We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Tuesday, September 28. 2010
Graph above via Government Pay Growth Outpaces Private Pay Growth
Mead: How China's growing power aids US influence in the East
Local Tea Party group may have uncovered massive vote fraud in Texas
Democrats Face Skeptics in Rural Areas
Obamacare: The pain begins now
Light rail doesn't work in Phoenix/ It's a city that grew up with cars. NYC has heavily-used subways (light rail) because it grew up with them.
In the war between social and fiscal conservatives the question on everyone's mind is: who (or what) comes first?
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Massive vote fraud in Houston, Texas? The hell you say. Why is this news when it has been an established fact for many, many years. Bureaucratic agencies in this state are underhanded, criminal and are constantly on the take. This state is very user unfriendly when it comes to protecting the rights of their citizens.
I challenge any bureaucrat from any agency in Texas to challenge me on the above statement because I have a crap load of proof to shut their mouths.
The "Restoring Voter Intimidation Rally" coming up on Saturday in DC put on by SEIU and other notable socialists claims to speak for middle-class America. Actually, it's more like shouting AT middle-class America.
I don't think they will be able to keep from getting arrested, and I know they won't leave the Lincoln Memorial in as fine shape as the Glenn Beck crowd left it. We should get pictures!
What an excellent array of links. I want to thank you, Mr. BD, for taking the time to do this blog. It is vastly above and beyond anything else out in the 'sphere, and it is not dominated by commenters with agendas, victim mentalities and way too much time on their hands.
Re: bussing them in
The real question is how many will be paid (not just given a free bus ride) and how much to be there.
I hope this becomes a regular event - conservatives hold huge rally on the mall and people pay their own way to attend and socialists hold a counter rally and spend a huge wad of money to have people attend. Works for me.
Before we can absorb Obamacare, we get Obamacation. His latest rant on improving the schools and taking on the unions is the biggest laugh yet. He and Bill Ayres had their chance in Chicago when they managed the Annenberg Challenge, distributing 55 million dollars to Chicago schools over six years. Not only did the program not improve any of the schools involved (it's evaluators marked it a decisive failure), it took the focus OFF reading, writing and arithmetic to make schools the agents of social justice -- a very difficult term to define much less teach to elementary students. If fact, it simply strengthened the hold of unions in Chicago and deepened the bureaucracy.
Obama also killed the DC voucher program that had been helping low income students attend schools of their choice. Nice move, Mr. President. And politics doesn't help much. Michelle Rhee, Chancellor of DC schools, is probably in the revolving door now that her mentor has been replaced by voters.
Geoffery Canada's Harlem Initiative is local and successful and stresses basic skills. He's in the classrooms and knows what's working and what's not. A good model for other urban districts.
Get the Feds out of education! All politicians, for that matter as mayors are no more qualified to run school systems than the Feds. Pay teachers and principals by performance, giving the latter responsibility for the school's success. Get rid of tenure. Lenghten the school day and year. Souble up on math and science classes. Bring back physical education, art and music...and recess. Not many adults do well sitting still all day. Eliminate all the consultants that have not the slightest impact on students. In elementary school, allow teachers to keep the same class of students for two years, so they can better identify subtle learning styles and problems. Place non-English-speaking students into immersion classrooms and encourage their parents to join them. Bring back vocational education. Enourage internships and apprenticeships.
I could go on, but after working in and on education since the early 60's, I am exhausted. All the hours, all the money, all the emotional investment has done not one iota of good. Literacy continues to fall and the drop-out rate continues to rise. My daughter-in-law, a professor in early childhood education, just announced she, too, has "had it" and is leaving the field. Sad.
I just wish the O would stick with ONE thing long enough to stabilize it (like the economy) before totally discombobulating another area. Does he ever finish anything?.
Great stuff, jma.
However, to me, your concluding paragraph may be entirely at sea, at sea on another planet in a seperate reality entirely.
What you see as a bug is a feature, i'm about 90% certain, based on an accumulating mountain of facts, to team Obama.
One of these "bug-or-feature?" headscratchers is that FDR kept changing programs around, killing these and starting those, and that according to such scholars as Amity Schlaes (author of best seller The Forgotten Man), the effect of this chronic uncertainty was to freeze capitalism in its tracks, and make it useless for solving the Great Depression, and thus to extend and extend again the international socialist agenda's political exploitation of the Great Depression as the proof of the failure of free markets and individual liberty, or iow 'capitalism'.
(note, i'm not opinionating on FDR's motives, i'm just relating some effects of his actions)
So here's a question: to Obama and his leadership team, is that accidental bug referred to in your concluding para, in fact a deliberate and well-planned feature ?
A feature that succeeds because its rule is to always operate on the careful edge of deniability?
I agree with everything you've said above, jma. I would only add one thing. Get rid of bi-lingual education, in which students fail to learn in two languages, instead of only one. And make it a requirement that those who wish to vote, and register to vote, can both speak and write in English, which should be the case if Congress had only passed 'English as the official language' legislation back in the '90s as was attempted.
Agree totally. (Sorry about the "souble"...proofread, proofread, proofread...)