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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

For your safety ...


If you've read in the news, a young actor was tragically killed yesterday by his car pinning him up against his gate ...

This was determined as the probable cause ...

"Digging deeper into what might have caused the accident,  the Jeep the actor drove was recalled because the shifting mechanism caused drivers to unintentionally leave it in the wrong gear. 

A recall notice that went out on May 14, 2016, reading, "Drivers may inadvertently fail to achieve the PARK position before exiting." Yelchin reportedly did not get the fix to his Jeep, which may have led Yelchin to believe the car was parked when it was in neutral."

PLEASE visit your car manufacturer's website and check your vehicle every few months. 

Visit your car manufacturer and follow them and these government pages on social media ...

The Consumer Product Safety website: 


and 

The Food and Drug Administration website:

Friday, June 10, 2016

Some thoughts about a recent "Letter to the editor" ...

This past week, a "Letter to the editor" was submitted to The Pickens Sentinel ...

The letter was submitted by a Pickens County businessman whose business receives tax breaks from the county, yet advocates for tax raises on residents ... The letter blames everything from poor county conditions to schools on not raising taxes.

In response ...

The closing of the two schools in upper Pickens County is simple. It was an example of School Board mismanagement. Millions were recently spent on these schools and the schools were a fixture in the community. They were performing well academically. They are located in a more conservative part of the county (meaning; they were closed primarily to do away with a pocket of hostility towards taxation and government). It has been proven that smaller schools with good parental participation is a much better place for our children than the larger schools where participation in school activities by the students that live farther away from the neighborhood is minimized by the students that live closer. 

In my book, "Return to Pumpkinville" I explain in detail the disadvantages of heterogeneous parental economic and social status within a school population. I point especially to Daniel High School right here in Pickens County. The antagonism in the academic area between students from Clemson with those from Six Mile and surrounding rural areas was rife. There was a certain advantage handed the Clemson students in the hour classes were scheduled and the teachers that taught them. Only in athletics was there any spirit of unity. This was not a factor until the schools were merged from Clemson, Six Mile, and Central; all in the name of economy.  

When I taught 5,000 students from Pickens County, Statisical Process Control, I found glaring weaknesses in basic math and sciences. Students from Clemson were much more proficient, however in actual classroom performance there was basically no difference as the class unfolded. When I asked the students why this was, they revealed the difference in the way students were treated academically. When I casually questioned teachers about the difference, they immediately responded that the students from areas other than Clemson were not prepared. In other words, it was not their fault that 30% of the students didn't graduate from High School on time. The point is that there was a difference created academically by mixing these children with different backgrounds. Now we are doing the same thing with the children from northern Pickens County with others of different economical and social backgrounds. They will get less participation next year in school activities as those things are mostly already set. There will be points of teaching in subjects that will make a difference. 

There was already enough money because the Board had over-collected millions from the last budget. The idea that the schools are underfunded is ridiculous. They are mismanaged that is for sure.

There are many other examples in this State of failed consolidations and the problems I have just mentioned. To be factual, those advocating we put more money into education do not know what they are talking about. They do not want to obey the law in that the State is responsible for funding education. Then internally, the School Board does not obey the law when they switch funds from one thing the people were taxed for to another. (SC Constitution Sections 11-3 & 10-5) 

If the people who advocate all this taxing want change, they need to start with Columbia first and get the Constitution changed.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

June 2016 COTU Meeting ...

Don't forget tomorrow night's meeting.  We will have another candidate, Travis McCurry.  He is a Liberatarian and is the only one running against his opponent in this cycle.  Our meeting is scheduled for 6:30PM tomorrow night at:

Blue Ridge Bible Church
769 Belle Shoals Rd
Pickens SC 29671

To say the least, our meet the candidate meetings have been a grand success this cycle.  We will be done as close as possible to one hour.  Any candidate that wants to is welcome to come and we will give you some time.  It will not do you any harm to come and state what you believe in. 

Junius Smith
President, Conservatives Of The Upstate

Friday, June 3, 2016

From the 80's to now ...

In the 1980's, I stood before the Pickens County School Board and told them in graphic form why joining up with the Southern Association of Schools would be a bad thing. I told them that other school districts had trouble with them in the following way: They would come in and consult with the Superintendent and his staff for the purpose of finding the weak spots in the community syllogism, make a report to the Board criticizing the Board's work in a particular area like salary increases or school construction, and get a liberal newspaper to report it, and fire up the educational community against the general public. In our case, and with the daunting interference of lawyers out of Columbia, we got over $400,000,000 in debt to build new schools. More recently, The Southern Association of Schools has changed its name To AdvancED and has inspected the Pickens County Schools for the purpose of forcing them to call for another Board member because the 6 member Board had rejected the Superintendent's increases by voting 3 to 3 for and against.

Then we got Phillip Bowers who ran as a conservative and now votes like the worst liberal in the history of Pickens County. Since Bowers has been on the School Board, there have been 3 teacher salary increases, a supplies increase, 3 good schools closed (all in the most conservative area of the County), and increases in the debt beyond what the people of this County can afford.

( Teachers average over $47,000 and the average person in the County $17,000.)

Teachers can retire after 20 years, while the majority of the people supporting them have little or no retirement. (The State retirement program is over $20 Billion dollars in Debt). The School Board has taken most all the funds in the county, leaving nothing for other County construction like a new jail. The School Board has over-collected $45-$100 million dollars and has failed to refund the money even though SC Law 12-43-285 says they must refund. They took some $450,000 of money that was collected after an error by Duke Power that was supposed to be refunded to the people.

Put all this together, with the fact that the County has not appreciably grown, and the fact that performance of students has not gone up very much, if at all, in 30 years. Yet, with all the money spent, AdvanceED has not identified all the over-collected money, nor has any meaningful audit of the School Board's financial condition has not revealed that all the over-collection is happening. On top of everything, the State is responsible for funding education. Senator Martin, and Representatives Clary, Hiott, Collins, and others took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of this state and they have not. 

Public Policy is null and void if it conflicts with the Constitution. 

I ask you to read Article 11 Section 3 and Article 10 Section 5 of the SC Constitution.


Junius Smith President
Conservatives of the Upstate