Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Short but wonderful
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

I love viral movies. Ford is one of the better companies at using them as part of their marketing package. Usually, they are a cute little story with not much meaning...

This one is different.

Thanks, Ford. That was wonderful.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Emotionally Disabled???
from the mind of  Evan Kruse. | Spellings Quiz: Teachers test official

OK. The first paragraph of this article is absolutely ridiculous.

Lisa Hogsett, who teaches emotionally disabled students at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield County, is struggling with the federal No Child Left Behind law.

What the hell are 'emotionally disabled' children? Do they get disabled parking passes when they get a license? Do buildings have to be emotionally compatible with their tastes to fit ADA standards? Is it just me, or are the excuses that we make for our children absolutely out of control? Holy Cow!

So, once we get passed labeling children as disabled when they just are emotionally stressed or troubled, we can actually look at what she is saying. (brackets in original document.)

"No matter how many accommodations [my students] get, they simply can't pass the criteria established through No Child Left Behind to ensure my school makes [adequate] yearly progress."

Hogsett would ask if there will be any changes to No Child testing that allows children to be tested according to their current reading level.

Now, President Bush and Congress passed the NCLBA in order to motivate our schools to make progress towards a goal of educating all of our students to a certain standard at a certain date. This instructor wants to make certain exceptions so her students don't need to meet these standards.

Isn't this exactly the problem that got us into the cycle of lowered expectations in the first place? Shouldn't our schools have standards that go beyond the excuses we create for our children? Don't we want to teach our children about the importance of standards, or should we teach our children that instead of hard work, they can instead figure out a way to attach a label to themselves to the point that the standards no longer apply.

Back to the original point... if I were a double amputee, I'd be raging mad at 'emotionally disabled'. If I were someone with advanced MS or Parkinson's, I'd be furious about 'emotionally disabled'.

OK. If you haven't read the whole article by this point... Please do so before I make my last point.

Many of our educators are asking that we not apply these education standards to certain groups of our children. From what I can gather, they would like any child or teenager with emotional distress, language barriers, un-hip clothing, mean older siblings, family problems, school problems, upset stomach, untied shoes, and bad hair to be exempt from the NCLB standards.

So... How many children would that leave to not be left behind? A: Zero.

Let's get real people.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson's Latest
from the mind of  Evan Kruse.

Victor Davis Hanson on Islamism on National Review Online

Indeed, the latest two-hour training video is little more than cut-and-paste from the Michael Moore Left and hand-me-downs from Euro anti-globalist radicals. Thus America, al Qaeda assures us, "seeks to ravage the entire globe for the interest of corporate companies," and so kills the sons of Islam "in Palestine, Afghanistan, the Balkans, Indonesia, the Caucuses, and elsewhere. "

Apparently about three billion Europeans, Asians, Russians, and Indians have been picking on poor suicide bombers and terrorists, who, in fact, are incognito environmentalists bent on stopping corporate exploitation of Mother Earth.

Read the whole thing... I think what he is trying to say is that our enemy is much more serious about this war than we are... I agree that we need to pay more attention. Our survival may depend on it.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

More Gun Fun at the University of Oregon
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

Note to reader: Since June 2004 there have been at least three cases of handguns being flashed on campus, and in the light of my lawsuit's dismissal, I've been looking for a way to write an "I told you so" letter to the student newspaper. Below is the letter I submitted, we'll see if it gets published.


According to DPS safety bulletins, there have been at least three cases of illegal handgun brandishing on or near campus in just over one year. The incident in Klamath hall on June 25th only being the most recent. On April 24th of this year a man assaulted two students in Bean Hall, later returning with a revolver. On June 7th of last year there was an armed robbery between Bean Hall and Graduate Housing.

When I filed my lawsuit against the Oregon University System in an attempt to lift an unjust and illegal rule prohibiting the carrying of licensed concealed handguns, the response was predictable. The OUS and UO administration brought out the standard line: they were concerned about student safety. Student interviews and polls printed in the ODE showed that the majority of students (and I’m sure faculty and staff) felt uneasy about having concealed handguns carried onto campus by lawfully licensed and competent people.

If the campus community was uneasy about handguns carried by law-abiding citizens, I can only imagine the fear that has descended on campus with the revelation that yes indeed, there are already guns on campus- and they are not being carried by licensed, responsible people. The situation worsens with the unsettling realization that the administration is completely impotent when it comes to protecting students and faculty. The truth is that with an open campus anyone is able to smuggle in a handgun without detection- a lesson recently learned by an unnamed staff member.

Three incidents in about a year is hardly a crime wave; and fortunately shots have not been fired- yet. But it is enough to shatter the illusion that mere words on paper can deter irresponsible and criminally-minded outsiders from coming onto campus armed. If the OUS and UO administrations were truly concerned with student safety they would face the fact that the current policy of simply forbidding handguns on campus does not make it a gun-free zone. Furthermore, students and faculty alike would realize that they can only rely on themselves for protection.

I encourage the campus community to exert pressure on the OUS to drop the ban on defensive handguns. Handgun ownership is not about fear, it is about personal responsibility and taking steps to deter crime on campus. Sexual predators might think twice about targeting female students when there is the distinct possibility that they could be facing down the barrel of pistol wielded by a coed. Thieves will go elsewhere when faced with the idea of being confronted by an armed faculty member. There is a very real difference between feeling safe and being safe; a difference the U of O campus beginning to understand. Do not let irrational fears toward handguns dictate a policy which leaves the campus with no way to defend itself.