ON ENGINEERING AS A CAREER

August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

 

We are approaching back-to-school time and many youngsters attending college in their freshman/sophomore years will be asked to select a major to study. This month’s article provides my pitch on why some should consider engineering as a career.

 

In a very broad sense, engineering is a term applied to the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences, gained by study, experience, and practice, is applied to the efficient use of the materials and forces of nature. The term engineer denotes an individual who has received professional training in both pure and applied science, but was often used in the past to describe the operator of an engine, as in the term locomotive engineer. In modern times, these occupations became known as crafts or trades.

 

There are five major branches of engineering, listed below in alphabetical order.

 

  1. Chemical Engineering
  2. Civil Engineering
  3. Electrical Engineering
  4. Environmental Engineering
  5. Mechanical Engineering

 

One could also add to this engineering list the following fields: aeronautical, astronautical, geological, industrial, marine, military, managerial, mining, naval, petroleum, structural, and the recent addition of nanotechnology. However, since I am a chemical engineer working in both the chemical and environmental fields, chemical and environmental engineering are primarily addressed in the sections to follow.

 

PROBLEM SOLVING

The engineer (and to a lesser degree the scientist) is known for his problem-solving ability. It is probably this ability more than any other that has enabled many engineers to rise to positions of leadership and top management within their companies. In problem-solving, considerable importance is attached to a proper analysis of the problem, to a logical recording of the problem solution, and to the overall professional appearance of the finished product of the calculations.

 

The value of an engineer is usually determined by his/her ability to apply basic principles, facts, and methods in order to accomplish some useful purpose. In this modem age of industrial competition, the ultimate definition of a useful purpose is usually based on a tangible profit of monetary value. It is not sufficient, therefore, to have a knowledge and understanding of physics, chemistry, mathematics, mechanics, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, the unit operations, chemical technology, and other related engineering and scientific subjects; he/she must also have the ability to apply this knowledge to practical situations, and, in making these applications, recognize the importance of the dollar sign.

 

Certain methods of logic and techniques of calculation are fundamental to the solution of many problems, and there is a near infinite number of methods. Words such as creative, ingenuity, original, etc., appear in all these approaches. What do they all have in common? They provide a systematic, logical approach to solving problems, and what follows is this author’s definition of a generic approach.

 

The methodology of solving problems has been discussed by most mathematicians and logicians since the days of Aristotle. Heuristic (“serving to discover”) is the term often given to this study of the methods and rules of solving problems. Nearly always, a stepwise approach to the solution is desirable. The broad steps are:

 

  1. Understanding the problem
  2. Devising a plan
  3. Carrying out the plan
  4. Looking back

 

HISTORY OF ENGINEERING

In terms of history, the engineering profession as defined today is usually considered to have originated shortly after 1800. However, many of the “processes” associated with this discipline were developed in antiquity. For example, filtration operations were carried out 5000 years ago by the Egyptians. Operations such as crystallization, precipitation, and distillation soon followed. Others evolved from a mixture of craft, mysticism, incorrect theories, and empirical guesses during this period.

 

In a very real sense, the chemical industry dates back to prehistoric times when people first attempted to control and modify their environment, and it developed as did any other trade or craft. With little knowledge of science and no means of chemical analysis, the earliest “engineers” had to rely on previous art and superstition. As one would imagine, progress was slow. This changed with time.

 

Industry in the world today is a sprawling complex of raw-material sources, manufacturing plants, and distribution facilities which supply society with thousands of products, most of which were unknown over a century ago. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, an increased demand arose for individuals trained in the fundamentals of these processes. This demand was ultimately met by engineers.

 

The technical advances of the 19th century greatly broadened the field of engineering and introduced a large number of the aforementioned engineering specialties. The rapidly changing demands of the socioeconomic environment in the 20th and 21st centuries have widened the scope even further. One need only review the various branches of engineering listed earlier.

 

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Chemical engineering is one of the basic tenets of engineering, and contains many practical concepts that are utilized in countless real-world industrial applications. A discussion centered on the field of chemical engineering is therefore warranted before proceeding to some specific details regarding this discipline. A reasonable question to ask is: What is chemical engineering? An outdated, but once official definition provided by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is:

 

Chemical engineering is that branch of engineering concerned with the development and application of manufacturing processes in which chemical or certain physical changes are involved. These processes may usually be resolved into a coordinated series of unit physical “operations.” The work of the chemical engineer is primarily concerned with the design, construction, and operation of equipment and plants in which these unit operations and processes are applied. Chemistry, physics, and mathematics are the underlying sciences of chemical engineering, and economics is its guide in practice.

 

This definition was appropriate until a few decades ago when the profession branched out from the chemical industry. Today, that definition has changed. Although it is still based on chemical fundamentals and physical principles, these have been de-emphasized in order to allow for the expansion of the profession to other areas. These areas include environmental management, health and safety, computer applications, project management, probability and statistics, ethics, and economics and finance, plus several other “new” topics. This has led to many new definitions of chemical engineering, several of which are either too specific or too vague. A definition proposed by your author, is simply that “chemical engineers solve problems.” Today, this engineering discipline offers the student the largest number of professional options to pursue on graduation, including medicine, law, education, the environment, etc. This would be my first choice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in engineering.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

Traditionally, the scope of environmental engineering (originally termed sanitary engineering) was confined primarily to water supply, sewerage, and general environmental sanitation. Since the middle of the 20th century, however, the profession has expanded – due in part to the author – to include increased responsibilities in municipal and industrial waste treatment, air pollution, solid waste management, radiological health, safety, etc. It was originally viewed as a branch of civil engineering, but because of its importance, especially in dense urban-population areas, it acquired the importance of a specialized field. As noted, it now primarily deals with problems involving water supply, treatment, and distribution; disposal of community wastes and reclamation of useful components of such wastes; control of pollution of surface waterways, groundwaters, and soils; air pollution; control of atmospheric pollution; meteorology; housing and institutional management; rural and recreational-site management; insect and vermin control; industrial hygiene, including control of light, noise, vibration, and toxic materials in work areas; and, other fields concerned with the control of environmental factors affecting health. The field of accident and emergency management/health and hazard risk assessment has as its object the prevention of accidents. In recent years, “safety” engineering has become a specialty adopted by individuals trained in other branches of engineering.

