Thursday, June 30, 2011

Education and the Constitution

Here we are, struggling over the New York Public School System and how much money it seems to be lacking.  Well, I have news for you angry parents and soon to be out of work teachers....

The U.S. Constitution grants no authority over education to the federal government. Not a single word is mentioned about it in the Constitution of the United States. The Founders also make no mention of "School" or "University".  So, if this beloved document makes no mention of educating your child, then why is the government responsible for giving money to each state to do so?  I believe this money could and should be used to cut the deficit.  Billions of dollars a year are given to states for education each year, and believe it or not, IT'S UNCONSTITUTIONAL.

Each state, however is different. 

The New York State Constitution states:  ARTICLE XI  Education: Article 3

[Use of public property or money in aid of denominational schools prohibited; transportation of children authorized]
§3. Neither the state nor any subdivision thereof, shall use its property or credit or any public money, or authorize or permit either to be used, directly or indirectly, in aid or maintenance, other than for examination or inspection, of any school or institution of learning wholly or in part under the control or direction of any religious denomination, or in which any denominational tenet or doctrine is taught, but the legislature may provide for the transportation of children to and from any school or institution of learning. (Formerly §4 of Art. 9. Renumbered and amended by Constitutional Convention of 1938 and approved by vote of the people November 8, 1938. Formerly §4, renumbered §3 without change by amendment approved by vote of the people November 6, 1962; former § 4 repealed by same amendment.)

Now, do not get me wrong, I went through the public school system here in Yonkers, and believe I turned out okay.  I had great teachers, even one of the best who recognized my dyslexia and helped me through Junior High with the wonderful works of Shakespeare.  Mr. Martin, I will never forget you.  

I am, however taken aback by today's outcry of "our children deserve a better education" and people barking to senators and the like about how the schools deserve more money and better teachers.  Some of these children come from homes that have both parents working, and in some cases more than one job each.  Some come from single parent homes with likely the same situation.  Parents are not always to blame, few, but not all.  In such cases parents do not have much time, if any, to sit with their child and help with schoolwork.  They rely on educators solely, and when the child fails, they blame the educator.  This is the wrong attitude. 

The New York State Lottery was designed to generate money for the school system.  We were told it would be a saving grace and that our schools would flourish.  Remember that?

The New York State Bill of Rights Article I Section 9:
[Right to assemble and petition; divorce; lotteries; pool-selling and gambling; laws to prevent; pari-mutual betting on horse races permitted; games of chance, bingo or lotto authorized under certain restrictions]
§9. 1. No law shall be passed abridging the rights of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government, or any department thereof; nor shall any divorce be granted otherwise than by due judicial proceedings; except as hereinafter provided, no lottery or the sale of lottery tickets, pool-selling, book-making, or any other kind of gambling, except lotteries operated by the state and the sale of lottery tickets in connection therewith as may be authorized and prescribed by the legislature, the net proceeds of which shall be applied exclusively to or in aid or support of education in this state as the legislature may prescribe, and except pari-mutual betting on horse races as may be prescribed by the legislature and from which the state shall derive a reasonable revenue for the support of government, shall hereafter be authorized or allowed within this state; and the legislature shall pass appropriate laws to prevent offenses against any of the provisions of this section. 

The structure of education finance in America reflects this predominant State and local role. Of an estimated $1.13 trillion being spent nationwide on education at all levels for school year 2010-2011, a substantial majority will come from State, local, and private sources. This is especially true at the elementary and secondary level, where about 89.2 percent of the funds will come from non-Federal sources.  That means the Federal contribution to elementary and secondary education is about 10.8 percent, which includes funds not only from the Department of Education (ED) but also from other Federal agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services' Head Start program and the Department of Agriculture's School Lunch program. (

Our system is not broken, it's mismanaged.  The government should not be paying for schools, parents should.  If a parent were to be paying even $200 a semester for their child to go to school, you would see may more children graduating and a lot less violence.  Everyone wants something but no one wants to work for it anymore.  I say it's time to fix that little problem.  I say, show me the books.  Let the people see where the money is going.  Maybe together we can fix New York, or at least fix what used to be the great city of Yonkers.  


