Saturday, January 31, 2009
|What do you think?|
"Cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war..."
~ Julius Caesar (Shakespeare, 1601)
H/T: The Patriot Room
|What do you think?|
No, I'm serious, it did! Look at what it accomplished:
We gave money to failed businesses run by morally failed leadership. This allowed for the serendipitous windfall of watching these bastards use the misbegotten money to go on hunting trips, get manicures, and buy expensive French planes.
The new administration then got to use these unforeseen benefits to further the "Evil CEO's and Corporate America" shtick that accompanies some of the more flagrant Socialization additions to the Stimulus Bill.
We could have given the money to good businesses, those unaffected by the crash, then required them, in exchange, to take on failed businesses, but without the failed leaders, and we could have stipulated that they release them back into the wild after they reach a certain level of self-sufficiency, etc...
...but that wouldn't have been NEARLY as helpful as what they have to work with now:
Useful Corporate Idiots.
|What do you think?|
Generalizations and spin are wonderful things aren't they?
Given the recent events in the House regarding the Stimulus Bill, we are now seen by some as hateful sore losers.
What we are doing is protesting a bill that we have almost no faith in. If we don't believe that something will work, why shouldn't we vote against it? It has nothing to do with the poor other than the fact that we think this bill will hurt everyone, including the poor.
When we tried to debate and compromise, we received the admonition from Obama that, "I won. I'll trump you on that."
Trump all you like, Mr. President, we will still not vote for that which we do not agree with.
If we seem like sore losers with this action, well perhaps you might consider your own words or thoughts over the last eight years:
"Our party is weak."
"We are too busy infighting to stand up a real opposition."
"We just can't get it together."
I will not cite any articles here for any of these statements as I have heard them from so many sources both in person and on the internet that I doubt the necessity.
So when, in the face of its first real opposition from a new administration, my party stands up to the challenge and presents a united front so loud and clear that it affects the public approval of this measure, don't be surprised. It even affected the outlook of Sen. Ben Nelson D-Neb:
“I don’t even know how many Democrats will vote for it, as it stands today.”
It's only a protest. Sort of like the ones you occasionally indulge in, only without the effigy-burning, the hilariously ironic signs, and the bumper-sticker bullhorns. We inherently know the only thing that really matters; votes.
The Left has for decades touted quite highly a condition that we, the Right, recently displayed with great success and effectiveness:
Now we wait while the Senate confers over the wisdom of this bill. I hope that the GOP in that body can perform as admirably or better.
What do I mean by "better"?
A real compromise, a dramatically smaller price-tag, less special interest spending, more stimulus, tax-cuts, you know, something that we could get behind.
Then we could all be "Solidaritized" together. Wouldn't that be nice?
H/T: The Weekly Standard and Hot Air
|What do you think?|
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Never, EVER, speak to me again about the ideals of Duty, Honor, Integrity, Fidelity, or Accountability.
If you side with this heinous little bastard, you have lost all rights to argue anything involving those points ever again.
At some point in his enlistment process, Mr. Key was required to raise his right hand and swear an Oath of Service to this country. He has refused, by deserting, to honor what was said in that Oath. He has turned his back on his country and his integrity.
He states that he was lied to by his recruiter about never being deployed. In a post-9/11 world, you are a moron to believe it, and I am doubtful as to the veracity of such a claim anyway.
He goes on to describe a blatant and pre-meditated war crime that he stood guard for.
Why didn’t he say something then?
Why didn’t he report it later?
Why is he capitalizing (highly acclaimed book release) off this atrocious (if true…) act now?
This despicable and cowardly excuse for a human being could have done or said something at anytime during or after the alleged incident and Federal Law would have protected him as a “whistle-blower”.
The precedent that this sets is truly dangerous. Now, according to his supporters, no one is accountable to their words or actions anymore. If you disagree with something, you can just leave. No need to right the wrong. Just cut and run.
Very well then…
I want to see this loathsome cad dragged into a Military Court Martial and tried for Desertion, as an accomplice in the crime (he didn’t say anything, and that makes him an accessory), Slander, and as a War Profiteer.
|What do you think?|
The “Stimulus Bill” was passed with absolutely no GOP support yesterday.
Small consolations are going to be the only “Hope” left over for us, I fear.
Recently, in a discussion with my father, I forwarded the notion the Obama’s plan was to present a core idea surrounded by porky dross that could be pared away to, in comparison, make the original intent look more palatable.
Basically, if you have something that you want to sell for $200, start the haggling at $700. Who knows? You might be able to get $350 for it.
