FEDS NEVER LEARN
Re: Ben Van Horrick's Lessons Learned:
I have taught for over 15 years, all of them in the inner city and working with socio-economically challenged students. My first four years were spent with students processing through the Orange County, California juvenile justice system. My students were mostly Latino (Chicano or first generation American) with a smaller population of students of Asian descent. Most of the staff was Caucasian, as am I. Those teachers who treated the students with respect earned and received respect, regardless of race or cultural background. We did not start with the premise of "us" and "them." Mr. Van Horrick demonstrates, via his extended anecdote, that Teach for America starts exactly with the wrong premise of "us" vs. "them." This color/culture (over)sensitivity acts as a roadblock, not a bridge, between the teachers and students.
The best teachers and administrators I have observed over the years are aware of cultural differences but they do not define their students by them. The best see the individual students and meet their needs accordingly. These champions of students fully understand the impact that socioeconomic hardships play in our students' lives, but they do not allow these hardships to define or stymie the students. The greatest stumbling blocks are not the teachers but the system itself.
The greatest sources of defeat for our nation's students are government, and, yes, unions. Through ineptitude, bureaucracy, indifference and a fear of change, government and unions work against our students' interests. Voucher systems, alternative schools and release from the chains of federal regulation are necessary steps, but they are not sufficient in and of themselves. Voters, especially those who are also parents, must demand that power is returned to the local school boards where the people know their own students. From there, America can launch thousands of laboratories to test different methods of learning and teaching.
When met with the challenge of Sputnik, American scholars responded. Not only did we win the space race, but the very same mentality of American Exceptionalism won the Cold War. These students were not fettered by federal regulations: President J. Carter had not yet established the Department of Education. The time to end of this misbegotten power grab by the federal government is long past.
If public education is to survive, the school system must be held accountable. Those with the power to make changes are the ones to be held responsible. Logically, the power, and therefore the responsibility, to make intelligent changes would sit with those who can best observe the problems since they will have the most immediate knowledge of the problems. A plumber does not call a central office to fix a leaky pipe; he has the best vantage point and tools to fix it. Accountability and power are intertwined or abuse abounds.
If President Obama truly wants to fix our broken school system, then he can get the federal government off the backs of local school boards. As the people of the Seventies were oft heard to chant, "Power to the people. Right on."
-- I.M. Kessel
ITS NOT THE WAY SHE LOOKS
Re: Christopher Orlet's The Palin Effect:
You seem to have disregarded her accomplishments as Governor of Alaska as so many others have done as well. Her beauty has been more of a disadvantage to her which is a shame. Beautiful women can be smart too.
Governor Palin worked a gas line deal. She was able to work with the oil companies and find a common ground for the good of Alaskan citizens for those using energy or selling it.
In my experience, I find that a person is successful in government if that person knows the Constitution and knows how capitalism runs best. To be successful as a President, a person has to do what's right for the American people. It's such a rare concept these days as no one knows what that looks like anymore.
Remember, too, that Governor Palin got rid of corruption whether it was Republican or Democrat. Maybe you are missing the point of her popularity. Maybe both the Republicans and Democrats are incapable of doing what is right for this country. Maybe there is too much power at stake.
-- Emily Busch
Whatever one thinks of Sarah Palin, she is not the cause of the current, unprecedented crisis, or the idiotic and criminal remedies. This was accomplished by the "best and brightest" from both parties. Could an unqualified, inexperienced, country bumpkin engineer as much fiscal insanity, malfeasance, duplicity, fraud, disregard of the law and criminality as the "best and brightest?" Perhaps, although the "qualified" have set a high maybe an insurmountable standard for any unqualified aspirant to match. There is no better illustration of the intellectual bankruptcy of the GOP and Democrats than their soft bigotry when they assume the electorate will remain inert while their economic well being collapses. This article strengthens that argument.
-- Brad Lena
What an idiotic statement to make about President Bush. Orlet is just another egocentric pundit showing his derriere and trying to ingratiate himself with the left and the pseudo-intellectuals. Is it any wonder that the conservative movement has been in disarray when supposedly conservative writers are doing the Democrats dirty work for them in trashing conservatives (Bush, DeLay, etc.)?
