Monday, August 13, 2012

The Harvest of the Left!

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Teachers Unions Defend Institutional Incompetence
by Matt Patterson
No good deed goes unpunished. Take Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s brave decision to lay off 3,600 employees — including teachers and principals — of 24 of New York City’s worst-performing schools, all with an eye toward rebooting them with new staff, management plans, and curricula. The outgoing staff were told they could reapply, but would have to compete with thousands of new applicants. The goal: Turn around the schools by turning them inside out. Naturally, the teachers’ unions pitched a fit, and have done everything they can to thwart the Mayor’s plan.

The irony is that, as is so often the case, unions brought this pain on themselves. Bloomberg’s original plan was to institute a comprehensive instructor evaluation plan in order to, as The Wall Street Journal editorial board put it, “smoke out the lowest performing educators.” But New York’s powerful United Federation of Teachers (UFT) strongly objected to this effort to locate incompetent instructors, forcing Bloomberg into his plan B — mass layoffs at the two dozen worst-performing schools……And so off the case went to arbitration, where the Mayor got his hat handed to him: sole arbitrator Scott Burchheit scrapped the planned reboot of the failing schools because, he found, “a wish to avoid undesirable teachers was the primary, if not exclusive reason” for the closings….State Supreme Court Judge Joan Lobis sided with the arbitrator, who had sided with the unions, all of whom sided against the kids languishing in NYC’s educational hell.


A Good Joke About Cops and Bad Laws
Every so often, I’ll be critical of cops. Usually it’s because they’re tasked with the unenviable responsibility of enforcing bad laws, but sometimes they do things that are needlessly wrong.

Busting two kids for throwing snowball.
Cops issuing summonses to people for lawfully sitting in a park.
Arresting a woman for tanding on her own porch.
Fining two men for rescuing an injured deer.
Arresting a homeowner for the crime of self-defense.

But these are rare examples of bone-headed behavior by individual cops. I’m much more concerned about bad laws issued by politicians, such as asset forfeiture laws that give cops incentives to harass people who aren’t a threat to society.

Having made a semi-serious point, now let’s enjoy a good joke about cops. George Phillips , an elderly man, from Meridian, Mississippi, was going up to bed, when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light, but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things. He phoned the police, who asked “Is someone in your house?” He said “No,” but some people are breaking into my garden shed and stealing from me.

Then the police dispatcher said “All patrols are busy. You should lock your doors and an officer will be along when one is available.” George said, “Okay.”

He hung up the phone and counted to 30.  Then he phoned the police again. “Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people stealing things from my shed. Well, you don’t have to worry about them now because I just shot them.” and he hung up.

Within five minutes, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up at the Phillips’ residence, and caught the burglars red-handed. One of the Policemen said to George, “I thought you said that you’d shot them!”

George said, “I thought you said there was nobody available!”

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