As a General Rule - Vote "No" on Religious Amendments

Religious laws generally prey on ignorance and fear. By default, be skeptical and wary of anything that attempts to weaken the Wall of Separation between Church and State.

Whenever you see pro-religious laws on a ballot, you should always consider voting "No" by default.  

Government should stay out of the church and the church should stay out of government.  

Our police, firefighters, and schools are secular for a reason. They have a job to do that have to do with the facts on the ground.  Police don't arrest criminals with faith.  Firefighters don't put out fires with prayer.  Children don't learn math and science by skipping class.  

VOTE NO on Amendment 2! As a former school board member, I can tell you unequivocally that children already have the right to pray at school and bring their bibles.  That right is not under threat and is a misleading law preying on the fears of an unsuspecting public.  

The .  Letting kids skip class because it might challenge their faith is not knowledge and intelligence...it is willful ignorance and religious indoctrination.  

We are not Saudi Arabia.  We are America!

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Karl Frank Jr. August 12, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Peter, I would have to double-check your numbers, but even still, I don't see that as an outrageous amount of money considering what you get return. Is it possible for you to do a similar analysis of the economic benefits of public education on a country's overall GDP? Obviously there would be an opportunity cost lost to overall productivity on not educating the masses. Let me know what you find. "You can start here where this economic study maintains that, "Hanushek says a good teacher's contribution to the economy could be as much as a half a million dollars per year." http://www.npr.org/blogs/money/2011/01/25/133215055/the-tuesday-podcast-how-much-is-a-good-teacher-worth If that's true then that means your take-home pay would be much less today than it currently is.
Karl Frank Jr. August 12, 2012 at 07:31 PM
I should also mention that it has been proven empirically that for every tax dollar spent on early childhood education, $4 - $12 tax dollars are saved in the future on items like reduced welfare rolls, prison, higher overall productivity, etc. Basically, you spend it smartly up front, or you spend more in the long term on the consequences. "knowledge and intelligence necessary for the rights and liberties of the people..."
Karl Frank Jr. August 12, 2012 at 07:36 PM
One more to get you started. Each year's class of dropouts will cost the country over $200 billion during their lifetimes in lost earnings and unrealized tax revenue (Catterall, 1985). The estimated tax revenue loss from every male between the ages of 25 and 34 years of age who did not complete high school would be approximately $944 billion, with cost increases to public welfare and crime at $24 billion (Thorstensen, 2004). Students from low-income families have a dropout rate of 10%; students from middle income families have a dropout rate of 5.2%, and 1.6% of students from high-income families dropout. (NCES, 2002). A cost of $10,038 for after-school programs produces benefits of $89,000 to $129,000 per participant (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2003d). Increasing minority students' participation in college to the same percentage as that of white students would create an additional $231 billion in GDP and at least $80 billion in new tax revenues (Alliance for Excellent Education, 2003e). http://www.dropoutprevention.org/statistics/quick-facts/economic-impacts-dropouts the rest can be inferred from here, but I would like to see what kind of numbers you can come up with. Keep in mind there are over 900,000 public school students in Missouri alone. Imagine the effects of not having gratuitous and effective public education. Everyone would lose.
Karl Frank Jr. August 12, 2012 at 07:39 PM
And lastly, while you can't legislate IQ, you can legislate knowledge and critical thinking skills. There are different kinds of intelligence.
