December 9, 2009

Lucid Links (120909, Morning)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 9:21 am

What did Obama Education Secretary Arne Duncan know about this, and when did he know it? It would appear that the answers are NOT “nothing” and “never.”

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Speaking of Duncan, it’s more than a little odd that this February story has, as far as I can tell, never gone beyond CBS2 Chicago (video is at link):

Hundreds of students have allegedly been beaten by teachers, coaches and staff at Chicago Public Schools. 2 Investigator Dave Savini continues his ongoing investigation involving the illegal use corporal punishment.

….. An exclusive CBS 2 investigation discovered ….. (that) at least 818 Chicago Public School students, since 2003 ….. allege being battered by a teacher or an aide, coach, security guard, or even a principal. In most of those cases – 568 of them – Chicago Public School investigators determined the children were telling the truth.

….. The 2 Investigators found reports of students beaten with broomsticks, whipped with belts, yard sticks, struck with staplers, choked, stomped on and pushed down stairs. One substitute teacher even fractured a student’s neck.

But even more alarming, in the vast majority of cases, teachers found guilty were only given a slap on the wrist.

CBS 2 informed former Chicago Public School CEO Arne Duncan of our investigative findings shortly before he was promoted to U.S. Secretary of Education.

“If someone hits a student, they are going to be fired. It’s very, very simple,” Duncan said.

Before heading to Washington, he vowed to take action.

“Any founded allegation where an adult is hitting a child, hitting a student – they’re going to be gone,” Duncan said.

But that’s not what happened under Duncan’s watch. Of the 568 verified cases, only 24 led to termination. Records show one teacher who quote “battered students for several years” was simply given a “warning” by the Board of Education.

And another student was given “100 licks with a belt.” The abuse was substantiated, but the records show the teacher was not terminated.

Does anyone believe that a conservative educator who presided over what appears to have been and may still be a culture of corporal punishment — a practice that has been illegal in Illinois since 1994 — would be getting a pass over this? Apparently in Obamaland, it’s a basis for promotion.

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There is an obvious point being missed in the UK Guardian’s coverage of the latest goings-on in Copenhagen — coverage that is presumptively suspect because the Guardian was the orchestrator of the loony-tunes Chicken Little editorial that 56 papers worldwide published earlier this week.

The Guardian’s report claims that Copenhagen’s climate talks are in “disarray” because of arguments over whether developing countries should be working to limit CO2 emissions.

Given that the “science” behind alleged human-caused global warming has been discredited, no countries should be entering into any kind of binding agreement that would limit their carbon emissions. Period.

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Social Security Train Wreck Update — I observed in early October that it’s at the station. Yesterday, Chuck Blahaus at the E21 blog (HT Hot Air) noted that the locomotive is still accelerating. Benefits paid and administrative costs outstripped incoming tax collections for the sixth straight month (Note: Graph should be labeled “Monthly Cash Surpluses/Deficits”):

chuckgraph6

It seems all but certain that November and December will show cash deficits. Given the continued deterioration in cash collections and the administration’s grim determination to do more of what hasn’t worked to meaningfully influence job creation, 2010 promises to be even worse, and is an even bet to show a cash deficit for the entire fiscal year.

To the extent that cash deficits occur, “general revenues” coming from a government that is otherwise over $12 trillion in debt are funding today’s Social Security benefits.

Positivity: Eastlake student saves officer’s life

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:05 am

From Bellevue, Washington:

December 8, 2009

Up until Nov. 7, Eastlake senior and Running Start student Taylor Kowalski didn’t really believe in miracles. Up until that day she had never been late to class either.

But her experience on campus at Bellevue College as she ran to class that day changed her view on life.

Kowalski likely saved the life of campus police officer James McClung after helping him when he collapsed, according to the college and the McClung family. The family said doctors are still somewhat stumped as to what caused him to lose consciousness and fall, but they are leaning toward it being a sort of seizure.

At 70, McClung had spent more than two decades as a Colorado State Trooper and Bellevue College campus cop, and was wrapping up his graveyard shift, which would have ended at about 7 a.m.

Already 10 minutes late at about 6:40 a.m., Kowalski was rushing across campus to class.

“That day was the one day this year that I had overslept my alarm,” Kowalski said.

McClung was making his rounds and Kowalski was the only student outside when she said McClung screamed and fell to the ground, out cold.

“It was her day she was supposed to be late,” said Tina McClung, James’ wife. “It probably saved his life.”

Kowalski said she thought someone had hit him and run off, but instinctively, she rushed to him and called 9-1-1. As she waited for the paramedics to arrive, she turned him over so he could breathe.

Even though he was non-responsive, Kowalski held his hand and talked to him.

“At first I jumped into immediate action. In the moment, I was able to act really quickly,” Kowalski said. “I didn’t really think, I just kinda did.”

Timing was everything that day.

Officer McClung’s daughter, Angie McClung said the incident could have been worse.

It could have happened 15 minutes later, when he would have been driving home on the freeway.

“When we found out it was a student, I thought, ‘oh god love her,’” Angie McClung said.

Although she felt good about helping officer McClung, Kowalski said she hopes anyone would have done the same thing.

“I don’t believe what I did was above and beyond,” Kowalski said. “I believe it’s what any human should do in that situation.”

The McClung family said they had talked to Kowalski briefly after the incident, but have not met her in person.

“Thank you pretty much sums it up,” Tina McClung said about what she wants to say to Kowalski.
James McClung was released from the hospital Nov. 7 and he is recovering slowly but surely at home, the family said.

Tina McClung said according to the doctors’ prognosis, it looks like he will make a full recovery and be able to go back to work eventually. ….

Go here for the rest of the story.