Archive for the ‘education’ Category

One nation under godlessness

by Michelle Malkin on Sunday, November 16th, 2014

This is article 244 of 245 in the topic Religion

One nation under godlessness
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

Cheating. Bullying. Cybersexting. Hazing. Molestation. Suicide. Drug abuse. Murder. Scanning the headlines of the latest scandals in America’s schools, it’s quite clear that the problem is not that there’s too much God in students’ lives.

The problem is that there isn’t nearly enough of Him.

With the malfunction of moral seatbelts and the erosion of moral guardrails, too many kids have turned to a pantheon of false gods, crutches and palliatives. They’re obsessed with “Slender Man” and “Vampire Diaries.” Alex from Target’s hair and Rihanna’s tattoos. Overpriced basketball sneakers and underdressed reality stars. Choking games and YouTube games. Gossip and hookups. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.

It’s all about selfies over self-control, blurred lines over bright lines.

In a metastatic youth culture of soullessness and rootlessness, the idea of high school teens voluntarily using their free time to pray and sing hymns is not just a breath of fresh air. It’s salvation.

But leave it to secularists run amok to punish faithful young followers of Christ.

Last week, the Alliance Defending Freedom filed a religious freedom lawsuit against Pine Creek High School here in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs. Chase Windebank, a senior at the District 20 school, had been convening an informal prayer group for the past three years “in a quiet area to sing Christian religious songs, pray, and to discuss issues of the day from a religious perspective.”

Windebank and his friends weren’t disrupting classroom time. They shared their Christian faith during an open period earned by high-achieving students. Other kids used the time to play on their phones, eat snacks, get fresh air outside, or schedule meetings for a wide variety of both official and unofficial school clubs.

A Pine Creek choir teacher had given permission to Windebank and his fellow worshipers to meet in an empty music practice room. No complaints ever ensued from other students or faculty. For three years, the group encountered no problems, according to ADF’s complaint. But in late September, Windebank was summoned to the assistant principal’s office and ordered to stop praying because of “the separation of church and state.”

The school singled out the young man of faith’s harmless activities and banned members of his group from discussing current issues of the day from a religious perspective during an open period in an unobtrusive meeting place.

As Todd Starnes of Fox News, who broke the story of the lawsuit last week, lamented: “Public school administrators and their lawyers have succeeded in suppressing and oppressing the Christian voice at Pine Creek High School.”

It defies common sense that in conservative-leaning Colorado Springs, home to a vibrant faith community and leading evangelical organizations, students would be reprimanded and deprived of basic constitutional rights. As a letter from local parents to the school district decried: “To what benefit does it serve a school to limit the ability for a student to pray with their friends, fellowship with their friends, or discuss daily events from a Christian perspective? It is obvious that School District 20 is taking a freedom FROM religion perspective, not a freedom OF religion perspective.”

Think about it: If the high-schoolers gathered in the cafeteria to listen to Billboard magazine’s No.

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The Fat Terrorist Will Sing

by Daniel Greenfield on Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

This is article 199 of 199 in the topic Liberalism

The protest has been held and the Death of Klinghoffer will go on. The fat terrorist will sing, the media will chant his praises and the old sad story of failed Jewish activism in America will go on.

After the behind-the-scenes lobbying and the ignored letters to the editor, a protest rally fronted by two out of work Republican politicians brought more attention to the Met’s pro-terrorist opera without doing anything to actually stop it from going forward.

Rudy Giuliani, the protest’s marquee name, wrote an article expressing his admiration for the composer, called the Met’s cancellation of HD broadcasts a “harder and more courageous decision than is recognized by those who oppose this opera” and promised to continue patronizing the Met.

And if hard-hitting rhetoric like that doesn’t make the Met shake in its boots, I don’t know what will.

None of this is a new story. It’s the repetition of a very old story.

In 1914, the Gary Plan was the Common Core of its day, a highly controversial radical educational reform that both dumbed down the curriculum and made it ridiculously confusing. Like Common Core, the Gary Plan was backed by major business interests, including the Rockefeller Corporation, liberal newspapers and wealthy busybodies. It was championed by the progressive quasi-Republican mayor of New York, John Purroy Mitchel, the Bloomberg of his day.

