Cesar Rodney Institute too politically far right for me: re: education

Choices: Should Delaware increase private school options for parents who can’t afford tuition? Posted on January 31, 2013 by Nichole Dobo

It is “National School Choice Week” and the Caesar Rodney Institute has been meeting with groups like this to talk about ideas such as school vouchers and “opportunity scholarships.” These programs would allow parents to choose to attend private schools they might otherwise be unable to afford, proponents say.

Uncle Pete, I respect you and the family but damn, your CRI boys are so far right they are out of touch with the reality of the mainstream. Sure I support opportunity scholarships but not when CRI is pouring the Kool-aid.

“I didn’t say teachers. I said the public school system,” Hosley said, adding that the system includes the teachers union, politicians and the state Department of Education.  

Mr. Hosley, the public school system must include parents and the community in the failure aspects. Sure ineffective teachers fail students, ineffective school leaders fail students, ineffective school board fail student but, ineffective parents fail their children! Also, ineffective community leader fail their schools and community! I guess you have to been born in Delaware prior to 1960 to know the war on teacher’s union has more to busting prevailing wages than it does with student academics. The teachers union is the strongest and most organized! Taken down the teachers union is a major step in busting the prevailing wages reducing our tradesman’s standard of living. Let’s be honest when we talk unions.  

On those points Hosley didn’t have a lot of praise. He said that Gov. Jack Markell has not focused on the right things to improve the state’s school system, and he implied that the governor is too lined up with union positions, including more charter school regulation and raises for teachers

Yet no mentioned of the Rodel clones embedded in DE DOE and Jack’s administration! Come on Uncle Pete, you know that I know that you know! Sure Markell for political sake lines up with the unions but don’t bullshit us because with know about his alliance with the likes of Rodel. More charter school regulation! What supporting those of us who demand more transparency? I have my bitch with traditional schools, charter schools, DSEA and  Wall Street Pool Boy Jack Markell. But when it comes down to it, I demand more transparency as government can never be it’s own watchdog whereas, the people are better suited.

To get change there must be more of a focus on allowing parents to chose private schools, Hosely said. This could be accomplished in a number of ways (vouchers, tax credits, special tuition savings accounts), all of which would require a significant piece of legislation. Parents and others who want to have the ability to send their children to private and religious schools must contact their legislators to help drum up support for this, Hosely said.

Lets take the cheaper road and allow online charter schools which will ease the demand for capital funding for charter schools. Lets demand funding for Choice transportation and lets demand scholarships for our most neediest students who show promising academic success. Let’s consolidated New Castle County traditional school districts and build a better choice system providing free transportation for all. Let’s expand votech schools! To suggest school vouchers for all students would break the back of the taxpayers. Now is that the Republican thing to do?

Is there enough support to push through a voucher program in Delaware?

To answer your question Lois, the answer is no! But perhaps for promising low income students supported by private and state funds. As for these students they can participate in DCAS  set up on a Saturday.  When need to at least pilot some form of a voucher system. 

Pete, OMG old man! You have the power and influence to generate millions to support  opportunity scholarships free of state and federal interference. However, your salesman can’t be those to the extreme right out of touch with the real world living in the center. If you strongly believe the extreme right-wingers come out of the shadows and support them. I know you might be throwing these guys under the bus to test the voucher waters but limited vouchers may have merit. 

27 responses to “Cesar Rodney Institute too politically far right for me: re: education

  1. LOL… Mike Matthews in the belly of the beast (the anti-union, pro-voucher rally reported in the article):

    This was evident when Mike Matthews, a Red Clay Consolidated special education teacher and union supporter, spoke up. Matthews noted a few items where he believed Hosley got it wrong in his presentation, including if union money being used for political purposes. When Matthews started to explain how he opts to contribute to a PAC, almost everyone in the room started to talk at once to disagree with him.

    “Does he also believe in Santa Claus?” one man asked.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Now why did you go and do that re: bring Matthews in the conversation 🙂

      DSEA dues do filter into politics! CRI is founded on the principles of politics and support by the Republican union! Just as DSEA /unions may give all teachers a bad name, extreme right-wing Republicans give all Republicans a bad name. Odd is may sound, I a Republican who supports worker’s rights to organize and seek fair protection. However, I can extract what parts of teachers unions I don’t like such as supporting VT options for teachers with poor reviews! But that might have changed with DPAS. Matthews is putting it out their carrying the union flag and knows he erodes his chances of moving up into administration. But know him, he happy on t he front-lines where the real impacting work takes place. CRI will deem him a bad teacher but many of us know he is far from it.

      CRI is too far right for my blood and lives in an echo chamber. They can call me what they want, but my mission is transparency that forces the cards on the table and the truth within out!

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    • It was in your linked article! I thought it was funny/revealing. I’ve been in that position many times myself over different issues – where the crowd is so uninterested in viewpoints that challenge their own that you can’t even get your point out. It also shows the vehemence of proponents of that brand of “school choice.”

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    • Kilroy,

      DSEA dues DO NOT go toward political action. Members must donate funds separate from their union dues. Those funds go to a DSEA PAC. Two separate things. So, while I was laughed at for stating a fact, I think the record needs to be set straight. Dues dollars do not go to politics. Voluntary dollars above and beyond dues that members KNOW they are contributing to politics do go to politics.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Mr. Matthews I said this DSEA dues do filter into politics! Are you saying DSEA executives work for free and are not paid with members dues? All the backroom political wheeling and dealing doesn’t take place? Sure much is for the sake and integrity of the members. However, the Judas factor was a game changer.

      Fair enough, you clear the record that DSEA members dues don’t end up as political campaign contributions or into PAC. So the PAC money and political contributions come from when the $$$ hat is passed around the second time?

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    • lastDEconservative

      Good points$ there Mr. K about the union “leader$hip” activitie$.

      One other glaring consideration. All those teacher dollars issued by the State, whether the original income, the union dues extracted (without Choice, apropos of the subject at hand), or voluntary PAC contributions were first extracted (also without Choice) from the earnings of non-State workers, many of whom are subject by their child’s proxy (without Choice) to the part of the school system failures attributable to the machinations of said union executives.

      This being the case, should not the union’s finances be as transparent to those of us who fund it (without Choice) as is (supposedly) the financial conduct you so passionately demand of those who spend it on every other school related line item? This could form your finest hour of transparency ranting! Standing by …

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  2. kilroysdelaware

    CRI picked the place and the issue not friendly towards unions. I find it hard to believe he Catholic Church participated in this political circus and support the extreme right-wing! I guess when there is money to be had to save the Catholic schools all bets are off! I hope there isn’t backlash on Good Republican candidates !

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    • The Church thinks it is going to get some of that sweet voucher money. There is a State and a Federal constitution in the way though.

      In Louisiana, conservative legislators freaked out when they realized Islamic schools were getting voucher money. They thought “religious” schools meant Christian schools!

      Louisiana vouchers have since been found unconstitutional (currently on appeal).

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    • The Church thinks it is going to get some of that sweet voucher money. There is a State and a Federal constitution in the way though.

      Not necessarily. People can use the GI Bill to choose religious schools, after all.

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  3. “I don’t like such as supporting VT options for teachers with poor reviews!”

    Not sure if you are aware, but in most districts, the union contract prohibits teachers on improvement plans from being part of the VT process. Unfortunatley, too many administrators are afraid to put teachers on improvement plans.

    It has also been my experience that bad teachers rarely VT. The only teachers I am familiar with VTing are good teachers who worked in difficult schools. They frequently put in their time until they reach the point of burnout and then they VT into an easier school to work in. The VT process benefits them.

