A revealing scale by which to judge goals and speeches that lately I’ve been applying is what might be called the North Korean Standard (NKS)— as in:
Could this proposal for school reform be made by the Educational Ministry of North Korea?
Could this pronouncement about citizenship be made by a mayor of North Korea?
Yes, the leaders of North Korea want their students to be competitive in math and science and beat the pants off the kids in other nations — And Arne Duncan wants the same. The leaders of North Korea want their citizens to work together effectively and to give
…continue reading the article Using the NKS To Evaluate President Obama’s Ohio State Commencement Speech on Citizenship
In Kettering, during this time of economic recession, the fact that the public is being pushed to approve a new 6.9 mill school tax issue raises the question: Who is in charge of Kettering Schools?
Kettering Schools’ anticipated budget shortfall is testimony to the power, over time, of compound interest. The five year forecast, that justifies the need for a 6.9 mill levy, shows increase in personnel expenses compounded 4.82% each year, for three years. The fact that 86% of the budget goes to personnel means this inflating of salaries carries a huge expense.
One year ago, when Board President, Jim Trent,
…continue reading the article Local Control v Special Interest Control — Who’s In Charge Of Kettering Public Schools?
According to Kettering’s School Superintendent, Jim Schoenlein, in his memo to the Kettering School Board, in previous levy campaigns, Kettering school officials did not address school gatherings and events to build levy support. Schoenlein says he is changing this policy and in this new 6.9 mill levy campaign, Schoenlein, and other school officials, “have been stepping up at meetings, gatherings, and events to say a few words about the levy.”
In his notes to the Kettering School Board, Schoenlein lists all of the school meetings between now and the May 4 election (see page 5), and indicates that because of
…continue reading the article If Pro School Tax Message Is Given Platform At School Meetings, Should Anti Message Be Given Equal Time?
It turns out that some conservatives not only think that government shouldn’t seek to advance social or economic justice, they think that religion should not work for social justice either. Conservative spokesperson Glen Beck is urging Christians to refuse to attend any church preaching social justice.
“I beg you, look for the words ‘social justice’ or ‘economic justice’ on your church web site,” Beck urged his audience. “If you find it, run as fast as you can. Social justice and economic justice, they are code words. Now, am I advising people to leave their church? Yes!”
The idea that a
…continue reading the article Should Christians Boycott Glen Beck?
The framework I’m hanging my hat on, so to speak, is “systems’ thinking.” A systems’ thinking problem solving framework is neither Conservative, nor Liberal. It is scientific. What divides individuals who consider themselves “Conservatives” from those who consider themselves “Liberals,” more than anything, is how they answer the central question of how system purpose should be defined.
The United States itself can be seen as a system, and the general question, both Liberals and Conservatives need to answer, is, How can this system, known as America, be made to work? But, made to work at what? The first question
…continue reading the article What Divides “Liberals” And “Conservatives” Is The Central Question Of System Purpose
In Washington, the State of the Union projected an elaborate show — a conclave of the powerful, acting out an impressive ceremony. From the POV of an anthropologist — say, from the planet Xenon — I’m wondering: What is fair analysis of the big meeting in Washington last Wednesday night?
The Xenonian anthropologist, I’m thinking, in observing the State of the Union crowd, would try to understand: Why, in a great nation of 300 million, does this particular tiny group of individuals have the reigns of power? A brief investigation would reveal that in this tribe everything seems to have to
…continue reading the article The Failure To Reform Health Care Is Another Reminder Of Who Is In Control — The Party Of Money
The leadership of the Montgomery County Democratic Party, it appears, is really not much interested in expanding the Party’s membership. It is all about control. It is all about maintaining the status of special interests.
Last night I attended the January meeting of the Montgomery County Democratic Party. I asked our chairperson, Mark Owens, about publicity for the upcoming Reorganization Meeting. His answer — There has been no publicity, so far. Mark said he had sent out one News Release, but, neither the DDN nor any other news media had reported it.
At the December meeting, I made
…continue reading the article Special Interests Controlling Montgomery County Democratic Party Suppress Expansion Of Participation
“Avatar” takes place 4.3 light years from Earth, in the year 2154. Here is a description of the key premise of the movie from a review:
Intelligent life, called Na’vi, has been found on the moon called Pandora. Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paraplegic Marine from Earth, volunteers to take his recently deceased brother’s place in the Avatar program, which will shift his consciousness into a genetically engineered copy of an inhabitant of the planet.
In other words, the premise of the movie is that within a very short time — only 145 years into the future — technology and science will
…continue reading the article “Avatar” Delivers This Message: The Limit And Hope Of Humanity Is Not In Our Science But In Ourselves
In President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize speech, I hear Obama asking and attempting to answer a fundamental question: “How do we overcome evil?”
The question, “How do we overcome evil?”, is a great way to frame the question of “peace,” because, in the world view of many, what prevents peace in this world is something known as “evil.”
If we believe that it is evil that causes the bad things in this world — poverty, war, hunger, hatred, disharmony, ignorance — then how we define “evil” is of key importance. If it is a supernatural force that causes bad things, then, of
…continue reading the article At Oslo, Obama Asked And Attempted To Answer The Question: How Do We Overcome Evil?
I’ll make a motion tomorrow, December 10, at the 7:30 PM monthly meeting of Central Committee of the Montgomery County Democratic Party (MCDP) — HQ on Wilkinson Street.
Mr. Chairmen, I move that the Central Committee approve an expenditure of $500 for the purpose of promulgating this advertisement: “Notice To All Montgomery County Democrats – We Have Strength though widespread and democratic participation. Please consider nominating yourself to a leadership role in the Montgomery County Democratic Party. This is our year to reorganize. Help us reorganize with strength. To find out more, visit www.montgomerydems.org, or telephone Ms Murphy at
…continue reading the article Let’s Vitalize Democracy In The Montgomery County Democratic Party By Expanding Participation