[Subject: (Errata) PRESS Inquiry for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff]
To: U.S. Dept. of Ed. press office -- Cc: Al Betancourt, Press Officer, U.S. DOEDear Alberto: [202.453.5753 / 202.401-1576]Thank you for speaking to me just now. Pursuant to your request, here is the email in question. What I ask from the press office is to address the questions posed to Ms. DeVos and your department (below), and to please answer two (2) additional question I overlooked/forgot -- these questions:Q1: Considering the fact that there are limitations on what the Dept of Ed and/or the Secretary of Ed over your department can do, what (if anything) can Sec. DeVos, herself, or the Department, itself, do to address and remedy the problems I've outlined below? (In other words, while Lawmakers have almost god-like powers in these matters, getting them to do anything is like herding cats, and if I have reached my limits with lawmakers, what can the new secretary and her department do, as allowed by her regulatory powers?Q2: Regardless of the statutory limitations on the regulatory powers enumerated for the Department (and its secretary), what battles (described below) are the Dept of Ed and/or Sec. DeVos willing to fight with the First amendment use of the "Bully Pulpit" (e.g., press officer(s) and/or Sec. DeVos speaking to the news media directly and/or via press releases), remembering that the DOE and/or its officers/secretary all have more of a bully pulpit than an ordinary Joe.Thank you,Gordon. W. WattsEditor-in-Chief, The RegisterIn a message dated 2/10/2017 12:08:22 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, Gww1210@aol.com writes:-----Original Message-----
From: Gww1210@aol.com <Gordon Wayne Watts>
Date: Wed, 8 Feb 2017 19:00:01 -0500
Subject: Congratulations & feedback for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff
To: Contact@BetsyDeVos.com, AskaLibrarian@ed.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, Betsy.DeVos@ed.gov, Betsy_DeVos@ed.gov, firstname.lastname@example.org,
CC: Gww1210@aol.com, email@example.com, Caleb_Orr@Rubio.senate.gov,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Sec. of Ed., Betsy P. DeVos (Contact@BetsydeVos.com) 616-643-4700
c/o: U.S. Department of Education, https://Ed.gov
400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20202-0001Cc: U.S. Representative Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15th), http://DennisRoss.House.gov
Cc: Kyle P. Glenn, Deputy Chief of Staff for Hon. Dennis A. Ross, MOC [Cc: Misc. news see cc line above...]
170 Fitzgerald Road, Suite 1, Lakeland, FL 33813, Phone: (863) 644-8215, (813) 752-4790
436 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 – Phone: (202) 225-1252
(Subject: Congratulations & feedback for Sec of Ed, DeVos & staff)
Wednesday, 08 February 2017Congratulations on your confirmation in the U.S. Senate, Secretary DeVos! You have done some good things and (no offense – we're all human) some bad things. As you've asked for 'feedback' from us, so here it is: First, I'll drop two big names to let you know I'm credible: First, you may inquire of my good friends, U.S. Rep. Dennis A. Ross (R-FL-15th), who is my congressman or selected members of his staff appearing in the cc line. They will give me a good character references. Secondly, I'll drop my OWN name - yes, I will: I'm "the" guy who almost won in court for the famous Terri Schiavo case (see court references below), -- I achieved a 4-3 split decision in the Fla. Supreme Court - all by myself -- so, I'm no dummy, OK? Below is a copy of my email to Congressman Ross, which I've asked him to pass to you, the other 537 Lawmakers, the VP, and the President -- it's long, but worth it -- here goes nothing!
Subject - bears repeating: Tips for Sec. of Ed.: Addressing GRIZZLIES, GUNS, VOUCHERS, and (past) College Debt & (future) Tuition Inflation – and how she can answer her critics!...
Dear Congressman Ross:
To preview my feedback, here are the 2 citations I promised you earlier to prove that the “most common” question President Trump gets is about the twin curses of past student-debt & future college-tuition—to prove that my feedback here is likely the “most important” constituent feedback you'll receive all year long:
Citation 1: “QUESTION: Hi, Mr. Trump. My name is Kris Coulter (ph). I'm wondering what your plan is for addressing rising college tuition costs and student loan debt. Would you support something as aggressive as, say, student loan forgiveness?
TRUMP: Chris [Matthews], I get that question...more than any other question is what are we going to do about student debt.”
