Over the past few weeks, the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement has spread across the country from one metropolitan city to another. The protestors are upset about the current state of our economy and have placed the blame incorrectly on the highest income earners in our country….the 1%. As a result they carry signs proclaiming to fight for the other 99% (usually without the benefit of appropriate hygiene). These Obamaville’s have been problems for the cities involved because they have been trying to balance the right to speech against existing law & other people’s right to use public spaces. The movement itself is disorganized with no real message but apathy and entitlement. OWS and the students who subscribe to this philosophy want success given to them. Their argument is weak and America would have never survived with this moronic communal mentality. Officials from across the country are finally kicking these parasites out of the public spaces but the costs are mounting. The figure is about $13 million nationwide so far and around $650,000 in Atlanta alone. Some protestors went peacefully and others got arrested as they were kicked out of their tent cities. Here are some thoughts and suggestions for the people of OWS:
- 47% of Americans pay no income taxes….Please change your signs.
- Calling for boycotts on Black Friday will not help your job prospects.
- The 1% hire people….Think about it.
- Take a bath.
- If you decide to protest, the police tell you to leave & you don’t….please be prepared to get pepper sprayed or hit with a baton. Don’t Whine about it.
- It’s not the cops fault you got the pepper spray….You could have left. (Reinstate the UCDavis officers and fire the Chancellor for throwing them under the bus)
- Don’t be interviewed on TV/Radio if you can’t speak intelligently
- America is about the OPPORTUNITY for SUCCESS…..Not a GUARANTEE of success.
- Thank someone in the military….They fight so you can occupy public places and spout nonsense.
- Find your God ordained purpose and participate in society with no expectation in return.
America is great because we live in a society where failure is possible and actually healthy for our economy. Some of the most successful people in the 1% are products of multiple business and personal failures. You sit in the parks screaming about the end result of someone’s achievement without any knowledge about their sacrifice along the way. Get up, Get busy and See #4…..America is an exceptional place for those who are willing to fight, fail, & earn their success.
Here is another article I wrote on this subject called:
America the Free…Not without the ability to FAIL.
I finally finished reading the book Decision Points that looked back on President Bush’s two terms. It was a peek behind the curtain on how decisions were made inside the White House. President Bush takes the reader through the decisions and then takes a critical look at the results using the information available today. I thought President Bush was very transparent in his analysis and desire to share his story in his own words. Here are some other key takeaways from the book:
- This country could really use President Bush right now. Wake up America and do the right thing in 2012!
- I could not help the contrast the decisive leadership of Bush versus the paralysis of the Obama administration.
- We need to expand the Bush Faith Based Initiative.
- Bush was right….Please let me invest a portion of my Social Security in a private account.
- In spite of the questions surrounding WMD…..Iraq was a critical piece of the War on Terror.
- President Bush will be remembered as our countries best Commander-in Chief
- TARP was probably needed even though I have some issues with the programs implementation.
- Reagan and Bush 41 get credit for the end of the Cold War….President Bush will ultimately get credit for the democratic “Arab Spring” movement that has been sweeping the Middle East.
- No President Democrat or Republican did more to end the suffering in Africa than Bush
- Leadership trumps politics
This book opened my eyes on some new issues but in the end it just confirmed my belief that President Bush was a very effective leader. No presidential administration will be problem free but Bush kept his moral compass pointed towards spreading FREEDOM throughout the world. Every American should read this book with an eye on next years presidential election. The Bush and Obama administrations are polar opposites and the choice is clear….Freedom or Failure. President Obama promised to fundamentally transform this country….and he has (for the worse). America now the Decision is ours…Will you choose Freedom or Failure?
I will be casting my vote for Freedom…I still believe in American Exceptionalism!
I had the opportunity to go and see my 5th grade son Austin graduate from D.A.R.E. training today at his elementary school. This program helps children to understand the dangers of drugs, alcohol, & smoking. D.A.R.E. actually stands for Drug, Alcohol, Resistance, Education. One of the best parts of this presentation was the integration of the Decision Making model for students. Here is what the kids were encouraged to do:
This simple 4 step process is one that we could all use to help improve our decision and evaluation process. One thing that I recently learned on the Giving Rocket Cruise
from Casey Graham
was that systems and process help organizations and people achieve maximum results. It was great to see that these 5th grade students have a basic framework for how to implement this in their lives. The guest speaker Earnest Renfroe spoke about growing up in a family with 16 children and how his father abandoned them. He told the students how his brother was addicted to Heroin and spent his life in and out of jail until he died in prison at 49. The kids were challenged to think about the “Decisions we make today impact our tomorrow”.
Finally Sheriff Milsapp left the kids with this thought:
You have been given a gift with DARE…Spread the word!
The decision to share Assistant principals in 6 of our elementary schools was the wrong move by the Bartow County school board. In the information that has been released by the school system already we know that the projected fund balance was increased from 8+ million to around 13+ million. As a result of this increase the “proposed” millage would remain at 17.9 which it has been since 2007. This additional space in the fund balance made this inefficient administrative tactic unwarranted.
