WashTimes picks on SC schoolgirl

More than one friend has brought to my attention this piece from Salon, taking up the cudgels for a schoolgirl here in South Carolina:

Friday February 27, 2009 06:11 EST

Criticizing Ty'Sheoma Bethea

thought it would come from Michelle Malkin or Rush Limbaugh, but Malkin
is too busy planning her anti-tax tea parties while Rush gets ready for
his close-up at the Conservative Political Action Committee this weekend (which is a collection of nuts so nutty even Sarah Palin stayed away).

No, it was the conservative Washington Times that cast the first stone at Ty'Sheoma Bethea,
the Dillon, S.C., teenager who wrote to Congress seeking stimulus funds
for her shamefully dilapidated school. Obama used her statement, "We
are not quitters," as the coda of his speech Tuesday night, but now the
Moon-owned paper tells us what's wrong with Bethea, in an editorial
with the condescending headline, 'Yes, Ty'Sheoma, there is a Santa

Obama "presented" Bethea "as a plucky girl from a
hopeless school who took it on herself to write the president and
Congress asking for much needed help," the Times began, ominously.
Wait, she's not a plucky girl from a hopeless school? The editorial
depicts her instead as a player in Obama's "mere political theater"
because the president has been using her school, J.V. Martin, as a
"political prop" since he first visited in 2005. Wow. Dastardly.  I'm
getting the picture: Obama, that slick Democrat opportunist, has
repeatedly visited one of the poorest schools in South Carolina, a
state that voted for John McCain.  You just know he leaves with his
pockets stuffed with cash every time he makes the trip.

It gets worse….

And you can read the rest of Joan Walsh's piece here.

You know, I long ago got cynical about these regular folks that presidents of both parties put on display
during their prime-time speeches. I'm actually capable of understanding that public policy affects real people without such smarmy concrete evidence. Such faux-populist gimmicks are the rhetorical equivalent of those insipid man-on-the-street interviews that local TV news shows do, the ones that make me want to scream, "I don't care what this person who has obviously never thought about this issue before thinks! Either tell me something I don't know, or go away!" Such things tend to strike me as manipulative, phony and insulting.

So I'm not here to imbue this little girl with some sort of oracular power or something. But come on, people — picking on a little kid who just wants to go to a decent school? This is where ideology gets you. You get so wrapped up in your political points you want to make, you forget that there's a real person there, even when she's staring you in the face.

Earlier this week, I called a guy in Latta who had rung my phone (according to caller ID) at least 10 times that day, refusing to leave a message. (As I've probably told you, ever since my department ceased to have a person to answer phones, I have to let the machine get it and get back to people when I can, if I'm to have any hope of getting the paper out each day.) But I called back on the chance that he was disabled or something, or there was a problem with my voice mail.

There was no phone problem. He just wanted me to be the latest of several people at the paper he had berated for saying J.V. Martin school was built in 1896, when PARTS of it were built much later. Some of it, I seem to recall him saying, in 1984. Does this seem like a huge distinction to you? It didn't to me, either, but it was VERY important to him. He wasn't saying it wasn't a substandard facility, mind you; he just had that one objection, and he maintained it was the height of irresponsibility on the part of the newspaper not to point out that distinction.

Anyway, the situation is what it is. J.V. Martin is a facility that stands out in a part of the state not exactly known for stellar school facilities, as you've read many times before in our paper, seen in Bud Ferillo's "Corridor of Shame," and read in Kathleen Parker's column last week. You know, that wild-eyed liberal Kathleen.

Is that Dillon County's worst educational problem? Probably not. There's the bizarre governing setup for local schools there, whereby the high school football coach, by virtue of being the only resident member of the county legislative delegation, decides who will be on the school board. The caller and I discussed that, and he thought it was worse that a certain other party — the son of the late South of The Border founder Alan Schafer — has too much influence. I don't know anything about that, but the Coach Hayes thing has always been weird and Byzantine enough for me.

South Carolina should be able to do better than J.V. Martin, and if it can't, that's an argument for getting some federal help, as much as I dislike federal involvement in school matters. All this kid did was ask for something better, and a newspaper derides her as an emblem of "irresponsibility." That's a hell of a thing.

