|One Nation, Under God...||
"The real democratic American ideal is, not that every man shall be on a level with every other man, but |
that every man shall have liberty to be what God made him, without hindrance." --Henry Ward Beecher
Check this cat out:
Thursday, August 15, 2002
Posted 1:58 PM by WiN
Alright, I give up
Posted 9:36 AM by WiN
Home school debate
Boy, did Dawn Olsen poke a sore spot in the blogging world with this post on home schooling. I've seen this thoughtful reply from JunkYard Blog, this and this from Stuart Buck (who was home schooled) and this from my buddy the slimster (also home schooled), who takes Dawn and her husband to task, and Eric's reply. Other input on the subject has come from Ben Domenech (an ardent supporter whose defense might be a wee bit over the top) and this from Phillip Winn, a home educator.
First thing that strikes you is, wow, there is a lot of crossover between the political/warblogging community and home schooling advocates. Who knew we were reading so many home-schooled bloggers? Like everything else so far in this debate the evidence is anecdotal, but think about how many of these articulate, well-educated folks were home schooled. I submit that it is no accident. I am a big proponent of home schooling because I believe that no teacher, no matter how skilled, can know enough about an individual student to give them the proper stimulus to learn to the best of their ability. I also believe that only a small percentage of parents are cut out to be home educators. But for those who are, I think it's a wonderful choice and I think they should be supported in it and not sneered at as 'insular' because they don't want their children indoctrinated by NEA-approved curricula (Heather Has Two Daddies) at the local public school. They should be given their fair share of education dollars to support them in their effort, just as parents who desire to send their children to private schools should receive their share. Make it just three-quarters or even half of what the public school gets per student and I really believe everyone would be happy. The public schools should even benefit because they would be receiving some money for kids they don't even have to handle, except for maybe administering a standardized test now and then.
Josh Claybourn probably puts it as well as anyone - there should be a healthy competition among public schools, private schools - both secular and religious, charter schools and home schooling. Right now, it's a monopoly, at least as far as the money is concerned, and it's not turning out well for a great number of kids who are 'stuck' with no options. I think that as we see more and more home-schooled young men and women join the workforce and enter the public arena, like the blogosphere, you'll see open-minded people of all persuasions changing their minds about home schooling. I hope the Olsens are two such people.
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Posted 1:58 PM by WiN
No Infidels Served
James Taranto highlights a post in ZionBlog with a link to a McDonalds website boasting of two restaurants in Mecca that serve only Muslims. Of course, no yellow-dog infidels are even allowed in Mecca in the first place.
I had no idea that McDonalds would be proud of this sort of discrimination. Next they'll be bragging about their 'Klan only' franchise in Pulaski, Tennessee.
Posted 1:33 PM by WiN
American to phase out 74 Fokkers
I say, with the money they've been hemorrhaging, they should have gotten those Fokkers out of there a long time ago.
Posted 10:21 AM by WiN
The phony war
Wesley Pruden points to recent 'victories' in this summer's 'phony war' on terrorism:
"...the government's Airport Scheme for Harassment (ASH) is aimed at innocent American passengers, not foreign terrorists. The blond-haired, blue-eyed Scandinavian grannies from Minnesota, cleverly targeted in the relentless search for evil-doing Arabs, are in full retreat."Joe Bob sez: Check it out
Posted 10:06 AM by WiN
You say you want a reparation
Reparations for slave descendents is in the news again as "a handful of black advocacy groups" have organized a "Millions for Reparations" march on our nation's capital Saturday to demand trillions in slavery reparations from the Federal Government. Their slogan is "They Owe Us". Folks, you can't make this stuff up. Generations after the last slave was freed as the result of a long, bloody battle fought almost exclusively by white men, now some in the black community feel like they are "owed" something from the government that freed their antecedents. I guess this would be paid out of the massive amounts of unencumbered cash lying dormant in the Federal Treasury. Not.
No, these folks want you and me and every other working, taxpaying American, regardless of whether your ancestors were abolitionists or slave-owners or were even U.S. residents at the time to hand them a check for belonging to a certain race. The article states that the organizers timed the march to coincide with the anniversary of the birth of 'black nationalist' Marcus Garvey, founder of the ill-fated Black Star Shipping Company. Garvey advocated that educated blacks emigrate to Africa to save African states from colonialism and establish a militarily strong African state which could stand up for black rights worldwide. Contrary to the spirit of the current reparations movement, the goals of Garvey's United Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), the largest black organization ever of its' kind, were to improve conditions for blacks worldwide through education, pride and universal Christian worship. I wonder what he would think of the race-mongering, handout and preference seeking black 'leaders' of today. [more on Marcus Garvey]
Posted 8:10 AM by WiN
D.C. baby blackmail update
Well, it seems that yesterday's Washington Times article about the women forced to abort their babies or lose their jobs is old news. Glenn Reynolds says he pointed this out almost a year ago when he linked to a Washington Post article. There is an update on the situation, including obligatory bureaucratic denials and backpedaling, in today's Times.
The gist of the accusations, made by three newly hired female EMS employees to their union, is that their trainer had informed them that should they become pregnant within the first year of their employment that they would lose their jobs. All three claim to have decided to terminate pregnancies as a result, rather than lose their jobs. The city maintains that their employment policy states that employees cannot be discriminated against on account of pregnancy.
