What is Washboard Express?

Washboard Express is a way for me to express my own opinions, to be a provocative gadfly, by writing a "letter a day" to the President. I may miss a day here and there, because sometimes my family with be my first priority, but my goal is to write a total of 365 letters, representing one full year. To say I have opinions about most things would be to understate the obvious. Those of you that know me, know this is true, those who don't know me, will learn that it's true. The Washboard is a reference to going back to basics and "keeping it clean," so if you would like me to post your comments or opinions on this blog, I only ask that you be respectful. So go ahead, express yourself, and I look forward to an exchange of ideas and opinions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Letter #126... Dear Mr. President... Say Goodbye to the Cain Train, and Make Room for Buddy.

Dear Mr. President:

The “Cain Train” has run out of track, it has come to the end of the line, so maybe now it’s time to “Make Room for Buddy.”

Make Room for Buddy
Unbeknownst to most people, Buddy Roemer is also running for President on the Republican ticket but you sure wouldn’t know it judging from the debates we’ve seen thus far. As you know Mr. President, Buddy Roemer served four years in Congress as a Democrat and was the Governor of Louisiana as both a Democrat and Republican. In addition, he has an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and is the CEO of Business First Bank… which by the way, needed no federal bailout money.

I mention this because Mr. Roemer has been completely ignored by the GOP and can’t even get an invitation to any of the debates in spite of the fact he is arguably one of the most qualified candidates on the ballot. Why do you suppose that is?

Could it possibly be because he is basically running on a single-issue platform… Campaign Finance Reform, and campaign reform is the last thing that Republicans, or Democrats for that matter, want to talk about? Is that why they don’t want Buddy on the stage… exposing them for the frauds they are? Are they afraid that he will throw Citizens United in their phony faces? You bet!

Say Goodbye to Herman Cain
Herman Cain has been huffing and puffing down his own track in order to sell his book and increase his speaking fees… wasting the time of the American people with his faux campaign swagger. And yet, Cain has been invited under the GOP ‘Big Top’ because he was the ‘token’ black Republican face the GOP could point to in order to disguise the fact that the Party consists of mainly ‘old white men.’ There, I said it… they needed a black face in their largely white crowd… everyone knows it but nobody wants to say it, and nobody wants to admit. But you and I know it’s true.

All the tip-toeing around, the platitudes about being inclusive, and all the… ‘but we love Herman’ rhetoric… liars, liars, liars… they don’t give a tinkers damn about Herman, they just needed that ‘black face’ on the stage with them, and I admit, he was fun for a while. But you watch Mr. President… he’s going to be history, because now he’s just an embarrassment to ‘The Party’… so say goodbye to Herman.

Now, wouldn’t it be novel for you to propose to the GOP that they include a man who’s eminently qualified to join them on that stage, after all, what threat could he possibly be to any of them… isn’t it time to “Make Room for Buddy?”

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Monday, November 28, 2011

Letter #125... Dear Mr. President... Please Pass the Prozac... I Must be Crazy.

Dear Mr. President:

It’s official… Republicans and the GOP are certifiably insane. I’ve declared it, you know it, and now the whole world knows it. According to a quote by Einstein, the definition of insanity is:  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein ...

Doesn’t that explain why Republicans insist on cutting taxes for corporations, millionaires/billionaires, raising taxes on the middle class, and then expecting the economy to change and the deficit to be reduced?

Doesn’t that explain why Republicans refuse to pass the American Jobs Act, yet expect the long-haired hippies of OWS, returning Vets and the chronically unemployed to just… ‘get a job’?

Doesn’t that explain why the Republicans on the supercommittee failed to put anything on the table except some poorly defined tax reforms in exchange for even lower tax rates for the rich, but those same Republicans will be the first to blame you when the automatic cuts to the Pentagon budget go into effect next year?

Doesn’t that explain just about all the craziness of Republicans and the religious right wing nuts that hate all things “Obama”… even if you’re the only one that gives them any hope at a decent education for their children, while all the Republicans want to do is cut, cut, cut? Or, give them a shot at some kind of health care if they’re uninsured?

Doesn’t that explain why the Republicans signed the Grover Norquist “No Taxes under any circumstances” pledge? Doesn’t that explain why they all drank the cool-aid served up Norquist style… drink or you’ll never get another penny in campaign contributions?

