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Another Day In Our Obamanation

Posted by cann0nba11 on December 20, 2013

Here are some highlights from the past day or two of Obama news. This is the tip of the political news iceberg, yet Obama supporters want you to believe that Phil Robertson is news, or that the economy is doing great.

  • CBS: Top official wanted site shut down over security risks but was overruled due to politics
  • Washington Post: Obama administration ignores its own laws because of epic failure (the word it differently of course)
  • Reuters: GDP revised upward, but still unimpressed given that 2% of the 3.6% growth is inventory growth, not actual sales. Stripping out inventory growth the economy grow LESS than the previous quarter, at 1.9% instead of 2.0% the previous quarter.
  • Baba Wawa finally admits what the press believed in 2008 about Obama
  • Progressives still have boners over the bullshit Iran deal, while ignoring the fact that Iranians walked out on negotiations last week and now we are talking about more sanctions. His supporters probably still think Obama convinced the Olympic Committee to move the event to Chicago.
  • Weekly jobless claims are back up to Obama levels, the most recent number is 379k, an increase of 10k.

But there is some good news:

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

I’m A Music Snob

Posted by cann0nba11 on December 20, 2013

I’m a music snob. My opinions about music are based on the quality of the music, the form, the chords, the originality, and are backed by decades of musical training and experience. The one caveat I should point out is that I rarely listen to lyrics, and lyrics often make the song for the listener. I”m in it for the groove, the interaction, the form. It takes a special lyric to capture my attention.

That being said, let me frame my opinions on music with my Top Ten list of over-rated musicians (not in any particular order):

  • The Grateful Dead: The music sucks. It is simple music for simple minds. There is a joke about the band that sums it all up for me: What did the Dead Head say when he ran out of drugs? “God, this music sucks!”
  • Neil Young: I just don”t get it. His music is like raw tofu: boring, dull, lifeless. He should spend more time with his trains.
  • The Rolling Stones: C’mon… what have they done since the 1960”s? Satisfaction (1965), Honkey Tonk Woman (1969), Time is On My Side (1964)… those are fun party songs. The Stones put on an awesome show but the music is so vapid. They’ve made a bajillion dollars, kudos for that.
  • Tom Petty: Very boring… tunes are three/four chord wonders, no brain needed. ::yawn::
  • Bruce Springsteen: His voice does nothing for me, nor does his music.
  • Elvis Presley: Trash that made it big. One walk through his mansion proves this.
  • The Beatles: GASP!! Sacrilege! I said it. Yes, I think The Beatles are over-rated. They wrote some great tunes (Let It Be, Hey Jude, Yesterday), but I think all of the hype that surrounded their arrival in the U.S. was because the music scene sucked back then. The previous four number one Billboard his in the U.S. were Singing Nun – Dominique, Dale and Grace – I”m Leaving It Up To You, Nino Tempo and April Stevens – Deep Purple, and Jimmy Glimer and The Fireballs – Sugar Shack. Who?
  • Nirvana: The patriarch of whiny teenagers. The soundtrack to all that is wrong with our country today. Famous thanks to MTV. Interesting harmonies, but the attitude and angst is a little over the top. Grow up.
  • U2: Anything worth listening to since the early 1980s? Another band living off of a twenty year old reputation. Probably popular thanks only to the rise of MTV.
  • The Doors: Other than the innovation of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, this band was hugely overrated. They were the Nirvana of their time. Whiny angst against the world… with a bad drug habit as the only real legacy.

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a Comment »

11 Ways Barack Obama is Way Worse Than George W. Bush

Posted by cann0nba11 on November 29, 2013

I’m posting this Kyle Becker article from the Independent Review Journal here because I can’t stand the “click on the next photo to read more” format. :-)

11 Ways Barack Obama is Way Worse Than George W. Bush
Kyle Becker | On 30, Aug 2013

1. Spending

Both were profligate spenders. While Bush had Medicare Part D, and largely unfunded wars, President Obama has doubled down with an $812 stimulus package and ObamaCare – which has been taxing us without providing benefits. Obama signed onto the 2009 budget exploding spending, which he only slightly scaled back. While W’s average yearly deficit was $250.7 billion, President Obama’s has been $1.273 trillion, and he has racked up over $6 trillion in national debt. Yet Obama once called Bush’s debt “irresponsible.” Now, about job creation…

