Tag Archives: education

Still Not Interested!

15 Nov

I was doing some on-line banking this morning and as I was scrolling through my recent transactions I happened to notice that my bank, one of the largest in the world by the way, made an interest deposit in my favor…for 5 cents!

Once upon a time when I was little an interest credit of 5 cents would have meant that I was a five year old whose dad had just opened a savings account for him with 1 dollar.

I’m all grown up now and I have quite a few more dollars in the bank but I’m still getting 5 cents in interest!

I tried to figure out what kind of a percentage that meant I was getting on my money but my calculator melted while trying to do the math.

Honestly I don’t even bother to add the interest into my balance anymore. It’s not worth the time or worth using up one of the spaces in my register to add just pennies to my balance. I just wrote pennies didn’t I? Imagine that! Pennies in interest on a banking account in the 21st century… when I was teaching high school the students would throw pennies at each other rather than keep the annoying coins in their pockets. Now they’re my investment income.

Honestly, I’d rather they kept their 5 cents than insult me with such a transaction.

But sadly, just the other day, while I was making a transaction at the drive up window, a bank assistant manager asked if I would like to transfer my money from my checking account to a fabulous new Platinum Savings account where I’ll earn 3 times as much money in interest! Wouldn’t that be a wonderful idea?! And she was so cheerful and peppy and excited for her offering me this great new prospect for my increased wealth!

Wow! I thought. 3 times as much interest! So, instead of .01 percent or .0001 for those who do math. I can get .03% or .0003 in interest on my hard earned and saved money. Why that’s 3 dollars instead of 1 dollar as thanks for holding onto my 10,000 dollars (that’s if I had 10,000 dollars…I’m only using that figure so my example can have real numbers in it instead of imaginary ones! As it is that’s 25 cents or one quarter per month…in interest on 10 thousand dollars.

Soon I suspect they will be paying my interest in imaginary numbers.

I’d love to be able to take out a loan from the same bank and then hand them 5 cents when the interest on that loan came due… wouldn’t you?

Of course that probably would have meant that I had only borrowed a dime.

I mean really, one of the largest banks in the world can only afford to give me 5 cents in interest these days on the money I put in there for safe keeping and which of course they are also allowed to use to make themselves money?

Has our government heard about this?

The one that’s made up of 47% lawyers and 43% millionaires?

Or is it the other way around?

No matter I guess…Because most of the candidates running for president this election cycle are promising NOT to bail out the big banks should they fail again, like they did in 2008. Do they realize that “in the banks” is where Americans keep their money? (those that have any) And have these lawyers and millionaire candidates ever heard of FDIC insurance, a law that’s been in effect since 1933…whereby the Federal Government (them) promises to insure our bank accounts (us) up to 250,000 dollars. (By the way, that’s 75 dollars of interest per year! Yay!) So if the banks fail…and they don’t get bailed out…we’re all penniless. Literally and figuratively!

Which, by the by, is how the banks ran their scam the first time! They couldn’t lose!

Anyway, I don’t know whether I’m more angry, insulted or depressed by the whole situation…in which the banks seem to know the law all to well and the candidates pretend to know no law at all?!

But it does kinda make you lose interest in more ways than one doesn’t it?

Live Long and Prosper?

10 Nov


Each year the Legatum Institute, a division of a private investment firm, creates The Legatum Prosperity Index, which is an annual ranking of 142 countries, based on a variety of what are seen as human prosperity factors including wealth, economic growth, education, health, personal freedom, personal well-being, and quality of life.

This year Norway tops the list as the most prosperous country in which to live with the United States coming in a distant 11th, which isn’t too bad though when you consider that their are 131 other countries behind us. However, last year we ranked 10th (in 2008 we were 6th) while Norway was still number 1. This year Ireland jumped from 12th place to move ahead of us. Now how did that happen?

Anyway, those countries still ahead of us, in their respective order from number 2 are: Switzerland, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and Finland. Not bad company but what I find most curious is that if you look at the map above showing the world’s most recent population growth rates you’ll see that these are also the countries that mostly have the lowest growth rates and where their prosperous citizens are giving birth to the fewest children.

