Monday, May 27, 2002

I SWEAR I'M NOT MAKING THIS UP:
From a news teaser on TV just a few minutes ago:

"Want to know what the rest of your morning will be like? Weather forecast at noon."

Saturday, May 25, 2002

PUBLIK EDUCASHUN II....
Those who know me know my views about the Gateway Test. For those who don't know me or who tuned in late, I have a problem with a test that is the SOLE criterion on whether a student goes on to the next grade. The law of unintended consequences kicks in: Teachers will start teaching how to pass the test, and more subtle yet also essential aspects of education will be bypassed. The Gwinnett County School Board lightened the standards the first year it came out, to keep the outrage to a minimum in case there was a parents' revolt.

The latest news reports on the Gateway Test are not encouraging:
http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/epaper/editions/saturday/gwinnett_c3fe505a2305104800a4.html

Of course, we voted on the public school system by putting our children in private school this year. But getting a good education is one of our least concerns with the Gwinnett School System. My oldest would have been in Duluth Middle School, and then eventually at Duluth High School:

Atlanta-Journal Constitution, May 24, 2002: Teens Charged With Sexual Assault At Party
http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/metro/0502/24partycrime.html

This isn't the kind of culture I want to deal with. Can you believe I have friends who think I should have my children in public schools so they can be exposed to this? As if school was a training ground for building sexual mores. I don't think so. As a parent, I want to be in control of my children through high school. I can limit the amount of television my children watch. I can limit and monitor their computer usage, and I have a say on who they choose to be their friends. That's called responsible mentoring. To turn my back on this role is to put them in a social vacuum where they have to discover their own morals and high ideas. Where you get situations like The Lost Children of Rockdale County.

Thursday, May 23, 2002

LESSONS IN GULLIBILITY, PART II:
An interesting article by Robert Novak covers what we DO know about Cuba's biological warfare program:

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20020523.shtml

And this is the last I'm going to say about Cuba (and Carter) for a while.

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

I DO HAVE THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT!
Really. But I've just moved and I'm swamped at work - getting in too many hours here.

Someday....someday......

Wednesday, May 15, 2002

I FINALLY GET TO WRITE ABOUT NEAL:
Last week the Atlanta Jewish Times featured an article on Atlanta’s premier talk show host: “Neal Boortz: Does He Really Get It?” In the issue, the article waxes incredulous that Boortz would actually take the trouble to defend Israel in the Middle East conflict. The author, Jill Jordan Sieder, cites numerous other radio hosts and their questionable loyalty to Israel’s Palestinian question.

Neal Boortz himself seems bemused by the attention:

[It’s] interesting how some Rabbis just couldn't stand the very thought that I wasn't actually siding with the Palestinians me being so full of hate and all…And by the way, can someone [tell] me why I would be such an unlikely champion of Israel? Am I supposed to be anti-Israel or anti-Semitic just because I'm not a left winger?
I personally found the article poorly titled, and revealing of the liberal bias that has permeated the magazine. A better title might be, “Liberal Jews Stunned by Conservative Support: Do They Really Get It?” The fact is, historically, conservatives have always been supportive of Israel and its need for self-determination. [Point of clarification: Neal Boortz is a libertarian - which is not-too-far-off the conservative beaten path.]

Just look at the media coverage on Palestinian war crimes. Hello, nonexistent. Where were the protests when Palestinians stormed the Church of the Nativity and took the clerics inside hostage? Why is the outrage – so prevalent when IDF troops stormed Jenin and carried out a “massacre” (which turned out to be exaggerated to the point of deliberate fabrication) – muted when yet another suicide bomber strikes Israel? Where are the howls of outrage over anti-Semitic activities in Europe?

The answer is, if the Jews want to find American media support, they have only to look at the conservative magazines and websites. Reporters there dug beneath the CAIR and PA press releases and found out that – surprise! – the Israelis are not bent on Palestinian destruction. (On the other hand, numerous examples can be found of Palestinians lusting to kill Jews and push the country of Israel into the sea.)

Back to my point – why don’t American Jews get it? Why do 4 out of 5 Jews support Democratic candidates, when Democrats have an obvious lack of sympathy for Israel? On the flip side, a strong majority of conservative Christians overwhelmingly support Israel’s right to exist and defend itself.

American Jews need to realize who their friends are. Like Neal Boortz.

