Friday, October 31, 2008

Dear Taxpayer

Hello taxpayer,

My job is to educate your children and by any objective measure I'm doing a terrible job. Just this last year I lost another 400 students even though my service is free. Out of ten comparable school districts, I am doing the worst in just about every category.

But I can turn this thing around. I have an audacious plan. I am going to make sure that all of the people who are responsible for this education disaster will keep their jobs. And I am going to pay them all more than last year. That ought to work.

But I am going to need more money to pull off this much needed education reform. And this is where you come in. I will be raising your taxes another 10%. I know, I know, we have done this every year for the last thirty years and things keep getting worse. This year will be different, I promise. Yours truly, RUSD.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Building Bridges

Sometimes all this disagreement and division can get downright discouraging. For example, Michael Gibson thinks the RUSD/Voces get out the vote effort is non partisan while I think the purpose is to increase voter turnout among Democrats. But this post is not about our differences. This post is about building bridges.

Michael, I am about to start a new business and I want you and your schoolmates to join in the fun and excitement. You probably didn't know this about me but I have a side business that is really starting to take off and I need your help. And that business is bridges. Not just any bridges mind you. These are 100% renewable, organic, sustainable bridges made from hemp. Hemp has other potential uses as well Michael but let's not burn these bridges. Also these bridges are pedestrian-only so they are great for the environment and they encourage exercise!

All I need from you and your friends is some capital. Sorry to use that dirty word. We all know bridges should be free. Aside from capital all I will need is your enthusiasm and an unquestioning devotion to my vision. Let us unite behind a common vision for the common good. Cash is preferred or you can write a check to Bridges To Everywhere LLC.

I will need the cash soon though Michael. To get this business rolling, er started, I need make a big upfront hemp purchase. Sincerely,


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Feeling Green

One year after challenging Walden students on their greening efforts (archives, Nov 20th 2007 Response to Walden Green Students) I got a comment from Shannon, a senior at Walden.

His last paragraph:

"I suppose what I really want to get accross is that no matter what you think, Green School is happening and no one is going to stop it. Even if you think our effect is so "miniscule" on the environment (which its not), it's more than that. It's about creating something that our school can identify with and feel proud to be a part of. That is priceless."

I know Shannon, I have known this all along. This is largely about pride and positive feelings, which you view as priceless. That might explain why so many took my challenge so personally. It's not really about the environment, its about feeling good, perhaps even superior to less enlightened saps like me.

And so I suppose what I really want to get accross Shannon is that, with respect to environmental and other important issues, your feelings and your pride are irrelevant. What matters is that we make the smartest possible decisions regarding the issue at stake. And it is clear thinking that will get us there, not your priceless feelings.

Children Used

Two local liberal organizations, Racine Unified and Voces de la Frontera, will be using children next Tuesday to promote their political agenda of electing Democrats.

Unfortunately, it is children who will be most harmed by their own political activism because Racine Unified's primary political goal is to prevent their own students from attending private schools, even if those schools provide an excellent education at a lower price.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disenfanchisement at Horlick

Now we all know that the reason Republicans have been pushing for a photo ID requirement for voters is because they want to disenfranchise and otherwise bring harm to black people.

In a related topic, spectators for tonight's Horlick football game "should be prepared to show a form of picture identification" to gain entry.

Why doesn't Horlick want black people to attend their football games?

Affirmative Racism

Cory Mason has been campaigning door-to-door for Barack Obama and some voters "are having a hard time coming to terms with voting for an African-American... They say 'I just simply won't vote for a black.'" And some people "are more hostile and use stronger language." according to Mason. You can read the whole article, written by Dustin Block at

Further on in the article: "While there are racist voters, there are also new voters excited about the possibility of an African-American president." and further still, "Efforts to encourage minority residents to get registered and vote early could also offset racial prejudice."

So if I understand this correctly, not voting for someone because they are black is bad and racist but encouraging minorities who are presumably "excited" to vote for a black candidate is good because it could offset racial prejudice.

