The Queen of Censorship is Back

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With the obvious attack on Liberty minded people blatant and obvious from the administration’s attack on journalist and the obvious attack on Liberty groups by the IRS, the attack on right minded people continues.

Sue Wilson is renewing her attack on Conservative talk radio.  Of course she again shows her ignorance of both Constitutional law and broadcast rules and regulations.  She bases her arguments on the first amendment ignoring the fact that all of the “Bill of Rights” put limitations on the government and not private individuals or businesses.

President Obama recently nominated Tom Wheeler as the new Chair of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the federal agency tasked with protecting the public interest in broadcasting, particularly over our public airwaves. . . . Such selective private censorship over our public airwaves violates not only the First Amendment — by denying certain individuals free speech — but also the “Zapple Doctrine,” a little known FCC rule (also called the quasi-equal opportunities rule) that requires stations to provide comparable time for supporters of both political parties when it is requested.

The following is the first amendment that she refers to emphasis mine for the constitutionally challenged like Sue.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The “Zapple doctrine” that she refers to was an offshoot of the “Fairness doctrine” that was found unconstitutional. It pertains to time purchased on the air and has no bearing on the editorial content of the talk shows.  What she fails to mention that the FCC already informed her of that fact!

For the Zapple Doctrine to be invoked, the supporters of the opposing candidate would have to specifically ask the station for air time.  If the station refused, the supporters could then appeal to the FCC, but no such Zapple complaint has been made in at least eight years.  Therefore, there was no violation of the Zapple Doctrine by the stations here, and even if there were, that would not be a basis for the denial of a license renewal, since programming has nothing to do with licensing in the first place.(Emphasis mine)

She also makes the socialist/communist claim that the government owns the airwaves and therefore by extension the radio stations themselves.

But broadcasting, local radio and TV, is a  public/private partnership:  the public owns the airwaves needed for transmission;  private business own the buildings, equipment, etc. needed to broadcast programming.   When private business goes into broadcasting, it makes a deal with the public:  a free license from the Federal Communication Commission – if it agrees to “serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”

Again wrong Sue, the FCC is a regulatory agency that regulates all modern forms of electronic communications eg radio/TV, telephone and even the internet, is it your assertion that they own these too and can dictate content?

Can You show under what constitutional authority this ownership was taken or show documentation of this ownership?

Name any forms of governments that dictate the content of the media, are any of them not totalitarian?

Then she goes on to make the claim that the entire industry is racist/sexist without showing how any female or minority group has been denied the right to buy or own a radio station.

However, just because that restriction is built into the law does not mean the FCC will necessarily either enforce or obey it. (For example, on issues of the lack of women and minorities having access to radio licenses,

Broadcasting like any business is competitive and unless you have a customer base you can’t survive.  The success of any radio station depends on the number of listeners. The arbitron shows the number of listeners and the success of radio.  The market that she attacked is in the Milwaukee Area and the minority viewpoint was unsuccessfully represented.

The Milwaukee radio station WMCS-AM (1290) has served the city’s African-American radio audience for more than two decades with a variety of popular on-air hosts and personalities.

Black talk radio is a vibrant force in town, particularly during local elections, but the city’s two black-owned radio stations have always been challenged by economic realities that made the going tough. (The other station is  WNOV-AM 860, which still offers talk radio.)

The general manager at the company that runs WMCS chalked up a drastic decision to end the all-talk format on most days to strictly business. “Radio stations have to make money and serve the community,” said Bill Horwitz, vice president and general manager of the Milwaukee Radio Alliance.

The bottom line is that no one wants to listen to the pabulum spewed by leftist like Sue, The ratings of The Rachel Maddow show are a clear indication of this.  Free Markets are the ultimate form of Democracy, you the listener get to decide what you listen to.  The enemies of freedom would deny you of that right.

Letter to Governor Walker and Budget Committee

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My name is Marshall Keith and am an active Tea Party Member.  Your recent action as members of the budget committee is appalling and betrays every principle this country was founded on, namely the right of property and the right to own and run a business. Your action take against RYO machines amount to a regulatory taking without just compensation.

  I have a personal friend who is directly affected by this action, he mortgaged his house to buy two of these machines to the tune of $70,000 dollars. As a result of this he will more then likely lose both his home and his livelihood.

