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Saturday, August 21

Past 54 Days In Iraq, Since the Hand Over  

526 U.S. Military Wounded Not Returned To Action (6/30/04-8/21/04)

110 U.S. Military Contractors Killled or Missing In Iraq (6/30/04-8/21/04)

104 U.S. Military Fatalities (6/29/04-8/21/04)


Figures based on data provided by Icasualties:

http://icasualties.org/oif/default.aspx

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Wednesday, August 18

Bloomberg Arrests Four at Event Welcoming Protest 

The AP tells us about Mayor Bloombergs announcement that protestors are now welcome in NY and will be treated to discounts on hotels, restaurants, plays, and other city offerings during the GOP convention.

Minutes before Bloomberg's announcement, police arrested four women from the activist group Code Pink as they tried to unfurl a banner protesting the mayor's refusal to allow the Central Park rally. They were charged with reckless endangerment, unlawful posting of advertising and disorderly conduct.


Can we carry your bags to the cell for you?

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Tuesday, August 17

"Affirmatively Taking Action To Get More Minorities In Universities" 

Recently the President of the United States was interviewed by a group of journalists at the Unity Journalists of Color Convention on August 6th in Washington, D.C. The Washington Post ran an article the next day by Amy Goldstein ("Bush Hits 'Legacy' College Admissions, President Addresses Minority Journalists" 8/7/2004).

There was a long and interesting exchange between Mr. Bush and a questioner, who did not give their name, about the President's views on affirmative action in college admission practices. Mr. Bush was noted as having come out against the Michigan affirmative action policy, and he was asked several times why he was against affirmative action. Mr. Bush veered away to say that he was against "quotas". The questioner then followed up with the observation, "So you support affirmative action, but not quotas". Mr. Bush gave a surprisingly frank reply, "I support colleges affirmatively taking action to get more minorities in their school." Bush also stated he preferred "merit" over what is known as "legacy", i.e. favoring sons and daughters of prominent alumni, in college admissions policy.

Having worked at Johns Hopkins University Admissions during their busy admissions applications period, naturally I read the entire transcript of the questions and answers with Mr. Bush with interest.

But there is more to the issue of quotas than just affirmative action and "legacy". While an employee of Johns Hopkins I had direct contact with the 10,000 applications for admission to the school. They only accept approximately 1000 students. Towards the end of the application process, the Director came running back to the files where I was working and started to frantically pull out applications. He had a list of students' last and first names. He looked right at me and said very seriously, "There aren't enough Lacrosse players". When he was finished later that day, I filed the lacrosse players' applications back into their proper place. Before returning them to the file cabinets, I glanced at the grade point averages and SAT scores of these superior athletes. Without exception, out of the 20 applicants, none scored higher than a 600 in English and a 600 in math. Their grade point averages hovered mainly around 3.0. If it hadn't been for the fact that they were star athletes in high school, none of them would ever have been accepted into Johns Hopkins University. The average SAT score for non-lacrosse players who got accepted that year was 700 and above in both Math and English, as well as an A- or above high school grade point average.

During his talk at the Unity Journalists of Color Convention, Mr. Bush was never asked what he thought of quotas for athletes. From my experience the policy of many universities in this country towards accepting athletes is clearly discriminatory for at JHU, it was not only lacrosse players that got preferential but football players and baseball players - in particular male athletes.

Furthermore, not just sons and daughters of prominent alumni are accepted at major universities over more qualified applicants, but the sons and daughters of prominent financial donors to the University. Just because daddy or granddaddy gave $25,000 to the Management School should not be reason enough to get in to that college. Yet this is common practice at the Ivy League schools. And I wouldn't doubt it goes on everywhere in the country.

To say that it is extremely competitive to get into these Ivy League schools is an understatement. The students that do manage to get accepted (fairly) are brilliant young men and women with excellent leadership skills. Every time a lacrosse player or the son of a rich donor makes the cut a far more talented individual gets a rejection letter. This strikes me as un-American. There should be a national policy of fairness and balance in all colleges' and universities' admissions policies. Rich kids should not have preference over poorer kids just because their daddy bought the school's new Math building. While admissions counselors must continue to recruit minority students, they must also give up their quota systems for the children of donors and for student athletes.

