Friday, July 30, 2010

The Michael Letters - Heaven's Answer to Screwtape

Fans of Glenn Beck and The Screwtape Letters will love The Michael Letters.

Available on Amazon and Create Space.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jim Peschke's Book Now Available for Purchase

The above photo is the back cover without the ISBN.

Jim's book now available for sale on Create Space.


Friday, June 25, 2010

The Michael Letters - Heaven's Answer to Screwtape

Jim has finally finished his book and should be available to purchase very soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Trailblazers Must Go

NECAP testing recently exposed serious deficiencies in both Croydon's and Newport's mathematics programs. I'm pleased to report that the Croydon School Board has been looking into the source of these problems. While none can definitively cite a single cause, I believe the evidence overwhelmingly supports a case for replacing the "Trailblazer's" mathematics program used in both districts.

To address these concerns, the administration arranged a "Math Night" hosted by Newport's K-12 mathematics coach Christine Downing. As the night was poorly attended, Christine was kind enough to discuss the mathematics program further at the Croydon School Board meeting.

To their credit, all administrators promptly acknowledged the problem and accepted the need to take corrective action. The alternative explanations offered for the poor math skills may have merit, but they do not exonerate the Trailblazer's program. Consider the following points:

- Trailblazer's is almost universally panned as an inferior program

- Both Croydon and Newport exhibit comparably poor mathematics performance. Two different schools and sets of teachers have one thing in common: Trailblazer's.

- NECAP results for language skills are markedly higher than for mathematics. This makes it difficult to attribute the math problems to social causes or a lack of teaching skills.

- Several parents, including my colleagues, have indicated that the structure of the Trailblazer's program makes it difficult for parents to help with homework. A common orthodoxy of the education establishment is that parental involvement is vital to a successful education. I share this belief and consider this shortcoming a show-stopper.

- The sample questions from the NECAP tests are embarrassingly simple. My exhausted, up-past-10pm five year old daughter answered roughly 50% of the questions correctly.

- Trailblazer's has been used in Croydon and Newport for several years; test scores show no significant change.

The most damning evidence against Trailblazer's comes from their own website. As a board member, I was provided access to some of the informational material available on the Trailblazer's website. What I saw was convoluted, needlessly complicated, lazy mathematics. Its no wonder those of us educated in classical mathematics struggle through Trailblazer's nonsensical pedagogy.

It would be nice if we could afford experiments to determine whether Trailblazer's is a blessing or a curse. Few of us are willing to sacrifice more students to the Altar of Mediocrity. We cannot wait for iron-clad proof; we must act on the preponderance of evidence and dump this dubious educational fad.

Jim Peschke

For a comparison of several math programs click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

You Gotta Love Unions - Union Scandals

Yesterday I had to listening to the ramblings of an old man talk (with age does not always come wisdom) about how good unions were for workers. I wonder how the union workers who paid dues feel about their union dollars being used in this matter. Was this the hope and change voters hoped for when electing a Union loving President?

The following piece appeared on the
Be sure to visit the to read the links associated with the below story.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Top ten most outrageous union scandals
June 20, Conservative ExaminerRobert Moon

Under President "Change," out-of-control union abuses and corruption have exploded onto the scene across the country. Below are the top ten most egregious cases, as documented by the New York Post, the National Legal and Policy Center and the New York Daily News.

Only one was from before our bought-and-paid-for union puppet-in-chief took office and began immediately dumping truckloads of endless borrowed tax dollars into union coffers (as I noted here).

10. Feb. 11, 2010: Anthony Rumore, ex-president of Scarsdale's Teamsters Local 812, pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements related to extorting free labor out of his membership.

9. Aug. 5, 2009: Michael Forde, ex-head of the city's District Council of Carpenters, was hit with a 29-count indictment for taking bribes from members -- in exchange for allowing them to avoid mandatory contributions to their pension funds. Forde beat similar charges several years before.

8. Jan., 2008: Salvatore Battaglia, President of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union Local 1181, pleaded guilty to taking payoffs and said several school bus company owners have made regular payments to his union for decades.

7. April 21, 2010: Wayne Mitchell, ex-president of Communications Workers of America Local 14170 (representing mail room workers), pleaded guilty in a Manhattan federal court to embezzling $200,000.

6. April 23, 2010: Mitchell's immediate successor, Larry DeAngelis, pleaded guilty to stealing $60,000 from the union.

5. May 11, 2010: Peter Thomassen, assistant supervisor of the above-mentioned carpenters union, resigned after a report showed huge amounts of spending on lavish parties, junkets and steak dinners. An indictment is expected.

4. Last May, ex-Central Labor Council boss and former Queens Assemblyman Brian McLaughlin was sentenced to 10 years for embezzlement -- including from the electricians union he once ran.

3. Feb. 16, 2010: Thomas Pokrywczynski, former secretary-treasurer of Buffalo-area Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1342, pleaded guilty in federal court to theft of $254,000 in union funds.

2. June, 2010: Daniel Hughes, former head of the Field Supervisor Association representing Port Authority workers, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to looting $300,000 in members' dues over five years.

1. Feb. 17, 2010: Melissa King, former benefits administrator of the "Sandhogs" tunnel-digging union, was indicted for embezzling some $40 million from three benefit funds she oversaw.

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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pension Tsunami is Starting to Hit

Jim and I have been saying for years that pensions are bankrupting the States, you know the problem must be completely out of hand if the New York Times is reporting the crisis. These pensions were unsustainable from the getgo and should have never been negoiated in the first place. One way to solve both the public pension problem and the social security problem at once is to transfer all public pensions funds to social security and have everyone recieve social security. Be sure to visit the New York Times for links associated with the story.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

In Budget Crisis, States Take Aim at Pension Costs

Published: June 19, 2010

Many states are acknowledging this year that they have promised pensions they cannot afford and are cutting once-sacrosanct benefits, to appease taxpayers and attack budget deficits.
Enlarge This Image

Seth Perlman/Associated Press
Gov. Pat Quinn said an overhaul would save Illinois’s pension system $300 million in its first year. But the fund is weakened.
Payback Time

Untouchable Benefits

Articles in this series are examining the consequences of, and efforts to deal with, growing public and private debts.
Previous Articles in the Series »
Illinois raised its retirement age to 67, the highest of any state, and capped public pensions at $106,800 a year. Arizona, New York, Missouri and Mississippi will make people work more years to earn pensions. Virginia is requiring employees to pay into the state pension fund for the first time. New Jersey will not give anyone pension credit unless they work at least 32 hours a week.

“We can’t afford to deny reality or delay action any longer,” said Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois, adding that his state’s pension cuts, enacted in March, will save some $300 million in the first year alone.

But there is a catch: Nearly all of the cuts so far apply only to workers not yet hired. Though heralded as breakthrough reforms by state officials, the cuts phase in so slowly they are unlikely to save the weakest funds and keep them from running out of money. Some new rules may even hasten the demise of the funds they were meant to protect.

Lawmakers wanted to avoid legal battles or fights with unions, whose members can be influential voters. So they are allowing most public workers across the country to keep building up their pensions at the same rate as ever. The tens of thousands of workers now on Illinois’s payrolls, for instance, will still get to retire at 60 — and some will as young as 55.

One striking exception is Colorado, which has imposed cuts on its current workers, not just future hires, and even on people who have already retired. The retirees have sued to block the reduction.

Other states with shrinking funds and deep fiscal distress may be pushed in this direction and tempted to follow Colorado’s example in the coming years. Though most state officials believe they are legally bound to shield current workers from pension cuts, a Colorado victory could embolden them to be more aggressive.

Colorado pruned a 3.5 percent annual pension increase to 2 percent, concluding that was the fastest way to revive its pension fund, which was projected to run out of money by 2029. The cut may sound small, but it produces big results because it goes into effect immediately. State plans vary widely, but many have other costly features, like subsidized early-retirement benefits, which could likewise be trimmed for existing workers.

Despite its pension reform, Illinois is still in deep trouble. That vaunted $300 million in immediate savings? The state produced it by giving itself credit now for the much smaller checks it will send retirees many years in the future — people who must first be hired and then, for full benefits, work until age 67.

By recognizing those far-off savings right away, Illinois is letting itself put less money into its pension fund now, starting with $300 million this year.

That saves the state money, but it also weakens the pension fund, actually a family of funds, raising the risk of a collapse long before the real savings start to materialize.

