.  They are then selected by the sponsoring organization and their attendance is funded by that sponsoring organization. 

At the conclusion of each Boys State and also Girls State, each elects a Senator from their State to attend "Boys Nation" or "Girls Nation." 

I was impressed by the speeches that were presented to the Members of the American Legion and the Auxilliary last evening.  These Scholars represented themselves, their respective families and their schools in an excellent manner.

  Well Done!!!! to each and every one who attended the 2012 Girls State or Boys State.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

During the course of almost every campaign where someone is running for any office, be it local, state or nation the candidates always discuss education and the importance of an excellent education for our future adult citizens.

Except for the people who run for their respective school boards there is little discussion and even action by other candidates once they are elected.  Yes, they may continue to talk about education which makes great sound bites for the local, state or national media; however they rarely generate appropriate policies to improve education.

While I reside in Bibb County Georgia I am also aware that providing an education for the future adult citizens in every county/school district in the United States of America is a challenge for every elected Board of Education. 

What I am suggesting today is we really do not need more talk about improving education; we need action and action now. 

From my own past I have fond memories of education in a one room country school in Jefferson Township, Clayton County, Iowa as you can see from the picture below.

Some may suggest that I was the Teacher's Pet.  I am the one standing next to her; however I can assure you that this was not the case.  I was most likely the most challenging Scholar she had to teach.

I will be the first to admit that education is vital and very important for everyone in the World We Live in.  We must teach our scholars for the job opportunities of tomorrow.  That stated, I am also aware that we much teach our scholars the basics. 

I have never been made aware that the sum of two plus two is different than four.  The basics such as math, reading and readable writing is a necessary foundation for all peoples everywhere. 

I recently was informed that the SAT scores of our current High School Scholars in reading comprehension has dropped.  While I am not an educated education scholar I would suggest that we must place emphasis on reading and writing complete papers.  Texting and the other current forms of communication are great ways to communicate with friends and peers; however if we are to regain our status in the World as regards "work ready graduates for the employment opportunities of the future" we must educate in the basics and also the essentials.

There must be no excuses for the shortfalls we currently see in our education endeavors.  We must all work together to achieve excellence.  We must all be aware that excellence in education may not require vast sums of expenditures of funds, but an emphasis on what is important.

Educators should be allowed to educate.  Parents must be required to discipline their own offspring.  We have all taken a back seat to discipline and just about let our Children rule the roost.  We are currently suffering the results of the past and current "hands off of children" as regards discipline.

Children need to be allowed to suffer the consequences of their bad/inappropriate actions.  The task ahead is filled with major challenges; yet we can, we must do better.  We simply cannot ignore the problems of today, or even think that by spending more money for and in education endeavors will result in the needed improvements.

We must set moral expectations and appropriate standards and work to insure that the expectations and standards are met.  Yes, I know this is no easy task; but one thing is for certain, if wait much longer the challenges will be even more complex/almost impossible to overcome.

I would submit that the last thing we need is more talk.  We need to be actively involved in education and educational matters.

Not only School Boards, but every adult, every elected official and every educator.  Note that Parents are vital, all Adults are vital, all Teachers are vital and all Elected Officials, including every offical at all levels must work together to achieve the results our Future Adult Citizens need.

We simply need more than the U. S. Department of Education and the myrid of employees they have.  We need grass roots action by everyone who is an adult.

Thanks for taking the time to read this Post.  Hopefully you will become involved today, note I stated today, not tomorrow!!!!

By the way the eight scholars in the picture with this post were from two families.  There were four from each family.  We have all went on to achieve successful lives in the communities where we currently reside.  Two served in our Countries Military and others were involved in the fields of Agriculture and Agribusiness.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

2012 Democrat
National Convention
Charlotte, North Carolina
4 September 2012

Today I post my summary of Day 1 of the Democrat National Convention.  Just as I did during the recent Republican Convention I will post what I heard and noted.

I watched the Former President, Jimmy Carter Video and heard this:

  • We need to elect a President who shares your dreams.
  • A Dream - A Health Care law.
  • Our current President has restored our reputation overseas.
  • For all that needs to be done at home or aboard, President Obama is who we need!!
  • Our current President is a leader in the Community of Nations.
  • Our problems take more than a quick fixes.
The next speaker I observed was the current Secretary of Health and Human Services.  She informed us that our President stands up for women.

