It's been a really productive day in the pursuit of my newest hobby, debunking Ayn Rand's Objectivism. ( I also played a little golf,
That didn't go as well ). It's a pretty small club that pursues this fine art, but that's OK. Despite being considered a Collectivest, Statist Scum and Insect by some, I like to think of myself as an individualist. Anyway in my search for the perfect Anti-Ayn quotations, I hit paydirt today. I discovered an article by: New York Times bestselling author Michael Prescott entitled: Shrugging Off Ayn Rand.
It's incredible how germane the topics touched in the article are to recent discussions on this blog.
The article begins with:
"Years ago, if anybody ever asked me about my intellectual views, I had a ready answer. I was an Objectivist. In fact, I had a ready answer for just about any intellectual, metaphysical, political, ethical, or aesthetic question that might come up. I had read Ayn Rand's books - novels like The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, nonfiction works like The Virtue of Selfishness and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal - and I had absorbed her philosophy, Objectivism. I believed it, I advocated it, and I tried to live by it.
And now, two decades later, I find that Ayn Rand plays almost no role in my thinking, that I never look at her books, and that her ideas strike me as irrelevant and, in certain respects, downright disagreeable."
What was it that gradually altered my point of view? The simplest answer is that while practicing Objectivism, I didn't attain the contentment, the sense of being comfortable with myself, that ought to be the hallmark of a successful philosophy of life. Instead, I found I'd developed character traits that made me unhappy - and which were probably unhealthy, to boot.
Then there was my attitude toward new ideas and alternative points of view - an attitude that was, in a word, unreceptive. I had become inflexible, intolerant, narrow in my outlook, with ready-made opinions set in stone. Rand had explained the world with such clarity, in such bright colors and vivid images, that I could see no merit in any contrary opinion. I became judgmental, stubborn, and a bit self-righteous - hardly qualities likely to "win friends and influence people."
It's been a really productive day in the pursuit of my newest hobby, debunking Ayn Rand's Objectivism. ( I also played a little golf,
Ayn Rand was a devout atheist who held the very idea of god in contempt. She saw all forms of god as something that people invented as a way to grasp things that they didn't understand. She strongly disagreed with various teachings of Jesus Christ and other early Christians. For the life of her, Rand could not understand why "The love of money is the root of all evil?" She called Christ's instruction Judge not lest you be judged, "an abdication of moral responsibility." She went on to say that the proper moral position should be "judge, and be prepared to be judged."
Jesus of Nazareth, believed that mankind has a great obligation to others. One great example of this was his encounter with a wealthy young man. When asked by him "what things shall I do to have eternal life?" First Jesus told him to obey the commandments. To the young man that was not a problem. For he didn't murder, commit adultery, steal, and bare false witness. He always honored his father and mother and he was kind to his neighbors. He informed the Lord, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I lack." This wealthy man was not ready for what Jesus said next. "If you want to be perfect, go sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me." (Matthew 19:16:21) Once he heard this, he went away sorrowful. After his departure Jesus told his followers that, "It is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 19:23-24) Jesus Christ tells us "And he who does not take his cross and follow after me, is not worthy of me." (Matthew 10:38)
at 7/22/2006 Posted by Our Poop
The growing epidemic of heartlessness concerns us all, it's an
unrelenting blight upon our nation. Today the malady seems to infect
mostly those of European decent with large pockbooks and mouths to match.
Symptons include, repeating the phrase "Let them eat cake", "It's my
money!" and "They are not my problem!" when referring to the downtrodden,homeless,
and chronically ill. A disproportionately large number heartless come from the minority subculture known as Objectivists. Scientists theorize that it could result
from a genetic predisposition if it were not for the fact that Objectivists chose
to participate in this subculture of their own free will.
Diagnosis is accomplished by observing everyday behavior and watching for
comments like the following:
"Continuing a sad existence does not benefit me or humankind. It may benefit their relatives and freinds, but let them take care of the person then."
