Thursday, December 29, 2011

WordPress Loves Hamas and CAIR

Boycott Wordpress.  If you have a Wordpress site, I'm afraid I will not be going there.  Here's why.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Of Income Inequality

The Beer:  Dogfish Head 90-Minute IPA

The Bicycle:  Now that Christmas is over and I am back in town, it is time.

The VRWC:  Much press is given to "income inequality" these days.  There is a school of thought that believes we should all have just about the same income, apparently.  This school of thought focuses on the idea that too few people control too much wealth.  Not everyone has a piece of the pie.  A more progressive taxation system is needed.  More money (property) needs to be taken from those who "have" and given to those who "have not".  This is an extraordinary dangerous belief.  Who decides?  Who determines what an "equitable distribution of wealth" is?  An all-knowing federal government?  The ("This is what Democracy looks like") voters?  This is what the Founders wanted to avoid when they came up with the idea of a Constitution for a Representative Republic, rather than a direct Democracy.

Retired Librarian George Wagner writes in the (soon-to-be-pay-for-play) Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that most people want income equality.  Somehow he links income equality in Wisconsin to Scott Walker (apparently we were all equal under former Governor Doyle - equally miserable, I suppose).  Further, he makes a comparison of education systems in Finland and in the United States and finds the US wanting, not because of the education system itself, but rather because of "income inequality".  He shows neither proof nor evidence that "the plans of Gov. Scott Walker and national Republicans propel us toward more inequality than we have now".  The only thing he gives evidence of is how poorly informed voters are in the United States.

There is no time or place in history where Socialism/Marxism/Progressivism has worked.  The Soviet Union collapsed under its weight.  China is moving rapidly to capitalism and the EU is foundering under the Social Democracy model.  

The problem of income inequality in the United States is not a problem of capitalism, but rather a problem of Big Government Socialism and "Crony Capitalism".  Success is punished, innovation is stifled.  It is nearly impossible to start a small business without "knowing someone".  Navigating Federal, State and local regulations is nearly impossible with out an attorney.  Welfare has enslaved generation upon generation to the government plantation.  It violates the fundamental human right of self-determination.

This dabbling in Big Government, socialism, crony capitalism and cradle-to-grave care must end before we are truly able to eradicate poverty, but income inequality will never leave us.  Whether capitalism or socialism, some are more equal  than others.  In Capitalism, it is because of your own effort.  In socialism, it is because of who you know.

Words and Meanings

We all know words have meanings.  So what do the words, "underprivileged", "underserved", "unfortunate", when used in a political sense actually "mean".

Underprivileged - This a political term get the population to believe that someone is poor because they did not have certain advantages that (by extension) those who are not poor - and therefore "privileged" - have.  But the truth here is that everyone has the same K-12 public education opportunity.  For most of us, our "privileges" stop  there.  The rest is a result of hard work and a break here and there.  Why do some not succeed from there?  You know the litany of reasons and excuses: family breakdown, lousy schools, not all that smart, lazy, "different learning styles (they exist, trust me)".....  But the fact is, none of these things extend from "privilege" or lack thereof.  (See "unfortunate")

Underserved - As in "underserved communities".  Politically, it means some type of government largesse and infers that others are "served" and "overserved".  By why is government serving much of anything in any community?  Fire and police, schools (I suppose), trash pickup, for those who do not engage their own contractor, maybe water and sewer should be about the extent of it (yes there may be more, I don't feel like listing every one).  But "underserved" generally does not mean that type  of service.  It more often refers to government programs like "midnight basketball", not essential services.

These are the types of  terms we Conservatives have to stop using.  Let's call it what it is.  Terms like "underprivileged" imply a lie that cannot be allowed to continue.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Luke Chapter 2.  The Greatest Story Ever Told.

Energy and Liberty

So, I covered the "Geek Stuff" here.  That's the easy part.  The hard part comes here.

"The Grid" carries all the energy from electric generating utilities.  It carries all the electricity demanded plus makes up for "line losses" (think of line losses as "electrical friction").  No more, no less.  Energy demand follows a sinusoidal curve where it is lowest at  night and highest during the day.  Peak load comes somewhere between about 3 and 7 pm most places.

