Indeed, the Federal Aviation Administration documents that there were no aircraft flying in the area at that time, the night of Nov. 8.
"The question that still must be answered is why NORAD's muted response was simply that North America was not threatened, and later our government approved the lame excuse that the picture recorded was simply an aircraft leaving a contrail," said retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Jim Cash.
Karen, is the term I'm looking for "feckless" or "gormless"?
The Colorado Springs Gazettecites an article in Men's Health magazine that rates Greensboro the second most religious city in America.
The magazine says it relied on a bundle of sources to create the list: U.S. Census records, YellowPage.com (to tabulate worship centers per capita), VolunteeringinAmerica.gov (to tabulate worship center volunteers), and several sources to estimate the amount of money donated to religious groups.
Interestingly, although Colorado Springs (home of Focus on the Family and The Navigators, among many other ministries) is the top of the list, North Carolina claims four of the top fifteen:
1. Colorado Springs, CO 2. Greensboro, NC
3. Oklahoma City, OK
4. Wichita, KS
5. Indianapolis, IN
6. Jacksonville, FL
7. Portland, OR
8. Birmingham, AL 9. Charlotte, NC
10. Little Rock, AR
11. Fort Worth, TX
12. Montgomery, AL 13. Raleigh, NC
14. Durham, NC
15. Virginia Beach, VA
Recently, I examined Jeffrey B. Maples' 2009 dissertation, "An Analysis of the Effects of Class Size on Student Achievement in Selected Middle Schools in the Sandhills Region of North Carolina." Dr. Maples (Ed.D., Fayetteville State University) studied 1,329 sixth grade classes, 1,548 seventh grade classes,and 1,425 eighth grade classes in 33 middle schools.
Dr. Maples concluded,
This study indicated that students that were enrolled in the large class size had a significant higher mean score in reading and mathematics than students enrolled in small size classes and a slightly higher mean score than students enrolled in medium size classes. The only exception was in 6 grade reading where there were no significant differences found in reading score means in small, medium or large class sizes.
I examined the class size issue in 2006 and found,
...the State Board of Education released the final report of the High Priority Schools Initiative, a four-year, $23 million class-size reduction program targeting low-performing and low-income elementary schools. The report offered no statistical evidence that smaller class sizes raised student achievement. Between the first and final year of the program, fewer schools met their state ABC growth targets and even fewer made Adequate Yearly Progress under the federal No Child Left Behind law. Reduced class sizes failed to significantly increase student performance on state reading assessments.
Update: For a nice overview of both sides of the debate, I recommend The Class Size Debate published by the Economic Policy Institute. The book features two brilliant economists, Alan Krueger and Eric Hanushek, who debate the issue without calling each other names.
When he fails to buy into global warming alarmism.
At least that seems to be the point of a new Atlanticprofile of physicist Freeman Dyson:
Among intelligent nonexperts who have weighed in on climate change,
Freeman Dyson has become, now that Michael Crichton is dead, perhaps our
most prominent global-warming skeptic. Charlie Rose began his interview
with questions about the climate. Dyson answered that he remained very
skeptical about the dangers of global warming. He did not believe the
pronouncements of the experts. He did not claim to be an expert himself,
so he would not argue the details with anybody; he had not given much
time to the issue and did not pretend to know the real answers, but what
he knew for sure was that the global-warming experts did not know the
Dyson did not deny that the world was getting warmer. What he
doubted was the models of the climatologists, and the grave consequences
they predicted, and the supposition that global warming is bad. “I went
to Greenland myself, where the warming is most extreme,” he said. “And
it’s quite spectacular, of course, what you see in Greenland. But what
is also true is, the people there love it. The people there hope it
continues. It makes their lives a lot more pleasant.”
It appears the latest issue of Money magazine is devoting attention to University of Chicago economist Raghuram Rajan because Rajan "stands out as one of the few economists who cite income inequality" as a root cause of the financial crisis.
As Money's David Futrelle notes, "That's hardly the type of theory you'd expect to hear from an economist at the University of Chicago, a bastion of free-market thinking."
Read the three pages of transcribed interview, though, and you'll get the sense that Rajan's ideas are not as remarkable as Futrelle's commentary suggests.
Many blame the financial crisis on housing. But you've suggested the real estate bubble itself was a bungled political attempt to deal with the real root cause: rising income inequality. Can you explain?
In the 1980s we saw a widening of income inequality. Typically the political reaction to that is to redistribute wealth. But in the '80s and '90s there was a sense that we'd had too much redistribution, too much welfare. So you had to find something else, and housing fit the bill for both political parties. The Democrats thought it was wonderful to support home ownership for the poor, their natural constituents. The Republicans figured property owners would eventually vote Republican.