    Bad teachers usually don’t VT, but instead change jobs. They quit, get pressured into leaving, or move to another district. If they are bad and certified in an area like Special Education, Math, or Science, they will find a job in some other unsuspecting district/school. They key to finding these people is that they rearely stay in a school for more than 3 years. The VT process is not used by these people because their (poor) reputation preceeds them in the same district.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      I figured with all the changes VT options were in there. I know some teachers VT because personality conflicts with building administrators and due to questionable performance. I would rather not say bad teachers and perhaps the burnout factor. But for sure like any profession there are teachers that may be suited for other professions.We know historically some of the lower performing school had the openings for the VTs. .

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  4. lastDEconservative

    ” I guess you have to been born in Delaware prior to 1960 to know the war on teacher’s union has more to busting prevailing wages than it does with student academics. The teachers union is the strongest and most organized! Tak[ing] down the teachers union is a major step in busting the prevailing wages reducing our tradesman’s standard of living. Let’s be honest when we talk unions.”
    -K

    Kilroy, the gentleman did not talk down the union. He in fact said he supported unions (I believe in a more general sense, but still). Why he supports unions, teachers or otherwise, is beyond me but he did not condemn them in this forum, as you condemn him for doing. A second reading of Lois’s article is in order. The crowd was of a slightly different opinion, shall we say. Lois didn’t capture honestly the response to “proud union member” Matthews’s fantastical statement about the disposition of union dues vis a vis politics, nor that the reason (I believe) that said response was a bit visceral (this item being pretty far down his too-long list of quickly debunked and unfortunate accusations/claims of falsehoods perpetrated by the presenter).

    “What [about] supporting those of us who demand more transparency? I have my bitch with traditional schools, charter schools, DSEA and Wall Street Pool Boy Jack Markell. But when it comes down to it, I demand more transparency as government can never be it’s own watchdog whereas, the people are better suited.” -K

    Kilroy, had you been there, I believe you would have found common ground with the presenter, if intellectually honest, on this your favorite subject of transparency. Hosley made several runs at the topic, all critical of the feds and the pool boy (all omitted entirely by your single source), including a suggestion that DE follow the model of FL (please don’t start with Jeb and such, that was not the point) and plainly, independently (without saying how) rate all schools A – F. This in lieu of another, I believe, of your passion points, the (intentional) obfuscation of school ratings such as runs-well-with-scissors (you know what I mean, I am drawing a blank on this chapter of ed-speak). His point being in this case, ALL parents (etc.) can understand it, and act on it. Transparent enough? Actionable enough?

    Hosley’s presentation was primarily a presentation of facts and figures and statistics and such — none new — with a particular hat tip to this week’s celebration (?) of Choice Week. As such, I suspect you would have had little disagreement with 64 of the 71 minutes. And contrary to your presumed characterization, there was remarkably little as to opinion expressed via the presentation. In fact, at the penultimate moment, the wrap up was quite disappointing — very little in the way of a call to action (there were a few admonitions scattered throughout to call your state rep – yawn), and a three item list of CRI goals with respect to education that were frankly weak and uninspiring. The discussion amongst the attendees following the formalities — a different story. Let’s just say spirited as well as opinionated for now.

    I find CRI in this case to be on the right subject, but the wrong path, even though as I alluded to above, I am speculating strongly as to what the path truly is. However, today, in Delaware, there are some three dozen folks who are now more knowledgeable (or once again reminded as the case may be) and armed with information (presented transparently and dispassionately) with which each can do as each sees fit. Not unlike what readers of Kilroy’s do every day.

    One last thing about your single source. Near the end of Lois’s report is a link to a vile ad hominem attack on another CRI fellow, largely an unfounded rant charging racism (common practice in the absence of reasoned response, though inexcusable). She does a great disservice to her own reporting and to the event this way. Nothing explicit or implicit in the events of last evening would lead one to that dissertation.

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    • We must have been at two different meetings, sir, because in the bubble that was that meeting there were at least a dozen lies and or points made without providing relevant contextual background so as to qualify the specious “facts.” I will have a response soon on my blog.