Source: “FULL TRANSCRIPT: MSNBC Town Hall with Donald Trump Moderated By Chris Matthews,” MSNBC,
Wed. 30 March 2016, towards end of Town Hall: http://info.MsNbc.com/_news/2016/03/30/35330907-full-transcript-msnbc-town-hall-with-donald-trump-moderated-by-chris-matthews
Citation 2: “ASHLEY: Several other candidates have come out with their plans for lowering or even free education at the public university level. Um, do you have a plan? And if so, do you have a way of paying for that plan?
16:35:50 TRUMP: As a -- as a -- I can't believe I'm saying this as a politician. I'm not a politician, but as somebody that's now in politics and the political world. I'd love to say free education, but again, if somebody gets free education, all of the people paying...But I get that question more than any single question, especially because I've gotten to know so many young people, and they're so incredible.”
Source: “Trump Sets 'Record' Straight at Town Hall, But Not Counting on Rival Support If He's the Nominee: 'Endorsements Don't Matter ... I'm a Realist',” FoxNews, Sun. 03 April 2016: http://Nation.FoxNews.com/2016/04/03/trump-sets-record-straight-town-hall-not-counting-rival-support-if-hes-nominee
OK, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as Sec. of Ed. by the U.S. Senate, but only by a razor-thin vote (an even thinner margin than my 4-3 loss at the Fla. Supreme Court as Terri Schiavo's friend, remember?, and, yes, I'm bragging that I nearly won the Schiavo case “all by myself,” because, you must admit, it's easier for a “Big” person to get his common sense ideas listened to, no?), and as DeVos doesn't have a mandate, she WILL need to build consensus – and here is how I propose that you and I, together, help her to do her job. I ask you you, Rep. Dennis A. Ross, to pass along these four (4) ideas/tips: First, my 2 higher-ed ideas (in my column: get tax$$ out of making/backing college loans, and secondly restore bankruptcy, truth in lending, stats of limitation, & ALL standard consumer protections to college loans, since they act as a Conservative Free Market CHECK/balance against predatory lending & tuition inflation), next, my one (1) public ed idea (about the voucher analogy, below), and lastly: #4 -- lastly, ask her to brush up on how Texas' 2nd Amendment with "gun in schools" works (like it did when we, or our parents, were kids and were able to take our 22 rifles into class without a problem). That makes 4 unique, distinct tips or ideas.
DeVos needs to study THIS, BELOW—if she wants to protect her school kids from those Big Bad GRIZZLIES /:-D And if she wants to offer coherent, common sense, answers to her Liberal, gun-grabbing, left-wing critics, without looking stupid, OK?
“Back in the 1950s and even later, many high schools had shooting ranges. Students even brought their own rifles to school. What changed in society that we could trust such activities then, but not now?,” Clash Daily: Published on December 21, 2012: http://ClashDaily.com/2012/12/back-in-the-1950s-and-even-later-many-high-schools-had-shooting-ranges-students-even-brought-their-own-rifles-to-school-what-changed-in-society-that-we-could-trust-such-activities-then-but-not-now/
See also this page: https://www.Facebook.com/RiflesHaveBeenInSchoolsForOver100Years/
“Once upon a time, it was common for an American child to be packed off to school with a rifle on his back and for him to come home smiling and safe in the evening. Shooting clubs, now quietly withering away, were once such a mainstay of American high-school life that in the first half of the 20th century they were regularly installed in the basements of new educational buildings. Now, they are in their death throes, victims of political correctness, a willful misunderstanding of what constitutes “gun safety,” and our deplorable tendency toward litigiousness. [line-break] In 1975, New York state had over 80 school districts with rifle teams. In 1984, that had dropped to 65. By 1999 there were just 26. The state’s annual riflery championship was shut down in 1986 for lack of demand...But how wise is that “zero-tolerance policy”? Until 1989, there were only a few school shootings in which more than two victims were killed. This was despite widespread ownership of — and familiarity with — weapons and an absence of “gun-free zones.” As George Mason University economist Walter E. Williams has observed, for most of American history “private transfers of guns to juveniles were unrestricted. Often a youngster’s 12th or 14th birthday present was a shiny new .22-caliber rifle, given to him by his father.” This was a right of passage, conventional and uncontroversial across the country. “Gee, Dad . . . A Winchester!” read one particularly famous ad. “In Virginia,” Williams writes, “rural areas had a long tradition of high-school students going hunting in the morning before school, and sometimes storing their guns in the trunk of their cars during the school day, parked on the school grounds.” Many of these guns they could buy at almost any hardware store or gas station — or even by mail order. The 1968 Gun Control Act, supported happily by major gun manufacturers who wished to push out their competition, put a stop to this.”
