The insatiable greed of the Education Administrators Unions

As you read the story below, keep in mind that this is NOT an exception. It is the rule.

Neale’s pay grows in new year

Outgoing Superintendent Connie Neale this year will cost district taxpayers more than $750,000.

Neale will get a raise when the recently negotiated Elgin Area School District U-46 teachers contract is approved at the Jan. 14 board meeting.

The raise will bring Neale’s total compensation this year to more than half a million dollars.

Neale has been living in Joplin, Mo., since she went on medical leave in September, yet remains on the district’s payroll.

Neale’s 2007-08 salary, like U-46 teachers, will increase by an automatic 3.8 percent raise. She’ll also get a raise for experience, called a step increase, of roughly 1.9 percent.

Together, that brings her salary up to $284,243.

She won’t collect her full salary, however. She’ll retire Feb. 25 and receive a prorated salary of $186,228.

Salary isn’t the only source of money pouring into Neale’s Missouri bank account. There still are annuity payments, bonuses, insurance costs, membership dues, paid expenses and pension costs.

It cost taxpayers $13,067 to move Neale’s things to Joplin. And an extra $400 to reset and relocate her grandfather and cuckoo clocks.

She gets a $650 monthly car allowance, which over eight months will total $5,200.

The district also will pay Neale’s membership dues to organizations including the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the American Association of School Administrators and the Illinois Association for Supervision, Curriculum and Instruction. The total cost of yearly dues to these four groups is $1,173.

Add in health, disability and liability insurance costs; the district’s $44,000 yearly contribution to Neale’s annuity; a $26,302 retirement bonus; and nearly $50,000 in state pension costs and Neale’s 2007-08 package totals just over $535,000.

I’ve said it before, but it bears saying again. Neale is a pig. Administrators are a class of pigs. As a class, they education no one. They push paper for a living as they suck up funds better spent by elsewhere. They are greedy pigs. Taxpayers who don’t fight to gut this vile system are stupid rubes.

How do those silly liberal bumper stickers put it….? “If you’re not outraged, you aren’t paying attention.”

The backlash against Public Education greed is building

Property-Tax Frustration Builds

Falling home values and rising property taxes in many parts of the country are generating the loudest complaints about property levies since the 1970s, forcing state and local officials to address the outcry even as the housing-market slump eats into many sources of their revenue.

Indiana residents held public protests this summer against a surge in property taxes and acted on their frustration by ousting the mayor of Indianapolis. Florida voters will decide next month whether to adopt massive property-tax cuts, in a debate that has pitted part-time residents against full-time Floridians.

In California, thousands of homeowners are having their assessments reduced under a decades-old state law, and lower tax revenue due to the weaker housing market is likely to force an emergency budget session.

Falling real-estate prices and turmoil in the mortgage market are expected to reduce property values for U.S. homeowners by a total of $1.2 trillion next year, according to Global Insight Inc., a research-and-consulting firm in Lexington, Mass.

Just imagine an advertising campaign pointing out that the money from the peoples’ property taxes went to huge pension boosts, and unnecessary payroll padding, all while test scores were generally stagnant (or gamed). Of course, no Illinois Republican could imagine such a campaign. They too are in the pockets of the greedy Administrative and Teacher Unions.

Illinois could solve most of its financial problems simply by gutting the wasteful education run-up over the last 10-15 years.

In Indiana, a spike in real-estate tax bills for Marion County, which includes the state capital of Indianapolis, caused a backlash this summer. In some neighborhoods, property-tax bills as much as doubled. Residents staged a rally at which they dunked a giant tea bag in a canal — a reference to the Boston Tea Party — and a July 4 protest outside the governor’s mansion.

“I was holding a microphone and saying, ‘I’m right there with you,’ ” said Michael Rodman, Marion County treasurer, who joined protesters after seeing his property-tax bill jump 80%.

Property taxes in the county were increased by new assessments, the elimination of a business-inventory tax that shifted more of the tax burden to homeowners, and greater spending by local government and schools.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels stepped in, freezing tax bills for Marion and several other counties at 2006 levels pending a new round of assessments.

It’s all there for the taking. But there is no party in Illinois smart enough to run on good policy.

McCain?

After its all said and done, Republicans ususally revert to the first “frontrunner.” It may end up McCain afterall.

