Like Whitney Houston, NCPPR executive director David W. Almasi believes that children are our future:
Almost every public school in the DC area will be closed on Election Day. Some are closed the day before as well. It is allegedly for teacher workdays and conferences, but I can imagine there is also a political motivation for the timing. After all, teachers' unions are one of the major players in liberal politics.
When I was in school, seeing the steady stream of adults coming to our school to cast their ballots helped instill in me my duty to vote. I don't think sending them home to watch television or hang out at the mall instills quite the same civic duty.
There's another reason why I am bothered. They close the schools in our area at the mere threat of snow. As a result, kids sometimes worry they are going to be in classes into July (and then parents and administrators begin worrying about schools without air conditioning being too hot). Previously-set holidays like spring break often get shortened, enraging parents who already made deposits on trips with the expectation of no school. Despite this happening on pretty much a regular basis, administrators never seem prepared for it. With this in mind, it appears selfish to seemingly put kids second and politics first. But politics seems to be the main concern of the unions these days -- not their employees or, in this case, the students their members are charged with teaching.
Congratulations to my baby brother (okay, he's 34, maybe not a baby anymore), who successfully completed the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday morning. It was his first marathon ever, and he placed 6,222 out of approximately 18,000 runners.
We made it a family affair (three generations) to cheer him on, and had a great time doing so -- although, as it turned out, he didn't see us.
Congratulations also to the winners.
Project 21's Kimberley Jane Wilson is asking why rappers Usher and Joe Budden insist on advocating violence towards women and unborn children in their song lyrics. Says Kimberley:
Some may feel compelled to jump to Usher and Budden's defense by saying the duo are just "keeping it real." Has no one noticed that no celebrity ever seems to keep it real by doing or saying something positive?Read the whole thing.
Addendum: Who Moved My Truth? has interesting observations about this issue.
As a reminder that there are other concerns in the world besides hotly-contested elections and Islamicist savages, consider this grave problem facing the citizens of Billings, Montana.
This is a new blog, and it looks good. Sample of a screed about the link between Saddam Hussein and terrorism:
Those who reject the available evidence seem to think that the absence of a big dossier labeled, "My Support for Terrorism," by Saddam Hussein, means that nothing was going on.
Executive Director David W. Almasi continues to channel surf, and sends over his comments:
Cable's Sundance Channel has a full slate of anti-Bush programming scheduled for the eve of the election. Now I see that the Independent Film Channel is following Sundance's lead with its own offering of liberal programs.
(And yet Sinclair is still taking it on the chin for airing just part of one documentary critical of John Kerry!)
The program descriptions belong to IFC, my comments are italicized:
Friday, October 29 at 10:00 pm and Saturday, October 30 at 1:00 am
"Fahrenheit 9/11: A Movement in Time"
A tribute to the most provocative documentary of our time. Featuring interviews with Mario Cuomo, Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Wyclef Jean, Bonnie Raitt, Michael Stipe and others.
Monday, November 1
"The War Room"
Seminal documentarians D. A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus capture the behind-the-scene machinations of Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign through the eyes of George Stephanopoulos and James McCarville, the two volatile generals who orchestrated their candidate's march to the White House.
Originally shot by Russell as an extra for the special DVD release of his film "Three Kings," "Soldiers Pay" was later removed at the studio's request. "Soldiers Pay" presents viewpoints on the war in Iraq from all sides of the spectrum, including veterans, Iraqis who rose up against Saddam after the Gulf War, journalists, politicians, psychologists and a two-star general who led the U.S. Marines to victory in the Gulf War.
According to an article about the film, director Russell is "anti-war in general and anti-Bush in particular." After the film was dumped from the DVD, it played in limited release paired with "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War" (which is, coincidentally, I'm sure, playing immediately prior to "Soldiers Pay" on Sundance Channel.
"The War Room"
And, in case you missed it the first two times, "The War Room" plays again on Election Day at 12:35 pm.
The Heritage Foundation's Nile Gardner takes a look at the role of the United Nations in the "missing" explosives controversy and speculates:
The 2004 Presidential election may be not only a defining moment in American history, but also a defining moment for the future of the United Nations.
Those who have heeded my pleas that Americans need to pay more attention to Russia will find much of value in this new Heritage Foundation paper by Dr. Ariel Cohen.
