No, God damn it, they do not “deserve” more.

A bunch of red-shirted “teachers” are descending on the Indiana Statehouse today to demand more money for what they do, many of whom make better money than my wife and probably a few who make more than I do.

They are overpaid by quite a bit, if you look at their “product”, these days.

There is an idea that if you throw enough money at a problem, you can make it go away.  Certainly this describes our public school systems, which are never satisfied but which must continue to build over-priced palaces of education in which to pamper our youth, who do not realize that comfy physical surroundings and the latest computers and other educational aids do not necessarily contribute to a good and proper education.  Couple that with curricula that seem to have been based on some Ed.D.’s recurring nightmare and which spend more time worrying about diversity and inclusiveness than actually, you know, TEACHING, and you get what we have today:  Young people who aren’t really educated, diplomas that don’t mean what they did when the Boomers were busily being born, universities that are nothing more than remedial high schools unless you were able to avoid the idiocy those high schools “taught”, student loan debt in the stratosphere for degree programs that are absolutely meaningless, and the completion of which are more like left-wing credentials than they are a statement of competence in a useful field of academic endeavor.

The Gramscian Damage perpetuated for the past near-century upon our public schools and universities has ensured that the millennial generation are, by and large (yet, as I have constantly noted, with notable exceptions) a bunch of proto-fascist, socialist dunderheads who can barely function as full members of a dynamic and evolving society.  There is nothing worse than an adult child who knows everything and yet knows nothing.  (Believe me, I was one myself, and I learned better over the years.)

And for this, “teachers” — more like “indoctrinators” — continually demand more pelf from the pockets of the body politic, who already support them to an unconscionable degree, to continue to indoctrinate the children of the body politic, whom they hope will bring true socialism in their days and in their time, amen, selah.

And despite the AFL-CIO’s big graphic I’m seeing on Facebook this morning, it IS about teacher pay.  Let’s run down their list of reasons that try to belie that.

  • Critical Understaffing:  What, 1:40 teacher to class ratio?  That would be doable if they were actually educating and the schools demanded a minimum level of discipline and decorum, and then supported teachers when they enforced it.
  • Growing Class Sizes:  See Critical Understaffing.  For what it’s worth, we had that when I was in my first couple of years in elementary school.  Then the district built another elementary school and moved kids around to lower the ratio.  But even if they hadn’t, so what?  It’s the job.
  • Overwhelming Testing:  Standardized testing developed out of the demonstrated inability of schools to teach to a minimum standard that eighth graders could easily meet in the 1950’s.  If they can’t read, write, or do math when they get out of high school, then testing needs to be done to find deficiencies and improve the product.  Any industry knows that constant testing is vital for quality control.  Well, any industry other than the educational industry, apparently.
  • Unrealistic Workloads and Expectations: See Critical Understaffing and Overwhelming Testing.
  • Ever-Decreasing Funding:  What?  My school district is renovating two of its three middle schools right now as we speak, spending millions for more infrastructure they don’t need.  How is funding decreasing?
  • Deplorable Conditions:  Again, what?  Not in my school district.
  • Crumbling Buildings:  See Deplorable Conditions.
  • Transportation Cuts: See Ever-Decreasing Funding.  You can’t move during school bus hour in this township for all the damn buses taking up the streets.
  • Lack of Support from the Public and Legislators:  That’s because you aren’t doing your fucking job.  You aren’t teaching.  You’re indoctrinating.  And you’re doing a shit job of it, according to the Overwhelming Testing you’re protesting about.  Why would anyone support you?
  • Loss of Funds given to Private and Parochial Schools:  Fuck you.  If they teach better than you do (and they do), then I see no reason why a family’s property taxes for schools can’t be diverted in part to vouchers to help them pay for the best education they can get for their children.
  • Funds Reallocated to For-Profit Charter Schools:  See the previous complaint.  Charter schools are consistently doing a better job than public schools.  Again I see no reason why a family should have to pay property taxes to support schools they don’t choose to use.
  • Adequate and Deserved Compensation:  Not even going into that, because I already did, above.

