Wayne's 32 Letters
Governor of New Hampshire
Dear Governor Lynch:
01 - Health
What would be the impact on New Hampshire’s budget if health care costs for state employees could be lowered by 10%? I see that health insurance is up $500 on the average per employee for businesses over last year. How would you go about achieving a 10% reduction in health care costs for state employees? Any clues? Having researched this field carefully, I have.
By the way, we don’t buy health insurance, it’s sickness insurance. And the same goes for so-called health care. It’s sickness care, and maybe it’s about time to consider stopping making ourselves sick.
What I discovered is the biggest cover-up of the 20th century…one responsible for the unnecessary deaths of tens to hundreds of millions of people world-wide. I’ve discovered some doctors who have proven that any disease can be cured without drugs and not even a need for a doctor. This has been carefully covered up in order to protect the enormous profits of the pharmaceutical and medical industries. For proof that I’m not a wacko read Dr. Bruno Comby’s Maximize Immunity or check out www.drday.com and see what well-known San Francisco trauma surgeon Dr. Lorraine Day has to say.
My Secret Guide to Health explains how anyone can cure themselves of any illness, mainly by changing their lifestyle. If copies were given to all state employees at least 10% of them would be motivated enough to make the lifestyle changes needed to maintain robust health. And, a few months later, when their fellow employees see how healthy that 10% have become (and are bragging about it), they’ll finally read the book and more will change.
Imagine the consequences if every major employer in New Hampshire followed this route! It could put the prescription counter of our drug stores (they’re in the back, past the candy and snack-food racks) out of business. Talk about a drug-free New Hampshire! And remember, all those savings go right to the bottom line!
The "secret" is simple. By getting people to stop putting poisons into their bodies, their immune systems will recover from fighting the poisons and get busy repairing the damage that’s been done…such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and so on. From there on it’s illness prevention instead of sickness care.
Mainly as a result of our diet, the pharmaceutical industry is making over 19% profit a year. The top six pharmaceutical industries make more profit than the other 394 of the Fortune 400 combined.
I gave you a copy of my book, but I know you haven’t read it because I haven’t heard from you about getting a copy into the hands of every state employee and getting a health movement started which could make New Hampshire the healthiest state in America.
02 - BIGs
To keep New Hampshire’s economy healthy we need to do everything we can to encourage small business growth and the formation of new businesses. The more you and the Legislature can do along this line, the stronger will be our New Hampshire economy.
For instance, we have at least a hundred towns in New Hampshire that are large enough to benefit from the formation of Business Incubator Groups (BIGs).
The concept is simple…in each town organize a group of business leaders who would normally benefit from new businesses being formed…such as a lawyer, accountant, printer, mailing company, computer service company, realtor, insurance company, and so on. Have them form a Business Incubator Group to help entrepreneurs put together and fund business proposals. They would also act as a board of directors for the new firms as well as get more business for themselves providing their services.
The actual funding would come from the state, but would be guaranteed by the BIGs, thus insuring the state against any possible loss. Indeed, the state would collect interest on the BIG loans. It’s a proverbial win-win situation.
Small businesses are the real backbone of America, not huge industries. In my Secret Guide to Wealth I advise youngsters to think in terms of owning their own businesses, not in working at a job for someone else. I explain that there are no schools or colleges I know of today that teach the things an entrepreneur needs to know to be successful…which is why nine out of ten new businesses fail within five years. I explain how they can learn everything they need to know to be successful, with someone else being happy to pay them to learn.
It is only when you own your own business that you can have the freedom and the money to do things. I was 30 before I learned that. That’s when I borrowed $1,000 on my car to start my first business. Within three years I was going the usual successful person route buying a yacht, an airplane, an Arab horse, and new Porsches every year. Johnny Carson joked on his show that I had front and back Porsches.
A few years ago, when I was working with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Board of Overseers, RPI Council, and First Executive On Campus), their business incubator heads consulted me on how they might improve their operation. I proposed a similar approach to the above, which they implemented. They recently won a prize as the best business incubator in the country.
If a hundred towns help develop just four new businesses a year, in five years we’ll have two thousand new businesses. That’s 10,000 to 20,000 new jobs. We’ll see entrepreneurs rushing to New Hampshire from all over the country. Make that ten new businesses a year per BIG and do the math. Watch out Silicon Valley, here comes the Granite Mountains!
One more thing. Will I be invited to say a few words at your press conferences announcing the formation of each of these hundreds of new businesses?
03 - Aspen East
Most winters I’ve been going to Aspen to ski. Why? The skiing is better than anything so far developed in New Hampshire, the restaurants are plentiful, and the condos are reasonable for a week of skiing…particularly in early January, before the high season. I started going there with a bunch of my friends in 1967 and haven’t missed very many winters since.
Sure, Cannon Mountain has good skiing, but there’s little else nearby. Waterville Valley has fair skiing. Loon Mountain is okay…for a day. Ditto Sunapee. Aspen, with four huge ski areas, each with fantastic skiing, complete with free buses to each area from town leaving every few minutes, is quite an attraction.
Is there any way New Hampshire could develop a vacation area like that? Maybe, starting with a state operated ski area on the north face of Mt. Washington? Nearby Fabyan, with the Mt. Washington Hotel, would soon develop more hotels, restaurants and shopping. North Conway is nearby too.
When Littleton’s Senator Jack Eames, who was a good friend of mine, proposed the Cannon Mt. Tramway project in the early 30’s the Legislature fought him for several years. It would be too expensive and would lose money. It opened in 1938 it paid for itself in its first year and has been making a profit ever since.
With 50 million Americans within driving distance of the Mt. Washington Valley, someone with vision could develop the area into an Aspen-East. Aspen isn’t near anything except Denver, and that’s a tough five hour drive. I’ve driven it enough times to know. Most folks fly there from all over the country via shuttles from Denver. Mt. Washington is only about 15 miles from Bethlehem, which sure could use the winter business. This would bring more action to Cannon Mt. too. Twin Mountain, Franconia, and other small towns all could use the winter business. It could be a huge bonanza for the North Country—now hurting badly from its Berlin pulp mills problems.
The downside? Route 93 would have to be widened to three lanes each way. Rt. 302 would also need to be widened. And, worst of all, with an estimated additional $3 billion in revenue, the state’s take could throw the Legislature into a frenzy of spending.
The state is already running Cannon Mountain ski area, so how about starting the project with another state-run ski area? And then another? Let’s make North Country land values soar. Let’s attract skiers from all over the country…by the thousands. Yes, you’ll need an airport big enough for the jet crowd.
04 - Schools
Anything we can do to improve our school system and reduce its cost will improve our quality of life, cut our taxes, and provide a better educated work force for NH businesses. This would, in turn, tend to attract more businesses to the state and help new ones get started.
I believe we can cut our public school cost at least in half, and at the same time enormously improve the quality of education offered. I have written at length about this, but here I'll be brief and not go into the details and furnish all of the references. But this is a subject I have studied in depth. Having been invited to give a keynote address at a national educational conference, perhaps I can claim to be an expert.
To better equalize the funding per student in the state I propose that all schools be funded by the state instead of the towns. Further, I'd like to see the administration of the schools in the hands of elected state officials instead of local school boards. Yes, I'm aware of the pros and cons.
The school model, which is the very best I've found, is the Sudbury Valley School in Framingham, Mass. This school costs less than half as much to run as the nearby public schools. The school takes students from 4-20 and has no curriculum, no tests, no grades, no homework, and no separation of the students by age. The kids study what they want, when they want. And if a group decides they want to learn some subject they get a teacher to help them. The Sudbury graduates are outstanding and are welcome in any college. There are eight books written about the school. Yes, I’ve visited it.
We need to be able to weed out poor teachers and should end tenure, no matter how much of a fight the NEA puts up, or how well-healed their lobbyists are.
Further, I propose that any interested school be commissioned to have its students build a mobile workshop or laboratory in a trailer which can then be moved from school to school, staying at each for a few weeks, making it possible for every NH student to have an opportunity to build skills which require equipment. Skills such as woodworking, metalworking, electronic repairs, foundry, surveying, astronomy, typing, film-making, video and audio recording and editing, etc. These trailers would be returned to their home schools several times a year for maintenance and upgrading.
I’d also like to see students given the opportunity to learn skills such as speaking, juggling, swimming, skiing, snowboarding, scuba diving, horseback riding, skateboarding, roller skating, driving, flying, golf, bowling, sailing, kayaking, bicycle riding, playing the piano (or any other instrument), typing, speed reading, flying kites, spelunking, and so on. Any extra costs of the activities would be paid by the parents, not the state. The idea is to make the learning of these skills available for those interested, not mandatory.
The Sudbury school students make all of the school's rules. Every student and teacher has one vote and they have regular meetings where changes in the rules are discussed and voted on. The school is run by the students. They handle most of the maintenance and keep it clean, thus keeping costs down and providing an incentive to keep the school clean. There's never any graffiti…anywhere. Almost no administration is needed. And administration accounts for a hefty percentage of our school costs in New Hampshire.
I also have a sneaky plan which would provide our schools with the latest in computers and software, all at no cost to the state.
As John Taylor Gatto, the New York prize-winning teacher said, anyone can learn to read in 100 hours, if they're allowed to. That's in just one month. Yet we're turning out college graduates who can barely read. I've taken musicians who came to record their CDs in my studio out to dinner and found they were unable to read a restaurant menu.
If we cut school costs by 50%, will that cut our property taxes in half, or will the Legislature find something else to spend the bonanza on?
05 - Better Colleges
Since a well-educated workforce is an essential element in providing New Hampshire people with a high quality of life, it should be incumbent on our state administration and legislature to encourage our educational institutions to be as up-to-date as possible in their teaching methods and the courses they provide.
Unfortunately, the norm for most people is to resist change…to go with what has always worked for them in the past. We see this in the resistance of most school faculties to change. They tend to teach what they learned in school ten, twenty or thirty years ago. As did their teachers before them. So we have a collision between the status quo and progress, with new technologies and discoveries creating ever more problems for our schools and universities.
One way that the University of New Hampshire could help smooth these changes, helping UNH to not just cope with, but to take advantage of them, would be to establish a continuing UNH research project and report to the University administration and the whole American educational community on their results.
What I have in mind is a feedback system which would help keep the educational product of the University up to date. A small group of business students could survey the UNH alumni yearly, asking them which of the courses they had have been of the most value to them, either in their careers or personally; which have so far been of the least value, and which courses they wish they'd had available to them or that they had taken. As these surveys follow the alumni through the years the University's educational product can be modified to provide what is needed by the customers. Successful businesses are driven by customer needs, so it only makes sense to survey the satisfaction of past customers with the UNH product and learn from their experiences.
The results of this from any one alum wouldn't be significant, but in total, covering thousands of alumni, it would provide a clear indication of what is working and what isn't. And the resulting reports should help convince even the most resistant faculty members of the need for change.
There would be some costs for the surveys and publishing of the reports. All of the costs for the whole project (and more) should be recoverable by selling copies of the reports to other colleges and universities. The publiity these reports would generate would be most beneficial to both UNH and the state.
As the project grows more profitable the group could follow up on the graduates of other New Hampshire colleges and then the world's major universities, eventually providing a world wide model of the educational needs of people everywhere. It would make clear what kinds of education are needed and by approximately how many people in each geographical area. But let's provide the benefits of this research to New Hampshire colleges first, thus helping to improve the quality of life in our state.
Are the alumni of some universities more successful than those of others? Success can be measured in terms of earnings, satisfaction with life, contributions to society, family life, and so on. The reports and the correlations will be most interesting and helpful.
As an entrepreneur I tend to think in terms of new technology projects and then how to make them profitable.
Since New Hampshire has much to gain from such a research project I'd like to see the Governor and the Legislature initiate and fund it, with the proviso that the project is to eventually repay the startup costs with interest.
06 - Tuition Free UNH
How about a way you can make UNH tuition-free, and without any added state support? Maybe even a lot less!
At present a college education is beyond the means of many low income families and can run up big time debts for students. Today’s graduates are an average of $20,000 in debt. Worse, the resulting sheepskin primarily aims most graduates at jobs in large corporations, government or teaching, none of which are likely to result in their ever making much money or having much freedom. Read Kiyosaki’s best-selling Rich Dad, Poor Dad for the skinny on this.
My proposal is for UNH to establish a cooperative business park for high-tech businesses and to have the UNH students interested in a zero tuition education work half of every day in the business park and spend the other half attending classes. This would double the capacity of the school and the student’s earnings at the participating companies would cover their tuition.
The students would work for a few months at each job, rotating through the associated businesses, learning sales, purchasing, bookkeeping, shipping, manufacturing, advertising and promotion, and so on. Each job would be held by two students, one working mornings and the other afternoons. The university would provide buses to move the students to and from the business park and the university.
Now that youngsters are no longer needed to help with the farm work (and haven’t been for a hundred years) the university could go on a 50-week schedule. In that way students would be able to complete four year educations in three. Plus they would get practical business experience which would provide them with an excellent résumé…or, better yet, the background to start their own businesses.
In this way every student would get both a "college education" and a practical business education, and all for free! Participating companies would be attracted to New Hampshire by a bargain-priced young workforce eager to learn everything they can. It’s a win-win combo which should make it easy to attract participating businesses.
This would make UNH truly the University of the 21st century!
07 - Medicaid
With 40% of Medicaid costs footed by the state, and with the cost of drugs and nursing homes exploding, if you want to help keep our taxes down one good approach would be to encourage our New Hampshire citizens to live healthier lives. Does that make sense?
In 1970, Medicare spent about $350 per beneficiary. By 1999 it was $5,655, and is projected to hit $10,000 by 2010. One reason is the increase in the number of Americans over 65, only a very small percentage of which are truly healthy…around 1%. And they’re taking an average of sever medications daily. Another is the rising cost of medical technology, drugs and nursing homes.
With many states now spending a fifth of their budgets on Medicaid, this cost seems a good prospect for being lowered through educating people on how to avoid getting sick.
The cause of illnesses is no mystery. Nor is the cure. It’s no mystery, but it sure is a well-kept secret. Well-kept in order to preserve the drug company incredible profits. You just have to do some research to find out the truth. I’ve done it.
My interest in so-called health care stemmed from my work with the NH Economic Development Commission and a stint on the board of directors of the Monadnock Hospital (where I saved them about $850,000 on the construction of a new wing). My readers have helped me find books which explained everything…books by Drs. Page, Price, Comby, Bieler, Malkmus and others (all reviewed in my Secret Guide to Health).
