Practice is key to reading
The Herald-Leader in its Dec. 9 editorial, “Stop the education backsliding,” may have some figures on its side, but I do not think that preschool is the answer to preparing for reading later.
I did not go to a preschool and I was reading in third grade at fifth-grade level. My daughters did not have reading in preschool and by the time they were in middle school they were reading 120 books a year (not a typo). My wife and I read to them from books they enjoyed, and after they could read they chose books they enjoyed. They continued reading all types of literature and today my oldest teaches English literature. Excelling in reading and basic math does not depend on starting earlier or superior intellect, but practice.
My years of preschool were mostly spent outdoors and were the best of my life. I do not agree that earlier is better.
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Focus on domestic violence
It wasn’t until the late 1970s that spousal abuse was considered a social problem. However, domestic violence is still a huge social issue today.
Here are a couple of facts about domestic violence. About 85 percent of domestic violence occurs against women. Most of the time, these women are victimized by a spouse or an intimate partner. Domestic violence affects women emotionally and physically. Women experience post-traumatic stress and depression; physically they can have broken bones and death. Children who have experienced domestic violence in the household are at higher risks for being abusers or victims themselves as adults. More than 60 percent of children who are exposed to abuse fall behind academically and socially. They also experience anxiety and depression.
I ask the Herald-Leader to consider a more aggressive stance in advocating for community awareness of this problem. Consider listing resources available locally and statewide to encourage our communities to volunteer. Volunteering time to drive women to and from safe places will help empower victims.
The National Network to End Domestic Violence believes that communities are extremely important to help families escape violence and deal with recovery. Please give serious consideration to assist us in bringing awareness to domestic violence.
Violence not OK
No doubt most people have heard about the horrific shootings in Louisville and Pittsburgh last fall, mass murders that denote extreme racism and anti-Semitism. The sentences (possibly death) for both shooters should be a lesson for all murderous shooters and an example to those who wish to do harm to the Jews, similar to the decimation of Nazi Germany during World War II.
Many people may not care for the politics of some African-Americans or Jews, but in a supposedly civilized country that should never escalate to violence such as these killings or the mayhem in Charlottesville, Va., two years ago. According to the Bible, Jews are God’s special people and we should honor that.
Fringe benefits for Chao
No one should doubt the power of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. To appease him, his wife, Elaine Chao, has been made a secretary in two presidents’ cabinets. I worked for her while she was paid as the secretary of labor. I said paid, because I could not tell if she accomplished anything other than cashing a paycheck, and now she is heading the transportation department. I have not heard of her doing anything there, either.
Years ago, Sen. Bob Dole was majority leader and his wife was secretary of labor after having headed transportation. The difference? Elizabeth Dole was the best I served under. She made many changes in the regulations where she could. An example would be in the child labor, federal contract and salaried worker laws. Not many secretaries make as big a difference as did Elizabeth Dole.
April fool’s tale
April 1, 2019: The current head of the fools of the White House, President Donald Trump, is no longer employed at that location. He has been replaced by “The Puppet” Vice-President Mike Pence.
How did this happen? In January 2019, the new Democrats of the House of Representatives arrived in Washington, D.C. In February, the House members investigated Trump and impeached him. In March, the members of the Senate, tired of the foolish lies and law-breaking actions committed by Trump, convicted him and kicked him out of the office of president of the United States of America.
This is the second time a Trump has been ousted. The smartest man that ever lived, Prince Regent Luitpold of Kallstadt, Germany, refused to let Trump’s grandfather Frederick Trump stay after he returned to his native Germany because Trump had left the country before fulfilling his military responsibilities. Thanks a lot, Prince Regent Luitpold.
Bill Clemmons Jr.