McCain could be last man standing

Sen. John McCain, given up for dead a few weeks ago as he ran a cash-starved, disorganized campaign, today is viewed by canny Republican professionals as the best bet to win the party’s presidential nomination. What’s more, they consider him their most realistic prospect to buck the overall Democratic tide and win the general election. Indeed, if Mike Huckabee holds on to actually win the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, the road forward could be clear for McCain.

Mitt Romney’s lavishly financed, meticulously organized campaign always has operated with a thin margin of error based on winning Iowa and then the New Hampshire primary five days later. If Romney loses to Huckabee in Iowa, he becomes vulnerable to McCain in New Hampshire. If McCain wins there, he will be favored to sweep through subsequent primaries despite meager finances and organization.

McCain’s return from oblivion also suggests a personal determination that was demonstrated during six years of torture and solitary confinement in a communist prison.

Maybe, but if you notice, most nominees in recent history(Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, Clinton, and Clinton II) have had the jitters and dips before the process starts. Whether an act of political stategery, or of the subconscious operation of the electorate, these things seem to more or less a process on autopilot, not a conscious decision on the part of electorate.

Just don’t tell anyone.
[Read more...]

A Parody that Actually works for the Parodied

I think this parody of Huckabee does more to sell Huckabee than it does to hurt him.

On top of that, it’s pretty funny

An Extremely Wise and Merry Christmas to you all

Carrying on a German Tradition
and
enraging Fire Marshalls everywhere.

May Christmas Day and the Holiday Season find all of you
healthy, wealthy (in the things that matter), and wise.

ChristmasTree.jpg

It’s all over except for the Reporting

Has global warming stopped?

The fact is that the global temperature of 2007 is statistically the same as 2006 and every year since 2001′

For the past decade the world has not warmed. Global warming has stopped. It’s not a viewpoint or a sceptic’s inaccuracy. It’s an observational fact. Clearly the world of the past 30 years is warmer than the previous decades and there is abundant evidence (in the northern hemisphere at least) that the world is responding to those elevated temperatures. But the evidence shows that global warming as such has ceased.

I now await an insulting barrage of words from the irrepressible “Rob Nescavil” at Illinois Left Reason. The post will be complete with circular references to 100s of left/green/scientific/FOIA” sites that will refer to each other in how brilliantly correct they are.

Why, Exxon (a corporation poised to reap billions off of Al Gore’s idiotic ‘carbon trading’ schemes” is funding every one who disagrees with the proven consensus…

PROVEN I TELL YOU!!!! THERE SHALL BE NO MORE DEBATE

of Republican caused global warming.
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What a crock of crap.
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Look every one. I support a hefty gax tax offset by tax reductions for the working poor and middle class (Social Sec. etc.)

I support innovative ideas that tax waste heat, or waste in general. Adding $10 to the cost of dumping a yard of crap in a landfill will create massive incentives to recyle. I also don’t have problems with a well-crafted incentive structure to invest in new technologies. I’m all for a cleaner environment, and if taxing waste is better than taxing incomes, then we can kill two birds with one stone.
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What I can’t stand or abide, is a puffed up cadre of faux intellectuals preening about with a false sense of moral superiority, blathering about how ‘the debates is over’ right about the time they start losing all the debates.

It is intellectual cowardice, pure and simple.
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Data

http://www.climateaudit.org/

http://www.climateaudit.org/?cat=7

http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/trc.html

Prof. Mann has recently boasted that our 2003 paper in E&E has been completely discredited. In that paper we made 10 claims. Steve has written up a scorecard that goes over the public record and reveals Mann’s claim to be at odds with the facts.

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/001292a_question_for_the_m.html#comments

Nature magazine, arguably the leading scientific journal in the world, published a paper this week by two widely-respected scholars — Gabriel Vecchi and Brian Soden — suggesting that global warming may have a minimal effect on hurricanes. Over two days the media — as measured by Google News — published a grand total of 3 news stories on this paper. Now contrast this with a paper published in July in a fairly obscure journal by two other respected scholars — Peter Webster and Greg Holland — suggesting that global warming has a huge effect on hurricanes. That paper resulted in 79 news stories stories over two days.

Who Fund’s the hacks at “RealClimate?”

