Tuesday, November 30, 2010
From the Las Vegas Sun: Nevada has lost ground when it comes to high school dropout rates and ranks last in the nation, according to a report released Tuesday.
The report by the America's Promise Alliance said the number of high schools in Nevada deemed "dropout factories" rose from eight in 2002 to 34 in 2008, with the increase representing nearly 54,000 students. During that time, the state's graduation rate fell from 72 percent to 51 percent.
The term dropout factory refers to schools where fewer than 60 percent of students who started as freshman remain enrolled four years later.
Nationally, the number of dropout-factory schools fell by 13 percent.
The report cited Nevada's rapid growth during those years, as well as a soaring percentage in the number of English language learners, a "stressed and undiversified economic system," and a strong labor market for unskilled workers for the decline.
First, our economy stinks and people have moved out of state and in case of illegals, out of the country. That has to have an effect on the drop out rate.
Second, how can you educate kids who don't show up for school? At our school, we call the parents when the child is absent, we cite students who are truant, we do some home visits and the truant officers are always busy. But if a child is absent, how can you educate them? If a student has 10 unexcused absences in a semester, the student will usually fail, per CCSD policy.
Of course, there is the problem of lack of parent involvement. I can only talk about the school I teach at, but we have monthly parent meetings. Even with the offer of free food and convenient hours, we rarely ever get more than ten parents at a meeting and we have 2300 students at our school. Clearly, the vast majority of parents are not that interested in their kid's education to even attend a hour meeting with teachers and administration once a month. This probably isn't true at all schools, but it is probably true in most inner city schools in the Valley.
Then you have a lot of students who can barely read or write English. While the ELL (English Language Learners) can help some kids, when you have a large segment of the student population, especially in the inner city, who can barely speak and write English, what chance do they have to pass the proficiency exams which are in English? How about the chances of slim to none come to mind. And, so what happens? These kids don't graduate and more than likely will drop out.
So, what can society do to change the drop out rate?
Well, the liberal answer is to throw money at the problem? Well, where to throw the money? Most of the time, they say we need to pay teachers more so we can attract higher quality teachers. Well, that doesn't address the truancy problem and the lack of English speakers in the schools. We can hire more teachers to lower class sizes, but by the beginning of November, most class sizes are a reasonable size because of the truancy and drop out problems.
Then the conservatives scream "vouchers". Well, in Clark County there is not enough private classroom space to have a decent voucher program. Of course, you can do what CCSD is doing is offer open enrollment where a student can go whatever CCSD school they want to go to. Only catch is there has to be room for the extra kids and all the "good" schools already are overcrowded, so that plan is doomed to fail. They also say there are too many administrators in CCSD and to that point, they are correct.
So, what to do: My first solution is get rid of proficiency exams. They are costly and teachers teach to the test, for the most part. In high school, the emphasis is to pass the proficiency exams. A lot kids, especially non English speaking kids, special education students and students with academic problems drop out of school because they know they can't pass the exams.
Second, offer more electives to the curriculum and reduce the graduation core academic requirements by one or two credits. At our school, we offer a limited number of elective courses. We have auto, photography, foods, art, JROTC, PE, foreign language in French and Spanish and computers for electives. Most, but not all, of these elective courses have only 1 teacher and three of the electives have 3 or more teachers. This is not a lot of electives for a high school.
Third: Get more parent involvement. Somehow, you have to get the parents more involved in their child's education. Many times in education, the parents are treated as the enemy, not a partner in education. The parent needs to feel welcome at the school. About the only time you see a parent at our school is when the child is in trouble. We need to get parents involved positively in education. It could just be a phone call home by a teacher saying their child is doing good in the teacher's class. Of course, this will take time, but not impossible. If the parent has e-mail, a quick e-mail to the parents saying what the class is doing. At my kid's school, out of 12 teachers they have, only 1 teacher has bothered to e-mail parents saying what is going on in the classroom and as a parent, I really appreciate it.
Some of my suggestions save money, cost money or there is no cost and all can be implemented if the State wants to do it. But there is big money in proficiency exams and it will cost extra money to hire more elective teachers. So, these ideas won't fly, but it is certainly better than what is going on in the schools currently.
In regards to vacuuming your dog with the Shed Vac, for get about it. We have three dogs, two short hair and 1 long hair dog. The Shed Vac sucks when you want to prevent your dog from shedding on the furniture and clothes. It doesn't work on dogs, which they advertise it does.
As far as getting dog hair off of clothes and furniture, it does work, to a certain extent. It takes a lot of work, but it does pick up the dog hair off of clothes, sheets and blankets.
For us, the Shed Vac was a big rip off and if you have dogs, don't get swayed by their advertisements.
For more information: http://www.does-the-product-work.com/shed-vac/
Monday, November 29, 2010
The first episode first aired on Ma3, 2010:http://lasvegasbadger.blogspot.com/2010/05/pawn-stars-5-3-2010.html
The second episode was first aired on 2-22-2010: http://lasvegasbadger.blogspot.com/2010/02/pawn-stars-2222010.html
Next week, they should have some new episodes.
From The Green Bay Gazette: "A Marinette High School classroom of 23 students and one teacher is being held hostage tonight by a student armed with a handgun, Marinette police chief Jeff Skorik said at a press conference.
We know nothing about what the student wants,” Skorik said during a short press conference this evening. Authorities are reluctant to release information the student or those in the classroom, he said. The student with a handgun won’t talk to authorities, he said."
Marinette is located on the Wisconsin/Upper Michigan border. It's a nice, middle class city, where there is a large ship building company and Lake Michigan related businesses.
Hopefully, this will end well. This situation has been going on for about 6 hous now.
update: 5 hostages have been released. http://www.ehextra.com/main.asp?SectionID=12&SubSectionID=35&ArticleID=9040
update 2: All the hostages have been released by around 8:15 pm CDT.
With Dickinsheets, it's not so bad because he is just another lefty at the Sun to make fun of, but this guy is horrible, just a horrible writer.