However, my father told me that in his experience, people tend to lend, or project, sinister intelligence upon those in charge who are doing something that they dislike. It is hard for us to accept a difficult explanation that yes, they really are that stupid.
He cited Occam’s Razor:
Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
Or roughly, but more commonly, translated:
All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.
Two weeks ago, I firmly believed that Congress would pare down the “fat” to leave the core of Obama’s idea, thus allowing him to pass something that presented by itself would have received much derision and contempt from the Right, possibly even from some dissenters on the Left as well.
Nope. It got passed, in its totality, to squeals of delight from the Left.
God help us all.
I hope the Senate can do something to stall or kill it, but I am not going to engage in auto-asphyxiation…
|What do you think?|
Monday, January 26, 2009
|What do you think?|
What’s wrong with this picture?
On January 20, while the world collectively held it’s breath to witness history, an incident occurred in the Middle East.
Acting on an intelligence lead, we intercepted a ship flying false colors (thanks to a mid-sea name change) that was headed for the Sinai Peninsula, reportedly carrying a large consignment of weapons in secret compartments that were meant for Hamas. The ship’s manifest doesn’t list the weapons, but intelligence says they’re there. I think the crew may have gravitically empowered some legumes on these weapons as well.
The ship was from Iran.
In order to get at the illegal cargo (it’s hidden in the hull apparently), they would have to make use of a large dock. The nearest acceptable choice is in Egypt. This is a problem however, as the Egyptian government is trying to be the arbitrators in the peace process there. I guess they don’t want too much evidence in their front yard making one side look guiltier than the other.
It’s become a political "Hot Potato" being tossed between the US, the UN, and Egypt and you haven’t heard about it because of a press blackout on the story. This is the first major international incident of a brand-spanking-new administration, and they want it kept under wraps.
Why in hell would they want that?
All throughout the campaign, we heard about the weakness that Obama would display in the face of a threat, and here’s his chance to, if not silence most, then quiet some of those fears. Here’s a golden opportunity to flex some hawkish muscles without actually doing anything drastic at all and he’s not taking it.
All he would have to do is:
1. Document everything. Statements, paperwork, take photos, make videos, the works.
2. Send a carbon copy of everything to the UN and the world’s press.
3. Send the freighter home (sans weapons) with some of that tough “smart diplomacy” talk.
4. Demand that the UN place sanctions and embargos on Iran for its blatant war-mongering (it wouldn’t happen, but it would throw the UN off balance by making them have to at least appear to take the unpopular side in the conflict…).
5. Give a cute speech about “Hope, Change, Not Being Bush, Unicorns, etc,” go home and watch the approval ratings go up.
So why isn’t he? What don’t we know? Why has it been 5 days and he’s not doing what he does best; exploiting a situation, taking all the credit, and cashing in the political chips?
It is a mysterious situation that has a terrifying underlying possibility:
Maybe he doesn’t know what to do.
H/T The Patriot Room and Debka
|What do you think?|
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The purpose of Education has been lost.
Numerous politicians and pundits have, as of late, gone on record as saying that, “We need to better prepare our children for the ‘International Job Market’”. I ask if this is truly the case.
Education has become a sort of mediocre mass-production assembly line of children that can pass standardized proficiency tests. The tests that were supposed to simply be a gauge for fine-tuning the process, have now become the goal, indeed the point of education in its entirety.
Emphasis is on the “skills needed to succeed in the workforce”, rather than any real personal development.
Education used to be about training citizens. The promotion of self-thought, self-reliance, and independence were the highest ideals.
Facts and figures, the “3 R’s”, history, these were all presented in repetitive fashion to ingrain them indelibly into the minds of the young, but their ultimate purpose was to give the student a basis for personal growth.
Some students weren’t made for academia, and dropped out before graduation. These students went on to learn the skills of their respective jobs at their jobs. Be it farming, industrial labor, or other various occupations, they didn’t need to have graduated from secondary school to achieve success. Many industrial success stories come from just such individuals.
Other children went on to continue their educations at institutions of higher learning. Colleges and universities trained those with the money or intellect (or both) to view the world from a higher plane of thought. Perhaps not too surprisingly, they too were taught their skills in the workplace of their choosing (or circumstance).
Today, we have an illusion that all children need to go to college, that they should all be five to six figure income winners. We have a misrepresented idea that all children are destined for greatness. I suppose that it might be considered quaint, but I think that the individual at the corner store who succeeds in keeping their business open for decades is great. I hold in equally high esteem the people that perform the “little” jobs that make the earth continue to spin on its axis. Most of them do not have higher educations, and some of them, I’d wager, do not have high school diplomas either.
