A Tenet of Extreme Wisdom…

Don’t Trust your safety – or anything else, for that matter – to a large bureaucracy.

That tenet* is brought to you courtesy of George Tenet, head of the CIA as 9/11 was brewing. I don’t blame Tenet personally for 9/11, any more than I blame Freeh, Clinton, Bush, Rice, Mitchell, etc etc.

I blame the stupidity and incompetence of virtually every large bureaucracy on the planet. Everywhere they are tested (schools, Katrina, DMV) they either fail in cost per unit of output, or they fail spectacularly.

Don’t believe me?
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Tenet’s 9/11 morning

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, CIA Director George Tenet had breakfast with former Sen. David Boren (D.-Oklahoma) at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington. According to Bob Woodward’s account in “Bush at War,” Boren asked Tenet, “What are you worried about these days?”

Tenet had a two-word answer: Bin Laden.

Tenet told Boren that he feared Bin Laden was about to try something big, and that people underestimated “the capabilities and the reach” of what al-Qaida was “putting together.” What Tenet didn’t tell Boren, Woodward said, is that the CIA had intercepted a flurry of communications over the summer of 2001 suggesting that something “spectacular” was imminent.

As the two men talked, Tenet’s security guards approached their table and told Tenet that there was a “serious problem” — the World Trade Center had been attacked. Tenet called CIA headquarters. According to Woodward, he then turned to Boren and said: “This has bin Laden all over it.”

But before Tenet left the table, Woodward said he made one more comment — a reference to Zacarias Moussaoui — that suggested that the CIA Director’s prescience may have fallen short when it came to preventing the attacks. “I wonder,” Tenet said, “if it has anything to do with this guy taking pilot training.”
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It isn’t that these are bad people, it’s that the world is beyond their grasp. Abolish the CIA, NSA, and place all the results (intelligence, pictures, phone conversations, etc.) from their “assets” into the public domain. We’ll figure it out much faster than any of them.

ten·et
n. An opinion, doctrine, or principle held as being true by a person or especially by an organization. See Synonyms at doctrine.

Indoctrination, not Education

Observe, if you will the sad story of Allen Lee. He’s the student who wrote an obscenely stupid essay to fulfill an even more stupid assignment. [Click Image]

As Homer Simpson says, this works on so many levels.

First, the assignment exposes the schools as incompetent (if the goal is to educate), as this assignment is of nearly NO educational value to some one who hasn’t been taught how to write, think, or exercise judgement. Read the document in the image, and you see our contentless education system in all its glory.

Second, note how this type assignment can be used to call nearly any child to the carpet. Too gory? See a shrink. To tepid? See a shrink. Too sexual? You get the idea. The schools are setting themselves up to do this to any body, any time. Ask yourself why every district now has a psychologist. This is obscene. But then, in today’s narcissistic double income, kids-as-pets society, its a feature if your kid has a bug.

Third, note how this poor sap of a kid has not only been deprived of a good education, but is now deprived of achieving his goals by other means. For now, even the Marines don’t want him, despite the fact that the Marines (or some similar institution) are one of the few organizations that take skulls of mush like this poor kid, and at least turn him into a man.

The destruction of financial capital by our schools is huge, but it is dwarfed by the destruction of human potential that they engage in. They (the schools) are engines of these sad outcomes. Mr. Allen may be a “reject” of their horrible process. But he certainly exposed himself as such, which may be the intended result of such vile assignments.

For more on the goals of our schools…

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Speaking of Obscene Pensions…

AT&T CEO Whitacre may end up being the biggest Pension Pig of all.

As an aggressive (and accurate) critic of the obscene pensions showered upon “public servants” (quotes indicate sarcasm & irony), I find corporate retirement packages – along with the often unwarranted ‘parachutes’ they get for bankrupting their companies – just as vile, but for different reasons.

First, get a load of this.

A Pension to Retire For: $158.5 Million Plus (subs. req.)

Edward Whitacre Jr. turned AT&T Inc. into the largest telecommunications company in the world by market capitalization, making acquisition after acquisition. The company’s share price has soared nearly 50% in the past year alone, leaving many rivals in the dust.

And when the 65-year-old executive steps down, he stands to rank with the corporate elite in another fashion: His retirement payout will be among the top pension packages in the country, weighing in at $158.5 million.

Mr. Whitacre’s contract extends through spring 2008, making his retirement imminent. Some investors are hoping the company will shed light on when he will be stepping down at an annual shareholders’ meeting in San Antonio today. Analysts say his likely successor is his well-respected lieutenant, Randall Stephenson, AT&T’s chief operating officer.

