May 29, 2010

Memorial Day

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill,
that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship,
support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival
and the success of liberty."
John F. Kennedy

They never heard themselves called heroes because death preceded their parades. They were young and frightened, yet now permanently courageous.

A message to the anarchists, bleeding hearts and shit-stirrers who wish to undermine this nation's armed forces and veterans by claiming the 'high ground' of faux concern for their well-being:
Please, on this Memorial Day weekend, shut up. These men and women were braver and bigger than you. Perhaps, for just a moment, you might quietly reflect on the painful realization that Americans took bullets and shrapnel to their flesh to guarantee the possibility of your adolescent selfishness.
Stop using them to pitch your causes.
Honor them by SILENTLY and sincerely thanking them.

May 28, 2010

And have you heard that Paul Revere was an illegal alien?

Experts say:
George Washington's honesty was a sign of stupidity

Peter Wilson at American Thinker

It is no secret that many of us who reject Obama's neo-communist agenda have turned to the Founding Fathers for guidance; when you think your country's founding principles are under attack, it's natural to re-acquaint yourself with the writings of the extraordinary group of men who wrote our founding documents.

When we examine this genius cluster, George Washington is perhaps the best loved. Last week Glenn Beck recommended the four-year old, 1208-page tome, George Washington's Sacred Fire, which discusses pop culture fave topics like the religious beliefs of our first President. The book sh
ot to number one on Amazon's bestseller list. It has recently been bumped to #2 by an R-rated Swedish detective series.

It was therefore understandable that a Boston Globe editorial felt the need to compare Washington and Jefferson unfavorably to...Bill Clinton.
George Washington's parents no doubt took pride in his childhood honesty, but therein may lie the reason he was among the least intellectual of the Founding Fathers. A Canadian study last week declared that children who lie are actually showing their mental acuity and creativity. "Parents should not be alarmed if their child tells a fib,'' Kang Lee, director of the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto, told the Telegraph of London. In fact, children who are making things up at age 2 have fast-developing brains, which portend greater intellectual achievements. Thomas Jefferson, whose genius sometimes led him down a twisty path around the truth, may have been an example. So might his mentally agile successor, William Jefferson Clinton. As for Washington - perhaps there's a new explanation for why he confessed, in the great Parson Weems legend, to chopping down the cherry tree: Maybe young George just couldn't come up with a good enough cover story.

It's amazing how many wrong ideas can be crammed into one short piece of writing: The "I cannot tell a lie" fable about the cherry tree proves that 10-year old George Washington was a bit of a dim bulb, while Bill Clinton's lies offer evidence that he is "mentally agile"? I didn't realize that Clinton was President at age 2.

As for the second most loved Founding Father, did you know that Thomas Jefferson was a liar who sometimes followed "twisty paths around the truth"? Apparently it's such common knowledge that no further explanation is required.

May 27, 2010

California Department of Education's solution to the budget crisis? - Offer less education!

100,000 teachers nationwide face layoffs

By Nick Anderson - Washington Post
"California is ground zero for the school budget crisis. The most populous state, with a budget deficit of $19 billion, is shedding summer school, music and art classes, bus routes, days from the school year, and yet-uncounted thousands of teachers. The proposed aid could give the state $2.8 billion in relief."
Independent analysts say the state has one of the leanest education budgets in the nation. Its Department of Education estimates that state and local funding per student is down 15 percent over three years. To reduce layoffs, Los Angeles cut five days from the school year; San Francisco cut four.

Senior congressional Democrats and the Obama administration scrambled Wednesday to line up support for $23 billion in federal aid to avert an estimated 100,000 or more school layoffs in a brutal year for education budgets coast to coast.

As early as Thursday, the House Appropriations Committee expects to take up a bill that couples the school funding with spending for the Afghanistan war -- a measure that has bipartisan support. But a parallel push in the Senate stalled this week after a leading proponent concluded that he couldn't muster enough votes to surmount Republican opposition.

"We desperately need Congress to act -- to recognize the emergency for what it is," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday on Capitol Hill. "We have to keep hundreds of thousands of teachers teaching."

