Thursday, July 29, 2010


We all knew that the main stream media had a left bias and even a political agenda, but the evidence coming out of Journolist are astonishingly transparent in their frankness about their purposes.

The Daily Caller continues to provide pieces of the Journolist comments that are very damning, indeed. Today, it had a post, Political operatives on Journolist worked to shape news coverage
By Jonathan Strong
Here is just a sample of some of the quotes they found:“
Calling all Journos,” Bernstein wrote in a message relayed by Klein. “I thought we got too little love from progressive types re our tax changes targeted at businesses with overseas operations. We’re maybe going for another bite at the apple this Monday,” he wrote. Bernstein invited members of the list to join him on a conference call on the issue a few days later.
I'm not going to write all the tidbits about who was in on it, in addition to bloggers and media types, but the fix is in. But....will the same media bias keep these truths from coming out into the mainstream? Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Sometimes people just have to accept that certain products and inventions of yesteryear, while helpful once upon a time are no longer relevant.

The article that spurred that comment has many other issues to consider besides that one, but after only reading the first paragraph or two, I was prompted to express my exasperation at the idea to publicly fund the dying print newspaper. Things go out of style for a reason. For example, the telegraph was replaced by the telephone. It's not that the telegraph was an important too of communication in its time, but the telephone was quicker and reached more people. Another example is the cell phone gradually replacing the cell phone.....or e-mail taking over snail mail. The examples are endless in a world of continuing innovation.
You think there are problems now with the mainstream media? Just wait. Columbia University President Lee Bollinger joins the drumbeat of those proposing fixes that are guaranteed to make the MSM much, much worse — and he wants to do it with your tax dollars.

In a July 14th op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, Bollinger argues that the time has come to rescue the declining fortunes of newspapers and broadcast news with “enhanced public funding for journalism.” He envisions the future of American journalism as a “mixed system,” part public, part private.
A very current and parallel (in some respects) example of the electronic/web medium replacing paper is tradition paper maps and Yahoo Maps! And eventually, GPS systems are going to take that over, too. As long as people are inventive, something is going to replace older means of the same task.

The reason, then, for wanting to subsidize newspapers would be to control the message. The article continues...
Otherwise, worries Bollinger, Americans might not get the news they need. Absent a pipeline of government money, he fears the Fourth Estate cannot continue to perform its fabled function as a watchdog, prowling the globe and speaking truth to power.
There are so many things wrong with this. The "get the news they need" sticks out. Because, of course, they know better what we need. Moreover, if one thinks that separation of church and state is important due to the 1st ammendmendment, I think it's clear that there should be a separation of the press and government. As in so many things, they are trying to remove the checks and balances that make America the functioning democracy it's always been. You can't be a dictator with checks and balances.

Boy, I could go on and on. But I won't. I'm going to finish reading the article. Go ahead and read it too. The title is ominous, too: Next Up in Washington, a Media Czar?

Friday, July 9, 2010


Apparently, there is a "tan tax" to be included in the health care bill. Some are declaring it a reverse racism tax since mostly, if not only, white people go to tanning salons.

Ranall Kennedy, a professor at Harvard Law School specializing in racial conflict and law says,
"But does the argument have any merit? Not remotely said Randall Kennedy, .

"There is no constitutional problem at all, because a plaintiff would have to show that the government intended to disadvantage a particular group, not simply that the group is disadvantaged in effect," he said.
I agree. He rightly says that laws that affect different races disproportionally happen all the time.

Regardless of what I think about a "tan tax", I agree with that concept.

From the article in the Washington Post,
"Kennedy said that this is why courts have upheld a raft of other laws that also happen to have a disproportionate impact on particular groups. For example, laws that impose higher penalties for possession or trafficking of crack cocaine as opposed to powder cocaine resulted in far harsher sentences for African Americans compared to whites. And laws that offer preferential treatment for veterans are much more likely to benefit men than women. But in both cases judges ruled that, because lawmakers did not intend to disadvantage black people or women when drafting those laws, they are legal.
The only problem that I have with Kennedy's argument is that we do indeed have laws that explicitly benefit one race over another. Affirmative action is a glaring contradiction to his argument. Another example that immediately comes to mind is Eric Holder's recently revealed perception that the Voter Rights law only is only there to protect minorities - particularly blacks.

