The Locker Room

October 19, 2006

We've been sneezing all wrong

Posted by Jon Ham at 7:09 PM

The Centers for Disease Control says we've been sneezing and coughing all wrong. Here's a video where they show you how to do it. Why am I not surprised that a large government bureaucracy asks us all to think about our "coughing strategies." 

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Re: President in Greensboro

Posted by Andrew Cline at 5:12 PM

Some of the people excited to see Tony Snow might've been old friends. Tony used to write for the News & Record many a long year ago.

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Educational Innovation Strikes Again

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 3:23 PM

The location?
A 7th grade class at Lincoln Middle School in Alameda, California

The idea?
Teach "tolerance" in a creative way

The method?
"put up a big piece of paper and have the kids call out every cuss word and racial epithet they could dream up."

The words?
ABC7 News says, "Decorum and the FCC prohibit us from telling you the words that went up in the classroom but they were racially and sexually explicit."

The principal's response?
Judith Goodwin, Lincoln Middle School principal said, "It was appropriate as a lesson that is going to support teaching tolerance." She says that the lesson's been taught for 10 years and this is the first complaint.

The reason for no prior complaints?
The children were told not to discuss the lesson outside the classroom.

The resolution?
The school district "told ABC7 News they will send home letters warning parents of the swearing class and giving them the option of opting out next year when they teach the class again."

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RE: President in Greensboro

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 2:30 PM

On the lighter side, it is clear that people love Tony Snow, the White House press secretary. His towering presence created quite a stir among the audience members in my section. I equate it, more or less, to the moment at a KISS concert when Gene Simmons appears on stage.

On the other hand, few seemed to care that Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education, was there.

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Better Democrat Prospects Mean More Reporting?

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:17 PM

The Center for Media and Public Affairs reports that network news coverage has tripled compared to the 2002 election cycle:

Since ABC broke the Tom Foley scandal, that story has been discussed in 85% of election news.

No wonder Tony Snow is quoted by Drudge as saying, "These stories almost look like suppression efforts to bring down Republican morale."

According to this month's Civitas poll, it's working. 

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President in Greensboro

Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 2:07 PM

Yesterday I attended President Bush’s visit at Waldo C. Falkener Elementary School in Greensboro. The excitement of a seated President in the building filled the air. Dr. Terry Grier and his team successfully prepared for this important visitor. The children were excited about seeing “their” President, and President Bush had a great photo opportunity. Basically a good time was had by all - except maybe the demonstrators outside.
Bush touted the benefits of his education policy  - No Child Left Behind – and holding schools accountable. He complimented North Carolina for being the first state to have an accountability program. Also, praised our state for the high number of students proficient, and for closing the achievement gap.
I am not sure who wrote his speech, but obviously there was not enough homework done on North Carolina’s minimal standards and low proficiency levels.
 I was pleased to hear one aspect. He stated in clear terms he was NOT supportive of a Federal test. Some  Republican colleagues think this "Federal test" would be the answer to "gaming" the accountability measures. President Bush said standards and tests should be directed at the state level not the federal level.
He did not go so far as to say the Department of Education should be eliminated, which would have been a giant step in the right direction!
 

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Scottish Government's Three Step Tutorial on Spin

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 2:06 PM

Step 1: Acknowledge the failure of the government program
A four-year, multi-million-pound campaign by the Scottish Executive to combat intolerance did not work. "Forty two per cent of Scots claim to have been "exposed" to racism, either as victim, witness or perpetrator - 7 per cent higher than in 2001, the year before the campaign's launch."

Step 2: Call the failure a success
The government pronounced the program, entitled One Scotland, Many Cultures, a success. "In yesterday's report, the Executive suggested the rise in reports of racism could be an indication of the campaign's success, as more people may be willing to record it."

Step 3: Consider what the world would be like without the program
Politicians claim that Scotland would be even more racist if it wasn't for the initiative. "The actions of the tiny minority means that a vast majority is suffering. If the Scottish Executive did not have this initiative the numbers might be higher than they are."

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Easley Gets an "F"

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 1:55 PM

Gov. Easley's spending spree has finally caught up to him in the Cato Institute's annual report card for governors. His score of 44 earns an "F" just a point ahead of Louisiana's Kathleen Blanco and Arizona's Janet Napolitano - the two worst governors. Only Matt Blunt of Missouri received an "A" and that was thanks to the generous curve.

The full report is here. Report author Stephen Slivinski discusses the grades here.

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Al Gore as Philosopher-King

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 12:47 AM

Our friend Steve Hayward at AEI has what I think is a most interesting analysis of the global warming debate.  He compares Gore's philosophy to Martin Heidegger's.

