Friday, February 28, 2014

Raising Minimum Wage Will Pay More Than US Pays Troops! by Ken McClellan

During his State of the Union Address, President Obama said:  "In the coming weeks, I will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour, because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn't have to live in poverty."

A fair wage for people who "cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes".  $10.10 per hour. Think about that for a moment, and look at what a Private in the United States Military, with less than 2 years’ service earns: $1,531.50 Per Month.

Privates are expected to report for work early for Physical Training (PT). It's a required part of their day in addition to a full 8-hour work day.  Add on Charge of Quarters, Guard Duty, Additional Duties spilling over into weekends, and call it 50 hours a week, minimum.  That's 200 hours per month. Divide $1,531.50 by 200 and you get $7.65 per hour.     Of course, in combat, a soldier is on duty 24 hours a day.  For that you get an extra $225 per month.   That gives a soldier a whopping $2.44 an hour.

President Obama want to pay dishwashers and food-servers more than the young men and women who signed up to defend our country.  Men and women, who at any minute, will be called on to go to a combat area, and risk their lives and limbs in against people who are trying very hard to kill them.  Our soldiers, moving through small villages where a box sitting at the side of the road, or recently turned-over dirt could hide a bomb large enough to shred an armored vehicle.  Soldiers who have volunteered to eat their meals out of boxes, and sleep outdoors on rocks in the rain and snow.  Soldiers who stay awake 36 or 48 hours or longer to ensure that their mission is accomplished.  Soldiers who will stand guard, looking out into a dark, hostile landscape, to ensure that their friends can sleep safely.  There is absolutely no comparison between the job demands of a soldier and those of a dishwasher.

Consider the training required for a soldier.  8 weeks of basic training, including weekends, then another 8 to 16 weeks of job-related training.  There is no comparison there, either.

In 2000, the salary for a Private with less than 2 years’ service was $1,127.40. There has been an increase of 35% in 13 years.  Federal Minimum Wage in 2000 was 5.15.  There has been a 41% increase to today's Minimum Wage.  The President's proposal would make the increase 96% in those ten years.  Triple the increase in the pay of a military private.

I'm glad that there are people who wash dishes and prepare food for a living.  They made my life in the military more comfortable.  Some days, especially on long deployments, that's all a soldier has:  A hot meal.   And that can make your day.  The cooks, clerks, janitors, dishwashers all continue to make life more comfortable for soldiers on active duty today.  I don't begrudge them a fair wage.

My point is that the soldiers, the men and women who put boots on the ground, are being forgotten.  There is talk of cutting the military budget.  Which will mean no raises for these men and women, while Congress and federal employees will get their cost-of-living increases, as they do every year.

The President often speaks of fairness and equality.  It's time to talk about being fair to the soldiers.  They deserve a fair, living wage as much, if not more so than the clerks, cooks and dishwashers.  Before you talk about taking care of federal civilian employees, DO SOMETHING about taking care of military personnel.

Ken McClellan
US Army, Retired

*Editor's note: McClellan is a Middletown resident and chairman of the Middletown Republican Town Committee

Wal-Mart and Minimum Wage a Libertarian View

Jim O'rourke has big Ones!!

On February 14, 2014 disgraced former State Legislator Jim O'Rourke, who, rumor has wants to run again for his former job,  posted the following on his Facebook account: 

The Insider has no issue with the fact that Mr. O'Rourke has the right to exorcise his first amendement rights, but Jimbo, um you are not an ordinary citizen remember?  You were involved in the death of a young woman that allegedly jumped into your car while you were at a Rock Hill bar.  The woman is dead and you are posting pictures of another so-called political troublemaker?  Remember the woman is dead and you did not do any jail time, while Rowland did time in jail for the hot tub violation.  Let's put things in perspective here people.  The Republican goes to jail for his violation of illegally steering a potential contract and getting certain contractors to install a hot tub under the radar, while Jim O'Rourke kicks a woman out of his car without shoes and a coat on a snowy night.  Mr. O'Rourke, I think you need to do all of us a favor and start posting confessions about what really happened that night. Your soul may depend on it one day.

 For information on Jim O'Rourke and his homocide victim see Christopher Keating's excellent story on the issue located at:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conservative Round up by Palin Smith: Notable Events Coming Up

Greetings South East CT patriots



Wednesday February 26, 2014 6:30 PM
East Haddam Sportmans Club This is also known as the Moodus sportsman club.
 299 East Haddam Colchester Turnpike.

• Actual Math and English questions for grades 4, 6 & 11
• Resources about your parental rights in public education
• Sample “OPT OUT” letters
• Step by step instructions how to opt your child out of SBAC testing
• What to expect if you opt your child out; scare tactics and threats from administration
• Practice test
From the Stop Common Core Forum last Saturday.....
Opting out of the SBAC testing.....
Constitutional attorney Deb Stevenson will be there.
Here's Deb adding her expertise to the Stop Common Core Seminar in Portland Saturday afternoon. Deb is an invaluable asset in the fight to Stop Common Core.
And Professor Jesse Turner will attend after his last class.
Please forward and share this invitation to your friends and family with school aged children, especially. Let's get a really good turnout. And learn about the real reason for Common Core.
Palin Smith

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

CT Gun Control Sent Judy Aron Packing

Excerpts from Judy Aron's Commentary From Hartford Courant; Feb 14, 2014

"What's your line in the sand?
When do you finally say, "Enough," decide to sell your house, pack up your things and move your life to another state that offers more freedom and liberty?
For me and my family, the straw that broke the camel's back was the ludicrous and oppressive gun legislation enacted last year in Connecticut by progressive Democrats and weak-kneed, unprincipled Republicans.

