Group Projects

This is why I don’t assign group projects. I can’t deal with this much snowflakery and very special cookie-ness.

But hey, plenty of professors are snowflakey as hell, too.

100 Days

This is very true:

“What Pelosi just said, she should tell her freshman members Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar and say we are here to work and not to tweet,” Continetti said. “What has happened in 100 days of the Democratic House is the Democrats have become the party of those three freshman congressmen of far left views, from very, very blue, indigo districts, but that’s not how the Democrats won the House.”

“They won in moderate districts with centrist candidates and as long as they’re the party of AOC and Ilhan Omar, their House majority is in jeopardy,” Continetti added.

The whole country is being given an image of House Democrats as smug, dumb, self-promoting clowns completely out of touch with anybody but a small band of clueless snowflakes. This is not what the country voted for. This is not what 95% of Democrats are, want or stand for.

An Oligarch’s Pawn

A good article in English about the oligarch who owns the leading candidate for the Ukrainian presidency and who hates the current president. The candidate he owns is not a politician and has zero interest in politics. He’s just a young guy who’ll be easy for the oligarch to control.

Get Over It or Move On

Folks, I’m really over the childish jabs about how I watch Tucker, so I must be a brain-washed idiot. If you want to believe that anybody who has ever watched Fox News is a crazy bigot, that’s your right. Feel very free to exit towards the very sane, non-bigoted sources that have been peddling you stories about Trump being a Russian spy for years.

Yes, I watch Tucker for an hour a day. I’m a news junkie, so I also have over 1,600 sources in my newsfeed from every continent. I access blogs on, say, Australian literature a lot more often than I watch Tucker.

I used to be one of the idiots who scoffed at Fox News without ever watching it. But then I grew up. If you didn’t, it might be time for us to part ways because I tend to be impatient with people who are stuck in an intellectual rut and keep repeating the same exhausted mantras for decades.

Everybody has a limit on how much they can grow intellectually. Many long-time, dedicated readers of the blog couldn’t keep up the pace and fell off over the years. And that’s perfectly fine. But I don’t feel like limiting my growth to spare anybody discomfort.

The whole point of the blog is to help me battle my tendency towards rigid thinking. That’s why I do these unusual challenges and expose myself to readings and news sources that I’m predisposed to hate. For instance, I hated Ann Coulter to the point where I had tremors when I heard her name. I couldn’t even watch a Law & Order episode based on her persona because the first 3 minutes made me dangerously hypertensive. To combat this phobia, I read 3 of her books in a row. And now a small corner of reality that was deeply disturbing to me doesn’t scare me any more. And I finally watched that Law & Order episode without freaking out.

Nobody has to be like me or follow me on this journey. If you want to only eat mac and cheese, that’s ok. But don’t scoff at people who are open to exploring the world’s culinary variety.

Yes, I already said all of this before but the message doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

An Illinois Riddle

Here is a riddle for you. In Illinois, how long do you need to work as a teacher to be entitled to a very generous teacher pension?

Choose the correct answer:

A. 20 years

B. 10 years

C. 5 years

D. 1 year

E. 1 day

While you are thinking, I’ll share that the pensions are, indeed, very generous, which is why the teacher pension fund is already $75 billion short of what it needs to fulfill its obligations. Nobody knows how to keep paying these pensions without bankrupting the state.

OK, so is your answer ready?

Did you say E?

Good. Because that’s the correct answer.

A pension bill signed by former Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2007 allowed Piccioli to retroactively count his years lobbying toward a teacher pension if he taught for one day in the public schools. He bought service credits for his years lobbying and began collecting a pension when he retired from the IFT in 2012.

Blagojevich, of course, is the Illinois governor who was jailed for corruption. The courts have upheld this loophole and are allowing everybody and his uncle (including lobbyists like Piccioli) to draw teacher pensions.

Legally, the state is obligated to pay these teacher pensions and make up the shortfall at any cost. The seventy-five-billion-and growing shortfall. A family I know are lifelong teachers in Illinois and they say every teacher they know (which is everybody in their circle) agrees that teacher pensions are ridiculously generous and often given out to people who don’t begin to deserve them.

The courts in Illinois are dead-set against closing any of the loopholes:

The court will continue to protect pensions of any variety, even those gained through an obscurity or loophole or special deal, as long as the workers got away with it.

Illinois is the most eagerly abandoned state in the nation, with people moving out in droves to get away from the impending financial collapse. Why the collapse is imminent must be clear from this post.