Monday, March 21, 2005

Vouchers: Another tax break for the rich

Bush's program to provide indirect support for private schools at the expense of the public school system could only be designed by an elitist. A voucher will at best pay only a portion of the cost of a private school education. The balance of that cost must be paid by the students' families. Low income families will not be able to pay the students' portion of the cost of a private school education. If the average low income family has more children than the average middle and upper income families then access to a private school education for children of low income families becomes more unlikely.

The quality of a private school and the education it can provide will be proportional to its cost. Children of high income families will have access to more costly and higher quality schools. Children of middle and low income families will, at best, have access only to private schools of lower quality and cost. As more and more students and funding are diverted from public schools, the quality and quantity of public school resources and the education they can provide will decrease. Students of the lowest income families, which are limited to publicly and poorly funded schools, will receive the poorest education. These students of Bush's future public school system will be the least prepared for competitive employment or higher education after high school.

The opportunity for a quality primary and secondary education should not be limited by family income. Access to higher education is and will continue to be available to most, if not all, children regardless of income. Successful participation in higher education, generally a perquisite for high income employment, should only be dependent on a student's aptitude, attitude and k-12 education and not the economic status of the student's family. Today the average family income of all high school students who will attend a competitive college or university may be higher than the average family income of all high school students, however; only the students' aptitude, attitude and the quality of their k-12 education are unavoidable determining factors not family income. A student's aptitude is not limited by his family's income. A student's attitude is likely to be proportional to the parent's expectation of their child's access to economic opportunity. If family income limits a student's access to quality education then family income will also limit a student's attitude if his parent's believe that their access to economic opportunity is as limited as their access to quality education. Obviously, the average student of an under funded school will not be as prepared nor as competitive as the average student of an adequately funded school.

Attitude and the quality of the k-12 education are the key factors determining whether a child will become a financially secure adult who can afford at least a comfortable standard of living. Vouchers can only destroy the public education system and worsen the economic condition of the low income population. While for the economically advantaged, vouchers will be another tax break from the Bush administration.

Friday, March 11, 2005


A good and long-time friend of mine is an all-around conservative guy. He’s not one of those who became conservative only as he got old; John is a life-long conservative. We eat lunch together once a month and frequently forward political propaganda/humor e-mail to each other. Occasionally, his e-mail causes me to rant. The following is my response to a speech (copy below) given by former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm regarding the destruction of America by its multi-cultural society, which John was kind enough to forward to me.

I agree with Lamm that we should not become a bilingual nation. I don’t like the attitude which gives rise to such terms as Mexican-American, Italian-American and Afro-American. I believe that when a person decides to become a US citizen that person must also become an “American”. When we teach our children how to be independent in the US we provide to them the opportunity to learn English. Any adult who applies for US citizenship should first be able to demonstrate that they are able to communicate via the spoken and written English language. No child should become a US citizen unless that child has one parent or legal guardian who is a US citizen. A legal alien should not be required to communicate in English in order to live and work in the US but the government and the private sector should not be required to be bilingual. I’m sure that the average English-speaking alien will be better able to succeed than his non-English speaking peer but as long as each legal alien can otherwise qualify for and maintain a visa it should be allowed. Proof of adequate financial support and health insurance coverage should be required in order to reside in the US as a legal alien on a long term basis. Apparently, Lamm believes in throwing the baby out with the bath water. I’m reminded that Bush secured the Hispanic vote by suggesting legislation that the Hispanics still think will open the door for legal residence in the US. The hard working woman that cleans our house weekly is a naturalized US citizen born in Brazil. She voted for Bush for this reason only. She didn’t agree with anything else that Bush stands for but the change in immigration laws was more important to her and her family in Brazil than any other issue.

Everything else that Lamm asserts in his speech I disagree with. It strikes me that Lamm would not have approved of the civil rights legislation of the sixties. If he believes that people who don’t share the same language and culture can not learn to live together then he would not have believed that blacks and whites could live and work together. I guess Lamm would have preferred segregation through exportation. What all Americans should share is freedom. Freedom means having equal opportunity. Entitlement ensures equal opportunity not a free ride. Lamm wants us to believe that minorities who suffer economically continue to do so only because they will not be responsible for themselves. Lamm thinks that they prefer Victim status and the handouts of bleeding heart liberals. Lamm cited examples of nations which failed because they consisted of bilingual and bi-cultural societies which did not assimilate. How about the successes? The US is the greatest example of how multi-lingual and multi-cultural societies can succeed together and achieve more together than individually. We can correct the path that we are on without having to completely abandon what we stand for and that which has made us the most successful nation in the world.

I’ll offer up for your consideration another Lamm quote. “…elderly, if very ill, have a duty to die.” That’s one way to reduce the cost of another entitlement – Medicare. Lamm’s already 60. At what age will he be old enough and sick enough that we can just ignore him?

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Road to Destruction by Gov. Lamm[We all know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant] Last week there was an immigration-overpopulation conference in Washington, DC, filled to capacity by many of American's finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor named Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, "Mexifornia," explaining how immigration - both legal and illegal - was destroying the entire state of California. He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream. Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America. The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States. He said, "If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let's destroy America. It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that 'An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.'""Here is how they do it," Lamm said: "Turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bi-cultural country. History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. "The historical scholar Seymour Lipset put it this way: 'The histories of bilingual and bi-cultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.' Canada, Belgium, Malyasia, Lebanon all face crises of national existence in which minorities press for autonomy, if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, and Corsicans. "Lamm went on: "Invent 'multi-culturalism' and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. I would make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal. That there are no cultural differences. I would make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due to prejudice and discrimination by the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds. "We could make the United States an 'Hispanic Quebec' without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: 'The apparent success of our own multi-ethnic and multi-cultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentrically and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.' " Lamm said, "I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural sub-groups living in America reinforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities." "Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school." "My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of 'Victimology.' I would get all minorities to think their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority population." "My sixth plan for America's downfall would include dual citizenship and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. Iwould stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other - that is, when they are not killing each other." "A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precedent. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games. A common enemy Persia threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to over come two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. "E. Pluribus Unum" -- From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the 'pluribus' instead of the 'unum,' we can balkanize America as surely as Kosovo." "Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits ~ make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of 'diversity.' I would find a word similar to 'heretic' in the 16th century - that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like 'racist' or 'zenophobe' halt discussion and debate." "Having made America a bilingual/ bicultural country, having established multi-culturism, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of 'Victimology,' I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America , it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant sympatric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them. "In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, "Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis's book Mexifornia. His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don't read that book. "There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Every discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate 'diversity.' American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America - take note of California and other states - to date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell's book "1984." In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: "War is peace," "Freedom is slavery," and "Ignorance is strength." Governor Lamm, walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don't get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.