_wtaq-blogs-jerrybader The Bader Blog

  • "Unchain the Charters"

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    I will concede this point up front; no community in Wisconsin has students trapped in failing public schools the way Chicago does, probably not even Milwaukee, which already has vouchers(this piece is about charter school expansion). But this piece is compelling nonetheless. And if you haven't seen waiting for Superman, you should. The principle is the same, regardless of how desperate the need is.

    Free market principles work; supply and demand. There is clearly the demand for charter schools in Chicago, but political forces keep officials from providing the supply. If Chicago public schools were excellent schools(or at the very least if they were perceived as excellent), the demand wouldn't exist.

    I've said many times that the worst instiutional racism blacks face today is the racism of teacher's unions trying to protect member's jobs in failing schools. As this piece points out, they are trapped. And while the situation may not be that desperate in Green Bay, Sheboygan, Madison and the other communities in Wisconsin that would get school vouchers under Governor Walker's budget, the principle is very much the same.

  • Cash for Carrey

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Or subtitle, Karma's a bitch. This is in response to Carrey's sophomoric anti-gun video, "Cold Dead Hands." Many pointed to Carrey's hypocrisy, having depicted gun violence in movies. Better question; has Carrey ever used armed personnel to protect himself or his family? If he has, there is the real hypocrisy.

    And how desperate is Jim Carrey to be noticed? He followed this idiotic video with a series of Twitter rants. As Laura Ingraham pointed out, this appears to be an effort to revive a "cold dead career."

  • Gay Marriage and Twitter

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    What do they have in common? Apparently if people disagree with you on the issue, they'll "unfollow" you.  Whatever happens at the Supreme Court after this week's arguments, it's clear that gay marriage supporters have gone a long way toward making opponents appear to be a fringe element. Stunning that nearly 60% of Americans opposed Gay Marriage just a decade ago. 

  • "Plane Talk"

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    I post this for one reason; if you're a regular listener to the show, you know how much I hate traveling by air. It's become such a nuisance. This little PR film from 1965 about the airline industry is worth watching for one item. Watch how easily a passenger changes his flight! Hard to believe it was EVER that way. 


  • Roberts Makes Great Point: Liberal Heads Explode

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    I'm guessing most libs will misread this quote by Chief Justice John Roberts the way this columnist did. Roberts is saying you can dictate that someone be called a friend, but they're still not a friend. You can call same sex unions marriage, but marriage is what it is; a union between a man and a woman. You can call anything else you want marriage(that includes incestuous and polygamous unions, for the libs I love to drive crazy), but that doesn't make it marriage.

    Roberts, in fact, got right to the heart of the matter with this statement. Marriage is by definition a union between a man and a woman. Anything else isn't marriage, regardless of what you call it. 

  • SCOTUS Gay Marriage Debate

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    The heaviest reporting on the arguments is the skepticism Justices are voicing on whether this issue should be before them at all. Deciding not to decide is what conservatives hope happens. Only an untrained observer would read too much into any question asked. Justices by design play Devil's advocate to get all defenses on the table. More often than not, it isn't a very good measure of where the Justice stands on the issue.

    Here's what I found interesting. I've been attacked by the liberal Twitter universe/blogosphere for arguing that the right to Same Sex Marriage would be the same as rights for incestuous or polygamous marriages. Perhaps she was merely fulfilling the above-mentioned Devil's advocate role, but it was Justice Sonia Sotamayor who "went there:"(as reported by the Wall Street Journal)

    If marriage is a fundamental right, can any other limits on it survive? Justice Sotomayor asks. In other words, are there also constitutional rights to incest and polygamy? This is the slippery slope argument that some opponents of same-sex marriage, if not Mr. Cooper, have raised.

    Mr. Olson says there’s a difference. Banning same-sex marriage targets gays and lesbians as a class. But polygamy, he says, can be regulated as a form of conduct.

    That is an interesting argument on Olson's part. Banning same-sex marriage targets gays and lesbians as a class, but polygamy is conduct. Wait a minute. The conduct we're discussing is marriage, NOT sex, or number of partners. Why can't people who love more than one person become a protected class? And however you feel about whether homosexuality is a choice, it's an open question.

    I know several women(interestingly no men who fit this category) that had same sex relationships at one point in their lives but are now married to men. So it would seem that at least sometimes homosexuality can be a choice. Isn't that conduct?