Today, he wrote about how there should be some transparency whenever the police shoot some in the Valley. Umm, this news revelation is like 2 or more years old and pre-dates the Eric Scott case.
Other articles Dickinsheets has written is about the poor job market in Las Vegas, taking a hit in the real estate market, the Neonopolis and how much homework kids should do. These are all old stories. Maybe Dickinsheets had a knock on the head a couple of years ago and just woke up, I don't know. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/dickensheets/
At least, with Jon Ralston, he will break a story now and then and usually have to lie about it, but at least he is current to the month. Dickinsheets isn't even current to the decade.
So, I am wondering if Dickinsheets is a relative of Brian Greenspun, the editor of The Las Vegas Sun and needed a job, or did Greenspun lose a poker hand and got Dickinsheets as the booby prize? Either way, I hope someone tells Scott Dickinsheets that is almost December 2010 instead of December 2008.
Well, that's nice of President Obama to be "not pleased". I hate to see what kind of wording they would use when he's pissed off. Oh wait, he only gets pissed off at Republicans.
And we have had 3 WikiLeaks so far. All under Obama. I wonder why. Maybe because he only becomes displeased and not angry or threaten to go after WikiLeaks through internet sabotage?
On another note, Jerry Doyle brought up that 2.5 million people have access to this kind of information. Seems like that is a lot of people to have access to this top secret information.
Officials said the art panels — varying in size from 3-by-6 feet to 8-by-9 feet — were completely covered with maroon spray paint. The vandalism happened in the Willow Spring/Lost Creek area, officials said.
The panels included pictographs, defined as paintings and drawings on rock, and petroglyphs, drawings scraped and ground onto the surface of the rock. All were severely damaged, officials said.
The Bureau of Land Management estimates that restoration will cost about $10,000. The vandalism is the most severe case in Red Rock in the past several years, said Mark Boatwright, archeologist for the BLM's Red Rock/Sloan Field Office.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
His death was first reported in unconfirmed messages on Twitter late Sunday that suggested the actor had died in the hospital after suffering from pneumonia.
His nephew Doug Nielson, told CJOB that Leslie had been in the hospital in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for 12 days and that with family and friends by his side at 5:30pm Sunday "he just fell asleep and passed away."
One of the best comedy actors of all time.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
From the Las Vegas Sun: The kick came after Boise State’s kicker missed a 26-yard field goal with 2 seconds left in regulation and another from 29 yards in overtime. It snapped Boise State’s 24-game winning streak and ended any hopes that the Broncos (10-1, 6-1 Western Athletic Conference) would play in the BCS title game.
Boise State last lost in a bowl game in 2008.
UNR has several players from Clark County, including some players from the school I teach at.
The loss by Boise state is also good news for the Wisconsin Badgers, as this should move them up in the BCS standings.
I had been rooting for Boise State all year to be number 1. I guess I was wrong.
Friday, November 26, 2010
So, the aide in the classroom, Kathryn Cummings, who is probably the least culpable in this case is the only one still in jail, trying to raise $100,000 in bail money.
I'm not sure completely about the special aide's in Nye County, but I am pretty sure they make maybe $1 or $2 above minimum wage. They are not paid a salary like a teacher or principal. They work maybe 9 or 10 months a year with minimum benefits. And yet this is the person they keep in jail?
The teacher is the person who is in charge of the classroom and the principal is the supervisor and the aides do what the teacher says. So, if this an ongoing problem, the aide is the least culpable.
Further, $100,000 bail? Some murderer's, killers and rapists don't get this kind of bail. Even if the allegations are true, there has been no mention of injury of a student, so why the high bail amount. Are these aides, teacher and principal a flight risk or a danger to the community? That is what bail is about- not punishment. So far, there has been no mention of anyone being a flight risk or a danger to the community.
Another troubling aspect from the article: "District Attorney Brian Kunzi said criminal complaints against the four educators will likely be filed on Monday, possibly revealing what evidence police uncovered in their investigation of abuse at Floyd.Kunzi told the Pahrump Valley Times that he was kept abreast of developments throughout the Nye County Sheriff’s Office investigation."
So, the DA has these educators thrown in jail but yet doesn't even have the criminal complaint ready. This is probably going to be a complex case, unless it involves corporal punishment that involves physical abuse and there are witnesses to the abuse.
Another troubling part of the case: "Parents of special education students were contacted Monday night by Lepisto and told that their children may need to stay home on Tuesday, because only substitutes would be teaching, said one parent. Gary Loyko, who has a 6-year-old son in Hopkins’ class, said the principal would not say why the teacher and aides would be absent." http://pvtimes.com/news/principal-3-others-arrested/
This is illegal. You cannot tell students not to come to school because of problems at school, unless the entire school is affected. That is illegal. The class could have been covered by substitute teachers, teachers from the school and school district and other school employees.
Another troubnling aspect of the case is a press release written by the Pahrump Disability Outreach Program. From the press release:
"PDOP second would hope and pray that this is an isolated incident and not the standard for the Nye County School District. We have faith that the school district will address this issue immediately and will take all necessary measures to prevent this from occurring again."
The sheriff's department has said that the criminal behavior has been occurring for two years, then how can this be an isolated incident?
The press release also says:
"PDOP third would like to say a few words to the person(s) who commit these types of crimes. The Pahrump community will not tolerate this behavior by you or anyone else especially in your position. You were entrusted with other people’s loved ones and you have betrayed that trust. There is no excuse for your behavior in the situation and it is ap-palling. We hope as an organization you now realize that the commu-nity, our families, and our organization will not tolerate this type of be-havior from anyone"
First, what crimes? And who wrote the press release? Could it be the lead detective in the case?
From PVT: (Det. David) Boruchowitz declined to comment about his interview of Lepisto. Asked whether his position as president of local nonprofit Pahrump Disability Outreach Program, a nonprofit outreach group that works with family members of disabled children, played any role in the investigation, he said no.Asked whether he thought his off-duty role in PDOP constituted a conflict of interest, he said no.“I’m an advocate for disabled children, all children, at work and off-duty,” he said.DeMeo said he agrees there is not a conflict of interest.
Again, I don't know what is going on. Maybe these four ladies are heinous child abusers who should spend the rest of their life in prison. Or maybe they are victim of a witch hunt by a detective and new DA. Or maybe it is somewhere in between. Who knows? No one because the cops and DA are not releasing any information.
The drunk blond in the video, Tina Vlijter, is suing the makers of "Inside American Jail" because she says she was too drunk to sign a release.
If you watch the video, she didn't appear to be that drunk- just stupid. Further, if you don't want you face on TV for acting like a drunk, don't get drunk and don't get arrested for DUI.
For more information: http://www.lvrj.com/news/-hot-tina-sues-over-2008-incident-at-clark-county-jail-110890649.html
My guess is this lawsuit won't go very far and she maybe offered a very small settlement offer. Maybe she is looking for another 15 minutes of fame because more people are going to watch this video now that she has filed the lawsuit.
First word of the injury came in a statement from press secretary Robert Gibbs nearly three hours after the incident.
The White House did not initially name the person who caused the injury, but identified him later Friday as Rey Decerega, director of programs for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Obama received the stitches under local anesthesia in the doctor's office on the ground floor of the White House after returning home. Doctors used a smaller filament than typically used, which increases the number of stitches but makes a tighter stitch and leaves a smaller scar.
It sucks to get stitches, especially in the mouth area. It's going to cause a lot of discomfort, but do you think the MSM and late night comedians are going to treat him like they treated George W. Bush when he fell off his bike while mountain bike riding? Maybe they will treat Obama like the media and comedians treated Bush when Bush choked on a pretzel? Or Gerald Ford when he tripped and fell? Or all of the jokes at Dick Cheney's expense when Cheney had his heart problems.
Yeah, I didn't think so.
I, myself, had the flu yesterday, spending about 20 hours sleeping. I didn't eat much or even watch TV.
Today, I had a terrible backache, but had time to watch some TV and play Scrabble with the family at night.
The cold weather brought memories of Wisconsin winter. It was 23 degrees at our house very early this morning. Right now, it is 30 degrees outside. Right now we are colder than Kodiak, Alaska, Cincinnati, OH., New York, NY., and Boston, MA.
The Las Vegas Ski and Snowboard Resort opened. Last year, they were open for 6 months.
Black Friday happened in Las Vegas but there were no riots, probably because we are a 24 hour town and we know how to shop 24 hours.
So, I hope everyone has a nice weekend and please be safe.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Bail has been raised from $35,000 to $100,000 on the defendants.
From the Pahrump Valley Times: "Nye County Sheriff’s deputies stand by their arrests of four Floyd Elementary school employees Tuesday on multiple counts of child abuse, saying that more evidence was uncovered by their investigation on Wednesday.Although no additional charges were filed, the four women — Principal Holly Lepisto, 53, teacher Sarah Hopkins, 52, and special education aides Phyllis DuShane, 73, and Kathryn Cummings, 56 — saw their bail almost tripled to $100,000 by Justice of the Peace Tina Brisebill on Wednesday.The judge released DuShane for medical reasons, but the three others were in custody as of press time.The Nye County School District has started an internal investigation and has suspended all four women as well as a fifth, unidentified aide, officials said.Ed Lepisto, the principal’s husband, was hoping to get his wife out of jail before the holiday, working with a bail bondsman as well as with local defense attorney Jason Earnest to secure her release. He said that the bail increase only added to the shock of the past 24 hours.“We’re all in shock. The community is in shock. Police officers who were at the scene were in shock,” the principal’s husband said".
Further: "The Pahrump Valley Times requested the criminal complaint and police reports, called deck sheets, from Sheriff Tony DeMeo and officials at the Pahrump Jail. Those records were not made public. Brian Kunzi, the county’s new district attorney, says criminal complaints will likely be filed on Monday. According to a press release made available Tuesday, Holly Lepisto was arrested for conducting “an extremely poor investigation” when a complaint was made to her about the manner in which Hopkins was punishing a student."
So, the defendants are going to be in jail over the holidays, not knowing what criminal complaints will be filed against them. I'm not even sure this is legal.
The cops are putting out a lot of innuendo but have nothing of substance so far. The principal is accused of conducting a half hearted investigation, but perhaps she didn't see any abuse when she did investigate.
Further, we don't know what is in the IEP's of the students involved. An IEP is a yearly service plan that discusses the student's abilities and goals for the next school year.
From the Cops perspective: "DeMeo defended the arrests.“These allegations are crimes committed against people who could not defend themselves. There’s a lot more to it,” he said. “There is validation in this investigation to the allegations.”Asked if the police recovered any videotaped proof of the abuse — cameras are located inside and outside of Floyd Elementary — DeMeo said there wasn’t. The investigation, which was launched only a few days ago, started when “someone, who told someone, who told someone, who told a police officer,” the sheriff said. After that, “it unraveled.” (same article)
So, what the cops are saying that they heard through 3 lines of heresy and then put together a case.
I have several questions about this case so far:
1. Why haven't we heard any facts about the case? Lots of talk but no facts.
2. What is the functioning level of these students and how did the police interview them?
3. Where there marks left on the children and where is the proof the staff members put the marks on the child,
4. What was in the child's IEP concerning behavior?
5. Who were the witnesses?
6. Was this classroom a self-contained classroom where the kids stay in this particular class all day or where the kids in a regular education classroom or a combination of the two?
7. Who made the initial complaint?
8. Who did the investigation? Police? Child Protective services? Strangers or people familiar with the students?
9. How come were will not here what is in the complaint until Monday or Tuesday? Doesn't this violate the defendants rights?
10. Who raised the bail to $100,000- a judge? Was there a hearing and if so, what was said at the hearing? what was the rational of the increase of the bail? Did the DA think that the three remaining jailed subjects are a flight risk or a danger to the community? If so why?
