The Locker Room

May 29, 2009

Re: Suburbs don't make kids fat

Posted by Jon Sanders at 4:42 PM

... we have gone from a society that in the past has had starvation as a major worry to one where one of our biggest concerns is being overweight.

Roy, apropos of those remarks, I think this fellow from China summed it up best — ironically in an article about all the woes the Chinese government faces from people growing old and fat instead of starving young by the tens of millions as in the good ol' days:

Life is getting better. That's why they're getting fat.

"Life is getting better" — i.e., life is getting like it is in the (relatively) freer West. But the state-socialists don't like that; they want us all to act like trained monkeys ready to hoot and howl about freedom and wealth effects and people enjoying the fruits of their labors. Socialism failed to produce the more productive societies that it once promised, so devoted socialists have had to spend the last half-century moving the goalposts to make misery the hallmark of the ideal, Earth-virtuous society.

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Governor's School budget might be cut

Posted by David N. Bass at 4:32 PM

The Governor’s School of North Carolina, a six-week summer residential program for gifted students, could face a 60 percent budget cut. The 2009 session is still taking place, but funding [for] 2010 is up in the air.”

The Governor’s School is split into separate locations – a GS East and a GS West. The slashed budget would most likely result in the elimination of one of the campuses (why isn't that rendered campi?).

If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Paul Chesser’s excellent exclusives series on the Governor’s School and the controversies surrounding it. All you ever needed to know – or wanted to.

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Re: Suburbs don't make kids fat

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 3:12 PM

For a great discussion of why kids and the rest of us are fatter today than in the past, see this article by Professor Dwight Lee in the latest issue of the Intercollegiate Review, a publication of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.  His points out that we have gone from a society that in the past has had starvation as a major worry to one where one of our biggest concerns is being overweight. But he concludes that this is not a problem but a success story attributable to freedom.

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Suburbs don't make kids fat

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:51 PM

A new paper finds that the "built environment" has little impact on children's body mass index (BMI), the main measure of obesity. If it's not cul-de-sacs, then what? Whether the mother thinks there is enough police protection in the neighborhood.

Busting another obesity myth: obese teens do no worse than normal weight teens in school.

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You might be a progressive if...

Posted by Dr. Roy Cordato at 2:45 PM

...the only problem you see with the GM bankruptcy deal is that the government will only own 72.5 percent of the company when it's all said and done.

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RE: Allred

Posted by Rick Henderson at 1:56 PM

Happening sooner. Allred says he's stepping down Monday.

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Allred's out

Posted by Rick Henderson at 12:04 AM

The N&O reports the embattled Alamance County representative will step down at the end of the legislative session.

A committee of Republican officials from the district will choose a replacement to serve the remainder of his term.

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What are you doing Wednesday?

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:26 AM

Dallas Woodhouse of Americans for Prosperity North Carolina hopes you'll join him for the "Take Back Our State" rally. He offers some reasons in the video clip below, a snippet from the latest edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

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Re: liberals are angry

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:59 AM

David, apropos of your post, a worldview that is so occupied with cataloging what everyone else has, that intrinsically hates humor, and that cannot allow any aspect of life to transcend politics is a worldview designed to keep the advocate very, very angry.

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News flash: liberals are angry

Posted by David N. Bass at 09:46 AM

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports this morning about the diversity woes of a task force in Chapel Hill.

Members of the Sustainable Community Visioning Task Force (too bad they couldn't get the word stakeholder in there somewhere) are not happy that its composition is lily white:

A new task force charged with advising the Town Council on what the town should look like by 2020 got off to a bumpy start.

At its first meeting Wednesday, members of the Sustainable Community Visioning Task Force criticized the makeup of the committee and a process they said had been dictated to them by the town.

Member Etta Pisano, a professor of radiology and biomedical engineering, said the task force was not diverse enough. The 18-member group has no black, Latino or Asian members.

"There isn't a lot of diversity in this room, and it bothers me," Pisano said.

I can give you a clue why Chapel Hill's task force is not very diverse -- Chapel Hill is not very diverse. One would expect such a bastion of liberalism to look like the United Nations, or at least have a better mix of races than North Carolina as a whole. Not so.

According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 73 percent of North Carolina's total population was white, 22 African American, and 4 percent Latino or Hispanic.

