Category Archives: Teacher’s Union

In Defense of the Common Core Standards for Education

There is a move on the right to hate the upcoming common core standards.  And it’s not without justification.  No Child Left Behind partly due to the additions liberal Ted Kennedy made to the bill, and partly due to ineptitude on implementation by the Bush administration left a foul taste in a lot of people’s mouths over any federal reach into the education field.  Also there is understandable mistrust with the Obama administration trying to take the lead in the common core.  And there is the fact that the standards aren’t high enough.

That being said, the Common Core,  which are being adopted by the majority of the states in the union are a step in the right direction.


Well let’s deal with them in terms of their more common complaints.

Inaccuracy 1: The first is that this is a move by the federal government.

That is not entirely true.  The Common Core was originally endorsed by the National Governors Association.  It was originally a move by states in coordination with one other, without a great deal of help by the federal government.  The NGA may have announced the implementation of the Common Core in 2009  but most of its development occurred in 2008 before Obama was even elected.

Now the Obama administration has made adoption of the Common Core a requirement for certain grants.  And I’m sure that Obama would love to rewrite them in his own image. But that does not change the fact that these standards were not a move by the federal government, but rather by the states working together (i.e. that federalism we conservatives love so much) and if the states continue to drive this and not let the federal government dictate their wording this federal overreach will be halted.

Inaccuracy 2: That it will cut literature out of the curriculum, changing it all to non- fiction technical documents.

This probably is the most egregious claim.   The claim goes “A new school curriculum which will affect 46 out of 50 states will make it compulsory for at least 70 percent of books studied to be non-fiction, in an effort to ready pupils for the workplace.”

Now very technically this is true.  However what you’re probably thinking it means is that 70% of the things read in an English course are to be non-fiction.  This is not correct.  The Common Core calls for 70% of all of student’s reading in a year to be non-fiction.  Ignoring electives courses, every student should probably be taking an English, a Social Studies, a Math and a Science course in a year.  That means that the English course only takes up 25% of year…so actually the assumption here is that somewhere in the Math, Science, and Social Studies courses is where you would find that extra 5% of literature (probably mostly in Social Studies where literature helps illustrate a time period).  That’s not even mentioning good English courses do include at least some non-fiction reading.

Or in the dense wording on the Common Core Website:

The percentages on the table reflect the sum of student reading, not just reading in ELA settings. Teachers of senior English classes, for example, are not required to devote 70 percent of reading to informational texts. Rather, 70 percent of student reading across the grade should be informational.  

Further this claim goes that the Common Core calls for the elimination of classic works of literature.  Again wrong on two points.  The first is that all of the articles I’ve seen include that classic titles like Catcher in the Rye and To Kill A Mockingbird will be eliminated from the curriculumOn page 107 of the suggested literature title list you see, low and behold To Kill A Mockingbird (also keep in mind it says suggested, not required titles, the reading list makes it quite clear it is only a suggested to list to give an idea of where the quality of each year’s reading should be). Also I have issues with calling Catcher, a story of a self important whiny teenager bitching about how terrible life is, a classic.

 common core

Also take a look at some of the information texts suggested by the Common Core.

My god, what a collection of liberal tripe!  Common Sense! The Declaration and the Bill of Rights!  How dare we suggest students should read those!

Go and actually look at the reading list.  There are speeches by Reagan, plays by Shakespeare, novels by Hawthorne and Bronte, poetry by Whitman and Eliot.  It’s183 pages of suggestions!  It’s not exactly a limited list.  And by no means does the Common Core not suggest you should go off list.  Teachers are encouraged to, just so long it is on par or superior to the suggestions.

Keep in mind there are teachers out there who think Lovely Bones and Twilight are acceptable reading for high school courses! They’re not. This at least puts in writing a nation wide bare minimum.

Inaccuracy 3: This will only encourage teaching to the test.

Inaccuracy 4: The standards are not high enough.  

These two are tied together.  There has been for years the idiotic statement that teaching to the test hurts education.  Bullshit.  Good teachers teach.  And if you’re teaching appropriately then high quality education, in any subject area, will teach a student how to pass a test—especially low end tests like the ones that all states give.  If you teach them to read, to think, and to know the subject matter they’ll pass the test.  It’s people who only teach to the test that have their students fail.

“But,” teachers complain, “testing takes up time in class.”  Well, to do your job, and teach you need to test to see if students are learning the material.  You need to test. The complaint is that now you’re taking up time with two tests, the test for the state and the test for your class.  Trust me, there is overlap between those two, a good teacher uses the state testing to see how their students are doing in their own class and not retesting them on the same material.  But you know that would require actually looking at the test, and test results and actually doing your job of taking the time to see how best to teach your students.  And, sadly, so many teachers nowadays aren’t really there for teaching, they’re there for a job that pays them for 12 months but only requires that they work 8 and a half.  A good teacher teaches above the test, and their students pass.  A bad teacher complains about teaching to the test because that’s a bar they usually don’t try to reach, and their students don’t do as well.*

The other complaint is that the standards are not high enough.  This is partly correct.  However it ignores that standards in this sense are supposed to be a bare minimum bar—a point that should be met by even the worst teacher.  States can have standards above the common core, and teachers should go beyond that.  These standards are there to correct for the fact that a high school diploma is only worth what the bare minimum that it takes to get it.  And yes these standards are low.  But guess what a lot of the previous state standards were EVEN LOWER.  I live in Arizona where the previous state standard for High School English is more or less the standards for Middle School English under the Common Core.  There are numerous examples in other places.  This does nothing but raise the low end of the bar.  Good teachers must still go above that bar; anyone who just remains at that bar is a terrible teacher.

Would I like to see the Common Core standards be higher?  Yes.  Would I like to see less federal and more state input?  Yes. Would I like a lot of things that the Common Core doesn’t do?  Of course.  But it raises the minimum bar from where it currently stands and if states hold the line (as many seem to be doing in a lot of other aspects) and don’t allow the federal government to take over then this is a step in the right direction.  It doesn’t solve all the problems we face, but it does solve a couple of them.

What everyone needs to remember is that standards and testing exist in this field because there are bad teachers.  If teachers wanted to mercilessly purge their own ranks of inept teachers, if they wanted to act like professionals and not rely on unions to protect the incompetent, if they wanted to work in such a way as to be worth more than 40K a year, then maybe we wouldn’t need to bicker about standards and testing.  But teachers do not police their own.  They protect and defend the worst. They make the issues about money and benefits rather than address their failings.

*This in no way negates the importance of the student in this.  Responsible students who care about their education will pass even with the worst teachers.  However, strangely most students are children, it’s odd how that works, and it is the requirement of good teachers to drag immature people across the finish line.  That does not negate the responsibility of the students to choose to succeed.  And of course there is parental responsibility in all this as well.

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Filed under Education, Long Term Thinking, politics, Teacher's Union, Teaching

Liberal or Conservative, Romney Critics aren’t that bright…

Conservatives can be a dumb bunch at times.  From the social conservative for whom there is nothing conservative about using government to run other people’s lives (how exactly is that different from liberals?).  Then you have the Ron Paul section of the party a bunch of cowardly isolationists who like to hold to an extreme view of an idealist economic philosophy (Austrian economics have many good points, but they are extremists who don’t want to worry about real world problems on in their little ideals).   And we certainly have our share of RINOS who want to be loved more by their liberal friends than having any fidelity to reason, truth or justice.  Not that liberals aren’t stupid (good lord they are) nor are true libertarians less insane than Ron Paul Republicans…but we conservatives have our share of idiots, no doubt.  And one can often see this stupidity in such publications as very inappropriately named “American Thinker” which seems to appeal to all strands of conservative idiocy.

For instance in a time when Republicans need to close ranks around Romney…hell even if you can’t see that he is in every way the inheritor of Reagan’s legacy, we’re fighting against the second-coming of Jimmy Carter meets FDR meets Benedict Arnold!    It’s time to close ranks.  But no, no, let’s let idiots complain about Romney on supposedly conservative web sites…and let’s let them use liberal talking points to do it.  Like this article “Mitt Flunks Education 101” by Robert Weissberg who as far as I can tell is a moron.  Why do I say that?  Well, going back over some of his other articles he states as a complaint against the election system that is designed to elect moderates like Romney (who really isn’t a moderate) and that “The system is supposed to produce moderation, not “full-strength” candidate [sic] such as Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.”   I’m not sure when “full strength” became a synonym for “f*cking psychopath,” (not to mention homophone in Ricky and anti-Semite in Ron) but the use of the term really makes me doubt Weissberg’s intellectual credentials.

But it’s this hack’s work attacking Mitt’s education plan that I want to deal with today.  Why because it’s all the liberal BS talking points on education in one place. 

1.  The genius begins his complaints of six things wrong with Romney’s stance on education with something that isn’t even a proposal, rather Romney simply offering a statement of fact.

“He begins by calling the gap between whites and minorities (assumed to be blacks and Hispanics) ‘the civil rights issue of our era.’  This gap may, in fact, be a civil rights issue, but nobody, regardless of ideology, has any solid idea on how to close it.”

Um, actually genius, the solution would be in the next five points.  Although if you want a specific point to address the gap in minority scores then we could look at the one thing Bush got right in education reform—complaining about “the soft bigotry of low expectations.”  I’m a teacher and trust me, there are many in education who are bigots and simply think that if minorities get a C then that’s the best they can do.  I actually once had an argument with a school administrator over who to give an award for academic achievement to—I wanted to give it to a high performing AP student, this administrator wanted to give it to a C student and his actual argument was “Yeah but she’s white, this kid is Hispanic do you know how hard it must be to get a C.”  Took everything I had not to punch the asshole in the face.  And it’s not just race, there are low expectations on gender and income level as well, despite the fact that I have learned you can push any kid from any background to any level so long as you have high expectations and the student is willing to learn.  But even though recognizing this as a problem, the only solution to this problem lies in points 2-6.

2.  Romney, quite intelligently, supports Vouchers and Charters, the idiot complaining about Romney seems to think they don’t work…and I love how he quotes a report, from a newspaper (I’m sure they’re qualified to run this kind of high level analysis), that shows charters don’t outperform regular schools.  (Let’s ignore that charters appeal to lower end students which removing them from the pool raises the public school numbers…and shows charters can bring the worst up to average level).  Heaven forbid we should look at real data that shows some charters do work.  I’ll be the first to admit that not all charters work, but the fun thing about charters is that unlike public schools, if they don’t work, they close and are replaced by something else.  I would also point out that it is simply impossible to judge any school until it has been in operation for at least 3 years—I’ve been involved in opening a school from the ground up, your first year you take whatever type of student you can get and have to deal with a myriad of education deficiencies caused by previous public school incompetence…it takes time to identify and put in systems to correct the most common problems and set up a culture in the school that encourages success, but once in place that culture is effective and hard to destroy. In the real world the same capitalistic market forces that create high quality low price goods for us, create high quality low priced education when competition is allowed to flourish.

