This is just a place for me to put my thoughts and opinions. My intention is not to criticize anyone or to sway the reader's opinion, rather I've published this simply that you might know what I think (should you happen to care).
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It is very popular to talk about the problems we have in our schools in America. Its clear that many children today are not getting the
education they need, but does that mean there's a problem with the schools? No it doesn't.
I was at an IBM conference some time ago, when a discussion about what's wrong with our schools occurred. I let the discussion go on for a while and then said, "My children will get a good education because I will see that they do. I care about my kids and I'll make sure they get a good education." Everyone in the room said, "Yeh, me too."
Then I asked, "What's the difference between my children and your children and the children that won't get a good education? Is it the schools?" Of course the answer is that its not the schools, its, the parents that make the difference.
Now, I'll grant you, that many of our schools leave a lot to be desired. But ultimately, who's in charge of the schools? Its the parents. The parents elect the school board, the parents vote on taxes, but most of all, the parents have to insist that their kids get an education. (back to top)
In Ohio, schools (the school boards and administration) spend a tremendous amount of time raising money to run the schools. I talked with one fellow who had been a school board member for a number of years and he said that he had only once worked on an issue regarding the actual education of children. All the rest of the time, they were concerned with money - how it was raised and how it was spent. That is a crying shame.
The state legislature should set some value per student that each school will receive from the state and then pay that to the school district. That money should come from corporate property taxes (which there should be none collected on the local level for the local schools.) This would provide the basic funding needed to run a schools. Then if parents in a local school district wish to vote themselves a tax increase to be used for their local school, they should have every right to do that.
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I really enjoy funerals, especially for people who lived their lives well. To me, a funeral is a celebration of a life well lived.
A funeral is perhaps the only day in a man's life where everyone speaks well of him. (unless you are Ronald Reagan. The democrats had no problem berating him on the day of his funeral).
I would much rather attend a funeral than a wedding. Solomon was of the same mind. Ecc. 7:2 - "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart."
You can read
about mine here.
(I'm not dead yet.. just what I want it to be)
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I just came through the security check Columbus, Ohio's airport (Nov. 27, 2006). I had a small tube of toothpaste, maybe 3 or 4 ounces, in my shaving kit. The last time I flew, you couldn't take any toothpaste. Now a 3 or 4 ounce tube is OK. Well, not exactly. It has to be in a zip lock plastic bag. The TSA is so generous to provide a little zip lock bag. I asked the lady handing them out, "What difference does that make?" She just laughed. I'm not sure she understood English.
So, how is it that a month ago, it wasn't safe to take any toothpaste on a plane, now its safe to take 3-4 ounces so long as its in a plastic bag? And oh yeah, a year ago, you could have taken a case of toothpaste tubes if you wanted to. My point here, is that this thing is purely reactionary and for appearances sake only. No one has taken any time to attempt to determine what is safe and what is not. The policies are not based on safety, but rather the appearance of providing safety based on reactions to previous attempts to blow the planes up. Its a joke.
The reason it makes me mad, is that they put me through all these gyrations for the appearance of looking safe. If what they were making me do really made things more safe, then I wouldn't have a problem with it, but its all a charade. I don't have a problem with people playing charades so long as they don't force me to play in their stupid games.
Addendum - July 30, 2007 - I recently heard that now it is OK to take a cigarette lighter on a plane. It seems that all the cigarette lighters that were being confiscated were creating quite a problem because they then became hazardous waste that was expensive to do away with. So now its considered OK to take cigarette lighters on an airplane. I guess we want to be safe so long as it doesn't cost the government too much. I recently heard a fellow on the radio say that they should have a basket at the security point for cigarette lighters. People going on could leave them, and people coming off could take one. Seems like a good solution to me.
May 15th, 2008 - More on why I hate it. I flew to Munich a couple of weeks ago. Going through security to come back home, they did not make me remove my shoes, but they did make me put my wallet through the x-ray machine. Backwards from what they do in the states. So what really is the risk? Also, I'm in Jacksonville, FL right now. I forgot to take my pocket knife out of my pocket when I left home and discovered it was in my pocket in the Columbus airport. I threw it into my computer bag with my change and stuff and they never found it. Same coming back through security in Jacksonville. But in Jacksonville, they saw something in my clothes bag and wanted to check it. The guy paws through my bag.. he asks me if I have some eyewash. I say no, I have mouthwash. He see my deodorant gel, and says, "it was probably the gel stick."
When I came through security in Salt Lake City, this TSA nazi makes me take my plastic bag with toothpaste and mouthwash in it, out of my bag. "It has to be out of the bag." I said, "You're the only airport in the nation that requires that." She just looked at me as she took it out of the bag. What a bunch of baloney.
I attended a supposed Bible study last night called Defining Moments. The leader talked for 45 minutes total, the first 35 of which he never referred to any Bible verses. He was just talking about his view on some particular topic. He did eventually refer to some scripture and then went on to pontificate. He never really examined the scripture, that is read it and then ask, "Now what does this say? What does it say to us?" Then we were supposed break down into small groups for discussion. I looked at the questions that were in the book and there were none that examined scripture. They were all questions about what the participants thought. My reaction was, I don't need to hear what these other guys think, I want to look at what the Bible says. And I want to do it in an open and honest way, not filtering it with our preconceived notions about religion. I left.
I became a "trusted traveler" a year or so ago and so I get to use TSA Precheck on nearly every flight. It makes a world of difference in the flying experience. You don't have to take any clothes off. You don't have to get your PC out of your back pack. The lines are always very short if there is any line at all. However, the TSA has started putting people into the Precheck line randomly. This seems to be completely contradictory to the idea of Precheck... that being that some pre-qualification has been done. It is based on the idea that we checked you out ahead of time and so we trust you. So how does the TSA justify putting people through Precheck on a random basis? It seems insane to me.
I don't have a problem with the guy preaching, but please don't promote it as Bible study.