Jim's BLOG about Marshalltown
Link to : General Commentary
Witless Humor .
"The fact is clear : Iowa has not spent too much, rather our revenue has fallen off ."
I don't have a luxurious life, not because it is too expensive, but because
I don't have enough money.
Wait for the Facts? .
Marshalltown may have its own case of "cops behaved stupidly". Like Obama, the facts have not yet been
released. But a 60 year old woman was arrested yesterday for shooting at three teenagers in her home, hitting one twice, and arrested her husband for non-phyical impeding of her arrest. But it sounds like a case of home invasion and defense to me.
Is News Before or Afterwards or at all? .
The T-R showed ROTC jogging through Marshalltown, but not in advance so as to allow people to line the route. A cavalcaid of at least 50 tractors motored past my home ; we waved to the drivers. No word by the T-R to expect it or afterwards what is was about.
Internet Service Provider
My ISP is DynamicBroadBand. Their service is by microwave from a tower one mile
from my PC. My service speed is equal to the bottom 4% of the nation's average for high speed internet.
I have two rows of windbreak between me and that tower -- I have offeredt to cut a path on the line of
sight but they said, "No, our microwaves penitrate leaves and do not follow a straight line path. What you (me)
need to do is dig a 300 foot trench through your lawn,
under a driveway, and through tree roots to mount the antennea on the other side of the trees." Think for a moment. Does microwave penetrate leaves or doesn't it ? Think again before considering signing with people who think and speak this way.
We are here..
KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, and A&W are owned by a company named Yum.
We have all five in little Marshalltown, mainstream Americana. You probably don't remember a
time when you could be put down anywhere in America and have a fair idea what part of the country
you are in because of local flavor . Now a'days we are homogenized with the same national brands everywhere. A mall on the other side of identical parking lots in Texas or Maine look the same and the anchor stores even have the same layout inside. Are we all one or have we lost our identity?
Marshalltown police to be issued Tasers .
Why should a citizen be concerned ? Besides the contest to see who can report the.
first usage to the amusement in the squad room?
I am a private citizen who happens to be near an
incident. An excited cop runs up shouting "Down on the ground. Now!" Having no interest in getting my
cloths dirty, I say I would rather not. "Oh, a wise guy, huh? Take that." Zappp !
The reason British police do not carry guns is to show respect to the citizenship. The reason US police are polite is that some citizens carry guns.
To shoot a discourteous copy for drawing a Taser will be considered overkill. I guess we have to buy Tasers, too.
The city is going to "study" red light cameras. This will be sold as a safety measure.
Don't you believe it. Cameras have proven to increase rear-end accidents (whiplash) as drivers break in panic on the start of a yellow light. It is strictly an income scheme.
But they need a diploma. .
"World leaders may be able to bail out the banks by printing money, but you can't bail out a generation by printing diplomas." -- Dean Kamen.
You've earned it ! .
Hawk-i is a program of almost free medical insurance for uninsured children. Advertisements stress it is good for your kids and ends with -- "You've earned it." How ? It is a virtually free gift from the governor. Nothing is free -- it is an allocation of tax money from those who work to those who don't. It will increase the attraction of welfare cases and illegals to the state.
More. When the government provides free health service, why should employers continue to provide it ?
Companies will start writing out insurance coverage for children of employees eligible for "free" state services. The cost to the state,
ie. tax payers, will increase far beyond the cost estimates presented to legislators The governor and state administrators weirdly think companies will continue to pay to duplicate state coverage in their employee health plans.
Name a Flu .
The flu epidemic of 2009 carries an invalid common name that harms the local economy. Calling it swine flu, even though there is
no infection of hogs, is detrimental to Iowa's pork industry. In partial recognition of this local impact, local radio have taken to calling it "H1N1, the so called 'swine' flu." T-R continues with headlines of Swine Flu.
Flu outbreaks are normally named after the location where first reported -- Spanish flu, 1918-20, Asian 1957-58, Hong Kong 1968-69, Fijian 2003-04, and now, Mexican 2009-10. But we can see that
political correctness favors the immigrants bringing that flu rather than the livestock producers.
Origins of the Constitutional .
A local lawyer gives a class on the history of the Constitution. He shows how far we have moved
from the words of our founders and he shows the hows and whys of the changes from individuals to government. I can agree with him that the founders were more right than some of the changes made since. He emphasis's that the founders recognized that democracy is founded on a virtuous people and that they foresaw the direction that majority rule -- gifts to please the voters -- would go. They built specific checks and balances to retard this -- over the years many of these have been breached. His argument would be stronger if he did not equate virtue with religion -- the words of a fundamentalist preacher and
a fundamentalist imam are identical. The founders were men of learning and deists ; their foundation was strong in ethics, consideration, responsibility and in practical self improvement under law.