The genius ends his critique of charters with what I assume is attempt at wit “Where are all the Bain Capital accountants to calculate gains versus losses?”  Ummm….as the people at Bain are quite good at what they do I would assume they put the profits as far exceeding the losses.

It gets even funnier however when you read this guy’s follow up article on what Mitt should do for education.  Weissberg says “Then dismantle all the Department of Education one-size-fits-all mandates on testing and proficiency.  And on and on.  In an instant, teachers could teach, not battle Mickey Mouse rules, and students will benefit.”  So what Mitt should do is let schools be free from the rules to experiment and try new things to see what works without overbearing control from above…which, in the real world is called, charter schools.  So advocating charter schools is dumb, because what we really need is charter schools.   Man, Weissberg, you are such a genius!

But don’t worry that the statement about freeing schools from “one-size-fits-all mandates on testing and proficiency” appears in paragraph 6 of his article on what Mitt should do.  In paragraph 8 we should “add nationally certified ‘super schools’ drawing on the top 1% or 2% as established by tough, no-nonsense tests.”  So testing is bad, what we need is testing.  Got it.

And you wonder why I find Mitt Romney critiques stupid?

3.  Next up he tries to hit Mitt for calling for Teacher Accountability.  And his proof that teacher accountability doesn’t work is that Mayor Bloomberg in New York has tried to do this and it’s been a disaster.  I’m shocked a big government statist like Bloomberg doesn’t effectively put into practice what should be a capitalist metric that is supposed to be controlled at a local level.  It’s like saying capitalism doesn’t work, because the economy didn’t do well under Obama.

Teacher Accountability should be an issue for principals and school boards, judging by open and fair, but local, criteria that can be adjusted to the needs of the individual school.  This will help address the needs of the students and reward those who meet those needs the best.  This is the advantage of charters, they have very local control. When controlled by a big government, pro-union, damn near fascist state like Bloomberg’s New York, of course it’s not going to work.  Duh.  More importantly Unions should not be in government – what exactly do they need protection from?  If schools were not protected by unions and worried about litigation we probably would not have as many teacher/student molestations as these people would lose their license and schools would tell other schools why they no longer work there – but that would never happen now under current conditions.

4.  Individual report cards for schools is apparently also a dumb idea of Mitt’s.  Yeah, why should parents know if the school their kid goes to is failing or not.  Why not?

According to Weissberg…because there’s been a lot of cheating involved.  So instead of coming up with rules and procedures to reduce cheating (outside proctors, not letting teacher’s proctor their own students, off site testing…you know all the things the SAT does) no, let’s just throw out any legitimate way to judge schools.  And again rather than look at where this has succeeded in raising the bar, let’s judge this by how Bloomberg has failed to implement it.  Schools need to be compared to minimum standards nationally along with all the local schools that should be in competition for a better way to make decisions.  This is how business does it – they have company standards and then they also compare along those lines to local competition.

5.  And Mitt is wrong for being anti union. “But unions are not the problem.”  Dipshit, unions are a huge portion of the problem.  Huge.  They are standing in the way of every major reform ever attempted.  There is a reason why everyone agrees the lawsuit against the California unions is likely to succeed…because the teacher’s unions protect bad teachers!  That is their only purpose.  To protect what is wrong in American education. And how does Weissberg show unions aren’t the problem?  Pro-union Massachusetts (which ironically also has school choice because of the efforts of a previous Governor…Mitt something or other) does better than anti-union South on school tests.  This is stupid because, first, as every state comes up with its own tests, or who gets tested in national tests, it never apples to apples comparisons; second, because, even I’ll admit socioeconomics is a greater predictor to performance than anything else (see point 1) and, last time I checked Massachusetts has better socioeconomics as a whole than most states in the South.  It would be like comparing a union public school in Beverly Hills against a non union charter in Watts and saying that because the charter school’s scores weren’t higher clearly the union isn’t to blame and charters don’t solve anything.  The rest of us realize that parents and culture are more important than school, school is supposed to be the stop gap against those forces which work against education, not merely a reflection of it (which Mr. Weissberg seems all too comfortable with).

And socioeconomics is an indicator only because the majority currently do not value education for their children and are not involved in their children’s lives, look to D.C. and those parents who cared and got their children into the better schools saw an improvement that has been substantiated in studies, despite low socioeconomics, thanks too…charters, vouchers, teacher accountability, grading schools, not having low expectations and…#6

6.  Finally he critiques Mitt’s push for parents to have the right to move their children out of failing schools.  Because why should you have any liberty, after all we live in a fascist/socialist regime where you have no rights, why should you question the government monopoly on education?  Oh, wait.   Why is school choice a bad thing?

“More important, again, past failure is crystal-clear.  Troubled students bring their troubled habits with them, and, more important, they typically undermine their new ‘good schools.’”

And while I’m sure that I’m just reading vehement implicit racism in that statement (the soft bigotry of low expectation), I’m sure no racism exists whatsoever in Mr. Wesissberg.  On the other hand as a charter teacher who has dealt with those students who bring their bad habits, I will simply say that good teachers, given time, are in the job of correcting bad habits and replacing them with good ones.

But Weissberg creates a preposterous example of what would happen if more students want to leave a school than there are slots for students in a good school…are we to shove some of the students that already go to the good school and force them into the bad?  This is stupid beyond belief.  We have lotteries for when there are not enough slots…and we would have more good schools if idiots didn’t oppose charters and vouchers.  Further, .  he is not accounting for the fact that even if there were no slots the schools that the parents want to leave would realize that they were losing students and would slowly need to compete – thus improve and they would realize – this will be a shock- but since the system is based on acquiring money (ADA) and they would need to improve so more people would want to bring their students to that school so they could make more money – what a concept.

Finally he complains that while Mitt’s idea to cut spending to the Department of Education is a good idea, it will fail because Mitt can’t pull it off…because Mitt has such a history of failure (so long as you ignore the history of success at Bain, the Olympics, Massachusetts…I mean if you just ignore the mountain of good stuff then Romney’s a complete failure at everything he does).

In the end Weissberg gives Romney an “F” on education.  Reason, logic, and common sense would give Weissberg a grade lower than “F” if such were possible.  In fact, saying this as someone from the trenches, Romney gets a “B” in education.  He’s saying the right things, identifying the problems and the correct solutions.  Now if he can actually pull it off, which will require a lot of fighting with liberals tooth and nail, then he gets an “A”.  And I think he will get an “A”, if the GOP backs him and ignores idiots like Weissberg.

Meanwhile you might want to read “A Chance for every Child” the 35 page proposal (because Mitt is always short on details) on what needs to be done about Education.


Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, People Are Stupid, politics, Racism, Teacher's Union, Tyranny, Unions

The Sad Life of Julia Part V: Middle Age Dependency

It’s a shame Julia’s time in Head Start never taught her to not stand right in front of a frickin’ bus…there’s a reason little Zack never shows up again.  (This is what happens when you go to government funded schools that don’t have competition).

So I’ve already been over how Obama being beholden to unions and against choice is really bad for schools and will drive them down.  But let’s deal with the idea that Romney and Ryan would cut federal funding to schools.  So what if they did.  I can promise you, with a teacher’s view from the front lines, federal money does jack to actually help students.  It goes to programs and policies that benefit administration and bureaucracy, not students.  Now if individual states wanted to put in a rule that principals and superintendents can’t make more than twice their highest paid teacher (a good principal might actually be worth more than that…but a good principal in my experience is in the same category as unicorns and non-homicidal postal employees, they don’t really exist).

Also, I’m big on standards in education but regrettably the standards Obama has been hyping lately, now being referred to as the Race to the Top, are sadly underdeveloped.  The math standards seem to stop at Algebra and Geometry (maybe some of what would be included in Algebra II) and the English standards, which as an English teacher I’m very familiar with, actually are an improvement on the previous standards I was dealing with in Arizona…but are still woefully lacking.

Honestly their standards don’t do go further than halfway through what you’d expect a student should know halfway through 10th grade in an ideal world.  And I still have yet to see Science and History standards.  So we’re still aiming to only play second fiddle to the rest of the world in education.  I’m sure that will yield spectacular results.  Also may I add that in typical bureaucratic speak they take nearly 100 pages to say what could be said in 10 (I’ve even boiled it down to 1 page for my own personal use…but I have to use a lot of fragmented thoughts that still get the point across).

But Zachary really shouldn’t have to worry because, as you can see Julia has placed him in just the right place to join Obama’s grandma, Rev. Wright, Mubarak, Israel, Van Jones, and Hillary Rosen (among others) in being thrown under a bus when it’s convenient.  It’s SOP for the Obama bunch.

Now after 4 decades of the Philosopher King’s absolute rule construction by forced community service gangs (at this point community organizer takes on a whole new meaning—crack that whip) on the Great Pyramid of Chicago, which will serve as the divine one’s tomb, is nearly complete.  But even the massive structure, 10 times the size of its Giza counterpart, but still 100 times smaller than the ego of its future resident, needs promotion on the web.

So Julia thinks she should start a web design business of her own.

I have a few issues with this.

First, if the history of technology has taught me anything it’s that we don’t have an f’ing clue what technology is going to look like in 40 years.  Star Trek predicted we would have major genetic engineering by the 1990’s but cell phones wouldn’t come into use until the 24th century.  And I don’t see the hover-boards or high level of automation promised me by 2015 in Back to the Future.  And remember in the 90’s when they thought those virtual reality head gear things would take off…uh-huh.  And I think we can all agree we are tired of waiting and want our goddamn flying cars now; we’ve been promised them for over half a century and we want them NOW.  My point here is that it might be just a little arrogant to say with certainty that the internet as we know it will still be around…but then again that might make Julia’s web design business perfect to the Obama administration loans as I will bring up with my 2nd point.

Solyndra, and 13 other green energy companies, the black holes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, AIG and every other incompetent bank, Government Motors and their fabulous death trap the Volt, not to mention that spectacular bit of idiocy Cash for Clunkers. The Obama administration sure knows how to pick’em.  So this only confirms my suspicion that Julia is in a now dead field, the Obama administration is giving her a loan…something they don’t do for people who could ever theoretically make money.

I also love how the internet business is going to “help grow the local economy.”  Screw what the internet is going to be like now, internet companies aren’t exactly limited by local market nowadays.

There are of course two reasons why Julia has to get a loan from the government and couldn’t get one from a private bank like the rest of us.  The first being that, as we have discussed, Julia, she of the 7 years to get her degree in a field you go to a 2 year tech school to get, has clearly never made very good decisions and is probably a shitty programmer to boot.  The second is that after 40 years of Obama, private banks will have gone out of business.  To recap, in the past and currently banks are being forced to continue making bad loans as the Obama administration is still pushing them, while, and I’m not making this up, simultaneously suing them for making those bad loans.   Private banks don’t stand a chance after 40 years of this insanity.  And that may make the idiots of Occupy Wall Street thrilled, but the rest of us have to understand such a move will result in an economy that makes the Great Depression look like the salad days of prosperity.  So Obama will be the only money lender in town.

