Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money

If you don’t think your child is getting the education that they need, don’t look for the increase in funding promised by Governor Kulongoski to improve anything.

Bigger school budget won’t ease class sizes

Most of the hundreds of millions in new money that Gov. Ted Kulongoski has proposed for Oregon schools in the next two years will be swallowed by rising payroll and other costs and won’t reduce class sizes or restore programs, an analysis by The Oregonian shows.

Of the $750 million-plus increase in state support for schools that Kulongoski seeks, at least $500 million would go toward salary increases, rising employee health costs, pension contributions, rising enrollment and higher prices for supplies and services, the state projects.

The teachers plan to pocket the money and lobby for more.

You might get the feeling that there is no level of funding that would prove to be enough.

And you’d be right.

The Unions poured money and support into the campaigns of the Governor and Democrats. With that they have reaped the rewards. The Governor’s office is firmly under Union control and they hope that with the Democrats winning control of the Legislature that they can translate that into a pipeline from the State Treasury straight to their bank accounts.

Accountability? Performance?

Forget it.

The most likely result of sagging test score will be a push to eliminate the testing. It’s easier to claim that you’re doing an outstanding job when no body can look at the results.

This will continue to be accompanied by the unceasing cries of poverty by the OEA who will still push for Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money, Mo’ Money.

Starting The New Year Off With A Bang In Bangkok

BOMBS SHATTER NEW YEAR’S EVE

My wife was at the Wat today when the news of this came on TV. They have a satellite receiver that gets broadcasts from Thailand.

One of the monks got a call from his family in Thailand earlier this morning. They had three bus loads of worshipers that they were taking to a shrine in the north to celebrate new years. A fight broke out on one of the buses with a man that no one recognized. They restrained him and called the police. When the police came to arrest him they found a bomb in his baggage. They said the suspect was a Khmer (Cambodian) which kind of points away from the Muslims. The Khmer are the muscle for hire in SE Asia but the Muslims don’t use hired muscle. They don’t need to.

Supporters of the ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra denied any connection.

There is speculation, based on nothing, that the bombings were done to cast suspicion on the Muslims with the idea of forcing Muslim members of the new government to step down.

Gen. Sondhi Boonyaratkalin, a Muslim and the leader of the bloodless coup which ousted the former regime, is in Saudi Arabia on a haj.

But, the bombings are very similar to the ones in Hat Yai in September which were the work of Muslims.

It’ll be interesting to see how this works out.

Times Change, Problems Change With Them

Obesity battle starts young for urban poor – The Boston Globe

By the time they reach the age of 3, more than one-third of low-income urban children are already overweight or obese, according to a study released yesterday that provides alarming evidence that the nation’s battle of the bulge begins when toddlers are barely out of diapers.

When I was in Jr. high school President Kenndey launched the “War on Poverty”. One of the images that helped sell his plan was that of malnourished American children. The disease of the American urban poor was rickets which was a disease associated with malnutrition.

Now the disease of the urban poor is obesity. I guess we have been defeated by our own success.

Damned If You Do

Trevino: Tears for the Devil

You know, from the comments and news reports on the Saddam execution you have to get the feeling that there was no trial and no sentence that would have garnered approval from these people.

I particularly like the one that claims that we have no moral right to interfere in other countries no matter how corrupt and brutal their governments.

Interesting. I guess that means we have no moral right to interfere with their environmental, labor, business or human rights practices. But the same people that are critical of us interfering with Saddam are the same people that complain we are not forcing other countries to comply with their concern of the day, be it labor or environmental.

As for the execution, they should have followed the example of the Nuremberg trials. The executions should have taken place without anyone other than the executioners and a few government officials in attendance and Saddam’s remains should have been cremated and disposed of secretly. Allowing his family to bury him in Ramadi with allow him to be used as a martyr and a rallying point for the Baathist “insurgents”. That kind of defeats the purpose of executing him.

The claims that Saddam’s execution is not going to stop the insurgency are true, but also irrelevant. There is no single act that is going to stop the insurgency. It is going to be a lot of small things that accumulate over time.

It is rather amusing that many of the same people that insist that the whole problem of Radical Islam would just go away if we captured or killed Osama.

That’s why it’s best to just ignore them. They’re going to whine no matter what.

The Victim Card

I am reminded once again of how holy the status of “victim” is in today’s society.

