Sunday, September 16, 2012

One Citizen Speaking...

Posted: 16 Sep 2012 02:48 AM PDT
It was politically expedient to “give in” once again to the teacher’s unions who refuse to “share the pain” felt by the private sector. So with guaranteed and substantially higher personnel cost, and little or no reform in teacher performance or student scores, how do you balance the economic and social budget?

Chicago teachers fear wave of school closings after strike

Striking Chicago teachers fear that once they approve a new contract with the school district and end their strike, Mayor Rahm Emanuel will go ahead with dozens of school closings because of falling enrollment and poor academic performance.
The closing of schools and what happens to the teachers working in them has been a major issue in the bitter dispute, even though the disagreement over evaluating teachers based on standardized test results of their students has received more attention.
"If they fire us, we're done," said Rhonda McLeod, a special education teacher at Gresham Elementary and one of the union delegates expected to vote on Sunday whether to end the strike. "We're terrified. We don't need to be dumped to the wayside. We're not trash, we're teachers."
Enrollment in Chicago Public Schools has fallen nearly 20 percent in the last decade, according to the Pew study, mainly because of population declines in disadvantaged neighborhoods.
According to the union, 86 public schools in Chicago have closed in the past decade. Many have been replaced by charter or "contract" schools run by philanthropists, and charter schools now account for 12 percent of students, district figures show.
The Chicago Tribune reported this week that school district officials are considering closing up to 120 schools next year, which would be 17 percent of all schools in the district. Asked about this on Wednesday, Emanuel said it was too early to say.
Charter schools are publicly funded but non-union, and the teachers union has complained that they undermine public education and force more community schools to close. Their academic performance record compared with community schools is mixed, according to national studies.
But a powerful U.S. education movement is pushing charter schools. Reformers such as Emanuel and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a former Chicago schools chief, argue that schools performing poorly in academics should either be closed permanently, reopened with new principals and teachers, or converted to charter schools run by non-union personnel. <Chicago teachers fear wave of school closings after strike | Reuters>
So what is the problem?
Teachers should be evaluated on their ability to teach, their subject matter knowledge and the performance of the students under their tutelage. If a teacher or school is under-performing or lacks a viable student base, it should be eliminated. Tenure should be a thing of the past. Teachers should be compensated per their job, not their educational credentials. It makes little or no sense – other than a special education classroom – to have a teacher with a Masters of Doctorate degree teaching second grade.
Competition is the answer to better education. Competition where schools are pushed to compete for high scores on standardized tests, with a portion of students being interviewed by qualified examiners to insure that they really do know what their test scores reflect. Any teacher or administrator found cheating should be fined no less that $50,000, lose their pension and benefit rights, lose their teaching credential in the state and possibly serve up to six months in jail.
Wonder why the unions are fighting so hard to prevent vouchers? One need only look at the angry parents who want their children to be able to compete in a global economy, to earn a decent living and to advance to the next socio-economic rung of the ladder. And some are willing to make great sacrifices to push their children towards greatness. The teachers unions believe they own the students and control the schools – something they have been permitted to think by corrupt politicians who have sold their vote in return for campaign funding and voter support. Make public schools compete for students, proving that they can provide an above average educational experience.
Bottom line …
Wherever you see a public employee union, you see a privileged class of worker – dependent on political corruption to insure their existence in this uncertain world. Protections that do not exist in the private sector and should not exist in the public sector.
-- steve
Posted: 15 Sep 2012 11:55 PM PDT
One, the Obama administration government apparently tried to cover up their malfeasance by claiming that a “riot over an anti-Muslim film” was the proximate cause of the rioting in Libya that cost Ambassador Chris Stevens and others their lives.
Two, the White House is silent on the Obama and Biden celebration over the death of Osama bin Laden, the reputed mastermind of 9/11.
Three, then it emerges that the State Department did not have adequate security plans for the anniversary of 9/11 in a Muslim country such as Libya.
Four, then there is the question of the State Department’s “low profile plan” and the classified “Rules of Engagement for Libya” said to be signed by Hillary Clinton as the Secretary of State. Some suggest that what the State Department is claiming as a “robust defense” is two former Navy Seal contractors and a hired Libyan security force who may have been armed, but without bullets. There is also a suggestion that the details of the consular security plan may have been leaked by an inside person.
Colonel: Hillary Made Decision Not to Post Marines at Benghazi