  • Response to the Green Bay School District's Scare Tactics

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Below is a response to an email the Green Bay School Board sent to district residents urging them to oppose school vouchers. Jim Bender, President of School Choice Wisconsin has provided this response for my blog:

    In light of the April 8th hearing at Lambeau field for the Joint Committee on Finance, there are
    few things to keep in mind. The first is that opponents of expanding the voucher program have
    no boundaries. Their misinformation campaign is organized and strategically implemented to
    confuse as many people as possible. In the end, it is about control. The status quo never goes
    quietly. This more true in education than anything else in our society. How unfortunate for our
    Giving low-income Green Bay families more choices in education will not have devastating
    effects. The majority of families will continue to send their children to Green Bay Public
    Schools. However, for many families in Green Bay the Green Bay Public School system is not
    an excellent school system. According to the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) only 64.3
    percent of low-income students, 63.9 percent of Hispanic students, and 51.7 percent of African
    American students graduate from a Green Bay Public High School in 4 years. Green Bay Public
    Schools are clearly not meeting the needs of these families and the parental choice program will
    give those Green Bay families the opportunity to choose a different option. This will have a
    positive effect on Green Bay families and the community because it will give these students an
    opportunity that their traditional public school did not give them—the opportunity to graduate
    high school.
    As to funding, Green Bay Public School students receive significantly more per-pupil in state
    and local aid than students in the parental choice program, even with an increase in the voucher.
    The per-pupil revenue limit for Green Bay Public School students is $9.215.64 per pupil. Green
    Bay Public Schools also receive a significant amount of funding through categorical aids and
    federal funding. Students in the parental choice program receive a voucher made up of state and
    local aid worth no more than $6,442 per pupil. In total public schools in Wisconsin would
    receive about 11.85 billion in taxpayer dollars over the next two years, while the parental
    choice program would receive about 381 million in taxpayer dollars over the next two
    Schools in the parental choice program are not eligible for other types of aid such as categorical
    aids. While public schools in Wisconsin have received significant funding increases over the past
    10 years through 2010-11, the per-pupil voucher amount has remained flat and was decreased in
    2009-10 to $6,442 per pupil from $6,607 per pupil in the previous year. The proposal in the
    budget will not increase the voucher amount next year. The proposal would increase the perpupil
    voucher to $7,050 for students in grades K4-8, and $7,856 for students in grades 9-12 in
    2014-15, which is still significantly less than public school per pupil funding.
    In particular to students in remain in the Green Bay public schools, dollars allocated for the
    voucher do not decrease per-pupil funding for public school students. State aid allocated for the
    voucher is from a completely separate pot of money than state aid for students in Green Bay
    Public Schools just like dollars allocated for medical assistance or other programs. In other
    words, Green Bay Public Schools would receive the same funding per-pupil if the parental
    choice expanded to Green Bay or not.
    Opponents in Green Bay have used some crazy estimates as the effect of the program in Green
    Bay. The first problem is their math. They use a $1.2 million property tax figure that comes
    from multiplying the maximum voucher payment, $6,442 by 200. In fact, only 38.4% of the
    choice payment, or $2,474 per-pupil, would come from Green Bay taxpayers. $2,474 times 200
    is $494,800, not $1.2 million.
    The second problem is that public schools in Wisconsin are funded on something called a threeyear
    rolling average. What this means is that instead of being funded on a district’s current
    headcount, the district is funded based on a membership count, which is the average enrollment
    of the current year and the previous two years. What does this all mean? This means that if 200
    students choose to use a voucher to attend a private school in the first year, Green Bay Public
    schools will receive 100 percent funding for those students in the first year, and will not lose a
    single penny. Green Bay Public Schools will continue to receive partial funding for those
    students in the following two years, even if they are not educating those students. Additionally,
    as stated above, the parental choice program will not decrease the per-pupil funding for students
    in Green Bay Public schools by a single penny. This amount is determined by the revenue limit.
    Green Bay Public Schools will continue to levy property taxes for students in Green Bay as they
    currently do with the only difference being what type of school—public, charter, or private
    school in the parental choice program—the student chooses to attend.
    Property taxpayers in Milwaukee have to pay for a portion of the education funding for
    Milwaukee students regardless of whether they attend a public, charter, or private school in the
    Milwaukee Parental Choice Program. If the MPCP ended, Milwaukee property taxes would
    continue to be used to educate those children in a public or charter school. In fact, over time,
    Milwaukee taxpayers would see a much larger tax bill because on average Milwaukee taxpayers
    pay less per pupil for a student to attend a private school through the Milwaukee Parental Choice
    Program than a public school in MPS.
    This would also be the case in Green Bay. The accounting of the local taxpayer cost should
    consider the local taxpayer cost if the student would otherwise be in the Green Bay Area School
    District. This year the district’s general fund property tax levy per-pupil is $3,073, $599 dollars
    higher than the local per-pupil cost for a student in a choice program.
    With regards to the supposed “faulty” report card, the Department of Public Instruction was
    required by the US Department of Education to create this report card and the report card was
    approved by the US Department of Education. Additionally, DPI worked for over a year on the
    report card and got input from an accountability task force made up of education experts from
    different sectors in Wisconsin.
    The report card uses a combination of test scores, achievement growth, high school graduation
    rates, achievement gaps, ACT participation and performance, test participation, absentee rate,
    and dropout rate to determine a score for the report card. It does not rely on a single factor and
    uses more than one year of data.
    However, based on the history of data reported by DPI, Green Bay Public Schools have a history
    of failing to educate and meet the needs of its minority and low-income students. For example,
    for the two years that 4-year graduation data is available only 63.2 and 64.3 percent of lowincome
    students graduated high school. Only 41 percent and 51.7 percent of African Americans
    graduated high school. Only 57.4 percent and 63.9 percent of Hispanics graduated high school.
    Only 47.1 and 47.5 percent of American Indian/Alaskan Natives graduated high school. Green
    Bay Public Schools has a truancy rate of 17.7 percent, 49.3 percent were African Americans. In
    Green Bay Public Schools African Americans have had a truancy rate of greater than 40 percent
    since 2004-05 according to data from DPI. Fewer than 18 percent of African Americans have
    taken the ACT since 2004-05 according to DPI. These are only a few of the dozens of statistics
    that are publicly available from DPI for the past several years.
    Know the facts. Understand the goal of those opposing these changes. Be heard.
    April 8th is your time to speak to those who will decide the future of education in Green Bay.
    Jim Bender
    School Choice Wisconsin

