Sunday, May 26, 2019

Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day-the unofficial first day of the summer season.  Between all the baseball, soccer, picnics, barbecues, etc let's see if we can set aside a second or two to quietly acknowledge those who gave their lives so we could enjoy this time of year. 

As a side note, in just a little over a week we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the greatest invasion in history-D Day which pretty much spelled the coming end of World War II.  Check social media  cyber media and TV listings for events commemorating this event.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Two observations

1. Spring is here!  Or is it? Finally, today after several days of raw, rainy weather the sun is out but it's windy and chilly.  Not what I was hoping for on a nice warm spring day.  Generally this spring has been terrible.  More evidence supporting climate change.

2. I recently saw an article in some paper or magazine about a new push to teach coding in the public schools.  It usually starts in middle school and goes into high school.  Do you know what coding is?   Basically it's what we used to call computer programing.  The question that comes to mind to me is why are they teaching that?  The defenders of coding instruction point out that kids can design their own video games.  Also, teaching coding teaches logic.   I think perhaps it's interesting as an extracurricular subject but to teach it as part of mainstream education is in my opinion silly.  Are public schools in the business of training computer programmers?  I shouldn't think so. We are not vocational schools.  Teaching it as a hobby or after school activity is fine but let's not take up precious time during the school day to do this.


Thursday, May 9, 2019

A word about a really boring topic-International trade tariffs.

I heard Trump make a statement the other day that added more evidence to the assertion that he's either a liar or profoundly ignorant.  (The truth is probably a lot of both.)  Anyway the statement was something to the effect that the tariffs he's levied against China has added billions of dollars to American coffers.  That statement is absolutely false.   Here's why.

 First, to put it in the simplest possible terms, a tariff is basically a tax a country places on imported goods the purpose of which is supposedly to level the trade playing field.  The end result is that the goods sold by that country's manufacturers cost more thus resulting in American buyers turning to domestic products.  Remember, that's the theory.  It rarely works that well.

OK, so if the country the tariff is against isn't paying the tariff, who is?  The answer is the producer of the goods being shipped from that country.  The importing American country is now paying a higher price but rather than turn to domestic manufacturers they simply pass the cost on to....YOU!  Yes, folks. That's right. You're the one paying for Trump's clever trade policies. 

Why aren't people on to him?  How has he and others like him gotten away with it?  For two reasons. First, no one fully understands how international trade works so they take it as an article of faith that someone somewhere knows what they're doing.  Second, sometimes, done correctly, tariffs do in fact work.  But it's the result of careful negotiation requiring countries to compromise and practice give and take-something Trump can't or won't do.  He thinks he can sit down with China or India or Japan or whoever and dictate policy like he used to do in his board room.  The problem is our trade partners will simply leave the table laughing historically leaving the U.S. high and dry.

The solution is reasonable, respectful negotiation-not a 300 pound 2-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. 

Remember all of this the next time you vote!

Friday, May 3, 2019

The End of an Era

Grandson Nicholas at his grand finale as a 4th grader at Sandy Hook School. Now it's on to Reed Intermediate.

On a side note-this is a bitter sweet moment for me because this will end my 46 year run being associated with Sandy Hook School in one way or another. First as a 32 year teacher, then a sub and volunteer and finally a proud grand parent of two SHS students, my awesome grandsons.

It's been a long bumpy road but lots of great moments too.  Now we're looking forward to many new adventures with grand children who are rapidly growing up.

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

May Day

Happy May Day.  Take a dance around the May Pole.  To learn lots of neat stuff about the month of May, click here