Thursday, August 6, 2015

I'd ask what could be next, but I'm afraid of the possibilities!

Rahmulus does it again...screws Chicagoans in more ways than one.  I've never seen a mayor work so hard at not paying down his debt in the form of the pension pick-up for Chicago Police, Firemen, and Teachers.  People are sick and tired of hearing about how the city is broke, but miraculously money is found to do ANYTHING BUT PAY INTO THE PENSION FUNDS. 

His latest move...making taxpayers pay for people's "gender reassignment surgeries".  How is the taxpayer on the hook for this?  Because Rahm just passed a "mayoral order" (That sounds very Rahm-like doesn't it?) that taxpayer-subsidized city health insurance will now pay out $100,000.00 for any person who wants to have a sex change operation.  

It states in the Sun-Times that one of the gay alderman wanted to push for "gender-neutral washrooms", but the mayor didn't go that far.  So making a gender neutral bathroom is going "that far", but allowing $100,000.00 for any person who wants a sex change is not?   Give me a break!  I know I'm not a construction worker or a doctor, but I think it's easier to redesign a bathroom than a human body!  But that's just me, I guess.

And as far as making more debt, here's this..."No matter what the new benefit ends up costing the city, it'll be a drop in the bucket of the Chicago's skyrocketing tab for health care."  So since the city is already in debt, let's just spend more money that the city (supposedly) doesn't have.  I know that is the advice any and all financial advisors would give to a family in debt.  You already owe a gazzillion dollars so what's a few more million.  Have at it...spend away!

Rahm and his ilk definitely have an agenda, and it has nothing to do with getting the city out of debt or caring about the citizens of Chicago.

Read the whole sordid article here...

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Flag Flap

"Don't know much about history" used to be just a line in a song by Sam Cooke, but today it is also a huge part of the dumbing down of our children.  I've been teaching for a quarter of a century and have seen the subtle and not so subtle dismantling of our children's education. 

Lots of quotes are going through my mind these past few days..."Ignorance is bliss" and  "Those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it."  

And a few others -

"Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted." (Vladimir Lenin)  

"The education of all children, from the moment that they can get along without a mother's care, shall be in state institutions at state expense." (Karl Marx)

"Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed." (Joseph Stalin)

In recent decades, students (and their parents) and former students who are now parents, were made to become more dependent on the school system to provide children with just about everything except a place to sleep at night.  While the government continues to dazzle them with another "promise", another  "entitlement", another "freebie" at the hands of the taxpayers, the real reason for schools is being skewed.  Schools are not homes or shelters and should not take the place of family and friends.  Schools should be there, first and foremost, to educate our children.  There is a big push for math and reading to be taught (though not always in the most direct and easy ways), and science seems to be making somewhat of a comeback, but history class is just that...history.  Even PE gets more time allotted to it than history. When making schedules and having to complete a certain amount of minutes for the "important" subjects, history is an afterthought, if it's a thought at all.  

It's no wonder that people don't know the real roots of the Confederate flag.  I just read an article where the author correctly explained that a big part of the Civil War had to do to with states' rights, and someone typed a comment asking..."What rights are you talking about?"  Really???  I'm not a history expert, but come on a book!

If you don't have time to read a book, here are a couple of sites to get you started

Removing the Confederate flag is a knee-jerk reaction to those who don't understand history or who have a more sinister agenda.  It goes back to the camel's nose in the tent...once he gets that far, his body is soon to follow.  Once people succumb to this, what will be next?  Could our US flag be far behind?  

It is interesting to see that places like Apple will instantly remove a Civil War game app from its store because there is a Confederate flag in the game.

And a Confederate flag t-shirt on was just removed. Yesterday the shirt was available.  Now, I can't even put a link on here for you to see it.

But, you know what is still readily available???  Che Guevara shirts and Communist and Socialist flags 

Just click on these links to take a look.

Obama said he is going to change this country and that is one promise he is certainly keeping!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

In the news...

While watching the news this morning, there was a segment about turning off all electronic devices (phones, iPads, gaming systems, etc.) and putting them in a box while eating dinner so families can acutally spend time talking to each other.  Right away, memories came back about dinnertime in my house as a child.  First off, there was a real dinnertime.  It wasn't 6 o'clock sharp, but it was pretty darn close.  

