Friday, September 30, 2005

An interesting take on education from 1895

What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895

--Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?
This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA. It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS -1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of"lie,""play," and "run."
5. Define case; Illustrate each case.
6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.
Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per metre?
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u.'
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying "he only had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?! Also shows you how poor our education system has become... and, NO! I don't have the answers

Thursday, September 29, 2005

A very interesting article was in todays Journal Gazette

Niki Kelly wrote a very interesting article about the graduation rate in Indiana's schools. Please check it out:

This article brings up some very good points that need to be discussed. Education is by far the largest expenditure in The State of Indiana. Education is extremely important. I have two young children; Graydon is 2 years old and Kayla is four years old. When I moved back to Fort Wayne I made sure to buy a house in a school system that I thought could help my children get the education I want them to have.

Everyone has known that the graduation rates in Indiana have been over-stated in a huge way. What kind of signal does this send to our children when the schools themselves put out bad information about graduation rates because the graduation rates are embarrassing to the schools and to the State government?

The State has been claiming a graduation rate of 90 percent or HIGHER for many years. Yesterday at the "Education Roundtable" Indiana admitted that the graduation rate in the last few years is most likely between 66% and 80%.

If the government cannot do the math to figure out a simple percentage; why should we expect Indiana students to understand how to do math?

Niki Kelly wrote in her article that FWCS claimed a graduation rate of 88.2% in 2002. The Journal Gazette analysis showed the graduation rate to be 61% in 2002. That is shameful.

It is amazing how misleading statistics can be. For example, I have done extensive research on the per student cost of education in Indiana; last year it cost us $10,787 dollars per student. If you go to Indiana's website they claim a much lower figure. Maybe our government officials did poorly on the ISTEP as well?

My God, my property taxes are going to go up by WHAT?

I am still researching the proposed increase to my property taxes by The Northwest Allen County School Board. I have heard that they are proposing raising taxes by 14%. You have got to be kidding me.

My property taxes went up 63 percent two years ago...

I think I am going to have to dig out my property tax payments for the last 5 years and post them on the internet. You will not believe it...

I bought my house about 5 years ago, and as of next year I think my property taxes will have doubled...

I may have to run for School Board...

Monday, September 26, 2005

2nd Libertarian Small Business Conference

Below is the agenda for the 2nd Libertarian Small Business Conference. I hope to see many of you at thei conference.

The Second Regional Small Business Conference will be held at Don Hall’s Guesthouse in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The conference will occur on Saturday November 19th, 2005. Rooms can be rented for $69 a night if you mention that you are affiliated with The Libertarian Party event being held on November 19th.

There will be an informal meeting and dinner on Friday night at Don Hall’s restaurant. We will reserve a large table and each person will pay their own tab. We will meet at 7 PM and spend a couple of hours eating, drinking, and brainstorming.

The conference itself will run from 11 AM until 4 PM on Saturday November 19th. Please make sure you eat before attending the event. The cost for attending the conference is:
If paid in advance $15
Paid at the door $20

Please send payment to (Please make checks payable to Mike Sylvester)
Mike Sylvester
625 Windrift Lane
Fort Wayne, IN 46845

After the Conference there will be an informal get together at the house of Jack and Hillary Evans. Maps and directions will be provided at the Conference. A large (And I do mean LARGE) dinner will be served. Children are welcome to attend! The party at Jack and Hillary’s house will run from 4:30 until? We will collect donations at the door.

Please feel free to contact Mike Sylvester if you have any questions regarding this event. You can reach Mike at 260-338-0833 or at Mike.Sylvester@Verizon.net.

Conference Schedule and Speakers

11-11:10 Mike Sylvester, Welcome all

11:10 – 11:30 Mark Schreiber, will talk about the history of The Small Business Initiative.

11:30 – 12:00 Ron Reinking, CPA. Ron is a Fort Wayne CPA and will discuss some “Small business horror stories.”

12:00 – 12:15 15 minute break. Get to know your neighbors, exchange ideas.

12:15 – 12:45 Mike Sylvester, “Small Business Horror stories” from Indiana CPA’s and small business owners. How we plan on taking advantage of these “Horror Story’s” in Fort Wayne.

12:45 – 13:00 Jason Shelley from The Indiana NFIB will speak. He will discuss the importance of Small Business and he will explain the topics he feels are currently most critical to small business owners in Indiana.

