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May-28-2011 14:16printcomments

New Wave From Seaside:
Education Too Long A Whipping-Boy for Complex Economy 'Small-Government'/Myth and Tax/Greed Involved

Part One of a New Series to Appear Intermittently as 'Waves From Seaside".

Schoolhouse whipping boy
Artwork by Salem-News.com

(SEASIDE, Ore.) - Ever since our Founders invented American-style democracy --built with a true republican rationale for representative government and controlled by the individual voter's choice OR damaging "apathy"-- the then-existing system for education of the young has been an easy target for too many seeking undue, unearned personal and dollar advantage in our society.

Each-and-every pattern, provision or process for education has come under constant fire from those seeking to evade and avoid their fair share of the costs-involved in this required rational action to extend and defend democracy, no matter how managed or financed to provide the responsibilities demanded of responsible citizens.

Ironically, many if not most thus react irrationally despite their own common-school "free" education, including millions making massive forward personal strides due in large part to their college training under the GI Bill.

That is surely a prime and proven example of government doing for its citizens what they cannot possibly do for themselves in the social, fiscal-financial and cultural milieu prevailing on its passage.

Most also do so in defense of "smaller government" without in any way providing possibilities within any such format for what we MUST NOW HAVE for the 21st Century. Upon examination it is obvious they simply cannot provide any pragmatic and workable substitute.

Again ironically, that stance is taken in the face of very obvious facts proving up the pragmatic potency of our true money-flow in this nation, remarkably open to further strong national management.

Many blithely disregard their own inherent advantages granted by chance placement and often private-school education or attendance at well-supported schools in ultra-elite suburb-situations.

Others are rightly proud of their own very determined and driven-action to advance, both in status and income, and demand like-success from those hampered by many circumstances, almost always far beyond their own individual control.

Yet many parents today --ironically, often those educated under the GI Bill-- are the same ones most troubled by the much higher costs of college and the resulting large-amount loans and other costs consequential for the current college generation.

But nevertheless the concept of the common school, making possible many varieties of common experience for multitudes of highly diverse learners, and extending from kindergarten through graduate school, has proven its worth by its very sweeping success with all those diverse elements we know were directly affected, over many decades --and STILL continuing.

First well-recognized for effective, efficient learner/management --recognized as immeasurably valuable over many decades both to democracy and our place-in-the-world -- despite decreasing funding and further attack, the same now-maligned system has managed to manipulate, somehow, the demanded conversion of a new wave of language-hampered learners at all levels during more recent years, as they have fled from revolution and other radicalizations in their home countries.

(Today's daily here reports some 109 non-English/speaking learners in elementary and high school in a nearby small city, a fact little recognized as occurring, as it is truly, all across the nation. Check for "see with own eyes" in your own daily.)

From hence (that inimitable Americanization process inherent in the common school) came-and-cometh our place in the world as a nation, and our hopes for still further elemental and advanced development as world leader in democracy itself.

There is no possible question about these successes in past decades, despite the long-continuing --and now at an alltime/high-- conglomeration of such attacks. The same process is still at work in every state, for some of the same reasons, with learners of all ages and abilities coming from the disturbed nations, especially in the Far East. Do you really want them to remain UN-Americanized?

There has always been in our nation that small clique --sometimes it has been a crowd-- whose main purpose in life seems to be to reap any possible additional rewards for themselves vs the common cause, despite unavoidable and always-damaging impacts on our democracy.

They try to do this by finding diverse --sometimes evasive-- ways to minimize their fair share of the taxes due from all of us, under law, disregarding the well-known fact that the tax system itself is designed and decided by our own elected representatives, so chosen by the majority precisely for that task, in the unique American Way of democracy patterned by our Founders.

In effect their actions represent their demonstrated contempt for that very basic principle on which our American democracy has built its way into world acclaim, winning wide and very honorable acceptance as leader and pattern for development of other democracies.

Perhaps that's ironic, again, since until very recently the unavoidably complex, constant redevelopment of American education has been continually at work just to keep in sight all/else in a now-onrushing world --especially including many cognitive, fiscal/financial, management and other further furious developments in the multiplying key areas of impact on this continuing tried-and-true system.

That, too, is historical fact, so recognized world/wide by the massive work of many historians, psychologists, cognitive scientists, curriculum and learning media specialists; academicians --and, yes, classroom teachers, too ! They are the pragmatic potent leaders for whom all the rest of this system doth exist, and without whom we will surely see collapse far beyond any possibilities yet projected.

Yet only a small fraction of those solid research-and-practice/findings are known to the many who make much loud/noise re "failures in education", with absolutely no information on them nor understandings re their application to that "failing system" as major, massive, method, management and fiscal/financial facts --the beating heart of any pragmatic action to make our system what it MUST BE for the 21st Century.

That distressing fact-of-life in any current assessment of our educational system cannot be neglected, especially since there already exists a strong, deep and growing professional and public-level pool of studies, reports, books and the constant flood of magazine articles which highlight American life these days.

AGAIN ironically (!) it is irrefutable fact that the vast majority of changes and remediations we now MUST HAVE were researched, proven by performance, and well publicized over the past twenty years --in addition to the moving and massive new information-and-practice modes we continue to learn NOW.

"The word is out there, no doubt about that," declared a current leader in educational change and development, "and that has been the fact for more than twenty years now". That was Howard Gardner, whose memorable book (already cited earlier) is THE classic guide to massive change-and-developments in the system --published in 1991!

He was pointing out for recent conference participants the distressing details of how long it has taken for "what we know we must do" to get done, "even in massively-impacted, socially, politically and financially distressed American debacle-cities like Detroit."

True to the wit, wisdom and will of most Americans, this seeming disregard and downright neglect --the destructive attitude we so often encounter today-- comes mainly for most from simple misinformation and lack of understanding for complex situations involved. (The three-Ws inevitably kick in when those involved learn for themselves the facts truly involved...as numerous historical incidents surely prove !)

These situations are both cognitive and fiscal, as a constant flow of academic research has proven over the past several decades, when deeply-concerned persons (Yes, even some politicians !) sought reasonable ways to remedy the radical hampering and defeating affects highly visible in many of the absolutely-required financial/fiscal voters-choice confrontations around the nation.

BUT there has also long been a well-documented Far Right and "neo-conservative" ongoing attack program designed and dedicated to decimating funding for education, operating at all levels from local through state to national, ever since the early beginnings of the destructive Reagan-era reiteration of tax-slashes for corporations and the rich, coupled with still-continuing determined actions designed to kill off union developments, with special attention to those unions servicing the professionals who in turn serve the schools of the nation.

The continuing plunge in public opinion position, and particularly in provision of potent resources for the current system-pattern, became a leading political-nostrum declaration from that era, until today tax-cuts have become the ideological center of political life for one party, even to standard print-form promises with signatures exacted from every candidate, NEVER to permit a tax-RISE --with education an unavoidable victim since it necessarily demands a large share of tax receipts.

(Many leading politicians of the Far Right have made their career on this issue-alone --Grover Norquist comes immediately to mind-- with no visible evidence of its inevitable eroding impact on conscience, concern for others, and the demanded wise concentration of resources for all of us.)


The tax-system is the obvious target, with education universally and unavoidably among its most-costly components since it must operate primarily on and through so many people, with such ubiquitous and costly tools as buildings, busses, "free"-lunches and counselors, as well as the primary and most essential classroom teacher.

Then, too, the entire educational system is definitely always vulnerable since reflecting complex and skilled-teacher relations with the young --not an easy-shot within that system itself; demanding high competence, and continual further perfection -- which is why continuing-education in education, with emphasis on cognitive advances and classroom applications, is demanded of every effective teacher wishing to remain so.

That's a most difficult point for those "outside" to see-and-accept, while seeking any way to attack current costs, due largely to a permeating lack of understanding by most citizens of what education IS and MUST BE to build, preserve and protect any true democracy.

(Example: Name the seven widely-variant forms of individual "intelligences" any teacher must take into account in any classroom, especially when multiplied massively by more learners than 20 !)

The immutable fact is that true education --the kind we really want for our children-- is a very complex learning process demanding close and very personal sensitivity to individual learning styles and the interplay of (at least seven !) varying forms of intelligence helping to shape what is learned.

Cognitive research over many decades, strongly developed in the last three, has illuminated and emphasized "what we now know-we-KNOW" to build rapid and accurate application of true understandings in other settings and frames than for the original learning, for nearly every learner, at many levels from pre-kindergarten essentially up and beyond the graduate levels in college and university.

That research demands special levels of understandings --most beyond the scope of many school parents and patrons, both methodically and for learning goals involved-- making it an extremely difficult task to summarize and communicate to those who really need to understand it the most.

The massive failures in the American media are highly evident, even with modern media channels more open to parents and others involved than ever before. That's partially because to do the job right demands sensitive, skilled (and thus costly) staff, supported by solid working time and with major additional resources.

We have observed such determined attack on average about every twenty years ever since the early struggles amidst the Puritans and other progenitors of our world-leading democracy.

Stranger than fiction Order Now

The fact is that no single nor combined practical or projected system of education in practice OR theory has ever satisfied these comparatively few, which is perhaps the most defining and indicting of findings we can make from the historic record, now open to more probing examination by many more citizens than ever before simply via new technologies (read: Internet, magazine-growth, even Google --all easing access to professional educational terms and situations, and their clear meanings in practical classrooms.)

The further fact is that for many of the most-determined deniers of the dollar-demands difficult to lower for most new educational advances we want for our children many will never have visited a school-at-risk; nor participated in any school district dialog/discussion in a "normal" situation; nor met with/planned with any of their own children's teachers --and most reside in more expensive suburban homes, often to avoid precisely the conditions forced upon schools-at-risk by the irreversible cultural changes in our nation over the past fifty years.

Thus many more citizens, driven by deep interest in their own family involvement through children participating within the system --and now facing the obvious great additional needs surfacing in the new Century-- now find easier ways and less time-demanded to keep closer watch on what goes on within the system --and what is happening also with what we must see our children learning to really understand, in these early days of the 21st Century.

Not only has the computer-and-Internet combination now reached widely and deeply into nearly every home, but we are also faced with the growing ubiquity of rapid-connection and easy search on that same Internet, including many cellphone types and a still-growing variety of IPads.

Check out what the kids are learning via those new technologies --and then try to remember that all these devices can also ease the time-and-access demand for any concerned and active parents --who also remain our most intense and inquiring tax/payers, too.

Local control of curriculum --in our earlier history often tied to the traditional needs to know of primarily rural-and-developing areas, and to the widespread use of apprenticeship --perhaps the best demonstration possible for one-on-one learning-patterns-- necessarily dominated the developing system, and led to more than 15,000 local school boards. ("Apprenticeship" is the true pattern of mentor teacher and intern teacher-students also used widely starting with "oldfashioned normal schools" preparing new teachers -- like Maine's Aroostook State Normal School, mine own starting place in education circ 1937.)

Those boards played historic roles in shaping and wisely directing education then; but they are no longer of value for that outmoded curriculum necessity.

A national curriculum is looming unavoidably on our future horizon, demanded by worldwide developmental patterns and hastened by the necessity to devise new and different fiscal/financial foundations for education than the property and other tax sources, long a major role of local boards.


With it will come national learning standards to guide new and comprehensive ways to evaluate both student learnings and teacher competency sans "standardized tests; seen clearly by then as the anathema they have already proven to be.

(Still another ironic/twist here: Many of those making the most noise now re "the failing system", not only in the trades and working professions but in the white/collar small/business groups, gained their own working understandings and skills in either organized apprenticeship or family/likewise situations. The standard test there has always been easy: quality performance on the job, directly monitored and evaluated by the mentor/master.)

O WHY should we be surprised --much less mesmerized into too-radical and too-rapid remedial action-- by that occurrence-again of further attacks, so obviously political-ideologically/driven ?

And further rapidized and radicalized by now much more widespread discussion and even demonstration than in past similar situations ?

As with all-else in any democracy, our choice/by/vote reigns.

That is still true even though we have allowed by far too-widespread citizen apathy and inattention, leading to "easy-pickings" for those always motivated by their own driven behaviors seeking always and all ways for dollar and power advantage in our culturally-distorted society.

Now that we know WHY this growing re-examination of the whole system --with some radical suggestions for rebuilding and thorough revitalization-- is occurring, we surely find ourselves under extreme pressures to make sure we make the right decisions, built on the right topics for extended and intensive public dialog.

Now that we may be in essence starting-again, we can doubtless also find --invent if necessary, as did our Founders-- new ways to fund our remediated or deeply restructured system well-and-wisely.

Immediately we will then "smoke out" those whose major and massive main interest is only somehow to slash tax-burdens more-and-deeper; and separate them from those many more who seek the best possible learning experiences for their inheritors.

For those-latter ones, we can begin the demanded transition-task of providing full and accurate information leading to deeper understandings of domains of learning involved; and to the abilities demanded of learners at all levels to use those skills and knowledges well-and-wisely, as they create their own 21st Century.

Few but the most responsible and loving parents ever stop to consider what will be the fate of those who are NOT so prepared, and must then, inevitably, contend with inestimably more --and more difficult-- problems and potential catastrophes than our generation ever encountered.

This new series, sure to include several probing examination-shots at this complex (and still-moving !) target, is primarily intended for those whose normal, natural and current situation makes this whole new attack on education-as-system a major social, economic/fiscal and cultural interest worth depth and density of exploration.

Unavoidably that's what is demanded of one of our most complex and confusing institutions, open to strongly-opposing major interests, rapidly changing within itself, and staffed with the most dedicated and decently-striving of staff and direct/participant leaders --the teachers themselves.

(Further ironic fact: Nearly all those who constantly attack any additional tax expenditures for education will gladly acknowledge the impact on their own lives of that one or several always "exceptional" teachers they were fortunate enough to encounter. Mine taught LATIN --yet is one major reason I write...)

Perhaps the key element open for dialog and demanding pragmatic and creative consideration is some other fiscal/financial funding method for the whole system, departing some distance from the property-tax potency for damage of which so many complain. Possible alternative and additional fiscal/financial sources drawing on the massive and increasing dollar-flows in our nation will be considered soon, under expanded research now.

Your continuing comments and especially your problems and examples of desperate and difficult situations involved in the system, will guide us in our explorations. No apology for length-here OR to-come (!) and I thank you all for your kind attention and continuing patience, the real foundation attributes of any such attempt at a public-channel exploration such as this !!

Please note that this series of Op Eds will continue intermittently, often triggered by new development demanding immediate strong dialog among us here. Watch especially for further developments now underway in cognitive science changing the way we learn and teach, and the new technologies of those radically-changing ways. --------------------------------

Reader's Note: Per HCR-usual custom we've NOT listed-here documentation sources-used for this Op Ed. For the record, some 15 books, on the author's working shelf, were consulted in a variety of issues-and-areas, and several new books written especially for these main issues were also read, consulted and special parts/noted. We do not list-here to save space (several pages) with only occasional legitimate user-served. In addition, a whole year of four leading political/economic/social journals was again surveyed, along with an accumulation of some sixty clips from dailies and general magazines over the past year. Every item is named with its proper ID in author's notes; transcript available on request, at $15 fee for reproduction and Internet delivery prepared from writer-notes.