The Alisa Rosenbaum Home for the Heartless is the only care facility to specialize
in the treatment of Objectivist heartlessness. Our clients report an exceptionally
low rate of recidivism, an achivement we credit to our experience group and individual counselors.
If you suspect a friend or loved one may suffer from this
affliction, don't hesitate. Call today to set up an intervention before it's too late.
at 7/22/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
"It would be a serious mistake to follow the advice of Neo-con commentators who are now agitating for U.S. military action against Iran. Just as they saw the invasion of Iraq as the key to resolving all our problems in the Middle East, so they now see military action against Iran. As the Weekly Standard puts it, "We might consider countering this act of Iranian aggression with a military strike against Iranian nuclear facilities. Why wait? Does anyone think a nuclear Iran can be contained? That the current regime will negotiate in good faith? It would be easier to act sooner rather than later. Yes, there would be repercussions -- and they would be healthy ones, showing a strong America that has rejected further appeasement."
The violence in the Middle East has provided the neo- conservatives with a pretext for actions they've long sought to promote -- war with Iran. But contrary to conventional wisdom in Washington, the casus belli of the neo-conservatives -- that Iran ordered the Hezbollah attack -- is questionable. In fact, Iran stands to lose far more than it could gain from Hezbollah's provocation of Israel. With a much weakened Hezbollah, Tehran will feel exposed to a potential Israeli or American attack on Iran.
Israel has chosen to use Hezbollah's action to launch a major sustained attack calculated to destroy or substantially weaken Hezbollah as well as much of Lebanon's civilian infrastructure. The Israelis may have concluded that a U.S. attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is inevitable or desirable and therefore they've decided to preempt an anticipated Hezbollah retaliatory attack.
But as with the Neo-cons recommendations on Iraq, the initial military objectives may be very clear. The aftermath, however, is a different story. Absent any open lines of communication between the U.S. and Iran, what started with a Hezbollah attack on Israel, and continued with a major Israeli offensive against Lebanon, may end up in a disastrous regional war. Washington and Tehran should prevent events from spiraling out of control by opening those necessary channels of communication."
Dr. Trita Parsi, Ph.D.,
author of "Treacherous Triangle - The Secret Dealings of Iran, Israel and the United States"
Dr. Parsi is one of the few people in the U.S. -- if not the only one -- that has traveled both to Iran and Israel and interviewed top officials in these countries on the state of Israeli-Iranian relations. He has conducted more than 110 interviews with senior Israeli, Iranian and American officials in all three countries. He is fluent in Persian/Farsi.
at 7/22/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
"To put an end to the current rocket attacks from Lebanon and Gaza, America should urge Israel to annihilate the annihilators: Hamas and Hezbollah. And to thwart Iran’s nuclear ambition, America must use as much military force as is necessary to dispose of that catastrophic threat and the regime responsible for it."
Ayn Rand Institute
"President Bush's claim that embryonic stem cell research violates 'the dignity of human life' is morally obscene. This research has the potential to rescue millions of individuals from painful and life-threatening diseases. Anyone who places the welfare of a few undifferentiated cells above that of actual human beings cannot claim to value human life.
There are no rational grounds for ascribing rights to an unconscious cluster of cells smaller than a grain of sand. But the opposition to embryonic stem cell research is not based on reason--it's based purely on religious dogma. From the development of anesthesia to the introduction of birth control, religion has consistently opposed scientific and medical progress. Today, with their assaults on evolution, cloning, and stem cell research, the religious right is attempting to drag us back to the Dark Ages.
Anyone who values human life must stand up for science and against President Bush's attempt to impose his religious agenda on America."
Ayn Rand Institute
July 21, 2006
by Bob Wallace
Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a village, and in that village there lived many children. And like all children, they were adventuresome.
So one day many of them went deep into the forest to see what they could find. After a long walk, they came to a small cottage in a clearing.