13:00 – 13:15 15 minute break. Get to know your neighbors, exchange ideas.

13:15 – 14:15 Break into two groups and brainstorm ideas for the Small Business Initiative.
Kevin Knedler will handle one group.
Mike Sylvester will handle the second group.

14:15 – 14:30 15 minute break. Get to know your neighbors, exchange ideas.

14:30 – 14:45 Kevin Knedler of first group will discuss ideas with everyone. This could be done with crowd interaction.

14:45 – 15:00 Mike Sylvester of the second group will discuss ideas with everyone. This could be done with crowd interaction.

15:00 – 15:15 Mike Kole will talk about his campaign for Indiana Secretary of State AND Small Business Initiative examples he has used in his campaign and in Hamilton County.

15:15 – 15:30 Mark Rutherford, will ask if the representatives from States other then Indiana wish to speak about SBI in their State, if the answer is no Mark Rutherford will get more time!

15:30 – 16:00 Mark Rutherford, Closing speech, how to implement the plan going forward.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Colts go to 3 and 0

I always like it when the Colts win. Who would have ever thought that the defense would look better then the offense in three straight games?

Friday, September 23, 2005

Eminent Domain and Aqua Indiana

I was annexed into the City of Fort Wayne Jan 1st, 2003.

I live on the north side of town near Pine Valley. My Water service and part of my sewer service is provided by Aqua Indiana.

In 2002 The City of Fort Wayne started a legal action to seize Aqua Indiana (The north division in Allen County) by EMINENT DOMAIN.

I sat down and talked to Ted Nitza (The Water Resources Program Manager for Fort Wayne) about this use of Eminent Domain by the city of Fort Wayne. We talked for about an hour on the morning of September 23rd.

To make a long story short, the City of Fort Wayne thinks they can do a better job of providing service to the 8000 affected customers. They feel that they can combine the two utility services and save rate payers money on future capital improvements.

I am really not qualified to determine if Ted Nitza is correct. I have to say, I am skeptical. I just have a hard time trusting a City that annexed me and immediately raised my property taxes 31% (My property taxes were raised a total of 63% that year between the City and Re-assessment) in the first year.

That being said, I am currently a customer of Aqua Indiana. I am happy with Aqua Indiana. I would think that the City of Fort Wayne would do a survey of the 8000 customers and see what these 8000 customers want. That is Democracy...

That of course has not been done... That makes way too much sense.

What scares me about the Eminent Domain action against a successful local utility is the implications to local businesses.

What would happen if the City decided it could better perform other functions then private enterprises? For example, the City currently runs a bus system that is ridden by very few people and wastes a large amount of taxpayer dollars today. What would happen if The City decided to expand its bus service in an attempt to utilize the busses more efficiently? Maybe they would decide to seize Turnstone or a similar company using Eminent Domain on the basis that The City of Fort Wayne could transport people better then a private company. What would we think of an action like that?

What would happen if the City decided it should take over transportation for all school kids in The City limits? What if the City decided it could provide better taxi service. You get the idea.

Fort Wayne in not efficient. That has been proven by the property tax increases immediately seen by all the citizens who have been annexed against their will... Lets keep The City of Fort Wayne out of private businesses and lets unite and elect new City officials who will use Eminent Domain as a LAST resort.

This is a dangerous situation that needs to be monitored.

I can tell you when this situation may really get out of hand. If Fort Wayne is successful against Aqua Indiana North; then they may well decide to go after the Aqua Indiana utility in Aboite. The people in Aboite would just love that.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The real cost of Public Education in Indiana

The real cost of K-12 education in Indiana.

Last year I decided to research the annual average cost per student for K-12 education in Indiana. I ended up using two sources for all of my statistics; I used Stats Indiana and The National Teachers Association.

Below is a summary of the average cost of Education in Indiana for 2004:

Expenses per student (Not counting Capital Outlays or Debt Service) = $8592 per year.
Capital expense per student (New buildings and large projects) = $1026 per year.
Interest expense per student (Interest on school bonds) = $836 per year.

LAST year, the cost to educate the average student in Indiana was $10,787 per year per student! This cost is paid each year K-12.

This money comes from a variety of sources, some is Federal taxes, some is State taxes, and the majority of the funding comes from Property taxes.

Real spending (Adjusted for inflation) on Educations has tripled in the last forty years. Forty years ago we had the best education system in the world. Today our education system is mediocre.