Note that Rajan focuses on the political element of this issue. Politicians wanted to "do something" about rising income inequality. Limiting analysis to this single exchange, it might be fairer to say that Rajan is saying politicians' counterproductive reaction to income inequality is a root cause of the financial crisis, not the income inequality itself.
But it's possible to read those two paragraphs and think, "If housing was the wrong approach, perhaps politicians should have stuck with the wealth redistribution." What does Rajan think about that option?
What can government do to reduce inequality?
In the long run, redistribution doesn't work.
Perhaps Rajan is a fan of stimulus spending to get the economy out of its current sluggishness?
The standard Keynesian economic response to stimulate the economy is with government spending and low rates, right?
This is where I depart from economists like [New York Times columnist] Paul Krugman, who has been emphasizing the need to pump up demand, whether it be through monetary policy or through fiscal policy. My view is that it's not all about demand. In the jargon of economists, we don't just have a cyclical problem, we have a structural problem. There's a fundamental mismatch between the skills of the labor force and the kind of jobs the economy is creating.
Pumping up demand again may create an illusion of growth, but until we fix the underlying problems we will not have sustainable growth. The Fed can keep rates low for a very long time, and pump up asset prices and create new lending booms, but if the underlying dynamics aren't sustainable, we'll end up creating an eventual bust.
In its final printed issue, U.S. News & World Report recommends "50 Ways to Improve Your Life in 2011."
Here's one of the better ideas: "Reintroduce Yourself to the Constitution." Quoting Caitlin Huey-Burns' article:
"The Constitution is like the owner's manual for the government," says [National Constitution Center CEO David] Eisner. "It's the simplest, shortest, fastest way to look at America in terms of where we've been and where we aspire to go." Getting acquainted with the nation's most vital documents could turn out to be an essential exercise for every citizen.
As the Greensboro News & Recordpoints out, North Carolina U.S. Rep. G.K. Butterfield of the 1st Congressional District cast the lone dissenting vote in the House Ethics Committee's decision to censure Charlie Rangel.
Butterfield was criticized for accepting campaign donations from Rangel in 2004 and 2008, and yet declining to recuse himself from the vote on Rangel's censure.
As Carolina Journal has reported in the past, Butterfield has faced ethics scrutiny of his own for foreign travel on the taxpayers' dime, some of it in Copenhagen for climate change talks.
In today's Pope Center piece UNC sophomore (and current Pope Center intern) Ashley Russell examines the furor over the limited academic progress that many student-athletes make, especially in the big sports of football and basketball. This has been a prominent issue for years, but is there any real progress? Are the Athletics Departments creating Potemkin Villages to hide the fact that many of the guys just go through the motions of education?
Gov. Bev Perdue reportedly attended a campaign fundraiser hosted by an investor in Scientific Games, accompany [sic] which has sought North Carolina Lottery business in the past.
Three of the company's employees were convicted of crimes related to the 2005 push to approve a lottery in North Carolina.
Marc Farinella, a Perdue spokesman, told the Raleigh News and Observer there was no problem with the governor attending a fundraiser in the New York business office of Ronald O. Perelman, a major investor in Scientific Games.
Farinella pointed out Perelman is a Greensboro native who has a lot of business interests in North Carolina, including being the chairman of cosmetics giant Revlon, which has a facility in Oxford abd [sic] that none of the companies in which he is involved with are seeking state business.
That's right, none of Perelman's companies are seeking state business or any favors from state officials. He is simply holding a $1,000/person funraiser because of his fondness for Governor Perdue.
Now C-SPAN2 is featuring Tucker's book three times this weekend. You can watch his recent presentation to the John Locke Foundation's Shaftesbury Society on C-SPAN2's Book TV 11 a.m. Saturday, 7 p.m. Saturday, or 10 p.m. Sunday.
Now that we know Republicans will oversee both chambers of the General Assembly next year, how will they govern? Becki Gray offers some insights during the next edition of Carolina Journal Radio.
Daren Bakst will explain why he’s generally pleased with Gov. Beverly Perdue’s efforts to rein in state regulations, while Joseph Coletti will respond to comments from the state’s chief information officer about improving the NCGov.com state government website.
Plus William Kristol of Fox News and The Weekly Standard will offer his assessment of the American political scene in the wake of the 2010 elections, and we’ll learn why the Governor’s Crime Commission has spent $2.5 million over the past four years to help prison inmates reintegrate into society after they’ve completed their sentences.