The schools targeted by the Gary Plan were primarily Jewish. Among its other charming features, the Gary Plan made it difficult for students from working class families to work part time or obtain a religious education. And it killed their hope of a higher education by dumbing down their classes.

Immigrant Jews took on the liberal establishment. And the liberal establishment ignored them and mocked them.

The Jews formed committees and leagues, attended every meeting, wrote letters to the editor, pleaded to be heard. And for two years the newspapers, including the New York Times, refused to report on the opposition. A coalition of parents associations and chambers of commerce  asked for hearings on the plan and the Board of Education replied that it saw no evidence that the public wanted hearings.

The Jewish establishment had its shot and it failed. It had gone through all the decent motions of democracy and was brushed off by the liberal establishment.

So Jewish students and parents instead began boycotting classes. Thousands of students marched through the streets. School windows were smashed. Board meetings were hijacked by protesters. Police fought students and parents in the street. The opposition could no longer be ignored.

Mitchel lost the election. The Gary Plan disappeared into history. Both are mourned obscurely by progressives for not doing a better job of “messaging”.

All that may have happened a century ago, but the lesson has yet to be learned.

The American Jewish establishment’s narrow toolbox of meetings, lobbying and letters to the editor utterly failed during the Holocaust. The Nazis were not impressed by them and neither was FDR. It took rogue elements like Hollywood screenwriter to actually bring the issue to public attention through abrasive and angry rhetoric targeting FDR and the establishment.

The impotent establishment which had written letters and engaged in backdoor lobbying while millions died denounced them for it.

The same thing happened again with Soviet Jewry.

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The Ties That Bind Michael Bloomberg, Qatar and Radical Islam

by Terresa Monroe-Hamilton on Monday, October 27th, 2014

This is article 9 of 10 in the topic Islam

Terresa Monroe-Hamilton – NoisyRoom.net

William Michael – Qatar Awareness Campaign

Michael Bloomberg, in addition to having been Mayor of New York City and currently being a wealthy elitist Leftist, has ongoing ties to the Islamic world and Qatar. In fact, many of his regulatory moves and his philanthropy efforts are connected to one degree or another with Qatar and Islamic nations, causes and endeavors. Qatar, the reader should be reminded, is the host country of the Muslim Brotherhood and is the primary supporter of the Arab Spring, including the genocidal Islamic State.

Common Core is a huge, Progressive educational implementation in New York City which benefits Microsoft and a host of other businesses. Bloomberg is a major supporter of Common Core and strongly believes in it. So, incidentally (or not), does Qatar. One of Bloomberg’s projects is the Fund for Public Schools, whose primary building block is Common Core. In 2013, Bloomberg Philanthropies donated $1,000,000 or more to this endeavor. George Soros and The Open Society Foundations also donated $1,000,000 or more. Qatar Foundation International, LLC donated somewhere between $100,000 and $499,999. The Qatar Foundation donates to educational causes that directly benefit Islam and Qatar. The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is a semi-private chartered, non-profit organization, founded in 1995 by Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Emir (the current Emir is His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani), and his second wife Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. In addition to private funding, it is government-supported and partly government-funded.

Time Summit on Higher Education - Day 2: Vartan Gregorian, Michael Bloomberg, Nancy Gibbs

Time Summit on Higher Education – Day 2: Vartan Gregorian, Michael Bloomberg, Nancy Gibbs

The links between Bloomberg and the Qatar Foundation go even deeper. Vartan Gregorian and Michael Bloomberg attended the TIME Summit On Higher Education at the Time Warner Center on September 20, 2013 in New York City. This is significant on multiple fronts. Common Core is linked to Connect All Schools. The Department of State has partnered with the Connect All Schools program which is linked to Vartan Gregorian. He in turn, is connected in a myriad of ways to Barack Obama, not the least of which is that he is a member of the White House Fellowship Commission. Gregorian hails from Tabriz, Iran and is currently the President of Carnegie Corporation. More interestingly for Bloomberg is that Gregorian sits on the board of the Qatar Foundation International (QFI).

From Maggie’s Notebook:

The Qatar Foundation International, or QFI, in 2011 partnered with the Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to facilitate matchmaking between classrooms in the U.S. and international schools through something called the “Connect All Schools” project.

