Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Chicago way....the Cincinnati result...

So…does anyone else feel like the “Chicago way” has erupted into a group of angry, ignorant, intolerant group of people who hold our children at ransom while demanding more money, better benefits…and a refusal to be held to any standards evidenced through a process of job performance review?

After seeing video of the striking teachers, all I can say is that I am glad my children are not being educated by this group of tyrants! Let me say this. I know of many teachers who are good, no…great teachers. Teachers who love their kids, who want them to succeed, who want them to grow up with a strong sense of self, knowledge of history, basic life skills…kids who are prepared to not only survive in society but contribute in ways that benefit everyone. Great teachers and great students provide hope for society.

The people in Chicago are NOT great teachers…they represent the dark underbelly of failure protected by thuggish unions and bullies. It is time for the great teachers to make a stand…to get in the faces of their unions and demand the change they want. Union bullies must be disposed of…and the teachers unions returned to the hands of those whose interests are more closely aligned with education rather than power and feeding at the trough of the taxpayer.

I personally find it insulting that the teachers unions refuse a 16% pay increase, refuse to be held accountable for their teaching results, demand more benefits…and then demonstrate with the argument that by not giving them these things, our children will suffer!! What a load of BS. This type of thinking just shows how badly our society has collapsed…we must not allow this type of thinking to permeate our brains any further.

It must be stopped!

 “The teachers average $76,000 a year in the salary.  That is the highest of any big city in the country.  The average person who pays taxes in Chicago, their average salary is $47,000.  Teachers are making 50 percent more than those supporting them, on average. 

They have been offered a 16 percent hike in wages at a time of high unemployment, desperation.  And they turn it down.  Why?  They don't want tampering with the health benefits, and they don't want any system of the teacher evaluation so you can get some idea of who is not a good teacher.”

-- Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

That about sums it up. If I was Mayor Emmanuel, there would be no discussion. There would be a simple statement…be at work in 60 minutes or do not bother to come back. Simple.

The threat of a prolonged strike is meaningless when it is clear that our children are not getting the education they deserve under the current system anyway.

As proof of this statement, let me refer you to this story that appeared at Cincinnati.com yesterday….

“I am honored to be a daughter of Cincinnati and am humbled to have grown up in such a wonderful community. I attended St. Margaret of York grade school and then matriculated from the reputable Ursuline Academy. After high school, I earned degrees from Miami and Xavier universities. Because of my local education, Cincinnati is more than my hometown – she is the mother who raised me into the woman I am now. I am Cincinnati.

My pursuit in excellent education is rooted in a value system that promotes progressive thought for the betterment of the individual as well as society. Education is a core tenet and vested interest of the functioning democratic society. Upon that basic assumption and principle, I am overwhelmingly incensed by the silent epidemic of crippling student debt.

At 25 years old, I have $188,307.22 in student debt, all of which is my sole financial responsibility.

That exorbitant number was abetted by easy lending with a co-signer, negligence and lack of awareness, over-borrowing and the exponential growth of tuition.

I work both a full-time and part-time job, and abide by a strict budget. Yet, I still sleep in my parent’s basement and am dependent for food, gas and health insurance.

I am told I am not alone.

However, this particularly sensitive conversation is being ignored by our mainstream consciousness. Perhaps I should be ashamed for buying such an unaffordable education and internalize my debts as personal failures. Perhaps my mistakes warrant pained silence. But silence breeds apathy, and in regard to the welfare of the American economy, I want to humanize the numbers and give voice to this reprehensible problem.

Due to reckless neglect, student debt will be the financial ruin of my generation, and there is an incredible need for a public discourse addressing this reality and its grave consequences.

I want answers and clarity as to why this happened. How did I arrive at this position in life so financially handicapped and disenfranchised? I followed societal expectations, earned an education and am employed. I will gladly repay my debts within the comfortable reason of affordability. Yet, my wants and needs are disproportionate, and I can barely afford a PB&J sandwich, let alone the peace of mind to sleep at night.

There is great irony in pursuing freedom through education only to be shackled by crushing debt. My current financial situation prohibits any fantasies of owning a home, getting married or starting a family.

My future and dreams are six feet under, and I am still digging my grave. I want to fight and reclaim my American and Cincinnatian identity, even if the only thing I can afford is the sound of my voice and tears.

I am owed answers simply because I have the right to pursue happiness. And since I am not alone in this debilitating epidemic, my peers deserve their voice as well.”

…..Katie Brotherton, Cincinnati.com, September 10, 2012

I need to make a few comments on this piece of stupidity.

While Ms. Brotherton does not state what her degrees were in, several talk shows have identified the degree as being in English…this may be true, but I hope it is not, for the lack of quality in the expression of her ideas indicates little more than a high school education to me.

You may well be critical of my writing and expression…God knows I am no writer…and I do not have two degrees or $180k plus in debt to show for it! Any criticism of my writing ability is accepted with humility…but not so the rant penned by Ms. Brotherton.

It is clear she is attempting to express ideas beyond her understanding, and failing miserably. But let’s not get carried away by the value of any English degrees she may have earned.

Let’s look at the knowledge she gained from her $180k education, shall we? After all…education is about knowledge, right? It is intended to prepare you to not only survive but contribute to society by being a valuable member, isn’t it? A certain degree of basic knowledge is expected from [people with a university education, right? Or am I wrong?

So...what does this super educated lady have to say to us?

