Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RUSD Radicals

If you want to get our local public school kids riled up enough to write a letter the the JT, all you need to do is challenge liberal orthodoxy on environmental issues, school funding, the gay activist agenda, or on illegal immigration. The most politically active children in our local public schools are embracing a radically leftist political agenda. Is this just coincidence or is this the result of the "education" that they are receiving?

Cost of Global Warming?

In an editorial calling for wind power turbines on Lake Michigan, the JT argues that the price of fossil fuels will increase, in part, because of "the cost of global warming." They offered no explanation as to why global warming would result in higher fossil fuel prices, as though it is so obvious that the reasons need not be mentioned. But it is not obvious to me.

So I will open up the question to readers. Assuming global warming exists, would it drive up fuel costs, and if so, why?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Anon's Inner Commie

Anon's distorted interpretation of the following quote from Pope John Paul II is used to support his desire for communism.

“It is necessary to state once more the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all. The right to private property is valid and necessary, but it does not nullify the value of this principle. Private property, in fact, is under a "social mortgage," which means that it has an intrinsically social function, based upon and justified precisely by the principle of the universal destination of goods .”

Anon, the US is not a theocracy. We have no established religion. We have a secular government by design. We don't take orders from the pope, nor would he want it that way, I am sure.

Even if you accept the notion that private property is under a "social mortgage", it is a huge leap to conclude that government should hold the title to said mortgage. The pope said nothing of the sort in the quote you offer, nor I suspect has he ever indicated that the state should play that role. In fact, the opposite is true. The pope was a strong opponent of the communism that you evidently wish to force upon others.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Dog Decades

Racine has bitten the hand that feeds it. It hasn't let go for fourty years. The majority think the answer is to sink the teeth still deeper. The dog that is Racine is hungry and angry and doesn't know why.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Poor Developments

I know this is old news, but I couldn't help but notice the difference in tone, from our political leaders including Mayor Becker, concerning recent development proposals.

Becker et al seem hostile to a lakefront development that, to the best of my limited knowledge of the subject, would not require government subsidy. Meanwhile, Becker eagerly seeks to continue efforts to seek state subsidies for a housing/retail development along State Street.

Is Racine sending the message that we wish to deter people who will buy homes while trying to attract people who can't afford homes?

Indoctrination High

Within the last year or so, Horlick students have secured buses, matching shirts, and informational flyers to help get out the vote in favor of a school referendum. Busloads of Horlick students have also gathered, during school, at a rally supporting the interests of illegal aliens. And now, students are partaking in a "Day of Silence" in support of the LGBT community. In this case, school officials have distributed a document prepared by Lamba Legal, an outside organization that lobbies for LGBT issues and have prepared stickers for students who wish to participate.

These political events have all been assisted, financially and otherwise, by outside groups including the Racine Education Association, Voces a la Frontera (pardon my Espanol), and Lamda Legal.

But the folks at Horlick seem to want us to believe that these efforts are all led by the children. I know that kids can be resouceful, but please. Does anyone actually think that the kids could or would initiate these political activities without the active leadership of the teachers and administrators? Do the folks at Horlick think we are morons?

Monday, April 21, 2008

Question of the Day

Does the response of "War is not the Answer" depend on the question?

HSA Attack

I have a health savings account. For those unfamiliar with HSA's, it is a tax deductable and high deductible health insurance plan. It saves me thousands of dollars every year and is available to me because I own a business. It should be available to everyone, only the political left does not want it to happen.

I recently learned from a Wall Street Journal article that the House has passed legislation that would require me to check with some new government bureaucracy every time I needed to withdraw money from my account. In theory, this would prevent me from using my tax deductable health account money on a new Ipod or an oil change.

In reality, this proposed law would needlessly expand government while making the easy-to-use HSA's a real headache. Keep in mind that my HSA activity is already subject to an audit, so creating a new enforcement bureau would be redundant.

HSA's are a partial answer to growing health care costs. Democrats don't like them because, well, it is a free market solution and it is a step away from socialized medicine.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Settled Opinion

Local Dominican nun Agnes Schneider says "you never settle anything by war."

