aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Sunday, July 10, 2005
This suit outrages me:
A judge today will be asked to halt Cobb County’s new laptop computer program, because opponents think it is a waste of taxpayer money.
At stake is more than just students getting to take the computers home. The judge could take the unusual step of curtailing the authority of a school board for a decision that upset constituents whose money they spend.
They voted on it!
Cobb voters approved the tax in 2003. As they did, school officials said they would replace students’ “obsolete workstations.” They didn’t say with what. The suit contends voters could not have known the system would provide computers for all kids in grades six through 12, putting Cobb on track to lead one of the nation’s largest such efforts.
The guy bringing the suit is a former county commissioner (his buddy lost the vote so he goes to court?) and his lawyer is former Gov. Roy Barnes. I was glad to see this letter from a grandmother still paying school taxes with no kids in school and arguing for the program.
I said it before and I’ll say it again:
We complain about our public schools while public schools are the most democratically accountable institutions. Give them those rights and obligations required to do their work, then butt out!
While on the topic of recruiting, today Newsweek reports that restrictions on the types of missions Navy SEALs are allowed to undertake has morale at an all time low:
The result is that hundreds of veteran SEALs have not re-enlisted, while others have resigned their commissions, says the defense analyst, citing official Pentagon numbers. That has deprived the overall SEAL population of about 2,500 of experienced commandos, he says. Asked to respond, SEALs spokesman Cmdr. Jeff Bender said: “We can’t go into the nature of our missions. But it’s categorically untrue that morale is low.” He also said that “retention is better than it has been.”
Still, many SEALs have left for higher-paying jobs-and sometimes better action-with private security firms, like North Carolina-based Blackwater USA (founded by ex-SEAL Gary Jackson). The Defense Department has offered a “retention incentive” $150,000 bonus for SEALs senior officers (and other Special Ops forces) who re-enlist for six years. But John Arquilla, who teaches at the Naval postgraduate program in Monterey, Calif., says the offer of extra money is “a sign that we need to reconsider how we are employing them. These men don’t become SEALs for the money. They do what they do for the prospect of action.”