Local Republican Suggests A Return To The One-room School Concept

(Lori Bernard, chairman of the St. Croix County Republican Party, had a letter printed in the New Richmond News and Hudson Star-Observer this past week. Bernard's letter discussed the one-room school setting in which her Grandmother taught. She suggests we consider returning to this concept.

My Grandmother also taught in a one-room school. She started the wood stove in the morning, walked through snow drifts to get to school and had to give up teaching when she got married. As my Grandmother, who was born in a log cabin and knew how to keep the wolves away from the door with a shotgun at the age of 10, like to say, "You can have the good old days. They weren't so good. I'll take an electric oven and refrigerator over a wood stove and an icebox any day."

I did some genealogical research and found out the my ancestors in northern Europe were farmers 12,000 years ago. Even farther back, 15,000 years ago my ancestors where hunters and gatherers. According to family lore, my farmer ancestors apparently longed for the return of the days of hunting and gathering. Apparently, that good-old-days conservative attitude has been around for awhile.)

Below is Bernard's letter to the editor.

Here's some interesting links to one-room schools: Snow Hill, Worcester County, Maryland and Mission Ridge, West Virginia.
Excerpt from Bernard's letter:

Dear Editor:

Recently I learned that my grandmother taught grades one through six in a one-room schoolhouse. The one-room schoolhouse had no dedicated library, no gymnasium, no athletic field, no auditorium with state-of-the-art acoustics, no air conditioning and certainly no indoor swimming pool. Yet some evidence suggests that children educated in one-room schoolhouses received a more rigorous education than that received in our public schools today. For some proof, check out the following link to an eighth-grade test from 1895 at www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/quizzes/8thgrade_test.cfm.

Interestingly, when education is discussed today it seems that no hallway is wide enough, no gymnasium is large enough, no school has enough surrounding acreage, no athletic facility is ever all that we would like it to be. We see coverage of the sports teams and school plays and musicals, but rarely do we hear discussions about the real state of education or gratitude for the educational opportunity with which our kids are presented.

Instead we see bumper stickers to “Support Hudson Schools.” We have seen teachers and parents literally parade through our town pleading for “more support” for our schools and our high school students with picket signs outside a school board meeting demanding a new high school because, according to them, “1700 is a crowd.” It is as though without more “support” (i.e., money and facilities), our children cannot possibly learn. The argument is hollow at best, but I believe it is also a harmful message for our kids.

Read complete letter.
The link to the test mentioned in the letter is found at the Digital History site.

Of course, one-room schools were generally located in the countryside. Towns like Hudson and New Richmond had a larger grade school with multiple grades located in town. The high school was even larger and was attended by the students in the one-room schools and town elementary school. Often times, most country kids who did go on to high school roomed in town during the week. They weren't busing them halfway across the county back them. Besides, for most country kids, 8th grade was the end of the formal education line.

Concerning the 8th grade test, there seems to be some question as to whether or not it was given to 8th graders or seniors in high school. I scored about a B on the test. I found things that I probably haven't seen since Mrs. Widvey's English class at HHS. But of course, we can't go back to 1920 and give them a test from 2006. I'm sure the results would be similar. In 1973, I could do all kinds of math on a slide rule. We weren't allowed to use calculators because they were expense and some of the teachers thought they were a fad. I have a slide rule in my desk at work and haven't got a clue as how to use it. I'm keeping in there in case there's a total meltdown in the computer system, the power goes out and we run out of things to talk about at the water cooler.

With this kind of thinking publicly being advocated from the top of the local Republican Party, can you imagine what they are saying behind closed doors?

Any thoughts or comments...

Why Fund Expensive Weapons for Troops?

Dear Editor,

Recently I learned that my Great Grandfather was a soldier in the American Civil War.
The Civil War had no stealth bombers, no patriot missiles, no kevlar body armor, no computerized armored vehicles or attack helicopters. Yet evidence suggests that soldiers whose medal had been tested in the foxholes fought more valiantly than today's videogame smartbomb jockeys. Interestingly, when defense is discussed today there's no weapons system costly enough, no stealth bombers stealthy enough, and no missile defense that works despite it mega billion dollar price tag.
Instead we see cars with yellow ribbons to "Support Our Troops". We have seen defense contractors literally get contracts (Halliburton )to rebuild infrastucture with no bid contracts before our military had destroyed it in Iraq. We see chicken hawks demanding new and larger defense contracts. $420 Billion dollars is not enough. Yet we cannot defend ourselves from grandmothers with explosive vests.

