Thursday, July 14, 2011

My View

Random ruminations from your resident curmudgeon...

Have you heard of "Project Gunrunner"? This was a project that was begun during the Bush administration that originally was to conduct surveillance and to stem the flow of guns from the U.S. into Mexico and ultimately into the hands of drug cartels. The project was initiated in 2005 and supervised by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). Project Gunrunner used a weapons tracking system known as eTrace that allowed the BATFE to track the origin of confiscated weapons through their serial numbers. By 2009, Project Gunrunner had generated 650 criminal cases against 1400 defendants and resulted in the seizure of 12,000 firearms. In 2009, the Obama administration launched a successor project called "Operation Fast and Furious", and the purpose of this project was to actually sell weapons to known criminal suspects and supposedly interdict or seize the weapons once they had been delivered to cartel members. Guess what? This didn't happen. What did happen was a massive delivery of weapons to criminal elements in Mexico with no seizure of those weapons. And what happened from there? U.S. Border Patrol agents Brian Terry and Jaime Zapata were gunned down with an AK-47 that was delivered through this program. This travesty was sanctioned by the Obama Justice Department. Our country has willingly supplied weapons to criminal elements in another country that have been used in the murder of U.S. government agents because of the inept handling of this program. And this administration should be held accountable for this debacle.

I have washboard abs. The problem is that they are covered with a load of laundry.

There is no denying that our educational system is generally turning out students that are ill prepared or totally unprepared to meet the challenges of a changing economic landscape. Many children graduate from high school and are unable to read proficiently and cannot perform math at a level that many employers require. There are many reasons for this, but one of the most prominent is a corrupt educational system that "teaches to the test" and fails to impart real educational skills to their charges. The most egregious example of this is in Atlanta, where recently 178 teachers and principals assisted students to cheat on standardized tests. The blame for this has been cast on everyone and everything- the system, parents, the No Child Left Behind law- except on the teachers themselves. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal released an 828 page report that castigated the Atlanta school system for systemic cheating and doing anything necessary to pump up the test scores of the students. Let me be the first to say that there are a number of good teachers in this country that sacrifice for the good of their students and do an excellent job of teaching. But there is a problem in this country when we have this type of corruption in our educational system. It is not just in Atlanta, but the Atlanta case is symptomatic of the problems that we have in our educational system. If we as a nation are going to compete in a global economy, we are going to have to improve educational outcomes. It is not teaching to the test, but instead teaching fundamentals and a mastery of those skills. Our educational system has to get back to the basics of teaching math, science and reading and worry less about "fluff" courses and feelings of self esteem.

If you really learned from your mistakes, I would have a Ph.D.

In a July 11th press conference, President Obama, speaking about the debt ceiling negotiations, said, "I do not want, and will not accept a deal in which I am asked to do nothing. In fact, I am able to keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional income that I don't need, while, uh, a parent out there is struggling to figure out how to send their kid to college suddenly finds, uh, that they've got a couple of thousand dollars less in grants or loans. That is what the revenue debate is about." Here is a question for you, Mr. Obama. Who will be the arbiter of what wealth I need? Tell me what I need in the way of income and assets. That is what you are asking of all of us in the way you have framed the debate over raising the debt ceiling. Some us have more than we "need", according to you. Forcibly confiscate my assets or my income because the government deems that I don't "need" them is nothing more than legalized robbery. What is the genesis for this type of thinking. I'm glad you asked. The foundational philosophy behind Obama's thinking is found in this quote. "...after the enslaving subordination of the individual to the division of labor... after labor has become not only a means of life but life's prime want...and all the springs of cooperative wealth flow more abundantly, only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability to each according to his needs." In case you don't remember your history, that famous quote was delivered by the founder of of Communism, Karl Marx. Dear readers, pay attention to what is happening in Washington and to the philosophies that guide this administration.

I'm envious of my computer. It still gets cookies.

And that, my friends, is my view.

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