Wednesday, December 26, 2007
It seems that our esteemed Governor has decided to set up a “Commission” to study the devastating contributions to “global warming” we in the Commonwealth are making. I heard of using the “rainy day” fund, but this is ridiculous! Seriously, though, I wouldn’t put it past the Dems to call this a legitimate form of “Transportation spending” (after all, to study climate, right?) Then, gee whiz, the study will show that all those roads we need in Northern Virginia will cause global warming, so the extra fees will just have to go into rail projects or grants to some (politically favored) environmental groups. So I guess not all the lane miles of roads will get built. Well, unless we agree to another tax hike . . .
Right-Wing Liberal rips the Commission up here. Speaker Howell, are you listening? Senator Ken, do you know about this? Well, you will hear from one of your constituents in a few minutes, anyway!
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Whatever you think of the Washington Times, they run a great “Civil War” page each week. This week, the subject was Abraham Lincoln and his personal finances. Lincoln was evidently a pretty good saver (despite his wife’s alleged extravagant spending), because at his death, Lincoln’s estate was valued at over $80,000 (and a total of about $110,000 was distributed to Lincoln’s widow and two surviving sons a couple of years later).
The topic of taxes also came up in this article. Evidently, an income tax was levied to help fund the Civil War. It is possible that this same tax was declared unconstitutional, which is why we have the 16th Amendment instead. The passage from the article is quite interesting:
To help fund the war, Congress passed legislation that pegged interest rates on bonds at 6 percent. Treasury notes, which paid 7.3 percent, were referred to as seven-thirties. In addition, Congress passed the Revenue Act, imposing the first income tax, then called an "income duty," on Americans.
As of Sept. 1, 1862, income became taxable at the rate of 3 percent for amounts greater than $600 and up to $10,000, 5 percent for income greater than $10,000, 1½ percent for interest income, and 5 percent for all property of any kind. In June 1864, the rate of tax for income greater than $600 increased to 5 percent. The pro-tax New York Herald had this to say on Sept. 1, 1862, the day the national tax began:
"To-day begins a new era of this country. Beyond a few local and state taxes, which were felt by none but owners of real estate, this country has never been taxed before. We have jogged along quietly and comfortably, and have amused ourselves greatly by laughing at the over taxed people of England, where a man is taxed from the cradle to the grave; where light, heat and water are taxed, and where not only
every rich man, but even the poorest peasant, is obliged to pay largely for the
privilege of existence and the blessings of bad government. ...
"We could have wished, however, that this necessary tax should be more equally
imposed than at present, and that the Eastern manufacturers and the Western farmers had been compelled to bear an equal share of the burden with the people
of the other States, instead of being almost entirely exempt, and leaving the
commercial people of the Middle States to pay an unfair proportion of the debt.
"The effect of the tax will be to deepen public sentiment. The people will be less ready to excuse the mistakes of our government and our generals. ... The war will be better conducted, for every man, having to pay his money towards carrying on the war, will insist and assist that it shall be properly prosecuted and speedily and gloriously concluded."
Years later, when it was determined that the tax did not apply to the president or
Supreme Court justices, Lincoln's executor filed a claim that resulted in a $3,555.94 refund check paid in 1872 to Lincoln's heirs.
Of course, this was before the days of widespread government dependency. Still, it is interesting to note how some issues do not change over time. And what’s this about the President being exempted from the income tax?
Friday, December 21, 2007
Hat tip: Ace
Toshiba builds micro nuclear reactor.
The 200 kilowatt Toshiba designed reactor is engineered to be fail-safe and totally automatic and will not overheat. Unlike traditional nuclear reactors the new micro reactor uses no control rods to initiate the reaction. The new revolutionary technology uses reservoirs of liquid lithium-6, an isotope that is effective at absorbing neutrons. The Lithium-6 reservoirs are connected to a vertical tube that fits into the reactor core. The whole whole process is self sustaining and can last for up to 40 years, producing electricity for only 5 cents per kilowatt hour, about half the cost of grid energy.
The down side is, that's still not enough to meet Al Gore's home energy needs.
See Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee Blog post here.
Now what gets me is that I tend to see scientists trending in the "skeptical" direction, not the other way around.
Czech Republic: Czech-born U.S. climatologist Dr. George Kukla, a research scientist with the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, expressed climate skepticism in 2007. “The only thing to worry about is the damage that can be done by worrying. Why are some scientists worried? Perhaps because they feel that to stop worrying may mean to stop being paid,” Kukla told Gelf Magazine on April 24, 2007.
Now that is what I call a "money" quote!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Hat tip: Ace
What better way to kick off the holiday than to link an article about "Green Hanukkia Campaign Sparks Ire." Yes, a bunch of crazed Israeli environmentalists want all Jews to light one less Hanukkah candle to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions.
For those of you who aren't familiar, on Hanukkah, Jews light an increasing number of candles on each night of Hanukkah. There is also a "Shamash" candle that is used to light the rest. So basically, one candle is lit on the first night (plus the Shamash), and it increases to eight (plus the Shamash) by the last night of the holiday. So the total number of candles lit is 45. So these green whack jobs want to light 37 instead?
Here's what some rabbis had to say, according to the article:
"The environmentalists should think about how much pollution is caused by one solitary diesel truck on the road," Ze'ev said. "They should be fighting the trucks instead of Judaism. This is so trivial, so anti-Jewish and so anti-religious that even the worst anti-Semites couldn't think of it. Just like the Helenists, they are trying to extinguish the flames of the Jewish soul."
United Torah Judaism MK Avraham Ravitz called the environmentalists "crazy people who are playing with the minds of innocent Jewish people." He said the campaign would only convince people who do not light candles anyway.
Note: MK = Member of Knesset, the Israeli Parliament
The Hellenist comparison is apt. Clearly, these anti-religious nuts have lost the true meaning of the holiday, and are picking a different deity (Gaia? Appropriately Greek!) of their own.
Somehow I think the "Hellenists" aren't exactly shomer Shabbat (keeping Sabbath). Why don't these idiots just sit a couple of extra hours in the dark?
Sunday, December 02, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
A hidden development in the new Maryland tax hike legislation has just been discovered. Along with hikes in sales, income, corporate, vehicle titling, and computer service taxes, the Maryland General Assembly authorized a Constitutional Amendment authorizing slot machines at certain locations. We at Isophorone Blog have since learned that the legislation also allows houses of ill-repute in the State.
According to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, this measure will help the City of Baltimore (of which he was Mayor until recently) counteract its high homicide rate. “I feel truly that I have progressed from being Mayor of Baltimore to being Governor of Baltimore,” said O’Malley. Maryland Senate President Mike Miller added “No one will be able to tell the difference between these businesses and the way we’ve been operating in Annapolis for years.”
The General Assembly was reluctant to consider adding this legislation, but strong lobbying by former Governor Parris Glendening changed that. “Now that I am no longer a Professor at the University of Maryland,” said the former Governor,” I need to conduct my political and sociological studies elsewhere. And please don’t tell my wife what I am doing. Three marriages is enough.”
The general plan is to have facilities of differing types, including budget accommodations in the actual Pimlico racetrack horse stalls for those who cannot afford anything else. Locations in Baltimore City and Prince Georges County (convenient to Congress in DC) will probably be used. Still under negotiation is one in Montgomery County. County Executive Ike Leggett says he is generally favorable, but “Duchy Trachtenberg wants to make sure transgendered people are catered to here, and I can’t get approval otherwise.”
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Have safe travels, great meals, family harmony, and so on. We plan to spend time with my parents and in-laws.