Reverse racism is sadly becoming a bigger and bigger issue in our country right now. The tan tax, though, isn't that. It could be justified the same way a sin tax, such as that on cigarettes could be: an unnecessary indulgence that has negative affects on your health. Being attached to the health care bill actually makes sense to me. For good or naught, it is not a ban on the activity, but a tax to affect behavior - a long standing principal used in taxes for eons.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Usually, that has a religious connotation. This time, however, it is J. Christopher Adams. Finally, some light is shining onto the despicable practice of the justice department to ignore cases that they don't want addressed. Of course, I'm referring to the Black Panther Voter fraud case. Light had been shining on this unconscionable lack of justice through non-stream media, but it took someone from the inside to force the light to focus on the problem in a way that it won't be able to be ignored, even by the MSM (eventually, if not currently).

A Wall Street Journal article called "Who Will Investigate the Investigators?" is a good snapshot of where that case stands, as well as more damning testimony about other huge infractions of executing their charge to ensure that laws are enforced fairly and judiciously.

It's difficult to read in its unbelievable evasion of justice at the highest levels, but refreshing and encouraging in its forcing light on the darkness that has the MSM has been determined to keep on this dangerous issue. This is the introduction:
J. Christian Adams,, a former career Justice Department lawyer who resigned recently to protest political interference in cases he worked on, made some news yesterday in testimony before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.As expected, he claimed that Associate Attorney General Thomas Perrelli, an Obama appointee, overruled a unanimous recommendation by six career Justice attorneys for continued prosecution of members of the New Black Panther Party on charges of voter intimidation in an incident I detailed here yesterday. But Mr. Adams leveled an even more explosive charge beyond the Panther case. He testified that last year Deputy Assistant Attorney General Julie Fernandes made a jaw-dropping announcement to attorneys in Justice's Voting Rights section. She said she would not support any enforcement of a key section of the federal "Motor Voter" law -- Section 8, which requires states to periodically purge their voter rolls of dead people, felons, illegal voters and those who have moved out of state.
Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Having been a teacher, I'm sympathetic with the benefits of teachers being protected. They are a part of their compensation, and in part makes up for them being grossly underpaid for having a professional degree for such a vital purpose in our society. There are teachers that are pretty well paid, but rightly so, since they have years and years of experience and continued their education to a Masters and beyond. A masters' degree should yield a middle class living wage.

On the other hand, there is no question that public education is a mess in the United States. Too many schools are both under performing and under funded. Many schools in more affluent areas do better, in part, because their budgets are supplemented by huge donations, on the order of $100,000 or more. Other factors include the better than average level of education of residents, which has an influence on their general importance they place on their child's studies in the household, as well as being able to provide support, in practical ways, because they already know the habits that promote success in school.

Good schools increase property value, and thus only the affluent can move in. The best teachers are often lured by being in a good school. And, because of the value placed on education, in addition to large foundations, bond measures supporting the school will sometimes actually get passed, adding to the school's improvement budgets. Then, of course, this promotes a self perpetuating cycle of the same good and bad schools.

There are very few good solutions. Many have been tried, but most grand schemed solutions have failed to have measurable results.

This brings me back to my first point about teacher's benefits and salaries. Over its entire existence, the Teacher's Union, has certainly made some positive impacts on education. Better paid teachers bring in better teachers, in many instances.

I feel, however, that their existence has crossed over from helpful to destructive. They not only reward good teachers, but make it so that poor teachers remain in the system and with equal pay to the best teachers. Instead of improving education, they are crippling the varied districts and schools in this country from making the staff changes that would improve the school.

School choice has been a big option floating around out there. Charter schools, vouchers, and so forth have been experimented with. The political nature of the discussions make it hard to get a real read on their effectiveness. People use the statistics for their own agenda. Testimonials, then, are the best indicator.

This blog entry was inspired by an article linked by instapundit (of course) called, "The Education Debacle of the Decade."

It provides a great example of how the teacher's union killed something that was working. It has to do with a program called OSP (he never defines the abbreviation). It provided residents of Washington D.C. with a $7500 voucher to attend a private school. That is actually less than it costs per child at to educate them at the public school ($10,000). The results were measurable positive.
OSP dramatically increases prospects of high-school graduation.

Wolf pointed to research showing that high-school diplomas significantly improve the chance of getting a job. And dropouts that do find employment earn about $8,500 less per year than their counterpoints with diplomas. Further, each graduate reduces the cost of crime by a stunning $112,000. Cecelia Rouse, an economic advisor to President Obama, found that each additional high school graduate saves the country $260,000.

Simply put, OSP has a profoundly positive effect not just on students, but on the city and the country as a whole.
So when it came time for Congress to reauthorize OSP, it would seem to be a no-brainer: Expand the program.

