Saturday, October 2, 2010

Standing in the Schoolhouse Door

Columnist Cal Thomas writes about the new documentary film, Waiting for Superman, and states that it should be "mandatory viewing for every member of Congress."

One of the things the film does, intentionally or otherwise, is show how the Democrat party has trapped poor children in deplorable schools from which there's no escape and in which there's no hope. The Democrats do this by quashing all attempts to give these children the financial means, through vouchers for example, to attend private schools or more affluent schools in the suburbs.

Why do they do this? Because they're in thrall to the teachers' unions, and those unions see educational choice as a threat to their job security. The more children who opt out of public schools the fewer teachers that'll be needed to staff those schools.

Thomas writes:
As a synopsis on the Fandango movie site says, this film "explores the tragic ways in which the American public education system is failing our nation's children. ..."
Not only do we see children and their parents on the edge of their seats during a lottery that will determine who gets the educational equivalent of a "get out of jail free" card, we also watch the crestfallen faces of those who don't draw the magic numbers for decent schools, a better education and, thus, a hope for the future. Is this how a poor child's destiny should be decided, by lottery?
President Obama, of course, along with almost every other Democrat in Washington, sends his children to private schools like Sidwell Friends, but then they can afford the $31,069 tuition. Most parents can't.

Thomas continues:
During a recent appearance on the "Today" show, a woman in the audience asked President Obama why he selected a tony private school for his daughters over D.C. Public Schools.
He said Sasha and Malia could not receive the same level of education from D.C. Public Schools that they get at Sidwell Friends.
The president said because of his position "we could probably maneuver" to get them into one of the better public schools, but he said the "broader problem" is that parents without "a bunch of connections" don't have such options.
Nice try, but if he wanted to place his daughters in a public school, no connections would be needed. Jimmy Carter sent his daughter, Amy, to a public school when he was president. The issue for the Obamas and everyone else with school-age kids is which school provides them the best education?
The poor do not have a choice, other than a lottery. This is immoral.
Indeed it is, and it's also ironic. Democrats stand foursquare for choice when it comes to giving a woman the right to kill her child, but they're foursquare against choice when it comes to giving a woman the right to give her child a decent education.

Thomas compares Dems to modern day George Wallaces. Wallace, you might recall, was the Governor of Alabama in the 1960s who stood in the doorway of the University of Alabama to keep black kids from entering the school:
Members of Congress -- mostly Democrats -- are channeling the late Alabama Gov. George Wallace, who in 1963 stood in the schoolhouse door at the University of Alabama to prevent blacks from entering. Today, certain members of Congress are metaphorically standing in schoolhouse doors, preventing the poor from leaving.
The mystery is why the poor continue to believe that the Democrats are the party looking out for their interests.

Looking for Revenge

Evidently, Iran is convinced that the U.S. and Israel are behind the widespread Stuxnet malworm infection that has slowed their nuclear weapons program to a crawl, and debkafile thinks that the Iranians are preparing to retaliate militarily:
Tehran is bent on military action to settle scores with Israel and the United States whom it suspects of planting the malignant Stuxnet cyber worm in the computer systems of its nuclear, military and strategic infrastructure, debkafile's military and US sources report. The timeline of this attack revolves around the state visit to Lebanon President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has scheduled for Oct. 13-14, during which he will tour the Israeli border. Preying heavily on Iran too are the personal sanctions the United States has just imposed on its top military brass and ministers.
This last development is also interesting. It seems to have been timed to coincide with the chaos being produced in Iran by Stuxnet:
President Barack Obama signed an executive order imposing sanctions on eight top Iranian officials, accusing them of serious human rights abuses, including the killing, torture, beating and rape of Iranian citizens since the country's disputed 2009 presidential election.
This was the first time Washington had singled out top Iranian military and security figures for personal penalties:
Obama only signed the sanctions order this week, whereas the eight officials' crimes occurred more than a year ago in the wake of their crackdown on political opponents who charged the regime with falsifying the election. It would seem therefore that the US president acted with the intention of further dividing Iran's leaders and adding to the perplexity and demoralization besetting them over their powerlessness to bring the destructive cyber worm under control.
I find it difficult to believe that Iran would be so foolish as to launch overt military strikes, even through its proxies Hamas and Hezbollah, when such strikes would provide just the pretext needed by Israel and/or the United States to take out the Iranian nuclear program altogether. On the other hand, the Iranians may be in a panic, and panicked men do foolish things.