For some reason, we have come to the conclusion in this country that “no child must be left behind” and that solutions like The New Math (popular when I was a kid) and Common Core (a piece of shit that no school should be using) are how we can do that.  In other words, hold the smart kids back to the level of the least-able.  Sure, that will work.  “Fat, drunk, and Least-Common Denominator is no way to go through life, son,” as Dean Wormer would probably say if he were asked.*

What these LCD programs have done is not educate; they have created boredom and disciplinary issues among smart kids who probably would never have had such problems had they been taught to the highest level they could handle.  The fact is that kids are not all alike, they are not all equally smart, and teaching to the level of the slowest and lowest is a damn poor way to run the educational railroad.  We used to recognize this and not try to stuff every square peg kid into the same round educational hole.

I have stated my opinion, here and there, that we’d be a lot better off if we got rid of all the fancy trappings and went back to teaching the curricula used prior to the 1960s that resulted in eighth-graders having a much better set of tools for life than even a lot of our college graduates have today.

Jerry Pournelle (PBUH) used to start many of his View From Chaos Manor postings with this quote:

If a foreign government had imposed this system of education on the United States, we would rightfully consider it an act of war.

— Glenn T. Seaborg, National Commission on Education, 1983

I really can’t argue with that.

________________

* I’m convinced that it’s not that the guy wasn’t wise, it’s just that he was an asshole protecting his fief.  Kind of like all education administrators these days.

Just do your job.

A friend on Facebook this morning, who’s a manager at a hotel, said that a guest had complained to him that the hotel did not have bread available 24/7.  And that’s a new one, right there.  And I nearly wrote this in the comments, but decided I’d just take it to the blog.  (He said he nearly responded, “That’s what convenience stores are for.”)

I’m going to preface the below by saying I am usually pretty satisfied with the hotels we stay in. We don’t stay at the bargain chains at least partly because I prefer not to have to keep a gun on my nightstand and my wife is terrified of bedbugs.  Not that even the expensive places are immune to either, but the chances are better that neither will be an issue. We also like sumptuous bedding and big fluffy towels and other various amenities that are offered by the more, shall we say “up-scale” establishments.  Also points.  We loves us some points.

That said: Seriously, the only thing that truly irritates me about hotels is that when I ask for a feather-free room (because my wife is violently allergic to down feathers), 9 times out of 10 they haven’t done it by the time we get there (even when we have late check-in, and we always guarantee our reservations with a credit card, so they KNOW we’re coming), and we have to call down to get that done. This failure seems to cross brand lines and happens in every part of the country where we’ve stayed — even at hotels where we’ve stayed multiple times. Complaining about it has done little to no good, except Hyatt did comp us some points one time when my wife marched up to the desk and bitched. After I also complained about the problem in a response to one of their “how was your stay?” questionnaires, I actually got a phone call from a Hyatt representative, who apologized profusely, and also entered a permanent notation in my World of Hyatt account regarding featherless bedding, which is more than Hilton or Marriott or IHG have offered to do.

Yes, I know, they don’t read the “special requests” until the last minute. Maybe a supervisor needs to read the special requests BEFORE they make up the rooms. We shouldn’t have to call ahead to remind them when it’s right there in our reservation.  Honestly I do not feel as if we are asking for something special; I’m sure lots of people prefer non-feather bedding, and I honestly don’t understand why hotels don’t just have some rooms set up like that to begin with.

And finding that they haven’t done their job as we asked them to do really pisses me off if I’ve just been eight to ten hours on the road and all I want to do is go to bed.

But I’d never complain that they didn’t have 24/7 bread availability. 🙂

Aww! Poor thing.

<sarcasm filter on><tongue-to-cheek-implantation on>

ISIS Bride Who Wanted to ‘Spill Blood’ of Americans Pleads to Return: ‘I Want to Have My Own Car’

Let the little bitch rot.

