We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Friday, December 17. 2010
Pic of frightening pedophile psycho creep came in
Americans are more hopeful than envious
Univ of California raises faculty retirement age from 50 to 55
That's not from The Onion
The good life on 36 weeks a year of work
Anderson at Am Thinker: Middle-Class Hypocrites
Central planning, for the Greater Good
Google is too successful for the French
Great news: California to adopt cap-and-trade
Good timing - the mountains are getting 12 feet of snow this weekend
Omnibus contains earmarks for Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups
It still escapes me how this is a government function
Head Start gets more $ too, even though proven to be useless.
Useless - except in hiring thousands of unionized government babysitters
D.C. elites pronounce Palin a "negative influence in national politics"
Makes the O look like a shlomozzle (sp?)
Who said this?
Obama's polling isn't really that bad
Dept. of Experts: Saccharine, after 35 years, is now OK
Dept. of Experts: Advice to scientists:
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More hopeful than envious? I'm not really surprised. We're a nation of optimists after all--or the children of optimists. Our forebears all left with the thought that their lives could be better, and I'd be shocked if that somehow did not influence our collective self consciousness.
Good morning, Bird Dog. Mighty crazy out there. Thanks for the link! :)
"I believe that the primary engine of America's economic success is not government, it's the dynamism of our markets. And for me, the most important question about an economic idea is... whether it will help spur businesses, jobs and growth."
ObamaCare's Hypocritic Oath?
The Illinois teacher pay data is interesting but also misleading.
The issue isn't whether these people "qualify" as millionaires under Obama's definition. They don't. Let's be clear - that definition DOES NOT include benefits for you, me or anyone. So saying that benefits qualify them is just flat out wrong.
WHAT IT DOES point out, however, is something more nefarious and just as important: Transparency is lacking in our discussions.
If I say that I make $90,000 a year, I then have to reduce that income by health insurance, 401(k), and various other items that I pay into. Teachers don't. Rather, they say they make $90,000 a year and THEN THEY GET TO ADD the benefits.
Since most benefits (not all, but most) are pre-tax, it's unfair to say that they qualify teachers. My benefits are pre-tax, too.
But the transparency issue is important because of the misleading nature of salary discussions. My salary gets reduced by what I pay into the system to support those benefits. Public servants' incomes, typically, get increased by what they pay into the system.
So $90,000 in the private sector is actually considerably less than $90,000 in the public sector.
But using the Obama tag in an unjustified way really undermines the argument.
Re the pic:
heh. My folks have one of me on Santa's lap that looks just like this when I was about that age.
Re: "Dept. of Experts: Fruits and vegetables don't effect cancer rates"
That's probably true, but is it known if they affect them?
C'mon, Mike... you're not really from Appalachia, right? With a mind like that you couldn't be.
Something is weird about that American Thinker article on Illinois teacher salaries.
So I dug around in Google and found this from Champion News (2008) which has a list of the 100 highest paid teachers in Illinois. I compared this list to the list put out by the Family Taxpayers Foundation (2009) both by teacher name and by school district. They don't matchup either by teacher name or by school district.
Returning to the Family Taxpayers Foundation list, I did a search by name using the Champion News data. I random picked four names, Ritchey, Hershenson, Sincora, Kamin which the Champion site lists in the top 25 - with the exception of Ritchey, the other three aren't listed on the Family Taxpayers site and Ritchey is listed as making $49,000 something or other. I tested a few other names with the same results.
So I honestly don't know what to make of that. Both organizations are using the same state database (admittedly one year apart, but still valid - all these people can't have retired or quit), but they don't match up.
I have a hunch, because I can't dig any further without spending a lot of time searching on-line databases which might not have what I'm looking for anyway, that these highest paid teachers may be "specials" or "bonus" teachers - meaning that they may be non-union contract teachers paid under a different set of rules or given a yearly bonus to work a distressed district, special ed programs supported by grants, special charter schools, etc. That happens in CT too by the way.
Also, if you use the Family Taxpayer site and look up highest paid "teachers", you find that a majority of them are administrators of one kind or another. Administrators are not teachers.
I dunno - just curious I guess. Don't know what to make of it all. I could be wrong - it's not like I haven't been severely wrong before in my life - but my suspicion that something didn't make sense seems to be true.
Kudos to you for doing due diligence.
I wish we could know the facts. I don't like being misled.
Dr. Steven Schneider was the person who recommended that the AGW advocates exaggerate, to put it politely. He later claimed he really wasn't advocating lying.
Re: NYT: Mao's Great Leap to Famine
Am I the only one who finds it interesting that the New York Times published something negative about a Communist? I understand they have admitted Walter Duranty was "coloring" (the closest they got was to call it slovenly) his reporting on the Soviet Union during the time Stalin was starving the people of Ukraine.
It's late fall and the Indians on a remote reservation in South Dakota asked
their new chief if the coming winter was going to be cold or mild.
Since he was a chief in a modern society, he had never been taught
the old secrets. When he looked at the sky, he couldn't tell what the
winter was going to be like.
Nevertheless, to be on the safe side, he told his tribe that the
winter was indeed going to be cold and that the members of the village
should collect firewood to be prepared.
But, being a practical leader, after several days, he got an idea.
He went to the phone booth, called the National Weather Serviceand asked,
'Is the coming winter going to be cold?'
'It looks like this winter is going to be quite cold,' the
meteorologist at the weather service responded.
So the chief went back to his people and told them to collect even
more firewood in order to be prepared.
A week later, he called the National Weather Service again. 'Does
it still look like it is going to be a very cold winter?'
'Yes,' the man at National Weather Service again replied, 'it's
going to be a very cold winter.'
The chief again went back to his people and ordered them to collect
every scrap of firewood they could find.
Two weeks later, the chief called the National Weather Service
again. 'Are you absolutely sure that the winter is going to be very
'Absolutely,' the man replied. 'It's looking more and more like it
is going to be one of the coldest winters we've ever seen.'
'How can you be so sure?' the chief asked.
The weatherman replied, 'The Indians are collecting a shitload of