March 31, 2004

Burlington Free Press Editorializes on Governor's Telecom Plan

Reproduced below is Governor Douglas' vision for broadband and wireless. The full plan can be found here

Finally, a governor has put some specifics and dates behind the usually broadly worded statement about better Telecom for rural Vermont. President Bush announced a similar broadband goal for the nation on the same day last week.

Now, let's see if the political will and the investment dollars form the providers can match this stake in the ground.

Governor Douglas has done exactly the right thing. Permit reform is critical for the wireless portion of this. Let's see if Vermont has the capacity to step up to the challenge.

Good move, Jim.
"Connecting Vermont

To borrow a classic line in the Paul Newman movie "Cool Hand Luke," Vermont suffers from "a failure to communicate" with the rest of the world.

But Gov. Jim Douglas has a plan. By the end of the decade he wants Vermont to be fully wired and wirelessed so the state can take full advantage of the ongoing revolution in telecommunications.

The governor last week unveiled a 10-year plan to extend the reach of high-speed Internet connections to every part of Vermont. "A modern telecommunications system is vital if Vermont is to create and retain jobs," Douglas said.

For those not fluent in tech-speak, some definitions are in order. Broadband systems access the Internet through traditional cable or other hard-wired technology. Wireless refers to going on-line through cellular telephones, satellites or other technologies.

The governor wants more of each system in Vermont. His goal is to expand broadband capabilities to 90 percent of the state's residences and businesses and ensure reliable wireless coverage along the state's major highways, including Interstates 89 and 91, and U.S. 7 by 2007.

Fully tying Vermont to the Internet and expanding cell phone networks could prove costly and controversial. Although no precise estimates are available, the governor's plan would cost millions of dollars and could require state tax breaks and other incentives. Siting and zoning issues for a major expansion of cell towers and other equipment are almost certain to draw considerable debate.

Indeed, how Vermont might look -- whether the state's natural beauty would be damaged -- with more cell towers is a central question in Douglas' proposal.

Currently, wireless covers only about 65 percent of the state's larger roads; broadband is available to about 75 percent of the state's population. Under a recent agreement with the Public Service Board, Adelphia plans to lay down at least 1,412 additional miles of cable by Dec. 31, 2009. The company now has 3,473 miles of cable service in the state.

Due to low density of population and the state's rugged landscape, Vermont will need a combination of cable and wireless service to ensure universal Internet access.

The best comparison may be the effort in the 1930s to bring electrical power to rural America. That program dramatically improved conditions in rural areas in Vermont and other states, making it possible for many small towns and farms to remain viable places to live.

Many of the same factors apply today to communications technologies. Without reliable connections, much of rural Vermont could become increasingly isolated from the rest of the world and fail to benefit from the new economic opportunities the Internet presents.

Broadband and other technologies, however, could help revitalize many communities by enabling people to live in rural areas and still be tied to their employers or do business with clients around the world. Efficient Internet links can also help minimize any feelings among rural Vermonters of being left out of the cultural mainstream.

The new communications technologies present amazing new possibilities. But to fully participate in the emerging Internet-driven world, Vermont must get connected." / News / World / Bodies of four American contractors dragged through streets of Fallujah; bomb kills five U.S. troops / News / World / Bodies of four American contractors dragged through streets of Fallujah; bomb kills five U.S. troops

Here's why terrorists and their sympathizers must be eradicated.

Hopes of Building Nation?s First New Nuclear Plant in Decades

Hopes of Building Nation's First New Nuclear Plant in Decades

Good news. Nuclear power must remain a viable option for our energy future. This will not be easy, but it will be a test of our national will. I support clean, safe nuclear power plants, however siting one will be a very painful process.

The US and industry should consider identifying, purchasing and reserving suitable tracts of land for future nuclear plants.

I've been an advocate for 'atomic' power since 1958 when I gave by graduation address on the subject. God, that seems a long time ago!

March 30, 2004

AT&T Brings Internet Telephone Service to New Jersey

AT&T Brings Internet Telephone Service to New Jersey

The flood gates are opening to VOIP. AT&T and Verizon;s entry into the VOIP market will validate the technology and within 5-10 years it will replace wireline connections for the majority of residence customers. As broadband penetration increases, so will VOIP. It's a natural evolution.

Goodbye circuit switched systems. The pace of this migration will have to match the depreciation cycles of the PSTN so as to keep the providers financially healthy.

Federal and state regulators can foster or slow the pace. Now we'll see what lawmakers do with taxation. Is VOIP a taxable service? Legislators should resist taxing it.

More detail on the AT&T offering in NJ can be found here.

