vineri, 11 februarie 2011

The Electoral College System...Good or Bad? read this and then reconsider the question..

Election season is among us and once again so many uninformed people will go to the polls and choose the person they want to run this wonderful nation, not based on merit or qualifications but instead on the clothes they wear or because of their stance on one or two their beliefs. I would bet that less than 2% of the American voters really have an understanding of the views and track records of the person they vote for. If Oprah Winfrey ran for president against Abraham Lincoln, today, Oprah would win hands down because Abe's hat wasn't in style. Its scary if you ask me. How many of you are against the electoral college. Do you actually understand the purpose of it? Well here you go.. Check it out. If after reading this you are still against it, go to the wall and beat your head against it for an hour. Maybe that will knock some sense into you..

After the very interesting election of 2000, I became interested in our system of electing the president that we call the Electoral College. After the controversial outcome of the election, many people wanted change and demanded that the electoral college be replaced by the popular vote system. Due to the abnormal outcome of the 2000 election many people felt robbed and thought that they as the people didn’t have the power to elect the president of their choice. The common theme of the time was the “disenfranchised American voter”. I took it upon myself to research this process called the electoral college, I and wondered what could the Founding Fathers -- the Framers of the Constitution -- the Champions of Democracy -- have been thinking in 1787? Did they not realize that the Electoral College effectively took the power to select the American president of out of the hands of the American people? After learning more about the system I realized that yes, they did. In fact, the Founding Fathers always intended that the states -- not the people -- select the president. They designed the system to purposely work that way.When we step into the voting booth and pull the lever or punch the hole, we aren’t directly electing the president—we’re electing members of the Electoral College. They elect the president. It was designed this way to ensure that ALL STATES of the union have a chance to affect the outcome of the election. It was also intended to be protection for the smaller states and for the entire voting populace. The Electoral College does even more than provide states with influence and protection, it provides small states with power they would not have with a popular election.James Madison, chief architect of our nation’s electoral college, wanted to protect each citizen against “the most insidious tyranny” that arises in democracies: the massed power of fellow citizens banded together in a “dominant bloc.” As Madison explained in The Federalist Papers (Number X), “a well-constructed Union” must, above all else, “break and control the violence of faction,” especially “the superior force of an . . . overbearing majority.” In any democracy, a majority’s power threatens minorities. It threatens their rights, their property, and sometimes their lives. The Electoral College System, by requiring candidates to win states on the way to winning the nation, has forced majorities to win the consent of minorities, checked the violence of factions, and held the country together. So, the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College system as a process to insulate the selection of the president from the whims of a politically naive public. They also intended that the Electoral College system would enforce the concept of federalism -- the division and sharing of powers between the state and national governments.The Electoral College system does contain within it one small, unavoidable paradox. Every once in a while, if we use districting to jack up individual voting power, we’ll have an electoral “anomaly”—a classic example, in 1888 Benjamin Harrison nudged out a slightly more popular Grover Cleveland. Harrison got 47.9% of the popular vote versus Cleveland’s 48.6%. Cleveland won the popular vote by 100,456 votes but the electors chose Harrison, overwhelmingly (233 to 168). They were not acting perversely. According to the rules laid out in the constitution, Harrison was the winner. These “anomalies”, including other close calls like Bush Gore in 2000, should be viewed not as defects but as signs that the system is working. It is protecting individual voting power by preserving the threat that small numbers of votes in this or that district can turn the election. All that happens is someone with fewer votes gets elected, temporarily. What doesn’t happen may be far more important. In 1888, victorious Republicans didn’t celebrate by jailing or killing Democrats and Democrats didn’t find Harrison so intolerable that they took up arms. Cleveland came back to win four years later, beating Harrison under the same rules as before. The republic survived. Other close calls have gone the other way like in 1960 when John F. Kennedy narrowly beat Richard Nixon in popular voting, 49.7 percent to 49.5 percent a smaller margin than Cleveland had over Harrison. Kennedy won the bigger states and went on to win the electoral balloting, so in this case the popular vote winner became president.As citizens of The United States of America we must remember that each state is a member of the union effectively making it the United States. As The United States we must acknowledge the fact that each state has certain needs based on their location and population. The citizens of NY, Chicago and Los Angeles may all have the same type of political concerns based on their demographics, while states like Wyoming, Kansas, Hawaii