“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Who is Jaime Escalante ?

The Teacher's unions hated him.

In the Iowa Republican Presidential debate, Duncan Hunter referred to a man that I had not heard about. I think you may find this interesting.


Jaime Escalante was born in La Paz, Bolivia. While living in Bolivia he taught physics and mathematics for 12 years. He also taught physics to bare-footed indians in the Altiplano. In 1964 he decided to move to the United States. To prepare himself he started studying science and mathematics at University of Puerto Rico.

Upon moving from Puerto Rico to California Jaime still could not speak English, and had no valid American teaching credentials. To rectify this he studied at night at Pasadena City College to earn a degree in electronics. At this point he took a day job at a computer corporation, while continuing his schooling at night to earn a mathematics degree at California State University, Los Angeles where he studied calculus under the noted professor Louis Leithold.

In 1974 he began teaching at Garfield High School, in East Los Angeles in Los Angeles County, California. Initially Escalante was so disheartened by the lack of preparation in his students that he called his former employer and asked for his old job back. Jaime eventually changed his mind about returning to work when he found 12 students willing to take an algebra class.

The school administration opposed Escalante frequently during his first few years. He was even threatened with dismissal by an assistant principal because he was coming in too early, leaving too late, and failing to get administrative permission to raise funds to pay for his students' Advanced Placement tests. This opposition changed with arrival of a new principal, Henry Gradillas.

Gradillas overhauled the academic curriculum at Garfield, reducing the number of basic math classes and requiring that those taking basic math had to concurrently take algebra. He denied extracurricular activities to students who failed to maintain a C average and new students who failed basic skill tests.

Escalante continued to teach at Garfield but it was not until 1979 that Escalante would actually instruct his first calculus class. Escalante did this in the hopes that it could provide the leverage to improve lower level math courses. To this end Escalante recruited fellow teacher Ben Jimenez and taught calculus to 5 students, 2 of whom passed the A.P. calculus test. The following year the class had increased in size to 9 students, 7 of whom passed the A.P. calculus test. By 1981 the class had increased to 15 students, 14 of whom passed.

In 1982 he came into the national spotlight when 18 of his students passed the Advanced Placement calculus exam. The Educational Testing Service found these scores to be suspect and asked 14 of those who passed to take the exam again. Twelve of the 14 agreed to retake the test and did well enough to have their scores reinstated.

In 1983 the number of students enrolling and passing the A.P. calculus test increased over 100 percent. That year 33 students took the exam and 30 passed. That year Escalante also started teaching calculus at East Los Angeles College.

By 1987 the program had escalated to the point where 73 students passed the A.P. calculus AB exam and another 12 students passed the BC version of the test. This was the peak for the calculus program. The same year Gradillas went on sabbatical to finish his doctorate with hopes that he could be reinstated as principal at Garfield or a similar school with similar programs upon his return. Gradillas’s replacement, Maria Elena Tostado, did not share his views on education. Due to this, the relationship between the administration and Escalante became strained.

1988 saw the release of a book, Escalante, The Best Teacher in America by Jay Mathews (ISBN 0-8050-1195-1) and a movie Stand and Deliver detailing the events of 1982. During this time teachers and other interested observers asked to sit in on his classes. Jaime also received visits from political leaders and celebrities, including then President George Bush and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Escalante has described the film as "90% truth, 10% drama". He stated that several points were left out of the film:
  • It took him several years to achieve the kind of success shown in the film.
  • In no case was a student who didn't know multiplication tables or fractions taught calculus in a single year.
  • Escalante suffered a gall-bladder attack, not a heart attack. This distinction was clouded in the movie.
Over the next few years Escalante’s calculus program continued to grow but not without its own price. Tensions that surfaced when his career began at Garfield escalated. In his final years at Garfield, Escalante received threats and hate mail from various individuals.

By 1990 he had lost the math department chairmanship. At this point Escalante’s math enrichment program had grown to 400+ students. Jaime’s class sizes had increased to over 50 students in some cases. This was far beyond the 35 student limit set by the teachers' union and in turn increased criticism of Escalante’s work.

In 1991, the number of Garfield students taking advanced placement examinations in math and other subjects jumped to 570. That same year, citing faculty politics and petty jealousies Escalante left Garfield with Ben Jimenez. Escalante found immediate employment from the Sacramento, California school system. Angelo Villavicencio took the reins of the program after their departure and taught the remaining 107 A.P. students in 2 classes for the next year. 67 of Villavicencio’s students went on to take the A.P. exam, and 47 passed. Villavicencio’s request for a third class due to class size was denied and the following spring he followed Escalante and quit Garfield.

The math program's decline at Garfield became immediately apparent following the departure of Escalante and other teachers associated with its inception and development. In the space of just a few years, Garfield experienced a sevenfold drop in the number of A.P. calculus students passing their exams. In 1996, Angelo Villavicencio contacted Garfield’s new principal, Tony Garcia, and offered to come back to help revive the dying calculus program. His offer was politely rejected.

In 2001, after many years of preparing teenagers for the AP calculus exam, Escalante returned to his native Bolivia. He lives in his wife’s hometown, Cochabamba, and teaches part time at the local university. He returns to the United States frequently to visit his children.


