Facts that reveal Obama’s Manufactured Crises of College-Career readiness and the alleged Failure of Public Schools

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

What is the role of the public schools? The Center for Ethical Leadership (founded in 1991) says that public education is foundational to a healthy democracy and developing our humanity—not to have every student achieve high scores on standardized tests.

After you read this post, you decide if the U.S. public schools are doing their job and what that job description should be.

The goals of G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and Obama’s Race to the Top and the President’s insane Common Core agenda that demands 100 percent of high school graduates by 2014-15, who are 17/18 years old, must be college and/or career ready is horribly wrong when we look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) report on the educational needs of the job market.

According to bls.gov, if 100 percent of Americans were college educated, then most would be overqualified for 67 –…

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90 sites to advertise your book

Originally posted on James Calbraith:

kindleAs far as I’m aware, this is the most comprehensive list of book promo sites anywhere on the internet. The list was compiled from various online sources, most notably – Rachelle’s Window (go there and thank her! :) she also lists Alexa rankings for the sites) and my own research. As of posting this on August 10th 2014, all the links below are working. Note that I can’t guarantee that the sites themselves are still working, that the forms lead anywhere, or that you will actually get anything for your money.

Majority of these sites advertise books when they’re free, as part of KDP Select or Smashword promo. If you want to promote a paid book, you usually need to pay extra.

If you think I’m missing something, let me know in the comments.

As always, you can express your gratitude by purchasing one of my books :)

[Affiliate…

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The politics of the 10 most corrupt states in America

Robert McGarvey, writing for Yahoo.com’s Main St. news, says, “An academic at the University of Hong Kong and another at Indiana University set out to rank the states by level of corruption, combing arrest and conviction records for public officials.”

But I wanted to know more so I set out to determine the political party strength in each of the ten most corrupt states, because that information wasn’t included in the ranking.

  1. Florida—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  2. Kentucky—controlled by the Democratic Party except for the state senate
  3. South Dakota—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  4. Alaska—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  5. Alabama—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  6. Pennsylvania—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  7. Illinois—controlled by the Democratic Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  8. Tennessee—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  9. Louisiana—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature
  10. Mississippi—controlled by the Republican Party from the governor to both houses of the state legislature

Conclusion: Based on the results of the most corrupt states, it’s arguable that states controlled by the Republican Party have an 83.3-percent chance of being more corrupt.

If you are interested in the least corrupt states, they are:

  1. Oregon—controlled by the Democratic Party from governor to both state legislatures
  2. Washington—controlled by the Democratic Party from governor to both state legislatures
  3. Minnesota—controlled by the Democratic Party from governor to both state legislatures
  4. Nebraska—controlled by the Republican Party from governor to both state legislatures
  5. Iowa—controlled by the Republican Party by governor and 1-state house. The other state house has a Democratic majority by two seats.
  6. Vermont—controlled by the Democratic Party from governor to both state legislatures
  7. Utah—controlled by the Republican Party from governor to both state legislatures
  8. New Hampshire—controlled by a Democratic governor and 1-state house. The other state house has a Republican majority by 2 seats.
  9. Colorado— controlled by the Democratic Party from governor to both state legislatures
  10. Kansas— controlled by the Republican Party from governor to both state legislatures

The ten least corrupt states in America

Conclusion: Based on these results, it’s arguable that states controlled by the Democratic Party have a 60-percent chance of being the least corrupt. With the results of both lists, one might question if people who vote Republican are crooks, fools or both.

_______________________

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 left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

 

Looking at the Bill Gates Common Core “Rank and Yank” agenda to Reform Public Education through the lens of the Vergara verdict

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

In the Vergara trial, the judge’s verdict was based on unproven theories that a few incompetent teachers would ruin a child’s ability to earn an education. The numbers presented in one theory were one to two percent of teachers might be incompetent—not “are incompetent” but “might be incompetent” because of classroom observations of one man over a period of several years.

The judge should have asked for details. For instance, how many teachers can one person observe long enough to form a valid judgment, and how long was each observation? What if a teacher considered incompetent was having a bad day and the other 179-instructional days that teacher was competent?

