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Norbert Bufka

Author  ยท  Historian

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New Year's Resolution

It is traditional to make some resolutions for a new year and it is also traditional to break them before thened of January. There is one resolution however that I urge you to make and keep. This is a very important election year.

President Donald Trump is running for reelection and the Republica…

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1984 has arrived

George Orwell’s book, 1984 became public on June 8, 1949. It depicted a country run by Bib Brother and the Party. In the book this was a leftist organization and all readers thought that the threat of government control would be the product of the political left. Orwell described a country in whic…

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Let there be peace on earth

 

With Christmas day now a memory, it is still important to reflect on the meaning of this day. Peace and harmony are at the heart of all the major religions, especially Christianity, whose source is called the Prince of Peace. . Unfortunately these sentiments are often lost in our everyday live…

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Our president is mentally unstable

In 2016, I wrote in an op-ed column in the Midland Daily News that Trump was unfit for office. My claim was not based on his policies but rather his mental state and character. He was unable to focus on anything longer than a few minutes, he seldom read anything, and he did not listen to advice from…

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US in Grave Danger

We have a president who is totally about himself, hates anyone who disagrees with him, demeans immigrants and others whom he dislikes, befriends our enemies at the expense of our allies, is morally corrupt, and is a consummate liar.

I cannot believe anything he says nor trust him about anything t…

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Labor unions in Michigan

An essential component of any business operation, whether manufacturing or service, whether private or public, is the employee, whether there is only one or thousands.  Adam Smith in his Wealth of Nations, the often quoted authority on capitalism, envisioned the employee an integral part of the busi…

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Shared time instruction in Michigan

Students in nonpublic schools and those who are homeschooled are eligible to take non-core classes at the local public school. Originally these were subjects like art, music, foreign languages, and gym but  the legislature has encouraged these programs as a way to offer choice and opportunities to m…

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School safety

School safety in my youth were mundane concerns compared to the safety issue today. School shootings occur far more frequently in the United States than anywhere else in the world. When combined with other mass shootings, eleven of the worst 50 mass shootings were in the United States.  We have only…

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Schools of choice

“Schools of choice” refers to an effort to give students a choice in the school they attend. One way, allowed in Michigan, is to let students choose a different public school than the neighborhood school. This program also allows students to go to another public school district if that other distric…

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Nonpublic schools in Michigan

A nonpublic school is any school financed and supported by an entity other than the government, although they may receive some tax dollars for special programs. 

48% of the nonpublic schools are Catholic with enrolment of 54,221 pupils. Others are Christian schools, 13 percent (14,385); Lutheran…

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Homeschooling in Michigan

All fifty states allow parents to homeschool their children. Michigan is one of eleven states who does not require parents to register their children with the local school district or the state, so it is estimated that more than 50,000 children in Michigan are being homeschooled. [a]

The Michigan…

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Funding of public schools in Michigan

Traditionally local public schools were supported by local property taxes, with voter approval. This reliance onproperty taxes produced very different funding from district to district. In 1993 Proposal A allowed the state to collect property taxes on residential property and distribute them more ev…

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Charter Schools in Michigan

In 1993 the Michigan legislature authorized the establishment of Public School Academies, commonly called Charter Schools. One Charter School was set up that year and the total mushroomed to 302 in 2016-2017. The number declined to 294 in 2017-2018. [a]

Public Authorizing bodies approve and overs…

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pre-K through 12th grade education in Michigan

Public schools have been a priority in Michigan from the earliest days. They hav aspired to high standards. As the state grew and our country advanced control of schools shifted from over 7,000 small local districts to 540 K-12 districts today. There are 54 intermediate school districts, which provi…

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Best of times, worst of times

Charles Dickins began A Tale of Two Cities with, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” This is a good way to describe our current political life in the United States. Democracy is alive and well in this ongoing experiment in self-government begun in 1776. Women are gathering in pr…

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The youth rallies were awesome

I watched and listened with compassion the words of the young people at rallies across the country and around the world on Saturday March 24, 2018. They gave talks that were inspiring, thought provoking, emotional, and from the heart. I am proud of everyone of them.

Young people should not have …

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Being Catholic Becoming Faithful

I have had a lifetime of faith … or what I thought was faith. Now that I am in my post-retirement years, I have concluded that I was being Catholic, but religion is not faith. It is something much deeper and personal. For me, my Catholic religion has neglected the development of my faith and focused…

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School Safety is of Paramount Importance

School safety in my youth were mundane concerns compared to the safety issue today. School shootings occur far more frequently in the United States than anywhere else in the world. When combined with other mass shootings, eleven of the worst 50 mass shootings were in the United States.  We have only…

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Is Donald Trump fit to be President?

David Brooks, a columnist for the New York Times, wrote that Donald Trump is an affront to basic standards of honesty, virtue and citizenship.” I will explore in this column why Brooks made such a bold statement.

Words

Words are the building blocks of communication, whether in personal conve…

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Gun violence must stop

Once again I am saddened by the massacre at a school in Florida. This is the 6th school shooting in 2018. What will it take to make Congress act?

Between the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012 and now, Congress has passed only one law regarding guns and gun violence. That was in February 2017 to …

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