Then there are the weekend chores. The leaves are getting ahead of my ability to collect them all again. Well, I just tried to fix my weed trimmer/leafblower/vacuum engine (throttle cable was broken, plus the gas tank leaked), so we'll see if the beast works now. (In case you are wondering, yes, my unit has a four-cycle engine.)
Oh, yeah, and it's my 11th wedding anniversary this weekend also.
Be well, everyone!
A recent Washington Post article says that OPEC plans to fund climate change research to the tune of $750 million. Now I look at this kind of news and scratch my head. But let’s think about this. After all, as we know from watching the “climate change” debate, there’s a lot of “follow the money” going on around here. So I have to come up with all kinds of non-mutually exclusive possibilities:
1) Researchers are looking for another gravy train funding source outside of U.S. and European governments,
2) OPEC fears that expensive oil will make a competing energy technology competitive, and eventually cheaper,
3) OPEC wants to get ahead of the game and control the debate somehow,
4) Natural gas supplies owned by OPEC countries could be made that much more valuable as a “low carbon” energy source,
5) Middle Eastern potentates actually do want to diversify their economies before they become a bunch of date farmers again, and/or
6) Fill in your own cynical answer.
Now I am greatly skeptical about the theories of anthropogenic global warming, but I have to say that watching some of these guys squirm makes me chuckle. Nothing like good old American ingenuity (if some of the green groups would get the heck out of the way), is there?
Monday, November 19, 2007
So do you all remember former California Governor Gray(out) Davis? You know, the one who became the first State Governor to be recalled by the voters in something like 70 years? Well, he is learning how real people live, and had the following to say:
"There's an awful lot to be said about not being in the bubble. In the bubble, your world is aides and speeches, and you're not living a real life, and it's very hard to understand how real people feel about things. I've yet to find a single person, from a busboy to a janitor to a middle manager to a partner in a law firm to a CEO, who wants to give Sacramento disposable income. Not one human being."
Simply profound. And just in time for his 65th birthday. Better late than never, I guess!
Friday, November 16, 2007
Inspired by the light prison sentences given to celebrities such as Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan, Hollywood defense attorneys are rapidly adopting “nanotechnology” to help reduce potential sentences even more. Many scientists use nanotechnology to produce particles that are about one billionth of a meter, also called a nanometer. Such products are used in a variety of products and services from windows to sunscreen to environmental cleanup.
The environmental cleanup angle is what got green-sensitive Hollywood interested in new applications of “nano.” According to famed Harvard Law Professor Lawrence Tribe, even criminal sentences for drug abuse, repeat drunk driving arrests, and other crimes that would land an ordinary citizen in jail for a long time can be given “nano scale” to Hollywood celebrities. The ultimate goal is the “nanofelony.” Since a felony is at least a year in jail, a “nanofelony is 0.0315 seconds, or one billionth of a year (0.0316 seconds during leap year).” According to actor Leonardo diCaprio, “this shows that those of us in show business understand high technology the same way we understand the science behind global climate.”
It is also possible that these advances will inspire the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to create an award for legal defense. Based on diCaprio’s comment, “if Al Gore can receive an Oscar, anything is possible.”
The campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton is working hard behind the scenes to line up Hollywood support by making quiet promises of appointing judges who believe in nanosentencing. The Hillary! Campaign is working hard to counter possible inroads into Hollywood support by the campaign of former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. It is believed that Sen. Clinton does have an advantage, since under her husband’s administration, Attorney General Janet Reno employed an early version of “nanoprosecution” of crimes committed by many Clinton supporters.
Major sports figures are very interested in this concept as well. Lawyers for Barry Bonds are believed to be negotiating a “nanomarathon” plea deal. Since a marathon is 26 miles, 385 yards, a “nanomarathon” is 0.0422 millimeters. Combined with a “nanofelony,” this becomes 1.34 mm/second, or about 15.8 feet/hour “hard running.” While even many left-wing law professors think this is reasonable, prosecutors still fear litigation from the American Civil Liberties Union on the grounds of “cruel and unusual punishment.”
Coincidentally, a lawyer formerly associated with O.J. Simpson’s defense team was heard to mutter, “Why didn’t we think of that?”
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 09, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
Mason Conservative has the story of how Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly (D-Schoolyard Bully) lost his temper, and maybe more at a recent NAACP candidate forum. Republican Commonwealth’s Attorney candidate Patrick McDade was speaking to the group when Connolly . . .
jumped up and screamed "I'm speaking for Ray Morrogh [the Democrat candidate]!" Connolly then cannonballed to the moderators and grabbed the mic despite the hoots and pleas of the audience. Patrick then spoke up and said something to the effect that Morrogh had his chance to respond and he chose not to attend the event. At this point, Boss
TweedConnolly apparently shouted at the top of his lungs, "Sit down, this is none of your business. Sit down." Patrick then said that it was his business, since Morrogh was his opponent. Gerry responded, "You sit down! You don't run the NAACP! This is none of your business!" He then apparently started a rambling and factually incorrect (shocker!) speech for Ray Ray. And apparently, while Connolly blathered on, people filed out until there was only about a dozen left when Gerry finished. Connolly was scheduled to give the dinner address but bailed. Rumor was he was asked not to speak.
Do we need any more proof that the Democrats take the black vote for granted? I mean, how can anyone act this way in front of any constituent group and expect to make a good impression? Does Connolly think the people at NAACP are stupid? You Democrats keep it up, and we'll peel off another five to ten percent of the black vote in every election.
For those of you from out of town, you should know that Gerry Connolly is
Now Gerry Connolly advertises proudly on the highway signs about how Ray Morrogh is a part of his “public safety team.” With that kind of approach, it’s no wonder we need the Second Amendment!
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Chinese authorities, already stung by the recall of lunch bags, are now being forced to recall certain fortune cookies. According to sources, the cookies contain lead on the print used in the paper fortune that is folded into the cookie. The Chinese themselves claim that the lead is only used on fortunes in which the Chinese word for “lead” (when it means the metal and pronounced LED, not when it is pronounced LEED) is defined for the customer and nowhere else. However, Greenpeace charges that the paper itself also “contains dioxins.”
Federal authorities are investigating other potential contaminated cookie batches. One unnamed source said cookies that had “lucky” numbers in the unordered sequence “12-5-1-4” had lead contamination. No actual contaminated cookie dough has yet been found, but more data have yet to be “crunched.”
Human rights activists suspect a more sinister motive in the sudden Chinese authority cooperation. It is suspected that Communist authorities are using the incident to crack down on dissidents. Rumors have been circulating on Chinese human rights activist websites that, in fact, the Chinese government uses prison laborers in unsafe conditions to make many of the cookies, and some of the “fortunes” were really coded messages being spirited out to reveal the names of those “being held prisoner in a Chinese fortune cookie factory.”
Political repercussions are appearing in American politics as well. Some are accusing Democratic hopeful Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) of accepting large contributions from American-based relatives of the Chinese Fortune Cookie Proletariat, many of whom barely speak English and work in low-paying bakery operations in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Connections to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) are also being investigated. One FBI official who asked not to be identified speculated that “you never know whose fingerprints you may find when you ‘dust’ these places. These investigations are not going to ‘fold’ quickly.” Left-wing blog supporters of Hillary are denying any past consumption of the fortune cookies, saying instead that they have always preferred “fresh Twinkies.”
Ironically, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) was also disappointed with the fortune cookie recall. “I’ve been eating this brand of cookies for four year, and I’ve always found them to be mentally stimulating,” said the Democratic hopeful. “Besides, those fortunes were great sources for a lot of my campaign speeches.” Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE) cautioned Obama on making such a statement, citing his own bitter experience with plagiarism. “He who copy fortune cookie finds campaign crumbled,” Biden allegedly said.
Friday, November 02, 2007
First, you write
REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE (or officeholder) PICKS WINGS OFF FLIES in BIG BOLD FONT
Make sure you use a PROFANITY or two or six.