I note the salve applied by the AT&T regulatory person pushing for continued action on Unbundled Network Elements (UNEs) to hamstring Verizon. Recall that a Federal appeals court recently ruled that the patchwork of state regulation on this issue is illegal. AT&T is disingenuous on this matter, to say the least. In any event , UNEs are dead meat. VOIP wins the race within the next 5-10 years. No doubt about that in my mind.

Setback Is Dealt to Gay Marriage

Setback Is Dealt to Gay Marriage

Massachusetts has taken step 1. The Times headline could well have read: Massachusetts Legislature Affirms Heterosexual Marriage but that wouldn't suit the Times' bias.

March 29, 2004 - Google Gets Personal

This is all great, two technically savvy companies, Microsoft and Google, going head to head on search. The consumer has to win, especially with Yahoo! also in the fray.

Bush Jokes

Thank goodness we have humorists to make this political season bearable.

The George W. Bush Legacy: Poor people roasting a rat over a fire in a

garbage can with rubble all around. Wrecked police car, public school

with broken windows Dept. of Social Services destroyed: Man says, "You

have to understand, back in '01 I really really really really really

really really needed that $300 tax cut." (Captain Jack Kennedy)



The new Socialist prime minister of Spain, Louis Rodriguez Zapatero,

has pledged to bring home the Spanish troops now in Iraq. The Bush team

appear to have failed to take into account weapons of mass elections.

(The Wit Wizard)


The voters in Spain there have elected a socialist government. The new

prime minister, Jose Zapatero immediately lashed out at President Bush,

calling the war in Iraq a disaster, calling for all Spanish troops to

come home from Iraq immediately. This obviously upset President Bush.

Today, he took decisive action. He said, "From now on, in the United

States, Spanish rice will now be known as Freedom rice." (Jay Leno)


A tragic fire on Monday destroyed the personal library of President
George W. Bush. Both of his books have been lost.
A presidential spokesman said the President was devastated as he had
not finished coloring the second one
His connect-the-dots book is missing too!

President Bush calls in the head of the CIA and asks,

"How come the Jews know everything before we do?"

The CIA chief says, "It's simple. The Jews have an expression,

Nu, Vus Tutzuch (English translation: What's Happening).

They just ask each other and that's how they find out everything."

Impressed, George W. Bush says he personally wants to go undercover

to see how this system works.

So the president gets disguised (the hat, beard, long sideburns etc.)

as an Orthodox Jew and is secretly flown in an unmarked plane to New York where

he is secretly picked up in an unmarked car and secretly dropped off in Crown Heights,

one of Brooklyn's most Jewish neighborhoods.

As the president stands quietly on a busy street corner,

a little old Jewish man comes shuffling along.

Bush approaches him and whispers "Nu, Vus Tutzuch?"

The old guy whispers back, "Did you hear that putz Bush is in Brooklyn?"


President Bush's victories in the southern primaries have given him

enough delegates to seal the Republican nomination for a second term.

Bush had no real opposition, but Republicans did get to choose between

cowboy Bush, action Bush, Martha Stewart Bush, and Bush regular. (Tina


It is starting to look more and more like the terrorist attack in Spain

was the work of al Qaeda and today President Bush called the Prime

Minister of Spain to offer his condolences and said "If it makes you

feel any better we will be happy to attack a country that had nothing

to do with it." (Bill Maher)

The California Supreme said San Francisco must stop marrying gay

couples. Not because of legal problems, they're just running out of

size 15 heels. (Conan O'Brien)


President Bush went out touting his economic record in Ohio last week.

Now this is a state that lost 225,000 jobs since Bush took office. You

know, if Bush wants to tout his record, he should do it somewhere where

the Bush economy has actually created jobs, like India, or Thailand, or

China. (Jay Leno)

John Kerry said today he wants to debate President Bush once a month.

Hey good luck, if Bush couldn't make it to the National Guard once a

month, he's not going to show up for this. (Jay Leno)

President Bush is on the campaign trail. He predicts both a drop in

criminal activity and robust consumer spending. His twins are now old

enough to drink. (Alan Ray)

Kerry Jokes

Thank goodness we have humorists to make this political season bearable.


John Kerry spoke to a veterans group meeting in West Virginia on

Tuesday. It was very emotional. John Kerry comforted one veteran whose

cracked ribs force him to change positions every three hours, or maybe

he just identified with the guy (Argus Hamilton)



Kerry claims Foreign Leaders back his presidential bid. Cheney holding

a report of the Energy Task Force close to his chest says, "We have a

right to know what he is saying to them that makes them so supportive

of his candidacy (Ann Teinaes, Chicago Tribune)


John Kerry said that a lot of world leaders want him to be the

president and the Bush administration said, 'Yeah, well, like who?' and

John Kerry said, 'Well, I can't say really.' So, now they're really

hammering John Kerry and listen to this, the only name he could come up

with? Queen Latifah. (David Letterman)