Do any of my readers believe such nonsense, and if so, how was the issue of whether or not to exterminate Jews settled?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Becker Calls for School Vouchers

OK, sorry about the sensational, blatantly false headline. Mayor Becker did not call for school vouchers. Nor is he likely to lead any effort to that effect because he is a liberal. He did, however, provide a solid argument that is consistent with arguments in favor of school vouchers. Here is what he said in his state of the city speech:

"The world is not going to stop changing because those of us in Racine find it uncomfortable or difficult to continue to adapt to a new world. The key to the future of our city is in doing everything we can to make education at all levels accessible. Whether is it K-12, technical, university, or on-the-job training, the people of Racine need to take advantage of educational opportunities unless they want to be on the bottom of the economic ladder. In addition, we must make our city attractive to others who can bring key skills and creativity to our community."

Becker is right to emphasize the importance of education and he is right again to say that we should make every effort to take advantage of educational opportunities and to make education more accessible.

One way to do exactly that is to allow Racine's families greater access to some of our many fine (and in some cases, financially distressed) private schools. School vouchers would do the trick.

Racine could be at the forefront of educational innovation, attracting educational entrepreneurs, families and future leaders with a one of a kind universal voucher system.

The mayor rightly criticized protectionism in his speech as he implores us to embrace globalization. Does he realize that he, other liberals, and the teachers union is fully engaged in educational protectionism? If he really wants educational improvements, he will have to take on the protectionists and begin to question his own protectionist philosophy.

Teaching Leftism at Horlick

Horlick High School has apparently designated April 25th as The Day of Silence "to protest the anti-lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender bullying" according to a letter written to the Journal Times. "Participants are asked to take a vow of silence to represent the silence faced by LGBT every day."

The notion that gay activists have been silenced is a highly dubious claim. The fact that gay activists have infiltrated our public schools and are shaping curriculum suggests political power, not silence.

My point here is not to suggest that gay people are entirely safe from bullying. Rather, it is that Horlick is pushing a leftist activist agenda upon students. They are indoctrinating your children.

If you think I am mistaken, try to imagine a Horlick sponsored Day of Silence to protest the voices silenced forever by abortion.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Trying to converse with anon and Michael G reminds me of the last editorial I submitted to the Journal Times a few years back. They didn't print it, for reasons which will become apparent. Here it is:

I recently asked a professional writer how I might improve my writing. The suggestion was to vary my style, to depart a bit from my usual straightforward, logical approach. Perhaps add some colorful language, some pizzazz. I will give it a try.

We have a crisis looming in our country, like a dark cloud gathering on the horizon... No, that just won’t do... Every two bit writer uses dark clouds on the horizon. I need something better... more ominous... I got it. The crisis is like a mushroom cloud, lunging towards the playground, with big cat paws, swiping at the tender flesh, indifferent to the hopeless cries, the boiling tears... Ah yes, that was beautiful. I am getting the hang of this.

You will be shocked when I reveal the nature of this crisis. Shocked I tell you, like a gonad in Guantanamo. Shocked, like a web surfing local Democrat, like a Halliburton executive losing a no bid contract, like an owl spotting construction equipment, like a public school teacher with a doctor’s bill.

No, it is not the threat posed to the purity of Christian matrimony by the Sodomites seeking state sanction for their sickness, looking to license libidinous lifestyles, accessing acceptance of abominable activities.

It is not the threat of referendum failure, which will turn our houses into liabilities, our children into murderous bloodthirsty gangsters, our playgrounds into opium dens. It is not the associated greed of the penny clutching taxpayers, their unrelenting selfishness, their congealing hearts.

Can you guess the cause of our impending doom? Of course you can’t, you stupid bastard! You could depress the IQ score of entire nations. Your brain has deteriorated like a bank account in the Carter era, like the face of a Cheney chum, like a cafĂ© in Jerusalem. The drooling, helmeted occupants of the small yellow bus are pointing and laughing at you. Get a life you loser!

Maybe the problem is the niggardly Republicans, determined to spark a race war for the NRA, coupling with the Christians, creating an unholy alliance with the holier than thou, careening society with Hitleresque efficiency towards a merciless theocracy. But not without their pew puppets, tomorrow’s purity police, soothed into certainty by self serving sermons. But alas, it is not the Republicans.

Is it the Democrats, and their condescending intellectualism, and the endless experimentation with discredited Utopian schemes? Is it their Robin Hood politics, offering equal doses of lethargy, sloth and entitlement to consume us. Is it the in-your-face hedonism redefined as virtue? Is it the hypocrisy of preaching equality while amassing political power? Is it their own dangerous religion, the unshakable faith in government, facts and evidence be damned? No, it is not the Demoncrats.