It turns out that our health problems are all self-inflicted. Once we stop putting stuff into our bodies which our immune system reacts to as toxic it’s able to recover and do an amazing job of rebuilding the damage we’ve done. Does that make good common sense? Putting toxins in our bodies is like putting a sugar cube a day into a car’s gas tank. Eventually the engine is going to clog up and die. So we install a new engine (like a heart or liver transplant), but we keep putting that sugar in the gas tank.
In my Secret Guide to Health (I gave you a copy a few days ago) I go into detail on the various poisons we put into our bodies, most of which are, of course, FDA endorsed. The question is, what do our immune systems consider as toxic, not what the government does. And here research has given us clear answers.
Once people stop poisoning their bodies, nuisances such as diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart trouble, obesity and so on are reversed and slowly fade away. Without the need for prescription drugs, organ transplants, by-pass operations, or nursing homes, our Medicaid costs will plummet, saving the state millions. The only problem left will be how to keep the Legislature from spending the savings instead of lowering taxes. Get out that big black veto pen.
Even with the information on how to live a healthy life, it’s going to be a long transition to a healthy diet and a weaning from Coke, coffee, and doughnuts. But, the sooner you get started, the sooner you’ll see Medicaid costs starting to drop.
The details on the poisons to avoid are covered in my Secret Guide to Health. They include the usual suspects, plus fluorides, chlorine, aspartame, mercury, and aluminum. The only big surprise is that cooking food kills the enzymes our bodies need to digest it (and 78% of the viatmins), so our immune systems treat it toxic. No animal survives well on cooked food.
08 - Greening NH
The secret to health…to recovering from almost any illness and avoiding any further illnesses…lies in good nutrition, avoiding poisons, exercise, and reducing stress. Our bodies adapted eons ago to work best with the nutrients then available to the hunter-gatherers of those days. However, in the last few thousand years we’ve started cooking our food, to which our bodies have not yet adapted. In the last hundred years we’ve really screwed ourselves royally with sugar, white flour products, polished rice, hormones and antibiotics in our meat and milk and pesticides in and on our produce. Even worse, the dozens of minerals which are critical for our body’s healthy operation and which used to be in the soil are long gone out of our food, replaced by chemical NPK fertilizers. The bottom line is that we’re getting sick and we’re living only about half as long as we could with better food.
So what can you do about this? Plenty! It is neither difficult nor expensive to remineralize our farm land and gardens. When plants get the minerals they need, pests no longer bother them, so no pesticides are needed, and they are more nutritious for us and our farm animals to eat. Cattle grow faster and bigger when they eat remineralized feed. Plants grow faster, are more resistant to frost, their fruit and vegetables taste much better, and they last longer after being picked. When is the last time you tasted a really delicious tomato? Or peach?
A hundred years ago New Hampshire was a farming state. We now have land that has been laying fallow for a hundred years which could support small family gardens for tens of thousands of families. My research has turned up at least a dozen ways to grow bigger and better crops…with plants five and even ten times as productive as we’re seeing now. I’d like to see the N.H. Legislature encourage our schools to make modern agriculture courses available and encourage our youngsters to start remineralized family gardens and farms. I envision a N.H. Mega-Farming magazine, seeds distributed through our schools (like they used to…and probably still do…candy), and a series on Channel 11.
A healthier citizenry will cut medical costs enormously and will raise holy hell with the Social Security system. Tough.
There are two books reviewed in my Secret Guide to Wisdom which explain the importance of remineralizing our crop lands. One is The Survival of Civilization by Hamaker-Weaver, and the other is a $1.50 book by Supkow, Rock Dust and the Environment.
Remineralizing our land will also help counter the CO2 buildup in our atmosphere and make the use of chemical fertilizers unnecessary. Maybe you’ve read about the damage the fixed nitrogen in chemical fertilizers is doing to our atmosphere.
The cost of the remineralizing gravel could be reduced if a state-wide effort was made to encourage its use. The Legislature might work in cooperation with private companies to provide rock dust for the farms and gardens in the state for as reasonable a cost as is practical. I believe the Legislature could both get a commitment from the rock dust companies to help pay for the statewide promotion and, considering the enormous increase in their potential business as a result of the state sponsored program, keep prices reasonable.
We might see families from all over New England coming to New Hampshire on weekends to shop at our farmer’s markets.
A success here would spread across the country, and what state has more Granite available for dusting Ameica’s farms? That could turn out to be a huge new business.
09 - Tax-Free!
Yes, even this is possible! I’ve proposed running the state as one would a business. I call that New Hampshire, Ltd. and, as a businessman, I say it’s about damned time.
Unlike most businesses the size of New Hampshire, I’m hoping that NH, Ltd., will take advantage of a new technology to provide a desperately needed new product…and make billions doing it. Indeed, enough to end the need for most or even all of our taxes.
With Polaroid declaring bankruptcy, and with their stock, which was in the $60 range four years ago now trading at 28¢, and all because the management was blind to the arrival of a new technology…digital photography. One of the major reasons New Hampshire was one of the hardest hit by the 1990 recession was its dependence on the jobs provided and the tax revenues from the minicomputer giants such as DEC, Wang, Data General and Centronics. These giants were blind to the arrival of the personal computer…despite my personally trying to convince their presidents that they needed to adopt this new technology, not ignore it. They all told me I was wrong.
So, what is the needed new product? If you’re read any of the books on the sad state of the American public school system (and this, unfortunately, includes New Hampshire), you know that our students rank dead last in international competitions. Have you read the books by Thomas Sowell (Inside American Education – the Decline, The Deception, The Dogmas), John Taylor Gatto (Dumbing Us Down and The Underground History of American Education), George Roche (The Fall of the Ivory Tower), Rita Kramer (Ed School Follies), Charlotte Yserbyt (The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America) and Daniel Greenberg (Free At Last!)? They are all reviewed in my Secret Guide to Wisdom. They all tell it like it is.
Then there are Lieberman’s The Teacher Unions – How They Sabotage Educational Reform and Why, Lyman’s The Homeschooling Revolution; and London’s Why Are They Lying To Our Children?
If you’ve watched the PBS series on the Revolution, WWII, the presidents, and so on, you’ve seen history taught in an exciting and entertaining way. What I’m proposing is a need for DVD delivered programs which will teach all of the subjects which are or should be in the K-12 curriculum and teach them so they’re exciting and as much fun to learn as video games. And that’s just for starters.
Look, today’s kids love computers and computer games. So let’s use this technology to help them educate themselves, and have fun doing it.
The immediate market would be home schooling families and parents who want to help their children to learn, despite the failure of the public schools. In the longer run DVD-delivered educational programs, if they’re enough fun so kids will be begging to get them, could eliminate the need for much of the public school curriculum.
How to get started in the business? That’s easy, get the students at UNH to start producing programs. As the sales mount the money can be invested in building better studios, training or hiring professional writers and performers, and installing state-of-the-art graphics systems. The learning experience would be fantastic for the UNH students in producing and marketing the programs. Watch out Pixar! And, with a tithe going to the state, the main problem would be to keep the Legislature from going on spending sprees instead of using the money to eliminate taxes.
With 50 million school children in America, plus over a billion world wide, the market for an education at about a tenth the current cost and without the enormous wastes of time is huge. Trillions of dollars.
Of course the programs wouldn’t stop at K-12, but would eventually cover university, business and personal interest subjects…anything people want to learn about.
The one thing needed that’s missing to help speed the adoption of DVD-delivered education is a publication which would mercilessly review all of the distant learning products. This would help the fittest to survive and flourish, and would give the public confidence in making the change. This was the approach I used with my CD Review magazine and it helped speed the change from LPs to CDs. I asked every reader to rate every CD they bought for sound quality and performance…and I published the results.
One of the best answers to our Middle-East miseries is a low cost, high quality educational system. It could even help in Africa and any other poverty areas of the world. There are very few well educated poor people, and few poorly educated wealthy.-
With DVD programs replacing chalk and talk classrooms, students could be organized into travel groups of ten or twelve, visiting countries all around the world for a week or two, bringing their DVD-player programs with them. It wouldn’t take long before there would be special student visitor hotels, complete with Internet access and special organized activities in every major city of the world. And you can bet that with thousands of American students visiting, all kinds of special entertainment will be made available for these visitors.
Two one-month trips a year, visiting four countries per trip, would have the average student visiting 50 or so countries by the time they’re college age. Talk about an education!
If New Hampshire gets a head start in this new industry via UNH, it’ll be possible to grow much of it here. Graduating students will be setting up support businesses for graphics, virtual laboratories, distribution, special interest programs, and so on.
It pays to be a pioneer in a new technolcogy. Like Bill Gates. There is a window of opportunity in the DVD-base education field. As bandwidth expands on the Web, more and more educational programs will be delivered that way. But, by being a pioneer in developing content, UNH would be in a good position to deliver the programs via any medium. Content is king.
10 - Higher SAT Scores
While our whole educational system needs to be brought from the mid-19th century into the 21st, at least taking advantage of our current DVD technology, there are some things we can do without upsetting the current system that will result in our youngsters doing much, much better in school.
Take the Central Alternative High School in Appleton, Wisconsin. The students were rude, obnoxious and ill-mannered (just like here). There were so many problems with discipline and weapons violations that they had to have a police officer on the staff. The school was out of control. Seven years ago Natural Ovens of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, began a project to bring healthy food to the area schools.
Soft drink, candy and junk food machines were taken out. In the cafeteria burgers, fries and buritos were replaced by salads, whole grain breads, fresh fruits and vegetables, and meats cooked the old fashioned way. Now the teens drink water.
Grades are up, truancy is no longer a problem, arguments are rare, and teachers are able to spend their time teaching instead of having to cope with difficult youngsters. Each year principals of Wisconsin schools have to file a report on the number of students who have dropped out, been expelled, found using drugs, carrying weapons or have committed suicide. Since the start of the new lunch program the school’s numbers have been zero in every category.
Even when I was in high school in the 1930s I ate a ham sandwich and chocolate milk in the school cafeteria for lunch. Later I changed to a hamburger with mashed potatoes and an apple turnover with ice cream for dessert. No wonder I just barely got by. And I sure got fat.
Do we need to set up a test case to prove what’s already been proven, or can we start replacing soft drinks and fast food with wholesome menus in our New Hampshire schools? And, let’s push for raw foods.
Now, in Appleton’s middle and elementary schools, they’re replacing candy and pop machines with juice machines and water coolers and everyone notices the amazing differences in student behavior at all grades. The extra cost? It was about $20,000 a year for the Natural Ovens experiment. One youngster arrested would cost the school more.
New Hampshire businesses could learn from this. They should get rid of the coffee, soft drink and food vending machines and provide fruit baskets and pure water.
11 - Young Writers
As Sky Dayton, the founder of Earthlink, said recently, "It’s almost impossible these days to find executives who know how to write. This vital skill seems to be vanishing. I'm not just talking about high school graduates, but people with degrees from prestigious Ivy League schools."
"There is an even more fundamental skill than writing…thinking. When it comes to finding employees who know how to think rationally and evaluate information for themselves, combing though a crop of recent college graduates is like looking for a needle in a haystack."
Okay, what can be done to get New Hampshire youngsters to learn to write…and learn to think? Any ideas? Yes, of course I have some.
First, let’s tackle the thinking part of the problem. Our whole 19th century school system, where we force youngsters to memorize facts in order to pass memorization tests rather than teaching them concepts, has given us several generations of non-thinking, uncreative people. As the publisher of CD Review magazine I eagerly listened to every recording of newly written classical music. There wasn’t one that I enjoyed the first time I listened, much less ever wanted to hear again. And that’s typical of all the arts today. Creativity, if not dead, is badly woulded.
In the third grade I was taught how to read and write music. This was valuable to me later when I wanted to sing in the St. Paul’s Church choir. And that led me to singing in Philharmonic Choir of Brooklyn, conducted by Robert Shaw. In the fourth grade we were given copies of the famous paintings where we learned about composition and perspective. This knowledge helped me become the chief cameraman at WPIX in New York, where I did the one-hour Gloria Swanson variety shows all on my one camera. And this was before zoom lenses.
In the fourth grade we also learned how to read, write and enjoy poetry.
To help children learn to think we can expose them to a wide variety of books and magazines to read. My Secret Guide to Wisdom, which reviews a hundred mind-expanding books, is a good starter. Instead of just reading them, I recommend that they be read with a hi-lighter in hand so critical data can be more easily be found later. Then, in class, the students be given an opportunity to explain what they learned from the book or the magazine article. This will help them put their thoughts together and get them comfortable talking before a group.
This is a good time for the youngsters to start their personal library of information. When they find an interesting book or magazine article they can not only use the hi-lighter, but note the reference in their computer so it will be easy to find when they need it later.
I tear out magazine articles for my clipping file. I stick a small Post-It with a number on each clipping and file them in folders. C-001 to C-050, C-051-C-100, etc. These are referenced in my computer by number, plus any identifying subjects I might be searching for later when I’m writing. In this way one filing system allows me to find references in any of dozens of different subjects that interest me.
This will help get kids started thinking…and looking for books and magazines which are sources of information. The next step is to get them started writing. It’s so easy today, with our computers, to edit and publish newsletters, journals, and even books, that every class could be publishing a journal every month…and putting it on their Web site too. What a treasured collection that would make for every youngster…and their proud parents. I still have copies of my high school literary journal with my articles. I sure wish I’d written more.
Gee, all that will take money! So, do what other publications do…get the class out selling ads. That’ll be very valuable in the long run. We have to be able to sell all of our lives and we don’t learn that skill by reading a book and taking a test on what we remember.
My NH ToDo is a 64-page magazine and it’s produced on a Macintosh computer by only one person.
Let’s have New Hampshire schools pioneer getting kids to actually think and write…then maybe the idea will catch on in other states. At least it will give our kids a huge advantage when it comes to getting jobs…or starting their own businesses.
Will there be state prizes for the most creative and interesting class publications? How about a program on Channel 11 with kids reviewing books? Creating a thinking generation is a challenge and a mandate for education…but it isn’t going to happen without a good deal of encouragement and push. Memorizing for tests doesn’t cut it.
Oh, another idea. Those magazine clipping files could be scanned and put on the Web for other writers to access. What a fantastic resource the clipping files of dozens, maybe hundreds of students would be, complete with their indexing files all combined.
And how proud the kids and their parents will be when they see their children’s first books!
12 - Toxic Sludge
Would a New Hampshire state government which provided its citizens with the infrastructure and the services they want, and managed to do it with a minimum of expense to its customers (low taxes) be considered a "better government?" How about a state which provided everything with no taxes? I’m proposing still another way to accomplish this!