Colleges and universities have become trade schools. There was a time when any higher field of study, chosen only for its intrinsic value or interest, was sufficient to make one eligible for a role in business. Outside of careers in law or medicine, two fields inherently requiring specific study, any degree could be considered preparatory for higher end job markets. Even science has only in recent human history become a specialist field of employment.
Another disturbing development in education is the idea that children’s interests must be pandered to. Rather than base the process of learning on the principle that the child should want to learn, we have sacrificed much of its integrity in order to bribe the child’s attention. We demand less, so we receive less. Children are inherently curious about the world around them, and once acclimatized to the idea that learning is not always a flashy or fun process; they accept the necessary tenets of repetition and reinforcement much more easily.
Computers have become the prime example of this errant methodology. I have heard scads of politicians pontificate time and again over the need for a computer on every desk. Why? Didn’t children ever learn anything prior to the invention of the computer? Didn’t the science required for its development need to be refined through ages of trial and error, a process of generations? Did President Garfield need a computer to write Greek with one hand while writing Latin with the other, and speaking to an advisor at the same time? How were these things accomplished?
They read books, and good ones at that. They had teachers who taught with the techniques listed above. They had discussions, and field trips (to real fields, no less), and projects, and science fairs, they wrote ad infinitum, and all the other things that still exist today, but are being pushed out in favor of sitting a child down in front of a glowing screen that is a pale and cheap substitute for real-life-hands-on learning.
Computers are excellent tools for research and communication, but they are not teachers. Furthermore, they certainly don’t offer any real advantage to the learning process. Instead, they serve mostly to distract with flashing lights and colors.
Another argument for their wide-spread inclusion into schools is that children need to learn how to use them in this day and age. This statement will always strike me as ridiculous.
When was the last time you needed to teach your child how to make their own “Myspace” page, complete with glitter background, animated gifs, and other assorted sense assaulting nonsense? How about finding the latest songs on the internet by the trendy band of the week? Word processing programs and other such software are intuitive and user-friendly. Computers and children go together all too well, and I would argue that no child requires a formal education in anything computer related unless it deals specifically with programming, or a highly specialized computing program.
For the record, the last time I received a formal education in computer skills, I was taught the “BASIC” computer language. That has brought me untold riches, let me tell you. Technology is by its very nature a quickly advancing thing, and the only real way to learn how to use it is to jump right in and do just that. Most children now have access to computers and the internet, and with proper adult supervision, they can learn all they need to know about those things very quickly.
I have gotten off topic some, but I hope you have understood my thoughts here. We need to return to a more practical approach in learning, a more pragmatic philosophy about education in general, and for God’s sake;
Turn off the damned TVs and kick the little bundles of energy outside where they belong!
|What do you think?|
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The "Turbo Tax Reform"
Inspired by Mr. Geithner's lax attitude towards paying his taxes for six years, I am proposing that we all do the same thing.
How does a man who flaunted the Tax Laws get to be the man who now enforces them? How do Republicans allow such a travesty to occur? Why are we not so incensed by this hideous display of cronyism that we do not immediately rise up and take action similar to the Boston Tea Party?
Given the President's less than helpful attitude towards political dissenters, ("I won, I will trump you on that.") I think it only fair that we "trump" him back.
I think that the absence of cash flow will get his attention and remind him of his "bi-partisan" stance towards the other half of this country.
I'd like to see the IRS audit 150 Million people. I would LOVE to see them try. Maybe the Organization for America could help them. He'd give them a uniform, like t-shirts, maybe a dark earth tone of some sort...
I bet Congress and the Senate would have a tough time passing gas let alone a Trillion dollar Stimulus-Response Bill without the moolah to back it up. Oh that's right, they don't have that either. It's not printed yet.
Maybe that would deflate the imperturbable Mr. President long enough to let him see the strength this country really has.
Perhaps then we would be living up to the lofty rhetoric of his Inaugural Speech...
|What do you think?|
Thursday, January 22, 2009
I would like to take this time to reassure you that we of the Right will do that which was difficult for some of you during the last eight years:
We will accept that Barack Obama is our President and the Leader of the Free World.
We will not decry the Will of the People, nor will the vast majority of us cling to insane hopes concerning various documents or other assorted nonsense. We have a 44th President of The United States, and he is our Commander in Chief.
This is our way of demonstrating that we believe so fervently in due process that we accept the outcome even when it is not that which we desire.
I must however, offer a caveat to you in regards to the concession that we offer. Our acceptance of his Presidency does not entail our support of his policies that conflict with our beliefs. We will hold him accountable for that which he does wrong, and we will give him credit where it is due. It will be difficult, but I for one will try my best.
Having now stated in plain English my intentions for the next four years as far as political conduct is concerned; I shall resume my usual tone…
I give the honeymoon until May. Those of you who are adept at arithmetic may notice that this is roughly about 100 days from now.
Around that time there will be many an iconic-t-shirt-wearer still standing in town squares with American flags that only recently saw the light of day. Their smiles will be forced, or at least strained. Nervous feet will be shuffling, and a quiet but audible murmuring will begin to manifest from somewhere in the center of the mass. Someone near you will say with the conviction of the desperate,
“Any minute now…”
The Unicorn Saddle will be gathering a thin patina of dust (not to be confused with fairy dust, as this will too have failed to materialize) that will foreshadow its sad and somewhat embarrassed career as an antique mall novelty. It will reside somewhere between the “Vote for Carter” buttons, and the Spiro Agnew ashtray.
“I can feel it. It’s coming…”
The mortgage will still be due and the Stimulus Bill will be passed, effectively mortgaging our country in the process. While the Media will tout the jobs that it creates, chances are good that statistically, you won’t be in those markets. There will also be a nagging doubt regarding the amount of taxes you pay, and the amount of money we will be spending on various projects, including your stimulus check.
“I Believe in Hope…”
The Troops will continue to go about their business of providing back-up to the increasingly stable Iraq, and surging into Afghanistan. Losses will be reported, but in a kinder, gentler way. The spin will make it more palatable I suppose.
“Change is here…”
Iran will still be hanging innocent people for the “crime” of being homosexual, their women still treated as chattel, and Ahmedinejad will still be screaming for the complete destruction of Israel. Hamas will still be a threat with its rockets and terror tactics, but surely peace talks and other “aggressively innovative diplomatic measures” will eventually bear the fruit of lasting peace, right?
“For the Children…um…”
The “Political Prisoners of the Bush Regime” at Guantanamo Bay will still be there, still being “tortured” with loud rock music, orange jumpsuits, and three square meals a day. The new Administration will be “seeking alternative venues” for their incarceration, but they will have begun to acknowledge the fact that they really are terrorists, and the worst examples of such at that.
Bush and Cheney will be at their respective homes resting peacefully and enjoying retirement while Rove still walks free and contributes on Fox News. All talks of prosecution will have faded away and become the stuff of dreams.
Then one day, it will dawn on you. The New Guy is just another politician. Oh, he’s no Bush, granted, but he won’t have delivered on everything yet. In fact, some of his campaign promises will have been shelved indefinitely in favor of more pressing needs. I’ll even bet that you will have, with increasing frequency, some concerns about his official stances on various issues.
“I’m going home.”
Yes, the honeymoon will be over. I can’t predict his overall performance over the course of the next four years, but aside from some catastrophic "game-changer", I doubt that I’m too far off in my assessment here.
Oh, and all your “Obama Commemorative Memorabilia”? There’s enough of it out there to clothe, heat, and in some cases feed a Third-World country.
Its only value will ultimately lie in reminding us all about the silliness we are capable of as a country.
I’d also be interested in finding out about the “CO2 footprint” and “Landfill Cubic Capacity” of all that crap…
|What do you think?|
Monday, January 19, 2009
Obama's Inauguration Speech
My fellow Americans, today is a aberrant day. You have shown the world that "hope" is not just another word for "involuntary admission", and that "change" is not only something we can believe in again, but something we can actually defecate. Today we celebrate, but let there be no mistake – America faces fastidious and lecherous challenges like never before. Our economy is mollusk-like. Americans can barely afford their mortgages, let alone have enough money left over for demons. Our healthcare system is polygamous. If your free-floating rib is sick and you don't have insurance, you might as well call a wrestler. And America's image overseas is tarnished like a jock-strap filth. But yammering together we can right this ship, and set a course for Rabbit Hash, Kentucky.Finally, I must thank my orwellian family, my keynesian campaign volunteers, but most of all, I want to thank NAMBLA for making this historic occasion possible. Of course, I must also thank you, President Bush, for years of retching the American people. Without your sycophantic efforts, none of this would have been possible.
A few glitches, but not bad, eh?
For the price we're paying, the real one better be much longer, and infinitely more hilarious...
Thanks to The Patriot Room for the Link!
|What do you think?|
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Allow me to say that I am not surprised by the recent events and press releases of the incoming administration. I am not surprised by the Media’s fawning attentions. I am not surprised by the gluttonous gobbling being performed by the Left when it comes to every detail surrounding His Ascendancy.
I have simply come, in only two and a half months, to expect what has been seen by everyone:
The bill for the Inauguration has now reached a possible amount of $160M, with at least $129M being the (laughingly used) conservative estimate. I will not provide links to this figure’s veracity as it continues to rise daily, and it can be found by anyone with a 4th grade education or higher.
Cabinet spots are being filled (and created) by people who have, shall we say, “conflicts of interest” (or not, in some cases…) inherent to the position.
Campaign promises and policies highly touted as early as last month are now being “re-examined”, minimized, or just plain dropped.
The Liberators of the Ludicrous Left are dusting off their most prized “wish-list” bills for Congress. One of which includes repealing the 22nd Amendment. That’s the one that says the President can have his job for only 2 terms.
The Media’s endless simpering over the above mentioned items when they would be rabidly decrying the same from a Republican.
There’s more, but I won’t bore you with such trivial things on the eve of such a Momentous Occasion…
Shocked? Yes. Surprised? Not in the slightest.
I suspect we will continue to be shocked in the future, and maybe someday soon, we will be shocked into action against such lunacy…
…Because surprise is getting us nowhere.
H/T: Big Dog's Weblog
|What do you think?|
Friday, January 16, 2009
They performed their duties with a level of diligence that allowed 153 souls to walk away from what should have been a monumental disaster.
Chief among these people is Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger III. His efforts in the air and on the Hudson River yesterday spared many families the horror of lost loved ones.
After safely landing a two-engine jet (with reportedly no power to his engines) on the Hudson River, he supervised the evacuation of his passengers and crew, even going so far as to walk up and down the aisle twice in almost freezing water that was rapidly filling the compartment.
Given the technical difficulty of his actions in the air, and his bravery and composure displayed during the evacuation process, I feel it is safe to say that he will be well regarded by his employer.
Apparently, this is not his first interaction with safety either. According to The Smoking Gun:
He is "the founder of Safety Reliability Methods. The firm describes itself as providing 'technical expertise and strategic vision and direction to improve safety and reliability in a variety of high risk industries.'"
As it has been said before, comments here on his enterprise would be superfluous...
We would do as well to remember the many private boaters, ferrymen, and Coast Guard crews that were on scene in three minutes. They worked so fast, that by the time the Main Stream Media arrived (some pictures are from cell phones and private cameras), most of the 148 passengers and 5 crew members were already being taken to local hospitals to be treated for hypothermia and minor injuries.
I will go ahead and take this instance as an example of the presence of God, the American Resolve, and true Hope for Humanity.
Read into it what you will...
|What do you think?|
Thursday, January 15, 2009
I'm a former Marine Corps Infantryman with two combat tours of duty in Iraq.
There's my ante for this editorial...
The number one thing that angered me in the Service were guys who would get through Boot and their respective MOS school then decide that the Marine Corps wasn't for them. What was the guaranteed ticket out of their contract?
Allowing openly gay individuals to join the Military would close that loophole forever.
No longer could two guys (or two gals) go into the 1stSgt's office and announce their undying love for each other to get out of being deployed or serving their country. Then they would have to honor that contract and be held to their words in the Oath to "Uphold the Constitution".
Also, the Marine Corps has a very high level of homosexual content due to lesbians.
I tend to like everyone. Oddly enough this includes lesbians. I have made the joke that I am married to one. I don't view them as "icky, gross, sick, or perverted". (Well maybe a little, but in a good way...) I view them as drinking buddies, confidants ("what's wrong with your gender, women are crazy!?"), and friends. If you are a man and you've ever been in the Military, you like lesbians too. There is certainly enough video documentation floating around that is highly prized by male (and some female) Service Members.
Further, the Military does not do Pride Parades. Oh sure they have parades, but they are for formal Military events and ceremonies. They might have to have a Recognition/Appreciation day or two, but who cares? They might just get out of training for it. One more day off for the Military is not going to open the floodgates for terrorist action.
As for the idea that they would have to sit through sensitivity classes, well they do anyway. Ad Nauseum. Ask anyone who’s been in recently and they will tell you the same thing. Drunk Driving, Spousal Abuse, Sexual Harassment (this would mean something more in all male combat units, but so what?), you name it, it’s been covered. Nothing new for the Nation’s Finest.
Lastly, ANYONE who so chooses to place their lives on the line to defend this country is alright in my book. Not enough do now anyway, so what's our issue with someone who is gay?
I've known many people in the service who've had backgrounds, religions, and creeds that differed almost completely from my own, but we had one thing in common:
The belief that this country was good enough to die for.
H/T: Ace and Ace of Spades HQ
|What do you think?|
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Recently, she brought home a word-search that was the homework for her vocabulary lesson. When asked what some of the words meant (the purpose of vocabulary when I was in school) she admitted that she was unclear on some of them.
Now, my step-daughter reads voraciously, and at a level far above her age-group, but when the lesson plan includes a game that features words that either haven’t been defined, or haven’t been defined in a manner that stresses the retention of their meanings, I become concerned.
The word-search wasn’t our family’s first encounter with scholastic silliness.
Among the other games-as-learning-tools (what my wife calls “make-work”), we have seen ridiculously simplified crossword puzzles, word scrambles, even “color by numbers” for math. My step-daughter is a teenager in her appropriate grade-level.
There is a fallacy of thought that says that school should be fun.
Why? Is work fun? Are paying the bills fun? How about dealing with the numerous bureaucracies of adult life? Would anyone out there categorize a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles as fun?
Children are not just students of the “3 R’s”, but students of life as well. While I understand the need to implement the lessons of life in a graduated manner, I do not understand the need to coddle them into state-sponsored stupidity. Repetition, not gimmicky games, is what teaches children the necessary tools of life.
It gets worse.
This year her school system has decided to institute a new grading policy designed ostensibly to “allow challenged students to keep up with their grade”. It works as follows:
Student A (challenged but willing) studies hard and gets a “C” on an assignment.
Student B doesn’t study and gets an “I” (for incomplete) on the same assignment. The “F” and even “D” grade NO LONGER EXIST.
Student B has to “re-do” the assignment until they get a “C” grade, the minimum and maximum allowed for previously incomplete work.
So while student A, who got the “C” but worked hard to achieve it, is rewarded for his or her troubles, student B has simply slacked off and eventually received the same grade for what may have been much less effort.
Granted, students can get “A”s and continue to shine while others simply skate through, but this idea really damages the students who work hard to just pass. I have often admired those who have to give more effort to do something where others have found the given task to be easy. This policy will hide those who have given their all to make the grade amidst those who just decided to put in the minimum amount of effort possible.
So, because this particular school system is in the inner-city category (thus it has low scores for proficiency, and therefore lowered funding under a certain someone’s program...), and because it is afraid to tell a student that they failed (a fact of life elsewhere in reality), all the students who work hard just to pass are going to be marginalized by those who don’t care.
Incidentally, the grades a student receives in daily class have NO BEARING on proficiency tests. They are two entirely separate things.
All of which begs the question:
Why are we lowering the standards of a school to the level of a student who doesn’t want to be a student and not demanding that they rise to the level of an education that we know they need?
|What do you think?|
Monday, January 12, 2009
That’s $9,780 per student this school-year on average.
“The United States spent the most on education in 2001 at roughly $500 billion, followed by Japan, Germany and France at $139 billion, $89 billion and $82 billion respectively.” ~ Online Computer Library Center
Yet UNICEF has us at 18th out of 24 nations in education rankings as of 2005.
In 2006, the Program for International Student Assessment by the Paris-based Operation for Economic Co-operation and Development placed us (among 15 year olds) at 17th in science and 24th in math. In this study, Finland scored highest, and Mexico placed last.
The former U.S. Secretary of Education, William J. Bennett, said in 1999 that more money to public education has not improved the system’s effectiveness. The chief statistics he used to back up this claim were:
Between 1960 and 1995, U.S. public school spending per student, adjusted for inflation, increased by 212%.
In 1994, less than half of all U.S. public school employees were teachers.
Out of 21 industrialized countries, U.S. 12th graders ranked 19th in math, 16th in science, and last in advanced physics.
So then, can we safely conclude that throwing money at this issue will not improve our standings in the world as far as education is concerned?
On the “Blueprint for Change” website, we see lots of nifty programs (those cost money) and incentives to science and math majors to become teachers (those cost money too). Don't forget as well the inevitable "infrastructure" and "greening" of the buildings themselves that will have to be paid for. The issue is most assuredly being addressed, but by the typical Democrat method of “Throw Tax Money At It!”
As clearly as the facts speak here, don't count on Obama or Congress listening to them anytime soon.
|What do you think?|
Sunday, January 11, 2009
How about the science store at the mall? With all those cool science toys that are made by small companies trying to educate children with the wonderment of the world around them rather than pander to their base desires with things like “Bratz” or anything promoted by Mylie Cyrus?
