August 18, 2006
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 9:47 PM
Most Lockeans can skip this post, but for those of you who've never read Hayek's The Road To Serfdom (University of Chicago Press, 1944), you might appreciate the following passage.
It's new to me as well, as I leaf through the 50th anniversary edition of the classic text. Hayek helps counter the arguments of those who complain when the free-market solution appears less desirable than the government-dictated solution:
Though in the short run the price we have to pay for variety and freedom of choice may sometimes be high, in the long run even material progress will depend on this very variety, because we can never predict from which of the many forms in which a good or service can be provided something better may develop. It cannot, of course, be asserted that the preservation of freedom at the expense of some addition to our present material comfort will thus be rewarded in all instances. But the argument for freedom is precisely that we ought to leave room for the unforeseeable free growth.
In other words, government-planned solutions -- even when they provide immediate benefits -- lock us into patterns or processes that stifle the creativity and innovation that lead to even greater long-term benefits.
Judge Manning's Court Room
Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 5:47 PM
The Leandro saga continues at the Wake County Court House, but what happened today? Nothing! Dr. Ashley, Department of Public Instruction’s High School Improvement Coordinator, testified the majority of time. She reviewed the Department’s role in assisting the low performing high schools Judge Manning had threatened to close if academic performance didn’t improve.
After a short recess the Judge went school by school and Dr. Ashley gave an update of their “Framework for Action.” Several schools’ plans were poorly written and Dr. Ashley considered them incomplete. However, there were no consequences for having submitted incomplete plans just weeks before the new school year begins. Judge Manning showed his frustration and disgust for the low performing schools that basically were not doing any new initiatives. Bertie and Hertford Counties received the most attention for poorly submitted plans, and the Judge instructed the state to take a more proactive role.
Even though these schools had six months to develop comprehensive plans, there was NO plan. I think I am experiencing “Leandro Fatigue.” The day ended in another court recess.
Re: Homeowners ruling
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:14 PM
I believe our separate readings of today's ruling are compatible.
Your blog touches on a key part of the ruling:
In the same way that the powers of a homeowners' association are limited to those powers granted to it by the original declaration, an amendment should not exceed the purpose of the original declaration.
If I read Justice Wainwright's intention correctly, the Supreme Court examined whether the amendment was "reasonable," given the content of the the original declaration. Otherwise, no homeowners' association could ever amend its rules for assessments.
Wainwright and his colleagues found the language I quoted earlier -- that the association would charge assessments ...
... for the general purposes of promoting the safety, welfare, recreation, health, common benefit, and enjoyment of the residents of Lots in The Ledges as may be more specifically authorized from time to time by the Board --
to be "unreasonable." That finding was based on the limitations of the original declaration.
I suspect that if the homeowners' association had decided to amend its assessment procedure to deal with some sort of change in the lighting system for the subdivision sign, that change would have met the "reasonable" standard.
Instead the italicized language I quoted opened the door for many different types of assessment. Homeowners had not signed on to that more open-ended language when they bought their homes. The high court is saying that the homeowners' association cannot change the rules in such an open-ended manner.
That's why I took this case to be a (probably small) victory for homeowners.
Re: Friday music stuff
Posted by Jon Sanders at 3:30 PMMr. Roboto? ... Although I used to like some Styx, that's solidly in the "cringe-worthy" category now. (I debated whether I should use this graphic to accompany the Styx revelation, but I used this one for Paul's enjoyment.)
I must admit, however, with respect to one Def Leppard song — the flap-jawed eco-loonies are really gettin' it.
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:26 PM
After hearing on the radio this afternoon that Rudy Giuliani will be taking part in the Jimmy V Celebrity Golf Classic, I noticed this article from National Review Online.
Re: Guilford GOP
Posted by Paul Chesser at 3:25 PM
Mitch, when I clicked to hear Binker's audio interview with Marcus Kindley and it came up in the iTunes software, its musical genre was identified (appropriately) as "Blues."
Re: homeowners' association
Posted by Michael Lowrey at 3:25 PM
Mitch, my nonlawyer reading is slightly different. The key lines, which say it all:
“In the same way that the powers of a homeowners' association are limited to those powers granted to it by the original declaration, an amendment should not exceed the purpose of the original declaration.”
The homeowners' association's original purpose, in this case, was architectural review and lighting a sign. When the HA went beyond that, it got into trouble:
“Here, petitioners purchased their lots without notice that they would be subjected to additional restrictions on use of the lots and responsible for additional affirmative monetary obligations imposed by a homeowners' association. This Court will not permit the Association to use the Declaration's amendment provision as a vehicle for imposing a new and different set of covenants, thereby substituting a new obligation for the original bargain of the covenanting parties.”
