30 May 2006

Smaller government now!

From Wired:
A 2004 study by the agency found that 2 percent of fireworks-related injuries that year were caused by homemade or altered fireworks; the majority involved the mishandling of commercial firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers. Nonetheless, Wolfson says, "we've fostered a very close relationship with the Justice Department and we're out there on the Internet looking to see who is promoting these core chemicals. Fireworks is one area where we're putting people in prison."

The story is about a mail-order chemical company that got busted because they sell ingredients - among many, many other things - that CAN be used to make fireworks.

Isn't blowing yourself up making fireworks kind of a self-limiting sort of activity. Is it REALLY worth spending tax-payer money to crack down on this epidemic that involved 2 whole percent of injuries last year.

26 May 2006

Moles, holes, and other earmarks

About this. I wonder if the reason the porkers are acting so seeming stupid is that they've already written off their chances in November and are in a feeding frenzy to get all they can of the other white meat before the barbecue ends.
(Can I flog this metaphor any further?)

24 May 2006


I was just looking back at this bit from blackprof.com and had some further thoughts.

Mr. Jeffries argues, as have many others, that school choice is the answer for fixing our deteriorating school system. I mentioned in the comments that I'd read some research years ago that suggested most students in a pioneering school choice program in Milwaukee who actually took advantage of the program did so either for social or athletics reasons. That is they either wanted to go to school with a friend/boyfriend/girlfriend or they wanted to play for a particular school's athletic team.

Another commenter suggested I was wrong.

I don't pretend to be an expert on school choice, education in general, or inner-city education in particular. I'm not completely inexperienced - I actually have a (never-used) masters in education and my student teaching took place in the closest thing Knoxville, Tennessee has to an inner-city. But - to reiterate - I know I'm no expert in this area and the little knowledge I have is many-years old.

That said. While school choice may be laudable it can't - by itself - fix the nation's education problems. And it especially can't fix our inner-city education problems because those problems are ultimately the problems of the inner-city itself.

Schools don't operate in a vacuum. They are products of their communities.

Katrina analysis

Jonah Goldberg does a little urban myth busting on the subject of Katrina and who screwed up what. (HT Instapundit) My favorite bit - paraphrased - if the President screwed up so badly in New Orleans, how did he manage to do okay in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida - the other states hammered by Katrina and her siblings? What should be obvious is that in a crisis, it's the people who are there that ultimately need to deal with it.
And they just re-elected Ray Nagin.

15 May 2006

Carter administration offers assistance with Iran

This struck me as kinda funny. I mean I know Jimmy had some ... experience ... with Iran, but I'm not sure that's what we're looking for.