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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Simple explanation of Ron Pauls views on military bases overseas

Here is a simple explanation of Ron Paul’s view on military bases overseas.

This is how I think of it, it is probably not quite what Ron Paul believes, but this is a simple explanation.

After World War II we fought a cold war against USSR. It took a long time to move troops and missiles didn’t go very far. So to keep world peace we needed strategic missiles as close to the USSR as possible.

Fast forward to today. Missiles travel across the world in minutes. The USSR and communism has been defeated. No one is trying to take over the world. Countries that are against us are small and run by dictators who have been in power a long time and whose one goal is to keep power until they die in peace in old age like King Jong Il.

So Ron Paul wants to bring our troops home.

Imagine that someone doesn’t like your neighbor, so he comes to your house and stays in your guest bedroom he pays you for the room. He spies on your neighbor all day and upsets them. You didn’t have a problem with them. Then he ignores your house rules. However you can’t legally kick him out. What do you do? How do you feel?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Why Newt Gingrich can't win the General Election

Why Newt Gingrich Can’t win the General Election.

I live in South Carolina, South Carolina with just a week before primary season begins is leaning toward Newt Gingrich. If South Carolina falls to Newt it will be a grave error by South Carolinian voters. If the GOP really wants someone who can beat Obama, like Governor Nikki Haley discussed then voting for Newt is a wasted vote.

#1 Reason Newt can’t win a General Election is because he doesn’t have support in key swing states. Virginia which is a Red state went to Obama in 2008 and would likely go to Obama again in 2012 despite the GOP sweeping the state in the 2010 election. Why, because Newt couldn’t get enough signatures to get on the GOP primary ballot. Guess what state Newt is from, Virginia. That is right, just like Al Gore in 2000 couldn’t win his home state (which would have given him the presidency over Bush) it is unlikely Newt could win his home state.

#2 Reason Gingrich can’t win a General Election is he doesn’t have the infrastructure to run a national campaign. He is barely qualifying for Primaries.

#3 Reason Newt can’t win a General Elections is the GOP base is Independents won’t vote for him. Ron Paul actually performs 2% better than Newt in a General Election and this is primarily due to strong support by Independents for Ron Paul according to recent Gallup poll numbers.

#4 Newt Gingrich was in bed with Freddie Mac. While Freddie Mac took the American Tax Payer for millions and destroyed trillions in wealth, Newt took them for more than 1.5 million dollars. Basically the American Tax Payer padded Newts pockets to the tune of 1.6-1.8 million.

# 5 Reason Newt Gingrich can’t win is his infidelity. At least President Obama has had 1 wife and is loyal to her. Gingrich couldn’t even run his own house hold not once, but twice. While condemning President Clinton for his out of marriage exploits (and aren’t he and his wife still married Newt was busy, getting busy, without reconciliation or sorrow.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

QR Codes

What is this bar code? It is a QR (Quick Read) Code!

I recently read an article that said QR codes aren’t catching on, other than marketers and alleged the QR code was dying before it was ever accepted. I disagree, it is a new technology, it will take a while to catch on. Yes, there are potential issues with the codes, but I believe the main reason is that people still don’t understand them.

So what are QR codes? If you have a smart phone and an app to read the bar code you can get information on a product with a quick scan. A marketing person will create a link that the code represents and when you scan it your phone will go to that website or youtube video or contact information.

The main issue is that current phones camera does not function as a scanner. You have to have a free app. So the consumer has to take the initiative to download the scanner. Marketers have to provided quality information so that people will scan the information.

So what are some quality ways that QR codes are used? My company uses them to show product uses and sign people up for email list.

Food companies may send you to a recipe page or how they are using local produce. The Wounded Warrior project and Hines Ketchup have teamed up to promote donating to Wounded Warriors.

QR codes do have a future in marketing, but only if marketers use them correctly. Another way to make them more prevalent is if Phone companies build in scan ability into their cameras.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Not everyone sucking off the tax payer teet

One way to help rein in Federal spending is to not accept it. Local media and TU are trying to paint Superintendent Mick Zais decision for freedom as opposed to Federal tyranny as a poor one. Tea Party and freedom fighters and Occupy Wall Street all should be congratulating him. If everyone was doing this we could balance the budget by the end of 2012.

If you take Federal government money you are admitting you are so stupid you can’t figure something out without robbing your neighbors. Zais is working on figuring it out without stealing.

One State Board of Education and Superintendent Mick Zais has got it right when it comes to accepting Federal money “because he thought too many strings were attached to the funding.”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The NY Times discusses the Federal Governments role in education. My favorite quote comes from the end of the article : “Since decades of research it clear that what matters for evaluating employees or turning around schools is how well you do it — rather than whether you do it a certain way — it’s not surprising that well-intentioned demands for “bold” federal action on school improvement have a history of misfiring.”

Not surprisingly to those of us who are successful in life. We do better when we have a buy in to the system. That is why volunteer organizations charge you to be a part of them and Fraternities charge fees for friendship. If you have no personal buy in to the system you will just ignore it or at best put it low on your priority list.

The #1 reason public school is failing is because the government has told parents we don’t need your buy in to succeed. How do I know this? Ask any teacher about her parent conferences. The federal system takes decisions of education even farther away from the source. Thus crushing parental responsibility.

