Sunday, June 27, 2004


Jeff Jacoby: "If teachers unions in Massachusetts spent as much time trying to improve the large number of public schools they control as they do trying to hurt the minuscule number of charter schools they don't control, public education in the Bay State would be the pride of the Western world. Alas, quality of education has never been the highest priority of the unions and the many school-district bureaucrats who do their bidding. Like other monopolists, they are less interested in improving their product than in trying to stomp out competition -- especially when it comes from a tiny but popular upstart. In terms of numbers, charter schools are barely a blip on the Massachusetts radar screen. Of the nearly 1,900 public schools in the state, only 50 are charters. Of the 980,000 children enrolled in public education, only 19,000 -- fewer than 2 percent -- attend charter schools."

Dave Huber has some acerbic comments about the lack of "diversity" at the University of Delaware.

A fruitcake mother: "Kyle Samejima's decision -- to send her three children to the local public school here -- was an unusual one among her neighbors. But she liked the open-education philosophy of Windom magnet school [of Minneapolis, MN], liked that it was just a couple of blocks away, liked the diversity. Now she's helping to spearhead an effort to make Windom even more distinctive, turning it into a dual immersion Spanish school that her youngest child -- a kindergartner already bilingual in Japanese -- will begin next year. 'You can put a label on a school, and if you look at Windom's test scores, they don't look so great,' says Ms. Samejima. 'But test scores don't always tell the whole story.' Many other Minneapolis parents, though, are looking at the test scores. And with an exceptionally high degree of school choice, they're increasingly choosing options outside the district."



The latest Harvard flap over the fact that its small number of black students are mostly not American blacks is amusing. Blacks who come from REALLY poor environments in Africa and the Caribbean are twice as good at getting into Harvard as American blacks are. So the Leftist explanation that "poverty" keeps blacks out is sheer bunk. Surely, there is only one explanation for the difference: motivation. As black conservative sites like Crispus and Booker Rising often point out, instead of American blacks being challenged and being taught to strive and become independent, what affirmative action -- and "liberal" policies generally -- teach American blacks is passivity: the feeling of victimhood and dependency. The advantage that blacks from Africa and the Caribbean have is that they have NOT been reared in the poisonous politically correct environment of modern-day America.

I have always found Roger Scruton's view of conservatism rather idiosyncratic. To me he is a reactionary, not a conservative. He has a recent summary of his views here. There is much that he says about conservatism which is insightful but he claims to say what conservatism is without once mentioning individual liberty. Is there ANY American -- conservative or not -- who would agree that "the future is the past"? That is Scruton's summary of a core conservative outlook. By that criterion there are no (or very few) conservatives in America, I would think. I prefer an infinitely more influential conservative's view of what conservatism is, Ronald Reagan's: "If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.... The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom"

John Lewis: "Professor Henry Reynolds contends that our white forebears murdered over 20,000 of our black forebears. Keith Windschuttle argues that this figure is grossly exaggerated, prompting a call from academics and others for all men and women of good will to rise against Windschuttle and bring him down. Curiously, those who oppose Windschuttle appear to be more interested in maintaining previously-held beliefs than in determining what really happened, and do not seem to realise that figures of the magnitude claimed by Reynolds arguably contain more insult to our black than our white forebears".

Cuba could teach the U.S. a lot about democracy. You don't believe it? The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says so. Maybe they should rename it the Minneapolis Pravda. The old Soviet propaganda mill is still running smoothly in the USA.

Al Gore thinks that answering back to criticism makes you a Nazi! He said recently: "The Administration works closely with a network of "rapid response" digital Brown Shirts" It's Gore's attitude that sounds like the Nazi one to me. Gore clearly believes in neither freedom of speech nor natural justice. But what Leftist ever really did? Opinion Journal has some more comments on the strangeness of Gore.

Fun! Charles Giacometti, the rage-filled Leftist that I reported a correspondence with on 24th., is apparently a serial abuser. And, like Gore, he wants to prevent people from answering him back. Leftists just can't take dissent. New England Republican gives you the lowdown on him.

Mark Shea has a fun picture of Al Gore which he calls: "Former Veep coughs up hairball"

Evil Conservatives Inc. is a good spoof site, parodying or mocking a lot of Green/Left arguments.

Amy Welborn has a good story about how middle America is not rushing out to buy Clinton's book: "by noon, Lewis had not sold one of his shop's 20 copies, and he intended to cancel the 30 additional copies on order".

In response to my post yesterday about Straussianism , a reader notes similarities between Straussians and Fabian socialists:

Wicked Thoughts has a serious post up for once -- with a good document about "Islamophobia"

For more postings, see GREENIE WATCH and POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH. Mirror sites here and here


Leftism is more popular with young people than with older people largely because Leftism is itself juvenile: They criticize what they don't understand. Which makes it ironic that "We know best" and "It's for your own good" are the basic Leftist messages. Leftists have never got past the simplistic thinking or the arrogance that are the characteristic limitations of youth

"Created" equal in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence is a religious way of saying that people are NOT equal but start out with the same rights

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