QFI, funded by the Qatari government, explains on its website the initiative was founded in response to Obama’s call in his June 2009 speech to the Arab world in Cairo, Egypt, to “create a new online network, so a young person in Kansas can communicate instantly with a young person in Cairo.”

* QFI relates how more than 100 U.S. schools and organizations have already connected on the interactive website. [* Public and Private schools.]

The stated goal of the initiative is to “connect every school in the U.S. with the world by 2016.”…

WND reported last May the Qatar-based foundation awarded “Curriculum Grants” to seven U.S.

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The YAF’s National “No More Che Day” Targets Columbia University

by Humberto Fontova on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

This is article 61 of 63 in the topic Communism

“From the first moment I heard about Che, Ernesto Guevara,” gushes Columbia University’s SDS (Student’s for a Democratic Society) leader in 1968 Mark Rudd, “he was my man, or, rather, I was his. Brilliant, young, idealistic, a daring commander of rebels, willing to risk his life to free the people of the world, I wanted to be like him. I was a member of the cult of Che. Who wouldn’t fall for this rifle-toting poet…?”

Columbia University College Republicans, for one. The Young America’s Foundation (YAF,) for another. Indeed such is these organizations’ penchant for blowing raspberries and horse-laughs at the staggering imbecilities swallowed (and spouted ) by gasping groupies like Mark Rudd that they’re a staging a “No More Che Day” at Mark Rudd’s own Columbia University on Oct. 9th.

Worse still, (for such as Rudd and fellow Che groupies) this event features a speaker who –you might say– “wrote the book,” on exposing the real Che Guevara and the staggering stupidity (or other mental malfunctions) that motivate those who idolize this amazing sadist, coward and epic idiot.

For starters, most of Che’s “rifle-toting” was done in the face of utterly unarmed enemies. “When you saw the beaming look on Che’s face as the victims were tied to the stake and blasted apart by the firing squad,” said a former Cuban political prisoner Roberto Martin-Perez, to your humble servant here, “you saw there was something seriously, seriously wrong with Che Guevara.”

Even as a youth, Ernesto Guevara’s writings revealed a serious mental illness. “My nostrils dilate while savoring the acrid odor of gunpowder and blood. Crazy with fury I will stain my rifle red while slaughtering any vencido that falls in my hands!” This passage is from Ernesto Guevara’s famous Motorcycle Diaries, though Robert Redford somehow overlooked it while directing his heart-warming movie.

The Spanish word vencido, by the way, translates into “defeated” or “surrendered.”And indeed, “the “acrid odor of gunpowder and blood” very, very rarely reached Guevara’s nostrils from anything properly describable as combat. It mostly came from the close-range murders of defenseless men (and boys.) Carlos Machado was 15 years old in 1963 when the bullets from the firing squad shattered his body. His twin brother and father collapsed beside Carlos from the same volley. All had resisted Castro and Che’s theft of their humble family farm, all refused blindfolds and all died sneering at their Communist murderers, as did thousands of their valiant countrymen. “Viva Cuba Libre! Viva Cristo Rey! Abajo Comunismo!” “The defiant yells would make the walls of La Cabana prison tremble,” wrote eyewitness to the slaughter, Armando Valladares.

The one genuine accomplishment in Che Guevara’s life was the mass-murder of defenseless men and boys. Under his own gun dozens died. Under his orders thousands crumpled. At everything else Che Guevara failed abysmally, even comically.

During his Bolivian “guerrilla” campaign, Che split his forces whereupon they got hopelessly lost and bumbled around, half-starved, half-clothed and half-shod, without any contact with each other for 6 months before being wiped out. They didn’t even have WWII vintage walkie-talkies to communicate and seemed incapable of applying a compass reading to a map. They spent much of the time walking in circles and were usually within a mile of each other.

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ELECTION 2014: This time will you help Save America or join in her Destruction?

by Sher Zieve on Monday, October 13th, 2014

This is article 129 of 129 in the topic National Security

For the first time in the history of the United States of America, the country is under constant and escalating assaults from both outside and within its borders. In actual fact, its Southern Border has been completely erased by the resident of what was once its citizens’ White House. In 2008, a cabal of cut-throat criminals took it over and appear to has no intention of releasing its death grip on it, the nation or its people. This group – known as the “Obama syndicate” – plans to exercise and retain its illegally wrought power by whatever means necessary.