Beyond this list, the federal government is simply not well situated to make schools and teachers improve — no matter how much ambitious reformers wish it were otherwise. Under our system, dictates from Congress turn into gobbledygook as they travel from the Education Department to state education agencies and then to local school districts. Educators end up caught in a morass of prescriptions and prohibitions, bled of the initiative and energy that characterize effective schools.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Race to Nowhere

“Children are souls to be nurtured, not products to be measured” Leigh Bortins. Reminds us of how education used to be viewed. Today industrialized education system treats students as a product moving down a conveyor line. Ok someone add in the “math”, oh no that was missed, move that person to the “can’t do math” assembly line and throw in some extra reading. The Federal governments own studies show that out of a 1hr class only 15 minutes is actual “educating” time. Some easy math shows that if you educate the entire time, you can be done with school in 1.5 hours + the time to do homework. No wonder we are on a “race to nowhere”

New Movie talk about our public education as a “Race to nowhere.”
Abeles admits that she was initially the kind of mom who fretted when her daughter brought home a "B" on a test and who busily whisked her children from school to violin lessons to sporting events to provide them with extras she didn't have as a child. But that changed after she found one of her daughters doubled over with stomach pains while trying to pull an all-nighter doing homework.
Doctors said Shelby's stomach aches were stress-related. In the film, Abeles shows how her children and others across the United States are growing up trying to be great at everything so they can get into the best colleges.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Online Learning triples, is that good?

The Huffington Post had an article on online learning that I thought was interesting. Digital learning can give you access to the best teachers and opportunities that you may not have. I want to know if this is a case of opportunity or a case of meeting budgets. If it is meeting budget is this good because we are “advancing” our ability to learn or are we really offering a poorer education in an already poor education system? I’d argue the later. I believe a strong learner can use digital learning to actually make a subject their own. Someone who is not a strong and motivated learner will not succeed in learning the material. They may check off a box, but checking off boxes won’t help them when they are an adult looking to support themselves and/or a family.

Huffington Post

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Canadian Study Addresses Homeschooling and Socialization

No surprise to anyone who has homeschooled or to teachers in a public K-12 institution.

Homeschooling and Socialization:

The prevailing assumption is that the greatest drawback to homeschooling is the of social interaction with peers. Times have changed however, making peer interaction more of a problem than an asset. Instead of peer interaction facilitating the process of socialization, it is now more likely to lead to the premature replacement of adults by peers in the life of a child. Such children become peer-oriented rather than adult-oriented and are more difficult to parent and teach. Furthermore, peer-oriented children fail to mature psychologically and their integration into adult society is compromised.

College cost rise, but who can afford it?

The previous posted article from the NY Times, talked about the rising cost of education and why the federal government needs to give more money to it. I shortly discussed why the Feds involvement in education loans actually has caused this rise.
Of course we need college, because you make more money (almost $1 million more) and those w/ College Education are still at an unemployment rate of 4.4% nationwide (compared to around 9% average).

So isn’t a college education important? Yes, but why? Because we made it that way, can’t we remake it? What if we started to value internships more? What if we rethink education? We can make college less expensive if we want, but we can’t let the Federal Government and Large Businesses dictate what those are. The Occupy movement points out our problems, but they have the wrong solution.

Education Becomes More Valuable

The Index showed that 25.8 percent of households headed by a non-high school graduate faced major economic setbacks, compared to only 15.8 percent of households headed by someone with a college education.

Federal Programs caused the rise of college cost!

When did College Cost start to rise? If you look at History, you will see when we started Subsidizing College cost through the Federal Grants and Loans. We wanted to make it more affordable. Well if you are a business and you have more funds available – what do you do? You spend it! You are getting more money in, you are expected to offer a “better education” or at least more technology. This makes it even more expensive. So what happens? Cost Rise. They haven't offered a better education, just one that looks better on the outside.

The NY Times by Tamar Lewin has a different view from Secretary Duncan, but look at History and you will understand what I am saying.

Mr. Callan said. “We’ve put huge amounts into Pell grants under Clinton, Bush and Obama, but the money that went to financial aid has been absorbed by tuition increases. And with all that we’ve invested, we have a less affordable system than we had a decade ago. We’re on a national treadmill.”

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Definition of Nickel and Diming people to death.

I woke up this morning to find the big news of the day is Obama’s continued expansion of the federal government this time into the Christmas tree industry (by the invitation of small business agriculture). That is right Obama (Federal Government under Obama's watch) has decided to declare war on Christians, manufactures of reusable Christmas trees and has singled out a special tax for those who like to buy live Christmas tree, added burden to Christmas tree vendors everywhere and caused a black market to make law abiding citizens criminals. Whatever happened to the separation of church as state, how soon until Christmas trees become holiday trees?

Ok I’m sure you are saying, come on Robert you are being extreme. I am being extreme, because that is the only way that you will listen. I decided to look into what the tax will be used for, not that the government ever uses our funds well, but maybe it is going to be for lowering our debt. Nope! It is going to be used to fund a new arm of the government whose purpose is to promote the sale of live Christmas (holiday) trees!

Now if I am going to go buy a Christmas tree, than why do I need to be advertised to? Do they think I’ll buy two Christmas trees? I’m already buying a tree! Now I’m going to have to pay more! A LOT MORE!

Now you say 15 cents isn’t much. Well the Christmas tree sellers are now going to have to hire an accountant who will have to file additional taxes. Accountants cost money! Do you think the low margin Christmas tree vendor is going to eat that cost? No he will pass it on to the consumer, raising the cost of Christmas trees!
So now the Federal government has created additional tax payer expenses to promote something they are already buying, but will not have to do so at a higher cost to cover the cost of the government expenses!

Now let us assume the Feds do a great job advertising these Christmas trees as they do with any program. Well there is a little thing called supply and demand. Christmas trees take years (5-15) to grow. So the supply is going to be very flat for the next 15 years. If more people want to buy Christmas tree because of the great job the Feds are doing at advertising for the Christmas tree vendors. Guess what happens to the price of Christmas trees? The price will go up.
What happens when the price goes up? The poor will not be able to afford the Christmas trees. The federal government will then need to subsidies the purchasing of live Christmas trees for the poor.

What else will happen? The thriving fake Christmas tree market will be hurt, causing the loss of jobs or at least a reduction in pay and expansion, which in turn cost jobs. So we will not be paying a tax that raises the cost of Christmas trees and chokes job creation.