The next speaker was the current Mayor of Chicago.  When he was the White House Chief of Staff he observed our President in action.  We were told:
  • Our President reads ten letter a day from Citizens of the U.S.A. to hear the voice of the People.
  • We must reelect our President.
The Speaker who spoke next was the current Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, Julian Castro.  He told us:

  • As a young proud American he is determined to elect the President of the United States (POTUS) for a second term so America can continue to be great in the 21st Century.
  • America is special because it makes it possible for him and his brother to be successful.
  • Opportunity created today, leads to prosperity tomorrow.
  • The Middle Class is the Engine of Economic Growth.
  • It is every persons dream - Work hard to succeed.
  • Prosperity starts with education.
  • "Our President is Pro Business, Pro Education."
  • We need to invest in young minds to be competitive tomorrow. 
  • When we invest in people, we invest in prosperity.
  • "More hard work yet to do, but we are making progress. 
  • Our President brings jobs back home.
He concluded his speech with the comment to his Mom:  "I'm even more proud of you."

The First Lady, Michelle Obama then informed us that she is Her Husband's Cheerleader.  We were then able to view a video which was followed by a Military Mom, Elaine Bryer.  Here comments were summarized in this sentence:   "Helping Military Families is a top Priority of the President and the First Lady." She then stated that she was proud to introduce Michelle Obama. 

She made the following comments during the course of her speech:
  • How blessed we are to live in the greatest nation on earth.
  • We were then told how our President furnished his first home with a "Coffee Table found in a Dumpster."
  • Dad was so proud to send his kids to College.
  • We learned about dignity and decency.
  • The truth matters.
  • Success does not count unless you earn it fair and square.
  • Treat everyone with respect.
  • Being President does not change who you are, it reveals who you are!!!
  • As President there is no margin for error.
  • Life experiences make you who you are!!
  • Created Good Jobs.
  • Health Care was the right thing to do.
  • Women are more than capable to make decisions regarding their bodies.
  • President Obama knows the American Dream because he lived it.
  • Not about how much money you make; but the difference you make in people's lives.
  • "He has never forgot how he started.
  • "Doing the impossible is the history of this Nation."
  • President Obama is about Giving everyone in this Country a chance at the American Dream.
The First Lady's speech was the conclusion of Day One of the Convention.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Music and the Arts
United Methodist Church
The Twenty-First Season

Take 2
Chenny Gan, Pianist
Bob Barnette, Bass
Jim Blanton, Drums

Sunday, September 16, 2012
4:00 P.M.

I realize that this is a rather long header for a Blog Post; however My Bride and I enjoyed the performance of this Concert.  It was almost a "Standing Room Only" crowd and the concert performance was one hour and forty-five minutes long.  A real pleasure.

The first half of the Concert featured a program by Chenny Gan, a Wesleyan College Graduate, on the Piano.

The final half of the Concert featured the three performing "Jazz" with toe-tapping favorites that everyone also enjoyed.

If you have never attended these monthly concerts I would suggest that you do so at the next opportunity.  The October 28 Concert features an Organ Performance by Edie Johnson and Jason Overall.  Every Concert at Vineville starts at 4:00 P.M.  All Concerts are "Free of Charge."

I would suggest that you visit the Church Website to see the entire schedule:

Please be aware that I post this review as a fellow citizen of Middle Georgia.  I enjoy this type of event and encourage you to also visit one of the monthly concerts.  You just may find out that you appreciate the opportunity to enjoy a late afternoon Concert at Vineville.

United States of America

Teachers Union Strike

I understand that the Teachers in Chicago are on Strike.  Today, September 18, 2012 is the seventh day of school that the Scholars in Chicago do not have the opportunity to learn.

I certainly am concerned  for the Teachers in the Chicago System.  Based on data I have heard in the electronic media I understand that the System has 420,000 Scholars and 26,000 educators/teachers.  That works out to 16.15 Scholars per teacher.

More recent electronic media reports indicate that there are 350,000 Scholars and 25,000 educators/teachers.  That works out to 14 Scholars per teacher.

I also understand that not all of these educators/teachers may be involved in classroom instruction; however the Scholar to educator/teacher ratio is outstanding based on what we often hear - thirty plus Scholars in a classroom in other areas of our Country.

If the above ratios are incorrect, I could quickly surmise that that the Chicago System must be top heavy with management - i. e. educators/teachers involved in the guidance of the classroom teacher. 