 

Do any of you think that sticking something like this in the budget even closely represents anything even closely related to Due Process?  I remind you all that you swore an oath to defend and uphold both the State and Federal Constitution, are any of you aware of these words from both the Fifth or Fourteenth Amendments “nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”. How about these words from the state constitution  ”The property of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation therefor”

 The vast majority of you ran on the Republican platform of limited government and individual rights yet use the same tactics that Governor Doyle used to strip property owners the right to use their property and cater to the clientele of their choice and enact what is essentially a “Jim Crow” type law when enacting the smoking ban.  He slipped it into the budget.

 Is this what you mean by limited government and freedom, because to me it seems that we have just replaced one statist regime for another.  I was active in the fight against the Recall against Scott Walker but recent actions, namely Walkers DNA proposal, his endorsement of the Marketplace Extortion Act make me regret that decision.

 Before you claim that it is about the evasion of taxes, it is not.  These RYO shops pay the draconian 70% of list price tax inflicted by the Doyle administration?  If they are considered manufacturers did you exempt them from this 70% tax in favor of the cigarette tax stamp?  Of course not, you caved to the lobbying interest of “Big Tobacco”, the convenience stores and the likes of Smoke Free Wisconsin.

 When election time rolls around again I will be working hard to get every one of you replaced in favor of candidates that actually believe in the principles of limited Government and property rights.

Marshall Keith

Committee Members

Senate Members​ ​Assembly Members
Senator Alberta Darling, Co-Chair​ Representative John Nygren, Co-Chair​
Senator Luther Olsen​ Representative Pat Strachota
Senator Sheila Harsdorf Representative Dale Kooyenga
Senator Joe Leibham Representative Dean Knudson
Senator Mary Lazich Representative Dan LeMahieu
Senator Glenn Grothman Representative John Klenke
Senator Jennifer Shilling Representative Cory Mason
Senator Robert Wirch Representative Jon Richards
Committee Clerk:
Joe Malkasian
Room 305 East, State Capitol
Madison, WI  53702
(608) 264-8314

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Accuses the Rest of the Story Author of Being Unprofessional

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Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights Accuses the Rest of the Story Author of Being Unprofessional 

 

I disagree with Dr Siegel on the issue of smoking bans, but I would never question his integrity!  He is one of the very few within the Tobacco Control Movement that is willing to stand on what he believes is sound science. A lot of earlier links to his works are broken as are a lot of mine when I was with “Ban the Ban Wisconsin”

There are only two people in the “Tobacco Control” movement that I have any respect for and that is the good “Dr Siegel” and “Martin Pion” of MoGASP although I am losing faith in the latter as I have been banished from his site without explanation.  Both are members of the FDA shadow panel.

I defended Dr Siegel several years ago while working with “Ban the Ban Wisconsin” not because I agreed with him but because of his integrity.  One can disagree with someone and still respect them for their integrity.  Science is not as simple as 2+2=4, and it is even less so when it comes to statistics, and the entirety of smoking bans are based on statistics! And as Mark Twain said in his autobiography said “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”

It is one thing to disagree with someone, it is quite another to attack their integrity.  This is not the first time that Dr Siegel has been attacked! The other time I defended him they attempted to get him fired from his job at the Boston University School of Public Health.  Again my post at “Ban the Ban” is gone and I can’t find his post from that period, but it did happen. But to put the good doctors words in perspective.

As a primarily science-based movement, public health is supposed to have room for those who dissent from consensus opinions based on reasonable scientific grounds. To argue that those who fail to conclude that the small relative risk for lung cancer of 1.3 among persons exposed to secondhand smoke is indicative of a causal connection are comparable to Holocaust deniers is to turn public health into a religion, where the doctrines must be accepted on blind faith to avoid being branded as a heretic.

While I personally believe the evidence is sufficient to conclude that secondhand smoke causes heart disease and lung cancer, there are a considerable number of reputable scientists who have come to different conclusions. While I believe those scientists are wrong, I would never argue that they are denialists, nor would I ever compare their dissent with Holocaust denial.

Diethelm and McKee appear to be basing their assessment that secondhand smoke “dissenters” are “denialists” not on the reasonableness of the scientific arguments, but on the position of these arguments. This is a dangerous proposition which threatens the integrity of public health by turning it into a purely ideological movement, rather than a scientific one.

Again my links are broken but those are the words of Dr Siegel, if I could find the original article Diethelm and McKee compared those of us fighting the bans as flat earther’s yet it was those very people that tried to use consensus and political might to suppress the opposition.

