Friday, May 13, 2011

Democrats Don't Like Competition

Democrats/liberals in the Tennessee House of Representatives just plain don't like educational innovation and competition:

The real reason that Democrats (the party of the Tennessee Education Association) are so opposed to legislation like this is that it creates another avenue for homeschoolers and for children in small private schools to get all of the educational requirements that they need under State law to receive a diploma without the educational plan that has been set out for them by their families (remember, the people who raise the children in question) being disrupted. The bill would allow for local education authorities to charge tuition for any non-public school student who chooses to enroll in virtual classes through the local school district, so these low-cost virtual classes could be, as Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) ably put it, a revenue stream for local schools which has not heretofore been utilized. The reaction of many Democrats to this kind of educational innovation shows what the fight for education reform in Tennessee is really all about. Those who are fighting so hard against any real change to our State's educational structure do not want to introduce competition to the government school monopoly-they hate educational choice, despise homeschoolers, and believe that throwing money at public schools is the only way to improve them (and mind you, no one with awareness of our educational difficulties is arguing that public schools couldn't use more investment in our State). Nevermind the idea, of course, that a little competition injected into public schools might force some real improvements to the system.

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Harwell Keeps a Promise

Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell has promised that she would move the collective bargaining bill to the House floor and yesterday she essentially did that:

Those who were concerned that Beth Harwell wouldn't take a hard stand on much of anything, that she would be unwilling to take real political risks, and that she would avoid doing anything at all that would anger the "superstructure" of lobbyist power on Capitol Hill were proven wrong in spades this week. The Speaker has taken a great risk for the sake of a bill that she might personally rather not deal with because she knows that many in her caucus do believe in the legislation, and she made a promise that she would see this bill to the House floor. Speaker Harwell has done what she promised to do.

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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Strong Families Protect Liberty

Government should protect marriage and the family as best it can, or our liberties may otherwise be in danger:

For well over half-a-century now, our country has been witness to the slow decline of the nuclear family, now to the point where we are defining family not as mother, father, children. and extended family, but as mother without father, in rarer cases father without mother, two men and child, two women and child, and yet many other combinations. If anyone raises their voice to say that this is not supposed to be how society works, they are called intolerant, or bigoted, or much worse. We will say it in this space: The family is the very bedrock of a free and liberty-loving society, and liberty cannot exist in practical terms (that is, a society with a very limited government) without the family taking its proper role as the center of social and moral formation. If the traditional family declines and falls as a social force, the power of a society and a nation will decline with it. If the traditional family falls as the primary organ of social formation, society becomes an open field for social engineering and for the political doctrines of socialism-something which our friends on the Left are well aware of.

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Monday, May 09, 2011

The 107th

The 107th General Assembly is moving the conservative agenda further than it has ever been moved in Tennessee before:

Does that mean that this writer agrees with every decision that has been taken in the 107th General Assembly so far? Of course not-it is well known that he favors the passge of a bill allowing for the sale of wine in grocery stores and wants both Houses to move-and the Governor to sign-Knoxville Republican Senator Stacey Campfield's bill to allow for the election of appellate judges as our State Constitution requires. As to the former, a majority should not stand or fall on where I buy my Merlot, and as to the latter, the bill actually made it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee this year. Under the previous government in both the House and Senate, if that legislation made it out of Judiciary it would be one of the signs of the approach of Armaggeddon.

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