Now some, formerly law abiding citizens, who sell Christmas trees, may not be able to handle the rising cost of selling the trees and go out of business or start selling them illegally to avoid paying an accountant to pay the taxes. This person was a surviving (not thriving) entrepreneur and the government has made his job harder! So this tax will inevitably cause some of them to start selling trees out of their “trunk” or go out of business.

Now some, formerly law abiding citizens, who recognize this intrusive maneuver by the Federal government into business that they have no business being in will start to cut down their own trees, likely from neighbors, federal and state forest and farms, some with and some without permission, a modern day Bostonian who will dump his beloved Tea into the bay to make a point.

Finally Christmas is a Christian holiday, named so after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. While other religions may buy tree during this time of year to fit in with the culture, those truly buying Christmas trees are Christians. So this is a tax against a specific religion. The only way to get around this is to change the name of Christmas trees to holiday trees, thus adding fuel to the fire in the fight against Christmas.

A nickle is 5 cents and a dime is 10, when you put them together you get 15. The amount of tax the Federal Government will now tax you to sell you something you already buy. This is the true definition of Nickle and Diming someone to death.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Games

The NCAA presidents have officially gone off the deep end and betrayed all that used to be the collegiate drive – a good education. While K-12 public institutions have all but given up educating the next generation, we were able to claim the best higher education system in the world.

Of the 7 deadly sins four, Lust, Envy, Greed and Gluttony, have taken over the vision of Presidents and administration in the form of College Football. In a society where math has fallen on the way side, some of our best engineering institution in the Big 10, can’t even count to 12. While countless dollars are being spent on prestigious sports teams, tuition is being raised at an exceptional rate.

Now the NCAA has voted to give the players $2000 each in additional to free education ($120,000), free food ($20,000), free housing ($16,000) and free world class trainers (I have no idea because I still can’t afford it). The ACC, Pac-10 (who at least had the decency to change their name to reflect the team) had envy of the SEC and BIG-12 and lusted after the money they were receiving. So the greedily snapped up Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, who were more than happy to take more money and run. Since then the SEC, Big 10, Pac 10 and nearly every other conference has given in to those 4 deadly sins. Meanwhile coaches and ESPN gluttonously eat from the plate of money.

Meanwhile Businesses continually talk about not being able to find qualified employees to fill the nearly 1 million jobs available. It is ok though, we are being entertained. Even congress and the president have got into the NCAA debate. These moves remind me of the end of the Roman Empire and the gladiator games and the factions of gladiator schools who would bribe their way into better slot in the games. That the masses were entertained then they would not rebel.

College football is not the cause of our current condition; it is the lighthouse in the darkness. Screaming look, look at what is ahead of us. When higher institutes on learn will sell their soul for a few dollars. Should it surprise us that the people they educate do the same? College used to be about wisdom, virtue and honor. We can no longer say that. The only question is will we listen, or we will be blinded by the light that could save us?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why Young Adults should support … for president

In 2008 now President Obama had a message that many of us could stand behind “We are the change we have been waiting for.” We were tired of a large government who didn't care about the little man, who was making it harder to live the American Dream.

Unfortunately the “we” he was talking about was larger government and less control by “we the people.” His policies have given our generation less control of our future, not more. Bailouts to billionaire companies, educational and economic policies have made it tougher for us to grab out boot straps and lift ourselves out of this mess. In 2012 we have the opportunity to get behind a candidate who believes "We" can be the change we are looking for.

A candidate who believes in liberty and that the individual can make a difference, not the government. We can’t be the change we are looking for if the rug is continually being wrenched from beneath our feet. We need the freedom to grow business and make a name for ourselves. This administration, and the previous, has made it harder for us to live the American dream our forefather sought so protect.
Europe has shown us that a centralized government who controls the people and their future does not work. America has started down the same path that is bankrupting Europe. We can still make America great, but we need a president who believe that we can and not Wall Street or the Federal Government.

The only candidate that I can see actually believes in we the people and has since the start is Ron Paul. He believes in us and the “We are the Change we have been waiting for.” He will give us the opportunity we need to make this country great. The rest of the candidates are only echoing his stances and have not been grounded in their beliefs like he has.

If we put our support behind Ron Paul with the same vigor many of us put behind Obama, who failed us, he can win the GOP nomination and put the country back on the right track.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

View Ron Paul's latest video. You may not agree with everything he say's but you know he means it and you know he has been right.
Ron Paul

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How you should leave a message.

Despite the fact the phone has been around for a long time, I am too lazy to look it up, and I’m sure at some point shortly after the creation of the tape deck the answering machine was invented. At this point in our history we have had at least 20 years to train people on how to leave a message. We have failed. Today I will fix that. This is how you should leave a message.

Hello this is at and I am calling (about, in reference to, have an urgent message) please call me back at .

That is how you leave a message. It should never be over 30 seconds long and you should always repeat your phone number twice.

Friday, July 29, 2011

College? It isn't the answer.

President Obama called for the US to have the highest percentage of college graduates in the world by 2020. A noble goal, but will it really help and is it good for America.

“One, we need to reduce the college dropout rate (with more than one in three failing to graduate college within six years of entering).”

“Three out of 10 US public school students do not graduate from high school, major city school districts only graduate one out of two students, according to a study released Tuesday.”

There is also this economical principle called Supply and Demand – maybe if the president had worked 1 hour in a private business he would have heard of it.

So what is the answer? Clearly the government run K-12 system is broken. Clearly the government financed collegiate system is broken. You may argue that it is not broken, but it would be difficult to argue that it is working (unless you choose to ignore the deficit and high unemployment).

I had an interesting discussion a few weeks ago with my friend Michael Stadnisky who is a respected scientist and a brilliant mind. He argued that we needed “inspiration” – like when we had the moon race with USSR and a generation was inspired to go into the sciences. Today we have nothing in the educational field to inspire the masses.