“We’re within a few years of having some of the pension funds run out of money,” said R. Eden Martin, president of the Commercial Club of Chicago, a business group that has been warning of a “financial implosion” for several years. “Funding for the schools is going to be cut radically. Funding for Medicaid. As these things all mount up, there’s going to be a lot of outrage.”

Joshua D. Rauh, an associate professor of finance at Northwestern University who studies public pension funds, predicts that at the current rate, Illinois’s pension system could run out of money by 2018. He believes the funds of other troubled states — including New Jersey, Indiana and Connecticut — are also on track to run out of money in less than a decade, unless they make meaningful changes.

If a state pension fund ran out of money, the state would be legally bound to make good on retirees’ benefits. But paying public pensions straight out of general revenue would be ruinous. In Illinois’s case, it would consume about half the state’s cash every year, bringing other vital state services to a standstill.

Mr. Rauh said he thinks any state caught in that trap would have little choice but to seek a federal bailout. Bigger pension contributions and higher taxes can go only so far.

Many state officials, hoping for a huge recovery in the markets, say that such projections are too pessimistic, and that cutting benefits for future workers must suffice, given laws and provisions in state constitutions that make membership in a state pension fund a contractual relationship that cannot be breached.

Lawyers, though, are raising the possibility that those laws are being misinterpreted.

“It makes no sense to suggest that an employee who works for the state for a single day has acquired a right to have future pension benefits calculated for the next 20 to 40 years under whatever method was in effect on that single first day of service,” states a legal memorandum prepared for the Commercial Club of Chicago, which is concerned that a public pension collapse would badly damage the city’s business climate.

The club’s members include senior executives of big companies, like Boeing, Aon, Kraft, Motorola and I.B.M., that have frozen pensions or slowed the rates at which their workers build up benefits.

Some of those cuts set off titanic battles. The most famous was at I.B.M., which changed its pension plan just when many of its older workers were about to earn sharply higher retirement benefits. Aggrieved workers sued, but after a long battle, a federal appellate court found that the cuts were legal.

“An employer is free to move from one legal plan to another legal plan, provided that it does not diminish vested interests,” or the benefits workers have already earned, wrote Chief Judge Frank H. Easterbrook of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. He did not distinguish between corporate employers and states.

Colorado is basing its legal defense, in part, on a 1961 state supreme court ruling that said pension cuts for current workers were allowed if “actuarially necessary,” and will argue that it applies to retirees as well. Other states may not have such legal tools.

In California, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has gone a different route, bargaining with the 12 unions that represent public employees. Last week four of them agreed to let the state cut its own contributions by requiring current workers to pay sharply more for the same pensions. The workers will contribute 10 percent of their pay, in some cases double the previous rate, to the state pension fund. Some other states are raising employee contributions as well, though less sharply.

In New Jersey, the administration of Gov. Christopher J. Christie recently imposed pension cuts on future hires, but has been quietly looking into whether it could also reduce the benefits that current employees expect to accumulate in the coming years.

“Can they change the benefit formula going forward? Sure. It’s not etched in stone,” said Edward Thomson III, an actuary and trustee of the New Jersey pension system who was asked to offer an opinion on whether New Jersey could adopt the federal pension law — the one that covers companies — as its governing statute.

A state assemblyman, Declan J. O’Scanlon Jr., recently introduced a bill to ratchet back a 9 percent pension increase that the state gave most workers in 2001.

“I think this will pass constitutional muster,” Mr. O’Scanlon said. “Otherwise, I fear the whole system will fall apart. Nine years — we’re out of money.”

Amy Schoenfeld contributed reporting.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reason Number 478 why Public Schools are bad for America

The following is a phone conversation between Dr. Savage and Jo.
When you fail to educate generations of students you will end up with people like Jo.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Reason Number 368 why Public Schools are bad for America

We would be out of this economic mess if the government did not intervene, but because we fail to educate the populous on both history and economics we are not out of this economic mess. The following piece appears on the Washington Examiner.

Quote of the Day - “An economy hampered by restrictive tax rates will never produce enough revenue to balance our budget, just as it will never produce enough jobs or enough profits.” JFK

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Thomas Sowell: The myth of how the Great Depression was resolved
Examiner Columnist
June 18, 2010

Sometimes you can read a book that will change your mind on some fundamental issue. Rarely, however, is there just one page that can undermine or destroy a widely-held belief. But there is such a page-- page 77 of the book "Out of Work" by Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway.

The widespread belief is that government intervention is the key to getting the country out of a serious economic downturn. The example often cited is President Franklin D. Roosevelt's intervention, after the stock market crash of 1929 was followed by the Great Depression of the 1930s, with its massive and long-lasting unemployment.

This is more than just a question about history. Right here and right now there is a widespread belief that the unregulated market is what got us into our present economic predicament, and that the government must "do something" to get the economy moving again. FDR's intervention in the 1930s has often been cited by those who think this way.

What is on that one page in "Out of Work" that could change people's minds? Just a simple table, giving unemployment rates for every month during the entire decade of the 1930s.

Those who think that the stock market crash in October 1929 is what caused the huge unemployment rates of the 1930s will have a hard time reconciling that belief with the data in that table.

Although the big stock market crash occurred in October 1929, unemployment never reached double digits in any of the next 12 months after that crash. Unemployment peaked at 9 percent, two months after the stock market crashed-- and then began drifting generally downward over the next six months, falling to 6.3 percent by June 1930.

This was what happened in the market, before the federal government decided to "do something."

What the government decided to do in June 1930-- against the advice of literally a thousand economists, who took out newspaper ads warning against it-- was impose higher tariffs, in order to save American jobs by reducing imported goods.

This was the first massive federal intervention to rescue the economy, under President Herbert Hoover, who took pride in being the first President of the United States to intervene to try to get the economy out of an economic downturn.

Within six months after this government intervention, unemployment shot up into double digits-- and stayed in double digits in every month throughout the entire remainder of the decade of the 1930s, as the Roosevelt administration expanded federal intervention far beyond what Hoover had started.

If more government regulation of business is the magic answer that so many seem to think it is, the whole history of the 1930s would have been different. An economic study in 2004 concluded that New Deal policies prolonged the Great Depression. But the same story can be found on one page in "Out of Work."

While the market produced a peak unemployment rate of 9 percent-- briefly-- after the stock market crash of 1929, unemployment shot up after massive federal interventions in the economy. It rose above 20 percent in 1932 and stayed above 20 percent for 23 consecutive months, beginning in the Hoover administration and continuing during the Roosevelt administration.

As Casey Stengel used to say, "You could look it up." It is all there on that one page.

Those who are convinced that the government has to "do something" when the economy has a problem almost never bother to find out what actually happens when the government intervenes.

The very fact that we still remember the stock market crash of 1929 is remarkable, since there was a similar stock market crash in 1987 that most people have long since forgotten.

What was the difference between these two stock market crashes? The 1929 stock market crash was followed by the most catastrophic depression in American history, with as many as one-fourth of all American workers being unemployed. The 1987 stock market crash was followed by two decades of economic growth with low unemployment.

But that was only one difference. The other big difference was that the Reagan administration did not intervene in the economy after the 1987 stock market crash-- despite many outcries in the media that the government should "do something."

Examiner Columnist Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and is nationally syndicated by Creators Syndicate.

Read more at the Washington Examiner:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Reason Number 325 Why I don't like Public Schools

The following sets of videos are by Milton Friedman one of America's greatest economists and appear on YouTube.
We fail to educate the truth about free markets, free markets perform harmony and world peace. We fail to teach economics including the benefits of capitalism and the failures of communism.

Quote of the Day - "If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand”
~Milton Friedman

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Taxpayer Funded Socialist Indoctrination Centers

Do you want your child chanting, "I am an Obama scholar?"

This video speaks for itself.

“We live at the level of our language. Whatever we can articulate we can imagine or explore. All you have to do to educate a child is leave him alone and teach him to read. The rest is brainwashing.” `Ellen Gilcrist

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Reason Number 311 Why I don't like Public Schools

Condoms for elementary students? Yes. You can't indoctrinate the populous with out breaking down the relationship between parent and child. Yet another reason for school choice.

The following piece appears on Todd

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

School to Provide Condoms for 11-Year-Olds

A New England school district has approved a measure that will provide free condoms to elementary school students and direct teachers not to comply with parental wishes to the contrary.

The policy, unanimously approved by the Provincetown School Committee does not include an age limit — meaning children of any age ask for — and receive — free condoms.

The committee also directed school leaders not to honor requests from any parent who might object to their child receiving condoms. In other words mommy and daddy — you don’t have a right to prevent your 7-year-old from getting a contraceptive device.

