June 07, 2006
More on Porsches
Posted by Jon Ham at 5:00 PM
Short answer to your post: Because those are not the real thing.
I'd rather spend my money here and get one that was made in Stuttgart.
p.s. Still puzzling over what my family has to do with Porsches. I could never have fit three baby seats in one.
It's for the children's safety
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:33 PM
The N.C. Senate has voted 37-12 this afternoon to ban teens from using cell phones as they drive.
It's the first of two votes required to send the bill to the House for that chamber's consideration.
Supporters cite the safety value. "This bill is all about giving teenagers the chance to grow up," said Sen. Bill Purcell, D-Scotland, "to enjoy the life that most of us enjoy here. It's all about safety."
A dozen senators did not buy the argument. "We give these young folks the responsibility, and we expect them to have the sense to operate a motor vehicle," said Sen. Don East, R-Surry.
Sen. Hugh Webster, R-Alamance, offered the best line in the debate, when describing the way experts say the human brain develops with age: "My frontal lobe has started regressing."
Re: where they'll go in November
Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:57 PMThis is as good a time as any to post this, in light of Joe's post below.
The picture is rather murky as viewed by traders in "election futures" as to whether the GOP will retain control of the U.S. House. At TradeSports.com and InTrade.com, the Bid is 49.6 cents and the Ask is at 50.3 cents, with the last bid going at exactly 50.0 cents. Essentially, the higher the prices are above 50 cents, the more confident people betting their own money are that the event in question will happen. This tends to be a better predictor of political results than polls.
For what it's worth, traders are fairly confident right now of the GOP retaining control of the U.S. Senate: 78.3 Bid, 79.0 Ask.
Wonder where they'll go in November?
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 3:50 PM
Dipping in the BOTWT well again, we note this line missing from the
morning's coverage of California's special election, which Brian
Bilbray won 49.3% to 45.5%.
"The balance of the vote went to an anti-immigration independent and a libertarian."
5.2% of the voters who may disagree with each other, but are unlikely
to trust Harry Reid more than they trust Bill Frist. If this election
is the bellwether we were told it would be, Nancy Pelosi may be more
worried today about remaining minority leader come January than about
becoming Speaker of the House.
Here's Where the Ham Family Kills Me
Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 3:30 PM
For a mere $30K Jon, you can have that great 356 body with better-than-new running gear.
Don't you owe it to yourself to check one out?
Re: Why buy a Porsche?
Posted by Jon Ham at 2:29 PM
Only one reason: If you could buy a 356 body style from the late '50s or early '60s (see below). The 911, 914, Carrera and Boxters pale in comparison to this classic, one of the prettiest production cars ever made.
An inconvenient name
Posted by Jon Sanders at 2:14 PMDrudge reports right now that the movie poster for Al Gore's "Let Me Be Your World Savior" flick doesn't have Gore's name on it anywhere:
Gore's name is not featured on the dramatic poster promoting the movie -- a poster which welcomes moviegoers at the nation's theaters!
"It's not a political movie," a top source at PARAMOUNT explained, offering no other explanation on why Gore's name does not appear, even in the film's credits on the poster.
A rival studio executive claims marketing research showed little audience interest in a movie starring Al Gore.
Re: Looking ahead to 2007
Posted by Michael Moore at 1:00 PM
I couldn't pass up the chance to say a thing about the U.S. House
race in the 11th. Heath has come out with a lead over Charles,
but I think this could play out like the 1984 Senate race in North
Carolina. I couldn't help but think about Ole Jesse and Jim Hunt,
you had two appealing candidates and the Press was all over the Hunt
bandwagon. Jim Hunt was a moderate and likewise with
Shuler. In that district,
there are a lot of "Genetic Democrats," (Old School Democrats) I’m
related to most of those folks. They are Democrats because that was the
party of their beloved Grandpa. Also a great number of these
Democrats have broke ranks to vote for Charles Taylor over the years.
