“The Plan”

The LTE in the NC Times warning of World Overpopulation, was another of the scare tactics used by the Left.

The population “problem” has two components, and it is the same two as all threats to mankind. ( see also, global warming).

1) Is it true?

And

2) If it is true ( that is, an actual threat to mankind), what do we do about it?

There are people, many worldwide, who will jump on ANY REAL OR PERCEIVED threat, to superimpose their personal political end-game, which is a single government (“World Government”) that can impose order in the chaos of (famine)(rising seas) (etc) and redistribute the wealth between rich and poor nations, because the rich can afford to feed the hungry and the poor nations cannot.

It is possible that there are real dangers from (fill in the blank), and they may be “clear and present”–but, first that case must be made and then a discussion of how to address that danger.

A nation that has been stampeded into ruinous stimulus and healthcare solutions that we are now repenting at our leisure, might just be a bit gun-shy (can I use that term?) over being rushed.

Those who believe that the “End of the World is Nigh” are some day going to be proven right, but the graveyards, worldwide, are filled with those whose personal time ran out before the world did.

I do not deny global warming. I don’t know if it is true, or if it will continue into the future, or if it does if it is, was, or will be exacerbated by human activity.

But I do not deny it. I suggest that we learn new things daily, and that future technology will prove or disprove the theory.

At that time we can determine a solution. I know that there are true believers who want to jump right to the solution, and they have a pre-determined solution in search of ANY problem that will work.

Many years ago my company designed a computer program for a San Marcos developer who had a “plan” which he replicated often. Every house in every development, nationally, had exactly the same house, same color, same everything, time after time…so he knew, to the nail and gallon of paint, exactly what his managers should report at 5 p m on the 13th day, and every day on every house.

All be needed was a piece of flat ground of x acres.

That is how I view many liberals. All they need is a crises, real or imagined, and the “machine” goes into action: A single solution (central planning with redistribution) in search of a problem, preferably a crises of enormous proportions so we can institute “the plan” without further inspection.

“The Plan” also appears to have several components: Make the legislation so large that no one can read or understand it; and push it through so fast that no one can stop it.

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Support For a Good Teacher

We had a discussion the other day about public education, and why public schools were manifestly worse than private schools.

Someone mentioned that public schools have to take all comers. That is true, but they also manage the problems caused by the need to take “all comers,” badly.

In Norco, an English teacher has been out of the classroom for 54 teaching days because a “special needs student” in her high school, a junior, apparently threatened her. She fears for her life. The “special needs student” is back in the same classroom after a seven day suspension.

Yesterday, more than 150 students rallied for several hours on behalf of their teacher – saying that the school does not do enough to protect students and their teacher, from threats of violence.

It says something very good for the teacher that the students think that well her. It’s too bad that the administration and the school board do not, and have not done more.

http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/inland_empire&id=7924357

Congressional Arrogance

I think the tort reform problem is the liberal/lawyer axis.

Dennis Kucinich has sued the House restaurant for $150,000 because he broke a tooth on an olive pit.

I’ll bet most of us have broken a tooth on some commercial food, and I’ll bet NONE OF US has sued for $150,000!

Congressional teeth are, of course worth more, and their @@@@ doesn’t stink, either.

So, Why The Liberal Silence on Public Education?

Here is my guess: Public education is the center piece of liberalism —  their demonstration that government works.

Well it may do so in some states, and in those states liberals can brag about it — but it does not work in others and in those states the liberals go SILENT.

Every year, I publish a column bothin my newspapers and in the NC Times on the really poor results of the National Report card for California: writing, reading, math, science…the subject makes no difference, the state standing is the same.

But the subject is never picked up by the San Diego Union, of the LA Times, of the Chronicle…because, well, it does not look very good.

Amtrak and the Post Office are universally identified as failures — but nothing, absolutely nothing looks as bad as public education and nothing is so large.

Think anyone wants to say that? Not on your tin-type!

Oh, there will be articles by the AP, like the one in today’s paper. Generic articles that do not mention California and Mississippi in the same sentence.

