Archive for March, 2011

Dumbing-down education by dropping cursive writing

In the continued trend to dumb down education in American public schools in order to make the curriculum more “relevant,” Georgia may join a growing number of states in deciding to stop teaching children how to write in cursive. This is the latest move in accord with the so-called “Common Core Curriculum,” which more aptly should be called the “Lowest Common Denominator Core Curriculum.”

In the most recent iteration of this curriculum, cursive writing is no longer a required subject; though states may take steps to try and re-insert the course. All parents who care about their children receiving more than a minimalist education, should demand officials in Georgia resist this latest bow to “relevancy” in education.

Advocates of the new, pared-down curriculum laud it because it does away with such “irrelevant” subjects as cursive writing. The ability to write longhand is seen as unnecessary, because students in this Brave New World of computers only need know how to type …

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TSA’s “VIPER” program stumbles again

Recent activities conducted by various law enforcement agencies under the direction of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), illustrate once again that the agency has a decidedly tin ear when it comes to concern for how its actions upset and disrupt the travelling public, or how it is perceived by the American people.  TSA seems now to have decided to start searching passengers after they disembark from public conveyances.  And, such programs apparently are not in response to any particular threats or actual intelligence, but are merely conducted because .  .  .  well, because they can be conducted.

If there’s one thing government is good at, it’s coming up with clever acronyms with which to label its activities.  The granddaddy of all such efforts is the “USA PATRIOT Act,” short for the legislation’s real, tongue-twister of a name, the “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001.”  …

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Georgia GOP pushes massive service-tax increase

At the halfway point in the 2011 session of the Georgia legislature, a measure has been introduced that would — for the first time ever – force Georgia citizens to pay sales taxes on certain professional services they receive. The proposal – HB 385 – also would greatly expand the number of personal services already taxed in the Peach State. If HB 385 — introduced last week by Republicans Mickey Channell of Greensboro and Larry O’Neal of Bonaire — becomes law, Georgia will join a total of only nine other states in taxing consumers for professional services they receive.

The genesis of this tax-raising measure lies in the recommendations issued in January by the “Special Council on Tax Reform and Fairness,” appointed last year by former Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue. According to an article last week reporting on the introduction of HB 385, the Council members recommended the personal services-tax measure, among others, because they believed the measures would “make the state …

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