 

With the expanding effort to provide a healthier environment for the industrial worker, environmental engineering techniques are employed to rid the air of noxious dusts and gases in plants and other working areas. The problem of atmospheric pollution resulting from discharging waste into the atmosphere in large industrial settings became a major concern soon after 1970, a time when I entered the field.

 

 

MORE ON ENGINEERING

 

Other Engineering Disciplines

Civil Engineering is the oldest and broadest of all engineering branches. It is in turn subdivided to include specialization in such fields as structural, sanitary, public health, hydraulic, transportation and other established engineering disciplines. They design bridges and tunnels, construct roads, install water-supply and sewage-disposal systems, erect dams, lay out railroads and other transportation systems and plan buildings of all types and sizes for public, private, and industrial uses.

 

Electrical Engineering, another important branch of the profession, deals comprehensively with power generation and its transmission and distribution, electronics and its many applications, transportation, illumination, and all types of electrical machinery. The electrical engineer designs, directs and supervises the construction of electrical systems for the production and utilization of power for the multitudinous purposes of business, industry, and the community.

 

Mechanical Engineering is one of the largest branches in the engineering field. This branch of the engineering profession is subdivided into heat, power, and machine design options with electives in aeronautical, metallurgical and industrial engineering. Devices for heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, engines and other mechanisms for the propulsion of vehicles and missiles on, under, or over land, sea, and air. tools, motors, and machines for all types of industrial production or research are just a few examples of the mechanical engineer’s contributions to the world.

 

Salaries and Rewards

Beginning salaries for inexperienced engineering graduates vary according to the type of agency seeking their services, geographical area in which the individual is employed, level of responsibility and nature of duties for particular positions, and the competition for engineering positions at any given time. Due to the shortage of engineers in recent years, graduates with no experience have commanded salaries ranging from an average low of $70,000 to an average high of $100,000 per year. Possessors of the Master’s degree begin at higher levels; those with a Doctorate in Engineering receive considerably higher starting salaries.

 

Aside from financial rewards, the successful engineer enjoys unlimited opportunity for creative achievement, the satisfaction of contributing significantly to the improvement of standards of living, and a distinctive position of trust and respect in the community.

 

It should be noted that college engineering programs are very difficult. The student cannot expect to succeed without devoting himself entirely to his work in school and to related home assignments. Unless the student is willing to curtail or even forego a great many of the social activities generally associated with attendance at college or with young people of his age, academic problems will probably arise. Although the road to success in engineering is not an easy one, a career in the profession can be realized by a student willing to accept the obligations for required adequate preparation.

 

With Women

Finally, careers in engineering are projected to expand rapidly in the next decade. In this technologically advanced world, the discoveries and solutions being made affect the lives of everyone. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the industries that drive these advances in engineering technology. This mindset, however has been quickly changing. It is exciting to live at such a pivotal moment in history when women have such an incredible opportunity to change the face of industries, not only in engineering but across a variety of fields. Thankfully, our nation draws its intellectual power from 100% of the population, not 47.9%, as with many other nations.

 

When I retired some years ago, 50% of my students were women. And, more often than not, they outperformed the men. Maybe they felt they had something to prove.

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

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NEXT POSTINGS:

SEPTEMBER 1:         On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIX

OCTOBER 1:              Great Eats IV; Diners

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

 

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ON THE NEW YORK RACING ASSOCIATION (NYRA)

September 30, 2018

OCTOBER 1, 2018

Saratoga. Saratoga Springs. Thoroughbred racing. The Mecca of thoroughbred racing. The summer vacation spot to be in August. The grand old lady. Streets lined with historic homes. Sweet corn and tomatoes practically off the vine. Etc. etc. Sounds great. Well, there’s only one problem: The New York Racing Association (NYRA). NYRA runs thoroughbred racing in Saratoga (as well as Belmont and Aqueduct).

 

The thoroughbred racing meeting ended on September 7, so I figured it was time to release some of my earlier thoughts, comments, recommendations, etc., about NYRA. Here are three of my oldies but beauties from the past when I had predicted that weekday attendance would drop from 15,000 to 2,000. How little did I know.  And how wrong could I be?  It is now under 1,000.  I’m certain two absolutely beautiful 750 Fall days (9/26-7) had less than 250 betting fans  at Belmont.!

 

“On NYRA” (The Williston Times, 9/16/96):

“Quite frankly, I am both flabbergasted and disappointed in the media’s coverage of NYRA and NYRA-related activities. There appears to be an unwritten law among turf writers not to provide any bad press on NYRA. As indicated earlier, the two words commonly used by the racing group I associate with to describe NYRA is incompetence and arrogance. The net result of NYRA policies is that more and more of the fans are not coming back. The two extremes – the young and the old fan – no longer find a day at the NYRA races a pleasurable experience. More than anything else, the writing of this article was prompted by my participation in the 1976 National Crime Commission Hearings (President Ford) as a representative of the horseplayer”.