  1. Maths?
    We don't need no stinking Maths!
    We don't need no Fucking English!
    Viva La Raza!

  2. I Nominate Barney for Chief Terrorchaser“we Americans are better than that.”

    The Congressional intelligence committees, whose leaders in 2002 gave at least tacit approval for the tough tactics, have voted in conference to ban all coercive techniques, and they have announced investigations of the destruction of the videotapes and the methods they documented.

    “Exactly what they feared is what’s happening,” Jack Goldsmith, the former head of the Office of Legal Counsel at the Justice Department, said of the C.I.A. officials he advised in that job. “The winds change, and the recriminations begin.”

    The legal siege against the Bush administration’s counterterrorism programs goes far beyond the C.I.A., including lawsuits brought on behalf of hundreds of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and more than 40 challenges in court to the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program.

    John C. Kiriakou, who helped lead the team that caught the Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah in Pakistan in March 2002, went public on ABC News this week with such a message. He said he saw intelligence reports saying that waterboarding, a technique that induces a sense of suffocation, had caused Abu Zubaydah to start talking after 35 seconds.

    But Mr. Kiriakou, a 43-year-old father of four who left the agency in 2004, also said in an interview that he believed waterboarding was torture and should never be used again, because “we Americans are better than that.” He added: “I think the second-guessing of 2002 decisions is unfair. What I think is fair is having a national debate over whether we should be waterboarding.”

  3. "he believed waterboarding was torture and should never be used again,"

  4. Drug Dealers Si!
    Border Agents Nyet!

    December 12, 2007
    CONTACT: Joe Kasper (202) 225-5672

    Hunter: Pardon our Border Patrolmen

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) made the following statement today regarding President Bush’s announcement yesterday to grant pardons and commutations to 29 individuals, while refusing to pardon Border Patrol agents Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos.

    “The President announced yesterday that 29 individuals have been granted pardons and commutations for a variety of crimes, from dealing drugs to the theft of government property,” said Congressman Hunter.

    “Two names that were conspicuously missing from the President’s list were Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean.
    “By refusing to pardon agents Ramos and Compean, the President has missed yet another opportunity to correct this miscarriage of justice.

    The fact that the drug dealer, whose testimony sent the agents to jail, has been indicted for running drugs across the border while serving as a federal witness necessitates a Presidential pardon.

    “Agents Ramos and Compean deserve to be pardoned and returned to their families for Christmas.
    “Mr. President, pardon our Border Patrolmen.”
    Former U.S. Border Patrol agent Ignacio Ramos embraced his wife, Monica Ramos, two days before he was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

  5. Worthless POS "Christian Conservative"
    Corrupt SOB going straight to Hell is the truth.

  6. (the pardon bill authored by Dana Rorhabacher, with wide support, has been sidelined by Democrat Leadership responding to Hispanic Activist Lobbyists.)
    Hispanic Drug Dealers, Si!
    Hispanic Border Agents,
    Go directly to Jail.
    A victory for Hispanics.

  7. "Still, investigations can impose a high price no matter how they end. “It’s not just the fear of going to jail,” Mr. Goldsmith said. “It’s the enormous expense of hiring lawyers. It’s seeing your reputation destroyed. It’s losing your career.”
    Not a problem for the absent officer Al.
    Guess I'll check out Col. Chessani.

  8. POS POTUS Pardons Drug Dealers, is not concerned with Heroic Career Warriors or Border Agents
    Defense attorney Brian Rooney argued the charges amounted to second-guessing Chessani -- and making a past decision criminal.

    "It's entirely possible that the Marines who did the shooting will be cleared for their part, but Colonel Chessani will not only lose his career but could spend time in the brig for having faith in his men," Rooney told reporters.
    ANN ARBOR, MI – Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, USMC, will be arraigned in a Camp Pendleton courtroom on Friday, November 16, 2007, at 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Time almost two years to the date of the anniversary of the so-called “Haditha Massacre.”

    Chessani faces criminal charges that he failed to properly report and investigate a possible “law of war” violation stemming from a November 19, 2005, house-to-house battle involving four Marines from LtCol Chessani’s battalion. If convicted, LtCol Chessani faces 2 ½ years imprisonment, dismissal (dishonorable discharge) from the Marine Corps, and loss of all retirement benefits.

    LtCol Chessani is a 20 year veteran and the father of 5 young children (expecting a sixth shortly), who served in the Panama Invasion, the Persian Gulf War, and three tours in Iraq, including the Second Battle of Fallujah.

    Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Law Center, commented, “Every patriotic American has a stake in the outcome of this case. A U.S. Army Colonel and an Army General conducted two separate investigations, and came to the same conclusion: there was no ‘massacre’ and no ‘cover-up.’

    Yet the government still pursued a multi-million dollar investigation in order to appease an anti-war politician and the ‘blame America first’ media. Now, we have the absurd situation of LtCol Chessani being charged with failing to report and investigate a crime that never occurred. Every American should be outraged at the way this dedicated Marine and his family are being treated by the nation he so loyally defended.”

    The charges against LtCol Chessani were incited by an inflammatory Time magazine headline accusing Marine enlisted men of “massacring innocent civilians.” The story was planted by known terrorist propaganda operatives, and has since been discredited.