______________________

At 21, Henry Clay Ruark was Aroostook Editor for the Bangor, Maine DAILY NEWS, covering the upper 1/4 of the state. In the ‘40s, he was Staff Correspondent, then New England Wires Editor at United Press-Boston; later Editor for the Burlington, Vermont 3-daily group owned by Wm. Loeb, later notorious at Manchester, New Hampshire UNION LEADER for attacks on Democratic Presidential candidates.

Hank returned to Oregon to complete M. Ed. degree at OSU, went on to Indiana University for Ed.D. (abd) and special other course-work; was selected as first Information Director for NAVA in Washington, D.C.; helped write sections of NDEA, first Act to supply math, science, foreign language consultants to state depts. of education; joined Oregon Dept. of Education, where he served as NDEA administrator/Learning Media Consultant for ten years.

He joined Dr. Amo DeBernardis at PCC, helping establish, extend programs, facilities, Oregon/national public relations; moved to Chicago as Editor/Publisher of oldest educational-AV journal, reformed as AV GUIDE Magazine; then established and operated Learning Media Associates as general communications consultant group. Due to wife’s illness, he returned to Oregon in 1981, semi-retired, and has continued writing intermittently ever since, joining S-N in 2004. His Op Eds now total over 650 written since then.




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Sedbaron February 5, 2016 2:37 pm (Pacific time)

The British seaside has not recovered from the collapse of the maritime and tourism industries. Populations in coastal towns tend to be older and less ethnically diverse. Coastal towns have higher rates of unemployment and more long-term health problems.


Hank Ruark September 18, 2011 12:22 pm (Pacific time)

To all: For serious readers sensitive to new materials highly relevant to this thread, Google these organizations for links to publications named. --(Sorry NOT to supply link - note lost here.) 1. National Center on Education and Economics for " Standing On Shoulders of Giants: An American Agenda for Education Reform." 2. Center for American Progress for "Charting New Territory: Tapping Charter Schools to Turn Around The Nation's Dropout Factories"


Hank Ruark August 22, 2011 11:05 am (Pacific time)

To all: To update on current issues, make sure to see: 1. "Steven Brill's War on Teachers Unions"; The NATION, 8/29/11. 2. "Who Ruined Our Schools - An Insider Tells All" ;Joel Klein; ATLANTIC June 20ll; and July issue for Letters in response. Brill is leader of school reform movement and article is penetrating analysis of what has been done, needs to be done, and is in work. Klein is longtime New York City Schools Chancellor, relating in depth and detail what was done and why there, with claimed results under strong examination now. Both set background for fullscale resumption of our ongoing dialog re educational developments, especially important in view of radical national changes underway affecting funding.


Hank Ruark August 16, 2011 11:55 am (Pacific time)

To all: Some weeks of meds-caused delay have interrupted dialog here on current state and future developments within the field of American education. The reigning political perversion to a false emphasis on debt-and-deficit has also made impossible any further approach until that desperate political diversion played out to permit current understanding of its unavoidable and inherent disabling impacts on any more serious discussion. For those who wish to continue, we plan to publish shortly some 20 or so further sources and documented reports under examination here. Take care, and keep on keepin' on ! See you soon for more penetrating open dialog.


hank Ruark June 18, 2011 12:25 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
See my points 3. and 4. above in summary of previous dialog illuminating issues explored in this first of an intermittent series re our educational system.
It truly must be understood that education has long been the whipping-boy permitting malign private and corporate interests to distort and pervert the total picture on true costs, playing on natural developments in education needs of the nation for their own purposes by shaping the system via those pressures. American apathy and propaganda-polluted mis- and disinformation used as ideological and psychological weaponry have further delayed inevitable reform demands now surfacing both broadly and most urgently.
Meanwhile the modern world has simply out-run the 20th Century system we've been forced to hang onto , while contemplating our next move.
NOW we face the dual dilemma of desperately demanded changes while overwhelmed by the consequences shaping our current work force and all the rest of our culture and economy.
To facilitate still more-probing and informative dialog on specific areas of remediation and change in that system, we are exploring some new sources for both generalized/overview of essential components, institutions and agencies shaping these issues and the detailed workings of some of these components as they impact on the way any remediated system must operate in the 21st Century.
To present a solid foundation for further probing dialog-exchange which may both illuminate these issues and accumulate guidance to direct actions we must assist in making happen, here are several references which I've found most helpful.
These cover essential background for component-issue understandings, but in no way represent the entire spectrum demanding examination and cogitation; they represent easily available sources for beginning/understandings which most persons will find are needed to deal with the complex interplay of these varied, various and still-varying parts of the overall big picture.

1. The Price of Government: Getting the Results We Need In an Age of Permanent Crisis; David Osborne, Peter Hutchinson; Basic Books, 2004. ISBN 0-465-05363-7.
Osborne is author of the 1992 best-seller Reinventing Government; Hutchinson is a management consultant with a broad spectrum of clients and former Minneapolis Supt. of Schools. The book presents a radically different approach to budgeting, focusing on buying results for citizens rather than revising last year's spending programs. The ideas involved come straight from top management in every level and have been put to work already, with proven success, from schoolhouses to statehouses and from City Hall to the Pentagon.
2. Adam Smith: In His Times and Ours - Designing the Decent Society; Jerry Z. Muller; Princeton University Press, 1993. ISBN 0-691-20161-8. ISBN 0-691-00161-8.
Counter to the popular impression that Adam Smith was a champion of selfishness and greed, this slim but potent paperback shows that Smith's famed "Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations" maintained that markets served to promote the well-being of the populace and that government must intervene to counteract the negative effects of the pursuit of self-interest. Smith's analysis went beyond economics to embrace a larger 'civilizing project" designed to creat a more decent society.
3. a free nation deep in debt: The Financial Roots of Democracy; James Macdonald; Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003. ISBN 0-374-17143-2.
Macdonald explores the connection between public debt and democracy in the broadest possible terrms, with fundamental questions for which he provides the answers by a sweeping historical review beginnin in biblical times, but focusing on the key period of the 18th Century, and continuing right up to current times.

Perhaps our serious readers (and would-be commenteers !) will take the time during a short hiatus before we tackle the next demanding dialog sessions to build a solid foundation for those comments. Keep 'em coming ! They make the dialog process work best when best-informed and sharing some positive new point or problem...
Have I read these books, in preparation for "informed opinion" presented as Op Ed ? YES -it is my common working pattern to read them on acquisition, use as reference as-needed, and then to re-read for a second, sometimes mostly a third, time, with pen in hand to mark significant parts and place mine own comments called forth by the cogitation thus created.


Hank Ruark June 14, 2011 12:15 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
SO after solid pages of dialog on any number of key parts of main-issue, what have we learned, and what's our essential next steps ?
1. Most commenters shoot without really reading the piece, much less following solid/grad/school- professional technique of reading rapidly first time, then re/reading slowly and critically, and making notes for later cogitative expression in more-thoughtful Comment. But that's what we must have for effective, honest, open and democratic dialog preparing public opinion for representative debate and action.
2, NOT ONE single solid comment found any real inaccuracy in any of many factual statements I made; at least none was expressed. Disagreements are only on meaning of facts-as-combined and on meaning of historic trends, with very few links to anyauthoritative offsetting documentation for any disagreement.
3. My main point --"apathy and massive indifference leading to major ignorance of pragmatic realities re the educational system makes that whole system a whipping boy very useful for political purposes"-- stands unchallenged; basically since that's the obvious fact and since it provides a simple dark/cave hiding/place for those whose main interest is slashing tax costs; which explains the screaming-level of opposition attack now highly evident across the nation, affecting every cost-issue.
4. My secondary-meaning, arising inevitably from the first achieved, is that the only way we can make sure of solid new advances in the obviously still-demanded educational process and product --as we now know is essential for 21st Century life-- is to separate the-system-=as-target from what now exists.
5. That was WHY it was essential to illuminate the real starting-point of the very dangerous and damaging attitude towards government on which this whole very strong ideological-based attack-mode/strategy is built --the Reagan "Revolution".
That tended to thrown us off the clear path into feelings-driven controversy veiling and confusing our main points-of-mutual/discovery; but in the long run was an essential step to making sure of the massive foundations in fact, event, history and issue-development we need for those so-badly/needed "next steps".

SO here's the unequivocal very-direct personal/professional challenge to all involved here and to any newcomers:
NOW re-read --carefully, slowly, with pen in hand, making notes-- the original Op Ed I offered. Given its information and its inevitable, unchallenged, documentable and checkable conclusions, NOW prepare points you propose to do JUST WHAT IT SUGGESTS:
Outline a new system for funding the remediated educational system, and include with your new funding scheme how it would affect each of the demanded remediations you see as the most essential ones needed for THE EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM WE MUST CREATE NOW.

OKAY, CLASS ? ASSIGNMENT CLEAR ? Meanwhile research will continue here for the now-upcoming Op Ed(s) which will set forth what we discover here for that same assignment.

GO IT, KEEDS ! We here will be right out front with more Op Ed/type targets soon...and now you can be prepared for improved and more cogent participation....but never fear:
NO GRADES HERE EVER !! Just your own internal satisfactions for responsible, cogent and cogitating participation in open, honest, democratic dialog --for what it may be worth.


Hank Ruark June 12, 2011 4:54 pm (Pacific time)

Marci:
Do believe content, tone,context of our dialog shows up essential and forced sure-differences in our evaluations of some of same and similar evidence.
I appreciate your kind efforts and your content, as with your mother, and please pass along my best wishes to her --civil common sense we may be able to share, despite life experience on differing planes, with nearly insurmountable gap to overcome.

Thanks for good wishes re award-winning son: I have one of his awards over my working screen; and another son is just becoming publisher/editor of a leading Oregon weekly.
Both must struggle every day vs precisely these dialog-wrecking lack of understanding but we do feel anyone "in the media" today has "no choice but to keep on keepin' on..." with readers like you two surely making it more worthwhile than for some others responding.


Hank Ruark June 12, 2011 4:42 pm (Pacific time)

Me Again: You seem to have this retailed well confused with a large wholesaler, sir ! Please dump you load elsewhere since sample shows simple stupidity surely of small value even if stirred to oblivion.


Hank Ruark June 12, 2011 4:39 pm (Pacific time)

Marci et al:
Thanks so much for the very illuminating link; I read it carefully and discover some major points beyond what we've hit so far...perhaps making clear that there are extremely varied interpretations for every human action, especially involving political events.
I truly appreciate and value your contribution here, new to me and extremely illuminating for all of us --which is why I present it here in such length.

For purposes of illumination here are some I found, unfortunately time and space do not permit more than simple-copy here, in sequence from the link, but perhaps a bit missing in context best found by each reader going to your link, which I recommend.

Point: Morris tried NOT new concept but new application to otherwise-pure
biography --with mixed results but of high value to some, myself included, while only further confusing others.
( My first cousin Robert Ruark did somewhat the same thing in his early novels, and throughout his "The Old Man and the Boy" series; he even blended characteristics of the old man, his father, with those of another family member. I do NOT equate what Morris offers with what Robert R. does, but intent was parallel.)

Hastily I add each must make own personal evaluation on the techniques involved while reading DUTCH and that's absolutely sure to be shaped by personal background and experience.
THAT point is the woebegone reality-wrecker for every form of communication, and the foundation for massive but normal disagreement on both meaning and any proposed action to come from it !! --We see it every day right here in responses and in their unwarranted and damaging further projection beyond the written piece itself.
THAT's why your link is of value to all readers here, if they will but cogitate upon it for themselves...

Here's what I chose, almost at random:
Marci's Link
Although Dutch is deliberately deceptive and undeniably bad history, professional historians also recognize that the book raises basic questions about historical practice. The debates are about the relationship of truth to fantasy, about speculative leaps and our ability to know the past. They are about the nature of historical writing. They are about audiences, ivory towers, and academic historians' often-unrealized desires for more authority, respect, and remuneration.
No one—including Morris himself, who says he was inspired to put fictional characters in the manuscript as he stumbled over an acorn on the campus of Eureka College, Reagan's alma mater—would rank Dutch as a sophisticated contribution to philosophical debates about objectivity and narrative. But the book strikes a chord in a field whose relationship to such debates is ambivalent.

Few historians would try to claim that reality doesn't exist. Fewer still would defend Morris's decision to publish Dutch with no explanation of his method. Nevertheless, many historians would not reject his method out of hand. According to Demos, who had not read Dutch before he was interviewed, "I'm not opposed to crossing the border into fiction or creating material that can't be documented down to the very last detail." Such tactics, he said, are valid if they enable the historians to "tell the story better." He noted that he had been part of an American Historical Review forum (December 1998) in which three historians and Canadian novelist Margaret Atwood had concurred that the ambiguous border between literature and history was a rich and fruitful domain.
Historians have long been interested in the literary aspects of history writing and the extent to which all history is, at least in part, fictional. Their questions are often inspired by philosophers, literary critics, and some historians—often loosely identified as postmodernists—who have argued that historical narratives follow formal conventions of plot and character that, in turn, shape the history they write.

Is this the top of a slippery slope toward relativism? Does it suggest that all stories are as true as Morris's claim that he was born in Illinois in 1912, not in Kenya in 1940? Demos, for one, thinks history and fiction exist on "a spectrum with all sorts of intermediate positions."
Morris's "memoir" of Reagan touches another raw nerve associated with postmodernism. What are historians supposed to do about their subjective relationship to their sources? Annelise Orleck (Dartmouth Coll.) said postmodernist theories have generated a "healthy cynicism toward the idea that history can be strictly empirical." They have convincingly demonstrated that historians' own identities—their age, race, class, sex, or position in the profession—influence "the so-called facts we choose to incorporate and the speculative leaps we choose to make." Yet, Orleck said, historical writing that foregrounds the historian's subjective experiences can also be self-indulgent and distracting for readers. She said she has yet to discover a satisfying way to put herself directly in the texts she writes.
Finding a way to represent historians' relationships to their subjects may be especially challenging for those who write in the venerable tradition of biography. Biographers develop intimate relationships with their subjects, even those who are long dead. Rosenstone said he wrote himself into Mirror in the Shrine, his biographical study of American encounters with Meiji Japan, because "it seemed the only way of distancing myself was admitting that I was implicated." Once he had given himself a bit part as the historian creating the work, he said, the book could go forward.

Pointing out that our society is saturated with history, represented in films, museums, journalism, fiction, and television, Rosenstone said it's counterproductive to maintain "that there is only one mode or series of procedures for evoking the past and making it meaningful." Rather than dismiss or malign popular representations of history, he believes historians should acknowledge and engage with "the larger world of making meaning and interpreting the past" that exists outside the discipline.
Dutch may also be emblematic of the formidable challenge of understanding Reagan's presidency as history. With tongues in cheeks, many commentators have pointed out that the book is an apt tribute to a Hollywood president notorious for mingling fantasy and reality. Some historians see no irony here, however. Cook condemned Morris for treating politics in "the most simplistic or imaginary ways" instead of dealing with questions crucial to Reagan's political legacy such as the collapse of the Soviet Union and the rightward trend in U.S. politics. She attributed Morris's personalistic vision of the former president to Morris's own "unwillingness to contemplate the human costs of political decisions."