 

“There’s Another Side to Saratoga” (Daily Racing Form, 7/27/97):

“Á significant portion of the racetrack is a firetrap. Standing in line is a ritual that NYRA has come to expect from its customers. The track contains the most uncomfortable seats I have ever encountered at a racetrack. In addition, the spacing between rows is so narrow that it is extremely difficult to navigate. Expect to be gouged. Here is what Bill Finley and Surabhi Avasthi had to say in their May 5, 1996, Daily News article titled “A-Z Guide to Horse Racing in New York.” “G is for Gouged. What you will get in Saratoga Springs. The local businesses – which only have six weeks to capitalize on tourist dollars – usually jack up prices during racing season. Expect to fork over an ample portion of your winnings for a good dinner and a hotel room.”

 

“Blame NYRA for Empty Plants” (Daily Racing Form, 4/26/98):

“The players major concern was that  NYRA has chosen to squash the betting public into a cramped space with poor lighting, lousy TV monitors and limited seating for simulcasting. They also cited long betting lines and the unkempt filthy conditions of the whole area. If NYRA could somehow treat its customers like it treats breeders, owners, jockeys, politicians and the media, the racing industry will be on its way to solving its problem at the turnstiles.”

 

The Queen and I along with the kids and grandkids visited Saratoga late this month and spent two days there. As usual, the experience at this dilapidated firetrap track featured the aforementioned long lines, $5 admission, $10 parking, concession rip-offs, uncomfortable seating and standing, poor race viewing, 38 minutes in between races, etc. etc. To make matters worse, the ass who runs the place (where do they find these people??) essentially closed off the seating in the upper stretch of the grandstand for most racing days. Fans did have the option of sitting on the grass or standing for 5 hours. Thank you NYRA management.

 

We stayed at the Gideon Putnam – a historic landmark – and the entire family (but not me) loved it. Notwithstanding my feelings, it was my 64th straight year (this has to be a record) of attending the races at the Toga. I stayed at John’s Farm in the Catskills in 1955 and the Holiday Inn ($19 /night) in 1956. As always, dinner the first night was at Parnell’s and a brief chat with owner/chef Bruce followed by breakfast the next morning at the Triangle Diner.

 

After reading the last paragraph, you would have to conclude that I am a glutton for punishment. And, you would be right, but old habits don’t die easily. I said good riddance on leaving Saratoga but will be back (God willing) next year. Don’t say it. I can’t be that bright, but then again, those others in attendance can’t be too bright either.

 

So, it’s now back to Belmont for nearly two months followed by the Aqueduct winter meeting where NYRA will once again continue to exploit the hapless horse player. Attending has dropped below 1,000 on weekdays and the idiot in charge has yet to figure out how to fix the problem. But dozens of “suits” regularly patrol the stands and I can’t figure out what they do. Ordinarily, the individual in charge would be fired…but this is NYRA.  The end result is that the most beautiful of ALL racetracks is essentially barren during racing days.

 

I close with a tale (without details) about NYRA’s arrogance . . . they are more than just incompetent.  I sued NYRA in small claims court for $22 in 2010.  They were a no-show on trial date.  The judge rescheduled the trial.  Once again they were a no-show.  The judge found in my favor.  NYRA chose not to mail me the judgement.  I had to hire a sheriff to collect.  They sheriff walked into one of their offices and requested the money.  They informed him that it was impossible but they would mail it to me in due time.  He started walking out with two of their computers.  Fifteen minutes later they gave him a check for ALL the charges.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

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NEXT POSTINGS:

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day III

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2018-19 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Team

JANUARY 1:              On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVII

FEBRUARY 1:           On Basketball Coaching 101 II

 

 

 


ON THE 2018 EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2018

 

May 1, 2018

It’s amazing what can happen when incompetent people with self-serving interests and a near total lack of what quality education is all about running a School Board. We are all aware that the EWSD is now just another school district, no longer one of the quality premier ones in the country. I’ve already detailed in the past how this came about: Entine’s massive and senseless giveaway programs, the ridiculously incompetent Bergtraum (remember the 4th building?*!?) and self-serving unethical policies of union leader, Israel. And, let’s not forget the pitiful, embarrassing and comical PTO that has been successfully duped by the teachers and their union. The bottom line is that the EWSD is no longer a school district that we can all be proud of.

 

I believe the Board and Superintendent are beginning to get desperate and have pressed the panic button. Why this belief? Last month, the Superintendent sent out a questionnaire requesting input from residents to provide their top academic related priorities for the next 5 years. Is it possible this brain-trust (?) doesn’t know what they should know? Certainly, the residents don’t know. Thus, in the final analysis, the residents could be held to blame for the district’s precipitous drop in its reputation. I taught engineering, served as academic advisor, participated in admission decisions for 50 years…and can honestly say that I don’t know what the priorities should be at this level. (Note: I’d love to find out about their Project Lead the Way, a 4-year engineering program. It might be enlightening, but I doubt it). And, does anyone think that they are really interested in your thoughts? I had two solid recommendations last year that were totally ignored; no one got back to me — No One! Anyone want to try to convince me that they really care about our thoughts/concerns/recommendations? In any event, if they don’t know, and we don’t know, what does that say about the people running the asylum…I mean school.

