Thursday, February 11, 2016

This is why a communist can run for office

Anyone singing the "Happy Birthday Song" over the past 66 years was forced to pay royalties to the Warner/Chappell music company, who was making an average of about $2 million each year from the royalties for the song. 

The company finally admitted in court that they never owned the song and agreed to pay the artists suing them $14 million in a settlement. That's right, they committed fraud that got them over $100 million in profits, and in the end had to only pay out around $14 million to settle the claims.

The banks, who made well over $1 trillion in profits by engaging in illegal mortgage securities fraud and thereby collapsed the US economy, which was followed up by the government bailing them out with ANOTHER trillion dollars, were forced to pay back a mere $13 billion in settlements. Goldman Sachs, who made the whole scheme work by selling the worthless loans as mortgage backed securities, had to pay back a mere $5 billion.

It seems as though companies are committing wholesale fraud and paying pennies on the dollar when they get caught. This is one of the reasons why so many people are so unhappy with our government, and I am betting it is a big reason why Sanders has such a large following.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Poor leadership, part 2

This is my rant about my life. 

In my post from earlier in the week, I talked about the Principal firing me because a politically well connected student received a C on one of my Chemistry exams. The story continues.

I applied for unemployment. The evidence is pretty strong in my favor:

- Three weeks before I was terminated, I received my annual evaluation, and it rated me as an "effective" employee.

- Two days before I was terminated, my evaluation score was a 2.7 (effective), which is pretty good for my school.

They are fighting my unemployment, saying that I was fired for misconduct. There are no previous discipline entries on my record, but my evaluation was changed the day after I filed for unemployment to say that I have a 2.2 (needs improvement). I have copies of everything.

During the termination proceedings, this principal (who is an amateur competitor in men's bodybuilding) told me that PE is the most important subject, because they learn skills there like teamwork and work ethic that they will use their entire lives, whereas the stuff they learn in science and math, they will never use again. Spoken like a true jock.

They hired as my replacement a guy who isn't certified to teach Biology or Chemistry. His certification is in Elementary School Physical Education. His transcripts show that he failed freshman Biology in college and had to take it over. He received a C the second time he took it. So much for schools only hiring highly qualified teachers for core subjects under "No Child Left Behind.".

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

600-pound pig was seen at a polling place in New Hampshire

The headline read: "600-pound pig was seen at a polling place in New Hampshire"

My first thought was "Michael Moore got out of the hospital?"

Solving the geriatric carry problem

Tam is talking about how the older population has a bit of a problem when it comes to buying guns for self defense: Many smaller automatics are too difficult for arthritic fingers to operate, and the recoil combined with the weaker grip of the elderly results in poor operation of the mini autos. She opines that revolvers are not an option, because a 12 pound trigger is too hard for the older population to operate. I agree, and I found a solution.

My mother is a 72 year old widow who owns a concealed weapons permit. She  used to carry a lightweight semi-auto. The problem was that, as she got older, it was more and more difficult for her to work the slide. She just didn't have the grip strength to work the slide. To help with this, I bought her a lightweight Smith and Wesson J frame in .38 Special, just like this one.

Tam is correct, her 72 year old arthritic fingers had trouble with the 12 pound trigger pull, so I took it to a gunsmith and had the trigger lightened up to about 7 pounds. There are those who will tell you that it is unwise to lower your trigger pull from a legal standpoint.

Perhaps if you are a 25 year old weightlifter, having a light pull would be a problem, bur a 7 pound pull is not one that a 72 year old woman who weighs 90 pounds is going to find overly low.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Today


Poor leadership

I have been posting about the dysfunctional education system in this country since I was hired as a teacher in July of 2014. Pay special attention to this previous post. 

I have been working as a teacher at a charter school run by a private company. It is being used as a sales tool for the commercial real estate division of that company. (As in: Look at how great the school here is! If you buy property here, your employees will have access to this great school.)

On Tuesday, some of my students came to see me during lunch and warned me that they were being called to the principal's office one at a time, told that I was being investigated in connection with a parent complaint, and asked to provide any negative comments that they had about me.

On Wednesday I was called to the principal's office and presented with the complaints. The only negative things were that I once played a video of Superbowl commercials in class, that I was curving exams, and that students felt like they were not learning in my class.

The principal also told me that out of the 50 students they questioned, all but three of them had positive things to say. He went on to claim that this was probably due to the fact that the students were afraid of retribution. I then said "So when a student complains about not liking my class, they are being accurate and truthful, but when they are happy with my class, they must be lying?"

I also pointed out that the students were all receiving test scores that were showing progress, and in fact were the same or higher than the other teachers who were teaching my subject. We had just gotten our evaluations from last school year, and my evaluations were the same or higher than teachers with decades on the job. The meeting ended there.

On Thursday and Friday, administrators came into my classroom no less than seven times to observe my teaching. I even found a recording device hidden in one of my two classrooms, that was actively and secretly recording me as I taught class.

After school on Friday, I was called from my duty of watching the parking lot and summarily fired. The only reason given was "We are letting you go. You are just not a good fit for the vision that we have here." That was the best that they could do, even after looking for a reason for four days.

Under the terms of my contract, I have to be paid for the work I have done to this point, and they owe me about two month's pay. I am not sure where I will work after this, but I have some time and plenty of money.

One of my students contacted me through another teacher. It turns out that there is a student who is bragging that she got me fired. That student has been complaining all year that she doesn't belong in my class, but in an honors class. She stated that my class was the "dummy class" and was too easy. She received a C on my last exam, and was mad, claiming that she had never received a C in her life on any test. Her father is one of the the named partners of the law firm  that represents the company that owns the charter school.

