Why I Might Approve SCOTUS Ruling In Favor of Hobby Lobby

Ok, SCOTUS has already ruled that corporations are people.  Then, people must be corporations.

If the court rules that corporations can not obey the law of the land if it disagrees with their religious freedom, then people are entitled to the same protection under the Constitution.

That means that if it is my belief that war is immoral and I am  opposed to the actions of our military, I will not have to pay my income tax for whatever percentage of the budget that was for the military.

If it is my belief that it is immoral to kill animals for food, then I will not have to pay that percentage of the federal budget that provides benefits or tax benefits to the beef industry.

If it is my belief that the Congress is immoral in the way that they fail to conduct the business of the people, I can deduct the portion of my tax bill that goes to paying their and their aids salaries.

I could certainly the savings in my tax dollars.  What if I believe it is immoral to take form someone that belongs to them without their permission;  I wouldn’ have to pay any income tax at all.

I’m not a lawyer or Supreme Court judge; but….


It’s Time to Make a Choice

Part of the problem with Christianity is that its followers have failed to throw off the yoke of The Old Testament.  The New Testament and the Old Testament are diametrically opposed.  The New Testament teaches love, compassion, caring.  The Old Testament is about violence and revenge.  What else can you call the threat of fire, brimstone and damnation.

What if our politicians were not allowed to quote the Old Testament, but instead were only allowed to quote the New Testament.  The New Testament is one of inclusion.  If we get rid of the Old Testament, we could really mean it when we asked, “What would Jesus do?”.

WWJD about extending unemployment compensation?

WWJD about funding meals on wheels?

WWJD about Medicaid?

WWJD about immigration reform?

WWJD about gay marriage?

WWJD about the money changers on Wall Street?

WWJD about Social Security?

WWHD about a man who couldn’t find a job?  (Would he suggest to his followers that they should teach a man to fish when there was one fish for each fisherman?

WWJD about casting the first stone at a sinner?

WWJD about any social issue?

How can we as a society continue to support and elect politicians who insist that our government does the exact opposite of WWJD?






God and Me

Is it more important that I believe in God, or that God believes in me?

If it is more important that God believes in me, that shifts the whole belief and worship paradigm.  If the focus is that God believes in me, then God has faith that I will make the right choices.  I then would have the ultimate responsibility for my life. What would become important is not what I ask God for, but rather what i do with what God has given me.  There is no longer then a God who needs worship, but rather a God that has given us what we need and trusts us to do the right thing.  The focus shifts from belief to action.  It emphasizes our use of free will and the responsibility that goes with it.

There is no need to beg for forgiveness; God accepts and believes that we will choose to do what we believe is good.

Is it time for a paradigm shift?

A Little Old Man in a Dog Suit

As soon as he was out of puppiehood, Fletchie was in charge.  He knew what time the alarm went off for work and made sure that we were up before that.  Did you ever wake up to a poodle face looking down through big furry ears into your eyes?

When Fletchie thought it should be our bed time, he would go to our bedroom door and bark once.  And then if one bark was not enough he would sulk into another room.  You could hear him thinking “stupid humans”.

Both our boys were curious.  Check out the picture of both boys checking me reading in a previous blog.  Fletchie had to supervise everything.  Anything we did, there was Fletchies head in the way checking it out.  Wash the floor, and there was Fletch.  Put down flooring; there was Fletch.  Plant a garden; there was Fletch.  One day we were pulling out plants that had overgrown a bed and grown into a mat which was supposed to keep down weeds.  All of a sudden, there was our white poodle yanking and pulling out plant roots and matting.  Dirt was flying everywhere.  I guess we were not doing it fast enough.

It is our custom to have our morning coffee on the porch next to the pool, read the paper, and chat.  Initially, Fletch would lay looking at us as we talked and try to talk.  I am not talking about barking, but rather modulating sounds with his throat and mouth.   In disgust, he finally gave up, but would lay facing us and listen intently as if he understood every word.