My last problem with the logic here is that she’s 42, which makes Zachary 9? 10?  Who has time to start a business when you have a 10 year old?  They’re still too young to take care of themselves…oh wait I forgot, she threw him under the bus.

And I’m not sure where this 20% cut thing for Romney/Ryan comes from (I’d be happy with a 100% cut and possible jail terms for the people who work for the SBA) but I do know that while I haven’t heard anything about Romney talking about the loans the SBA gives out, he has been very clear on gutting the $1.75 Trillion annual burden of regulation this monster of an anti-capitalist organization places on the American economy.

And rather than giving out money, Romney and Ryan have put forward plans that will improve the fundamentals of the system and actually allow businesses to grow on their own and make profits, hire employees, create new markets, all without government help.  It’s this strange miracle of capitalism.  Even though it’s always been hindered to one degree or another throughout U.S. history it has created the greatest advance to quality of life and opportunity of any system conceivable.  But you would have to believe in America instead of Obama to understand that.

Also is that a biohazard symbol on the wall outside Julia’s office?  What kind of web design is she doing?


Filed under Aristotle, Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Constitution, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Declaration, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, Obama Ceasar, Occupy Wall Street, Patriotism, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Tea Party, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions, Waiting For Superman, Welfare

The Sad Life of Julia Part II: The teen years

Now Obama ignores Julia’s age from 4-16…probably because those are years that Julia will have to suffer under incompetent teachers who will teach her nothing due to Obama’s staunch opposition to school choice, vouchers, and charters and his complete subservience to treasonous teacher’s unions (yes I said treasonous…I’m a teacher, I’ve seen the effects of their constant protection of low standards and corruption among teachers and the education system in general…and they are actively working to ruin this nation…it’s either treason or stupidity of such a level it is effectively the same thing).

But let’s get back to the slides


Yeah, she may take classes she needs to take, but as her union Elementary school teachers never bothered to teacher her grammar or arithmetic, her union Middle school teachers never bothered to teach her algebra, the scientific method, basic logic or how write an essay, and her union High School teachers are just as stupid, the course may have the right name on it, but she still isn’t learning anything.

Also as Obama has continued to crack down on school choice, her parents could get her into a better school than the one she is in but she is not allowed to transfer there.  Which is a little odd as even very liberal Juan Williams acknowledges that school choice is the “civil rights issue or our time.”  Good thing President Romney will be for it so there is a chance that our Julia may get educated. 

Oh, by the way, since those “tax cuts for the rich” which are actually reforms of the tax code which would actually have the rich paying more (through the reduction of loopholes combined with a lowering of rates) never went through, the economy of America shrank even more.  Which means a lower tax base to provide for public education, which translates to having more kids in every class as no one can afford 20:1 ratios anymore which further ruins Julia’s education.  And Obama’s lack of action on border control continues to let billions of tax payer dollars be wasted on educating the children of criminal migrants (I’m told the term illegal alien is now racist).

(Also does anyone find it ironic that Obama is constantly bitching about tax cuts for the rich when he himself extended the Bush tax cuts and chose not to push for the tax increases from his own debt commission…not to mention his favorite new rule, the Buffett Rule comes from a man whose company avoids taxes and lets its upper management make bizarre anti-Semitic statements).


Now Julia is off to college and oooh a $10,000 credit…for 4 years…that’s $2,500 a year (yeah, it’s not 10 grand every year it’s total!)…that might cover books and a bit of room and board…won’t cover room and board in whole, won’t cover tuition.  I have to ask, if Head Start was such a winner program back in the early years and her school was part of “Race to the Top” as stated why isn’t she earning any merit scholarships?  Could it be that those programs don’t actually achieve any tangible results and haven’t helped Julia be anything but a waste of space and volume who needs government assistance to know a whole in the from?…well… I mean I’m a high school teacher who has dealt with a lot of seniors, trust me for a college bound woman who makes high grades there is money available.  Colleges offer scholarship money for a myriad of things (merit, athletics, need) and there are also private sources of scholarship…but in Obama’s world (who apparently has been in office for at least 15 years? Clearly the result of some kind of coup) there is only the government there to help you.  And of course there is the time honored tradition of community college, saving, and paying your own way.  No one can get into or pay for college on their own, they must have Obama.   What would we be without Obama?  How did we survive before he graced us with his presence?
But rather than talk about tax credits or the lack there of, or interest rates on those loans…let’s talk about why college costs so much….hmmm let’s see college costs have grown faster than inflation for over 20 years…hmm maybe it’s the increasing government loans (read subsidies) to students.  Well the general rule is that when you subsidize something the price goes up, and so it was with colleges.  The government says it will give loans and colleges increased their tuitions by almost the same amount of the government increase.  This in turn has not only increased college cost far above their benefits, but it has created a culture of pointless research and focused on “publish or die” rather than actual teaching being the focus of college…but why would you care about such things when you can give tax credits for over priced education that will only drive the cost of college up even more and probably decrease the quality of said education.

Oh, and let’s not forget that the majority of students need to take remedial English and math in college and probably more than that just to be capable of participating in college (that is where our current education system is)– and Julia has demonstrated that she is part of the majority and not the exception.  Maybe that has something to do with those union teachers putting how Julia feels about herself being a priority over actually being good at something.  And let’s not forget that the spate of anti-bullying laws will probably not do anything to take down the rate of bullying, but will certainly teach children to never stand up for themselves and always seek the protection of government.  Thanks Obama.

Government and unions have made education low quality and overpriced…Obama certainly didn’t cause this, but he is certainly doing everything in his power to make the quality of education worse and costs higher.

How else is Obama ruining Julia’s adolescence?  Well his economy destroying policies are certainly making it all but impossible for Julia to get a job.  (Now the best way to help Julia would be to end minimum wage laws…but I don’t see even Romney able to get that passed, so next best option would be to never raise them, which I think Romney will probably do…oh to all of you Paulbots who are about to complain that he tied Massachusetts minimum wage to inflation, please remember that the Massachusetts legislature wanted to raise it even more and the inflation thing was the most he could get to hold them back).  Of course Obama’s stimulus policies matched with Bernanke’s insanity over at the Fed will continue inflation to the point where the economy will hurt even more.  So not only will college cost a fortune but she won’t have jobs or experience to get a job to help pay for it.  Sucks to be Julia in her adolescent years.

Of course all of this is a bit silly to discuss because after 15 years of Obama’s policies (at a rate of 5 trillion in debt for every 3 years in office) we’ll be another $25 trillion in Debt (assuming China keep bankrolling us) which may very likely induce Weimar Republic level inflation.

So tomorrow we will deal with Julia’s college years…all 7 of them…no nowhere does it say why it takes Julia so long to finish college only later to become a web page designer (a field that historically requires no college education).

In the mean time I would like to introduce you to Dawn, the anti-Julia.  You remember when Obama said that Republicans are heartless and stupid for telling people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps “when they don’t have bootstraps”…well Dawn proves that when you don’t have bootstraps you make your own and then you pull yourself up by them…and if you do that then others (not government) will help you in your quest because people, especially Americans under capitalism, are the most charitable people in the world.


Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Corporate Welfare, Debt, Economics, Education, Election 2012, Equality, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Mitt Romney, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, Welfare

Idiot Legislatures, Bullies, Unions, and a dish best served cold…

So as much as I love my state of Arizona, it is becoming very apparent that the current state legislature is out of its mind. Not only passing two socially “conservative” laws that require a combined IQ in the low single digits (doubly stupid that they did it in an election year, triply stupid that they played right into Obama’s plan to make social issues an issue of this election…thanks morons) they decided to follow that up with a 1st Amendment violating censorship law. Ostensibly it is supposedly to help stop bullying, but in addition to making a mountain of the latest molehill of an overly protective society, this has to be one of the worst laws I’ve ever seen.


It’s updating an old law and replacing the word telephone with “any electronic or digital device.” This would be bad enough as it doesn’t update any language to only mean communication from one person to another. However ignoring that new technology requires new definitions, the law originally was kind of stupid.

“It is unlawful for any person, with intent to terrify, intimidate, threaten, harass, annoy or offend, to use a telephone […]”

I understand the intent of the law, to make harassment a criminal offense. But “annoy”? Good lord, I should stop paying my bills as any bill collector calling me would clearly be annoying and I could have them arrested. “Offend”? Oh I can’t wait for the next dipshit Democrat to call me asking polling questions. Their beliefs clearly offend me and as Obama is clearly in a criminal conspiracy with them (as defined by Arizona law) this will be fun. Yes my examples are preposterous, but so is the wording of the laws.

Or that it forbids one to “use any obscene, lewd or profane language.” Profane? Really? Profane is a religious concept and the government has no right to legislate my words in a religious sense, be they sacred or profane.

So, by the letter of the law the state of Arizona is about to outlaw the use of the internet. As I do not consider it a full day without annoying someone via blog, twitter, or Facebook, I am a repeat offender against this statute…and I dare any wanna-be Gestapo (previously known as Arizona police) to come and arrest me. I will have so much fun suing you personally and the state as a whole for multiple civil and Constitutional rights violations. Not only will it be great free publicity for the blog and my book, but I figure I will be able to retire off the settlement alone. So I dare you fucking stupid excuses for public figures (obscene, check, intent to annoy and harass, check) to come arrest me. Idiots.

Now in practice we know that this isn’t going to go anywhere as both the ACLU and every right wing legal group will eviscerate anyone who tries to enforce this on a legitimate use of free speech (like I said I understand the original intent of the law, but the wording is just shit for brains), but let’s deal with the reason why they didn’t update the part of it being individual to individual communication. To help stop bullying.

Are you kidding me? Once again because people don’t want to act like adults we are choosing to delegate all authority to government, who will inevitably, as always, makes things worse. At least I’m not the only one who thinks that the media hype over bullying might be more media than reality.


Now, yes there are some terrible cases where we get to see how vicious children can be…but you know what? This is not because there is a lack of laws, it’s because there is a lack of adults. Children should be encouraged to deal with things on their own when they can (something drilled out of them by being told to tattle to an adult the minute a single insult is hurled) and go seek help from friends and adults when it’s more than they can handle…and maybe educated to know the difference. One thing I notice in almost every case of extreme bullying from the media is a lack of adults. Now parents may bear some responsibility here for not being open with their children and making it known to them that they can come to them with problems, but that isn’t always the case; we all know our parents are sometimes the last people we want to take our problems to. However what I do notice in a lot of these cases is that teachers seem to be utterly absent. I’m a teacher, and I know it’s not hard to know what’s going on in student’s lives. Teacher’s thrive on the student rumor mill (because it’s the only life we have time to have) and while one teacher may not know everything I guarantee you a competent staff knows more about student’s personal lives than even the most well informed student (probably because we don’t limit ourselves to knowing only about a few select cliques) and so teachers have no excuse for not knowing if a student is being harassed. (Especially when you set up a work only account of Facebook and twitter and get your students to add you—you would be shocked at how quickly they forget you can see everything they post). And I am not the warmest of teachers, I play more into “tough but fair” rather than “everybody’s friend” but I would like to think that I always made it known that my students could come to me if they needed an ear or shoulder. And it is more the purview of a good principal to find good teachers who are competent and qualified to offer students support when they need it—not the purview of the legislature. Although since we don’t always have good teachers, I would wager that if you were to chart which states offer the teacher’s unions the most unimpeded power against which have the most instances of truly vicious and inhuman levels of bullying you would see a heavy correlation between union presence and poor support from teachers. After all if there is one set of organizations out there responsible for poor teacher’s it’s the teacher’s union.