John Adams -- I study government and war so that our children may study science and agriculture,
so that their children may study art and literature.
I don't think he foresaw that social change would turn against the basics of science and government.
Franklin might have -- we have provided a good government, so long as the people can keep it;
Drop Out .
Marshalltown has the second highest school dropout rate in the state. Our administration
says it will continue with after class offering and summer school, but will have to make a study of why young are dropping out. That they don't know suggests the problem. Human behavior and attitudes are a function of training and morale, not academics. The classic approach is to seek additional funding. In a way I am glad they are not spending too much time on the illegals, but they are already receiving funding for this and they don't seem to be doing much good. An attitude that learning is the path to success must be instilled. The administration assures us they will get graduation rates up. Does this say they will further erode academic standards as a way to get off the bottom of the statistics list. "Pass'em", rather than to motivate them is not a satisfactory answer.
Keep On Spending. .
Rather than cut their budget by 1.5% because of a world-wide recession, Marshalltown Community School District is going to dip into the reserve fund so as to retain their spending habit.
Tiny Type .
The T-R newspaper has taken to printing parts of its content in tiny type, that is, it is too small for me to read. Nine lines are now put in the space where seven would normally be. Is the purpose to save paper? No, because overly large titles exist to fill the pages. Savings of ink? Again, no, the block titles require much ink. Annoyance of customers? Most certainly. Encouragement of cancellations? Possibly, but I enjoy the cartoons, puzzles, and grammatical mistakes. Question -- is removal of news content from readers a great harm? Well, it is one more nail in the coffin of newspapers worldwide. Payment to a local institution is almost an act of patriotism, but for less and less?
Coupons kill sales .
I was hungry for a particular fast food while coming back from town and planned to take a goodly
supply home for family dinner. But this company regularly issues coupons and I did not have one with me. So the company
was lost the sale and my unsated appetite is such an annoyance that I will probably not buy from them for many months.
I first noted this phenomena where a local supermarket had a monthly sale on milk. They would jack up the posted price and
offer a coupon to bring the price back down -- this happened month after month. Not being one who carries a wallet of coupons,
I did not feel able to buy milk at the higher price during those periods. They may still do this, I don't know because I don't shop there any more.
In the Tradition of Marshalltown.
Just as M.H.S can be described as the building west of "The Round House" gymnasium, now M.C.C. can be described as the building west of their sports stadium. Advertised to the tax payers as a Computer and Welding classroom building with a Student Activity Center attached, it turns out the $7,000,000 building is really a 40,000 square foot, dedicated,
indoor sports stadium with permanent seating for 1,600 spectators (with built-in backrests). The central court is sixty yards long surrounded by support facilities, locker rooms, laundry, spacious offices, refreshment stand, hospitality rooms and kitchens, and mezzanines with the second floor devoted to exercise equipment (I counted 50 pieces) and a broadcasting studio. What is to become of the existing and adjacent 50 yard long gymnasium -- we are told it will be used to warm up for games.
Anyone who thought an "activity center" was to be a student union is told , "we already have a student union" (the lunch room), "we needed a bigger gym." Tim Wynes assured me all students are allowed to use the new facility, not just team members, and that the facility includes multiple wireless hot spots. For texting during the games, I guess.
Where do academics come into this addition? There is another new building, separated from the college, of 12,200 s.f. costing only $2.15 million that houses a welding laboratory, a computer class room, and two regular classrooms. There is no student union. Were the two buildings advertised together in the public bond request to make the new stadium sound as of academic value? For those with your names on the plaque, I have to express disappointment in use of our "education" dollars to build a second and luxury gym.
Back to School Woes .
"Marshalltown schools deemed 'In Need of Assistance' as part of the No Child Left Behind law." Marshalltown is one of 13 districts in the state of 360 total districts. I have not been in favor of NCLB because it imposes bureaucracy and mediocrity upon schools. But how else is one to know which schools are good and which are bad -- where in mediocrity is better than bad. The District Superintendent said he just learned of the problem. Should he have known ?
Bike Trail by Non-bikers .
There is supposed to be a bike trail through town to the Nature Center. Two lanes are painted as if for bicycles, but the trail is centered on the joint between asphalt road and concrete gutter. The concrete is too narrow to ride on, the
joint is unstable to ride on, and the remaining asphalt strip places a handlebar in conflict with each auto's side-view mirror. Somebody must have said "we need a bike trail" and somebody else just did what they were told. Obviously no thought went into it.