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Fox News military analyst Colonel David Hunt laid the blame for the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans at the Benghazi, Libya American mission on Hillary Clinton and the State Department:

The State Department just allowed our guys to get killed. If you approve no bullets in guns for the mission security guards and an outhouse for a mission, you’re inviting it.
Earlier, on Howie Carr's radio show Thursday, Colonel Hunt said that the American mission at Benghazi "was like a cardboard building, there wasn't even bullet proof glass." In addition, Hunt said the security guards inside the mission didn't have bullets:
Howie Carr: They weren't allowed to have bullets, is that correct?
Colonel Hunt: That's true. They were private security. The rules of engagement were ridiculous.
Hunt told Breitbart News that the new State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya, approved and signed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton since the 2011 fall of Khadafi's regime, severely compromised the safety and security of murdered Ambassador Stevens and all American diplomatic staff in Libya.
He also stated that the decision not to staff Benghazi with Marines was made by Secretary of State Clinton when she attached her signature to the State Department Rules of Engagement for Libya document. Breitbart News has subsequently learned that under those rules of engagement, Secretary Clinton prohibited Marines from providing security at any American diplomatic installation in Libya.
Hunt told Breitbart News that "the rules of engagement have been changing drastically over the last 10 years. . . The reason the surge in Iraq worked was we had another 40,000 soldiers and the rules of engagement were changed to allow our guys to shoot. What’s happened in Libya is the final straw of political correctness. We allowed a contractor to hire local nationals as security guards, but said they can't have bullets. This was all part of the point of not having a high profile in Libya."
According to Hunt, the debacle at the American mission in Benghazi is directly the result of Obama's new policies. "The policy of the Obama administration led to this," he said.
"It was the policy of the Obama administration to have a low profile in Libya. That's why the rules of engagement were approved by the Secretary of State to have no Marines at Benghazi, and to have an American contractor hire Libyan nationals to provide security there. The rules were they couldn't have ammunition."
Stevens was based at the American embassy in Tripoli. According to a spokesperson at the State Department, he would visit the mission at Benghazi sporadically. No one at the State Department has yet answered this key question:
Why on the anniversary of 9-11 was he at the low security mission in Benghazi when it would obviously have been more prudent for him to have been at the presumably more secure embassy in Tripoli?
At her daily press briefing on Thursday, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland offered a description of the defenses at the Benghazi mission that appeared to be in conflict with other press reports. In contrast to some reports that said security within the perimeter of the mission was provided by Libyan nationals, Nuland stated that they provided security on the perimeter and that"there was a robust American security presence inside the compound." [emphasis added]:
QUESTION: Can you talk a little bit more about the security that was at the Embassy? It seems that for an area such as Benghazi, where there was a lot of instability, there were very few guards there. And can you talk about whether the U.S. asked Libya, the Libyan Government, earlier in the week for extra security precaution and whether that – extra security precautions or security personnel and whether that request was fulfilled. . .It does seem though that there were very few security personnel at this location.
MS. NULAND: I’m going to reject that, Elise. Let me tell you what I can about the security at our mission in Benghazi. It did include a local Libyan guard force around the outer perimeter. This is the way we work in all of our missions all around the world, that the outer perimeter is the responsibility of the host government. There was obviously a physical perimeter barrier, a wall. And then there was a robust American security presence inside the compound. This is absolutely consistent with what we have done at a number of missions similar to Benghazi around the world. . .
Five, now comes the suggestion that Ambassador was an openly gay man that was posted to Libya – and who appeared to have been raped before and after his death as a show of Muslim contempt.

