Category Archives: education

Brown backs army cadet corps plan for schools

· Review urges military drill for pupils
· Anti-gun campaigners condemn call

Mark Townsend and Anushka Asthana
Sunday April 6, 2008
The Observer

 

Controversial plans for pupils in comprehensive schools to sign up for military drills and weapons training are being backed by Gordon Brown in an attempt to improve the relationship between the public and the armed forces.A major review of the military’s role in British society says that encouraging more state secondary school pupils to join the cadet corps would improve discipline among teenagers while helping to improve the public perception of the army, navy and air force.

However, anti-gun campaigners say that teaching teenagers to shoot would exacerbate the growing problem of gun crime among youngsters.

The government-commissioned review of civil and military relations, led by Quentin Davies, the Labour MP, was ‘alarmed’ at the number of schoolchildren who had no idea of military life. Davies wants secondary school pupils to receive basic military training as a means of developing greater affiliation with the armed forces.

Davies, who was a Tory MP before defecting to Labour last year, said his controversial proposals to expand the cadet structure throughout the comprehensive system were firmly backed by the Prime Minister, the Children’s Secretary Ed Balls and defence ministers.

‘The Prime Minister is very, very keen on the opportunities represented by cadet forces and we will be making a number of recommendations to increase the use of this superb national asset,’ he said.

Only 60 cadet forces exist among the England and Wales comprehensive system, with just 2 per cent of pupils members. This compares to 200 forces in the grammar and independent school sector, which represent only 10 per cent of schools. Another six military cadets corps were introduced into the state sector during the last year, but the vast majority of the £80m a year Ministry of Defence funding for the Combined Cadet Force goes to funding young people in independent schools.

Under the new government proposals, state schools who do not set up a cadet system will encourage pupils to attend a community cadet force instead.

One of the core elements of the cadets’ training is mastering shooting skills and military drill, although advocates including Davies believe the virtues of discipline, physical exercise and team spirit outweigh any concerns over the use of firearms.

However, the recommendation is contentious for other reasons, with teaching unions last month claiming school-based cadets were merely a questionable tactic of military recruitment. Recently, the army announced a bursary scheme for thousands of school leavers in an effort to boost recruitment amid a projected 10 per cent shortfall in troop numbers.

Last month the National Union of Teachers pointed to evidence from the Rowntree Trust that suggested the MoD was focusing disproportionately on schools in the most disadvantaged areas and targeting vulnerable pupils without clearly outlining the risks of an army career. However, the union insisted it was not ‘anti-military’.

Last night, the notion of introducing cadet forces across schools was welcomed by heads and teachers. Mick Brookes, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, said: ‘One of the things that these organisations do bring is discipline and order and, in my experience, working with children who have fragmented lives at home, that is something that is missing and something they crave.’

Brookes said some children had a natural propensity to look for a career in the armed forces and as long as it was a ‘genuine choice’ and not ‘exploitation’ then he welcomed it.

However, Lyn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression, which campaigns against street violence, said plans to encourage the use of firearms in state schools were perturbing if the controls were not strict enough.

She said: ‘There would be a problem putting kids onto rifle ranges because that doesn’t teach them that guns are dangerous, but in the army you hope that they will learn that this is a bit of machinery that kills. Obviously they will need strict controls and the guns would have to be monitored very carefully.’

Police recently warned that officers could soon be forced to shoot a child amid concern about the increasingly lower age of firearms use among young people. Scotland Yard’s ‘blood on your hands’ campaign last year focused on pupils who were getting involved in gun crime. There were eight teenage gun murders in London last year.

Elsewhere in his review, Davies also recommends that the British military’s portrayal in the school curriculum should be re-examined, although he accepts that the government cannot become involved in such decisions and that teachers by law are required to treat political issues in a balanced way and to avoid partisan views. Other ways to improve relations between youngsters and the armed forces include more school visits from serving soldiers. Davies, whose report also relied on the expert views of Bill Clark, a senior Ministry of Defence civil servant, and Air Commodore Martin Sharp, examined how France teaches the importance of its military legacy within its curriculum.