What is wrong with these people? Are they so myopic that they will cut off their own noses and the noses of their constituents, to spite their faces?

I know, these are stupid questions, so I guess I’m just as crazy for asking the same questions over and over again while expecting different answers.

Please pass the prozac, it must be time for my meds.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Letter 124 - Dear Mr. President - The Turkey's at the Table.

Letter #124

Dear Mr. President:

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving this 24th day of November... you'll notice that this is the 124th letter I have written to you, and one-third of the way through the 365 I plan to write.

So in keeping with this wonderful American holiday I want to thank you for being my President, I don't always agree with your decisions, but I am always proud of you and the First Family. Not since the Kennedy's have we had such a gracious, courteous, and commanding, and beautiful First Family. Thanks you so much for bring those qualities back to the White House.

With that said, I want to talk a little about the eight turkeys on the campaign trail and their latest round of "oops" from the last debate.

Herman Cain still insists that the mountains in Iran are a problem when it comes to protecting ourselves from their nuclear threat. Thanks Herman, please pass the gravy.

Mitt Romney doesn't know his first name is Willard. Wasn't Willard some movie rat?

Michelle Bachmann is still clueless and irrelevant. Please pass the peas & carrots.

Rick Santorum continues to harpoon the other seven turkeys, but he's the only one that doesn't need a box to stand on for the debates. Please pass the rolls and butter.

Who is Jon Huntsman, who knows what he stands for, or if he's even at the table?

Ron Paul still wants to end everything... all wars including the war on drugs, legalize everything and let the churches take care of sick people... and this coming from a Doctor. Oh that's right he's from Texas... 'nuff said. Please pass the cranberry sauce.

Rick Perry, this turkey has shot himself so many times he's practically bled out. He still believes that you have done nothing to keep this country safe. It's not clear whether it's his 'people' that are clueless, he has no access to the news, or he's just dumb as dirt. Considering his meteoric rise and, fall since joining this flock, I'll have to go with the latter. Excuse me Rick... could you please pass the dark meat?

Last, but not least... Newtie Gingrich... the new Democrat at the table, praying that we feel some compassion for the immigrants that have been here for years, go to church and pay taxes. He implores us to think about our family values and not kick these poor souls out of the country... This coming from a guy who wants poor kids to clean their own schools. This pompous, bombastic, strutting turkey is so full of himself, it's obvious that he's the one that consumed all the stuffing. I'd say please pass the stuffing, but alas... Newtie ate the whole bird, stuffing and all and is throwing the meatless leg bone Oliver Twist... "There kid, you're the one who wanted some more. Enjoy... now say your prayers and be grateful for what you've got."

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Mr. President, you've earned it.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Letter #123... Dear Mr. President... A GOP Return to the Draconian Days

Dear Mr. President:

“Please, sir, I want some more.” – You may recognize this simple polite request coming from the impoverished orphan, Oliver Twist, in the novel by Charles Dickens. Just reading the quote instantly congers up the stark image of a dirty, emaciated Oliver holding his empty gruel bowl aloft in front of the “master,” and asking for more.
"Please, sir, I want some more."

This is what the Republican Party has come to represent, but instead of England in the 17th century, it’s America in the 20th century, and more specifically GOP candidate Newt Gingrich in particular. Gingrich has promised “extraordinarily radical proposals to fundamentally change the culture of poverty in America.” And that’s what Americans should be afraid of… he will take this country back to the dark and bitterly cruel era of workhouses and orphanages.

So just as Oliver was to be ‘educated’ and ‘taught a useful trade,’ Gingrich would have students in poor neighborhoods clean their own schools, but only after they had spent the day studying. Gingrich blames the core policies of protecting unions for crippling the children be not allowing them to work before their mid teens. He further insists that, “it is tragic what we do in the poorest neighborhoods, entrapping children in, first of all, in child laws which are truly stupid.” Gingrich suggests that these schools should fire the unionized janitors, have one “master” (his word not mine) janitor, and then pay local students to clean the school.

Yes, ‘Master’ Gingrich believes it would be just the thing to ‘lift’ these students up so they can “begin the process of rising” out of poverty. And for this, I’m sure he thinks the kids should be so grateful they’d perhaps say a little prayer for him every night thanking him for his Christian generosity, just as the boys in England’s workhouses were taught to do before they were “allowed” to sleep before getting up again at six the next morning to begin another day of humble service for their gruel.

