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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
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G. K. Chesterton.

"The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all." - G. K. Chesterton.


G.K. Chesterton, was an English writer, lay theologian, poet, dramatist, journalist, orator, literary and art critic, biographer, and Christian apologist. Chesterton is often referred to as the "prince of paradox." Time magazine, in a review of a biography of Chesterton, observed of his writing style: "Whenever possible Chesterton made his points with popular sayings, proverbs, allegories—first carefully turning them inside out."

Compare and contrast

Why "go out and get a job" backfires

72,000 a week

Wisconsin: Hearing set on bill to expand independent charters statewide

from my email ....

Hearing set on bill to expand independent charters statewide

Plan would take away local control while expanding privately funded charters

The Wisconsin Education Association Council is registering against a bill that would take local control away from school boards seeking to open public charter schools while at the same time expanding privately run independent charter schools statewide. A hearing on the bill is set January 9.

The bill, Assembly Bill 549, would open the floodgates to statewide expansion of independent charter schools, something the public spoke out strongly against when it was proposed as part of the last state budget. Pushing the envelope even further, the bill would allow students, regardless of where they live, to attend any independent charter school in the state.

Email your legislators now to tell them NO to privatization!

While more than 80 percent of charter schools in Wisconsin are chartered by locally elected public school boards, this bill eliminates that option to local communities. As a result, public schools would no longer be eligible for start-up grants. This limited pool of start-up funding would instead go exclusively to privately run independent charters. “Like voucher expansion, this bill is another blatant attempt to privatize public education and erode local control,” said Betsy Kippers, a Racine teacher and president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council. “This bill seeks to get rid of public charter schools so private interests can grab more taxpayer dollars.”

The bill:

Takes chartering authority away from locally elected school boards and instead authorizes school boards to establish magnet schools. Magnet schools are defined under the bill as schools that offer a special curriculum capable of attracting substantial numbers of students of different racial backgrounds. These schools would not be eligible for charter school start-up funding, while privately run independent charters would be eligible that funding.

Expands the entities that may establish privately run, independent charter schools to include all four-year UW institutions, all two-year UW campuses, CESAs, and technical college district boards. A four-year UW institution and a two-year UW campus may establish these schools in the county in which it is located or in an adjacent county. A CESA may establish these schools within the boundaries of the CESA. A technical college district board may establish these schools in the technical college district or in a county adjacent to the district.

Requires an independent authorizer to grant a request from a charter school operator with a proven track record of success and with which it has an existing contract to operate up to two additional charter schools per school year.
Allows a charter school under contract with a school board that is not an instrumentality of the school district to use an equivalent alternative to educator effectiveness to evaluate teachers and principals.

The hearing on AB 549 will take place before the Assembly Urban Education Committee, chaired by state Rep. Don Pridemore (R-Erin). AB 549 is the only bill to be sent to the Assembly Urban Education Committee this, and this will be the panel’s first public hearing.

A more moderate version of the legislation called Senate Bill 76, also opposed by WEAC, has passed out of the Senate Education Committee, and an identical version called Assembly Bill 126 is sitting in the Assembly Education Committee with no vote scheduled yet.

Capitol insiders say the Senate and Assembly Education Committee Chairmen, Senator Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) and Representative Steve Kestell (R-Elkhart Lake) respectively, are unlikely to support a bill as extreme as AB 549, given they have previously rebuffed similar extreme legislative proposals.

Tellingly, the extreme AB 549 was not referred to Representative Kestell’s Assembly Education Committee, but rather was sent to Representative Pridemore’s committee, where it was expected to receive a warmer reception. Education stakeholders, however, are giving the extreme bill the cold shoulder. WEAC is joined in opposing the bill by the School Administrators Alliance and the Wisconsin Association of School Boards.

Joel Kleefisch outsources drafting of bill to limit child support for the wealthy to a wealthy donor


Joel Kleefisch outsources drafting of bill to limit child support for the wealthy to a wealthy divorced donor

A controversial bill that would allow high-income parents to avoid paying tens of thousands of dollars a year in child support was written with the help of a wealthy donor to the bill’s author, Rep. Joel Kleefisch. The Oconomowoc Republican acknowledged Friday that Michael Eisenga, a multi-millionaire business owner, and his attorney helped write the bill, which could pave the way for Eisenga to force the court to reopen his divorce settlement.

The lawmaker insisted in an interview that the measure, Assembly Bill 540, would not affect Eisenga’s case. “I’m certain the bill would not affect Mr. Eisenga in any way because it’s not retroactive,” Kleefisch said. “He wanted it retroactive. It’s not retroactive.”

However, the bill would require judges to lower child-support payments if they are 10 percent or more above the amount that would have been ordered using the new requirement. That requirement caps incomes subject to child-support payments at $150,000 a year.

Kleefisch’s bill also would prohibit judges from taking into account a parent’s assets in determining the level of child support.

Audit secret political campaign groups? Hell no, let's audit sexually assaulted women, instead


It's getting to be one hell of a country, these United States. Compare and contrast the following two developments in politics and law. First, in Washington, D.C.:

* A panel of 12 men on the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on a bill that could allow the IRS to audit survivors of rape or incest because they used their contraceptive health care coverage.

Meanwhile, here in Wisconsin:

* According to news reports, subpoenas issued in the the John Doe investigation into campaign spending and fundraising by conservative political groups in state recall elections of the governor and other mostly Republican lawmakers were quashed in a sealed ruling by the appeals court judge presiding over the case.

The conservative political action groups that had been served with subpoenas reportedly proclaimed that their right to keep their activities secret is now "vindicated." Quite the proclamation, given that those groups essentially outed themselves (see earlier blog at URL below) n this case before apparently asserting that their Fourth Amendment right to privacy (mind you, not secrecy but only privacy) was being trampled. In any rational legal system, however, you don't get to kill your parents and then earn the court's mercy because you're an orphan.


These two cross-eyed developments Friday all add up to this: if you're a well-heeled conservative political action group in Wisconsin, you're apparently closer to the day when you can pretty much spend your fat wad of cash anonymously and however you like, influencing elections and cooperating with campaigns in return for unknown favors, without fear that the IRS or anyone else will be legally able to check out your operation. But if you're a woman anywhere in the US who was sexually assaulted and you used your health insurance for contraceptive services, you apparently are closer to the day when you may be subjected to government audit. Because, hey, you may be a victim but you'll have no right to privacy when it comes to issues of reproductive choice.

Calvin explains the GOP

Meanwhile, as world-wide oil reserves are rapidly drying up ...

It's Time To Think Beyond Bars

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