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The Keyes to Illinois 

My good friend Alan Keyes just wrote to me with this important appeal for money, er, I mean, critique of Barak Obama. A vote for Keyes is a vote for Lincoln to end slavery!

Dear Friend:

I received THOUSANDS of calls, letters, and emails urging
me to accept the Illinois Republican Party's nomination
for the United States Senate. I am humbled and honored by
your overwhelming pledges of support in this endeavor.
After careful deliberation, and on the strength of deep
and contemplative prayer, I have decided to accept this
nomination.

But I'm going to need your help NOW.

(link to donate)

When I was first approached with the offer to run for the
Senate in Illinois, I was hesitant to agree, since I am not
from the state. However, when all of these friends of mine
sent me information on the unopposed Democrat candidate,
Barack Obama, I agreed that it just seemed wrong that somebody
with his record should kind of waltz into the United States
Senate unopposed.

Like most Americans, I didn't know much about Barack Obama
other than what I saw when he was a keynote speaker at the
Democratic national convention. And though he looked to me
like a pretty standard liberal with whom I disagree about
most everything, I have to say that from the way he came
across at the convention, he didn't seem to me to be some
rabid threat to the future of the country. He looked like a
pretty likable guy. Certainly intelligent and articulate.
And I saw no particular reason to believe that I should leave
Maryland, the home of my family and my heritage, in order to
go and oppose him in this race.

And then I looked at his record, and what did I find?

I found somebody who, as we would expect from the kind of
liberalism he professes, has never seen a spending bill he
couldn't find some excuse for, and has never seen a tax
increase he didn't like.

I found somebody who, in the tradition of a lot of liberals,
would prefer that our children were educated in schools
controlled by impersonal bureaucracy, rather than in schools
under the influence and control of the parents who love them
and care about their future.

I found someone who appears to believe that even when a violent
criminal has entered into the sacred precinct of your home with
intentions you couldn't possibly fathom, you don't have the
right to defend your life and the lives of the people in your
family!

And as you might expect with someone who won't defend the right
of citizens to defend themselves under the Second Amendment,
he doesn't seem to understand the necessity that when terrorists
and others come against the people of this country, the
President of the United States has an obligation to act upon
intelligence that suggests there are threats and dangers to
the American people!

And I'll tell you clearly and unequivocally. By the time I got
through those parts of his record, I was absolutely convinced
that SOMEBODY had to run against Barack Obama!

Please help this campaign:

(link to donate)

I'll also tell you quite clearly and unequivocally that if
those had been the only points of difference between us, it
would not have been me!

What finally caught my eye, however, and what we have to spend
some time thinking through so that we will understand -- not
just the significance of the decision I have taken, but the
significance of this election overall -- what we have to look
at is what finally, fully arrested my attention and forced
me to consider whether I not only had the opportunity to oppose
him, but the obligation.

And that was when I learned that in April 2002, Obama had cast
a vote that would continue to allow LIVE BIRTH ABORTIONS in
the state of Illinois.

It's very important that you understand what I'm talking about.
We are talking about a situation in which, in the course of
an abortion procedure, a child has been born alive -- she is
out of the womb, breathing and living on her own -- and Obama
cast a vote AGAINST the idea that that child's life should be
spared. Obama's position and his vote would make it legal to
condemn that innocent babe to death!

Now, some may see in this only an issue of sentiment and
emotion, but I have to tell you that this involves an issue
of the deepest principle for the people of Illinois -- and
for our nation as a whole.

And those issues of deep principle are actually the only valid
reasons for limiting or otherwise tempering our respect for
and allegiance to the sovereignty and rights of the states.
I say that with confidence in the Land of Lincoln, for it is
the lesson taught to us by the statesmanship of Abraham
Lincoln.

