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Extreme Wisdom Tackles Extreme Evolution

!!!!UPDATE!!!!

The Podcasts of Today’s Show are up on I-Tunes as well as on the right side of the page. Enjoy!!
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If any of you have the time, you may want to tune into to Today’s Show. 10 AM today!!

I will be interviewing Joel Garreau, author of “Radical Evolution.”

Garreau catalogues the many changes that will come from the rapid growth and use of technology, and covers 3 major scenarios as to the result.

His book is fascinating, and a great gift for anyone on your list who considers themselves a deep thinker.

Listen on-line by going here, and clicking the listen live link.

I Was Right About Hastert

I was roundly criticized by Republican “True Believers” when I called for Hastert to step down over his profiting off of the Prarie Porkway.

I was also chided by the same folks when I called for Hastert to step down over his horrible management of the Foley scandal.

It is my view that even though the number of House Seats that swung was large, the margin in many of those races was thin enough to posit that if the party hadn’t been hit with this scandal, they may still be in control.

Certainly, the margins were so thin in the Senate, that the drop off in Evangelical suupport, combined with the drop in Independent support can be laid directly at the doorstep of the Speaker, who shut down all talk of spending reform, as he tried to slide by on the obviously damaging “Foley Scandal.”

Now that we have some evidence (from an honest liberal blogger, no less) that there was some element to “October Surprise” planning on the part of some Democrats (see here), it is likely that some Republicans will crow about this revelation.

This would simply be evidence that they still don’t “get it.” From the post linked above…

None of this excuses or mitigates the conduct of the GOP House Leaders in the slightest. Nor does it vindicate the claim that this was some sort of “dirty trick” on the part of Democrats to sabotage GOP electoral chances. To the contrary, Miller, the House Democratic Caucus staffer, appears to have been genuinely disturbed by the emails and he took appropriate action — he sent them to the media not in the weeks before the 2006 election, but all the way back in October, 2005, when he concluded (reasonably and, as it turns out, correctly) that the media was a far better vehicle for stopping Foley than the GOP-led House, which would protect Foley.

But what it does mean is that Emanuel was guilty of exactly what he was accusing the GOP House Leadership of. And his hypocritical, pious lectures about the “warning signs” which GOP Leaders had were dishonest at their core.

But Emanuel was guilty of the same thing. Exactly the same thing. And he sat there on ABC and adopted this melodramatically concerned, earnest voice as he expressed righteous outrage that the GOP could let someone like Foley become the head of the “Missing and Abused Children Caucus” even though they had “warning signs” of Foley’s conduct — “warning signs” which Emanuel also had, even if not as many.

The two parties are mirror images of each other. We need more options.

Read the Entire Civic Committee Report

I’ve uploaded both the Executive Summary and Full Report of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

Executive Summary

Entire Report
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Boy, they sure are lining up the ducks for a huge tax hike. Do you think the Republicans have enough of a spine to make sure no Republican votes "yes" unless they get significant concessions on spending cuts?  Is there even a Republican in Illinois who would support spending cuts in public?  Do you think the Democrats  – who now control virtually everything -  will read the segment below?

Significant cost savings are possible. Retirement and healthcare benefits for State employees are more generous and expensive than those of most of the taxpayers asked to pay for those benefits. By bringing State plans into line with reasonable private and public benchmarks, total State level costs can be reduced by approximately $1 billion per year. Substantial savings also can be achieved through more widespread outsourcing and restructuring of State services. The cost of many programs can be reduced through tightening of the rules governing campaign contributions, hiring and contracting.

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Of course, it is hard to make good policy when some of the most reasonable voices in Illinois politics are writing stuff like this.

[Read more...]

Extreme Wisdom’s DAILY PODCAST is UP!

IF you look over at the right side of the page

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you will notice that I have added Hours 1 and 2 to the podcast portion of the site.

This should be updated daily, at about 1:00 PM Chicago time, so you can here that day’s installment of Extreme Wisdom.

Enjoy!

Send your friends!

Tune in LIVE every day at www.wkrs.com.

Habeus Corpus

I get a lot of calls about Bush suspending Habeus Corpus.

As expected, it is mostly hot air brought about by the far left and far right..

The idea that our rights are disappearing out from underneath us is pretty silly – though vigilance is always in order.

More here (hat-tip Part time Pundit)

Why Hatred of Bush is so Immature

Over at Black Five (a milblog), we find a story that puts all of America’s “Bush Hate” in perspective.

