Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hidden Agenda?

An Islamic teacher at a Johnston County, North Carolina high school has resigned after students discovered hidden messages in a class assignment. The student in the Spanish class were given an extra-credit word search that required them to translate vocabulary words and find them in a grid of letters. After seeing the words "terrorist" and "destroy", the students found the following message:

"Sharon killed a lot of innocent people in Palestine. Hamas is not a terrorist group. They have the right to defend their country. This is something that forms part of our freedom and dignity. Allah help destroy this body of evil that is making human life so miserable. Destroy America, a country where evil is sponsored."

"Destroy America" it said. Well isn't that just special! Sounds like the teacher is one of those kind, peaceful Muslims.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fourth Grader Suspended For Refusing To Answer Exam Question

A fourth grader at Central Park Elementary School in Aberdeen, Washington was suspended for refusing to answer a question on an exam. The test, the Washington State Assessment of Student Learning exam, called WASL, is part of the state's No Child Left Behind test.

The question Tyler Stoken refused to answer was, "While looking out the window one day at school, you notice the principal flying in the air. In several paragraphs, write a story telling what happens." Tyler was afraid to write anything for fear of offending his school's principal. The exam asked students to write the first thing that came to their mind, and the first thing that came into Tyler's mind was that the principal was a witch flying on a broom. He liked the principal, and didn't want to offend her by writing about her as a witch. Apparently offended anyway, the principal suspended him for .

Because Tyler didn't answer the question, (school Principal Olivia) McCarthy suspended him for five days. He recalls the principal reprimanding him by saying his test score could bring down the entire school's performance.

"Good job, bud, you've ruined it for everyone in the school, the teachers and the school," Tyler says McCarthy told him.

McCarthy's May 6, 2005, letter to Tyler's mother detailed her son's suspension. "The fact that Tyler chose to simply refuse to work on the WASL after many reasonable requests is none other than blatant defiance and insubordination," McCarthy wrote.

In the letter, she accused Tyler of bringing down the average score of the other 10 students in his class. "As we have worked so hard this year to improve our writing skills, this is a particularly egregious wound," McCarthy wrote.

Her accusation was wrong, state regulations show. There is no averaging of the writing scores. Each student either meets or fails the state standard.

I hope there's some outrage over this in the Aberdeen community.

Monday, November 06, 2006

More Links

For those of you with a bit of free time, here are a few ways you can waste it...

David Letterman Top Ten List
Recapping the previous night's TopTen list, plus archives.

The Center For The Prevention of Shopping Cart Abuse
"...to help you understand this unspoken threat, to offer counsel to those who cause harm to the Cart and to sing the praises of the silver chariot of the parking lot."

How To Destroy The Earth
Quite an interesting read, actually. Mind you, we're talking the whole planet. Molten core and all. Be sure to read the companion pieces "Why Destroy The Earth?" and "International Earth-Destruction Advisory Board."

Optical Illusion Image Galleries
Just what it says.

What American Accent Do You Have?
Take the quiz and find out. Apparently mine is a "Midland" accent, like southern Indiana or Missouri, but possibly Charleston or Atlanta (how's that for specifics?).

Ignore Spin, The Economy Is Solid

Writing at Bloomberg.com, Kevin Hassett explains why non-political financial experts agree that the economy is very strong, despite what the Left would have you believe.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

How Will You Vote?

With election day Tuesday, it seems like everywhere I go in search of news I see headlines predicting the Democrats regaining control of the House and Senate. This is what’s going on, if the media is to be believed: there’s great disenchantment within the GOP; the main voting base of the Republican Party is disgusted with the way the party has handled everything the last six years, and plans to either vote Democratic in protest, or not vote at all; every undecided or independent voter in America will be voting for a Democrat.

Up to a point, the media is correct. There is a fair amount of disappointment in the Republican Congressional leadership. They’ve had every opportunity to be fiscally responsible, to cut spending, eliminate bureaucratic excesses and restrict lobbyist influence peddling. Instead, we got the largest federal budget in history. Government spending on pork projects has grown obscenely. They could have taken serious actions to close the border between the U.S. and Mexico, and move to deport those illegals already in this country. Nothing doing. We get a bill authorizing a 700 mile fence. Nice, except that the fence will be a couple thousand miles short. The broadest base of the Republican Party, those of us in the red states, voted these jokers into office to do those type things. Because they have neglected these duties, there IS a sense of disappointment among Conservatives.

But the Republicans have been doing some things right, some very important things. The most important issue facing this nation right now is security. President Bush and the Republicans have led the fight to keep this nation safe and secure. We haven’t been attacked since September 11th. We’ve liberated the Iraqi people, who now have a government that was freely elected and which represents all of the Iraqi people. The U.S. economy is growing stronger and more vibrant than ever before. We’ve seen record stock market prices, record home ownership levels, lower and lower unemployment, millions of new jobs… it goes on and on. The President’s tax cuts have made a difference, putting more money in everyone’s pockets and, in turn, building the economy. More renewable fuel facilities have been constructed or proposed in the last six years than ever before, to help lessen our dependency on foreign fuels.

What can we expect from the Republicans if they retain control of both houses of Congress? I’d like to be optimistic, but I fear that we’ll see more of the same. But if the Democrats were to gain control of the House or, worse yet, both the House and Senate… you know what we’ll see. The War of Terror will be compromised because the military will be pulled from Iraq, and perhaps Afghanistan too. The tax cuts which have spurred the economy will be eliminated. Our taxes will go back up. The Estate Tax, aka the “Death Tax“, will be rolled back out. Charles Rangel, who could wind up chairing the House Ways & Means Committee, has gone on the record saying there are no Bush tax cuts he wouldn‘t try to overturn. The minimum wage will be increased dramatically. This country will move closer and closer to socialization of medical care. In every aspect, the liberal agenda will be pushed further and further.

It’s a simple thing for those of us who believe in liberty and individual rights and freedoms. We can cast a hopeful vote for the Republican candidate for House or Senate and hope they’ll represent us like we expect them to. Or, we hold our nose and vote for the Democrat. In that case, we get what we deserve.

Friday, November 03, 2006

But The Dems Said Bush Lied About It...

The New York Times reports that Saddam Hussein actually did have a nuclear weapons program and, as of 2002, United Nations inspectors believed the country was on the verge of building an atom bomb, as little as a year away. The federal government set up a Web site to make public a vast archive of Iraqi documents captured during the war, and these documents seem to support the belief that Saddam was actually a dangerous leader with programs to build so-called weapons of mass destruction. Go figure...

Georgia Governor Race

The gubernatorial race in Georgia, as seen by political cartoonist...

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Credits to Peach Pundit, who took it from The Cherokee Gazette.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Report: Media Coverage Slanted To Dems

The Center For Media And Public Affairs, a media watchdog group, has studied the network news coverage (PDF) for Democratic and Republican candidates during this election season, and found (not so surprisingly) a media bias toward Democratic candidates. Based on 167 mid-term election stories aired on the Big 3 Nets, Democratic candidates and members of Congress received positive evaluations on-air more than 75% of the time. For Republicans, only about 12% received a favorable view.