As an entrepreneur I tend to think in terms of New Hampshire, Ltd. Yes, I know that state-owned companies almost invariably are poorly managed and lose money, but that’s not always the case. In New York the Triborough Bridge Authority provided great services and made money. Tons of money. So, it is possible.
What I’m proposing is that the state get involved in a new kind of industry…one that will make so much money that it could make this the first totally tax-free state. Nevada has come close, living well on the gambling industry taxes. The closest parallel with what I have in mind is the country of Brunei, where there are no taxes, where the government provides investment money for new businesses, mortgage money for homes at very low interest, and almost gives gasoline and oil away to its citizens. I think the Sultan of Brunei is even richer than Bill Gates! It all is made possible by the oil deposits under the country. Yes, I’ve been there.
So what is this miraculous new industry that could make New Hampshire the Brunei of the Americas? I’m proposing that New Hampshire set up a facility to deal with the world’s nuclear waste problem. Good lord, you reflexively recoil in horror, we don’t want that dangerous radioactive sludge being brought into our beautiful state! Oh, yes we do! But then I suspect I know something you don’t. I know how that sludge can be turned into gold. Well, figuratively.
You probably missed the demonstration on ABC’s Good Morning America where Dr. Jim Patterson ran some radioactive materials through his patented energy cell and, in a couple of hours, got rid of the radioactivity. He’s figured out how to do in hours what nature takes millions of years to do…convert radioactive elements into non-radioactive elements. I’ve got a tape of the ABC demo.
Jim’s company, Clean Energy Technology, Inc., (CETI) has developed a fairly simple process which transmutes any of several radioactive elements into benign elements, generating enormous amounts of heat in the process. He has a long and growing string of patents on his process…which I’ve published in my Cold Fusion journal. So here’s a way to take radioactive waste, get rid of the radioactivity and at the same time generate heat as a by-product…heat that can be used to run generators to supply electricity, not only to New Hampshire, but to feed into the power grid and generate revenues. It can also be used to make hydrogen, if hydrogen-powered cars are developed. Here is a fuel the federal government will pay us handsomely to use which can also generate electricity.
I’ve talked with Jim Patterson, whom I’ve known for several years, and he sees no serious problems in scaling his invention up to generate billions of kilowatts of electricity, and at less than 10% of the cost of generating it any other known way. What would really low cost New Hampshire electricity do as far as attracting new businesses to the state? Low cost power and no business taxes! Plus no income, sales, or even property taxes for the workers? We might have to build a wall around the state with guard towers to keep new businesses out. I’m reminded of Monaco, where there is a similar tax situation, made possible by the proceeds of the Monte Carlo casino. There you have to be born into a citizen family to be a citizen.
A nuclear remediation power facility could be built in one of the more remote areas of the state so as not to NIMBY (not in my back yard) any more people than necessary. It should be fairly near the power grid and serviced by a good highway to accommodate trucks bringing radioactive waste to the facility. Or it could be built near the Seabrook nuclear power plant, which would eliminate any need for cross-country power lines.
Here’s a way to use a brand new technology, the low energy transmutation of elements to generate heat, a technology so new that many top physicists are still arguing over the revisions in solid state atomic theory which this is forcing them to deal with. I happen to be familiar with the technology and the physicists who have explained the theory because I published the journal of record for this new field.
The generation of heat (and therefore power) through elemental transmutation will, I predict, eventually be one of the largest industries in the world. It promises to provide non-polluting energy at a fraction of the cost of using oil, coal, natural gas, or hydropower. This discovery comes at a time when it many scientists are telling us that the world’s resources of fossil fuels is becoming more and more limited. Is it really fair for the coming generations to strip the entire world of its oil and coal? Forever?
I’ve investigated all of the other alternative energy sources I’ve heard about and found no other with the immediate promise of replacing fossil fuels at a practical cost.
Once R&D gets going with this new technology it won’t be long before we’ll see small cold fusion generators on the market to power and heat homes and businesses. We could even see units small enough to power cars and planes. This would allow us to do away with power lines and gas stations. Gee, what a loss! The potential for unlimited power generated at a tenth the cost of oil (or less) and with no polluting by-products would allow us to heat roads to avoid ice and snow build up. It would lower the cost of most products. And no more arguments over oil pipe lines in Alaska or oil tankers leaking. No more need to invade Iran or keep our hold in Iraq.
By the way, if you haven’t heard, the cleanup after the Valdez spill caused more harm to the environment than the oil.
13 - Prison Reform
What’s it cost NH to keep someone in prison? Nationally it’s running around $30,000 a year. Hmm, that’s $3 million a year per hundred prisoners. $30 million per thousand. We’re talking big bucks that we can’t shoot during hunting season.
I’ll bet we can substantially cut the cost. For instance, instead of walls, razor wire, barred cells, and so on, how about a wrist or ankle bracelet that tells a computer exactly where the prisoner is at all times. Further, if the prisoner tries to go outside the prescribed area it would not only set off alarms, but would shock the bejeezus out of him like a stun gun.
Then there’s the cost of keeping the prison warm in the winter, and for food. If we set up a new prison in the Caribbean there’d be no more heating costs. Further, prisoners could grow their own food year around. They should be eating raw food to stay healthy anyway, so few kitchen facilities would be needed.
It just happens that there’s a small Caribbean desert island that’s ideal. It’s about one mile wide and three miles long, and surrounded by 30 to 50-foot cliffs. That’s right, no beaches. You get on the island either by helicopter or via a boat by climbing a hanging ladder in a small inlet. The island is US owned, so that’s no problem. It’s 40 miles from the nearest land (Haiti), quite a swim for anyone trying to escape. A swim through shark-infested waters.
The US took Navassa from Germany after WWI. There are the ruins of the penal colony they had there, plus the remains of a small railroad they used for transporting bird guano, which the prisoners mined. The island has a lighthouse which is powered by acetylene brought in by the Coast Guard by either helicopter or boat. The lighthouse-keepers cottage collapsed decades ago.
How do I know so much about Navassa Island? Been there. Twice. It’s between Jamaica and Haiti and uninhabited, except for a few goats. I’ll bet you could keep prisoners there for less than $3,000 a year each. Rain provides plenty of water and fruit and vegetables would grow like crazy. Goats, too. The only major problem I see would be trying to convince the prisoners to come back to New Hampshire once their sentences are over.
You don’t need buildings to house the prisoners, just bungalows. Dunno why their wives couldn’t stay with them, if they’d like. No, this isn’t much punishment, with satellite TV and telephone service. But the main idea of prison these days is supposed to be correctional, not punishment…to keep people who have done bad things away from the rest of us. Way away.
Family, friends and lawyers could visit the prisoners via video conferencing over the Internet. It wouldn’t be much different from talking over a phone on the other side of a glass partition.
14 - Flouride
One of the responsibilities of a state is to protect its citizens from exposure to hazardous materials, right? Okay, please step up to the plate and push the Legislature to ban the use of known toxic substances.
Like? Fluoride in our water. The adding of fluorides to the public water supplies is banned in all but one European country: Ireland. The referendum okay last year by the Manchester people for fluoridated water is a monument to misleading propaganda.
When I was a lot younger I remember the fight a few extremists put up against our city governments fluoridating our water. Bunch of kooks, we were told by the media. Well, I know you’re not going to believe this, but it turns out the kooks were right for a change. What a concept! There are any number of scientific studies which show that (a) fluoridating us does not help fight tooth decay and (b) that fluoridation is doing everyone exposed to it harm.
Sure, only a small percentage of the children who get their teeth swabbed with a fluoride solution by dentists or their dental assistants die from it. I suppose that’s an acceptable loss as long as it isn’t your child. And it’s not enough so the doctors can’t cover it up to avoid law suits.
In areas where the water has been fluoridated the cancer rate has increased substantially. In high fluoride areas people age prematurely, their teeth drop out and their bones get very brittle. Even minor shocks can cause a hip fracture, which in an elderly person is virtually a death sentence.
How about the three year old child who had his teeth swabbed at a clinic. The nurse gave him a glass of water to rinse out his mouth and turned away to gossip with someone. The child drank the water and was dead in a few hours.
There goes Wayne with hyperbole of gloom and doom, right? Hey, don’t believe me. But do read Fluoride, The Aging Factor, by Dr. Yiamouyiannis. He’s got all the research data there for you. I’m not exaggerating, I’m understating the situation. Yes, our government is, in many cities, pouring this poison into our water supply. California has mandated it! And this poison is not only causing a wide range of illnesses, it is also causing chromosomal damage which is then passed on to the next generation. And the next, permanently damaging our gene pool. Cities and towns are adding from 0.6 ppm to as high as 8.0 ppm of fluoride to our water. How come? It’s a multibillion dollar business, that’s how.
How do we get away from it? A home distiller helps. A $120 unit is available from steamdistiller.com that’s a beaut. I’ve been drinking distilled water for some time now. How about Coke? The stuff is packed with fluoride (2.56 ppm). So is Diet Coke (2.96 ppm, and it only takes 0.5 ppm to cause serious trouble). A reader sent me a report on water fluoridation research. It turns out that even a tiny amount of fluoride in the water tends to leach out lead, copper and iron from water pipes, increasing their toxic effects. In fact, the total toxicity of the combinations is much greater than their sum. Sodium and aluminum fluoride cause irreversible memory loss, dyslexia, behavioral and learning problems. Just what our kids need, right? Of course we’re "solving that problem" by sedating ’em with Ritalin, Prozac, Zoloft, etc.
Fluoride exposure during pregnancy retards brain development, significantly lowering the child’s IQ. That what we want? Life is tough enough without prenatal brain damage. I wonder how much our fluoridated water has contributed to the SAT drop?
Okay, what’s the rationalization for adding fluorides to our drinking water? It supposedly in the result of a Public Health Service (PHS) study in the 1930s where they found that the mottling of teeth (fluorisis) in some cases coincided with lower rates of tooth decay among children. However, since some cities with higher fluorides in their water had higher rates of decay, the PHS did another study which ignored those cities, thus completely biasing the study.
In 1945 Newburg (NY) was set up for a dental and medical study with Kingston (NY) as the control. By 1960 dental decay was lower in Kingston than Newburg, but fluorisis rates in Newburg were twice as high. The results of some of the tests were suppressed so we don’t know just what they found. It did leak out that the certical bone abnormalities of Newburg boys were twice those of Kingston, and that the onset of puberty for girls in Newburg was advanced by five months! Later studies have confirmed that rats fed fluoridated water develop higher rates of bone cancer.
The widespread fluoridation of our water supplies might be connected to the continuing advancement of puberty in girls and dropping sperm counts in men.
Fluorides have also been shown to cause memory lapses, confusion and an inability to concentrate. People with these problems who change to drinking distilled water have been finding that these problems soon go away.
Studies with animals have shown that those given fluorides tend to be more passive and less alert. And prenatal exposure led to hyperactive newborns. So give ’em Prozac…what’s the problem?
Recent studies in Tucson showed that there was less tooth decay in areas with less fluorides in the water. They found the same in studies in New Zealand, India and China.
Experts are now saying that children under three should not be using fluoridated water, beverages or baby formula.
By the way, in addition to adding fluorides to our drinking water, our water supplies are also treated with alum or aluminum suplhate to make it look cleaner. When you have aluminum in the water it clings tightly to the fluorides and is absorbed into the blood stream, where it easily goes across the blood-brain barrier. An NYU study with rats fed this water showed after 48 weeks brain cell disturbance as well as liver problems.
Despite everything that has been learned from studies we’re still seeing cities deciding to add fluorides to their water supplies. Well, it’s a great way to sell a manufacturing waste product that would otherwise be expensive to dispose of.
A recent study from the Department of Toxicology, Forsyth Research Institute, the Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Eastman Dental Center, and Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Iowa State University has confirmed the public health malpractice and quackery many doctors have been concerned about for years.
The report cites Chinese scientists who found that a fluoride dose of only 3-11 parts per million (ppm) could effect the nervous system directly. This is well within the amount of fluoride millions of us are getting in our municipal water supplies. Add to that fluoride in toothpaste and mouth rinses and in our cola drinks, commercial beverages, dietary supplements and even in everyday food.
Another Chinese study showed that fluoride affects our attention spans. American researchers had to make do with rats for their experiments, but they found that fluorides caused serious behavioral disruption in rats. Prenatal exposure caused cognitive thinking and drug-induced types of behavioral defects. Worse, they now suspect that fluorides, possibly in conjunction with aluminum, could be the root cause for the recent enormous increase in Alzheimer’s disease. Right now about one old person in two can look forward to that horror! It turns what once were vibrant, alive people into almost totally memoryless vegetables.
The study concluded that fluoride levels acceptable to health departments and dental organizations can cause motor dysfunction, serious IQ deficits and learning difficulties in humans. Just what we need to add to our worst in the developed world school system and endless child debraining via television pap.
One other downside of fluoridated water is that it mottles teeth. Just recently a group of people in England sued Colgate for the mottling of their teeth caused by the fluoride in their toothpaste…and won! Colgate settled out of court for about $2,000 each.
If you think I’m exaggerating, look it up in Vol. 17, #2 1995, Neurotoxicology and Teratology.
If you’re interested I’ll send you a copy of the results of 30 research lab re-ports of genetic damage caused by fluorides, plus a list of 35 published peer-reviewed papers attesting to the genetic damage. These research reports show clearly that as little as one part per million of fluorides in drinking water causes measurable genetic defects in sperm chromosomes and that means some sort of genetic defect will be passed along to your children. And this is not going to be helpful. This can mean small or large birth defects and IQ deficits, none beneficial. And these will in turn be passed along to their children. Is that really what we want?
You’ve read about the decreasing sperm count in American men. Well, fluoride in the water supply has been shown to do this. It’s a deadly poison and helps knock the stuffing out of your immune system.
And yes, I’m well aware of the promotion fluorides have gotten, and how it’s so wonderful for children’s teeth. So, am I an alarmist, or have I got the facts to back me up?
There’s the two Chinese studies I mentioned which compared children in areas with high fluorides in their water with those with low. These studies showed a substantial decrease in IQ for children drinking high fluoride water. Or a study of 39,000 American school children from 5-17 which showed that children drinking fluoridated water had almost identical rates of tooth decay compared with those in unfluoridated areas.
Please get the Legislature to stop poisoning us with fluoridated water. It’s a state authorized huge scam.
15 - Mercury
Still another toxic substance which should be banned in New Hampshire is mercury.