Generally speaking, the energy is generated by three types of plants:

  • Base Load - these are plants that are very large and inexpensive to run.  Large coal and nuclear plants fall in this category as well as much of the natural gas and some of the oil-fired plants.
  • Rolling (or "Ready", or"Spinning") Reserve - these plants are generally smaller and more expensive to operate. They operate at low loads connected to the grid and are available to make up for peak load.
  • Hot Standby - Also known as "Replacement Reserve" or some other moniker, depending on the utility. These in a hot condition, but require longer to bring onto the grid.  
There must be adequate reserve to cover peak and the loss of the largest single unit in the system.  This isn't necessarily a "rule", but it's good practice.  The greater total reserve available, the less likely it is that the loss of a single unit will have catastrophic cascading consequences (alliteration not intended) to the grid.  It also means that there is adequate reserve for those days of extraordinary peaks that is, very hot days or very cold days, days when very large units are off line for maintenance or other similar situations.  In order to maintain the necessary load on the grid, the generators are frequency responsive.  As load changes, the units will change frequency to adapt until adequate energy is returned to the grid and frequency is returned to the customary 60 hertz.  It is also possible to reduce voltage on the grid to maintain frequency and power output ("brownout").  If conditions become such that there is inadequate energy to meet demand, some areas may be "blacked out".

This brings us to the whole "Liberty" part of this post.  I believe in the modern age, Liberty is nearly impossible without an abundant supply of cheap, reliable energy.  Liberty requires communication between government and individuals and between individuals themselves.  Liberty also requires the ability of citizens to travel where they wish, when they wish without needing to tell anyone or ask anyone's permission.  Not everyone has a horse these days.

The far Left is, according to this argument, opposed to the conditions required for Liberty.  The continuing delays of drilling permits, the stopping of pipelines, the blocking through inaction of combined operating licenses for new nuclear construction and new EPA regulations, effectively killing the coal industry have all placed us in a precarious situation regarding our individual liberty.  The Left sees "snail darters", mountain tops and tundra as more important than Liberty and more important than the lives of citizens.  It is ironic that EPA seeks to remove all risk from electric power generation, while at the same time, placing the citizens of the United States, especially the children they claim to care so much about by limiting their access to cheap energy.  

Until politicians quit worrying about small loud constituencies and use sound technological and scientific advice to make  their decisions, we will be at risk.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Freezing in the Dark

The Beer:  Saint Arnold Christmas Ale.

The Bicycle: If I don't get going, I won't be able to ride at all next year.

The VRWC:  Back in "the day", when I worked in the nuclear power biz, we would look at the anti-(insert energy technology here) folks and say, "Let 'em freeze in the dark".  Unfortunately, because they and their fellow travelers have taken over education, government and the bureaucracy, it appears the rest of us will be the ones freezing.  By implementing "Boiler MACT", EPA has signed a death warrant for many of the nation's coal-fired power plants.

Ok.  Here is the geek stuff.

"Boiler MACT" is shorthand for "Maximum Achievable Control Technology".  This means that the users of certain boilers (i.e. the boilers used at coal-fired power plants) will need to use whatever technology is necessary to reduce 84 chemicals that EPA deems as toxic and are found in stack emissions to a level no greater than what EPA deems to be emitted from the 12% of cleanest plants.

Here is some background (H/T: Maeve and Red):

05/18/11-The EPA published a notice today delaying the effective date of the boiler major source rule (The Boiler MACT) until the completion of the recently announced reconsideration or the completion of litigation on the rule, whichever is earlier. The effective date of the boiler area source rule was not delayed

10/24/11 - The EPA is committed to proposing the Boiler MACT reconsideration and intends to issue the proposal for public comment by the end of November. The standards, which are currently going through interagency review, are meant to protect Americans from mercury, soot, lead and other harmful pollutants released by boilers and incinerators that can lead to developmental disabilities in children, as well as cancer, heart disease, aggravated asthma and premature death. To develop this proposed reconsideration, EPA has benefited from information provided by industry, labor, States and environmental organizations. We will consider all the information in the review process to develop smart, cost-effective and protective standards.

12/2/11 - The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued proposed amendments to the rule “National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Area Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers,” also called subpart JJJJJJ. The EPA will accept comment on these proposed amendments for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register. Synopsis of the proposed changes. 

12/2/11 - The EPA issued the Boiler MACT reconsideration proposal (40 CFR 63, subpart DDDDD, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants for Major Sources: Industrial, Commercial, and Institutional Boilers and Process Heaters). The EPA will accept comment on the reconsideration proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.