Who cares what the prattling media members like Will, Noonan, etc. have to say? In their arrogance, they have not only shattered Reagan's 11th Commandment, but they have contributed to the crack-up of our movement and reemergence of a strong and radical Democrat party. A Democrat party that has given us this Obamanation we now call a Congress and Presidency -- a Democratic party that will reign supreme if they are taken seriously.
As for Obamacons like Peggy Noonan who are infatuated with the Kenyan who gives a damn what these arrogant snooty, self-important, liberal toadies and pseudo-intellectuals think (Peggy Noon, Bruce Bartlett, George Will, David Frum, Pat Buchanan etc.)? They have traded on their past value to conservatives like Reagan to make a living, but as media sellouts they bring nothing to the table when it comes to reinvigorating our movement or advancing a winning conservative agenda. Noonan like the late Bill Buckley made themselves irrelevant to the conservative movement long ago. It is time to move on and shake their dustfrom our feet.
As for Sarah Palin, her resignation as Governor of Alaska was uncalled-for. Can anyone imagine Reagan or Bush quitting, because the liberals or their conservative surrogates were not nice to them or questioned their ethics? As an early fan, long before McCain sullied her, I thought Palin had real potential as a national leader -- now I'm dubious. Can she recover from this political faux paux? Possibly. America was silly enough to elect an intellectual non-entity and narcissist with two biographies telling about his life of doing nothing so anything is possible. A good PR campaign can sell garbage. Obama proved that.
As the Democrats continue to destroy the economy and endanger the nation, the public might turn to Palin in an act of desperation, but it will be hard to get past the idea that she quit when the going gets tough. Still she's better than Noonan's favorite liberal -- Barack Hussein Obama -- but that's not saying much since any American born half-wit is better than Obama or a Democrat.
-- Michael Tomlinson
Jacksonville, North Carolina
Orlet writes about Will, Noonan, and Frum's dislike of Palin. Aren't these the same "intellectuals" that have written about how great it is to have Obama President?
They and the "intellectual" Orlet have completely missed the appeal of Palin which is fiscal and social conservatism. She walks the talk, something that isn't done by our present group of politicians. They and our intellectuals discount the conservative movement towards freedom from bureaucrats. Sarah embraces it. If there is another national politician that reflects these values with real world results and not the rhetoric of failed promises, let me know....
-- Jason Stewart
WELCOME TO OBAMASTAN
Re: Herbert London's Loss and Remembrance:
We can either take the steps Herbert London lists in Part 4, (What Do We Do to Restore Our Precious Liberty), or we can wait for the ukase from The Obama's office in the Obamapalace, an edifice formerly known as "The White House," proclaiming the Northern Hemisphere landmass formerly known as "The United States of America," henceforth and forevermore will be known solely as Obamastan.
-- Gretchen L. Chellson
IGNORING THE OBVIOUS
Re: R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr.'s Consequences of the Liberals' Death Wish:
National security was not enough of an issue last November, I would argue, because too many voters were in an emotional mode, and as usual under those conditions their judgment was less rational than it might have been. That human frailty is typically in evidence when voters' attention is focused unduly on matters that are obvious because they are visible and temporal, when it should also be on considerations less visible.
Sherlock Holmes solved the Hounds of the Baskervilles case by noticing what everyone else had missed: that the hounds hadn't barked when they should have been expected to. The insight that we hadn't been attacked when we might have been seems to have escaped a lot of voters on the left.
That, I believe, is a weakness of the left: they typically seem preoccupied by emotional concerns at the expense of considerations more rational.
-- William Best
NO HOLDS BARBED
Re: Barb Rogers' letter in Reader Mail's The Conservative Comeback:
I can only assume Ms. Barb Rogers has no children. I cannot fathom how someone with her mindset could look a child of theirs in the eye knowing how bleak that child's future will be, taxed out of any semblance of prosperity, over-regulated to the point of few liberties, only so she can "stick it to us" on the right and laugh. Talk about sick humor.
Ms. Rogers, you talk about us "trying to make the world a better place." Are you? With that kind of vitriolic attitude, are you?
-- Carol Hellman
BROTHER, CAN YOU SPARE A TRILLION?
Re: Robert P. Kirchhoefer's Granting Environmental Indulgences:
Obama promised change. And change is all the people will have after they finish paying for cap and trade.
-- I.M Kessel
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