The report also unequivocally recommends that soldiers should be encouraged to wear their uniform off-duty, a policy that has been relaxed since British military personnel ceased to be targets of the IRA.

Davies said: ‘There is a definitive move back in that direction and there is overwhelming support within the military for this.’

The report singles out Harrods for criticism and condemns the store’s policy of refusing to allow military personnel in uniform to enter its doors as ‘unacceptable’. Other instances cited in the report include an incident on a garage forecourt in which an Asian attendant refused to serve a soldier wearing a uniform and the decision of the RAF to ban personnel from wearing uniforms in the city of Peterborough following abuse.

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When mass killers meet armed resistance (Classically Liberal)

It took place at a university in Virginia. A student with a grudge, an immigrant, pulled a gun and went on a shooting spree. It wasn’t Virginia Tech at all. It was the Appalachian School of Law in Grundy, not far away. You can easily drive from the one school to the other, just take a trip down Route 460 through Tazewell.

It was January 16, 2002 when Peter Odighizuwa came to campus. He had been suspended due to failing grades. Odighizuwa was angry and waving a gun calling on students to “come get me”. The students, seeing the gun, ran. A shooting spree started almost immediately. In seconds Odighizuwa had killed the school dean, a professor and one student. Three other students were shot as well, one in the chest, one in the stomach and one in the throat.

Many students heard the shots. Two who did were Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges. Mikael was outside the school having just returned to campus from lunch when he heard the shots. Tracy was inside attending class. Both immediately ran to their cars. Each had a handgun locked in the vehicle.

Bridges pulled a .357 Magnum pistol and he later said he was prepared to shoot to kill if necessary. He and Gross both approached Odighizuwa at the same time from different directions. Both were pointing their weapons at him. Bridges yelled for Odighizuwa to drop his weapon. When the shooter realized they had the drop on him he threw his weapon down. A third student, unarmed, Ted Besen, approached the killer and was physically attacked.
But Odighizuwa was now disarmed. The three students were able to restrain him and held him for the police. Odighizuwa is now in prison for the murders he committed. His killing spree ended when he faced two students with weapons. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance…

http://freestudents.blogspot.com/2007/04/when-mass-killers-meet-armed-resistance.html

Obama’s Black Ambition

If Barack Obama is running on the platform of being black, then he should lose unless the electorate cows in fear meanwhile justifying their own capitulation by hypocritical accusations (e.g., against conservatives for resisting miscegenation). An economist article suggested that American whites are less racist than they used to be (like in the fifties) because whites have had a seven-fold increase in the proportion of interracial children. This argument infers that whites are racist if they don’t intermarry and that whites are therefore racist by virtue of their skin color. Notwithstanding the fact that this is a racist argument, it leads unambiguously to the conclusion that whites are criminal (because it is a crime to be racist).  Don’t you like how the devil turns things upside down? Very nice logic indeed.

A leftist on tv says that she thinks it’s mean that people won’t vote for a candidate because of his race. On the contrary, it’s mean to vote for a candidate because of his/her identity.

 

 