Heath has been to Washington one time, he was a bench warmer back then, some Redskins' fans have started Stopshuler.com. Well, I know things are good for Charles, even though the Ultra Liberals in Downtown Asheville have started this: Taylorsucks.org because people of FAITH
are praying for Charles. I look for the race to go down to the
wire. I just would like to see all those folks that tickled
Heath's ears to come down for a visit like Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean!
Looking ahead to 2007
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:38 AM
Democrats are working hard to unseat the GOP majority in the U.S. House, but this piece in TIME suggests it's not clear which members of the opposition party would end up running the show in the lower chamber.
Of particular interest to North Carolina voters are passages involving 11th Congressional District challenger Health Shuler. Writers Mike Allen and Perry Bacon Jr. suggest Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel nagged Shuler incessantly to enter the race:
Heath Shuler, an ex-NFL quarterback who lives in North Carolina, resisted Emanuel's entreaties because, Shuler said, he was worried that a race would stop him from spending time with his family. Emanuel started barraging Shuler with several phone calls a day last summer, leaving messages like, "Heath, Rahm. I'm taking my kids to day care." The implication: You can do it too.
And the nagging continues.
Shuler, the quarterback who had never run for office, hears from Emanuel as often as once a week. "So how much money have you raised today?" Emanuel asks, often barely greeting Shuler before getting to the question. "We don't need pronouns, adjectives or verbs," says Emanuel. "They know why we're calling."
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 11:33 AM
Today, John's excellent column on North Carolina's world history curriculum highlights why the Fordham Foundation believes it to be so bad and why it needs to be better. I want to look at why Virginia's world history curriculum is so good.
It has little to do with the fact that my wife taught world history in a small, rural high school in Virginia for three years - with a pass rate of around 95 percent I am proud to say. (Side note: In my wife's experience, most of the students who got perfect scores on their world history test played a video game called Civilization. She found it disturbing that these students knew the names of obscure Germanic tribes.)
The Virginia Standards of Learning (SOL) provide teachers with a coherent and comprehensive world history curriculum that leaves little time to spare. For World History I, students are expected to learn the religious, social, economic, and political history of ancient civilizations from Africa, Asia, and Europe. World History II does an incredible job of introducing students to the Reformation and Enlightenment thought. They actually learn who John Locke is and why he is important. Go figure.
Site for news junkies
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:30 AM
TIME points to a new way for us to have fun as we watch the media chasing the same stories.
Why to buy a Porsche?
Posted by Chad Adams at 10:30 AM
While I appreciate your attempt to make Porsche look like a good deal, I really liked the last part of your entry:
The study, which measures quality after 90 days of ownership, asks owners to rate vehicle quality on 135 attributes.
90 days is hardly the span of time to measure whether your car has quality or not. Most cars (outside the luxury line) probably don't have 135 attributes to rate (I'm being funny here). Check those same quality studies out after 2-5 years of ownership and see how they rate. Most people won't keep a Porsche that long. A Hyundai maybe, but not a Porsche.
It's a legit study and J.D. Power does great work, but Posche is more status than need or quality.
RE: Easley's high school plan praised
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 10:25 AM
Here is my reaction to the governor's high school reform efforts:
You have shown me the money. Now I will show you the data (which is money):
•As a group, Learn and Earn early college schools had lower average End-of-Course test scores than state averages
•Early College at Guilford, the highest performing school of the group, was the only school that had consistently higher average End-of-Course test scores than district and state averages
•Between 2003-2004 and 2004-2005, improvement on End-of-Course test scores was mixed within schools and between subjects
•Between 2003-2004 and 2004-2005, class size reductions did not consistently correlate to higher End-of-Course test scores (The student teacher ratio at Learn and Earn schools was 1 student for every 13 teachers)
•Teacher turnover was significantly higher in Learn and Earn schools (43%) than the state average (19%)
• Note: Since the state does not disaggregate data for the schools within a school, it is not possible to assess how students participating in these programs compare to those in traditional high school programs.