Bringing Fatal Diseases into the USA

One of the most basic action items of all plans for chaos and conquest is the cause panic amongst those one is working to suppress and conquer. In the USA, this concept is now being implemented on multiple fronts. Illegal alien children and others carrying new diseases and old ones with new strains are not only being allowed to enter the USA through our now wide-open Southern border but, medical personnel are being told to let them thorough despite their showing symptoms of those diseases. Fox News writes: “A government-contracted security force threatened to arrest doctors and nurses if they divulged any information about the contagion threat at a refugee camp housing illegal alien children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas…” Those children were then shipped to places selected by the Obama syndicate for dispersal – with no information to the governors of those States as to where they were sent. Instead the ObamaGov said it was a matter of “privacy.”

Question: Still think the USA isn’t under the Obama dictatorship? Those children were quickly enrolled in and are now attending schools in the USA. American children are now coming down with Enterovirus D-68 – brought in to the USA by the illegal children – and have begun to die. Can there be any other reason for this than Obama planned it to occur. Remember in January, the US federal government advertised for “vendors” (aka “human traffickers?”) to “escort” UACs (unaccompanied adult ‘children’) and juveniles from Central America into the USA. The Ad reads in part: “ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] is seeking the services of a responsible vendor that shares the philosophy of treating all UAC with dignity and respect, while adhering to standard operating procedures and policies that allow for an effective, efficient, and incident free transport. The Contractor shall provide unarmed escort staff, including management, supervision, manpower, training, certifications, licenses, drug testing, equipment, and supplies necessary to provide on-demand escort services for non-criminal/non-delinquent unaccompanied alien children ages infant to 17 years of age, seven (7) days a week, 365 days a year. ” In other words, this invasion was planned by Obama and his syndicate.

CBN News writes: “Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson writes that some people are raising the question of whether the disease is being spread by the presence of tens of thousands of illegal immigrant children who have come to the United States in the past year.

“Attkisson points out the origin could be entirely unrelated, but that a study in Virology Journal found the virus among more than 3,000 young people in eight Latin American countries last year.

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America’s Education Battlefield

by Alan Caruba on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

This is article 259 of 259 in the topic Education
By Alan Caruba
The 2010 introduction of Common Core, a set of requirements for what elementary and secondary school children should know in math and English language arts, has turned schools in one state after another into battlefields as its complexity and other factors led to protests against it. Even so, by mid-2014, a NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that very nearly half of those asked about it hadn’t even heard of it. A number of states, such as Missouri, Indiana, Oklahoma, and South Carolina have withdrawn from it.
Schools today are often under fire for one reason or another. Ever since the 1960s when teachers unions began to secure more and more control, formerly the responsibility of individual and state school boards, Americans have been engaged in efforts to improve the elementary and secondary education systems. Many have elected to home school their children. Others have pushed for school choice to permit their children to attend a school that was clearly doing a better job than the one to which their children were assigned.
As youngsters settle into their classes, there are a number of trends worth noting.
Perhaps one of the most interesting trends is the expansion of online classes into K-12.  As Ashley Bateman noted in a recent issue of School Reform News,“In 2013 ten million students of all ages participated in more than 1,200 massive, open, online courses offered by more than 200 universities.”  Of value to self-motivated students in particular, online classes are sure to find a larger audience of students who have grown up in the virtual world of game playing.
Another trend was noted by Marcy C. Tillotson, an education reporter for Watchdog.org. It is the increasing demand for more and more data about each student who worry that things done at a very young age like a schoolyard fight or emotional problems will follow them into college when they have long outgrown the problems or behaviors of childhood. Parents want to know what data is being collected and who has access to it. As often as not, they cannot find out.
Increasingly, school choice, a parent’s right to enroll their child in a selected public school, a private or a parochial choice, has become an issue that makes it into state legislature’s where some support and some forbid it. In Louisiana and Texas, for example, school choice programs and scholarship credits have gained support as a political issue. In Florida, the teachers union has initiated a lawsuit “to eliminate school choice for many low-income students and effectively kill a program to help students with autism and other special needs.”  In North Carolina, its Supreme Court rendered a decision that permits more than 2,000 low-income parents to send their children to schools of their choice.
Attention to the quality of teachers, as opposed to letting tenure keep poorly performing ones in the classroom, is a growing trend. Last year in California, a first of its kind teacher quality lawsuit was decided in favor of the education reforms that brought it, striking down tenure and a similar lawsuit has been announced for New York.
As Ms. Tillitson reported, “Vergara v.