41 thoughts on “WashTimes picks on SC schoolgirl

  1. Harry hyarris

    It’s not that unusual for everyday citizens to be used as props for a politician’s speech. It’s kind of become a norm over the last couple of decades. I’m sometimes a little annoyed when the speaker fawns over someone whose life likely never crosses his mind when not useful as an emotional zinger. The thing I do like about that kind of thing is the actual honoring of a person who takes a risk, shows extraordinary generosity, or bears up under harsh difficulties. The bank CEO dude who showed generosity and character so lacking in the corporate elite these days was both inspiring and worthy of honoring. I’m surprised he isn’t being ridiculed as some sort of sap who didn’t understand that he was suppposed to greedily trickle down his wealth rather than share it generously with the people who helped him make it. Maybe the middle schooler is an easier target for partisans too timid to pick on adults.

  2. martin

    These people are lacking in decency, compassion, empathy, just good old manners, almost any emotion that would define them as human and humane. And, it’s not because they’re so intelligent that they grasp what few others do. I think some of them are probably just evil.
    Political ideology has taken control of their lives in a bizarrely, pathetically warped way. They are the psychological children of poor, pathetic Richard Nixon. They probably keep lists of enemies.
    This little girl was so genuine (and I am quite a cynic myself). I was most touched by the obvious love between them when her mom hugged her. That love is probably what inspires and sustains her to want something better. There is nothing contemptiable about that.
    The hate of these people who would ridicule her needs to be exposed over and over until people become ashamed to support them. That’s what missing in these people, they have no shame.

  3. Weldon VII

    Funny, Brad, but my read of the Washington Times piece doesn’t find a single stone cast at Ty’Sheoma Bethea, but at Obama for his political use of her and at Dillon and/or South Carolina for not previously improving the J.V. Martin situation.
    Joan Walsh’s piece fallaciously pins the Times’ accusation of “irresponsibility” on Bethea, when the Times is actually pointing to Obama.
    And you made the same mistake. Read the Times piece again, and you should see that no one is pointing a finger at Ty’Sheoma. Obama is the target.

  4. Weldon VII

    Not that I intend to defend the Times editorial. It belabors the obvious, and one president after another after another have been doing it for as long as I remember — proving their case with a touching anecdote about someone from the crowd.

  5. Barry

    Brad – Jackie Hayes makes over $80,000 a year as head football coach and athletic director at Dillon even though he isn’t in the district 3 days a week for half the year. There isn’t an athletic director in South Carolina that has 1/16th that much freedom. Have you seen Jackie’s football office? Let’s just say that when there is money to spend on school facilities, he doesn’t miss out.

  6. Rich

    Let me defend Jackie Hayes for a minute here. $80K is not that much money when you consider that a National Board certified teacher in RSD2 such as myself earns well in excess of that amount after 27 years of teaching. I work hard for my money and I recognize and respect the HARD WORK South Carolina’s coaches, most of whom are good, upright men and women, put in to work with our young people.
    Academic work is important, but so are athletic training, physical fitness, and sports. There is an entire culture surrounding Friday-night football in this state, not to mention basketball and baseball seasons. Our kids learn teamwork and acquire self-respect through physical education and sports.
    As someone who has always been close to the gym, I can attest to the hard work and countless hours our coaches put in to work with our kids. Then there’s signing day, proud parents, community involvement–and just plain keeping kids off the streets and doing something good.
    High-school athletic programs require a LOT of administrative work. The typical AD is at school 12 hours a day and frequently has a teaching load as well. He/she has to field questions, comments, and complaints from all sides. Our district gives its head coaches a cell phone–and let me tell you, parents, college coaches, and other interested parties are constantly calling.
    I think our AD at my school loves his job, but he works like a dog and I respect him for it. But most importantly, I like what our program does for kids.
    Dillon 2’s coach provides an important service. He orchestrates a program in a traditional, rural S.C. community that unites around its athletes, roots for their home teams, and builds futures for kids who might not otherwise have them while strengthening community cohesiveness.
    For many of our kids, sports is their ticket to a mature and responsible adulthood.
    So don’t pick on Jackie Hayes or any other AD or coach (unless they do something unethical which, I might add, rarely happens).
    Keep in mind, too, that the average teacher salary for a middle-aged, mid-career teacher is $47K. If you’re a coach or an AD, you are putting in way more time and effort than someone who can leave the building at 4:00 p.m.
    Athletics builds morale in a community. Don’t denigrate the program; spend additional money where it needs to be spent, but don’t tell me our coaches don’t work.
    That’s arrant nonsense.