End it, already.

In my considered opinion, the IDF ought to bomb Gaza until nothing is left but a big new bay on the Med, and then Israeli hoteliers should open resorts there.

Fuck Al Gore, and little Greta, too.

Record cold temperatures this morning (it got down to 8° this morning in Indy, smashing a record of 11° for this date set way back in the 1950’s) probably have less to do with “global climate change” than they do with “deep solar minimum”.

At solar minimum, not only do we have a spotless or near-spotless sun, the so-called “solar constant” drops off, along with the amount of insolation (the amount of solar radiation reaching a given area) we get.

This (along with some other related factors, like an increase in the amount of cosmic rays that reach earth, which in turn leads to an increase in clouds, thus more rain and even less solar insolation) makes it colder. Surprise, the sun controls temperature and climate on Earth to a really significant extent — more than mankind can ever hope to do on its own. Even big volcanoes look at mankind’s puny pollution and laugh.

And we are currently in a really, really deep solar minimum, with predictions for the next solar maximum indicating it is not likely we’ll reach even the level of the past solar maximum.

Any surprise that it’s getting really cold and that this is predicted to be a colder than normal winter in the Midwest simply reminds me of the dippy on-location newscaster during this year’s “Great American Eclipse”, who, when the sun went behind the moon, exclaimed, “Wow, it just got really chilly, and the wind picked up.”

Yeah, that’s what happens when you turn off the sun. It gets cold really quick.

Can anyone say “Maunder Minimum”?

And then there’s this, via Instapundit: Al Gore Promotes Global Warming Workshop as Arctic Blast is Set to Bring Record Cold Temps to US 40 Days Before Winter Season Begins.  Some days, I can’t even.  And this is one of those days.

#inwx

Fuck China.

Well, the looming end of subsidized parcel rates from China to the US ought to put a stake in the heart of eBay.

An ”extraordinary congress” convened by the [Universal Postal Union] in October finally addressed the disparity. UPU members voted to allow the U.S. and other countries to set new reimbursement rates beginning in July 2020. Terminal dues could increase anywhere from 125 percent to 600 percent, according to Cathy Roberson of Air Cargo World. Whatever the change, American tax dollars will no longer be used to benefit one group of businesses over another.

Good. #Winning.

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day to all servicemen and women, past and present, no matter where dispersed.

We live in freedom because you protect us from enemies worldwide.

We’ll see what we can do to return the favor here at home.

The Chinese lie about everything

It is pointed out in this article that a Chinese company is aggressively marketing killer drones with “full autonomy”.  Uh huh.

I would be inclined to say (if I believed they actually had drones capable of full autonomy — this is the Chinese, after all, who lie about everything, like “there are no carcinogens in Xantac” and “Epstein killed himself”) that the main reason China has “beaten” the US in this field is because the US doesn’t want to go down the killer robot road, and the Chinese don’t care.

Which is not to say I wouldn’t like to see a Chinese rebel faction get hold of a few of those autonomous drones and take out the Central Committee with them. What goes up must come down, and what the despots can put in the field, rebels can usually capture and repurpose.

I have no doubt the Chinese will be the first to develop true AI, and then it will turn right around and bite them in the ass.

For once, they might agree

Propaganda works both ways

(sorry about the picture…it had an elephant and I was in a hurry. But diapers may not be a bad choice for crybaby liberals…)

But is it really propaganda when you are telling the truth?

Years ago, Glenn Reynolds started pushing the idea of a “Welcome Wagon” for blue state migrants to red states:

In 2013 he mused:

Someone needs to set up a “welcome wagon” to explain to new immigrants why the states they’re moving to shouldn’t become more like the states they left . . . .

In 2015, he expanded the concept in a USA Today op-ed:

If I were one of those conservative billionaires (hello, Koch brothers! hi, Sheldon Adelson!) who are always donating tens of millions to support Republican candidates, I think I might try spending some of the money on something more useful: A sort of welcome wagon for blue state migrants to red states. Something that would explain to them why the place they’re moving to is doing better than the place they left, and suggesting that they might not want to vote for the same policies that are driving their old home states into bankruptcy.