Me Again June 12, 2011 12:38 pm (Pacific time)


Below is a recent update on news, a international lead story for ten days now this blog has not even mentioned, and it says alot about a blog that holds themselves up as a legitimate news organization, not! Weiner, a zionist jew, should be in your clueless minds as to what he is really exposing to the world! He is the kind of radical lefty many of you admire, you really do, just like that other zionist Krugman. Have any of you out there checked out his investments and stock ownership? LOL. Of course other radicals will use diversion, even some incompetent canadian propagandists like this johnson clown. My God Tim, WTF is this idiot about. Do some cursory character check on this lightweight and know what anyone who knows him knows. Just because he writes negative garbage on us should give you a tell on this sicko effeminate fatty. You radicals are fading away as a group, and Weiner is the one that has set forth an increasing cascade effect that will make the 2010 election look tiny. God I just love radicals like you guys, you are so f---ing entertaining. Thank you thank you. Forthwith, some real recent news the world really pays attention to: "The scandal surrounding Rep. Anthony Weiner dominated the political conversation again on Sunday, as members of both parties stepped up calls for the New York Democrat's resignation and more scandalous self-portrait photos surfaced.

The chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee said she and other leaders only called for Rep. Anthony Weiner’s resignation after he refused to quit following his admission to sending explicit messages and photos to women through social media.

"Since this story broke we were giving Congressman Weiner some breathing room to be circumspect, do the right thing, reach the conclusion that he needed to step back and step down on his own,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Fla.) said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “As of yesterday when that didn’t happen, it was important to weigh in.”

Wasserman-Schultz joined House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other party leaders Saturday in calling for Weiner to resign. Weiner said he would request a short of absence and had checked himself into a treatment facility, his spokeswoman said afterward.

On the same show Reince Priebus, the Republican Party chairman, accused Democrats of a failure of leadership for not forcing Weiner out.

“He turned this town and this country into a three-ringed circus,” Priebus said.

To add to the salacious drama, the gossip website TMZ published a new batch of images, showing what appears to be the congressman in various stages of undress in a gym locker room. TMZ said Weiner took the pictures of himself "at the House Members Gym and sent them to at least one woman."

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) joined in the chorus of calls for Weiner to go following his “bizarre” and “unacceptable” behavior.

"I don’t see how he can proceed and effectively represent his constituency," Hoyer said on CBS' "Face the Nation."

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) echoed his party's chairman and said the situation was "getting beyond ridiculous."

“We have got to get this behind us because it is a distraction, and so, yes, he should resign,” Ryan said on "Face the Nation." “We have got important work to do, and this is just a ridiculous distraction.”

"It's beyond anything I can comprehend what's happened here with him," said Rep. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) on CNN's "State of the Union. "And if I were he, I would resign from the Congress and make ... try to rebuild my life and move on."


Pelosi has called for an Ethics Committee probe of Weiner’s behavior, but Hoyer noted that would be a time-consuming process and said he hoped the matter would be resolved faster.

“I really don't know that we have that time. And I would hope that Mr. Weiner would use this opportunity to reflect upon whether or not he can effectively proceed. I don't see how he can, and I hope he would make that judgment,” Hoyer said Sunday.


Wasserman-Schultz tried to shift the conversation away from Democrats' possible responsibility for their troubled colleague and to put this scandal in the context of other recent escapades in Washington.

She pivoted to accusing Republicans of hypocrisy. She noted that Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) remains in office despite his connection to a prostitution service and that Priebus did not demand Sen. John Ensign’s resignation after the Nevada Republican admitted to an affair with a staffer.

“You never called for his resignation, so there’s a double standard,” Wasserman-Schultz said.

Priebus dismissed the Vitter case as “a five-year-old story” and said, “I’m not defending these guys.”

Wasserman-Schultz said she spoke to Weiner on Saturday and described him as “incredibly apologetic” and “remorseful,” but she did not back off her call for him to step down. She indicated there was little Democrats could do to force him out and said he would have to make his own decision about returning to the House after his leave of absence.

“I just hope that Anthony goes and gets the help that he needs,” Wasserman-Schultz said.


Hank Ruark June 11, 2011 7:49 pm (Pacific time)

Mark Lee:
"Fact is that you lie in your teeth, you Reagan-loving rogue..."

Fact is also that you did it with purpose, intentionally, to distort and damage good faith work by others, for the simple reason of your own feeling and your own personal aggrandizement here.

That's the vile and dangerous virus eating its way throughout American life and threatening what it took us 250 years to build, on the inventive foundation provided by the Founders.

Shame on YOU sir, proven in your own actions...


Mark Lee June 11, 2011 9:32 am (Pacific time)

Hank, isn’t it against the law to threaten the life of a federal official?

Paul Krugman was one of many drooling idiot leftists devoid of any moral compass who tried to pin the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords on a lack of Republican civility. Even though, by the time Krugman’s column ran, it was clear that Giffords’ shooter was a mentally disturbed individual whose assassination plot was not motivated by coherent political theory of any stripe, Krugman was not about to let facts get in the way of a good partisan narrative: "It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated  event, having nothing to do with the national climate."

Yes, Krugman claimed, without any appreciable sense of shame, that a man who was seriously mentally ill was merely a symptom of - no kidding - “toxic
rhetoric.” Well, several months have passed since Krugman peddled this tripe and apparently, Krugman’s sense of shame hasn’t become any more well-developed.  
Now he’s got a piece out on Paul Ryan’s deficit reduction plan. The title of this piece? "Let’s Not be Civil"  According to Paul Krugman, he has just called for the assassination of Paul Ryan. Krugman’s position: Incivility on the right led to the atmosphere that facilitated the Arizona shooting; ergo, the right is responsible for the deaths at Gifford’s rally.

The corresponding logic is: Krugman is calling for incivility, which according to him leads to politically-motivated mass murder; ergo, Krugman (by his own logic) is a calling for the murder of those he disagrees with (which would be Paul Ryan). Paul Krugman epitomizes the current liberal divorce from reality.

If one has a problem with the lameness of the argument (and one should), it’s a reflection of the lameness of Krugman’s original position. His economic logic, or rather non-logic is even more convoluted and nonsensical. For example: "According to Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, America is doing just fine financially because we're having no problem borrowing money: [T]he nation is not, in fact, “broke.” The federal government is having no trouble raising money, and the price of that money — the interest rate on federal borrowing — is very low by historical standards. So there’s no need to scramble to slash spending now; we can and should be willing to spend now if it will produce savings in the long run." Hey Greece, Zimbabwe, Italy, Spain, ad nauseum, how's that spending working out? OH, man...I had to explain this to my son when he was 8...he said, “but, Dad, you still have checks”....when I said we didn’t have enough money. It was the beginning of his economics education..shortly thereafter I started having him write out the checks (for my signature) for the power  bill, the water bill, the mortgage, etc.

Paul Krugman is an idiot....no, worse than that...he is a malicious idiot. No doubt he is carrying the torch leading the NY Times down into the abyss, along  with other Weiner-type followers who have no common sense.

DJ: Mark does not attribute the quote about Krugman but it's by a man named Noel Sheppard at NewsBusters (Exposing & Combating Liberal Media Bias) 

A sure way to do that is to just make things up. After all, who's gonna check? I am, for one.

You can find the Sheppard quote here: http://newsbusters.org/bios/noel-sheppard

Here's Krugman's column "Let's not be civil" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/opinion/18krugman.html?ref=paulkrugman&gwh=AD9F8724CE4443918EB495957F0D960C 

Scientists always go for the original sources. They don't say: A guy told him..." They actually go to the original guy (if he exists)  and go from there. They don't rely on Sheppard's interpretation. They get the facts and do their own interpretation. That, or course, requires critical intellectual abilities, attributes that Mark Lee is sadly lacking.

Lee has taken the "America is not broke" quote out of context. Here's the extended quote:

To put this in context, you have to realize two things about the fiscal state of America. First, the nation is not, in fact, “broke.” The federal government is having no trouble raising money, and the price of that money — the interest rate on federal borrowing — is very low by historical standards. So there’s no need to scramble to slash spending now now now; we can and should be willing to spend now if it will produce savings in the long run. 

Second, while the government does have a long-run fiscal problem, that problem is overwhelmingly driven by rising health care costs. The Congressional Budget Office expects Social Security outlays as a percentage of G.D.P. to rise 30 percent over the next quarter-century, as the population ages, but it expects a near doubling of the share of G.D.P. spent on Medicare and Medicaid. 

So if you’re serious about deficits, you shouldn’t be pinching pennies now; you should be looking for ways to rein in health spending over the long term. 

You can find the whole column here so you can judge for yourself: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/opinion/11krugman.html

Here's Krugman's context on not being civil: 

So the House budget proposal revealed a yawning gap between the two parties’ priorities. And it revealed a deep difference in views about how the world works

. *  *  *

The point is that the two parties don’t just live in different moral universes, they also live in different intellectual universes, with Republicans in particular having a stable of supposed experts who reliably endorse whatever they propose. 

So when pundits call on the parties to sit down together and talk, the obvious question is, what are they supposed to talk about? Where’s the common ground?

Krugman concludes his column: 

So let’s not be civil. Instead, let’s have a frank discussion of our differences. In particular, if Democrats believe that Republicans are talking cruel nonsense, they should say so — and take their case to the voters. 

You can find the column here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/18/opinion/18krugman.html?ref=paulkrugman

BTW: Ryan is not mentioned, or even alluded to in the column. This is an egregious example of someone making things up to support a loopy argument. 

Nice try, Mark, but sorry, no cigar. Talk about a "divorce from reality". If instead of quoting secondary sources, you actually read the Krugman columns and picked out your own quotes to make your argument, you would at least be credible.


Marci Young June 11, 2011 7:41 am (Pacific time)

Hank: Oops! Last post forgot one of my source links. There is one below, but have dozens that reflect the same as the one below. Glad I could clear up the misinformation for you. Oh, my mother and father are on a cruise and she emailed a "Hi Hank"
this A.M.
http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/1999/9912/9912new1.cfm


Marci Young June 11, 2011 7:26 am (Pacific time)

Hank glad to hear about your child's awards, you must be so proud. Congrats. My father/mother also have children that have done well in life. I have been blessed to have my parents (I traveled the world during my youth with them), as well as grandparents. My maternal grandmother (an educator still) went to the golf driving range with me the other day and still has quite a strike. She is now 97 and sharp as a tack. I see that a few posters below have a variety of opinions on President Reagan, so that's how life is sometimes, at least for the uninformed. Maybe the below can clear up this misinformation that some are laboring under? You know that blind man elephant touch thing going on for them, like the reference made about a 1964 speech. What a classic schoolboy diversion. Reagan is "looming as one of the most significant statesmen of the 20th century," said Joseph Ellis (Mount Holyoke College), who reviewed Dutch for the Washington Post. Morris's decision to portray Reagan as a cipher rather than take him seriously as a political leader is a disservice to readers. When all is said and done, Ellis lamented, Dutch cannot help us understand the power of Reagan's ideas or the ways he "spoke to some of the deepest impulses in American political culture." Other critics' complaints About Morris's Dutch recurred across ideologies and occupations. Historians may have made more of Morris's endnotes--which include correspondence from his fictional characters beside authentic documents--than did the journalists and pundits. But the larger critique was the same: Morris's book was "a tragic ruin" (wrote editor Charles Krauthammer), even "dung biography" (political scientist Larry Sabato, who was connecting the controversies over Dutch and the Brooklyn Museum's "Sensations." For his part, Morris placed his work outside his critics' worlds. He told the Washington Post's Linton Weeks that he was more interested in how "Gore Vidal, Richard Holmes, John Updike, people of that caliber" viewed his book than in the responses of academic historians. The previous sentence clearly exposes the writer of Dutch, Mr. Morris, as not a serious biographer intent on relating an accurate historical treatment of President Reagan. There are plenty of books on this fine man, I suggest a cautious approach to the interpretations by the ideologically focused writers, they have an agenda not conducive to reality, nor how history unfolded during this time, or really any time. "Although Dutch is deliberately deceptive and undeniably bad history, professional historians also recognize that the book raises basic questions about historical practice. The debates are about the relationship of truth to fantasy, about speculative leaps and our ability to know the past. They are about the nature of historical writing. They are about audiences, ivory towers, and academic historians' often-unrealized desires for more authority, respect, and remuneration." Hank the below link professional enough for you? If not, then what a responsible juror does, weigh the body of evidence, not select parts that meet their agenda.


hank Ruark June 10, 2011 8:53 pm (Pacific time)

Mark Lee:
Do you really think Time, CSM Weekly, NY Review of Books, The Economist are all FAR LEFT ?
Most readers might place American Prospect slightly to the left of center, and the WSJrnl a bit more to the right.
BUT your so-erroneous desecration of the others show just how far out of mode, time, mental metabolism, et al you really declare yourself to be.
Better check you watch...I bet it's set to 20th Century around the '20s...
Did you, by any chance, campaign for Coolidge ? Perhaps even Hoover ?

Re my insistence on full qualifying information, including profession (if any), age, education beyond h.s., etc, allathat is simply professional-courtesy exchange common among those engaged in friendly dialog --by many considered essential information precisely as for any civil conversation, where if that information is not cheerily voluteered, the wise auditor asks for it immediately to guide wise dialog, intended to share-and-learn rather than divide, antagonize, anger and "win"......nobody wins that way, as surely some decades of a diverted and distorted Congress should have taught us by now.


HanK RUARK June 10, 2011 7:06 pm (Pacific time)

:
Mark Lee et al:
Fact is that you lie in your teeth, you Reagan-loving rogue...tragedy is that you may never really recognize how far asray you've forced your way . "Forced: is what it takes to describe yours-re-DUTCH, which was, after all, commissioned by Reagan, paid for by the government when completed after nine years of constant contact --and then purchased in some bulk for personal distribution by --you guessed it !

That latter fact I have by direct statement from a person who was there-then, knows whereof (he-or-she) speaks, and remains non-ID" here on request...whom I might just ID for YOU if you ever have guts enough to come direct to hankatlma@ipns.com.

Please note this is your fifth such welcome-gambit, in pure love for saving the time, attention and control of invective on the part of our readers-- and the mourning for white space time-and-cost which is part of the S-N channel for which we owe Editor-Owner Tim such gratitude --even if somewhat less marked after struggling through your contented contemplation of the world-as-you see it here.
If you whip off that pointed-hood, as indicated by your viewpoint so clearly reflected in that distorted first sentence, we may be able to make noise enough by clattering your clumsy misstatements and distortions to finally bring some sense of relativity and relation to pragmatic realities into that space beween your ears.

You will of course pardon my straight-talk, since you set the tone in your first foolish fancy re Krugman and his dark shadows into which he was moving...please forgive if I further distort that already tortured allusion to your very obvious dis-, mis- and NO-trust of one of world's most pragmatic, honored --and trustworthy-- economists.

By now, sir, you may recognize my only-partially tongue-in-cheek tone and totally laughing-up-sleeve approach to your further confused and awkwardly-expressed complexity here, which I take it somehow to be considered by you to be related to the comparatively civil and comprehensive statement in my Op Ed.
Does seem, somehow, only fair and equal treatment for those who can read your so-sensitive, helpful and fully motivating English --although that begs the term for your language it probably fits better than what your words themselves really call for,,,see my opening seven words, sir !

Of course I'm far too shy to respond in kind to yours, sir, but we can try somehow, being both kindly old souls with much life experience to share -- or do we know that much about you ?
What the hell do you DO for what they pay you, for example ? Did you ever reach any higher level than h.s., and if so what have you written since and where is it published ? Have you ever sat through a full school board meeting when "voodoo economics" is forcing slashes in the working force ? (THAT was, truly,in the R/R days, sir ! In the same town where I first taught (5th/6th) with kids fainting almost daily from hunger !) You sure talk as if specially qualified, so why not share ?

THAT one --and many more, in 50 working years spanning both education and communications at many levels, in most directions, and for a variety of purposes-- is NOT from "far left publications" but strictly from life --mine and the kids, together.

Mine own qualifications are public right out there in the open --and I'll even add to that 650 Op Eds-line the fact that I'm at work on my seven-millionth published-word content, conveniently right now...with some 60 editors and more than 500 clients also on my working lists.

You seem, sir, to put outmoded belief in those ubiquitous polls (Gallup, which used to mean hurryuphorsie !) which have been so untrustworthy in so many situations, incidents, tax and vote matters and other measures, and are dispensed only after gurus gathered in gangs to make some sense of what other gurus gathered in gangs have decided was perhaps the latest trend.
FYI, the only thing I have ever experienced anywheres near so far distant from the actuality and reality is the carefully-stated "combined and refined" results of those "standardized tests" on which allayou seeking to slash tax dollars somehow seem to depend for deeper and dirtier ammunition more and more...since there is now little else left on which to depend in the whole system of education about which I chose to write.
The one point of solid fact one can find is the continuing struggle of the still famous and well-regarded union organizations to maintain some common sense within the system in order to provide the semblance of foundation we must have for the realistic remediation my new Waves series was meant to explore...and will continue so-to-do-- in the face of what I now nominate as one of the most misstated, distorted, scurrilous and perverted attack-assemblage yet to be met in our neighborhood.

You are so correct, sir, when you write "Facts are all there, Hank" . But it is what they mean as interpreted in pragmatic and practical fashion and force for remediation that we need now --not MORE REITERATIONS of unrealistic blabbermouthed personal feelings.

Have a good day, sir, and give my best regards to Dr.Hayek and Ayn Rand when you next encounter them...


Hank Ruark June 10, 2011 6:10 pm (Pacific time)

Marci et al:
I note your helpful quotes from the named authorities do NOT appear to be from their citations of DUTCH - right ?
Nice try, Marcy. Nobody quarrels with historian assessment of what their work requires - but here you apply it to book you have evidently and very obviously misunderstood.
Morris clearly lays out what he does and why he does it, and for those who can follow it --not everybody likes vanilla, either--tthe boo is a real tour de force --and I can retype reviews on hand if demanded for "see with own eyes", which should perhaps be more forthcoming than your use of quotes.
Allawhich misses the whole point here in this profuseandprotracted and becomingnauseous negativy re R/R while points made in my Op Ed, which stands alone and a little neglected while we reassess the R/R regime, earning its early mention simply because of his notorious attitudinal declaration re the gov'ment.
By the way, how are you on Ollie North and that paragon of purely positive conservatism -- Ayn Rand ?
AND best wishes to your mother, earlier participant here, for whose sign/in we allowed your entrance later --nice to see daughter following in Mon's footsteps...did I tell you my son Loren just won four more national awards for tvnews action coverage via one of those heavy cameras ??


hank Ruark June 10, 2011 5:03 pm (Pacific time)

Dan J.: Reagan "The Speech" you cite is a featured item in full display in the GE years book I documented, along with details of his "learning" from mentors in that corporate giant almost constantly under anti-trust action. Recent history (some ten sources on hand here) cite other similar and some stronger incidents, all proving your point re "you gotta feel it to understand what it means to others !" Good to hear from you, Dan...


Daniel Johnson June 10, 2011 3:11 pm (Pacific time)

To Mark lee and the Youngs: You are clearly people who were not hurt and do not know anyone who was hurt by the Reagan philosophy and policies. Let’s go back to Reagan’s October 27, 1964 speech supporting Goldwater. It was called “A time for choosing” and is now known universally to conservatives as “the speech”

Here is what Paul Krugman said in his book The Conscience of a Liberal (p. 105):

“Reagan’s speech might best be described as a rant—a rant against the evils of big government, based not on logical argument but on a mix of gee-whiz statistics and anecdotes.

“The statistics were misleading at best, and the anecdotes suspect. ‘Federal employees number 2.5 million, and federal, state, and local, one out of six of the nation’s workforce is employed by the government’ declared Reagan, conveying the impression of a vast, useless bureaucracy. It would have spoiled his point if people had known what those useless bureaucrats were actually doing: In 1964 almost two-thirds of federal employees worked either in the Defense department or in the postal service, while most state and local employees were schoolteachers, policemen or firemen. He attacked Aid to Families with Dependent Children with a story about a woman with seven children who wanted a divorce because her welfare check would be larger than her husband’s paycheck—a story he claimed to have heard from an unnamed judge in Los Angeles.

“Reagan also displayed a remarkable callousness. ‘We were told four years ago that 17 million people went to bed hungry each night,’ he said, referring to one of John F. Kennedy’s campaign lines. ‘Well, that was probably true. They were all on a diet.’”

While Reagan and his policies may have been friendly to Mark Lee and the Youngs, he was no friend to the ordinary working stiff.


Marci Young June 10, 2011 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

Hank, et al: Professional historians began lambasting Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan shortly after it's release. Most have insisted that the book, which is populated by made-up characters and bolstered by fabricated documents, should have been marketed as fiction, not biography. According to John Demos (Yale Univ.)—who has written on history and narrative form—one of the cardinal rules of unconventional history writing is to "be as clear as possible to your reader about what you're doing." Morris and his publisher, Random House, clearly flouted this rule. Historian Joyce Appleby labeled Dutch "literary Forrest Gumpery" and commentator George F. Will called weird and perverse. Critics focused mostly on Morris's approach to biography: inventing fictional characters--including a version of himself--whose lives intersect with Reagan's, inserting himself as biographer into the narrative. In this conceit, the teenaged Morris sees Reagan as a teenaged lifeguard; is it character Morris or biographer Morris who writes, "Watching him [swimming]--indeed, trying to imitate him--helped me understand at least partly the massive privacy of his personality" Morris played fast and loose with footnotes. The notes in Dutch refer readers willy-nilly to real archival materials as well as nonexistent documents. For historians, footnotes represent scholarly rigor, hours dedicated to dusty documents, creative links among archives, thoroughness, and depth. False footnotes cheapen the real work of writing history. As Kathryn Kish Sklar (SUNY-Binghamton) pointed out, "Historians work hard to recover evidence about the past. . . . If the rules governing their craft permitted them to invent evidence, then all their labor would be in vain."


Mark Lee June 10, 2011 9:39 am (Pacific time)

Hank the current economy coupled with the financial policies coming from the White house supports my earlier assessments. Regarding your disinformation of President Reagan via the selective use of the book "Dutch", and the book and author have considerable potent critics, simply does not have any traction for historical legitimacy by professional scholars nor appeal to the public, but ideologues seem to enjoy it's meandering and highly inaccurate portrayals of the Reagan legacy. Distilled down, it's a poltical hit piece that only appeals to propagandists and the quasi-intellectuals of the radical left. Regarding Krugman, top economists, and those who also have Nobel awards have roundly pointed out his rather gross errors and his zany theories that unfortunately for America (and the world economy) have been played out by the democrats, but their power has come to a close, forever. He also wanted to give another round for a second Stimulus Bill. He does not grasp Kenysian economics, nor any other workable theories in my informed opinion, and that is why he has been fading away Hank, kinda like Gore (also a Nobel winner like Obama, so that award means what?!) and the global warming/climate change scam. Nuff said about this bozo.
Maybe if you read something besides far left publications you would understand that the majority of the public is on a different (informed) plane than the one you occupy, and that four out of five Americans are not liberal (see Gallup and any other professional pollster to verify that reality), we are a center right country, and the voters are wising up to the Alinsky-style methodology of the radicals. The future votes will cement a national course change in our domestic and foreign policies, which hopefully will include a 100% cleavge from brutal countries like Israel and prevent them from moving here when that country collapses. Unions (at least their influence) in public education will be removed and our kids will be back on track as they were before the unions contaminated the educational process. Simply look at historical achievement/test results from the past when unions were not involved, and the decending trend in those results as their influence grew. Facts are all there Hank.





hank Ruark June 9, 2011 2:44 pm (Pacific time)


Mark et al:
You insist on ranting on and on re basic points of ideological differences plaguing both political entities (no longer "parties" !) set up in our governmental pattern.
What you fail to understand, sir, is that we are not engaged in fighting that ongoing "class war" but in good faith dialog re some small parts of remediation action we might take to rescue, preserve, protect and further extend the educational system --while those who continue the unceasing, unproductive and deeply frustrating chaotic conversation re ideological/religious/faith-dependencies spend their breath and strength in what long ago proved to be impotent mouth-music.
If that's your pleasure, sir, so be it --but please refrain from dumping here any further desolating and destructive products arising from your particular case of mental self-massage, involving massive manipulation of proven truths when ready documentation for the historic fact is clearly, openly and honestly supplied.
When you --as unknown and partially-masked man, completely unqualified on any record opened here-- undertake to foul/mouth persons of fully-proven professional stature such as world/class economist Krugman, and then charge his readers with "going down that dark path" --carefully illuminating what IS patently a truly dark path for YOU-- you lose any credibility whatsoever on any other point.
Your further declaration re government intervention in the private sector proves up your particular peculiar slant on simple historical fact facing solidly in the other direction, and further solidified by the historical record of Reagan-era events reflected in DUTCH, involving more than nine years of close contact and special access granted to the author via his position as biographer chosen by R/R himself, and its worth recognized in many professional reviews as it attained best/seller stature, with full promotion --surely indicative of full acceptance-- from the White House and personally by Reagan.
Your participation here might well have brought us all something better and more pragmatically practical for proper application on the points, content and intention of the piece for which they were offered for comment, if you had abandoned that unfortunate, unthinking and unfair expenditure of reader time, patience and evaluation caused by this approach.
Perhaps there may be some small value in its consequences here as an example of waste and further devastation while we must face up to the current realities of life in the 21st Century.
--30--30--30--


Hank Ruark June 8, 2011 8:27 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et al:
You wrote as below and so will respond line-for-line to some selected distortions, unsubstantiated personal feelings, misstatements by error or purpose, and "un-informed opinion" --90 percent of which has no bearing whatsoever on content of my piece above but applies only to purposeful spread of Far Right ideology.

1. "Possibly you do not understand how private enterprise is involved with the educational process Hank? Job skills matter, knowledge matters, rational understanding is consequential to national survival."
I spent several years with community college master of development Dr. Amo DeBernardis at Portland Community College, and as Director of Information wrote a series of about five PDK Journal articles on that very sensitive and demanding relationship.
Have you written any-such ? If so, please cite publication, date, titles and pages.

2."Certainly business appears to be getting fearful of waiting too long for government to lead the struggle, and it is one, for education excellence, American business is taking a hand. It seems painfully obvious many inexperienced in education and the ways of the real world don't much approve of business on account of its penchant for such low-minded things as making a profit."
Business has been neck-dee[ in its effort to shape and control education for more than 100 years; the efforts you cite here are "old hat" with some good-impact forced by public opinion to offset many scandals and negative publicity from others not so well-covered as these we currently find. Come-direct (hankatlma@ipns.com) for full documentation unfair on space needs here.
Re "...low-minded things as making profit", wording itself reveals purpose in your statement designed to create defensive reaction. ANYONE making it to high school has long since learned the true meaning of "profit" and most have already begun, these days, a strong belief about corporate and small-business activities, hopefully with ability to separate the more acceptable on the solid basis of performance. In fact, by hs/grad/date, many today are already experienced in work for one or t/other of the two-named, and beginning to build their own life experiences on which to found solid performance evaluation via their own experience.

3. "On the other hand, business attributes -- foresight, energy, a knack for flexibility and creative thinking -- make business an indispensable ally in the quest, such as it is, to restore educational competence and achievement to the country that once thought it had invented them. Various educational initiatives are going forth under business sponsorship. These aim at the imparting of basic skills to tomorrow's work force, coming up fast as an estimated 2.7 million manufacturing employees pass the 55-year-old mark or marks even higher. Among partners in the venture are blue-ribbon groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers."
I find it ironic to hear this from you with your own self-stated progress to advaned degree professional rank via the very common school experience you surely deride here, which still operates in large part about as it did, with major failures where very adverse and malign social, economic and cultural forces have degenerated the entire life experience of millions.
The "business attributed" fits for most of American business with great and disastrous exceptions unnamed here except via code-word 'Enron". which should surely mean something very special to many --with the additional fact of GE involvement over decades in actions forcing antitrust investigations, among many others so traumatized, too.
Re "imparting of basic skills" to future workforce, that unavoidable necessity has been at work ever since our own Revolutionary days, leading in part to the local school board system, now so badly eroded, disintegrated, and disembowelled,as our series to-come will demonstrate.
Re Chamber and NAM their role is far from the distinguished one you imply, with both positive and negative impacts, but surely and always driven strictly by own self-interest, and dollar-measured ALWAYS --per Milton Friedman's classic definition of limited role the system allows for business function.

4. " Among various objectives of the interventionists, there's the upgrading of course work and requirements at community colleges in order to emphasize the acquisition of technical skills."
See mine-above re DeBernardis and PDK articles, in which this was major driving force describing what was then happening at PCC, under DeB national leadership.

5. "Government at different levels, mostly until recent years the state level, has for a long time shaped the educational product. Government designs the curriculum and defines the expected outcomes. It worked for decades. It doesn't work now -- not to the extent it once did. Government is slow, creaky and resistant to quick change."
Here you somewhat misdescribe the actual working system for curriculum as developed ever since early Revolutionary days, with very great and comprehensive developments as demanded by the changing needs of our nation.
In effect you over-simplfy a very complex --and ultimately very successful system-- to fit the needs of your disquisition here.
What actually occurs is the concept of something new or added to meet change; with trial-run of content and teaching method-change if demanded produced by academic institutions, and tested by them in model or demonstration schools. When satisfactorily accomplished, then the trial version is most often circulated to states where it may be installed for further trial in some schools, or if sufficiently documented for results and reactions by learners, moved on into the actual usage for which it has been conceived, developed, tested and proven.
Thus it is NOT "government" that designs and shapes "the curriculum" but those very well-tested and entirely capable institutions our nation has developed ever since early days to do precisely this job with precisely this approach to shape new concepts, test them in actual use, and only then make them available --by choice, not imposition-- through the states and their institutions to our schools. That's in large part brought about by the Constitution and its organization.
Re "slow, creaky" et al, that's common situation with all social, economic, cultural organizations and situations; on occasion govt. can move with amazing rapidity, as in New Deal setup in months to serve millions...and innumerable other examples, esp. in wartime, as in War II with airplane production. Speed of action depends on urgency and attitude, and both of those depend on quality, mode and skill of leadership.

