Saturday, February 28, 2009

Yet another Example of Teachers Putting Their Interests ahead of the Students They Teach

The following piece appears at The Examiner.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.

Teachers unions say 'jump,' Congress says 'how high?'

By Timothy P. Carney
Examiner Columnist | 2/26/09 5:54 PM

Teachers unions, through their allies in the Democrat-controlled Congress, are on the verge of demolishing the chief threat to their monopoly—school vouchers for low-income families in the District of Columbia.

If they win in the end and kill this program, it will be another triumph for a near-monopoly that has lined the coffers of nearly every member of Congress and deployed an army of lobbyists throughout Washington.

When the House passed the $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill this week—funding the normal operations of government for the next seven months—it included a provision that effectively would end the D.C. school voucher program after next school year.

While there are legitimate doubts about the educational results of the D.C. voucher program, which provides $7,500 in federal taxpayer money to some low-income district parents to use on private or religious schools, the voucher program is in Congress’s crosshairs because of the lobbying efforts and campaign contributions of the teachers’ unions, which don’t want competition from private schools.

Public school teachers, for the most part, are not well paid. Theirs is a noble undertaking, and in places like D.C. they do dangerous and difficult work with inadequate support. But the image of the hard-working self-sacrificing teacher is not the proper symbol for the teachers unions in this country. They are more like huge corporations with high-powered lobbying arms and cozy connections with important politicians.

Beltway bandits, defense contractors, influential industries—most of them pale in their influence efforts compared to the teachers unions, according to data from the Center for Responsive Politics.

Take defense contractors. Lockheed Martin, the top recipient of military contracts most years, spent more on politics than any other defense firm in the 2008 elections. They still spent less than the American Federation of Teachers, which shelled out $2.8 million in the last cycle—with nearly every AFT dime going to Democrats.

The top two teachers unions—AFT and the National Education Association—spent more combined, $5.27 million, than the top two defense contractors.

The top five lobbying firms, combined, didn’t equal the AFT and the NEA in federal contributions in the 2008 cycle. Both of the teachers unions gave more than any oil company, and the NEA and AFT combined gave more than the top four oil companies combined.

These contributions give the unions clout, and federal lobbying records show they use this clout. Again, on closer inspection, the teachers unions look an awful lot like those corporate special interests Democrats supposedly oppose.

The NEA employs four different lobbying firms in Washington, in addition to their in-house lobbying arm, which includes at least six lobbyists. Over the past two years, the NEA spent $10.7 million on lobbying. Reviewing the filings of the NEA, the AFT, and their K Street hires reveals that lobbying to kill DC vouchers was a priority.

The AFT spent about $1.8 million on lobbying in the last two years. That includes at least $135,000 in 2008 to the Ickes and Enright Group, a small lobbying shop run by Harold Ickes and Janice Enright, two Billl and Hillary Clinton intimates.

Ickes was the deputy chief of staff in the Clinton White House, and served as his special assistant. Enright is also a prolific fundraiser, having served as treasurer for the biggest 527s in the 2004 election and for HillPAC, the political action committee of Hillary Clinton, more recently.

Interestingly, all four quarterly reports filed in 2008 by Ickes and Enright show that, despite the six-figure retainer paid by the AFT, the firm conducted no lobbying activity on behalf of the teachers union.

In the last cycle, Enright contributed $34,450 to Democratic candidates and PACs while Ickes gave $39,150. So the AFT gives these two money for nothing, and these two line the pockets of Democratic candidates.

The AFT and the NEA, then, are wealthy special interest groups that, in an effort to secure more taxpayer money and preserve a near-monopoly, donate to nearly every Democratic congressman. They spend millions on lobbying and retain big-name lobbyists to push their cause. And their cause includes stripping out funding for vouchers.

Again, there are substantive arguments against D.C. school vouchers. But with this money trail, it appears that congressional Democrats’ push to kill vouchers is simply a case of the piper playing the tune that the AFT has called.

Examiner columnist Timothy P. Carney is author of “The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money.”

Time for some principle and values.

I am sharing some principles and values that Glenn Beck is proposing. If our governments and public schools heeded and taught these values it is likely we would not be in the situation we are today. I think it is sad that our Country has become almost polar opposite of the Country our Founding Fathers found well over 200 years ago.