Guilford GOP targets Black scandal
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 3:09 PM
Republican legislative candidates from Guilford County gathered today to highlight the controversy surrounding Democratic House Speaker Jim Black.
The News & Record's Mark Binker offers details and an audio interview here.
More on Manning
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:49 PM
Here's The Charlotte Observer's take on Judge Manning's hearing.
Ayn Rand college apparently off to Va.
Posted by Jon Ham at 2:30 PM
It looks like Founders College,
a project being promoted by Duke prof Gary Hull, is not going to
settle in Oxford, NC, after all. There was a public hearing last night
in Lynch Station, VA, where Hull and others addressed locals about the
possible takeover of a defunct resort and conference center
there. People who were at the meeting tell me the locals were receptive
to the idea but were worried about the group having enough funding to
follow through successfully.
Hull had looked at Oxford and
a location in Maine as a home to the college, which would base its
curriculum on the teachings of Ayn Rand. From what locals heard last
night, the 1,000-acre resort near Altavista, VA, has the inside track
for the school. (Ed: Full disclosure — I once edited a weekly paper there in the mid-'70s, so I still have sources.)
Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 2:18 PM
At the hearing this morning, Judge Manning did what everyone expected. Nothing. Sure, he used his entire cache of non-verbal messages: he sighed, rolled his eyes, gave dirty looks, and threw his hands in the air. But he didn’t close a single school, fire a single principal, reprise any threat, or add new ones to the list. I applaud the fact that he did not become a judicial activist today, but he lost some of his street cred by not following through on his threats.
Like Governor Easley, Manning has remarkable faith in the New Schools Project (Learn and Earn, schools within schools, etc.). He wants every struggling high school to adopt a NSP program immediately, even though there is no evidence of its effectiveness.
Homeowners beat homeowners' association
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 2:15 PM
The N.C. Supreme Court struck a blow today for homeowners challenging their own homeowners' associations.
Lawyers who read Justice George Wainwright's decision in Armstrong V. Homeowners Association can correct my ignorant mistakes, but here's the gist of the case -- as I understand it.
In 1988, the Vogel Development Corporation put together a project in Henderson County called The Ledges of Hidden Hills (or The Ledges). The developer created a homeowners' association, and one of that group's earliest actions was to assess homeowners for the cost of lighting a subdivision sign.
Later, the homeowners' group amended its rules to assess more money from the homeowners. The justification for the assessments was amorphous: “for the general purposes of promoting the safety, welfare, recreation, health, common benefit, and enjoyment of the residents of Lots in The Ledges as may be more specifically authorized from time to time by the Board.”
Supreme Court justices called the change "unreasonable." The high court has reversed a ruling from the N.C. Court of Appeals and sent the case back to the trial court for further action.
Confessional? Is that what Fridays are?
Posted by Chad Adams at 1:37 PM
Ok, no big surprise that Sanders is/was a DefLeapard fan.
Then again, as confessional is the operative word, yes, MiamiVice of the 80s and that crazy Jan Hammer music.
That led to early Berlin, lots of Phil Collins and even Robert Palmer, cool then, now. . . .
And here's the worst part, I even bought the Don Johnson tape.
I think I buried all this somewhere on the farm.
Re: Admit it
Posted by Andrew Cline at 1:23 PM
I admit nothing. I like only cool songs. However, some uncool people think some of the cool songs I like are uncool. For example:
"Steppin' Out" by Joe Jackson
"Good Girls Don't" by The Knack
"In My House" by The Mary Jane Girls
"Mr. Roboto" by Styx
"Hip to Be Square" by Huey Lewis & The News
"Tenderness" by General Public
"Kung Fu Fighting" by Carl Douglas
"Sara Smile" by Hall and Oates
"Things Can Only Get Better" by Howard Jones
"She's Always a Woman" by Billy Joel
and, of course:
"Paradise by the Dashboard Light" by Meatloaf
Re: Admit it
Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:18 PM
Is "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" cool or uncool?
Re: Uncool (HOT) Songs
Posted by Michael Moore at 1:00 PMNext week The Grascals will be
releasing a new CD, and the band has North Carolina connections with
the bass player Terry Smith. A Song that really stands out as a
go-getter is "Hoedown in Motown!"
The last time I heard these boys perform was up in Washington, D.C. at
the Kennedy center, and myself and a few other folks from North
Carolina just made ourselves at home at the performance, we hooted and
hollared, heck one man jumped up on stage and went to buck
dancin'. After seeing the faces of folks at the Kennedy Center,
they need more Hoedowns!
Re: Admit It
Posted by Shannon Blosser at 12:54 AM
Nothing wrong with "Eye of a Tiger." I believe my
high school used that song a couple of times for warm-ups during
basketball season. We were the "Tigers," just like every other school
in the nation.
