Immigrants, Fish and Feds

I have to agree with a “CrazyFool” who posted the following  comment on a few days ago. He said in part…

“Extinction is a perfectly natural process which makes way for more hardier species. Without extinctions most of the species which now exist probably wouldn’t – including the Delta Smelt.”

Nature works well as God intended, it’s not always pretty or delicate. You would think those foolish liberals would get a clue, just as on Wall Street, the rich just keep getting richer. In nature, the strong get stronger and the weak perish.

And lets face it folks, sometimes the little guy has a big mouth and deserves to be slapped. Those poor innocent Delta Smelt will either, get stronger, adapt or die. If we want to remain a strong, independent nation, we must allow nature to take it’s course and not intervene, which will only serve to upset the natural balance of things.

When freedom is just a word…

Growing up in the 60’s, in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined what lay in store. Life was  so much  simpler back then. As a society we were much more innocent and trusting, at least that is how I remember it. My father made many deals in those days, on a simple hand-shake.    I grew up believing that a man is only as good as his word.

Unfortunately, life has become so complicated and it astounds me to the extent our privacy and our freedoms have disappeared. I wouldn’t have noticed, except we’ve been house hunting. Being prospective first-time homeowners, we have opted to rent, primarily because the home purchasing avenue is so time consuming and arduous. Contemplating the process is overwhelming.

Today, I contacted a couple of rental companies in the area. Wow! I was shocked to learn the amount of information they “require” of me to rent a home. Not only do they request my social security number (an unauthorized use), they want my bank account number, the balance, as well as the usual reference requirements. Frankly, this scared the hell out of me.

As someone who has been dealing with a complicated identity theft issue for the past 15-years, rendering me unable to obtain a bank account. Everyone knows what the problem is, they acknowledge that everything is properly documented, yet every person who has been contacted, regarding the identity theft have refused to act.

To add insult to injury these rental agents want to charge me ($30  for each occupant)  to trust them with my entire financial  future, putting my family at potential risk of further identity theft. These agents in most cases aren’t bonded, they are generally paid between $8.00 and $12.00, creating a built-in incentive for fraud, embezzlement and illegal financial gains.

I guess I’ll be living in my little shoebox house for a bit longer. I might trust a bank with my financial details, but bankers are held to a certain level of public trust, they are under higher scrutany than a housing rental company employee earning the same as a McDonald’s employee. Perhaps, if more people protected their privacy a little more and were not so willing to comply with every request for sensitive, personal data, companies wouldn’t be so quick to request our personal  financial records.

Too many businesses are requesting sensitive personal details that they have no legitimate need for. The information is on computers (some get stolen), in file boxes, in the backroom or a storage unit — boxes get lost and stolen all the time. Not every business shreds these files (which may or may not be required by law).

If you think identity theft can’t happen to you, think again. As IT consultants, we’ve seen an astounding amount of identity theft and much worse.

Experts recommend…

  • Keep your computer updated. Do regular updates.
  • If your computer gets infected with a virus, do not use it. Unplug your Internet connection and call a technician.
  • Take steps to guard your privacy.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask “why” your sensitive information is required. There may be other means of complying with the request.

Learn more…

Students Get Screwed!

This sounds like the teachers unions are gearing up for negotiations. Obama hails from Chicago where the Teamsters Union once ruled the day.

Calls for Longer School Year Faces Budget Reality


“Ultimately the states, not the federal government, should have the final word on this and other public school decisions,” said Lucy Nashed, a spokeswoman for Gov. Rick Perry.

In Kansas, sporadic efforts by local districts to extend the school year at even a few schools have been met by parental resistance, said state education commissioner Diane DeBacker.

“The community was just not ready for kids to be in school all summer long,” DeBacker said. “Kids wanted to go swimming. Their families wanted to go on vacation.”

In some states, the school year already starts well before Labor Day and in others nearly stretches to the Fourth of July.

Parents are similarly divided

Parent Irene Facciolo in Monpelier, Vt., said kids need the summer break and learn while they’re away from school.

“I really feel like they need the time to regenerate,” she said.

But Laura Spencer of Orlando, Fla., says she would rather have her 10-year-old daughter learning than hanging out.

“Summer is a lost opportunity,” said Spencer, who believes having kids out of school for three to four months makes an already flawed education system worse.

These people are all over the map and why shouldn’t they be? Some parents choose to homeschool their children, other parents select a private school for their child, we have options.  What it boils down to is public school is just that – public, paid for by public funds. Like it or not, those public funds come with strings.

The public schools aren’t going to produce a highly educated student body, unless the taxpayers are willing to foot the bill and the public school system changes the way it operates.

Our children are not little clones, filling the classrooms with open minds, ready to be filled. Many teachers wish that they were. A child is an individual and what one child can accomplish, another can never achieve. Why do public school administrators pretend that every child has the same capabilities, if given the same teaching? We are throwing good money after bad.

Seat time does not equal learning time. Just because a student is in school, doesn’t mean his mind is present. I spent many many hours sitting in a classroom, while my mind was off somewhere else. I couldn’t tell you a thing that happened those days in school — and there were many of them.

Speaking as a parent, I can tell you that no one knows a child like a parent and school officials are missing out on a terrific resource by excluding them to the extent they do in most public schools. Students deserve to have an educational plan that they themselves help to create and it should be reviewed regularly. It should grow with the child. Each child should attempt to define their goals and what they hope to get out of their schooling.

Why can’t schools offer early year and late year classes for some students or have a staggered start schedule, so that some teachers come in later, and others start early. If the public school really isn’t a training ground for prison, why does it have to be so rigid? Prisons are intended to restrict the movement of choices of the inhabitants. Do we want inflexible schools that have no regard for the individuals wants and needs?

Our home is a training ground, a place for my son to learn how to make good choices. Our job as parents is to prepare him to go out and make his mark on the world. Isn’t that what getting an education is all about? Why can’t schools provide a place where students have more control over their time and efforts?

William Butler Yeats said: “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”

It’s time to light the fire.