Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Out On A Limb 

I think it is more likely than not that the US will be at war with Iran by Election Day. I have no idea what will precipitate hostilities, if in fact war occurs--it might be something that Iran does, that Israel does or that the US does, or perhaps some other actor will be involved. It also might be some unintentional act that is misinterpreted or that prompts a military response under the rules of engagement then in effect for any party.

I don't want this to happen, because among other things I think it could lead to a much larger conflict much as the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo precipitated WWI.

On a related note, the news that Israel will not notify the US of any decision by its government to strike Iran suggests that Israel does not trust the US with that information, and that they fear that someone in the Obama Administration will warn Iran of an impending attack. The reason given by Israel--to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel's potential attack--is plausible, but I think it's a smokescreen to allow the US to save face.

I hope I'm wrong, but we shall see.

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Zombie Keystone 

The Hill reports the Obama administration is saying that the Keystone XL pipeline, famously vetoed by the Prez through his minions at State, could still happen.

I'll believe it when I see it. Based on past performance, I predict that the Obamans will talk a great game but nothing substantive will get done until after the November election, and then if Obama wins ... BOHICA.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Education in America: Two Stories 

Both of these stories courtesy of Instapundit, who provided the links.

The first involves that LA school where two of the teachers were recently arrested for despicable acts of sexual abuse perpetrated on very young students. Mark Berndt allegedly fed his students his semen, blindfolded them and placed cockroaches on their hands and faces--his students being kids between the ages of 6 and 10--and had been the subject of prior complaints by parents.going back to at least 2008 Martin Bernard Springer taught second grade and is accused of fondling two girls, both about 7 years old.The principal of another LAUSD school sent home a message with her students that contained this astounding paragraph:
As I reflect on the disturbing occurrences at Miramonte, I am more confused over the fact that the children did not report. How is it that the children did not believe that what the teacher was doing to them was wrong? How could being blindfolded, placed in a closet, and having cockroaches placed on them not be wrong? I believe that the teachers involved in these heinous acts preyed on the most vulnerable of the children; children of poverty, children of abuse, children with uninvolved parents, and children of undocumented parents.
 Just to make it clear what the author of the piece--and I--find so egregious, I've highlighted the offending words. This principal is blaming the students and their parents for allowing these acts to occur.

The other story is about rampant nannyism in North Carolina. There, a preschooler's homemade lunch consisting of a turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, apple juice and chips was trashed and the little girl was given a cafeteria lunch consisting of (referencing the photo in the linked article) five chicken nuggets, a muffin of some kind, raw vegetables with some kind of white dressing, corn, chocolate milk (can't determine whether it's reduced fat) and a slice of watermelon. According to the story, the child ate three of the chicken nuggets and the rest of the lunch was trashed.

Now, putting aside the issue of whether it's a proper function of the federal government to micromanage the content of school lunches, it seems to me at first glance that the federally-approved lunch was way too much food for a pre-K kid. Not good in this time of a national obesity epidemic. Tsk, tsk. The more important issue in my mind is what right does the government have, absent criminal abuse, to interfere with the relationship between this little girl and her mother, whether on the subject of school lunches or anything else? This is overreach of the most egregious kind, and a waste of taxpayer money to boot.

And the educational establishment wonders why more and more people are opting for home-schooling or private schools?

I fear we're getting closer and closer to "torches and pitchforks", but it won't be against Wall Street.

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