and Alaska may have totally different political needs. The Electoral College allows for these states to have an influence in the election process, when a popular vote only system may fail them and ultimately alienate them from the entire process. The Electoral College by allowing each state an opportunity to influence an elections outcome is capable of opposing an overbearing majority, while direct national voting is not. Under raw voting, a candidate has every incentive to tempt only the largest bloc or the majority, (e.g. Serbs in Yugoslavia). If a Serb party wins national power, minorities have no prospect of throwing them out; 49% will never beat 51%. Knowing this, the majority can do as it pleases (lacking other effective checks and balances). But in a districted election, no one becomes president without winning a large number of districts, or “states”- -say, two of the following three: Serbia, Bosnia, and Croatia. Candidates thus have an incentive to campaign for non-Serb votes in at least some of those states and to tone down extreme positions. The Founding Fathers understood this and purposely created the Electoral College.Still, so many uninformed Americans are disgusted with this system. Their confusion and ignorance of the system causes them to push for reform. These confused Americans would want nothing more than to see this system changed to a popular vote only system. Even the House of Representatives in 1969 approved a constitutional amendment that teetered on the verge of wrecking the Electoral College, an institution that has no equal anywhere in the world. The American Bar Association at the time supported the move, calling our current electoral system “archaic, undemocratic, complex, ambiguous, indirect, and dangerous.” In the Senate, too, the amendment had broad support but it ultimately died there. It had majority support, but not the two-thirds majority required to pass it. The important thing to remember is that as a nation we are not the pure or direct democracy that we so often confuse ourselves with. Instead and definitely for the better we are a representative democracy. Only in a pure democracy could one expect or demand to have a popular vote system. In fact that is the basic definition of a pure democratic system. Our system, a Representative democracy, I believe was a good choice by the framers because direct democracies historically have been subject to anarchy. Without the electoral system, our democracy might well have fallen apart long ago into warring factions. If the opponents of the Electoral College had it their way and we adopted the direct-election system, no candidate would ever visit the 30 smallest states (population) in the U.S., including New Mexico. Every campaign would be based around the big, urban city. If you don't live in NY City, Los Angeles, or Chicago, you wouldn’t see the candidates. The idea is to be sure all votes in a district have power. Ideally no single party, race, ethnic group, or other bloc, nationally large or nationally small, will dominate any of the districts-- which for now happen to be the 50 states plus Washington, D.C.Some political experts argue that the Electoral College robs voters of their individual power. A physicist from MIT named Alan Natapoff, in 1970, questioned that belief and he worked on a theorem that would show the people the value of our Electoral College. He worked on a mathematical explanation to identify the voters’ power in an electoral system versus a direct popular voting system. He asked himself, “What is the probability that one person’s vote will be able to turn a national election?” The higher the probability, the more power each voter commands. Almost always, he found, individual voting power is higher when funneled through districts--such as states--than when pooled in one large, direct election. It is more likely, in other words, that your one vote will determine the outcome in your state and your state will then turn the outcome of the Electoral College, than that your vote will turn the outcome of a direct national election. A voter therefore, Natapoff found, has more power under the current electoral system.In The United States many people seem to have the belief that we as Americans all want and need the same thing but the reality is that we need different things from our politicians and we ultimately have different views. The Electoral College ensures that the minority will have the capability to affect the outcome of an election and hopefully have their needs met by their elected officials. I think the events of election 2000 needed to happen to show the ignorant public how the system was designed and to assure the smaller states (population) of the union that they too have a say in the election. It reinforces the fact that we are a representative democracy and we use a representative process called the Electoral College to elect our president. The public needs to understand the benefits of this system and why James Madison developed it this way. The Electoral College is essential to protecting the rights and needs of the minority e.g. Yugoslavia.I am proud of our system and am thankful that it gives my vote more individual power it allows for my needs and my states needs to be considered. I want the officials who run for office to hear my voice and to visit my state so I may have the opportunity to influence them. The bottom line really is that mathematically I get more bang for my buck with the electoral college, Natapoff proved that mathematically. So in answer to the question what electoral reforms would I recommend today, other than educating the public on our systems benefits, absolutely none. Thanks to the framers for putting this system in place and I hope that we as Americans can learn to respect it and hold on to it with a clenched fist.

