Vast Write Wing - March 2009

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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 am

Lynn… what if it’s the woman’s fault? What if they screw up the family unit and the man has the children? what about women that run off? Women get off scott-free: they don’t get their wages garnished; they don’t get thrown in jail because of this - judges just laugh and excuse it off, esp in Austin. If they want support, it has to be a fair system, IMO.

Kerley
Killeen
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:00 am

Mr. Woolley,
I am writing you concerning our country's hard left turn. I have been keeping my finger on the pulse of the country for the last 3+ years.
I had my "awakening" while I was deployed to Iraq in 2005 and started educating myself on what was happening to my beloved country.
Needless to say I am angry and concerned about the direction our country has taken and I feel the need to get involved some how, some way.
I have an interesting site / movement you might be interested in doing a story on; the site is called Oath Keepers (see link).
The site is self explanatory.

http://www.oath-keepers.blogspot.com/

The reason it is so important for you to do a story / report is that your show is listened to by a large number of soldiers here at Fort Hood.
It is imperative that we get our men and women in uniform to really think about what they swore an oath to do.

I foresee a time in the not too far in the future that our soldiers may be called on to do things they may not want to, and we need to keep them informed and thinking.


Thank you,
Brad Painter
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:02 am

Lynn,

There are a host of papers and books about the difference between despoiling greed and capitalism. Despoiling greed can be seen in the CEO of General Motors accepting an annual compensation package of $118 million as his company swept toward bankruptcy in 2007. That same year, the CEO of Toyota, which was very profitable, received a salary of $1 million. I would ague that free enterprise and capitalism are not at work when there is a 118 fold difference in cost for the two CEOs running two very similarly sized companies, particularly when the one that is clearly winning the race receives less than one percent of the compensation of the loser.

I am the essence of a capitalist. I have started and have run my own company for almost three decades. In this economic contraction, I reduced my pay so as to retain experienced, quality employees and to maintain the health of the company. That is because I am not a mercenary, I am a capitalist.

The difference between a mercenary and a capitalist is that the capitalist is an owner who has converted his or her money or time and effort into capital. The CEO of GM as well as many others who have received some pretty impressive bonuses this and last year have had their compensation justified by the need to compete for their “talent.” Frankly, I think you will find (as have many academic studies) that there is no relationship between executive pay and the return on capital (ROI) of the company.

I deeply respect Milton Friedman and certainly agree with his written work. I also recognize that on the Phil Donahue show (which I have watched several times) he was responding to Mr. Donahue. Taking that interview out of context presents a very distorted view of Dr. Friedman’s life work. Phil Donahue characterizes the simple desire to improve oneself as “greed.” Dr. Friedman turns Mr. Donahue’s definition back on him. That does not mean that in any of his writings or speeches Dr. Friedman endorsed greet as a good thing.

The best definition for “greed” is simply the desire to take all that one can get without regard for the consequences. That has happened in GM for decades on both the part of the Union and Management. Their greed has been highly destructive to the company. Note that the shareholders, the actual capitalists, were the only people who did not receive more and more for less and less performance. The ROI of GM is a negative number and has been for at least ten years. Meanwhile, union members got paid when there was not even a functioning GM plant in their city. Theoretically that pay would stop if they were employed elsewhere but the only authorized enforcer was the Union, so many a wink and nod was exchanged. The senior management appointed a “compensation committee” to represent the shareholders in setting executive compensation, as was done a most large publically traded companies. The committee is composed in almost every case of CEOs and senior executives from other corporations and the cross-membership from one company to another is extensive. In other words the unspoken motto is, “You give me a huge raise and I will give one to you.” Note that the committee members are not required to have any significant amount of their personal wealth in the company.

I don’t know who the effective CEO of your company is, but if you or he were demanding a million dollar bonus this year and a compensation committee of other CEOs at other firms had unanimously agreed that was fair, even if your company would have to borrow the money, would you think that was a capitalist move or despoiling greed?