It seems like half the people that call us want to claim the mantle of “victim” even if it is irrelevant to their complaint. A young lady just called to report that she was receiving hang up phone calls. A minor complaint. But to boost her status of “victim” she had to make sure that I knew that she had a sick child. As if that would elevate her complaint over anyone else’s.

This is not something that happens occasionally. We have people making traffic complaints that are supposed to be more serious because “I had children in the car”, noise complaints that require immediate response because “my mother has cancer, and animal complaints that are important because “I’m a single mother”.

It seems that being an ordinary victim is not enough, now you have to be one of the protected minority. Vandalism is more serious if the victims are gay or minorities, whether or not there was any indication of bias in the crime. People make sure you know that they are women, single, sick, or a crime victim five years ago.

The thing is, it doesn’t really make a damn bit of difference. If there was a crime, there was a crime, and if there wasn’t, there wasn’t. Their status as being a member of a “victim” class, either imaginary or PC doesn’t affect the facts at all.

Joe Lieberman Gets It. He’s Perhaps The Only Democrat That Does.

Joseph Lieberman – Why We Need More Troops in Iraq – washingtonpost.com

As the hostile regimes in Iran and Syria appreciate — at times, it seems, more keenly than we do — failure in Iraq would be a strategic and moral catastrophe for the United States and its allies. Radical Islamist terrorist groups, both Sunni and Shiite, would reap victories simultaneously symbolic and tangible, as Iraq became a safe haven in which to train and strengthen their foot soldiers and Iran’s terrorist agents. Hezbollah and Hamas would be greatly strengthened against their moderate opponents. One moderate Palestinian leader told me that a premature U.S. exit from Iraq would be a victory for Iran and the groups it is supporting in the region. Meanwhile, the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have bravely stood with us in the hope of a democratic future would face the killing fields.

In Iraq today we have a responsibility to do what is strategically and morally right for our nation over the long term — not what appears easier in the short term.

A Richly Deserved Fate

Iraqi TV Says Saddam Hussein Executed – NEWS – Comcast.net

BAGHDAD, Iraq – Saddam Hussein, the shotgun-waving dictator who ruled Iraq with a remorseless brutality for a quarter-century and was driven from power by a U.S.-led war that left his country in shambles, was taken to the gallows and executed Saturday, Iraqi state-run television reported.

It was a grim end for the 69-year-old leader who had vexed three U.S. presidents. Despite his ouster, Washington, its allies and the new Iraqi leaders remain mired in a fight to quell a stubborn insurgency by Saddam loyalists and a vicious sectarian conflict.

Also hanged were Saddam’s half-brother Barzan Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court. State-run Iraqiya television news announcer said “criminal Saddam was hanged to death and the execution started with criminal Saddam then Barzan then Awad al-Bandar.”

This could actually save lives. Capital punishment gives a finality to certain behavior and prevents others from imagining that they can return to the halcyon days. Hanging means there can be no rescue attempt or taking of hostages to secure his release. But I’m sure the same people who are urging us to admit to defeat and retreat from Iraq will by heartbroken.

Mines To Stop The Taliban?

Or mines to protect the Taliban.

Pakistan Plans to Mine Afghan Border – New York Times

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan said Tuesday it will plant land mines and build a fence on parts of its long, rugged frontier with Afghanistan to meet criticism it does too little to stop Taliban and al-Qaida guerrillas from crossing the border.

A minefield can either be an obstacle or a fortification. Is it going to be an obstacle to the Taliban crossing the border or is it going to be a fortification protecting the Taliban from pursuit?

Wackjob Alert

Caught on Tape: James Brolin Touts 9/11 Conspiracy Website on ‘The View’ | NewsBusters.org

Brolin: “Hey, we’ve got to start wondering. We all used to hate each other, and you gotta start – I mean, we all used to get along. We were Americans. Now we’re split and arguing. So who’s fault is that, and what’s going wrong, and think about the issues.”

Obviously it’s the fault of Brolin and those like him who put their personal politics before winning the war. But just in case you might consider him a level headed, if misguided, patriot…

Then Brolin dropped the conspiracy bomb: “And for starters, can I tell you to have a look at www.911weknow.com? And then wait until I see you next time.”

911weknow.com is one of those conspiraziod websites for those who think that Bush planned the 911 attack.

I have a co-worker that used to work in the entertainment business. He tells me that the on-camera talent are largely empty heads with good hair and teeth. Brolin just proves his point.