The policy does stipulate that kids must consult with a nurse or trained counselor before getting their sexual protection – and that upset some of the committee members, according to the Provincetown Banner.

“I can see some kids opting out because of the conversation. I’m not against [the policy]. I’m just trying to put myself in that teenager’s spot,” said committee member Carrie Notaro.

“I don’t like that students can’t be discreet about this,” committee member Shannon Patrick told the newspaper. “They have to go and ask for it. I’d rather them not have the conservation [with counselors] and have the condom than not have the condom.”

School superintendent Beth Singer supported the instruction aspect of the rule – explaining that younger boys and girls might not be experienced in such adult matters.

“We’re talking about younger kids,” she told the newspaper. “They have questions they need answered on how to use them, when to use them.”

Reaction has been mixed on newspaper websites. One reader opposed to t he measure wrote, “A condom distribution policy at the elementary school? Twelve-year-old kids need condoms? When I was 12, I thought a peck on the lips was something.”

Another reader wrote, “Stupidity exists everywhere. Why not just give the kids free needles while we’re at it?”

However, a supporter of the measure praised committee members.

“If the kids really are sexually active that young these days, then they absolutely should have access to condoms. Sure, it’s demoralizing to think of 11 and 12-year-olds starting at that age, but if they are, they’re not going to stop.”

Todd Starnes is a FOX News Radio reporter and author. For more information on his books, click here.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Husband Asked Me to Pick Up Something from the Store

What was it?

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Seven Years before you can be a Senator in New Hampshire!

It is time for the law to change.

Why is it that Alan Keyes can move to Illinois and run for Senator in the same month, Hillary Clinton can move to New York and within months run for Senator but I have to live for seven years in New Hampshire before I can run for State Senator? The law is draconian and needs to be changed.

The Republican Party's little move with Jack Ryan and Alan Keyes was insanity and the initial event that resulted in getting Obama elected. I believe if they had supported Jack Ryan and not replaced him with Alan Keyes, Obama would have never been elected.

Cathy Peschke

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

There is Always More to the Story

Surprise, surprise a union suing, this time over class size. Research has shown time and time again that class size has little affect on student performance. I bet if you took a look at the teachers' contract these teachers do not teach a full day especially those who are nearing retirement. If they actually taught the full day minus their lunch hour they could probably reduce class size as well.

Hey teachers stop whining, stop suing, stop giving excuses and get off your butts and do your job. Be grateful that you have job with excellent pay and benefits because many Americans do not have what you have at this time.

The following piece appears on NBC

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Teacher's Union Sues CPS

Increased class sizes would violate municipal code, inhibit education, union says.

The Chicago Teacher’s Union took legal action against the city for trying to increase Chicago Public School classroom sizes to 35 students.

In an unprecedented move that hinges on a decades old municipal code, the Teacher's Union filed a lawsuit against the school system citing overcrowding.

A code passed in 1958 -- after the Our Lady of Angels School fire that killed 92 students -- requires that all classrooms have at least 20 square feet of space per body.

That means classrooms of 35 students and one teacher require at least 720 square feet of space.

The Union suit will include affidavits from teachers who have measured their rooms.
School officials say 90 percent of the classrooms in the CPS system are at least 700 square feet, and the typical classroom is 720
square feet.

"On top of the educational problems it would create, such huge class sizes would violate the city's health and safety codes in thousands of our classrooms," said Union President Marilyn Stewart in a statement. "So whether you look at it from an educational standpoint or a health and safety standpoint, what CEO Ron Huberman and his Board of Education are trying to do is unconscionable."

CPS estimates it can shave about $125 million off its budget by increasing class sizes from the maximum of 32 students to 35.

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Problem with Newport is Greed

This past week there was an Area Agreement Meeting in Croydon. As usual Newport showed their true colors, they were doing everything possible to derail the process and gave excuses left and right for their failures. Just stop the games Newport. Most parents will end up sending their children to Newport in the end. But please show us that Newport is capable of being compassionate and let those parents who want to send their children elsewhere if they so choose. Be a good neighbor, show us you are not greedy, let the area agreement just end. Will Newport continue to be a selfish greedy neighbor or will they let Croydon parents decide what is best for their own children?

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

Funny the Quote of the Day could be applied to Newport as well - "And I use the word ‘trapped' and I use it directly. They are trapped by an educational bureaucracy, they are trapped by a selfish, self-interested, greedy school union that cares more about putting money in their own pocket, and the pockets of members, than they care about educating our most vulnerable and needy children." - Governor Christie

The following piece appears on American Thinker. There are great links associated with this story please go to the American Thinker to view the links.

Governor Christie slams public teacher unions
Greg Halvorson
He's done it again. Governor Christie of blue-turning-red-because-of-him New Jersey, made every American who loves leadership misty-eyed. Speaking to the Federation For Children in Washington D.C., the good governor tore into public teachers unions with customary resolve. For your pleasure:

"Parents and children who are being failed by a public schoolsystem whose costs are exorbitant and whose results are insulting deserve a choice. We don't have to look far around the country to know that vouchers and experiments in school choice are working, that they're producing results.

In D.C., those in that program are now reading 19 months ahead of their peers outside of the program. This isn't a coincidence, we know it's not a coincidence. We know that there's over five-million children trapped in over ten-thousand failing public schools around America.

And I use the word ‘trapped' and I use it directly. They are trapped by an educational bureaucracy, they are trapped by a selfish, self-interested, greedy school union that cares more about putting money in their own pocket, and the pockets of members, than they care about educating our most vulnerable and needy children."

He went on to say that in America's largest cities half of all students don't graduate high school. Citing an example, he pointed out that New Jersey tax-payers spend $24,000 per/student, per/year in Newark on what he said is an "absolutely disgraceful public education system."

"Our children deserve the best education they can get, no matter who is giving it to them," he said, "and it should not be restricted to public school teachers from a public school union that cares more about what they're paying for their health insurance than they care about whether the kids in our cities are graduating. That's disgraceful."

What isn't disgraceful is this marvelous leader. Governor Christie knows the way out.

Got this Croydon!

“Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." --James Madison

Parents in Croydon must stop shucking their parental duty.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why I tell it like I see things.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind....Dr. Seuss (1904 - 1991)


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

When you put out a Fire!

"No matter how disastrously some policy has turned out, anyone who criticizes it can expect to hear 'But what would you replace it with?' When you put out a fire, what do you replace it with?" -- Thomas Sowell.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

New Hampshire: Classified as Highly Regulated Due to Hostile Legislative Climate

Big thank you to Chris Hamilton, Mary Faiella and others who worked so hard to stop HB 1580 and worked so diligently to ensure they remain in their little power positions. Some of you pretended to be on the side of homeschoolers and worked with Legislators to kill HB 1580 shame on you. Chris great job I see what 18 years of being a homeschooling advocate has done for homeschooling freedom. The DOE and NEA would be so proud of you. I do hope one day you all will put your own egos aside and actually fight for the rights of the parents and families instead of your own interests and interests of the State.

I must say thank you to HSDLA for changing its tune and becoming a better supporting of homeschooling freedom in New Hampshire. This has changed in the past year and I seriously appreciate their change of tone.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

From the HSLDA E-lert Service...

New Hampshire: Classified as Highly
Regulated Due to Hostile Legislative Climate

Dear HSLDA Members and Friends:

HSLDA classifies states based on their regulatory requirements and other factors on our state laws page at . Because of what we consider a "hostile regulatory environment," we are now classifying New Hampshire as a "red state."

New Hampshire homeschoolers have fought intense legislative battles to defend their freedom from excessive government regulation over the past several years. In general, New Hampshire's homeschool law is not overly burdensome and is administered equitably. However, in the past four years there have been significant and numerous attempts by a
determined group of pro-regulation legislators in New Hampshire to impose significant new regulations on homeschoolers. The Department of Education in New Hampshire has also demonstrated its antipathy to the current status of homeschooling regulation in the state by its actions. Recently the Department attempted to circumvent the Home Education Advisory Council and impose new and burdensome restrictions, some contrary to the law. To the great credit of New Hampshire State
Board of Education, however, the rulemaking process was conducted so as to make only minimal changes to the rules.

HSLDA is pleased to serve the freedom-loving homeschoolers in New Hampshire and is grateful for the support of our over 500 member families in the Granite State. Because of your vigilance and support, together we have stood against changes that had the potential to make New Hampshire's homeschool law among the most burdensome in the nation. We encourage you to take the opportunity to get involved in this year's political process in order to insure that homeschool-friendly candidates are sent to the legislature.