  7. Randy E

    80k is a tremendous amount of money. According to thecensus, the median household income in Dillon is 28k, less than half of that of the coach. There are harder jobs in Dillon County than working long hours as a coach. In Richland Two, the highest salary listed on the R2 salary schedule is just under 70k for 27 years. Add NBC and you have 87k salary for a life-long teacher who holds a doctorate with the national certification.
    The salary for this football coach in Dillon is, in my opinion, indefensible. Far worse is the idiotological stance that stimulus money should not be used to help build schools in such great disrepair or to extend unemployment benefits.
    Weldon’s response is a perfect example of conservative ideology that completely overlooks the human element involved in these government issues. He completely disregards the school and takes a political stance. There are real people who can benefit from the stimulus but compassionate conservatism turns a blind eye. Sanford is shown on youtube offering an unemployed man in Charleston a prayer because Sanford won’t help to extend his unemployment benefits.

  8. Weldon VII

    I just said the Times article didn’t cast aspersions at Ty’Sheoma, Randy, but did question Obama, Dillon and our marvelously inequitable state for conditions at the school.
    That “completely disregards the school”?
    You need to learn how to read.
    And another thing: What do you think that Obama speech the other night was if it wasn’t politics?

  9. Herb Brasher

    80K does seem like an awful lot; it’s not far from double what my wife and I get together, including cost of travel overseas, when needed. Of course, as head of a non-profit, we try and use the minimal amount necessary for admin, and leave all we can for program services. I don’t mind paying teachers a decent salary; the same for pastors, but I must admit I wonder about the six figure salaries some get, but then maybe I’m hopelessly behind the times.

  10. Brad Warthen

    Weldon, the Times quoted Obama as saying the girl’s letter reflected, among other things, “a willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.” The Times said that no, her letter did not reflect such qualities, that “what is on display is not responsibility but irresponsibility.”
    That’s calling the child irresponsible — more than that, holding her up as emblematic of such irresponsibility. That’s what I referred to.

  11. Brad Warthen

    And on another subject, I don’t much care how much money Coach Hayes makes. What I care about is this: Dillon is one of those districts that wonderfully illustrate the crazy quilt of arrangements that we have for governing school districts in this state, a relic of the Legislative State.
    Last time I looked (and maybe some aspect has changed, but I doubt it), this was the situation: The school board is named by the legislative delegation. The legislative delegation, under the current regime of single-member districts, has (or at least “had;” this is the part I’m not sure about now) only one resident member. That member used to be Marion “Son” Kinon, back when this first came to my attention. But then he was defeated by Coach Hayes, who took his House seat.
    As one of the nonresident members of the delegation (a legislator from a neighboring county who just happened to also represent a sliver of Dillon County) explained it to me, the nonresident members deferred to the resident member in choosing school board members.
    What that meant was that the coach, an employee of the school district, was the sole person deciding who would be on the school board.
    It’s just plain insane for a school board to be selected by, of all things, a legislative delegation to begin with (especially when, with single-member districts, being a member of a “county delegation” means practically nothing — you are not, as a group, representing a coherent entity).
    But for the one member calling the shots to be an employee of the district. Well, it’s just beyond crazy.
    Only in South Carolina.

  12. KP

    It’s crazy, all right — more so even than what goes on in my little corner of the Pee Dee. We hold a vote for trustees, but we give the public exactly one hour to vote, at 7 pm, then hold our run-offs immediately after the votes are counted, at 9 or 10. No absentee voting, no early voting, no curb service for the handicapped, no consideration for sick or old people who want to go home or parents of young children who HAVE to go home.
    And the election is run by school employees.
    No big surprise that our new principal is the wife of a school board member, which ought to be illegal anyway.