'' I'M TIRED ''

Two weeks ago, as I was starting my sixth month of duty in Iraq, I was forced to return to the USA for surgery for an injury I sustained prior to my deployment. With luck, I'll return to Iraq to finish my tour.I left Baghdad and a war that has every indication that we are winning, to return to a demoralized country much like the one I returned to in 1971 after my tour in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I'll turn 60 years old in just four months, but I'm tired:

I'm tired of spineless politicians, both Democrat and Republican who lackthe courage, fortitude, and character to see these difficult tasks through.

I'm tired of the hypocrisy of politicians who want to rewrite history when the going gets tough.

I'm tired of the disingenuous clamor from those that claim they 'Support theTroops' by wanting them to 'Cut and Run' before victory is achieved.

I'm tired of a mainstream media that can only focus on car bombs and casualty reports because they are too afraid to leave the safety of theirhotels to report on the courage and success our brave men and women are having on the battlefield.

I'm tired that so many Americans think you can rebuild a dictatorship into a democracy over night.

I'm tired that so many ignore the bravery of the Iraqi people to go to the voting booth and freely elect a Constitution and soon a permanent Parliament.

I'm tired of the so called 'Elite Left' that prolongs this war by giving aid and comfort to our enemy, just as they did during the Vietnam War.

I'm tired of antiwar protesters showing up at the funerals of our fallen soldiers. A family who's loved ones gave their life in a just and noble cause, only to be cruelly tormented on the funeral day by cowardly protesters is beyond shameful.

I'm tired that my generation, the Baby Boom -- Vietnam generation, who have such a weak backbone that they can't stomach seeing the difficult tasks through to victory.

I'm tired that some are more concerned about the treatment of captives than they are the slaughter and beheading of our citizens and allies.

I'm tired that when we find mass graves it is seldom reported by the press, but mistreat a prisoner and it is front page news.

Mostly, I'm tired that the people of this great nation didn't learn from history that there is no substitute for Victory.

Sincerely, Joe Repya, Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army 101st Airborne Division


