Thursday, April 26, 2007

Friday Quote 04-27-07

It is not strange ... to mistake change for progress.

- Millard Fillmore, 13th President of the United States.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The War on Choice

Well, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Comrade Ted has declared war on the Pro-Choice faction of Ohio – those who which to choose their children’s education. Appearing yesterday on Brian Wilson’s show, the governor decried the voucher program in general, and indicated that only the Cleveland program would survive his administration.

Comrade Ted has declared that they only “choice” you have is limited to selecting your school board. Don’t get me wrong, the school board choice is extremely important, and kudos to Maggie Thurber and Lisa Renee for their board project. But, even if you get every board member you want, the courts and state legislature take a large degree of control away from the local boards – mandating education of some theories (evolution for example) and forbidding the teaching of others. I suppose your choice doesn’t really extend to education after all, only the choice of the liberal elite matters.

Furthermore, why is Cleveland so special? Perhaps because a large, Democratic-voting block of minority parents receive vouchers – to send their children to private and parochial schools at government expense? As I recall, the Cleveland program was indicated as a “trial” program. Well, the trial’s run a while now, it’s time to end it, or expand it state-wide. It sounds like Comrade Ted has a problem with consistency.

For those of you about to suggest that the issue is “means-testing,” the Governor stated his opposition, quite clearly, to the use of “public dollars” in any private institution. I wonder, does the State of Ohio provide grants to any private institution – or is every state dollar spent by the state through governmental agencies. If not, what explains this inconsistency – perhaps the support of the teachers’ unions for Comrade Ted?

If this was really about reducing monies to the schools, let’s take a look at that. Reducing funding to the schools, according to Comrade Ted, will reduce the amount available to educate students. In other words, it would reduce the number of dollars per student. Unfortunately for Comrade Ted, that isn’t the case (perhaps he had the benefit of public school education). The voucher does not pay out more than a private or parochial school’s tuition – which is less than the amount appropriated for the same student in the public school system. Thus, while the total dollars are reduced, so is the student count – and effectively raising the funding per student to the public schools. If you doubt that private schools spend less, compare their tuition rates to the amount spent per student by TPS.

As a basic example to prove my theory – assume a hypothetical public school system of 10 students, and a total funding of $10,000 (numbers simplified to keep the math easier). The total spent per student is ($10,000 / 10 =) $1,000. Now, one local family wants to send their child to a local private school, with tuition of $500. The $500 is subtracted from the total budget, leaving $9,500, and the student is subtracted from the enrollment, leaving 9 students to educate. Now, the total spent per student is $1,055.56 ($950 / 9). Correct me if I’m wrong, but that is more than $1,000. Savings on the expense side would be even greater in a large school system, where teacher layoffs could divert funding to computers, new programs, and such. So, the “reducing the amount of money” argument doesn’t wash. Hmmm, could the teachers’ unions be behind this theory. Anyone, anyone?

Margaritas ante Porcos,
Right Wing Toledo

Monday, April 23, 2007

One Flew Over the Crow's Nest.

For those who don’t understand why those on the right don’t let celebrities run their lives, I present: Cheryl Crow. “All I want to do is have some fun” Crow was joined by pseudo-celeb Laurie David for a two-week bus tour of college campuses, declaring war on “Global Warming.” Whilst on the road, Cheryl blogged some of her solutions. April 19th produced some of the most mind-bending ideas yet.

First, Cheryl advocated using one piece of toilet paper per use, excepting “hose pesky occasions where 2 to 3 could be required.” Perhaps the amount of crap leaving her mouth is reducing the level from her rear, but those of us who actually live life require a bit more than a single piece of see-through, recycled tissue paper. Her brother advocated “washing out” you own, personal piece. Here’s a clue: we’ve already invented this – it’s a cloth diaper. I invite Cheryl and her family to try it sometimes (and no using the help to wash it out, either.)

Then, in an attempt to save the “virgin wood” (apparently we’re cutting down the original trees grown by Mother Earth herself), Cheryl advocates eliminating paper napkins. Her solution, a removable “dining sleeve.” Now, one can fashionably wipe one’s mouth on their clothes, and then remove them for laundering. They would also be useful “to those suffering with an annoying head cold.” I can’t wait until she comes to town, I’m putting her idea to the test right before shaking her hand - I suppose she’s never heard of germ theory. Does anyone know how much energy it will take to wash all those dining sleeves? And are these sleeves going to be made with synthetic fibers, produced from oil products? If anyone wants to suggest hemp, I remind you of Toledo’s no-smoking laws at restaurants.

