July 1, 2006

Now THIS you can sign me up for.

Dodge is planning to sell this Dodge Challenger concept in '08.

I want me one of these.

Kevin Barrett's office.

Unless you have been living in a cave over the last few days you have heard of Kevin Barrett.

He is the wack-o Jessica McBride interviewed who thinks 9-11 was planned & Executed by Dick Cheney to foster a war between the US & Islam. Oh and best of all the UW system thinks it is a spiffy idea to have someone with that kind of ideology teach an introduction to Islam course.

Jessica has the whole story.

It occured to me though that a tin foil hat is not good enough for him, so here in all glory is revealed Barrett's office space.


Casper's latest video blog is up.

This is one weird dude. Funny, but weird.

He has another ad up in the Herb Kohl write-in election between Aaron & myself.

Good stuff really, go check it out.

Another View.

Here is another view of the 2 seat wonder car being proposed by Penske & Daimler/Chrysler for production in '08.

Doesn't it just scare the bajeebers out of you to think about driving one of these things and coming face to face with any other vehicle?

A Yugo could beat the crap out of this.

I was speaking with RDW Field Surveillance agent #1 last night. He tells me in Europe they park these things perpendicular to the curb instead of horizontal. They are apparently no longer than most cars are wide.

June 30, 2006

I had no idea Aaron was so chummy with Mother Sheehan.

Where was Aaron during Viet Nam? With John & Jane.

Aaron helping out after Katrina.

Someone had to shoot the looters....

Things you should know but don't.

Aaron was Michael Moore's Oscar date.

To Designate or Not that is the question

Watching the Brewers play interleague ball for the past few years, I thank the powers that be that my beloved Brew Crew was able to move to NL in 1998. American League baseball is so much slower and less tactical than National League. I'm not a seamhead purist, but the nine players in the field should be the nine that bat.

So here is a loaded question a la the Journal Times...

Should baseball get rid of the DH so that the older players retire when they should, or do we need to prop up the guys who can longer field with a part time position?

I think you can tell my position.

Parade Order and a question.

This is a segment of the order for the Racine 4th of July parade.

16. Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager
17. State Rep. John Lehman
18. State Rep Bob Turner
19. U. S. Rep. Paul Ryan
20. State Rep. Robin Vos
21. Racine County Board 7th District Supervisor Van H. Wanggaard
22. Racine County Board 9th District Supervisor Dan Sharkozy
22. Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk

Ok here is my question. Can we get Peg & Katie closer together please?

Can we get them in the same car?

I want an entertaining parade this year.

Would it be in bad form to have a glass of wine ready for Peg when she comes by?

I'm sure she will be thirsty.

Racine is going to be featured in the New York Times

This Sunday a smiling Mayor Gary Becker will be on the front of the business section of the New York Times.

The story is keyed on how Racine is adapting to the economy.

Seeing as unemployment is horrid and there is zero new industry in town, I'm really confused as to what exactly they are going to talk about, unless of course they talk about interpersonal relationships between city officials.

More likely Gary will blame unemployment issues on Paul Ryan while taking no personal responsibility himself.

It should be an interesting read.

I wonder if there is a classified story they could leak out of Racine?

Cheddarsphere Fantasy Football II

Like to play?

First 12 teams are in. Click here to join.

The league ID is 74085
Password: taxtoohigh

UPDATE. 2 Seats left!
Funniest Movie Line Ever

H/T Still Unreal

June 29, 2006

And we give three months for kiddie porn...

15 years for Katrina looters

Three people convicted of looting a liquor store in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last year were given the harshest sentence possible in a Louisiana court on Wednesday.

The three were convicted on May 2 of stealing 27 bottles of wine and liquor, six cases of beer and a case of wine coolers over the course of a week after the storm first hit.

Coralnelle Little, Rhonda McGowen, and Paul C. Pearson, all of Kenner, La., received 15-year sentences. The district judge said he wanted to send a message with the sentences.

Pearson's lawyer called the sentences "excessive" and said he would appeal.

Attorneys for the trio had argued for a new trial on grounds that the state’s looting law was unconstitutional.

The looting statute, which carries a minimum sentence of three years, took effect just two weeks before Katrina battered the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Jihadist Rappers getting US Support?

Looks that way.

Watch this.

Aaron gets around. Now look at what I have found.

Who is this man II

Yesterday I asked the question; who is this man and why might he be one of the most important warriors in the War on Terror?

Well the answer came out in comments this is Bill Keller the editor of the New York Times.