I believe in good pay for good results. I also believe in the sacredness of the contract. Thus, I see the cabal of CEOs and senior executives at many American corporations as an anti-capitalist elite but I also decry the frankly terrifying act of Congress that would target a small select group of people with confiscatory retroactive taxes.
Jeff McClure
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:01 am

Lynn-
I bet you were sure glad you kept the lady thru the break. Lol.
Ron
Round Rock

Ps- Keep up the good work. I don’t think the rapture is going to save us. We are going to have to get ourselves out of this mess. Great show.
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:03 am

Lynn,

This is something you could use on your show and is good constructive thought. I do not agree that the current housing situation is going to “devastate” American’s net worth or that taking two and a half years to work the housing excess inventory out is a disaster (it took longer than that for the RTC to liquidate its inventory), but the “brain drain” he references is a real problem and an overhaul of our immigration policies is long, long overdue.

Jeff

P.S. John Mauldin should generally be taken with a pinch of salt. I have caught him being less than forthcoming about his investment performance, which he refuses to publish. He says he was bearish and got out of the market in early 2008, but I found at least one find that invests using his portfolio as 90% of its assets (the other 10% is cash) that lost more than the S&P 500 in the first three quarters of last year.

Thoughts from the Frontline Weekly Newsletter
Solving the Housing Crisis
by John Mauldin
March 21, 2009

In this issue:
Solving the Housing Crisis
Housing Could Drop Another 20% in Pricing
Buy A Home, Get a Green Card
A Real Stimulus Package
Las Vegas, La Jolla, and the OC

This last Tuesday the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by my friend Gary Shilling and Richard LeFrak. They offer a simple solution for the housing crisis: give foreigners who will come to the US and buy a home resident status (green cards). This is a very important proposal and one that deserves national attention and action. Gary was kind enough to send me two lengthier white papers offering more facts. In this week's letter we are going to look at this proposal in more detail than the small space that an op-ed can offer. And while this letter will be somewhat controversial in some circles, I ask that you read it through, giving me the time to make the case. I will also add a few thoughts as to why this could not only help solve the housing crisis, but help put the nation back into growth mode.

Long-time readers know that I have been growing more and more bearish of late. I have been writing for a long time that we are in for a long period of slow Muddle Through growth as the twin crises of the housing bubble and credit bubbles require time to heal. Today we look at a serious proposal for cutting the time to healing for at least one of those bubbles (housing), and at least keep the other (credit) from getting worse. This is the most serious idea I have seen that could actually make a real positive contribution to the economy and help put us back on a growth path.

I will post Gary's papers and a link to the actual op-ed piece for those who want to do further research, but let me make one point at the beginning that he did not emphasize: the US is already allowing roughly 1 million immigrants a year into the country (which for a variety of reasons I and most serious economists of all stripes believe is a very good thing). We are suggesting that we simply change the nature of what constitutes the conditions for acceptance, so as to jump start the housing industry and the economy. We are not suggesting additional immigrants, although nothing would be wrong with that. I will also post a link for you to send this e-letter to your congressmen and senators.

Let me put up front a few benefits of a program that would allow legal status to immigrants buying a home. Housing values would stabilize and in many cases rise. The massive losses because of bad loans that are being subsidized by US taxpayers would be stemmed, saving many hundreds of billions, if not a trillion or more dollars. The excess inventory of homes would quickly disappear and the millions of jobs that were lost as home construction fell into a deep depression would come back. If housing values rise, many families would be able to refinance their homes at lower rates and have more income left over after paying their mortgages. $12 billion in commissions would end up in real estate agents' pockets, helping a very battered and bruised group. Hundreds of billions will flow into local businesses, as these new immigrants will need to furnish their homes. This could mean as much as a half trillion dollars in sorely needed stimulus in the next few years, without one penny of taxpayer money and actually adding taxes back to governments from local to national. And we are not bringing in 1 million foreigners, we are attracting 1 million mostly middle-class new Americans, which, if we are smart in how we do this, will result in more jobs for all Americans. So let's jump right in and look at the details.

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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:06 am

Mr Woolley,

Would you please consider hosting or facilitating a Tea Party in West Texas?

