Feds spending $119 million to do what parents need to do

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Recently, I read two articles about government-related spending on which I feel compelled to comment.

One article talked about how current high unemployment is affecting the number of teachers hired by schools. The other article told about $119 million in grants from the U.S. government to fight obesity in the United States.

I probably am one of the most politically liberal members of my family, but even I have to speak out against such clear wasteful spending by our government!

What is the great unknown about obesity?

I believe that a very small percentage of obesity is caused by real medical problems, but that the overwhelming numbers of cases are simply because of overeating and a gross lack of exercise! How in the name of common sense can parents and grandparents expect their children to stay in good shape when the “in thing” to do is to stay in front of the television, the computer and the cell phone?

If the government is truly concerned about obesity, then taxpayers’ dollars need to be spent to greatly revive the physical-education part of school life. Our local and national governments are trying to create geniuses out of our children at the expense of little to no physical education!

What happened to the commonsense balance of physical education and mental education that was so prevalent during the 1940s through the 1970s?

The answers to the questions about obesity have very, very commonsense answers. The difficulty is going to be whether parents and grandparents are going to take charge of this greatly growing problem and force their children to get some physical exercise!

Timothy Monroe Bledsoe

North Augusta, S.C.

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KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 08:34 pm
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Really?

Learning how to do some doesn't teach people thought process? Dang, in the late 1960's my husband was actually exposed to working out things, by hand, despite the existence of computers.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 08:39 pm
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I didn't say learning how to

I didn't say learning how to do something doesn't teach thought process. I said we didn't necessarily need to learn the identical things that past generations learned. I doubt the past few generations of Americans suffered greatly for not learning the process of making candles from beef tallow, for instance.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 08:44 pm
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Yes that would definitely

Yes that would definitely surprise me. If that is true, why do they now need so much taxpayer help? They certainly were not getting it in 1964. The male in the picture had to step up, or not. The family, any one but the taxpayers had to do it. I challenge you on the numbers of unwed mothers under 30 then versus now. I won't even say getting benefits. They could not.

ymnbde
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ymnbde 04/01/13 - 08:49 pm
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regardless of the question, school choice is the answer

well, unless the question is how to keep the teacher's union in power.
Many public school teachers will tell you that if it wasn't for one or two troublemakers in each class, the rest would learn. But the government bureaucrats protect that one or two, and they take up almost all the teacher's time. The old 80/20 rule is actually true.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 09:15 pm
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Yes that would definitely

Yes that would definitely surprise me. If that is true, why do they now need so much taxpayer help?
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I'm not an economist, but one thing that strikes me as fundamentally different is the two income household. Essentially, you now have staples markets that are tuned to two incomes buying as a single entity. Food, energy, transportation, housing -- the prices of all these things are becoming equilibrated to the purchasing power of two incomes instead of one. If you're highly skilled and earning a good income, you can afford childcare and compete in the two income market. If you can't afford that, then one of you is staying home, not earning an income, and trying to afford a two-income household world. Many people on assistance are the working poor, as the reality is that a single low-income household often literally can no longer afford the staples of existence.

That's not to say a single-income household can't keep up anymore, but that it can be virtually impossible if the single income is at or near minmum wage.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 09:17 pm
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Burn

That analogy is beneath you. I am disappointed in you. You demonstrate that people have lost sight about what education is all about. Real education is not about trade school, training people to earn a living.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 09:25 pm
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And I say

That if all you can do when you enter the workforce, you have not held up your end of the bargain. You have not taken advantage of the opportunities afforded you. No one should ever think they should make enough money on minimum wage to support a wife (and especially a girlfriend) and family.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 09:28 pm
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Making tallow is not the same

Making tallow is not the same thing as training your brain to think.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 09:47 pm
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That analogy is beneath

That analogy is beneath you.
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I wholeheartedly disagree. Old technologies taught people to think just as much as new technologies do. Following an algorithm to solve a cube root by hand is no different then following an algorithm to produce tallow candles. Just because the types of problems being solved has changed, doesn't mean that the past or the present represents an inherently superior way to develop the mind. Just because someone isn't solving cube roots by hand doesn't mean that they're not applying their mind to equally challenging problems.

Now, if you said 8th grade students used to independently develop the methodology for finding a cube root, that is a problem of a completely different nature.

It's akin to the difference between applying calculus, and inventing calculus. Millions have done the former, but only a handful, that we know of, have done the latter. And just because someone didn't learn to apply calculus doesn't mean that they weren't spending their time challenging their minds in different ways. There is no single path to knowledge and creativity.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:06 pm
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You are desperate to prove

You are desperate to prove your point. Lots of people knew how to make soap and candles. How many knew how to survey property or legally represent someone in a court?