Next, cite an anonymous e-mail source, preferably in italics.
Express sympathy for POOR, HURT DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE.
Forget to bring camera when photographic evidence would be easy to procure. Ironic when you are the type to stake a reputation on a “Macaca moment.”
Remember not to be caught in the hypocrisy of accusing the Republican candidate of something false, but making excuses for a Democratic Congressman’s unethical and bigoted behavior.
UPDATE 1: Upon further investigation, nothing was there. Witness directly disputes your account. Do not strikeout anything in the original blog post entry.
UPDATE 2: Find another irrelevant way to spin story for Democratic candidate.
UPDATE 3: Juxtapose any false discussion of illegal or unethical behavior with another post praising Hillary Clinton.
UPDATE 4: You find the laws you were trying to cite are also not relevant, are vague, and are certainly misinterpreted by you.
UPDATE 5: Encourage hateful comments by friends.
UPDATE 6: Join Joey for a healthy snack.
UPDATE 7: Threaten the family or employment of any conservative blogger who makes fun of you.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Iraqi Army at Besmaya Installation Support San Diego Fire Victims
See? And they didn't even specify that none of the money could go to the Code Pinkos (who had sent aid to the terrorists).
Hat Tip: Ace of Spades
Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe fell for a ruse in which a con artist claimed to be able to strike a stick and get refined diesel fuel from a rock.
Jeez, if he didn't destroy his own agricultural sector maybe he could have gotten biodiesel!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Critics say the efforts are misguided, particularly in inner-city neighborhoods where affordable food may be the biggest concern of some families, and where a safe place to play and exercise is more important than new restaurants.
“Dictating to other groups of people what they should eat or want to eat is about the most patronizing kind of activity I can imagine,” says Barry Glassner, professor of sociology at the University of Southern California, whose campus is located in South L.A.
I would note that I sometimes read the commentary of "Jack Dunphy," the pseudonym of a police officer who writes commentary for National Review Online. Dunphy often points out the counterproductive efforts of the LA City Council and Mayor, and how these efforts do little to thwart crime. Guess who are the biggest victims? The very poor whom the lefty politicians are trying to "save."
Now if the city would get SERIOUS about crime (instead of "sanctuary" policies and other forms of political correctness), then maybe restaurants that serve healthier fare would open up in more areas of the city. Maybe more families would feel safer moving into the city to send their kids to the schools. And it can be done with a reduced tax bill.
Say, why don't these entrenched politicians invest in a healthy food restaurant themselves. With so little alleged competition, they should make a fortune! Maybe the mayor wants to be a cashier (without a gun to defend himself)?
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
For more than $4,000 per month, can’t they rent the kid’s family an apartment near the school and save on gas? Better yet, why not give the kid a voucher and a choice of where he wants to go (with transportation up to him or her)? With any luck they are also teaching the kid about "global warming."
Imagine all those mean anti-education Republicans who would want to cut such a necessary program!
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Friday, October 05, 2007
Shallow NYC personals ad, and response.
I thought it was funny, anyway (as much as economics is funny).
UPDATE: Article on $1,000 pizzas and other extravagant New York purchases. For the young woman in question, one of the videos discusses a matchmaker whose clients are rich guys.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Well, I did watch the debate between Senator Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) and his Democratic opponent, Janet Oleszek. It’s pretty clear that Ken gave straightforward answers, while Janet just ducked, bobbed, weaved, evaded, etc. Mostly, she wasted time by having to have questions asked repeatedly. I swear, she was so Clintonesque that I’m tempted to ask her about her interns!
First of all, big kudos to Chris for getting honorable mention on the debate. No one can argue with your facts, that’s for sure. Second of all, Janet Oleszek once again gives us all a “lesson” in what happens when you are poorly prepared for your assignment. Guess what, you just don’t do well. You would think that someone who is on the School Board would know that. Now we know why Janet so strenuously objected to filming the last debate!
It was interesting to us how she shifted her position on immigration ONCE AGAIN. This time, she supported giving sheriffs ICE authority. The first time I heard her, she only mentioned jailers, and seemed to characterize any increased immigration authority as a “slippery slope” for which she had religious objections. Then, last week, she talked about penalizing businesses that hire illegals. Can she give a clear, rather than piecemeal message?
What was amazing was in the last part of the debate how Janet simply ignored Ken’s questions and just shifted the debate from transportation to education. Now I’ve seen non-sequiturs before, but now we’ll have a new term: Oleszequiturs! LOL I guess you can say that Janet’s the kind of “quitur” who never wins? I know, painful!
Ken seemed to have to debate two people, Janet and one of the moderators (George Burke). This Burke was a clear partisan who was trying to lead Janet along as much as possible. Well, Janet’s sniping little Yorkie, er, Jonathan, was not along to hold her answer cards for her.
I showed clips of the debate to my wife (who is not very politically active). Her response? “Janet is not very smart.” “Ken is much better educated than she is.”
One more question: Is it just me, or did anyone else notice how Janet’s voice seemed to go up in pitch every time she was in full evasion mode?
Saturday, September 29, 2007
By “Hoot” and “Holler”
Hat tip to Bwana and Chris
We have seen the most incredible metamorphosis by Janet (the “Hoot,” as Bwana calls her) Oleszek, a member of the Fairfax County School Board and Democratic challenger to Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37). Maybe listening to her barking poodle, Jonathan Murray (whom I shall have to call “Holler” just to go along with “Hoot”) is scrambling her already dysfunctional brain.
A couple of days ago, I posted an account of Janet’s presentation to the Men’s Club of Congregation Adat Reyim. At that time (Sunday, September 23), she said the following about her positions on illegal immigration:
- She agreed with Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerry Connolly
- Threats of increased crime and threats to the educational system were more perception than reality
- She supported giving ICE power to jailers, but not to go into communities looking for illegal alien problems (such as, we presume, to look for problems caused by overcrowded houses, poor sanitary conditions, and other safety hazards).
- She stated religious objections to going beyond increasing power of jailers.
- She took no position on expanding 287(g) authority, but characterized it as a “slippery slope.”
- She had no response on what public services should or should not be made available, but again hid behind religious objections.
Interestingly, other congregants voiced their interest in Janet’s views of illegal immigration at that time.
Now let’s fast forward just TWO DAYS to a debate she had with Senator Ken Cuccinelli. Maybe her little puppy “Holler” wrote some brief crib notes for her, because she said things that were quite different from what she told the Adat Reyim audience. Here is Chris’s account:
Janet was up and surprised many by how good she was here. Her focus was penalizing businesses, who fuel illegal immigration--something I wholeheartedly agree with. She mentioned support of ICE for police and jailers to deal with criminals already in the system for deportation. Very good! The moderator then asks Janet how she would punish businesses, at which she said "I DON'T HAVE ANY SPECIFICS." My god lady, make something up! That is what I screaming in my head. She said that legislative services had plenty of ideas.
So what’s going on here? She changed her tone in just TWO DAYS, and her debate remarks were made SIX WEEKS before the election. Has she been so tone deaf that she has had no idea that this might be an important issue, or has “Holler” the lap dog been telling her that the “D” by her name would carry it for her? Has she not even been thinking about the issue? In any case, it is only logical that she gives a response like “I DON’T HAVE ANY SPECIFICS,” because, in truth, she has no ideas, she is just discovering the concern now, but she just wants the issue to go away.
So Hoot, you need a brain under that Laura Bush hairstyle. And Holler, remember, this is a serious election for someone to represent about 200,000 people, not some University of Florida frat party. The next five weeks is not the time to “wake up” suddenly. You’ve had at least nine months to do that. Ken Cuccinelli has been a serious representative of his district for the past five years. Let’s keep it that way and not trust the people’s business to amateurs.
