We need to improve the employability of our youth
Wow! Friday evening, all four major networks – ABC, CBS, Fox, and NBC – simultaneously gave up an hour of their primetime programming and advertising to introduce a relatively new concept in high school education that is showing real promise. It was called XQ and is focused on developing skills in teenagers that will be usable in the future workplace.
Last year, I wrote here we had to rethink our entire education system because opportunities for high school graduates to go directly into local manufacturing, sales, or administrative jobs with a career potential no longer exist like they did in the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s. Recently, I wrote about the rapid acceleration of robotics and artificial intelligence intended to replace people in jobs and wondered about the future employability of our children and grandchildren.
The people involved in XQ connected the dots a few years ago, and their initial successes portend exciting potential. The program last evening was short on details, but their vision and concepts were right on. Do they have everything figured out – no – and they asked for our help. The founders and corporate supporters of XQ are fully into action and for the sake of our kids we need to be advocates of those concepts to our school administrations, state and federal representatives. We need to get involved to make sure those concepts take root here.
Our high school education model must change its content to improve employability of our youth in the 21st century.
David Vail, O’Fallon
How long is ‘too long’ in office?
O’Fallon Mayor Herb Roach and your editorial (Term Limits BND 9/13 editorial) both imply that when officeholders serve too long, they become “stagnant.” But how long is “too long”? Does O’Fallon have a problem? Here are some facts.
In the last 20 years, voters elected 41 different individuals to four-year city council terms. Thirty-two aldermen (78 percent) served for two or fewer terms. Nine aldermen (22 percent) served three or more terms (two currently on the Council). The average tenure of all 41 is 6.7 years – less than two terms. So even with a few long-serving aldermen, there is recurring turnover in the council, supplying “fresh ideas and new concepts” prized by both Mayor Roach and me.
Further, any office holder is re-elected because voters believed him/her to be the best choice or because no one felt compelled to mount a challenge. If the electorate is dissatisfied with their elected official’s performance, they can fire him/her in the next election. We call that democracy.
If term limits were imposed 20 years ago: 12 additional aldermen (three aldermen served five terms) would have been elected for a grand total of 53, an average tenure of only 4.6 years, barely one term. This begs the question: how much turnover is too much?
Experience in a particular position is valuable: Should we replace a great teacher because she would start her ninth year? Or your heart surgeon? Your alderman? Term limits for O’Fallon are a proposed fix for something that’s not a problem.
Charles Pitts, O’Fallon
Somehow we got the mission done
Shazam. I actually agree with Col. Lee Pitzer’s points about the burgeoning contractor support to the military. I do agree there are many firms chasing military contracts. I was in that world for five years in Washington. As we reduced uniformed military forces the past 20 years, the number of civil service and contractors has increased. I can’t imagine in 1965 the complexity of moving aircraft and troops around the world with scarce planning resources. As a new captain I was on the “MAC” (now Air Mobility Command) security forces staff in the mid-1980s and we managed wartime logistics, equipment, security sensors, training, information security, air base defense, military working dog programs, anti-terrorism programs and security and law enforcement policy with about 30 staffers, including six civilian employees but no contractors supporting 15 bases. We even held an annual combat skills competition at Little Rock AFB and had four combat skills events for the large airlift rodeo competition. Desktop computers were fairly new so the only computer we had access to for war and contingency planning was a mainframe Honeywell system using a clunky workstation in a secure room in the main building. Somehow we got the mission done just as Col. Pitzer did 20 years before. Maybe we should take a look at this issue but use our military talent for the study.
Phil Henning, Smithton
Several months ago, Fred Einstein, oops, I mean Ehrstein, wrote a scathing letter about me, comparing me to Joseph Goebbels. He says that I fancy myself a great satirist in the mold of Jonathan Swift or H.L. Mencken. Gosh, thanks for the compliment, and yes, I am.
He says it’s clear that I regard Liberals and Muslims as menacing vermin. Well, yeah! All you have to do is watch TV for one day, and take in all of the insane stupidity of liberalism, i.e., antifa, Black Lives Matter, all Democrat politicians ... you get the idea.
As for Muslims, I agree with Winston Churchill: “Individual Muslims may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development in those who follow it. No stronger retrograde face exists in the world.”
Wanna hear my thoughts on illegal immigration? I’m quite sure that you would be offended. It’s pretty clear to me that, in my humble opinion, you sir, are another water-brained Liberal who prides himself on the “outrage industry.” Didn’t old “Uncle Joe” Stalin have a term for you and others like you? Oh yeah, useful idiots.
Meanwhile, put your beer goggles back on and fix yourself a Thorazine spritzer. Then take a deep breath and hold it for about twenty minutes. Ciao!
Roddy D. Riggs, Highland
Why you shouldn’t buy puppies from pet stores
Here’s another reason not to buy puppies from pet stores: A campylobacter outbreak that has sickened 39 people in Florida, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Wisconsin has reportedly been traced to puppies from Petland stores. Campylobacter can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, paralysis, and even death.
Pet stores commonly obtain puppies from puppy mills — large-scale breeding facilities that confine dogs to filthy, overcrowded cages or pens that are breeding grounds for disease. Dogs from puppy mills often have contagious diseases, including brucellosis, coccidia, distemper, giardia, kennel cough, mange, parvovirus, pneumonia, and ringworm, as well as serious congenital defects that arise from inbreeding, and behavioral problems caused by stress and lack of proper socialization.
Buying puppies from pet stores is what keeps cruel puppy mills in business. If you have the time and resources to devote to caring for a dog, please save a life by adopting a homeless animal from a shelter, and always have your animals spayed or neutered.
Daphna Nachminovitch, PETA Cruelty Investigations Department senior vice president, Norfolk, Virginia
Media Matters playbook leaked
The Media Matters playbook has been leaked, an overpage document marked “private and confidential” called “Democracy Matters: Strategic Plan for Action.”
It lists four partner organizations, well-entrenched and well-known leftist organizations funded by George Soros, who hopes to take over America.
John Schrand, Belleville