    Anti-war Congressman John Murtha, who holds major influence over military appropriations, in an unprecedented action publicly accused Marine officers of a “cover-up” and enlisted men of killing “in cold-blood” even before the investigation of the incident was completed. Subsequent investigations have specifically found no “cover-up” at any level of command, and have exonerated several of the Marines involved.

  9. Dems: Amen to Ramadan, but forget about Christmas

    9 House members praise Islamic faith, won't recognize Christian observance

    U.S. Rep Diana DeGette, D-Colo.
    (Cunts United Against Christians)

    Only weeks after voting for a resolution that "recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world," nine Democrats in the U.S. House refused to vote for a Christmas resolution that condemns the worldwide persecution of Christians.

    U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., was on the list of those who endorsed the statement recognizing Islam, but refused to support the Christmas resolution that noted the holiday "is celebrated annually by Christians throughout the United States and around the world."

    The Christmas resolution, like the Ramadan resolution, decried the violence that targets religion around the world.

    A spokesman for DeGette told WND her vote was because the Ramadan resolution, which she endorsed, was about "rejecting religious extremism and promoting of religious tolerance."

    The spokesman, Chris Aaron, however, said DeGette is a "strong supporter of separation of church and state and her view was that Congress should not favor one religion over another.

  10. Other Democrats who supported the acknowledgment of Islam's Ramadan but refused a similar recognition for Christianity's Christmas included Gary Ackerman and Yvette Clarke of N.Y., Alcee Hastings, Fla., Barbara Lee, Fortney Stark and Lynn Woolsey, Calif., Jim McDermott, Wash., and Robert Scott, Va.
    Amazingly, all but two of the representatives who answered "present" or voted against the Christmas resolution voted in favor of a resolution recognizing Ramadan, even though much of the language was similar," the group said.

  11. The best job I had in the military, doug, was getting out and being a civilian.

    Both the LTC and thse Border Patrolmen, they'd have been better off making a career of selling Chinese made shoes at Wal-Mart.

    I saw all kinds of examples of the military abusing it's service members, fellows with 18 years service not allowed to re-enlist, stuff like that.

    Sets the tone for the organization.
    Fit the mold or get the hell out.

    As for the Border Patrol fellows, both are seemingly Hispanic, by the spelling of their names. But not from a favored sub-sector of that community.

    Not quite Hispanic enough for any favorable action, like compassionate forgiveness.
    They thought they had a secure job, with benefits.

    Mr Bush, though, he's an entrepenurial President, siding with the import/export crowd.

    Time after time.

  12. Just watched JFK and Ike leave the White House and head to the Capital for JFKs inaugural.

    Not a "Blast Barrier" in sight.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."

    Those two Border Patrolers, just asked to make a small sacrifice, for Amerika.

    That LTC, too. Small sacrifice to ask for, what's a career, when Amerika's future hangs in the balance?

  13. I was going to reccomend westhawk's newest thread to you, doug.

    But then I saw you'd already been there.

  14. I love Al's attitude that just because you lose your career, reputation, time with family, and peace of mind, if Murtha and the Prick at the top and POTUS lose in the end, then all is well that ends well.
    Chesanni, still being hasseled after reporting the essentials up the chain on the day it occured!

  15. "Teresita said...
    " But, it's serious stuff, another reason we ought to have an English as the official language amendment to the Constitution".

    There's no need. I'm a first generation "begotten" Fil-Am (born here to immigrant parents) and I can barely understand or speak Tagalog. America is the tower of babel in reverse. People come here and drop their native tongue like a hot potato."
    Good old Ms T:
    Can't ever quite see beyond groups, whether, gay, brown, or whatever:
    Alert to Ms T:
    Even tho they both have "Brown Skin" Flips and Mexicans are not the same in terms of language, or desire to assimilate.
    Flips are more like Mexican immigrants of 50 years ago, driven to assimilate and prosper, not become victims and perps, but that is what our socialist systems have wrought, first with Blacks, and now w/Mexicans.
    ...and you want to vote for more of the same ASAP!
    More "money for education" simply means more money for socialist/victimology indoctrination, NOT EDUCATION.
    ...unless you consider a 50% dropout rate a good thing, and Math and English in the tank except for exceptions like Jaime Escalante.

  16. If you want to speak English with a Tagalog Accent, just take lessons from our son!

  17. Doug: Good old Ms T:
    Can't ever quite see beyond groups, whether, gay, brown, or whatever:

    Really? That's why I married a white man instead of going with someone from my own group?

  18. No, that's why you played the Brown Skinned victim seranade and the Gay victim at the outset.

  19. Desert Rat: Just watched JFK and Ike leave the White House and head to the Capital for JFKs inaugural.

    Not a "Blast Barrier" in sight.

    Those were kinder, gentler times. The worst weapon brandished at our school in the 1970s was a switchblade. The gangs had rumbles with brass knuckles and chains, not drive-bys with semi-auto machine guns. We had splendid little tussles in Grenada and Libya, not continuous full-scale land wars in the Middle East that bog down our forces and severely limit our options in the event we need to go into Iran, Pakistan, Korea, or Taiwan.

