Monthly Archives: May 2011

Obama Plays Through on Memorial Day

No boys, there are two “E’s” in Freedom, as in Operation Enduring Freedom where seven US Soldiers lost their lives on Thursday. But the President played 18 holes.

Seven U.S. troops were killed by a roadside bomb in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, the Pentagon said, the worst single incident involving foreign troops in a month. A coalition official said the deaths occurred in Shorabak district, Kandahar province, and came in two successive blasts in the same location. Story here.

He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know. He doesn’t know enough to be a president. He doesn’t know not to play golf on Memorial Day. He doesn’t know how to be president. He just doesn’t know. He doesn’t know enough to love America for what it is–not what he wants it to be.
When the casualties started mounting and it became obviously unseemly for the President to play golf while his country was at war, he quit. Even Michael Moore, in his edited diatribe against George W Bush, went after the President about it:

Please voters: in 2012 send him back to the links for a lifetime. We’ll pay for it but at least he won’t do any more harm.
I pray that he learns to love our country as much as I do. And I pray he learns this before we make him a private citizen in 2012.
UPDATED:
No wonder the military thinks so much less of him than the rest of America. (Here

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Teachers Salaries & Pension Funding Costs Go Up Even As Student Funding Goes Down?

We see here in the Zero the lament that Oregon school funding has been sliding backwards since bad economic times set in back in 2002. And the reason? Our economy sucks.

The main reason Oregon spends less is that Oregonians earn less than the national average — so they have less to spend. As a whole, Oregonians consistently contribute 4 percent of their collective income to public schools…

Portland is the lone exception:

Portland Public Schools, the largest district in the state, spent slightly more than similar-size districts around the country in 2008-09, the U.S. Census figures show. Portland spent $10,800 per pupil, compared with $10,100 in the other 66 districts enrolling 40,000 to 60,000 students.

But teachers’ salaries, health benefit costs and retirement have been going up and will only take more and more away from the kids.

The cost of employee benefits, particularly for the state pension system, is expected to surge in coming years, [an EcoNorthWest economist] said. 

Please make sure to note that Portland Public Schools recently won passage of a levy to fund teachers’ increases while at the same time cut teachers. The teachers union bargained for higher pay in exchange for cutting teachers. 

 

Teachers are important. Quality time with teachers can be very important. The teachers union often claims that they are all about “the children,” but once again it is conclusively proven that they’re willing to go along with higher student to teacher ratios, i.e. cutting teachers, in order to get more money.
Please never forget this. They throw the kids under the school bus for more money in their own pocket.
And note this from the experts interviewed by the Zero. We can use the money more effectively if we think more out of the box of bricks on the corner and instead think more creatively about how to deliver education.

What could help schools deliver more would be out-of-the-box thinking, big innovations and novel use of the money they do have, he said. “The big question in my mind is whether the education community writ large — district leaders, union leaders, parents — all rally around something that is transformative.” 

Note that all previous ‘transformative’ ideas for education–charter schools, virtual schools, private schools–have been fought at every turn by the unions.
Remember too that the $500 million bond measure that failed even as the levy passed considered bricks and mortar as the place for education of the future. PPS officials wanted to spend scarce resources to RE BUILD NINE SCHOOLS.
Education doesn’t only happen in buildings. In fact, education of the future likely will take place in the virtual world with meetings occasionally at a school. How many schools would we really need?
Teachers unions don’t want to hear about a future requiring fewer teachers in pretty buildings. In the last election voters said we can’t afford them.
Portland is fast becoming a very expensive in which to live. Fees, taxes, planning, light rail, huge property taxes, regulatory burdens, a terrible housing market and general bad economy swallow up a paycheck faster than we can earn it–if we’re lucky to have a job at all.

Last week the Zero began unspooling the information about Portland from the US Census. One statistic stood out:

Yet the city’s population of school-age children shrank over the decade even as the city grew. According to the 2010 Census, Portland is home to about 76,300 children ages 5 to 17, down by more than 2,800 from 2000. 

There are approximately 45,000 students in Portland Public Schools. There is a huge swath of kids —31,000– of school age whose parents do NOT send them to public schools.
A reflection of mere social economic status or a vote of no confidence. What do you think?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Teachers Salaries & Pension Funding Costs Go Up Even As Student Funding Goes Down?