And since we’re on the topic, I would be remiss in mentioning there is also the two other ways to deal with bullies. The first being the wise adage, “Never start a fight, but always finish them.” This being probably the best advice that the best way to deal with bullies is go on to be successful and makes massive amounts of money while the bullies never amount to anything. Perhaps with your success and piles of cash you could even make a music video to rub in your success in a wonderfully cold dish, as the Queen of Comicon, Felicia Day seems to have done.


It’s called taking the high road.

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Filed under Arizona, Civil Liberties, Evils of Liberalism, Fear, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions

My faith in humanity is redeemed just a little

Apparently the LA Unified School District has fired the anti-Semite that made those disgusting remarks at the Occupy LA rallies. This is more than I had expected from LAUSD, a lot more. The woman was a substitute (feel free to have chills run down your spine at the idea that that bigot was ever near children) which means that the school did not have to deal with the teacher’s unions (whom I am convinced, by the fact that they often defend pedophiles, would have defended this woman as well).  Occasionally it’s nice to be proven wrong and see that not everyone in California is insane.  Now let’s see if I’m wrong again and a judge will throw out her inevitable lawsuit (and I am more than willing to be disproven once again).

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Who is to blame? Answer: Bad teachers…and everyone else.

Over the last couple of weeks I have seen several articles on the topic of teachers not being to blame for the problems with modern schools, or you should listen to teachers, or there are other excuses for the low results in student achievement. But while everyone is willing to not blame teachers, let me make one thing very clear BAD TEACHERS ARE COMPLETELY, TOTALLY, WITHOUT QUESTION TO BLAME!

However to be fair they’re not the only ones who are to blame. I could blame the Teacher’s unions (i.e. the only organizations which I would take out before Neo-Nazis if I could…yeah I think they’re that bad) for constantly defending these worthless hacks. I could blame the truly incompetent class of people known as administrators (who were terrible teachers thus they sought out another job) who first hired the hacks and then didn’t fire them. Then I would blame the school boards (to call most boards a ship of fools would be overly complimentary) who hired, and didn’t fire, said inept administrators. I could blame the voters for voting such worthless boards in…but those voters are often the same parents who didn’t stimulate their children, didn’t teach them to read, didn’t hold them to rules and didn’t model good character.

However, this last paragraph, which follows the usual progression of blame is backwards. It needs to go the other way around and start with the person who is most to blame when a student fails to learn.

The child, the student. Free will is often forgotten in this whole endeavor. Every person is given free will. Most choose not to use it and would rather run on autopilot. Of the people who choose to use free will 90% make very good choices and rise above their circumstances…and oddly occasionally fall far below the situation they are put in (but they’re still better than the people who just run on autopilot). In the end every student is ultimately responsible for choosing to learn or choosing to just go with the current. Now if they choose not to exercise their free will that then issues of nature and nurture become relevant—because people let them be, because they choose to let genetics and environment lead their life, not their reason and will.

So if they choose to just be victims of nature and nurture guess who should take most of the blame? Parents. You have your children from moment one (if you adopted you have a slight excuse but you only have that for so long) and thus you are responsible for the environment. Which is why I blame parents so much. Did you start reading to your child early on (like before they could even speak)? Did you read every day to model the behavior? Did you talk to them (as opposed to at them) to encourage them to take part in conversations and learn how to think? Did you act like a modern day Socrates and barrage them with questions forcing them to defend and think about every statement they make (yes, I do recommend this; it creates incredibly well reasoned human beings)? Did you encourage and praise academic achievement? Demand school comes before everything else? The sad fact is that in my experience most parents do not do anything near this. They think TV is a baby sitter. They think children shouldn’t be engaged in conversation. They don’t really care about school. For all those bad parents out there, shame on you. If you weren’t willing to make an 18 year commitment to educating a human being you should have kept your hormones in check.

However we have a safety valve for weak willed people who suffer bad parenting, it’s called school. But that’s not much more of a help. Public education is constantly being destroyed by regulation from the federal, state, and local level. Rules and laws, and funding, and regulation, and documentation, and special needs, and this and that program, and licensing. I’ve gone over a lot of this before, so I won’t completely bore you again, but needless to say, politicians are incredibly to blame for setting up a system that care more about paperwork and inefficiency than results and education.

Next I have to lay a special level of hatred on the Teacher’s unions for encouraging, funding, and demanding those crappy politicians exist. Every single thing the Teacher’s Unions do is in the worst interest of the child. Be it the laws they demand. The deals they cut. The politicians they fund. The terrible teacher’s they protect. The Teacher’s unions are by far the worst organization that exists in all of modern America because they do the most damage by destroying that which should make this country great. And they’re morons to boot. Why are they morons? Because if they weren’t morons they would have to see the damage they were doing, which would at best be depraved indifference to destroying education of the nation, which by extension means they are destroying the economy…and willfully destroying the economy would mean destroying the country…is it just me or if is beginning to sound more and more like treason.

Oh but the villainous bastards from Hell at the Teacher’s unions and their political lackeys aren’t the only ones to blame. We have school boards and school administrators whose job it is to oppose such nonsense, to work around such idiocy, and to still demand standards at each of their schools. Most school boards shirk their responsibilities and rubber stamp anything the administration wants (usually because they’re bought and paid for by the teacher’s union) and most administrations are made up of terrible teachers with Napoleon complexes. Ask yourself what kind of teacher becomes an administrator? Great teachers, hell even good teachers, got into teaching to teach. They love the classroom, and for them teaching ranks up there with breathing. The kind of person who goes into teaching to get an administration job is one who doesn’t know the first goddamn thing about teaching, doesn’t understand what makes a good teacher, and has no clue as to how to improve teaching. Yes it makes perfect sense to put these people in charge. So damn them for not having the smallest amount of self-reflection that would allow them to know they’re not qualified for the job. (A side note, did you know the Peter Principle was first recognized when Dr. Peter looked at school hierarchies?)

And finally we get to the teacher who after everyone else has screwed things up is now expected to teach a student when every card has been stacked against them. Is it fair to blame them when the system is already so rigged against doing the right thing? Yes. It’s not like I’m telling you anything new. We all knew how f!@#ed up the system was before we joined because we had lived through it. Teachers are the last line of defense in this whole thing (more so if you’re a high school teacher). Don’t like the responsibility that comes with being the last line of defense? Then don’t take the job. If you take the job you take the responsibility that comes with it and if you fail to do the job, it doesn’t matter that everyone before you also failed, you took the job knowing you were going into a broken system and were expected to perform miracles. It’s not for everyone. But do not shirk your responsibility to do what you were hired to do: to be the only adult in this whole situation; to be the one who gives a damn when no one else cares; to save as many children as you can (no one can possibly expect you save them all, but you need to save some!); to succeed where everyone else has abysmally failed. That is the job of a teacher. To just complain that teacher’s aren’t to blame ignores what teachers are. If everyone else had done their job we really wouldn’t be needed. If every student had exercised their free will and reason and made a choice to learn, who would need teachers, you’d just need libraries? If every parent had made a choice to be a parent, who would need teachers? If the system were not corrupt and incompetent at all levels our jobs would be a tenth of what it is now and we wouldn’t need teachers to work as hard as they do now because the system would be designed to teach and encourage achievement, not reinforce bad habits. But the system is broken and the responsibility falls to teachers. If you don’t want that responsibility, if you don’t want to be blamed when you fail, do not become a teacher. Otherwise the position comes with responsibilities you are expected to meet.

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Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Economics, Education, Evils of Liberalism, Free Will, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Individualism, Long Term Thinking, People Are Stupid, politics, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions, Waiting For Superman

Obama, he’s just not liberal enough

Let’s see.

Just not enough of a leftist

Obama has:
Given us a socialist health care system.
Proposed massive new taxes (1.5 Trillion in fact).
Raised Spending across the board.
Took over or made the government heavily involved with many industries.
Increased regulation of almost every field.
Ended “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (I actually agree with this one, but it’s not generally considered a socially conservative position).
Has instituted massive class warfare.
Never met an environmentalist proposal he didn’t like .
Backstabbed Israel at every turn.
Appeased tyranny at every turn.
Turned a blind eye to illegal immigration.
Supported the teacher’s union.
Supported all unions and given them free license to do whatever they want.
Used executive orders to skip Congress and run the country like a petty dictator.
And appointed more Czars to run more things than I can think of.

And yet….and yet…he’s apparently not liberal enough for the liberals in this country who are planning to run a more liberal challenger against Obama in the primaries.

I have two questions for these people?

One, how exactly do you see Barrack Obama as a moderate? There is nothing this man has done which wasn’t already to the left of LBJ and FDR.

Two. Who are you going to get that’s more liberal than Obama? Mao? Che? I’m not sure if even Marx himself is left enough for these people.


Filed under Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Election 2012, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Illegal Immagration, liberal arrogance, Libya, Net Neutrality, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, War on Terrorism

Two things are happening on Thursday that I loathe with a fiery passion

What are the two things I hate?

The first is Obama and his worthless speech.

In a move of genius the Republican Party is planning no TV response to Obama’s job’s plan. It’s a clear statement on what they know the president has to propose: nothing. He will have nothing tomorrow other than platitudes, talking points, and doublespeak. And nothing doesn’t require a response. And they won’t dignify it with an immediate response.

However, while it will be a deftly executed move on Thursday night, it needs to be followed within the week by a real plan to improve the economy and pass it through the House with all due haste. I suggest they start with the things proposed here.  It will die in the Senate, where every liberal can be on record as being opposed to capitalism, a free market, real growth and prosperity, or if the Senate has any sense of self preservation Comrade-in-Chief Obama will veto it. It doesn’t matter, as long as this socialist is in the White House real growth is impossible because he will try to regulate everything to death. Real growth beginning on January 20th 2013. However, the House Republicans need to pass their own sweeping economic plan to show that the Republican Party actually stands for something, actually has principles, actually has a spine and actually has a pair (Right now the only person I can apply all of those appellations to in the GOP primary field is Bachmann, especially that last one). The House, the Senate, and the White House can be won or lost in the next week. If the Republican Party shows it actually stands for Conservative economic values and is willing to back that up with votes, they win. End of story. Every time Republicans have run on being true fiscal conservatives they win—they lose when they play to the center, play to compromise, play to compassionate conservatism and play to social conservatism. They win when they have the balls to defend capitalism. I pray that I see they have learned this lesson in the coming month.

