People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Columbus Mayor To The Rescue

This Associated Press story is actually about the NRA pulling the plug on its plan to hold its 2007 convention in Columbus, Ohio. But the reason behind the decision is of more interest to me.
NRA Pulls Convention Out of Columbus, Ohio
By John McCarthy, Associated Press Writer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The National Rifle Association has abandoned plans to hold its 2007 convention in Columbus following the passage of a ban on assault weapons by city officials. (link)
I applaud the NRA for its decision and encourage the convention planners to consider Bland, Virginia for its gathering. After all: (1) Everyone here, young and old alike, is heavily armed. (2) We pride ourselves on our ownership of assault weapons. Heck, we even show them off in church on Sunday. (3) We are unified in our belief that pinheads like the mayor of Columbus, Ohio don't deserve the tens of millions of dollars the NRA members will shell out wherever the convention ultimately is held.

We even have an abandoned textile factory that, with a little sprucing up, could hold all or some of the thousands of conventioneers.

Here is what caught my eye in the article - the reason Columbus's mayor, a Democrat, gave for driving the NRA convention and its millions in revenue away:
Mayor Michael Coleman said that the NRA and other groups will not dictate city policy and that the ban will make Columbus safer ...

The ban, passed earlier this month, outlaws the sale or possession of semiautomatic rifles with pistol grips and detachable magazines.
There is an array of weaponry on the market today - in Columbus, Ohio and across this land. You can buy multi-round, large-caliber artillery that can stop a whole herd of Cape Buffalo or Osama bin Ladin and his bantam band of badasses.

This ordinance focuses not on firepower but on cosmetics. The mayor, who I hear is considering a run for governor of the state of Ohio next year, and the Columbus city council have only banned rifles with pistol grips and detachable magazines. All that high-power ordnance will still be available over the counter in Columbus to anyone capable of filling out a federal 4473 form.

And he says Columbus is safer because of it.

Call me stupid but ...

Time To Hang It Up?

I've often told family and friends that I plan on never retiring. I'll work til I drop.

But a sign from God might change my mind.

Here's a bit of news about M. Arthur Anderson's tap on the shoulder in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Motorist aide struck by car on I-64
By Mark Bowes, Times-Dispatch staff writer

M. Arthur Anderson and his family are probably counting their blessings.

The 73-year-old state police motorist assistance aide was struck by a car going about 40 mph on Interstate 64 near Staples Mill Road yesterday. He survived, suffering a broken leg and head injuries.

That's even more remarkable when you consider Anderson is still recovering from open-heart surgery. (link)

From: GOD

To: Art

I thought the blocked arteries would have been enough of a signal. It is time to kick back and take in your daily dose of The Price Is Right, dude. Your days of bouncing off of cars and running that six minute mile are over.

Teachers Need To Be Able To Add and Subtract

The New York Times editorial page comes out today in favor of our having smart, qualified teachers. And for having the United States government get 'em for us.
Failing to Teach in High School

The national math and reading scores that were released last week came at just the right time for Congress, which is about to reauthorize the Higher Education Act and talking yet again about the neglected but crucial issue of how to improve teachers' training. The message of the new scores is that education reform will fail unless the country gets enough qualified teachers to staff the middle and high schools, which have been stubbornly resistant to the reforms that are clearly taking hold in the early
grades. (
I'll leave aside any mention of the fact that the Times staff considers - seemingly - the Higher Education Act to have been a failure so far ("education reform will fail unless ...") but wants it reauthorized anyway. And I'll avoid the usual mention of the fact that the federal government is about as adroit at getting qualified teachers into the Bland County, Virginia public schools as it is at getting a space shuttle off the ground.

I'll simply say that, if they want teachers to be able to teach, they might start with giving them the proper tools. In New York City.

This information comes from Andrea Peyser, writing for another New York paper, the Post.

STRUGGLING public-school students are facing a new threat to their education - math teachers are using a summer-school manual riddled with laughable errors.

The brand-new education tome - purchased with your tax dollars - is meant to help failing second-and third-grade students avoid getting left back. Instead, the kids face a book in which answers to simple questions are completely wrong.

It's a "disaster waiting to happen," said one concerned education source. (link)
If I may butcher a quotation from a famous American: It doesn't take a village - or the federal government - to teach our children. It simply takes a committed local school system that is dedicated to educating their charges and to providing the best possible tools to the most qualified teachers available.

No government bureaucracy is going to do that.