It is time for governments and public schools to put the people they serve first instead of having the mindset mentality that these systems are their entitlement programs.

When the money follows the child and not the system it will truly be "For the kids." Honestly I do not know how public school employees look themselves in the mirror. They waste countless of millions of dollars every year. Hold hostage our children in a failing education system. Tens of thousands of kids fail to make adequate yearly progress but thousands of failing educators keep their jobs that provide excellent pay and benefits. As seen be recent legislation over the past two years it is clear to me each child represents more money to their system and be damned what is best for the child.

When I was working I had no problem referring my patients to another professional if needed because my patients always came before my practice.

As hundreds of people are losing their jobs across NH will any school district tighten their budget and do away with wasteful spending. Unlikely I am sure.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.

Nine Principles to Believe In
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
By Glenn Beck

America, I want to talk straight to you now.

There is a lot of bad news out there. Our economy is tanking and does not show signs of improving. People are losing their jobs 500 million a month according to Nancy Pelosi and there are more cuts on the way.

People around the world are taking to the streets. Our government responds to problem with "bailouts." When you reach out to them you get no response while Ponzi scheme crooks get away with millions and tax cheats get promotions.

Terrorists are on the run, and you just want to keep your family safe.

It is enough to make you want to just give up!

But I am here to tell you something important: You are not alone, and if you believe in a majority of these nine principles then keep watching because I am going to prove it to you to.

1. America is good place, not perfect, but good.

2. I believe in God and He is the center of my life.

3. I must try to be a better, more honest person than I was yesterday.

4. The family is sacred. My spouse and I are the ultimate authority.

5. If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.

6. I have a right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness and not a guarantee of equal results.

7. I work hard for what I have. I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.

8. It is not un-American for me to disagree or share my personal opinion.

9. The government works for me. I do not answer to them. They answer to me.

If you believe in those things then I have a project for you. Believe me, this will be worth your while. I want you to take a picture of yourself — keep your clothes on, please — and e-mail it to me at I am going to ask you every day for the next two or three weeks.

Please, if you agree with these principles then help me fight for them.

Link to story.

You Are Not Alone: 12 Values
Thursday, February 12, 2009
By Glenn Beck

I have been telling you about the You Are Not Alone project and the Nine Principles — principles that have made this country great.

I didn't pull these out of thin air. I borrowed from scripture. I got them from the Founding Fathers. And honestly, a lot of these principles are just common sense.

This is not a partisan thing. This is not about elephant or donkey, liberal or conservative. This is about Americans making their voices heard.


Now it is time for step two and we add the 12 Values.

They are:

• Honesty
• Reverence
• Hope
• Thrift
• Humility
• Charity
• Sincerity
• Moderation
• Hard work
• Courage
• Personal responsibility
• Friendship

Link to story

Friday, February 27, 2009


I was sick for a few days and we have been dealing with other daily life issues. We have had some plumbing issues and other matters have come up as well. Sorry for the lack of posts.

Jim will be at the town dump handing out information about himself on Saturday.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.

The Right to Parent Your Child may be in Danger.

The following piece appears at America's Independent Party National Committee. Although I believe children should never be spanked I do agree that this treaty will take away your rights as a parent. As stated in the article, "Government will ultimately determine whether parents' decisions are in their children's best interest." This is a can of worms we do not want opened. If you think taxes are bad now they will only get worse with such a treaty. There are plenty of laws in the books to protect children we do not need this treaty and we do not need the UN overriding our government.

I am sure that Stalin and Hitler would pass this treaty in a heartbeat were they alive today.

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.

Destroying the unalienable rights of parents on a global scale

Sen. Boxer tries to hurry children's 'rights' treaty
Opponents warn U.N. measure would put government in place of parents
Posted: February 26, 2009
1:17 pm Eastern

© 2009 WorldNetDaily

Sen. Barbara Boxer

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., is urging a hurry-up timetable for adoption of a United Nations treaty she says provides for "basic human rights" for children but opponents argue would destroy parental rights to raise their children as they choose.

"Children deserve basic human rights ... and the convention protects children's rights by setting some standards here so that the most vulnerable people of society will be protected," Boxer said, according to Fox News.

