Saturday, February 28, 2015

KERA's Curse – School-based Councils

In the largest pork-barrel legislation in the state's history at the time, the Kentucky Education Reform Act (KERA) of 1991 was the worst assault imaginable on two generations vis-a-vis their primary and secondary education possibilities, although the gradual disintegration of nearly all the act has lessened the effect in more recent years. The legislature is now in the process, at least hopefully, of dissolving the worst aspect of KERA, the school-based council consisting of the principle, two parents and three teachers. These councils rendered the elected school-boards virtually powerless.

These councils have had a stranglehold on the process, completely controlling curriculum, textbooks, and personnel, even to the hiring of their own principles. The state Supreme Court made it plain years ago that superintendents cannot overrule these councils in something as important as the hiring of a principle, ergo, just about everything else as well. The process has meant that grade-school students enter middle schools without any collective background and that middle-schoolers enter high schools the same way. The predictable result was the downward spiral of achievement across the board. Standardization has its place.

Additional KERA requirements: (1) Grades 1-3 combined; (2) Some reasonable method of testing; (3) Monetary awards to teachers, administrators and schools for simply doing their jobs; (4) Youth Service Centers; (5) Family Resource Centers; (6) Regional Service Centers. Busing (social engineering) had been such a colossal failure by 1991 that it played no part, thankfully, in KERA.

So, what happened? (1) Teachers simply ignored this foolishness and it was legislated out eventually. Strangely, part of KERA required that no more than two grades be mixed in grades 4-6, when by that time the 1-3 lunacy would have condemned the 4-6 gang even worse. (2) The worst messes imaginable accrued to testing, with tens of thousands paid to various private groups that were probably less able to perform than the locals. Some tests were even lost in the mail, not that it mattered a whit. One could read or listen to the media accounts and just laugh at the ineptness and waste.

Number (3) comprised a fiasco of enormous proportions. Predictably, some schools and staff were never to be eligible just because of the demographics so teachers and administrators did the necessary—they cheated on scores or whatever else and took the money. A $34 million trust fund was set up to assure the rewards. Students were bribed, even excused from school for doing their very best on tests which they were told meant nothing to their grades. They were even taken to amusements parks. The students didn't care about doing well on the tests since there was no grade-reward. This was stopped not long after it was begun but it reflected the mindset of the legislator—throw money at every problem.

There may have been some sense to (4) if it included actual tutoring. The major effect of (5) was probably that it provided baby-sitting (pre- and post-school-hours) for parents, although there may have been some social benefits. (6) The eight regional service centers were discontinued in July 2003, with the reason given that there was not enough money to support them. That reason was laughable since they were supposed to save the worst schools, obviously no matter the cost.

The system was called “outcomes-based education” and the major emphasis, unbelievably, was on enhancing self-esteem. More unbelievably, there was even serious consideration given to there being no winners/losers in sports, lest someone be offended. Because so many teachers retired when it was passed, KERA was dubbed the Kentucky Education Retirement Act or something like that. Harlan Representative Roger Noe sort of shepherded the bill through the legislature, if memory serves, and, ironically, was not returned to the legislature in 1993 after having served since the late 70s.

In an in interview with Eric Moyen (University of Kentucky) in March 2004, Noe, a college professor then and now, seemed to have second thoughts about KERA, or at least some of it, and expressed doubt that the legislature should ever enact pedagogy. He said he thought more of the old traditional philosophy and mentioned John Dewey, claiming “those folks may have been what we needed to stay with.” He was right. The solons were in way over their heads...but the pork can guarantee a legislative career...except for Noe, apparently.

And so it goes
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

School Transgender Nonsense

There seems no limit to the triviality connected to legislative sessions in Kentucky. The Senate Education Committee has just passed by 8-1 a bill for vote that simply requires public school students to use the toilets and locker-rooms designated for them based on their obvious gender. One wonders how this subject could even come up, much less be taken seriously.

The big thing in political correctness currently is the “transgender issue.” Should a student who has all the attributes of a male be allowed to use the girls' facilities if he announces that he is actually a female dressed as a male? Likewise, the female student who claims transgender-status using the boys' locker-room after a hard day's practice in football or volleyball, respectively.

The main claim of the transgenders has to do with bullying, although such would never occur normally if they just went about their business and said nothing about their gender hangup. Classmates don't know them by their psychological structure but as other-sex only if they're immature (or dumb) enough to announce to one and all that they're “different.” This is probably what has happened.