2. Job Creation

Both had recessions to deal with. W. came into office with a recession after the dotcom bubble burst and then 9/11 hit. However, he was able to generate 52 straight months of job growth, before a housing market collapse. Obama’s average unemployment has been 8.8% (Bush’s was 5.27%), labor force participation rate is at the lowest since Oct. 1978 at 63.4%, without the benefit of much job growth – the country has netted 270,000 jobs since 2009, and the majority of Obama’s job creation has been temp & part-time jobs. No hype, no contest. Okay, let’s talk about war…

3. War

While W’s invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan had bipartisan backing, and with prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi having stated their beliefs that Iraq had wmds, Obama feels he has the authority to send troops to potentially die for the country without Congressional representation. Joe Biden said W. should be impeached if he unilaterally took the U.S. to war with Iran, but the Nobel Peace Prize winning president may do it twice with Libya and Syria, while racking up 74% of the U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan. What about civil liberties?

4. Civil Liberties

The Patriot Act was opposed by Democrats and many Independents, Libertarians and libertarian-leaning Republicans, even in the aftermath of 9/11. Obama warned about the Patriot Act as a Senator in 2005, but signed onto it twice as president, without major alterations – by autopen. On Guantanamo Bay, he promised he would shut it down in his first year in office, but it remains open. And as far as domestic spying, the Bush-era breaches of Constitutional protections can’t touch Obama’s brazenly lawless NSA programs like PRISM. How about corruption?

5. Corruption

While the main bone of contention for Democrats that Bush was corrupt was the refrain of Haliburton and no-bid contracts, President Obama too hired Haliburton subsidiary KBR with a no-bid contract worth $568 million. Additionally, the mantra “No Blood for Oil” proved to be an ill-founded concern when post-liberation Iraq was opened up for oil contracts. President Obama passed a massive healthcare package, like Bush, but exempted many unions and friendly corporations, not to mention politicians like himself. Obvious green energy kickbacks for party supporters include Solyndra, BrightSource, and NRG Energy. The stimulus package was rife with pet projects and pork. This leads into scandals…

6. Scandals

The most egregious scandal of the Bush era was Abu Ghraib, which ran as a headline on the New York Times frontpage 47 times. Fast & Furious has drawn allusions to similar programs under Bush; however, the “gunwalking” under Obama led to untracked “assault rifles” falling into the hands of drug cartels, which promptly used them to murder hundreds of Mexicans and border patrol agent Brian Terry. Benghazi, seen as an unacceptable scandal by many, is where a US ambassador was murdered with no serious rescue operation ordered until much later… after stand down orders halted rescue protocols. The IRS’ profiling of conservative groups, and the NSA’s illegal surveillance programs, are also scandals that are not perceived to be “phony” to the majority of the informed public, as polled. Now, let’s look at a key campaign promise…

7. Lobbyists

Lobbyists were said to be a main problem in Bush-era by the Obama administration, and Obama promised to put an end to it upon his arrival to Washington. Yet he continued hiring lobbyists and even secretly met with them off-the-record. Additionally, members of Obama’s economic team were plucked from Wall Street, and particularly, from Goldman Sachs, like Treasury Chief of Staff Mark Patterson, after the financial titan lucratively backed his first election. As for another big deal that makes Bush seem like a piker…

8. Whistleblowers

Whistleblowers have been suppressed more under Obama than under any other president. The current Commander-in-Chief has gone after multiple whistleblowers in the NSA, including Edward Snowden. Witnesses to Benghazi have been hidden from public questioning, and the #2 man in Libya Gregory Hicks was ostensibly demoted for even talking to Republican Congress members about what happened. The administration has unleashed the DOJ on the ATF, journalists at the AP, and Fox News reporter James Rosen. Back to the economy…

9. Economic Inequality

Economic inequality has worsened under Obama. As Emmanuel Saez found, under Bush from 2002 to 2007, the top 1% of earners captured 65% of all income growth. Under Obama from 2009-2010, the top 1% captured 93% of all income growth in the country. It could be posed that this widening disparity is a reflection of regulatory barriers to small business growth being erected in the private sector, the tax write-offs and loopholes for corporations that still persist (including in green energy), and the flood of easy money that is channeled to Wall Street, but erodes the value of the dollar on Main Street. Need I say more? So this leads naturally to GDP growth…