Mercury poisoning is insidious. We get this into our bodies mainly from dental amalgam, which is 50% mercury, and from vaccinations. Dental amalgam is the stuff many uninformed dentists still use to fill teeth, and it’s a dead-dead-deadly poison. Worse, the mercury gradually seeps out of the fillings into your body and into your brain. I have a video which shows how mercury kills brain neurons. I’ll send you a copy if you’d like to see it.
I watched a documentary video of a woman who was crippled in a wheelchair with multiple sclerosis. Dentist Hal Huggins replaced her amalgam fillings with plastic and a few weeks later she was out playing tennis. The American Dental Association, insisting that the mercury in dental amalgam is harmless, had his license revoked.
A study of over 2000 MS patients showed that 98% of them had mercury poisoning. Well, one of my grandmothers (I had two) died of MS, after withering away for over 15 years in bed in Manchester, so I have a special interest in it. Read Huggins’ It’s All In Your Head.
When I mentioned this poison during an Art Bell radio interview Art got really upset with me. He explained that his dentist, in whom he had complete faith, had assured him that the mercury in his fillings could not possibly hurt him. I clearly lost a lot of Art’s respect because he believed he had found me wrong.
Then two different dentists called in, both saying that I was absolutely right. Well, I really hate being wrong about anything, so I try to do my homework thoroughly before writing or talking about something. When I was a kid my family made a big deal out of someone being wrong. Every night the dictionary would come out to verify the use or pronunciation of words. This instilled a pattern of my really hating being wrong.
Another good source is Dr. Gerald Judd’s Good Teeth, Birth to Death, 6615 W. Lupine, Glendale AZ 85304, 602-412-3955. Say hello from Wayne.
For those who still believe in doctors and dutifully go to get their flu shots, I’m sure they haven’t read what Dr. Hugh Fudenberg, the world’s leading immunologist (850 papers published in peer reviewed journals) has said about them. He’s found that anyone who had five flu shots between 1970 and 1980 had a ten times higher chance of Alzheimer’s than if they had one or none. How come? He attributes it to the mercury and aluminum that’s in every flu shot, which then migrates to the brain. Not many people know that just by removing the amalgam fillings from some Alzheimer’s patients teeth that they’ve fully recovered.
Just recently it was revealed that all vaccinations use aluminum and mercury (thimerasol) as carriers. Lordy! We get aluminum from pots and pans, shots, underarm deodorants, beer and soda cans, and even from some of the chem trail sprays! Is it any wonder our nursing homes are filling up with memoryless veggies, suffering from Alzheimer’s, which was virtually unknown a hundred years ago?
The medical industry is becoming more and more aware of the dangers mercury have for us. When I was a kid it was something we played with. We’d coat dimes with it to make them shine. No big deal.
It turns out that one lousy gram of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake for up to a year! So now there’s a growing concern about capturing the mercury residue dental patients spit out when they’re told to rinse. This goes down the drain into the sewage system, polluting the environment for years.
Dentists who have been using dental amalgam for fillings were found to have four times the normal level of mercury in their bodies by researchers at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. They also had more kidney disorders and memory problems. My dentist, who helped load my mouth with mercury (since removed), died of Alzheimer’s.
And this is the stuff that, as a child, I played with and used to coat dimes. It turns out that it’s vapors are easily inhaled, and it also migrates through the skin to your brain. It takes from 15 to 30 years for half of it to leave your body.
It’s been found to cause Alzheimer’s, kidney dysfunction, multiple sclerosis, food allergies, impaired immune system, fatigue, poor memory, and psychological disorders. Mothers with mercury poisoning (from their fillings) can expect birth defects and a loss of IQ in their children.
Yet, with all this becoming common knowledge, many dentists are still using amalgam fillings and denying the long range health danger.
I just ran across Sam Ziff’s Silver Dental Fillings The Toxic Time Bomb. This $17 220-page paperback nails the American Dental Association for their continued support of amalgam fillings.
Any amalgam fillings should be replaced with plastic as soon as possible by a dentist with experience in doing this.
What can be done to stop this mayhem? How about getting the Legislature to ban the use of thimerasol in vaccinations in New Hampshire? And the use of amalgam fillings by dentists? This could set a precident for the other states. The AMA and ADA may be able to bribe Congress and the FDA into inaction, but how can they stop our huge Legislature and a determined Governor?
It would be interesting to see how many people who’ve eaten fish from our lakes have come down with multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer’s. This thought came to mind when I read that the U.S. Forest Service painted mercury on the ends of the best logs felled by the 1938 hurricane in order to preserve them, and then dumped millions of board feet into New Hampshire lakes for possible future use. Maybe it’s time to start cleaning up our lakes!
16 - Aspartame
Another toxic substance which should be banned in New Hampshire is aspartame, also known as NutraSweet, the blue stuff. It’s causing serious damage to our people, so it’s time to get the Legislature to ban any products containing it from sale in New Hampshire. What a first that would be!
Wait’ll you find out how the FDA okayed this stuff! It even ties in with the mess we’re in over in Iraq! And the Gulf War Syndrome that made so many of our military sick. It’s also been causing an epidemic of multiple sclerosis symptoms all over America.
When the temperature of Aspartame exceeds 86° F, the wood alcohol in aspartame coverts to formaldehyde and then to formic acid, which in turn causes metabolic acidosis. Formic acid is the poison found in the sting of fire ants. The methanol toxicity mimics multiple sclerosis; thus people are being diagnosed with having MS in error. MS is not a death sentence, where methanol toxicity is.
In the case of systemic lupus, it has become almost as rampant as MS, especially for Diet Coke® and Diet Pepsi® drinkers. Also, with methanol toxicity, the victims usually drink three to four 12 oz. cans per day; some even more. In the cases of systemic lupus, which is triggered by aspartame, the victim usually does not know that aspartame is the culprit. The victim continues its use aggravating the lupus to such a degree that sometimes it becomes life threatening. When we get people off aspartame, those with systemic lupus usually become asymptomatic. Unfortunately, the disease cannot be reversed.
On the other hand, in the case of those diagnosed with MS, (when in reality, the disease is methanol toxicity), most of the symptoms soon disappear. There have been cases where vision has returned and even hearing has returned. This also applies to cases of tinnitus.
People are going blind. The methanol in the aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the retina of the eye. Formaldehyde is grouped in the same class of drugs as cyanide and arsenic…deadly poisons! Unfortunately, it just takes longer to quietly kill, but it is killing people and causing all kinds of neurological problems.
Aspartame changes the brain’s chemistry. It can cause severe seizures. This drug changes the dopamine level in the brain. Imagine what this drug does to patients suffering from Parkinson’s Disease. This drug also causes birth defects.
There is absolutely no reason to use this product. It is not a diet product! The Congressional record said, "It makes you crave carbohydrates and will make you fat." Doctors have found that when they get patients off aspartame, their average weight loss is 19 pounds. The formaldehyde stores in the fat cells, particularly in the hips and thighs.
Aspartame is especially deadly for diabetics. All physicians know what wood alcohol will do to a diabetic. We find that physicians believe that they have patients with retinopathy, when in fact, it is caused by aspartame. Aspartame keeps the blood sugar level out of control, causing many patients to go into a coma. Unfortunately, many have died as a result.
At the Conference of the American College of Physicians it was reported that patients who had switched from saccharin to an aspartame product had eventually gone into a coma. Their physicians could not get the blood sugar levels under control. Thus, the patients suffered acute memory loss and eventually coma and death.
Memory loss is due to the fact that aspartic acid and phenylalanine are neurotoxic without the other amino acids found in protein. Thus it goes past the blood brain barrier and deteriorates the neurons of the brain.
Dr. Russell Blaylock, neurosurgeon, said, "The ingredients stimulate the neurons of the brain to death, causing brain damage of varying degrees." He has written a book entitled, Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills (Health Press 1-800-643-2665).
Dr. H.J. Roberts, diabetic specialist and world expert on aspartame poisoning, has also written a book entitled Defense Against Alzheimer’s Disease (1-800-814-9800). Dr. Roberts tells how aspartame poisoning is escalating Alzheimer’s Disease. A hospice nurse reported women being admitted at 30 years of age with Alzheimer’s Disease. Dr. Blaylock and Dr. Roberts have written a position paper with some case histories and posted it on the Internet. According to the Conference of the American College of Physicians, "We are talking about a plague of neurological diseases caused by this deadly poison."
Dr. Roberts realized what was happening when aspartame was first marketed. He said his diabetic patients presented memory loss, confusion, and severe vision loss. At the Conference of the American College of Physicians doctors admitted that they did not know. They had wondered why seizures were rampant (the phenylalanine in aspartame breaks down the seizure threshold and depletes serotonin, which causes manic depression, panic attacks, rage and violence).
Monsanto, which bought out Searle Labs, the creator of aspartame, knows how deadly it is. They fund the American Diabetes Association, American Dietetic Association, Congress, and the Conference of the American College of Physicians. The New York Times ran an article on how the American Dietetic Association takes money from the food industry to endorse their products. Therefore, they can’t criticize any additives or tell about their link to Monsanto.
Aspartame disease is partially behind some of the mystery of the Desert Storm health problems. The burning tongue and other problems discussed in over 60 cases can be directly related to the consumption of an aspartame product. Several thousand pallets of diet drinks were shipped to the Desert Storm troops. (Remember heat can liberate the methanol from the aspartame at 86°F). The diet drinks sat in the 120°F Arabian sun for weeks at a time on pallets. The service men and women drank them all day long. All of their symptoms are identical to aspartame poisoning. Dr. Roberts says, "consuming aspartame at the time of conception and during pregnancy can cause birth defects." The phenylalanine concentrates in the placenta, causing mental retardation, according to Dr. Louis Elsas, Pediatrician Professor - Genetics, at Emory University in his testimony before Congress.
In the original lab tests, animals developed brain tumors (phenylalanine breaks down into DXP, a brain tumor agent). When Dr. Espisto was lecturing on aspartame one physician in the audience, a neurosurgeon, said, "when they remove brain tumors, they have found high levels of aspartame in them."
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld has been in the news quite a bit of late, so I was surprised when his name popped up in The Fat Fallacy by Will Clower, a 2003 paperback. It had to do with the FDA’s approval of aspartame for human consumption, a saga worthy of being made into a documentary. Hello 60 Minutes?
It started thirty years ago when J.D. Searle first applied for approval. An independent board of scientists concluded it was not safe. When, in 1974, it was approved in dry form for restricted use, the scientists objected. When they checked Searle’s data they found that of seven baby monkeys given aspartame in their milk one died and five suffered from grand mal seizures. This data, of course, had not been given the FDA when they applied for approval.
The FDA turned to the U.S. Attorney’s office to investigate Searle’s concealing the harmful evidence. The case was dropped after the office let the statute of limitations run out without acting on the complaint.
In 1979, under growing pressure from a cascade of tumor reports, the FDA investigated again…and rescinded their okay.
In 1981, the day after Ronald Reagan took office, Searle, without supplying any new data, again applied for aspartame approval. With Searle’s CEO, Donald Rumsfeld, on Reagan’s transition team, how could they lose?
The new FDA head, Arthur Hays, had an advisory panel look into it. They said absolutely no. So Hays overruled the panel and approved NutraSweet for dry products.
The National Soft Drink Association lobbied against the approval because when aspartame gets above 86°F it breaks down into free methanol (wood alcohol) a common poison. This is a problem because it breaks down into formic acid, which is used to strip off epoxy, and formaldehyde (embalming fluid). So this is what you get when you use the blue stuff in hot chocolate, coffee, tea, or make diet Jell-O.
Despite this, Hayes approved aspartame for use in carbonated beverages…and then, within four months, left the FDA to become a very highly paid consultant for Searle’s PR firm.
Now, twenty years later, and an article in Fortune, where I see that Rumsfeld was on the board of Zurich-based engineering giant ABB, when a $200 million contract to build two nuclear reactors for North Korea was signed. We sure wish that had never happened, since weapons grade nuclear material can be extracted from the reactors and they’re bragging that they’re making nuclear bombs. Rumsfeld has declined to comment.
So what’s Rummy done for us lately? Well, as defense Secretary he almost single-handedly planned the Iraq invasion…ignoring the advice of the military brass. The quick coup made Rummy the hero of the war. For a little while. But then the almost total lack of preparation for dealing with Iraq without Hussein created an awful mess. Soldiers weren’t trained to be police or deal with getting food, water and electricity working again. Or with tens of thousands of looters. Or with an angry population stirred up by religious leaders.
James Bowen, M.D. says, "At every point in the fertility process aspartame destroys, beginning with the gleam in mom and pop's eyes: it ruins female sexual response and induces male sexual dysfunction. Beyond this, aspartame disrupts fetal development by aborting it or inducing defects. And if a live child is born, aspartame may have seriously damaged the baby’s DNA, cursing future generations."
This is not a substance we want our New Hampshire people using, so let’s get the Legislature to ban any products containing aspartame from being sold in New Hampshire. Let’s put our citizen’s health ahead of Monsanto profits.
If you need more information, it’s available on the web by the ton.
17 - A Tsunami Here?
Nothing like that could happen here, right? Well, that’s what millions of people in Southeast Asia and East Africa thought up until last Christmas. And, the fact is, what happened in Asia could easily happen to either of our coasts, and for the same reason. Indeed, it’s been predicted by scientists…if you read the European newspapers.
Okay, so you missed the article on page 37 of the Jan.10th Time which explained that not only are tsunamis likely to hit our coasts, geologists have been warning of just that. It just hasn’t made our nightly news.
So, just what is going on that’s causing this mayhem? What are they not telling us about? How come our weather is going berserk? How come global warming? Is it really from too many SUVs?
Well, it isn’t anything our major media have been even hinting about. I’ve just updated my Catastrophe! book (#13 - $5), which goes into the gory details, but it boils down to Professor Jim McCanney of Cornell University being right about Planet-X having entered our solar system. Read his book, Planet-X, Comets and Earth Changes.
He said we’ll know Planet-X is nearing because all of the planets, including Earth, will heat up, the Sun will go crazy, and it will be accompanied by a host of meteors, comets and asteroids. He predicted we’d see a dramatic increase in volcano eruptions and major earthquakes.
As the Earth has heated up, the magma layer under the tectonic plates has become more fluid, so the plates have been shifting, causing earthquakes and volcano eruptions.