Some of the children found the clearing very curious; there was nothing alive in it. Not an animal, not a tree or plant, nor even a bird.
Being curious (as all children are curious), they knocked on the door. To their surprise only one person answered the door; a woman who lived there by herself.
When she opened the door some of the children looked inside and saw something very strange: the interior of the cottage was full of mirrors, so that everywhere the woman looked she saw only herself.
Some of the children saw this as a bad omen. They thought the woman might be a witch (after all, she did have a drooping nose-tip, as all witches do). But they were polite, and so they waited.
"Children," said the woman (whose name, they found, was Alyssa), "would you like to hear some wonderful stories?"
Like all children, they loved stories, so they cried, "Yes! Yes! Tell us some stories!"
So Alyssa began to tell some stories about princes and princesses, and heroes and heroines on a great quest, and a great duel between good and evil.
But some of the wiser of the children saw that the stories were really about hate, and murder, and the worshipping of idols, and other great evils, so they knew then the woman really was a witch.
So they laughed at her, knowing that she was harmless (witches can only hurt you if you let them).
But some of the most foolish of the children fell under the spell of the story-teller. But the most wise of the children were not bewitched. They saw that the evil witch hated children (indeed, hated everyone) and sought to be worshipped and served (because like all evil witches, she thought she was good and pure, even perfect).
Sadly, the most foolish of the foolish children even became in thrall to the witch, and so slowly grew evil (as the witch had slowly grown evil). They even began to enjoy hurting other children, just as the witch enjoyed hurting children. They even began to think that they should be worshipped, just as they worshipped the witch. Worst of all, they helped the witch to bit by bit eat some of the children who were worshipping the witch.
Fortunately, some of the children were lucky enough to have the scales fall from their eyes, and so broke their spell. Then they finally saw that the evil witch really was an evil witch, and so were able to save themselves.
Still, some of the foolish children remained under the witch's spell,and so could not tell truth from lies, or good from evil, even seeing evil as good. Even after the witch died and crumbled to dust, still they worshipped her, and so remained ensorceled to the ends of their days.
Just when you thought the country was safe for things like volunteering and apple pie, someone comes and throws you a curve ball. This is old news but.... The Ayn Rand Institute
The Center for the Advancement of Objectivism has come out strongly with it's moral opposition to volunteerism. I don't think I could make up stuff crazier than this.
Read about their Anti-Volunteerism Program
"Since the Presidents' summit on volunteerism in April 1997, the Ayn Rand Institute has been the sole voice of moral opposition to volunteerism. Volunteerism is designed to turn Americans into guilt-ridden indentured servants -- a program morality more appropriate to a dictatorship than to a nation founded on independence and freedom."
Volunteering Is Immoral!!!!!
"The Clinton-Bush Summit is immoral. The Founding Fathers wrote a declaration of independence, not a declaration of servitude," says Dr. Michael Berliner, ARI's executive director. "The proposals for national service are an inversion of the principles on which this country was established: an individual's right to his own life, liberty and pursuit of happiness."
at 7/20/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
Ava Lowery, a 15-year-old peace activist from Alabama, is behind the website PeaceTakesCourage.com, which hosts her protest videos against the Iraq War. Look at the face of war if you dare.
Check out her videos and see her website @ Peace Takes Courage.
So a new GAO report about Bush’s famous faith-based initiatives shows that the programs perform exactly as expected—it just hands bundles of cash to churches and doesn’t ask what they do with the money. This sort of reminds me of a scene from “The Simpsons” where Ned Flanders goes to feed the homeless singing a little tune:
Here comes sandwiches, here comes sandwiches/Right down Boozy Bum Lane/ Good ol' Ned's got cheese and bread/And a side order of shame.