11. Why were the teacher and aides out of school on the day there were to be arrested?
Again, as a special education teacher, working with students who are severely disabled, I find this case troubling. There are a lot of questions that need to be answered, by both sides, but especially by the police and DA, as the proof is on them.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Estimates over the years based on government reports and independent number-crunching have always reflected a steep cost for presidential travel, but the figure provided by the 89th Airlift Wing appears to be far higher than any previously reported. It was first published in a report this week on presidential travel by the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/11/24/military-pegs-hourly-air-force-cost-g-obama-sets-travel-record/
Liberals complain that the GOP are holding up unemployment insurance extensions because the GOP wants to find cuts to pay for the extensions. Well, here is one place to start: Keep Obama in Washington D.C.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
And now I can apply for senior discounts. Sigh.
But it could be worse. Seeing so many people I have known have had their name in the obituaries and I still have not seen my name yet.
So, life goes on. Just more slowly.
Right now, the cold front is approaching and we are getting about 40mph winds by Black Mountain.
Tomorrow's high will only be 45 with a low of 24 at night. Similar weather will on tap for Thanksgiving Day and night. Meanwhile, in northern Nevada, they had some heavy snow with blizzard conditions.
I guess we won't be seeing the 70's for the next few months.
Teacher Sarah Hopkins, 52, aides Phyllis DuShane, 73, and Kathryn Cummings, 56, and Principal Holly Lepisto, 53, were arrested Tuesday on five counts of child abuse/neglect and one count conspiracy to commit a crime, a Sheriff’s Office news release said.
According to the news release, detectives conducted an investigation at the school and found that Hopkins and the aides were using unreasonable physical punishment on children for at least the last two school years."
Four children were identified as victims; they had challenges that included visual impairment, cerebral palsy, speech challenges and hearing impairment, the release said.
Since there have been no details of what the employees did to hurt the students, I am going to withhold judgement.
But this reminds me of the time I worked at Vincent High School in the Milwaukee Public School District, in Wisconsin.
I was a rookie teacher, in the middle of my first year teaching. My classroom consisted of about 10 very severely disabled students, whose average mental age was about 4 months old. Over half the kids were in wheelchairs and none of the kids could talk.
One day, one of my students was crying and a teacher from another classroom happened to be in my classroom. He went up to the girl and slapped her in the face, quite hard and yelled at her to shut up- it wasn't a love tap. Needless to say, I was shocked at what I saw. The teacher said he was tired of hearing her cry.
After the shock wore off, I knew I had to report the incident. I contacted an assistant principal at the school who I knew and trusted and she had me write up a report. Then we went to the principal's office and I reported what I had seen. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. Nothing happened. There was no investigation by anyone in the school as to what happened.
So, then, I was pissed and then I found out that the principal and the abuser thug teacher were related through his marriage to a member of the principal's family.
Well, being thoroughly pissed off and more than a little scared, I went up the chain of command. I went to the area head of special education and reported what I saw. Still nothing happened. I then went to the head of Special Education in MPS. Still nothing happened. I finally went to the superintendent's office and talked to an assistant superintendent in the district and still nothing happened. The police were never called. Child protective services were never notified. No one from MPS ever questioned the teacher or any of the aides in the classroom about the episode and obviously, nothing ever happened to the teacher.
At the end of the school year, I was involuntarily transferred from Vincent H.S. to North Division H.S.. Gee, I wonder why. I'm actually surprised that I wasn't fired, but I guess they knew I could have raised a big stink if they fired me.
So, I can see how this could have happened in Pahrump. People see something and people can cover it up to protect their buddies. And in case, all of those arrested were fairly old and probably have been working together for a long time.
Again, I don't know the details of what happened in Pahrump, so I will reserve judgement, especially since this case comes from Nye County. This is where a lot of strange things happen, especially in the court system.
Here, you have a herd of people all trapped one place. What better time to do a fast physical. Just think, you can get a prostrate exam, pap smear, check for breast cancer, hernia check, check your breathing and heartbeat. While they are at it, they can check your tonsils and if you ask nicely, you probably can get inoculations for the flu. Just think, you can get a twofer- a physical and security check.
So, behind the TSA badges are really medical assistants, nurses, doctors, along with those nice security people.
So, next time you are standing in line waiting in security, just think of all the possibilities you can have. Among those, a flight and a physical.
Only under Obama.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Las Vegas is also a good place to visit during Thanksgiving. Some shows offer deep discounts and there are few lines, except at places like the Wynn, M and Bellagio. The trick is to know when the crowds will arrive and then beat the crowds.
And now onto the reruns.
The first episode was aired on May 16, 2010: http://lasvegasbadger.blogspot.com/2010/05/tonight-was-first-night-to-see-pawn.html
The second episode has been seen many times: http://lasvegasbadger.blogspot.com/2010/03/pawn-stars-review-march-1st-2010.html
Have a very nice Thanksgiving and Black Friday and thanks for stopping by.
Now that Native Americans Have Received A Huge Payout, Can They Start Relying Less On The Government?
The case with Native Americans has been going on for years and the Federal government has been stealing money from the Indians for decades, if not longer. The Native Americans are entitled to that money. They are probably owed much more than that, but that is what they settled for.
But, now that they have the money, can they rely less on the U.S. government and the BIA? Why does the Federal government continue to provide medical care to the Indians? Talk about a scandal, the medical care for Native Americans is the worst, period. The Native Americans have the worst medical care anywhere in the U.S., probably even worse than prisoners receive in prison. You want to see what single payer health care looks like- go to an Indian Reservation and find out. (I used to live in communities that are right next to Indian Reservations in North Dakota and Montana and I have seen first hand how bad the medical care is in these communities. I also have seen how bad the education system is and corruption in the reservation governments. I have also seen the good side of Native Americans- some of the nicest people you want to meet and very family orientated) Perhaps, now the Native Americans can pick their type of health care.
And perhaps now they don't have to rely on the U.S. government for housing. When I lived in North Dakota and worked on a volunteer fire department, part of our coverage area was Native American trust land. The BIA would pay and build houses for the family. On more than one occasion, a person was dissatisfied with their house and so they burned it down and the BIA would then build them another house at no cost. We also had so many calls when a person would get drunk, and ended up burning down their house and the BIA would build them another. No need for insurance. Maybe it has changed since then, but those were my experiences.
