Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Being a teacher sometimes means heartbreak. I am in the middle of my second year as a High School teacher. One of my students, a 17 year old girl who is a senior, was also one of my students last year. She is an A student, and works hard. She has a sweet disposition, and is one of my favorite students. The only family that the girl has is her mother, so she confided a lot of secrets to my girlfriend and me. She came to us for advice all of the time.

This morning, the girl woke up to a knock at the door. It was the police. They were there to tell her that her mother, the only family that she has, was killed the night before in a car accident while on the way home from work. This girl is a ward of the state, has no one, and doesn't know what to do with her life. She and some of her friends just left my house, and I am heartbroken for her. She has nowhere to turn, and no family to help her.

I don't know what else to say. What do you say to a 17 year old girl who just lost all of the family that she has in her life? Her first question for us was, "Will I still be able to stay in this school and graduate in June?"

Her entire life is in turmoil. She missed school today, and when she came over she tried to turn in her homework. Tomorrow, I am going to see about setting up a fund at the school for donations.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Schrodinger's pornography

According to some, the average American commits 3 felonies a day. In fact, I have blogged about this numerous times in the past. It used to be that felonies were serious crimes that placed the public in danger of the perpetrator. A person who has been convicted of a felony cannot vote or own a firearm. This case is a good example of how we have defined felony down to mean almost anything, including taking a selfie.

Two 16 year old children from North Carolina were facing a total of 14 years in prison for taking nude pictures of themselves and sending them to each other. They were charged with producing child pornography, transmitting child pornography, and possession of child pornography. Each of these crimes is a felony, and would earn the children a lifetime label of "sex offender," meaning that they would not be permitted to be near children, and could only live in communities that are filled with sex offenders. That is how we are protecting children, by convicting them of the crime of looking at themselves while nude, and then forcibly placing them in communities where they will live with actual sexual predators.

The most egregious part of this whole thing is that the law charged them as adults, for taking pornographic pictures of themselves, who are legally considered to be children. This means that they are considered to be both adults and children simultaneously. We will call this Schrodinger's pornography.

The children had to take a plea deal, or they would have had their lives ruined. The Huffington post would have defended them if they were a gay couple, but since the case involved a boy and a girl, they are not interested.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two posts in one!

I have spent the four years since I retired largely without health insurance. Since I was paying as I went, I only saw a doctor when I had a problem. I finally got a full time job that offers insurance, and I paid for the best plan they had, which costs me $40 a month by payroll deduction. I went to see a doctor. I had some complaints that I needed addressed, the largest of which was my high blood pressure. Over the past few years, I had been going to Mexico and buying blood pressure medication over the counter there, because it is cheaper to do so than seeing a doctor here.

I had also noticed, over the past six months some odd things with my health, and I thought I knew what the problem was, but needed a doctor to confirm it. It turns out that I was correct: I am now a diabetic. What this means is that I have to watch my diet, and I am going to be taking about 11 pills a day for the rest of my life. Failure to do so will result in my losing finger, toes, vision, kidneys, and finally having a heart attack. I would rather take the pills, thank you.

Diabetes can be managed, and it isn't the death sentence that it once was. However, it reminds you that you are mortal. 50 years old is just around the corner, and I am closer to 60 years old than I am to 35. It seems like just a few weeks ago that I was in my 20s.

Sic transit gloria mundi.

As to the insane cost of health care and medication:

I blame the insurance companies and the government for this. Why? Because every time I went for a checkup, the doctor wanted to do $500 worth of blood work. The fact that most people have insurance contributes to the cost of this blood work because this divorces the person receiving the service (the patient) from the person providing the service (the lab and the doctor) and the person paying for the service (the insurance company or the government, in the case of Medicare).

This distorts the supply/demand curve, as increasing prices do not reduce demand. What you get then, is people demanding for a product, cost be damned. When it isn't your money, it is easy to claim that money is no object. Once that happens, there is no market force to prevent costs from going up, but lots of demand for products and services, which drives prices through the roof. The other force that reduces supply, thus increasing cost, is government licensing of health professionals, but that is a post for another day.