And if you’re wondering who’s at the bottom of the prosperity list well, all you have to do is look at the map and see where all of the children are being born and those are the very same places that are among the least happy to live in, including such happy places like Chad, Sudan, Yemen, Syria and most of Africa and the Middle East.

So Why do all of the happy and prosperous countries produce the fewest children while just about all of the sad places are veritable population bombs? Why do people who are poor and living in the worst of conditions want to have children while those humans who are most affluent and able to afford and care for offspring, do not?

In fact affluence is the only form of birth control among humans that actually seems to work long term. And It seems that the more one has, the more likely one is to want to live separated from others and in larger spaces and often with extra homes that they don’t even use. And affluent countries are also the most likely to want to build walls and fences to keep other, less fortunate folks out…and/or deport those who they see as poor baby making squatters who don’t belong to their citizenry and probably never will.

Money and happiness seem to work hand in hand to make people more reclusive and stingy. Which begs the question: Which came first? The children, or the eggs-istentialism? the happiness or the un? Does one just have to look at the map above to see who the future inheritors of the Earth shall be? Was all that hard work just for zero growth… or rather… nothing…so to speak?

Where’s the Beef?

8 Nov

In the Hindu religion, if you take care of cows, your family will prosper and you will have peace. Your children will have a good spiritual life. God will look after them. In India’s capital city there are as many as 3 cow shelters that serve as both barn and sanctuary for thousands of urban cows. And in a city of 17 million, people that is, an estimated 40,000 cows roam freely on the streets.

So imagine my surprise this week when I read in Time Magazine that India is the world’s largest exporter of…beef! In fact India accounts for about 23% of the world’s beef exports with Brazil close behind and the U.S in a distant fourth place at around 11%. (Australia is third)

But how is this possible? Is sacred now a word synonymous with delicious? Well, as it would turn out, with a little more research on my part, what India exports is carabeef, which is another word for the meat of a Water buffalo, which is a relative of the American Cattle from which our delicious and very own cow derives, which of course is what we also call a female Water Buffalo…even in India.

Anyway, It seems to me that all religious belief among humans, as with any other form of belief or worship, present or past, and even among those of us who choose to cling to our beliefs religiously… is all relative in the end…and no matter how devout or casual, probably just as tasty as anyone elses.

Can You Find the Scandal in This Story?

2 Nov

Here’s another heart warming story from the world of American college athletics.

A salacious sex scandal is beginning to unravel at the University of Louisville, where campus parties provided by the director of basketball operations and a local madam, provided strippers and sex for players, recruits and their guardians along with money provided to the players to pay for the sex…and wouldn’t you know it…the head coach, Mr. Rick Pitino, knew absolutely nothing about it!

How scandalous! Young college men, students and basketball players all, provided with strippers and with money to pay for sexual favors! And now the NCAA is launching an investigation to get to the bottom of the whole sordid story…and even the University of Louisville has hired an investigator to find out what it actually is that the University of Louisville has done! Because apparently no one there knows.

And should the investigations prove that money was provided to students and basketball players and guardians… then the punishment will most likely mean a postseason ban and loss of scholarships for the Louisville basketball team. Or in other words, the students will be punished!

Because the real scandal here is that athletes were given something, when we all know that athletes are supposed to perform for nothing except the privilege of attending their university for free…even though their work precludes their ability to find the time to attend that university.

The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a member of the Kentucky state university system, where room and board and tuition for a Kentucky resident comes to around 20 thousand dollars per year. And where the director of athletics is paid 1.4 million dollars per year and the basketball coach has a 51 million dollar contract. That’s the equivalent of 2550 students each year.

But I digress because the real scandalous and salacious part of this story is not that young athletes were provided with sexual favors at a Kentucky university but rather that millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars are made by the university off of the labor of their athletes and is then spread around among university officials and coaches, while their academic students are still required to pay thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to attend the university.

And what do the athletes get? Illicit sexual favors in exchange for their hard work? That’s it?

The new American University business model: Pimp and prostitute. User and Usurer. And they know not what they do…

Now that’s a scandal.

Violence IS the Last refuge of the Incompetent

29 Oct

Image: SC Police Officer Slams Black Student to the Ground, Video Sparks Outrage

https://youtu.be/dXK1eiY4FGc  (follow this link for the short 15 second video)

The girl in the above video was arrested for “disturbing school” and later released to her family.

