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Weekend link dump for January 22

Enjoy that penultimate weekend of football while you still can.

I have long thought that what the world needs is more pee-powered electronics.

I don’t recall there being anything about this in the Bible.

That naughty e-book you just downloaded may well have been plagiarized.

Maybe selling off your state Capitol isn’t such a hot idea.

No Labels = no substance. Which is no surprise.

Better check the alarm settings on your phone now while you still can.

MLK Day is a fine day to talk about voting rights and the sustained assault they are under. Really, any day is a good day for that.

Hey, look! Vote fraud! Right here in Texas! Someone call Greg Abbott!

Bill Gates may be the greatest philanthropist that ever lived.

Real fame is having new species named for you. Here are some alternate suggestions as well.

“Everyone always regrets angry revenge puppies.” Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that…

Can we all get along, please?

Clearly, some people just don’t know how to multitask.

I didn’t get around to going black for the SOPA protest on Wednesday, but boy were SOPA supporters amazingly whiny about it.

If obesity rates go the smoking rates did, it’ll be a good thing.

Boy, remember when Rick Perry was the great white hope for Republicans in 2012? Those were the days.

“Dear Mittens: In re: making tax returns public, I suggest you call me. Sooner rather than later. Yours sincerely, Bill White”

Oh, by the way, Rick Santorum won Iowa.

Yes, Facebook may get even more annoying. Sometimes, a deft unfriending is your best option.

Why Mitt Romney should pay higher taxes.

Making the right decision about birth control.

RIP, Etta James.

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  1. Gary Bennett says:

    “Bill Gates may be the greatest philanthropist that ever lived.”

    His legacy would be considerably greater if it were not so subversive of public education, following theories that are ultimately destructive.

  2. Ross says:

    Perhaps Bill Gates ideas deserve some consideration. After all, it’s not like the current methods of running public education are working at all well. I particularly like his idea to fire the bottom 10% of teachers. Of course, the education unions have an irrational belief that all of their members are equally competent, so none of them should be fired. That’s patently stupid, and ignores human nature. In any case, Gates is to be commended for his efforts to improve lives around the world.

  3. Gary Bennett says:

    The guiding premise of educational “reform” over the last generation has been that everyone knows how to make schools better but teachers. This premise has led to one ham-fisted measure after another, each leading to an even greater fiasco, culminating in No Child Left Behind. In the meantime we have seen that the major reasons for failure in public school do not have to do with teacher quality but with parental non-involvement and twisted peer cultures, abetted in great part by an anti-intellectual, anti-work and study media culture, both of which are off limits to political change. The areas that are within our power to change in schools require, not more threats against teachers’ livelihoods but teacher empowerment along the lines of the Finnish national model (a system that made proven, dramatic gains that are verified by, but not driven by, testing).

    There are many problems in the world where ignorant, but well-intentioned, action is worse than doing nothing; and American education is one of them.

  4. Ross says:

    Parental non-involvement is a huge problem, no doubt. I can see the difference at my son’s school between kids whose parents are involved, and those who aren’t. I don’t know that there is a political solution to that issue.

    However, there are other issues that can be resolved politically. Eliminate credentialism. Having extra degrees doesn’t make someone a good teacher, it makes them well educated.

    Quit relying on studies done by education professors who have never been in the classroom. That’s how the horrific whole language method of reading was introduced, denying millions of children the ability to read well.

    Realize that not all teachers are equal. Reward the good teachers, fire the bad ones. We know who they are. in some cities, they sit in offices reading the paper because they can’t be terminated.

    Listen to classroom teachers, most of them know what they are doing.