A better policy would have been to fund a few pilot programs to see if the New Schools Project model actually works. So far, the results aren't pretty.
One more reason to buy a Porsche
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:17 AM
They're the top cars for initial quality. If you want to spend less, get a Hyundai -- they're #3. Lexus slips to second.
From Automotive News
Porsche and Hyundai will emerge as the biggest winners Wednesday
when J.D. Power and Associates releases its 2006 Initial Quality Study,
industry sources say.
Porsche will vault to the top spot overall in the study, improving from
No. 32 in last year's ranking, making Porsche the top European
Hyundai will place third, up from No. 11 in 2005. That makes the Korean automaker the top mass-market nameplate.
Toyota will round out the top four, moving up three spots from No. 7 last year.
The study, which measures quality after 90 days of ownership, asks owners to rate vehicle quality on 135 attributes.
White-Lightin': Legal Boot Leggin'?
Posted by Michael Moore at 09:55 AM
In the N&O
yesterday, this Yankee fellow from New York has moved into North
Carolina and he has done something that all my Scots-Irish kin across
the state have tried to do for the past Century....Boot-Leg
legally. Well at least he won't get thirsty!
Sound and Fury, Signifying Nothing
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 09:32 AM
Today, Rick Martinez comments on a proposed assessment for rising high school freshmen. The test would allow teachers to identify specific academic weaknesses and address those weaknesses for the remainder of his or her high school career. This proposal is not objectionable, although I think that thoughtful administrators have already implemented some school-based pre-testing, using the Flanagan-Mott or some other standardized test. Overall, I think it is a sound idea, but it should have already occurred to administrators and teachers that you have to see where kids are before you know where you are going.
The problem is Rick’s mischaracterization of Howard Lee. He says, But shaking North Carolina out if its academic malaise is what Lee aims to do. He is no longer a patient man. The determination I sensed in his voice when we spoke about languishing student performance was born partly out of his embarrassment. I heard this side of Lee too, several months ago when the poor NAEP reading scores were released. He raised his voice and said, rather eloquently, that the state needs to do a better job. It was quite a change from what I had observed before, but I have not seen this side of Lee since.
That is the problem. Lee talks a good game, but it is clear that he has not thought much about how to improve public schools. He is not alone. The other members of the State Board of Education rarely debate any issue that comes before them, and are content to accept anything that DPI, NCAE, the Public School Forum, and the governor’s office tell them to believe. Lee, as chairman of the SBE, allows this repetitive nonsense to take place month after month. As I have said before, a State Board of Education meeting is like a prep rally for a losing team and Lee is leading the fight song.
Lee is not trying to move the education establishment. He is the education establishment. The fact that he is supporting a new assessment, which some school districts may oppose, means very little in the scheme of things. Lee has had many opportunities to challenge the status quo or to “shake things up,” but has balked at every opportunity to do so. Just name the issue – certification requirements, testing, school improvement – and you will find the company line every time.
So, I am disappointed to read that Rick is enamored with Howard Lee’s bravado. I sit through every grueling State Board of Education meeting (best described as having to watch Carrot Top’s movie, Chairman of the Board, two days every month) and I find nothing redemptive about what they are doing. And our schools pay the price.
Change is Bad Unless We Like it
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:11 AM
From Best of the Web Today (6/6):
"Far from being barren wastelands, the deserts that occupy one
quarter of the earth's land surface could be key sources of food and
power," claims PlanetArk.com:
But these vast open spaces, home to rare and useful plants and animals,
are at risk from climate change and human exploitation, the UN's
Environment Programme said in a report published on World Environment
Deserts are good! No! Deserts are bad! According to London's Independent:
Few places on Earth are less hospitable, less suited to human life than
the Sahara desert. Yet as global warming accelerates and the prospect
of profound climate change looms large, we must face the fact that vast
areas of our planet will be rendered equally barren.
