Monday, February 12, 2007

Cleaning House -- changing times

The folling conclude my Weekly Newspaper Column submissions and mark the beginning of a new phase
UNDER THE CURVE 14 February 2007

I wish I could be funny. It would be nice to find something to laugh about; but, basically, that would mean ignoring everything that is happening in the state, nation and world.

Governor John's district consolidation play is getting screwed up but the same idiots in Augusta who gave us the School Funding Formula. Can't they, or he, learn KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid.

Institute a major change and let it happen; the idiots are repeating the mistake made in the medicaid computer upgrade – rather than get the critical change in place, and allowing the various components to adjust themselves, John wants to tinker with ever nut and blot.

Let's look at Districts and local control. Reality says there is no such thing as local control – towns do not set curriculum, they cannot ignore NCLB or learning Results, and the State constitution requires the provide for educating their kids.

Local Control stops with – extends no further than – towns paying for all the outside mandates and deciding on what teams they fund. So shut-up the local control idiots – there ain't no such thing. That said, towns might be financially liable for the failure of there kids to meet all those outside standards. With that in mind ...

With Did you see the January 27th "Wizard of Id" comic? It showed a peasant (a former student) siting on the sidewalk, a sign which reads: "The Edukation Sistum Failed Mee" and a woman standing nearby, in disgust, states, "That's a stupid sign."

A Special Education Director in one of our failing Districts would rather spend this time focusing of the use of "Stupid", rather than the fact the peasant cannot spell.

Under his direction – and that of the local District Supervisor – this district is noted for its ability to produce High Honor students who score below 250 on SATs and, when admitted to open enrollment college, cannot meet minimum remedial course standards.

Of course, such students, meaningless High School Diploma in hand, will make ideal cannon fodder when we begin our war of choice with Iran. Those who aren't killed, or maimed, will make great manual labor when our Chinese creditor – you know, those people who are financing of deficit spending – needs servants.

Like I said, I'd love to have something funny to write about; but our leaders are making it difficult. Augusta needs to take responsibility for Education – which means pay the full salary for all teachers in the state. When they do that, they can argue for increased class sizes; and they can also build the buildings and pay the transportation costs.
District Consolidation makes sense – redundant Superintendent staff is a waste; Special Education Directors who drop the ball ... who are a flat and useless ball ... are a waste. We have a need for teachers, not administrators; and leaders who focus on education not class size

Where are the teachers who think on their feet, are flexible in their approach, and can phrase things so they can be learned – so the learning can be internalized and carried by the child throughout their life? Teachers also need pay commensurate with the cost of their educations – educations the state requires them to have.

If John really wants our kids to learn, he will restructure the districts, and improve funding for rural communities until the state mil rate is uniform between all communities. It is time to cut the bull. We have a lot of problems, as a nation, we do not need more at the state level.

UNDER THE CURVE 21 February 2007

Local Control of school? Where? Who lives in this fantasy world that asserts communities have control over anything more than the vote to pay for things mandated from away?

Local Control is pure fantasy – there is no local responsibility, so how can there be control?

OK you want to argue local responsibility? Feel free to ignore any teacher certification. Feel free to ignore NCLB requirements, and all other imposed educational standards.

You can even Feel free to teach your children the world is flat and virus mutations are the result of a malevolent deity functioning with full of a benevolent one.

If you want local control, accept your local property tax with a smile – if yours is like mine, even after the state's contribution, 55 percent goes to education. That's what local control mean – you want to fight to increase your tax burden, wand then complain it's too high.

How about a dose of reality? Local Control only means you get to raise your own taxes to a level far greater than is necessary.

Local Control also means you need to take local responsibility. That means, eventually, some kid from your community is going to get smart and sue your "local control" town for failing to provide them a proper education.

If your Local Control is working, not one High School Junior raised under that control has gotten less than 460 the recent SAT – which is the minimum for Meets Standards. If they did, your Local Control idea fails the basic test of meaningfulness and responsibility.

Local Control is meaningless. If anything, it is an ego trip for those who are elected to the School Board and get to rant about the price of janitorial supplies.

Parental Control is what is important in education. Parental control is not reflected in the rare and occasional vote at town meetings – most of you never go and thus never exert any control.

Parental Control means making sure your kids are educated. My ex, a little Filipina is an example of proper Parental Control. Four kids, sixteen months apart, thus far, two have taken the SAT.

Their results are the product of her working with them from the day they were born. You can't not know Beryl – she's been in our paper and The Bangor Daily. At sixteen she was accepted into Harvard.

Then there is Edom, who will be followed by Fayranne and Tiara. They are Honor Students and the product of a mother who puts her kids first – as Beryl said in her graduation speech, "she's always been there, even when we wish she wasn't."