This is sort of the problem with leaving what should be society’s secular duties—taking care of the less fortunate—and putting them solely into the hands of the church. You don’t know what they are giving out besides bread. Certainly churches can do missionary as well as charity work—just not on the government dime. Certain important lines tend to be crossed when the government just allows religious groups to run public-needs programs without oversight. Like, for example, in prisoner counseling.
Read more @ Tom Paine.
at 7/20/2006 Posted by Lit'l Bill Almighty
FairyTale "have-nots" keep haunting Mary Jo...
Mary Jo Copeland washes and treats blistered feet every day. She said, "It is healing and humility to serve God this way. No one ever touches these people. There is so much loneliness on the road these people travel, here is so much need."
Sharing and Caring Hands
Americans are worried about debt and believe it is just going to get worse. "The public is more worried about falling into debt, particularly from medical bills, than about being the victim of a terrorist attack or a natural disaster." According to a new poll sponsored by the Center for American Progress, 86 percent "insist the number of Americans having trouble with household debt has gone up in the last five years." Unfortunately, their worries are well-grounded in reality. The average American savings rate in 2005 was negative 0.5 percent, "the lowest since the Great Depression." As everyday expenses continue to rise, the problem of debt will continue to burden working Americans.
Read more and check out some excellent links.
The average American household has 13 payment cards, including credit cards, debt cards and store cards. There are 1.3 billion payment cards in circulation in the United States.
Americans made $1.1 Trillion worth of credit card purchases in 1999.
Americans carry, on average, $5,800 in credit card debt from month to month. If one were to make only the minimum payment on that debt every month, it would take 30 years to pay off - and include an additional $15,000 in interest.
According to the American Bankruptcy Institute, 302,829 people file for bankruptcy in the first quarter of 2000.
On average the typical credit card purchase is 112% higher than if using cash.
Over 40% of US families spend more than they earn. (Federal Reserve).
96% of all Americans will retire financially dependent on the government, family, or charity. (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)
Almost one out of every 100 households in the United States will file for bankruptcy.
Last Saturday morning, Gambill's Forum on Homeless Veterans was held at the Minnesota Veterans Home in south Minneapolis. There was a certain irony in the selection of that particular veterans home, as its four top officials resigned earlier this month after inspections revealed multiple violations in the care of some of the home's most vulnerable residents.
Turnout for the forum was relatively light. There were about a dozen speakers and maybe 100 attendees. Still, Gambill deemed the program a success. After all, a good number of active military people, social workers, psychiatrists and politicians were all in the same room, where they could share perspectives on some seemingly intractable problems.
One group, however, was conspicuous in its absence: elected Republicans. According to Gambill, this was not by design. Invitations were issued to every member of the Minnesota legislature, most of the state's Congressional delegation and scads of other state and local pols.
Overall, just a fraction of these public servants could be bothered to spend their Saturday morning discussing the dreary realities of the homeless vet. In attendance, according to Gambill, were five DFLers (Senator Mark Dayton, State Senator Jane Ranum, Hennepin County Commissioner Gail Dorfman, Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin, and Minneapolis City Council member Paul Zerby) and one Green (Minneapolis City Council member Natalie Johnson-Lee). Of those six, all but Johnson-Lee and McLaughlin delivered prepared remarks.
Commenting on the partisan disparities of the forum participants, Gambill writes: "Again, we really tried hard to get a GOP speaker and, in the end, we were unsuccessful."
23% of homeless population are veterans
33% of male homeless population are veterans
47% Vietnam Era
17% post Vietnam
15% pre Vietnam
67% served three or more years
33% stationed in war zone
25% have used VA Homeless Services
85% completed high school/GED compared to 56% of non-veterans
89% received Honorable Discharge
79% reside in central cities
16% reside in suburban areas
5% reside in rural areas
76% experience alcohol, drug, or mental health problems
46% white males compared to 34% non-veterans
46% age 45 or older compared to 20% non-veterans
45% help finding job
37% finding housing
Check out: National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
by Frank O'Donnell
President of Clean Air Watch
Article from Tom Paine
Once upon a time, Hitler’s Nazis found themselves in a jam: how to fight a world war with meager oil reserves— especially after the debacle of the Russian Front and the loss of those former Soviet oil fields? The answer was to convert German coal into liquid fuel for the Luftwaffe and those Panzer tanks. (No, this plot line is not courtesy of Mel Brooks. In fact, General George Patton siphoned off some of this fuel from captured German vehicles and used it to race towards Germany in 1944.)