By most estimate, this rule will result in the shutdown of up to 60 coal-fired power plants, which currently produce between 13 and 28 GW of energy.  11 GW is believed to be in Texas where "dirt-burners" consume cheap, but relatively dirty lignite coal.

The United States currently has generation capacity of 1,039,137 MW 1039 GW) of which about 317,000 MW (317 GW) is from coal.  This is 30% of capacity, but on any given day, over half of net generation is from coal.  This because coal is cheap and plentiful.  The margin between what is generated and what is consumed is about 180 GW or just under 20%.  Removing 13-28 GW from is what?  7-15% of the 20% margin, reducing it to around 16-17% margin.  

I'm going to leave this here and let the reader digest the information.  I will post more on the consequences of this policy later.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

More "Failed Policies Of The Past"

The "Peace Movement":  Since the beginning of time, humans have warred against each other.  Like playground bullies, aggressors have always preyed on the weak, never on the strong.  In the more modern era, "The Peace Movement" has arisen which believes that there is no evil in the world  and if we can only "talk" to the other side, they will like us and come to our way of thinking.  That's all fine except, this  movement wants to disarm first.  The very idea that if we show weakness, no one will bother us is absurd.  It goes directly against human nature.  Never has a nation been attacked because it was too strong.  The argument is akin to walking through a bad neighborhood with no protection, or telling the invader of your home, "do what you want to the women and children, but leave me alone".

Historically,one only has to look at the evidence.  Nazi Germany was able to start WWII because the Allies showed themselves to be weak and cowardly.  Japan was able to move in the Pacific at the same time because they believed the United States was weak.  Saddam invaded Kuwait at a time he believed no one would counter him.  The Soviet Union took all of Eastern Europe following WWII because the Allies were war-weary and weak.

Unemployment Insurance:  Humans need to work.  It is in our DNA.  Without work, humans are no longer human.  It gives us pride and dignity, it adds to the social fabric of civilization and puts us all on a more level playing field.  Unemployment insurance, provided by the government at a cost to business destroys that part of humanity.  It becomes too easy to not work.  Extending the length of time someone receives unemployment insurance, the longer one is likely to be unemployed.  Anecdotally, how many times have you heard people say, "I'll start looking for a job when  my unemployment runs out"?  And those who refuse to take a job which is available because it is beneath them and they can still receive unemployment?  This is anathema to most of us, but there are enough out there to create a true problem.  An empty stomach is the best incentive to find a job.

Government-Run Healthcare:  This has not and cannot work.  Where it has been tried, it has resulted in rationing and stifled innovation (except for creating a "Black Market" for healthcare).  It is beyond absurd to think that a government bureaucrat is going to be more sympathetic to your claim than a private insurer.  You are paying a private insurer to buy into a contract.  Both parties are bound by the contract.  With government, as we see almost constantly, the contract changes at the whim of the government.

The idea that costs can be controlled by putting mandatory cost controls in place is also patently absurd.  Nixon's wage and price freeze policy was one of several causes of rampant inflation in the last half of the 1970's.  Government would do well to not meddle in healthcare.  Administrative burdens due to government regulations already account for as much as $340 billion annually, according to The Cato Institute.  With an annual cost of $2 trillion, $340 billion ain't chump change.  17%, if my arithmetic is right.

While none of  this "proves" small government is better, it certainly provides adequate evidence.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Chinese Aircraft Carrier Sails

The Beer:  The Winter Ale is bottled and I won't brew before New Year's (maybe)

The Bicycle:  I believe I'll just take my tools along with the bikes.  I won't get them done here.

The VRWC:  There is much hand-wringing in the press and the World Wide Interweb over the sailing of the Varyag, China's first aircraft carrier.  This is a very good paper by Ronald O'Rourke for the Congressional Research Service.

According to O'Rourke, the Chinese plan to use this modernization as an "access denial force", preventing US intervention in a China-Taiwan confrontation.  The Chinese have a wide array of anti-ship missile capabilities fired from both surface and submarine assets, but they also lack the ability to carry out coordinated operations far from Chinese waters.

The Chinese have also believed they have a right to a 200-mile-territorial-waters boundary which O'Rourke indicates they would plan to enforce using this seaborne capability.  Further, the Chinese believe they need this capability to be taken seriously as a "world power" and to displace US influence in the Western Pacific.

What is troubling is the reports of development of an Nuclear Electromagnetic Pulse weapon for use against a US carrier force.  I suggest use of such a weapon would quickly result in nuclear escalation.  It is possible this weapon is something of a deterrent, rather than something actually to be used, similar to the US/Soviet nuclear weapons stockpiles of the Cold War.  Actual use was anathema to both sides, but the threat was adequate to keep the peace.

