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Friday, November 01, 2002
PEACE OUT!

My favorite sniperblogger,
Jim Henley, has joined up with a motley crew of bloggers from across the political spectrum to form Stand Down, a site dedicated to intelligent reasoning against a pre-emptive strike on Iraq.

It makes sense to me - there is logical connection between being against pre-emptively sniping innocents and against pre-emptively bombing innocents. Don't get me wrong - I'd love to see Saddam's head on a plate - I'm just not convinced that we want to be the country that toasts the policy of deterrence and containment that has led us to unprecedented decades of relative peace.
posted by Jimmy 10:08 AM
WHY I MISS RONNIE

Check out
this insightful post Dwight Meredith. He takes a look at which party is the real party of small government. As it turns out, over the last 20 years, 369,000 non-defense employees were added to the federal payroll. Quess who did it?

Mostly GOPers.

84% were added under Republican administrations and 16% were added under Democratic administrations. Granted, this analysis is based on administrations and not control of congress, but it's still telling.

Side note: Reagan was the balls when it came to this stuff - only 3,000 were added to the workforce on his watch.

[Link via The Ag]
posted by Jimmy 9:58 AM
ROGER & ME

Roger Schultz of the visually entertaining
Curmudeonly & Skeptical kindy threw me a link a couple weeks ago that doubled my traffic (from 2 to 4). Since there is truly nothing of value on this miserable attempt at cogent thought and coherent argument, I have to assume that it is because he likes kitties.

In addition to posting entertaining little visuals, Roger is right on the money on most issues. Here are his stats today:

1. Kathleen KENNEDY Townsend and the Dems are hypocritical when they say that every vote needs to count and then proceed to get votes against them thrown out on technicalities.

2. Jury Nullification is an abuse of the legal system.

3. Mr. Bellesiles is hack. And a fiction-writing pseudo-scholar.

4. The American Conservative Union has opened a Voter Fraud Hotline.

5. People who go to an Al Gore led rally in Baltimore to elect one of the dumber Kennedys Governor of Maryland are nincompoops.

Answers:

1. TRUE

2. FALSE

3. TRUE

4. TRUE

5. TRUE

Score: 80%

See, he got a B. Not bad.
posted by Jimmy 9:19 AM
Tuesday, October 29, 2002
WOULD YOU LIKE FLIES WITH THAT?

OK, so it’s not surprising that the cafeterias of 14 DC Public Schools failed inspections by the health department (that’s over a quarter of the schools inspected, for those of you who are placing bets on the over/under). Nor is it terribly unexpected that there would be some unsavory examples of less-than-ideal conditions.
From the WaPo article:

At Shaw [Junior High School], health inspectors in September found standing water around a kitchen drain, an obstructed grease trap with live roaches and flies, a refrigerator with an internal temperature of 56 degrees and two dead mice near the ovens. The dumpster area had standing water, and the kitchen bathroom's door was propped open most of the time, the reports said.

What is surprising about this whole brouhaha is that Superintendent Paul Vance and others acted surprised. Vance called the situation “unbelievable.”

But guess what – it’s pretty believable.

Right around the time Dr. Vance took the job, in the summer of 2000, DC City Council Member Mendelson visited the warehouse where food was stored for public schools. Guess what he found? Same thing. 85 degree storage temperatures and insect and rodent infestation.

In of the fall of that year, 30 students became sick from the same sort of thing. From the September 14, 2000 WaPo article about Gibbs Elementary:

Investigators believe the Gibbs students became ill after eating food that had been stored over Labor Day weekend in a warm refrigerator. When investigators checked the equipment last week, the temperature was 60 degrees--20 degrees warmer than the standard. Health officials, who originally suspected that the lunches' bologna sandwiches had caused students to become ill, said yesterday that chocolate milk stored in the warm refrigerator also could be to blame.

In October of 2000, Benning Elementary was investigated as a potential source of Legionnaires' disease when a school worker contracted the disease. While officials said they identified a number of conditions that could have promoted growth of Legionnaires, the source was never identified.

From the December 5, 2000 WaPo:

Despite promises by a succession of D.C. superintendents to fix deteriorating school buildings, officials acknowledge that most of the city's 148 schools remain in poor physical condition. Some schools, like Moten, lack working bathrooms and have windows so discolored that nobody can see out of them. Some have broken water fountains and playgrounds that are unsafe for children to use. In other schools, water cascades into classrooms during heavy rains, while grease or sewer water backs up into cafeterias or kitchens. Halls and classrooms are dimly lighted by faltering electrical systems. Ceiling tiles are caving in. Several schools show signs of rat infestations.

In Dr. Vance’s defense, he did put the offending principal and others on leave (albeit paid leave), but the fact of the matter is that without school choice, problems like these will continue to arise.

If parents had a choice, I would have to guess that they would remove their children from schools that are dangerous. And schools that lack the ability to educate their children. And, yes, from schools that either poison their children or have them eat in filthy conditions.

posted by Jimmy 4:10 PM



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