BREAKING NEWS: Two sources in Chicago diplomatic circles identify Ambassador Chris Stevens as gay (meaning State Department sent gay man to be ambassador to Libya)

A journalist friend of mine asked me to nose around and see if I could uncover anything about slainAmbassador Chris Stevens, who was rumored to be gay.  A former “roommate” of Stevens by the name of Austin Tichenor lives and works in Chicago and while making calls to friends of mine in the theater world who know him I also thought to check some sources with the city who deal with the State Department and foreign dignitaries when they are in town.
Of course, they’ve all been talking about Ambassador Stevens’ murder by Muslims in Libya:  and all of them are incredulous that the State Department sent a gay man to be ambassador to a Muslim country.  News reports continue to indicate that the Muslims who murdered Stevens also raped him repeatedly, before and after his death.
The Serbian consulate employee identified himself to me as “Dino” and wouldn’t give me any more of a name than that, but told me it was no secret that Chris Stevens was gay and that “it was stupid to send him to Libya as the ambassador when he was a known homosexual”.
Dino explained in great detail that the brutal sodomizing of Stevens’ corpse was something that Muslims do to show the “utmost disrespect to the body” and that this is “a great insult in Islam” reserved for homosexuals.  ”It is like making him a woman in death and he will be a woman now after life” the Serbian explained to me.  There’s a good chance this guy was Muslim too, and gay, which makes my head spin more than a little since he seemed to have no anger at all in his voice that Muslims in Libya assassinated the American ambassador and then sodomized his corpse.
“He should not have gone there” was the general consensus from this man.
You won’t hear any of this in the media, no doubt, but in Chicago’s diplomatic circles at least there is no doubt that Chris Stevens was gay and that pretty much anyone in the diplomatic world knew that.  That includes the Libyans who were hired as security at the consulate in Benghazi who betrayed Ambassador Stevens and assisted in his murder.
Meanwhile, the White House is ignoring the fact that a gay ambassador to a Muslim country was murdered and they are in fact still pretending that all of this is about some obscure movie about Muhammad and has nothing at all to do with Barack Obama repeatedly and vociferously spiking the football over killing Osama bin Laden(which took place all throughout the Democrats’ convention last week). <Source: State Department Sent Gay Man to be ambassador to Muslim country -- Chris Stevens was gay>
Bottom line …
Something stinks in Washington when the effete Ivy League State Department is afraid to show force to defend American assets and protect the lives of American citizens. And something stinks in the Obama Administration who is openly celebrating their role in the capture and death of Osama bin Laden – and refuses to reinforce physical security abroad in the days approaching the anniversary of 9/11.
Obama and his fellow anti-America travelers in the House and the Senate need to be voted out in the upcoming 2012 election. The State Department must be purged of its effete Ivy League theorists and replaced with diplomats who understand that there are some cultures and nations who only respect force and the will to use it effective in the pursuit of their self-interests.
It is time that political correctness give way to commonsense.
-- steve
effete --  1. (of a person) Affected, over-refined, and ineffectual  2. No longer capable of effective action. 3. lacking in wholesome vigor; degenerate; decadent
Posted: 15 Sep 2012 09:20 PM PDT
Microsoft Whacking Off in Redmond …
Not only is the concept of hitting a device not new and novel over prior art, the absurdity of this patent can be demonstrated by those who hit alarm clocks to invoke a snooze function or use an iPhone app requiring a shake to enter “snooze” mode.
This is what’s wrong with the United States Patent Office today. They appear to have become extremely tolerant of nonsensical submissions – especially knowing that a court challenge to invalidate a patent takes significant time and money.

Microsoft applies for patent for whacking your phone

Microsoft applies for patent for whacking your phone
Abstract  "Techniques and tools are described for controlling an audio signal of a mobile device. For example, information indicative of acceleration of the mobile device can be received and correlation between the information indicative of acceleration and exemplar whack event data can be determined. An audio signal of the mobile device can be controlled based on the correlation."
Claim 17  “A mobile device comprising: at least one accelerometer; at least one speaker; at least one processor; and memory, the memory storing instructions that when executed by the at least one processor causes the mobile device to perform a method, the method comprising: collecting acceleration data from the at least one accelerometer; determining a correlation coefficient using at least a portion of the acceleration data and exemplar whack event data; and controlling an audio signal based at least on the correlation coefficient.”
Bottom Line …
If this patent were granted, anyone implementing a “tap to turn off or silence” interface using the embedded accelerometer to sense the “event” would owe Microsoft royalties.
In this era of political correctness an indifference, there must be someone at the U.S. Patent Office to stand up and call “bullshit” when overly broad patents, couched in dense language and containing subject matter which appears to lack novelty over prior art, are submitted. Make the inventor(s) fight to prove that the conceived invention is new and novel over prior art. 
-- steve
Reference Links …
Microsoft Patent Application |U.S. Patent Office