Saturday, September 26, 2009

Personal Update

I've avoided explaining my light posting hoping that our life would soon revert back to something resembling normal and I could resume soon. However, it looks like we may have a new normal.

Our life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride since Christmas. Back then, my husband, our family's major breadwinner and the patron who supports my community activism, was unexpectedly laid off. A week later he was hired by a former employer (at a lower rate). Two months later he was laid off (at least we had a clue this time). Both layoffs were for lack of work in an specialized industry we now understand is very dependent upon credit being readily available. Within a week he went to work on a commercial renovation project that lasted about six months (at a lower rate again) and has been expectedly laid off.

While I enjoy blogging--it doesn't bring enough to pay the bills and so I've polished up both our resumes. We're both hitting the bricks and pixels looking for work. If you need an excellent finish carpenter, millworker, bass player or a politically busybody mom with great office and administrative skills let us know at

I'll still be able to eek out a few posts now and again but for this immediate season my focus must turn from my passion about educating children and government issues to those people I hold near and dear. I have the blessings of a supportive husband, amazing children and a church family that really does walk closely with us on the journey. They make the journey bearable and worth finishing well. I hope you're similarly blessed.

So, I'll post when I can, when I can't stand not saying something and when I have a few minutes. Thanks for reading and for your patience.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Paper clips say it all

The downside to term limiting presidents is that they can arrange much of this to really hit us when they're safely out of office and completely unaccountable.

Debt is bad. It's that simple. Don't do it.

Hat tip:

Monday, September 07, 2009

Text of Obama's speech to school children

The White House has released the text of Obama's speech to school children scheduled for tomorrow. Pretty boring stuff for the most part.

A couple of snips and comments.

"But I was fortunate. I got a lot of second chances and had the opportunity to go to college, and law school, and follow my dreams. My wife, our First Lady Michelle Obama, has a similar story. Neither of her parents had gone to college, and they didn’t have much. But they worked hard, and she worked hard, so that she could go to the best schools in this country.

Some of you might not have those advantages. Maybe you don’t have adults in your life who give you the support that you need. ..."

Can we go back to that part about how you got into law school?

Moving on--he was fortunate. He wasn't cobbled by a failing public education system--the very place many of these children will be listening from. Agree with what Mrs. Obama taught him or not she was effective in creating a president with a little help from her friends. She saw to it that he went to good private schools and got what he needed to succeed in his world.

Where you are right now doesn’t have to determine where you’ll end up. No one’s written your destiny for you. Here in America, you write your own destiny. You make your own future.

Well, except for the part where I'm selling your future down the drain with 12 Trillion in debt. We've pretty much mapped out a slavery situation for ya there.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. I do that every day.
[Insert your own pithy response to his lack of experience here.]

What we will never know is what the original text may have been had there been no venue for the opinions of concerned citizens and parents.

UPDATE: How many times does he say:

I, me, my = 80
You/Your= 203 (about 10% of the words)

The speech kerfluffle

There is so much more to be upset about in our public education system than a 20 minute speech by Obama and some badly prepared lesson plans. Instead of taking children out, parents with children in public schools should go into those schools for this event. The system can easily work around your child’s absence for this speech. They can easily marginalize you as a reactionary nut for withdrawing your child. By being there you make it clear that you support efforts, from the top down, that encourage your children to value their education. You also make it clear to the system that you're watching them and will hold them accountable.

And then plan on returning over and over again. If you're in the school regularly you will discover so much more that needs your attention and you will have your first person testimony as evidence of the real problems. It’s more important that parents spend time learning what goes on day-to-day than react to a speech from the supervisor of the US Department of Education. When you find excellence reward it, point it out, and encourage it. Otherwise, reveal those teachers and staff that obviously need to be in another line of work. Find the incompetent management of resources. Attend school board meetings and out the regular rubber stamping of the administration. When was the last time your school board actually asked about anyone on the tenure list before approving it? When was the last time they asked a serious question about a contract, a textbook, a new policy? Read your child’s textbook and do some googling about its inaccuracies and/or bias. Find out what’s in those daily lesson plans. What organizations with what POV are your children subjected to while in school? Whether to have uniforms or candy in the lunchroom are such minor and foolish issues to waste the finite educational lives of children on when in loco parentis has allowed the government so much control over children, their minds and their hearts than parents realize.

Parents, if Superintendent of US Schools Obama’s speech caught your attention—great, but don’t waste your time focused on that. Don’t major in the minors. There is real work that needs to be done. Start in your child's classroom and don't quit until people who believe like TN House Rep. Tommie Brown (D-Chattanooga), featured in the video above, are no longer in charge of your family's life.

(Hat tip: Rep. Stacey Campfield for the video.)