Conservative Bastion
The only blog that can factually claim to shift the Bell Curve, along with the hearts & minds of America, to the right.
Friday, June 30, 2006
High School Exit Exams

JUST A THOUGHT: The other day, I was sitting in the middle of my Poli Sci class when the fire alarm sounded. It was a large auditorium of about 400 seats and the alarm was loud and resounding. The professor, though he immediately halted his lecture, instructed everyone to remain in their seats as he believed it was a false alarm. After about 2 minutes, just as people had started to pack their things, the alarm stopped, but only for a few seconds, after which it continued. After a minute, about a dozen people rose to leave and nearly got to the door when the alarm went off for good and the class continued. As I sat there, I couldn't help but think that the behavior of the class was not irregular, but that most people would probably react in a similar manner given the particular situation.... which makes fire alarms UTTERLY USELESS!!! The whole point of the fire alarm is to warn you to get out before you are barbequed, but human nature requires that we see smoke and flames first. A suggestion if I may: Don't wait 'til the fire starts to jump out of the frying pan.

The Real Deal

The Virginia based Human Resources Research Organization conducted a study released to the public today that nearly 100,000 (or 20 Percent) of public High School Seniors in California (Class of ’06) did not pass the High School Exit Exam now required by law for graduation. This number becomes even more horrific when considering that the exam is testing the kids at an 8th grade Math level, and a 9th/10th grade English Level. This information says frankly that 1 out of 5 seniors cannot do basic algebra, nor read at a 10th grade level. This, however, is not the focus of what I want to discuss. Among the findings of the study are that 37 Percent of Black students failed, 32 Percent of Latino students failed, 11 Percent of Asian students and 10 Percent of White Students failed. Because of this, the TEST is racist. Many groups are attempting to get the test thrown out, claiming racism in the test. The high school protesters, carrying banners that read "Educate Don't Terminate" and "Don't Judge Students by One Test," denounced the exam as discriminatory. A single test is an unfair method to allow or deny graduation. I totally agree. Throw out the H.S. exit exam. Also, throw out Medical board exam, the FAA pilot’s license, and the BAR. Throw them all out. The fact is when you have standards, people fail them. And if you are poor and/or can’t speak English, you have to work that much hard to achieve those standards. I strongly believe that it is not the job of the school system to lower its standards to accommodate mediocrity, but the responsibility of the child and the parent to do what it takes to achieve success. I do not believe it to be unfair of the school system to ask any child to be able to do basic algebra and have a basic development of the English language before graduation. The point of High School, after all, is to prepare kids to become productive members of society. I believe we have to motivate kids to achieve, not to settle for mediocrity.

I couldn’t find a direct link to the study, but here is the L.A. Times story page

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Supreme Court: Texas & Gitmo
Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld most of the congressional redistricting in Texas that netted the Republican Party 5 seats in the US Congress. It is good news for Republicans, but another reminder of biggest flaw in American politics.

Before the Republicans drew up the new districts, Democrats received 41% of the vote, but had 53% of the congressional seats (17-15). In the 2004 election, after the redistricting took place, the Republicans had 66% of the seats. So in actuality, the redistricting by Republicans was more fair and a more accurate representation of the people of Texas.

The odd thing is, most people are even talking about the real story here. How could 41% of the population ever hold 53% of the congressional seats for a state? The system is flawed, and everyone knows it. The idea that a politician can essentially choose his constituents instead of the other way around is creepy.

There are definitely better ways to elect members to the house. Take Texas for example. One idea would have you take 100% of the vote, and divide it by the 32 house members representing the state (3.125%). Then hold an election where you vote for a party. This forces parties to come up with distinct and forward-looking platforms. It would also allow for multiple third parties rather than the typical two party system.

Pipe dreams aside, there was another interesting aspect of this Supreme Court decision. This is from the LA Times :

At the same time, Kennedy joined with the four liberal justices — John Paul Stevens, David H. Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer — to rule that one southwest Texas district was drawn illegally in a way that hurt Latino voters.