My gut reaction is, "How can these women put their employment ahead of their babies?", but I realize that is naive. This is probably a decision that hundreds of women are faced with every day, whether carry an unexpected pregnancy to term and risk a setback in their career or to get an abortion and continue to work. These women are just taking advantage of the fact that someone in authority told them that they would lose their jobs if they got pregnant, so they can transfer responsibility for their decision onto someone else. This has to be a gut-wrenching decision, but it's much easier to live with if you can tell yourself, "Well, I really didn't have a choice - someone else made me do it". I will point out that none of the three women decided to keep her baby and fight any subsequent dismissal. You can draw your own conclusions from that. I just think it's sad that these women decided that a job was more important than their babies.
Posted 6:54 AM by WiN
Blogging=Fourth Generation Media
Hugh Hewitt argues that blogging is the "fourth generation" of media, behind print, radio and television. I won't argue with that. He also points out that while print and television media are natural allies (one way communication with very little consumer feedback), so too are (talk) radio and blogging with their real-time thrust and parry where highly sensitive BS detectors ensure that facts are kept straight and ill-conceived arguments are quickly, and publicly, dismembered.
Hewitt advises Glenn Reynolds not to 'take the plane' unless it's offered by the Washington Post or the New York Times, which seems unlikely given the fact that a large percentage of his posts refute or point to contrary positions to those of these two liberal news icons. He also suggests that anyone who loves to write should start blogging immediately, and with that I heartily agree. [link via, of course, InstaPundit]
Tuesday, August 13, 2002
Posted 7:20 PM by WiN
Still watching the evening news on broadcast TV?
Still trust them? Read this - Somewhere on A1A...
Posted 6:57 PM by WiN
Wanna keep your job?
Get an abortion - Action sought in abortion advice -- The Washington Times
Posted 3:01 PM by WiN
Posted 7:07 AM by WiN
"Hook" of the day
Like a lot of bloggers, I attempt to introduce each post with a 'hook' that sort of describes the post and grabs your attention. Perhaps I was inspired by some of my favorite blogs. Anyway, I always enjoy a clever tagline and today James Taranto, one of the masters, has a great one: Hey! Jew! Get Off of My Cloud
I also loved today's You Don't Say - "Chairman of Democrats Faults Bush as a Leader"--headline, New York Times, Aug. 11
I heard this McAuliffe soundbite twice on the way to work of him denouncing some focus group for being packed with Republican special interests. All I could think of was Hillary's Health Care Star Council. All political flacks must have a consciencectomy just so they can say this crapola with a straight face.
Monday, August 12, 2002
Posted 1:31 PM by WiN
Sounds about right
My Bloginality is INFP
AN OPEN LETTER IN SUPPORT OF THE PEOPLE OF IRAN FROM THE WEBLOGGING COMMUNITY
We are not politicians, nor are we generals. We hold no power to dispatch diplomats to negotiate; we can send no troops to defend those who choose to risk their lives in the cause of freedom.
What power we have is in our words, and in our thoughts. And it is that strength which we offer to the people of Iran on this day.
Across the diverse and often contentious world of weblogs, each of us has chosen to put aside our differences and come together today to declare our unanimity on the following simple principles:
- That the people of Iran are allies of free men and women everywhere in the world, and deserve to live under a government of their own choosing, which respects their own personal liberties
- That the current Iranian regime has failed to create a free and prosperous society, and attempts to mask its own failures by repression and tyranny
We do not presume to know what is best for the people of Iran; but we are firm in our conviction that the policies of the current government stand in the way of the Iranians ability to make those choices for themselves.
And so we urge our own governments to turn their attention to Iran. The leaders and diplomats of the world's democracies must be clear in their opposition to the repressive actions of the current Iranian regime, but even more importantly, must be clear in their support for the aspirations of the Iranian people.
And to the people of Iran, we say: You are not alone. We see your demonstrations in the streets; we hear of your newspapers falling to censorship; and we watch with anticipation as you join the community of the Internet in greater and greater numbers. Our hopes are with you in your struggle for freedom. We cannot and will not presume to tell you the correct path to freedom; that is for you to choose. But we look forward to the day when we can welcome your nation into the community of free societies of the world, for we know with deepest certainty that such a day will come
A personal note: I have only had one Iranian acquaintance in my life, but I definitely considered him a friend. While I was in college (second time round) I had a part-time job as a self-serve gas station attendant. The senior employee was an engineering student named Rahim. The school I attended had (and probably still has) a significant middle-eastern student population, a lot of them in engineering. This was also during a period (mid-eighties) when Iran was not a popular place to be from (Iatolla Khomeini era). Since he was obviously middle-eastern, people would sometimes ask him, "Where are you from?" to which he would reply, with a sly grin "Persia".
He was not very political, so the topic of Iranian politics rarely came up. Occasionally he would show me some propaganda sheet he had picked up on campus, written in Farsi, and translate some of it for me. He also delighted in the ridiculous political cartoons showing Uncle Sam in various uncomplimentary poses. He seemed to regard the whole thing as humorous, but he got very serious when he spoke on rare occasion about the danger his relations back home faced from the oppressive regime. He had married an American and intended to stay here, at least until things got better back home.
I can't count the number of times he helped me out with work-related situations like swapping shifts and taking over for me in emergency situations. I gladly did the same for him. He was especially enamored with a nice "fuzzbuster" I had that I used for my many trips to Dallas. He borrowed it for a couple of trips he had to make to El Paso, where a former professor was holding a term paper of his "hostage" and he was negotiating to have the paper approved in order to get credit for the course, which was holding up his degree. He returned from his trips singing the praises of the magical device.
I lost track of him, of course, after I quit the job but to this day he is the face of Iran to me - friendly, helpful and a little mischievous, with a heart of gold. I wish him and all the people of Iran good will and the blessings of freedom.