John Kerry released a new campaign commercial Friday
saying that he plans to raise taxes only on the rich.
His own wife is worth $500 million. Teresa Heinz Kerry
saw the ad and began to wish he would just cheat on
her like a normal husband. -Argus Hamilton


John Kerry described his Republican critics as 'the
most crooked, lying group I've ever seen.' Now, that's
saying something, because Kerry's both a lawyer and a
politician. - Jay Leno


Kerry has already begun his search for a running mate.
They say that because John Edwards still has $50
million in campaign money, Kerry might pick him. Pick
him? Hey, for $50 million, Kerry will marry him. - Jay Leno

Op-Ed Columnist: Awaking to a Dream

Op-Ed Columnist: Awaking to a Dream

Dream on, Thomas. BIG doers are even rarer than BIG thinkers. The issues we face can only be tackled with resolve and a shift away from the politics inspired by the American syndrome: "You owe me and I'm going to get mine."

Op-Ed Columnist: Awaking to a Dream

Op-Ed Columnist: Awaking to a Dream

Dream on, Thomas. BIG doers are even rarer than BIG thinkers. The issues we face can only be tackled with resolve and a shift away from the politics inspired by the American syndrome: "You owe me and I'm going to get mine."

Kids Say the Darndest Things

"TEACHER: What do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?

PUPIL: A teacher "

Trivia - -Keeping Human Perspective

'The weight of insects eaten by spiders every year is greater
than the total weight of the entire human population.'

Spiders rule! How can this fact be known? More likely an informed guess.

March 28, 2004

A Reminder of Who We Are

By studying our history, by learning about its heroes, by examining and understanding its failures as well as its incomparable achievements, we grasp the value of our political tradition and what distinguishes it from others.

Our country is something to be proud of, something to celebrate. Why should we shrink from saying so? A sober, a sophisticated, study of our history demonstrates beyond cavil that we have provided more freedom to more people than any nation in the history of mankind; that we have provided a greater degree of equality to more people than any nation in the history of mankind; that we have created more prosperity, and spread it more widely, than any nation in the history of mankind; that we have brought more justice to more people than any nation in the history of mankind; that our open, tolerant, prosperous, peaceable society is the marvel and envy of the ages.

Iraqi Constitution

This was sent by a friend:
the sad truth :

They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq.

Why don't we just give them ours?

It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it worked for over 200 years, and we're not using much of it anymore.

I get frustrated by the drift in the US to something different than our constitution clearly states and what its framers intended. Many in this country don't know or don't like what the Constitution says and God knows we have too many liberal judges who prefer their own interpretations more suitable to their beliefs and biases. However, The Iraqis have no clue how to live in a Republic like ours.

The fact that they were able to craft something resembling a workable constitution is a big step forward. After June 30 we'll see if they can implement it!

If we can pull off something that resembles a free society in Iraq, it will be a giant step forward and may serve as an example for the failed and corrupt Muslim societies in the region.

March 27, 2004

Yahoo! News - GOP Leaders Seek Release of Clarke's 2002 Testimony

Yahoo! News - GOP Leaders Seek Release of Clarke's 2002 Testimony

The Clarke saga is erupting. If he lied , now of before, he should be exposed and denounced. I smell politics all over Mr. Clarke's timing of his book and his testimony to Congress. This is clearly an orchestrated 'get Bush' campaign. Shame.

Emergence of Juror Leaves Tyco Judge In Legal Quandary

Emergence of Juror Leaves Tyco Judge In Legal Quandary

Our country's institution of trial by jury has become a laughing stock in this case. How can such ridiculous behavior by a jury/juror be tolerated? Good luck, judge!

March 23, 2004

Yahoo! News - Rumsfeld says US could not have stopped September 11 attacks

Yahoo! News - Rumsfeld says US could not have stopped September 11 attacks

Rumsfeld is absolutely correct in his assessment. People won't like to hear it, but he's direct, truthful and blunt, as he should be. This Clarke book is a piece of politically motivated revelations. How can folks not see through this charade?

US Efforts to Stop al-Qaida Ineffective

My Way News

Without a war on terrorism, the Clinton years and the Albright team show us that diplomacy and negotiations with allies, while useful, lead nowhere with respect to results with the radical Islamists. Eradication is the only option and we must push ahead to do just that. If Israel continues to pick off Hamas leadership, a group on the US terrorist organization list, more power to them.

March 22, 2004

VP Cheney Excerpt from Limbaugh Show 03/22/04

Cheney characterizes the terrorism situation inherited from the Clinton Administration.

RUSH: Mr. Vice President, one quick one before we go to the break. The Clinton administration officials who are now on television again attempting to defend themselves in all of this hubbub are trying to create the impression that this whole Al-Qaeda and modern-era terrorist problem began on January 22nd of 2001. What exactly was it you inherited?

