Bad For The Country?

When I got in my car today, Sean Hannity was on. I know, I know–but that’s the station I’d been listening to earlier. I’ve pretty much established what I think of him before, but what he and his guest, Bernie Goldberg, had to say today really drives homes those feelings. Although I don’t remember which one said it, the other was definitely in agreement. I’ll keep the quote to the part that I know is 100% correct so as not to unfairly portray these gentlemen:

“It’s bad for the country.”

Since you probably don’t listen to his show, you may wonder exactly what they were talking about.
Was it the federal government meddling in the education system? Was it the devaluation of our currency by the Federal Reserve? Was it the triumvirate of big government regulation-happy candidates to which they we have narrowed our realistic choices to?

Nope. Bloggers. But not every blogger is bad in their eyes, just those that disagree with them. Actually, they didn’t use the term “blogger”. I believe the phrase they used was “idiot with a computer and a modem.”

It seems that to Mr. Hannity and his guest, an idiot with a microphone has more right to an opinion than an idiot with a computer.

My favorite thing about free speech is that it allows me to speak my mind and spread my ideas if they are good. My second favorite thing about free speech is that it allows every idiot with a bad idea to expose himself as an idiot, and have his bad idea ripped apart.

For these reasons, I hope that Mr. Hannity and I both continue to enjoy the benefits of free speech.

Charlie Don’t Blog

But NewsComa does, and she has a post about some new evidence coming to light against Manson after all these years, along with something lots of us can relate to…

I remember thinking, when I was a child, that this was one of the most terrifying things I’d ever heard of. I was a child but our country was horrified and mesmerized with Manson and the family.

I’m a little younger than Coma and wasn’t yet born when the Manson family went on their spree, but I was fascinated with him/them as a middle schooler. I read Helter Skelter, and it scared the crap out of me. The scariest things these freaks did was go on “creepy-crawly missions” where they’d get into people’s houses and creep around…not hurting anyone or taking anything, just crawling around. Eeek!

I’m sure I worried my parents (or maybe not) because I read a bunch of books about Manson and Hitler at that time. At least I was reading, right? The killing part isn’t what drew me in though–it was the ability these guys had to persuade people to go along with their absolute lunacy. I mean, Manson wasn’t even at the Tate/LaBianca homes when the murders took place, but he had those people so far under his control that he didn’t have to be there for them to kill for him. Freaky.

All Your Children Are Belong To Us

At least one state senator, DiAnna Schimek, in Nebraska thinks so.

Her bill would require home-school students to take state-mandated tests or have their schoolwork assessed by an outside evaluator. If studentsprogress falls short academically, they would be sent to public or private schools.

That’s ironic.  One major factor in parents’ decision to homeschool in the first place is that the State doesn’t seem to measure up to their standards.  This would actually make sense if the schools and parents swapped roles–parents should be mandating standards to the State, not the other way around.

“Our responsibility is to see that the children of the state do have access to an education,” she said. “That’s a constitutional responsibility.”

The children of the state?  I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt–I’m sure she misspoke and meant to say “the children who live in our state”.  Surely.  And while I’m sure Nebraska is constitutionally bound to provide access, are they constitutionally bound to force participation?  My guess is no.

I don’t know anything about the governor of Nebraska except that he is correct in his assessment of the bill:

“The bill presents a heavy-handed, state government regulatory approach to this issue which, in my view, is not warranted,” Heineman said in a statement. “It dramatically infringes on Nebraska parents’ choices regarding the education of their children.”

According to the article, this lady’s husband is a lobbyist for a teachers’ union, but that doesn’t influence her.  Right.

She said her concern comes from the stories she hears about students who are kept out of public or private schools but receive little to no schooling.

She heard some stories.  She should have said that in the beginning.  My bad.  Never mind–totally justified.  It now makes perfect sense.

More Educashun

I had a couple of interesting conversations about education yesterday. One was with a friend who home schooled both of his kids, and the other was with a couple of high school teachers. The one thing I took from both conversations is that it doesn’t seem like anyone is happy with the system, whether they are getting paid by it or paying into it.

So why do we keep it around? As I commented over at Meville, who is happy with it?

As is the case with most things, the answer probably lies in asking another question–who has the most to gain by keeping the status quo? That’s probably the group fighting the hardest to maintain it. I’ll leave it up to commenters to guess who that may be, but I have some ideas.

Luckily, We Have The Fed

Admittedly, I am more stupider than a lot of people when it comes to finances.  So someone please tell me how the stock market really works.  See, I thought the stock market reacted to what is going on in the economy.  I didn’t realize it was the economy.  

Apparently, I was wrong, because the Federal Reserve has announced an emergency rate drop to “fix” the stock market.

The Federal Reserve, confronted with a global stock sell-off fanned by increased fears of a recession, slashed a key interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point on Tuesday and indicated further rate cuts were likely.

This move is not an instant fix,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics

“Fix” is actually the perfect word.  Markets can be “fixed” kind of like a fight or the World Series can be “fixed”. 

So let me get this straight.  We (individually and as a country) have borrowed too much money, which has us headed towards a recession.  The obvious solution?  Lower interest rates to banks, which allows them to lower interest rates to consumers, which allows them to borrow more money.  Makes sense right?  Right?

“You can’t borrow your way out of debt”–Dave Ramsey

So rest easy tonight, all of ye lower and middle income Americans.  Though the cost of milk, gasoline, and Coors Light doth drift higher whilst thou income remaineth the same, panic disturbs not the slumber of bankers, barons, and brokers.  So long as the DJIA remaineth propped by policy, politicians, and ponzi schemes, you need not be troubled by the frightful prospect of competing on a level playing field and moving forward.

Ah, what the hell!  You can just put it on your credit card, right?  Rates have never been lower!!!

More on Steroids and Baseball

After yesterday’s post, I’ve had a chance to read a little more and think about the issue. This is so obviously a free market issue to me. If baseball fans demand a clean up, we’ll have one. Frankly, I don’t think many of the baseball fans that are left really care one way or the other.

HungryMother brought up health issues in yesterday’s comments. Admittedly, a health issues exist, but are the health issues of baseball players a concern of Congress? Should Congress also step in and do something about the years shaved off of pro football players’ lives? Average life expectancy for football player is 55 years, and only 52 years for linemen, according to this article, and the NFL has arguably the most stringent drug policy of all the professional leagues in the U.S. Consider boxing and stock car racing.

Should Congress investigate every time someone’s chosen occupation is a risk to their life and health?

People make personal choices, some of which shorten their lives. Athletes are people too. Some choose to use steroids and risk their health and lives in doing so. Others choose to participate in a sport that takes years off their life by itself.  How much resolution to we really need in federal regulation and oversight?