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October 29, 2003

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snippets LIMBAUGH see the Democratic debate in Detroit evening? How about choice gems from a few nine who would be presi- policy on Iraq seems favorite subject. As a my fervent hope is televised event enjoyed ratings. Voters see what these people Republican Committee ought to underwriting a few of these Bush-bashing, spectacles on time, sandwiched in the highest-rated reali- they can find. The chance they have of II WILLIAMS week's column dis- parts of Abigail and Thernstrom's new i"No Excuses: Closing the L Gap in Learning." It's a finds the average black graduate having only what the average YOungster has achieved by or eighth grade. recognition of the meltdown has led to testing as a con- for high school gradua- The public education resists such tests. Sizer, former Harvard School of Education in his opposition said, Clark, genius. FARAH hearing how smart Clark is. a Rhodes scholar. read a novel in hear he graduated first in at West Point. a genius. I keep hearing him say things. one example. On 5, he was interviewed by NBC's "Meet the Asked about President tax cuts, here's what he "Well, first of all, they efficient in terms of the kind of demand to move the economy into a recovery mode, a recovery and a recovery jobs. There are !effective ways of using the Secondly, the tax cuts fair. I mean, the people the money and deserve are the people who less, not the people paying more. I thought was founded on a of progressive taxa- i other words, it's not only more you make, the You give, but proportion- bore because when you have very much money, to spend it on the of life. When you bore money, you have For the luxuries and you -" one of the luxuries and the privileges we enjoy is tn this great country." you to take note par- of this sentence: "I PUBLIC NOTICE RenterT,.,,i Our experience to Your special property. mpllllllt )erty Management ca, 376  THE SENTINEL -- WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2003 -- PAGE 5 unseating Bush is if insufficient numbers of people observe their, puerile sniping. Senator Kerry, in attempt- ing yet again to spin out of the damning reality that he voted for the Iraq War resolution, had the audacity to insist that his current condemnation of the war is "absolutely consistent" with his vote on the resolution. "What I voted for was to hold Saddam Hussein account- able but to do it right .... He has a fraudulent coalition. He prom- ised he would go through the United Nations and honor the inspection process. He did not." Senator Kerry, the fact is that you did not condition your resolution on any kind of an international coalition. If you think it was irresponsible of President Bush to go to war without the precise coalition of nations you say -- after the fact -- you prefer, then it was irre- sponsible of you to cast your vote authorizing him to go without that coalition. You can't have it both ways. But the truth is, senator, you didn't impose that condition, because at the time, your politi- cal compass told you had no other choice but to support the resolution. You and your col- leagues devised th{s line of crit- icism only after you saw no other holes in the brilliantly conceived and consummately performed military strategy to remove Saddam from power. Now that terrorists are trying to unsettle things in the post-war environment and weaken our resolve, you and your oppor- tunistic chums are ratcheting up the bogus criticism. The truth is that if any of you gentlemen remotely approached presidential timber, you'd be denouncing the foreign nations who didn't have the moral character and courage to join us in taking out this man who ceaselessly snubbed his nose at the international com- munity. But your version of exhibiting leadership is to change your position retrospec- tively based on political consid- erations. True leadership requires making the hard decisions with- out benefit of hindsight. And statesmanship demands that you put aside your personal political ambitions in favor of doing the right thing now, which is to sup- port our efforts in establishing democracy and stability in post- war Iraq. Instead, you and your running buddies are essentially advocating that we reward the behavior of those who are mas- sacring Red Cross workers. When you undermine our mili- tary effort in that volatile envi- ronment you are playing into the terrorists' hands. Have you no conscience? And how about you, General Wesley Clark? Is the following quote truly your only explanation for your embarrass- ing turnaround on lraq? "Right after 9-11, this administration determined to do bait and switch on the American public. President Bush said he was going to get Osama bin Laden, dead or alive. Instead, he went after Saddam Hussein. He does- n't have either one of them today .... But the failure of this administration was not to put the troops in to finish the job against Osama bin Laden. And you know why they didn't do it? They didn't do it because, all along, their plan was to save those troops to go after Saddam Hussein." General Clark -- I know you think you have to be cute to compete with the other eight men occupying that stage -- but do you really want people to hear you making a statement so utterly disingenuous and absurd on its face? Do you expect even a small fraction of the people to believe that Bush wouldn't have done everything in his power to capture or kill bin Laden? We didn't send our troops into Iraq for a year and a half after we routed the Taliban. Just how far are you willing to go to advance your political career? Perhaps we should ask General Shelton. The other candidates uttered similar canards, unwor- thy of anyone seeking the high- est office in the land. I just hope they keep on getting their mes- sage out often and to as many people as possible. "The myriad, detailed and mandatory state curriculum frameworks, of whatever schol- arly brilliance, are attacks on intellectual freedom," adding, "High stakes tests arising from these curricula compound the felony." Deborah Meier, founder of New York's Central Park East