Friday, September 30, 2005

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

neal's links are particularly good today

Ben Stein, so good:

former NY mayor Koch

Regarding Cindy Sheehan: "Many Americans, myself included, now see her as a person who has come to enjoy the celebratory status accorded to her by the radicals on the extreme left who see America as the outlaw of the world. These radicals are not content to be constructive critics. They are bent on destroying this country."

why can't American politicians be this blunt?

He speaks his actual mind - doesn't it seem like Blair speaks from the gut moreso than most American politicians? Why can't we demand honesty?

"Terrorists who use 21st century technology to fight a pre-medieval religious war utterly alien to the future of humankind."

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

George Bush spends like a Democrat

" It is usually Democrats who drown problems in money, distracting criticism with feel-good platitudes. But this time, it is a Republican chief executive buying into the Great Society-style excess, following what another Republican (and possible presidential candidate) Sen. Lindsey Graham called a 'Marshall Plan' for the region."

"Take the absurd prospect of 18 months of taxpayer-financed free rent for evacuees. Opposing it is an invitation to catcalls of racism."

Monday, September 19, 2005


"Doctors eager to help sick and injured evacuees were handed mops by federal officials who expressed concern about legal liability."

"Warehouses in New Orleans burned while firefighters were diverted to Atlanta for Federal Emergency Management Agency training sessions on community relations and sexual harassment."

"Steve Simpson, sheriff of Loudoun County, Virginia, sent 22 deputies equipped with food and water to last seven days. Their 14-car caravan, including four all-terrain vehicles, was on the road just three hours when they were told to turn back. The reason, Simpson told CNN: A Louisiana state police official told them not to come. " I said, "What if we just show up?' He says, 'You probably won't get in.' " Simpson said he later learned a dispute over whether state or federal authorities would command the law enforcement effort was being ironed out that night. But no one ever got back to him with the all-clear."

Let this catstrophe be the turning point...


Now it's time to see if our legislators in DC have the guts to do what each and every one of us knows, whether we'll admit it or not, is the right thing to do .. and that is to kill pork spending in the current budget to come up with some money for Katrina relief. This who highway bill that was passed several weeks ago should be scrapped, and that includes that $250 million dollar bridge in Alaska to that island with 50 inhabitants. Senator Ted Stevens at work. Rather than punishing achievement, how about punishing the pork masters in DC?

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Only education...

"New Orleans, however, presents a completely different educational challenge. Its public schools have struggled for decades and have shown few signs of getting better. Yet the needs of the Big Easy's children are so great. Fully 27 percent of New Orleans residents lived below the poverty line. Perhaps the most shocking part of last week's tragedy for many Americans was to see, through the intimacy of the television screen, that severe poverty and destitution are still compelling realities in pockets of our nation. That social challenge deserves our attention and compassion. And poor children deserve excellent schools. They weren't getting them in New Orleans pre-Katrina, which means getting back to the status quo ante does little to meet those kids' educational needs."

"Without a doubt, the public=school system that emerges from the wake of Katrina should be vastly different from the one that stood before the storm. A growing chorus, including Brendan Miniter, writing on ), is starting to imagine a new future for the city's children — perhaps even a beam of sunshine after a very dark night. Let us join them. Here are a few suggestions:Build from the bottom up. Rather than recreating a school system, New Orleans should create a system of schools. This is a chance to keep the central office minimal. The early focus should be on creating new, excellent, autonomous schools and figuring out what services they need (from a central office or something else) later. Through chartering and contracting, the city (or the state — which already has authority to charter schools in high-need areas) could create such a network, holding each school to rigorous academic standards while giving them room to innovate. Finally, parents should be able to choose which school in the city (or state) best suits their children's needs. (Yes, many will need help with transportation.)

Turn to new-schools experts. Over the past decade and a half, the charter school movement has been developing expertise in building schools from scratch. The city should issue an S.O.S., asking some of the best school networks — such as KIPP, Aspire Public Schools, Achievement First, Edison, etc. — to set up shop. Some of these outfits already have a local presence. Many more would surely respond to this historic opportunity to do right by a devastated city."

"Open the doors to new talent. Certainly the city's educators will play a large role in its revival, and long-time residents will be crucial to restoring the community's broken fabric. But New Orleans will also have a rare opportunity to invite talented teachers and leaders from across the country to be part of the rebirth of a great American city. Teach for America and the New Teacher Project already have presences there; they should be encouraged to bring thousands of new teachers to the region who are committed, over the long-term, to building the best network of public schools in the nation. Same goes for school principals.

Break the mold on school buildings. The physical structures of schools should be a means to an end — housing excellent educational institutions — not an end in itself. With the whole city a rebuilding project, why not throw out our old notions of stand-alone buildings, behemoth high schools, and other vestiges of the industrial age? Instead, New Orleans could build schools that are more integrated into the community — as part of housing developments, or near offices, or strategically located near recreation opportunities. Most important, the educational design should come before the facility design. "

radiation storm

A world more in flux than usual?

" minimum, the lowest point of the sun's 11-year activity cycle, isn't due until 2006, but forecasters expected 2005, the eve of solar minimum, to be a quiet year on the sun.

It has not been quiet. 2005 began with an X-flare on New Year's Day--a sign of things to come. Since then we've experienced 4 severe geomagnetic storms and 14 more X-flares."

"Hathaway answers: 'The sunspots of 2005, while fewer, have done more than their share of exploding.' Consider sunspot 798/808, the source of the Sept 7th superflare and eight lesser X-flares. All by itself, this sunspot has made Sept. 2005 the most active month on the sun since March 1991."

Best of Web Goodness

Need to read Taranto every day.

"Of course it is human nature to empathize with people who are "like us," which is why people care more when a disaster strikes their country than a foreign land. Thus it's perfectly understandable that black Americans would respond with a heightened fervor to the sufferings of fellow blacks after Hurricane Katrina.

But it makes no sense to expect nonblacks to empathize with blacks because they are black. Transracial empathy must be based on what people of different races have in common: that we are fellow Americans, or fellow human beings. The use of a natural disaster as an occasion for racial grievance is a hindrance, not an aid, to national solidarity and empathy."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Wednesday, September 07, 2005

"The Environmental Benefits of the FairTax"

One of my favorites!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

FairTax ruins chances for American socialists

Townhall book review

Friday, September 02, 2005

Great article on drug legalization

It is obvious that outlawing something for which the demand will never go away "works in the interest of criminals, not the public."

LA governor Barbour does excellent job of rerouting loaded questions.

Miles O'Brien is trying so hard to imply, without himself actually saying it, that the reason federal troops have (supposedly) not reacted as fast as they should have is because of the war in Iraq.

Muhammad Yousef Al-Mlaifi, director of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Endowment's research center

"But how strange it is that after all the tremendous American achievements for the sake of humanity, these mighty winds come and evilly rip [America's] cities to shreds? Have the storms joined the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization?

This is very odd, and I wasn't able to tell whether he wised the disaster on us or not. Both of the reader responses are well written, especially the second.

proclamation after 1906 earthquake in SF

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