6. "Innovate, hold people accountable, demand performance, set goals and make sure they get met -- business methods of this sort can point the way to recovery of public education in America, away from control by government and the teachers unions."
No disagreement possible with goals and values set here --until you state"...away from
control by government and the teachers unions" which heavily overstates pragmatic realities as they currently exist.
Influence there is --and deserves to-be-- but control still remains in hands of voters, who elect and support or can recall the officials representing them in managing the educational system --with the unions and their members, though their elected officers, playing a strong role and with due influence for the dollars-and-workers involved but not controlling.
This is another solid clue to distortion to persuade via specially-framed view of what is actually a rather normal picture, played out over decades via unions in many trades and in occupational specialties, vs massive, determined resistance from business and fiscal/financial forces, but eventually leading to widespread adoption and adaptation of many benefits we now take for granted and enjoy ---while some few castigate union work for same reasons and for same values now in education.

7. "American education needs transformation. Transformation is what business is about -- for better or worse. Liberal prejudices concerning government "efficiency" need replacement, which is where business comes in with new ideas and jump-starts."
The system needs remediation, at some parts in depth while generally not nearly such radical change as is made to seem so here.
Business exists for one reason only: To make a profit. That's absolute, undeniable, documented-in-depth truth, esp. true in America today and for corporate vs small-business.
Transformation of education is NOT its primary goal, nor should it be; transformation is defined as slower process of change than some needs in education, which are radical in their demand for rapid --perhaps even brutal-- change, as in funding needs. It is when any reliance on business is allowed for change for which it is not suited that we get what you yourself admit when you write "--for better or worse" -- and then multiply such bad impacts via your esst-of-sentence, which first maligns "liberal" by coupling its meanings with "prejudices" re government action --in/quotes to convey falsity of its real consequences, purposely or otherwise-- and then stating that explicit replacement must occur, while making of business an unfailing source for unfailing actions at whatever level they are applied.
I.e. the entire section is thus finally and only and undeniably distorted to illuminate a personal feeling and attitude, with no documentation nor attribution to other "outside" authority based on long and widespread public experience --and surely depreciative of what we know of our own educational history in this nation.

8. "Having a cross-section of people with different backgrounds enriches the school boards across the country, and members of the business community play a significant role, don't you agree? We need to stop the slide, and most importantly see that our youth are trained and prepared to enter the job market so we can compete on the global market."
But finally you write something with which there can be no disagreement, based on either feelings or facts: Business does enrich school board function when its strengths and its special skills, abilities, and access to monies are all properly teamed with the entire goal of other wise citizens --for the good of the children and youth in the system, first/foremost/and ONLY.
AND we do need to stop the slide --NOT most importantly so that we can compete in any market, but solidly and primarily because that's what we owe our own offspring to make them ready for the same and many more and different powerful forces with which we have had to cope ourselves...to make the educational system the proven instrumemt for democracy that we know it to have been for our generation.

Thank you for your thoughtful feelings and full expression of same here.
--30--30--30--


Lynn Simmons June 7, 2011 9:47 am (Pacific time)

Hank you wrote: "...Most school board are dominated by local businessmen seeking first and foremost to cut costs of government at all levels..." Possibly you do not understand how private enterprise is involved with the educational process Hank? Job skills matter, knowledge matters, rational understanding is consequential to national survival. Certainly business appears to be getting fearful of waiting too long for government to lead the struggle, and it is one, for education excellence, American business is taking a hand. It seems painfully obvious many inexperienced in education and the ways of the real world don't much approve of business on account of its penchant for such low-minded things as making a profit. On the other hand, business attributes -- foresight, energy, a knack for flexibility and creative thinking -- make business an indispensable ally in the quest, such as it is, to restore educational competence and achievement to the country that once thought it had invented them. Various educational initiatives are going forth under business sponsorship. These aim at the imparting of basic skills to tomorrow's work force, coming up fast as an estimated 2.7 million manufacturing employees pass the 55-year-old mark or marks even higher. Among partners in the venture are blue-ribbon groups, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers. Hank I see you use to live in Illinois, well a vacuum cleaner company in Chicago has, for instance, opened engineering clubs for students at 20 middle schools. Among various objectives of the interventionists, there's the upgrading of course work and requirements at community colleges in order to emphasize the acquisition of technical skills. Government at different levels, mostly until recent years the state level, has for a long time shaped the educational product. Government designs the curriculum and defines the expected outcomes. It worked for decades. It doesn't work now -- not to the extent it once did. Government is slow, creaky and resistant to quick change. Innovate, hold people accountable, demand performance, set goals and make sure they get met -- business methods of this sort can point the way to recovery of public education in America, away from control by government and the teachers unions. American education needs transformation. Transformation is what business is about -- for better or worse. Liberal prejudices concerning government "efficiency" need replacement, which is where business comes in with new ideas and jump-starts. About time somebody did. Having a cross-section of people with different backgrounds enriches the school boards across the country, and members of the business community play a significant role, don't you agree? We need to stop the slide, and most importantly see that our youth are trained and prepared to enter the job market so we can compete on the global market.


Mark Lee June 7, 2011 6:42 am (Pacific time)

Mr. Ruark there are many unintended consequences for shifting student loans away from the private market to government control. So what real success does the government have in terms of efficiency? Regardless of who underwrites these loans, us taxpayers (not good!) or the free market, there are no jobs for our graduates. Why is this? What fiscal policies from the government in the last 2 and 1/2 years has caused this? So you think it's a good idea to expand the government's role in other private market financial matters? Why not have them take over other parts of the free enterprise system? Well, what country currently or in the past has had success when the government enlarges their control of the private market? None. It's the same delusion that many fall under when they opine for some aberration of Keynesian economics, like those who go down that dark path like Krugman. They may get accolades, but they still get an "F" in macro-economics. The growing government and their ongoing intervention into the private market is the problem, and history provides ample evidence that this is so. Oh and I read Dutch, and it may be interesting for those who disliked President Reagan, but that is a tiny minority that is diminishing in number. Fading. Look at the current situation for Aircraft Controllers, Reagan sure set the stage to vastly improve their lot, as he did for overall aircraft safety. A stroke of genius in my opinion.


Hank Ruark June 6, 2011 8:26 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
One more factual finding re R/R: In response to Sally Mae comment.
FROM: www.thecommons.org

"FREE MARKET FRAUD
BY DAVID BOLLIERSHARE

It’s a great victory for the commoners that our tax monies for student loans may soon go directly to students, via a U.S. Education Department program, rather than through banks. Yesterday, by a 253 to 171 margin, the House of Representatives voted to shift billions of dollars in college student loans to the Education Department. The move prevents Sallie Mae (the largest private corporation providing student loans) and banks from continuing to act as parasites on public resources and as predators of needy students.

The current system was instituted by Ronald Reagan, ostensibly to prevent government from stifling the innovation, efficiencies and other benefits of the so-called free market. Direct government lending to students was simply handed over to private banks. The result, as described here a few months ago, was a 35-year plunder of taxpayers and borrowers."
-----------------
This one appeared about two years ago, is now shown again at
The Commons website.


Hank Ruark June 6, 2011 12:42 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et al:
Was aware of your kind summary of ongoing developments, but miss the climactic summit: When it moves to the Supreme Court.
As described, that is inevitable, and we may even see sensible conclusion upheld even with such as "foolish five" who flourish there now, given growing
public awareness and funding failures frustrating local boards.
We may even see local school board arbitrary action in lieu of teacher's personal and Constitutional right to choice of association colleagues and membership overcome denial and the denigration of curriculum and free speech sure to happen otherwise.

Most school board are dominated by local businessmen seeking first and foremost to cut costs of government at all levels; that's foundation principle of any and all private enterprise business and transcends, for most, any other kind of action-motivation, thus always shaping attitude towards any public service on dollar-impacts.

I shudder to think what some will set up for teachers who try to seek their Constitutional rights, and how that will play in performance by teachers who bow to further projection of same dollar-power now exercised by corporate attitudes, for which we have good background in our ongoing dialog re R/R.

Ed/funding other than by property tax under research for review and dialog in upcoming Op Ed, so we'll have opportunity to learn more while this imbroglio proceeds to S-Court end which should be great finale !!

Regards to all...and remember, please, nothing personal,.only civilized dialog since that now becomes major massive and most significant tool to shape and stabilize public policies when one buys Congress and the Courts with corporate dollars...


Hank Ruark June 6, 2011 12:22 pm (Pacific time)

John:
You buy what you want in the bottle with the label you can swallow...and I will do the same. Be careful to check for virus from any "leftish shills" before imbibing, sir !
You avoid any answers, too, for obvious good reason; book cited gives far more detail than you manage in short-space here, and there is much, much more in DUTCH, which you obviously have not read, despite sure-to-come denial. Cite for me, sir, the DUTCH-form of the conversation with Cordiner when R/R agreed to shift his then-ongoing public statement to another Senator to protect the GE effort by Boulware et al to obtain huge contract for GE.

Some read this and other situations as sellout at time career was collapsing; still others see it as beginning failure leading to further denigration and to colleagues such as Oliver North. Still others see further signs and symptoms of what we know came later in A/D sequence; after all he was SEVENTY when he became President.
Can you solidly, sensibly disprove any of these points ? I doubt it since most have no possible way of positive --and "transparent" !-- illumination, and thus must depend on sensitive, sensible, authority-guided analysis -- i.e. on solid reporting based on known facts. On that basis I stand on what I have written and will write, with 50-year working history to back up whatever level that may truly be...
What do YOU offer as record ? When, where accomplished; by whom and when published, and in what channels ?

My point stands untouched via apathy and its consequences, and more to come will transparentize, for those who can stand the glare, the rest of the very bright illumination now available via untrammelled and untouchable nationally-recognized sources with authority to speak.
What's YOURS ? Special training ? High level education ? Years ofl teaching experience ?
Possible DC contacts at times-involved here and afterwards ? (I had a few, as writer and consulstant.)
Why avoid coming direct ? You seek public attention, but fail to furnish any solid reasons for your own credibility.
Reagan-actions, many in special positions to understand now, began smashing/drive vs unions and ideological attitude toward government now at root of general conditions this series explores...with consequences open to fair and documented dialog.
That's why pursued here to this extent;now will move on to more timely, cogent --and "transparent" !-- further analysis.


Lynn Simmons June 6, 2011 7:31 am (Pacific time)

Hank to fix public schools, you have to control public schools. And there’s little control when teachers unions, with their self-serving agendas, question every cost-cutting proposal and reform on the table. That’s why so many state governments have taken swift action to limit the power of organized labor in public schools. Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana, Idaho and Michigan were the first, and Tennessee added itself to the list last Wednesday. Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam affixed his signature on House Bill 130 and Senate Bill 113, ending collective bargaining and giving local school boards the full authority to operate their districts in the manner they choose. That doesn’t mean the unions are shut out of the discussion. The new laws create a process called “collaborative conferencing,” where the school board, administrators and union officials will be forced to sit and discuss many of the normal issues, including salary, insurance, grievance procedures and working conditions. If the two sides agree on any number of issues, they can sign binding “memorandums of understanding,” that will serve the same purpose as collective bargaining agreements. But any issues that are left unsettled will be the sole domain of the school board, with no appellate procedure available to the unions. School boards will also have the option of not entering into any sort of agreement with the union. In that case they would have full authority to deal with all issues in an arbitrary manner. I guess we'll see sometime in the future how this method will work in Tennessee, and other states. The day of union influence in public education is thankfully coming to an end. I believe that future historians will write on how the unions evolved into political money machines, which corrupted their main mission, and promulgated their ultimate demise. This is good for our kids, and American political freedom Hank.


John June 6, 2011 6:56 am (Pacific time)

Mr. Ruark, as per your inquiry, President Reagan started out as a Democrat, and he was a lifelong union member. He had about seven years of training in negotiations when he was president of the Screen Actors Guild who greatly respected him because he was so successful. For eight years as a General Electric representative, he toured the many GE plants around the country. As he constantly parlayed with the average Joe at all these plants, he began to rethink his way of looking at things and forged a conservative viewpoint that we now know so well. Reagan was very well read and knew his history. Those that scoffed and discounted him as a lightweight had no idea about the background he came furnished with. Reagan's enemies called his campaign "Bedtime for Bonzo." That's essentially the M.O. used by many unsavory individuals/groups, just undercut the opponent and call them stupid. Seems the majority of American voters do not buy it as per past elections. His distractors,especially his current ones, didn't realize this guy in many ways knew more than they did. As far as our current economic situation, then that is easily traced back to the late 1990's when banks were pressured to issue sub-prime loans by the U.S. Treasury Department, Fannie, Freddie, and people like Barney Frank. This has been well reported by top university research economists, not leftist shills like ones we see daily at papers like the Times. Just review commercial real estate success at the same time, and compare to the residential market, the former used sound business principles. Evidence coupled with facts trumps uninformed opinions (and inexperience) everytime from my observation. "Almost all the world's constitutions are documents in which governments tell the people what their privileges are. Our Constitution is a document in which 'We the people' tell the government what it is allowed to do. 'We the people' are free." President Reagan. So what's going on now? How about that promised transparency?


Hank Ruark June 5, 2011 9:35 pm (Pacific time)

John et al:
What's amazing is that noone thought to ask about his eight years as protege and paid ideology salesman, traveling from plant to plant for GE,
which surely in all common sense had a bit more to do with his failed Democrat understandings, demonstrated over and over,

Have you read DUTCH ? How about GE-years book I referenced ?
OR any of six others also cited ?
What do you know of "supply-side" and where it came from, and why he bought so completely into fraudulent theory costing nations millions and now billions ?
If not, sir, you are reacting off top of head to common view built on myth and cloud and media dollars freely expended by such as Scaife and the Koch brothers.
For more come direct to me at email hankatlma@ipns.com for much from 40 years of clips, books, articles, studies, reports and histories.


Hsnk Ruark June 5, 2011 9:10 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn:
You persist in missing my point, for whatever reason. The apathy is obvious and the attitude is damaging, rooted in part by R/R's notorious "Government IS the Problem !" and all that flows from it.
You wish us to disregard what made the circumstances which now are prevailing what they have become; would you have us treat what the Founders stated, in Federalist Papers, Constitution and Bill of Rights with the same "It means nothing now" approach to what we face today and what we must do about it ?