Yes, Mr. President, the GOP would return us to the draconian days of merry old England where only the rich and privileged prospered. And isn’t that just what they are proposing on a daily basis… Tax cuts/breaks for the super rich, slashing Medicare and Medicaid, decimating Social Security, protecting large corporations, and eliminating all the environmental protections it has taken fifty years to accomplish? What next, abolishing Child Labor Law… in a Gingrich world, yes.

Gingrich wants to challenge the existing child labor laws so children in poor neighborhoods will have the ‘opportunity’ to learn how to be janitors, “earn some cash,” “begin the rising process” and as a bonus, “they’d have pride in their school.”

Really Mr. President… is this the GOP plan for America’s children?  Sadly, it is.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Monday, November 21, 2011

Letter #122... Dear Mr. President... The Neanderthals of NASCAR...

Dear Mr. President:

I’d like to apologize on behalf of all ‘decent and respectful’ Americans for the despicable way the crowd reacted to the First Lady and Dr. Biden when they attended the recent NASCAR season finale.

As I was taught and I’ve tried to teach my children… you may be poor, you may be out of work, you may not even have two nickels to rub together, but there is never an excuse for being rude. That’s not to say that I haven’t, on occasion, had a knee-jerk reaction to something or someone, and responded in a rude way… because I have, and I think we all have at one time or another.

However, when the First Lady and Dr. Biden attended the Homestead Miami Speedway to serve as Grand Marshalls in support of ‘Joining Forces’ initiative to hire and train veterans, there was no reason and no excuse to boo these caring and wonderful women. After listening to the video it was obvious that there were a few loud boos from the considerable crowd, which appropriately, had just given a rousing cheer for Army Sgt. Andrew Barry and his family.

I’ve looked at all the web sites, read several hundred comments and come to the conclusion that they weren’t really booing the ladies… they were in fact booing you and your administration, because many of the comments contained the same old ‘themes’ that have surrounded you since being elected… he’s a Muslim, he’s a communist, socialist, fascist, out of touch, Christian hater, elitist, bigot, etc… etc… but nothing you haven’t heard before. It was in fact, an ugly reminder of just how the political divide in this country has been taken so personally.

First Lady, at NASCAR finale
From my perspective… I really don’t understand the appeal of watching a bunch of grown men driving around in a circle for what seems like hours (and probably is), other than people are waiting for some terrible accident to happen, because lord knows we aren’t witness to enough tragedy happening all around us on a daily basis. And from the expression on Mrs. Obama’s face, she wasn’t exactly enthralled either.

The really sad, pathetic, and discouraging thing about the whole incident is the lesson these booing Neanderthals are teaching their children and other children in the audience… good manners don’t mean anything, being disrespectful to ones own President is acceptable, and by association they are also showing a total lack of respect for that Veteran and his family with four young boys.

Disgusting… Mr. President, so please convey my sincerest apologies to Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden for the disgraceful display of unacceptable rudeness on the part of a few attendees that obviously need some basic lessons on good manners. As Emily Post taught us... "Good manners reflect an innate sense of respect for self." There's no doubt in my mind that Ms. Post would be so proud of you as President, the First Lady, and of course Malia and Sasha... all excellent examples of poise, grace, self respect.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, November 18, 2011

Letter #121... Dear Mr. President... The Patriotic Millionaires are Begging you to Raise Their Taxes.

Dear Mr. President:

Normally I don’t read Charles Krauthammer’s column, because in my opinion his remarks are perpetually petulant in nature, and today’s was no exception… “Obama’s decisions focus on re-election, not national interest.” See what I mean… positively peevish. And so it starts Mr. President… every thing you do, or fail to do, someone like Krauthammer will say it’s for political gain for your re-election and not in the best interest of the country or the American people.

I say, hogwash! This election should be a no-brainer, and here’s why. You have a secret weapon, a secret weapon called the “Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength.”

Approximately two dozen members of this group recently met with members of the ‘Super Committee,’ members of Congress and Grover Norquist, asking them to raise taxes on people that make over $1,000,000 a year. This group is the 0.1% of the 1% that the 99% are complaining about in the OWS Movements taking place all around the country.

You may remember this group Mr. President…. this is the same group that over a year ago urged you to end the “Bush Era Tax Cuts” for millionaires that was supposed to expire at the end of 2010. Advise, I may add, you should have taken.