CHENEY: Well, I go back to the first attack on the World Trade Center in '93, when the man named Ramzi Yousef, together with others, tried to bomb the World Trade Center then. Remember, they took a truckload of explosives and set it off in the parking garage underneath the World Trade Center and didn't do what they hoped it would do, he eventually was captured, he's now doing 240 years in the federal pen. But what we now know I think looking back at that, nobody realized at the time, looking back at that was that was perhaps the first Al-Qaeda attack on the U.S. homeland. Ramzi Yousef turned out to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammed's nephew. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the guy who came up with the idea of using airliners to strike the World Trade Center in about 1996, we believe, when he first suggested that, and who later supervised the attacks of 9/11.

Hamas Leader Killed

This is a bold move by Israel. It will create additional suicide bombings and engender sympathy for the Hamas terrorists among the crazies in the Middle East and elsewhere.

Eradicating terrorists and their leadership is the only short term solution. No negotiations are possible with these die-hards and they will not surrender. What other alternatives exist besides eradication?

March 21, 2004

Al Franken, Seriously

Al Franken, Seriously

Al Franken is a caricature of hate mongering and will not sell with Americans. Limbaugh is a pro at what he does and is not above criticizing Bush and Republican strategies or policies he disagrees with. He is not motivated by hate.

It will be worth watching to see if Franken has any substance beyond 'hate.'

Here's an excerpt from this NYT piece that distorts the truth (can we trust the Times and its journalists?)

"Everyone who knows Franken well remarks on his incessant cheerfulness, which doesn't seem to fit with the anger he holds for those he considers politically duplicitous, but he manages to integrate the two things, toggling constantly back and forth. If there is one event that changed him in recent years -- if not dampening his cheer, then hardening his anger -- it was the 2002 memorial service for his friend Paul Wellstone. The central chapter in ''Lies,'' and one that isn't meant to be funny, is his painstaking examination of how the event became ''a sort of perfect political storm for Republican opportunists.'' Franken teared up as he talked about his friendship with Wellstone, the circumstances surrounding his death and how moving he found the memorial. But some parts of the event were overtly political, and Franken became enraged as he watched these be highlighted and then pumped up by conservatives until the memorial wound up, in the words of Christopher Caldwell in The Weekly Standard, as ''a rally devoted to a politics that was twisted, pagan, childish, inhumane and even totalitarian.''

''The bastards lied about it,'' Franken said. ''They used it to influence the election. And they got what they wanted.'' Republicans retook the Senate in 2002 and added to their margin in the House. Wellstone's seat, for which Minnesota Democrats had hastily put up Walter Mondale, went to the Republican Norm Coleman. "

If Wellstone's memorial service devolved into a political event...and it was... for Franken to criticize the conservatives for pointing that out and winning an election against the hapless Mondale, is akin to crying in his soup. Franken is a committed and irreverent liberal. Why should we have any more sympathy for his rants than those of Limbaugh or any other commentator? Hate is Franken's motivation, it seems. If this is what drives the guy, he's doomed to fail.

Twists of Terror: You Cut the Head, but the Body Still Moves

Twists of Terror: You Cut the Head, but the Body Still Moves

A key quote from this short piece about Al Queda and the results of eradicating Bin Laden and his #2 man poignantly describes the long and difficult struggle of this war on terrorism.

"Al Qaeda may have been the first and most destructive of the many groups consumed with hatred of the United States, but it by no means has central control over the countless clusters of jihadists seeking to confront America around the globe. This is an ideological and spiritual movement rather than a cohesive, quantifiable foe."

March 20, 2004

Four Essential Principles for Education Success

Four Essential Principles for Education Success:

Well worth the reading.

Makes good sense to me. Who would not buy in? If bought in, how do people get sucked in to process focus?

"THE FIRST PRINCIPLE: Remember that our goal is success, not process."

THE SECOND PRINCIPLE: Reform and education innovation must be addressed in the context of universal principles of human nature.

THE THIRD PRINCIPLE: Remember that education does not equal salvation.

"This is not to say that education is not critical for success. In fact, it often is the key factor in turning a life toward productivity and success. But without a moral framework within the person and the culture, and a commitment to the development of character traits such as integrity, responsibility, honesty, respect for properly established authorities, and charity, we will not really have succeeded.

An evil person with a great education is an infinitely more dangerous person by his education than had he remained relatively ignorant. A well-educated thief is a much more dangerous thief. Some might say that he is a "better" thief; that is to say, he can plan better, be craftier in his trade, and actually reach his full potential as a thief. And though he may, as a result, never be captured and may become the subject of legend, we have to ask the obvious question: Is he successful? Have we, as his educators, done well by him and by society? Has his education saved him or contributed to the culture? Of course, the answer is "no."