And, if the liberals mention the problem, they would have to face the problem of illegal aliens, and English Language Learners…

For liberals, better for California liberals to just ignore the problem.

(They do.)

Bad, Bad Situation

The National Report Card, produced by the US Department of Education, is out with their scores for science in 2009. The National Report Card tested approximately 150,000 students in 9,000 schools nationwide, and as you know, Gallup seldom uses more than 2,000 in their surveys, so the National Report card has great statistical relevance.

In general, nationally: 34% of Fourth Graders, 30% of Eighth Graders and 21% of 12 Graders performed at or above the “proficient” level. This is why, internationally, the United States stands behind Hong Kong, Singapore, Chinese Taipei,  Japan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation, England, Latvia.

(http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2008-12-09-math-sci-scores_N.htm).

There is a statistical breakdown of states.. There is also a breakdown by states by free lunches, disabilities, ethnicity, English learners, and several other categories – and this year 12 Graders were added, but the 12th graders were underrepresented in the testing (only 11,000, or so), and there was no breakdown by state.

This, however is a quote about the test scores for each grade Science:

 

For Fourth Grade, Science:

 

“ In 2009, the average score in California was lower than those in 43 states/jurisdictions higher than that in 0 states/jurisdictions not significantly different from those in 3 states/jurisdictions”

“in 2009, the average score in California was lower than those in 43 states/jurisdictions higher than that in 1 state/jurisdiction not significantly different from that in 7 states/jurisdictions “

You might think that 43rd is an improvement over previous years 47th average ranking in reading, writing, math…but, as the Hertz ad says, “Not exactly.’ This time, in math, we actually were worse at 43 because four states and the District of Columbia did not participate!

Here are the raw scores for the bottom five states in the nation in science in 2009, uncorrected for race, ethnicity, economic status, one blue-eye-one brown-eye, etc., etc:

 

 

(Bottom Five States 4th Grade Public Schools)

Nevada (140.7)

Hawaii (139.7)

(Arizona (137.5)

California (136.2)

Mississippi (132.0)

 

 

(Bottom Five States 8th Grade)

 

Louisiana (139.1)

Alabama (138.6)

Hawaii (138.5)

California (136.6)

Mississippi (132.0)

Just for comparison, the top five states at the fourth grade level are  New Hampshire, Virginia, North Dakota, Kentucky and Massachusetts. At the eighth grade level, the top states are North Dakota, Montana. Department of Defense Schools, South Dakota and New Hampshire.

http://nationsreportcard.gov

Having viewed the Hawaii school system for years, I am stunned that we can’t even beat Hawaii, not to mention that in science we lag behind Louisiana and Alabama.

Now, if you want to rationalize the numbers, you can go to the website and check on many different variables, but the overall numbers speak for themselves.

In science, white students outperform Latino students who outperform Black students. Students in wealthy school districts outperform those in low economic status, and males outperform females.  (But, Black females outperformed Black males, only at the fourth and eighth grades, just not at the 12th grade level.)

For many years I have pondered over the reason that the California national standing in education does not cause outrage among families in this state, and I still do not have an answer.

Union Membership is a Slow-Motion Train Wreck

Last night I alluded to union membership – it dropped in 2010, from 12.3% of the wage and salary population to 11.9%. There were 612,000 fewer overall union memberships in 2010 than there were the year before.

Among the public sector  employees, who only lost among cities, states and federal workers only approximately 100,000 jobs, lost 273,000 union memberships in 2010.

In the previous 10 years, during the decade of 2000-2010, public sector unions had added 508,000 members, and private sector union membership had lost more than 2.1 million.

Any way you look at it, unions are a dying trend.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/union2.nr0.htm

Think I’ll Skip the State of the Union

The president has not even kept his promises to his own people (see GITMO, rendition, Patriot Act, etc) while controlling every lever of political power, so I have zero confidence in anything the president says to his political opposition.

I’ll pass on the speech, listen to Bach and await the president’s actions.

Meanwhile, I’ll be satisfied that union membership, even among government workers, is going down.