History In Halstead

Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Friday, December 31, 2004

Kansas School Ruling To Come Monday

The Kansas Supreme Court plans to rule Monday on whether the state is spending enough money on its schools and distributing the dollars it does spend fairly.The court will rule in a lawsuit filed by parents and administrators in the Dodge City and Salina school districts.Attorneys challenging the finance system contend it distributes too much money to small rural districts, keeping money away from programs in other districts that help poor and minority students.

In December 2003, Shawnee County District Judge Terry Bullock agreed and declared the funding system unconstitutional. The high court heard the case on appeal in August.

FOR DISCUSSION: Any predictions on what the court is going to say? I think they will uphold part of Judge Bullock's decision.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

If you have reconsidered....

I know a lot of you did not get me a Christmas present this yera. If you have changed your mind and wondering if I will still take a belated present... don't worry. Go ahead and by me anything from the Most Expensive Items of 2004 list. Included on the list is:

36 million dollar cabinet

71,000 dollar bottle of wine

20,000 dollar briefcase

Anti-Immigration Bias????

I have felt for a long time that immigrants into the US get a very bad rap from many of those who are born here. It does not matter if they are legal or illegal there still is a negative connation. I hope that this feeling is getting weaker but I am afraid the opposite is true. This from the Kansas City Star:

A state Board of Education member says students studying immigration should learn about the effect illegal immigrants have on crime rates, education costs and language barriers. Connie Morris, no stranger to criticism for her opposition to state-funded education for the children of illegal immigrants, says proposed curriculum on immigration should include study of possible drawbacks of illegal immigration."It's facts; it's history," Morris said. "Our children should not be subjected to inaccurate, one-sided dogma."

I would really like to know the facts she is talking about and the history that she is studying. Everything I have read seems to point to the benefits of immigration yet Connie Morris sees things very different. I would be interested to see her proof.

FOR DISCUSSION: Are immigrants into the US treated fairly?

Monday, December 27, 2004

Top 10 News Stroies From Kansas

The Kansas City Star put out its list of the major news stories from Kansas over the past year. Here is the Star's top 10:

1. Shawnee County District Judge Terry Bullock rules that schools can't spend any money after June 30 unless legislators corrected constitutional flaws in the state's education funding plan; the Supreme Court stays the order and considers the matter.

2. The reemergence of Wichita's BTK killer.

3. Kansas lawmakers defeat a constitutional amendment to outlaw gay marriage in the state.

4. Six soldiers from one Fort Riley battalion are charged with murders in either Kansas or Iraq.

5. The 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.

6. Former Westar CEO David Wittig and executive vice president Douglas Lake are tried on fraud, money laundering and other business-related charges.

7. Two soldiers from Kansas Army National Guard killed in Iraq.

8. Two back-to-back years of exceptionally large harvests for major crops and unusually high prices for livestock and milk puts a record amount of money into the pockets of farmers.

9. The nation's first case of mad cow disease fails to dampen domestic consumers' appetite for beef, keeping cattlemen's profits high and layoffs minimal at Kansas meatpacking plants.

10. After initially downplaying rumors, Boeing Co. announces it is seeking a buyer for its commercial aircraft operations Wichita and plants in Tulsa and McAlester, Okla.

FOR DISCUSSION: What is your top event from 2004? For me it was the birth of Lindsey Mitchell Warsnak. She had a great Christmas and is looking forward to 2005.

FOR DISCUSSION: What is your top event from 2004? For me it was the birth of Lindsey Mitchell Warsnak. She had a great Christmas and is looking forward to 2005.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

History's 10 greatest entrepreneurs

I love top 10 lists and happened to come across an interesting one today from MSNBC. It ranked the top 10 entrepreneur's and it featured some interesting names that I would not have thought of. Here are two examples from the list:

7. Benjamin Siegel. Known as “Bugsy” to his friends,Siegel was a notorious mobster with a touch of the visionary. Legend has it that he single-handedly invented Las Vegas, and that’s a stretch. But he was the first to see what the town could become: a lush oasis of pleasure where gambling was just one of the attractions. He also proved adept at attracting other people’s money to build his iconic resort, The Flamingo. Trouble was, some of those other people belonged to an outfit called Murder Inc., and Siegel was gunned down in 1947 amid rumors he had stolen from his partners. But give the devil his due: Before there was the Bellagio, there was Bugsy.

8. Ray Kroc. Nothing says entrepreneur like persistence, and nothings says persistence like Ray Kroc, the kitchen wares salesman who in 1954, at age 52 and in poor health, had his imagination hijacked by a family-run restaurant in the desert outside Los Angeles. Once he had bought out the McDonald brothers, Kroc proceeded to take their concept of a limited menu, fast service and low prices and expand it nationally, in the process creating the fast-food industry and dramatically affecting America’s lifestyle and, sadly, collective health.

FOR DISCUSSION: What traits do you think a successful entrepreneur must have?

