The Locker Room

August 24, 2006

A wonderful tribute to Mr. Pope

Posted by Jon Sanders at 9:58 PM

I don't want our LR readers to miss John Hood's elegant paean to John William Pope, one of the most gracious gentlemen and Tar Heels ever to bless the Old North State. He titled it simply "The Builder" — an apt summation of the businessman, innovator, philanthropist, and philosopher.

I'm sure others will have their own favorites, but there was something about this stanza I found particularly eloquent:

You — Gracious, Brave Protector, Father — built
An arbor tinted not in greens but blues,
To cultivate young minds, as not to wilt,
To educate for higher things — to choose

Why that one above others? It captures the overall point, so it serves the rhetorical need of the poem; it is structurally sound; and most importantly, it well illustrates the philosophy of freedom that animated its subject. But also (this is the je ne sais quoi factor) it has a wonderful cadence. It is, in a rough way of stating it, good art.

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Writing Results

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 7:21 PM

According to DPI:

- Fourth grade results showed that 50 percent of students scored proficient in 2005-06, an improvement from 2004-05 when 49.3 percent scored at this level.

- For seventh graders, a total of 46.2 percent scored proficient in writing, down slightly from 2004-05 when the proficient rate was 46.7 percent.

- At the 10th grade level, 53.2 percent of students scored proficient, an increase from the 2004-05 year when 47.8 percent scored at this level.

The bottom line: Only half of the state's students are proficient writers. But these results do not truly capture writing proficiency because the state uses a more lenient scale to assess spelling and grammar than they do to assess content.

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Who'd they get to measure them?

Posted by Jon Ham at 7:07 PM

Must have been an intern

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Don't ask me, I'm a Methodist

Posted by Jon Ham at 4:49 PM

The group claiming to have kidnapped Fox News' Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig is called "Holy Jihad Brigade," at least that's what they said in their press release and video of the kidnapped newsmen. But I thought jihad meant "holy war," so the name of the group is "Holy Holy War Brigade"? Are there degrees of holiness among Muslims that require using the word twice in some instances? I wouldn't know. I'm a United United Methodist.

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Edwards Beats Clinton

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:38 PM

Johnny Ed doesn't actually lead Hillary in polls, but Greg Mankiw uses prices to determine that the  hair has a better shot at winning the general election if he makes it through the primary. He still trails Giuliani and McCain, however.

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Guv's handyman off the Clean Water Trust Fund

Posted by Chad Adams at 3:04 PM

From Tom Campbell's Spin Cycle:

Corruption in state government
We hear that Nick Garrett, friend to Governor Easley, has resigned his position as a member of the board of the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. While the traditional excuses will be made about lack of time, etc. the real reason, we are told, is that Garrett was using his position as a board member to review potential Clean Water grants, then invest in real estate deals that might benefit when grants were made. Garrett has already been the subject of stories questioning his business dealings. Will there be further investigations?

Boyce leaving Easley
Word just in that Cari Boyce, Governor Easley’s Director of External Affairs and a major spokesperson for the Administration, is resigning to take a position with Progress Energy. No word yet on her replacement. Boyce has played a key role in the Easley administration.

Hat Tip to Carrington.

Boyce is the Guv's chief defender that wrote all the wonderous stuff about how innocent the Governor's relationships with folks like Garrett have been over time.

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Posted by Chad Adams at 2:28 PM

No, it's not slang for tourette syndrome. It's Race and the Economy with Thomas Sowell.

Now you'll finally know the answer to this burning question: "Why is the cost of a package of Swisher Sweets lower than a gallon of milk in the ghetto?"

Hint: It's got a little to do with supply and demand, and a lot to do with history.

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Pluto and Goofy

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 1:09 PM


Pluto was demoted from the very start. He played second fiddle to Goofy who is also a dog, but got to wear clothes and talk. Totally unfair.

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Spot the Looney: Private Property and Carrboro Cheerleaders

Posted by Jon Sanders at 12:59 AM

Readers of the LR, with appreciation for Monty Python, it's time to play:

The setting: a mall in Carrboro, a town in North Carolina adjacent to Chapel Hill.