Cheers,

Darwin Mecham
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:23 am

I have a couple of links for you to read on Ammunition and the U.S. Government.This administration looks like it will use every backdoor tactic to have gun control no matter what. I also have been trying to buy ammunition, and even the online stores are backordered on almost every caliber

http://www.theshootist.net/2009/03/dod- ... itary.html

http://www.theshootist.net/2009/03/plow ... llets.html
Robert
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:01 pm

From time to time, I receive anonymous e-mails from people who read my reports that are posted on the Internet. Last week I received one such e-mail. This person said he had seen my 4.15.08 article entitled "An Exposé of the TAKS Tests." (Please see my three attached reports on Texas’ state-mandated TAKS tests.). He said my concerns echoed his own personal concerns about TAKS scoring because he had worked as an experienced scorer for Pearson, the company that has the contract with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop and score students’ TAKS tests. My anonymous source (i.e., “John Doe”) confirms my long-held concerns that having subjectively scored sections on high-stakes tests is an open invitation for manipulation of scores.

John had been an educator for many years and had decided to work as a scorer for Pearson on the English / Language Arts (ELA) TAKS scoring project. He became very uncomfortable about the harsh and inconsistent manner in which the scoring was done and finally quit the job as did many others. John said the scorers were forced to give low scores to students who demonstrated exemplary writing skills but higher scores to those students who were less deserving.

He said, “There was what I call an ‘unspoken no 3 rule’ on the expository portion of a reading comprehension question [open-ended response questions]. By unspoken, I mean that we weren't explicitly told in so many words not to give a 3, but that we should obtain the express approval of our supervisor before so doing. Whenever a scorer would request permission to give a 3 on a particular paper, the supervisors would not give their consent. In due course, many scorers began to stop giving 3s altogether. I failed to see the logic in this.” [On the ELA-TAKS, Grade 11, Spring 2008 administration, 0% of students in Texas made 3’s on the open-response questions.]

John went on to say that an adaptation of a Readers Digest article instructed the students to explain why they thought a particular person was a hero or was not a hero. John said that the prompt along with scoring materials contained major problems which should have been resolved prior to reaching the scorers' desks. “The anchor papers (i.e., papers used as examples) and rubric all contained several errors and inconsistencies. In some cases, the annotations under the student-written portion were not illustrative or supportive of the examples given. Some of the examples provided did not even reflect the goals stated in our manual.”

John told me that during the training session for the job, various people questioned the Texas representatives about the problems with the anchor papers. The scorers were told to ignore the problems and score them anyway. One of these Texas Education Agency representatives was Victoria Young. “We were told not to rely upon our anchor papers but to use the rubric more. The problem was that the language used in the rubric was very general and over-broad. This created too many loopholes and led scorers to drift, either giving too many high scores or too many low scores. This undermined the integrity of the scoring altogether. Anchor papers were far more precise than the rubric and were essential to accurate scoring, especially on the open-ended questions.”

John explained that many of the scorers expressed their concerns to Pearson management about the inequities, but the managers simply shifted the blame back to Texas and said they were powerless to do anything about it. If the scorers did not “go along to get along” at Pearson, they were considered to be renegades and were treated with group disapproval. The scorers were heavily criticized if their scores were too high or too low; and when they tried to explain their rationale for giving the scores they did, they were treated like “naughty children who refused to obey.”

In addition, a spreadsheet was circulated around the scoring room periodically so that John and the other scorers could compare their scores with the rest of the scorers (e.g., to see if they were giving too many 1’s or 2’s). If so, they were told they had to change; but they did not know how to begin because no specific work samples were provided for reference. In fact, John said the Pearson scoring system was not based on accuracy but on general agreement and consensus of opinions. Roughly, only 20% of the papers scored were backread by supervisors and/or directors. “It's basically a majority-rules system, where conformity with your fellow scorers is of the essence, and quality control plays little if any part at all.”

