High School Presidential Scholars Tell Bush to Stop Torture

June 26, 2007 at 5:49 am | Posted in America, American politics, Bush Administration, Education, George W Bush, Gitmo, King George, secret combinations, Torture | 3 Comments

Ouch, this must have stung! High schoolers who visited the White House signed a letter to President Bush urging him to stop his administration’s torture policies. He apparently was unaware that they were going to present this letter.

President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to “violations of the human rights” of terror suspects held by the United States.

The White House said Bush had not expected the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.

I wonder what was going on through his mind. He was live to the world, probably couldn’t step out of the scripted scenario.

These students are Presidential Scholars, the top of the top high schoolers in the nation. They probably prepared this before the Washington Post’s amazing section on Dick Cheney’s torture regime. Future Americans will look back at our generation and be embarrassed.

The handwritten letter said the students “believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions.”

“We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants,” the letter said.

The designation as a Presidential Scholar is one of the nation’s highest honors for graduating high school students. Each year the program selects one male and one female student from each state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Americans living abroad, 15 at-large students, and up to 20 students in the arts on the basis of outstanding scholarship, service, leadership and creativity.

Well done, young men and women. Well done. The future is looking brighter than before.

“Moderate Candidates Who Live Like Liberals”

March 19, 2007 at 7:52 pm | Posted in American politics, Barack Obama, conservatives, Democrats, Education, family values, liberals, Republicans | Leave a comment

Joe Klein writes in Time Magazine the following when describing the Republican candidates for the 2008 election:

Then again, the Republicans are fielding a motley crew right now: if you count Newt Gingrich, who’ll probably join the fray in the fall, the four leading candidates have had nine marriages among them: Giuliani three, Gingrich three, McCain two and Romney one. The Republican faithful are left with a devil of a choice: moderate candidates who live like liberals, or religious conservatives who talk like liberals.

Now, as a liberal who is in a loving marriage, I find that somewhat offensive. Is Joe Klein saying because I’m liberal I will have a higher risk of divorce? Well, let’s compare these candidates to the Democratic field. Greg Seargant of Horse’s Mouth has done just that. What do we find?

How many divorces have their been among the men — and women — in the Democratic field? Let’s run through them real quick, just for the fun of it. None of the following liberal Dem candidates has gotten divorced:

(1) Hillary: You know the story. No need to repeat it

(2) Obama: Married to Michelle, whom he met when she was just out of law school, for 15 years.

(3) Edwards: Married to Elizabeth since 1977; they’ve had four children, one of whom was killed in a car crash. As Andrew Sullivan recently observed: “Most couples never survive the death of a child. The Edwards family did — and went on to have two more.”

(4) Richardson: Married to his high-school sweetheart for 33 years.

(5) Biden: First wife killed in car accident in 1972; married to his current wife for almost 30 years.

Yeah, you have to really scrape your way to the bottom of the Democratic field to find divorces. The only Dem Presidential candidate with any kind of credible shot who has gotten divorced is…Chris Dodd, who divorced in 1982.

In fact, if you think about it, the entire field of Dems deemed credible boasts fewer divorces than Rudy Giuliani alone!

Huh, how about that. So just what point is Mr. Klein making? It seems that liberals are faring better in family values than their conservative counterparts. I’ve argued this point before, especially when you compare liberal states with conservative states, say Texas and Massachusetts. Texas has a greater proportion of divorces than Massachusetts, while Massachusetts also has a larger percentage of well educated people. Better education, stabler families, seems liberal values are quite strongly pro-family. So why the smear, Mr. Klein?

Get A Liberal Education, Live A Longer Life

January 3, 2007 at 5:17 pm | Posted in Education | 4 Comments

You want to live a longer life? The answer? Get a liberal education:

The answers, he and others say, have been a surprise. The one social factor that researchers agree is consistently linked to longer lives in every country where it has been studied is education. It is more important than race; it obliterates any effects of income.

Year after year, in study after study, says Richard Hodes, director of the National Institute on Aging, education “keeps coming up.”

And, health economists say, those factors that are popularly believed to be crucial — money and health insurance, for example, pale in comparison.

Dr. Smith explains: “Giving people more Social Security income, or less for that matter, will not really affect people’s health. It is a good thing to do for other reasons but not for health.”

Health insurance, too, he says, “is vastly overrated in the policy debate.”

Instead, Dr. Smith and others say, what may make the biggest difference is keeping young people in school. A few extra years of school is associated with extra years of life and vastly improved health decades later, in old age.

I knew I chose the right field of work… 🙂

America’s Smartest Cities

December 16, 2006 at 1:33 pm | Posted in America, Education, San Francisco | Leave a comment

Forbes magazine has released a report on America’s smartest cities judged by what percentage of the population has at least a bachelor’s degree, as well as more advanced degrees. San Francisco Bay Area has two cities in its mix, the city itself and San Jose. Cambridge, Massachusetts, of course made the list too, as did two places in Colorado, Boulder at number 1. No surprise, they tend to be cities with good schools. It would have been a shocker if Cambridge was not on the list, seeing it has Harvard and MIT plus home to many who work at the Boston area hospitals, some of the best in the nation.

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