Friday, June 04, 2004

  Jesse Jackson Plays Hardball

On Hardball tonight Jesse said, Kerry should consider a black VP, to get out the base. I do believe if he did that Kerry could easily win the presidency. Jesse made no doubt about his support for Kerry but he said, republicans with less than 10% of the black support managed to have a black supreme court justice, secretary of state, national security advisor etc. Shouldn't the democrats with 90% be able to find someone, to put in a substantive position. All I can say is wow. Jesse is actually paying attention, to bad he is still a house negro for the democrats so he can't consider doing the only thing that will allow him to acquire true power which is becoming a swing voter.

Update: transcript is now online:

JACKSON: Talk about two Americas.

But on the other hand, if an impact analysis says, given the ups and downs, choose Lieberman or choose Ferraro or choose Gephardt, or choose Benson, given the huge number of black Democrats...


JACKSON: ... who are registered and not voting, or unregistered, suppose on the ticket were an African-American who brought that ticket excitement enough to have an impact in the 17 battleground states and in the South. That—We should at least have somebody.

If the Republicans with five percent of the black vote can get out of there a Supreme Court justice, a security chief...


JACKSON: ... and a secretary of state. Out of this pool of talent must be somebody worthy of considering to be an impact player as we go toward expending our base.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

The Standard: a must read from Baldilocks

  Racism and Individual Opportunity

Since the end of the civil war America has been the land of opportunity. Meaning that with luck, hard work and clever decisions you could improve your life. Your parents could have been sharecroppers and you could be a doctor. This basic fact seem obvious because this is how life works.

Well this is NOT how life works. In most of the world there is NO social mobility. Americans are the hardest working people in the world, why ? Because if you work hard/smart you can benefit from your labor. In the rest of the world people don't work hard since they can't benefit from their labor.

The #1 reason why people come to America is to improve their lot in life.

Racism is a problem for two reasons. First it is an extra obstacle to improving one's lot in life. There is a reason why we were told you have to be twice as good to accomplish the same results (though it would be better expressed as you have to work twice as hard). The second and bigger reason in my opinion why racism is a problem is that it makes those afflicted by racism believe that there is NO opportunity. If you believe there is no opportunity then there is no reason to work hard/smart because you can not benefit from your labors. And in America if you don't work hard/smart most opportunities will pass you by.

Update to this Post: Apparently Thomas Sowell has some things to say on this issue today also. "An absolute majority of the people who were in the bottom 20 percent in income in 1975 have since then also been in the top 20 percent. "

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

  No Child Left Behind aims at a dialogue with parents
In fact, says the seasoned community activist, "I really didn't realize parental participation was part of [NCLB]."

It's been a problem for the implementors of the new education law. Some of its key provisions prompt states, districts, and schools to notify parents about everything from their children's progress to their options for transferring out of low-performing schools.

But a study to be released this week, based on conversations with 26 grass-roots organizations, suggests that as of yet many parents - even those involved in their children's schools, remain unaware of these options, or bewildered as to how to exercise them.

Yet at the same time there is evidence that some districts and schools are making conscious - and promising - efforts to reach out to families as a direct result of NCLB.

If nothing else, NCLB has codified the crucial role that parent involvement plays in academic achievement, a role researchers have been promoting for some time.

Yet while a multitude of information, detailing everything from reading scores to graduation rates may be available, parents and organizers say few families know where to look, or how to parse the vast quantities of data once they do find it.

One problem may be with the way all this information is disseminated.

Many districts rely on websites. Yet to view a website, points out Lauren E. Allen, senior program director for accountability at the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform, a national network based in Chicago, a parent must have access to a computer - and know how to navigate the Internet.

Even the old-fashioned, paper letters can be confusing. Without a forum to "engage in face-to-face question and answering," says Ms. Allen, parents often feel lost.

"Testing, accountability, teacher quality - these are not bread-and-butter issues," she adds. "They're complex."

  Oh, what a tangled web we create, when first we practice to hyphenate.

It strange when you see someone writing about a personal pet peeve. But this is a perfect example of people not thinking clearly, when the problem is obvious from day 1 if they thought it through.
Well, maybe they should be free to decide; after all, our parents let us decide. That's what we told friends who teased us with questions like, What if your child wants to marry someone with a hyphenated name? We waved the question away; it sounded like a monkeys-with-typewriters impossibility. But in college, when Megan was dating a friend with a hyphenated name, we had to admit that parental whimsy had handed them a pretty complicated premise.

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