Saturday, February 26, 2005

Governors Work to Improve H.S. Education

Click here to read an interesting article: Governors Work to Improve H.S. Education

Here is a quote from Bill Gates that appears in the article:

The most blunt assessment came from Microsoft chief Bill Gates, who has put more than $700 million into reducing the size of high school classes through the foundation formed by him and his wife, Melinda. He said high schools must be redesigned to prepare every student for college, with classes that are rigorous and relevant to kids and with supportive relationships for children.

"America's high schools are obsolete," Gates said. "By obsolete, I don't just mean that they're broken, flawed or underfunded, though a case could be made for every one of those points. By obsolete, I mean our high schools-- even when they're working as designed--cannot teach all our students what they need to know today."

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Why Ayn Rand Matters

An excellent article by Elaine Sternberg exists on "The Social Affairs Unit" blog: Why Ayn Rand Matters: Metaphysics, Morals and Liberty. Highly Recommended.

Ayn Rand, in a very real way, is the 20th century's anti-philosopher. She was quite the contrarian, and is hated amongst the 'elite' philosophical establishment to this day.

What did she say that pissed so many people off? Well, here is a simple listing of premises she held:
1. Reality is objectively real. (i.e. relativism is false)
2. Liberty must exist for man to reach his fullest potential.
3. Capitalism is the only truly humane economic system.
4. Attempts to mitigate other's sufferings by economic redistribution ultimately makes everyone worst off, even those on the recieving end.

In a nutshell, Rand was ripping the foundation out from underneath modern liberalism. Having lived in Soviet Russia during the revolution and its aftermath, she saw first hand the evil that is unleashed when liberal thought is taken to its logical conclusion, and realised that the premises of liberalism were demonstrably false.

No wonder she has so many enemies...

Monday, February 07, 2005

Victor Davis Hanson: The Global Throng

An outstanding (even by the usual standards) essay by Victor David Hanson appears on National Reivew Online. The essay is entitled: "The Global Throng: Why the world's elite gnash their teeth." Highly recommeneded reading.

Here is a sample:
"Perhaps the result of this frustration is that European intellectuals damn the United States for action in Iraq, but lament that they could do nothing in the Balkans. Democrats at home talk of the need for idealism abroad, but fear the dirty road of war that sometimes is part of that bargain thus the retreat into 'democracy is good, BUT...' So here we have the global throng that focuses on one purported American crime to the next, as it simmers in the luxury of its privilege, education, and sophistication and exhibits little power, new ideas, intellectual seriousness, or relevance."

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Medal of Honor Recipiant: Sgt Paul Smith

Sgt. Paul Smith

For the first time since 1993, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner has been announced, honoring a soldier who fought in Iraq.

Sgt. Paul Smith died defending his 16 men, keeping them safe from being overrun by Iraqi forces by manning a .50 machine gun on a nearby abondoned APC.

He gave his life so that other might live.

I encourage to visit a web site set up in his honor by the St. Petersburg Times: The Last Full Measure of Devotion.