September is my favorite month. Cooler and allowing time to do all the things not
completed over summer. The monarchs are resting in the sunny side of an oak tree,
fourteen sit to be counted with an equal number in motion, a humming bird is in the petunias, Earlier the doe with two, now big fawns were eating apples outside the kitchen window while we ate cobbler inside. It is brisk enough for a jacket in the morning, but that yields to a sweated T-shirt by afternoon when dozens more monarchs
are found in the orchard and pine break.
DTV is better television? Not.
With the antenna we can receive 11 TV channels. of varying quality: -- 2, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 17, 23, 28, 39. Several are doubled up for the same networks, so we get good service on seven different networks. Our usuals are 5-ABC, 8-CBS, 11-IPTV, 13-NBC, 17-Fox, 23-CW, 39-ION.
With digital we have again 11 channels with varying quality, but two are new weather channels, two play identical shows (in different screen formats), and IPTV has three channels that seem to time-shift the same fare, but one of the three always seems to have "no signal" and one-third of the time none of the three IPTV-DTV channels work.
Converting to DTV leaves us with only two reliable networks, We are losing two networks, ABC (5, 9) and CW (23), and receive only intermittent service for IPTV (11) and FOX (17, 28) dependent on weather or something. ION (39) is not yet broadcasting digital, so we don't know.
Seven networks down to two. There is no benefit here from this government sponsored "service".
And more, we have five TV radios stationed around the house to follow TV shows while working on other things. I asked, these become junk in February. Thanks guys.
Wrong News .
How can the local news get it so wrong ? "Marshall County is losing population, but immigrant population is increasing, so that is good."
Marshalltown is losing population because the immigrants are increasing not just population, but are increasing crime, taxes, and disease; unlicensed and uninsured drivers. This once prosperous, bright community that attracted me to Marshalltown is gone. Taxes go to support higher costs for education, police, and medical expenses. School money is used to feed immigrants in addition to teaching. Emergency rooms serve up anchor babies by the dozen. As taxes sky-rocket many people have left and others are looking to leave, including me.
Read and Feed .
44% of Marshalltown school population is immigrants. Legal? illegal? Policy is "Don't ask, don't tell." Certainly the tax payers don't know.
64% of Marshalltown school population is on free meals.
Hey World, If you want your kids educated and fed for free, take get them to Marshalltown. It is in Iowa.
Good Planning .
The Emergency Radio station is in partnership with Alliance Electric. The Emergency Radio is shut down from flooding. Is the proposed new super powerplant to be built by Alliance Electric on a flood plain? If so, what does that suggest about other planning abilities for public safety and other promises about that plant's operations?
Unreal Lawsuits make TR Headlines .
"400 arrests violated the constitutional rights of workers at a meatpacking plant. . . . The suit claims that deporting illegals would deprive the detainees of their rights to pursue legal action against AgriProcessors for violating federal laws" . . . of having hired them?!
Giant Coal Fired Power Plant.
I was neutral on this until an electric rate increase was announced to pay for it. If the project won't pay for itself, then don't do it. The townspeople are going to suffer the congestion and collateral costs of construction and live with a dirtier environment. I was willing to accept that it has to go somewhere, but to suffer the inconvenience, the health risks, but then to pay for it, too? Count me out.
I am embarrassed by the 2008 Caucus. First, local "pols" get themselves reelected by acclimation and appoint all other positions. Tom Harkin almost destroyed Iowa First in the Nation; Tom Vilsak shows that such abuse is a reoccurring threat. Secondly, the process allows an active minority to sway the vote ; candidates must pander to specific ideas -- gasohol, life, guns, for example. Thirdly, the 2008 sessions praised the chaos of the democratic process, when it shows the weakness of
the Soviet Commissar system wherein the people running the show have no idea how to get things properly done. Fourthly, when first time attendees observe the contrived conditions, after the propaganda about Iowa neighbors discussing the issues, will, on reflection, suffer demoralization. Even us old-timers, are embarrassed.
"Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant" is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist."
No Fires .
Our fire department wants to proactively limit open burning
to twice a year. Why not band matches, lighters, pilot lights, and lightening, too?
Our mayor wants to outlaw dogs at public events and authorize
shoot on sight any dog or cat without visible vaccination tags. He cited a man who was licked
on the hand by a friendly dog and was frightened. Also that babies in carriages are at the same height as a dog's head. What size dog ? I am more bothered by tangling in leashes, baby carriages, and pointy umbrellas. Maybe we shouldn't allow neurotic men, baby carriages, or rain at public events.