Anyway, let’s look at a few numbers based on the 2011-12 school year in California:

There were 6,220,993 students enrolled and attending 10,296 public schools in California. Another 438,474 students attended 1,019 Charter schools.

There were 300,140 teachers in the…

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Is global warming a hoax and why should we care?

I think Global Warming deniers who claim it’s a hoax are ignorant fools, and here’s a sampling of who loves them: the Koch brothers, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, BP, and Monsanto in addition to five other corporations — BASF, Bayer, Dow, DuPont and Syngenta, collectively known as the “Big 6”.

Think Progress.org reports that the oil, gas and coal industries have spent over $2 billion lobbying Congress since 1999, and the Political Economy Research Institute ranks Koch Industries as the 14th worst air polluter in the U.S.—more than oil giants like BP, Shell and Chevron and large coal utilities like American Electric Power and Duke Energy.

Koch Industries and the Koch family spend millions of dollars on lobbyists to fight climate and energy legislation, millions more on politicians, and still more millions on organizations denying climate change. Through the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation as well as Koch Industries and the other Koch family foundations, numerous and substantial donations go to organizations that deny, skepticize or belittle the significance of global warming. Compared to ExxonMobil, which has spent over $27.4 million on skeptic groups since 1998, foundations linked to Koch Industries have spent over $70 million in traceable contributions to the same network of organizations, with addition untraceable funding funneled through organizations like Donors Trust.  Polluter Watch.com

But even if we were to remove global warming as an issue, the danger of CO and CO2 to the quality of life still remains.

CO is carbon monoxide and it is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, coal and wood do not burn fully. Burning charcoal, running cars and the smoke from cigarettes also produce carbon monoxide gas, and did you know that carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. When there’s too much carbon monoxide in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in the hemoglobin of your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This keeps life-sustaining oxygen from reaching your tissues and organs.

The CDC says the most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO inhalation can cause loss of consciousness and death.

What about the cost of CO poisoning? In 2007, alone, the hospital cost for confirmed CO poisoning was more than $26 million. Multiply that number by ten years, and we are talking about more than a quarter of a billion dollars. U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

What about CO2, better known as carbon dioxide? EPA.gov says, “The main human activity that emits CO2 is the combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation. … Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. In 2012, CO2 accounted for about 82% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from human activities.

LiveStrong.com says, “Cases of CO2 poisoning have been linked to central nervous system damage and permanent deterioration of respiratory functions. Because of these findings, CO2 is considered not just a simple asphyxiant, but a gas with acute systemic effects as well. … If your blood becomes saturated with too much CO2, you develop the condition known as hypercapnia. Increased levels of CO2 also affect the pH level of your blood, turning it more acidic. This condition is called acidemia and, if prolonged, causes acidosis, which is injury to the body’s cells by a rise in acidity that leads to faltering functions of the heart. … You can suffocate on CO2 without any visible abnormality or obstruction of your breathing. If the oxygen content of the air you breathe is insufficient, you slowly suffocate due to selective oxygen depletion until you experience permanent damage or death.

What about the medical costs of excessive CO2 exposure? Poor childhood health caused by environmental factors, such as air pollution and exposure to toxic chemicals, cost the United States $76.6 billion in 2008, according to a new study in the May issue of Health Affairs.

In fact, Perry Sheffield and coauthors at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine examined the little-studied relationship between fine particulates or pollutants in the air and the cost of bronchiolitis, a type of lung infection in children. They discovered that children exposed to such pollutants were more likely to have higher health care costs from treating this respiratory illness. … Such exposure can lead to long-lasting health and academic problems for children, write Paul Mohai, Byong-Suk Kweon, and colleagues at the University of Michigan. They examined the extent of air pollution from industrial sources near public schools, finding that schools located in areas with the highest air pollution had the lowest attendance rates (a marker for poor health) and the highest proportion of students failing to meet state educational standards.

Conclusion: There’s more at stake here than a possible unproven hoax claim that carbon emissions ( CO and/or CO2) are not contributing to or causing global warming. If you have supported the oil and coal industries when they claim that global warming is a hoax to help them defeat environmental bills designed to clean the air, water and soil, you are just as guilty as the Koch brothers, because you are contributing to the suffering of millions of children and adults and billions of dollars in annual medical costs that has nothing to do with global warming being a hoax.