Friday, September 28, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Hat tip: Greg and Riley
Congressman James Moran (D-VA-8) today admitted that he was behind Gov. Tim Kaine’s (D) short-lived appointment of Dr. Esam Omeish to the Commonwealth’s Commission on Immigration. “Dr. Omeish is a good friend who has taught me a lot of what I know about foreign policy,” said Moran. “Look, we all know that Kaine has no idea how to deal with this immigration, and my brother is pretty useless. So I was only trying to help here.”
No one from the Muslim American Society was available for comment. However, a source inside the organization stated that “we like Jim. He is the most culturally sensitive guy we know.”
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
While Ken Cuccinelli had come alone to the meeting, Janet Oleszek brought a
Oleszek began the talk by telling the audience why she was running for office. She said it was because of kids and schools that she ran for school board and now for the State Senate. Education is her big thing.
She gave some background on herself, that she is originally from California and came to the DC area when her father got a government job. She volunteered a lot in PTAs, and ran for School Board on the platform of having full-day kindergarten. As of April 2006, the Fairfax County School Board mandated full-day kindergarten to be implemented County-wide by 2009 or 2010.
She says that there are not enough advocates for teachers and kids in Richmond, and that Richmond needs another teacher there.
Her list of accomplishments included:
Fifth lowest per-pupil expenditure in the DC area
More kids passing Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate tests
Less “No Child left behind” (Direct quote; interpretation is up to the reader)
She said that she wants students fluent in at least one other language, so we should start teaching foreign language in elementary school. (For those of us with kids in the public schools, we are hard-pressed to understand how she wants to do this without phonics.) She says we compete with nations who spend a lot of time on youth (and cited countries like India). She said it is our only responsibility other than safety. We get 19 cents for every dollar we send to Richmond for education. She also discussed a slide presentation former Governor where education money went. (Not that Warner was any big help for Fairfax County in terms of getting us our fair share.)
Her initial presentation was about ten minutes, and then she took questions.
One person said he had heard that Loudoun County pays teachers more than Fairfax County does. He also said that Loudoun County has a policy of building a new school after one reaches a student population of 1,500. He seemed to think that Robinson Secondary School had over 5,000 students.
Janet Oleszek said that the starting salary for teachers in Fairfax County was $45,000 per year. However, Loudoun and Prince William Counties get more State aid. The Fairfax County School Board has no funding ability; that comes from the Board of Supervisors.
She said that Robinson has 3242 kids in it, but it is a six-year school. She will try to get more tax dollars from Richmond to the Board of Supervisors in the hope that it can be used for education. She said that the State can do a better job.
Oleszek cited demographics that cause the disparity in funding between Fairfax and the neighboring counties to the west. The funding formula is based on population, income, and number of students who speak English, among other things. She said that Loudoun also has a waiver from the Labor Day start. She supports year-round schools, especially those for low-income students.
Oleszek said that local kids have a harder time getting into the University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, and William and Mary. She said the universities are short of seats, and there will be a shortage of slots for Northern Virginia kids.
A congregant asked her about charitable organizations. The State takes money from Fairfax County and gives it to others. She was asked if there was anything wrong with that.
Oleszek answered that in theory, there was nothing wrong with giving more aid to the poorer counties of Southside and SW Virginia. However, Fairfax County gets negatively impacted when this is done so much.
She also mentioned as a transportation-related item that we are losing our teachers due to commutes and loss of carpools. She said that the turnover is worse than the standard 5-% over five years because if a teacher who commutes from a longer distance gets pregnant and the carpool gets dissolved, other teachers in the carpool are more likely to quit. This was the only thing she said about transportation in her time speaking before this audience, even though congregants were told in advance that Janet Oleszek wanted to share her thoughts on issues like transportation. Well, obviously, those are her complete thoughts.
A congregant wanted to know about her views on abortion, civil unions, and taxes. Concerning abortion, she said that reproductive rights belong to a woman and is a decision for her in consultation with her doctor. She views civil unions as a civil right and says that the government does not belong in our bedrooms. She says taxes are a necessity of life, and while she doesn’t like paying them, the government wouldn’t run without them. She stressed the importance of charities and for public/private partnerships.
She said that she is the opposite to her opponent on many issues. She cited the gun control issue, and said that she has two sons, aged 30 and 24. Her younger son recently graduated from Virginia Tech. She said that guns and the Virginia Tech shooting had an impact on tens of thousands of people. As a result of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, she said “There is no reason under G-d not to have gun control.” (Direct quote)
Janet Oleszek was asked why not have year-round schools. Her response was that parents don’t necessarily want it, and it can cut into summer jobs, etc. There is also an extra cost to running the schools year round. She talked about how kids graduate (we presume from college) with high debt, and asked if we are doing the best for our kids. She said that Los Angeles and Denver do year round schools successfully. (We do wonder, though, why so many parents have decided to flee those school systems, then.)
A congregant asked Oleszek if she was familiar with Daniel Pink’s book “A Whole New Mind.” The book postulates that a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) is the new MBA. Oleszek answered that a strong correlation exists between musical ability and mathematical proficiency. She said that it is hard to sell arts programs in a competitive place like Fairfax County. She also mentioned that India is looming, and spends more resources on kids than we do. She said that because we spend a lot on courses, convincing parents to spend more on arts programs is difficult. She also pointed to her own voting choices – that arts are critical.
(Interestingly, this source says that the United States spends 2 ½ times more per capita as a percentage of GDP on primary education than India does. India spends slightly more per capiuta on secondary education than the U.S., according to a different graph here.)
Oleszek’s assistant Jonathan Murray then stood up to make a brief talk to attack Ken Cuccinelli. He told the audience that partisan differences exist. He made the usual attacks concerning abortion, gun control, and taxes. He was even angry at Ken’s humorous attempt to change the Virginia State song to “Tax Man.” (Apparently, they did not have sarcasm where Jonathan grew up.) Jonathan also said that “Janet didn’t want to say this.” Yeah, right.
A congregant asked Janet what she thought of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act. She said that she was opposed to the way it was implemented, and that it had the biggest unfunded mandates she had ever seen. She said that at test time, you could “Feel the tension . . . cut it with a knife.” Oleszek said that the consequences of failure were draconian, and that kids can “voucher themselves” into a private school “where there are no standards.” (Nice remark, given that a large percentage of this audience would relish the thought of “vouchering” their kids into religious day schools.) She was positive about the fact that NCLB allows States to develop their own criteria and praised Virginia’s Standard of Learning (SOL) tests.
A congregant reminded Oleszek that in private business and government, people and organizations have performance reviews, which the unions oppose in education. Oleszek replied that she “will not deny the need for accountability.” She gave no specifics.
Oleszek was asked if she was familiar with former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan’s book that mentioned how at the K – 4 level American schools are at a par with other countries, but kids in grades 5 – 12 start falling behind. American kids are last in a lot of categories (left unsaid was despite the doubling of spending on education after inflation). Janet Oleszek was unfamiliar with the book and wondered what was the context (e.g., math and economics). She spoke of how she held focus groups, and the thing that parents wanted most was for their kids to learn how to balance a checkbook. She said that Fairfax County graduates disprove Greenspan’s remarks. She was told that Greenspan was not necessarily limiting his focus to math and economics. Her response was that schools here are a republic, but those abroad do not face the same challenges that we do.
Someone (clearly friendly to or even active in Janet’s campaign) asked her how she stays focused and combats one-liners when voters are inundated with mailings. Janet deferred to Jonathan to answer this one. Jonathan said that responding is hard, but made more attacks on Ken Cuccinelli, this time on transportation. (We told you Janet had nothing to say!) He also said that their campaign is gaining with this kind of campaigning. He made a bizarre disingenuous remark that people won’t buy into the notion that Janet is responsible for raising property taxes by an extra 25% because the School Board does not have taxing authority.