I would love for the Native Americans break free from the Federal government and be self reliant. Maybe the $3.4 billion plus casino money will help the Native Americans become less reliant on the Federal government.
Umm, whatever happened to Nancy Pelosi's pay as you go? How about not adding to the deficit? Check around the 1 minute 40 seconds to the three minute mark. Then go into the bathroom and disinfect your ears and vomit if you need to.
Of course, then the Sun goes into class warfare: The measure would cost $12.5 billion, but Republicans complained about adding to the national deficit. However, they don’t seem to have a problem with deficit spending, particularly when it comes to tax cuts. They are arguing to extend the Bush tax cuts, most of which would go to the wealthy, at a cost of $238 billion next year — and the Republicans have yet to explain how they would offset the cost.
Help the wealthy but not the unemployed? Shameful.
Actually, the GOP is trying to fight for everyone over the largest tax increase ever in the U.S.
The Dem's are saying they are cutting taxes. Nope, if they were cutting taxes, the tax rate would go down even further. Nope, the GOP is fighting for the status quo or that taxes do not go up if the Dem's fail to act on the tax rate, which I fear will happen.
"The Republican leadership in Congress, however, doesn’t get it. They think the economy will magically revive if they cut taxes. Please."
Actually, it has been shown when you cut the federal tax rate, more money flows into the treasury. Happened with JFK, Reagan and Bush. The problem is not that the Fed's have too little money but the Fed's are overspending.
The economy will also suffer. Unemployment benefits get spent, cycling money into the economy and helping maintain or create jobs. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/22/lump-coal/
Right, using this logic, Nevada should have been out of the recession by now and the economy is flourishing. But as you can see, the economy in Nevada still sucks.
Maybe, one of these days, the Sun will actually realize that the problem is spending at the Federal level. All the Democrats have to go is cut money from somewhere else and then the unemployed can have all the extensions. Cut money from the military, FDA, EPA, BIA etc. Maybe Obama and Pelosi can cut down their travel, especially Obama. They certainly can find the money to pay for the unemployed.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
From jsonline:Bembenek, 52, who later changed her first name to Laurie, had been admitted to a hospital in recent days and then was transferred to a hospice, her sister said. Her health problems included hepatitis C and liver and kidney failure, Colette Bembenek said.
"It went real fast. I'm glad she didn't linger," Colette Bembenek said. "I knew it was inevitable that she probably would be expiring early in life."
Laurie Bembenek was the former Milwaukee police officer charged with killing her then-husband's ex-wife, Christine Schultz. She was convicted in 1982 and sentenced to life in prison, but that was far, far from the end of the story.
In 1990, with the help of fiancé Dominic Gugliatto, the brother of another inmate, she escaped from Taycheedah Correctional Institution. They were captured three months later in Thunder Bay, Ontario. More legal proceedings resulted in her pleading guilty to second-degree murder and being released on parole for time served.
I remember when all of this was going on because I was living in Wisconsin at the time. Initially, the murder didn't gain a lot attention. However, once Ira Robins, private investigator on the case, the publicity of the case grew tremendously.
Bembenek was convicted on circumstantial evidence and tried to appeal her conviction on circumstantial evidence. She lost a lot of creditability when she escaped from prison and was found being a waitress up in Canada.
The courts granted her an appeal and she plea bargained to a 2nd degree murder conviction and got time served. at the time, most people were tired of her and were glad her 15 minutes of fame were up.
I myself, thought she was innocent with the possibility of murdered victim's husband did the killing or at least he hired someone to do to the killing and framed Bembenek.
It just seemed strange to me that a person who always was non-violent would kill someone in cold blood. That doesn't happen very much.
So, now Laurie Bembenek can finally rest in peace. If she did the crime, she is now shaking hands with the devil. If she was innocent, she's knocking Heaven's door.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Friday, November 19, 2010
Well according to the Tru TV web site, they will have new episodes starting in December. But Tru TV doesn't say when in December. Maybe they were canceled? Hope not, but who knows.
Even going on http://www.americanjewelryonline.com/ the Hard Core Pawn web site, nothing is mentioned about when they will return.
So, are they coming back or not? That is the question.
From the NY Times: The German software engineer who in September was the first to report that a computer worm was apparently designed to sabotage targets in Iran said Friday that the program contained two separate “digital warheads.”
The malicious program, known as Stuxnet, is designed to disable both Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium and steam turbines at the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which is scheduled to begin operation next year, said the engineer, Ralph Langner, an industrial control systems specialist based in Hamburg, Germany.
I am not a computer geek, so, from I what I understand from the article, Israel just screwed up Iran's nuclear program without firing a shot or bomb Iran into the Stone Age. (Not that they are that far away from the Stone Age)
Good for Israel for screwing with Iran and their nuclear prgram.
Then again, I hope we never piss of Israel either. Who knows how much damage Israel can do to us.
h/t Dad 29
Davidson County Chancellor Claudia Bonnyman sided with defense attorneys who argued the mix of drugs used by the state could allow condemned inmates to die by suffocation while awake. Bonnyman heard testimony from several medical experts." http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/19/us-tennessee-death-penalty/
Umm, ok and who cares if he suffocates before or after he is awake or unconscious? Dead is dead.
But a simple solution to this problem is to have the thug killed the way he killed his victims, a mother and her daughter. Or maybe we could put him out his misery by using a sledge hammer to the head. Problem solved.
This is just a stupid argument. The wacked out judge is just looking for an excuse to spare the thug's life. No concern for the mother and daughter who were killed by this thug. No concern for the law and no concern for the victim's family.
And of course the Sun really doesn't care about the victims either. In the article they mention the thug's name two times. The victim's name? Zero. Nada. None.
The victim's names are Wanda Romines and her 15-year-old daughter, Sheila Romines. The thug was convicted in 1987.
What a bunch of pathetic a-holes in Tennessee.
The fact is, if the Democrats would cut spending somewhere to pay for the extension, the unemployment extension would pass. It's called pay as you go. Something that the Democrats, especially Nancy Pelosi, touted a couple of years go.