 

The Board and superintendent Kanas recently claimed that “…continue the tradition of fiscal responsibility…”. Surely, they were joking. I know no one (maybe I know the wrong people) who ever claimed that the EWSD was fiscally responsible. All residents have to come to grips with the fact that the EWSD has never really concerned themselves with the best interests of the students, the parents, the seniors, and all other members of our community.

 

Here again are some general thoughts. The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. In addition, the mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. There is a need for accountability for not only these upstart programs but also for traditional programs. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment. On the positive side, I believe absenteeism has decreased; although there are more cars in the North Side parking lot, and there is less of a reduction of cars on Monday and Friday. Finally, I stand by my earlier statements that at least two members of the Board simply cannot be trusted; the community should not expect them to act in the best interests of the students and taxpayers.

 

The salary of teachers has skyrocketed and the quality of education has plummeted. What would a reasonably intelligent individual conclude from these 2 FACTS? What about the college level? When I went to school, tuition was below $2000 per year, a sum a student could earn over the summer and Christmas recess. I don’t think a student could come close to earning dollars $60K plus during the same period today. What do I conclude? The teachers’ union is in the process of destroying quality education at levels.

 

Remember, it OK to vote NO on the budget on May 15. A NO vote represents a call for better education for our students, fair and responsible treatment of seniors, a call for new leadership for both the Board and the District, and a rejection of the corrupt self-serving policies currently in place.

 

I close by issuing a call to members of our district who are concerned about taxes, seniors, and (most importantly) school children, to consider running for the Board in the future. I hate to put it this way, but almost anybody would be better than what we have now.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JUNE 1:          On Great Eats III: Greek – Edition

JULY 1:          On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXVI

 

 


ON BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA VI

November 1, 2017

NOVEMBER 1, 2017

I guess I just can’t forget BHO. How could anyone be so dumb, un-American, lazy, and lacking in good character and common sense? His 8-year stint in office has created so many problems for our nation…many of them irreversible. He proved to be an individual lacking in conscience, a habitual liar, and unable to distinguish between his social and political fantasies with reality. BHO proved, once again, that some people (and he is one such person) simply can’t handle certain jobs.

 

Did I mention that BHO is dumb? How about our 57 states? (He must have confused the states with Heinz products.) How about Marine Corps? How about our ports all along the Gulf – places like Charleston, Savannah or Jacksonville? How about a pipeline coming down from Canada that is estimated to create about 50 permanent jobs? How about if you have a business, you didn’t build that? How about claiming that Austrian was his favorite language?

 

I do not believe that BHO is smart enough to understand that there must be law and order, along with honesty and truth. I don’t believe BHO understands that there should be an incentive to work rather than not to work. Or that a job that is created for the sake of a job (e.g., many government jobs) usually creates waste and red tape that hurts everyone, especially the poor and the young? It is obvious that Barack never took a course on economics and doesn’t understand that economics counts. Here are two oldies from the past.

 

  1. Thomas Jefferson: “Democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”
  2. Abraham Lincoln: “You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot help people permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.”

 

On to lies. Here it is difficult to distinguish between his lies and his just simply being dumb. Here goes. “In my wildest dreams, I never thought the 787 billion dollars stimulus program would work out this well.” “I passed 900 bills in the Illinois State Senate.” (There were only 26.) “If we drilled on every square inch of our nation, we would find only 3% of the world’s oil reserves.” “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism.” “A big part of our campaign was for Washington to live within its means.” “I don’t want government bureaucrats meddling in your health care.” “Everybody knows what is in the Health Care bill…the final provisions are going to be posted many (!*?) days before this thing passes.” “Family care physicians collect $30,000-$50,000 for foot amputations.” “I am proud that we passed the recovery plan free (there were 800) of earmarks.” “We are prepared to freeze government spending for three years.” “Since our founding, American Muslims have enriched our nation.” “Federal spending has risen at the lowest (?!*!) pace in nearly 60 years.” “The Afghan war is coming to an end; Al Qaeda is a shell of its former self.”

 

Un American? The reality is that he was in the process of destroying our military capabilities (and the free world’s) by turning it into a social experiment.  You want proof? Look at what’s going on in the Ukraine. In North Korea. In the China Seas. The same scenario will soon apply to Iran. His foreign policy was a disaster. He and our nation became the laughing stock of the world. It will take years to correct his blunders. At the national level, he choose to ignore Black Panther voting violations, supported and gave encouragement to Black Lives Matter, failed to support the police in a host of confrontations, maintained there wasn’t a “smidgen of evidence” of IRS wrongdoing under Lois Lerner (who claimed the 5th), played golf after a recent massacre, attended a baseball game after a recent massacre, encouraged the polarization of our nation, regularly failed to speak out for and support the concept of law and order, supported climate change programs that would have a devastating effect on both our economy and military, the Eric Holder disaster, played a major role in undermining free expression of ideas on college campuses, freed 5 dangerous enemies for Sgt. Bergdahl, made many decisions that went against the best interests of America, etc.

 

An egomaniac? Again, there is some overlap with BHO’s other failings. Here we go once again. “I think my initial measure of success is creating or saving 4,000,000 jobs.” “Transparency and the rule of law will be the keystone of my presidency.” “I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president.” “I think I’m a better speech writer than my speechwriters.” “I’m going to act on my own; I won’t wait for Congress.” “I’m a better political director than my Political Director.” “I know more about policies for any particular issue than my policy appointees.” Add to this that he regularly failed to attend daily presidential policy meetings.