However that is not going to be the main thrust of this blog. Why? Well because I’m about to piss off just about every single conservative I know.

What’s the second thing I hate?

Football. The great sport of socialism. 

Let’s ignore for the moment that football is rank barbarism, outdone only by the true viciousness of boxing and the UFC, that plays to the absolute worst within the human soul. Let’s ignore that most football players should be behind bars not worshiped as icons (even forgetting the massive list of assaults, attempted murder and various other felonies…and just focusing on the fact that they let a man who gets his jollies by torturing dogs play this sport! And the rest of the league didn’t walk in disgust stating they would not play with such a disgusting sociopath! That should tell you the ethical quality of football players. I wonder if a child rapist could play if he could throw the ball the entire length of the field?) Ignore the fact that the majority of these players have an IQ that makes most rocks look like rocket scientist and thus should be the last people we have society look up to. Ignore the fact that that I would say it’s a safe bet that 90% of them are on steroids. Ignore all of that. I hate football because no sport so represents the ideals of socialism more and no sport steals my hard earned money to glorify its crude barbarism more than football. Yes this is a capitalistic problem with football, not just a snob’s problem with it.

(I’m going to make some comparisons to other sports in here which I believe to be correct, but if not, please inform me and I will make corrections. I watch only baseball games when sitting in the stadium and the Olympics on TV, so sports really isn’t my best subject).

How does football resemble socialism? First, almost every team sport does its obsession of working together over individual performance (some more than others, football being the sport where the individual can have the least effect…on the other end of the spectrum you have baseball where every single pitch comes down to a battle between two individuals). But more so than just the nature of team sports let’s look at the professional level sport. Football makes a lot of money from TV revenue…which it then pays in EQUAL shares to all of the teams. Doesn’t matter which team draws in more viewers, doesn’t matter which team invested more into the stadium or the players…everyone takes an equal cut. From each according to his ability to each according to his need. Everyone benefits from the Super Bowl, whether they made it there or not. How socialistic (I have no idea how other sports handle TV proceeds, but even if they’re all doing this it’s quite socialistic in its nature). Oh, and the best team gets last pick in the draft. That’s right you’re punished for being good. Oh and there’s salary caps which means you can’t pay people what you would pay them if you could (I think all football players are overpaid, but that doesn’t mean I don’t support their right to make as much money as possible if someone is willing to pay for it). Doesn’t sound like capitalism to me.

But these are private corporations and they have the right to run their organizations however they see fit. Let’s talk about where their socialist values begin to hurt me and you.

Oh and dare we forget that most of those stadiums were built with city bonds, or city exemptions to this or that or all taxes, or various other forms of corporate welfare. The idea is that the city will make back its money from tax revenue of increased ticket sales, increase restaurant use around the stadium and increased tourism. This is never the case. Even if they were getting close to even breaking even, most cities then have to deal with threats by team owners to move if they aren’t offered a new set of tax breaks and incentives. Pure corporate welfare. And nothing but that. And as you know I blame corporate welfare as one of the main causes for making our economic system unstable. This is city tax money being wasted to subsidize multi-million dollars businesses. My tax payer money. Your tax payer money. If you like the sport so much, pay for it in increased ticket prices. But don’t demand I subsidize your entertainment. I would love to see more Shakespeare plays put on, but I will never ask that your tax payer dollars go to support my preference; any good capitalist should understand the reverse is true. And any good socialist can go to hell.

But on this point football isn’t that different from other sports (may their unethical un-capitalistic owners all burn in hell). So I know I still haven’t proven that football is more socialistic than any other sport.

So let’s go down a level from the professional level. Even if cities, states, and the federal government banned corporate welfare in all forms (which they should all do) football would still be socialistically sucking off the teat of the taxpayer. Why do I say this? Well there’s the college level. Just about every single state funded university in the contiguous United States has a football team. And as economist Thomas Sowell points out in his book “Economic Facts and Fallacies” just about every college in America is running its sports program in the red. As the biggest sports at any college are football and basketball, that pretty much means that these sports (with their million dollar coaches, and hundred thousand dollar scouts, and thousand dollar scholarships, and bonuses on the side) are costing colleges more money than they take in. Most state universities run more off of state (i.e. taxpayer) funds than they do off of real tuition. Well why not increase ticket prices. Maybe because they know if they make any more increases in prices then ticket sales will drop incredibly and they’ll make even less, and lowering the price won’t help ticket sales enough either. They’re already at optimum pricing; if they make any change in pricing they lose even more money. But that means that football and basketball at the college level are failing businesses. They don’t provide profits to the college, they provide a loss. But the argument goes, having sports brings in more donations from alumni! Really? What do most of those donations go to? Sports. So that means that these are losing money even when they’re being subsidized by donation. Sounds like a great business model. But let’s say that the other donations that come in make up the difference and the college doesn’t come out behind. First I would say that people who are going to donate for a library or a new science wing might have donated whether you have a football team or not. Second I would say, colleges need less donations anyway, as most of that money is now going to subsidize professors doing research (often in the liberal arts…I love Shakespeare, but really how many articles on him do we need?) and not teaching! Perhaps if colleges were not getting so much free cash they would cut T.A’s and make the professors actually teach their own classes. I can’t see how this would be bad for the students, actually being taught by people who know more. Further this might mean that fewer jocks were skated through classes (don’t even try to feign outrage, you know it happens) which devalues the degree of everyone who earned their education. There are only a few colleges to point to, but every college I know of that has dropped its football program has been able to drastically increase its endowment and the quality of its teaching….granted I’m working off a very small sample but just the suggestion of that fact implies we should at least try it on a larger scale. If dropping football leads to better education, then don’t we own this country a better educated populace?

Further keep in mind that it’s your tax payer dollars that go to subsidize this loosing investment in schools. So the city is subsiding this sport, as well as the state through the college. Are you beginning to wonder if this is this is a business model worth keeping? Or maybe that it exists only through government handouts.

But the socialism doesn’t end there!

You probably forgot about high schools. High schools which will cut teachers, books, fine arts, new facilities, pay raises to attract better educators (but sadly never the pay of school superintendents and principles, i.e. the most useless people on any school campus) before they cut football. At a high school level basketball doesn’t take much funding for up keep (you already need a gymnasium, which often doubles as your auditorium anyway) so you were already going to spend that money. But football is different. Football takes money for equipment (which brings to mind a quote from one of my favorite author’s “I just think it’s rather odd that a nation that prides itself on its virility should feel compelled to strap on forty pounds of protective gear just in order to play rugby.” And he’s right, rugby at least has the decency to admit its barbarity.), equipment which could fund a whole new set of microscopes for a biology class, a new set of books for an English class, possibly enough to pay a teacher to take on an extra period and actually teach more (I know it’s a radical thought that schools might be there to teach!). More skating of students (I personally have had it suggested to me that I shouldn’t flunk a football player…I did it anyway and the coward didn’t have the guts to do anything about it at the time, but the fact is that football players are skated through school to this day). Oh and let’s talk about the cost of football fields. They’re expensive. And they often have to be done every couple of years. (But the idiocy of most boards will say, we can’t do Astroturf it’s too expensive…to hell if the cost of redoing the field even twice out does the cost of Astroturf, thinking that far out would force school boards to think past the next election, which is utterly impossible for skilled politicians in Congress, you have no hope with the idiots who get on schools boards…especially since the teacher’s unions spend millions nationwide to prevent intelligent people from getting on school boards.) And those stadiums are also expensive to build and maintain…and they almost never make their money back. That’s all money coming out of your pocket again as a tax payer!

As a tax payer you pay for the local high school’s football program, the college football program, and the professional league. And if you actually like the sport you pay even more for the cable station and the stadium tickets. But for those of us who hate the sport, we still get to pay for it! Don’t tell me this isn’t socialist.

In 2010, 106 million people watched the Super Bowl! That’s the highest rated number of viewers ever. Let’s say that there was another 40 million football fans who didn’t watch because their team wasn’t playing (which is stupid because people who don’t regularly watch football watch the Super Bowl, but I’ll give you 40 million). That’s a 146 million football fans. There are 312 million people in the country currently (half of 312 is 156) so not even half of the country watches football. So the majority of taxpayers are subsidizing the entertainment of the minority. Have you ever been upset hearing that your taxpayer money is going to pay for sacrilegious images of the Virgin Mary covered in dung, or for useless modern art paintings of a giant dot on canvas, or for PBS and NPR? Or do you get upset at how many tax breaks Hollywood gets for producing movies that I am hesitant to call dung, because I could use dung as a fuel source or as fertilizer…I’m not quite sure that half of what Hollywood puts out is even as useful as that! How is that different from funding rank barbarism? Some people find that worthless modern art shit entertaining, some people find football entertaining. The government shouldn’t be paying for a dime either way.

I am willing to pay more for movies that are good because I love movies and I believe not a cent of tax payer money should go to this kind of corporate welfare. (And I would even pay more for a baseball ticket, because I think the first thing the MLB would do if it no longer had subsidies would be to fire all its current players and bring up the minors which would actually lead to more class and grace in the game and less vain showmanship). Are you willing to pay more for your football ticket? And if not will you continue to demand I pay so that you can be entertained? If so, how can you say that is anything but socialism?

Occasionally someone will try and bring up the idea that football is the only thing keeping these kids in school. Huh? If that’s all that’s keeping them in school, trust me they’re not really learning in their classes (remember all the skating I referenced) and they certainly aren’t conducive to a healthy learning environment for other students who may actually give a rat’s ass about education.

And don’t even try and bring up the idea of the scholar-athlete to me. There are scholar-athletes…but less than one in a thousand of them are football players.

I would have no problem if all levels of football paid for themselves. I still wouldn’t watch it, but I wouldn’t be as viscerally opposed to it as I am now. (Hell I might not even have a problem if the subsidies for high school and college were put up for public referendum and passed by a healthy margin). Right now it’s a socialist sink hole stealing money from me. If you want football, then you pay for it. I won’t ask you to pay for my snobby operas and plays (and any tax payer money that is going to that should be cut) and I would appreciate if you not rob from me to pay for your entertainment.

But the question is if professional football had to pay for itself, if college football had to pay for itself (and that includes paying for its own scholarships through ticket sales and donations), and if high school football programs had to pay for themselves (especially when there are far, far fewer football scholarships available, thus lowering the demand for high school football, thus lowering the pool from which the professionals can draw from), do you really think that this sport could survive? I don’t think it could. And if that thought disgusts you, remember you should be a capitalist and demand that only businesses that can support themselves through their own means…or do you still demand I support your entertainment through my taxes?

