Study Defends Huge Salaries of Football Coaches @insidehighered

The seven-figure salaries of Division I football coaches are worthwhile economic investments, according to a new study by Vanderbilt University researchers, The New York Times reported.

via Study Defends Huge Salaries of Football Coaches @insidehighered.

Armed teachers

A Texas school district has posted signs warning possible evil-doers that their staff is armed and "may use whatever force is necessary" to protect students. (Image source: Screen grab KDAF-TV)

Schools in Argyle, Texas have armed teachers and other staffers to protect campuses from intruders. 

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Labor Day and Big Government

If there’s a day of the year to notice the paradox of organized labor, writes Ira Stoll, Labor Day is it. The paradox is this: even as private sector unionism has declined, public sector unionism is in some ways more influential than ever. Indeed, public sector unions are so important that it’s impossible to tell the story of the big city and state governments without accounting for their influence.

 

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Attendance Rates for U.S. K-12 Teachers

How prevalent is teacher absence from classes in the U.S.? The National Council on Teacher Quality collects some evidence in its June 2014 report “Roll call: The importance of teacher attendance.

The study collected data from 40 urban school districts across the United States for the 2012-13 school year. The definition of “absence” in this study was that a substitute teacher was used in the classroom. Thus, the overall totals mix together the times when a teacher was absent from the classroom for sickness, for other personal leave, and for some kind of professional development. As the authors of the study note: “Importantly, we looked only at short-term absences, which are absences of 1 to 10 consecutive days. Long-term absences (absences lasting more than 10 consecutive days) were not included to exclude leave taken for serious illness and maternity/paternity leave.” 

The average teachers across these 40 districts was absent 11 days during the school year. This amount of teacher absence matters to students. The NCTQ study cites studies to make the point: “

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All ten of EPA’s regional wetland maps

Here are all ten of EPA’s regional wetlands maps.  Click for expanded view. Wouldn’t it be easier to show what they do not control? From CFACT

EPA wetlands map region 1

EPA wetlands map region 1

 

EPA wetlands map region 2

EPA wetlands map region 2

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Gov. Rick Perry Deletes Tweet Mocking Democratic DA : Politics : Chinatopix

Texas Gov. Rick Perry deleted an “unauthorized” tweet from his account calling District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg “the most drunk Democrat in Texas.” 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s Twitter account on Sunday posted a status mocking a Democratic District Attorney that Perry tried to remove from power resulting in his indictment for alleged abuse of power. Perry’s account quickly took down the tweet with the governor apologizing without saying who had posted the “unauthorized” material.

The tweet, modeled after a beer company’s “Most Interesting Man in the world” campaign displayed  a mock photo of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who admitted to driving drunk in April 2013. The unflattering image was accompanied by a caption joking how she indicts Perry for calling her out each time she drives drunk.

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Chicago school year to begin with more safety guards | Fox News

Chicago is spending millions to line streets where children walk to school with random adults. 

Chicago children will walk past even more guards on their first day of school than last year, when concerns about safety prompted the city to line the streets with 1,200 adults every day.

Thanks to an infusion of $1 million from the city, another 100 “Safe Passage” workers will be on routes that students walk through crime-ridden neighborhoods to get to school when classes resume on Tuesday. And after Gov. Pat Quinn pledged $10 million, officials said another 600 of the workers would be hired and on the streets over the next several weeks.

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Don’t Nerf me, bro!

Scott and Ramsey McDonald with the fourth grader's Nerf gun.

Fourth-grader Ramsey McDonald was told to bring a favorite toy to his Houston school to share with the class. He brought a blue, orange and green Nerf gun.

He received a three-day in-school suspension for bringing “something that looked like a weapon,” a school official told Ramsey’s father, Scott McDonald.

Houston School Supt. Mark Scott said school officials realized the Nerf gun wasn’t dangerous. “We never viewed that as a weapon.”

At least, they didn’t call the cops.

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The usual suspects

The FBI has released its annual National Threat Assessment for Domestic Extremism, and it’s good to know the bureau is monitoring animal rights activists, environmental fanatics, pro-abortion and pro-life groups (or individuals influenced by such groups), and Puerto Rican nationalists. The FBI also predicts more incidents of violence from black separatist organizations harking back to the 1970s, in response to “perceptions of devolving racial equality or perceptions of racially motivated police brutality, or racially based injustice, oppression, or judicial rulings.” Since the assessment was written before the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Mo., this particular evaluation shows some federal acumen. But, as Bill Gertz of The Washington Free Beacon was among the first to point out, one significant threat is missing entirely from the report.

Does anyone remember the Boston Marathon bombing? That happened not so long ago, April 2013, during the period covered by the FBI report. But there’s no mention of it, even though, by any journalist’s reckoning, it was the terror story of the year. According to Gertz, there is no mention of any terror threat related to Muslims. Religion does not totally escape the FBI’s notice, if the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ and the Black Hebrew Israelites, both black separatist groups, are to be considered religious. But Islam gets nary a nod.