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000884holier_than_thou.html

2. Is only some money unclean? Those who are criticized for accepting industry money often observe that Jim Hansen was awarded an unrestricted cash prize of $250,000 from the Heinz Family Philanthropies.

http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/prometheus/archives/climate_change/000317a_response_to_realcl.html

1. No free passes.

RealClimate’s focus thus far is very much framed in one political direction, e.g., on attacking George Will, Senator James Inhofe, Michael Crichton, McIntyre and McKitrick, Fox News, and Myron Ebell. These criticisms are perfectly justified, but RealClimate shouldn’t give a free pass to anyone, especially those whose political agenda they may find more compelling. Here are a few items from the past week that RealClimate might have focused on:

*Worldwatch released its 2005 State of the World report and linked the 2004 Florida hurricane season and typhoons to signs of an “accelerated global warming.” There is no scientific basis for making this linkage.

Time to State the Obvious

Brothers Judd is, as I’ve stated often, one of the best blogs on the web.

Here is one of the reasons why. From the blog.
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FREDDY FOR PRIME TIME (CHARLES HURT, December 21, 2007, NY Post)

Over the past month, Thompson has walked away from several very strong performances in GOP debates. In the latest one, he held command over the entire field and won the day by refusing to play “hand shows” on stage at the direction of the moderator.

“I said, ‘Nope,’ and everybody pulled their hand down and looked around,” Thompson later recalled.

“I just said to my buddies up there, ‘How are you going to stand up to the leaders of Iran and North Korea if you can’t stand up to an overbearing moderator?’ ”

Thompson also has quietly racked up scores of endorsements from anti-abortion chapters around the country. Those groups are some of the most effective vote herders the GOP has.

And earlier this week, he netted a surprise endorsement from Iowa Rep. Steve King, known in some GOP circles as “the Kingmaker.”

After enduring months of criticism for sporadic and lackluster campaigning, Thompson is now going full-bore on a bus tour of 50 cities and towns around Iowa that his campaign says will reach some 75 percent of projected Republican caucus-goers before Jan. 3.

More than anything else, long-suffering supporters say their spirits have finally been lifted by Thompson’s swagger and enthusiastic demeanor on the trail.

No normal person even started paying attention until November, which is when the liberals–Giuliani & Romney–imploded and the conservatives–McCain, Huckabee, Thompson–started “surging.”
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It is a conservative party, folks, and only a “conservative” is going to win it. All the punditry of the last year was merely there to fill columns and waste electrons and ink.

This Fred’s “Christmas Commercial.” It’s nice, but not as much of a home run as Huckabee’s. For my part, I just wish Huckabee acknowledged the Christian imagery instead of denying it. What purpose does a denial serve?

An Al Gore Blessing is a Kiss of Death

Perhaps God put Al Gore on the earth to discredit (by association) numerous ideas, people, and institutions that deserve said discrediting.

This poltroon is going to take the Film Acadmey, The politically extreme Nobel Prize cabal, and 1000s of investors down with him. Just ask Howard Dean.

Scientists doubt climate change

“I find the Doomsday picture Al Gore is painting — a six-meter sea level rise, 15 times the IPCC number — entirely without merit,” said Dutch atmospheric scientist Hendrik Tennekes, one of the researchers quoted in the report by Republican staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

“I protest vigorously the idea that the climate reacts like a home heating system to a changed setting of the thermostat: just turn the dial, and the desired temperature will soon be reached,” Mr. Tennekes said in the report.

Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, said the report debunks Mr. Gore’s claim that the “debate is over.”

Anyone who says “debate is over” should be viewed as a liar or propagandist right off the bat. Anyone who uses the absurd “funded by Exxon” argument is pretty much too stupid to be taken seriously.

Exxon is now on board with all the cash to be creamed off of “alternative energy” schemes. They may fund some skeptical think tanks, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t playing with the Feds for tax credit and “carbon credit” booty. Exxon even admits as much.

After a quick review of the report, Gore spokeswoman Kalee Kreider said 25 or 30 of the scientists may have received funding from Exxon Mobil Corp.

Exxon Mobil spokesman Gantt H. Walton dismissed the accusation, saying the company is concerned about climate-change issues and does not pay scientists to bash global-warming theories.

Slowly but surely, the lies and overstatement of the global warming propagandists are starting to unwind.

The hundreds of others in the report — climatologists, oceanographers, geologists, glaciologists, physicists and paleoclimatologists — voice varying degrees of criticism of the popular global-warming theory. Their testimony challenges the idea that the climate-change debate is “settled” and runs counter to the claim that the number of skeptical scientists is dwindling.

The report’s authors expect some of the scientists will recant their remarks under intense pressure from the public and from within professional circles to conform to the global-warming theory, a committee staffer said.

Several scientists in the report said many colleagues share their skepticism about man-made climate change but don’t speak out publicly for fear of retribution, according to the report.

