January 30, 2007
Re: 10 Years to Save the World
Posted by Daren Bakst at 8:56 PM
If we are to defeat global warming in 10 years, we must take drastic action and stop being selfish.
warming shows no mercy--it is all around us and makes me sad. So
sad that I cry and try to think of happy days gone by.
People that like to exhale CO2, including me, need to reevaluate
our priorities. Us "CO2-exhalers" are just selfish. We just
want to breathe CO2 and exhale it without regard for anyone else.
Politically, we may need to consider a cap and trade program on
exhaling to get broader support for a more ambitious program.
If we stop exhaling (technically called "anthropogenic
respiratory-source CO2 emissions"), then maybe, just maybe, we can at
least slow down global warming.
Health care woes
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 8:11 PM
Robert J. Samuelson asks some big-picture questions about American health care in his latest Newsweek column.
More on former UNC-CH law school dean
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:16 PM
This Weekly Standard piece covers Gene Nichol's controversial actions as president of William & Mary.
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 4:08 PM
Newsweek offers a look at The True Cost of War. I'm still waiting for their piece on the true cost of not going to war, except in Darfur.
UPDATE: Fixed link and took credit for my post. Sorry, Chad.
Wanted: Carbon Neutral Credits
Posted by Chad Adams at 4:04 PM
Ok, I've digested enough stuff on how the planet is coming to an end. I'm ready to cash in. I drive a SULEV (Californese for Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle) Honda Insight that gets 57 MPG, I live on a farm with ZERO paved surfaces, I've planted 35 acres of trees, I manage two ponds with several species of native animals and plants, it's a bird sanctuary and I even have a small scale swamp ecosystem.
So I'm waiting for my checks from Al Gore, John Edwards or anyone wishing to offset their jet trips and SUV driving caravans in the national media. Plenty of carbon credits available, if you act now. I might even post them on e-bay.
Smokemont, North Carolina
Posted by Michael Moore at 2:40 PM
For all you campers and outdoor folks out there, the Citizen-Times in Asheville reports
today that the Federal Government is becoming more consumer friendly to
those who like to go camping in the national park. This is just a
convenience since Memorial Day, The Fourth of July, and Labor Day are all holidays that folks head to see the Smoky Mountains and Smokemont is always a top destination.
Teaching Reading Effectively
Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 2:35 PM
Yesterday the Fordham Foundation released a new report, Whole-Language High Jinks. The report is written by reading expert Louisa Moats and gives criteria for a sound “scientifically-based” reading program. This report is probably the result of controversy surrounding the Department of Education’s inspector general’s report, Sept 22, 2006, accusing the Department of limiting the Federal Reading First Program’s money to specific instructional programs. Now the Department’s interpretation of “scientifically-based” is much broader, and probably less effective.
On page 25, Moats refers to Charlotte/Mecklenburg’s success in making “significant progress” with minority, poor and at-risk students. I was particularly interested in this comment since I was on the Board of Education in the late 1990s when the Superintendent decided the whole system would adopt the Open Court Reading program. Many of the system’s “reading specialist” objected to such a degree they retired early, or resigned. Meanwhile, the world did not come to an end, and many more children learned to read.
North Carolina’s Reading First program consists of $153 million, but who knows if the money is being well spent? This report will help the public determine if their system’s reading program is truly based on sound research, and effective teaching methods.
10 years to save the world?
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:27 PM
KT Tunstall and Josh Hartnett want the rest of us to cut back on our CO2 emissions so we can "defeat global warming" in 10 years. KT makes carbon-neutral music, but can't lay off the private planes on holidays. I don't begrudge anyone a private plane, and I'm all for conserving energy to save money, but I'm a little tired of sanctimonious superstars telling me to change the light bulbs at home and buy a Prius when my 1996 Honda Civic still gets up to 36mpg and is all paid off.
Passionate about Poverty (centers)
Posted by Dr. Karen Y. Palasek at 1:28 PM
I'm not sure if it's a deliberate misreading of the Carolina Journal or other reports, but Barry Saunders good-humored chiding of Edwards' critics in today's Raleigh News & Observer misses the point. The scrutiny and interest in John Edwards' Chapel Hill-area house are an indictment of Edwards' demonstrated insincerity in dealing with issues of wealth and poverty, not an indictment of wealth and success.
An earlier thread on this blog explored the Two Faces of John Edwards by noting that his high-profile poverty center makes him an anti-poverty darling—not of the poor, but of the other hand-wringing anti-poverty darlings. Our leading edge coverage of the house just points to the fact that the Face One John Edwards 'I used to be one of you so I really feel for you--just an ordinary guy' is very different from the Face Two John Edwards of the living-large lifestyle.
Heaven knows, we at the Locke Foundation have been villified aplenty for suggesting (OK, just saying it) that markets and personal initiative, not government poverty programs or wealth redistribution to even out wealth inequality— 'wealth calming' if you will—are the path to prosperity. That said, it follows that all of the great things we tout about free markets apply equally to Mr. Edwards. In short, success is good. Consumption is good. Even extravagant consumption in the form of personal basketball courts, swimming pools (I wish), squash courts and the like are truly fab, if that's where one wants to spend the dough.