One of the most disturbing statements made by John is that last year, Pearson began a policy whereby bonuses were given to scorers based on several criteria such as high validity scores, productivity levels (number of papers scored per hour), and other subjective factors determined by the supervisor and scoring director. John explained that validity is one of the criteria used to monitor and gauge a scorer’s consistency in performance and/or application of the rules, but the problem was there was no way to measure accuracy. He said it was feasible that a scorer could be consistently wrong but still wind up with a bonus. If a scorer made a mistake at the beginning of the project and tried to correct it later on, he would receive a lower validity score that affected his bonus. One supervisor actually told one of the scorers that if he wanted a bonus, he should keep on repeating what he had done at the beginning even if it was wrong!

I continue to say that subjectively assessed sections (including portfolio assessments, open-response questions, and essays) on high-stakes tests are ludicrous. People’s opinions, peer pressure, and manipulation take over; and the final scores then become meaningless as measures of student academic performance. At least 80% of any high-stakes test should be based upon objectively tested, right-or-wrong answers. This is only common sense.


Donna Garner
wgarner1@hot.rr.com
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:42 pm

It is funny that that women called you this morning about Obama and the Rapture. I read the entire "Left Behind" series and there are some situations that are very much like what is going on w/ Obama. I mentioned something about that to my daughter and she couldn't believe I said that because she said someone at work had mentioned the same thing to her. She said she hadn't thought about until he said something. I'm not saying that I'm buying all this, but it is a bit weird. When Obama was still running for president, that series came to mind.
Hope you have a good day. Steph
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:55 pm

Re: Waco-McLennan County Tax Day Tea Party, April 15, 2009

Here is the tentative information subject to our Waco Parks and Recreation application being granted:

Name: Waco-McLennan County Tax Day Tea Party
When: April 15, 2009
Time: 11:30 A. M. – 1:30 P. M. (CDT)
Where: Heritage Square, Freedom Fountain area, Third Street and Austin Avenue
What: A peaceful, law-abiding, respectful protest to say we are Taxed Enough Already!

WHO SHOULD COME

All Americans who are “Taxed Enough Already” are invited to attend. This is NOT a partisan event; it is an American event. No formal speeches and no formal agenda are planned for the rally. People are invited to bring their own signs, banners, posters, and American flags. Other demonstrations of patriotic expression are welcomed (e.g., the playing of patriotic songs, actors dressed up in period costumes to read the Declaration of Independence, etc.)


Please help us to get the word out by telling your friends, family members, co-workers, church members, and others who feel they are Taxed Enough Already.

Please RSVP to Toby Walker’s e-mail address (wacoteaparty@gmail.com) so that we can get an approximate number of people who plan to attend the rally. These approximate numbers will help us better inform the news media and the city authorities.

Toby Walker has already set up a Facebook event and is in the process of setting up a MySpace event and notifying other social networking sites. Please feel free to notify other sites with which you are associated.

We will have an e-TEA (Taxed Enough Already) signup sheet at the rally so that we can gather names and e-mail addresses from those people who may want to participate in future events.

Thank you for your commitment to come to the Waco-McLennan County Tax Day Tea Party to make your voices heard: “We are Taxed Enough Already!”


Toby Walker
wacoteaparty@gmail.com
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:26 am

Mr Woolley,

Here is my letter of Mar 24 to our President.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear Mr President,

Today Congressman Barney Frank demanded a list of recipients of AIG bonuses.

I think it's a great idea and it should be expanded to encompass our elected officials too.

If AIG gave campaign money to our elected officials the American people have a right to know.

Please make sure that we have a complete and accurate list of those in our government who accepted the AIG contributions.

If the AIG bonuses to employees are required to be given back to the government, the AIG contributions to political campaigns & etc should be under the same requirements. The officials should be named and the contributions should be given back too.

Thank you Mr President and thanks to Congressman Frank for the great idea.

Please give us that transparency and visibility.

Best Regards,

Darwin Mecham
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:45 am

Nationwide Tax Day Tea Party Events Planned in Austin

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2009
Contact: Judy Holloway (512) 261-8822, (512) 585-7673 (cell)
Michele Samuelson (214) 995-0413
Email address: having.anaustinteaparty.com

Austinites and other Central Texans have had their fill of political pork and are rallying to protest recent federal spending packages on April 15. With a cry of “Repeal the Pork!” local grassroots organizations are planning a Tax Day Tea Party with two peaceful protests in downtown Austin, one during mid-day and the other at the end of the work day.

