Friday, December 18, 2009

Why the music business is tanking

Music executives like to blame free downloading for the demise of the music industry.

It's actually a lot more simple than that. The main reason music sales are down are frankly because the music sucks.

Case in point, here's Rolling Stone's list of the top 100 albums of the 2000's. Besides the collection of horrible Jay Z, Coldplay and Lil Wayne albums on the list, is Magic by Bruce Springsteen at #24.

Are you kidding me?

Look, I love The Boss. I'm one of the few Springsteen fans who actually thinks Nebraska is one of his best albums. But this CD stinks yet it's the 24th on this list.

Bruce's life in LA has taken his toll on the grit that defined his music for years. If this CD is one of the best for the 2000's. We're going to need to TARP program to bail out bad music soon.

Here's a taste of one of Bruce's works from the 2000's, I think you'll understand what I'm talking about.

Tonight's DUI checkpoints

It's too bad I cannot do my Hans Gruber accent when posting these checkpoint locations since they have all the charm of a Soviet checkpoint on the East German border......

Two separate DUI checkpoints will take place Friday night in the city of Blue Ash, according to the Hamilton County OVI Task Force.

The first one will run from 8:30 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. in front of 10461 Kenwood Rd., the task force announced Friday.A second checkpoint will begin just after that one ends, from 11:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. on Kenwood Road between Cooper and Hunt roads.

Can I see your papers?


Life in "Progress" City

From our Queen City of Cincinnati, who hasn't had a conservative in city government since the city was named Losantiville...............

Officials with Cincinnati Public Schools canceled the rest of the basketball season at Rees E. Price Academy this week in light of a melee involving as many as 20 students punching and kicking a Cincinnati police officer.

One of the students even tried to grab the officer's service pistol or Taser, said Janet Walsh, spokeswoman for Cincinnati Public Schools.

Officer Mike Roth suffered cuts and bruises during the 6:50 p.m. incident Tuesday outside the Considine Avenue school. It happened after a series of basketball games involving both the boys' and girls' teams, she said.

"There was a lot of kicking going on," Walsh said. "It's very scary. It's very scary. ... I have never heard of anything like this happening. Normally when there are incidents, it's a couple of bad apples. But this one really got out of hand.

"We made a decision to cancel the rest of the basketball season in light of this incident and because so many students were involved, including members of the basketball team," she continued. "We wanted to send a very strong message that this is intolerable and totally unacceptable and we just can't condone their behavior, especially the involvement of so many members of the basketball team in this melee."

Three juveniles were arrested and charged with aggravated riot, assault on a police officer, resisting arrest and obstructing official business, according to Cincinnati police. A fourth teen was charged with disorderly conduct.

Two of those teens are Price students, a seventh-grader and an eighth-grader, Walsh said. One of them is a girl, she added.

And, the mother of one of the students was arrested and charged with trying to prevent police from arresting her son. Stephanie White, 29, of East Price Hill, faces one count each of disorderly conduct and obstructing official business, court records show.

Six students have been suspended from the school, including two who likely will be expelled, Walsh said.

What didn't get reported was the fact that many "parents" stood around and cheered on these punks while they were laying a beat down on a cop.

I'm going to go on a limb here and guess this group went overwhelming to Obama in '08.

What's so "progressive" about 8th graders assaulting cops?

Article here........

Bonnie Erbe, racist

I never knew NPR's Bonnie Erbe was a racist until I read this article critical of our first black American president...........

If only the Nobel Committee and the American voting public had dug a bit deeper before they endorsed Obama, they might not have been so surprised when he morphed into an unexpected type of president. The New York Times reported in February 2008 that Obama had a history of stretching his accomplishments and playing to his audience of the moment. It would have been easy to see what was coming if only voters had paid more attention to his record as a twister of facts and prince of prevarication.

The front-page story detailed Obama's appearance before an Iowa audience in December 2007. He claimed credit for passage of anti-nuclear legislation that in fact did not pass the Senate. Not only that, he had watered down his own anti-nuclear amendment to the point of obliteration. That, only after he befriended and took money from the same nuclear energy executives he at first opposed; $227,000 in campaign contributions would make you cozy up with former political opponents, wouldn't it?

"A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks," the Times reported.