But the Dumbocrats just want to put the U.S. deeper in debt every day.
So, if the Dem's want unemployment compensation extensions, then cut something. How about green energy money, military cutbacks, perverted TSA agents, BLM, EPA, Congressional perks like travel etc.
So, to the Democrats, try and cut some money somewhere because you are just screwing the unemployed.
The allegation formed one of the legs of investigations, still ongoing in other federal bodies, into Ensign's conduct after the disclosure that the Nevada Republican had a nine-month relationship with Hampton, a family friend who also served as treasurer of his two political committees.
The charge that was filed by an ethics watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, was that a $96,000 check provided by Ensign's parents to Hampton, her husband, Doug, and two of their children in April 2008 amounted to job severance that was not reported as required to federal agencies. http://www.lvrj.com/news/federal-election-commission-won-t-punish-ensign-for-cash-to-mistress-109296314.html
Yes, the complaint was a bogus complaint from a liberal organization, but that doesn't mean you, Sen. Ensign, are qualified to be a senator in the U.S. Senate.
Resign now, sen. Ensign.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
From the LVRJ: Sen. John Ensign said Tuesday that he plans to run for re-election, a decision that sets him on an uphill path to Election Day 2012 and another six-year term representing Nevada.
Ensign will have to navigate through ongoing ethics investigations and a shortage of campaign funding in the undertaking. He could face a Republican primary challenge as well as a Democratic opponent in a year that President Barack Obama would also be on the ballot.
Earth to Ensign, talk to Jim Gibbons about this. John, you have very little support and no money in the bank. You are unpopular with the voters and GOP. You won't make it out of the primary, even if you voted conservative most of the time.
It would better if you resign and have Brian Sandoval name the replacement.
So, John, talk to Jim Gibbons and see how he felt when he lost his primary election race.
Hey Mr. CEO of Harrahs, when your employees act like union thugs during the past election in their support of Harry Reid, you are going to get a bad rap.
Boycott Harrah's properties!!!
So when the next Muslim terrorist, probably named Abdul Ahmed al Shehri, places explosives in his anal cavity, what is the government going to require then? (If you're looking for a good investment opportunity, might I suggest rubber gloves?) Last year, a Muslim attempting to murder Prince Mohammed bin Nayef of Saudi Arabia blew himself up with a bomb stuck up his anus. Fortunately, this didn't happen near an airport, or Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would now be requiring full body cavity searches to fly....
Instead, Napolitano just keeps ordering more invasive searches of all passengers, without exception -- except members of Congress and government officials, who get VIP treatment, so they never know what she's doing to the rest of us. Two weeks ago, Napolitano ordered TSA agents to start groping women's breasts and all passengers' genitalia -- children, nuns and rape victims, everyone except government officials and members of Congress. (Which is weird because Dennis Kucinich would like it.) "Please have your genitalia out and ready to be fondled when you approach the security checkpoint."
These illegal pat downs and nude pictures are going to hurt the airline and tourism industry and Las Vegas is going to be vulnerable.
And where is Harry Reid? Pretty darn quiet. I wonder why? Because he is exempt from the screenings: The TSA also announced that some individuals will be exempt from airport security screening, including Members of Congress, Cabinet members, state governors, federal judges, high-ranking military officers, people with top-secret security clearances and airline pilots. http://ashsd.afacwa.org/?zone=/unionactive/view_article.cfm&HomeID=24029
From the Las Vegas Sun: “Ouch,” one board member murmured.
The Clark County School District budget for fiscal 2012 is expected to be about $2 billion.
Jim McIntosh, the school district’s deputy chief financial officer, told board members that a $150 million of the shortfall is projected because of falling state funding, falling property tax receipts and expected employee pay increases when union concessions expire in the year beginning in July 2011. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/17/school-district-faces-180-million-budget-shortfall/
Of course, what the writer of the article didn't write is that the district got a one year $57 million stimulus compliments of Harry Reid, Shelly Berkley and President Obama. Since this was a one time expenditure, the District hired a bunch of new employees, put the administrators who were reassigned to lower positions back into their former positions and rehired many of those who were laid off. At our school, we have fewer teaching staff but one more administrator and several more curriculum leaders. Is that good or bad- depends on who you talk to. We also have fewer students than last year.
Now, the District is saying they will have to layoff 2000 employees. But if the District wasn't so greedy in the Fall by accepting the bailout money, the shortfall will be much lower. And you know with the GOP in control of the House, they are not going to be sympathetic to school districts and other state and local government agencies to their financial problems and they shouldn't be.
So, because of the greed of the District, there will be another year of cutbacks, throwing the District into chaos. Again.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
As far as Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I would not bothered if they pass it or not, with the caveat- no gay marriage on military bases in States that don't have gay marriage and no housing for gay couples, unless they are married. DADT was passed by Congress, so if Congress wants to get rid of it, I find that more tolerable than if a judge changed the law.
As far as the Dream Act, I am dead set against it. It is amnesty for illegals, no matter how you look at it and it is not fair for people who had to pay thousands of dollars and years trying to jump through hoops to become a legal U.S. citizen. (my ex-wife came here legally from Singapore and we had to jump through a lot of hoops and pay thousands for fees and lawyers. Of course, sometimes I wish I had not, but that's for another day)
And people wonder why Harry Reid should have been defeated. (Yes, I know, if Harry lost, he would still have a couple of weeks in the lame duck session) But at least the GOP will probably filibuster the Dream Act and probably DADT.
I guess this is what Harry Reid calls bi-partisanship.
Ira Robins of Milwaukee said Bembenek, 52, has been suffering from liver and kidney failure, partially due to Hepatitis C. "She's almost gone," Robins said Wednesday. "She's been beaten up for so many years. They took her to hospice Sunday or Monday."
Bembenek, known as "Bambi" Bembenek, was convicted in 1982 of killing Christine Schultz, the ex-wife of her husband, Fred Schultz. Bembenek escaped from prison, fled to Canada, was recaptured and later entered a no contest plea to a reduced charge of second-degree murder. Prosecutors agreed to release Bembenek on time she already served.
