Homeschool or die

Sometimes, the choice is literal:

A 10-year-old boy died after he was found hanging from a hook in a bathroom at his suburban Chicago school, and his mother said Wednesday that school officials haven’t given her an explanation for what they described as an accident. Aquan Lewis, a fifth-grader at Oakton Elementary, was found unresponsive and hanging from a hook in a bathroom at about 3 p.m. Tuesday. He was pronounced dead Wednesday morning at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

The fact that the school and the police are playing coy suggests that the boy’s death, while unintentional, was probably caused by the actions of one or more of his fellow students.

Jail the police

The problem isn’t that the police occasionally make mistakes. The problem is that the police are insulated from every being held responsible for those mistakes no matter how egregious they are:

At the end of a New Year’s Eve traffic stop on Interstate 94 in St. Paul, State Patrol Sgt. Carrie Rindal rammed Salter’s 2001 Toyota Sienna van, causing $1,500 damage to his vehicle, and arrested him at gunpoint while his three children, ages 2, 3 and 6, sat in the van. His wife had to pick up the kids as he was taken to jail.

Rindal said Salter was attempting to flee. He said he was merely looking for a safe place to pull over. The Ramsey County attorney’s office declined to charge Salter after reviewing the evidence, including a video of the stop.

NWA was right. Police in the USA are little more than a gang armed with guns and badges, roaming the streets demanding “respect” from the public as they collect the protection money known as “fines”. Rindal should be immediately removed from the force for her poor judgment and incompetence as well as her demonstrated predilection for turning a routine traffic stop into a potentially lethal situation.

The dumbest and dullest

Lest you wonder why I am supremely confident that the USA is doomed:

“Every month that we do not have an economic recovery package, 500 million Americans lose their jobs.”
– Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House

Where, oh where, would we be if those brave advocates of women’s suffrage hadn’t unlocked the vast reservoirs of governing talent being kept on the sidelines thanks to the Patriarchy’s oppression of the fair sex? Macroeconomics is bogus enough, but even if you subscribe to one of the Keynesian, Neo-Keynesian, or Monetarist myths, you have to be at least a little dubious about the success of any model which relies on correct application by individuals so vastly ignorant of the relevant statistical factors.

Not the ideal cap

Banking executives deserve a cap in the ass more than a cap on their compensation packages, but better the latter than the fascistic Bush approach of private black and public red:

The Obama administration is expected to impose a cap of $500,000 for top executives at companies that receive large amounts of bailout money, according to people familiar with the plan. Executives would also be prohibited from receiving any bonuses above their base pay, except for normal stock dividends….

Mr. Reda said only a handful of big companies pay chief executives and other senior executives $500,000 or less in total compensation. He said such limits will make it hard for the companies to recruit and keep executives, most of whom could earn more money at other firms. “It would be really tough to get people to staff” companies that are forced to impose these limits, he said. “I don’t think this will work.”

Obama is already shaping up to be a better president than George W. Bush, which is very faint praise indeed. It is beyond ludicrous to argue that it will be tough to staff companies for only $500k per year. Considering what a historically horrific job was done by the massively overpaid banking executives of the very recent past and present, there’s absolutely no empirical reason supporting the idea that massive compensation has any connection whatsoever to positive results.

And for those idiots who would claim that compensation caps are somehow anti-capitalistic, please note that since government regulates nearly every other aspect of the American financial system, there’s no logical reason it shouldn’t regulate executive pay as well. Many corporate executives have demanded socialism in the form of a government bailout, and so it’s satisfying to see that they’re getting it good and hard.

My only criticism is that the $500k cap is too high. There’s no reason not to knock those salaries back to $174,000, the current Congressional salary. After all, an executive at a bailed-out corp is little more than a government employee now.