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    • kilroysdelaware

      From the NJ article
      “On those points Hosley didn’t have a lot of praise. He said that Gov. Jack Markell has not focused on the right things to improve the state’s school system, and he implied that the governor is too lined up with union positions, including more charter school regulation and raises for teachers”

      “Kilroy, the gentleman did not talk down the union. He in fact said he supported unions (I believe in a more general sense, but still). Why he supports unions, teachers or otherwise, is beyond me but he did not condemn them in this forum, as you condemn him for doing”

      Let me see, he implied the governor is too lined up with the union positions. Sounds a bit negative in tone and if he supports union why critical of Marekll?

      “Kilroy, had you been there, I believe you would have found common ground with the presenter”

      I do have common ground in the area fiscal responsibility and intrusion by the feds and state in local control. I am for choice and charters being part of that option. However, I am wise enough to know expanding those options at a time reform is working continues the erosion of the foundation of traditional public school. We want to better compete not sequel like a pig.

      “I find CRI in this case to be on the right subject, but the wrong path, even though as I alluded to above”

      Here we agree! I know who the CRI players are and the money stream. There mission is clearly laced with extreme right-wing political agendas at a time we need to more a little to left of center. Also, its ironic that those we need to help “disadvantage students” are most likely to the left.

      FYI the R’s and D’s are in bed with Race to The Top and as the RTTT funding runs dry the R’s are going to say it wasn’t me!

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    • lastDEconservative

      Thank you for engaging, Mr. K.

      To your first rejoinder, I politely point you to LOIS’s word “implied,” and suggest that from each listener comes the choice of words to describe what s/he heard. Hosley did correctly gather the Union, the “Political System” (implying (!) the legislature, the governor and associates, including Wall Street), and the DOE/Regulators under the heading “Powering Delaware Education,” as a fact of life today — no more than that — just the simple fact of an unfortunate triumvirate.

      And before your spleen bursts believing that was an expression of acceptance or approval, the next slide suggested a (not the) “reformed” (his unfortunate choice of term, not mine) version of “Powering Delaware Education.” Principals and School Boards, Parents, and Teachers. Still three components, vastly different composition, and therefore likely outcomes. No Feds, no State! Now let me think, what highly principled, poorly spelling blogger do I know that believes likewise … ?

      How can he be supportive of unions and critical of Markell? I won’t try to put words in his mouth as some are wont to do, but if you were to make a list of those folks and entities in line for criticism for the failures at hand, would you end up with a list of one? And given scrutiny, would not all manner of relationships exist among the listees — as they do now? Again I say, I heard him express acceptance if not support for unions as an generality, leaving plenty room to criticize the specific teacher’s union of Delaware for, oh, say, ” … backroom political wheeling and dealing … ”

      Your second comment is, “However, I am wise enough to know expanding those options [choice and charter] at a time reform is working continues the erosion of the foundation of traditional public school.” For myself, I would challenge your assertion that reform is working … reform is underway (as it has been for decades with ever declining (or at best, static) results) but it is not working, if working means producing positive results. As for the presentation, my interpretation of Hosley’s actual words as well the intent of them, was not to diminish public schools per se, but to inform listeners as to the variations in the reality and the results across the spectrum of available school options out there. I listen, I hear it this way, I do so wish you had been there. Then you say we (I suppose you mean TPS) want to compete. How else would you compete except by challenge? TPS lose less ($) than charters gain when Tommy’s mom moves him. So, if the field of competition is unfair, in whose favor is it tilted? My question this, not Hosley’s! Let’s call it a hundred years absent competition has brought us to today. I’ll take competition. Likewise, if any claim is made and substantiated as Jack has, that improvement has taken place these recent years (well, maybe not substantiated), must one ignore the competition of choice and charters as causal? That would certainly be less than fair. And you certainly don’t hear Jack and company trumpeting diminishing results during his tenure!