North Third Street .
There is a proposal to convert IA 14, a four lane road, and major access through the north side of town, into two lanes plus a turning lane. The proposal supporters seem to think that halving the number of lanes will half the traffic. This is so stupid one has to look for alternative explanations. We deem the town council to not be smart enough to form a conspiracy on this issue [such as make things worse so that other and unpopular measures might be passed -- such as additional streets] : so it might just be the simpleton explanation.
"Will meet for socialization."
What do you think of the use of "socialization" for "socializing" as so often
said on radio as the purpose for a meeting?
"Socializing" is the condition of being social.
To me it sounds like taking Tarzan and making him into a gentleman.
"Socialization" is the process of becoming social.
FREE LUNCH - 2006
Is there such a thing as a free lunch ?
|Rank||School District||Free |
|1||DENISON ||480||67.79 %|
|5||DOWS ||460 ||63.74|
|10||STORM LAKE ||518||61.26|
|...||348 Other Schools |
Movies while Driving .
We now have two large animated signs to distract drivers on
South Center Street. The latest feature is movie clips to fix the attention
of drivers away from the road. Owners of such signs should pay for repairs, injuries, and suffering for each accident within 100 yards of such obvious dangers.
Amber Alert .
Weather radios were given to every household by homeland security to alert people to tornados. A good way to make people turn off those weather alert radios,
is to wake up everybody in the county over a domestic disagreement.
Must governments screw up every good idea?
Iowa Caucus .
It is more than an impression that dogmatic and special groups want
bring their interests to the fore in the Iowa Caucasus. Each candidate desiring to move to the next step is compelled to support positions that is not a majority position in the nation, or for that matter, among Iowans. This forcing of hypocrisy is endangering the "Iowa First" position.
Statistically Average .
From an ice storm that took down 6,000 power poles to a temperature of sixty-eight degrees in a week. Yep, that makes the average just about normal for Iowa.
Race for Dinner .
Someplace out west they are having a "food stamp drawing" that requires climbing through a hole in a fence and offering fake identification for a chance to win a dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Valid on days not closed for protest.
Scandal in the County .
An astute reader of local news will find : "Marshall County Board of Supervisors look into tax hike for residents". Why?
There are two ways to pay for increased operating costs caused by rising prices. Only one or the other is required. Our supervisors are using both and have invented a third way to tax the people. First is by raising property assessment : thus taxes go up at about the rate of inflation. If spending is under control then there is sufficient money collected to maintain the same services in the future as in the past. Second is by raising the taxing rate. This can remain the same if spending rate is the same. But our supervisors use both to spend more and then more again. The third way is to spend the county reserves -- emergency funds, be it for economic depression, acts of nature, funds that by their nature are dramatic and unexpected. Spending reserves does not require a public act of raising either assessments or rates. It is simply a form of misuse of community money. Yet, it allows the apparent tax rate to appear low, when in fact spending is in excess.
scandal number two. Supervisors are proposing raising rates to cover the excess and unapproved spending of the recent past at a different rate for two constituent groups : rural and urban. Most services go to people; land does not require much government expense. Rural properties, being larger are assessed more. Yet our supervisors propose to raise the rates on top of the already high assessments. Why ? Is it that there are more urban residents who might be more willing to agree to an increase when they see that others are being taxed even more then they.
Ahh, the art of politics. To secretly spend money by drawing down the reserves (theft), and using that mismanagement as justification to raise taxes to pay for the uncontrolled rate of spending. The next step in the art of unethical politics is to quiet any objection : "This is only a proposal, we will not necessarily raise taxes." Yea, sure.
Aquatic Center .
First, the Aquatic Center was able to be built within the city's available money. Except then there was no money left for routine city expenses. Then it was built next to a railroad creating hazard not only to kids but to trains. Local streets were destroyed
and businesses interrupted. The freight rumble is tearing the pool apart.1 But it was operating in the black ; except the books did not consider taxes or premature failure. This came out when the pool could not operate for a full season and patrons were shorted
their prepaid admissions. Can government do anything right? Private enterprise would consider all things and make good judgment, not just political.
1 . Someone who should know says this is not true. But when the ground is wet, I can feel a train's rumble,
so I will let the question stand as to the wisdom of building a water container next to a railroad.
Immigrant Raid .