In rare occasions in history events like this will transform a nation, but in most cases through history it was a single person who inspired change in a single other person. Almost all successful people will look back on their childhood and pick out that one teacher, one coach, one pastor, one parent who inspired them to do better.
Unfortunately, maybe it is due to mass marketing, education is now tied to institutions. I want to get a piece of paper with such and such school on it. A set of buildings has rarely inspired anyone (unless you’re an architect) to do anything. Instead we should be educating our young people by finding people to inspire them.

I want to go study under Professor X. There was a time when being a teach was respected and people sought out the best. Now we ridicule them (see the news). We seek out institutions, and then wonder how a building would fail us.

Instead of a higher education system built around buildings, it should be built around people. That means when you graduate from high school instead of going 200,000 in debt to earn a business degree find a small business in your area and offer to work for free. I promise you in 4 years you will be a lot less in debt and have a lot more business experience than a fancy college degree. I bet you will be more connected to the actual business community then your peers.

I’m sure our teachers would be much more prepared if instead of going to school for 4 years they went to school for one and then spent 3 years in the school system, with 1 set of children and go through 3 grades and all classes with them.
This would cut our student/teacher ratio in half. The students wouldn’t pay tuition (who can afford to pay student loans on a teacher salary) and the school district wouldn’t have to pay them (interns!)

The younger students would get a role model for 3 years straight! Talk about a chance to inspire the next generation.

So there it is – my education plan. It reduces the debt in this country, it inspires the next generation and it builds community relationship.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Debt Ceiling – Education in America

The Debt Ceiling will be raised and America won’t default. The part that should be alarming to you is that they want to raise it around 2 TRILLION dollars and that will get us to 2020, no 2015, no 2013! A year and a half from now! That is why so much pressure is being put on the administration to lower spending that is higher than any in our history.

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that, "the buck stops here.' Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.” - Senator Barack H. Obama, March 2006.

The main problem is employment, if employment was higher than we could make up for a good portion of this budget short fall. One of the reasons employment is so low is a lack of education in American workers. Business leaders are saying it, the Education department recognizes it, but the news cameras aren’t reporting it. Why? Because if you tell someone it is their fault, they get mad. America has become a society of blame, when we were a society of being great we took things on our own shoulders. Now we seek to ride on the backs of others.

The reason our society feels compelled to do that is that the Government wants us to rely on them. If you rely on someone you aren’t likely to rebel and then they can treat you however they want. What is the 99ers had instead of shipping out resumes the last two years had accepted an unpaid internship. Do you think they would still be unemployed or do you think the company probably would have hired them full time by now? What if the 99ers had gotten together and started a company, do you think the economy would still be in the dump? Wait it is HARD to start a company! I wonder why that is? Oh government regulations and laws. Doesn’t the government want you to be working, my guess is not.

The other issue is that people haven’t been taught to be thinkers, because our education system is designed to create industrial workers. Why do you think we have children sit for nearly 6 hours a day – so they can be still on the factory line. Why do you think we have them ride school buses for hours – so we can feel comfortable commuting to our job. When manufacturing jobs left for overseas, and we still hear it, it cost American workers their job. Jobs are not guaranteed. Nor should they be, but when the government says they are going to educate you so you can get a good job (neither of which they can guarantee) and you believe them, then there is no one to blame but yourself.

You can’t rely on other for your future and Americans have done that for far too long and look where it has gotten us. We need to teach people how to think and how to learn, not what to learn and people are smart enough to take care of themselves… unless a government official is going to feed you at his/her dinner table at his/her house I would stop listening to them and believing them and become self reliant.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Reason for Tax Hikes in 2012 Budget

We need to raise taxes, that is right, I said it, but on everyone, not just the Rich. The main thing the need to go up on is businesses who are receiving unfair tax credits through pork project and behind door deals. These are typically called tax loop holes, they typically go to the wealthiest businesses with the most lobbyist.

The second reason we need to raise taxes is because we got ourselves into this mess, and so we need to get ourselves out of it. We owe much of this money to ourselves. It is time we start paying the piper.

We also need to lower spending significantly, bring out troops home, and provide stability for businesses. If you are in your mid 20’s you know that if we keep going the way we are going we won’t be able to use Social Security, because it won’t exist. If you think it is worth saving, lower our future financial problems now so that we as a society can prepare for it. We need to slowly up the retirement age by a few years, starting in 20 years adding 1 year to the retirement age and adding a year to that age every 10 years until we are in a stable financial condition. I know that this isn’t part of the “budget” but since we borrowed from this fund we will now have to pay it back. Guess who borrowed from it? Not my generation! Guess who is going to pay for it? ME!

We need to reform our entitlement programs to encourage getting off those programs, and make them shameful to be on.

Private sector businesses need to start competing with government programs and showing that is it possible to have capitalism work and we don’t need the government interfering with our lives.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

History is Homosexual

Should Race or Creed dictate our history studies?

I am not going to discuss if being homosexual is right or wrong, but rather this legislation will eventually turn into and that is the continued destruction of our public education system, a system that is already in rubbles.

A recent report shows that American’s are not good at History. Now California is going to add another hurdle to helping our children learn history, by glorifying the person’s sexual preferences. You will notice that the first Article is from Los Angeles, which I last checked was in California, yet where is the uproar? Should we not go back to the basics, should you not be judged by race or creed, History was made by ordinary men doing extraordinary things – and we have trouble teaching this basic concept.

If this passes in California, be sure it will eventually come to your state. I radically believe that people should be known for what they do, not because of their sexual orientation. I have friends that are homosexuals, and I don’t see them prancing about seeking to glorify it, no more than my straight friends. They are teachers, engineers, marketers and performers, and that is what they will tell you.
Will our history books be riddled with sexual identity? Booker T Washington, straight black man, was an author, orator, educator and political leader. We should be teaching facts and how history was shaped by events.

