Tuesday, May 31, 2005

'Disposition' Emerges as Issue at Brooklyn College - May 31, 2005 - The New York Sun - NY Newspaper

'Disposition' Emerges as Issue at Brooklyn College - May 31, 2005 - The New York Sun - NY Newspaper: "Brooklyn College's School of Education has begun to base evaluations of aspiring teachers in part on their commitment to social justice, raising fears that the college is screening students for their political views.
The School of Education at the CUNY campus initiated last fall a new method of judging teacher candidates based on their 'dispositions,' a vogue in teacher training across the country that focuses on evaluating teachers' values, apart from their classroom performance.
Critics of the assessment policy warned that aspiring teachers are being judged on how closely their political views are aligned with their instructor's. Ultimately, they said, teacher candidates could be ousted from the School of Education if they are found to have the wrong dispositions."

Ya think?
There is, btw, a description -- I can't really call it a definition -- of "Social Justice" later in the article.

Departments and Schools of Education are sliding into the laughingstock category in a smart, seamanlike fashion. This doesn't help.

Instapundit's one-word take on the issue's here

Friday, May 27, 2005

NYT upscrews on education (again)

Man, if there's one area where I'm a rabid dis-admirer of the George Bush-Bob Dole-Richard Nixon branch of the Republican party, it's education. But, just as a busted clock's right twice daily, I do think their emphasis on cognitive skills is on target. Doesn't mean the feds ought to be involved, though.

Sea story: back in the day, when I was starting policy studies, I discovered the Head Start program wasn't allowed to teach their young charges to read. [Colorful noun].

Herewith, the inimitable Joane Jacobs coverage of the subject:
"According to Yale study, pre-schoolers are more likely to be 'expelled' than older children. You might think that shows some little kids aren't ready for a group environment. But no. It's Bush's fault! Well, it's the rising academic standards pushed by No Child Left Behind, suggests a New York Times story.
Read it all

Texas Clipper I, RIP

The Bryan-College Station Eagle > Community: "Texas Clipper I, a ship that for three decades helped train thousands of Aggies for careers at sea, now floats at dock in Beaumont with dozens of other idle vessels.

The 473-foot ship used to sail each summer on voyages that provided maritime experience to student cadets from Texas A&M University at Galveston. Now, state officials plan to write another chapter in the life of the retired ship.

In November, Clipper I will be towed into the Gulf of Mexico and sunk to create an artificial reef, school officials said."

Editor note: I sailed as a watch officer for the Shakedown cruises of 1989 and 1990.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Why it's smart to disobey officials in emergencies

Wired 13.06: START: "For more than four years - steadily, seriously, and with the unsentimental rigor for which we love them - civil engineers have been studying the destruction of the World Trade Center towers, sifting the tragedy for its lessons. And it turns out that one of the lessons is: Disobey authority. In a connected world, ordinary people often have access to better information than officials do."

Monday, May 23, 2005

Confusicating Arab names

Let's see H'ard Dean says "Osama" when he means "Saddam"; Sir Theodore of Chappaquiddick flipflops a fellow senator with Osama bin Laden. I think the prez can stop 'pologizin' for saying 'resignate' 'steada "resonate."
This is why Instapundit has a stomptillion readers:Instapundit.com -

Reed praises rednecks

Fred Reed, Capo di tutti Capi of the crowdus politcalus incorrectus, observes the advantages of red neckitude. Includes the phrase, "larcenous parasitic lawyer". Fred didn't useta be so redundant!
Read it all: Fred Columns:

Friday, May 20, 2005

Would some power..

Gerard Baker, US Editor of the London Times sounds off on the subject of George Galloway, a recently elected Member of Parliament, p'haps best known for fawning over Saddam Hussein.

The article, from the vantage of the west coast of the pond, is useful for a British-eye-view of the U. S. Senate.

Betcha can't read without laughing!
Opinion - Gerard Baker US Editor Times Online

Proving a negative

Newsweek's assertion that they have no evidence that the guards at Guantanamo didn't throw the Q'ran down the toilet invokes a logical fallacy. The weekly is demanding the proof of a negative: "Prove that you did NOT do this". Proving a negative is impossible; that's why is a fallacy.
Much better, crisper, and funnier comment is here:
Day By Day by Chris Muir, cartoon for: 5/19/2005

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Lecture Economists in Economics

From American Shipper:
Economists have not taken advantage of supply chain tracking tools to improve their forecasts, which are frequently predicated on monthly economic indicators of productivity, Frederick Smith, president and chairman of FedEx Corp., said Thursday. The U.S. economy is still growing at a solid pace despite a temporary slowdown during March, he said. Speaking at the Bear Stearns investor conference on the global transportation industry in New York, Smith said that macroeconomists often overreact to small blips in economic activity because they don’t understand that the in-transit tracking and warehouse management systems in use today give corporate executives the ability to quickly adjust production and inventory levels to meet rising or falling demand, rather than relying on lagging economic data for their business decisions. “Most recessions are simply inventory corrections” and not a sign of fundamental economic problems, Smith noted. “People see one or two numbers and extrapolate into broader trends that may have been true several years ago, but today businesses instantly correct, lower their inventory, make some adjustments, and the economy remains overall strong.” The minute demand increases, companies restock and order more inventory, he added.