10. GDP Growth

George W. Bush’s real GDP or economic growth was a subpar 1.67% (the historical average from 1980-2000 was 3.405%), but President Obama is the worst post-WWII president in such terms at 1.075%. In fact, in the last quarter of 2012, the economy Obama helps set policy for experienced negative GDP growth of 0.1%, also known as “contraction.” This year, the Obama reworked the formula the government uses to come up with GDP growth numbers by adding Hollywood movies and other intellectual property sources to the equation. Finally…

11. Race Relations

Race relations seem to be getting worse under President Obama, contrary to expectations upon the election of America’s first black president. While there are no sound reasons to believe George W. Bush’s policies were substantively racist – it seemed a foregone conclusion that relations would improve under Obama. However, only 10% polled by Rasmussen believe race relations are improving. President Obama may share King’s “dream,” but as far as his record goes, it is too often being judged by the color of his skin, and not by the character of its content.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

Another Day In Our Obamanation

Posted by cann0nba11 on November 19, 2013

The ACA rollout, a.k.a. Obamacare, has been a disaster. Actually, that might be offensive to the word disaster. It has been more of an unmitigated government-only pile of manure. Here are just a few of the healthcare headlines from this week.

Posted in Politics | Leave a Comment »

History Matters, Thank A Vet!

Posted by cann0nba11 on November 11, 2013

Happy Veteran’s Day!

From my 88yr-old father-in-law who served in the Pacific in WWII (USS Dade, APA 99), to my friends serving at home and overseas today, I thank you all for your service and commitment. A special shout out to Caleb Ethridge, who’s getting ready for yet another deploy as a PJ, and my brutha from anutha mutha Matt Field, retired PJ currently on contract in Afghanistan and very much near harm’s way. (A car bomb knocked him out of his bunk a few weeks ago, but he’s fine.)

We must remember and learn from our history, past and recent. Therefore, in a small effort to help teach others about our military I’ve gathered the following list of recommended reading materials. All of the following links take you to the Kindle edition of the books at Amazon.com. If you prefer paper, you can click links to those versions once you get to the pages below.

  • Outlaw Platoon: Heroes, Renegades, Infidels, and the Brotherhood of War in Afghanistan (I strongly recommend this book to give readers a vivid understanding of the current situation in Afghanistan and just how much our military goes through.)
  • Lone Survivor (The amazing story about Marcus Latrell and SEAL Team 10)
  • Service: A Navy SEAL at War (Marcus Latrell’s latest book)
  • None Braver: U.S. Air Force Pararescuemen in the War on Terrorism (Caleb appears in this book during the discussion of Operation Anaconda)
  • American Sniper (An updated version of the Chris Kyle story, this is the Memorial Edition)
  • SEAL Target Geronimo: The Inside Story of the Mission to Kill Osama bin Laden
  • No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden
  • Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills (the story of Carlos Hathcock)

Posted in history, Military | Leave a Comment »

100 Ways To Annoy A Liberal

Posted by cann0nba11 on November 2, 2013

A friend posted a list of 100 Things To Say To Annoy A Republican. It’s a funny list, and probably accurate too. We tend to get annoyed when people lie, rewrite history, attack us, or just act like juvenile jerks. So, I decided to counter with my own list. Surprisingly, it didn’t take as long as I thought… understandable given the current political environment I have to work with. And just to be clear, most of these items are actual facts, but some are just for fun.