  13. Rich

    I completely agree with you on the political arrangements that subsist in Dillon County. That kind of mess is indeed a relic from the past and should not be permitted.
    In my post, I dealt with the notion that Dillon 2 was off base in having an AD who made $80K–that’s a whole lot less than a lot of Midlands ADs. What’s more, the AD’s and coaches put in a tremendous amount of time for their paycheck.
    If you want to see real waste on a government payroll, just look at who gets paid what at USC and Clemson. $80K is a pittance compared to what some administrators, the head football coach, and some research professors in glitzy nano-whatever programs we do not need “earn” for their work.
    But let me get back to this notion that $80K is a lot of dough. If you’ve been working in an industry for a quarter century and have an advanced degree, this is not a whole lot of money, particularly if you are trying to raise a family. I would hazard a guess that the professionals at the State paper earn a decent income to compensate them for their professional investment.
    I see no reason why professionals and skilled tradespeople should not be paid more than those who lack the skills and experience. If everyone is to get a low to middling wage, then what’s the point of trying to get students to work hard in school? They could just loligag their way through school and get the same crappy wages as everyone else.
    What I am truly against–as are most of the American people–are wages that are way out of line with what people with similar education and experience would otherwise get. Take Wall St. and those crazy banks that pay out billions in bonuses to executives of failing institutions. My contention is that they should not be getting such compensation in the first place.
    People like to say that nationalizing the banks or other industries would introduce inefficient, wasteful government control of industry. They imagine rows of overpaid bureaucrats sitting in their cubicles reading the paper or napping during office hours while ignoring the public. Heck, that sounds like much of private industry, which is partially why we are in such a pickle.
    Government control of any industry would and should reduce executive and professional positions to civil service control. Instead of outrageous salaries and nepotism, we could have something approaching objective professional selection criteria and the introduction of the salary schedule and employment contract.
    Granted, the people who want to make a million would bridle at such control, but in key industries such as health there is so much duplicative waste and executive overpayment, not to mention overcharging of the government that people who really need health care but can’t afford the insurance premiums don’t get the care they need.
    The entire health care industry should be nationalized right down to the private clinic. There should be a national salary schedule for doctors, nurses, and especially hospital and insurance company administrators living high on the hog.
    So you see, the problem isn’t that Jackie Hayes makes $80 (only about $20K less than his superintendent), but that we have been wasting money in an essentially de-regulated capitalist system that is in serious need of government control before it drives the entire country into a ditch.

  14. Lee Muller

    History demonstrates that free market capitalism creates wealth, an socialist capitalism consumes wealth.
    When a socialist, or semi-socialist (fascist), government consumes all of the wealth created by the free market, the government collapses.
    Obama is driven by ideology. He has nothing else – no experience, no knowledge of how to create and manage wealth.
    Dillon County is run by the same sort of local Obama mentalities. Unconstrained procreation has created a majority of vengeful, destructive dunces.
    Haters like “Rich” celebrate incompetence and retribution against The Achievers.

  15. Lee Muller

    Dillon County Schools produced, back in the 1960s and 1970s, doctors, judges, distinguished professors, soldiers, and prosperous entrepreneurs. Many of these people were of African ancestry, many were white.
    Since 1978, spending on public schools there has tripled, in constant dollars, after adjusting for inflation.
    It seems rather obvious that spending this money was not the answer, and spending more money is not the answer to the refusal of a large portion of the students to earn a diploma.

  16. Weldon VII

    Here’s the quote, Brad. I have italicized the portion of it that casts blame on Obama and the Democrats, not Ty’Sheoma. The irresponsiblity is Obama’s, not hers. Read it closely:
    “The president said that Ty’Sheoma’s words reflected “a generosity, a resilience, a decency, and a determination that perseveres; a willingness to take responsibility for our future and for posterity.” But what is on display is not responsibility but irresponsibility. This is the new reality in America, that those with political pull will benefit, those without will not. The centralization of economic and government activity in Washington is moving forward at a breathtaking pace. Connections are replacing competence as a measure of a person’s worth. This is the America President Obama and the Democrats in Congress want to create, one in which they will decide who is worthy of public largess, and who will be forced to pay for it.

  17. Randy E

    Weldon, I read your post. There is a human element in all this. Compassionate conservativism apparently means to pray for those whom you will not help as Sanford did on CSPAN.
    Rich, you try to defend 80k for a coach in a poor county and suggest it pales in comparision to what some teachers in R2 make. I posted evidence that an NBC teacher with a doctorate and 27 years only makes 7k more than this coach. Comparing it to a university situation is a non sequitir. 80k IS a lot of money anywhere in SC especially in a county like Dillon.

  18. Lee Muller

    Obamanites are elected by freeloaders with a sense of entitlement and servitude. The only people who vote for politicians promising handouts are freeloaders.
    Individuals who expect to make their own way in the world don’t vote for the James Clyburns and Barack Obamas.