 

Corrupt? Forget the hard to believe IRS fiasco. One need only consider the recent developments with the FBI. We now know that BHO and his henchmen played a major role in compromising and corrupting the once “untouchable” FBI. Who would you trust more – the FBI or Scotland Yard? Who amongst us would feel confident and comfortable providing our now political organization with delicate information of any form? When it comes to corruption, Obama reigns.

 

I think it is really sad that the first black President failed miserably. It has to be a tough blow for some blacks. BHO conjures up thoughts of ACORN, Ron Blagojevich; Eric Holder, Lois Lerner, Jeremiah Wright, Michael P. Flager, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Jim Wallis, Saul Alinsky, Czar appointments, Anita Dunn, Van Jones, Janet Napolitano, etc. And, of course, his frantic attempt to portray our nation in as negative a light as possible, despite the fact that five years ago, I wrote “BHO is the reincarnation of Neville Chamberlain.”

 

Four years ago, I wrote a series of articles that proved (in my mind) that BHO is lazy, a liar, dumb, an egomaniac, un-American, corrupt, and not trustworthy. I believe I could prove the above in a court of law. No matter what, I can say with absolute certainty that lying is a way of life for Barack. And Hillary. And, of course, Bubba. In the final analysis, it is his absolute incompetence that has destroyed his legacy, not the fact that he is black.

 

You want more? He set back the massive civil rights gains of the past century by successfully escalating racial tensions exponentially. Keep in mind that propaganda and control of information is an essential weapon of Communism. And, once a communist society is established, it is almost impossible to return to a free society. Unfortunately, Barack embraced this weapon with the support of the corrupt liberal media.

 

I wonder if BHO ever gives a thought to how he polarized us, set the nation back at least 10 years, set in place an exponential accumulation of debt, weakened our military and status in the world, and was directly responsible for the death and suffering of millions – particularly women and children – in the Middle East.

 

Summarizing, I can’t think of anything positive that can be attributed to his presidency. As I noted in an earlier article, if we, as a nation, needed an individual to weaken and possibly destroy our nation, embarrass us on the international level, discourage our allies, and encourage our enemies, that individual would be BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA.

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

DECEMBER 1:          On 2017-2018 Hofstra Men’s Basketball

JANUARY 1:              Professorless On-Line Education (POLE)

FEBRUARY 1:           On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXVI

MARCH 1:                 On Baseball Managing 101

APRIL 1:                     On 2017-18 Hofstra Men’s Basketball Revisited

MAY 1:                       One the 2018 East Williston School District

 


ON THE EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2017

May 1, 2017

Here is my opening paragraph from last year’s newsletter on the budget vote:

“East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception. Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget. Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget. Why? Two reasons come to mind:  (A) Waste and (B) Senior Citizen Exploitation.”

 

I then proceeded to provide detailed comments on both above reasons which was followed by detailed proposed solutions to both problems. Guess what?  I not only didn’t hear from anyone but I also received no acknowledgements of my proposal. Isn’t this just great? I’m a taxpayer with no voice. You can thank Kamberg and his brood, Kanas, the teachers, the teachers’ union, and, of course, the pitiful PTO, for this sorry state of affairs. And, let’s not forget that it was the Bergtraum (incompetence)/Israel (greed) era that started the EWSD’s decline.

 

In any event, here’s what’s coming down. Per capita student cost is up (>$36,000). Enrollment is down. Hiring is up. School ranking is down. Student performance is down. College choice for students almost certainly is down. Waste has increased. Senior exploitation has increased. Student/parent exploitation has increased. You want proof? Try to FOIL these parasites in control for information. You’ll get what I got…NOTHING! What a wonderful state of affairs.

 

The community should be aware of the EW Financial Advisory Committee (FAC) 3/22/17 report to the EWSD Board of Trustees. I’ll spare you the details but here are the six FAC’s specific spending recommendations.

 

  1. Adapt recommendations to fund Program, Administration & Capital efficiencies
  2. Develop a framework to measure student achievement/investment
  3. Wages: take steps to continue to limit wage growth
  4. Healthcare: Increase employee contributions/eliminate opt-out
  5. Place a moratorium on contractual lifetime healthcare benefits
  6. Review opportunities to increase non-tax revenue

 

But, here’s the key.  Buried early in the report is “The Board has the responsibility and discretion to implement the FAC’s recommendations.”  Translated into simple English: they can, and will, ignore the recommendations as they have done in the past (I’ll comment on their action next year).

 

Regarding (1), the word efficiency is not in the Board’s vocabulary.  The teachers and their union have always opposed (2). The teachers and their union, the PTA, the Board, and Superintendent Kanas oppose (3). Obviously, the teachers and their union plus their stooges oppose (4) and (5).  Point (6) is a great recommendation that could be implemented by the brain trust in the FAC, but with teachers and their union, the PTA, Superintendent Kanas, and (in particular) the Board, there resides a group that is clueless on business/financial matters. Obviously, not a good situation since the FAC has wasted its time.

 

Here are my comments on reading the FAC report for the year 2017.

 

  • The District’s reputation is understandably on the decline (see later paragraph).
  • Tenure has created many of the problems. These positions should only last 5-years but can be extended if the individual has continued to demonstrate the freshness and enthusiasm of the early years of teaching. You know the teachers would never embrace this recommendation.
  • Need to spend time on converting thoughtless children to caring and thinking individuals.
  • Generate better relationships with students in order for them to maintain lifelong ties to the EWSD.
  • Teacher/community relations are at an all-time low.
  • I believe the rumors that all school boards have adopted illegal practices to undermine the school tax cap.
  • For goodness sake, do something positive about the WASTE.

