Big Education, Not So Big Students

Ever notice how politicians in both parties always want to spend more on education at all levels? There never, never seems to be enough money. After all, spending more on education is a feel-good type exercise. It makes our caring-karma glow and helps politicians get re-elected. But what good does it do our children? Why are we not seeing positive results there? Could it be because of the K-Mart (no offense to K-Mart) mentality of educating our children. That is to say, quantity rather than quality, like the editor writes. . .

The problem at the bigger, higher-profile institutions like the University of Florida and Florida State University is that they have been trying to handle too many students with increasingly tight budgets.

Yes, the budgets have risen in total dollars, but not enough to offset the rising costs of providing high-quality education to growing numbers of students.

Time is long overdue to expect more for our money which is already ‘invested’ into educating our children, and to dispel this blank-check, or bottomless-pit theory that if we just spend more money on education that we will get bright and educated children. We’ve had bright and educated children in our history with much smaller expenditures than what we are seeing today.

In financing education in Florida, the lottery shell-game that we all bought into years ago ‘has come home to roost.’ And while some politicians are quick to trash BIG OIL, BIG PHARM, BIG INSURANCE, and BIG ENERGY on costs, where in the world are they on BIG EDUCATION? The assumption that spending more money because costs are rising, instead of addressing the rising cost is where we lose focus on the important thing, teaching our children to be bright, productive, and able to think and reason on their own.

To borrow an overused phrase and campaign slogan, it’s time for change we can believe in. It’s time for politicians to step up and attack the ‘rising cost’ factor like they are so quick to do with other industries, instead of the taxpayers’ wallet. But first, they have to come to terms with their biggest obstacle, BIG LABOR, teacher’s unions.

related link: PNJ editorial, No free lunch on tuition

Progress In Iraq Ignored

The fact that most of the news nowadays is about the economy, if not about the Democratic primary race and not about Iraq is not news. I mean, ever since the surge started showing positive results, news in Iraq is limited to a death toll tally or IED and mortar count. What is happening in Iraq that is also being ignored surrounds the current fighting going on in Muqtada al-Sadr territory against his militias in Basra. The news here is that the Iraqi army is the military doing the fighting there, not U.S. Basra was turned over to Iraq for full security control last December, and what we are seeing is Iraq taking care of business. And, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is personally overseeing operations against al-Sadr’s militias and supporters. al-Maliki says

“We have made up our minds to enter this battle and we will continue until the end. No retreat,” al-Maliki said in a speech broadcast on Iraqi state TV.

So where are the headlines like Iraq Taking On Security Responsibilities?

related link: Iraqi prime minister says no retreat

Trailer Park Lawmakers Don't Ask Questions

Things just keep getting curiouser and curiouser. Today it is Democratic Reps. Jim McDermott of Washington, who earned the moniker ‘Baghdad Jim’, David Bonior of Michigan and Mike Thompson of California, going on an all expenses paid junket to Iraq in October of 2002 to meet with Saddam Hussein over a year before the war began. And not one of them knew that the trip was financed by Saddam Hussein.

Are we to think that these three anti-war Democrats did not know who was paying for the trip, since they were not? ‘Plausible deniability’ dictates not to be so curious as to inquire who is picking up the tab. Take the free ride to Saddam’s palace.  Take the opportunity to accuse the President of lying to the American people.  And let’s not forget, all the free propaganda material Saddam can use.

I’m reminded of the words of James Carville, then attack dog and political adviser to President Clinton, when Clinton Inc. was smearing Paula Jones as ‘trailer park trash.’ Of Paula Jones, he said something like ‘that’s what you get when you drag a dollar bill through a trailer park.’ The analogy fits when applied to these three, Baghdad Jim McDermott, David Bonior and Mike Thompson. Drag a dollar through their office and they’re yours. They’ve apparently been conditioned to not ask questions.

Of the lawmakers . . .

None was charged and Justice Department spokesman Dean Boyd said investigators “have no information whatsoever” any of them knew the trip was underwritten by Saddam.

That’s one issue. Then there’s what they said while in Baghdad. Baghdad Jim told ABC, from Baghdad, that “the president of the United States will lie to the American people in order to get us into this war.” But wait, there’s more! He said this on Iraqi TV . . .