If you are a capitalist, which is likely if you read this blog, then you understand to have any integrity you must stand on principle and oppose these government subsidies at all levels, even if you love the sport, it has no business taking tax payer money to support itself.

Now I will admit that this is partly informed by personal bias. Some of the most disgusting and most unethical people I have known as a teacher were also the biggest supporters of those school football programs, and I can’t deny that I see a correlation between these two. But still before you bring my personal bias into this, can you deny that modern football exists in great degree due to its socialistic subsidizing by the government.

And one final question. The government seems hell-bent on supporting football (it’s doing it at three different levels!) one has to ask why? Is it just that most communities think football is so important….or it is because government understands, as the Caesars did, that if you give the people their bread and circuses they won’t pay as much attention to evils committed by the government. Just a thought.

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Filed under Art, Bill Maher, Budget, Capitalism, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Free Will, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Long Term Thinking, Michele Bachmann, Obama, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Unions, Unjust legislation

What I want to hear Obama say…but he won’t…

I’m not going to have a law of the week this week. Rather I’m going to talk about what I want to hear out of Obama’s mouth this week when he brings out his “jobs plan.”


He states that his new plan will create jobs. This is a fascinating concept as the government has never been able to do such a thing except for a short period of time and always at a detriment to the overall economy and not to its benefit. Always at an increase to our debt.  But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a way to stimulate the economy to recover…although, and I know no one wants to hear this but it’s true, that before we hit a recovery we need one last dip in the economy (the stock market, the housing market, all other commodities markets will probably take a hit and we’ll see another rise in inflation and unemployment) and we need to get through it but our only options are either bring on the next dip now and get through it as quickly as possible or to delay this last dip and every day we delay it means it will be longer, deeper, and hit more people when it comes. I’ll take the shorter pain now than the worse pain later, thank you.


So what I do I need to hear from Obama if he was A) intelligent enough to know how to improve the economy and B) willing to actually do it?


First ObamaCare has to go. It must be overturned in its  entirety. There is not a single line worth keeping. This will allay a lot of fear about hiring new employees and get businesses to start planning to grow again. Further it will keep health cost down.  With this needs to come laws that will allow insurance companies to cross state lines (and not just medical insurance, I mean every kind of insurance). This will drastically and immediately lower the costs of insurance across the board. Not only will this reduce the overhead of all major insurance companies (meaning they can charge less and still make a profit) the added competition will drive down the prices even further and all companies that offer insurance to their employees will quickly be paying less for every employee which will make expansion even easier.


The U.S. government needs to cut income tax, corporate taxes, and capital gains taxes by at least 5% across the board. Further the death tax and marriage penalties need to be permanently eliminated. To accompany these cuts ALL loopholes will be removed from ALL tax codes (yes that means GE will finally have to pay some taxes).  I’d really love to see a flat tax, or even better switching to all sales tax, but I’m willing to take a baby step in this area. The sudden influx of money to both personal and business bank accounts will help spur further economic growth and expansion.


Federal money for unemployment benefits needs to be ended for anyone who has been out of work for more than six months.   To avoid some unnecessary pain we can of course give them a 90 day notice, but this perpetual dole needs to end.


Everyone employed by the federal government (except the military) is taking a 10% pay cut. You’re overpaid sons of bitches deal with it.  (Elected officials can take a 100% pay cut).


In addition to the 2.4 trillion we have already agreed to cut as part of the debt ceiling agreement, for every dollar of tax revenue that we are no longer taking in because we lower the tax rates the federal government will cut $100 dollars of spending from its budget. Not only will that keep us solvent, it will improve our credit rating, reduce the debt, strengthen the dollar and improve the economy.


The law needs to be passed that within the next 10 years the Federal Reserve  will raise the prime interest rate to 6% and then never touch it without the express permission of congress and the President and only then for a limited period of time. No industry can grow with the interest rate being this low; it discourages all investment and risk taking. Yes we’ll have some inflation but it will also stimulate growth that should outpace the inflation.


Alaska and the Gulf Coast are open for full drilling, but any environmental damage will come with a fine equal to 10 times the cost of the clean up (that will ensure the oil companies quadruple check every safety measure), which will lower energy prices and thus offset most if not all the inflation caused by the raising of the interest rate.


All the insane regulations that stop the construction and running of oil refineries.  Right now it is next to impossible to build an oil refinery and all the regulation is based on horrendous my of global warming.  Yes there do need to be a lot of regulations about running oil refineries because they deal with a lot of chemical that could be very harmful to the environment if released…sadly about 10% of the regulations we have in place.  The rest is BS.  Oh, and while we’re on the subject of oil refineries, did you know that every state requires different blends of gasoline.  This is insane because it requires the refineries to refine 50 different kinds of oil.  We need to come up with one national set of requirements, it can’t be done by federal law, but it needs to be done by the states on their own because it will drop the price of gas by several cents.


The Departments of Commerce, Agriculture, Energy, HUD, HHS, Edu, Transportation, Interior and Labor will cut their staff by at least half (although I’d prefer firing just about everyone in these useless sinkholes of red tape and tax payer money).


The EEOC, National Labor Board, and EPA will undergo a full review of their powers and have most of their authority stripped.


A Constitutional Amendment which will guarantee nationwide “open shops” for all businesses will be proposed.   Also all unions for federal employees need to be disbanded.  (Also I wouldn’t mind if the heads of the teacher’s unions were brought up on treason charges as their continual actions to destroy the U.S. education system is at best treason—crime against humanity might be more accurate.)



A Constitutional Amendment redefining the Commerce Clause as applicable only to commerce that actually moves across state lines will be proposed. Further the defined commerce clause will limit the scope of the federal government to acting in ways only to prevent impediments to the free commerce and economic activity between states, not to put up new barriers of its own.


All U.S. trade tariffs will be abolished. Tariffs only hurt the consumer and protect failing businesses.


All government regulations will be up for review (I’d say put Rand Paul and Michele Bachman in charge of this committee) with the purpose of reducing all federal red tape by at least half if not more.


Tort Reform Laws must be passed immediately.


The federal government needs to A) stop forcing banks to make subprime loans (which means the Community Reinvestment Act needs to be scrapped) and B) it needs to stop suing banks for making those loans.


Finally those wastes of space and volume known as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac need to stop being quasi government organizations. Either the federal government needs to buy up all private shares or it needs to sell its own stake in the company. Either way right after that the entire assets of Fannie and Freddie need to be liquidated at Fire Sale prices and the organizations disbanded. Yes this will cause housing prices to drop once again, but it will also provide stability to the market, make houses affordable, and encourage banks to finally loan money again. And to everyone who bought a house for more than it was worth…I don’t care, you bought a house when all the signs were there that the market would collapse, you bought a house when it was stupid to do so, you did not think, time to face the consequences of not thinking ahead.


Now if Obama did all of that you would have three things happen. First, the country would be back to 2% or less unemployment within 5 years. Second, the economy would grow like never before and this growth would actually permeate the entire world and even Europe’s financial problems would be nearly gone in a little over a decade. And third, I would actually vote for Obama in 2012.


But we know that Obama isn’t bright enough to know what will actually fix an economy.


Nope, I predict what we will hear is more of the same. Stimulus. ‘Cause that’s always worked before (at least in the delusion fantasy world that liberals live in).



Filed under American Exceptionalism, Budget, Capitalism, Civil Liberties, Congress, Conservative, Debt, Economics, Education, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, Foreign Policy, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Health Care, Individualism, Laws the GOP should pass, liberal arrogance, Michelle Bachmann, Natural Rights, Net Neutrality, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Tyranny, Unjust legislation

California, Land of the Crazies, and why the Luthor plan may be the only way to save the state.

Continuing with my astonishment at the absolute insanity that seems to permeate all of society at this point, one must mention California, Land of the Crazies. The state is all but beyond hope, and let’s take a look at why it’s so far gone.

There is no need to go over the obscene welfare state, extreme illegal immigrant problem (a problem so bad that they have become a powerful voting block, despite having no legal right to vote), and the fact that the state has avoided bankruptcy only through budget tricks that make Enron look ethical. These are all known facts. The problem comes in when you consider what California is doing about it…

Well first they elected Jerry Brown. Brown used to be Governor of California back in the 1970’s when he did the same thing to California’s economy that dim Jimmy Carter was doing to the national economy, i.e. destroying it. So it made perfect sense to reelect him again? I’ll grant you the Republican option wasn’t very good, but Brown’s track record is literally that he destroyed the California economy. I don’t care how bad the Republican option is, you don’t elect a man who has already failed at this very job.

But let’s ignore who got elected to the executive branch. The real insanity comes from the legislative branch. Sane people might want to get California’s budget under control, lure businesses back, reduce unemployment, make the cities safer. Something along those lines…but not the lunatics in California.

Let’s look at some of the things that California has busied itself with while the state went to hell.

Well first you have the fact that they decided to tax all the business that did in the state. This was a tax designed to go against Amazon and its business within the state, to tax them, to hurt them. It was backed by businesses whose bottom line was hurt by Amazon and designed to make it so bad that they would not be able to do business in the state—rather than lowering their prices to compete, Amazon would have to raise its prices just to stay profitable. Who suffers here? Amazon obviously, but also the consumer who no longer can find things at cheaper prices online. That’s right, the socialists in the legislature of California conspired with businesses to price gouge consumers. Do you begin to see why capitalists scoff at claims of maintaining fairness by government officials?

This law is unpopular in California. So much so that there is a move to have it overturned by the voters in a special election. In response to its unpopular nature what do the liberals in the state capital do? They move to have the laws referendum votes change to make sure that their business killing, job destroying, consumer hurting law will not be overturned. How wonderfully democratic of them. Did I say democratic? I meant fascist.

Also there seems to be no end to new business regulations coming out of California. Because being one of the five worst states for businesses isn’t enough…apparently the geniuses in California think that the only way to improve the economy is to be the most business unfriendly area in the world! Maybe that will help bring money back into the state.

But why stop with regulating businesses, when you can regulate individuals as well. If you’re a parent who wants to go out for the night and so you just hire the sixteen year old down the block to look after the kids, guess what, in California you and the sixteen year old babysitter will soon be criminals. Yes, that’s right you can now only hire adults, you have to pay them an hourly wage, have them keep an official time card, pay all the social-security/unemployment/and all other taxes for a full time employee, provide breaks and you must pay them at least minimum wage. Well if you thought teenagers were having a hard time before this in finding a job, apparently in California the goal is 0% for all teenagers. So teenagers won’t have any money to buy stuff, and parents won’t ever be going to movies or restaurants again which will kill the dining and entertainment industries even more. Not to mention is the state telling you who you are allowed to trust your children too, you personally as a parent should have no rights in this area whatsoever, the state knows best.

But the insanity doesn’t even come close to stopping there!