  20. ...and why you assume that because SOME immigrants still want to assimilate, ALL do.
    That was the real point, if you care to listen.

  21. "Really? That's why I married a white man instead of going with someone from my own group?"
    Someone from your own group would have been another female.
    But we have been left to wonder about that.
    (hint, males and females differ more than people from different "races")

  22. Doug: No, that's why you played the Brown Skinned victim seranade and the Gay victim at the outset.

    I'm quite sure I don't know what you're talking about. I despise victim politics. The gay stuff stemmed from a policy my husband put into place to discourage attempted pickups by guys on MySpace. Unfortunately it didn't work for sheet, and we dropped that idea as well as the MySpace accounts.

  23. Teresita said...
    The gangs had rumbles with brass knuckles and chains, not drive-bys with semi-auto machine guns.


    Just a mild correction. It's a semi-auto OR a machine gun. Can't be both. (small point but a major distinction to us gun nuts)

    Your point is well taken.

    In my school days, kids having a bad day just went home and sulked.

    Nobody rifled up and shot up the mall, church, school, etc.

    Life not valued today as much I think...

  24. Doug: (hint, males and females differ more than people from different "races")

    Viva la difference.

    "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." Paul to the Galatians.

  25. Somehow your husband and I experience a different reality.

  26. Brother D-Day: Nobody rifled up and shot up the mall, church, school, etc. Life not valued today as much I think...

    And I remember pre-Sudafed Scare (1982) when you could buy toothpaste or ketchup without worrying about tampering. The 1986shootings on the freeway near Irvine CA were the first road rage incidents I even heard of.

    Master Je Tzu said this was a Sign the End is Near in Matthew 24:12"And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."

  27. "Stand and Deliver'--Edward James Olmos--good movie--wasn't he the guy that played in Miami Vice for awhile? "By the book, Sonny, by the book!"

    A good teacher is an excellent thing. We've all probably had one or two. They are a rare bird.


    What do I do when my connection to the internet doesn't go through, time after time? It's driving me nuts here.

  28. Back to my point:
    The majority of those in the illegal invasion don't want to assimilate, at least by any historical standard of what assimilation once meant.

  29. Albob,
    Here, I just called Verizon, once:
    Who's your carrier in the Lentil Capital?

  30. Bobal: "Stand and Deliver'--Edward James Olmos--good movie--wasn't he the guy that played in Miami Vice for awhile? "By the book, Sonny, by the book!"

    Lately he plays Adama on the Sci-Fi version of Battlestar Galactica, and he was the weird cop in Blade Runner who left the origami of a unicorn for Deckard to find (Deckard often had dreams of unicorns), thus proving that Deckard himself was a replicant and Olmos had read his file.

  31. Well you had me fooled Mrs T or you're fooling me now.

    I am/was a farmer, just like I said.

    Is there a procedure to make the internet connection go through with regularity? Or do I call tech support?

  32. Of course life is not valued, as much as it once was.

    Life is a nothing but a choice, that the powerful can impose on the powerless.

    Sanctioned by the Government.

    A corrosive meme if ever there was one. Sanctioning the deaths of some millions of citizens to be.

    The pre-born being not worthy of the promise of life, liberty or happiness.

    Sanctioned by US sociery and law, the survivors of this culture of death are now maturing to adulthood.

    Little wonder they do not respect the life of others.

  33. Doug: Somehow your husband and I experience a different reality.

    Doug, traditionally when someone gets on my case on the blog I don't leave the party but I go stand in the other corner of the room. I'm already kitty-corner to whit, but there's three spare corners to visit if I need to.

  34. Cableone--I'm calling em today can't take it anymore, the urge to put my fist through the screen. I've cleaned up the files, defragmented and all that stuff. Working right now it seems.

  35. Bobal: Is there a procedure to make the internet connection go through with regularity? Or do I call tech support?

    Bobal, I hate intermittent problems. If you do a google search for a internet connection speed test you can see if your connection is noisy (it will be much slower than usual because the error-correction routines will be working overtime). If you have a phone or DSL connection try another cord, they can wear out at the connector if you move your computer around. If you have a cable connection you can try to clean the business end with alcohol and a Q-tip, and then check that speed-test website again.

  36. What else would one expect of a nation that sanctions and subsidizes prenatal sacrifices on the alter of personal choice?

  37. Are there spare victim dunce caps in each corner?

  38. If we'd get all this violence off the tube, and the movies, society would settle down a little I believe. I blame Hollywood for a lot of it. After watching an English sitcom, one generally doesn't feel like going out and blowing someone away. Makes a difference, just like a decent dress code in schools probably do. But I'm a conservative old fart.

    Thank you Mrs T.

  39. Bobal: Well you had me fooled Mrs T or you're fooling me now.

    There would be no point in fooling you, Bobal. Besides, I've got relatives in the Philippines who surf my blog in an internet cafe and they would go "Hey-SOOS Maria Josef!" if I was still doing that lesbo crap.

  40. And I'm naive, a real babe in the woods, too, and often don't know what to believe!

    There would be no point in fooling you, Bobal.

    What's that mean?!

  41. But I'm not so naive as to believe Iran isn't making the bomb.

  42. bobal said: There would be no point in fooling you, Bobal.

    What's that mean?!

