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Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 08 March 2013 00:00

Damn The Torpedoes 

I’m writing this on Feb. 22, George Washington’s birthday, so I have no idea if automatic spending cuts (sequestration) will go into effect on March 1.  Well, happy birthday George, though I’m sure the Father of our Country would loathe acknowledging paternity for the reckless manner in which his Republic spends taxpayer dollars. Taxation was, after all, the clarion call that gave birth to his country and it was indeed Washington’s vice president, John Adams, who observed that there are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword …The other is by debt.

 

Letter: Scouting Out Allergic Foods

Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00

I am currently a senior at New Hyde Park Memorial. The title of my Girl Scout Gold Award project was  “Lets Include Instead of Exclude.” The project consisted of different seminars for children from preschool through junior high school with food allergies and other restrictions. I chose to do this for my Girl Scout Gold Award project because I felt I had a lot of knowledge to share on this topic. I grew up with many allergies during my childhood and continue to deal with them.

 

Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 01 March 2013 00:00

Minimum Wage = Minimum Opportunity

In President Obama’s “State of the Union Address” he mentioned jobs 47 times. Recently, we’ve heard Governor Cuomo harping about jobs for the Empire State. But if it’s all about jobs, why endorse the raising of the minimum wage, which has resulted in more than a half century of ignominious discreditation. This measure is often greeted with the sound of trumpets; I would much prefer to write a dirge, for the minimum wage is a job destroyer not a job creator.

The minimum wage is a classic example of the indissoluble bond between pet prejudices and public policy; a bias that has become intolerably wearisome. Mandarins duped by the sophistry that because a rose smells better than a cabbage it would also make a better soup. Such moral asseverations are the sanctum sanctorum of the political and cultural dilettantti; a creedal hosanna to give obeisance to that which they know next to nothing about. The minimum wage law is one of those secular, holy doctrines where emotions overrule facts and sound bites supplant understanding.

 

Letter: From The EWSD Superintendent

Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00
College Admissions Presentation

At the February work session, Mary Harrison, director of guidance, presented information and data on the college admission process at Wheatley.  There was discussion regarding recent changes in college admissions and the processes used to assist students in their pursuit of college admittance.  The district’s successes in supporting students’ placements in colleges of their choice, as well as important reflection on ways to continue to grow these efforts, were shared.

Moving forward, the District is planning to offer two new courses in the 2013-14 school year. The introduction of a Junior Seminar and Senior Seminar will offer enrolled students an SAT/ACT Prep curriculum while counselors provide targeted assistance on issues related to the college admissions process.

In addition, a workshop is scheduled for high school administrators and staff with an admissions representative from a top-tier school. The admissions rep will share an insider’s view of the college admission process, including maximizing the powerful role of teacher recommendation letters in the college admissions process.  

 

Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00

Old Wine In New Bottles

We’re hitting them in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen and wherever else we find those committed to waging war on the United States.  President Obama has escalated the use of un-manned drones equipped with Hellfire missiles to take out suspected terrorists wherever Jihad is being harvested, even if the targets include American citizens. This is a policy, with a few pertinent reservations, I generally endorse.

I endorse it because any American who takes up arms against his country forfeits his rights of citizenship. I endorse it because the United States is at war with a shadowy enemy taking refuge in lawless territories and hell-bent on mass murdering as many Americans as possible. I endorse it because it has been effective in destabilizing the leadership of Al Qaeda. I endorse it because collateral damage from these high-tech strikes is limited and does not expose American pilots to enemy gunfire.

 

Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 15 February 2013 00:00

Co-ed Battlefield

As Rome and Athens demonstrated two millennia ago, every military, no matter how strong its eternal code, eventually mirrors its society. So women in combat units, in the trenches and on the battlefields should not be all that surprising, which is not to say that it’s a good idea.

In fact, it’s a terrible idea, one that will adversely affect the efficiency, readiness and performance of our armed forces. Most women do not possess the physical strength of the average man; nature, not the male species, has designed it that way. Thresholds that determine combat readiness will not be compromised the military assures us, as if such an unprejudiced expostulation of fairness and human equality would be enough to console the doubters. Well, count me out.

 

From The Desk Of Superintendent Robert Katulak

Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00

It’s A Process

How does, what looks like such an easy task, turn into choreographing the most intricate dance in history? Welcome to the New York State education district budget development process. Just when we have it down to a science, we get thrown additional curve balls or our lead dancer breaks a toe. 

The New Hyde Park-Garden City Park School District has worked closely with the community over the past five years to have a budget process that takes community input regarding the quality of educational program offerings and balances the dance moves with fiscal responsibility to our taxpayers.

 

Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 08 February 2013 00:00

Roe v. Wade at 40

It’s been 40 years since the Supreme Court ruled on Roe v. Wade universalizing abortion rights. The last reliable poll stated that 48 percent of the American people favor abortion and 44 percent are opposed. So Americans remain almost evenly divided over this most contentious issue. Having said that and recognizing that there are very decent people on both sides of the debate, there is no gainsaying that Roe v. Wade is one of the most execrable decisions in the annals of the U.S. Supreme Court .

On January 22, 1973, Justice Harry Blackmun, writing for the majority, stated: We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins. When those trained in the respective disciplines of medicine, philosophy and theology are unable to arrive at any consensus, the judiciary, at this point in the development of man’s knowledge, is not in a position to speculate as to the answer.” Reasonable enough —- the problem is that speculating upon it is exactly what the court did. Indeed, it did so with such a degree of rashness and bravura that one would have thought that the courts meditations on the subtleties before it, subsequently reified into law, was the very summit of human insight and understanding.  

 

Letter: A Word Or Two From East Williston Superintendent Elaine Kanas

Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00
Math Leaders

Did you know our East Williston School District teachers not only successfully support our students with learning, but are also acknowledged leaders in their various fields, sharing knowledge and collaborating with professional colleagues from across the region and beyond.  This month at Molloy College, our North Side teachers, Donna Casano, Lisa Minerva, Henry Kupstas, Herman Lim and Tracy Kasschau, presented workshops for Long Island educators at the How To Make Math Count Conference sponsored by the Nassau County Mathematics Teachers Association and the Nassau County Association of Mathematics Supervisors. 

 

Phil-osophically Speaking

Written by Phil Guarnieri Friday, 01 February 2013 00:00

Convergence Of The Twain

Even though the struggle between Christianity and Islam began 14 centuries ago, its violent and persecutory vestiges still haunt us. While Christianity, for example, is the fastest growing religion in the world, it is also the most oppressed and molested of all the religious faiths. For those killed around the world for their religious beliefs, 75 percent are Christians. Even as Christianity explodes among the denizens of Africa and Asia, attempts to muffle and eradicate it grow with alarming speed. The building of churches and seminaries in Arab lands are forbidden; Christians are slain with impunity in Nigeria; 600,000 to 1 million Coptic Christians, despite the presence of the American military, have fled Iraq fearing for their lives. There is not extant a single Christian church in Saudi Arabia; a mass exodus of believers in Egypt continues unabated to safer pastures and postulates of the Christian faith are languishing in the prisons of Pakistan for no crime other than observing the tenets of their religion.  

 

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