The basic message: white racism bad, black racism good.

Don't worry, we will soon be unified.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Gangster Granny

If joblessness causes violence, why aren't retirees terrorizing our streets?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Have a Little Faith

The Racine Interfaith Coalition wants to tackle the violence problem in Racine. On Tuesday evening, 7pm at the Miracle Center, 1100 Grand Avenue, they will unveil their plan, called the Violence No More Initiative.

According to the Journal Times article, the plan will focus on employment, conflict resolution and education. Uh Oh.

I don't know what it is like to plunge a knife into someone or to shoot someone with a gun, but I suspect it has far less to do with employment status or educational success and far more to do with spiritual poverty and a disregard for human life.

Does the Racine Interfaith Coalition have faith in faith? I am beginning to wonder.

As I see it, a criminal with no regard for his victims is in the midst of a profound and perhaps lifelong spiritual crisis. And this is where a faith based organization should start their intervention.

How do we help a person with a chronic disregard for life to begin to respect his own life and the lives of others? I am not entirely sure but I think one must begin to challenge the attitude, mindset and faithlessness that surely is part of the makeup of a violent person.

Thereafter we can worry about jobs, education and conflict resolution.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What Constitution?

I addressed the city council the other day. I told them that when the city fines its residents and calls it a fee, thereby depriving citizens of the right to contest the charges in court, the city is violating the constitution.

Now I am not the first person to make this claim. But the city council members have done nothing. None have disputed the claims. All have ignored the claims to the best of my knowledge.

This suggests to me that all of our elected city representatives and our mayor are entirely comfortable violating the rights of Racine citizens and ignoring the constitution.

Does anyone care and if so, what to do?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Walden Outside Reading

I just finished reading a book that will never see the inside of a Racine Unified school. All the more reason to read it.

The book is Climate Confusion by Roy Spencer, a former NASA climatologist. Spencer takes on the doomsdayers, explains the issues in an understandable style. Yes, the temperature on earth is warming, slightly. It is far from proven that this slight warming has been caused by man. Humans prosper in warmer climates. Plants benefit from increased CO2. We don't understand fully (or anywhere near it) how our exceedingly complex earth stabilizes itself naturally. As such, computer models are overly simplistic and tend to overstate the effect of "mankind's tiny enhancement of the greenhouse effect." Spencer also argues that many proposed solutions (Kyoto) will harm economies and do little good and bring possible harm to the environment.

Palin Envy

One could criticize Sarah Palin without hating her. She is inexperienced, sarcastic, unintelligent, corrupt, ambitious etc... one could say. I would disagree but that is not the point of this post.

But for many, their feelings for Sarah Palin go far beyond rational criticism. There is a palpable hatred of her that often exceeds that directed at world's most hated man, George Bush. What is this about?

Is this hate transfer? It might be tough to get too worked up over our lame duck president, so is it time to find another hate outlet? It took years to develop Bush hatred and arguably it could be tied to his policy decisions. But Sarah Palin, new on the scene? What has she done to generate this kind of hatred?

And from what I have observed, this hatred is most intense coming from women. Now before anyone gets their undies in a bunch, I am by no means talking about all women or even most women. What I am saying is that the hatred intensity appears to me to be greater coming from women, generally.

My theory: Envy is the source of this hatred. An insecure woman especially could secretly resent a beautiful, powerful, accomplished, popular, seemingly content woman. Envy is not an emotion that many are readily willing to admit to, so it is instead expressed as the irrational unwarranted hatred that it is.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Union Can't Compete

I went to the city council meeting tonight. Three speakers addressed the issue of "prevailing wage" requirements that the city of Racine was allegedly not living up to. Most interestingly, one of the speakers noted that the unionized Racine labor could not compete with outside, non unionized labor. I am not suprised that unionized labor can't compete with non union workers, but I am not sure why the city taxpayers should needlessly pay extra money for union labor. The city should seek to get the best deal for their constituents, and unions should improve their businesses such that they can compete with non union companies.

