Thursday, May 31, 2007

Top of My Head Thoughts...

Just a random bit of thoughts...

First, I had dinner last night with a friend of mine, Daisy. Really sweet lady and, as usual, we have a wonderful time. We ate at this little place on sixth street, the something I can't remember bistro. (It's where What About Me used to be). I highly recommend the place. Order a High Society -- I just taught the bartender how to make them.

Next, what is up with gas prices? Seriously, why is it that the oil companies are the only company on earth that makes huge profits when they have a shortage? I understand all that supply and demand stuff, but it stands to reason that if you only have so much to sell, even with raised prices, you shouldn't be making billions in profit. Further, I looked it up -- gas prices have risen a dollar since the end of Feb. That's just ridiculous, especially since, last time I looked, the price for a barrel of oil has gone down.

And, why hasn't there been a new refinery built in this country in the last 30 years? That could help them out.

We have a serious issue in Iraq right now, but both sides are completely wrong. We don't need to announce a withdrawal date. I'm sorry, but it just plays into the hands of our enemies over there. On the other hand, when will the administration start listening to the military instead of micromanaging the war? And, here's something to keep in mind... During WWII, we lost approx. 1 out of every 15 soldiers. In Vietnam, it was 1 out of every 1500. Now, it's 1 out of every 15000. That isn't a great comfort to those families who have lost someone (and my heart goes out to them), but we aren't losing as many soldiers as people think...

What we are doing is not taking care of the survivors. Let's stop fighting in Congress and realize what's truly important -- that our VA's are properly staffed and funded to take care of American's wounded heroes. It is disgusting that we do not take better care of our Veterans. I don't want to hear about who's at fault, because we all are, let's just join together and fix it.

On a lighter note, I heard that someone wants to build a waterpark in Racine. Well, let's have at it! What a terrific idea! A nice place for some much needed family fun! Let Kenosha have it's Casino, let's build a waterpark!

God Bless!

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who's in charge?

Sorry I haven't been around lately, I've taken a new job and it's kept me a lot busier than my last job. Anyway, moving on...

This weekend I read an article in the Racine Journal Times about Joe Christensen, a sixth grade social studies teacher at Jerstad-Agerholm Middle School. Apparently, for the last four years (and with permission from the School Board), he has been showing the mini-series, "Roots", to his students. The idea being that then the students trace their own roots afterward. Further, before showing the mini-series, Mr. Christensen requests parental permission. Four years ago, he requested and received permission from the School Board as well to show the film.

But, now, the bullheaded School Board is saying that Mr. Christensen was suppose to request permission every year from the Board to show "Roots". And, they won't let him.

The project seems like a great idea to me.

The sixth grade curriculum is suppose to be geography. I can see how tracing your family's roots can tie in, even if the Racine School Board cannot. For example, my mother's grandfather came to this country from County Cork Ireland in the mid 1800's and settled in New York and eventually Chicago. All places I can find on a map. My father's great-grandfather, Henry, came to this country in the 1840's with three of his brothers. The men settled in Missouri and southern Illinois. Again, places I can find on a map.

Learning your family's history in this day and age of divorces can give a child a sense of pride and belonging. Having an innovative teacher make it an assignment gives a kid a reason to enjoy school. It makes learning more than just rote memorization.

But the Racine School Board is full of people who just don't get it. Just see the articles in the Racine Journal Times about the rules they want to pass to limit dissent and take discussions private.

But, getting back to Mr. Christensen, parents came to the recent School Board meeting and supported him. But, our School Board is going to ignore the people who pay their salaries and stand by their ruling.

So, I say, let's recall them, every last one of them. They -- as a collective group -- have proven in recent months that they don't care what taxpayers and parents want. They want to take meetings private. They don't want us to know what goes on in meetings. They don't want dissent among the members of the board. They don't want to listen to the parents about what they support.

So, here I am, in public declaring my dissent. Let's recall them and put in people who have some common sense.

God Bless

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