|Many people, if they really knew all the words to the Star-Spangled Banner, would have our anthem changed to Free to Be You And Me.
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Blogs of interest
Unix, Music, Politics
Kim du Toit
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Iraq the Model
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The Share Bear:
Sights: The Princess Bride,
Gross Pointe Blank, Monty Python, Say Anything
Sounds: Caedmon's Call, Waterdeep, Jump, Little Children, Peter Gabriel, The Flaming Lips,
Neutral Milk Hotel, Old Blind Dogs, The Jeff Greer Band, Jars of Clay, Jason Mraz, Maroon 5,
Seven Nations, Dog's Eye View, Legendary Pink Dots, the Gin Blossoms, Del Amitri, and tons and tons more...
Authors: C.S. Lewis, Melanie Rawn, Douglas Adams, Chuck Palahniuk, Patricia Wrede, John Steinbeck,
and Stephen Lawhead is rapidly climbing the list...
Interests: Music, reading, writing, singing, and generally being far too solitary for my own
Favorite old romance movie: Breakfast At Tiffany's
Favorite smells: Rain, dirt, snow, fresh-cut grass, baby shampoo, mint, garlic, rosemary, basil... pretty much all herbs, and my boyfriend
Favorite holiday: Canada Day
If I was an animal, I'd be a: Penguin. Or kakapo. Some kind of flightless bird.
Marital status: Duh. Spoken for.
I PROUDLY SUPPORT ISRAEL
Thursday, September 02, 2004
From the Libertator Online:
Feds: Millions of U.S. Kids Trapped in Failing Schools
As the school year gets underway, fully a fourth of America's 48.5 million students will be sent to schools that even the government itself designates as failing. Federal education officials report that at least 24,000 public schools -- a quarter of the country's 96,500 schools, serving more than 12 million children -- failed to meet the "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) standard last year. The AYP standard, which measure progress in basic skills in math, reading and more, is a centerpiece of the two-year-old No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law.
In some cities, an extraordinarily high number of schools failed to make the grade. In the nation's capitol, almost half of "public" (government) schools failed the "Adequate Yearly Progress" standard. Baltimore, Maryland had similar figures. 28% of Virginia schools failed AYP.
When schools repeatedly fail the AYP standard, children are supposed to have options including the right to transfer to schools that are not sub-standard. However, with so many schools below standard -- and so many students so far behind -- that may be extremely difficult to do. With half of Washington D.C. schools failing, students are being bused to increasingly crowded Virginia and Maryland suburban schools.
NCLB's stated goal is to have every child in government schools reading and doing math at grade levels by the year 2014. There is no word yet whether politicians have booked Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny to be there in 2014 to congratulate the nation on reaching that goal.
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
Women under glass ceilings shouldn't throw insults
The problem with the arguement of a "glass ceiling" is that it takes two facts and assumes the rest (an attempt at QED logic). Fact: Women do, yes, make less than men. Fact: There are fewer women than men in high-paying CEO occupations. In reality, though, women only make less than men when you compare ALL women to ALL men. Kinda like comparing apples to dump trucks. Women, as a general rule, tend to prefer more "humanities"-based occupations (teachers, nurses, day-care providers), and men prefer the more cut-throat dog-eat-dog world of high stocks, high risk and more challenge. Yeah, I know, sounds sexist, but hey, I'm a woman and I'd rather work with kids all day than be a CEO. When you compare men and women in the SAME JOB, they make about the same - and women frequently make more.
As for the second fact, there's two reasons for this. One is that, as I said, women generally don't want to be CEOs of huge coperations. But it's also because you can't just hire a woman without going through the legalities of hiring a woman verses hiring a man. Women carry with them the ability to bear children, and thus pose a liability to a company which may need her to work long hours, weekends and nights. Also the company would be required to pay her maternity leave, which is essencially paying women for work which isn't being done but must leave her job open, for which the company loses business. Businesses don't opperate as charitees, and nor should they.
The bottom line is, sexism hurts businesses. Let's take an example here: Say, USA Bank has four tellers, two male and two female. The male tellers are paid $7.85 an hour, while the women are only paid $5.60. The women, and rightly so, are outraged by the difference in pay, so what should they do? Call the evening news! Tell their friends, families, and co-workers what's going on! Suddenly, the female patrons of USA Bank decide they don't want to work with a bank which doesn't respect women. USA Bank witnesses a withdrawl of half their accounts. Bad for USA Bank - good for USA Bank's competition.
One more "for instance." In Los Angeles, CA, it was noticed that there was a severe lack of female police officers. The solution? To impliment a quota on hiring female officers and increase women on the force to 42%. The problem? Not enough women applied, and of the ones who did, even fewer could pass the physical training! It was then decided that, in an effort to be gender "sensitive", the physical aspect of training be "dumbed down" for more women to pass. The result was that improperly and poorly trained female officers were put onto the streets to meet a demand by a city council who decided there weren't enough boobs behind badges. How insulting.
Women truly have made great advances in today's society. More women are starting their own businesses than ever before, and the women who DO work hard to climb the coperate ladder usually do, as long as they don't pay too much mind to the one or two misogynists they may find along their way. What works for women is exactly the same as what works for men: hard work, dedication, education, talent, and the ability to ignore the nay-sayers.