A bunch of illegals were arrested today. They had been using identities stolen from citizens. It is funny that the only "story" is the news is that families are being torn apart. A mom, unable to speak English explained on camera through an interpreter of her concern that her children's father would not becoming home tonight. Why was she not arrested? Doesn't one expect a bank robber or other criminal to go directly to jail ? It is the criminal that is showing the irresponsibility to his family -- (a) by illegally entering the country to take jobs, and (b) engaging in identify theft, ruining the financial record of honest people. Yet once again we hear the plea, all that these people want is to work. But so do Americans whose jobs are illegally taken. And so do the people in line for legal immigration. Criminals are not entitled to freedom in America.
Every so often you have a exceptional experience with a contractor
that you want to tell people about. Mine was with R & R Services installing a
replacement roof. Ray's crew does excellent work, is courteous, and cleans up afterward -- all at a reasonable price.
September is the most beautiful month of Iowa. May only lasts a week, but September is spread into October to get the full thirty days. The Monarch's are in transit again, the warm days and cool nights are idea : relief from the heat and before the freeze we know will come.
I wish there were a line item veto on the IVCCD bond issue.
Repair the roofs -- yes. A music building -- go to real college,
what good is an associate in band? Will expanding the other campuses
mean that we have to pay time and mileage to local instructors to
use them. Why do we need an arts facility at the Orpheum with education tax dollars?
If the community needs it, then it should be privately subscribed. Shouldn't the benefiting companies and unions pay for a dedicated welding building? .
I feel like a traitor, but feel more like they have not made good choices for funding.
I sat in an MCC Staff meeting the day a bond passed a decade ago and the response was; "Gee, that was a surprise ; now, what do we spend it on." Obviously not on roofs.
They Want MORE Money .
A claim is being laid by IVCCD and Extension Office for an increase
in taxes. Both point out that the rate of taxation has not changed for some time. What they both
want us to overlook is that as valuations increase every two years, our taxes have already increased.
Public agencies automatically receive an increase each assessment period. You are now paying more taxes this year than before, right ? (Mine has doubled in ten years.) Everybody is getting their share of the increase. The requested
increases that triple the rate is a big new increase in our taxes on top of the automatic increases we have been paying and the increase carries into the future.
Are you going to vote to further and permanently increase our taxation?
Marshalltown's Greatest Hero.
Marshalltown-born Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher commanded three
of the great aircraft carrier battles of WW2. There were only five such battles in history.
The Japanese navy destroyed the US battle fleet at Pearl Harbor,
captured the Western Pacific, destroyed the American, British, Dutch and Australian Far Eastern fleets, attacked India, Australia and Alaska without lost of a major ship. Until they meet Fletcher. He stopped their attempt to isolate Australia, then rushed to defeat their carrier fleet at Midway, and, finally, saved the Marines at Guadalcanal.
Did you know this ? Are great boulevards named after him, a gravel road ? Nothing !
Local Boy Lost to History
A naval writer told the story of Coral Sea with our Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher as the
hero. When he told the story of Midway,
he chose a different hero to spread the glory around the Navy. The story of the Midway victory was widely
reprinted and became a book with glowing endorsements.
Fletcher was left out, with all appearances that the account had the factual approval of the Navy -- which was simply pleased with a popular story of the victory regardless of a few errors. This became an accepted version of that battle's organization.
The result for Fletcher was "a bit like saying that because Nelson had achieved so greatly in the Battle of the Nile it would be more appropriate to give somebody else the credit for Trafalgar."
A new book tells his story, "Black Shoe Carrier Admiral" by Lundstrom, 2006.
Elephant Fountain .
Great applause to Jamie Bland.
The elephants are a delight.
Buying Votes .
The first order of campaigning of each candidate for governor is
to raise teacher's salaries. One says, I will raise teacher's pay. The other says,
I'll raise it more. Neither says a thing about educating students, only about buying votes.
10% of Mexico's population is now living in United States.
Noted without comment.
Our school has contracted with a company in California to tell the
administration if " bullying " should be prohibited among all students or just against a list
of protected persons with specific traits.
They are spending tax money on out of state consultant fees, travel, and expenses. Do we need more proof of inability to manage?
Boycott of America .
I noticed that La Carreta, Iowa Ave East, and El Portal, Meadow Lane Mall, have chosen to boycott America.
My family used to eat at La Carreta every other Tuesday.
May Day Demonstration .
The purpose of the demonstrations is to show how much we depend upon illegal immigration.
- Count the number of jobs that should be available for Americans.
- Count the number of students for whom we are paying. (Don't forget the niņos that drive up hospital costs.)
- Consider the nation's risk of a lawless core without loyalty among us.
- Where is the immigration service with handcuffs?
Hills and Valleys .