Source: “Gun Clubs at School: The notion of schools as “gun-free zones” flies in the face of history.,”by Charles C.W. Cooke, National Review, January 21, 2013: http://www.NationalReview.com/article/338167/gun-clubs-school-charles-c-w-cooke
Second Amendment: TEXAS' experience seems to work
* "In Texas School, Teachers Carry Books and Guns" (By JAMES C. McKINLEY Jr., August 28, 2008) New York Times: "Barely 100 students attend classes at Harrold, a tiny town in north-central Texas. But the school board's decision to allow teachers to carry concealed weapons has drawn national attention." - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/29/us/29texas.html
* "Readin', writin', 'rithmetic — and now maybe revolvers: North Texas school's teachers can carry guns" (By JENNIFER RADCLIFFE, Aug. 16, 2008) The Houston Chronicle: 'Thweatt said that despite the outrage from his public school peers, Harrold stands by its decision. The first few months of the new policy have gone smoothly, he said. "We think we have acted cautiously and wisely," said Thweatt. "Others should be free to govern their school districts as they see fit." Thweatt said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus is situated just 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target.' - http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5947050.html
* "Guns for Texas school's teachers" (Saturday, 16 August 2008 02:06 UK) BBC: "Teachers in one part of the US state of Texas are to be allowed to carry concealed firearms when the new school term opens this month." - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7564654.stm
* "Texas Teachers Packing Heat" (August 19, 2008) U.S. News & World Report: - http://www.usnews.com/blogs/on-education/2008/08/19/texas-teachers-packing-heat.html
* "Texas School Teacher Guns" (Categories: Education) Mahalo.com.: "When the federal government started making schools gun-free zones, that’s when all of these shootings started. Why would you put it out there that a group of people can’t defend themselves? That’s like saying 'sic ’em’ to a dog." —quoting Harrold School Superintendent David Thweatt, as reported in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram article: "Small Texas school district lets teachers, staff pack pistols" (August 15, 2008) - http://www.mahalo.com/texas-school-teacher-guns
*** What about California & Illinois? Both are liberal states with strict “anti-gun” laws, yet these 2 states are infamous for school & college shootings all the time. Yet, places like Texas, Utah, & ISRAEL, that have “gun friendly” laws, have no such issues. Looks like the “Liberal” method does not work! DeVos never mentioned this “contrast” of Liberal v. Conservative track record, either, during her confirmation hearings, when asked about guns & schools? What was she thinking!? Actually, besides defending 2nd Amendment, she also should tell her **many** critics that State & Federal Lawmakers, not she, herself, make law on these issues, and to stop asking stupid, moot, questions!! She didn't say that either.. what in the world was she thinking!? ***
Second Amendment: UTAH's experience seems to work
"Utah students hide guns, head to class" CNN: Feb. 21, 2008 - http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/02/20/cnnu.guns/index.html
"Utah only state to allow guns at college" AP: April 28, 2007 - http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18355953
For an opposing view, see: "More Guns on Campus?" By Suzanne Smalley, Feb. 15, 2008 - http://www.Newsweek.com/id/112174
Second Amendment: ISRAEL's experience seems to work
* "ARE ISRAELI TEACHERS ARMED?" (By Josh Wander, December 16, 2012) Jewish Prepers: (Short Fair-Use excerpt: "With all that in mind, Israelis have never had a school shooting perpetrated by one of their own...I should also mention that during any class trips, it is required to have an armed escort with the kids at all times. Israel takes their children’s safety and security seriously!") - http://JewishPreppers.com/2012/12/are-israeli-teachers-armed
* "Armed teachers, guards bolster school security in Israel" (By Greg Tepper, December 30, 2012) FoxNews.com: (Short Fair-Use excerpt: "Oren Shemtov, CEO of Israel’s Academy of Security and Investigation, noted that attacks typically happen in a matter of minutes, and said gun-toting teachers could, at the very least, buy time for kids to escape while police race to the scene. [line-break] “Two (armed) teachers would have kept (the Newtown shooter) occupied for 45 seconds each,” said Shemtov...Security consultant Dov Zwerling, an Israeli counter-terror police veteran, believes armed guards are crucial for school security. [line-break] “From what I know of almost all of the active shooter events in the U.S., almost all of them conclude with the shooter taking his own life the moment he is challenged by the first officer on the scene,” Zwerling said. “Why not challenge him earlier?”...At one point the Interior Ministry mandated that a certain percentage of teachers be armed...In order to station armed guards in U.S. schools, an idea advocated by the National Rifle Association, America could tap a ready pool of qualified candidates, Shemtov said. U.S. soldiers returning from overseas are well suited for school protection, he said, and “instead of returning with nothing to do there’s a sea of work” as school guards.") - http://www.FoxNews.com/world/2012/12/30/armed-teachers-guards-key-to-school-security-in-israel