Air capability appears to be limited and outdated, but capable of carrying anti-ship missiles as well.  No match for US aircraft head-to-head, but adequate for access denial.  Stealth-type aircraft appear to be in development.  A US drone in the hands of Iran will definitely help that cause.  It will also help the development of UAV's.

Chinese submarine capability varies as well from former Soviet Kilo-Class to Chinese built Shang-class boats.  They have both diesel-electric and nuclear propulsion, the diesel-electric being the more quiet of the two.  This also includes nuclear ICBM submarines (SSBN).  Currently, the Chinese are having developmental difficulties with their SLBM (Submarine Launched Ballistic Missile) program.  Read that as they can't hit the broad side of a barn.  But if perfected, their range can hit targets up to the west coast of the US.

Chinese aircraft carriers look good, but lack the ability for coordinated air operations.  It is not something a navy develops overnight.  It is unlikely they will be effective on the open ocean for decades, but if the goal really is access denial, they will suffice.  Opposition to US forces in the near term would have results similar to the Russian-Japanese conflict at Tsushima Strait.

Bottom line:  The Chinese do not currently have the capability to project real power in the open ocean, but within the next generation, they will.  Consequently, US naval power must be continually modernized if it is to be the force that ensures open sea lanes.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Failed Policies Of The Past

The current #Occupier of the White House loves to tell us about the "failed policies of the past..."  But let's have a look at what the real failed policies of the past are:

The War on Poverty.  According to the Census Bureau, in 1966 the poverty rate was 11.8%.  It has remained in a range between 8.7% and 12.3% for the last 46 years.  Fail.  Giving money to people with no strings attached does not eliminate poverty.  Helping those who cannot help themselves is a moral obligation, but the able-bodied need to work and pay their bills and taxes like the rest of us.  We are told, "We just need more money and we can eliminate poverty and hunger."  No, you can't.  When "the dole" pays for cars, computers and cell phones, when food assistance is abused to pay for booze and cigarettes, it is clear the system is an abject failure.

The Federalized, Unionized Public School System.  According to (further links at the page), public schools lag non-elite private schools in nearly every performance indicator while non-elite private schools perform at a lower cost.  According to the PISA Report, the US public education system fails vs. the world as well.  According to the report, the US falls at or below average in 5 of 7 categories, including below average in Math and Science.  But students are really good at "Reflect and Evaluate" and "Non-Continuous Texts" (I don't think that is much cause for celebration).  But again, we are told by the education establishment and the Federal Government that all they need is more money and the problem will be fixed.  I suggest they show me results with the money they have first.  40+ years of sub-par education by unionized teachers tells me this is also a fail, perhaps and "epic fail".  As we have seen in Wisconsin, public school teachers are all about themselves, not "the children".

"Alternative Energy".  What a disaster this one has been.  Ethanol, solar, wind.  All epic failures with no indication they will every be more than a niche.

It is very difficult to find sources of information on ethanol energy balance that are neither government nor ethanol lobby related.  In 2003, Pimental and Patzak concluded the energy balance for most biofuels was negative.  But even if they are not negative, how good an idea is it to take corn and soybeans out of the world food supply to make a fuel?  Especially when there remains plenty of alternatives in petroleum, natural gas, coal and nuclear.

Solar and wind have been highly subsidized for years, yet fail to make any inroads at all worldwide.  They are both expensive, unreliable and require energy-intensive materials.  The subsidies are rife with corruption and crony capitalism as we have seen with Solyndra.  (Interestingly, if one Googles on the subject of Solyndra, one will find the usual suspects defending continued subsidies and the usual suspects deriding the whole system.)

This is getting a bit long-winded.  There is plenty more to discuss in the real failed policies of the past.  I'll get back to it later.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Climate Extreme Index"?

This doesn't pass any common sense test..  And it is reported by the government-run, sock-puppet media with no critical analysis at all.

NOAA, apparently in conjunction with IPCC has decided, based on 40 years of data that cases of "extreme weather" have increased by using the dollar value of damage.  But as far as I can tell, they have failed to normalize for two things:  the rate of inflation and population density (except in passing).  The rate of inflation goes without saying.  According to the Census Bureau, population density in the US has increased from 57.5 to 87.4 people per square mile.  That's about a 60% increase (if I did my math correctly).  So one would expect an increase in the cost of weather-related damage to approximate the increase in population density, right?  The NOAA report also fails to mention that the number and intensity of hurricanes have not increased.  Further, there is peer-reviewed research indicating "extreme weather" has little to do with (alleged) Climate Change.