One would think a sensible parent or other appropriate person would take care of this matter by simply telling the youngster that the world doesn't revolve around him/her, and that 99.99% of female students should not be exposed to a guy doing his thing (such exposure means jail time legally), and vice versa for the girls, just so he/she can prove something, namely that school administrators are mentally-challenged enough to even bother with this problem.

The lone negative Senate vote was cast by Lexington's Senator Reginald Thomas, who said such a law “will stigmatize transgender students.” Just the opposite is true. A boy entering the girls' facilities automatically stigmatizes himself. A girl entering the boys' facility might suffer the stigma attached to just “wanting some,” especially after hours.

Exactly how does a principle determine the truth when a guy with male features and dressed as a male announces himself as transgender and therefore entitled to feminine privileges? Surely just his word is not good enough. Absent a clinical determination (if there is such a thing), the boy is a boy. Even if he shows up in feminine attire he's still masculine, all the artificial processes to make him look girlish (transvestite-mode) notwithstanding.

The same is true with respect to girls. Is a girl's word all that's necessary for special gender-treatment, the privilege of showering with the boys after a phys. ed. class? Or, should she just be told to disrobe before the lady teachers in order to prove her masculinity or lack thereof? Thomas's sense of stigmatization is about as warped as it gets.

Thomas may not have thought of a more serious problem connected with gender-reversal as related to the rest rooms and other gender-related issues, such as eligibility for sports teams. Picture the girl in the boys locker-room shower after a football practice when one of the guys suggests to the other guys having some fun with her, all of them high on Gatorade, with the adrenalin still coursing through their hormones. No one is thinking of consequences (sophomores thinking ahead not likely), so there could be hell to pay all around.

In this era of political correctness, think what would happen if a girl claims to be a boy and presents herself to the football coach. Or, think of the boy who presents himself to the girls' volleyball coach and tries to un-embarrassingly wear the little hot-pants gear designed for voyeurism as much as for any athletic reason.

The financial cost of building new rest/locker-rooms is obvious, not to mention the stigma attached to those who must use unisex facilities, although the transgender-claimers might just be seeking notoriety for the everyday attention and enjoy being watched. Sexual perversions of one kind or another are big right now in the world of political correctness and being thought “different” can be very attractive to an immature student. Is it any wonder that ISIS uses Twitter to recruit teenagers on the basis of be-headings, stoning, amputations, etc.?

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


At the midpoint of Black History Month and especially during the exact celebration of President's Day, President Obama spent a bachelor golfing-weekend in California, landing back in Washington on Air Force One in a snowstorm on the evening of 16 February. At the same time, virtually the eastern half of the nation was undergoing some of the most threatening weather in a long time, with thousands if not millions losing utilities and facing subzero temperatures. Boston, for instance, is trying to dig out from some nine feet of accumulated snow.

Just as the case with the executive orders unconstitutionally governing immigration, this move was an in-your-face gesture to the body politic. The president is so severely lame-duck currently that he seems to have decided to ride it out until January 2017 by having a good time flying AF-1 all over the country to make speeches simply to make speeches and play golf.

Perhaps he's recognized finally that he's relatively irrelevant, a president with no policies concerning much of anything except his pet project—immigration amnesty of one kind or another and an occasional cheap shot at policemen, something never done, of course, in his hometown of Chicago, where life in gangland is worth about what it is in ISIS-land. The nation is not with him as he flounders in Islam-protection mode, though he makes solemn pronouncements occasionally regarding the gratuitous genocide taking place in Syria, Iraq and—now—Libya by monsters operating in the name of ALLAH, with the Koran and ayatollahs calling the shots.

He may not have recognized that his legacy is going down in flames before it even has a chance at ignition. The Libyan-ISIS connection has just beheaded 21 Christians on the shores of the Mediterranean not far from Benghazi, Obama's chosen place about which to tell perhaps his biggest LIE, aided and abetted by his then state secretary, who may have the audacity to try for his job. These tragic murders would not have happened but for Obama's decision—with no congressional consultation/participation—to attack Libya in 2011 as his contribution to the ISLAMIC-inspired Arab Spring, which resulted in the utter devastation of Libya, now being rapidly taken over by ISIS.

