Archive for November, 2009

Hide the Decline!

Heh. A catchy lil’ tune. Brought to you by Mitchell301 at GCP.

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AGW = A Great Waste (of Taxpayer Money)

I haven’t commented about the “hacked” East Anglia E-mails simply because so many other people have done such a good job of it. Watts Up With That has been all over the fraud involved in the global warming “research” for years, inexorably exposing fraudulent data from miscalibrated/malfunctioning machines that wasn’t even noted by the scientists before he and his readers examined it. Historical climate data was being changed on a frequent basis. A large portion of the weather stations that were providing the “data” were badly located, ignoring all guidelines for accurate readings.

As for my point of view, I’ve stated it over and over. Any organization being funded by taxpayer money that refuses to release its data under the FOIA is hiding something. The government’s refusal to force release of the data (so it could be replicated, which it cannot) smells like a giant payoff from government officials that were salivating to impose draconian tax raises on the people in order to fix a nonexistent problem. Just another control mechanism for the population.

Real scientists aren’t afraid to release their methods so that they can be replicated. If non-government-supported scientists tried to pull off this big a fraud on the public, they would be in jail.

Thanks to RickZ at GCP, here’s Hitler’s take on climate fraud:

AGW is a FRAUD. A very, very big one.

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Oh! Okay!

I was in a room outside the bathrooms that separated our classroom from the next in order to read a quiet story to my lil’ Down’s syndrome charge and review his sight words when a person started talking over the intercom.

He quickly jumped behind me and then pulled me down beside him on the mat.

“Ghost!” he mouthed into my ear, barely audible, and pulled me closer. If that ghost was going to be combative, by golly, she would have trouble flying away with both of us.

“It’s not a ghost, it’s like a class telephone”, I attempted to explain.

He glared at me and hissed “GHOST!” Luckily he doesn’t know the word “dumbass”, or I’m sure that would have been used as well. It was certainly implied.

“It isn’t a bad ghost, it’s a very nice lady ghost that lives in our classroom”, I explained.

“Oh! Okay!” And that was the end of that. We went back to our Dr. Seuss book and finished our sight words.

I wonder if all the time that he has been in school, he has been worried about ghosts in the classroom? It was certainly a logical choice to make regarding disembodied voices that seem to be originating from the ceiling.

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Some Questions That Somebody SHOULD Be Asking Obama

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Parents File Lawsuit Against State of Florida Schools

From First Coast News:

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — State educators have been slapped with a lawsuit from parents, and even students. The lawsuit claims Florida public school are not properly educating children, something lawmakers and educators disagree with.

The right to an education is something Eunice Barnum of Jacksonville believes is being denied to many youngsters in her community and across the state.

“There are children who cannot read, even though they are in elementary school,” said Barnum, who is the guardian for two children attending school on the Northside.

Barnum and the children are named in the lawsuit filed against the Florida State Board of Education.

The lawsuit claims too many children are failing crucial tests and dropping out. It also points to disparities in education between Caucasians, Hispanics, and African Americans.

“I live it everyday. I help people. I see the evidence of when you do not educate them and they have to hang on street corners and cannot get employed,” said Barnum.

Senator Stephen Wise chairs the Education Committee and said students are getting a fair education. He believes the lawsuit will do more harm than good.

“We are to going to take hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend the lawsuit by the State of Florida, which could go into dollars for young people,” said Wise.

Florida Education Commissioner Eric Smith is also named in the lawsuit.

He said, “It’s unfortunate that this lawsuit diminishes the significant progress that has been made by our children over the last decade and simply ignores the performance of a state that is clearly outpacing the nation. Our African-American and Hispanic students have experienced unprecedented academic improvements and have significantly narrowed the achievement gap in Florida, our graduation rate has steadily improved, and state and national assessments all show tremendous progress. I believe Florida’s education system has achieved incredible results that clearly speak for themselves and are not represented in this complaint.”

However, Barnum stands firm, and said something has to change the state’s public schools.

“Year after year, generation after generation, the failure among African American students finally gets
addressed,” said Barnum.

Unh huh. Personal responsibility, helping children with their homework, and making sure that they are sent to school ready to learn has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Contrary to this woman’s expectation, there are not separate lesson plans for the black and white kids. The black and white kids go to the same schools and are taught the same subjects, but somehow it is the fault of the school when black students do not achieve or learn to read. Guess what? The children that achieve have parents that believe in education and are actively involved in the educational process.

If the person initiating the lawsuit is the “guardian” for two kids attending school on the northside, where are the parents of those children? The heart of the matter here has always been parental responsibility. You cannot tell me that the elderly woman who initiated the lawsuit and evidently expects the children to sit there passively and have knowledge pumped into their head without helping the children or overseeing their homework is a good substitute for a functional family.

Instead of blaming the schools, maybe she ought to take a good look at herself and her family, and at her neighbors. That is where the problem lies. Personal responsibility. If your children are not learning to read, then you step in and teach them. If your children are having problems with math, then you help them. I taught my 4-year-old son to read with Dr. Seuss books.

People such as this woman apparently believe white kids (or Asian kids, or kids of any nationality that achieve) get special grades just for showing up. Homework and industry has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Lady, it doesn’t matter WHAT schools those children you reference as standing about on street corners are in. Until those children are in a culture where doing homework is valued over standing on street corners, the results will be the same.

On the day this news story broke, I saw a black man with his son in the grocery store. The young man was dressed in a school uniform, neatly pressed. Daddy was questioning him about his history test. “I got an ‘A’, daddy!” he said.