The Voting Rights Act of 1982 forbids officials from "diluting" the power of minority voting blocs, and Kennedy said Texas lawmakers violated that provision when they shifted 100,000 Latino voters to shore up the reelection prospects of Rep. Henry Bonilla, a Republican who has been unpopular with Latino voters.

The Times also says:

Legal experts and political strategists said the ruling would encourage Republicans in other GOP-dominated states to redraw their districts to gain more seats.

It is not clear whether Democrats will be able to do the same. In the ruling, the court emphasized that the Voting Rights Act generally forbade splitting up blocs of minority voters. That makes it harder to create more Democratic districts.

It seems that this decision may actually hurt Dems and minorities in the end.

In another decision this week, the Supreme Court ruled in the favor of Salim Ahmed Hamdan (Osama’s driver). Just like the Texas case, the Supreme Court may have actually hurt the side that won. The Supreme Court apparently said that the US could hold the terrorists indefinitely, but couldn’t prosecute them in military tribunals. In other words, terrorists will still be in jail, they just won't have a chance at any least for now. Poor Ahmed. Posted by Picasa
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Thursday, June 29, 2006
NOFX Rebuttal
I have decided to test the patience of the liberal punk rock band NOFX. I will post a rebuttal to their song "You're Wrong" on their myspace page. If you are not familiar with that song (most sane people aren't), you can get the gist of it here. It is pretty obnoxious, but at the same time, very clever. So clever, that I couldn't let it go unchallanged. I wrote this a couple weeks ago when I had nothing better to do. I am expecting some some hate mail as a result, and I will post updates on the numbers (or lack there of) later.

My version:

You're wrong about the virtues of Liberalism
And you're wrong about American imperialism
If you've ever had what Rush calls a Gorbasm, you're wrong

You're wrong, if you think the Daily Show is news
And you're wrong, if you think Al Sharpton's got a clue
If you pick Palestinians over the Jews, you're wrong

You're wrong for saving whales, recycling nails
If you think you're going to save the world
You're wrong, about free healthcare and for liking Steve Colbert
'Cause his butt is unfurled

You're wrong about unbridled immigration
And you're wrong, about no voucher education
If you reject the army defending the nation, you're wrong

You're wrong when you regulate mag capacity
And you're wrong if you hate seeing a Christmas tree
If you think ending AIDS involves a condom tree, you're wrong

You're wrong, about shunning lush and mocking Bush
You're a mother fucking deutsch
You're wrong 'bout drug usin', and nuclear fusion
I wish on you a brain contusion

You're party's in a great Schism
A victim of social Darwinism
'cause you're wrong, and will probably never know

I have a feeling the comment will be removed from their website. Of course, that would be close minded and censorship...which would make them Rush Limbaugh. We will see what happens. Let the great experiment begin! Posted by Picasa
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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Flag Burning & Burning Rush
The Flag Burning Amendment was voted down by one vote in the Senate today. The final vote was 66-34. For some clarification, the amendment would only allow Congress to regulate flag desecration, rather than actually outlawing it.

Rush Limbaugh is in the news again today. Customs agents caught him with a bottle of Viagra that had someone elses name on it. It isnt big news except for the fact that a substantial amount of the country hates Rush Limbaugh more than they hate Osama bin Laden.

Many are jumping at the chance to highlight Rush's apparent hypocrisy. Afater all, Republicans support abstinence to the chagrin of many liberals, yet Rush is not married. This apparently proves that abstinence has failed.

It is always interesting to me when one person calls another a hypocrite. By human nature, we are all hypocrites. We all have ideals and morals that we do not always live up to. Technically, just calling someone a hypocrite makes you a hypocrite because you are a hypocrite.

Part of the problem with social conservatives is that they tend to have higher standards than the average person. This makes hypocrisy much easier to point out among people like Rush.

