September 3, 2005

Sept. 1-5 Is Hurricane Katrina Blog for Relief Weekend

Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:11 pm

NOTE: This post will stay at the top through Labor Day Weekend.
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Truth Laid Bear (TLB) has organized a list of blogs that are posting on charities to donate to. I signed on, and the charity I gave to is The American Red Cross (click on the “Donate” link).

Other key donation sites: Instapundit’s Charity Roundup Page; TLB’s Katrina Relief Page.

If you are a blogger, you can add your blog to the donors/posters list at TLB; follow the links from the home page. People need help. Please help them.

Brief Blogging Recess Until Tuesday, September 6

Filed under: General — Tom @ 11:08 pm

Because of holiday happenings and intermittent web availability, I have decided not to post anything new until Tuesday, September 6.

Blasts from the past that you might consider looking at in the meantime include these:

This Weekend’s Unanswered Questions (090305)

Filed under: Taxes & Government,TWUQs — Tom @ 6:47 am

Another installment in a nearly-regular series of mysteries and pseudo-mysteries (usually 3-4) this inquiring mind would like to have answers for (some links included may require free registration):

QUESTION 1: Who will have the guts to push this idea?

Daniel Henninger at OpinionJournal.com (requires registration):

But we ought to at least recognize that our increasingly tough First World problems–terrorism, viruses, the rising incidence of powerful natural disasters–are being addressed by a public sector that too often is coming to resemble a Third World that can’t execute.

I’ll go further. We should consider outsourcing some of these functions, for profit, to the private sector. In recent days, offers of help have come from such companies as Anheuser-Busch and Culligan (water), Lilly, Merck and Wyeth (pharmaceuticals), Nissan and GM (cars and trucks), Sprint, Nextel and Qwest (communications gear and phone cards), Johnson & Johnson (toiletries and first aid), Home Depot and Lowe’s (manpower). Give contract authority to organize these resources to a project-management firm like Bechtel. Use the bureaucracies as infantry.

A public role is unavoidable and political leadership is necessary. But if we’re going to live with First World threats, such as the destruction of a major port city, let’s deploy the most imaginative First World brains–in the private sector and academia–to mitigate those threats. Laughably implausible? Look at your TV screen. The status quo isn’t funny.

QUESTION 2: How much notice do you think this “surprising” source of support for No Child Left Behind will get?

Some national civil-rights leaders in Connecticut speak out (from a Wall Street Journal editorial; link requires subscription):

When Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, a liberal Democrat, decided to sue the federal government over testing provisions in the No Child Left Behind Act, he probably wasn’t expecting flak from his political left. But that’s exactly what he’s received since filing the lawsuit last week.

As first reported in the Hartford Courant, two national civil rights leaders, William Taylor and John Brittain, fired a letter to Mr. Blumenthal calling the lawsuit “ill-advised” and disputing his claim that the federal law is “an unfunded mandate.” Messrs. Taylor and Brittain run civil rights organizations based in Washington but are veterans of Connecticut’s school-desegregation wars. Their threat to break with traditional political allies is welcome as a change from the lock-step fealty of black leaders to the education status quo.

In an interview yesterday Mr. Taylor said he supports the law’s attempt to tackle the yawning achievement gap between white and minority students by emphasizing standards and accountability. “There’s no single position emanating from the civil rights community,” said Mr. Taylor, “but there’s a strong view that school reform at the federal level is necessary.”

….. According to a report released this month by the liberal Center for American Progress, Connecticut ranks first out of 50 states and the District of Columbia on 4th-grade reading proficiency. But in that same category, it has the worst achievement gap in the nation.

“Compared to other states,” says the study, “Connecticut ranked 51st on the achievement gap between low-income students and non-poor students in 4th-grade reading.” In other words, Connecticut is doing an excellent job of educating mostly white privileged kids, but few others are learning. Any wonder it opposes a law called No Child Left Behind?

QUESTION 3: Why isn’t there more emphasis on New Orleans residents who refused ORDERS to evacuate?

From an AP story by Ron Fournier (2nd para):

There’s plenty of blame to go around – the White House, Congress, federal agencies, local governments, police and even residents of the Gulf Coast who refused orders to evacuate.

Why are the people who refused to go named LAST? Everyone other than law-enforcement, health-care, and relief officials should either have been out of the city or in the SuperDome. Relief agencies should have been in a position to help the few who weren’t mobile and had no family. It is my opinion that a large percentage of those who refused to go planned to stay for only one reason–plunder. The proof of that is on your TV screen.