Green Piece

The simple musings of a man who thought he knew everything . . .

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hillary's Rant Against School Vouchers

Michelle Malkin has a great post about the rant from "She Who's Name Shall Not Be Spoken" against school vouchers. My first comment is that she sent her daughter to private school and she is doing everything she can to make sure that poor people do not get to have the same privilege.

Hillary tries to pull a bait and switch by giving a few scenarios that any level-headed person would have no problem with. You want to go to a Catholic School? No problem. A Jewish school? No problem. Then she moves on to the things at which any rational person would be aghast, White Supremacist's School and School of the Jihad. Just quickly, did she really say "School of the Jihad"? Yup, she did. All of this so that she can hide the fact that she really does equate Catholic and Jewish schools with a School of the Jihad.

I have two main points to make about this lame attempt at rehashing the already debunked theory that if we have school vouchers then all of a sudden some really bad schools will pop up and YOU WILL BE PAYING FOR IT WITH YOUR TAX DOLLARS!! By the way, 5 years ago people always used Wiccan schools as their example because they thought that if they mentioned Wicca then we Christians would automatically cower in the corner begging the Democrats to save us from the School of Satan.

First of all we know the idea that all of these Jihad schools are going to pop up really is ridiculous. How do we know this? Because it isn't happening now. Do you realize that there is nothing illegal about having a White Supremacist school right now? Do you think that the Jihadists out there would love to have their school, but they can't get the money together for it? Obviously not. Is it possible that with vouchers some parents will use the money for a school that offends me? Yes - absolutely. But that is not a State sponsored religion. Where the money goes is decided by the parent. Many parents will make bad choices. But many, many, many more will make great choices.

Secondly, she tries to make it sound as if when the voucher system is put into place we will all of a sudden have all of these moral quandaries about who we can and can't give money to. What will constitute a school and what will not. I say that these questions pale in comparison to the decisions that a public school has to make every single day. A fact of education is that you cannot teach any subject (with the possibility of math - and shop) without injecting your own moral, philosophical and lots of times religious ideas into the mix. Any time you teach you will discriminate. In science you have to decide to how far to go with theories of origin. With history you have to decide what parts of history are more important and which pieces get left out. In English you have to decide from which pieces of literature you will read. Do you or do you not celebrate Christmas. Walter Williams has a great piece on just this subject.

I would like to make a deal with liberals right now. You let us have school vouchers and you can have total control of public schools. Just imagine, you can stop pretending that you respect Judeo-Christian values. You can get rid of Christmas, teach that the Founding Fathers were Hindu priests, and have long conversations about how much the students really hate their parents even though they don't know it. Of course, you won't take this deal because you know that when the better option is available parents will no longer send their kids to your failing social experiments.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

South Dakota Passes Abortion Ban

On Wednesday the State Senate in South Dakota passed legislation that essentially banning abortion. There are two camps forming pretty quickly in conservative circles. One camp that thinks this is a great thing and another that thinks we don't have the votes in the Supreme Court yet. I think that I am in the latter camp.

Assuming that Chief Justice Roberts, and Justice Alito vote correctly (i.e. striking down Roe v. Wade) that only leaves us with 4 rock solid votes (I am very sure that Justices Thomas and Scalia will do the right thing). So, who does that leave us with?

Breyer - Definite no
Ginsburg - Definite no
Stevens - Definite no
Souter (otherwise known as Reagan's biggest mistake ever) - Probable no
Kennedy - ?????

I think it would be wise to wait and see if Bush gets another appointment because I don't think we can win it right now.

I've never wanted so badly to be wrong.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mike Pence Speech

One of my fellow bloggers, Mark Lancaster, pointed me to a speech given by Mike Pence, who is a Representative from Indiana. He gave a speech that accurately points out some things that absolutely need to change about the Republican party. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

We are in danger of becoming the party of Big Government. And for the sake of our party and for the sake of the nation we must say, here and now, to all who would lead us in this new century, "the era of big Republican government is over!"