Janet was asked about illegal immigration – what should the State’s role be and what level of public services should be made available. Janet pointed to a letter to the editor of the Washington Post from Gerry Connolly which just happened to appear on Sunday. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/09/21/AR2007092101695.html?nav=rss_print/outlook). She says she agrees completely with Gerry Connolly. Janet said that we do not have the authority to deport, only the Feds do. She characterized what states and localities are doing as reacting to “perceived” threats on crime and education, threats she said were not true. She said she supports giving ICE authority to jailers to penalize criminals. She asked, “Do you want to penalize non-criminals?” She said “As Jews, this is scary.” (Apparently, she doesn’t know that coming into the U.S. illegally is a criminal act, or that many Jews may be waiting in line to enter the country legally like so many others are.)
Her solution was to allow ICE powers to jailers only, not to allow ICE agents into communities to check residences or to “arrest those who look different.” She said that according to Federal law, they can’t check schools.
She mentioned the 287(g) program, which is a Federal grant to train police to enforce immigration laws. She characterized this as a “slippery slope.” (Some might tell her that public urination also creates a “slippery slope.”) She also said that crime is going down anyway. When she was reminded about the question on what public services should be made available, she responded that in the absence of a law requiring resident status, she can’t answer a question on public services. She reiterated that as Jews we should find this all scary.
Janet was asked what she admired about Ken, specifically to say something positive about something he has done as an elected official. She was silent.
A congregant remembered how Ken talked at length about building coalitions in the State House to gain votes on issues, and wanted to know what Janet did to gain votes for her issues on the School Board. She said that progress is incremental, but over time she got what she wanted, often by compromising (for example, on curriculum or school boundaries). Jonathan stepped in to make more partisan attacks on Ken Cuccinelli by implying that Ken cannot build coalitions. (Obviously, Jonathan should read the Isophorone Blog a lot more.) Janet pointed to the new Glasgow Middle School as an example of her success.
At that point, Janet and Jonathan had spoken for about an hour, so they ended the talk (as it was also nearing time for parents to get their kids from religious school). Janet lingered to answer questions from individuals. She was overheard to have been asked if she would have voted for the transportation compromise bill that emerged from conference, passed, and got sent to the Governor. Janet said that the bill was flawed, and if she were in the Senate the bill would have looked a lot different. So she was then asked if that meant she would have opposed the bill. She would not answer the question, only to say that it would have been different with her around. It was pointed out to her that the bill that came out in February was a matter of public record, and if the specific set of items in this large bill was something she could or could not accept. Jonathan stepped in and said that the bill was not public record to a lot of people when it was voted on. (So how do they criticize anyone who voted for it? Has Janet read it yet?) At that point a lot of other people wanted to talk to Janet and Jonathan, both of whom clearly did not want to talk about transportation specifics.
Overall, Janet was carefully trying to show off her left-leaning credentials to this audience. She is clearly not as conversant on as many issues as Ken Cuccinelli is, which is probably why she has been avoiding debates. She also does not like to give specifics on several important budget and transportation issues important to voters.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Hat Tip: Greg and Ward
Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BCE)
Well, according to the Washington Post, Congressman James Moran (D-VA-8) made some statements that upset the Jewish community. He gave an interview to Tikkun, a far-left Jewish magazine, in which he is quoted as saying,
the most powerful lobby and has pushed this war from the beginning. I don't think they represent the mainstream of American Jewish thinking at all, but because they are so well organized, and their members are extraordinarily powerful -- most of them are quite wealthy -- they have been able to exert power.Well, it’s almost refreshing to know that you don’t think this was some conspiracy by Bush’s oil company friends or Cheney’s former colleagues at Halliburton! Do the MoveOn crowd and Michael Moore know you say this?
What is so interesting is the reaction of groups like the National Jewish Democratic Council. Its director, Ira Forman, characterized Moran’s statements as not only “incorrect and irresponsible,” but also “dangerous.” I daresay that I agree and applaud Forman for his comments. It is certainly Moran’s right to criticize Israeli policies, the Iraq War, etc., but when he does so by using (deliberate?) falsehoods, you have to wonder about his motivations. Several Arab countries also fund lobbyists in the U.S. as well; will Moran be critical of them? Many before me have noted that another hallmark of a Jew-hater is the double standard.
Ronald Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, had this to say, according to the Post:
"He uses several age-old canards that have been used throughout history that have brought violence upon Jews. . . He uses clearly anti-Semitic images such as Jewish control of the media and wealthy Jews using their wealth to control policy."
Hey, did it ever occur to Jim Moran that if someone can afford to give to AIPAC, or for that matter, any lobbying organization, that person probably has a lot of disposable income? Maybe Moran can recall an incident or two in which a lobbyist with a lot of disposable income was able to give him a loan (hint, hint)?
Also interesting is the fact that Jim Moran’s brother Brian is a Delegate from Alexandria who is widely mentioned as a possible 2009 Democratic Gubernatorial candidate in Virginia. Does Brian share Jim’s views? Will Brian condemn Jim’s views? What else does Brian know about Jim, and when did he know it?
As far as Tikkun Magazine is concerned, its editor, Rabbi Michael Lerner, has a history of making remarks that might be more easily confused with those of Louis Farrakhan. Maybe Lerner suffers from a neurosis similar to that of Woody Allen. Even more interesting, Lerner himself was banned from an “antiwar” rally in 2003 because he dared to criticize the “one-sided hostility to Israel” expressed by Communist front groups like International A.N.S.W.E.R. However, Lerner doesn’t seem to understand that by continuing to lie down with (or making excuses for) dogs, he will pick up fleas.
As you know, we had a recent flap in Virginia concerning a Democratic operative with a reputation for Jew-baiting. Besides the obvious joke (as Ward made) about this operative being suited to work for Jim Moran, what amazed me was how some bloggers kept being apologists for this clown Joe Stanley. Sort of the same pattern like Lerner and Moran, wouldn’t you say? You’d think people would learn after all these decades or centuries, but I guess ideology is more important in these cases. These are the kinds of fools who haven’t heard of coal mines and canaries, I suspect. No wonder the National Jewish Democratic Council had me so surprised!
The Post had a telling quote from Ron Halber: "There are only so many mistakes he can make before it's fair to call him an anti-Semite." Or as Cicero might have said, “How long, tell me, Catiline, will you abuse our patience?”
Sunday, September 09, 2007
create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.
I've driven through RI, and I've passed through KS and NM by train. However, I still counted them in (because I spent quite a bit of time doing so, or as much as possible in the case of RI).
I've also changed planes in MN, and passed through a corner of IA by train at night, but I didn't count them (because the time spent was pretty short).
All the rest I've visited or made at least one stop. Apparently, Wisconsin is the only State east of the Mississippi River I have yet to visit.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Hat tip: Greg
Democrat Janet Oleszek, who is challenging Sen. Ken Cuccinelli (R-37) in this year’s State Senate race, has promised that, if elected, she would propose a major revamping of Senate debate rules. Oleszek said that the “current system is arcane and does not keep up with 21st century technology.” Under her plan, extemporaneous debate would be banned. Instead, Senators would be required to submit all questions and arguments to a special web site.
Oleszek continued: “Since high school graduation rates in Fairfax County have been dropping under my leadership, it is only appropriate that Senators be given more time to look up difficult concepts such as transportation or immigration before trying to make an argument. I predict that the lasting mark I have left on the Fairfax County School system is just one reason why the Senate needs to change its rules, and soon.