We need to fix our education system. Education is critical. Spending more money on education is not the way to fix the system. If spending more money on education was the answer, our education system today would be three times as good as it was forty years ago…

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

September meeting of LPAC

The next meeting of The Libertarian Party of Allen County will be on Wednesday September 21st. The meeting is at The Munchie Emporium on Dupont Road. The Candidate Recruitment Committee will meet at 7 PM and our business meeting will be at 8 PM.

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Time Zone mania

Well, at least for this year, we know which counties will be petitioning for Central time.

If every petition is approved (Which I think is unlikely) Indiana will have 28 counties on Central time, 63 counties on eastern time, and one county SPLIT BETWEEN the two time zones.

We will have school districts with students and teachers coming from two time zones. Imagine how much fun that will be.

I wonder what Mitch Daniels really thinks about what has transpired? He says that he is happy with how things have gone; I find that hard to believe.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What happened to The Republican fiscal conservatives?

I have been reading press releases from various politicians this morning. You will not believe this one.

Tom Delay just said "There is no fat in The Federal Budget."

Do you have any idea how frightening this statement is? The GAO (Government Accounting Office) itself acknowledges there is waste in The Federal government. How on Earth could a fiscal conservative even think that such a statement could be true?

The Republican Party has become another LARGE GOVERNMENT party. They believe in spending as much money as they can today; and letting our children and grandchildren pay for it.

I think ANY REASONABLE CPA could audit almost every Federal Program and find at least 5% of it that could be cut.

As a fiscal conservative, I am appalled.

Tonight here is what Bush will promise America:
1. He will acknowledge failures in the Federal response to Katrina. He will promise to fix those Federal Agencies (Spend more money).
2. He will promise to rebuild everything that was destroyed by Katrina, in fact, he will promise to re-build everything bigger and better then they were before (Spend most likely over 250 BILLION dollars. We will rebuild a city that is below sea level. Our children and grand children will pay for this, we will not.
3. He will promise to take care of a million refugees for as long as it takes (Spend even more money).

I can promise you this, Graydon (My two year old son) and Kayla (My Four year old daughter) will be the tax payers that have to pay for all of this deficit spending. They will pay FAR HIGHER taxes in twenty years then we are paying today. Not only will they pay for this spending, they will pay interest EVERY year on this debt.

Where are the fiscal conservatives?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

We must simplify Indiana's tax system!

One of the largest barriers to business growth in Indiana is the complexity of The Indiana tax code.

Most small businesses are forced to hire a Certified Public Accountant to help them deal with the complicated Indiana tax code. That is good for me; my wife is a Certified Public Accountant. That is bad for small businesses and for our economy. We can make Indiana more business friendly by doing nothing other then simplifying the tax code. My taxation plan will simplify our tax code and will generate an extra fifty million dollars over the two year budget cycle.

We should eliminate several Indiana taxes completely. One of the first to eliminate is the small portion of property taxes that is paid to the State. Believe it or not, we actually pay a small amount of property taxes to the State of Indiana; the State of Indiana then turns around and pays it back (and a lot more) to various localities. What a wasteful idea. Property taxes should have nothing to do with State government. Only a politician could come up this “revolving door” method; no self-respecting economist would create the current system.

The State of Indiana charges an estate tax on people when they die, this is wrong. We pay taxes on our income every year, we pay taxes on almost every item we purchase, we pay fees (Some hidden) on countless items; enough is enough. We pay a tax for the privilege to consume alcoholic beverages in Indiana. This tax on alcohol consumption should be repealed, Prohibition ended in 1933. There are also many other additional taxes listed as “other.” All of these taxes should be abolished immediately.

After abolishing the above taxes I would levy a new tax. “Cherry Masters” should be legal and taxed. “Cherry Masters” are video gambling machines that have been in operation in many Indiana businesses for years. “Cherry Masters” allow consumers to play games like video poker. I propose that each machine cost $500 to license per year and the profits be taxed at a flat rate of 20%. This would enable businesses that rely on “Cherry Masters” to profit from these machines and would generate enough revenue to allow Indiana to abolish the previously mentioned taxes. These machines have been in operation for years and harm no one. They provide revenue for many Indiana small businesses and for various organizations such as The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

This proposal will generate an extra fifty million dollars of tax revenue over the two year budget cycle. Indiana currently has over four billion dollars of debt upon which the taxpayers are paying interest. This is absurd. I want to give my children and grand children a better future; I do not want them to pay for the spending excesses of our current government officials. The State should act in a fiscally responsible manner and use this excess revenue to lower the shameful four billion dollar debt our elected officials have incurred.