by Michael F. Cannon
Michael F. Cannon is director of health policy studies at the Cato Institute and coauthor of Healthy Competition: What's Holding Back Health Care and How to Free It.
First, Mike, I want to thank you for inviting me to the Washington, D.C., premiere of your new movie SiCKO. You invited me even though you knew I was likely to criticize the film's prescription for health care reform.
Of course, we both know that's exactly why you invited me. You knew that I'd criticize your proposal that the U.S. adopt a government–run health care system, and that would bring added media attention to SiCKO in advance of its nationwide release this weekend. You created the news hook, and we both got the opportunity to air our views on health care reform. It was a win–win.
I want you to know that I've held up my end of the bargain. I've criticized SiCKO in whatever medium I could: from blog posts and podcasts to The New York Times. And I haven't held back. In one review, I even wrote, "from a policy standpoint — and I say this more in sadness than in anger — SiCKO was so breathtaking a specimen of ignorant propaganda that it would make Pravda blush." You just can't buy that kind of press.
I have to say, by making such a one–sided movie, you certainly made my job easier. For example, you show American patients who were denied medical care by greedy for–profit insurance companies. But you ignore the fact that power–hungry politicians do the same thing in Canada, Great Britain, France, and Cuba. I suppose that's why the Canadian journalists at the Cannes Film Festival gave you such a grilling.
You laud socialized American institutions like public education and the post office. But you never mention that Americans criticize those same institutions for their high costs and poor quality.
You extol the virtues of France's economic system, which seems to have socialized everything right down to laundry service. But you never tell your audience that taxes in France are 50 percent higher than in the U.S., or that the French unemployment rate is double the U.S. rate. Instead, you just ask several bons vivants if they feel like they're doing well. (Mais bien sûr!)
For the record, Mike, I have also praised SiCKO for its sense of humor, for exposing the silliness of our ongoing embargo of Cuba, and for highlighting some of the more insane aspects of America's health care system. In the notes I took during the film — I know, I'm such a nerd — I actually wrote, "Thank God MM is telling these stories."
It is insane that insurance companies have so much say over what is "medically necessary." But why do you never mention — or don't you know? — that our own government hands that power to insurance companies by penalizing insurance that lets patients decide what's medically necessary?
It is insane that those 9–11 rescue workers had so much difficulty getting medical attention. At the D.C. premiere, I spoke with Reggie Cervantes, John Graham, and Bill Maher, as well as two other rescue workers who didn't go to Cuba. All five of them told me that they had health insurance on September 11, but that they lost their insurance when they lost their jobs.
Why don't you tell your audience that the U.S. government was partly responsible for Reggie, John, and Bill losing their insurance? After all, it is Congress that ties health insurance to employment. If Congress stopped meddling with health insurance, people like Reggie, John, and Bill could get coverage that sticks with them through the rough times.
You're also correct that the health care industry has way too much influence in Washington. But what do you expect? Congress directly controls almost half of our health care spending, and controls the rest indirectly. With so many of our health care decisions being made in Congress, is it any wonder that industry spends more than any other to influence Congress?
The way to reduce the industry's influence is to take those decisions away from Congress and return them to the people.
When we spoke before the D.C. premiere, you apologized for leaving a clip of me on the cutting room floor, and suggested that we get together sometime to discuss health care reform. I'll forgive you for the former if you'll make good on the latter. We may not agree on everything, but we share a sharp distaste for the status quo.

