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Over the summer of 2010 I began to ask myself, "what do you do if two of our Rights, as citizens of these United States, are diametrically opposed?" I came to the only viable conclusion: you compromise. Our great Nation works when there is compromise.

Right now most of you will agree with me that our political system is broken. What we currently have is: the politics of destruction; special interest groups who have the power and money to dictate policy; politicians who must spend their time raising money for the next election instead of doing the People's business; and, there are those who are so concerned about getting re-elected they cede their responsibilities to the citizenry to those groups making the loudest noises and the greatest threats.

The attacks that we were inundated with during the this election cycle belittled the democratic process. Shame on everyone involved. And, shame on the political obstructionists who are more interested in gaining and maintaining power than doing the people’s business. During these very difficult times all of us should be supporting our President. The challenge for all of us is, how do we improve upon this imperfect union that we call the United States of America? One thing I know for is not by dividing us.

I can remember when I was sixteen years old there was a day when my father called out to me, "Jackie, come quickly. You have to hear this. It's Winston Churchill. Come listen." I raced to the radio and for the first time heard a recording of Churchill's speech to a Nation standing alone against the greatest evil the world has ever known: "...we shall defend our island no matter what the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; and we shall not surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until in God's good time, the New World, with all it's power and might, steps forth to the rescue and liberation of The Old."

That day my hero was born. Where are our heroes today? jkt

Saturday, August 14, 2010


My Alma Mater
A former high school classmate of mine recently opined, "we received a college-level education when we attended school in Grandview." Not anymore. Our current public school system is failing our children. U.S. News & World Report (January, 2010) ranked the top 100 high schools in the U.S. Only 6% are public schools. Ohio had just one gold medal school, Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnatti. The kids attend classes in a building constructed in 1932. Does Walnut Hills want a new building? Of course they do. But they have still managed to rank 66th in the country in an out-of-date building. New buildings are not going to solve the educational failures of our public school system. Here's a copy of a speech I made two years ago:

"Here's what I would do to begin fixing (our schools). I would have high school and junior high students attend classes all year long. I would raise teachers’ salaries and weed out all of the bad teachers. I would become an educational academy and I would change over to Charter School status, if necessary, to accomplish all of this. I would get rid of the football and basketball programs. I would have mandatory gym class every day. I would make sure that all of our students were immersed in the arts. I would make sure that all meals served were healthy and I would teach children about living a healthy lifestyle. I would have strict discipline and present a professional environment. I would insist that all parents be involved in the educational experience.

I believe that every child has a hidden potential that makes him or her special and it is up to us, as a society, to teach all children that they are precious, they are valuable. Then it is up to us to find that gift, nurture it and provide them with the educational and emotional means to lead a life that is both productive and satisfying. And, that includes a free education all of the way through college, if the desire is there. We need ongoing programs to counsel, and intervene for: the physically and mentally abused; those who abuse drug and alcohol; and, provide a support group to instill in the children a life that is sober and safe. Alcohol and drugs rob people of the desire to meet their God-given potential.

I would have classes until five PM and offer after school homework assistance. I would get rid of the school board and look to other means to set the agenda and maintain educational excellence. I would look to the successful schools for guidance. As a matter of fact, in the Newsweek article that I just read from, it mentions a “wildly successful chain of 57 charter schools called the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP)”.
Our educational system is failing and is a root cause of the decline of this country. Not only is our country in danger economically, but an uneducated citizenry puts our Democracy in grave peril. If a school could promise my children a first rate education in old dilapidated buildings, over new buildings failing to educate, which would I choose? Which would I spend my tax dollars on? It's a no-brainer. It is time we put our children first in this country. Until we do, the ideals upon which our country was founded will continue to wane and our place in history will have passed.

Now, there will be the naysayers who will spend a lot of time refuting what I have just proposed. They will spin their wheels telling us why we can’t stir up the pot and get this done. Well, I am here to say, once again, that “We can do it…..yes we can”." jkt