In a statement to the press, the decision to extend those tax cuts for the rich – according to some analysts – permanently underfunded our government. It’s time to undo that damage… it’s time to listen to the millionaires and stop listening to the Republicans, as their lies have finally been exposed by the millionaires themselves.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, shakes hands with millionaire Frank Jernigan, a retired senior software engineer at Google, before meeting with a group of millionaires (AP Photo/Haraz Ghanbari)
You have a golden opportunity to make the case to the American people as to why Reagan’s supply side trickle down economics, and the continuous Republican mantra of “no new taxes’’ didn’t work, doesn’t work, and will in fact never work. The Patriotic Millionaires have made the case for you in a scathing letter to Speaker John Boehner, et al., dated, July 21, 2011. In this nine page letter they accuse Boehner of ‘corrosive, misleading, intentionally dishonest arguments put forth in this critical debate, which Boehner continues to present, even though our country approaches a potentially catastrophic impairment of our financial obligations. And, despite the reality that millionaires, like them are paying lower taxes now than at any time in the last 60 years… and despite the fact that the Bush tax cuts are the single largest cause of the current federal deficit, and that Boehner has repeatedly refused to consider this limited and reasonable step to address our country’s fiscal challenges. http://patrioticmillionaires.org/tax_letter.pdf

There you have it Mr. President… just ask the American people who they’re going to believe, the millionaires who are begging to help save this country by paying their fair share in taxes, or the Republicans who want to continue to cut taxes for the rich while raising them on the middle class, and off the backs of the poor. 

It's time to stop 'shaking down the little guy' and listen to the big guys that are ready to step up to the plate and pay their fair share... and as one of the millionaires put it... the impact on their finances would be the same as a dead fly at a picnic.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers, 
Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Letter #120... Dear Mr. President... The Party of Oops

Letter #120

Dear Mr. President:

I have to admit something… I’m really enjoying the new third party… “The Party of Oops”… It’s not just Perry with his oops moment when he couldn’t remember one of the three government agencies he wants to eliminate, it’s all of the candidates.

I only wish I could stay up a little later at night because I’m sure that the “late night” guys are having a field day with the shear number of “oops moments,” so for strictly entertainment purposes, I going to list a few of my favorites.

Oops… who on earth thought it was a good idea for Rick Perry to entertain lawmakers, friends and supporters at a camp named N*****head? Oops.

Oops… How do you say delicious in Cuban? Herman Cain obviously knows something the rest of us have missed… a new language called ‘Cuban’. Cain also didn’t seem to know that China has had nuclear weapons since 1964, having said that China was “trying to develop nuclear capability…” Oops.

Oops… Michele Bachmann believes “…that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States… Men like John Quincy Adams would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country.” Uuhhh… Adams was the 6th President and was only 8 years old when the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. And, apparently Bachmann missed the tour at Mount Vernon that shows the ‘slave quarters’. Oops.

Oops… Mitt Romney’s response when asked his favorite fiction genre novel was ‘Battlefield Earth’ by L. Ron Hubbard… really? People already have a perception of Mormonism being a ‘cult-like religion,’ so why would he cite a book by Scientologist, L. Ron Hubbard and then correct himself by saying it was “one of them” but he also enjoyed “Huck Finn?” Oops.

Oops… Newt Gingrich was paid $1.6m from Freddie Mac for his services as ‘Historian’… he has to be the highest paid ‘historian’ in history, and the $30,000 per month he receives for consulting sounds a lot like a Lobbyist fee. Oops.

But this one takes the cake Mr. President… Rick Perry referring to you… “It reveals to me that he grew up in a privileged way, he never had to really work for anything.” What planet does Perry live on where a child, raised by a single mother that once needed to use food stamps, grew up privileged? This is more than a ‘oops’… it’s a disgusting example of stupidity that Perry continues to display every time he opens his mouth to change feet. Oops, did I just call Perry stupid… you bet I did!

So much for the “Party of Oops”… and yes, for Rick Perry's information... you are the smartest man in the room.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, November 11, 2011

Letter #119... Aloha Mr. President... The Party of Dismantle, Destroy, Decimate and Deny...