I am also concerned for the Teachers in the Chicago System as regards they salary.  I have heard reports that place the average salary from $70,000 to $76,000 per teacher.  It has also been reported that this is close to twice the average salary of a worker in the Chicago area.  I cannot comprehend the low salary for these educator/teachers.  They certainly deserve more than $70,000.00 each year for having to be responsible for the education of a mere 14 Scholars.

I submit this information to clarify the situation.  I suspect that in many School Systems here in the United States of America the teachers would appreciate only 14 Scholars in a classroom and an annual salary of $70,000.00.

Now, to be fair in my post regarding working in the Chicago Area, I can recall that it was as recent as 1960 when I worked for $175.00 a month.  Of course my food and lodging was also provided.  I enjoyed and appreciated this employment opportunity in the Chicago Area, just East of Elgin on Barrington, Road.  Times may have changed a bit since then, but when the average educator/teacher is on strike for more wages and/or benefits when the average citizen of the area may make only half as much certainly indicates to me that somebody somewhere has a misguided sense of priorities.

I suspect that a lot of Americans are asking themselves this question:

Why are the Teacher/Educators in the Chicago System on Strike?  It would appear that they are quite well off!!!!!

Certainly something to consider and give serious thought to as we all think about the current situation of unemployment and lack of opportunity in the United States of America.


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Current Events

Bibb County Georgia
The World

Recent tragic events in the Middle East have caused me to reflect on reasons why this happening.  From my point of view it is an ongoing problem with roots in the History of the Earth from many years.  Recent History where our new President conducted "An Apology Tour" in Egypt and later in other Countries let some people/s know that were enabling their goals to take over whatever they desired.  These people learned that the concept of Peace through Power, which was  first displayed with the deployment of "Great White Fleet" in 1907 was no longer a concept that the United States desired to continue.  Thus the increased "unrest" in the Middle East which we have read about and learned about in our electronic media for the past two years.

I would quickly point out that the "Great White Fleet" was a concept established by our then President, Theadore Roosevelt and the deployment of the Great White Fleet was a fourteen month deployment which traveled around the Earth during a 43,000 mile cruise.  The Fleet was called the "Great White Fleet" because the ships were painted white.  A universal symbol of "Peace."

During my own time in our United States Navy from 1961 through 1981 the U. S. Navy had as a mantra "Power for Peace."  Some may quickly state that we experienced the "Vietnam War" during this period.  While this is true, we will never know what the "Power for Peace" caused other potential enemies of the United States and our Values to remain calm.  The concept of we were ready to defend "Freedom" and "Justice" just may have caused others to not cause problems.

No one can stated that the last two years have been peaceful years in the Middle East.  As I see it, our President's Apology Tour enabled these people/s to commence gross acts against the people/s of their region and even other Nations.  I would submit that today we are viewing and reading about the actions of these people/s because our enabling attitude has given them the freedom to conduct their schemes and achieve their goals - what ever they may be.

Certainly a tragic situation for all peoples everywhere who love Freedom and Justice for all of People Kind.

You will note that the picture that leads this Blog Post is an image of what the completed U. S. Navy Aircraft Carrier to be commissioned the "USS Gerald R. Ford" will look like.  It is my sincere hope and also prayer that once again our Country will be on the forefront of defending the rights of all People Kind who seek "Freedom" and "Justice."  We cannot look for a Peaceful World by allowing any and all peoples who seek out and even wantonly "Kill" their fellow citizens and even citizens of other countries.

So  the enabling aspect of Government and duly elected Leaders has developed an unhealthy atmosphere world wide.  Thus I would suggest that the mantra of the U. S. Navy during the years I served be reestablished for our Great Nation:

"Power For Peace!!"

If you have ever taken the opportunity to read the Masthead of this Blog you will note that I set this up several years ago with the goal of being able to discuss local events, state events, national events and even world events.  This was and still is my goal.

As we here in Middle Georgia review the recent events in the Bibb School System we can also see that the concept of "enabling" has developed into a situation where discipline in the Schools has eroded to the point that we have cuttings, fights and gun related activities happening quite often.  I am not naive enough to think that this never happened in years gone by; however when you read and hear about this type activity on a weekly basis or as recent accounts in Bibb County have displayed, daily tragic events we are all first hand witnesses of what "enabling" has brought to the Bibb School System.