Wanna find a way to reduce costs? The purchaser and the user HAVE to be the same person. In a government run healthcare system, the government is the purchaser AND the payer, and you as the patient get whatever services that the purchaser decides you get. In a private system, the user is the purchaser and payer.

Friday, September 18, 2015


Three years ago, I opened an account at Prosper. I opened the account with $50 as a test of the company. I loaned $50 for 60 months at 23.96%. the borrower had requested 25,000, and I supplied $50 of that.

The borrower made timely payments for about three years, and I rolled over the $35 that had been repaid to me into a 36 month loan at 16.90%.

Both borrowers have since defaulted. I wound up getting $20.12 of my original $50 investment back. In other words, I lost 59% of my investment.

Then I ran across this article about how the big banks have taken over peer to peer lending.

I have decided that I do better in the casino than I do investing. I played in the stock market, and lost more than half of my money when the market crashed in 2008.

I tried peer to peer, where I lost 60% of my money.

I tried real estate when I bought a house in 2007, only to see it lose half its value two years later.

I am actually on the plus side from playing Craps in the casino.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Reasonable discussion

The anti gunners keep saying that they want a reasonable discussion about gun control.

Here is how a recent discussion that I had with an anti gunner went:

Anti gunner:
A strong majority of gun owners and non gun owners support stronger restrictions on firearms, according to a national survey conducted by Johns Hopkins University.

You know that reading a news story about a study is not the same thing as seeing the study, right? Let me look at the study and see what it says. I have been searching the databases, but can't seem to find the study anywhere.Would you happen to know the author or the title of the study?

I really don't care. I think Most NRA member lie though their teeth. Their a bunch of sick evil people in my book. I compare them to being members of some demonic church of the gun. Feeding on the Blood of the Innocent.

So much for reasonable discussion. That is what they think of you.

Another anti gunner on the same site came out with the "we should treat cars like guns" meme, and I countered with LawDog's theory on why that isn't REALLY what they want. My post was deleted. Reasonable discussion, indeed.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sigh. The parents are even worse.

In the writing assignment here, I assigned this paper to my 120 students. Here is the breakdown:

Of the 60 who turned in the assignment:
In 7 of them, at least 50% of the content in it was plagiarized from internet sources (I use to catch plagiarism, and the students know it, so I don't understand how they think they will get away with it)


A or B: 15

C level work: 19

D level work: 20

F: 15

Zero for cheating (plagiarism): 7
53 of them did not even attempt the assignment and got a zero

7 turned the assignment in at least three days late, and had their grade reduced accordingly

To help the kids, I have a class website, where:

I post the rubric that I use to grade the papers. This rubric tells the kids exactly what criteria I use for grading. They all know EXACTLY what they need to do in order to get a decent grade.

I post a sample of an A level paper, so they know what one looks like.

I post the requirements for the paper, including the due date and the website where they are to submit the paper. Even so, I still get parents who email me and complain that their precious snowflake wasn't aware of the (due date, late policy, plagiarism policy, method of citing another's work, or other requirement) and can't I make an exception?

It has gotten to the point where I have to have the students sign a paper saying that they are aware of the class requirements. Last week, I had a parent go all legal on me and try to say that a child's signature on the paper is meaningless because children can't enter contracts. Another said to me, "So what, no one actually reads that stuff before they sign it."


Saturday, September 12, 2015

A new dark age

When I was in school, we were all taught that the period of time between the collapse of the Roman empire and the beginning of the Italian Renaissance was called the Dark Age. The reason it was referred to as such, was there was a general collapse of society, resulting in a loss of knowledge, a decline in the arts, and great societal upheaval. Of course, there are now historians who are attempting to deny those ideas, and since I am no historian, nor was I there, I cannot say either way.