I again challenge the warmistas to tell me what the optimum climate looks like and explain how current conditions vary from natural variability.


The Beer:  Subjected friends to Bad Santa and Wee Heavy last night.  The claimed to love both.

The Bicycle:  Thanks to donations and yard sales, I have bicycles to take to BFG and family at Christmas.  Far better bicycles than the one I took BFG a few years ago.

The VRWC:  Neo was linked up at PJ today regarding The #Occupier's Kansas speech.  It's a great post deserving of your reading, but what really caught my eye was a comment from jd:

The problem with the Obama Speech in Kansas was the same problem with every speech he’s given since he came on the scene in 2004. It was essentially the same ideas in the same format with different words.
Some time ago I put together my own synthisis of his Teleprompter Fare in what I call;
The Barak Obama Do It Yourself Speech Kit:
Preamble: this must consist of varying portions or iterations of the following; [Place in any order you choose]
“Folks are hurtin’.” [This must be said with feeling, to show caring.]
“We have to invest in the future.” [Translation; Spend Spend Spend!]
“We need a balanced approach.” [Remember, this means Tax Increases so make it sound reasonalbe.]
“My hope and expectation is that we can put country before party and get something done for the American people.”
[This is the crux of the speech, this is where it is emphasized that any disagreement is tantamount to Treason.]
[At this point it is important to have an agenda list that will consist of proposals. Use the following skeleton to introduce each of the agenda items.]
— Obama Introduce a Subject on the Agenda —
“Some would say…” [Insert here a quotation of something No One ever says.]
“let me be perfectly clear…” [This is the place for obfuscation about the subject and any position regarding the subject.]
“We cannot simply just…” [This is where you mention something that would inspire the American People if mentioned by a Republican politician, i.e. "we cannot simply just drill for all the oil we need."]
“make no mistake about…” [Here is where the Exact Opposite of any of the things which are to take place are stated.]
“I reject the false choice that some would…” [Again, reiterate quotations that No One has ever said followed by Him vs. an idiotic extrapolation of any Republican position.]
“I have ordered my team to…” [Doesn't matter what actions you fill in here, they aren't going to do it.]
— Repeat as needed for new subjects —
Then, in closing you must include a reference to the Bush Administration and “The Failed Policies of the Past.” that we cannot go back to.

It has always been stupefying to me that so many fail to see that he is neither a "great speaker" nor is he genuine.    He reads platitudes from a teleprompter.  Hell, Deekawife 3.0 can do that and she HATES speaking in front of a crowd.  (Just sayin', Honey)  But it has dawned on me today that this the same condition that made many (especially ESPN) believe Donovan McNabb was anything other than a serviceable quarterback in the NFL.  McNabb had talent, no doubt.  One does not reach the NFL without it.  Be he wasn't the second coming of Johnny Unitas, either.  

It is nearly impossible for some to evaluate a person of color with the same set of criteria with which they would evaluate a White person.  For that matter, these same people have the same problem evaluating women.  It really shouldn't matter.  McNabb was probably on a par with Don Majkowski.  Given the right team and right circumstances, a Super Bowl ring was possible.  But neither was going to carry a team on his shoulders and win through force of will.  And keep in mind that Majkowski played for horrific Packer teams and finished his career with Detroit.  McNabb played for a contender nearly every year.  As a speaker, Obama is no different.  He is completely untalented and becomes easily flustered without a teleprompter.  His knowledge of facts is non-existent.  Unscripted, he will say what he really believes in the words that remove the mask and reveal his true intentions.

Those who cannot objectively evaluate all people are racist and sexist by definition.  Those who think The #Occupier is a great speaker or even a serviceable President are the worst.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Manufacturing Policy

There is none, but at least someone is talking about it.  Manufacturing is near and dear to me.  I work in it now as a supervisor and have been around manufacturing the bulk of my adult life.  Environmental, Health and Safety, Engineering and now, Supervision.  Graphite, Spring-making and Machining.  Based on what I've seen, here is what I think:

What the manufacturing policy should be:

1. Encourage modernization through tax policy (i.e., keep the cost of capital low and make the tax ramifications of new equipment low. I realize the 99% won't like that, but tough)

2. Instead of indoctrinating children in the public schools, actually teach them something useful. Get out of the "social justice", "green" and "peace" business in the schools and there will be money for classes like "shop"

3. Common sense workplace and environmental regulation. Stuff like "Greenhouse Gas Reporting" is strangling business.

4. Make nice with those who choose to make nice with us. Places like China need us more than we need them when it comes to trade. We are still their biggest market.