In fact, people who protest because they think global warming is a hoax may also be murderers. The Voice of America reports that “Air pollution causes about 200,000 early deaths each year in the United States according to a new study from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In ten years, that’s 2-million deaths thanks to billionaire oligarchs like the Koch brothers.

Do you really think they care if global warming is real or not? The Wichita Eagle says, “In a little more than a decade, while a lot of companies were contracting, Koch Industries has doubled its revenue.”

In 2000, revenue at Koch industries was $55 billion. By 2011, it was $110 billion. The Koch brothers thank all of the people they fooled—for believing their claims of a global warming hoax—who supported them in defeating bills in Congress that would have helped clean the air, water and soil and save millions of lives from painful early deaths, and help more than 7-million children under age 18 who suffer from asthma. American Lung Association

Discover the suffering and lost chances caused by the Koch brothers and the oil industry: Poverty with Pollution–Its impact on the education of children

_______________________

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 left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

What can the United States learn to improve public education and reduce poverty from two Fs

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

The two Fs I’m talking about are Finland and France.

In another forum, this comment was made about Finland’s public schools: “Comparisons with Finland are foolish – virtually no childhood poverty, income equality instead of inequality and few immigrants … and high suicide rates.”

Here’s my revised reply:

What you say about Finland is true, but the U.S. can still learn from Finland combined with what France is doing to deal with similar challenges that the United States faces. While Finland offers the best model for how to run public schools successfully, France offers methods to deal with a large immigrant population and poverty.

The French national institute of statistics INSEE estimates that foreign-born immigrants and the direct descendants of immigrants (born in France with at least one immigrant parent) represent 19 percent of the total population.

Compared to France’s immigrant population of 19 percent, less than 13 percent of…

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Reviewing The Teacher Wars, a History of America’s Most Embattled Profession

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

Reading Dana Goldstein’sbook was a journey of discovery that I wished I’d taken in 1975, before I ended up teaching for thirty years in the embattled and often abused public schools.

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About the time I reached page 100, I e-mailed an old friend and told him that if I’d read this book before I went into education, I might have changed my mind. Maybe I would have even given the U.S. Marines a second chance at a career.

However, by the time I reached page 274 and finished Goldstein’s book, I changed my mind and was glad I spent thirty years in the classroom fighting the barbarians and fools who are working hard to destroy public education through politics.

On page 250 in the bound galley supplied by Amazon, Goldstein says, “The policy, one of several school turnaround strategies suggested by (President Obama’s) Race to the Top, is based…

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This is my PURGE post, and it isn’t a movie review

Lloyd Lofthouse:

The tragedy is that there are proven, positive methods to improve public education, but President Obama and Bill Gates are all but ignoring those solutions for something malignant.

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

Sunday, I walked downtown to see The Purge: Anarchy, and while watching the film and walking home afterwards, I couldn’t stop thinking about the unnamed New Founding Fathers mentioned at the beginning of the film—who were in their ninth year as the leaders of the United States. In case you forgot or never knew, the U.S. Constitution limits a U.S. president to two, four-year terms. Therefore, with the current U.S. Constitution, there’s no way one president can stay in office nine years. But in this film that’s set about a decade in the future, the United States is led by a cabal that calls itself the New Founding Fathers that’s more like the Politburo of the old Soviet Union. There is no mentioned that the United States still has a Congress or Supreme Court.

Let’s get the synopsis of this film out of the way first with no spoilers…

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A Writer’s Cave—Here’s mine

On a recent Wednesday night near sunset, I looked out my writer’s cave window and saw this scene. The front of the house faces the sunset, and I ran outside and snapped off four shots with a borrowed smart phone.

One

Then I asked myself, why not do a post showing where I write—the clutter, the mess. A digital camera made this silly idea easy.

The first shot is toward the north, the second shot east, and the third faces south. The last one faces west from inside the house toward my desk and the window.

Two

 

Three

 

Four

 

Five

I built all the bookshelves and drawers. Did you notice the wood carving of a fight scene from The Romance of the Three Kingdoms? There’s a story behind that wood sculpture to share one day.