He didn’t care for other dogs.  After all, they were dogs.  And, he was, after all, a little old man merely in a dog suit.


Hey, Republicans

When you say “I am not a scientist.”, stop right there. You have just admitted you have no credibility on the subject; we really don’t care what your opinions are.

You’re a member of Congress.

You are a Republican.

We know you don’t believe in facts.

Don’t waste oxygen and increase our carbon dioxide problems by continuing.

A Poodle of Many Titles

Fletcher, Fletchie, Playboy, Ballman, Little old man in a dog suit – –
Fletcher and Fletchie are obious names.

It was about his personality. I have known lots of dogs who chase balsl, fetch sticks, the usual. Fletchie is the only dog I have known that modified play and invented his own games. Every morning before work, my wife and I would sit on the floor and roll the ball on the floor between us in a game of keep away. Fletch would try to get the ball. Of course, after awhile, he got the hang of it and got the ball. He would drop it, and we would play again. As his skills increased, we bounced the ball. Finally, we would toss the ball. He was very hard to beat. One day he caught the ball, walked over in front of me and dribbled it. When i reached for it he would yank it away. Fletchie was playing keep away.

One evening we were reading, and we heard the tennis ball ricocheting off the walls. We looked at each other puzzled. In the other room, Fletch was using his paws to bat the tennis ball against the wall and then catching it.

We got an oversized tennis ball which was about the size kids use in the game 4 square. He batted it with his paws, pushed it around with his snout, then stopped and looked at it. Then he pounced on it with his front paws causing it to come up off the floor. With each pounce he got it higher till he got it high enough to stand on his hind legs and bat it at us with his front paws.

Fletchie loved tennis balls. Most of the time he carried one in his mouth even on a walk. Slometimes he would dribble it. Other times he would squeeze it between his jaws. His favorite game we called “READY”. We had half a dozen ball which we would bounce on the sidewalk in different directions — left, right, straight, high, low. As soon as a ball was caught another ball was thrown in a different direction. It was very seldom that he didn’t catch all the balls. He loved the challenge. When play was finished he would lay in front of us with his tennis ball resting on his front paws.

In the end we had to really slow “Ready” down.  He had a heart condition and arthritis in his spine.

This video is of “Ready”

Fletchie passed in July of 2012

A Parable

   The Animal School: A Fable by George Reaves

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of a “new world” so they organized a school.

They had adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculum, all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming. In fact, better than his instructor. But he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his webbed feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that, except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running but had a nervous breakdown because of so much makeup work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of the treetop down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from overexertion and then got a C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class, he beat all the others to the top of the tree but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceeding well and also run, climb and fly a little had the highest average and was valedictorian.

The prairie dogs stayed out of school and fought the tax levy because the administration would not add digging and burrowing to the curriculum. They apprenticed their children to a badger and later joined the groundhogs and gophers to start a successful private school.

* * * *

This little fable completely changed my views of teaching. We all, each of us as individuals, have skills at which we excel and skills at which we, to use the vernacular, suck. And yet, all students are expected to excel in all skill areas.

Suddenly I realized why two thirds of my classes were bored or potential discipline problems.

One third were bored and potential discipline problems because they were skilled in my subject, and yet they had to wait for the other two thirds to continue.

One third were bored and potential discipline problems because they were unskilled in my subject, were always lost, and couldn’t keep up with the rest of the class.

The final third cruised along while wondering why the other two thirds were unhappy and causing problems.

The traditional solution is to give additional work to both outlying groups. No matter what you call it, additional work feels like punishment to a child/teenager. We are wasting our time and money as well as doing our children, society, and taxpayers a disservice when we try to improve our educational system in the United States.

Of Model Ts and Corvettes

Over my thirty plus years in teaching, I have seen many “fixes” forced on our educational system. You have experienced them also, whether as a parent or a student. Do you remember: phonics, new math, and new science grants? I particularly remember in high school getting new science lab equipment one year, and the school district not being able to fund the program over the long term. I loved science, and it killed me to see all that lab equipment setting idle because federal funding was gone.