***EDITED TO ADD: I am a Science teacher, and we are required to give students a certain number of literacy assignments each year, so that the kids can practice their writing and reading skills. In this assignment, they had to discuss a science topic of their choice, describing the facts and science behind their subject, and providing evidence for their statements using valid, peer reviewed references. END EDIT *****

What I can say is that we are seeing the dawn of a "Dark Age" of our own. Perhaps we can call it "the Great Unlearning." As a teacher, I can say that the children who are making it to High School  are functional idiots in many cases. Let me show you an excerpt of a paper that I received this week. This paper was written by a High School Senior, and I looked at his grades from the first three years of English class, and they are all B's. This year in Senior English, his average is currently a 93%. Read on, and see the language skills that net you a 93%:
Next there is many emotions related to music, their can be high alerting if the tone of a song or pitch is high or low in a song. According to songs with positivity, this will put a high amount of good emotion on a person who was in a bad mood.  If someone listens to "Eye of  The Tiger" by Savior, they are going to be put into a better mood because there is a positive message involved with this song. Your brain is effected by your emotions when you listen to certain music such as mellow tunes, or heavy metal.
Now I know what you are thinking: You think that this cannot be typical, and I can understand where that comes from. Let's look at another student's work. This student is a Senior who, according to her father, is leaving next fall for college as a pre-med student. She has 2 A's and a B for her previous three English classes, and is currently earning a 91% in her Senior English class:
Plants are very important for us to live. The oxygen that is made for millions of dollars, they give us for free. Plants have some requirements in order to sustain life, stay health, and green. Every living thing on earth has some requirements to live. For example, alligators need fish for survival, hens need insects for survival, fish need water for survival and tiger need meat for the survival. Every living thing in the world has different requirements for the survival and if one of their requirements is not met, they will have some kind of loss.
One more sample of what I have been dealing with. This student is a Sophomore, and he earned a 79% for his final grade in English last year. He currently has a 78% in English this year.

If you were to listen to music while working. Which music genre way to help you focus more. This project will come in handy for teachers that allow students to listen to music so they can prefer what the student will listen too.
First Off, It would help us in many ways such as stops us from talking and also let us focus and finish our work quicker. During class say you have headphones on and keeping your brain focus on schoolwork you would be focus and not be able to get distracted by friends and people sitting around you. Also while listening music it helps you get your work done Quicker so you’re not stranded during class and also it will keep you out of trouble from talking and interrupting the teacher.
I have copied and pasted the excerpts above EXACTLY as they were written by the student. These are their own words, just as they were written. I have a total of 120 students this year, and I let them pick the topic for this writing assignment. Only 63 of them even bothered to do the assignment, and of those 63, more than half of them read like the ones I posted above. 

I am not permitted to give failing marks to all of my students, so I have to endure drivel like this. It doesn't surprise me that 22% of Americans don't know the difference between Astrology and Astronomy,  or that 42% of Americans believe that 9/11 was either an inside job, or that the entire attack was faked. I also think that polls showing 9% of America thinks that the moon landings were faked are overly optimistic.

The school where I teach is an A-rated school, and the students who attend the school score much higher on standardized assessments than the average student. It makes me believe that this nation is entering what will one day be described as the American dark ages.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Trustworthy, or not?

I became a teacher after I retired from over 20 years as a firefighter and paramedic, where I spent part of my career working with the SWAT team. I spent years as an IDPA competitor, and I am a military veteran. I have carried a concealed weapon for more than 25 years. A permit that has allowed me to carry a weapon into McDonald's, Disney, public parks, streets and sidewalks. Not once have I used that weapon in a threatening or illegal manner. I have not even had a traffic ticket in more than a decade.
I have spent more than 30 years wearing one uniform or another, defending the people who could not defend themselves, saving lives, and helping others. In that time, I have had dozens of background checks for security clearances, teaching, firefighting, and paramedic licenses, as well as for concealed weapons permits. Again and again over the past three decades, I have proven my character, my devotion, and my trustworthiness.
I would, if necessary, lay down my life in defense of the children that have been placed in my care. Even in Kindergarten. Possibly YOUR children, if you are reading this.
Except the politicians have declared that I am not permitted to do so, because they don't trust me. So instead, I must sit in the dark, unarmed, unable to protect those children, hiding and waiting for help that may not come, wait with your children to die at the hands of a madman who didn't obey your laws or your signs.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Police State