THE FOURTH PRINCIPLE: We should always remember to whom we are accountable.

"Society? Yes, to some extent we answer to "society." But how do you measure that with any accuracy in the short, correctable term?

Students? In a sense, yes, in that they have to live with the blessings or consequences of what we do. But we cannot consider them an accountability receptor for the same reason most civilized cultures do not allow people who have yet to reach maturity to make other choices.

So, to whom are we accountable? Who is the audience? Who is "the boss"? The answer is that lovely word that often invokes mixed feelings in all: parents.

Some might object by saying that we are actually accountable to God for our actions, even in education, and they would be right in the ultimate sense. But interestingly, at least in the case of education, God specifically charges parents with the responsibility of overseeing their children's education."

School Choice in 2003: An Old Concept Gains New Life

School Choice in 2003: An Old Concept Gains New Life

An excerpt about home schooling from a detailed survey article about shool choice.

"Like other forms of parental choice, home schooling has grown significantly over the past two decades, moving from a choice on the fringe in the 1960s to become a growing mainstream movement.26 During the 2001-2002 school year, as many as two million children in grades K-12 were home-schooled--approximately 3% of the fifty-three million school-age children in the United States. The home-school population is growing at a rate of 7% to 15% a year.27

In general, home-schooled students achieve at higher levels than their public school peers on nationally-normed standardized tests in all subjects.28 Home-schooled students are active outside of school, with the average home-school student participating in five extracurricular activities such as dance, sports, music, and volunteerism. Nearly all home-schooled students participate in at least two extracurricular activities.29 In 1999, home-schooled students even started their own honor society, Eta Sigma Alpha. The society has grown to twenty chapters nationwide.30" Whites-Only Scholarship Stirs R.I. College Whites-Only Scholarship Stirs R.I. College

A student riles up the party crowd and the 'politically correct' gang at a small RI college. Isn't it amazing how close to the surface veneer true beliefs lie? Most whites have some kind of guilt complex because of the racial sins of history, (or is it sin they carry within themselves and are reluctant to admit?). Consider the demographic trends that suggest Whites will no longer be the majority US ethnic group in 2050. Will it be OK then to have 'white only' scholarships?

Op-Ed Columnist: Too Quiet on the Home Front

Op-Ed Columnist: Too Quiet on the Home Front

A wakeup call to the Bushies.

Entitlement Costs Are Expected to Soar

Entitlement Costs Are Expected to Soar

If these forecasts are even half truth, the US has a mega-problem on its hands. We can't afford our appetites and needs. There will be a reckoning if we do not trim our outlays and begin to make savings fashionable again.

How can we reverse the 'you owe me' mentality that exists in this country?

March 19, 2004

Op-Ed Contributor: The Free Lane on the Information Highway

Op-Ed Contributor: The Free Lane on the Information Highway

A noble idea but government is unlikely to fund free W-Fi access everywhere. Somewhere out there must be a business model that works for Wi-Fi access.

Op-Ed Contributor: The Price of Freedom in Iraq

Op-Ed Contributor: The Price of Freedom in Iraq

You are correct, Secretary Rumsfeld. Three cheers to you for writing it and to the Times for publishing it.

Bush Marks War’s Anniversary, Vowing to Fight On

Bush Marks WarÂ’s Anniversary, Vowing to Fight On

Bush is right. There can be to turning away from using all means to eradicate terrorists, whether radical Islamist or others. They must be allowed no sanctuaryy, given no quarter and pursued until they are killed. This is not a police action with law enforcement rules of evidence as some in Europe believe. This is a war fought by military AND civil police in accord with the rules of war...if there are any in a war on terrorism.

The solution for terrorists is eradication. The long term prevention of terrorism is a change in mindset by those within Islam who see a different future and reject the jihad covering claimed by the killers.
"We don't know if this is the voice of the actual killers, but we do know that it expresses the creed of the enemy," he (Bush) said. "It is a mindset that rejoices in suicide, incites murder and celebrates every death we mourn. And we who stand on the other side of the line must be equally clear and certain of our convictions. We do love life, the life given to us and to all. We believe in the values that uphold the dignity of life: tolerance and freedom and the right of conscience. And we know that this way of life is worth defending."

"There is no neutral ground - no neutral ground - in the fight between civilization and terror, because there's no neutral ground between good and evil, freedom and slavery, and life and death," Mr. Bush went on. "The war on terror is not a figure of speech, it is an inescapable calling of our generation."

Pakistan's tribal areas a haven for outlaws

Pakistan's tribal areas a haven for outlaws

A feudal society right out ot the Middle Ages. They are entitled to live the way they please in their own territory. Harboring killers and terrorists who have planned or carried out terrorist killings of innocent people is not acceptable. Pakistan has its hands full.


