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When you leave, my blog just fades to grey
Nu ma nu ma iei, nu ma nu ma nu ma iei
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At work? Stuck at home? Would you rather be at the bar?
Dr. Helen has a discussion about gifted programs in school. An article discussed what educators in Montgomery County, Maryland are doing.
But this fall, educators decided to try a different approach. Instead of selecting a few hundred students for traditional school magnets, officials opened magnet programs at three middle schools to everyone.
"We've changed from labeling children to labeling services," Horn said. "It's not whether you're gifted, it's what's appropriate for you."
Oh sure, this method will really fool the kids--think they don't understand the hypocrisy of leveling the playing field? Of course they do. In my daughter's school, when the mentally handicapped kids are called over the intercom for special classes, they announce, "Will all of the 'Smart' kids come to Room 101." The whole school, from kindergarteners to 5th graders look at each other in amusement that the school is calling the handicapped kids smart. How silly is that? And how silly is it to let teachers observe kids to determine if they are "gifted" instead of allowing for some set of standards to do the sorting for them?
After reading a Michelle Malkin post on the financing of the Dubai Ports World takeover of P&O, using a unique financial instrument called the sukuk (designed to get around the Islamic prohibition on interest), I was reminded that Contingencies ran an interesting article on Islamic insurance products, designed with the same goals in mind.
I admit to feeling a little leery that a United Arab Emirates company is, through acquisition of a U.K. port operation company, going to operate several American ports. But I recognize what that feeling is: a stereotype, bias, unfairly targeting a company because it's located in a Muslim country, and many Muslims want to kill Americans.
Can anyone explain the logic behind laws that says a supermarket cashier under age 18 can't touch packaged alcohol, while it's perfectly alright for someone age 18-20 to do so?
Barry Saunders, columnist at the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, is perhaps the first journalist to dive off the deep end.
Accident my eye. Or rather, Harry Whittington's eye.
If you believe it was just an accident that Vice President Dick Cheney shot his hunting companion last weekend, you obviously have never seen "The Godfather" movies.
Just as surely as a fish wrapped in a bulletproof vest means "Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes," that shotgun blast to Whittington's face was meant to convey that I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had better bite his tongue and forget about testifying against Cheney, his former boss, in the Valerie Plame spy case.
The Indianapolis Star included a review of Kenji Yoshino's semi-memoir Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights. Yoshino defines covering as "ton(ing) down a disfavored identity to fit into the mainstream." Despite the title, this reviewer doesn't see it as one-sided.
Yoshino, an Asian American law professor at Yale, whose gay status informs this work, explores the struggle for equality of gays in America from the broader perspective of the civil-rights movement. He argues that society resists allowing full equality for gays by instead advocating conversion, passing as straight, and covering homosexuality, tactics similarly imposed on racial and other minorities. Passing is reflected in the military's current "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Covering occurs when a gay is "out" but avoids offending the larger society by "covering." By favoring passing and covering, self--perceived liberal nongays, Yoshino argues, are in fact denying gays full rights. Yoshino considers "covering," the demand that gays not flaunt their orientation, to be the civil-rights issue of today. Yoshino views the "accommodation" model applied in law to religious and disabled minorities as a bright spot but recognizes its restricted application to gays. While accommodation could be more readily applied to traditionally protected groups, he is not optimistic about this course with America's increasing pluralism. An insightful read.
Labels: Dungeons and Dragons
At one time in American history, unions were necessary to improve the working conditions of Americans. However, in learning history, I was struck by how little time it took for unions to start doing things that were wrong. One tactic, since banned, was featherbedding: forcing companies to keep paying workers who were no longer needed to do the job.
All day, Judy Rowe sits in a room at a large, old Delphi Corp. auto parts plant here, reading, sewing or staring into space.
For this she earns $31.80 an hour.
There are 70 people in this room, all employed by Michigan-based Delphi and protected by the United Auto Workers union. They clock in at 6 a.m. and clock out at 2:30 p.m.
But there is nothing for them to do.
"I think I'm slipping into a depression," said Rowe, who has been languishing for six years in this strange and very unique form of unionized employment limbo known as the jobs bank.