 

The landscape has changed. My experience suggests that today’s students leave high school more aware of what they want to do and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Nobody I know feels the EWSD is doing enough to adjust to this change.

 

I’ll close with some general thoughts. The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. The mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. There is a need for accountability for not only these upstart programs but also for traditional programs such as at Wheatley. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment. On the positive side, I believe absenteeism has decreased; although there are more cars in the North Side parking lot, there is less of a reduction of cars on Monday and Friday. Finally, I stand by my earlier statements that at least two members of the Board simply cannot be trusted; the Community should not expect them to act in the best interests of the students and taxpayers.

 

You don’t have to believe me regarding much of the above material.  Here is the 4/25/2017 Newsday headline:  “7 LI Schools in the Top 200.”  Guess who didn’t make the top 200 nationally.  Guess who also didn’t make the top 50 statewide (there were 14 LI schools who did).  We also didn’t make the top 100 STEM schools in the state.  These are the FACTS, and the numbers don’t lie.  And yet, many of the uniformed parents refuse to accept that the self-serving EWSD Board, the teachers, the PTA, etc., have failed and betrayed both the students and the community.

 

 

Remember, it’s OK to vote NO on the budget. A NO vote represents a call for better education for our students, fair and responsible treatment of seniors, a call for new leadership for both the Board and the District, and a rejection of the corrupt self-serving policies currently in place.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JUNE 1:                      On Great Eats II

JULY 1:                      On Six Months Later

AUGUST 1:                On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXV

 


ON PURELY CHASTE, PRISTINE, AND RANDOM THOUGHTS XXIV

February 1, 2017

 

February 1, 2017

 

No one has recently requested my thoughts on life in general.  It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.  Notwithstanding this embarrassing dilemma, I am forging ahead with a host of points of potential interest to the Newsletter readers.  However before proceeding, I need to bring one interesting fact to those with interests in the U.S. economy.

 

Here is a list of the percentage of recent past president’s cabinets who had previously worked in the private sector:

 

FDR            50%         Eisenhower       57%

Truman        50%         Nixon               53%

Kennedy      30%         Ford                 42%

Johnson       47%         Reagan             56%

Carter          32%         G. H. Bush       51%

Clinton         39%         G. W. Bush      55%

Obama        8%           Trump              ??

 

The left column are/were Democrats.  Is the difference statistically significant?  You be the judge.  Obama never worked for a corporation, never really had a job, and his cabinet came primarily (92%) from academia, governmental “non-profit” groups, and community organizers.  Perhaps this explains our nation’s current economic state of affairs.

 

Back to the standard one-liners; here’s 2 dozen of them.

 

  1. Watching cable news has been pure entertainment since the election. The liberals are a comedy group but, I’ll say this – and this may sound like Michelle – I’ve never felt more proud of our country.
  2. The liberal media continues to berate and insult Trump. They can’t find anything right/good about him.  After all, he is going to reduce health care costs, eliminate sanctuary cities, address the anarchy dilemma, help solve infrastructure problems, etc.
  3. I hope this Administration will somehow pass an Amendment to the Constitution that will require that voters possess reasonable intelligence, be aware of current events, and speak, read, and understand English.
  4. Hopefully, disdain (and perhaps hatred) for the working class, military, and police will come to an end with Trump as president.
  5. Which three states have more people on welfare than they do employed? [If you guessed California, Illinois, and New York, you would be right. Surprise, surprise.]
  6. I shudder to think what would have happened to our country without Rupert Murdoch, Bill O’Reilly, Fox News, and even Roger Ailes.
  7. Megan Kelly turns me off – big time.
  8. Do I have this right? Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) is attempting to release those in jail who were planning to kill me.
  9. The inauguration was truly a sight to see. We are all so blessed to live in the USA.
  10. My parents worked hard for their money. I worked hard (well, sort of… remember, I’m a teacher) for my money.  No one gave us anything.  Why am I now being asked to provide health care and education for people who do not want to work and/or have no legal right to be here?
  11. I sell and bill myself as the foremost environmental authority in the world. (Modesty isn’t my middle name.) I can tell one and all that Al Gore’s preaching on global warming is a scam. His/the proposed carbon tax would bankrupt our nation.
  12. Forget about the fact that both the Hill and Bubba are involved in criminal enterprises. BOTH ARE TRAITORS!
  13. Seven years ago, I wrote: “Despite his shortcomings, rooting for Obama is appropriate because we are Americans.  Let’s not carry on like the Bush haters.”
  14. World Series play in freezing weather is both insane and a disgrace.
  15. Advertisements abound that make the white male look like a fool.
  16. I’m still trying to get Jack Powers into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA.
  17. My latest undertaking is to write a book about optimization – a subject I know absolutely nothing about.
  18. Football, with its concussion dilemma, is a dying sport.
  19. Perhaps mankind’s greatest miracle occurred when Churchill chose (like the people of Greece) not to submit to the Nazi “hurricane.”
  20. I’m still on a diet that will be “featured” next month
  21. Hopefully, Trump will stop the lies, the deceit, the manipulations, etc., in government and will finally be replaced by the transparency BHO promised 8 years ago.
  22. Good riddance to Meg Kelly at Fox. She’s a flaming liberal masquerading as a moderate.
  23. Geraldo Rivera has joined my 20 $ club. I’m prepared to pay 20 $ to put my left shoe up his rear end.  He’s another flaming liberal masquerading as a moderate.  Even worse, he is a totally full of horse manure guy.  His conduct during the inauguration was disgusting.
  24. I’ve had multiple requests for a follow-up on my earlier article titled “On Great Eats.”