In a possible hint at compromise, Oleszek said that she would allow “limited use of preprinted cue cards” and to allow increased hiring of staff to hold the flash cards for Senators. While she supports the efforts of Northern Virginia Democrats such as Minority Leader Richard Saslaw (D-35) to keep their jurisdictions from receiving a fair share of education funding, Oleszek stated that increasing the number of “highly trained” Senate staffers to perform this work would help mitigate this circumstance. She also said that she would give preference to non-citizens to perform such work because “it would teach civics that they otherwise do not learn. In fact, I would not even ask if such people were here in the United States legally, and certainly not make them say the Pledge of Allegiance.”
Friday, September 07, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Hat tip: Ace
Former Senator John”Breck Girl” Edwards announced yesterday a requirement that every American would be required under his universal health care proposal to see a doctor for preventive care. However, most news wires did not pick up on the fact that Mr. Edwards, a former trial lawyer, also has a litigation requirement. Under the Edwards plan, every American would be required to sue a medical practitioner for malpractice once every five years, or at least twice in a ten-year period.
“Under this plan we will eliminate another aspect of ‘Two Americas,’” said Edwards, “those who enrich themselves by taking advantage of their medical education, and those who do not have the education and/or training to do so.”
Edwards used the litigation proposal to make a statement about judicial appointments: “In my Administration we will appoint judges who will have a better understanding of the fairness to society this plan brings. Why, I can just ‘channel’ victories to most Americans who become plaintiffs under my plan.” Edwards also said that he would not tax any awards, but contributions to the Trial Lawyers’ Association, the Democratic National Committee, and several hair stylists who would assist indigent plaintiffs as well as attorneys with houses smaller than 50,000 square feet.
Edwards concluded his remarks with a statement that “a sound mind needs to have a sound body of legal advice.”
Sunday, September 02, 2007
So were running errands this weekend and driving along the Fairfax County Parkway where a lot of these annoying signs have been planted. Apparently, someone did some creative editing. The bottom half of the signs (which said “End the War Now”) got cut off, and the word “War” was pasted on the top of the signs. Now they read “Support the War.”
At least some of George Soros’ money got put to good use!
Every once in awhile you read about these great, improbable upsets. This time Appalachian State University of Boone, North Carolina, upset the University of Michigan 34-32 in Michigan’s home opener. Now I’m not much of a sports fan or writer, but I think it shows just what happens when these big sports powerhouses get too cocky.
I also went to a small college, Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh. It’s well-known for strong academic programs, but let’s face it, not for sports. Well, they, too have their own version of the great upset football story. Back in 1926, the Tech Tartans were playing Notre Dame (then coached by the legendary Knute Rockne) at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. Coach Rockne though so little of the lowly Tech Tartans that he skipped the game to see Army play Navy in Chicago. As things turned out on November 27, 1926, Carnegie Tech, as it was then known, beat Notre Dame 19-0. (I guess this was one that they didn't win for the Gipper.) At CMU, they still talk about that game, too!
So in 2087, do you think the Michigan story will still be told at Appalachian State?
Friday, August 31, 2007
Today, the school held an introductory meeting for parents and children. The school hired a new teacher for my son’s class, but she seems OK so far according to my wife. The maddening part, though, was that the school handed out a flyer containing a list of MORE supplies. Of course, no one bothered to tell the stores this either. Plus, there was no more sales tax holiday! Naturally, even though they had our e-mail address, they had to wait until today to HAND us a flyer. Great resource conservation ethic, wouldn’t you say?
The scene at the store would have been funny if it weren’t so frustrating. The Wal-Mart quickly ran out of supplies. There were lots of angry parents holding a copy of the exact same supply list we had. Not to bust on anyone from another country, but it was crazier for those for whom English wasn’t a first language to understand what a “glue stick” was.
Well, we finally ended up going to a Michael’s store, especially since we overheard everyone else was planning to go to the neighboring Target. We did get what we needed, albeit it not at Wal-Mart prices. The store was calmer, anyway.
Your tax dollars at work. For those of you in Fairfax County, Virginia, vote for Steve Hunt, Paul Costantino, and Chris Braunlich for School Board at Large. In Springfield District, vote for Liz Bradsher. These candidates understand what ACCOUNTABILITY means, and want to control silliness in the budget (as well as make it more transparent for taxpayers).
Sunday, August 26, 2007
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
25 August 2007FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACTxxxx
Live By “Macaca,” Die By “NAMBLA”
Top Virginia Democratic Strategist Linked To Pedophile Web Site
Richmond, Virginia. (August 25, 2007) – The Old Dominion Blog Alliance (“ODBA”), an organization of approximately 25 conservative Virginia bloggers founded on December 9, 2005, discovered on August 21 that someone registered the domain name of “olddominionblogalliance.com” on August 16 via GoDaddy.com’s Domains by Proxy service in order to conceal their identity. The domain was then set to forward to the web site for the North American Man-Boy Love Association ("NAMBLA"), an organization that promotes illegal activity between adults and children, including pedophilia.
Following this disclosure, the parties behind it were subsequently discovered to be Joe Stanley of Yellow Dog Strategy, a Democratic consultant who manufactured last year’s “macaca” gaffe by U.S. Sen. George Allen into an ex post facto racial slur and produced the controversial anti-Harris Miller mailing, and Ben Tribbett who runs the Northern Virginian blog “Not Larry Sabato.”
Evidence in hand and a confession by Mr. Stanley show that he was the one who purchased the domain name and then set it to forward to the NAMBLA web site. Mr. Tribbett, who is close to Mr. Stanley, proceeded to peddle the story to another blog and then feigned outrage at this action apparently in order to further raise the story’s visibility while maintaining deniability over it. Mr. Stanley undertook this action just two days after members of the ODBA began a concerted effort against state Sen. Roscoe Reynolds (D-20th Dist.), a candidate for whom Mr. Stanley has done work and who is locked in a tight reelection battle with Republican Jeff Evans. Sen. Reynolds advertises on “Not Larry Sabato.”
“Child sexual abuse is not a joke and certainly not a political tactic to be used in order to silence your political enemies,” said Kathryn Wilton of the blog CatHouse Chat, a member of the ODBA, the wife of a Navy veteran and mother. “Pedophilia is a morally repugnant behavior and how Mr. Stanley or Mr. Tribbett could think this is humorous or fair game politically is beyond my comprehension.”
“Senator Reynolds needs to go on the record whether or not he agrees with these abhorrent tactics used on his behalf,” added Greg Letiecq of Black Velvet Bruce Li, one of the most widely read blogs in Virginia. “Joe Stanley did this to benefit him. Reynolds must either expressly condone or renounce these tactics used for his gain.”
Members of the ODBA are currently considering whether to bring any civil legal claims stemming from this defamatory act perpetrated upon them. Should a case be brought and damages awarded, any proceeds will be donated to organizations that fight child abuse.
n 30 –
Here’s what gets me: Twinkie Joe’s “confession states, in part:
I pointed the domain to NAMBLA for specific reasons. NAMBLA is an organization that advocates a set of beliefs that turn my stomach. Through misinformation, prevarication, and a false sense of earnestness, they pursue a predatory agenda that brings direct harm to countless innocent individuals. Their primary defense is the first amendment.
It is my opinion that the ODBA conducts itself in much the same way. While the end
product is far less repugnant than pedophilia, no fewer individuals are hurt by the organization. The main distinction I can make between the two organizations is that NAMBLA believes in the first amendment, and ODBA only believes in their right to free speech.