100 Things To Say Or Do To Annoy A Liberal

  1. Disagree with President Obama.
  2. Mention Ronald Reagan.
  3. Sarah Palin was right.
  4. Carry out the death penalty.
  5. Convict war criminals.
  6. “Hey, isn’t Guantanamo still open?”
  7. Point out the many flaws in Michael Moore’s films.
  8. Reminding them that opposing nuclear energy in the 70s helped perpetuate our dependence on Middle Easter oil.
  9. Pray.
  10. Democrats started the KKK.
  11. Obama’s father was a communist radical.
  12. Republicans ended slavery.
  13. Join the NRA.
  14. Criticize radical Islam.
  15. Use Obama’s middle name.
  16. Fight to protect the unborn.
  17. Hunt.
  18. Mention church charity.
  19. Valerie Jarrett had more security than the four Americans killed in Benghazi.
  20. Remind them that the carbon-burning engine helped us build our nation.
  21. Remain gainfully employed.
  22. Bomb the Middle East.
  23. Point out that George Bush’s Crawford Ranch is an environmentalist’s idea of heaven, while Al Gore’s mansion is a nightmare of excess and waste.
  24. Eat red meat. Grill it using charcoal when possible.
  25. The First Amendment guarantees freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.
  26. Talk about shrinking government.
  27. Global Warming, point out that Mars, Jupiter and other planets are also experiencing the same, slight increase in temperature, which NASA attributes to increased solar radiation.
  28. Remind them that Fox News has the highest cable news ratings.
  29. Confuse them with logic and facts to support your position.
  30.  “Merry Christmas!”
  31. Praise stay at home moms.
  32. Homeschool
  33. Carry a gun.
  34. Question the validity of Obama’s birth certificate.
  35. Point out how Al Gore helped to invent a carbon credit trading market where he could make billions of dollars off of his weird science.
  36. Point out the lies and faults in Al Gore’s movie.
  37. Praise Capitalism.
  38. Teach your kids how to shoot guns and hunt.
  39. Stand up when you hear the National Anthem.
  40. Show them a picture of Obama bowing to the Saudi King.
  41. Tell them how the Founding Fathers were Christians of all sorts.
  42. Bring up the massive amount of financial and medical aid George W Bush has provided to AIDS victims in Africa.
  43. Tell them Bill Clinton lied under oath.
  44. Treat them with respect when they are yelling at you at a protest.
  45. Fly the flag.
  46. Obama is using more drones than Bush did.
  47. Drive a big car.
  48. Support Israel.
  49. Charity is by choice, not a mandate.
  50. Suggest putting a fence on our southern border.
  51. Wasn’t Bill Clinton the first black president?
  52. Ask why Obama’s college transcripts are sealed.
  53. Point out that the worst cities for crime in American have been run by democrats for at least 40 years.
  54. Brag about Texas.
  55. Talk about how Jimmy Carter started the housing bubble with the creation of the CRA.
  56. Bring up Rush Limbaugh.
  57. Make fun of the president’s golf habit.
  58. English should be our national language.
  59. I’m cool with Obama’s black half, it’s his white have that really pisses me off.
  60. Profit is good.
  61. Point out the massive flaws of Obamacare.
  62. Bring up the ACORN scandal.
  63. Point out the political correctness throughout the movie Avatar.
  64. Discuss how gun laws don’t work.
  65. Jimmy Carter’s creation, the Department of Education, is a massive failure.
  66. Who ended the Cold War again?
  67. Our military got Bin Laden, not Obama.
  68. God Bless America!
  69. Conservative women are hot.
  70. Clinton passed on two chances to take Bin Laden out.
  71. Ten years of “wars we can’t afford” cost less than one year of Obama deficit spending.
  72. Bush and Clinton each prosecuted more than 1000 financial criminals. Obama? Zero.
  73. Quote Glenn Beck.
  74. I don’t remember Reagan whining about the mess he inherited.
  75. Point out Sharia Law “honor” killings that have happened in America.
  76. Unions are no longer needed.
  77. Being gay is a choice.
  78. The first woman elected to Congress was a Republican.
  79. Race has nothing to do with it.
  80. Requiring a photo ID to vote is not racism.
  81. Waterboarding provided the info needed to find Bin Laden.
  82. You don’t believe in God, but you believe in the Big Bang?
  83. The first black Congressman was Republican.
  84. Obama started his campaign in a domestic terrorist’s living room.
  85. When was the last time you saw a Conservative turn Liberal?
  86. It’s a life, not a choice.
  87. Chappaquiddick. (only the older libs will react to this one)
  88. MLK Jr. was a Republican.
  89. Obama/Reid shut the government down, not the GOP.
  90. Call the president “Barry.” It was good enough for him in college, right?
  91. People on welfare are lazy.
  92. I’ll give Obama as much respect as you gave Bush.
  93. The Sun affects our climate, not people.
  94. Democrats fought for “separate but equal.” Republicans ended it.
  95. Guns don’t kill people.
  96. Unlike OWS, the Tea Party is made up of peaceful, law-abiding patriots.
  97. Despite 9/11 and the dot-com crash, America was trending back toward zero deficit, until Democrats took over in 2006.
  98. Obama is the “food stamp president.”
  99. Hey, look at that all of that debt!
  100. Jesus loves you.