Her first paragraph sets the scene she wants us to use as a backdrop to her plight. “I am Cincinnati” she writes. Really? What an outrageous claim to make! I am sure that the many Cincinnati residents who have lived, worked, played and contributed to the Cincinnati community for 50, 60 , 70 or more years might have a thought or two on that. Now…if she had said that Cincinnati was “in her bones”, that would have made sense. Ms. Brotherton, you are no more “Cincinnati” than I am…an outrageous claim to commence your rant. If you truly are an English major ( or any other educated scholar) you certainly did not succeed at logic or reasoning!

Typical of poor education…the mere statement of a claim, a fact, does not make it so…and Ms. Brotherton clearly missed the mark on this one!  (I won’t even go into the claim that Cincinnati was her mother….sheesh!!

Her second paragraph attempts to qualify why she has a right to make this rant. Apart from the poor English, she has poor reasoning.  

“My pursuit in excellent education is rooted in a value system that promotes progressive thought” and “Education is a core tenet and vested interest of the functioning democratic society” are interesting ways to say that education should be free.  What she is actually saying is that progressive thought is required for a functioning democracy. Really? Does she not understand that America is not a democracy but is a Republic? Is her expensive education so weak that she fails to understand the difference?

And I am sure that many Conservatives will agree that education is a good thing…that it in turn leads to human advancement and greater knowledge, building better societies and economic growth. But progressive thinking is not what education is for….nor is it necessary to function in a democratic process (not a democracy). What you wrote is inane crap that sounds good but means nothing, Ms. Brotherton. Fail.

“At 25 years old, I have $188,307.22 in student debt, all of which is my sole financial responsibility.”


If you see it as your sole financial responsibility why write this next sentence?

“That exorbitant number was abetted by easy lending with a co-signer, negligence and lack of awareness, over-borrowing and the exponential growth of tuition.”

Firstly, I am quite sure that the suckers who co-signed your loans have a thought or two about your financial responsibility! After all, they are on the hook for what you, in your own stupidity, did. And the excuses…what carefully thought out excuses as to why you find yourself in this position.

I guess it is not your fault because it was too easy to get loans with a co-signer. The lenders abducted you, held you captive until you borrowed their money, right? It was their fault?

Negligence and lack of awareness? Of what? By whom? Did you not understand that student loans needed to be repaid…where is this negligence? Over-borrowing? That is easy to do when you don’t think it has to be repaid! The exponential growth of tuition? I imagine you mean the exponential growth of the cost of tuition but I won’t split hairs here…again…you have choices. You have two degrees…did you think they were free?

Oh….that is what you are pushing….the right to free education, isn’t it, Ms. Brotherton?

She then goes on to say that she lives in mom’s basement, has to rely on others for her health insurance and costs of living, works two jobs…blah, blah, blah….

Sorry, but I have heard all these violins before…and I don’t feel an ounce of pity for you or your dashed dreams.

You are no different to the fools who accept every credit card offer that comes in the mail, and then cry when they can’t pay the bill…when bankruptcy is their only option. I understand student loans are different, but just because they are easy to get does not mean you should get them!

At 25 I had two degrees, no debt, and was traveling the world. How did I do that? By working…by working a 40 hour plus night shift while attending full time university. By taking second jobs during break rather than spending summers on the beach in exotic locales. By not taking out loans and living the college high life.

Choices, Ms. Brotherton, choices.

“There is great irony in pursuing freedom through education only to be shackled by crushing debt.”


Is that what you were doing? Pursuing freedom?

I thought you said “My pursuit in excellent education is rooted in a value system that promotes progressive thought for the betterment of the individual as well as society.”

So now it is freedom through education?

Ms. Brotherton, freedom comes through being a serf to no man…it comes from a work ethic that allows you to succeed when all those around you fall by the wayside…it comes from making good decisions, and when you make bad ones, by taking responsibility. It comes from the longing of the heart, not the manipulations of the mind.

You saddled yourself with that debt…you made the decisions…you received the education you paid for. The fact that that you overpaid is neither my problem nor the topic for today’s blog.

Suffice to say that you should be asking for a refund because the $180k you claim to have spent did not provide you with a dimes worth of value in the free world.

Which brings me back to where I started with today’s blog.


There is no doubt in my mind that education in America is way behind that in most western civilizations. And the question I ask myself is, why?
The answer is not so difficult to understand. I could go on for pages about how education policy in this country has led to the dumbing down of the general population. I could point to the illegals slithering across the borders. I could point to the poverty in large cities and the failure to properly address that.

I could speak of money, of waste, of administrators, of a whole level of management within the education system that does not but steal taxpayers money and prevent it going to the true educators.

Yes, I could do all that….and that would explain a lot about how Ms. Brotherton came to find herself writing rants to local newspapers.

But I won’t do that…

I will simply point to Chicago and the angry mobs demanding more money, less accountability and more benefits…claiming that if the taxpayer does not do this, then the taxpayer is hurting the kids.

Friends…do you really want THESE people educating your children? Do you REALLY want your children to end up writing rants in online newsletters?

Or do you want your kids to be strong, well balanced individuals capable of handling whatever the world throws at them.

Look to Chicago and decide.

In every city, in every state, there are hundreds and thousands of great teachers who deserve your support…help them win back the respect they deserve…and get rid of the tyrants and bullies who now run the education system.

Just like our Republic faces huge challenges this November, your children face them every day.

It is time to remove incompetence wherever it is found…in the White House...and on the streets of Chicago…and everywhere in between.

Nothing less than your child’s future...and his children’s… is at stake as we head toward November 6.

Do the right thing!


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