Keller may be the most important man as it appears to be his sole discretion to determine what our country may keep as classified information on the war on terror and what we may not keep as classified.

The program Keller felt had to be disclosed has been effective. That we are aware of, three terrorists have been stopped because of this program: the terrorist who orchestrated the Bali bombings in '02, a Brooklyn man found guilty of laundering cash to al Qaeda as well as last years London subway bombings. (source)

This program has broken no laws, was encouraged by the 9-11 commission, infringed upon no one's civil rights, was under congressional review from BOTH parties, and they had subpoenas.

The terrorists knew we had talked about tracking the money, but did not know how we were doing it.

The disclosure of this program helped no one but Al Qaeda. Why is the editor of the so-called "Newspaper of record" apparently hell-bent on helping al Qaeda?

I don't think he is.

I think he is hell-bent on destroying George W. Bush, no matter what. If Al Qaeda gets helped in the process it is just an unintended consequence. Keller thought this would play into his other leaked and released classified programs in the war on terror pointing to intelligence gathering activities and some kind of pattern.

Keller is hiding behind freedom of the press while acting against the country to the furtherment of his own agenda.

Frankly I'm disgusted by his actions.

This country is at war against an enemy that wants to kill us because our religious beliefs are different. They are pure evil.

Radical leftists like Keller are more invested in their hate of Bush than they are in the war we are fighting. You can not negotiate with evil, the only thing you can do is destroy it. Keller does not get that, Bush does.

Frankly, Keller is a nut-job with a big-job, and everybody knows it.

What bothers me more is the people who keep feeling the need to leak our secrets to a press that can not wait to tell them. We must root out the leaks and stop them with aggressive prosecutions.

There is much to debate in this topic but what I really want to know is, who died and left Bill Keller in charge? What makes him the sole arbiter of what secrets we get to keep and which we do not?

Would you buy this?

This thing is supposed to cost less than $15K, seat 2 and get about 40 mpg.

Daimler Chrysler and Penske seem to think we are going to want this thing and are planning to offer it up for public consumption in 2008.

Maybe this thing can become a Presidential debate issue?

BTW: (This picture is not far off from actual size)

That Culture of Corruption Shows up Again.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Former Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth chief executive Richard Scrushy were convicted Thursday in a bribery scheme that derailed Siegelman's campaign to retake his former office.

Siegelman, 60, was accused of trading government favors for campaign donations when he was governor from 1999 to 2003 and lieutenant governor from 1995 to 1999.

Scrushy, who once ran the Birmingham-based rehabilitation chain, was accused of arranging $500,000 in donations to Siegelman's campaign for a state lottery in exchange for a seat on a state hospital regulatory board.

The case was tried as Siegelman sought the Democratic nomination for governor, and the trial put him in court during the final weeks of the campaign. He lost to Lt. Gov. Lucy Baxley in the June 6 Democratic primary and blamed the charges for his defeat.

The Educational System - Part 2

One of the many claims to Dr. Hicks' fame is bringing the Continuous Progress (aka Mastery Learning) method of instruction to Unified.

In a nutshell, Continuous Progress (CP) places the students in a homogeneous group based on there ability level in a certain subject. For example, a fourth-grade student who struggles with reading might be placed with other struggling fourth graders. That group would then learn from a grade level text at their instructional level. Those fourth graders could easily be in a first grade textbook if they struggled enough. Then those kids would work at that level until they achieved mastery, usually designated by a score of at least 80%. Then they could move on to the next level. The method is flawed on many levels which I will try to outline.

1. The struggling students were still required to take state and federal standardized tests at their grade level. So that group of fourth-graders were tested on material to which they were never exposed. Subsequently, those students did poorly on the tests and district scores did not increase. Pedagogically speaking, this method is flawed because students get comfortable doing the easier work and see no reason to try the more difficult task. You take away the challenge, you take away the desire to move on.

2. Logistically, teachers were expected to hold two of these groups in their reading class. The two groups were expected to be far apart academically so as to curb the desire to combine the groups. It was understood that while the teacher is instructing one group, the other is working independently. As if that could ever happen, each independent group would have a few trouble makers that would create distractions for both groups and thus waste time. More time was wasted as the teacher would transition from one group to the next. On top of that, the teacher was seldom available to help individuals be he was always teaching one of the groups.