      Then this, “The[i]r mission is clearly laced with extreme right-wing political agendas at a time we need to mo[v]e a little to left of center. Also, its ironic that those we need to help “disadvantage students” are most likely to the left.” Wow. Extreme? MOVE left of center? Have we not been residing in and experimenting with leftist (of various degrees) control for generations now? Extreme right (as right and left are commonly considered) would be no government control, a position that probably hasn’t existed since before the introduction of the New England Primer circa 1690. Suffice to say, as I attended hoping to hear thoughtful, not extreme, “right” policies espoused … they were not. As for the disadvantaged, the dispassion of the charts and graphs, of which there were a goodly number, showing the achievement gaps between what you would call the advantaged and the disadvantaged, were punctuated with Hosley’s lamentation of the fact. You want an opinion from him? There’s one, demonstrated by body language and vocal intonation. Check that with Lois. Personally, I find such charts misleading, but they are the present day establishment’s scorecards. Que sera, sera.

      You, sir, nor any comer, will ever get an argument from me about equality of culpability as to Rs and Ds. In fact, I am far more critical of the Rs, who are supposed to be about the things I’m about. I haven’t seen one holding office that fits that description lately. The only thing they argue about, while pointing out to voting constituencies the error of the “competing” point of view and the brilliance of their own, is which direction the dials should be turned. None believe (and that’s a specifically chosen word, believe) that the machine is at fault, only the direction of the controlling dials is at fault. At this two minutes, I fear, and again, I’m waiting to be proven wrong, that CRI may eventually espouse a desire to turn the dials on the same machine their way. To date, I’ve not discerned a clear focus from them. Certainly not a call to arms. You obviously see it otherwise and clearly. Good. Let us all argue with the same end in mind.

      For me, nothing short of dismantling the machine, preferably by methodology more resembling C-4 than pliers, will result in the children getting what they should get from the adults. Only then might we move to re-construct what used to be before the priority moved from the child to the adult, be that adult parent, teacher, administrator, snake oil salesman, pastor, or an elected omniscient elite. Though now a four letter word in the world about which we debate, history is the great teacher, just as it was in the days of the NE Primer. Long bastardized and suppressed, until we use history as a resource as well as a subject, our most valuable and most vulnerable will suffer.

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  5. Of course private/parochial schools are going to be supportive of endeavours that will boost their enrollment.

    Let’s talk market share here:

    In the years since charter schools have joined the competition for students, we have beared witness to multiple closings of Catholic Schools in Wilmington and nearby suburbs. Wilmington parochial school enrollment began to dip due to city flight. However, we have seen consolidation of several suburban Catholic schools in the last four years.

    With the addition of charter schools, and many emulate the practices employed and refined by Catholic schools, parochials are now victim of their own decreased market share. Why pay tuition, especially during a down economy, when you can get the free version, minus religion, in a charter?

    Just as traditional public schools have felt the loss of students to vo-tech and charter, parochial/private schools have also seen similar loss to charter schools. Private schools who have been hit by the decrease market share see vouchers and tax credits of a way of stemming further loss and hopefully growing their enrollment, creating solvency.

    The biggest problem – those private schools are who are excellent and contiue to produce waiting lists, will have few seats to offer to new students under a creative finance program. Instead, those mechanisms will supplant the tuition dollars already paid into the schools.

    More students may disperse out to under-enrolled schools, however, does data exist to support the idea that these schools can provide a better education that the TPS? Give the economic conditions, how are we certain that schools that have decreased enrollment are not also suffering academic decay? How will measure these schools against TPS and Charter given that the assessment tools for public schools are deeply different than private schools?

    I think it’s highly unlikely that our DE legislature would overwhelmingly support a creative financing measure that enriches the private school sector with state funds when those most likely to benefit have been already been able to fund (through scholarship or via their own income) their child’s private education.