In my book, environmentalists that fly around in private jets are still the biggest hypocrites of all. Any Democrat caught flying in a private jet should get the Rush treatment from here on out. Posted by Picasa
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Monday, June 26, 2006
Flag Burning Amendment
It looks like there is a good chance that a Constitutional amendment banning flag burning could pass the US Senate this week. It would then go to the States where it has a decent chance at passing. Despite Republicans making up the base of the support for the amendment, I oppose it for the following reasons.

5. No one takes flag burners seriously. Banning flag burning would just make them martyrs and justify their cause.

4. Trivializes the US Constitution

3. Burning Flags doesn’t hurt anyone or anything except the feelings a few. Aren’t conservatives against the politically correct crowd that tries to ban offensive behavior and words?

2. Many of these flag burners are childlike. Once laws are made, they will find new clever ways to circumvent the law. A list of some of the things they could do:
A) Burn microscopic flags
B) Burn small paper flags
C) Burn flags that have one less star or one less stripe, therefore it wouldn’t technically be an American flag, but would still very much resemble one
D) Show the burning of a flag in a cartoon, drawing, or computer animation

1. Who cares? We have had people burning the flag for years. What have they accomplished? What could they ever accomplish?

My argument against the amendment doesn’t include anything about flag burning being a sacred right that is crucial for our freedom to survive. I think people that say that are ridiculous. Banning flag burning does not make America less free. We did not fight the Revolution to be able to burn our own flag. I won’t cry if the amendment passes, but I won’t celebrate either. Posted by Picasa
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Sunday, June 25, 2006
War on Al-Qaeda or Terrorism
This past week the US Senate debated when and how to withdraw troops from Iraq. It led to nothing, but once again, some Democrats questioned the legitimacy of the war. One of the major arguments against the war in Iraq is that the United States should be focusing its attention and resources against those who were directly involved in the planning, financing, and executing of the 9/11 plot, namely Al-Qaeda. This thinking sets up an interesting premise that is very debatable

The first implication of this argument is that after the 9/11 attacks, America’s first objective was or should have been to find or kill Osama bin Laden. The problem with this is that Osama bin Laden is hiding in a country (Pakistan) that is free, but teetering on the possibility of becoming a fundamentalist state. Our relationship with the Pakistani government is fragile and our number one priority with Pakistan must be to keep the current government in power.

Those that suggest otherwise offer a dangerous alternative. Should we invade Pakistan? Should we violate their sovereignty and embarrass the democratically elected government? Invasion would be foolish for many reasons, but the size of Pakistan is enough reason to suppress any serious talk about it. With 165 million people, Pakistan has almost three times the population of Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

The fact is, the US may or may not get Osama anytime soon. We have to deal with that and do our best to find other terrorists wherever they may be.

Another premise created by this argument is that Iraq was inherently a bad target of US foreign policy since it was not directly associated with Al-Qaeda. This logic is like saying the Crypts have nothing to do with MS-13, therefore US federal law enforcement should not go after the Crypts in its war on drugs. Many gangs sell drugs, and as long as we are going to fight a war on drugs, we should target all gangs, not just the one gang that kills the most people.

Similarly, the US can not just fight a war against one terrorist group. It is an absurd notion. All Osama has to do in that scenario is change the name of his group from Al-Qaeda to People for the End of Tyranny by America, or something similar to that.

The problem is that many still deny Iraq had anything to do with terrorism. To believe that one must ignore Iraq’s on again off again relationship with the State Departments list of state sponsors of international terror since 1979, Saddam’s military officials[1], the financing of suicide bombers in Palestine[2], and the existence of terrorist camps.[3][4]

Unfortunately, the President and Congressional Republican’s have done their best to ignore the war, hoping the public would forget the war.
[1] WMD Questions
[2] BBC
[3] Terrorist Camps
[4] PBS FRONTLINE Posted by Picasa
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