Kansas Plans to Shake Up State Court Judges

May 14, 2008by Phyllis Schlafly
Kansas will have a proposition on the ballot in November that could send shock waves into the tenure of state court judges. The voters in Johnson County, Kansas (suburban Kansas City) will vote on the right to elect their 10th judicial district court judges instead of having them chosen by the lawyers.
We hear a lot in the media about bringing democracy to the world. Kansans are asking for more democracy in the middle of the United States.
How state judges get their jobs is a matter of state option, and there is a wide variety of rules.
Some state court judges are elected by the people, some in partisan elections, some in non-partisan elections. About half the states, including Kansas, use some variation of the so-called Missouri Plan, a process that originated only in the 1940s, which gives broad control to the licensed attorneys.
Missouri voters are unhappy with their Missouri Plan because the lawyers have successfully placed on the bench a succession of liberal judges, and it may be another six years before a Republican has a chance to be appointed to the state supreme court. In April, the lawyers successfully lobbied against the Missouri state legislature’s attempt to reform the process.
Kansas gives its licensed lawyers an unusually powerful role in the selection of state supreme court justices. Some voters are beginning to see a connection between that extraordinary control and the judges’ widely criticized decision to order the state legislature to appropriate hundreds of millions of dollars of additional taxpayers’ money to the public schools.
The appropriation of taxpayer funds, and the raising of taxes that this necessarily requires, should absolutely be legislative, not judicial functions. The grabbing of spending and taxing powers by the courts is a major reason why we call these judges supremacists.
Under the Kansas procedure, when there is a vacancy on the Kansas supreme court, a Nominating Commission (on which the attorneys enjoy a 5-to-4 majority) secretly chooses its three favorites, and the Governor must pick one of those three. That’s the whole process: no checking, no appeal, no oversight, no second opinion.
This plan is supposed to result in the “non-partisan” and “merit” selection of judges, but scholars who have studied the process have concluded that the commission selects judges based on the socio-economic interests of the attorneys and their clients.
Attorneys are a special-interest group just like any other group that aggressively lobbies for the interests of its members. In Kansas, the commission has had no shame about selecting judges who make political contributions to Democratic candidates.
Kansans are asking, why should the lawyers have such extraordinary control over the selection of judges who will then rule on cases brought by the lawyers who gave them their jobs? Nine other states allow their licensed attorneys to select some of the nominating commission members, but 41 states either give the lawyers no power in the initial selection of supreme court justices or balance the lawyers’ role with commissioners chosen by democratically elected public officials.
We hear a lot of talk today about the need for an “independent” judiciary. We do need a state judiciary that is independent of the attorneys and their special interests, especially the trial lawyers.
Kansans in Johnson County have discovered they have the right to change their procedure and elect their judges. To put this proposition on the ballot, they enthusiastically collected 14,000 signatures, twice the number required.
A judicial activist on the Wisconsin Supreme Court felt the wrath of voters in April when he became the first justice ousted by voters there in 41 years. Democratic Governor Jim Doyle, who had appointed him, called the negative campaign for that seat a “tragedy,” but the real tragedy is when the voters have no say-so in combating the tyranny of the judiciary.
Many important issues face state court judges in addition to school funding. Same-sex marriage was decided by only one vote in the highest court of five states. It’s unlikely that any judge elected by the people would declare the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, as some life-tenured federal judges have done and may do again.
We’ve got a better chance of sticking with the will of the American people if state judges are elected rather than appointed by lawyers who have an interest in winning big-verdict cases before those very judges.

 

Vote John McCain – And Donate Now!

My Friends,
We have a lot at stake in this presidential election. As a nation, we face many challenges that will require real leadership from our next president. I have said before that this election will be about the big things, not the small things, and I write to you today about one big issue in particular – the future of the U.S. Supreme Court. If one of my Democratic opponents is elected in November, you can rest assured that given the opportunity to appoint judges, they will appoint those who make law with disregard for the will of the people.
There may be at least two vacancies on the United States Supreme Court during the next presidential term. As president, I will ensure that only those judges who strictly interpret the Constitution of the United States are appointed. I will nominate judges who understand that their role is to faithfully apply the law as written, not impose their will through judicial fiat.
If you want judges who will clearly and completely adhere to the Constitution of the United States and who do not legislate from the bench to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, then I ask that you join my campaign for president today by making a financial contribution.
I am proud to have played a role in the appointment and confirmation of two great Supreme Court justices – Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito I need your support now so that as your president I can nominate judges like Justices Roberts and Alito. Judges who have proven themselves worthy of our trust. Judges who take as their sole responsibility the enforcement of laws made by the people’s elected representatives. Judges who can be relied upon to respect the values of the people whose rights, laws and property they are sworn to defend.
My friends, the future of our country and of the Supreme Court is at stake in this election. If either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is elected – both voted against confirming Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Alito – they will appoint activist judges. They will appoint judges who legislate from the bench.
I’m sure I don’t have to remind you how important even one vote on the Supreme Court can be. Issues concerning states’ rights, abortion, affirmative action, the Second Amendment and religious freedom have all been decided by a very slim 5-4 margin.
America needs a leader who recognizes that the people and the states should decide what’s best, not the courts. In order to be that leader, I need your financial support immediately.
Please follow this link to make an immediate donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000 – any amount up to the legal limit of $4,600.
Thank you for your support.
Sincerely,
John McCain
P.S. To date, my Democrat opponents have raised almost $450 million in their efforts to win the White House. Both Senators Clinton and Obama voted against confirming John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Both Senators Clinton and Obama will nominate liberal, activist judges. As your president, I will ensure that the Supreme Court protects our values. Please follow this link right away to make your donation of any amount, up to the legal limit of $4,600. Every contribution, no matter how big or small, is crucial to our efforts. Thank you.