We are not alone in our decision to leave Connecticut. The exodus has begun in earnest as people clamor to move anywhere where there is more economic opportunity, smaller government, less crime and more freedom. Their children have already left the state because there are no real career jobs to be had. Texas, Montana, Wyoming, Tennessee, North Carolina are some choices for people who are leaving, but we decided on New Hampshire.

The motto "Live Free or Die" is not taken lightly (in New Hampshire). There's no state income tax and no sales tax, and gun rights are still intact. All it took was $10 and a short form to get our concealed carry permits. We can walk around all day with holstered guns and no police will bother us and the citizens don't freak out either. It's one of the safest states in the country, too."

This patriot and her family will be missed, but one cannot fault her decision.
Note: Judy Aron is a long time Homeschooling Activist. She has been heavily involved in protecting the rights of parents: particularly homeschoolers. She graduated from Rondout Valley High School and went on to attend SUNY New Paltz, where she earned a BA in Economics in 1978 graduating magna cum laude with a dual minor in Business Administration and Computer Science.
                                                                                   Judy Aron
Also: interesting interview with Scott Wilson of CT Citizens' Defense League: (YouTube)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Guest blog: Calendar, fundraising & revenue by Brian Kaskel

All opinions of guest bloggers are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Insider staff. Kaskel's privious guest blog was published here:

Board of Education meetings can often times seem redundant, methodical, or even sometimes depressing.  Not this week though!  There were at least three occasions where some new initiatives were discussed that may be of interest to parents.

Ava McGlew, Food Service Director for the district, briefed the board about the progress Food Services has made.  Not only have choices gotten healthier, and tastier, but food services anticipates the ability to be self sufficient or even profitable over the next two or three years. In the meanwhile, through their partnership with Sodexo, if there should be any financial shortfall over this year or next,  per the boards contract, it will be forgiven, and will not be the responsibility of the board.  Ms. McGlew also informed the Board of her efforts to secure funding through available grants that will enable Food Services to offer free dinner meals to any student or sibling under the age of 18.  This program, if secured, would initially only be available to our students who attend Macdonough, Bielefield, Farm Hill, and Spencer elementary schools.  After further clarification with Ms. McGlew, siblings, older or younger even if they attend different schools, would have meal available to them as long as they were 18 or under and had a sibling at one of the four aforementioned schools.  On a side note, Shelia Daniels, Vice-Chair of the Board of Education, and self proclaimed “picky eater” recently toured one of the District’s cafeterias, and not only enjoyed her selection, but “wished she had gotten more!”

Board of Education newcomer, Linda Szynkowicz, has begun a board-approved fund raising effort, dubbed as a “Silent Auction”.  The basic premise of the silent auction is to help the Teachers and the Principals, throughout the district, shore up some additional funds to assist in the purchasing of needed items for the schools.  These items are on “wish lists” that there is no budget for.  
The auctions are intended to be run with the assistance of the parent organizations in each school.  Principals and Teachers will work together to create their wish lists for their individual schools.  Next a list will be created of old and/or outdated items to be auctioned off.  This can be desks, chairs, memorabilia, technology, etc.  The auction will be announced to parents and residents and held during the month of March.  Each school will need publicize the auction and the amount received, before being allowed to purchase items from their wish list.  Ms. Szynkowicz stated, “This idea can also be used for every department in the City of Middletown.  I believe the public would embrace the out of the box thinking, and see we are looking to help the schools get needed items without getting the money through tax payer dollars.”

Lastly, the Board Approved what is to be considered a tentative school calendar for 2014/15 school year.  The school year is scheduled to begin on August 28th and conclude on June 9th, if there is no snow.  However, there is a plan in place that will deal with snow days.  Dr. Charles reminded the board that early dismissals and delayed openings do count towards the teachable hours and will not require days to be added to the school year.  But if snow days are needed, the first attempt will be to use the week days after June 9th until June 19th. If we need to extend to the 19th, the next step will be to remove days from April vacation starting at the Friday and moving backward.  If those days still do not cover the needed make-up days, then they will continue adding days After June 19th until June 30th.  Keeping in mind of course, this would mean we had twenty snow days in one school year which is unprecedented.  

Dr. Charles and the rest of the calendar committee also discussed the shortening of February vacation as a common technique in other districts.  There was union support for this, which would give Middletown a 2 day break in February coinciding with President’s day.  

There will still be a bevy of professional development days that will corrolate with half days on Mondays.  There will be special attention paid to the calendar this year so that these PD days will not abut vacation or holiday weeks.  Dr. Charles understands the concerns of parents needing after school care and will continue to work diligently to provide options.  Enza Macri, assistant superintendent stated that she "would love to offer after school enrichment programs on those half days, there are just no funds for it." 
In an interesting and well thought out decision, Dr. Charles has been given permission by the board to speak with the unions as well as different Veterans organizations about the interest in having students attend school on Veterans Day, with the intent of having a strong daily curriculum honoring the sacrifices men and women in our armed forces have had to make. “This would include school visits from current and former servicemen, as well as the potential for performance organizations like the Army band…” said Dr. Charles.
The next Board of Education regular meeting is scheduled for March 11th at 7pm in council chambers, City Hall.

Brian Kaskel
Middletown Parent
Former Board of Education candidate

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Many CT Gun Owners Defying Call to Register

Anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 gun owners in Connecticut became Class D felons overnight after failing to register their semi-automatic rifles with the state of Connecticut as required by a hastily passed gun control law last year. The deadline for registration was January 1, 2014, and it is now believed tens of thousands of gun owners chose not to register as an act of defiance...Continue reading at The Blaze.(video there also)

                          Some CT gun owners line up to register their guns. Reminds one of Gun                                                            Registration in Weimar Germany.

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