Thank you for your continued efforts to defend homeschool freedom in New Hampshire! If you are not a member of HSLDA, I invite you to join with us as we stand together against these threats to our freedom!

Standing with you!

Michael P. Donnelly, Esq.
HSLDA Staff Attorney

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Disappointed in Homeschoolers and the Live, Free or Die State

I have been so disappointed in homeschoolers across New Hampshire. We moved to New Hampshire because we thought it was a State that lived by it's motto Live, Free or Die. The tax burden is the second lowest in the nation. But in November 2006 the Progressives and Democrats took control of the House, Senate and Governorship for the first time in almost 100 years.

With the change of power, already restrictive homeschooing laws were guaranteed to become worse. The assault began with SB 337, so called advocates made backdoor deals to a bill that surely would have been killed if left unchanged. They thought they were doing homeschoolers a favor. "Advocates" bargained with the enemies of homeschoolers, and some homeschoolers blindly followed these so called advocates. Then came HB 367 and 368, in 2009 over 1000 homeschoolers showed up in Concord to fight these restrictive Bills. There are over 5000 homeschoolers more of us should have showed up to fight HB 367 and 368. This year when Comrade Rous continued to try to ram this same legislation down homeschoolers throats even fewer of you showed up.

In 2010 finally after almost 20 years of repressive homeschooling laws which have been kept in place in part by so called homeschooling advocates such as Mary Faiella and Chris Hamilton, along comes HB 1580 with the help of a true homeschooling advocate Doris Hohensee.

The homeschooling crowd for HB 1580 was almost non-existent this Spring. I just don't know if it is that homeschoolers have given up the fight or if the so blindly follow so called homeschooling advocates such as Chris Hamiliton and Mary Faiella they believe these people know what is best for them.

Protecting homeschooling freedom is not a spectator sport. Even if you do not want freedom you should not be blocking freedom against those who want freedom, unless your end game is power over homeschoolers. You will always have the option of having the State or local School District help you if need be.

One last gripe before I get off my soapbox. The New Hampshire Liberty Alliance and the people of the Free State Project need to help in the fight for education reform and homeschooling freedom. This is not to say that the NHLA does not do great things because they have kept very restrictive laws from coming into place. Public Schools aka Taxpayer Funded Socialist Indoctrination Centers work against the Freedoms for which these groups fight. We will never get the liberties we desire until we deal with the indoctrination in Government Schools.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left as an exercise for my readers.

"I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave." — H. L. Mencken

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -Benjamin Franklin

"But neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries to promote its virtue, and who, so far as his power and influence extend, will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man." Samuel Adams

Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Hampshire Families for Education

New Hampshire Families for Education will be at the CheNH Convention this weekend.

If you are looking for a good cause to donate to consider New Hampshire Families for Education. Homeschoolers don't have a PAC and teachers unions, administrators and school employees do have PAC's and Lobbyists. Unless homeschoolers wake up and become more active at restoring their right to homeschool without government intervention we may not be able to homeschool anymore.

We would appreciate non homeschoolers supporting this cause as well. Homeschoolers save taxpayers billions of dollars each year by assuming the responsibility of educating their own children.

We have all seen personal liberty dissipate this past year. People like Comrades Rous and Casey would love to put an end to homeschooling don't let them win. Protecting homeschooling freedom is not a spectator sport.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Free Speech Alert

The following was sent to me by CNHT please see their website for further details.

Quote of the Day - “Without Freedom of thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such thing as public Liberty, without Freedom of speech” Benjamin Franklin

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Free Speech Alert!
By CNHT | May 26, 2010

Senator Hassan introduces amendment forcing non-profits and other corporations to disclose donors for any kind of political/issue advocacy, requires certification from secretary of state’s office for such activity, and requires determination of max. expenditures…

More… amendment language drafted by former head of NH Democratic Party and current legal counsel, Kathy Sullivan…

In what can only be described as one of the most outrageous attacks on political free speech, Senator Maggie Hassan has introduced an amendment to HB1459 which is designed specifically to target groups such as Cornerstone and its national partners, by not only making them disclose their donors, but further, making them take a vote of their Board or trustees to do such advocacy, getting the vote certified by the Secretary of State’s Office, disclosing to the Secretary of State that they plan to such advocacy, and makes the organization disclose a maximum amount they plan to spend!!

Again, this not only includes political activity, but ALSO includes issue advocacy such as the recent ads done on Governor Lynch’s record. The fact of the matter is that mandating the disclosure of donors by non-profit organizations which do issue advocacy is blatantly UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

It appears that Governor Lynch did not like the fact that the tables were being turned on him when he was criticized his record — and now he and the legislative leadership are attempting to change the rules because it no longer works for them!

ALL NON-PROFITS, CORPORATIONS, LLC’S AND PARTNERSHIPS WILL BE BOUND BY THESE NEW RULES UNDER THIS AMENDMENT… (see the amendment HERE – pertinent language starts at section 49, a little more than half way down)

An email yesterday sent from the NH Democratic Party’s legal counsel, Kathy Sullivan, to about 25 various organizations, outlining her revisions to the amendment to address some of the concerns raised by those receiving the email. Among one of her suggestions is raising the disclosure amount to an aggregate contribution of $10,000 — still unconstitutional. Remember: Kathy Sullivan also just recently filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office in an effort to get TV ads against Lynch pulled.


This amendment has already passed the Senate (14-10) and is currently in a conference committee of House and Senate members. The committee will meet TODAY at 9am (LOB Room 302).

Call the Governor’s Office, the Speaker’s Office and the Senate President’s Office, calling on them to put an end to this unconstitutional power grab at once! Please be respectful, but let them know in no uncertain terms should free political speech be stifled in New Hampshire!!

Governor Lynch: 271-2121
Speaker’s Office: 271-3661
Senate President’s Office: 271-2111

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Unsustainable Debt - Today's Soapbox Rant.

Brace yourself folks it is going to be a bumpy ride "AMERICA'S NATIONAL DEBTTOPS $13,000,000,000,000; DEBT PER TAXPAYER - $117,975;US DEBT TO GDP RATIO - 90.3%" Cloward and Piven and all the other communist pigs must be jumping for joy. Those of you on public pensions look out and taxpayers too. In the end only one will win and it is going to be messy until this is resolved.

Jim and I have been saying for over 7 years these pensions were going to bankrupt the States and boy did they just call us names and liars. Sadly Jim and I were right. It's a spending problem not a funding problem. If these people were not so damned greedy and they were fiscally responsible this whole mess would have never happened. This was all done without character and integrity, it was a bunch of foxes running the hen house. Ignorance just does not cut it in my book.

Quote of the Day - "I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers. To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must make our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labours of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy." T. Jefferson

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Blaming the Unions does not Cut it Anymore

You can not blame the unions without blaming the teachers. Year after year they supported the union and approved unsustainable contracts. If you are a teacher who can't see that the system is unsustainable you do not have the capability of actually educating children and clearly that can be seeing by the output and results in public schools.

The following piece appeared in the Daily Herald. Be sure to visit the Daily Herald website to view the comments.

Quote of the Day - " 'I believe what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way. "This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the charts crazy." Steve Jobs

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Teachers, public grow farther apart

If all the hardworking teachers were to speak out against the damage their unions and those who abuse their tenured positions have done to the integrity of the teaching profession, there would be more support from the public.

However, taking a paid day off to go to Springfield and demand that our property taxes be raised to supply more money while claiming "it's for the children" is doing nothing to encourage this support.

These dealings drive a wedge between the public and educators even deeper and it doesn't seem like anyone but the taxpayers care. It's unfortunate that the actions of some are creating this negative perception that includes nearly everyone in education.

The teachers, their union and the D211 school board know this and are doing absolutely nothing to change it. In fact, the D211 school board views the property tax payers as "complainers".

Until this "what's for me" ideology changes, teachers, unions and school boards will be viewed by the public as greedy, selfish entities. In addition, teachers, unions and school boards are seen as being counterproductive to their cause by utilizing these self-serving tactics. They are behaving as though their profession is nothing short of saintly.

The teachers union's funding of a board member's campaign is an irresponsible act on the part of that board member. The reasoning behind this statement is obvious.

Let's all try to work together to bring this situation back in balance. Right now the school board's methods of negotiating labor costs with the union have gotten out of control and do not reflect economic reality.

John Parker


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Woo Hoo Teachers Who Get It

I like that these teachers are finally getting but if you okayed any prior contracts or chose to be part of the Union you have only yourselves to blame.