The Arab News
even claims that the "vast arid lands and deserts" of Saudi Arabia are
threatened by "climate change." And given the crazy Shariah dress code
over there, they can't even have beach parties.
This made me
think of the News & Observer's complaints this week about
development on the waterfront. Despite the millions of dollars the
counties and state are spending on economic development (commissions) in Eastern North Carolina, the N&O complains when development does happen.
Good news for free market fans II: The sequel
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:51 AM
Two other items worth noting:
Pete Peterson of The Blackstone Group offers this assessment of government priorities:
[F]ederal investment in nondefense R&D is getting crowded out by the ballooning cost of health care and retirement programs. Four decades ago these R&D expenditures were nearly 6 percent of the federal budget. Today they are less than 2 percent. During that period, spending on health-care programs like Medicare and Medicaid increased by more than 12 times as a percentage of GDP, whereas non-defense R&D spending fell by 60 percent. These benefits for seniors—largely Social Security and Medicare—threaten to devour the entire federal budget. And these programs, focusing on us older fogeys, are, alas, about the past and not the future.
Gordon Brown, Britain's chancellor of the Exchequer (and Tony Blair's heir apparent as Labour Prime Minister) avoids all discussion of the welfare state in offering praise for the American economy:
[T]he success of the American economic experience teaches us that the lifeblood of a market economy is the continuous injection of new competition.
It has been the hard work and enterprise of the American people, responding to the new opportunities brought by each successive wave of global economic change, that have been the foundation of American economic progress.
Good news for free market fans
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:40 AM
Yes, the current issue of Newsweek devotes its cover story to the troubling Haditha investigation.
But fans of the free market will find much better news in the magazine's innards -- 30 pages devoted to the topic of "global leadership."
Fareed Zakaria starts the coverage by asking the question "How long will America lead the world?" He starts with some of the concerns about the future of the U.S. economy, including "the erosion of science and technology in the U.S., particularly in education."
There are some who see the decline of science and technology as part of a larger cultural decay. A country that once adhered to a Puritan ethic of delayed gratification has become one that revels in instant pleasures.
Some writers would stop there, but Zakaria also flips the coin.
The U.S. is currently ranked the second most competitive economy in the world (by the World Economic Forum), and is first in technology and innovation, first in technological readiness, first in company spending for research and technology and first in the quality of its research institutions. China does not come within 30 countries of the U.S. on any of these points, and India breaks the top 10 on only one count: the availability of scientists and engineers. In virtually every sector that advanced industrial countries participate in, U.S. firms lead the world in productivity and profits.
An unusual combination of an entrepreneurial culture, a permissive legal system and flexible capital markets all contribute to a business culture that rewards risk. This means that technology is quickly converted into some profitable application. All the advanced industrial countries had access to the Web, but Google and the iPod were invented in America.
And Zakaria goes on to argue that the United States must continue to focus on the competition from other nations.
The genius of America's success is that the United States is a rich country with many of the attributes of a scrappy, developing society.
What's standing in the way? Government policy.
The great competitive problems that the American economy faces would require strong and sometimes unpleasant medicine. Our entitlement programs are set to bankrupt the country, the health-care system is an expensive time bomb, our savings rate is zero, we are borrowing 80 percent of the world's savings and our national bill for litigation is now larger than for research and development. None of these problems is a deep-seated cultural mark of decay. They are products of government policy. Different policies could easily correct them. [Emphasis added.]
Easley's high school plan praised
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 08:15 AM
Gov. Mike Easley must have smiled when he finished reading this piece in Newsweek.
It's full of unqualified praise for the governor's high school initiatives -- quoting such supporters as John Dornan of the N.C. Public School Forum and Tom Vander Ark of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
There's no alternative view presented. Perhaps our own Terry Stoops has some comments.
Universal Pre-School? Nope.
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 06:20 AM
California voters rejected Proposition 82, a $2 billion universal pre-school initiative. If voter approved Prop 82, the universal pre-school bandwagon would have soon come to neighborhood near you.
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