I used to think that God made the hills and valleys of Iowa, But now I know it is the country roadgrader. The driveway to my home used to be below the
crest of a hill, very dangerous. So I put in a new driveway at the very crest of the hill. The
grader has since raised the hill by six inches (Initially I could drive the car mirrors under
the mailbox) and moved the crest ten yards west. And lowered the valley by six inches so that there is now a step-up to the old drive that is still used for the barns. I have to stop with a pickup load of a ton of gravel, inch up the step, and pray nobody comes racing over the top of the now even higher crest of the hill.
"Dear President Bush:
I'm about to plan a little trip with my family and extended family, and I would like to ask you to assist me. I'm going to walk across the border from the U.S. into Mexico. I know you can help with this.
I plan to skip all the legal stuff like visas, passports, immigration quotas and laws. I'm sure they handle those things the same way you do here.
So, would you mind telling your buddy, President Vicente Fox, that I'm on my way over? Please let him know that I will be expecting the following:
1. Free medical care for my entire family.
2. English-speaking government bureaucrats for all services I might need, whether I use them or not.
3. All government forms need to be printed in English.
4. I want my kids to be taught by English-speaking teachers.
5. Schools need to include classes on American culture and history.
6. I want my kids to see the American flag flying on the top of the flag pole.
7. Please plan to feed my kids at school for both breakfast and lunch.
8. I will need a local Mexican driver's license so I can get easy access to government services.
9. I do not plan to have any car insurance, and I won't make any effort to learn local traffic laws.
10. In case one of the Mexican police officers does not get the memo from Pres. Fox to leave me alone, please be sure that all police officers speak English.
11. I plan to fly the U.S. flag and to have a gigantic celebration on July 4th. I do not want any complaints or negative comments from the locals.
12. I would also like to have a nice job without paying any taxes, and don't enforce any labor laws.
13. Please tell all the people in the country to be extremely nice and never say a critical word about the strain I might place on the economy.
I know this is an easy request because you already do all these things for all the people who come to the U.S. from Mexico. I am sure that Pres. Fox won't mind returning the favor if you ask him nicely.
Thank you so much for your kind help.
Have you heard about the brutal way the Mexican authorities treat those felons who cross their southern border?
Street signs are supposed to help people from out of town to find their way around. The new street signs are in hard to read cursive script of low contrast.
We have new decorations on sign posts , but not something useful for visitors.
Grades for Sports .
A school Principal in a neighboring district was asked his thoughts about the new rule requiring students passing all classes before engaging in sports ; he talked about being careful how we punish students. He did not talk about earning the privilege to represent the school.
The Law .
"Just because a person is an illegal does not mean we will contact the immigration service"
-- Marshalltown Police, KDAO Radio, 10:31 am 4/17/06.
The city planning consultants say that the new library is the center piece of their new plans for Marshalltown.
And I thought the library was planned by local people before the paid consultants arrived to tell us what we think.
If you speak good English , thank a teacher.
That you speak English , thank a veteran.
Here's a surprise: Iowa 2003
|County Name||Rank||Teen Birth Rate (per 1,000)|
|Marshall|| 1|| 32.6|
|Woodbury|| 2|| 27.3|
|Crawford|| 3|| 27.0|
|Buena Vista|| 4|| 26.3|
|Muscatine|| 5|| 25.6|
|Page|| 6|| 25.2|
|Scott|| 7|| 24.9|
|Hardin|| 8|| 24.8|
|Montgomery|| 9|| 24.6|
|Polk|| 10|| 23.5|
|Black Hawk|| 15|| 20.0|
|Dubuque|| 26|| 16.5|
|Tama|| 27|| 16.5|
|Linn|| 43|| 11.9|
|Poweshiek|| 51|| 10.9|
|Marion|| 70|| 7.3|
|Story|| 90|| 3.4|
|Iowa|| 91|| 2.9|
|Benton|| 92|| 1.7|
|Appaloose|| 93|| 0.0|
|Bremer|| 94|| 0.0|
|Davis|| 95|| 0.0|
|Grundy|| 96|| 0.0|
|Fremont|| 97|| 0.0|
|Lyon|| 98|| 0.0|
|Union|| 99|| 0.0|
Submitted without comment.
An engineer from local government was on the radio discussing eminent domain.
Attention was called to the fact that the right to take private property for public uses has always existed and the new attention given to eminent domain is just a hindrance to their work with an additional expense for lawyers.
The Supreme Court of the United States has recently redefined eminent domain to include any use authorized by local governments. This allows any person's land to be taken and given to another for any use, such as a larger mall parking lot. It is no longer limited to generally accepted public use of schools and roads. It totally removes the right to private enjoyment of real property - thereby destroying a fundamental American freedom. We cannot overlook the "Oh, lets do that" factor for local governments where low tax property can be taken and awarded to higher tax paying users.
Jefferson must be rolling in his
grave for not fighting to retain his original wording. The final expression "Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." was originally "life, liberty and property" ; it was by changed by committee to the less mercenary wording. Absence of the word "property" is now being used to renounce a fundamental principle of democracy , that of secure ownership of property.
In some respects it is good to see that big business principles are being
pronounced in our town. Allow free immigration to do the jobs that citizens don't want to do. Allow eminent domain for more prosperous use of land. There used to be a business philosophy that business was run to provide for the "stakeholders" -- this included stockholders,
employees, the community and nation. Local politicians who don't remember this policy speak praisingly of business decisions to move jobs out of the country "if it make the company stronger."
However, this policy has evolved to delete all but the first interest and
has returned to the earliest form of business where the management is the only stakeholder, with only enough contribution to the anonymous stockholder to keep the management in office. Free immigration is supported to hold down wages , not because the job won't be done. Real Americans will be found to do any job that is properly paid as determined by
free-market in wages, even soldier. Allowance of eminent domain to be extended to business uses is to reduce the cost of acquisition of prime land, rather than free-market value and owner's interest.
Same day headlines :
"Monday's low school attendance blamed on bowl games, holiday break."
It certainly doesn't have anything to do with a change in the
holiday schedule from past practice, asking attendance during a federal holiday
when most large
businesses are closed and around which family schedules were built.
"Despite States' education grade, M.C.S.D. quality is fine."
The state received an "F" rating and we already know three schools
in Marshalltown of 91 in the state have failing scores, and the entire
Marshalltown Community School District has failed to meet math and graduation
So that means everything is fine !?!
Stephen Hill. We will miss his wise advice.
Marshalltown School Superintendent
"We know it takes seven years to learn to read proficiently in a new language."
Gee. Doesn't he know that a person can learn to read Basic English in a matter of weeks. But to acknowledge that would take away from the importance of schools (reduce his budget) and raise the standards of performance of teaching.
McLaughlin Group Annual wrap-up show : Biggest Errors of the year are:
"Spending on bilingual education when immersion into English is the best way to learn it."
Gee. This is more like it.
Christmas lighting at the Court House is impressive.
As a new adjunct teacher at MCC, it was a surprise to hear the Dean say to all of us in the
orientation session , "Our purpose
is to be a resource for the a community; it is not to enforce academic standards."
Is the logic -- college degrees help people get jobs? Therefore it is a community service to hand out college degrees. Hint : employers are not that dumb. Whereas an associate degree used to
grant new employees the starting pay of two years of seniority; today it does not guarantee even a job interview.
Good going, Dean.
This is a quote relating to Spanish in the schools. "We don't just teach language, we celibate the culture." Is it appropriate to wonder,
(1) A student (now in college) described not being taught any Spanish from fall start of classes till Christmas because they were learning Mexican civilization.
(2) What is the purpose of a language class ; one
would suspect it is to learn to speak and read in that language.
(3) Is the time spent celebrating a foreign culture taken from celebrating the American way of life ?
English as a Second Language.
(4) Is the purpose to enter American society most quickly ?
(5) Does the fact that schools receive extra funding for keeping students in ESL
classes have anything to do with doodling in teaching English ? .
(6) Functional English can be taught in weeks -- but the state pays for three years, so . . .
Heard on the Street. I don't know if this is true, but some said
the federal grant for removing lead paint is being used to refurbish housing for
those who "cannot afford" to bring their homes up to any standard.
Frank Jack Fletcher
There were five aircraft carrier battles in the Pacific War. Admiral Frank Jack Fletcher
was our Task Force Commander at the first three. The Imperial Japanese Navy had run wild from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, to Ceylon in the Indian Ocean, from Alaska in the far north to Australia in the South Pacific ; they captured the natural resources needed to continue the conquest of China while destroying the British Far Eastern Fleet, the Dutch Navy, the U.S. Asiatic Fleet without loss to themselves.
Then they met with Admiral Fletcher.
He stopped the Japanese advance on Australia in the Battle of the Coral Sea. He saved Hawaii at the famous Battle of Midway. He saved Guadalcanal from recapture in the Battle of Eastern Solomons. He sank six of the ten enemy carriers
while holding the line with a depression era fleet until the nation could mobilize.
When American industry turned out thousands of ships and millions of trained sailors,
marines, soldiers and airmen, the Admirals and Generals that followed him were able to look like heroes, to be honored and praised.
bet you have not heard of this real hero who held the line for nine months when we were losing the war against a well prepared foe. Even his home town of Marshalltown, Iowa, has no monuments to this great man, no proud boulevards are named for him, not even a street or road.
Never have so many forgotten what this great man did.
This is why taxation without representation is a sin.
Have you ever noticed that the library is never open when people are available to use and even need the library. There used to be an expression, "Banker's Hours" meaning that banks were only open during the normal work day such that common people had to take off from work to be able to talk to a banker during the banker's preferred working hours. Such arrogance has been replaced by recognition that banks have to provide service to customers which includes being accessible for the convenience of the common people. Maybe the library could learn a little bit about customer service.
School Supervisor Dumb-speak
Listening to the local radio, a local school superintendent was on who said so many stupid things that I will have to
start a Marshalltown Blog -- starting with peanut butter, local school district flunking national test, and
moving into every "Wednesday is now an early release day. We use that
time for teachers and get good use out of it to improve our teaching skills."
(a) "release" as from
prison? Good choice of words. (b) Every Wednesday, it was bad enough when they had been cheated the taxpayers and students with one afternoon a month. (c) Does the word "latch-key kid" still have meaning? A few paragraphs later he said what a
"good set of qualified teachers we have." Then, why did the whole system flunk the national no-child left-behind tests??? Why do they have to stop teaching Wednesdays to improve the teachers ? Why the conferences, is it a reward to get away from kids ; they now have every Wednesday. He said so many more dumb things that I wished I had recorded it. Will have next Sunday and from now on to gleam material for this blog.
One was gas prices are such they will have to reduce then number of
state conferences they send teachers too. They send teachers out of the
classroom THAT MUCH???
Another was that Marshalltown had a superior math and computer program. Then why is math specifically cited as a weakness in the flunked Federal Standards ? How bad must the other subjects be?
I have to do the arithmetic on number of schools days and number of teacher "holidays", number of classes and time actually teaching on those days they are expected to be teaching, to see what the effective hourly rate we taxpayers are paying to have our kids educated -- and at a flunking level.
But one can suspect the problem is with the administration. Too much of it ; are they are serving the needs of the staff rather than students?. That can happen when bureaucracies isolate themselves from the entity being served -- classrooms.
Marshalltown schools ban peanut butter and all nuts in student brought lunches -- as a danger to other children. Marshalltown is
a nut free zone -- yea, sure !!! They have looked at Pizza. I know they
are opposed to motherhood for students ; can Apple Pie be far behind?
Obviously the reason is fear from lawsuit if the one in thousands of
kids who is allergic to peanuts takes a bite of another kid's peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Must we destroy the traditional lunch of American school children? Wouldn't a better way to cover the school administration's tail be to send a notice that peanut butter is not being served in schools for whatever reason and that parents should evaluate their own situation and inform the school if their child has an allergy to the classic American product -- developed by G.W. Carver at Iowa State before he went on to director of agriculture at Tuskegee College.
But, No. The school administration recommends tuna fish sandwiches
be packed -- never mind that spoilage, disease, and death lie in that direction. We, instead, ban
the time-honored favorite, Peanut Butter.
Marshalltown Schools Flunked
Three Marshalltown school flunk Federal Standards: -
Woodbury Elementary, Anson Middle and Marshalltown High School. [That
pretty well covers the age groups. Anson and MHS flunked for the second year !] Of 91 flunking in the state, we have 3.3% of total. The director of Instruction said, "The implication that the school is in need of assistance just because it is failing, that is not true." Prat.
Oh, later in the news article, it says the entire Marshalltown Community School District is also listed --
for failure to meet math and graduation requirements district wide.
The problem, it seems, is that new standards have been set. [What do you want'a bet that to fix the problem will require a new bond issue,
"for our children". And not that the solution is to fire the prat and start teaching.
[Anyone for Basic English?]
When going out for the newspaper this morning, I felt as if I had
stepped onto the set of Sound of the South. A humming bird was among the
horn shaped flowers, he stood off so that I couldn't be sure at first het wasn't a butterfly, then took off at high speed around the trees. A real butterfly drifted by, small birds went over the dwarf lilac. Out on the driveway, a flock of
butterflies waffled through the air ahead of me continuing to the cornfield across the road. Approaching the flowerbeds, doves took off with a flutter and other birds called in the orchard. What a wakeup -- September is a beautiful time of year in Iowa.