Who was there at dinnertime?  My family - my father, my mother, my sister and myself. Who wasn't there?  Friends and other "outsiders".  

What did we do?  We talked and we listened to each other.  It was during these times that we not only learned more about our immediate family, but we learned about what was going on in each other's lives too.  I learned about my parents jobs and things that were going on in the world around us.  Here is where I also learned about "common sense" things that I take for granted that everyone knows today.  

Computers and technology might make more information available at our fingertips, but it's not making most people smarter.  

So, with those thoughts floating around in my head while listening to the news, the reporter went on to give helpful hints to parents who might have a problem talking to their kids...not a problem because a difficult subject needs to be dealt with, but a problem with basic communication skills.  They even recommended places to go where parents can get an actual list of questions that they can ask their kids.  And I wish I was joking, but one of the questions was, "How was your day?" Seriously?  What a sad state our society is in when we need to take lessons on how to have a real face-to-face conversation with another human being.

I did a little research and supposedly Einstein did not say this quote, even though many people credit him with doing so, 

I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.

but whoever did was a genius.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

On this Memorial Day weekend...

taking a moment to thank those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  

And a continued THANKS to all who have served and are serving today!

May God continue to bless the United States of America and those who protect it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

BOHICA! It never ends...

If citizens of Chicago thought the relationship between Rahm Emanuel and the Chicago Teachers Union was contentious during their last contract negotiations, I have a feeling they ain't seen nothing yet.

Here's a quick reminder of what teachers gained during their last contract...
  • Working 45 minutes longer very day
  • Working 10 more school days every year
  • An evaluation system that is more complex than the reading of the Magna Carta
  • And of course a raise! A RAISE that amounts to about $1.00 more per day (and that's before taxes).  Many teachers bring home less money now than they did three years ago.

So, where do negotiations stand now?  The Board of Education said last week that they would not extend the Union's current teachers' contract for one more year because they can't afford the 3% raise that was part of that agreement.  Now, to make matters worse, they not only want to "not give teachers a raise" (which would amount to less that the cost of living adjustment) , they want them to take a 7% PAY CUT in the form of their pension pick-up.  

Teachers, police, and firefighters are always first on the chopping block.  Teachers, police, and firefighters who have faithfully put in their part of their pension from day one are being vilified as the bad guys because the "city that works" has worked so hard at NOT honoring its part of their pension responsibilities.  Every time Rahm and his ilk "find" money, they can't wait to waste it on other city services, or perks, or whatever.  They work extremely hard to make sure they are NOT funding the pensions.  No one can tell me that this is not a purposeful strategic plan that is being played out here.  We will have to keep our eyes on the Chicago Teacher's Union and see what unfolds in the coming months.

If I understand the math correctly, doesn't losing a 3% raise and having an extra 7% taken out of your paycheck really amount to a 10% pay cut???????

I wonder how many teachers kept their strike signs from 2012?

The Chicago Board of Education is asking teachers and other union members to take what amounts to a 7 percent pay cut in its upcoming contract by not honoring the pension pick-up, the Chicago Teacher's Union said in a five-page email that outlined their contract demands.

The pension pick-up is a payment the Board of Education has made since the early 1980s, which covers the majority of teacher pension costs. The teachers themselves pay a smaller portion. Ending that pick-up would mean the teachers have to pay the full freight of their pension contributions.

The CTU said in the release that it is "insulted by the BOE's demand."

Late last week, the board told the union it would not offer an optional fourth year of its existing contract that expires June 30, saying the district could not afford the $105 million in raises guaranteed in that deal.

Negotiations have been underway since the fall of 2014. The CTU says it wants to reduce class sizes and set an enforceable maximum, staff all public schools with full-time art, music and physical education teachers, unionize charter school teachers and reduce the amount of time students devote to taking standardized tests. The board has already challenged some of those items as beyond the scope of the contract.

Many of those issues were also on the table in September of 2012, when teachers went on strike for the first time since 1987. The pension issue, however, is new to this round of negotiations, and increases the tension between the board and the union.

The CTU says it has planned a press conference addressing the contract negotiations for Wednesday.

You can find Karen Lewis response by clicking here...