“We are three veterans of the Vietnam War who came over here because we don’t want war. We assert from here that we do not want the United States to wage war on any peace-loving countries. As members of Congress, we would like diplomatic efforts to continue so as not to launch any aggression. We will visit children’s hospitals to see the negative impact of the sanctions imposed on Iraq. We hope that peace will prevail throughout the world.”

related link: US: Saddam paid for lawmakers’ Iraq trip | The Baghdad Democrats

Five Years, 7,000


Nothing but heroic courage and selfless sacrifice to celebrate today. Not the fact that the total war casualties reached 4000. Seems like only yesterday that the media was all pumped up for the 500th. Then the 1000th.

Militarily, this war has proven to be the most successful war, especially considering the global scale of the enemy, in history. Actually, the total casualties is 7,000. The first 3,000 were unarmed civilians.

One can only imagine how much lower the count would have been, and how much closer to being able to leave Iraq we would have been if the other half of the country did not choose to abandon the war in mid-stream.

Flashback to this time last year, when Gen. Petraeus wrote a ‘Letter To The Iraqi People.’ This was when the planned surge operation was about to begin. It looks like the Iraqi people took him at his word because the Iraqi people have done and are doing what he asked of them even to this day. They are turning in the insurgents and isolating them from their neighborhoods so they can be taken out. And its a good thing. Unfortunately, the left would rather abandon the Iraqi people for political expediency. Doesn’t it make sense to finish the job now instead of letting Iraq regress into a safe house/country for terrorists where we’ll have to go back and start all over, only this time with a much more dug in, armed and deadly enemy? If casualty numbers are of any concern to the Left, then they know the best option is to finish this one out and not leave, only to return to start from scratch.

related link: Iraq: The Real Story by Oliver North

Lawyers Bribing Judges?

Last week, mass tort lawyer Richard (Dickie) F. Scruggs, who squeezed hundreds of billions of dollars from tobacco companies, pleaded guilty to trying to bribe a state court judge in Mississippi. This, concerning a mass tort scam on insurance companies over Hurricane Katrina victims and his fees. His son, David Zachary Scruggs, reached a plea agreement today with federal prosecutors who had charged him with a role in a conspiracy to bribe a state court judge.

Is this part of a ‘design to dismantle the plaintiffs bar’ as has been suggested, or simply a matter of law enforcement? Kudo’s to the judge who did not take the bribe.

'Speak English' Sign OK, Geno's Steaks Prevails

Joey Vento, owner of Geno’s in South Philadelphia, Joey Vento of Gino's Steakswon his day in court yesterday, when the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations lost their case to force Vento to remove a sign from his window. The Commission on Human Relations claimed the sign was discriminatory in some inane way.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The owner of a famous cheesesteak shop did not discriminate when he posted signs asking customers to speak English, a city panel ruled Wednesday. In a 2-1 vote, a Commission on Human Relations panel found that two signs at Geno’s Steaks telling customers, “This is America: WHEN ORDERING ‘PLEASE SPEAK ENGLISH,'” do not violate the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance.

Big victory for Joey Vento and freedom of speech. Shame on the City of Philadelphia for their ‘politically correct police gone wild’ show. The city should, but won’t, reimburse Vento for his legal expenses.

Although this looks like a victory, it’s more like a Victory In Name Only. VINO. So over a glass of Chianti, realize that the PC police are still out there. Says Debbie Schlussel . . .

But, in fact, it’s no victory at all. That Vento and his restaurant were hauled before a government commission and told what they could and couldn’t say, is already a defeat. That he was forced to defend himself and that statement, in the very first place, is a stunning defeat. And that one of three commissioners on this Philadelphia city commission voted against Vento is a huge defeat. Vento was only “victorious” by one vote.

related links:Cheesesteaks On Immigration, What? |
“Speak English” Sign Deemed Discriminatory? | ‘Speak English’ Signs OK at Philly Shop

aSide Order

Are you as shocked as this white guy to learn what goes on in some, I hope very very few, black churches on Sunday? From Barack Obama’s former minister and still ‘spiritual leader’ spewing political and racial hatred, to a church in Harlem that tore Obama to shreds, from the pulpit. Is is painful to hear. I don’t care if you read The Lord’s Prayer on Sunday and spew that political and racial hatred, it doesn’t qualify to be the tax exempt entity it is supposed to be. Question is, how is it that THESE churches still have tax exempt status?  Not to mention how damaging it is to the life and spirit of generations of black children being exposed to this kind of hatred.

Always on top of things Brian Ross of ABC News, finds that Hillary was in the White House on ‘blue dress day.’ But Brian, where’s the cigar?

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