Issues of defense can be addressed in a number of ways. David didn't need a stealth bomber to defeat Galiath. General Grant did need attack helecopters to defeat General Lee. Greed is usually associated with private sector defense contractors, but I contend that where greed actually resides.
Meanwhile there are thousands of kids around the world who would be happy to just get their hands on an AK-47. In many places in Africa they already have. Yet we are asked to spend more on defense? I fear that as we focus on weapons, we will loose our focus on combat. I also fear that as we continue to sow the seeds of discontentment in our defense contractors, that we will reap what we have sown for many defense budget cycles to come.
Our soldiers should be able to fight just as well with muskets and dry powder. When taxpayers send our troops out to fight and die, it shouldn't cost us an arm and a leg.

Gee Does This Sound Familiar: Crackpots Against Public Education

(Evidently Hudson and New Richmond aren't the only communities infested with the OTBL mentality...)

Did you know that public school teachers are all part of a conspiracy to turn the United States into a communist nation? Did you know that public education is actually at war with Christianity? So says Dr. Bruce Shortt, a Baptist minister, in his article, "Public Education Against America." Shortt’s solution is to have "Christians" develop an exit strategy to remove all their children out of public schools and into "Christian" and home schools.

Shortt lays out a conspiracy theory that is so complicated that it would put Dan Brown (THE DA VINCI CODE) to shame. John Dewey, the Italian Communist party, the Frankfurt School, and American colleges and universities are all part of the plot. Schools of education are actually "political re-education camps," and concepts such as "respecting differences" and "diversity" are actually part of cultural Marxism. Your everyday, run-of-the-mill public school teachers and administrators are also part of this sinister plot, but we’re just too dumb to know it. I guess I owe Dr. Shortt a real debt of gratitude. I’ve been trying to figure out whether I’m a Democrat or a Republican, and here all the time, I’ve just been a Communist dupe. Silly me!

Read more you socialist scum, puppets of the Kremlin, suck-ups to the Sandinista, etc.


Week-End Update - Hothead Fires Back With Creative Name Calling

Click on Image for Larger view:

Undoubtably utilizing propaganda techniques garnered from the recent OTBL Anti-Education Committee's fact finding tour of Kazakhstan, frequent blogger N. Onimous stretched the creative limits of his bird sized thought organ to invent
insulting nicknames for recent HSO letter contributors.

"OUCH!! Those names really hurt " quipped Kevin "Communist" Whiteley, "I haven't been called a Communist since my elementary government schools days back in the '50s when Sen. Joe McCarthy was investigating our PTA leader, Miss Smirnov after she organized a bake sale for Carpenter's local 666. "I suppose supporting new schools for Hudson children does make me a Communist." said Whiteley. "but I was spared being called a terrorist, for that I'm thankful."

"Playboy" Roy Sjoberg, acknowledged that
" Things are looking more positive in Hudson" noting that local antagonists have adopted "recycling" for their illegal campaign signs. "Dispite their antognistic message, I was glad to see the antagonists becoming more environmentally conscious."

November 24 Is BUYING NOTHING DAY -- Help Support Global Cooling

On The borderliners beware:

They start at 5 AM, duct-taping Reverend Billy's Christmas Commandments to the front door of Macy's and pastoring to the sinners waiting for their Lake of Hellfire to engulf them.

Here it is, Buy Nothing Day once again and the frenzied shopping begins. Every year the Goliath of Consumerism walks toward us, and each year he is a couple feet taller, with global warming and market-driven wars at his back. We are humbled by the prospects of changing a national way of life, but we are laughing, and we continue to Stop Shopping.

At 11 AM, come to Victoria's Secret at 57th St. and 5th Ave. Fine purveyors of clear-cut forests and a million catalogues a day, plus the usual sweat-shopping and so forth - we will start our stopped shopping with Vicki. Forest Ethics is our partner on this one.

Buy less; read more!


It's Time to Play - Know Your CEOs

Chainsaw Al Dunlap

He anointed himself America's best CEO. But Al Dunlap drove Sunbeam into the ground .