I urge you to write the California Governor, and all politicians to veto this bill or vote down similar bills. History is dependent upon it, as well as our future.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I am pulling a Billy Madison and going back to grammar (elementary) school this next year. I will be attending the Classical Conversations foundations and essentials program, as a student.

I get asked a lot of questions about these program while promoting CC and I know very little about them, other than that my younger brothers did these courses and are a lot smarter than I am. I hope that you will see an improvement in my writing, I hope to be more useful to my trivia team, and I will work to have better understanding of my job.

Going back will also solidify my understanding of geography and history and the IEW program will help my writing significantly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Greece Bankruptcy should teach us something

The liberal left in Greece is protesting austerity measures in their country. Apparently they don’t understand that you can’t get something for nothing. The funny thing is that Greece’s bankruptcy is all but assured at this point. The can will be pushed down the road, 11 million people cannot pay of 582 billion in debt.

American’s are terrible at history, but perhaps if we cannot learn from the failure of the Roman Empire and the British Empire, than perhaps we can learn from history that is happening right now what will not work. You have to pay for what you get, and we have decided to out buy our means. It would make sense that the people who bought what they couldn’t afford to, have to pay it back. This means cutting social programs and cutting them now and leveling the tax field.

We can raise taxes to help cover expenses; however we need to raise them for everyone. About 40-50% of US citizens don’t pay federal taxes. If you aren’t paying into the system, but you are benefiting from the unsustainable debt loads, you have no motivation to change the system. It is not surprising the half of American’s want to raise taxes, because half don’t PAY TAXES, and expect to continue to NOT pay!

Did you know most Lottery winners become bankrupt? If you don’t have buy in to the process you won’t take it seriously and with responsibility. If you can give people millions and they waste it, how much more so the trillions we give the federal government to spend without any buy in to the process. President Obama recently joked that “shovel ready jobs” weren’t that ready. It wasn’t his money, he had no personal buy in. That is why private sector is the only one that can help America recover. Did you know that the shovel ready jobs that “weren’t that ready,” were slowed down even more by additional Government oversight? So we spent nearly a trillion dollars trying to create jobs on a federal level and then made laws that made it HARDER to do so. This is not a sustainable path, but one the current administration insist we go down.

We still have a chance to turn our country around, but we are going to need to do it now. Take responsibility and not leave the next generation, my generation, to deal with the problem created by the current group of adults. Maybe it is not fair that we have to pay for what we get, but it won’t ever change. So you might as well join the bandwagon.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make them pay!

As congress goes to make cuts to the budget the AARP is running ads that we shouldn’t be cutting medicare and other elderly social services when looking at balancing the budget. Who do they think ran up this unsustainable debt? The same people they say shouldn’t have to take a pay cut. Their generation allowed the government to spend out of control and give freebees that we couldn’t afford. They have left the next generation with a country that was not as strong as when they found it.

I’m not suggesting that we throw our seniors to the wind, I am suggesting they should swallow the pill that they put together and take a cut like all of us they are leaving in debt.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's been a while

I have to admit, as if you didn't know, that I have been ignoring my blog for some time now. I apologize, I plan to pick it back up starting June 20th.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Hawaii trip summary

What a long trip going and coming. I am writing this in the LAZ airport n the way home, which only intensifies this feeling of never ending travel. Now I just found out they overbooked our flight to ATL and I am in charge of getting my younger brothers home. Just to let you know we woke up at 7am Hawaii time on Tuesday, we had a 6 hour flight which I slept most of the way, we won’t get home till 7pm EST tonight. I hope to catch a few hours of sleep b/w here and atl.

We stayed at Turtle Bay on the North Shore, so we stayed up there the whole time except for the last day when we hiked Diamond Head, went to the Kona brewing company resturaunt and went to Pearl Harbor.

1.) Pearl Harbor is a must do, paying for the tour of the Sub and the USS Arizona memorial are well worth the money. It is a very well done historical site and you can still feel the pain, and horror of that sad day in 1941. It is easy to imagine the Japanese fighters coming over the horizon and bombing the trapped war ships. It was a very powerful and emotional experience.

2.) Scuba Diving was awesome, went and saw a sunken WWII minesweeper that was purposefully sank in 1982. We say a lot of Manta Rays and heard whales singing. That was very cool. It was my first wreck dive and the deepest I have been so far. We also saw this “frog fish” that hides on the hull of the ship, it wouldn’t move even when you touched it. It was cool to swim around the wreck and see the rooms and the fallen sides and ladders. When the ship was initially sunk it was directly north and south, a tsumani picked up the boat and turned it around 180 degrees, and then a second one turned it another 90 degree and this is happened 90ft below the surface. That tells you how strong they can be.

Between dives they feed us fresh pineapple and tuna sandwiches, which really hit the spot at 11am. The pineapple was perfect for getting the salt water taste out of your mouth.

The second dive we did was around a reef and had a lot of cool caverns that we were able to swim in and through. Saw a green turtle and some cool Angel fish. There were huge puffer fish, about 2ft long. The current definitely was a factor and once second you’d be struggling not to go backwards and then you would be shot forward 10 feet in a matter of a second. It caused some bumped heads. Saw some cool schools of fish. The Angel fish didn’t appear to be afraid of us, when some fish abandoned their eggs while we swam by, they swooped in for lunch.

3.) Diamond Head is a must do, it is a nice hike and the 180+ stairs at the very end are daunting, but they are split up by a very cool cave that takes a minute or so to walk through. The view at the top is spectacular and well worth the sweat.

4.) We checked out the Polynesian Cultural Center and get the guided tour. It was worth the money, it takes up a whole day, so if learning about other cultures is not your thing I would not go, but since we enjoy learning it was cool. They have a lot of neat activities. I would definitely get the tour guide, it is well worth the extra money because they will make sure you go to the best events. We laughed most of the day. The dinner was great and the show was very good. I was really tired this day, so I probably didn’t enjoy the evening events as much as everyone else.

