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Monthly Archives: July 2012

This can go in the archive of ill-conceived and tremendously stupid ideas. Aren’t the taxpayers in D.C. upset with the city for wasting their money like this? Does anyone honestly think that these students are going to do anything other than fritter away six hours a day? I’m surprised nobody in D.C. has yet complained that they’re not getting minimum wage.

The District is paying 305 students with poor academic and behavioral records to attend summer school, The Washington Examiner has learned.

The rising ninth-graders are earning $5.25 an hour to participate in the “Summer Bridge” program, which targets students identified by D.C. Public Schools as less likely than their peers to graduate high school within four years.

The 95 students who voluntarily signed up for the summer school program will receive half of an elective credit. But to fill the 400-student session with at-risk students, DCPS reached out to the Department of Employment Services. More than 300 students flagged by DCPS and who had signed up for the Summer Youth Employment Program were told that school would be their jobs this summer.

D.C. Public Schools is turning its attention toward not just graduating high-school students, but graduating them on time. Only 53 percent of DCPS students graduate high school within four years. In addition to the Summer Bridge program, DCPS introduced a program this summer for English-language learners who failed English their freshman year of high school. Instead of retaking English 1 and graduating in five years, these rising sophomores are taking the course over the summer so they can stay on track.

Melissa Salmanowitz, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Kaya Henderson, said DCPS officials are going to study this year’s results, with the intention of expanding the program next summer.

At-large Councilman Michael A. Brown, chairman of the committee that oversaw the summer jobs program until June, said there has been some pushback from residents who question whether paying students one summer leads them to expect rewards for showing up during the school year.

“That’s a completely legitimate argument,” Brown said. “It is a very, very, extremely justified, debatable issue and I don’t think there’s a right answer.”

This summer isn’t the first time the city has paid students to learn. The District allowed a Harvard University group to pay about 3,000 middle-school students up to $100 a month for good grades during the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years. Grades overall didn’t improve significantly.

via D.C. students being paid for summer school | WashingtonExaminer.com.

This guy is apparently not up on current events.

JULY 31–Suspicious that his live-in girlfriend was planning an affair, a Tennessee man confronted the woman after spotting a photo of an unknown guy on her Facebook page, according to a police report.

Lowell Turpin, 40, “angrily demanded to know who the male was,” reported Anderson County Sheriff’s Department investigators.

Crystal Gray, 38, “replied that it was a picture of Mitt Romney.”

Despite being informed that the man on Gray’s wall was the presumptive Republican presidential candidate (and not some hunky, severely conservative sidepiece), Turpin apparently was not placated. Gray said that he “became upset because she was attempting to communicate with friends through her Facebook account.”

In a subsequent tussle over the laptop, Gray’s hand was injured as she unsuccessfully tried to stop Turpin form smashing the computer against the wall. Gray told deputies that Turpin, pictured in the above mug shot, also punched her in the face during the encounter.

via Romney Photo Spurs Domestic Abuse Incident | The Smoking Gun.

Mayor Menino says Chick-fil-A shouldn’t be able to do business in Boston, because of Chritian Beliefs held by its owner. On the other hand, he effectively gave the Islamic Society of Boston $1.8 million of city land for a mosque. Among the leaders of that mosque was one Jusef al-Qaradawi. That radical imam believes you should kill homosexuals. Their only issue, apparently, was exactly how to do it.

But nobody’s accusing Chick-fil-A of supporting terrorism — just traditional marriage (I think liberals still see the former as more dangerous). Menino heard the president of the company call same-sex marriage a “sin,” and he announced it would not be allowed to do business in Boston.OK, Mr. Mayor.

But when you gave all that land to the ISB (Islamic Society of Boston) at a song, here’s what imam al-Qaradawi was teaching:“[A homosexual should be given] the same punishment as any sexual pervert  . . . Some say we should throw them from a high place, like God did with the people of Sodom. Some say we should burn them.”According to the Anti-Defamation League, “In 2003 Qaradawi stated on IslamOnline that the punishment of homosexuality is the death penalty.”

In the end, says the anti-Islamist organization MEMRI, al-Qaradawi came down on the side of stoning. Hey — say what you want about Chick-fil-A, but they aren’t trying to kill anyone. Other than, perhaps, via hardening of the arteries.

via Radical imam OK but not Chick-fil-A – BostonHerald.com.

What? From Orange UK:

Olympic beach volleyball players have come across an unexpected handicap – squirrels burying their nuts on their courts.

The rodents have been burying beechnuts and acorns on six sandy practice courts at London’s St James’s Park.

And bikini-clad players have been left grimacing as they land barefoot on the squirrel snacks.

Groundsmen now have to rake the sand before practice sessions, reports The Sun.

Six courts, two warm-up courts and a hospitality lounge have been created in the leafy lakeside park close to Buckingham Palace.

The 15,000-seat main competition arena in nearby Horseguards Parade has not been affected.

A London 2012 source told the newspaper: “It’s nuts but true. It seems squirrels have been invading the courts and either hiding or dropping their nuts.

“But it won’t affect the competition because the sand is regularly raked.”

via Squirrels disrupt beach volleyball | Orange UK.

I love to hear stories like this. The economy and other troubles would have us thinking things are not so great here anymore. When you think that way, read something like the story of Karol:

In 1977, the year I was born and the year my father and many other Jews left the Soviet Union (my mother and I left in 1978, my grandmother and great-aunt left in 1976), the Soviet propaganda machine began circulating a rumor. It went, roughly: life in America is so terrible that the old people eat cat food.

This was…perplexing.

People didn’t quite get it: they have food specifically made for cats in America? What a country!

A lot of things about America remained beyond their comprehension.

A week after my father arrived in New York, he and a friend were walking around Manhattan in pure wonder. They got to midtown and stood in front of Bloomingdale’s watching well-dressed people come in and out. They discussed it amongst themselves that they would obviously have to show evidence that they had money, or proof of income, or some other paperwork to get inside. Surely this store for the wealthy wouldn’t just let them in. They watched and watched but didn’t see people getting stopped. They walked slowly through the doors and found no one gave them a second look.

There’s a feeling in America today that there isn’t equality until any of us can walk into Bloomingdale’s and buy whatever we want. The two men standing there in 1977 weren’t thinking that it was unfair they couldn’t wear the same clothes as the beautiful people around them, they were just grateful for the opportunity to try. They had left a place where that opportunity simply didn’t exist. You were born poor and you would die poor–everyone would. You could gain influence in your life and that might get you small victories–instead of being assigned to practice your profession in Siberia you might get lucky and get sent to a capital city. Perhaps you, your wife, your child, your parents and other relatives could have your own apartment, one you wouldn’t have to share with another family. Those were your wins.

It’s hard for Americans, even the ones who see America’s greatness and love this country for it, to understand the lack of opportunity that my family left. As Communism retreats into the rear-view mirror of history it’s easy to gloss over the everyday ways that Communism is meant to crush the individual and make everyone equal–equally poor, equally scared, equally hopeless.

via 34 glorious, American years.