"Independent" for Obama?

Scott Dizack writes in to the JT and claims to be an independent for Obama. In his letter, he urges us to "step aside from the irrational fulminations emanated by the McCain campaign in order to digest the rational words of wisdom" of Colin Powell, including his criticism of "the distortions, out right lies and abscence of solutions in the McCain camp." We need a government "with an agenda of unifying our great nation, not one that viciously attacks and erodes our moral fiber." Dizack urges "rational Republicans" to choose "sound ideology" and a leader who will "mobilize every American's support and energy in a constructive modality... (whatever that means)to overcome our hurdles rather than choose the candidate that attempts to "terrorize citizens for their vote" who will "divide us as a nation."
And finally, this self proclaimed independent supports the "conjugate vision" of Barack Obama.

Now really, why bother calling yourself an independent when you write like the loony left?

As for me, I'm voting for McCain, you know, the vicious irrational lying terrorist with the unsound ideology who will divide our nation and erode my moral fiber while unleashing my energy in a deconstructive modality.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Indoctrination at Racine Unified

In a response to the Fred Dooley ( led flap over the Obama section of a Racine Unified textbook, curriculum director Jeff Weiss said "There is no unit on indoctrination."

Perhaps that is because an indoctrination unit would be redundant. Take the text book in question. It is a literature textbook chosen because of its emphasis on diversity in the reading selections, according to Weiss. "We want to find materials that reflect our student body, which is a diverse and multicultural student body." The book contains excerpts from American Indians, Japanese, Hispanics etc...

And this is not indoctrination? Why not read the best, age appropriate written material regardless of the skin color or ethnicity of the writer? Should Unified be promoting a multiculturalist agenda without any apparent consideration of the harm that might do to children and society?

Make no mistake about it folks. Unified is teaching leftist ideas in the schools. They could choose textbooks that disregard the color of the writer. They could remain neutral on the merits of multiculturalism.

But no, they have detirmined that the curriculum should be infused with notions of multiculturalism and diversity, thereby rejecting individualism and American exceptionalism.

And they claim not to be indoctrinating our students.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Constitution Vandalized

About ten days ago, I noticed that my building was tagged with gang graffiti. So I went to the paint store to buy some spray paint with which to cover the graffiti. It was much to windy that day and the next to apply the spray paint. Then I went out of town for business.

Meanwhile, I received a notice from the city concerning the vandalism and today another notice that we have not addressed the problem (we have), coupled with the news that we will be sent a bill of $50 for an inspection fee.

Of course this is not actually a fee, it is a fine pretending to be a fee. The reason to call it a fee is to avoid the sticky problem of people contesting their fines in court and the expenses associated with said contests. You know, denying people their constitutional right to defend themselves in court.

I think the vandalism by our city officials is worse than the gang vandalism. At least I can spray over the grafitti.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Phone Home

The Racine Library wants to expand into Mount Pleasant. They have an endowment of $3 million which might be enough to purchase the land from the city of Racine. An aside: Why does Racine own land in Mount Pleasant? Anyway, it is not known "at this point ... exactly how the library would generate money for the materials and operating costs" according to the JT article.

I have a suggestion for the library board that might shed some light on where the money will come from. Call your own reference desk. Ask them how the current library is funded. This may provide valuable clues as to how additional libraries will be funded.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Eye Spies

After the presidential debate, McCain was criticized for not looking at the camera. After the vice presidential debate, Palin was strongly criticized, by Chris Matthews, for looking at the camera. I'm thinking dark sunglasses are in order for the next debate.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Racine Redevelopment Renamed

What do facade grants, artist relocation efforts, the Unfied Neighborhood Inspection Team and a fresh coat of paint on a crack ridden tennis court have in common?

Answer: They are all a part of Racine's "Lipstick on a Pig" redevelopment strategy.