3. Preceding the educational downfalls came the onslaught of consultants and trainers to tell the teachers why it was so great. This took place so long ago that many people probably forgot about it. RUSD paid for Dr. Jack Champlain and Rhoda Massinari to come and inform the teachers about why CP is so great. I wouldn't call what they did training, it was more like a sales pitch. While visiting the Racine Unified School District, guests of Dr. Hicks are put up at the lush Marriott Hotel on the taxpayer dime. What's worse, is many of the training sessions took place at the Marriott or DeKoven Center. I still cannot understand how there wasn't a place within the many RUSD facilities that could accommodate these sessions at a much lower cost.

Dr. Hicks used CP as way to pay for the first wave of consultants without question because after all its "For the Children." If you enjoyed my anecdote, keep in mind this is still going on in RUSD elementary schools and will as long as Dr. Hicks is here.

Brenda has a post on CP from the parental perspective at her blog.

Part 1 of the series can be found here.

June 28, 2006

Breaking News: Racine Schools paying consultants big bonuses for nothing.

What you are looking at here is a summary document prepared by Public Business Consulting Group (PBCG) for the Racine Unified School District (RUSD).

PBCG was hired by RUSD CEO Tom Hicks to find cost savings within the district, they were to be paid a percentage of the savings as their fee.

The question is, what exactly are we paying them for?

Let us take this energy management program for starters. The $364,600 is a projection not an actual savings. What if the raw cost of energy continues to rise and we see no actual savings? PBCG recommended that RUSD hire a specific named consultant. (A consultant recommends another consultant.... is there no end?) This process is actually illegal as they would have to put this sort of thing out to bid by law.

Modify the allocation of Workers Comp costs. All they are saying here is move this from general insurance to employee benefits. Now what the report claims to do is "the District should be able to capture additional categorical aids and charge the grant budgets their appropriate share of this expense"

For the accounting challenged this means no actual savings just an accounting trick to make the books look better. (note the word should) For this they get a bonus?

I thought this was about identifying savings????

Perhaps most ourageous is the line item for the expanded kindergarten program. For this in year one is listed $2,664,000 in savings. How can expanding anything save money?

More astoundingly the district is borrowing $2.8 million to get this program off the ground. How is borrowing almost $3 million a savings (what interest rate are they getting?)

But wait it gets better, this program was proposed by a group of teachers and principals in June of '05. This was nothing new and PBCG did not identify it.

They want to get paid for it though.

The transfer of service listing for 1.7 million is not savings either, it is just another revenue source.

This whole thing was presented as some great cost savings initiative, all it appears to actually be is slick accounting.

PBCG is supposed to be bonused on savings. Transfering from one taxing authority to another is not savings, it is spreading the pain across a larger pool.

For slick accounting, saving precisely nothing to RUSD, PBCG expects to be paid $304,000.

And the district is gladly paying them for the nothing they have identified.

Another Aaron Scandal; The Evidence Speaks For Itself.

Gonna See It?

How about them Brewers.

I was watching last nights Brewers game vs the hated Cubs. The Cubs faithful were so over-joyed when the Cubbies finally took the lead over the Brewers. Then before they could order another beer the Brewers put the hurt on the Cubs yet again.

Watching the wind go right out of their sails was fun to watch.

Well with that win the Brewers climbed back to .500 only to blow it again today.

Daily Takes has a poll up asking if you have Brewers fever, go vote and lets get a feel for the Brewer fever in the area. Mr. Fraley appreciates your input.

After you are done there make sure to stop by the BBA and vote for me in the BBA senate poll.

Vote early, Vote Often, Vote for Me. (and for the Brewers)

Stunning Revelations in my Senate race against Aaron.

Remember the Super Bowl 02-02-2004?

Remember the famous wardrobe malfunction?

Here we have stunning proof that a cover-up was in place and Aaron was involved in this scandal.

Vote for me.

We should not have someone with this kind of history as a candidate.

Who is this man?

Hint: he might be one of the most important warriors in the War on Terror.



Flag Burning promotes global warming. (all that heat and all)

June 27, 2006

Vote Bleg II

Just think how many times I could break out the 'ole breaking news sign if I was actually in Washington.

Yes, Aaron shows a mild but not very amusing talent for societal observations, but you folks know I am a digger and I would get to the slimy under-belly of Washington and bring it back to you the readers of RealDebate.

Can you imagine me doing cocktails with Teddy Kennedy? Oh the news I could bring back.

Go to the BBA and VOTE FOR ME!

Vote Bleg

Head on over to the BBA poll and vote for me!

I don't ask for much folks, but go vote for me or I will go back to all Voces all the time.

Thanks Unkie Herb

The movement to ban flag desecration failed by one vote in the US Senate today.

Not surprisingly Russ Feingold voted for flag burning, but Herb Kohl? He is supposed to be a moderate voice in the senate is he not?