Quote of the Day - "I say this not to the teachers, but to their unions: If education were a war, you would be losing it. If it were a business, you would be driving it into bankruptcy. If it were a patient, it would be dying. To the teachers unions I say: When I am president, I will disregard your political power for the sake of the children, the schools and the nation. I plan to enrich your vocabulary with those words you fear -- school choice, competition and opportunity scholarships -- so that you will join the rest of us in accountability, while others compete with you for the commendable privilege of giving our children a real education." Bob Dole

To bad Bob Dole did not win.

The following piece appeared in the Northwest Herald.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Guest column: Not all D-26 teachers want to keep contract closed

The Cary Education Association has spoken. Of those voting, 74 percent voted not to open the contract and make concessions to help the district; 26 percent voted to open the contract and talk to the school board about saving programs for students and jobs for colleagues.

The undersigned are part of that 26 percent, and following is a history of how this vote came to be:

In January 2010, an entire month after receiving a letter from the school board about opening up talks, the CEA Board presented the letter in a meeting of the total membership. Their approach was to tell the membership that opening the contract could result in a “last best offer,” decided by the school board, which we would be forced to accept, an offer that could take away “everything.”

This, membership was informed, was information given to the CEA Board by the Illinois Education Association attorneys. Although many of the undersigned knew this could not happen under the circumstances and voted to open the contract, the majority voted not to open. At a later meeting, a group of Prairie Hill teachers questioned the IEA representatives about this “advice,” but the IEA would not affirm or deny what they had told the CEA Board.

The planned monthly union meetings of the entire membership were then canceled through April.

A second letter sent by the school board to open talks was returned with a negative response from the CEA Board; no information about this letter was given to the membership until after the negative response was returned to the school board.

With inaccurate information swirling through the community, the school board placed three possible options in public at a school board meeting. Having been given no information from our own union representatives, many of us were happy to hear something; still no vote for the membership.

Recently the membership was told of new options presented by the school board. Members were told about these options in separate meetings at individual schools, hindering the ability for members across the district to discuss concerns.

Throughout this process, we believe we were given only one message that never has changed: if the contract is opened, you could lose everything. Surrounding districts that are making successful concessions were never mentioned.

After the result of the vote was announced, a union co-president read a letter from several years ago touting the contract as being a good one. Before the economy took a nosedive, that might have been so, but the economy has suffered a blow in the past two years and many people are making sacrifices for the common good and being part of the solution, if they still have jobs.

The CEA press release after the last vote states, “However, the CEA will continue to work with the BOE and administration to find ways to further minimize the cuts that have been made and therefore provide cost-saving options in an effort to reinstate and maintain high-quality programs and educators...”. The CEA had the opportunity to do these things over the past four months but said no to efforts to reinstate programs and educators. Many cost-saving options were suggested by teachers: 2-step retirement, furlough days. Nothing came of these or any other suggestions made by those outside the bargaining committee.

We would like the public to know that many of our voices were suppressed over the past four months, and our questions remain unanswered, despite our efforts. Our reputations and integrity are important to us.

The undersigned represent staff who have been laid off and staff who have retained their jobs. We have been, and still are, willing to open our contract and make concessions for the benefit of the students, our colleagues, and the community. We remain dedicated to quality education for the students of District 26.

– Judy Arvidson. Mary Forni, Barbara Glowacki, Kathy Lazzerini, Kelly Low, Kristi Newman, Rita Patterson, Jameson Pearce, Pauline Walker

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Taxpayers Should not be Paying for Computers for Students

Taxpayers should not be paying for computers for students in the first place. Laptops are not essentially for education. This article points out just one of the many problems of children having laptops. No computer should have the capability for a school to spy on students.

The following piece appeared on

Quote of the Day - “Putting a computer in front of a child and expecting it to teach him is like putting a book under his pillow, only more expensive” Anonymous

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

School Spy Program Used on Students Contains Hacker-Friendly Security Hole
By Kim Zetter May 20, 2010

A controversial remote administration program that a Pennsylvania school district installed on student-issued laptops contains a security hole that put the students at risk of being spied on by people outside the school, according to a security firm that examined the software.

The LANrev program contains a vulnerability that would allow someone using the same network as one of the students to install malware on the laptop that could remotely control the computer. An intruder would be able to steal data from the computer or control the laptop webcam to snap surreptitious pictures.

The vulnerability was discovered by researchers at Leviathan Security Group, who provided Threat Level with a video (see below) demonstrating an exploit they developed.

They began examining the program after customers who saw media coverage of the Pennsylvania case expressed concern that the program might be exposing their employee computers to intrusion from outsiders. The same software is used by many businesses to monitor and maintain their employee laptops.

The Lower Merion School District in Pennsylvania is embroiled in a lawsuit and FBI criminal investigation over use of the LANrev software. The cases involve allegations that administrators spied on students through the software installed on 2,300 school-issued Macbooks.

LANrev is a suite of remote-management software. The primary issue in the Lower Merion case is the optional Theft Track feature in the software designed to let administrators covertly snap images through the computers’ webcams. The school district insisted that the cameras were rarely activated and only when a laptop was reported stolen or missing.

But a class-action lawsuit against the school district alleges that the program surreptitiously snapped tens of thousands of pictures of the pupils at home, school and elsewhere, through school-issued laptops that were not lost or stolen. Lawyers for the plaintiffs allege that some of the pupils were even photographed nude and partially undressed.

The district discontinued the LANrev webcam-tracking program in February after the spying allegations came to light and says it’s now addressing security issues in the LANrev software.

“The District is taking aggressive and immediate steps to ensure that issues related to security and technology are effectively resolved,” said school district spokesman Douglas Young in an e-mail.

The vulnerability in the LANrev system lies in the symmetric-key encryption it uses for authentication between the client and the server, and isn’t related to the optional Theft Track feature. Therefore, even computers that are not using the theft feature are potentially vulnerable.

The authentication key is stored in the client-side and server software and is fairly easy to decipher, says Frank Heidt, president and CEO of Leviathan. It took Leviathan just a few hours to determine that it’s a stanza from a German poem. The key is the same for every computer using LANrev.

The LANrev client software on a computer is configured to contact a server every minute or so to check in and see if the server has any commands for it. Knowing what the key is would let an attacker who has installed a sniffer on the network intercept that ping and masquerade as the server in communication back to the laptop. It requires the attacker to be on the same network as the target machine — for example, on a wireless network at the school or anywhere else that offers free Wi-Fi the student might use.

“If we give you this stanza of poetry, it’s over and the fat lady sings,” Heidt says. “There would be [hackers] turning on webcams.”

Absolute Software, which acquired LANrev last December, said it identified the vulnerability at the time it was purchasing the software and is fixing it in a more robust version to be released in July, which will use Open SSL for encryption.

“Is it theoretically possible [to exploit this]? Of course it is,” said Tim Parker, vice president of research and development for Absolute. “[But] we are not aware of any customer who ever had an issue with this. If any customer did express concern, we would immediately supply them with a patch.”

The attack only uses the LANrev software as an entry point to install malware. Because a LANrev administrator can remotely install and execute other programs on the client machines, once an attacker is on a machine, he can then install malware to take over the machine.

In the hack demonstrated in the video below, Leviathan researcher Joel Voss is seen intercepting communication between a LANrev computer and its server, and then impersonating the server to install a remote control program that gives him complete and surreptitious control over the machine. He can operate its web camera to capture imagery of the person sitting in front of the machine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Jim is Finished with his Book

Jim is putting the finishing touches on his book, it will be sent out for publication by the end of the month. We will let you all know where you can purchase the book once it hits the book stores and cyber book stores.

Quote of the Day - “A book is a gift you can open again and again.” Garrison Keillor

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are Students Learning About The Corruption Of Climate Science? Of course not!

Are Students Learning About The Corruption Of Climate Science? Of course not!

The following piece appeared in the Canadian Free Press.

Quote of the Day -Global warming is indeed a scam, perpetrated by scientists with vested interests, but in need of crash courses in geology, logic and the philosophy of science. MARTIN KEELEY, BBC News, Dec. 6, 2004

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Are Students Learning About The Corruption Of Climate Science?

By Dr. Tim Ball Thursday, May 20, 2010
The mainstream media actively promoted global warming, then effectively ignored evidence of corrupt climate science and essentially ignored the whitewash investigations of the activities of members of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) and members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They promoted Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” yet ignored the evidence of major scientific errors. They quickly condemned Martin Durkin’s documentary “The Great Global Warming Swindle” because of one small error on a graph. Durkin withheld the DVD until the error was corrected. Al Gore’s movie is still shown uncorrected in most schools, although a UK court ordered the government to have teachers advise students of the bias and errors.