Personal Developments in Work and Life (4-26-08)

There have been some interesting developments in my life as of late. I guess my new job attests to the fact that even liberal arts majors with so-so GPAs can get good positions as long as they’re willing to put in some leg work and be patient (thanks Joe). I paid my dues working as a temp and court reporter in DC for over two years and that was a fairly hellish experience not so much due to the actual work itself, but all the extraneous factors (e.g., living in an urban ghetto and being constantly harrassed by despised minorities and silly, arrogant women), schlepping around town with a 50lb bag full of recording equipment, taking buses, trains, and walking everywhere [gosh].

There is a bit of a sea change going on, what with all the work I’ve been doing  and the direction my team (at work) is heading in. The law seems a bit extraneous at this point – not that it’s not important overall, but to my immediate goals –  considering that quantitative methods are the currency of my department. Moreover, I’d like to get more of a solid grasp of business and technology before I make a foray into the legal realm. The IP lawyers are the ones who are in charge of patenting inventions and that seems to be a fairly noble aim. Did you know Abraham Lincoln (lawyer) had a patent? It’s true!  (See http://showcase.netins.net/web/creative/lincoln/education/patent.htm .)

I credit all my LSAT studies to future endeavors and I surely have wasted no time or expense in preparing [for the law school admission test].

Apropos of subsequent direction:  The GMAT has two parts – one quantitative and the other verbal, which draws from the same material as the LSAT, just in less detail. So now that I have a good mastery of the vocabulary of the test[s] and the methodology, it should be a fairly smooth transition. I haven’t completely given up on the LSAT (e.g., canceled my test in October) yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long before that part of my study life falls by the wayside. It’s hard to set it down because I feel like I’m betraying a dream, but it’s not failure by default, rather, an objective deferred.

The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.

Theocracy on the 100-Year-Plan

By Paul Sperry
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, August 15, 2006

When President Bush said we’re at ‘war with Islamic fascists,’ he was referring to Osama bin Laden and his acolytes in London trying to blow U.S. airliners out of the Atlantic skies.

But America has its own ‘Islamic fascists’ right here at home. Once they amass the numbers, they secretly plan to nullify our Bill of Rights and religious freedoms and create their own Muslim state ruled by Islamic law. They’ve got a 100-year plan, but they’re already making inroads.

Astoundingly, some of them head the allegedly moderate Muslim groups who protested Bush’s use of the phrase ‘Islamic fascists.’

The Council on American-Islamic Relations whined that the term contributes to a rising level of hostility toward Islam. ‘The use of ill-defined hot button terms such as ‘Islamic fascists’ harms our nation’s image and interests worldwide, particularly in the Islamic world,’ the group said in a press release.

‘Our nation’? Please. CAIR really only cares about the interests of one nation — the nation of Islam — and its own leaders are on record stating their desire to replace our constitutional democracy with a fascist society (as we know it) represented by sharia law.

‘Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant,’ CAIR co-founder Omar Ahmad once told a Muslim audience in Fremont, Ca. ‘The Quran should be the highest authority in America.’

Lest anyone think he was misquoted, CAIR’s own spokesman, Dougie ‘Ibrahim’ Hooper, let it slip to the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he essentially wants the same thing: ‘I wouldn’t want to create the impression that I wouldn’t like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future.’