In addition to his $158.5 million pension package, Mr. Whitacre in retirement will have $24,000 in annual automobile benefits, $6,500 in “home security” each year and access to AT&T’s corporate jet for 10 hours a month, according to AT&T’s proxy filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Texan and his family will also receive free health insurance for life. The company will pick up the tab for taxes on most of these benefits. And he will be paid just over $1 million a year for three years for work as a consultant to the company during his retirement. For that period of time he will also receive $25,000 to cover his country-club fees.

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Mr. Whitacre is a pig, and AT&T’s Board of Directors are in violation of their Fiduciary duty, no matter what nonsense a court might say on the issue.

Spare me the drivel that he was a very successful CEO. He was well-compensated for that task.

Spare me the nonsense that “Boards need to craft such packages to lure talent.” America is loaded with talent that could have done what Whitacre did (or better), and might have done so with out making AT&T customers and shareholders pick up the tab for his “Country Club Fees.” It’s enough to make me retch.

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America’s Functional Illiteracy…

…and the Bureaucracy that produced it for you. Boy, are schools doing their job, or what?

Study Finds 1/3 in DC Illiterate

Adults are considered functionally illiterate if they have trouble doing such things as comprehending bus schedules, reading maps and filling out job applications.

The study by the State Education Agency, a quasi-governmental office created by the U.S. Department of Education to distribute federal funds for literacy services, was ordered by Mayor Anthony A. Williams in 2003 as part of his four-year, $4 million adult literacy initiative.

The growing number of Hispanic and Ethiopian immigrants who aren’t proficient in English contributed to the city’s high functional illiteracy level, which translated to 170,000 people, said Connie Spinner, director of the State Education Agency. The report says the district’s functional illiteracy rate is 36 percent and the nation’s 21 percent.

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Digging up MORE old posts

Interestingly, they are still relevant.

This goes as far back as March 2005, when only Rod Blagojevich stood between the taxpayer and a reaming stick. Ahh, the good old days.
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March 2005.

The push for a job-killing Illinois tax hike is on, and the stupid wing of the Republican Party is bailing out the Governor while destroying Republican Grassroots by supporting this tax scheme.

Below is a slide unwittingly presented by Madigan’s own dog & pony show team.  There it is folks  – 13% growth in student population with 157% growth in spending.  Where did it go?  What did it accomplish? 

If legislators want to provide funding to deserving programs, they can get it from K-12 education.  It is one "program" that is neither deserving nor effective.

Madigan_slide

Reposting some old humor

A picture is worth a 1000 words.

Roanoke.jpg

So Why Did You Elect Them Again?

Polticians rarely win profiles in courage, but you’d think that with an unpopular war and other issues supposedly ‘breaking their way,” the Democrats would feel comfortable enough to show some courage.

With Obama already saying they’ll eventually capitulate on the forced timetable issue (making these recent votes mere jockeying), just what did the KOSanostrum and MooreOn.org get for their hard work. Here is yet another example…
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Democrats still silent on gun control

The Democrats, not officially beholden to the National Rifle Association, have been cowards more concerned about reelection in centrist districts than the trauma to American children. The same Reid who bemoans the loss of life over a failed Iraq war said about Virginia Tech, “I hope there’s not a rush to do anything. We need to take a deep breath.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ignored a question by a reporter on whether Virginia Tech would inspire Democrats to revisit gun control. All she said was, “the mood in Congress is one of mourning, sadness, and the inadequacy of our words or our actions to console the families and the children who were affected there.”

“Inadequacy of our words or our actions” was a Freudian slip. None of the home pages on the websites of Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama, or John Edwards says anything about guns in relation to Virginia Tech. This is despite the fact that the US public arsenal, according to the Small Arms Survey, an independent research group based in Switzerland, “is comparable or even greater than the total firearms of all the armed forces in the entire world.”

This week, Massachusetts Representative Michael Capuano told the Globe “we know we’re going to lose” on any serious push for gun control because “the NRA has this place wrapped up.” With defeatism like that, who needs a Democratic majority?

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Well, at least we know the writer will empathize with Illinois Republicans.

Aside from that, the cowardice of our political class is surpassed only by their avarice for unwarranted perks & pensions (and the occasional self-enriching real estate deal.)

America needs a new class of politician on both sides of the aisle.

So Much for “Local Control” of Schools

As the well-deserved attacks on the Public School Monopoly mount, the defenders of this broken system will fight tooth and nail to hold on to the hearts and minds of the people they have been ruthlessly lying to and exploiting (Soccer Moms, Taxpayers, etc.)

One of the ways they will do this is to call into question the motives of people trying to change the system. Another will be to invent “Sith Mind Tricks” to create warm, fuzzy feelings in the hearts of their victims.