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:09 pm
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How many knew how to start a

How many knew how to start a university that is thriving today or a mill that operated for centuries? Making tallow equals that? Ever heard of the Foxfire books?

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 10:16 pm
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KSL, you're completely

KSL, you're completely changing the context. We were talking about kids doing cube roots without a calculator, not being a professional surveyor, litigator, university founder, mill owner, or Foxfire participant. Sheesh.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:20 pm
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Did not say 8th graders came up with how to do it.

You are a typical liberal. You won't debate the points I make and disprove them. You deflect. You so remind me of the "discussions I had with my next door neighbor in the 70's. We remained friends over the decades. Had not seen him in 20 years, but we were on the short list for his retirement party. That part does not remind me of you, lol. Unfortunately, we sadly had to had to attend his funeral..

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 10:19 pm
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That was unexpected. How did this become

That was unexpected. How did this become political? The mind is an interesting place.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:25 pm
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I thought we were talking

I thought we were talking originally about subjects that one takes in school that teach you how to think, speak correctly, function, etc. Guess we were on 2 different tangents.

How many coming out of school now know what a tangent is?

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:28 pm
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Sorry about the lib comment.

Sorry about the lib comment. It just reminded me of something our lib friend would have said. I loved him dearly.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 10:36 pm
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No, we were both talking

No, we were both talking about the same thing. The point I was trying to make is that students don't necessarily need to learn identical things to train the mind. A child that did not learn to manually determine a cube root is not going to have an undeveloped mind as a necessary consequence.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 10:44 pm
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That's okay about the lib

That's okay about the lib comment, your re-working of it changes the context greatly. It's funny, as in my mind yours was the line of argument that was avoiding the points I was making and deflecting to another line of argument. I imagine he probably would have said the same, hee hee.

Unless you're a strict logician, it is exceptionally difficult to know if the words one says exactly represent the stream of logic in one's mind. I know I fail at it much of the time.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:46 pm
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Of course not

While my grandfather and mother could breeze through cube roots, I had never heard of them in the first half of the sixties. What have the kids of today, not the ones in AP, not heard of? Do you think they can think?

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 10:56 pm
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And I am not talking about

And I am not talking about the brightest. I am talking about the higg C to A- student. How many of them are graduating without critical thinking skills and have to have remedial education once in college.

In 79/80 my kids were in late grammar/ jr high. I decided to audit some classes at USCA just for fun. I had my degree, but there were some lit classes I didn't have because of time and a double major. Even back then, I could not believe the extent of the need for remedial classes for college students. I was totally appalled, especially as a taxpayer.

Why don't these idiots want to learn all they can while it is free?

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 10:57 pm
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Just to show what I was

Just to show what I was getting at concerning following the steps to find the cube root manually (which is applying an algorithm), versus actually proving how the algorithm works, here is a link to the proof.

http://www.mathpath.org/Algor/cuberoot/algor.cube.root.why.htm

I would be exceptionally impressed if eighth graders were once deriving that proof independently.

burninater
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burninater 04/01/13 - 11:09 pm
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I have to respectfully

I have to respectfully disagree, KSL. My line of work brings me in contact with a broad spectrum of ages and educational backgrounds, and more often than not people are bright and have decent critical thinking skills.

If you walk around with a list and say "Unless you know everything on this list, you are an idiot", of course you will think you're surrounded by idiots. But that is a woeful way to assess the reasoning ability and intelligence of another person.

Anyways, bedtime for me. Thanks for the chat!

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 11:13 pm
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Perhaps I should have said my

Perhaps I should have said my mother as an eight grader, and my grandfather. She did not make out to me like her ability to do it was particularly special. I do know her IQ was well than the 140's.

When my two sons were in college and grad school, or maybe even later, she presented a math problem to them she had not been able to solve. The oldest son set about to work it out methodically. Younger son came up with so close to the correct answer by working it in his head, guestimating, it it was totally uncanny.

KSL
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KSL 04/01/13 - 11:42 pm
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burn, I am tired and can't continue.

But I would never say or think anything like you suggested, as far as not knowing certain specific things. Neither of my sons took Latin. Now my husband and our families going backwards think taking Latin did us a world of good. I would not give up my A+s in Latin for anything. Nor my A+s in Algebra l, ll, lll, Geometry and Trig. I did hate that new math junk with it's sets.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 04/02/13 - 09:10 am
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Burninator's rationalization
Unpublished

Burninator's rationalization of the lowering of NY's public school standards was very thorough and stunning.

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