    Nothing sinister. It just means that there would be no possible benefit to portraying myself as something I am not on the EB.

  43. Previously-
    107 rounds and liberal use of fuel air explosives
    Mon Nov 05, 08:14:00 PM EST
    ...a fuel-air mixture flows easily into any cavities, neither natural terrain features nor non-hermetically sealed field fortifications (emplacements, covered slit trenches, bunkers) protect against the effects of fuel-air explosives.

    trained guerillas from the Syrian and Iranian-backed group in building bunkers and storing weapons

    'active electromagnetic' tomography

    combined with USAF emphasis on earth penetrating munitions

  44. Inflation--

    Can of tuna at Albertson's was 55 cents,only a few months ago, now $1.29. Tuna of the Sea. In water.

  45. Idaho Officials Hammer Out Wolf Plan

    The deadline to comment on the plan the Idaho Fish and Game Dept. will adopt to manage wolves once they are removed from federal protection is fast approaching...

    The plan calls for at least 15 breeding pairs of wolves and 102 individual wolves to be maintained in the state...

    There are believed to be 800 wolves in the state today.

    Under the plan hunting season on wolves would be liberal in many areas and concentrated in place where wolves are causing problems with livestock or other big game animals, (read Elk here)

    The plan can be viewed at

    In Montana--Montana Panel Backs Killing 130 Wolves

    Helena, Montana AP

    Up to 130 wolves could be shot in Montana next year through hunting and livestock damage control when the animal is taken off the endangered species list.

    That recommendation from the Montana Wolf Management Advisory Council would maintain the overall wolf population in the state at about 400 animals.
    The wolves are hitting on the ranchers pretty hard in some places.

  46. Hey, Ash, Al Sharpton, sharp man that he is, was on to our scheme before we even thought of it!

    Sharpton Records Sought By Feds

    He just didn't have the good sense to head to Costa Rica after banking the money.

  47. Lawyer Michael Hardy shrugged off the probe, which sought a vast array of business, political and personal records, as a federal fishing expedition.

    "I can't think of a time when the Rev. Sharpton wasn't under investigation," he said.

  48. It's the "Ethanol," Bob.

    They've taken all that "Tuna-feed," and made ethanol out of it.

  49. And I thought it was low tuna runs due to Global Warming :)

  50. Well, we Know it couldn't have anything to do with the cost of diesel for those fishing boats, and trucks to deliver it, Right?

  51. Yup. Good article. Loaf of bread has, what, maybe 5 cents of wheat in it, probably not that.

  52. Pure hysterics, food and energy costs are factored out of "core inflation", for good reason.

    People don't have to buy those items.

    Energy and Food, just not germaine to any debate on monetary values, as it concerns the Government and policy.

    There can be volatile price changes in those two catagories, so they just have to be ignored.

    Quit whining, those prices will drop, just as dramaticly, just you wait, and watch.

    It just goes to show, if the Government does not like the outcome, it changes the definitions of the words.

    When Mr Clinton asked about the meaning of "is", he was not being facetious, but serious as a heart attack.

    If inflation rates are "off target" just change both the measure and meaning of inflation.

    Like "success" in Iraq.

    Nothing to it, but to do it.

  53. I'm not pushing my product here, as I don't have any right now, but lentils make a darn good meal.Healthy too,and fairly cheap. Throw in a little summer sausage or ham and carrots like I'm eating right now, is good and good for you.

  54. Rufus: They've taken all that "Tuna-feed," and made ethanol out of it.

    The farmers not only get record prices for their crops, they get free money from the guv'mint. Nice work, if you can get it.

  55. They're not getting as much "free" money, now, as you probably think, T. All of the "Support" payments are off the table due to the high prices. The Guv'mint saved 11 Billion last year on those. They still get some money for putting acres into "Conservation" reserve, and some money for "disaster" payments.

    Just because a level of support payments are approved doesn't mean they'll be needed. It's very unlikely the way things stand now.

  56. I hate to go "Kicking this Football," again, Rat; but, these numbers ARE looking pretty good. Iraq Fatalities

  57. Exercise your memory cells a little, T. Remember the days of the farm concerts, Willie Nelson, Farm Aid, bankruptcy sales? Farmers march on Washington? Tractors in the streets? Farmers commiting suicide--I knew one in fact. Things are good now, but were the pits for years, but that slides right by the city folk.

    Henry K. On the NIE

  58. And Rufus is right about the subsidies.

  59. I just made my second to last payment to the Farm Credit Services. One more payment,on a long term loan, next year I celebrate!

  60. A government job--good work if you can get it.

  61. Success in Iraq was never to be defined by the lack of casualties, rufus.

    No,indeed not.

    The Goal was democratization of Iraqi society, as an example to the rest of the Middle East, while putting the Tribes on the ash heap of history.

    That was the Goal, that would be real success.

    Not losing 3 soldiers a day, that is not the same as success, much less a US victory.

    Cutting the casualty rate by surrendering to the tribal leaders, a defeat of US strategic goals, in a tactical attempt to cut US losses.
    Not to achieve US Strategic Goals.

  62. Ban fists, clubs, bats, rocks. A girl was beaten to death with a rock here, some years ago.

    When we are all amputees, only criminals will have fists.