We already know where Aaron stands on respect for the flag, here he photoshopped his image on some guy we know a little something about wearing a flag as how did Dennis York put it? A banana hammock?

I would have voted for this ammendment. What this really did was make flag legislation a state by state issue, how is that a bad thing?

Herb Kohl just cast the deciding vote to say you the people can not be trusted to make up your own minds.

And Aaron... Ickie Poo.

Vote Early, Vote Often, Vote Me.

School board divided, much like community

Yesterday the school board narrowly approved Dr. Hicks' contract extension with a 5-4 vote. I am not sure what the 5 members thought with their approval. The only thing I can imagine is that they feel that blowing money on consultants and implementing futile academic programs is the way to go.

On a broader scale, the 5-4 vote is analogous to the recent referendum vote. The results are very close to where a small shift could have swung the decision in the opposite direction. This indicates the school board and the RUSD area are very divided on the direction of the district. Be prepared for more close battles on future issues, i.e. facilities improvement, more referenda, and other initiatives. It would appear they are going to be ugly and anger many voters either way.

RUSD has done something right

Despite their lack of judgment on the Superintendent, the school board has moved start times later for middle and high schools. What's even more impressive is that this was done in June and not mid-August. Parents are actually given time to plan accordingly.

Some of the elementary schools have changed as well. You can find the news start times on this PDF file.

Freedom of the Press?

Ok by now either you have been living under a rock or you have heard of the New York Times story released on Friday.

In short, the federal government has been tracking some financial transactions through Belgium in an effort to track money flow to and from terrorists. The program is completely legal, was under subpoena and had Congressional oversight.

One more small detail, the program was classified.

The administration asked the Times not to publish the story, and they went ahead and did it anyway.

Here are the questions du jour: Has the New York Times finally gone too far? Should the New York Times be prosecuted? Who the ^@#!(*&) leaked this information? Where do freedom of the press and the good of the country in a time of war cross?

June 26, 2006

Top 10 Reasons not to vote for Aaron for US Senate

10. Aaron can not spell Oconomowoc.
9. Aaron thinks California is the leading dairy state.
8. Rumor has it Aaron has lactose tolerance issues.
7. Aaron has been seen drinking Budweiser.
6. Aaron loves the Dixie Chicks.
5. Aaron's favorite possession is an autographed 8X10 of Art Jones.
4. Aaron could not beat the leftie chick (apologies Nicole), can he beat Herb?
3. Aaron has a crush on Christine Neumann-Ortiz.
2. Real right-wing wackos do not eat sushi.

And the #1 reason not to vote for Aaron for US Senate,

Aaron is a closet Vikings fan.
A Terrifying Message from Al Gore

Journal Times watch...

Kudos to Spivak and Bice for breaking another big story. Apparently the Governor and his Campaign Manager, Mark Marotta, are embroiled in yet another bid scandal.

It has been all over the Cheddarsphere. (The left-o-sphere is ignoring it as you might expect)

My question is this: how long will it take the Racine Journal Times (a wholly owned subsidiary of Jim Doyle and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin) to publish this story?

If at all...

Update... Nothing yet.

Extend his contract, hmmm...


The Racine Journal Times saw it fit to give the community about 12 hours notice on a school board meeting that will include the decision to extend Superintendent/CEO Dr. Hicks contract.

This should be an easy decision for the school board to make. In fact the decision should be, should they fire Dr. Hicks. Since he has come to RUSD, he has implemented a questionable Quality District Model which includes a program for different ways of teaching reading and math. These programs have made no signs of improvement in state test scores. Not surprising since the programs have had no history of showing improvement. He has lined the pockets of many a consulting firm to seek opinions which are seldom, if ever, implemented. Dr. Hicks has also made threats to programs, which I believe he had no intention of cutting, just so he could get his way with the 2005 referendum.

That resumé sounds sketchy at best. Then again I am only a teacher in the classroom, not a school board member.

June 25, 2006

Write in RealDebate

I am announcing my candidacy to run as a write-in candidate against Herb Kohl for the US Senate.

I was pleased when I heard our friend Aaron from Subject to Change was going to run, however it has come to my attention that Aaron is not old enough to assume the office.

Seeing as Aaron has such a head start on me I will point you to my archives for my positions on almost everything.

This will be a hard fought nasty campaign but let me be the first to confirm the rumor... Aaron is Bi-Polar & he eats Sushi.

Vote early, vote often, vote RealDebate.

Things you should probably know but don't

The Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

Thought of the week.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.