The earthquake in Sumatra triggered a tsunami which killed a bunch of people in Somalia, almost 3,000 miles away! As the Time article says, Professor McGuire of London’s University College has warned that if the western slope of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Canary Islands collapses, it could send a wave five stories high across the Atlantic at hundreds of miles an hour. Did you see the movie, "The Day After Tomorrow?" I did! Even if we got a couple hours warning, there’s no way to evacuate millions of people from our East Coast cities.
At some level the government knows this, but they’re helpless. There’s no way to prevent a tsunami. Nor is there any way to prepare for one. Even an early-warning system is meaningless. There’s no way to move the East Coast city populations inland any more than there’s any way to do anything about the a tsunami hitting the West Coast, as the Pacific tectonic plates suddenly shift. Or the western U.S. if the Yellowstone super-volcano should blow.
Well, gee, wouldn’t psychics be getting visions if something that big were going to happen? Well, they have, and unless you listen to nighttime talk radio, you haven’t heard. The granddaddy of them all, Nostradamus, 400 years ago, predicted we’d have a huge calamity shortly after the millennium. And we’ve had warnings from two New Hampshire psychics with good past records. Both of them have invested tens of thousands of dollars in underground bunkers for their families. The details are in my Catastrophe! book.
Do I take this stuff seriously? Well, my farm is at 1,000 feet altitude and 2,600 Crotched Mountain is about three and a half miles away, directly between me and the Atlantic Ocean, sixty-two miles away, so it should be safe. I’ve got my video and digital cameras ready to take pictures of the devastation with Ralph, my neighbor, and his Cessna, which he keeps at Hawthorn airport. I’ll make good use of the warning time to get up there and document it’s effect on Boston and the New Hampshire coastal towns, and probably around fifty miles inland.
Our New Hampshire coastal townspeople have a better chance at survival if they can be warned. But this will only work if (a) there’s a warning system, and (b), if the people know ahead of time what to do and are prepared. When the warning comes it’s time to head west or to the mountains. Now! No time for suitcase packing. And with the power grid probably out, no way to get more gasoline. Keep those tanks full.
Could a one-way road system be worked out for such an emergency to get double use of the roads and highways? Without an evacuation plan a tsunami could wipe out half of our NH population.
Gordon Michael Scallion (363-4916) of West Chesterfield’s map of the future shows the new coastline running from west of Nashua and Manchester up through Rochester.
18 - Increasing Baby IQs
In a paper, Roger Masters of Dartmouth College sent me I found the results of an extensive study of what happens to people who drink water which has been fluoridated. Fluorine, as you probably know, is one of the most active elements known, so it should be no surprise that when it is added to our water supply that it attacks the pipes and the lead solder joints. The amount of lead this adds to the water supply is significant enough so the study showed a consistent children’s IQ difference of five points between fluoridated water areas and non-fluoridated.
The study also showed that there is a consistent ten point IQ deficit when children are bottle fed instead of breast fed. This just confirms many other studies which have shown the same deficit. A 15 point IQ loss can make the difference between college acceptance and a high school drop out.
And those are just two easily controlled factors which will affect a child’s IQ for life.
Another factor which influences kids IQs is preconception DNA damage, father and/or mother, due to poor nutrition, the ingestion of poisons such as drugs, legal and illegal, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, and so on. Also, traumas during pregnancy can cause birth defects, including serious IQ loss.
Playing good music during pregnancy measurably increases a baby’s IQ. It helps to stimulate brain growth at this critical time. Reading to the baby during pregnancy also helps early brain growth.
An underwater birth is less traumatic for the baby, again adding to an IQ increase. The baby should be put with the mother immediately after birth. This helps bonding and reduces the birth trauma.
Research has shown a significant IQ increase when the mother eats lots of fish and liver during third trimester of pregnancy and the first few months after the birth. Our schools are doing a very good job of intentionally dumbing our kids down…we don’t need to handicap them further because bottle feeding is more convenient for the mother..
Teaching babies to communicate by signs, way before they learn to talk, gives their brains a huge boost. It also helps them learn to talk earlier and to better bond with parents.
Babies need to be given opportunities to explore. They need this stimulation to help their brains develope. That means no play more pens. They’re for the convenience of parents, not the baby. A bored baby is not a happy baby. From the earliest days a baby concentrates on learning. They love to learn. And, unless we stop them, this curiosity will continue on unabated through life.
Good music also helps baby brains grow. As does reading. My mother read to me during lunch every day for years. Maybe that’s why I so enjoy reading, and always have.
During their language learning years babies can easily learn several languages. They are able to speak in each language without an accent, and even think in each of the languages without confusing them. Once this language learning development phase of brain development has passed they’ll never be able to achieve this ability again.
Avoid innoculations like the plague. There are several excellent books on the subject. Early vaccinations are causing autism, allergies, and many other serious side effects…such as death…despite the medical industry’s claims to the contrary.
Good nutrition obviously is a plus. That means raw food, no sugar, no pasteurized or homogenized milk, lots of pure water, and no white flour products.
Teach a baby with love, not punishment, fear and pain. Animal trainers have learned this, but it still seems to be a secret to most parents. Read the UNH research report on the teen age suicide and childhood spanking correlation.
If we can get the word out to parents we can breed a generation of geniuses. The first in nearly a hundred years. What a bonanza for New Hampshire that would be!
19 - Light
John Ott, a photobiologist, while trying to photograph flowers, tried growing them in glass enclosures to avoid their being disturbed by the wind. They grew poorly when deprived of the ultra-violet light the glass filtered out.
This got Ott started toward researching the effects of light on both plants and animals…and that includes humans. What he discovered, and is chronicled in his book, Health and Light, is that the right kind of light can add years to your life and the wrong can make you sick…even kill you. He found that hyperactive children may simply be spending too much time indoors under the wrong kind of artificial light…that the same light can contribute to some forms of arthritis in adults…and that pink-tinted glasses may lead to serious health problems.
An experiment in first-grade classrooms in Sarasota, Florida, recorded the changes in behavior of children in rooms with standard fluorescent lighting and those with full-spectrum fluorescent tubes. With the regular cool-white tubes many of the children had lapses of attention, nervous fatigue, irritability and hyperactivity…as recorded by hidden cameras. Within a week of the new full-spectrum lights being installed, without any drugs, the children settled down and paid more attention to their teachers. Youngsters were now calm and more interested in their work.
An unexpected bonus was a one-third drop in cavities for the children in the full-spectrum classrooms…a significant drop in the extent of tooth decay and improvement in general health, with far fewer health-related absences. An experiment with golden hamsters raised for fifteen weeks under cool-white fluorescent lighting and fed a cavity-producing diet, developed five times as many cavities as hamsters raised for the same time with the same diet under full-spectrum fluorescent lighting. And the severity of the decay was ten times greater!
Chickens raised under full-spectrum lights live twice as long, lay more eggs, are calmer and less aggressive, and produce eggs with 25% lower cholesterol. Human cholesterol levels drop with exposure to sunlight. So much for watching Judge Judy and Texas Justice instead of taking a hike. Depressed? Open the door, go out. And take off those glasses. It’s our lifestyles, rather than bacteria, that are causing most of our diseases.
Light, like listening to good music, lowers stress. Under stress we see less, remember less, learn less and become generally less efficient. Stress? A lousy boss, commuting to work, negative persons, and so on can make our lives very stressful. And the nightly TV news isn’t any help, with "if it bleeds, it leads" as the rule. When is the last time you saw good news reported. "Good news doesn’t sell papers."
Do we have to repeat this research on the effects of light in our New Hampshire schools, or can we start replacing cool-white fluorescents with full-spectrum tubes. Yes, they cost more, but they’re worth it. When I first read about this I immediately replaced all of the fluorescent tubes in my business offices with full-spectrum tubes.
In Niles, Illinois, it was discovered that one of the schools had the highest rate of leukemia of any school in the country. It was five times the national average! An investigation showed that all of the children who developed leukemia had been located in two classrooms. The curtains had been kept drawn to keep out the intense glare from a modern glass building across the street and that the light was provided by "warm-white" fluorescent tubes, which are very strong in the orange-pink part of the spectrum. Once they started leaving the curtains open the leukemia epidemic stopped.
There’s ample evidence that wearing glasses outdoors prevents the UVs from getting into the eyes, contributing to cancer and other health problems. Dark glasses, in particular, are a health menace. We need to get outside in the sun for at least a half hour a day with no glasses and no car or home windows blocking the needed UVs from getting into our eyes.
One of the reasons it is so important to get as much of the UV spectrum into our eyes as we can is that air pollution, mostly man-made, has decreased the amount of sunlight reaching us, with the amount of UVs particularly impacted. Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., reported 30 years ago a loss of 14% in the overall intensity of the sunlight during the previous 60 years. Scientists at the Mount Wilson observatory reported, at the same time, a reduction of 26% in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.
The lack of sun has been affecting farm crops, making them more susceptible to pests and virus attacks. New Jersey squash farmers eliminated the pest and virus problems, while getting a five-fold increase in their crops by spreading aluminum foil on the ground underneath the plants. A mink farmer noticed that his litters were growing and the pelts of better quality when an adjacent building with aluminum sides instead of corrugated, which doesn’t reflect ultraviolet light well, was built.
So let’s get started giving our children a better school experience with full-spectrum lights. And ditto state offices and New Hampshire’s businesses. Get the word out.
20 - Whistle Blowers
I hope you'll agree that lowering our taxes will tend to improve our quality of life. I hope you’ll further agree that one very good way to make it possible to lower taxes is to cut state spending. Another, of course, is to tap the federal government for every penny we can get. That’s presumably one of the more significant responsibilities of our senators and congressmen in Washington.
Governor Judd Gregg (now Senator) was quite clear in a Chamber of Commerce address that he was opposed to a broad-based tax. He pointed out that New Hampshire already has the lowest tax burden on its people as a percentage of income in the country with a total tax of less than 10%.
He went on to point out that you can’t manage government from the spending side of the ledger. "If you turn revenues over to the legislative body, whether at the local level, the county level, the state level or especially the federal level, it will be spent. Unless you can lower revenue sources, you will never lower or control the rate of growth of government." Bravo!
As we sort through what our state is doing, has done and plans to do, I suspect we’ll find some areas where we will recommend that more money be spent. These will undoubtedly be popular with our legislators. We’ll also find some areas where we believe economies can be observed. I doubt these will be popular with anyone. Indeed, I expect we’ll be faced with a good deal of obfuscation when we get into these areas.
There are a couple of possible approaches to tackling this problem. Let’s first look at finding areas of fairly obvious waste. As parsimonious as we are up here in N’hamsha, you know as well as I that we’re going to be able to uncover some really upsetting waste. It’s a given with any bureaucracy, private or public.
One more thing we know…where there’s wasted money there are some people who know it’s happening and are not happy about it. We also know that the system martyrs the hell out of anyone who dares blow the whistle. We fire them. We black-ball them. We even kill them. They are hated and scourged. We call them rats or finks.
Even so, when the waste gets really bad there are a few public-spirited people who are willing to brave the consequences. They complain first to their supervisors. Nothing, of course happens other than a warning to shut up. It isn’t until we see a segment on 60 Minutes that the fat finally hits the fire. Then, extremely reluctantly, something occasionally gets done to fix the problem.
Did you see the exposé showing how the Rural Electrification Authority (REA) is giving about $600 million in low interest loans to huge corporations? No amount of whistle blowing has managed to counter the lobbyist pressures which control Congress. Even the REA president hasn’t been able to stop the give-away.
Let’s look at this creatively. We know we have waste in our state government. We know also that we’d like to cut as much as we can. At least I hope that’s what we want. Yes, it might mean putting an uncle or cousin out of work. Ouch!
We also agree, I hope, that we may be able to find some state employees who are well aware of the waste and are not happy about it…but may be justifiably afraid to say anything. How can we make it safe for whistle-blowers? How can we protect them from the normal vicious bureaucratic backlash?
One approach might be to establish a third party, pledged to total secrecy as to any sources, to get the information, investigate, and report directly to the governor. This should be able to insulate whistle-blowers from the usual retribution. Then it’ll be up to the governor to take corrective measures. The governor is our CEO, so that’s part of his job in managing NH, Inc.
21 - Budget Cutting
If you’ve read Parkinson’s Laws you understand why all government departments and bureaus inevitably expand. Parkinson does a beautiful job of proving this with his research.
What I’m going to propose is a way to cut almost any state bureau or department in half in about three years, with the employees cooperating enthusiastically and willingly, and with an improvement in efficiency.
In general, better government tends to be less government. Anyone familiar with the books of C. Northcote Parkinson is well aware that all bureaucracies tend to expand, with more and more people doing less and less work, but with all of them keeping each other busy with internal reports.
The normal system for funding any government bureau is for that bureau to propose the budget for their next fiscal year. This budget is always larger than the current budget. It is a well known and quite understandable reaction of any bureau to make sure that the current year’s budget has been spent by the end of the fiscal year. This often leads to a last minute buying splurge. Indeed, I once had a computer store in Washington and the last minute computer purchases by federal bureaus was almost equal to the rest of our year’s sales, so I got to see and benefit from this phenomenon.
I hope you’ll agree that most state bureaus and departments might be able to provide better service with fewer employees. This would encourage the elimination of waste and unnecessary paperwork and routines.
What I’m proposing is the establishing of a new budgeting policy for each department. The new policy would take any unspent budgeted funds at the end of the fiscal year and split them with the people in the department. Then, the lower budget figure would be used for the next fiscal year, with, again, any unspent surplus being distributed to the employes who made the surplus possible. I believe that personal interest would have every employee watching for any possible waste…that the hiring of new personnel would be virtually eliminated…that retiring employees would not be replaced, and that poor or troublesome workers would not be tolerated.
No money would be saved the first year, but from then on every department would have continuously lowering budgets. Could the cost of running the state be cut in half in three years? I think so. The bottom line would be far more efficient and less costly state services.
22 - New Business Development
Since the quality of life in New Hampshire is dependent, among other things, on the number and quality of businesses in the state…what can we do to attract and grow quality businesses?
Businesses looking for cheap labor are moving opdrations to Mexico, China and other low wage countries. But what most companies need are reasonably priced workers who are educated, skilled and trainable. The reasonably priced part will depend on New Hampshire’s cost of living. The skilled and trainable parts have to do with how good our schools are. If we turn out barely literate youngsters with few math or science skills, we’re sure not going to attract high-tech businesses. But, I’ll cover this seperately, so let’s say that we do have such a workforce available.
A state Business Development Department (BDD) should be looking for high-tech businesses to attract. This means talking with prospects to find out what their needs are…and then trying to fill them. We have low taxes, a high quality of life, endless activities for each of the four seasons, reasonably priced housing, four fabulous seasons, and beauty that won’t quit. Now all we need is to be able to provide the educated work force they need.
