Friday, February 20, 2009

What is inside you?

Do you have the items it takes to be a citizen of America? Do you have the desire to be a part of this wonderful experiment?
Morals and ethics, the strength of any society must be passed on by each generation with VALUE/MEANING.
My son and I were taking trash to the dump. He is moving to Hawaii. We were talking about the different cultures. He related a story to me about a buddy that visited Tokyo last year. During his visit, he got off the subway and found that he had lost his wallet, funds and all. Fortunately, he had his passport. He looked everywhere, but could not find it. Finally, he went to the police and asked if someone had turned it in. Their response was, "Have you checked with lost and found at the subway terminal?" He had not thought of doing that, so we went back to the terminal and asked if they had his wallet. Yes, they had his wallet, funds and all. Someone had turned in his wallet. A nice gesture, a daily occurance in Japan. Their upbringing would not allow them to even think of keeping the wallet or its' contents. Their parents instill what is right and wrong and the community backs it up. They could not live with the shame such an event would bring upon them and their family.
America used to be like that. The values of right and wrong were deeply instilled with our heritage, until the past 20-30 years. It is now fashionable to rip people off, take advantage of the weak, use the faith people place in stock brokers to their advantage (The Murdoff scandal $50 Billion) real estate developers, bankers, financiers, the very wealthy, America is becoming the scam capital of the world. We need to become a part of bringing back strong character building. If you know what you are about to do is wrong, don't do it. Would you like it done to you? Our judicial system is being "used" by the bad guys. The good guys have a difficult time receiving a fair hearing/trial. A lawyer isn't worth his salt if he can't get you off of a DWI, SOMEWAY. What ever happened to just pleading guilty and taking your medicine? What about the people that drink and drive, receive multiple-DWI's then end up killing an innocent? THEN instead of throwing the book at this person, the lawyers/court system allows him probation, shortened sentence, whatever. How do the relatives of the dead person feel? THE SYSTEM DOESN'T WORK.
Many people have fought against the system to right the wrongs. Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, or MADD, have valiently won a battle against the establishment and have brought some sanity to the drunk driver issue. Probation, but with a system hooked up to the car, that requires the person to take a breathalizer test before the car will start. This kind of change was brought about by people fed up with the system and diligently working for change. Attending meetings, protests, writing legislation, getting signatures on petitions, contacting those in authority and making pests of themselves, NOT ACCEPTING NO FOR AN ANSWER.
Yes, it takes a lot to be an educated citizen in a democratic republic. What do you think you can do to change things?
There are some who think that the infusion of the diversity of peoples that have immigrated to America over the past 20 years , many from third world countries, used to much less bounty, think it is okay to break our laws, not have loyalty to America, get ahead at any price, including criminal activity. People who accept jobs in our retail stores do not see the need to learn our language and customs, product information to help the customers, be punctual, don't be absent for any "reason" or "blue flu", just because they don't want to come into work, but demand the "pay" they are supposed to receive. Customers still gravitate to those stores that have clerks that know what they are talking about and can help.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hollow adjudication

I attended a court action this morning. It was a matter of a zoning violation. Many people supporting the plantiff were in attendance, fully expecting the matter to be settled so everyone could be done with it. Legal maneuvering occurred that enabled the defendant to have the court move the hearing to an alternative date. This gave the defendant more time to settle the matter outside court.
It also took the wind out of the sails of the plaintiff's support. Will that many people be in attendance for the next court date? Maybe, maybe not. It is an example of how people use the legal system to lean things in their favor, perfectly legal--Hollow adjudication, it looks great--solid on the outside, however, the inside is "Hollow". Amazing. It is something you need to prepare for in our society. Perservance--a necessary item in a democratic republic!!

What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895...Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS - 1895 Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications

3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph

4. What are the principal parts of a verb?

Give principal parts of 'lie,''play,' and 'run.'

5. Define case; illustrate each case.

6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?

4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.

6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.

7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?

8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849,1865

Orthography (Time, one hour)[Do we even know what this is??]

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication?

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.

4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.' (HUH?)

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.

8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.

8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying 'he only had an 8th grade education' a whole new meaning, doesn't it ?! Also shows you how poor our education system has become and, NO, I don't have the answers!

This was just sent to me via e-mail. I thought you all would get a kick out of it. What are the questions mostly about? Anyone up for the challenge to get the answers? You don't have to take everything, just take a question, or two, or more. After we receive all the answers I will publish the answers for all to have. How did you like the photo of the graduating class of Salina, Kansas, 1895? What career path did they have before them? If most of the questions are concerning that career path, shouldn't our educational system have most of our questions oriented towards the career path's of the day--and how to acheive them?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How Governmental agencies can help citizens

