from Lisa Rich in Califormina:
“This call is to inform you that Grove Public Schools will be conducting an emergency exercise on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. The drill’s purpose is to extend the school’s preparedness in the event of areal emergency. Please be aware, this is only a drill. Thanks and have a good evening.”
A short article also appeared in the local paper to inform of the drill, but made no mention that kids would be transported away from school grounds. The Grove Police Chief himself stated that they were trying to “get the word out to parents” about the drill:“Which ever site it takes place at, there will be a tremendous amount of emergency vehicles and we need to get the word out to parents that this is a drill. The exact location of the drill will be released early that morning. This allows us to better prepare in case of an actual emergency.”
“No, because, um, if it were a true emergency, you know, we have to evacuate. Uh, I guess if there’s a parent out there that doesn’t want their child to be prepared and practice for a drill, then they can send in a note and I’d send the child to another campus or something during the drill.”
“We are not taking them out of town, they are going to be on school buses and school property, so no, no I don’t think we have to have parent consent to practice a drill.”
Why Do So Many Americans Drop Out of College?
from the National Center for Policy Analysis:
The phrase “dropout factory” is ordinarily applied to America’s failing high schools — the ones where students are expected to fall through the cracks, where those who make it past graduation and on to college are considered the exceptions, the lucky survivors. But by that definition, another level of U.S. education counts as a “dropout factory” — our entire higher education system, say The Atlantic.
- Just 56 percent of students who embark on a bachelor’s degree program finish within six years, according to a 2011 Harvard study titled Pathways to Prosperity.
- Just 29 percent of those who seek an associate’s degree obtain it within three years.
- According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, just 46 percent of Americans complete college once they start, worst among the 18 countries it tracks.
Looking for an explanation, many focus largely on the cost of school, but there’s another factor at play that has less to do with the cost of a degree and more to do with the changing nature of our job market, as well as the way our education system has failed to keep up with it.
Today, it’s harder to earn a middle-class wage without a college degree. That demand for skills is causing more students to sign up for school than ever before. But once they get to class, not every student is prepared. Nor do they necessarily want to be at college, or have a clear notion of what they’re doing there, making the system incredibly wasteful.
This isn’t how it works in the rest of the developed world.
- When all is said and done, about 40 percent of Americans earn a college degree, roughly the same as European countries such as France, Finland and Sweden.
- The difference? Young Europeans who opt out of college can take extensive vocational training during their equivalent of high school.
- Rather than spending money on community college courses or a bachelor’s degree they aren’t sure what to do with, they can learn hard skills that will prepare them for employment.
Europe’s own youth unemployment problems are evidence that more vocational training won’t be a panacea the problems facing young Americans. But they would be a first step towards a less expensive, less wasteful educational system geared more towards the realities of the economy.
Source: Jordan Weissmann, “Why Do So Many Americans Drop Out of College?” The Atlantic, March 29 2012.
For more on Education Issues:
Comment: These folks kinda missed the answers, didn’t they! What kind of a job does one get getting a graduate degree in “Vagina Studies”, at the cost of $25,000 for the piece of diploma?……and one still doesn’t know anything worthwhile.
Learning knowledge was ‘in’ when I began university studies. One could fail at the exercise as well. Marxism was popular in Josef Stalin’s USSR or Mao’s Communist China. American politicians used to pay attention to the Law of the Land, the Federal Constitution.
So, with the absence of knowledge among the American voter, we have foreigner, Barack Hussein Obama projection man with forked tongue acting president.
received from Lisa Rich:
Anti-Obama protest in SF
far outdraws any Occupy event this year; still ignored by MSM
Photo courtesy of Larry in SF
The crowd of 1000 was about half men, half women, with significant numbers of Hispanic, Asian and African Americans.Attendance in San Francisco was double that reported by Catholic San Francisco Online, the National Catholic Register or the San Jose Mercury News. High resolution photographs captured by Fund47 reveal at least a 30×30 grid of protesters, with an additional hundred around the periphery. Also, the crowd turned over at a decent clip during the 90–120 minute event, scheduled on a workday, meaning even higher numbers.
…The silence by San Francisco mainstream media on the Catholic protest is deafening. I could not find a report in the San Francisco Chronicle online, which recently gave full page coverage to a “bum rush” by 25 protestors (and 30 photographers) on the residence of Wells Fargo’s CEO by an OccupySF splinter group, revealed as utter farce by Fund47. Two weeks ago, a war protest with 15 professional protestors received frothy local TV news coverage.
