Judging from the many marchers partial to robotic, pseudo-ethnic West African drumming, the British left’s plan is presumably for the entire country to relaunch itself as the world’s least rhythmic percussion ensemble.

via The Human Right to Suspend Reality – By Mark Steyn – The Corner – National Review Online.

Mark Steyn is too funny.

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One reason the Common Core fared so well is that its authors eschewed the vague and politically correct nonsense that infected so many state standards (and earlier attempts at national standards).

via The Common Core Curriculum – Chester E. Finn, Jr. & Michael J. Petrilli – National Review Online.

I currently count myself among those leery of just about anything that the federal government has a hand in.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this new Common Core Curriculum being adopted.  I know that locally they are being studied, but I don’t know what will come of it.

I like the idea of setting standards and measuring students based on how they perform compared to the standards.  However, I am concerned that the curriculum standards will become a tool that will be used to bludgeon teachers and students in the future when they fail to measure up to the standard in some way or another.  I lean toward the implementation of the Core Curriculum to as local a level as possible.  If a school chooses to focus its energies on how to save the planet by recycling Capri-sun juice bags, then that’s fine.  However, let them live with the consequences of that philosophy and for heaven’s sake, please don’t tie it to money from the federal government.

This is brief summary of the money spent by the Department of Education:

ED currently administers a budget of $63.7 billion in FY 2010 discretionary appropriations (including discretionary Pell Grant funding) and $96.8 billion in discretionary funding provided under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009—and operates programs that touch on every area and level of education.

from the U.S. Department of Education website

According to my 4th grade math skills that equals $160.5 billion.  (whistle)

According to this site the average student to teacher ratio was 15.7 in 2006 with a total of 49 million students enrolled in public schools.  That averages out to about 3,121,000 teachers.

So, what if we just took the $160 billion and just gave it to teachers as their salary?  That would be just over $51,000 per teacher.  If we have to have a federal department of Education (which I would dispute), then lets just give the budgeted money directly to the teachers.  We certainly wouldn’t be spending the money less efficiently.

I go for relief. For the fun, for the craft (beautifully elucidated in George Will’s just-reissued classic, Men at Work), and for the sweet, easy cheer at Nationals Park.

You get there and the twilight’s gleaming, the popcorn’s popping, the kids are romping, and everyone’s happy. The joy of losing consists in this: Where there are no expectations, there is no disappointment. In Tuesday night’s game, our starting pitcher couldn’t get out of the third inning. Gave up four straight hits, six earned runs, and as he came off the mound, actually got a few scattered rounds of applause.

Applause! In New York he’d have been booed mercilessly. In Philly, he’d have found his car on blocks and missing a headlight.

To Be a Fan of the Washington Nationals – Charles Krauthammer – National Review Online.

He has another quote about being a rehabilitated Red Sox fan.  I’m not sure how to take that one, but it’s a good read for a baseball fan, anyway.

Found this via Jonah Goldberg at the National Review Online:

Found here.  It claims not to be photoshopped, but anytime someone says that it isn’t photoshopped it had best be investigated.  I am no expert in photoshop so I suppose I stand to be proven “wrong”.

This is the summary paragraph from VDH’s post:

The cycle [of appeasement and war] will play out as in the past, because, in this age of enlightenment, affluence, and leisure, we just cannot accept that human nature remains the same and thus predictable. It remains too depressing to concede that for a few evil opportunists good will is seen not as magnanimity to be appreciated, but as weakness to be tested. And who but a dunce would believe that continual military preparedness is far cheaper — and more humane — than the perpetual “peace dividend” and lowering of our defenses?

via From Preparedness to Appeasement by Victor Davis Hanson on National Review Online.

I cannot think of anything that the government operates more efficiently than the market does.

Thomas Sowell appearing on Uncommon Knowledge

Check out the front page of National Review Online for a list of 50 things that the stimulus bill has in store for the country.

Here is a direct link to the article by Spruiell and Williamson.