Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Hypocrisy is Deafening

I for one am not surprised at the response to the Tea Parties from the press, the legislators and our President. As a tax fighter and education reformist for the last seven years I have been all too aware of the hypocrisy from public figures and the press. While in Illinois a reporter for a local newspaper was actively in support of a school district's tax referendum in her newspaper reporting, after the referendum passed she was hired by the school district for a salary of 60,000 dollars a year.

The following piece points outs the hypocrisy of todays press and appears in the American Thinker.

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

The following piece appears in the American Thinker.

August 14, 2009
Town Hall Outrage? Media cooperated in disruptions at GOP events
By William Tate

A special spot in hell is reserved for the media whose shameless hypocrisy has sunk to new lows with their feigned indignation over health care town hall protests. Even as they currently bluster about 'astroturf' and shout down guests about shouting people down, these same Obama sycophants refused to condemn orchestrated disruptions aimed at the Bush administration, and, in some cases, may actually have conspired to execute them.

According to Dante, the eighth circle of hell holds those who have committed conscious fraud or treachery -- such as the Media wing of the Democratic Party has been perpetrating. Perhaps most egregious among them have been the Obama sycophants at MSNBC.

'The Place for Propaganda' has been plucking individual protesters who went to health care town halls and confronting them on-air with irrelevant questions, or intentional misquotes, in order to rattle them and make them appear to be loons.

Case in point: Chris "I felt this thrill going up my leg" Matthews accusing protester William Kostric of "carrying a God damned gun" at Obama's New Hampshire town hall, even though Kostric was outside, not inside the event, and was carrying his handgun legally, holstered safely on his leg. Ironically, one of the points Kostric was trying to make, and that Matthews refused to hear, was about the erosion of individuals' rights. The Second Amendment apparently doesn't count for much at MSNBC.

The media has all but ignored that the current shouting-down speakers at health care meetings started with leftist activists in May. "(A)ctivists disrupted a Senate Finance Committee hearing Tuesday, standing up one after the other as Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) tried to restore order," according to Politico, noting that the protest was organized by three groups, "all of whom support a single-payer, government-run health care system."

This follows years of kid glove treatment of left-wing disruptions at Republican events.

Of course, comparing the current town hall protests to these previous disruptions of events is somewhat akin to comparing apples and hand grenades.

The current town hall outbursts are coming from tens of thousands of folks at events at which they are supposed to exercise their First Amendment rights and speak out. The manufactured disruptions organized by Code Pink and their radical-left comrades were attempts by a handful of people to interrupt, even stop, lawful gatherings and to deny thousands of other folks those same First Amendment rights.

The leftist disruptions of Republican events back then were often reported -- if given any coverage at all -- with bemused admiration, as in, 'Gee, how did they manage to pull that off?'

Well, the answer is, Left wing protesters often pulled off their stunts with the cooperation -- intentional or not -- of the media.

Many of the highly visible disruptions of events during the Bush administration involved Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans, co-founders of anti-war wacko group, Code Pink. Evans was also a top Obama campaign contribution bundler. Benjamin and/or Evans were dragged out after disrupting the 2006 Bush State of the Union message to Congress, numerous congressional hearings, the 2008 Republican Convention, and the 2004 RNC in New York.

How did they get into so many high-security events?

"Several of the incidents, the (convention) official said, involved credentials issued to the broadcast media," according to a New York Times report on how easy it was for protesters to get into the 2004 GOP convention. (Nod, nod. Wink, wink.) Benjamin told the NYT, "I am shocked by how many passes we can get."

A September 4, 2004 San Francisco Chronicle article entitled "Pink-slip protester got in on borrowed press pass" blithely reported:

"It was so easy to get into the Republican National Convention that activist Gael Murphy got in two straight nights... The 50-year-old's key to burrowing into her own personal Death Star: a media pass. Obtained from 'a friend of a friend' whose media organization she won't divulge.

"(M)ore than two dozen hecklers have proven that only a small device was necessary to penetrate the cordon and disrupt the convention: a delegate's spare guest credential or a media pass, which protesters said were surprisingly easy to get."

Activists again used their sympathizers in the media to disrupt the 2008 Republican convention, using press credentials multiple times. At least one witness said MSNBC was specifically identified as the source of the media pass. On another occasion, a newspaper reporter said she was, conveniently, in the bathroom when a protester, using a pass with her name on it, disrupted an RNC session on abortion.

It is, perhaps, possible that the passes were used without the reporter's -- or, in the other instance, MSNBC's -- prior knowledge; Code Pink has been accused of forging credentials, even stealing identities.

But Code Pink has specifically admitted to using media credentials from "friends of friends" to disrupt Republican events.

So, where was the media outrage? I have seen, first-hand, the ire directed at a lowly commoner who has inadvertently wandered into the media section; it's not a sight for the squeamish. The Fourth Estate guards its privileges zealously, yet looked the other way when they were being infringed upon by the anti-Bush left.

Even if the media was not actively involved in handing media credentials over to leftist kooks, they were de facto accomplices by not stopping the practice. All it would have taken would have been some negative coverage.