Why I Love the Internet

Today is the last day of finals! You might remember them from your days in high school or college as a stressful time. For teachers, it is a time of pure joy. There can not be an easier day than telling student 18% of your grade is based on the work you do today as you give them a large test. Typically I will catch up on emails and internet surfing during the day as I dread the thought of having to grade all of those tests.

Anyway, as I was avoiding grading finals I started to look for articles for my economics class next semester. I was at my favorite economics blog, Econlog, and there was a good post about the long tail of internet marketing. The term 'long tail' was new to me so I went to Yahoo and did a search on it. That search led me to another blog called "The Long Tail: Adventures in the Low End of the Demand Curve". It was a neat blog that happened to have a post about the music group They Might Be Giants. It was talking about two of their popular songs "Particle Man" and "Istanbul, not Constantinople". These were two of my favorite songs growing up that I have not heard in a long long time (I still remember when my brother first played Particle Man for me, I fell in love with it instantly).

This memory immediately sent me to ITunes where I downloaded each song for 99 cents. The neat thing about the internet is how quickly you can move from what subject to the next as you learn new things and bring back memories of the past. Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Headline of this Article Says It All

I suppose this is a good thing:

LAPD Plan to Curb Flashlight Beatings
LOS ANGELES - The city's police commission unveiled a plan Tuesday aimed at discouraging officers from using flashlights as weapons, except in emergencies. The proposal comes months after a telvised beating by Officer John Hatfield showed him striking a motorist 11 times following a foot chase. The June 23 incident sparked widespread objection to the use of flashlights as weapons.

A Great Pair Of Wins

Another grood night for the Halstead Dragons. Both the Girls and Boys team beat Marion last night. The girls won in a very close game. The kept their composure even when Marion took the lead and hit some key free throws down the stretch. The Boys looked good throughout the game. THe played solid defense and executed well. Long trip to Hoisington Friday

Halstead 62, Marion 45

Marion 13 7 16 9 -- 45
Halstead 15 12 18 17 -- 62

MARION: Carlson 2, Heidebrecht 6, J. Hett 10, T. Hett 13, Vogel 14. Totals 18 (4) 5-10 45.

HALSTEAD: Bryant 2, Regehr 19, Howard 5, Knapp 16, Deewall 4, Ratzlaff 12, Hasan 4. Totals 21 (7) 13-14 62.

By the way: My Freshmen Team won also!! Good job guys.

A Wee Bit Hypocritical

Kobe Bryant is upset with Karl Malone for making a pass at his wife. Malone says that it was just playful talk but that is not the point of this post. What gives Kobe the right to be upset with someone else for making a pass at his wife? Didn’t he make a mockery of his marriage when he committed adultery? Exactly what gives him the right to get this upset? Instead of lashing out against other people I feel Kobe needs to concentrate on his life and what he can do to rebuild his quickly shattering life and marriage.

Monday, December 13, 2004

My Wife Has A Blog

I convinced my wife to create a blog. It is called Lindsey's Mother and I imagine it will be mainly devoted to my new born daughter. I am not sure if my wife will keep up to date with it but I hope she does. i do love blogs!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

If you ever wanted to run a country

I know I sometimes think I can run the country better than many of our leaders but I will probably never get that chance until now. There is a website where you can create and then decide the policies of your country. You choose the name, the government, the economy and key issues. You can even decide whether or not to join the UN. The site is Nation States and its worth taking a look at.

Here is the description of my country:

The Republic of Warsnak is a small, economically powerful nation, renowned for its complete absence of social welfare. Its hard-nosed, hard-working, intelligent population of 9 million are either ruled by a small, efficient government or a conglomerate of multinational corporations; it's difficult to tell which.

There is no government in the normal sense the word; however, a small group of community-minded, pro-business individuals juggles the competing demands of Commerce, Religion & Spirituality, and Law & Order. Income tax is unheard of. A powerhouse of a private sector is led by the Pizza Delivery, Book Publishing, and Gambling industries.

Voting is voluntary and the streets are increasingly clogged with poverty-stricken beggars. Crime is crippling, and the police force struggles against a lack of funding and a high mortality rate. Warsnak's national animal is the dachshund, which teeters on the brink of extinction due to widespread deforestation, and its currency is the war.

Let me know if you create a country. I would like to check it out.

Thanks to Brittany for the link to the site.

Gorillas To the Championship

Top-ranked Pittsburg State University scored 17 unanswered points to break open a 14-13 game and secure a 31-19 victory over 14th-ranked University of North Dakota before a sellout crowd of 9,983 fans in “The Pitt”, in the NCAA Division II national semifinals. This means PSU will take on Valdosta State in the National Chamionship game this Saturday. Be sure to check out the game on ESPN


Has the end of the semester with the looming specter of finals getting you worried? Are you worried about having enough money for Christmas gifts? Is your boss at work asking you to work way too many hours? Instead of yelling at your friends try this site:

Stress Relief

Note: Try the maniac mode

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Here is the link to today's assignment. Please email it to me at twarsnak@usd440.com

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