Here’s the video that my wife watched 5 times. She never does that.
Here is a younger, much skinnier Andy saying pretty much the same things I’m saying today…and predicting the troubles that you see unfolding before your eyes:
If we had cut the budget by 7% per year as I’d proposed back then, we’d be in good shape today. Now I’m afraid it’s too late for gradual cutting.
I really, really hope I’m wrong about what’s about to smack us upside the head.
I’ve never so badly wanted to be wrong.
The Indy Star made some seemingly minor edits to my gubernatorial candidate submission, but I thought I’d better post the original here just in case you wanted to see what I’d actually sent them (or in case you don’t get the Star):
Nobody wants to shortchange kids. So it’s natural and common to deny the extent and nature of the problems with our schools. But our schools are literally a criminal shame.
I don’t have space to detail the problems with unconstitutional regulations and bureaucracies that sap teachers’ authority and initiative. I wish I could shed light on corruption like the Tremco/AEPA/Wilson Education Center no-bid jobs; or discuss the injustice of low teacher pay against six-figure salaries for school administrators, sports coaches and of course union officials. You can see the problems if you dare to look. What’s important is that we can fix the problems if only we’ll change the way we think, and vote, about schools.
A good start would be to examine what was originally designed, acknowledge what devolved, and then plan a fix.
Article 8 of the Indiana Constitution is the law respecting our tax-supported education system. The key words are “…and provide, by law, for a general and uniform system of Common Schools, wherein tuition shall be without charge, and equally open to all.”
When our constitution was written, “Common School” meant the uniform and simple system of primary (not secondary) education promoted by Horace Mann as the “ladder of opportunity.” As opposed to the free church-run schools of the day, Common Schools were intended to give poor children a non-Christian education. They were to be state-funded with no disparity between rich and poor regions. And these uniform schools were meant to be rigidly focused on scholastic achievement, so that a Common School graduate would be ready to work in the real world with useful skills in mathematics, science, communication and technology. Colleges and universities were only for those who needed specialized, advanced training for academia, medicine or engineering. After all, real life (and drop-outs like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Thomas Edison…) won’t wait through two decades in a classroom.
Article 8, Sections 2 through 7 lay out specific funding by an “inviolate” and “perpetual” Common School trust fund. Of course that fund was violated and is now gone. But the fund is still law, to be maintained through many specified sources including “taxes on the property of corporations.” What is excluded, and therefore not authorized, is personal property tax. So legally, half of your property tax bill is unconstitutional.
This is the law. If we don’t like it, then let’s talk about how we’d amend it.
But I believe the law is vastly better than what we’ve fallen into with our political chicanery. So here’s what I propose we do:
We’d de-consolidate toward a greater number of smaller schools where buses become obsolete in all but rural areas, so that parents and teachers can more easily collaborate; and kids would no longer be such tiny fish in such large oceans. Teachers would have authority to teach, to expect a high standard of performance, and to expel. No more “dumbing-down” or lowering standards to fit a curve. Teachers would be rewarded for performance, not just for paying union dues. We would spin off sporting facilities into community centers and gyms so that kids don’t have to be genetically gifted to play.
…We all know kids who need more opportunities to exercise.
And while there is no excuse for compromising necessities like music and art instruction, microscopes, and a clean, healthy environment; homeschool successes have demonstrated that education doesn’t have to be vast and expensive. And it wouldn’t be, if school money went solely to teachers, smaller-scale buildings, and education supplies.
Besides being an improvement on what we do now, this is the law.
Now, I know that nobody wants to make sense. We sure didn’t want to convert to metric measures, when that clearly would have been an easy, smart thing to do (that really would have been good for business on the global market).
And I’ve been watching the way you vote…
So I’m guessing that you’ll hate the idea I’d proposed years ago for UTC, or coordinated Universal Time.
And I’m not really “proposing” it now as a candidate for a state executive office. It really isn’t the job of the Governor to mess with our clocks. It’s correctly the job of our U.S. Congress to set the standard of weights and measures.
Here’s the way it’d work:
We’d have to take one day, or maybe a minute, depending upon your resistance to change, to get used to the fact that what it says on the clock does not affect the sun, the earth, or, really, you. A clock is just a gauge.
Now say that all clocks, all over the world, are set to the same time on a 24-hour scale that runs from 0100 to 2459. There would never again be any confusion about “what time is it there,” or “how many hours difference between us?” And, certainly, there would be NO STINKIN’ DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME!
What it says on the clock is simply the time.
All over the world.
If somebody says you have a teleconference at 1800, then you have a teleconference at 1800. No racking your brain about, “what does that mean?” It’s just 1800. No AM, no PM. No EST/PST/DST.
It’s 1800 in Bangor, in Boston, in Indiana.
Yes, it’d be past “midnight” in Italy, while it’d be mid-day in Anchorage. So? You would know these things already because, if you agreed to UTC, you’re smart.
But you know what? Smart people are already doing this all over the world. This secret society of smart people (engineers, scientists, businesspeople) really know what time it is.
Here’s the YouTube video of the positively brilliant (well, at least fun) “Stoopid Politics” taped in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 18, 2008.
I am embarrassed to say that I have never, until this morning, read Harry Browne’s “The 7 Never-to-be-Forgotten Principles of Government.”