The gunmen came at night to drag Mohammed Halim away from his home, in front of his crying children and his wife begging for mercy.

The 46-year-old schoolteacher tried to reassure his family that he would return safely. But his life was over, he was part-disembowelled and then torn apart with his arms and legs tied to motorbikes, the remains put on display as a warning to others against defying Taliban orders to stop educating girls.

Mr Halim was one of four teachers killed in rapid succession by the Islamists at Ghazni, a strategic point on the routes from Kabul to the south and east which has become the scene of fierce clashes between the Taliban and US and Afghan forces…

It boggles the mind that so many Americans have absolutely no clue as to what we are up against. I can understand questioning the way Iraq was handled, and I can understand the question as to what the linkage of the above story is to Iraq. But the hatred of George Bush is unseemly. It appears unmoored to reality.

Some Illinois Debates

One of the reasons I don’t post to my own blog is that I have too much fun posting on others.

This weekend, I spent some time discussing the recent self-defense shooting in Zion. Jeff Trigg put a story on it up on his blog, as well as Illinoize. The post is here.

The story is here.
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Another great post was put up by Illini Pundit, where they highlighted Bill Brady’s attempt to jump start some discussion regarding the Republican Party in Illinois.

I will continue to ask the same question of any Illinois Republican. Give me a scenario where this party in this state ever wins a state-wide office again. Forget all the talk about “re-organization.” Show me a leader, combined with polling data, demographics, and/or issues, whereby a Republican wins.

Speaking of Myths…More on the “Class Size” Nonsense

How about this recent Sun-Times article…

Schools are top scorers, but have jammed classes

If you’re looking for a high-scoring Chicago public school, be prepared to accept larger class sizes in the early grades, just when some experts say smaller classes count the most.

Well DUH!

If an educator can transmit an idea to a child, then they can transmit that same idea to more children in the same space. The “class-size” myth was obvious nonsense to anyone with a lick of common sense.

Give me a decent teacher and a decent curricullum, and a class of up to 40 kids, and they can outperform a couple of ideological edu-drones with today’s awful curricullum with 2 classes of 20.

I mean really, does this even require a debate?

In 2004-2005, Edgebrook’s sole first-grade room held a whopping 40 students. That year, the school posted the highest test score among the city’s neighborhood schools, yet it had the largest primary class sizes in the six-county area. At least two of its tested grades that year — third and eighth — held 30 or more students.

“Holy mackerel,” said Edgebrook Principal Jan Kepka. “I knew [class sizes] were big, but I didn’t realize they were the biggest.”

Driving down class sizes across the country has been a huge failure. It has produced no net gains in achievement at an obscene cost. But like I keep trying to tell you – that is the goal of the education bureaucracy.

If education of our children were the goal, and money were the answer, this would be the best educated nation in the free world. It is actually darn near the worst. That can only happen by design.

Speaking of “Globalization,” it’s About Time We Outsourced Education

Beam it to Bangalore. I love it!

Indians working cheap, outperforming schools in the overfed education bureaucracy. Though I’ve criticized NCLB (No Child Left Behind), the fact is that the stories you read below redeem the entire mess.

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Online Tutors: Education a Click Away

Video Here

Students from elementary to graduate school can get help any time of the day or night, from the comfort of their homes. Subjects range from math to English.

It’s the outsourcing of education. Just like manufacturing or service jobs, the task of teaching America’s youth is no longer limited by borders.

Woo Hoo!

Online companies like TutorVista, Careerlauncher and Educomp are hoping to compete for millions of federal dollars available to private tutoring firms under the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act, which mandated that the government pay for private tutoring for students in underperforming schools.

According to a recent report by the Government Accountability Office, only 19 percent of students who qualify for those services are currently getting help. Proponents say offshore tutors could be a solution for many students especially lower-income ones, many of whom live in rural areas where private tutors are hard to find.

The Educrat interviewed for the story put up the usual nonsense about tutors “needing to understand the learning standards of each state” (drivel) and “the need to be certified” in the state in which they are tutoring. (more drivel)

Here is an article – seemingly unrelated – that dispells (yet again) the “certification” myth.

NCLB has driven this trend, as well as the trend to go around a “certification” process. These are good things, and the kids are getting a better education as a result.

The real job of educating America’s kids won’t truly be finished until the US has universal, fully funded, school choice.