Is it the twin evils of corporatism and consumerism, strip mining our souls? Are we feeding these beasts as they rape the planet, puncturing the pristine Arctic, a fools rush for liquid gold?
Who cares! Let our children deal with the cascading icebergs and bloated polar bear carcasses washing ashore in coastal Colorado.

Mexicans swarming, global warming, gangsta rap, media pap, Islamic threats, Boomer debts, oil spills, corporate frills, voter fraud, system flawed, traffic jams, nuisance spam, toxic sludge, trans fat pudge, mad cow slaughter, poisoned water, molesting priests, earmark feasts, ozone holes, extinction woes, health care blues, Avian flu, doped-up jocks, imploding stocks, gays are bedding, AIDS is spreading, are we headin towards Armegeddon? NO!!! This is not the crisis!

Have I been sufficiently titillating? Have I aroused your interest? Are you ready for the nail gouging, bed board rattling, wake-the-neighbors climax? Well I am going to give it to you baby!
The crisis we are facing is..........the end of reasoned discourse... Duh!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Having it Both Ways

When you engage RUSD supporters in debate, it doesn't take long to discover their two major excuses for poor performance and high costs.

Excuse number one: We have lousy students and lousy parents.

Excuse number two: Special Ed kids are very expensive.

For the record, I think that there is some and perhaps a lot of truth to these excuses. But that is not exactly the point I wish to make.

Certainly, if RUSD wished to elevate test scores and lower costs, they could do so by ridding themselves of lousy students and handicapped children. So why isn't RUSD initiating efforts to unload some of these expensive, good for nothing children on the private sector?

Answer: You will have to pry those kids from their cold dead hands. RUSD needs those kids more than they need solid academic performers. Why?

Answer: Like all public school kids, they equal money, lots of money. Fewer kids means less money, fewer teachers, fewer administrators, less power etc... But these kids bring money and handy excuses for RUSD's academic failings while obscuring the real reason a RUSD education is so costly, and that is salaries and benefits that far exceed that offered in the private sector.

RUSD wants it both ways. They want to complain incessantly about lousy students and the financial burdens of special ed kids, but they will fight tooth and nail to keep them. Let's not let them get away with it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

RUSD and Slavery

The Racine Unified School Board is asking for your help in choosing the next superintendent of schools.

Isn't this a bit like asking a slave what crops to plant?

The important consideration for RUSD parents and slaves alike is freedom to make real choices, like whether to attend a private school or to leave the plantation. But both masters deny the only choice that matters.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Tennis Courts Disappoint

The city installed a new surface over the old tennis courts at Lakeview Park. I had a chance to try out the courts the other day. Unfortunately, it was a major disappointment. It took all of twenty seconds to realize that the ball would often bounce in an unexpected manner, which is the same problem with the unmaintained, crack ridden courts of old.

The court technology is interesting and perhaps promising. It consists of interlocking porous plastic (or like material) squares which move slightly as you move. I suspect this may be easier on the legs and allow for quick drainage after a rain.

After deciding that the courts are inferior to a maintained asphalt surface, we tried a few experiments. We dropped a tennis ball on one of the lines from about three feet off the ground. The ball seldom bounced straight up and down and often bounced up to eight inches in any direction. Also, we discovered several dead spots where the ball hardly bounced at all. It appeared as though the underlying surface was uneven, so the court offered no resistance, thus, no bounce.

All in all, the courts are a major disappointment and are far inferior to asphalt courts properly maintained.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Child Laborers Union Needed

According to a JT article yesterday, 200 Horlick High School students campaigned in favor of the recent school referendum. The effort was aided by teachers, by a group called Voces de la Frontera, and by a $1,000 donation from the Racine Education Association.

In the past, the political activity by Horlick students has been justified as non-partisan educational activity aimed only at increasing voter turnout. Not this time. There was direct advocacy going on here.

These children are being used and manipulated by teachers with the support of the teachers union. If the teachers union wants fliers distibuted in favor of a referendum, they should distribute the material themselves, instead of relying on unpaid child labor.

These kids should unionize and demand a living wage. Now that would be an educational experience.