In this paper, Cohen shares more than one very harsh reality about the inadequacy of Russia's anti-terror policy (read his assessment of how badly Russian security forces screwed up rescue efforts in Beslan) and Putin's ambitions toward Russia's neighbors. But the piece is not all gloom and doom. Cohen provides a roadmap for American policymakers who want to enhance U.S.-Russian cooperation in the war on terror while doing what Americans realistically can to to help foster prosperity and progress for people living in (and near) Russia.
Cohen also has very, very good sources. Check the footnotes on the paper -- he goes to the top.
The Times of London opines about the fact that devout Catholics apparently are ineligible for leadership roles in the European Union.
But if an EU citizen is to be debarred from public office for holding personal beliefs that are at odds with the prevailing social orthodoxy -- and to be debarred despite a categorical statement that he would not let those beliefs intrude upon policy decisions, or result in any form of discrimination whatever -- then it is not only "the European project" that is undermined; it is democracy itself.I have long been opposed to the European Union, and not just for the obvious reasons. It has always struck me that a continent full of nations that have spent hundreds of years killing each other's citizens on the slightest of pretexts cannot repair their discord by vastly increasing the number and significance of the issues on which they are forced to agree.
I know the average European would rather swallow his own tongue than listen to an American, but American poet Robert Frost wrote something they should heed: "Good fences make good neighbors."
Europe needs more fences.
In just four succinct paragraphs, the Little Red Blog tells some harsh but necessary truths about Iran, the U.N., America, and the spread of nuclear weapons technology. A sample:
The real difficulty on this issue may not be the political willingness of the U.S. to stand before a menace, but rather the European and Russian willingness to side with the menace in search of greatly desired financial and political power. What we can be certain of is the U.N. is not going to be the final arbiter of justice nor is it likely to agree until it is too late that just action is needed.
From Moscow News, an editorial that explains Vladimir Putin and the Russian political situation:
A year ago Vladimir Putin proved that he was a bad politician but a good power-wielder and a worthy candidate for dictator, who was capable of taking tough decisions and would not allow anyone to mislead or intimidate him, who knew how to destroy his political opponents and to hatch conspiracies...I know this is not about Bush v. Kerry, the MSM, or Iraq, the political blogosphere's favorite subjects du jour, but Russia matters. Read the whole thing.
But at the same time he proved to have no idea about politics, as the art of maneuvering, compromise, observing a balance of interests, of trust and agreement.
Vladimir Putin sees politics as a secret raid aimed at achieving unnamed goals under the cover of the appropriate statements and formal procedures.
The future under Vladimir Putin does not bode well for Russia.
It is hardly likely that after all Putin has done over the past year he will get out of his entrenched position and, suspending all the secret attacks aimed at seizures, reshuffles and recruitments, enter into a dialogue with the political and economic entities operating in Russia. Putin ceased to see any sense in such a dialogue as soon as he ceased to see the difference between himself and the Russian state.
The Daily Ablution blog, which played a key role in getting protest emails to the UK Guardian after a columnist there regretted, in print, a supposed shortage of presidential assassins, has found this hilarious correction (regarding a different story) in the Guardian:
We were wrong to say the musical Brooklyn had been 'roundly panned by critics' in our round-up of US theatre (Review, last week). The show had not actually opened when the piece was written.Nice to know the paper's incompetence isn't limited to issues of life and death...
The Daily Recycler has the video of the NBC News report debunking the New York Times/CBS "missing explosives" story.
How did we ever live without The Daily Recycler?
The Washington Post has announced the winners of its "2004 Best Blogs Readers' Choice Award" contest.
While I congratulate National Review's The Corner for its victory in category after category, I think the Post would do well to limit each blog to a single category or have a much more open nominations process (I believe the Post itself picked the nominees), which would, most likely, have the same effect. When one blog wins 50 percent of the ten categories (National Review's The Corner), and another (Instapundit) receives two of the five remaining, it makes for an unnecessarily dull contest.
I'd add a few more categories, too. The Post contest focused on -- mostly -- electoral political blogs. There are other issues covered by many wonderful blogs -- health care/medicine, law, and family life, just to name a few. And quite a lot of personal blogs, some of which are quite excellent.
Personally, I'm very interested in politics, but very many people -- and bloggers -- are not. I hope these (possibly more well-rounded) individuals can be included in the contest next time.