Letter #119

Aloha Mr. President:

Today we're both in the beautiful state of Hawaii... my husband and I are vacationing on the beautiful island of Maui and even though you are here for the APEC Conference... which is all about cooperation, and nations moving forward in the ever changing global economy... this is still home for you.

This day is significant for many reasons... first and foremost is of course Veterans Day... a day to honor all those that have served and sacrificed so much for their country and for all Americans. And to them, we give our heartfelt thanks.

It is also a day to remind you and other world leaders that wars are not the answer to our problems, but talk, cooperation, compromises and a desire for world peace can only be achieved by coming together for the common good of all people in all places around the globe.

We can only achieve these goals by moving forward, for it is the only direction opened to us, and for us. Which brings me to another question I want to ask in todays letter... What on earth does the Republican Party stand for anymore?

In the last debate we heard Rick Perry suggest that we do away with three federal agencies... Commerce, Educations and oops... while Ron Paul suggested that there were really five we should abolish, and suggested the EPA as Perry's third one. And that's the problem Mr. President... the Republicans always want to move backwards, their primary motivation and answer to almost everything is... 'Dismantle, Destroy, Decimate, and Deny' every single achievement and advancement that's been made over the last 50 years.

Just think about the GOP mantra ever since you were elected... dismantle Social Security, destroy Medicare, decimate Medicaid, deny women their reproductive rights, and deny the LGTB community just about everything. Yes, the GOP is so busy looking backwards that they cannot move forward because they have no clue where they're going, and that is why they are stumbling and bumbling through debate after endless debate.

It would be foolish to begin the rebuilding process in the midst of continuous bombing, and that's what I don't understand about Republicans... they cannot even talk about rebuilding America while they are in the process of dismantling, destroying, decimating and denying... and that Mr. President is what you need to keep in mind as you make decisions for the American people... we need, and want to move "forward"... and as Perry so eloquently put it... "This ain't a day for quitting nothing." And to that my only response is, "Yikes"... and this man wants to be President?

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Friday, November 4, 2011

Letter #118... Dear Mr. President... Even the Rich can, and Do, Fall.

Dear Mr. President:

Yesterday I talked about how the system works against the poor, and how easily people can, and do become homeless. Today I’d like to tell you another story of how fast things can change even when you think you have it all… the story of Dennis.

After graduating from high school in 1962 Dennis joined the U.S. Army during a time when the buildup in Vietnam was just beginning. He was fortunate enough to serve most of his time as a purser in Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

After his honorable discharge he had a few jobs of varying duration, but his real passion began when he started in the building trade. It wasn’t long before he had a partner and they were building spec homes on the coast between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. Dennis had a lovely wife and two great kids, and lived in a beautiful home he built for himself and his family. They had a big boat, new cars and were living the American dream.

Then came the first Gulf War in 1990… Dennis and his partner had just finished two, million dollar homes that were on the market for sale… sales that never happened because the real estate market came to a screeching halt. What followed were a series of events that have happened many times over, to many other people… the loans from the bank went into default and the properties were repossessed.

Unable to get additional loans, it wasn’t long before Dennis had to sell his boat, cars, TV’s and all the ‘trappings’ that many men feel are necessary to prove they are good providers and successful businessmen. Not long after losing most of his possessions, including his own home, his wife filed for a divorce… by then alcohol had become a problem that exacerbated an already difficult situation.
 Dennis recovering from a stroke and heart surgery
Dennis’ family tried very hard to get him into recovery programs, but he as too proud and too stubborn to get the help he so desperately needed. As one thing follows another, Dennis’ home became his truck with his tools and a few family possessions. After several run ins with the law, his truck was impounded and at that point he lost everything and was living on the streets.

After suffering a stroke, having open heart surgery, getting a little apartment, and maintaining sobriety for over a year, Dennis decided to start drinking again… and went back to being homeless. That was five years ago, and no one in his family has heard from him since. So you see Mr. President… anyone can fall on hard times and end up homeless, alcoholism is a terrible disease, and there, but for the Grace of God, go I… ~ And did I mention Mr. President… Dennis is my brother.

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers,
Your Gadfly Granny

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Letter #117... Dear Mr. President... A Few Easy Steps to Becoming Homeless.

