Sunday, August 24, 2008

Giving up on education

In comments on Wowsers are ever with us, below, blake said "Yeah, the city cares if you're armed, but they have an uncanny ability to detect education and stamp it out of existence." Dallas would appear to be taking a preventive approach. If children are not educated, then when they grow up, they'll have no education that needs stamping. A post by Tolewyn, "E" for effort, inspires a longer one by LawDog, Stop the planet! I want off! on Dallas's new "effort-based grading" system. Found in Jerry Pournelle's mail.

Update: Mickey Kaus, this morning, has Dems rally against unions! OK, teachers' unions. Still … The line in this that most strikingly resonates with the Dallas developments noted above is this:

One panelist--I think it was Peter Groff, president of the Colorado State Senate, got the ball rolling by complaining that when the children's agenda meets the adult agenda, the "adult agenda wins too often."
The adult agenda for many who work in the schools seems to be warehousing rather than educating.

Gotta go away again now for a while. I might add to this later.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

War in Georgia

Blackfive has a bunch of posts: one, two, three, four, five, six (roundup post), so far.

More on Monday: Zbigniew Brzezinski compares the current conflict to Sudetenland (1938) and Finland (1939). And another roundup, in which Laughing Wolf says, "I expect to see Tbilisi besieged before long, for Putin is most serious about deposing the current government and president. Nor do I think his plans stop there." At StrategyPage: Why Georgia Lost the War. Putin, having re-established autocracy in Russia after their brief fling with something like democracy, is now looking to re-establish Russia as a superpower. The evil empire did not go away for long.

Robert Bidinotto describes the non-response of the West to this naked aggression as "anticipatory capitulation" (via). It looks to me just like the non-response of the West to Russian aggression in 1956, in Hungary, and 1968, in Czechoslovakia. (And no, I did not comment on that post! That's somebody else.)

Wowsers are ever with us

Richard Miniter describes Why L.A. Should Be Pushed Into The Sea. Smoking, this time. Members of the anti-fun brigade are present in the comments.

John Lott says: "Nonsmokers may feel better off because of bans, but what they gain is less than what smokers lose. If the opposite were true, it wouldn’t be necessary to impose the bans."

In Gram Parsons' Sin City (almost 40 years ago!), the singer is resigned to the earthquake that will come to clean up the town, so to speak. Looks like the more puritanical segment among the bien-pensant would like to enforce righteous behavior lest the city be smitten. But since many of them would recoil at the notion that God would (or could!) smite a city for the behavior of its people, then the motivation must be be something else. What could it be? And what accounts for their inability to view other human beings and fellow-citizens as people like themselves, to be respected rather than to be controlled? Some kind of philosophical immaturity similar to what we see from the plaintiffs who sue over anything or nothing, I suppose.

A nation-wide smoking ban would be a lot like a return to Prohibition. Of course, we already have the "Son of Prohibition" going on, in the form of the War on Drugs; and MADD and their supporters and sycophants in the legislatures are working on the alcohol part of it. I'd like to see the pendulum swing back in the Dionysian direction in my lifetime. Less regulation, more freedom, please.

Iron Law, another version

In the comments on Tom Maguire's coverage of a NY Times article on Section 8 housing and its effects on neighborhoods, Megaera mentions "The Iron Law of Bureaucracy in action (also known as Lady MacBeth's Rule): What's done cannot be undone."

So now we have two Iron Laws, Jerry Pournelle's and this one.

Hmm. Megaera, Meg; that name seems to ring a bell. I should give Hunter Hawk a call, one of these days.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Ahead of the curve?

I saw this on a Prius today.The Prius indicates an early adopter. Maybe this guy is ahead of the pack, a harbinger of what is to come. While looking for the image, I found a number of different designs featuring the same idea, some with the names the other way round. They are both wrong for the job, and I heard somewhere that two wrongs don't make a right. Still, if the Dems want to win, this looks like the way to go, given that Edwards is out of the picture now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Al Gore's new boat

My word, I'm getting tired of this "Al Gore and the Global Warming" nonsense. It's pretty clear that even Gore does not take his gospel at all seriously, but is just putting one over on the rubes who will bite on his hook. I dare say he'll be trolling for a few fish in the new boat.

B.-S. One. I doubt it will ever leave Center Hill Lake.

It's smaller than David Geffen's yacht, that's true, but for a lake boat, it's pretty darn big. The Mayflower was smaller, and used no diesel fuel, bio- or otherwise.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Free credit report" is not so free

The Instapundit draws our attention to this, in the NY Times: The High Cost of a 'Free Credit Report.' Shorter version: the only site where you actually get a free credit report is The "Free Credit Report Dot Com" (I can hear that jingle) version signs you up for a $14.95 per month credit-monitoring service.