The BDD should have a DVD available showing available commercial buildings and building sites. It would show the buildings, inside and out, including aerial photos. A map would show its location in relation to the nearby towns, transportation, nearby recreational facilities and attractions, schools, and shopping.
It should also give an idea of the type and cost of housing available in the area, with pictures of a few typical homes.
The cost of the equipment needed to burn DVDs is very modest. I bought an iMac and an excellent Sony camera, complete with the editing program, and the cost was well under $2,500…and that was five years ago. Prices are continuing to drop and performance improve.
Let’s start gutting what’s left of Silicon Valley and transplant the good stuff to the Granite Mountains. Where would you prefer our new high-tech industrial center? Over around Lebanon? Down near Greenville? Laconia? Or maybe Conway…not far from Aspen East, in our almost vacant North Country? Why think small?
23 - Revolutionizing Education
It’s no secret that our kids come in last in international scholastic tests. Gee, why’s that? If you’ll read Dumbing Us Down by John Gatto, plus his Underground History of American Education, you’ll get the picture. For more info try Inside American Education by Thomas Sowell. I’ve got an extra copy, if that’ll help. Next there’s Charlotte Yserbyte’s Deliberate Dumbing Down of America, a huge and thoroughly referenced book. Plus I’ve read about 50 more relevant books on the subject. I’ve given a keynote address at a major national educational conference on what’s wrong and how it can be fixed. Don’t miss Rita Kramer’s Ed School Follies. John, trying to change our schools will pit you against the teacher unions, who will fight with every weapon they have to maintain the status quo. So, let’s blindside them.
I got interested in finding out why our schools are doing so poorly when I was serving on the Educational Subcommittee of the Economic Development Commission a few years ago. We heard testimony from school principles and teachers. Even college presidents. I read the books they recommended and the picture was grim. Our schools, I found, are doing exactly what the government wants: providing workers who will do their jobs without asking any questions. Meanwhile there is no proof that the NEA’s mantra about our needing smaller classes and higher teacher pay will improve the steadily dropping test scores (SATs). The benefit there is more dues-paying teachers.
We’re seeing college graduates who are barely able to read and Texas high school seniors who can’t name the country to the south of them. Our school system stifles creativity and initiative, guaranteeing the near vacuum in the arts we’ve seen for the last 50 years..
Is there a solution to the problem? Of course there is: a magazine. It’s that simple? Well, I made cell phones happen with a magazine. Then I did the same thing with my six personal computer magazines, starting with Byte. And again with my CD Review. You would be hard put to name a new technology that didn’t get launched with a magazine.
Imagine, if you will, kids of twelve who are better educated than today’s college graduates. And at a fifth or less the cost of today’s schools. What will such a technology do for third world countries? Yes, I know how to make this happen, and in a surprisingly short time. And for a very modest investment. I’m talking about our building a new trillion dollar industry…one could be centered right here in New Hampshire
How about kids of eight able to read at over 10,000 words per minute with 100% comprehension? Kids with an average 150 IQ? Able to speak and think in a dozen languages? And all this with no pressure…learning because it’s fun and they want to. Kids not separated by age groups and never having to cram for tests? We already know how to do all of these things…we just aren’t doing them. Yet.
Can a murderous religion like Islam stand the light that the freedom of an inexpensive high-quality education could bring to it? A new educational paradigm could sure help solve a lot of the world’s problems. We might even be able to eventually grow some educated voters!
Once NH ToDo is running in the black I’ll get busy staffing a new magazine which will totally revolutionize our educational system. Well, America’s at first, but it’ll soon be a world phenomenon, just as cell phones and personal computers have become. The roll out of a new magazine, which cost only $100,000 when I started Byte in 1975 now will be about a million. It’ll be the best million-dollar investment in a long time…in terms of its ability to change the world.
One of the reasons I started CD Review was that most of the early CDs were issued using LP-era technology. Also, the audio and music magazines were all totally dedicated to LPs and were poo-poohing CDs. I asked my readers to mercilessly review every CD they bought for recording quality and performance. Within a year it was the best-selling music magazine and it forced the six major labels to upgrade their recording studios and equipment. It also helped independent labels to grow from 4% of the market to 16%. It was a revolution. The major labels hated it, but they had to advertise because our readers were spending $30 million a month on CDs.
The new educational magazine will ask the readers to mercilessly review any distance-learning program they’re used. This will help the good ones sell better and kill off the bummers. Natural selection will improve the genre, whether it be via books, cassettes, videos, DVDs, or Internet programs.
Just as with my CD Review, where advertisers had zero influence on the editorial content, the new magazine will be honest with the readers.
The first readers will be the over a million home schoolers. Then we’ll begin attracting families who would like to supplement the public school product to give their kids a better chance at success. Next we’ll attract anyone who wants to improve his knowledge in order to get a better job. And we’ll get kids learning all sorts of things just because they want to…because it’s fun. Kids love computers and computer games. The result will be DVD interactive programs by the thousands and they’ll be selling by the millions. Or, if a better medium than DVDs comes along, they’ll use that.
This magazine is desperately needed, so I’d like to get started as soon as I can. If there are any $1m grants available I have a business plan in hand which projects the publication to get into the black in less than four years. I even have a building with all the office space we’ll need sitting unused. Having started 32 successful magazines, I know the ropes. Look how easily NH ToDo got started, and on a shoestring.
Education, not genocide, is the way I’d prefer to stem the runaway population growth in Africa. Let’s give ’em DVD players and a low-cost, high-quality education instead of AIDS.
24 - Business Careers
Since the quality of life in New Hampshire depends on the education, skills and motivation of its workforce, the more the state (i.e. the Legislature and Governor) can do to improve work-oriented education and skills the better. It just so happens that our New Hampshire schools could be doing a lot more than they are toward educating and motivating our youngsters. Our schools should be educating our children so they will be able to cope with the two main aspects of their lives…their work and their families.
When I went to high school we made class trips to visit various types of businesses so we could see how they worked first hand. We visited a large newspaper, an auto assembly plant, and businesses like that.
It would be beneficial if the schools would include some sort of business orientation for the students. This is something that could be organized by the state, even though the plan could be implemented locally. This might require a manager and a clerk at the state level.
School groups could visit local businesses and see how they work. A visit to a large mail order firm where an army of data input people come in each morning and enter all the orders received in the mail that day…where the orders are picked, packed and shipped the same day…will give many kids an understanding of how the world of 2005 is geared.
Another way to help kids get a better understanding of business is for schools to invite business people to give talks…to explain how their business works…to tell the kids what kind of education, skills and experience they're going to need to succeed with their company. They should also explain what career paths are possible through working for their company.
Schools can also be encouraged to work with local businesses to find part time employment for the upper grade youngsters…perhaps with apprenticeship arrangements. Most businesses need entry-level work done and would welcome an organized school effort to help. It sure beats beer, drugs, mall-wandering, and hanging out as after school activities.
Schools can survey local businesses to see what kind of evening classes might help their employees in their careers. Courses in advertising, promotion, writing, selling, telemarketing, computer literacy, speaking, marketing, distribution, shipping, desktop publishing, video production, purchasing, packaging, inventory management, speed reading, web-siting, podcasting, and so on would not only help local businesses, but would be of interest to the more motivated youngsters too.
By charging adults for these business courses the schools would have a revenue source, get additional use from their buildings, and be contributing to the knowledge and skills of the local work force.
Who would teach such classes? Ask the local business people. It's in their interest to help.
Kids need help in learning about business. They need to develop communication skills such as public speaking and writing. They need to understand about the importance of work habits, discipline, and responsibility. They need to know about how to get along with those above, below and on a parallel with them. They need to learn about problem solving.
If the schools provide a place to meet to discuss a program such as I've outlined, the local business people will come. The initiative has to start somewhere (ahem…like Concord), from then on the project will probably take on a life of its own.
The evening courses I've suggested would not only benefit the local work force and interested students, it would be able to help unemployed people build skills and make the contacts needed to get work.
The educationally oriented tend to think in terms of a socialistic approach wherein education should be free. Baloney. Education is money. The more education people have, the more opportunity they have to make higher salaries and commissions, and to be able to start their own businesses. Don't debase the product by giving it away. People little value anything they get for free. Charge for the evening courses.
One of the reasons kids drop out of school is that school is free. If they had to pay for it…if they had to work for their education…it would have more value for them. This is why I propose a completely new approach to education…with no compulsory education, school 50 weeks a year, no grades, no tests, no compulsory homework, and so on. Regimented thinkers are going to hate the whole idea…at least until they find out the thinking behind each aspect of this new approach and see how well it has worked where it has been tested.
Of course, if we're satisfied with the educational product our schools are turning out now…if we don't mind that our kids and grandchildren are ignorant and are going to pay the price as foreign competition clobbers us in one industry after another (as it has been doing)…we can settle back and watch Monday Night Basketball, a six-pack and pretzels at our elbow and forget about our kids for still another night. Things are changing and we have to change with them or lose out. Our shoe manufacturing has moved to Portugal, China and Pakistan, leaving our huge empty factory buildings as reminders. Our mills moved down south, and then to China and third world countries.
The shirt I’m wearing was made in Mongolia, my jacket in Bangladesh, my pants in United Arab Emirates, my parka in Macau, my socks in Malasia and my shoes in China. We used to make all those.
A Concord-based Biz-Ed Liaison Manager could get this project started and monitor it for a minimum cost and a large future return. As an entrepreneur I recommend publishing reports on the plan and its progress and selling them to the educational secretaries of other states, which could turn the office into a profit center.
This could lead to area Business Expos where youngsters could get to meet local business people. There have been some of those, but there should be more and not just once a year.
Perhaps the youngsters could be encouraged to form small businesses to provide services on contract…such as cleaning offices, lawn mowing, and helping local businesses with mailings. This would help teach the kids responsibility, punctuality, and the work ethic. It might help them buy even more expensive sneakers (from Taiwan).
Of particular importance would be the cooperation of our New Hampshire high-tech businesses. This is the greatest area of business growth and it's going to stay that way, so the more we can interest youngsters in high-tech careers, the better work force New Hampshire will provide, and the higher the wages paid.
Our universities are graduating 40,000 electrical engineers and computer scientists a year, about the same as we did 30 years ago, when we had about 10% as many high-tech businesses. About half of these graduates are foreign students, many of whom will stay here after graduation. But our high-tech industry needs double that amount of talent, so they're bringing in about 5,000 engineers and scientists a month. More and more or our software companies are holding their engineering meetings in Chinese!
This is why I've been pushing our school system to help interest kids in high-tech hobbies such as amateur radio, astronomy, computers, and electronic experimenting. I’d like to see an eight-year voluntary course in the fundamentals of electronics…taught by a bi-weekly magazine instead of text books, which are out of date by the time they’re published. Yes, I can organize such a publication. I’ve been publishing stuff like that for over 50 years.
25 - High Tech Kids
Considering your business background and mine, I think we agree that high-tech is the way to go for kids. The key to boosting the NH median income lies in building more high-tech businesses, so we’ll need to build a high-tech oriented work force. But, how can we interest kids in high-tech careers?
In 1970 I heard that King Hussein of Jordan had been given a ham radio set for Christmas by his wife. So I sent him a cable offering to come over and show him how to use it. Back came a cable saying sure. A couple days later I arrived in Amman, where I spent the next two weeks in HM’s (His Majesty) summer palace showing him all about ham radio. He loved it. He stayed up all night with me several times talking with fellow ham operators all around the world and he had a ball.
Toward the end of my stay I explained I’d been talking with his Minister of Communications and I felt they were wasting a lot of money bringing in technicians from Europe to install and maintain their telephones and radio communications equipment. Jordanians should be doing that instead of spending $500 and more a day for imported labor. I explained that the Jordanian schools weren’t teaching even the basics of electricity.
He asked what I’d recommend to solve the problem. Simple, set up ham radio club stations in the schools and youth clubs so the kids would have fun learning about electronics. They’ll learn because they want to. They’ll be unstoppable. I suggested his having an electronics instructor go around the country, visiting the radio clubs and teaching the kids the fundamentals.
The next day HM had me explain my idea to his government…the Prime Minister, Generals of the Army and Air Force, the Admiral of the Navy, etc. They loved it.
Three years later I got a call from HM on my ham radio asking me to meet him in Washington in a few days. There, at Blair House, he handed me an envelope with two first class round trip tickets to Jordan. "I want you to come over and see what you’ve done!"
Hisham Ansari, the instructor who’d been teaching the children, drove me from Irbid in the north of Jordan to Aqaba in the south, visiting schools in every city, where I met over 425 newly licensed Jordanian youngsters. And all this happened in the middle of the war with the Palestinians, which started just days after I’d left!
On a more recent visit to Jordan, Prince Raad held a meeting of the Royal Jordanian Amateur Radio Society, where he introduced me to an audience of about 60, as the man who had had more of an influence on the country of Jordan than anyone other than the King. Jordan today is far more advanced in high-tech than any other Arab country. I have his introduction and my talk on tape.
So, let’s set up amateur radio clubs in our schools and have a traveling instructor go all around the state teaching electronic basics. Our New Hampshire amateur radio clubs will be delighted to help with the project. It’ll take an investment of about $3,500 per station for equipment and antennas. That’s $350,000 for a hundred school clubs. We’ll get that investment back a hundred times over. Maybe a thousand.
26 - Cutting School Costs
The Chinese and Japanese help keep their school operating costs down by having the students do virtually all of the routine main-tenance. Having the students keep the classrooms, halls and cafeteria clean has eliminated any interest in graffiti. Black-burn College has gone a step further, requiring students to work 15 hours a week with-out pay at an assigned campus job. This has enabled the college to keep its tuition remarkably low. The stu-dents not only handle the routine maintenance, they also run the bookstore and snack bar, and do actual construction work. The in-door swimming pool was built by the students.
Building construction and run-ning businesses provide superb practical experience for students. The resulting lower tuition costs help attract stu-dents from lower in-come families. The next step in logi-cal thinking would be to have stu-dents take over more and more of the administrative responsi-bilities for running schools…at least for high school and college stu-dents.
Taking this concept one step further we can envision students helping teachers for the lower grades, again more as coaches than as lec-turers. Peer teaching. In my businesses I’ve stressed the concept that my people, as much as possible, should do work that they are uniquely qualified to do and to seek lower cost help for work which doesn’t really require their skills…wasting their valuable time. If we apply this concept to teachers we’ll be able to substitute student help for much of the admin-istrative and overseeing work which reduces their productivity.