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‘A’ Is for Agitation: What’s Really Going on in Jefferson County Schools

by Michelle Malkin on Monday, September 29th, 2014

This is article 258 of 259 in the topic Education

These misguided kids need to learn some real critical thinking skills. (Photo: CPR)

‘A’ Is for Agitation: What’s Really Going on in Jefferson County Schools
by Michelle Malkin
Creators Syndicate
Copyright 2014

There’s a big battle brewing in the Jefferson County, Colorado, school system. The manufactured controversy over a proposed curriculum review is generating national New York Times headlines. But the fight is not about what misguided students and biased reporters say it’s about. “Censorship” is a red herring. The real issue is union control.

Here’s the deal: Public school teachers in this Denver-area district walked out of their classrooms this week to protest the implementation of performance-based pay. The JeffCo school board approved the new compensation system last week, which rewards the most highly effective teachers with 4.2 percent raises, effective teachers with 2.4 raises and inferior teachers with nothing. Only 2 percent of teachers received no pay raises.

One fact the grievance-mongering teachers conveniently left out of their politicized pep talks to student sympathizers: The board gave bonuses to 450 teachers who would have otherwise received no raises under the union’s arbitrary step scale. The old system didn’t take performance into any consideration at all.

Despite the hefty rewards for teacher competence and excellence, disgruntled union leaders called for a strike last Friday (or as they prefer to whitewash it, a “sickout“). The Big Labor avengers succeeded in shutting down two schools — and enlisting students to protest with them. But the optics of robbing kids of valuable educational time to protest an $18.2 million salary compensation package did not play well with taxpayers.

Enter the “censorship” fakeout.

At the same board meeting where the new pay system was approved, elected school board members heard a proposal to form a curriculum review committee. Under the state constitution, elected local school boards are responsible for instructional and curriculum matters. It’s their duty. The proposal (read it here) called for the creation of a new, nine-member panel “to review curricular choices for conformity to JeffCo academic standards, accuracy and omissions, and to inform the board of any objectionable materials.”

The panel’s first review items would be the elementary health curriculum and the A.P. U.S. History (APUSH) curriculum, which has undergone a radical revamp over the past few years.

The chief architect of the APUSH revisions is David Coleman, a progressive ideologue who is also one of the prime movers and shakers behind the Common Core standards scheme. Objections to the shoddy, intrusive, costly, top-down, backroom-designed Common Core agenda cross party lines. Rank-and-file teachers across the country have joined a diverse anti-Common Core coalition of parents, administrators, scholars, grassroots activists, privacy advocates and anti-cronyism watchdogs.

The JeffCo school board takes its deliberative role seriously. The proposal is the opposite of censorship. The debate over history standards is part of a wider battle between left-leaning militant teachers’ unions, who explicitly see their primary role as Saul Alinsky-trained political agitators, and those who want to restore academic excellence, rigor and ideological balance in the schools.

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"Controversial"?: University of Rhode Island finally becomes the last public university in the country to allow campus police to carry guns

by John Lott on Saturday, September 20th, 2014

This is article 569 of 594 in the topic Gun Rights
This past April when the University of Rhode Island System trustees voted 8-to-1 to let campus police carry guns, you would see stories such as this:

University of Rhode Island campus police will soon carry guns under a policy announced Monday, ending the school’s status as the only public university in the country where campus police do not carry firearms. . . .

This is where we stand now:

The University of Rhode Island has begun training campus police officers to carry guns after a controversial decision in April to arm the campus police force.

Public Safety Stephen Baker says the goal is to have all 27 campus officers carrying guns by the start of the Spring semester.

“State police have completed 17 of the background checks and they’ve been delivered to us. The next step in that process is to have those officers go through psychological examinations,” Baker said. “Then we’ll begin the actual firearms training, and that’s planned for the month of October.”