Now isn’t that just peachy? So by this logic, (failed 2006 Virginia Democratic Senatorial hopeful) Harris Miller deserved the hooked nose cartoon as well as the “antichrist” characterization because he, too “pursue a predatory agenda that brings direct harm to countless innocent individuals.” Gee, matches the kind of humor we saw in 1930s Germany rather well, don’t you think? Nice to know that his cowardly, self-ashamed lackey Ben agrees. My 19th Century ancestors from Eastern Europe had a saying about where the likes of Joe got these predispositions, but it’s not getting repeated here (yet).
For those of you from outside Virginia, pay attention. Now I’ve noticed that several other conservative blogs form statewide alliances. Look at it this way: What has happened in Virginia could very well happen to you. Seven or nine years ago it was leaflets about burning churches stuck in voters’ doors, copied from Maryland to Missouri and then nationwide. Now we have this kind of Internet attack. The whole operation here was not some itinerant operative, this Stanley is a Democratic Party official in Virginia.
I would also warn some of you that Twinkie Joe and Psycho Ben are the kinds of people who make personal attacks and even threats against opponents. Apparently, even their despicable nastiness is not enough to satisfy them. You would think clowns like that worked for a labor union given the kinds of things they say to people!
Now the other blog mentioned in the press release did apologize and help expose Joe Stanley. I do accept the apology and appreciate the efforts in helping to expose this sleazebag. This, however, raises a good question about the DemocratICK operatives, especially Tribbett: After spending so much time with crude attacks on political adversaries, are you now turning to taking down your (former) friends? Your former friends are rapidly finding out how Clarence and Buckingham felt in Shakespeare’s Richard III. Summer is ending; will this be the season of someone’s discontent? I can’t wait to hear young Ben exclaim something like “A blog! A blog! My kingdom for a blog!”
Many thanks to my fellow ODBA bloggers for helping to stand up to these slimeballs. For more great reading multiple commentary, videos, cartoons, etc, check out what Kat, J’s Notes, Leslie, James, Ward, Carl, Scott, Greg, Jim, Flora, Riley, and probably many more I left out.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thanks to Chris for the inspiration
Virginia Governor Tim Kaine (D) announced today a more limited expansion of State intrusion, er, assistance for preschool according to today’s DC Examiner. The Commonwealth already spends $50 million a year for putting 12,500 kids in preschool, and the Governor wants to spend $75 million more. Note that the current figure is $4,000 per child (more than we spent each year on our older son's preschool)!
Here’s the kicker from the article:
Lawmakers also are concerned about Kaine’s intention to provide state funding to private and parochial programs willing to accept the low-income children. Although including those operations will reduce startup costs, it also raises the issue of providing state dollars to religious institutions.
“By including private providers and faith-based facilities, we can make smarter use of our resources, focusing on quality programs rather than on bricks and mortar,” Kaine said.
Okaaaay, so college students can get what are essentially vouchers to attend any kind of post-secondary institution, right? Gov. Kaine wants to allow preschoolers to be given vouchers to attend any kind of institution. So we are admitting that these private institutions “reduce startup costs?” Ummm, does that mean because there are no teacher union bureaucracies?
Well, let’s take this to its logical conclusion. Why not privatize the rest of the Commonwealth’s school system. Heck, that way you can reduce all kinds of school costs, erase Virginia’s $200 million deficit, ensure localities get their fair share of per-pupil education funding, provide higher quality education, and most importantly, there would be more than enough money for this hare-brained (or hare-Kained) scheme of funding preschool for everyone.
Or, you know, since that would cost $300 million to $500 million, you could give a tax cut of at least $150 - $250 to every family of four in Virginia. Naaaaaaaah!
Thanks, Governor, for giving political cover to every conservative Republican in the Commonwealth, if not the entire country! I’m almost hoping Hillary picks you as a running mate.
Tuesday, August 07, 2007
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, ostensibly "relaxing" in New Hampshire, has been using the vacation as a way to dump the use of the Metric System in France. President Sarkozy noted that even though the Metric system was invented in France, it is obviously inferior to the English system used in the United States. “We know this is true because the United States has a far more productive economy than ours, and we believe the Système Internationale is the root cause of our troubles,” said M. Sarkozy. He continued: “An economy that is dividing by ten is not very innovative. It makes sense that Louis XVI was guillotined because of this. From now on, France will work with douzaines!”
In what is believed to be related to this decision, an altercation arose on a lake between President Sarkozy and some news photographers. Anonymous sources tell us that the photographers were taunting Sarkozy by yelling “35 millimeters! 35 millimeters!” Fortunately, this incident was broken up quickly.
Reaction was mixed in the United States. Many Republicans supported Sarkozy’s move, and most Democrats refused to comment due to mathematical impairment. However, one of the party organizations, the Democratic Liter-ship Council, strongly condemned the move. “This could ruin soccer for the foreseeable future!” said a representative.
The measurement issue has also entered the immigrations debate. For a few years now, economists have theorized the poor people from Central America were coming to the United States not just for economic opportunity, but also to flee the metric system still in use in the less-than-developed countries. However, certain advocacy groups, such as Metric-anos Sin Fronteras, advocate bilingual education “that teaches both sides of the ruler” rather than “English first.” Lack of education in the English system is believed one of the underreported causes of overcrowded houses and disproportionate rates of highway accidents.
In the international arena, France’s move is believed to have led to some serious study. The U.N. is forming the United Nations English System Changeover Organization (UNESCO) to study the issue further. It is hoped that widespread use of the English System to replace metric will lead to increased rates of development in Third World countries. Nicolas Sarkozy is believed to have said, “This system is so easy, even John Kerry can use it!”
Thursday, August 02, 2007
1. I like walking backwards. When we go out for a family walk, my wife and kids go forwards, and I walk backwards in front of them. This way, we can carry on a conversation, they can be my spotters, and it helps relieve back pain as well as exercise different muscles.
2. Some of my favorite sayings: “Life is uncertain; eat dessert first.” “I think it is more exciting not to catch a large fish than not to catch a small one.” “Some of the things I say may turn out to be true.” “Whereas a stopped clock is right twice a day, a clock that runs backwards is right FOUR TIMES a day.”
3. Speaking of the above, I really do have a backwards clock in my office (well, over my cubicle).
4. I have met in real life people who are involved with, or run 11 of the blogs to which I link. I am related to one. Note that two of the blogs to which I link are run by the same person.
5. Dumbest thing I have ever done: In college chemistry lab once I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing. So I managed to hook up the Bunsen burner to the cold water tap instead of the gas. Needless to say, it didn’t light for quite a while.
6. I bought my wife’s engagement ring four years before I met her. You, too, can buy these things in Israel and bring them in duty-free. (I proposed to my wife 4 1/2 months after I met her, but that's another story.)
7. If you see me refer to a story about someone being attacked with a fish, let me assure you that it is a true story.
8. I am a “Jeopardy!” winner. I won one game and a nice trip to Seattle. The year after I was on they doubled the prize money. And now I know who Kenny G is.
Everyone whom I have wanted to tag has been tagged, I think. The rest won't participate anyway.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Jim Webb votes against protection from nuisance lawsuits against anti-terrorism tipsters.
What also funny is how these limo leftists never take public transporation, either. Or even look into it, for that matter. See, if Virginia's junior Senator bothered looking at the web (not Webb) page of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, he might have found the safety brochure with these important statements:
“If you see someone acting suspiciously, find an unattended package or witness anything unusual, stay away from it and tell the bus operator, train operator or station manager immediately.”
“Recent events make it even more important for you to be our partners in safety. Show your patriotism by helping us keep Metro safe and secure.” [Emphasis added.]
Let's just say that allowing nuisance lawsuits does not help "keep Metro safe and secure."
So now Jim Webb (and his left-wing Democrat-ICK cohorts) is unpatriotic by Metro's standards?