This is the centerpiece of the Obama legacy...the murder of both a nation and much of its population. His legacy will not be Obamacare. His legacy will consist of decisions so wrong as to defy comprehension, especially as commander-in-chief, a constitutional office he has besmirched even as he consistently reminds the great unwashed that he speaks and the world jumps...except that it doesn't. He has introduced the non-American concept of “leading from behind,” thus making him and the office a laughingstock worldwide.

His misjudgment a year ago of ISIS (that “jay-vee” outfit) will appear in the history books as a glaring and damning event of immense proportions. Most folks do not expect him to put an army on the ground in the Middle East—and he shouldn't—to fight hopeless losing-wars for people too weak or cowardly to protect themselves. But folks do expect him to tell it like it is, to wit, that Islam is a curse upon the world and that—one way or another—its jihad operatives, governments in some cases, must be eliminated. Until he puts the arm (sanctions and weapons, for instance) on the governments of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and even Algeria and Morocco (troop-strength of 130,000 and 195,800, respectively, to add to the more-than-a-million troop-strength of the others, not to mention hundreds of planes and other weapons), this cancer on the world will metastasize.

Leading from behind will not get this done. Muslims will have to fight Muslims until the Muslims of ISIS are totally neutralized. The president is overseeing a diminishing of U.S. military capability at the very time he should be enhancing it in a world possibly as dangerous as that of the 1930s-40s, when nazi Germany, fascist Italy and imperial Japan decided to conquer free nations and then fight each other to the death to rule the world. Jordan and Egypt have joined the battle but only after the latest atrocities, the immolation of a Jordanian pilot and the beheading of the Coptic Christians.

To his credit, Obama is not willing to sacrifice blood and treasure for losing causes but he must step up and lead in the fight against ISIS, which has announced and is fulfilling its plan to savage Christians and set up a worldwide caliphate on bloody Sharia Law. It's the Crusades all over again and Western Civilization must NOT lose. The Saracens are at the gates of Europe in force (especially Italy now) and in sleeper cells everywhere.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, February 15, 2015

High Horse Tallyho!

Dear President Obama:

There are bunglers in the operation I head, the Institute for Modifying All Governmental Entities, known familiarly as IMAGE, so I feel your pain when inferiors must be disciplined, dismissed, even water-boarded occasionally, though I appreciate your good judgment in being discreet about that. The rumor that you have threatened Axelrod account the assertion in his book that you lied about same-sex marriage in 2008 is, I'm sure, unfounded, since you said in 2012 what you said in Illinois in 1996, to wit, that same-sexing should have its whoopee made legal.

My effort herein is to suggest that you consider heading an arm of IMAGE upon your retirement from the presidency in 2017, assuming you avoid impeachment and conviction by those squirrelly republicans or, heaven forbid, being caught in a crossfire in Chicago or on the practice-green among jealous golfers with handicaps higher than yours. Your recent prayer-breakfast speech—a work of teleprompting that even God must envy—has triggered the need for a new IMAGE agency to be called the Headquarters for Instituting Gregarious Humorous Hegemony Over Relatively Senseless Erudition, to be labeled inevitably by the talk-show lunatics by its acronym HIGH HORSE, though this title is merely coincidental and has nothing to do with that part of your God-informing homily (He may not have noticed) regarding the location of the disreputable proletariat.

HIGH HORSE will develop strategies for avoiding too much seriousness about any subject, such as ISIS decapitations, starving Kurds or date-rape. These things call for consideration, of course, but have existed ever since people evolved from snail darters—little joke there to prove my point that a bit of levity is always in order, else the whole population suffer PTSD of one kind or another. Fox News listeners will be taught through HIGH HORSE, for instance, that the so-called political analysts (mostly lady lawyers in miniskirts) are in the tradition of Jon and games masquerading as intellect and should be the case.

In the planning as a part of HIGH HORSE is an agency labeled the Societal Laboratory for Acknowledging Vicious Enslavement amidst Righteous Yammering or SLAVERY, for short. You made it clear at the prayer breakfast that folks in the U.S. carried on slavery in the name of Christ, implying that perverse pontificating by preachers sanctified the practice. It will be the business of SLAVERY to put the clerics (especially evangelicals) on notice (especially in Mississippi) that they are racist, bigoted, discriminatory, disingenuous and therefore guilty of verbal hate crimes, with AG Holder on their case. Just as the president has determined that the term “terrorist” be replaced by “man-caused-disaster,” he is signing an executive order that the term “hell” be replaced by “la-la-land” and anyone continuing to mention hell will be prosecuted.