* For an opposing view, see: "ARE ISRAELI TEACHERS ARMED?" (By Ron Cantor, © Messiah’s Mandate 2012. All rights Reserved) Messiah's Mandate: (Short, Fair-Use excerpt: "Well, are they? The answer is “NO.” There may be some exceptions...") - http://MessiahsMandate.org/are-israeli-teachers-armed
Second Amendment: GOD seems to think it works
"Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves." (Words of Jesus in Red; Matthew 10:16, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version)
"Then He said to them, But now let him who has a purse take it, and also [his provision] bag; and let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy a sword." (Words of Jesus in Red; Luke 22:36, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version)
"When the strong man, fully armed, [from his courtyard] guards his own dwelling, his belongings are undisturbed [his property is at peace and is secure]." (Words of Jesus in Red; Luke 11:21, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version)
17 Those who built the wall and those who bore burdens loaded themselves so that everyone worked with one hand and held a weapon with the other hand, 18 And every builder had his sword girded by his side, and so worked. And he who sounded the trumpet was at my side. 19 And I said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people, The work is great and scattered, and we are separated on the wall, one far from another. 20 In whatever place you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us. 21 So we labored at the work while half of them held the spears from dawn until the stars came out. 22 At that time also I said to the people, Let everyone with his servant lodge within Jerusalem, that at night they may be a guard to us and a laborer during the day. 23 So none of us--I, my kinsmen, my servants, nor the men of the guard who followed me--took off our clothes; each kept his weapon [in his hand for days].
--Nehemiah 4:17-23, HOLY BIBLE, Amplified Version
U.S. Courts and the Constitution agree: A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES in DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA v. HELLER (No. 07-290; Argued March 18, 2008—Decided June 26, 2008) 478 F. 3d 370, affirmed the lower court's decision and held that "1. The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home." (Pp. 2–53)
* My column: "A Polk Perspective: Fix our bankrupt policy on student debt," By Gordon Wayne Watts, Guest columnist, The Ledger, August 04, 2016: http://www.TheLedger.com/article/20160804/COLUMNISTS03/160809884/1382/edit?p=all&tc=pgall
Cache of this column with related tips for President, Lawmakers, & Sec. of Ed.:
* Summary on 'voucher' comparison: So long as Vouchers go directly to students, who can only spend them on either Public or Private schools that meet *high* standards qualifications, I support use of vouchers, because this is comparable to Pell Grants going directly to students to spend on any public or private college of their "choice" - school choice. (But, if vouchers can only go to the state in block grants and/or if they can be used on expensive, low quality Private & Charter schools to make crony capitalist “pork-barrel”buddies rich, then that's not alright.) NOTE: Since even Liberals take their PELL grants and gladly use them at private colleges, and the "public" state colleges aren't harmed or hurt (even tho said public colleges have LESS public funding than public education schools, which are 100%-funded), then there should be even LESS problem with vouchers than with PELL grants, so DeVos and her supporters would be wise to use this analogy as an affirmative defense & argument in whereof we support vouchers.
CONCLUSION: DeVos is unable to pass law on the four (4) points I raised (Federal law regarding public ed, higher ed, and states' rights issues regarding gun laws), but (A) she may have regulatory powers in some regard; (B) she certainly has the bully pulpit to speak out more loudly than either of us, combined; and, most importantly, (C) you and she have the ear not just Lawmakers, but also the President, who has a bigger bully pulpit to address these issues. Not mentioned above, because it was not related to Education, but here's a 5th Bonus Point #5: As I've suggested in the past (but bears inclusion in my treatise or 'Thesis!'), when Lawmakers are looking for a replacement for the ACA (ObamaCare), as in “repeal & replace,” I respectfully suggest we use POLK County, Florida's indigent county healthcare (funded by 1/2-cent sales tax), since it's more “affordable,” and yet still modestly comprehensive coverage = good compromise. But, things like “competition across state lines” are not bad “add-on” ideas, either? Also, we don't treat our vets right - from A-to-Z: To begin with we shouldn't even be in most of these "wars" (which cost lives, huge medical costs, and anger other nations without cause), and secondly, our Vets sometimes don't go to the VA because they take too long to get an appointment: Therefore, vets should have ability to get coverage at most **any** doctor, just like retired, disabled, Medicare, Medicaid, patients, etc.
