2013-08-10 / Viewpoints

Viewpoint

BY HOWARD ‘MAC’ MCDONALD

Our education system is a real mess these days. We have public schools, charter schools, cyber schools, home schools, religious schools, neighborhood schools and schools of hard knocks.

In the Sunday paper there was a long story on changing the way students are learning. They quoted some teachers who predicted that, down the road, kids will not learn how to write.

What is new about that? Many of them don’t know how to write now. How many kids or young adults read a book these days?

Kids who can’t write will miss out on the really important things, like slipping a note to your favorite girl in class or keeping your little black book. When you are texting or sending an email, there are no secrets. Some of these whistleblowers have told how the government and probably the Chinese and a lot of other people can hear and see anything we are doing when it is electronic.

I know a kid in Emporium who had to have his grandmother guide his hand to sign a check and he was living on his own. That is really no surprise. More than one teacher has told me about the unwritten rule many schools have, where they will pass a kid to the next grade year after year, even if he hasn’t learned what he was supposed to learn.

I am glad I got my basic education at the rural Becketts Run School in Ella Hollow. At least we knew right from wrong.

After we shut down the embassies and issued all the alerts last weekend I got to thinking. If we know some of these evil extremists are plotting an attack, why don’t we just take them out first? We have become a nation of scaredy cats.

The difference is that we are concerned about the safety of the innocent people in the civilian population, or what they coldly call collateral damage in military circles. The enemy is just the opposite. They have said that they don’t care who dies, just as long as they have killed Americans in the process. So we are playing under two sets of rules.

Some of you who in the senior citizen category will agree with me when I say that we need new leaders – and thank God for Ike and Doug or we would be eating sauerkraut and rice for a steady diet.

One of the two villains who have been in the news is going to face some justice.

That coward Snowden is still hiding out and sharing our secrets with the enemies. He is a traitor and should face criminal charges for treason.

Meanwhile, the Army major who killed 13 of our service members and wounded 30 back in 2009 faces the death penalty if he gets convicted, but with all of the appeals it could take another decade.

He is still on the payroll and on top of that he gets free room and board along with medical care. The one who shot him was not a marksman, so he has a need for diapers. Personally, I am not weeping for his sorry condition.

Military justice is a lot different than the civilian court. I attended one court martial in my service career. The commander really wanted that young captain to go to the big house. I don’t want to brag, but I dug up the witnesses that blew their case right out of the water. The old flight engineer outsmarted them all and saved that young captain from jail time he didn’t deserve.

There are many changes that are going to occur around us no matter how much people don’t want to see them.

Scottsdale, Arizona, is known as one of the few pure western scenes left in the old west. It is slowly being pushed into modern times. Don’t get me wrong, there are no cowboys with horse dung on their boots walking the streets, but the scenery is steadily changing.

There are some plush resort hotels with fine eateries, golf courses and all the other things you would like to do on vacation. The young well-to-do have a different lifestyle and no respect for yesteryear. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to be their age. I believe I could live the young lifestyle better than most of them do, but then again I have an advantage on them because I have been there.

Read a book, remember how to write, and keep your powder dry.

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