  63. Excepting that those that remember those Goals, few and far between.

    So now victory is defined by a lack of casualties, a change in the definition of success.

    Not the achievement of the original mission.

  64. Condi Rice, 7Aug'03

    ... with the liberation of Iraq, there is a special opportunity to advance a positive agenda for the Middle East that will strengthen security in the region and throughout the world. We are already seeing evidence of a new commitment to forging ahead with peace among Israelis and Palestinians.

    At the Red Sea Summits in June, Israelis, Palestinians and neighboring Arab states united behind the vision the president has set forth -- a vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. Israeli leaders increasingly understand that it is in Israel's own interest for Palestinians to govern themselves in a viable state that is peaceful, democratic and committed to fighting terror. Palestinian leaders increasingly understand that terror is not a means to Palestinian statehood but instead the greatest obstacle to statehood.
    Much as a democratic Germany became a linchpin of a new Europe that is today whole, free and at peace, so a transformed Iraq can become a key element of a very different Middle East in which the ideologies of hate will not flourish. And in the nearly 100 days since major combat operations ended in Iraq, the Iraqi people have reclaimed their country and begun to forge a more hopeful future. As this transition to freedom continues, America will work with other nations to help Iraqis achieve greater security and greater opportunity.
    ...This is not primarily a military commitment but one that will require us to engage all aspects of our national power -- diplomatic, economic and cultural. For instance, President Bush has launched the Middle East Partnership Initiative to bind us together in building a better future through concrete projects. He further has proposed establishing a U.S.-Middle East free trade area within a decade, to bring the people of the region into an expanding circle of opportunity.

    We are now just five years away from a US-Middle East free trade area?
    Or just another forgotten definition of victory

  65. The invasion of Iraq, it was to lead to Israeli and Palistinian Peace, instead it gained US all Hamas through the democratic process.

    Mr Bush speaking in Feb'03:

    Success in Iraq could also begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace, and set in motion progress towards a truly democratic Palestinian state. (Applause.) The passing of Saddam Hussein's regime will deprive terrorist networks of a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training, and offers rewards to families of suicide bombers. And other regimes will be given a clear warning that support for terror will not be tolerated. (Applause.)

    Without this outside support for terrorism, Palestinians who are working for reform and long for democracy will be in a better position to choose new leaders. (Applause.) True leaders who strive for peace; true leaders who faithfully serve the people. A Palestinian state must be a reformed and peaceful state that abandons forever the use of terror. (Applause.)

    That was the definition of success, that was the Goal.

    Success is now measured in fewer US casualties, in Iraq itself.

  66. "A Palestinian state must be a reformed and peaceful state that abandons forever the use of terror. "
    Right around the corner, praise the lord!
    Condi's on the Case.

  67. "He further has proposed establishing a U.S.-Middle East free trade area within a decade, to bring the people of the region into an expanding circle of opportunity."
    What a Dope!
    That'll do er: Free Trade will erase millenia of Tribal and Religious hatred.
    ...sounds like 'Rat's dream for the United Americas!

  68. Bobal: When we are all amputees, only criminals will have fists.

    When guns are outlawed only Giuliani will have guns.

  69. Rufus: They're not getting as much "free" money, now, as you probably think, T. All of the "Support" payments are off the table due to the high prices

    12/13/07 WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Senate refused to cut the $360,000 a year ceiling on crop subsidies per farm on Thursday, the second time in two days it rejected a major reform to its five-year, $286 billion farm bill.
    Senators voted 54-43 for the $250,000 limit but 60 were needed under an agreement to avert a potential filibuster on the issue.

    $286 billion dollars?

    $350 thousand dollars each?

  70. Quanell X, the leader of the Houston-based New Black Panther Nation Verclempt, Horn gets death threat after shooting illegal Columbian Drug Dealer.

    Protesters have also made race an issue. Mr. Horn is white and the burglars, he told the 911 operator, were black. Yet the neighbors whose house Mr. Horn was protecting are Vietnamese. They later said they thought the two men had been stalking them.

    A police report suggests Mr. Torres and Mr. Ortiz may have been shot in the back.

    And both, the police say, were illegal immigrants from Colombia, Mr. Ortiz having been deported in 1999 after being sentenced to 25 years for cocaine convictions.

    Mr. Horn went into seclusion even before a death threat was left on an answering machine Sunday in the Harris County district attorney’s office. He has been too upset to comment, said his lawyer, Charles T. Lambright.

    The shootings were denounced by scores of black demonstrators including Quanell X, the leader of the Houston-based New Black Panther Nation, who led a march on Dec. 2.

  71. Ms T,
    50 years ago my dad was complaining about the big land owners getting all the graft paid to "dirt poor farmers."
    Hasn't changed much in half a Century!

  72. Being a lobbyist for Big Farm,
    Albob neglected to mention that.

  73. By the way, all Republicans have to do is say "We are now filibustering this bill" and Harry Reid rolls over and says, "Okay, next topic!" They don't even have to read the Yellow Pages or something like Jimmy Stewart.

  74. No dream, doug. An ongoing reality.

    There is no natural boundary in the North America, seperating the people. There is no political will to create an artifical one.