“Many of my colleagues with whom I spoke share these views and report on their inability to publish their skepticism in the scientific or public media,” atmospheric scientist Nathan Paldor, professor of Dynamical Meteorology and Physical Oceanography at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said in the report.

“The endless claims of a ‘consensus’ about man-made global warming grow less-and-less credible every day,” he said.

Al Gore – catatonic coverter of bad ideas. He endorses something (or is endorsed), and the credibility of the idea, person, or institution tanks. How long can Google stock endure?

How Serious are Hillary and Obama?

I doubt Hillary and Obama would actually be stupid enough to do in office what they say they will do if elected.

Our Friends in Baghdad

Will the United States remain committed to supporting its friends and opposing its enemies in the Muslim world?

This question has been asked for decades by people from Indonesia to Morocco and throughout the Middle East. And there is no clear answer. American engagement in the Muslim world has been fitful and incoherent, leaving our friends and our opponents believing that we are at best unreliable. In the past, supporting our friends has been taken to mean Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. In the case of the last three, it has meant helping more or less authoritarian governments retain power in exchange for their help in stabilizing the region.

But today, new democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq — democracies the U.S. made possible — struggle to survive against attacks from our common enemies. Both are reaching out to the U.S. and asking for a commitment of our support.

This is an epochal moment: The U.S. has a chance to break away from failed policies of the past and throw itself behind two new constitutional democracies that occupy critical geostrategic positions in the most dangerous part of the world. Will we seize this moment or let it pass?

Good question. While it’s certainly true that Bush sold the war on much more on WMD than Democracy, the fact remains that a functioning democratic state in Iraq will be fatal to regimes like Saudi Arabia and Iran (in their current configuration). That is why it was good policy, regardless of how badly executed.

Unfortunately, opposition to the war in Iraq and partisan politics prevent a reasoned discussion of America’s interests in the Muslim world. Sen. Hillary Clinton, a leader of the liberal internationalist wing of the Democratic Party (whose husband wisely committed American forces to the Balkans in the 1990s to stop genocide and establish constitutional government there), immediately attacked the Bush-Maliki communiqué.

She joined the unthinking chorus of war opponents who saw it simply as another way of institutionalizing “George Bush’s endless war.” Rather than pressing the administration to offer similar guarantees to another key ally at the heart of the fight against terrorism, liberal internationalists instead attacked the administration.

What sort of strategy is this? Shall we refuse our help to democratic states we helped bring into existence when they are attacked by our common foes? Shall we make a statement that we will not support our friends or that we prefer to support authoritarian regimes?

Mrs. Clinton has said that she expects U.S. troops to be in Iraq until the end of her administration, and quite rightly. But under what terms will they be there, if we do not establish a bilateral relationship with an Iraqi state eager to assert its own sovereignty, and therefore unwilling to continue in the sort of international receivership to which the Security Council subjects it?

We now interrupt the “War on Christmas”….

For this yule tide message…

A Brief History of Christmas

But because both celebrations fall on Dec. 25, the two are constantly confused. Religious Christians condemn taking “the Christ out of Christmas,” while First Amendment absolutists see a threat to the separation of church and state in every poinsettia on public property and school dramatization of “A Christmas Carol.”

A little history can clear things up.

The Christmas of parties and presents is far older than the Nativity. Most ancient cultures celebrated the winter solstice, when the sun reaches its lowest point and begins to climb once more in the sky. In ancient Rome, this festival was called the Saturnalia and ran from Dec. 17 to Dec. 24. During that week, no work was done, and the time was spent in parties, games, gift giving and decorating the houses with evergreens. (Sound familiar?) It was, needless to say, a very popular holiday.

In its earliest days, Christianity did not celebrate the Nativity at all. Only two of the four Gospels even mention it. Instead, the Church calendar was centered on Easter, still by far the most important day in the Christian year. The Last Supper was a Seder, celebrating Passover, which falls on the day of the full moon in the first month of spring in the Hebrew calendar. So in A.D. 325, the Council of Nicea decided that Easter should fall on the Sunday following the first full moon of spring. That’s why Easter and its associated days, such as Ash Wednesday and Good Friday, are “moveable feasts,” moving about the calendar at the whim of the moon.

This is fine and good, but it is still worthwhile to point out that the “politically correct” school superintendents and politicians are the new “puritans.” [with all the ridicule and contempt that the word implies being fully intentional on my part.]