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
Thursday, May 26. 2005
Monkeys alive and well in Kansas - More curriculum monkey business. The downside: They make religous folks look dumb. The upside: It's a free country. Being free to be dumb is better than not being free, and subject to the "experts." Think about it - how often do those "experts" turn out to be wrong? In this case, the expert theory is probably more right than wrong, but still...
Child welfare dept. drops the ball again: WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- State and local authorities are investigating how a convicted rapist from Oregon failed to register as a sex offender in New York and was allowed to serve as a foster parent in an upstate county for four years before it was discovered.
Well, they're not showing any lights tonight
Never could learn to drink that blood
Dylan, from Tight Connection to my Heart (Has Anybody Seen my Love?) - buy it here
I think this is a Mississippi River Channel Catfish. This is about as big as they get, Captain Ahab.
Editor: Then tonight I get an email from Curt, saying "Is this a bait fish?"
Teach the Constitution in school, you must be kidding.
From the Federal Register:
SUMMARY: The Assistant DeputySecretary for Innovation and Improvement announces that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress,educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution onSeptember 17 of each year. This notice
implements this provision as it appliesto educational institutions receiving
Federal funding from the Department.
"The rule puts into effect a provision that was inserted in the final federal-spending bill for 2005 by Sen. Robert C. Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat and the Senate's unofficial constitutional scholar.The Chronicle: Daily news: 05/25/2005 -- 03 ."
"But many university presidents remain concerned that Senator Byrd's provision could establish a precedent for Congress's setting curricular requirements," said Becky Timmons, director of government relations at the American Council on Education. "Federal law prohibits the Education Department from establishing a national curriculum. Our members find it very intrusive," Ms. Timmons said. "They are concerned about the precedent it holds for Congress telling them what to teach."
It is inconceivable that the American Council of Education believes that teaching the Constitution is opening the door to Congressional edicts regarding curriculums at the elementary, high school and college level. It makes common sense to teach the Constitution of the United States if you are educating Americans who have the right to vote and decide who leads their city, state, and country. Isn't an informed public the best safeguard for Democracy? I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that Ms. Timmons is a card carrying ACLU member. People are always looking to pounce on anything remotely patriotic. It's a good thing Senator Byrd is a Democrat or we would be reading the how President Bush changed the American History curriculum.
Editor's Note: I beg to respectfully disagree with the learned and honorable Opie. Of course, every kid should have a civics course in grade school and in high school - but that is the responsibility of the local school systems. I know it's getting late to close the barn door, but keep the Feds away from our schools. The real problem is that the schools want the Fed $, so they have to give up their own authority and judgement to get it. That isn't good.
Hedgies: Brother, can you spare a dime?
From the NYT: ON average, according to Institutional Investor's most recent survey, the 25 best-paid hedge fund managers each took home $207 million in 2003, about double what they made a year earlier. That's $207 million in cash - not in equity or stock options. Meanwhile, the nation's 25 highest-paid chief executives each made an average of $37 million in total compensation last year, including options granted (but not those exercised), according to Business Week.
Most hedge fund managers do make money for their investors. But even if a hedge fund manager doesn't make a cent for his investors, the manager invariably makes a fortune for himself. Think about it: just for showing up to work, the manager of a hedge fund with $1 billion in assets is guaranteed to earn $20 million a year in management fees alone. Why should he take any risks? Why should he alienate his cautious investors? If we add in his 20 percent cut of the gains, and assume that his returns last year were just average (in line with the S.& P. 500) he would have grossed a total of $41.8 million." Gunslingers No More: The Cautious Cash In - New York Times
Leaving the Left
A fascinating piece from Thompson, with plenty of honesty:
LEAVING THE LEFT