We see here in the Zero the lament that Oregon school funding has been sliding backwards since bad economic times set in back in 2002. And the reason? Our economy sucks.

The main reason Oregon spends less is that Oregonians earn less than the national average — so they have less to spend. As a whole, Oregonians consistently contribute 4 percent of their collective income to public schools…

Portland is the lone exception:

Portland Public Schools, the largest district in the state, spent slightly more than similar-size districts around the country in 2008-09, the U.S. Census figures show. Portland spent $10,800 per pupil, compared with $10,100 in the other 66 districts enrolling 40,000 to 60,000 students.

But teachers’ salaries, health benefit costs and retirement have been going up and will only take more and more away from the kids.

The cost of employee benefits, particularly for the state pension system, is expected to surge in coming years, [an EcoNorthWest economist] said. 

Please make sure to note that Portland Public Schools recently won passage of a levy to fund teachers’ increases while at the same time cut teachers. The teachers union bargained for higher pay in exchange for cutting teachers. 

 

Teachers are important. Quality time with teachers can be very important. The teachers union often claims that they are all about “the children,” but once again it is conclusively proven that they’re willing to go along with higher student to teacher ratios, i.e. cutting teachers, in order to get more money.
Please never forget this. They throw the kids under the school bus for more money in their own pocket.
And note this from the experts interviewed by the Zero. We can use the money more effectively if we think more out of the box of bricks on the corner and instead think more creatively about how to deliver education.

What could help schools deliver more would be out-of-the-box thinking, big innovations and novel use of the money they do have, he said. “The big question in my mind is whether the education community writ large — district leaders, union leaders, parents — all rally around something that is transformative.” 

Note that all previous ‘transformative’ ideas for education–charter schools, virtual schools, private schools–have been fought at every turn by the unions.
Remember too that the $500 million bond measure that failed even as the levy passed considered bricks and mortar as the place for education of the future. PPS officials wanted to spend scarce resources to RE BUILD NINE SCHOOLS.
Education doesn’t only happen in buildings. In fact, education of the future likely will take place in the virtual world with meetings occasionally at a school. How many schools would we really need?
Teachers unions don’t want to hear about a future requiring fewer teachers in pretty buildings. In the last election voters said we can’t afford them.
Portland is fast becoming a very expensive in which to live. Fees, taxes, planning, light rail, huge property taxes, regulatory burdens, a terrible housing market and general bad economy swallow up a paycheck faster than we can earn it–if we’re lucky to have a job at all.

Last week the Zero began unspooling the information about Portland from the US Census. One statistic stood out:

Yet the city’s population of school-age children shrank over the decade even as the city grew. According to the 2010 Census, Portland is home to about 76,300 children ages 5 to 17, down by more than 2,800 from 2000. 

There are approximately 45,000 students in Portland Public Schools. There is a huge swath of kids —31,000– of school age whose parents do NOT send them to public schools.
A reflection of mere social economic status or a vote of no confidence. What do you think?

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Memorial Day 2011

Thank you to members of the blogforce who have served their country: Lew Waters, Pete the Banker and Rees Lloyd.

A 5th Listener, Roy Widing, wrote this poem:
One Soldier’s Life
By Roy Widing
John 15:13-14

On a cold and rainy evening
Near an old and sunken grave
Sounds a trumpet’s simple, solemn tune
Respects paid to the brave

Mere interest on a huge debt owed
For the biggest sacrifice
Through terror, sorrow, untold pain
Fire, smoke and ice

This soldier, many never knew
But he was someone’s son
And gave the promise of his youth
Now he’s the greater one

His battleground was far from home
He fought to keep us free
While many men spend lives on self
This man gave his for me

So many never made it back
They rest on foreign soil
Such gallant men I’ll not forget
For they define what’s loyal

Graves very often mention
The place where brave men fell
For others, we may never know
As only God can tell

Location matters little
For lives they nobly gave
Near forest, field or desert
In air, or watery grave

This young man
Left his loved ones home
War pulled those lives apart
And left his fractured family
With but a broken heart

One soldier’s life speaks loud for those
Now silent through the years
This brave man’s sacred resting place
I wash with grateful tears


-by Roy Widing
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Memorial Day 2011

Thank you to members of the blogforce who have served their country: Lew Waters, Pete the Banker and Rees Lloyd.