They aren’t alone:

* The former head of the American Muslim Council — supposedly the ‘most mainstream Muslim organization in America’ —  exhorted Muslims to turn t he U.S. into an Islamic nation ruled by Quranic law even if it takes ‘a hundred years,’ according to federal court records.

* Popular New York imam Siraj Wahhaj told his flock in a taped sermon available at his mosque: ‘In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing. And the only thing that will remain will be Islam.’

* Another so-called moderate cleric, Zaid Shakir, admitted in a recent interview with the New York Times: ‘I would like to see America become a Muslim country.’

These quislings aren’t part of the fringe. They represent the Muslim establishment in America. And they are on record wishing America would be ruled by Islamic law and not the Constitution.

Now they have the gall to publicly denounce Bush for associating Islam with everything they would let an emir establish in his place: rigid, one-party theocratic rule; forcible oppression of opposing views and beliefs; collectivism; mil itarism; sexism; chauvinism; and anti-Semitism.

The evidence is overwhelming. Everywhere it is codified and put into practice, sharia law results in brutal suppression of dissent, free will and individualism. Apostates face a death sentence in not only Pakistan, but even post-Taliban Afghanistan, the supposed model for ‘Islamic democracy’ in the Muslim world. Bibles are still confiscated and churches still banned in Saudi Arabia. Non-Muslims working there must still use separate roads and facilities. One of the first decrees by new ‘reform-minded’ King Abdullah was banning photos of women and censoring any anti-Wahhabi stories in newspapers throughout the kingdom. If that’s not fascism, what is?

Across the Gulf is another religious police state — run by Shiites, but no less Muslim or hateful of Jews. Iran’s leader Mahmoud Ahmedinijad and his goose-stepping army are big fans of Hitler, the fascist’s fascist. What a surprise.

Perhaps these regimes have swerved o ff the spiritual path and no longer really follow the tenets of their faith. Actually they follow them all too well. Sharia law is plucked directly from the Quran and sunna. That’s why we still see today barbarous 1,400-year-old Bedouin justice like beheadings, amputations and stonings. Sharia also sanctions polygamy, denies women basic rights and merges mosque and state. Make no mistake, all of this is scripturally supported.

And it’s essentially what even many of the supposedly ‘hip,’ ‘enlightened’ and ‘Westernized’ leaders in the American Muslim community want to bring to our shores, as Muhammad brought centuries ago to Medina. (The Muslim American Society even refers to this country as ‘The American Medina’ in its literature.)

Even after 9-11, they’ve won a number of concessions from cities with large Muslim communities. Mosques can now override noise ordinances and blare their calls to prayer five times a day, for example. And more Muslim kids can ditch public sc hool on Muslim holidays. They see 9-11 not as a setback for their cause but a chance to ‘educate’ Americans about Islam and gain wider acceptance and bigger footholds in our society. And they’re in no rush. Abdurahman Alamoudi, the godfather of their movement, counseled patience — an Islamic Republic of America, even if it takes 100 years.

Until that time, CAIR and other Muslim activists are steadily institutionalizing Islam at the local level, exploiting the very religious freedoms and tolerances they would ban. Here are some recent milestones:

* In North Seattle, Wash., a public pool agreed to set up a swim time for Muslim women in which men, even male lifeguards, are banned.

* In Hamtramck, Mich., officials amended a noise ordinance to let mosques broadcast calls to prayer over loudspeakers — despite complaints that the Arabic chants, repeated five times a day, are a nuisance.

* In Irvington, N.J., public schools agreed to close for Muslim holidays, joining schools in Paterson and Trenton, as well as ones in Dearborn, Mich., that have recognized Islamic holy days.

* In Fairfax, Va., public schools agreed to produce local TV announcements in Arabic and Farsi.

* In San Francisco, a federal appeals court gave its blessing to Muslim role-playing exercises in California public schools, even though the pro-Islamic lessons — written by Saudi-backed consultants — appear designed to promote the religion rather than simply teach its history.