    Not even seriously discussed.
    Just rhetorical eyewash, with no change in the status que.

    Jaime Escalante proof enough of that.

    Could become a nightmare, for those that are not prepared.
    Be like a Boy Scout, be prepared.

    They'll be changing the definitions of soveriegnty, it's already happening.

  75. It was all the Dems had to do, when the GOP held the gavel.

    On Judges, especially.

    They are all in the game, together.

  76. Sure isn't the rhetoric by Pubs vying for Iowa votes!

  77. Seriously discussed everywhere except in Washington DC.

  78. You obviously didn't listen to the debate on Spanish lanuage tv, from Florida, doug.

    The rhetoric was toned way down in that discussion. They were not saying what they've said in Iowa.

    Fancy that.

    Fitting the rhetoric to suit the crowd.

  79. T,

    if you'll go to this Treasury Website you will see how many programs come under the "Farm" Bill. Food Stamps, School Lunches, Rural electric Co-ops, etc.

  80. We will better understand how Arabfat had two different philosophies depending on the language he was using!

  81. T, I'm not saying there isn't some silliness (okay, a good bit of silliness) in the farm program - sugar, cotton, and rice come immediately to mind; BUT, it's really not a major drag in the overall scheme of things.

    Keep one thing in mind; farm subsidies ARE, pretty much, returned in the form of lower food prices. And, as far as the "Cap" per farm goes: those are mostly political sound-bytes. They would just break those 20,000 acre rice farms down into slightly smaller corporations.

  82. Angry Thai Women Lead the World in Penis Slashings
    Thai surgeons are becoming expert at putting members back on. "Sometimes they chop into pieces. In those cases we cannot put it back."
    Hamburger Harry Ho.

  83. I think they already were doing that back in the day in Calif. Rufus:
    Boswell was the local big land guy.
    Back when CA grew Cotton.

  84. That's what I was trying to infer, Doug. Today, they sub-divide those farms down to "Optimize" gov. aid. You lower the Max, and they'll just sub-divide them a little bit more.

  85. White Folk commit Hate Crimes, but are Very Rarely Victims of Hate:
    BALTIMORE -- The beating of a white woman by nine black students on a city bus is being investigated but not as a hate crime, a transit official said.

    MTA: Bus Beating Not Hate Crime
    Images Of Bus Beating Victim

    Sarah Kreager, 26, suffered broken facial bones and other injuries after she was punched, kicked and dragged off the bus Tuesday afternoon. Kreager's companion, Troy Ellis, was also attacked, but not beaten as severely.

  86. I agree the farm subsidies should go to the small farmer, and only to working farmers. My social policy is--smaller producers(up to a point of course) where ever possible, is better, makes for a more equitable, saner society.

    We used to have a lot of independent loggers around here, for instance, mostly gone now.

    I realize we need Boeing etc to make jet planes, etc.

    Write your congressperson!

  87. Boeing figured we didn't need the USA to build it's planes.
    Seems high tech extreme outsourcing has encountered some turbulence.

  88. House Votes on Harsh CIA Methods

    (WASHINGTON) — The House on Thursday approved an intelligence bill that bans the CIA from using waterboarding, mock executions and other harsh interrogation methods.

    The 222-199 vote sent the measure to the Senate, which still must act before it can go to President Bush. The White House has threatened a veto.

    The bill, a House-Senate compromise to authorize intelligence operations in 2008, also blocks spending 70 percent of the intelligence budget until the House and Senate intelligence committees are briefed on Israel's Sept. 6 air strike on an alleged nuclear site in Syria.

  89. DR,

    There is no natural boundary in the North America, seperating the people. There is no political will to create an artifical one...
    They'll be changing the definitions of soveriegnty, it's already happening.

    To see the future all we have to do is look to Europe, where there were big goings on with the EU today.

    Today the European Union leaders signed the Lisbon Treaty.

    1. The Lisbon Treaty establishes a legally quite new European Union. This is a Union in the constitutional form of a supranational European State:

    The Treaty gives this new Union a State Constitution which is identical in its legal effects to the EU Constitution that French and Dutch voters rejected in their 2005 referendums...

    Although we will be given rights as EU citizens, we should not forget that as real citizens of the new European Union we also owe it the normal citizens' duty of obedience to its laws and loyalty to its authority, which will be a higher authority than that of our national States and constitutions.

    Member States retain their national constitutions, but they are subordinate to the new Union Constitution. As such they will no longer be constitutions of sovereign States, just as the various local states of the USA retain their constitutions although they are subordinate to the Federal US Constitution.

    4. To hide the enormity of the change, the same name – European Union – will be kept while the Lisbon Treaty changes fundamentally the legal and constitutional nature of the Union. By this means the importance of the proposed change is kept hidden from the people:

    I hear that train a coming. Soon they'll hear it in our sister states of Sonora, Chihuaua, Yucatan, Quebec, British Columbia etc.. All under the Sovereignty of the North American Union. And kindly provided by elites who know what is best for us whether we like it or not.

  90. bobal, lets try not to forget that Sharpton hasn't been convicted yet. There is still some presumption of innocence. By the way, our method was legal whereas he seems to me accused of doing it the illegal way ;)


    I have no recollection of the measure inflation changing, particularly to make the government of the day look good. I believe they do not include energy and food prices in the inflation measure because they are so volatile and thus would make a poor guide for setting monetary policy.