A sample:

One of Gore’s sound and important arguments in Earth in the Balance and An Inconvenient Truth is that it is a profound error to suppose that the earth’s environment is so robust that there is little or nothing that mankind could do to damage it seriously. He is right, as was Heidegger, to point out the immense earthshaking power of modern technology. But there is a symmetrical observation to be made of Gore’s metaphysical approach to the problem, which is that it is an equally profound error to suppose that the environment of human liberty is so robust that there is no political intervention on behalf of the environment that could not damage liberty in serious ways, especially if the environment is elevated to the central organizing principle of civilization. Implicit in this goal is downgrading human liberty as the central organizing principle of civilization. There are no index entries in Earth in the Balance for “liberty,” “freedom,” or “individualism.” Heidegger believed the liberal conceptions of these great terms were meaningless or without foundation. There is no acknowledgement in Gore’s book that this is even a serious consideration. 

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Howard Dean's real strategy

Posted by Jon Ham at 11:56 AM

Iowahawk has a hilarious translation of Howard Dean's real post-Foley election strategy:

Frankly, I realize we have not always brought our "A Game" when it comes to the concerns of conservative-Americans. That's why we would like to take this opportunity to start a dialog with you, the conservative "values voter," by addressing an issue of vital importance to all of us — the growing Republican homo menace.

Read the whole thing.

(h/t: Townhall blog)

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13% of U.S. voters are libertarians

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 11:22 AM

A new study by the Cato Institute concludes that roughly 13 percent of U.S. voters are libertarian or strongly libertarian-leaning in their beliefs.

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Now that's a fan!

Posted by Jon Ham at 11:17 AM

I found this grave in the cemetery of Suck Springs Baptist Church near Bedford, Va., last weekend. Virginians love their NASCAR, or at least this one loved Dale Jarrett.

Yes, that's the church's real name. It sits at the foot of the Peaks of Otter and the remains of many of my wife's paternal ancestors are interred there. There are definitely worse places to spend eternity.

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Can western civ survive at Hamilton College?

Posted by George Leef at 09:53 AM

The infamous Hamilton College, which has a fair claim to being the most aggressively leftist campus in America, now has something new -- the Alexander Hamilton Center for the Study of Western Civilization. Story here.

What's amusing about this is how the thought police on campus are reacting. We all know that colleges are supposed to be welcoming and inclusive, but obviously that does not extend to something as horrible as western civilization.

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A limited obsession?

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:33 AM

It seems to me that our media here have little interest at all as to which party will control the State House and Senate here — especially not in comparison with their interest in which party will control the U.S. House and Senate. Assuming I've not committed an observation fallacy, why should that be? Surely local control would be more relevant and interesting to local media. Is it that Democrats retaining control of the N.C. House and Senate is regarded a fait accompli whereas Republicans retaining control of the U.S. House and Senate is very much in doubt, or are there other factors at work?

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Higher ed -- oversold in Britain, too

Posted by George Leef at 09:27 AM

After my paper "The Overselling of Higher Education" was released, I heard from an education reformer in Britain, Tom Burkard, who said that things were much the same there.

I prevailed upon him to write a piece explaining the situation under the Blair government and today the Pope Center has released it. You can read Burkard's article here.

The US isn't the only nation where the idea that formal education is the panacea for inequality and slow economic growth has taken hold.

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Brown University makes amends for slavery

Posted by George Leef at 09:24 AM

If you have ever doubted that many higher ed administrators don't really have much to do, consider this story on Inside Higher Ed about Brown University's plan to create "memorials and social justice efforts meant to acknowledge and make amends for the past."

According to one professor, Brown has "corpses on the quad" because the school's founders were complicit in the slave trade. That was 250 years ago, but why let the passage of a lot of time get in the way of a good bit of hand wringing and self-abuse? Those memorials and "social justice efforts" will make a few people feel better for events they had nothing to do with. The expense, of course, will be borne by others.

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Federal Funding is Unreliable

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:09 AM

For some reason, health care reformers on the Left always talk about leveraging federal dollars and emphasize the need "not to leave any [federal] money on the table." So they do everything they can to drain dollars from the federal coffers and act surprised when it's not there.

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$4 Generics for NC

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:50 AM

Wal-Mart is expanding its $4 generic drug program to 14 more states, including North Carolina

Update: As usual, Jeff Taylor beat me to the good news 

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Diane Sawyer goes to North Korea

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:44 AM

Get ready for more Potemkin Village reporting from the MSM.

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Grand jury indicts three former ECU administrators

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 08:25 AM

Three former ECU administrators were indicted yesterday on counts of conspiracy and obtaining property under false pretenses. The indictments come following a two-year probe into the school's Office of Financial Aid. Also indicted were two former students who were alleged to have participated in the crime. 

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A colorful way to start your day

Posted by Jon Ham at 07:57 AM

Or maybe I should say colourful since this looks like a British council flat, ready for demolition I'm guessing.

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