Peter Russo August 13, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Well Mr Frank: I don't need any studies and assumptions. My facts are actual. If every resident knew they are taking a $145,000 loan to support a public school, they would all vote to start over again. So don't dance around studies and some stupid theories that use all kind of assumptions. Any private school that is available in Mehlville can provide superior education with 95% college ready students. All for the cost of $32,000 Elementary $24,000 High school. That's $56,000 for 12 years of top education. (that is $100,000 less than public school costs.) These are "Facts" . What I have proven is that , General Assembly can bankrupt society because they mandate "good intentions" without considering the "COSTS" Unfortunately, you do the same thing. You should read up on Stockton Calif, San Bernadino Calif, San Jose Calif. (Famous cities NOW FILING Bankruptcies) Look them up and you will see PUBLIC WAGES--PUBLIC PENSION COSTS as the reasons for bankruptcies. Not my assumptions--These are live facts today. The postal service can longer compete because the people have Private UPS andFed Ex type companies who can ship and deliver much cheaper. The postal service is losing $5Bil every 3 months. They will file Bankrupcty within 2 years. The city of St Louis is on the brink of Bankruptcy Please don't lecture me , because this is what I do for a Living. It was a pleasure trying to educate you. I know you have the smart's to understand "facts"
Karl Frank Jr. August 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Actually Peter, a study by the University of Illinois showed that once you account for socio-economic status of the students, public schools slightly outperformed private schools on ACT and SAT scores. All the college attendance rate shows is the socio-economic makeup of the students that attend their schools. Private schools get to pick and choose who they take. Public schools gladly take everyone. Also, if you are paying $2000 a year in property taxes, that means you have, what? a $250,000 house? So, your annual household income is likely at least $100,000 a year, unless you bought a house you couldn't afford. That means that over 50 years you'd make $5 million. So, $145,000 is a pittance considering what you get in return.
Karl Frank Jr. August 13, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Jim, after spending 5.5 years on the school board, several years on the Special School District Board, several years on the Black Leadership round table delegation and hundreds of hours wig the Missouri School Board Association, I know what I'm talking about. Google is one thing. Knowing what to look for is Another. Just because you, and especially Peter may be misinformed, and can't justify your opinions with the empirical data exists doesn't mean anything else other than that you both have a lot to learn.
Karl Frank Jr. August 13, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Boring. When you have time to offer up a credible argument with numbers and sources, please feel free to do so.
Peter Russo August 14, 2012 at 05:33 AM
Jim: You are correct on all points. People should "own" their homes and not pay "rent" called real estate tax. A tuition is fair, not some arbitrary appraisal. Our system needs to be changed. No two couples are taxed equally. same homes with different arbitrary values is NOT a fair system in today's environment. Two $50,000 per year income earners who choose to buy $150,000 and $250,000 homes should pay the same public school Service for their one child. I just never will understand why Teachers Pay should be related to my Home and car values. My home and car have nothing to do with "A school Teachers' pay" A hair salon professional or doctor or any Professional does not charge for services Based on the Clients Home values. That is my purpose here, as I do not and have never advocated Superiority in Private vs Public schools . Only mentioned because There is a factual $100,000 difference in Public vs private Education. That $100,000 goes for Payroll and benfits far superior than any worker in Mehlville. (74% of Mehlville"s $110Mil budget goes for Payroll and Benefits.) I would be pleased to support the building and maint cost and pay (25% toward that) I do believe that as long as a Service is offered by any private industry, anyone choosing to use the public option should pay for that service portion. My community cost should be only to provide the public Schools. Education is Education no matter whether Public orPrivate. Thanks for your input.
Karl Frank Jr. August 14, 2012 at 01:35 PM
Peter, buildings don't teach children, teachers teach children. And the number 1 factor in the education of a child after socioeconomic status is the quality of the teacher.
Peter Russo August 14, 2012 at 06:08 PM