This expensive coal-to-liquid process was later used by South Africa to meet its energy needs during its isolation under apartheid.
And now what some people refer to as “Nazi fuel” is back—thanks in part to high oil prices and lobbying by groups that stand to profit its use in the United States. Former Republican congressman Bob Livingston was paid more than $200,000 last year to lobby for federal loan guarantees for the North American branch of the South Africa-based Sasol corporation, which is trying to peddle this process.
"It was one of the best weeks of my life."
"I can't imagine a more valuable way to spend my summer vacation. Where else can you debate children's rights, witness the process of a theatrical rehearsal, discuss constitutional law, learn to foxtrot and juggle, undergo hypnosis, form long-lasting friendships, and 'get down' on the dance floor with brilliant speakers and authors all in one week? I can hardly wait for next year!"
From over two dozen brilliant teachers, you'll learn about Ayn Rand and Romanticism — about Francis Bacon and the Enlightenment — about Albert Einstein and relativity. You can attend a course outlining the entire system of Objectivism, explore the workings of cults, or learn about homeschooling. Regardless of your background, you'll find sessions to challenge, inform, and enchant you.
"My favorite course was "Eradicating Social Ballast". Wow!!!"
"And the Von Mises Advanced Studies, Way Cool!!!!"
And who could miss out on: "Government Schools, Delusion for the Masses".
And the special guest appearance by Ayn Rand at the Ann Coulter Séance? Fabulicious!
It's double plus good fun for the self centered overachiver in ever family!
Sign up now for the session starting July 3, 1999.
at 7/18/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
A couple other favorite "Libertarian" thoughts:
" Of course libertarianism is compatible with Christianity! Just substitute "the market" for "Jesus", and ask "What would the market do?""
"Public schools are a monopoly: a staggering 80% of American children attend them in thousands of independently run school districts. Microsoft is not a monopoly: only 95% of computers use MSWindows."
" DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT the fact that the Internet came from a government project."
Lesson Two in a One Part Series:
at 7/18/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
That big ol’ building was the textile mill
that fed our kids and it paid our bills
But they turned us out and they closed the doors
We can’t make it here anymore
See those pallets piled up on the loading dock
They’re just gonna sit there ‘til they rot
‘Cause there’s nothing to ship, nothing to pack
Just busted concrete and rusted tracks
Empty storefronts around the square
There’s a needle in the gutter and glass everywhere
You don’t come down here unless you’re looking to score
We can’t make it here anymore...
by James McMurtry
Song: We Can't Make It Here Anymore
CD: Childish Things
at 7/18/2006 Posted by JPN
"Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. has no tolerance for illegal immigrants, either in his political life or personal life….A bipartisan irritant from a state nowhere near the Mexican border, he has outsize influence on the fate of the country’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants…. He is commonly described as 'prickly,' 'cantankerous' and 'unpleasant… .One could dismiss him as something of a cartoon , except that Mr. Sensenbrenner has been a feared and vital character in some defining political dramas, like the Clinton impeachment, the passage of the USA Patriot Act and the current legislative donnybrook over immigration, an issue that he calls his toughest in nearly four decades of public life.”
July 11 profile of Sensenbrenner
New York Times
at 7/18/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
"After all, the problems of poverty and racism, the uninsured and the unemployed, are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten point plan. They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness - in the imperfections of man.