No American voter who read this story could possibly have been surprised by his later turnabout on any issue from anti-war, to pro-war, from pro-choice to pro-life appeaser, from anti-lobbyist to employer of lobbyists. It's all right there. It was ignored by voters at their own peril. And now, so it seems, to the peril of the Nobel Laureate Committee, too.

It's kind of funny how I never read one damn thing about this before the election.......

Where is the love?

From one David Brooks, Obama tingler..........

"If I were a senator forced to vote today, I’d vote no. If you pass a health care bill without systemic incentives reform, you set up a political vortex in which the few good parts of the bill will get stripped out and the expensive and wasteful parts will be entrenched."


I can get with that

When asked by Cook to sum up Democrats' 2010 outlook, McInturff cited the words of the political philosopher Mr. T in Rocky III. "Prediction: pain." McInturff also compared the current political atmosphere to that of Oct. 1994, when congressional Republicans rode a wave of anti-incumbency sentiment to overturn 40 years of minority status.


Rockin' in Detroit! (teaser)

Are you happy or feeling blue

The CDC did a survey of the happiest states in the US. What did they find?
People in sunny, outdoorsy states -- Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida -- say they're the happiest, and researchers think they know why.

A new study comparing self-described pleasant feelings with objective measures of good living found these folks generally have reason to feel fine.

The happiness ratings were based on a survey of 1.3 million people by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was collected over four years and included a question asking people how satisfied they are with their lives.

Economists Andrew J. Oswald and Stephen Wu compared the happiness ranking with studies that rated states on criteria including availability of public land, commuting time, taxes, climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.

While this AP writer wants to write off the happiness quotient to good weather, how do they explain California, one of the most beautiful places on earth?

Where does California rank? You'll see a similar quality to the last ten on this list.....

41. Pennsylvania

42. Rhode Island

43. Ohio

44. Massachusetts

45. Illinois

46. California

47. New Jersey

48. Indiana

49. Michigan

50. Connecticut

51. New York

Do you notice a nice tone of blue throughout these states. Only Indiana is what you would call a Red State.

Progressives......... making your area unlivable and making you miserable since the 1930's.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Graph of the day

From Greg Mankiw's blog.......

3. Why is business investment so weak? Part of the reason is that the downturn is severe and investment responds to the overall economy. Part of the reason is that the credit crunch makes financing more difficult. Part of the reason is that the policy environment seems adverse to business. I am referring here to a group of policies that include higher minimum wages, the seeming retreat from free trade, proposed mandates to provide employees health insurance, higher prospective energy costs from climate change regulation, and the likelihood of higher future tax rates resulting from the huge fiscal imbalance we are now experiencing. All of these factors have worked in concert to depress business investment.


Climategate -- UK Met Office Manipulated Russia's Weather Data to Show Trend

A little fun

Why men shouldn't write advice columns. Click to enlarge...

Thanks reader Bernie.

Why I'm a conservative? #80

Because I understand that a government cannot be everything for everybody. And, even if it could, there's just not enough money to go around to pay for it all.

Don't take my word for it. Get an education here.........
The Petersen-Pew Commission on Budget Reform has produced a new report warning that "[o]ver the past year alone, the public debt of the United States rose sharply from 41 to 53 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). Under reasonable assumptions, the debt is projected to grow steadily, reaching 85 percent of GDP by 2018, 100 percent by 2022, and 200 percent in 2038."

Long before the debt reaches such stratospheric levels, the commission warns, "Fears of inflation and a prospective decline in the value of the dollar would cause investors to demand higher interest rates and shift out of U.S. Treasury securities. The excessive debt would also affect citizens in their everyday lives by harming the American standard of living through slower economic growth and dampening wages, and shrinking the government's ability to reduce taxes, invest, or provide a safety net."

In other words, within the lifetimes of the vast majority of living Americans, government as we have known it since the New Deal will become paralyzed, unable to deliver even basic services, let alone the myriad of entitlements that politicians had promised would last forever. Liberalism will owe its undoing to its blind faith that government could forever be the inexhaustible provider of ever more spending, more benefits and more prosperity, with nary a day of reckoning.

Read the rest here......

Where did all the love go?

Proud Flag-Waving Communists and Socialists March in Copenhagen to Stop Global Warming

From the people who brought us Chernobyl

Liberals must run the NCAA

The NCAA has to be run by packs of liberals.