We need one additional immediate change to our tax system and we need it badly. We must eliminate the Property Tax Replacement Fund. What happens currently is the State collects taxes in excess of what it requires. Then, using a complex formula, it “re-distributes” these taxes to various local government entities to subsidize local property taxes. This is wasteful and unnecessary; even worse, it masks the true cost of both local and State government.

I propose that we change the system to one that applies common sense. I propose that 75% of all Sales tax revenues be distributed to the 92 counties based on population. The State would then completely remove the Property Tax Replacement Fund from its budget. This is a revenue-neutral proposal.

This second proposal would prevent the State from doing what it did this last session. The State lowered the amount it paid to subsidize local property taxes; this forced localities all over Indiana to raise property taxes or to cut spending. We all know which one both Republican and Democratic localities will choose. Expect so see your property taxes go up another 7% this year!

A great article in the Journal Gazette about Child Protective Services

The September 11th Journal Gazette had an interesting article about property taxes. Benjamin Lanka wrote an article entitled County levies for child services controlled by state.

This is a very informative article that I recommend you read. This article talks about one small item out of the many that effect our property taxes.

You would be AMAZED at how many different local agencies have the authority to add to the property tax levies that you pay on your residential home, agricultural property, and your commercial property! It is EXTREMELY out of control.

The Allen County Library and The local Airport Authority both have the power to add to the property taxes you pay and, for the most part, there is nothing you can do about it. Your locals officials WILL NOT do anything about it.

The article Mr. Lanka wrote specifically concerns how Child Protective services are funded. Basically these programs have many rules that are dictated by the State of Indiana to the local government. The actual workers are State employees as well. This program is funded by LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES.

Here is an idea; since local property taxes pay for it, let's let the program be run by LOCAL government employees and throw The State of Indiana out!

Everytime you make a new bureaucracy in any governmental system there is another layer of waste and regulations; this is no different. The Federal government dictates various rules, regulations, and creates various forms for everyone to use. The State of Indiana makes its own set of rules and regulations that are supposed to comply with the Federal regulations that have been disbursed from Washington DC. The State of Indiana's rules and regulations are then sent out in various missives to the 92 counties. Each County then has to comply with both The Federal rules, The State rules, and then any local rules that are created.

Is it any wonder that the cost of this program went up on average 47% in the 66 counties surveyed?

Allen County taxpayers are going to pay about 2.22 MILLION dollars more (A 13% increase) this next year.

Our property taxes are high enough. I was annexed by the City against my will recently. My property taxes went up 63% in just one year.

I live in NWAC schools. Based on the information that I have been able to gather I would guess that my property taxes are going to go up ANOTHER 10% this year. Tax, tax, and tax some more.

We need to elect some fiscal conservatives for a change. The Republican Party and Democratic Party's both believe in larger and larger government and keep increasing the number of silly regulations.

We need elected officials to start using COMMON SENSE.

Monday, September 12, 2005

The Fourth Anniversary of 9/11

It is hard to believe that four years have passed since The Twin Towers" were destroyed by terrorists.

The Federal government has spent COUNTLESS BILLIONS of dollars on various programs to protect this country. Do you feel safer?

I do not feel safer, not one bit.

The Federal Government has spent BILLIONS of dollars on aviation security. I think that we needed to make some changes to airline security, that being said, the Government Accountability Office has released a report stating that our aviation system is NOT safer today then it was four years ago.

Imagine that, we spend BILLIONS of dollars and all that happens is we create a large, ineffective, government bureaucracy.

We have spent COUNTLESS BILLIONS of dollars on a brand new Homeland Security Department. According to The Pew Foundation more illegal immigrants have entered this country each and every year since 9/11/2001! Homeland Security has done nothing to protect the borders of this country!

The Federal Government has spent hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars to prepare for a terrorist attack. I feel that they are wasting my money and I do not feel safer today then I did four years ago.

How do you feel?

Friday, September 09, 2005

Local Politics

I am pretty excited that both local newspapers have already started talking about the 2006 local elections.

I think 2006 is going to be a great election.

I hope that everyone gets involved.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Indiana Time Zone fiasco

As most of you know the deadline is approaching for Counties to petition the Federal government if they want to switch time zones in Indiana.