Amid Natural Splendor in Idaho, a Weary Kerry Gets Away From It All

Amid Natural Splendor in Idaho, a Weary Kerry Gets Away From It All

A useless article unworthy of being written or read. Give Kerry some time off for crying out loud. The Times should be ashamed of themselves for filling space with this inanity.

Tampabay: Ex-Watergate writer laments 'idiot culture'

Tampabay: Ex-Watergate writer laments 'idiot culture'

Bernstein's got it right about the media and the culture, though he obviously dislikes President Bush.

March 18, 2004

Op-Ed Columnist: Axis of Appeasement

Op-Ed Columnist: Axis of Appeasement

As usual, Thomas is mostly right. I disagree with the Axis of Incompetence description. I agree with his views on Axis of Appeasement and Evil.

US vs. Europe: two views of terror |

US vs. Europe: two views of terror |

The rhetoric here is very interesting. The debate is being shaped by the language used for political gain, obviously, in a presidentialelection. However the rhetoric suggests there are deep policy differences between the candidates.

The truth is this is a 'war' on terrorism AND all means are needed to win it. It's not either war or police work. It's both and good intelligence underlies both approaches. Kerry is attempting to align himself with the European way of thinking, a strategy designed to please liberals but doomed to fail.

March 17, 2004

Kerry, Cheney Spar Over Iraq War, National Security (

Kerry, Cheney Spar Over Iraq War, National Security (

Oh, the delight taken in cutting opposing politicians to shreds! The media will seize on this stuff like a dog on raw meat.

Now, if we can get the unfiltered, unbiased truth from the media, we will benefit. However, I'm in a cynical mood today and bet that we won't.

March 16, 2004

Bloomberg Wins on School Tests After Firing Foes

Bloomberg Wins on School Tests After Firing Foes

Tough action by Bloomberg in NYC but probably needed to get the education system back on track. Failure is a terrible option for the kids in a school system that shows little self-motivation for improvement.

Gay Journalists Off Calif. Story After They Marry

US News Article |

The Chronicle made the correct decision. No matter the tone and tenor of their reporting, to have possibly violated the law, they are properly taken off the beat. To have chosen to be 'married' while covering the story speaks of poor judgment.

Bitter Division for Sierra Club on Immigration

Bitter Division for Sierra Club on Immigration

A real fight at the Sierra Club. Immigration, the illegal kind, is a serious issue. We don't have any idea in Vermont of the effects in other states who contend with it daily. The US isn't serious about stopping illegal immigration. If we were, we would.

Greenspan Shifts View on Deficits

Greenspan Shifts View on Deficits

Greenspan may be right, but I'm concerned that our foreign debt and the dollar's decline, along with the trade imbalance, particularly with China could be our undoing. I think the piper must be paid. I hope it's a reasonable, not exorbitant sum.

Our position in the world and its economy is declining, long term.

March 15, 2004

Sharon May Withdraw Unilaterally

Please, Senator Kerrey, call Ariel and persuade him that he must be patient and convince the Palestinians to negotiate with him in good faith. Also, please call 'someone' in Arab Palestine and tell him the same thing.

And, while you're at it, tell President Bush and us what you would do to prevent the Palestinian suicide bombers.

March 14, 2004

Op-Ed Columnist: Origin of Species

Op-Ed Columnist: Origin of Species:

Thomas Friedman makes an interesting comparison between terrorism and globalization of the economy. Michael Mandelbaum suggest that the presidential election is about both these realities, but the Democrats cannot stem the global economy. If Kerry runs on a protectionist platform, he cannot deliver the goods. Bush running as a war president against the terrorist threat, cannot totally prevent terrorism, though so far he has kept America from another attack.

I think we'll experience another attack before the election because Al Qaida does not want Bush in office

"Both Infosys and Al Qaeda challenge America: Infosys by competing for U.S. jobs through outsourcing, and Al Qaeda by threatening U.S. lives through terrorism. As Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins foreign policy professor, put it: 'Our next election will be about these two challenges � with the Republicans focused on how we respond to Al Qaeda, and the losers from globalization, and the Democrats focused on how we respond to Infosys, and the winners from globalization.'
Every once in a while the technology and terrorist supply chains intersect � like last week. Reuters quoted a Spanish official as saying after the Madrid train bombings: 'The hardest thing [for the rescue workers] was hearing mobile phones ringing in the pockets of the bodies. They couldn't get that out of their heads.' "

March 13, 2004

A Suggestion for Why Education is Not Delivering the Goods

More than a grain of truth here...
Excerpted from James Dwinell's newsletter Vol. 5, No. 02


One reason for this pending catastrophe (the continuing lack of progress in science and math performance in the US compared to most of the developed world and a corresponding lack of significant progress in wireless communications in Vermont particularly and in the US generally) is that, in spite of spending more money on education per student than any country in the world, we rank 19th in math and 14th in science according to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

Why you ask? Here is a theory. In our schools, the history of the redwood, why
Bush hates Kyoto, and why Barney disappeared passes for science. Not of course
does learning the Table of Elements, experimenting with the inclined plane, or
knowing how to reduce electrical resistance.