One of these tricks is to use the euphemism* “Community-Based Education” to describe the ossified “school district” model. They want you think your district is something special. It isn’t.

It’s a McDonalds Franchise with out the quality control. Observe.
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From the IL School Code CD

1:100 Do school districts or their governing bodies have inherent powers?

A school board is a creation of the state, and creations of the state are without inherent power. A school board may exercise only those powers that the legislature has specifically granted, or those powers that are reasonably implied from a specified power, to achieve the purposes that the legislature has assigned to them.
Goedde v. Community Unit School District No. 7, Macoupin County, 21 Ill. App. 2d 79, 157 N.E.2d 266 (3rd Dist. 1959)
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1:260 May any other unit of local government regulate a school district?

The operation of public schools is a state function and not a function of local government. Local governmental entities may not regulate the operation of a school district.
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For a real life example, consider that obscene property tax bill you are about to get in the mail. You hear the lapdogs at the Tribune whine about “school funding reform” and how the state doesn’t “pay its fair share.”

This is demonstrably false. The local property tax for schools is a state authorized tax! Leaving out the small percentage of Federal Funding, 100% of school funding is state based. To ignore this is to remain willfully ignorant. To repeat Tribune/Meeksian talking points is to repeat a lie.

Oh, by the way, when ever some one uses the words “community-based education,” shut them down by simply exposing the “mind trick.” Then replace these silly words with a better set of more accurate words – “Bureaucracy-based education.”

Get more people to start using those words, and the necessary task of ending this charade will become progressively easier.
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*euphemism

1656, from Gk. euphemismos “use of a favorable word in place of an inauspicious one,” from euphemizein “speak with fair words,” from eu- “good” + pheme “speaking,” from phanai “speak” (see fame). In ancient Greece, the superstitious avoidance of words of ill-omen during religious ceremonies, or substitutions such as Eumenides “the Gracious Ones” for the Furies (see also Euxine). In Eng., a rhetorical term at first; broader sense of “choosing a less distasteful word or phrase than the one meant” is first attested 1793.

Comparing Corrupt Illinois with Dynamic Indiana

While frothing Illinois extremists on both sides of the aisle call each other names on the news (but secretly work together to pass horrible legislation behind the scenes), the folks in Indiana are working together to prove what all well-informed reasonable people already know.

That the best way to meet ostensible* “liberal” ends is to use “conservative” means.
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Health care proposal gains steam

INDIANAPOLIS — Even as lawmakers continue to debate how to pay for expanding health coverage to more Hoosiers, key Republicans and Democrats say they are close to agreement on the basic outline of the insurance itself.

The proposal will give adults who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but still have incomes that are less than 200 percent of the federal poverty level a chance to buy newly created coverage that is sponsored by the state but offered by private companies.

The state already covers children at that income level.

Democrats like the plan because it has the potential to reduce the state’s uninsured population with benefits that go beyond the basics. Republicans like its “market-based” approach, giving consumers choices plus incentives to make financially prudent decisions.

“This is about getting people with no insurance to have insurance,” said the plan’s author, Senate Health Chairwoman Pat Miller, R-Indianapolis. “This is going to help a lot of people who need it, but it will also help taxpayers who are already paying higher bills because of those who don’t have insurance.”

The plan is based on a proposal Gov. Mitch Daniels made to the legislature earlier this year when he asked lawmakers to raise cigarette taxes to pay for it. He called it the Healthy Indiana Plan.

Since then, the House and Senate have each passed bills that include similar — if not slightly expanded — versions of the insurance program.

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*os·ten·si·ble
–adjective
1. outwardly appearing as such; professed; pretended: an ostensible cheerfulness concealing sadness.
2. apparent, evident, or conspicuous: the ostensible truth of their theories.
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The REAL goal of most people purporting to be “liberal” or “progressive” is to collectivize as much of the culture as they can, and they use laudable goals like “health care” and “education” to promote these ends.

Come up with a superior means of meeting these goals, such as School Choice or Consumer Directed Health Care, the they nearly always default to one of their “collectivization schemes”, while vilifying any one who disagrees.

Hence, “ostensible”.

Liberal Math

When is 2 divided by 3 = .02 or 2%?

When you want to play to ideology and cheap class war rhetoric, that’s when.
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I was having fun over at my friend Rob’s sandbox today, and I thought I’d share his post with you. Some might argue that it’s not good politics to promote an ideological opposite’s blog, but anyone who came up with his own “Dierson Day” idea deserves a little exposure.

My guess he’s better at dishing it out than taking it, but that’s true for all of us. Enjoy (the comment section is especially enlighteing).

If you want more data on Liberal Math, please continue…

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