Within SLAVERY is planned the Council on Heretical Rhetoric Invoking Sanctimonious Torpor, or CHRIST, for short. The Rev. Dr. Presidential-Adviser Resident-Tax-Cheat Protest-Organizer/Looter-in-Chief Al Sharpton is being considered for this job since he's a theological heavyweight and can reinterpret the scriptures to indicate that God wants his followers to do absolutely nothing religious, evangelical, prosyletizing or spiritual since to do so causes excitement, especially among the Tea Party gang, which it is rumored will soon organize tee-ins at golf courses, thus embarrassing the president. Sharpton has already prepared a manual entitled “Theological Torpor,” which will also contain a chapter on the glories of same-sex marriage, thus encouraging heresy among the great unwashed Bible-thumpers.

Finally, there will be a sister-agency under your direction as an extra enticement called the Constitutional Reordering of Ugly Sanctions Against Diversity Excellence, or CRUSADE, for short. This working group under your direction will devise ways to essentially neutralize the Bill of Rights, a favorite subject of yours. For instance, you can work to prove that freedom of religion means that Muslims cannot be frisked for suicide vests and that European Christians who fought Saladin were warmongers, not Christ-followers and should have worshiped Allah, with Muhammad as his prophet.

As you often say on your way via Air Force One to the golf course du jour, there's more work to be done. Once out of office, you will have it made in running HIGH HORSE and CRUSADE.

Best regards,
I.M. Otherself, CEO

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Friday, February 13, 2015

Subterfuge as Sanctuary

Much has been made of the fact lately that NBC news anchor Brian Williams has been guilty of lying in some of his “reports,” though news-anchor reports are always suspect since they seem to be done on a quick trip somewhere to show up in whatever wardrobe fits the circumstance, climate, etc., and confer with the reporter on the spot, perhaps even giving greater credibility to whatever is said/shown just by his/her august presence. Such was the case back in 2003 when Williams reported from Iraq that the helicopter he was riding had been shot down.

Williams lied. The helicopter blessed with his presence landed safely. Williams made a weak apology the other day and allowed that he'd step down for a while. That was sort of a lie, too, since it happens that NBC has actually suspended him without pay for six months, as if six months will magically restore his credibility. According to CELEBRITY NETWORK, Williams “earns” $13 million annually so he's coughing up $6.5 million for a lesson too late for the learning. CN claims his net worth at $40 million, so don't shed any crocodile tears. Unfortunately, some subsequent fact-checking has produced other Williams shady shenanigans, so NBC may suggest another line of work for him.

If anything, NBC is guiltier than Williams since employees ranging from those who just carried Williams's luggage to his producers to the camera-people to the head honchos at the system knew about this stuff and just sat on it. This reminds of the “Dan Rather Subterfuge” back in 2004 when he and CBS tried to ride out the storm occasioned by Rather's bogus documents claiming military dereliction by George Bush. Finally, some folks were fired but Rather got to stay on until he sort of disintegrated and disappeared.

The consensus is that NBC as well as CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC are shills for the Democrat Party in general and Barack Hussein Obama in particular. This is interesting in considering the positions Obama has taken on same-sex marriage. His campaign honcho, David Axelrod, has just published a book in which he notes that Obama lied in 2008 when he said marriage was a man-woman thing, not same-sex. Obama was very emphatic. In 2012, Obama claimed he had “evolved” to the point (evolution is such an exact science) of understanding that marriage between homosexuals was quite normal. 1996 when he was running for the Illinois State Senate, he said he favored legalizing same-sex marriages and would fight efforts to prohibit them—strong stuff. So, is there a serial liar in the White House in the Williams tradition, a sort of extension of NBC on governmental steroids? The president said he knew nothing about “Fast & Furious” or the IRS manhandling of the Tea Party and insisted that a 13-minute YouTube film caused the “Benghazi Massacre.” These were momentous affairs that could not have escaped his attention...thus the LIE. He even cited the Benghazi lie in a speech to the United Nations two weeks after disgorging the initial lie in the Rose Garden while on his way to a fund-raiser in Hollywood.