5. Get out of the way

A consumption-based economy is not a bad thing. What is the alternative? If people don't buy and consume goods, there is no market. The debt part is where we get hurt. Both consumer and I think more importantly, government debt. Government debt is killing Europe and enslaving the US to places like China. Stop it now.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Good Read On The President

The Conservative Girl writes a really great piece.

They Are Right About One Thing Here

The title of the op-ed.  That's where it ends.  Climate Change is not going away.  It has been going on for billions of years and isn't about to stop now.  JS Editorial Board has either been duped or is a willing accomplice in the greatest hoax ever perpetrated.

Here is some common sense about the whole thing.  There was never any debate.  The science was settled without so much as a, "Hey, does this look right to you?"

It's Kathleen Falk Who Is Being Dishonest

The Beer:  The Pumpkin Ale is kegged and the Winter Ale is in the secondary fermenter awaiting my attention for bottling.  I have those plus my Arrogant Bastard clone, Cherry Wheat, Mead, Hard Apple Cider, Winter Saison, Scottish Wee Heavy and Bad Santa at my disposal.  Come on over.  There is plenty to share.

The Bicycle:  Once I get past a few physical maladies (none serious) I plan to get re-fit to the Madone and get it up on the trainer.  Spring isn't that far away.

The VRWC:  The liar here is Kathleen Falk, though that should not surprise anyone.  She's a Democrat and she seems to be planning a run against Governor Walker in the recall.  The recall is not yet a foregone conclusion, but I suppose they can get enough signatures to overwhelm the system and make it happen.

Falk claims Walker was not honest in his campaign.  Here, Politifact makes very clear Walker's plan to revive QEO.  In addition, this flier from WEAC again makes clear what he had planned for teachers and public employees.

Falk makes claims regarding healthcare and children that are completely unsubstantiated.  While Politifact rates Walker's statement as false here, it also makes clear that Falk's statement is equally and perhaps more diabolically false.

It is the Democrats who have pit neighbor against neighbor and family member against family member by by raping the taxpayer through collusion with local governments and lying about while trying to recall the governor so they can do it again.  They can't help themselves.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Herman Cain Suspends His Campaign

I am terribly disappointed.  While many of us disagree on Cain's stands and whether or not he would be a good President, I don't think anyone can doubt his courage.  He went up against the political class.  They tried to destroy him and while he suspended, he continues to inspire and will continue to fight.

I've heard Herman Cain speak 3 times, met and spoke to him twice.  I was able to speak with him at length in Sheboygan, Wisconsin at a TEA Party rally, when many of us called out to him to run for President.  He was, and is my choice.  Is he perfect?  No.  But he believes in what is great about the United States of America.

I wish him success and long life.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's Too Bad....

That I only get to write to the Editor of the News-Graphic here in Wisconsin only once every 30 days.  But first:

The Beer:  I am sipping on a "Scottish Wee Heavy" that is both beautiful and delicious.

The Bicycle:  I am cleaning up and making space for the trainer so I can get back up and start training on the bike again for Spring (it's not THAT far away).

The VRWC:  Tim Schilke has a column (which is currently only in the dead-tree edition) in the News-Graphic in which he decries the idea of merit pay.  He seems to think that crony-ism will reign and we will be left with not the best teachers, but those who maintain the best relationship with their evaluator.  Notwithstanding that it will be the exception rather than the rule, I guess he thinks that would be worse than the current system of colluding to rape the taxpayer.

As examples of why merit pay won't work, he brings out the well-worn Leftist saga of the financial industry and morgage-backed securities, while failing to point out that it is collusion with government that brought about those failures, not "merit pay"  There is no logical linkage.  None.

How does he think automatic pay increases incentivize teachers?  He doesn't say.  But experience shows that automatic pay increases (along with bigger and prettier schools, more computers and technology and fewer students in the classroom) have done nothing to improve education.  What's the old saw about insanity?

Try something different.  If merit pay doesn't work, try something else.  Public schools are a failure and Tim Schilke's education in it is evidence thereof.