Friday Follies for April 27, 2012

It’s Friiiiday!  So says a quip on a local radio show.  And, as usual, I’m scrambling around looking for a topic.  When I fail, I punt.  The result?  The return of the Follies.
I went to a ‘Pub Lincoln Days dinner last night in a neighboring county.  A staffer for one of our state candidates needed some help. I had missed the big state Lincoln Day event earlier this year and frankly, I was curious. I also got a free dinner catered by the local ladies.  That county is famous for the quality of their catering. They deserve their reputation.
I’ll make sure to remind Mrs. Crucis when our county’s dinner comes around next month.
When is a crime not a crime?  When it perpetrated by a democrat.  Case in point.  It is illegal to campaign using taxpayer funds.  All campaign costs must be paid by the candidate or his campaign fund.
Obama has been stumping all across the country this week at colleges.  He claims it’s for governmental purposes.&nbs,ip; What -.he says at those stops, however, proves that claim to be a lie.  Every one is a campaign speech and even his sycophant media followers are now agreeing. John Boehner has made a formal complaint to have these trips investigated.  The WH made the usual excuse…”Bush did it too!”
The Eco-Wachos are on the loose again—with tacit WH approval.  The target is the largest copper deposit in the US and perhaps the world, the Pebble Mine deposit.
April 26, 2012 — 3:38 PM
Last week, as four major environmental groups in Washington were endorsing President Obama’s re-election, eco-bosses from the Natural Resources Defense Council flew a planeload of anti-industry activists halfway around the world to London.
NRDC, the New York City-based green giant ($232.3 million assets in 2010), sent its minions abroad in hopes of destroying America’s best strategic mineral reserve, one of the largest known ore bodies of copper on the planet: Alaska’s Pebble Mine deposit.
The Pebble Partnership (between Anglo American and Northern Dynasty Minerals) has invested more than $400 million to make Pebble — still in the pre-permit stage — the most environmentally friendly mine in history. The Partnership will spend several billion dollars and create about 2,000 jobs for mine construction, plus a thousand skilled mining jobs over the life of the mine. No plan has yet been released, which gives the opposition a free hand at make-believe, fear-mongering descriptions of what to expect.
Now, these groups have come together to demand the Environmental Protection Agency expand its reach under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to deny permits for Pebble before any permit has been applied for. This unprecedented power grab from the EPA would eliminate local and state authorities from having any say in the permitting process and gut the process established under the National Environmental Policy Act — passed by the environmentalists themselves. It would chill future investments not just in mining projects but also in the estimated $200 billion yearly investments in projects relying on 404(c) permits.
Alaska’s attorney general sent a strongly worded letter last month questioning the EPA’s legal authority to pre-emptively deny a permit on state land designated for mining, but the agency is nonetheless moving forward with a broad watershed assessment of the area — a study the state argues the EPA has no authority to conduct. It will be released in coming weeks and is being heralded by Big Green as a precursor to the EPA issuing a blanket permit denial. This unprecedented action would give environmentalist activists a new tool that enables them to kill almost any project anywhere.

If President Obama allows his EPA to make this brazen power grab, it will have devastating effects on the American economy. It will also tell us a lot about who’s really running the country.

Really, that last paragraph is redundant. We know who’s running the country—liberals with their hands in our pockets.
Bullies, Unions and Teachers.  It’s an old story. Education is all in arms about bullying in school.  The reality is that teacher’s unions are bullying their members to insure they toe the party, uh…., the union line.
April 26, 2012 — 8:00 PM
Earlier this month, the presidents of America’s two largest teachers unions co-hosted a screening of the new documentary “Bully.” The movie, of course, aims to combat bullying of schoolchildren.
But even as they publicly eschew bullying, these unions and their locals across the nation bully teachers and competing organizations to maintain membership and power. I have published a new report on the details of this ugly trend in School Reform News.
In February, a Utah teacher named Cole Kelly testified in favor of a bill that would penalize school districts for not granting all teacher organizations — not just unions, but also other professional organizations — equal access to teachers. A week later, he was released from his position as athletic director, which for school districts is tantamount to firing. His principal admitted she approved of his job performance but had released him because of pressure.
Subsequently, other teachers texted Kelly to say they agreed with him but were afraid of being fired if they spoke out or left their union. He is contesting his release.
At a new teacher orientation in Jacksonville, Fla., a union representative heard a presentation by a nonunion group. She walked onto the stage before 600 teachers, accused the presenter of being “a desperate former teacher” and stalked about the room ripping up the competition’s fliers, said Tim Farmer, membership director for the Professional Association of Colorado Educators.
These are not isolated incidents. Teachers unions engage in repeated, unashamed aggression against dissenting teachers and competitor organizations. In regular legislation-tracking for School Reform News, I have uncovered many examples of such behavior across the country. Some are as outrageous as the ones above, while others are mere annoyances. They all, however, represent a consistent effort to intimidate teachers and suppress ideas that might threaten their agenda.
“This is everywhere,” said Alexandra Schroeck, communications director for the American Association of Educators, the largest nonunion teachers association. AAE offers teachers liability insurance, professional development grants and legal representation in employment disputes, but it does not engage in collective bargaining or political activism. Its fees are approximately $15 per month, whereas union dues are often $50 per month or more. Like other nonunion teachers organizations, such as Educators4Excellence in New York and the California Teacher Empowerment Network, AAE has been growing, but it constantly runs up against unethical and sometimes illegal union-influenced resistance.
The above is only a portion of the examples given in the complete article. I urge you to read it completely and understand that unions do not exist to help their members. They exist to maintain their corporate power.  The only difference between unions and the mob is that unions have the government backing them. A government who abets unions in their quasi-legal tactics.
My mother was a teacher for over forty years. She began teaching in the Illinois Ozarks in a one room school and taught all eight grades.  She was 18 and some of her students were only a few years younger than her.  She road a horse to and from school and carried a .45 caliber revolver—a revolver she needed on occasion.
My father was a school board member for our country elementary school district and the President of that board in his last term. My sister began teaching as a circuit music teacher while she was still in college and after graduating taught government and history in a number of secondary schools including her local junior college.  For awhile, she was also the president of her local AFT (American Federation of Teachers) chapter—at a time when teacher’s unions really wanted to improve education instead of becoming more interested in political power and money-grabing.

I’ve been an insider of education since birth. I’ve seen the full transition of teacher unions from the original professional organizations to parasitical cancers that is killing the teaching profession.  It is time to remove unions from the profession.  Then, and only then, will schools really educate their students instead of just passing them through a process that fails them.
I wonder just how many “graduates” of the KC school district, after twelve years, remain functionally illiterate? I’ll bet you’d be surprised at the answer. You shouldn’t be surprised when an external agency is needed to teach reading to those who have failed.
Here something to finish off your week.  From Glenn McCoy…
Joe Junior

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