Okay...there are liars in both political parties, maybe ALL political parties. But democrats seem to have a natural—even compulsive—talent for it, especially when the stakes are high. The consensus is that Hillary Clinton will be the presidential nominee in 2016, though she has been very quiet for the last six months or so. That's just as well since she told an even bigger lie than Williams, Rather or Obama when she claimed in 2008 that she had undergone sniper-fire in Bosnia in 1996 and had to run for it, with Chelsea at her side, as if the army would have let the then first lady and first daughter anywhere near sniper-land. She and Chelsea simply walked across the tarmac at an airport and were greeted by a pretty girl-sniper holding a bouquet.

Williams, Obama and Clinton all told lies that—surely to their knowledge—could be easily exposed just by the cameras and mikes that recorded what actually was the truth. Or...could it be that they were actually ignorant of that fact? Or...could it be that they were/are so cynical that they figured it didn't matter, sort of like they could walk on water and the great unwashed could just suck it up? Shades of NBC and CBS—just like Rather—that's probably the answer.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Obama & the CRUSADES

This is what President Obama said in his speech at the Prayer Breakfast in Washington the other day: “And lest we get on our high horse and think this [prostituting religion, presumably] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was [sic] justified in the name of Christ.”

There's no argument with the fact that people since the beginning and for whatever reason have committed atrocities sometimes too horrific to imagine. There is an argument, however, when any historical event(s) is referenced but judged outside its proper context. This is what the president did. The Crusades (officially, more or less, between 1098 and 1291) represented contests for territory more than for religious reasons in that the Muslim thrust, perhaps beginning with the conquest by Muslims of Jerusalem in 638, had to do with subjecting whole populations and their territories. This would be akin to the Baptists attempting to take over Catholic New Orleans...a land-grab.

Muhammad (530-632) was a caravan-raider and also participated in tribal warfare. In 610, he declared receiving revelations from Allah through the angel Gabriel (apparently co-opted from Holy Scripture), began preaching to his own tribe and claimed his position to be that of prophet. His “brethren” in Mecca would have none of it and he was forced to make his headquarters in Medina in 622, from where he and his followers remained solvent by raiding caravans, with horrible violence part of the action, not to mention vindictiveness against the “brethren.” Not long after, Jerusalem fell, thus the contention established between the followers of God of the Bible and the followers of Muhammad.

The Islamic movement headed west throughout North Africa and even into Spain (Muslims called Moors), an actual invasion of Europe, in 711. The Moors ruled Spain until they were defeated in 1492 at Granada by the Católicos (Catholics). In the meantime, Muslim forces contested with Christian (actually mostly Catholic) forces back and forth as Muslims (remember the great Saladin) tried to take over Europe, with the Crusades organized to push back. The battles didn't stop in 1291 but continued for centuries into the 1600s...Ukraine, Vienna, Poland, for instance. The Muslim effort was always to establish the worldwide Caliphate, the announced goal of ISIS today.

The battles were actually wars no different from wars today, for territory. It happened that they pitted Muslims against Christians, each faction claiming divine ordination from Allah (actually Muhammad) and God of the Bible, respectively. So, Crusaders fought in the name of Christ, something for which everyone in Europe and the U.S. should be proud and grateful. Imagine Sharia Law in all statehouses, courthouses and in Washington, especially as applied to women.

The president's allusion to slavery and Jim Crow as being justified in the name of Christ comprised a cheap shot. There may have been some zealots back in the day who approved and/or preached that contemptible position but there was never any movement—at least to my knowledge—which had as its focus God of the Bible ordaining slavery. The entire world economy almost from the beginning of the human race was built upon slavery, the strongest subjecting the weakest. Scripture-writers dealt with it as a fact of life ordained by morally challenged people and even included rules dedicated to the treatment of slaves, but the practice was conducted in the name of homo sapiens.

The president made a feeble attempt to tiptoe around what everyone in the room knew to be a curse on the world—militant Muslims conducting jihad, the actual proponents of slavery as exercised against the infidel. It's called Dhimmitude. Officials of Islam, as must all Muslims, admit that according to the Koran the infidel is to be killed, pay a tax or become a slave. This is sort of understandable because Obama's entire childhood was Muslim-oriented. Using a prayer breakfast to further divide people into camps, however, by trying to get them to “understand” what is beyond comprehension, to wit, more than a billion Muslims worldwide failing to neutralize murderers claiming divine impetus for genocide—often torturous beyond belief—was disingenuous, dishonest, totally out of place.

Of course, it could be that the president is ignorant of the history. That's even worse.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, February 08, 2015

ISIS & the U.S.