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How long is the pause?

Quote of the day: 

With 39 explanations and counting, and some climate scientists now arguing that it might last yet another decade, the IPCC has sidelined itself in irrelevance until it has something serious to say about the pause and has reflected on whether its alarmism is justified, given its reliance on computer models that predicted temperature rises that have not occurred.Rupert Darwall 

Myth Of Arctic Meltdown: Satellite Images Show Ice Cap Thicker And Growing Back

The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’

Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.

But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

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Arctic ice cap covers 656,000 sq miles MORE than 2 years ago

Daily Mail trashes Al Gore’s prediction that the Arctic would be ICE-FREE by now.

Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7 million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago…despite Al Gore’s prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now,” reads the headline.

“The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff. It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now,” said Al Gore in 2007 as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaign to fight so-called “global warming”.

But far from melting away, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in a row – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.

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Too many non-teachers?

31% of school employees are support staffers — clerks, janitors, bus drivers, cafeteria workers, security guards — and another 12% are aides, reports Fordham’s The Hidden Half. Their salaries and benefits absorb one quarter of school expenditures.

 

(Via Joanne Jacobs)

Seattle considers renaming Columbus Day

Seattle considers renaming Columbus Day

SEATTLE — The Seattle City Council next week will consider a resolution to change the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People’s Day.

Native American tribes have been pushing for the change for years and successfully persuaded the Minneapolis City Council to make the change earlier this year. It was a unanimous vote.

The native groups argue that Columbus Day has been celebrated as the beginning of European domination of the Americas.

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Teacher/author suspended for fictional violence

A Maryland middle school teacher was placed on leave — and taken by police for an “emergency”  psychiatric evaluation — because he wrote two novels set 900 years in the future about school massacres.

A police search for guns and bombs found nothing. (Not even a slice of pizza chewed into the shape of a gun?!) But police will guard the middle school until the nonexistent danger is past.

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Gallup: Americans Approve of Unions but Support “Right to Work”

A slim majority of Americans, 53%, approve of labor unions, near the low in Gallup’s nearly 80-year trend. Although more Americans approve than disapprove of unions, they also widely support right-to-work laws.

Do you approve or disapprove of labor unions?

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Baylen Linnekin: Portuguese Food Co-op Fights Back Against EU

Fruit

Fruta Feia, formed in 2013 by Isabel Soares, is a co-op that’s fighting both inane EU food regulations and the food waste those regulations cause. The group pushes back against regulations that dictate the size and shape of fruit that can be sold throughout the EU. If fruit is misshapen, irregular, or fails to meet certain color guidelines, then the regulations state that it’s not fit for sale. The rules, published in 2008, state that apples, for example, may not be sold if they have certain cosmetic “defects” in “shape” or “coloring.”

At a time when the economic downturn means fresh fruits and vegetables are harder to come by for many—with small farmers struggling to make ends meet—and with food waste an enormous problem, these regulations couldn’t be more idiotic and infuriating.

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Our Bloated EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required sewage treatment plants, catalytic converters on cars, and other things that made the world cleaner than it was a few decades ago. Today, America’s waterways are cleaner, and so is the air we breathe. In a rational world, argues John Stossel, environmental bureaucrats would now say, “Mission accomplished. We set tough standards, so we don’t need to keep doing more. Stick a fork in it! We’re done.” We could keep around some EPA bureaucrats to enforce existing environmental rules and watch for new pollution problems—but not the 16,000 environmental regulators currently employed. This EPA bloat means that today, instead of environmental regulations that actually save lives, we pay to subsidize politicians’ cronies and pet projects, such as electric cars.

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Farmers’ Almanac predicts another nasty winter, echoing the Old Farmer’s Almanac

Farmers-almanac-2015Calling for some “frigid conditions, bitter conditions,” The Farmers’ Almanac is predicting more of last winter’s polar vortex and relentless snowstorms for the coming season.

“Shivery and shovelry are back,” said managing editor Sandi Duncan. “We’re calling for some frigid conditions, bitter conditions.”

Headquartered in Lewiston, Maine, the latest edition of 198-year-old publication forecasts colder and wetter weather than usual for three-quarters of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. It also predicts that California, along with the Pacific Northwest, will see normal precipitation and cool temperatures this winter.

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California drivers brace for costly new global warming gas tax | Fox News

Gasoline in California will be subject to California’s Global Warming Solutions Act tax (Schwarzenegger signed AB 32 into law in 2006) which will boost the price starting at $0.12 per gallon and could go as high as $0.76. This new tax would make California the state with the highest priced gasoline and diesel fuel.

