Bruno Behrend on WPWR

The video is of appearance on WPWR’s (Channel 50) “Perspective” program a few months ago. You may be interested in the other 3 guests, as they make the conventional case for dumping more money into a failed education system. If not, my stint starts at the 11:22 mark.

The Latest News On School Reform and School Vouchers: My50CHICAGO.com

Two videos to help win the budget debate

It’s a testament to the slow witted nature of the Republicans that they haven’t found a way to run this ad across the country. It makes the case for cuts so clearly that only the most partisan person could deny its truth.

Let the sheer magnitude of the problem do the heavy lifting.

Next up, let’s give Paul Ryan the “Profiles in Political Courage” award for tackling Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. I don’t know how this all turns out, but I must say that it’s good to see Republican telling the truth.

5 Years ago, I was crazy. Now I’m prescient

As we watch the shake out of the education reforms on the table across the nation, and as we watch the outcome of Scott Walker’s entirely justified “assault” on greedy public sector workers who refuse to pay a dime toward their pensions or health care…

Just remember that this tiny blog accurately predicted the financial conflagration unions have visited upon this nation, as well as the justified public backlash.

Pigs get fat, Hogs get slaughtered.

Slaughter the Hogs.

Check out my most recent post over at Heartland’s Blog

A Glimpse into the Socialist Mind

Technology – the Creative Destroyer

George Will has a hugely important article in Newsweek. It lays out the raw numbers on the impact of technology in the recent years.

Robert Weissenstein’s Exhilaration
George Will – Newsweek

Long ago, in 2008, Americans bought 1.4 billion books made of paper and 200 million e-books. By 2014—perhaps sooner—sales of e-books will equal those of the paper kind. This could save 1.5 million tons of paper made from, possibly, 25 million trees, affecting the price of timber. But the books (and other stuff) bought in e-commerce come in cardboard boxes. So some of those trees will not be spared after all. Furthermore, because of e-commerce and e-books, perhaps half the nation’s bookstores will be gone in four years, vacating at least 50 million square feet of commercial real estate.

Connecting such disparate dots is how Robert Weissenstein’s interesting mind finds fascination in the quotidian. We are, he thinks, in an accelerating process of pervasive global restructuring—regional, industrial, and behavioral. Today, as chief investment officer in Credit Suisse Private Banking, Weissenstein’s theme is “the enormous iterative impact of everything we hold and do.”

..

Weissenstein thinks we focus on the first, disruptive half of social change without noticing the second, creative half. Fixated on job losses in the Great Recession (from December 2007 to June 2009), we miss germane events that began earlier and continue. New “growth drivers” include “teenage tech companies.” Yahoo, Amazon, eBay, and Google, founded in 1994, 1994, 1995, and 1998, respectively, perform functions that did not exist 25 years ago, and employ, cumulatively, 75,000 people. Their existence enables new growth drivers. An entrepreneur with a few thousand dollars can use the Internet to publicize a new product to a target market.

Today, three years is an eternity. In October 2007, 81 percent of Facebook’s 50 million users were younger than 24. Today, 45 percent of its more than 500 million users are 35 or older. What starts in a Harvard dorm room can quickly conquer the world.

Nothing would be more creative for America than to have our public education system go the way of the horse and buggy industry. The sum of human knowledge can be delivered to our childrens’ eyes and ears via internet/networks. Textbooks, desks, and chalkboards are nearly an anachronism, to be replaced by Ipad, Kindles and Smartphones. Our large, expensive, unionized and protected bureaucracy can be replaced by 1000s of on-line content developers like The Khan Academy. Testing can be replaced by on-line measurement, which can test for subject mastery while simultaneously measuring the best content providers and standards.

There will always be a place for learning, as there will be for talented conveyors of content. We just don’t need the system we have now. Frankly, we can’t afford that system – financially or culturally. Let the creative destroyer run free through our education system.

Let’s keep the baby, and toss the bathwater. The baby – our children, good teachers, and good content, will survive. The bathwater – districts, buildings, bond dealers, bureaucrats, administrators, unions – won’t survive. That’s the way it should be.

This is the FRAME that wins 2012

“Can you govern yourself, or do you need a Federal Czar to govern your life for you?”

That question should be asked of every interested person who might vote in the next few elections. Everyone.

“Can you find a doctor, a light-bulb, or control the flow of your toilet, or should one of our Federal Czars take that decision out of your hands?”

When framed in this fashion, the answers to these questions probably have a 75-25 pro-freedom response rate, even in today’s electorate.

