Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cleaning Out the Notebook

Another list of posts I didn't get to recently.

According to this report from the Christian Science Monitor (and other places), several pastors plan to defy the IRS prohibition on political endorsements from the pulpit. Good for them. I think that it is okay for a pastor to endorse candidates in church, they can do it in public in other arenas, why can't they do it in the church?

Wahington Post's Dana Milbank does a hit piece on Sarah Palin. Palin, as the VP candidate is supposed to beat upon the opposition--it is her job. Is Milbank's problem is that she in unapologetic about it? Or is this a case of sexism in disguise, i.e. Palin is a woman and therefore these activities are unladylike. I don't see Milbank chastising Biden for the same kind of behavior.

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit, calls for a more "crunchy" financial system.
Of course, one rap on fault-tolerant systems is that problems don't get noticed as fast, because things don't grind to a halt when failures occur. There is an argument, instead, for crunchy systems where problems are immediately obvious, instead of "soggy" ones where they are not. Regulation, etc., tends to make systems more soggy -- which is good for you when FDIC insurance protects your savings, but bad for the system when FDIC insurance makes you not care about your bank's balance sheet or loan portfolio. Both approaches have their place, of course, but it pays to be clear about which you're choosing, and why, and what the consequences are.
I like it, but common sense will not be the coin of the realm in a Democratic Congress.

Kartik Krishnaier notes that the Mickey League Soccer (MLS) complaint about fixture congestion doesn't seem to be phasing USL teams in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The antics of Newcastle United make for too easy fodder for blogging, so just check out the latest from SoccerLens.

There has been a lot of talk about refereeing in various soccer leagues around the world, here are a few stories, Man. U gets help again, the Reading/Watford Ghost Goal, and the list could go on and on. As a referee, I hope to add a little to the mix in a longer piece soon.

David Thompson talks about the political skew in university classrooms. I know it is not a new topic, but I liked this post and think it worth the couple of minutes to read it.

Jay Mathews talks about the necessity of someone having the power to fire bad teachers, for the sake of their students. I liked this paragraph in particular:
This shift sounds pretty drastic, and it is. For the past several years, D.C. schools have ranked near the bottom of city school systems in student achievement. They are the educational equivalent of the financial services industry and need the same kind of bitter medicine being prescribed for those downfallen businesses.

Would changing the metrics examining the teacher work loads have the potential to make real changes in classrooms? A thought provoking idea noted by Joanne Jacobs.

Some lawfirms are shortening?!?!?! the workweek due to the gas crunch. Won't work too much for me, I live about four miles from my office.

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