This is a case that captivated Milwaukee and much of the country for several of years. There was even a movie about her.
She was accused of killing the wife of a police officer that Bembenek had dated while the officer was still married. Bembenek was a police officer trainee at the time and when the accusations came out, she was fired.
She was convicted of murder, sent to prison and promptly escaped. She was recaptured in Canada.
She has always maintained her innocence and she was able to convince a judge to order a new trial. Instead of going to trial, she made a plea bargain and was able to get out of prison for time served. She has tried several time to get a pardon or have her conviction overturned and none of it has been successful.
I always thought she was not guilty, but I was a youngster then and so my hormones may have taken over my mind.
I hope she is out of pain.
From the Wisconsin State Journal: Bail was set Wednesday at $1,500 for a town of Vermont man accused of shooting his television after becoming enraged by Bristol Palin’s performance on “Dancing with the Stars,” threatening his wife and sparking a 15-hour standoff with Dane County sheriff’s deputies.
Steven N. Cowan, 66, will likely post the bail and be released from the Dane County Jail but was ordered by Court Commissioner Todd Meurer to report to the Dane County Bail Monitoring Program after he leaves the jail.
Cowan, who has bipolar disorder, became upset Monday night that Palin, the daughter of Sarah Palin, was appearing on “Dancing with the Stars,” according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday. He brought a shotgun downstairs, shot the television, then reloaded the weapon and pointed it at his wife, Janice, the complaint states.
Thank goodness it was just the TV and not his wife. I'd hate to see what would happen if Sarah Palin won the presidency. Mass suicide by liberals?
I think there will be more crazy liberal acts because of Bristol. ABC must be laughing all the way to the bank.
From the Las Vegas Sun: The Clark County Coroner's Office said Wednesday that Franta's body was found Sunday behind a grocery store in the northwest valley.
The coroner determined she died of asphyxiation and ruled her death a homicide. Her body was found behind the Albertsons store at Tenaya Way and Craig Road.
Metro Police began asking for the public's help Tuesday in finding Franta, who taught at Irwin and Susan Molasky Junior High School. Police said she left her home about 7 p.m. Saturday in the 4300 block of Cranbrook Circle, near Torrey Pines Drive and Harmon Avenue, and didn't return.
On October 20, 2010, a science teacher from El Dorado, Tim VanDerbosch, died after he was robbed, knocked out and the run over by a car.
And how did CCSD let's employees know bout these tragedies? They didn't. No even a district wide e-mail of condolence. Most CCSD staff had to hear about this through the media. Very pathetic, CCSD administration.
When I worked at other school districts, if a staff member died, there would a district wide e-mail and follow up e-mails with information about the funeral and how to donate money to the family. or even off a condolence letter/e-mail, saying something to the effect: We at CCSD are saddened to hear about the death of_____. Our condolences to the family and her friends. We will keep you updated to the date and time of the funeral and where donations can be made.
Now, CCSD administrators, is that so hard? No, it's not.
R.I.P Marybeth Franta and God bless your family and friends.
Update: The husband of the school teacher was arrested for killing Mrs. Franta. From the Sun:
Metro Police on Wednesday arrested the husband of a Las Vegas teacher whose body was found behind a grocery store this past weekend in the northwest valley.
Mark Douglas Franta was taken into custody at 4:55 p.m. and charged with murder in connection with the death of 49-year-old Marybeth Franta. Police said Mark Franta had reported his wife missing.
Very sad, as now the two children of the couple are no parentless.
Reid, Ensign, Angle and Titus are the four most despicable politicians in Nevada. They need to take one of these lie detectors with them, but then, they would never be able to sleep.
The best bit by Johnny Carson is when he says: Answer: Sis Boom Bah
Question: What is the sound of a sheep exploding.
h/t Dad29 http://dad29.blogspot.com/
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Perhaps taking a clue from the voters, the Catholic bishops named Archbishop Timothy Dolan head of the United States Bishops.
From the New York Times: In a surprise move, the bishops that lead the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, elected Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan of New York to be their president on Tuesday, rejecting the conference’s more liberal vice president. It was the first time in history that the bishops had not voted to elevate the vice president to the president’s post, affirming a conservative turn among the bishops....
The vote, which was close, cements Archbishop Dolan’s prominent profile in the leadership in the American church. He is already the prelate of the nation’s most visible diocese, is comfortable in the news media spotlight and was selected by the Vatican to help conduct an investigation of the church in Ireland, which has been devastated by a sexual abuse scandal.
The bishops passed over their vice president, Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, who represents the more liberal “social justice” tradition of the American church and is known for advocating dialogue between Catholic liberals and traditionalists. Archbishop Dolan is a moderate conservative who is willing to put his affable and outgoing demeanor in service of a more assertively confrontational approach to the church’s criticshttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/17/us/17bishops.html?_r=1
Dolan has been a Archbishop in St. Louis, Milwaukee and now, New York. Why this man is not a Cardinal, is beyond me.
However, from the article: "Archbishop Dolan is a moderate conservative" (emphasis mine)
What the hell is a moderate conservative?
Not bad considering that all the liberals were laughing at her when she was named as a contestant.
Now that I wrote about this, I probably jinxed her.
If you look at the comments left at Bristol Palin's You Tube video's, they are very nasty from the compassionate liberals.
From the Sun: O.J. Simpson's lawyers have filed a petition before the Nevada Supreme Court for a rehearing of the high court's Oct. 20 decision to uphold his robbery/kidnapping conviction stemming from a 2007 incident at the Palace Station Casino.
Simpson was convicted on 11 felony counts in taking items from memorabilia dealers from the hotel room. The 63-year-old NFL Hall of Famer is serving his sentence at the Lovelock Correctional Center.
The court on Oct. 22 upheld Simpson's conviction. Simpson and five other men tried to regain what Simpson believed was his personal property in September 2007 in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson was sentenced to a minimum of nine years in prison and a maximum of 33 years.