This “frame” (see Lakoff and Overton Window)  articulates the central message that all Republicans, conservative Democrats, the Tea Parties/Patriots, as well as the think tank types should be shouting from the hilltops.

Once brought to consciousness in this philosophical context, virtually every “self-government” policy initiative can be promoted on the foundation of “self-government”. Most Americans are hard-wired to agree with the conservative view on this. [Read more...]

Scooping the National Review by 2.5 years

This Extreme Wisdom Search gets you several articles on the “False Prophet” meme.

This one promotes a short message that might have worked had McCain used it.

So does this one.

All of this was based upon my reading a book and seeing a presentation by Clotaire Rappaille, who argued that the one word “code” for political leader in America is “Moses.” McCain actually mocked Obama in an ad, using footage from DeMille’s Ten Commandments. He failed, however to close the deal, and prove to us that Obama was a false prophet.

Why do I bring this up. I just love scooping the Nat’l Review by 2.5 years, that’s all.

The rank stupidity of the NRA

It’s time for supporters of gun rights to dump the “incumbent” NRA, and start joining more dynamic and intelligent gun organizations. It isn’t about being mainstream or balanced, it’s about the inability to understand when the ground has shifted.

NRA backs Democrats in key races, frustrating GOP

So far this year, the NRA has endorsed 58 incumbent House Democrats, including more than a dozen in seats that both parties view as critical to winning a majority.

The endorsements aren’t the result of a sudden love for a party with which the NRA is often at odds. Rather, the powerful group adheres to what it calls “an incumbent-friendly” policy, which holds that if two candidates are equally supportive of gun rights, the incumbent gets the nod.

One doesn’t know where to start when discussing such a stupid policy. It suffices to say that this kind of attitude is insane because it allows the incumbent to pander for the short term while offering the opportunity to stab you in the back for the long term.

It also empowers the party whose leadership is always going to be hostile to gun rights, which is the essence of counter-productivity. The NRA has become yet another organization the deserves to end up on the ash heap of history, as should anything that has a “pro-incumbency” slant.

Granting a Request

My son made it back from his first tour in Afghanistan two days ago. He will probably have to go back at least once. This is from his Facebook posting.

“Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she’s a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, Sheldon Tate 27, they are all Marines who gave their lives this week, no media mention. Honor THEM by reposting…”
Done.

Addressing SEIU/AFSCME talking points

Public Unions are taking well-deserved heat for their pension greed. If you look at all the pension articles, the comments are full of reasonable sounding folks trotting out the argument that the really bad examples of abusive pensions are “outliers.” They then tell you that the average benefit is “only $20,000/year.” It’s best to address this calmly, reasonably, and accurately. Here’s how.

Some folks defending the public employee pension issue like to point out that the majority of those receiving benefits get relatively low payouts. They often use lines like “the average benefit is only $17-20K/yr.” This union talking point needs to be addressed.

While it is technically correct, they mask the real problem, which is the large number of the new retirees on the horizon, coupled with the actuarial insanity of their benefits. (I’m using Illinois as an example, but the same has occurred in CA, NJ, and the entire Northeast)

Think of 10 people who retired 15-20 years ago receiving $20K/yr. Now think of one greedy school superintendent who just retired sucking down $200K (or more) after hopping from district to district, ramping up his retirement with fat contracts no one ever vetted. Multiply that one person by a few 1000 in each state. Add to that whatever number of teachers are receiving big pensions after goosing their unwarranted salaries for the last 4 years of their careers.

Now you have this large run up in the number of retirees, the size of the pensions, and the INSANE early retirement options. It’s a HUGE problem. For icing on the bankruptcy cake, add in free health care for life for many of these folks.

Public Unions have bankrupted the states where they’ve gained massive power. It’s time to tell them to sit down, shut up, and take the massive cuts they deserve. Since their pension benefits are probably protected by awful constitutional clauses guaranteeing them, the best solution is to make every one of these folks with pensions over $100K pay 100% of their own health costs. In this political environment, that policy will pass political muster.

When a politician balks at this policy, and defends unions, fat pensions, and the feeble idea that “government workers” have the right to bankrupt the state, burn their political career to the ground. The time is right. There is no real downside to being rhetorically and politically aggressive on this point. To that end, I post this type of comment on many articles about the pension greed of public unions.

Look here, the fact that police protect us, that firemen run into burning buildings, and teachers educate our children, does NOT give them the right to bankrupt our civilization. It is time to get right up into the face of these unethical people and tell them to stop! It is also time for all of you to stop buying the “poor public employee” load of lies, and abolish public unionization. The best next step is to end this era of public greed is to cap the growth of EVERY government entity’s budget to inflation plus population growth.