One more step in reasoning has students seeking outside part-time work, all as part of their edu-cational experience and as a way to help pay for their education. This is going to call for some serious bat-tles to change minimum wage laws, which will be vigor-ously fought by the unions. I have had many areas where students could earn and learn in my companies. This would have benefitted them as practical learning experiences and help keep my costs down, allowing my businesses to grow faster.
A few schools have their students work for non-profit organizations such as libraries, nursery homes, hospitals, and day care centers. All ex-cellent education for them. Far too many youngsters get out of school with no practical business experience. For that matter, kids should be encouraged to set up small businesses mowing lawns, caring for gardens, house watching, baby sitting, etc.
The more students can help with the teaching, the fewer paid teachers will be needed. We might even get a few kids interested in teaching careers.
By running schools 50 weeks of the year and by eliminating irrelevant courses, a youngster could master K-12 education in five or six years. With no fixed course schedules families would be able to take vacations together at any time of the year.
If kids want to learn math, fine. But why drag every kid through things like trig? When’s the last time you faced a cotangent?
27 - Music Music
I’ve come across many articles on the benefits of listening to good music. It substantially helps prenatal babies’ brain development and thus their IQ. It helps children study and learn better. 60 Minutes had a segment on the amazing educational success with slum children in Venezuela when they formed school bands.
So I was excited when I came across Sharlene Habermeyer’s Good Music Brighter Children, 344p, 1999, Prima Publishing, $16, ISBN 0-7615-2150-X. She makes an excellent case for listening to good music, and even better, learning to play an instrument helping a child with math and science. Considering that by 2010 it’s projected that America will have a shortfall estimated at a million scientists and engineers, we’d better start making some changes if high-tech isn’t going to move elsewhere…along with our economy.
When I was in the third and fourth grades in New Jersey I had classes which taught me how to read music. At PS-99 in Brooklyn there were weekly music appreciation sessions in the auditorium for the entire student body where we learned little ditties to help us recognize classical music selections. Schubert’s 8th had us singing, "This is the symphony that Shubert wrote, but never finished." I’ll bet the schools don’t do any of that any more.
Many of the famous composers and scientists claim that their mothers played music or sang to them prenatally. Even fathers are getting into the act with "pregaphones," which allow them to talk, sing, read poetry, and so on to their unborn child. Researchers have found profound dramatic development difference to children exposed to what they’re calling a "prenatal university."
Children so exposed are starting to talk and sing back simple melodies sung to them at five months, singing short sentences at nine months, and teaching themselves to read at two years of age. Infants as young as two months were able to imitate the pitch and intensity of songs their parents sung to them.
Take classical music to the hospital and play it while the baby is being born. This helps calm the baby during what otherwise is a very traumatic event. By the way, there should never be any talking during the birth process. Silence, except for classical music. Probably Mozart.
When the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement tested the science proficiency of 14-year olds throughout the world fifteen years ago America came in 14th out of the 17 countries tested. Considering that we spend twenty-nine times more on math and science programs than any other country in the world, this is a most revealing testimony to how crummy our schools are. Since then, I understand, we’ve now sunk to the bottom on international tests.
How ignorant are our students? Just listen to a few of Jay Leno’s street interviews with them. It’s incredible.
The three top countries were Hungary, Japan and the Netherlands. So what’s different? For one, extensive music training is part of their curriculum from kindergarten through high school. They study music, music appreciation, and learn to play an instrument.
Hundreds of studies have proven the role music plays in brain development. So why have we seen music programs eliminated in so many schools? Well, they cost money, and the teachers, administrators and school boards who make the decisions on programs are unaware of the research.
So what’ve we got? Well the California State University says that 75% of their freshmen needed remedial classes in math and, like, you know, that English stuff. Of course, in California more than 30,000 classrooms are being taught by teachers without teaching certificates…a "no experience necessary" job.
Our 19th century school system was designed to get kids off the farms and provide workers for factories. Now the factory jobs are disappearing to China, Mexico and Bangladesh and we have entered the information age. We don’t need to just improve our schools, we need to totally reinvent them. Oh, and start the music playing, early and often.
By coincidence, Schubert’s Eighth is playing as I write…followed by Dvorak’s Largo, both first heard during music appreciation classes at PS-99 in Brooklyn.
Where’s Harold Hill when we need him to get school bands organized? Put on your Music Man hat and get busy. Maybe we’ll need to see McDowell Colonies sprouting up all around the state where our new musical geniuses will be able to work. Plus a steady stream of high-tech oriented youngsters heading to John Lynch University.
28 - Customer Service
Every business has to have a customer service department. So how about New Hampshire Ltd.? Where can our people go when they have a problem with a state department or bureau?
The cost of a citizen ombudsman department (COD?) should repay itself many times over. Department? Well, one person, I hope, should do. The idea is to have someone for people to go to when they’re having a problem with the state. That person would decide if the complaint is legitimate and if so, figure out a solution…even if it takes some action by the legislature or the governor to solve the problem. Just like any business would do.
This service will help keep state government workers thinking in terms of serving the people who are paying their salaries. And that’s supposedly the reason to have a state government. The people need certain services and are willing to pay for them as long as they are convinced they are getting their money’s worth. A responsive complaint department will help keep them convinced.
The complaint chief needs to report only to the governor. This will help prevent cover-ups and bureaucratic red tape. Successful solutions, if not too embarrassing, can be fed to the media as a way to (a) bolster confidence in the administration and (b) to help get the word out about the service.
The administration should also have an experienced spin-meister to interface with the media. This would help build citizen confidence in our state. There are many positive things going on that few people hear about. The constant messes in Washington do not tend to give us confidence in government. The IRS, FDA, DEA, FBI, CIA, NSA, BATF, and so on through the Beltway alphabet endlessly come across as the bad guys. Surveys do not show a citizen trust of the government. Well, we want to have all that crap stop at our borders. We want to be able to feel that we are being protected against the out of control monsters Washington has spawned.
No, I’m not looking for work.
29 - It's WAR
We're At War! And I’m not talking about Iraq, Afghanistan, the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on AIDS, the war on cancer, the war on crime, the war on illiteracy, or the war on terrorism.
The worst part is that each of us is so completely isolated from reality by our educational system and media that we don't even know it. With whom are we unknowingly at war? Most of the world, but in particular, the Asian countries. Am I exaggerating?
One of the fundamental differences between American (and European) educational systems and Asian is their concentration on studying the art of war. Chinese texts on this art (Bing-Fa) go back beyond 1200 BC. Have you invested in (and read) Lao Tsu's The Art of War? The lessons his book teaches are still basic, and are being applied every day by Asians in the current war: business. "Shang chang ru zhan chang." That translates to "The marketplace is the battlefield."
It is no accident that America is flooded with Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Izuzu, Mitsubishi, Yamaha, Suzuki, Sony, Toshiba, Matsushita, etc., products. It is no accident that the pants I'm wearing, my shoes, sox, shirts and even my new jacket all were made in Asia. The Mac monitor I'm using to write this proposal says NEC (Nippon Electric Company). My Mac was made in the USA, but the engine in my laser printer was made by Canon. My fax machine and photo copier say "Canon." My telephone says "Made in China." So does my iPod.
Part of the answer is attributable to lower wages in other countries, part to the lowered cost of transportation and communications, but a large part of our failure to compete with Japan and China (and Taiwan, Singapore, Korea, and Hong Kong), lies in our school system, which fares badly in comparison with virtually every other developed country in the world. Even Albania!
Not only are our college graduates unable to compete with foreign graduates in the sciences and technology, but our graduates have almost zero understanding of business, and in particular the fierce competitiveness of businesses. Knowing how a Chinese general defeated a much larger army 2500 years ago can directly affect the success of a business today. Our military, our government, and our big businesses tend to try to win by might rather than by guile, and they're losing. Just look at the mess General Motors is in! When I suggested we try guile instead of brute force to win the war in Viet Nam, I couldn't get one member of Congress to pay any attention.
What I proposed was simple enough. Instead of spending $650,000 for every one of the enemy we were killing (which is what we did), why not bribe them? Bribery is an age-old accepted business strategem in Asia, so why not use it? I proposed issuing the enemy soldiers coming down the Ho Chi Minh Trail a booklet which would guarantee a plot of ground for them and their family, a small hut with electricity, food to last them until their crops made them self-sufficient, a TV set and the electricity to run it. The cost of this bribery would be minuscule compared to what we were spending to kill them, and we wouldn't have lost 58,000 Americans in the fruitless war. How much were they worth?
I saw in New Caledonia how the French ended centuries of tribal warfare among the natives by putting in TV stations. The natives had to stop fighting and make enough money to buy TV sets. Then, their families, goaded by ads on TV, kept them busy working so they could buy the advertised products. And that was the end of the wars.
In Yugoslavia I saw that people would work for years to get enough to buy a small car. So why not set up a factory in Viet Nam to manufacture the most basic of cars? Like the old French 2CV or even an enhanced go-kart?
Singapore was rescued from terrible poverty by a UN team which did a study of the raw materials and markets within easy shipping distance. They then went to Europe and got investors to build the factories and high-rise apartments for the workers to make the products. A similar study of the Viet Nam resources and nearby markets could have jump-started their economy too.
But dissuading our military, our Congress or our Administration from using brute force was impossible. Wrong mind set…the result of lousy educations.
Even our business schools are not teaching students what they're going to need to know to be successful in business. As a member of the Board of Overseers of the Rensselaer School of Management I studied the school's curriculum carefully and found it, as a businessman and entrepreneur, pathetic. I tried to get the dean of the school to offer some of the courses I felt were badly needed by the students, but bringing about changes in the minds of a college faculty has defeated better people than me. The dean failed to get any faculty cooperation and quit. I hired some of the school's graduates, but I found them both ill-equipped for working in a small business and unwilling to even bother to learn.
Until we make some major changes in our school system I believe America is going to continue to lose in business. The car market is dominated by the Japanese. The music market is dominated by foreign-owned companies. Over 95% of all music sales in the world come from six companies, five of which are foreign owned. We've lost the consumer electronics and camera industries, and now the movie industry is being gradually taken over, and so it goes.
Business is war. The Japanese lost WWII, but they made one heck of a comeback in the global business war. And we're sitting here, fat, dumb and moderately happy, while Japan and now China are eating our lunch, and looking forward to a big dinner.
That's the problem. What's the solution? I propose that our Legislature direct that University of New Hampshire business students be taught the art of war…as well as business courses which will be of practical use to them as graduates. I've proposed two ways of making sure that the courses are relevant…one by polling graduates as to the value of the courses they've taken (and what they wish they'd had) and the other by having students work half time at local high-tech businesses while they are in school. This would give them practical business experience, pay their tuition, and give them a great looking résumé.
30 - High Tech Workforce
You’ll agree, I hope, that high-tech jobs are the key to New Hampshire’s success in the future. It is a high-tech world and accelerating logrithmically. Thus, if we want our kids to be electronically and computer savvy, we’d better make some major changes in our school system. Right now! Our kids come in at the bottom on international tests in science and math. It just doesn’t have to be that way.
My proposal is to offer youngsters an eight year voluntary course in the fundamentals of electricity, electronics and computers.
We need to build a work force that can continue to develop new technology products, sell, install and service them. We can move manufacturing to lower wage countries…though with automated factories there’s less and less advantage to this. Over 15 years ago I visited a Samsung TV factory in Korea where everything was so automated that each set took less than 15 minutes of labor from beginning to it being tested and packed in a shipping carton.
A little over a hundred years ago New Hampshire was largely farming. That’s where all those stone walls we see lacing through our forests came from. Then we built the huge factories along the Merrimack to make clothes and shoes. Now we’re high-tech…and our schools are still stuck in the 1880s. Firmly stuck.
If we’re going to teach youngsters about technologies we’re going to have to make it simple and make it fun. We’re going to have to get them personally involved. The young readers of my ham radio magazine read it because they were personally involved. It was fun for them. They were no more cowed by communications technology than other kids are by the Internet. Remember, it was kids who pioneered microcomputers, not old men. Computers started out as a hobby. I know because I started all the first magazines in the field and helped more get kids hooked.
Okay, we want to teach kids about technology, science and math, but we don’t have the teachers to do it. We can’t even get them for years if we wanted to. And even if we tried to get them by using our present teacher’s college system, they wouldn’t be worth any more to our kids than the present graduates of this miserable system. You can find out how awful the present teacher colleges are by reading Rita Kramer’s book, Ed School Follies. It’s reviewed in my Secret Guide to Wisdom (p.11).
Author Thomas Sowell said that if he were elected President his first action would be to close all teacher’s colleges. Further, he would give every professor a million dollars to never lecture or write again. He said this would be one of the best investments th country could make.
So let’s consider letting the kids teach each other. Am I suggesting we do this without teachers? None? You betcha. And I know it can be done.
A while back 60-Minutes had a segment on a medical college where peer teaching was being tested. Yep, youngsters teaching each other to be doctors! The worst part of it was that it worked. They found that the students progressed about three times faster than with regular classes and learned over twice as much. As I say, it’s almost enough to make a person think.
Then there’s the remarkable Sudbury Valley School in Framingham (MA) where there is no curriculum, no classes, no tests, no grades, no separation of the students by age. The kids study what they want, when they want, with peer teaching being the norm…the older teaching the younger, but with teachers available when requested to help. The graduates of this school are outstanding.
It was this and other kinds of experimental teaching systems which got me to get Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to set up a Center for the Investigation of Undergraduate Education (CIUE). The university president loved the idea and instituted it (pardon). Boy, was it instituted! It was instituted by the faculty into something not even remotely resembling the original concept. This is why I suggest that New Hampshire might set up a CIUE and do it right—as a for-profit enterprise.
Here’s the idea. Every youngster in New Hampshire schools who is interested, from grades 5-12 would get a bi-monthly magazine which would explain the basics of electronics, communications and computers.
Why not textbooks? Three reasons. (1) These fields are moving so fast that textbooks would be two to five years out of date before they could reach the classroom. (2) Have you ever read an entertaining text book? (3) Textbooks are expensive and we want to keep educational costs down. (4—a bonus point) Textbooks eliminate any interactive element. A magazine can provide fast feedback between students with letters-to-the-editor, email, Internet chat rooms and columnists writing about special associated interests.
How about a magazine which covers the technical matters—plus it would have columns encouraging the youngsters to form amateur radio, computer, electronic experimenter, astronomy, science fair and other technology oriented clubs? If we can get the kids interested in learning by involving them in high-tech hobbies, we won’t be able to stop them.