Muslims make up 7.5% of the population of France. That might not sound like a lot but if that percentage were applied to the U.S. there would be some 24,000,000 Muslims in this country, roughly equal to the entire populations of the adjacent states of Illinois and Indiana. Currently, there are about 6,700,000 Muslims in the U.S., or 2.1% of the total population. Though largely concentrated in a handful of states, they live throughout the country and their mosques, having expanded in number by around 75% in the last 13-15 years, now number more than 2,100.

Though it's politically incorrect to say anything about Islam since it's alleged to be a religion, one has to take notice of the possible number of “sleeper cells” in a population of about 1.5 million households, with four members as the average makeup. In the obviously expanding number of such households will be an increase in the number of mosques, some of which have already been quietly infiltrated by agencies such as the FBI because planning for terrorism-activity has been proven to take place in these supposed places of prayer and worship.

The recent “Charlie Hebdo & Deli Massacres” in Paris perhaps form just the tip of the iceberg in the total amount of problems created by Muslims in France, in which by 2030, according to a recent TIME article, Muslims will make up 10.3% of the population. This will happen while the birth-rate of the French-Europeans falls below sustainability. A similar situation exists in Austria, Belgium and Sweden but by a significant degree throughout Europe, thus increasing the number of sleeper cells, the small groups of mostly young Muslims, many if not most born in European countries (homegrown), who have been or are being taught how to make weapons of mass destruction (bombs) and in some cases brainwashed into considering homicide-suicide missions.

The claim is often made, especially by elected officials like Senators McCain and Graham, that ISIS must be defeated on the ground in Syria/Iraq in order to militate against these sleeper cells; however, the word is out in the ISIS entity now that would-be jihad fighters traveling to the Middle East are being encouraged to stay home and do their mischief there. Training for ground-battle prepares no one for sleeper-cell activity since these cell-members will never openly fight anyone in this country, not even the police. They can learn from manuals and even the Internet how to make bombs, strap them on and trigger them, whether suicidally or by remote-control.

ISIS does need to be thoroughly defeated on the ground because its goal is the conquering and enslaving of the people in the Middle East and northern Africa and eventually the world. The countries in the area know this—Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Turkey, each having a border with Syria/Iraq. Currently, 90% of the aerial activity to defeat ISIS is said to be carried out by the U.S., not these countries, in either drone or fighter action. This should not be the case, and President Obama is right in insisting that no significant number of U.S. troops should be on the ground anywhere over there.

Saudi troop-strength stands at 233,500 boots that can be on the ground in Iraq in a matter of hours. The Saudi capital, Riyadh, is only some 300 miles from the Iraqi border and ISIS strength is said to number only about 40,000 fighters, giving the new king an advantage of about 7-to-one. The king also has 1,095 tanks; 7,202 armored fighting vehicles; multiple rocket-launch systems and 652 military aircraft, 229 of which are deadly, modern jet-fighters secured from the U.S. and Europe. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan and Iran, which have troops numbering respectively, 233,500; 510,600; 100,500; and 523,000...for a total of 1,367,600 boots can put them on the ground immediately to stop evil ISIS. This doesn't even count Iraq, which this year is supposed to have 271,400 boots of its own minus the deserters and defectors.

ISIS is a greater threat to these countries (all that oil) than to the U.S., and it's the elephant in their collective living-room. In a matter of days, they could drive ISIS into oblivion, with or without the U.S. It's time for the Shi'ites and Sunnis to bury the hatchet, clean out ISIS and then fight each other if so inclined. Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. can do their job, as they have been doing anyway, in discovering and neutralizing the sleeper-cell crowd.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

TIME & the Glass Ceiling

In the 09 February issue of TIME, editor Nancy Gibbs discussed the lack of women “at the top” (only 5% of Fortune CEOs) but also mentioned that 75% of women polled by REAL SIMPLE indicated no interest in their boss's job, preferring “happiness and a sense of purpose”—neither preference defined by Gibbs—over “fame or money.” TIME writer Rana Foroohar, in an article about the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, wrote that a proven solution for boosting economic growth was putting more women to work but lamented only 17% female participation at Davos. Could she be missing something?

More women- than men-students populate university campuses and are increasingly entering medical and legal professions. Soon if not already, most justice/court-systems will be run by women. Girls outperform boys scholastically K-12 as do females in college except perhaps in math. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges (November 2013), 31.9% of physicians are women. According to the American bar Association (July 2014), 34% of practicing attorneys are women, both figures representing enormous expansion in the last 40 years and climbing rapidly.

