Powerful Argument to Increase State Funding to Education from TAMS

I am a man with divided loyalties . . . on the one side, I am seriously put upon by over-aggressive appraisal districts and ever-increasing tax rates by local taxing entities. On the other side, my wife is a very committed public school teacher who loves the school and the students.

I am inspired by her student’s stories and her classroom successes, but I am also discouraged by the dismal failures of the public school educational system in general, and the waste and abuse in particular. The tragedy is that the system is broken and no one is trying to fix it. The Feds and the State keep imposing goofy stuff on the local school system and tie the local school board’s hands. Then again, the local school board is so dazzled and smitten by high school athletics that they, seemingly, are willing to strip everything educational in nature away from funds trying to have a winning team! Robbing an elementary school campus of needed things, while straining a budget and burdening the taxpayers by building a high-dollar football stadium, hiring a new athletic director and giving him a salary package and contract that could have hired ten new classroom teachers, or a buying a new luxury travel bus for the football team, or creating an expensive weight room that looks like it belongs to a Division 1 University is sad. The sad truth is that over my wife’s 25+ year teaching career, my company has bought much more of her classroom supplies than the school has. My employees have painted and remodeled her classroom, hung new black-boards and such as the administration told her there were no funds available; however, then the next week the school had early release on Friday and lined bus after bus up to haul bands, pep-squads, cheerleaders, and support groups up for a 200+ mile trip to a football game, and of course bought everyone’s dinner after the game!

Public education is losing its credibility with parents and tax payers alike. It is growing more and more difficult to support and fund a program that just fails and fails while it continues doing the same goofy stuff year after year.

Behavior is in jeopardy, respect and social skills are in the toilet, and the vulgar and filthy words used by students are disturbing, and discipline is absent. Have you visited a school campus in recent years? Have you seen the armed guards in the halls?

Sure is something to think about.

Behaving like Pop!

I rarely make bank deposits anymore, but today I did. I am currently driving a small Escalade loaner from Ken Batchelor in San Antonio, while they accomplish some warranty work on my new car. I pulled through the drive-in window, exchanged greetings with the teller, made my deposit, thanked the nice lady, and proceeded to drive away. I had only driven a few feet when a strikingly beautiful blonde-haired lady appeared in the window. Not being too familiar with the loaner car or that Wells Fargo drive-through lane, I chuckled that such a distraction could cause a fellow to bang into the building . . . then I busted out in laughter as I recalled the incident! My friend, Billy, called me three or four years back to tell me that his dad, who we all affectionately call “Pop,” had actually ran his new pickup truck into the bank building in the Lower Valley as he went through the drive-thru. I recalled asking Billy about what had happened, and his reply, “The bank hired a very pretty lady and Pop liked to go through the drive-in so he could flirt with her!” Obviously, he got too caught up in it all and managed to scrape the building as he made his exit. As I chuckled I wondered how embarrassed Pop had been as he climbed out of his truck to examine the damage, fully aware that the pretty lady was getting quite a chuckle at his expense. Oh yeah, Pop was about 85 years of age at the time. As I eased out onto the road and joined in with the traffic on the street, I chuckled about Pop and his flirting.

It then occurred to me that it must be something of a miracle that my pal Charlie has not done that very same thing!


Is He Right . . . or is the Media Right?

We just finished up a brutal national election . . . in which a brash, bold, oftentimes offensive Billionaire was elected as President. He ran on a platform of “Make America Great Again.” He expressed criticism of the current political climate within the USA that tends to be troublesome for American companies/employers, and specifically identified two firms planning to lay off American workers and move those jobs to Mexico: Carrier and Ford Motor Co. The President-Elect contacted officials of both firms and persuaded them to cancel those plans and continue to make their products here using American workers. Many people have praised the President-Elect’s actions . . . but none more that the folks whose jobs were saved. Yet, many in the media are arguing that it is a bad idea for the President-Elect to get involved in such matters. I must admit that I simply don’t get their point.

