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Dear Editor:

“What we have here is a failure of communication.” — Cool Hand Luke.

Now, we have the outcome of the congressional bipartisan appointment of a “Super Committee.” to bring federal expenses in line:

Republicans’ position: Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, while, ”Democrats blamed the Republicans for their unwillingness to walk away from a no-new-taxes pact they signed at the request of a conservative, anti-tax group, arguing that the American public realizes that no grand deal could be reached without a combination of spending cuts and new tax revenues” — NY Times.

Well, actually, in this case, is it a bad thing that conservative fundamentalist party ideology triumphs against the need to balance revenue and expenses over a greater period of time? In this case, I don’t think so, as too dramatic a change either way does no one any good and actually squashes our economy, much as is now happening in Britain after their recent draconian cuts.

Fortunately (actually ironic to the point of making the Republican “tape” on free will a farce) the “free market” Republicans haven’t yet realized that markets react/move much more rapidly than economies. So, had the Republicans on the “Super Committee” succeeded in doing “what’s right for America” and taking a chainsaw to all government expenses, the outcome would have been even more dramatic job losses, national hardship and highly likely a second recessional dip.

So, are the default cuts or automatic $1.2 trillion the right amount to curb federal expenses? Likely not, but the real loss is that Congress has once again proved (to the global markets) that they are totally incompetent at running America!

Not to fear: the Republican candidates are about to debate each other on foreign affairs or, as Cain said, “beki, beki, stan, stan, I don’t know who’s president … do you?” Well someone should — that same “beki” president has said he’s going to kick out our primary logisitic base for support of all troops engaged in the “Stans.”

Dave Blake

Online ed

Dear Editor:

Online classes, perhaps the most important development in modern education, never came up in the school bond debate as far as I know. Nationwide, an estimated 250,000 students are enrolled full time in virtual schools, up 40 percent in the last three years. At the end of the twenty-first century, an old-timer may be telling his grandkids how he rode a bus to a school house with no air conditioning.

Today, powerful technological, economic and political forces are arrayed to move the kids out of the schools to online schools. To assume these forces will not prevail is foolish. For better or worse, online schools are the wave of the future. For a discussion of the worse, see an article entitled “No Child Left Offline” in this month’s issue of Mother Jones. The political forces are led by the likes of Jeb Bush, co-founder of the Foundation for Excellence in Education. Rupert Murdock of FOX News sees a 500-billion-dollar business in the U.S. alone and is moving aggressively into the field.

I offer my comments on the better. I am a great fan of DVD courses. I have taken courses on everything from the History of the Bible to Differential Equations. The courses vary between good to excellent. For parents whose kids are having trouble with math, I suggest they get a few DVD math courses. The good thing about DVD lectures is that if you fall asleep, you can replay them. My granddaughter is pursuing graduate work in nursing online. My hope is that online courses are used to supplement traditional education, not to replace it.

I used to tell my grandkids about when I was a school boy. Hitler was coming to power and Roosevelt was thinking about social security. My and old Shep’s job was to move the cows out of the day pasture into the barn for milking. About all I can say about that job is that a few cows can ruin a six-year-old boy’s day. Being too scrawny for real work, like harnessing the team, I helped Grandma in the kitchen. During my military career, I put this experience to good use where I was a professional KP. I used to pull KP for the company loafers for 10 dollars on weekdays, 15 on weekends and 25 on holidays. I only threw this info in as I know Mr. Sawicki aspires to be a zillionaire, so I offer him a few tips. Incidentally, I still pull KP at the senior luncheons but, being a zillionaire, I no longer charge for my services.

Bob Dungan

Arboles

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