The situation: a local man habitually uses the mall's lawn to dance via "part yoga, part martial arts and part creative movement." The mall ownership, for whatever reason (it is private property) asked him to stop. Now they request that would-be performers sign up ahead of time for use of the lawn.

The reaction: Some mall-goers are very upset by this decision, many going so far as to act as if the mall, Weaver Street Market, has an obligation to the community to let the dancer, Bruce Thomas, dance on its lawn. Thomas himself endorses this view. Some have even committed vandalism and made threatening phone calls.

Yesterday: a group of activists engaged in "civil dance disobedience" to protest the private property-owner's decision. Gandhi was referenced. The mayor and the local state senator (Ellie Kinnaird, D-Carrboro, a former mayor) stuck their noses in.

Also participating: a group styling itself the "Rainbow ReSisters Radical Cheerleading Troupe." They're pictured above performing the "I think I slipped a disc" move and are shown below performing a self-confessional version of "YMCA." Previously the group had "cheered for peace" in Fayetteville .

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Charlotte is movin' on up

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:57 AM

The state's largest television market is now one notch away from the nation's top 25. 

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NC Education Lottery: Open Market to all!

Posted by Michael Moore at 12:30 AM

This article in the Sylva Herald is interesting because some folks already seem to be making the lottery work in their favor. 

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The Hope Carmichael Problem

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 11:59 AM

In a letter to the editor, Hope Carmichael, founder of Wake Families for School Choice and opponent of mandatory year-round schools, has a real dilemma.

Hope recognizes that "all the money in the world, right now this second, still would not give us enough seats for 2007-2008." She also knows that many parents do not trust the Wake County Board of Education. Finally, she wants to implement a limited school choice plan that would allow parents to choose between a traditional and year-round school.

Yet, Hope supports Wake's $1 billion bond because "without the bond issue it is a certainly that parents will only be more limited in their choices." Does she really think that the BOE will support any kind of choice if the bond is passed? No way. And would approval of the bond restore our trust in the BOE? I doubt it. Finally, will the bond funding slow year-round converstions? Nope. If the bond passes, the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) that would be implemented would create a deficit of nearly 3,000 elementary school seats by 2010.

Hope puts herself right back where she started. Along the way she has enabled the BOE, which she does not trust, to spend a billion dollars their way, with no obligation to her or her cause.

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Re: Mamas

Posted by Michael Moore at 11:32 AM


In response to your post on single mothers, there is a book by TD Jakes that I would have to say goes along with that story: Mama Made the Difference.   

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Research Roundup

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:05 AM

Seems that tall people earn more because they're smarter, corporate tax revenues are falling because corporations are earning smaller profits, high cigarette prices don't deter young smokers, globalization and democracy are mutually reinforcing, and frat boys really do drink more.

Now you know.

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Re: Everything old is new again

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:55 AM


Thanks for reminding us of NSC-68 Paul Nitze's document that defined American foreign policy for more than 40 years during the Cold War. Will this document survive as the defining strategy for the current conflict?

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Pluto gets demoted...

Posted by Paul Chesser at 09:47 AM

...and word is that he's not too happy about it.

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Mandatory student activity fees...

Posted by George Leef at 09:29 AM

are a bad idea, I argue here. Colleges should not encourage young people to think that the political system (i.e., "how can I make other people subsidize what I want?") is good. Unfortunately, it becomes a training camp for future rent seekers.

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Mesa, Arizona public schools respond to choice

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:50 AM

Mesa, Arizona is my hometown.  I was raised there and attended its public schools.  As you know, Arizona has the nation's most liberal, pardon the term, charter school law.  Last year, the district lost 700 students to 38 charter schools in the district and to home schooling. 

The district is responding by paying a PR firm $50,000 to "hone the districts image," the wrong response to competition.

But on the other hand, the district is providing more alternative choices for parents in side the district, a move in the right direction.  The district superintendent is states:

"It's not competition in that we're seeing who can get the most kids," Duvall said. "It's probably competition in that we try to be sure we provide an array of programs to meet their needs - so they don't feel the need to go someplace else."

See the Goldwater Institute comment here and the local newspaper article here.


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Can a single mother make it without government assistance?

Posted by George Leef at 08:19 AM

The answer is yes. What it takes is persistent effort, as evidenced by this story.

Hat tip: Doug French

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