This post was written to avoid editing and revising a manuscript. I spend a lot of time in this ninety-square-foot room facing the sunset. It’s amazing how much space we actually use most of the time.

_______________________

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

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 left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

How Blogging helped me find Readers and sell Books

It seems that many authors think that if they are not writing a book, it’s a waste of their time. For instance, producing a blog. If you are an author who thinks that way, I suggest you think again, and learn how to blog properly.

To make a point, I’m not going to start out talking about blogging. I’m going to mention poetry. Back in the early 1980s, I fell in love with writing poetry when I took a summer workshop from a Pulitzer Prize winning poet while I was working toward an MFA in writing.

I have never earned any money from my poetry, but I write it anyway and post my poems on Authors Den. The 124 poems I’ve posted there have had almost 80-thousand views. My latest poem, Smartphone, has had more than 50 views so far, and I posted it this week.

My fifty-five articles on Authors Den have had almost 50-thousand views, and the fifty-two news pieces I posted there have had more than 23-thousand views.

In fact, the excerpts of my three books on Authors Den total almost 72-thousand views.

There’s also one short story, and it’s had 1,917 views. I also published A Night at the Well of Puritya finalist in the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards—on one of my blogs where it’s had another 125 views.

The idea behind all of this free stuff that I write is to attract readers who might decide to buy and read one or more of my books, and I also enjoy doing it.

But the Authors Den stats are nothing compared to the views on the Blog I launched to support my first book, My Splendid Concubine, a novel that’s sold more than 20-thousand copies. iLookChina.net has 7,481 followers and more than 500-thousand views. In fact, I can track the before and after sales of the novel this blog supports as part of my branded internet author platform.

As I’m writing this post, iLookChina currently has 1,897 posts, and I wrote most of them. So far, for 2014, the site averages 239 views a day. I launched iLookChina in late January 2010, but Concubine only sold 221 copies its first year in 2008, and to promote the book that year, I was on 31-radio talk shows as a China expert, held several author events in local brick-and-mortar bookstores, and conducted two book-blog tours—but I wasn’t blogging.

How has blogging translated into sales of My Splendid Concubine? Well, by the end of 2010—after I had written and published more than 1,000 posts on iLookChina, Concubine sold 2,375 copies that year—more than four times the combined sales of the first-two years. In 2011, Concubine sold another 4,641 copies, and in 2012, four thousand one-hundred-fifty-eight sold, and more than five thousand in 2013.

In addition, in 2009, before I launched iLookChina.net, Concubine sold only 341 books for an average of 28 a month—that’s less than one a day. Over the years, I’ve launched several other blogs and published two more books, a thriller called Running with the Enemy, and a memoir called Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé.

There’s another benefit to writing more than just books. The more an author writes—even Blog posts or poetry that readers may view free—the better the author’s writing becomes, and when I took an all-day blogging workshop from Bill Belew through the South Bay branch of the California Writers Club in late 2007, Belew said we can write a Blog and eventually turn what we write into a book.

What I don’t do on my blogs is write that much about me, my writing habits, or my books. This post is one of the exceptions. Instead, I focus on China, its history, its politics, its culture and its people. For the blog, The Soulful Veteran, that supports my thriller, I write mostly about war, combat, military issues, PTSD, etc. For my third book, a memoir, I write about teaching, public education, children and parenting at Crazy Normal.  Then there’s this blog, Lloyd Lofthouse.org, where I write on any topic that strikes my fancy. I’ve even written about Growing up with Oranges.

After every post I publish, there’s a line that separates the post from a short bio of me and a blurb about my books with links—scroll down to see what I’m talking about. To learn more about how to Blog properly, I suggest you start out by watching the two videos from Bill Belew that are embedded in this post. Because Belew taught me how to blog, why not let him teach you too?


This presentation explains how to overcome the obstacle to getting started with your blog and web site. Bill Belew is an SEO and web traffic guru – a real one. No fancy tricks. Just long hard and long lasting effort.

In conclusion, if you read this far, thank you for visiting. You may never buy or read one of my books, but you might tell someone about this post who will. Think about it.

_______________________

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 left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”