You wrote: " In terms of the future of public education, besides having too many cooks working on the soup, we have too many people who have no experience actually teaching offering advice on things they know so little about. Would you agree? "

What's to disagree about there ? That's meaningless drivel; experience and special education and training mean much in any field.
Do you not honor your own special work by citing it here ? I do, in detail in the Staff section and in brief in the accompanying squib with each Op Ed.
I started in a normal school, did apprentice teaching in the same school where I did 6 to 8th; taught in sawmill community where mill had burned, with kids fainting from hunger in THE Depression; did journalism to eat, returned to education for M. Ed. at Oregon State with side-job in state film library, which led to EdD. all but dissertation at Indiana; abandoned dis. re emerging new technologies to work in DC on NDEA, was instrumental in building media emphasis into that national legislation, returned to Oregon on special assignment job in ORDeptEd created by that legislation...and most of all among the so-called "elite", esp. businessmen, content to sit back and seek to chisel on taxes.... so on and on, including work with DeBernardis at Portland Community College, editor (one of three in sixty years)of then-leading edmedia magazine in Chicago, followed by ten years as consultant working with school districts, corporations, government agencies and the press on general educational developments with emphasis on media and technology....


Anyone else feeling need to qualify for comment here ? OR perhaps to write comparison Op Eds ?
OR otherwise to add to open, honest, democratic dialog,unashamedly, with some courage and perhaps some values despite repetition of topics, "verbose" writing style, and ???


John June 5, 2011 6:02 pm (Pacific time)

In 1982 at the depth of the recession as Reagan and Volker fought to bring the USofA back from what Carter had left, Sam Donaldson [ABC News] asked at a press conference; "Mr. President, in talking about the continuing recession tonight, you have blamed mistakes in the past and you have blamed the Congress. Does any of the blame belong to you?" To which Reagan retorted: "Yes because for many years I was a Democrat!" "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free." President Ronald Reagan.


Lynn Simmons June 5, 2011 12:04 pm (Pacific time)


Hank unemployment just upticked to 9.1%. Americans are not apathetic as you suggested when you wrote in your below post, they are just concerned with more timely events that are impacting their lves, NOW:"...that the American public suffers from the apathy and misunderstandings..." Needless to say President Ronald Reagan left office over a generation ago. A significant percentage of the population not only were not born while he was in office, but also millions were not of voting age while he was in office. For those who enjoy studying the history of this leader, I would suggest for them to get a good cross-section of authors, both pro and con, then look at what he accomplished, and to keep in mind that it was a democratic congress that was responsible for passing legislation, and funding it. What made him one of the greatest presidents we ever had, and makes moot his critics sour grapes evaluations, was his ability to cross the aisle and have a bi-partisan relationship with those who were highly partisan. Oh sure, he riled up many, and you provide witness to that, but it is like that unobserved tree that falls in the forest, does anyone really care if it makes any noise? In terms of the future of public education, besides having too many cooks working on the soup, we have too many people who have no experience actually teaching offering advice on things they know so little about. Would you agree?


Hank Ruark June 4, 2011 2:26 pm (Pacific time)

To all:
First read my last to Lynn, referring to new book detailing Reagan and Boulware, his mentor at GE directing his radical departure from liberal union leader to neo- "conservative" candidate.

Then check Alternet Internet website for current story headlined:
Wall Street Journal Honcho Shills for Secret Worker 'Education' Program Linked to Koch Group
During the 2010 election campaign, WSJ editorial board member Stephen Moore carried the Koch agenda to Wisconsin workers -- in workplace seminars called by their bosses."

THAT is one major principle of what the GE years taught R/R --still a strong part of multibillionaire project to make sure government serves them first, last and always...


Hank Ruark June 4, 2011 2:07 pm (Pacific time)

Mark Lee et al:
Yours reads for me as generalized cry of real pain from frustration and experience, but lacking specifics for cogent response.
Surely many today find some of the same sad lack of performance to which you refer --generally mirroring which Howard Gardner discusses as "deeper understandings" --with some striking further examples beyond your own.

But then you write: " We have strayed so far away from learning basic math skills that our college-bound students are entering a world that is totally foreign to them. So what policies have been formed by some so-called educational leaders? They change the math world to match what the students had in K-12."
To most here, I think, that will prove far too broad a generalization, and leaves me wondering how whomever you refer to as taking these actions is able to so transmute and traduce a rather difficult curriculum problem, one sure to capture the immediate attention of other school administrators.

Then you continue: "The new curriculum style is for students to collaborate in groups to find the best way to answer or solve a particular problem. This method reduces -- and for some teachers eliminates -- lecture altogether. It took brilliant men and women decades to formulate the laws of math that we have today. Now they want our students to formulate these same laws in a 50-minute class. "
Do you so greatly prefer lecture-alone to the probably more realistic in modern life --and surely both research-and-demonstration project-tested ? Memory tells me the educational adoption of small-group and conference-type learning modes came back to us from continuing developments in larger-scale businesses, which had taken its own learning cue from earlier educational efforts.

More-yet: " Now they want our students to formulate these same laws in a 50-minute class. This methodology is also the darling of the local and many other school districts, and we wonder why our children are graduating with minimal math skills. Kids take math from k thru 12 but learn no math!? "
Surely you stretch this one quite a bit ? Does your administration really expect that much to consequentially occur in a 50-minute/period ? AND can we surely and professionally assign to this perhaps somewhat innovative approach the entire blame for the lacks in learning we are finding ?

But you are still so motivated (frustration builds anger and overstatement) that you write-yet: "That’s the great magic act that our Education Establishment has gotten so good at. They PRETEND to teach but make sure that nobody learns. Our top educators are slaves to progressive political theories: anything cooperative is good, everything competitive is bad. Achievement is bad."
and then you conclude what has become a diatribe rather than a cogent professional statement, falling into the far-too-usual trap of ideological accusation and even using the term "enforcing", while building up to --of all creative modes !- capitalization for REMOVING UNION INFLUENCES--with implied/promise NEXT.

BUT THE ENDING IS EVEN WORSE --(forgive the unavoidable capitalization !)
You wrote: " Everyone has opinions, some are good, some are meaningless, and the latter ones are easy to spot. They are usually full of distracting rhetoric (usually quite verbose), and like the magician, they use this distracting technique to misdirect the uninformed, and because of their success in dishonesty, we have our current catastrophe, which is getting worse."

At the risk of more "distracting rhetoric" ("verbose"is for reader to judge) and to take the part of those who you obviously consider acting in bad faith to use "distracting technique to misdirect the uninformed", I suggest you look elsewhere for what you seem here to require.

We are in search of more open, honest, democratic --and professional in mode and method-- dialog on the real and very threatening difficulties NOW of an educational system which --like it or not-- is probably irreplaceable in the context of our culture, economy and current political climate --yet is clearly seen as demanding rational remediation to be sustainable. That demands professional-mode with all due regard to any nuances necessary for precise and pragmatic definition of deep understandings demanded for practical participation.


Hank Ruark June 4, 2011 12:22 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et al:
Since you wrote: " My favorable opinion is shared by the majority, and no doubt the 49 states he won 1984 is proof of that. All the rest is essentially noise, background chatter of immense insignificance to the majority of our citizens. " I must seek answer to one significant question:
Does nothing newly discovered mean anything, with the past the only criterion ?

If you read DUTCH with open mind, you will recall passage in which R/R, under pressure from GE head gurus, changes his strong admonition for one prominent senator and simply names another. (Will send page-ref. later, book on loan; but Index for Names will locate ref. for you.)

Now comes "The Education of Ronald Reagan: The General Electric Years and the Untold Story of His Conversion to Conservatism" , with full detail on who, why and what GE public relations guru Boulware had to do with what R/R learned, how he learned it, and what and why it "converted" R/R.

That documented information comes from newly-unearthed private papers and from corporate documents undisclosed by GE until recently.
IF the details in this book had been published in 1984, many now feel his election then would never have happened once the undeniable intimate connection with GE's known corporate policies and determined anti-union stance became known.
Those details are so cogently connected with R/R's "conversion" that the impact is known and referred to by those interested in the truth as "Boulwarism", with a paramount principle to go direct to the people over the heads of any agency chosen to represent their interests, such as the unions.

For your own clear conscience, I suggest you find and read the book; author is Thomas W. Evans; Columbia University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-231-13860-1.
He was Chair of the Reagan administration national symposium on partnerships in education and counsel for the Points of Light foundation under George W. Bush. He also has served as adjunct professor of education and administration at Columbia University's Teachers College.

I think you must agree he is qualified to speak and does so from his experience with this full historical record as he knows it, without any intention to denigrate R/R.
Yet the total impact of the book comes down to summary sentences found profusely at the end of both chapters and sections, making it indefensibly clear that the major interests invoked are those of the corporation -- and inevitably raising the climactic question:
WHY should government policy be shaped by corporate interests rather than those of the common wealth ?

That question in turn reflects an attitude and point of view best expressed simply as:
WHOM should government serve, and how best to accomplish that task ?
Which in turn --and again inevitably-- drives us back to our Constitutional foundations, which must guard us in our seeking for remediation of an education system under heavy attack

It was, you will recall, R/R's strongly-voiced and long promoted opinion that "Government IS the Problem !", with the inevitable consequence that the less we had of its blandishments and other actions the better the nation would progress.

I cite this book here as "new information" and agree that the American public suffers from the apathy and misunderstandings brought on precisely as you described them --a failure not only of the media generally but of knowledgeable American citizens over many years, now become so apparent that we must deal with it in the face of consequences showing that indubitably the system now rewards the rich and advantaged, while denying and depriving the rest.

Our primary interest here will be to examine what consequences that has already raised for our system of education and what we must now begin to do to remediate both that system and the economy and culture resulting in such degenerative change from what the Founders clearly intended.





Hank Ruark June 3, 2011 8:32 am (Pacific time)

Lynn et al: You wrote, among other very salient and sensible points: "Actually the more I've learned in life, the more I have come to relize how little I do know. I had a professor many years ago who said the most important thing I may possibly get out of my educational process would be the ability to "think."" Perhaps most painful of conclusions many come to understand as they really face conclusion (!) is precisely that point, operative here as major motivator for most of what I write, both to learn for myself and perhaps to bring on a fit or two of otherwise missing cogitation among others. We do definitely disagree on some points --but it is the magic of dialog --which I will put up against the so-called "magic of the market" any day !-- to bring about at least partial consensus on rational and non-confrontational grounds, which sometimes and somehow lubricates and eases the frictions and foibles of democracy, leading to wiser and more pragmatic decisions. I hope this open, honest, democratic S-N channel may be spmehow assisting in that badly-needed pattern for potent change which most of us seem to see as demanded NOW in our system of education. If at times some one or other of my writer's techniques may seem to be too denigrative, too personally-pointed, or even too dismissive, please understand that it's from lack of writing skill and in no way other than technique to invoke dialog still further. I appreciate your thoughtful participation and your (mostly !) very cogent points and will return to our exchanges a bit later as time demands here allow.


Mark Lee June 2, 2011 9:45 am (Pacific time)

Mr. Ruark I know many people who talk about what's needed to "fix" public education, but very few have any practical experience (recent or otherwise) in teaching, designing lesson plans, and most importantly, experienced in developing a budget with available resources. I have done all of the latter, and more. For example, many of my students would be absolutely lost without a calculator. They have lost the basic skills of adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing real numbers. They have essentially zero skills when it comes to dealing with fractions. We have strayed so far away from learning basic math skills that our college-bound students are entering a world that is totally foreign to them. So what policies have been formed by some so-called educational leaders? They change the math world to match what the students had in K-12. The new curriculum style is for students to collaborate in groups to find the best way to answer or solve a particular problem. This method reduces -- and for some teachers eliminates -- lecture altogether. It took brilliant men and women decades to formulate the laws of math that we have today. Now they want our students to formulate these same laws in a 50-minute class. This methodology is also the darling of the local and many other school districts, and we wonder why our children are graduating with minimal math skills. Kids take math from k thru 12 but learn no math!? That’s the great magic act that our Education Establishment has gotten so good at. They PRETEND to teach but make sure that nobody learns. Our top educators are slaves to progressive political theories: anything cooperative is good, everything competitive is bad. Achievement is bad. Getting rid of education bosses who care more about enforcing ideology than teaching knowledge is the first order of business. REMOVING UNION INFLUENCE IS NEXT. The evidence why public education is failing is quite obvious to those of us involved in the day to day process; the outside observers, not so much. Everyone has opinions, some are good, some are meaningless, and the latter ones are easy to spot. They are usually full of distracting rhetoric (usually quite verbose), and like the magician, they use this distracting technique to misdirect the uninformed, and because of their success in dishonesty, we have our current catastrophe, which is getting worse.


Lynn Simmons June 2, 2011 7:22 am (Pacific time)

Hank I've read several biographies on Ronald Reagan. He was my governor for 8 years in California, and my president for 8 years. My academic background in in Educational Psychology. As an undergraduate I had a double major, which included Political Science. Actually the more I've learned in life, the more I have come to relize how little I do know. I had a professor many years ago who said the most important thing I may possibly get out of my educational process would be the ability to "think." Obviously Hank we have different opinions on some matters, so that's just how things are. In retrospect we are fortunate we live in a country where we can have differing opinions and not have any state (government) sanctions that prevent this diversity of opinions from being explored. I have read Dutch and just skimmed Stockman's book. I have read other accounts as well, but it was my trained ability in observation of President Reagan over many decades that formed my own opinion on the man. My favorable opinion is shared by the majority, and no doubt the 49 states he won 1984 is proof of that. All the rest is essentially noise, background chatter of immense insignificance to the majority of our citizens. In regards to the "Debt Ceiling" and Obama's not putting forth a budget with the democratic congress (now demo senate) since he's been in office is what? Leadership? Naturally conservatives acting on the wishes of those who elected them (the majority of American voters as per the House) will push for "responsible" fiscal behavior. There is another side to the story regarding the articles you referenced. So, like the Stimulus Bill, who you gonna trust in this matter? Past social legislation, you referenced, how about in the 1960's, who did not vote for it? [Now that is the eye-opening question/answer our school youngsters should be taught, among other things].


Hank Ruark June 1, 2011 8:38 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et ak:
No Current Events-time is complete these days without digital graphics, which you can find at this source after you read the text building up to it...how's that for teaching technique ?

From Progress Report (One of my tested sources mentioned...)
Some Inconvenient Truths About the National Debt

Jun 1, 2011 | By ThinkProgress War Room

How’d We Get Here?
As we draw closer to August 2, the drop-dead date by which the nation’s debt ceiling must be raised or the U.S. will risk economic calamity by defaulting on its obligations, Republicans continue to play political games with the economy. Last night, House Republicans staged a political stunt by bringing a $2.4 trillion increase in the nation’s borrowing limit that was not paired with any spending cuts up for a vote. Republicans designed the measure to fail (as it did, with the Democratic leadership also calling for a ‘no’ vote in protest) to try and gain political leverage over President Obama and the Democrats in the ongoing budget negotiations being led by Vice President Biden. Also tucked into this measure was poison pill language blaming President Obama for the nation’s fiscal woes. Since the GOP continues to have collective amnesia about how we got into this mess in the first place, here’s a handy chart from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP):

Part of t/tech is to incite interest then satisfied by personal action...so hunt up the delicious chart-herewith for yourself !!
See how easy it is these Internet/days to end apathy and continue to learn ???