How do I know? Because college football is a mess as evidenced by the BCS sham and the poaching of coaches while schools are still in season.

While creating problems is the typical liberal m.o., solving them is how you can really tell these are liberals in charge.

How do they propose fixing the problems in college football? By increasing the NCAA basketball tournament to 96 teams.......
The NCAA is in the very early stages of exploring making changes to its men's basketball tournament. One idea that's been batted around: expanding it to 96 teams. Here's a simple suggestion: Stop exploring. Start doing.

Expanding the 65-team tournament—the NCAA's universally beloved, crown-jewel property—is the biggest no-brainer in sports right now. Far bigger, even, than all the talk of imposing a playoff on college football.

Expansion would, in no particular order, give more quality teams a chance to prove themselves and fix the shamefully low percentage of bids given to lesser-known "mid-major" teams. It might also create enough of a supply of games to allow a portion of the tournament to be shown on cable (at the moment, fans can't see every game in its entirety because CBS—the rights holder—doesn't broadcast every game nationally).

First, I would offer that the tournament is open to nearly every Division I basketball team in a conference via the conference tournament; consider it a pre qualifier like the World Cup and Olympics have.

Second, win your conference and you're in. If you don't, you get another chance through the selection committee. Most of the last at large selections the past five years have staggered in. The selection committee has had to select amongst many very mediocre teams to fill out the bracket. Adding more mediocrity to the process doesn't make it better. In fact, it makes the regular season even more insignificant.

Third, the biggest argument against a football playoff is the length of the season. Nevermind the fact that most playoff games would be played during winter breaks. The football season runs the course of one semester or one quarter on the academic calendar. Basketball season runs across two semesters and potentially three academic quarters. I know the first week of the tournament is finals week for winter quarter at UC. How does any of that make sense?

Fourth, there's no united clamoring for an expanded NCAA basketball tournament. The 64 works well; three weekends, two games a weekend and site logistics works well for the teams. So let's go ahead and kill the golden goose (another typical liberal trait).

Finally, and maybe most importantly, how are you going to get those expanded NCAA pools on a regular 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper?

This article reminds me of the old joke that the NCAA was so pissed off at Alabama, they game Florida A&M an extra year of probation.

Read the article here......

Tort reform

Reader Jeremy with the link to this article on health care reform........

To hear federal officials tell it, they’ve got all the answers on health care and it’s up to the rest of us to sit, wait and embrace whatever solution — if any — they may eventually provide.

I find this troubling, since states have shown they know a thing or two about solving problems that affect their citizens.

Texas, in fact, stands as a good example of how smart, responsible policy can help us take major steps toward fixing a damaged medical system, starting with legal reforms.

Just six years ago, Texas was mired in a health care crisis. Our doctors were leaving the state, or abandoning the profession entirely, because of frivolous lawsuits and the steadily increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums that resulted.

Two-thirds of our state’s counties had no practicing obstetricians, and for pregnant women that meant long trips in cramped cars and higher fuel bills. Sixty percent of our counties had no pediatricians, which often meant delayed, or denied, health care for sick children.

And 24 counties in the Rio Grande Valley had no primary care doctors.

Each of those factors made it more likely that patients in underserved areas would postpone seeking care, which meant minor issues became major issues, and illnesses that could have been treated simply, easily and economically in a doctor’s office turned into severe health crises that had to be treated in the emergency room.

And the situation was worsening with every passing day. By 2002, 13 of the state’s 17 liability insurance carriers had left, leaving less competition and leaving doctors with insurance bills that were seeing double-digit increases, if they could get insurance at all.

That same year, applications for medical licenses plummeted to their lowest level in a decade.

This being Texas, instead of throwing money at the problem or debating endlessly, we identified the root causes and decided to do something about it.

In 2003, I declared the medical liability crisis an emergency item and the Legislature responded by passing sweeping reforms that protected the patient, but also shielded doctors and hospitals from unscrupulous trial lawyers eager to make a quick buck.

We capped noneconomic damages at $250,000 per defendant, or up to $750,000 per incident, while placing no cap on more easily determined economic damages, such as lost wages or costs of medical care due to injury.

We ended the practice of allowing baseless but expensive lawsuits to drag on indefinitely, requiring plaintiffs to provide expert witness reports to support their claims within four months of filing suit or drop the case.

