Gene’s Nickle

26 November, 2012
The American Civil Liberties Union in New Mexico is trying to change existing state law that requires, mandates, obliges, commands, dictates and directs parents or guardians to send their charges to school every day of the school year. Students who don’t attend school put their parents or guardians at risk of a fine, a jail sentence, or both.
The ACLU believes that it is unfair that teenage parents only have ten days excused absence a semester from school to take their babies to doctor’s appointments and such. They want to change the law to allow these kids to receive 14 days excused absence a semester.
My first question is: why would we not just exempt these immature grown-ups from the entire truancy law? I mean, should your local school district be able to dictate when a parent takes his child to the doctor?
I do believe that a high school diploma or a college degree is an appropriate goal. However, I am not convinced that every student enrolled in our public schools needs to be kept there, especially under the force of law.
Our society has need of plumbers, but plumbers don’t need to quote Keats or Yeats. We need auto mechanics, but mechanics don’t need to discuss String Theory. We need heavy-equipment operators, but heavy-equipment operators don’t need to apply the Socratic Method.
I am sure that by the time a student is fifteen years old, parents, grand-parents, and even teachers know whether matriculation to a university is probable or not. So, why not let these kids apprentice somewhere so they can learn a trade and become a productive member of society.
Which leads to my second question: who actually benefits from such a stringent truancy law?
It is pretty obvious that students are not benefiting from attending school; according to the Washington Post:

“The [SAT] average reading score for the 2012 graduating class was 496, down one point from the previous year and 34 points since 1972.”

Parents or guardians, under the threat of legal penalties and increased property taxes, are not beneficiaries, unless you cynically consider school attendance the same as day care.
Does the school district benefit? Well, the law ensures that the district will have returning customers; it just doesn’t ensure that those customers will receive an adequate product. When the “poor overwhelmed” school district has all of these students, they of course need ever increasing amounts of money.
Do teacher’s unions benefit? You bet they do! By mandating school attendance, you ensure that the largest number of teachers is needed. Teachers equate to dues payers, and that means more money to the union.
I think this move by the ACLU points out how foolish governments or bureaucracies can be when they run amok. The ACLU also points out the foolishness of Liberal thought: a parent taking his child to the doctor’s office for the eleventh time resulting in a grand-parent having to face a magistrate judge is egregious. However, it is okay to do so on the fifteenth time.
That’s my nickle
Gene Brown

Re-examining Facebook

First and foremost, I have to admit that I’m on Facebook. My account is there to try and help promote this blog and my BlogTalkRadio efforts. Perhaps my participation is less than it could be, but then again, you can only devote so much time to all the different social media options that are available to you.

Facebook is often referred to as an online community, but I am beginning to have serious reservations about what that really means. A community is something that people belong to that promotes and supports one’s own circumstances and reinforces other members’ beliefs and principles as well. More important than that, however, community is strongest when its members are relatively local in proximity to one another.
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William L. Garvin: Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

“Aint got no place to lay your head,
somebody came and took your bed,
don’t worry, be happy
the landlord say your rent is late,
he may have to litagate,
don’t worry, be happy…

Bob Marley

There is only one president in USA history that has presided over a budget with a trillion dollar deficit. That is Barack H. Obama. He has the ignominious record of now having accomplished that feat four years in a row. It is very likely that he will make it eight years in a row at his current pace. Since the national debt was $10.6 trillion when he took office and now stands at $16.3 trillion, we can project him leaving office with America over $20 trillion in arrears! He will have outspent George Bush by over two to one! Don’t worry, be happy.
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Gene’s Nickle: Independence

19 November, 2012

Last week’s Nickle discussed the therapeutic aspects of Butter Brickle ice cream.  However, a couple of readers let me know that there is another satisfying form of catharsis:

“Ice cream?  I bought more ammunition!”

Now, this brings to mind a few questions.  First, are they talking about target practice?  I am sure that they enjoy the challenge that comes from putting small holes in a piece of paper over a known distance.  Personally, I know that there is a great deal of satisfaction in displaying the talent of putting several rounds into a small group from a distance of 100 yards or further.

The second question is one of protection.  Are they of the opinion that with the reelection of President Obama, that their possessions, families, and persons are more likely to be taken or endangered?  Without question they do!  If my estimation is correct, and the bulk of Obama’s support came from citizens who believe they are entitled to goods and services just because they want them. There is every reason to believe that those folks won’t be satisfied with only government hand-outs, they will covet the possessions of private citizens as well.
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Downward Mobility and the Welfare State

I’m loath to attribute liberalism to the downward spiral of civilization and a purposeful rise in the welfare state. No one, I repeat, no one can possibly ascribe to an ideology that is predicated on the complete collapse of civil society.

So, what is it? Why does liberalism and it’s kindred cousin, Marxism, continue to pursue policies that seem to work against their own interests and that of society at large? Why is there such a lurch to accept government-run programs that seem to reinforce bad choices on the part of its beneficiaries?

A recent article by Russ Douthat of NY Times suggests that liberals are just now beginning to examine what the effects of their policies really are.
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The Roderic Deane Show: The Benghazi Head Fake

Following is the monologue from today’s show:

Have you ever heard the expression “Something is something rotten in Denmark”? Well, I’m here to tell you there’s something rotten in the White House and it’s name is integrity. I’ve talked about Benghazi on several past shows, but this subject continues to rear its ugly head again and again. As far as I’m concerned, it can continue to be a topic until we receive answers on what really happened.

What I find very disturbing is the pattern of deceit and obfuscation that continues to pour out of the Obama administration. Do you like that word, obfuscation? It means this, according to Dictionary.com:

“The act or an instance of making something obscure, dark, or difficult to understand.”
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Gene’s Nickle: Time for Ice Cream

12 November, 2012

In order to assuage my near desolation brought on by the election, I decided to purchase a carton of Butter Brickle ice cream.  As I was checking out, the cashier bemoaned the fact that the hands on the clock had seemed to stop.

I have a reputation, rightly deserved, for enjoying teasing.  So in my best faux-empathy voice, I said, “Wow, you will be here allllll night.”

Her shoulders sagged, and the practiced professional smile evaporated.  The customer behind me was unloading her cart but came to the cashier’s defense and said something about me being mean.  Now it was two against one.   SWEET!
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William L. Garvin: Remaking and Marketing the GOP

Now that the election is over and the American people have spoken, it is clear that the Republican Party needs an extreme makeover in order to become “culturally relevant” and acceptable to today’s electorate. First of all, you have to scrap all that Judeo-Christian stuff. All of that talk about Heaven, Hell, and Jesus makes people uncomfortable. Exile God from the platform, the government, and the country. As for sin, that’s such an outmoded concept. Why shouldn’t I be able to do what I want to do without being judged by others?

You need to have an updated, culturally relevant Bible. When it says to honor your father and your mother, it needs to address two fathers or two mothers. The idea that marriage is between one man and one woman is so quaint, so old fashioned. It’s just one of many lifestyle choices. That “life begins at conception” stuff also has got to go. Since we’re entitled to life, liberty, and happiness, terminating that “tissue mass” which would be inconvenient to my contemporary lifestyle shouldn’t be any big deal.
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