Foroohar suggested that the government—presumably on all levels—should subsidize child-care, thus freeing women to do their thing and climb the ladder, greatly increasing their income but necessitating political action, something she opined in short supply. In his $4 trillion budget plan, Obama has just included subsidized child-care and mandated birth-leave, mostly by soaking the rich. He said he wanted to replace “mindless austerity”—something the bankrupted Greeks seem about to try, with—“smart investments.” His attempt, predictably, is the socialist model...government even raising the children.

According to the Wall Street Journal (05 February 2014), 69.3% of women worked outside the home while the other 30.7% weren't even looking for work. Is Foroohar missing something here, too? She sells women short. While surely acknowledging the intellectual superiority of women, she insists on a certain victim-hood for them as if with all their smarts they can't get it together. Is income inequality (whatever that is) the fault of intellectually inferior men, who subject women to low wages just because they can?

The women's movement has always insisted upon unisex as norm, an obvious insanity but politically correct, notwithstanding that it equals women with men in every aspect up to and including physical strength but non-unisex-wise embodying the claim that men are not as smart as women. Yet, victim-hood is the scream. In both 2012 and 2013, the Pentagon reported that there were, coincidentally, exactly 26,000 unreported rapes in the military. The figure for 2014 will probably be the same since anything unreported can be...well, anything. But women military types are supposed to handle assault because they're taught how to protect themselves, even when falling-down drunk. Get the picture?

Victim-hood is claimed by brilliant college coeds vis-a-vis rape. College administrations hem and haw when they should be banning coed dorms and enforcing strict “rules of engagement” among equals. Coeds have carried stupidity (hormones over brains) to a new level by getting drunk, drugged and hanging out at bars and frat houses, all avoidable circumstances, then screaming rape. A tipsy University of Kentucky freshman coed allowed a tipsy guy in her dorm-room in January 2013 and something happened. She said rape, got the kit, the whole nine yards. According to him (no witnesses, of course): “He said, she said.” He went free, she committed suicide.

Finally—to get down and dirty chauvinistic—women often sell themselves as shallow, literally. A program on Fox News is called “Outnumbered,” a guy dressed to the nines on a couch with five women, knees forward and no coffee-table between viewer (voyeur) and group. The off-the-shoulder deep cleavage along with the high-thigh and never-uncrossed legs by the women told the story. The guy was there to talk. The ladies, steeped in leftover adolescence, seemed hellbent on showing everything they had. Taking them seriously was a laugh. The same is true in the serious news-programs. The picture accompanying Foroohar's piece included a picture of four CEO-type men—suit and tie—and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg— deep cleavage and bare thigh-to-foot—in the same pose...made her look silly and even disrespectful.

Lesson: Reality trumps whining and facts beat fantasy.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Lest We Forget


I hovered over trains and tracks each day
And watched as shipments came without delay,
The box-cars crammed with flesh and detritus,
The living and the dead bathed in their pus.
Storm troopers strutted, whips so quick to wield,
Their courage proved not on the battlefield,
But as they scourged and laughed with ridicule,
Defenseless masses died beneath their rule.

I watched as families were torn apart,
The children and the aged condemned to start
Their journeys to the gas striped by the lash,
Their bodies then cremated into ash.
The older, stronger ones with arms tattooed
Were listed just as numbers – garish, crude,
And herded toward the work-camps all around
Or into labs, with screams the only sound.

Throughout the deadly compounds rose the stench
As flames from charring bones the flesh would wrench
And then consume the whole in fiery glow
As martinets yet strutted to and fro.
Throughout the work-camps also rose the stench
As work from filthy bodies life would wrench,
The weaker ones went soon beneath the whip,
The road to charnel house their final trip.

I watched starvation take its daily toll –
It was a tool to gain complete control,
The martinets would laugh and lash in glee,
But starving ones came quietly to me.
The ones marked out like guinea pigs or mice
For every sadist’s fancy – volt or slice,
Throughout a threefold hell ere they could die
Like bugs were smashed…their ash then filled the sky.

Ten-thousands met their fate just through disease
While martinets kept strutting in their ease…
No doctors, medicines, no treatment there,
Regaining health was less than even rare.
Through fevered nights, they wept their bitter tears,
Warehoused in stacks like boxes tiers on tiers,
Emaciated bodies broken, bare,
Were sanitized in flames…then filled the air.