These measures were supported by the people of Texas, who in September 2003 approved a ballot measure, Proposition 12, authorizing all the changes.

Changes were seen immediately, and continue to be felt. All major liability insurers cut their rates upon passage of our reforms, with most of those cuts ranging in the double-digits. More than 10 new insurance carriers entered the Texas market, increasing competition and further lowering costs.

Read the rest.....

Dean on Obamacare

Tax season's around the corner

This is pretty funny.

From one of my software providers..

I want a pony

As a CPA, I'm required to put in 120 hour of continuing professional education every three years to maintain my license.

Since December is my slow month, I've been in and out of courses so my posting has been limited.

In addition, as I sit through these seminars, I get more and more depressed about the status of American manufacturing as a result of the current and still to come Obamunist policies.

Take the health care bill. Right now, the house bill requires an 8 percent surcharge (penalty) to cover health coverage; in the senate, it's $750.00 per FTE.

So if you are a company that offers no insurance you just got a nice tax increase for your sin of hiring American employees.

If you offer insurance, you just received a nice reason to dump your coverage. Keep in mind the average health insurance premium for a family of four exceeds $12,000.

If that weren't bad enough, in both chambers' bills is a requirement for all insurance to cover things not previously required. What do you think that will mean for premiums? Hint, they won't be going down anytime soon.

But it gets even better. Medicare is set to go bankrupt in 2017 without some change(s). Most of the proposed changes to shore up the system consists of adding to the Medicare payroll tax which just makes it even more costly to hire American workers.

Real wages for American workers have gone up less than .1% in the past ten years but when you factor the costs of fringe benefits and all the other additional compliance issues, the costs of employing people in this country exceeds the CPI.

If you are liberal, you don't care. You're like a nine year old holding their breath until you get your pony.

But I live in the trenches with business owners. Last Sunday, I came into my office to catch up on some work and I noticed that each of the owners of businesses on my block were in the office working. This is the life of a business owner. They're not the pariahs leeching on the working man as most democrats would have you believe. They are the working man.

These business owners have lots of anxiety. They're worried about the future and worried about how they're going to take care of the employees they have; forget about hiring more.

But you don't care because you want a pony.

Let me clue you in on a little secret. Manufacturing companies don't have to worry about all this crap in Juarez or Thailand or the Philippines or Taiwan. Which is exactly why our good manufacturing jobs are being exported there. There's no minimum wage, cap and trade, card check, health care to deal with. They simply pay the workers for their service.

Imagine if you had a plumber come over to your house and his charge is $120.00. As you start to cut him a check, he tells you "Sir, could you make out a check to my supplier for $40.00, a check to my assistant for $30.00, one to my utility company for $5.00, one to my landlord for $10.00 and one to me for the remaining $35.00?" You'd probably tell him to get lost.

But yet that is exactly what employers have to do for their employee every payroll. They have to cover employment taxes, child support, union dues, health benefits, retirement accounts, etc. etc. etc.

Right now, one way to solve our health care crisis is to see that people actually have jobs. Our current administration seems to be more interested in getting everyone a pony.

But hey, don't take my word for it. Read this article about the Lovely Mrs. Gekko's home town.

Billy Dee Williams Tiger Woods Collectible Plates

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Life in "Progress" City

From the Golden Gate city of San Francisco who hasn't had a conservative in city government since milk was just something you drank............

Despite its good intentions, San Francisco is not leading the country in gay marriage. Despite its good intentions, it is not stopping wars. Despite its spending more money per capita on homelessness than any comparable city, its homeless problem is worse than any comparable city's. Despite its spending more money per capita, period, than almost any city in the nation, San Francisco has poorly managed, budget-busting capital projects, overlapping social programs no one is certain are working, and a transportation system where the only thing running ahead of schedule is the size of its deficit.

It's time to face facts: San Francisco is spectacularly mismanaged and arguably the worst-run big city in America. This year's city budget is an astonishing $6.6 billion — more than twice the budget for the entire state of Idaho — for roughly 800,000 residents. Yet despite that stratospheric amount, San Francisco can't point to progress on many of the social issues it spends liberally to tackle — and no one is made to answer when the city comes up short.