There is a trend away from courses with a focus on replicable knowledge, be it history or science. The trend is towards self-esteem, even discussing drama activities towards helping self-esteem. Tests are bad, feelings are good. It may be the revenge of the unsuccessful.

Stereotype ahead, beware. For many teachers, school was not their most successful period. They generally were not cheerleaders, varsity sports participants, prom royalty, or national merit scholars. They did not attend Ivy League quality schools. Their self-esteem fell.

It is also the fate of the unaccomplished. More stereotype, sorry. Many a school board member, well meaning, may be a leading member of our trust funder community, but a person at least who has the time to serve in this time demanding time we live in. But they are not necessarily accomplished in the real world. The teachers unions and their own instincts to be fair have created an unaccountable privileged teacher corps.

March 11, 2004

Wanna Get Married

This making the rounds on the net.

Wanna get married??

(A scene at City Hall in San Francisco)


Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license."


"Tim and Jim Jones."

"Jones? Are you related? I see a resemblance."

"Yes, we're brothers."

"Brothers? You can't get married."

"Why not? Aren't you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?"

"Yes, thousands. But we haven't had any siblings. That's incest!"

"Incest?" No, we are not gay."

"Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?"

"For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don't have any other prospects."

"But we're issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who've been denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman."

"Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have. But just because I'm straight doesn't mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim."

"And I want to marry Tim, Are you going to discriminate against us just because we are not gay?"

"All right, all right. I'll give you your license. Next."

"Hi. We are here to get married."


"John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson."

"Who wants to marry whom?"

"We all want to marry each other."

"But there are four of you!"

"That's right. You see, we're all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves June and me. All of us getting married together is the only way that we can express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship."

"But we've only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples."

"So you're discriminating against bisexuals!"

"No, it's just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage is that it's just for couples."

"Since when are you standing on tradition?"

"Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere."

"Who says? There's no logical reason to limit marriage to couples. The more the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The mayor says the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!"

"All right, all right. Next."

"Hello, I'd like a marriage license."

"In what names?"

"David Deets."

"And the other man?"

"That's all. I want to marry myself."

"Marry yourself? What do you mean?"

"Well, my psychiatrist says I have a dual personality, so I want to marry the two together. Maybe I can file a joint income-tax return."

"That does it! I quit!! You people are making a mockery of marriage!!"

March 10, 2004

International News Article |

International News Article |

Freed with MI5 tails, I'd guess.

Michelle Malkin: America, land of the Ashcroft-haters

Michelle Malkin: America, land of the Ashcroft-haters

thanks, Michelle. A lot of people hate Ashcroft. They are mistaken in believing he is an enemy of American freedom. The war on terror requires stern and steadfastt pursuit of the bastards and I thank Ashcroft for putting up with the tripe thrown his way.

Political Groups Spend Millions to Take on Bush in Ad Campaign

Political Groups Spend Millions to Take on Bush in Ad Campaign

"Campaign finance reform" is a worthless law when this sort of activity accomplishes the same thing as Republican or Democratic party political ads or speech would. Do the politicians think we're duped when they say they want special interest money out of politics then turn around and spend special interest money on political speech and advertising?

This is a farce.

March 8, 2004

Zimbabwe Seizes Aircraft


Another failed country. How to help is the question. Dictators, despots and tribal realities make for no progress accompanied often by famine, refugees and death.

A sorry state of affairs.

Kerry Is Grilled on Gay Marriage and Attacks Bush on Sept. 11 Commission

Kerry Is Grilled on Gay Marriage and Attacks Bush on Sept. 11 Commission

Kerry's wrongheadedness is played up as a positive in this Times piece. The black woman is right when she says: "I don't care what they say — there is no correlation between gay rights and civil rights in terms of what black Americans have gone through," said the woman, who described herself as a registered Democrat but an "independent voter." "My point is homosexuality is an idea," she said. "You have never heard a doctor say, `Mr. and Mrs. John Doe, you have a bouncing baby homosexual.' It's an idea."

Op-Ed Columnist: The Secret of Our Sauce

Op-Ed Columnist: The Secret of Our Sauce
There's a bit of elitism in this piece, Thomas. While your premise is valid that America's strength is in diversity, opportunism and creative thinking, still, there are the lower wage jobs that continue to migrate overseas.

These dislocations are painful for the industrial age towns and families who are not in high tech fields. People will adapt but at the same time there's a rising tide of protectionism that may create a backlash. It certainly will be a factor in national elections.

