A New Can Of Worms
03 April 2004
Wouldn't It Be Ironic....

If the new overtime rules the Governorn just signed turn out to be a worse deal than what the DoL is offering? This could happen in two ways. First, more states decide to use the federal rules because it will give them a competitive advantage to them against Illinois. Second, not as many jobs will be produced in Illinois because of it.

The purpose of the federal rules were to clarify the rules emplaced in 1938. The Bush Administration thought it was high time that they be updated. That intrinsically makes sense to me.

30 March 2004
This Should Help Mobilize for the General Election

Nothing angers 2nd Amendment proponents more than the assault weapon ban. There is no difference between an assault rifle and a semi-automatic rifle. If I shoot you three times in the chest with an AR-15 you will be just as dead as if it were with mini-14 ranch rifle. Same semiauto action, same caliber of round. Military style weapons function the same as any other semi-automatic weapons. Ignorance this point undermines the authority of politicians who push for these bans. This is because the difference is superficial and advocates of the ban are thus viewed as having malevolent intentions or are just plain stupid. It's a cultural thing, that can be difficult to explain.

Now according to theChicago Tribune :

"Gov. Rod Blagojevich called for a ban Tuesday on assault weapons in Illinois and said if lawmakers don't send him such a measure he will veto legislation lowering the minimum age to obtain a firearm owner's identification card without parental consent.

The federal ban on manufacturing and importing at least 19 types of common military-style assault weapons expires Sept. 13. It isn't clear if Congress will extend the ban, so Blagojevich wants to deal with the matter on a state level"

Governor Blagojevich made a big deal about taking it easy on FOID cards in the general election, while this doesn't break the letter of his promise it will be perceived as breaking the spirit.

This might help with soccer moms in the suburbs during the governor's re-election campaign in two years, but whether it helps the dems downstate in the General Assembly is a whole other matter.
Senator Fitzgerald wants Education Dept. to Investigate Illinois

Implementation of No Child Left Behind has been mired, to say the least, in bureaucratic incompentence and just a systematic refusal to follow the law. Senator Fitzgerald has taken the unprecedented step in asking Sec. of Education Rod Paige to look at Illinois schools.

It seems though, that the buck stops everywhere but in Illinois schools:

* 80,000 students had their test scores disqualified. The schoold board spokesman says it was because students misunderstood a question regarding their enrollment.

* "Karen Craven, a spokeswoman for the Illinois State Board of Education, said some problems Fitzgerald noted arose from clerical errors not detected until last year, when schools first had to jump 37 hurdles to make adequate yearly progress under the law."

* "Rather than criticizing implementation problems, Fitzgerald should fight for full funding for the law, said [State Sen, Miguel] del Valle, head of the Illinois Senate Education Committee."

Clerical mistakes are blamed on too many mandates, stupid students are why 80,000 scores didn't count, and because the law wasn't fully funded yada, yada, yada...

With regard to del Valle's line, states are not complaining that the Federal law is imposing on state and local control of education by forcing them to be accountable to the federal government IF THEY ARE TO RECEIVE FEDERAL MONEY. If you don't want to implement the law, don't take the money.

Admittedly the Education Department is trying to make things less burdensome on the states, but that can be viewed as a good thing -- the federal government being responsive to state needs under the Act.

However, the law was designed to bring accountability to public school system and as we see from the above. Blaming everyone but themselves shows that the state education blob still has a long way to go.
29 March 2004
A Modest Proposal?

Lee Harris at Techcentralstation.com expresses a novel idea:

"Failure has lessons to teach us that are often far more valuable than those of success. Success all too often reassures us that we are right, and often with little reason. The man who sells everything he owes in order to buy lottery tickets, and who loses, becomes a little wiser. But the man who sells everything, and wins, will remain a fool forever.

Which is why I am hereby proposing a new department for the United States -- the department of human failure, whose secretary should be appointed purely on the basis of his lack of worldly success. He will be required to attend every cabinet meeting, and at the end of each discussion, all the successful men around the table must listen in silence for the fiftieth time as the Secretary of Failure tells them how he lost his business, or how he gambled away a fortune, or how his summer vacation in Florida turned into the worst nightmare of his life. "

That's a cabinet job I could excel at.
This is Weired

The Washington Post reports that a group of demonstrators came on to Karl Rove property, banged on his windows and scared the bejesus out of his children.

The group came in buses from Chicago in support of some obscure bill that would allow illegal immigrants who graduated from American High Schools access to in-state tuition.

That's not how you make friends and win over enemies. One of the great things about this country is that any joe can be a neighbor with their elected leader. I had friends in DC who lived next to a senior senator. When I made $25K per year I lived down the street from a Supreme Court Associate Justice.

Well meaning or not that kind behavior is apalling.

If we want our leaders to be "in touch" with our everyday lives then we need to respect them as we would any other neighbor.

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