5.) The beaches are all very cool. We didn’t get to go as much as everyone liked because it was overcast all week and rained every day. The weather report every day said the next was going to be sunny and beautiful and then boom cloudy and rainy. To be fair if what we had is considered “Bad” weather I’ll take it every day of the week in South Carolina.

6.) We visited the Dillanger airfield, but didn’t skydive due to the weather conditions. That airfield was the only one to get planes into the air successfully during the Pearl Harbor bombings I was told. A few more planes from other places may have gotten into the air. If you want to go skydiving this is the place to go.

7.) The food is very expensive, expect to spend $20 a meal and up to $50. We did not get a chance to stop at any of the shrimp trucks. We did eat at some nice places most of the time, so you probably can eat cheaper if you look around. McDonalds still has their $1 menu there 

8.) John went surfing 3 days, I went one day, but it was really rough and I almost drowned, no joke. About an hour after I got done, sea water just started pouring out of my nose for about 10 seconds. William and David got lessons and did well. I’m going to have to go to Charleston a lot this summer and practice for next time. Who is with me?

9.) We went Whale watching as well. That was really cool. There is only about another month or so in the Whale watching season before they migrate back north. If they are in the Hawaii area when you are there I would suggest going on the tour. We saw about 10 whales, and one set was a baby and its mom. We probably got about 100 yards away from the closest one, and typically were about 150-250 yards. We also saw some flying fish. It was a very cool experience.

10.) I can’t go without mentioning we got a real good group of people starting CC on O’ahu, the main purpose of our trip. I was blown away by the wonderful Women that came out to hear us. It is always a blessing to meet new like minded people.

I wrote all of this on like 4 hours asleep in the last 40, so read carefully.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Government Shutdown

Midnight tonight the US Government will shut down and the blame game will begin. (That did not occur, but the rest has) Our government has not operated like a family home must and for 6 months we have operated with a comprehensive plan to pay for what we are buying.

How did we get here? A budget was supposed to be in place by October 1st 2010. Democrat controlled house, senate and presidency was unable, or unwilling to put together this budget. What they were willing to do was push through their social agenda issues the last two months of the lame duck congress. Since the GOP took office and took over the house, they have made it their goal to get back to fiscal discipline. Democrats would have us believe cutting 61 billion out of a budget that is 1 trillion higher than it has been in the past will hurt our country. I wonder how we survived just 10 years ago without these 1 trillion dollars. Either in the mid 90s we were a highly deprived people or we don’t need these 1 trillion dollars in spending. I think it is the latter, but if someone wants to tell me how bad America had it in the 90’s please let me know your reasoning.

So tonight only essential government workers will be on our countries payroll and 800,000 people will be temporarily out of a job. I’m sure there will be individual sob stories that will be thrown out there, but that is what happens when you rely on someone else for your fortune. The federal government has grown to the point where people rely on them for everything, the definition of a nanny government and the opposite of freedom. This is not what made our country great for 200 plus years.
Monday is the day that our country must move in a new direction, and a government shutdown is just what the doctor ordered. To think that budget actually raises our expenses by 3.3 billion, not reduce.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pray for Japan

Keep the people of Japan in your prayers as they dig out of this disaster.

However, just because there is a natural disaster, doesn't mean we need to use this to regulate the Nuclear industry more, here in the US. President Obama already has an energy policy designed to hurt the poorest in the US and force them to rely on the government even more.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why Homeschool?

Classical Conversations launched it's first article from the Writers' Circle today on why homeschool. The top 10 reason CC parents homeschool. My family initially decided to homeschool because of the lack of education available by modern means. When my family became Christians it reinforced the fact that a home centered education was the only method that would meet our needs educationally and spiritually. For man is not just a mind, but also a spirit and the mind we only have use of for a short time, while the spirit will live (or die) forever.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Classical Education and Wealth

The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth that it prevents you from achieving - Russell Green.

This quote has been spread around the internet with some popularity. Have you stopped to consider what is means and is it true? The premise of the quote is a utilitarian education will enable you to get wealth, while a classical liberal education will keep you from gaining that wealth.

Does a classical education teach you to despise thing? This would be his first major flaw, or lack of understanding. A classical education does not teach you to despise anything. That may be a personal quality flaw of a person, but one that is rejected by classical education. A classical education, when done properly, teaches you a love for learning and gives you a mind to explore the world around you, even a world you may not participate in. That is the beauty of it, a classically educated person is not tied down to one industry. Consider that today’s college graduates will average 3 jobs in the first 5 years out of school, and a very high percentage of those will no longer be working in the field they specialize in.

This fact shows that a utilitarian education does not work for the majority of students, and they will likely have to teach themselves a new trade, after preparing for a certain trade for 18-22 years. A classically educated person knows how to learn and will be able to adapt to the changing job market.

The Utilitarian idea of work hard in school, go to college and get a good job that may have worked for a temporary time in history, is no longer the case. Look at unemployment, job turn over numbers and the masses clamoring for someone else to help them. The plea of those who cannot due for themselves is have the government or some big company due for them.

If you are indebted to someone than you are their slave. That credit card bill, house payment and car payment make it so you have to be a good citizen and comply to whatever hoops they want you to jump through. I’m not advocating being a bad citizen or not being a great worker, but if you have bigger concerns such as gaining wealth, paying your next bill that you won’t really have the time or energy to be a good citizen. The benefit of a utilitarian education is not wealth, but slavery to your government and those who you want to think for you.