Photo courtesy of Larry in SF
San Francisco Catholics Defend American Exceptionalism
They Don’t Know Us
“Apparently, many liberals were disappointed in the administration’s performance before the Supreme Court. They felt that the government’s lawyer, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, did not respond effectively to the challenges of some of the conservative justices.
The editor of Commentary, John Podhoretz, offered an explanation on his magazine’s blog. “American liberals,” he wrote, “know their own language, but they don’t know the language of their ideological and partisan opposite numbers. … Conservatives speak liberal, but for liberals in the United States, conservatism might as well be Esperanto.”
I have argued this point for many years. In my book to be published later this month (“Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph”), I argue that the left is a victim of its own brainwash. How could they not be? All they hear, see and read from childhood on, from elementary school through graduate school, on TV and in the movies, are leftist ideas.
Yet this is not true for conservatives. One would have to grow up in a silent monastery not to be regularly exposed to liberal and leftist ideas.
For 30 years, I have had leading left-wing thinkers on my radio show, and I continue to be shocked at their lack of awareness of conservative arguments. About two years ago, for example, I asked one of the most powerful Democratic members of Congress — a major force behind every tax increase — what tax rate he thought might be too high. He replied that he had not given it thought. I asked a leading liberal writer who maintained that all American wars since World War II had been imperialist if he thought the Korean War was also imperialistic. He replied that he didn’t know enough about that war to respond.
After interviewing leftists, liberal listeners frequently ask me why I don’t invite the best liberals on to my show.
The answer is that I have had some of the best liberals on my show. They just don’t tend to do well when challenged by thoughtful conservatives.
That may be why the majority of influential liberals refuse to go on conservative talk radio or to debate conservatives.
I bumped into New York Times columnist Tom Friedman at Dulles Airport a few months ago and asked him if he would ever come on talk radio. He said he doesn’t do such shows. Yet shortly thereafter he went on NPR. What he meant to say was that he doesn’t go on conservative shows.
Why don’t liberals read us or listen to us or debate us?
Because the left has convinced itself that the right is unworthy of such attention.
They are certain that conservatives are sexist, intolerant, xenophobic, homophobic Islamophobic, racist and bigoted, not to mention anti-intellectual and anti-science.
The left has a mutually reinforcing dynamic at work here. Because liberals believe conservatives are all these terrible things, they do not bother acquainting themselves with conservative arguments. And because they do not acquaint themselves with conservative arguments, they are able to go on believing conservatives are all these terrible things.
Take race-based affirmative action. There is overwhelming evidence that it has hurt black college students. Nevertheless, liberals dismiss conservative opposition to affirmative action as racist. Therefore they do not read any of the empirically based studies and arguments against affirmative action. Why read racist hate?
I wonder what it would take to persuade Cornel West to debate Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell on the issue of race-based affirmative action.
One other example: Some of the most eminent climate scientists and physicists have questioned the manmade global warming computer models. Nevertheless, no liberal I am aware of has ever responded to what MIT meteorologist Richard Lindzen or Princeton physicist William Happer has written. After all, if every scientist who challenges global warming orthodoxy is anti-science, why read anti-scientific literature?
I wonder what it would take to persuade Al Gore to debate Richard Lindzen on whether manmade carbon dioxide emissions are leading to a worldwide environmental catastrophe.
So, it is rather rare for to see a liberal actually forced to debate conservative intellectuals. And after last week in the Supreme Court, it may become even rarer.”
Obama vs. Marbury v. Madison
The President needs a remedial course in judicial review.
From the Opinion Page at the Wall Street Journal:
President Obama is a former president of the Harvard Law Review and famously taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago. But did he somehow not teach the historic case of Marbury v. Madison?
That’s a fair question after Mr. Obama’s astonishing remarks on Monday at the White House when he ruminated for the first time in public on the Supreme Court’s recent ObamaCare deliberations. “I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” he declared.
Presidents are paid to be confident about their own laws, but what’s up with that “unprecedented”? In Marbury in 1803, Chief Justice John Marshall laid down the doctrine of judicial review. In the 209 years since, the Supreme Court has invalidated part or all of countless laws on grounds that they violated the Constitution. All of those laws were passed by a “democratically elected” legislature of some kind, either Congress or in one of the states. And no doubt many of them were passed by “strong” majorities.
As it happens, probably stronger majorities than passed the Affordable Care Act. Readers may recall that the law was dragooned through a reluctant Senate without a single GOP vote and barely the 60 votes needed to break a filibuster. Despite a huge Democratic majority in the House, it passed by only 219-212.
One reason the law may be overturned is because it was rushed through Congress without a standard “severability” clause that says that the rest of the law stands if one part is judged unconstitutional. Congress jammed it into law because it became ever more unpopular the more the public looked at it. The law is even less popular today than it was on the day it passed in 2010.