It appears little has changed in the schools. Some teachers are giving both sides of the story, but they appear to be the exception. But why would a teacher change or be willing to present both sides? Governments continue to push the arguments based on the IPCC research. They were complicit in the whitewash investigations, and need the tax and control Cap and Trade provides. Most of the change in the schools comes from students who do some investigation often triggered by YouTube videos. In the UK court case the student complained to his father about having to watch Gore’s movie more than once.

Their Questions Tell a Tale
Each week I receive three or four requests from students doing projects on global warming. Some come from other countries, but most are from the US. Usually they seek answers to written questions. I give answers, but also attach a list of other sources so they can dig deeper.

Most of the time they are researching the skeptics view and I am the chosen spokesperson. Interestingly, very few requests are from university or science students. Most are in social studies but a surprising number are doing English essays. One or two tell me their research supports the skeptics’ view, but most clearly accept the government global warming position and appear to be trying to understand why I could have it so wrong. Most have seen Al Gore’s movie, but none appear aware of the errors.

An Example
The following is just one example of the type of questions asked with my answers. The questions are generally typical, however, number three is particularly interesting. It isn’t clear if the student is aware of the complexity of the associated ideas. My answers are in italics and cursory, but provide my view. I expect the student to pursue these ideas with the web sites provided.

Do you believe that global warming is caused by mankind?

No. The claim is that human produced CO2 is the cause of warming. The problem is we produce such a minuscule amount relative to natural production that it is impossible to detect it within the crude measures of these sources. For example, the amount we produce is less than the error of the estimate for three natural sources including the oceans, soils and rotting vegetation. More important, it is assumed that an increase in CO2 results in an increase in temperature. Every record shows that exactly the opposite happens. The temperature increases before CO2.

Would a modest increase in the temperature of the planet necessarily be bad?

The world has been warmer many times in the past and survived. Whenever change occurs there are winners and losers. Overall history shows warming creates better conditions for life on earth that is the flora and fauna, which includes humans. For example, more plants animals and people die of cold than warm.

Can global warming create an ice age?

Ice ages are marked by growth of ice sheets. The idea that warming can produce them recognizes that somehow you must have more snow survive the summer melt. This argument is based on the idea that glaciations are either produced by cooler temperatures with less winter snow but less summer melt or by warmer temperatures that results in more evaporation more snowfall and even though more melts in the summer the net survival amount is an increase.

Are global warming and climate change the same thing?

Yes and no. Global warming is one type of climate change. When temperatures began to decline in 2001 and CO2 continued to increase they stopped talking about warming and began talking about climate change. This then allowed them to point at any change and claim it was caused by human activity.

What role do natural forces play in the current global warming trend?

All the warming over time and now is caused by natural forces, primarily the sun. Even the IPCC admit that warming up to about 1950 was over 50% due to the sun. Since then they say with 90% certainty that human CO2 is the cause. They base this claim on the output of computer models that ignore most changes in solar mechanisms and many other factors such as variation in water vapor, by far the most important greenhouse gas.

Any additional information you feel is important for people to know about global warming, please feel free to include!

Here are a few web sites that provide many of my views to expand on the above.

The first is for a group I helped organize and contribute articles to occasionally. It is strictly devoted to the science.
Friends of Science

The second is a more political/ science mix and here is a list of all the articles I have done over the last few years.
Dr. Tim Ball’s archives on Canada Free Press

A couple of other sites I recommend;

A Range of Questions
A few questions follow that give an idea of how some students approach the topic. Generally they accept global warming is due to humans and their concern is with the impact.

Grade 10;

How will global warming effect (sic) the wildlife?
Will a changing climate create more problems?
What advice would you offer high schoolers (sic) to help them slow down the progress of global warming?
Grade 7;

What is global warming doing to the earth?
What are some steps that can be taken to prevent global warming in our own homes and communities?
Grade 11;

Is climate change real or is the earth going through cycles?
In your opinion what are the biggest contributes (sic) to climate change?
How does cutting the rainforest effect (sic) global warming?
Do you think global warming will ever stop? When? Why?
Biased Information Continues
I wrote about biases in the classroom here;

So far the evidence is not much has changed. Henry Canby said that, “Arrogance, pedantry, and dogmatism are the occupational diseases of those who spend their lives directing the intellect of the young.” Add political bias and lack of understanding of the subject and there is little chance students will ask the right questions or understand the answers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

School Board Association or Just Another Puppet Group of the NEA/AFT?

As a board member, I view organizations claiming to represent school boards with deep suspicion. How is it possible to advocate for "school boards" on the state, nevermind the national level? The purpose of a school board is to promote the interests of their electorate. How can we expect the wishes of Croydon to align with say, Plymouth or Nashua? In the dog-eat-dog world of state redistribution of education dollars, one cannot expect harmony of values among New Hampshire's many communities.

A watered-down organizational position could allow such a group to encompass the diverse makeup of our state. Regrettably, this is not the case. The New Hampshire School Board Association's Policy Manual ( encapsulates the key values of this particular group. Among these:

- Section I: Total opposition to school choice, including vouchers, tax credits or any form of support to non-government school systems. (As their first policy statement, this is quite telling.)

- Section II: Support for the "adequate education" mandate embodied in the Claremont and Londonderry rulings. Opposition of any efforts to reverse these decisions. Section E is code for an education income tax.

- Section IV: Increased regulation of charter schools.

- Section V: Relaxed restrictions on expenditures by local school districts.

- Section VII: Weakening of AYP standards.

- Section VIII: Mandatory kindergarten. Increased mandatory attendance from 16 to 18 years old.

These values read as if cribbed from the NEA/AFT wish list. This is either an astonishing coincidence, or good old-fashioned Astroturf. I suspect the latter.

In any case, New Hampshire's 1.3 million citizens have substantive differences of opinion on these issues. All should have equal representation from their school boards. If these policies represent the will of a majority of New Hampshire school boards, then these school boards are neglecting their responsibility to the public.

In particular, no school district should be using tax dollars to support these organizations. I do not yet know whether Croydon or Newport does, but it is worth finding out.

So what brought this up? I received an email from the National School Board Association soliciting interest in a "Technology and Learning" conference in Phoenix. (ie. Computers and Internet, as if jet engines, microwave ovens, and vaccines are not "technology") More effort on results instead of expensive tools would be appreciated.

The end of the email really made me want to puke. It had a paragraph-long virtual apology for holding the convention in Phoenix, Arizona.

Jim Peschke

Monday, May 17, 2010

Seriously they Rehired the Fired Teachers?

Seriously they Rehired the Fired Teachers? "just 7 percent of 11th-graders passed state math tests -- 7 percent." " More than 700 people had already applied for the positions." Why on earth would you rehire the teachers when clearly they could have improved the quality of teachers working at the school and reduced operational costs at the same time. Once again another Taxpayer Funded Socialist Indoctrination Center reveals that it is nothing more than an entitlement program for failed educators with little interest in providing the best possible education for the children it is suppose to serve.

The following piece appeared on Be sure to visit the Fox News website to visit the links associated with the story.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

R.I. School District Agrees to Rehire Fired Teachers
Updated May 17, 2010
Associated Press
The school was under a mandate from the state to make improvements, and it opted for the mass firings after a breakdown in talks with teachers about other reforms that would have required more work.

CENTRAL FALLS, R.I. -- A school district that gained the support of President Barack Obama for promoting accountability after it fired all its teachers from a struggling school announced on Sunday it had reached an agreement with the union to return the current staffers to their jobs.

The two sides said a transformation plan for Central Falls High School for the coming school year would allow the roughly 87 teachers, guidance counselors, librarians and other staffers who were to lose their jobs at the end of this year to return without having to reapply. More than 700 people had already applied for the positions.

The agreement calls for a longer school day, more after-school tutoring and other changes.

"What this means is that they have come to an agreement about a reform effort and that will change the quality" of the education program at Central Falls, said Rhode Island Education Commissioner Deborah Gist, who applauded both sides for working together.

The board of trustees overseeing the school system in Central Falls, one of the poorest communities in the state, voted in February to fire the staff of one of the state's worst-performing schools. The school was under a mandate from the state to make improvements, and it opted for the mass firings after a breakdown in talks with teachers about other reforms that would have required more work, some without extra pay.

Obama, during a national address on education in March, said the firings were an example of the need for accountability over student performance.