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Sorry for the lack of posting recently. We did a family vacation to California. No, we didn't see Ah-nuld, but we did go to the Monterey Aquarium and saw the jellyfish in the video above.
We also went to SanFrancisco, San Jose, Yosemite, the Gold Country, Reno, Tahoe, Chico, and Lassen before returning to SF via Berkeley. Lots of fun, but tiring. It is good to be home again!
Democratic hopefuls to speak at "Yearly Kos"
Literally putting the "ICK" in "Democrat-ICK," wouldn't you say?
Another name for the Democratic Leadership Council may be "Future Republicans of America." Maybe Fred Thompson Democrats? (The thought of something like "Newt Gingrich Democrats" is also funny, if a remote possibility.) Are we going to have to use a term like "neo-neocons?"
There is some poetic justice in wishing Jimmy Carter a long life just to see his party implode again.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
I’ve been tagged by Ari.
The Rules are: Each player lists 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, the player then tags 8 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.
In this case, I’ve asked my six-year old son for his opinions, of course! (See Ari, you wanted weirdness, right?)
- I was wondering what happens if there is a computer on the sun and it did not vaporize.
- I like going on a rocket
- I like “Hooked on Phonics.”
- I like when pictures fall down and go “CRASH!”
- I do not like if my little brother got hold of prunes.
- I want to go on a plane.
- I took a piece of paper and went “pfffft!”
- I like when my little brother goes “rooooar!”
I am tagging Mommy and Daddy and Grandma and my two-year-old brother.
Friday, June 29, 2007
There has been a lot of news lately about new, high (even four-digit $$$$) traffic fines being imposed in Virginia to help pay for transportation. Apparently, despite all the publicity in the press and on the blogs, not all of them have been revealed to the public. So, as a public service, here is a partial list of the more obscure penalties that could result in a big fine for Virginia drivers. Many, but not all of these, were discovered by my six-year-old son.
- Having your dog drive the car
- Smoking and chewing gum simultaneously while driving
- Taking the computer in the car and having it drive
- Driving while using a cell phone and doing any three of the following: coughing, burping, belching, sneezing, farting, and/or hiccuping
- A picture was driving and the picture had hands on it
- Having a panda drive the car
- Having old bumper stickers promoting the U.S. Senate candidacy of Ollie North or Chuck Robb
- Having a trash can drive the car
- Playing Barry Manilow too loudly on the car stereo
- Burning oil, coolant, and power steering fluid at the same time
- Off-road use of a Lincoln Navigator
- Driving a Yugo
If you can find other such violations, please send them to us here at Isophorone Blog.
Sunday, June 17, 2007
What happens if you were making a scrambled egg and then when you were making it it went "ROOOOAR!"? Does that sound funny?
What happens if a balloon landed all the way to the sun?
How about if you throw something 1,000 feet? How about if you throw a computer 1,000,000 feet?
What happens if the little hole puncher did not punch something?
That's all; I do not want to say anything else.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Now is this appropriate to compose and send on the taxpayers’ dime? Leaving aside for a minute the historical inaccuracies (and poor grammar) of this screed, shouldn’t the union be devoting its time to working conditions and fair labor practices? My source in the EPA tells me that while this union does pay some attention to actual working condition issues, they also spend a lot of time promoting mentally unstable “whistleblowers,” who for the most part are incompetent workers fighting against the rare employee termination procedures. They are also obsessed about fluoridation of drinking water (which is apparently a right-wing plot instead of the left-wing one that it used to be). Not surprisingly, I am informed that no one in this union's leadership criticized Clinton's bombings of Serbia or Al Gore's 1992 excoriation of former President Bush for not doing enough about Saddam Hussein.
CHICKEN HAWK II
Congress Should Repeal the Iraq War Powers Act
Support the Troops - Bring Them Home
Prior to the U.S. war against the sovereign nation of Iraq, I criticized the rush to war exhibited by this administration. Not only did most of my predictions come true, many came true with a vengeance, exceeding even my wildest expectations of failure. You may wish to consult “www.nteu280.org” for the original “Chicken Hawk” article. The subsequent history of the conflict, revelations about no WMDs, etc. bear out the fact that we were mislead or even lied to.
The name “Chicken Hawk” was coined by some of my Viet Nam brothers to describe those in the Administration and Congress, who while dodging the Viet Nam war, seem to have no compunction about sending the children of others off to die in an ill conceived and unnecessary war.
This Administration and their Congressional supporters are about as incompetent as they come. They didn’t know Shi’ite from Shinola, al Qaeda from Al Sharpton. With decades old Cold War thinking, they tried to take on a new style of warfare. They label a military tactic asymmetrical warfare (“Terrorism”) as if it were some kind of political movement. (Actually, Charlie Cong used asymmetrical warfare against us in
Viet Nam, complete with suicide bombings, and generals like George Washington and Frances Marion (the Swamp Fox) used such tactics successfully against the British in our own revolution more than 200 years ago. So it’s not really a new tactic or strategy at all.) They mislead the public by lumping in nerve gas and biologicals with nuclear weapons as Weapons of Mass Destruction as if they were even any sort of equivalence. They don’t seem to know basic science like the fact that aluminum tubes cannot withstand the high RPM (13,500 RPM) of uranium hexafluoride centrifuging. They didn’t understand that Osama and al Qaeda were enemies of Saddam, regarding him as an infidel, secular puppet of the U.S. (And he was up until he invaded Kuwait.) They ignored Osama bin Laden’s threats to retaliate against mainland U.S. for our occupation of the holy land of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. They ignored previous al Qaeda attacks against U.S. interests, including a previous attack on the World Trade Center. We’ve now killed and displaced more
Iraqiis than Saddam ever did, and we created a training ground for terrorism and just an out and out mess of a country which was no real threat to the U.S. I could go on, but this is old hat for anyone who keeps up with the news.
The money wasted on the invasion of Iraq could have been more readily spent on things that WOULD make us safer, instead of acting to recruit jihadiis from all over the world to attack us and our interests. For instance part of it should have been used to nail Osama bin Laden when we knew where is was. Part of this money could have been used for real Homeland Security. A number of the 9/11 hijackers were here illegally, yet we do nothing to track visitors to our country both legal and illegal. People cross our border illegally, others overstay tourist and student visas, etc. and we have a clue as to who they are, where they are, and what they are doing here. Actual terrorists have actually been captured (somehow) at our porous borders, the ports are unsecured, and so much of our National Guard resources are tied up in Iraq, that if we did have another attack on the Homeland, we would be hard pressed to deal with it. Finally, if the last portion of this wasted money were used to develop alternative energy sources, we wouldn’t have to be dependent on hostile countries for oil.
But this Memorial Day, the worst of the burden is on the troops and their families. We need to support our troops, not with some bogus magnetic ribbon attached to our car, but bringing them home from this futile and suicidal mission. Back during the Viet Nam era, except for officers, one generally served only one 12 month tour. Like many, when I arrived “in country” someone gave me a “short-timer” calendar. As you marked off each day, you knew exactly how many days you had left. Ask anyone there how many days they had left and 95% plus could give you the exact number. President Nixon, for all his flaws, at least never reneged on this “deal” with the troops. There would have been open revolt had Mr. Nixon tried extending tours for 3 to 5 months, asked people to serve, two, three, four tours of duty. While most in Viet Nam were draftees, and our Armed Forces are now all volunteer, this is no excuse. These young people volunteered to defend our country, not die needlessly.
The last election was about ending the war. Both parties have ignored the democratic will of the people. No defunding, no benchmarks, no date for withdrawal. Declare victory (Saddam and his sons are dead, Iraq has an elected government and constitution) and leave. More war is not a solution to this mess. We need to negotiate regionally a plan to stabilize the region and bring our troops home to defend America and not create new enemies of America.