The following is a list of the law enforcement agencies with a presence in Washington, DC:

First, there are the Feds. There are over 6,000 Federal Law enforcement agents and police in DC, but no one outside of high level government officials is sure how many more than 6,000 there are, because that is classified:
The US Secret Service
US Park Police (1,800 officers in the park police alone)
FBI Special Investigations
US Marshals
Armed Forces Retirement Home Police
National Zoological Park Police
US Capitol Police
US Supreme Court Police
Smithsonian Police
US State Department Diplomatic Security Service
US Naval Criminal Investigative Service
US Army Criminal Investigative Service
US Air Force Office of Special Investigations
US Coast Guard Criminal Investigative Service
US Pentagon Police
US Department of Defense Police
US Mint Police
Bureau of Engraving and Printing Police
US Postal Police
Homeland Security Investigations
FBI Police (uniformed division)
Federal Protective Service
Government Printing Office Police
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives
Federal Bureau of Prisons Police
Drug Enforcement Administration
US Department of Veterans Affairs Police
Amtrak Police
US Army Military Police Corps
US Federal Reserve Police

Second are the Municipal police agencies, with a total of more than 5,200 sworn officers:
District of Columbia Metropolitan Police
District of Columbia Protective Services Police
District of Columbia Department of Corrections
District of Columbia Public Library Police
District of Columbia Public Schools Police
District of Columbia Housing Authority Police

Then there are the college campus police, representing more than 1,000 more law enforcement officers:
American University Police Department
Catholic University Department of Public Safety
Gallaudet University Department of Public Safety
George Washington University Police Department
Georgetown University Police Department
Howard University Campus Police
University of the District of Columbia Police Department

In all, there are more than 12,000 law enforcement personnel in the DC area, meaning that there are more than 2,000 law enforcement officers for every 100,000 residents. This makes Washington DC the most heavily policed city in the world.

With that, DC saw its 105th murder of the year in July, meaning that the city is on pace to see a murder rate of more than 16 per 100,000 for 2015. This makes DC's murder rate more than three times higher than the national average, and the highest in the nation.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

You are required to help the police

or you will go to jail.

How is that? A man named Devonte Conerly who was suspected in a hit and run incident, and was allegedly tried to disarm the police officer who was attempting to arrest him. The police officer asked the crowd nearby to help him, and no in the crowd did anything to intervene. Officers responding to the original officer's call for help eventually subdued and handcuffed Conerly.

What did they do next? They threatened the members of the crowd with arrest under section 13A of Alabama's legal code, which reads:

(a) A person commits the crime of refusing to aid a peace officer if, upon command by a peace officer identified to him as such, he fails or refuses to aid such peace officer in:
(1) Effecting or securing a lawful arrest; or
(2) Preventing the commission by another person of any offense.
(b) A person is not liable under this section if the failure or refusal to aid the officer was reasonable under the circumstances. The burden of injecting this issue is on the defendant, but this does not shift the burden of proof.
(c) Refusing to aid a peace officer is a Class C misdemeanor.
So you MUST, by law, assist any officer who asks for assistance. Even so, the Supreme Court has decreed that the police do not have to help YOU if you are asking. 44 of the 50 states have a similar statute.

Police have “no special duty” to aid a citizen facing an immediate lethal threat, according to the City Attorney of New York, in a successful bid to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Lozito. Lozito was nearly killed while subduing a spree killer named Maxim Gelman during a 2011 subway attack.

As Lozito placed Gelman in a chokehold, the maniac stabbed Lonzito in the head. Bleeding and struggling to retain consciousness, Lozito pleaded for help from NYPD Officer Terrance Howell, who was hiding behind a locked partition and refusing to get involved. It wasn't until AFTER Lozito managed to pin Gelman down and disarm him that Howell emerged from his secure location, officiously telling Lozito, “You can get up now.”

Howell did nothing to detain or subdue the murderer, but he was the one photographed triumphantly escorting Gelman away from the scene in handcuffs, and was called a “hero cop” in the media. He later admitted to a member of a grand jury that he hid from the suspect out of fear for his safety -- and no moral or policy consideration is more important than the sacred principle of "officer safety."