American Spectator Warns: Michael Moore Wants Soviet Style Medicine

By David Hogberg
Published 6/22/2007 12:08:08 AM

WASHINGTON -- On Wednesday, Michael Moore held a special screening of Sicko for health care lobbyists in D.C. at the Phoenix Theaters at Union Station. I and other members of the media tried to get into the screening, but Moore kept us out, saying that it was only for lobbyists. That left the screening with an audience of twenty.Nevertheless, at the press conference just beforehand, Moore was entertaining. The folks from the feminist anti-war group Code Pink showed up and chanted, "Health Care Not Warfare!" One of the ushers asked them to stop, since it would disturb the people who were watching movies in the other theaters. I found that a bit ironic since the theaters at Union Station attract the sort of clientele that doesn't know how to shut up (or turn off its cell phones) during a movie.Anyway, Moore made a number of comments during his press conference that laid out much of the left-wing case for government-run health care. Since I am, at present, unable to give you my review of the movie, I will instead comment on some of his remarks:1. "Remove private health insurance from the equation. There is no room for it in an ethical and human society."That begs the question, how humane and ethical are societies that have no private health insurance? We only have to look north to Canada to answer that question. People end up on waiting lists for surgery, where they suffer considerable anxiety and pain, and sometimes die. Word has it Moore's documentary leaves out those details in its examination of Canada. Perhaps we need to raise the question of what makes an ethical and humane filmmaker?2. "I favor the removal of private health insurance companies from this country. I don't believe that there is room for them in the equation. When you are talking about people's health, you should never have to worry about profit."One sees this anti-profit argument a lot on the left. I have to wonder, does the left have the slightest clue about the function of profit in a free market? (I know, that's a rhetorical question.) Profit is what drives producers to provide goods and services at a lower price while also improving quality. Profit also acts as a "signal" to producers, letting them know where to invest their resources. Products and services that people find more useful tend to yield higher profits, incentivizing producers to put more resources into them. Without profits, doctors and other providers won't know which services patients find most useful, pharmaceutical companies won't know which drugs are most effective, and insurance companies won't know which insurance products are most desired. 3. "I believe that pharmaceutical companies need to be regulated like a public utility. We need medicine, but we need government control and regulation, so that the medicine is affordable for everyone, so that we are producing the right medicines, so that we are producing safe medicines."Someone who makes such a remark must know next to nothing about the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA's regulatory process for new drug approval averages eight-to-ten years. That adds a huge cost to new drugs. We need to find ways to reduce this regulatory burden. Moore wants to increase it. Anyone who believes that will make medicine more affordable, or that government will be able to figure out how to produce the "right medicine," please purchase a one-way ticket to Fantasyland.4. "Forty-five years ago, 30 pharmaceutical companies were working on cures and vaccines. Today there are five. You need to get back to working on the cures and vaccines. Once you cure something, the person doesn't need to take a pill for the next forty years."There are two main reasons why there are so few vaccine makers today. First, the trial lawyers began suing vaccine makers in the 1980s, subjecting the industry to huge liabilities and making vaccine production less profitable. Second, in the early 1990s the federal government got into the vaccine purchasing business with the Vaccines for Children program. This program buys massive quantities of vaccines to distribute to children. But over time the government has pushed down the price it pays for vaccines, making them less profitable, thereby driving more companies out of the vaccine business. Moore wants you to think that the reason for fewer vaccine makers is that pharmaceutical companies aren't compassionate enough. The real problem is that trial lawyers and government have taken much of the profit out of it.5. "I want [the American people] to demand that candidates of both parties come forth with specific health care proposals that will guarantee health insurance for all Americans and profit not be involved in it. I hope the people support John Conyers' bill, HR 676, in Congress right now. I think all the polls show that health care is the number one domestic issue right now....My general hope is that we have a free, universal health care system for all Americans and that no private company acts as a middleman to determine whether someone gets care."Two points on this comment. First, I added the italics to show that Moore makes the common mistake of conflating health care and health insurance. Health care is the treatment we receive to diagnose and cure illness. Health insurance is a way of paying for health care. Having universal health insurance does not guarantee universal health care. Most systems that have universal health insurance ration care by implementing waiting lists and canceling surgeries. In short, universal health insurance leads to very restricted access to health care. (For a more extended discussion of this, go here.)Second, clearly Moore does not like the idea of a private insurance company deciding whether someone gets care (and neither do I). But Moore wants to move us to a government-run system. What he won't tell you is that under such a system, the government will decide whether or not you get care. In Britain, smokers are to be denied surgery if they do not quit smoking four weeks before surgery. In New Zealand, the government recommended that patients aged 75 and over be denied kidney dialysis. Switching to a government-run health care system does not eliminate the denial of treatment; it just changes the entity that does it.Will Sicko be any more illuminating than Moore's press conference? I'm eager to find out. Hopefully I'll be able to get a sneak peek of the film over the weekend and give you a review on Monday.

Scooter Libby

For all of the Bill Clinton fans/Anti Bush people, who are upset or even disgusted with Bush's decision to (partially)pardon Libby, I have something for you.. Here is a link to every one of Clinton's (full) pardons while he was in office. If you are a rational free thinking human being there is no way you can "have no problems" with Clinton's (full) pardons and still have violent disgust for Bush's (partial) pardoning of Libby. If you find that after reading the list that you still don't agree with Bush's pardoning of Libby then you are a hypocrite and only riding party lines. That means you are not a free thinker and therefore irrational.. Which means you either lean too far to the right or to the left... In other words, you are likely the kind of person who agrees with everything your party says without any independent thought of your own.. This brings us back to the concept of illegeracy.. We will get to that later..