Where have you been when it came to your kids education? Here's a guide to Parental Control – a score an SAT score of 650 Exceeds Expectations. When your Local Control, lack of Parental Control, kids take the exam, will they "Exceed Expectations"?

Over the course of the next few months you will hear a lot of BULL about the need for Local Control. Look at your kids, check their NCLB test results – have they "Met Standards", has your school?

Back "Local Control", ignore your "Parental Control" responsibility. In a highly competitive modern reality, your kids will fail.

UNDER THE CURVE for Passover 2007

That which is true can be proved. That which is based on truth can have that basis revealed through indisputable fact.

In April 2005 I wrote a column saying history supported the idea that the Hyksos or "Shepherd Kings". In ancient Egypt, after the fall of the Hyksos kings, they were called Hibri, or Hi-bi-ru, meaning minor herdsmen; they were also referred to as the "people from beyond"

These were people from the Caucasus and Danaric Mountains which bound the Black Sea. You might know them as Phoenician, the "Sea People" or by the name of some of their descendants – Palestinians.

As "Law Giver" Moses must have existed. We can assert this on two grounds: the first being that the laws are attributed to a single sources, and second that source is said to have been brother to Aaron – the progenitor of the hereditary priesthood, the first Cohen.

We know, by physical evidence – the evidence of a common yDNA in all those men claiming to be his descendants – that an Aaron was real and existed about 3,300 years ago. His existence affirmed, we can assert his brother also existed.

This year, his holiday, Passover, 15 Nis 5767, falls on April 3rd – the year, 5767, marks the time to the beginning of the world. As we know this is not "creation" – the world is far more than 6,000 years old – rather the year marks the time from the "Garden"; the time from the beginning of crop domestication.

Since that column, genetic researchers have discovered there is a unique genetic identifier which proves the existence of an Aaron , the father of the hereditary priests of Israel and alleged brother of Moses.

Genetically, Aaron existed about 1300 BCE, in the time of Akhenaton and the emergence of the heretical concept of a single deity. Aaron and one God – the aftermath of Passover; but what of Moses?

Is it possible that Moses was half brother to Aaron; that they shared a mother, but not a father? Back in January, I saw this make sense.

As readers know, I got onto a DNA kick. In the process I proposed a genetic Modal – like that inferring Aaron, except identified those merchants who traveled the Silk Road and who I believed might have included my male ancestor.

A research paper identified five male markers from 27 bodies in the Gol Valley of Mongolia. My idea required that I compare that DNA with Ashkenazi DNA – 52 percent matched. By custom it is said the Ashkenazi are of the tribe of Levi.

Many historians have been bewildered by the Levite status being given to Ashkenazi who were believed to have originated through the Khazar conversion about 1,200 years ago. The numbers, the common elements needed to explain what is know of the Ashkenazi, simply didn't match the theories.

Again, DNA enters into the picture. The Cohen gene, the existence of the Cohen among the Ashkenazi in the proper ratio, the customs and traditions – all these argue great antiquity. In fact, it argues that these are the remnants of the Lost Tribe of Issachar (the scholars) and their support tribe of Zebulun (the merchants).

Many in Washington County can cite their "Jewish grandparent"who arrived 100 years ago and settled in the Calais area – among them, our former Senator, Bill Cohen. How many of those who attend Sunday service know that it is their bloodline which is recorded in those first five books? This Passover, think about it – and enjoy.

End of a Phase, by Bill Lipton

A few years back, I flippantly followed up a Guest Column with the query, "you want one weekly?"

What followed was a journey which began with the words, "Every column starts somewhere; through the gracious auspices of MVNO, we start here, 'Under the Curve'. Why 'under' and not 'ahead' or 'behind'"

Well, sometimes it was ahead of the curve, sometimes behind. You got to know what might happen and, in the case of the New Pope, you even got to know the name he would choose – before he was chosen by the College of Cardinals.

You've been warned of economic and military disaster yet to come; and read comments about events as they passed in review. It was an amazing run of 120 columns, several articles and numerous pictures – and it has been a hoot. Thank you.

Thank you for reading, praising and complaining. Thank you for putting up with my prognostications – I'm sorry so many have proved to be close to, or on, the mark.

I've always been a "gloomy gus", in a pollyannaish sort of way – I know, with what is certain knowledge, that there are those who work at having bad things happen; but I also know, with the same certain knowledge, that, we who survive prosper. In the period ahead, keep that in mind

The idea is to play by the other guy's rules, beat them to a draw, and move on to the next game. Is, after all, just a game. It is a game of love, life , interest and mystery. Thank you for allowing me to play.
Thank you for joining me in this segment of my journey; allowing me to share your path – as you shared mine. See you in the next round.


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