California is about to completely ban Styrofoam! Yes no more Styrofoam plates or cups in any restaurant or store. None whatsoever. This will of course be great for the environment because as we all know Styrofoam takes 700 years to biodegrade. Let’s ignore the fact that wax covered paper, which is what Styrofoam will be replaced by takes 400 years to biodegrade, require more money, over twice the energy (so a larger carbon footprint if you cared about such things), over ten times more chemicals to create (you think wood is naturally that color or consistency) and has far more chemical byproducts in its creation that are all harmful to the environment. To hell if Styrofoam is vastly more friendly to the environment when you actually take everything that is required to make it into account. We need to ban it because we follow the religion of environmentalism which can never be questioned by those little things called facts. This is California the state that destroyed hundreds of farms in central California all to defend an ugly fish no one ever heard of and so evolutionally backward that it can only exist in central California and will die at the drop of a hat. (Has anyone ever explained to environmentalists that the environment is almost designed to get rid of species that can’t adapt and to protect every single species is actually working against the very mechanism of evolution?)

Oh and why stop there? Let’s release thousands upon thousands of convicted felons back onto the streets. I’m sure that will do wonders for the state.

And dare we forget what California is doing to make great strides in education. Let’s make sure that we teach Gay History. But in addition to making sure that we bring up all the gay people in history, we can’t bring anything negative about any single gay person in history. (I’m not sure if this means we have to just ignore Roman history or if we have to portray all the Roman Emperors as saintly figures who wouldn’t ever do anything wrong…but either version seems somehow wrong). Did I miss a memo? Are gay people these magical people who are incapable of doing anything wrong? Because, for all his literary genius I recall that Oscar Wilde was quite the asshole, as was Michelangelo and J. Edgar Hoover. Yes, they’re all people who should be covered in any halfway competent History course, but to whitewash their acts just because they’re gay smacks a bit of 1984. Last time I checked gay people had morons and geniuses, those who were saintly and those who unspeakably evil, nice and cruel, charitable and stingy…why? because they’re human. Sexual orientation does not change the fact that you are a member of the human collective. If your acts are spectacular enough, for good or for evil, that they merit being brought up in a history course they should be brought up. Whether you’re gay, bi, straight, asexual or some category I’m forgetting, if you did something worthy of making history you get put into history, who cares who you’re attracted to. Or as my friend The Snark Who Hunts Back put it “Sorry, I was unaware I had a separate history from straight people.”

And I could go on and on…$150 additional tax for people who live in rural areas to pay for protection from fires that the fire service “accidentally” sets every year, SWAT teams sent to arrest people for selling milk, forcing all teachers to join the teacher’s union, not legalizing a major business in the form of pot use and then taxing the shit out of it, (this list could go on for pages) and dare we forget the banning of Happy meals and anti-Semitic push by the Nazis* who run San Francisco to ban circumcisions (thank god that one failed).

The state is insane! Completely, totally, certifiably, bat shit insane!

Which brings me back to the title of this blog “and why the Luthor plan may be the only way to save the state.” What’s the Luthor plan you ask? Well you probably already know it, you were just hoping I wasn’t going to go here. Most of the lunatics in California are concentrated in two areas Los Angeles and San Francisco, with a few other pockets scattered up and down the coast. In other words the loonies all seem to be west of the San Andres Fault line. What’s the Luthor plan? Well, as you may recall from the movie, it’s the idea that we need to place several large nuclear weapons on the San Andres, detonate them, and let that part of the state fall into the ocean. Good riddance. Yeah, that Luthor plan.

I’m of course joking, but can you really say that there is any logical way of dealing with insanity at this level?

*You may think that my calling the people who run San Francisco Nazi’s is just petty name calling. It’s not. They were making a law to ban a Jewish practice and enforce it with full fascist use of the law. That’s not hyperbole or name calling, using laws to hurt Jews demands that they be called what they are.


Filed under Budget, Capitalism, Carter, Civil Liberties, Conservative, Constitution, Debt, Economics, Education, Environmentalism, Evils of Liberalism, First Amendment, Gay Rights, GOP, Government is corrupt, Government is useless, Illegal Immagration, liberal arrogance, Long Term Thinking, Natural Rights, People Are Stupid, politics, Taxes, Teacher's Union, Teaching, Tyranny, Unions, Unjust legislation, Welfare

Another Round of Friday Reading

So here are some highlight from the week that you make have missed with all the coverage of Osama and Obama not spiking the football while going to Ground Zero.

Andrew Klavan On Conservatism in American Fiction.
This one is a bit long, but if you have 40 minutes to listen to the lecture I would suggest you do. I don’t agree with everything he says (I think he give too much credit to 20th century writers as being worth a damn) but he have to love statements like “Ayn Rand is a wonderful philosopher, a terrible novelist, but a wonderful philosopher.”

Seven Reason to Oppose Higher Taxes. Title says it all.

Teachers push Marxist Agenda. Wow. Wow. I love how they use they suggest critical thought leads to Marxism with a straight face. For the rest of us who are, I don’t, sane, Marxism and critical thought are diametrically opposed. Anyone still think we don’t need to fire a shitload of teachers in this country?

Our Kind of Class Warfare by P.J. O’Rourke. Always have and always will love the

San Francisco wants to outlaw circumcision. You know it was bad enough when it was the wacky Christian right that wanted to tell us what we can do with our genitals…now the Anti-Semitic left is getting in on the fun…yes I do believe this is being motivated by the Anti-Semitism that permeates the left (just look at Obama’s willingness to sell out Israel at any turn). Up next in the city by the bay: All Jews will have to wear stars on their clothes.

Thomas Sowell on the Economy.

Most sane people know that when two or three Arab terrorist organizations get together it’s just means that it’s going to be a bad day in Israel. But for Jimmy Carter, this country’s most famous Anti-Semite, it’s a good day.

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Filed under Anti-Semitism, Books for Conservatives, Capitalism, Economics, Reading Suggestions, Teacher's Union

Laws the GOP should pass #14: What to do with the Department of Education?

So teachers have been in the news a lot this week. Primarily because union hacks in Wisconsin who like to call themselves teachers are bitching that their $100,000+ compensation just isn’t enough. Problem is that these union members aren’t teachers. They’d like to call themselves teachers but in reality they’re self-deluded hacks. How do I know they’re not teachers? One, teachers teach. It’s a calling for a real teacher—yeah, they’d love more money but what concerns them most is teaching—therefore no teacher would abandon their students to protest their salary being cut. The second reason I know they’re not teachers is because Wisconsin schools, especially those in Milwaukie are some of the worst performing schools in the nation. Teaching is what teachers do, and if they’re not teaching, I’m not sure what they are, but they’re not teachers.

A side effect of this has been a return to the oft repeated claim that teachers are not paid enough. This is a fine sentiment, if and only if teachers actually did their work…which most of them are not doing. I remember a Barry Goldwater quote: “We can all agree that good teachers are not paid enough and bad teachers are paid too much”… except that nowadays the unions and the far left do not want to distinguish between good and bad teachers and just wants to give everyone a massive taxpayer funded salary.

So what does this have to do with the Department of Education? Well, quite frankly while I might be tempted to say that everyone in the Department of Education should be given a pink slip, a bill for all the tax-payer money they’ve wasted since their creation, and a “don’t let the door hit you on the ass on the way out”. I will admit it could theoretically serve a valid federal function. (Yes I do believe that there are things the federal government should do).

Federal Law 1.
The first of these is to create a national teaching certificate. The amount of hoops a teacher has to jump through is currently insane and change from state to state. Here’s what you need to be a teacher:
1. A Bachelor’s Degree in your field of study.
2. Pass a subject knowledge test
3. Have a minor in Education (Child and developmental psychology, lesson planning, classroom management/discipline theory, history of education).
4. An FBI background check
5. A TB test (and maybe make sure the teachers are up on their vaccinations).
And if you want, make it a provisional certificate that must be signed off by a supervisor after five years of teaching for a life time certificate. Teaching is not something that needs constant classes—yes, teachers should keep up on educational research, and maybe if we didn’t have to go to constant and worthless “professional development” seminars on our own dime we could afford a subscription to professional magazines. Really teaching isn’t a profession that can be taught. You either are or are not a teacher. Even without training a good teacher can command a classroom and convey knowledge and wisdom. Even with years of training, a Ph.D. in Education and their subject matter, a bad teacher will still be unable to control a classroom or convey the slightest bit of factual information. Teaching is an art. And as with all arts, artists are born not made. (This is one of the easiest ways to spot a bad teacher; they first and foremost want to tell you what degrees they have…it’s because they have no skill at actually teaching to brag about).
Creating a basic federal teaching credential will remove much of the power the teachers’ unions have at driving away people who actually want to work.

Federal Law 2
Ban the teachers’ unions and replace it with merit based pay. If pay is merit based you don’t need unions to fight for your pay. (Also you can’t claim to be a professional and claim to need a union). If pay is merit based, as has previously been argued for and always shot down by—want to take a guess—the teachers’ union, then teachers could theoretically make upwards of $120,000 after you include benefits, which is really good pay. And hey, if crappy teachers are only making $10,000 a year (well quite frankly I’ve met teachers who that would be far too much for the joke that is their services).

Now you might be correct in saying the federal government can’t force a state or local district to move to merit based pay with a salary scheduled based purely and only on a 5 year average of your test scores. But what the federal government can do is make every single federal dime (for any and every federal program…if states want to bow down to the ultimate evil that is teachers’ unions and save the federal government a few dollars in spending, I can live with that too, and hey we’ll all know which states to avoid). Granted it sounds a little extreme, but this is something that needs to not just happen now, now, now, but actually sometime around a hundred years ago so I’m tired of waiting—the teachers’ unions need to be destroyed. Their destruction needs be put ahead of the destruction of Al-Qaida, they’re that destructive.

These salary schedules should be based on a five year average of test scores because we all have had that class that just won’t learn…although if all teachers are being held accountable this might happen less and less. For a pathetic 50% pass rate (or 0% growth from the previous year, because if you got losers you shouldn’t be completely blamed for having to do the previous year’s teacher) you should probably get about $25K a year (and a warning that if you don’t improve you’ll be tossed out to the street) and if you can get 100% pass rate (or 35% growth from the previous year) I think $120K is more than fair. You might complain that if every teacher could do that then we’ll be spending more than we do now, which might be true, but as everyone will now be competent and educated I think our economy will be in better shape and our welfare programs will be needed less. Now the exact salaries should be differentiated by individual states/districts because $30K in a city is certainly a lot less than $30K in the barbs, and even less than $30K in the country (so cost of living does need to be accounted for).

Also principal and superintendent salaries need to be capped. While they are a sadly needed portion of the infrastructure of a school, they are currently obscenely overpaid. Their salaries as well should be tied to test scores (and probably at best should never go about 150% of the highest paid teacher…of course the usually general incompetence I’ve seen in these areas probably should put that more in 110% range). And again I’ll grant this is states’ rights issues, but all 50 states need to be pushed to do this.

Granted good teachers aren’t in it for the money. But they might push themselves a little harder if they were rewarded for their good work. And they certainly would work even harder if the idiot with their meaningless Ph.D. and 20 years overpriced salary wasn’t paid more for doing inferior work.

