More and more parents are looking for alternatives to the public schools, which are producing high rates of student failure. Is it because of the students or the school? At a recent conference on education sponsored by the New York Times, one of the participants, Pedro Noguera, a professor of education at Columbia University, jolted the audience by saying, “We have set some schools up for failure.” No attempt was made to elaborate on Professor Noguera’s comment, but he was expressing a view that is commonly held by many parents in districts where the schools have specialized in producing failure. Many of these parents have been trying to find alternatives to these schools that they can afford.

Adam Smith wrote that power “would nowhere be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it. “

”Folly and presumption” seem apt words for anyone who proclaims that he can shape events — that is, people’s lives — in the Middle East.

Romney is not the only presidential contender displaying folly and presumption. Obama (along with his secretary of State, Hillary Clinton) apparently has no trouble believing that he too can control events in the Arab and Muslim world. There’s no other way to explain the unwise things he’s done.

 

A wise person knows that extreme likeability — especially in a person who wants something from you — can be a red flag. For an honest, sincere person will sometimes tell you things you don’t want to hear; he’ll sometimes be grumpy and let it show. And if he gets by on anything, it’s virtue. But the con man isn’t selling virtue; the only way he can get by (or get over) is with a pleasing façade, which will be maintained at least until the point he no longer needs you. In certain cases, this point is the next election.

Nowhere is the contrast between Barack Obama, as defined by his rhetoric ("Obama 1") and Barack Obama as defined by his actions ("Obama 2") greater than in his foreign policy — and especially his policy toward Israel.

Unprecedented school-lunch regulations have just gone into effect, and they suggest a new answer to the question “Where’s the beef?”: not on students’ plates — or on their bones. The regulations are a result of Michelle Obama’s “Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act,” and the result has been wasted food, endangered health, and hungrier kids.

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