The Locker Room

September 17, 2004

When [Republicans fake] Democrats attack[ing]!

Posted by Jon Sanders at 11:45 PM

By all appearances the blogosphere has uncovered yet another hoax perpetrated on the mainstream media (and by extension, yours truly). I call it hoax because I can't believe Phil Parlock (is it pronounced "poor luck"?) is the victim of three straight presidential-year assaults at Democrat rallies — and a drive-by shooting.

Further details can be found here. I have personally verified the existence of the Charleston Daily Mail stories the blog cites. The blog also raises the question that the union "thug" who ripped his dauther's sign was one of his elder sons. Note the family resemblence in the rally photo between thug, dad, and younger son, as well as the resemblence to the son in the gray shirt in the family photo:

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Calling all Wake County freedom fighters

Posted by Jon Sanders at 5:20 PM

Speaking of smoke-filled bars and warm beer

The Flying Saucer, home to the ice-coldest and widest selection of beer on the East Coast, is hosting a pseudo-presidential election. Every Wednesday until Election Day, you get to place one vote for your candidate for every beer you finish, plus you get a neato collector's mug. At last check, Bush was leading Kerry 134 to 127.

The Saucer is located on the corner of McDowell and Harrington Streets – conveniently two blocks from the JLF.

For some tasty spirits, try Greensboro's own Battlefield Black or whatever is the $2.50 fire sale that day.

See you on Wednesdays!

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Girls Gone Wise

Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:15 PM

Durham native and editor of The Heritage Foundation's Mary Katherine Hamm recounts an all too frequent situation that many conservative women find themselves in when they rub elbows on the singles' scene with liberal men.

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Re: Ah, New England

Posted by Paul Chesser at 2:00 PM

It doesn't seem fair that a Yankee fan should find himself plunked in the midst of Red Sox Nation in the heat of a pennant race, while a genuine Sawx fan must observe from afar.

And I count two of this year's top Democratic presidential candidates, John Kerry and Howard Dean, among my most sincere and fervent fellow Boston fans.

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Connecting the dots — and roads — on growth

Posted by John Hood at 1:55 PM

Over at the JLF Charlotte site, Jeff Taylor warns against local officials repeating the mistakes of the 1970s, when regulations kept new roads and developments from linking to the older ones. Roads don’t cause growth, he notes — growth (jobs and population) causes growth (residential development).

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A question of who's in charge

Posted by Hal Young at 1:25 PM

I was interested to attend the Headliner Luncheon for Jeanne Allen the other day. Ms. Allen is the head of the Center for Educational Reform and an advocate for charter schools. Since then I’ve been considering what she said and wondering why she didn’t see the inconsistency between the start and the finish of her statements.

A lot of what she said I cheerfully subscribe to, and wish her much progress in her mission, but other comments didn’t mesh. They simply underscored the difference between publicly funded institutional solutions -- of which charters are an improved version of the traditional public schools -- and those which are privately funded and controlled.

Throughout the presentation, she confirmed that the root of charters' success lies in their freedom to innovate, coupled with parental choice and involvement. She saw a need to emphasize the role of the parents, saying, "We have to tell parents they have a right to make decisions about their children," and calling for an educational culture where "parents are respected and trusted as people who know what to do with their children."

On the other hand, this was limited by her opening remarks that defined only “some degree of parental choice” as a characteristic of the successful school, and that late in the list. Why is it necessary to stop short of the obvious – that parents, and through them the students, are the customers of this endeavor, and those parents hold the ultimate authority?

The Supreme Court has acknowledged this repeatedly. They chided a state legislature for attempting "materially to interfere … with the power of parents to control the education of their own" (Mayer, 1923). The Court said that it is "the liberty of parents and guardians to direct the upbringing and education of children" and that this is a "right, coupled with high duty" (Pierce, 1925) for them to exercise. In the Yoder decision (1972), the Court ruled it is "the fundamental interest of parents, as contrasted with that of the state[emphasis added]", and wrote, “This primary role of the parents in the upbringing of their children is now established beyond debate ...”.

To run an institution requires a certain level of structure and delegation of authority within – granted. Still, why do the keepers of those institutions persist in language that grudgingly grants to parents bits and pieces of their natural role -- rather than frankly admitting that Mom and Dad, not the school, have the final say?

Once that's on the table, then we can talk about partnership and collaboration between school and home, but not while the relationship remains inverted.

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Try again

Posted by Hal Young at 12:57 AM

But he [Dan Rather] also delivered a message to "our journalistic competitors," including The Washington Post and rival networks: "Instead of asking President Bush and his staff questions about what is true and not true about the president's military service, they ask me questions: 'How do you know this and that about the documents?' " (Washington Post online)

Ah, but you see the difference is that George W. Bush's presidency is not made legitimate by the circumstances of his National Guard service. Dan Rather's legitimacy as a journalist, however, is entirely based on the reliability and veracity of his information and sources. So we come back to the question, Mr. Rather ...

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Ah, New England in September. . .

Posted by Andrew Cline at 11:36 AM

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To be Catholic means to vote pro-life

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 11:05 AM

Today's Opinion Journal editorial by Archbishop John Myers of Newark explains Catholic teaching on this issue quite succinctly.

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Posted by George Leef at 10:05 AM

John Kerry's economic "plan" presented in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal has already been pounded silly (but then, it started out silly) here and elsewhere. For those who'd like to see another devastating right hook, read Tom Nugent's commentary here.

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Oh, the Outrage!

Posted by Paul Chesser at 09:08 AM

Democrat 527 groups are suppressing the black vote!

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suppose we had "hunger insurance"

Posted by George Leef at 08:58 AM

We keep hearing about all the millions of people who don't have health insurance, with the inevitable implication that health insurance ought to be universal because health care is a necessity.

Well, so is food. Here is a classic articlefrom The Freeman, wondering what it would be like if we had a system of hunger insurance similar to our health insurance system.

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The Schwartz is still with us

Posted by John Hood at 08:53 AM

Andy Clarkson, who publishes the excellently named website, wrote in the Charlotte edition of the Rhino Times last week about the region's real air-quality trends and the struggle to stop excitable politicians and disingenuous activists from twisting the data to justify new regulations. Naturally, he cites work from JLF, including Joel Schwartz’ new paper.

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Re: Higher Education "report card"

Posted by George Leef at 07:59 AM

The whole enterprise of the "report cards" on higher education is monumentally silly. As Jeff Taylor notes, most states get Fs on affordability. The best "grade" is a B for the heavily subsidized California system. What do they want -- college to be free?

Moreover, there is one category where every state gets an Incomplete: Learning. That's because, the study admits (as it has done so for each year it's been produced) that there is no real way of evaluating how much or how little college students learn. Until we know if students are learning anything, why bother with the "report card?"

I can't resist quoting from Michigan State University Professor David Labaree's book How to Succeed in School Without Really Learning:

The practical effect of this subsidy is a glut of graduates. The difficulty posed by this outcome is not that the population becomes over-educated...but that it becomes overcredentialed, as people pursue diplomas less for the knowledge they are thereby acquiring (I'll add here "if any" -- GL) than for the access that the diplomas themselves will provide. The result is a spiral of credential inflation, for as each level of education in turn gradually floods with a crowd of ambitious consumers, individuals have to keep seeking ever higher levels of credentials in order to move a step ahead of the pack In such a system nobody wins.

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