As much taxpayer money that is being spent in the name of “Big Pharma” and in the name of Tobacco Control” it is time for a full fledged investigation into the spending and grants into this prohibitionist movement.  A lot of the money funding this movement came from extortion from the Master Settlement Agreement, when in history was any group forced through force of law, forced to fund the lobby group lobbying against them.  Where the Jews forced to fund the Nazi party?  Where the blacks forced to fund the KKK? But in modern america it is acceptable to force smokers to fund the very people lobbying against them? And even with the billions of dollars they have extorted they still demand more through more punitive taxes!  When does it all end!

Voter ID; More Progressive Spin

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Badger Democracy has obtained  information through open records requests and personal interviews that point to a close circle of friends working together to push the State Supreme Court into taking on the Voter ID question – just in time for the November election.

Conspiracy may be too strong a word, but the trio of David Prosser (Supreme Court Justice), JB VanHollen (Wisconsin Attorney General), and Brian Schimming (lobbyist, state GOP vice chair, former Prosser staffer) have motive, opportunity, and are in position to make it happen. The three have a definitive history; appearing together at Americans For Prosperity conferences (as speakers/presenters) in 2009, 2010, and frequent state GOP events as recently as 2012.

Badger then goes on to say.

AG VanHollen made a second request of the Court to take the case in late August; in spite of the law being declared unconstitutional by two lower courts. There are also two Federal cases pending against the Voter ID law in Judge Lynn Adelman’s  Eastern District Court. The most compelling of which is “Frank v. Walker” (Case 2:11-cv-01128); challenging whether the law violates the  fundamental right to vote under the Equal Protection Clause, violates the Twenty-Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments as an unconstitutional poll tax, and violates the Equal Protection Clause in arbitrarily refusing to accept certain identification documents.

What badger ignores is though VanHollen is a Republican he is duty bound to defend laws legislated by elected officials, he also ignores the liberal bias of the two lower courts that found the law unconstitutional.  He is correct that there are federal suits pending such as Frank v Walker but ignores the fact that Wisconsin law was patterned after Indiana law and all of the questions raised by Frank v Walker were raised and resolved by SCOTUS in CRAWFORD v. MARION COUNTY ELECTION BD

On the issue of Poll Tax the Supreme Court wrote on page 7.

It rejected the argument that the law should be judged by the same strict standard applicable to a poll tax because the burden on voters was offset by the benefit of reducing the risk of fraud. . . .In Anderson v. Celebrezze,  460 U. S. 780 (1983), however, we confirmed the general rule that “evenhanded restrictions that protect the integrity and reliability of the electoral process itself”

On Page 13 of the Supreme Court Hearing they wrote.

“A good registration list will ensure that citizens are only registered in one place, but election officials still need to make sure that the person arriving at a polling site is the same one that is named on the registration list. In the old days and in small towns where everyone knows each other, voters did not need to identify themselves. But in the United States, where 40 million people move each year, and in urban areas where some people do not even know the people living in their own apartment building let alone their precinct, some form of identification is needed.

The burdens that are relevant to the issue before us are those imposed on persons who are eligible to vote but not possess a current photo identification that complies with the requirements of SEA 483. The fact that most voters already possess a valid driver’s license, or some other form of acceptable identification, would not save the statute under our reasoning in Harper,  if the State re-quired voters to pay a tax or a fee to obtain a new photo identification. But just as other States provide free voter registration cards, the photo identification cards issued by Indiana’s BMV are also free.

 Wisconsin like Indiana offers free voter ID’s and the assurtion that it equates to a poll tax is false as already rulled. Also the equal protection clause of  the 14th amendment was answered.

The different ways in which Indiana’s law affects different voters are no more than different impacts of the single burden that the law uniformly imposes on all voters: To vote in person, everyone must have and present a photo identification that can be obtained for free. This is a generally applicable, nondiscriminatory voting regulation. The law’s universally applicable requirements are eminently reasonable because the burden of acquiring, possessing, and showing a free photo identification is not a significant increase over the usual voting burdens, and the State’s stated interests are sufficient to sustain that minimal burden.

 I guess what is really amaizing is why progressives don’t want to protect the integrity of the voting process.  Could it be they can’t win without reserecting the dead or bussing in activist from out of state?