  19. Guero

    KP, I have to concede. You’re right. Spaceman Lee is not appropriate.
    He IS the old man in every neighborhood yelling, GET OUT OF MY YARD.(GOOMY)
    I have a perverse pleasure in reading Lee. His Clearasil overdose has caused his 15 year old adolescent brain to OD on John Galt. As such, the Democratic Party will enjoy legislative and presidential dominance for many years after GOOMY Lee and his ilk have turned to dust. Keep it up GOOMY Lee, you’re going to help keep the Repugnant Party where it belongs, in the gutter.

  20. KP

    Lee, I know you think I don’t listen to you. Really, I do listen. But here’s an example of the problem I usually encounter:
    “Dillon County Schools produced, back in the 1960s and 1970s, doctors, judges, distinguished professors, soldiers, and prosperous entrepreneurs. Many of these people were of African ancestry, many were white. Since 1978, spending on public schools there has tripled, in constant dollars, after adjusting for inflation. It seems rather obvious that spending this money was not the answer.”
    You know, of course, that EVERY South Carolina school district has produced distinguished “doctors, judges, and professors,” both African-American and white. Dillon County schools don’t fail every child — just many.
    You also know that the tripling of spending since 1978 is not limited to Dillon County. Spending has increased across the state since 1978 because that’s when South Carolina got serious about funding public education.
    And you cannot say it has failed. We lead the nation in improvement on the SAT, and we have reached the national average on NAEP in reading and math. Maybe spending money WAS the answer.

  21. Rich

    My point is that $80K is not out of line for an AD/Head Football Coach/Teacher. Most of these guys in the rural counties do all three at some point, and they do put in a lot of hours. Since there is only one of them on staff in a typical high school, paying them as if they were fully fledged administrators is, I believe, quite appropriate. The typical principal or assistant principal has way too much on his/her plate to be running athletics as well.
    Of course, teachers need to be paid better. But I do like what we do in S.C. by providing teachers with a salary schedule that encourages professional development in the form of advanced degrees and National Board Certification.
    You were, until recently, one of our National Board certified math teachers–and a damned good one, I might say. You were demanding but fair and I would imagine you to be the same in Connecticut.
    The difference between CT and SC is that teachers there start out with a salary schedule that either does not encourage getting advanced degrees or National Board certification before you can start making some real money.
    I think S.C. has it just about right. Our salaries are competitive given the cost of living here and all a teacher has to do to earn more money is improve him or herself professionally. Those who choose not to do so have elected to receive what they are earning, which in this state is definitely a living wage.
    If I were working in Dillon 2 instead of Richland Two, my base pay would be a scant $7K less than I earn now on the district salary schedule. That evens out when you consider that Columbia is more expensive than anywhere in SC Ruritania.
    The problem in Dillon 2 is poor infrastructure and all the extra staff to reduce class sizes and provide students with a rich curriculum that you find in Richland 2.
    Barack Obama was right on the money by inviting the young lady to hear his address to Congress. The government must do more to equalize educational opportunity for all of our students, Lee’s incoherent fulminations notwithstanding.

  22. hiker

    Frank Rich at nytimes seems to have a better handle the issue:
    … At least the G.O.P.’s newfound racial sensitivity saved it from choosing the white Southern governor often bracketed with Jindal as a rising “star,” Mark Sanford of South Carolina. That would have been an even bigger fiasco, for Sanford is from the same state as Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the junior high school student who sat in Michelle Obama’s box on Tuesday night and whose impassioned letter to Congress was quoted by the president.
    In her plea, the teenager begged for aid to her substandard rural school. Without basic tools, she poignantly wrote, she and her peers cannot “prove to the world” that they too might succeed at becoming “lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president.”
    Her school is in Dillon, where the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, grew up. The school’s auditorium, now condemned, was the site of Bernanke’s high school graduation. Dillon is now so destitute that Bernanke’s middle-class childhood home was just auctioned off in a foreclosure sale. Unemployment is at 14.2 percent.
    Governor Sanford’s response to such hardship — his state over all has the nation’s third-highest unemployment rate — was not merely a threat to turn down federal funds but a trip to Washington to actively lobby against the stimulus bill. He accused the three Republican senators who voted for it of sabotaging “the future of our civilization.” In his mind the future of civilization has little to do with the future of students like Ty’Sheoma Bethea.
    What such G.O.P. “stars” as Sanford and Jindal have in common, besides their callous neo-Hoover ideology, are their phony efforts to portray themselves as populist heroes. Their role model is W., that brush-clearing “rancher” by way of Andover, Yale and Harvard. Listening to Jindal talk Tuesday night about his immigrant father’s inability to pay for an obstetrician, you’d never guess that at the time his father was an engineer and his mother an L.S.U. doctoral candidate in nuclear physics. Sanford’s first political ad in 2002 told of how growing up on his “family’s farm” taught him “about hard work and responsibility.” That “farm,” the Charlotte Observer reported, was a historic plantation appraised at $1.5 million in the early 1980s. From that hardscrabble background, he struggled on to an internship at Goldman Sachs.

  23. Greg Flowers

    I tie this comment in due to the fact that the gentleman I am referring to mentioned the young woman from Dillon several times in his talk yesterday and I could not find a better place to put this. Saw Fritz Hollings at the South Carolina Book Festival yesterday (an annual event which no one with a fondness for the written word, no for knowledge, should miss) he talked for about 50 minutes, first time I had ever seen him in so intimate a setting. I disagree with so much he has supported over the years but here was a major part of the history of this State and nation over the past 60 years sitting before me telling stories. And what a story teller he is. His memory of names and events is amazing for a man of any age let alone 87. It was a remarkable experience for me.
    There are many speakers and panels at the Festival covering a wide range of topics as well as vendors of all kinds of books you will not find at Books-A-Million. Admission is free, it is every year at this time (including today from 11:30 – 5:00) mark your calendar.

  24. Randy E

    The highest salary a teacher can make in Dillon is 62k WITH a doctorate.
    Hayes is the 27th highest paid hs coach in SC – making 10% more than R2 coaches, yet they are in the more expensive urban area as you point out. In Dillon county the median household income is 29K, in Richland it’s 47k. Taken out of this important context, 80k is TONS of money in Cola or Dillon.
    Interestingly, Martin Middle School, the Dillon school which Obama’s student guest (Bethea) attends has an opening now for a math teacher – kids with no math teacher in March! Add that to the travesty outlined in the Rich article in the NYT. Given the double digit unemployment, the ailing schools, the subterranean household income, and the teacher salary schedule in Dillon 80k is a princely sum.
    Regarding CT, the housing prices and cost of living in CT make higher salaries an almost moot point in terms of comparison. Also, teachers MUST earn a master’s to continue after a few years.
    It’s no accident that we’re one of the most educated states in the country and one of the most progressive. Sanford and DeMint’s foolishness wouldn’t be tolerated here.

  25. Rich

    I will concede your point that, especially in tough times, salaries need to be in line with the cost of living and the community’s ability to pay.
    As for the level of education in Connecticut, I could not agree more. But Connecticut has not had the same tortured history as SC has had. People carry the legacy of that history in their bones.
    If you start with a largely middle-class, confident, assertive, well-educated population such as exists in much of New England, it should be no surprise that achievement there comes more easily than it does in a state where hunger is a recent memory, illiteracy is still a problem, as are a number of social dysfunctions such as a high infant-mortality rate or a high rate of wife-beating. Add to all of that a history of racial mistrust and you have a state with some problems!
    The white population throughout the South has resigned itself to black political equality rather than embracing it. As you know, the white population itself is divided between a small middle class and a large working-class population. Cock-fighting is not a problem in New England; here it sometimes receives unofficial (and illegal) support from elected officials.
    But our problems should not dissuade us from doing good if we can. The rate of educational progress in our state continues to climb slowly upward, and our homey Southern culture cannot be beat–whether it’s Friday night football, barbecue, family reunions, or the social activities of our vibrant religious communities, South Carolina manages to balance its problems with a fundamental decency that usually comes through.
    When I saw the young lady from Dillon 2 watching the president’s address to Congress I was filled with both shame and hope. Shame for what we haven’t accomplished and hope for a better future.
    We have to be optimistic and start to see that the Reagan approach of “government is the problem, not the solution” has to be turned around. Government is the solution to the problem of unregulated capitalist greed, disproportionate wealth accumulation, militarism, and too many holes in the social safety net.
    Government is the people coming together to do for themselves. The Republican hegemony since 1981 has led us to America’s worst crisis since the Great Depression. That, to me, is the most damning evidence for the systemic failure of America’s conservative movement.
    Time for the whole country to pull together toward the center and leave partisanship behind. We have too many problems that need too much attention right now.

