November 5, 2011

At His ‘Occupy’ Incident Compilation, Big Journalism’s Nolte Decries Derelict Press Coverage

OccupyWallStreetAs he accumulates his “Occupy Rap Sheet” over at BigJournalism.com, John Nolte has made some excellent points about the nature of the press’s coverage which should not be missed. His incident count is up to 151. It will certainly grow based on more recent events which haven’t yet made it to his compilation (this is just a sample): A $10 million arson arrest in Fort Collins, Colorado (really; HT The Other McCain); pushing a 78 year-old woman down a flight of stairs (she required a hospital visit); and a lack of basic safety so pervasive at Zuccotti park, the headquarters of the “movement, that “protesters put up (a) women-only tent to prevent sexual assaults.”

Nolte’s count is clearly an understatement of all that is actually happening. He also notes that the nature of the press’s coverage serves to understate the disorder- and violence-based inclinations of the Occupiers (internal link is in original; bolds are mine):

(more…)

Steve Jobs and Ohio Issue 2

Filed under: Education,Ohio Politics,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:54 am

SteveJobsYoungWe can’t ask him to be absolutely sure, but based on his 2007 comments at a Texas education reform conference, it’s clear that former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who passed away a month ago, would be a fan of Issue 2′s goals of seeing teachers rewarded based on merit and not seniority, and of ensuring that teachers who aren’t doing the job don’t get to continue teaching:

Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs laid into teachers unions Friday at a Texas education reform conference, an Austin, Texas, newspaper reported, saying they’re “what’s wrong with our schools.”

… During a joint appearance with Michael Dell that was sponsored by the Texas Public Education Reform Foundation, Jobs took on the unions by first comparing schools to small businesses, and school principals to CEOs. He then asked rhetorically: “What kind of person could you get to run a small business if you told them that when they came in, they couldn’t get rid of people that they thought weren’t any good? Not really great ones, because if you’re really smart, you go, ‘I can’t win.’”

He went on to say that “what is wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way. This unionization and lifetime employment of K-12 teachers is off-the-charts crazy.”

To repeat, for clarity:

“I believe that what’s wrong with our schools in this nation is that they have become unionized in the worst possible way.”

That statement shows that Jobs wasn’t necessarily reflexively against all unions (if he really was, he would never have given a dime to the Democratic Party or supported their candidates). He was certainly against how teachers’ unions have abused their relationship with their school districts to protect their, well, bad apples at the expense of kids.

Obviously, Jobs wasn’t anti-teacher (childhood story here). Neither are Issue 2′s proponents, who support good teachers and want them to maximize their potential, and certainly don’t want great teachers to be among the first who are laid off because they haven’t been around as long as relative underachievers, as currently happens all too often.

Jobs, like the rest of us, wanted to see kids succeed. The national leadership of the teachers’ unions — well, let’s just say that despite the rhetoric, it hasn’t been at the top of their priority list:

“When schoolchildren start paying union dues, that’s when
I’ll start representing the interests of schoolchildren.”

Albert Shanker (Wiki entry)

Voting “No” on Issue 2 supports the perpetuation of a clearly unacceptable status quo.

Voting “Yes” on Issue 2 will restore a proper balance in the union-school district relationship.

Saturday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (110511)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 8:10 am

Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow later. Other topics are also fair game.

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Positivity: AF Cross Recipient Says Army Medic Saved his Life

Filed under: Positivity,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 7:55 am

From Military.com:

October 27, 2011

When Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez receives the Air Force Cross today, he likely will credit the Army Special Forces medic on his team for saving his life.

In the six weeks since it was announced that Gutierrez would receive the prestigious award, he repeatedly has referred to Green Beret “Sgt. Mike” as one of the best medics he has ever worked with.

The admiration is mutual.

Staff Sgt. Mike Jones, who was never identified in the media, says Gutierrez is the real hero. Despite being critically injured in a firefight in Afghanistan in 2009, Gutierrez continued to call in air support that allowed the team to survive.

“I was doing my job and he saved us,” said Jones, who is with the 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and recently moved to Okaloosa County. “And he saved a lot of other people.”

The two men didn’t know each other when Gutierrez was assigned to their team in Afghanistan. But Gutierrez fit in easily.

“Rob is just one of those people,” Jones said of the man he now considers a close friend. “His personality — it’s immediate.”

On Oct. 5, 2009, their team was pinned inside a building in Herat province by Taliban fighters who outnumbered them.

During a dash across an open space between buildings, Gutierrez and another man were shot.

“Rob looked at me, ‘Mike, I’m hit,’ ” Jones recalled. “I looked over and where Rob was, he was kind of out there in the open. I ran over there and grabbed him. I pulled him inside and he spits out a mouthful of blood at me. At that point, you know it’s pretty serious.”

Gutierrez had been shot in the chest and had a collapsed his lung, broken ribs and ruptured eardrums.

As the team’s combat controller, his job was to call in and direct air support, according to news accounts of the incident. He continued to do his job despite his injuries.

“He had a large hole in his chest cavity,” said Jones, who added that he patched it up and stopped the bleeding.

“He never, not once, stopped, never wavered,” Jones said. “He gets back on (the radio). He’s talking to the pilots, ‘I’m seriously wounded right now but I’m going to stay on station for as long as I can.’ I even told him, ‘Rob, man, focus on yourself. Someone else can talk to the aircraft.’ ”

Over the next two and a half hours, Jones worked with Gutierrez, treating him when pressure collapsed the lung. …

Go here for the rest of the story.