The officers participated in preliminary firearms training in August. URI has ordered and started receiving the semi-automatic handguns they will carry, which are similar to those carried by State Police.

In addition to the gun training, URI police and some other staff have received special training to recognize and handle mental health issues. The university is also finalizing plans for an addition to its public safety facility, which will house the firearms. . . .

If this is so controversial, why is it that every other public university system in the country has armed campus police and that none of them are reconsidering that decision?  The police here are very important, but they still have limitations.  Since the police are in uniform, they will actually be the first ones to be attacked if terrorists were ever to strike.  That is one of the benefits of permitted concealed handguns.

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Many (but apparently not all) St. Louis-area school superintendents say won’t let designated teachers to carry guns in school

by John Lott on Monday, September 15th, 2014

This is article 566 of 594 in the topic Gun Rights
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch article lists school superintendents who are against guns in school, but notice that it doesn’t say that all the St. Louis-area school superintendents are against let people protect the children.  From the article:

Many St. Louis-area school superintendents say they don’t want guns in their schools regardless of a new state law that allows designated teachers to carry them.

The law lets school districts appoint teachers or administrators as “school safety officers” who would be allowed to carry concealed weapons after training.

Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed this bill in July. But on Wednesday, the Legislature overrode his veto of gun rights expansion legislation that also allows residents with concealed weapons permits to openly carry guns in public.

Parents contacted the Clayton School District late last week concerned that teachers could soon be carrying weapons through the hallways.

“There’s the perception that school districts are required to do this, rather than allowed to do this,” district spokesman Chris Tennill said.

The district’s position was posted on its website Friday afternoon. “There are few, if any, situations that would require the District to consider appointing ‘school protection officers’ given the level of and proximity to law enforcement resources already in place,” it stated. . . . .

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"Counting Down to Jan. 20, 2017" and "Libertarians + Liberals = Lunacy"

by Burt Prelutsky on Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

There used to be a popular radio show, followed by an equally popular TV show, called “The Amateur Hour.” Singers, comedians and musicians, including even accordion players, would seek fame and fortune by competing on the show. These days, that notion has morphed into any number of similar shows, the most successful of which is “American Idol.”

What led me to think about all this is the realization that by the time the next president is inaugurated, Barack Obama will have held office for 2,922 days. (Don’t forget to count leap years before writing to question my math.) Or in other words, we will have suffered through the equivalent of 70,128 amateur hours.

In his book “Presidential Power,” Richard Neustadt wisely wrote: “The Presidency is no place for amateurs. It requires politicians of extraordinary temperament. That sort of experience can hardly be acquired without deep experience in political office. The Presidency is a place for men of politics. But by no means is it a place for every politician.”

I happen to agree with his analysis, which is why I opposed Herman Cain’s candidacy in 2012 and oppose Dr. Ben Carson’s today. Both men seem to be intelligent and decent fellows, and while I consider both qualities essential in a Chief Executive, I don’t see how that qualifies them to sit in the Oval Office. Heck, I’m intelligent and decent, and have devoted far more time to politics than either of them, and even I wouldn’t vote for me. Well, not unless I was the only thing standing between Hillary Clinton and a return trip to the White House.

In the same way, I tend not to support senators or congressmen. Their jobs don’t provide them with executive experience. What it does provide them with is a megaphone, so they are able to capture people’s attention.

For instance, I very much like Paul Ryan, but except for his expertise when it comes to budgetary matters and a very pleasant personality, I have no idea how he would govern. I am also taken with Trey Gowdy, and the way he cuts through the crapola when questioning the smarmy likes of IRS chief John Koskinen. But I can’t help feeling that the country might be better served if they either stayed where they are or were promoted to Cabinet positions as Secretary of the Treasury and Attorney General, respectively.

Speaking of the IRS, I always thought I had a great way to lessen the annual pain of writing a check to the Treasury. It would take advantage of people’s addiction to lotteries. Don’t you think that people would be somewhat more anxious to pay what they owe if the IRS instituted a lottery that would pay out a first prize of, say, a hundred times the amount you paid in? I would also have runner-up prizes that would return 75-1, 50-1, 25-1, 10-1 to a handful of lucky taxpayers, and perhaps a thousand additional payouts to those whose prize would be the return of their checks torn into several pieces.

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