Letter #117
Dear Mr. President:
We live in what most would consider an upscale neighborhood, in the rolling foothills outside of Sacramento. I assume that most people in affluent areas such as ours understand that we are not only privileged, but lucky as well.
I use the word lucky because the road we traveled to get here involved a lot of luck, timing, and at a time when the economy was booming. Not everyone is so fortunate, and it seems to me that the economy and our current system actually ‘conspire’ against poor people, and here’s how it works.
Lets take an ordinary hourly worker just barely making ends meet. He’s driving home from work one night when he gets pulled over for a taillight infraction. He’s given a fixit ticket and a time frame to take care of it before it becomes a full-fledged ticket. He buys the bulb, replaces it, but cannot get time off of work to get the ticket signed off as being fixed. Failing to do that incurs the full ticket, which he receives in the mail, but he cannot afford to pay it so a warrant is then issued for failure to pay. Meanwhile fines are accruing while the ticket remains unpaid. Now it’s time to get his license renewed, but he cannot do it because of the unpaid tickets. Next he is stopped for out of date car registration, the officer asks to see his license, which is expired, he’s arrested for outstanding warrants for the unpaid tickets, his car is towed to the impound lot, he is released with a date to appear in court, he cannot afford to get his car out of impound, he loses his job because he has no vehicle. He falls behind on his rent and is evicted… and he becomes the next homeless person.
 Some may think this is far-fetched, but I can assure you it is happening all around America every single day in one scenario or another.
Other things that conspire to keep the poor, poor are:
·      Extra bank fees for not maintaining a certain balance in your account…
·      The average annual interest rate on a Payday loan is more than 400%...
·      Higher car insurance premiums if you live in a high-crime zip code area…
·      Fire Fees in some states that are in addition to taxes already paid…
·      Inner-city grocery stores that charge as much as 43% more for milk…
·      Federal housing subsides that favor households making more than $77,000…
·      Credit card late fees have risen by 194% since 1994…
·      Predatory tax prep lenders taking a huge percentage on early tax refunds…
This is only a partial list of how poor people are being exploited by a system that punishes them for just being poor. The old cliché of “The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer” is not a myth… this is why we have 99% of the people protesting the 1%... what is your administration doing to correct this egregious inequity?
Most Respectfully,
Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Letter #116... Dear Mr. President... Our Schools & Our Children Deserve Better.

Letter #116

Dear Mr. President:

I realize that I’m somewhat of a dinosaur by most peoples standards because I remember a time when phones had party lines, we listened to the radio because we didn’t have a TV, and we played outside all of the time. Our toys were jacks and jump ropes, bats, balls and bikes, and we ran everywhere… barefoot, I might add.
Although we grumbled about school just like kids today, we had countless opportunities to learn new things. Even though I couldn’t carry a tune in a bag, I was always in the Choir singing my heart out because it was fun. It was once decided that I should play an instrument… I picked the Tuba, but lugging it around was more of a chore than I wanted at eight years of age.

When I was in High School, my Mom insisted that I take anything and everything “office” related… typing, shorthand, office machines, etc… because once I was out of school the jobs that were available would be secretarial in nature. The other subjects I was required to take, according to my Mom’s grand plan, were all the “home-making” classes… sewing and cooking for all four years. Art classes were considered frivolous and unnecessary, and therefore, not allowed. Physical Education, History, English and Math were all mandatory, no wiggle room there. College was not encouraged in our home of six kids, we just didn’t have the money.

Neither of my parents went to college although my Mom claimed to have gone to Marin City College… my Aunt Virginia debunked that theory by saying, “well she might have walked across the campus once.” My father did take some night courses in accounting because he was an accountant, but that was about all.

I mention all this because as you well know, the education system in America is falling apart… declining at a rapid rate compared to other countries. Our schools are crumbling, class sizes are growing again, elective classes have been slashed in all but the richest school districts. P.E. is a thing of the past in most schools, and we wonder why we have a generation of obese children with adult diseases. Four-day school weeks are growing in numbers all across the country as districts slash budgets to save teachers. The list goes on and on… 
Passing local school bonds or levy’s is all but impossible, parents cannot afford the taxes they owe now, let alone any additional ones. Those people that can afford to put their kids in private schools, do… with the net effect being an additional loss of revenue for the public schools and the remaining children.  

What is your plan to turn this horrendous trend of dumbing down America around Mr. President… our kids deserve better and they cannot afford to wait any longer. 

Most Respectfully,

Marcia Reimers
Your Gadfly Granny