Education: The Case for a Voucher System

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In a receint blog Badger Democracy questioned the validity of a study done by the Brookings  Institution that was based on statistics.  Statistics have been used by politicians since the mathmatical manipulation tool called statistics. Mark Twain’s quote from his autobiography is a classic example.

Figures often beguile me, particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

Statistics have long been a tool by both sides to push their agenda and as such should be looked at with a jaundics eye.  Being active in the fight against smoking bans I am quite aware of how statistical manipulation is being used to craft public policy, and when standard statistical manipulation doesn’t work they resort to further manipulation using “meta-analysis” So even though I am unfamiliar with the study he refers too and he may be correct in his assessment of the bias in the study, it doesn’t matter.

While progressives like Badger are against corporatism and the monopolies that sometimes result, he ignores the monopolies created by the government and the public school system is a classic example of a monopoly.

This is emphisised in a piece done by the CATO institute.

Competitors. Or, rather, the lack of them. Private sector workers can only demand so much from their companies before the demands become self-defeating. Get a pension package that’s too cushy, a salary that’s too far above the market rate, and the employer will have to pass those costs on to customers. And if those higher prices aren’t accompanied by correspondingly better quality, customers will simply go elsewhere—hurting the employees who asked for more than the market would bear.

And there’s the problem with public schooling: there’s no “elsewhere.” If you don’t like the way your local school district is run, there isn’t a competing school district vying to provide your kids with a better education at a lower cost. You’ve got no place else to go, and unions know this. So they can ask for more employees to be hired, better pensions or health benefits, and they can demand that their compensation not depend on their performance. And there’s very little that parents and taxpayers can do about it.

Badger responded to the following video.

In his arguments against “laissez faire capitalism” he says.

The economic followers of which you speak have been data sifting, propagandizing, and re-writing history for decades, even abusing the “invisible hand” that Adam Smith wrote of in the earliest days of the republic. You need to get out of that box – economic theories and systems do not operate in social, moral, or fiscal equilibrium.

It is in fact compitition that creates that equilibrium. And in the realm of education it is indeed a monopoly and under the current system only the rich are able to explore the alternitives such as private education. This monopoly is brought up in another CATO piece.

No doubt part of the reason that at least the AFT is accepting a little blame is that it sees that teachers unions are losing the sympathies of many members of the public. People are seemingly growing tired of seeing unionized educators enjoying good incomes and expensive perks while those paying the taxes struggle and test scores languish.

The problem with the union reinvention—at least as captured by the Weingarten quote—is that it probably strikes many people as hollow. Why? Because they know that unions are run by normal people and represent normal people, and what they want first and foremost is not what’s best for kids or “fairness,” but getting as good a deal for themselves as possible. In other words, they are starting to see through unions’ selfless-angels facade—the public relations sham of people just wanting a living wage while they give the mythical 110 percent “for the kids” —and are glimpsing normal, profit-seeking human beingswho have had a fairly cushy deal over the decades.

Teachers unions, as those of us at Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom have said, are not the root problem in education, nor are they or the people they represent any more evil or good than most other people. The root educational problem is that public schools are government schools, and politics—which cannot be detached from government—rewards concentrated special interests, of which unionized teachers are among the biggest.

Again it goes to the video of Milton Friedman, the teachers Unions are looking out for their own self interests, not that this is wrong.  It is in fact human nature.  Since he brought up the moral issue when he said “You need to get out of that box – economic theories and systems do not operate in social, moral, or fiscal equilibrium.”  It beggs the question in a free society is it the role of government to craft social,moral or fiscal equilibrium and who decides who’s morals are crafted into law. 

This moral question is brought up in one of the comments to the post.

The Wall | September 14, 2012 at 5:38 am | Reply

“School Vouchers” is a program created to justify using tax dollars to pay for religious classes with tax dollars which is directly blocked by the Constitution.

They should call it “indirectly funding school prayer with tax dollars” and be truthful for once about their motives to cherry pick the Constitution. Run by the evidence burning defrocked politician Scott Jensen whose stench permeates this movement.

Motive? Stripping tax dollars out of the education process.

Not to provide a better education for anyone – except the taxpayer who better be noticing by now. Because studies indicate public schools are the most effective education process and only by de-funding and quoting stacked “studies” and other manufactured statistics can they promote their agenda through a slew of paid bloggers. These tax siphoners have overplayed their hand and taxpayers and voters must shut them down.

Reject Republicans, Reduce Corporate Influence and Arrest Temporary Governor Scott Walker !