The city's ineptitude is no secret. "I have never heard anyone, even among liberals, say, 'If only [our city] could be run like San Francisco,'" says urbanologist Joel Kotkin. "Even other liberal places wouldn't put up with the degree of dysfunction they have in San Francisco. In Houston, the exact opposite of San Francisco, I assume you'd get shot."


Good enough for thee but not for me

Politico is reporting that Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY), called a US Airways flight attendant a “Bitch” Sunday after a dispute regarding cell phone use prior to take-off.

According to a GOP aide on the same flight from New York to Washington, the flight attendant approached Schumer after he and fellow Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) continued talking on their cell phones after an announcement requested passengers to turn off the devices.

When Schumer’s request to continue his phone conversation was denied by the flight attendant, he turned off his phone and began to argue with her about the rules. Schumer persisted even after, according to the Politico report, the flight attendant had mentioned that “the entire plane was waiting on him to shut down his phone.”

The flight attendant reminded Schumer that she was only following the rules and then left. According to the GOP aide Schumer then leaned over to Sen. Gillibrand and called the flight attendant a “Bitch.”

Brian Fallon, a spokesman for Sen. Schumer, said later that “[t]he senator made an off-the-cuff comment under his breath that he shouldn’t have made, and he regrets it.”


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

What's different about this insurance mandate?

Over at Polipundit is this post.....

I never thought I’d find myself agreeing with the ultra-liberal Kos on something:

My position on #HCR — kill it if it includes mandate. Strip out the mandate, then what’s left is inoffensive. Not reform, but inoffensive.

It’s still offensive, but Kos is being reasonable. The individual mandate is basically a government-forced transfer of wealth from every American to insurance companies. The insurance companies get to tax you for being alive!

Here's what I don't get. I'm not in favor of a health insurance mandate (I'm actually in favor of outlawing all employment based health insurance) but how is that actually any different than the amount paid in to Medicare; your health insurance at retirement?

Think about it. What does the government mandate you do with that first $100 paycheck you get from Taco Bell? Keep in mind that $100 isn't enough to buy groceries, pay rent or pay utilities yet the government says you have to start kicking in to a retirement fund they run (Social Security) and a Health insurance program for you retirement (Medicare).

Keep in mind, that leaves you with even less net pay than the $100.00 you started with (you're now at $92.35). Also keep in mind, that money your employer could have paid you with just got matched to add to your retirement account and retirement health care.

Again, I understand my libertarian brethren's resistance to additional governmental mandates. But, frankly, people who question how it's constitutional to mandate health insurance need only look at how the government already mandates insurance. Somehow a Supreme court found it to be constitutional; the same guys who made McCain-Feingold, Plessy v Ferguson, and Kelo all constitutional.

In mu mind the outrage should have been 40 - 80 years ago when the Supreme Court decided it would be the arbiter of what is constitutional and not the constitution itself.

You can't make this up

From the "you're pulling my chain file"..........

At a time when the White House is projecting the largest deficit in the nation's history, Uncle Sam is trying to recover billions of dollars in unpaid taxes from its own employees.

Federal workers owe more than $3 billion in income taxes they failed to pay in 2008. According to Internal Revenue Service documents, 276,300 federal employees and retirees owe $3,042,200,000.

The IRS tracks the voluntary compliance rate of federal employees and retirees each year, and each year feds come up short. The one bright spot in this year's report is that after several years of a steady increase, the amount owed by feds is down from the previous year.

Federal employees and retirees owed $3,586,784,725 in unpaid income taxes in 2007.

But hey they only make more than the average working stiff.....


Thought of the Day

If Obama gives himself a B+ grade for his job performance, what would the country have to look like to give himself a D+?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Surprise! Meeting results in need for more meetings

Regular readers to this blog know I am not fond of meetings. In my mind, meetings are the corporate equivalent of masturbation; lot's of pretend for no actual results. Needless to say, that's probably what makes them so attractive to democrats.

I can not recall one thing ever accomplished from a meeting (please forward anything you can think of).

Copenhagen is no exception..........
The key decision on preventing catastrophic climate change will be delayed for up to six years if the Copenhagen summit delivers a compromise deal which ignores advice from the UN’s science body.

World leaders will not agree on the emissions cuts recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and are likely instead to commit to reviewing them in 2015 or 2016.

So all that CO2 released from the private jets and limosines and all we get is a commitment to meet again in a few years. What are all the hookers going to do during this prolonged delay?