He and his co-bloggers continue to push the idea today.

The question is, when are the conservative billionaires going to WAKE THE FUCK UP AND PAY ATTENTION?

  • Virginia just got rolled by the Democrats.  Although that was significantly due to the GOP not fielding candidates in a lot of races, like the one where the convicted sex offender was running unopposed.*
  • North Carolina looks like it’s next.
  • Colorado has been rolled blue for at least the last couple of cycles (thank you, Boulder).
  • I see an awful lot of Chicago-area license plates as I drive around Indianapolis, which (again at least partly through the inaction of a lackadaisical GOP) is blue and has been blue for several election cycles.  Luckily there are really only a couple of congressional seats in Indiana that are reliably blue (Indianapolis and the Region)…SO FAR.
  • Florida is filling up with old New York liberals who will likely spoil my wife’s and my retirement.

So here’s an interesting concept:  The Salt Lake Tribune recently converted to a not-for-profit.

The Salt Lake Tribune didn’t sell out to Gannett, like so many other local papers have.  It’s been run by family concerns for over a hundred years.  It was purchased a few years ago by Paul Huntsman’s private equity firm Huntsman Family Investments.  Huntsman is a registered Republican; whether or not that means he supports Donald Trump is questionable, since he appears to disagree with Trump about the evils of the press.  But we can hope that the Tribune under his leadership will tend more conservative in a state that is already pretty conservative.

On the other hand, his paper is, with his approval and funding authority, suing the Mormon Church over some issues at the Church-owned Brigham Young University.  On the gripping hand, from what little I’ve read about it, it sounds like that’s a story that needs to see the light of day, regardless of the politics involved.

But the real story is that a major newspaper has been converted to a non-profit, owned by a right-leaning private equity firm.  This suggests that it may now chase the stories that need to be chased, without worrying too much about how they affect the paper’s bottom line.

If one Republican can produce this sort of sea-change in local media, what is stopping other Republicans from looking at doing something similar in their own cities and states?

For too long, and with few exceptions, major media has been controlled by faceless corporations like Gannett, which if they lean any direction politically, it’s to the left.  Certainly Gannett employs opinion writers from a wide spectrum (if they were 100% blue they’d never let Glenn Reynolds write for them).  However, it seems like this is more of a bone tossed to the fading opposition than a genuine attempt to let all voices be heard.  The editorial bent of Gannett’s flagship paper, USA Today, is and always has been left of center.  So Gannett is never going to be a friend to low taxes, smaller government, and libertarian principles in general.

I would love to see a local conservative Indianapolis millionaire/billionaire start up a not-for-profit daily newspaper to oppose the Gannett Star.  Because the city-county government is no longer accountable to anyone like it was back in the Pulliam days.  And nearly every local daily in every city surrounding Indianapolis is run by Gannett.  How does that even approach the concept of a free press that informs the people and protects their rights and freedoms?  The answer is that it doesn’t.  Where there is no competition, or at least a sense of even-handedness, a daily newspaper has in effect a license to run rough-shod over its subscribers, who have no other sources of information.

Which is, of course, the goal of the Democrats — only that which they deem suitable for publication or broadcast will fall upon the ears and eyes of the Great Unwashed, who will then reliably vote for their own shackles Democrats.

Who will rid us of these turbulent Democrats and their acolytes in the press?

There’s lots of money out there in conservative hands.  If you don’t spend it now, the Democrats will just take if from you later.  It’s time for conservatives to step up, and take up the sword against the Bloombergs, Steyers, and Soroses of the world.

Reynolds’ “conservative Welcome Wagons” is one place to start.  Creating new news outlets to print and air the truth is another.

______________

* Should be child molester, the girl he raped (his own secretary at the time) was 17, but he’s now married to her, so I guess that’s OK </sarcasm>.

Older posts «