schools, condemned standard- ized tests as failing to "measure the only important qualities of a well-educated person .... Life scores (not math scores) based on living" should be the educa- tor's concern. Peter Sacks, another educa- tionist, argues that testing is "abusive," "inaccurate," "mean- ingless" and "a highly effective means of social control." Sacks concludes that tests amount "to the academic lynching of chil- dren of color." Opposition to tests, as a condition for gradua- tion, has supporters among most members of the faculty at the leading graduate schools of edu- cation. The education establish- ment has also opposed teacher certification tests and often labeled them as racially discrim- inatory. Perhaps it's because of the large failure rate among prospective teachers, particular- ly minority teachers. In 1998, of 1,800 Massachusetts teachers taking the test, 60 percent failed. According to Education World, "Seven states use the National Evaluation System's tests, 27 use the National Teachers Exam, 43 ask new teachers to pass basic skills tests, and 32 require teachers to demonstrate proficiency in the subjects they teach. Teachers have not done well on those tests. Failure rates are between 20 and 30 percent on the basic skills and proficiency tests and 50 to 55 percent on the National Teachers Exam." Keep in mind that to pass the teacher certification test you need only eighth-, ninth- and, at best, 10th-grade skills. For example, a multiple choice math" question asks: "Amy drinks one-and-a-half cups of milk three times a day. At this rate, how many cups will she drink in one week?" America's public education rot goes beyond incompetent teachers. According to the Sept. 2 New York Post, in the school year 2002-03, "1,495 Department of Education employees and other school workers were arrested -- 228 more than the previous year -- an 18 percent increase." Those arrested included teachers (371), custodians (243), para- professionals (181) and school aides (106). Among the charges were assault (313), drugs (435), robbery (180), weapons (88), sex abuse (36) and falsifying documents (74). How represen- tative New York's school system is of other big city school sys- tems is hard to say. Where is educational rot the worst? If you said at predomi- nantly black inner-city schools, go to the head of the class. Inner-city schools are home to the least qualified teachers. For example, in a dozen Chicago schools, 40 percent of the teach- ing staff flunked one or more tests. One teacher flunked 24 out of 25 tries, including all 12 of the tests in the subject she taught. Nevertheless, she's still teaching. None of this is to say that there aren't a few competent and dedicated inner-city teach- ers battling tremendous odds. Here's my question: Do par- ents, particularly black parents, know or even care about what's being done to their children in the name of education? Do they know that the A or B on their children's report card is worthless? Don't say the solution lies in more money unless you're pre- pared to show me great results with expenditures of $15,000 per student in Massachusetts and $13,000 in Washington, D.C., and skyrocketing educa- tion budgets elsewhere. thought this country was found- ed on the principle of progres- sive taxation." He did? Where on earth did he ever get that notion? Is that what they teach in Arkansas? Is that what they teach at West Point? Is that what they teach at Oxford? Quite the contrary. Here's what the U.S. Constitution says in Article 1, Section 9: "No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken." Now I know that may be dif- ficult for a Rhodes scholar to decipher, so let me help. At the time of the founding, the idea of a "progressive" income tax was unthinkable. The only taxes on individuals Congress was allowed to assess had to be based on population rather than wealth or earnings. The idea of imposing "progres- sive" tax rates on incomes, with richer people paying higher rates, was strictly prohibited by the Constitution. It took the ratification of the 16th Amendment in the 20th century to clear the way for income taxes of varying rates. And, I might add, there is still some question 90 years later whether that ratification was valid -- whether it ever really, in fact, took place. Taken by itself, this gaffe -- which suggests a total ignorance of our nation's founding princi- ples and traditions -- could be chalked up to poor planning, It's your money! Act now to achieve your financial goals. We can help/ Re-finance your home Sell your real estate contract for cash Wsatco Capital Ventures, LLC 1890 Monroe Ave., North Bend, OR (541) 756-0521 verbal miscue, momentary men- tal confusion. But it's worth pointing out he made no effort later to retract the statement -- perhaps because he was not challenged to do so by the illustrious Russert or any- one else. More importantly, this is just one of a series of similar errors. So much so that he's become the source of some pretty potent late-night humor. Here's what Jay Leno had to say more recent- ly: "And General Wesley Clark announced he is a Democratic candidate for president. And apparently, Bill Clinton is advis- ing Clark. Yeah. Although Clark already has been called into question for changing his story three times about a claim he made on 'Meet the Press.' On 'Meet the Press,' he said the White House called him right after 9-11 and pressured him to connect Saddam Hussein with 9- 11, but he's changed his story three different times. So, I guess, Clinton really is advising him." By the way, General, there was a country founded on the principle of "progressive taxa- tion." It was called the Soviet Union. IWIRELES INTERNET ACCESS 396-3191 Coqullle Available Nowlll Call for free site check liar LiE - Full Access Internet - 5 Free E-Mail Accounts - 25 Megs of Webspace - one low price Sign up at The Sentinel. $10 initial sign-up fee required. New accounts only. ............. BEST TIME NOW. rides  J l i i i i i J J l J J  at  w J J i m J J J J J w J J J Jr)) ]IA J_t U00ila00@ Boarding for Cats & Dogs h,ng &short-term  and featuring... Innova and California IF- l zb7-ozzz { 45 " ,,,,ckhat ;Irc., (.,,oa 'Vj