Teachers’ Unions and “Unequal” Pay

Here is the main chunk of this report:

The National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI) was started by Bill Gates, Michael Dell and other technology titans concerned about the declining performance of American students in math and science. The public-private partnership funds efforts to increase the number of students taking advanced placement courses in those subjects. But thanks to the Washington Education Association, a teachers union, the initiative’s recent efforts in Washington state have been torpedoed.

Earlier this month NMSI announced that a $13.2 million grant slated for Washington state was being scrapped. Why? The contract ran afoul of the union’s collective bargaining agreement. NMSI wanted to compensate teachers directly and include extra pay based on how well students performed on AP exams. But under the teacher contracts, the union is the exclusive agent for negotiating teacher pay and union officials refused to compromise. They were willing to turn away free money for their teacher members rather than abide this kind of merit pay.

Does anyone know any details not mentioned that would make this less retarded on the part of the union?

The centrality of gasoline.

As gas prices soar, thieves grow more brazen

Most gas thefts are still perpetrated by motorists who drive off without paying. After seeing declines in drive-offs earlier this decade, after many stores began requiring drivers to pre-pay, the National Association of Convenience Stores says they’re rising sharply again. “

Gasoline is at the center of the American economy, but there are those who will doubt this.

One group, for example, is crazy enough to believe that Baby Jesus will create more oil. What a crock. He would have already done it by now. (I really don’t need to refute this hypothesis on this blog.)

We will see more crime of all kinds as gas prices go up. More gas will stolen from the pump, perhaps tankers will be hijacked.

I hate to be the ominous village prognosticator, but we are seeing the beginning of how crazy it’s going to get when oil becomes scarce. Food prices will go up, and I think those living in the big cities are going to have the hardest time. I don’t want to sound like these people, but you have to admit that the potential for chaos is real.

The question is, How likely is the chaos?

About as likely that we won’t find alternative energy sources to meet our demand.

-MC Spanky McGee

McCain: “Obama doesn’t know shit about Iraq.”

McCain: Obama has no experience or knowledge on Iraq

“Look at what happened in the last two years since Senator Obama visited and declared the war lost,” the GOP nominee-in-waiting told The Associated Press in an interview, noting that the Illinois senator’s last trip to Iraq came before the military buildup that is credited with curbing violence.

“He really has no experience or knowledge or judgment about the issue of Iraq and he has wanted to surrender for a long time,” the Arizona senator added.
“If there was any other issue before the American people, and you hadn’t had anything to do with it in a couple of years, I think the American people would judge that very harshly.” “

Look, what’s the point in Obama going over there? Who cares?

Every time McCain has gone to the middle east, he’s confused our enemies with each other, or he’s told some lie about how it was sooooo safe to walk down the street. (See John McCain and that pesky law of noncontradiction)

I don’t care how many times McCain has been there. His foreign policy views are still fucked up.

-MC Spanky McGee

The conspiracy phase.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/26/bill.clinton.mon/index.html

Here some highlights:

Clinton also suggested some were trying to “cover up” Sen. Clinton’s chances of winning in key states that Democrats will have to win in the general election. “

“She is winning the general election today and he is not, according to all the evidence,” [Bill] Clinton said. “And I have never seen anything like it. I have never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully just for running.” “

My favorite part:

Clinton did not expound on who he was accusing.

Hillary will be bitter after this election. She thought she was going to stomp B.O. in this thing, and now the truth is dawning on her, although in a hazy kind of way–like how a drunk remembers there are still microwave burritos in the freezer. Bill will harp on this election for years.

The Clintons are soooooo confused, soooooo tired that they can’t even tell you who they’re fighting against. Bill is just lashing out at THEM. THEY are holding little Hillary back.

People don’t follow politics because of assholes like the Clintons. They grate on your nerves, and you’d rather just play xbox or watch “Flavor of Love III” until your goddamned brain has turned to tapioca.

-MC Spanky McGee

TDS, TCR writers hold mock debate during writers’ strike

Ok, granted, this is a little bit outdated. The Writers’ Strike is over, and everyone’s happy now that “So You Think You Can Dance” is on. However, there is some gold in this mock-debate-style panel discussion in Congress (at which actual congress-persons were present). “Representing” the WGA, we have writers from The Daily Show, and on the side of the AMPTP we have writers from The Colbert Report. In addition to a smug philosophy-major-turned-writer and a parody of Code Pink protesters, there is some interesting commentary on the internet, a charge that the writers “think they’re better than Jesus,” and a discussion of “nothing-adjacence.” Enjoy:

[youtube width="425" height="355"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-xU-4dI1JM[/youtube]

You can find an article about the debate here.

A system of waste. $2 billion in gas gone.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080522/ts_nm/airlines_delays_dc_1

Flight delays could cost airlines more than $2 billion in wasted jet fuel this year, according to a congressional report released on Thursday. “

We have designed (or have been complicit in designing) a system that is extremely wasteful, and then we have the nerve to cry about these gas prices.

Think of all the damned plastic we throw away, all the gas we waste driving faster than we need to (just to save 2 minutes of driving). Poor little Bro Taguchi was telling me last night that when he went to the recycling center in Des Moines, that they wouldn’t even accept plastics numbered 3-6 (or something like that.) That is absurd. Even if the people happen to be willing to do their part in saving energy, the system isn’t set up to allow them to do that to the best of their abilities.

Who was involved in setting up this system? I do not want to treat it as if it is some mysterious spooky entity like the invisible hand. (The invisible hand can bite me.) We are all responsible for the status of the system. Now it seems that it is too large to steer in any direction, and it will take a major crash for us to start to do something new.

We are certainly shortsighted creatures.

$2 billion. Up in smoke.

-MC Spanky McGee

Appeals court says Texas had no right to seize children from FLDS

Imagine that. Well, I guess this legal disaster is going to lurch on. You know that the Texas authorities are going to pull some other gambit.

Looks like these kids get to go back to the loony farm, at least for a little while.

Hey, the FLDS should feel lucky Janet Reno isn’t around. We know what tactics she likes to use.

Doh.

-MC Spanky McGee

“Less-educated white voters”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24714065/

In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, McAuliffe referred to surveys of voters as they left their polling places which showed Clinton running most strongly among less-educated white voters, among whom she won nearly 75 percent support. “

Sure! Brag about that shit. “Less-educated” voters. Ha! Laughable.

Can you see Hillary up there, saying: “I have the support of less-educated voters”?

Yo, HILL: keep ‘em. I don’t want them. Is it really all that surprising that people who presumably have weaker critical reasoning and reading skills would buy into the kind of bullshit that Hillary peddles on a daily basis?

Not to this dude. Don’t I sound elitist? You bet your sweet ass I do. I think vast amounts of Americans should be much better educated than they are.

-MC Spanky McGee

P.S. Tell them to “Get busy! Go to school!”