The noon event will be held from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm at City Hall. Speakers for the event are slated to be Governor Rick Perry; Peggy Venable, State Director, Americans for Prosperity; Michael Quinn Sullivan, President, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility; and State Rep. Wayne Christian (R-Center).

The late afternoon event will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 pm on the South Steps of the Capitol. Senator Dan Patrick is scheduled to speak. The afternoon rally will move down Congress for a re-enactment of the historic Boston Tea Party of 1773 on the shores of Lady Bird Lake.

Building on the success of the Nationwide Chicago Tea Parties held recently in multiple cities around the nation, conservative grassroots organizations and free market activists are coming together across the nation on April 15th to protest out-of-control government spending. Timed to coincide with the date by which Americans must pay their federal income taxes, the Tax Day Tea Party effort will be coordinated by Smart Girl Politics, Top Conservatives on Twitter and the Don’t Go Movement, in addition to other center-right activist groups.
With Newt Gingrich coming onboard and co-sponsoring this event (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vKr95e5aIEonboardPplans ), plans are underway for rallies to take place in 150American cities and 49 states, with more sites to be added in the coming weeks. The goal of these protests is to call attention to the unprecedented, wasteful spending by Democrats in Congress and the Obama Administration.
When asked about the need for nationwide rallies based on the Boston Tea Party of 1773, Eric Odom, Chairman of the Don’t Go Movement, remarked, “Building on the free market ideas of our founding fathers, and embracing the passion they shared to bring them to light, the Nationwide Tea Party Movement is giving voice to tens of thousands of Americans.” Added Stacy Mott, President of Smart Girl Politics, “Average Americans do not support mortgaging away our children’s futures, and the time to speak out against it is now.”
Information on The Tax Day Tea Party can be found at http://taxdayteaparty.com
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:02 am

I would like to suggest the boycotting of Las Vegas or all of Nevada for that matter, until the people of Nevada come to their senses and elect someone to replace Senator Harry Reid.

You will remember Reid, he is the one that looked into the camera and told the American people that the war in Iraq was lost. This having been said while we
still had young men and women fighting on our behalf.

The boycott of Las Vegas will send a strong message to the people of Nevada, quit electing idiots.

Craig
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:01 am

Hey Hey Hey; The time has finally came when the Rep. and Dem. party leaders have grown so powerful that anyone whom does not agree with their position is a TERRORIST. To call a sitting member of Congress, a former Congressman and the head of a Church a Terrorist is, I can not think of a word bad enough to use in print.
When any gov. becomes so corrupt as to call anyone whom questions what they the gov. wants to do a Terrorist, perhaps it is time to put to use our Constitutional Right to abolish and /or change such gov..
I have placed my Ron Paul for President sign back in my front yard, yet, I will still defend your Right to regard me as a Terrorist. Just as I will defend your Right to not have your character demon graded, your property taken or your life harmed, not only by the common criminal, but also from a tyrannical gov.
Let us leave in Peace this power-mad gov. and once again be our own Country.
I would vote for Chuck Norris for President of Texas. He said tongue in cheek that he would run, but I am for it.
Joe Brown
Nolanville Texas
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Re: Vast Write Wing - March 2009

Postby lwoolley on Tue Mar 24, 2009 10:02 am

You’re already being controlled – by your narrow mindedness. Hate is a powerful thing. It clouds the mind from reason.

You read too much and don’t seem to experience LIFE enough. You’re controlled by the a bunch of wacky right wingers who write garbage that you fall for.

Sad … Sad … Sad … You’re capable of so much more than you settle for.

Instead of maturing in your thinking, you are regressing.

I just got off the phone from interviewing 2 surgeons, one in Atlanta, the other in Montana. There’s surgeon shortage in America. Health care is failing the folks across the country.

So, what do you do? You shout a slur and slurp up that philosophy crap that most talk show hosts do.

It appears to me that there is a shortage of talent and foresight among talk show hosts, too.

LS
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