Tuesday, May 14, 2002

LESSONS IN GULLIBILITY, PART I:
Carter is accusing the Bush Administration of "undermining his trip" to Cuba by accusing Havana of developing weapons of mass destruction. According to AP dispatches, John Bolton, U.S. undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, charged a week ago that Cuba was working to develop biological weapons and had shared such technology with other rogue states. But Carter, shewd detector of bioterror technology that he is, personally toured a research facility to see for himself. From the Houston Chronicle:

Dr. Luis Herrera, who runs the lab, told Carter that Cuba has 38 biotechnology projects in 14 nations, including China, Russia, Iran and the United Kingdom.

"And you have no plans for agreements with Libya or Iraq?" Carter asked.

"No," Herrera said.
Ah ha. Another Right Wing Conspiracy Plot exposed. Carter, with Perry Mason-like mendacity, gets to the heart of the matter. Yes, one lab visit, a few questions, and a serious researched accusation by a major superpower is all cleared up. Thanks, Jimmy.
AND I THOUGHT I WAS HARD ON JC:
The Washington Times weighs in on Carter's visit to Cuba:

http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20020514-30736408.htm

It's a pretty harsh indictment.

Monday, May 13, 2002

GEORGIA'S CONTRIBUTION TO THE AMERICAN PRESIDENCY (sigh)
Oh, goody – Ex-president Jimmy Carter is in Cuba this week, giving ol' Castro the what-for. Yeah, right.

Carter was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts in the Camp David accords back in 1979. Never mind that Sadat and Begin had the peace deal worked out before they ever bothered to call Washington. And peace has sure broken out all over the region since then, hasn’t it?

He is supposed to be a “human-rights crusader” (his quotes, not mine), yet he seems to have a funny idea of what “human-rights” really are. Mr. Carter, call Amnesty International. Better yet, check out Jay Nordlinger’s article in the May 20, 2002 issue of National Review, which quotes a 1994 The New Republic piece:

While in office, Carter hailed Tito as “a man who believes in human rights.” He said of Ceausescu and himself, “Our goals are the same: to have a just system of economics and politics…We believe in enhancing human rights.” Since leaving office, Carter has praised Syria’s late Assad (killer of at least 20,000 in Hama) and the Ethiopian tyrant Mengistu (killer of many more than that). In Haiti, he told the dictator C├ędras that he was “ashamed of what my country has done to your country.”

While in North Korea, Carter lauded Kim Il Sung, one of the most complete and destructive dictators in history. Said Carter, “I find him to be vigorous, intelligent, … and in charge of the decisions about this country (well, he was absolute ruler). He said, “I don’t see that they [the North Koreans] are an outlaw nation.”
Carter has praised Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega, and was downright bitter when the Sandinistas lost power in 1990.

The bottom line is that there is little hope for those yearning for freedom in Cuba will see any positive moves from Carter. Especially with Fidel Castro. The old Cuban dictator is apparently a charmer, and I’m skeptical that Carter will make any further headway than anyone else has. More likely that Castro will massage Carter’s ego, make lame assurances that peace is and prosperity will forever be a part of the Cuban people, and prove Carter to be an even bigger fool than since he stumbled into the White House.

Free Cuba activists still hope, however, that Carter will say something about the Varela Project, which is a petition drive in Cuba to force a referendum on whether the current government should continue. This was the means by which Chileans got rid of Pinochet in the 1980s. The petition – a legal and Constitutional mechanism, by the way - has more than the required number of signatures, but Castro regime is harassing those who signed and failing to follow its own law. Carter could put out some strong words – given his history of election monitoring – and possibly unblock the holdup and get things rolling for a shakeup in Cuba.

I’m pessimistic that anything positive will in fact come out of Carter’s trip this week. But anything can happen.

Tuesday, May 07, 2002

PUBLIK EDUCASHUN I....
Taking a quick lunch break....I received this link from a friend:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,52076,00.html
Apparently more and more parents are taking their children out of public schools. Of course, I'm one of those parents.

Gwinnett County schools, once the hallmark of Georgia Public education (such as it is), have been going downhill even faster in the past year alone, in my opinion.

My daughters are both going to a Christian School now. The odd thing is, if you took out chapel and the daily bible class, I believe that you would have only a marginally improved environment than the one I went through at my old high school in the 1970's. (I didn't know a whole lot of Christian School people back then, so it's kind of hard for me to compare....)

Sunday, May 05, 2002

WHAT IS ALL THIS BLOGGING STUFF, ANYWAY?
John Leo of US News and World Report has published a great column on blogging - Click Here to check it out.
IT'S.....EVEN LATER!
Sigh. After such auspicious beginnings, I'm just swamped - new work assignment, still cleaning up another assignment, and home chores have all added up to very little time to play here. I hope to get a handle on things soon. I'm also working on my website and hope to get it in a presentable format soon as well. We shall see...!