Tuesday, December 14, 2010

400-408 – Bob Bowden, Director of the documentary DVD The Cartel (, which exposes the damage the public education monopoly is doing to our kids, at tremendous tax payer expense.  New Jersey is the case study.  If you liked Waiting for Superman, you'll love The Cartel.

THE CRISIS | Only 35 percent of American high school seniors are proficient readers. Only 23 percent are proficient in math. Nationwide, only 74 percent of ninth graders graduate within four years—and that number drops to about 50 percent for black and Hispanic students. Twelve percent of American high schools are "dropout factories"—schools where less than 60 percent of freshmen even make it to their senior year. It comes as no surprise, then, that America lags far behind other developed countries when it comes to schooling: Among large industrialized countries, America ranks last in educational effectiveness—despite spending the most.

The conventional wisdom says that our schools could be dramatically improved with better funding. If we would only "invest in education," the argument goes, our children would have a better future—particularly in urban areas, where leaky roofs, under-qualified teachers, and outdated textbooks are all too common.

And so the last few decades have brought an explosion of education spending, enthusiastically approved by local school boards and state legislatures and generally supported by taxpayers. That's the moral cover under which our public school system wastes and steals billions of dollars every year.

New Jersey offers a dramatic instance of this corruption and improvidence. After New York, no other state spends as much per pupil—but the Garden State has very little to show for its investment. Spending can exceed $400,000 per classroom, and yet only 39 percent of the state's eighth-graders are proficient or advanced readers, and only 40 percent of its eighth-graders are proficient or advanced in math. Of new high school graduates attending the state's community colleges, nearly 80 percent require remediation. More than three quarters of New Jersey's high schools have been warned that they may be placed on the state's list of failing schools. And the problem is not one of inadequate funding: Some of the worst schools receive—and squander—the most money.

This costly, unconscionable failure forms the subject of The Cartel.

413-423 – Bob Bowden

428-437 – Bob Bowden

443-452 – Mark Borough, CEO of the Crystal River Business, is offering 10 weeks of "excellent business principals" for free, when you go to

458-508 – Bob Bowden

512-523 – Bob Bowden

528-539 – • AP (12/14/2010) Las Vegas Police: Gunman Takes $1.5M Worth of Chips From Bellagio Casino.

LAS VEGAS -- Police say an armed bandit who escaped on a motorcycle with about $1.5 million worth of casino chips from the posh Bellagio resort in Las Vegas may have pulled a similar caper across town less than a week ago.

Police say the Dec. 9 hold-up at the Suncoast also involved a man wearing a helmet who displayed a gun, demanded casino chips and sped away on a black sport motorcycle.

That heist netted less than $20,000 in chips.

Police Lt. Clinton Nichols told The Associated Press that Tuesday's 3:50 a.m. robbery at the Bellagio happened "about as quick as you can do it." Police released grainy images showing a man wearing a motorcycle helmet pointing a gun.  No shots were fired, and no one was injured.

Here's the latest in ways to steal your identity, and you don't even know it (link), from my buddy Lynn Edgington at Eagle Research Associates (  Check your credit cards, if you have the RFID logo (the amphitheater symbol like for Airport on a Mac), then you are susceptible.

Here's some of Lynn's tips for shopping in a way that helps protect you against identity theft. 

Ladies:  Don't carry your purse over your shoulder with your bag behind your shoulder.  If you wear a fanny pack, wear it in front, not in back.  Don't carry your charge cards and driver's license in the wallet in your purse, put them in another area.  The pick-pocket wants your wallet, and doesn't have time to dig through your purse, so give them as little as possible if your wallet is stolen.  Also, don't carry your checkbook, carry just a few checks instead

Guys:  Carry your wallet in a front pants pocket where you'll feel its presence and know if it's not there.

544-554 – What's your "stole it, returned it" story?

T 554  Robert Micone & Bill O'Connor "The Money Guys" from Applied Financial Planning at 866-SEEK-COUNSEL, (866-733-5268, 

 558-608 – Debunking 21 Myths of the "Traditional Christmas Story"

            It was the year 0, late in the evening on a cold winter's night on December 24.  A young homeless couple in their early twenties are looking for lodging in the large city of Bethlehem.  The woman is at full term in her pregnancy.  Their names are Joseph and Mary Christ, and they're going to Bethlehem seeking shelter.  Mary is riding upon the back of a donkey, while her husband walks beside her.  Having little luck finding a hotel with a room, they eventually come to the last hotel on the far side of Bethlehem. Sadly, the marquee out front is flashing "No Vacancy."  Joseph, in desperation, begs the night manager for anything out of the winter's cold.  Taking pity upon the poor homeless couple in obvious need of a place to spend the evening, the night manager reluctantly agrees to allow them to spend the night in the stable out back. 

            Joseph and Mary are led to the back of the property where they are shown their evening's quarters, a lean-to shelter filled with hay and farm instruments.  As they settle in out of the weather, the barnyard animals peer through the cracks in the slats to see their new guests.  Joseph looks around and notices an old crude wooden feeding trough (or manger) sitting in a corner, and he breathes a sigh of relief.  "Just in case," he says to himself.  He has just gotten his wife comfortable for the evening, when – just as he is about to fall asleep near midnight – he hears the words "Joseph, I think its time...."

            At that very moment, a few miles away, two young shepherd boys are fast asleep when all of a sudden, a cascade of light falls upon them and they open their eyes to behold a choir of singing angels.  Overcome with awe and wonder, the angels instruct the shepherds to go back to town to visit a stable where the King of Kings lies as a newborn.  The shepherds immediately arise and go directly to the manger in haste, just in time to behold Mary, and the only son she would ever bear.  Now, also arriving at precisely that same moment are three old wise men following a star and bearing gifts.

            The scene is now complete:  Joseph and Mary on either side of the manger, the three wise men standing at a short distance with gifts in their hands, the two young shepherd boys kneeling beside them, and all the barnyard animals staring at the wonderful event that has just occurred in an obscure village in a remote part of Judea.  The angels begin singing "Silent Night," the cattle begin lowing, and the set fades to black...

612-623 – The Christmas Story

628-639 – The Christmas Story

644-656 – The Christmas Story

• Thanks to Lori Barragar, family owner of Shelton's Premium Poultry (, for her generous donation of Christmas turkeys this year.  Be the 12th or 18th caller and get your free turkey!

• American Family Association, Naughty or Nice? (my edited list from this list is below)

Companies FOR "Christmas"  –, Bass Pro Shops, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Big Lots, Costco, Dick's Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, JC Penney, Kmart, Kohl's, Kroger, Lowe's, Macy's, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Office Max, Petsmart, Pier One Imports, Publix, QVC, Rite Aid, Sears, Target, Toys R Us, Wal-Mart/Sam's Club.

Companies marginalizing "Christmas" – Bath & Body Works, Dollar Tree, Old Navy, Safeway, Starbucks, Walgreens, Whole Foods.

Companies against "Christmas" – Banana Republic, Barnes & Noble, CVS Pharmacy, Foot Locker, Gap Stores, NASCAR, L.L. Bean, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Staples, SUPERVALU, Victoria's Secret.

 • Salon (12/13/2010) Will Switzerland allow incest?  A Swiss law proposes decriminalizing consensual sexual relationships between parents and their adult children.

(4:48) Sherri in Glendora shares her favorite Christmas story about just missing Santa when he visited their house.

••• Arthur Brooks & Peter Wehner, The American (12/11/2010) Human Nature and Capitalism.  Arthur C. Brooks is the president of the American Enterprise Institute. Peter Wehner is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. This article was adapted from their newly published monograph, Wealth and Justice: The Morality of Democratic Capitalism.

• Fox News (12/10/2010) 4-Year-Old Goes on Shopping Spree -- on iPhone App.

• Hugh Ross, RTB (11/22/2010) THE CHRISTMAS STAR.

• Jeff Zweerink, RTB (11/17/2010) REVIEW OF THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM.