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Tag Archives: World War II

Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 2/5

Today, student loans are the largest source of financial aid for college. Since the mid-1970s, when student borrowing started to grow, loans have increased from about one-fifth to nearly two-fifths of all available student aid—from 20% to 40%, a hundred percent increase.

A half century after the initial GI Bill, three decades since the establishment of federally guaranteed student loans, and more than two decades following the creation of a national basic grant program, both the central commitment to federal support for higher education and the mechanisms of such support are under attack.

There are choices to make. One choice is to serve the United States and earn the financial aid of the GI Bill.

Fifty-one percent (6.2 million) of World War II veterans used the GI Bill to attend college.

Forty-three percent (114,000)  of Korean War Veterans and Seventy-two percent (1.9 million) of Vietnam Veterans.

For college students that do not want to join the US Military, what is fueling this media/Blog assault on colleges and student loans?

“In the 1970s, family income levels increased faster than tuition; growth in student aid outstripped both tuition increases and growth in the number of eligible students; and grant aid was more common than borrowing.

“All these trend lines, however, turned against college affordability in the 1980s and 1990s. Family income has generally remained flat (when inflation is factored in) and has been far outpaced by tuition increases, which at both public and private four-year institutions have averaged at least twice the rate of inflation since 1980. Tuitions have risen annually by more than 8 percent over this period, while annual growth in the Consumer Price Index has averaged about 4 percent. Public sector prices have increased most sharply in the 1990s, rising at 3 times the rate of inflation as the economy and revenues in most states have declined.” Source: Federal Student Aid Policy: A History and an Assessment

Continued August 16, 2012 in Student College Loans – Evil or Not? Part 3 or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

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The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 1/7

One could argue that America’s transformational Cultural Revolution started in 1861 at the start of the American Civil War which ended slavery in the United States in 1865.

In addition, the way the average American parent raises his or her children today, and how the public schools operate and the character of the average American child are all affected by this continuing revolution.

Several significant changes track this Cultural Revolution and metamorphosis—some good and some bad. After all, America’s leaders and citizens are only human. To understand this ignored revolution, one should know a few facts about US history first.

Good changes are in bold print showing improvement.

If the print is gray, the change is questionable.

If in italics, it means BAD things happened!

1. In 1800, about 6% of the US population lived in cities and more 94 % lived on farms and/or small rural communities. By 1990, almost 70% of the rural population had migrated to cities.  This change took place due to the US Industrial Revolution (1820 – 1870), and America needed more educated citizens.

2. In 1850, life expectancy by age in America at birth was 38.3 years. By 1900, life expectancy at birth reached 48.23. In 1990, it was 72.7, and by 2012 (according to the CIA Factbook, life expectancy for all races and both sexes had reached 78.49 (ranked #50 globally).

3. Although critics of public education harp on the so-called low high-school graduation rates in the US, in 2007 the national graduation rate was almost 70%. However, to put this into perspective, in 1870, the high school graduation rate was less than 5% and by the turn of the century in 1900, thirty years later, only 7%. Forty-five years after that at the end of World War II, the rate was up to 55%. It wouldn’t be until 1970 that we would see the highest graduation rate at 76%.  After that, it leveled off and hasn’t changed much and fluctuates a few percentage points up or down.

4. The Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law on May 6, 1882. This act was one of the most significant restrictions on immigration in U.S. history and focused on all Asians.  The act also affected Asians that had already settled in the US before it became law.  This Act would not be repealed until December 17, 1943—sixty-one years later.

5. The 19th Amendment was ratified on August 26, 1920 establishing a woman’s right to vote. This movement started in 1848 and took 72 years to achieve.

6. For more than one-hundred-and-sixty-two years, Children in the United States could be sold by their parents into servitude to work in coal mines and factories up until the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1938, which set federal standards for child labor.

7. During World War II, 120,000 Japanese-Americans lost their homes and businesses when they were rounded up and sent to dozens of prison camps where they languished until the war ended (February 1942 – 1944; the last prison camp closed in 1945.)  This act was challenged in the courts but the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the U.S. Government.

8. In 1948, President Truman signed Executive Order 9981 ending segregation in the US armed services: “”It is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion, or national origin.”

9. From roughly 1950 – 1954, McCarthyism was the practice of making accusations of disloyalty, subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. During the McCarthy era, thousands of Americans were accused of being Communists or communist sympathizers and became the subject of aggressive investigations and questioning before government or private-industry panels, committees and agencies. This movement was so popular that 50% of the American public supported McCarthy’s vigilante witch hunts.

10. On July 2, 1964, President Johnson sings the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  It was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction prohibiting discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin.

11. The Spread of American Imperialism: the war with Mexico (1846-48) where the US seized New Mexico and California; the US Indian Wars (1865-1891), which cost the lives of about 19,000 white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30,000 Indians; in the Spanish-American War (1898) the US gained Guam, the Philippines and Puerto Rico; Philippine-American War (1899-1902); Banana Wars (1898-1935); Moro Rebellion in the southern Philippines (1899-1913); Vietnam War (1955-1975), and the Iraq War (note: this is not a complete list). In addition. to maintain this empire, according to the US Department of Defense, the US military maintains 662 foreign sites in 38 countries around the world. Other sources claim that number is more than 1,000.