Of course this is a compleate bastardization of the constitution that has been perpitrated by the Secular Left.  Perhaps the above poster was a product of a public school education and reading comprehention totally escapes them. For those who have a reasonable level of reading comprehention here is the First Amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The secular left have in fact bastardized the concept of freedom of religion to freedom from religion. As long as the government demands taxpayers pay for a childs education does not mean that the government has the the right to dictate that the government has the right to mandate a secular education.  It is the right of the parent to dictate the moral teachings of the child.  The Constitution is not violated as long as the Government does not favor one religion over another.  The voucher system satisfies the Constitution.  Mandating a secular “freedom from religion” does not.  So again freedom of choice and compitition works.  Government mandates do not!

Strike! (CREATE) Letter

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I find it interesting that I am defending a leftist like Rahm Emanuel but here it comes. While I agree with Badger Democracy on the corruptive influences of corporate money I pointed to the fact that he ignored the corruptive influence of Unions. Yesterday he concentrated on a letter by CREATE (Chicagoland Researchers and Advocates for Transformative Education) .  The Marxist mindset amongst academia is well documented and I won’t go into detail here.

The big problem is that these academics don’t believe they should be judged by the product they produce. If you work in sales you are judged by the number of sales, if you work in a factory you are judged by a combination of output and quality etc etc etc. So to hold teachers accountable for the quality of education is not even a stretch for a normal thinking person. As pointed out yesterday as a whole these teachers have been a dismal failure.

(CNSNews.com) – Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.

If the teachers were held to the same grading scale A-F that students use to be held to they would all get an F.  Of course the arguments against holding these teachers accountable for the quality of their product is equally ludicrous.

When a teacher’s livelihood is directly impacted by his or her students’ scores on an end-of-year examination, test scores take front and center. The nurturing relationship between teacher and student changes for the worse.

Are they there to replace your mother or are they their to teach?  If by nurture do they mean indoctrinate as illustrated by the following two videos do we even want them to “nurture” our children?  The first video is a teachers union discussing how to interject Marxism into the classroom.

Another teacher discussing how to indoctrinate our children.

In a recent blog post Badger Democracy attempted to blame these actions on corporate influence but this letter shows that it was a direct result of Mandates from the Federal Government.  The Feds will not fund failing schools.

In January 2010, the Illinois State Legislature—in an effort to secure federal Race to the Top funds—approved an amendment to the Illinois School Code known as the Performance Evaluation Review Act (PERA), which requires districts to include “student growth” as a significant portion of teacher and principal evaluation. While most of the state does not have to implement a new evaluation plan for teachers until 2016, CPS was able to get written into the law an early implementation date of September 2012 for at least 300 schools.

So my arguments calling on returning to local control stands. But the arguments against holding teachers accountable do not.  As noted above the standards above do not go into effect for most of the state  2016 so the pilot program called for by (CREATE) would be satisfied in the city of Chicago.

1. Pilot and adjust the evaluation system before implementing it on a large scale.
Any annual evaluation system should be piloted and adjusted as necessary based on field feedback before being put in place citywide. In other words, Chicago should pilot models and then use measures of student learning to evaluate the model. Delaware spent years piloting and fine-tuning their system before putting it in place formally statewide. Conversely, Tennessee’s teacher-evaluation system made headlines when its hurried implementation led to unintended negative consequences.

Of course they don’t have any specific arguments against the proposal or whether or not it was based on either the Delaware or Tennessee evaluation system. If it is based on the Delaware system then there can be little arguments against since they already admit that it is time tested and tuned.  As CATO points out, they are just like the rest of us.

For the Democratic Party, the big problem is that for decades the teachers unions have insisted that they and their members as far more noble than almost anyone else. At least, more noble than anyone openly seeking a profit, which is most people. But the public is catching on: teachers and their unions are just as self-interested as most other people, and government-run schooling has enabled them to get some awfully nice, taxpayer-funded deals. 

I guess the real question is whether or not the role of teacher is to teach or nurture and indoctrinate.

Strike! Schools and Public Sector Unions

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Reciently I engaged Badger Democracy on his blog on his post involving talk radio. Since then it appears that my posts have been blocked as spam.  They just disappear instead of showing awaiting moderation. I emailed the owner of the blog and recieved a nice response so I may be wrong in my assesment on being blocked. but that is the way it appears.