I could keep going, easily, Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

Posted in Entertainment | Leave a Comment »

Just Another News Day In Our Obamanation

Posted by cann0nba11 on October 29, 2013

I often find myself talking to friends and coworkers about how crappy things have become lately. My liberal friends still like to talk about “wars we can’t afford” while ignoring wildly reckless spending here at home at levels far greater than the cost of our wars. They like to chortle about how stupid GW Bush was while ignoring how poorly the current president performs sans teleprompter. They dream of affordable healthcare for everyone (at least for all poor Progressives) while having no factual or mathematical understanding of the problem.

And when I point out the many problems we face, caused by our president and his hand-picked cabinet, I am called a racist. Bush is blamed. Ted Cruz is blamed. “Republicans shut down the government!” (no, Harry Reid and President Obama did that.)

I see today’s passionate Obama supporter as battered wives. You know the type, the woman that gets beaten all of the time, so she calls 9-1-1 for help, but when the police arrive and handcuff her thug husband she starts yelling “get your hands off my man, pig!” Yeah, that’s the sort of denial today’s Obama supporters are living in.

So I figured I would gather a few headlines from today to help my friends recognize our actual reality. Sort of an intervention, or maybe just a dose of our peril. Just a little bit of peril.

CBS: The Obama Administration knew all along that Benghazi was a terror attack.

LA Times: The Middle Class in deep blue California are suddenly realizing that their healthcare costs are rising.

More from CBS: More than 2 million people are losing their coverage (or 3X more than are actually buying it right now).

LA Times: Foreign leaders upset at US spying on them. Oops… looks like the State Department approved spying on allied leaders. (of course, like most every other problem lately, President Obama had no idea it was happening)

NBC: The Obama administration knew three years ago that millions of Americans would not be able to keep their health insurance. But they lied about it for three years because Obama wanted it.

The lady running the entire healthcare roll out is going to blame the government contractors for the problems, it is their fault they did not live up to government expectations, it is not the governments fault at all. Of course not, the government is perfect.

I know… this is all just racist banter. Nothing to see here. Did you know that President Obama and Jay-Z hang out sometimes?

Note: I gathered these headlines from hotair.com, a great place to find conservative data with plenty of source links. If I said this at the beginning of this post most liberals would have stopped reading, because what the words say means nothing; it’s all about who is saying them that matters.

Posted in economy, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Shutdown? ::yawn::

Posted by cann0nba11 on October 3, 2013

Prior to the current government shutdown there have been 17 other shutdowns since 1976.

  • Five of them lasted eight days more.
  • The longest was 21 days and happened under Clinton.
  • The next five longest all happened under Carter (ranging from 8-17 days).
  • Three of Carter’s happened even though his party controlled both the House and Senate.
  • There were fourteen shutdowns under Reagan, the longest was 3 days.
  • There were no shutdowns under GW Bush.

17 shutdowns since 1976

Nancy Pelosi said yesterday that “the cupboard is bare.” Someone get her to a hospital, because obviously there is a shortage of oxygen reaching her brain. The government is spending $3.4 trillion and she has the audacity to make this statement? Folks inside the beltway have lost their minds, and too many folks outside the beltway aren’t using theirs.

Emotion is the enemy of critical thought, and the combination of a woefully biased ratings-focused liberal media plus a politically ignorant populace is leading America down a scary path. Rome is burning, this shutdown is a symptom of a much larger problem.

Posted in economy | Leave a Comment »

Educational Bullying – Teachers Get Away With It

Posted by cann0nba11 on September 13, 2013

Did you know that the National Education Association recommends no more than ten minutes of homework per grade level for your student? Your fifth grader should have no more than 50 minutes of homework, your ninth grader should have no more than an hour and a half. As a senior you should have no more than two hours of homework per night.

Stop laughing.

This is for real.