Don't get me wrong. If we can just get congress to keep meeting on the BCS fiasco, we'll all be better off in the long run.


The world's smallest violin

Here's another bleeding heart story about a home owner struggling with their mortgage.....

Ms. Richey, the teacher, arrived in Palmdale in 1999. In 2004, she and her husband, Timothy, bought a two-story home on Caspian Drive, near Avenue O-8, with a no-down-payment loan. They took pride in the amenities they installed: a powder room with granite countertops, a backyard pool and play area, and the purple-and-turquoise fantasy playroom upstairs for their three daughters.

But the value of the house plunged to less than $200,000 in 2009. Their $430,000 mortgage, with its $3,700 monthly payment, began to look more like an unwanted burden. By May, amid troubles getting tenants for two rental properties she also owned, Ms. Richey decided the time had come to cut a deal with America's Servicing Co., a unit of Wells Fargo & Co. servicing the mortgage on the house.

After three months of wrangling, she says she finally received a modification approval. The new monthly payment: about $3,300, far more than she had hoped. A Wells Fargo spokesman confirmed the bank offered Ms. Richey a modification under the Obama administration's Making Home Affordable program, and said, "The Richeys turned down the lowest payment we could offer."

Ms. Richey and her husband had already been working on Plan B -- exploring the neighborhood's "For Rent" signs.

On one trip, they drove by the house at 3152 Club Rancho Drive. It was bigger than their house on Caspian, had a pool with three waterfalls, and boasted a cascading staircase that Ms. Richey says she could picture her daughters descending on prom night. The rent was $2,195 a month.

. . .

Ms. Richey and her family made the move to Club Rancho Drive in August, when she was already several months behind on the mortgage. With Mr. Robbins's help, she recently sold the house on Caspian Drive for $195,000, money that the bank will accept to settle the $430,000 mortgage debt. She's also considering walking away from the mortgages on her two rental properties.

Showing a visitor the personal touches in her new home, including a $1,800 dining set she bought with some of her newly available income, she notes the advantages of being a renter rather than an owner.

"You take a risk for the American dream," she says. "I don't have to worry about paying property tax, homeowners' insurance, the landscaping, cleaning the pool or any repairs."

A teacher with a $430,000 mortgage? I'm supposed to feel bad for them?

I know of a person who worked commission sales for the past 15 years. He was making in excess of $250,000 a year and lived in a $500,000 + house. He told me last week that his industry has totally collapse and he will probably be on the unemployment line after the holidays.

He also told me that he hasn't made a mortgage payment in nearly a year and he will be filing bankruptcy.

The question I have is this. How long should someone be able to live in a $500,000 house not making any payments for principal, interest, real estate taxes, or insurance payments before they are thrown out.

I mean the Gekko's pay our mortgage on our little three bedroom bungalow. How about we pay our mortgage payment and move into tho these douche bags half million dollar home and the can live rent free..... on the streets?

Read the rest here if you can stomach it.

Life in "Progress" City

From the Motor City of Detroit, who hasn't had a conservative in the city schools since the advent of the slide rule.....

Parents of Detroit public school students railed against city educators after the release of abysmal test scores.

The outcry Saturday from the Detroit Parent Network came after test results showed fourth- and eighth-graders had the worst math scores in the nation and teachers prepared to vote on whether to strike.

Sharlonda Buckman, chief executive officer of the network, called for criminal and civil action against those charged with educating the city's children, The Detroit News reported.

"Somebody needs to pay for this," Buckman told about 500 parents. "Somebody needs to go to jail, and it shouldn't be the kids."

Robert Bobb, the school district's emergency financial manager, who would also like to take over academics, said the low scores could not be blamed on incompetent children or uncaring parents. Rather, he said, the school district has failed to fulfill its duty to the kids and their parents.

"This is an abysmal failure," Bobb said. "It is not the fault of our kids individually, and it is not the fault of our kids collectively. It is not the kids' fault. ... It is a failure of leadership."

More here.....

If that weren't bad enough, the school district needs volunteers to teach children to read despite having one of the largest per pupil expenditures in the country.....

As impassioned parents decried the Detroit Public Schools’ dismal test scores Saturday, the emergency financial manager called on volunteers to spend 100,000 hours teaching students to read.

Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb told the Detroit Parent Network that he'll announce the new initiative on Monday in response to dismal test scores released this week.

"Going forward, we have to create a situation where we create a reading revolution in the city of Detroit, so every child that reaches third grade is reading at or above third grade level," Bobb told about 300 parents gathered for the morning breakfast.

Bob talked to the parents about DPS’ test results on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), in which Detroit schoolchildren ranked the lowest in the nation.

"It’s a day that calls upon all of us to express our outrage and frustration," Bobb said to heavy applause and an audience that included U.S. Representative John Conyers. "And it’s a day we must demand something better for our children."

The parents' group executive director, Sharlonda Buckman, said parents should be irate that their tax support of the school district has had little effect on their children's education.

"They can’t read, they can’t count!" she yelled to a standing ovation. "It’s unacceptable! It would not be acceptable in any other community! We need to get on board with changing this!"

More here....

Out here in Redville we have lots of "volunteers" to help kids read. Except we don't call them "volunteers" we call them "parents".

This is the problem with liberalism. See, before the first public school was ever built, people taught their own children to read. If they were illiterate missionaries would volunteer to teach children to read.

Now we're going back to volunteers and missionaries teaching children excpet we're out billions of dollars in the process.

How is that so damn "progressive"?

Patrick J. Michaels discusses Climategate on CNN

Stupid Quotes/Gaffes from Barack Obama

From a B+ president

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Graph of the Day

Who did he vote for? #191

Meet Russell Vanderwerf. Why is Russ in the news?
An employee of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was arrested on charges of disabling the fire alarm system and damaging property in his Metairie hotel room, according to a Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office arrest report. Russell Vanderwerf, 44, of Houston was booked Dec. 1 with simple criminal damage valued at $500 to $5,000 and interfering with fire prevention after staffers at the Residence Inn, 3 Galleria Blvd., began investigating a malfunctioning fire alarm system, the arrest report said.

A technician who was summoned Nov. 30 tracked the alarm problem to the second-floor room registered to Vanderwerf, the arrest report said. Inside, staffers found the smoke detectors in the bedroom and kitchen-den had been removed and the horn that blares alarms was hanging out of the wall.

But the staffers and a deputy sheriff also discovered that someone had removed the bedroom door from its hinges and replaced it with a 5-by-4-foot piece of plywood affixed to the frame and the drywall with hinges and screws, the arrest report said. The door had two locks attached from the bedroom side and a circular hole padded with duct tape. The deputy noted in the arrest report that the hole appeared to be used "in some sort of sexual act."

A front-desk staffer told authorities that she'd received a complaint from a hotel guest who said the door to that room had been propped open on the night of Nov. 30 and that she noticed several "young men" entering and exiting. The guest also complained of hearing "sex noises" coming from the room, the arrest report said.

This guy is the Tiger Woods of glory holes.

But the more important question related to Russell is.... in November, 2008 did this guy pull the lever for Obama or McCain. Conversely, how many people have pulled his lever through a bogus hotel room door?

Steyn on The Messiah

Steyn with another hammer on the nail called Obamamania.......
The Obama speechwriting team doesn't seem to realize that. They seem to be the last guys on the planet in love with the sound of his voice and their one interminable tinny tune with its catchpenny hooks. The usual trick is to position their man as the uniquely insightful leader, pitching his tent between two extremes no sane person has ever believed: "There are those who say there is no evil in the world. There are others who argue that pink fluffy bunnies are the spawn of Satan and conspiring to overthrow civilization. Let me be clear: I believe people of goodwill on all sides can find common ground between the absurdly implausible caricatures I attribute to them on a daily basis. We must begin by finding the courage to acknowledge the hard truth that I am living testimony to the power of nuance to triumph over hard truth and come to the end of the sentence on a note of sonorous, polysyllabic if somewhat hollow uplift. Pause for applause."

It didn't come but once at Oslo last week, where Obama got bad press for blowing off the King of Norway's luncheon. In Obama's honor. Can you believe this line made it into the speech?

"I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war."

Well, there's a surprise. When you consider all the White House eyeballs that approve a presidential speech, it's truly remarkable that there's no one to scribble on the first draft: "Scrub this, Fred. It makes POTUS sound like a self-aggrandizing buffoon." It's not even merely the content, but the stylistic tics: "I do not bring with me" – as if I, God of Evan Thomas' Newsweek, am briefly descending to this obscure Scandinavian backwater bearing wisdom from beyond the stars.