Oh yes…I had been there at Anzio,
Throughout the South Pacific…at Iwo,
I gathered in those places friend with foe,
Saw battle-hardened troops their mettle show.
They came to me – to Death – I gathered them,
They came blood-soaked and spewing bloody phlegm,
They came with honor, fighting for a cause,
They faced me, fears in check, without a pause.

But Auschwitz…what an evil travesty
On what Almighty God had meant to be
A thing of beauty…yes…and called mankind
But seen in martinets so ill-defined!
At Auschwitz they became an evil force,
Satanic animals…sadistic…coarse,
Who sent their victims, shorn of dignity,
So inhumanely…yes…they cursed to me.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

Sunday, February 01, 2015


Ripoffs of taxpayers are routine in Kentucky in every government department, both local and state. They're possible because legislative bodies and/or other entities such as school boards are empowered to tax citizens, who often don't notice how they're manipulated. Recent shenanigans in every entity from the airport board to those outfits ostensibly serving towns and counties (Bluegrass District something or other, for instance) have been egregious, especially, in granting inflated salaries for the anglers who can work the systems.

Public education systems are ripe for ripoff. Case in point: State Auditor Edelen found long ago that the administration of the Lexington/Fayette County School System had so messed-up its finance-arrangement that the school-board was forced to hire someone to straighten it out. Firing the perpetrators of the mess might have been appropriate but that didn't happen. Kyna Koch was hired months ago as a consultant to help do the job.

Alas...the system is in such a mess that it hasn't been fixed, so Ms. Koch will be paid $10,000 a month through June to get this done. Predictably—Ms. Koch, apparently no longer just a “consultant,” has been given a title for her new “temporary” job: Administrative Services Senior Director. Nice work if you can get it...but a sharp MBA grad at UK or certified CPA could probably straighten out the mess in a month for a song. The job hasn't been advertised for perhaps less cost, but so what!

Only in education Kentucky-style could such an important official have as a task (probably her main task), as reported in the Lexington Herald-Leader of 30 January, helping two employees to make the “financial picture really sound.” Really? Edelen described the relationship between the budget director and the finance director as “toxic,” so Koch's job is to get them to at least speak and okay the official spreadsheet. Egad! What happens if the toxicity remains? Firing either of them would be impossible, lawsuits being routine, with the school-board losing every time.

Education often equals greed and graft. The law concerning the president of the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education: “The president shall be compensated on a basis in excess of the base salary of any president of a Kentucky public university. The council shall set the salary of the president, which shall be exempt from state employee salary limitations as set forth in KRS 64.640.” The CPE administrator's credentials (or lack) matter not a whit vis-a-vis salary.

University of Kentucky President Capilouto's base salary, perhaps the highest and last adjusted in September 2014, is $535,000 plus $150,000 in bonuses, so CPE President King must be paid more than $535,000 or more than $685,000, depending upon the whim of the CPE council. Whether the housing and automobiles and country club memberships are also counted could apply. Who knows? The Fayette County School superintendent is worth at least a quarter-million per year, while teachers average around $50,326 (2013). The point: Administrators are grossly overpaid, though not to the extent of assistant football/basketball coaches at UK, who make better than half-a-mil annually and with perks probably approach $600,000—in the name of education.

Jay Box, newly installed president of KCTCS (community colleges) should gripe because he's being paid less than his predecessor, who was the highest paid community-college president in the whole nation. Box will make only $345,000, while his predecessor made $328,326, plus a $78,000 bonus, a $90,000 housing allowance (okay, rent is high these days), and a $43,000 car $539,326. In addition, Box's predecessor, Michael McCall, will make another $328,326 as president emeritus in 2015 for doing nothing...almost $27,400 a month, more than many folks make in a year of actual work. Should Box sue?

After just 18 months on the job, UK Provost Christine Riordan resigned effective 31 December 2014 to take another position far from Kentucky. Predictably, she is being paid $35,000 a month in absentia by the taxpayers through June (maybe longer) ostensibly to finish important work that no one else at UK is smart enough to handle. She will be an “executive adviser.” Get the point?

Education is the right racket for gaming the system. Eight education service-centers were part of the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990 (pork-barrel records set), with some 8 or 9 top professionals at each site, if memory serves, making top salaries to help local systems escape pedagogical nihilism. Very costly, they didn't work and were finally rescinded, but were examples of education-waste on a grand scale. It's called system-salary-sucking.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark