January 24, 2006

Quick Questions

Just a question or two for the more politically saavy:

Which is a bigger drain on American jobs -- illegal immigrants who are taking jobs that we really don't want to do anyway, or corporations who are taking jobs overseas by the hundreds legally?

What is middle class? Lou Dobbs says that the Ford layoffs are a blow to the middle class families in America. Union auto workers make $45 to $50 per hour -- that's between $90,000 and $100,000 per year. If that's middle class, then I'm living in abject poverty.

When did they end the earned income tax credit? Oh -- they didn't? Then why do I hear so much about tax breaks for the poor? They pay no taxes.

Just ranting here. I'll do some real blogging later on. I don't do politics very much (unless you count the SBC stuff I've been doing lately), so every so often I have to vent.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 07:01 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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January 19, 2006

No More Valedictorian?

Just heard on CNN that Pinellas County in Florida is no longer awarding the valedictorian medal. A quick Blingo search revealled that many other school districts are doing the same. "It's too competative," they say. "We want to emphasize that everyone is equal."

Time to pull out my favorite short story. "Harrison Bergeron" should be required reading for teachers AND students. It shows us that, no matter how bad competition might be, and no matter how much better we all feel if everyone is equal, it really doesn't work in real life. We need to accept the fact that there are people who excel, and people who don't. The people who do are going to be rewarded for their abilities in life, and the people who don't won't be rewarded.

Mainstreaming in education has given us a society that accepts mediocrity. There are no more "honors" or "advanced" classes, so there is no motivation to achieve. Smart kids get good grades with little effort. Kids who need the help don't get it, because there are too many other kids in the classes who don't need help. Teachers can't spend class time focusing on one or two kids who don't get it. They can't spend class time trying to challenge the gifted kids. The majority of their time has to be spent with the majority of the kids.

When I was in school, there was no mainstreaming. The advanced kids were in advanced classes. We did more work, and wrote more papers. We were challenged. The kids who needed extra help got that help, because they were in separate classes. And we actually learned things -- all of us did.

We are so worried about offending someone, telling them that they aren't "gifted" or that they need extra help, that we are sabotaging their education. We worry more about self-esteem than self-sufficiency. And then we wonder why our kids don't learn.

This needs to change. We need to reward performance, and do something to help kids who aren't performing. We need to give kids something to shoot for, rather than making the target so big that anyone can hit it.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 03:43 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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January 14, 2006

Teddy, Teddy, Teddy

Ted Kennedy, that paragon of Democrat virtue, has been Onioned.

The distinguished senator from Massachusetts read from an alumni publication the following statement (and, as always, emphasis has been added)

So a 1983 Prospect essay titled "In Defense of Elitism," stated, quote, "People nowadays just don't seem to know their place. Everywhere one turns, blacks and Hispanics are demanding jobs simply because they're black and Hispanic. The physically handicapped are trying to gain equal representation in professional sports. And homosexuals are demanding the government vouchsafe them the right to bear children."
The article appears in PDF format at Senator Kennedy's own web site. Go there, and read the whole thing, and see if YOU can tell what the senator apparently couldn't.

It's satire.

Of course, that last sentence couldn't POSSIBLY have given that away. I know that Senator Kennedy thinks that the government has a lot of power, but even HE should know that the government doesn't have the power to vouchsafe ANYONE the right to bear children. That, after all, comes from a higher authority.

Tip o' the hat (if I was wearing one) to James over at PCCBoard.

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January 05, 2006

Jesus On Trial

{So, has anyone else noticed that in spite of my resolution to post proactively, everything I've done so far has been reactive?}

Luigi Cascioli, a retired agronomist and atheist, is taking the Roman Catholic Church to court for "abusing popular credibility" by teaching that Jesus existed. A Catholic priest, Father Enrico Righi, is the immediate defendant, but the precedent that the case could set is clear -- if Father Righi is found guilty, the rest of the Catholic Church will also be guilty of breaking that same law. more...

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 08:36 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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Shut Up Pat!!

Pat Robertson has done it again. According to Pat, Ariel Sharon's stroke is punishment from God for giving away Israeli land.

Face it, though -- we all knew this was coming. After all, we've had people talking about God electrocuting a pastor in Texas because he was part of the "emerging church" movement. And who better to say it than Pat Robertson? Seriously -- how many people are actually taking this guy seriously anymore?

Yes, his cable TV show has a ton of viewers. I'd wager that many of those viewers are people waiting for the next idiotic thing to come out of Robertson's mouth. I know I used to watch Bob Tilton all the time for the pure entertainment value of a grown man claiming he got "ink poisoning" from laying on the prayer requests that people had sent to him as he prayed over them. And I used to do a great Ernest Angley impersonation.

My point is that viewers does NOT equal influence. But Pat provides the perfect target for people who want to believe that all evangelicals are complete blithering idiots like Robertson. One of these days, maybe folks will figure out that Christians don't like Robertson any more than anyone else does.

{UPDATE: Found a quote, thanks to Aaman Lamba at Blogcritics. Added it to the story above.}

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:50 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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January 04, 2006

Twelve Hours! Let the Finger Pointing Begin

It took twelve hours, but someone has finally been able to tie to corrupt Bush Nazi administration (did I leave an epithet out?) to the mine tragedy in West Virginia.

The president of the United Mine Workers said on CNN that the administration was keeping the MSHA from doing its job. He also said that the tragedy wouldn't have happened in a union mine, because union mines are safer.

I've been waiting for this. I told my wife this morning that it would end up being Bush's fault that the mine collapsed.

We have to find someone to blame. Accident's don't just happen -- they happen becasue the government -- excuse me, I mean the Government -- doesn't take care of us. The Government is our shepherd, we should never want.

Bad things happen, folks. It's a part of the fallen world we live in. Blaming people after the fact won't bring back the dead. Let's find out what went wrong, and try to make sure it doesn't happen again. And please don't start turning this into a political issue. Don't insult the memory of those who died by using their deaths as an opportunity to make political points.

Posted by: Warren Kelly at 05:52 PM | No Comments | Add Comment
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