* In Kansas City, airport officials agreed to install special wash basins in restrooms for Muslim taxi drivers who complained they couldn’t easily wash their feet before praying.

What if Muslim activists could realize their dream of overturning the entire U.S. system of government in favor of a religious police state for Allah? What then? Think Iran, think Saudi. And p icture the following:

* New York without Lady Liberty — the statue would be one of the first monuments destroyed. Even the Starbucks goddess would be scrubbed from the coffee chain’s logo, as was done in Saudi Arabia.

* Women covered from head to toe while in public, forbidden from baring their legs, arms, necks, hair and even ears except in the company of other women or their husbands or close male relatives.

* Legalized domestic violence, as per the Quran. (Husbands may beat their wives, but only after verbal warnings and a period of sexual denial fail to correct their disobedience.)

* Legalized polygyny — one man married to more than one wife — with up to four wives per man.

* Men divorcing their wives simply by orally declaring ‘I divorce you’ three times. (The split is then valid. The Quran doesn’t offer the same right to wives. Also, fathers would automat ically get custody of children.)

* Women barred from voting or driving.

* Two female witnesses required in court for every one male witness.

* Thieves with amputated right hands.

* Homosexuals put to death.

* Critics of Muhammad locked up (cartoonists included).

* Apostates executed.

* Liquor stores shut down. Beer and wine yanked from grocery store shelves, along with pork products and dog food (as dogs are barred from households under Islam). Napa out of business.

* Razed churches and synagogues. Bibles removed from all hotel rooms.

* Non-Muslims driving in separate lanes, using separate bathrooms.

* Playing cards and chips banned (since gambling is haram, forbidden, by Islam). Las Vegas bankrupt.

* ‘The Three Little Pigs’ burne d, along with Piglet dolls (as pigs are considered vile in Islam).

* Toilets facing away from Mecca (so as not to offend Allah).

* Mortgages, credit cards, savings accounts, life insurance and most retirement funds outlawed (because they’re based on interest, which also is forbidden by Islam). Wall Street shuttered.

* Industries dealing in alcohol, entertainment, pork products, conventional banking services and other so-called vices forbidden by the Quran also shut down. Economic depression.

* Birthday parties forbidden (because there is no evidence in the Quran that Muhammad celebrated his birthday, and devout Muslims strive to imitate their prophet’s life in every way).

* No more Thanksgiving (replaced by Ramadan) or Christmas (replaced by Eid).

* Museums and art galleries closed (as Islam bans human representation in art).

* Media critical of the emir of the White House censored.

* Arabic as the official language of America.

* ‘In Allah We Trust’ emblazoned on our currency.

Don’t laugh — especially you 49% who told Gallup you believe U.S. Muslims are loyal to the United States. Given high Muslim immigration and birth rates, their dream could one day be within reach. Some sharia laws are already recognized in parts of Canada and Europe. And America is no less a target of a global Islamic movement to pressure Western society into abiding by Islamic laws.

The movement is driven by the militant Muslim Brotherhood and bankrolled by Arab governments. In addition to Saudi funding, CAIR just last month got an endowment from the United Arab Emirates (which already owns the deed to CAIR’s D.C. headquarters) to help launch a new $50 million campaign to mainstream Islam in America.

Part of that campaign involves stocking U.S. librari es — first in neighborhoods, then college campuses — with pro-Islamic propaganda. It also involves pressuring corporate America to accommodate Muslim religious customs in the workplace, such as giving Muslim employees time off to attend Friday mosque and letting them wear head scarves and beards even when it violates long-standing dress codes and presents safety and security issues.

CAIR plays the race card. If board members don’t accept the group’s ‘offer,’ it cries bigotry. It’s cultural extortion, and no one should give in to it. Those who do only help the Islamic fascists achieve their subversive goal of turning America into a mullahcracy.
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Paul Sperry is a Hoover Institution media fellow and author of Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives Have Penetrated Washington. He can be conacted at Sperry@SperryFiles.com.