This is absolutely right. We are spending too much. The Republicans are about giving the government less of your money to waste. Government spending is always inefficient. Therefore they need to be doing less of it!!

But what of those other promises central to our nation’s values and liberty? The promises that said, "We’ll cut spending. We’ll rein in big government. We’ll restore ethics and honesty to government."
On these promises? All sizzle and no steak. The ship’s galley just keeps sending up giant pu-pu platters of pork, platitudes, promises and never-ending pleas for patience to the passengers on the deck.

Again, a giant "Amen" from me. There is no reason that the Republicans have to spend the way we are spending other than using their ability to spend my money to get re-elected.

So it’s not enough to change the way lobbyists spend their money. We must change the way Congress spends the people’s money.

We cannot make enough rules to keep our Congressmen honest in regards to Lobbyist money. Just like campaign finance reform, lobby reform will be chock full of holes. However, if Congress doesn't have public money available to spend, then the lobbyists will not be spending their money on our politicians. I can't say it nearly as well as Dr. Williams - so read it for yourself.

Then there is my absolute favorite part of the speech:

And while fiscal and ethical renewal will not be easy, I’m puzzled by those who say it will take courage to make these changes. Perhaps they confuse courage with will. It takes no courage to cast a vote or speak from the well of the House of Representatives. There are no grenade launchers or snipers in the visitors’ balcony.

I have nothing to add to the above statement.

So, are there any brave politicians out there? Well, obviously Mike Pence is an example. I hope that you will also take the time to read George Will's column about Oklahoma's Tom Coburn. We need more men like these two guys.

Blob Eating Downtown L.A.

Editor's Note: Picture has nothing to do with the story. If you thought that it did it's only because you discriminate against overweight people who make really bad films.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Environmental Pipe Dreams

I patiently listened to President Bush's environmental hat tips during the State of the Union and I understood why he did it. I have no problem with throwing the environmentalists a bone so that they can go back into the woods, lick some frogs and leave the grown-ups alone for a while. But it's starting to get out of hand.

Deb Riechmann reports that The President is still talking about these new alternative sources of energy as though it was the real deal. Now, there is no harm in trying to inspire entrepreneurs out there to achieve the technologically impossible. At one time the light bulb was technologically impossible. However, it is not realistic that any time soon we are going to be running cars on "switchgrass". It's not a matter of wanting it really badly, it is a matter of energy. Oil contains a ton of potential energy - switchgrass does not.

The real problem is that there is an opportunity cost at stake here. While we are spending time and money on ideas that are not feasible we are losing some real opportunities to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. The most direct way to do this is to tap into our own reserves. I'm not going to spend much time on this, but that Alaskan National Wilderness Reserves are sitting there waiting for us to use them. Short term problem solved.

What about the medium and long term solutions? Well, many scientists and economists believe that oil is the long-term solution, but for the sake of argument let's say it's not. No problem, there is another very feasible option eagerly waiting for us to use it's potential. Remember when I said that switchgrass does not contain the needed potential energy? Well, that's not entirely true. You see, there is one way that a lot of energy can be extracted from ordinary materials and that is by splitting the atoms of the material. This is known in scientific circles as the nuc-u-lar option. While it's not very practical to try to split the atoms in switchgrass, I think you get the point. Nuclear energy could be used to run the country. We have heard a lot about hydrogen fuel cells, but what most people don't know is that you can't just take some hydrogen and get energy from it. They hydrogen has to be "charged". In a sense a hydrogen fuel cell is just a really good battery. So, unless you have a really cheap way to charge the cell (nuc-u-lar for example?) then hydrogen fuel cells don't do you any good. However, using these fuel cells we could literally run all of our cars on nuclear energy.

The most perplexing aspect of Bush's attempts to appease the environmentalists is that time and again they slap him in the face for attempting to meet them in the middle. Here he is giving some semblence of credibility to the left's pet energy projects and they respond by criticizing his support for SUVs.

If the left really believed in these moonbat ideas they would jump at the chance of having a Republican president on their side. This should be proof to those who would try to reason with the libs that their pet projects are merely vehicles that they use to get more political power.