Solving these problems will require changes in government policy; it will also require changes in hearts and minds. I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities, and that our leaders must say so in the face of the gun manufacturer's lobby - but I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we have a problem of morality; there's a hole in that young man's heart - a hole that government programs alone cannot fix."
Read full text of speech here (wait for redirect)
at 7/17/2006 Posted by Andy Rand
For the past 52 years, Fortune magazine has been publishing a list of the largest U.S. corporations, an annual chance for chief executives to brag that "my revenue is bigger than yours." For the past seven years, Business Ethics magazine has issued another kind of ranking -- a list of what it calls the "100 Best Corporate Citizens" -- that promotes virtue over size in the perennial game of corporate comparisons.
The Business Ethics list, the 2006 version of which appeared recently, has become a leading scorecard in the field of corporate social responsibility, or CSR (increasingly used as an abbreviation for corporate sustainability and responsibility). CSR has evolved from a rallying cry of business critics to a fashionable concern among corporate executives eager to demonstrate that high-mindedness can co-exist with the pursuit of profit. Many of the companies cited by Business Ethics consider it a badge of honor, putting out press releases touting this accomplishment.
PSSSSST: And the corporate greed mongers at www.ontheborderline.net still find a way to call the evil corporations good...
at 7/17/2006 Posted by Sunny Badger
I have never been a member of any union. I know people that worker for unions that took the workers dues and did absolutely nothing for the workers paying the dues. I know people who are losing their jobs at Northwest because of the changing environment of the airline industry and the corporate mismanagment and profiteering of a handful of very sucessful "free-market capitalists." I know people who work long, hard, stressful hours to win better working conditions, living wages and the basic benefits that should be a baseline for everyone in the US.
No I never belonged to a union, but I understand the importance they played in getting many of the workplace benefits we take fro granted everyday. Taking these benefits for grant is a dangerous thing -- wages are being cut, hours increased, overtime rules loosened, health care reduced, presions eliminated, etc. My blog neighbors over at www.ontheborderline.net will give a big arm pump with a long "Yes!" after reading each of those points of workplace loss. Understand the history of them that brung us to the dance and keep fighting to maintain and improve the workplace.
The Wobblies were a labor movement that envisioned one big worldwide union that traced its multi-tendril history back to a "Continental Congress of the Working Class" that was held in Chicago in June 1905. Big Bill Hayward, who managed to focus the disputatious convention, declared its manifesto that "the employing class and the working class have nothing in common."
Don't forget, the Wobblies and other union workers fought and died for you eight hour days, 40 hour work weeks, etc.
Below is a quote from an editorial written nealry 100 years ago. It sounds like some you might hear today from the likes of Ann Clouter, Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly. Have times really changed? Do you really want to let the reactionary regressives who spew out the unenlightened myths and slander that drool from the likes of www.ontheborderline.net to turn the hands of time back 100 years?
"Hanging is none too good for them, and they would be much better off dead. They are absolutely useless in the human economy. They are the waste material of creation, and should be drained off in the sewer of oblivion to rot like any other excrement." -- The San Diego Union
Check out these links on the Wobblies and the IWW: link #1 and Link #2
at 7/17/2006 Posted by JPN
Another installment in our borderline conspiracy theories:
A Conspiracy of Silence on The French Liberal School
by Joseph T. Salerno
There exists today in Anglo-American economics a veritable "conspiracy of silence" regarding the works and achievements of the French Liberal School of Economics. This is at once a sad commentary on the state of disinterested historical scholarship in the economics profession and a resounding confirmation of Thomas Kuhn's theory of scientific progress and its applicability to the social sciences.
From the von Mises Institute: Read more and sleep better!
On Monday evening, July 17, at 7 PM, Eric Peterson, the Faith Outreach Director for FairWisconsin will be speaking at Joy Lutheran Church, 1435 St. Croix Street, Prescott. (Joy Lutheran Church is just across the street south of the High School). Coffee and Dessert will be served at this informational meeting.