Other sources in the main offices of the school tell me that the father was indignant that his daughter received a C and demanded that I be fired, but as long as I don't make waves, the school will not give me a bad recommendation when I apply elsewhere.

That is where education is today.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Ethics?

Years ago, I had to take a class called "Ethical Decision Making" in pursuit of a college degree. The course required a textbook, as most do. Colleges make a lot of money through the school bookstore selling these textbooks at prices that fall anywhere between $100 and $500 each. Many college students, in a quest to save money, buy used textbooks from students who took the course last semester, or even last year. This means that the college loses those sales.

To combat this, the colleges pull a lot of underhanded tricks. In the case of this ethics class, they added a chapter to the book that no other college had, and they further changed that chapter every year, which meant that the only place that the book could be had was from the school bookstore. There were no used books to be had. I thought that this was ironic, considering that this was an ethics class.

I didn't know this, and bought a copy new on Amazon at a cost of $225. When I got the book, I discovered that the book was not the correct one, and had to buy the correct book at the full price of $300 at the school bookstore. This meant that the text book cost nearly as much as the $350 course it was used for. I put the used book on Amazon at $175 (so it would sell quickly), complete with a warning in the description that this was not the correct book for that college and that course. When the book sold, I noticed that the buyer lived in my city, so I sent him an email, telling him it was the wrong book. he replied back that he still wanted it, so I shipped it. I had never even taken the book out of its plastic wrapper.

A week after shipping, I get a note from the buyer stating that he did not need the book, because it was the wrong one. Amazon told me that their policy was that you always make the customer happy, and informed me that I had to refund his money, but since it was the customer's fault, I could charge him a restocking fee of 20%, but only if he returned the book.

When I informed him of that fact, he changed his complaint to say that the book was not new as advertised, that the book was written in and the cover was missing. Amazon forced me to accept the return for a full refund. When I got the book back, it was still in the wrapper that I had shipped it in.

I sent pictures to Amazon, and Amazon said that there was nothing they could do. I eventually sold the book, but I didn't get as much for it, and the entire episode also cost me the extra shipping charges for having to ship the book out twice.

To add insult to injury, the buyer gave me negative feedback, saying that I was dishonest and gave Amazon a bad name.

The first day of class, the sonofabitch was sitting right in that classroom with me.

He needed that ethics class far more than I did, but a college with this kind of textbook policy was in no place to teach it to him. Here is the kicker: He was prelaw. I keep waiting to see if he runs for political office.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Guns and employee wellness

My employer, as most do, has an Employee wellness program. The wellness program is a voluntary program that gets you a discount on your involuntary (thanks to Obamacare) employee insurance coverage.
Some employers are now saying that, if you refuse to participate in the wellness program, you will lose your employee heath insurance. How is this legal, you ask? After all, multiple Federal laws, including the ADA and the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) state that this is not legal. Well, leave that to the Federal Courts:
Not so, said a federal judge in Madison, Wisc., who ruled on Dec. 31 that employers can deny coverage without violating the ADA as long as the data gleaned from the wellness program is used for purposes of overall health coverage.
This is where guns enter the picture. The anti gun forces in this country want to have firearms added as a public health issue. Now suppose this comes about and your employer wants to use data on gun ownership to enhance your overall health coverage.

Take this one step further: say your employer wants to say that gun ownership is a health hazard, and you must give up your guns or give up your employer sponsored health insurance. You would be forced (by Obamacare in concert with your employer) to have one of three options:

1 Give up your guns
2 Pay a $2100 "tax" each year for not having insurance, plus the full cost of your healthcare
3 Pay a minimum of about $3600 a year for a basic health plan that has a $6000 deductible





Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Gun training DERP

Here is a video from a police training site. There are so many testosterone laden idiots passing themselves off as firearms training experts, it simply makes me want to shake my head in disbelief. Is this REALLY what constitutes advanced police firearms training?

video

Why in the world would you ever need to train for an environment where you are in a gunfight with a disassembled pistol, a disabled arm, and wearing a gas mask? Seriously? This is simply pure stupidity, not to mention the multiple range safety violations.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Florida Open Carry bill

The proposed bill that would permit open carry in Florida is still alive.

As usual, the anti gun forces come with their main tool: Lies and misdirection. One of the things that makes me laugh is this part of the story:

Marion Hammer, long-time lobbyist for the NRA in Tallahassee, said that without open-carry, concealed-weapons permit-holders “are in danger of being arrested and prosecuted like a criminal if your gun accidentally and unintentionally becomes exposed to the sight of another person.”
“I don’t want to be arrested if my jacket blows open and somebody sees my gun and calls police,” she said.
Hammer cited anecdotal cases, but no statistical data, about people who have been arrested for inadvertent open-carry. Gaetz acknowledged there's been a "small handful" of cases.

While earlier in the article, this was said:

Meanwhile, critics also worry that an open-carry law might be a deterrent for visitors, harm the state's tourism economy and tarnish Florida’s image as a family-friendly destination.
Which isn't even anecdotal, it is purely speculative.

Here is what one sheriff had to say about the proposal:
Some people want to be police officers, like George Zimmerman did. We don’t need George Zimmermans walking around with firearms exposed.
Except Zimmerman was fully in compliance with the law, as it stands to day, and as it is proposed. Open carry would not have changed this case one bit, because it had nothing to do with open carry.

Pro rights folks are required to provide mountains of actual evidence, while anti gun forces can respond unchallenged with hypothetical speculation that is based on the thinnest shred of popular tripe.