"So if a school is struggling, we have to work with the principal and the teachers to find a solution," Obama said. "We've got to give them a chance to make meaningful improvements. But if a school continues to fail its students year after year after year, if it doesn't show any sign of improvement, then there's got to be a sense of accountability."

He continued: "And that's what happened in Rhode Island last week at a chronically troubled school, when just 7 percent of 11th-graders passed state math tests -- 7 percent."

Details of the agreement were to be released following a ratification vote by Central Falls teachers at a meeting Monday. The union and district had been working with a mediator since March.

"Both the school district and the union agree that while this has been a difficult process for everyone involved, the negotiations resulted in a newfound appreciation for shared responsibility, and a solid commitment to bring lasting solutions that will improve teaching and learning at Central Falls High School," said a joint statement from the union and the district.

Under the deal, teachers will need to recommit to their jobs and interview with the new principal. Other changes aimed at increasing student achievement include: a new evaluation system designed to inform teaching and learning, and targeted and embedded professional development.

Central Falls Superintendent Fran Gallo said she was pleased to be welcoming the staff back. She said that among the changes would be the reassignment of the high school principal and assistant principal to the middle school.

Central Falls Teachers Union President Jane Sessums said there had always been agreement that the sides wanted what was best for the students and that significant changes were needed.

"Working together, we and the district have arrived at a solid, forward-looking agreement that provides supports for our students and the tools our teachers need to help them succeed," Sessums said.

Senior Valerie Florez, who is set to graduate next month, said rehiring the teachers was a good idea.

"It's not the teachers' fault that students don't want to learn," she said.

Florez said she used to be one of those students who didn't want to learn, skipping class and failing to do assignments, but her teachers helped her turn around.

Jonathan Beltran, a 19-year-old freshman at Roger Williams University who graduated Central Falls High School last year, had helped organize rallies and protests in support of the teachers. Beltran, who hopes one day to return to Central Falls as a math teacher, said he was happy about the agreement.

"I love the teachers at Central Falls," he said. "I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them. I want to work side by side with them."

Antony Restrepo, who has two stepdaughters at the school, said he wanted to see improvements if all the teachers are to be rehired. But he said he wasn't sure that the problems were entirely the staff's fault.

"They just want to be in the streets," he said of some students.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Great Can I hear 40,000

The teachers' unions lead the charge in destroying the public education system, aka government schools aka Taxpayer Funded Socialist Indoctrination Centers. It is time to for the public to take back public schools from the unions who have claimed it as their own little entitlement program. The following piece appearson the Education Intelligence Agency website.

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Confirmed: NEA Active Membership Down 20,000
When NEA has good news to report, you never have a problem getting hold of it. I recall at one NEA convention I was handed membership figures that were about a week old. They showed substantial growth in all categories.

This year it hasn’t been so easy. NEA’s official numbers for 2009 seemed to contradict the internal reports delivered to the union’s board of directors. And while the latest numbers are much more realistic, they still leave some unanswered questions.

According to NEA sources, the union lost almost 25,000 active certificated members compared to last year at this time, but picked up an additional 4,000 education support employees as members. NEA also reported gains in students, retirees and higher education faculty. Unfortunately for NEA, the gains in those lower dues categories don’t offset the full dues paid by the teachers and other professionals.

My historical records are not comprehensive, but I don’t believe NEA has had membership losses like this since becoming a union and instituting unified dues in the mid-70s (a period when entire state affiliates in Missouri and Texas left NEA).

Nevertheless, the California Teachers Association alone reported membership losses of 16,000, which means something is still not right. Either NEA is fudging its membership numbers or there haven’t been quite as many actual teacher layoffs as we were led to believe.

Be sure to visit the EIA website to see the links associated with the story.

Friday, May 14, 2010

SAU meeting Next Wednesday

"It is the duty of the patriot to protect his country from his government." - Thomas Paine

It is the duty of every Croydon resident to make sure that Newport is not wasting our tax dollars and using Croydon as it's own little cash cow. There is also an area agreement meeting on June 2nd. On so many levels Newport has been using us for so many years.

Cathy Peschke

Thursday, May 13, 2010

10 People Who must be voted out of Office

The following ten people must be voted out of office or removed from office as soon as possible. Will today's post result in a knock on my door in the future? The following piece appeared on Judicial Be sure to visit the Judicial to see the links within the story.

It is every American's duty to preserve liberty, you must educate and wake up your friends and neighbors. Go to the Judicial website, print off this sheet and share it with as many people as possible and share it with people on your email list.

Quote of the Day - "I cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power ... Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." ~ Lord Acton

Spelling errors, grammar errors, misuse of homonyms and typos are left an exercise for my readers.

Judicial Watch Announces List of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians" for 2009

Contact Information:
Press Office 202-646-5172, ext 305

Washington, DC
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, today released its 2009 list of Washington's "Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians." The list, in alphabetical order, includes:

1. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT): This marks two years in a row for Senator Dodd, who made the 2008 "Ten Most Corrupt" list for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and for accepting preferential treatment and loan terms from Countrywide Financial, a scandal which still dogs him. In 2009, the scandals kept coming for the Connecticut Democrat. In 2009, Judicial Watch filed a Senate ethics complaint against Dodd for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his Senate Financial Disclosure forms. Judicial Watch's complaint forced Dodd to amend the forms. However, press reports suggest the property to this day remains undervalued. Judicial Watch also alleges in the complaint that Dodd obtained a sweetheart deal for the property in exchange for his assistance in obtaining a presidential pardon (during the Clinton administration) and other favors for a long-time friend and business associate. The false financial disclosure forms were part of the cover-up. Dodd remains the head the Senate Banking Committee.

2. Senator John Ensign (R-NV): A number of scandals popped up in 2009 involving public officials who conducted illicit affairs, and then attempted to cover them up with hush payments and favors, an obvious abuse of power. The year's worst offender might just be Nevada Republican Senator John Ensign. Ensign admitted in June to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from the Nevada Republican in exchange for his silence. According to The New York Times: "The Justice Department and the Senate Ethics Committee are expected to conduct preliminary inquiries into whether Senator John Ensign violated federal law or ethics rules as part of an effort to conceal an affair with the wife of an aide…" The former staffer, Douglas Hampton, began to lobby Mr. Ensign's office immediately upon leaving his congressional job, despite the fact that he was subject to a one-year lobbying ban. Ensign seems to have ignored the law and allowed Hampton lobbying access to his office as a payment for his silence about the affair. (These are potentially criminal offenses.) It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans.

3. Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA): Judicial Watch is investigating a $12 million TARP cash injection provided to the Boston-based OneUnited Bank at the urging of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank. As reported in the January 22, 2009, edition of the Wall Street Journal, the Treasury Department indicated it would only provide funds to healthy banks to jump-start lending. Not only was OneUnited Bank in massive financial turmoil, but it was also "under attack from its regulators for allegations of poor lending practices and executive-pay abuses, including owning a Porsche for its executives' use." Rep. Frank admitted he spoke to a "federal regulator," and Treasury granted the funds. (The bank continues to flounder despite Frank's intervention for federal dollars.) Moreover, Judicial Watch uncovered documents in 2009 that showed that members of Congress for years were aware that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were playing fast and loose with accounting issues, risk assessment issues and executive compensation issues, even as liberals led by Rep. Frank continued to block attempts to rein in the two Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSEs). For example, during a hearing on September 10, 2003, before the House Committee on Financial Services considering a Bush administration proposal to further regulate Fannie and Freddie, Rep. Frank stated: "I want to begin by saying that I am glad to consider the legislation, but I do not think we are facing any kind of a crisis. That is, in my view, the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis. We have recently had an accounting problem with Freddie Mac that has led to people being dismissed, as appears to be appropriate. I do not think at this point there is a problem with a threat to the Treasury." Frank received $42,350 in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 1989 and 2008. Frank also engaged in a relationship with a Fannie Mae Executive while serving on the House Banking Committee, which has jurisdiction over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

4. Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner: In 2009, Obama Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner admitted that he failed to pay $34,000 in Social Security and Medicare taxes from 2001-2004 on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), an organization with 185 member countries that oversees the global financial system. (Did we mention Geithner now runs the IRS?) It wasn't until President Obama tapped Geithner to head the Treasury Department that he paid back most of the money, although the IRS kindly waived the hefty penalties. In March 2009, Geithner also came under fire for his handling of the AIG bonus scandal, where the company used $165 million of its bailout funds to pay out executive bonuses, resulting in a massive public backlash. Of course as head of the New York Federal Reserve, Geithner helped craft the AIG deal in September 2008. However, when the AIG scandal broke, Geithner claimed he knew nothing of the bonuses until March 10, 2009. The timing is important. According to CNN: "Although Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told congressional leaders on Tuesday that he learned of AIG's impending $160 million bonus payments to members of its troubled financial-products unit on March 10, sources tell TIME that the New York Federal Reserve informed Treasury staff that the payments were imminent on Feb. 28. That is ten days before Treasury staffers say they first learned 'full details' of the bonus plan, and three days before the [Obama] Administration launched a new $30 billion infusion of cash for AIG." Throw in another embarrassing disclosure in 2009 that Geithner employed "household help" ineligible to work in the United States, and it becomes clear why the Treasury Secretary has earned a spot on the "Ten Most Corrupt Politicians in Washington" list.