March 7, 2004 - Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail - Mar. 5, 2004 - Gates: Buy stamps to send e-mail - Mar. 5, 2004

Another idea to curtail spam. Seems the infrastructure needed to implement an idea of this impact would be extraordinarily costly and who would set it up and manage it? Microsoft? W3C? The UN?

March 4, 2004

SBC Offers to Settle Network Leasing Issue

SBC Offers to Settle Network Leasing Issue

A lifetime of litigation and since the breakup of the Bell System by the courts in 1982 continues. The 'last mile' and the related network elements will continue to be contentious.

The Great Dilemma is quite simple (to describe, that is): How to price which elements of the local loop and the local switching so that competitors can use them and the property of the LECs is not confiscated or over priced.

The regulators/lawmakers want the lower prices for consumers that competition promises

The LECs want a fair price and return for the use of their facilities investment.

Competitors want to pay the lowest price possible and make a profit on the value they add to customers by using these facilities

Consumers don't much care as long as they pay a 'low,' fair price.

This dilemma is created when markets and regulation are stirred together producing an outcome which pleases no one except the lawyers who send their kids to college on the attempts to solve the Great Dilemma.

March 2, 2004 - Politics - Gunmaker Liability Bill Goes Down in Defeat - Politics - Gunmaker Liability Bill Goes Down in Defeat
It's an absurd state of affairs when a gun maker can be sued because someone uses the product to kill people. This is ridiculous on its face. Wake up America.

CBC: Bush helped rebels oust Aristide=The

CBC: Bush helped rebels oust Aristide=The
The Congressional Black Caucus is a racist organization.

Consider this quote from one of the members. "Rep. Major Owens (D-N.Y.) added: “We are very troubled that this [Aristide’s ouster] was a terrorist takeover.”

Is he accusing the Bushies of terrorism? These people are worse than useless.

The Philadelphia Daily News - The People Paper

The Philadelphia Daily News - The People Paper
Vanessa Kerry is wrong. This rhetoric is patently political and has no substance. Haiti is a failed country. It's as democratic as Zimbabwe.

Yahoo! News - Dean Wins Home State of Vermont

Yahoo! News - Dean Wins Home State of Vermont
Ho hum. Mayor faces charges for marrying gays Mayor faces charges for marrying gays

The right thing to do under the law.

Arafat Agrees to Non-Cash Payments

The Associated Press
Arafat and his cronies are corrupt terrorists. Agreeing to this kind of reform is the same as saying "I was a crook in the past." Arafat will best serve the Palestinians when he dies. But is there a non-radical leader in their midst?

Court Tosses Rules for Phone Competition

Court Tosses Rules for Phone Competition

A big win for the local Baby Bells. - News - Killington Residents Endorse Plan To Join New Hampshire - News - Killington Residents Endorse Plan To Join New Hampshire

Democracy in action...only in Vermont!

Divide and Bicker (

Divide and Bicker (

Fascinating insights into the Dean campaign and the pain inflicted by apparent lack of trust among the key operatives and Dean's personal style also mucking up the works.

I suppose after the November election the books will be written. Meanwhile, this is a riveting piece by Howard Kurtz.

Sprint Seen as Jockeying for Place in Merger Game

Sprint Seen as Jockeying for Place in Merger Game

This quote from an A.G. Edwards analyst is right on target, it seems to me. I think Sprint would be a good acquisition for Verizon, particularly for its compatible wireless technology it's robust long distance network and the strategic fit to balance the Cingular buy of AT&T Wireless.

On the other hand, maybe Vodaphone wants them, perhaps selling off the local and LD business to Verizon.

Either option makes strategic sense, if the price is right, of course.

"Anthony F. Ferrugia, an analyst with A. G. Edwards & Sons, also said that Sprint did not appear to be setting itself up for a quick sale. But he said that Sprint could be a desirable target for Verizon, the nation's largest telecommunications provider, which could gain from acquiring Sprint's compatible wireless network along with its long-distance network."

Rich Lowry on Jean-Bertrand Aristide on National Review Online

Rich Lowry on Jean-Bertrand Aristide on National Review Online

The right's analysis of the Haitian mess seems more right than wrong. How much US money and attention is this failed nation worth? Perhaps France should recolonialize it for the sake of order .

March 1, 2004

CBS News | U.S. Marines Arrive In Haiti | March 1, 2004?10:03:00

CBS News | U.S. Marines Arrive In Haiti | March 1, 2004�10:03:00

More evidence of the failed country that is Haiti. Where is the hope of the future in a riotous mob and killers on the loose? A multinational force will be required for years if anyone has a plan to lift Haiti from the depths of poverty and illiteracy that have been it's history. Perhaps Cuba or the Dominican Republic should consider annexing it.