Comparatively, Chapel Hill was 78 percent white, 11 percent African American, and 3 percent Latino. So, CH has about half the number of African Americans as the state as a whole.

One potential reason: Chapel Hill is not exactly the go-to area in the Triangle for affordable housing. I sure as heck can't afford it. But I imagine they want to keep riff raff like me out.

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Kudos to Durham County Commissioner Joe Bowser

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:05 AM

From the N&O's Bull's Eye blog:

County Commissioner Joe Bowser is critical of the Durham Public Schools board for proposing to cut 121 teaching and teaching assistant positions as a money-saving measure, rather than looking in other places.

Like the home office — where, he said, assistant superintendent positions have increased from two to six in recent years.

According to figures handed out at this morning's meeting between the school board and the county commissioners, in addition to Supernintendent [sic] Carl Harris, DPS has six assistant superintendents, a chief operating officer and a chief academic officer on the central administrative staff.

Those eight salaries range from $111,988.44 to $158,850.96.

There are 12 "executive directors," salaries ranging from $93,571.92 to $127,855.80.

There are 23 full-time "directors" whose pay runs from $63,213.12 to $97,321.56, and one half-time director at $53,514. Two directors have county-provided vehicles.
For additional information, read this.

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NCAE: waging a civil war

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:08 AM

Apparently, the North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is "at war." It is better described as a civil war. After all, they are fighting members of their own education establishment.

NCAE members are even wearing red on Wednesdays to show that they are "at war." (Mixed metaphor alert: Red is probably a poor choice, considering that red is synonymous with British infantryman (Redcoats) who were mocked by the American colonists as "bloody backs" and "lobsterbacks" during the Revolutionary War.)

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Harrison and Atkinson vs. teachers

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 07:36 AM

Education CEO Bill Harrison and State Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson have a bold message for teachers: we're not on your side.

In a memo to local educators, Harrison and Atkinson point out that you can cut every administrator, school supply, and textbook funded by the state and it will still not be enough to make up for the budget shortfall. (Hint, hint, teachers: don't fear the reaper.) They even (finally?) admit that increasing taxes will not do the job. They write, “Even with new revenue sources, it is highly unlikely that they would bring in enough money to fill the budget shortfall.”

It is sensible to consider eliminating non-classroom and non-essential positions first. That's not to say that all teachers will be spared. But it reflects the right priorities, namely to protect the classroom.

The North Carolina Association of Educators (NCAE) is reporting that (behind closed doors) budget writers have proposed cutting up to 12,000 teacher jobs and instituting a 10 percent pay cut for all teachers. If these rumors are true, I argue that a proposal to shorten the school year should be back on the table.

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This weekend on Carolina Journal Radio

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:04 AM

Now that state lawmakers have passed their crossover deadline and are approaching the July 1 deadline for a new state budget, what's happening at the General Assembly? Becki Gray will share her insights during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.

One event on the legislative calendar is a June 3 “Take Back Our State” rally led by Americans for Prosperity. State director Dallas Woodhouse will discuss next week’s event.

Tracking activity at the Legislative Building might be easier if legislators televised their sessions. That's one of the reasons Sen. Eddie Goodall, R-Union, has pushed a bill to get sessions televised. You’ll hear his reasoning, along with support from Elon University’s Sunshine Center, the N.C. Coalition for Lobbying and Government Reform, and the N.C. Center for Voter Education.

We’ll also hear reaction from Rep. Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, to the recent N.C. Supreme Court ruling blocking the N.C. Medical Board from punishing doctors who observe state executions.

And we’ll step away from legislative news for an interview with Rajesh Rao, CEO of IndUS Health, a firm that helps patients travel to India for medical care.

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Today's Carolina Journal Online features

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 07:00 AM

This week's Carolina Journal Online Friday interview features a conversation with professor Bruce Yandle of Clemson University about his "Bootleggers and Baptist" theory.

Terry Stoops' guest Daily Journal examines myths associated with adding more days to the public school calendar in North Carolina.

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Re: Response from Revenue Department

Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 06:35 AM

I speak idiot, allow me to translate.

This year we've started to assume that if a tax return has "too many" exemptions -- and no, we're not telling you what that means -- we will immediately ask for documentation of those claims rather than process the return. As we work for State, there is nothing you can do about this change in policy. We need the money. Go away and leave us alone.

Makes sense to me.

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