5. Attorney General Eric Holder: Tim Geithner can be sure he won't be hounded about his tax-dodging by his colleague Eric Holder, US Attorney General. Judicial Watch strongly opposed Holder because of his terrible ethics record, which includes: obstructing an FBI investigation of the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him to Castro's Cuba. Moreover, there is his soft record on terrorism. Holder bypassed Justice Department procedures to push through Bill Clinton's scandalous presidential pardons and commutations, including for 16 members of FALN, a violent Puerto Rican terrorist group that orchestrated approximately 120 bombings in the United States, killing at least six people and permanently maiming dozens of others, including law enforcement officers. His record in the current administration is no better. As he did during the Clinton administration, Holder continues to ignore serious incidents of corruption that could impact his political bosses at the White House. For example, Holder has refused to investigate charges that the Obama political machine traded VIP access to the White House in exchange for campaign contributions – a scheme eerily similar to one hatched by Holder's former boss, Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The Holder Justice Department also came under fire for dropping a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party. On Election Day 2008, Black Panthers dressed in paramilitary garb threatened voters as they approached polling stations. Holder has also failed to initiate a comprehensive Justice investigation of the notorious organization ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now), which is closely tied to President Obama. There were allegedly more than 400,000 fraudulent ACORN voter registrations in the 2008 campaign. And then there were the journalist videos catching ACORN Housing workers advising undercover reporters on how to evade tax, immigration, and child prostitution laws. Holder's controversial decisions on new rights for terrorists and his attacks on previous efforts to combat terrorism remind many of the fact that his former law firm has provided and continues to provide pro bono representation to terrorists at Guantanamo Bay. Holder's politicization of the Justice Department makes one long for the days of Alberto Gonzales.

6. Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (D-IL)/ Senator Roland Burris (D-IL): One of the most serious scandals of 2009 involved a scheme by former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich to sell President Obama's then-vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Two men caught smack dab in the middle of the scandal: Senator Roland Burris, who ultimately got the job, and Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named "Senate Candidate A" in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama's seat. Three days later federal authorities arrested Blagojevich. Burris, for his part, apparently lied about his contacts with Blagojevich, who was arrested in December 2008 for trying to sell Obama's Senate seat. According to Reuters: "Roland Burris came under fresh scrutiny…after disclosing he tried to raise money for the disgraced former Illinois governor who named him to the U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama…In the latest of those admissions, Burris said he looked into mounting a fundraiser for Rod Blagojevich -- later charged with trying to sell Obama's Senate seat -- at the same time he was expressing interest to the then-governor's aides about his desire to be appointed." Burris changed his story five times regarding his contacts with Blagojevich prior to the Illinois governor appointing him to the U.S. Senate. Three of those changing explanations came under oath.

7. President Barack Obama: During his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to run an ethical and transparent administration. However, in his first year in office, the President has delivered corruption and secrecy, bringing Chicago-style political corruption to the White House. Consider just a few Obama administration "lowlights" from year one: Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's scheme to sell the President's former Senate seat to the highest bidder. (Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and slumlord Valerie Jarrett, both from Chicago, are also tangled up in the Blagojevich scandal.) Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability. President Obama boldly proclaimed that "transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency," but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch's Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires. The Obama administration turned the National Endowment of the Arts (as well as the agency that runs the AmeriCorps program) into propaganda machines, using tax dollars to persuade "artists" to promote the Obama agenda. According to documents uncovered by Judicial Watch, the idea emerged as a direct result of the Obama campaign and enjoyed White House approval and participation. President Obama has installed a record number of "czars" in positions of power. Too many of these individuals are leftist radicals who answer to no one but the president. And too many of the czars are not subject to Senate confirmation (which raises serious constitutional questions). Under the President's bailout schemes, the federal government continues to appropriate or control — through fiat and threats — large sectors of the private economy, prompting conservative columnist George Will to write: "The administration's central activity — the political allocation of wealth and opportunity — is not merely susceptible to corruption, it is corruption." Government-run healthcare and car companies, White House coercion, uninvestigated ACORN corruption, debasing his office to help Chicago cronies, attacks on conservative media and the private sector, unprecedented and dangerous new rights for terrorists, perks for campaign donors — this is Obama's "ethics" record — and we haven't even gotten through the first year of his presidency.

8. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA): At the heart of the corruption problem in Washington is a sense of entitlement. Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2009 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline. These documents, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, include internal Pentagon email correspondence detailing attempts by Pentagon staff to accommodate Pelosi's numerous requests for military escorts and military aircraft as well as the speaker's 11th hour cancellations and changes. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also came under fire in April 2009, when she claimed she was never briefed about the CIA's use of the waterboarding technique during terrorism investigations. The CIA produced a report documenting a briefing with Pelosi on September 4, 2002, that suggests otherwise. Judicial Watch also obtained documents, including a CIA Inspector General report, which further confirmed that Congress was fully briefed on the enhanced interrogation techniques. Aside from her own personal transgressions, Nancy Pelosi has ignored serious incidents of corruption within her own party, including many of the individuals on this list. (See Rangel, Murtha, Jesse Jackson, Jr., etc.)

9. Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the rest of the PMA Seven: Rep. John Murtha made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons. The Pennsylvania congressman is under federal investigation for his corrupt relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. PMA, founded by a former Murtha associate, has been the congressman's largest campaign contributor. Since 2002, Murtha has raised $1.7 million from PMA and its clients. And what did PMA and its clients receive from Murtha in return for their generosity? Earmarks -- tens of millions of dollars in earmarks. In fact, even with all of the attention surrounding his alleged influence peddling, Murtha kept at it. Following an FBI raid of PMA's offices earlier in 2009, Murtha continued to seek congressional earmarks for PMA clients, while also hitting them up for campaign contributions. According to The Hill, in April, "Murtha reported receiving contributions from three former PMA clients for whom he requested earmarks in the pending appropriations bills." When it comes to the PMA scandal, Murtha is not alone. As many as six other Members of Congress are currently under scrutiny according to The Washington Post. They include: Peter J. Visclosky (D-IN.), James P. Moran Jr. (D-VA), Norm Dicks (D-WA.), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), C.W. Bill Young (R-FL.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-KS.). Of course rather than investigate this serious scandal, according to Roll Call House Democrats circled the wagons, "cobbling together a defense to offer political cover to their rank and file." The Washington Post also reported in 2009 that Murtha's nephew received $4 million in Defense Department no-bid contracts: "Newly obtained documents…show Robert Murtha mentioning his influential family connection as leverage in his business dealings and holding unusual power with the military."

10. Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY): Rangel, the man in charge of writing tax policy for the entire country, has yet to adequately explain how he could possibly "forget" to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income he earned from his off-shore rental property. He also faces allegations that he improperly used his influence to maintain ownership of highly coveted rent-controlled apartments in Harlem, and misused his congressional office to fundraise for his private Rangel Center by preserving a tax loophole for an oil drilling company in exchange for funding. On top of all that, Rangel recently amended his financial disclosure reports, which doubled his reported wealth. (He somehow "forgot" about $1 million in assets.) And what did he do when the House Ethics Committee started looking into all of this? He apparently resorted to making "campaign contributions" to dig his way out of trouble. According to WCBS TV, a New York CBS affiliate: "The reigning member of Congress' top tax committee is apparently 'wrangling' other politicos to get him out of his own financial and tax troubles...Since ethics probes began last year the 79-year-old congressman has given campaign donations to 119 members of Congress, including three of the five Democrats on the House Ethics Committee who are charged with investigating him." Charlie Rangel should not be allowed to remain in Congress, let alone serve as Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, and he knows it. That's why he felt the need to disburse campaign contributions to Ethics Committee members and other congressional colleagues.