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« November 2004 | Main | January 2005 »

December 2004

December 31, 2004

Amy Stuart Wells, professor at Columbia Univ., disses charter schools and my older daughter replies (and her defense is noted by Joanne Jacobs and Eduwonk).

I can't resist adding one comment to Katie's admirable defense. Professor Wells writes,

"In this decade of growing free-market disillusionment, policymakers should amend state laws to better support the high-achieving charter schools and close the rest."

Speaking for myself and perhaps on behalf of many charter-school supporters, I wholeheartedly endorse this proposal, with one qualification: policymakers can do that when they do exactly the same thing for regular public schools.

LA Weekly presents its annual "Zeitlist," a "compendium of politics, culture, music, film, and other excellent events and ephemera." Some of the pieces were too liberal for my taste, but some can be read by folks of all political persuasions. Examples: "14 Hairstyles of the Pundits" and "Mike Davis’ 6 Remarkable Ways To Die".

Happy New Year to all the readers of the Door.

Dan Neil of the LA Times: ". . . the great cars of 2004 and the types of L.A. owners they might attract."

Radley Balko summarizes the little-publicized good news in 2004.

December 30, 2004

Michael Barone astutely notes that today's Liberals are actually sort of . . . reactionary:

Once upon a time, liberals were the folks who wanted to change society. They thought existing institutions were unjust and that individuals needed protection against the workings of the market. They looked forward to a society that would be different. . . .

Looking back on election year 2004, I am struck by how many of the constituencies supporting Democratic candidates oppose, rather than seek, change -- how they are motivated not by ideas about how to change the future, but by something like nostalgia for the past.

Useful: "How to Fix Mom's Computer." (I second the author's endorsements of ZoneAlarm and Spybot.)

December 29, 2004

It's very sad that Steven Den Beste is ill and has sharply curtailed his blogging. He has produced some remarkable essays; this one, on the "most fundamental question there is," is easily my favorite. (And no, it doesn't have anything to do with religion or the purpose of life.)

Ten New York Times articles from the past 100 years that reflect the "evolution of manufacturing."

Comparison of leading anti-spyware programs.

December 28, 2004

Booz Allen Hamilton studies "ten of the world's most enduring institutions over the past century." They conclude that being adaptive and resilient is important to enduring.

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