Instead of the dream scenario above, parents with kids in public or private schools are probably more familiar with something like this:

  • 6:30 am – wake up, morning routine.
  • 7:00 am – stuff breakfast into zombie-face while trying to remember what day it is
  • 7:30 am – leave for school
  • 8:00 am – school starts
  • 3:30 pm – school ends
  • 4:00 pm – homework starts
  • 10:00 pm – bed time (if you’re lucky)

Notice that there are no extracurricular activities listed, this is done on purpose. Now, hear me out. From the morning bell until the lights go out, this student has just enjoyed a fourteen hour day spent mostly sitting at a desk. Yes, there is a lunch break, perhaps a PE class, and hopefully the student was able to make it to the dinner table to join the family for some sustenance and personal interaction.

Now switch this up a bit. Instead of sitting at a desk doing homework for 14 hours, imagine this eighth grader sitting at a sewing machine in a factor for 14 hours, with occasional breaks for meals. There would be outrage. Child labor laws! Lawsuits! How could you do that to your child?

We do it every day, folks. The scenario above is the norm for private school students, and probably for most high school students. Why?

Because we allow it to happen.

Plenty has been written about this topic. For example this article from parenting.com.

The National Education Association recommends that kids have a total of ten minutes per grade level of homework per night. Anything above that is excessive. They don’t have time to just be kids anymore  — they’re so bogged down. And since many of the assignments are simply busywork, learning often becomes a chore rather than a positive, constructive experience. Homework overload is also affecting family life  — a lot of kids can’t even make it to dinner, and as a result, the only interaction they have with their parents involves arguments about homework. The bottom line is that a child will understand a concept better if he has time to work on five problems, rather than struggling to race through 50.

Or consider this excerpt that discusses what students lose due to excessive homework.

The value of friendships, extracurricular activities, and relaxation time to children’s intellectual and emotional development has been extensively documented. When homework is overwhelming, however, children are less likely to have the opportunity to participate in these activities. Thus even a child who is left unfazed by excessive homework or who excels in school may suffer as a result of excessive homework because he’s unable to engage in the activities that can help him become a well-rounded adult.

If you are spending money on a private school, thousands of dollars per year, are you getting the customer service you deserve?

Children in private schools often have several hours of homework a night by the time they reach middle school. This often requires them to study ten to twelve hours a day with virtually no time to relax, play, or socialize with their friends during the week. It often robs them of much of their weekend as well. This kind of work load is no small matter. If we imagined children spending twelve hours a day hunched over a sewing machine rather than a desk, we would be appalled. Indeed, play, is a crucial component of healthy child development. It affects children’s creativity, their social skills, and even their brain development. The absence of play, physical exercise, and free-form social interaction takes a serious toll on many children. It can also have significant health implications as is evidenced by our current epidemic of childhood obesity, sleep deprivation, low self- esteem, and depression.

So, what is a thoughtful principal to do? This article is written by a PhD specifically for principals and contains many solid suggestions. Here’s one:

Reduce the amount – but don’t stop there.  Many parents are understandably upset with how much time their children have to spend on homework.  At a minimum, make sure that teachers aren’t exceeding district guidelines and that they aren’t chronically underestimating how long it takes students to complete the assignments.  (As one mother told me, “It’s cheating to say this is 20 minutes of homework if only your fastest kid can complete it in that time.”)  Then work on reducing the amount of homework irrespective of such guidelines and expectations so that families, not schools, decide how they will spend most of their evenings. (Note: We have almost ZERO family time since starting school.)

I’ve heard faculty members say that today’s workloads are preparing younger students for high school, and preparing high school students for college. What a cop out. These workloads indicate a massive failure in the classroom and in the administrative office. Fire-hosing our children with what amounts to nightly cram sessions does nothing more than create stress, anxiety, anger and depression. And not just for the students but for the parents.

Bad teaching cannot be masked by reams of homework, and the impact of a single bad teacher can easily wipe out the positive impact of several good teachers. Abusive homework levels generate stress at home in the form of nightly arguments over assignments. They create ongoing unhealthy anxiety over due dates and classroom procedures that while counted as part of student’s grades have zero to do with educating our children.

And don’t get me wrong. I used the word abusive for a reason. When teachers are allowed to assign homework that takes hours per evening, with zero regard for what other teachers are assigning, and with zero regard for student quality of life, we have an abuse problem. When administrators defend their teachers and these abusive behaviors and refuse to listen during conferences, we have a problem.

We see messages about bullying all of the time. But they always assume that it is student on student. I argue that bad teachers get away with educational bullying by knowingly stealing time and energy from our children. Good teachers and administrators listen to properly delivered parental concerns. They should not wait for their turn to speak, they should actively listen with the intent of making things right for their students. Students are the customer and the product; both need to be treated with respect.