I will say, however, Cheryl saved the best for last. Her proposal – a reality show rewarding the person who “lives the ‘greenest’ life” would receive a recording contract! American Idol look out (I can hear Simon’s knees shaking as I write). We all know that living a “green” lifestyle equates to vocal talent – even if the lifestyles of these crazies and rock stars are similar (think of shower habits). On second thought, perhaps this is a good idea – it might drive the last nail in the coffin of reality shows.

Cheryl, shut up and sing. Thinking isn’t your strong suit.

Margaritas ante Porcos,
Right Wing Toledo

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Friday's Quote 4-17-07

Ok, so it's Tuesday - but it's Taxation Tuesday!

What at first was plunder assumed the softer name of revenue.

- Thomas Paine, Pamphleteer

Monday, April 16, 2007

Local Dem Opposes "Flip-Flops"

On Friday, Lindsay Webb launched her campaign against Joe Birmingham by complaining that he “flip-flopped” in his position on the trash fee proposed by Carty Finkbeiner. While I have no problem with taking Mr. Birmingham to task for his position on raising taxes, I do find it a bit interesting for Ms. Webb’s approach. According to a Blade article, Ms. Webb criticized Joe for “voting for the tax after saying he opposed it.” I’m sure she voted for President Bush in the last election – he didn’t “flip-flop” on the war issue.

Even more interesting was the presence of Mark Sobczak at her press-conference. Mr. Sobczak could be accurately described as having “flip-flopped” on the issue of conflict of interest regarding the trash tax. I’m still waiting to see the position paper given to Mr. Sobczak which stated that voting for a fee that would benefit an organization he personally profits from is not a conflict of interest. I suppose that if one sold short pharmaceutical stocks, then announced a plan to nationalize the entire health-care industry (allowing one to personally profit), one might run for president.

In any event, I’m looking forward to Ms. Webb laying out her outline for the budget – one that doesn’t include new taxes. Somehow, however, I don’t think I’ll be hearing any concrete plans. And there is the real tragedy, a political sub-party playing on our fears (where have I heard that before) of new taxes to get elected. Upon gaining power, sadly, they continue to drive up spending and taxes, and sending those who can fleeing from the city. The only flip Toledo needs is one to some old-fashioned fiscal conservatism.

Margaritas ante Porcos,
Right Wing Toledo

Friday, April 13, 2007

Why It's Easier to be a Liberal (part 2)

Another one of the great hallmarks of liberals is their lack of consistency. To some extent, this is true of all politicians, but the liberal leadership has it in spades. It is much easier to skate through life when your position can change from minute to minute. Conservatives find this much harder, the base holds them to their position. President Bush campaigned one way on the issue of illegal immigration, ask him about the support he received from conservatives when he proposed a modified form of amnesty.

When you don't have to stick to a single position on a broad issue, you're free to pander to the political group of the moment, and proclaim agreement with a differing position the very next day. Liberals refer to this process as "triangulation," and seek it in their candidates for high office. Thanks to an obliging mainstream media, liberals are seldom called to the carpet - even when their very words show them to be guilty of hypocrisy. Think I'm crazy? Let's look at a few examples.

Liberals loathe the use of the military in the protection of the US, or in regions of US interest, but have no problem with sending troops off to places like Darfur – to serve as police officers (and get shot), for no real purpose. I suppose the genocide in Iraq didn’t count; and the chemical weapons (categorized as “weapons of mass destruction”) were conveniently ignored as well.

Use a label to describe a liberal (“emotion-driven” comes to mind), they’ll shout you down. After all, “there is no such thing as a typical liberal.” Ah, but there is a typical conservative – heartless, money stealing polluters, if you believe the hype. I suppose that liberals detest labels like the plague because they serve to pin down people and tie them to their positions. And, in case you were wondering, they (inconsistently) feel free to decry conservatives as ”racists” and “homophobes” – the “no typical conservative” argument doesn’t make it through the wash.

And yesterday, liberals cheered the firing of Don Imus. Don't get me wrong, he owed an apology for his remarks. But, I suspect I'll be waiting for an apology from Al Sharpton to the Duke Lacrosse players falsely indicted by a Democrat prosecutor trying to win re-election. I'm still waiting for the liberals do demand that Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and others that impugned the accused players offer to meet with the victims of this injustice - offer sincere remarks, and public ally make amends.

Soon, we'll look at how liberals justify their positions.