A 2015 report from the African American Policy Forum found black girls, like black boys, faced harsher discipline than their white counterparts in a review of New York and Boston school discipline data.

adjective: incompetent: not having or showing the necessary skills to do something successfully. inept, unskilled, unprofessional, leaving much to be desired.

I am still amazed at how often people in authority seem to feel that violence or aggression goes hand in hand with their authority and is the logical go to option whenever they are confronted by people who do not readily submit to their orders.
In education, where I spent 33 years as a high school teacher, and 16 years before that as a student, the first lesson always taught to children (and to first year teachers I might add) is that fighting or aggressive physical behavior, is never the answer to anything.
But, ironically,  out in the adult world, it always seems to be the answer to everything…as in: More military! More guns! More threatening aggressive tactics will teach our enemies that we mean business! Fighting back is manly. Seeking peaceful solutions? That’s for weak minded sissies…
“Judge not”, “Turn the other cheek”, “Love your enemies”, “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you”, “Love your neighbor as yourself”. We always seem to treat these maxims which we say are from God as being that which will apply to us when we are all dead and in Heaven…that most wondrous of invisible lands where we are all destined to live in peace and love.
But here on earth we fight…forever and always, and can’t ever seem to figure out why, except that we’re pretty well sure that it’s the other guys fault…almost always. What we need is a religion for the living here on Earth. Something that sticks with us and that we can apply when we feel disrespected and scorned and out of sorts with the world. Something that overrides our urge to always want to choose violence as the way to show others who’s the boss.
We’ve been around as practicing humans for thousands of years now and we still haven’t gotten the hang of it. Or maybe the trouble is that we have….but honestly, I fail to see the intelligent design in all that. Maybe we’re just all disaffected students of life who can’t seem to focus long enough to grasp the lesson…
Love is the answer.
Any questions?

A Fools Logic

27 Oct

Guns don’t kill people.


Only people kill people.


If we outlaw guns.

Only outlaws will have guns.


If all people have guns,


People won’t kill people any more.

Ergo: (if we continue this logic)

When all nations have nuclear weapons, all nations will be safe.

Would it be Worth the Life of One Child?

6 Oct

I remember years ago, when I used to be a reporter for a very local newspaper. I was attending a  township council meeting and the council’s discussion was focused around the proposed purchase of a new fire engine for the township’s firehouse. At that time the price for said engine was around 250,000 dollars and one of the councilmen remarked that the purchase of a new fire engine might be too expensive for the township at that time.

That’s when the mayor spoke up and said that if the purchase of a new fire engine saved the life of even one township child then it would be money well spent no matter the cost. After that the proposal passed unanimously, including the eager vote of the one frugal councilman who had brought up the idea of the purchase being too expensive in the first place.

Today I have been reading about the recent tragedy in Oregon involving another horrendous school shooting by a lone gunman and about how local school districts around the country have been partnering with local law enforcement agencies to help prepare schools and school personnel for situations similar to the one that occurred in Oregon and elsewhere around the country.

Some states even now require local law enforcement agencies to stage real time drills in which they mock invade local schools in attempts to prepare teaching staffs and students for the real thing. Many have called the mock raids frightening and hard to determine whether they are drills or the real thing and wonder why they are being staged or conducted at all.

School administrators and law enforcement personnel have answered critics by saying that if it helps to save even one child’s life then no matter how real or frightening they may be, they are indeed well worth it.

And of course almost everyday these days one can see or hear someone in government demanding that Planned Parenthood be de-funded and that perhaps the United States government should even be shut down because if it means saving the life of even one unborn child then it would be well worth the effort and the cost.

So can’t we have some stricter background checks for gun ownership and maybe tougher registration procedures to ensure safer ownership and perhaps even new gun laws that are more in tune with laws that we already have for the safe owning and operating of motor vehicles and for the regulation and use of drugs and narcotics? I mean even if they save the life of even one child wouldn’t it be worth it?

Nope! Definitely not. It wouldn’t be worth the life of any number of children or adults. Even if it didn’t cost anything… and even if everyone still got to keep all the guns they wanted. Now way. No how. Uh-uh…


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