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Government's Personal Agenda

The gay marriage bill has finally passed here in the state of New York.  It took long enough, wasted a lot of man hours and tax payer dollars but it passed.  It should never have been a big deal.  It seems that lately nothing can get passed without someone having to throw their personal religious beliefs into the mix.  You were not elected to tell me what you think, you were elected to speak for all of us, yet they become deaf to our voices once they are in power.  Why is that?  Why has this country become so divided because of a book?  Mind you, I take no issue with those who choose to follow the Bible or any other religious book for that matter, I just don't want it used as an excuse to vote against the will of the people.  Not everyone reads the Bible, and those of us who don't have our reasons.  Keep your beliefs out of policy.  Don't you understand?  We fought for our freedom from Brittan so that we could not be ruled by a book.  Here we are, a few hundred years later being told that our country was founded and should be governed by the same thing our forefathers fought to get away from.  We fight within the system because "Left and Right" decide what is right for us, based on their beliefs.  One person believes man should not lay with man and should die for such sins.  The other believes live and let live.  Take that and multiply it by millions and you have a faith war on your hands.  How are we supposed to thrive as a nation if we cannot live in harmony?  The nation that was founded of it's differences is now being divided by them.  All because of a book.

I live in a very diverse neighborhood.  A few years ago the Muslim family who just moved in down the street had a wedding.  Instead of isolating the neighborhood they went to every house on the block and handed out fliers inviting us all to the party they had at their home.  I had never eaten (or heard of) much of the food they had, but it was pretty good.  They welcomed strangers into their home on a very special day, and I did feel welcomed.  They are a wonderful family, and before I met them, all I had known of The Muslim people was that they were suicide bombers and murderers.  Now I know, that a handful of radical people turned a religion into a bad word.  We have Christian radicals in this country too you know, you just don't hear about them as often.  Well I think we should.  Maybe then the would will see that Christians can be just as dangerous when they believe in their cause.  Remember the Spanish Inquisition?

Religion is a beautiful thing, when it is used for a personal relationship with ones deity, not when it is used to control and command others.  That is what is happening today.  "God" has become more important than the issues.  We have now gone to war between ourselves over the books that were supposed to unite us.  Who are we to decide which "God" is mightier than the other?  Let's play a game, when a politician starts speaking about any piece of legislation see how long it takes for them to mention "God" or "Morals" or "Constitution" shouldn't take more than 30 seconds.  That's what we've come to in this country.  We're afraid to say anything that may go against anyone's beliefs for fear that we may offend.  Religion will be the death of this country only now, we have nowhere to run to so we can start again.


Monday, June 6, 2011

Sarah Palin: Show me the Birth Certificate

Trig's Birth Certificate has been a big deal with a lot of people since we first learned of Sarah Palin's running for Vice President.  Many people question whether Sarah is actually Trig's mother.  Well, why doesn't she just show us the birth certificate?  More importantly, if Sarah Palin has been telling the truth all along, she can answer the question herself anytime she likes, just by releasing the necessary medical records. President Obama did this with his long form birth certificate, and, for most Americans, this put the "birther" question to rest. 

I wonder if she knows that falsifying a birth certificate is a crime. 

The False Identification Crime Control Act 1982 title 19 section 1028: 
Sec. 1028. Fraud and related activity in connection with 
        identification documents and information
    (a) Whoever, in a circumstance described in subsection (c) of this 
        (1) knowingly and without lawful authority produces an 
    identification document or a false identification document;
See:  for more details:

It goes on like this, but you get the picture.  If then Alaska governor and former Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin faked her pregnancy, she defrauded the entire country.  She has committed insurance fraud as well, that is,  if the hospital billed the birth under Sara's name.  That's what I would like to see, the billing the hospital sent out for the birth. That would tell us everything.

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), has specifically established health care fraud as a federal criminal offense with punishment of up to ten years of prison in addition to significant financial penalties.  So not only could Sarah Palin be guilty of a federal crime, she has also committed provider fraud by having the hospital bill under false information. 