If I understand it correctly, the class room teachers often report inappropriate activity by scholars and the scholar is quickly returned to the class room with out an apparent  consequence/s.  Even more critical, when a scholar commits aggressive actions against a classmate or even a teacher they are often quickly returned to the same classroom.  Of course I could go on and on relative to these situations, however "The Telegraph" this past Sunday did an informative expose regarding the discipline situation in the Bibb System; so I feel there is no need to repeat that information here. 

By allowing rule breakers to quickly return to a classroom with out appropriate consequences quickly lets other scholars know that they can do just about anything and get away with it.  By being soft on appropriate discipline we are enabling the entire student body to realize that "Justice" for the majority is a concept that is meaningless.  The scholars who abide by the rules are suffering because of a the actions of a few and it appears to many that there is no appropriate discipline/consequences for those who break the rules.  Thus others may also realize that no one really cares and they also can commit random acts of violence against others without consequences.

This is where the Bibb System is today.  As I recently heard on a radio broadcast, "The inmates are running the asylum."  This situation does not bode well for the future of Public Education in Bibb County. 

I submit my observations and thoughts about these two situations, one world wide in scope and the other a local in scope situation to simply let it be known that enabling or allowing bad situations to overtake events/situations is not healthy for anyone.  If let unchecked the world situation will only degrade to chaos and if the situation in the Bibb County School System is unchecked the situation will only degrade the future of all of our current scholars and all the Citizens of Bibb County because who organization is going to relocate here or even consider relocating to Bibb County, Georgia.  Additionally, the sad situation in Bibb County will also have a major impact on the entire Middle Georgia economy and the potential for future growth and development.

So I shall close this Blog Post today by reminding all readers that:

 "Enabling Is Not Healthy For Anyone!!!"

Monday, September 10, 2012

September 2012
Second Sunday in the Park
Macon, Georgia

Yesterday, September 9, 2012 My Bride and I attended the concert featuring "The Vespers" at Washington Park in Macon.

During the course of the Concert, which I enjoyed, I also focused on the attendees.  There were:

Kid People
Dog People
Kid and Dog People
Older People
Young People
Middle People

The Kids enjoyed the water feature in Washington Park.  The Older People appreciated the shade.  The Dog People kept their "best friend/s" on lease and everyone enjoyed the cool breeze that swept across the park.  Most everyone brought a Picnic however there was a "Food Vendor" in the park with light meals available for those who desired to enjoy some food with out preparing or obtaining food before arrival at the park.

From my point of view, this was a delightful activity because it allowed the Kids the opportunity to see older people enjoying themselves.  The music was also enjoyable and relaxing. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

2012 Republican National Convention
Final Night
August 30, 2012
Tampa, Florida

Yes, it has been a few days since the conclusion of the 2012 Convention, therefore I will post my observations gleaned from the copious notes that I took that evening.

Clint Eastwood informed us that is is never a good idea for an Attorney to be President anyway.  Maybe we need a business man.  The most impressive statements that Mr. Eastwood made, from my own point of view was:  "We own this Country!!"   ""Politicians are employees of ours!!"  "When somebody does not do the job we gotta let them go!!"

Marco Rubio asked for prayers for Cuba, so that they can  also have Freedom and Liberty.  He spoke boldly of his Grandfather.  He also informed us that he was an American and that as an American there was no limit as to how far he could go.  We are Blessed!!!  People come to America to get away from the tired, old ideas.  Hope and Change has become Divide and Conquer.  "This Election is about your future, not his!!"

He also stated:

"Every Person has God Given Rights!!"
"We should be free to go as far as we can!!"
"In God We Trust, We have Faith in our Creator!"

Mr. Rubio concluded his remarks with this statement:

"We are Special, dreams come true here in the U. S. A."

Mitt Romney was the final speaker of the evening.  The Convention theme "We Believe in America" was on display as the Republican Candidate for President of the United States of America made his remarks.

"Experience is Essential"
"In America We celebrate Success"
"Restore the Promise of America"
"America needs Jobs"

Presidential Candidate Romney then spoke of his Five Point Plan:

  1. By 2020 be Energy Independent
  2. Give our fellow citizens the skills they need to acquire a job
  3. Make trade work for America
  4. Insure that every job creator that their work will not be in vein. We will balance the budget
  5. Champion small business
  His final promise to the convention: "Repeal /Replace Obamacare to help you and your Family!!!"