In the 19th century, rather than accept a course that would
have vitiated and destroyed the principles of our national
union, Lincoln opposed Stephen Douglas in debates, in order
to maintain a posture for this nation that would produce the
extinction of slavery rather than the extinction of our great
national creed.

He accepted the awful prospect, even of a civil war, because
he understood that federalism is, in fact, truly reflected
in the state motto of Illinois: "State Sovereignty, National
Union."

And for the sake of the principles that define our union,
the war came.

Now, Lincoln also understood that those principles were
peculiarly involved as the cause of the war. He said so in
that eloquent address which has come down to us through the
ages and which is now one of the most renown pronouncements
of any statesman in the history of the earth:

"Fourscore and seven years ago our forefathers brought forth
on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.
Now we are engaged in a great civil war to test whether that
nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can long
endure."

Do you remember those words?

This is important, because we hear them, but sometimes I think
we forget that for the sake of that idea, for the sake of
those words, for the sake of those principles, this nation
was bathed in blood, tens of thousands lost their lives in
what remains to this day in human life the costliest war that
America has ever seen or participated in.

Why did he do it? Because he believed that, even at the cost
of such a terrible struggle, our allegiance to the principles
of our national union must be preserved.

Now, what are those principles? They're stated in our great
Declaration of Independence, the document from which he
quoted: "All men are created equal and endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable rights."

We know, we KNOW, that that great principle involves our
claim to rights. We must remember that that great principle
also involves our respect for the authority of our Creator!

When Barack Obama embraces an extremist position on abortion
that countenances even the murder of living young children
outside the womb, he abandons the principles of our
Declaration, and destroys the foundations of our national
union!

When he refuses to stand forward in support of those measures
now critically essential to defend that family which,
ordained of God -- the married, one-man/one-woman family
that is the dictate of God's authority -- when he refuses
to support those measures that defend the existence of that
family, he abandons the principle of our respect for that
authority from which our unalienable rights have come.

We MUST stop Barack Obama from promulgating his extremist
positions in the U.S. Senate -- PLEASE help now:

(link to donate)

Since the days of my youth, when I first encountered the
terrible reality of slavery and the suffering and oppression
that my ancestors have gone through, I have been preoccupied
with the question of justice that was involved in that heinous
institution.

And I will say clearly here that without the influence of
the principles of the Declaration, slavery would not have been
abolished. Without the influence of the principles of the
Declaration, the Civil Rights movement would not have succeeded.
Without the principles of the Declaration, we would not have
seen advances in workers' rights and women's rights and the
protection of the rights of our innocent young.

We cannot as a nation, we cannot as a people, afford to abandon
the great principles that have been the foundation of our
liberty and that have made our nation strong, and great, and
free!

And I believe that, for the sake of those principles, for the
sake of their preservation, for the sake of their defense,
for the sake of that allegiance and reverence without which
we shall not remain a self-governing people, I am morally
obligated to leave the land of my forebears in order to defend
the land of my spirit and my conscience and my heart.

And I believe that that land is Illinois -- the Land of Lincoln.

I make to the voters of Illinois, and all those watching this
race in the coming months, just one promise: I will conduct a
campaign, a fight of principle, worthy of your support. All
those with whom I share core convictions regarding life and
liberty, faith, family and freedom; all those who are
committed to American renewal and the revitalization of this
Republic -- we all, in the extraordinary circumstances of
this contest, are confronted with a great challenge. Yet, we
are also thereby presented with a great opportunity.

Now, there are those that would say that at this point I
should, with resounding hope, promise you victory. But I'll
be frank with you. We face a great challenge, not just because
I face an opponent with a bit of a head start, and whose party
has attempted already to export him to national leadership.
We also face a great challenge because many Americans have
forgotten -- or have never been taught -- the essential
principles of responsible self-government.

But I will tell you what I will promise. I will promise you
a fight with the HOPE of Victory!

And if you are willing to join me in that fight, to join me
with your money, to join me with your work, to join me,
especially, with your prayer, then I will promise you a
political contest like this nation has not seen for
generations!