Please read and share the articles linked above. They provide much more information than I’ve hinted to in this post.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Minimum Wage, Minimum Perspective

Posted by cann0nba11 on August 30, 2013

Labor Day, according to the official US Department of Labor Day definition, “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

There is no mention of wages or unions. Yet in the news this week we have SEIU organizing protests and events that support increasing, even doubling, the current minumum wage of $7.25.hour. Passionate progressives are demanding that minimum wage be increased because it is the humane thing to do. “How can anyone live on minimum wage?” they ask.

Well, there’s a reason it’s not called “Living Wage.” It is not meant to be a living wage.

Minimum wage was introduced in America in 1933 by President Roosevelt during the Great Depression. It was part of The New Deal and was abolished by the Supreme Court in 1935 for a variety of reasons. The law included acts and new government departments the quickly became bloated, bogged down with reams of legislation, and many unintended consequences occurred. Shocker. Sounds like the health care law to me, or pretty much any other major government legislation.

And as history has shown, “the main finding of economic theory and empirical research over the past 70 years is that minimum wage increases tend to reduce employment.” (source)

Compounding the minimum wage issue is the current national mindset around entitlements. Many of today’s youth simply want more for nothing. They feel owed a higher wage, and our president agrees with them, obviously a wise stance given his vast economic and business experience. Many people today are unwilling to take entry-level jobs because they feel that the work is beneath them. THIS is a problem.

My first job was washing dishes at an old folks home for $3.35 an hour. I got the job because a couple of my friends already worked there and they suggested me when an opening became available. It was part time work, and I did everything I could to earn more hours. How? By proving that I was a dependable person, that I could show up on time, that I could follow instructions, learn, and do the job I was paid to do. That is what a minimum job is supposed to do. It sets the foundation for your resume and future work potential.

After my first job, then took a different dish washing job for a higher wage at a nicer location. The nicer location charged higher prices and could pay a higher wage. I got the job because I had experience already at the old folks home, and I knew somebody that worked there. Later on while in college I grabbed a job in the fast food industry. Having had a couple of jobs under my belt made it easier for me to get hired.

Then I started temporary work, or “temping.” Temp agencies specialize in filling temporary jobs of all kinds, from basic manual labor to advanced computing skills. I had no office experience, but my track record of success at basic minimum wage jobs gave the agencies (I worked for more than one) confidence in me. The assignments were often boring, extremely simple or repetitive, but I took every one I could find. I stuffed envelopes, did light physical labor and basic clerical work. More importantly, I learned new skills and was introduced to corporate business etiquette: How to dress, how to listen, how to follow instructions and set myself up for success with new or unfamiliar tasks.

These menial jobs led to desk work. Answering phones, mail room duties, etc. Best part was that I started using computers and learning things like word processing, spreadsheets and presentations. This helped me work on my typing and writing skills.

Eventually I landed a “temp to perm” position, something akin to a job audition. The company hires you on an evaluation period and if you do well they have the option of hiring you. In my case one of them worked out and landed me my first job with a regular salary plus medical benefits — a first for me at age 24.

I could go on about the jobs I’ve had and how I moved up the ladder. I could go on about the jobs I lost, about being on unemployment, and even welfare for a while. Each time I lost a job I worked hard to find a better one. I’ve moved for new jobs, and I’ve taken pay cuts for new jobs. Having a job is not a right, it is a privilege.

Let me add this: There is great value in providing unemployment insurance, as long as it is a temporary solution, not a lifestyle. There is great value in providing a minimum wage, as long as it dictated by market conditions instead of government bureaucrats, and more importantly, as long as it is not expected to be a lifestyle.

At the end of the day, history has shown that forcing a raise in the minimum wage ends up decreasing the hours of the very workers the wage is intended to help. There are basic economic laws in effect here, and those that try to distract Americans with outlier stories like Wal-Mart vs. Cost-Co are doing the topic a disservice. The wildly vast majority of minimum wage jobs are provided by small and medium sized businesses: millions of jobs all over the country, performed by people of every type.

So while you are chomping down on your burger or hot dog this weekend, think about who should be determining how businesses run: business owners with years of experience feeding the economy, or government officials with years of experience stifling it.

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