What is it about our political culture that causes everyone to be so damn polarized? Or maybe most people really aren’t so polarized and it’s the media that makes it seem so. I can only imagine that is in fact the pop cultured Inquireresque media, that is tearing away the moral fabric from this once honorable American culture. The American public is everyday, driven farther and farther away from the core values of this nation. We can blame only ourselves for letting this happen. It’s not capitalism, conservatism, or liberalism that might be to blame. No, capitalism is necessary for our way of life, or should I say essential; and liberalism is also an important element which exists to keep the conservatives in check and v/v. They aren’t the issue, what is the issue is education. We are obligated as Americans to educate our neighbors. We owe it to the future of this nation to actively be involved in our communities. How many of us criticize everything we don’t agree with and then look in the mirror and realize that we had never actually tried to be part of a solution? So many of us go about our mundane lives and complain about the democrats and the republicans… How about we quit our bitching and become part of a solution.. Have you ever heard of illegeracy? Well here you go.. read on

An illegerate person is a person who feels like they cannot make a difference in society. They ultimately give up and worry only about themselves. They bitch and bitch about the world around them but never really do anything to change it. Illegeracy is the failure of an individual to realize that as a citizen it is their duty to get involved and help society progress into the future. It is the individual’s failure to see the condition of their life as open to choices. Illegeracy can also be described as exiting the political system. A person who is illegerate is incapable of making sense of his cultural situation or is culturally confused.

The main factor or characteristic involved in this political-social-cultural phenomenon is aliteracy. Aliteracy is the act of not reading. An aliterate individual is someone who is capable of reading yet chooses not to. The development of the American political cultural is now in constant competition with the popular mass culture. The popular culture often negatively influences people’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. This negative influence along with the simultaneous failure of the media and the American education system promotes and motivates Illegeracy in our society. The popular culture of America is defeating the very important political culture by causing apathy, cynicism, and empty if not non-existent political discourse. Illegeracy is seen more in the lower socioeconomic class, than in the higher socioeconomic classes. Higher levels of education almost ensure that an individual is involved in their political culture. As the levels of education drop we see that Illegeracy increases.

One of the consequences that follows Illegeracy is called cultural confusion. Cultural confusion is the constant misperception of reality and being unable to identify. Cultural confusion leads to false consciousness. False consciousness in Marxist theory is a failure to recognize the instruments of one's oppression or exploitation as one's own creation, as when members of an oppressed class unwittingly adopt views of the oppressor class. Illegeracy promotes the abdication of ones political power to help choose the direction of society. Exercising our political power that we have as citizens is not only a right but also a duty. Illegerate people don’t understand that duty or they never new it from the beginning.

Illegeracy’s impact on politics in America is severe. It leads a citizen to the feeling that his or her life is not open to choice. After a person decides that they have no choices, they give up any political power to influence the direction of society. It reduces political participation, it undermines political discourse, and it leads to a depoliticized society. The illegerate people of our society express passivity, which reinforces political avoidance, and ultimately contributes to anti intellectualism.

It is clear that the media and education systems, are failing us. The media, which is supposed to educate us, has become an entertainment and consumer based industry. News programs, magazines, and even newspapers are neglecting to focus on the important news and opting to focus on entertaining us rather then informing us. The media is at partial fault, but our public education system should take most of the blame. Public education has become a system that thoughtlessly ignores subjects such as politics, provokes anti-intellectualism and widely accepts mediocrity. Therefore, the simultaneous failure of the media and education will continue to produce a society of illegerate citizens.


by Andrew J. Coulson
Andrew J. Coulson is director of the Cato Institute's Center for Educational Freedom and author of Market Education: The Unknown History. He blogs at

In a landmark opinion issued Thursday morning, the United States Supreme Court struck down race–based student assignment programs in the Seattle and Jefferson County, Ky., public–school districts. Defenders of racial–assignment policies may not realize it for years, but this ruling could be the best thing to happen to the education of minority children since the court struck down segregated schooling in 1954.