Hank Ruark June 1, 2011 8:30 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et al:
"Current-event time" demands I lay this one out for you to check, given your repeated reversal of realities about which party is currently blocking any action to offset most damaging act Congress has ever permitted to occur:

Published on Wednesday, June 1, 2011 by The Nation
A Rambunctious Right Wing, A Silent President, and the Debt Ceiling Deal
by George Zornick
This morning, every Republican in the House of Representatives was invited to the White House to talk with the president about raising the federal debt limit, which each one of them opposed in a rancorous vote last night."

You can easily find source-shown which I guarantee will pass every test in my recent Op Ed on how to check out sources et al....

While at it to check this one, seek out any standard source for past acts o Congress and enlighten yourself on where social legislation we now take for granted came from...


Corrupt elected- Oregon's loss June 1, 2011 5:46 pm (Pacific time)

The Oregon School Lands and Federal Lands frauds of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries only temporarily toppled part of the corruption of Oregon's national and state 'political machine'. The travesty even involved US Attorneys of Oregon- found to have dirty hands in the matter.

High-up Oregon politicians sold out the future education $$/ land-trust of Oregon's children for their
moment of greed. Capitalists owned the Oregon politicos. Many of the unscrupulous BIG capitalists (and politicos) ended up with some of the best timber lands in Oregon through bribes, forgeries, and unseemly land swaps. Oregon's future children, and their future educational needs, lost.

Today, the legacy of the cabal of corrupt elected and their complicit capitalists crooks, as our schools struggle for $$$$$$, is sorely felt by Oregon.

Taft pardoned a few of the most HIGH-UP politically connected/convicted. Roosevelt specifically stated in his autobiography that he believed the deal for the Presidential pardons (of the men) was in the making with Taft during the run-up to the Presidential primaries, and was why he lost the eventual nomination to Taft.

After the convictions, false documents and witnesses were [apparently] created to provide a pretext for the pardons, a pretext insinuating a secret service officer 'stacked' the federal jury pool. It was alleged, not proven, the pool was stacked with only those of political persuasions extremely opposite of the politician-defendants.


Hank Ruark June 1, 2011 2:46 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn:
Chose yours for detailed response since it takes us to heart of situation re education which is foundation of my prime piece with more to come.
Happens R/R is only 2nd President to have had Cabinet-level Dept. of Education with Commissioner; Ike was first to set that up.
Happens also that R/R sought to eliminate Dept., failed, so named tough Terrell Bell, a combat Marine, a s Commissioner, who produced in i982 the original tough report "A NATION AT RISK : The Imperative of Educational Reform"-- whick presciently paralleled what we now find-again, following several others-since clearly stating the same and deteriorating situation.

SO you see why I insist on my main point of apathy by American people over decades producing inevitable consequences as what is now recognized finally may bring some action ! Thank you for offering such a tempting target, for which additional motivating shots are provided below:

Re "sad story" on Altheimer's that was my subtle way of suggesting fact of RR's many clues to early Altheimer's, related in more depth below.

Re doctor at Oregon Hospital, I trust you shared tea from hotpot with him for those second-hand stories...my own A/D experience was direct, painful, demanding, and protracted; worst part was dealing with deteriorating mind in doctoral-level/trained (Literature) loved one.
Total impact was to build extensive, intensive sensitivity to A/D, and to check out Morris' DUTCH for incidents...in half-hour I marked up some strikingly clear ones, which may be why your reviewer had that off-scale reaction. SO please name the reviewer for further check as to precisely what he/she may have written; I'd like to determine misunderstanding if it happened.

Meanwhile here's one of most meaningful quotes I found for possible key A/D -suggesting incident, which since stated by R/R son Michael, noted because so often repeated publicly it may well deserve belief.:
"I was real proud when Dad came to my high school commencement. He was
the guest of honor and chief speaker, and I was in the group that posed with him
in our caps and gowns. After the picture he introduced himself to all of us and
came up to me and said: " Hi , my name's Ronald Reagan. What's yours ?" He
was looking right into my face.
I took my cap off and said: "Dad, it's ME. Your son. Mike."

Then there's the long list of R/Rs infamous potent point-making little-stories, usually with R/R as a main character, most of which when checked out appear never to have really happened.

There are many, many other incidents cited in DUTCH and well-known from a broad array of published stories, magazine articles and even specialized psychological and psychiatric studies --I'm compiling further documenting list for later use when we examine the possible remediating actions we can take to a now thoroughly-discredited system with fault-finding cumulated from close controversial continuing confrontation with millions of students, while stymied by significant curriculum changes; rapidly rising costs; frustrated, often overburdened teachers; and administrators hampered and hidebound by long-delayed reform.
I count on increasing flow of responsible dialog to assist us in probing exploration well worth time-and-attention here in S-N's open, honest, democratic dialog channel.

By the way, your words re both DUTCH review and Stockman seem to show you could not have read either book !
DUTCH won Puitzer Prize, required years of work including longtime actual immersion in R/R activities at WH and on many special occasions, and includes special-treatment to guarantee unbiased approach involving new biographical techniques which may have confused your reviewer, as your statement clearly indicates. Those techniques combine to parallel R/R's own way-of-thinking about himself and his situations, for those who can appreciate the parallels and follow the interwoven illumination so provided.
Can you imagine Pulitzer-winner professional biographer putting whole career at risk by deliberately perverting a major years-long effort to slip over some nasty and dirty-dig stuff, simply to scratch political-hurt itch ? I doubt if you really believe that's reasonable, rational or even probable...

Nor can Stockman's report-from-reality as-it-happened be so rudely written-off, either.
Here's rest of same quote-sample I submitted for your acceptance since published in strong form and used publicly for years, including for Congressional testimony, where it surely could, should but was NOT challenged, in D.C., since it reflects what many would recognize as the plain old truth< Note that Stockman takes full responsibility for the failure fated for his foolish venture into "supply-side"/theory application in the real world:

"The bitter truth was that Ronald Reagan faced an excruciating test of presidential decision-making, After an exhausting and prolonged political struggle, he had emerged in July triumphant, having enacted a generous tax cut for all Americans. Only three months later, he had to admit that the triumph had been an illusion, when we couldn't win support for the spending cuts needed to balance the equation.
"Even worse, it had not been his fault. He had been misled by a crew of overzealous -- and ultimately incompetent-- advisers. The original budget plan I had devised for him had been fatally flawed, It is even harder to eat crow when you haven't cooked it yourself."
(Pick up rest of quote already transmitted to you...entire quote from book-jacket.)

Please also note that it was his own party-leaders, including at least five famous/names, who had helped to defeat R/R's planned slash-and-burn budget attack. You might want to check out Congressional Quarterly, which I see competently summarized via Internet, along with some 15 other standard similar references as they appear.

Re your reading-rest future-by tea-leaves, we can only wait-and-see; but turning historical record on its head by claiming false actions in the face of everyday reports of more-of-same truly-deermined and vicious ones from GOP can only make allofus wonder what kind of leaves you using for all this tea ?? !!


Lynn Simmons May 31, 2011 6:57 pm (Pacific time)

Hank sorry about your late wife's health situation. I had a very dear friend who had the same diagnosis prior to her passing. Several years ago I had a friend, an M.D., who worked at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem Oregon, where he specialized in Geriatrics. He had some very sad stories, but unlike you he was a big booster of President Reagan. As you must know the president did not control the funding of any national social programs, it was the democratic congress. I believe they were very misguided, as was Mr. Stockman (follow the money/profit with him) and the author(s) of Dutch (by Edmond Morris: Many Historians felt the book was "deliberately deceptive and undeniably bad history). Of course when you just list the critics, and there are plenty, but far less than his admirers, you show the subjectivity that you have for this highly successful man. There are many fine biographies of President Reagan, and once again Hank, it was the democratic congress that cut funding for so many social programs back then, as they also do today. I invite you to review the Congressional Quarterly to see the democratic vote. In fact more republicans in congress were trying to keep funding for many programs for our seniors back then. Of course regarding public education: It will continue to worsen, and even with the uptick in youth crime that is now starting in earnest, nothing will get done. Maybe more development and funding will be diverted to vocational training? That may be the last best shot to save many of our kids.


Hank Ruark May 31, 2011 1:38 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et al: Re continuing negativity towards Ronald Reagan's once-reign as popular President while creating what many now see as the depth of Presidential failure, see-- to start !-- the classic best-seller report by his own Director of the Office of Management and Budget, David Stockman: "The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed"; Harper and Row, 1986. (Too early for ISBN !) Stockman was one of the architects of "supply-side" economics with Rep. Jack Kemp, whose deal with Reagan pivoted on Reagan's readiness to accept, promote ad win or lose on "supply-side" --then an unproven and radical economic departure, now shown to have been perhaps most damaging of many shaping the current economic circumstances not only of the U.S. but of the world. The book traces the intimate details of basic developments built on drastic tax-cuts and drastic reduction in the scope and cost of government while still allowing for massively-increased military spending. Stockman, the revolutionary, is forced to accept the reality that his theories which looked so good on paper, have been based on profound misjudgment about the American system. In remarkably candid fashion, the book recounts who did what and why to force Reagan's failure to win the spending cuts needed to balance the Reagan Revolution account -- and presciently mirroring our current situation ignoring the American tradition of political accommodation and compromise whereby open, honest dialog can determine and shape policy without sacrifice of principle. In a key quote framed on the original book-jacket back-panel, author Stockmanstates: ",,,Reagan had one real option: to retreat and give back part of the huge tax cut we could'nt afford. "But he wouldn't. Ronald Reagan chose not to be a leader but a politician, and in so doing showed why passion and imperfection, not reason and doctrine, rule the world. His obstinacy was destined to keep America's economy hostage to the errors of his advisers for a long, long time." +++++++++++++++++ For still another 'insider view", see DUTCH, the biography by Edmund Morris, the Pulitzer Prize-winner (for his on Theodore Roosevelt) --the only biography ever authorized by a sitting President --noted for its unique "insider viewpoint" created by Morris's particularly probing invention of new-method scholarship. This one deals with later Reagan-successes than most of Stockman's content, and adds greatly-illuminating detail, to leave most readers with a more comprehensive and deeper understanding of the real Reagan-impact on a peculiarly shaping-time in our history, complete with his attitudinal declaration at "Government IS the Problem !" and his unleashing of "deregulation, privatization and globalization" --with some surely unforeseen consequences. It ends with deeply depressing details of steady deterioration via "degenerative cognitive dementia" --i.e. ALtheimer's Disease. " Great and courageous man and potent powerful politician" he surely was...for which we can all be thankful. But "greatest President" surely remains in question for many. Disclosure: My beloved wife of more than 60 years, mother of four sons (and a sole daughter arriving last !), was too a victim of "degenerative cognitive dementia", enduring its increasing affects for some six last years. I was her major care-domo, managing as many as twenty medications a day, and major "other matters". That experience has made me exceptionally aware of the often subtle, even hidden, situations and actions driven by this dreadful mental disease, which may well be one of the drivers for my concern re Reagan's longtime record.


Hank Ruark May 30, 2011 9:41 pm (Pacific time)

Marci: Regards to your mother, Marci, and thanks for your thoughtful comment. There's no doubt of disarray and much depreciation in what we call a system when it is really a pattern built differently in every state, as your own discerning statement makes clear. My point is that the strong damages and continuing downward trend cometh from many complex factors in our society, culture and economy...and that we had best be very careful as we choose and use remediation at any level, that we do not kill the good and get only more bad in return. That's WHY this wlll be ongoing and intermittent series, looking next at any alternate ways to rebuild via refinance away from the property tax; and then a look at new technologies and their great coming impact on what we teach, how, and where and when. So keep tuned and continue to suggest whatever points you care to make, and I'll do my best from here, from long and often painful experience in trying to guide and move the slow process of productive change. I was original information director in DC for National Audio-Visual Education Association, small-dealer group first to begin drive for National Defense Education Act, famed in 80s for first national matching funds for state installation of subject consultants in math, science and foreign languages AND learning media ! Fact is we MUST CHANGE what we are doing now and in much more than usage of new technologies... Best to your mother whose participation I do recall...great when we find continuing interest in any family with strong, rational points ! Sure beats the hell out of any one of those irresponsible anons...


Hank Ruark May 30, 2011 7:37 pm (Pacific time)

To anon: Re previous dialog, please make sure to see E.J. Dionne Jr. column tonight re Tea Party. You might be able to set aside that direct-to-me visit, since Dionne says what I would have said.


Marci May 30, 2011 6:14 pm (Pacific time)

Charlene Young is my mother FYI.

Editor: Excellent, thank you for explaining Marci, no disrespect intended.  We just have a history of people using multiple names and we discourage it, again thank you.


Hank Ruark May 30, 2011 4:09 pm (Pacific time)

Further to Anon: Why NOT come direct, sir ? You have my emailer right out there in public, big as life, and easy to use... I'd be delighted to find time for full comprehensive collection of why's to fit your response, starting even prior to Reagan, with Bush I and II assisting, and with Cheney and gang in background even then... Might even make that next set of Waves, just in time for 2012 confrontation, aided by such as yours if you have guts enough to follow through... yrprogressivefriendhank


Hank Ruark May 30, 2011 4:05 pm (Pacific time)

To all: My piece doth not pretend to be full-scale survey of current situation in our depreciating pattern for system operating in 15,000 separate modes at that many local school boards...AND in 50 states, all with separate, differing, confusing and changing school laws conferred on allaus by legislative power. Books have already been written for that chore, some starting 5o years ago. BUT if anyone online here wishes to clip any solid newspaper or tv-news story and send clip to me, it'll be well appreciated and probably find use in one of our upcoming several-in-series new Waves. hankatlma@ipns.com is Internet address; for anyone with clip, send me note there and I will send street address here rapidly once I have your goodfaith emailer.


Hsnk Ruark May 30, 2011 3:58 pm (Pacific time)

Anonymous: Yours demands longer answer than courteous here...remember famous name coach who told players to "Concentrate ! " Concentrate ! "Con-centrate ! " ? Won't fall for diversion re Obama but will tell you you're smoking noxious weed called self-delusion... But foremost is new policy here enforced by me on mine own territory simply to ignore and refuse further confusion, conflation and conflict with anyone without guts enough to sign real, checkable, addressable name on what is surely obviously a public statement. Special-coursework on propaganda analysis at Indiana U. taught by "four guys from VA" not further ID'd made clear to all of us (40 in group) that any-and-all "anons" were to be treated as concealing-for-reason and given special attention on the side...which is what I still do... 'Attention on the side" needs no elaboration here for those knowing about what I illuminate...


