This is TechTest season, and we're in the middle of the preparatory seminars for this year's test to be given on 23 March. In an ongoing discussion about Nevada County schools' performance in preparing students for STEM careers, I received a succinct summary (below) from a respected Nevada Union teacher about the problem we at SESF have observed now for some years - it appears that the malady is both entrenched and systemic.
The main problem is the complete lack of technical focus in education. How is it possible that any child can make it to Nevada Union and have never used Word and Excel? Yet this is the case. We have no computer science classes taught here and what is taught has to be done in too short a time. Even the best and brightest students at NU are intimidated by technology. Not only that, they don't see why it is needed. I think this stems from an education that does not stress its importance, most teachers have no background in any technical major and therefor avoid tech like the plague. The foundation needs to be set in the middle schools or perhaps even younger. We have 2 clubs here that are harboring some talent, but this constitutes about 0.5% of our student population. (emphasis mine, gjr)
The US Postal Service reports a ‘loss’ of $15.9B last year. We're told that $11B of it was a mandated payment into their employees’ pension fund. With that union negotiated albatross around their neck there’s no way in hell that they can ever hope for solvency. Another government agency bites the dust from pension corruption costs. And the country’s Left continues to deny that public service pensions are taking jurisdiction after jurisdiction down the toilet. Where is that elusive common ground?
In response to the USPS woes a Berkeley city councilman (where else?) is proposing a national tax on emails to do what? To fund the pension liabilities of the USPS, what else? The Repubs may have shot themselves in the foot for sticking to principles and issues few people care about, but the Dems continue to demonstrate that most of them are simply certifiable.
Well, it turns out that I’ve underestimated the deep doo-doo that LA is in and sinking ever deeper. In addition to Vallejo, Stockton, San Bernardino, ..., Moody’s says that 30 more California cities are on their debt downgrade list headed for bankruptcy, and odds are overwhelming that LA is one of them. The city is in an awful state of disrepair, owes tens of billions, has most of its elected officials in some condition of corruption, an education system that is in the gutter, no major industry left besides the socialist socialites of Hollywood, … - the list goes on. Meanwhile, Moonbeam and his merry morons in Sacramento have not a clue about what is happening other than trying to patch the state’s hundreds of billions in unfunded liabilities with yet more taxes.
But there's more - if we've paid millions and perhaps risked American lives to capture him, and now are putting him on trial for millions more, and then house him forever while not getting an ounce of intelligence out of him, the question that naturally comes to mind is why we didn't just kill him.
Oh yes, did you hear that the state released thousands of prisoners to comply with the feds’ takeover of California’s prison system. Among them were more than 2,500 sex offenders who promptly disappeared from required oversight (Moonbeam's "realignment"). Expect a few of them to be making curtain calls in a county near you. Maudy, fetch m’shootin’ iron! (a response recommended by more than one elected official across the land as law enforcement ranks are thinned).
'Sue and Settle', EPA's new conspiracy with environmentalists end runs democracy and the legislative process. This is an effective method the envirowacos use to thwart local development and land use policies. More to be said about it if the attorneys general can get some traction going to stop this practice.
[10mar13 update] The California Federation of Republican Women alert us to some more insidious Agenda21 initiatives which clearly are "sneaky" power grabs from local electeds.
The CFRW Voting Body has voted to OPPOSE three sneaky bills: SB 1, 11, and 33. SB 1 (Steinberg, D) has many duplicitous aspects, such as an unelected regional governance called the “Sustainable Communities Investment Authorities” created by cities, counties, cities and counties together, or special districts. Taxpayers would have no oversight in the selection or creation of these “authorities” and the “S.C.I.” authorities would become their own legal entities separate from the cities and counties that created them. Sound scary? It is. SB 11 (Pavley, D), is an urgency statute that would create a commission to promote hydrogen fuel vehicles and allocate $20 million a year, each fiscal year, for establishing a hydrogen fuel network and fuel stations. Where would this money come from? From increases in smog abatement fees, vehicle registration fees and tire fees through 2024. Finally SB 33 (Wolk, D), yet another sneaky bill that would use taxes without voter approval. SB 33 would repeal the voter approval requirement to create an infrastructure financing district and approve of bonds. This is egregious! Top consideration for funding for transit projects would be given to “a metropolitan planning organization's determination that the sustainable communities strategy or the alternative planning strategy would, if implemented, achiever the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets." These bills are being heard in their respective committees soon!
SB 1 and SB 33, they are being heard in the Senate Governance and Finance
Committee next Wednesday! Please call the committee at Phone: (916) 651-4119 or
fax in a letter of opposition to
Fax: (916) 322-0298 and let them know we OPPOSE!
SB 11 is being heard in the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on April 2nd. Please call or fax (Phone: (916) 651-4121 Fax: (916) 445-2209) and tell the committee we OPPOSE!
[11mar13 update] 'Sue and Settle' (see above) rumbles onward as it continues to screw the bejeezus out of private property owners. Today's WSJ picks up on the travesty of environmental groups in league with scumbag fed agencies to regulate out the commercial worth of a property, using everything from 'endangered species' to 'critical habitat' arguments. Here's a smidgeon of what's going on behind the back of Congress and citizen property owners (read the entire piece here).
This tactic reached a zenith in Fish and Wildlife's 2011 mega-settlement with the Center for Biological Diversity, WildEarth Guardians, and other green groups over the species act. That agreement allowed Fish and Wildlife to claim it must take action on some 750 species covered by 85 legal actions. The deal's immediate effect was to tee up 250 species for full protection, including sweeping "critical habitat" designations that will restrict commercial or other use of millions of acres of private property.
And why I call these people scumbags is that they do all this 'taking' without the affected property owners and regional citizens being allowed anywhere near the "settlement" talks between the agency and suing enviro-fascists.