Chainsaw Al's Waterloo

July 19, 1996
Dunlap is named chairman and CEO of Sunbeam. The stock jumps nearly 50%, from 12 1/2 to 18 5/8.

Nov. 13, 1996
Dunlap announces plans to ax half of Sunbeam's 12,000 employees and close or sell two-thirds of its 18 manufacturing plants.

Oct. 23, 1997
Dunlap hires Morgan Stanley to explore ''strategic alternatives,'' including acquisitions or Sunbeam's sale.

Jan. 28, 1998
Dunlap declares a turnaround, reporting record sales and earnings for 1997.

Mar. 2, 1998
Dunlap announces a trio of acquisitions: camping-gear maker Cole- man, smoke-alarm producer First Alert, and Mr. Coffee maker Signature Brands.

Mar. 4, 1998
Sunbeam stock closes at a record high of $52 a share.

Apr. 3, 1998
Stock falls 25%, to 34 3/8, after PaineWebber analyst Andrew Shore issues downgrade and company shocks Wall Street by posting a first-quarter loss.

May 11, 1998
Dunlap tells investors he took his eye ''off the ball,'' says that it will ''never happen again.''

June 9, 1998
Dunlap demands board support or, he says, he and Vice-Chairman and CFO Russell Kersh will resign.

June 13, 1998
Outside directors fire Dunlap.

June 14, 1998
Board agrees to hire Jerry Levin, a longtime aide to financier Ronald Perelman, as new chief executive.

How Al Chainsaw Dunlap Self Destructed
Rarely does anyone express joy at another's misfortune, but Dunlap's ouster elicited unrestrained glee from many quarters. Former employees who had been victims of his legendary chainsaw nearly danced in the streets of Coshatta, La., where Dunlap shuttered a plant. Says David M. Friedson, CEO of Windmere-Durable Holdings Inc.(WND), a competitor of Sunbeam: ''He is the logical extreme of an executive who has no values, no honor, no loyalty, and no ethics. And yet he was held up as a corporate god in our culture. It greatly bothered me.''

Even members of his own family--long estranged from the man--seemed ebullient. Upon hearing the news of his father's sacking on CNBC at 6:20 a.m. in Seattle, Troy Dunlap chortled. ''I laughed like hell,'' says Dunlap's 35-year-old son and only child. ''I'm glad he fell on his ass. I told him Sunbeam would be his Dunkirk.'' Dunlap's sister, Denise, his only sibling, heard the news from a friend in New Jersey. Her only thought: ''He got exactly what he deserved.''

Six Sigma Champion - Neutron Jack Welch

From 1981 to 1985, he cut 100,000 jobs, an act so painful to employees that they began referring to him as ''Neutron Jack,'' after the nuclear bomb that vaporizes people but leaves buildings standing.

Now for the leaner side of Sigma Six.

From GE:
Six Sigma is a highly disciplined process that helps us focus on developing and delivering near-perfect products and services.

Why "Sigma"? The word is a statistical term that measures how far a given process deviates from perfection. The central idea behind Six Sigma is that if you can measure how many "defects" you have in a process, you can systematically figure out how to eliminate them and get as close to "zero defects" as possible. To achieve Six Sigma Quality, a process must produce no more than 3.4 defects per million opportunities. An "opportunity" is defined as a chance for nonconformance, or not meeting the required specifications. This means we need to be nearly flawless in executing our key processes.

Bill Smith (1929 - 1993) is the "Father of Six Sigma". Born in Brooklyn, New York, Smith graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952 and studied at the University of Minnesota School of Management (now known as the Carlson School of Management). In 1987, after working for nearly 35 years in engineering and quality assurance, he joined Motorola, serving as vice president and senior quality assurance manager for the Land Mobile Products Sector.

Bill Smith spent years convincing the higher management at Motorola about his new quality control process, Six Sigma. Six Sigma is the TQM spin-off that has generated billions of dollars for Motorola. As a Motorola employee, Smith did not share directly in the profits generated by the company's Six Sigma applications. However, over the years, he and Motorola garnered numerous awards and recognition for his vital work to improve profitability in America's manufacturing sector. He was especially proud of his role in Motorola's winning the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. The Baldrige Award came in 1988, two years after Motorola implemented Smith's Six Sigma principles.