Boxer wants quick action on the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, a proposal on which for 20 years Congress has refused to act because of concerns and questions.

The instrument was signed by President Clinton in 1995, but opposition and critics' concerns that it would override centuries of practice, policy and law regarding children have left it unadopted.

The document would create "the right of the child to freedom of thought, conscience and religion," which critics say would usurp the role of parents in directing their children's religious training.

But Boxer said during a hearing in the Senate recently she feels a "humiliation" that the U.S. has not adopted the plan.

WND reported just a week ago one of the nation's top experts on children's rights, Michael Farris, president of and chancellor of Patrick Henry College, said the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child would mean every decision a parent makes can be reviewed by the government to determine whether it is in the child's best interest.

"The left wants to make the Obama-Clinton era permanent. Treaties are a way to make it as permanent as stuff gets. It is very difficult to extract yourself from a treaty once you begin it. If they can put all of their left-wing socialist policies into treaty form, we're stuck with it even if they lose the next election," he warned.

The 1990s-era document was ratified quickly by 193 nations worldwide but not the U.S. or Somalia. In Somalia, there was then no recognized government to formally recognize the measure, and in the U.S. there's been opposition to its power. Countries that ratify the treaty are bound to it by international law.

The international treaty creates specific civil, social, cultural and even economic rights for every child and states that "the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." While the treaty states parents or legal guardians "have primary responsibility for the upbringing and development of the child," Farris said government will ultimately determine whether parents' decisions are in their children's best interest.

According to the Parental Rights website, the CRC dictates the following:

*Parents would no longer be able to administer reasonable spankings to their children.
*A murderer aged 17 years, 11 months and 29 days at the time of his crime could no longer be sentenced to life in prison.
*Children would have the ability to choose their own religion while parents would only have the authority to give their children advice about religion.
*The best interest of the child principle would give the government the ability to override every decision made by every parent if a government worker disagreed with the parent's decision.
*A child's "right to be heard" would allow him (or her) to seek governmental review of every parental decision with which the child disagreed.
*According to existing interpretation, it would be illegal for a nation to spend more on national defense than it does on children's welfare.
*Children would acquire a legally enforceable right to leisure.
*Teaching children about Christianity in schools has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
*Allowing parents to opt their children out of sex education has been held to be out of compliance with the CRC.
*Children would have the right to reproductive health information and services, including abortions, without parental knowledge or consent.
*The government would decide what is in the best interest of a children in every case, and the CRC would be considered superior to state laws, Farris said. Parents could be treated like criminals for making every-day decisions about their children's lives.

"If you think your child shouldn't go to the prom because their grades were low, the U.N. Convention gives that power to the government to review your decision and decide if it thinks that's what's best for your child," he said. "If you think that your children are too young to have a Facebook account, which interferes with the right of communication, the U.N. gets to determine whether or not your decision is in the best interest of the child."

At a Walden University presidential debate last October, Obama indicated he may take action.

"It's embarrassing to find ourselves in the company of Somalia, a lawless land," Obama said. "I will review this and other treaties to ensure the United States resumes its global leadership in human rights."

Fox News reported the standing U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child, an 18-member panel in Geneva, would review the rights of children in all disputes.
Posted 2009-02-27 8:08 PM (#8308) By: EternalVigilance

Monday, February 23, 2009

Flunked the Movie

I have added two new links to our Links of Interest section of our BLOG. The first link is to a movie called "flunked" the second link is to the "flunked" BLOG.

Hat Tip School Choice

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We must teach history or we are doomed to fail.

If our schools had been doing a better job over the last 40 years, would we be in the mess we are in today? With the clear turn toward socialism in this country we are doomed to repeat failures of history's past.

I wonder how George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Sam Adams, Ben Franklin, John Hancock, Nathan Hale, Patrick Henry..........would feel about the direction our country has taken over the past century. I find it amazing that the first black president is enslaving so many Americans with his policies. So many people fought for freedom over the past 400 years and he is enslaving the people of America to taxation levels well beyond the levels that England taxed the colonists so many years ago.

President Obama must have not study American History in all of his years of schooling.

Quote of the Day
"I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I travelled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer." -- Ben Franklin, 1766

Spelling and grammar errors as well as typos are left as an exercise for our readers.