How about the stores that sell on consignment locally made items of clothing, furniture, or yes, even toys?
Thrift stores? New and gently used stores? Flea markets? Farmer’s bazaars? Trade shows? Antique malls?
Gone, gone, and let’s just say for the rest, “never the same”.
Why, you ask? Well…
In 2007, we had the Chinese Toy Scare. Christmas was a time for families, chestnuts on the open fire, and “Made in China” label checking. Kids were going into comas after consuming, licking, or inhaling small pieces of various things made for them by political prisoners in China. My questioning of parental supervision aside, this was and is a bad thing.
Fast forward to now and we have HR 4040, The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
In short it has decreed that all toys made for children under the age of 12 shall be tested for various toxic substances prior to their sale. It does not grandfather anything. It could encompass even clothing and household items such as bed sheets and rugs.
So far, “not so bad”? "What’s wrong with that?" Well…
The tests cost $500 to $4,000 EACH ITEM.
I’m only assuming here, but large corporations can have a batch tested and the rest taken on good faith I suppose, but small companies like those listed above will have to have everything in their inventory tested at massive cost.
It will put a lot of small business owners out of business, or at the very least remove the lucrative child market from their sales plans.
This is what happens when Legislators act in a knee-jerk fashion to a threat. I can not propose a single good idea about what else they are supposed to do to combat the problem, but this is not it.
You can protest this travesty before it becomes law. Click here to send an e-mail to the Consumer Product Safety Commission's Office of the Secretary. (If the link doesn't work, look up the site on Google or some such...) You only have until January 20th to do so.
Funny thing is, in this economy, there’s some expression about an infant and it’s lavatorial liquid that springs readily to mind…
H/T: Duane Lester and Right Wing News
|What do you think?|
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Operating on that assumption, I’m going to make a prediction:
Within 4 years, Obama and his ilk are going to be painted as Right Wing Stooges and the patsies for a massive GOP plot to undermine the Left.
There, I said it. Read it again and let it sink in if you must, then continue.
Due to his inability to “change” the economy, war(s), etc, or bring “hope” to the unwashed masses combined with his torrid affairs with various political personages of dubious quality (past, present, and future), he will eventually fall dramatically in the popularity ratings.
The MSM will begin to distance themselves from him sensing that he has the potential to be a very heavy millstone indeed. This distancing process will be a subtle exercise in spin and damage control.
On the one hand, if they simply come out and say, “Well, we called that One wrong! Ha Ha!” their credibility (such as it is) will be damaged severely.
On the other hand, if they simply “back their horse” all the way into the ground, well, the outcome is basically identical.
So, what’s an editor-in-chief to do?
Turn the One into the Bad Guy! Make him a DINO, a sell-out, a turn-coat, a Corporate Shill! Say we (the GOP) did it! Offer up the "Messiah" to the Liberal Gods (irony in full presence) as a ritual sacrifice. Claim credit for what they can and cut their losses.
Then he’ll get to see very closely what the underside of the bus looks like.
Fortunately, I’m guessing that only a majority of the Left will buy the scam. The ones that don’t will be more likely to swing a vote for a Republican of real substance (I have my favorite, but that’s a different subject…).
Obama’s rhetoric will finally sound as stale to their ears as it does to us already, and then The Eloquent One-Trick-Pony will be done for.
It’s already beginning to occur with:
1. His Inauguration decision to not have a God-knows-what-passes-for-a-religion-in-the-Left style of ceremony.
2. His choice to keep a Bush appointed Defense Department complete with a Right-placating “keep doing what you’re doing” approach to the War or Terror.
3. His silence concerning Israel’s “evil atrocities and war-crimes”.
In conclusion, I would like to take this time to point out the poetic justice of him being vilified by the same people that lauded him as “The One”.
|What do you think?|
Friday, January 9, 2009
I guess that my question would be:
What’s the point?
What has it gotten them? Is the MSM covering this fact, or are they toeing the line of all Liberal Media that this is all unwarranted Israeli Aggression? What is the ratio of photographs and stories depicting Palestinian civilians wounded due to air strikes and ground force action as compared to Israelis injured by Hamas rocket attacks?
No one (besides perhaps you, dear reader) cares if they are careful to not simply bomb at random and destroy that which they do not need to.
As a former Marine Infantryman, I can appreciate more than most the diligence that goes into such an awesome display of regard for human life, but as a hardliner, I have to question the wisdom of taking the trouble at all.
You might postulate the need to rise above the opposition. To be the “better man”, to not sink to their level, but just as surely you must also see the futility of allowing the Palestinians to remain.