In the rehearing petition, which was filed Tuesday, Simpson's attorneys, Yale L. Galanter and Malcolm P. LaVergn, say the Clark County District Court that convicted Simpson had flaws in the way it picked the jury.
Their petition said the voir dire process, designed to weed out members of the jury panel who might have bias, was not extensive enough.
"Extensive probing questions were necessary and required in this case under the law," the petition says. "The Court's rationale that more questioning would not have provided additional securities misapprehends the law. Accordingly, a rehearing is warranted on the issue of restricting jury selection."
Simpson's attorneys also argued that the only two African-American members of the potential jury panel should not have been struck after they said they could follow the law.
This reminds me of a scene from "A Few Good Men": Sam Weinberg: ""I strenuously object?" Is that how it's done? Hm? "Objection, your Honor!" "Overruled" "No, no. I STRENUOUSLY object." "Oh! You strenuously object. Then I'll take some time and reconsider.""
Well, today, they discovered they weren't human remains. From the Sun: A spine found by hikers at the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area last week that launched a search for more remains is not from a human, the Clark County Coroner's Office said today.
The Metro Police Search and Rescue Unit had recovered more remains — which police initially said were human — after the hikers discovered the spine Thursday.
Of course, they did not mention what animal/creature it was. so, maybe that is where they dump space aliens from Area 51.
But we know one thing for sure, it was not the bones from a liberal because everyone knows, liberals don't have a backbone.
Monday, November 15, 2010
"(The) First Amendment is important," Parraz said. "We want the kids to respect it, understand it, and with that comes a responsibility."
Parraz said racial tensions boiled over at the school this year around the Cinco de Mayo holiday.
"Our Hispanic, you know, kids will, you know, bring their Mexican flags and they'll display it, and then of course the kids would do the American flag situation, and it does cause kind of a racial tension which we don't really want," Parraz said. "We want them to appreciate the cultures."
So, how did the kid and community react? See the video below:
Cody Alicea= Winner
Denair Unified School District Superintendent Edward Parraz= Loser
h/t Real Debate Wisconsin
Here is the link to play: http://lameduckhuntgame.com/
h/t Real Debate Wisconsin
In the first and second episode was first shown on August 16, 2010:
Some Pawn Stars News: Rick, Corey and Chumlee will be traveling to Reno on December 4 to do business. They also bring some store employees, so unless you have something interesting, you will probably be stuck with the regular store employees, the ones who do most of the work at the shop (with the exception of the Old Man who works at the shop most days and puts in 8 hours days, at least) http://www.mynews4.com/story.php?id=31513
American Restoration is on at 11:00 tonight, but it is a re-run. This cannot be good for Rick Dale's show if it is to stay on the air. (anybody else notice how Rick and Mike Rowe look alike, without Rick's tattoos, of course)
Well, have a nice week and thanks for stopping by.
Imagine when you send 12 year old daughter or son going through the scanners and some TSA agent is looking at your kid's naked pictures.
Then, if you refuse to have your kids scanned, then they will have to be searched. This includes genitalia and breasts. This would be a child molester's dream job.
If you or I did this to our kids or a neighborhood kid, we would be charged with child pornography, sexual battery and be sentenced to many years or decades in prison. After getting out of prison, we would be classified as a sexual predator and our lives be ruined.
But if you are a TSA agent, you get paid to look at the child porn.
That's government working for you.
The fire occurred on Monday at a 28-story building that was under renovation. Earlier reports put the toll at at least eight dead and more than 90 injured.
A witness told Xinhua that building materials had caught fire, and the blaze spread to scaffolding and then to the 28-story building itself, which houses a number of retired teachers.
The cause of the fire: "The state-run news website Eastday.com cited a construction worker surnamed Qian who escaped from the 28th story as saying crews were installing energy-saving insulation when the fire occurred."
I blame Al Gore.
In the first incident, from the Las Vegas Sun:Metro Police said an officer fatally shot a man outside a convenience store this morning who threatened officers with what appeared to be a wooden walking stick.
Officers responded at 5:50 a.m. to Speedee Mart, 3011 E. Desert Inn Road, at the corner with Pecos-McLeod Drive after receiving reports of a man and a woman involved in an argument outside the store. Three officers arrived and noticed the argument appeared to be escalating, said police Capt. Patrick Neville, with Metro's homicide bureau.
Police said the man wasn't following the commands of officers. An officer tried to use a Taser on the man, but it appeared to have no effect on him, police said. The man then moved away from police, prompting an officer to use the Taser a second time, also with no results.
Neville said the officer then used "low-lethal force," in the form of a weapon that fires bean bags.
"It hurts, but it's not lethal," Neville said.
Police said that also didn't appear to have an effect on the man.
"They deployed a lot of strategies and a lot of lower-level force to get the individual in compliance," Neville said.
Police said the man had what appeared to be a wooden walking stick with a pointed end.
Neville said the man
In the second incident, From the Sun: Three Metro Police officers shot and killed a man this morning inside a P.T.'s Pub in the eastern valley as the man was holding a bartender at knifepoint during a robbery attempt, police said.
Officers responded to reports of a robbery in progress about 10:30 a.m. at P.T.'s Pub, 2280 S. Nellis Blvd., near the intersection with Sahara Avenue. Police Capt. Patrick Neville, with Metro's homicide bureau, said officers arrived to find a 23-year-old man holding a female bartender at knifepoint.
The man wasn't complying with officers' demands, police said.
Three officers fired at the man, who was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
A male customer at P.T.'s was injured during the robbery attempt, but police didn't know the extent of his injuries or what caused the injury. He also was taken to the hospital.
Investigators are reviewing surveillance video. Police also are interviewing at least five patrons who were inside the business at the time of the shooting.
Neville called the shooting an "extremely dynamic situation" in which the officers were forced to make a split-second decision about entering the bar, knowing that someone was being held hostage inside. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2010/nov/15/police-probe-second-shooting-involving-metro-polic/
From the looks of it, it sounds like the two shootings are legitimate and the cops should be exonerated, unless there is something that we have not heard about.