Becoming an educated citizen in the U.S. society needs assistance. The electorate, registered voters, do not necessarily have time to attend refresher classes about governmental entities. National representation questions by citizens usually entails writing, either using cursive handwriting, typewritten, or e-mail , phone conversations, or personal discussions with representatives or their staff. The web site for the Congressmen is usually helpful in the bills their representative or senator is sponsoring and his reasons. They are staffed with plenty of people who can see to the needs of the constituency (the voters within their specific congressional district or state) and respond with proper responses. Some items actually get to the elected official. Congressmen actually have machines that copy their handwritten signature to make it look like they signed the return letter, usually the answers are within computer data banks and the staff insert the response and the signature is applied via the machine. To attend a Congressional Meeting, you need to send ,many weeks in advance, to your representative or senator for passes to the gallery on the day you desire to attend. The staff members will either mail your passes, if there is enough time, or have them at the Congressman's office for you to pick up.
The state level is less difficult to contact legislators and attend committee and legislative meetings. Each state is different.
Local government is a little more difficult and requires more attention to detail. If you check their web sites you will find licensing requirements, how to pay water bills, how to register for Parks and Recreation classes, how to get a building permit, how to report street maintenance problems, etc. What they don't tell you is such items as How do you get something on the Agenda at a County or City Council meeting? How to initiate,if you can , a rule or regulation. What State ordinances apply and how to get copies? What does it take to speak to the council?
Governmental personel are not very excited about allowing the public to know this information. That is their way of eliminating people who may be opposed to what the council is trying to get passed. People are basically timid. If they have to jump through too many hoops they will just walk away and not try to oppose whatever it was they were opposed to.
I would like to suggest that Local government entities establish checklists on their websites that would walk citizens through these type of items so citizens would not be intimidated as much by all the "red-tape" placed before them to talk to the council., etc. These checklists need to be clear enough and easy enough to follow that a "normal" citizen could follow them. When employees are writing these checklists, they have common terminologies they use in the office all the time, but a normal citizen doesn't. So, the explanations need to be in the most basic format, perhaps defiining words when needed. These check lists need to be present at the front desk, easily seen, for citizens coming into the office. These employees also need to remember that citizens are the ones' paying their salaries and are to be respected at all times.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Political cartoons say it differently

The Stimulus package proposed by President Obama is getting closer to signing and going out into the economy to help stimulate our economy.
The most surprising aspect of the Congressional movement towards passing this bill has been the lack of support by the minority party, Republicans. President Obama has made numerous overatures; visiting Congressional Republicans in Congress, having them over for an informal evening at the White House, discussing various options with them on an individual basis, none has worked. When the House Bill came to a vote, none of the Republicans voted for it: so much for Bipartisanship. When the Senate Bill came up, only 3 Republicans voted for the bill. The Republicans are not aiding the attempt to help the American Citizens.
The Arizona Republic editorial cartoonist, Steve Bensen, put out a cartoon in today's paper that said it all. He had a man named "W" with a chain saw just finished cutting down a tree named "The Economy" with W saying, "There, try to fix this one" The Republicans took 8 years to ruin our economy, and will not aid in getting it back on track, even when asked to help. Obama was only asking them to help, not blaming them, which he could have done for it is true, only asking for them to aid our economy get back on track. Instead they come back with weak responses such as: "Tax and Spend", "They're spending our children's future". I don't think they have looked in a mirror lately. Isn't there something about two wars costing over $1Billion per month, of money that is OFF BUDGET, yet threatening our children's future, or something about at the beginning of the 43rd Presidency he was handed a very large surplus and left with AT LEAST $1 Trillion deficit and continuing to grow--the list can go on and on. All Obama did was extend his hand in fellowship so America could see that everyone is working towards correcting the situation, it just didn't happen. That's okay, Obama already has the votes--and the way things look, the next election in two years there are going to be more Democratic votes in Congress.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Doing the right thing, even though no one is watching.

Doing the right thing, even though no one is watching is at the heart of character building. America has spent 230 years instilling character into it's citizens. For the most part, to receive a planning approval at city hall, you don't have to bribe the official, or two or three others prior to the final person. When we hire people to be in our governmental structure they are to adjudicate the rules and regulations as written, not bend the rules to help someone have an advantage over all others. Fair play for all citizens is the rule, not the exception.
A prime example in today's news is the Wall Street Bailout by Congress. When Wall Street financiers asked for an injection of money to save the financial world of the USA, Congress believed they needed to act quickly to save the U.S. economy from failure. Congress passed a bill in unheard of time and the President immediately signed it. That is what the American people wanted, Congress and President responded quickly and fairly.
It is now coming out, that Wall Street is not putting those funds into saving the financial world by getting the funds back into the economy to save it--they are hoarding it, buying up weaker banks and paying their executives excessive "bonuses". One executive received $11.7 million in bonus funds and stock options. Wall Street has not played "fair", by the rules, nor following the intent of Congress. Their actions have infuriated both the executive and legislative branches and worse than that--you the public. Perhaps, the financial world has a short memory. They have already forgotten that President Obama was put into power by people who were fed up with those in power, both in government and the free enterprise system, who took advantage of the publics' "fairness" and trusting nature.
People keep anger inside. One definition for depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.
People get depressed about constantly being taken advantage of by those who should be watching out for them.
People are getting angry by having someone receiving an advantage over them simply because of their ethnicity, the color of their skin, their gender, their religious beliefs, the list goes on and on. Remember my earlier statement, "When Obama was elected, victimocracy, died" Everyone is now at an equal level. You must stand on your own two feet, everywhere. The first place people look, is character. How is yours?