I offer these songs to the list:
Digital Underground "Humpty Dance."
It's corny, but funny. As for "Cherry Pie," I will probably have that
song in my head the rest of the day and there is nothing wrong with
1969, "Sugar Sugar"
Posted by Jon Ham at 12:51 AM
I have to admit that I still manage to keep my dinner down while listening to "Sugar Sugar"
by The Archies. Again, this is because of the memories evoked by this
song (Air Force, Germany, dating future wife) that no one admits
they like but which was the Song of the Year for 1969.
Re: Admit it
Posted by Paul Chesser at 12:47 AM
Survivor: "Eye of the Tiger."
I'm beginning to think we're reverting to our bad lyrics session of a couple of weeks ago.
Re: Admit it
Posted by Paul Chesser at 12:42 AM
How many of you cringe at the whispering interlude of 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" ("Be quiet, big boys don't cry...")?
I don't, and I don't understand why. It's on the "Q" list by the way.
Posted by Jon Sanders at 12:34 AMIlikedDefLeppardinhighschoothereIsaidit...
Using higher education as an economic catalyst.....
Posted by George Leef at 12:33 AM
....probably won't work. So argues University of Chicago professor Austan Goolsbee in the NYTimes.
The idea of catalyzing the next Silicon Valley with big spending on a research university appeals to politicians -- after all, it sounds so good, so clean, so progressive and there's no downside for them if it fizzles. The trouble, Goolsbee says citing several research papers, is that the mobility of capital and labor is apt to undo the best laid plans.
Instead of going for the grand slam (either through university expansion or targeted business incentives), politicians would do the people much more good if they'd reduce the overall cost and intrusiveness of the government. Doing that isn't fun and doesn't get you headlines, unfortunately.
"you're all hat and no cattle"
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 12:30 AM
The following is from a National Center for Public Policy Research press release regarding Senator Allen's support for a bill that would establish a "National Heritage Area" from Monticello to Gettysburg, thus restricting property rights over a vast area.
"Senator Allen often describes himself as a 'Jeffersonian' conservative, which he defines as someone who doesn't like 'nanny, meddling, restrictive, burdensome government,'" said Peyton Knight, director of environmental and regulatory affairs at the National Center. "However, if you fail to support your rhetoric with substance, you're all hat and no cattle."
I may be admitting my ignorance, but I have not heard the expression
"you're all hat and no cattle" before. And that is terrible to admit
since I was born and raised in the West. Peyton must be from Texas.
'You are the woman that I've always dreamed of ...'
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:29 AM
"... I knew it from the start/I saw your face, and that's the last I've seen of my heart."
My guilty-pleasure musical list includes almost every soft rock classic of the 1970s. Those songs made up the soundtrack to my breakfast every morning for my entire pre-adult life (excluding the summers, when my morning soundtrack was zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.)
Among the greats:
You get the picture. There's just nothing like chasing a mouthful of scrambled eggs and Apple Jacks with a glass of orange juice, while mimicking Glen Campbell: "There'll be a load of compromisin'/On the road to my horizon/But I'm going be where the sun ... is shining on me!"
- Firefall, "You Are The Woman"
- England Dan & John Ford Coley, "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight"
- Ambrosia, "You're the Biggest Part of Me"
- Seals & Croft, "Summer Breeze"
- Hamilton, Joe Frank, & Reynolds, "Don't Pull Your Love"
- Poco, "Crazy Love"
- Dr. Hook, "Sharing the Night Together"
- Any tune by America
- Any tune by Bread
- Herb Alpert, "Rise"
- Chuck Mangione, "Feels So Good"
re: Admit it
Posted by Jon Ham at 12:26 AM
Two songs I've always loved, which makes my in-the-know musician friends guffaw, are Kansas' "Dust in the Wind" and "Dance With Me" by Orleans. Another is "Shannon" by Henry Gross,
which was playing a lot on the radio when I made a very memorable trip
to the Gulf Coast and New Orleans in 1977. "If You Need Me" by Leo Sayer is another song I heard on a long road trip, also in 1977, that holds ineradicable memories.
Admittedly, Will Ferrell's rendition of "Dust in the Wind" in the movie "Old School" almost put me off that tune, but not quite.
Go ahead, admit it
Posted by Paul Chesser at 12:07 AM
A couple of weeks ago the Washington Post's "Celebritology" blogger Liz Kelly, on a cue from "Q" magazine, wrote a column based on the magazine's list of "Uncool Songs It's Okay to Admit You Love." Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight" topped Kelly's list and ELO's "Livin' Thing" led Q's list, which was based on a poll of readers. So now you get the idea, right?
As for Kelly's list, I don't think the Looking Glass's "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)" belongs there, because I think it's a cool song, but then again maybe that illustrates how uncool I am.