I cannot do this alone. We are going to need all the help,
all the heart, and all the financial commitment you can
muster. Our cause requires -- and, in fact, demands -- no
less. Various political allies are fundraising on my
campaign's behalf, and I greatly appreciate their efforts.
Please click through now to my friends at KeyesForSenate.com
with the best contribution for Keyes 2004 that you can offer:

(link to donate)

The battle is for us. But I have confidence, because the
victory is for God.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Keep Faith,

Alan Keyes

P.S. There's less than THREE MONTHS until the November
election. Obviously, the single biggest obstacle facing the
Keyes for Senate campaign is lack of time.

It takes time to get a message out. And in this particular
campaign, message is everything -- in a race that pits an
extreme, even radical liberal against my life's work of
defending our founders' vision for America.

Lack of time, however, can be compensated by ample funds --
which are vital to communicating a campaign's message. So if
you've been wondering what you can do to help the campaign,
consider an immediate donation -- as large as you can make!

The Keyes campaign needs every available contribution at
this point to make up for lost time. Individuals can give
up to $2000 per person.

Don't hesitate. Do it now, if you possibly can!

Also, ask your friends, and everyone on your e-mail list
(or website), to do the same. And be sure to sign up for
activist e-mail updates at this grassroots site:
www.KeyesForSenate.com and for campaign news at the campaign
website, Keyes2004.com. Thank you!



(Under FEC law, the maximum legal contribution per election
is $2,000 per person. Individuals may give $2,000 each to the
primary and general elections. Couples may give up to $4,000
from common funds for the primary and general elections, but
both signatures must be on the account. Contributions to
Keyes 2004 are not considered deductible for federal income
tax purposes. No corporate funds are accepted.)


Beautiful, isn't it? The one who criticized Ms. Clinton for campaigning in NY, calling it a threat to our nation, is on board in his home state of Maryland. Exccept he's moving to Illinois to run this unsuccessful campaign, to help the people of his state, Maryland, or Illinois, with issues vital to them, or him, or someone.

If he loses, he plans to move to Virginia. Or Connecticut. Or Alabama. To help the good people of that state, his state, his state of mind.

No matter where he is at, his policies are spot on. Stop Obama from killing infants. Stop him from holding slaves. Obama doesn't kill infants or have slaves. Keyes has already succeeded. What could be next? Obama has relations with people from other galaxies!

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Privately Run Charter Schools Lag Behind Public Schools 

It's no secret that George W. Bush likes charter schools. For-profit privately managed charter schools are expected to grow in greater numbers this year under No Child Left Behind, which offers transfer to charter schools as a solution for failing public schools.

The only problem is, as the New York Times reports on August 17, "The first national comparison of test scores among children in charter schools and regular public schools shows charter school students often doing worse than comparable students in regular public schools."

The information, not so favorable to Bush's plan to run the nation's public school system into the ground, was buried in mounds of data and released without comment by the Department of Education.

The data shows fourth graders in charter schools are performing half a year behind their counterparts in public schools in both reading and math. Charter schools, which are predominantly concentrated in inner cities, are also directly compared to inner city public schools. Researchers broke down data by race and ethnicity and found that in virtually all cases, public school students fare far better than charter school students.

The Edison Corporation, which manages hundreds of charter schools and "plans significant growth across the country for the 2004-2005 school year", uses the identical curriculum in all of its schools right down to the same textbooks and workbooks. It is evident that, whereas Coca-Cola can sell the same product in a can to millions of people across the land, using the same style in for-profit corporate monolithic statewide education is failing miserably.

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The Rich Get Richer 

The AP tells us:

"Over two decades, the income gap has steadily increased between the richest Americans, who own homes and stocks and got big tax breaks, and those at the middle and bottom of the pay scale, whose paychecks buy less.

The growing disparity is even more pronounced in this recovering economy. Wages are stagnant and the middle class is shouldering a larger tax burden. Prices for health care, housing, tuition, gas and food have soared."


This is the best country of all time.

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