Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Bean Counter

The phrase "bean counter" has only been in the public vocabulary since the 1970s, although it sounds as if it should be of a much older origin. It is possible that the description was inspired by overzealous kitchen inventory takers who insisted on counting every bean in a bag or every potato in a sack. The act of counting every bean to the exclusion of more important duties would be viewed by many as the ultimate act of micromanagement.

What do the 'Bean Counters' in this video literally tell us about our Capitalist Society? Why does this matter? Is it fair? What would Andrew Carnegie say you should do about it?

Friday, September 7, 2018

Confederate Flag Controversy

The Civil War may have ended almost 150 years ago but this flag still evokes powerful emotions. Take the recent story from Charlottesville, VirginiaWho do you think was to blame? How could this situation have been avoided? Could this have happened at our own school? 

The Confederate battle flag, called the "Southern Cross" or the cross of St. Andrew, has been described variously as a proud emblem of Southern heritage and as a shameful reminder of slavery and segregation. In the past, several Southern states flew the Confederate battle flag along with the U.S. and state flags over their statehouses. Others incorporated the controversial symbol into the design of their state flags. The Confederate battle flag has also been appropriated by the Ku Klux Klan and other racist hate groups. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, more than 500 extremist groups use the Southern Cross as one of their symbols.

Recently Kanye West has been seen wearing the Confederate Flag and selling it on his merchandise.  Why?  What does Larry the Cable guy and a tribe of warriors in Africa have to say about that?

Sweet Home Talawanda... Kanye can 'do what he want' but what will happen to you if you wear a confederate flag to school?  Are our school rules fair?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Not that I condone facism; or any ism for that matter. Isms, in my opinion, are not good. A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself. I quote John Lennon, “I don’t believe in ‘Beatles’, I just believe in me.” Good point there. After all, he was the Walrus.

What is an 'ISM?'

What are the differences between 'Capitalism' and 'Communism?'  

How did those differences fuel the Cold War?

Friday, May 11, 2018

Jimmy Carter

The 1976 presidential election pitted Gerald Ford against former Georgia governor Jimmy Carter. Carter appealed to voters as a Washington outsider untouched by scandal. He promised Americans, “I will never lie to you.”

Neither candidate generated much excitement. As Election Day neared, people talked of a “clothespin vote,” a phrase that implies “hold your nose and vote for one or the other.” Only 53 percent of eligible voters went to the polls—the lowest turnout since 1948. Carter won, but by a narrow margin.

Once in the White House, Carter maintained his outsider status. Rather than hiring experienced Washington insiders, he surrounded himself with staff from Georgia.Nor did he establish close relations with Congress. As a result, his efforts to enact such reforms as a national health insurance system went nowhere.

So what does President Carter think about our current political climate? 

In a far-ranging interview with Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page, the 39th president expresses hope for the planned White House summit with Pyongyang and discussed the political repercussions of allegations by porn star Stormy Daniels.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018


Watergate was the 'mother of all scandals.'  So much so that today we often refer to new scandals both political and private as '______ gate:'  'Russia-gate.' 'Hillary-gate.'  'Deflate-gate.'  et al.

But what was the actual Watergate scandal and how does it compare to current scandals?

What was the eventual result of the Watrgate Scandal?  

Make a prediction reagarding the outcome of President Trump's 'Stormy-gate.'

Why do you think the President keeps a framed letter from President Nixon on his wall in the Oval Office?

Monday, May 7, 2018

Nixon's Rise and Fall

Some historians argue that Richard Nixon’s early experiences in politics had a significanteffect on the way he acted as president.

He faced a difficult road in his pursuit of the presidency, as well as numerous challengesonce elected president. As a result, somehistorians believe Nixon took any action toremain president, even if that action was unethical and against the law.

Whether seen as a skillful politician or a manipulative one, Nixon experienced both accomplishments and controversies aspresident.

Read the Chapter 53 intro and answer these questions.

What is a Presidential Approval Rating?

How did the 'Checkers Speech' affect Nixon's approval rating?

What is Donald Trump's approval rating?  How does it compare to Nixons?  

What scandals does President Trump face?  Predict how they will affect his approval.

What was the Watergate Scandal?  How did it change the way we view the President of the United States?

Friday, April 6, 2018

Grapes of Wrath

In John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Joad and his family are forced from their farm in the Depression-era Oklahoma Dust Bowl and set out for California along with thousands of others in search of jobs, land, and hope for a brighter future. Considered John Steinbeck's masterpiece, The Grapes of Wrath is a story of human unity and love as well as the need for cooperative rather than individualistic ideals during hard times.

What did it mean to be 'labeled' an 'Okie?'

Read this excerpt from the Grapes of Wrath & answer the questions.

Are there any similarities between the problems faced by the Okies and the problems of today?

  Follow the lyrics as you listen to the song.  What would the Ghost of Tom Joad say about 2018?

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Social Security

History is filled with examples of people who achieved fame not because of a major accomplishment, but simply because they were the first to do something. Such is the case of Ida May Fuller, a resident of rural Vermont who became the first beneficiary of a recurring Social Security payment on Jan. 31, 1940.


Is Social Security still a good idea today?

Monday, March 26, 2018

Mural Project

In the 1930s, as part of the Federal Art Project—a government program created to provide jobs for the unemployed—murals were painted in public buildings across the country.

When architects reworked the original Union Terminal design in Cincinnati, they created space inside the terminal for a vast collection of public art. The biggest set of these spaces was set aside for a series of murals that would depict the cultural heritage of the United States and Cincinnati, with a particular emphasis on local industry. These murals would make an immediate and lasting impressive on a visitor passing through the terminal and it was important to terminal officials that these murals were of the highest quality and spoke to the importance of Cincinnati.

Research and design a mural depicting the 'legacy' of FDR's New Deal.

Union Terminal was completed in the 1930s but wasn't officially a 'New Deal' project.
How did the 'New Deal' touch the 'Queen City?'

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Realism vs. Idealism

Over the past two centuries, two schools of thought, known as realism and idealism, have shaped U.S. foreign policy. Realism is based on the belief that relations with other countries should be guided by national self-interest. From this perspective, foreign policy should pursue practical objectives that benefit the American people. Such objectives might include national security, increased trade with other nations, and access to overseas resources.

Idealism in foreign policy is based on the belief that values and ideals should influence how countries relate to one another. From this point of view, foreign policy should be used to promote America's founding ideals—particularly democracy, liberty, and rights—to ensure a better world not just for Americans, but for all people.

Was American foreign policy during the 1800s motivated more by realism or idealism?  

What about today?

Where would Donald Trump's foreign policy go on the spectrum?  Barack Obama?  Why?  

What conclusions can we draw?