Californians already pay the nation’s second highest gas tax at 68 cents a gallon — and now it will go up again in January to pay for a first-in-the-nation climate change law.

“I didn’t know that,” said Los Angeles motorist Tyler Rich. “It’s ridiculous.”

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Gallup: The “40-Hour” Workweek Is Actually Longer — by Seven Hours

Adults employed full time in the U.S. report working an average of 47 hours a week, almost a full workday longer than what a standard five-day, 9-to-5 schedule entails. Workers paid a salary log a few more hours each week than those paid hourly.

Average Hours Worked by Full-Time U.S. Workers, Aged 18+

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Follow the Money

The San Diego Police Department seems to have misplaced $1 million in funds seized from drug runners and other accused criminals. After a local newspaper investigation found the funds weren’t accounted for, police officials said they would seek an audit.

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Democrats More Afraid of Global Warming Than ISIS

ISIS killing unarmed civilians

Democrats are more afraid of global warming than the threat posed by the Islamic State terrorists, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

The poll shows that 68 percent of Democrats believe that global climate change is a major threat to the United States, compared to just 25 percent of Republicans.

poll

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Google drones tested in Queensland

A tailsitter craft operated as part of Project Wing.

A Queensland farm on the Darling Downs has become the unlikely testing ground of one of the most technologically advanced Google projects that could see autonomous drones deliver anything from chocolate to life-saving medicines.

Google X, a division of the US-based technology company dedicated to making major technological advancements, tested Project Wing near Warwick earlier this month, the first time “non-Googlers” had been involved.

Google X director Astro Teller said Project Wing’s goal was ultimately to build a system for delivering small and medium sized packages within minutes to anyone, using self-flying vehicles.

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US colleges screen some students for Ebola | Fox News

U.S. colleges have begun screening some students for Ebola.

College students from West Africa may be subject to extra health checks when they arrive to study in the United States as administrators try to insulate their campuses from the worst Ebola outbreak in history.

With the virus continuing to kill in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, the expected arrival of thousands of students from those countries has U.S. authorities on alert but cautioning against alarm.

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Gallup: Obama’s “Strong Disapproval” Double His “Strong Approval”

According to the latest Gallup poll, “The percentage of Americans who strongly disapprove of Obama has increased over time, while the percentage who strongly approve has dropped by almost half.”

President Barack Obama's Approval Ratings, by Intensity

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Why Obama Backed Off More ISIS Strikes: His Own Team Couldn’t Agree on a Syria Strategy – The Daily Beast

“We don’t have a strategy yet” for dealing with ISIL, President Barack Obama has admitted.

After lots of bluster about striking ISIS on Syria, President Obama threw cold water on the idea, disappointing those who wanted him to broaden the war.

After a week of talk of eliminating the “cancer” of ISIS, President Obama said Thursday that he was not planning to significantly expand the war against the Islamic extremist movement anytime soon.

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NYT: Obama Sidesteps Congress, Gives Up On Global Climate Treaty

The Obama Administration is reportedly pursuing a non-binding approach to international climate policy, in the hopes that such a strategy will sidestep the need to seek Congressional approval. The New York Times reports:

President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path. [...]

American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification.

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Forget Climate Hysteria: U.S. Hurricane Drought Still In Record Territory

Its been almost nine years since the last major hurricane struck the US Mainland. That’s 3,230 days.

Remember how the Global Warmists were telling us that AGW was going to cause record number of hurricanes? Another prediction fail. 

Remember, we are talking MAJOR hurricanes, of Category 3 strength or higher. The last major hurricane was Hurricane Wilma which hit Florida on October 24, 2005. This is unprecedented in the hurricane record since 1900. Its a full 2 1/2 years ahead of the second-longest US hurricane drought ever recorded.

On average, the Atlantic Basin/Caribbean area see 11 named tropical systems. Seven of those become hurricanes. Two of them are major hurricanes. We currently have Tropical Storm Marie, a former Category 5 Hurricane, in the Eastern Pacific Ocean stirring up high surf along California’s southern coast. In the Atlantic, we have the third named storm of the season, Hurricane Cristobal, churning up to the west of Bermuda. Its a Category 1 storm that will not strike the US.

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U.N. tries to locate Fijian peacekeepers seized on Golan Heights | Reuters

Israeli forces are in Golan Heights trying to find 44 U.N. peacekeepers captured by Al Qaeda-linked militants in Syria. 

U.N. officials shuttled along the rocky frontier between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Friday, trying to establish the whereabouts of 44 United Nations peacekeepers seized by al-Qaeda-linked militants inside Syria.

Israeli forces took up positions at Quneitra, a fortified crossing between Syria and the Golan, barely 400 metres (437 yards) from Nusra Front militants who attacked a U.N. base on the Syrian side of the border on Wednesday and seized the 44 Fijians.

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