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

Monday, March 27, 2006

Why Rick Boucher Should Be Very Afraid

Not Larry Sabato has some startling statistics (here) and (here) about the growth of the Republican Party in Southwest Virginia. Along with the stats comes this spot-on analysis:
The further out from Roanoke and Virginia Tech you get, the less competitive Democrats are looking in the future.
It has always struck me as out-of-place if not out-of-touch that, while the majority of citizens here in the area focus on declining job and career opportunities and widespread economic desolation, the editorialists at the Roanoke Times and the learned beings on the Virginia Tech campus seem more interested in protecting forests and growing the government and ... George Bush.

The Democratic Party has ruled Southwest Virginia since the beginning of time. And the results of the party's efforts are to be seen everywhere. The landscape is littered with abandoned factories, large swaths of the population subsist in substandard living conditions, and every economic indicator is pointing toward even harder times ahead. We have endured a plethora of broken promises and failed revitalization schemes from our politicians. The people of Southwest Virginia are looking at those leaders who brought us to this point and are saying to them, "Enough is enough."

We must look to a new set of leaders who have Southwest Virginia's interests at heart (hear those footsteps behind you, Senator Puckett?) and who come to the electorate with new ideas; workable plans that will make for a better future for our children and grandchildren.

This Seems So Obvious ...

Where in the Constitution can one find protections for foreign terrorists? I keep reading through it but I've not found the passage yet. And based on comments from Justice Antonin Scalia, I won't be finding one:

No Legal Rights for Enemy Combatants, Scalia Says
'War Is War,' Justice Tells Audience
Associated Press

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia reportedly told an overseas audience this month that the Constitution does not protect foreigners held at the U.S. military prison at
Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them [sic] a jury trial in your civil courts," Newsweek quoted Scalia as saying. "Give me a break."(link)

Give me a break indeed.

Funding = Education?

I've never understood how a group of students can sit in classes day after day for eight years and - in the end - not be able to read. Or do basic math. And yet it's happening. Worse yet, taxpayers are paying dearly for this non-education. Here's the latest discouraging news out of Washington DC:

D.C.'s Distinction: $16,344 Per Student, But Only 12% Read Proficiently
Human Events

The District of Columbia spends far more money per student in its public elementary and secondary schools each year than the tuition costs at many private elementary schools, or even college-preparatory secondary schools. Yet, District 8th-graders ranked dead last in 2005 in national reading and math tests.

D.C.'s public elementary and secondary schools spent a total of $16,334 per student in the 2002-2003 school year, according to a Department of Education study. That compares to the $10,520 tuition at St. John's College High School, a District Catholic school that sends almost all its graduates to four-year colleges.

Last year, however, only 12% of 8th-graders in the District's public schools scored at grade-level proficiency or better in reading in the federal National Assessment of Educational Progress tests that were administered in the District and all 50 states. Only 7% of the District's public-school 8th-graders scored grade-level proficiency or better in math. (link)

And the problem is not localized to DC:

Not one U.S. state can boast that a majority of the 8th-graders in its public schools last year had achieved grade-level proficiency or better in either reading or math.
Not one.

This is why I came to the conclusion a few years ago that all schools should be privately run. Close the public schools. They have failed us and our children utterly and disgracefully.

My Hair Hurts

The cover story in Time magazine this week:
Be worried, be very worried
The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame

No one can say exactly what it looks like when a planet takes ill, but it probably looks a lot like Earth.

Never mind what you've heard about global warming as a slow-motion emergency that would take decades to play out. Suddenly and unexpectedly, the crisis is upon us. (link)
Then I read this headline in the Palm Beach Post:
Record low temperatures at PBIA
By Jennifer Sorentrue, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday morning's low of 47 degrees at Palm Beach International Airport, recorded at 6:36 a.m., was the coolest on record, according to the National Weather Service in Miami.

Sunday morning's temperature was about 16 degrees cooler than normal for this time of year, forecasters said. (link)
There will be global warming adherents out there who will say, "You can't take an isolated incident or two and draw any definitive conclusions from them." No? Read the hysteria-mongering in the Time article.