Thursday, February 12, 2004

More on me . . .

Education: The greatest investment a country can make is in the continuing education of its citizens. The current administration has created a policy, behind a name that does the opposite of it's intent. The Leave the Children Behind Act is full of unfunded mandates that will turn our students into a bunch of test takers. There was know thought out process to look at the standardized tests currently being used, just an expectation that one more test wouldn’t matter. January has turned into Test Month at my school. First it is the Stanford 10 test for the state, then the basic skills test to graduate, then the federal test to show compliance. Three tests within a 4 week period all basically doing the same thing. Not a very good system to create a learning environment for our young people.

Vouchers are nothing more then inverse bussing. They provide a family a small subsidy, generally equal to the amount of the aid formula a school would receive upon that particular students enrollment. Those who can afford a private school anyway, will take this 'tax cut for the rich', and have the extra money to build on to their mansion on the lake. No middle to lower income family would still be able to afford the difference between the cost of a private school even with the inclusion of this subsidy. What they get is an underfunded school and a lower quality education. Minneapolis schools are feeling the pinch of this reality with the influx of Charter schools, a taste of what is to come should vouchers pass. No more neighborhood school or feeling of community.

Homeland Security: I am concerned about certain aspects of the Patriot Act, specifically those that butt heads with the civil liberties of our citizens. Many on the Right share these same concerns. It just looked to me that this administration preyed on the fear of the populous to railroad a sweeping change while we were vulnerable. I think change was needed, and the Zacharias Mousoui case is one cited by most proponents as one which may have prevented the 9/11 hijackings if the Act was in place beforehand. So I answered 'moderately opposed' due to the civil liberty concerns, but agree change was needed, just that it may have gone to far.

I venture Right in my support of tighter immigration controls.

Iraq I strongly support the war and am totally opposed to an immediate withdrawal. SoDamn Who'sInsane is an evil man who brutalized his own people. His total disregard for the human rights of everyone on this planet marked the need to remove him from power. GW made a poor gamble by placing all of his eggs in the WMD basket. He was so damned confident that stockpiles of chemicals and the missiles to deliver them would be found, he proclaimed it as the only reason he needed to go to war. Grave mistake which may cost him a second term.

The UN is a necessary evil in this Global Political environment. In order to retain credibility within this community we need to respect its process. I don't think giving them more political authority is the answer, but some restraint on our part may be called for.

It would be irresponsible to even consider an immediate withdraw from Iraq at this time. There is know way Iraq could make it to democratic sovereignty on their own. The power vacuum created would suck in the evilest of terrorist organizations and create a middle east quagmire of the greatest proportions.

We must stay the course, assist in the creation of a democratic self government. If the June 04 goal is reached by the administration, and attacks on troops and local sympathizers dwindles, GW will be in good shape going into the elections.

Foreign Trade We can not deny the fact we are in a global economy. The trade boundaries extend far beyond the geopolitical borders we have recognized in the past. the Embargo in Cuba must be lifted and full support of NAFTA must be recognized. We can not be intimidated by this global positioning, we must embrace it as the future reality.

Some for of protections, however, needs to be in place. A carefully crafted proposal needs to be constructed to protect people and the environment. Standards must be developed to create a fair playing field.

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