I’ll reply to your “challenge” in due time. I disagree with Friedman’s self analyisis of the Chilean situation…more on that later. I am in Chicago, getting some inside dope on the CTU strike. Look for my post later this am – being a libertarian, you’ll be astounded by what Rahm (and Daley) have been doing with TIF money and corporate welfare in the Windy City.
 
Ripping on Dems today. What fun.
 
Thanks for the healthy debate and thoughtful insights.
 
So I checked on his lattest post on the teachers strike in Chicago.  The problem with the “progressive” mindset is the over emphisis on corporate influence while ignoring the influence of the unions themselves. In his blog post he says.
 

Both sides claim they want what’s best for the kids. Emanuel elevated the rhetoric by calling the strike a “choice” of the union, saying it is unnecessary. What is going unreported by Chicago media is that the mayor is correct – this is a strike of choice. The choice, however, was not one made by CTU, teachers, or parents. It was made at the highest levels of corporate power that now dominate the city of Chicago. Teachers, students, taxpayers, and parents are just pawns.

There is no doubt that corporate influence aka fascism is a problem in our counry. On only need look at the influence of “Big Pharma” and their connections with all the “nanny state” laws that are being passed or the back room deals that took place with “Obamacare”. This is where Badger is not looking at the big picture.  Even the champion of the progressive cause FDR opposed public sector unions.

Unions by their very nature are an advisarial process and they spend tons of money to influence who sits on the opposite side of the negotiating table.  Even the George Soros funded site opensecrets shows that 11 out of the top 20 political donations come from Unions with public sector Unions heavily represented

The problems with our schools is indeed both the influence of both corporate interest and union interest which created the top down model under which we live. Every mandate from the top has been a dismal failure including “no child left behind”.

Yes Badger outside influence is a problem when it comes to the public sector, just look at the scores of the students.

(CNSNews.com) – Seventy-nine percent of the 8th graders in the Chicago Public Schools are not grade-level proficient in reading, according to the U.S. Department of Education, and 80 percent are not grade-level proficient in math.

The real problem is the entire top down model.  Many progressives bash us Libertarians because we call for limited government not more regulation. Badger points to the fact that the school board is appointed by the Mayor.

The CPS School Board is appointed by the mayor, not elected by taxpayers and parents. In 2011, newly elected mayor Rahm Emanuel appointed seven people – only one with a public education background (Dr. Mahalia Hines). The board President (David Vitale) is in high finance, former President of the Chicago Board of Trade. The Vice President (Jesse Ruiz) is a corporate attorney who is an Exelon Board Member (this is important). There is another corporate attorney (Andrea Zopp), also an Exelon Board Member (again, important). The balance of the board is an economist/political scientist (Henry Bienen), real estate developer/multi-millionaire Penny Pritzker, and journalist/communications consultant Rodrigo Sierra.

Here I agree with Badger, school boards should be elected but he does not go far enough. If education were brought back under local control (with no mandates from either the federal or state) our schools would improve.  Our schools were at their best when they were under local control.  The schools and school boards were answerable to the people at the local level. Bad teachers were fired, bad school board members were voted out, all under the scrutiny of local PTA’s.  The more control taken by the State and Federal government the less control the people have over their childrens ecucation.

So while Badger’s comment on corporate influence is partially correct he does ignore the influence of the public sector unions.

The corporate dominant politics of Chicago have made it TIF (Tax Increment Financing project) central. Under Illinois state law, TIFs may only be used to prevent or remediate urban blight; or foster industrial development.  In Chicago, TIFs have become an addiction for developers and politicians looking to line their pocketbooks and garner influence. In the past decade, TIF districts have nearly doubled, from 87 in 2000 to 162 in 2010.

It is in fact the influence of both that has created the mandates at both the federal and state level.  To see the effects of this one does not even have to leave the state of Wisconsin.  Rather then putting emphisis on the quality of education Governer Doyle mandated the teaching collective bargaining.

Governor Jim Doyle made it official Thursday, Dec. 10: He signed into law AB 172, the Labor History in the Schools bill, culminating 12 years of efforts by key legislators, workers, unions and others to pass legislation to assure the teaching of labor history and collective bargaining. . . .
Once again Wisconsin leads the way in progressive labor legislation,” commented Steve Cupery, president of the Wisconsin Labor History Society.
“As far as we can tell, Wisconsin is the first state to have enacted such a law. We expect others will follow our example.”

So Badger, yes take all outside influence out of the educational process and put it back in the hands of the people.

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