  91. Doug: BALTIMORE -- The beating of a white woman by nine black students on a city bus is being investigated but not as a hate crime, a transit official said.

    I hate it when that happens.

  92. You are young, then, ash.

    Core Inflation was not even discussed prior to 1975, when the first paper on it was written.

    The concept of core inflation as aggregate price growth excluding food and energy was introduced in a 1975 paper by Robert J. Gordon

    Mr Gordon a firm believer that inflation is overstated, developed a process to understate it, by factoring out those items that caused inflation to be measurable.

    So prior to that food and energy were not so volitale to be discussed as not being factored in.

    The Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Feb. 17, 2000, reccomends moving to the Core Standard because it is easier to for the buerocrats to manipulate

    The PCE chain-type index is constructed from a formula that reflects the changing composition of spending and thereby avoids some of the upward bias associated with the fixed-weight nature of the CPI.

    They can factor inflation down, when it does not meet the targets.

    Changing the formula to get the desired result. Just like in the Intel business.

    The majority of the other countries of the world do not factor "Core Inflation" but use the actual CPI numbers. The US leads in the economic disinformation, factoring in, or out, those numbers that do not fit the "Plan".

    As many of the Federal Programs are tied to the "inflation rate".

    We wouldn't want there to upward movement, or what is described as upward bias. Funny those volitale movements do not result in any downward bias.

    Which if prices were truely volitale, there'd be no bias, as volitality indicates movement both up AND down.

    Just another way to manipulate the data to get the desired result.
    It's a "Slam Dunk".

  93. Thanks for that, Stoutfellow!
    Really gives me the Warm Fuzzies!
    To be superseded by Warm Muzzies.

  94. Just as a cursory glance at the 5 year trend of your grocery bills is a Slam Dunk surefire better measure of real inflation.

  95. I'm a first-generation American myself (on my mother's side).

    Fear the identity shield!

    As I said a long time ago, I also attended a 50-50 (white-hispanic) middle school. Self-segregation was the norm.

    I also have a first generation 'flip' friend who saw the same Balkanization with Hispanics that I did, in Nevada.

    Considering the numbers, it isn't at all hard to predict.

    The statistics are there. See, for example, Samuel Huntington's Who Are We - for which he got a lot of flak.

  96. Not even worth arguing about anymore, it's the dumbest possible immigration policy you can have, unless you want to blur the borders.

  97. Exactly right, cutler.
    Unless you want to blur that border.

    There it is, judge not by the rhetoric, but by the actions.

    NAFTA, 1994 plus a decade = SPP, 2005
    The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP) was launched in March of 2005 as a trilateral effort to increase security and enhance prosperity among the United States, Canada and Mexico through greater cooperation and information sharing.

    This trilateral initiative is premised on our security and our economic prosperity being mutually reinforcing. The SPP recognizes that our three great nations are bound by a shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic institutions.

    The SPP provides the framework to ensure that North America is the safest and best place to live and do business. It includes ambitious security and prosperity programs to keep our borders closed to terrorism yet open to trade.

    The SPP builds upon, but is separate from, our long-standing trade and economic relationships. It energizes other aspects of our cooperative relations, such as the protection of our environment, our food supply, and our public health.

    Add another decade and ...

  98. In some ways, it is actually legitimizing it to call it immigration policy.

    There's no commitment to moving a few hours and going back and forth across the border. That's a migration policy, with all the perks of "immigration" - the benefits of citizenship without even any costs. Better in many cases, because you can show up tomorrow, get advantages over me in hiring and matriculation, and pay less than me for tuition. Because my family was oppressing you in Galicia and Russia obviously.

    Yeah, I could do a real comedy routine rant on this one.

  99. "The SPP recognizes that our three great nations are bound by a shared belief in freedom, economic opportunity, and strong democratic institutions."

    Yeah, that strong belief. Right.

    I like Mexico's suddenly our traditional ally. This is history gone bizarro world. Numerous wars, we've got large amounts of their territory, and they don't vote with us on anything that matters in the UN, let alone help us for shit around the world.

    But we've got to help them. Since enforcing our own border is too tough, we're going to turn Mexico around - cause that's easier. Supposedly.

  100. THe IBEC/Wal-Mart story, cutler.
    There are firm believers in it.

    If you have not read the IBEC story. What's there is all true, just the tip of the Rockefeller/Boner iceberg. Both in concept and execution. Grandpa Rat used to be a wheel in that deal, back in the day.

  101. Such teachers should be given every opportunity to ply their trade: teaching students, getting them to do better. They put in extra time for programs, hours of their lives, just to get their students that extra bit that could give them a better future and be able to claim that school for these kids was not a waste of time.

    But all too often, politics and ideology gets in the way.

    I know the feeling. I'm conducting my school's chemistry olympiad training all on my lonesome, and there's been absolutely zero help. Oh sure, they gave me permission to start the program, but everything after that was zilch. And this is in relatively enlightened Singapore!

  102. THAT is one of the most profound and sad stories I have read in a long, long time.

    Great post. Thanks for sharing it.

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