  26. Lee Muller

    Rich and Randy play socialist equality of incomes games with childish mathematical ratios.
    One day, they want all teachers to be paid the same in every district in the state.
    Another day, they argue that this teacher makes too much because the average pay in his county is lower than another county.
    The only fair pay is when you hire yourself out in the free market. If you are making more than that as a government teacher, they you are overpaid, and cheating the students and taxpayers.

  27. Randy E

    Shouldn’t Lee be at the border shooting illegal aliens? After all, they’re coming from Latin America to spread socialism with comrade Obama, the most famous illegal alien of all.

  28. Rich

    Don’t encourage Lee! His crowd has no sense of irony and they take everything so literally. Fortunately, they lost the election.

  29. Lee Muller

    Elections mean little, if the Constitution is enforced. Most of the socialist Democrat agenda is illegal, unConstitutional.
    Dillon County is in shambles because it is run by the majority, which is incompetent. When the white minority ran the school boards and county council, black children had better schools and more of them graduated and went to real universities.
    As a matter of fact, Castro did support Obama.
    So did Hugo Chavez.
    So did Hamas.
    So did the Muslim World Congress.
    So did the all the socialist and communist parties in the US.

  30. Lee Muller

    Hate today comes from socialists like you, Randy.
    Obama was your perfect candidate – an angry black man promising retribution against whites, Asians and Jews for all the failures of quasi-Africans like himself.
    While Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton attacked Obama for “not being black enough”, Obama was attacking black Americans who dared to embrace capitalism and make themselves succesful – because they expose race hustlers as failures and liars.

  31. Randy E

    Lee’s mad because the GOP is now marginalilzed and the minorities will become the minority in a couple decades.
    I’m teaching my boys Spanish so they can talk to the immigrants. Not having to learn English will make it that much easier for the immigrants to enter our country. We’re actually thinking about hiring a maid and will probably find an illegal alien – anyone know the company Romney used for landscaping?

  32. Lee Muller

    How fitting that a public school teacher would seek to hire illiterate illegal alien workers, instead of an unemployed US citizen!
    New England liberals seem to have a penchant for exploiting illegal aliens in the same way they ran the slave trade from Africa in the 1800s.

  33. Ish Beverly

    Our school system being set up to operate on the local tax base, and being as good as the locals wanted or could afford, the one party system let Dillon down. The Democratic Party runs the Dillon area. The state house member from Lake View went to jail as did the state Democratic Party chairman from South of The Border. The state senator from Marlboro was in the process of being indicted when he died of cancer. The Democrats just can not manage the people’s money.

  34. I. J. Reilly

    Perhaps it is just I that sees the problem here. This little strumpet represents the entitlement mentality that we should be rallying against. The fact that she asks her principal for a stamp is indicative of the problem. I would be hard pressed to believe that she cannot come up with the cost of a single stamp. I would be hard pressed to also believe that she does not buy soda or candy at school. She would willingly rather buy other things and expect a “bailout” for the cost of a stamp rather then pay for it out of her own pocket. What then when she gets older and it comes down to her car note, house note, etc. Luckily Obama’s policies will allow her to continue this mentality which in my mind is troubling to conceive at such an early age. Really though I think she should be raised up on a pedestal as an example of how not to act. I mean even that faux jewelry she has on is….more expensive than a stamp. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with using this girl as some sort of idealogical figurehead?

  35. Lee Muller

    There has been a long-term study of the growing sense of entitlement and self-absorbed attitudes among young people, and the psychologists blame the current political climate on this dangerous mentality, and this mentality on public education, which told every child that they were “special” and “deserving of the best”, regardless of their ability and effort.
    Anonymous ‘hiker’ provides yet another demonstration of the hate and envy which the Losers have for the Achievers.
    A farm “appraised at $1.5 million in the 1980s” is barely large enough to earn the median family income, with a lot harder work than most people ever imagined.

  36. Larry

    Check out the posts concerning this coach in Dillon. He’s a representative for a poor county with a school that has nationwide attention for ‘falling apart’ but he still makes BIG bucks… and he’s hardly ever there (at the school)! Ripping off theses poor people.
    Check out his voting on bills also. You will find this VERY interesting for a person who says he is ‘Putting Kids First’ on his campaign posters.


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