Kill the Department of Education

As if we needed more reasons to eliminate a bureacratic sinkhole in the federal government. From the Washington Times, 2/19/03:

“More than a billion dollars a year of federal aid for after-school programs in 7,500 public schools nationwide has not helped most children academically, a federally funded study concluded. Children who attend after-school activities at public elementary and middle schools are more likely to encounter bullies, vandals, thieves and drug users than those who do not, said the study, conducted for the U.S. Education Department.”

The federal government has only one duty when it comes to the education of our children, and that is to ensure that none are discriminated against for their race, religion, or creed. You know, one of those things the federal government is constitutionally supposed to do.
Funds sent to the Education Department black hole via taxes would be better spent in the states and municipalities from whence they come. This, in turn, would help weaken the horrendous National Educational Association, which seems to be interested in everything except actually teaching our kids:

“Public schools are run by the National Educational Association. They are not run by people you can hold accountable, such as teachers, superintendents and school boards. The NEA opposes merit pay, charter schools, and any decision by any school administrator that has not been determined in advance by collective bargaining. Simply put, the NEA opposes everything except its own power.
“…Meanwhile, kids aren’t learning. The vocabulary of the average American 14-year-old has dropped from 25,000 words to 10,000. San Francisco Examiner reporter Emily Gurnon asked teenagers to identify the country from which America won its independence. Among the answers: ‘Japan or something, China. Somewhere out there on the other side of the world.’ ‘It wouldn’t be Canada, would it?’ ‘I don’t know; I don’t even, like, have a clue.’ ‘I want to say Korea. I’m tripping.’
“…The problem, says (author Peter) Brimelow, is that the NEA is the backbone of the Democratic Party and public education is a government monopoly. …If the NEA is to be undone, its undoing will come from parents and teachers deserting the schools. Homeschoolers, without benefit of fancy facilities, science labs, and huge expenditures of money, outscore public school students.” —Paul Craig Roberts

Mac tech

Newton still going strong

Yesterday marked the 5th anniversary of Apple’s discontinuing production of the Newton, the forerunner of today’s PDAs. Speaking of today’s PDAs, some are still trying to catch up, in terms of features and speed, to what was offered 5 years ago in the Newton MessagePad 2100. To this day, the Newton’s biggest shortcoming is still its size.
Michael notes how Newton users are continuing to extend the life of the original personal digital assistant. I can’t wait to reacquaint myself with Newton when a 2100 arrives in a couple of weeks, courtesy of a pal in NYC.

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Sound advice from across the Pond

“Supposing I came along in August 2001 and said…that there was an al-Qaeda terrorist network; no one would have heard of it. Suppose I said that we would have to invade Afghanistan in order to deal with it; no one would have believed that that was necessary. Yet, my goodness, a few weeks later, thousands of people were killed on the streets of New York. …The threat (from Iraq) is real, and if we do not deal with it the consequences of our weakness will haunt future generations.” –British Prime Minister Tony Blair

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On government spending

“Frankly, when my family’s income goes down, so does our spending as we tighten our belts. Why is it that government believes its spending of our money should always go up, in good times and in bad? Why shouldn’t government have to go on a diet just like the rest of us when hit with a reduction in income?” —Chuck Muth


Let the Hollywonk backlash begin!

“Americans objecting to the anti-war rhetoric of Hollywood celebrities are no longer remaining silent, but are starting to fight back with their own grass-roots offensive.”
Take note of the AOL poll mentioned: over 400,000 respondents. That’s a poll; you can be sure there is a wide demographic represented, unlike most CNN/USA Today/NBC/ABC/Wall Street Journal, et al, polls that are lucky to count 1,000 persons.
Be sure to check out Hollywood Halfwits.
Finally, I can’t wait to see Fred Thompson’s pro-war rebuttal to “Left Wing” Martin Sheen this weekend…

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For or against, just tell us the truth

Ann nails the Demos yet again on their two-faced approach to war with Saddam:

“After voting in favor of the war with Iraq right before the November elections, Sen. Hillary Clinton never had another kind word to say for the war. Just a few weeks ago, Sen. Clinton gave an interview on Irish TV in which she said she opposed precipitous action against Iraq. She said Bush should give the U.N. weapons inspectors more time.
“Hillary did not object to precipitous action against Iraq when her husband bombed it on the day of his scheduled impeachment. President Clinton attacked Saddam Hussein without first asking approval from the United Nations, the U.S. Congress or even France. But now we have a president who wants to attack Iraq for purposes of national security rather than his own personal interests, and Hillary thinks he’s being rash. President Bush has gotten a war resolution from Congress, yet another U.N. Security Council resolution, and we’ve been talking about this war for 14 months. But he’s being precipitous.
“When Clinton bombed Iraq to delay his impeachment, Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle was ablaze with war fever. Daschle said: ‘This is a time to send Saddam Hussein as clear a message as we know how to send that we will not tolerate the broken promises and the tremendous acceleration of development of weapons that we’ve seen time and time again in Iraq.’ Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said of the impeachment bombing: ‘Month after month, we have given Iraq chance after chance to move from confrontation to cooperation, and we have explored and exhausted every diplomatic action. We will see now whether force can persuade Iraq’s misguided leaders to reverse course and to accept at long last the need to abide by the rule of law and the will of the world.’
“Now here we are, more than four years later, Saddam still hasn’t complied with U.N. resolutions, and America has been attacked by Islamic crazies–and these same Democrats think Bush is acting impulsively. Democrats are always hawks in the off-season. They’re all for war, provided it has nothing to do with America’s security.”


Look at my incredibly massive ego!

Jerry Jerk, er, Jones, has released the NFL’s all-time leading rusher from the Dallas Cowboys. Players take note: this is how Jerry rewards your (well-paid) service to his organization. After 13 years, 3 Super Bowl wins, and the rushing title, Emmitt is now out in the cold. The only reason Jones kept Smith around for the 2002 season was so Number 22 would break the league rushing record in a Cowboys uniform; again, glorification for Jones’ ego.
In case you haven’t guessed, I’m not a Cowboys fan, and have not been since we moved to Dallas. I remain, however, an Emmitt Smith fan, and I hope he gets what he wants: a shot at another Super Bowl as a team’s number-one back.
Everyone in Dallas will be in tears that Jerry let Emmitt go, but they’ll spin it as simply a financial matter, that Smith is costing the team too much money. Jerry has long hinted that he doesn’t think Emmitt has what it takes any more to be a number-one running back. Gee, Jerry, maybe if Emmitt had an offensive line that could block elderly grandmothers, much less Pro Bowl linebackers, that would’ve helped the past three seasons. And a quarterback that could throw accurately and consistently wouldn’t hurt either.


This is just wrong

You know, go ahead and protest potential war with Saddam Hussein’s regime. But when you take it out on little kids just because their parents are in the National Guard, you’re stepping over the line. Further comment withheld due to incensed author.


Banana Junior 6000

Tech gear lust can begin at an early age. For me, in 1985, I wanted a Banana Junior 6000. (Thanks to Gruber for the link.)
My personal favorites are “Fritos,” “Toaster Ovens,” and “I Think.”



More gear lust, this time courtesy of Steven and The Register. With our current mobile contract up in June, I’ll be shopping around for the best plan, and a new phone. I’ve had my sights set on SonyEricsson’s T68i, and may still pick that up, depending on P800 pricing in 4 months. Both the T68i and the P800 would allow me to dump my Palm and have just one device. Currently, my mobile is a low-end StarTac.