Read it all:FedEx chairman gives economists lesson in economics

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Shipping Coordinating Committee -- no, really!

: "Shipping Coordinating Committee--Notice of Meeting

The Shipping Coordinating Committee (SHC) will conduct an open meeting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, June 15, 2005, in Room 6319 of the United States Coast Guard Headquarters Building, 2100 2nd Street, SW., Washington, DC 20593-0001. The primary purpose of the meeting is to continue our preparations for the 48th Session of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Stability and Load Lines and on Fishing Vessels Safety to be held at IMO Headquarters in London, England from September 12th to 16th."

ID Card Trick: Can we count on the DMV to foil terrorists?

Reason magazine on the "Real ID" act.
Reason: ID Card Trick: Can we count on the DMV to foil terrorists?
The answer -- duh! -- is 'no.' This is another example of the eternal truth of government service: it's more important to be seen doing something than it is to do something effective. Thanks Senator Warner, Senator Allen. We'll remember next November.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Instapundit collects a buncha stuff on the Newsweek debacle

Money quote:"Really, I don't want to hear another word about the superior "responsibility" of Big Media. Not one more word."
HOWEVER, our crack intelligence team couldn't confirm that he was wearing pajamas
Instapundit.com -

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The inimitable Jerry Pournelle visits Roma, d'Italia

Current View: "Anyway, we're in R XIII which might or might not be unlucky, and tomorrow is Friday the 13th. Or Friday is Friday 13th anyway.
The streets are lively at 9 PM. Every possible parking place, some ingeniously illegal, is taken up. Most of the cars are small. There are also about 1.2 motorbikes and motorcycles per inhabitant, leaving the interesting question of who drives the cars since clearly there are more than enough motorbikes to go around. This district was not so lively, and certainly had far less traffic, in the 1980's. I haven't yet located the place we stayed then, largely because we walked from it to the Forum in those days, and now the traffic is so thick it is a life threatening experience to walk almost anywhere. I do recall they had abandoned the excavations at the Circus Maximus and I walked among the remains of the dig. The signs said the work was sponsored by Umberto, Rex, and Benito Mussolini, Duce. All those signs were gone last time we were here, as were the big signs crediting them with building the Da Vinci Airport. Of course the airport is enormously expanded from the 1980's too."

On CAFTA, Dems must choose unions or Hispanics

On CAFTA, Dems must choose unions or Hispanics: "Those who oppose illegal immigration cannot have it both ways. Either you alleviate poverty in Central America and encourage would-be immigrants to stay home and share in the increasing wealth or you keep them in poverty and watch as they flock over our borders."

Fred irritates the PC Crowd.

Fred Columns: "The only good thing that can be said about Democrats is that, when they are in power, the Republicans are not."

Friday, May 06, 2005

Indonesia Says No to Escorts with Armed Guards in Malacca Strait

Indonesia rejected a proposal that would allow commercial ships to hire armed escorts to transit the pirate-infested waters of the Malacca Strait.
Listen, those pirates paid good money to our officials. They should be able to ply their trade without worrying about being shot.
Read it all, thanks to Maritime Executive:

Thursday, May 05, 2005

What sort of parenting matters

The worth-checking-in-with-daily Joanne Jacobs links to a study that throws alot of assumptions into the ashcan!
joannejacobs.com: What sort of parenting matters
Briefly, here's the stuff that matters and that doesn't matter:
Matters: The child has highly educated parents.
Doesn't: The child regularly watches TV at home.
Matters: The child's parents have high income.
Doesn't: The child's mother didn't work between birth and kindergarten.
Matters: The child's parents speak English in the home.
Doesn't: The child's parents regularly take him to museums.
Matters: The child's mother was 30 or older at time of the child's birth.
Doesn't: The child attended Head Start.

I can hear the PC crowd now! Doesn't matter if the kid watches TV at home, doesn't matter if the kids parents take him to museums, doesn't matter if the kid attended head start.
But I want it to matter!

Cap'n Arbyte with some good advice

arbyte.us: Anti-Money-Laundering Software

Monday, May 02, 2005

UK Awards Its First Victoria Cross to a Lving Recipient Since 1965

From Kipling:
The earth is full of anger,
The seas are dark with wrath,
The Nations in their harness
Go up against our path:
Ere yet we loose the legions --
Ere yet we draw the blade,
Jehovah of the Thunders,
Lord God of Battles, aid!
StrategyPage.com - Measure of respect- �Britain Awards Its First Victoria Cross to a Lving Recipient Since 1965