Now, just as America need smarter people, the average US citizen is going in the other direction from dumb to dumber, and this change is a continuation of the American Cultural Revolution that has been taking place since 1861.

However, this revolutionary change has to do with how the average parent raises his or her children, and it had its roots with John Dewey in 1886. It would take 82 years for this negative element of America’s Cultural Revolution to reach critical mass when by the late 1960s self-esteem was a fashionable and influential idea and that movement, which spread to the schools by the 1980s  led to grade inflation, an end to rote learning in addition to dummying down the curriculum.

Continued on June 5, 2012 in The Good and Bad of America’s Continuing Cultural Revolution – Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga.

To subscribe to “Crazy Normal”, look for the “E-mail Subscription” link in the top-right column, or click on the “Following” tab in the WordPress toolbar at the top of the screen.

 

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America’s Lost Work Ethic and the Future Fate of the United States – Part 2/5

My parents generation is the one John Steinbeck wrote of in Cannery Row. One review says, “The novel depicts the characters as survivors, and being a survivor is essentially what life is all about.” The same theme permeates Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men.

However, today, many Americans have forgotten the sacrifice it takes to survive and expects government to bail them out. In addition, many only give lip service to education but do not instill the value of education and hard work in their children.

My father, at 14, was mucking out horse stalls at Santa Anita Race Track in Arcadia, California—the sort of work immigrants do today.


It started in America and swept around the globe!

My mother worked in a laundry and at home, she baked and decorated cakes for special occasions that she sold to neighbors, co-workers, friends and family.

My older brother worked most of his life until the day he died at 64 in 1999 working the jobs that immigrants do.  When he didn’t have work, he spent his days going to dumpsters looking for cardboard and searching the roadsides for empty soda cans and beer bottles to sell at the local recycling place.

Richard, my brother, “once” told me shortly before his death that he was proud he never collected a welfare check or depended on government handouts. The Latinos he worked with called him The Horse, “El Caballo”, due to his strength.

When I was fifteen, I went to school during the day and worked nights and weekends [30 hours a week] washing dishes in a coffee shop often until 11:00 PM only to be at high school the next day by 8 AM.

After a few years in the US Marines and a tour in Vietnam, I washed cars, swept floors and bagged groceries in a super market while I attended college on the GI Bill.

One summer job before my fourth year of college had me cleaning empty 50,000 gallon stainless-steel tanks at the Gallo Winery in Modesto, California. It was a dangerous job cleaning out the tanks where the wine was fermented, and I witnessed fellow workers injured and rushed to the hospital.

However, the generation that won World War II and made American strong and powerful is mostly gone or retired. Today, the work ethic in America has changed.  The reason it changed has a lot to do with the way children have been raised since the 1960s by parents obsessed with their children’s self-esteem and happiness, while making sure these children never face a boring day and blaming teachers for the child’s bad grades instead of holding the child responsible.


Unfilled jobs due to skills gap

Since 1960, the US has not won a single war.  After more than a decade and about 50,000 dead, we lost in Vietnam. Today, after another decade at war, we are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan with no victory in sight.

It’s as if today’s younger generation is incapable of making the sacrifices the Great Depression (1929 – 1942) generation did when 25% of all workers were completely out of work. Some people starved and many lost farms and homes.

Continued on November 18, 2011 in America’s Lost Work Ethic and the Future Fate of the United States – Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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Blind Obedience – Part 1/4

The reason Hitler’s Nazis got away with murdering millions in the death camps of Europe during World War II was due to “blind obedience” to Germany’s laws/leaders, and there are many historical examples of “blind obedience” to bad laws and/or leadership even from the Church and other religions.

I received an e-mail in lieu of a comment for something I wrote and posted on this Blog in Eager to Learn or Not – Part 10.

Without copying the entire e-mail, the crux was, “You’re excusing these criminal acts? What happened to your moral compass? The next thing you’ll be espousing is excusing murders by gang-bangers because of their deprived childhoods… Your writing  shows why a good church is vital to clear moral thinking.

According to Under God.org, there are 310 religions and denominations in the United States, and according to the Hartford Institute for Religion Research, there are about 300,000 churches.

Who decides which churches are good? I am sure the members of these 310 religions and denominations mostly believe that their church is good. However, some are not.

You may want to read When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball to understand how difficult that choice may be and why “blind obedience” often leads to evil.

Therefore, since this is the United States, everyone has a right to his or her opinion, but I do not have to respect or accept the “garbage” someone else believes.

The “e-mail critic” was referring to what I wrote about the educators in an Atlanta, Georgia public school district, where computers correcting standardized tests caught the cheating and alerted the authorities triggering an investigation.

There is a difference between explaining and excusing. Since I am not a jury or a judge, I am not excusing the educators in Atlanta, George that did this. I also refuse to be their executioner as the moralizing “e-mail critic” does.

In fact, I explained that what those Atlanta educators did was an act of desperation due to “impossible” demands made by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Comparing what these educators in Atlanta, Georgia did, which was to erase and change answers on a test form, to murderers and gang-bangers is reprehensible. (Note: There are more than 14,000 school districts in the US, and Atlanta, Georgia is only one of them.)

Were these educators wrong? Were America’s Founding Fathers guilty of violating the British Empire’s laws when they wrote the Declaration of Independence and declared a revolution?

Continued on July 25, 2010 in Blind Obedience – Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

lloydlofthouse_crazyisnormal_web2_5

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

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