Oh, in Dante's ninth ring, hell freezes over.

William Tate is an award-winning journalist and author

Quotes of the Day -

"I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. We should stand up and say we are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration." - Hillary Clinton - April 2003

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face,"........ "You are my ambassadors. You guys are the ones who can make the case." Barack Obama - September 2008

"Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear." Harry S. Truman

Friday, August 14, 2009

Random Thoughts On Friday

Don't believe everything you see in the News. The Astroturf is from the left not the right.

Who is getting bussed into the Town Hall meetings? Yep pro-union, pro Obamacare people.

Who are the real thugs? These people are making Jimmy Hoffa look like a good guy.

Who is getting paid to go to the Town Hall Meetings? You guessed it the left. Up to 15 bucks an hour.

Who got boxed lunches at the Town Hall Meeting? Yep you guessed it again, the left.

Who knew that facebook was a great source for NEWS, information and a great place to find like minded liberty minded friends.

The I-Pod touch is another distraction I probably did not need.

Movie suggestions for the weekend, Animal Farm and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.

Who knew that political activism could be more fun then a day at the beach.

If you are not a part of the solution you are a part of the problem. Make a phone call today to your Senator or Representative or attend a town hall meeting or attend a tea party or donate to a pro-liberty candidate or educate your friends and neighbors. Our Country is changing and it will not be for the better, do something to restore the freedoms on which this Country was founded.

Educate yourself on how Obama's policies will change the Country. Visit the Heritage Foundation's website.

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

Thursday, August 13, 2009

22,000 for a phone call.

You have heard it time and time again teachers are underpaid it is a myth. We are lucky here in Croydon that the school board has kept salaries in check and the teachers are not over compensated. The State of New Hampshire is not as bad as many states not so true for New Jersey. A New Jersey teacher was fined $22,000 for talking on the phone for 4 minutes in her classroom and has agreed to pay the fine. Good for her. 70,000 dollars for a 9 month job is really good considering taxpayers are footing the bill.

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

The following piece appears at

NJ Teacher To Pay $22K Fine For Phone Call
Asbury Park Teacher To Pay Large Fine For 4-Minute Call Made During Class

ASBURY PARK, N.J. (CBS) ― Her lawyer says a New Jersey teacher won't appeal a $22,000 fine for making a four-minute personal call in class.

Attorney Stephen Hunter says Desley Getty acknowledges she made a mistake.

The 120-day salary forfeiture will be based on calendar days and will be deducted from a base salary of about $70,000. A previous story had estimated the penalty at as much as $50,000 based on 120 work days.

Court records show the Asbury Park High School performing arts teacher was covering for another teacher in 2008 when she called suspended superintendent Antonio Lewis.

A student recorded two students dancing while Getty was on the phone and posted it on YouTube.

Getty questioned students the next day after she had learned about the video.

The district prohibits teachers from making personal calls while performing assigned duties.

Asbury Park High School is a comprehensive, four-year community public high school headquartered in Asbury Park, New Jersey. It serves prekindergarten through twelfth grade.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Homeschooling Works

The Home School Legal Defense Association has commissioned a report from the National Home Education Research Institute to look at academic achievement in homeschoolers. As you will read homeschooling works. It is time for the government to get out of the way so homeschooling parents can focus on educating their children instead of dealing with ridiculous Legislators who want to make it more difficult to homeschool.

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

New Nationwide Study Confirms Homeschool Academic Achievement

Ian Slatter
Director of Media Relations

August 10, 2009

Each year, the homeschool movement graduates at least 100,000 students. Due to the fact that both the United States government and homeschool advocates agree that homeschooling has been growing at around 7% per annum for the past decade, it is not surprising that homeschooling is gaining increased attention. Consequently, many people have been asking questions about homeschooling, usually with a focus on either the academic or social abilities of homeschool graduates.

As an organization advocating on behalf of homeschoolers, Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) long ago committed itself to demonstrating that homeschooling should be viewed as a mainstream educational alternative.

We strongly believe that homeschooling is a thriving education movement capable of producing millions of academically and socially able students who will have a tremendously positive effect on society.

Despite much resistance from outside the homeschool movement, whether from teachers unions, politicians, school administrators, judges, social service workers, or even family members, over the past few decades homeschoolers have slowly but surely won acceptance as a mainstream education alternative. This has been due in part to the commissioning of research which demonstrates the academic success of the average homeschooler.

The last piece of major research looking at homeschool academic achievement was completed in 1998 by Dr. Lawrence Rudner. Rudner, a professor at the ERIC Clearinghouse, which is part of the University of Maryland, surveyed over 20,000 homeschooled students. His study, titled Home Schooling Works, discovered that homeschoolers (on average) scored about 30 percentile points higher than the national average on standardized achievement tests.

This research and several other studies supporting the claims of homeschoolers have helped the homeschool cause tremendously. Today, you would be hard pressed to find an opponent of homeschooling who says that homeschoolers, on average, are poor academic achievers.

There is one problem, however. Rudner’s research was conducted over a decade ago. Without another look at the level of academic achievement among homeschooled students, critics could begin to say that research on homeschool achievement is outdated and no longer relevant.