Marci May 30, 2011 3:25 pm (Pacific time)

Hank after reading your article and some of the thoughtful comments,the bottom line remains quite clear, even to those who have no background in pedegogical dynamics, and that is, public education has been steadily declining. The Prima Facie evidence is in the end product. We have students who have graduated and still are unprepared for the job market. Couple that reality with a growing school drop out rate, and we have an ongoing catastrophe. Money is not the solution, obviously. Regarding the laws in Wisconsin where we have the lowest level judge(s) attempting to overrule the state legislature, that dog won't hunt. Actually there are many other states (including the federal government) that have far more union unfriendly laws on the books, which have been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. It is obvious that the national unions have made Wisconsin ground zero for their stand, but there are already "laws of the land" regarding Wisconsins recent legislation that have passed legal muster. So we are just witnessing some legal wordsmithing by some municipal judges that will be tossed. Kind of like the U.S. Federal 9th Circuit, they are routinely overturned. Back to public education: The solution is complex, but there must be a dissolving of the unions to help streamline the process in that it will eliminate a big portion of the lawsuits, for the unions will have no legal standing when they have been eliminated. Otherwise it's status quo, and a continuous decline. The unions served a purpose in the schools at one time, maybe, but they are very damaging to the educational process now.

Editor: Hank, Marci is Charlene Young according to the IP.  FYI


Hank Ruark May 30, 2011 12:59 pm (Pacific time)

Lynn et al:
Simplest format for response is line-by-line for your thoughtful comments. For some it will be from overall understandings and for others from recent research, mostly via Internet sources from which notes were made:
"Please note that public education was performing far better than it is now when the federal government (and state governments) were much much smaller. To verify just look at their share of the historical GDP/GOP and compare with declining test scores and literacy rates thru time. Irrefutable evidence."
NOT really...literacy and lack of it is a complex subject too deep for discussion as sidelight here; but your data must by its very nature have come from that controversy, and seems probably tied to development timeline of major cities, thus affecting state and national government, when the cities were in midst of their own buildup....the now wellknown metropolitan plague and suburbanism responsible today for what has befallen every big city some as disastrously as Detroit.
Then, too, you depend on "declining test scores and literacy rates' obviously tied to them -- a No-No Now for those who have come to deeply distrust the supposedly "standardized" test, which group includes Howard Gardner whose classic 1991 study was always available to knowledgeable and curious educators from that date: "The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach"; Basic Books-HarperCollins; ISBN 0-465-08896-1 Gardner also wrote "Frames of Mind" and "Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice". Have you read any of Gardner ?
Still another, covering all the confusion and concentrated curriculum and teaching mode chaos during that same timeline involved in yours re literacy and my piece here partially covering the current status, is "Learning and Instruction: Theory Into Practice"; Margaret E, Gredler; Merrill-Prentice Hall,1997. ISBN 0-13-248288-6. Hers is classic covering everything: Behaviorism, Gestalt, Operant Conditioning, Gagne's Conditions of Learning, Cognitive Perspectives:Information Processing, C/P: Metacognition and Problem Solving; Piaget and still other
"This article is really about the writer not liking conservatives, and is devoid of any accurate analysis of what's been happening within public education. It does not address one factual reason for the failing school system, suggesting that it's only about money. "
I deny and defy that since the whole point, which you seem to be missing, is that it is the much broader/deeper/more damaging developments, many of them negative economically, socially, and culturally, what is a PATTERN for PARTS of a system set up in FIFTY STATES and managed by more than 15,000 independent school districts...SO what should we expect, given that kind of framework and the thirty.forty years of apathy and confusion and neglect we've allowed to take place ? See my several preceding Op Eds, principally the last one re how to manage information effectively and CHOICES, several numbers back in S-N archives, which set the frame for this series.
BUT I DO BELIEVE it is truly about money...not what we now expend but what we should, could, and MUST SPEND in the 21st Century, along the patterns we NOW KNOW WORK, such as the Gardner and other books cited, all of which have been on hand and in use, often in the very systems you must cite for remedial and corrective success. which applies to your next point just below:
"That is easily dispelled as absurd by just doing comparisons of different schools that have succeeded with those that do not, and then see that in many cases the failed schools have significant more resources than the ones who are doing well. "
See my documentation listing several sources re schools recovering from these widespread and very similar negative trends, named in my Source List available on fee since requires makeup from notes and pile of raw references.
"We now see in Wisconsin, that the unions have been defeated (see latest Judical election where unions spent millions and lost) and that is spreading all over the country as more and more voters realize that it is the union propaganda machine that has been destroying public education, and that their fear-mongering is loosing way to logic, finally!"
Did you know that the Wisconsin law you cite has been declared UNconstitutional by several district judges ? Are you aware that nationally-cited dollar-totals re campaign contributions by unions vs corporations are off about ten-to-one, downplaying massive amounts dispensed in hidden and sometimes illegal means by the corporations ? Example: Second-and-third party refund recipients for monies paid out by persons then refunded from corporation larders lavish with dollars since they see the sure signs of recurring public opinion reflecting the return of the wit, wisdom and will of the American people ?
Re union machines, even if one recognized some same and similar situations therein to those accompanying the original union drives from before and after the New Deal, when many social, cultural and economic advantages were won by labor, one still can only point to the immutable fact that every such action by those unions demands the permissive action of union members --the very same teachers we trust with our kids education and future and the very same dedicated professionals we praise (and sometimes even kiss !) on occasion. How come the fact of union membership is s'posed to turn them into incorrigible, scheming, dollar-driven near-criminals, piling up pelf perverted from "taxpayer dollars" ? The money involved is from their paychecks; they earned it and they have an American right to spend it as they please. We never hear anything about corporate profit-dollars as if it were a pile of taxpayer money, do we ? ---ALLATHAT is part of the ongoing 50-years/attack mode set up in Reagan days and a major part of Far Right furious distortion and downright lie measures ever since....
" It seems that no matter what you write Hank somewhere in the article you attempt a dig in on Reagan, the most popularly elected president in our history. In 2012 you will see another conservative landslide, for November 2010's election was just a taste of real change coming, and our students will profit from that change in do time as we return education "back to the people."
See-just-above for all that's needed for this one.
Re 2012, anyone can read tea leaves, after stirring them as deemed necessary. But reading them after-events is a different deal, as will continue to occur. I'm completely confident in the wit, will and wisdom of the American people, but I do believe it must be encouraged and bolstered --and founded upon-- open, honest and democratic dialog, which is why this small exercise is worth the time and effort, and why I encourage YOU to re-examine the points we've covered here, in that spirit.

Best to you and yours, Lynn...
Hank


Anonymous May 30, 2011 9:51 am (Pacific time)

Hank you wrote: "thanks to continuing stupidities by GOPster leadership. How about funding as national defense measure, slicing off, say, ten percent of those 500 rockets on Libya in first few days ?" Obama made Libya his unilateral decision. When there was Whitehouse leadership from the GOP, all funding was done on a multi-lateral consensus. After 30 days a president is suppose to go to Congress and inform them of his unilateral decision to pursue hostilities, then seek funding. Obama has not done this, nor has the democratic congress submitted a budget as required by law for three yearly cycles now. In addition Obama, like past presidents must offer a financial plan for Medicare when/if it is in financial difficulty via the CBO. He has done nothing. Maybe I'm missing something Hank, but where is the "continuing stupidities by GOPster leadership?" After 3 years Obama's policies have failed. It is Memorial Day, have you seen today's Gallup Poll regarding Veterans and active-duty personnel approval rating of Obama? Says a lot, but then, for some, these millions of hero's must be confused...


Hank Ruark May 30, 2011 8:44 am (Pacific time)

Lynn, Please !: You wrote "This article is really about the writer not liking conservatives, and is devoid of any accurate analysis of what's been happening within public education." Re liking conservatives, never anything personal at long distance here and depends upon the conservative after confrontation and to degree, depth and departure from true democratic principle, as encountered. Most seem to be suffering from an iretrievable deterioration of common sense and sensibility driven by massive ideological virus raging ever since Reagan. Re accuracy of analysis that must be matter for individual evaluation after own research...and mine count rationally and realisticaly high if one really recalls the eras of education and its advances laid out here (direct or otherwise) as well as its partial summary of major issues now at stake. Please to remember this as only opening wave, with the tsunami-situations still to come, and that I'm only reporter relaying and summarizing what I've already found and moretocome...I aint no John Dewey and never so-posed. Yours and other personal participation as wave washes up ankles enough to get attention --and create cogitated and responsible reaction -- is what we wish for here.


Hank Ruark May 29, 2011 1:32 pm (Pacific time)

Hey, Lynn ! Good to know you are still there and, shall I say it, kicking high ! Re your points, this is simply to lay out general directions, which you as usual distort via misunderstandings, probably demanding more time-and-more content... But that'll be coming, including headon statements re costing and the confusions generated by what we think we are doing and what we really do...as in Howard Gardner et al and moretocome soon. Re Reagan redux that's because his actions were the starting point of so much for which we now face the full consequences...and also since "popular" Presidents are not by any means necessarily our best...as in Bush I and II. Wit,wisdom, will of American people will continue to prevail...albeit sometimes somewhat delayed...as with what's now happening to conservative time-upwards... thanks to continuing stupidities by GOPster leadership. How about funding as national defense measure, slicing off, say, ten percent of those 500 rockets on Libya in first few days ? I'm sure we'll be meeting again, and hope you will continue your thoughful participation--so much more both agreeable and sensizing than "anon" !


Hank Ruark May 29, 2011 1:22 pm (Pacific time)

Special to Anonymous:
You wrote: "...the founding fathers were against democracy, thus the republic".
Your arrogant ignorance shows at once, sir, in this contemptuous reference to our Founding Fathers.
The Random House "big booK" gives this definition of "republic: A state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitle to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. "
Your own words show curious mental mirrorings leading to misunderstandings making your further sensibilities for sensible contextual critical statement very much in doubt.

Any knowledgeable person will find overwhelming proof of what the Founders themselves felt --and WHY they choose precisely the kind of democracy I termed "American style"-- in the entire set of five specially-applicable books listed below. The reference is directly to the tripartite form the Founders chose...as the rest of my lead pgh surely maketh entirely clear.

Perchance you have some obscure reading difficulty, sir, as well as other obvious lacks and lamentable misapprehensions and consequential destructive misunderstandings here.
You wrote:
"Democracy is nothing more than the child of a tyranical, facist dictatorship. (tyrannical, fascist ?) Democracy, as much as many want to taunt it, is not a good."
Have you tried that line on any group of battle-experienced veterans of any one of our wars, sir ? Wounded or not ?

The rest is simple balderdash, sir --with absolutely no connection to the overall and rather precise points made in my piece, despite the first, foremost, essential rule here that Comments should have some relevance to the content of the writing involved.
Those comments are supposedly intended to add the further potency and power of positive and meaningful contribution to the open, honest, democratic process of dialog so wonderfully provided for us by Editors Tim and Bonnie.

In the current catastrophic condition of our two politically ambiguous and self-destructive once-
political parties --surely demanding clear and UN-ambiguous thinking followed by democraic dialog of high caliber and consequence on every issue --definitely including our beleaguered by remediable educational system, we should each of us surely refrain from the lure of public statement simply to be in the public eye with some such oversimplified and irresponsible deposit of material better flushed elsewhere.

I note in closing that you recommend I undertake some research --perhaps thus correcting what you state is an attitude on my part to which you attribute hellish consequences --an ironic statement on your part providing perhaps pertinent proof of how much you really read and how little you really understood --since my Reader's Note outlines the long sequence of recent efforts and authoritative-source references, but without stating that I have pursued these same points in many previous Op Eds here (now numbering more than 650 !), while apparently you have never written anything beyond such claptrap as content-analyzed by this statement.

Those books mentioned above include (Titles and authors only -dig out rest for yourself !):
1. Democracy's Edge - Francis Moore Lappe.
2. Alistair Cooke's America --Alistair Cooke (Would not wish to confuse you further !)
3. Alexander Hamilton - Ron Chernow.
4. Adams and Jefferson - The Difficult Election of 1800 - John Ferling.
5. His Excellency, George Washington - Joseph J. Ellis.
6. Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founding Fathers Different - Gordon S. Wood.
7. The Failure of the Founding Fathers - Bruce Ackerman
and
YES ! I've read them all...each and every one at least three times...with pen in hand making notes and circling relevant quotes.

Have YOU read even one ? IF you have further questions re relevance and historical and other accuracies involved in ANY of my content here (OR elsewhere !) just come direct to hankatlma@ipns.com...and we can "get it on...!!" --without imposing claptrap on others whose time, attention and participation here deserve far better than contemptuous self-illumination.








Lynn Simmons May 29, 2011 12:10 pm (Pacific time)

Please note that public education was perfoming far better than it is now when the federal government (and state governments) were much much smaller. To verify just look at their share of the historical GDP/GOP and compare with declining test scores and literacy rates thru time. Irrefutable evidence. This article is really about the writer not liking conservatives, and is devoid of any accurate analysis of what's been happening within public education. It does not address one factual reason for the failing school system, suggesting that it's only about money. That is easily dispelled as absurd by just doing comparisons of different schools that have succeeded with those that do not, and then see that in many cases the failed schools have significant more resources than the ones who are doing well. We now see in Wisconsin, that the unions have been defeated (see latest Judical election where unions spent millions and lost) and that is spreading all over the country as more and more voters realize that it is the union propaganda machine that has been destroying public education, and that their fear-mongering is loosing way to logic, finally! It seems that no matter what you write Hank somewhere in the article you attempt a dig in on Reagan, the most popularly elected president in our history. In 2012 you will see another conservative landslide, for November 2010's election was just a taste of real change coming, and our students will profit from that change in do time as we return education "back to the people."


Hank Ruark May 28, 2011 4:25 pm (Pacific time)

"Anon" and ilk: Knowing or not you are repeating precisely the propaganda pitch of European anti-democrats...later to become the fascists and nazis...well and thoroughly explored by our Fouders, prior to their laborious dialogs leading to their founding-actions. Re "history", please cite your six or eight documenting references, sir, and we can exchange...if you have the plain old guts to sign and meet me direct at hankatlma@ipns.com. Itls the oldest page in the propaganda book you are using and so worn out and tattered that most thinking persons already know better without any assistance from me. For solid documentation of mine at every sentence, send you measly fee and I will translate from working notes, which for this one ran some twenty pages... where's yours ? And why not sign for checkout if you are so sure of your facts and history ? ID will tell your story, sir, as you have cause to know from previous sorties...


Anonymous May 28, 2011 2:39 pm (Pacific time)

Henry wrote: Ever since our Founders invented American-style democracy. Please do your homework, the founding fathers were against democracy, thus the republic. Democracy is nothing more than the child of a tyranical, facist, dictatorship. Democracy, as much as many want to taunt it, is not a good. This is not about our republican and democrat parties we have now. Neither party is interested in the republic whatsoever. For both republican and democrat politicians, they like democracy. It gives them the power over all things. Buy the media, control the education system, and you get 51% of the vote easily. So, basically, anyone who has much money and power can control. Whereas, the Republic made rules so such could not happen. Please do some research Henry, our country, because of attitudes like yours, is going to heck.

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