Jim is obviously a true American citizen. He wants to voluntarily accept a system that I believe continues to unfairly tax the poor and needy for what should be a "Free public Education". I used a high earner example to expose Karl and his hidden agenda to Tax the Rich (That "I earn $100,000 and could afford it.") while totally ignoring ---it is the poor and needy who also are forced to Pay $1,000 per year in Public school costs as they earn only $40,000 and live in a $100,000 home and drive a 2nd hand car. (How is their education cost "Free".) That is something we all should strive to change. 1) All residents who earn less than $50,000 should be exempt from any Real estate tax allocated to our Public Schools. That Karl---- is truly a "free education" "Public education" or "Private Education" (even non-religious private education). Public schools started with reasonable under $500 per year costs. They are now out of control. Their costs are bankrupting the very poor and needy who should be paying ZERO Real Estate and auto taxes. Mehlville is on a track and system many cannot afford. A system that has NO LIMITS to the ultimate cost per resident. The additional tax increases on all Business buildings are coming as they have no vote in how Mehlville operates. Problem is, the residents will pay that as higher prices. Religion is a start of society's frustrations with our "free" public education gone wild..
Karl Frank Jr. August 14, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Peter, As you know, we live in a progressive tax system. Property taxes are how Missouri has decided to provide gratuitous education to every child under the age of 21 through high school. You are taxed based on the value of your property, which is directly effected by the quality of the school system. There is no denying this fact. If there was ever a true statement, it is this. Ask any real estate agent. Whether you have 1 kid or 5 kids, or zero kids, the costs stay the same and the benefit to the society is the same. If you own a $200,000 house, then your property taxes in Mehlville are roughly $1299. 55% of that goes to the Mehlville School District. That's $714.78. So, in order to use your 1st example above you would have to be living in a half million dollar house. Whether or not you recognize the benefits from public education to your current well being and the quality of your community is just a state of either denial or acceptance, but the truth is true now matter what your opinion may be. No to mention, we have hundreds of students who live in apartments who own little to no property, so we do have students who receive gratuitous education. Even if they paid $714, that's significantly less than the $8000 per student that is actually spent in Mehlville, the second lowest in all of St. Louis County. Your logic is flawed from premise to conclusion.
Peter Russo August 15, 2012 at 05:03 AM
You know Karl: You just might be the first person in the world that could answer: WHAT CAME FIRST----THE CHICKEN OR THE EGG!!!!!!!!!! It's not my numbers that make the case. Real estate Agents are asked about "Schools" not necessarily public schools. Maybe you should also look this up. Did Christian schools outnumber Public schools years ago? Do Christian schools outnumber public schools today? Considering this nations 80% christian beliefs, try and convince us all that values of christian schools had nothing to do with where people choose to live. You miss the whole point that "public schools are NOT FREE. Period. $714.78 tax is "NOT FREE". Technical ? Yes--But true. So I wish our school officials would stop promoting public school services as "Free anything". Certainly , you could admit that???? As for VALUE? We get value for everything we pay for in this country. The hamburger, clothes, computer tech etc. CHOICE! COMPETITION! All lacking in our mandated Public school system. The value public schools bring to us is another discussion. One you would lose hands down. Perhaps another day. $8,000 per student is way too high when compared to the $4,000 private school Tuition cost for an accredited Missouri Education. Send that $8,000 to a private school and they would refund every Taxpayer the overtaxation happening to the most needy. Or do you want to condemn the "assembly?????????????? Our residents will wake up.
Peter Russo August 15, 2012 at 05:45 AM
Karl: Why don't we just eliminate all Individual Real Estate taxes and pass the tax on to every business located in Mehlville? That would make Public school "FREE" Right? Oh! I forgot about the thousands of Automobiles we all must Pay an additional Tax to support our "Free" public school" Well, just eliminate that auto PP tax and let's triple maybe quaddruple the Businesses Automobile Personal Property taxes. No one will notice that-Right? Let's increase Cigarette taxes on those bad smokers! Let's do it for the "children". Actually, let's give deserved raises to our poor Teachers who only get 3 times the average pay of Mehlville's residents. No one will notice--Right? Karl: did you find California problem areas? That is the future of Mehlville if the schools are not restored to fiscal sanity. You could talk "theory" all you want. In reality, No one owns their home , if they are Mandated to pay up to 1.5% of their Homes and Autos for a non-competitive education system. It will tumble down like the cities going bankrupt daily in this country. Read slowly: The value of anyone is not determined by a self-assessment, but is determined by the Users ability to pay that value. Even an ounce of Gold-- has No value to someone in the middle of the Desert. Water is Free? What's it worth in the desert? The US Postal service is gone because people have a choice. Once our education choice is allowed, public schools will be forced to fiscal sanity.