A few years ago, when I had a lab with 35 computers for developing personal computer software, some local high schoolers asked if they could come in and use our computers at night and on weekends. Heck yes! Well, my programmers and techs said these kids were amazing, they didn’t just ask questions, they were like industrial vacuum cleaners when it came to learning.
They came in, bringing sleeping bags so when they got too tired they could crash for a couple hours and then have at the computers some more. Around the country we were reading stories about kids breaking into schools, not to trash them, but to use the computers at night. You almost can’t stop kids, once they find out how much fun learning can be.
Can we, through a ham radio column, get kids into amateur radio? You bet we can! We’ll tell ’em how to go on hidden transmitter hunts…how they can talk with people in over 300 countries…we’ll tell ’em about our contests, the array of amateur radio satellites they can use, about going on expeditions to rare spots around the world just to set up a ham station for a few days and make thousands of contacts, and so on. With only a slight encouragement I’ll visit schools and tell the kids about my operating from Navassa Island in the Caribbean, the famed American Embassy in Tehran, from Afghanistan, Nepal, Swaziland, the King’s palace in Jordan, Yemen, and dozens of other fantastic places.
We’ll get ’em onto the Internet so they can email and chat with any school in New Hampshire—or connect with kids around the world. You sure learn geography fast when you’ve made friends with people in a hundred or so countries. Most hams can tell you the name and location of any country in the world—and who they know there.
Can you spot Sabah, Lesotho, New Caledonia, and Sarawak on a map of the world? I’ve visited them and operated my ham station from them. Any ham will tell you right where they are. Sabah used to be British North Borneo.
The basic concept is simple. The students get their bi-monthly tech magazine, read it over and go to school ready for two weeks of bull sessions about the material. Any "teacher" would be there mostly to resolve conflicts and would be learning right along with the kids.
The kids, by arguing and forming groups to look into special matters and report to the group, will teach themselves. If they find they need some outside help we’ll have resources for them such as books, other magazines, and volunteers from local amateur radio clubs, computer groups, and so on.
Having published high-tech magazines and books for hobbyists for five decades, I’ve kinda got the hang of it. My license study guides have been so simple that even a four-year-old was able to get his amateur radio license—and seven-year-old girls have been able to get the highest of our license grades, Extra Class. It’s a question of having writers who can (a) make it simple and (b) make it fun. There aren’t many who can do that, but I know who they are.
In addition to simple explanations of the fundamentals of electronics, communications and computers, in each issue we’ll have a special added section devoted to explaining one particular kind of electronic equipment in depth. For instance, we might have a section which explains how all the different kinds of printers work, such as dot matrix, type wheel, thermal, ink jet, and laser printers. Another might explain how fiber optics work. By the end of the eight-year course the students would have at least an 80-volume encyclopedia on electronic equipment, complete with updates as older technologies evolve and newer ones are developed.
In between these major sections we would run reference material such as lists of all coaxial cables and their characteristics, connectors and how to use them, lists of ICs, educational software, etc.
We’d also ask student groups to evaluate and review educationally oriented software.
Once there’s a market for simple experiments we’ll find hundreds of entrepreneurs offering kits for kids to buy and play with. It doesn’t cost much for parts to build simple test meters, small motors and generators and so on. You just have to look in an Edmunds Scientific catalog to see how reasonable these things are.
Eventually we’ll want to make more elaborate equipment available to help the kids learn. Here’s where we can put together labs on wheels which can be shared by many schools. They can be built into trailers so they’ll be easy to move from school to school…staying a few weeks at each.
We want labs to help kids learn about radios, television, computers, and so on. It’s a lot cheaper to bring the labs to the kids than the kids to the labs. But since most kids these days have computers at home and we’ll soon have many kids with their own ham radio stations, a shortage of labs isn’t going to slow things down much.
Eventually we’ll be seeing virtual labs on DVDs where youngsters will be able to build electronic circuits and test them.
By the way, much of the equipment for our labs can be gotten for free. We really don’t need state-of-the-art stuff at first, so let’s offer some tax advantages to companies who pass along their older equipment for the kids. There’s one chap already doing this in New Hampshire and he’s had volunteers gathering old oscilloscopes, refurbishing them and then donating them to schools. The sorry fact is that hundreds of millions of dollars in old test equipment is thrown out every year…test equipment which could be of great value to help kids learn.
The kids would learn even more if they were involved with the gathering, refurbishing and distribution of the equipment. For that matter, the kids could set up electronic repair shops in their schools and go into business repairing VCRs, radio, TV, hi-fi, and computers. By operating these services for a profit they could buy even better and newer service equipment. And there’s nothing like learning by doing. That’s the best teacher there is…and it’s fun!
It wasn’t that long ago that Apple was giving schools thousands of computers. Many private businesses also donated computers to schools. I donated complete computer labs to the schools in Peterborough and Jaffrey. We can encourage largess like this with tax breaks.
Others more acquainted with getting federal grants will know how to put a hand in that bottomless pocket. I know there’s an almost endless supply of money sitting in Washington, just waiting for the enterprising to shake the tree. Just before Bill Bennett got pushed out as the Secretary of Education, I visited him and explained my idea for teaching technology to kids. He loved the idea and sent me a long list of available grants which could be tapped. There are hundreds of millions sitting down there waiting for us to put our name on the check.
As I’ve made clear, I hope, I’m not in favor of getting New Hampshire to spend more money on anything, including education. However, I’m not at all opposed to the state putting up capital to get for-profit ventures going which will eventually cut state costs. Nor am I opposed to getting every dollar we can from Washington. But let’s get New Hampshire working right first and then we can consider trying to fix that godawful mess in Washington.
We’re small. We’re aggressive. We’re conservatively progressive…so let’s show the other 49 states what can be done and maybe be the subject of a future Nova program.
How can we provide around 100,000 students with a magazine without having to charge them for it? We can do it the same way I was able to send Music Retailing twice a month to around 9,000 record stores at no charge…I sold advertising.
Oh lord! Advertising? Expose our kids to advertising? Horrors. Sure, I know how much trouble Whittle got in when he sold ads to pay for educational TV for classrooms. My answer, cleaned up a bit, is "baloney." Look, we’re all exposed to around 1,800 commercial messages a day. We get ’em on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, matchbook covers, posters, store windows, taxi tops—advertising is everywhere.
If I were going to start an educational magazine my first stop would be Nike to see how much they wanted to invest. Yes, I know, parents don’t want their kids to even suspect Nike exists. But would they be willing to spend $40 a year for a magazine just so their kids wouldn’t be exposed to Nike ads?
No, no beer, no cigarette ads. I’ve never run any of these in any of my magazines in all these years and never will. But I don’t have any problem with ads from enterpreneurs selling high-tech parts kits or with Sears, The Gap and so on.
Instead of techies being the nerds and dweebs, let’s turn those pejoratives on the smokers, the beer drinkers and other such teen low-lifes.
By keeping printing and production costs modest through using a tabloid format and a good grade of newsprint paper, we can keep the advertising rates down to where hundreds of entrepreneurs will be able to get new businesses started just to cater to this particular market. High ad rates tend to freeze out entrepreneurs and tilt the market toward large firms.
I’ve always avoided letting my publications build too large a circulation for this very reason. When they threaten to get too big I prefer to spin off second and third publications in order to keep the ad rates affordable, and this usually means keeping circulations under 150,000.
In this case we want to make it easy for entrepreneurs to offer young hobbyists all kinds of kits and gadgets—inexpensive optics and telescopes, audio amplifiers, simple radios, power supplies, low powered ham transmitters, etc.
We can keep costs low by starting out providing the same material the first year to everyone. They’re all beginners. The next year we’d reprint the first series for the new beginners, except for some updates where youngsters the previous year had some trouble understanding things or the technology had changed.
In this way one editorial staff could write eight years of the on-going "textbook magazine" one year at a time. I’d have a second editorial staff working just on the special sections and reference materials.
By the time students finish the course they’ll have a 192 volume textbook, reference manual and encyclopedia. And we’ll have the whole works on DVDs, complete with almost infinite search capabilities.
Yearly in-depth indexes will help make the material more user-friendly.
Delivering the magazines is duck soup. If we have them printed in New Hampshire, which we certainly should, we can deliver copies to every school in the state. Trucks from Concord or Manchester could reach every part of the state in two or three hours, keeping distribution costs to a minimum. Doing this five or six days a week would make only one or two trucks needed.
And that’s it…the editorial, columns, letters, advertising, production, printing, distribution. Of course, it helps to have done this a few times. I know where the pitfalls are so we’d be sure not to miss any. The bottom line in a few years will be thousands of youngsters with high-tech know-how…one hell of a high-tech work force for New Hampshire’s future.
Yes, of course other states are going to want this publication for their kids. Eventually we’ll see it being delivered to tens of millions of American kids via DVD on a weekly or monthly basis. Then kids in a hundred other countries. Let’s no send any to China.
31 - Bio-Terrorism
While it doesn’t seem likely that terrorists will bother with New Hampshire, it doesn’t hurt to understand what’s involved and have some plans. You know, just in case.
Why? Well, if you know much about Islam you know Muslims are all taught from birth that it is their duty to kill all infidels (hey, that’s us!). We also know that this Iraq business is stirring up a hornet’s nest of fresh hate throughout the Muslin world. And we know that the cheapest and most effective way to kill a bunch of us will be by using biological weapons.
Further, we know that Iraq had ’em, because our government sold ’em the starter kits back when we were supporting them against Iran. Are they in Iran by now?
It’s the Americans living in and around the major cities who should be most concerned about bioterrorism. Our nearest big city is Boston, and fortunately it’s downwind of New Hampshire, so even a biological attack would probably not be a serious threat here…except for germs brought back by commuters or escapees.
That’s the bright side. On the dark side, an attack on any major city in the country could have profound repercussions. It could stop trucking companies from being able to ship food, gasoline or almost anything else. It could shut down the power grid, and with it most communications. Is this something we want to be surprised about (and completely unprepared for), or is it worth some planning? Was the World Trade Center attack enough to make the reality of a potential terrorist attack sink in? Or has the lack of an immediate follow-up lulled us totally?
Yes, of course I have some ideas. I’ve been researching and writing about the possible terrorist attacks on America for several years.
Firstly, in any disease outbreak there are always a few people who don’t get sick, and some who recover quickly. These are the people with industrial strength immune systems. Okay, you’re supposed to ask, how can we help people to stop compromising their immune systems? Luckily, I have written a book on the subject. Think of the odds!
There’s no mystery about what we’ve all been doing to keep our immune systems on the ropes. This, after all, is the basic cause of all illnesses. If we stop putting stuff in our bodies that’s considered poison by our immune system, stop dehydrating ourselves, give our bodies the nutrients they’ve adapted to work on as fuel over a million or so years, get plenty of sun and exercise, and keep stress down, we’ll be so healthy we’ll live over a hundred years and without a day of sickness. The devil, of course, is in the details…hence my book. And yes, being healthy calls for a major lifestyle change. But the result will be people who will not be seriously threatened by bioweapons, and who will have little need for doctors, hospitals and nursing homes.
In New Hampshire we don’t have to worry much about the loss or power and water…we have enough people on farms with wells to tide us over. But food would be a big problem. Now, suppose we encouraged people to grow gardens to help feed their families. My farm has over 50 acres that’s just growing grass and a fantastic crop of wild flowers. People living in nearby Antrim (only a mile away), but without any garden space, could cultivate small gardens here which could feed several families in a pinch.
And what amazing crops they could grow! I’m talking tomato plants with over 500 fabulous tasting tomatoes. 18" ears of corn and 400-pound pumpkins. I’ve done the research and written about twelve ways organic crops can be made larger, grow faster, keep longer after being picked, taste better and have all of the minerals our bodies need, but which are long gone from our supermarket fruits and vegetables. Yes, I have a book available on the subject, if you’re interested.
This would be a wonderful project for our kids. It would teach them to be self-sufficient. They’d get the sun and exercise they need. And they’d be proud of their crops. They could even make money selling them at the farmer’s markets.
How serious is a bioterrorism threat? If the government knows, it isn’t saying. And that doesn’t inspire much confidence. I have read that hundreds of Arabs have been taking flying lessons. Now why would they spend their money on that? The day of commandeering a commercial flight has, I think, ended. Maybe they’re thinking about crop-spraying planes.
Is that a credible enough threat to at least start thinking? No, we don’t need a committee to study the situation. However, under the color of preparation for an anthrax or smallpox attack, we might be able to get enough people to change their lifestyles so we’d see a significant drop in health care costs.
32 - Nursing Homes
When one’s parents get to the time when they need nursing care, say with Alzheimer’s, there’s little choice but to put them in a nursing home. If you’ve read about the studies of these facilities you know that more and more of them are going bankrupt. If you’ve eaten at one you can understand why the patients stay sick. I have. Ugh.
Nursing homes have little money to buy first rate food or to hire well trained nurses. The whole situation is a mess. Worse, a good deal of the cost falls on the state. More of our tax money down the tubes.
My approach to solving problems is to first understand as much as I can about the problem and then, instead of thinking in terms of Band-Aids…the usual medical industry approach to health problems…I try to see some way that the problem can be avoided. In this case, why are people getting so sick they have to be put in nursing homes? Is there any way to change this? Let’s think outside the box.
As with my approach to Medicaid and coping with possible terrorist attacks, the long term solution to keeping people healthy is to educate them so they’ll stop poisoning their bodies. A healthy body is not going to be crippled with arthritis. It is not going to have multiple sclerosis. Nor cancer, heart disease, nor even Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.
I realize that getting the word out will mean major battles with a number of very well entrenched powers and their political clout via well-heeled lobbyists. It means taking on the sugar, milk, pharmaceutical, giant food, beer, cigarette, medical, insurance, meat packing and agricultural giants. But, wow, would we have healthy people! It’s about time we started replacing these destructive industries with healthier ones. People will still be spending as much money on food, only it’ll be super-organic produce, hormone-antibiotic-disease-free meat and raw unprocessed milk. Hey, let’s get New Hampshire farmers in the vanguard in providing our new diet. We might even see kids getting off Prozac if they ate healthy breakfasts and we get those fast food, candy and soda vending machines out of our schools.
Schools? Hmm, how about our schools teaching our kids the truth about how to be healthy so they can help put pressure on their parents to come up to speed? Let’s aim at having New Hampshire be first in the nation in health. That’s the most important thing there is. Then we can get going on making it first in the nation in wealth.
Even though the results would be worth it, is this too big a battle for you? If you win, the White House will be your next address.
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