Republicans and some Democrats say the government can't afford an extension of last year's economic stimulus that would add to the federal deficit. The stimulus law kept many school budgets afloat with $49 billion in direct aid to states and billions of dollars more for various programs. But the stimulus funding is trailing off before state and local tax revenue can recover from the recession.

Skeptics of a new education jobs fund point out that the teaching force in recent years has grown faster than enrollment, with schools adding instructional coaches and reducing class sizes.

"Giving states another $23 billion in federal education money simply throws more money into taxpayer-funded bailouts when we should be discussing why we aren't seeing the results we need from the billions in federal dollars that are already being spent," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).

How many of the estimated 3.3 million public school teachers nationwide will lose their jobs remains unknown. Duncan often says 100,000 to 300,000 education jobs are at risk, including support staff. Teachers unions have put the layoff threat in the range of 160,000 -- including 9,000 in New Jersey, 16,000 in New York and 36,000 in California.

Most Washington area school systems plan relatively few layoffs but are squeezing costs, with Fairfax County scrapping most summer school, for example, and Montgomery County increasing class sizes in elementary grades.

The National Education Association, the largest teachers union, said Wednesday that it is funding TV ads in markets that are home to potential swing votes among House Democrats. The ad features children dressed in business suits pleading for a school bailout similar to what bankers received.


May 26, 2010

There was a time when the USA was a happier and safer place. We lost a part of that era today.

This is an obituary you should read all the way through.

Art Linkletter, who hosted the popular TV shows "People Are Funny" and "House Party" in the 1950s and 1960s, has died. He was 97.

His son-in-law Art Hershey says Linkletter died Wednesday at his home in the Bel-Air section of Los Angeles.

"Art Linkletter's House Party," one of television's longest-running variety shows, debuted on radio in 1944 and was seen on CBS-TV from 1952 to 1969.

Though it had many features, the best known was the daily interviews with schoolchildren.

"On 'House Party' I would talk to you and bring out the fact that you had been letting your boss beat you at golf over a period of months as part of your campaign to get a raise," Linkletter wrote.

"All the while, without your knowledge, your boss would be sitting a few feet away listening, and at the appropriate moment, I would bring you together," he said. "Now, that's funny, because the laugh arises out of a real situation."

Linkletter collected sayings from the children into "Kids Say The Darndest Things," and it sold in the millions. The book "70 Years of Best Sellers 1895-1965" ranked "Kids Say the Darndest Things" as the 15th top seller among nonfiction books in that period.

The primetime "People Are Funny," which began on radio in 1942 and ran on TV from 1954 to 1961, emphasized slapstick humor and audience participation -- things like throwing a pie in the face of a contestant who couldn't tell his Social Security number in five seconds, or asking him to go out and cash a check written on the side of a watermelon.

The down-to-earth charm of Linkletter's broadcast persona seemed to be mirrored by his private life with his wife of more than a half-century, Lois. They had five children, whom he wrote about in his books and called the "Links."

But in 1969, his 20-year-old daughter, Diane, jumped to her death from her sixth-floor Hollywood apartment. He blamed her death on LSD use, but toxicology tests found no LSD in her body after she died.

Still, the tragedy prompted him to become a crusader against drugs. A son, Robert, died in a car accident in 1980. Another son, Jack Linkletter, was 70 when he died of lymphoma in 2007.

Art Linkletter got his first taste of broadcasting with a part-time job while attending San Diego State College in the early 1930s. He graduated in 1934.

"I was studying to be an English professor," Linkletter once said. "But as they say, life is what happens to you while you're making other plans."

He held a series of radio and promotion jobs in California and Texas, experimenting with audience participation and remote broadcasts, before forming his own production company in the 1940s and striking it big with "People Are Funny" and "House Party."

Linkletter was born Arthur Gordon Kelly on July 17, 1912, in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. His unwed mother put him up for adoption when he was a baby; when he was about 7, he and his adoptive parents moved to the United States, eventually settling in San Diego.

He recalled his preacher-father forced him to take odd jobs to help the family. So Linkletter left and became a hobo, hopping trains across the West, working where he could. He recalled later that he felt the religious faith instilled by his father had been a great gift.