The benefits of a classical education is that you do not make Gold you god. Wealth is not something you despise; it is something that you do not have to strive for, because you know real wealth isn’t measured in dollars and sense, but friendships and freedom. This drives people whose only goal in life is to beat the Jones nuts. The only logical conclusion you can come to is that this quote does not ring true.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Football and the American Education System

Forbes had a controversial article on "get football out of our university". Controversial because it is highly unlikely to ever happen. University Presidents believe it brings in too much money. I wouldn't know but while my beloved Clemson University cuts programs and funding it is busy building a $50 million dollar addition to our football stadium to court the talent of tomorrow, so the next 5 star stud will pick Clemson over our rivals. If you know any person that went to Clemson you know our blood runs orange and we could not ever think about our University without the most exciting 25 seconds in college sports.

Many student pick a college because they grew up rooting for their sports team. Kind of a silly reason to pick a school, where you are allegedly going to get an education.

I know a lot of parents who homeschool there children will then send them to the government system so they can "play sports", again don't you go to school for like school?

I have a neighbor who is a South Carolina fan, we were talking one day and he told me he didn't want his child going to SCar or Clemson, but to an Ivy league school. Needless to say I was impressed. This guy has money and is going to do what is necessary to make sure his child is well prepared for adult hood. I assumed he was going to send him to Hammond, my adopted highschool (I have about 12 friends that went there). Which is, all thing considered, an excellent private school. Boy was I wrong.

A few weeks later he explains that he wants to keep his boy in public school as long as possible because that is where the "best athletes are". Not sure, but short white kids don't end of being good at sports very often. Plus back to the whole reason you go to school thing, for school.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Listen to Home Centered education grads on the radio

Join Leigh and some of her past students as they discuss their thoughts and feelings on their education. Where are these students today? In college? Married? Are they carrying on the tradition with their families and homeschooling through a Classical Christian curriculum? How well did they accept and do in college? Join in at 12:00 noon EST and CALL IN and ask questions of Leigh's past students. This should be a very lively show!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I've added a Twitter Widget

Just thought it was cool and thought I'd add one to see how it works. I'm putting together some social media training in the month of March, I'll post the details to my site after the 1st. If you are interested in joining please let me know. Make sure and follow me @rbortins for blog updates and interesting information from around the web on education

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

As a Christian can you send your child to Public School?

Many Christians have never considered this thought, now if you are not a Christian this blog will not directly apply to you, but you can think of your own worldview and apply this question to the talk: As a person who believes this world view can I send my child to an organization that will not promote those and think about that.
As a Christian I am going to assume you believe the Bible is 100% True. I will also assume you will agree with me that Public Education is devoid of Christian thought and is improperly taught if mentioned.
"By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures."-Proverbs 24:3-4

Psalm 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
I am going to assume that you would be happy if at the end of the 12th grade your child was wise, had understanding and had knowledge. Currently about 1/5 of students by Government standards would meet the “knowledge and understanding” in the latest PISA scores. That doesn’t even touch wisdom aspect of learning.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge….” – Proverbs 1:7
How do you get somewhere? The first step is to begin you journey. You cannot finish if you do not start, so to even think that you can gain knowledge without the fear of the Lord is unbiblical. Thankfully God’s mercies are new every morning and he has not abandoned us and it is possible to know things without, but that knowledge cannot be put to proper work.
“Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6
Now if Jesus is the Truth and the Bible is true, how can a person with knowledge apply it without knowing what is True? If an “education” does not point back to God, then it does not point to Truth. Therefore cannot be truly educated.
Well certainly there are people who know true things and a really smart, in fact they are wise in the world. Absolutely, I myself am not wise in the world’s eyes or really my own. I make do.
"For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, 'He catches the wise in their own craftiness'; and again, 'The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.'" 1 Corinthians 3:19-20
The Wisdom of this world is foolishness.
Definition of Foolish From:
1. Lacking or exhibiting a lack of good sense or judgment; silly: foolish remarks.
2. Resulting from stupidity or misinformation; unwise: a foolish decision.
6. Insignificant; trivial: spent all their money on foolish little knickknacks.

So do you want your child to be wise in the world’s eyes or your Lord’s in Savior?
Well we go to Church, they get the fear of the Lord there. Sadly this is not true. Around 90% of children raised in the Church and sent to public school will no longer be in the Church just two years after graduation. If you don’t think that will happen to your child then look at their 9 best friends in Church next Sunday and understand that statistically they won’t be in the Church anymore. Do you think your child will stand up to their 9 best friends no longer going to church and continue to do so? No not my child.
How many hours a week does your child spend at public school and events surrounding it, probably at least 40. These 40 hours they are constantly being reinforced that God in not in education. Say you go to Church Sunday - that is an hour, Sunday school another hour, Wednesday night church another hour, maybe a bible study that meets once a week another hour. That is A LOT of church for most people and it is only 4 hours. Not that God cannot use that 4 hours to defeat the 40, but let us be honest if you hear something 10x more than something else human nature will dictate that you believe what you hear most.
What do you think? Look in the Bible there are a lot more verses that walk about education and truth. Can a system that does not point to Truth and rejects the maker of Truth teach your child.

Learn more at the Exodus Mandate

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Job Report

In case you haven't heard the unemployment rate fell to 9% in January. This was mainly due to 1 million people dropping out of the workforce. Not sure where these people drop to, but I'm confident it will cost the American tax payer. This number won't last long as they will likely jump in again this month and I predict it will rise to 9.3% in February. I hope I'm wrong. Perhaps if we focused on American oil, for America we could turn this thing around.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SOTU and Education