Karl Frank Jr. August 15, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Mehlville offers a tuition free education for every student regardless of race, creed, sex, wealth, disability, or other extenuating circumstance. Taxes paid by residents are dues owed as part of the privilege of being an American and living in Mehlville.
Karl Frank Jr. August 15, 2012 at 12:57 PM
As far as the chicken or the egg? It was the single celled organism that came about a billion years earlier.
Ed Taylor August 15, 2012 at 03:02 PM
The US Postal Service is not gone, and its detractors are the usual suspects. In fact, the Post Office hasn't taken any of our tax money since 1971. BTW, the post office can deliver a letter for half a buck anywhere in the US -- think UPS or FedEx would do that? Ah, there's the rub. Some people aren't making money off of it. Like charter schools. Poor operations, but moneymakers for some. Read slowly: some agencies exist because they benefit the citizens and the country as a whole, not just some plutocrats. Let's look at three claims against the post office --
Ed Taylor August 15, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Taxes are supporting the USPService. Nope. Even though the "Founding Fathers" recognized the vital interest of such a service (Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution), Nixon imposed a business-like restructuring over the agency. But it has taken NO money from taxpayers -- all its income is from stamps and their products. The Post Office is broke; it's lost $13 billion in the last four years. Nope. In fact, it had a $700 million operational profit. Hunh? Let me quote: "In 2006, the Bush White House and Congress whacked the post office with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act -- an incredible piece of ugliness requiring the agency to PRE-PAY the health care benefits not only of current employees, but also of all employees who'll retire during the next 75 years. Yes, that includes employees who're not yet born! No other agency and no corporation has to do this . . . This politically motivated mandate is costing the Postal Service $5.5 billion a year -- money taken right out of postage revenue that could be going to services..That's the real source of the "financial crisis" squeezing American's post offices" (Hightower, March 2012). Wow, that sounds familiar. Like what some MO Legislators want to do to teacher retirement. Hmmm. Now, who would benefit --
Ed Taylor August 15, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Which brings us to point three: the USPS is antiquated. Nope. Did you see the piece a month or so ago on Sixty Minutes (I think) on small, rural post offices? They are more than a place to mail a birthday card. They become civic centers. Information hubs. Especially important for rural areas that do not have broad-band internet (or cannot afford the hardware and connection). In the 1960s Ma Bell's chairman headed a presidential commission of postal reform. His preference? "I'd make the Post Office a private enterprise." In 1999 the FedEx CEO targeted "closing down the USPS." If you aren't looking at who profits you aren't seeing the big picture. Post Office, Public Education, the Interstates (those are being privatized). Why? We don't need competition to improve something. Privatization doesn't improve something (well, some few bank accounts). Enough for now. I'm waiting for a shipment from FedEx. The online chat person said they think they lost it. She can't be sure. (True). Wish it was coming via the post office.
Peter Russo August 15, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Ed: Appreciate your thoughts. True, the post office does not take any taxpayer money anymore. But, they did not tell the workers that. They can deliver mail just like you say, BUT they are losing $3.5Bil doing it. A stamp costing $3 will not pay for their Billions they have commited to retirees. They operate like the old days. Those are gone. Most cities will be filing similar bankruptcies this year. The working population just cannot afford to earn $40,000 while paying Public worker 2 to 3X that. IT's IMPOSSIBLE.