 

Is that it?  Not quite.  Earlier, I got to see BHO’s “Farewell” address in Chicago where he teary-eyed and blatantly lied non-stop about his (and Michelle’s and Biden’s) accomplishments over the past 8 years; he chose not to mention the carnage that occurs in his home city of Chicago and hundreds of thousands that died in the Middle East due to his deficient policies.  He took time to, once again, lecture us, and then frantically attempted to rewrite history before the historians set his legacy of numerous massive failures in stone.  Unfortunately, he won’t go away and will continue to attempt to undermine our new president.  His last actions involved releasing hundreds of drug dealers, traitors and societal misfits.  What a guy!

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com or on his Facebook page at Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

MARCH 1:                  On the Ideal Diet—That Works

APRIL 1:                     Hofstra Basketball 2017 Revisited

MAY 1:                       On the EWSD Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                       On Great Eats II

 


ELECTION DAY 2016

October 31, 2016

 

November 1, 2016

 

JANUARY, 2009:  “…I promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.  January, 2013:  “…I promise to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States…”.  So spoke Barack Hussein Obama (BHO) on those two occasions.  JANUARY 2017:  Who will utter these same words?  And, which of the two candidates, unlike Barack Hussein Obama, is more likely to honor that promise?  Interestingly, BHO also promised the electorate (twice) a transparent Administration, to abide by the rule of law, and to eliminate corruption.  How many readers feel BHO honored these promises?  And, which of the candidates is more likely to …

 

Election Day will arrive in a week.  There are two facts the voters in New York State should be aware of:  most individuals have already made up their mind as to who they will support, and (unfortunately?) their vote will not count since the liberal-leaning electorate will once again insure the Democratic candidate will win.  Despite this, I feel obligated to briefly discuss eleven points that should be of concern to the voters.

 

  1. Election Integrity. The present Administration has used the federal court system to block

and/or overturn those states attempting to strengthen and maintain election integrity.  I seem to remember problems in Philadelphia with the Black Panthers during Election Day 2008 that the Administration ignored.  I believe the election laws should be expanded to require only those demonstrating a reasonable knowledge of current affairs be allowed to vote.  I also believe Trump represents a significant danger to career politicians (and the mainstream media).  And what about the government’s bribes via all the welfare programs (phones, food, free education and healthcare, citizen eligibility, etc.).  Seems our elected officials only seem concerned with their party and the next election.  I just wish that, as recently reported, engineers and scientists have “perfected” lie detector systems.  Can you imagine the effect this would have on BHO, Hillary, Bubba, lawyers, and others of their ilk?

 

  1. Illegal Immigration. The current Administration seems more concerned about illegal immigrants and criminals than law-abiding citizens.  Letting illegal immigrants into the country hurts the economy, drives down wages for lower and middle class workers, increases homeland risks, and brings about change to our country.

 

  1. Global Warming. Scientific and engineering data/information is important.  Conclusions reached by those scientists and engineers whose career and livelihood depend on the need for a global warming to exist is just plain insane.  Approximately 80% of my colleagues in the environmental field with no axe to grind believe there is no certainty that this is a man-made problem.  In effect, it is a scam begin perpetrated by BHO, liberals, Democrats and fanatical environmentalists.  What I do believe is that good things will happen to jobs, our economy, etc., if we allow the country to move to energy independence if there is greater reliance on fossil fuels.

 

  1. I need to personalize this.  There is no need for the working class to pay the health insurance for those who refuse to work or are in the country illegally.  Our insurance rates have gone up dramatically and we are receiving less coverage.  Furthermore, talk to any small business owner and they will tell you that Obamacare is a detriment to business success.  This plan is a perfect example of what happens when governments get into the business of business-related activities.

 

  1. Safety and Security. Appease, appease, and appease, has created massive safety and security problems.  Black Lives Matter has significantly and senselessly worsened race relations.  So has BHO.  Implementing stronger gun control laws will only drive the evil-doers to bombs, chemicals, nuclear options, etc.   The Dallas Cop Massacre by a sniper resulted in BHO blaming the criminal justice system.  The confrontational conduct of blacks has created the so-called “police” problem.  And, the immigration problem and Obama’s senseless early release of hardened criminals has only exacerbated the issue.

 

  1. Government Overreach. Czars?  Executive fiat?  What’s happened to our government and constitution?  BHO has redefined the residency status of millions and negotiated arms control treaties.  It is fair to say that “the legislative authority necessarily predominates.  The other two branches of government should come to grips with this statement”.  Unfortunately, we can expect more of the same with either Trump or Hillary. I believe excessive executive action and executive fiat was simply not in the thoughts of our forefathers.  Bypassing Congress was also not in the cards.  And, ignoring the Consititution – “…the laws be forcefully executed…” – was also not in their thoughts.  Controversial executive actions have been the rule with the present Administration.  Unfortunately, there are those who are committed to changing America although it appears no change is needed.  The Constitution designed a system where conflicts could be resolved by debate(s), and where the decisions of the majority would prevail.  And, here’s something to ponder:  Why does our government have trouble finding documents, delays turning over files and information, and even refuses to turn over files?  Does the promise of transparency BHO promised come into play here?