We have tried these kind of split responsibilities in the past and as expected the confusion over supervisory priorities made if difficult for the people involved to be effective. I understand the need to operate in a budgetary environment that is the worst in recent memory but this is doomed to fail before it begins. There has to be a line drawn when the actions of the board impact teaching quality, student learning, and the management of our schools.
This is one of those occasions when the number on the budget page may look enticing but no one really considers the cost of inefficiency and changing back to the traditional system when this implodes. In my opinion this option takes a very shortsighted view and puts the impacted schools at a distinct disadvantage. We ask our assistant principals to be the data & curriculum “experts” on the children in these schools. Their job is to make sure all students are progressing and that at-risk kids are identified so that no gaps occur. These assistant principals do this by really KNOWING every kid in the school and building relationships with them. Asking these people to take on double the work load with essentially no time to prepare is just not worth the almost purely symbolic impact to the budget over the long term.
This will fail and at some point we will have APs at all the schools again. We know the “savings” attributed to this plan but we may never know the cost.
Sermon Notes from 7/10/2011
Troy Page spoke at Oak Leaf Church in Cartersville today:
- Being present & Being engaged are not the same.
- Have you ever asked if God is really present in our lives?
- We define God’s presence through our human emotions not through scripture
- God is omnipresent: always there…everywhere
- Gods desire was to have a personal physical relationship with man but Sin changed this
- A new way forward had to be established through…Jesus
- Immanuel “God with Us”
- The question is not “God are you there?” the question is “Am I there?” (Are we doing our part to connect with God)
- We trivialize God…We don’t allow him to be front and Center in our lives.
- Do you have a faith filled relationship with HIM? You can start TODAY!!
Some devotional tools that can be used to have personal worship with God:
Pandora (I love this one!)
Moleskine (journaling…I am ordering some of these soon)
Evernote (Digital Journal….I use this daily)
Act on Truth not Feeling…Feelings can be fickle.
Faith has Seasons…..We must hold on and let God do his work in us even when things are difficult.
Earlier this year Georgia State Senator Tommie Williams proposed that middle school students ditch those heavy backpacks stuffed with textbooks and that they be issued iPads as replacements. This would provide for a better learning experience and could also lead to a cost savings as well. School systems across the state adopt textbooks now on a 7 year adoption cycle. This adoption cycle is done for every academic subject that is covered in our schools. These adoptions can often cost millions of dollars per subject area and quickly become out of date once major events or discoveries happen throughout the world. There is a better more engaging solution and that is moving towards innovation and incorporating technology into our classrooms.
The cost of the iPads would be a significant expense initially but after the purchase the savings begin on not having the future textbook adoptions. The cost of the Apps would be much cheaper in the long run and many of the best apps for students can be found for free.
The iPad would offer a number of opportunities for students and teachers to learn in different ways. There are critics who point out that this technology would be difficult to control and students would venture out to social media or other none academic websites. Teachers around the country are already incorporating Twitter and Facebook into instruction because of the number of students who bring web enabled devices to school currently. One place that school systems see money disappear right now is the cost to replace lost or damaged text books. During my time on the school board in Cartersville I saw this figure range from $30,000-$100,000 in certain years. There would be loss and damage to the iPads as well but students would take better care of these devices because they would value them more. The cost to replace these devices would in the end probably be a wash.
I currently use an iPad for my business and I have been amazed at the speed at which my employer can update the apps that we use day in and day out. Scaling this to student use would allow our kids to be using cutting edge technology everyday and never haver to use information that is years out of date and irrelevant. These devices can also be used as student response systems or “clickers” that many school systems are currently investing thousands of dollars in per classroom. In this season of difficult budgetary times we must start looking to technology to increase rigor and save taxpayer resources.
Technology alone will never be the answer but it will increase the engagement rate of our students and that may be more than more than half the battle. Public schools are under attack and our leaders must continue to innovate so that we are preparing students to lead in a rapidly changing technology driven world. Through targeted innovation like iPads in the classroom we can begin to transform ALL public schools into centers of advancement & discovery…not just the chosen elite with “special” charters.
My notes from our service at OLC Cartersville:
“I am as righteous as I will ever be”– What does this statement mean to you?
Do you believe that?
We will never be “Religious” enough to earn God’s love!
Jesus is our righteousness
-Jesus came to do for us what we could not do for ourselves
-Jesus “became our Sin”….That was the worst part of the Crucifiction & God turned his back on Him
-Martin Luther “The Great Exchange”
We are new creations
-We have nothing to prove to God anymore
-Stop letting your past define you
-Knowing Jesus is not a Hall Pass…We should act differently (not because of rules but because of a changed life)
Ambassadors for Christ
-We are here for a temporary mission…to save a lost world
-The enemy will attack…religion will confuse us
-Quit believing the Lies of Satan
-Jesus is our Treasure (joy filled life) running after sinners