Everybody should read this.
No, make that seven times.
What is up with all the gubernatorial forum cancellations? There was supposed to be a “Step Up For Kids Day” gubernatorial forum today. It was cancelled because an incumbent couldn’t make it. There was to be another of the traditional, gubernatorial “Kid’s Election” (an event that I won in 2000), but one of the more influential candidates had to back out, so they cancelled the event. Actually, both of the other candidates couldn’t make it to the Robin Run Retirement Home forum this Sunday; but doggone it, I’ll be there anyway.
I know of several other abortive/rejected attempts at gubernatorial fora. I suspect that there’ve been events killed that I never heard about.
Why should candidates have so much power in determining how voters conduct their job interviews? Elections are for voters, not for candidates. Why should we allow candidates to say “no” to the job application process desired by the people charged with the authority to hire…or fire?
Why do voters put up with this?
I sure don’t know.
What I do know is that in 1999, Mayor Goldsmith had already said he wasn’t running, so the race was without an incumbent, and pretty competitively balanced between Republican and Democratic parties. Even after the hotly contested primaries, we had five candidates for Mayor, and we had something like 46 mayoral debate/forum/Q&A events in which practically all of the candidates participated almost all the time.
That was a democratic process!
I can’t understand why voters don’t demand it every time.
But then, I live in hopes that times are a changin’…
I just wanted to say goodbye to J. Patrick Rooney; a former gubernatorial candidate himself, and a man who earned a lot of money…and did a lot of good with it.
While he didn’t fund my campaign (the best possible use for anyone’s money), he did put his money where his mouth was in education choice, healthcare/insurance choice, and from time to time, politics.
The last time I saw him was at a Friedman Foundation event just a few weeks ago. He spoke some very, very encouraging words for me; and I am very, very sorry that he’s gone.
Even so, he lived to a ripe old age, and as far as I can tell, he has even better times ahead of him now.
Good bye, sir. I trust you have now heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
In an 1873 speech Mark Twain called journalists ““…a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse.” In that same speech he also said, “There are laws to protect the freedom of the press’s speech, but none that are worth anything to protect the people from the press.”
Why do I mention this now? Oh, I don’t know. I just think Twain was a very interesting fellow, that’s all. Certainly, I’d never say anything so rude about the big-corporation/conglomerate-owned, politically enmeshed, 49th percentile press of today. Certainly not.
On a completely unrelated subject, certainly not connected in any way to the previous Twain quote, I had another press conference today. No reporters showed up, though FOX did at least send a cameraman. It seems to be the thing in this election season. I had one press conference to which no media showed up, but WIBC later did a report on the subject. That was the best coverage I’ve gotten so far from any major media outlet since our July 4 event, which was dismissed as a “small crowd of tax protesters.”
Not in many years have I felt so shut out of the democratic process by our media gatekeepers.
Why? Have we given up hope of a Cinderella-story or a come-from-behind victory? Are we thinking we have too many choices in the voting booth this year? Are voters just so terribly satisfied with the entrenched powers that be?
Surely it must be something like that.
Because in very public places with lots of witnesses, I’ve proposed a moratorium on speed traps until our government gets some of its lawlessness under control. I’ve proposed completely eliminating personal property tax. I’ve proposed eliminating the CPS/DCS child-snatching bureaucracy and replacing it with Rule of Law (no child is taken from a parent without a criminal conviction by due process). In fact, I’ve proposed leashing our government from top to bottom to the laws to which all policemen, politicians and even new citizens swear an oath of support.
I’ve proposed, in other words, a complete, stem-to-stern, Indiana to Washington, D.C. overhaul of government according to the proven principles and practices that once made this nation the most prosperous, free and secure nation of all time.
I’ve even called politicians criminals in violation of their oaths and the laws that protect us from them.
Does any other gubernatorial candidate have any proposal, statement or fact to trump that?
No reporter ever showed to any of my press conferences, but I’ve heard an awful lot about JLT’s “Green Jobs,” against “Our Man’s” supposed job creation record. If Mitch says something, the media folk ask Jill what she thinks about it. If Jill sneezes, they ask Mitch if he’ll say “gesundheit.”
There are only THREE candidates on the ballot. Would it be so hard to throw in a mention of that guy with all the proposals and facts and such?
Apparently it is too hard for our understaffed, overworked journalists. So every day I have to answer the question posed by voters, “So with all these proposals and facts and such, why haven’t I heard of you before?” This puts me into a bit of a mood, I confess.
I do have several friends even in the big-corporate media, and my heart goes out to them. They’ve got it tough these days with all the buyouts and mergers and layoffs. Certainly, their corporate bosses have an agenda, and they’ll get the boot if they run afoul of that robbing-Peter-to-pay-Paul agenda. You have to be an extraordinarily brave soul to risk losing your job for a mere trifle like the truth.
Nevertheless, I sure wish y’all would write letters, make phone calls, or do whatever you can to make the media work for you instead of for the entrenched powers. Remind journalists that you can either buy their product…or not.
On another unrelated subject, I’m reminded of the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, who once wrote, “It is inexcusable for scientists to torture animals; let them make their experiments on journalists and politicians.”
Ibsen was an interesting fellow.