If there was work to do, they would be on the manufacturing lines. But there isn't. And they can't be laid off because their union contracts includes this unique provision.
The jobs bank is a bullpen of sorts for surplus workers. It was designed two decades ago as a temporary haven that has become a permanent and expensive catch basin for declining auto industry companies.
Check out the blizzard that hit the Northeast. 26 inches in New York City, and 21 inches from Baltimore to Maine?
Have you ever wondered what to make of the reported low, even negative, rate of savings attributed to the American people? Have you thought about what you put into your 401(k), Roth IRA, and college savings; then thought about what your friends, neighbors, and co-workers do; then wonder if that negative savings rate makes sense?
A frequent ad on cable is for the "Chocolate Factory", which sells the materials necessary to make chocolate candies.
I'm down eighteen pounds so far, aided recently by the best and fastest short-term weight loss program known to man: a bout of influenza.
Many on the left are opposed to the federal government listening in on conversations between American residents and suspected al-Qaeda operatives. They claim that is a violation of fundamental privacy rights.
Courtesy of the folks at the Actuarial Outpost, here's a thread from another discussion forum, one focused on student doctors. "Things doctors learn from working the ER."
Why is it that the worst, most ungrateful patients always seem to have an attorney on retainer ("You'll hear from MY lawyer in the morning"), but can't find a dentist?
23 Yemeni prisoners, including at least 13 Al Qaeda members, have escaped from prison, including the mastermind of the USS Cole bombing.
Robert Zubrin makes a convincing argument that, to reduce our usage of oil, we must move to use engines that can burn greater amounts of alcohol.
To liberate ourselves from the threat of foreign economic domination, undercut the financiers of terror, and give ourselves the free hand necessary to deal with Middle Eastern extremists, we must devalue their resources and increase the value of our own. We can do this by taking the world off the petroleum standard and putting it on an alcohol standard.
This may sound like a huge and impossible task, but with gasoline prices well over $2 per gallon, the means to accomplish it are now at hand. Congress could make an enormous step toward American energy independence within a decade or so if it would simply pass a law stating that all new cars sold in the U.S.A. must be flexible-fuel vehicles capable of burning any combination of gasoline and alcohol. The alcohols so employed could be either methanol or ethanol.
The largest producers of both ethanol and methanol are all in the western hemisphere, with the United States having by far the greatest production potential for both. Ethanol is made from agricultural products. Methanol can also be made from biomass, as well as from natural gas or coal. American coal reserves alone are sufficient to power every car in the country on methanol for more than 500
Ethanol can currently be produced for about $1.50 per gallon, and methanol is selling for $0.90 per gallon. With gasoline having roughly doubled in price recently, and with little likelihood of a substantial price retreat in the future, high alcohol-to-gasoline fuel mixtures are suddenly practical. Cars capable of burning such fuel are no futuristic dream. This year, Detroit will offer some two dozen models of standard cars with a flex-fuel option available for purchase. The engineering difference is in one sensor and a computer chip that controls the fuel-air mixture, and the employment of a corrosion-resistant fuel system. The difference in price from standard units ranges from $100 to $800.
Flexible-fuel vehicles (FFVs) offer consumers little advantage right now, because the high-alcohol fuels which they could employ are not generally available for purchase. This is because there are so few such vehicles that it doesn’t pay gas station owners to dedicate a pump to cater to them. Were FFVs made the standard, however, the fuel they need would quickly be made available everywhere.
If all cars sold in the U.S. had to be flexible-fueled, foreign manufacturers would also mass-produce such units, creating a large market in Europe and Asia as well as the U.S. for methanol and ethanol—much of which would be produced in America. Instead of being the world’s largest fuel importer, the United States could become the world’s largest fuel exporter. A large portion of the money now going to Arabs and Iranians would instead go to the U.S.A. and Canada, with much of the rest going to Brazil and other tropical agricultural nations. This would reverse our trade deficit, improve conditions in the Third World, and cause a global shift in world economic power in favor of the West.
USA Weekend has an article on third world video-game-playing sweatshops! People who want to have powerful characters in MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) can pay to have other people build up their characters, enabling them to play the missions for top players.
--WARNING-- Disturbing thought ahead --WARNING--