 

  1. Economic Turnaround. It’s simple.  Unleash our fossil fuel reserves and the economy will indeed turn around.  This includes both coal and fracking.  We have it in our power to release our near unlimited fossil fuel reserves.  However, I really doubt Trump’s claims that jobs overseas will return.  One thing is for certain:   There is nothing that can beat democracy, capitalism, and free enterprise; I’m living proof of this statement since I was born and raised in the slums of New York City.   The liberal’s welfare program (starting with FDR) has successfully lured the vulnerable into a lifetime of dependency via entitlement programs, stranding them in a misery from which there is no escape.  These policies have allowed the liberals to accommodate the vulnerable at the expense of society while moving toward a government with near unlimited power.

 

  1. Foreign Policy. O’Reilly said it best: “Aggressive conduct, if allowed to grow unchecked and unchallenged, ultimately leads to war.”  HBO’s three words describe the foreign policy of BHO and Hillary: failure, failure, and yes, more failure.  Both are not aware of history and both can’t seem to do anything right.  They just appear to be wrong nearly every time and on nearly every issue.  Here’s my summary of their performance:  bumbling, mishandling, total incompetence, and blatent insanity.  We are the world’s last and only hope: evil exists in the world and only a benevolent superpower will be able to contain BHO’s JV team and their ilk.  These two appear willing to accept slaughter, mass graves, etc.  There will be disastrous consequences associated with American weakness.  War is hell but peace can be significantly worse.  Something for those like BHO with a Neville Chamberlain mentality to think about.

 

  1. Un-American Activities. I’m a Greek-American…and proud of it.  But I am an American first.  I love my country and am lucky to be an American.  But, many of my friends, colleagues, and relatives don’t feel as I do.  They simply do not fit into my standard of what I would describe as an American.  For me, Barack Hussein Obama is not an American.  Neither is Hillary.  Or Reid.  Or Pelosi.  Or…We do not need a change in government – what we desperately need is a change in the mentality of those elected to serve us.  We do not need Bubba and Hillary (two thoroughly rotten individuals) involved in government.  We do not need Comey – a BHO hack, running the FBI.  We do not need Lynch – another BHO hack, running the Justice Department (remember her ½ hour meeting with Bubba on a plane?).  I remember BHO describing Lynch as “tough, fair and independent” your author would describe her as “unfair, biased and another BHO stooge”.  It might help if some (if not all) of the above be required to periodically take lie detector tests.  We know for certain that BHO, Hillary and Bubba readings would be off the charts.

 

  1. The Police. For me, the only reason our great nation has not plunged into chaos and anarchy is, simply put, the police.  Unlike elected officials, democrats, and fanatical liberals, the police have stood rock solid in terms of their principles, and refused to buy in to this PC mania and liberal media insanity.  The police can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned.  I’m certain a cop will never shoot me because if stopped, I will not be confrontational.  And, another thing, I won’t be carrying a gun.  Bottom line:  stop being confrontational and do not carry a gun and the shootings of blacks by cops will end.  And so, who do you think will support our last defense against anarchy?

 

  1. The Media. There is an organized conspiracy to derail Trump.  And, it’s not just the media.  It’s Hollywood, TV, radio, the Democrats, the Republicans, the White House, plus Obama, Hillary and Bubba and their accomplices, labor, fanatical feminists, the U.N., fanatical environmentalists, Black activists, academia . . . the list goes on.  It is affectively, David against Goliath, or, even better, Trump against the world.  How is this possible when over 40% of the electorate support Trump?  If it’s not a conspiracy, then what is it?  You want proof?  Just check the headlines of The New York Times on a daily basis.  Folks, our government and our country has succumbed to corruption—there’s a cesspool in Washington, D.C. and “things” are rigged; the three keystones and backbone of oversight set up by our forefathers through the media, FBI, and attorney general have disappeared.

 

If there is to be a twelfth issue, it would be labeled remaining issues and would be concerned with qualities our next leader should possess.  Here’s my eight-point list.

 

  1. Understand how to run basic business and apply economic principles in order to efficiently run the government.
  2. Have a track record of pristine personal conduct.
  3. Have a track record of pristine financial conduct.
  4. Approach the immigration issue according to law with compassion without cheating the Latino community.
  5. Understand the role of America in foreign policy.
  6. Be prepared to essentially gut the present healthcare plan and replace it with a sound, intelligent program that is cost-effective to working Americans.
  7. Put an end to this nonsense about a “war on women”.
  8. Understand the need to stop the rampant lying of manipulation and cheating that has permeated both our government and society.

 

What’s the bottom line?  I would vote for Putin or one of the Ayatollahs before voting for Hillary…voting for Hillary is simply insane.  When the Republican primary started, I had Carson on top and Trump 17th.  If there were another primary today, I would have Trump on top.   He is the man – our only hope for a return to traditional American values.  This election is about those who really DO love our country and those who DON’T.  In the final analysis, WikiLeaks proved beyond a doubt that Trump’s claims about Hillary and Bubba were true . . . and, it appears that 50% of the electorate—some of whom have IQs to match their age—plan to base their vote on hearsay comments from Trump’s past rather than their (and their loved one’s) future.  And, it is just a matter of time before everyone will realize that corruption reigns at every level of government-including the once untouchables that include the aforementioned Attorney General and the FBI.

 

Visit the author on his Facebook page @ Basketball Coaching 101

 

NEXT POSTINGS:  (tentative):

 

DECEMBER 1:          On the 2016-17 Hofstra Basketball Season

JANUARY 1:             On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIV

FEBRUARY 1:          On the Ideal Diet—That Works.