“Unh huh. I know how you studied for that test and you were lucky. You can’t expect that luck to last. Luck comes to people that work hard for it, and nothing but trouble comes to people that are lazy.”

That is a young man that won’t be standing around on a street corner waiting for a job to fall off a truck and hit him.

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Friday Night Dance Fever

Heh. Ran across this at GCP and is it PERFECT for my blog or what? So, I have naturally stolen appropriated it. Enjoy!

H/T Ed and Waitaminnit

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“Free” Groceries? Not Hardly!

A city friend wistfully remarked to me how wonderful it must be to live in the country and to be able to go outside and get “free” eggs and “free” vegetables from the garden. Not to mention all that “free” chicken and lamb, too!

In order to get those “free” eggs, I have to put eggs in the incubator. In order to get, say, 50 hens, I would have to put 150 eggs or more in the incubator. After all, some of the eggs will be infertile and won’t hatch. Some of the eggs may start to develop and then die. About half of the eggs that do hatch out will be roosters. It takes 3 weeks to incubate eggs.

Those newly hatched chicks will have to be temperature protected and carefully brooded. They will be fed a diet that is the equivalent of chicken baby food until they are old enough to graduate to adult fare. Little pullets will then mature for 20 or so weeks before they lay their first eggs, eating all the while. Little roosters will also be eating until such time as they are kept as breeders or put into the freezer. Feed stores do not give away free chicken food no matter how nicely you ask.

The time spent caring for livestock or gardens is not “free”, either. If a person’s hourly rate is @ $50 an hour, then 2 hours a day spent on gardening and livestock would “cost” $700 a week. At an hourly rate of $10 an hour, that “cost” goes down significantly but still comes to $140 a week.

Having sufficient land to grow livestock, fruit and nut trees, and gardens is not free, either! In Florida, the price for land that floods in a gentle rain starts at about $10,000 per acre.

So, forgive me for laughing maniacally whenever city people start talking about “free” eggs, pecans, blueberries, tomatoes, milk, wool, or any other agricultural product. Those products are no more free for the producers than a house is free for a builder (oh, damn, I hope that isn’t another delusional bubble waiting to be popped).

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Crashing Sound of Shattered Dreams As Another Small Business Bites the Dust

SwampMan and I do what we can to help local small business. We know what it is like trying to eke out a living during an economic downturn because, for so many years, we were self employed. We buy groceries at our local grocery store (but we stock up on things the local grocery store doesn’t carry, like 50# bags of sugar and rice, at Sam’s Club). We eat at local restaurants. We buy insurance from local folk.

More and more, we drive past places that were open last month only to see a “for lease” or “for sale” sign, knowing that nothing will be coming in to take its place in the foreseeable future.

SwampMan needed to stop by the pharmacy, so I proposed that we stop by a restaurant that had opened a few months ago. We were just there Friday. We stopped, got out, and it wasn’t until we walked to the door that we noticed the sign saying “sorry, we’re closed” hanging on the door.

Yeah, I know. No big deal, just another restaurant shut down. But in a small town, losing those 20 or so jobs that a restaurant open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner provides hurts. There will be even less money available to pay the mortgage or the rent, to pay for a haircut, to purchase groceries, and to provide Christmas presents for the kids.

I don’t see this getting any better; in fact, it is getting worse at an accelerating pace.

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Can I Call It a Day Yet?

Went shopping after work for new books to read in class and new (learning) videos that are fun enough that the students do not realize that they are educational. I got home at 5:30, then spent the next 3 and 1/2 hours feeding and doing maintenance on the ol’ vehicle. So, now it’s 9:30 p.m., SwampMan has retired to shiver under blankets in the bed (he’s come down with a virus), and I’m sitting at the computer while eating a dinner of cold boiled peanuts. If I go to sleep right now, I’ll have to be awake in 7 hours. ‘Course, I’m not going to sleep right now because here I am, catching up on the latest economic news out there, because the economic news here sucks.

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Friday Afternoon

Friday afternoon after work, I was wandering around slowly peering at my roosters, reaching out occasionally to catch a rooster and look carefully at his color and conformation. I need to add a couple roosters to one of my chickenhouses, so I was looking over the roosters that are on death row, awaiting their transformation into their highest and best use which is chicken and dumplings. I heard shouting off in the distance. I looked towards the gate. SwampMan was attempting to communicate with me, but was being drowned out by the chickens squawking in alarm. (He doesn’t like chickens, and the feeling is mutual.) I started ambling over in his direction. After all, the temp was around 70 degrees, it was an absolutely beautiful day, and it was Friday! Yeehaa! I was in no hurry.

“Say what”, I asked lazily, as I got closer.

“I SAID, I’ll give you $500 if you can be ready to leave in 5 minutes. I want to go to Ricco’s in Callahan before the Friday night crowd arrives!”

Well, okay, then! I dropped the feed buckets, put on shoes without chickenshit on them, and hopped in the truck. While having an excellent dinner would have been motivation enough for me, I have to confess that I collected the $500, too. After all, I was ready in 5 minutes. While it may not be worth it to ME to be ready to go in 5 minutes, it obviously was to him, and who am I to complain about what price he wants to place on it?

*sigh* I wish that I could report that I was going to use it (unexpected windfall) for something that would broaden my horizons instead of my blue jeans. Unfortunately I’m just going to save it to pay for property taxes. Or buy Christmas presents with.

Property taxes or Christmas presents…..hmmmmmm.

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