Here is the rub: the police officer is protected by quallified immunity if it turns out that the arrest or the force used to affect it is unlawful. You do not.

Guns versus prescription drugs

In the state of Florida for the year 2012, there were a significant number of cases where prescription painkilling drugs were the cause of a person's death.

The drug that caused the most deaths was alprazolam, commonly known as Xanax, which was responsible for 323 deaths. Xanaax is prescribed for anxiety disorders and panic attacks. No one ever died of a panic attack, and anxiety is not in itself a fatal condition. The drug that is most often used to treat it kills 323 people a year in Florida alone. Benzodiazepines, which is the family of drugs that include Xanax, killed 2,622 people in Florida in 2012.

Oxxycodone, which is prescribed by doctors as a painkiller and is sold under the name Oxycontin, kills 392 people in Florida each year. Pain is not a fatal condition, and doesn't kill anyone.

Prescription drugs account for 80.9 percent of all drug deaths when alcohol is excluded. The CDC reports that 46 (almost 17,000 per year) people die every day from prescription painkiller overdoses.  The rate of death for prescription painkillers is 11.1 per 100,000 for Florida in 2012.

Compare that to homicide: in 2012, there were 721 homicides in which a firearm was used as the murder weapon, for a firearm murder rate of  3.8 per 100,000. (In 2014, there were 687, a rate of 3.4 per 100,000)

I am not saying that we should make prescription drugs illegal. I am saying that we should look at the issues with firearms using a bit of perspective.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Lies is all they have

It's a common meme being spread by anti gun advocates: Australia passed strict gun control laws, and firearm homicides plummeted. Is it true, or isn't it?

According to the Australian Institute of criminology, the Australian crime rate since 1993 has looked thusly:
Year    Homicides
1993      296            
1994      288              
1995      321
1996      311  
1997      322
1998      284
1999      342  
2000      302
2001      306
2002      318
2003      302
2004      257
2005      270
2006      275
2007      247
2008      258
2009      261
2010      225
2011      236
2012      251

As you can see, the number of homicides in Australia has remained fairly stable. Of course, the anti gunners like to use "gun death" instead of all homicides, as if people who are killed by club wielding thugs are preferable to people being killed by gun wielding thugs. Let's look at violent crimes by weapon:

As you can see, the teal colored line is "firearms." That particular line shows that they DID indeed see a drop in "gun related" firearms deaths from 1996 to 1998. What the anti gunners fail to mention, however, is that drop was AFTER the year 1996, which saw a record number of firearm related homicides. The two year decline in gun related homicides brought the number of those homicides down to the same level as the  year 1995, the first year of the Australian gun laws were in effect. In other words, the gun law actually INCREASED the number of  gun related homicides for the two years after the law was passed. In fact, Australia saw firearm related homicides nearly DOUBLE  from 59 to 98 the year after the gun control laws were passed. Calling the fact that the number of homicides then dropped back down to 54 two years later a "plummet" in the number of homicides is misleading.
You should also note that the number of homicides committed with bare hands skyrocketed in the years following the gun law from 108 in 1995 to 151 in 2002, meaning that the now disarmed citizens are at the mercy of people who are strong enough to kill with their bare hands.
The overall number of homicides in Australia is nearly the same in 2012 as it was in 1994, the year before the gun laws went into effect.
In other words, the same number of murders are happening now as were happening in 1994, when there was no gun control in Australia.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Race war

For more than two years, I have warned that a race war appears to be coming. At least some blacks have decided to declare war on whites. Here is a video from one such person:

This is a domestic terrorist who has openly stated on the internet that he has declared war on all white people, and that his goal is to "kill crackers." The race war has begin, at least for some, and since this video is out there, anyone who winds up having to use deadly force in self defense against this man should produce this video and his website as evidence.

Whether or not you or I want there to be a race war, it appears as though there are some who have decided to start without us. Why isn't the Federal government investigating these groups as domestic terrorists? Why isn't the Southern Poverty Law Center listing them as a hate group?