  • $5 Fee for Buying Nothing

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    I believe the proper name for this is "cover charge." I mean, how different is it for paying to walk into a bar? Or a two drink minimum? That's not to say I don't sympathize with store owners whose shops are being used primarly as display floors for many people.

    But seriously, how many people are going to enter a store if they know they're going to get charged just for walking in? Unless, of course, they don't have a choice.

  • Walker Dodges the Gay Marriage Question

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Republican Senator Rob Portman's reversal on this issue has become a much bigger moment in this debate than I guess it would when it happened. And yes, the question is this: is there a constitutional basis on which to deny same sex marriage. I suspect the Roberts Court isn't going to find one. And contrary to what my critics across the blogsophere have said in the last week, if there is no constitutional basis on which to deny same sex marraige, there is no such basis on which to deny any other type of marriage between consenting adults, regardless of number of spouses or bloodline. It doesn't matter whether you see a moral equivalency in those unions, the question is whether there is a constituitonal basis on which to deny them.

    That's why I agree with Walker and said it before he did last week; the only answer here is for governemnt to stop sanctioning marriage, and yes that would include and end to all the government provdided benefits that come with being married, tax status, etc. Make marriage an exclusively religious institution and the religions that want to sanction same sex marriage are free to do so.

    Of course, this is far easier said than done; how do courts handle custody issues when a marriage was never recognized by the state? What about health care decisions that spouses can now make? Spouses have standing in these and other matters based on state recognition of their union. But I'm convinced it won't take long after the Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage, which I believe it will in June, that the ruling will lead to challenges by others, if for no other reason that to prove a point.

    If that happens, government may have no choice but to get out of the marriage business.

  • Texas School Quiz Suggests U.S. to Blame for 9/11 Attacks

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    This "the rape victim that asked for it" belief system of America and terror attacks has always been repulsive to me. "The quiz was changed to be more clear??" More clear about what? That America's behavior was responsible for what happened to her. And the question about the Bill of Rights is straight out of Occupy Wall Street. 

    Please don't mistake this as a defense in any way of the teacher, but many of the young teachers today have been so indoctrinated that they don't realize some of what they're teaching is pure leftist-socialist propaganda. That's not to say they shouldn't know better; they should. But they don't.

  • 8 WI Traffic Control Towers Targeted for Closure

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Of course, NOBODY in the MSM will challenge the need for this. It's clear President Obama believes messing with air traffic is the hot button that will get Americans to blame Republicans. We'll see. The more unbending Republicans have been, the more desperate Obama has gotten. What Republicans need to do though is go beyond what Jim Sensenbrenner does in this story  and actually detail how else this could be done.

    Finding less painful cuts is low hanging fruit. So far in this debate Republicans have been willing to say the fruit exists, but haven't had the ambition to go pick it.

  • NYT compares Obama with Nixon

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Now, this piece is something of an excuse to again vilify Richard Nixon. It spends an excessive amount of time on what Nixon did versus what President Obama is doing. But it is fascinating that the administration is turning to Nixon for a legal defense of what it is doing now. And truthfully, Obama hasn't hidden the use of drones the way Nixon tried to hide the Cambodian bombing campaign

    The true comparison between Obama and Nixon is the near clinical paranoia they both seem to share. Obama is as vicious as anybody when it comes to seeking revenge on those he feels have crossed him. Speaking of Nixon and Obama, just asking Bob Woodward how vindictive Obama can be.

    If today's meeting wasn't as zealous in its protection of the President as Woodward and Carl Bernstein were in the taking down of Nixon, it's entirely possible that the 37th President of the United States and the 44th would have much more in common that secret warfare.