Each of the programs above, and I would add the integration of technology, is like putting a Corvette engine in a Model T and expecting it to go ninety miles an hour. The car will destroy itself before it ever reached the the desired goal of ninety miles an hour. Isn’t that exactly what has happened to our educational system. The harder we have tried to reach our goals the worse the system has functioned.It’s time for an educational revolution. The system can not be improved without these basic changes.



Make all education competency based; not based upon age or grade level. Currently, school is like a prison sentence      (twelve years without a chance of parole). Everyone does their twelve years, no less. I have seen schools where students have completed all the required courses and electives and still not be allowed to graduate until they have put in the whole twelve years.

Every student should take every course at his own pace until he completes the competencies required by the state or national government or employers. They may at the same time be in beginning reading, advanced math and biology. They may be taking one course at a time or they may be taking several courses at once.

There should be no age limit for people to begin or continue taking courses in public schools. If an eighty year old woman wants to study literature, she should be able to take the course.  After all, she is a taxpayer.  If a thirty year old man wants to take book keeping or accounting for his small business, he should be able to. If a six year old is interested in rocketry, he should be   able to study it.


The U.S. educational system is based on an agrarian society. Guess what? We haven’t been an agrarian society for decades, if not centuries. Being based upon an agrarian society, we only have school nine months out of the year. Name me a business large, small, service, manufacturing or agricultural that lays off its workers and shuts down down its facilities for three months out of the year. We need to make the school calendar be three hundred and sixty-five days a year, and we need to make the facility available twenty four hours a day. When rooms are not being used for classes, they may be used by community organizations for a small fee to cover utilities, janitorial service and security.  People who don’t have children will be more likely to support schools they can use.

Students may attend as many days a year as they want.  They could schedule their classes around outside jobs.

Teachers may teach as many days a year as they want. They would be compensated for the extra months they teach and wouldn’t need to find job(s) at minimum wage during breaks and the summer.

Parents would be able to better plan their work schedules and child care.

Step 3

Now that we are competency based and school and teachers are available all year around, lets use technology. Technology will allow students to proceed at their own pace. Teaches will be able to serve as mentors to the learning process instead of lock stepping students of varied abilities and interest through a one size fits all curriculum.

Let’s stop wasting money on textbooks which are out of date before they are published. Go digital. With the money saved provide every student with a laptop or tablet. If you are worried about getting them back, charge a fee. For those students or parents that cannot afford to either buy or rent, have a business partner step up. Don’t buy technology. Lease it. It changes too rapidly; and will be too expensive to update. Use free technology from the internet like Kahn Academy and Next Vista for Learning.


Get parents, grandparents, the business community and the general public involved. Get everyone involved. Get civic organizations to use the school facilities. Get adults using the gym for basketball, volleyball, community dances. Everyone should know where the schools in their community are. Encourage everyone to come to school to get involved in courses whether their eight or eighty. Find out what people want to learn and provide them with the opportunity.

Step 5

We must have two education systems.

The states can keep their state schools, but there will be federal “charter” schools which adhere to common core principals. I have long heard about how the federal government should stay out of state issues. I agree wholeheartedly.

The federal government would have the right to run federal charter schools any way it wanted. The federal government would fund their charter schools with federal tax dollars.

The states would have the right to run their state schools however they wanted. The states could fund their schools however they wanted but without federal tax dollars. No state monies would be used to fund federal charter schools and no federal funds would be used to finance individual state public, private or state chartered schools.

Parents would be able to choose whether to send their children to federal charter schools which were funded by federal tax dollars or state schools funded by state tax dollars. At last the hue and cry against big government involvement in education would be addressed.

States could have all the charter schools they wanted. States could write whatever curriculum they wanted with or without creationism. The states could teach that climate change is not backed by science. States could teach that the earth is six thousand years old by counting the begats.  States could once again manipulate who goes to what state schools because the parents would have a choice.

I am looking forward to your comments, particularly questions, suggestions, criticisms to help improve our educational system.