I just finished reading the SOTU speech and got to sit in on a interview with Arne Duncan on Facebook, which it appeared to be mostly viewed by pro pot people and the unemployed – at least according to the comments. Secretary Duncan answered questions from a panel of concerned groups from Mother’s to MTV. While I do not agree with having a US department of education, if Secretary Duncan does “narrow its focus” I will admit to being content under our current political landscape.
For the SOTU I thought President Obama was on top of what needs done in education “It’s the family that first instills the love of learning in a child” and “Let’s remember AFTER (my emphasis) parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom.” He also talked about the need for success to come from “the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.” This emphasis will get us on the right track. Unfortunately states are looking at using these comments to mandate parent involvement.
When the public modern school system started taking place the only group that really broke out of this mold was the Catholic school system. So unless you are Catholic and raised Catholic until recently you likely went to public school. Using this assumption, these parents that are currently not involved, must have learned sometime in their 12-16 years of public education that they aren’t needed. They had to learn that assumption somewhere. It took a few generations for our education system to degrade to the point where it is today, it will likely take generations to fix. So how do we speed up this reversal, how do we step back?
The obvious answer is to encourage home centered education. “Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done,” the President eloquently put it. Many parents don’t feel adequate helping their child. This is because the system they went through failed them. These same adults feel the need to put their child into the same system that failed them. Many of these Adults were raised in the time our public schools ranked #1 in the world (now #9 according to PISA). That would indicate even when we were #1 our population wasn’t getting the education they needed.
Our system is designed for job training. When in our fast paced technology changing world jobs change our adult population hasn’t been trained to switch careers with easy. The problem is they were educated with a certain job in mind, instead of educated to love learning and how to learn. The people who know how to learn will not be unemployed long because they can pick up a new skill quickly. If we can teach our children today how to learn instead of learning certain subjects we can turn our education system around faster.
The only education system that teaches you how to learn is the Classical model. It is the only method that is used now to train our elite athletes; it is the method that our most learned uses, even if they don’t know that is the method they are employing. First you must know the grammar of what you are doing, swinging a bat, manufacturing tires, and developing green technologies cannot begin until you can discuss it with others and that is having a common language. The next step is practice and applying that knowledge to the unknown. The final step is explaining what you now know to someone else. A good tip in college was studying in groups and if you could explain a question and answer to the group then you likely knew it. Can you think of anything you do well that did not follow these steps? If not, then why don’t we use them to teach?

Monday, January 24, 2011

How to fix the Postal Service

Granted I don’t have savings associated to my plan, but I would think that this would cut their deficit significantly ($8.5 Billion). The main issue is the laws/rules that the post masters must follow that basically do not let them manage their branches. So if they had their hands untied and could actually try and run a successful business the American taxpayer could cut out 8.5 billion + interest.
The second issue is working 6 days a week. I think allowing them to cut out a day or two on deliveries based on each areas needs, and not on a national level. If the place is profitable they can continue to run 6 days a week. Local management is the key. It makes no sense to come down with a national policy.
The third issue is that everyone has a mailbox in front of their house. I’m confident that this isn’t a given right or need. All new neighborhoods should have 1 central location for mail, like an apartment complex. This would decrease the number of drivers needed to deliver the mail. This could be applied to rural communities so that they wouldn’t lose services, a big concern to politicians looking for reelection.
What are your thoughts?

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Role of Technology

Technology is the answer to our education problems, at least that is what those who spend money on Capitol Hill would have you believe. We need more computers, electronic white boards and Ipads or our students won’t be able to meet minimum requirements for jobs. Here lies the issue, minimum requirements. Our education system is based around minimum requirements, what do you have to know to get by. Literacy used to mean being able to read and understand classical books such as Moby Dick and Plato, now Literacy is if you can read the McDonalds menu. In math calculators have replace the human mind. What happens if the person accidently hits the wrong button, they don’t have their mind to reference that 20X21 does not equal 2100 and they must have pushed a wrong button
That is not to say the computers and technology shouldn’t be taught, but they should not be used as a crux to learning. Eventually you have to walk on your own, you can either be taught how to do that when you are young and it is easy for you to do that and you have plenty of time, or you can wait till that crutches have been pulled out from under you and your pushed into the real world, when it will be a struggle, because you are still starting from the beginning and now you have to fend for yourself.
Our nation has become one of minimum requirements, and that is what we receive. Technology may have a place in modern education, the one that keeps failing us, but to a classical education it is only a tool to be used after the mind perceives, not in place of the mind.

SC to cut teacher training

Zais - South Carolina should cut teacher training to save money. Too bad there isn't a free training seminar offered in South Carolina. Wait there are about 5 free 3 day trainings offered by Classical Conversations (none posted as of this writing).

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Week of Learning

Classical Conversations is having is third and final State Manager training this week. There has been some good conversation on what is "Leading the Way with Integrity" and how to apply it to our own lives and our business model. We are using John F MacArthur "The Power of Integrity".

So what is your definition of "Integrity" and how can our society recapture it?

Please discuss below.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


As the New Year and a new congress is upon us small and medium sized businesses have ramped up their hiring. In fact December saw the highest one month private job growth since it started being tracked. The main factor I believe and has been noted elsewhere was the extension of the Bush tax cuts. I like to think of it as stability. The Federal government held hostage the unemployed while waiting until the last moment to determine the 2011 tax laws.
Not QE1 or QE2, which if my memory serves me cost 1.4 trillion and was handed out to big business, but at a cost of 800 billion (over 2 years) extension to “we the people”. Had this been done sooner we would have seen a recovery in mid 2010, and maybe the democrats would have held onto the house. They prefer to control your money and give it out as they see fit instead of allowing you to use your money as you see it.
The thing is if more people are employed then the Feds can bring in more tax dollars, which, shockingly, would bring down the deficit and help stabilize the economy through the use of free market principles. When free market principles are used to spend money, more money is made. When money is spent by the federal government they may do so on programs that doesn’t make sense, essentially wasting the money and making it even harder for those who can increase the standard of living in the US to do so.
In 2012, an election year, our small and medium business the engine of our economy will again be faced with the same economic tax uncertainty. Around the world it has proven “progressive” policies do not work. For 200 year America showed free market policies did, unless we return to those policies we will be face with the same economic problems Europe sees today.