A 5th Listener, Roy Widing, wrote this poem:
One Soldier’s Life
By Roy Widing
John 15:13-14

On a cold and rainy evening
Near an old and sunken grave
Sounds a trumpet’s simple, solemn tune
Respects paid to the brave

Mere interest on a huge debt owed
For the biggest sacrifice
Through terror, sorrow, untold pain
Fire, smoke and ice

This soldier, many never knew
But he was someone’s son
And gave the promise of his youth
Now he’s the greater one

His battleground was far from home
He fought to keep us free
While many men spend lives on self
This man gave his for me

So many never made it back
They rest on foreign soil
Such gallant men I’ll not forget
For they define what’s loyal

Graves very often mention
The place where brave men fell
For others, we may never know
As only God can tell

Location matters little
For lives they nobly gave
Near forest, field or desert
In air, or watery grave

This young man
Left his loved ones home
War pulled those lives apart
And left his fractured family
With but a broken heart

One soldier’s life speaks loud for those
Now silent through the years
This brave man’s sacred resting place
I wash with grateful tears


-by Roy Widing
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pacific University Pick Up the White Courtesy Phone, Sen Tom Coburn Would Like a Word…

As discussed yesterday on the program (11-3pm AM860) waste watcher, US Senator Tom Coburn, says the National Science Foundation has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on silly sounding projects such as South Pole Jello wrestling experiments and the avidly watched Shrimp on a Treadmill:


The folks over at Pacific University have been conducting research into the exercise habits of shrimp or some such thing.

Mr. Coburn’s report noted that the researchers found sick shrimp “did not perform as well and did not recover as well from exercise as healthy shrimp.”

I’m sure there’s something useful in this research and that’s exactly what Professor David Scholnick of Oregon’s Pacific University said in my discussion with him today. (interview here scroll down to TaftCasts). He says he hasn’t bothered to reach out to Coburn to disabuse him of his caricature of his experiments. 
Still, Coburn has a point. Some of this stuff in his report is nonsense.

“There is little, if any, obvious scientific benefit to some NSF projects, such as a YouTube rap video, a review of event ticket prices on stubhub.com, a ‘robot hoedown and rodeo,’ or a virtual recreation of the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair,” Mr. Coburn said in a letter to taxpayers he wrote introducing the 73-page report, documented by more than 350 footnotes.

Here’s the rap video he was talking about.
I don’t foreclose the possibility that some good to mankind may have been done with some of these projects, but in an age when democrats have disemboweled Medicare–a program they claim to want to save–to help defray the costs of ObamaCare, in this time of little foolin-around money, there might be just a little room to get rid of stuff like this. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Pacific University Pick Up the White Courtesy Phone, Sen Tom Coburn Would Like a Word…

As discussed yesterday on the program (11-3pm AM860) waste watcher, US Senator Tom Coburn, says the National Science Foundation has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars on silly sounding projects such as South Pole Jello wrestling experiments and the avidly watched Shrimp on a Treadmill:


The folks over at Pacific University have been conducting research into the exercise habits of shrimp or some such thing.

Mr. Coburn’s report noted that the researchers found sick shrimp “did not perform as well and did not recover as well from exercise as healthy shrimp.”

I’m sure there’s something useful in this research and that’s exactly what Professor David Scholnick of Oregon’s Pacific University said in my discussion with him today. (interview here scroll down to TaftCasts). He says he hasn’t bothered to reach out to Coburn to disabuse him of his caricature of his experiments. 
Still, Coburn has a point. Some of this stuff in his report is nonsense.

“There is little, if any, obvious scientific benefit to some NSF projects, such as a YouTube rap video, a review of event ticket prices on stubhub.com, a ‘robot hoedown and rodeo,’ or a virtual recreation of the 1964/65 New York World’s Fair,” Mr. Coburn said in a letter to taxpayers he wrote introducing the 73-page report, documented by more than 350 footnotes.

Here’s the rap video he was talking about.
I don’t foreclose the possibility that some good to mankind may have been done with some of these projects, but in an age when democrats have disemboweled Medicare–a program they claim to want to save–to help defray the costs of ObamaCare, in this time of little foolin-around money, there might be just a little room to get rid of stuff like this. 

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com