Masson's Blog is doing a great job of documenting which counties are currently petitioning to switch to Central time. He just posted a map of Indiana.

Please go and check it out!



If Indiana becomes a patchwork of time zones I think The Republicans will pay a heavy price in the next election...

And they should...

Why we need to decrease the size of government

The New Orleans disaster is a great example of why we need to downsize government.

The New Orleans government, The State government, and to a lesser extent The Federal government completely failed to have an effective disaster plan to deal with flooding in a City that was built below sea level.

We spend HUNDREDS of BILLIONS of dollars each year on various government programs.

The combined spending of all government entities in this country is about 40% of all money spent. You have to ask yourself, what are they spending our money on?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

New Orleans Levee Failure, who to blame

I admit it, I am a news junkie. The coverage of The New Orleans Disaster has been massive. This is some of the most biased and slanted news coverage I have ever seen.

Lets start with fault.

1. Most of the "fault" has to go to The City of New Orleans. 80% of The City is below sea level. The City is 100% protected by a levy system. The levy system was designed to handle a Category 3 hurricane. New Orleans was hit with a category 4 hurricane and the levies were breached. There are numerous studies that have been performed over the years that have warned of exactly this disaster. The City of New Orleans 100% ignored these warnings. Why did New Orleans not install a .5% sales tax in the City over the last fifty years and use it to build the needed levy system?
We need more personal responsibility. I am tired of people wanted The Federal government come and hold their hand all the time. The City of New Orleans should have protected itself!

2. I think a lot of "fault" has to go to The Congressmen and Senators of Louisiana. Federal spending is determined by CONGRESS, not The President. If all of these elected officials would have made a concerteed effort the proper levies would have been built. These levies would have been paid for by New Orleans, Louisianna, and The Federal government. What have these Congressmen been doing instead? These same Federal Officials have authorized HUNDREDS of Billions of Pork Barrel Spending Projects in the last few years. The Officails are more interested in getting re-elected then doing their jobs.

3. I think the Army Corp of Engineers has to take some blame. The Army Corp of Engineers should have made a much more public plea and tried to alert the public of the dangers.

4. The Federal government has to take some blame as a whole. They spend almost 1/4 of ALL MONEY SPENT in The United States. They waste it on countless useless projects. They need to get their priorities straight. Infrastructure should be a priority.

This is a disaster of epic proportions. Lets hope it is a wake up call for the voters of this country!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Guest post from Shawn Grubbs of Fort Wayne

As I write this the price of gasoline is over three dollars per gallon. Even before Hurricane Katrina wiped out ten percent of our nation's refining capacity, gas was over $2.50 per gallon. The longer gas prices stay high, the more it will hurt all of us, especially low income Americans. Our economy, our jobs, and our lifestyles depend on oil. We need to immediately put an end to the radical environmental policies that reduce the supply of oil and gas. The US Geological Survey estimates that there are 10 billion barrels of oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), but the politicians in Washington have thus far refused to let us drill for oil there because of pressure from fringe environmental groups. The government also limits oil drilling offshore and on government owned lands.

We also need greater refining capacity. The refinery scheduled to be built in Arizona in 2006 will be the first major new refinery in the US in 30 years! Why? Because whenever a company proposes building a new refinery, they face mountains of red tape from the Environmental Protection Agency and lawsuits from radical environmental groups. We need to stop this madness. We will not conserve our way out of this crisis.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The political spin on the New Orleans distaster

I spent a couple of hours watching CNN tonight to try to absorb what is happening in New Orleans.

My heart does go out to the poeple of New Orleans. I hope that as many of them are saved as is possible.

I do not think anyone in our government OR press understands the enormity of what has happened to New Orleans. About 480,000 Americans are going to be without a place to live for at least a couple of months, and more likely several months... When do you think the schools in New Orleans will be able to take students again? Certainly not this year.

480,000 people are going to have to be re-located. Many will live with friends and relatives. The rest will have to be helped as best we can. It is going to be a mess.

I have NO DOUBT that America will open their pocketbooks and help the people of New Orleans. It will happen, you can count on it.

I cannot believe the political spin CNN is putting on this disaster. They seem to be blaming Bush.

Do not get me wrong, I do not overly care for Bush; but, this is not his fault.

This is the fault of many different groups. I think we should save as many people as we can; blame can be spread later.

What do you think?