Below are excerpts of e-mail responses to the Oct. 14 “Half a Six Pack” questions (an abbreviated version of “Six Pack to Go”). Each question has five responses from readers. (Sorry, but Russ serves as the “gatekeeper” — he determines the five answers to accompany each question.) In order to make this a reader-friendly feature, some lengthy answers submitted by readers may have been shortened.
1) Didn't it strike you as odd that more than a month after school had started, Toledo Public Schools, as part of a $15,000 advertising campaign, was actively recruiting students from other districts?Could be it took them that long to get their demographics updated. Sounds to me as if TPS is in need of additional funds, but to pursue a course of “robbing Peter to pay Paul” with state and local education funds is stupid. It did not strike me as odd, but it struck me as a stupid, politically motivated move to bring in better-educated students to bolster the lousy ratings TPS has and a great waste of money, more of which TPS says it needs. If the union would allow teachers to teach and administrators to weed out the poor and incapable teachers, TPS would not have to resort to such inane tactics.TPS knows exactly what it is doing in recruiting students a month into the school year. In Ohio, our schools do an “ADM” (Average Daily Membership) count the first full week of October. This is the week we count how many K-12 kids are in our buildings, thus securing state funding for that number of students. For at least the past two years, TPS has had a “membership drive” in mid- to late September in order to get as many seats filled as possible for the first week of October.I am sure there were many other places that the money could have been put to a better use.Have you noticed any improvement in Toledo Public Schools since that levy passed? I haven't.
2) Given that NFL games received higher television ratings last Sunday than the news coverage of America's initial strikes on Afghanistan, couldn't that be interpreted as a “red flag” regarding our nation's resolve for a drawn-out war on terrorism?If you're talking about “network” news, the numbers are probably right. For the most part (when not watching football), I'm watching MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, etc. They have news pretty much 24/7. If you watch enough of it, you're mostly getting the same news over and over. So why not watch football? If anything of importance happens, I'm certain they would break into a football-game broadcast. Also, if we're watching football, aren't we “getting on with our lives,” as the President and others have requested? Don't think this is a red flag, or any other color flag. It is either an indication that people are weary of the war already … or we are getting back to normal, realizing that this war will go on for years.I don't think television ratings should be used as a yardstick for measuring our resolve to win a war. After all, our president has urged us all to get back to normal as best we can. Isn't Sunday afternoon parked in front of the set the normal American way? Besides, the American public has finally realized there is nothing to “see” on TV regarding the war, short of retired military and washed-up dignitaries providing commentary. Maybe, maybe not. To be honest, though, the news coverage has become an endless repetition of the same minimal information. While I agree with somewhat of a news blackout (I'm sure Osama can pick up CNN, so I'd hate for “real” information to be broadcast), watching the same things rehashed over and over is depressing and dull. Does that mean I'm not willing to support a long, drawn-out struggle? No, it doesn't. For, if America gives up football, baseball, etc., the terrorists will have won — they will have created terror. Part of the resolve is that life does go on … you may constantly think of what is happening on the other side of the workd, but you still need to cook, clean (and watch the World Series). This goes to the heart of our soul and our instant-gratification approach to living. Unless the goals are clear-cut, unless we see war as a viable long-term approach to this problem, American resolve will falter.
3) From a reader: Does it make sense to reduce taxes further at a time when the government needs billions more to bail out airlines, help victims, rebuild New York, and, most of all, fight a war? I don't think the massive rebate did a thing for the economy. Don't these people learn anything? Now are we going to go into deep deficit again for highly questionable results? I hope not.I think it is nothing short of irresponsible to send out another tax refund or give a big tax break right now. Of course, I thought that about the first one. And that was before Sept. 11. I'll type this real slow. The government does not create wealth (except for certain politicians). Wealth is created in the private sector. Money is NOT a finite item, it is the circulation of money that spurs economic growth. The more money people have, the stronger the economy. People with more money will spend more and open new businesses. If the economy grows, then tax revenues, even with a lower rate, go up. Deficit spending is money owed, in most cases to people and businesses in this country. Can you say “reelection”? I've had a little difficulty trying to resolve this one myself. The little bit of a “rebate” they gave us hasn't done anything for us personally, and it's hard for me to imagine that the entire U.S. economy will be spurred by suc h a move. Sure, we took ours, but we pretty much sent it right to the bank.
I would agree totally with a clause linking a driver's license to being enrolled in school. That is done in other states. Driving is a privilege, not a right.Carty is full of beans. So what if slackers attend school? They won't participate and they won't learn. It will accomplish nothing. You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.Funny, my son's first post-high school job lasted two weeks before the discount store went out of business (remember “discount stores”?). He then migrated to McDonald's, where he flipped hamburgers until he became an assistant manager. Like all fast food assistant managers, he opened and closed (often in the same day), and developed a strong work ethic. His next real job was a shipping clerk for a local computer hardware manufacturer that lasted for five years before the company merged, purged, and eventually disappeared into the corporate boneyard. Seeing that coming, he got a better job as shipping manager for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in funky Moss Landing. So there is life after Big Macs — you just have to know when to change job horses. Not every parent cares whether their children go to school These parents feel that society owes them something. … Their children learn at an early age to be able to use the system and are not motivated to do better.Work permits are not needed after age 18, so Carty's suggestion is still valid and a good one. I agree with the one reader's assessment that we need these dropouts for mundane jobs, but we can wait until they are 18. Those who contend that it is the parent's job to monitor these unfortunates are out of touch, or they are not considering the fact that many do not have two parents. The one who they may have is busy trying to earn a living, plus is probably part of the problem (re: lifestyle) to begin with.
Russ Lemmon's column appears Sundays. Readers may contact him at 1-419-724-6122, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.