Both districts had argued that assigning students to schools based on race is necessary, at least on occasion, to ensure diverse student bodies and improve minority–student achievement. But the court's majority found that they failed to make that case — that the harm done by these programs is "undeniable," while the need for them is "unclear."

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts cited an earlier Supreme Court finding that "government action dividing people by race is inherently suspect because such classifications promote notions of racial inferiority and lead to a politics of racial hostility." He also invoked the court's seminal Brown v. Board of Education ruling, which overturned segregated schooling and "required school districts to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis."

The Seattle and Jefferson County districts, Roberts wrote, simply hadn't proved that their race–based policies were necessary to achieve their stated goals, or that they had seriously considered alternative policies.

That last point makes the court's decision monumentally important — for it draws attention to other, perhaps better, ways of promoting diversity and improving minority students' achievement.

In the immediate wake of the Brown ruling, the NAACP and others championed voluntary school–choice programs as a viable avenue toward improved integration. Many civil–rights leaders have forgotten choice in the half–century since, but it has retained the interest of scholars and activists. And their verdict is in: Choice works.

On every goal championed by advocates of race–based school assignment, private schools and parental–choice programs that ease access to them have a strong positive record — bringing residential and classroom integration and improving minority–student outcomes.

Duke University economist Thomas Nechyba has found that our conventional, district–based public–school system worsens residential segregation: By tying schools to students' addresses, it encourages the wealthy to "choose" their schools by opting to live in upscale neighborhoods. And his research strongly suggests that a school–choice program that made both private and public schools affordable to all families would greatly reduce the residential segregation that today's public–schooling arrangements have caused.

A central goal of compulsory integration polices has been to achieve racial balance at the school level. But Harvard's Civil Rights Project has observed that public schools are little more racially integrated today than they were before such policies were introduced.

And even schools with racially balanced enrollments don't necessarily have meaningful integration. It is quite common for students to self–segregate by race within schools, having comparatively little social interaction. Ohio State University sociologist James Moody has observed that "simple exposure does not promote integration," so schools that appear integrated "by the numbers" may not have meaningfully integrated hallways, lunchrooms, or even classrooms.

A decade ago, professor Jay Greene (now at the University of Arkansas) had a brilliant idea to test for truly meaningful integration: look at lunchrooms. With colleague Nicole Mellow, Greene photographed lunchrooms in public and private schools in several cities. They found that students are most likely to choose to sit with children of other races in private, not public, schools.

A recent study by Greg Forster of the Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation similarly finds that "private schools are actually less segregated than public schools when examined at the classroom level; and that private schools participating in voucher programs … are much less segregated than public schools."

So what about educational outcomes for minority students? Here again, the most significant benefits to private schooling tend to be enjoyed by African–American students, both in achievement and graduation rates:

University of Chicago economist Derek Neal has found that black students at inner–city Catholic schools are far more likely to complete high school, be accepted to college and complete college than similar students who attend public schools.

Reviewing the outcomes of school–choice programs in several cities, Harvard political scientist Paul Peterson found that academic achievement gains from private–school attendance are greatest among black students.

All this evidence was available before the court's recent ruling; most civil–rights activists have ignored it because they were committed to pursuing integration by force. Now that the Supreme Court has struck down such programs, these activists — and sympathetic policymakers — should take the court's hint and seek alternatives for advancing the education of minority children. If they do, they'll find school choice.


I made no presumption about you or democrats in general . I simply said " for all of Bill Clinton fans/Anti Bush people WHO are upset.. and have no problem with Clinton's pardons... I did presume however, that there were people who fit that criteria but not that all democrats did. It is those people who I directed the comment to. If you are a Clinton fan and not a bush fan yet still see the obvious , that Clinton pardoned more dirty rotten scumbags that made scooter Libby look like a girl scout, then you have no worries.. You were not my intended audience. It's the others who are blinded by the light reflecting off the (democratic) Ass that I meant to attract.

