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Jim's Jottings

A two-part Jottings -- Hope you read both

November 21, 2012 - I've often quoted my friend Dick Milliman's Almanac column. Besides writing the Almanac for his own newspapers, he allows me to quote him.

We've been friends for several decades. He's lived much of his life in the Lansing area, was on Gov. George Romney's staff, ran for Congress once, and is politically conscious. He does not endorse candidates in his Almanac, but reviews opposing views, thus leaving decisions to readers.

His most recent column reads, "Apparently most of us are happy with the way things are in America right now, despite high unemployment and a generally sour economy.

"Despite most polls showing dissatisfaction with how things are going in the country, voters gave President Obama four more years in the White House.

"Despite general criticism of stalemate in Washington, voters sent most of the same people back to their familiar seats in Congress. There were some individual changes, but Republicans still will run the House and Democrats the Senate.

"That means the same forces which have been in charge for our federal government can point back to their own elections and claim, with some merit: Look! The people like the job I'm doing or they would not have voted for me, so they want me to keep on doing the same things I've been doing.

"Maybe they are right.

"So who's responsible if things don't go right in Washington?

"Looks to me like the buck stops with the voters."

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Part Number 2

I'm very much in favor of continuing education. . . . But I'm very much against pushing all students into colleges.

It's like a doctor's advice, a belief extolled by some preachers and even some mothers. I am here standin'on the pulpit of the Church of University Ain't For Everybody to preach this gospel: College isn't for everyone.

Sunday's Detroit Free Press quoted Gov. Snyder as wanting to change how schools are funded to improve how well they prepare kids for college.

College, college, college.

Damn! That's wrong, wrong, wrong.

How about preparing kids for life? (Not the game, but the real thing.)

How about giving them exposures to real-life futures? Cover such things as ditch digging to manning a space shuttle; sciences to paper hanging and electronics. Teach the youth how to follow instructions to reason.

Book-learnin' cannot be as big an advantage in life as common sense.

My wife Hazel got into her freshman high school class before having to leave so she could care for her invalid, infantile, paralysis-ridden mother.

And, Hazel raised our three kids, did the bookkeeping for Sherman Publications as we grew from owning one weekly community newspaper to four newspapers, two shoppers and a printing company.

She approved our buying and disapproved our expansions based on common sense. She reached decisions with common sense, and applied it to some of our personal life, too.

I've told friends Hazel could come to a common sense solution in seconds that I would take months to realize.

It seems our governor would remove school districts, push on-line learning, lessen exposure to age-like kids and encourage them to attend colleges dominated by liberal instructors.

Might better split the groups into hands-on shop to learn tools of toils.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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