What isn't so great is the self-righteous labeling of onesself as an advocate for the poor, the creation of a UNC-based Poverty Center that does nothing for the actual poor except aggrandize itself and those who work for it, and a claim to some kind of moral high ground with respect to the disadvantaged. If Edwards didn't have such high political aspirations, the hypocrisy of his alleged empathy for the poor would still be high vanity, and still be worthy of note. To their credit, much of the American public still want elected officials to do more than stand up at a banquet and tell us how passionate they are about poverty; these folks want to see the people and organizations that make those claims take action on behalf of the poor.
This doesn't mean one must be be a Mother Theresa, or camp out in a cardboard box under a highway (or on the sofa at Barry Saunders' house). It does mean that Mr. Edwards would do far more to display real concern for the disadvantages of the poor if he got out and helped build a basketball court in some poverty-stricken neighborhood, to keep the kids out of trouble, than he does by building his own private court out on his ranch. Those impoverished kids would like their own basketball court, too, if Mrs. Edwards is correct.
But maybe Candidate John has got an even better plan--maybe he'll throw open the doors at his new place for something really useful—nightly hoops for poor kids, and a lesson in how the market, not government or the gangs, can make an American dream home come true. [dropped link restored]
Glimpse into Engelmann’s new book
Posted by Lindalyn Kakadelis at 1:22 PM
Researcher and educator Siegfried Engelmann’s new book, The Outrage of Project Follow Through: 5 Million Failed Kids Later, has not been published yet. However, D-Ed Reckoning posted comments and linked to PDF sites of chapter one and two. Engelmann gives the history of his journey into education, and the history of Project Follow Through, a good read for anyone interested in education issues.
I wrote about this research study last week, and we posted some information regarding Project Follow Through on the Alliance’s homepage. It is not that our country lacks the action plan to produce achievement; there simply is not the political will to override the establishment. In particular, Schools of Education that prepare teachers are not held responsible for outputs, so why change?
Sounds from the General Assembly
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 1:16 PM
State lawmakers learned in a budget briefing this morning that state revenues ran about $285 million ahead of projections for the first six months of the current budget.
Fiscal research staffer David Crotts warned legislators that figure cannot be used to predict a full year surplus, but he suspects the numbers for January through June will also look good (largely because of cautious projections in the budget).
Crotts and colleagues warned a slowdown in the housing market could have budget implications. Fiscal research staff also warned that rising Medicaid costs could have long-term budget implications.
Here are some sound bites from the proceedings:
Orr is in
Posted by Paul Chesser at 1:15 PM
Former State Supreme Court Justice Robert Orr has announced that he will run for governor in 2008.
Re: conservative judicial activism
Posted by George Leef at 12:58 AM
Another new book advocating judicial activism on behalf of individual liberty is Clint Bolick's David's Hammer.
I also read Nagel's article and don't think he carries his argument that it would be unfortunate if Volokh were to succeed in his effort to get the Supreme Court to recognize a right of medical self-defense. His case came down to saying, "Well, if we do that, we'll never get back to sound constitutional jurisprudence." That's a point that calls for serious examination. True, Volokh is trying to play the Griswold v. Connecticut game of getting the justices to find rights that are arguably implied by the Constitution. Now I certainly don't favor the Court doing that to trump rights that are clearly expressed and defended in the Constitution, which is what was done in the eminent domain case Kelo. Nothing in the Constitution, however, expressly gives the federal government authority to determine whether a person should be free to take a medication or not. I would see that as a victory for the liberty the Constitution was supposed to protect. Nagel's contention is that if we do that, it somehow makes the defense of constitutional rights more difficult in the future. Why? The left is certainly not going to give up its efforts to get the kinds of legal rulings they want just because we set a good example and play by rules they trampled in the mud long ago.
Sittin’ On Top of the World
Posted by Michael Moore at 12:05 AM
Well the State of North Carolina seems to be doing well in making real estate investments, and turning private property into property for “everyone.” With yesterday’s purchase
of Chimney Rock Park in Rutherford County, NC, I began to ponder the
question of what piece of property will be bought by State Leaders
next? Well to get a head start on the next purchase, since our
tax dollars are being used in the process. I have made a list of
private property that would make great investments for the State in
Western North Carolina:
1. Grandfather Mountain
2. The Biltmore Estate
3. Linville Caverns
4. Mystery Hill
5. Camp Greenville
6. Ghost Town In the Sky
7. Tweetsie Railroad
8. Nantahala Outdoor Center
9. Fontana Village
Well, we could get a Teapot Museum, but we’ve already paid for that.
Ward Connerly ruminates on the victory over preferences in Michigan
Posted by George Leef at 09:58 AM
The deck was as stacked as could be against Connerly's Michigan Civil Rights Initiative that prohibits the state from using racial preferences in hiring, contracting and college admissions, but nevertheless 58% of the voters approved it. He ruminates here on the significance of the victory.
North Carolinians should be paying attention.
Guess who flunked basic science?
Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 08:24 AM
I am shocked, shocked, Duke Energy wants to build a coal burning power plant that will emit carbon dioxide!! The N&O's editorial staff admit their ignorance of basic science. Read about it here.
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