Somebody tell me why the Scooter Libby issue is even worthy of debate.. It's like the Paris Hilton drama. It is stupid and irrelevant. Why am I even blogging about these issues? Maybe BK has an answer for me...

Attention Huffington Post readers/crazed libs....

I feel I must comment on this, even on the day of our independence.......for the 976 columnists on the huffington post writing about Scooter Libby.......(throat clearing noises)........NOBODY FREAKING CARES ABOUT SCOOTER LIBBY!!!!!!! Whew, I feel a lot better. I don't know what it is about that site. Not a peep about illegal immigration/amnesty. Not a word about the london terror plot, or even Islamic extremists in general. Here, I'll even help them out. You know what people care about, huffington post people? They care about getting t boned by a truck load of illegals with no insurance. They care about getting blown up by crazed jihadists. Surely, you must realize this, even with your limited contact with persons with a dissenting opinion. So why the deafning silence? Partially, I think they are scared of putting up articles about illegals since even the good liberals comment in droves disagreeing with them. I mean, you can only phrase "what we owe illegals" so many ways to try to disguise your agenda before people see with their own two eyes what the hell is going on. Maybe that explains the silence. But, by god, they will write about Scooter Libby and/or valerie plame for DAYS. By not even discussing the two biggest issues that Americans care about, according to most of the polling data that I've seen, Huffington continues to establish her irrelevancy, along with most of her columnists. They'll write the shit out of some global warming columns, though.....

Fitzy and Mt. Goat

Is it appropriate for any convicted criminal to be pardoned? Is it morally acceptable to look past the crime of an individual who has been tried and convicted in a court of law and then excuse them of their crime entirely? If the answer is yes, then what crimes are worthy of a pardon? Which are not? Who decides which crimes should or should not be worthy?

As it stands, the constitution says that is acceptable to pardon somebody for a convicted crime and the person who is allowed, by the letter of the law, to decide which criminals and which crimes are to be pardoned, is the President of the United States.. Whether we like it or not.. All presidents have pardoned questionable criminals and they will continue to do so.. Take a gander at the list of criminals that have been pardoned.. Its pretty amazing that some of them have even been considered... Drug dealers, deserters, tax evaders, etc. etc.

Fitzy and Stink

Lets not forget about Marc Rich.... Much more shady than the Libby situation.... Scandalous... But I'm not calling foul because the Pres. has the right to do it... As far as Stinks comment about putting people in danger--- that's just not so. Check out MG's facts. The media has pulled the wool over your eyes my friend.. And so the both of you know I 'm not trying to break your balls and appreciate you guys being part of pjcountry..

Reader Scott sent this........

Reader Scott sent this........

Scott had this to say.............discuss......

I believe Luttrell and those with similar views represent the flip side of the Taliban coin. They are America's Taliban: ultra conservative, xenophobic, national/tribalistic, quick to violence and threats of violence with a black and white, good verses evil simplistic world view.

I believe that societal change is an exponential process. For most of human history we have plotted quietly along the gentle grade of the curve. The new arrival of global instantaneous communication, combined with prior milestones such as the development of the nuclear bomb and a willingness to use it, the AK-47, oil and combustion based economies, the birth of the 6.6 billionth person (to name a few just off the top of my head) indicate we have arrived at the mountain, the walking is over and its time to get out the climbing gear. To deign it is to deign the shear granite face before you.

If Jesus lived to be 75 he would have seen the population change from (very roughly) 200 million to 300 million. If I live to be 75, I will have seen the population change from 4 billion to 9 billion.
That's a change of 5,000,000,000 verses 100,000,000, 50 to 1. In addition to the thousands of nuclear bombs and millions of AK-47's, my world has 30 times the number of people as Jesus's.

The old dogmas and narrow views which got us this far, are no longer sufficient. To react with anger and ignorance to change and problems before us is to try to climb a mountain with hate and intolerance.

Here, put on this harness and tie into this rope, I know a better way.
Interesting. Meanwhile, C. T. says, "Box 8 is all the way up there?.... Guy............We're running that shit, bro........."