Mr. Obama’s remarks suggest he is joining others on the left in warning the Justices that they will pay a political price if they dare to overturn even part of the law. As he runs for re-election, Mr. Obama’s inner community organizer seems to be winning out over the law professor.
A version of this article appeared April 3, 2012, on page A14 in some U.S. editions of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Obama vs. Marbury v. Madison.
By W. James Antle, III at the American Spectator
What’s ahead if the president doesn’t get his way on the health care decision?
“Harry Truman ran against the “Do Nothing” Congress in the 1948 presidential election. Will Barack Obama run against the Supreme Court this year? Answer: he will if the nation’s highest court repudiates his signature health care reform law as unconstitutional.
The president nearly gave away the game during his press conference yesterday. After a long soliloquy about the “human element” the justices would be letting down if they ruled against his administration, Obama slipped and almost said he expected the law to be overturned rather than upheld. (He corrected himself mid-sentence.)
“Ultimately I am confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama averred. Perhaps he meant “democratic” with a capital d. Only Democrats voted for the law and it passed the House by just seven votes despite a three-fifths Democratic majority in that chamber.
According to one careful estimate, the Supreme Court has struck down 53 federal statutes between 1981 and 2005. So in post-Marbury v. Madison America, it wouldn’t be exactly “unprecedented.” Didn’t Linda Greenhouse teach us that “unprecedented” was a word used by people whose legal arguments are without merit?
Obama chided conservative commentators who complained about “judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint” when “an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law.” He concluded: “Well, this is a pretty good example.”
Supporters of the president have been laying the groundwork for this reaction ever since it became clear that the Supreme Court wasn’t simply going to rubber stamp the adminstration’s request for untrammeled federal power. Greenhouse insisted the constitutional challenge was baseless but sighed “the justices will do what they will do.” Paul Krugman asserted “while most legal experts seem to think that the case for striking the law down is very weak, these days everything is political.”
This has nothing to do with the law, they chant. It is simply the “wingnuts” on the Supreme Court deciding to impose the Tea Party’s vision of the Constitution on America. (Yet if the law is upheld, the same people will celebrate the Court as a great and powerful body whose wise rulings should go unquestioned, with the “wingnut” who cast the deciding vote venerated as the preeminent jurist of modern times.)
What is at stake here isn’t the Tea Party’s Constitution. It is the Constitution written by the Founding Fathers and ratified by the American people. It is the idea that the federal government derives its power from the consent of the governed, consent given not merely every two to six years at the ballot box but when a large majority of the states and the people expressly delegate power to the central government.
Nowhere in the confident declarations of the health care law’s constitutionality do we see any evidence that the people who wrote or ratified the Constitution intended to give the federal government these powers. More than half the states in the country have joined in the constitutional challenge and plainly don’t want to delegate this police power to Washington.
What we see instead is the insistence that liberal policy preferences simply must be constitutional. “I’m confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld,” said Obama.
For all the talk of ideologically rigid conservative justices, it was always the four members of the Supreme Court’s liberal bloc who were viewed as locks to uphold Obamacare. The persuadable justices were John Roberts, the chief justice nominated by George W. Bush, and Anthony Kennedy, who was nominated by Ronald Reagan. They tried in vain to get the solicitor general to establish some limiting principle for the power he ascribed to the federal government, to tie the mandate to something enumerated in the Constitution.
“The plaintiffs had no coherent constitutional theory on severability and on Medicaid,” writes American Enterprise Institute legal scholar Michael Greve. “For that reason they will lose on both issues, and all the partisanship on the Court, real and imagined, won’t help them.” Greve continued by noting “the justices gave the government every chance in the world to draw a constitutionally grounded enumerated powers line. It couldn’t, and so it will lose.”
Just as he did when he lectured the justices about Citizens United, Obama plans to demagogue any Supreme Court ruling that is unfavorable to his health care program. The same president who holds Roe v. Wade inviolate, a decision that invalidated the laws of all 50 states on an issue no one had previously imagined to be under federal jurisdiction, will inveigh against judicial activism.
But Obama’s cheering section also gives away the game when they lament that the Supreme Court has for the past 75 years allowed Congress, with the president’s permission, to act as a national problem-solving machine without the Constitution getting in the way. What changed in the last 75 years? The Constitution or the composition of the courts? Raw political power, indeed.
In fact, it was 75 years ago that FDR unveiled his “court packing” scheme to scare justices away from enforcing the enumerated powers doctrine when it interfered with his legislative agenda. It worked then. Will Obama’s version work now?”