If you've read this far and not passed out, you deserve a medal, but it'll have to be a Presidential Medal of Honour, so to get it, you've got to make sure that Pres. Trump & VP Pence get a copy of this, and not just DeVos and your 537 other Lawmaker colleagues. (Get the printing press ready for good ideas to Make America Great Again, like it was when college was great, and yet still affordable!)
 In Re: GORDON WAYNE WATTS (as next friend of THERESA MARIE 'TERRI' SCHIAVO), No. SC03-2420 (Fla. Feb.23, 2005), denied 4-3 on rehearing. (Watts got 42.7% of his panel) http://www.FloridaSupremeCourt.org/clerk/dispositions/2005/2/03-2420reh.pdf
 In Re: JEB BUSH, GOVERNOR OF FLORIDA, ET AL. v. MICHAEL SCHIAVO, GUARDIAN: THERESA SCHIAVO, No. SC04-925 (Fla. Oct.21, 2004), denied 7-0 on rehearing. (Bush got 0.0% of his panel before the same court) http://www.FloridaSupremeCourt.org/clerk/dispositions/2004/10/04-925reh.pdf
 Schiavo ex rel. Schindler v. Schiavo ex rel. Schiavo, 403 F.3d 1223, 2005 WL 648897 (11th Cir. Mar.23, 2005), denied 2-1 on appeal. (Terri Schiavo's own blood family only got 33.3% of their panel on the Federal Appeals level) http://media.ca11.UsCourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/200511556.pdf
PS: My email to you, Sec. DeVos, has made me late for church tonight (Wingman Men's Group), but I hope it was worth it for me to try & help you & your department (and lawmakers, president, staff, etc.), for, as my pastor, Dr. Jay Dennis (1st Baptist Church @ the Mall, Lakeland, Fla.) has oft-said: God wants us to be good stewards & use our First Amendment rights (e.g., this email, here) to not only criticise the bad things, but to thank & honour the good things, to encourage you, & to help you, if at all possible. -- Be blessed, and I wish you the best success. Are ,my proposed solutions for the Public & Higher Ed problems tenable & appropriate? Please let me know, one way or the other.
Gordon W. Watts (Lakeland, Fla.)
For attachments in this email & related docs, please refer to this folder:
Gordon Wayne Watts, editor-in-chief, The Register
www.GordonWayneWatts.com / www.GordonWatts.com
BS, The Florida State University, Biological & Chemical Sciences;
Class of 2000, double major with honours
AS, United Electronics Institute, Class of 1988, Valedictorian
821 Alicia Road, Lakeland, FL 33801-2113
Home:(863)688-9880 Work: (863)686-3411 Voice&FAX:(863)687-6141 Cell:(863)409-2109
See also: http://Gordon_Watts.Tripod.com/consumer.html
Gww1210@aol.com ; Gww12102002@Yahoo.com
Truth is the strongest, most stable force in the Universe
Truth doesn't change because you disbelieve it
TRUTH doesn't bend to the will of tyrantshttp://GordonWayneWatts.com / http://GordonWatts.com
"First, they [Nazis] came for the Jews. I was silent. I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists. I was silent. I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists. I was silent. I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me. There was no one left to speak for me."(Martin Niemöller, given credit for a quotation in The Harper Religious and Inspirational Quotation Companion, ed. Margaret Pepper(New York: Harper &Row, 1989), 429 -as cited on page 44, note 17,of Religious Cleansing in the American Republic, by Keith A. Fornier,Copyright 1993, by Liberty, Life, and Family Publications.
Some versions have Mr. Niemöller saying: "Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn't speak up, because I was a Protestant"; other versions have him saying that they came for Socialists, Industrialists, schools, the press,and/or the Church; however, it's certain he DID say SOMETHING like this. Actually, they may not have come for the Jews first, as it's more likely they came for the prisoners, mentally handicapped, &other so-called "inferiors" first -as historians tell us-so they could get "practiced up"; however, they did come for them -due to the silence of their neighbors -and due in part to their own silence. So: "Speak up now or forever hold your peace!"-GWW