Recognizing this problem, HSLDA commissioned Dr. Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the non-profit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), to collect data for the 2007–08 academic year for a new study which would build upon 25 years of homeschool academic scholarship conducted by Ray himself, Rudner, and many others.

Drawing from 15 independent testing services, the Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics included 11,739 homeschooled students from all 50 states who took three well-known tests—California Achievement Test, Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, and Stanford Achievement Test for the 2007–08 academic year. The Progress Report is the most comprehensive homeschool academic study ever completed.
The Results

Overall the study showed significant advances in homeschool academic achievement as well as revealing that issues such as student gender, parents’ education level, and family income had little bearing on the results of homeschooled students.

There was little difference between the results of homeschooled boys and girls on core scores.

Boys—87th percentile
Girls—88th percentile

Household income had little impact on the results of homeschooled students.

$34,999 or less—85th percentile
$35,000–$49,999—86th percentile
$50,000–$69,999—86th percentile
$70,000 or more—89th percentile

The education level of the parents made a noticeable difference, but the homeschooled children of non-college educated parents still scored in the 83rd percentile, which is well above the national average.

Neither parent has a college degree—83rd percentile
One parent has a college degree—86th percentile
Both parents have a college degree—90th percentile

Whether either parent was a certified teacher did not matter.

Certified (i.e., either parent ever certified)—87th percentile
Not certified (i.e., neither parent ever certified)—88th percentile

Parental spending on home education made little difference.

Spent $600 or more on the student—89th percentile
Spent under $600 on the student—86th percentile

The extent of government regulation on homeschoolers did not affect the results.

Low state regulation—87th percentile
Medium state regulation—88th percentile
High state regulation—87th percentile

HSLDA defines the extent of government regulation this way:

States with low regulation: No state requirement for parents to initiate any contact or State requires parental notification only.

States with moderate regulation: State requires parents to send notification, test scores, and/or professional evaluation of student progress.

State with high regulation: State requires parents to send notification or achievement test scores and/or professional evaluation, plus other requirements (e.g. curriculum approval by the state, teacher qualification of parents, or home visits by state officials).

The question HSLDA regularly puts before state legislatures is, “If government regulation does not improve the results of homeschoolers why is it necessary?”

In short, the results found in the new study are consistent with 25 years of research, which show that as a group homeschoolers consistently perform above average academically. The Progress Report also shows that, even as the numbers and diversity of homeschoolers have grown tremendously over the past 10 years, homeschoolers have actually increased the already sizeable gap in academic achievement between themselves and their public school counterparts-moving from about 30 percentile points higher in the Rudner study (1998) to 37 percentile points higher in the Progress Report (2009).

As mentioned earlier, the achievement gaps that are well-documented in public school between boys and girls, parents with lower incomes, and parents with lower levels of education are not found among homeschoolers. While it is not possible to draw a definitive conclusion, it does appear from all the existing research that homeschooling equalizes every student upwards. Homeschoolers are actually achieving every day what the public schools claim are their goals—to narrow achievement gaps and to educate each child to a high level.

Of course, an education movement which consistently shows that children can be educated to a standard significantly above the average public school student at a fraction of the cost—the average spent by participants in the Progress Report was about $500 per child per year as opposed to the public school average of nearly $10,000 per child per year—will inevitably draw attention from the K-12 public education industry.
Answering the Critics

This particular study is the most comprehensive ever undertaken. It attempts to build upon and improve on the previous research. One criticism of the Rudner study was that it only drew students from one large testing service. Although there was no reason to believe that homeschoolers participating with that service were automatically non-representative of the broader homeschool community, HSLDA decided to answer this criticism by using 15 independent testing services for this new study. There can be no doubt that homeschoolers from all walks of life and backgrounds participated in the Progress Report.

While it is true that not every homeschooler in America was part of this study, it is also true that the Progress Report provides clear evidence of the success of homeschool programs.

The reason is that all social science studies are based on samples. The goal is to make the sample as representative as possible because then more confident conclusions can be drawn about the larger population. Those conclusions are then validated when other studies find the same or similar results.

Critics tend to focus on this narrow point and maintain that they will not be satisfied until every homeschooler is submitted to a test. This is not a reasonable request because not all homeschoolers take standardized achievement tests. In fact, while the majority of homeschool parents do indeed test their children simply to track their progress and also to provide them with the experience of test-taking, it is far from a comprehensive and universal practice among homeschoolers.

The best researchers can do is provide a sample of homeschooling families and compare the results of their children to those of public school students, in order to give the most accurate picture of how homeschoolers in general are faring academically.

The concern that the only families who chose to participate are the most successful homeschoolers can be alleviated by the fact that the overwhelming majority of parents did not know their children's test results before agreeing to participate in the study.

HSLDA believes that this study along with the several that have been done in the past are clear evidence that homeschoolers are succeeding academically.
Final Thought

Homeschooling is making great strides and hundreds of thousands of parents across America are showing every day what can be achieved when parents exercise their right to homeschool and make tremendous sacrifices to provide their children with the best education available.