Federal law 3 (This one is necessary because without it the 2nd part makes no sense).
Testing. You know how that joke of a law “No Child Left Behind” established testing, and it was a good thing because not everyone had to meet a minimum standard. (And trust me I have seen an actual effect where even the bad schools are now trying to meet some standard. The worst now would try at least raise standards enough to not be shut down. However, trying and succeeding are two different things). Well, the problem is each state was allowed to come up with its own tests. So we’re going to judge you on the test you make up for yourself. Anybody want to guess how many states watered down their tests? Hint: the number is between 49 and 51.

The federal government needs to come up with standards for every grade level that are to be administered in every state. (I have no idea of how we’re going to establish standards for the arts and PE, and yes there will have to be some wiggle room for special ed…but I’m a general idea person, not a detail person, I trust someone can come up with something if we actually moved forward in this direction). The tests need to be the same for every state, be difficult, and be set to a list of standards that make sense (ever read some states educational standards? Some of them read like stereo instructions or make no logical sense).

Now, some will claim that testing is ruining education. First keep in mind that education sucked long before “No Child” so I don’t think that’s it. It makes a nice talking point, but there is no proof for it yet. Now you may claim that testing hasn’t raised scores either. Which I have anecdotal evidence to disprove, but more importantly, until you put in real tests (which we don’t have yet) you can’t tell whether or not standards and testing are working.

Further, I might add, any decent teacher views standards as the low bar you have to meet. You then add on to that bare minimum standard. Any teacher that has trouble meeting any of the standards I’ve seen is quite frankly beyond inept. And this complaint about standards and testing hampering teachers is a talking point without substance. But please prove me wrong on that one, I’m willing to admit one or two states out there may have gone the other way of insanity and put standards that no human could reach (I’m willing to admit the possibility, just haven’t seen it)…and besides shouldn’t goals and standards be something to strive for , shouldn’t they be really high.

In the end these are about the only things I can think of that a relevant Department of Education could do. All of its other truly useless divisions need to be scrapped. Even though they’re a small portion of the budget, it’s a waste of money.


Filed under Education, Laws the GOP should pass, Teacher's Union, Teaching

Review of "Waiting for ‘Superman’"

Short version: YOU NEED TO GO SEE THIS MOVIE!!!!!

Longer version:
It’s nice to see a movie that makes me feel good about being a teacher. It’s even better to see a movie that doesn’t lump all teachers into the same category of “all teacher are great.” The sad truth is that there are some really bad teachers out there. And the current system we have only protects those who are inept and give the rest of us a bad name.

This movie also provides some much needed points for the entire country to consider.

1. “The Democratic party is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Teachers Unions.”
That the teachers unions give more in special interest spending than any other group in this country.

That’s right the oil companies, the gun lobby, toxic waste dumping, the banks, Wall Street, nobody buys off politicians like the teachers unions. Do you think that’s because the membership of those unions are such stellar educators? No it’s because if most of the adult population saw what some teachers and school administrators did in the classroom… … …well I’m sure the words “your honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, it was justifiable homicide” would follow.

If you ever need a reason not to vote Democrat, this is the most important reason.

Even before seeing this movie I would have said the teachers union was one of the greatest threats to this nation. After seeing this movie the only change I have had in my opinion is that I am now convinced that we need to get rid of the teachers unions before we can even bother to worry about Al Qaida.

2. Some teachers are beyond worthless and an utter disgrace to this profession.
I loved hearing the statistic that a good teacher can get through 150% of the assigned curriculum in a year and that a bad teacher generally gets through only about 50% or less. I loved even more the statement that if we just got rid of the worst 10% of teachers in the nation we’d probably be #1 in the world.

Remind me again who stops the firing of bad teachers? Oh that’s right, the teachers unions.

I just wish that they would have carried this one step further by pointing out that so-called “teacher education is all but worthless.” Yes, many of the things you’ll learn in your undergrad Education minor and your student teaching are useful, but the fact of the matter is that you only learn to be a teacher in your first year of teaching. And it’s not something that everyone can pick up. Teaching is an art not a skill and someone people can never learn this art. But one thing I can tell you will never make a good teacher better or bad teacher passable is teacher in-service and all the asinine continuing education courses that states make teacher’s take. This is a bullshit money making scheme to rip teachers off. It needs to be stopped.

3. More money doesn’t fix a system that is broken.
Public education is broken and just shoving more money into a bureaucratic mess that cannot change and adapt is going to do nothing to help. Only by trying new ways (vouchers, charters, online school, trade schools, magnet schools, etc.) will education be fixed. It’s not a lack of money—it is an overabundance of rules, bureaucracy and set ways.

However I would point out that the movie does make one very glaring flaw in its logic. Waiting for “Superman” follows around several children trying to get into charter schools via those schools lotteries. It accurately portrays these charters as way to ensure that these students will get through all 12 years of school and into college after that. It correctly states that if they stay in public school the odds of these children making it all the way through college are significantly diminished. The one thing that the director failed to see that was more important than the school the student was attending, was the fact that all the children the camera was following had parents who wanted their children to succeed. Unfortunately, this nation is filled with parents who don’t care if their child gets a real education or not, and that is an obstacle that even the greatest of teachers cannot always overcome. Before I would complain about the teachers unions, I would complain about parents who do not push their children to succeed as the primary reason education fails in this nation (but I pick on the teachers unions, whom I would wish to burn eternally in Hell if I believed in Hell, because they cause me more direct problems).

But still, whether you find one of the few theaters that is still playing this movie, or wait to rent it, YOU NEED TO SEE THIS MOVIE.

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Filed under Education, Movies, Movies for Conservatives, Teacher's Union

The Decline and Fall of ….the US?

So I recently finished rereading Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (yes I am very weird in my choices of pleasure reading, but I have come to accept that about myself…and quite frankly it is an excellent read that everyone should consider). Now there has always been a strain of historians and political theorists who like to make comparisons between the US and Ancient Rome. And rereading Gibbon some parallels did come to mind.

One of Gibbon’s chief arguments is that Rome fell because of the decay of personal and civic virtue of its populace. In Gibbons argument this led to corruption at all levels, but most evidently in the army. The argument goes something like this: Rome was made great by its armies. Young men of Rome, back in the good ol’ days of the Republic would join the army and distinguish themselves. They joined the army not to personally ransack every future province they came across but the glory and defense of their mother city. This is the mentality that allowed them to recover after the disastrous Battle of Cannae where Hannibal almost crushed Rome once and for all, and for better or worse it is what created a relatively stable empire from the end of the Civil Wars to the death of Commodus. And while the fall of the legions began early on in the Empire it took a long time for the cracks to become noticeable. And the worst of the worst was the part of the army known as Praetorian Guard was the quickest to become corrupt and being willing to exploit their power for personal benefit (Or as the one of my favorite podcasts put it “The praetorians thought they were at the center of the universe.”)

Why do I bring this up? Well if it was the legions of Rome that made Rome great and then held it hostage until they destroyed Rome. So what the does this have to do with America? Well if one of America’s chief strengths was as an industrial nation (and I would like to emphasize was, we really need to move onto the idea that what now makes this country first is our ability to innovate and manage, not just make stuff) then the American worker was key in creating the prestige and power of America. And it is this same class of the populace who has adopted the mantel of modern Praetorian Guard willing to sell us all out for a short lived pay increase.

How have they become the worm in the apple that is rotting this country from the inside? One word: Unions. Teachers Unions, Auto workers Unions, Public Employee Unions…you name it, Unions are a problem. Yes, unions may have been formed back when employers were exploiting people, but that is not quite the case now–now it is the union that is exploiting the worker, and the country along with them.

How do they ruin America? Well let’s look at them. As the recent film Waiting for Superman has shown the Teachers Union is a problem. And I don’t mean it’s a problem like that fly that keeps buzzing around your head and needs to go away is a problem–think more of a dragon burring and destroying the entire countryside and needs to have a sword driven right into its heart kind of problem. The teachers union in America exists for one purpose and one purpose alone, to keep incompetent people who could never survive in the private sector living off of the government dole at absurdly high salaries. They exist to keep useless excuses for human beings in the classroom (not to mention get rid of teachers who don’t march lockstep to their policies) but also work against the best interests of students at every turn. Anti-performance-based-pay. Anti-charter. Anti-voucher. Anti-education. They would rather bleed the taxpayer dead long before they give a rat’s ass about the education of any child. They support training and “teacher-education” that doesn’t help anyone learn how to be a teacher keeping those who can get union benefits dependent on the union to stay teachers, or go near broke trying to keep up with the stupid new classes that are passed by union bought legislators. (In the issue of full disclosure, I’m a teacher, and have seen what the unions do to this profession. Ethically, I’m fine with lining the heads of all the teachers unions against a wall, and well…you know where that image is going.)

And it’s not just the teachers unions, although they are at the front of my list of people to be tried and executed for gross treason against this nation. Why is it again that American auto companies needed bailouts and foreign car companies didn’t? Oh that’s right, the truly obscene wages that union autoworkers make. For unskilled, uneducated labor that I could train a chimp to do, these morons are paid more in a year than I as a teacher probably make in two.

And do we need to get onto the government unions. With their high pay scale for interfering with our lives, and their insane pensions that are literally driving states into bankruptcy.

Obscene wages, low work level, near impossible to fire. This does not for a good economy make.

There was a day when unions were needed as a counterbalance against exploitation. But now it is those very unions that are exploiting the workers (through high dues) and the country as a whole (through buying politicians to make laws that favor them at any and all costs).

I’m not saying getting rid of the unions, if you did you would quickly see the abuses go back to the other side, but the closed shop laws that make the unions a power unto themselves need to be revoked. In most states workers are forced to join unions whether they want to or not. Now if you don’t have to convince people to join, what is the likelihood that you will look out for their best interests after a business goes union—well even a layman’s knowledge of history, psychology, and economics says that it’s roughly about zero. Just as when the Roman legions had no loyalty to Rome, when unions have no reason to fight for the loyalty of their members, and when employees have no reason to put in good work because they’re protected by union thugs, things start to fall apart.

But there is a simple fix to this. Open shop laws. Employees can choose to be in a union or not. They can stop being in a union after joining, it’s up to them. This makes it in the best interest of the employer to offer a job environment that doesn’t make people want to go to unions, it makes unions have to constantly fight to keep their members, and it makes employees accountable for their work and pay. Everyone makes out better…well except maybe the administration of the unions which will no longer be able to become rich off exploiting workers and businesses—and of course those politicians will be getting fewer payoffs (but I won’t be shedding a single tear there).

Of course one of the other reasons for the decline and fall for Rome was the cult of personality around narcissistic emperors like Caligula who would rather glorify themselves than worry about the problems of their nation….but we don’t have that problem here in America….oh, wait….

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Filed under Education, Obama Ceasar, Teacher's Union, Unions