Eric comes from Madison, Wisconsin and will speak on Faith Communities outreach in their effort to oppose the ban on civil unions and marriage as proposed in the constitutional amendment on the ballot on November 7.
FairWisconsin encourages you to vote "NO" to this amendment to keep discrimination out of the Wisconsin Constitution.
The picture pretty much sums it up.
The local anonymous freedom fighter @ OTBL fired back against
middle of the road Republican blogger Bob Z with his ingenious
proposal to revolutionalize education in New Richmond.
Distance Education. Nice buzz word Jack!!!!
What do you know about Distance Education?
How much will it cost to select, implement and maintain on online
Whose servers will distribute the content?
Who will train the teachers to use it?
Which system will you use Jack? Blackboard, Desire 2 Learn?
If student have dialup connections, how will they receive rich media content?
In short Jack you don't know what the picture depicts.
at 7/16/2006 Posted by Anti-Bauer Bard
Suicide rate climbing as economy falters
Recently we've had a wide-ranging discussion with Cato who has been defending libertarian idealism. When ask what he's been doing to fight for his libertarian ideals, Cato said he doesn't accept welfare and refuses to use public transit. If those are the qualifications, then more than 95 percent of people living in Wisconsin and Minnesota fall into that category. Of course, it's rather easy for a middle-class, employed White male professional who commutes to the Twin Cities to work to not use public transportation and avoid welfare. In the spirit of the pick-yourself-up-by-your-own-bootstraps mentality, here's an interesting story of people in Taiwan have been doing with their bootstraps as their economy worsens.
With many families facing bleak economic prospects, the suicide rate is climbing.
Taiwan's crude death rate from suicide hit an all-time high of 18.8 per 100,000 people last year, the National Suicide Prevention Center (NSPC) under the Department of Health (DOH) reported.
According to DOH tallies, suicide was the ninth most frequent cause of death in Taiwan last year, with crude mortality (unadjusted by age) surpassing the previous record of 18.73 persons per 100,000 recorded in 1964.
Since the NSPC was inaugurated in January this year, local hospitals and clinics have been required to report every attempted suicide case. NSPC tallies show that 9,285 people tried to end their own lives in the first six months of this year, or an average of 51.3 persons per day.
Little separates public, private schools -- report
Study finds worst performance in conservative Christian schools
Long-delayed education study casts doubt on value of vouchers
The federal Education Department reported Friday that, in reading and math, children attending public schools generally do as well as or better than comparable children in private schools. The exception was in eighth-grade reading, where the private-school children did better.
The report, which compared fourth- and eighth-grade reading and math scores from nearly 7,000 public schools and more than 530 private schools in 2003, also found that conservative Christian schools lagged significantly behind public schools when it came to eighth-grade math.
The study, carrying the imprimatur of the National Center for Education Statistics, part of the Education Department, was contracted to the Educational Testing Service and delivered to the department last year.
It went through a lengthy peer review and includes an extended section of caveats about its limitations, calling such a comparison of public and private schools "of modest utility."
Its release, on a summer Friday, was made without a news conference or comment from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings.
Republicans aghast at mere illusion of their own tactics
"It makes my stomach turn to see national Democrats so blatantly exploit the sacrifices made by the men and women of our armed forces," says National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY).
"Well, frankly, I think this is the most tasteless gesture I've seen in my time in politics," whines Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY).
So there you have your Republican mock indignation of the day, from the same people who have used the 9/11 tragedy every day over the last five years for their own benefit. I guess when, like the folks at the RNC, you exist in a pool of slime every day, you automatically assume that everyone else is just like you.
Read the story and see the video.
Q: Which float made the most parents divert the attention of their children away from the parade and promise their kids they would get extra ice cream, if they agreed to leave Saturday's Fun Fest Parade early without making a fuss?
A: The ontheborderline.net and Jack Bauer float.