Peter Russo August 15, 2012 at 08:32 PM
Ed: I must agree on the 2006 Bush act. But, I do not understand your interpretation of "Pre-Pay" health care benefits. Are you suggesting The Republican Party is responsible for the P.O. losing their existence???? Well then, I would call Mr Obama because he is using all his executive powers changing many laws of our past Presidents and Administrations, including Welfare. I am sure you are correct and that Obama will see it your way. He'll waste no time having another "It's Bush's fault" speech.
Peter Russo August 15, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Ed: It is antiquated on how they Run the Service. They have one answer to every problem. RAISE STAMP PRICES. They never negotiated meaningful salary decreases. That is exactly what our Public schools do. They do not know what it is to actually negotiate PAY DECREASES. It's always Freezes or lay-offs. That is why I say P.School system needs to be changed.
Ed Taylor August 15, 2012 at 11:00 PM
Peter, if the cost of living is increasing, and CEO salaries are skyrocketing, and the gulf between the top and the bottom is expanding, why would you want public employees to take a pay cut? I'm affronted. I teach. My sister is a nurse. I have friends who are police and firefighters. Explain to me like I'm a fifth grader why we should take paycuts. Re antiquated, I don't know, seems like other businesses do that -- costs go up, you raise the price. Bought gas lately? How's your electric bill? Seen the price of eggs? (corn and laying mash prices are up because of the drought) Shipping updates: UPS damaged two boxes (one to me, one to a friend); FedEx still doesn't know where my delivery is. USPS charged my wife a lot less to ship a package to NC than Big Brown or FE would have. We'll see how and when it arrives -- stay tuned . . .
Peter Russo August 16, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Ed:I'll try Your pay comes 100% from TAXES. Real Estate,Autos,BusinessBuildgs are value taxed. 2 Families earning $50,000 with 1 child pay totally differnt education costs. (Because It is based on the HOME they live in--The car they own) Can you imagine the Doctor, nurse charging on the basis of your Home value or car you drive? Yet that is exacly how you earn your Wage. Long before we had a Public school system like today, residents had education schools in place. Still are today. Teacher profession goes way back. But, while the school system today exists for good cause. I ask "AT WHAT COST" Nurses, are paid when I become a patient. I do not pay for that Nurse, if I do not need that nurse. Police and Firemen protect me and my property (Daily). I cannot choose another police force or Fireman (YET?!). Maybe one day a private firemen Company? It is a cost that protects ALL of US. BUT WE CAN CHOOSE EDUCATION. Much competition in that service. Why Force residents to support through taxation. $9000 per student public education cost, when alternative education at one-half the cost is available? "Force me to pay you" by taxing my House and Auto. Every year , for the rest of my life. It never stops. K12 education should cost $60,000 not $108,000. All educators represent 70% of the $9,0000 cost. Ed: That is why I am for pay-cuts. Cost of living and CEO salaries has nothing to do with my argument. Your wgs+ben already are double what the avg worker makes.
Peter Russo August 16, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Well, if buildings don't teach, then why am I paying for the teachers EXPENSES. I declare all Teachers PAY RENT for my Building.
Peter Russo August 16, 2012 at 10:24 PM
So "Taxes" are now "DUES"?? "Fees" ruled a "TAX"? So that's how Obama-Health-TAX" got thru?
Peter Russo August 16, 2012 at 10:26 PM
Ha! So when did the "single celled organism" meet the "Rooster" LOL!
Karl Frank Jr. August 17, 2012 at 02:54 AM
The chicken and generic bacteria had a common ancestor about 2.3 billion years ago. http://goo.gl/BAOPv
Karl Frank Jr. August 17, 2012 at 03:12 AM
And in case you are wondering, humans and chickens had a common ancestor about 300 million years ago. http://goo.gl/plDA4
Robert E August 20, 2012 at 06:51 PM
As much as we hate taxes, as much as the tax system is corrupt and unfair, as much as there are far better things our money could go towards—the Bible commands, yes, commands us to pay our taxes. Romans 13:1-7 makes it clear that we are to submit ourselves to the government. The only instance in which we are allowed to disobey the government is when it tells us to do something the Bible forbids. The Bible does not forbid paying taxes. In fact, the Bible encourages us to pay taxes. Therefore, we must submit to God and His Word—and pay our taxes.


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