Smith died of a heart attack at work in 1993.

There's Always Leftovers...

Cartoons by Fat Jon @ Oggtoons.

Happy Turkey Day!!!

Thanksgiving Myths

MYTH # 1: The Pilgrims Held the First Thanksgiving

MYTH # 2: Thanksgiving Was About Family

MYTH # 3: Thanksgiving Was About Religion

MYTH # 4: The Pilgrims Ate Turkey

MYTH # 5: The Pilgrims Landed on Plymouth Rock

MYTH # 6: Pilgrims Lived in Log Cabins

MYTH # 7: Pilgrims Dressed in Black

MYTH # 8: Pilgrims, Puritans -- Same Thing

MYTH # 9: Puritans Hated Sex

MYTH # 10: Puritans Hated Fun

Click here to read the details.


Pro-Voucher Fat Cats Spent Big Bucks To Win School Board Seats

Recipe for disaster
The making of a morass in School District 11
by Cara DeGette

They said they wanted a revolution.
In 2003, with the help of a handful of wealthy school voucher advocates, Sandy Shakes, Eric Christen, Craig Cox and Willie Breazell seized the majority of the seven-member District 11 Board of Education.

The election was, by far, the most costly in the history of the district. Glossy mailers praising the four as reformers went out by the reams — even Gov. Bill Owens lent his endorsement. Other candidates were attacked as being "anti-parental rights" and "union-boss endorsed."

Altogether, an estimated $150,000 was spent getting the four elected, with $82,000 of that coming directly from the wallets of local developer and voucher advocate Steve Schuck and three wealthy Denver-area businessmen of like mind.

In the community, few at the time understood the extent of the intended "reforms." Yet shortly after the election, Christen made it clear that change would soon be underway.

Read more @ Colorado Springs Indy.


Tonight's Video: Dedicated To www.ontheborderline.net

Frank Zappa: The Meek Shall Inherit Nothing

Today's Video

The Who - The Kids Are Alright (Live)

The song title is apropos in regards to the upcoming referendum.


It's deeper than SpongeBob -- Baptist Group Ponders Wal-Mart Boycott

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention joined Missouri Baptists in setting the stage for a possible boycott of Wal-Mart over policies friendly toward gays.

Unlike an earlier Missouri Baptist Convention resolution, the Texas statement actually uses the word "boycott," albeit in a "whereas" paragraph that observes, "Boycotts are a legitimate method for communicating moral convictions."

The resolution urges Texas Southern Baptists to "give serious prayerful reconsideration to their purchases and support of Wal-Mart," and calls for Baptist families "to reflect biblical values with their purchasing power, letters and influence."

The resolution requests the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention to "monitor Wal-Mart's progress in returning to its previous philosophy of family values image."

Read more@ Ethics Daily.com.

Feedback is the breakfast of champions. -Kenneth H. Blanchard

Expect problems and eat them for breakfast.
Alfred A. Montapert


The anti-public education/union/teacher thugs aren't just in the St. Croix Valley

Vista, California:

O'Reilly, president of the association, said the union always makes a point to run a clean campaign. She called the union bashing a political ploy from anti-public education candidates. Read more!

Lincoln, Nebraska:

"All this anti-public education talk and the endorsing of home-schooling, makes me wonder if the people worrying about a "brain drain" are paying attention to the dialog. Keep talking like this and you'll see the 'best and brightest' tripping over each other to get the heck out of here. And then lets see what you have, I'd venture a guess it would be something like Alabama or Missisippi." Read more!

Jackson, Mississippi:

Gov. Haley Barbour, tarred by many over the last three years as being anti-public education, countered Tuesday that K-12 spending under his watch has increased to historic proportions. Read more!

Little Rock, Arkansas:

The president of Arkansas' largest teachers union branded Republican candidate for lieutenant governor Jim Holt as anti-public education Thursday at a news conference in support of the Democratic nominee, Bill Halter. Read more!

Laconia, New Hampshire:

He dismissed the charge of being anti-public education as one that is very easy to make.

"I don't know of anyone who is against education. I'm for a quality education and I think the state's role is to target and to provide for the communities that have a need over and above the typical or average town, and that's where Laconia has benefited from targeted aid, but the Supreme Court ruling is against targeted aid." Read more!