Two nominees from me: "Juke Box Hero" by Foreigner ("Cold as Ice" made one of the lists) and "Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey.
Updated 12:15 p.m.
Come to think of it, maybe it's not okay to admit I like "Don't Stop Believin'."
Leandro judge holding court
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 11:49 AM
If you're looking for Terry or Lindalyn today, try room 10-C in the Wake County courthouse.
They're monitoring the latest hearing in the Leandro lawsuit. During the first 90 minutes, Judge Howard Manning listened -- and occasionally interjected -- as Pat Ashley outlined details of the N.C. High School Turnaround Initiative she has overseen since late February.
From his comments, Manning has made it clear that he expects to see or hear evidence that principals at the state's lowest-performing schools have made changes that will help students as they return to class in the next couple of weeks.
Blogger allowed to cover blog event — finally
Posted by Jon Ham at 10:42 AM
Bill Hobbs is blogging
at the National Conference of State Legislatures this week. They had a
session on how blogs are affecting legislatures and state policy
making, but they refused his request to be credentialed to cover the event,
at least initially. Someone finally realized how ridiculous it was to
let MSM reps cover an event on blogging but bar actual bloggers. Nobody
said it would be easy.
Harley and Davidson: W's wild side.....
Posted by Michael Moore at 10:25 AM
I was looking at the press releases out of the White House this week, I knew that Dubbya was a biker but the Secret Service has been weary of the President getting on bikes because he wrecks so much. I guess a controlled environment is better for all parties involved.
My Thank You Note From Dell
Posted by Chad Adams at 10:19 AM
I'm still waiting, but I'm not holding my breath. After
all the citizens of this state ponied up $300 million in incentives to
get them here and they are a very good company to have. But they
should also be pleased that the incentive amount happens to correlate
with what it will cost them to pay up the largest computer recall in history, (also estimated at $300 million).
An excerpt: Faced with stiffer competition that has forced price cuts, it has
reported lower-than-expected sales and earnings over the last year,
sending its stock down more than 40 percent. It is spending $100
million to improve its customer service, which it found had alienated
And then another interesting story from the Triangle Business Journal.
Computer manufacturer Dell Inc. is reporting fiscal second-quarter net income of $502 million, down 51 percent
In addition, Round Rock, Texas,-based Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) said that
it has been cooperating with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the past year on what it called "an informal
investigation" dealing with Dell's revenue recognition and other
accounting and financial reporting matters. from the same time last year.
Obviously, we North Carolinians are trying to make things easier
from a taxpayer perspective, I'm still waiting for my 'thank you' note.
Sample wording, "We at Dell truly appreciate the sacrifices you North
Carolinians have made so that we don't have to pay state or local
taxes. Your assistance is helping us to remain competitive and
thankfully, your $300 million will help us to cover our flawed flamable
So, does our subsidy make them more or less competitive?
"Last Days on Earth"
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:37 AM
This ABC special is a 20/20 special report. Where is John Stossel when we need him?
A big expansion of for-profit higher ed?
Posted by George Leef at 08:31 AM
In one of his typically intriguing posts at his Center for College Affordability and Productivity blog, Rich Vedder writes about a development at the University of Illinois that is really an eye-opener. With regard to for-profits, Vedder writes,
Rather than complain about them, B. Joseph White, president of the University of Illinois, has decided to join them. With campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield, Illinois is clearly the flagship university in the state. Now it wants to open a fourth campus, a virtual site that will be a "Global Campus." Most interestingly, the U of I wants to run this operation on a for-profit basis, and it is out to raise an initial $15 to $30 million to get the project going in a big way.
On the whole, I admire this effort. It plans to use modern technology to serve students not only in Illinois, but around the world. It plans to ask taxpayers for nothing to fund the effort. It is a recognition that the for-profit model can and does work well --often far more efficiently than the traditional, bureaucratic, less competitive, model that dominates American higher education. Joe White (who is an impressive man) is to be commended for this move, as are the Trustees of the University who no doubt had to approve this major departure from current practice.
I believe that this model will catch on and do to the many mediocre colleges and universities what digital recording did to vinyl records. Creative destruction comes to higher education.
The NSA eavesdropping ruling
Posted by Jon Ham at 07:40 AM
Scott Johnson of Power Line doesn't think much of Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling yesterday in the NSA warrantless surveillance case:
It is a pathetic piece of work. If it had been submitted by a student
in my second year legal writing class at the University of St. Thomas
Law School, it would have earned a failing grade.
Neither do John Hinderaker or Paul Mirengoff, his co-bloggers at Power Line.
By the way, Johnson will be the keynote speaker at John Locke
Foundation's blog conference, Carolina FreedomNet 2006, on Oct. 7 in
Greensboro. Details on the event coming soon.
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