Thursday, April 27, 2006


Dana Milbank Pointing Out Wild Hypocrisy

Going a Short Way to Make a Point: "Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) responded with an economics lesson. 'Oil is worth what people pay for it,' he argued.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) sounded the alarms. 'We are one accident or one terrorist attack away from oil at $100 a barrel!'
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) made a plea for conservation. 'We have to move quickly to increase our fuel efficiency,' she urged.
But not too quickly. After lunchtime votes, senators emerged from the Capitol for the drive across the street to their offices.
Sen. John Sununu (R-N.H.) hopped in a GMC Yukon (14 mpg). Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) climbed aboard a Nissan Pathfinder (15). Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) stepped into an eight-cylinder Ford Explorer (14). Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) disappeared into a Lincoln Town Car (17). Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) met up with an idling Chrysler minivan (18).
Next came Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), greeted by a Ford Explorer XLT. On the Senate floor Tuesday, Menendez had complained that Bush 'remains opposed to higher fuel-efficiency standards.'
Also waiting: three Suburbans, a Nissan Armada V8, two Cadillacs and a Lexus. The greenest senator was Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), who was picked up by his hybrid Toyota Prius (60 mpg), at quadruple the fuel efficiency of his Indiana counterpart Evan Bayh (D), who was met by a Dodge Durango V8 (14).
As a political matter, Democrats clearly sense that they have the advantage on the high gas prices, judging from the number of speeches and news conferences. 'The cost of Republican corruption when it comes to energy is hitting home very clearly for America's middle class,' House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) exulted yesterday morning."

How is it that a reporter has never asked one of these people what they drive when they were on their glass high horse? I guess the reporters did not want to embarass them. God forbid.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Shame Shame

JS Online: DayWatch: "4 sentenced to jail for tire slashings
A judge today ignored a plea deal calling for probation and sentenced four Democratic campaign workers to jail terms for their roles in the infamous Election Day 2004 tire slashing caper.
The four - including the sons of U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.) and former Acting Mayor Marvin Pratt - pleaded no contest to misdemeanors while an apparently deadlocked jury stalled over felony counts at the end of a January trial that received national coverage.
A fifth Kerry-Edwards staffer accused of crippling Republican vans, Justin Howell, turned down the last-minute deal and was acquitted by the jury.
Michael Pratt was sentenced to six months in jail, and Sowande Omokunde, Moore's son, got four months in jail. Lavelle Mohammad was sentenced to five months in jail, and Lewis Caldwell received a six-month jail sentence.
Each was fined $1,000. The defendants all had previously paid a collective restitution of $5,320, as part of the plea bargain.
They had been charged with damaging 40 tires on 25 rented vans parked outside Republican Party offices on W. Capitol Drive, hours before the vans were going to be used for electioneering. The repair costs easily exceeded the felony threshold of $2,500, yet there was little evidence about what each man had allegedly done."

A little more public embarassment might do these people some good too.


Really Smart Hire!! - News - Cincinnati Native Becomes White House Press Secretary: "The president today named the Fox News commentator to be his new press secretary, replacing Scott McClellan.
Snow was born in Berea, Ky., but was raised in Cincinnati. He's a graduate of Princeton High School and briefly taught in the Cincinnati area.
Snow has sometimes been critical of Bush -- referring to him once as 'something of an embarrassment,' and another time as the architect of a 'listless domestic policy.'
Bush said he's asked Snow about that -- and that Snow told him, 'You should have heard what I said about the other guy.'
Bush joked to reporters that Snow knows most of them, but that he agreed to take the job anyway."

I am absolutely giddy about Tony Snow taking this job. I was not shy about my dislike of McClellan, and Snow will be everything that Scott wasn't. "He commands a lot of respect.", said David Gergen. I agree.


Teacher's Unions Selling its Members Down the River

Unions' Advice Is Failing Teachers - Los Angeles Times: "Mendez's money was languishing in a fixed-rate annuity, an investment ill-suited to someone in her early 20s. Worse, she would have to pay a steep penalty to bail out.
Public-school teachers across the country are in similar predicaments. And many have their unions to thank for it.
Some of the nation's largest teachers unions have joined forces with investment companies to steer their members into retirement plans with high expenses that eat away at returns.
In what might seem an unlikely partnership, the unions endorse investment providers, even specific products, and the companies reciprocate with financial support. They sponsor union conferences, advertise in union publications or make direct payments to union treasuries.
The investment firms more than recoup their money through sales of annuities and other high-fee products to teachers for their 403(b) plans personal retirement accounts similar to 401(k)s."

The very group that is supposed to protect teachers stomach hurts just thinking about it. Anyone involved in perpetrating this on these unsuspecting teachers should be thrown out of the Union and shunned. The problem might be that it is the entire leadership. Regardless of who it is, I hope that the membership makes the necessary changes.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


The Language of Rape

Prosecutor: Man Served Date Rape Drink At Cookout: "A Warren County man served drug-filled drinks to women at his home as part of a plan to take advantage of them while they were unconscious, police say."

Can we not say that this man was feeding these women Ativan to "take advantage"? Taking advantage is having a couple of beers. Ativan is in an attempt to rape them. When a quote like that is put out, it doesn't take a genius to know that a man said it. It is a bit dismissive. I am not a whiny sort, but do feel we need to call it what it is. We also need to jail these men and then socially cut them off after if they use drugs to have sex with girls. We need to make this behavior unacceptable in many ways and not have winks and nudges between men. It just makes men look weaker than ever before.

Sunday, April 23, 2006


Hey Dum Dum

DRUDGE REPORT FLASH 2006�: "Here's my fundamental view of this, that you have somebody being fired from the CIA for allegedly telling the truth, and you have no one fired from the white house for revealing a CIA agent in order to support a lie. That underscores what's really wrong in Washington, DC Here."

Think about if this were Kerry himself. He would not call what the White House did a leak, because it isn't a leak if the President declassifies the information. Did the President pretend not to declassify it? Yes. Might he have done that to make the Democrats do the wild goose chase thing and in the end look bad? Uh, maybe. Did it wok? Uh, yeah. So, there is not comparison between a CIA officer spilling one of our top secrets to a member of the press and the President declassifying an officer's name who was not very careful about her identity to begin with (or so it seems). Speaking of the truth, Kerry should be more careful with how he says these things. While there may be political parrots among the American public, there are some of us who think too. We know when he is being either dopey or disingenuous or both.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Teacher's biting blog stirs storm | Chicago Tribune

Teacher's biting blog stirs storm Chicago Tribune: "He labeled his students 'criminals,' saying they stole from teachers, dealt drugs in the hallways, had sex in the stairwells, flaunted their pregnant bellies and tossed books out windows. He dismissed their parents as unemployed 'project' dwellers who subsist on food stamps, refuse to support their 'baby mommas' and bad-mouth teachers because their no-show teens are flunking.

He took swipes at his colleagues, too--'union-minimum' teachers, literacy specialists who 'decorate their office door with pro-black propaganda,' and security officers whose 'loyalty is to the hood, not the school.'"

CB: God forbid this teacher talk about what he sees as he sees it. I agree that there are better forums, but it highlights a problem that most of us would prefer to ignore. I would much rather talk about politics than poorly performing schools in Chicago. This man's experience gives us all good reason to feel that way. And then there are the dopey responses like the following from a fellow teacher at the school:
""Although many of our students adopt tough facades and insist they are grown, they are still children: sensitive children who still crave guidance, encouraging words and positive reinforcement," wrote teacher Gina Miski. "Was the author present when students, having read the blog, dejectedly hung their heads with pained, angry tears stinging their eyes?""
CB: Uh, yes, there are two sides, but she sounds more like an apologist for these poorly performing students than someone who represents another side of the story. In fact, she sounds like someone who wants to use this opportunity to show people she can write. Maybe she's trying to use this as a springboard to a writing gig.
Also, he has gotten threats and such as a result of this expression. His students want their freedoms, but would prefer he not take advantage of his. They have a mess there, but I hope they look at the root problems instead of just vilifying him.


Is Topical Passion a Sign of Intellectual Weakness?

CB: As of late, I have been leaning toward moral relativism. Just leaning, not diving in. It is seeping into other parts of my intellect. When I was passionately conservative, holding opinions of all kinds on nearly any subject, I ignored that which I did not know. The resurgence of relativism, for me, has come as a result of reminding myself how little I know or possibly could of the many topics that I used to be so desirous of being passionate about. As I am trekking this phase of my life, I wonder if passion is a result of a lack of intellectual curiosity.
If you stop a sign carrying protester and asked them the top 25 questions on the topic they are marching for, how many of the questions would be answered correctly? If you took 10 experts on the topic to speak to this person, would the person be able to hold their own? Sadly, we all know the answer to that. This is not cynicism. It's just true. So, in reference to the question, if the person were recognizing all of the facets of the topic that they did not yet have a command, would they feel comfortable marching about the topic? Can a conclusion be drawn that a person's willingness to march on a topic has a direct correlation to a lack of real knowledge on that topic for which they make signs and wear comfortable shoes?
This, in many ways, relates to my desire to not just ask people to vote, but rather to educate themselves until they feel confident that they can vote wisely. In that case, sometimes you wouldn't vote and that decision would be wise given how little you know and wise because you are aware of how little you know. These quantities are relative, but the core concept is about right.
I think the struggle now is this awareness of my limitations weighed against my desire, like most others, to have positions, beliefs and wise opinions. The middle ground, sooner or later, will show itself, as I believe I have stood upon that middle ground before. I just need to find it given my most recent intellectual and information inventory, so to speak.
It seemed prudent to share this here as the few kind souls who read this have probably wrestled this one more than once.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Ya' Think?

Cardinal: Condoms 'Lesser Evil' Than AIDS - Yahoo! News: "VATICAN CITY - Despite the Vatican's opposition to condoms, a senior cardinal said in comments published Friday that condoms were the 'lesser evil' when considering the scourge of AIDS."

I am seeing a pattern here. When I read releases from the Catholic Church, I always have to remind myself what century it is. The Earth is round, AIDS is bad, and yes, condoms are a good thing.


Do Teacher's Unions Care Anything About the Kids?

Mayor Puts Spotlight on Charter - Los Angeles Times: "In embracing charters, Villaraigosa waded into an increasingly divisive debate, aligning himself squarely against a longtime ally, the powerful teachers union.
Union leaders are vehemently opposed to the charter school movement, portraying them as quasi-private schools that have produced questionable results and drained resources from district coffers."

So the Charter Schools are effective, but the Teacher's Unions do not like them because they get district money. Shouldn't these people be asking how their schools can be transformed to be that effective instead of fighting them? Doesn't this suggest that the Unions care nothing about the youth's education? Doesn't this really say that Unions are not progressive, but rather very interested in maintaining a very sad status quo? This is Los Angeles they are talking about. LA is a place where a normal person locks their doors when driving past a high school that has just dismissed its students. If there is one model that is working anywhere in Los Angeles, we should all hope that model is spread out among the many schools in the city. I suppose that will take putting a sock in the mouth of the Union. That's sad, isn't it?


The FDA Playing Politics Badly

F.D.A. Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana - New York Times: "Some scientists and legislators said the agency's statement about marijuana demonstrated that politics had trumped science.
'Unfortunately, this is yet another example of the F.D.A. making pronouncements that seem to be driven more by ideology than by science,' said Dr. Jerry Avorn, a medical professor at Harvard Medical School."

This is so embarassing. I am not a fan of drugs, but it is absolutely ignorant to assert that there are no medical benefits from the use of marijuana. As a casual user in college, I was aware of how it could help with ordinary problems. I would use it to cure a lack of appetite. We should be writing them asking what other ideology slips into our national medical policy. Too many of these releases and they will lose their credibility entirely.


Briliante! The Dems Will Hate Bolten

Bush Counsel May Be Next in Shake-Up - New York Times: " Joshua B. Bolten, the new White House chief of staff, has raised the possibility of moving Harriet E. Miers from her job as President Bush's counsel as part of a continuing shake-up of the West Wing, an influential Republican with close ties to Mr. Bolten said Thursday.
The Republican, who was granted anonymity to talk openly about sensitive internal White House deliberations, said that Mr. Bolten had floated the idea among confidants, but that it was unclear whether he would follow through or if the move would be acceptable to Mr. Bush, who has a longtime personal bond with Ms. Miers.
'It's a reflection of Josh's thinking,' the Republican said. 'It's not a prediction that he's going to get it done.'
A senior White House official denied that Mr. Bolten was considering such a step. 'It's not the case,' said the official, who was granted anonymity to get around the administration's policy of not commenting on personnel matters.
On another front, Republicans said that Tony Snow, a commentator for Fox News and a former speechwriter for Mr. Bush's father, was in negotiations for the job of White House press secretary. Mr. Snow would replace Scott McClellan, who announced Wednesday that he was resigning."

First, Bush cannot get far enough away from Harriet publicly. The downside to removing her from the White House would be the press conference to do so. At least if she stays, he doesn't have to have any photos with her. There would be no reminders of his dopey SCOTUS tap. As for Tony Snow, it could not be a smarter move. First, he is bright. Second, he is well-liked, even among his competitors. Third, he is recovering from cancer, which will not matter when things get ugly, but does tend to lighten ire a bit. Also, he is a current member of the press. Many of the liberal press do not have any use for Fox News, but he is an anchor and a successful radio personality. Whether they like it or not, he really is one of them. Putting one of their own at the front of the room is incredibly smart. Putting a guy like Tony there is what should've happened after Ari left. There was never a good excuse for McClellan. With access to the whole country, he picked Scott to speak publicly for him. An outsider would wonder if there was no better candidates available. This shows much better taste. Sounds like Bolten's entrance is long overdue.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Not Exactly Chocolates on the Pillow

Chinese man admits plot to import missiles to US�� "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A Chinese national living in Southern California admitted on Wednesday trying to arrange the sale from China to the United States of 200 shoulder-fired missiles that can be used to bring down airplanes.
Chao Tung Wu, 51, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles federal court to conspiring to import the missiles for a buyer who turned out to be an undercover FBI agent."

Interesting timing for this release. This was put out the same day as a woman heckled Hu at the White House during a press conference. The FBI could have released the plea anytime. It didn't have to be when Hu was hangin' with Bushie at the WH. It is good to remind people, at a time like this, that China is both an ally and communist. Our relationship is complicated, both positive and negative. We are annoyed by their relationship with their own people. In fact, we are aghast at times. We also see a great deal of opportunity there with inexpensive, educated labor and a gargantuan market for American goods. In some cases, China has been helpful with our foreign policy, both currently with the War on Terror and in the past with other diplomatic puzzles. (Note: I couldn't name it when they have helped, but know that they must have or we would not be inviting them to luncheons at the White House with our best and brightest. That type of regaling is reserved for those that have proven themselves dedicated allies. At the same time, we are encouraging a heckler pretending to be press and releasing this spy plea. There is an underlying message that we could be better friends if they were adopting democratic principles. This has almost been a "you will never be Britain" welcome. And, indeed, they won't. Again, they are a friend, an ally, and Red.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


Online Education Becoming the Norm

The Cincinnati Post - NKU adds online education degree: "The program includes 12 courses that part-time students can complete within 20 months via home computer and the Internet, according to NKU officials. The program - the second graduate degree offered online at NKU - is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and approved by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.
Officials with NKU's College of Education and Human Services also announced Tuesday that Suzanne Soled has accepted the position to chair the newly created Teacher Education and School Leadership Department. Soled is currently associate professor in the University of Cincinnati College of Education, Criminal Justice and Human Services, where she directed the Honors Scholars Program, co-directed the Project to Improve and Reward Teaching and coordinated the Educational Studies Program for the Cincinnati Initiative for Teacher Education."

They are not all diploma mills anymore. These are normal accreditations and a good school to start with. We should be encouraging these programs, so that more people continue their education.

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