- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 5, 2002

Phony 'reform'
"When we saw President George Bush and Sen. Ted Kennedy on television billing and cooing over the new education bill, fittingly called 'No Child Left Behind,' we knew that the reform is as phony as all the previous reforms that were supposed to leave no child behind.
"How do we know that the new reform bill is a sham? Because the federal government will be giving money to the same people who have caused the problem.
"These are the same people, or their disciples, who implemented the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which was supposed to help the poor and culturally deprived kids learn to read through Title One. Thirty-seven years and $100 billion later, the kids are doing worse today than they were in 1965.
"How could so much money result in so much failure? Easy, spend the money on fattening the education establishment and blame the failure on the kids.
"The system is rotten to the core and has to be done away with. It can't be saved by more money because the education establishment will not change its philosophy, which is the obstacle to the needed changes."
Samuel L. Blumenfeld, writing on "The charade of education reform," Saturday in World Net Daily at www.worldnetdaily.com

Higher priority
"There is a continuing apoplexy about the land, even more pronounced abroad, about President Bush's Nov. 13 executive order authorizing that terrorists be tried before military commissions. Recent photos from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, depicting captured members of the Al Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban in the shackles in which they were transported to the prison camp, have given new life to the movement. The United States, it is stridently contended, is violating international law by threatening to prosecute terrorists before military tribunals rather than in open, civilian courts, and by refusing to treat these individuals as prisoners of war entitled to all the protections of the Geneva Convention.
"These are extraordinary claims, and belie a moral equivalency that has become rampant in international law. In the midst of the United States' armed response to the unprecedented attack on civilians on September 11 by international terrorists, for example, Amnesty International issued a report demanding, as its top priority, an end to the war against terrorism, giving that an even higher urgency than the elimination of terrorism itself."
John C. Eastman, writing on "Moral Equivalency in International Law," a January editorial by the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at www.ashbrook.org

Republican '10'
"Time was, the GOP advertised its contempt for highbrow culture with periodic promises to abolish the National Endowment for the Arts. But, as in so many other areas of policy, the Bush administration has come up with a stealthier means to the same end, appointing 1980s sex symbol Bo Derek to a much-desired five-and-a-half-year term on the governing board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
"Derek's career is, of course, an inspiration to performing artists everywhere. After dropping out of high school, she married John Derek (she was 18; he was 47), and proceeded to disrobe with metronomic regularity for Playboy and a series of otherwise unmemorable movies of the late 1970s and early '80s.
"According to BusinessWeek, Derek is now a 'pet-care-product entrepreneur.' We're reasonably certain how her appointment to the Kennedy Center board would be explained had it been bestowed by the previous president.
from "JFK Would Be Proud," in the Feb. 11 issue of the New Republic


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