A nation’s government has two basic responsibilities: (1) to provide for the common defense of its citizens and (2) to act in such manner in order to provide a healthy economy. Do these media folks not understand that our government has created an economic environment that makes relocation to a third-world nation preferable to staying in business here? How have they created such an environment? How about over taxation and overly regulating? Do you know that by the time a loaf of bread reaches your dining room table it has been taxed twenty-eight times?

I am not a big fan of the President-Elect, but I do appreciate that he is delivering a message to the marketplace that his Administration will be committed to creating a more favorable environment for business . . . a level playing-field. He has pledged that government will spend less; taxes will be lowered; and that silly, cumbersome regulations will be eliminated and employers won’t feel the need to escape in an effort to survive. I can’t recall in history ever having had a successful business man serve as President . . . someone who knew what it was to make a payroll, to survive in the marketplace, and produce something with value. Most men who have been elected as President have been attorney, academia, military, a farmer, or such.
I have three question for those in the media who are being so negative about and critical of the President-Elect’s actions; they are:

1. Do you not realize that it was elected officials who created NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement), the very vehicle designed to permit and even encourage American manufactures to relocate to cheap labor markets (Mexico)? That legislation was lobbied for and promoted by a President who then signed it into law.

2. Do you not realize that those same elected officials have created a mountain of debt and a sick economy which rewards lazy folks for not working, while penalizing those who do with a progressive, graduating income tax system that penalizes American workers for their success? and

3. Exactly what are your qualifications to even render an opinion on the subject? You and your lot have been dead-wrong on pretty much everything you all have said about this man . . . both as a candidate and now as the President-Elect?

My inclination is that we will do well to just hang on a bit and see if this highly successful man can, in fact, do good some things for our sick nation . . . he has a brilliant track record of successful business enterprises across the world. I tend to agree with him that I think it is high-time that America wins again and that we put American’s interest first again.

I know that there are some 1,100 families in Indiana who are happy that he got involved and cared enough to come alongside of them in the dark hours of staring at job-loss right here at Christmas. Who know? He just may finally be a President who does what he says and makes wise, prudent decisions for the USA . . . now, that would really be something new, huh? I mean the last guy released over a billion dollars to a radical, evil group of thugs who are fast and furious on developing a nuke . . . all the while declaring their sole purpose is to destroy our closest friend, Israel.


Thanksgiving . . .

Thanksgiving is a national holiday . . . and it has been celebrated since 1621, when the first pilgrims joined together with Native Americans to give thanks to God for His bountiful provision. A proper understanding of that historical event is beneficial to us today. The clear truth is that those pilgrims had a deep, abiding, and motivating faith in God, and an understanding and appreciation of who Jesus Christ is and what He did for mankind. Those pilgrims were dissatisfied with the way things were where they hailed from . . . and wanted to flee an oppressive way of life in which harsh and demanding religion and its entrapments were forced upon them. They risked life and limb and boarded some very primitive and small wooden vessels and struck out for the brave new world. They arrived in the new land and encountered a new people who were much different than them . . . in appearance, behavior, culture, speech, way of life, belief, views of themselves, and the world about them. As they came to know the new people, they discovered that they were a religious people with a peculiar understanding of God. Those pilgrims were clearly evangelical . . . viewing themselves as missionaries and the new people as a mission field. Their efforts were to teach their new friends about survival (growing food) and a proper understanding of and appreciation for God. They taught the Gospel.

Today, there are those among us who present themselves as being deep-thinkers and claim that there is no God and argue that faith in God is merely a crutch for weak people. Their presence amongst us is bad enough, but the really sad part of it all is that they have gained the ears of many and have managed to influence our culture. That foolishness has resulted in confusion about right and wrong and confused many.

Here is a simple truth: the USA was formed as a Christian nation regardless of what is being debated today, and our framers were indeed absolute believers. My argument for the nay-sayers: this wonderful holiday we call Thanksgiving . . . that has been celebrated for some 300 years . . . is totally about giving thanks. My question: Just who is it that you think folks have been thanking all of these years? Could it possibly be the same One that is frequently referred to in the Constitution—and companion documents?

It Seems to Me . . . that you might do well to ponder this truth: the real issue is not what you think or say about a God, but rather what it is that God says about you!