Instead, they killed it.
Read the whole thing. It makes me think about the benefits of vouchers, an idea that I never really understood or cared for, but I'm now rethinking it. Just as in a free financial markets, choice improves the product. It has always been assumed that public education is a sacred cow. Perhaps, instead, we should heavily support private entities to do the job well, instead of states spending more, doing a mediocre job (at best in some places).

Friday, July 2, 2010


I read an article linked by Instapundit, called "What is the Tea Party? A growing state of mind", from I think it does a very good job at correctly identifying the personality of the Tea Party. The writer actually interviewed some real people who consider themselves aligning themselves with the Tea Party movement, instead of just blindly deciding for themselves.
To look at who the foot soldiers are in the nation's newest political army and what motivates them, USA TODAY combined results from national polls in May and June and did additional interviews.
How refreshing!

The Tea Party movement has been hard to describe in any definitive terms. People who support it generally understand what they're supporting, but it might mean something a little different to different people.
"I don't really understand it, but I like what they stand for," says Terry Rushing, 63, of Greensburg, La., who was among those surveyed. "They just support everything I'm looking for — lower taxes, less government. ... All the good things, you know."
Perceptively, the author of a mainstream magazine discovered the issues that the Tea Party People are uniting around.
What unites Tea Party supporters is less their geography or demography than their policy views: a firm conviction that the federal government has gotten too big and too powerful and a fear that the nation faces great peril.
I was happy to read the the authors were able to glean the fact that hearkening back to the philosophies of our Founding Fathers that shaped the Constitution of this great nation are an important piece of who the Tea Party people are.
Their faith in the Founding Fathers is a signature of the movement. Citing links to the Revolution has been a mainstay of American politics since the nation's beginnings, Lepore says, but the way the Tea Party uses those symbols and language is original. "It is a fundamentalist way of thinking of the past: The founding documents are gospel; they come alive for us," she says.
Another factor uniting them is the rejection of the political structure and parties that exist now.
"The Tea Party is trying to change the country around because the Republicans and Democrats — I don't think anyone knows what they're doing in Washington anymore," says Ed Bradley, 54, a retired police officer and judge from Lebanon, Ind. "The Tea Party is trying to change this country to what it used to be."
At the same time, the Tea Party is not trying to be a political party, but rather a political movement.
On the last big Election Day, in 2008, the Tea Party didn't exist. Now the name encompasses the most energized segment of the electorate, one that has denied members of Congress renomination, created a new constellation of political heroes and pushed the GOP to the right.

Even so, the movement is less a party than an anti-party, with no clear consensus about whom its national leaders are and a generally dyspeptic view of organized political power.
In sum, the Tea Party is a growing group of Americans who realize the American Dream is slipping away. They are a people who love their country and value the freedom it has promoted for exactly 234 years. They are trying to protect that very freedom before the USA no longer resembles the free republic created to be for the people and by the people. The final quote that the article sited was,
"The government is taking over everything — the banks, the automobiles," she says. "I want my freedom back."
That sums up the frustration pretty well.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Remarkable. I mean that in two ways. One is that the following item is worth a remark, and the other is that it is truly remarkable in an amazing sense.

Apparently, the ardent atheist, Christopher Hitchens has cancer. There is a blog post that is soliciting prayer for him as he faces a potentially terminal disease.

It is interesting on all sorts of levels. The comments are fascinating, too. It's funny how bothered an atheist can be that someone is praying for them. Why does it matter?

I join this blogger in prayer for Christopher Hitchens. How awesome it would be to see him become a modern Paul, i.e, an atheist of atheists who converts to believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, and in his remaining days, uses his position of respect in the atheist world to showing people that there is a God, and He can be known.


I just read the transcript of Obama's immigration speech this morning. Instead of hashing that out, I had an idea. Tell me what you think.

How about instead of only focusing on adding more border control agents, why don't we add more border welcomers. Have lots of Ellis Island types of border crossings where the non-criminal family just aspiring for a better future can pass through legally without having to wait years and years.

If the process of getting legal status were more streamlined and easier, the motivation for the "good type" of immigrant to cross illegally would be gone.

You could come over, fill out a bunch of papers that document who you are, finger print, and other identifying information, and then get a provisional legal crossing, while the rest of the red tape gets sorted out. If you fail to comply with the entire process, including fees, learning English, Constitution test, etc., which could take however long needed to get through the bureaucracy, you are deported, and you could be found b/c your whereabouts were documented when you came in.

The criminal side would have to be dealt with too, but the key is to deal humanely for the people coming to America for the right reasons.