Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spoofing the Senator

This had me laughing out loud. I know this former member of the US Army was offended by Sen. Barbara Boxer's  insistence on being called "Senator" instead of the still respectful "ma'am". I'm delighted to see David Zucker's take on this--and just in time for Tuesday's election.

Kerr err...

And here is a perfect example of why so many people have just quit reading The Tennessean newspaper. They can't even get their own facts straight let alone report accurately on the facts out there in the real world. Frankly, they don't need another Democrat shill columnist. They could use several good "copy girls" though.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Vote for Eric (Crafton)

While we're all busy voting the Republican ticket for political offices from Governor on down there is another election that will take place tomorrow that folks need to know about and weigh in on. The Davidson County Election Commission will interview seven people for the job of Administrator of Elections. This job is political. The person who gets the position serves at the will of the Election Commission and, frankly, that's worked well for Ray Barrett and not so well for Davidson County Republicans who technically have an advantage in the make up of the Commission as a legal result of winning a slim majority in the Tennessee State House. This is a call for those Republicans to act like Republicans and give this job to someone who will not only do the job well, but is actually a strong conservative with solid Republican credentials and support.

I've seen all the resumes submitted. Frankly, many of these folks should never have even applied. Three of them rise to the top as potential candidates. While I supported Buck Dozier for mayor  as the best of the lot in this (for now) Democrat controlled city with some very good ideas,  he's a Democrat and that's a deal breaker for me. Albert Tiche already has some connections to the Election Commission but, frankly, his credentials don't rise to the level of the last and most qualified candidate, Eric Crafton.

The Dems in town will howl in protest that Eric's 'gaming' the system previously for the English First legislation, and a whole host of other baseless charges, means he shouldn't get the job. I'm not listening. To paraphrase their own leader "We won" and the Republicans need to benefit from the spoils of our having won a majority. Eric's conservative Republican bone fides are unquestionable. Eric clearly has an excellent education. But by far what Eric has that the others don't is a clear understanding of the rules and the players. He'll know immediately what to look for and what improvements should be initiated. He's interacted with the system from every angle: voter, candidate, and adversary. Why Eric would want this job is beyond me, but obviously he does and I stand behind him and his application for this job.

See this City Paper link for more info on the process and applicants. See their recent poll of readers at left. Obviously, I'm not alone in my support for Eric Crafton.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Where in the world is Candidate Jim Cooper?

Folks who were looking forward to a debate between Rep. Jim Cooper and Republican candidate David Hall were very disappointed that he chose instead to hang out with Greenway donors on the Shelby Street Bridge instead of actually meeting with constituents and his opponent just weeks before this important election. Those disappointed folks might want to consider the following invitation that was published to many of the East Nashville and Inglewood email lists this afternoon as an alternative venue to speak with their current Congressman.

Dan Heller and Hope Browning, and Shawn and Elizabeth M-K Sullivan invite you to coffee and conversation with

U.S. Representative Jim Cooper

Date: Sunday, October 10, 2010
Time: 2-4 pm
Location: Riverside Village Courtyard –
The corner of McGavock Avenue and Riverside Drive in the Inglewood neighborhood - 37216
Parking available at Riverside Village, behind M&M Furniture and on the grassy lot at Maxey & McGavock Avenues. Please carpool and/or ride your bike. Bike parking at the courtyard aplenty
Free, casual, family friendly, come and go as your schedule allows.
Refreshments from Mitchell Deli provided.
RSVP: Email elizabethmksullivan at Comcast dot net to RSVP or to ask questions.

Dan Heller has remade that corner into quite a lovely respite for the neighborhood. Even if Jim Cooper is a no show (again) it'll be worth the trip.

Using old math on school budgets

Life as been tremendously busy. I took some time this morning to clear out the Firefox tabs of stuff I intended to get to but just haven't had time to read. Among those was this funny from JUNE! (I told you I was behind.)

Here's a snip from P.J. O'Rourke's "The Weekly Standard" entry for June 21, 2010 entitled "End Them, Don't Mend Them":

There are other numbers that make better sense. As of 2006—of course the numbers are out of date—4,615,000 people were employed full-time by some 13,000 school districts (although if school districts used the same definition of “full-time” as the rest of us the number we’re talking about would be zero). Of these 4,615,000 there are 300,000 “clerical and secretarial staff” filling out No Child Left Behind paperwork and wondering why 64,000 “officials, administrators” aren’t doing it themselves, which they aren’t because they’re busy doing the jobs that 125,000 “principals and assistant principals” can’t because they’re supervising 383,000 “other professional staff” who are flirting with the 483,000 “teachers’ aides” who are spilling trail mix and low-fat yogurt in the teacher’s lounge making a mess for the 726,000 “service workers” to clean up, never mind that the students should be pushing the brooms and swinging the Johnny mops so at least they’d come home with a practical skill and clean the bathroom instead of sitting around comprehending 29 percent of their iPhone text messages and staying awake all night because they can only count 31 percent of sheep.
Enough, however, of outrageous statistics. Let’s generate some pure outrage. Here’s my proposal: Close all the public schools. Send the kids home. Fire the teachers. Sell the buildings. Raze the U.S. Department of Education, leaving not one brick standing upon another and plow the land where it stood with salt.
“Wait a minute,” the earnest liberal says, “we’ve got swell public schools here in Flourishing Heights. The kids take yoga. We just brought in a law school placement coordinator at the junior high. The gym has solar panels on the roof. Our Girls Ultimate Frisbee team is third in the state. The food in the cafeteria is locally grown. And the vending machines dispense carrots and kiwi juice.”
Close them anyway. I’ve got 11,749 reasons. Or, given the Cato report, call it 15,000. Abandon the schools. Gather the kids together in groups of 15.4. Sit them down at your house, or the Moose Lodge, or the VFW Hall or—gasp—a church. Multiply 15.4 by $15,000. That’s $231,000. Subtract a few grand for snacks and cleaning your carpet. What remains is a pay and benefit package of a quarter of a million dollars. Average 2008 public school classroom teacher salary: $51,391. For a quarter of a million dollars you could hire Aristotle. The kids wouldn’t have band practice, but they’d have Aristotle. (Incidentally this worked for Philip of Macedon. His son* did very well.)
Sometimes you just have to laugh about the ridiculousness of the public school system or you will just sit down and cry-- again. The absolute waste of lives and resources should be criminal. It's not. It's rewarded over and over again. We're promised over and over again that THIS new program will fix the system and the children will exit the other end of this sausage factory physically, mentally and spiritually fit for adult responsibilities. They lie. It's broken and it won't be fixed with the same folks in charge using essentially the same tools with new labels. The only answer is more competition. More families voting with their feet and moving to other counties, other systems, staying home or going virtual. More power to them. The system's had far too much for far too long.

* Alexander The Great