In 2006, the Israelis called off their offensive due to international pressure. Look what it got them. Now the same routine is brewing up as France and Egypt are volunteering to be the “third party” nation in a peace talk process.
What’s the point?
It would only apply further restrictions to Israeli defensive capabilities and allow the Palestinians time to regroup and rearm (not to mention the inevitable and ridiculous claim to victory).
Israel should consider a “Hammer Down” protocol in this situation. Certainly, there would be international outcry concerning the “vicious and uncalled for” action, and yes we’d have to condone it by vetoing any retributive action by the UN, but it would solve the problem once and for all.
I’d also wager that privately, behind the furiously wagging fingers, there would be some serious sighs of relief…
|What do you think?|
Thursday, January 8, 2009
We have all been commenting on the inbound socialist agenda for some time now, and there has been a nagging but heretofore undefined thought rattling around in my head.
What if the Democrats are perfectly happy that there is a war on in two places? What if they would be ecstatic if the Iranians started a third World War? What if everything was not as it seemed in Obamaland?
The last time we tried socialism it took a World War to make it work. An active military rallied behind a cause that was unquestionable and provided a strong moral fuel to the county’s economy and its industries.
The military also created something else: Jobs. Everyone got employed during the war, and the folks back home were no exception. Rosie the Riveter is still a symbol of American industrial might (not to mention feminism). Farming was huge, production was through the roof across the board, and everyone was happy to sacrifice for the boys “over there”.
So what if…
…the Democrats are going to use the current military surge into Afghanistan to begin the move towards socialism and…
…slowly increase funding to recruitment and military expansion and…
…establish bases in Iraq for “residual presence” ala Okinawa and Germany and…
…play dumb and diplomatic while allowing the Iranians to build their primordial nuclear capability and…
…start the ball rolling on a positive MSM spin when it comes to the Global War on Terror and…
…then wait for the Iranians to do something hideously stupid like nuking Israel, thus removing that political thorn from their side (plus losing the ever level-headed Palestinians in the process) and provoking damn near everyone into starting the long awaited WWIII.
Iran nuking Israel? Would they take out Hamas and the Palestinians? Wouldn’t they. Turn them all into Shahada, or if you prefer in English, martyrs.
It has been said that Obama has built an almost separate government to handle the outside world while he concentrates on the social issues here at home. These events would allow him to do most everything on his agenda easily and without much opposition.
If you showed me 2 million (“create 2 million new jobs”) random Americans today and then told me that my taxes should take care of them, I’d ask you why?
If you showed me 2 million Veterans, I’d have no argument.
I think that Obama may be counting on that.
Now my history may be a little eschewed (I’m not a history major), but I think you get the “gist” of the theory. Hopefully, that’s all it will remain:
Just a Theory.
|What do you think?|
Monday, January 5, 2009
The propensity for some commentors to use history as a cudgel when it comes to making their argument.
History can be a guide when it comes to our present and future actions. We can learn from the successes and mistakes made by those who came before us. We can even consult it's annals when attempting to scry the future, but turning it into a weapon against common sense is a demonstration of historical ignorance itself. Just as judging history through modern eyes is wrong, so too is using it to prop up modern wrong-doing.
Note in the above linked commentary how many people attempt to bring up various historical facts (or manu-facts as the case may be...) to justify one side or the other. History has it's place in a debate, but how about when advocating oh, say for example, Hamas' recent and on-going rocket attacks on Israel? Arguing who got there first, decades, or even centuries ago, does not really lend justification to this violent aggression.
Proof you ask? Very well then...
Suppose Germany was bombed tomorrow by let's say, Belgium. Improbable, but humor me. The international community (minus the usual ultra-peace devotees) would join together in condemning the bombing as an act of war, right? Would anyone of serious political stature put forth the comment that Germany can't complain due to their aggression in the 30's and 40's by people long since dead or punished?
I know, I hear the arguments brewing already, but I have one more scenario for you:
Later this evening, your (insert family member title here) is abducted and sold into slavery by bandits. When you call the Police, they posit that you cannot file a report since the United States was in the habit of owning slaves itself for a century or two. You don't have the right, because people who are unquestionably dead and gone by several generations, and may not have even been related to you did something bad that ties in to your current problem.
Sure. You wouldn't do anything about it. I'm wagering that you would.
Like say, call for air strikes and send in the ground troops.
So please, kindly refrain from bludgeoning anyone about the head with distorted historical context, and stick to what truly matters:
The facts as they pertain to the issue at hand.
|What do you think?|