The Locker Room

June 30, 2004

Far be it from me to say, but — I’m admirable

Posted by John Hood at 4:04 PM

I laughed and laughed at this bit from James Taranto’s Best of the Web feature today:

He Prides Himself on His Humility

"Because Jefferson was a humble person, I feel a kinship with him."--Jimmy Carter, Time.com, June 29.

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Bill's disbarment

Posted by George Leef at 3:13 PM

Donna brings up a good point regarding Bill's disbarment in Arkansas. I doubt that a former attorney general of the state regards it as a "badge of honor" to have been disbarred. Since state bar associations are notoriously lax in disciplining members and disbarments are extremely rare, Bill is in with a very small crowd of people who have egregiously violated the canons of legal ethics. I wonder if he mentions that at all in his book? What possible spin could he put on it?

And how many other state attorneys general have been booted out of their bar associations? I'd like to know if Bill is unique in that respect.

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Fun with the ACLU

Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:23 PM

From Richmond, Va.: "The American Civil Liberties Union sued in federal court to keep the state from shutting down a no-clothing camp for juveniles in late July at the White Tail Park nudist camp in Ivor."

Word is, however, that the ACLU may drop the suit after learning that "prayer" is often said at such camps, generally in the form of "Oh my God!"

No word yet on whether the NAACP intends to sue over the racism implied by the nudist camp's name, "White Tail Park."

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Re: Hillary's candid socialism

Posted by Donna Martinez at 1:38 PM

I just wish Hillary had years ago applied her "for the common good" social theory to Bill. Maybe we'd all have been spared the obnoxious details of his behavior in and out of court, and he'd be able to practice law in Arkansas.

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What a surprise, I mean, compromise!

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:54 AM

"As they try to close the gaps between the [state] House and Senate proposals, lawmakers are tending to go with the higher numbers, one negotiator said."

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Re: Cultural Math...And bagpipes!

Posted by Donna Martinez at 10:30 AM

I can't add unless there are bagpipes playing in the background, too!

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Legalized murder in western North Carolina

Posted by John Hood at 10:26 AM

Hendersonville Times-News columnist Stephen Black has posted the last of his series of columns on the Civil War in the NC mountains. Read the whole thing, as they say.

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Re: Cultural Math

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 10:24 AM

Let's think how this would play out; I'm envisioning it all devolving into an excercise in stereotyping.

Example Word Problem: If John Thomas lives in the suburbs with 12 houses per block and a Passat every third house and his whole soccer team lives on the same block, how many soccer moms in Passats would it take to get them all to Cameron Village after the game?

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Cultural Math

Posted by Jenna Ashley Robinson at 10:20 AM

"To what degree is it beneficial for teachers to relate to a child's cultural experiences when teaching concepts involving math?...Are we really communicating with all kids about math in a way they understand?"

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Edwardspalooza! It begins

Posted by Andrew Cline at 10:19 AM

CNN reports that John Edwards leads among potential Kerry veep picks.

I still prefer Elmopalooza.

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Legislative mollycoddling has reduced average public-university tuition payments by 32 percent since 1997-98

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:05 AM

Here are a few other revelations by US[pop]A Tod[pop]ay:

In 2003, students paid an average of just 27% of the official tuition price at four-year public universities when grants and tax breaks are counted. Students at private universities paid an average of 57%. ...

•Average tuition paid at public universities fell 32% from $1,636 in the 1997-98 academic year to $1,115 in 2002-03. During that time, the published tuition price rose 18% to an average of $4,202. About three-fourths of the nation's 12 million college students attend public institutions.

•Total costs for tuition and room and board were flat at $6,794 at public schools from 1998 to 2003.

•Average tuition paid at private universities rose 7% over five years to an average of $10,684 in 2003, less than the 20% increase in published tuition prices.

Congress has approved eight tax breaks for college education since 1997. Last year, these tax benefits saved families more than $7 billion. Key benefits:

•6.5 million families got tuition tax credits that reduced taxes an average of $1,350 per return.

•3.5 million received a tuition tax deduction that saved an average of $325 in income taxes.

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The Choice

Posted by Jon Sanders at 10:00 AM

Christopher Petersen is charged with the death of four teens in a wreck on interstate 540 three years ago. Petersen was allegedly racing another vehicle when this vehicle lost control and crashed, killing all four occupants.

Charge him with racing, but unless he held a gun to the head of the other driver to force him to race, do not charge him with manslaughter.

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The polar regions

Posted by John Hood at 09:51 AM

NYT Columnist David Brooks has a new piece, reprinted in The Charlotte Observer, that is well worth reading about political polarization. Not sure I agree with all his conclusions, but still a good thought-provoker.

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Rating the approval rating

Posted by John Hood at 09:41 AM

It’s George W. Bush’s “race to lose”, or so I’ve been led to believe.

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Re: Candid socialism

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:39 AM

George, you're right about the difficulty of pointing out the unseen benefits — manifold to millions but small and mundane, however far greater in the aggregate than the one big, noticeable money grab in D.C. (or Raleigh). But it seems to me it takes rhetorical skill to fudge the issues in order to make the Big Grab appear more beneficial to the common good — paeans to "contributions" and "fair shares" and the like. There are no Keebler Elves to Hillary's quotation, however, just her Sylvester Grahamsian "We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

Besides, I don't think it can help her case for getting America "back on track" for her to begin with"Many of you are well enough off that."

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More on socialism

Posted by George Leef at 09:19 AM

Don Carrington's CarolinaJournal story today helps to make my point on the "seen" political benefits. Here we have Governor Easley taking credit for a very minor business venture in Currituck County that actually had little or nothing to do with his administration's fondness for using taxpayer money to lure an occasional business into the state. But the average person who might read the PR flackery would think that this was some momentous development for which all North Carolinians should be appreciative.

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Re: Hillary's candid socialism

Posted by George Leef at 08:26 AM

Notice the built-in assumption that it is necessarily better "for the common good" for the state to have more money at its disposal. I wonder if it is merely a political calculation, or do people like Hillary actually believe that more good is done by having the federal government confiscate money from individuals and spend it according to the desires of the political class in Washington, than by allowing the individuals to spend or invest the money that is rightfully theirs?

This is the great intellectual fight that we need to win. We have got to convince large numbers of people that letting Washington (or Raleigh) take more money is throwing good money after bad.

The problem we face is the old one of the seen versus the unseen. The benefits of private spending and investment are largely unseen -- at least, most people don't make the connection between jobs, incomes, the availability of goods and services and the fact that those things come about due to voluntary actions that depend on money that was not taxed away. On the other hand, politicians are always trumpeting the supposed benefits of some program (like Medicare drug benefits) to make certain that people see them. We have to turn people's perception around. Once they grasp that the government's "seen" benefits come at a huge cost in foregone "unseen" benefits from voluntary action in the market, support for Hillary-type politicians will shrivel.

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Who's Advocating Fiscal Restraint?!

Posted by Paul Chesser at 08:21 AM

The Washington Post on its home webpage teases an article headlined "Budget Impasse Shows Rift" with the following phrase:

"Conservative Republican tax cutters are in a standoff with GOP moderates who advocate fiscal restraint."

Just so we have this straight, it's the GOP moderates who are advocating fiscal restraint and not the conservative tax cutters. Got it, Post!

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