So, I put the following to you Mrs. Palin, show us the billing info and the birth certificate and end any ambiguity.  If not, might the public fear that you're hiding something?  You complained really loud about President Obama showing his birth certificate, now we're asking you to do the same for Trig.  You can't hide behind Fox News if you're going to run for president, and the people will eventually want answers.  There is no time like the present. Save yourself yet another embarrassing moment.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Why is Sarah Palin still relevant?

So Sarah Palin is back in the media in full force, taking up media time with her nonsense.  Why?  She does nothing for this country but stir people up on issues she cannot control and has no power to change.  The bus has hit the open road with Sarah and family in tow on the backs of her contributors and they call it a “One Nation Tour”.  Does any one else think she is just using her PAC as a way to travel without having to pay for any of it? 

Well guess what, the arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use. 

So, not only can she use SarahPAC for a family vacation, she could use it for her mortgage payments or anything else she wants.  Associate legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group focused on election laws says she can, and she is. does not currently offer any information about how much money has been spent on the tour. It does, however, feature a big green "Donate" button, inviting visitors to help fund Palin's trip across the nation.

She is getting money from people for NOTHING.  She has NO intention of running for president because she knows she cannot win.  She will however take all your money and travel the country saying all the things YOU want to hear so that you'll keep those donations coming!  She said during a visit to the Statue of Liberty that the bus was “our own personal motor home” and that SarahPAC was paying for the trip. Palin told ABC News. “I’m just thinking about America and our foundations and our freedoms and our opportunities.” 

Palin has raised about $400,000 so far this year for SarahPac, and the PAC finished the first quarter of 2010 with more than $900,000 in the bank.

She is using the American people and she does not care.  What freedoms is she talking about?  The freedom to swindle people out of their money.  What opportunities?  The many opportunities she gets for speaking engagements where she gets handsomly paid to tell you things you want to hear.  All the while she is laughing her way to the bank with your money.  So you have to ask yourself, is it worth it to throw your hard earned money at someone who doesn't care about you?    Peace.

Failure of the War on Drugs

This morning I read on MSNBC that the War on Drugs is a failure.  Am I the only person that saw this coming years ago?  The project was a failure from inception.  There was and still is no way to keep track of where the drugs are coming from and how often they are making their way into the country.  Where is the money being spent?  How is it being spent?  Billions of dollars spent on putting pot smokers in jail?  We spend on average 50K a year to keep one person in prison.  Most people don't make that kind of money working a full time job.  So, for every 10,000 people we lock up each year the government spends 500 MILLION dollars.  Yep, half a trillion bucks just on pot smokers.  We could make double that in a year if you legalize and tax it.  We don't even have a clear picture of what the government is spending on this so called "War on Drugs" this is just the breakdown on the prison population of minor drug offenders.  If you remove all the minor offenders from prison at half a trillion a year, debt problem solved.  But no, Nosy Nellie next door thinks more people would become drug addicts if it becomes legal, and she's afraid for the children.  Got some news for ya, prescription drugs are more popular among kids and teens than anything and guess what, THEY ARE LEGAL.  Pot smokers are not violent people, at least none of the smokers I have ever known.  They don't need to steal for their high because pot is cheap, and contrary to popular belief, it is not habit forming it's just relaxing.  It does not make you hallucinate, it will not make you violent or irrational and it kept my dad alive and eating during his chemotherapy.  This is why so many states are trying to make it legal, they see the benefit for the sick as well as the revenue they can generate.  Sometimes the people in Washington seem so foolish and blind.  I'm not saying that we should make ALL drugs legal, some of them are seriously dangerous.  Crack, Meth and cocaine come to mind, but we do have pharmaceutical alternatives for them that we can make OTC by license.  YES, LICENSE.  I'm not an idiot, you have to get a license just like you would to drive.  That's a revenue booster right there, then you tax the product, sell it in shops and make this country some money.  At the same time, you have now created a boat load of jobs.  Unemployment problem solved.  You need growers, pharmacists, shop owners, clerks and an office system equivalent to the DMV to issue the licenses.  That's a good lot of jobs right there.  Not to mention the construction crews to build these places.  We waste so much yet do so little now.  Remember when we used to make things in this country?  Pot smokers are VERY creative, bring back textiles and manufacturing and you'll see a boon for this country that you could never imagine.   Peace.