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  6. Oh hell. Bottom line is all vouchers will do is raise tuition at the school you already can’t afford to send your kid. And if a private/parochial school wanted your child that bad they make it happen. Got it?

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    • kilroysdelaware

      Yes and new private schools will popup to meet the demand. Pencader can reopen as a private school without going through an approval process.

      And we must remember, all those parents whose children attend private schools pay local school taxes for services not rendered. So the districts will have to give it back in the towards vouchers and drain the system.

      HOWEVER, I see no reason why the business community and state can’t pilot an opportunity scholarship for academic promising low income kids. Damn. they system fed $$$$ of poverty students since 1965 and failed to me the objective. It was to be supplemental funding. I’ll be you DE DOE counts federally funded Title 1 teachers in the state unit count formula !

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  7. CRI is proposing vouchers for private schools but the chateau country that makes up CRI will not want “those” kids in their schools. What will happen is the fully enrolled private schools will have 1-2 slots available for a top of the list voucher kid. Then CRI $ will funnel in to opening new private schools to cash in. Suddenly we’ll be back in the same exact scenario we are now with charters but then they will be called private, but in essence they will be charters because they will be taking mostly state funds. It’s laughable

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    • Yes. And since the new schools built to accept vouchers will really be private, there will be absolutely no public control over how that tax-generated voucher $ is spent ( as opposed to the miniscule public oversight still possible with charters). Worse than the current charter scenario, which already gives taxpayers very little leverage ( esp. in the case of non-district charters).

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    • Didn’t Mr. Rodney pledge his “life, fortune and sacred honor” to oppose taxation w/o representation? Hard to see how he would support either vouchers (which privatize tax payments) or charters not overseen by an elected body. Poor fellow, having his good name abused in this way.

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    • Let me see if this sounds right – We enacted Charters and that worked so overwhelmingly well that we need to enact vouchers to private schools? What? Charters weren’t the reform fix? Now we need to turn kids over to private schools b/c public education is a complete failure?

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  8. What would stop ALL current private school students from demanding their vouchers?

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    • Unless a voucher program were needs-based, it would subsidize all current private school kids in the county (about 25% of the schoolchildren who live in NCCo.). There would have to be a significant property tax hike to cover this. Hard to see where one would get the votes for that, or why that’s a good idea.

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  9. And how do you sell this to the families spending $15,000 a year that you continue to pay that but others get it for free?

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  10. Ok, so as the article says…. Look at Florida…. Vouchers work great there…

    So, just look up these headlines…. on a quick search.

    “Wednesday the Florida Department of Education unveiled statewide teacher evaluation data, part of a new law that overhauls how teacher performance is measured in Florida. The agency held a press conference by phone to discuss the accomplishment….

    And then the data quietly disappeared that afternoon.

    The agency later admitted that school officials had noticed that the data stated the district had more employees than is actually the case.”

    “In a comparative report, the state issued incorrect public school grades after failing to account for a new factor in the school grading formula. The agency later raised the public school grades for more than 200 schools..”..

    “Scores plunged on the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test after the state toughened grading standards. The Florida Board of Education addressed the issue by lowering the passing score after public outcry. (That’s not an issue with accuracy, but an admission the scores themselves were the problem.)”

    “When we wrote about how often Florida students are secluded in isolation rooms or restrained by school staff, disabilities advocates questioned the accuracy of the data provided by the state. It turns out the state keeps two sets of seclusion and restraint data. “

    here is the link and all report given by Florida’s Rick Scott should be verified by this website before being used..

    http://stateimpact.npr.org/florida/2012/12/06/the-problems-with-florida-school-data/

    What we had here by Hosely was the railroading of a excessively gullible clients, pulled off the showroom floor into a tiny back room in order to get them to buy a Hurricane Sandy flooded automobile…. I like the theory, but the science behind it is junk. It is like saying we should contact other galactic civilizations in order to find out how on their planets, they are teaching their children… Great idea, but Hosely’s realities simply can’t be accomplished with today’s technology……

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