Obama's sagging numbers are less a regular presidential "approval rating" than a measure of the ever-widening gulf between the messianic ballyhoo and his actual performance. For Americans interested in not pre-crippling the lives of their as-yet unborn children and grandchildren, his windy leave-'em-wanting-less routine is currently one of their best friends.


Houston elects a gay conservative

Houston elects a gay conservative?


1) Isn't gay conservative an oxymoron like intelligent liberal?

2) What is really the rarity here...... the fact that she's gay or conservative?

3) If your only news source was MSNBC or CNN, you would think that conservatives can only hate on gays, How is it possible they'd vote for one?

4) Houston elects a conservative? It's probably why they're also the only city not in the shadows of bankruptcy?

5) Houston will never make it to my "Life in Progress City" series if they keep doing crazy shit like this.

Welcome to Obamaville

Article here.....

Sowell on intellectuals

An excellent piece profiling Thomas Sowell, the anti intellectual intellectual.........

Therefore, he concludes, immeasurable damage is done by intellectuals who pontificate, but avoid the consequences of the tripe they pass off as wisdom from on high.

Sowell narrowly defines an "intellectual" as someone whose "work begins and ends with ideas," such as folks like himself, holding forth from ivory towers, and folks like yours truly, sounding off from the cozy confines of newspaper editorial offices.

He is a great intellect, an uncompromisingly courageous defender of truth and correct on all other points of which I'm aware. But I flinch at his definition. It's a wide net to include thinkers like himself and hacks like this writer. Our intellectual capacities are vastly dissimilar.

Nevertheless, in assessing the similar roles of academic intellectuals and news-hound know-it-alls, he's right on point. Academicians, the opinion-spewing media and other self-professed great thinkers are alike in that they produce ideas, rather than create products or services.

Sowell doesn't include among his definition of "intellectuals" people who, if measured by sheer brainpower would seem to qualify for the designation, such as doctors whose intellectual contribution is delivered in the operating room, engineers whose work product is bridges or researchers who develop vaccines. These intellectual types contribute more than ideas. They produce real things for which they can be held accountable if the patient dies, the bridge collapses or the vaccine kills rather than immunizes.

But intellectuals, in Sowell's sense of the word, are rarely if ever held accountable for the fruits of their labor, no matter how rotten. Forty years ago, environmentalist Paul Ehrlich infamously predicted worldwide food shortages and mass starvation. Instead, as Sowell noted, obesity is epidemic and there are "unsalable agricultural surpluses," yet Ehrlich continued to receive popular acclaim, honors and grants from prestigious academic institutions.

Isn't there a certain irony that the Obamunists are populated with an overwhelming number of intellectuals wo have never produced a damn thing in their lives?


The Hockey Stick vs. Ice Core Data

Good enough for thee but not for me

Apparently, the real cause of global warming? Just too damn many people hanging around on earth..........
The "inconvenient truth" overhanging the UN's Copenhagen conference is not that the climate is warming or cooling, but that humans are overpopulating the world.

A planetary law, such as China's one-child policy, is the only way to reverse the disastrous global birthrate currently, which is one million births every four days.

The world's other species, vegetation, resources, oceans, arable land, water supplies and atmosphere are being destroyed and pushed out of existence as a result of humanity's soaring reproduction rate.

Ironically, China, despite its dirty coal plants, is the world's leader in terms of fashioning policy to combat environmental degradation, thanks to its one-child-only edict.

The intelligence behind this is the following:

-If only one child per female was born as of now, the world's population would drop from its current 6.5 billion to 5.5 billion by 2050, according to a study done for scientific academy Vienna Institute of Demography.

-By 2075, there would be 3.43 billion humans on the planet. This would have immediate positive effects on the world's forests, other species, the oceans, atmospheric quality and living standards.

-Doing nothing, by contrast, will result in an unsustainable population of nine billion by 2050.

Humans are the only rational animals but have yet to prove it. Medical and other scientific advances have benefited by delivering lower infant mortality rates as well as longevity. Both are welcome, but humankind has not yet recalibrated its behavior to account for the fact that the world can only accommodate so many people, especially if billions get indoor plumbing and cars.